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First Battle of Aisne - 1914

September 13 – September 28, 1914

Banks of the Aisne River, France – Western Front

Allies – France
Allies – Britain
Central Powers - Germany

The German First Army under the command of General Alexander von Kluck,
and the German Second Army led by General Karl Von Bülow retreated following the defeat at the First Battle of the Marne. The two regrouped at the banks of the Aisne River. The Allied forces then launched their follow-up offensive on September 13, 1914. Strategically better placed, the Germans faced the pursuing Allied troops. The BEF and the French Fifth Army crossed the Aisne, but stiff resistance from the German Army foiled any chances of a decisive victory. While the stationary troops engaged in warfare, the mobile troops on both sides attempted to outflank the other. The consequent Race to the Sea led to many more battles, culminating in the Battle of the Yser. By this time the trench line was firmly drawn and remained fairly stable for the rest of the war.

The most important outcome of the Battle of the Aisne was the commencement of the Race to The Sea. Both the Allied and Central troops tried to outflank the other to the north, while stationary troops dug trenches and fortified themselves in an attempt to defend their positions. By the end of the Race to the Sea, the trench line extended from the North Sea to the French-Swiss border running 475 miles. Very little mobility was achieved along the Western Front and huge losses were incurred by both sides.

  Major Battles of World War I  
Battle of Tannenberg – 1914Battles of Gaza - 1917
Battle of Heligoland Bight - 1914Second Battle of Aisne - 1917
First Battle of Marne – 1914Second Battle of Arras - 1917
First Battle of the Masurian Lakes – 1914Battle of Messines – 1917
First Battle of Aisne – 1914Battle of Passchendaele - 1917
First Battle of Albert - 1914Battle of Caporetto - 1917
First Battle of Arras – 1914Battle of Cambrai - 1917
First Battle of Ypres – 1914German Spring Offensive - 1918
Gallipoli Campaign – 1915Hundred Days Offensive - 1918
Second Battle of the Masurian Lakes – 1915Battle of Mons - 1914
Battles of Isonzo – 1915Second Battle of Somme - 1918
Loos-Artois Offensive - 1915Second Battle of Marne - 1918
Battle of Verdun - 1916Battle of St Mihiel - 1918
Battle of Messines - 1917 
First Battle of Somme - 1916Battle of Vittori Veneto - 1918