The Indian Memorial, Neuve Chapelle (Photo: Centenary News)

Centenary Anniversary: Battle of Neuve Chapelle

Date of Anniversary: 10 March 2015
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Britain launched its first set-piece offensive on the Western Front on March 10th 1915, attacking the Germans at Neuve Chapelle in Northern France.

The aim was to break through to the higher ground of Aubers Ridge.

Troops from the colonial Indian Army, sent to France to reinforce the BEF in 1914, played a significant role at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, overrunning German positions in the early stages of the attack. 

But the advance stalled, hampered by poor communications. Trench warfare advantaged defence over attack. Delays allowed the Germans to reorganise and bring up reinforcements. It was to become a familiar pattern.

The offensive was called off after three days, with only minimal British gains.

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News

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