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 » 18 Nov 2019 06:47

pugsville wrote:
17 Nov 2019 08:53
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,
As I pointed out at the top of this page, it's more likely the US would have gone ahead with their own designs in 1915 rather than go with British or French equipment. In some cases this would make little difference. In others it might help and still in some might even hurt things.

In artillery, the US M1902/3/5 3" gun and M 1906 4.7" gun were adequate field pieces. They could have used older 3.2" M1897's as well. The US Army also had small numbers of heavier pieces like the M1908 6" howitzer.

I think the Colt M1895 "potato digger" machinegun would have been adequate, if just. The M1909 was another possibility. This was a French Hotchkiss design, but wasn't popular with the US troops due to loading issues and several fragile parts like the firing pin. They often called it the "daylight" gun (a disparagement that you could only use it when you could see what you were doing).

The M1903 Springfield would have almost certainly been the issue rifle.

On a different note, the Mexican Revolution was still going on at that point, and the problems on the US border like raids into border towns by Pancho Villa, would have still forced US action. This could have been a distraction in getting troops deployed. On the other hand, the Zimmermann note might have just pushed a US already in the European war to just invade Mexico and take control of the country.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 18 Nov 2019 06:53

T. A. Gardner wrote:
18 Nov 2019 06:47
... might have just pushed a US already in the European war to just invade Mexico and take control of the country.
Would even Wilson been that stupid?

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by pugsville » 18 Nov 2019 10:13

T. A. Gardner wrote:
18 Nov 2019 06:47
pugsville wrote:
17 Nov 2019 08:53
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,
As I pointed out at the top of this page, it's more likely the US would have gone ahead with their own designs in 1915 rather than go with British or French equipment. In some cases this would make little difference. In others it might help and still in some might even hurt things.

In artillery, the US M1902/3/5 3" gun and M 1906 4.7" gun were adequate field pieces. They could have used older 3.2" M1897's as well. The US Army also had small numbers of heavier pieces like the M1908 6" howitzer.

I think the Colt M1895 "potato digger" machinegun would have been adequate, if just. The M1909 was another possibility. This was a French Hotchkiss design, but wasn't popular with the US troops due to loading issues and several fragile parts like the firing pin. They often called it the "daylight" gun (a disparagement that you could only use it when you could see what you were doing).

The M1903 Springfield would have almost certainly been the issue rifle.

On a different note, the Mexican Revolution was still going on at that point, and the problems on the US border like raids into border towns by Pancho Villa, would have still forced US action. This could have been a distraction in getting troops deployed. On the other hand, the Zimmermann note might have just pushed a US already in the European war to just invade Mexico and take control of the country.
They may well have gone with their own equipment, the US based pattern 14 rifles lines not existing (or being would obviously meant they would have expanded Springfield their preferred weapon anyway., but that would have taken longer than it did historically to scale up production because they mostly finished lines were available, which they will not. So without these existing line sit will take linger to say produce 4 million rifles than it did on the historical time line. How long? How long is piece of strong 6-18 months.And the same applies to almost everything. US industrial adaptation to produce weapons and war equipment was developed by Entente producing and sourcing material in the US.

The US production of weapons in ww1 was piggy backed off supplying the Entente. If You compare Entry into the war in 1915 + N months production is going to be lower than the historical entry + N months for a lot of items.

The Build up of US forces earlier in the war will be in competition with supplying the Entente in a number of areas (Shipping for example, British paid for ships to be constructed in the US on entry the US took over these ships and completed them, and the US used British shipping for much of the shipping to move US forces to Europe. An Earlier US entry will reduce the resources available to the Entente compared to the histroical time line.

My contention here is that US build up will not be as quick as historically comparing number of equipped troops available in Europe after N months after the declaration of war, and that the Entente would also be somewhat worse off resource way 1915-1917.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 18 Nov 2019 17:11

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
18 Nov 2019 06:53
T. A. Gardner wrote:
18 Nov 2019 06:47
... might have just pushed a US already in the European war to just invade Mexico and take control of the country.
Would even Wilson been that stupid?
Mexico was that stupid, and almost got into a war with the US:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_B ... 1910–1919)

Image

Image

There were over a dozen clashes and about a half dozen serious battles that took place.
Also, the US knew and observed German liaison officers assisting and directing Mexican troops from time to time. Reports were that the Germans were training some Mexican units, etc.

All-in-all, it could have been sufficient to cause the US to invade. After all, Pershing was sent into Mexico with 4 cavalry and 2 infantry regiments supported by a regiment of artillery. Ramping that up to stomp Mexico is completely within possibility.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by JAG13 » 19 Nov 2019 02:03

T. A. Gardner wrote:
18 Nov 2019 17:11
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
18 Nov 2019 06:53
T. A. Gardner wrote:
18 Nov 2019 06:47
... might have just pushed a US already in the European war to just invade Mexico and take control of the country.
Would even Wilson been that stupid?
Mexico was that stupid, and almost got into a war with the US:

Oh... so the MEXICAN ARMY did that?

Or was it just another instance of an US supported or formerly US supported pet/criminal/terrorist turning on its master and biting him in the ass?

And how did THAT end, btw?

"..."when the true history is written, it will not be a very inspiring chapter for school children, or even grownups to contemplate. Having dashed into Mexico with the intention of eating the Mexicans raw, we turned back at the first repulse and are now sneaking home under cover, like a whipped curr with its tail between its legs."

- Some Pershing guy...

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by Sid Guttridge » 20 Nov 2019 14:09

Hi T. A. Gardner,

You post: "There were over a dozen clashes and about a half dozen serious battles that took place.
Also, the US knew and observed German liaison officers assisting and directing Mexican troops from time to time. Reports were that the Germans were training some Mexican units, etc."


I will believe anything if the evidence is there. Have you any to offer?

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by T. A. Gardner » 22 Nov 2019 15:55

Sid Guttridge wrote:
20 Nov 2019 14:09
Hi T. A. Gardner,

You post: "There were over a dozen clashes and about a half dozen serious battles that took place.
Also, the US knew and observed German liaison officers assisting and directing Mexican troops from time to time. Reports were that the Germans were training some Mexican units, etc."


I will believe anything if the evidence is there. Have you any to offer?

Cheers,

Sid.
This was claimed at the time by a number of US troops and several officers. Nothing was ever confirmed, but at the time having an officer claiming to have seen this could have been taken seriously given the overall political situation with the war in Europe, Zimmermann telegram, and such. It is almost entirely certain that there were no German liaison officers present looking at it historically, but that's different from at the time.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by History Learner » 06 Dec 2019 10:24

No real effect until 1917, most probably.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 Dec 2019 01:14

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
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.
IMO it would be far more stupid for the Allies, in the midst of successfully driving back the Germans with overwhelming force, to suddenly stop at Germany's borders. This isn't OTL 1918 in which the French and British have lost a generation of men and are sick of the war. This is Allied battlefield dominance, including a U.S. whose bleeding would so far be a small percentage of its manpower resources. I can't imagine why you think the Allies would suddenly take the boot off the German neck.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 12 Dec 2019 03:07

It really depends on the peace treaties that follow. In the context of 1918-1919 OTL there was a problem of the myth of the German army being undefeated, but that was far secondary to the botched peace treaty cobbled together in 1919. If in this alternate narrative the Entente comes up with a mess like the Versailles treaty of OTL then yes, a deep occupation of Germany would be necessary to enforce it. Of course that comes with a steep price as the French found in 1923 when they attempted to occupy and enforce the peace. Or a few years earlier when the failed at imposing the treaty terms on the new Turkish state.

Conversely if the Entente leaders somehow pull off a a better set of peace treaties a occupation would be unnecessary. In November of 1918 there was a huge sense of relief and hope. The failure of the Entente leaders to pull together a post war system that might work created a widespread disillusionment and bitterness.
I can't imagine why you think the Allies would suddenly take the boot off the German neck.
This assumes its to the point where the boot is on the neck. In 1918 Germany fought on because its leaders stupidly grasped at the possibility of victory at least to the point of favorable terms. During the previous century to 1914, the concept of limited war was ascendant & most disadvantaged nations sought peace while they still had a position to negotiate from. Into 1917 the level of fanaticism among the top leaders was not quite set in stone. Nothing certain of course, but the defect dictatorship of Hindenburg was not solidified, & the Entente leaders were not all converted to complete fanaticism. If the German & still intact Austrian Empires offer something realistic while their armies are intact & the population not yet starving its possible the Europeans might blunder into a workable peace.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 Dec 2019 03:15

Carl Schwamberger wrote:If the German & still intact Austrian Empires offer something realistic while their armies are intact & the population not yet starving its possible the Europeans might blunder into a workable peace.
You make some good points about pre-1914 peace treaties but I'd point to France 1870 as a more recent exception.

More broadly, I'd argue that by 1918 total war and fanaticism was the rule, even if European leaders didn't quite recognize it yet. So I'd invert the direction of "blundering" to say that the Allies might blunder into a total, resounding victory despite efforts to reach a Metternich-type accommodation.

I believe that the Germans simply had to be defeated to such an extent that all dreams of resurgence were permanently demolished. Otherwise you get a redux whether it's exactly the Hitlerian version or some milder form.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 12 Dec 2019 03:29

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
12 Dec 2019 03:15
You make some good points about pre-1914 peace treaties but I'd point to France 1870 as a more recent exception.
Theres always exceptions, tho the settlement of the Franco Prussian war was still nothing like the mess of Versailles.
More broadly, I'd argue that by 1918 total war and fanaticism was the rule, even if European leaders didn't quite recognize it yet. ...
True, but the question I posed was much earlier.
.... One can't dismiss stupidity, but its not implausible folks would shaking hands in early 1917.
18 to 20 months made for a lot of social and political changes

I believe that the Germans simply had to be defeated to such an extent that all dreams of resurgence were permanently demolished. Otherwise you get a redux whether it's exactly the Hitlerian version or some milder form.
I suspect the harder you try the worse the situation created. If the German leaders of February 1917 offer reasonable starting points for peace & the Entente leaders ignore them and keep on fighting how is that likely to play out, for both sides?

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 Dec 2019 03:44

Carl Schwamberger wrote:If the German leaders of February 1917 offer reasonable starting points for peace & the Entente leaders ignore them and keep on fighting how is that likely to play out, for both sides?
How did "unconditional surrender" demands work out after 1945? Pretty well, IMO. Again, it's more important to beat the crap out of a foe than to chivalrous in the modern age of total war. There's no defeat, IMO, nice enough to convince the loser not to try again. He needs to be convinced that any war he launches is futile.

OTOH none of my "beat the crap out of Germany" solution works if the Allies don't maintain a strong NATO-like posture after WW1. I.e. any future Germany must believe that the U.S. will be back to whoop them again if they get frisky. Otherwise they'll believe themselves capable of punching out France and Britain again.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by pugsville » 12 Dec 2019 05:29

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
12 Dec 2019 03:29
Theres always exceptions, tho the settlement of the Franco Prussian war was still nothing like the mess of Versailles.
Much smaller war with much less cost, participants and scale, given that contest they are broadly similar treaties,

Versailles was mess because the vast scale , cost and dislocation. ANY settlement was going to be messy.

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Re: US entry into WW1 in 1915?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 12 Dec 2019 05:38

pugsville wrote:
12 Dec 2019 05:29
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
12 Dec 2019 03:29
Theres always exceptions, tho the settlement of the Franco Prussian war was still nothing like the mess of Versailles.
Much smaller war with much less cost, participants and scale, given that contest they are broadly similar treaties,

Versailles was mess because the vast scale , cost and dislocation. ANY settlement was going to be messy.
You both seem to be referring to Versailles' "mess" as involving the various minor ethnic/border issues throughout MittelEuropa. That's fine but it's besides the really important point of Versailles, which should have been to prevent WW2. For that purpose, only a permanently-humbled Germany would have sufficed.

To permanently-humble Germany you need either to kill millions of Germans - not really on the table - or convince at least most of them never to fight another war. Splitting them up just invites more Anschlusses at a later date.

So I don't think there was anything that could have been done at Versailles to prevent WW2; what needed to be done was abandoned by the process of which Versailles was merely the culmination (armistice prior to decisively smashing the German Army).

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