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Decisive Events of the Second World War

Category World War
Essay type Research
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1. Which side will you be working with? (Central or Allied Powers)

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Central Powers

2. Identify ten events and/or battles that played a significant role in the events of the war for your side:

Battle of Le Cateau
Battle of St. Quentin
Battle of Mulhouse
Battle of Halen
Battle of Lorraine
Battle of the Ardennes
Battle of Charleroi
Battle of Mons
Siege of Maubeuge
Siege of Antwerp

Complete the outline map shown below by displaying events/battles. Enter the number of the country where each event/battle occurred. The map will be submitted as a separate file.

Event/Battle: 3a: Battle of Le Cateau
Event/Battle: 3b: Battle of St. Quentin
Event/Battle: 3c: Battle of Mulhouse
Event/Battle: 6a: Battle of Halen
Event/Battle: x1: Battle of Lorraine
Event/Battle: x2: Battle of the Ardennes
Event/Battle: 6b: Battle of Charleroi
Event/Battle: 6c: Battle of Mons
Event/Battle: 3d: Siege of Maubeuge
Event/Battle: 6d: Siege of Antwerp

Compose a detailed description of each of the events, their absolute and/or relative locations, and the significance each event had on the war effort for your side.

3a: The Battle of Le Cateau was fought in Le Cateau-Cambrésis in the department of Nord in France, whose absolute location is 50.103942, 3.544235.

At that point, the French Cavalry Corps touched base, under the summon of General André Sordet, and went about as a shield for the English left flank. The British fifth division was on the right flank on the south side of the Le Cateau-Cambrai street, The third division was in the inside Caudry and Inchy, and the fourth division was on the left flank on the north bank of the Warnell Stream. This encouraged the Germans to draw near to the British positions. In the early afternoon, Regardless of numerous losses, the English right and left flanks started to break, beginning with the right flank. At 11:15 AM, Sixt von Armin, the authority of the German IV Corps, gave a request that transformed the task into a midway organized fight. This never happened in light of the fact that the request came as the Germans arrived. 75 percent of the IV Corps troops were at that point connected before they got the request, and many never made it to the combat zone. The Allies withdrew that night to St. Quentin, earning the Germans victory.

3b: The battle of St. Quentin was fought in Guise in the department of Aisne in Hauts-de-France in the northern part of the country, whose absolute location is 49.898014, 3.625057.

The French commander-in-chief Joseph Joffre, needed the French 5th Army to hold off the Germans with a counter-attack despite a 4-mile gap between the French forces and the still-retreating British forces. The next day, August 29, The 5th Army attacked St. Quentin with full force. On August 28, the 5th Army turned from north to west towards St. Quentin. The Oise River valley was damp and marshy, making progress slow for both sides. However, the French could take advantage of the 9-mile gap between the inner flanks of the 2nd army, so Bülow ordered the corps in the inner flanks to counter-attack the French X corps. The commander of the 14th division ignored the order and instead chose to order the prepare the 14th division for an advance on a nearby town called Le Fére in order to get behind the 5th Army. Bülow ordered staff officer Alexander von Kluck to send for help. Bülow soon sent infantry parties to cover for the main army to let them rest, and also because of concern that Le Fére blocked the road for more advances, so it would have to be masked while the 1st Army surrounded the French and attacked on September 1. The next 7 battles will be the battles from the Battle of the Frontiers (1914).

3c: The Battle of Mulhouse was the first battle in the Battle of the Frontiers. It was fought near the city of Mulhouse in France, whose absolute location is 47.750839, 7.335888.

The French went from Gérardmer to the Schlucht Pass, where the Germans blew up the tunnel. Bonneau retreated towards Belfort. On August 14, a nearby town called Thann was captured. Joffre directed the first and second armies to attack as many German divisions as possible to help the French troops further north. Meanwhile, the French captured 24 guns, 3,000 prisoners, and more. With the Rhine valley and plain, North Alsace was under French control. The French VII corps 14th and 41st divisions, under the direction of General Louis Bonneau, went from Belfort to Mulhouse and Colmar, 22 miles in the northeast. The French consolidated the newly-acquired ground, but the German 7th army threatened the right flank of the French 1st army. On August 18, the VII Corps attacked Mulhouse and captured Altkirch as the north flank went towards Colmar and Neuf-Brisach. The Germans were forced into the Mulhouse suburbs, where a house-to-house battle took place. After being overwhelmed by the French, the Germans retreated through the Hardt forest, arriving in a town called Ensisheim. The streets and houses of Dornach were captured and Mulhouse was eventually under French control again. On August 26, the French withdrew to Altkirch, which provided a more defensible line. The Army of Alsace was disbanded and the 8th Cavalry Division was added to the 1st Army.

6a: The Battle of Halen was fought in the town of Helen in the province of Limburg in Belgium, whose absolute location is 50.948500, 5.111170.

The German cavalry didn't start moving until August 12 because of the horses having fatigue because of the hot summer temperatures and being malnourished due to a lack of oats. Belgian headquarters discovered via wireless messages that the Germans were heading towards where Belgian general León de Witte was and sent the 4th Infantry Brigade to help the Cavalry Division. Prussian cavalry general Georg von der Marwitz, who was in command of the German cavalries, sent the 4th Cavalry Division across the Get river. At 8:45 AM, the 7th and 9th Jäger battalions advanced. A German scouting party from Herk-de-Stad came under fire from the Belgians, who tried to set up a fortified position in the old brewery in Halen, but the Germans drove them out with field artillery. Belgian engineers tried to blow up the bridge across the Get river but only succeeded in blowing part of it up. Thus, the Germans managed to get 1,000 troops to Halen. The Belgians' main defense line was west of Halen and gave an obstructed view. The German 17th and 3rd Cavalry Brigades assisted the Jägers in and south of Halen, which enabled artillery to be brought right up to the village. In the cornfields, attacks were driven back with many casualties. The Jäger were also driven back despite assistance from the 2nd Guards Machine Gun Detachment and dismounted cavalry sharpshooters. At the end of the day, the Germans fled.

x1: The Battle of Lorraine was fought in the Lorraine region in France, Germany, and Luxembourg, whose absolute location is 49.033889, 6.661944.

On August 14, 1914, the French 1st Army advanced with 2 corps in the Vosges and 2 corps towards Sarrebourg in Moselle. The 2 right-hand corps of the 2nd Army advanced on the left of the 1st Army. The 1st Army withdrew but managed to maintain contact with the 2nd Army. On August 15, the German long-range artillery bombarded the French artillery and infantry and the German infantry did more damage. On August 8, the French captured several routes in farther south to protect the southern flank as they went towards Donon and Sarrebourg. The French Army pushed just managed to push back the Germans. On August 20, the Germans counter-attacked, forcing separate battles on the French armies. When the Germans left, the 2nd Army was ordered to head further north, which increased the divergence of the French armies. On August 16, the Germans pushed back the advance with long-range artillery, and the next day, the 1st Army reinforced the defense at Sarrebourg. The Germans withdrew during the day and Donon was captured. The I Corps and the 2nd Group of Reserve Divisions advanced towards Morhange in Grand Est. Despite warnings against the divergence, the army needed to head southeast towards the Vosges passes, east towards Donon, and northeast towards Sarrebourg. Intelligence reports reported a line of defense, courtesy of the German 6th and 7th Armies, close to the French troops. On August 22, the right flank was attacked and was forced to withdraw 16 miles from their position on August 14.

x2: The Battle of the Ardennes was fought in the Ardennes Region in France and Belgium, whose absolute location is 49.698012, 4.671601.

On August 19, the 4th Army of General Fernand de Langle de Cary was told not to progress into Belgium until the German attack started. On August 20, the German troops in the south attacked the French 1st and 2nd Armies and the next day, the 3rd and 4th Armies attacked. The 4th Army crossed the Semois River and went towards Neufchâteau and the 3rd Army of General Pierre Ruffey attacked Arlon to guard the 4th Army. South of Verdun, the 3rd Army was renamed Armed force of Lorraine and was sent to search for a German hostile from Metz, which left the rest of the 3rd Army. The French Armies attacked Belgium with 9 infantry corps, but 10 German corps and 6 reserve brigades of the 4th and 5th Armies lay between Metz and northern Luxembourg. The German 4th Army, under the command of Albrecht, Duke of Württemberg, and 5th Army, under the command of Crown Ruler Wilhelm, had gone slower than the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Armies, and the French attacked them on August 21. The French Armies didn't know how big the German attack actually was, as the 3rd Army dismissed little German attacks. On 22 August, the V Corps attacked German troops at Longwy at 5:00 AM in a dreadful storm with fog, with no mounted guns bolster. Toward the north, the IV Corps advanced in mist, and experienced German troops dove in Virton and were pushed back a with. On the southern flank, the VI Corps was pushed back. Meanwhile, the II Corps on the right flank figured out how to keep level with the Third Armed force toward the south, but wasn't ready to go any further. The Provincial Corps on the left was attacked at the Clash of Rossignol and had 11,646 casualties. However, the 5th Pilgrim Corps on the left effectively captured Neufchâteau before being attacked, with numerous losses. The XII Corps continued north, but the XVII Corps was outmaneuvered and the 33rd Division lost the majority of its cannons. On the north flank, the XI and IX corps were not engaged.

6b: The Battle of Charleroi was fought near Charleroi in the province of Hainaut in Belgium, whose absolute location is 50.412033, 4.443624. It is also called the Battle of the Sambre.

By August 20, the 5th Army, under the command of General Charles Lanrezac, was focusing on a 25 mile front along the Sambre River, focusing on Charleroi and stretching out east towards the Belgian stronghold of Namur. The French had 15 divisions, after transfers of troops to Lorraine, facing 18 German divisions from the 2nd Army, under the command of General Karl von Bülow, and the 3rd Army, under the command of Colonel-General Max von Hausen, moving southwest from Luxembourg to the Meuse River. The Cavalry Corps, under the command of General André Sordet, covered the 5th Army's left flank and the convergence of the British Expeditionary Force at Mons. However, the I Corps stopped the Germans with a counter-attack. On August 21, French Commander-In-Chief Joseph Joffre answered to Lanrezac that German troops were heading west. On the French right flank, General d'Espèrey told the 1st Corps troops to plan an attack. The 3rd and 4th Armies further south had to move towards Arlon and Neufchâteau, then try to attack adversary powers in Belgian Luxembourg. With the desolation of Namur and news of the 4th Army withdrawal from the Ardennes, Lanrezac requested the 5th Army to retreat or be surrounded and cut off from whatever remains of the French Army. In a report the next morning, On the 3rd Corps front, stations of the 5th Division was attacked around 15:00. The 3rd Army crossed the Meuse River and attacked the French right flank, held by the I Corps.

6c: The Battle of Mons was fought in Mons in the province of Hainaut in Belgium, whose absolute location is 45.680320, -73.785520.

On August 23, at approximately 9:00 AM, the Germans attacked the British troops at Mons. Although the Germans were more powerful, they didn't really make good use of it, and the British regiments survived six long periods of shelling and attack. Because Lanrezac arranged a general withdraw of the French 5th Army at Charleroi, the BEF was at risk of being overcome by the Germans, and the troops were pulled back ASAP. When the fight was done, around 35,000 British troopers had been involved, with 1,600 casualties to boot.

3d: The Siege of Maubeuge took place in Maubeuge in the province of Nord in France, whose absolute location is 50.280228, 3.967400. It was the last battle in the Battle of the Frontiers.

On August 25, Maubeuge was attacked by the Germans. On August 29, they bombed Boussois Stronghold. On September 1, the French tried to counter-attack, but their infantry was pushed back. Maubeuge lost contact with the French, but luckily, on September 4, a carrier pigeon informed them of the attacks on the Les Sarts, Boussois, and Cerfontaine forts by the Germans. On September 6, the French detonated German weapons and took back Boussois. The French also took back Les Sarts and started attacking Cerfontaine, by which point, the entire town of Maubeuge had been set ablaze. General Fournier was determined to save the town, but on September 7, Post Leveau was bombed heavily and by late morning, a white flag was flying from the church. They officially surrendered on September 8.

6d: The Siege of Antwerp took place in Antwerp in the province of Antwerp in Belgium, whose absolute location is 51.219448, 4.402464.

After the Germans invaded Belgium, a huge chunk of the Belgian Army fell back to Antwerp. Even though the German 1st Army bypassed it to get into France, the Belgian troops in the city were a burden on the Germans. General Hans von Beseler's III Reserve Corps, which was chosen to attack Antwerp, had five understrength divisions but had been given 173 heavy artillery pieces. On September 28, German ordnance started to attack and annihilate the external strongholds that protected Antwerp. The British fulfilled the Belgians' request for reinforcements and provided naval infantry, and the recently 4th Division would follow. As the Germans closed in on Antwerp, the Belgian officers abandoned the city. October 7, before the British 7th Division even set off, the Belgians transferred from Antwerp to Ostend to continue the battle in open territory. After two days, the attack was finished. All of these battles were important to the Central Powers because they gave the Central Powers a head-start in the war, early on. After the Battle of the Frontiers, however, the Germans were weakened, and the Allied Powers started to get the advantage.

Reference

  1. Wikipedia contributors. "Battle of Le Cateau." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 10 Jun. 2018. Web. 26 Jul. 2018.
  2. Wikipedia contributors. "Battle of St. Quentin (1914)." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 24 Jun. 2018. Web. 27 Jul. 2018.
  3. Wikipedia contributors. "Battle of Mulhouse." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 16 Apr. 2018. Web. 30 Jul. 2018.
  4. Wikipedia contributors. "Battle of Halen." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 7 Jun. 2018. Web. 31 Jul. 2018.
  5. Wikipedia contributors. "Battle of Lorraine." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 12 Jun. 2018. Web. 27 Aug. 2018.
  6. Wikipedia contributors. "Battle of the Ardennes." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 9 Apr. 2018. Web. 27 Aug. 2018.
  7. Wikipedia contributors. "Battle of Charleroi." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 29 Mar. 2018. Web. 28 Aug. 2018.
  8. "Battle of Mons". History.com. A+E Networks. Web. 31 August 2018. <https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/battle-of-mons>
  9. "The Siege of Maubeuge". Northernfrance.com. Didier Paris. Web. 3 September 2018. <http://www.remembrancetrails-northernfrance.com/history/battles/the-siege-of-maubeuge-25-august-to-8-september-1914.html>
  10. "Siege of Antwerp". Brittanica.com. Adrian Gilbert. Web. 4 September 2018. <https://www.britannica.com/event/Siege-of-Antwerp-1914>

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