Six British divisions attacked strong German defences in support of French offensives to the south. The attackers suffered very high casualties in capturing the village of Loos, Hill 70 and the formidable Hohenzollern Redoubt, including some self-inflicted losses from the use of chlorine gas against the Germans. Worse came as British units tried to repel German counter-attacks.
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Despite initial successes and hopes of a breakthrough, the British lost the ground they had gained. By the time the battle ended British losses in men killed, wounded or missing amounted to over 60, Half of the 72 battalions in the assault on 25 September belonged to Scottish regiments. Twenty-four other battalions, consisting of volunteers, formed the 9th and 15th Scottish divisions in Kitchener's New Army. In its case, the heavy losses of this volunteer battalion were felt by families not only in Angus but in parts of Fife, Perthshire, Aberdeenshire, Stirlingshire, Lanarkshire and Ayrshire.
The experiences of soldiers from other Scottish units are reflected in documents held in National Records of Scotland. During the Battle of Loos Private Robert Dunsire earned the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry, for 'most conspicuous bravery on Hill 70' on 26 September, when he twice braved heavy enemy fire to rescue wounded comrades of the 13th Battalion The Royal Scots.
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Robert also became a miner, and on 22 July married Kate Pitt. Seemingly without consideration for the mass slaughter of his men, General Haig fielded six divisions despite the fact that his troops were exhausted by the fighting in the spring and that his artillery continued to suffer from an insufficient supply of shells.
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On the other hand, he was sure to enjoy a considerable numerical superiority of seven to one over the Germans in the limited section of the front chosen for the attack. It was the "Big Push".
A continuous preliminary bombardment, which showered , shells on to the German defences over four days, had little real effect. Before sending in the infantry on the morning of 25 September , the British released tons of chlorine gas from 5, cylinders placed on the front line to make up for the ineffective artillery barrage. This was the first time the Allies had used the weapon, coming after the Germans employed gas to terrible effect at Ypres in April earlier in the year, and it was hoped it would annihilate the Germans at Loos who were equipped with only rudimentary gas masks.
Actions of the Hohenzollern Redoubt
However a change in the direction of the wind at several points along the front blew the gas back into the British trenches, causing seven deaths and injuring 2, soldiers who had to be withdrawn from the front line. Initially the gas attack created panic among the Germans and close to men were gassed. Despite the setbacks caused by the wind 75, British infantrymen still flowed out from the trenches when the order came. The southern end of the attack was a spectacular success on the first day. The British soldiers, under cover of smokescreens, took the village of Loos, Hill 70 and advanced towards Lens; however their progress was halted through a lack of munitions and the late arrival of reinforcements, and this delay allowed the Germans to retake Hill Further to the north the British advance was slowed by the formidable defences of the Hohenzollern Redoubt, a vast complex of trenches, underground shelters and machine gun nests, but they nevertheless managed to take part of the German front line in front of the redoubt.
The German machine guns were particularly deadly for the British, killing 8, men in a single day, the greatest single loss of life recorded since the beginning of the war. The next day, on 26 September, German reinforcements arrived in great numbers to fill the breaches. The attack. September 25, The day before, several aerial combats took place on the front.
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The latest aerial photos reveal the final German positions. Seven divisions of 20, men each attack on a kilometer front, over ground which is wet and muddy after three weeks of intense rain.
claudiahiepel.de/wp-content/147/sexa-meine-stadt.php Facing them, four German regiments, secure inside their concrete shelters, intact despite the artillery bombardment. It's Hell for the attacking troops. Despite this, the Allies advance on Loos. The 2nd Leicestershire Regiment remains pinned down, unable to advance. Losses are huge. In front of Auchy, the 9th Scottish Division, crushing everything in its path, advances a kilometer in a few minutes. The Hohenzollern redoubt falls and Pit 8 too.
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On September 26, the situation deteriorates and, within days, the Germans will reoccupy the two bastions. British losses are appallingly high.
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