By Elizabeth Greenhalgh
Ferdinand Foch ended the 1st international warfare as Marshal of France and ultimate commander of the Allied armies at the Western entrance. Foch in Command is a pioneering learn of his contribution to the Allied victory. Elizabeth Greenhalgh makes use of modern notebooks, letters and records from formerly under-studied documents to chart how the artillery officer, who had by no means commanded troops in conflict while the warfare begun, realized to struggle the enemy, to deal with tricky colleagues and Allies, and to manoeuvre in the course of the political minefield of civil-military family members. She bargains useful insights into overlooked questions: the contribution of unified command to the Allied victory; the function of a commander's normal employees; and the mechanisms of command at corps and armed forces point. She demonstrates how an brisk Foch built war-winning recommendations for a latest commercial warfare, and the way political realities contributed to his wasting the peace.
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Additional resources for Foch in Command: The Forging of a First World War General (Cambridge Military Histories)
Foch knew that his right was the weaker ﬂank and that the gap between IX Corps and Fourth Army was too wide for comfort, and so he made sure that liaison ofﬁcers kept him informed. He had a better appreciation of the danger than Hausen had of the opportunity. He dispatched a staff ofﬁcer to XI Corps early in the morning, and, on hearing his report, sent Tardieu to General Eydoux, the XI Corps commander. Eydoux was with his artillery batteries and Tardieu gave him Foch’s message: ‘It is not a question of victory.
30 Castelnau decided to take the offensive, and ordered XX Corps to attack out of the Nancy defences whilst First Army met the advancing Germans head on. In a series of violent attacks Foch’s two divisions of XX Corps crashed into the enemy’s left on 25 August. Although they did not gain much territory they tied down a signiﬁcant number of enemy troops, and contributed to the success along the rest of the front. By evening the Battle of the Mortagne had been won and Morhange avenged. The Germans were pushed back eastwards across the eponymous river.
As a consequence, Joffre sent these two armies into Belgium on 21 August (the day after Rupprecht’s attack at Morhange) with orders to attack the enemy wherever he was found. Although Fourth Army was six-corps strong, the opposing German forces were stronger still. 1 The Great Retreat then began and the French army, now extended on its left by the British Expeditionary Force, marched further and further back, southwards. Casualties had been enormous. 2 It was the worst period for casualties of the whole war.