Guns of August, Chapter 21-Afterword

Barbara Tuchman wraps up her narrative prior to the “Miracle of the Marne.”  She takes the story from the origins of General von Kluck’s ill-timed turn in the face of the French army through General Gallieni’s brilliant organization of the defense of Paris.  Be thinking about Tuchman’s overall thesis, and why she finds the first two months of the First World War, as the fighting was only beginning, to be the most crucial in explaining the course and outcome of the conflict.

Chapter 21

How much discretion did German commanders have to make their own decisions in the field?  What impact did this doctrine have on the German approach to Paris?

What impact did new aviation technology have upon the course of the war on the Western Front in 1914?

Chapter 22

What were the long term effects of Joffre’s relief of seemingly ineffective generals?

How were the French able to coordinate a defense of Paris?


How does Tuchman explain the “Miracle of the Marne?”

How did the failure of the war plans of both sides effect the course of the First World War?

Why does Barbara Tuchman say that the battles of August 1914 laid a “trap from which there was, and has been, no exit?”  Is she implying that the First World War is still with us?  If so, how might this be true.


Leave a comment

Filed under IB History Course, IB History of the Americas

Comments are closed.