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World War I Battles - Western Front

A list of World War I battles fought on the Western Front.

World War I: Battle of Mons
Fought on August 23, 1914, the Battle of Mons saw the British Expeditionary Force conduct a classic holding action against the German First Army. The first major engagement of the war for the British, the Battle of Mons ended with them inflicting heavy casualties on the Germans before being forced to withdraw. Though a defeat, Mons showed the...

World War I: First Battle of the Marne
The First Battle of the Marne was fought September 6-12, 1914, during World War I. During the Battle of the Marne German forces drove into into northern France and Belgium before encountering Allied forces along the Marne. In the week-long Battle of the Marne, the Allies succeeded in halting the German advance.

World War I: First Battle of Ypres
The First Battle of Ypres was fought October 19 to November 22, 1914, during World War I. The First Battle of Ypres took place as the Allies sought to protect the Channel ports and Germany sought to turn the enemy's flank. After heavy fighting during the First Battle of Ypres, the Allies succeeded in holding the town.

World War I: The Christmas Truce of 1914
The Christmas Truce of 1914 has become one of the mythic events of World War I. A series of localized ceasefires, the Christmas Truce saw British and German soldiers stop fighting to exchange gifts, fraternize, and play games. Frowned on by both high commands, the Christmas Truce lasted only a few days before fighting recommenced.

World War I: Second Battle of Ypres
The Second Battle of Ypres was fought April 22 to May 25, 1915 during World War I. Releasing poison gas, German forces attacked Allied positions with the goal of reducing the Ypres salient. In the resulting Second Battle of Ypres, the Allies gave ground but were able to hold the town.

World War I: Battle of Loos
The Battle of Loos was British offensive during World War I conducted between September 25 and October 14, 1915. The fighting marked the first British use of poison gas during the war. When the Battle of Loos concluded the British had achieved only marginal gains.

World War I: Battle of Verdun
The Battle of Verdun was fought from February 21 to December 18, 1916, and was a key engagement of World War I. Attacking the French positions around Verdun, German troops initiated a grinding battle of attrition. By the time the Battle of Verdun ended, over 700,000 had been killed or wounded.

World War I: Battle of the Somme
The Battle of the Somme was fought during World War I and lasted from July to November 1916. Attempting to draw German forces away from the Battle of Verdun, British forces battled to break through along a 12-mile front. When the fighting at the Somme ended, over 1.5 million casualties had been suffered.

World War I: Battle of Arras (1917)
The Battle of Arras commenced on April 9, 1917, and was the British component of the Allies' spring offensives. Attacking with success, the British captured Vimy Ridge before the offesive bogged down. Lasting until May 16, the Battle of Arras saw the British make significant gains but no major breakthroughs.

World War I: Battle of Messines
The Battle of Messines occurred from June 7-14, 1917, and saw British troops attempt to capture Messines Ridge in Flanders. Detonating 19 mines, the British were able to take the ridge with relative ease. The victory at Messines was a prelude to the bloody Battle of Passchendaele.

World War I: Battle of Passchendaele (Third Ypres)
The Battle of Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, was fought July to November 1917 during World War I. The Battle of Passchendaele saw Allied troops attack from the Ypres Salient with the goal of taking Passchendaele Ridge and wearing down the Germans. Though some ground was gained, the Battle of Passchendaele proved very...

World War I: Battle of Cambrai
The Battle of Cambrai was fought November 20-December 6, 1917, and saw British forces make the first successful use of tanks. Attacking towards Cambrai, the British initially made great gains causing the Germans to consider abandoning the town. Bringing reserves to Cambrai, German counterattacks recovered almost all of the lost ground.

World War I: 1918 Spring Offensives - Operation Michael
Operation Michael was the first phase of the 1918 German Spring Offensive. Attacking the area of St.-Quentin, Operation Michael was intended to separate British and French forces and drive the former in to the sea. Launched on March 21, the Germans made significant gains before being halted at Villers-Bretonneux.

World War I: Battle of Belleau Wood - Devil Dogs on the Attack
Fighting in Belleau Wood in 1918, the US Marines earned the nickname "devil dogs." In 26 days of savage fighting, the Marines aided in stopping the German Aisne offensive and recaptured Belleau Wood. In the process, US forces suffered nearly 10,000 casualties.

World War I: Second Battle of the Marne
The Second Battle of the Marne took place from July 15 to August 5, 1918. Opening an offensive along the Marne, the Germans made some progress before being stopped by Allied forces. Launching a counteroffensive on July 18, the Allies drove the Germans back across the Marne.

World War I: Battle of Amiens
The 1918 Battle of Amiens was an opening battle of the Allies' Hundred Days' Offensive. Attacking east of Amiens, Allied forces gained over seven miles on the first day. The Battle of Amiens was a decisive victory for the Allies and saw a return to mobile warfare.

World War I: Meuse-Argonne Offensive
Commencing on September 26, 1918, the Meuse-Argonne Offensive saw American forces attack the German lines with the goal of taking Sedan. Breaking through after a series of bloody assaults, American troops forced the Germans to withdraw. The Meuse-Argonne Offensive ended with the Germans agreeing to an armistice on November 11.

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