Today in military history: First Battle of the Marne begins - We Are The Mighty

Today in military history: First Battle of the Marne begins

On Sep. 5, 1914, the Battle of the Marne — which would save Paris from German forces — began.

Fighting had started the month before, with Germany making aggressive advances on the western front hoping to defeat the French before facing Russia to the east. As the German forces advanced on the French capital, the retreating Allies stumbled upon some luck.

Precise and accurate plans of the attack on Paris were found on a slain German officer. With this information, the French and British armies positioned themselves to defend the city. They were so close to the city limits, in fact, that 600 Parisian taxi cabs were enlisted to drive French troops to the battle front. 

After six days of fighting, and 100,000 soldiers killed or wounded, the Allies had achieved their first victory, but the war had just begun. Four years later, the Marne would be the site of another historic battle — one in which the American’s 3rd Infantry Division would add to their legendary status and the epitaph “Rock of the Marne.” But that is another story for another day.

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