The German infantry advanced on the canal in massed formations headed by skirmishers. [69], The Germans established the St Symphorien Military Cemetery as a memorial to the German and British dead. ... Total British casualties for the day’s fighting were 1,600 killed, wounded and missing. Whether deliberately or by accident a crowd of Belgian school children headed the German advance, preventing the British infantry from firing. my soldiers to exterminate first the treacherous English; walk over Field Marshal French's contemptible little Army." At the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th Century the British Army’s day to day task was the ‘policing’ of a worldwide empire. Crowds watching ambulances carrying injured British soldiers from the Belgian front, First World War. The French were led by King Philip IV "the Fair" in person. The total British casualties amounted to just over 1,600 of all ranks, killed, wounded and missing, during the Battle of Mons. The pursuing British Dragoon Guards were brought up short by fire from a regiment of German Jӓgers. In British historical writing, it has a reputation as an unlikely victory against overwhelming odds, similar to the English victory at the Battle of Agincourt. [65] Post-war German records estimated 2,145 dead and missing and 4,932 wounded in the 1st Army from 20–31 August. Casualties in the Battle of Mons:   At the left end of the British line a squadron of the 19th Hussars, the divisional cavalry of the 5th Division, and a company of cyclists engaged the advancing German cavalry at Hautrage all day. [22], Late on 22 August, reports arrived that the British had occupied the Canal du Centre crossings from Nimy to Ville-sur-Haine, which revealed the location of British positions, except for their left flank. The Royal Field Artillery also operated field batteries armed with the 4.5 inch howitzer. On the right of the canal salient the Germans put in a series of heavy attacks on the 4th Middlesex at the Obourg Bridge. Fierce Fighting into Mons. Royal Fusiliers entraining in France: Battle of Mons on 23rd August 1914 in the First World War. Ad Honorem. This fire coupled with supporting machine guns decimated the advancing German formations. To this day, the British view the Battle of Mons as a victory. The attack was renewed in a more open order but was again repelled. On 24 August they fought various holding actions at Paturages, Frameries and Audregnies. battle of mons casualties. The British heavy gun operated by the Royal Garrison Artillery was the 60 pounder. The IX Corps divisions advanced in four columns against the Canal du Centre, from the north of Mons to Roeulx and on the left (eastern) flank, met French troops at the canal, which was thought to be the junction of the British and French forces. Platoons and companies became separated during the night, rejoining their parent battalions hours later or during the next day. Soldiers of 1st Gordon Highlanders and 2nd Royal Irish Regiment at Mons on 22nd August 1914: Battle of Mons on 23rd August 1914 in the First World War. The Mons canal ran through what was in 1914 an important coal mining area and its route was, in the area occupied by the BEF, almost continuously built up and covered with small enclosures, pit-heads and slag heaps for a mile or so to either side of the canal. Hornby caught up with the cuirassiers near Soignies, which lies to the north east of Obourg and does not appear on the map, and after a brisk fight forced them into flight. The battle of Mons had begun. Background to the Battle of Mons:    By the evening Sir John French was able to discuss with his commanders the German dispositions near the BEF which had been provided by aircraft observation, the strength of the German forces, that the Sambre had been crossed and that an encircling move by the Germans from Geraardsbergen was possible. On 22 August 1914, what happened that led to the Battle of the Mons? Bridges’ men encountered German cavalry of the 4th Cuirassiers on the road north of Obourg. [68], Soldiers of the BEF who fought at Mons became eligible for a campaign medal, the 1914 Star, often colloquially called the Mons Star, honouring troops who had fought in Belgium or France 5 August – 22 November 1914. Each nationality at the outset of the war seems to have had the expectation that the war would be finished by Christmas 1914 with their own victory. Several authorities, including Brigadier Edmonds in the ‘Official History of the War’, describe the British positions on the Mons Canal as an ‘outpost line’, stating that the intention was to hold positions on the higher and more open ground a mile or so to the south of the canal. A hugely symbolic and significant flag, its raising during battle signified that no quarter was to be given to the enemy, while its loss was seen as a huge blow to morale and French royal dignity. The BEF retreated in compliance with Lanrezac’s French Fifth Army on their right. An alternative medal the 1914/1915 Star was issued to those not eligible for the 1914 Star. Casualties in the Battle of Mons: British casualties were thought on the day to be much greater than in fact they were. - Did you know? The French Army formed between the borders of Switzerland and Belgium, in order from right to left: First Army, Second Army, Third Army, Fourth Army and Fifth Army (under Lanrezac). The German 17th Division after crossing the canal to the east of the canal salient, beyond the reach of the British defences on the canal line, attacked the 1st Gordons and the 2nd Royal Scots positioned to the south of the canal and facing east. People only cite that because of the casualties he took at the battle, without actually examining the position he had to overturn, which was heavily defensible. Until then the Generals had imagined that the war would follow a similar pattern to conflicts from the previous 20-years. It was a subsidiary action of the Battle of the Frontiers, in which the Allies clashed with Germany on the French borders. Heavy German artillery fire from the high ground to the north of the canal supported the attack, with fire direction given from spotter planes flying over the battlefield, a new technique not yet adopted by the British and French. Von Kluck was unaware that the BEF lay in the path of his advance south into France. Historians have long questioned some details of Tacitus's account of the fight, suggesting that he exaggerated Roman success. II Corps was commanded by Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien and consisted of the 3rd and 5th Divisions. Germany declared war on France on 3rd August 1914. The rude shock of the Boer War in South Africa between 1899 and 1901 caused the British Army to remodel its training to emphasise the importance of small arms marksmanship and weapon handling. Almost half of the 1600 casualties at the Battle of Mons came from these two regiments. [46], III Corps had to advance across meadows to an obstacle with few crossings, all of which had been destroyed. The opening episodes of the battle were confused by the lack of knowledge each side possessed of the deployment of the other. 'An ambulance driving into Charing Cross Hospital with casualties from the bloody battle at Mons', London, 1914, (1933). It was apparent from the outset of the Great War that the principal theatres of war would be the Western Front between France and Germany and the Eastern Front between Germany and Austria and Russia. The armies of each country were from 1871 onwards organised with such a war in mind. At 6:30 a.m. that day, Currie’s headquarters received notice that hostilities would cease at 11:00 a.m. Word spread among the troops that a ceasefire had finally been achieved, although most fighting had already ended after the clearing of Mons. These met with German patrols. [57][58] The battle was an important moral victory for the British; as their first battle on the continent since the Crimean War, it was a matter of great uncertainty as to how they would perform. [33], To the right of the Royal Fusiliers, the 4th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment and the 1st Battalion, Gordon Highlanders, were equally hard-pressed by the German assault on the salient. Falling back from Mons: Smith-Dorrien decides to make a stand. The Battle of Mons was the first major action of the British Expeditionary Force during World War One. Several road and railway bridges crossed the canal and each of these became the focus of the German attacks. A British aeroplane had been seen at Louvain (Leuven) on 20 August and on the afternoon of 22 August, a British aircraft en route from Maubeuge, was shot down by the 5th Division. which countries fought at battle of the marnes and who lost? The Germans used the cover of fir plantations that lined the northern side of the canal and advanced to within a few hundred yards of the canal, to rake the British with machine-gun and rifle fire. These columns were decimated and the Germans fell back into the plantations along the north side of the canal. In the mid-afternoon of 23 August, IV Corps was ordered to rest, as reports from the front suggested that the British defence had been overcome and the 1st Army headquarters wanted to avoid the army converging on Maubeuge, leaving the right (western) flank vulnerable. The Battle of Mons was the first clash between the land forces of Britain and Germany during World War I. The artillery batteries in particular found it hard to find positions for their guns with a reasonable field of fire and to establish practicable observation posts. This attack was more successful, as the looser formation made it harder for the Irish to inflict casualties rapidly. During the night of 22nd August 1914 the Cavalry Division, less the 5th Cavalry Brigade, moved across to the left flank of II Corps to the area of Thulin-Elouges-Audregnies, a march of around 20 miles. Mons was soon being compared to historic examples of British forces defying much larger enemy armies, such as the Battle of Agincourt. [52], By nightfall on 24 August, the British had retreated to what were expected to be their new defensive lines, on the Valenciennes–Maubeuge road. See more ideas about world war i, battle, world war one. There was then 5 or 4 years service in the Reserve followed by 11 years in the Landwehr. At the outbreak of war the German Commander in Chief was the Kaiser, Wilhelm II. The attack was suspended after night fell and the British blew the bridge. The German 6th Division launched an attack against 1st RSF and the positions of the 1st Northumberland Fusiliers on the north bank of the canal, while to the west of Jemappes the Germans advanced on the bridge at Mariette, marching up to the bridge in column of fours. [2] British training emphasised rapid-fire marksmanship and the average British soldier was able to hit a man-sized target fifteen times a minute, at a range of 300 yards (270 m) with his Lee–Enfield rifle. Part of the 35th Brigade, which contained large numbers of Danes from Northern Schleswig, got across the canal east of Nimy with few casualties and reached the railway beyond in the early afternoon but the attack on Nimy was repulsed. ‘Pip, Squeak and Wilfred’: The 1914 Star (in the centre), the British War Medal and the Victory Medal awarded to Private Conway, 1st Battalion the Cheshire Regiment: Battle of Mons on 23rd August 1914 in the First World War. The 4th Middlesex and the 2nd Royal Irish Regiment suffered around 450 and 350 casualties respectively. The French did not intend to rely upon these units and kept them well back in reserve. The British suffered some 1,600 casualties, with losses concentrated especially in those units which occupied the canal salient. With this report indicating that the right flank was clear of Allied troops, Kluck ordered the III Corps to advance through St. Ghislain and Jemappes on the right of IX Corps and for IV Corps to continue towards Hensis and Thulies; IV Corps was already attacking at the Canal du Centre, the II Corps and the IV Reserve Corps were following on behind the main part of the army. The British Army suffered 188,706 gas attack casualties during the war of which 6,062 were fatal. please dont give me websites but just answers to those questions.. thx which countries fought at battle of the mons and who lost ? Intelligence reports from 22 August, had noted 30,000 troops heading through Dour towards Mons and on 23 August, 40,000 men had been seen on the road to Genlis south of Mons, with more troops arriving at Jemappes. The next battalion to the west in the British line, the 1st RWKs, were engaged north of the Mons Canal, from where they were providing support to the divisional cavalry squadron of the 19th Hussars. Quast ordered the 18th Division to take Mons and push south to Cuesmes and Mesvin. The 2 field companies of the Royal Engineers of which Wright was the adjutant, the 56, Lance Corporal Charles Jarvis, Royal Engineers, a member of 57. When the Germans spotted the trap and fell back, a troop of the dragoons, led by Captain Hornby gave chase, followed by the rest of his squadron, all with drawn sabres. The remainder of the Belgian Army had begun to retreat to meet the newly arrived British Expeditionary Force, which was advancing to halt the German drive. The Germans drove the BEF and French armies before them almost to Paris, before being stopped at the Battle of the Marne. At the Battle of Mons the BEF had some 80,000 men, comprising the Cavalry Division, an independent cavalry brigade and two corps, each with two infantry divisions. This war started on August 23rd and ended on August 24th, 1914. Wounded soldiers from the Battle of Mons back in ‘Blighty’: Battle of Mons on 23rd August 1914 in the First World War. The Germans expected the defeat of the French to be quickly achieved. Soldiers served 7 years with the colours, with the option of extending to 14 years, rarely taken up other than by successful non-commissioned officers, and then 7 years service in the reserve after the soldier returned to civilian life. The battle of Mons had begun. Along the canal the British battalions began to withdraw by companies and platoons. This force was to comprise 6 divisions of infantry and a cavalry division. But the Battle of Mons resulted in heavy casualties, and remaining British soldiers thought they’d be slaughtered during their retreat. 23rd Aug 1914 German attack at Mons The Battle of Mons began early in the morning with a German artillery bombardment of the British lines, concentrated near a bend in the canal close to the town of Mons. 22nd August 1914: Dismounting, the cavalry and the two artillery batteries screened the withdrawal of the 14th and 15th Brigades in four hours of intense fighting. According to the controversial book Falsehood in War-Time, an investigation conducted by General Frederick Maurice traced the origins of the Order to the British GHQ, where it had been concocted for propaganda purposes. The withdrawal of the Royal Fusiliers was covered by the wounded Private Godley still firing his machine gun on the railway bridge. 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