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

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today.
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Terry Duncan
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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 11:58

ljadw wrote:
Mbowden23 wrote:
More importantly, Moltke could have done a number of things to avert the crisis but failed to do so.

.

Things as ?
Given the poor guy couldnt even appoint his own army commanders and was saddled with a set of mediocre generals in critical roles because of this, not to forget the same army commanders actively disobeyed orders and disliked each other too, I find it hard to see anything Moltke could have done much better.

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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 Sid Guttridge » 06 Dec 2017 12:02

If the war had continued into 1919 it would presumably have looked more like 1914-16 as the 20 years of armament and communications development that made "blitzkrieg" possible in 1939 had not taken place.

WWI would have come to a plodding, rather than a galloping, conclusion.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Terry Duncan
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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 12:13

I think it is the large-scale armoured operations and paratroop landings that lead people to compare the two wars. The plans were spectacular, but as you say, would have been much slower than WWII and far less coordinated as radio communications were still primitive.

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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 12:35

(delete)
Last edited by Plain Old Dave on 06 Dec 2017 12:39, 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 Plain Old Dave » 06 Dec 2017 12:38

What does Hindenberg know? He's not a peer-reviewed academic.
Mbowden23 wrote: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."

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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 14:42

Plain Old Dave wrote:What does Hindenberg know? He's not a peer-reviewed academic.
Well it was said that in 1914 Hindenberg slept through the battle of Tannenberg (Max Hoffmann) and it was known that Ludendorff was the man who actually ran the war using Hindenberg as a figurehead, so would you consider what Ludendorff said as being correct? Platitudes said to journalists should probably not be counted as authoritative as statements given to the GGS and high command. So, is Ludendorff an acceptable authority on the state of the German army in 1918?

Peer-reviewed academics do have the major advantage of being able to consult all the documents from both sides, something the generals at the time were not able to do, so dismissing them just because they were not generals is somewhat silly. Generals were often somewhat self-serving too, seeking to enhance their reputations by any means necessary in some cases.

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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 14:46

South wrote:Good morning Mbowden 23 / Matt,

Re: "tactically the Germans weren't defeated at any point";

The Battle of the Jutland Sound - both tactically and strategically ........KIA, WIA, missing, tonnage sunk not relevant to the overall political goal........was a German loss. The Brits bottled up their enemy's fleet for the duration.

~ Bob
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we are talking about the army
-Matt Bowden-
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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 14:53

Terry Duncan wrote:
ljadw wrote:
Mbowden23 wrote:
More importantly, Moltke could have done a number of things to avert the crisis but failed to do so.

.

Things as ?
Given the poor guy couldnt even appoint his own army commanders and was saddled with a set of mediocre generals in critical roles because of this, not to forget the same army commanders actively disobeyed orders and disliked each other too, I find it hard to see anything Moltke could have done much better.

If he would have issued orders that could actually be followed and weren't contradictory, then First Army would have never crossed the Marne ahead of Second and the situation would have been different. Kluck and Kuhl didn't just choose to disobey, they were given an order that didn't make sense thanks to the position of First and Second Armies. OHL would have known that had they been closer to the front. Of course, detaching three corps for the east (corps that were therefore of no use on either front during the most critical battles) is perhaps worse. Again, this discussion could go along ad-nauseum and Ive already written about all this extensively.

You can't find anything Moltke could have done better? are you serious?
-Matt Bowden-
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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 14:53

Plain Old Dave wrote:What does Hindenberg know? He's not a peer-reviewed academic.
Mbowden23 wrote: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.
Plain Old Dave wrote: Mencken (who, again, was actually in Germany at the time) reported the only real problem was resource prioritization and there were no food shortages.
So colour me confused here. Who's right? Hindenburg, talking about the food blockade undermining the civilian population, curtailing rations in the field and being a decisive factor in the triumph of the Allies (no mention of distribution as an issue and he was also actually in Germany and part of the German decision making process I note) or Mencken who says, according to you, "there were no food shortages" and was a foreign journalist with a distinct bias and access controlled by his hosts.

What does Hindenberg [sic] know indeed?

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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 16:03

"access controlled by his hosts"

In either Diary of a Retreat or Hindenburg, Mencken stated that he had unrestricted access to Germany. Dispatches just had to be held for two weeks IIRC and correspondents had to give IIRC 30 days notice to leave the war zone.

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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 16:30

Plain Old Dave wrote:"access controlled by his hosts"

In either Diary of a Retreat or Hindenburg, Mencken stated that he had unrestricted access to Germany. Dispatches just had to be held for two weeks IIRC and correspondents had to give IIRC 30 days notice to leave the war zone.
It's almost comical how you completely avoid addressing the main thrust of my post, that Mencken and Hindenburg contradict each other, yet you consider each irreprochable sources whose statements cannot be disputed. Instead you pick out one small section to quibble with but again fail to do a proper job of providing a source as per forum rules.

Thanks for providing another good laugh :thumbsup:

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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 BDV » 06 Dec 2017 17:52

Orwell1984 wrote:
So colour me confused here. Who's right? Hindenburg, talking about the food blockade undermining the civilian population, curtailing rations in the field and being a decisive factor in the triumph of the Allies (no mention of distribution as an issue and he was also actually in Germany and part of the German decision making process I note) or Mencken who says, according to you, "there were no food shortages" and was a foreign journalist with a distinct bias and access controlled by his hosts.

What does Hindenberg [sic] know indeed?

Truth be told, it's not like "Hindenberg" had any need for excuses or scapegoats.

It's not like he was the de facto shogun to Kaiser Bill jr or some sort of 2nd Reich honcho with responsibility for the debacle. :roll:
Nobody expects the Fallschirm! Our chief weapon is surprise; surprise and fear; fear and surprise. Our 2 weapons are fear and surprise; and ruthless efficiency. Our *3* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency; and almost fanatical devotion

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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 18:27

Mbowden23 wrote:we are talking about the army
Amiens is a total tactical and strategic defeat. The same applies to Vimy Ridge and indeed the breaching of the Hindenberg Line.

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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 18:47

Mbowden23 wrote:If he would have issued orders that could actually be followed and weren't contradictory, then First Army would have never crossed the Marne ahead of Second and the situation would have been different.
Kluck and Kuhl managed to disobey orders when retreating too when there was no confusion as to what was intended. During the advance, Kluck's role was to cover the flank of 2nd Army, something he totally failed at doing as he wandered off in search of glory.
Mbowden23 wrote:Kluck and Kuhl didn't just choose to disobey, they were given an order that didn't make sense thanks to the position of First and Second Armies.
Maybe you should provide a specific contradiction then as I am unsure what you refer to, though generals always have the ability to follow orders or disobey them just by choosing, they are seldom forced to do so.
Mbowden23 wrote:OHL would have known that had they been closer to the front.
The position of Moltke was the same as Schlieffen had chosen as it was roughly in the centre of the seven armies if Moltke had been closer to 1st and 2nd Armies he would have been further from the 7th and 6th Armies. There was also an expectation of two Italian Corps to take a place on the left of the line, and it is far from clear that there was no intent to attack on the left also, which Zuber covered in his original 'Inventing the Schlieffen Plan book.
Mbowden23 wrote:Of course, detaching three corps for the east (corps that were therefore of no use on either front during the most critical battles) is perhaps worse.
The units were dispatched to the east at precisely the time Schlieffen's exercises saw them moved east too, though Moltke only moved half as many corps as Schlieffen seems to have planned for. Then again, with all his army commanders reporting stunning victories, there seems to have been little use for these troops as they could not reach the critical area on the right wing in time to make a difference even if Moltke had been aware the French were far from defeated. More to the point would be why the army commanders were making exaggerated claims and telling Moltke the French were defeated and incapable of further resistance!?
Mbowden23 wrote:Again, this discussion could go along ad-nauseum and I've already written about all this extensively.
Maybe you could link to your extensive writings then so we can see for ourselves?
Mbowden23 wrote:Can't you find anything Moltke could have done better? are you serious?
Not invade Belgium? Other than that he probably did about as well as anyone would have managed. Up until the Marne he was being told by his generals that the French were defeated and could offer no further resistance, so under that impression what exactly should he have done, also knowing the East was in desperate need of any troops that could be sent there as soon as possible. As everything was going so well, what need did he have to micro-manage the forces of generals who should have been capable of managing their forces, and who by all reports were winning the war without the need for close supervision. At least Moltke managed to get the army increased in size to something close to what the supposedly excellent Schlieffen spent his time planning for!

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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 ljadw » 07 Dec 2017 14:45

Mbowden23 wrote:
Terry Duncan wrote:
ljadw wrote:
Mbowden23 wrote:
More importantly, Moltke could have done a number of things to avert the crisis but failed to do so.

.

Things as ?
Given the poor guy couldnt even appoint his own army commanders and was saddled with a set of mediocre generals in critical roles because of this, not to forget the same army commanders actively disobeyed orders and disliked each other too, I find it hard to see anything Moltke could have done much better.

If he would have issued orders that could actually be followed and weren't contradictory, then First Army would have never crossed the Marne ahead of Second and the situation would have been different. Kluck and Kuhl didn't just choose to disobey, they were given an order that didn't make sense thanks to the position of First and Second Armies. OHL would have known that had they been closer to the front. Of course, detaching three corps for the east (corps that were therefore of no use on either front during the most critical battles) is perhaps worse. Again, this discussion could go along ad-nauseum and Ive already written about all this extensively.

You can't find anything Moltke could have done better? are you serious?
I see that my expectations are coming true, that people again will try to explain (better:excuse) German failures by shortcomings on German side and will deny the winners any role in their victory . :P
The Germans did not lose on the Marne, but the French won .

The fact that there was a Marne battle after 30 days of fighting,proves that the Germans had failed : on 4 september the French had to be on the run,pursued by the victorious Germans who would push them back to the Swiss border ;the Germans failed to do this and this was not the fault of Moltke, but was caused by Joffre, his subordinates and the French soldier .Already before the battle,Moltke said hat even if the Germans won at the Marne, it would be impossible to push back the French to the Swiss border .

The French defeated the Germans .It is as simple as that .

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