Our latest episode takes us to one of the forgotten battlefields of the Great War - Festubert. Over ten days in May 1915 the British suffered 16,000 casualties for no material gain. Why did this battle happen?
We begin by looking at the "entente discordiale" between the British and the French, with relations between Sir John French and General Joffre at an all-time low. The battle, was designed to stop the Germans from sending resources south to combat the French offensive at Vimy, but it was a fight the British could ill afford to take on. Initial success in some parts of the battlefield was tempered by the horrific loss of life in others, and we look at the ebb and flow of the fighting.
The podcast concludes with a consideration of the "lions led by donkeys" mindset and looks at Haig's approach to command, and his willingness to change tactics and develop his command strategy.
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