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The First Battle of the Marne 1914: The French 'miracle' halts the Germans (Campaign) Paperback – May 25, 2010


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The First Battle of the Marne 1914: The French 'miracle' halts the Germans (Campaign) + First Ypres 1914: The Graveyard of the Old Contemptibles (Campaign) + Mons 1914: The BEF's Tactical Triumph (Campaign)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Essential to a better understanding of Western Front history." - The Midwest Book Review

"This 96-page book documents the origins of the campaign, followed by a brief chronology. Then the opposing commanders and the forces at their disposal are detailed ... Hobbyists will discover diorama ideas in this good book’s great mixture of period photographs and full-color illustrations. Especially notable is one of the plates
by Graham Turner depicting one of the battle’s iconic moments when French reinforcements rushed to the front embarked from a column of 6,000 Parisian taxi cabs." -Toy Soldier & Model Figure (August 2011)

About the Author

Ian Sumner was born in 1953 in Eccles, near Manchester, UK. He originally trained as a librarian in Newcastle-upon-Tyne but now devotes himself to full-time writing. He has written numerous titles for Osprey, and also several books on the history of the East Riding of Yorkshire, where he now lives with his wife. The author lives in Yorkshire, England.
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Product Details

  • Series: Campaign (Book 221)
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (May 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846035023
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846035029
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.3 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,055,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By R. A Forczyk VINE VOICE on May 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
The First Battle of the Marne in September 1914 has long been considered both a decisive and yet controversial military operation, one that could have been won by either side. The fact that it occurred 30 miles outside Paris, the object of the German envelopment through Belgium, lends a gravity to this battle that is missing from most other World War One battles - simply put, the Marne was not about who controlled some section of Belgian woods but who controlled Western Europe. The Marne has been covered in prodigious detail by a multitude of historians, including the recent book by Holger H Herwig, so the logical question is, why one more? Part of the answer lies in the maps, which are head and shoulders above anything else out there in English. Second, the author breaks this complex battle up into three digestible set-pieces, which is far easier to follow than the standard chronological approach favored by most other authors, but which often renders the battle as an incoherent mush. Furthermore, the author Ian Sumner has important things to say about the battle, not necessarily original, but put forth in a manner which is better for general readers to appreciate. Overall, this volume is a success and should be on the bookshelf of anyone seriously interested in the First World War.

The graphic quality of the First Battle of the Marne is excellent and certainly superior to other, larger volumes on this subject.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By WryGuy2 TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 9, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The First Battle of the Marne 1914: The French 'miracle' halts the Germans (Campaign)", by Ian Sumner and illustrated by Graham Turner, is an entry in the Osprey "Campaign" series on the Allied counterattack in 1914 known as the Battle of the Marne. The book follows the typical Osprey Campaign format - typically about 96 pages long, consisting of analysis of the campaign, commanders, forces and styles of warfare, pictures, illustrations, and maps.

This battle is one that most people have heard of, even though they may not know specifics about the fighting, and several colorful anecdotes from the battle are well known, such as the Parisian taxis driving French soldiers from Paris directly to the front. And there have been numerous books written about the battle over the past nearly 100 years ... to borrow the phrase about Custer and the Battle of Little Big Horn, there has probably been more ink than blood has been spilled over this battle.

This subject is almost perfect for the Osprey Campaign series format, although it is more about a "battle" than a "campaign". Most writings about the battle are either deep, dense books, or short chapters as part of a larger history of the war. This book provides a tightly focused, well written account of the battle, that gives just the right level of detail for someone who wants to know what happened and why, in a shorter, readable tome. As compared to other Osprey Campaign books I've read, Mr Sumner spends less time on the build-up to the fighting and the opposing forces and more pages on the actual battle itself, which for this book, is the right decision.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Graves VINE VOICE on December 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
In the late summer of 1914 the Germans pushed within a few dozen miles of Paris, their high water mark for the entire war, before the commander of the Paris garrison commandeered the city's taxi cabs to rush men to the right spot to save the day and drive off the Boche. That is the common view of the battle of the Marne and while not entirely incorrect, the true battle was far more and in his work "The first Battle of the Marne 1914" Sumner tries to fill in the details. The problem is that he fills in so many details that the result becomes overly cluttered.

What Sumner does do well is to put the famous taxi cab army in perspective and explains how much more the battle was. Further more although this is usually a battle seen from the French point of view, Sumner is able to jump back and forth between the opposing sides as the French scramble to close gaps and the Germans seek to create them, all the while men on both sides become more exhausted. He covers the strengths of the units and their flaws.

The problem is that while we can talk about THE battle of the Marne, this huge battle was in reality a series of many smaller battles all pushing and shoving along the front and in trying to honor the sacrifice of the men who fought and died there Sumner goes in so close, seeming to covered every single valley and village contested, that the reader is overwhelmed and loses perspective. This is further confused by the chronology as Sumner handles some of the battles separately. So he spends several pages detailing the battles directed by Foch in the St.
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