Following the Battles of Mons and Le Cateau the already near exhausted British Expeditionary Force, who had been marching and fighting for six days without a break , embarked on a nine day epic march across France. They headed back to the safety of the far side River Marne south of Paris rather than to the traditional haven of British Armies – the Channel Ports.
Operating with the fog of war resting heaving on them commanders of both sides struggled to fathom the enemy’s intentions and only gradually did the German intent of the Schlieffen Plan dawn on Marshall Joffre, while Sir John French, commander of the BEF had lost confidence in his allies and was advocating ‘leaving the line’ of battle. The army that the Kaiser had derided as being ‘contemptuously small’ was in fact far more resilient than anyone had believed and its capacity to continue marching, when underfed, foot sore and increasingly exhausted was nothing short of remarkable.
DVD NERY AND THE RETREAT FROM MONS
The BHTV team of historians and battlefield guides take us to the scene of some sharp rear guard actions fought during the Retreat from Mons including the great cavalry actions at Cerizy and Nery, where the mounted British soldier established domination of his German counterpart. As they travel the highways and byways of France they analyze the decisions made by the commanders in that fog of war that together spelt the end of the Schlieffen Plan and set conditions for the ‘miracle of the Marne’