h110 world war i train wreck of revolutions
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H110: World War I – Train Wreck of Revolutions

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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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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
slide9

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
slide10

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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