Flanders commemorates the First World War
Exhibition: 1914-18 – The Battle for the North Sea
The Flemish Yser region is widely acknowledged as the principal arena of bloodshed during the four years of the Great War. However, the Flemish battlefield extended well beyond the trenches that ran along the Yser. The German Marinekorps Flandern had also established a well-oiled war machine in the coastal area between the frontline and the Dutch border. Given the region’s exceptional strategic importance as a base of operations for naval and aerial battles on the North Sea, the German occupying forces installed a vast network of ports, artillery batteries, bunkers and airfields in this area. The submarines and destroyers of the Marinekorps - which positioned its headquarters in the Provincial Court on the market place in Bruges - terrorized the North Sea for years on end. Operating from the ports of Ostend and Zeebrugge, they sank no less than 2550 allied ships. Eventually, this intense submarine warfare would be partly responsible for the American resolution to join the First World War; a decision that greatly influenced the further course of the Great War.
As the former headquarters of the Marinekorps Flandern, the Provincial Court in Bruges provides the ideal backdrop for the exhibition 1914-18 – The Battle for the North Sea. Using historical artefacts and never-before-seen illustrations, this exhibition aims to shed light on the little-known story of the war at sea and the essential role of Bruges as the nerve centre of the entire operation.
The exhibition 1914-18 – The Battle for the North Sea (open to the public from 23 April to 31 August 2018 in the Provincial Court in Bruges, Belgium) tells the little-known story of the war at sea and the essential role of Bruges as the nerve center of the entire operation. Take a look of what to expect on the exposition website: www.vliz.be/battle-for-the-north-sea