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First Battle of Champagne
Part of the Western Front of the World War I
M 57 5 les abris dans la tranché.jpg
"Waiting for the attack, in the trench".
Date20 December 1914-17 March 1915
LocationChampagne-Ardenne, France
Result Inconclusive
 United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
German Empire German Empire
Commanders and leaders
France Joseph Joffre
France Ferdinand Foch
France Nöel de Castelnau
United Kingdom Douglas Haig
German Empire Helmuth von Moltke
German Empire Erich von Falkenhayn
German Empire Crown Prince Rupprecht
French Fourth Army
~Unknown strength
German Third Army
~Unknown strength
Casualties and losses
France 90,000 dead or wounded
British Empire 3,000 dead or wounded
90,000 dead or wounded

The First Battle of Champagne (French language: 1ère Bataille de Champagne) was fought early in World War I in the Champagne poppy

of France, between the French and German Empire armies. It was effectively the first significant attack by the Allies against the Germans since the construction of trenches following the Race to the Sea during the autumn of 1914.

The battle

After minor skirmishes the battle began on 20 December 1914 and continued along a significant section of the front - from Nieuport to Verdun, and lasted until 17 March 1915.

Fighting started along the southern edge of the Sayon Salient (near Perthes), and spread to Givenchy (the Battle of Givenchy - 18 to 22 December), Perthes (20 December) and Noyon (22 December).

The battle resulted in little territorial gain, at a cost of 90,000 French casualties, and a similar number of German casualties.[1]

The battle also fully demonstrated that cavalry (mostly used in December 1914 and February 1915 in this battle) would have a limited role in the war, relegated to the odd charge.


  1. First Battle of Champagne, accessed 03 Sep 2009

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