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Old January 23rd, 2013, 04:15 AM   #11

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As I mentioned previously, it seemed a bit more like a book about the Battle of the Frontiers than about the Battle of the Marne. Almost as if the author got tired of writing when he got to the main event.

I didn't like his maps very much. They were too busy and a bit confusing. On the other hand, I had already purchased this book to supplement my earlier Tannenberg readings. I really like it as a supplement:

Amazon.com: A Military Atlas of the First World War (9780850527919): Arthur Banks: Books

Its a little hard to judge the book for me. I feel like it might not have really been organized that well but I was greatly assisted by the fact of reading the 'Guns of August' and a couple of others just ahead of it. I was already fresh on who everyone was and etc.
Thanks for the input

Guns of August was superb, imo.

Two books about the Marne, I can offer you, for a read. One is from a British perspective, the other is from a French and German perspective. Both very good, both very interesting, but they act a counter-balance to each other.

The Latter book tries to mention the prominent part of the French in the battle and the Germans (he thinks the British did sod all, lol!). The former book tries to dispell the myth surrounding the British BEF, that the were "ineffective". Without being biased, I would say the first book, is more informative. The French author uses colourful language and plentiful superlatives to talk about the German advances.

Retreat and Rearguard 1914: The BEF's Actions from Mons to the Marne: Amazon.co.uk: Jerry Murland: Books
Retreat and Rearguard 1914: The BEF's Actions from Mons to the Marne: Amazon.co.uk: Jerry Murland: Books


The Marne: The Battle That Saved Paris and Changed the Course of the First World War Prion lost treasures: Amazon.co.uk: Georges Blond: Books
The Marne: The Battle That Saved Paris and Changed the Course of the First World War Prion lost treasures: Amazon.co.uk: Georges Blond: Books

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Old January 23rd, 2013, 04:26 AM   #12

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Baltis, great photos Were aeroplanes in use on the front at that time, and are they mentioned in the book? I always thought the "old comtemptibles" took part in "Marne", what does the book say sir?

Thankyou, for the book, Mangekyou. The DVD is very good, well acted.
The BEF very famously moved into the Gap that opened up between Bulow and Kluck (1st and 2nd Armies). the movement caused 1st army to withdraw and, in fact, pretty much caused the entire German line to withdraw into the static lines that became the Western Front. However, it appears to have been mostly just the fact of being there. Casualty reports after the battle indicate very little action from the BEF. They had added a third corps after the retreat from Mons but, at the Marne, they represented a present threat. Didn't really get into the major fighting.

While French did answer Joffre's emotional appeal that they stop the retreat and join him the counter-offensive on the Marne. The BEF actually moved up slowly and didn't see that much action.

On the other hand, both Haig and Smith-Dorien's corps had seen quite a bit of action on the retreat from Mons. I didn't do a separate thread but one of the books I have gotten through was:

Amazon.com: RETREAT AND REARGUARD 1914: The BEF's Actions From Mons to the Marne (9781848843912): Jerry Murland: Books
Amazon.com: RETREAT AND REARGUARD 1914: The BEF's Actions From Mons to the Marne (9781848843912): Jerry Murland: Books


This one has some very rich detail on the early days of the BEF in WW1
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 04:27 AM   #13

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Originally Posted by Mangekyou View Post
Thanks for the input

Guns of August was superb, imo.

Two books about the Marne, I can offer you, for a read. One is from a British perspective, the other is from a French and German perspective. Both very good, both very interesting, but they act a counter-balance to each other.

The Latter book tries to mention the prominent part of the French in the battle and the Germans (he thinks the British did sod all, lol!). The former book tries to dispell the myth surrounding the British BEF, that the were "ineffective". Without being biased, I would say the first book, is more informative. The French author uses colourful language and plentiful superlatives to talk about the German advances.

Retreat and Rearguard 1914: The BEF's Actions from Mons to the Marne: Amazon.co.uk: Jerry Murland: Books

The Marne: The Battle That Saved Paris and Changed the Course of the First World War Prion lost treasures: Amazon.co.uk: Georges Blond: Books
OOPs, while writing my last post I didn't see this one. Seems we have some similar reading tastes.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 04:31 AM   #14

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Baltis, great photos Were aeroplanes in use on the front at that time, and are they mentioned in the book? I always thought the "old comtemptibles" took part in "Marne", what does the book say sir?

Thankyou, for the book, Mangekyou. The DVD is very good, well acted.
Almost forgot to mention, yes, they did have airplanes in Aug 1914 but they hadn't really gotten used to using them effectively. Here and there some good intel on troop movements came in from aircraft. Mostly by the Entente but also by the Germans. At this stage there is actually more mention of how they could have used air travel more effectively to increase communications. No dogfights yet.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 04:31 AM   #15

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OOPs, while writing my last post I didn't see this one. Seems we have some similar reading tastes.
Haha! Yes indeed. It was a very informative book, imo
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 06:17 AM   #16

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Just finished another of the Christmas collection on World War One. This time it was: The Marne, 1914: The Opening of World War I and the Battle That Changed the World: Holger H. Herwig: 9780812978292: Amazon.com: Books

I found the title just a tad misleading in that the author's focus is clearly all of the Beginning stages of the war. The treatment of the Frontiers is actually more comprehensive than the Marne itself. For those not acquainted with the details of August 1914, the Frontiers is actually the opening battles of World War One.

The German and French armies attacked each other across a broad front in Alsace Lorraine and the Ardennes. The French held back from entering Belgium until assured of British intervention but then moved up and engaged in the same type of battle. The different zones of battle and army groups involved define separate battles. The Ardennes, Mulhouse, Lorraine, Mons, and St. Charleroi. These affairs went very well for Moltke and the German Army. Unfortunately, they turned south before engulfing Paris and famously offered Joffre the flank. Victory to defeat at the Marne after having chased the BEF and French armies across Belgium and much of France. Here are some links to those battles:

First World War.com - Battles - The Battle of the Frontiers, 1914

First World War.com - Battles - The First Battle of the Marne, 1914

Click the image to open in full size.

First Battle of the Marne - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Frequently when discussing the overall battle, I have noticed a tendency to emphasize the famous 'Gap' that opened up between the German 1st and 2nd armies allowing the BEF to drive into gap endangering 1st army with total destruction thereby forcing withdrawl to positions that became the Western Front.

I was quite surprised to find that the BEF did almost no fighting at the Battle of the Marne rather simply menaced the Germans by their presence.

I found it really ironic to discover the German army's defeat at the Marne may have had as much to do with bad communications as their victory at Tannenberg had to do with Russian communications.

Clearly Holger H. Herwig felt Von Moltke's performance was key in the loss at the Marne. Trying to run things from a distant headquarters with such poor communication lines was crucial in the defeat.

Papa Joffre gets off the hook for his performance at the Frontiers by maintaining calm and remaining fully engaged at the Marne.

Anyway, just a few thoughts.

Lack of communication was certainly a problem, Klucks premature manouvre opened the famous gap which should never have been allowed to happen. Another problem was the troops taken from the German right wing and packed off to fight the Russians, two corps would have been more than enough to plug the gap.
Moltke might have had a famous name, but he was not a patch on his illustrious forbearer.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 02:42 PM   #17

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Lack of communication was certainly a problem, Klucks premature manouvre opened the famous gap which should never have been allowed to happen. Another problem was the troops taken from the German right wing and packed off to fight the Russians, two corps would have been more than enough to plug the gap.
Moltke might have had a famous name, but he was not a patch on his illustrious forbearer.
The extra 2 corps might have plugged the gap but would they have been enough to keep Kluck from turning south too soon and failing to strike Paris? Hard to say. I think Kluck had just as big a problem on his flank.

Anyway, it leads to an interesting controversy brought out by Mr. Herwig in the book. Von Moltke's chief of staff was Lt Col Hentsch. He took a tour of all the front late in the Battle of the Marne and seems to be accused of extreme pessimism. He ordered (in Von Moltke's name and with Von Moltke's authorization) the withdrawal of German armies back to the line that became the Western Front. Apparently many of the German commanders believed that pessimism unwarranted.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 02:51 PM   #18

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Apparently, casualty lists and rates for World War One are not really available in any definitive form. However, the author's best estimate on the French would be about 80,000 total losses. The Germans are broken down by army:

1st (Kluck) 13,254 of 162,100
2nd (Bulow) 10607 of 134264
3rd 14987 of 117700
4rth 9433 of 77960
5th (Wilhelm) 19434 of 225859
6th (Rupprecht) 21200 of 240187
7th 10164 of 128527

One detail I find striking about those numbers is how it emphasizes much of the fighting was in the Alsace sectors of the front. Even though the story centers around 1st and 2nd armies.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 02:55 PM   #19

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The BEF very famously moved into the Gap that opened up between Bulow and Kluck (1st and 2nd Armies). the movement caused 1st army to withdraw and, in fact, pretty much caused the entire German line to withdraw into the static lines that became the Western Front. However, it appears to have been mostly just the fact of being there. Casualty reports after the battle indicate very little action from the BEF. They had added a third corps after the retreat from Mons but, at the Marne, they represented a present threat. Didn't really get into the major fighting. ..................


...........................................
I think you have to remember the the 'Fog of war' the BEF are beaten gone , the Germans had a low opinion of them to start 'OK a harder fight than they thought' but defeat.

Suddenly in the gap is this 'new' 'unbeaten' force WTF?

With hindsight we can see different but for a German commnder . the French advancing and suddenly this unknown threat-- remember your 'intelligence' had already told you the Belgian forces would be a 'walk over' (they weren't) the BEF would be a 'walk over' (they weren't) now is this 'new' threat nothing?
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 03:02 PM   #20

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Originally Posted by John Paul View Post
Baltis, great photos Were aeroplanes in use on the front at that time, and are they mentioned in the book? I always thought the "old comtemptibles" took part in "Marne", what does the book say sir?

Thankyou, for the book, Mangekyou. The DVD is very good, well acted.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baltis View Post
The BEF very famously moved into the Gap that opened up between Bulow and Kluck (1st and 2nd Armies). the movement caused 1st army to withdraw and, in fact, pretty much caused the entire German line to withdraw into the static lines that became the Western Front. However, it appears to have been mostly just the fact of being there. Casualty reports after the battle indicate very little action from the BEF. They had added a third corps after the retreat from Mons but, at the Marne, they represented a present threat. Didn't really get into the major fighting.

While French did answer Joffre's emotional appeal that they stop the retreat and join him the counter-offensive on the Marne. The BEF actually moved up slowly and didn't see that much action.

On the other hand, both Haig and Smith-Dorien's corps had seen quite a bit of action on the retreat from Mons. I didn't do a separate thread but one of the books I have gotten through was:

Amazon.com: RETREAT AND REARGUARD 1914: The BEF's Actions From Mons to the Marne (9781848843912): Jerry Murland: Books

This one has some very rich detail on the early days of the BEF in WW1
As far as I remember, it was the French lieutenant Watteau who spotted, while flying, the creation of the gap between Von Kluck and Von Buelow.
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