The Germans play WW 1 differently.

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TheMarcksPlan
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Re: The Germans play WW 1 differently.

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 03 Jul 2020 13:51

Peter89 wrote:So in WW1, even if Russia and France got defeated, it didn't matter as long as the British could take advantage of their naval supremacy. The only real game changer cards were the fleets: the Italian and the A-H fleets might be big enough complements to the HSF to effectively fight against the RN.
There's another factor left out of the European History 101 narrative: the USN. A German continental hegemon will inevitably raise American opposition and would have no chance of naval superiority over the US+Empire.

You seem to ignore my point about internal British politics making the traditional grand strategy not self-executing. That's fine but just a reminder if you'd like to address it.

Peter89
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Re: The Germans play WW 1 differently.

Post by Peter89 » 06 Jul 2020 06:33

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
03 Jul 2020 13:51
Peter89 wrote:So in WW1, even if Russia and France got defeated, it didn't matter as long as the British could take advantage of their naval supremacy. The only real game changer cards were the fleets: the Italian and the A-H fleets might be big enough complements to the HSF to effectively fight against the RN.
There's another factor left out of the European History 101 narrative: the USN. A German continental hegemon will inevitably raise American opposition and would have no chance of naval superiority over the US+Empire.

You seem to ignore my point about internal British politics making the traditional grand strategy not self-executing. That's fine but just a reminder if you'd like to address it.
Yes, sorry. I just ignore it, because I am not really an expert of the topic. I've read and debated a lot about British foreign policy, but I know little of their domestic affairs.

Futurist
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Re: The Germans play WW 1 differently.

Post by Futurist » 08 Jul 2020 21:20

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
03 Jul 2020 13:51
Peter89 wrote:So in WW1, even if Russia and France got defeated, it didn't matter as long as the British could take advantage of their naval supremacy. The only real game changer cards were the fleets: the Italian and the A-H fleets might be big enough complements to the HSF to effectively fight against the RN.
There's another factor left out of the European History 101 narrative: the USN. A German continental hegemon will inevitably raise American opposition and would have no chance of naval superiority over the US+Empire.

You seem to ignore my point about internal British politics making the traditional grand strategy not self-executing. That's fine but just a reminder if you'd like to address it.
Did the US actually care much about Germany hegemony in Europe before 1917 or so, though?

Futurist
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Re: The Germans play WW 1 differently.

Post by Futurist » 08 Jul 2020 21:22

paulrward wrote:
30 Jun 2020 18:10
Hello All :

Mr. Peter88 stated :
The traditional British doctrine indicated that mainland Europe should never
unite against them, so they will always have a seat at the peacemaking tables. And
British peacemaking usually revolves around the "divide and conquer" concept
(Ireland, India, etc.).

This might be of some informational value :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVYqB0uTKlE


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
Minor nitpick, but it's actually Peter89. :)

History Learner
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Re: The Germans play WW 1 differently.

Post by History Learner » 12 Jul 2020 20:16

T. A. Gardner wrote:
23 Jun 2020 01:34
The Germans knowing the various treaty arrangements in Europe in 1912 devise alternates to the Schlieffen plan in the event of a general war in Europe.

In 1914 war breaks out in the historical manner. Austria declares on Serbia, Russia declares on Austria, the Germans declare on Russia, and the French declare on Germany and Austria.

The sides are set for war to their historical levels of mobilization.

But, Germany doesn't invade Belgium. Instead, they mass troops facing France assuming the French will honor Belgian neutrality, which France does. The German defenses dig deep and in depth. The French immolate themselves trying to break the German lines.

Meanwhile, the Germans have put their best units and generals in the East and demolish the Russians. By late 1915, Russia is on the ropes and in imminence of calling for terms. The British are not in the war and selling materials to both France and Russia. The US is selling far more to Germany as they had prewar. There is no blockade of Germany. The Royal Navy refuses to do so least Britain is drug into the war. The French can't match the High Seas Fleet. The British tell both the Germans and French to keep their fleets out of the Channel.

With Russia about to collapse, and casualties mounting to close to a million, the French are now in a dilemma. They are pretty clearly not going to win against Germany. Germany has defeated their one ally. The British and Italians have tacitly told them where to take the idea of joining the war.

What does France do?
The French would be in worse situation than the Russians, actually. I've posted it in another thread already but Terrence M. Holmes, writing in "Not the Schlieffen Plan 1914", explains the situation thusly:
If Moltke had followed Schlieffen’s real intentions for the counter-offensive conduct of a two-front war, the first great battle of 1914 would have been fought in Lorraine in the third week of hostilities, on terms much more favourable to Germany than they were at the battle of the Marne. We can reconstruct this alternative scenario because we know exactly what the French chief of staff Joseph Joffre intended to do if the Germans did not invade Belgium.​

French war planning was constrained by two political imperatives. In the first place, France was committed by agreement with her Russian ally to launch an ‘all-out and immediate’ attack against Germany as soon as possible after the outbreak of war. Moreover, the French government had resolved not to encroach on Belgian territory unless the Germans did so first. Joffre was therefore obliged to incorporate in his war plans a variant which allowed for a full-scale offensive avoiding Belgian territory altogether, and that would have come into effect in 1914 if the Germans had stayed on the defensive and not entered Belgium. For this eventuality Joffre decided that three of his five armies, comprising some 60 percent of his first-line troops, should invade Lorraine on 14 August, aiming initially to reach the line of the river Saar between Sarrebourg and Saarbrücken (Doughty 2010, 146-8, 155-8, 168). Ominously, that position was flanked at both ends by the German fortresses of Metz and Strasbourg.​

Schlieffen had long before outlined how the Germans should exploit a massive French incursion through ‘the relatively narrow space between Metz and Strasbourg’. The aim must not be to push the enemy back to his fortified border. Rather, he had to be engaged on three sides, ‘from Metz, from the Saar and from Strasbourg’, and brought to a standstill there, which would give the Germans an excellent chance of​ decisive victory by means of envelopment attacks out of Metz and Strasbourg. The ultimate aim of this ‘attack on the enemy’s flank and rear’ would be to surround the French invasion forces and ‘not just defeat them, but lay them low and as far as possible annihilate them’ (Boetticher 1933, 260).​

Joffre himself was acutely aware of the perils attending a French offensive in Lorraine. He said that the object would be to rupture the German front, but he conceded​
that:​

"In the course of this operation our forces would be liable to be taken in flank by attacks coming in all probability from both Metz and the region of Molsheim-Strasbourg. By penetrating like a wedge into the midst of the enemy’s lines we would be more or less inviting envelopment (Joffre 1932, 74-5)."​

But a German defensive posture in 1914 would have compelled Joffre to embark on that hazardous course of action — that was precisely what he was committed to if the Germans refrained from attacking through Belgium and waited instead for the opportunity to counter-attack. In that event, the war would have started with a great battle of encirclement as soon as the French First, Second and Fourth Armies had completed their short advance into the danger zone between Metz and Strasbourg. Speaking in 1904 of the strategic importance of these fortresses, Schlieffen once again emphasized their role in counter-offensive operations: ‘I do not mean a Metz and Strasbourg that are to be besieged and defended, but rather a Metz and Strasbourg in which armies are assembled and through which they march in order to attack the enemy by surprise’ (Zuber 2004, 160).​

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Re: The Germans play WW 1 differently.

Post by Futurist » 13 Jul 2020 02:37

Why did Germany bother invading Belgium at all when it could have achieved such a massive Cannae-like victory simply by playing defense at the beginning of World War I? It seems kind of pointless, no? After all, Germany could have had a quick victory in the West either way--and indeed might have been even more likely to have a quick victory in the West with a much more defensive strategy there at the start of World War I.

Peter89
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Re: The Germans play WW 1 differently.

Post by Peter89 » 13 Jul 2020 03:25

Futurist wrote:
08 Jul 2020 21:22
paulrward wrote:
30 Jun 2020 18:10
Hello All :

Mr. Peter88 stated :
The traditional British doctrine indicated that mainland Europe should never
unite against them, so they will always have a seat at the peacemaking tables. And
British peacemaking usually revolves around the "divide and conquer" concept
(Ireland, India, etc.).

This might be of some informational value :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVYqB0uTKlE


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
Minor nitpick, but it's actually Peter89. :)
Hopefully a typo, but I'd like to make it clear that the 89 in my nickname has nothing to do with 88/HH, the neonazi greeting :DDD

paulrward
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Re: The Germans play WW 1 differently.

Post by paulrward » 13 Jul 2020 03:33

Hello Mr. Peter89 :

Sorry - it was just a typo. Many years ago I pinched a few nerves in my neck pulling
G's in a mock dogfight, and since then my typing has gone to hell.

Regretfully :

Paul R. Ward
Information not shared, is information lost
Voices banned, are voices who cannot share information....

Peter89
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Re: The Germans play WW 1 differently.

Post by Peter89 » 13 Jul 2020 03:42

paulrward wrote:
13 Jul 2020 03:33
Hello Mr. Peter89 :

Sorry - it was just a typo. Many years ago I pinched a few nerves in my neck pulling
G's in a mock dogfight, and since then my typing has gone to hell.

Regretfully :

Paul R. Ward
It's alright, no worries Paul.

Futurist
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Re: The Germans play WW 1 differently.

Post by Futurist » 13 Jul 2020 04:54

Peter89 wrote:
13 Jul 2020 03:25
Futurist wrote:
08 Jul 2020 21:22
paulrward wrote:
30 Jun 2020 18:10
Hello All :

Mr. Peter88 stated :
The traditional British doctrine indicated that mainland Europe should never
unite against them, so they will always have a seat at the peacemaking tables. And
British peacemaking usually revolves around the "divide and conquer" concept
(Ireland, India, etc.).

This might be of some informational value :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVYqB0uTKlE


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
Minor nitpick, but it's actually Peter89. :)
Hopefully a typo, but I'd like to make it clear that the 89 in my nickname has nothing to do with 88/HH, the neonazi greeting :DDD
89 is your birth year, isn't it?

Peter89
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Location: Hungary

Re: The Germans play WW 1 differently.

Post by Peter89 » 13 Jul 2020 14:03

Futurist wrote:
13 Jul 2020 04:54
Peter89 wrote:
13 Jul 2020 03:25
Futurist wrote:
08 Jul 2020 21:22
paulrward wrote:
30 Jun 2020 18:10
Hello All :

Mr. Peter88 stated :
The traditional British doctrine indicated that mainland Europe should never
unite against them, so they will always have a seat at the peacemaking tables. And
British peacemaking usually revolves around the "divide and conquer" concept
(Ireland, India, etc.).

This might be of some informational value :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVYqB0uTKlE


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
Minor nitpick, but it's actually Peter89. :)
Hopefully a typo, but I'd like to make it clear that the 89 in my nickname has nothing to do with 88/HH, the neonazi greeting :DDD
89 is your birth year, isn't it?

It is very kind of you to take a personal interest in me, but could we please move to PMs?

Futurist
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Re: The Germans play WW 1 differently.

Post by Futurist » 13 Jul 2020 19:11

Sure! Go ahead and PM me! :)

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Terry Duncan
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Re: The Germans play WW 1 differently.

Post by Terry Duncan » 14 Jul 2020 10:03

Futurist wrote:
13 Jul 2020 02:37
Why did Germany bother invading Belgium at all when it could have achieved such a massive Cannae-like victory simply by playing defense at the beginning of World War I? It seems kind of pointless, no? After all, Germany could have had a quick victory in the West either way--and indeed might have been even more likely to have a quick victory in the West with a much more defensive strategy there at the start of World War I.
Because it means relying on the French to keep shoving more and more men into a failed or narrow offensive, in order to destroy the French army in the manner desired they needed to force the French to accept battle, something that could only be achieved if France were defending. In the former cases as soon as France feels it is losing too many men or that the narrow thrust is precarious and they are about to become trapped, they will simply pull back to their own fortified lines. In the latter case, if Germany is attacking the resulting war of movement will produce chances to envelop a large part of the German army due to the weight of the German forces against the French left. The French must be forced to fight away from their defensive lines on the common border, and cannot be allowed to dictate the nature or scale of the engagements. This is the basic theory behind the reasons the Germans opted for the offensive strategy, although there are other factors involved such as time also.

TheMarcksPlan
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Re: The Germans play WW 1 differently.

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 14 Jul 2020 19:31

Terry Duncan wrote:
14 Jul 2020 10:03
Futurist wrote:
13 Jul 2020 02:37
Why did Germany bother invading Belgium at all when it could have achieved such a massive Cannae-like victory simply by playing defense at the beginning of World War I? It seems kind of pointless, no? After all, Germany could have had a quick victory in the West either way--and indeed might have been even more likely to have a quick victory in the West with a much more defensive strategy there at the start of World War I.
Because it means relying on the French to keep shoving more and more men into a failed or narrow offensive, in order to destroy the French army in the manner desired they needed to force the French to accept battle, something that could only be achieved if France were defending. In the former cases as soon as France feels it is losing too many men or that the narrow thrust is precarious and they are about to become trapped, they will simply pull back to their own fortified lines. In the latter case, if Germany is attacking the resulting war of movement will produce chances to envelop a large part of the German army due to the weight of the German forces against the French left. The French must be forced to fight away from their defensive lines on the common border, and cannot be allowed to dictate the nature or scale of the engagements. This is the basic theory behind the reasons the Germans opted for the offensive strategy, although there are other factors involved such as time also.
Re the time factor it seems the Germans far overestimated the Czarist armies. Kind of the reverse of WW2. They viewed quick defeat of France as essential to winning in the East.

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Terry Duncan
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Re: The Germans play WW 1 differently.

Post by Terry Duncan » 14 Jul 2020 19:54

They didn't view it as possible to defeat Russia, they just viewed the situation as one that could be solved by negotiation with Russia whilst with France they knew there would be no negotiation and would be a fight to the finish. Other than having no idea what to do about a hostile Britain, German policy in WWI was based on far more reliable intelligence and ideas on what was possible rather than the wishful thinking that dominated WWII.

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