Third week of October 1914
BEF Report to the War Office
The Belgians on our left were attacked and driven out of their trench line, and retreated towards Calais. The BEF left flank is, although entrenched, hanging in the air again. BEF reserve troops are at St. Omer. A request to the navy is made to bombard Dunkirk. A combined counter-attack will be made by the BEF’s left flank and the cavalry (reserve), supported by heavy artillery and naval bombardement.
Team Control Gloss
The BEF were using the fact that the enemy in front of them appeared to have gone static to rotate and rest their Corps. They also absorbed nine of the 12 available TF Battalions to bring all the Corps back up to full strength after the casualties from their previous counter-attacks and in the retreat afterwards.
Although the Belgian force was liaising closely with the BEF and drawing supplies from a secondary sea head established at Calais the BEF had not realised just how weak it was. It had a battered Belgian Division and a French reserve division in it, making it a very weak Corps (about 60% of the effectiveness of the BEF Corps). The Germans seemed to sense that this was the weak point, or perhaps just chose it because it was the seaborne flank. Either way they hit it with three fresh Corps supported by two heavy artillery units. The odds were stacked against the Belgians and their force simply disintegrated under the weight of the attack.