First Battle of the Marne

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French sodiers waiting for assault, in a ditch in 1914
French soldiers chase German ones, contemporary illustration of 1914.

The First Battle of the Marne was a battle in the First World War. It was fought between the German Empire on one side, and the French and English on the other. The battle ended with a tactical retreat of the German army. It was one of the first signs that the Schlieffen Plan did not work. The battle cost the lives of over one million French and English soldiers, and over 750.000 soldiers on the German side. The battle was fought from 5 - 12 September 1914.


The Schlieffen Plan called for an attack through Belgium, avoiding the main French fortifications, on the German frontier, the attack would result on the entering of the British, in which the German Emperor Wilhem II called a long and forgoten army, the plan was taking by the German high command which at the time was general Von Motke, he had taken Belgium by surprise and destroyed the small Belgian army. After destroying the main fortifications in Lieje and Namur, the German First Army and Second Army under the command of Von Kluck and Von Bülow, moved toward Paris. They were stooped in Mons by the B.E.F. or British Expeditionary Force, the BEF did hold long enough because of French general Lanzerac, commander of the sixth army, left his positions without telling Sir John French the leader of the BEF, this opened the BEF for encirclement. French had no other option but to retreat back to French soil, he retreated but at a high cost, this almost forced the BEF to leave France, if it wasnt because of Kitchener, the British high command hadnt arrive at the same time from stooping French from retreating France, nobody knows how this battle could have finished. With no real oposition the Germans moved as quickly as posible and prepared to face the French, the Germans were finally stooped at the Marne River.

The Battle

The Germans were so close that they could fire there massive Rail-Guns (massive cannons on rails) right into Paris. The French and British were prepared for the worst, they could only hope they could win this battle and give France and break. The German Second Army lead by Bülow decided to move more south to destroy the French Fith Army, but Von Kluck didnt know about this so he continued to move up and destroy the French. But with no way to see a large gap was created between the two German army´s, while there wasnt any way the allies could take avantage of or even find the gap, a small scouting plane flew over the gap, he imediatly saw an oportunity and comunicated this to Joseph Gallieni, the commanding officer. Joseph new that this could easily win the battle and save France, but there was a problem a new army was being created and had been moved to Paris, but the problem was that there wasnt any way to move this troops fast enough to the front. But there was a solution, Joseph called that every taxi and there drivers to report for duty, his plan was to move the troops by taxi, which at the time was a very new invention. The way in the taxis moved troops to the gap was called Taxi to the Front, the taxis moved through the night and day to carry soldiers, but following the rules the taxis had their Taximeter (machine that counts the cost of travelling through the taxi) turned on, this made the taxi operators rich. The allies pushed as hard as they could into the gap with their new troops. The plan function and the gap got larger each day of battle, into a point in which the german pushed must have to come to an end, and retreat be the main solution. As Kluck and Bülow acussed each other of the gap, it was important to notice that after this lost, the Germans lost all hope to win this war this year, and some even said it was the end of Germany.