Race to the Sea

Race for the SeaadvancingARMENTIERES 1914Battle of ArmentièresBattle of La BasseeGerman offensive of 1914La Bassée 1914overrun by German advancesraced towards the seathe coast
The Race to the Sea (Course à la mer; Wettlauf zum Meer, Race naar de Zee) took place from about 1914, after the Battle of the Frontiers and the German advance into France, which had been stopped at the First Battle of the Marne (5–12 September) and was followed by the First Battle of the Aisne (13–28 September), a Franco-British counter-offensive.wikipedia
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First Battle of the Marne

Battle of the MarneMarne 1914Marne
The Race to the Sea (Course à la mer; Wettlauf zum Meer, Race naar de Zee) took place from about 1914, after the Battle of the Frontiers and the German advance into France, which had been stopped at the First Battle of the Marne (5–12 September) and was followed by the First Battle of the Aisne (13–28 September), a Franco-British counter-offensive.
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 FrontFranceFrance and Flanders 1914–18
Erich von Falkenhayn, Chief of the German General Staff (Oberste Heeresleitung OHL) since 14 September, concluded that a decisive victory could not be achieved on the Western Front and that it was equally unlikely in the east.
Following the Race to the Sea, both sides dug in along a meandering line of fortified trenches, stretching from the North Sea to the Swiss frontier with France, which changed little except during early 1917 and in 1918.

First Battle of Ypres

Ypres 1914YpresGheluvelt
After the opposing forces had reached the North Sea, both tried to conduct offensives leading to the mutually costly and indecisive Battle of the Yser from 16 October to 2 November and the First Battle of Ypres from 19 October to 22 November.
The battles at Ypres began at the end of the Race to the Sea, reciprocal attempts by the German and Franco-British armies to advance past the northern flank of their opponents.

Battle of the Yser

battle of DiksmuideYserat the Yser
After the opposing forces had reached the North Sea, both tried to conduct offensives leading to the mutually costly and indecisive Battle of the Yser from 16 October to 2 November and the First Battle of Ypres from 19 October to 22 November.
Reciprocal attempts by the Franco-British and German armies to envelop the northern flank of the opposing army, the Race to the Sea took place through Picardy, Artois and Flanders (17 September – 19 October.

7th Army (German Empire)

7th Army7 Armee7th
The German 6th Army and 7th Army counter-attacked on 20 August and the Second Army was forced back from Morhange and the First Army was repulsed at Sarrebourg.
It then took part in the Race to the Sea, an attempt by both German and Anglo-French armies to turn each other's flank.

4th Army (German Empire)

4th Army4 ArmeeGerman 4th Army
By 20 August a German counter-offensive in Lorraine had begun and the German 4th Army and 5th Army advanced through the Ardennes on 19 August towards Neufchâteau.
The 4th Army defeated Belgian forces on the frontier, drove the French out of the Ardennes and then encountered the British Expeditionary Force in the "Race to the Sea" at the First Battle of Ypres.

First Battle of the Aisne

Aisne 1914Battle of the AisneAisne
The Race to the Sea (Course à la mer; Wettlauf zum Meer, Race naar de Zee) took place from about 1914, after the Battle of the Frontiers and the German advance into France, which had been stopped at the First Battle of the Marne (5–12 September) and was followed by the First Battle of the Aisne (13–28 September), a Franco-British counter-offensive.
The period is called "Race to the Sea".

Erich von Falkenhayn

FalkenhaynErich Falkenhaynvon Falkenhayn
Erich von Falkenhayn, Chief of the German General Staff (Oberste Heeresleitung OHL) since 14 September, concluded that a decisive victory could not be achieved on the Western Front and that it was equally unlikely in the east.
Falkenhayn attempted to outflank the British and French in the Race to the Sea, a series of engagements throughout northern France and Belgium in which each side made reciprocal attempts to turn the other's flank, until they reached the North Sea and had no more room for manoeuvre.

Infiltration tactics

infiltrationhurricane bombardmentinfiltrate
Infiltration tactics, in which dispersed formations of infantry were followed by nettoyeurs de tranchée (trench cleaners), to capture by-passed strong points were promulgated.
Initial German successes were stunning; of these, Hutier's 18th Army gained more than in less than a week – the farthest advance in the Western Front since the Race to the Sea had ended the war of movement in 1914.

Oberste Heeresleitung

German High CommandSupreme Army CommandOHL
Alfred von Schlieffen, Chief of the Imperial German General Staff, Oberste Heeresleitung (OHL) from 1891–1906, devised plans to evade the French frontier fortifications with an offensive on the flank, which would have a local numerical superiority and obtain rapidly a decisive victory.
After taking command Falkenhayn became engaged in the Race to the Sea as the German and Franco-British armies attempted to outflank each other to the north.

British Expeditionary Force (World War I)

British Expeditionary ForceBEFOld Contemptibles
No formal provision was made for combined operations with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) but joint arrangements had been made and in 1911 during the Second Moroccan Crisis the French had been told that six divisions could be expected to operate around Maubeuge.
This period became known as the Race to the Sea: the Germans aimed to turn the Allied left flank, and the Allies sought to turn the German right flank.

Battle of the Frontiers

Battle of LorraineBattles of the FrontiersLa Mortagne 1914
The Race to the Sea (Course à la mer; Wettlauf zum Meer, Race naar de Zee) took place from about 1914, after the Battle of the Frontiers and the German advance into France, which had been stopped at the First Battle of the Marne (5–12 September) and was followed by the First Battle of the Aisne (13–28 September), a Franco-British counter-offensive.
Frontal attacks by the Ninth, Fifth and Sixth armies were repulsed on 15–16 September, which led Joffre to begin the transfer of the Second Army west to the left flank of the Sixth Army, the first phase of the Race to the Sea, reciprocal attempts by the contending armies to outflank their opponent, which from 17 September to 17–19 October moved the opposing armies through Picardy and Flanders to the North Sea coast.

Siege of Antwerp (1914)

Siege of AntwerpAntwerpdefence of Antwerp
The "race" ended on the North Sea coast of Belgium around 19 October, when the last open area from Dixmude to the North Sea was occupied by Belgian troops who had retreated after the Siege of Antwerp (28 September – 10 October).
In the History of the Great War (1915–1948), the official British account of World War I, J. E. Edmonds wrote that although the operations to save Antwerp had failed, the resistance of the defenders (after the outer forts were destroyed) detained German troops, when they were needed for operations against Ypres and the coast.

6th Army (German Empire)

6th Army6 ArmeeGerman 6th Army
The German 6th Army and 7th Army counter-attacked on 20 August and the Second Army was forced back from Morhange and the First Army was repulsed at Sarrebourg.

10th Army (France)

Tenth ArmyFrench Tenth Army10th Army
On 29 September, Joffre added X Corps, 20 km north of Amiens, to the French II Cavalry Corps south-east of Arras and a provisional corps (General Victor d'Urbal), which had a Reserve division in Arras and one in Lens, to a new Tenth Army.
The Tenth Army, first called détachement d'armée Maud'huy, was formed on 1 October 1914 during the Race to the Sea.

Fromelles

Fromelles Ridge
A foothold was established on Aubers Ridge on 17 October and French cavalry captured Fromelles.
The village of Fromelles was captured by advancing German forces on 9 October 1914 during the "Race to the Sea".

Bray-sur-Somme

Bray
On 26 September, the French Second Army dug in on a line from Lassigny to Roye and Bray-sur-Somme; German cavalry moved north to enable the II Bavarian Corps to occupy the ground north of the Somme.
The Imperial German Army initially occupied Bray in late August 1914 during the so-called Race to the Sea, invading from the south following the Proyart road.

Louis de Maud'huy

de Maud'huyde Maud’huyde Maudhuy
Over the next week, the northern flank of the Second Army moved further north and on 29 September, a subdivision d'armée (General Louis de Maud'huy) was formed, to control the northern corps of the Second Army as they assembled near Arras.
He assumed command of the French Tenth Army on the 29 September 1914 to extend northward the de Curières de Castelnau Second Army in the beginning of the Race to the Sea.

World War I

First World WarGreat WarWorld War One
After the First Battle of the Marne (5–12 September 1914), Allied and German forces unsuccessfully tried to outflank each other, a series of manoeuvres later known as the "Race to the Sea".

II Corps (German Empire)

IIII CorpsII Army Corps
The French advanced on 22 September, on a line from Lassigny northwards to Roye and Chaulnes around the German flank but met the German II Corps, which had arrived on the night of 18/19 September, on the right flank of the IX Reserve Corps.
It saw action in the invasion of Belgium (Battle of Mons), the First Battle of the Marne, and the Race to the Sea (culminating in the First Battle of Ypres as part of the 6th Army).

Notre Dame de Lorette

Notre-Dame-de-LoretteLorette SpurBattle of Lorette
On 4 October, German troops entered Lens, Souchez, Neuville-Saint-Vaast and gained a footing on the Lorette Spur.

Royal Flying Corps

RFCRoyal Flying Corpairman
Fog grounded Royal Flying Corps (RFC) reconnaissance aircraft and made artillery observation impossible.
As the war moved into the period of the mobile warfare commonly called the Race to the Sea, the Corps moved forward again.

John French, 1st Earl of Ypres

Sir John FrenchJohn FrenchFrench
After lobbying by Churchill, who was keen to bring the Channel Ports under British control, and by Wilson, French lobbied Joffre (27 September) for the BEF, which was less heavily gunned and more mobile than a similarly-sized French Army, to disengage and try to move around the Allied left flank, part of the outflanking movements known as the Race to the Sea.

German Empire

GermanyGermanImperial Germany
The Race to the Sea (Course à la mer; Wettlauf zum Meer, Race naar de Zee) took place from about 1914, after the Battle of the Frontiers and the German advance into France, which had been stopped at the First Battle of the Marne (5–12 September) and was followed by the First Battle of the Aisne (13–28 September), a Franco-British counter-offensive. Alfred von Schlieffen, Chief of the Imperial German General Staff, Oberste Heeresleitung (OHL) from 1891–1906, devised plans to evade the French frontier fortifications with an offensive on the flank, which would have a local numerical superiority and obtain rapidly a decisive victory.