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Did the AIF have a big roll in winning the Great War?

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  • Did the AIF have a big roll in winning the Great War?

    I have been reading a book lately that sumarises the AIF's time on the Western front when the author comes to the attack at hamell and Villers Brenaux he asks the question did Monash and the Australians deserve the praise given to them? the author mentions this was a peace meal to Billy Hughs by Loyd George and other politicians because of the waste of our troops on the somme and also by the end of the war we lost more soldiers killed per capitor than any other allied nation so is the praise deserved or not? This is interms of the British army and the dominions would you say the Canadians deserve more praise than the AIF?
    http://g.bf3stats.com/pc/1LP76r6C/melba_101.png

  • #2
    More prasie??

    Equal for sure, but more?
    Last edited by Half Pint John; 01 Sep 12, 07:02.
    "Ask not what your country can do for you"

    Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

    you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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    • #3
      YMMV of course, but I read that Vimy Ridge and Hamel were game changers in regards to the tactics used and their effectiveness.
      You, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace, after having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.

      -- Ataturk

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      • #4
        Originally posted by 150935 View Post
        I have been reading a book lately that sumarises the AIF's time on the Western front when the author comes to the attack at hamell and Villers Brenaux he asks the question did Monash and the Australians deserve the praise given to them? the author mentions this was a peace meal to Billy Hughs by Loyd George and other politicians because of the waste of our troops on the somme and also by the end of the war we lost more soldiers killed per capitor than any other allied nation so is the praise deserved or not? This is interms of the British army and the dominions would you say the Canadians deserve more praise than the AIF?
        The bolded bit is problematic.

        ALL nations seriously involved in the fighting sustained staggering casualties. That considered, any kind of measuring-competition over this is a bit cheezy. Nevertheless, since you put it as clearly as all that, apparently the Aussie death-toll wasn't the worst, not even within the Empire and Commonwealth, and certainly not compared to the rest of the Entente. It just seems it might have been higher than the Canadian.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 150935 View Post
          by the end of the war we lost more soldiers killed per capitor than any other allied nation so is the praise deserved or not?
          The UK, New Zealand, France, Italy, Romania and Serbia all had a greater percentage of their population killed while under arms than Australia did.
          Diadochi Rising Wargame:
          King Pairisades I of the Bosporan Kingdom

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Anacreon View Post
            The UK, New Zealand, France, Italy, Romania and Serbia all had a greater percentage of their population killed while under arms than Australia did.
            Out of those IIRC NZ lost the most per capita. Lossing people does not a great military make.
            "Ask not what your country can do for you"

            Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

            you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
              Out of those IIRC NZ lost the most per capita. Lossing people does not a great military make.
              Serbia saw approx. 16% of the population killed, putting its ordeal several magnitudes ahead of the rest.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
                Out of those IIRC NZ lost the most per capita. Lossing people does not a great military make.
                Absolutely: the reverse is usually cited to be the case.

                There is little correlation between casualties suffered on the one hand, and success on the battlefield on the other.

                Actually, if you split the UK into its component parts, it has been said ( by Ferguson and others) that Scotland suffered the highest death toll: which might be considered, by some,to be appropriate bearing in mind Haig's origins.
                "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
                Samuel Johnson.

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                • #9
                  I have a terrible memory maybe the loss price might of been in terms how under strength the Australian Divisions were in 1918 and in terms of other nations they suffered a higher casualty rate I'll need to look it up after i finish reading the book
                  http://g.bf3stats.com/pc/1LP76r6C/melba_101.png

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                  • #10
                    Unfortunately most of the colonial inspired victories are referred to by most authors as 'British' so it's hard to find objective opinions although there are facts available to those who dig. Monash - the outsider who won a war, Roland Perry, Random House, seems to be well researched and is a good read.

                    Both Hamel and Amiens were planned by Monash, there is a line of thought that people like Guderian were 'inspired' by the massed use of tanks and the breakthrough tactics used at Amiens in particular to develop German WWII blitzkreig tactics. Keep in mind that Amiens in particular was an all arms affair with agressive forward deployment of both MG's and field artillery. Sound familiar?

                    Monash did write a book on his tactics and strategies used in WWI, it is referred to in the abovenamed book. Unfortunately, depending on your point of view I guess, most of the world seems to concentrate on what the Germans did for some reason, even though they lost the war.
                    Last edited by richard g; 02 Sep 12, 02:26.

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                    • #11
                      To lay victory at the feet of one colonial or British force is to disregard several factors. The "British" forces were all supported by the Imperial supply system. The logistical sharp end was usually well connected the original division but the further back beyond the base camp one goes, the less national and the more imperial it became. The other main factor ignored is that of the French, who definitely did not sit around waiting for some white knight to turn up and liberate NE France. Equally, one can also attribute a considerable wearing down by other fronts of the military effectiveness of the Central Powers - three years in Russia took its toll on everybody, not just the Russians, as a for instance.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Johan Banér View Post
                        Serbia saw approx. 16% of the population killed, putting its ordeal several magnitudes ahead of the rest.
                        Estimates vary from 16% to 27% of total population. Roughly 40% up to 53% (vary from source) of male population perished. In my family alone out of 4 brothers only 1 returned. Now imagine similar situation in almost every family.
                        It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge.

                        Косово је Србија!
                        Never go to war with a country whose national holiday celebrates a defeat in 1389.

                        Armored Brigade

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by richard g View Post
                          Unfortunately most of the colonial inspired victories are referred to by most authors as 'British' so it's hard to find objective opinions although there are facts available to those who dig. Monash - the outsider who won a war, Roland Perry, Random House, seems to be well researched and is a good read.

                          Both Hamel and Amiens were planned by Monash, there is a line of thought that people like Guderian were 'inspired' by the massed use of tanks and the breakthrough tactics used at Amiens in particular to develop German WWII blitzkreig tactics. Keep in mind that Amiens in particular was an all arms affair with agressive forward deployment of both MG's and field artillery. Sound familiar?

                          Monash did write a book on his tactics and strategies used in WWI, it is referred to in the abovenamed book. Unfortunately, depending on your point of view I guess, most of the world seems to concentrate on what the Germans did for some reason, even though they lost the war.
                          The subtitle of the book, "the outsider who won the war", bothers me greatly .

                          While there is no doubt that Monash was an effective and admirable general he was but a Corps Commander, and given the vastness of WW1, that's quite insignificant. Such a pretentous title actually does the memory of Monash no favours.

                          I've not read the book, but under "Amiens" do Generals Rawlinson (Monash's Army Commander) and Currie (Commander, Canadian Corps) rate more than a passing mention?
                          "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
                          Samuel Johnson.

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                          • #14
                            Serbia suffered more loss because it had an epidemic in the country in 1914/15. The massive mobilization took almost every doctor in the country into the Army. The mass movements of the Serb Army, Serb civilians and POW's spread Typhus. The epidemic went from November to March. The Austro-Hungarians refused to invade again while Typhus was raging.

                            After the A-H finally successfully entered the country (the Bulgarians invading the South determined to outcome) the Serb Army marched across the mountains and were evacuated by Sea. This caused massive casualties. In 1918 observers noted that the Serb Army was mostly comprised of the very young and the old! Most of the men in the 20, 30 and 40 year age groups were gone! You could see 14 year old Officer Cadets leading troops with 60 year old Privates!

                            The Australians raised too many divisions. There were five Divisions in France and a Mounted Division served in Palestine with the ANZAC Division. In 1918 the 5th Australian Division had suffered do many losses they were seriously considering dissolving it. Where the first recruits for the Australian Expeditionary Force were mostly robust 6 footers, they had cut back minimal height requirements to 5' 2" by 1918 (there is evidence they quit measuring heights at the end!) and they were trying to persuade 40 and 50 year old's to enlist!

                            The Canadians were so well regarded because they kept a division of 12 Infantry Battalions when the British cut their divisions down to 9 Infantry Battalions. The Canadians also had a replacement problem as the Australians did. They were able to hang in there a bit longer! They were also considering reducing Divisions and dissolving one in the end.

                            The Americans were not "war winners" but they enabled the war to be won. There presence at the Front heartened the British and French and allowed the attrition tactics to continue. They enabled British and French divisions to go into reserve to refit, replace and train for the offenses. The German offenses had cut deep holes in the British and French Armies. The Americans allowed them a chance to get their breath for the 1918 Allied Offenses.

                            Pruitt
                            Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                            Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                            by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                              The Americans were not "war winners" but they enabled the war to be won. There presence at the Front heartened the British and French and allowed the attrition tactics to continue. They enabled British and French divisions to go into reserve to refit, replace and train for the offenses. The German offenses had cut deep holes in the British and French Armies. The Americans allowed them a chance to get their breath for the 1918 Allied Offenses.
                              You don't think it's at least debateable to what extent what the Entente was doing in 1918 was still "attrition tactics", and not more "methodical battle"? What really killed Frenchmen in WWI was after all less the German offensives, and more the French offensives, in particular the fighting in 1915, since the inherent defensive advantages in trench-warfare were such that it made such developments entirely logical. I'd say it was a major factor in relatively keeping down German casualties on the western front for most of the war as well. They spent most of their time there in a defensive stance. The French army looking like it did at the start of WWII was also clearly an outcome of both the experiences of 1915 (don't do attrition) and 1918 (methodical battle).

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