The Battle of Spicheren, also known as the Battle of Forbach, was a battle during the Franco-Prussian War. The German victory compelled the French to withdraw to the defenses of Metz. The Battle of Spicheren, on 5 August, was the second of three critical French defeats. Moltke had originally planned to keep Bazaine's army on the Saar river until he could attack it with the 2nd Army in front and the 1st Army on its left flank, while the 3rd Army closed towards the rear. The aging General von Steinmetz made an overzealous, unplanned move, leading the 1st Army south from his position on the Moselle. He moved straight toward the town of Spicheren, cutting off Prince Frederick Charles from his forward cavalry units in the process.
Moltke was pressing on with the concentration of the Prussian armies. His forces now formed two wings. On the right, the Second Army under Frederick Charles containing the III, IV, IX, X, XII Corps, and the Prussian Guard, was advancing from the Rhine River towards Saarbrücken, while the First Army under General Steinmetz with the I, VII and VIII Corps were moving into line with the Second Army from the direction of the lower Moselle river towards Saarlouis, in all both armies numbered some 185,000 men.
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