The Battle of Festubert is the second World War One battle that affects my characters in Angel of Mercy. Although we do not actually see the battle, it is mentioned.
Here’s what you need to know about the battle.
When: May 15-25, 1915
Where: Artois region of France, part of the Ypres Salient
Who: The nations involved were
- United Kingdom
- British India
What: The major events of the battle were
- 101,000 shells from 433 guns were used prior to the attack.
- The bombardment made the Germans retreat to just in front of the village.
- Part of the battle was fought in heavy rain.
- The Canadians find their Ross rifles tend to jam.
Why: The attack took place because
- It was part of the larger Second Battle of Artois.
- France asked for assistance with the offensive.
- “The general plan of the main attack will be as follows: To continue pressing forward towards Violaines and Beau Puits, establish a defensive flank along the La Bassee road on the left and maintaining the right at Givenchy. The line to be established in the first instance if possible on the general line of the road Festubert – La Quinque Rue – La Tourelle crossroads – Port Arthur.” — from First Army Operation Order (Source: Long, Long Trail)
- Festubert was captured, but the Allies won less than two miles of land.
- Casualties for the British empire were more than 16,000 compared to approximately 5,000 for the Germans.
- It highlighted problems with British artillery, in terms of both quality and quantity.
Prior to today, had you ever heard of the Battle of Festubert? Leave a comment below.
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