Primary Documents - The Battle of Ourcq River - General von Moltke's Announcement, 10 September 1914

Helmuth von Moltke Reproduced below is the text of a terse announcement by German Army Chief of Staff General Helmuth von Moltke acknowledging defeat at the Battle of Ourcq River (5-8 September 1914).

Although von Moltke's announcement was brief and scarcely acknowledged the French Army's success in what served as the immediate precursor to the better known First Battle of the Marne, its impact was significant, playing as it did a key role in saving Paris and perhaps as a consequence the fall of France.

Click here to view French Army Commander-in-Chief Joseph Joffre's proclamation issued following French success at the Ourcq.  Click here to read a memoir of the decision to attack at the Ourcq by General Gallieni's Chief of Staff, General Clergerie.

Announcement by German Army Chief of Staff Helmuth von Moltke of Defeat at Ourcq River, 10 September 1914

Berlin, September 10, 1914

East of Paris [German] detachments which had advanced to the Marne and across it have been attacked by superior enemy forces coming from Paris, and between Meaux and Montmirail.

These detachments held the enemy, and after hard fighting, which lasted two days, they have gained ground.

News having been received as to the approach of new and strong enemy columns, the [right] wing of these detachments has fallen back without being anywhere pursued.

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. II, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923

'Kitchener's Army' comprised Men recruited into the British Army a result of Lord Kitchener's appeal for volunteers.

- Did you know?

Primary Docs