September 1914: British troops in Chemin des Dames
The exposition shows the First Battle of the Aisne (mid-September 1914) when the German troops fought the British Expeditionary Force and the 18th regiment of the Fifth French Army during World War I.
These battles are still not very widely known, even today.
The First Battle of the Aisne (mid-September 1914) was one of the final battles where the 1st World War military strategy manoeuvre warfare (guerre de mouvement) was adopted. The exhibition gives us an idea of the military issues the soldiers faced in the Aisne region during the war, such as crossing the river Aisne and the military advance to Chemin des Dames, where the First Battle of the Aisne took place.
The British forces learnt the hard way, they had to cross the river Aisne on 13th September 1914 in rough conditions.
On 14th September, they had to cross the beet fields and the woods with steep, muddy and treacherous terrain. The Germans stopped retreating because of the terrain, instead they dug trenches and set up machine gun posts.
Between 12th September and 8th October, British losses increased to more than 10%.
From 13th to 15th September 1914, French troops attacking between Paissy and Craonne had similar difficulties and faced the same military problems.
After these tough battles, each side regrouped and the British joined the Flanders front in October.
Caverne du Dragon, The Chemin des Dames Museum
Chemin des Dames
Tel: +33 (0)3 23 25 14 18
Admission fees and rates
- Adults: from €6
- Children (ages 6 to 18): from €3
- Military personnel, teachers, students, jobseekers: from €3
- Family Pass (2 adults and 4 children maximum): from €15
- Veterans, disabled, children under 6, members of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), journalists: free