First Battle of Artois

The First Battle of Artois (17 December 1914 – 13 January 1915) was a battle fought during World War I by the French and German armies on the Western Front. The battle was the first offensive move on the Western Front by either side after the end of the First Battle of Ypres in November 1914. The French assault failed to break the stalemate.

First Battle of Artois
Part of the Western Front of World War I
Vimy Ridge 1915.jpg
Area of operations, 1914
Date17 December 1914 –13 January 1915
Location50°30′N 02°30′E / 50.500°N 2.500°E / 50.500; 2.500Coordinates: 50°30′N 02°30′E / 50.500°N 2.500°E / 50.500; 2.500
Result Indecisive
French Third Republic French Third Republic
United Kingdom United Kingdom
German Empire German Empire
Commanders and leaders
France Joseph Joffre German Empire Erich von Falkenhayn
German Empire Rupprecht of Bavaria
Artois, a region of northern France of around 4,000 km2 (1,500 sq mi) around Arras, Saint-Omer, Lens and Béthune.


During what became known as the Race to the Sea the Battle of Arras (1–4 October) had been fought, after which local operations, particularly on the Lorette Spur, continued during the First Battle of Flanders to the north.

Subsequent operationsEdit

In May 1915, the Tenth Army conducted an offensive known as the Second Battle of Artois. The Third Battle of Artois, sometimes called the Artois–Loos Offensive, took place from 25 September – 15 October 1915.[1]




  • Doughty, R. A. (2005). Pyrrhic Victory: French Strategy and Operations in the Great War. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01880-8.

Further readingEdit


  • Nolan, Cathal (2002). The Greenwood Encyclopaedia of International Relations: S–Z. Greenwood. ISBN 978-0-313-32383-6.

External linksEdit