How Did Military Strategies Change During The War’s Final Year

How Did Military Strategies Change During The War’s Final Year – The planning and conduct of war in 1914 had been greatly influenced by the invention of new weapons and the improvement of existing types since the Franco-German War of 1870-71. Important developments of the Middle Ages were the machine gun and rapid-fire field artillery. The modern machine gun, developed in the 1880s and 90s, was a reliable belt-fed gun capable of very rapid sustained rates of fire; It can fire 600 rounds per minute with a range of over 1,000 yards (900 meters). In the field of field artillery, the period leading up to the war saw the introduction of brake loading mechanisms and brakes. Without a brake or recoil mechanism, a gun was out of position during firing and had to be re-aimed after each round. New developments appeared on the French 75 mm field gun; It remained motionless during firing, and it was not necessary to adjust the aim for continuous fire at the target.

See how the no man’s land between the trenches of World War I led to the use of chemical weapons, tanks and fighter planes

How Did Military Strategies Change During The War’s Final Year

Machine guns and rapid-fire artillery, when used in combination with trenches and barbed wire, give the defense a decided advantage, as the rapid and sustained fire of these weapons can repel a frontal attack by infantry or cavalry. prevent

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In 1914 there was a marked difference between the lethal effects of modern weapons and the doctrinal teachings of some armies. The South African War and the Russo-Japanese War demonstrated the futility of frontal infantry or cavalry attacks on obscured positions when not surprising, but few military leaders predicted that machine guns and rapid fire Field guns will force troops into trenches. To survive. Instead, the war was seen by many leaders in 1914 as a contest of national will, spirit, and courage. A prime example of this attitude was the French army, which was dominated by the principle of aggression. French military doctrine called for long bayonet charges by French infantry against German rifles, machine guns, and artillery. German military thought, under the influence of Alfred, Graf von Schlieffen, unlike the French, was to avoid frontal attacks, but to try to achieve an early decision by deep attacks. and at the same time the use of reserve divisions alongside regular formations from the beginning of the war. The Germans placed great emphasis on training their officers in defensive tactics using machine guns, barbed wire, and fortifications.

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Before 1914, successive chiefs of the German General Staff predicted that Germany would be fighting on two fronts simultaneously, against Russia in the east and France in the west, whose combined strength would It was numerically superior to the Central Powers. . Helmut von Moltke, the German Chief of the General Staff from 1858 to 1888, decided that Germany should remain on the defensive in the west and deal a heavy blow to the advancing Russian forces in advance of the French advance. His immediate successor, Alfred von Waldersee, also believed in remaining on the defensive in the West. Alfred, Graf von Schlieffen, who served as Germany’s Chief of the General Staff from 1891 to 1905, had the opposite view, and it was this plan that guided Germany’s initial wartime strategy. . Schleifin realized that at the start of the war, Russia would need a full six weeks to assemble and assemble its vast army, given Russia’s vast countryside and population, the paucity of the railway network, and the inefficiency of the government bureaucracy. Taking advantage of this fact, Schlieffen planned to initially adopt a purely defensive position with a minimal number of troops on the eastern front against the slowly amassing Russian armies. Germany would instead concentrate all of its forces against France in the west and attempt to overrun the French border fortifications by attacking through neutral Belgium in the north. The offensive would sweep west and then south into the heart of northern France, capture the capital and take the country out of the war within weeks. Having achieved security in the West, Germany would then send its troops to the East and, by concentrating the same forces, eliminate the Russian threat.

By the time of his retirement in 1905, Schlieffen had outlined a plan not only for a large pivoting movement of the right (northern) wing of the German army through central Belgium, but also from the Belgian forts of Liège and Namur. Also to pass. Meuse valley, through the southern part of the Netherlands. By entering France near Lille on their right wing, the Germans would be close to the English Channel to the west. They would then turn south to cut off the retreat of French armies south from France’s eastern border; and the outermost arc of the wheel would pass south-west of Paris, to avoid exposing the German right to a counter-stroke launched from the outskirts of the city. If Schlieffen’s plan succeeded, the German army would simultaneously encircle the French army from the north, flee to the entire northeast of France, and capture Paris, thereby forcing France into a humiliating surrender. The great wheel movement which the plan contemplated required a correspondingly large force to execute, in view of the need to maintain the numerical strength of the long marching line and the necessity of leaving sufficient divisions to guard the Belgian forts. was needed Accordingly, Schlieffen allocated approximately seven-eighths of the available German troops to execute a pivot by the right and center wings, and only one-eighth to a possible French attack on Germany’s western border. Left to face. Thus, the maximum force was allocated to the edge of the wheel – that is, to the right. Schlieffen’s plan was observed by the young Helmut von Moltke, who became Chief of the General Staff in 1906. Moltke was still in office when war broke out in 1914. A pop culture moment that may for many represent the working relationship between Britain and Britain. American World War II soldiers are featured in the HBO series ‘Band of Brothers’.

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In it, an American paratrooper tries to persuade a British tank commander to fire his gun through a building at a German tank parked on the other side.

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Britain tells its ally that it wants to oblige but can’t – because it is under orders not to cause unnecessary destruction of property.

“I trust you, but if I can’t see the b****, I can’t shoot him very well, can I?”

Gordon Corrigan explains in the book ‘Mud, Blood and Poppycock’ that the British Army during the First World War in France during the war was heavily regulated with respect to civilians and their property. Also protecting both was a reason for the “strict” discipline of the British Army in this conflict.

And as far back as Henry V’s Normandy campaign in 1415, the king was prepared to kill his men if they stole anything from the locals.

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Another reason the scene is interesting is that it represents a stereotypical contrast between the British and the Americans during World War II: that the British were (sometimes too) cautious and careful, and the Americans were more likely to shoot and Very excited to use. A lot more ammunition when they did.

During the Battle of Normandy, the Germans engaged in what had become, for them, an ideology and a national stereotype—attacking, or counter-attacking, invading the Allies with particular speed and aggression. to do. In other words, ‘blitzkrieging’ and punching deep into their ranks, if you will. (While ‘blitzkrieg’ was a term used in World War II, responding to Allied pressures with large, rapid deployments within their lines was a prominent feature of German military behavior in World War I. (See ‘Engraved Partitions’ for more).

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However, on this occasion, they expanded too much and soon surrounded themselves in what was called the “Fallise Pocket”.

With the withdrawal of the British from the north, and the Americans from the south, the race was on to escape through the rapidly closing “Falaise gap”.

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When the British moved more slowly – and more cautiously – than the Americans, so that more Germans could escape before the gap closed, relations between the two allies became somewhat strained.

The Germans, in red, press the Allies, and begin to form the Felice Pocket (Image from ‘Normandy 1944: Allied Landings and Breakout’ by Stephen Badsey © Osprey Publications, a division of Bloomsbury Publications)

The British, of course, had the collective trauma of World War I still fresh in their cultural memory. That, and they’ve been at war for more than two years longer than the Americans, so they’re more careful.

Not only that, but, if Stephen Bell and Gordon L. Rothman, authors of World War II Infantry Tactics, are to be believed, these facts filtered into the reality of how they prepared their soldiers for battle.

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In other words, when

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