India United Kingdom
Commanders and leaders
John French Douglas Haig Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria Friedrich Bertram Sixt von Armin
6 divisions 3 divisions
Casualties and losses
59,247 c. 26,000
v t e
Autumn battles, Champagne and Artois 1915
3rd Artois Loos
Piètre Bois Grenier Hohenzollern
v t e
Halen Liège Dinant Namur
1st Aisne Antwerp Race to the Sea
Yser 1st Ypres Winter operations
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Messines 3rd Ypres (Passchendaele) La Malmaison 1st Cambrai Spring
Michael Lys 3rd Aisne 2nd Marne
Battle of Loos
1.1 Strategic developments
2.1 British offensive preparations 2.2 British plan of attack
3.1 25 September 3.2 26–28 September 3.3 Air operations
4.1 Analysis 4.2 Casualties 4.3 Subsequent operations
4.3.1 3–13 October
5 Commemoration 6 Victoria Cross awards 7 See also 8 Notes 9 Footnotes 10 References 11 Further reading 12 External links
The battle was the British part of the Third Battle of Artois, an
Anglo-French offensive (known to the Germans as the Herbstschlacht
(Autumn Battle). Field Marshal Sir John French and Haig (GOC First
Army), regarded the ground south of La Bassée Canal, which was
overlooked by German-held slag heaps and colliery towers, as
unsuitable for an attack, particularly given the discovery in July
that the Germans were building a second defensive position behind the
front position. At the Frévent Conference on 27 July, Field Marshal
French failed to persuade
Battle of Loos, 1915
French decided to keep a strong reserve consisting of the Cavalry
Indian Cavalry Corps
Map, Hohenzollern Redoubt, October 1915
In many places British artillery had failed to cut the German wire in
advance of the attack. Advancing over open fields, within range of
German machine guns and artillery, British losses were devastating.
The British were able to break through the weaker German defences and
capture the town of Loos-en-Gohelle, mainly due to numerical
superiority. Supply and communications problems, combined with the
late arrival of reserves, meant that the breakthrough could not be
exploited. Haig did not hear until 10:00 a.m. that the divisions were
moving up to the front. French visited Haig from 11:00 to 11:30 a.m.
and agreed that Haig could have the reserve but rather than using the
telephone he drove to Haking's headquarters and gave the order at
12:10 p.m. Haig then heard from Haking at 1:20 p.m. that the reserves
were moving forward.
When the battle resumed the following day, the Germans had recovered
and improved their defensive positions. British attempts to continue
the advance with the reserves were repulsed. Twelve attacking
battalions suffered 8,000 casualties out of 10,000 men in four
hours. French told Foch on 28 September, that a gap could be
"rushed" just north of Hill 70, although Foch felt that this would be
difficult to co-ordinate and Haig told him that the First Army was in
no position for further attacks. A lull fell on 28 September, with
the British having retreated to their starting positions, having lost
over 20,000 casualties, including three major-generals.[a]
Royal Flying Corps
British infantry advancing through gas at Loos, 25 September 1915.
Rawlinson wrote to the King's adviser Stamfordham (28 September)
From what I can ascertain, some of the divisions did actually reach the enemy's trenches, for their bodies can now be seen on the barbed wire. — Rawlinson
Major-General Richard Hilton, at that time a Forward Observation Officer, said of the battle:
A great deal of nonsense has been written about Loos. The real tragedy of that battle was its nearness to complete success. Most of us who reached the crest of Hill 70, and survived, were firmly convinced that we had broken through on that Sunday, 25th September 1915. There seemed to be nothing ahead of us, but an unoccupied and incomplete trench system. The only two things that prevented our advancing into the suburbs of Lens were, firstly, the exhaustion of the "Jocks" themselves (for they had undergone a bellyfull of marching and fighting that day) and, secondly, the flanking fire of numerous German machine-guns, which swept that bare hill from some factory buildings in Cite St. Auguste to the south of us. All that we needed was more artillery ammunition to blast those clearly-located machine-guns, plus some fresh infantry to take over from the weary and depleted "Jocks." But, alas, neither ammunition nor reinforcements were immediately available, and the great opportunity passed. — Richard Hilton
The twelve attacking battalions suffered 8,000 casualties out of 10,000 men in four hours. French had already been criticised before the battle and lost his remaining support in the government and army, because of the British failure and that he was responsible for poor handling of the reserve divisions. French was replaced by Haig as Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in December 1915. Casualties British casualties in the main attack were 48,367 and they suffered 10,880 more in the subsidiary attack, a total of 59,247 losses of the 285,107 British casualties on the Western Front in 1915. J. E. Edmonds, the British Official Historian, gave German losses in the period 21 September – 10 October as c. 26,000 of c. 141,000 casualties on the Western Front during the autumn offensives in Artois and Champagne. In Der Weltkrieg, the German official account, losses of the German 6th Army are given as 29,657 to 21 September; by the end of October losses had risen to 51,100 men and total German casualties for the autumn battle (Herbstschlacht) in Artois and Champagne, were given as 150,000 men. Subsequent operations 3–13 October Main article: Actions of the Hohenzollern Redoubt The Germans made several attempts to recapture the Hohenzollern Redoubt, which they accomplished on 3 October. On 8 October, the Germans attempted to recapture much of the remaining lost ground by attacking with five regiments around Loos and against part of the 7th Division on the left flank. Foggy weather inhibited observation, the artillery preparation was inadequate and the British and French defenders were well prepared behind intact wire. The German attack was repulsed with 3,000 casualties but managed to disrupt British attack preparations, causing a delay until the night of 12/13 October. The British made a final attack on 13 October, which failed due to a lack of hand grenades. Haig thought it might be possible to launch another attack on 7 November but the combination of heavy rain and accurate German shelling during the second half of October persuaded him to abandon the attempt. Commemoration
Dud Corner Cemetery
Daniel Laidlaw, 7th (Service) Battalion, King's Own Scottish
Frederick Henry Johnson, 73rd Field Company, Corps of Royal Engineers,
Harry Wells, 2nd Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment.
Anketell Moutray Read, 1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment
Henry Edward Kenny, 1st Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire
George Stanley Peachment, 2nd Battalion, King's Royal Rifle Corps.
Arthur Vickers, 2nd Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
George Maling, Royal Army Medical Corps.
Kulbir Thapa, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Queen Alexandra's Own Gurkha
Rupert Price Hallowes, 4th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment.
Angus Falconer Douglas-Hamilton, 6th (Service) Battalion, Queen's Own
Arthur Frederick Saunders, 9th (Service) Battalion, Suffolk
Robert Dunsire, 13th (Service) Battalion, Royal Scots.
James Dalgleish Pollock, 5th (Service) Battalion, Queen's Own Cameron
Alexander Buller Turner, 3rd Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment
Alfred Alexander Burt, 1/1st Battalion, Hertfordshire Regiment.
Arthur Fleming-Sandes, 2nd Battalion, East Surrey Regiment.
Samuel Harvey, 1st Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment.
Oliver Brooks, 3rd Battalion, Coldstream Guards.
James Lennox Dawson, 187th Company, Corps of Royal Engineers.
World War I
Charles Sorley John Kipling Notes
^ George Thesiger, 9th (Scottish) Division, Thompson Capper, 7th
^ Edmonds 1928, pp. 120–129. ^ Edmonds 1928, pp. 151–154. ^ Edmonds 1928, pp. 162, 252–263. ^ Holmes 1981, pp. 300–302. ^ a b c d e Holmes 1981, pp. 302–305. ^ Edmonds 1928, pp. 163–167. ^ Edmonds 1928, pp. 191, 207, 223, 258, 261, 264. ^ Edmonds 1928, pp. 304–307. ^ Holmes 1981, pp. 305–306. ^ Jones 1928, p. 124. ^ Jones 1928, p. 125. ^ Jones 1928, pp. 129–130. ^ Jones 1928, pp. 127–128. ^ Boyle 1962, pp. 148–150. ^ Warner 1976, pp. 1–2. ^ Holmes 1981, pp. 306–310. ^ Edmonds 1928, p. 409. ^ Edmonds 1928, pp. 392–393. ^ Edmonds 1928, p. 392. ^ Humphries & Maker 2010, pp. 308, 320, 329. ^ Edmonds 1928, pp. 369–370. ^ Edmonds 1928, pp. 372–375. ^ Humphries & Maker 2010, p. 319. ^ Edmonds 1928, pp. 380–387. ^ Edmonds 1928, pp. 389–391. ^ CWGC 2013. ^ Graves 1929, pp. 141–172. ^ MacGill 1916, pp. 118–168. ^ Hall 1916, pp. 146–168. ^ Edmonds 1928, p. 194. ^ Edmonds 1928, p. 205. ^ a b c d Edmonds 1928, p. 214. ^ Edmonds 1928, p. 231. ^ a b Edmonds 1928, p. 261. ^ Edmonds 1928, p. 264. ^ Edmonds 1928, p. 327. ^ Edmonds 1928, p. 333. ^ Edmonds 1928, p. 336. ^ Edmonds 1928, p. 353. ^ Edmonds 1928, p. 354. ^ Edmonds 1928, p. 361. ^ a b Edmonds 1928, p. 369. ^ Edmonds 1928, p. 374. ^ a b Edmonds 1928, p. 387.
Boyle, A. (1962). Trenchard Man of Vision. London: Collins.
Edmonds, J. E. (1928). Military Operations France and Belgium, 1915:
Battles of Aubers Ridge, Festubert, and Loos. History of the Great War
Based on Official Documents By Direction of the Historical Section of
the Committee of Imperial Defence. II (1st ed.). London: Macmillan.
Graves, R. (1980) .
Goodbye to All That
"Second Supplement to the London Gazette" (29447). HMSO. 22 January 1916: 945. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
"Loos Memorial". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. OCLC 813744927. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
Bolwell, F. A. (1917). With a Reservist in France (A Personal Account of All the Engagements in Which the 1st Division 1st Corps Took Part, viz; Mons (including the retirement), the Marne, the Aisne, First Battle of Ypres, Neuve Chapelle, Festubert and Loos). New York: Dutton. OCLC 1894557. Retrieved 13 September 2013. Nicholson, G. W. L. (1964) . Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914–1919 (PDF). Official History of the Canadian Army in the First World War (2nd corr. online ed.). Ottawa: Queen's Printer and Controller of Stationary. OCLC 557523890. Retrieved 7 January 2018. O'Dwyer, M. F. (1918). War Speeches. Lahore: Superintendent Government Printing. OCLC 697836601. Retrieved 15 July 2013. Warner, P. (1976). The Battle of Loos. London: HarperCollins. OCLC 2962457.
Beach, J. (2004). British Intelligence and the German Army 1914–1918 (PhD). London: London University. OCLC 500051492. Retrieved 29 May 2015. Brown, I. M. (1996). The Evolution of the British Army's Logistical and Administrative Infrastructure and its Influence on GHQ's Operational and Strategic Decision-Making on the Western Front, 1914–1918 (PhD). London: London University. OCLC 53609664. Retrieved 29 May 2015. Peaple, S. P. (2003). The 46th (North Midland) Division T. F. on the Western Front, 1915–1918. Thesis (PhD). Birmingham: Birmingham University. OCLC 500351989. Retrieved 13 September 2013. Simpson, A. (2001). The Operational Role of British Corps Command on the Western Front 1914–18 (PhD). London: London University. ISBN 1-86227-292-1.
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