Lets build the Battle of the Frontiers

Discussions on all aspects of the First World War not covered in the other sections. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
Bryce
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Post by Bryce » 19 Oct 2006 22:42

If people are interested, I can recommend some very good books on the Battle of the frontiers and other battles on the Western Front for 1914. Many are in French.

Bryce

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JPK
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Post by JPK » 20 Oct 2006 11:02

Je suis intéressé.

JPK

Bryce
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Post by Bryce » 20 Oct 2006 20:45

Battle of the Frontiers bibliography Part 1

Hew Strachan has published his first volume of a history of world war I. It's entitled To Arms. It covers the opening battles of the war very well. Also it has an excellent bibliography. I got a lot of my titles that I am listing below from him.

Henry Contamine has published two excellent books on the Battle of the Frontiers and the Marne.

Personal Name: Contamine, Henry.
Main Title: La victoire de la Marne, 9 septembre 1914.
Published/Created: [Paris] Gallimard [1970]

Personal Name: Contamine, Henry.
Main Title: La revanche, 1871-1914.
Published/Created: Paris, Berger-Levrault, 1957.





Alphonse Grasset wrote a series of books about the Frontier battles that took place in the Ardennes. Here they are:

Grasset, A. (Alphonse), b. 1873 Grasset, A. (Alphonse), b. 1873. Guerre en action : un combat de rencontre, Neufchâteau (22 août 1914) ; préface du général Buat; avec 5 croquis dont 4 hors texte. 1924

Rossignol - Saint Vincent (22 août 1914) Berger- GRASSET A. Levrault, la guerre en action, 1932

Auteur : COMMANDANT GRASSET A.
Livre : LA GUERRE EN ACTION LE 22 AOUT 1914 AU 4E CORPS D'ARMEE VIRTON
Edité par Berger-l - Paru en 1925

La guerre en action. Surprise d'une division: Rossignol--Saint-Vineent. By COLONEL A. GRASSET. Paris: Berger-Levrault, 1932.

Grasset , La guerre en action. Le 22. août 1914 au 4e. corps d'armée. II. Virton. Nancy etc., Berger-Levrault, VI, 215 S. ...


Other Grasset books:

LA GUERRE EN ACTION. PASSAGE DE LA MEUSE PAR LA 163E DIVISION. L'ARMISTICE SUR LE CHAMP DE BATAILLE, 10-11 NOVEMBRE 1918 écrit par GRASSET (COLONEL A.) :

Grasset, A. (Alphonse), b. 1873 Grasset, A. (Alphonse), b. 1873. Marais de Saint-Gond,5-10 septembre 1914; avec 12 croquis. 1936

Grasset (Colonel A.), La Guerre en Action. Le 8 Août 1918 à la 42e Division, Montdidier, Berger-Levrault, Paris, 1930,

and here are some links that may prove useful:

http://www.chtimiste.com/batailles1418/ ... /guise.htm
http://www.chtimiste.com/bibliographie.htm
http://auteurs.chapitre.com/page26/section40.html
http://www.servicehistorique.sga.defens ... guerre.htm

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JPK
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Post by JPK » 21 Oct 2006 13:12

Merci Bryce pour cette bibliographie.

Many thanks.
JPK

Bryce
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Post by Bryce » 23 Oct 2006 22:16

Battle of the Frontiers Part II

A British author read A. Grasset's books on the Battle of the Frontiers and published articles on some of those battles in Army Quarterly in the 1920s or 30's.

I would be happy to make copies of the articles for the group. Perhaps one person could pay me for the copies and postage. Then I'll send it to him/her and he/she could share them with other interested people.

Email me at streetstories@juno.com

Bryce

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Post by Paunowitsch » 05 Nov 2006 18:21

Hello. I am desperately searching for a map displaying the Western Front at the beginning of the war (Battle of Frontiers), at Corps or best at Division level. Could someone help? Thanks.

Bryce
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Post by Bryce » 06 Nov 2006 21:50

You will need to get access to the French and German histories of the war for that level of detail.

Meanwhile I suggest you get ahold of Grasset's several books on the battles in the Ardennes during the battle of the Frontiers. I listed his books on the board.

If you have questions, email me.

Bryce

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Map displaying the Western Front at the beginning of the war

Post by Dave Bender » 22 Jan 2007 03:32

1:500,000 scale military topographic map of Alsace and Lorraine.
http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/books/wwii/l ... /MapII.jpg

West Point maps for WWI.
Not nearly as detailed as the above topographic map, but it proves a quick overview.
http://www.dean.usma.edu/history/web03/ ... 0index.htm

French border fortress locations.
http://membres.lycos.fr/bravo20/fortif6.htm

A site showing all the fortresses in Europe.
http://alainlecomte.free.fr/

Weapons contained by the French border forts.
Forts with armored gun turrets and observation cupolas have been modernized.
http://users.swing.be/sw063818/fortif/Forts_fran_av.htm

Construction plans for the Verdun forts.
Other French and Belgium forts were built to a similiar design.
http://translate.google.com/translate?u ... uage_tools

Bryce
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Post by Bryce » 23 Jan 2007 00:42

Hi,

Would you or anyone else be interested in Grasset's books on the Battle of the frontiers? I can copy them. Someone needs to translate them.

bryce

panzerkrieg
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Post by panzerkrieg » 03 Sep 2007 21:09

can anyone post the number of causlties suffered by either side in the battle of frontiers

Bryce
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Post by Bryce » 04 Sep 2007 02:27

This is a quote from page 250 of Hew Strachan's book, "To Arms"

"Between 20 and 23 August 40,000 French soldiers died, 27,000 of them on the 22nd. By 29 August total French losses reached 260,000, including 75,000 dead."

Strachan got his figures from Henry Contamine's two books, Revanche and Victoicre.

There are also figures given in Grasset's books on the fighting in the Ardennes - Virton, Ethe and others.

I have material on the German losses but it's in notebooks that are stored in boxes. Their losses were not as high as the French, however.

Bryce

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princeliberty10311517
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Post by princeliberty10311517 » 25 Jun 2009 16:51

Mike K. wrote:
When the French offensive developed in August 1914, Moltke was tempted to accept the challenge in a direct manner, and to seek a decision in Lorraine, postponing the right wing's sweep. The impulse was only a momentary one, but in that brief lapse he had diverted to Lorraine the six newly formed Ersatz divisions which should have gone to increase the strength of the right wing. Moreover, the fresh accession of strength made the German commanders in Lorraine more loathe to fulfil their self-supressing role. Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria, instead of continuing to fall back and lure the French, halted his army, ready to accept battle. Finding the French attack slow to develop, he arranged with his neighbor to forestall it by a German attack. The two armies had now 25 divisions against 19, but lacked superiority, as well as strategic position, to make the counterstroke decisive. The result was merely to throw back the French on to their fortified barrier-- and so not only restored and augmented their power of resistance but enabled them to dispatch troops westward for the battle of Marne.

The German action in Lorraine undermined Schieffen's plan even more gravely, if less obviously, than the progressive reduction of the weight and role of the right wing-- although it was here that the collapse came, after this wing had been seriously weakened in various ways.
B.H. Liddell Hart's Strategy second revised edition
What a misguided reaction to the defensive success in Lorraine. More the reason to go with the right flank since the French are failing in their attacks. In fact, the Germans probably could have taken a couple divisions from the two armies to further strengthen the right.

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stg 44
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Re: Lets build the Battle of the Frontiers

Post by stg 44 » 13 Dec 2009 00:13

princeliberty10311517 wrote:
Mike K. wrote:
When the French offensive developed in August 1914, Moltke was tempted to accept the challenge in a direct manner, and to seek a decision in Lorraine, postponing the right wing's sweep. The impulse was only a momentary one, but in that brief lapse he had diverted to Lorraine the six newly formed Ersatz divisions which should have gone to increase the strength of the right wing. Moreover, the fresh accession of strength made the German commanders in Lorraine more loathe to fulfil their self-supressing role. Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria, instead of continuing to fall back and lure the French, halted his army, ready to accept battle. Finding the French attack slow to develop, he arranged with his neighbor to forestall it by a German attack. The two armies had now 25 divisions against 19, but lacked superiority, as well as strategic position, to make the counterstroke decisive. The result was merely to throw back the French on to their fortified barrier-- and so not only restored and augmented their power of resistance but enabled them to dispatch troops westward for the battle of Marne.

The German action in Lorraine undermined Schieffen's plan even more gravely, if less obviously, than the progressive reduction of the weight and role of the right wing-- although it was here that the collapse came, after this wing had been seriously weakened in various ways.
B.H. Liddell Hart's Strategy second revised edition
What a misguided reaction to the defensive success in Lorraine. More the reason to go with the right flank since the French are failing in their attacks. In fact, the Germans probably could have taken a couple divisions from the two armies to further strengthen the right.
Wasn't this in reaction to the fact that German iron resources were very vulnerable in border region? Sure there is the Silesian fields, but they are not enough to run a war effort on. Recent reading on Moltke's long term plans seem to suggest that he was half expecting a long war and could have reinforced the 6th and 7th armies with the ersatz divisions to ensure that the economic resources would not be threatened by further French attacks.

Plus there is Strachan's piece in To Arms that indicated he was going for the "Super Cannae" by breaking through the border and encircling the French armies. He felt that the "superior" German soldiers would make quick work of the French and destroy their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and maybe even 4th armies if the move was successful. By September 4th he recognized that Paris was too ambitious and wanted to use the 1st army as a flank guard for the more successful center.

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tigre
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Re: Lets build the Battle of the Frontiers

Post by tigre » 16 Jan 2016 18:19

Hello to all :D; a little complement.............................

Deployment of the Belgian, British and French Armies August 1914.

http://www.lesartsdecoratifs.fr/IMG/png ... t_1914.png

Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

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tramonte
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Re: Lets build the Battle of the Frontiers

Post by tramonte » 28 Jan 2016 07:16

I can't remember the source claiming that German losses might have been even higher in Eastern Front during campaign of 1914 than in west. There was also certain western tendence to claim German losses been higher or at least as high in Western Front than those of Entente (Allied) forces. In reality German losses in west were likely about half of losses of French, British Commonwealth and other western forces.

WW1 has too long been focused as chain of endless battles in west and underrating value of large scale fighting in east and southeast. E.g Brusilov's huge offensive in 1916 was lethal battle causing military losses of more than 2 million soldiers. There are lots of reasons to suggest that Eastern Front caused more headache to German military HQ in 1914-17 than fighting in west.
"Military history is nothing but a tissue of fictions and legends, only a form of literary invention; reality counts for very little in such affair."

- Gaston de Pawlowski, Dans les rides du front

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