Russia in World War One.

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Plain Old Dave
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Re: Russia in World War One.

Post by Plain Old Dave » 19 Sep 2018 12:05

Spoon feeding time. Russia doesn't particularly NEED to field more troops in the field at one time. They can keep their 1914 sized army in the field by simply replacing casualties. They can sustain a level of casualties no other nation can; they can make good on losses that would render another nation's Army incapable of offensive operations. They don't have to win battles, they have to just keep fighting them, like Grant did in the summer of 1864. The Germans will run out of farmboys to draft before Russia does.

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Re: Russia in World War One.

Post by BDV » 19 Sep 2018 15:57

To keep fighting battles, Russians need shells and bullets. Without ammo (which they don't have) Russians cannot do what you propose.

Historically they used their stock of shells and bullets to administer a thorough shellacking to the KuK army. As a result, the KuK empire is finished, barely surviving for 3 inglorious years as a second fiddle to the 2nd Reich before disintegrating.
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Re: Russia in World War One.

Post by Plain Old Dave » 20 Sep 2018 02:42

BDV wrote:
19 Sep 2018 15:57
To keep fighting battles, Russians need shells and bullets. Without ammo (which they don't have) Russians cannot do what you propose.

The Germans have plenty. Bedford Forrest raised two entire regiments from scratch and supplied them courtesy of the United States Government. Lee at one point after the War said the US Government was the best and most consistent source of supply he had the entire time he headed the Army of Northern Virginia.

And you're all missing the entire point. While Germany is addressing an aggressive Russian Army, the French and British can hardly be expected to sit on their hands. Neither can Canada, Australia, India and the rest of the British Empire. By 1915, it's eminently plausible Germany and the Central Powers are facing the nightmare scenario Bismarck spent a career trying to avoid: Germany faced with another losing two-front war, a repeat of the French and Indian War.

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Re: Russia in World War One.

Post by Terry Duncan » 20 Sep 2018 15:13

Plain Old Dave wrote:
20 Sep 2018 02:42
BDV wrote:
19 Sep 2018 15:57
To keep fighting battles, Russians need shells and bullets. Without ammo (which they don't have) Russians cannot do what you propose.

The Germans have plenty. Bedford Forrest raised two entire regiments from scratch and supplied them courtesy of the United States Government. Lee at one point after the War said the US Government was the best and most consistent source of supply he had the entire time he headed the Army of Northern Virginia.

And you're all missing the entire point. While Germany is addressing an aggressive Russian Army, the French and British can hardly be expected to sit on their hands. Neither can Canada, Australia, India and the rest of the British Empire. By 1915, it's eminently plausible Germany and the Central Powers are facing the nightmare scenario Bismarck spent a career trying to avoid: Germany faced with another losing two-front war, a repeat of the French and Indian War.
Given the British and French are struggling to produce enough shells for themselves until 1916, which is why there were only limited offensives in 1915, little is going to change in the west until then. The 1916 offensives were intended to force Germany to do as you suggest, but the German attack on Verdun pre-emptied them by some months.

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Re: Russia in World War One.

Post by Art » 20 Sep 2018 17:28

Plain Old Dave wrote:
19 Sep 2018 12:05
They can keep their 1914 sized army in the field by simply replacing casualties.
In reality the Russian Army did more than keeping its size. As said above by the end of 1916 it was twice as large than in August 1914.
They can sustain a level of casualties no other nation can; they can make good on losses that would render another nation's Army incapable of offensive operations.
And by 1917 "three-month abortion" graduates that replaced regular officers were unable to maintain discipline of their troops. Definitely the problem was not that simple as you say. Then if there was a lesson that WWI taught it was that materiel is not less important than men. A manpower pool didn't mean anything without adequate supply of weapons and ammunition. It should be reminded that when a soldier was killed or taken prisoner his rifle was usually also lost, the same partly applies to other weapons like machine guns or artillery. That made losses of men even less sustainable.
They don't have to win battles, they have to just keep fighting them
I'm not sure what is the origin of idea that after Tannenberg Russians didn't fight battles, but it's a wrong idea. They did, however their battles against Germans were as a rule costly and didn't produce good results. The strategy of overwhelming with numbers simply didn't work.

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Re: Russia in World War One.

Post by maltesefalcon » 21 Sep 2018 01:54

Plain Old Dave wrote:
20 Sep 2018 02:42
BDV wrote:
19 Sep 2018 15:57
To keep fighting battles, Russians need shells and bullets. Without ammo (which they don't have) Russians cannot do what you propose.

The Germans have plenty. Bedford Forrest raised two entire regiments from scratch and supplied them courtesy of the United States Government. Lee at one point after the War said the US Government was the best and most consistent source of supply he had the entire time he headed the Army of Northern Virginia.

And you're all missing the entire point. While Germany is addressing an aggressive Russian Army, the French and British can hardly be expected to sit on their hands. Neither can Canada, Australia, India and the rest of the British Empire. By 1915, it's eminently plausible Germany and the Central Powers are facing the nightmare scenario Bismarck spent a career trying to avoid: Germany faced with another losing two-front war, a repeat of the French and Indian War.
Well you certainly are persistant in your beliefs, I'll give you that. But I fail to see once again how a vague Civil War reference to raising a few regiments in another nation fifty years earlier has any similarity here.
And WTF does Germany have to do with the French and Indian War? Germany as a nation did not even exist until more than 100 years later.

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Re: Russia in World War One.

Post by South » 21 Sep 2018 06:55

Good morning Maltesefalcon,

Only because you used the term "any significance" will I support Dave's Civil War reference.

The reference is still blurry - and kept blurry. The near-opaque similarity was that the US had the ability to raise and field the world's largest military. This military was both the land force and the fleet coupled with premier joint commands. The US economies of scale of a large geographic nation newly fortified with an aggressive central bank (Recall Wilson's "elastic money" comment) gave significance as to what the Europeans and Japan must factor into their planning.

Plus, it was actually less than 50 years prior. The benchmark was the Ru-Japanese War of 1904-05. The US initiated preparations with this military industrial component being eclipsed by the domestic US political maneuvering.

I also missed the French and Indian War reference.

~ Bob
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Plain Old Dave
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Re: Russia in World War One.

Post by Plain Old Dave » 21 Sep 2018 11:39

French and Indian War is generally used for what Europeans call the 7 Years War. Disaster narrowly avoided by Prussia due to a successful enemy alliance.

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Re: Russia in World War One.

Post by Terry Duncan » 21 Sep 2018 14:01

Plain Old Dave wrote:
21 Sep 2018 11:39
French and Indian War is generally used for what Europeans call the 7 Years War. Disaster narrowly avoided by Prussia due to a successful enemy alliance.
The French Indian War is only a small part of a much larger war, and if you were referring to events in Europe it is somewhat pointless to name it by something specific to another area entirely. However, the Entente were intending to make the Central Powers fight on two fronts at the same time, as I already said, it was the German offensive at Verdun that threw things out. The major problem is the scale of the armies, you do not really seem to understand quite how much was needed to just keep the existing armies in the field let alone arm large numbers of extra troops.

Also, throwing men away in attritional battles is a very difficult thing to manage, as troops obviously resent being told 'its ok lads, you run forward into their defences and try to kill some of the enemy, there are plenty more of us after you are dead so as long as you take a few of them with you we will prevail in the end!' as the troops morale tends to crash. The three great powers that broke did so after failed offensives where much had been promised and nothing was gained, where nothing is promised the risk is far worse. The Russians fought very well initially, look at the time it took the Germans to get to take Warsaw, but if you throw away your initial fully trained body of men, the hastily trained replacements will struggle to do much.

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Re: Russia in World War One.

Post by maltesefalcon » 21 Sep 2018 14:28

I will make my final contrubution to this pretzel logic themed thread.

I referred to the Civil war fifty years prior as it was the conflict using NB Forrest. There was no reference to 1905 in the thread I cited.

Germany did not exist as a nation until 1870. So WW1 was the first time they fought a two front war. By definition they could not avoid "another two front war" if it had yet to happen.

Third, using examples from different conflicts, at different times, in different places, on a different scale, does not automatically support living off the land logistics for an armed force of the size suggested here.

Going to the extreme I could then suggest that since Hannibal had war elephants, Russia could get them from the German countryside? The RAF had Spitfres so of course Napoleon should have been able to aquire them.

Relax I know these are absurd comparisons, but IMHO so are the spurious references cited. IRL the Russians failed to live off the land. Adding more ill equipped and starving troops to the mix is unlikely to alter that reality.

Have a great Friday!

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Re: Russia in World War One.

Post by South » 21 Sep 2018 15:36

Good morning Maltesefalcon,

What historical event with large troop strengths and huge funding was not "pretzel logic themed" ? Make a chart of the 12 US chains of command during the Vietnam War (Second IndoChina War) and this thread is a simple line graph. Comtat Venaissin's transfer makes this thread a go-no go chart. Kwangchowon and the Gadsden Purchase were not that sketchy of events.

Dave presented a valid point and I augmented it with the results and lesson acted upon in re the US Civil War. One aspect was to send a Civil War veteran as an observer to the Ru-Ja War of 1904-05 (General Arthur MacArthur [son was Douglas]) to study and report on industrial warfare.

True, accurate, correct: Germany did not exist as a nation until 1870. Is there no reason to incorporate pre-1870 matters into the new German nation-state such as:

- Prussia under the Hohenzollens became the strong military state and weakened Austria in Silesian War
- the social and political aspects of Luther's "Reformation"

No Kulturkamph 1872-1887 significance to this new 1870 origin origin ?

Ref "spurious references"; recommend give the most favorable interpretation. They could still be wrong - but we must deal with the substantive matters otherwise we're bogged down in the minor. I know that none of these field forces could live off the land; the troop strengths were just too large.

From my perspective, when a new nation-state fields a powerful - and dreadful - army, the rapid success might have involved earlier organizational and functional matters such as a Zollverein - customs union. More involved than just collecting ad valorum fees.


......

After Hannibal, Ingred Newkirk of PETA, prohibited use of elephants for warfare. Thus, many wandering around both Germany and Russia to this day. As an aside, the last camel Secretary of War Jefferson Davis (later President of the Confederacy here) imported died as recently as 1903, believe in the San Antonio, Texas zoo.

Appreciate well-wishes for Friday. I'm still in the mood for a tour of Argentia, Newfoundland, Canada !

~Bob
eastern Virginia, USA

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Re: Russia in World War One.

Post by Plain Old Dave » 21 Sep 2018 17:18

"- Prussia under the Hohenzollens became the strong military state and weakened Austria in Silesian War "

This. Bismarck spent his career blocking the Russians and French from joining; the treaty with the Austro Hungarian Empire was a contingency plan for the nightmare scenario the Hohenzollerns faced in the Fall of 1914; France, Russia AND Britain allied.

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