The Battle of the Marne

Autor: Allen Churchill

Wydawnictwo: Endymion Press

On September 4, 1914, the bugler of Destiny sounded the "Halt!" to the retreat of the armies of the Allies from the Belgian frontier. The marvelous fighting machine of the German armies, perhaps the most superb organization of military potency that has been conceived by the mind of man, seemed to reach its limit of range. Success had perched upon the German eagles, and for two weeks there had been a steady succession of victories. Nevertheless the British and French armies were not crushed. They were overwhelmed, they were overpowered, and, under stern military necessity, they were forced to fall back.Day after day, under the swinging hammer-head blows of the German drive, the flower of the forces of the Allies had been compelled to break. A little less generalship on the part of the defenders, or a little more recklessness behind that smashing offensive might have turned this retirement into a rout. Even as it was, the official dispatches reveal that, while occasional and local retirements had been considered, such a sweeping retreat was far from contemplated by Generals Joffre and French. German official dispatches bear testimony to the intrepid character of the defenders sullenly falling back and contesting every inch of the way, as much as they do to the daring and the vivid bravery of the German attackers who hurled themselves steadily, day after day, upon positions hastily taken up in the retreat where the retirement could be partly repaid by the heaviest toll of death.The great strategical plan of the Germans, which had displayed itself throughout the entire operations on the western theatre of war from the very first gun of the campaign, came to its apex on this September 3, 1914. If the allied armies could develop a strong enough defense to halt the German offensive at this point, and especially if they could develop a sufficiently powerful counteroffensive to strike doubt into the confident expectations of the armies of the Central Powers, then the strategical plan had reached a check, which might or might not be a checkmate, as the fortunes of war might determine. If, on the other hand, the stand made by the Allies at this point should prove ineffective, and if the counteroffensive should reveal that the German hosts had been able to establish impregnable defenses as they marched, then the original strategic plan of the attackers must be considered as intact and the peril of France would become greatly intensified...
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