US entry into WW1 in 1915?

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James A Pratt III
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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by James A Pratt III » 25 Dec 2017 00:10

The US entering WW I in 1917 managed to capture 104 German ships in US ports and put most of them in service. They included some big liners. Also on 20 and 22 march 1918 the US and British seized 135 Dutch ships by right of Angary. Which gives a belligerent power the right to seize neutral vessels. Both of these action would have occurred earlier in the war if the US had entered the war in 1915. Lets just say the Dutch were "upset' about the seizure of their ships.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by South » 26 Dec 2017 08:33

Good morning James,

Great info re Angary and its application. I knew the concept but not this designated word.

I have a couple of sterling silver dining table "place settings", eg a "creamer" and a small serving tray from the US Maritime Administration's vessel "Leviathan". The federal agency's shield is "embossed" (high relief) on them. The Leviathan was formerly the German vessel "Fatherland". Believe it was a large liner.

~ Bob
eastern Virginia, USA

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by James A Pratt III » 13 Jan 2018 05:05

The Leviathan was a very large liner.

on youtube the US WW I Museum and Memorial has a presintation "Giant with feet of Clay" The US Army in WW I that is rather interesting

If the US did get into WW I in 1915. In the fall of 1916 it would probably be launching an offensive against the St Michael salient like the US did in September 1918. This is where the US Army planned on attacking almost after the first US troops landed in France in 1917. That is if the US doesn't get talked out of it.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by South » 13 Jan 2018 08:41

Good morning James,

Appreciate info re Leviathan.

......

In 1916,General Pershing was chasing Poncho Villa near you and into Mexico. In reality, they were training in brigade-size maneuvers and it had zero to do with Arizona border incursions by Villa. Who could talk the US out of the European engagement ?! The die was cast when the economic indicators, inter alia, showed Germany eclipsing the UK is key areas - like steel production.........and the implications.

~ Bob
eastern Virginia

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 17 Jul 2019 00:35

Interesting old thread... And a good candidate for alternative history because there's a feasible ATL that stems from an individual's contingent foibles: If Taft had stepped aside in the 1912 election, or suffered a heart attack (dude was really fat after all), then TR probably wins the 1912 election. TR would have been chomping at the bit in 1914, the Lusitania could have allowed him to whip public sentiment for war.

My vision of the ATL:

American entry in 1915 basically accelerates the AEF by two years. So instead of 1.9mil doughboys in France in 1918, they're fighting in the 1916 Somme/Verdun campaign. Germany is retreating by the end of 1916 though probably still in France and Belgium. By 1917 the AEF is the largest allied ground force (~2.5mil men) and the Allies can steamroll to/over the Rhine. Maybe - just maybe - the huge crisis on the Western Front in '16-'17 compels Germany to withdraw sufficient forces from the East for the Czar's armies and his regime to hang on long enough for an orderly transition to some other constitutional structure.

Regardless of what's happening in Russia, by 1918 the Germans have either already surrendered or else (preferably) the Allies, seeing their enormously strong position and having taken fewer losses, having better morale at this point than OTL, bargain hard and demand something like unconditional surrender. They pour over the Rhine in 1918 and occupy much of Germany before she collapses and surrenders unconditionally.

Perhaps in a trench somewhere in Westphalia, a certain Austrian corporal has his guts blown out by shrapnel and dies an agonizing death while his Jewish trenchmates look on. Regardless of whether that happens, Germany is unambiguously beaten, its land occupied, and no Dolchstosslegende ever lives. Germany recognizes that its destiny is with the liberal West; no sizeable portion of German society can fool itself that it can rise to world domination through militarism.

Depending on what happens in Russia, there might be a big war in Eastern Europe later in the century. But there's almost certainly no Third Reich, no holocaust, etc.

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 29 Jul 2019 05:22

A much more interesting spin on this is that the US begins to send troops into Russia via Vladivostok and Japanese ports in Korea and China. Instead of US troops all going to France, most go to Russia to prop up their flagging and failing army. US troops get their first tastes of combat facing the much weaker and inferior Austro-Hungarian army forcing Germany to send troops East to prop up that front.
By late 1916 there are say about 750,000 US troops on the Eastern Front and the US has brought in civilian construction companies to improve the Trans-Siberian railway and Pacific Russian ports. More troops are landing at Murmansk as well coming straight from the US. Unlike WW 2, the German Imperial Navy really has nothing other than U-boats to use against such convoys.

Now, Germany has an issue they likely can't resolve. In the West they're really not strong enough to launch a major offensive and in the East the US- Russian forces are close to taking Austro-Hungary out of the war. This is more true given that by 1917 there might be 3 million US troops in the East with say 1.5 million of those at the front and the rest working to improve infrastructure to move supplies and men across Russia. After all, if there was one nation at the time that knew how to build transcontinental transport systems it was the US. Russia isn't particularly vast from an American point of view.

This also has the advantage that the German U-boat campaign is totally useless against such a move.

Yes, I'd think that some troops would go to France. But, in this scenario, they are a fraction of what goes to Russia. Say, a single army of two corps in France at most with like 6 or so divisions.

The neatest part of this is Russia doesn't collapse into civil war, so there is no Communist take over and the whole of Communism in Europe remains a tiny minority on the far Left of politics.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by maltesefalcon » 29 Jul 2019 17:43

The US would likely run into logistics issues travelling all the way across Transural Russia just to get to the battle. That would likely be their only re-supply line as well.
The Russians could not properly equip and supply their own armies, let alone another.

Maybe a northern route to Archangelsk or Murmansk would be an easier solution?

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 29 Jul 2019 20:23

maltesefalcon wrote:
29 Jul 2019 17:43
The US would likely run into logistics issues travelling all the way across Transural Russia just to get to the battle. That would likely be their only re-supply line as well.
The Russians could not properly equip and supply their own armies, let alone another.

Maybe a northern route to Archangelsk or Murmansk would be an easier solution?
Why? The US Army managed on a smaller scale to do it post WW 1 during the Russian Revolution...

While these intervention forces were small by comparison, (about 8,000 in Siberia, another 5,000 at Arkhangelsk and several thousand to Moscow) they were supplied without major issue. The US could have done the same for a much larger force, particularly over a period of say two years. Yes, these troops would have needed on the order of tens of thousands of workers doing construction in their rear but that is easily doable. The US could have supplied the materials, technical, and engineering expertise along with foremen and supervisors and largely used local labor paid at what would be a scale far above anything they previously had.

The US had already sent in the case of the expedition after the war, huge quantities of rolling stock, locomotives, and supplies to support Russia during the war. So, the US had the ability to get the necessary supplies to Russian ports. Another aspect of the expedition was the US Army took over operation of much of the Trans-Siberian railroad as it was. Doing so during the war and improving the whole of the line would have made it possible to supply a large US Army force in Russia.

That the Russians couldn't properly equip, train, or supply their own armies was a Russian problem, not a US one. With the US involved in Russia, the Russians would have benefited from that presence as well. I could see the US supplying Russia with better equipment, possibly even building factories there, or improving existing ones, to provide necessary arms and munitions. After all, what became the largest truck plant in Russia in the 1930's was originally a duplicate of the Ford Red River plant buit by Ford.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by maltesefalcon » 29 Jul 2019 21:48

I won't claim to be well read on this, but from what I've gleaned, it looks like there were two AEF. One, as stated above was for the Pacific/Siberian areas and landed in Vladivostok.

The second, Northern prong landed in Arkangelsk, as I'd suggested. IMHO both IRL campaigns were overambitious, due to the fairly small troop strengths. There was mention of the eastern units eventually crossing the Urals; but I am not sure if that actually took place.

To tip things in the Allies favor, the USA would need to deploy in corps, if not army strength. The units would need modern weapons, including artillery and lots of vehicles and aircraft. The Russians could not possibly supply this, so it would all need to come from the USA. Bear in mind that IRL in 1917-18 a lot of the "US" tanks and AC actually were French Renault, Spad and Nieuport items.

The Trans-Siberian railroad was the only way to get large numbers of troops and supplies from east to west (and return the trains to get more). It was a single track railroad at the time and simply not reliable to supply army-sized units with large volumes of traffic flowing in each direction. Of course as suggested, the TSR could be improved or even twinned, but this would likely take years, assuming the money to do it could be found.

Win or lose, the war would probably be over by then.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by antwony » 30 Jul 2019 08:59

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
17 Jul 2019 00:35
By 1917 the AEF is the largest allied ground force (~2.5mil men)
The French had about 8 million, the British Commonwealth over 5 on the Western Front.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
17 Jul 2019 00:35
Maybe - just maybe - the huge crisis on the Western Front in '16-'17 compels Germany to withdraw sufficient forces from the East for the Czar's armies and his regime to hang on long enough for an orderly transition to some other constitutional structure.
That was what happened, then there was another transition
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
17 Jul 2019 00:35
Germany is unambiguously beaten, its land occupied,
That was what happened, excepting the areas Germany ceded to foreign nations
maltesefalcon wrote:
29 Jul 2019 21:48
I won't claim to be well read on this
me neither
maltesefalcon wrote:
29 Jul 2019 21:48
There was mention of the eastern units eventually crossing the Urals; but I am not sure if that actually took place.
Pretty sure the AEF in Siberia mainly stayed near Vladistovok. But the term "Siberian" Front in the Russian Civil War is for me (I'm also not a expert on Russian geographical terms)a bit of a misnomer. The front line in 1918 was west of Kazan which is along, long way from Vladivostok and nearish to Moscow-

maltesefalcon wrote:
29 Jul 2019 21:48
The Trans-Siberian railroad was the only way to get large numbers of troops and supplies from east to west (and return the trains to get more). It was a single track railroad at the time and simply not reliable to supply army-sized units with large volumes of traffic flowing in each direction. Of course as suggested, the TSR could be improved or even twinned, but this would likely take years, assuming the money to do it could be found.
Had the line been improved much by WW2? Seemed to do a good job then.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 30 Jul 2019 20:09

antwony wrote:The French had about 8 million, the British Commonwealth over 5 on the Western Front.
Not in terms of rifle strength. The French were below 2 million by the end. The AEF held ~1/3 of the line by the end.
antwony wrote: [unambiguous German defeat] was what happened, excepting the areas Germany ceded to foreign nations
German armies hadn't retreated into Germany by November 11.

Obviously any reasonable observer would agree that Allied victory was unambiguous in 1918 given the trends in movement and especially in force ratios. To the minds of many Germans, however, their army wasn't conclusively beaten or wasn't beaten at all. That obviously changes if the Allies are sitting in Hanover at the end of the war. The ability of Hitler and/or Heer apologists to dupe the German public was not unconstrained by facts. Not even in WW2 could Nazi state propaganda veer too far from the military facts.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by Loïc » 30 Jul 2019 22:00

In november 1918 the French Army has around 5 millions of men of which ~2 800 000 on the Fronts counting the Armée d'Orient, ~2 600 000 no counting it

8 millions is the number of French mobilised during the war

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 30 Jul 2019 22:17

Loic wrote:In november 1918 the French Army has around 5 millions of men of which ~2 800 000 on the Fronts counting the Armée d'Orient, ~2 600 000 no counting it
Right, thanks. Confirmed here: http://www.ctevans.net/WorldWar1/Data/V ... stice.html
I knew 8 million was way off the mark for front strength though.

My general argument still stands: the AEF strength of ~1.9mil was 30% of Allied front strength in France in 1918. Move that ahead by two years per the ATL and Germany is completely fucked in 1916. If Germany holds somehow out until 1918 in the ATL, AEF front strength could have been well over 3 million. Koenigsberg isn't safe in that scenario, let alone Berlin.

You might want to argue the logistics of the situation but American entry into the war means millions of tons of extra shipping and there's no feasible Uboat solution to that problem.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by maltesefalcon » 31 Jul 2019 00:15

Until I do/see further research on the TSR I will not expand on my posts on that thought.

However there is another question which I feel would preempt any sort of AEF concentrating on helping Russia vs Austria-Hungary.

First, Germany was the one that torpedoed Lusitania. Lets ignore the Zimmerman telegram since the timeline has been altered.

Second, the USA would have probably not have won their freedom without French help in the Rev War. They had an emotional bond with France and owed them a debt. America owed the Czar nothing. To snub France (a sister republic) at its most desperate time, to prop up a Russian autocrat would fly in the face of everything they stood for.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by pugsville » 31 Jul 2019 00:33

Loïc wrote:
30 Jul 2019 22:00
In november 1918 the French Army has around 5 millions of men of which ~2 800 000 on the Fronts counting the Armée d'Orient, ~2 600 000 no counting it

8 millions is the number of French mobilised during the war
IIRC the French also had militarized a number of factories were the workers were soldiers. No idea if these was a significant number of men.

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