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Chris Boonzaier

The Marne, 1914 ... recommended...

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I can only say good things about Holger H. Herwig's book "The Marne, 1914"... it includes a very interesting introduction as to the causes of the war, and mobilisation.

Cheap on Amazon and worth every penny!!!!

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Hello!

Here is my list of books about the Marne:

Books published after 1945:
*Georges Blond "Die Marne Schlacht"
*Wolfgang Paul "Entscheidung im September (Das Wunder an der Marne 1914)"
*Sebastian Haffner/Wolfgang Venohr "Das Wunder an der Marne"
*Ritter "Der Schlieffenplan"
*Ehlert/Epkenhans/Groß "Der Schlieffenplan"

Books published before 1945:
*Lieutenant-Col. Koeltz "Le G.Q.G. allemand et la bataille de la Marne"
*Oberst Egli "Der Aufmarsch und die Bewegungen der Heere Frankreichs, Belgiens und Englands auf dem westl. Kriegsschauplatz bis zum 23.August 1914"
*Joh.Victor Bendt "Die belgische Neutralität und der schlieffensche Feldzugsplan"
*Generalstab des Heeres "Der Handstreich gegen Lüttich vom 3.bis7.August 1914"
*Dr.Eugen Bircher "Die Schlacht an der Marne (Eine kriegspolitische Studie)"
*Generalfeldmarschall v.Bülow "Mein Bericht zur Marneschlacht"
*Oberleutnant v.Rohrscheidt "Warum haben wir die Schlacht an der Marne 1914 verloren?"
*Generaloberst v.Hausen "Erinnerungen an den Marnefeldzug 1914"
*Generalmajor Baumgarten-Crusius "Die Marneschlacht 1914 ; insbesondere an der Front der deutschen dritten Armee"
*Generaloberst v.Kluck "Der Marsch auf Paris und die Marneschlacht 1914"
*Oberst Hierl "Studien über die Führung der dt. 3.Armee in den Tagen vom 27.-29.August 1914"
*Oberst Hierl "Studien über die Führung der dt. 1.Armee in der Zeit vom 29.August abends bis 30.August abends"
*unbek. "Die Marneschlacht 5.-9.14"
*Gen.d.Inf. v.Kuhl "Der Marnefeldzug 1914"
*Generalmajor Baumgarten-Crusius "Deutsche Heerführung im Marnefeldzug 1914"
*Oberstleutnant Müller-Loebnitz "Die Führung im Marne-Feldzug 1914"
*Oberstleutnant Müller-Loebnitz "Die Sendung des Oberstleutnants Hentsch"
*Graf Moltke "Die deutsche Tragödie an der Marne"
*General Ludendorff "Das Marne-Drama , Der Fall Moltke - Hentsch"
*Generalleutnant v.Tappen "Bis zur Marne 1914"
*Anton Fendrich "Von der Marneschlacht bis zum Fall Antwerpens"
*Dr.Walther Kolbe "Die Marneschlacht"
*Gen.d.Inf. v.Francois "Marneschlacht und Tannenberg"
*Generalleutnant Kabisch "Marneschlacht 1914"
*Reichsarchiv (Der Weltkrieg 1914-1918 )Band 1,3 und 4
*Reichsarchiv (Das Marnedrama I-IV)

Edited by The Prussian

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Hello Andy.

Ref.# 3.

All that on the subject Marne. You must have a huge library to also accommodate the rest you must have. It seems you keep a catalog of your books.

Impressive!

Bernhard H. Holst

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Blimey Prussian you need a librarian!! gents if you've read the aforementioned I'd be interested in your comparison to The Campaign of The Marne by Sewell Tyng I'm a bit wary of recent writings especially now.

The Tyng book is available on kindle for 12 bucks I may buy that instead unless Chris already having read Herwig sends me that one.....hint! :whistle:

The Cheap Hoss Book Club

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Herwig's ideas are interesting, however, they are still part of the current mainstream of thought since Fischer. Fischer, Herwig and others who have combed through German sources have pointed out documents are missing, diaries and personal accounts have been slanted, etc. There's no denying that happened, however, the Germans weren't the only people practicing the fine art of "C.Y.A."

The Marne tends to get considerable attention for many reasons, and it overshadows what was going on in the east at the same time. It's important to always remember the war was a multifaceted coalition war fought on many fronts, with each of the various powers fighting with their own national interests always in mind.

Many western historians who read German, may not read Russian, and very few westerners have had the same level of access to Russian sources as they've had to German archives.

If you want an interesting take on what was going on from the Russian side of matters, take a look at:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Russian-Origins-First-World/dp/0674062108

This book, published in 2011, challenges the way most western historians see the causal factors leading up to the war. I am not personally saying he is right or wrong, or blaming Russia and a very small coterie of Russian leaders for starting the war.

As an aside, one of the not so insignificant matters that was part of the military and political miscalculations, was the espionage of the Austrian Oberst Redl, who committed suicide in 1912, after he learned he was about to be arrested by the Austrians after they discovered he had been spying for the Russians for many years. Redl had given the Russians a wide range of Austrian and Germany military documents, including the Schlieffen plan almost in it's entirety. The Austrian government and military aware of the security breach, never informed the Germans, and pretended nothing had happened. The Germans never found out about the security breach until 1915, when Russian documents in Warsaw were found that detailed the degree of espionage that had taken place.

The Russians aware of Austro-German plans, knew how the German and Austrian armies would react if there was a continental war. This places the matter of mobilization vis-a-vis the Germans, Russians, and Austrians in a different light than usually argued.This means Russian mobilization was a an act that Germans could not ignore as anything other than a very real threat, existential or otherwise and could not be allowed to continue.

Without trying to dredge up a fruitless discussion/debate/argument regarding origins of the war, remember, this post is another suggestion of where to get an interesting take on causes leading up to the war, and one based on recent historical studies using sources that most western historians have not used.

Edited by Les

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Les, thanks for your comments. I recall reading somewhere else that the Russians had the Schlieffen Plan from an Austrian spy, but can't remember where or when I read that piece. It certainly is a fact that has to be considered in the days after Sarajevo.

And you are right about attention focusing away from the Eastern Front. I'm working on another article that touches upon Tannenberg and find the research more interesting ... to me at least ... than my recent reading on the Marne.

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As an aside, one of the not so insignificant matters that was part of the military and political miscalculations, was the espionage of the Austrian Oberst Redl, who committed suicide in 1912, after he learned he was about to be arrested by the Austrians after they discovered he had been spying for the Russians for many years. Redl had given the Russians a wide range of Austrian and Germany military documents, including the Schlieffen plan almost in it's entirety. The Austrian government and military aware of the security breach, never informed the Germans, and pretended nothing had happened. The Germans never found out about the security breach until 1915, when Russian documents in Warsaw were found that detailed the degree of espionage that had taken place.

Not sure about your understanding of the Redl affair.

From "Beyond Nationalism: A Social and Political History of the Habsburg Officer," by Istvan Deak, Professor of History, Columbia University. (Page 145)

"On May 24, 1913, he was finally unmasked, thanks to the vigilance of the intelligence bureau of the German Great General Staff and of the Austrian state police. He killed himself that same night... The order for him to commit suicide actually marked the beginning of a lengthy attempt at obfuscation, in which both Conrad and the emperor were deeply involved. There ensued, nevertheless, a public scandal, which severely damaged the reputation of the general staff, the army, and the monarchy."

Kronenbitter in "War Planning 1914" page 26, is also clear: "...without the helping hand of the German Sektion IIIb, Redl would not have been caught."

And see the full color illustration in the 15 Juin 1913 issue of "Le Petit Journal" depicting the "trahison du Colonel Redl en Autriche, comment le coupable s'est suicide."

Lastly, I have not seen a source saying any part of Redl's passed information included the Schlieffen Plan.

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Mark,

The Germans were aware there was a spy working within the Austrian system, and passed on their concerns to Max Ronge, head of the "Evidenzbureau" (Austro-Hungarian counter-intell). Ronge was trained by Redl, and when Redl went to Prague, took over Redl's position and was head of the bureau. Ronge conducted his investigation internally, without German "leg work." The investigation, on Austrian territory, fell under Austrian jurisdiction, not German. Saying the Germans "helped" needs to be considered in that light, and not overstated.

Once Redl was exposed, the Austrians attempted to conceal as much as they could from the Germans. Redl's death before he could be interrogated, made it difficult for the Austrians to determine exactly what the Russians had learned. The Austrians knew their own war plans had been handed over to the Russians (plans for an invasion of Serbia in the event of a war and with plans to various frontier fortess such as Prezymsl) while knowing that openly changing them would raise questions with their German counterparts.

Robert Asprey, among other books, wrote "The Panther's Feast" which is a semi-fictionalized novel about Redl and his life. The original version was a matter of fact telling of events, which the publisher decided to spice up in order to enhance sales. Asprey earlier in his life, worked in Austria for several years, and came to know Max Ronge quite well and he drew on what he was told.

In the years before the start of WWI, Redl's case officer worked out of the Russian intell office in Warsaw. In August 1915, German troops captured Warsaw, and when they examined case files, they learned about Redl and much of what he did for the Russians. It's been a while since I read "The Panther's Feast" and don't have access to my copy, he says the Russians apparently had details of the Schlieffen Plan. I'll look for my copy and see if I can find the exact page and quote.

Exactly where the Russians got that information could be argued as being passed on by the French who acquired a version of the plan circa 1905. Alternatively, they could have been given that information by Redl before 1912.

Co-incentally or not, the Russians changed their war plans against Germany about the same time. The Russians developed two war plans known as Plan G and Plan A (also called plan 19).

The Russians saw two possible alternatives. Plan G entailed a massive German invasion. The reponse was the traditional Russian strategy of sacrificing border territory and withdrawing into the vastness of Russia buying time to mobilize a huge conscript force. Thus using this force, the German army with streached supply lines and facing the severe winter weather could be defeated like Napoleon's Grand Armee.

The initial Russian version of Plan A theorized the German attack west and called for only minor Russian actions in the East. The French pressured the Russians to adopt a more aggressive strategy. The modified version of Plan A is known as Plan 19. General Danilov conceived of Plan 19 (1910). It was further modified in 1912, involving a Russian offensive drive into East Prussia and Silesia to prevent the Germans from focusing its forces on France.

The Russian decision to change war plans would have been based on gathering on a wide range of intell, and would definitely include estimations of German and Austrian capabilities and assumed intentions. In simple terms, changing plans would have meant a decision was made that one response was outdated, inadequate, various things had changed or were about to, and so on.

Co-incidence?

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