Was World War I
an avoidable debacle ?
September 25 – October 15, 1915
Artois, France – Western Front
|Allied Powers:||France – French Ninth and Tenth Armies|
|Britain – British Expeditionary Force|
|Central Powers:||Germany – German Tenth Army|
The Loos-Artois Offensive, also known as the Third Battle of Artois, was the Allied attempt to cut off supplies to the German troops by capturing the railway centers at Douai and Attigny.
The offensive was a joint operation of the French and British troops stationed at the Western Front. French General Joseph Joffre had coordinated the series of battles along the front. On September 25, 1915, the French Tenth Army, under the command of General Auguste Dubail, confronted the German Sixth Army under the command of Crown Prince Rupprecht at Arras, and the battle remained indecisive.
On September 25, 1915, the British forces under General Douglas Haig launched the offensive at Loos but recalled Haig's move on September 28, following an acute shortage of shells. The British launched a second attack with the use of chlorine gas but the German troops fended off the attacks and caused severe damage to the BEF. British Commander in Chief Sir John French called off the offensive on October 13, 1915.
The BEF registered over 50,000 casualties in the Loos–Artois Offensive; the French recorded a loss of 48,000 soldiers, and the German camp lost 24,000 soldiers. The offensive was one among a series of stalemates on the Western Front.