The Battle of the Marne
By Owen Fish
In September 1914, the First Battle of the Marne took place. It is called the Battle of the Marne because it took place at the River Marne outside of Paris France. The German forces were attacking the French capital after invading places like Belgium and North Eastern France. The Germans were expected to win this battle and because of that, the French government fled Paris to Bordeaux. The Weapons used during this battle and many battles of this time was bolt action rifles, with the Germans using the Mauser Gewehr 98.
When the Battle began the French Commander in Chief, Joseph Joffre, launched a counter attack by attacking one side of the German line. When he attacked the one side, part of the line helped out the people on the side, creating a gap between the two German armies. When this gap formed, the French troops forced it wider and wider by attacking the other side of the gap. On September 8 1914, French troops launched a surprise attack on the second German army, further widening the gap between the two armies. On September the 9th, the German chief of staff, Helmuth Von Moltke, ordered a retreat by the two German armies because of poor communication between them. When they retreated the Allied forces followed them, but not too quickly. After approximately 40 miles of retreating from the Marne river, the Germans camped out and dug trenches, that eventually led to trench warfare.
The French armies lost about 250,000 soldiers at the Battle of the Marne and the German armies are believed to have lost about the same numbers, but no official numbers are available. The British BEF, which helped the French armies throughout the battle lost about 12,733 men. The Allied Victory at the Battle of the Marne not only was an Allied Victory, but it ended any German hopes of ending the First World War quickly.
French Soldiers at the Battle