What If No German Spring Offensives?

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Petter
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What If No German Spring Offensives?

Post by Petter » 18 Apr 2003 13:34

What if the Germans didn't launch the German Spring Offensives (and didn't lose 1 million soldiers) in 1918? Instead using this forces for defence and for knocking out Italy (at that point Italy was collapsing, the only thing that saved it was british forces). With Italy out of the war I think Austria and Bulgaria would have managed to hold the front in the Balcans alone, with out German help, so Germany could focus all their forces on defending the Western Front. At this point the Civil War in Russia made Russia no threat att all against Germany.

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Re: What If No German Spring Offensives?

Post by Lars EP » 18 Apr 2003 14:37

Centurion wrote:What if the Germans didn't launch the German Spring Offensives (and didn't lose 1 million soldiers) in 1918? Instead using this forces for defence and for knocking out Italy (at that point Italy was collapsing, the only thing that saved it was british forces). With Italy out of the war I think Austria and Bulgaria would have managed to hold the front in the Balcans alone, with out German help, so Germany could focus all their forces on defending the Western Front. At this point the Civil War in Russia made Russia no threat att all against Germany.
Why do you think Germany DID launch the spring-offensive? It was one last desperate gamble. Because Germany was starving to death! Completely cut off! Blockaded! Trying desperately to obtain what they needed from a few small neutral countries, while at the same time fighting galloping inflation.

Germany was FINISHED! It was game over, pure and simple. With the U.S. production capacity behind them, the allied could not loose the war.

Regards --- Lars

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Post by Lord Gort » 18 Apr 2003 22:22

Lars the whole point of ww1 is that military potential was not always matched by industrial capacity. In Austria in 1918 there wasnt a bad food problem because they had managaed to extract the food they needed from occupied Russia effectivly, Germany was having food problems, massive ones, but she was stll very much in the war, if she had not launched the offensives then the allies would have launched their own offensives, and with the Americans using the antiquated tactics they used in september when they advanced eight miles in a week and suffered 100,000 casualties, then the allies would once again learn that the defence was stronger than the attack. The effects of the planned RAF bombing raids on Berlin would of course be intreesting but essentially I belive that the Germans would be able to keep a succesful defensive well into 1919 by which time the whole scheme of things might of changed, America might pull out, the British and French Empires might rebel etc.

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Post by Lars EP » 19 Apr 2003 10:04

Lord Gort wrote:Lars the whole point of ww1 is that military potential was not always matched by industrial capacity. In Austria in 1918 there wasnt a bad food problem because they had managaed to extract the food they needed from occupied Russia effectivly, Germany was having food problems, massive ones, but she was stll very much in the war, if she had not launched the offensives then the allies would have launched their own offensives, and with the Americans using the antiquated tactics they used in september when they advanced eight miles in a week and suffered 100,000 casualties, then the allies would once again learn that the defence was stronger than the attack. The effects of the planned RAF bombing raids on Berlin would of course be intreesting but essentially I belive that the Germans would be able to keep a succesful defensive well into 1919 by which time the whole scheme of things might of changed, America might pull out, the British and French Empires might rebel etc.
I don't disagere with that. The Germans might have been able to defend into 1919 or maybe even 1920... in fact, several commanders on the allied side expected this. But no way Germany could have won the war after 1917... Spring-offensive or no spring-offensive.

Regards --- Lars

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Post by Petter » 19 Apr 2003 13:36

Lars, if Germany would have hold out until 1919, then they would get lots of food from Ukraine and Westerns Russia. I also think that German forces focused on Italy and Balkan instead of France would (of course Austria would also be a part of such offensive) have knocked those fronts, and making it possible for Bulgarian and Austrian troops to open a second front in Southern France (France-Italy border). When the Allies started to die in enormous masses in their foolish offensives against Germany, Bulgaria and Austria, then USA may leave the war, and then, in the long run, nothing else then a Central Power victory would have been possible.

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Post by Lars EP » 19 Apr 2003 15:21

Centurion wrote:Lars, if Germany would have hold out until 1919, then they would get lots of food from Ukraine and Westerns Russia. I also think that German forces focused on Italy and Balkan instead of France would (of course Austria would also be a part of such offensive) have knocked those fronts, and making it possible for Bulgarian and Austrian troops to open a second front in Southern France (France-Italy border). When the Allies started to die in enormous masses in their foolish offensives against Germany, Bulgaria and Austria, then USA may leave the war, and then, in the long run, nothing else then a Central Power victory would have been possible.
Why should U.S.A pull out? It took them long enough to join in to begin with.

U.S.A. had learned some hard lessons. Their war-production was only getting started. Their air-plane production was finally getting over their initial problems.

At the same time Germany has to resort to paper to make bandages from. Boots made of cardboard. No clothes. Run-down weapons. Food you wouln't feed pigs with. Lack of all medical supplies. Drafting 14-15 and 50-55 year olds.

In Denmark we had an expression: "Gullash-Baron". Somebody who made themself a fortune selling the most outragerous stuff to Germany, and calling it food or material. Germany bought it all. Because they had no choise

I am sorry, but a German victory at this point is just too far-
fetched.

Regards --- Lars

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Post by Andy » 19 Apr 2003 16:56

The war would have lasted longer. But Germany still would have lost.

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Post by dead-cat » 20 Apr 2003 00:07

At the same time Germany has to resort to paper to make bandages from. Boots made of cardboard. No clothes. Run-down weapons. Food you wouln't feed pigs with. Lack of all medical supplies. Drafting 14-15 and 50-55 year olds.
That's a bit overestimated. They would get food supplies from the Ukraine. And Germany is not all that barren. While it is true that the blockade affected the population, less food had to be imported from overseas than in the UK.
It was stuff like rubber and other military related stuff which actually hurt more.

WW2 saw a similar situation. And there were no major hunger riots. There were a few in WW1 but rather minor ones when some people stormed various bakeries which they suspected that the owners would hoard flour. The 1918 revolts were politically motived and affected the fleet but not the land army. The "Soldatenräte" appeared after the armistice and were very much disregarded by 1st line troops.

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