The initial strength of the B.E.F. was four infantry divisions and one cavalry. However, the cavalry had been particularly hard worked: they had been the only effective cover and communication between the B.E.F.’s two army corps during the whole retreat. On 6 September 1914, therefore, the 2nd Cavalry Division was formed under Brigadier-General Hubert Gough, and it was soon to be in the field. It could only be a matter of time before a third division would have to be formed.
On this day the First Battle of the Marne proper began along the whole front. The French Sixth Army on the B.E.F.’s left had lost the element of surprise on 5 September and von Kluck now swung the right wing of his First Army northwards to meet them. This opened a gap, whilst von Kluck’s left wing was being engaged by the French Fifth Army and von Bűlow’s Second Army being attacked by the French Ninth. Into this gap the B.E.F. began cautiously to creep.
Next entry: 7 September 1914