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tv   1914 Battle of the Marne  CSPAN  December 23, 2014 3:16am-4:08am EST

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>> here on c-span3 all this week we are featuring american history tv programming. we'd like to get your tlouts on our shows. e-mail us at americanhistorytv to leave your comments and suggestions. >> here on c-span3 we show you the most relevant congressional hearings and public affairs events. on weekends, c pan 3 is the home to american history tv with programs that tell our nation's story including six unique series.
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c-span3. created by the cable tv industry and funded by your local cable or satellite provider. watch us in hd, like us on facebook, and follow us on twitter. american history tv visited the macarthur memorial in norfolk, virginia, which was hosting a symposium mark rg the world war i centennial. holger herwig author of "19 the opening of world war i the battle that changed the world" explains how the battle prevented a quick german victory. and he discusses march tenacity in spite of early losses and the different command styles of the opposing military leaders. this is about 50 minutes. our next speaker is holger
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herwig. he lives in canada where he holds a dual position as professor at university of calgary and canada research chair in the center for military and strategic studies. his list of awards and appointments is staggering. dr. herwig is a fellow of the royal society of canada, a grant recipient from the alexander von humboldt foundation and he has held numerous distinguished visiting appointments such as the visiting professor of strategy at the naval war college, newport, rhode island. dr. herwig has an impressive publication list and many of his projects have been transformed into television documentaries. he has published more than a dozen books, inclusive of "the first world war, germany and
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austria/hungary, 1914-1918" that won the norm lynn e. tomlinson prize for best book. another important book is "the marne 1914." dr. herwig will speak to us did about battle of the marne. of that engagement he writes, he wanted to write about it because i regard it as the most decisive land battle since the allies defeated napoleon at waterloo in 1815. i regard its impact for have been spectacular. germany was denied victory and had germany over europe, france was spared occupation, britain maintained its foothold on the continent. without the marne, places such as verdon, and others would not
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resonate with us as they do. without the marne, no lenin, no stalin, no hitler. ladies and gentlemen, i present to you today dr. holger herwig who will speak to us about the battle of the marne 1914, 10 >> well thank you so much, you spared me about one-third of my talk, which i'm most grateful for.
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thank you. the story that i tell in this begins with a lieutenant albert myer of the 5th mount boden regiment on 1914 before war was even declared between france and germany led a patrol on the southern ridge southeast in the mountains where 1,972 years earlier julius caesar had
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advanced against a german force under ariel vistas. suddenly french guards of the 44th infantry regiment appeared. myer charged with be striking the first frenchman over the. the remaining french soldiers took cover in a ditch, opened fire. myer tumbled from the saddle dead. and in this unexpected encounter, the 22-year-old yeager became the first german soldier killed in what ironically and collectively would be called the battle of the marne which raged from the swiss border to the channel. i have argued, as you've just heard, this is the area, that the marne was the most decisive battle of this war.
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there is our favorite friend in one of his many incredible outfits, william ii. germany failed at the marne, as you just heard. and the promise was gone. yes, for all you a zuber fans, there was a schleefen plan. it existses. what is so incredible about the marne is the scale. between 5 and 11 september 1914, the two sides committed nearly 2 million men with 6,000 guns to a front just 200 kilometers wide. the technology of the killing was also unprecedented. rapid small arms fire, machine guns, hand grenades, heavy artillery, howitzers, made the
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kill ground lethal. casualties suffered by both sides were unimaginable to prewar planners. 200,000 men per side in the hilly battle of the frontiers in august, another 200,000 on the chalky plains of the marne in september. by comparison, brittish casualties were 1,701. no other year of the war compared to its first five months in terms of death. the chapel of the french military and college at st. seer had only a single entry for its dead for the first year of the war. "the class of 1914." that is before hitler destroyed it. the immediate impact of the marne, i argue, was stunning. as you've heard, the great assault on paris had been
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halted. the enemy driven behind the river, france spared in 1871. as you also note, long-term repercussions were tragic. marne ushered in four more years of what the future german military historian, a veteran of the song called "the monotonous mutual mass murder of the trenches" which you'll hear about tomorrow. the marne, of course, was high dra drama. winston churchill looking back after 1914 wrote, "no part of the great war compares in interest with its opening. the measured silent drawing together of gigantic forces. the uncertainty of their deployment. the fickle role of chance made the first collision a drama never surpassed. never again would battle," he
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wrote," be waged on so grand a scale. never again would the slaughter be so swift or the stakes so high." what's incredible, as so much of world war i, the marne is also enshrouded absolutely in myth. some were simply propaganda. the kaiser's planned entries, the white dress uniform of the guards, the 20-meter-long german flag, especially made to fly from the top of the eiffel tower. the ten railroad cars loaded with metals for t amedals for t paris that accompanied first army alone. other myths were the product of ambitious writers and mythmakers. general did he casttrcast
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general ferdinand's communique that while his position in the marshes was quote, "impossible, i attack," pure myth. another general's command to the staff on the eve of the battle accentuated by pounding his fist on the table, "gentlemen, we shall fight it out on the kb/ marne." an equally a myth, the persistent claim that the bef save the day by exploiting the gap between german 1st and 2 armies. other myths were much more harmful and a test of the s centrality of the marne in the history of the great war. largest of these is of a mere saxon lieutenant colonel on the general's staff allegedly
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sflaching victosflach i snatching victory from the hands of another by order rg the retreat to two four-star jebls behind the marne. why this myth obscured for decades the truth behind the german retreat. flawed command structure. an inadequate logistical system. an antikwatd communications arm. and two inept field commanders. in the verdict of the german official history of the war, the commander of the 2nd army was hesitant and insecure. of the 1st army, overly aggressive, unwilling toed a he adhere to commands. in concluded in volume 14, "in the hour of decision over the
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future of the german people,adh commands. in concluded in volume 14, "in the hour of decision over the future of the german people, its leader in the field of battle completely broke down psychologically and physically." i also argue that the battle of the marne was a close-run thing. it recon firmed the elder council's thought that no plan of operations survives with certainty beyond the first encounter with the enemy's major forces. there you see general kluck. it also recon firmed the dictum that war is the realm of uncertainty. nothing about the marne was preordained. senior commanders did not at first understand the magnitude of the decision at the river. it seemed simply a temporary
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plip blip on the way to victory. soon again on the way to berlin or to paris. below headquarters, army and core commands, a million men on either side, likewise, had no idea in mid-september what "the marne" meant, except more endless marches, more baffling confusion, more bloody slaughter. the future great french historian mark block with the french 272nd infantry regiment on 9 september recalled marching down what he called a torturously winding road at night, oblivious to the fact that the great german assault had been blunted. "with anger in my heart, feeling the weight of the rifle i had never fired and hearing the faltering footsteps of our half-sleeping men echo on the ground, i could only consider
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myself one more among the englorious advantage wished who had never shed their blood in combat." i also argue that there are a whole lot of what-if scenarios attached to this battle. what if germany had not violated belgium's neutrality? would britain in fact still have ensterrtered it the war? what could half of the 331,000 soldiers on the left wing have held the right wing to victory in france? what if in panic at the russian advance into east prussia malta had not dispatched 3rd and 9th army corps east. they spent the russian campaign in september in railroad cars going from one front to the
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other. above all, what if papajov had not been the french commander. what if he had been cashiered after he had been badly defeated at the battle of the frontiers in lorraine? joffre's inscrutable aplomb, among other major reasons, the french did not win the collapse of 1871. furthermore, "after the initial defeats, joffre recognized he
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had played the game poorly. he had broken off the campaign with every intention of resuming it as soon as he had repaired the weaknesses discovered. and only once the enemy's ultimate intentions to march through belgium had been detected did he move forces brilliantly from his right wing to his left. he cashiered dozens of general officers whom he found not to be up to standard. he orchestrated an orderly withdrawal behind the marne and seine rivers. pe kr he created the army of maneuver north of paris. and he launched the great attack between the horns of paris and ver dunn. he concludes, he judicially combined the offensive with an offensive after ordering an energetic about-face. and by a magnificently planned
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stroke he dealt the invasion a baltimore t mortal blow." i hope i've shown the contrast to the physically and mentally broken malta. but still joffe knew the great gamble he had taken. he later mused, "i don't know who won the battle of the marne. but if it had been lost, i know who would have lost it and been blamed." what if french morale had cracked after the initial battles? campaigns are not fought against lifeless bodies. the enemy is never tired of lecturing, reacts, innovates, strikes back. were it not for the passions of the troops, comparative figures of opposing strengths would suffice to decide the issue. put differently, he put it sarcastically, a kind of war by algebra. what's incredible about the
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marne in 1914 is that the french poier surprised the germans. he wrote his wife, "just when it is on the point of being extinguished, it flames up mightily." a bavarian general likewise expressed his surprise at the enemy's tenacity, "who would have expected of the french that after ten days of luckless battles and bolting in open flight, they would attack for three days so desperately." general von kluck after the war told a swedish journalist, "the reason that transcends all others in explaining the german failure of the marne was the extraordinary and peculiar aptitude of the french soldier to recover quickly." cynically, he said, "most soldiers will let themselves be
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killed where they stand. that, after all, is a given in all battle plans. but that men who have retreated for ten days, that men who slept on the ground half-dead with fatigue should have the strength to take up their rifles and attack when the bugle sounds, that is a thing upon which we never counted. that is a possibility we never even spoke about in our war academies." now, i suggest the marne reveals two different types of command styles. maltka was content to replain at headquarters, far removed from the front to give his commanders great latitude in interpreting his general directives. he chose not to control them by
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way of telephones with bei, air staff officer who languished at headquarters. already in peace time he had let it be known it sufficed for them simply "to be informed about the intentions of the high command, orally through the sending of an officer from headquarters." the war proved otherwise. a chief of the military cabinet struck at the heart of the matter on 13 september, "it is clear that during the advance into france the necessary tight leadership on the part of the chief of the general's staff had been totally lacking." the next day, maltka was placed on sick leave. more than 30 commanders, generals, were relieved of their commands. but three of the top leaders were not because they were being
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held on future grounds. not even the two most controversial commanders were sacked after the marne. kluck who disobeyed maltka's orders turned himself east of paris xlandi icommanding his ar the spring of 1915. the only commander sacked whausr of the third army because of the case of typhus. on the other side, if we look at joffre, we see someone who played a highly active role. parrot from issuing a host of special instructions and orders,
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i should tell you the french official history is 144 volumes -- he showered his commanders with hundreds of personal and secret memoranda, telephone calls, orders, he used his le mans race car driver to great advantage, constantly on the road to inspect, to order, to encourage, and where necessary, to relieve. in fact, he sat two army, ten corps and 38 commission commanders in the first month of the war. some he fired because he thought they were overly pessimistic. others because he found them nervous and imprudent. but he maintained a core of loyal and aggressive army commanders. he promoted many of them because, as he said, they had faith in their success and who by mastery of themselves know how to impose their will on their sboubordinates and domina
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events. he never regretted his sometimes unjustified firings. and after the war, he's probably the only french general who declined to engage his "victims" in a war of memoirs. ironically for me as a german military historian, the elder maltka's strategic use of railways in 1866, and again in 1970, was absent in 1914 at the front. the brilliant railroad performance was joffre's, who used his directorate of railways and interior lines. and when he realized by 24 august he had lost the battle of the frontiers, the germans were sweeping through belgium, he altered the entire center of gravity on his dispositions to achieve numerical superior or the at the western extremity of the front. he dissolved ineffective armies.
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he sent to reinforce the trench camp at paris. he orchestrated a staggering transfer of forces from lorraine to greater paris. 4 corps, 9 corps, 15 corps, 21 corps. all of this -- here you have three of the french xhabdzers a commanders and of course the famous parisian taxis. they are lore. they are in the museum in paris. i can tell you from the french official history, 90% got lost, broke down, ran into one another, and delivered very, very few to the front. but it was gaelic, it was chivalrous.
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pardon that, lorraine. artillery, as you well flow, ruled the battlefield. german howitzers ripped men and horses alike into shreds of flesh and deposited their remains as mounds of pulp. the french 75s filled the air with shrieking shrapnel shells that exploded above the enemy, drenched those below with thousands of iron balls. american journalists who accompanied both armies wrote, incredibly, "for four weeks, crude, stinking, crowd ed ambulance wagons jostled the wounded back to barns hastily converted into field hospitals where the unfortunate laid for hours in clouds of flies drinking their blood. for days, in words one historian addressed to the soldiers of 1914, "you ainte nothing, drank
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nothing, no one washed you, your bandages went unchanged, many of you died." the living -- and this again caught american journalists -- "the living moved on amass a stinking mass of unbathed of humanity amidst a stinking bed of foul air of dying cattle and mutilated horses to fight another battle, another day." on yous obviously the murderous nature of industrialized warfare changed the common soldier regardless of social, regional or religious origin. they wrote home of the filth and dirt, the horror and fear of their front line experiences. some remembered the initial euphoria marching through fall-clad orchards, the camaraderie, and above all, the liberating of wonderful wine
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cellars. then they remembered the constant nagging hunger and thirst, the endless marches by day and night, the choking dust, the searing heat, then the cold rain and oozing mud, the burning villages, the growing of the wounded, the deathly rattle of the dying. just remember, 1st army alone in september marched 523 kilometers on foot. fought 17 major battles and had zero days of rest. a german soldier wrote home, "my opinion about the wars remain the same. it is murder and slaughter. it is still incomprehensible to me that humankind in the 20th century can commit such slaughter." a professor of art from munich stated his feelings in better
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terms -- i've seen so much that is grand, beautiful, monstrous, base, brutal, heinous and gruesome, but like all the others, i am totally stupefied. to see peopledie, hardly interrupts the enjoyment of the coffee i've brewed in stark filth under fire. this is september 1914. a french poet described the same "beautiful innocent at news of victory, victory, quickly took flight as he surveyed the battlefield and he wrote his parents, there a lieutenant of the 74th. there a captain of the 129th. all in groups of three or four. sometimes singly and still in the position of firing prone. red pants. these are ours. these are our brothers. this our blood.
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the harrowism of 1870-71 he said was gone. "we feel small, so small, in the face of this frightening thing. some with bloody arms. others with boots ripped to shreds by red holes. the meaning of it all escapes me. we do not know, not really, if we've done anything for use for the country." incredibly, despite the savage warfare, morale held. pread were flo wino widespread refusals to obey the call-ups. large numbers of all in tears, even in grossly exaggerated for public consumption, runs to the recruiting depots, no major rebellions, no major strikes took place. the marne, i argue, prefigured the resilience of european militaries and societies to endure horrendous sacrifices.
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to be sure, there were those at imperial headquarters who understood that the time had come in the fall of 1914 to end the great folly. field marshal hazler activated at the tender age of 78 advised william ii, "it seems the moment has come to end the war. the plan has failed." the kaiser sent him away. chief of staff maltka's successor in november informed the government, "it is impossible to beat the allied armies to such a point where we can come to a decent peace. by continuing the war, "germany runs the danger of slowly exhausting ourselves." this is from a chief of the general staff, "we must make peace with russia now."
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the civilian chancellor rejected the counsel and sent him home. well, to sum up, it began at the marne in 19 -- we'll stay with that. that's not lunch. as you heard already in the introduction this morning, it ended at versailles in 1919. in between -- we all fudge our numbers -- somewhere around 60 million to 65 million young men had been mobilized. 9 million possibly killed. 20 million wounded. and of course, with the 20-20 vision of hindsight, the great tragedy of the marne is that it was strategically indecisive. had german 1st army destroyed
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french's 5th army east of paris, or had there been a decisive victory, of course the world would have been spared. the greatercatastrophe that was to follow in 1935. i thank you for your time. just like last time, we'll continue with questions. remember to speak into the mike. questions? >> if von kluck's 1st army had not made the turn to the east and marched toward paris, would the outcome have been different? >> that's a super question. being a historian, i must digress. it's part of my makeup. when east germany
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inherited 3,000 general staff files we never knew existed. the red army had locked them up in berlin, then the east germans had locked them up. and from that, historians of the german military history center in potsdam have written a book, i'll make an ad for it, i get no royalties, i'm no part of it. university of kentucky press published last month. 700 pages, including every single operation's plan, 1895 to 1913. okay? what they showed from these documents is, clux's chief of staff, von kohl, two-star general in 1914, of first army, as a major in 1905, in
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schliefen's last war game had played two war games in the attack on paris, and in both cases he had turned in east of paris realizing they didn't have the logistics to go on that grand sweep that you see in the west point map. so i can't document it, but major kohl as general kohl in 1914 zam well realized that after marching 523 kilometers, the troops dead, the horses dying in their traces, it was time, war game 1905, turned in. and virtually every german commander says if we had tried to sweep around paris, we would have basically had to beg for sandwiches and wine. the schliefen plan is a brilliant plan for mechanized mobile modern warfare. not for a war that's determined
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by the pace of an infantryman and horsedrawn artillery. sorry for being so long. >> that's exactly the question that i have about the horses. in this period at the start of the war, i'm under the impression that horses were still a very important part of logistics, and movement. can you tell us any more the involvement of horses, veterinary care, and all of that pertaining to the horses during this period? >> horses have a tremendous advantage over cars. you can eat them. i'm not being totally fat eeshs. germany has about 300 trucks in 1914, on wood ri78s. not even pneumatic tires.
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the horse is the draft animal literally of this war. they're requisitioned by the tens of thousands in 1914. 9 interesting thing, we were talking about this at dinner last night with lorraine, in 1915, somebody at the general staff finally said how manies fors have we got? how many horses have we lost? they found out nobody's kept records. except one infantry regiment on the western front where a busy bureaucrat decided, we better keep track of this. so there's a panic in 1915 and they start keeping records. so we really don't know for the whole first year the war on the german side the plus and minus. i mentioned to lorraine, austrian units in the italian front, when 1917 when they're
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asked for conrad's latest idiotic attack, they do a survey of horse-drawn artillery and rather than the six horses required, most guns and caissons have two. and when the troops are asked what's happened to the others, they said, it's how we got through the winter. in germany, one's gas appears. there's no time to establish a veterinary corps. the orders are simple. skafage everything from the front, traces, harnesses, et cetera. eat the animals.cavenge everyth front, traces, harnesses, et cetera. eat the animals. there's no time for long-term care for horses. and it's a real tragic story and one that's usually skipped over in most official histories.
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>> you talked about in 1914 about the elan of the french. why was the elan of the french in '14 than '40? >> oh, boy, i'm not a psychologist. do you want to get up here? i think it had to do a lot with training, with leadership. they had been taught by maison, that there would be no surrender, the cult of the offensive that it's been called. that the surrenders of pisan and others add been ignoble, not in the french tradition. and i think you have an army that has been raised for 40 years to believe in the offensive, and to believe any way you can overcome an enemy that has a population 20 million superior is through that offensive. why i don't think anyone could
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answer, not even french commanders. there is this marked, distinct difference. because in the battle of the frontiers, and going through the ardenne and going through belgium, the french basically lose every battle. they've marched out to the front, now they have retreated 80, 90 kilometers under horrendous condition, horrendous losses, especially the sin gallese and the ardennes are just ripped to shreds, and yet at the decisive moment when joffre repositions his armies, asks for the counteroffensive they arise, and they advance. i can't answer your question. it simply happened.
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>> you said it was a close run thing and you seem to put a lot on moltke. you talk about peeling off striking the left wing, two cores sent against the eastern front against russia, maybe not enough decisive communications from front commanders and finally breaking down. how might the battle have looked with a folkenheim or someone stubborn in command. might it have played out dramatically different? >> that's one of those wonderful counterfactuals which i've just come back from a conference in vienna if what if franz ferdinand had lived. i'll just give you my personal opinion. i think kluck and kohl owed it to those armies at the crucial moment that maunoury's basic reserves are coming to fight it out.
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there's an entire brigade under general lapel that's coming that's been besearching brussels. they're virtual to fall into the side of french six army. and i think they owed the somers that one last thrust. it could have resulted in kluck's army beingdy feeted. but i think we would have had a result. by the way it should be called the battle of the orc. it's a wonderful battlefield if you ever get there. i took my wife there three years ago. we went up the ridge, where the command of german fourth research corps, the general looks out and he's got in reserve corps, no artillery, and he sees an entire french army marching at him, 250,000 men. this adjutant says general, what do we do? he says well, i'm taking a nap,
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and then we attack. if you go there today, and i said to my wife, here's the highlight, you're going to see the plain, and here come maunoury's soldiers, you look into disneyland, europe. so far has paris gone. >> i'm going to take your bait on the british expeditionary force. and ask a two-part question on this. the first part is how decisive do you think was kitchener's fabled midnight trip to paris to meet with sir john french? and second of all, what is basically the question would be i guess the question would be phrased best is why have you ignored the third nation that participated in the war, and what are your -- i'm curious as to your reasons for that? >> okay. i think kitschner's trip is absolutely critical. as you well know, he comes in the blue uniform of a field marshal although he's a
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civilian. secretary of cabinet now because sir john french was ready to go home. let's face it. he continuously panicked. he was going south of paris. he was looking for whichever harbor he could get to quickest. so i think kitschner's resolve was absolutely critical. now, on the british, since you should know, i'm obviously from canada, and we just have nothing but triumphalism of the bef. i mean my god the french did nothing, the russians did nothing, but the bef stopped the schliefen plan. i read a marvelous book by seoul tyng, t-y-n-g, british colonel, the battle of the marne, before all the documents were out, and you will hardly hear of the book because he was totally ostracized in england by writing a about the bef.
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hague, a cabinetry member is absolutely hesitant about exploiting the gap. british fliers are constantly reporting there's nobody ahead of you. sir john french said it's a trap, it's a trap, it's a trap. we see dust up there. well the dust are the supply lines of kluck's army, which is racing up to the orc to fight maunoury six army. there is a gap but the british do not exploit it. joffre, in the french official history, almost howerly is pleading, begging, ordering, cajoling the british, please for "f" sake advance. is pleading, begging, ordering, cajoling the british, please for "f" sake advance.o is pleading, begging, ordering, cajoling the british, please for "f" sake advance.ur is pleading, begging, ordering, cajoling the british, please for "f" sake advance.l is pleading, begging, ordering, cajoling the british, please for "f" sake advance.y is pleading, begging, ordering, cajoling the british, please for "f" sake advance. there's nobody ahead of you. you're seeing phantoms. but this is the first weeks of the war.
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this army has not been trained to fight a world war. and you know, you've got kluck advancing to the north on your left. you've got bulow's army to the left. maybe it is a trap. so the bef is very, very hesitant and they do not exploit the gap. it is and only in the prussian german system could this happen, where a lieutenant colonel is able to order two four star generals to retreat 500,000 men from the front behind the river marne. >> we've got time for one more question. >> you touched on the elan of the french army. and i guess the f. scott fitzgerald quote about there went my old, safe secure world. what do you think prompted the men on both sides -- >> i'm sorry? >> what do you think prompted the men on both sides to be able
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to withstand sub human conditions over and over again and keep coming back? what's different between the soldiers of world war i, and the soldiers of world war ii? >> well, first of all, let me answer that backwards. i think the soldiers of world war ii were equally heroic. they certainly died in much greater numbers. when i think of the eastern front, the slaughter that went on there, right to the very end, down to the subways and the very basement of the parliament building in berlin. it was horrendous. these men had been trained. they'd been trained to march in close order. which accounts for much of the suffering, beginning with the storms at liege. they had discipline. they had an absolutely hard, tough, noncommissioned army
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officer corps, a back bone of any army, i will argue. but to retired generals, i apologize. we can lose 100 of you and it doesn't matter. but you can't lose 4,000 or 5,000 sergeant majors. and certainly after verdunne both armies are finished as the old army. the austrian looks at in gallicia i argue are finished as a professional hardened army at the end of 1914. it is doing one's8ó-5 duty, it supporting your buddy, marching with your comrade. but you are, if you think of 2 million men on a front 120 miles wide, you're literally marching arm in arm. there's an almost a sort of herd mentality, to stop meant to be killed. so you move on.
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and the other, which we know from the now just recently published unexbrigaded dairy of junker, not what he wrote later on, drunkenness, if you read junger's diary before every single engagement on the western front, two bottles of wine, a bottle of brandy. and let's go, lads. and there are a number of other diaries being published right now of sort of captains to majors on mainly the western front of the german side, and it's the same in many of them. it's almost shocking the amount of liquid intestinal fortitude that helps overcome this incredible slaughter. and i don't make fun of it.
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i'm simply citing you folks some dairies. >> thank you very much, professor herwig. [ applause ] here on c-span3 all this week we're featuring american history tv programming. and we'd like to get your thoughts on your shows. e-mail us at to leave your comments and suggestions. we'd like to tell you about some of our other american history tv programs. join us every sunday at 6:00 and 10:00 p.m. eastern for a look at american artifacts. travel with us to historic sites, museums and archives to learn what artifacts reveal about american history. american artifacts every sunday at 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. on american history tv on c-span3. here's a look at some of the programs you'll find christmas
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day on the c-span networks. holiday festivities start at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span with the lighting of the national christmas tree followed by the white house christmas decorations with first lady michelle obama. and the lighting of the capitol christmas tree. and just after 12:30 p.m. celebrity activists talk about their causes. then at 8:00 supreme court justice samuel alito and former florida governor jeb bush on the bill of rights and the founding fathers. on c-span2 at 10:00 a.m. eastern venture into the art of good writing with steve pinker. and at 12:30 see the feminist side of a superhero as jill lepore searches the secret history of wonder woman. at 7:00 p.m. author pamela paul and others talk about their reading habits. and on american history tv on c-span3 at 8:00 a.m. eastern, the fall of the berlin wall with c-span footage of president george bush and bob dole. with speeches from president's john kennedy and ronald reagan. at noon, fashion


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