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If WWI Had Lasted Long Enough For 1919 Tank Battles...

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  • #16
    By 1919 the German would not be in the position it was in earlier 1918, by the end of mid 1918, it wasn't. It was being beaten, in the field operationally, and the German state was losing at the strategic and grand strategic level. The starvation and war weariness from another year of fighting would've probably just made the ensuing allied victory and peace, worse. Technology development is not a panacea for victory, it must be put into effect with superiority in a number of other strategic dimensions.
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    'I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.' - Thomas Jefferson

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Selous View Post
      By 1919 the German would not be in the position it was in earlier 1918, by the end of mid 1918, it wasn't. It was being beaten, in the field operationally, and the German state was losing at the strategic and grand strategic level. The starvation and war weariness from another year of fighting would've probably just made the ensuing allied victory and peace, worse. Technology development is not a panacea for victory, it must be put into effect with superiority in a number of other strategic dimensions.
      Yup, for Germany to have been able to continue the war into 1919 in fighting trim would have required a better organized and more equitable rationing system during the winters of 16 and 17 resulting in more of the food stuffs staying in the public lager rather than on the black market. Combine this with a Ludenndorf willing to call off the Spring offensives once it was clear they failed instead of a constant wave of attacks all over the front whittling away the best of the remaining German combat power.

      However even if Germany did everything right, the lack of fuel, worn out guns, ammunition shortages and decreasing caliber of the average German soldier combined with the massive garrison in the East meant the Allies in the West, well fed, bolstered by green but brave Americans and huge numbers of tanks, guns and planes meant the battle would only end up in one place- Germany defeated. Possibly with an American public so desirous of vengeance that the Versailles Treaty of History would now look like a moderate proposal. Maybe even the German state broken apart in to its state pieces and Prussia ground forever from humanity.

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      • #18
        Interesting point about a stronger American position at 'Versailles' in '19, a good one too. I doubt the American people would've been so tolerant of the American moderate position had their boys been in much longer.
        Not sure if German nationalism could've been kept down though, even if the Krauts had been broken up back to pre-70 positions.
        However, with the German positions of few resources, being blockaded to buggery, and perhaps another terrible defeat in the field, defeat was the only outcome.
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        • #19
          What's the bet Lettow-Vorbeck would've surrendered after the war, even if it had continued to 1919?
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          • #20
            Originally posted by Selous View Post
            What's the bet Lettow-Vorbeck would've surrendered after the war, even if it had continued to 1919?
            Probably lol.

            Not sure if German nationalism could've been kept down though, even if the Krauts had been broken up back to pre-70 positions.
            However, with the German positions of few resources, being blockaded to buggery, and perhaps another terrible defeat in the field, defeat was the only outcome.
            Not so sure, there was so much division in Germany even before the war. By 1919 you had Socialist v Monarchist, Socialit v Nationalist, Nationalist v Monarchist, Germans v Prussians, State Y v Sate X, catholic v Lutheran, Union v capatalist... Post war these very divisions led to the creation of myriad issue parties and made it possible for a small nationalist issue party to exploit and seize power. 1870 might have birthed the German nation, but 1939-45 welded it together forever.

            If any good at all can be credited to the nazi's it was forging Germany into a true single state.

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            • #21
              I recall reading that the tank production was going to massed production in 1919, essentially meaning (tens?)thousands instead of the hundreds in previous year.

              Germany had nothing new to oppose this. I think the K-round was no longer effecient with the newer entente tanks, they had only a handful of tanks and no goals to increase production...which only leaves artillery to be used in direct fire role.
              Wisdom is personal

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Karri View Post
                I recall reading that the tank production was going to massed production in 1919, essentially meaning (tens?)thousands instead of the hundreds in previous year.

                Germany had nothing new to oppose this. I think the K-round was no longer effecient with the newer entente tanks, they had only a handful of tanks and no goals to increase production...which only leaves artillery to be used in direct fire role.
                Sure Germany did. Field artillery regularly smashed up WW 1 era tanks. The figures on losses in battle show it was the number one killer of tanks in that war.
                Lighter trench mortars (minenwerfer) were refitted to allow for a flat trajectory fire against tanks too. The K rifle was to be supplemented by a 13mm machinegun firing antitank bullets too.
                Then there are grenades and other such devices that can be used. Infantry can fire specifically at vision slots and other small openings in the tank in hopes of either putting a round through one or splash from the bullet spraying the interior.
                The Germans also started improvising antitank mines. A description of a common one is a 12 lbs charge in a wooden box 14x 16 x 2 inches in size using a standard hand grenade set such that the tank running over the mine would initate the primer of the grenade and set of the mine.

                German military documents captured towards the end of the war show they were already disseminating information to field units on how to orgainze defenses against tanks, how to build field fortifications and obstacles to counter them, etc.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                  Sure Germany did. Field artillery regularly smashed up WW 1 era tanks. The figures on losses in battle show it was the number one killer of tanks in that war.
                  Lighter trench mortars (minenwerfer) were refitted to allow for a flat trajectory fire against tanks too. The K rifle was to be supplemented by a 13mm machinegun firing antitank bullets too.
                  Then there are grenades and other such devices that can be used. Infantry can fire specifically at vision slots and other small openings in the tank in hopes of either putting a round through one or splash from the bullet spraying the interior.
                  The Germans also started improvising antitank mines. A description of a common one is a 12 lbs charge in a wooden box 14x 16 x 2 inches in size using a standard hand grenade set such that the tank running over the mine would initate the primer of the grenade and set of the mine.

                  German military documents captured towards the end of the war show they were already disseminating information to field units on how to orgainze defenses against tanks, how to build field fortifications and obstacles to counter them, etc.
                  The German's also began widening and deepening at ditches to veritable moat size to stop the rhomboids. It wasn't jsut starvation or allied tanks, aircraft, American troops and exhaustion... it was all the factors combined that broke the CP apart.

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