In Early 1915, the British decided to take the offensive for the first time in the war against German positions in Northern France. The initial objective was a bulge, about one mile across, in their lines at Neuve.
Events which took place here early in 1915 are described in detail and show why this almost forgotten battle set the course of the war.
From the Author
THE BATTLE OF NEUVE CHAPELLE
The Battle of Neuve Chapelle [French Flanders] by Geoff Bridger is the first full and copiously illustrated account of that battle ever to be published. Researched from primary sources, it chronicles the fighting from various perspectives. The many maps and photographs illustrate the progress of the struggle throughout those fateful four days in March 1915. The reasons for the costly failure and the responsibility of the persons involved are recounted in depth. The book contains 144 pages with 15 maps and over 120 pictures, many of which have never been previously published.
By early 1915 a stalemate situation in the Great War existed on the Western Front with trench lines stretching from the North Sea to Switzerland. Mighty armies faced each other and jockeyed for positions of advantage. The British Expeditionary Force under Field Marshal Sir John French devised an innovative plan which if successful, would have considerably shortened the war.
General Haig was given the job of breaking through the German lines on a broad front at Neuve Chapelle and then seize the high ground protecting the vital pivotal town of Lille. Two powerful units from the British and Indian forces were assigned the task and assembled the greatest concentration of artillery thus far in the war. Speed and surprise were essential and initially the battle went almost to plan. Then things began to go wrong.
I commend this book, which took over one year to research, and which devotes itself to one of those much neglected areas of bitter fighting that lay between the popular and oft visited Ypres Salient and the Somme.