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About This GigaPanToggle
- Taken by
- Yvan Van Hoorickx
- Explore score
- 0.12 Gigapixels
- Date added
- October 27, 2008
- Date taken
- October 26, 2008
The King Albert Monument stands proudly above the 'Ganzenpoot' (Goose Foot), its centrepiece a bronze statue of the Belgian ‘King-Knight’. Albert commanded his troops more or less independently of the British and French, resenting the fact that Belgium had been dragged into a war that was not theirs.
The Ganzenpoot was crucial in halting the German advance through Flanders in 1914. The Battle of the Yser began on 18th October when the German Fourth Army attacked between Nieuport and Diksmuide. For several days, remote rural communities such as Keiem, Beerst, Esen and Vladslo were at the centre of furious combat.
At high tide on 28th October, Belgian engineers opened the old Furnes lock intending to flood the area between the Yser and the Nieuport – Dixmude railway embankment. Within two days, water levels had risen sufficiently to bring the German advance to what must have seemed an almost miraculous halt.
Text by Iain Cameron