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  • Glenn239
    replied
    Also, couldn't the Germans have launched the offensive MUCH earlier if they had accepted an armistice with the Russians instead of forcing the humiliating peace-treaty of Brest-Litovsk on them?
    The Russians refused peace negotiations until they were utterly defeated, at which point the Russians apparently expected the Germans to pretend it was 1915.

    When she fell apart, I can see the German leaders taking advantage of it. They wanted to make sure they did not have to face another Eastern Power. Maybe they over reacted a bit, maybe not.
    The Allies established in the 14 points the rule that national identity took precedent over imperial dynasty. Brest-Litovsk merely formalised the fact that Russia had destroyed its own empire by alienating its subject peoples in an idiotic war.

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  • Pruitt
    replied
    In 1914, Russia was the country the Germans worried about. When she fell apart, I can see the German leaders taking advantage of it. They wanted to make sure they did not have to face another Eastern Power. Maybe they over reacted a bit, maybe not.

    By the time Russia collapsed, though, most of the good 1st and 2nd rate Divisions had been pulled out. In fact the Germans only left one 3rd rate and a bunch of 4th rate divisions as garrisons. That is why there was not a whole lot of value transferred from the Eastern Front to the West.

    Pruitt

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  • Acheron
    replied
    It certainly didn't help that Luddendorff was ill with a disease that some doctors claim affects a person's decision making progress.
    Also, couldn't the Germans have launched the offensive MUCH earlier if they had accepted an armistice with the Russians instead of forcing the humiliating peace-treaty of Brest-Litovsk on them? IIRC Russia was out of the war and descending into civil war, but apparently the German army was blinded by its greed and went for nothing less than "Sieg-Frieden" ("Victory-Peace").

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  • Pruitt
    replied
    Keep in mind every offense the Germans ran in 1917 and 1918 used up its dwindling core of assault units. Unless you have a coherent plan and execute it, it is all wasted effort. Second, the Germans had retreated from areas that they turned into waste. When they took these areas back, there was no infrastructure to help their supply line. That also meant they could not easily bring forward the artillery to beat back the coming counter attacks.

    The Germans basically wasted their last bits of manpower capital for very little gain. While they savaged the British Army and basically destroyed one of the five Field Armies, the British had enough reserves to rebuild most of the shattered divisions. If Lloyd-George had let those men go forward as replacements before the battles, the British would have been seriously hurt.

    Sometimes you have to be lucky.

    Pruitt

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  • TJN006
    replied
    In 1918, Germany's obejctive was 1. to spilit the French and British line and drive the Brits into the sea and 2. take Paris, destroying French moral. In WWI they failed but in WWII they succeeded.

    The offensive failed because, like what happened in 1914, they could not keep the momentum going and the defenders could always retreat and fight another day. When the tables were turned by the Allies, they used multiple offensives, and smaller objectives.

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  • Draco Borealis
    replied
    Wersal Treaty failed to either wint the hearts of Germans or break their spirit. Western alies by forcing first the us and then giving the Marshal Plan achieved both after WWII. Operation Michael failed becouse Germany lacked the (mobile) reserves to achieve strategic scale breakthrou. Pitty that colonel Burstyn's land torpedo boat was rejected.
    Last edited by Draco Borealis; 28 Jun 10, 13:21.

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  • Glenn239
    replied
    The extra million dead might well have prevented several dozen million dead by either forestalling World War II.
    The poster stated to the effect that he personally found it annoying.

    What was required was that the Western Powers – Britain, France and the United States - had the will to overthrow the Nazi regime in 1933 at its inception. The failure of the European Powers to secure the United States in the future of Europe had little to do with ending the war in November 1918 and a great deal to do with the subsequent bitterness in the US over peace terms and debt haggling.

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  • Canuckster
    replied
    Originally posted by Acheron View Post
    The extra million dead might well have prevented several dozen million dead by either forestalling World War II altogether, by discrediting the radical militarists in Germany, or crushed Nazi Germany several years earlier, by teaching the French and British generals something about the value of mechanized operations and armies. Of course the arch-conservative generals in both nations might have retarded their respective militaries into defeat anyway, but maybe, just maybe, they wouldn't have done something else in 1940 than getting victimized.
    Your not alone in those beliefs Acheron.

    John Pershing, Charles Mangin, Ferdinand Foch and Arthur Currie were some of those who firmly believed that no peace terms should be discussed until the Allies were firmly on German territory, leaving them in no doubt that they lost the war.

    Otherwise they would have to do it all over again in twenty years.

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  • Acheron
    replied
    Originally posted by Glenn239 View Post
    Yes, a million extra dead is well worth avoiding a minor intellectual annoyance.
    The extra million dead might well have prevented several dozen million dead by either forestalling World War II altogether, by discrediting the radical militarists in Germany, or crushed Nazi Germany several years earlier, by teaching the French and British generals something about the value of mechanized operations and armies. Of course the arch-conservative generals in both nations might have retarded their respective militaries into defeat anyway, but maybe, just maybe, they wouldn't have done something else in 1940 than getting victimized.

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  • Glenn239
    replied
    Frankly I wish the war had dragged on into 1919. It would have made that sickening "Stab-in-the-back" legend (Dolchstosslegende) harder to propagate
    Yes, a million extra dead is well worth avoiding a minor intellectual annoyance.

    That said, the Allies learned their lessons, and were in late 1944 dead-set on ensuring that the war went into Germany on the ground (it had been going on in the air) to avoid "stab in the back" claims later.
    And the Russian army coming on hard from the other direction left no other choice, of course.

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  • Jon Jordan
    replied
    Originally posted by Acheron View Post
    Frankly I wish the war had dragged on into 1919. It would have made that sickening "Stab-in-the-back" legend (Dolchstosslegende) harder to propagate, and maybe, just maybe, an allied combined arms offensive in 1919 would have resulted in less insipid allied leadership twenty years later.
    That said, the Allies learned their lessons, and were in late 1944 dead-set on ensuring that the war went into Germany on the ground (it had been going on in the air) to avoid "stab in the back" claims later.

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  • Acheron
    replied
    Frankly I wish the war had dragged on into 1919. It would have made that sickening "Stab-in-the-back" legend (Dolchstosslegende) harder to propagate, and maybe, just maybe, an allied combined arms offensive in 1919 would have resulted in less insipid allied leadership twenty years later.

    Leave a comment:


  • johnbryan
    replied
    Originally posted by Glenn239 View Post
    Impression I have is that it was also the casualties the Germans took, the lack of a breakthrough, and US reinforcements pouring in to the tune of millions that sapped unit morale.
    The US wouldn't have had that many troops in France before 1919. The Germans did lose alot of their elite stormtroopers in the days following their initial penetrations into the British lines, but those penetrations were not well directed towards a strategic goal that could have decisively affected the war and it all became a wasted effort.

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  • Glenn239
    replied
    Impression I have is that it was also the casualties the Germans took, the lack of a breakthrough, and US reinforcements pouring in to the tune of millions that sapped unit morale.

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  • johnbryan
    replied
    Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
    John,

    Were the German rations really that low? The calorie intake for troops is supposed to be at least 4000 calories or more. That is a lot of food. The Germans hurt themselves a bit by slaughtering much of their livestock in what 1915? That cut back on the meat ration even if they were able to transfer the grains and such to rations.

    Storm Troopers got special rations so they probably got at least 2000 calories or so.

    Sometimes I think they should have used the large POW manpower to help in the agricultural sector. Even then they lost a large percentage of the harvest by not being able to properly transport it to the rails. Lots of German WW 2 POW's were used around here in the rice and sugar farms.

    I would imagine the British Officer Messes would have been much better stocked than the regular ration depots.

    Pruitt

    From the quartermaster returns that I've read, the German Army on the Western Front was seriously hungry by the spring of 1918 and the German home front even moreso. One would think the Treaty of Brest Litovsk in Russia would have overturned the effects of the British Naval blockade, but instead the reverse seems to have been so. Ukraine, while being the Russian bread basket, was kept from being the same for Imperial Germany because of a lack of rail transport to quickly send much needed, harvested grains and livestock back to Germany.

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