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 (1914-1918) WWI Battles    
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anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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1916-A Year of Bloodletting
Posted on: 1/24/2017 6:06:43 AM
It is said that 1916 revolutionised warfare- in that battles were fought over many months- rather than weeks, days or hours;because the battles, had over that sort of time;become sieges without being recognised as such.

This thread should discuss the whys and wherefores of such a change in tactics


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Regards

Jim
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Jim Cameron
North Bellmore, NY, USA
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E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 687

Re: 1916-A Year of Bloodletting
Posted on: 1/24/2017 10:24:03 AM
And your own thoughts on the subject are?
---------------
Jim Cameron

Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 1957

Re: 1916-A Year of Bloodletting
Posted on: 1/24/2017 10:56:31 AM
Jim,

I'm still in 1915. How about going back a bit because there is still a lot to discuss as the basis for discussing 1916 ?

Trevor

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`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie

Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Posts: 6103
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Re: 1916-A Year of Bloodletting
Posted on: 1/24/2017 11:15:32 AM
Taking the two Main Events in turn ie.Verdun and the Somme :

Falkenhayn's boast of "Bleeding France Dry" was met with a "No Chance" reaction from the French who replied "On ne passe pas" and without thought to how long the struggle would be-it naturally became a marathon of desperate struggle until both sides were exhausted; but the French retaining Verdun.

Haig was equally determined to gain a victory in the Battle of the Somme; but with each reverse-stubbornness grew and summer went into autumn and almost winter- before the offensive petered out without any real result-except an enormous "butcher bill"

A horrendous loss of life in both battles,which in my opinion- made them of little or no value.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Lightning
Glasgow, UK
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E-7 Sgt First Class


Posts: 459

Re: 1916-A Year of Bloodletting
Posted on: 1/24/2017 11:27:43 AM

Quote:
A horrendous loss of life in both battles,which in my opinion- made them of little or no value.--anemone


The seeds of victory in 1918 were sown at the bloodbath of the Somme. The awful difficulties in engaging in offensive warfare encountered by the British Imperial armies there continued into 1917, but were eventually honed and turned into the combined arms war winning methods that led to victory in the autumn of 1918.

However, I agree with Trevor that we ought to look more at 1915 and the reasons that the events of 1916 even came to pass. 1915 was a brutally costly year for both the French and Russians, who were bearing the brunt of fighting the Central Powers at this point. Let us return to 1915 and see where that takes us.

Cheers,

Colin
---------------
"There is no course open to us but to fight it out. Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end."

phil andrade
London, UK
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Moderator
Posts: 2598

Re: 1916-A Year of Bloodletting
Posted on: 1/24/2017 11:46:39 AM
...the two Main Events....Verdun and the Somme

Jim,

Two of the main events, no doubt. Might we extend the remit to the Brusilov Offensive ?

This transcended the Somme and Verdun in terms of the loss of life.

It was of immense importance.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Lightning
Glasgow, UK
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class


Posts: 459

Re: 1916-A Year of Bloodletting
Posted on: 1/24/2017 11:49:48 AM
Nor should we forget the Battle of Jutland, which was dwarfed by all three in terms of loss of life, but I would argue trumped them all in terms of overall strategic outcome.

Cheers,

Colin
---------------
"There is no course open to us but to fight it out. Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end."

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Re: 1916-A Year of Bloodletting
Posted on: 1/24/2017 11:51:34 AM
I am of the opinion that the "desperation" of 1916 was a direct consequence of the hugely disappointing results of the various 1915 offensives.Desperation breeds innate stubbornness and a "siege mentality"in those who commanded the armies on the Western Front.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

phil andrade
London, UK
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Posts: 2598

Re: 1916-A Year of Bloodletting
Posted on: 1/24/2017 12:33:28 PM

Quote:
Nor should we forget the Battle of Jutland, which was dwarfed by all three in terms of loss of life, but I would argue trumped them all in terms of overall strategic outcome.

Cheers,

Colin
--Lightning


One hundred per cent right, Colin !

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

phil andrade
London, UK
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Moderator
Posts: 2598

Re: 1916-A Year of Bloodletting
Posted on: 1/24/2017 1:11:26 PM

Quote:
I am of the opinion that the "desperation" of 1916 was a direct consequence of the hugely disappointing results of the various 1915 offensives.Desperation breeds innate stubbornness and a "siege mentality"in those who commanded the armies on the Western Front.

Regards

Jim
--anemone


Battle plans for 1916 were born at Chantilly in 1915 : Joffre being determined to generate concerted all front strategy by the French, British, Russian and Italian armies.

The Allied powers enjoyed the advantage of encirclement, and sought to turn that to account ; the Central Powers had the advantage of interior lines, and likewise turned that to effect.

Operation Gericht was to be the spanner in the works.

The Germans appear to have judged 1915 as confirmation of their qualitative superiority.

Regards , Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6103
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Re: 1916-A Year of Bloodletting
Posted on: 1/24/2017 1:21:39 PM
No- I have not forgotten the somewhat mismanaged Battle of Jutland; but seen as a "strategic victory" (as the HSF never sought battle again)- despite losing three battlecruisers,three armoured cruisers and eight destroyers with 6100 killed,700 wounded and 160 POW's-all down to the much vaunted VADM Beatty-who went off to win the battle on his own-despite having the brand new- but unused 5th Battle Squadron.

Brusilov had captured Bukovina and much of Eastern Galicia along with 350,000 POW's; but via prolonging the offensive for longer than was necessary lost over 1 million men.This enormous loss undermined Russia fatally; and revolution and collapse- loomed large.

Do hope all of the above helps

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Re: 1916-A Year of Bloodletting
Posted on: 1/25/2017 10:49:36 AM
As Falkenhayn planned the attrition campaign at Verdun, his whole goal was to threaten the French forts in the area; and draw France's armies into a grinding war.

His main aim was to snatch enough ground- to have the French attack his forces repeatedly; and waste themselves- as they had been doing in 1914/15.

So if he just entrenched after his initial gains and proceeded to "bleed the French white" Could it have been done; or were there reasons that this campaign turned into a "grinding out"- of the Germans- as well as the French?

Given that he had inflicted critical losses on the French- while maintaining a reasonable loss rate himself, was it possible that Falkenhayn could have have crushed the French in the Verdun area??

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Phil andrade
London, UK
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Posts: 2598

Re: 1916-A Year of Bloodletting
Posted on: 1/25/2017 11:42:27 AM
He might have been hoping to expand his Verdun method to other parts of the front, and to encourage profligate allied counter offensives.

His Verdun plan reminds me of a boxer who jabs with his left rather than throw a big right hander.

Keep jabbing away until the opponent storms forward...then deck him with the right !


Forgive over simplification....I hope it has some merit.

Back to 1915.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6103
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Re: 1916-A Year of Bloodletting
Posted on: 1/25/2017 11:58:04 AM
A pretty cute answer Phil, but in a way says it all about what Falkenhayn was all about.The French- too a certain extent fell for the jabbing- and got many a bloody nose- until they wised up after Petain took over the reins.

Regards

Jim
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Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Re: 1916-A Year of Bloodletting
Posted on: 1/26/2017 4:02:24 AM
February 21st- in the morning- saw the commencement of this marathon struggle at Verdun-it began with a bombardment along a fifteen mile front on both banks of the Meuse and lasted until 4pm; when German skirmishers armed with flame throwers were let loose-these were subject to French counter battery fire.However the attacking six divisions quickly over ran the the French front lines and only the darkness halted further progress.

Regards

Jim
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Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Re: 1916-A Year of Bloodletting
Posted on: 2/27/2017 1:48:55 PM
D
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Phil andrade
London, UK
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Posts: 2598

Re: 1916-A Year of Bloodletting
Posted on: 2/28/2017 9:23:02 AM
About this very time 101 years ago, the German attack at Verdun was altered.

Falkenhayn had insisted - against the wishes of the Crown Prince and his entourage, 5th Army command - that the attack be limited to the right ( east ) bank of the Meuse.

By the end of February, the Germans had suffered 25,000 casualties and had inflicted 30,000 on the French. What these figures do not reveal is the lopsided disparities : in the first five days, the French had suffered three casualties for every one German ; in the following four or five days, this ratio was reversed as the French gunners on the left bank were able to enfilade the advancing Germans on the other side of the river, with dire results for the attackers.

Hence Falkenhayn's agreement to extend the offensive to both sides of the river Meuse, kicking off in early March and drawing the Germans into a kind of mission creep nightmare as they sought to gain those " heights" - Morte Homme and Cote 304 - from which the French were able to deliver this fire.



Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Posts: 6103
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Re: 1916-A Year of Bloodletting
Posted on: 2/28/2017 9:57:10 AM
On February 28th Petain took command ay Verdun.On March 6th- after five days of bombardment,the Crown Prince attacked on the west bank of the Meuse and on the 8th,the troops on the east bank joined in this attack.

The gains did not repay the losses,and against Le Morte Homme on the west and the Poivre Height on the east-the attack was completely in vain.Any hope of a breakthrough failed absolutely;for the French defence was now consolidated and the numbers of each side were now balanced; and Petain was the mastermind of this battle.

Regards

Jim
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Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Phil andrade
London, UK
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Posts: 2598

Re: 1916-A Year of Bloodletting
Posted on: 2/28/2017 11:32:30 AM
Any hope of a breakthrough failed absolutely ....

That begs the question : was this battle predicated on the hope of a breakthrough ?

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6103
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Re: 1916-A Year of Bloodletting
Posted on: 2/28/2017 11:59:55 AM

Quote:
With Verdun gone, the road from Germany to Paris was wide open and the fortresses at Toul, Epinal and Belfort with their fortified camps at Nancy and elsewhere could be isolated and attacked from the rear. It was because of Verdun and her sister fortresses that Schlieffen had to go the long way round and into France through Belgium.


So the answer here has to be YES

Apologies for this Phil-the above is the answer given in the GWF in answer to your post.

Regards

Jim
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Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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Posts: 2964

Re: 1916-A Year of Bloodletting
Posted on: 2/28/2017 1:28:10 PM
If you take the time, this video explains the situation nicely!?

[Read More]

opps here it is translated to English!!?

[Read More]

MD

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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6103
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Re: 1916-A Year of Bloodletting
Posted on: 3/1/2017 5:00:25 AM
The Brusilov Offensive of 1916- strategically weakened the Central Powers on the Italian front and at Verdun. An important factor on the Western Front, the Eastern attacks saw Germany terminating its battle for Verdun to transfer no less than 35 divisions from "the Schlieffen right hook" to the Eastern Front.

The Offensive ruined Austria-Hungary. Weakened by political turmoil, Austria was unable to cope with its losses, of funds and of half a million soldiers. It was forever lost it's status as a major military power. The future brought the collapse of the Habsburg Empire and the formation of the Austrian and Hungarian republics.

In Russia-the loss of one million Russian soldiers and the decayed public morale hung heavily on the people. Widespread famine caused by the diversion of all resources to the war effort induced rioting. In 1917 the Russian Revolution was well under way. A failed success, the Offensive assisted the Allied war effort; but brought upon itself much strife-Russia never recovered.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

 (1914-1918) WWI Battles    
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