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in WW I Germany does not invade Belgium and diverts fewer troops to the east

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  • #91
    Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post
    And upon re-reading, do you not detect a contradiction when you extol the virtues of a Prussian-ruled Europe on the one hand and the present state of the British automobile industry on the other ?
    Hi Mate

    I don't think he see's any contradiction in German colonial rule being a force for good and British colonial rule being a force for evil!

    Regards
    "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

    "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower

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    • #92
      TacCover,
      What I am saying is that Germany in 1914 was nothing like Nazy Germany and that it was a much better administrator than the Tsar or the communists who replaced him.
      Belgrave,
      I am talking about 1914, when industry was even scarcer in India, but in order to provide an idea of the level of Indian industry, in 1939 India produced very few mechanized textiles and 1 million tons of steel with 375 million people, whereas Australia produced 1.7 million tons of steel with 7 million people and India had plenty of iron ore.
      Had Britain developed a massive steel industry in India, it would have the cheapest steel available for its industry, ships, buildings, RR, etc, ensuring a large share of the market.
      Other industriies could follow after steel, such as cargo shipbuilding, textiles, fertilizers and other chemicals, shoes with leader from Australia, etc,
      While Britain maintained its leaderships building vehicles, planes, machine tools, etc,

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      • #93
        Originally posted by Draco View Post
        Italy was very proud of its navy but extremely affraid of the RN (which is one of the reasons why it joined the allies). Italy also ruined its economy and lost too many men fighting A-H. Had Britain remained out of the war, it would have been far more profitable for Italy to attack the valuable French colonies, since France was already drowning. By controlling Morocco, Italy could have prevented French ships from accessing the Med, making the movement of goods and supplies more difficult for France.

        Had Germany respected Belgium, it could have also bought food and supplies from it (as it did from Holland, which made fortunes), instead of wrecking the country and then having to bring food that was badly needed in Germany because of the blockade.
        Germany would have also saved the occupation troops it had to keep in Belgium and the very bad press it got in Holland, Britain and the US from invading and occupying it.
        This is correct, Count von Waldersee who was Germany Chief Military general before Count von Schlieffen, developed a plan to stay on the defensive on the western front and mobilize against Russia. Using the hills and valleys of Alsatien und Lothringen would help the defensive battles on the western front. This is from the memoirs of General von Staab, the chief of the military railway planning. When Helmuth von Moltke the Younger complained to the Kaiser that he had no alternative to the Schlieffen plan he was either wrong or lying. General von Staab had an updated version of this plan from 1913.

        This puts the British warhawks: Grey, Nicolson, Crowe and Churchill into a difficut dilemma. If they declare war against Germany like they wanted to, in spite of the general apathy and neutral majority in the Cabinet against such an act, they are going to alienate the USA on whom they would rely on for supplies.

        The second alternative is even worse, if France or Britain invade Belgium, then the neutrals will be strongly biased against the Triple Entente powers. Would this have induced Italy to at least remain neutral, in exchange for the return of Nice and Savoia?

        IMHO it made no sense to squander the political credibility of a nation for the sake of a miitary plan. "War is diplomacy conducted by different means" von Moltke the Younger should have remembered his Clausevitch. The von Waldersee plan had the best chance of succeeding.
        Last edited by Nickuru; 11 Nov 12, 11:56. Reason: grammar
        When looking for the reason why things go wrong, never rule out stupidity, Murphy's Law Nš 8
        Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it. George Santayana
        "Ach du schwein" a German parrot captured at Bukoba GEA the only prisoner taken

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        • #94
          Originally posted by nastle View Post
          so austrians are allied with italians ?
          Where do the brits stand ? will they not use their navy to intercept any italian invasion of north africa


          Yes but effect was largely psychological right ? I mean in 1911 no aircraft had any significant load carrying capability.And for how long will the italians be able to sustain these operations ?
          I guess if austrians and italian navy dominate the seas only then but the French and British fleets are more numerous and more modern.How many dreadnoughts do italians have in 1914 ? probably less than 3 ?
          Actually the Italians only had the one dreadnought Dante Alighieri built by Vittorio Cuniberti when the war started in 1914. They had the Conte di Cavour, Giulio Cesare and the Leonardo da Vinci, reaching completion but not yet commisioned. Now 13 - 12 inch guns made them a formidable enemy, if slightly underarmoured compared to other dreadnoughts. But they were not ready for battle until 1915
          When looking for the reason why things go wrong, never rule out stupidity, Murphy's Law Nš 8
          Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it. George Santayana
          "Ach du schwein" a German parrot captured at Bukoba GEA the only prisoner taken

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          • #95
            Nickuru,
            Others have suggested attacking Russia and defending against France in this thread.
            However, this allows crucial time for the French to mobilize and for their industry in northern France to continue producing armament and for Britain to join the French and mobilize to France. Most importantly, attacking Russia before it advances deep into Germany and Austria and before Italy, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey join the central powers is to Russia's advantage.

            In contrast, attacking France only, before Britain has time to make up its mind and to mobilize 100,000 men to France and advancing into poorly mobilized France and capturing much of French industry will make the British think twice about joning the French without time to mobilize. At the same time, advancing relentlessly in France and keeping Britain out of the war will do much to bring crucial Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey and Italy into the war on Germany's side in 1914.
            The Russian offensive in Germany and A-H would have ground to a hault as the supply lines stretched, the winter punished the poorly equipped Russian soldiers and resistance stiffened.
            In the spring of 1915 the much reinforced central powers would crush the Russian forces deep into their territories and in the summer they would easily capture Petrograd, the Ukraine, Azerbadjan, etc, The Russians didn't stand a chance without French and British help and fighting the whole armies of Germany, A-H, Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria, etc,

            Keeping most of French industry in the north was a major mistake in WW I and II, just as it was for Stalin keeping much of his industry in the Ukraine that Germany invaded.

            I haven't discussed much the probability of the entente invading Belgium. It would be disastrous for Britain which, guaranteed Belgium's neutrality to violate it, not only in that it would ruin British prestige, but also in that the entente would have an even more difficult time invading it than the Germans had (it fought better than any other nation in proportion to the size of its army), especially with the Germans attacking France. Just like Germany wasted invaluable time, ammo, horses and troops capturing Belgium, so would the entente, making the German invasion much easier.
            Last edited by Draco; 11 Nov 12, 15:15.

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            • #96
              Originally posted by Draco View Post
              Nickuru,
              Others have suggested attacking Russia and defending against France in this thread.
              However, this allows crucial time for the French to mobilize and for their industry in northern France to continue producing armament and for Britain to join the French and mobilize to France. Most importantly, attacking Russia before it advances deep into Germany and Austria and before Italy, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey join the central powers is to Russia's advantage.

              In contrast, attacking France only, before Britain has time to make up its mind and to mobilize 100,000 men to France and advancing into poorly mobilized France and capturing much of French industry will make the British think twice about joning the French without time to mobilize. At the same time, advancing relentlessly in France and keeping Britain out of the war will do much to bring crucial Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey and Italy into the war on Germany's side in 1914.
              The Russian offensive in Germany and A-H would have ground to a hault as the supply lines stretched, the winter punished the poorly equipped Russian soldiers and resistance stiffened.
              In the spring of 1915 the much reinforced central powers would crush the Russian forces deep into their territories and in the summer they would easily capture Petrograd, the Ukraine, Azerbadjan, etc, The Russians didn't stand a chance without French and British help and fighting the whole armies of Germany, A-H, Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria, etc,

              Keeping most of French industry in the north was a major mistake in WW I and II, just as it was for Stalin keeping much of his industry in the Ukraine that Germany invaded.

              I haven't discussed much the probability of the entente invading Belgium. It would be disastrous for Britain which, guaranteed Belgium's neutrality to violate it, not only in that it would ruin British prestige, but also in that the entente would have an even more difficult time invading it than the Germans had (it fought better than any other nation in proportion to the size of its army), especially with the Germans attacking France. Just like Germany wasted invaluable time, ammo, horses and troops capturing Belgium, so would the entente, making the German invasion much easier.
              These are all valid points. It is just that IMHO the diplomatic need not to provoke the warhawks of other nations to join the Entente side would be reduced. Even to the point of keeping Britain out of the war, if the threat of German occupation of Belgium and the Channel ports did not exist. This would convince Britain that this was just another stupid European squabble which it was best to stay out of. An uneasy neutrality? probably, but keeping other countries out of he picture as well, like Italy, Germany's 'ally'
              Last edited by Nickuru; 17 Nov 12, 17:46. Reason: syntax
              When looking for the reason why things go wrong, never rule out stupidity, Murphy's Law Nš 8
              Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it. George Santayana
              "Ach du schwein" a German parrot captured at Bukoba GEA the only prisoner taken

              Comment


              • #97
                Originally posted by Andy H View Post
                Hi

                The only thing the British Empire could have done in 1914 that was worse than you state above, is not to stand up, despite the cost, despite your interests, wealth and money, against tyranny.

                Regards
                How Kaiser's Germany was tyranny, but Czarist Russia was valuable and not tyrannical ally? As far as I know German parliament had way more power than its Russian equivalent, and Czar certainly had more de jure and de facto authority than Wilhelm II ever had.

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                • #98
                  Tiberius,
                  The German government was not only more democratic than the Tsar's government, but far more efficient, progressive and less corrupt than most governments in the world at the time.

                  As I stated, most Russians hated the tsar. The extremely poor vast majority because of the dire economy, tyrannical & corrupt police & the rich arystocracy for losing the war against tiny and resource-poor Japan and leaving the Russian economy extremely poorly prepared for a war with Germany. During the Japanese war there ws an uprising in Poland that forced the Tsar to keep more men there than he sent to the war.

                  The Russian government (although 4 years before Nic. II became tsar) stupidly allowed millions to starve in the great famine of 1892. The Kaiser would not have tolerated that, and would certainly defeat Japan and capture China for Europe.

                  The Tsar and his noblemen murdered wantonly the poor (and some of the few priests who pled for the poor) and it is a shame that the orthodox church has sanctified him. The revolution triumphed only because the people had been mal nourrished for years and were literally starving in 1917and had nothing to lose and hated the tsar deeply.

                  Some Russian generals were so corrupt that they sold supplies, while their soldiers died for lack of them. Not to mention extremely incompetent.

                  As I said, with France defeated, with Romania & Italy on Germany's side and with Britain out of the war and trading with Germany & A-H, Leningrad would have fallen as fast as troops could advance.

                  Donīt you think Finland would have revolted early against Russia and allowed Germany to land troops there and advance against Russia? especially after the mighty and modern French army had been defeated.
                  Last edited by Draco; 20 Nov 12, 10:21.

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                  • #99
                    Originally posted by Draco View Post
                    Tiberius,
                    Donīt you think Finland would have revolted early against Russia and allowed Germany to land troops there and advance against Russia? especially after the mighty and modern French army had been defeated.
                    Nope. Finland did not revolt in OTL before October revolution. And most of friction between relations with czarist government and Finnish authorities
                    came from russification policies which were against constitution. Finland was autonomous region and had its own constitution even when czarist Russia did not have one.

                    Main reason for independency was fear of bolshevist government, and its policies, without them Finland would probably been satisfied with autonomical status.

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                    • Would'nt Diverting More Troops To The East Result In More Casualties On The German Side
                      Oh Sure The Old Man's Off His Rocker If Grampa Says He's Dead He Must Be Alive
                      Grampa Simpson

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                      • It just so happens a game buddy & I had decided to try another round of the old '1914' game (Published back in 1968). I decided to test the concept of concentration on the French border in this game.

                        The attached map has a reasonablly depiction of the railroads of 1914 & of the fortress systems.

                        The railroads have a small number of location errors, and a couple sections were left out. Still this map gives a clear idea of how the French & Germans laid out the rail lines in the border region. In short there are just four locations where major high traffic roads cross the border, two near Metz, one further east, and the last south east of Belfort. This last may have been subject to Swiss control & therefore useless for military operations.

                        Note how these railroads are essential to supply. From the rail cars artillery ammunition and fodder had to be hauled by horse draught to the point of use. The maximum effective radius for that was under eighty kilometers or three of the hexagons marked on the map. So you can see the limit of advance is fairly limited unless a operable railroad is in hand.

                        Second take a look at the French fortifications, marked by the black diamond symbols. These varied widely in strength, with the best concentrated around the cities of Verdun, Toul, & Epinal. Those are astride the three most important railroad nodes communicating from the interior of France to Germany. Those were screened and backed by a array of lighter fortress groups. The French fortress array made it imperative any German invasion reduce the forts completely so that a advance into the interior would be supplied. Lying astride the railroads made it impossible to bypass them into any depth.
                        Attached Files

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                        • Next map shows the initial deployments near the end of mobilization. The pieces are primarily infantry corps & cavalry divisions. The German deployment is loosely based on a pre 1900 German war plan, tho it has a significant number of "Reserve" Corps added post 1900 as field units rather than as replacement pools. A half dozen of these reserve corps and cavalry divisions are posted off the map screening the Belgian border and the Frisian coast.

                          The French deployment is based tightly on the Plan 17 mobilization locations. There are a few adjustments for the game map & a possible error is under discussion. Armies 1 - 3 are deployed along the border, 4th Army is clustered along the Meuse River near Sedan, ready to intervene if the Germans advance through the Ardennes. 5th Army is assembled in the south Argonne forrest as a general reserve. Strictly speaking this would not have been the exact French deployment had the Germans concentrated as depicted, but this is what the French player chose.

                          After the German set up is checked for errors the opening move will be made.
                          Attached Files

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                          • You are talking about a frontal attack, I am talking about a westward advance along the Belgian border (with the flank covered by Belgium, which might sell supplies, as Holland did) and then south, beyond the fortifications. As the troops advance west, railroads are built along the border to connect with existing railroads.
                            Last edited by Draco; 24 Dec 12, 22:08.

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