Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Closest to Paris?

The marker shown below indicating the location and the date of 3 September is outside the village of Luzarches, almost directly north of Paris. From maps it appears that Luzarches is just about 22 km from, say, where the A-1 expressway crosses the Seine, or Le Bourget Airport. Which German unit made the probe? I can't find it specified in any of my sources, but I would hazard the guess that it was a cavalry detachment from the IV Reserve Corps of Alexander von Kluck's First Army. IV Corps was guarding his flank as he veered to the east of Paris. Corrective information is welcome.


  1. Can you see the Eiffel Tower from here? How does this compare to the farthest advance in 1918?

  2. This would have been a cavalry patrol from the 4th Cavalry Div commanded by Otto von Garnier. This was the same unit that detected Maunoury's VI Army in the opening battles of the Marne on 5 Sept.

  3. Where precisely is the marker located?
    Steve Miller

    1. Luzarches is located on the main highway between Paris and Chantilly. The marker is on the west side of the D316 (formerly N16), south of Luzarches, jusr south of intersection with N922.

      Steve Miller