Two Battles at Le Cateau, 1914 and 1918: The Transformation of War

  • Jonathan Boff, Dr University of Birmingham, UK


This article compares two battles for the town of Le Cateau, in August 1914 and October 1918, to highlight the changes in the character of war which had occurred over the four years of the First World War. These changes, it argues, extended beyond the technological, tactical, and operational ones often discussed by military historians. For instance, the kind of men doing the fighting, and the objectives for which they contended, were both radically different by 1918, with important consequences for the way the war was fought.