chapter  4
12 Pages

The German offensive: 20–31 October 1914

The expected capture of Prémesques by Saxons of XIX Corps on the morning of 20 October was to be a signal for the start of Rupprecht’s offensive across 6th Army’s whole front. An hour’s artillery bombardment on Prémesques between 8 and 9 a.m. was to pave the way for a massed infantry assault on a village whose rapid seizure was crucial to German plans. Prémesques drove into the German ‘position like a wedge, flanking fire had to make every attack almost impossible’. Yet it was as though the British could read the Germans’ minds; it seemed to the Saxons of the 14th IR that the British ‘knew we wanted to attack’.