Number 16 battle of loos

Battle of Loos

1915

Every Scottish Infantry regiment took part in the Battle of Loos, which raged from 25 September until 8 October 1915 – this proved to be the largest British assault of 1915.

The battle saw theĀ  first British use of poison gas occurred and it was the first mass engagement of New Army units.

Prior to the British attack, about 140 long tons (140,000 kg) of chlorine gas was released, with mixed success; in places the gas was blown back onto British trenches. Due to the inefficiency of the contemporary gas masks, many soldiers removed them as they could not see through the fogged-up talc eyepieces or could barely breathe with them on. This led to some British soldiers being affected by their own gas, as it blew back across their lines.

The British offensive was part of the attempt by the French to break through the German defences in Artois and Champagne and restore a war of movement. Despite improved methods, more ammunition and better equipment the Franco-British attacks were contained by the German armies, except for local losses of ground. Casualties in the Herbstschlacht (Autumn Battle) were high on both sides.

British casualties in the main attack were 48,367 and 10,880 in the subsidiary attack, a total of 59,247 losses of the 285,107 casualties on the Western Front in 1915.

Both our antecedent regiments: The Royal Scots Fusiliers and The Highland Light Infantry were awarded this battle honour.

 

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