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

Friday, September 12, 2014

Western Front Virtual Tour — Stop 35: Mondemont Marne Memorial

At Mondement, south of the St. Gond Marshes, in the southerly Champagne, stands the French national monument commemorating the victory in the 1914 Battle of the Marne. The location was the site of what the French consider the decisive moment of the week-long battle, the recapture of the Mondemont Chateau (left above) by the forces of General Ferdinand Foch, commander of the 9th Army. The action prevented a last-minute breakthrough in what had become — for German commander Helmuth von Moltke — the main strategic zone. Elsewhere on the 130-mile long battlefield Allied forces were either holding firm or advancing through the gap just west of Paris. A German strategic defeat was ordered the next day.

The  gigantic monument stands as a high point of 35.5 meters and is made ​​of cast concrete around a steel frame, reddish color (and allusion to the soil in Alsace-Lorraine) and supported by foundations down to 22 meters below ground level. The structure is topped with a depiction of "Winged Victory" with a combination of modern inscriptions and ancient runes underneath in the mid-section. At the base (inset above), facing the St. Gond Marshes are embossed figures of Marshal Joffre and a French solider, larger than life size, and the various Allied army commanders in a more human scale.  

From the Assoication Mondement 1914 Website

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