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Arras


9 April – 16 May 1917

WW1 - Battle of Arras

Following the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line in early 1917 the British were now faced with a new set of positions with state of the art defences: thick belts of wire, deep trenches to stop tanks, concrete machine gun bunkers with inter-locking fields of fire. But the offensive at Arras began on 9th April 1917 with some success.

The Facts


  • Date: 9 April – 16 May 1917
  • Location: Arras, France
Countries Involved
British Empire German Empire
Countries Commanders
Douglas Haig
Edmund Allenby
Hubert Gough
Henry Horne
Erich Ludendorff
Ludwig von Falkenhausen
Number of Casualties
Nearly 160,000 Between 120,000–130,000

In the north the Canadians took Vimy Ridge, and on the British sectors the majority of objectives were achieved. But it quickly turned into another of the great attritional battles of WW1, with on average over 4,000 casualties a day: making it more costly than even the Somme and Passchendaele. There is also a very high percentage of missing on this battlefield with over 35,000 of them commemorated on the Arras Memorial.

Battery under German fire

Battery under German fire

Canadian machine gun squad at Vimy Ridge

Canadian machine gun squad at Vimy Ridge

British machine gunners fire on German aircraft near Arras

British machine gunners fire on German aircraft near Arras

Learn more about this battle on the following Leger Battlefield tours