From the moment the German army moved quietly into Luxemburg on 2 August 1914, to the Armistice on 11 November 1918, the fighting on the Western Front in France and Flanders never stopped. There were quiet periods, just as there were the most intense, savage, huge-scale battles.
The war on the Western Front can be thought of as being in three phases: first, a war of movement as Germany attacked France and the Allies sought to halt it; second, the lengthy and terribly costly siege warfare as the entrenched lines proved impossible to crack (late 1914 to mid-1918); and finally a return to mobile warfare as the Allies applied lessons and technologies forged in the previous years.
As with previous wars, British Commanders-in-Chief of a theatre of war or campaign were obliged to report their activities and achievements to the War Office in the form of a despatch and those written from the Western Front provide a fascinating, detailed and compelling overview of this part of the First World War.
DESPATCHES FROM THE FRONT: WESTERN FRONT 1914-1916 Mons, Le Cataeu, Loos, The Battle of the Somme
In the Great War, as in previous conflicts involving Britain, Army Commanders were obliged to report their campaigns to the War Office in official despatches. These are the despatches written from the Western Front in the first two years of the war, from Mons in 1914 to the Somme in 1916.