Military Review English Edition November-December 2015 - Page 37

Ou rcq MARNE German First Army French Sixth Army rne Ma rne Ma Bri tish To Paris Ge Germ Exp an C aval ry ed itio na ry Scre an en Peti t For ce Gran rm Mor in Sec ond Arm y St. Gond Marshes French Fifth Army d Mo rin Fre nc hN 1 3 5 10 int hA rm y Miles Figure 3. The Allied Advance into the Gap between the German First and Second Armies (as of 9 September 1914) widely and clearly understood. He also managed to gain the cooperation of the British commander, the truculent Field Marshal Sir John French, who only followed Joffre’s general concept because of Joffre’s personal power of persuasion. As German forces began to pull back to defensive positions, Joffre planned to counterattack as soon as he had assembled sufficient troops. The first reinforcements were organized as the new Sixth Army and were deployed in front of Paris. The French forces were a combination of reserve and a ctive-duty forces. These were the troops who attacked Kluck’s right flank and caused him to open a gap in German lines by turning his force to face them. Meanwhile, on the Marne front, Joffre created a new army, the Ninth, out of reinforcements that MILITARY REVIEW  November-December 2015 he placed to the right of the French Fifth Army (the command that had lost the battles of Charleroi and Guise). Joffre instructed these troops, with the British on their left, to attack into the gap between the German First and Second armies across the Marne (see figure 3). Joffre’s concept was for the Sixth Army on the left to attack into the flank of the Germans, which would be frontally assaulted by the BEF and French Fifth Army simultaneously. Joffre hoped to make a swift advance into the German gap, allowing him to isolate and defeat the separate German forces. However, Kluck reinforced his units before the French attacked. They wore down and defeated the Sixth Army flanking force, while the German cavalry screening forces—particularly the elite light infantry Jäger 33