French Army order of battle (1914)

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French Army order of battle on 2 August 1914

This is the order of battle for the French army on the outbreak of war in August 1914.


In 1914, the French War strategy was based on the offensive Plan XVII, which aimed to attack in Alsace-Lorraine . Therefore, the right wing of the French army was stronger than the left wing.

Order of Battle[edit]

1) First Army, commanded by Auguste Dubail

2) Second Army, commanded by Édouard de Castelnau

3) Third Army, commanded by Pierre Ruffey

  • Concentration zone : between Saint-Mihiel and Verdun
  • Mission : Hold the Germans in their defensive positions before Metz
  • Strength : 3 Corps. 237.257 men

4) Fourth Army, commanded by Fernand de Langle de Cary

5) Fifth Army, commanded by Charles Lanrezac

  • Concentration zone : between Hirson and Dun-sur-Meuse
  • Mission : Guard the Southern part of the border with Belgium
  • Strength : 5 Corps. 299.350 men

6) Cavalry Corps, commanded by André Sordet

  • Concentration zone : around Mézières
  • Mission : Advance into the Belgian Ardennes in case of a German attack on Belgium.
  • Strength : 15.750 men


This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the French Wikipedia.