95 Years Since The Battle of Loos

Posted in: World War I
Written by Jamie Stuart on 10th September 2010 at 13:22pm
95 Years Since The Battle of Loos

The upcoming period of the 25th September to the 14th October represents the 95th anniversary of WW1's Battle of Loos. It was the first time the British army had deployed poison gas, and the first time that the “Kitcheners Army” had been used in such an enormous scale. 


The upcoming period of the 25th September to the 14th October represents the 95th anniversary of WW1's Battle of Loos. It was the first time the British army had deployed poison gas, and the first time that the “Kitcheners Army” had been used in such an enormous scale.

 

This trench warfare battle comprised the British section of the combined Anglo-French efforts known as the Third Battle of Artois. The battle was directed by General Douglas Haig, then commander of the British First Army.

 

The army were poorly equipped, lacking in artillery shells before their advancement towards the Germans at 6.30 am. The British unleashed 140 tons of poison gas on the enemy, but much of it blew back on the British trenches, killing those who removed their poorly visible gas masks.

 

Having strength in numbers, they managed to capture the town of Loos from the Germans on the 25th of September 1915, due to breaking through weaker German trenches. They failed to make good on this advancement as the supply and communication chain had broken down. The lack of artillery supplies led to the annihilation of many of the British troops. The Germans had manged to keep the British from advancing any further, and on the 28th of September 1915 the British Army had retreated back to their original positions losing 20,000 lives.

 

 On the 3rd October, the Germans recaptured the Hohenzollern Redoubt, and on the 8th October the Germans tried to gain much of the lost ground by undertaking a major offensive along the entire line, but gave up the effort by sunset due to large casualties. The British undertook a last ditch offensive on 13 October, but failed due to a lack of hand grenades.

 

To pay your respects to the fallen you can visit the Loos Memorial. The Loos Memorial forms the side and back of the Dud Corner Cemetery, and commemorates the 20,000 officers and men who have no known grave and lost their lives from the beginning the Battle of Loos, towards the end of the War. Loos-en-Gohelle is a village 5 kilometres north-west of Lens. Dud Corner Cemetery is located about 1 kilometre west of the village, to the north-east of the N43 the main Lens to Bethune road. A memorial service is usually held there on the 25th of September, marking the beginning of the event.

 

While you are in the area you will also want to visit the Museum Alexandre Villedieu, Loos-en-Gohelle. The museum commemorates the Battle of Loos through the displays of recovered battlefield objects. The museum also includes a tour around the 'double crassier' footpath, giving you a view of the entire battle, including Lorette and Vimy.

 

Advanced booking is advised. €3.00 each for a guided tour of the museum only. €6.00 each for a group of 6 minimum, €5.00 if there is 10 or more, plus a 'double crassier' walk.

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