Battle of the Sambre

The Battle of the Sambre, also known as the Battle of Charleroi, was fought between the French 5th Army, commanded by Charles Lanrezac, and the German 2nd Army, under the command of Karl von Bülow. Being part of the longer and more intense Battle of the Frontiers, the Battle of the Sambre took place in the vecinity of the Sambre River and the Belgian town of Charleroi, on August 21, 1914, during the Great War.

Concentrating his forces on 40km-long front, on the Sambre River, the French commander, Lanrezac, was planning an attack on the German lines across the river, when on August 21, 1914, the Germans launched a savage assault of their own before the French initiated their attack. Lanrezac’s army was made up of 15 divisions, which had been weakened by the transfer of troops to Lorraine. These French infantry divisions were confronted by the 38 German divisions from the Second Army of General Karl von Bülow and Third Army moving south-west. The result of this fierce fighting on the Sambre was a German victory. The French commander lost 30,000 men, wounded and killed.

Map of the Battle of the Sambre

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  1. [...] along the eastern frontier of France and in southern Belgium, at Mulhouse, Lorraine, the Ardennes, Charleroi and Mons. The Battle of the Frontiers took place as a result of the collision of the German [...]