WALKING THE RETREAT: The March to the Marne 1914 Revisited


WALKING THE RETREAT: The March to the Marne 1914 Revisited

TERRY CUDBIRD    Book Number: 84527    Product format: Paperback

"Enormous carved figures covered the bottom half facing down the hill...Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre, the French Commander-in-Chief, stands in the centre...The soldier next to him represents a poilu, or hairy one, because he has had no time to shave. There were around one million of them fighting from the gates of Paris to the Vosges Mountains in Alsace. It was Joffre's job to manoeuvre them into the right positions, but they were seen as the real heroes. On the other side are the generals who are most directly involved, starting on the right with Joseph Galliéni, the Military Governor of Paris, and Michel-Joseph Manoury whose Sixth Army opened the battle by launching an attack on the German right flank." The opening month of the Great War ended in the Battle of the Marne 6th - 9th September 1914. It was a turning point in modern history. The French and British Armies were forced into a long retreat from Belgium, but subsequently regrouped to mount a successful counter-attack. However, the Miracle of the Marne as it was later called ended in the stalemate of the trenches. The failure of the Imperial German Army to achieve a decisive victory led to 30 years of hostility, warfare and destruction which cost millions of lives. During the retreat to the Marne over a million soldiers marched 20 miles a day carrying 60lb packs in temperatures above 30°C. They were often short of food and managed only short snatches of rest. They fought a series of engagements over two weeks which ended in a battle from the plains of Lorraine to the gates of Paris and tested them to the limits of endurance. Terry Cudbird describes his own August walk from southern Belgium to the battlefield and reflects on the soldiers' origins and training. 242pp in paperback with illustrations and ten maps.
Published price: £12.99
Bibliophile price: £2.50


Additional product information

ISBN 9781909930025
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