Guns of August, Chapters 11-12

In this section, Germany and France begin their offensives in the manner of a revolving door—the German right against the Allied left, and the French right against the German left.  Emotions and national sentiment run high as Belgian fortresses hold out for a time against superior numbers, and French troops temporarily liberate parts of Alsace.  Meanwhile, infighting and rivalry among Britain’s generals will have an impact on the deployment of the British Expeditionary Force to the European continent.

Chapter 11

Why did German soldiers shoot Belgian civilians, especially priests?  Compare and contrast Tuchman’s account with later Allied propaganda.

What was the political and military significance of Belgian resistance at Liège?

Why did Joffre not provide for reserves for the planned offensive in Alsace?

Chapter 12

What were Lord Kitchener’s objections to the original plan to send a six division BEF to support the French?  What was the reasoning behind these objections?

How were British plans modified?


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