British Expeditionary Force (World War I)

British Expeditionary ForceBEFExpeditionary ForceForcesB.E.F.BritishBritish Expeditionary Force (BEF)British Expeditionary ForcesOld ContemptiblesBritish command
The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) was the British Army sent to the Western Front during the First World War.wikipedia
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Battle of Mons

Monsretreat from MonsBattle of
By the end of 1914—after the battles of Mons, Le Cateau, the Aisne and Ypres—the old Regular Army had been wiped out, although it managed to help stop the German advance.
The Battle of Mons was the first major action of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in the First World War.

First Battle of Ypres

YpresYpres 1914Gheluvelt
By the end of 1914—after the battles of Mons, Le Cateau, the Aisne and Ypres—the old Regular Army had been wiped out, although it managed to help stop the German advance. The term "British Expeditionary Force" is often used to refer only to the forces present in France prior to the end of the First Battle of Ypres on 22 November 1914.
The battle was part of the First Battle of Flanders, in which German, French and Belgian armies and the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) fought from Arras in France to Nieuport on the Belgian coast, from 10 October to mid-November.

World War I

First World WarGreat WarFirst
The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) was the British Army sent to the Western Front during the First World War.
The initial German advance in the West was very successful: by the end of August the Allied left, which included the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), was in full retreat; French casualties in the first month exceeded 260,000, including 27,000 killed on 22 August during the Battle of the Frontiers.

John French, 1st Earl of Ypres

John FrenchSir John FrenchFrench
Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany, who was famously dismissive of the BEF, allegedly issued an order on 19 August 1914 to "exterminate ... the treacherous English and walk over General French's contemptible little army". The force was commanded by Field Marshal Sir John French until December 1915, when he was replaced by General Sir Douglas Haig.
French's most important role was as Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) for the first year and a half of the First World War.

First Battle of the Marne

Battle of the MarneMarneMarne 1914
This led to the First Battle of the Marne, which was fought from 5 to 10 September 1914.
A counter-attack by six French armies and the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) along the Marne River forced the Imperial German Army to retreat northwest, leading to the First Battle of the Aisne and the Race to the Sea.

Western Front (World War I)

Western FrontFranceWestern
The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) was the British Army sent to the Western Front during the First World War.
After marching through Belgium, Luxembourg and the Ardennes, the Germans advanced into northern France in late August, where they met the French Army, under Joseph Joffre, and the divisions of the British Expeditionary Force under Field Marshal Sir John French.

Attack at Fromelles

FromellesFleurbaixfighting around Fromelles
General Headquarters (GHQ) of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) had ordered the First and Second armies to prepare attacks to support the Fourth Army on the Somme, 80 km to the south, to exploit any weakening of the German defences opposite.

Battle of Cambrai (1917)

Battle of CambraiCambraiCambrai 1917
They then concentrated in Belgium for the Battle of Messines and the Battle of Passchendale, and ended the year back in the Pas-de-Calais for the Battle of Cambrai.
The Battle of Cambrai (Battle of Cambrai, 1917, First Battle of Cambrai and Schlacht von Cambrai) was a British attack followed by the biggest German counter-attack against the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) since 1914, in the First World War.

Battle of Le Cateau

Le CateauMonsMons le Cateau
By the end of 1914—after the battles of Mons, Le Cateau, the Aisne and Ypres—the old Regular Army had been wiped out, although it managed to help stop the German advance.
Although the Germans were victorious, the rearguard action was successful in that it allowed the majority of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) to escape to Saint-Quentin.

First Battle of the Aisne

Battle of the AisneAisneAisne 1914
By the end of 1914—after the battles of Mons, Le Cateau, the Aisne and Ypres—the old Regular Army had been wiped out, although it managed to help stop the German advance.
In dense fog on the night of 13 September, most of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) crossed the Aisne on pontoons or partially demolished bridges, landing at Bourg-et-Comin on the right and at Venizel on the left.

British Army

ArmyBritishBritish troops
The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) was the British Army sent to the Western Front during the First World War.
When the First World War broke out in August 1914 the British Army sent the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), consisting mainly of regular army troops, to France and Belgium.

Battle of La Bassée

La BasséeLa Bassée 1914Battle of La Bassee
Upon arrival in Marseilles on 30 September 1914, only six weeks after the declaration of war, they were moved to the Ypres Salient and took part in the Battle of La Bassée in October 1914.
The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) had begun to move from the Aisne to Flanders on 5 October and reinforcements from England assembled on the left flank of the Tenth Army, which had been formed from the left flank units of the Second Army on 4 October.

Second Battle of the Aisne

Chemin des DamesAisneBattle of Chemin des Dames
The strategy was to conduct sequenced offensives from north to south, by the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and several French army groups.

Richard Haldane, 1st Viscount Haldane

Richard HaldaneLord HaldaneViscount Haldane
Planning for a British Expeditionary Force began with the Haldane reforms of the British Army carried out by the Secretary of State for War Richard Haldane following the Second Boer War (1899–1902).
The main element of this was the establishment of the British Expeditionary Force of six infantry divisions and one cavalry division.

Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig

Douglas HaigSir Douglas HaigHaig
The force was commanded by Field Marshal Sir John French until December 1915, when he was replaced by General Sir Douglas Haig. The two initial Army Corps were commanded by Douglas Haig (I Corps) and Horace Smith-Dorrien (II Corps).
During the First World War he commanded the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) on the Western Front from late 1915 until the end of the war.

Archibald Murray

MurraySir A.J. MurraySir Archibald Murray
The BEF's Chief of Staff on mobilisation was General Archibald Murray.
He was Chief of Staff to the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in August 1914 but appears to have suffered a physical breakdown in the retreat from Mons, and was required to step down from that position in January 1915.

Second Battle of the Marne

Aisne-MarneChampagne-MarneMarne
Following the failure of the Spring Offensive to end the conflict, Erich Ludendorff, Chief Quartermaster General, believed that an attack through Flanders would give Germany a decisive victory over the British Expeditionary Force (BEF).

Horace Smith-Dorrien

Sir Horace Smith-DorrienSmith-DorrienHorace Lockwood Smith-Dorrien
The two initial Army Corps were commanded by Douglas Haig (I Corps) and Horace Smith-Dorrien (II Corps).
Smith-Dorrien held senior commands in the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) during the First World War.

I Corps (United Kingdom)

I Corps1st Army CorpsBritish I Corps
The two initial Army Corps were commanded by Douglas Haig (I Corps) and Horace Smith-Dorrien (II Corps). Plans had been drawn up for the British Army, in the event of war, to send soldiers of the British Expeditionary Force, which consisted of six infantry divisions and five cavalry brigades that were arranged into I Corps and II Corps.
Finally, the Haldane Reforms of 1907 established a six-division British Expeditionary Force for deployment overseas, but only Aldershot Command possessed two infantry divisions and a full complement of ‘army troops’ to form an army corps in the field.

II Corps (United Kingdom)

II Corps2nd Army CorpsBritish II Corps
The two initial Army Corps were commanded by Douglas Haig (I Corps) and Horace Smith-Dorrien (II Corps). Plans had been drawn up for the British Army, in the event of war, to send soldiers of the British Expeditionary Force, which consisted of six infantry divisions and five cavalry brigades that were arranged into I Corps and II Corps.
The Haldane Reforms of 1907 established a six-division British Expeditionary Force (BEF) for deployment overseas, which did not envisage any intermediate headquarters between GHQ and the infantry divisions.

Battle of Amiens (1918)

Battle of AmiensAmiensAmiens offensive
Since they were mostly untouched by the German offensive in the spring of 1918, the Canadians were ordered to help spearhead the last campaigns of the War from the Battle of Amiens in August 1918.
Operation Michael was intended to defeat the right wing of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), but a lack of success around Arras ensured the ultimate failure of the offensive.

Expeditionary warfare

expeditionary forceexpeditionaryexpeditionary forces
Planning for a British Expeditionary Force began with the Haldane reforms of the British Army carried out by the Secretary of State for War Richard Haldane following the Second Boer War (1899–1902).
The period of the First World War that prolonged well past its completion into the 1920s saw expeditionary warfare established as a systematic and planned type of operations with larger scope than simple transportations of troops to the theatre such as the British Expeditionary Force in 1914, Russian Expeditionary Force in 1916, and the American Expeditionary Force in 1917, and the beginnings of development in true combined operations at strategic, operational and tactical levels with the unsuccessful amphibious landing at Gallipoli.

Battle of Épehy

ÉpehyEpehyÉpéhy
Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) on the Western Front, was not eager to carry out any offensives, until the assault on the Hindenburg Line, influenced by mounting British losses from previous battles that year, over 600,000 casualties since March, 180,000 of them in the past six weeks.

Kitchener's Army

New ArmyNew ArmiesKitchener's New Armies
As the Regular Army's strength declined, the numbers were made up, first by the Territorial Force, then by volunteers from Field Marshal Kitchener's New Army.
Kitchener fought off opposition to his plan, and attempts to weaken or water down its potential, including piece-meal dispersal of the New Army battalions into existing regular or Territorial Force divisions (the view of the Commander-in-Chief of the BEF (British Expeditionary Force), Field Marshal French).

Battle of Arras (1917)

Battle of ArrasArrasBullecourt
He was replaced after the battle of Arras in May 1917, by General Julian Byng.
Three armies of Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, the commander of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) were in the Arras sector, the Fifth Army (General Hubert Gough) in the south, the Third Army (General Edmund Allenby) in the centre and the First Army (General Henry Horne) in the north and the plan was devised by Allenby.