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Old November 27th, 2012, 11:22 AM   #81

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Germans or french,too close too call.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 12:11 PM   #82
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I believe that out of all the forces at the beginning of WWI, the British probably had the most effective ground forces of all the combants. It was small, very well trained and equipped. No country at the outset of the war was fully prepared for the scale of it and as a result, conscription was inevitable on all sides.

The part lacking on all sides was the tactics which were way behind the weapons. Most of the high command believed that in order to mass your fire, you massed your troops, just as in the American Civil War. The end result is the slaughter of a very finely trained infantry.

Well trained infantrymen arent put out like an assembly line. It takes a couple of years to really get them to their best, but impossible in something as large in a world war.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 12:19 PM   #83

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Without falling to some general clichés, I would say German soldiers. Just by being objective they hold out the Western front and almost captured Paris but still could fight in the Eastern front and defeat the Russian hordes.

Although I have to admit that the Russian army was ill equipped and with a morale not as enduring and strong as the German one.

The British (and in some degree the French) excelled vastly the Germans in one thing (IMAO), their ability to pour soldiers from all over the world into European fields (such as the ANZAC or colonial troops like the ones driven from India or Africa). Thanks to the colonies and the superior combined allied navy, the Etente won earlier WWI not because of a military overwhelming but by surviving the attrition by which Germany broke down in the Revolution of 1918.
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Old November 29th, 2012, 10:08 AM   #84
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the war was lost for Germany after the defeat of the Marne, has reminded everyone that after that he managed to have more advanced in their goal to beat the French so ... french
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Old November 29th, 2012, 04:12 PM   #85

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwencord View Post
the war was lost for Germany after the defeat of the Marne, has reminded everyone that after that he managed to have more advanced in their goal to beat the French so ... french
As the actual course of history shows... but the failure of the Schlieffen Plan has more to do with the Germans attempting to do too much rather then the French having better infantry. Remember, in 1914 the French army still wore bright red and blue uniforms that got them their single bloodiest days when they were gunned down attempted to retake Alsace and Lorraine from Germany... German casualties in those engagements, minimal.

Not to mention that the only reason there wasn't a major German offensive against the French during the 1917 mutiny was that the Germans didn't KNOW about the mutiney.

In the end, I think France had better strategic generals with regard to Joffre, Petain, and Foch, but the average German infantryman was better in his individual capability and tenacity. It wasn't the German soldier's fault that his leader's were inferior strategically.
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Old November 29th, 2012, 04:17 PM   #86

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Troops to be blunt, were pretty equal throughout the war. In the end it just mattered which side had more men to go "over the top," and that was the Allies.

Near the end I'd have to say German troops were the best trained at least. Stormtroopers were a force to be reckened with.
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Old November 29th, 2012, 10:59 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by Sam-Nary View Post
As the actual course of history shows... but the failure of the Schlieffen Plan has more to do with the Germans attempting to do too much rather then the French having better infantry. Remember, in 1914 the French army still wore bright red and blue uniforms that got them their single bloodiest days when they were gunned down attempted to retake Alsace and Lorraine from Germany... German casualties in those engagements, minimal.
As were the French casualties when the Germans just after the above event took to the offensive against the French fortified sector around Toul and Verdun. Holding it against any number of Germans attackers was simple enough to allow Joffre to pull an entire French army from that part of the front and fling it west of Paris.

You're not looking at effects of infantry quality, but of the WWI advantages of defensive positions against an attackers, which in 1914 worked pretty much the same for either side.

The French main problems in 1914 was in lack of long range heavy artillery, not infantry quality, and the Germans after all setting the pace of the action by the move through Belgium, coupled with the Germans calling up their reserves from day one and so achieving a massive numerical superiority in that area of the frontline.

Probably a better gauge of the quality of the French infantry in 1914 is that while outnumbered and outgunned initially, it still managed and orderly retreat — which is generally regarded as one of the hardest moves you can attempt — until such time as they could successfully counterattack the Germans. That's an actual sign of quality. The colour of their pants in an incidental detail by comparison (and an interesting story about the status of the French army in society by itself — the army wanted to go kahki by 1910/11 or so, but loud popular opinion resisted the move).

This works for the Germans in 1914 too. Once they had been checked at the Marne, it fell to the Germans to beat an orderly retreat and stabilise a decent frontline asap. Which they did, and already at the time, and I think rightly, it was seen as indicating very high quality in the Germans opposite number as well.
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