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The battle of Albert, 25-29 September 1914, was part of the Race to the Sea. It was a clash between the French Second Army (de Castelnau) and the German Sixth (Crown Prince Rupprecht), towards the end of the wider first battle of Picardy (22-26 September). That battle ended on 26 September with a day that saw fighting along the entire front from the Oise to the Somme (just south of Albert). The Germans had made limited progress, capturing Noyon and Lassigny on the previous day and were making a determined effort to capture Roye, further to the south.
The focus of the fighting during the Race to the Sea was continuously moving to the north. Both sides now hoped to turn their opponent’s flanks around Albert, north of the Somme. While the French attempted to continue the move to the north and Arras, the Germans attempted to attack at Albert.
Even as the Germans attacked at Albert, and the French attempted to outflank them, German troops were reaching Bapaume, and were threatening to cut off the French troops around Arras.
Heavy fighting continued around Albert until 29 September, with the Germans attempting to capture the town and the French holding off every attack. Finally, on 28 September Falkenhayn ordered Prince Rupprecht to move further north, to attack Arras (First battle of Artois). The front line would run just to the east of Albert until 1917, and the area between Albert and Bapaume would become part of the Somme battlefield in 1916.
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