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Encyclopedia > First Battle of the Marne
First Battle of the Marne
Part of World War I

Date 5 September12 September 1914
Location Marne River near Paris, France
Result Strategically decisive Allied victory
Combatants
Flag of FranceFrance
Flag of United KingdomUnited Kingdom
Flag of German EmpireGerman Empire
Commanders
Joseph Joffre
John French
Helmuth von Moltke
Karl von Bülow
Alexander von Kluck
Strength
1,071,000 1,485,000
Casualties
Approximately 263,000:
250,000 French casualties
(80,000 dead)
13,000 British casualties
(1,700 dead)
Approximately 250,000 total
Retreat to the Marne
MaubeugeLe CateauGuise1st Marne1st Aisne

The First Battle of the Marne (also known as the Miracle of the Marne) was a World War I battle fought from September 5 to September 12, 1914. It was a Franco-British victory against the German army under German Chief of Staff Helmuth von Moltke the Younger. Combatants Allied Powers: Russian Empire France British Empire Italy United States Central Powers: Austria-Hungary German Empire Ottoman Empire Bulgaria Commanders Nicholas II Aleksei Brusilov Georges Clemenceau Joseph Joffre Ferdinand Foch Robert Nivelle Herbert Henry Asquith Sir Douglas Haig Sir John Jellicoe Victor Emmanuel III Luigi Cadorna Armando Diaz Woodrow... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1241x961, 202 KB) Description: Battle of the Marne - Map - 5 September to 9 September 1914 Source: www. ... September 5 is the 248th day of the year (249th in leap years). ... September 12 is the 255th day of the year (256th in leap years). ... 1914 (MCMXIV) was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... The Marne is a river in France, a tributary of the Seine in the area east and southeast of Paris. ... City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) Paris Eiffel tower as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_France. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_German_Empire. ... Motto: Gott mit Uns (German: God with us”) Anthem: Heil dir im Siegerkranz (unofficial) Territory of the German Empire in 1914, prior to World War I Capital Berlin Language(s) Official: German Unofficial minority languages: Polish (Posen, Lower Silesia,Upper Silesia, Masuria) French (Alsace-Lorraine) Government Constitutional monarchy Emperor  - 1871... Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre (January 12, 1852 - January 3, 1931) was a Catalan French general who became prominent in the battles of World War I. Joffre was born in Rivesaltes, Roussillon. ... The Earl of Ypres John Denton Pinkstone French, 1st Earl of Ypres, KP, GCB, OM, GCVO, KCMG, PC (28 September 1852–22 May 1925) was a British Field Marshal, the first commander of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in World War I. Biography Born in Ripple in Kent, the son... Colonel General Helmuth von Moltke Helmuth Johann Ludwig von Moltke (May 25, 1848–June 18, 1916), also known as Moltke the Younger, was a nephew of Field Marshal Count Moltke and served as the Chief of the German General Staff from 1906 to 1914. ... Karl von Bülow (April 24, 1846 – August 31, 1921) was a German General commanding the German 2nd Army during World War I from 1914 to 1918. ... Alexander Heinrich Rudolph von Kluck (May 20, 1846 - October 19, 1934) was a German general during World War I. He was born in Münster, Westphalia. ... The Great Retreat covers the slow retreat by the Allies to the River Marne after their defeat by the Germans at Battle of Mons on 23 August. ... The Siege of Maubeuge took place between August 24 and September 7, 1914 when the French garrison of the Maubeuge Fortress finally surrendered to the Germans at the start of World War I on the Western Front. ... On the 25th of September, 1914, the British, French & Belgians retreated from the Battle of Mons & set up defensive positions in Le Cateau. ... There have been a number of battles known as the Battle of St. ... Combatants Britain, France Germany Commanders Sir John French, Louis Franchet dEsperey, Michel-Joseph Maunoury, Joseph Joffre Alexander von Kluck, Karl von Bülow, Josias von Heeringen Strength Two French armies and the BEF Three German armies Casualties Unknown Unknown The First Battle of the Aisne was the Allied follow... Combatants Allied Powers: Russian Empire France British Empire Italy United States Central Powers: Austria-Hungary German Empire Ottoman Empire Bulgaria Commanders Nicholas II Aleksei Brusilov Georges Clemenceau Joseph Joffre Ferdinand Foch Robert Nivelle Herbert Henry Asquith Sir Douglas Haig Sir John Jellicoe Victor Emmanuel III Luigi Cadorna Armando Diaz Woodrow... September 5 is the 248th day of the year (249th in leap years). ... September 12 is the 255th day of the year (256th in leap years). ... 1914 (MCMXIV) was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Motto: Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité Liberty, Equality, Fraternity Anthem: La Marseillaise Metropolitan France() – on the European continent() – in the European Union() [] Capital  (and largest city)  Paris Official languages French Government Unitary republic  - President Jacques Chirac  - Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin Formation    - French State 843 (Treaty of Verdun)   - Current constitution 1958 (5th... Helmuth von Moltke Chief of the General Staff Helmuth Johann Ludwig von Moltke (May 25, 1848–June 18, 1916), also known as Moltke the Younger, was a nephew of Field Marshal Count Moltke and served as the Chief of the German General Staff from 1906 to 1914. ...


By the end of August 1914, the whole Allied army on the Western Front had been forced into a general retreat back towards Paris. Meanwhile the two main German armies continued through France. It seemed that Paris would be taken as both the French Army and the British Expeditionary Force fell back towards the Marne River. Map of the World showing the participants in World War I. Those fighting on the Allies side (at one point or another) are depicted in green, the Central Powers in orange, and neutral countries in gray. ... Combatants Belgium, British Empire, France, United States, other Western Allies of WWI Germany Commanders No unified command until 1918, then General Ferdinand Foch Kaiser Wilhelm II Casualties ~4,800,000 Unknown though considerably higher Following the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the German army opened the Western... City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) Paris Eiffel tower as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ... The French Army (French: Armée de Terre) is the land-based component of the French Armed Forces. ... The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) was the British army sent to France and Belgium in World War I and British Forces in Europe from 1939 - 1940 during World War II. The BEF was established by Secretary of State for War Richard Haldane following the Second Boer War in case the... The Marne is a river in France, a tributary of the Seine in the area east and southeast of Paris. ...

Contents

Prelude

British troops suffered heavy casualties during the German attack into France. Field Marshall Sir John French, commander of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), blamed his heavy losses on French vacillation and uncoordinated withdrawals. In particular, he blamed French General Lanrezac, commander of the French Fifth Army, for Lanrezac's failure to fight and unannounced pullbacks. Relations between the British commander and the French commanders suffered greatly. Field Marshall French made plans to move all British troops back from the front along their lines of communication for rest and reorganization. French Commander-In-Chief Joseph Joffre persuaded Lord Kitchener to intervene, and Kitchener met personally with Field Marshall French. Kitchener told Field Marshall French that a withdrawal by the British would be disastrous for both the French and British. Field Marshall French agreed to keep British troops on the front line as long as their flanks were not exposed by French withdrawals. John Denton Pinkstone French, 1st Earl of Ypres (September 28, 1852–May 22, 1925) was a British soldier and Field Marshal, the first commander of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in World War I. Lord French of Ypres Born in Ripple Vale, Kent. ... The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) was the British army sent to France and Belgium in World War I and British Forces in Europe from 1939 - 1940 during World War II. The BEF was established by Secretary of State for War Richard Haldane following the Second Boer War in case the... Please wikify (format) this article as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ... Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre (January 12, 1852 - January 3, 1931) was a Catalan French general who became prominent in the battles of World War I. Joffre was born in Rivesaltes, Roussillon. ... The Earl Kitchener Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener, KG, KP, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, ADC, PC (24 June 1850 – 5 June 1916) was an Irish-born British Field Marshal, diplomat and statesman. ...


As the German First and Second Armies approached Paris, they began to swerve to the southeast away from Paris, exposing their right flank to the allies. By September 3, Joffre recognized the German armies' tactical error, and quickly made plans to halt the French and British withdrawal and attack the Germans all along the front. The British army and the French Sixth army were given the job of attacking the exposed right flank of the German First Army. Joffre personally visited Field Marshall French and secured French's agreement to participate in the attack. The attack was set to begin on the morning of September 6. However, General Alexander von Kluck, the commander of the German First Army detected the approach of the allied forces on September 5th and, too late, began to wheel his Army to face the west. On September 5, in the mid afternoon, battle commenced when the advancing French Sixth Army came into contact with the forward guard of the German First Army. [1] Alexander Heinrich Rudolph von Kluck (May 20, 1846 - October 19, 1934) was a German general during World War I. He was born in Münster, Westphalia. ... September 5 is the 248th day of the year (249th in leap years). ...


Battle

Von Kluck, in turning to meet the French attack on his right flank, opened up a 50 km (30 mile) wide gap in the German lines between his First Army and the German Second Army, commanded by the cautious General Karl von Bulow, which was located to the left of the First Army. Allied reconnaissance planes discovered the gap and reported it to commanders on the ground.[1] The Allies were prompt in exploiting the break in the German lines, dispatching troops from the BEF to join the French Fifth Army in pouring through the gap between the two German armies, the right wing of the Fifth Army simultaneously attacking the German Second Army. The German Second Army (German: ) was a World War II field army. ... Karl von Bülow (April 24, 1846 – August 31, 1921) was a German General commanding the German 2nd Army during World War I from 1914 to 1918. ... The French Fifth Army was a famous fighting force that participated in World War I. Under its enthusiastic and offensive-minded commander, Louis Franchet dEspèrey, it led the decisive attacks which resulted in the spectacular victory at the First Battle of the Marne in 1914. ...


Nevertheless, the German forces were close to achieving a breakthrough against Maunoury's beleaguered Sixth Army between September 6 and September 8, and the Sixth Army was only saved on September 7 by the aid of 6,000 French reserve infantry troops ferried from Paris in some 600 taxi cabs. The following night, on September 8, the aggressive French commander General Franchet d'Esperey and his Fifth Army launched a surprise attack against the German Second Army, serving to further widen the gap between the German First and Second Armies. D'Espery was a recent appointment, Joffre having given him command of the Fifth Army in place of the dismissed General Charles Lanrezac, who was deemed too cautious and wanting in 'offensive spirit'. September 6 is the 249th day of the year (250th in leap years). ... September 8 is the 251st day of the year (252nd in leap years). ... September 7 is the 250th day of the year (251st in leap years). ... September 8 is the 251st day of the year (252nd in leap years). ... Louis Félix Marie François Franchet dEspèrey ( 25 May 1856 – 3 July 1942) was a French general during the First World War. ... Please wikify (format) this article as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ...


By September 9, it looked as though the German First and Second Armies would be totally encircled and destroyed. General von Moltke suffered a nervous breakdown upon hearing of the danger. His subordinates took over and ordered a general retreat to the Aisne River to regroup. The Germans were pursued by the French and British, although the pace of the Allied advance was slow - a mere 19 km (12 miles) a day. The German armies ceased their retreat after 65 km (40 miles), at a point north of the Aisne River, where they dug in, preparing trenches that were to last for several years. September 9 is the 252nd day of the year (253rd in leap years). ... Aisne is a river in France, tributary of the river Oise. ...


The German retreat between September 9 and September 13 marked the abandonment of the Schlieffen Plan. Moltke is said to have reported to the Kaiser: "Your Majesty, we have lost the war." In the aftermath of the battle, both sides dug in and four years of stalemate ensued. September 9 is the 252nd day of the year (253rd in leap years). ... September 13 is the 256th day of the year (257th in leap years). ... German Emperor Wilhelm (born Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albrecht, Prince of Prussia 27 January 1859–4 June 1941), was the last German Emperor and King of Prussia (de: Deutscher Kaiser und König von Preußen), ruling from 15 June 1888 to 9 November 1918. ...


Aftermath

One of the taxi cabs of the Marne.
One of the taxi cabs of the Marne.

The war became a stalemate when the Allies won the Battle of the Marne. It was the first major clash on the Western Front and one of the most important single events. The German retreat left in ruins the Schlieffen Plan and German hopes of a quick victory in the west. Its army was left to fight a long war on two fronts. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2121x1864, 413 KB) Work by Rama File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): First Battle of the Marne Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2121x1864, 413 KB) Work by Rama File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): First Battle of the Marne Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the... Alfred Graf von Schlieffen The Schlieffen Plan was the German General Staffs overall strategic plan for victory on the Western Front against France, and was executed to near victory in the first month of World War I; however, a French counterattack on the outskirts of Paris, the Battle of...


The battle of Marne was also one of the first major battles in which reconnaissance planes played a decisive role, by discovering weak points in the German lines and allowing the allies to take advantage of them.[2]


The First Battle of the Marne is best remembered for the approximately six hundred Paris taxicabs, mainly Renault AG's, commandeered by French authorities and used to transport six thousand French reserve infantry troops to the battle. Their arrival has traditionally been described as critical in stopping a possible German breakthrough against the 6th Army. Today, some historians question their real impact. Their impact on morale, however, is undeniable: the taxis de la Marne were perceived as a manifestation of the union sacrée (sacred union) of the French civilian population and its soldiers at the front, reminiscent of the people in arms who had saved the French Republic in 1794. Taxicab, short forms taxi or cab, is a type of public transport for a single passenger, or small group of passengers, typically for a non-shared ride. ... Renault S.A. is a French vehicle manufacturer producing cars, vans, buses, tractors, and trucks. ... Lunion sacrée (French for Sacred Union) was a French political movement that attempted to bring together political and religious factions to solidify support against Germany in World War I. On the first of August, 1914, the President of the French Republic, Raymond Poincaré, declares the war on Germany. ... 1794 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ...


Over two million troops fought in the First Battle of the Marne, of which more than 500,000 were killed or wounded.


References

  • Evans, M. M. (2004). Battles of World War I. Select Editions. ISBN 1-84193-226-4.
  • Isselin, Henri. The Battle of the Marne. London: Elek Books, 1965. (Translation of La Bataille de la Marne, published by Editions B. Arthaud, 1964.)
  • Perris, George Herbert. The Battle of the Marne. London: Methuen, 1920.
  • Spears, Sir Edward. Liaison 1914. Cassell & Co., 1968. ISBN 0-304-35682-4.
World War I Portal

  Results from FactBites:
 
First World War.com - Battles - The First Battle of the Marne, 1914 (774 words)
The First Battle of the Marne was conducted between 6-12 September 1914, with the outcome bringing to an end the war of movement that had dominated the First World War since the beginning of August.
With victory seemingly near, Alexander von Kluck's German First Army was instructed to encircle Paris from the east.
In a strategic triumph at the First Battle of the Marne, which ended on 10 September, the French forces - assisted by the British - had succeeded in throwing back the German offensive, recapturing lost ground in the process.
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