The Battle of Loos was a WWI military engagement that took place from September 25 to October 10, 1915, in and around the town of Loos, in northeastern France, near Belgium. It was fought between the British Expeditionary Forces and the Imperial German Army. It was part of a massive Allied attack on the German lines in the French region of Artois.
The Battle of Loos began with a British assault on the enemy positions at the town of Loos, on September 25. Six British Army’s divisions, totalling 100,000 men, under General John French, took part in this attack. Commanded by Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria, three German infantry divisions defended the trench lines in this sector. The British offensive was preceded by the release of an enormous quantity of gas chlorine on the Germans. However, more than an effective weapon, the poisonous gas used by the British High Command became a real hindrance for the infantry advance. Although the first attacks were repelled by the German defenses, by September 29, the British had managed to take the town of Loos, advancing eastward almost 2 km, but suffering a large number of casualties.
In the following days, the British would launch new attacks on the German positions in order to completely break through the German lines, but they were futile attempts as thousands of British soldiers were mown down by German artillery and machine gun fire. On October 9, the Germans mounted a counter-offensive to regain lost ground, but it was thrown back by the British.
British casualties: 50,000 (death, wounded, and missing)
German casualties: 18,000