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In the opening months of 1915 the Allied leaders thought that the war would be won that year. The Germans had adopted a defensive position on the Western Front (since they wanted to concentrate their strength in the east). Joffre intended to mount a French offensive against the German line in May, but the British commanders in the field decided to stage a ‘demonstration’ at an earlier date.
The area selected was the German Salient which protruded round the village of Neuve Chapelle. It was lightly defended and Haig threw in a formidable array of men and machinery. In several places the attackers broke through into open country (a feat which they were not to repeat for two and a half years).
The issue of March 27, the ‘Neuve Chapelle Number’,

(Appendix list no.70) celebrates the actions of March 10th and subsequent days performed by the British and Indian troops. There are pictures of the King’s (Liverpool) Regiment holding the Germans at Givenchy Ridge, the British charge upon the German entrenchments outside Aubers and the Indian troops’ attack near La Bassee. A 3ft 4in centrepiece (the companion picture to the four page painting by R. Caton Woodville of the defeat of the Prussian Guard, given in the Great-War Deeds number), shows the whole panorama of the attack on Neuve Chapelle and the retreat of the Germans to the Bois de Biez.
As a footnote it is worthwhile to say that the British failed to exploit the initial breakthrough and lost an estimated quarter of a million men. The two forces remained in balance (which means, of course, that the defence prevailed).
The issue (number 3962, vol. 146 pages 387- 420) has the normal advertising front with the words ‘Neuve Chapelle Number’ in italic script within the title frame. It measures 30 x 42 cm and cost sixpence.

 

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