Following the outbreak of the First World War
in 1914, the German
army opened the Western Front
by first invading Luxembourg
, then gaining military control of important industrial regions in France
. The tide of the advance was dramatically turned with the Battle of the Marne
. Both sides then dug in along a meandering line of fortified trenches
, stretching from the North Sea
to the Swiss
frontier with France. This line remained essentially unchanged for most of the war.
Between 1915 and 1917 there were several major offensives along this front. The attacks employed massive artillery bombardments and massed infantry advances. However, a combination of entrenchments, machine gun nests, barbed wire, and artillery repeatedly inflicted severe casualties on the attackers and counter attacking defenders. As a result, no significant advances were made. In an effort to break the deadlock, this front saw the introduction of new military technology, including poison gas, aircraft, and tanks. But it was only after the adoption of improved tactics that some degree of mobility was restored. In spite of the generally stagnant nature of this front, this theater would prove decisive. The inexorable advance of the Allied armies in 1918 persuaded the German commanders that defeat was inevitable, and the government was forced to sue for conditions of an armistice.
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Sir John Moore
(November 13, 1761 – January 16, 1806) was a British
soldier and General.
He was born in Glasgow, the son of John Moore, a doctor and writer, and the older brother of Vice Admiral Sir Graham Moore Graham Moore, (1764 - 1843) . He attended Glasgow High School, but at the age of eleven joined his father and Douglas, the young 16 year old 8th Duke of Hamilton, (1756 - 1799), his father pupil, on a grand tour of France, Italy and Germany, This included a two-year stay in Geneva, where Moore's education continued.
He joined the British Army in 1776 as an ensign in the 51st Foot then based in Minorca. He first saw action in 1778 during the American Revolutionary War as a lieutenant in the 82nd under the 8th Duke of Hamilton. In 1783 he returned to Britain and in 1784 he was elected to Parliament as the Member for Lanark, Selkirk, Peebles and Linlithgow, a seat he held until 1790.
In 1787 he was made Major and joined the 60th briefly before returning to the 51st. In 1791 his unit was assigned to the Mediterranean and he was involved in campaigning in Corsica and was wounded at Calvi. He was given a Colonelcy and became Adjutant-General to Sir Charles Stuart. Friction between Moore and the new British viceroy of Corsica led to his recall and posting to the West Indies under Sir Ralph Abercromby.
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