France to thank Britain for bailing it out at Battle of the Marne


Blackleaf
#1
For much of the last 100 years the Battle of the Marne has been seen as a mainly France vs Germany affair in which the so-called ‘Miracle of the Marne’ forced the Kaiser’s Imperial Army to abandon its advance on Paris.

But, in fact, it was the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), under the appropriately-named Sir John French, which was at the forefront of the fighting.

Now, 100 years on, France is finally seeing the light and plans to set history right with plans to pay a major tribute to those British soldiers who saved Paris.

The tributes will be lead by French President Francois Hollande, who will visit the Museum of the Great War, at Meaux, east of Paris, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First Battle of the Marne.

Former French government minister Jean-François Copé, who is also the mayor of Meaux, said: ‘We must remember that this victory was a victory for the Allies together.

‘Indeed, the British Army, though numerically small, was decisive in the first months of the conflict.’

The First Battle of the Marne, which took place from 5th to 12th September 1914, saw the British and French defeat the Germans. The battle was the culmination of the German advance into France and the pursuit of French and British troops. The battle was a counterattack by the French and British.

The French being friendly to the British. What's going on?


France to set history right with plans to pay major tribute to British forces for their part in saving Paris from the Germans on 100th anniversary of the First Battle of the Marne

French President Francois Hollande will lead the tributes to British troops

He will visit the Museum of the Great War, at Meaux for commemoration

First Battle of the Marne victory usually put down to the French

But the British Expeditionary Force were at the forefront of the fighting

Prince Andrew will be in France this weekend honouring British soldiers

By Peter Allen for MailOnline
5 September 2014
Daily Mail

The French are to pay a major tribute to the part British forces played in saving Paris from the Germans during World War I.

In what is seen as a major change in attitude, President Francois Hollande will lead the tributes.

He will visit the Museum of the Great War, at Meaux, east of Paris, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First Battle of the Marne.

Trench warfare on the German gun position, Marne, France during the First Battle of the Marne, September 1914


A war memorial in France to the British officers who fell in the battles of Aisne and Marne


Prince Andrew will be in France this weekend honouring British troops

It is usually portrayed as a Franco-German action, in which the so-called ‘Miracle of the Marne’ forced the Kaiser’s Imperial Army to abandon its advance on Paris.

But in fact, the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) under Sir John French was at the forefront of the fighting.

Former French government minister Jean-François Copé, who is also the mayor of Meaux, said: ‘We must remember that this victory was a victory for the Allies together.

‘Indeed, the British Army, though numerically small, was decisive in the first months of the conflict.’


Francois Holland (centre), speaking today at the NATO summit in Newport, Wales, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, will lead the tributes to the British soldiers

Mr Hollande will be in Meaux at the end of next week, while Prince Andrew will be in Frétoy, north east of Paris, on Sunday.

It is there, on September 7, 1914, that the 9th Queen's Royal Lancers took part in the last ‘lance on lance’ action of the Great War.

The Prince will honour some 100 British troops who served in Afghanistan with medals.

The main exhibition at the Meaux museum, one of the most impressive in Europe, now concentrates on the BEF’s progress from August to December 1914.

Many British soldiers landed in France thinking the war would be over by Christmas, but were soon involved in bloody battles, including Marne, which started 100 years ago today.


The Museum of the Great War at Meaux, east of Paris, where President Hollande will visit to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First Battle of the Marne

After a week of fierce fighting, the Germans’ pursuit of the Allied armies was repelled along the Marne River.

French troops famously arrived in taxis from central Paris, where the population feared the humiliation of occupation. Many French would have been able to remember the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71 - a French defeat - when a German Army encircled Paris, forcing the starving Parisians to eat animals in the city's zoo.

Once the Germans were themselves forced to retreat, the war turned into four years of bloody trench warfare, in which millions were killed and wounded. The trench warfare only ended when the British brought their newfangled tank into battle.

Sir John French’s baton is on loan to the French from the Imperial War Museum in London, while the Meaux exhibition tells of the ‘common strategy’ they developed.

Famous British marching songs including ‘It’s a Long Way To Tipperary’ (those were the days when the whole of Ireland was part of the UK) will be played throughout the week of commemorations, and the Royal Navy’s decisive victories early in the war will also be featured.

French politicians have, over the years, been accused of underplaying Britain’s role in the world wars at the expense of their own efforts, and America’s.

But President Hollande has done much to reverse this trend – regularly paying tribute to the sacrifice millions of Britons made.


Read more: France to pay tribute to British forces for help in saving Paris from the Germans on Marne*100th anniversary | Mail Online
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Last edited by Blackleaf; Sep 5th, 2014 at 09:56 AM..
 
BaalsTears
+1
#2
What about Agincourt?
 
coldstream
+2
#3  Top Rated Post
In her excellent book on the start of the First World War, The Guns of August, Barbara Tuchman made a powerful case that the First Battle of the Marne was really won the week before, at the Battle of Charleroi and the Battle of Guise (beginning Aug. 21, 1914).. when French General Charles Lanrezac halted and disorganized the German Advance.. over the incompetence of French Supreme Commander Joseph Joffre and BEF General Alexander Haig (who later became the 'Butcher' of the Somme).

Lanrezac used stealth, flexibility and manoeuver to blunt the German advance.. but was dismissed for lack 'aggression' by Joffre.. who wanted what would have been a disastrous counter attack with the flailing French Army and its reserves. Lanrazec's reputation was later restored, much as Joffre's was tarnished as a blundering buffoon.

Joffre and Haig then implemented the tactics of intractable frontal assault that would dominate the rest of the war.. and led to the trench warfare that cost millions of lives.
Last edited by coldstream; Sep 5th, 2014 at 01:19 PM..
 
EagleSmack
#4
Great post CS.

We knew it couldn't have been the Brits bailing out anyone.
 
WLDB
+1
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmack View Post

Great post CS.

We knew it couldn't have been the Brits bailing out anyone.


Meh, even if they had bailed out the French it was a waste. Should have stayed out and watched instead.
 
Nuggler
#6
" BEF General Alexander Haig (who later became the 'Butcher' of the Somme)."

That particular son of a bitch should have been hung, drawn, and quartered, after first having his balls cut off and sewn into his mouth.


BUT !
We will let bygones be bygones as we always do. No sense kicking a few thousand dead infantry.
 
BaalsTears
#7
The Miracle on the Marne could not have occurred but for the Russian advance into East Prussia and their sacrifice at the Battle of the Tannenberg Forest which forced Von Molke to withdraw three corps and a cavalry division from the Western Front and transport them by rail to counter the Russians. The withdrawal of troops from the Western Front violated the Schlieffen Plan, and prevented the concentration of forces the Germans needed to avoid what became the Miracle on the Marne.
 
Blackleaf
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by WLDB View Post

Should have stayed out and watched instead.

I think that option went out of the window when Germany invaded Belgium.

Britain did the right thing in joining the Great War. And had we hadn't, Germany would have won.

Quote: Originally Posted by Nuggler View Post

" BEF General Alexander Haig (who later became the 'Butcher' of the Somme)."

That particular son of a bitch should have been hung, drawn, and quartered, after first having his balls cut off and sewn into his mouth.


BUT !
We will let bygones be bygones as we always do. No sense kicking a few thousand dead infantry.


What absolute rubbish some people write.

After the war Haig was praised by the American General John Pershing, who remarked that Haig was "the man who won the war".
 
coldstream
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by Blackleaf View Post





What absolute rubbish some people write.

After the war Haig was praised by the American General John Pershing, who remarked that Haig was "the man who won the war".

Both Generals John Pershing and Douglas Haig were bureacratic staff officers thrust into operational command. They both championed wars of 'attrition'.. which threw men indiscrimately into frontal assaults against entrenched mechanized armies equipped with machine guns, gas and artillery. Consistently the 10s of thousands who died in these advances gained only a few meters.

Both lacked imagination, and a sense of tactical flexibility or strategic innovation, and the least regard for the lives of their common soldiers. They were ramrod sticklers for outmoded tactics and ruthless discipline. It's not surprising that the incompetent cadre of senior officers after the war, banded together to absolve each other of responsibility for the senseless slaughter that marked First World War battles.
Last edited by coldstream; Sep 6th, 2014 at 12:50 PM..
 
Blackleaf
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by coldstream View Post

Both Generals John Pershing and Douglas Haig were bureacratic staff officers thrust into operational command. They both championed wars of 'attrition'.. which threw men indiscrimately into frontal assaults against entrenched mechanized armies equipped with machine guns, gas and artillery. Consistently the 10s of thousands who died in these advances gained only a few meters.

Both lacked imagination, and a sense of tactical flexibility or strategic innovation, and the least regard for the lives of their common soldiers. They were ramrod sticklers for outmoded tactics and ruthless discipline. It's not surprising that the incompetent cadre of senior officers after the war, banded together to absolve each other of responsibility for the senseless slaughter that marked First World War battles.

You're one of those who have taken the Blackadder Goes Forth view of WWI which Michael Gove was complaining about earlier this year in which he said that Left Wing school teachers are teaching pupils the Blackadder version of WWI history, which all started with crazed left wingers back in the 1960s who invented false stories of "incompetent" WWI generals and that WWI was a pointless war which Britain should have stayed out of, stories which aren't true but which are still perpetuated by the Left today.

Thankfully, in more recent times, people have started seeing beyond the Left Wing myths of WWI, which are everywhere in Blackadder Goes Forth (which can only be expected when you consider it's a BBC series), and seen WWI for in TRUE light.

Since the 1980s some historians have argued that the public hatred in which Haig's name had come to be held failed to recognise the adoption of new tactics and technologies (such as the tank) by forces under his command, the important role played by British forces in the Allied victory of 1918 and that high casualties were a consequence of the tactical and strategic realities of the time.

One of Haig's defenders was the military historian John Terraine, who published a biography of Haig (The Educated Soldier) in 1963, in which Haig was portrayed as a "Great Captain" of the calibre of the Duke of Marlborough or the Duke of Wellington. Terraine, taking his cue from Haig's "Final Despatch" of 1918, also argued that Haig pursued the only strategy possible, given the situation the armies were in: that of attrition which wore down the German army and delivered the coup de grâce of 1918. Gary Sheffield stated that although Terraine's arguments about Haig have been much attacked over forty years, Terraine's thesis "has yet to be demolished".

Australian historian Les Carlyon wrote that while Haig was slow to adapt to the correct use of artillery in sufficient quantities to support infantry attacks and was generally sceptical that the science of such doctrine had much place in military theory, he was fully supportive of excellent corps and field commanders such as Herbert Plumer, Arthur Currie and John Monash, who seem to best grasp and exercise these concepts, especially later in the war. Carlyon also wrote out that there was a case to answer, for his support of more dubious commanders such as Ian Hamilton, Aylmer Hunter-Weston and Hubert Gough.
 
lone wolf
#11
You'd be a happy man if theory and propaganda fought wars.
 

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