World History

First Battle of the Marne | World War I

The Marne River saw action in two significant conflicts close to Paris, France. The first combat of 1914, which took place between September 5 and September 12, is the subject of this article. Four years later, from July 15 to August 6 in 1918, the Second Battle of the Marne took place.

Who participated in the First Marne Battle?

Germany and its allies, France and Britain, engaged in the First Battle of the Marne. Under General Helmuth von Moltke’s command, there were over 1,400,000 German soldiers. There were just over 1,000,000 soldiers between the French and the British, spread between six French armies and one British army. General Joseph Joffre commanded the French, while General John French commanded the British.

Leading up to the Battle

Approximately one month before to the combat, World War I had started. Germany had been rapidly gaining ground and dominating the conflicts throughout that time. They were moving through France after passing via Belgium.

The German attack’s quickness was all a result of the Schlieffen Plan, a military tactic. Before the Russians could gather their forces and launch an invasion from the east, Germany wanted to annex France and Western Europe. Germany would only have to engage in combat on one front at a time in this way.

The Allies of Britain and France agreed to make an all-out effort to halt the German army’s advance as they drew near Paris. The First Battle of the Marne was named after this conflict.

The Battle

The time has come for the Allies to launch a counterattack against the Germans, according to French General Joseph Joffre. British commander Sir John French first claimed that his troops were too exhausted after the retreat to launch an assault. However, Lord Kitchener, the British war minister, persuaded him to take part in the assault alongside General Joffre.

The First and Second German armies of the German army separated by a wide margin as the Germans advanced. Utilising this opening, the Allies charged between the two armies, dividing the German forces. They then bombarded the Germans from all directions, confusing them.

The Germans were forced to flee after a few days of combat. They withdrew back to northern France’s Aisne River. Here, they constructed numerous trench rows in an effort to stave off the Allied forces. The following four years would see them in this position.


Heavy fatalities were sustained by the armies on both sides of the First Battle of the Marne. Around 263,000 soldiers from the Allies were injured, including 81,000 fatalities. There were about 220,000 casualties or wounded Germans.

But the Allies were thought to have won the fight handily. They had pushed Germany to wage war on two fronts by repelling the German army. German forces had to be redirected to the east as the Russians started their eastward assault while still attempting to repel the French and British in the west.

Interesting details about the First Marne War

In order to deploy troops quickly around the battlefield, the French hired taxis in Paris. These cabs earned the moniker “taxis of the Marne” and came to represent France’s determination to win the war.

Reconnaissance planes were deployed for the first time in a significant fight to find enemy military positions. The allies were able to place their soldiers and win the war thanks in large part to this.

By the time they arrived in Paris, the German forces were worn out. Over 150 kilometres had been marched by some of the men.

Over two million men participated in the war, and over 500,000 were injured or died.