Aisne 1914 The Dawn of Trench Warfare by Paul Kendall

By Paul Kendall

The conflict of the Aisne fought in the course of September 1914 was once a savage engagement and an entire surprise for the warriors of the British Expeditionary strength who have been educated to struggle cellular wars. once they reached the north financial institution of the Aisne the «Old Contemptibles» will be stopped by way of the Germans entrenched on excessive flooring armed with laptop weapons, supported via heavy artillery. The allied commanders may naively ship their troops into futile attacks up uncovered slopes, without disguise to assault the German strains dug into positions at the ridges alongside the Chemin des Dames and hid by way of forest.

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Author) The British Army from which the BEF was drawn had a strength of 250,000 in 1914, 50 per cent serving overseas in the colonies. In a time of national crisis the British Army was reliant upon reserves and territorial forces. Just over 60 per cent of the BEF that was sent to France were reservists. Reservists were soldiers who had completed their service as regulars and returned to civilian life who could be called to serve at the outbreak of war. Territorial units were civilians who trained at weekends and their primary role was to defend the British Isles while the regular army fought overseas.

The 4th Division would arrive after the BEF had engaged the enemy at Mons. Each division contained 18,000 men, which included 12,000 infantrymen with only 24 machine guns. 5-inch howitzers and 4 6-pounder artillery pieces. A division was formed of three brigades that contained four battalions. A cavalry division consisted of 9000 men, 10,000 horses with 24 machine guns and 24 13-pounder artillery pieces. Assembling such a force and deploying them to France within nine days was a challenging logistical task.

In a time of national crisis the British Army was reliant upon reserves and territorial forces. Just over 60 per cent of the BEF that was sent to France were reservists. Reservists were soldiers who had completed their service as regulars and returned to civilian life who could be called to serve at the outbreak of war. Territorial units were civilians who trained at weekends and their primary role was to defend the British Isles while the regular army fought overseas. The Territorial units comprised six divisions and 140,000 men in 1914.

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