05.09.

1914: Taxicabs “Saved” Paris from the Germans during the War

1914: Taxicabs “Saved” Paris from the Germans during the War
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 5 September 1914
  • As many as six hundred Parisian taxicabs were used to transport additional troops to the battlefield. The Germans were forced to retreat. Moltke allegedly reported to the Kaiser: "Your Majesty, we have lost the war."

Helmuth Johann Ludwig von Moltke (also known as Moltke the Younger), was the nephew of Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke (Moltke the Elder).

Graf von Moltke defeated France in the Franco-Prussian War, and his nephew had only one strategy shortly before World War I – he wanted to defeat France before the mobilization of Czarist Russia. Otherwise, Germany would have to fight battles on two fronts – the Western Front and the Eastern Front.

Ludwig von Moltke, the Chief of the German General Staff, wanted to trick his opponents, i.e. he didn’t want to directly attack the French borders, but to first conquer Belgium, and then attack the French.

It seemed that the German plan was working. The Germans conquered Belgium without a declaration of war, and penetrated into France (the vicinity of Paris).

But they made a fatal mistake due to the excessive speed of their penetration – they didn’t protect the flank of their army. The Allies quickly used that against their opponents.

As many as six hundred Parisian taxicabs were used to transport additional troops to the battlefield. The Germans were forced to retreat.

Moltke allegedly reported to the Kaiser: “Your Majesty, we have lost the war.”  After the Battle of the Marne they continued to fight for the next four years.

If the Germans had won, the war would have been finished during the first winter. Therefore, a long agony of trench warfare followed, and millions of soldiers were killed.

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