The Elements of the Great War: The Second Phase: The Battle of the Marne

By Hilaire Belloc | Go to book overview
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INTRODUCTION

IN "The First Phase" of "Elements of the Great War"--the opening volume of this series-was described the general historical position when the shock came between the Germanic groups of Central Europe and the older civilization of the South and West, supported by the Slavs of the East.

The military portion of that book was concerned with the story of the initial Germanic success. It was pointed out how, together with the numerical superiority, the enemy enjoyed other advantages: first, that he had carefully prepared war for his own date, secretly, and over a period of three years; secondly, that his guesses at the probable nature of modern warfare, when it should take place upon a large scale, were more often right than wrong. With such advantages his victory should have been assured.

It was further pointed out that of its very nature this victory must be an immediate, brief, decisive thing. Delay, a check (improbable or impossible as that check seemed

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