The Ypres-Lys Offensive, a World War I Online Interactive, Released
The Ypres-Lys Offensive of World War I, part of the larger Hundred Days Campaign, was launched in August 1918 to liberate Belgium and parts of northeast France. The offensive involved Australian, Belgian, British, Canadian, French and American forces, and inflicted heavy casualties on the Germans opposing it. This forced a German retreat, and furthered the attrition that brought the war to an end.
Four American divisions fought alongside their Allied counterparts in the Ypres-Lys Offensive, providing critical reinforcements to war-weary armies that had been fighting for four long years. The offensive featured recurrent major assaults as the Allies brought forward supplies and reinforcements to renew the attack. Shortly after the offensive began, the Germans sought to withdraw from exposed forward positions back to the formidable defenses of the so-called Hindenburg Line. The Germans delayed or stalled Allied advances using intense machinegun fire, gas attacks, booby traps, snipers, and artillery. The Allies returned to the attack, time and again, to hammer the sagging German defenses. The Germans were forced back to the Lys River, and then to the Schedlt River, in less than three months. The Germans committed to an Armistice effective at 11:00 a.m. on November 11, 1918. The Allies had been preparing for another offensive thrust set to begin that very day.
To further tell this story, the American Battle Monuments Commission has released the Ypres-Lys Offensive Interactive. This free, digital tool allows the user to follow the paths of American forces as they fought alongside their Allies to liberate Belgium and northeastern France.
Including dynamic maps showing the locations of units over time, narrative text, and an encyclopedia of people, places, organizations and equipment involved, the Ypres-Lys Offensive online interactive provides comprehensive insight into this critical World War I offensive
Members of the American forces that lost their live in this offensive are honored at Flanders Field American Cemetery.
The Ypres-Lys Offensive is one of 11 online interactives thus far developed by ABMC:
- Learn about the World War II Battle of the Atlantic
- Learn about the World War II Strategic Bombing Campaign
- Learn about Americans in Great Britain during World War II
- Learn about the World War II Normandy Campaign
- Learn about the World War II Sicilian Campaign
- Learn about Entering Italy: The Naples-Foggia Campaign during World War II
- Learn about Liberating Rome: The Rome-Arno Campaign during World War II
- Learn about the World War II Battle of Pointe du Hoc
- Use the World War I Timeline
- Use the World War II Timeline
Established in 1923 by Congress, ABMC is a U.S. government agency charged with commemorating the service, achievements and sacrifice of the U.S. Armed Forces where they have served overseas since 1917. ABMC administers our nation’s overseas commemorative cemeteries and federal memorials. For more information visit www.abmc.gov, or connect with us on Facebook, Youtube or Instagram.