Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Battle of Neuve Chapelle

Today is the centenary of the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, the first planned British offensive of the Great War. As well as British troops the attack featured two divisions of Indian infantry in the Meerut and Lahore divisions. The battle also had the first British timetabled artillery "barrage" - also the first time this word was used by the British Army.

The battle was initially successful as troops broke through the German lines but as with so many other battles to come the breakthrough could not be maintained. By the time the cavalry came up the German lines had stabilised. The British also fired 30% of their entire stock of shells on the day of the battle, leading ultimately to the "shell shortage" scandal.

British losses were around 7,000, Indians about 4,200 and Germans around 9,000.
Let's remember all of them today.

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