If WW1 had continued into 1919 and 1920 would those years have resembled WW2 more than 1914-16?

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Re: If WW1 had continued into 1919 and 1920 would those years have resembled WW2 more than 1914-16?

Post by Terry Duncan » 05 Dec 2017 12:31

South wrote:The discussion question, until Terry introduced the broader phrase, was with a pure military flavor.
Hi, South,

If we stuck to purely military terms, it is very simple, 'the German people will prove not strong enough for the task they have chosen to undertake' or words to that effect was the verdict of Schlieffen on the subject of a two-front war or to put it another way there are simply not enough Germans when compared to their enemies. Clemenceau may well have been right when he said that 'the problem with the Germans was that there were 20 million too many of them' when the subject is viewed from a purely French position, but when you add in the populations available to Britain and Russia, even when Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire are added to the Germans there is no real way the far smaller Central Powers can win unless they can come up with bulletproof soldiers. Even with the Entente taking the offensive role for most of the war and the higher casualties this entailed, it was still the Central Powers that were closest to running out of men by 1917. We do not have people like Ludendorf saying the Germans cannot take any more Somme type battles for no reason, they knew they were running out of men.

The only realistic chance of victory was if France or Russia could be knocked out of the war before Britain would have time to raise a continental style army, something impossible if the French did not commit to a decisive battle in the opening weeks of the war. By the time of the Marne Kluck had managed to get 1st Army totally out of position, to borrow a phrase from a discussion with Zuber he 'completely screwed the pooch' when his intended flank attack landed in the air. From that point onwards the Central Powers only real hope was that the Entente would hand them victory or become tired of the war and try to negotiate a settlement. Look at the attempts to get a negotiated settlement of some form, in 1915 the Germans try to get Russia to abandon its allies, in 1916/17 the Austrians try to negotiate a separate peace through the French, whilst even in the supposed low point of the war in 1917 the Entente and Allied Powers would only even think of a negotiated settlement on the terms they stuck to from the start of the war - the Germans to abandon all occupied territory, with the French wanting this to include Alsace-Lorraine too.

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Re: If WW1 had continued into 1919 and 1920 would those years have resembled WW2 more than 1914-16?

Post by Plain Old Dave » 05 Dec 2017 12:39

South wrote:
Even if the Kaiser's military machine won the military events, the economic vice determined that the US would not have a powerhouse Germany running the continent.

~ Bob
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VERY well said. After about 1915-16, the entire Entente was increasingly dependent on American intervention of some form. Whether Remington manufactured rifles, Ford trucks, or the almost arrogantly illegal Federal Reserve, Allied victory was almost totally reliant on the US. It is very difficult to see any series of events without American intervention of some sort that do not result in German victory.

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Re: If WW1 had continued into 1919 and 1920 would those years have resembled WW2 more than 1914-16?

Post by South » 05 Dec 2017 13:13

Good morning Plain Old Dave,

Well received both your posts.

Re para 2 of the first; Even if France or Russia left the war, we must always remember the relatively new phrase: "strength in reserve". Fifty years prior, the US fielded a million man army skilled in joint operations with the US Navy. The newly unified Germany had no chance of victory at all.

We must also remember the era 1910 - 1914 was America's "good years".....filthy rich, to use a low-quality expression.

Can't comment on the Federal Reserve being arrogant without adding to the list and there is a shortage of cyberspace for a complete list. Recall, for example, Teapot Dome was a US Naval petroleum reserve. The Federal Reserve System wasn't illegal. It was approved as fully legal.

~Bob

eastern Virginia, USA

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Re: If WW1 had continued into 1919 and 1920 would those years have resembled WW2 more than 1914-16?

Post by Terry Duncan » 05 Dec 2017 20:10

Plain Old Dave wrote:It is very difficult to see any series of events without American intervention of some sort that do not result in German victory.
With minimal US involvement, nobly refusing all those massively profitable orders on offer, do you seriously not imagine the war would take a different form, most likely with the Entente forces sitting in deeper trenches, launching few if any attacks, and waiting for the blockade to cause the Central Powers to collapse. The Napoleonic Wars, and The Seven Years War all took much the same form from a British perspective, just enough land involvement to keep allies in the field and blockade to attrite the enemies economy. The Germans accepted they had no way to force Britain to negotiate in WWI and WWII (even when dominating western Europe) though in fantasy land the Germans never lack money, men or resources, presumably why so many claim it is hard to see them not winning.

How does Germany solve its manpower problem? Where do the resources that saw thousands of 'ersatz' food products or shortages of critical war materials come from? You are claiming the far less numerous and less wealthy group of powers will win, though not telling us how this can be brought about other than offering special pleading, handwavium, osmosis and ASB's. Germany may have had a slim chance in the first weeks of the war, but after that, any fair appraisal will indicate that the larger, richer grouping with full access to the markets of the world will win.

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Re: If WW1 had continued into 1919 and 1920 would those years have resembled WW2 more than 1914-16?

Post by Plain Old Dave » 06 Dec 2017 01:37

Mosier covers this; at some level Germany had been planning for a war of attrition against a combination of European powers for decades and had therefore made their infantry formations much more reliant on supporting weapons like the Maxin gun, the minenwerfer and things of that sort.

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Re: If WW1 had continued into 1919 and 1920 would those years have resembled WW2 more than 1914-16?

Post by Terry Duncan » 06 Dec 2017 02:22

The main problem I have here is that Mosier mostly wrote total rubbish. The Germans decided at the infamous War Council meeting of Dec 1912 to start stockpiling critical war materials and then did absolutely nothing about it until the July Crisis of 1914. Minenwerfers are only of any use in static warfare, so other than the oddly named weapons Krupp produced from about 1900 onwards that were intended for destroying fortresses, Germany did very little in this line too, not to mention it makes no sense in any war plan we know the Germans to have examined since the time of Moltke the Elder as since then that had followed a line of offensive planning in the west both strategically and tactically, whilst in the east they still looked more to a strategic defensive and tactical offensive plan. As for the provision of Maxim guns in 1914, from memory, the British had two per battalion for which they are widely criticised a figure similar to the Germans (though the Germans used them in companies of 8 per regiment (which oddly enough had 4 battalions given people think they were adequately provided with machine guns), and the Austrians too had 2 per battalion in 1914. These details are better dealt with by others as they will know far more than I do on the infantry warfare provisions, but on war planning, pre-1914 I am on the far better ground.

Seriously are you telling me that Mosier is your prime source? An English professor who is at best not at all well thought of by actual historians rather than any of the renowned military historians like Keegan, Strachan, Sheffield, Holmes, or even Zuber if you wish a pro-German US author? Even the latter doesn't support much of what you say Mosier claims - it is a long time since I laughed my way through his book and I cannot remember it in fine detail.

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Re: If WW1 had continued into 1919 and 1920 would those years have resembled WW2 more than 1914-16?

Post by Mbowden23 » 06 Dec 2017 02:57

Mosier's attention to detail leaves something to be desired but his thesis that the "Germans won the battles and the Americans saved the Allies" isn't controversial by any stretch (at least to any non-Anglophile)
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Re: If WW1 had continued into 1919 and 1920 would those years have resembled WW2 more than 1914-16?

Post by Plain Old Dave » 06 Dec 2017 04:08

Mbowden23 wrote:Mosier's attention to detail leaves something to be desired but his thesis that the "Germans won the battles and the Americans saved the Allies" isn't controversial by any stretch (at least to any non-Anglophile)
This.

The US had been keeping the Allies financially solvent since 1916 when Britain ran out of money, and there's no reasonable way the Allies could have weathered the Crises of 1917 without American military intervention.

Remington made Lebels for France, Nagants for Russia, and P14s for the British Empire, Winchester made P14s. Colt and Smith and Wesson provided their large framed revolver to the British Empire, and the American ammunition industry did their part. Henry Ford's ubiquitous "flivver", the T Model, served the Allies by the division and American financiers had provided over 2 billion dollars worth of loans to the Allies between October 1915 and 1917.

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Re: If WW1 had continued into 1919 and 1920 would those years have resembled WW2 more than 1914-16?

Post by Terry Duncan » 06 Dec 2017 04:44

Mbowden23 wrote:Mosier's attention to detail leaves something to be desired but his thesis that the "Germans won the battles and the Americans saved the Allies" isn't controversial by any stretch (at least to any non-Anglophile)
Mosier's attention to facts also leaves a lot to be desired. His 'thesis' is that the Germans won all the battles and the Americans won the war, both rather obviously incorrect, and the book he used this label on fails to prove either point. The Germans won all the battles falls at almost the first hurdle, as they lost at Gumbinnen, Guise, and The Marne in the first month alone, and spent almost the rest of the entire war in the west on the defensive and slowly retreating, a very strange course of action for them if they were winning. The US also clearly did not 'win the war' in any way other than as being part of the alliance that won, and they played a minimal role until after the battle of Amiens left the German high command demanding an armistice. Others have already pointed out things such as the US destroyer contribution to the war effort being only 10% of the total force, and even the almost total lack of US troops in the frontlines until after the German spring offensives had failed. Nobody denies the US played a role, but it was certainly not what Mosier or his fanboys claim.

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Re: If WW1 had continued into 1919 and 1920 would those years have resembled WW2 more than 1914-16?

Post by Terry Duncan » 06 Dec 2017 05:06

Plain Old Dave wrote:
Mbowden23 wrote:Mosier's attention to detail leaves something to be desired but his thesis that the "Germans won the battles and the Americans saved the Allies" isn't controversial by any stretch (at least to any non-Anglophile)
This.
Then please support the claims Mosier makes, that the Germans won all the battles and the US won the war? He doesn't even get close, so it should be interesting to see you support his claim better than he did. What happened at Gumbinnen, Guise, The Marne in just the first few weeks? The Germans lost these battles.

As to the US winning the war, given they were not even involved except to take orders and make large profits until very late in the war, to write off the efforts of others is absurd and totally dishonest. Maybe you would support the claim that the Soviet Union defeated Japan in WWII as their contribution is about as well timed as the US in WWI, but my guess is that you would object and with some reason too.

However, you have chosen your stance so please support what Mosier claims?
Plain Old Dave wrote:The US had been keeping the Allies financially solvent since 1916 when Britain ran out of money, and there's no reasonable way the Allies could have weathered the Crises of 1917 without American military intervention.
Tell me why the Entente cannot adopt the same method of financing the war as the Germans, by public subscription? The notion that only Germany can act in such a way is as bankrupt as the idea that only the German people can accept rationing during the war and other people will overthrow their governments rather than submit to such a thing. You are using special pleading rather than making a balanced judgement. The Entente had almost used up one method of financing its war effort, there are many methods still available to them. The Germans had used up all options available to them as they had no access to outside markets due to the blockade. Repeatedly asserting rubbish with no supporting evidence leaves you to claim no closer to being proven. For all of your 'the US supplied X, Y, Z to the Entente because they couldn't do it themselves' ignores that the entire AEF was supplied with everything from transport to Europe, machine guns, artillery, and aircraft, by Britain and France who were supposedly unable to supply their own forces? The US made a contribution, but it was not decisive. If the war had lasted until 1919 then you would likely be correct, but as others defeated the Germans long before then, you don't, and should stop trying to steal the laurels others earned.

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Re: If WW1 had continued into 1919 and 1920 would those years have resembled WW2 more than 1914-16?

Post by Orwell1984 » 06 Dec 2017 05:09

Plain Old Dave wrote: Remington made Lebels for France, Nagants for Russia, and P14s for the British Empire, Winchester made P14s. .
As per usual on closer examination the claims made above don't stand actual historical scrutiny. Remington's contributions to the Allied war effort were hardly essential.

On the French Lebels:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berthier_rifle
Remington UMC also contracted to produce a French Army order for 200,000 Mle 1907/15 rifles. Although very well finished, the Remington order was rejected by French Government acceptance inspectors, who alleged that the rifles did not meet French barrel rifling and chamber dimensional standards. The contract was canceled after approximately half of the rifles were manufactured; and those rifles were sold on the private market. Rifles issued to American 'African-American soldiers of the US 93rd Division', were of French manufacture and not US made (B. Canfield, US Weapons of WW1). Many of these rifles subsequently appeared on the surplus market in the United States, often converted for hunting or sporting purposes.
Order rejected, rifles not used by the French.

On the P14:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pattern_1914_Enfield
It served as a sniper rifle and as second line and reserve issue until being declared obsolete in 1947.
The standard British rifle throughout the First World War remained the Short, Magazine Lee–Enfield . The P14 was used in much smaller quantities, mostly in second line duties. Hardly a game changer.

As to the Russian order:
http://www.mosinnagant.net/ussr/US-Mosin-Nagants.asp
By the second year of the war the small arms deficit had became critical. Russia sustained frequent defeats at the front, and at one point was suffering a loss of rifles at the appalling rate of 240,000 per month. Despite the purchases of some 2,461,000 rifles from foreign sources during the war ---among them Arisakas from Japan and Great Britain, and Model 95 Winchesters from the U. S.--- and the capture of 700,000 rifles from their enemies, the Russians never acquired a sufficient quantity of firearms for their troops.

In 1915 the Tsar’s government ordered 1,500,000 M1891 infantry rifles and bayonets and 100,000,000 rounds of 7.62x54 mm ammunition from the American firm Remington-UMC, and an additional 1,800,000 of the rifles and bayonets from another American company, New England Westinghouse.
During 1915-1917 Remington produced 840,310 M1891 rifles, of which 131,400 had arrived in Russia by January 1917. In the same period Westinghouse made 770,000 rifles; 225,260 were delivered to Russia by January 1917.

As early as February 1916 Westinghouse tried to persuade the U. S. government to buy M1891s of its own. Although the War Dept. expressed some slight interest at the time the matter did not proceed further until after dramatic events occurred a year later.

In February 1917 revolution erupted in Russia and the monarchy was overthrown. This was not the Bolshevik Revolution; that took place later in the year, in November (October in the old-style Julian calendar Russia used at the time, hence “Red October”.) Late in 1917 the Russian government defaulted on its contracts with Remington and Westinghouse. The Russians refused to pay for the guns, claiming the rifles were of poor quality, but this was untrue: the American rifles were actually better-made than the Russian ones. The real reasons for default were simply the Russians’ shortage of ready cash and their unwillingness to pay.

The U. S. companies had incurred substantial expenses in tooling-up for and making the Russian rifles, and the default meant financial disaster. In January 1918, to rescue the American firms, the U. S. government agreed to buy the rifles in Westinghouse’s inventory as of January 4th, plus another 200,000. The government also contracted to buy the 78,950 still unpaid-for M1891s then in Remington’s warehouses and an additional 600,000 rifles. Even so, Remington lost a considerable sum on the deal and had to wait several years for the American government to pay its bill.
Note the quantities delivered to Russia versus those ordered and also compare the number of rifles the Russians got from other sources. Hardly looks like the vital contribution some would have us believe.

Would be nice to see some actual properly sourced evidence rather than empty nationalistic chest beating but at least it's good for a laugh :lol:

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Re: If WW1 had continued into 1919 and 1920 would those years have resembled WW2 more than 1914-16?

Post by The Ibis » 06 Dec 2017 05:17

This is for reasonable people - ie not Dave from Tennessee who is trolling the boards. Ignore Mosier. That English professor carries zero weight amongst academicians (and thats being too generous, if anything). I dont care where hes from. Hes not serious. To wit:

Ian Beckett in his excellent, single volume history: "Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, accounts praising the AEF's contribution include the absurd claims in the execrable John Mosier, The Myth of the Great War..." Execrable.

Then there is Robert Forczyk in a review on Amazon: "Right up front, readers with background in the First World War will begin to suspect Mosier's integrity by his flagrant and frequent use of exaggerations and deliberate concealment of relevant facts."

And Matthew Hughes in his review in The International History Review (Volume 24): "... John Mosier works backwards, selecting those bits of history that support his argument and dismissing or ignoring the abundant evidence to the contrary. This makes for a skewed analysis of the war."

Further still, Tim Cook in The Great War of Words (Volume 12 of the Canadian Military History Journal): "Those with a passing interest may indeed find Mosier’s book thought-provoking, but those who have studied the war in detail will only find it aggravating and inept history of the worst kind. There are problems with The Myth of the Great War at every turn: it is poorly structured, promises but fails to offer convincing conclusions, and contains countless errors of fact and interpretation." Cook goes on to conclude that "In the end, Mosier supports none of the claims that he promises in his introduction; instead, this is a rehashing of outdated, superseded concepts that fails to push the historiography in new directions. Moreover, as an overview summary it is so unbalanced and prejudicial in its assessments that readers must be alerted to its complete unreliability as a useful historical text."

So ... enough with Mosier. Please. Anyone who relies on Mosier embarrasses themself. Full stop.
Last edited by The Ibis on 06 Dec 2017 05:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: If WW1 had continued into 1919 and 1920 would those years have resembled WW2 more than 1914-16?

Post by Mbowden23 » 06 Dec 2017 05:52

Terry Duncan wrote:
Plain Old Dave wrote:
Mbowden23 wrote:Mosier's attention to detail leaves something to be desired but his thesis that the "Germans won the battles and the Americans saved the Allies" isn't controversial by any stretch (at least to any non-Anglophile)
This.
Then please support the claims Mosier makes, that the Germans won all the battles and the US won the war? He doesn't even get close, so it should be interesting to see you support his claim better than he did. What happened at Gumbinnen, Guise, The Marne in just the first few weeks? The Germans lost these battles.

As to the US winning the war, given they were not even involved except to take orders and make large profits until very late in the war, to write off the efforts of others is absurd and totally dishonest. Maybe you would support the claim that the Soviet Union defeated Japan in WWII as their contribution is about as well timed as the US in WWI, but my guess is that you would object and with some reason too.

However, you have chosen your stance so please support what Mosier claims?
Plain Old Dave wrote:The US had been keeping the Allies financially solvent since 1916 when Britain ran out of money, and there's no reasonable way the Allies could have weathered the Crises of 1917 without American military intervention.
Tell me why the Entente cannot adopt the same method of financing the war as the Germans, by public subscription? The notion that only Germany can act in such a way is as bankrupt as the idea that only the German people can accept rationing during the war and other people will overthrow their governments rather than submit to such a thing. You are using special pleading rather than making a balanced judgement. The Entente had almost used up one method of financing its war effort, there are many methods still available to them. The Germans had used up all options available to them as they had no access to outside markets due to the blockade. Repeatedly asserting rubbish with no supporting evidence leaves you to claim no closer to being proven. For all of your 'the US supplied X, Y, Z to the Entente because they couldn't do it themselves' ignores that the entire AEF was supplied with everything from transport to Europe, machine guns, artillery, and aircraft, by Britain and France who were supposedly unable to supply their own forces? The US made a contribution, but it was not decisive. If the war had lasted until 1919 then you would likely be correct, but as others defeated the Germans long before then, you don't, and should stop trying to steal the laurels others earned.

No-one, including Mosier, says the germans won all the battles. Thats a straw man argument. (btw- Guise/St.Quentin was indeed a German victory given the circumstances (albeit it gave the French some additional space and time to redeploy forces) and the Marne was a draw. Indeed, tactically the Germans weren't defeated at any point. You can, however, argue the Germans "lost" because they didn't continue the advance but by the same token- the allies had a golden opportunity to truly "win" and they failed.

I don't think Im making the same argument as the other fellow regarding american funding. I am simply talking about numbers. Without the presence of large numbers of fresh American troops in those super-up divisions, there would have been a resumption of a stalemate. French internal communiques admit this as early as the winter of 17/18.

Regarding the soviets deciding the war in the pacific, I would say soviet entry into the war is what brought Japan to the table. ALL of the internal Japanese communiques as well as American intelligence reports from January 46 that revisited the question all agree to this. I wouldn't say that the Soviets "won it" but they ended it. Same with the Americans in 1918. It is highly likely the Entente would have eventually won thanks only to the British blockade, but this would have occurred later than November 1918 in a scenario where the US remains neutral.
-Matt Bowden-
Arlington, Texas USA

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Re: If WW1 had continued into 1919 and 1920 would those years have resembled WW2 more than 1914-16?

Post by The Ibis » 06 Dec 2017 05:59

The Marne was not a draw. I dont know why this is controversial. Credit the French. Or the BEF for turning up. Or blame whomever you want - Moltke, Hentsch, Bulow, Kluck. Bottom line, the French won the battle. The Germans retreated and had to figure out how to win a long war - which they could never do.
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Re: If WW1 had continued into 1919 and 1920 would those years have resembled WW2 more than 1914-16?

Post by Mbowden23 » 06 Dec 2017 06:03

when asked who won the war Hindenburg replied:

"I will reply with the same frankness. The American Infantry in the Argonne won the war. I say this: As a soldier, and soldiers will understand me best. I must confess that Germany could not have won the war, that is after 1917. We might have won on land. We might have taken Paris. But after the failure of the world food crops in 1916 the British food blockade reached its greatest effectiveness in 1917. So I must say that the British food blockade of 1917 and the American blow in the Argonne decided the war for the Allies.
"But without American troops against us and despite a food blockade which was undermining the civilian population of Germany and curtailing the rations of the soldiers in the field, we could still have had a peace without victory. The war could have ended in a sort of stalemate.
"And even if we had not had the better of the fighting in the end, as we had until July 18 1918, we could have had an acceptable peace. We were still a great force and had divisions in reserve always which the enemy attacks could never use up completely.
"Even the attack of July 18, which Allied generals may consider the turning point in the war, did not use up a very important part of the German army or smash all our positions. To win a war it is necessary, as you know, to place the enemy forces hors de combat. In such a manner of warfare which began when Japan and Russia met in the wheat fields of the Far East, you must engage and defeat hundreds of thousands, millions of men.
"In the Summer of 1918 the German army was able to launch offensive after offensive- almost one a month. We had the men, munitions and morale, and we were not overbalanced. But the balance was broken by the American troops.
"The Argonne battle was slow and difficult. But it was strategic. It was bitter and it used up division after division. We had to hold the Metz-Longuyon roads and railroad and we hoped to stop the American attacks until the entire army was out of northern France. We were passing through the neck of a vast bottle. But the neck was narrow. German and American divisions fought each other to a standstill in the Argonne. They met and shattered each other's strength. The Americans are splendid soldiers. But when I replaced a division it was weak in numbers and unrested, while each American division came in fresh and fit and on the offensive.
"The day came when the American command sent new divisions into the battle and when I had not even a broken division to plug up the gaps. There was nothing left to do but to ask for terms.
"Until the American attack our positons had been comparatively satisfactory. We had counted on holding the Argonne longer. The advantage of terrain was with us. The American troops were unseasoned. We had also counted on their impetuosity. There was great wastage in the American Army due to carelessness, impetuosity and the disregard of the conditions of modern warfare.
"Yet from a military point of view the Argonne battle as conceived and carried out by the American Command was the climax of the war and its deciding factor. The American Attack was furious- it continued from day to day with increasing power, but when two opposing divisions had broken each other, yours was replaced with 27,000 eager for battle, ours with decimated, ill-equipped, ill-fed men suffering from contact with a gloomy and despairing civilian population.
"I do not mean to discredit your fighting forces- I repeat, without the American blow in the Argonne, we could have made a satisfactory peace at the end of a stalemate or atleast held our positions on our own frontier indefinitely- undefeated. The American Attack decided the war."
-Matt Bowden-
Arlington, Texas USA

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