Battle of the Marne: The British Connection

To celebrate the 100th year of the first Battle of the Marne, French President Francois Hollande will visit the Museum of the Great War at Meaux in east Paris. One of the most important highlight of the event is to acknowledge the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) support in freeing Paris from German attack during World War One.

Also known as the Miracle of the Marne, the war took place on 5 – 12 September 1914 and resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of people that included the French, the Germans, and the British.

For many years, France was accused of downplaying Britain’s role in the Battle of the Marne, claiming it was solely a Franco-German action. But President Hollande is doing his best to change the trend by honouring the British men that helped his country in securing Paris and France in general – from the German hold.

A counter attack launched by the French and British army forced the German army to withdraw and led Germany to losing the war.

Even though the Battle of the Marne was a victory for France and Britain, no party can boast of truly winning the war as it resulted in another war that lasted for four years with millions of people injured or killed.

Since becoming French president, Hollande has been at the forefront of a new trend that honouring the British army yearly for the part they played in helping France to win the war against Germany. As such, this year’s ceremony will be focused on the progress the British made during the war as well as the common strategies that were developed by both countries to overcome the German army, The Telegraph reports.

As part of the celebration, some British military marching songs will be played throughout the week to recognise their effort. In addition, Prince Andrew will be honouring about 100 British troops that served in Afghanistan. The prince will present them with medals, as a gesture to thank them for the sacrifice the British army made a hundred years ago.

While the British group that fought at the Battle of Marne was not a large one, they were said to be very decisive at the beginning of the war – which was vital in helping France gain the upper hand.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE