The Battle of Loos

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Social Studies
World War I

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The Battle of Loos

The Battle of Loos

What was it?

The Battle of Loos was a British attack on Germany in Loos, Belgium that began on September 25, 1915 ("The Battle of Loos Begins")The battle was a part of Marshal Joffre’s larger Artois campaign (Trueman).The battle is sometimes called the Second Battle of Artois (Duffy). While the British fought at Loos, the French formed the other half of the campaign as they battled the Germans in the Arras region of France ("The Battle of Loos Begins").

One goal of the Battle of Loos was to boost the morale of the Allies by launching a successful joint British-French attack after the failure at Gallipoli and an unsuccessful attempt at making any decisive advances on the Western Front (Trueman).The main goal, however, was to deliver a great blow to the Germans and divert German resources in order to help the Russians on the Eastern Front ("The Battle of Loos Begins").

What was the Goal?

There were 54 French and 13 British divisions that were involved in the Artois campaign. The British troops at Loos were led by Sir Douglas Haig.Haig was the commander of the 1st Army of the British Expeditionary Force ("The Battle of Loos Begins"). Marshal Joffre directed the campaign.

Who was involved?

The British and French had an advantage of 3 to 1 against the Germans.Aware that his troops would be susceptible to German machine gun fire on the flat, open land, Haig decided to lead a “concentrated British artillery fire and pinpoint infantry fire” in order to give his troops enough cover as they advanced.In addition, Haig planned to use poisonous gas if the weather was in their favor (blowing towards enemy) (Trueman).Despite outnumbering the Germans, the British troops were fatigued and lacked sufficient shells (Duffy).

What was the Plan?

On the first day, Haig’s men did surprisingly well as they captured Loos and headed on towards Lens. Unfortunately, a deficit in supplies forced the men to stop at the end of the day.The British released about 150 tons of chlorine gas; however, the gas failed and poisoned 2,632 of Haig’s men, resulting in seven fatalities. The second day was a disaster as the Germans launched a fierce counter-attack. There had been a delay in the arrival of reserves; therefore, the British were forced to advance without covering fire.The British were at the mercy of the German’s machine guns.The battle dragged on several days before the British were forced to retreat on September 28th (Duffy).

At Loos, 7, 861 men and 385 officers were killed out of the 10,000 that attacked ("The Battle of Loos Begins"). On October 13, the British tried to renew the Loos attack, but it was just as unsuccessful (Duffy).Haig blamed Sir John French, the commander in chief of the British Expeditionary Force, for the failure at Loos. He claimed that French was responsible for not committing reserve troops in time. Haig ended up taking French’s position of commander in chief of BEF ("The Battle of Loos Begins").

What Happened?

What was the Outcome?

Works Cited"The Battle of Loos Begins". 16 2 2014 .Duffy, Michael. 2009 August 2009. 16 February 2014 .Trueman, Chris. "The Battle of Loos". 16 2 2014 .


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