First World War: 13th of August 1914

The army of Alsace, formed in the aftermath of the defeat at Mulhouse, finally received its commander, General Paul Pau, mutilated veteran of the Franco-Prussian war. The same day, the 13th of August, the army of Alsace launched an attack on the village of Montreux-Vieux and its surroundings. Montreux-Vieux became the first Alsacian village to be taken by the French army.

General Pau had the task to keep the German forces busy and at the same time to fulfill the objectives that General Bonneau had before being sacked. For this task, Pau had less than 12,000 men under his command while Bonneau had 19,000.

Around the 13th of August, in German Lorraine, the Empire received word that a French offensive would occur soon. They fortified their defenses, flooded rivers and moved troops in the villages and towns to protect their positions. The attack would start on the morrow in the entire region.

Thousands of kilometers away from the hills and valleys of the Alsace and Lorraine countrysides, war was also raging in Africa. With the fall of the German colony of Togo, France and the United Kingdom launched an invasion of Cameroon. The British troops, attacking from Nigeria were defeated. However, the French succeeded in taking a part of the colony, with the help of Belgian troops from their African colony. Often forgotten, the war in colonial Africa would cost the lives of thousands of men and last until the end of 1916.

By Alister

Studying at the University of Besançon, Burgundy Franche-Comté, France