The war of movement and the first German occupation
On 4 August 1914 the German Army put the Schlieffen Plan into action and launched its troops across Belgium with the ultimate objective of taking Paris. Despite the resistance of the Belgian Army and British and French expeditionary forces, the Germans continued their advance towards the French border which they soon crossed near the town of Maubeuge. After the stalemate of the First Battle of the Marne and the Race to the Sea, the Western Front stabilized and the belligerents dug in. The war of movement had turned into a war of position.
The German Army occupied the territory it had conquered. Local resistance to the new military masters soon developed but was mercilessly suppressed.
The summer of 1918 saw a return to the war of movement. The Allied Armies, placed under the sole command of French Marshal Ferdinand Foch, launched a huge offensive which would break the German lines of defence and lead to the liberation of the occupied territories.