First Battle of the Marne

French soldiers waiting for assault, in a ditch in 1914

The First Battle of the Marne was a battle in the First World War. It was fought between the German Empire on one side, and the French and British on the other. The battle ended with a tactical retreat of the German army. It was one of the first signs that the Schlieffen Plan had failed. The battle cost the lives of over one million French and British soldiers. It also cost the lives of over 750,000 soldiers on the German side. The battle was fought from 5 - 12 September 1914. The battle marked the end of the German advance into France. It marked the beginning of trench warfare that World War I became famous for.


The Schlieffen Plan called for an attack through Belgium.[1] The Germans were to avoid the main French fortifications, on the German frontier. They invaded Belgium on August 3rd 1914.[2] The Germans pushed through the Belgium army with little difficulty. After destroying the main fortifications in Liege and Namur, the German First Army and Second Army under the command of Alexander von Kluck and Karl von Bülow, moved toward Paris. At the Battle of Mons the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) halted the German forces temporarily. They inflicted heavy casualties on the Germans. But the French army and the BEF finally retreated towards the River Marne where they waited for the Germans.[2] With no real opposition the Germans moved as quickly as possible and prepared to face the French and British at the Marne River.

Other Languages
беларуская: Бітва на Марне (1914)
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Бітва на Марне (1914)
Bahasa Indonesia: Pertempuran Marne Pertama
Lëtzebuergesch: Éischt Marneschluecht
日本語: マルヌ会戦
slovenščina: Prva bitka na Marni
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Prva bitka na Marni
українська: Битва на Марні (1914)