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Plan 17 was the French military plan of an immediate offensive by the French Army to invade Germany at the beginning of World War I. Since the end of the Franco-Prussian War, French nationalist public opinion was violently anti-German. Not only had France lost the Franco-Prussian War (the previous war with Germany) but Germany had seized Alsace-Lorraine and had incorporated it into the German Empire. The French were chomping at the bit to retake Alsace-Lorraine. The French also had a treaty with the Russian Empire, the Franco-Russian Alliance, to declare war against Germany if Germany declared war on Russia and vis versa, a German declaration of war against France would oblige Russia to declare war Germany. At the begining of World War I the German declaration of war against Russia on August 1st, 1914 according to the Franco-Russian Alliance necessitated immediate declaration of war in turn by France on Germany. Most sources such as the Wikipedia Timeline for World War I do not mention France's declaration of war against Germany. Other sources state August 4th for some reason (to portray France as the victim of agression most likely). In fact, France declared war and began to mobilize it's armies against Germany, in fullfillment of the Franco-Russian Aliiance, on August 3rd, 1914, four hours before Germany returned it's own the declaration of war on France according to the U.S. State Department (see: http://www.sacklunch.net/wwi/2.html ). With the French August 3rd declaration of war, Plan 17, was immediately implemented. The French Plan 17 called for a vigorous offensive into Lorraine and Alsace to recover the lost provinces for France. The French First army attacked to seize Mulhouse in Alsace and the Second Army to seize Metz in Lorraine. These attacks were a severe test of the French tactical system, a system which relied upon the offence a outrance, that is, the infantry assault would win the battle and the army with the most elan and vigor would carry the day with the bayonet charge! Unfortunately, high explosive and shrapnel shell, and the machine gun, made this a costly way of war in spite of the bravura of the French. These attacks, while initially successful, were driven back to the French frontier by 20-Aug, with heavy casualties. The first encounters with modern war, while shocking, did not deter the French Commander in Chief, General Joffre, from ordering the massive offensive by the three northern French Armies to begin on 23-Aug. This offensive, in a northeast direction into Lorraine and the Ardennes, commenced in spite of ominous intelligence that there was a massive German army marching westward, north of the Meuse River.This offensive smashed into the German Armies advancing east of the Meuse, and were driven back, toward the French fortified line between Verdun, Toul and Belfort (see: http://www.worldwar1.com/tlmob.htm ).

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Q: What was plan 17 in World War 1?
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