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THE BRITISH ARMY AT THE CHEMIN DES DAMES

Le Miroir’s Frontpage, 29th October 1916
(French Sergeant visiting the French front)

 

At the declaration of war in 1914, Great Britain sent a task force of 120,000 men to France, on the 247,000 men enlisted in the army. It was the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) commanded by General French.

It was a professional army until May 1916, date when it was confronted to an important strength crisis, so the British Government made up its mind to reintroduce the compulsory military service.

From August till October 1914, the BEF was engaged between the 5th French Army on its right and the 6th French Army on its left.

That’s how they arrived to the foot of the Chemin des Dames, between Bourg-et-Comin and Soissons, at the beginning of September 1914 after the counter-offensive on the Marne River.

British troops were sent to Flanders in October 1914 on their commander’s demand.

Nevertheless, some British soldiers came back to the area of the Chemin des Dames on spring 1918.

Four divisions that had undergone heavy losses during the battle of the Somme were thus put on rest in an area considered to be quiet.

 

On 27th May 1918, the Germans launched a new offensive on the Chemin des Dames...

WATCH OUT! Only pages marked out with an asterisk are completed. Concerning the others, we still don’t have detailed information about their exact role in the battles of the Chemin des Dames.

If you have any information at your disposal, please do not hesitate to Contact Us.

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