America played the key role in German defeat in World War I

#21
so? Official histories have always been suspect.



Royal navy had some 370 destoyers in service. Then there 's French and Japanese. Finding another 20 odd destoyers from teh various deployments not just teh Grand fleet OR lose the war. Hmm the British are going to just roll over without a very sligt adjustment in their destroyer deployments? The Idea that the news that say 15 destroyers were no longer with the Grand Fleet means the German fleet somehow has dominance is just ludrious.

Royal Navy Organisation and Ship Deployment, Inter-War Years 1914-1918
Another example of the conspiracy. Marginalize and denigrate anything that contradicts the Conventional Wisdom. At least here it looks like biased pretentious psuedo intellectualism isn't the rule of the day like in some other forums.

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May 2011
13,465
Navan, Ireland
#22
Another example of the conspiracy. Marginalize and denigrate anything that contradicts the Conventional Wisdom. At least here it looks like biased pretentious psuedo intellectualism isn't the rule of the day like in some other forums.

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No its another example of someone refuting your opinion, its not a 'conspiracy' at all but rather evidence that not everyone accepts your nationalistic interpretation of history.
 
#23
You say nationalist like it's a bad thing. History should be inspirational, affirming the heroic deeds of the past. One problem with the 21st century is too many people are busy tearing down great things that have happened instead of affirming them.

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May 2011
13,465
Navan, Ireland
#25
You say nationalist like it's a bad thing.
Well in my opinion it is, especially if a blind nationalism that can see nothing but its own biased history.
That views their nation and by extension themselves to be superior to all others.

There is nothing wrong with 'love of your country' or pride in your country but some people allow them to be blinded by such.

History should be inspirational, affirming the heroic deeds of the past.
Perhaps but it shouldn't try to write history to conform to nationalistic agendas.

One problem with the 21st century is too many people are busy tearing down great things that have happened instead of affirming them.

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But that's not what is happening here but rather a poster is claiming to 'uncover a European conspiracy' regarding how the USA didn't actually win WWI.

History is not being re-affirmed but rather made up of Nationalist myth being created and or supported.
 

Sam-Nary

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
6,712
At present SD, USA
#26
Like all publications by serving Naval officers of the day, Victory waa reviewed by the Navy Department and approved for publication by Secretary Daniels. It is, for all intents and purposes the official United States Navy history of WW1.
The fact that it was reviewed does not necessarily make it accurate. Often because many official histories are often written pretty close to the events in question, which would mean they have limited access to sources on the other side of the conflict. Which could mean that certain numbers could be inflated. May French and British "official" histories often inflated German casualties on the Western Front on the years immediately after the war because the best sources they had on German casualties were from wartime reports, which could allow for inaccuracies with regard to what those generals calculated. This can be seen in some of the War Cabinet debates over the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Robertson made reports to the cabinet that the Germans were suffering heavier losses based on the BEF's calculation of German casualties, and these calculations likely made their way into the official British history of the Battle of the Somme after the war... Later histories, that would have greater access to German sources, however, would demonstrate that the calculations used by the British during the war were in error and that not only did the Germans suffer lighter casualties than the British on the Somme, they suffered lighter casualties than the British and French COMBINED on the Somme in 1916.

So, the "official" history is not necessarily 100% accurate. There may be elements about it that are true, but not all of it...

In addition, what you're using with Sims is a personal memoir. It may be important for looking into Sims' personal role, but should also be taken with a grain of salt. Memoirs generally tend to be personal and put the writer in the best position possible, emphasizing their victories and excusing their mistakes. And while I'm sure Sims did a good job with his specific mission, if he's arguing that his destroyers saved Britain all by their lonesome... he's grossly exaggerating. The British Grand Fleet was not solely battleships and cruisers. They had plenty of destroyers they likely sent for convoy escort. They had the armed merchant cruisers serving as escorts at the end of the war. And while JP Morgan may have owned the White Star Line, the RMS Olympic was still a BRITISH ship, not an American one. And by the end of the war, the Olympic was serving as an armed merchant cruiser and would ram and sink a German U-boat in WWI. In this, Sims is ignoring much to make himself look better.

You're evading the point. Without a Merchant Marine, England would starve, never mind not being able to support the war effort. The Germans could count; without the US Destroyers, the RN couldn't adequately deter a German sortie from Wilhelmshaven with the Grand Fleet AND adequately escort convoys. Ships are very mobile, but can't be in two places at the same time.
Do you have sources OTHER than Sims that would agree with this? Because the British Grand Fleet was more than just its battleships and heavy cruisers on blockade duty. They had plenty of destroyers of their own. They had their Q ships, often used to lure U-boats into an attack and then sink them, often because German U-boats were more submersibles than true submarines as they would have to spend time on the surface to recharge their batteries and maintain full speed. Not to mention that there likely other nation's destroyers there as well, namely French destroyers, as protecting the routes into Brest, Le Harve, Bordeaux, and St. Naziare would be JUST as important as Britain's lifelines into Liverpool and Plymouth. Especially when the convoy system also reduced the number escorts needed for anti-submarine duty.

In this, if Sims's efforts were truly the deciding factor, you would see more modern English histories that would reinforce that with some point as to failings in how Royal Navy destroyers operated or where they were deployed or how many there were and make case for how the British escorts were failing, along with points to how that is shown in the wording of reports in the Royal Navy or in official histories. You can't just use Sims' own claims and tables as proof, because his claims may only be with regard to what the US navy did in WWI and wouldn't fully get into how well it worked with the rest of the Allied navies in the war.
 

Sam-Nary

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
6,712
At present SD, USA
#27
You say nationalist like it's a bad thing.
Loving one's country is fine, but one does not need to be the hero in every case or position to be loved. In fact, a true patriot will love his/her country in spite of its flaws and move to make it better while recognizing those flaws.

But when... nationalism is used to say "I'm the best at everything! I won! I did things better than you! Respect me!" THEN it is wrong, because you're no longer dealing in facts but trying to establish an opinion based narrative, something that has created a great many problems in history.

History should be inspirational, affirming the heroic deeds of the past.
No, history should be factual and provide a clear understanding of how and why things happened. Myths of heroes may be created in histories, but myths generally only have a small touch of truth to them surrounded by either exaggerations or outright lies to make a case that isn't factual... See the "Stab in the Back Myth," created by Ludendorff and later supported by Hitler.

One problem with the 21st century is too many people are busy tearing down great things that have happened instead of affirming them.
Doubtful. Respecting facts and not perpetuating myths is not "tearing down great things" but rather providing a case for where REAL greatness resides... in honesty and in the truth.
 
Likes: Scaeva
Jan 2010
4,010
Atlanta, Georgia USA
#28
The US contribution was useful, but not essential. It's main effect was psychological. The German high command could have persuaded themselves that they could hold on against the Anglo French forces , even though that was purely wishful thinking, but the potential inherent in the US involvement penetrated their hubris and made them realise they were on a hiding to nothing.
But at this stage of the War--where the Germans had put pretty much everything they had into the spring offensives, lost large numbers, and had little to show for it---the US contribution was decisive and, IMO, essential to the conclusion of the War in 1918. Ludendorff realized that the European powers were exhausted but the US had just begun to fight and had the population and industrial base to fight successfully. You may call it psychological, but Ludendorff saw the handwriting on the wall and realized that Germany was not going to win on the battlefield.
 
#29
But at this stage of the War--where the Germans had put pretty much everything they had into the spring offensives, lost large numbers, and had little to show for it---the US contribution was decisive and, IMO, essential to the conclusion of the War in 1918. Ludendorff realized that the European powers were exhausted but the US had just begun to fight and had the population and industrial base to fight successfully. You may call it psychological, but Ludendorff saw the handwriting on the wall and realized that Germany was not going to win on the battlefield.
This. Germany started talking about negotiating after Belleau Wood and the Marne.

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Sam-Nary

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
6,712
At present SD, USA
#30
But at this stage of the War--where the Germans had put pretty much everything they had into the spring offensives, lost large numbers, and had little to show for it---the US contribution was decisive and, IMO, essential to the conclusion of the War in 1918. Ludendorff realized that the European powers were exhausted but the US had just begun to fight and had the population and industrial base to fight successfully. You may call it psychological, but Ludendorff saw the handwriting on the wall and realized that Germany was not going to win on the battlefield.
The problem though, is that Germany was every bit as exhausted as the European allies were, if not more so. Mainly due to the fact that they were carrying the lion's share of the Central Powers' workload in the war, particularly with regard to the fighting in Europe, but they did send some troops to help the Ottomans as well. And many of these commitments, particularly with regard to the Eastern Front in Europe, which did not "disappear" with the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, served to sap German strength. Germany was experiencing mass unrest at home in early 1918, its allies were reaching the breaking point as well in areas where few, if any, Americans were, and its population was starting to starve to death in 1916.

For America's military involvement to be "decisive" in WWI, the German threat needs to be credible... and in the big picture... it wasn't. Germany was at the very end of its rope when 1918 began and the Spring Offensive was a gambler's hope that its enemies would just surrender after one hard blow, and thus relieve Germany of the state of siege it had been under for four years. And in looking at Ludendorff's plans in 1918, one finds that there was no strategic objective beyond taking the next trench line and assuming that the French and British lines would splinter, the French would then surrender and the British would retreat to Britain. Amiens wasn't even selected as a target until after the German army began to get close to the city, and by that point, the German army had begun to run out of gas and Foch had moved Allied reserves to Amiens to bolster the sector...

Which in turn left Ludendorff with few real options. Amiens was still his chief objective and he had to either get British troops away from Amiens, in order to split the main allied line or he had to get the main reserve away from Amiens (mostly French troops) in order to split the Allied line... Thus the distraction attacks near Ypres and turning south "in the general direction" of Paris. Both of which largely failed. The Germans advanced in the north and mauled the Portuguese troops in the region, but ran out of steam and didn't draw sizeable British reserves from Amiens, and the attack south did less. Foch largely ignored the attack and kept his main forces at Amiens, and in the end, the Germans failed to take the logistical centers they would have needed to take to make any sort of "threat" to Paris credible, and with that... the distraction would have failed regardless of whether or not the Americans were there.

It's really in this that the American presence in WWI is more about WHEN the Allies win, not IF they win. Germany was not in a position where they could have won the war, regardless of America's presence. Without the Americans, they might have lasted longer, but they wouldn't have won. The American presence merely accelerated what was a forgone conclusion, that Germany would lose.