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Battle of Le Cateau, August 26, 1914Download nowEnlargeShow similar images

Title: Battle of Le Cateau, August 26, 1914

Description: British cavalry troopers of a Scottish contingent scout advancing German forces at the Battle of Le Cateau (Le Cateau-Cambrésis, France), fought on August 26, 1914, during World War I. The British fought a defensive battle as part of their withdrawal following their defeat at the Battle of Mons (Belgium; August 23, 1914), one of the opening battles of the war. At Le Cateau, German forces aggressively pursued the 40,000 troops under British General Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien (Sir Horace Lockwood Smith-Dorrien; May 26, 1858-August 12, 1930), using mobile artillery that advanced with their surging infantry, stopping only to bombard British lines with air-bursting shrapnel shells that tore the British ranks to pieces, accounting for most of the more than 7,800 killed, wounded, missing and captured British troops lost in this rearguard delaying action. Despite orders to abandon the area without resistance by his indecisive superior, Field Marshal John Denton Pinkstone French (September 28, 1952-May 22, 1925), Smith-Dorrien ignored orders and stubbornly yielded ground while organizing a fighting and orderly retreat, inflicting heavy losses on the advancing Germans, so much so, that when the British finally evacuated La Cateau, the German forces were so debilitated that it took five days for them to regroup, giving the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) enough time to establish solid defensive lines. Though Smith-Dorrien was severely criticized by Field Marshal French for his “stand-and-fight” decision at Le Cateau, he was widely hailed a hero, who had conducted on of the most important strategic holding actions in this or any other war.

Category: World War I

Keywords: WWI, World War I, First World War, Great War, British soldiers, British army, Scottish troopers, British army personnel, cavalry, horses

Orientation: Portrait

Dimensions: 2475 x 3557 (8.80 MPixels) (1.44)

Print Size: 21.0 x 30.1 cm; 8.3 x 11.9 inches

File Size: 25.22 MB (26,441,444 Bytes)

Resolution: 300 x 300 dpi

Color Depth: 16.7 million (24 BitsPerPixel)

Compression: None

Image Number: 0000048424

Source: Jay Robert Nash Collection

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