Jump to content
Political Discussion Forums

Origin of WWI -Current thinking


Recommended Posts

On 10/15/2020 at 10:24 PM, DogOnPorch said:

 

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.

DogOnPorch, you presume that the war in 1914 was inevitable. I disagree.

IMHO, the war was avoidable. The Austrian-Hungarian Empire was a civilized society, East Prussia was rich.

The period of 1914-1945 destroyed all of that. It was macro-suicide.

Why did it happen?

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/30/2020 at 3:42 PM, SpankyMcFarland said:

Is this thread about the origin of WWI? The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, unstable empires, dangerous alliances...that stuff? 

Yes.

But then Europe collapsed into tumult - this upheaval lasted from 1914-1945: a new Thirty Years war.

=====

Why did this war start in 1914?

By 1890, I reckon young men (born in 1890) forgot the memories of their great-grandfathers (died in 1860). 

Edited by August1991
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/1/2020 at 11:54 PM, August1991 said:

Yes.

But then Europe collapsed into tumult - this upheaval lasted from 1914-1945: a new Thirty Years war.

=====

Why did this war start in 1914?

By 1890, I reckon young men (born in 1890) forgot the memories of their great-grandfathers (died in 1860). 

I haven’t a clue about the historical details but I would tend to blame crusty old men like myself more than the younger ones for WWI. Its sequel was perhaps different, harder to avoid, given what the Nazis had in store for the world?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Europe was a political powder-keg, as the Austro-Hungarian emperor Franz Joseph was aging. His heir Franz Ferdinand was the one assassinated. So there now was no heir, which is a big problem. The empire now up for grabs, meaning a big re-ordering of power became possible.

Secondly the restructuring of power, to take it away from the royal family. The royal family spread all across Europe. It was that way for a reason; if the royalty were all related through blood and marriage they may not seek to fight one another through war. It was the nationalist leaders that were pushing for war. They sought to take power away from kings, by destroy the existing political order. So this was more than just another skirmish. It brought about what we have today...

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/2/2020 at 11:23 PM, SpankyMcFarland said:

I haven’t a clue about the historical details but I would tend to blame crusty old men like myself more than the younger ones for WWI. Its sequel was perhaps different, harder to avoid, given what the Nazis had in store for the world?

Blame crusty old men? I tend to disagree.

====

I reckon that once the young men forget/disbelieve, they'll have a new world.

100 years? Three generations? People forget. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/3/2020 at 6:49 AM, OftenWrong said:

Secondly the restructuring of power, to take it away from the royal family. The royal family spread all across Europe. It was that way for a reason; if the royalty were all related through blood and marriage they may not seek to fight one another through war. It was the nationalist leaders that were pushing for war. They sought to take power away from kings, by destroy the existing political order. So this was more than just another skirmish. It brought about what we have today...

This seems a motivation about right for the immense slate cleaning that occurred. Power, and who has it that is. Isn't it conceivable when two or more tribes with strength are close? I think it's a situation easy to empathize; one looks over the fence and sees a group of of people with things one would like to have, small things become medium things and big things come of it. 

There were wars in Europe since forever ago; what are the factors that lead to such widespread destruction rather than being confined to a state or two?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
On 10/15/2020 at 6:49 PM, August1991 said:

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

The reason that ww1 lasted so long, was the abandonment of the infantry square. European wars were traditionally fought by the opposing sides forming battle formations within sight of each other, and fighting like men. They would happily shoot each other until one side decided they would sooner be some place else. In 1914 the cowards dug ditches, and hid in them. This meant that if one side attacked the other, they became the better targets, and the results were generally unsatisfactoy. It became largely a war of attrition.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/8/2020 at 9:43 PM, Adam1980 said:

This seems a motivation about right for the immense slate cleaning that occurred. Power, and who has it that is. Isn't it conceivable when two or more tribes with strength are close? I think it's a situation easy to empathize; one looks over the fence and sees a group of of people with things one would like to have, small things become medium things and big things come of it. 

There were wars in Europe since forever ago; what are the factors that lead to such widespread destruction rather than being confined to a state or two?

The Americas have been largely peaceful continents - except a violent war in the 1860s.

Europe?

The Europeans fought around 1630, then the 1790s., then around 1940s or so.

Europeans are a violent people. I reckon that they start a war every third generation.

Han Chinese? 5000 years of "civilized" peace - until the Europeans arrived.

Of course, the Chinese have no Mozart nor Leibnitz. Only Confucious and Buddha, tradition.

====

I prefer America: creative but peaceful.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/31/2020 at 3:16 PM, oops said:

The reason that ww1 lasted so long, was the abandonment of the infantry square. European wars were traditionally fought by the opposing sides forming battle formations within sight of each other, and fighting like men. They would happily shoot each other until one side decided they would sooner be some place else. In 1914 the cowards dug ditches, and hid in them. This meant that if one side attacked the other, they became the better targets, and the results were generally unsatisfactoy. It became largely a war of attrition.

 

The Origin of WWI is one thing.

Why it lasted so long is another?

IMHO, these are two distinct questions that historians (eg. Margaret MacMillan) largely ignore. In hindsight, we see that these European wars, economic collapse, lasted from 1914 to 1945.  But for a person on, say, 9 Jan 1926 - it's not clear what will happen in the future.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, August1991 said:

The Origin of WWI is one thing.

Why it lasted so long is another?

IMHO, these are two distinct questions that historians (eg. Margaret MacMillan) largely ignore. In hindsight, we see that these European wars, economic collapse, lasted from 1914 to 1945.  But for a person on, say, 9 Jan 1926 - it's not clear what will happen in the future.  

It happens to be 9 Jan 2021 as I write this.

Will this Covid continue? - And people like me suffer lock down - to 9 Jan 2022? Dunno.

In hindsight, people like MacMillan will no doubt have an explanation.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/31/2020 at 12:16 PM, oops said:

The reason that ww1 lasted so long, was the abandonment of the infantry square. European wars were traditionally fought by the opposing sides forming battle formations within sight of each other, and fighting like men. They would happily shoot each other until one side decided they would sooner be some place else. In 1914 the cowards dug ditches, and hid in them. This meant that if one side attacked the other, they became the better targets, and the results were generally unsatisfactoy. It became largely a war of attrition.

 

 The infantry square was a formation used against cavalry. Warfare was a rock paper scissors game. Square trumped cavalry, cavalry trumped infantry in line, artillery or infantry in line trumped infantry square.

It all worked fine until the American Civil war and the rifled musket came along. Repeating rifles, machine guns and shrapnel firing artillery made fighting in the open suicide in WW1.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Henry Repeater actually existed during the US Civil War in fairly large numbers. But, like the Gatling Gun, was thought of as something of a novelty. The tactics of the day were still quite Napoleonic and the Springfield fit the role that the tactics described. They all went to the same military schools...after-all. West Point, VMI, etc...

A Union regiment at Shiloh was armed 100% with the Henry...but it was sent to guard a bridge on the far side of the battlefield. It could have probably took on a good chunk of the Brown Bess (et al) armed Reb Army of the Mississippi on its own...lol.

 

Edited by DogOnPorch
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/30/2020 at 11:50 PM, August1991 said:

DogOnPorch, you presume that the war in 1914 was inevitable. I disagree.

IMHO, the war was avoidable. The Austrian-Hungarian Empire was a civilized society, East Prussia was rich.

The period of 1914-1945 destroyed all of that. It was macro-suicide.

Why did it happen?

 

It was indeed inevitable. Rising populations were putting big pressures on European society. Colonialism wasn't fixing the problem, anymore. Serbia was merely the excuse that set the whole train of the various war plans in motion. Plan XVII, Schlieffen, etc. Plus you had the rising specter of Communism (lol) bubbling in the background waiting for violent Revolution Europe-wide. Something was going to blow. Where was more the random bit...

It was Europe's shame, though. Entire generations of men wiped out in battle...often the very best...as the old Band song goes.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/9/2021 at 8:56 PM, DogOnPorch said:

The Henry Repeater actually existed during the US Civil War in fairly large numbers. But, like the Gatling Gun, was thought of as something of a novelty. The tactics of the day were still quite Napoleonic and the Springfield fit the role that the tactics described. They all went to the same military schools...after-all. West Point, VMI, etc...

A Union regiment at Shiloh was armed 100% with the Henry...but it was sent to guard a bridge on the far side of the battlefield. It could have probably took on a good chunk of the Brown Bess (et al) armed Reb Army of the Mississippi on its own...lol.

 

After the Springfield, the P53 Enfield was the most widely used Civil war rifle. Over 900,000 were used.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The tactics of the time involving firing by rank, of course...so the barrel of the weapon had to be able to extend beyond the soldier kneeling in front of the second line (powder burns...cough). The Pattern 53, Springfield, Brown Bess and such, fit the role. Bayonets were still very much in use on a regimental level...so a sturdy long rifle made a fair-sized pike for a charge or for cavalry rebuffing.

The Henry was none of that...shorter...plus it fired its own pistol-type ammo... 0.44 Henry rimfire...thus typical ammo shortages. It was much harder/more expensive to make than the ol' bag n' ball. The lever action rifle itself, naturally more complex than any musket. Fifteen round tube with one in the chamber, though. High rate-of-fire. Pretty much a modern fightin' arm! But most of those ol' Mexican War generals couldn't imagine not fighting a war like Napoleon & Wellington. The Henry was a skirmisher weapon...not a real general's weapon.

The Springfield was great, though...as was the P53. They had long effective range...past 500 yards for the Springfield. Cheap to make/buy...SOLD!

Back to WW1...it was the British skill at the old...much drilled...fire-by-rank on a mass level that saved the day at the Battle of Mons...giving the Krauts a very bloody nose as Von Kluck marched head-on into accurate, volley-fired, 0.303 bullets. Not advised...apparently the first several ranks of Germans were simply blown away...

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

Edited by DogOnPorch
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Tell a friend

    Love Political Discussion Forums? Tell a friend!
×
×
  • Create New...