The 1914 Battle of the Aisne, officially from 12 – 15 September, came about as a result of the German retirement from the Battle of the Marne, which took place further south as the huge conscript armies of France and Germany jostled for position almost within sight of Paris. By the time the British arrived on the Aisne the battle line stretched some 150 miles from Noyon in the west to Verdun in the east and it was only along a tiny fifteen mile sector in the middle that the The British Expeditionary Force was engaged. However, it fought bitter engagements, which took place in difficult conditions and casualties were heavy. The Aisne fighting was the final attempt by the allies to follow through from the success of the Marne. It also marked the successful establishment by the Germans of a sound defensive line on this part of the front.
The battle of the Aisne in 1914, was an attempt by the British Expeditionary Force to carry well-fortified German positions on the river established after the battle of the Marne. It marked the real birth of the trench warfare that would characterise the next four years, and the first real ‘blooding’ of the BEF.