image: a bedraggled looking Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany leads a column of German troops on horseback through the flooded
landscape of Flanders, passing a half-submerged howitzer on the right.
This print is an unusual combination of contemporaneous and historical reference. During the Battle of the Yser (16 -
31 October 1914), Allied forces flooded a large area of Flanders by opening Nieuwpoort drainage channels to sea water. This helped to stem
the German advance, stabilized the Allied line and thwarted Germany's chance of outflanking the Allies in a 'race to the sea'. Domergue's
column of men on horseback is a reference to Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier's 'Napoleon on Campaign, 1814' (1864). This a strange choice, as
1814 marked the end of Napoleonic French domination of Flanders. Meissonier's painting is often, erroneously, interpreted as Napoleon's
retreat from Moscow in 1812, which seems to make Domergue's choice of reference even more unusual.