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Dates in History: The First Battle of the Marne

September 11, 2014

I have a friend who is an historian. Everyday she sends me a little update, ostensibly to let all her friends know that this single person is OK and we don't have to go and feed her cat. Often, because she owned racehorses, the updates are about horse racing.

On September 10 she sent out the following note:

One hundred years ago [on Sept. 10], the First Battle of the Marne came to an end. It had begun on September 6. The French and British (mostly the French) were able to stop the German advance and prevent the Germans from taking Paris. During the later stages of the battle, the taxicabs of Paris were mobilized to carry French reserve troops to the battlefield (five soldiers could fit into each cab). The majority were probably taken in trucks, but the story of the taxicabs became one of the great legends of the war and helped to rally the French.

Although the German advance had been stopped, the French and British were unable to push the Germans back, and both sides dug in where they were. Trench warfare had begun.

I think this is both an uplifting and sobering thing to think about today.

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