Mission Command Analysis of Helmuth Johannes Ludwig Von Moltke
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“One either lets me do as I want or one gives me concrete orders,” General Donrad Krafft von Dellmensingen, German Sixth Army Chief of Staff responsed when it was suggested he suspend offensive employment of his army.
The First Battle of the Marne, also classified as the most, “significant land battle of the twentieth century,” impresses one for its scale, decisiveness, and devastating use of rapid small arms fire, machine guns, hand grenades, and artillery. From 5 through 11 September, Germany and France each fielded over 2 million men (British 130,000) between Paris and Verdun. The most modern military technology to date was brought to bear by both sides to terrible effect. During the month of August, each country suffered 200,000 casualties with an additional 300,000 casualties occurring during early September near the river banks of the Marne. Also called the most decisive land battle since Waterloo in 1815, The First Battle of the Marne had immediate operational and strategic impact on World War One. Operationally, the German occupation of Paris was halted, France’s armies avoided destruction, and the British maintained their position on the European continent. Strategically, both armies were doomed to trench warfare and thus a murderous four year stalemate where international casualties would be counted in the tens of millions. The person most responsible for Germany losing the First Battle of the Marne is General Helmuth Johannes Ludwig Von Moltke, Chief of the General Staff and senior member of the Oberste-Heereslieitung (OHL), German Army Supreme Command. Moltke failed to effectively lead the German Army, understand the operational environment, assess the battle, describe clear directives, and to direct his ...
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2. Journal Articles
Groß, Gerhard P. "There Was a Schlieffen Plan: New Sources on the History of German Military Planning." War In History (EBSCOhost ) 15, no. 4 (2008): 389-431.
Mombauer, Annika. Helmuth von Moltke and the Origins of the First World War. London: Cambridge University Press, 2001.
Mombauer, Annika, and Richard Spall. "Battle of the Marne: Myths and Realityof Germany's “Fateful Battle." Historian (EBSCOhost) 68, no. 4 (2006): 747-769.
Zuber, Terrence. "Everybody Knows There Was a 'Schlieffen Plan': A Reply to Annika Mombauer." War In History (EBSCOhost ) 15, no. 1 (2008): 92-101.
Zuber, Terrence. "The Schlieffen Plan--Fantasy or Catastrophe?" History Today (EBSCOhost ) 52, no. 9 (2002): 40-46.