The first major British attack against the German trenches began 100 years ago today. Sir Douglas Haig commanding the British Expedition Force spoke of,
“embarking on a serious offensive movement with the object of breaking the German line.”
Aerial photography carried out by the Royal Flying Corps led to the distribution of detailed maps of the area between the soldiers on the front line.
The detailed planning ensured that the initial attack was successful with the village of Neuve Chapelle secured by the Allies. However, disorganisation and communications break down among the Allied command enabled the Germans to counter-attack. The British Expeditionary Force, including many soldiers from The Indian Corps were unable to capitalise on their victory and break through the German line – a problem faced time and again over the following four years of trench warfare.
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