Lanrezac’s attack, on August 29, was stopped before Bülow needed this aid, but he asked Kluck to wheel in nevertheless, in order to cut off Lanrezac’s retreat. By then the German armies had recovered cohesion, and the German command was expecting and ready to meet such a maneuver, now the obvious course. Much as kung-fu movies make fighting multiple opponents look easy, it's generally better to defeat your enemies one at a time. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/event/First-Battle-of-the-Marne, Military History Encyclopedia on the Web - First Battle of the Marne, 5-10 September 1914, Firstworldwar.com - The First Battle of the Marne, 1914, The History Learning Site - The First Battle of the Marne. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Plenty of novels paint a dark portrait. Meanwhile, General Paul von Hindenburg was reactivated at age 67 and sent with Major General Erich Ludendorff to halt the Russian advance into East Prussia. If the direction of Kluck’s advance was partly due to a misconception of the line of retreat taken by the British, it was also in accordance with his original role of executing a wide circling sweep. In November, he submitted his plan for the offensive that what would become known as Kaiserschlacht, or the kaiser’s battle; Ludendorff code-named the opening operation Michael. Want to know what happens when a Nimitz-class supercarrier goes back in time to battle the Japanese fleet at Pearl Harbor? The demonstrators were protesting against the South ...read more, Breathless promotion on the local radio station. Federalized Alabama National Guardsmen and FBI agents were on hand to provide safe ...read more, In the black township of Sharpeville, near Johannesburg, South Africa, Afrikaner police open fire on a group of unarmed black South African demonstrators, killing 69 people and wounding 180 in a hail of submachine-gun fire. What would the world be like if Nazi Germany had won? And what did this powerful surface fleet accomplish? Dozens of books and wargames suggest how history would have changed if Hitler had invaded Britain or not invaded Russia. Such topics are like incendiary bombs on Internet chat forums. For the Germans, the result of the Battle of the Marne was a strategic but not a tactical defeat, and the German right wing was able to reknit and stand firmly on the line of the lower Aisne and the Chemin des Dames ridge, where trench warfare set in after assaults by the Allies in the latter half of September (First Battle of the Aisne). If Berlin had made some different choices we would be living in a very different world. It reflected the traditional German preference for mobile warfare (Bewegungskrieg), which favored superior German tactics, rather than a static war of attrition (Stellungskrieg) that could only favor their numerically superior opponents. …Army’s swing inward to the Marne east of Paris. As panic swept up and down the British lines of command over the next few days, the Germans gained even more territory. Moltke, therefore, approved Kluck’s change of direction—which meant the inevitable abandonment of the original wide sweep round the far side of Paris. Plan XVII had vastly underestimated the size of German invasion forces, and its execution would have dramatically enhanced the effectiveness of the German Schlieffen Plan. Case in point: invading neutral Belgium. That "scrap of paper" had been derided by German leaders, but the parchment would cost Berlin dearly by giving London a casus belli to declare war. German armies occupied virtually all of Belgium and much of northern France. Don't underestimate the power of Imperial Germany. Its capital ships rarely left port, which also left the British blockade in place. Plenty of novels paint a dark portrait. The Germans honored this convention until 1915, and then switched to unrestricted submarine warfare in which ships would be sunk without warning. In WW2, the Germans did take Paris, as well as chase the remnants of the British army out, with fragments of the French army, at Dunkirk. By the end of the first day, German troops had advanced more than four miles and inflicted almost 30,000 British casualties. HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. On September 7 and 8, Maunoury’s forces were reinforced by about 3,000 infantrymen who were transported to the battle from Paris by some 600 taxis, the first automotive transport of troops in the history of war. At Gallieni’s urging, Maunoury was already off the mark on September 5, and as his pressure developed on the Germans’ sensitive flank, Kluck was constrained to draw off first one part and then the remaining part of his army to support his threatened flank guard. First Battle of the Marne (Sept.). Failing that, and given the shorter distances in the West, it would have been better to have temporarily conceded some East Prussian territory while concentrating on capturing Paris. He also coordinated with the German Air Service or Luftstreitkrafte, to maximize the force of the offensive. France had a population of 39 million in 1914, versus Germany's 67 million. All Rights Reserved. in the ensuing months, and deployed it hurriedly to France in the winter of 1917-18. But its main contribution was provoking the British into regarding Germany as a threat even before the war began. Challenging the Royal Navy's maritime supremacy through a naval arms race was the one move guaranteed to arouse the British lion. It mustered fifteen dreadnoughts to Britain's twenty-two, and five battlecruisers to Britain's nine. It also may have lost Germany the war. Back in the summer of 1941, Maj. Gen. Henning von Tresckow, a member of Gen. Fedor von Bock’s Army Group Center, was the leader of one of many conspiracies against Adolf Hitler. Not long after the fall of Paris and Dunkirk, the Germans turned their attention south. First Battle of the Marne, an offensive during World War I by the French army and the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) against the advancing Germans who had invaded Belgium and northeastern France. From the beginning, it was more intense than anything yet seen on the Western Front. Their direction of advance was across a region intersected by frequent rivers, and this handicap was intensified by a lack of initiative on the part of their chiefs. It is quite possible that Britain might have declared war on Germany anyway, just to prevent a single power from dominating the Continent, and to preclude hostile naval bases so close to England. Now Germany faced not just France and Russia, but also the immense military and economic resources of the British Empire. By the time the Allies hardened their defense at the end of the month, Ludendorff’s army had crossed the Somme River and broken through enemy lines near the juncture between the British and French trenches. Naval Operations in the Dardanelles Campaign. Here are a few possibilities in which history could have been very different for Germany: If twentieth-century Germany had a tombstone, it would say "This is What Happens to Those Who Fight on Two Fronts". Not much. Greater results might have come if more effort had been made, as Gallieni urged, to strike at the rear flank of the Kluck’s First Army instead of the front and to direct reinforcements to the northwest of Paris for this purpose. When it comes to alternative history, the Second World War is king. The scene outside the Cleveland Arena on a chilly Friday night in March more than 50 years ago would ...read more, After four years of debate and planning, French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte enacts a new legal framework for France, known as the “Napoleonic Code.” The civil code gave post-revolutionary France its first coherent set of laws concerning property, colonial affairs, the family and ...read more, Journalist Henry Morton Stanley begins his famous search through Africa for the missing British explorer Dr. David Livingstone. Perhaps it is the grim aura of fatalism that discourages speculative history of the Great War. How close did the Germans get to Paris in 1918? From then on, Germany had to spread its forces between West and East, while supporting its Austro-Hungarian and Turkish allies. On March 21, 1918, near the Somme River in France, the German army launches its first major offensive on the Western Front in two years. It swept around us in a wide curve of red flame. Yet Germany nearly captured Paris in 1914, crushed Serbia and Romania, bled the French Army until it mutinied, drove Russia out of the war, and then came oh-so-close to victory on the Western Front in 1918. The Russian navy was negligible. On September 3, when the German First Army was crossing the Marne east of Paris, Gallieni realized the meaning of Kluck’s wheel inward and directed Gen. Michel-Joseph Maunoury’s Sixth Army to be ready to strike at the exposed German right flank. After four years of unrelenting combat and economic blockade, Germany still had the strength to achieve more in weeks than four years of bloody Allied offensives at the Somme, Passchendaele and Chemin des Dames. It is difficult to see how the German command could have reasonably pinned its faith on achieving as an improvised expedient the very task which in cool calculation before the war had appeared so hopeless as to lead it to take the momentous decision to advance through Belgium as the only feasible alternative. Alcatraz remains an icon of American prisons for its harsh ...read more, On March 21, 1778, just three days after British Loyalists and Hessian mercenary forces assault the local New Jersey militia at Quinton’s Bridge, three miles from Salem, New Jersey, the same contingent surprises the colonial militia at Hancock’s Bridge, five miles from Salem. All these forces were taken from the right wing. Angry, this may have set up the next rise in Fascism and Hitler (WWII). As a result of the battle the Germans were pushed back to the solid line marked in red. The whole left wing was ordered to turn about and return to a general offensive on September 6. If the German fleet could not break the British blockade, impose its own blockade of Britain, or enable a German amphibious invasion of England, then what was it good for? The pamphlet, it was later revealed, had been published anonymously by Andrew Marvell in 1677. By the time Ludendorff called off the first stage of the offensive in early April, German guns were trained on Paris, and their final, desperate attempt to win World War I was in full swing. There was mobile warfare in Russia and Poland, amphibious invasions in Turkey and guerrilla campaigns in East Africa. After forcing the new Soviet government to sue for peace, the Germans quickly transferred 500,000 troops to France. Britain had guaranteed Belgium's neutrality. The Germans began the spring offensive on March 21, 1918 and lasted several months with it resulting in German defeat. The encounter resulted in the partial repulse of the German advance and the ruin of German hopes for a swift victory on the Western Front.…. The temporary advantage which the German First Army had gained over Maunoury was thereby nullified, and it fell back the same day. In the late 19th century, Europeans and Americans were deeply fascinated by the continent of Africa. And then, exactly as a pianist runs his hands across a keyboard from treble to bass, there rose in less than one minute the most tremendous cannonade I shall ever hear.
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