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On the 4th of August 1914 the war is declared by Germany on France.

A certain number of engagements between the advanced guards take place during troop concentration which stopped on the 12nd of August.

The French offensive to the east August 14-19, 1914:

The French divisions begin a rapid and relatively easy progression to the east between the south of Metz and the Swiss borders.

From Sarrebourg to Delme hills, the German have greatly organized the land, constructing concrete entrenchments, getting equipped with machine guns; they also have a large and powerful heavy artillery.

The whole will result in a formidable surprise for French troops which were engaged in attacking those positions; they are devastated by a terrible fire and are confronted to the shock caused by powerful converging counter-attacks.

In the same time, the Metz army on the left, the XIVth and XVth German army corps on the right (in Alsace), start an encircling movement. Retreat becomes inevitable and the French will only be able to stop the German progress on the heights of Nancy (Grand Couronné) and before the trouée de Charmes.(Charmes gap)
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