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Did generals matter in 1914?

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  • Mostlyharmless
    replied
    Normally, it is considered a good idea to do some reading before posting but perhaps better late than never, I have started Schindler and he has very strong views. He dismisses the idea that the KuK Army suffered severely from the Nationalities issue and notes that they kept fighting up to late October 1918 without anything like the French Army's mutiny. He argues that the problems were that the army was small and poorly equipped, especially in artillery, and had very bad leadership at the top.

    The army was relatively small. Over 1907-10, France conscripted on average 0.63% of its population per year, Germany 0.46%, Italy 0.41%, Russia 0.40% and Austro-Hungary 0.29%. However, the numbers were even worse because 30% of the Austro-Hungarian conscripts were allocated to the Ersatzreserve and given very little training. The result was that when Austro-Hungary mobilized everyone including the Ersatzreserve in 1914, they had 2,265,000 soldiers compared to France's 4 million despite having a total population of 50 million to France's 40 million.

    However, the shortage of money was even greater than of men. If we go back to 1911, the Austro-Hungarian defence budget was 420 million Kronen. Converting currencies, the equivalent spending for Germany was 1790 million Kronen, for Russia 1650 million and even 528 million for Italy. Finally, in 1912 the approaching crisis caused the Hungarian Parliament to approve an increase in funding. However, it was too late. In 1914, the KuK Army was equipped with small numbers of obsolete artillery and did not even have enough modern bolt action rifles to equip all its soldiers. New artillery was being put into production and, absent war, the Army's equipment would have reached a modern standard by 1916. The increase in conscription allowed by the 1912 laws would also have more slowly increased numbers of trained soldiers.

    In this situation, with modern artillery in production and with the possibility of greatly increasing the Army's numbers, Austro-Hungary should have made every effort to avoid war in 1914 and, if war could not be avoided, should have maintained a cautious defence on every front. Launching offensives in Galicia and Serbia showed that Conrad had very poor strategic judgement.

    Unfortunately, Conrad had promised the Germans an offensive in the East to prevent a quick Russian attack on Silesia. One possibility for Manstein is to try to make Conrad's Galicia Plan work. This is not the optimal course of action. It is high risk and, even is successful, will remove some of the limited number of trained officers who will be needed for the much larger army that Austro-Hungary can recruit by 1916.

    As this is Xtreme Alternate History and as Manstein may want to show the German General Staff that he can be trusted, might he try my hook towards Lublin? Unlike most officers in 1914, he will know that the distance is well within the marching capacity of regulars but that reservist will suffered damaged feet as happened to German units on marching to the Marne. He will obviously consider moving boats and bridging equipment to the Vistula by truck, but are there enough trucks in the Empire to do the job? He will also notice that an advance north from Cracow suggests an attack on Warsaw, just as crossing the Meuse at Sedan pointed to Paris and threatened to roll up the Maginot Line from the north. He will also have almost a month to insist that infantry attacks must use open order and to try to suggest that artillery support by indirect fire.

    Win or lose, Manstein will surely go over to defence after the initial clash. He will try to avoid the huge loss of officers over 1914-5 that crippled the Army of 1916. Coming from WW2 Germany, he may also try to find extra officers by promoting non-commissioned officers, which will meet very strong opposition. Can he protect and retrain his army, to create something that can win battles in 1916?

    Wikipedia gives the details of the new guns which are coming into production in 1914 including https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/10_cm_M._14_Feldhaubitze, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/15_cm_...dhaubitze_M_14 and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skoda_75_mm_Model_15. The last is amusing as its delayed introduction was yet another unhelpful contribution from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oskar_Potiorek. At least the KuK Army had a decent machine gun https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schwarzlose_machine_gun.

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  • Mostlyharmless
    replied
    Originally posted by Gooner View Post
    ...snip...

    Lemberg is also a major rail hub so giving it up would not be an easy decision, even more so when one considers that the KuK were getting the better of the Russian armies through most of August. It was really only continued Russian reinforcements that turned the tide decisively against Austria-Hungary in September.

    If A-H concentrated all that they can spare in Galicia earlier, would there be any chance that they could inflict a heavy enough defeat on Russian Fourth, Fifth and Third armies that Lemberg might be saved?

    I think that would be at least worth trying before giving it up. With the advantage of hindsight the later attacks that failed can always be broken off earlier and a withdrawal perhaps staged in better order to the San-Dniestr line.
    With delay imposed the German 9th Army might be in a position to decisively attack the flank of its Russian counterpart?
    This probably shouldn't be possible but the Russians might be incompetent. Nikolai Golovin https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikolai_Golovin when writing his account of the battle (The Great Battle of Galicia (1914): A Study in Strategy, N. Golovin, The Slavonic Review, Vol. 5, No. 13 (Jun., 1926), pp. 25-47) thought that they had been taken a risk by separating 4th and 5th Armies from 3rd and 8th Armies and that this risk was greatly increased because Ruzsky in charge of the 3rd Army, which was the strongest, was focused on moving directly to Lemberg and did not obey orders from Ivanov to send forces North.

    Golovin also argues that the attack by the Russian right wing was the obvious means of gaining a decisive victory but that illogically the 4th Army on that wing was the weakest. I attach the first page with the Russian OOB up to 30th August (hoping that Golovin will not rise from his grave to sue me) and we can compare it with the Austrian OOB at http://www.austro-hungarian-army.co.uk/oob.htm.

    The Austrian OOB site gives the Austrian 1st Army 9 infantry and 2 cavalry divisions whilst Golovin gives the opposing Russian 4th Army had 6 1/2 infantry and 3 1/2 cavalry divisions. A gaming related site http://www.avalanchepress.com/FallKrasnik1.php agrees on infantry but gives more Russian cavalry with 6 divisions and an independent brigade. The Austrian 1st Army does not include Armeegruppe Kummer's three divisions, two infantry and one of cavalry. However, those infantry divisions appear to have been very poorly equipped and had not previously trained together. Thus Kummer's force took little part in the early clashes. Golovin gives the Austrian 1st Army 10 1/2 infantry divisions, perhaps including Armeegruppe Kummer. The battle at Krasnik was a head to head clash yielding a small Austrian victory with the Russian 4th Army pushed back towards Lublin.

    Moving south, the Austrian OOB site gives the Austrian 4th Army initially 8 infantry divisions and 2 cavalry with a ninth infantry division arriving on 20th August. This meets the Russian 5th Army with 10 infantry divisions and 5 cavalry in the Battle of Komarow, which was a significant Austrian victory with 20,000 prisoners taken. Again the Russian 5th Army was pushed back but by no means destroyed or crippled.

    Reading about these actions, I am quite confused about the combat capabilities of the Austro-Hungarian Army. Everyone agrees that Austrian artillery was technically inferior to the Russian guns as well as outnumbered overall. There seem to be several instances of panic amongst units and there were desertions from some mostly Slavic units. However, in the initial clashes when the numbers were approximately even, the Russians were driven back.

    What I am guessing is that German and Hungarian speaking soldiers were fairly enthusiastic at the start. In addition, Polish speakers seem to have been quite keen to kill Russians. The problem for Austro-Hungary may have centred on Hungarian officered units with non-Hungarian other ranks. Austrian officers were required to speak the language of their men fluently but the Hungarian units did not enforce that requirement although it existed in the regulations. Manstein needs to address this quickly but he hasn't got time before the major battles and might not see the necessity (Skippy considered using General Slim with his Indian Army background but was put off by the difficulty of making him loyal to the Central Powers). There may be another problem that the very aggressive officers tend to get killed, so that Austria units tend to become less effective after the first battles as was noted with the Japanese Army in WW2.

    So could something like Conrad's plan have worked if he had prepared better. There are two corps of the 2nd Army with 2 infantry divisions each that arrived late because they had been sent to the Serbian Front. If we send them directly to Cracow (Armeegruppe Kummer on the map) and put the very aggressive Kövess von Kövessháza in charge, we might have a force that could swing round the Russian right wing. It would be difficult and dangerous because the force would have to move from Cracow via Kielce and approach Lublin from the Northwest. A modern road map gives that distance as 307 km via the S7 and S12 (the direct distance is 228 km or 141 miles). Sadly this road won't exist in 1914 and of course you have to cross the Vistula. If everything goes well, this will place you between the Russian 4th Army and the 9th Army. Could Manstein collect enough trucks from all over Austro-Hungary in 1914 to carry the bridging equipment from Cracow and might that get it to the Vistula quicker than anyone expects? Should we also add one or two extra cavalry divisions to try to prevent the Cossacks from observing this hook? Could we use Polish cavalry as our vanguard and tell them that they are advancing on Warsaw to establish a Polish Kingdom in the hope that the information reaches the Russian? If the Russian 9th Army sends forces to Warsaw and 4th Army does not believe that this force can quickly cross the Vistula, perhaps we have a chance.

    Historically, the Russian 3rd Army took Lemberg on 3rd September after routing the Austrian 3rd Army. Then Austrian 4th Army turned to the South assuming that Russian 5th army was defeated. However, it wasn't and Plehve pushed between Austrian 1st and 4th Armies causing both to fall back in disorder with heavy loses.

    Here Manstein has about a month to teach his 3rd Army the idea of elastic defence. If he goes to Lemberg himself and sacks anyone who refuses to learn, perhaps the Russian 3rd Army will still be fighting its way into Lemberg from the East when the Russian 4th and 5th Armies suffer a genuinely crippling defeat, loosing a significant fraction of their artillery.OOB_galicia.gif


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  • Mostlyharmless
    replied
    Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
    How will this affect the epidemic that campaigning into Serbia caused? That is what killed off the pre-war Regulars.

    Pruitt
    The typhus epidemic started from Albania and was brought to Serbia following the Serbian invasion of Albania in 1912. It broke loose in 1914 among civilians fleeing the Austrian attack on Belgrade. It probably did enter the original Austro-Hungarian territory but many of the Austrian victims were from the prisoners taken by the Serbs in 1914. An article from Microbiology Today in 2014 https://microbiologysociety.org/publ...rld-war-i.html has "One year after the outbreak of hostilities, typhus killed 150,000 people, of whom 50,000 were prisoners in Serbia. A third of the country’s doctors suffered the same fate. The mortality rate reached an epidemic peak of approximately 60 to 70%. This dramatic situation dissuaded the Germano-Austrian commandment from invading Serbia in an attempt to prevent the spread of typhus within their borders." Thus I would guess that the more Austria stands on the defence against Serbia, the fewer Austrian soldiers will suffer from typhus.

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  • Pruitt
    replied
    How will this affect the epidemic that campaigning into Serbia caused? That is what killed off the pre-war Regulars.

    Pruitt

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  • Gooner
    replied
    Originally posted by iggy View Post

    I'm not sure how much commandeering of the economy you would be doing without upsetting some parties in the Berlin parliament.
    Would anyone in the Berlin parliament be upset? Probably quite a few in the Vienna and especially the Budapest parliaments would be, however.

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  • iggy
    replied
    Originally posted by Gooner View Post
    Oooh good one!

    Don't know if I would have enough time but as Conrad von Mansteindorf I would start to try and tone down the KuK overly aggressive military doctrine - they started off almost as bad as the French in their attaque a outrance.

    Second I would ask for an audit of the Empires factories and resources, demand the set up 'shadow' armaments factories and order stockpiling of all essential materials.
    I would commandeer all private aircraft (and their pilots!), to the Army and Navy and entrust them in the role of reconnaissance ahead of the armies.

    My battle plan would be to make a noisy demonstration against Serbia but reduce the forces there to two armies with as few army corps as possible to ensure security.
    I would put the four armies in Galicia but transfer corps from the Third and Fourth armies to Second and First armies, respectively. My orders would be to concede ground slowly, Lemberg to be evacuated but Przemysyl to be held. I would let Third and Fourth armies continue falling back towards the Carpathians under Russian pressure but First and Second Armies must hold. All reinforcements I would send to the flank armies.
    At a certain point when I believe the Russians are tired and overstretched I would launch a massive counter-offensive with First and Second armies in the direction of Lemberg.



    Obviously I would remove the generals who turned out to be duds with the ones who proved their worth
    I'm not sure how much commandeering of the economy you would be doing without upsetting some parties in the Berlin parliament.

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  • Gooner
    replied
    Originally posted by Mostlyharmless View Post
    Agreed!

    Note that Conrad was not always wrong. He had pushed for using radio locating equipment and that actually found some Russian armies. I am not sure how much the Russians were encoding in 1914 and if the Austrians could get code breaking working within a month. However, using aircraft will help especially as the Cossacks were effective in preventing the KuK cavalry from working effectively.

    The 2nd Army needs to go immediately to Galicia with as much as can be safely taken from 5th and 6th Armies. However, the critical step for keeping the Serbian Front safe is sacking Potiorek https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oskar_Potiorek and perhaps replacing him by Archduke Eugen https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archduke_Eugen_of_Austria, who seems one of the few cautious KuK commanders.

    Liddell Hart described Conrad as the greatest general of the war - but that probably says more about Liddell Hart!

    It's understandable why AH went for Serbia in strength to begin with though. Also the same mistake made by Russia and Germany - seek to knockout the seemingly weaker foe first.

    I am less happy with the idea of trying to prepare a Cannae. There is a danger that weakening the Austrian right wing could cause Romania to throw in with Russia but there was no sign of that over 1914-5. If Romania remains neutral, a Russian offensive in that region goes through the Carpathians into the mountains of Transylvania, which means that it is not a great threat. Similarly, any Austrian attack has to be supplied through the same mountains. Lost Victories keeps talking about keeping Army Group South's left wing strong and I suspect that Manstein would focus on his left.
    I wound endeavour to keep both wings strong. Mansteins focus on the left wing of AGS maybe because he was focused on defending Germany proper rather than Hungary and Slovakia?

    The argument over where to defend is difficult. Withdrawing from Lemberg (Lvov) would certainly be a much better option than losing a large part of his army. However, note that this is the fifth largest city in the Empire, although Vienna, Budapest and Prague are much bigger than all the others and Lemberg had only a tenth of Vienna's population. The oil producing region is slightly further south across the Dniester, which isn't a huge obstacle so near its source. Thus even if Lemberg is lost, there might be an argument for trying to hold a San - Dniester line to keep the oil although retreat to the Carpathians would be more defensible than the Dniester.

    The Austrians have serious problems in Galicia in September 1914. The most obvious is that they were outnumbered approximately 3 to 2 initially (Wikipedia gives 1,200,000 to 900,000 but two corps arrived late from the Serbian Front). Their right wing does rest on the Carpathians and Romania (whilst Romania remained neutral) but their left wing was completely in the air because almost all of the German Army was in the West. Your map shows the Russian 9th Army marching unopposed passed the Austrian flank. There is a matching red circle marking the 9th German Army but this only existed from 19th September 1914. Conrad's initial strike north by 1st and 4th Armies actually has some logic as it tries to prevent the outflanking movement that actually decided the battle. However, the 3rd Army under von Brudermann also attempted to attack eastward from Lemberg, met a hugely superior Russian force and was decisively defeated.

    As the main Russian attack is coming towards Lemberg, Manstein might be tempted to try to inflict casualties by having 3rd and 2nd Armies trying to defend the road to Lemberg in the centre whilst withdrawing his right to at least the Dniester. The role of 1st and 4th Armies might be to cover the flank. Manstein had recently had to extricate Hube's 1st Panzer Army from almost the point where the main Russian strength was concentrated in August 1914, so he should have a fairly clear idea of where defences might be established (certainly much better than Brudermann who he needs to sack). However, he will be taking care to keep his left hand strong (compared to 1943, his left flank is a complete nightmare except that these Russians don't have American trucks).

    Building a defensive line on the San and retreating to it might remind Manstein of his time on the staff of von Below and the retreat to the Hindenburg Line. One critical problem with the Austrian Army is that knowledge of defences being built behind them may not encourage desperate resistance. The difficulty of holding the San, is that it flows into Russian controlled territory. Thus only the arrival of German troops can prevent the San line being outflanked.

    Manstein must delay the Russian victory until the German 9th Army exists and joins the battle before he can benefit from having planned an attack across the San in 1939. He has fewer men, fewer guns and fewer machine guns than the Russians. However, he knows how to build field fortifications and how to direct artillery. He is also an expert at scorched earth tactics and might have time to seriously disrupt communications in Eastern Galicia before retreating to the San.
    Lemberg is also a major rail hub so giving it up would not be an easy decision, even more so when one considers that the KuK were getting the better of the Russian armies through most of August. It was really only continued Russian reinforcements that turned the tide decisively against Austria-Hungary in September.

    If A-H concentrated all that they can spare in Galicia earlier, would there be any chance that they could inflict a heavy enough defeat on Russian Fourth, Fifth and Third armies that Lemberg might be saved?

    I think that would be at least worth trying before giving it up. With the advantage of hindsight the later attacks that failed can always be broken off earlier and a withdrawal perhaps staged in better order to the San-Dniestr line.
    With delay imposed the German 9th Army might be in a position to decisively attack the flank of its Russian counterpart?

    Leave a comment:


  • Mostlyharmless
    replied
    Originally posted by Gooner View Post
    Oooh good one!

    Don't know if I would have enough time but as Conrad von Mansteindorf I would start to try and tone down the KuK overly aggressive military doctrine - they started off almost as bad as the French in their attaque a outrance.

    Second I would ask for an audit of the Empires factories and resources, demand the set up 'shadow' armaments factories and order stockpiling of all essential materials.
    I would commandeer all private aircraft (and their pilots!), to the Army and Navy and entrust them in the role of reconnaissance ahead of the armies.

    My battle plan would be to make a noisy demonstration against Serbia but reduce the forces there to two armies with as few army corps as possible to ensure security.
    Agreed!

    Note that Conrad was not always wrong. He had pushed for using radio locating equipment and that actually found some Russian armies. I am not sure how much the Russians were encoding in 1914 and if the Austrians could get code breaking working within a month. However, using aircraft will help especially as the Cossacks were effective in preventing the KuK cavalry from working effectively.

    The 2nd Army needs to go immediately to Galicia with as much as can be safely taken from 5th and 6th Armies. However, the critical step for keeping the Serbian Front safe is sacking Potiorek https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oskar_Potiorek and perhaps replacing him by Archduke Eugen https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archduke_Eugen_of_Austria, who seems one of the few cautious KuK commanders.

    Originally posted by Gooner View Post
    I would put the four armies in Galicia but transfer corps from the Third and Fourth armies to Second and First armies, respectively. My orders would be to concede ground slowly, Lemberg to be evacuated but Przemysyl to be held. I would let Third and Fourth armies continue falling back towards the Carpathians under Russian pressure but First and Second Armies must hold. All reinforcements I would send to the flank armies.
    At a certain point when I believe the Russians are tired and overstretched I would launch a massive counter-offensive with First and Second armies in the direction of Lemberg.
    ...
    I am less happy with the idea of trying to prepare a Cannae. There is a danger that weakening the Austrian right wing could cause Romania to throw in with Russia but there was no sign of that over 1914-5. If Romania remains neutral, a Russian offensive in that region goes through the Carpathians into the mountains of Transylvania, which means that it is not a great threat. Similarly, any Austrian attack has to be supplied through the same mountains. Lost Victories keeps talking about keeping Army Group South's left wing strong and I suspect that Manstein would focus on his left.

    The argument over where to defend is difficult. Withdrawing from Lemberg (Lvov) would certainly be a much better option than losing a large part of his army. However, note that this is the fifth largest city in the Empire, although Vienna, Budapest and Prague are much bigger than all the others and Lemberg had only a tenth of Vienna's population. The oil producing region is slightly further south across the Dniester, which isn't a huge obstacle so near its source. Thus even if Lemberg is lost, there might be an argument for trying to hold a San - Dniester line to keep the oil although retreat to the Carpathians would be more defensible than the Dniester.

    The Austrians have serious problems in Galicia in September 1914. The most obvious is that they were outnumbered approximately 3 to 2 initially (Wikipedia gives 1,200,000 to 900,000 but two corps arrived late from the Serbian Front). Their right wing does rest on the Carpathians and Romania (whilst Romania remained neutral) but their left wing was completely in the air because almost all of the German Army was in the West. Your map shows the Russian 9th Army marching unopposed passed the Austrian flank. There is a matching red circle marking the 9th German Army but this only existed from 19th September 1914. Conrad's initial strike north by 1st and 4th Armies actually has some logic as it tries to prevent the outflanking movement that actually decided the battle. However, the 3rd Army under von Brudermann also attempted to attack eastward from Lemberg, met a hugely superior Russian force and was decisively defeated.

    As the main Russian attack is coming towards Lemberg, Manstein might be tempted to try to inflict casualties by having 3rd and 2nd Armies trying to defend the road to Lemberg in the centre whilst withdrawing his right to at least the Dniester. The role of 1st and 4th Armies might be to cover the flank. Manstein had recently had to extricate Hube's 1st Panzer Army from almost the point where the main Russian strength was concentrated in August 1914, so he should have a fairly clear idea of where defences might be established (certainly much better than Brudermann who he needs to sack). However, he will be taking care to keep his left hand strong (compared to 1943, his left flank is a complete nightmare except that these Russians don't have American trucks).

    Building a defensive line on the San and retreating to it might remind Manstein of his time on the staff of von Below and the retreat to the Hindenburg Line. One critical problem with the Austrian Army is that knowledge of defences being built behind them may not encourage desperate resistance. The difficulty of holding the San, is that it flows into Russian controlled territory. Thus only the arrival of German troops can prevent the San line being outflanked.

    Manstein must delay the Russian victory until the German 9th Army exists and joins the battle before he can benefit from having planned an attack across the San in 1939. He has fewer men, fewer guns and fewer machine guns than the Russians. However, he knows how to build field fortifications and how to direct artillery. He is also an expert at scorched earth tactics and might have time to seriously disrupt communications in Eastern Galicia before retreating to the San.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gooner
    replied
    Oooh good one!

    Don't know if I would have enough time but as Conrad von Mansteindorf I would start to try and tone down the KuK overly aggressive military doctrine - they started off almost as bad as the French in their attaque a outrance.

    Second I would ask for an audit of the Empires factories and resources, demand the set up 'shadow' armaments factories and order stockpiling of all essential materials.
    I would commandeer all private aircraft (and their pilots!), to the Army and Navy and entrust them in the role of reconnaissance ahead of the armies.

    My battle plan would be to make a noisy demonstration against Serbia but reduce the forces there to two armies with as few army corps as possible to ensure security.
    I would put the four armies in Galicia but transfer corps from the Third and Fourth armies to Second and First armies, respectively. My orders would be to concede ground slowly, Lemberg to be evacuated but Przemysyl to be held. I would let Third and Fourth armies continue falling back towards the Carpathians under Russian pressure but First and Second Armies must hold. All reinforcements I would send to the flank armies.
    At a certain point when I believe the Russians are tired and overstretched I would launch a massive counter-offensive with First and Second armies in the direction of Lemberg.



    Obviously I would remove the generals who turned out to be duds with the ones who proved their worth

    Leave a comment:


  • Mostlyharmless
    started a topic Did generals matter in 1914?

    Did generals matter in 1914?

    Skippy the alien space bat is planning to test whether military historians are good judges of the ability of generals and whether their ability matters. Skippy has been reading stories on the 21st Century internet where a modern persons memories, ability and character are suddenly imprinted on a historical figure (for example, https://alternate-timelines.proboard...pt-great-again has someone becoming Cleopatra) and has puzzled out how to do it whilst also transferring the critical memories from the person being displaced so that the new arrival knows languages as well as people's names and faces without changing the personality of the replacement.

    Naturally Skippy can take anyone in history to replace anyone but he happened to have noticed that both Conrad von Hötzendorf and Erich von Manstein were born in November and indeed that both speak German. Thus he takes von Manstein's total personality and abilities from 1st August 1944, when he has had four months to rest and contemplate how WW2 is going without him, and shifts them into the head of Conrad early on 1st August 1914. Skippy feels a little guilty about shortening von Manstein's life, and he does what he can to improve Conrad's general health so that he should last about an extra thirty years.

    Of course, von Manstein had a fairly detailed knowledge of WW1 and, once he has come to terms with the abrupt and unexpected transition, can apply that knowledge. Unfortunately, he has arrived after Austria's declaration of war on Serbia and after the announcement of Austria's mobilization. Thus he does not have any obvious way of preventing the descent of Europe into war. Even if he had, he would surely have been convinced that he could win the conflict and might well have wanted to prove it. In this respect, von Manstein and Conrad have rather similar beliefs. However, many historians would feel that von Manstein had more reason for his confidence than Conrad.

    What would von Manstein have done and how successful would he have been? I do not know exactly how much he had studied the Austrian Campaigns of 1914 but he was surely aware that Conrad had attempted far too much. He would have surely decided to abandon any idea of attacking Serbia and decided to stand on the defensive. He might have taken significant forces from each of the 5th and 6th Armies to send to Galicia. Even in Galicia, his objective would surely have been to hold Lemberg rather than to destroy the opposing Russian armies. Might he have ordered the construction of fortifications covering Lemberg rather than sending forces such as his 3rd Army to attack eastwards? Based on his studies of WW1, he might have noted that three of his officers, Svetozar Boroević, Kövess von Kövessháza and Eduard Freiherr von Böhm-Ermolli would be promoted to Field Marshall whilst several others were sacked after failure. He would surely be tempted to give Boroević at least a major role in commanding the defence?

    Predictions? Suggestions on future developments?

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