Primary Documents - The First Battle of the Marne: Joseph Joffre's Special Order of the Day, 11 September 1914

French Army Commander-in-Chief Joseph Joffre Reproduced below is the special Order of the Day issued by French Army Commander-in-Chief Joseph Joffre in the immediate aftermath of the Allied success at the First Battle of the Marne in early September 1914.

In his special Order Joffre congratulated his Armies for their conduct during the battle, noted that the German Army was in retreat, and attributed success to French élan, i.e. the French policy of the offensive.

The First Battle of the Marne - Order of the Day
by General Joseph Joffre, French Commander-in-Chief

September 11th, 1914

The battle which we have been fighting for the last five days has ended in an undoubted victory.

The retreat of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd German Armies before our left and centre becomes more and more marked. T he enemy's 4th Army in its turn has begun to withdraw to the north of Vitry and Sermaise.

Everywhere the enemy has left on the field numerous wounded and a quantity of munitions.  Everywhere we have made prisoners while gaining ground.  Our troops bear witness to the intensity of the fight, and the means employed by the Germans in their endeavours to resist our élan.  The vigorous resumption of the offensive has determined our success.

Officers, non-commissioned officers, and men!  You have all responded to my appeal; you have all deserved well of your country.


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

The Russian war ace Alexander Kozakov claimed 20 victories during the war; his nearest compatriot, Vasili Yanchenko, claimed 16.

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