The city of Ypres in northern Belgium was destined to become the most fearsome killing ground of the Great War. Known universally to the troops as the Salient (this to describe any feature which jutted out from the series of trench lines which ran 600 miles from the North Sea coast to the Swiss border). Soldiers who were posted here approached Ypres with a sense of dread. They knew the chances of their surviving were remote. This programme deals with the formation of the Salient in 1914 as the rapidly advancing German army swept all before it. They were faced by the regular soldiers of the British Expeditionary Force. Only 100,000 strong they were the world's finest soldiers. Created as a kind of superior police force, it had been their job to protect the Empire. Now, they faced a well trained and disciplined German force flushed with a string of victories. The subsequent bitter fighting around the city resulted in the British maintaining their foothold, one that they maintained for the rest of the war. The Battle of Messines was the first great allied victory of the war, a masterpiece of planning.