August 1914: In the sweltering heat, the fate of Europe hangs in the balance. Germany is hurling her forces into a carefully planned invasion of Belgium and France. Bound by an 1839 treaty to protect Belgium from any invader, Britain came to its defence.
With the British Expeditionary Force numbering just 120,000 men, and dwarfed by the vast manpower of Germany, Kaiser Wilhelm II remains unfazed by this ‘contemptible little army'. But the BEF was, man for man, the best trained army in Europe. It was led by tough and experienced officers who had learned their brutal trade in fierce colonial warfare. Their combat performance in 1914 would cement their place in history. Within days of the BEF’s deployment, the full weight of the German invasion crashed into the thin British line. Faced with overwhelming enemy numbers, and battling alongside unreliable French allies, the BEF was forced into The Great Retreat. The Great Retreat is the story of this desperate battle for survival. While Germany was attempting to crush France in one fell swoop, the Allies desperately sought time and space so that they could mount a counterattack to stem the tide.
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