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

By Hilaire Belloc | Go to book overview

upon the Crown Prince's army (the German Vth Army) which was opposed to it, and help to increase the confusion of the enemy when once he should be compelled to retire.

If this was the rôle set down for Sarrail's force it was unable to play its full part. If, on the other hand, the 3rd Army was only expected to hold against the pressure of the Crown Prince while all the active work was being done elsewhere, then the 3rd Army amply fulfilled its function. It had already done something of capital importance when, during the retreat, it had covered and saved Verdun; for by so doing, it had compelled the German advance to take that curved, "sagging" form which gave half its value to Maunoury's unexpected onslaught in flank.

Sarrail's army during these four days, the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th of September, gained and lost such little ground, and had, though an important yet such a negative effect on the whole battle, that our examination of its movements can be brief.

It consisted, two or three days before the battle opened, of nine divisions--six divisions in line (with a brigade added), and three divisions behind in reserve, using as well the regulation division of cavalry which accom-

-266-

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

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • Introduction 7
  • I - The Battle Generally Considered 21
  • The Great War 103
  • II - The Details of the Battle 104
  • III - The Battle of the "Grand Couronné" 112
  • IV - The Battle of the Ourcq and of the Two Morins 147
  • V - The Battle of La Fère Champenoise 191
  • VI - The Rest of the Line 235
  • VII - The Stationary Right Wing 265
  • VIII - The Aisne 284
  • Index 385
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