First Battle of the Marne Facts

First Battle of the Marne Facts
The First Battle of the Marne was a major World War I battle that took place from September 6-12, 1914 near the Marne River in France. It was the first major Allied victory in World War I and came at a time when the Germany Army was rapidly advancing through the Low Countries and into France in what was known as the Schlieffen Plan. The Schlieffen plan called for a quick, all out strike against France that was supposed to sweep around and encircle Paris, just as Prussia had did in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. Nearly 70,000 Germans were killed and more than 80,000 of the French and British died in the nearly week long fighting. Although the French and British lost more men in the battle, they repulsed the German advance, which resulted in the Allies' first decisive victory on the western front. The Allied victory ended the Schlieffen Plan and ensured that the war on the Western Front would be a quagmire marked by trench fighting and chemical warfare for the next four years.
Interesting First Battle of the Marne Facts:
The battle was precipitated by what is known as the "Great Retreat." The Great Retreat is when the British Expeditionary Force and the French Fifth Army retreated south the Marne River.
The Marne River, or River Marne, is a tributary of the Seine River and is located just a few miles east of Paris.
The Germany Army was led by the sixty-six-year-old Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke the younger when the battle began.
The French were led by Field Marshal Joseph Joffre.
The battle on the western flank actually began with a French and British attack across the Western Front on September 4.
Six hundred Paris taxi cabs were commandeered by the French army to ferry troops to the front on September 7. It was one the first major mobilizations of motorized vehicles for military transport.
The Germans were driven back ten miles in the west flank before they dug in and started building trenches.
The Germans fared better on the eastern flank, but Moltke was forced to move troops from there to the western flank to stop the Allied advance.
Nearly one million men fought on each side of the battle.
Although the Battle of the Marne proved to be a tactical and decisive victory for the Allies, many historians do not consider it to be a strategic victory because the Germans were not driven from Belgium or northern France.
Although only six British division fought in the battle compared to sixty-four French division, they had a high casualty rate. The British recorded about 13,000 casualties with more than 1,700 deaths.
Chemical weapons were not used at the Battle of the Marne, but aerial reconnaissance did play a role.
Moltke was blamed by many in the German high command for losing the battle. Some say he didn't faithfully follow the Schlieffen Plan and diverted too many troops from the Western to the Eastern Front.
Moltke's health took a turn for the worse after the battle, leading to his replacement.

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