As my readers probably already know, French Sixth Army was reinforced on 6 September, by 10,000 French reserve infantry ferried from Paris, 6,000 of whom were transported in 600 Parisian taxi cabs sent by General Joseph Gallieni, military governor of Paris. This famous episode of the First Battle of the Marne was the commandeering of ca. 600 Parisian taxi cabs by General Gallieni and French authorities in order to transport 6,000 French reserve infantry to the battle.
Even if the military impact was almost next to nothing (the men carried by these taxi cabs belonged to the 103rd and 104th regiments were brought in second line), the impact on morale, however, is undeniable: the taxis de la Marne were perceived as a manifestation of the union sacrée of the French civilian population and its soldiers at the front.
A nice article published today on French newspaper Libération explains that the taxi drivers were paid for this journey: about 70,000 French Francs were paid by French Army (it’d make today €233,000). 27% of the sum was given to the drivers, the rest to the taxi companies, according to the usual rules which were then applied.
As a picture for today’s post, I’ve chosen a fantastical drawing published in France: French zouaves carried by taxi cabs who attack directly German troops in Senlis (which is not even in Marne regin, by the way)