US entry into WW1 in 1915?

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

Post by T. A. Gardner » 31 Jul 2019 01:26

If you assume a 1915 entry, the US likely would go with the M1905 3" gun and 4.7" M1906 gun for artillery. The US wouldn't have been in terrible shape for sending troops to Russia and probably could have had at least one field army (3 corps) by late 1916 in place. That's a sizable force. If you assume they also provide older arms, munitions, and supplies to the Russians the likelihood is the Russian front doesn't collapse and the Russian revolution doesn't happen. If the Russians stay in the war it is a major blow to both the Astro-Hungarians and Germany.

In the East, the US doesn't have to win. They have to keep Russian in the war.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 31 Jul 2019 03:23

maltesefalcon wrote:
31 Jul 2019 00:15
... 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.
Tho a few hundred thousand Americans milling about in Russia for 2-3 years would bring all sorts of interesting ideas to the Russian peasants, urban workers, middle class, academics, & scare the hell out of the aristocracy. Post war OTL there were a fair number of new business and social connections between the Yanks and the French. A cult of Americanism lingered on for a while, ie: Jazz music, & American ideas of personal freedom. The Russians, who were much more open to & seeking a new way in that era would be more prone to adapting all sorts of oddities the Americans displayed.

In the other direction Russian derived slang words, & a taste for Russian style tea and vodka would become US cultural artifacts.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 31 Jul 2019 04:21

T.A. Gardner wrote:In the East, the US doesn't have to win. They have to keep Russian in the war.
I ask this completely innocently - was there ANY evidence that the US or other western allies would have deployed troops in Czarist Russia? Militarily it makes loads of sense but politically... I have no idea of the feasibility.

What was the capacity of Murmansk/Archangel in that period? I had always assumed it was insignificant, as getting to supplies to Russia was a major reason for Galipoli.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 31 Jul 2019 04:30

As an interesting aside to this, US locomotives, particularly those built by Baldwin, and rolling stock were critically important to Russia in WW 1 (and 2) with or without the US in the war. The later Soviet Ye class locomotives were basically Baldwin copies.

The point here, again, is that Russia and the US had in the WW 1 era an existing economic relationship that would be greatly reinforced by US involvement in WW 1 within Russia. The US would, without a doubt in my mind, have massively increased the capacity of the trans-Siberian railway and in turn the economic capacity of Russia had they been putting large numbers of US troops in the country to fight Germany.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by antwony » 31 Jul 2019 11:02

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
30 Jul 2019 20:09
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.
I'd ask for a source for those numbers, but given your posting history I'm going to presume you're just making them up/ got them from Mosier, or some other fantasy writer.

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
Thanks for that, I'd just gotten some numbers from wiki.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
30 Jul 2019 22:17
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.
So the 2.5 million becomes ~1.9 now? How many of them are your "rifle strength"?

While I understand AEF divisions were absolutely enormous, how many were on the front line on 11 Nov 1918?

If we're generous and say each AEF division has 20,000 personal, your 2.5 million "frontline strength" makes 125 divisions.
T. A. Gardner wrote:
31 Jul 2019 01:26
the US likely would go with the M1905 3" gun
That was (pretty much) what the Russians were using. There a lot of similiarities between American and Imperial Russian weapons, during that period, as many of them were French designed.
T. A. Gardner wrote:
31 Jul 2019 01:26
If you assume they also provide older arms, munitions, and supplies to the Russians
Remington and Westinghouse delivered a couple of million (new) Moisin- Nagants to Imperial Russia and Winchester made them several hundred thousand 1895's.
maltesefalcon wrote:
31 Jul 2019 00:15
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.
The French Republic were very strong allies of the Czar. They fought, debatably, longer and harder than any other Entente Partner to overthrow the Bolsheviks and became a centre for White Russian refugees in the 1920's. This tends to be explained, rather credibly, as being due to France having given the Czar enormous loans which the Bolsheviks had no intention of paying back.

There's been quite a bit of recent, pretty coherent, revisionist history written recently about how France and Russia were more responsible for the outbreak of the war than has sometimes been acknowledged.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by paulrward » 31 Jul 2019 19:17

Hello All :

Just to inject a few facts into the discussion regarding the AEF:

The typical strength of an AEF infantry division was NOT 20,000. It averaged 27,000 enlisted men and 1000 officers per division, and
there were 42 Divisions in France on Armistace Day, of which 29 divisions had seen combat. ( The others were finishing training and moving
up to the front ) This means that of the 2,084,000 US soldiers who reached France, 1,390,000 had seen combat. In addition, on Armistice Day, there were another 2,000,000 soldiers in the US, completing training and preparing to sail to France, with another 2,400,000 who would have been enlisted and trained in the first six months of 1919. this number being held at this level for as long as the war lasted, ie, the U.S. was committing to training nearly five million men per year for as long as it took.

Since the US had entered the War in April, 1917, it means that, in 19 mohths, the US had trained 3.5 million men, or about 189.000 per
month, and was shipping them to France at an average rate of about 100,000 per month, with this rate having increased in Q2 and Q3 of
1918 to 200,000 per month. Of the men sent to France, 293,000 were casualties by the end hostilities, leaving 1,791,000 men combat
effective on November 11, 1918.

So, if we extrapolate those figures to a new 'war starting date' of say, July 1, 1915 ( a month and a half after Lusitania ) that implies that, by July 1, 1917, ( 24 months of war ) the US could have had an AEF strength of 3 milliion men in France, and, having suffered some 370,000 casuaties in this period, would have had an effective strenght on July 1, 1917 of appx 2,664,000 men. In addition, the US would have, by that time, have been shipping 200,000 men per month to France, and thus, with a loss rate of appx 20,000 per month, the
second half of 1917, and each half year after, the U.S. could have added another 1,080,000 combat soldiers to the war.

So, to summarise, out of 54,000.000 million males in the U.S., 26,000,000 were registered for the Draft or served in the Army. This means that, if the U.S. had drafted men at a rate of 5 million per year, the U.S. could go for five years at this rate of support for the War.

In case anyone wants to know, these figures came directly from Colonel Leonard P. Ayres, Chief of the Statistics Branch of the General Staff of the U.S. Army, in an official Summary of the War published by the Pictorial Bureau of the United States, in 1921.

Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 31 Jul 2019 19:48

paulrward wrote:So, if we extrapolate those figures to a new 'war starting date' of say, July 1, 1915 ( a month and a half after Lusitania )
I suppose entering in July 1915 as opposed to April 1917 means the 1916-18 extrapolation I did has to be pushed forward by three months. Which means probably not enough AEF impact on the Somme to be decisive.
paulrward wrote:by July 1, 1917, ( 24 months of war ) the US could have had an AEF strength of 3 milliion men in France, and, having suffered some 370,000 casuaties in this period, would have had an effective strenght on July 1, 1917 of appx 2,664,000 men
Even if we push large-scale American forces back to 1917, the impact is still decisive. German defenses crumble during period of OTL 3rd Ypres (November 1917) at the latest, as the general staff wrote that "Germany had been brought near to certain destruction by the Flanders battle of 1917". More likely complete defeat happens earlier during the Nivelle offensive period.

Then by your calculations the July 1918 AEF is ~4.5mil. So ATL Allied strength on the Western Front is 45% higher while German strength is lower due to extra casualties inflicted by 1917 AEF. It turns the 1918 Western front from a close matchup until ~August into overwhelming advantage for the Allies. If we consider the difference in force ratios between Spring 1918 (slight German advantage) and November 1918 (~25% Allied advantage), and consider that the delta between these two cases would be more than doubled by the larger AEF, it's obvious to me that the Germans are crushed.

Does anybody seriously doubt that American entry in early-mid 1915 would have meant the German armies are routed completely and driven back into Germany?

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by maltesefalcon » 01 Aug 2019 00:53

antwony wrote:
31 Jul 2019 11:02

maltesefalcon wrote:
31 Jul 2019 00:15
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.
The French Republic were very strong allies of the Czar. They fought, debatably, longer and harder than any other Entente Partner to overthrow the Bolsheviks and became a centre for White Russian refugees in the 1920's. This tends to be explained, rather credibly, as being due to France having given the Czar enormous loans which the Bolsheviks had no intention of paying back.


I edited the post above for brevity. Not sure I follow the logic to your reply to my statement. Are you sayng because France is friends with Russia and the US is friends with France that it somehow translates to the USA automatically being obligated to help Russia in lieu of fighting on the Western front? I don't get it...

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by antwony » 01 Aug 2019 09:47

maltesefalcon wrote:
01 Aug 2019 00:53
Not sure I follow the logic to your reply to my statement. Are you sayng because France is friends with Russia and the US is friends with France that it somehow translates to the USA automatically being obligated to help Russia in lieu of fighting on the Western front? I don't get it...
OK.. I didn't get you in the first place, which is the problem. I thought you were trying to get on some moral high horse and claim that it would be betraying American values to assist something as dodgy as Czarist Russia and that the French would be particularly offended.

My revised understanding of your position is that, first and foremost, the Americans would want to help the French and diverting forces off to the Eastern Front, which could be potentially sent to France, would diminish that assistance. Is that correct?

If that's what you're saying, then sure, that's very sensible.

Although, it could be argued that the US getting forces into France would have similiar logistical demands to getting those forces into Western Russia, which would put America in an unique position to aid the Russians as the geographical location of the UK and France is far closer to Western Front battlefields.

Also, I'd claim that while the AEF left plenty of dead in France/ Belgium, they made little contibution to victory and could have been more useful in Palestine, Macedonia or Italy, fronts on which individually (excepting maybe Palestine) the Central Powers defeat was confirmed. Looking back with retrospect, Russia surrendering was the Entente's biggest catastrophe/ Germany's only victory and preventing it, which America may have been able to do, would have been an enormous contribution.

This thread has a winner claiming that that the AEF held 30% of the front line (presumably in Nov. 1918, when the German's had no capacity to launch a major assault and 70% of the front could have been held by the remains of the Portuguese Corps) and that based on hypothetical projections for the (actual, real world) AEF's strength in 1919, this thread's totally hypothetical AEF would (hypothetically) have been the strongest army on the Western Front in a hypothetical 1917.

The thread's slipping into Mosier-ism and we may as well be discussing the relative merits of the Houses of Huffenpuff and Griffendoor from Harry Potter.
paulrward wrote:
31 Jul 2019 19:17
Hello All :

Just to inject a few facts into the discussion regarding the AEF:

The typical strength of an AEF infantry division was NOT 20,000. It averaged 27,000 enlisted men and 1000 officers per division, and
there were 42 Divisions in France on Armistace Day, of which 29 divisions had seen combat. ( The others were finishing training and moving
up to the front ) This means that of the 2,084,000 US soldiers who reached France, 1,390,000 had seen combat. In addition, on Armistice Day, there were another 2,000,000 soldiers in the US

Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
Facts are always good.

Was the AEF planning to keep the divisions square with 12 battalions?

I've always suspected the same would have happened in 1919 as happened in 1942, once your Roll of Honor (honour has an -u. Americans) starts lengthening, the regiments would have lost a battalion, the divisions would have lost a regiment and the brigades would have been disbanded with other positions found for the now (completely) redundant Brigadiers. Always thought the German's chain of command from division, to brigade, to regiment was a job place creation scheme to give their Prince's something to do. Was surprised to learn that the US Army of WW1 that can't have had many Generals prewar decided they had need of 150 Generals at DIV/BRIG to command 200 Colonels at regimental level. Sounds like jobs for the boys to me. Although, I'm starting to enter Harry Potter territory with this paragraph.

Respectfully :

T.A. Kilpinen

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by maltesefalcon » 01 Aug 2019 11:09

Antwony's reassessment of my line of thought was spot on. We are on the same page on that one now.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by Futurist » 16 Nov 2019 21:25

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
31 Jul 2019 03:23
maltesefalcon wrote:
31 Jul 2019 00:15
... 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.
Tho a few hundred thousand Americans milling about in Russia for 2-3 years would bring all sorts of interesting ideas to the Russian peasants, urban workers, middle class, academics, & scare the hell out of the aristocracy. Post war OTL there were a fair number of new business and social connections between the Yanks and the French. A cult of Americanism lingered on for a while, ie: Jazz music, & American ideas of personal freedom. The Russians, who were much more open to & seeking a new way in that era would be more prone to adapting all sorts of oddities the Americans displayed.

In the other direction Russian derived slang words, & a taste for Russian style tea and vodka would become US cultural artifacts.
Agreed with all of this. That said, though, I wonder how the Russians would feel about the US's attitude in regards to race relations during this time--with segregation (including in the US military) and whatnot.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 17 Nov 2019 07:45

Futurist wrote:
16 Nov 2019 21:25

Tho a few hundred thousand Americans milling about in Russia for 2-3 years would bring all sorts of interesting ideas to the Russian peasants, urban workers, middle class, academics, & scare the hell out of the aristocracy. Post war OTL there were a fair number of new business and social connections between the Yanks and the French. A cult of Americanism lingered on for a while, ie: Jazz music, & American ideas of personal freedom. The Russians, who were much more open to & seeking a new way in that era would be more prone to adapting all sorts of oddities the Americans displayed.

In the other direction Russian derived slang words, & a taste for Russian style tea and vodka would become US cultural artifacts.
Agreed with all of this. That said, though, I wonder how the Russians would feel about the US's attitude in regards to race relations during this time--with segregation (including in the US military) and whatnot.
[/quote]

Russia had plenty of their own ethnic issues so that alone probably wouldn't be the issue. On the other hand the US bringing in Black units could have been interesting as such men would be a true novelty in Russia. I'd think they'd simply brush off the racism as similar to how Cossacks were often treated.

But, the big difference would be that the US troops in general interacting with the locals would have had a huge positive effect on the economy and well being of them. Not just the troops spending money, but the construction of new buildings and other infrastructure, the introduction of all sorts of consumer goods never seen before, and that sort of thing.

The US could have still sent some forces to France as well, so I don't think the French would have been slighted. The British on the other hand, would recognize the value of keeping Russia in the war and using US troops to do that.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by pugsville » 17 Nov 2019 08:37

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
30 Jul 2019 20:09

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.
Rifle strength is not an accurate way of estimating troops at the front. The US division had a much higher proportion of it's men as Riflemen while other armies had larger proportion other role primarily artillery, And I would argue more effective for it.

How much of the line did the US hold that was active? When you look at a casualties s a crude but roughly accurate method of estimating how much fighting the various armies were doing the US is not doing 1/3 of the actual fighting.

30% of rifle strength on the front as 30% of frontline strength simply is not true and over estimates the US contingent,.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by pugsville » 17 Nov 2019 08:53

paulrward wrote:
31 Jul 2019 19:17
Hello All :

Just to inject a few facts into the discussion regarding the AEF:

The typical strength of an AEF infantry division was NOT 20,000. It averaged 27,000 enlisted men and 1000 officers per division, and
there were 42 Divisions in France on Armistace Day, of which 29 divisions had seen combat. ( The others were finishing training and moving
up to the front ) This means that of the 2,084,000 US soldiers who reached France, 1,390,000 had seen combat. In addition, on Armistice Day, there were another 2,000,000 soldiers in the US, completing training and preparing to sail to France, with another 2,400,000 who would have been enlisted and trained in the first six months of 1919. this number being held at this level for as long as the war lasted, ie, the U.S. was committing to training nearly five million men per year for as long as it took.

Since the US had entered the War in April, 1917, it means that, in 19 mohths, the US had trained 3.5 million men, or about 189.000 per
month, and was shipping them to France at an average rate of about 100,000 per month, with this rate having increased in Q2 and Q3 of
1918 to 200,000 per month. Of the men sent to France, 293,000 were casualties by the end hostilities, leaving 1,791,000 men combat
effective on November 11, 1918.

So, if we extrapolate those figures to a new 'war starting date' of say, July 1, 1915 ( a month and a half after Lusitania ) that implies that, by July 1, 1917, ( 24 months of war ) the US could have had an AEF strength of 3 milliion men in France, and, having suffered some 370,000 casuaties in this period, would have had an effective strenght on July 1, 1917 of appx 2,664,000 men. In addition, the US would have, by that time, have been shipping 200,000 men per month to France, and thus, with a loss rate of appx 20,000 per month, the
second half of 1917, and each half year after, the U.S. could have added another 1,080,000 combat soldiers to the war.

So, to summarise, out of 54,000.000 million males in the U.S., 26,000,000 were registered for the Draft or served in the Army. This means that, if the U.S. had drafted men at a rate of 5 million per year, the U.S. could go for five years at this rate of support for the War.

In case anyone wants to know, these figures came directly from Colonel Leonard P. Ayres, Chief of the Statistics Branch of the General Staff of the U.S. Army, in an official Summary of the War published by the Pictorial Bureau of the United States, in 1921.

Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
The Equipping of US troops cannot just be moved linearly with the entry Date. US troops were equipped with french and British weapons, tanks, artillery, machine guns, aircraft. I do not have the figures, by I would suggest the French and British woudl have struggled to equip the US earlier and the US entry would not have boasted British and French production. As they was conflict between equipping and supplying the US troops and entente forces. For instance the US entry reduced that amount of shipping available for British use by about 1 million tons. That shipping the US troops and supplying them would impact French and British resources and production.

Even something as basic as rifles. The US were unable to equip there troops with their prepared rifle and relied heavily on lines the British had paid for in the US to make the pattern 14. Now these lines took a lot of effort to be brought up to speed by the British work that was going on anyway.The US with it''s mammoth need for rifles would take these lines over sooner, and may have worked out the wrinkles of mass production sooner, but it would still take time. In the historical time frame the US was only able to equip it's large army with rifles because it could take over these lines which were already gone through the development process. So this development which went on regardless of US entry woudl still need to be done and simply moving the date of US entry does not mean n months after entry into the war X number of rifles, as they did N months after their historical entry. They woudl have less how much less??????

And the French railway lines, a massive US force is going to require logistical support. Can millions more men be supported without over loading these railway lines, ports etc? There MAY (I I'm not saying there are, I don't know enough out the logistics here) The Limitation may not be US manpower, shipping, railways, ports, rifles, all these need to support the larger US Army. I don;lt think you can just take the raw manpower numbers and extrapolate freely,

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 18 Nov 2019 05:32

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
31 Jul 2019 19:48
...
Does anybody seriously doubt that American entry in early-mid 1915 would have meant the German armies are routed completely and driven back into Germany?
This assumes Germany, and Austria fight on with nazi or Japanese fanaticism. Faced with this sort of strength it seems more likely the Central powers throw in the towel and negotiate something before their armies are crushed and they still have some leverage. If the Entente leaders have any sense they will be happy to take advantage of this. One can't dismiss stupidity, but its not implausible folks would shaking hands in early 1917.

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