The final action of the Race to the Sea and of the year 1914 on the western front occurred around the town of Ypres. The Belgian, British, French, and German armies all sustained heavy casualties at Ypres. So high were the losses among young recruits in the newly trained German units that the Germans referred to the battles around Ypres as kindermord, the murder of innocents. The Ypres salient remained a focus of fighting on the western front for much of the rest of the war. By the end of 1914 the armies on the western front had settled into opposing networks of trenches. These field fortifications extended from the English Channel near the Belgian city of Nieuport into northern France through the Champagne region, around the ancient fortress city of Verdun, along the Franco-German border in Lorraine, through the Vosges Mountains slightly into German territory in southern Alsace, to the Swiss frontier.
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