This day in 1914 has been cited as the start of the Battle of the Marne.
The First Battle of the Marne, I should stipulate : the Second was to be fought in mid July 1918.
Too big and confusing to read about, with many different armies coming into contact, with myriad commanders over a huge battlefield, over a period of a week or so : in order to simplify, people refer to the “Miracle of the Marne” with the implication that the Entente was in deadly peril, and was rescued by a collapse of nerve on the part of one adversary, and a commensurate retention of imperturbable resolve on the part of the other.
Folklore and mythology add additional attributes : a host of Paris Taxis ferrying reserves to hold the line; an unexpected Russian incursion into East Prussia diverting German forces away from the battle at a critical moment….. a lot of hyperbole and endless controversy.
To make the cup run over, the failure to pursue and exploit, that trope of so many encounters throughout military history, can be summoned to explain the unsatisfactory outcome that condemned millions to die in a protracted attritional war.
Hard to invite comments, let alone make them, but please chip in if any occur to you.
Apologies: this should be in the This Day in History thread !
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"
"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."
Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes