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Old 03-18-2012, 12:08 PM   #1
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Default The First World War

... we know who lost, but anyone who thought he won is nuts, imho

Your takes?
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:24 PM   #2
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All the French were concerned about was that no matter what, Germany was crippled economically and militarily so the Boche were no longer a threat to la Belle France.
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:41 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by palo5 View Post
... we know who lost, but anyone who thought he won is nuts, imho

Your takes?
Everyone ultimately lost

Semi ironic thing is the Grand Duke was an utter snobby cnut anyway so who cares that he died

The war happened as usual due to the thirst for oil , that there were an awful lot of soldiers on either side, plus those bombs were getting close to their best before date.
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:04 PM   #4
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Having mentioned a possible WWI thread in response to a comment made by our learned friend Mal Hombre in the WWII thread, I suppose I'd better "put up or shut up"!

Mal suggested that "the RFC and RNAS were often forced to make do with planes that were markedly inferior to enemy machines."

I don't disagree in principle, but I do think it was the pace of development which "forced" one side or the other to fly inferior aircraft at any given time; not the respective politicians or senior commanders.

The Fokker Eindeckers were probably the first to gain what we'd now recognise as air superiority, but the actual E-series aircraft were somewhat unremarkable and their advantage was (in the main) the gun synchronization gear. The resulting "Fokker Scourge" lasted for a relatively short time, and by early 1916 the DH.2's and the Nieuport 11's were (arguably) the best fighter aircraft around.

Then, along came the new Albatros variants and the Germans had the superior aircraft ... until the SE5, Camel and later SPAD variants appeared and the pendulum swung back ... but then the Fokker D.VII arrived ... !!

I'm not aware of aircraft development being held back by "the powers that be" during WWI, but I have no problem with anyone putting me right on that score!
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Old 03-18-2012, 05:31 PM   #5
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The main function of aircraft over the Western Front was Artillery spotting and Photo Reconaissance,the main functiom of fighter or "Scout" aircraft was to shoot down enemy reconasaisance planes.The main British design of spotters were the BE2 and it's replacement the RE8(Harry Tate),both were slow, stable and difficult to defend and very many British aircrew were killed flying them.
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Old 03-18-2012, 06:32 PM   #6
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To do for WWI what I've been doing for WWII...
March 18, 1915
Western Front There is violent, indecisive fighting between Four-de-Paris and Bolante.
Eastern Front Russian troops occupy Memel. Austrian attacks in the Bukovina and the Carpathians continue to fail. Grand Duke Nicholas orders that, hereafter, all offensive operations will center on the southern fronts, in particular in the Carpathians.
North SeaDuring exercises off the Pentland Firth, HMS Dreadnought rams and sinks U-12, which had sunk the Cressy and her sisters.
MediterraneanDe Robeck sends his ships to the attack in three divisions. At 10:30 AM the first division steams up the straits. Within an hour they reach their targets and the Queen Elizabeth’s 15” guns rain shells on the forts at Chanak, while her companions fire on the forts at Kilid Bahr across the straits. Turkish artillery on both banks responds, but causes only minor damage. Just after noon de Robeck decides it is time to move closer and signals Admiral Guepratte to come on with the French division. The ships unleash a ferocious shelling for three quarters of an hour, but Turkish guns damage the Gaulois and Inflexible. The Turkish fire subsides as the forts suffer tremendous damage. De Robeck decides to send the French division back and order up the third division. Just before 2:00, the Suffren begins to lead the second division out. Suddenly, her trailing ship, the old battleship Bouvet, rocked by a mighty explosion, heels over and sinks in less than two minutes, taking 640 men with her. The gunnery duel resumes. After two hours, the Turkish fire again subsides, and de Robeck orders in the minesweepers. But after destroying only three mines, the minesweepers abruptly hasten back out of the straits. The Inflexible hits a mine and limps off in danger of sinking – miraculously her crew gets her safely to Tenedos. Another explosion rips the pre-dreadnought Irresistible, leaving her powerless and adrift. Her crew, along with the dead and wounded are taken off. To terminate the day’s action, de Robeck sends Admiral Keyes to try to salvage the stricken ship. The old battleship Ocean suffers an explosion and a damaged rudder sets her revolving. Upon reporting to de Robeck, Keyes discovers that the officers of both ships have been removed to the Queen Elizabeth, now safely out of the straits. Returning after dark to search for the two drifting ships, Keyes finds nothing.
RumaniaSome classes of reserves are called up.

March 18, 1916
Eastern Front In order to assist the French effort at Verdun, Tsar Nicholas II has agreed to mount an offensive three months before the Russian commanders anticipated being ready to resume the battle. The offensive centers at Lake Naroch, gateway to the railhead at Vilna, with 2nd Army (General Ragoza) as the spearhead and with secondary assaults elsewhere. Although an unexpected thaw renders the lakes that the troops must cross unsafe and floods the swamps they must traverse with a foot of water, the battle begins. The 271 guns the Russians have assembled shell the German positions for three hours and then the infantry moves in to the attack. But the Germans have learned of the Russian build-up at the front and have reinforced the sector. As a result, the attacking Russians encounter withering artillery and rifle fire that quickly halts their advance. At the end of the day, the Russians have 4000 casualties, the Germans 200.
German East Africa General Stewart and General Tighe have resigned from Smuts’s army, the former under fire for his fatal slowness, and have headed for India. Smuts sends van Deventer to attack Lettow-Vorbeck near the Ruwu River. Van Deventer catches up with the Germans at Kahe, but with the same results as before – Lettow-Vorbeck slips away during the night. With the rainy season beginning, further pursuit must wait.
RussiaIt is determined that Sukhomlinov should face a court martial.
Khvostov is fired as Interior Minister when it is discovered that he was organizing a plot to have Rasputin murdered. The reactionary Shturmer replaces him.

March 18, 1917
Western Front British troops occupy Chaulnes and Peronne. The Germans launch a heavy attack in the Verdun sector.
MacedoniaThe French clear the Bulgarian trenches at Svegovo north of Monastir after five days of fighting.
CaucasusRussian troops again enter Van. The Viceroyalty of the Caucasus is abolished and authority transferred to a civil administrative body.
MesopotamiaMaude’s troops sweep to the west of Baghdad to capture Nukhta and to the northeast to capture Buhriz and Baqubah on the Diyalah River.

March 18, 1919
EgyptEight British soldiers are murdered on a train at Deirut.

March 18, 1921
Eastern Europe The Treaty of Riga ends the Polish-Soviet War. The Russians concede all of Poland’s territorial claims. This war leaves the Russians eager for revenge. It also gives the Poles an inflated sense of their military power that will last until 1939.
The Poles are unable, however, to secure Ukrainian independence. The Soviets crack down on Ukrainian nationalism.
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Old 03-18-2012, 06:51 PM   #7
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There was no "World War One." Or "World War Two" for that matter. There was only, "The World War - Act One 'Europe's Game'," an intermission including a period of prosperity followed by a Great Depression, then "The World War - Act Two 'Asia Joins the Fun'".
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:10 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by MaxJoker View Post
Everyone ultimately lost

Semi ironic thing is the Grand Duke was an utter snobby cnut anyway so who cares that he died
I disagree on that Max. What I've learned about Archduke Ferdinand was that he was truly concerned with all the people of his fractious nation and if he had survived to become emperor, he wanted to institute true reform. Whether it would have worked is just a historian's fantasy.

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There was no "World War One." Or "World War Two" for that matter. There was only, "The World War - Act One 'Europe's Game'," an intermission including a period of prosperity followed by a Great Depression, then "The World War - Act Two 'Asia Joins the Fun'".
Actually, there was fighting in Asia and the Pacific in WWI. Japan was on the Allies side and fought Germans in China and in the German holdings on the Pacific islands. At Versailles, the Japanese wanted a piece of China as a price for their participation. They also asked for a clause in the treaty that espoused racial equality, which the Europeans laughed at. One of the reasons that Japan joined the Axis was that like Italy, they felt cheated out of what they thought they were due after WWI.
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullard View Post
There was no "World War One." Or "World War Two" for that matter. There was only, "The World War - Act One 'Europe's Game'," an intermission including a period of prosperity followed by a Great Depression, then "The World War - Act Two 'Asia Joins the Fun'".
Steven Ambrose said that the World Wars were, in essence, a 30 year European Civil War.
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:40 PM   #10
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Perhaps the biggest difference was to throw into relief the inequalities in society; this was the last war where the 'upper' classes would be the officers as a matter of course. Technology boomed overnight - compare the aircraft at the beginning of the war - canvas and wire contraptions fit only to be called 'kites' and treated as novelties by officers determined to have calvary charges whenever possible, to the remarkable late war Fokkers, Siemens and Sopwith Snipe etc., not to mention the large bombers that would quickly develop into the first commercial aircraft.

Arguably the greatest impact in the UK was to radically undermine the social class system; whole estate staffs were lost; the absolute rule of the upper classes was thrown into serious doubt and the spread of socialism and questioning of social order became accelerated in a way that would have taken decades in years of peace.

And perhaps for the first time, we had individual war 'heroes' - the aces in the air were used as propaganda, less so in the UK where the practice was frowned upon but the exploits of Ball, Mannock, McCudden (do read his diary - fascinating stuff) and Rhys Davids still make interesting reading as do the exploits of airmen like Immelman and Voss, the Jastas under Richthofen and the lone fighters such as Coppens, the Belgian balloon buster and the contraversial Billy Bishop (who, more than any other, has 'claims' that have long been debated amongst historians as being open to question). Bishop may have been guilty of simply wanting to feed the publicity machine back home...
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