Pete and Gary tell the story of the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, one of the most important British actions of 1915. This was also the first major action on the Western Front for both Canadian and Indian troops. Presenters: Peter Hart and Gary Bain Publisher: Mat McLachlan Producer: Jess Stebnicki For more great history content, visit www.LivingHistoryTV.com, or subscribe to our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/c/LivingHistoryTV Peter Hart's Military History is a Living History production.
In this episode, I talk about the battle of Neuve Chapelle, which began on 10 March 1915. I look at how the British Expeditionary Force fared in its first trench warfare attack of the Great War. Then we see how communication and reinforcement problems brought the advance to a standstill, and how the Germans reacted to the breakthrough on their front.
In this episode, I discuss the attacks and raids which were made over the winter of 1914-15. Then I look at the start of tunnelling warfare around the La Bassée Canal. I conclude with a description of the planning for the battle of Neuve Chapelle, which started on 10 March 1915. An important battle which set the blueprint for offensives during trench warfare.
An absolute waste of life - the battle of Neuve Chapelle
Footsteps of the fallen
In this second episode, we head into France and look at the first British offensive of the Great War, the battle of Neuve Chapelle. A story of initial success, tempered by a lack of artillery ammunition and poor communications, the three-day offensive cost 12,000 lives for little material gain.
There are now no living veterans of WW1, but it is still possible to go back to the First World War through the memories of those who actually took part. The Imperial War Museums' holdings include a major oral history resource of remarkable recordings made in the 1980s and early 1990s with the remaining survivors of the conflict. The interviews were done not for immediate use or broadcast, but because it was felt that this diminishing resource that could never be replenished, would be of unique value in the future. Among the BBC's extensive collection of archive featuring first hand recollections of the conflict a century ago, are the interviews recorded for the 1964 TV series 'The Great War', which vividly bring to life the human experience of those fighting and living through the war. Speakers recall in great detail as though it were yesterday the conditions of the trenches, the brutality of the battlefield, the experience of seeing their first casualty and hearing their first shell, their daily and nightly routines, and their psychological state in the face of so much trauma. In a unique partnership between the Imperial War Museums and the BBC, the two sound archive collections featuring survivors of the war are brought together for the first time in this Radio 4 series. 'Voices of the First World War', a fifty-part series which began in Autumn 2014, broadcasts many of these recordings for the first time, and will run in short seasons throughout the commemorative period.Presented by Dan Snow, the first five programmes to be broadcast this year look at the events of 1915, including veterans' memories of the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, the first use of Chlorine Gas at Ypres, the experiences of a new draft of Territorials at the 2nd Battle of Ypres, and the expansion of the war to the Eastern Front: those who were involved in the Gallipoli campaign recall the landings from April 1915 onwards and then the terrible conditions for soldiers on the peninsular until their evacuation in January 1916.The first programme looks at the differing experiences of soldiers on the Western Front in 1915, from those who were in such a quiet sector they could almost forget they were at war, to those who were already becoming hardened to the brutality of war, including the recollections of veterans who took part in one of the bloodiest battles of the war, the Battle of Neuve Chapelle.