Learning Curve, The Great War
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Useful notes: Source4
A series of photos showing the front line around the village of Loos, June 1915
(Catalogue ref: PRO 30/57/51)
  • This source is an artillery panorama – a sequence of photos put together to give a sense of a section of the front line and the British and German positions. It was probably taken from high ground overlooking the front lines.
  • The pictures were taken during the Battle of Loos in the autumn of 1915. In this campaign, the British attacked German trenches around Loos, while French forces attacked at Champagne (the Second Battle of Champagne) and at Vimy Ridge in Arras.
  • The Loos offensive began on 25 September following a four-day artillery bombardment in which 250,000 shells were fired. It was called off in failure on 28 September.
  • General Sir Douglas Haig led the British attack. Haig was persuaded to launch the Loos offensive despite serious misgivings. He was concerned about a lack of shells and also that his men were worn out and would have to cross difficult countryside with lots of hedges and ditches.
  • This source shows many of these obstacles and also farm buildings, which were often used by snipers or machine gun posts.
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