The offensive, meant to complement the Champagne offensive, was the last attempt by French commander-in-chief Joseph Joffre to exploit Allied numerical advantage over Germany. Joffre's plan was for simultaneous attacks in Champagne-Ardenne and Artois, with the goal being to capture German railborne supply centres at Attigny and Douai thus forcing a German withdrawal.
Following a four-day artillery bombardment starting on 21 September, the French Tenth Army initiated their advance. By 26 September the XXXIII and XXI Corps had taken the village of Souchez but the III and XII Corps had made little progress south-east of Neuville-St Vaast. The French failed to breach the German second line of defence and a breakthrough could not be achieved. In an attempt to rejuvenate the stalled offensive, Joffre sent the French IX Corps to assist the British in an attack on Loos but this action also yielded little of strategic value. The German Official Historians of the Reichsarchiv recorded German casualties to the end of October as 51,100 men. Sheldon used figures taken from the French Official History to record 48,230 casualties, which was fewer than half of the casualties of the spring offensive from April–June. J. E. Edmonds, the British Official Historian recorded 61,713 British and c. 26,000 German casualties at the Battle of Loos.[Note 1]
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