August 1914 – The Battle for France

In the weeks of summer heat of France in 1914 the allies faced defeat before World War I had hardly begun.

Massed German forces were overwhelming the small British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and an ill - prepared French army in a single bold sweep through Belgium - The Schlieffen Plan.

Military historian, Dr Spencer Jones describes how the allies by bravery and good fortune just managed to save France and turn the tide which seemed to be sweeping over Europe.

KEYWORDS: August 1914, World War I, Great Retreat, British Army, Ypres, Worcestershire Regiment

In Military, World War 1,

Stemming the Tide

Spencer Jones

The British Expeditionary Force of 1914 was described by the official historian as "incomparably the best trained, best organised, and best equipped British Army that ever went forth to war." The BEF proved its fighting qualities in the fierce battles of 1914 and its reputation has endured. However, the same...

Courage Without Glory

The year 1915 was one of unprecedented challenges for the British Army. Short of manpower, firepower and experience, the army needed time to adapt before it could hope to overcome the formidable German defences of the Western Front. Yet the insistent demands of coalition warfare required immediate and repeated action....


Presented by:

Spencer Jones

Directed by:

Sean Griffiths

Produced by:

Michael W Gibbs

Thanks to:

University of Wolverhampton, Imperial War Museums, Pathé News