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The battles of world war one 1914 August 22 - 23 1914 battle of Mons Following the surrender of the Leige Forts by the Belgian Army the German Army continued its push towards Paris under the Schlieffen Plan The remainder of the Belgian Army had begun to retreat to meet the newly arrived British Expeditionary Force which was advancing to halt the German drive The French were being pushed back and slaughtered on the southern end of the front so they were unable to assist the Belgians so the weight of the German advance fell on the small British army By August 22 the II Corp of the British Army under Gen Horace Smith-Dorrien had reached the town of Mons and had established defensive positions At 6 AM on the 23rd the advanced guard of the German First Army arrived on the outskirts of Mons B company of the 4th Middlesex Regiment opened fire on the advancing German cavalry and forced them to fall back to the main body The battle was under way Around 9 AM the German Infantry had arrived at Mons and were preparing their assault on the north end of the town 8 German battalions supported by artillery fire attacked the 4th Middlesex and 4th Royal Fusiliers positions On the first assault the Germans attacked in close formation attack waves and were relentlessly shot down by the British infantry of the two regiments which at the time was notably made up of the best rifle marksmen in the world At one point in the battle the German field officers reported to First army commander Gen von Kluck that all the British were using machine guns because the British were shooting so rapidly and inflicting so many casualties on the advancing Germans Soon the engagement grew more desperate for the British as the rest of the First Army arrived on the scene Artillery fire had pushed the Middlesex and
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