Feuchy in the Great War

(Summary of an article in french)

Feuchy is a small village with 1000 inhabitants today, 500 in 1914. It is situated two kilometers east of Arras in the north of France.

Feuchy avant la Grande Guerre

It was occupied by German troops in September 1914. The front line was several miles west, cutting the neighboring village St. Laurent from Blangy. The campaigns between 1914 and 1916 did not move the front. In April 1915, the population of Feuchy is evacuated. The German Emperor watched in vain the attack early 1915 and had to take back the iron crosses that he wanted to distribute in the center of Arras. But also the French attacks towards the Rhine river had remained without success. In both cases, even so the troops had been "strongly encouraged" by their generals, they had also been "strongly impressed" by enemy machine gun fire.

British troops took over the Arras sector in march 1916. Artillery was based on Feuchy territory, and several communication trenches led to the front line, of which the "Houdain Lane" and the "Feuchy Switch". The Germans strengthened the second and third defense line, of which the "Feuchy Redoubt" in today's Feuchy and north-south connecting Feuchy to "Feuchy Chapel"

FeuchyTrenchmap.jpg (762394 bytes)British trench map, Dec 1916
(c) Smith & Son

On April 9, 1917, the British operation "big push" led to several miles advancement to the east in the same time than the capture of the Vimy heights. The first tanks where used to capture the Railway triangle. In this battle, which was the one with the most casualties per day fought by the British army, Feuchy was liberated. Both sides used gas, and the famous "red baron", Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen, shot down several planes above the area.


German fortification

(c) Illustrated Michelin Guides to the battle-fields, Smith & Son

The front line will stabilize several miles east of Feuchy. The German march offensives will place Feuchy under German control in 1918, before the Canadians will finally clear the area in August 1918. The population of Feuchy was evacuated, but the village was completely destroyed.

Military Cemetery Information