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Old November 7th, 2012, 12:54 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by Temujin View Post
The Russians causing the most casualties doesn't quite seem to add up, considering that the Germans had a smaller army on the eastern front, they shared their casualties with the Austria-Hungarians, and the Russians were by far the worst performers in the entire war. It was probably the French or the British who caused the most casualties.
For the Western Front it most certainly was the French (about 65% of the total Germans casualties by the counts I've seen). It's a pretty simple matter of the time involved before Britain could deploy a proper WWI mass-army.
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Old November 7th, 2012, 01:37 PM   #72

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Temujin View Post
The Russians causing the most casualties doesn't quite seem to add up, considering that the Germans had a smaller army on the eastern front, they shared their casualties with the Austria-Hungarians, and the Russians were by far the worst performers in the entire war. It was probably the French or the British who caused the most casualties.
Nop, the combined action of French and British caused 5.5 million casualties in the western front, to which you should add an indertemined number of Turkish casualties of 1.2 million suffered by them.

Russia caused 800,000 deaths to Germany, together with as high as 1.5 million wounded and a little number of prisoners. During 1915, the Germans deployed a higher number of troops in the East, while a very large army remained there for the rest of the war. Austria-Hungary suffered 2 million prisoners to Russia, together with 700-800 thousand deaths and 2.5 million wounded. This should be add to the devastating death toll that they took from Turks in the nearly unknown, but bloody, Caucasus front.

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Considering that France + UK produced 10 times the number of artillery shells than Russia I find such assertion to be strictly impossible.
As bartieboy commented, they could use imported weapons too. But the most important factor to consider, is that the Eastern Front developed in different conditions than the Western one. The fighting was less concentrated, and probably less intense in terms of material. But it was a front with a high movility, where prisoners were taken in far larger numbers, while logistic were far more difficult, which resulted in high numbers of fatal wounds, hunger and disease.


Consider how, in spite of the very famous operations of Somme or Verdun, the largest blow to Central Powers in 1916 was the gigantic Brusilov offensive.

Yes, Russia was the main contender of the Central Powers.
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Old November 7th, 2012, 05:21 PM   #73
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Russian Armaments & Munitions

My understanding from recent reading is that the Russians managed to produce most of their own munitions and armaments, while low levels at the start of the war (where some units did not have rifles, and the shell per gun available at the start of the war was much less than the other armies , which all turned out inadequate) by 1916-1917 production was respectable. The cost being the near wrecking of the civilian economy, as with most nations railways were neglected, and in Russia the vast distances the railways infrastructure was more vital.

Russian problems in 1917 were the collapse of the civilian rather than military economy. The problems feeding the population leading to the break down of the order of the regime, (sure there were lots of other problems, but inability to feed the population rapidly lost whatever capital the regime had with the population)

Russian commanders and officers generally started the war with a low standard.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 11:32 AM   #74
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BEF in 1914 is hardly comparable to the BEF of 1918. The armies of other majors are at least comparable between 1914 and 1918 to the extent of already being conscript mass-armies in 1914.

The former BEF was too small to really matter in 1914 (militarily; symbolically it was quite important). The latter towards the end of the war only had a qualitative adavantage over in particular the French precisely because the former was insiginificant in the larger scheme of things in 1914.

It really only amounts to an implicit admission of the French carrying most of the fighting in the western front, with the British on occasion somehow still managing ti claim they were "better" for it. Better off? Certainly. Beyond that? Nah...
I would disagree, the BEF performed excellently fighting a withdrawing battle from mons. 'to small to matter' i don't think is accurate when it managed to stall one of the main thrusts of the German offensive.

Further, despite the debacle on the somme in 1916, the British began to experiment with the tank and it was British and commonwealth troops that mastered the combined arms tactics that allowed for the large breakthroughs in 1918.

The courage of all the belligerents is beyond doubt, and i don't think there is any meaningful difference. But in terms of all the others, the British army really came into itself, aerial artillery spotting, artillery coordination, combined armed tactics and dogged determination of the average tommy, i think gives them the edge. The smle was an outstanding rifle and had the ability to drop rounds at longer range to give a beaten zone. The standard of workmanship in The bef in 1914 was outstanding, see the mad minute! The bayonet was excellent and the ethos of trying to close to use wherever possible is still alive and well even now, something i feel the French and Americans lacked.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 12:10 PM   #75
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I'd think the Springfield's range would present an advantage in defensive warfare. Given that artillery turned the battlefields of WWI into largely open fields, the Springfield would allow American units to open fire on any attacking force before that force could even fire on them...

Though overall, I'd actually tend to agree with regard to the British Enfield. It performed well in WWI, and its bolt action was effective. In fact the weapon the British largely used in WWII was an updated version of the weapon they used in WWI, which has to say something about its effectiveness. By comparison, in WW2, the Springfield was replaced by the Garand among the rank and file, and was largely only a sniper rifle in WWII.
The SMLE was also used as a sniper weapon in both world wars and it was claimed it was accurate up to 2,000 yards

In combat your chances of hitting anything over a mile away without specialist sniper equipment were negligible

The Germans concluded that 300 meters was the maximum a soldier needed to shoot accurately with a rifle...anything over that was the job of machine guns (or snipers)
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Old November 26th, 2012, 12:56 PM   #76
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I would disagree, the BEF performed excellently fighting a withdrawing battle from mons. 'to small to matter' i don't think is accurate when it managed to stall one of the main thrusts of the German offensive.
They didn't. That's just British hype.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 01:14 PM   #77

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They didn't. That's just British hype.

That comment is open to debate to say the least.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 01:44 PM   #78

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam-Nary View Post
I'd think the Springfield's range would present an advantage in defensive warfare. Given that artillery turned the battlefields of WWI into largely open fields, the Springfield would allow American units to open fire on any attacking force before that force could even fire on them...

Though overall, I'd actually tend to agree with regard to the British Enfield. It performed well in WWI, and its bolt action was effective. In fact the weapon the British largely used in WWII was an updated version of the weapon they used in WWI, which has to say something about its effectiveness. By comparison, in WW2, the Springfield was replaced by the Garand among the rank and file, and was largely only a sniper rifle in WWII.
Large open fields?
not as a rule, the battlefield could be quite hilly because of the constant shelling.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 02:01 PM   #79

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Large open fields?
not as a rule, the battlefield could be quite hilly because of the constant shelling.
1914 yes and outside The Western front it may have continued but in the trenches long range accurate rifle fire wasn't needed. The outstanding musketry achieved by the 1914 BEF was unobtainable with the volunteer/conscript armies that came after it but it didn't matter because it was of little use on the Western front (except for a few snipers).

Modern rifles don't 'shoot' as far or use as large a round simply because the PBI don't need it.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 10:20 PM   #80
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That comment is open to debate to say the least.
Certainly.

I'm really saying that if the BEF at Mons in some significant way "stopped" the advance of the German 1st and 2nd Armies in August 1914, then so did the French army at the Battle of Guise (and somewhat less significantly at Cary and Signy-l'Abbaye).

Except really neither of them did.
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