The Battle of Festubert took place May 15-25, 1915 in the Artois region of France, part of the Ypres Salient. It involved Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada and British India. (This post is a companion piece to Melina Druga’s WWI Trilogy, Angel of Mercy, Those Left Behind and Adjustment Year, available wherever eBooks are sold.)
“The general plan of the main attack will be as follows,” the First Army Operation Order said. “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.”
Major Events of the Battle
- 101,000 shells from 433 guns were used prior to the attack.
- The bombardment made the Germans retreat to the front of the village.
- Part of the battle was fought in heavy rain.
- The Canadians discovered their Ross rifles tended to jam.
- The battle was part of the larger Second Battle of Artois.
- France asked for assistance with the offensive.
- 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.
Updated: 19 October 2020