The First Battle of the First World War: Alsace-Lorraine [Deuringer]


Though not so famous as the battles of Tannenberg or the Marne, the fight between the French and German armies at Alsace and Lorraine marks the first battle of World War I

On August 7, 1914, a week before the Battle of Tannenburg and two weeks before the Battle of the Marne, the French army attacked the Germans at Mulhouse in Alsace. Their objective was to recapture territory which had been lost after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871, which made it a matter of pride for the French. However, after initial success in capturing Mulhouse, the Germans were able to reinforce more quickly, and drove them back within three days. After 43 years of peace, this was the first test of strength between France and Germany. In 1929 Karl Deuringer wrote the official history of the battle for the Bavarian Army, an immensely detailed work of 890 pages; World War I expert and former army officer Terence Zuber has translated this study and edited it down to more accessible length, to produce the first account in English of the first major battle of the World War I.