The History Place - World War I

A civilian hands out fruit to soldiers of the British Expeditionary Force wounded during the defense of Mons, Belgium, in August 1914. In the face of an overwhelming German attack, the BEF and French left Mons and withdrew southwestward into France with the Germans in pursuit. The Allied withdrawal went on for two weeks until their armies massed to the east of Paris, then turned and attacked the Germans in the Battle of the Marne. By this time, German soldiers in France were suffering from overextended supply and communication lines along with troop and horse fatigue, leaving them vulnerable to the Allied counter-attack. Below: Germans in occupied Belgium ride around on a confiscated British-made bus.

Below: Rural Belgians struggle to keep their family farm going, with the men now gone--either fighting in the Belgian Army or conscripted for forced labor by the Germans.

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