Primary Documents - The Battle of Ourcq River - President Poincare on the First Battle of the Marne, 11 September 1914

French President Raymond Poincare Reproduced below is the text of the official letter despatched by the French President, Raymond Poincare, to the Minister of War on 11 September 1914.

Written in the immediate aftermath of an Allied victory at the First Battle of the Marne - which finally halted and then threw back the German advance upon Paris - Poincare's letter was clear in its elation, giving thanks to each of the Commander-in-Chief (Joseph Joffre), France's British allies (led by Sir John French), and to the officers and men of the French Army.

Click here to read Joffre's report on the battle; click here to read French's report.

Letter from President Poincare to the Minister of War

Bordeaux, September 11th

My Dear Minister,

Our valiant armies have, during the last four days' fighting, again given striking proofs of their bravery and high spirit.

The strategic idea, conceived with so much clear-sightedness by the Commander-in-Chief and realized with so much coolness, method, and resolution, has been carried out in recent operations by faultless tactics.

Far from being fatigued by long weeks of marching and unceasing battle, our troops have shown more endurance and keenness than ever.  With the vigorous assistance of our English Allies they have forced back the enemy to the east of Paris, and the brilliant successes they have gained and the magnificent qualities they have shown are sure guarantees of decisive victories.

I beg you, my dear Minister, to be good enough to transmit to the General Commanding-in-Chief, to the officers and the rank and file, the congratulations and good wishes of the Government of the Republic, and with them the personal expression of my own deep admiration.


Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. II, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923

The Russian war ace Alexander Kozakov claimed 20 victories during the war; his nearest compatriot, Vasili Yanchenko, claimed 16.

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