The Battle of Loos Aim To understand what

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The Battle of Loos

The Battle of Loos

Aim • To understand what happened at the Battle of Loos and the effect

Aim • To understand what happened at the Battle of Loos and the effect it had on Scotland. • To explain the Scottish involvement in the Battle. Success Criteria Write a newspaper article describing the Battle, Scottish casualties and the effect this had back home.

Scottish Battle • Loos is remembered as a ‘Scottish battle’ because of the high

Scottish Battle • Loos is remembered as a ‘Scottish battle’ because of the high number of Scots who fought and died in the battle. • Virtually every town in Scotland was affected by the losses at Loos.

 • Loos is a former coal mining town in Northern France. It was

• Loos is a former coal mining town in Northern France. It was caught in the middle of the fighting on the Western Front during the war. Not a building or single tree was left intact due to heavy fighting in that area.

Unnecessary? • The Battle has been described by some as unnecessary. • The French

Unnecessary? • The Battle has been described by some as unnecessary. • The French wanted the British to attack the Germans at Loos to divert German forces away from them. • The British, however, did not think their volunteer force was ready and did not want to use them until 1916.

Background to the Attack • The landscape around Loos like much of Northern France

Background to the Attack • The landscape around Loos like much of Northern France was incredibly flat. • Some of Kitchener’s volunteer army would be involved in battle for the first time. • In 1915 there was a Munitions scandal in Britain – British industry could not keep up with the demand for shells and some shells purchased from the USA failed to detonate and others were filled with sawdust.

Douglas Haig (Scot) General Joffre British and French military leaders at the Battle. Haig

Douglas Haig (Scot) General Joffre British and French military leaders at the Battle. Haig informed Joffre of his concerns about the battle, but Joffre appealed to Lord Kitchener to ensure the assault went ahead. Haig had no choice but to coordinate with Joffre.

‘Joffre's enthusiasm is not matched by British confidence. . . but the politics of

‘Joffre's enthusiasm is not matched by British confidence. . . but the politics of the Alliance and the inferiority of the British Army do not allow for debate’ Sir Douglas Haig

A Battle of Firsts……… First co-ordinated Anglo-French assault. The first major offensive by the

A Battle of Firsts……… First co-ordinated Anglo-French assault. The first major offensive by the British army. First use of gas by the British army. First attack to involve Kitchener’s volunteer army. • First test of the army staff’s ability to plan, organise and co-ordinate a major offensive. • •

The Plan • The attack would be launched after a five day artillery bombardment.

The Plan • The attack would be launched after a five day artillery bombardment. • To compensate for a lack of artillery guns – the British had 19 guns per mile compared to the French who had 40 guns per mile – chlorine gas would be used. • 100, 000 soldiers led by General Haig would attack along a four mile front. • General Haig wanted reserve troops to be ready for use on the first day of the attack. However General French refused as he believed they would not be needed until the next day.

 • Artillery weakened the German lines but the use of Chlorine gas was

• Artillery weakened the German lines but the use of Chlorine gas was ineffective. – blew back on British troops • There were some successes, with some Scottish divisions capturing German trenches. • Haig wanted reinforcements sent in but General French refused. • The Germans reinforced their lines with more troops and machine guns and the advancing British army was slaughtered. • The Battle officially continued until 18 th October 1915, but realistically it was over in the first 3 days.

Task • Using your notebook and the textbook, create a revision card with 6/7

Task • Using your notebook and the textbook, create a revision card with 6/7 bullet points about the SCOTTISH CONTRIBUTION to the Battle of Loos.

Scottish Deaths • 35, 000 Scots took part in the attack. • Of the

Scottish Deaths • 35, 000 Scots took part in the attack. • Of the 20, 598 names of the dead on the memorial at Loos one-third are Scottish. • The 9 th and 15 th Scottish divisions suffered 13, 000 casualties – these were Kitcheners’ volunteer army. • Almost every town and village in Scotland was affected by the Battle of Loos. • 7012 Scottish Soldiers seriously injured. • A pretty meaningless battle in terms of what it achieved.

Task • Complete the comparison question on page 43 of the textbook.

Task • Complete the comparison question on page 43 of the textbook.

Activity • Write a newspaper article telling people in Scotland about the Battle of

Activity • Write a newspaper article telling people in Scotland about the Battle of Loos. • What happened in the battle? Why did it go wrong? What effect has it had on Scotland?