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Thread: The Great War youtube channel

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    Neither the French nor the Prussians were involved in the ACW. Their previous experiences reflected in their performances. The French overcame their defiences while the Germans tried to repeat their performances from their previous war.
    That's my understanding to

    The British had an immediate replacement with the British Indian Army. However, the difference between conscript and professional soldiers is six months. In six months time, the conscript would have been battle hardened to the point where while not equal to the professional soldier, he would have been more the proficent to give the professional a real fight and other capabilities would have to be brought to bear to decide an action.

    In this case, by the time the Colonies, the Dominions, and British India could send replacement armies, the CP would have negated any training advantage through sheer battle experience.
    You are partially wrong there. Two things you haven't factored in.

    The British army reserve which was mobilised immediately in August 1914, in addition to the 247,500 currently-serving troops of the regular army, there were two forms of reserves for men below commissioned rank. The Army Reserve was 145,350 strong and the Special Reserve had another 64,000 men.

    Also, Indian Expeditionary Force A which consisted of two cavalry and two infantry divisions (nothing to do with British Indian army) arrived in France in September 1914, only six weeks after the declaration of war, they were moved to the Ypres Salient and took part in the Battle of La Bassée in October 1914. But the poor souls were not accustomed to the continental weather and were poorly equipped to resist the cold. After various problems all Indian Infantry units were withdrawn to Mesopotamia in October 1915. Leaving only cavalry units held in reserve waiting for a break through in the line. They (Infantry) were actually replaced by Kitcheners Pals Army (conscripts) from Britain

    Channel the enemy into kill zones. The application of overwhelming firepower always trump superior manpower
    Proven time and again. Apart from when a 'retreat' cough 'Tactic withdrawal' order is issued and you know the gun will run out of ammo coz the supply wagons are heading in the opposite direction
    Last edited by Toby; 29 Dec 17, at 13:08.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    You are partially wrong there. Two things you haven't factored in.
    I was commenting on DE's noob vs pro comment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    Proven time and again. Apart from when a 'retreat' cough 'Tactic withdrawal' order is issued and you know the gun will run out of ammo coz the supply wagons are heading in the opposite direction
    That was my job. Either the enemy goes where I want him to go or he has to come through my minefields covered by my machine guns. It is the Guns DCO's job to make sure the batterys are well stocked before the action commenced.

    If not, then my job becomes to delay the enemy until the Bde retreats to a fall back position.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    was commenting on DE's noob vs pro comment.
    Ah Understood. There is alot of confusion over the Indian army and the British Indian army....In terms of the 6 months training You perfectly described what my Great grandad did which is how he got the 14-15 Star and not the 14 Star

    That was my job. Either the enemy goes where I want him to go or he has to come through my minefields covered by my machine guns. It is the Guns DCO's job to make sure the batterys are well stocked before the action commenced.

    If not, then my job becomes to delay the enemy until the Bde retreats to a fall back position.
    Ok, can you help me here because I detect an absence of minefields at the battle of Mons. They seem to be using the canal and bridges in the same way though as you describe. But with inadequate firepower.

    British
    2 corps
    1 cavalry division
    1 cavalry brigade
    300 guns

    Germans
    4 corps
    3 cavalry divisions
    600 guns

    Here's a map to help

    Name:  Battles_of_Charleroi_and_Mons_map.jpg
Views: 324
Size:  55.7 KB

    The salient looks very difficult to defend against superior artillery etc

    Casualties tally with your comments

    British - 1,638 German 2000 - 5000

    They seem to have used the battle as a delaying tactic while the main force performed a 'tactical withdrawal' That said I don't think we realised how well the Germans were equipped

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    Ok, can you help me here because I detect an absence of minefields at the battle of Mons. They seem to be using the canal and bridges in the same way though as you describe. But with inadequate firepower.
    I have to be careful here and not apply what I know to WWI commanders who didn't know what I know.

    Minefield tactics were in its infancy during WWI. OPFOR channelling did not come into maturity until WWII and against foot infantry, of limited value, except to cause casualties. It was discovered in WWII that an uncovered minefield inflicts about the same casualties as a machine gun nest but a machine gun covered minefield would tripple the casualties. That being said, once the minefield is breached, foot infantry could do little else but wait for relief and build up for the next assault. It was during WWII that we learned with the advent of vehicles, breaching a minefield opens up your flanks and rear to exploitation. This was not the case with foot infantry during WWI. There's only so far you can walk after you got bloodied by a machine gun nest.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE;1033139I
    have to be careful here and not apply what I know to WWI commanders who didn't know what I know.
    Quite! Alot has happened since.

    Minefield tactics were in its infancy during WWI. OPFOR channelling did not come into maturity until WWII and against foot infantry, of limited value, except to cause casualties. It was discovered in WWII that an uncovered minefield inflicts about the same casualties as a machine gun nest but a machine gun covered minefield would tripple the casualties. That being said, once the minefield is breached, foot infantry could do little else but wait for relief and build up for the next assault. It was during WWII that we learned with the advent of vehicles, breaching a minefield opens up your flanks and rear to exploitation. This was not the case with foot infantry during WWI. There's only so far you can walk after you got bloodied by a machine gun nest.
    Hmm so I'm right in thinking that infrastructure such as the canal and bridges and the lay of the land would be used in a similar fashion to maximise casualties? But only if you commit superior firepower to the bridges where the enemy are being funneled. Otherwise you are on the back foot

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    I would have blown the bridge but WWI Western Generals were not accustomed to scorched earth retreats.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    I would have blown the bridge but WWI Western Generals were not accustomed to scorched earth retreats.
    Good point, I'm surprised it wasn't primed at least as they certainly blew other bridges across the canal and it looks like that particular bridge was Steel and could take alot more weight for heavy guns etc... So that leaves many questions in my head..lol

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    To impede vehicle traffic, you don't have to blow the whole bridge, just a slab would do, forcing opposing engineers to repair/remove/replace the damage slab. Doesn't stop foot infantry though but would sure create a hell of a traffic jam to walk around the damaged slab.

    Combat engineering was in its infancy back then. The defending engineering philosophy during WWI was to block instead of to impede movement.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    To impede vehicle traffic, you don't have to blow the whole bridge, just a slab would do, forcing opposing engineers to repair/remove/replace the damage slab. Doesn't stop foot infantry though but would sure create a hell of a traffic jam to walk around the damaged slab.

    Combat engineering was in its infancy back then. The defending engineering philosophy during WWI was to block instead of to impede movement.
    A slab?...I'd have blown more than slab off. They'd need horses with wings (on red bull) to get across when I'd finished with it. Half the ger man army would have gone up with it as well. ;-)

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    A slab?...I'd have blown more than slab off. They'd need horses with wings (on red bull) to get across when I'd finished with it. Half the ger man army would have gone up with it as well. ;-)
    Stick my ex-wife in front of them, they'll be running through Russia to get to China before swimming to the US.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    Stick my ex-wife in front of them, they'll be running through Russia to get to China before swimming to the US.
    Where they will meet my Ex wife who will make them wish they weren't born!

  12. #42
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    Blank cheque the narrator says is too simplistic.

    The kaiser goes on vacation just before the war breaks out. Does he think a war is about to break out ? No
    All part of the german deception. On German and Austrian side, several key people were asked to go on vacation as well.

    Hollweg insisted "Tsar Russia has to be seen as the guilty party"

    http://international.sueddeutsche.de...irst-world-war

    "In order to lull the Great Powers into believing that the Sarajevo assassination would pass without further ramifications, the German leaders all went on holiday, later asserting that they had no foreknowledge of the Austrian ultimatum to Serbia – a claim that can be demonstrated to be a barefaced lie. The Kaiser was sent off on his annual Norwegian cruise, but tellingly the Hohenzollern anchored in the Sognefjord just north of Bergen, from where the Supreme War Lord could be back in Kiel within 2 days if need be to sign the mobilisation order. His Foreign Secretary even suggested that as the critical moment approached the imperial yacht might sail around in circles in the Baltic Sea so as to be even closer to home."

    "Late on 29 July, in a bid to keep Britain out of the impending war, the chancellor, after conferring with the Kaiser and the generals in Potsdam, put proposals to the British ambassador Sir Edward Goschen which gave away Germany’s intention to invade France and occupy Belgium: "

    "They set themselves the deadline of noon on 31 July for taking the irrevocable step to war and were jubilant when news of the Russian mobilisation arrived with just 20 minutes to spare. “Beaming faces everywhere” was how one observer described the mood of the German generals. "

    As you seen see, they deliberately waited for Russian mobilization and tried to pin the blame. Lot of lies and deception.


    Sizable number of Germans don't want a war. Just a few generals and establishment types. They see an opportunity
    Mainly socialists and pacifists. The deception plan was aimed at the socialists primarily to win them over. Their hatred of Tsar Russia helped a great deal along with russian mobilisation.
    The socialists co operated for the first 2-3 years of the war thinking the war was not for expansion.

    There were enthusiastic crowds who thronged city centres in thousands(including Hitler in munich) and waved to the departing troops. There were people who were scared as well.But there has been no war for a very long time and many didnt know better.

    Key generals and leaders at VERY TOP wanted war. They wield enormous executive power and they were able to carry a lot of germans with them. The only opposition could have come from socialists.

    In the Bismarck system, parliament cant check the powers of Kaiser and his cabinet of ministers or the armed forces. This was a basic structural problem in both Germany and Japan.

    from the same article,

    "On numerous occasions in the 18 months between the “war council” of December 1912 and the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo on 28 June 1914, top-level conversations took place between Berlin and Vienna on how and when to begin a war, not just against Serbia but against France and Russia as well. After a meeting between the German Chief of General Staff von Moltke and his Austrian counterpart Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf at Karlsbad in May 1914 the German Quartermaster-General Count Georg von Waldersee reported that both military leaders “were united in their view that at present things were still in our favour and one should therefore not hesitate to take energetic action and if necessary begin the war.” However, the generals agreed, the civilian statesmen and not least the two monarchs would need to be brought into line. At the end of May 1914 Moltke urged the German Foreign Secretary Gottlieb von Jagow “to pursue a policy designed to bring about war in the near future”. Shortly before his death in 1916 Moltke prided himself on having “prepared and initiated […] this war”. Jagow on the other hand was haunted by guilt for what he had done, confessing to a lady friend that he was no longer able to sleep because Germany had “wanted the war”..


    By the end of July the leaders don't want a war but are being pressured by their armies because they armies don't want to be caught unprepared
    Only if you want buy german deception on the same. Its true some historians are generous to Germany (like Keegan) and Blame russia, even france. This debate goes on among historians and various forums.

    but they are not the sharpest tools in the box in my eyes. Their argument is "a murder happened but nobody did it.'

    Take motive ,opportunity, desire, evidence. germany ticks all the boxes perfectly.

    Its not Russia alone. But "encirclement" on all sides due to german location. This is something on which all historians agree and cannot be denied. Pretty basic.
    Last edited by YoungIndia; 30 Dec 17, at 19:21. Reason: edit

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