World War I- The Battle of Festubert

The Battle of Festubert lasted between 15 and 25 May 1915. It was the battle in the World War I on the western front. The attacks of the British First and French 10th Army created the series of attacks in the Second Battle of Artois. The attack consisted of slow, artillery fire that should prepare the way for the attack of the infantry. The heavy bombardment of 3 days was planned. They also planned to capture the German machine gun posts. The Battle of Festubert is known as the first attempt at attrition by the British.
Before the battle started, the bombardment lasted 60 hours. It was made by 433 artillery pieces and during that time they fired 100.000 shells. It wasn’t successful as the British planned, but the attack had a good start. They repeat the attack on 16 May. By 19 May, the British 7th and 2nd divisions had to withdraw, due to heavy losses. On 18 May, 51st (Highland) Division and Canadian Division attacked again. They made progress. Germans improved their defense, but Festubert was captured. The offensive made 3 kilometers advance.
This battle is known for heavy casualties. The British army lost 16.648 soldiers, between 15 and 25 May. The 7th division lost 4.123 soldiers; the 47th division 2.355 soldiers; the 2nd division 5.445 soldiers; the Canadian division lost 2.204 soldiers and the Meerut Division lost 2.521 soldiers. On the other side, the Germans lost 5.000 soldiers. 800 of them were captured. During the Second Battle of Artois, the Germans lost 73.072 soldiers and French Army lost 102.533 soldiers.

 

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