After capturing the Fortified Position of Liège on August 16, 1914, the Kaiser’s troops engaged in the Sambre and the Meuse, between Dinant and Charleroi, and north of the Sambre and Meuse furrow. Then, at the end of August, the center of operations on the Western Front moved to the Franco-Belgian border, beginning the “Battle of the Borders.”
Entrenched on the heights of the Sambre, the 5th French army tried to block the enemy’s assaults. At the same time, the 3rd and 4th armies in Lorraine and the Ardennes met the Germans. Thus, 15 bloody battles took place from Mercy to Maissin.
On August 22, in the Belgian province of Luxembourg, it is estimated that in one day, on both the French and German sides, 67,508 soldiers were put out of action. In addition, almost 1000 civilians were lost.
After the defeat in the Ardennes and the crossing of the Meuse by the Germans at Dinant, the French army had to retreat. This retreat halted 300 km further south on the banks of the Marne.