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The retirement was assisted by French artillery-fire, which slowed the German advance despite a 2 mi (3.2 km) gap and the isolation of a battalion near Fromelles. At midnight the 19th Brigade fell back to a line from Rouges Bancs to La Boutillerie and dug in. German troops of Infantry Regiments 122 and 125 of the 26th Division appeared to be unaware of the retirement, having strayed southwards after the capture of La Vallée earlier in the day. In the 6th Division area, field defences were far less developed than on the 4th Division front, since piecemeal retirements had led to positions being abandoned and new ones dug from scratch several times, from which artillery observation was unsatisfactory. Many German attacks were made from 22–23 October, particularly against the 16th Brigade, which held a south-facing salient with Le Quesne at the apex, 3 mi (4.8 km) south-east of Armentières. At dawn on 23 October, a German force exploited a dawn mist to infiltrate British positions and it was only repulsed after costly hand-to-hand fighting. The 10th Brigade extended its front south to La Chapelle-d'Armentières, taking over from the 12th Brigade, which was moved into reserve at the divisional boundary and then on 24 October, the brigade relieved the 17th Brigade of the 6th Division as far as Rue du Bois, extending the 4th Division front to 8 mi (13 km). By 22 October III Corps and the 19th Brigade held a line between French and British cavalry units, about 12 mi (19 km) long from Rouges Bancs, 5 mi (8.0 km) south-west of Armentières to Touquet, La Houssoie, Epinette, Houplines, Le Gheer, St Yves and the Douve river, facing the bulk of the German XIII Corps with the 48th Reserve Division in reserve, XIX Corps and I Cavalry Corps. The XIII Corps had begun moving southwards from Menin on 18 October and had attacked the 19th Brigade at Radinghem on 21 October. It was anticipated that it would attack the area between III Corps and II Corps, which it did on 23 October and drove out the French from Fromelles, leaving the right flank of III Corps dangerously exposed until 24 October, when the Jullundur Brigade of the Lahore Division arrived and filled the gap, the French I Cavalry Corps going back into reserve. French gave orders for the III Corps to dig in and maintain its positions, which was relatively easy for the 4th Division, after the recapture of Le Gheer on 20/21 October, because German activity was limited to artillery-fire, sniping and minor attacks until 29 October. Opinion in the 4th Division was that with rifle-fire, machine-gun fire from the flanks and artillery crossfire, any German attack could be repulsed. Control of the artillery was centralised, to be brought to bear on the divisional front and further north in the Cavalry Corps area at Messines. As dawn broke on 24 October, the 6th Army made a general attack from La Bassée Canal to the Lys and on the III Corps front was repulsed, except on the 16th Brigade front, which was enfiladed from the east.


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>The retirement was assisted ~ artillery observation was unsatisfactory. ⇒この(守備隊の)退却はフランス軍砲兵隊の砲撃による支援を受けて、2マイル(3.2キロ)の間隙とフロメイェ近くの大隊の孤立にもかかわらず、ドイツ軍の前進を遅らせた。第19旅団は、真夜中にルージュ・バンからラ・ブティレリーまでの戦線に戻り、塹壕にこもった。ドイツ軍第26師団の第122、第125歩兵連隊は、その日の朝のラ・ヴァレーの占領後に南方に迷走していて、この退却に気づいていないようだった。第6師団地域では、断片的な退却によって陣地が放棄され、新たな陣地で何度も最初から塹壕掘削をしていたのでそこからの砲兵隊による観測も不十分なため、戦場の防衛開発は第4師団の前線よりもはるかに劣っていた。 >Many German attacks were ~ Division front to 8 mi (13 km). ⇒10月22日-23日、特にアルマンティエールの南東3マイル(4.8キロ)のル・ケネーを頂点とする南面の突出部を保持する第16旅団に対して、ドイツ軍からの攻撃が多く行われた。10月23日の夜明けに、ドイツ軍は明け方の霧を利用して英国の陣地に潜入したが、高くついた肉弾戦の末に追放されただけであった。第10旅団は、南前線をアルマンティエール礼拝堂まで伸ばして、師団の境界地で予備に移された第12旅団を引き継いだ。そして同旅団はその後の10月24日、第6師団の第17旅団をボワ通りまで救援し、第4師団の前線を8マイル(13キロ)拡張した。 >By 22 October III Corps ~ going back into reserve. ⇒10月22日までに、第III軍団と第19旅団はフランスと英国の騎兵部隊の間にルージュ・バンから約12マイル(19キロ)の長さの戦線を掌握した。それは、アルマンティエールの南西からトゥケ、ラ・ウソワ、エピネッテ、ウプリン、ル・ゲール、そしてドゥーブ川まで5マイル(8キロ)を結び、ドイツ軍第48予備軍師団を予備として擁する第XIII軍団、第XIX軍団、および第I騎兵軍団に面していた。第XIII軍団は、10月18日にメニンから南下し始め、10月21日にラディンゲムで第19旅団を攻撃した。(同軍団は)あらかじめ第III軍団と第II軍団の間の領域を攻撃することになっていたが、それは10月23日に行われた。フロメイェからフランス軍を駆逐して10月24日まで第III軍団の右側面を危険にさらさせたが、その日にラホール師団のジャランダー旅団が到着してギャップを埋め、フランス軍騎兵隊は予備(控え)に戻った。 >French gave orders for ~ enfiladed from the east. ⇒フランス軍は、第III軍団に塹壕を掘ってこもり、その陣地を維持するよう命令した。それは、10月20/21日にル・ゲールを奪還した後の第4師団にとって比較的容易であった。なぜなら、ドイツ軍の活動が10月29日まで砲火、狙撃、および小規模攻撃に制限されたからである。第4師団内の見解は、いかなるドイツ軍の攻撃も側面隊からの小銃射撃、機関銃射撃、および砲兵砲撃で撃退することができる、というものであった。砲兵砲撃の統制が集中化され、メシーヌの騎兵隊地域内の師団前線と、さらに北方で持ちこたえる力をもたらした。第6方面軍は、10月24日明け方になってラ・バセ運河からリィスまでの総攻撃を行い、東から守られていた第16旅団前線を除いて、再度第III軍団戦線を追放した。





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    To the north of the 18th Brigade, a battalion of the 17th Brigade held a line from Epinette to Prémesques and Mont des Prémesques, which was bombarded by German artillery from 2:00–8:00 a.m. and then attacked by the 24th Division of XIX Corps, which captured Prémesques and attracted most of the reserves of the 6th Division to the left flank of its front. A defensive flank was formed after the loss of the village, which was able to prolong the defence of Mont des Prémesques, which fell at 4:30 p.m. An 11th Brigade battalion from the 4th Division was sent forward for a counter-attack but this was then over-ruled by Pulteney, since with the loss of Ennetières and Prémesques a much larger attack was needed and there were insufficient troops available. After dark the 6th Division was ordered back to a shorter line from Touquet to Bois Blancs, Le Quesne, La Houssoie, Chateau d'Hancardry to ground about 400 yd (370 m) west of Epinette, the retirement on the right and centre being about 2 mi (3.2 km). The division had suffered c. 2,000 losses, 1,119 in the 18th Brigade but Kier was confident that the division could hold on, when the 19th Brigade and the French I Cavalry Corps arrived on the right flank during the day. On the 4th Division (Major-General H. F. M. Wilson) front to the north, a German bombardment by heavy artillery began on Armentières at 8:00 a.m. which led to the III Corps headquarters being moved back to Bailleul. Despite the orders from Pulteney for III Corps to dig in, the 4th Division was allowed to continue the attack towards Frélinghien, to gain better communications across the Lys and the 10th Brigade attacked at dawn. Trenches and houses on the southern fringe of the village were captured and fifty prisoners taken from the 89th Brigade of the 40th Division, XIX Corps but the attack used up the stock of high explosive ammunition and the attack was suspended. Towards the left of the division, the 12th Brigade, in front of Ploegsteert Wood (Plugstreet Wood) near Le Gheer was attacked from midday and as dark fell a determined German rush got forward to within 300–500 yd (270–460 m) of the British line and dug in. During the afternoon Pulteney had ordered the division to hold its advanced position if possible but not to retire further than the main line and during the evening, Lieutenant-General E. Allenby the Cavalry Corps commander requested support at Messines to the north, which with the news of the retirement of the 6th Division, left Wilson and the 4th Division in some apprehension about both flanks.The III Corps received orders from French to remain on the defensive along with II Corps, the Cavalry Corps and the 7th Division, while I Corps attacked; the trenches of III Corps were bombarded from the early morning of 21 October, particularly around Frélinghien. Two battalions of the 11th Brigade and two companies of the 12th Brigade were ordered north, to reinforce the Cavalry Corps at Hill 63, to occupy the north-west of Ploegsteert Wood as a northern flank guard.

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    Foch planned a joint advance from Ypres to Nieuport, towards a line from Roulers, Thourout and Ghistelles, just south of Ostend. Foch intended to isolate the German III Reserve Corps, which was advancing from Antwerp, from the main German force in Flanders. French and Belgian forces were to push the Germans back against the sea, as French and British forces turned south-east and closed up to the Lys river from Menin to Ghent, to cross the river and attack the northern flank of the German armies. Falkenhayn sent the 4th Army headquarters to Flanders, to take over the III Reserve Corps and its heavy artillery, twenty batteries of heavy field howitzers, twelve batteries of 210 mm howitzers and six batteries of 100mm guns, after the Siege of Antwerp (28 September – 10 October). The XXII, XXIII, XXVI and XXVII Reserve corps, of the six new reserve corps formed from volunteers after the outbreak of the war, were ordered from Germany to join the III Reserve Corps on 8 October. The German reserve corps infantry were poorly trained and ill-equipped but on 10 October, Falkenhayn issued a directive that the 4th Army was to cross the Yser, advance regardless of losses and isolate Dunkirk and Calais, then turn south towards Saint-Omer. With the 6th Army to the south, which was to deny the Allies an opportunity to establish a secure front and transfer troops to the north, the 4th Army was to inflict an annihilating blow on the French, Belgian and BEF forces in French and Belgian Flanders. Battle of the Yser Main article: Battle of the Yser French, British and Belgian troops covered the Belgian and British withdrawal from Antwerp towards Ypres and the Yser from Dixmude to Nieuport, on a 35 km (22 mi) front. The new German 4th Army was ordered to capture Dunkirk and Calais, by attacking from the coast to the junction with the 6th Army. German attacks began on 18 October, coincident with the battles around Ypres and gained a foothold over the Yser at Tervaete. The French 42nd Division at Nieuport detached a brigade to reinforce the Belgians and German heavy artillery was countered on the coast, by Allied ships under British command, which bombarded German artillery positions and forced the Germans to attack further inland. On 24 October, the Germans attacked fifteen times and managed to cross the Yser on a 5 km (3.1 mi) front. The French sent the rest of the 42nd Division to the centre but on 26 October, the Belgian Commander Félix Wielemans, ordered the Belgian army to retreat, until over-ruled by the Belgian king. Next day sluice gates on the coast at Nieuport were opened, which flooded the area between the Yser and the railway embankment, running north from Dixmude. On 30 October, German troops crossed the embankment at Ramscapelle but as the waters rose, were forced back the following evening. The floods reduced the fighting to local operations, which diminished until the end of the battle on 30 November.

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    Two small formations of fighters were to fly low patrols, on the far side of the final objective of the Fifth Army, from the beginning of the attack for six hours, to break up German attempts to counter-attack and to stop equivalent German contact-patrols. After six hours, the aircraft were to range further east to attack troop concentrations. Aircraft from the Corps and Army wings were to attack all targets found west of Staden–Dadizeele, with the Ninth Wing taking over east of the line. German aerodromes were attacked periodically and special "ground patrols" were mounted below 3,000 ft (910 m) over the front line, to defend the Corps artillery-observation machines. Attempts to co-ordinate air and ground attacks had mixed results; on the II Corps front, few air attacks were co-ordinated with the infantry and only a vague report was received from an aircraft about a German counter-attack, which was further obscured by a smoke-screen. On the XIX Corps front, despite "ideal" visibility, no warning by aircraft was given of a German counter-attack over the Zonnebeke–St. Julien spur at 9:00 a.m., which was also screened by smoke shell. To the north on the XVIII and XIV Corps fronts, the air effort had more effect, with German strong-points and infantry being attacked on and behind the front. Air operations continued during the night, with more attacks on German airfields and rail junctions. German 4th Army The troops of 169th Brigade of the 56th Division, which tried to follow the leading waves from Glencorse Wood, were stopped at the edge of Polygon Wood and then pushed back by a counter-attack by the German 34th Division around 7:00 a.m., the troops ahead of them being overwhelmed. The brigade was driven back later in the afternoon to its start line, by German attacks from the south and east by troops from a regiment of the 54th Division sent back into the line. The 167th Brigade pulled back its right flank as the 169th Brigade was seen withdrawing through Glencorse Wood and at 3:00 p.m. the Germans attacked the front of 167th Brigade and the 25th Brigade of the 8th Division to the north. The area was under British artillery observation and the German attack was stopped by massed artillery fire.

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    The Germans spent 23 October bombarding the old British positions and probing forward, as the Lahore Division (Lieutenant-General H. B. B. Watkis) reached Estaires, which had been made the assembly point for the Indian Corps, to be convenient to support II Corps or III Corps as necessary. The Jullundur Brigade relieved the II Cavalry Corps on 23/24 October, from the II Corps left flank at Fauquissart to the 19th Brigade at Rouges Bancs, which created a homogeneous British line from Givenchy northwards to Ypres. Opposite the Anglo-French south of the British III Corps, was part of the German XIV Corps and the VII, XIII, XIX and I Cavalry Corps. At 2:00 a.m., on 24 October, German artillery began a bombardment and just after dawn many German infantry were seen approaching the 3rd Division positions in the north. The German troops were easily visible and repulsed by artillery-fire before they reached the British front line. German attacks were suspended until dusk when an attack began south of Neuve-Chapelle on the right flank of the 3rd Division, until after midnight, eventually being repulsed, with many casualties. In the early hours of 25 October, German infantry were able to overrun some British trenches but were forced out by hand-to-hand fighting and at 11:00 a.m., the trenches were overrun again until reinforcements from the 9th Brigade forced the Germans back. On the left flank of the 3rd Division the 8th and Jullundur brigades were attacked from 9:00 p.m. on 24 October and the left flank battalion of the 8th Brigade was forced back. The flanking units fired into the area and a counter-attack at midnight by the brigade reserve battalion, managed to restore the position in costly fighting. Many German troops of the 14th and 26th divisions were killed in the attacks and several prisoners taken. By morning, the II Corps headquarters staff were relieved, that despite 13 days of battle, exhaustion and the loss of many pre-war regulars and experienced reservists, a determined German attack had been defeated. The corps front was not attacked on 25 October but German guns accurately bombarded the British positions, with assistance from observation aircraft, flying in clear weather. German infantry kept 700–900 yd (640–820 m) back, except for areas in front of the 5th Division. Some positions were evacuated during daylight hours to escape German shelling and engineers collected fence posts and wire from farmland, ready to build obstacles in front of the British positions overnight. Smith-Dorrien forecast a lull in German attacks but requested reinforcements from French who agreed, because a defeat at La Bassée would compromise offensive operations in Belgium.

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    German troops used the cover of factory buildings to advance and overran one battalion front, until pushed back by a counter-attack. The battle continued all day and around midnight, the 16th and 18th brigade commanders agreed to a withdrawal of the 16th Brigade, for about 500 yd (460 m) to a reserve line, dug from Touquet to Flamengrie Farm if the Germans attacked again. Soon after midnight on 24/25 October, another determined German attack began and during the night of 25/26 October, the 16th Brigade stole away in the dark and rain; from 24–26 October, the 16th Brigade had lost 585 casualties. From 25–26 October, the III Corps positions were subjected to German artillery bombardments and sniper fire but no infantry attacks. The division used the respite to dig deeper, build communication trenches and to withdraw troops from the front line into reserve, ready for local counter-attacks. After another big artillery bombardment on 27 October, the 6th Division was attacked and the 16th and 18th brigades repulsed the Germans and inflicted many casualties. A bigger German attack was made at dawn on 28 October, on an 18th Brigade battalion holding a salient east of the La Bassée–Armentières railway near Rue du Bois by infiltrating through ruined buildings. The German infantry of the XIII Corps divisions and Infantry regiments 107 and 179 from XIX Corps overran the British battalion but were then counter-attacked and forced back, leaving many casualties behind. A lull followed on 28 October, until 2:00 a.m. on 29 October, when the 19th Brigade was attacked south of La Boutillerie, which failed except for the loss of part of the front trench, until the brigade reserve arrived and forced back the Germans, forty prisoners being taken from the 48th Reserve Division of the XXIV Corps, which had been moved into line between the XIX and XIII corps.The III Corps was confronted by 4–5 German divisions, that had made numerous general and probing attacks but the situation up north around Ypres began to have repercussions. On 30 October, French ordered the corps to move all the reserves of the 4th Division north of the Lys to reinforce the Cavalry Corps, with the 6th Division organising its reserves to cover the 4th Division positions south of the river. By coincidence, big 6th Army attacks on the 4th Division front south of the river ended at the same time, which meant that the massing of reserves on the north bank could be done safely.

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    The 6th Army line from La Bassée to Armentières and Menin, was ordered not to attack until the operations of the new 4th Army in Belgium had begun. Both armies attacked on 20 October, the XIV, VII, XIII and XIX corps of the 6th Army making a general attack from Arras to Armentières. Next day the northern corps of the 6th Army attacked from La Bassée to St Yves and gained little ground but prevented British and French troops from being moved north to Ypres and the Yser fronts. On 27 October, Falkenhayn ordered the 6th Army to move heavy artillery north for the maximum effort due on 29 October at Gheluvelt, to reduce its attacks on the southern flank against II and III corps and to cease offensive operations against the French further south. Armeegruppe von Fabeck was formed from XIII Corps and reinforcements from the armies around Verdun, which further depleted the 6th Army and ended the offensive from La Bassée north to the Lys. On 14 and 15 October, II Corps attacked on both sides of La Bassée Canal and German counter-attacks were made each night. The British managed short advances on the flanks, with help from French cavalry but lost 967 casualties. From 16 to 18 October, II Corps attacks pivoted on the right and the left flank advanced to Aubers, against German opposition at every ditch and bridge, which inflicted another thousand casualties. Givenchy was recaptured by the British on 16 October, Violaines was taken and a foothold established on Aubers Ridge on 17 October; French cavalry captured Fromelles. On 18 October, German resistance increased as the German XIII Corps arrived, reinforced the VII Corps and gradually forced the II Corps to a halt. On 19 October, British infantry and French cavalry captured Le Pilly (Herlies) but were forced to retire by German artillery-fire. The fresh German 13th Division and 14th Division arrived and began to counter-attack against all of the II Corps front. At the end of 20 October, the II Corps was ordered to dig in from the canal near Givenchy, to Violaines, Illies, Herlies and Riez, while offensive operations continued to the north. The countryside was flat, marshy and cut by many streams, which in many places made trench digging impractical, so breastworks built upwards were substituted, despite being conspicuous and easy to demolish with artillery-fire. (It was not until late October that the British received adequate supplies of sandbags and barbed wire.)The British field artillery was allotted to infantry brigades and the 60-pounders and howitzers were reserved for counter-battery fire. The decision to dig in narrowly forestalled a German counter-offensive which began on 20 October, mainly further north against the French XXI Corps and spread south on 21 October, to the 3rd Division area.

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    The II Corps brigades in line (from south to north) were the 15th, 13th, 14th, 7th, 9th and 8th; at 7:00 a.m. the Germans attacked through a mist, mainly opposite the 7th and 9th brigades from Le Transloy to Herlies and surprised one company, forcing it back. The Germans widened the breach on the right of the 7th Brigade, but flanking units repulsed the German attackers. Elsewhere, the Germans maintained an extensive bombardment against the 9th Brigade but they did not attack, and one battalion at Violaines was able to fire in enfilade at German infantry, as they crossed its front towards Le Transloy. An infantry company and the 7th Brigade Signal Section engaged the Germans at 150 yd (140 m) as they apparently lost direction in the mist and more troops arrived to close the gap. As the mist dispersed British artillery fired on the German infantry who retreated at speed. A British counter-attack was made at 11:00 a.m. which retook most of the lost trenches. Most of the British reserves had been committed but German attacks at 2:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. were also repulsed, troops from all three regiments of the German 14th Division and one from the 13th Division being identified. At 6:30 p.m. news of the retirement of the 19th Brigade from Le Maisnil arrived and the 3rd Division was ordered back from Herlies and Grand Riez for about 1 mi (1.6 km) to a line from Lorgies to Ligny and south of Fromelles, the junction with a French cavalry unit, which improved the line in the 8th Brigade area; later on the left flank of the 14th Brigade moved back to link with the 3rd Division at Lorgies. On 21 October II Corps had 1,079 casualties. During the fighting Smith-Dorrien had ordered the digging of a reserve line which was about 2 miles (3.2 km) in the rear on the northern flank, where the danger of envelopment was greatest. The line ran from east of Givenchy, east of Neuve-Chapelle to Fauquissart on ground easier to defend but had little barbed wire and the ground was too marshy for deep dugouts. The engineers of the 3rd and 5th divisions prepared the defences, with help from French civilians. Next day the French cavalry were driven from Fromelles and a retirement to the new line was agreed by French and Smith-Dorrien, for the night of 22/23 October. French ordered elements of the Lahore Division to move to Estaires, behind the left (northern) flank of II Corps, to support the French II Cavalry Corps (Général L. Conneau). Early on 22 October, the British were forced out of Violaines and German attacks began along all of the 5th Division front. On the night of 22/23 October, II Corps retired its left (northern) flank, to a line which had been reconnoitred from La Bassée Canal east of Givenchy to La Quinque Rue, east of Neuve-Chappelle and on to Fauquissart. A lack of labour, tools and barbed wire meant that the troops found little more than an outline of the position and began to dig in. The 3rd Division was on the left flank, at the junction with the French II Cavalry Corps and the 19th Brigade, which had closed a gap with the III Corps.

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    A company which had lost direction in the dark and stumbled into La Boisselle, took 220 German prisoners but the division had 2,400 casualties. On 7 July, an attack by X Corps on Ovillers was delayed by a German attack, after a bombardment which fell on the 49th Division front near the Ancre, then concentrated on the British position in the German first line north of Thiepval. The survivors of the garrison were forced to retreat to the British front line by 6:00 a.m. A German attack on the Leipzig Salient at 1:15 a.m. from three directions, was repulsed and followed by a bombing fight until 5:30 a.m.; the British attack was still carried out and the rest of the German front line in the Leipzig Salient was captured. The 12th Division and a 25th Division brigade advanced on Ovillers, two battalions of the 74th Brigade on the south side of the Albert–Bapaume road reached the first German trench, where the number of casualties and continuous German machine-gun fire stopped the advance.

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    On the north bank, a dawn bombardment was followed by a German attack on the 11th Brigade front, where one battalion was spread along 2,000 yd (1,800 m) from Le Gheer to the Douve river. No continuous trenches existed and the isolated strongpoints had no communication trenches. Infantry Regiment 134 of the 40th Division began to overrun the battalion, until a counter-attack by the brigade reserve pushed the Germans back. An attack on 31 October, reached the British trenches again but the Germans retired before a counter-attack could be mounted. A battalion of the 12th Brigade from the 4th Division took over the right flank of the Cavalry Corps line, which brought the divisional front north to Messines During November, artillery-fire, sniping and local attacks continued south of the Lys and on 1 November, the Cavalry Corps was forced out of Messines, which left the northern flank of III Corps exposed, at a time when the corps was defending a 12 mi (19 km) front with severely depleted units. Few reserves were left and Pulteney reported to the BEF headquarters, that the corps could not withstand another big attack. French sent two battalions north from II Corps and gave permission for the corps to retreat to a reserve line from Fleurbaix to Nieppe and Neuve Eglise if necessary. The daily ration of artillery ammunition was doubled from forty rounds per day for each 18-pounder and twenty per day for each 4.5-inch howitzer, which enabled the 4th and 6th divisions to maintain their front. The Battle of Armentières ended officially on 2 November but north of the Lys, fighting in the 4th Division positions up to the Douve river continued and are described in the Battle of Messines (1914). The battles in French and Belgian Flanders were the last battles of encounter and manoeuvre on the Western front, until 1918. After the meeting engagements, the battles became a desperate defence by the British, French and Belgian armies against the offensives of the German 6th and 4th armies. No defensive system like those built in 1915 existed and both sides improvised shelter pits and short lengths of trench, which were repaired each night. Artillery was concealed by ground features only but the small number of observation aircraft on both sides and the extent of tree cover, enabled guns to remain hidden. The attack by the 6th Army on 21 October, from La Bassée to St Yves by the VII, XIII and XIX corps achieved only small advances against the 6th Division and the XIX Corps attack on the 4th Division front gained no ground but the attacks put great strain on the British defence and prevented reserves from being transferred north to Ypres. British artillery adopted the French practice of night artillery fire on German communication routes, as far as 6-inch gun ammunition allowed.

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    In 1925, the British Official Historian J. E. Edmonds, wrote in the History of the Great War that from 13 to 31 October, the twelve 3rd Division battalions had been opposed by thirteen German infantry regiments, four Jäger battalions and 27 cavalry regiments. The British troops had succeeded in repulsing German attacks through endurance and fire-discipline, which had multiplied the effect of a small number of troops. The German 6th Army had been reinforced and originally been intended to break through from Arras to La Bassée and Armentières, until 29 October when all available heavy artillery was transferred north for the Battle of Gheluvelt. Attacks against II Corps were reduced to holding operations and the front opposite the French at Arras was kept passive. When the Indian Corps took over, the German offensive in the area had almost ended. Edmonds wrote that in defence, soldiers sheltered in improvised positions with little protection from artillery and little barbed wire. Much of the country was wooded, which obscured large areas of the front from aeroplane observers, who spent more time grounded by the October weather. The Allied force was made up of Belgian, French and British army units and faced a homogeneous opponent with unity of command but the main German advantage was in heavy artillery and trench warfare equipment, much of which did not exist in the Allied armies. The II Corps had c. 14,000 casualties, from 12 to 31 October. The 3rd Division had 5,835 losses, with the 8th and 9th brigades reduced by about 50 percent. The 5th Division casualties were similar and the Indian Corps up to 31 October had 1,565 casualties. On 31 October II Corps had only 14,000 men of the original 24,000 man establishment, of which c. 1,400 men were inexperienced drafts. The Germans recorded 6,000 casualties during the battles with II Corps.[48] II Corps was withdrawn for ten day's rest, from the night of 29/30 October and relieved by the Indian Corps but within days, most of its battalions had to be sent to I and III corps as reinforcements. Smith-Dorrien returned to England on 10 November and Willcocks assumed command of the 14th Brigade of the 5th Division, which acted as a mobile reserve. The Indian Corps battalions came under much shellfire during the relief and remained in the front-line trenches, instead of retreating further back temporarily, a practice which had been adopted by experienced units. On 2 November, a bigger German attack north-west of Neuve-Chapelle drove a Gurkha battalion back until local counter-attacks recovered the ground by 5 October and the old trenches were filled in and abandoned. By 3 November, the Indian Corps had suffered 1,989 casualties along its 8 mi (13 km) front. Some historians have written that c. 65 percent of Indian casualties were self-inflicted wounds, not always punished by court martial but a study by Sir B. Seton in 1915, found no evidence to support such an allegation.