August 7, 1914: The British expeditionary Force Lands in France

August 7, 1914 - The first British troops land in France. The 120,000 highly trained members of the regular British Army form the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) commanded by Field Marshal John French. Thse soldiers are veterans of the Boer War and some form old wars like the Sudan. Their professionalism under fire makes them the best troops on either side. They head straight toward Belgium where the Germans are beseiging Leige.
August 7-24, 1914 - The French Army surprises the Germans by invading Alsace and Lorraine,  (a spoil of war originally belonging to France that is now under German control from the Franco Prussian conflict) according to their master strategy known as Plan XVII. However, the French offensive is met by effective German counter-attacks using heavy artillery and machine-guns. The French suffer heavy casualties including 27,000 soldiers killed in a single day, the worst one-day death toll in the history of the French Army. The French then fall back toward Paris amid 300,000 total casualties.