Soissons—the Decisive Battle of the War

Timothy K. Nenninger and Charles Pelot Summerall

in The Way of Duty, Honor, Country

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780813126180
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135649 | DOI:
Soissons—the Decisive Battle of the War

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There can be no doubt that during the Battle of Soissons, the heroic advance of the First Division, in spite of unprecedented losses and the most determined resistance of elements of eight German divisions, turned the fate of the war. On the night of July 20, the Germans recrossed the Marne and began the retreat that never ended until the Armistice. Charles Summerall going to the lines discovering and heartening the men in contact with the enemy by talking to them, praising them, and explaining the results of success enabled him to influence the battle successfully. The confidence and devotion that he received added to the reward of victory. By personal contact and assurance, a leader must inculcate and maintain a will to win in every member of his command. He never tried a man for cowardice.

Keywords: Battle of Soissons; First Division; Germans; Marne; Charles Summerall; cowardice; Armistice

Chapter.  3146 words. 

Subjects: Military History

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