Sunday 5 September 2021

The Marne by Thomas Payton

 September 5th, 1914 - The Battle of the Marne

The German 1st and 2nd Armies continue their advance into France, pushing the French and British Armies to the ouskirts of Paris. Field Marshal John French, commander of the British Expeditionary Force, is making plans to retreat to the ports on the English Channel leading to an evacuation of the British Army.. However, Lord Kitchener, the British Secretary of State for War, meets with Field Marshal French and orders him not to withdraw. The Allied retreat was to end at the River Marne. The French and British armies would counter attack along the Marne, halting the German advance. French aerial reconnaissance reveals a gap in the center of the German advance, the French and British exploit this weakness and press their advantage. So begins the Battle of the Marne, which would rage from the 5th to the 12th of September. The German Schlieffen Plan, by which they had hoped for a quick and easy victory, lay in shambles. Now the armies fight a war of manuver, moving northward towards the sea, each attempting to outflank the other.

(Image: German soldiers at the Battle of the Marne, photograph taken in September, 1914)

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