The Affair at Lagarde



August 1914. Lagarde – a tiny village in German occupied Lorraine and, in the chaotic opening days of the Great War, the scene of a vicious small-scale action. One which caused consternation and argument in France, and overblown rejoicing in Germany.

In Lunéville, an ambitious French cavalry commander, General Antide Léon Lescot, was tasked with aiding the deployment of French Armies on the Franco-German border in a process called La Couverture. Against orders, he sent two battalions and two batteries from the South of France to occupy Lagarde, a tactically insignificant location. Overrun the next day by an overwhelming German counterattack, every unit was wiped out. But crude infantry tactics, and an unnecessary cavalry charge by two regiments of Bavarian Uhlans, cost the Germans dear.

Though Lescot was sacked, French politicians and senior officers blamed ‘soft’ southern soldiers from Provence for this failure, as well as the far greater disasters at Morhange and Sarrebourg nine days later which stopped the Joffre-inspired invasion of Lorraine in its tracks and sent two French Armies reeling back beyond their start lines. The ensuing political and military controversy re-opened centuries old wounds harking back to the days of the Cathars and the Albigensian Crusade and reflected the more recent troubles of le Midi rouge.

‘The Affair at Lagarde’ describes in detail the fighting around this remote village and its personal, military and political repercussions.

Please allow seven days for the delivery of your order. The shipping department is me, my wife, and our 21-year old cat, Twiglet, and she demands we sit on the sofa, and she sleeps on a lap, for a minimum of three hours a day. It plays havoc with trips to the Post Office.

A note for North American and Rest of the World customers:

I’m afraid the shipping cost is £19. This should get the book to you in 6-7 working days from the date of postage. A cheaper shipping cost exists but delivery is a minimum of 15 days and could be more. I have chosen speed over price (I make no profit on shipping. In fact a slight loss).

If it becomes possible to buy direct from Amazon and other retailers outside the UK/Europe I will provide a link as soon as possible though copies from such retailers will not be signed.


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