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 Post subject: Re: Britain Should Not Have Fought in the First World War
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 5:38 am 
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So, did she or didn't she?


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 Post subject: Re: Britain Should Not Have Fought in the First World War
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:52 pm 
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(Subs in English available for the clip...)


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 Post subject: Re: Britain Should Not Have Fought in the First World War
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:45 pm 
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On Trusting Experts…and Which Experts to Trust

Posted by David Foster on July 30th, 2018 (All posts by David Foster)

August 1, 1914. As Europe moved inexorably toward catastrophe, Kaiser Wilhelm II was getting cold feet at the prospect of a two-front war. When a telegram arrived suggesting that the war might be contained to a Germany-vs-Russia conflict, the Kaiser jumped at the opportunity.

The telegram was from Prince Lichnowsky, the German ambassador in London, reporting on a conversation with the British Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey. As Lichnowsky interpreted Grey’s remarks, England would stay neutral–and also guarantee France’s neutrality–if Germany would confine herself to attacking Russia and would promise not to attack France. (Which was a misinterpretation–but more on that later.)

Immediately, the Kaiser called in General von Moltke, the Chief of Staff, and gave him his new marching orders: turn around the troops destined for the attack in the west, and redirect them to the eastern front. Barbara Tuchman writes of Moltke’s reaction.

Aghast at the thought of his marvelous mobilization wrenched into reverse, Moltke refused point-blank. For ten years, first as assistant to Schlieffen, then as his successor, Moltke’s job had been planning for this day, The Day, Der Tag, for which all Germany’s energies were gathered, on which the march to final mastery of Europe would begin. It weighed upon him with an oppressive, almost unbearable responsibility…Now, on the climactic night of August 1, Moltke was in no mood for any more of the Kaiser’s meddling with serious military matters, or with medling of any kind of the fixed arrangements. To turn around the deployment of a million men from west to east at the very moment of departure would have taken a more iron nerve than Moltke disposed of. He saw a vision of the deployment crumbling apart in confusion, supplies here, soldiers there, ammunation lost in the midle, companies without officers, divisions without staffs, and those 11,000 trains, each exquisitely scheduled to click over specified tacks at specified intervals of ten minutes, tangled in a grotesque ruin of the most perfectly planned military movement in history.

“Your majesty,” Moltke said to him now, “it cannot be done. The deployment of millions cannot be improvised…Those arrangements took a whole year of intricate labor to complete…and once settled, it cannot be altered.”

“Your uncle would have given me a different answer,” the Kaiser said to him bitterly.

It was not until after the war that General von Staab–Chief of the Railway Division and the man who would have actually been responsible for the logistics of the redirection–learned about this interchange between Moltke and the Kaiser. Incensed by the implied insult to the capabilities of his bureau, he wrote a book, including pages of detailed charts and graphs, proving that it could have been done.

So, what happened here? The Kaiser trusted his military expert, von Moltke–but the real expert in railway operations (and this was substantially a railway question)–disagreed. At the time of decision-making, von Staab’s personal opinion was never even solicited.

Clearly, what the Kaiser should have said when faced with Moltke’s opposition was “Tell von Staab to get his ass in here, and let’s talk about it.” (Or however a German Emperor would have phrased that thought.) Indeed, there was particular reason to do this, given that the Kaiser evidently had some serious concerns about Moltke–as evidenced by his passive-aggressive “your uncle would have given me a different answer” comment.

Read the rest of this entry » https://chicagoboyz.net/archives/57755.html#more-57755

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 Post subject: Re: Britain Should Not Have Fought in the First World War
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:14 pm 
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abradley wrote:
Quote:
On Trusting Experts…and Which Experts to Trust

Posted by David Foster on July 30th, 2018 (All posts by David Foster)

August 1, 1914. As Europe moved inexorably toward catastrophe, Kaiser Wilhelm II was getting cold feet at the prospect of a two-front war. When a telegram arrived suggesting that the war might be contained to a Germany-vs-Russia conflict, the Kaiser jumped at the opportunity.

The telegram was from Prince Lichnowsky, the German ambassador in London, reporting on a conversation with the British Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey. As Lichnowsky interpreted Grey’s remarks, England would stay neutral–and also guarantee France’s neutrality–if Germany would confine herself to attacking Russia and would promise not to attack France. (Which was a misinterpretation–but more on that later.)

Immediately, the Kaiser called in General von Moltke, the Chief of Staff, and gave him his new marching orders: turn around the troops destined for the attack in the west, and redirect them to the eastern front. Barbara Tuchman writes of Moltke’s reaction.

Aghast at the thought of his marvelous mobilization wrenched into reverse, Moltke refused point-blank. For ten years, first as assistant to Schlieffen, then as his successor, Moltke’s job had been planning for this day, The Day, Der Tag, for which all Germany’s energies were gathered, on which the march to final mastery of Europe would begin. It weighed upon him with an oppressive, almost unbearable responsibility…Now, on the climactic night of August 1, Moltke was in no mood for any more of the Kaiser’s meddling with serious military matters, or with medling of any kind of the fixed arrangements. To turn around the deployment of a million men from west to east at the very moment of departure would have taken a more iron nerve than Moltke disposed of. He saw a vision of the deployment crumbling apart in confusion, supplies here, soldiers there, ammunation lost in the midle, companies without officers, divisions without staffs, and those 11,000 trains, each exquisitely scheduled to click over specified tacks at specified intervals of ten minutes, tangled in a grotesque ruin of the most perfectly planned military movement in history.

“Your majesty,” Moltke said to him now, “it cannot be done. The deployment of millions cannot be improvised…Those arrangements took a whole year of intricate labor to complete…and once settled, it cannot be altered.”

“Your uncle would have given me a different answer,” the Kaiser said to him bitterly.

It was not until after the war that General von Staab–Chief of the Railway Division and the man who would have actually been responsible for the logistics of the redirection–learned about this interchange between Moltke and the Kaiser. Incensed by the implied insult to the capabilities of his bureau, he wrote a book, including pages of detailed charts and graphs, proving that it could have been done.

So, what happened here? The Kaiser trusted his military expert, von Moltke–but the real expert in railway operations (and this was substantially a railway question)–disagreed. At the time of decision-making, von Staab’s personal opinion was never even solicited.

Clearly, what the Kaiser should have said when faced with Moltke’s opposition was “Tell von Staab to get his ass in here, and let’s talk about it.” (Or however a German Emperor would have phrased that thought.) Indeed, there was particular reason to do this, given that the Kaiser evidently had some serious concerns about Moltke–as evidenced by his passive-aggressive “your uncle would have given me a different answer” comment.

Read the rest of this entry » https://chicagoboyz.net/archives/57755.html#more-57755

Barbara Tuchman is mention in your post. She has written a really marvelous book about 100 years war, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century. I have read the book two times, highly recommended.

And understand that Helmuth von Moltke the Younger was not a military mastermind like his uncle. But there was no such option like the chigagoBoyz imply, France was in war anyway, Britain had the option to choose.

The completely other thing is would it made a big change if Germany would have been on defensive in the West and concentrated on Russia. But to take Russia takes a long time- the geography involved.

This is an interesting idea. I think I have seen some speculative youtube videos on it.

Forwarts gruppe rotaflyer.

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 Post subject: Re: Britain Should Not Have Fought in the First World War
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:13 pm 
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To take Russia would likely not be an easy undertaking.

But the Germans did make short work of the Second Russian Army at the Battle of Tannenberg and then of the First Army only days later.

I would think that given the condition of the ill-equipped Russian army and being able to divert the majority of their troops and resources to the Eastern Front, this would bode well for the Central Powers.

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 Post subject: Re: Britain Should Not Have Fought in the First World War
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:42 pm 
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chijohnaok wrote:
To take Russia would likely not be an easy undertaking.

But the Germans did make short work of the Second Russian Army at the Battle of Tannenberg and then of the First Army only days later.

I would think that given the condition of the ill-equipped Russian army and being able to divert the majority of their troops and resources to the Eastern Front, this would bode well for the Central Powers.

Siebenbürgen einmal, Siebenbürgen immer. ;)

En gång, alltid.

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 Post subject: Re: Britain Should Not Have Fought in the First World War
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:15 pm 
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nero wrote:
chijohnaok wrote:
To take Russia would likely not be an easy undertaking.

But the Germans did make short work of the Second Russian Army at the Battle of Tannenberg and then of the First Army only days later.

I would think that given the condition of the ill-equipped Russian army and being able to divert the majority of their troops and resources to the Eastern Front, this would bode well for the Central Powers.

Siebenbürgen einmal, Siebenbürgen immer. ;)

En gång, alltid.


Quote:
En gång, alltid.


I’m not sure why you are spouting Swedish at me....

Sweden is ~1500km away from Siebenbürgen, and they do not share a common language.

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 Post subject: Re: Britain Should Not Have Fought in the First World War
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:12 am 
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chijohnaok wrote:
---
Quote:
En gång, alltid.


I’m not sure why you are spouting Swedish at me....

Sweden is ~1500km away from Siebenbürgen, and they do not share a common language.

I was thinking that you like Sweden so much. Considering your contributions to the Sweden thread upstairs. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Britain Should Not Have Fought in the First World War
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:41 pm 
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Quote:
Tanks in the Great War, 1914-1918
by J. F. C. (John Frederick Charles) Fuller
https://archive.org/details/tanksinthegreatw49808gut

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