The First Battle of Ypres was the beginning of three major battles fought around the medieval town of Ypres in Belgium. The Germans had occupied Ypres for a brief time, however, the British Expeditionary Force took the town and held it for the reminder of the war. The Germans had many attempts to taking the town, however, the Allies resisted attacks and held the town through out the battles. Nevertheless, they felt the damage done by the Germans; and had suffered a great amount of causalities. Trench systems were built surrounding the area of Ypres and remained in the Western Front through out the rest of the war. .
The First Battle of Ypres was "The Race to the Sea-. The Allies and Germans weren't really concerned about the sea; they were both looking for a way to destroy the enemies' defenses off the front line. The so-called "race- began very slowly. The Allies snuck up the left; while the Germans edged up the right. By now General Erich von Falkenhayn had replaced Von Moltke the aging General who had implemented the Schlieflen plan. Von Falkenhayn was the Prussian Minister of war; he had guts and nerves, which the other previous general lacked. Von Falkenhayn had moved the German army at a rapid pace, making the French find themselves "24 hours and an Army Corps behind the enemy- .
As the "Race to the Sea- began in late September and early October, the German Army could not forget about the town of Antwerp, which was crucial to their success. The Belgian Field Army had retreated in to the fortified city of Antwerp for protection. The Belgians had a relatively weak force consisting of 65 000 Field Army troops, and another 80 000 troops in other units. The troops had dug out trenches, which were damp, dangerous and shallow, easily hit by artillery fire. The Belgians did their best to help the Allied forces against the struggle with Germany. On September 28, 1914, the Germans hit the southeast side of Antwerp.