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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

First Battle of the Marne


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First Battle of the Marne, was the first offensive-action during the Great War by the French Army and the British Expeditionary Force (B.E.F.), in September of 1914, against the advancing Germans who had invaded Belgium and northeastern France. The German Army came to within 30 miles of Paris - they would never be this close again until the Final German Offensive, in the spring of 1918. In both cases, the French threw back the massive German advance and thwarted German plans for a quick and total victory on the Western Front. After French commander-in-chief Joseph Joffre ordered the offensive, General Michel-Joseph Maunoury’s French Sixth Army opened a gap between Germany’s First and Second Armies. Maunoury exploited the gap with help from the French Fifth Army and B.E.F., while Ferdinand Foch’s Ninth Army thwarted the advances of the German Second and Third Armies. By 10 September 1914, the Germans began to retreat, drawing up new lines north of the Aisne River. Trench warfare would dominate the Western Front for three and a half years, until mobile warfare returned with the Final German Offensive.

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