This week’s reading in Guns of August covers the retreat from the Battle of the Frontiers and preparations to defend Paris in the face of the coming German offensive. In this section, I recommend paying attention to relations between French forces and their British allies. How well do these allies cooperate, and what factors hinder effective collaboration? You might also consider comparing and contrasting the generalship of Joffre, Lanrezac, Gallieni, and French.
Another important theme to consider is the significance of Paris. Pay attention to the significance of Paris and the disagreement over whether the city should be defended. Also note Tuchman’s ability as a writer to build suspense, a respectable feat considering that she is writing history (and we already know the ending.)