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

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Plain Old Dave
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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 » 15 Nov 2018 17:37

Actually, yes. By Act of Congress and an Executive order, in 1976. Public Law 94-479 authorized Washington's promotion from Lieutenant General in the Regular Army.

Until the 20th Century, Lieutenant General waa the Army's highest rank, only held by Washington, Winfield Scott, Grant, and a very few others. Grants promotion to General of the Army in 1866 was singular, and the four star rank was created for Pershing's benefit at the Allied Council.

Washington's promotion date to General of the Armies was 3/13/1978. Pershing was the only living General to be promoted to this rank, and the Secretary of the Army clearly expressed intent that Washington should rank all future officers.
Last edited by Plain Old Dave on 15 Nov 2018 17:51, 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 » 15 Nov 2018 17:43

MarkN wrote:
15 Nov 2018 15:42
Plain Old Dave wrote:
15 Nov 2018 15:17
Re: Quick peace. Pershing publicly advocated for unconditional surrender. He was the second most popular personality in These States in 1918, ... If he wanted the war aim to be unconditional surrender, good chance he would have got it.
Where did his popularity stand in Those States?

Nevertheless, I bet even in "These States" his popularity would have taken a bit of a hit as hundreds of thousands, maybe a million or more, families lost their sons curbstomping their way to Berlin.
In all probability, German resistance would have completely collapsed in the Palatinate.

Re: German fortifications. Butter before the hot knife of USN 14" rifles. Which were actually deployed in 1918.

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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 » 15 Nov 2018 17:48

Plain Old Dave wrote:
15 Nov 2018 17:37
Actually, yes. By Act of Congress and an Executive order, in 1976. Public Law 94-479 authorized his promotion from Lieutenant General, and his promotion date was 3/13/1978. Pershing was the only living General to be promoted to this rank, and the Secretary of the Army clearly expressed intent that Washington should rank all future officers.
Oh dear, that's really sad not to mention utterly pointless. Pershing would still hold seniority amusingly and at least he didn't break his oaths of allegiance!

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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 » 15 Nov 2018 17:53

Terry Duncan wrote:
15 Nov 2018 17:48
Plain Old Dave wrote:
15 Nov 2018 17:37
Actually, yes. By Act of Congress and an Executive order, in 1976. Public Law 94-479 authorized his promotion from Lieutenant General, and his promotion date was 3/13/1978. Pershing was the only living General to be promoted to this rank, and the Secretary of the Army clearly expressed intent that Washington should rank all future officers.
Oh dear, that's really sad not to mention utterly pointless. Pershing would still hold seniority amusingly and at least he didn't break his oaths of allegiance!
No. Washington's date of rank was 4 July 1776. He legally ranks all officers of the US Armed forces.

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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 Russ3Z » 15 Nov 2018 17:55

Ignoring the continued treason barbs, the promotion does have a certain point, given that Washington's unique position made him answerable to neither the Continental Congress nor its President, a situation never since repeated. At the time, no American rank higher than 3 stars existed.

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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 » 15 Nov 2018 18:04

Plain Old Dave wrote:
15 Nov 2018 17:53
Terry Duncan wrote:
15 Nov 2018 17:48
Plain Old Dave wrote:
15 Nov 2018 17:37
Actually, yes. By Act of Congress and an Executive order, in 1976. Public Law 94-479 authorized his promotion from Lieutenant General, and his promotion date was 3/13/1978. Pershing was the only living General to be promoted to this rank, and the Secretary of the Army clearly expressed intent that Washington should rank all future officers.
Oh dear, that's really sad not to mention utterly pointless. Pershing would still hold seniority amusingly and at least he didn't break his oaths of allegiance!
No. Washington's date of rank was 4 July 1776. He legally ranks all officers of the US Armed forces.
As you posted, 'his promotion date was 3/13/1978', therefore after the promotion of Pershing. I did look this up, and can only find that his rank is equal to that of Pershing as only two men have ever held such rank in the US forces, if the intention was to make sure Washington outranked everyone else they should have backdated the promotion. Personally, I cannot see either of them attempting to claim seniority, but on the dates of commission, it is Pershing.

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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 » 15 Nov 2018 18:07

Russ3Z wrote:
15 Nov 2018 17:55
Ignoring the continued treason barbs, the promotion does have a certain point, given that Washington's unique position made him answerable to neither the Continental Congress nor its President, a situation never since repeated. At the time, no American rank higher than 3 stars existed.
It is not so much a barb as a direct reference to the character of the man. Of the two, Pershing was the more ethical. To be honest I prefer Pershing to Eisenhower and McArthur too, though it is close with Eisenhower.

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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 » 15 Nov 2018 18:16

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Militar ... Washington

Pull:

"The resolution stated that Washington's seniority had rank and precedence over all other grades of the Armed Forces, past or present, effectively making Washington the highest ranked U.S. officer of all time."

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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 » 15 Nov 2018 19:51

But, to return to the topic, the overwhelming US advantages in personnel and firepower (organic, US heavy weapons, BAR and Pedersen Device) would make a 1919-20 Central European Campaign greatly resemble the 1945 Central European Campaign; well supplied, fresh troops facing demoralized defenders on the verge of military and societal collapse.

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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 » 15 Nov 2018 20:02

Plain Old Dave wrote:
15 Nov 2018 18:16
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Militar ... Washington

Pull:

"The resolution stated that Washington's seniority had rank and precedence over all other grades of the Armed Forces, past or present, effectively making Washington the highest ranked U.S. officer of all time."
That is interpretation, and not supported by the wording of the citation;
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That
(a) for purposes of subsection (b) of this section only, the grade of General of the Armies of the United States is established, such grade to have rank and precedence over all other grades of the Army, past or present.
(b) The President is authorized and requested to appoint George Washington posthumously to the grade of General of the Armies of the United States, such appointment to take effect on July 4, 1976.

Approved October 11, 1976.
Public Law 94-479
So, no precedence over people of the same grade, only 'all other grades'. Anyhow, back to the topic.

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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 Sheldrake » 16 Nov 2018 13:00

Plain Old Dave wrote:
15 Nov 2018 15:17
1 Re: French/British action. Both were fought to a frazzle; understandable given heavy casualties. Fact remains- 1918 failure was primarily due to German inability to extend supply chain.

2. Re: Quick peace. Pershing publicly advocated for unconditional surrender. He was the second most popular personality in These States in 1918, and at the time was THE ranking officer in the history of the United States Army. Until 1976, he ranked George Washington. If he wanted the war aim to be unconditional surrender, good chance he would have got it.
Dave,

Re 1 true. The Germans over extended their supplies in their offensives from March -July 1918. But what does that mean to you? Do you think it means that the Germans did not supply their troops with any food and ammunition? Or that the Germans could not sustain the intensity of combat needed to overcome stubborn defenders? The German supply shortage was a function of allied resistance. If the British and FRenmch had not been fighting hard, there would not have been a German supply shortage.

It is also true that none of the armies of 1918 had the ability to extend their supply chain quickly. At the recent BCMH forgotten victory conference the speaker on British logistic pointed out that the BEF was at the limit of its supplies in Nov 1918. Had the Germans not agreed to the armistice, the British advance would have had to halt.

Pershings AEF was barely capable of the advance from Verdun to Sedan, let alone Berlin! There is an excellent article in the current issue of the Western Front Association magazine which is very critical of the staff work and administration of the AEF. The standard of horse husbandry was abysmal. Staffwork inadequate and discipline very poor. I am not convinced that six months break would have been enough to reverse some of these problems.

The realisation of the futility of the "breakthrough" is where Foch beat Ludendorff. Foch's focus was on destroying German reserves with a series of blows - a lateral exploitation.

Re 2

As mentioned above, the allied armies weren't really capable of imposing a 1945 style solution on Germany.

Nor was Pershing in any position to impose his views on his allies. The AEF was heavily dependent on the British and French for aircraft, artillery tanks and logistic support, including maritime transport. France was the host nation with the largest land component. He was a Montgomery to Foch's Eisenhower.

Even suppose the did call for "unconditional surrender"? Would the German have given up any quicker? The Germans thought they were getting an honourable peace - but found Versailles on the table. There were enough weapons and will to fight in Germany to sustain a civil war and expeditions in the Baltic states.

The decision about the peace terms wasn't Pershings to make. What conditions were going to be imposed on German that would have been more punitive or effective than Vewrsailles?

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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 » 16 Nov 2018 14:39

No, no, no. Typical Eurocentric evasiveness, above.

As it was, US merchant marine transported high 40s of AEF. Shipbuilding went into high gear by 1918. Easily 70% US transported by mid-1919.

With shipping as it was in 1918, a Doughboy walked down a brow every few seconds continuously, on average. USN destroyers marginalized the U boat threat. Not one troopship was lost.

France had the largest army, in 1918. Between the paper thin 1919 French draft cohort and American shipbuilding, the AEF would be the numerically largest and best equipped army in Europe in 1919.

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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 » 16 Nov 2018 17:22

Plain Old Dave wrote:
16 Nov 2018 14:39
With shipping as it was in 1918, a Doughboy walked down a brow every few seconds continuously, on average. USN destroyers marginalized the U boat threat. Not one troopship was lost.
Wrong. But not surprising given your posting history.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Presi ... oln_(1907)
https://archive.org/stream/proceedingso ... 9/mode/2up

USS President Lincoln (1907) – The troopship was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean 600 nautical miles (1,100 km) off Brest, Finistère, France by SM U-90 ( Imperial German Navy) with the loss of 26 of the 715 people on board. Survivors were rescued by USS Smith and USS Warrington (both United States Navy).
Sunk 31 May 1918.

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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 » 17 Nov 2018 02:53

All right, ONE. Convoy System worked, and wasn't possible without the United States Navy.

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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 Sheldrake » 17 Nov 2018 11:12

Plain Old Dave wrote:
16 Nov 2018 14:39
No, no, no. Typical Eurocentric evasiveness, above.

As it was, US merchant marine transported high 40s of AEF. Shipbuilding went into high gear by 1918. Easily 70% US transported by mid-1919.

With shipping as it was in 1918, a Doughboy walked down a brow every few seconds continuously, on average. USN destroyers marginalized the U boat threat. Not one troopship was lost.

France had the largest army, in 1918. Between the paper thin 1919 French draft cohort and American shipbuilding, the AEF would be the numerically largest and best equipped army in Europe in 1919.
That is a counterfactual that will never be tested, nor would the quality of the AEF's staff work and discipline.

If you have a serious interest in the subject can I suggest you put a subscription to the Western Front Association onto your Christmas list.

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