Charles Inglin's Reviews > The Marne, 1914: The Opening of World War I and the Battle That Changed the World

The Marne, 1914 by Holger H. Herwig
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's review
Jul 27, 2011

it was amazing
Read from July 16 to 27, 2011

A very readable account of the opening moves of World War I. Detailed enough for a historical account, lively enough to keep you turning pages. Particularly interesting to me was the depiction of the personalities, Joffre, von Moltke, Gallieni, von Kluck, Castelnau, von Bulow, and how their strengths and weakness, assumptions, hubris, and sometimes pettiness affected the outcome of the battle. The German side was particularly interesting and surprising, given their reputation for efficiency. Having developed a plan that relied on coordinating the movements of armies on a wide front, they, incredibly, failed to develop anything like an effective communication system between the armies and the high command far behind the lines, and between the armies themselves. As the author points out, had one sie or the other achieved a clear cut victory at the Marne and ended the war, the entire history ofthe 20th century would have been altered.
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