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Old 03-10-2011, 07:36 PM   #26
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Re: The First World War

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I am fascinated by WWI... have been hoping for a "Saving Private Ryan" style epic about the Great War to no avail.
Legends of the Fall, lol
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:44 PM   #27
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Re: The First World War

My favorite Owen poem is not a WW1 poem (Shadwell Stair) and my favorite WW1 poem is not an Owen poem:

An Irish Airman Foresees His Death - W.B. Yeats

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:24 AM   #28
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Re: The First World War

If anyone is interested in a solid fiction novel set during WW1, I highly recommend The First Casualty, written by Ben Elton.

Hope this thread takes off. I don't have anything to add at this point beyond the book recommendation but hopefully can contribute something of substance down the road.
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:13 PM   #29
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Re: The First World War

All Quiet on the Western Front http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Qui..._Western_Front

Probably not enopugh made up fantasy for the saving private Ryan fans but a genuine WW1 epic.
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Old 03-16-2011, 11:43 AM   #30
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Re: The First World War

In regards to aiming at people, I read a psychological study which found that soldiers initially would aim above their targets naturally, not really wanting to kill them. It took a lot of adjustment in training to make people actually shoot to hit.

Also that suicide poem is beautifully written, thanks for sharing it.
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Old 03-16-2011, 01:10 PM   #31
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Re: The First World War

Frank Buckles, the last WW I veteran, just got buried two days ago.

BTW, WW I was the worst war in history from the perspective of strategy.
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Old 03-16-2011, 01:14 PM   #32
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Re: The First World War

What do you mean by perspective of strategy?
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Old 03-16-2011, 01:28 PM   #33
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Re: The First World War

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What do you mean by perspective of strategy?
Strategically, it was the worst fought war ever. Zero deception, zero surprise, no use of movement, etc. Just generals sending people to the front to hunker down and fight. No strategy, not tactics, just brute force. No creativity whatsoever.
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Old 03-16-2011, 01:33 PM   #34
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Re: The First World War

I'm not sure I believe that really (but I don't know much about WW1 in all honesty). I think from a modern eye looking back it's easy to criticise, but definitely there was strategy tactics and creativity involved.

Lots of surprise though for sure, you read about the tunnelling operations? The allies blew an entire hill up (search for Hill 60) as part of a strategy for a great breakout offensive.

The technology and strategy of that period of time created a war of attrition, in a lot of circumstances there really wasn't much way out of it and it was inevitable.
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:24 PM   #35
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Re: The First World War

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Strategically, it was the worst fought war ever. Zero deception, zero surprise, no use of movement, etc. Just generals sending people to the front to hunker down and fight. No strategy, not tactics, just brute force. No creativity whatsoever.
That's not correct. If general Haig had a fault it was his willinglness to sacrifice lives for his strategy (also arguable a very sucessful strategy that worked), the problem wasn't a lack of strategy. Gallipolli didn't suffer from the lack of a strategy either (not arguably sucessful but arguably a good stategy), WW1 itself was the result of strategies etc etc

The reverse of your claim is more likely true, the causes and execution of WW1 suffered from far too much strategy and not enough concern that the pieces were real.
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:57 PM   #36
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Re: The First World War

Maybe he means tactics instead of strategy, like the tactics/strategy distinction in chess. So no creative tactics in WW1, like a 90 move Kramnik-Leko draw (or a 12 move Kramnik-Leko draw, if they are playing in a tournament). That's probably false too, armor alone = new tactics.
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:54 AM   #37
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Re: The First World War

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Maybe he means tactics instead of strategy, like the tactics/strategy distinction in chess. So no creative tactics in WW1, like a 90 move Kramnik-Leko draw (or a 12 move Kramnik-Leko draw, if they are playing in a tournament). That's probably false too, armor alone = new tactics.
I perfectly meant "strategy", the overall conduct of the waging of the war. WWI was all about both sides using brute force mano-a-mano. No movement, no surprise. Nothing.
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:07 AM   #38
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Re: The First World War

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I perfectly meant "strategy", the overall conduct of the waging of the war. WWI was all about both sides using brute force mano-a-mano. No movement, no surprise. Nothing.
WW1 is just a technology gap war imo. No one could work out how to overcome the maxim gun adequately.

This nearly happened at the end of the American Civil war, but in the end never quite got there due to a variety of factors, but it was certainly the key forerunner to trench warfare. Without the advent of tanks and heavy bombers, every war since would probably have been fought in the exact same way. The ease of defense vs difficulty of attack is just so polarised that very little but stalemate seems possible with just such weapons available to the armies involved.
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:16 PM   #39
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Re: The First World War

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Originally Posted by Adam the Ant View Post
I perfectly meant "strategy", the overall conduct of the waging of the war. WWI was all about both sides using brute force mano-a-mano. No movement, no surprise. Nothing.
They tried to dig under the lines though and use explosives, that´s a bit creative. Otherwise I agree with Wamy. Nowadays the air force and air dominance is the most important part of the fighting forces. Tanks were probably the kings of WW2.
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:27 PM   #40
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Re: The First World War

Kings in WW2 but the innovation was in WW1

(for nits I believe the airplane was first used in 1911 by italy vs turkey but close enough)
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Old 03-18-2011, 01:51 AM   #41
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Re: The First World War

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Why do you lie with your legs ungainly huddled,
And one arm bent across your sullen, cold,
Exhausted face? It hurts my heart to watch you,
Deep-shadowed from the candle's guttering gold;
And you wonder why I shake you by the shoulder;
Drowsy, you mumble and sigh and turn your head...
You are too young to fall asleep for ever;
And when you sleep you remind me of the dead.
.
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Old 03-31-2011, 03:26 PM   #42
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Re: The First World War

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Originally Posted by Adam the Ant View Post
Strategically, it was the worst fought war ever. Zero deception, zero surprise, no use of movement, etc. Just generals sending people to the front to hunker down and fight. No strategy, not tactics, just brute force. No creativity whatsoever.
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Originally Posted by Adam the Ant View Post
I perfectly meant "strategy", the overall conduct of the waging of the war. WWI was all about both sides using brute force mano-a-mano. No movement, no surprise. Nothing.
Generally, I agree. A lot of attacks were largely motivated by the political aspirations of the commanding generals who wanted to be the "one" that led the big break through.

The tactics stagnated until the Americans came on the scene and provided a new perspective.
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Old 03-31-2011, 03:36 PM   #43
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Re: The First World War

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Kings in WW2 but the innovation was in WW1
True, but for much the war the tank was improperly employed. It was often seen as an "end in itself" as a stand alone weapon. Later, it was properly used as a battlefield tactical piece used in conjuction with troops. The proper idea was to use the tank in a manner to escort and shield the movement of troops over the battlefield.
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Old 04-09-2011, 10:41 AM   #44
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Re: The First World War

There was huge warcraft evolution during WW I ..if u see with what the war started and with what planes and tanks it ended you'll be surprised.that's another example for our adjustment to the environment..
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:44 PM   #45
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Re: The First World War

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Originally Posted by Wamy Einehouse View Post
WW1 is just a technology gap war imo. No one could work out how to overcome the maxim gun adequately.

...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam the Ant View Post
I perfectly meant "strategy", the overall conduct of the waging of the war. WWI was all about both sides using brute force mano-a-mano. No movement, no surprise. Nothing.
I think Wamy is much better informed than Adam, WWI had perfectly established and proven tactics and strategy which were a long way away from being based on just brute force set pieces.

In several wars and armed engagements prior to WWI the same strategy and tactics worked perfectly - the military ineptitude on display wasn't to do with what they did; it was because when it was clear that the old established strategy wasn't working there was a lack of any 'great' leaders who could work out 'new' strategies.
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Old 04-09-2011, 02:01 PM   #46
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I think Wamy is much better informed than Adam, WWI had perfectly established and proven tactics and strategy which were a long way away from being based on just brute force set pieces.

In several wars and armed engagements prior to WWI the same strategy and tactics worked perfectly - the military ineptitude on display wasn't to do with what they did; it was because when it was clear that the old established strategy wasn't working there was a lack of any 'great' leaders who could work out 'new' strategies.
I can't make sense of this. It seems like you state that the tactics employed were just fine until it was proven they were not fine. Failing to overcome this and develop more effective tactics, they just continued using the old ones?

This seems to be the point Adam was making.
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Old 04-09-2011, 02:32 PM   #47
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Re: The First World War

The point was coupled with the technology gap.

The tactics and strategy were fine, just didn't take into account the technological improvements.

That's not a complete disaster - plenty of generals have been caught out with temporary setbacks, it's not being able to adapt your strategy that's the problem.

I thought the point Adam was making was that he thought the strategy was just line up both armies against each other and have them duke it out? Which was never the idea. It ended up looking a bit like that only because of the previously mentioned failure to adapt to new technology.
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Old 04-09-2011, 03:31 PM   #48
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The point was coupled with the technology gap.

The tactics and strategy were fine, just didn't take into account the technological improvements.

That's not a complete disaster - plenty of generals have been caught out with temporary setbacks, it's not being able to adapt your strategy that's the problem.

I thought the point Adam was making was that he thought the strategy was just line up both armies against each other and have them duke it out? Which was never the idea. It ended up looking a bit like that only because of the previously mentioned failure to adapt to new technology.
If there was a failure to adapt to new technology and the same tactics and strategy were employed in the face of this means that the tactics and strategy were a failure.

That was Adams's point. it was proven that such tactics and strategy were a failure as stalemate set in which was not unlocked until U.S. troops showed how to properly implement tanks and increase mobility.

This is not an argument that the U.S. Troops were better; they were not - in fact they were exceptionally green. However, the active participants had stagnated in their approach to battle and demanded a new perspective. That happened.
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Old 04-09-2011, 03:46 PM   #49
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Re: The First World War

I didn't really see that level of sophistication in Adam's analysis

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Originally Posted by Adam the Ant View Post
... WWI was all about both sides using brute force mano-a-mano. No movement, no surprise. Nothing.
That was the point I thought was wildly over simplistic. To me Adam was seeming to suggest that the stalemate was basically the strategy - whereas like you've suggested it was as a result of the failure of strategy.
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:27 PM   #50
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Fair enough. I see what you are saying now. I suppose Adam rightfully should be the one to explain his point.
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