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First Battle of Marne - 1914

September 6 – September 10, 1914

Banks of Marne River, France – Western Front

Allies – France
Allies – Britain
Central Powers - Germany

In the early days of World War I, German troops had won a number of victories and invaded France through Belgium. This was part of the Schlieffen Plan. The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and the French Fifth and Sixth Armies had retreated to the banks of Seine River, south of the Marne.
By September 3, 1914, Paris had been evacuated and the government and civilians had moved.

The French Sixth Army under the command of General Michel Maunoury launched an offensive against the German First Army, commanded by General Alexander von Kluck. The German Second Army, commanded by General Karl von Bülow, was about thirty-one miles behind General Von Kluck's troops. Having engaged the latter, French Commander in Chief Joseph Joffre ordered the French Fifth Army and the BEF to enter the gap between the two German armies, thus isolating them.

Additional troops were rushed to support the French Sixth Army and by September 9, 1914, Chief of the German General Staff, General Helmuth von Moltke, ordered the German First and Second Armies to retreat. The Allied forces were successful in throwing back the Germans across the Marne. The German troops halted near the Aisne River.

The Battle of the Marne was a costly battle for both sides. While the French recorded 250,000 causalities, the BEF marked about 12,700 causalities. The German troops lost over 222,000 soldiers. The victory at the Battle of the Marne was a significant triumph for the Allied Powers, for it foiled German plans to invade Paris. Despite having captured sizable portions of northeastern France, the German troops were forced to settle for trench warfare that lasted the rest of World War I.

Major Battles of World War I
Battle of Mons - 1914Battles of Gaza - 1917
Battle of Tannenberg – 1914Second Battle of Aisne - 1917
Battle of Heligoland Bight - 1914Second Battle of Arras - 1917
First Battle of Marne – 1914Battle of Messines – 1917
First Battle of the Masurian Lakes – 1914Battle of Passchendaele - 1917
First Battle of Aisne – 1914Battle of Caporetto - 1917
First Battle of Arras – 1914Battle of Cambrai - 1917
First Battle of Ypres – 1914German Spring Offensive - 1918
Gallipoli Campaign – 1915Hundred Days Offensive - 1918
Second Battle of the Masurian Lakes – 1915Second Battle of Somme - 1918
Battles of Isonzo – 1915Second Battle of Marne - 1918
Loos-Artois Offensive - 1915Battle of St Mihiel - 1918
Battle of Verdun - 1916Battle of Vittori Veneto - 1918
First Battle of Somme - 1916