Maps of Ypres today, U.S. 1918 battle maps, and monument maps

Dad supplied detailed battle maps in his book. Modern maps and maps on the American Monument Barbara and I collected on our (map) quest in 2005.

Of interest are (1) Watou (far left), the town to which Dad and his company withdrew while not actively at the front. It still is a small, quaint town. (2) Poperinge, where "R and R" was taken (there is still the now famous Talbot House Dad mentioned, today a museum which we found closed on Mondays), Ypres (IEPER) (see the link to the Ypres pics) and Kemmel Hill (26), where the Germans had very large guns which shelled Dad while at the front, and Ypres. But most important of all, locate Voormezele, where Dad fought at the front lines. Locate N365 at the upper right. This road, now leading directly south out of Ypres, goes right through the countryside where the trenches in which Dad fought were once located. There is now a British Cemetery (12) that was right there.

The American Monument, situated on the Kemmel road, displays a map (shown above). 30th division sector was Dad's outfit. Note the road, coming from Ypres and crossing the front (hatched line) and continuing down through St. Eloi. Also note the American front positions on August 18-31, and after the major offensive of September 1. Lankhof Farms (the square symbol), first controlled by Germans, is where I believe Dad described his trench and pillbox experiences. There is a British Cemetery just there. More about that in another link.

The battle map above, which requires quite a bit of detailed study, was made for the American officers. It shows the Lille road, now N375, going south through Trois Rois and the actual trenches in which Dad was fighting. My interpretation of the battle map is as follows: the heavy line with the arrow near box 25 defines boundary of the 120th Infantry's (Dad's) SW boarder with that the 119th Infantry below it. A second such line near the upper right defines the NE boarder, with that of the 43rd British on the other side. Both arrows point to the enemy, direction of advancement. I believe the 7 ellipsoid shapes are the trenches and surrounding parapets (piles of soil to give the trenches more effective depth) were occupied by Dad's outfit.

The canal is indicated by the pair of parallel lines extending from NNW through the 2nd trench from the left and continuing into box 32, then turning to the ESE. This is a canal from the north, with a lock (number 8) at the turn to the ESE. The Belgium command, wanting to slow down the Germans during the initial invasion, caused massive flooding (Keegan, 1998) using this canal, among others. It was effective, and remained so throughout the war. Based on the pillbox that still exists, and other factors, Dad's trench was either the 2nd or 3rd trench from the left, determined by his description of "rats splashing in the old canal", partly by the location of the pill box, and his description matching what we found. To give the viewer a sense of the scale, I believe the box size to be 1,000 yards by 1,000 yards. Based on these 3 maps, the location of Dad's fighting can be very accurately located. We were amazed to find most landmarks, including farm houses, as described almost 100 years ago.

Finally, an enlargement. The small "tick marks" are at 50 yd. intervals.

It may be more clear if one prints these pages, and views the 4 maps collectively.