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Winning And Losing: France On The Marne And On The Meuse

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Chapter Summary

The 1914 battle of the Marne and the 1940 battle of the Meuse are two of the most famous battles of the twentieth century. In 1914 France lost the battle of the frontiers and won the &t;miracle of the Marne.&t; The victory on the Marne brought elation and celebration; the French had parried the Germans' knockout blow and driven them back from the outskirts of Paris. At the beginning of the campaign, Gamelin sent few bombers into German air space because he was fearful of German reprisals against French cities near the Franco-German border. The French organized their forces, developed their doctrine, and formulated their strategy based on their visions of the future battles. And then they fought the battles within the constraints of pre-war preparation. In both cases, French pre-war expectations and preparation proved wrong or faulty.

Keywords: French; Gamelin; Marne; Meuse; pre-war preparation



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