German "East First" Plan in 1914?

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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by Terry Duncan » 18 Sep 2019 09:50

JAG13 wrote:
18 Sep 2019 04:31
Italy almost went with the CPs at the Marne, then changed sides when the fall of Przemysl made them think AH was done.
According to the Germano-Italian treaty, Italy was supposed to deploy an entire Corps on the left of the German line at the outset of war, and it was not clear this would not be happening until Italy clarified its stance, and this also adds further reasons Germany was trying to get Austria to grant any concession demanded by Italy from the moment the Germans were sure Austria was determined upon war.
JAG13 wrote:
18 Sep 2019 04:31
Here the 2nd AH Army would go to Serbia instead of playing yo-yo might tip the scales, might not, might cause the Italians to rush-in early and try to grab Albania and a chunk of Serbia.
And;
JAG13 wrote:
18 Sep 2019 04:31
It also means no Przemysl losses, no Carpathian losses for the KuK, no real incentive for Italian intervention on that side... and yes, make a better case for siding with the CPs, although I am pretty sure the Italian industry would be swamped with French money in order to try to woo the Italians.
These two are a one or the other choice. If 2nd Army heads to the Balkans as it did historically, the Russians will massively outnumber the Austrians and inflict very similar defeats upon them as historically even if Przemysl doesnt fall into Russian hands. 2nd army was desperately needed in the Carpathians, not in Serbia. Also, the Italians had already agreed to a non-agression pact with France in 1902, something the Germans guessed at but remained secret until 1918, and really had no reason to attack France as all the gains they wanted were in the Adriatic and on the Austrian border.

JAG13 wrote:
18 Sep 2019 04:31
I think they would play Italian, wait and see before making rash decisions, not yet full of crazies like in WW2.
Why? Germany is on the other side of the world to Japan, what are they going to do about it? Declare war on a formal British ally? The coming conflict in the Pacific was already going to be the US vs Japan, both sides were already looking for improving their chances by 1914 and the German colonies help Japan a lot in this respect.
JAG13 wrote:
18 Sep 2019 04:31
I dont know if the British would be "appeasing" Germany, Grey and others would certainly be doing their outmost to get into the war and, at the very least, help the Entente.

Can they do it once it becomes obvious that war was a bloodbath? Likely, they were convinced a blockade would strangle Germany within 6 months... but how do they get in?
Britain can get into the war very easily. They allow a week or two of bloodshed on all fronts, then step in with a proposal that all sides agree to return to the status quo anti-bellum and allow a few days for answers, and that unless this is accepted Britain will look to its own interests in deciding what it will do. Germany will have had time to inflict token defeats but little more, and the front lines are unlikely to be on German soil anywhere, so it will be very easy to show Germany as the aggressor if she fails to accept such a humane offer.

Then again, there is always the option of a false flag attack, a CPs warship or submarine attacking a British vessel in error, or a rather stupid Germany declaring war on Japan when she tries to annex German territory in the Pacific in order to prevent the nasty Russians or French from grabbing them.

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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by JAG13 » 18 Sep 2019 19:09

Terry Duncan wrote:
18 Sep 2019 09:50
JAG13 wrote:
18 Sep 2019 04:31
Italy almost went with the CPs at the Marne, then changed sides when the fall of Przemysl made them think AH was done.
According to the Germano-Italian treaty, Italy was supposed to deploy an entire Corps on the left of the German line at the outset of war, and it was not clear this would not be happening until Italy clarified its stance, and this also adds further reasons Germany was trying to get Austria to grant any concession demanded by Italy from the moment the Germans were sure Austria was determined upon war.
They also had a treaty with France, Italy was going to stab someone on the back, so?
JAG13 wrote:
18 Sep 2019 04:31
Here the 2nd AH Army would go to Serbia instead of playing yo-yo might tip the scales, might not, might cause the Italians to rush-in early and try to grab Albania and a chunk of Serbia.
And;
JAG13 wrote:
18 Sep 2019 04:31
It also means no Przemysl losses, no Carpathian losses for the KuK, no real incentive for Italian intervention on that side... and yes, make a better case for siding with the CPs, although I am pretty sure the Italian industry would be swamped with French money in order to try to woo the Italians.
These two are a one or the other choice. If 2nd Army heads to the Balkans as it did historically, the Russians will massively outnumber the Austrians and inflict very similar defeats upon them as historically even if Przemysl doesnt fall into Russian hands. 2nd army was desperately needed in the Carpathians, not in Serbia. Also, the Italians had already agreed to a non-agression pact with France in 1902, something the Germans guessed at but remained secret until 1918, and really had no reason to attack France as all the gains they wanted were in the Adriatic and on the Austrian border.
No, now there are FOUR German armies for the Russians to deal with, not one, so it is a quite different picture and the Russians would have to compensate.

Italy was going to stab someone in the back, so?
JAG13 wrote:
18 Sep 2019 04:31
I think they would play Italian, wait and see before making rash decisions, not yet full of crazies like in WW2.
Why? Germany is on the other side of the world to Japan, what are they going to do about it? Declare war on a formal British ally? The coming conflict in the Pacific was already going to be the US vs Japan, both sides were already looking for improving their chances by 1914 and the German colonies help Japan a lot in this respect.
France was not a formal ally, but an informal one as the British would have just proved by NOT entering the war alongside them.

And entente booty is MUCH, MUCH JUICIER...
JAG13 wrote:
18 Sep 2019 04:31
I dont know if the British would be "appeasing" Germany, Grey and others would certainly be doing their outmost to get into the war and, at the very least, help the Entente.

Can they do it once it becomes obvious that war was a bloodbath? Likely, they were convinced a blockade would strangle Germany within 6 months... but how do they get in?
Britain can get into the war very easily. They allow a week or two of bloodshed on all fronts, then step in with a proposal that all sides agree to return to the status quo anti-bellum and allow a few days for answers, and that unless this is accepted Britain will look to its own interests in deciding what it will do. Germany will have had time to inflict token defeats but little more, and the front lines are unlikely to be on German soil anywhere, so it will be very easy to show Germany as the aggressor if she fails to accept such a humane offer.

Then again, there is always the option of a false flag attack, a CPs warship or submarine attacking a British vessel in error, or a rather stupid Germany declaring war on Japan when she tries to annex German territory in the Pacific in order to prevent the nasty Russians or French from grabbing them.
Grey barely got the cabinet behind him thinking they were preventing war or at the very least avoiding getting into it while proctecting France's coast... and you think Grey is going to sell them straight out war after seeing the MASSIVE bloodshed with the French invading Germany and maybe even Belgium?

Right...

As said before Japan would wait, there is no casus belly, no reason to hurry, just wait and prey on the loser...

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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by BDV » 18 Sep 2019 19:52

JAG13 wrote:
Grey barely got the cabinet behind him thinking they were preventing war or at the very least avoiding getting into it while proctecting France's coast... and you think Grey is going to sell them straight out war after seeing the MASSIVE bloodshed with the French invading Germany and maybe even Belgium?
IMO, looking at what the parties put out historically

There is no faster way to France to ruin any chance it had in WWI than engage in ANY sort of shenanigans in Belgium.
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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by JAG13 » 18 Sep 2019 20:12

BDV wrote:
18 Sep 2019 19:52
JAG13 wrote:
Grey barely got the cabinet behind him thinking they were preventing war or at the very least avoiding getting into it while proctecting France's coast... and you think Grey is going to sell them straight out war after seeing the MASSIVE bloodshed with the French invading Germany and maybe even Belgium?
IMO, looking at what the parties put out historically

There is no faster way to France to ruin any chance it had in WWI than engage in ANY sort of shenanigans in Belgium.
I agree, BUT... if Germany goes east and as a result the British fail to come in and the French army is bleeding itself white against the German forts while the Russians are getting crushed, what option do they have?

As it was Joffre wanted to go through Belgium, the politicians forbade it because of the British, once the British fail to come in their options are:

a) Keep feeding men to the German grinder.
b) Belgium.
c) Quit.

If they hope the British might still come in its (a), if they try to get Italy in its (a) if they want to keep Russia in its (a), and they will bleed horribly until they will HAVE to stop, which means the Russians are fighting alone...

And at that point they would have to worry about the Russians holding and needing to show they can actually affect the military situation, and that means Belgium.

The moment the British cease to look like a potential ally or the Russians look politically shaky B becomes an option, a desperate one.

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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by ljadw » 19 Sep 2019 09:09

BDV wrote:
18 Sep 2019 19:52
JAG13 wrote:
Grey barely got the cabinet behind him thinking they were preventing war or at the very least avoiding getting into it while proctecting France's coast... and you think Grey is going to sell them straight out war after seeing the MASSIVE bloodshed with the French invading Germany and maybe even Belgium?
IMO, looking at what the parties put out historically

There is no faster way to France to ruin any chance it had in WWI than engage in ANY sort of shenanigans in Belgium.
It is more than likely that France would remain neutral if Germany was going east .

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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 19 Sep 2019 10:10

Hi ljadw,

France had an alliance with Russia that would, and did, bring it into war with Germany. Germany knew this, which was why it concentrated most of its army in the west.

Germany wanted to avoid a two-front war (and presumably giving the British time to develop their empire's strength) and the quickest way to do that was a quick defeat of France.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by ljadw » 19 Sep 2019 10:58

When Germany started a war against Russia on August 1, France did nothing : no DOW, no ultimatum, no protests. France was involved in the war only because Germany invaded France, followed by a DOW .
Alliances are only pieces of paper and no one declares war because of a piece of paper .
France abandoned Russia during its war with Japan ( the only one who helped Russia was Germany ), France abandoned Russia during the crises created by the annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina and when Liman von Sanders was appointed military commander of Istanbul.
Russia abandoned France at the Fachoda crisis and at the two Agadir crises .
Austria abandoned Germany on August 1 : it declared war on Russia only after a German ultimatun ,on August 6 . It also did not support Germany about Morocco .
And let's not talk about the Italians who changed faster sides than underwear .

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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by glenn239 » 19 Sep 2019 17:41

JAG13 wrote:
18 Sep 2019 04:31
Italy almost went with the CPs at the Marne, then changed sides when the fall of Przemysl made them think AH was done. Here the 2nd AH Army would go to Serbia instead of playing yo-yo might tip the scales, might not, might cause the Italians to rush-in early and try to grab Albania and a chunk of Serbia.
That seems very possible. But also, the Italians had their sites set a bit on the Greeks too.
Absent a Belgian detour war becomes a naval issue, the HSF would likely made for France but, Grey also obtained power to use the RN to protect the French channel coast IIRC so... it might end in war anyway or the German admiral turns away leaving the French alone so they can suicide against a dug-in German army.
One of the options for the French is operations in the North Sea, to goad the Germans. The British naval pledge made no mention of this.

In terms of the French 'suiciding' against the Germans, dunno. Their best bet is to go over to the defensive on the frontier and use their naval advantage to fight elsewhere in places that goad the British into war with Germany. Or, simply force the British into the war by invading Belgium themselves.
The Russians would be in for a tough time, no German envelopments and yet likely losing as many men but with nothing to show for it, morale would be low.
The Russians would be in for a bad ride if and only if they decided not to switch sides and join the Central Powers. Historically the British managed to keep them from doing that with a series of expensive offensives on the Western Front. Here, they can't do that.
I think they would play Italian, wait and see before making rash decisions, not yet full of crazies like in WW2.
I think Japan would not attack Germany if Britain were neutral, but will act aggressively towards China and perhaps Russia too.
I dont know if the British would be "appeasing" Germany, Grey and others would certainly be doing their outmost to get into the war and, at the very least, help the Entente.
If Britain has remained neutral for more than a few weeks, Grey and Asquith have already resigned.
Can they do it once it becomes obvious that war was a bloodbath? Likely, they were convinced a blockade would strangle Germany within 6 months... but how do they get in?
If France invades Belgium, the British have to enter the war. How much easier for France to force the British hand does it get than that?
The French cant back down, they know the Germans would impose even worse conditions than last time making sure they cease to be a threat.
Possibly. OTOH, French submission to German leadership in Europe might go a long way to greasing a peace deal.

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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by glenn239 » 19 Sep 2019 17:46

BDV wrote:
18 Sep 2019 19:52
There is no faster way to France to ruin any chance it had in WWI than engage in ANY sort of shenanigans in Belgium.
Well, let's work it through.

Fact 1 - Britain would not go to war with France.
Fact 2 - Britain would not ally with Germany.
Fact 3 - Britain could not trust that after a war on Belgian soil, that France and Germany would agree to restore Belgium.
Conclusion - Britain therefore must enter the war if Belgium were invaded.

Put those facts together and what they collectively say is that if France invades Belgium, Britain will be forced into the war on the side of France.
Last edited by glenn239 on 19 Sep 2019 17:52, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by glenn239 » 19 Sep 2019 17:52

ljadw wrote:
19 Sep 2019 09:09

It is more than likely that France would remain neutral if Germany was going east .
If France did this then Russia would denounce its alliance with France and attempt to join the Central Powers.

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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by ljadw » 19 Sep 2019 18:16

France remained neutral on August 1,when Germany started a war against Russia,and Russia did not denounce its alliance with France and was not joining the Central Powers .
For France, the alliance with Russia had only 2 aims :
1 to prevent a German attack on France
2 if there was such an attack, Russia would tie German forces .
France never had the intention to risk a war for Russia /to fight for Russia and Russia had never the intention to risk a war for France, to fight for France .
Reality in 1914 was that France did not need Russia and that Russia did not need France .25 years ago, it was still the same .

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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by JAG13 » 19 Sep 2019 20:10

ljadw wrote:
19 Sep 2019 09:09
BDV wrote:
18 Sep 2019 19:52
JAG13 wrote:
Grey barely got the cabinet behind him thinking they were preventing war or at the very least avoiding getting into it while proctecting France's coast... and you think Grey is going to sell them straight out war after seeing the MASSIVE bloodshed with the French invading Germany and maybe even Belgium?
IMO, looking at what the parties put out historically

There is no faster way to France to ruin any chance it had in WWI than engage in ANY sort of shenanigans in Belgium.
It is more than likely that France would remain neutral if Germany was going east .
Germany asked France to remain neutral, France refused, when asked if it was because of their alliance with RUssia they said:

"Exactly"

And then mobilized before the Germans did...

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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by JAG13 » 19 Sep 2019 20:36

glenn239 wrote:
19 Sep 2019 17:41
JAG13 wrote:
18 Sep 2019 04:31
Italy almost went with the CPs at the Marne, then changed sides when the fall of Przemysl made them think AH was done. Here the 2nd AH Army would go to Serbia instead of playing yo-yo might tip the scales, might not, might cause the Italians to rush-in early and try to grab Albania and a chunk of Serbia.
That seems very possible. But also, the Italians had their sites set a bit on the Greeks too.
3rd Balkan war! Or 4th? Italy and Turkey attack Greece...
Absent a Belgian detour war becomes a naval issue, the HSF would likely made for France but, Grey also obtained power to use the RN to protect the French channel coast IIRC so... it might end in war anyway or the German admiral turns away leaving the French alone so they can suicide against a dug-in German army.
One of the options for the French is operations in the North Sea, to goad the Germans. The British naval pledge made no mention of this.
True, but would a KM trouncing of a suicidal MN be enough to cause the UK to enter the war?
In terms of the French 'suiciding' against the Germans, dunno. Their best bet is to go over to the defensive on the frontier and use their naval advantage to fight elsewhere in places that goad the British into war with Germany. Or, simply force the British into the war by invading Belgium themselves.
They cant, as you pointed out the British (AND FRENCH!) had to undertake a series of bloody offensives in 1915 to alleviate German pressure on Russia, they cant simply dig-in and sit-in.
The Russians would be in for a tough time, no German envelopments and yet likely losing as many men but with nothing to show for it, morale would be low.
The Russians would be in for a bad ride if and only if they decided not to switch sides and join the Central Powers. Historically the British managed to keep them from doing that with a series of expensive offensives on the Western Front. Here, they can't do that.
I cant see Nicky changing sides, too inflexible and unimaginative, he will go down with the Entente as IRL,the French however would be VERY concerned by the strident RUssian demands for action and would NEED to attack the Germans to show the Russians.
I think they would play Italian, wait and see before making rash decisions, not yet full of crazies like in WW2.
I think Japan would not attack Germany if Britain were neutral, but will act aggressively towards China and perhaps Russia too.
China certainly, Russia has allies and China a bigger price.
I dont know if the British would be "appeasing" Germany, Grey and others would certainly be doing their outmost to get into the war and, at the very least, help the Entente.
If Britain has remained neutral for more than a few weeks, Grey and Asquith have already resigned.
Good point, then how does the UK get in if the cabinet is free of the interventionists?
Can they do it once it becomes obvious that war was a bloodbath? Likely, they were convinced a blockade would strangle Germany within 6 months... but how do they get in?
If France invades Belgium, the British have to enter the war. How much easier for France to force the British hand does it get than that?
I would need you to expand on that, I dont see it.
The French cant back down, they know the Germans would impose even worse conditions than last time making sure they cease to be a threat.
Possibly. OTOH, French submission to German leadership in Europe might go a long way to greasing a peace deal.
That wont happen without a lot of bloodshed.

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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by ljadw » 20 Sep 2019 05:15

JAG13 wrote:
19 Sep 2019 20:10
ljadw wrote:
19 Sep 2019 09:09
BDV wrote:
18 Sep 2019 19:52
JAG13 wrote:
Grey barely got the cabinet behind him thinking they were preventing war or at the very least avoiding getting into it while proctecting France's coast... and you think Grey is going to sell them straight out war after seeing the MASSIVE bloodshed with the French invading Germany and maybe even Belgium?
IMO, looking at what the parties put out historically

There is no faster way to France to ruin any chance it had in WWI than engage in ANY sort of shenanigans in Belgium.
It is more than likely that France would remain neutral if Germany was going east .
Germany asked France to remain neutral, France refused, when asked if it was because of their alliance with RUssia they said:

"Exactly"

And then mobilized before the Germans did...
Mobilization is not war .
France remained neutral when Germany attacked Russia .
Germany had already decided to attack France BEFORE it asked if France would remain neutral .
And Germany did not attack France because of its alliance with Russia :the cause of its DOW on France was the claim that French aircraft had attacked German cities ; an obvious lie .
If Germany used/had to use a lie to declare war on France, its motives were very suspicious ,and one can assume that all official German declarations were lies .
Why would Germany after its DOW on Russia start a two-fronts war by attacking France,using a lie as reason for this attack ?
The attack on France was not needed, unless ... the attack on France and not the attack on Russia was the German principal aim and everything the Germans did in the East was only a smoke screen to make the attack on France possible .
If the French mobilisation was the reason for the German DOW, the Germans would have mentioned this in their DOW, they did not,thus the French mobilisation did not cause the German attack in the West and as it is obvious that the story of the French air attacks on German cities also was not the reason ( the Germans themselves said that the story was an invention ),there was another reason .
If Israel would attack Iran,claiming that Iran had attacked Israeli cities,while privately admitting that there were no such attacks, it is obvious that there was an other reason for this attack .
If Japan had given as reason for PH that US had attacked Japanese ships,everyone would know that this was only a pretext and an invention .
Hitler gave as reason for his DOW on Poland the ''Gleiwitz incident ",which he had ordered himself .
The German DOW on France in 1914 was on the same level : they invented something and used it as reason to attack France .The only difference with Hitler was that BH did not order to attack the German cities ,something Hitler would have done if it was technically possible .
If you have to use stories as that automobiles full of French officers in German uniforms were crossing the border,it is obvious that you have no leg to stand on, that you have no case and that the decision to attack France was taken before the reasons that were mentioned.
Without a DOW on France, the DOW on Russia was senseless. There was no reason to attack Russia: offensively Russia was no danger, defensively it was invincible .

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Re: German "East First" Plan in 1914?

Post by JAG13 » 20 Sep 2019 15:30

ljadw wrote:
20 Sep 2019 05:15
JAG13 wrote:
19 Sep 2019 20:10


Germany asked France to remain neutral, France refused, when asked if it was because of their alliance with RUssia they said:

"Exactly"

And then mobilized before the Germans did...
Mobilization is not war .
It was in WW1 context.
France remained neutral when Germany attacked Russia .
The French had already not only given a blnk check, they were goading Russia into war...
Germany had already decided to attack France BEFORE it asked if France would remain neutral .
They expected France to go to war, they asked France to remain neutral and the French confirmed they were going to war.
And Germany did not attack France because of its alliance with Russia :the cause of its DOW on France was the claim that French aircraft had attacked German cities ; an obvious lie .
Yes, Germany declared war because as an ally of Russia they refused to be neutral, hence, war. Lies for the public's benefit, like everyone else.
If Germany used/had to use a lie to declare war on France, its motives were very suspicious ,and one can assume that all official German declarations were lies .
All sides lied, specially to their own peoples, what is new?
Why would Germany after its DOW on Russia start a two-fronts war by attacking France,using a lie as reason for this attack ?
Because due to thir alliance they expected just that, and France's response confirmed it.
The attack on France was not needed, unless ... the attack on France and not the attack on Russia was the German principal aim and everything the Germans did in the East was only a smoke screen to make the attack on France possible .
France was an ally of Russia and by far Germany's greatest threat, they acted accordingly after France refused to be neutral.
If the French mobilisation was the reason for the German DOW, the Germans would have mentioned this in their DOW, they did not,thus the French mobilisation did not cause the German attack in the West and as it is obvious that the story of the French air attacks on German cities also was not the reason ( the Germans themselves said that the story was an invention ),there was another reason .
They were not aware of it at the time, we are now, arent we?

They declared war because the French refused to be neutral, as expected.
Without a DOW on France, the DOW on Russia was senseless. There was no reason to attack Russia: offensively Russia was no danger, defensively it was invincible .
Russia had begun a secret mobilization, Germany warned them twice and then issued an ultimatum that ended in war when the Russians kept mobilizing. Simple as that.

Russia was invincible, you cant force them into peace, they can quit, but no one could FORCE THEM TO QUIT.

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