Part 7 - Second attack on Neuve Chappelle - 1915
The spring of 1915 saw fresh plans to capture Neuve Chappelle.
The capture of the village was to be the task of the 4th British and the Indian Corps. The Jullundur Brigade by this time where situated at La Couture.
The mistakes of the previous venture on Neuve Chappelle had been noted and this time much heavier French and British fire power was summoned to bombard the line in front of the village with an intensity not previously experienced.
Some 350 guns lined the the outskirts of the village, releasing a short range barrage against the German trenches.
After 35 minutes of sweeping the wire entanglements aside and inflicting terrible casualties on the enemy, the fire power was turned onto the village itself.
The second line German trenches were out flanked by British and Indian forces taking control of that strategic piece of ground.
The Jullundur Brigade was then ordered to march up to Neuve Chappelle and position themselves in the muddy fields at the perimeter.
During that assault in March 1915, Neuve Chapelle along with 600 German POW's was finally taken.
The following morning it became clear the Germans had retreated a little past Neuve Chappelle to their strongholds in the north and also into the woodland to the northwest of the village. It was from here they could launch devastatingly accurate shell attacks on the encroaching Jullundur Brigade as they marched through the village.
Losing all Indian commanding officers in the barrage, all forces retreated for another night.
The ultimate objective of pushing past Neuve Chappelle and along the ridge had proved a bound too far. The German machine guns had brought the attack to a standstill.
However, the losses on the German side were estimated to be as many as 17,000 and they were severely demoralised. The German army on this front was relatively quiet for months.