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Origin of WWI -Current thinking


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In 1914? Why/how did civilized Europeans commit suicide?

From 1914 to 1945, Europeans suffered from mass hysteria? How/why does this happen?

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With so-called Covid-19, we are doing the same. We too are destroying a civilised society.

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They thought they could have a nice and proper war like they had in the before-times, Napoleonic style. But now they had invented much more advanced military technology that came with the advent of mechanization.

That is why, in the first battles of WWI French soldiers were butchered as they stood in their fields. They found out the hard way that no amount of courage can prevail against gunfire.

In other words they didn't know what the hell they had just started.

Then the war became a thing of its own, with all the usual momentum that keeps wars going. Bring in the men wearing suits and top hats...

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23 hours ago, OftenWrong said:

They thought they could have a nice and proper war like they had in the before-times, Napoleonic style. But now they had invented much more advanced military technology that came with the advent of mechanization.

That is why, in the first battles of WWI French soldiers were butchered as they stood in their fields. They found out the hard way that no amount of courage can prevail against gunfire.

In other words they didn't know what the hell they had just started.

Then the war became a thing of its own, with all the usual momentum that keeps wars going. Bring in the men wearing suits and top hats...

This is my thinking now too.

But then, why did the war of 1914 last so long?

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Duty. Devoir.

Edited by August1991
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23 hours ago, OftenWrong said:

They thought they could have a nice and proper war like they had in the before-times, Napoleonic style. But now they had invented much more advanced military technology that came with the advent of mechanization.

That is why, in the first battles of WWI French soldiers were butchered as they stood in their fields. They found out the hard way that no amount of courage can prevail against gunfire.

In other words they didn't know what the hell they had just started.

Then the war became a thing of its own, with all the usual momentum that keeps wars going. Bring in the men wearing suits and top hats...

 

An ammo shortage in 1915 led to a year long lull in major fighting. Only a few big engagements occurred. Across the Channel, Kitchener's Army of fresh recruits were forming and training. But again...weapon shortages. Uniform shortages...the works. Nobody would be ready until mid-1916...and getting them across to France was a chore.

Edited by DogOnPorch
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36 minutes ago, August1991 said:

This is my thinking now too.

But then, why did the war of 1914 last so long?

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Duty. Devoir.

 

It actually unfolded at about the only speed it could due to the technology of the day. Everything depended upon a train timetable...a style of warfare introduced in the US Civil War with Jackson end-running McDowell at First Bull Run by rail. That plus the time needed to prepare for a major offensive that would 'break the stalemate' and 'win the war'. Months went by...no discernable action except snipers and trench mortars. But behind the lines...much activity.

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Not surprisingly, it was the Germans who first introduced the infiltration tactics that would go onto become the Blitzkrieg under Guderian's watch in WW2. Stoßtruppen...storm troopers (w/o the Nazi stuff) first saw action in 1917 on the Italian Front. The Allies went in big with the tank at about the same time. Between the two, this more or less ended the dominance of the fixed machinegun with artillery support. The Germans had tested the tactics at Verdun (1916) with mixed results and then took a year to improve their tactics before committing them in any numbers.

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5 minutes ago, August1991 said:

Disagree.

Ordinary people followed the rules of the day: Duty.

Nowadays the rule is: Oppose Authority.

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I reckon that in three generations, about 100 years or so, Europeans will forget their violent past.

How long does it take great-grand children to forget?

 

Edited by August1991
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59 minutes ago, DogOnPorch said:

Not surprisingly, it was the Germans who first introduced the infiltration tactics that would go onto become the Blitzkrieg under Guderian's watch in WW2....

Gimme a break. Germans?

Napoleon was the first psychopath who wanted to dominate Europe. 

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47 minutes ago, August1991 said:

Gimme a break. Germans?

Napoleon was the first psychopath who wanted to dominate Europe. 

 

Stoßtruppen Tactics...what I'm referring to...involved bypassing strongpoints with the main force while then using special weapons like flamethrowers and high explosives to reduce surrounded and isolated positions. Very effective. Used at Caporetto with tragic results for the Allies. Then employed during the infamous Ludendorff Offensive which was the WW1 version of the Ardennes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring_Offensive

Generaloberst Heinz Guderian...author of the Blitzkrieg, used these tactics as the basis for his thesis on modern warfare...used to the utmost effectiveness during WW2's early years.

Kleines-Flammenwerfer.png?resize=770,104

  

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1 hour ago, August1991 said:

Disagree.

Ordinary people followed the rules of the day: Duty.

 

Perhaps duty for those that rushed to volunteer. But the speed at which things moved was very much dictated by the  movement capacity of the European rail system on one end and the production capacity of weapons and munitions on the other. 

As an unintended side effect of the lull in 1915, not only did Medieval warfare in the form of catapults and trench maces occur...but great leaps forward in the use of aviation as a tool of war. Both the aircraft and airship. Not much else to do....except invent new ways....since the old had obviously stalled. 

Chemical warfare was the other way forward, so to speak, that turned-up in 1915. But it had so many drawbacks that it ultimately failed unless used in very specific ways. Coating the entire front with chlorine, or later, mustard agent...turns out...bothers your guys just as much as theirs...heh.

eb200d93-659d-48f3-9df2-20b75ac553d3.jpg

 

Edited by DogOnPorch
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