'A Glorified Trench Raid’ or Trench warfare’s Year Zero…..?
Ross Beadle presents The Battle of Neuve Chapelle March 1915'.
The first corps level trench to trench attack made by the BEF in the Great War. It was a little disparaged by the French at the time and was central to Alan Clarke’s charge that the BEF’s soldiers were ‘Lions led by Donkeys’. Yet all the key components of trench warfare are there in this relatively small battle that only lasted three days. After a successful break in the enemy’s trenches, amid the inevitable disorganization, how do you break out? Is it possible to both destroy in advance the enemy’s trenches by artillery fire, and also maintain an element of surprise? How does a commander keep control of the battle while communication with the front line is so disrupted?
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