Battle of Neuve Chapelle

Wednesday, 10 March, 1915 - Saturday, 13 March, 1915

IWM Q 90276As part of the Allied spring offensive of 1915, the British IV Corps and the Indian Corps attacked with the aim of taking the village of Neuve-Chapelle, and the high ground beyond, while the French attacked the German positions on Vimy Ridge. The battle began on 10 March 1915 and the preliminary bombardment, which lasted thirty-five minutes, was the most intense British artillery bombardment of the war to date. Neuve Chapelle was captured on the first day, but communication problems and the strong German counter-attacks made it difficult to consolidate these successes.

The Order of the Crown Prince of Bavaria to the German Army:

You must give those English heavy blows.

Soldiers of the Sixth Army! We have now the good luck to have also the Englishmen opposite us on our front, troops of that race whose envy was at work for years to surround us with a ring of foes and to throttle us. That race especially we have to thank for this war. Therefore, when now the order is given to attack this foe, practice retribution for their hostile treachery and for the many heavy sacrifices! Show them that the Germans are not so easily to be wiped out of history. Show them that, with German blows of a special kind. Here is the opponent who most blocks a restoration of the peace. Up and at him!

Crown Prince Rupprecht

The battle ended on 12 March and Prince Rupprecht's casualties were around 10,000.

(Above left: captured German prisoners guarded by British soldiers at Neuve Chapelle, March 1915 © IWM (Q 90276))