battle of the Marne
Marne, Second Battle of the
Allied artillery and aircraft, striking beyond the salient, destroyed the Marne bridges, disrupting German reinforcement and resupply. With the French line holding from Soissons to Reims, the German offensive was halted. By 17 July, it was apparent to the German High Command that the offensive had run its course. American forces were arriving in France at the rate of 300,000 a month. Although Gen. Erich Ludendorff, commander of the German forces, planned another offensive in Flanders, the offensive in the Champagne‐Marne marked the last westward movement of the German Army in World War I.
American forces had been “bloodied” in two scorching hot days of close combat; they had proven themselves brave, even aggressive, though still “green” in battle. The Third Division's steadfast defense, especially that of the 38th Infantry Regiment, earned it the title “The Rock of the Marne.”
[See also Army, U.S.: 1900–41; Belleau Wood, Battle of; World War I: Military and Diplomatic Course.]
Edward M. Coffman , The War to End All Wars: The American Military Experience in World War I, 1968.
Paul F. Braim , The Test of Battle: The American Expeditionary Forces in the Meuse‐Argonne Campaign, 1987; rev. ed. 1997.
Paul F. Braim
Marne, battle of the
battle of the Marne, two important battles of World War I that are named for the Marne River. In the first battle (Sept. 6–9, 1914) the German advance on Paris was halted at the Marne by the Allies under Joffre, Gallieni, and Sir John French. The German retreat that followed signified the abandonment of the Schlieffen plan (see under Schlieffen, Alfred, Graf von). In the second battle (July, 1918) the last great German offensive was decisively repulsed by the Allies.
See studies by R. H. Asprey (1962), G. Blond (tr. 1965), and H. Isselin (tr. 1965).