France: General Joseph Joffre, the French commander-in-chief, orders the French Fifth Army to launch a flank attack in the so-called Battle of Guise against the German First Army around Guise to take some pressure of the withdrawing British Expeditionary Force to the west. The attack makes little progress and costs 6,042 casualties, but the Fifth Army’s I Corps under General Louis Franchet d’Esperey temporarily stops the advance of the German Second Army under General Karl von Bülow in a supporting attack. Later French retire to Aisen.
Büllow defeats 3 French corps, but calls now also on the commander of the German First Army, Alexander von Kluck, to come to his aid. Kluck is under orders to advance to the west of Paris but any support for Büllow would take his forces to the east of the capital. However, Kluck believes the British are effectively defeated and that there are no sizable enemy forces menacing his exposed right flank. He is unaware of the newly created French Sixth Army assembling a little to the north of Paris.
Kluck cannot reach Moltke, the chief of the German General Staff, for clarification, so moves to support Bülow on his own initiative. By September 2 his army is stretched out from the Marne River at Chateau-Thierry to the Oise River.
Thanks to air reconnaissance General Joseph Joffre, the French commander-in-chief, is aware of Kluck’s change of direction and has set his plans for a massive counteroffensive along the line of the Marne River by French and British forces accordingly.
BEF base to be transferred from Le Havre to St Nazaire. BEF commander Sir J French and French commander Joffre confer. BEF withdraws from Noyon and La Fere.
Fortress of Maubeuge comes under systematic bombardment from German heavy guns.
Western Front: German aircraft drops 3 bombs on Compiegne airfield of Royal Flying Corps.
Cameroons: 600 British-Nigerian soldiers with 5 MGs and 2 guns are beaten with 63 casualties by 2 German companies and retreat to Tepe. British Calabar column occupies Archibong on coast. Belgians agree to help the French troops.
Canada: Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry sails for Britain.