Vintage Video - French Refugees, 1914

When the war began in August 1914 the German Army saw sweeping initial progress through France and Belgium; the Schlieffen Plan appeared to be set for success.

Although Germany's hopes for a rapid victory in the west was dealt a death blow with defeat at the Marne in early September 1914, the early war of movement - to be replaced after the Marne by a lengthy war of trench attrition, at least on the Western Front - brought with it a steady stream of Belgian and French refugees seeking to keep ahead of advancing German forces.

Use the player above to view film footage of a stream of French refugees fleeing their homes in 1914.

3 British Officers were executed by courts martial during the war, as opposed to 316 Private soldiers and 24 Non-Commissioned Officers.  The vast majority were for desertions.

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