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H110: World War I – Train Wreck of Revolutions. Train Wreck of Revolutions. New Weapons Mass Production Rapid transportation and communication. INDUSTRIAL. National political mobilization Mass armies “Total War?”. MASS POLITICS. MANAGERIAL. Great War.

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H110 world war i train wreck of revolutions
H110: World War I – Train Wreck of Revolutions


Train wreck of revolutions
Train Wreck of Revolutions

  • New Weapons

  • Mass Production

  • Rapid transportation and communication

INDUSTRIAL

  • National political

  • mobilization

  • Mass armies

  • “Total War?”

MASS POLITICS

MANAGERIAL

Great War

  • Economic mobilization

  • Central gov’t control

  • Strategic leadership?


Ground rules
Ground Rules

  • Nobody set out to be deliberately stupid

  • Not an option: declining to fight

  • Not an option: wait 30 years for the tank to be perfected


Generals assumptions 1914
Generals’ Assumptions 1914

  • War is inevitable

  • War will be short

  • We can win

  • Victory will go to the attacker

  • Losses will be heavy


Weapons technology evolution
Weapons Technology Evolution

  • Infantry

    • Bolt-action, magazine fed, metallic cartridge rifle

    • Machine gun

  • Artillery

    • Breech loading, recoil mechanism, rifled

    • Munitions

  • Cavalry?


Cavalry organization tactics
Cavalry Organization/Tactics

  • Mounted - steel

    • Spirit of offensive

    • Turn enemy retreat into rout

    • Survivability?

  • Dismounted - rifle

    • “Corps of maneuver” on huge battlefield

  • Elimination not an option

    • Most mobile element in era of declining mobility


Schlieffen plan
Schlieffen Plan

Neth

Germany

Belgium

France

Paris

Switzerland


Schlieffen plan1
Schlieffen Plan

  • Only German war plan

  • Based on “win-hold-win” strategy

  • Aimed to destroy French Army in 6 weeks

  • Violating Belgian neutrality, ensured British intervention

  • Demanded heroic marching performance from the right-wing armies

  • Severely strained C3 and logistics


Schlieffen Plan Assumptions

  • Belgian rail network will be captured largely intact

  • Belgians will put up only token resistance

  • Russians will be unable to attack until their mobilization is complete

  • Right wing will be able to sustain a high speed of advance

  • French will be unable to switch forces from Alsace- Lorraine to counter the right wing


March of the German 35th Fusiliers

  • September

  • 18.8 miles (Viller-Cotterets)

  • 8.8 miles

  • 20.6 miles

  • 18.8 miles (Montmirail)

  • 25.6 miles

  • None (Marne)

  • 23.1 miles

  • 20.6 (Marne)

  • None (Marne)

  • 20.0 miles

  • 18.1 miles

  • 7.5 miles (Aisne)

  • Total: 403 miles

  • Days: 27

  • Battle Days: 11

  • Average March: 15.1 miles

  • August

  • 13.1 miles

  • 25.0 miles

  • 6.2 miles (Gette)

  • 21.9 miles

  • 6.2 miles

  • 7.5 miles

  • 28.1 miles

  • 10.0 miles

  • 18.7 miles

  • 12.5 miles (Le Cateau)

  • 21.9 miles

  • 23.8 miles

  • 5.0 miles (Somme)

  • 15.6 miles

  • 20.6 miles


Why stalemate in 1914
Why Stalemate in 1914?

  • Exhaustion of ammunition

  • Limited heavy artillery

  • Lethality of weapons

  • Exhaustion of armies

  • Density of forces

  • No assailable flanks

  • All war plans failed


Casualties 1914
Casualties 1914

  • France 950,000

  • Britain 64,000

  • Germany (west) 700,000

  • Germany (east) 200,000

  • Austria-Hungary 750,000

  • Russia 1,000,000


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