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Le Cateau (ePub)

Early Battles 1914

WWI Battlefield Guidebooks Le Cateau 1914

By Nigel Cave, Jack Sheldon
Imprint: Battleground
Series: Battleground Books: WWI
File Size: 9.2 MB (.epub)
ISBN: 9781783460700
eBook Released: 1st February 2008

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Le Cateau (26-27 August 1914) was the second major action fought by the BEF in the Great War. His men exhausted after fighting at Mons and by the subsequent speedy retreat, Lieutenant-General Horace Smith-Dorrien (commanding II Corps) decided that he had to make a stand in the vicinity of Le Cateau. There his men took on elements of four German corps in an action that succeeded in giving the BEF a respite, but at considerable cost. Amongst other elements of controversy in the conduct of the battle was the handling of the Royal Artillery. The battle also undermined the already fraught relationship between Smith-Dorrien and the BEF's commander, John French. The battlefield today remains largely as it was, open countryside, and it is an ideal location to view one of the most significant British battlefields of the early days of the war. In this action no less than five Victoria Crosses were won, three of them in one howitzer battery and two by men of the 2nd King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

As featured in the Yorkshire Post.

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About Nigel Cave

Nigel Cave is the editor of the WW1 books in the Battleground Europe series.

He is a member of the Durand Group and has been involved in its underground investigations from its origins. He also has worked for some years with Veterans Affairs Canada.


 Jack Sheldon

About Jack Sheldon

Educated at Inverness Royal Academy, the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and the Universities of Lancaster and Westminster, Jack Sheldon completed a thirty-five year career as a member of the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment.

In 1982 he graduated from the German General Staff course at the Führungsakademie, Hamburg and went on to fill international staff appointments and to command an infantry training battalion. His final post before retirement in 2003 was as Military Attaché Berlin.

He now lives in France and has rapidly established himself as an expert in German First World War history. He was an honorary researcher for the Thiepval Visitor Centre Project, is a member of the British Commission for Military History and is the author of the highly acclaimed The German Army on the Somme 1914 – 1916, The German Army at Passchendaele and a number of Battleground Europe titles.

Battle of Le Cateau

26th August 1914

Le Cateau was the second major action fought by the BEF in the Great War. His men exhausted after fighting at Mons and by the subsequent speedy retreat, Lieutenant-General Horace Smith-Dorrien (commanding II Corps) decided that he had to make a stand in the vicinity of Le Cateau. There his men took on elements of four German corps in an action that succeeded in giving the BEF a respite, but at considerable cost.


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