Home Before the Leaves Fall

Overview

The German invasion of France and Belgium in August 1914 came within an ace of defeating the French armies, capturing Paris, and ending the First World War before the autumn leaves had fallen. But the German armies failed to score the knock-out blow they had planned. The war would drag on for four years of unprecedented slaughter.

There are many accounts of 1914 from the British point of view. The achievements of the British Expeditionary Force were the stuff of legend, but in ...

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Home Before the Leaves Fall: A New History of the German Invasion of 1914

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Overview

The German invasion of France and Belgium in August 1914 came within an ace of defeating the French armies, capturing Paris, and ending the First World War before the autumn leaves had fallen. But the German armies failed to score the knock-out blow they had planned. The war would drag on for four years of unprecedented slaughter.

There are many accounts of 1914 from the British point of view. The achievements of the British Expeditionary Force were the stuff of legend, but in reality there were only four divisions in the field; the French and Germans had more than 60 each. The real story of the battle can only be told by an author with the skill to mine the extensive German and French archives. Ian Senior does this with consummate skill, weaving together strategic analysis with diary entries and interview transcripts from the soldiers on the ground to create a remarkable new history. In addition, all previous classic histories on the subject either focus virtually exclusively on the British experiences or are now very out-of-date such as Barbara Tuchman's Guns of August (1962) or Sewell Tyng's Campaign of the Marne (1935).

Supported by up numerous sketch maps, extensive archival research and poignant first-hand accounts, Home before the leaves fall is an accessible, narrative account of the German invasion that came within an ace of victory, that long hot summer.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...a highly recommended, striking history."
- The Midwest Book Review (November 2012)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781849088435
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 7/24/2012
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 694,011
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Ian Senior read Natural Sciences at Cambridge and has taught at Dulwich College for many years. He is also Associate Lecturer in the History of Art for the Open University and a Principal Examiner for the University of Cambridge International Examination Board. A fluent German and French speaker, he first became interested in the battlefields of 1914 when visiting his wife's family in her native Belgium. This is his first book.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 8

1 The Schlieffen-Moltke Plan 17

2 Plan XVII 43

3 Opening Moves 65

4 The Battle of Charleroi 73

5 The Retreat Begins 103

6 The Battle of Guise 130

7 The Retreat Continues 159

8 The Eve of Battle 192

9 Taken by Surprise 203

10 Bloody Days at Trocy 224

11 The Barrier of the Marshes 234

12 Struggle for the High Ground 241

13 Night Attack 256

14 Stalemate on the Ourcq 275

15 The Beginning of the End 288

16 The Last Retreat 292

17 Analysis 310

Postscript 339

Appendices 342

1 Composition and order of Battle of the French and German Armies and the British Expeditionary Force 342

2 Table of Equivalent Ranks 362

3 Directive of 27 August 363

4 Joffre's Order for the Battle of the Marne 366

Notes 367

Bibliography 380

Index 385

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