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The current time is: 11/17/2017 2:11:21 PM
 (1914-1918) WWI Battles
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Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
Posts: 2855
Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/8/2017 8:54:51 AM
Are these guys nuts? You look at the size and population of Germany and it's no bigger than most other European countries, but yet in the World Wars, except for Italy in WWII, & Austria or other minor military powers in WWI, the Germans basically took on all comers even America!? I realize they have a military oriented history, Prussia ect but hey Germany, enough is enough! Why Germans would even hire themselves out to fight for other countries? Look at the Hessians! Geeze, in the World Wars, they must have had a huge percentage of German man-power engaged to even raise such armies??

What's up with this? Look at WWII alone, taking on all the Allies, The British Empire, Russia, America, God knows most of the rest of the World??

Are these guys sane? Did they really think they could succeed?
What say you about Lil old Germany biting off far more than they could chew!?

Regards,
Dave

BTW in WWII I realize they had Japan as a cohort but basically no help, because they were involved only in Asia & the Pacific!
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

BWilson
, Posts: 3438
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/8/2017 9:19:27 AM
 Some of it was circumstance, particularly in the First World War. A rough explanation is that it occurred because Germany attempted to dominate continental Europe by military force. Seen in that manner, the World Wars were about the breaking of German power in Europe for a large part of the twentieth century.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
Posts: 2855
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/8/2017 9:35:33 AM
But B,

Think of yourself being in the Wehrmacht in WWII, your fighting the British Empire and France, then the Fuhrer tells the Army, hey lets attack huge Russia! And if that's not enough later let's declare war on the most dominant industrial power, the United States!?

About that time if I'm in the Wehrmacht,
I say to Adolph, attack all these powers? Your momma!

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

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
Posts: 5509
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/8/2017 10:16:49 AM
The attack on Russia was a strategic error wasn't it?

But up until that point, Germany had certainly been a match for the Poles, the lowland countries and the French, leaving Britain and the Commonwealth in a desperate situation.

Of course, had Hitler not invaded the USSR, he may have had to deal with them in the future but that is of course, speculative.

Cheers,

George

BWilson
, Posts: 3438
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/8/2017 12:47:23 PM
"I say to Adolph, attack all these powers? Your momma!"

 Not the German way, Dave. Certainly not the way of the Prussian military culture. Also worth recalling that Adolf's ultimate goal was taking down the USSR. Everybody else was in the way geographically or by way of alliances.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

phil andrade
London, UK
Posts: 2527
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/8/2017 5:17:20 PM
Germany came into being through wars : or, more precisely, through winning them.

A succession of victories over the Danes, the Austrians, and then the French - all won in a ten year period - imparted to the newly created German Empire a tradition of triumphant militarism that might account in some degree for this bellicosity that was to have such awful consequences.

The joke was that while most nations featured an army attached to a state, the Germans exhibited a state attached to an army.

This is a simplistic view, but it might bear scrutiny as an explanation for the willingness of the Germans to go to war with so many different nations.

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1382
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/8/2017 7:44:11 PM
MD, I think you had to be there... .

I don't mean to sound smart-ass, but particularly with respect to WW2 the main questions weren't based on geography, economic power or the like. If you were a German, it was about blood, will and race.

Let's think about WW1, the war the US should never have been part of and added very little to. If you think about WW1 as a European War (and IMHO it was a war between European nations that involved their various colonies), Germany was by no means a military pussycat. It had a navy large enough to keep the RN on the back foot until the German High Fleet was scuttled in Scapa in 1919: Jellicoe was only too aware that he could lose the war with one battle. In the only fleet confrontation (at Jutland in 1916), the RN lost more ships catastrophically than German. Numbers and German hesitation left the only major naval engagement of WW1 a debated battle. Nobody won.

Germany had an army large enough to challenge France's. It was recently industrialized, and was producing excellently engineered products of fine quality metal.

Germany challenged a reluctant alliance: France and Britain were centuries-long enemies, and Imperial Russia's links in the alliance were either familial or cultural. Germany's own alliance, with the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was manpower-strong and geographically and to some degree linguistically cognate (if I may push usage of a word). Additionally, a lot of folks forget that Odessa, sited as it is on the Black Sea, was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Which might explain why the Ottoman Empire chose to ally itself as it did, and which brought an automatic threat to Suez and the Middle East. To be honest, I don't see that as a particularly weak geographical alliance.

It did leave the Central Powers fighting a war (or a series of wars) on a number of fronts, and multi-front wars are never good. Yet the Central Powers outlasted Tsarist Russia, and wrote the terms of peace at Brest-Litovsk. The terms of the peace were harsh, a point worth remembering when listening to terms of peace drawn up at Versailles.

I don't think the two world wars can be seen as similar in any way. Imperial Germany wasn't, IMHO, looking for domination of Europe. It was looking for equal billing. In colonies. In empire. In recognition. In respect. In honour. Good old Queen Victoria and her side-kick Albert had a lot to answer for. Many European monarchs could call themselves cousins or in-laws or (pushing it a bit) brothers. I'm not suggesting that Wilhelm's status vis a vis Britain or Russia might have caused the war. But I think it clear that he felt he was the "baby brother" in the mix, and that his country deserved more.

WW2 was a different matter, as I hinted at the beginning of my post. It will need a separate post.

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
Posts: 2855
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/9/2017 11:55:34 AM
Brian,

I was rather surprised at your be-little-ing of the US contribution to WWI! You said & I quote, "the US should never been a part of and added very little to" ?? My Grandfather John fought in this great war, and over 110,000 Americans died in it! Remember Russia got out of the war and America joined in August 1917 just in time to make up for that loss and turn the tide for the Allies! It's very hurtful to hear a close Ally like a Canadian scholar such as yourself proclaim "added very little to!" The Doughboys helped win major battles at Cantigny, Chateau Thierry, & Belleau Wood, & played a big roll in the Hundred Day Offensive that helped end the war, over 4 million US military personnel involved, we even helped the RN Fleet with warships, and sailors ! This plus all of the Supplies and war materials sent to help the Allies, Canadians too, before we were drawn into this war by German aggressions, so we should of stayed out of it!?

[Read More]

[Read More]

A very shocked & hurt Allied friend!
I would never say that Canada played a little & unnecessary role!?

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

BWilson
, Posts: 3438
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/9/2017 12:06:01 PM

Quote:
Brian,

I was rather surprised at your be-little-ing of the US contribution to WWI! You said & I quote, "the US should never been a part of and added very little to" ?? My Grandfather John fought in this great war, and over 110,000 Americans died in it! Remember Russia got out of the war and America joined in August 1917 just in time to make up for that loss and turn the tide for the Allies! It's very hurtful to hear a close Ally like a Canadian scholar such as yourself proclaim "added very little to!" The Doughboys helped win major battles at Cantigny, Chateau Thierry, & Belleau Wood, & played a big roll in the Hundred Day Offensive that helped end the war, over 4 million US military personnel involved, we even helped the RN Fleet with warships, and sailors ! This plus all of the Supplies and war materials sent to help the Allies, Canadians too, before we were drawn into this war by German aggressions, so we should of stayed out of it!?

[Read More]

[Read More]

A very shocked & hurt Allied friend!
I would never say that Canada played a little & unnecessary role!?

Regards,
Dave
--Michigan Dave


Dave,

 Great service by your grandfather. Do you know which division he was in? Hope you took a moment to reflect on the 3rd of this month; it was 100 years since the first Doughboys fell in action in France.

Cheers,

BW


---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
Posts: 2855
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/9/2017 12:19:23 PM
Thanks B,

Of course that was along time ago, but I heard he was in the 32nd Infantry Battalion, not sure what specific unit?

[Read More]

Cheers,
MD

PS I'll try to research more on it.
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
Posts: 5509
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/9/2017 1:33:29 PM
d

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
Posts: 5509
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/9/2017 1:35:39 PM

Quote:
Brian,

I was rather surprised at your be-little-ing of the US contribution to WWI! You said & I quote, "the US should never been a part of and added very little to" ?? My Grandfather John fought in this great war, and over 110,000 Americans died in it! Remember Russia got out of the war and America joined in August 1917 just in time to make up for that loss and turn the tide for the Allies! It's very hurtful to hear a close Ally like a Canadian scholar such as yourself proclaim "added very little to!" The Doughboys helped win major battles at Cantigny, Chateau Thierry, & Belleau Wood, & played a big roll in the Hundred Day Offensive that helped end the war, over 4 million US military personnel involved, we even helped the RN Fleet with warships, and sailors ! This plus all of the Supplies and war materials sent to help the Allies, Canadians too, before we were drawn into this war by German aggressions, so we should of stayed out of it!?

[Read More]

[Read More]

A very shocked & hurt Allied friend!
I would never say that Canada played a little & unnecessary role!?

Regards,
Dave
--Michigan Dave


Dave, I think that you misread Brian's post completely. He wasn't belittling the US effort but just stating facts..

He was saying that WW1 was not a North American war and I think was supportive of Pres. Wilson's reluctance to get into it. Wilson was an anglophile but he had a difficult balancing act to perform at home with many factions who wanted no part of the war or who despised the British.

Wilson changed his mind. Despite attempts to find a solution to the war, the US was victimized by German acts of aggression including terrorism on US soil and reports that the Germans were supporting Mexican violence toward the US.

With US merchant ships under attack by u-boats, Wilson changed his mind and asked Congress to approve entry into the war.



I have to concur with his comments that the US contribution was limited by comparison to other countries. That doesn't mean that the men weren't brave but they were raw and performed, in 1918, much as raw British and Commonwealth troops did in 1915-16. There was a learning curve.

The million man army of the US would have risen to prominence in 1919 had the war continued but it ended before the US found its footing.

I mean no offence when I say that the Australian and Canadian Corps, both 1/10 the size of the US army accomplished more than the US forces did in their long years in combat.

They were in action much longer, in many more critical battles and were very efficient soldiers by the time that the US got into it.

At the time of the armistice, I believe that 2 million Americans had arrived in France but about 1 million saw combat before the war ended.

You mentioned that the US forces lost 115,000 men but more men were lost to disease than in combat. We honour all of them but it is important to get the statistics right.

US combat deaths were in the order of 53,000. Disease, including the Spanish flu, ravaged the US army.

By comparison to the massive US army, the Australians took 60,000 deaths in combat and the Canadians, 64,000. The New Zealanders lost just under 17,000 killed. These were Corps sized combat groups remember, about 100,000 men.

Thousands more were wounded of course. And the British deaths were astounding. Over 11% of the population died in combat.

That is over 700,000 people.

Taking into account the Commonwealth forces, the British Empire suffered 908,000 deaths.

The French, 1.3 million.

When the war ended, these British and Commonwealth forces were nearly spent and the US would have taken the lead I feel.

I don't know how it could have gone any other way because the Americans were pouring into France in numbers. Everyone else had exhausted their manpower reinforcements. Check that. Canada introduced conscription near the end and could have propped up the Corps for a while longer.

I don't think that it is insulting to remark that the US contribution was less notable than that of other nations and still honour those US soldiers who died.

I can tell you that just after the war ended, the Canadian government and the veterans of the Canadian Corps were at their wits end, angered at the reporting in the US press that the US army had won WW1. Those reports were not a reflection of the history of the war as it ended.

Cheers,

George



brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1382
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/9/2017 7:11:56 PM
Dave, I apologize if you feel I insulted either the US or those in the US who went to war for their country.It was not my intent. I also apologize if you think I'm a Canadian scholar, because I'm just another amateur military historian offering his opinion.

The point I was trying to make was that WW1 was a war of continental values, fought largely between European nations but extending to their colonies across the globe. The US simply didn't have a dog in the fight. It's been a while since I studied the issues, but I think a combination of German stupidity and British manipulation created an issue over which the US might get its knickers in a twist. The threatened implementation of broader sinkings by U-boats, which would directly affect US trade and US-flagged ships, and the leak of the Zimmermann telegram, became the levers that brought the US into the war.

At the time the US was not yet a world military power. When it went to war, its forces were armed largely with French ordnance, flew largely French a/c in concert with French forces, and worked in a subsidiary capacity to French military direction, though for sensible reasons under nominal US leadership. None of that is insulting, IMHO, or inaccurate, or shameful. US troops came to fight a European war because they felt they had been drawn into it.

I'm not suggesting the US wasn't welcome as an ally. Just to correct your typo, the US came into the war in April 1917, not August, and France made much of Pershing and his troops on July 4 when they paraded in Paris. It was, IMHO, a rather grandiose parade with a token US military presence, but it was vital to the Franco-American links that were central to US participation in the final 15 months of the war.

Again, Dave, sorry if I appeared to be insulting or naysaying US efforts in WW1

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
Posts: 2855
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/9/2017 8:17:42 PM
Hey Brian, & George,

Reading the post by Mr. Grafton again I can see no disrespect to the US and it's contribution was meant, It's funny how when you just look at words out of context, they can be taken differently, the US after all was a late player in this as you say Brian, European Mess, & for the most part except for Commonwealth members, fought by Europeans in Europe! And if this war wasn't bad enough, the peace treaty was even worse!

So Brian, your apology, you really shouldn't have, to have made, is accepted!
This probably won't be the last time this old school teacher misinterprets something!?
Now if I can only find where I parked my car??
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1382
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/9/2017 8:32:57 PM
I suggested earlier that German values were distinct in the two WWs.

I agree with Phil that military strengths and discipline were vital throughout the first half of the 20th C, and that those were largely inculcated and maintained by the growing military strength of the the germanic groupings of the 19th century that would become Germany.
Quote:
The joke was that while most nations featured an army attached to a state, the Germans exhibited a state attached to an army.

This is a simplistic view, but it might bear scrutiny as an explanation for the willingness of the Germans to go to war with so many different nations.

There was in truth only a weak connection between German citizens and the democratic process, with stronger ties between shared culture and order and a ritual means of sharing those values. Which is why I said earlier: " the main questions weren't based on geography, economic power or the like. If you were a German, it was about blood, will and race." Keep that in mind for a moment as we look at specific aspects of German beliefs, sometimes combined with some Nazi values which made some of MD's initial questions take place.

In 1939, Germany came to an agreement with Soviet Russia and almost immediately went to war against the three strongest European opponents it could: England; France; Poland. England and France did nothing while Germany utterly destroyed and dismembered Poland in less than a month. That left 3 combatant nations and a phoney war. In April 1940 Germany attacked Denmark and Norway, and was in control of them within days. Sweden chose for whatever reason to remain neutral. In May 1940 Germany attacked France, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg, taking six weeks to conquer all they want to, or feel they need to. Towards the end of the campaign, Mussolini drags Italy in, to little initial effect. Notably, Falangist Spain does not step in. But only with Italy's action does Germany have an active ally: Soviet Russia is not a military ally in any way, and any pacts with Japan are clearly designed for immediate military support. By July, 1940, Germany was hammering Britain on a daily basis, and the British had either few or no means of fighting back. Their primary assault values – economic blockage, combined with protection of the Atlantic seaways – became moot when Germany's maritime border expanded to include coastline from Soviet Russia to Northern Spain. Probably no single nation's navy could control that. At any rate, the RN couldn't.

Wanna leap into the sickness of Nazi racial, cultural and/or social systems? I don't either! But from the Polish border east, all territory is inhabited by inferior humans...by "Untermenchen". This is, of course, the "Lebensraum" destined for germanic growth. The breadth of "Lebensraum" was not defined, IIUC. But it was populated by semi-humans who would be taken under control in order for them to feed their Aryan masters.

I sense – and I hope somebody can clarify or deny this – that the Nazis never really considered how large Soviet Russia was. I think they believed that taking Moscow and Leningrad would castrate the country. And although it is incredibly difficult to deal with, they may have been correct. Soviet Russia was both European and Asian, but the current regime's support was west of the Urals.

By most western values, the Nazi invasion of Soviet Russia was an insane idea. But for committed Germans during WW2 – and I would argue that at least a majority of Germans were committed to their leader and his values – a move to the east was both shocking and inevitable. "Lebensraum" was "Lebensraum", after all, and the cultural or basic human values of those to be repelled from their land were as understandably targeted as those Germans who were being removed through eugenics programs.

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
Posts: 2855
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/9/2017 9:11:28 PM
Interesting Brian,

So simply put; the wild expansionist view of most Germans at this time, specially Nazis, is their sick inflated self perspective, & the gross under value of neighboring non Germanic People??

Never looked at it that way!?
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
Posts: 1092
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/9/2017 10:59:54 PM
I've come to see the world wars as the struggle to give birth to Superpower status, which only became physically possible with the advent of the railway. Only the USA, Russia and possibly Germany could develop into huge contiguous continental superpowers, far eclipsing the medium powers like Britain and France.

As for why, Germany had a dodgy political structure for a country surrounded by 3 of the top 5 most powerful countries in the world. This didn't provide the politics required in this situation which would either generate good diplomacy to avoid war or the strategy to win the war.
---------------
Vegetarian: the ancient tribal word for the villiage idiot; who was too stupid to hunt, fish and ride!

Phil andrade
London, UK
Posts: 2527
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/10/2017 11:41:14 AM
Most people do not hesitate to condemn the German invasion of Russia in 1941 as an immense and catastrophic folly.

Perhaps I'm being a tad controversial in calling this default view into question.

Remember that in WW1 Germany had thoroughly defeated Russia : not, admittedly, by dint of penetrating deep into Russian territory ; although they did approach Petrograd in the autumn of 1917.

More especially, in 1914-18, Germany accomplished this while fighting relentless and intense warfare in the West at the same time. Victory against the Russians was gained while German soldiers were dying in their tens of thousands in Flanders.

If this had happened in those desperate circumstances, then how much better the prospects a quarter of a century later !

France defeated, Britain expelled from the continent of Europe ; a regime and army enthused with a fervour unknown to the effete imperialists of the earlier war.

Perhaps this thing had a better chance than most of us might suppose.....I, for one, feel that the Soviet Union came very close to defeat and annihilation, both in the summer of 1941 and, again, in the summer of 1942.

Stalin certainly thought so.

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

Jim Cameron
North Bellmore, NY, USA
Posts: 673
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/10/2017 11:58:09 AM

Quote:
Are these guys nuts? You look at the size and population of Germany and it's no bigger than most other European countries, but yet in the World Wars, except for Italy in WWII, & Austria or other minor military powers in WWI, the Germans basically took on all comers even America!? I realize they have a military oriented history, Prussia ect but hey Germany, enough is enough! Why Germans would even hire themselves out to fight for other countries? Look at the Hessians! Geeze, in the World Wars, they must have had a huge percentage of German man-power engaged to even raise such armies??



Neither one was intended to become a full scale world war. "Home before the leaves fall."
---------------
Jim Cameron

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1382
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/11/2017 9:47:47 PM
Phil and Jim, both are good comments. In Jim's case, I would argue that it applied more to WW1 than WW2. IMHO, France and Britain had demonstrated they didn't want to go to war at all in 1939, and certain elements of the British political ruling class were still looking for a way to settle peacefully with Nazi Germany. Hitler, in the meanwhile, was preparing for a November 1939 invasion of the west, which though postponed was acted on first in April and then May 1940. I'm pretty much convinced that Hitler was genuine in his "Reasonable Offer" to Britain, in that had he been able to get a cease-fire on his terms he would have taken it until he had dealt with Soviet Russia.

When I read Phil's post, I'm reminded of the odds-makers' calls on how long Stalin could hold out. Most of the time it ranged from 8-12 weeks, IIRC. Sure, there were folks like Maurice Hindus writing books titled Hitler Cannot Conquer Russia. Some people, no doubt, remembered the military weaknesses of Imperial Russian force (primitive transportation and communications; weak or effete officers; tactical and strategic inadequacy). More recently the bloody nose delivered to the Red Army during the Winter War suggested Russia's military did not constitute a major threat. Why military men – not just in Germany but in Britain and her allies as well – forgot or disregarded major Red Army defeats of Japanese troops in Manchuria is another matter.

It's frightening to list Germany's pre-Barbarossa victories. Their speed. Their totality. Their power. You almost have to "bullet" them to appreciate them:
• Poland: a month
• Denmark: 1 day
• Norway: 2 months
• Holland: 1 week
Belgium: 2 weeks
• France: 6 weeks
• Britain: undefeated but marginalized
• Yugoslavia: 2 weeks
• Greece: 7 weeks total (including Crete).

By the end of the Battle for Greece, the war had been going on for 20 months. The German Army (and, as an adjunct force, the Luftwaffe) had been in serious combat for 6 months. I'll admit that I haven't included the brief time of the Battle of Britain (some 6 weeks) or the 8 months of Britain's "Blitz". But the Germans had a pretty impressive track record. No wonder, when they turned that fire power on Soviet Russia, that folks didn't expect them to win.

IIUC, the German Army brass were not keen on attempting Russia. Only the Fuhrer was for it, and he got support from the bent swine in OKW. But the professional Army men had wavered before Poland, had argued against the invasions of the West, and had not wanted to drain down manpower or ordnance in Yugoslavia or Greece. And in every instance (except Britain), Hitler had been proven correct.

I don't think the German war machine was designed for Barbarossa, even if Barbarossa only meant the invasion of European Russia. Panzer limitations had seldom proved critical during the campaigns of 1939 to 1941, but surely they were known! Track wear was obvious; fuel replenishment was another. Logistical and ordnance support in a timely fashion was a third. Rapid troop transit was a fourth. Army/Luftwaffe a fifth. The basic ratio of time v. distance in a weather sensitive world was another. And that's without the lack of a compatible rail system in Russia, or a primitive road system, or an all but non-existent communications structure. There is strong evidence that the Germans who made and/or supported Barbarossa didn't do their basic homework!

I can't argue against the negative impact on the Luftwaffe in the 11 months it flew over Britain. Hosts of a/c were lost that would be sorely missed on the Eastern Front. But the a/c of the Luftwaffe had already demonstrated two things. One, they were excellent as medium range artillery and communications disruptors. They also excelled in ground attack and suppression. But the second issue might have been more critical. They had – every a/c (excepting perhaps only the Fw-200 Kondor, which was basically a recon a/c) – very limited range.

In effect, this reduced the Luftwaffe's value dramatically during the initial phases of Barbarossa, and IMHO altered the entire nature of the air war and air-ground war in the East.

I agree with Phil. I think Soviet Russia came within inches of losing the fight against Barbarossa.

Do any MHO members believe in Hubris? Was the goal of Barbarossa the right goal in the first place? Would the fall of Moscow and Leningrad – in effect, the fall of European Russia – have ended the battle in Germany's favour? Stalin and the political structure had moved east. Many of the essential war factories had relocated to the east. Were the "Slav infested" steppes of Russia essential to Nazism's "Lebensraum"? In Realpolitik, would it have been wise to consider how French, Belgian, Dutch and Polish territories might provide some of the benefits of "Lebensraum"?

Cheers
Brian G




---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

Phil andrade
London, UK
Posts: 2527
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/12/2017 5:24:02 AM
Brian,

If memory serves me, Hitler - in that remarkable aide memoir kept by his secretary , HITLER'S TABLE TALK - espoused the hope that there would always be a frontier of conflict to the east, whereby German manhood would be kept up to scratch as it constantly battled against the brigands and barbarians of Slavic provenance.

Perpetual struggle, Darwinian notions applied to racial supremacy etc etc.

Lebensraum was, I imagine, something that went beyond the mere settlement of living space : an indulgence in a millennial outlook that was predicated on ceaseless conflict.

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
Posts: 6033
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/12/2017 6:02:32 AM
A bit of Nazi overreach in WW2 for sure; but the Germans were unable to repel either of the advances on the two fronts and eventually lost the war.

While there were other contributing factors, such as the insufficiency of the Wehrmacht for a long war and the abandonment of blitzkrieg tactics because of fuel shortages and a rising need to defend territory, the two-front war was an important factor in deciding when the German military would be forced to surrender ie calculated lunacyn IMHO.

RF3gards

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

BWilson
, Posts: 3438
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/12/2017 6:25:14 AM

Quote:
Brian,

If memory serves me, Hitler - in that remarkable aide memoir kept by his secretary , HITLER'S TABLE TALK - espoused the hope that there would always be a frontier of conflict to the east, whereby German manhood would be kept up to scratch as it constantly battled against the brigands and barbarians of Slavic provenance.

Perpetual struggle, Darwinian notions applied to racial supremacy etc etc.

Lebensraum was, I imagine, something that went beyond the mere settlement of living space : an indulgence in a millennial outlook that was predicated on ceaseless conflict.

Regards, Phil
--Phil andrade


 More than that: the Nazis embraced an irrational belief in willpower. The Triumph of the Will would subdue the Soviet 'beast' ... at least as far as German ideology of the period went.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
Posts: 6033
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/12/2017 6:39:05 AM
M
Quote:
ore than that: the Nazis embraced an irrational belief in willpower. The Triumph of the Will would subdue the Soviet 'beast' ... at least as far as German ideology of the period went.



Bill-I'm with you all the way--is that a polite way of saying pig headed stupidity ??????

Regards

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

Phil andrade
London, UK
Posts: 2527
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/12/2017 6:52:05 AM
Is there mileage in my suggestion that the Germans enjoyed better odds against the Russians in 1941 than they had in 1914 ?

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

BWilson
, Posts: 3438
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/12/2017 7:54:25 AM

Quote:

Quote:
More than that: the Nazis embraced an irrational belief in willpower. The Triumph of the Will would subdue the Soviet 'beast' ... at least as far as German ideology of the period went.



Bill-I'm with you all the way--is that a polite way of saying pig headed stupidity ??????

Regards

Jim
--anemone


 Not stupidity; more like a cultic faith in Aryan superiority and destiny.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
Posts: 6033
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/12/2017 8:19:40 AM
{quote]Is there mileage in my suggestion that the Germans enjoyed better odds against the Russians in 1941 than they had in 1914 p/quote]

I should say so Phil-in August 1914 the Germans fought the Battle of Tannenburg and undoubtedly won which is fine ;but in 1941 they literally stormed USSR meeting little opposition The initial momentum of the German ground and air attack completely destroyed the Soviet opposition.

Regards

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

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1382
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/12/2017 9:38:30 PM

Quote:
If memory serves me, Hitler - in that remarkable aide memoir kept by his secretary , HITLER'S TABLE TALK - espoused the hope that there would always be a frontier of conflict to the east, whereby German manhood would be kept up to scratch as it constantly battled against the brigands and barbarians of Slavic provenance.

Perpetual struggle, Darwinian notions applied to racial supremacy etc etc.

Lebensraum was, I imagine, something that went beyond the mere settlement of living space : an indulgence in a millennial outlook that was predicated on ceaseless conflict.

Phil, That's my understanding as well. Part simple logical expectation, part fantasy based on Kultur, part an extension of the twisted social nonsense behind Aryanism and germanic privilege. Slavs would have enough food to survive, enough education to count to 10, and enough training to know how to serve their masters. Settlements would be largely agrarian in nature, protected by garrison cities. Settlers would be ex-military men who, like Roman legionairs, would be granted land after service.

Without wanting to push the similarities too far, may I point out the plight of civilians in Holland and Belgium in particular during the final few months of the war. People were starving, while the pocket garrisons of Nazi troops were comparatively fat and warm. Canadian Army transportation groups withdrew some of their service to forward-based Canadian troops in order to haul food into Belgium and the Netherlands as possible. Many a/c linked to 6 Group Bomber Command began relief flights some time before the war ended. I'm not writing a paean to Canadian forces.This must have happened in other commands as well.

I literally can't comprehend what must have been the status of Poles under Nazi rule, or – perhaps worse – in territories including what I think of as "The Pale". What I'm suggesting is that "Lebensraum" was wherever the Nazis could find a means of living on the backs of people they had conquered, and that in no instance was there anything benficial for those under Nazi control.

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 1382
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/12/2017 10:34:37 PM

Quote:
Is there mileage in my suggestion that the Germans enjoyed better odds against the Russians in 1941 than they had in 1914 ?

Phil, I think the idea worth exploration. My question would be, I guess, whether we're talking bookmakers' odds or something else! Step beyond the bookies, and I think we're talking apples and oranges, to be honest.

IIRC, in 1914 the hordes of Tsarist warriors were a "bogey-man" in the west. Weren't there stories in Paris just before "the miracle of the Marne" of Russian troops "with snow still on their boots" marching against "the Hun"?

IIUC, by 1940-41 the Winter War had emasculated the "mythic" power of the 1914 Russian horde to the level of an incompetent Red Army who took far to long to defeat Finland. That may have been a false set of parameters on which to assess the Red Army's strength and/or capabilities. When talking about odds, it depends on how accurate the odds-maker are.

I like your argument that Germany may have been in a stronger position in WW2 given that there was no two-front war. Strangely, this would become an argument for early invasion of Northern Europe, particularly in the US. But what other issues may have made Nazi Germany's Barbarossa more successful than the battles of WW1? I don't think there is an answer to your question, but there are issues that might make the two of us disagree:
• All armies were horse-bound for the most part in WW1. This would be very different in WW2, where Germany depended on motorized transport and rail networks, but would not find rail compatible with their rolling stock and would have increasing difficulties supplying panzer elements with fuel.
• Quality and commitment of run-of-the-mill soldiers was, perhaps, different in both armies in each war. I would tend to suggest German commitment was higher in 1941 than 1914, while Russian commitment was perhaps slightly stronger in Soviet troops than in Tsarist troops in 1914. Stalin was clever to focus on "Rodina", IMHO. And I guess, rather cynically, it didn't hurt to have party apparatchniks bolstering the troops with God knows what threats!

My point, I guess, is that Tsarist troops, however mythic, fought largely in the same conditions with the same kinds of weapons as the Germans in WW1. By WW2 that changed. Germany was an invader; the post-Tsarist army was fighting for a newly reborn "Rodina", and there must have been a sense of betrayal amongst most Russian citizens, particularly in Russia's European sector. German arms were, I believe, superior. At the same time, I don't think that Nazi military was designed to make the shift from European sizing to Asian sizing. That is a huge mistake, just as an incorrect assessment of Russian military capability was mistaken.

Personally, I think Germany had a better chance of defeating Russia in 1941 than at any point in WW1. I also think there are clear, simple, distinct and stupid reasons why the Germans didn't do the job.

Cheers
Brian G



---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

Mike Johnson
Stafford, VA, USA
Posts: 495
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/13/2017 6:05:35 AM

Quote:
Brian,

I was rather surprised at your be-little-ing of the US contribution to WWI! You said & I quote, "the US should never been a part of and added very little to" ?? My Grandfather John fought in this great war, and over 110,000 Americans died in it! Remember Russia got out of the war and America joined in August 1917 just in time to make up for that loss and turn the tide for the Allies! It's very hurtful to hear a close Ally like a Canadian scholar such as yourself proclaim "added very little to!" The Doughboys helped win major battles at Cantigny, Chateau Thierry, & Belleau Wood, & played a big roll in the Hundred Day Offensive that helped end the war, over 4 million US military personnel involved, we even helped the RN Fleet with warships, and sailors ! This plus all of the Supplies and war materials sent to help the Allies, Canadians too, before we were drawn into this war by German aggressions, so we should of stayed out of it!?

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A very shocked & hurt Allied friend!
I would never say that Canada played a little & unnecessary role!?

Regards,
Dave
--Michigan Dave



The US did add relatively little to victory in WW1. We started with a tiny and unprepared army dwarfed by the tiny UK army of 1914. We made some effort to increase its size in 1916 and were pretty much unprepared for war in 1917. We did ship 2 million men (including Marines and Navy personnel) to Europe, but our combat forces compared to the Germans, French, British/Commonwealth were always relatively small. We had to produce the training pipeline in Europe that France, Germany, and Britain had grown for years, which is why 6 divisions were converted to depot divisions on arrival and 6 more were used to train replacements. We had no authority for corps or army troops, so they came out of the division structures that were approved. We left most of our armament home--which was insufficient to equip a couple of regular divisions let alone the national guard and national army divisions. In France, the AEF was largely equipped with French hand-me-downs. US doctrine and concepts for war were well behind the curve. Our formations were poorly organized based on French or German prewar plans and failed to account for developments in the war. They were inflexible organizations.

True, the first AEF casualties were in October 1917, but the period of major combat operation for the AEF where we had divisions operating as divisions lasted only 4.5 months from July to November 1918. US First Army was established on 10 August 1918 and Second Army on 16 October 1918 (both containing a mix of AEF and French corps). Pershing not only commanded the AEF he commanded First Army from 10 August to 16 October 1918. Hunter Liggett and Robert Bullard were promoted to lieutenant generals

I am not saying we didn't do anything and certainly we took considerable casualties. But, the AEF was never more than 10% of the allied line and wasn't the deciding factor by any means. I mostly object to the notion that the US saved Europe in 1918--which is patently false. We did enough to have a seat at the negotiating table, where Wilson's ideas were brushed aside by the French, who were the dominate ally in the war.

Jim Cameron
North Bellmore, NY, USA
Posts: 673
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/13/2017 12:10:52 PM
Cantigny, Chateau Thierry, and Belleau Wood were hardly major battles. Cantigny was essentially a single regiment attack, basically a carefully planned demonstration designed to prove that U.S. forces could execute a set piece attack. Chateau Thierry and Belleau Wood involved subsidiary German operations, not major threats, and U.S. accounts largely wrote effective French support out of the picture in favor of depicting them as a retreating rabble.
Post-war, U.S. literature portrayed the AEF as a faultless juggernaut, with little to learn from the British or French. In truth, it was unevenly trained and led, short of experienced officers and NCO's, with a poorly developed replacement system. The supply system was inadequate, due in part to shipping too many riflemen and machine gunners at the expense of logistical units, which created an unbalanced force structure.
Use of French equipment such as artillery, machine guns, and aircraft, doesn't really bother me, as their production was well established and could handle U.S. demands, so doing so made sense and saved on shipping.
---------------
Jim Cameron

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

morris crumley
Lawrenceville, GA, USA
Posts: 1234
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/13/2017 1:22:21 PM
There is no question that the US contribution to the battlefields of the first world war were minute compared to some of the others.

However, the implications of US involvement were tremendous considerations in helping end the conflict. And it becomes the basis, in many ways, for the US becoming a more than interested party in not merely European policies and events, but also the world as a whole. One cannot separate from the context of history...the US voted for a President who promised to "keep us out of war" in Europe. Then, having been re-elected , not only "got us into the war...but also arrested and imprisoned tens of thousands of US citizens who opposed our involvement..in "the war to end all wars."

Just two decades later...we`re going right back "over there." It was the need to involve ourselves in European conflict twice in two decades that brought about the Marshall Plan, and the feeling that the US must be pro-active in world policy.

That is the true impact of our world war one involvement.

Of course, while the US did not suffer that many casualties from that conflict...there are cemetery`s all over the US, small and large, full of headstones that denote the impact of the influenza that came back to our shores.

Respects, Morris
---------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."

Mike Johnson
Stafford, VA, USA
Posts: 495
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/13/2017 1:41:02 PM
Jim very good points.

One of the problems with American accounts is not understanding the sheer magnitude of the battlefield. Battles which would have been huge on the US plains or in the Philippines were hardly noticeable drops in the in a large swimming pool.

The fact is most of the best of the AEF divisions trained under a French or a British division and learned most of what they learned from them.

I agree that the use of French equipment made sense but also we did not remotely have enough US made 6" howitzers and 3" guns and rifles and machine guns. We not only saved on shipping we saved on time because it would have taken years for the required production.

900-man infantry regiments (those that existed when the war began) were expanded to nominally have eventually up to 3800 men (conscription can put bodies into organizations), although they rarely had more than 2000 on the line (those that were on the line, and that included one of the three battalions usually maintained well to the rear). Battalions consisted of 1 major and 1 staff sergeant (from the regiment headquarters) plus a lieutenant from one of the companies and 4 rifle companies.

Jim Cameron
North Bellmore, NY, USA
Posts: 673
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/13/2017 2:07:18 PM
One reason the U.S. lacked domestically manufactured weaponry (small arms were in fact a significant exception, Model 1917 rifles being produced in vast numbers) was the fact that once British and French production was fully up to speed, it was more efficient for the U.S. to ship war materials and components, and leave final production to them. The U.S. therefore tended not to develop a final production capacity. Once in the war, it would take significant time to ramp up domestic manufacture. A start was made, to be sure, but as it turned out the war ended first.
---------------
Jim Cameron

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

Mike Johnson
Stafford, VA, USA
Posts: 495
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/13/2017 4:57:28 PM

Quote:
Just two decades later...we`re going right back "over there." It was the need to involve ourselves in European conflict twice in two decades that brought about the Marshall Plan, and the feeling that the US must be pro-active in world policy.

That is the true impact of our world war one involvement.
--morris crumley


Morris good point.

Those two decades are important--the birthrate in Europe was low for obvious reasons from 1915 to 1918 and then grew tremendously in 1919 for a few years. No European country could produce a large enough conscript army during the late 1930s, but that all began to change in 1939.

On another note, while the Marshall Plan is often considered to have lasted 3.5 years, it actually continued long after that.

The Committee of European Economic Co-operation was organized on 12-Jul-47 and this committee of foreign ministers, including Secretary of State Marshall, developed the plan and published it on 15-Mar-48.

On 3-Apr-48 the US passed the Economic Cooperation Act, which authorized US participation and set up the Economic Cooperation Administration--the US element of the plan.
On 16-Apr-48 by internal treaty, the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation was set up in Paris.

The plan functioned as a set of funding agreements between 5 elements:

A European company purchased equipment from a US or Canadian company, paid for with loans or guarantees.
The European country involved signed the guarantee or loan.
Organisation for European Economic Co-operation was where the projects were negotiated and OEEC signed off on them as well.
The Economic Cooperation Administration (representing the US) or the Canadian counterpart supplied funding for the loan or guarantee and also signed off on the agreement.
A US (or Canadian) company sold equipment to the European company.

These were originally loans or guarantees and not grants. As the European companies paid back the loan into OEEC in the country account, money became available for future loans and guarantees and thus there was no mechanism to pay back the US or Canada for the loans.

On 10-Oct-51, the Mutual Security Act abolished the Economic Cooperation Administration by merging it with the defense counterpart to produce the Mutual Security Agency, which continued to work with OEEC in sponsoring economic aid to Europe. Most sources on the Marshall Plan say it was abolished with the Mutual Security Act, but the economic side continued as it had.

On 1-Aug-53, the Mutual Security Agency was reorganized into the Foreign Operations Administration, which still continued the program.

On 9-May-55, the Foreign Operations Administration was abolished and its functions transferred to the Department of State and the Department of Defense, respectively.
30-Jun-55, the State Department organized the International Cooperation Administration for the economic aid.

On 4-Sep-61, the Foreign Assistance Act abolished the Foreign Operation Administration and replaced it with the Agency for International Development, which still exists. This also changed the focus from Europe to the developing world.

On 30-Sep-61, the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development did a similar refocus and renaming of what had been the OEEC to OECD, which also still exists.

In my opinion, this change from a focus on Europe to the developing world came because the fledgling European Economic Community started the European Investment Bank, which operated very similarly to the Marshall Plan except that European countries bought a stake in the bank that then (as it still does) loaned money and provided guarantees to development projects.

Jim Cameron
North Bellmore, NY, USA
Posts: 673
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/15/2017 11:08:38 AM

Quote:


One of the problems with American accounts is not understanding the sheer magnitude of the battlefield. Battles which would have been huge on the US plains or in the Philippines were hardly noticeable drops in the in a large swimming pool.



Edward Lengel makes some interesting comments on this point in his new book on the early AEF engagements under French command, "Thunder and Flames." This covers Cantigny through Soissons and Fismette.
In his discussion of Belleau Wood, in addition to explaining how, far from the Marines stopping a German drive on Paris, what it really involved was the German forces there securing the flank of the adjacent 7th Army.
More to the point, he discusses how Marine accounts, both eyewitness and official reports, typically described solid masses of German infantry being shot down in windrows by Marine rifle fire. Almost as if the Germans had reverted to 1914 tactics! It also very much reflects the AEF "cult of the rifle" and Pershing's idea of "self reliant infantry", under which the rifle and bayonet ruled the battlefield. The preliminary action at Les Mares Farm was depicted in articles in the Marine Corp Gazette in the 1920's as a major victory and the end of the German drive on Paris. Yet German reports barely mention it, and the German troops were in fact only taking up support positions. For it's part, the Marine brigade suffered only 74 battle deaths from June 1-5. (Belleau Wood itself began on June 6.)

Marine accounts of the advance to Belleau Wood are famous for descriptions of broken French troops retreating, routed, with shouts of "La guerre est fini!"
As Lengel points out, however, these supposedly broken French troops had been screening the newly arriving American troops, very effectively, and were actually pulling back in good order. Their appearance was typical of veteran troops withdrawing under pressure, and their "all is lost" comments to the inexperienced Marines as much as anything probably a case of old hands having some fun at the expense of the "fresh fish." U.S. accounts would all but write the French out of the picture.
---------------
Jim Cameron

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

BWilson
, Posts: 3438
Re: Why in WWI & II Was Germany basically taking everyone on!?
Posted on: 11/15/2017 1:32:55 PM
Just two decades later...we`re going right back "over there." It was the need to involve ourselves in European conflict twice in two decades that brought about the Marshall Plan, and the feeling that the US must be pro-active in world policy.

That is the true impact of our world war one involvement.


 Good Long View look. It was also a psychological boost for the Allies and similarly, a psychological weight upon Germany.


Quote:
In early June 1918 the Americans' most visible entry into battle occurred along the Marne River. In his postwar memoirs, Jean de Pierrefeu, a French staff officer who worked at Pétain's headquarters, painted a vivid picture of the Americans moving toward Belleau Wood, Vaux, and Château Thierry:

Amidst enthusiastic civilians, they passed in interminable columns, tightly packed in trucks, feet in the air, in extraordinary positions, some perched on the tops, nearly all bare-headed and unbuttoned, singing their national songs at the top of their voices. The spectacle of this magnificent youth from across the sea, these youngsters of twenty years with smooth faces, radiating strength and health in their new uniforms, had an immense effect. They offered a striking contrast with our regiments in soiled uniforms, worn by the years of war, with our emaciated soldiers and their somber eyes who were nothing more than bundles of nerves held together by a heroic, sacrificial will. The general impression was that a magical transfusion of blood was taking place. Life was returning in floods to revive the half-dead body of France, which was almost drained of blood after four years of innumerable wounds. No one said anything about these soldiers not being trained, about their having only courage . . . When one looked at this event in the broadest sense, one perceived the presence of gushing, untiring force that would overcome everything because of its strength.
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Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.