The tactical result of an engagement forms the base for new strategic decisions because victory or defeat in a battle changes the situation to such a degree that no human acumen is able to see beyond the first battle. In this sense one should understand Napoleon’s saying: “I have never had a plan of operations.” Therefore no plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond the first contact with the main hostile force… Helmuth von Moltke


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The Marne, 1914 : the opening of World War I and the battle that changed the world  Holger H. Herwig  New York : Random House, c 2009  Hardcover. 1st ed., later printing. xix, 391 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

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For the first time in a generation, here is a bold new account of the Battle of the Marne, a cataclysmic encounter that prevented a quick German victory in World War I and changed the course of two wars and the world. With exclusive information based on newly unearthed documents, Holger H. Herwig re-creates the dramatic battle and reinterprets Germany’s aggressive “Schlieffen Plan” as a carefully crafted design to avoid a protracted war against superior coalitions.

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He paints a fresh portrait of the run-up to the Marne and puts in dazzling relief the Battle of the Marne itself: the French resolve to win, and the crucial lack of coordination between Germany’s First and Second Armies. Herwig also provides stunning cameos of all the important players, from Germany’s Chief of General Staff Helmuth von Moltke to his rival, France’s Joseph Joffre. Revelatory and riveting, this is the source on this seminal event.

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