Friday, October 19, 2012

Realistic Second Life Desinations: Ypres, Scene of One of the Bloodiest Battles in World War 1

Observation balloons allowed for basic reconnaissance in World War 1

98 years ago, on October 19 1914, one of the bloodiest battles of the First World War was about to begin outside of a small city in Belgium named Ypres (pronounced "eeep" as in sleep) - The First Battle of Ypres.
Over 1 million combat casualties would occur over the next four years in the area on both the Allied (primarily British, French, Canadian and Belgian) and German sides.

To visit Ypres:

Imagine the claustrophobia and discomfort of trench warfare.  Lice were a major problem. 

To this day, the name of Ypres brings to mind horrific trench warfare, where troops mired in mud for months at a time seeking shelter from constant artillery bombardment.  Disease and lice were a constant problem on both sides, as was escaping poison gas, which the Germans first used in World War 1 here in 1914. Both sides of the conflict were to take up the usage of Poison Gas after this battle.

The sim features exploding artillery shells adding realism to the build.

My great-grandfather, who fought in World War 1 for the American Army in France in 1918, was exposed to poison gas in the combat,  and was increasingly disabled as a result for the remaining 30 years of his life.
I can imagine him in the trenches trying to breathe the air around him with a gas mask on -- if he even was given one.

The Union Jack flies above the British lines at Ypres.

There was a Second Battle of Ypres in 1915 that resulted in over 100,000 casualties, and a Third Battle of Ypres in 1917 that resulted in as many as 850,000 casualties, making the total number of losses on both the Allied and German sides of the conflict at Ypres in World War 1 over 1,200,000 according to some estimates, truly a horrific number.

Well constructed and realistic artillery cannon up close.
Although Ypres is not a pleasant destination to visit, it is a very educational one. The warfare depicted here would soon become obsolete, as tanks and mobile artillery would soon make trenches obsolete tactically. I recommend you visit this highly realistic battlefield.

To visit Ypres:

To purchase the items used in the sim:

The inside of the German headquarters - note Kaiser Wilhelm

The inside of the British headquarters- note Britain's King George V, Kaiser Wilhelm's  first cousin

Realistic combat machinima filed at Ypres in Second Life by Arduenn.  You can rez British and German combat aircraft here at no charge (rezzers are on the sim) and have an air battle over the trenches with your friend if you wish.

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