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Battle of Fler- Courcelette - 1916

September 15 – September 22, 1916

Courcelette, France – Western Front

Allies – France
Allies – British Empire
Central Powers – German Empire

The Battle of Flers-Courcelette was the third offensive launched by the Allied troops in the Battle of the Somme.
The Battle of Flers-Courcelette was the first battle in which tanks were used in warfare. British Commander Sir Douglas Haig carried out his plan to launch the tanks and Sir Henry Rawlinson, commander of the British Fourth Army employed forty-nine Mark I tanks and twelve divisions.

The battle commenced on September 15, 1916, and the surprised German troops ceded about 2,000 yards of the front to the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and the Canadian Corps. The acquisition was not a strategic victory though, as the Allied troops faced much difficulty, and could not make use of the inroads made. Sir Haig had been warned against the early use of the tanks. The terrain was rugged and the Allied troops were not well trained in the use of the tanks. Many of the machines broke down. A second attack was launched on September 17, 1916, but harsh weather and huge losses contributed to calling off the battle.

"My poor 'land battleships' have been let off prematurely on a petty scale." - First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill

The premature use of tanks at the Battle of Flers–Courcelette exposed the weaknesses in design of the early Mark I tanks. This led to the design and development of better tanks. The battle set the stage for use of tanks as a standard part of the repertoire of armies across the world.

The Allied losses of the Battle of Flers-Courcelette included that of the son of British Prime Minister H.H. Asquith, Raymond Asquith. The overall outcome of the Battle of Flers–Courcelette was insignificant.

  Major Battles of World War I  
Battle of Mons - 1914Battle of Fler- Courcelette - 1916
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Battle of Heligoland Bight - 1914Second Battle of Aisne - 1917
First Battle of Marne – 1914Second Battle of Arras - 1917
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First Battle of Ypres – 1914German Spring Offensive - 1918
Gallipoli Campaign – 1915Hundred Days Offensive - 1918
Second Battle of the Masurian Lakes – 1915Battle of Le Hamel - 1918
Battles of Isonzo – 1915Second Battle of Somme - 1918
Loos-Artois Offensive - 1915Second Battle of Marne - 1918
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Battle of Jutland - 1916 
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