A talk by Dr Simon House on 22 August 1914 – A Lost Opportunity?
"On 22 August 1914, 27,000 French soldiers lost their lives and countless tens of thousands more were wounded or made prisoner. It was the bloodiest day in the whole history of the French Army, and most but not all the casualties were incurred during the little-known Battle of the Ardennes. To cap a demonstrably poor French performance, Joffre's men lost two clear-cut opportunities to break through the German centre into open ground, with operational possibilities that would have changed the course of the whole war. My thesis (examined and passed by Professors Sir Hew Strachan and David Stevenson) is the only source for this new interpretation of the French/German clash in the Ardennes in August 1914. I offer an intriguing new slant on the opening of the First World War as well approach the centenary of those early battles."