Key British Battles 1914-1918


As part of our learning series on the Western Front, this chart details the main British battles along the Western Front in chronological order - includes Battle of Ypres, Battle of the Somme, Battle of the Marne and the final offensives. A useful quick revision guide for learning about the main battles.
Andrew Burke
Flowchart by Andrew Burke, updated more than 1 year ago
Andrew Burke
Created by Andrew Burke over 6 years ago

Resource summary

Flowchart nodes

  • Battle of the Marne (August - September 1914) This is the battle that stopped the German advance; it led to the ending of the Schlieffen Plan. This resulted in a stalemate and both sides began digging in order to protect themselves from snipers and shell fire. 
  • First Battle of Ypres (October - November 1914)  An attempt from Germany to advance was stopped with both sides suffering huge losses. A deadlock resulted in this fight.
  • Second Battle of Ypres (April - May 1915)  The Germans utilised chlorine gas for the first time and almost achieved breakthrough but British and Canadian reinforcements saved the situation. Allied casualties were estimated at 60,000 here. 
  •    Battle of the Somme (July - November 1916)  Taking place between the 1 July and 17 November 1916 over a 22km long length trench system. British troops were attempting to force the Germans away from Verdun in order to reduce pressure on French armed forces. In one day, 19,240 British soldiers were killed and 60,000 died over the whole period. 
  • Battle of Arras (April - May 1917) British and French forces attacked German positions at Arras but made little advancement. High casualties resulted. 
  • Third Battle of Ypres (July - November 1917)  The British launched an attack on the German's who occupied high ground in an attempt to capture Passchendaele Ridge near Ypres. The assault left both sides exhausted; the ridge was captured at the cost of 245,000 lives and the death of 47,000 British soldier deaths. 
  • Battle of Cambrai (November - December 1917)  First occasion the British used tanks to attack German trenches. It failed to breakthrough German defences and led to 40,000 British casualties.
  • Summer - Autumn 1918 With back up from American troops, the Allied army broke German lines and pushed them back. Germany agreed to an armistice on 11 November 1918. This ended fighting on the Western Front. 
  • German Offensive (Spring 1918) Germany's army commenced an attack along a 80km front, aiming to end the war before the Americans arrived. The Germans failed to breakthrough, however, 200,000 casualties occurred for Britain. 
  • Key Battles along the British Sector of the Western Front 1914-1918
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