The massive French spring offensive in 1915 was launched over this ground in Artois, with the heights of Vimy Ridge as the objective. The American volunteers of the 2nd company 1st Foreign Legion regiment went over the top on May 9th 1915. Kiffin Rockwell, newly-transferred from the 2nd regiment, was wounded in the assault and wrote his brother a memorable letter about his experience
The attacking units partly achieved their objective, but were not able to hold it when insufficiently reinforced by the French High Command. A second attempt was made on June 16th. In particularly ferocious hand-to-hand combat, both Kenneth Weeks and Russell Kelly were killed.