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SEPTEMBER - NOVEMBER 1914

FIRST BATTLE AT THE CHEMIN DES DAMES

The counter offensive launched by General Joffre on 5th September 1914 permitted to the French and English troops to reach the Aisne on 13th September between Venizel and Berry-au-Bac.

While the General Conneau’s cavalry advanced in the plain towards Sissone between the 1st and the 2nd German armies, unities from the 18th corps of the 5th French army, and battalions from the 1st corps of the British army set foot on the plateau of the Chemin des Dames.

But on 14th September the French-British progress was stopped. On the German side indeed, troops from Maubeuge (7th army corps) and from Lorraine (15th corps) permitted to constitute a 7th army that would come in between the 1st and the 2nd army. The British had have to dig their first trenches on 14th September in the south slopes of the Chemin des Dames, between Vendresse and the sugar refinery of Cerny.

From 15th to 20th September, both armies tried to break through its opponent front between Cerny and Craonne, what they would pay with very important human losses.

New attempts were done on the German side from 26th to 29th September, and then on the French one on 30th September and from 12th to 14th October, but didn’t bring any decisive result. During the first fortnight of October, the three British-army corps, situated between the 6th French army (in the West) and the 5th army (in the East), were relieved little by little by the French troops.

On 29th October, the Germans threw an attack towards Vailly-sur-Aisne, which permitted them to occupy the municipality and go through the Aisne in a few days but they didn’t manage to pass the canal.

From 6th to 13th November, a last French attempt to recapture the plateau between Ostel and Braye was confronted to a strong German resistance at La Cour-Soupir and at Chavonne. On mid-November, a war of position started in the Chemin des Dames and lasted until spring 1917.


The regiments who have participated at this Battle 

           
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