Primary Documents - The Battle of Ourcq River - Joseph Joffre on the First Battle of the Marne, 13 September 1914

French Army Commander-in-Chief Joseph Joffre Reproduced below is the text of a telegram despatched by French Commander-in-Chief Joseph Joffre to the French Minister of War on 13 September 1914 notifying the latter of the Allies' success at the First Battle of the Marne.

In his telegram Joffre noted that not only were the Germans defeated at the Marne, but that the French Army was at present conducting a pursuit of the Germans which was "without parallel".

Click here to read the text of Joffre's special Order of the Day, issued to French troops in the immediate aftermath of victory at the Marne.

Report from French Army Commander-in-Chief General Joseph Joffre to the Minister of War

(Telegraphic.) September 13th, 1914

The completeness of our victory becomes more and more apparent.  Everywhere the enemy is in retreat.  The Germans are abandoning prisoners, wounded, and material in all directions.

After the heroic efforts displayed by our troops during this formidable battle, which has lasted from the 5th to the 12th of September, all our armies, exhilarated by success, are carrying out a pursuit which is without parallel in its extension.

On our left we have crossed the Aisne below Soissons, thus gaining more than 100 kilometres in six days of battle.  In the centre our armies are already to the north of the Marne.  Our armies of Lorraine and the Vosges are reaching the frontier.

Our troops, as well as those of our Allies, are admirable in morale, endurance, and ardour.  The pursuit will be continued with all our energy.  The Government of the Republic may be proud of the army which it has prepared.


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.

- Did you know?

Primary Docs