The German assault on the Belgium city of Liege was one of first battles of World War I. Germany wanted to smash Liege’s ring of twelve fortifications, to accelerate their advance across Belgium into France. Confident that an assault would last only two days, it took eleven days before Belgian capitulation. The German Second Army’s advance scouts arrived on 5 August to find the River Meuse’s bridges blown and heavy Belgium resistance. The city’s fortifications were 1.8 miles (3 km) apart, on high ground, and each accommodated 400 machine guns. In an overnight strike on the 5–6 August, six German infantry brigades and two cavalry divisions sustained major losses, especially at Fort Barchon. On 6 August, the German 14th Brigade penetrated the eastern part of the city, demanding surrender. With all their fortifications still held, Belgium refused. On 16 August, Liege fell and the Germans crossed Belgium towards France.