A Popular History of The Great War/Volume 1/Page 243

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THE BATTLE OF CHARLEROI


with his whole army into the trap which the Germans were try- ing to set for him. On August 21 the Germans took the initiative. Troops under Gallwitz began the bombardment of Namur with heavy Gentian and Austrian artillery, and two Germans corps appeared on the Sambre, and with detachments forced the passage of that river at Taniines and Jemappe, driving back detachments of the French loth and 3rd corps. French documents show that Lanrezac’s intention was to allow portions of the German army to cross the Sambre, and then fall on them in full strength, a judicious plan which his corps commanders disregarded by mak- ing a series of ill-concerted attacks. On tha French left Sordet's

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cavalry was pushed back, opening a serious gap between the 5th French army and the British. That same evening Hausen's 3rd army at three points near Dinant attempted to force the passage of the Meuse, gravely threatening the communications of Lanrezac and engaging the attention of the French ist corps—which nevertheless was able to protect the river line. Tlrat night Billow announced that he would fight the great battle on the 23rd. Perfect cooperation between Billow and Hausen was necessary to bring oif the stroke. Fortunately foi* the Allies, Billow developed a violent attack with four corps on the Sambre on the 22nd before Hausen was ready. After severe fighting the Germans pushed across

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