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

Jul 2016
7,185
USA
#41
Germany was on the defensive, and as Old Bedford said one man defending is worth ten attacking. The French lacked willpower and manpower for an 1918 offensive, the British simply lacked manpower after Paschendale. They might not have been able to WIN, but they certainly could Not Lose for another year of stalemate without the AEF.

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Operation Michael was defensive?
 
Nov 2014
1,385
Birmingham, UK
#42
Germany's army collapsed once it became clear that the Americans could and would FIGHT. They could kill all they wanted, as there was a Doughboy walking down the brow of a troop ship every few seconds at one point. They'd maul an American division, there was a fresh one full of "100% Americans" itching to "kill Huns," as the sayings went, ready to fight.
This is almost pitifully infantile.
 
#45
This post.
Admiral Sims was the USN's theater commander in Europe during WW1, and had a reasonably diverse career before the War, including two tours as President of the Naval War College. Located in Newport, Rhode Island, the NWC is the Navy's professional development academy; officers commission through a college's ROTC or the US Naval Academy at Annapolis and go to professional development training at Newport. Saying all this to say that ADM Sims was one of the more intellectual and well-informed officers in the United States Navy in 1917, and was a natural choice to be the Naval equivalent of Black Jack Pershing.

Being well-read as he was, he shared the common perception that Allied victory was inevitable and U-boat "piracy" really wasn't having any real effect on the inevitable outcome. First chapter is called "When The Germans Were Winning," and while he briefly covers the land catastrophes that befell Britain, France and Italy in 1916, interestingly, there's not a syllable about the Russian Revolution. The main point thus far is within weeks of his arrival in London in April 1917 he was sure of the following facts:
1) U-Boats were sinking British shipping at a rate the British shipbuilding industry couldn't make good on

2) The Allies had completely failed to find any reliable means of locating submarines; the Brits had only destroyed 50-60 in the entire war

3) Virtually the entire British political-military establishment, David Lloyd George excepted and called out in the text, was of the opinion that, barring solving the submarine problem, the UK would have to get out of the war in 6-8 weeks at most.

He is definitely of the opinion that, rather than the desperate gamble that Conventional Wisdom so often portrays "unrestricted submarine warfare" as, the German Admiralty saw the Allied catastrophes of 1916 (specifically the meat grinders of Verdun and the Somme) as a strategic opportunity to being the war to a close by forcing the UK out in weeks before the Americans could make any sort of contribution. American entry into the war was a coldly calculated risk. The Allies had gone through tremendous amounts of men and materiel that they couldn't make good on without the British merchant marine. American factories, Canada, India and Australia were oceans away, the Tsar had abdicated in March and Russia was in chaos, and the Italians were in stalemate. Removing the UK from the war was a simple mathematical calculation, leaving France to face the Germans, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottomans virtually alone.

As previously mentioned, the shipping crisis was critical in the Spring of 1917; the Home Fleet was restricted to 5/8 speed except in dire emergencies. And only the ineptitude of German intel prevented their control of the surface of the seas; some feinting sorties would quickly have depleted the supply of imported fuel oil. The American capital ships that were eventually deployed being coal-fired vice oil burners was not due to any anti-British sentiment on the part of the USN's senior leadership. Instead, it was an austerity measure based entirely on the critical shortage of fuel oil in the UK. And their assignment to convoy duty speaks volumes of the RN''s incapability to adequately support both the Grand Fleet AND adequately support convoys.

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pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
7,635
#46
This post.

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All that has been answered aside from the fuel oil which I have a look and get back about.

Sims is not an objective observer. he has an interest in making his contirbution and teh USN contributuibn as importnat as possible. Military leaders (of all lNationalities) have been pretty consistently horribly baist as hsitorians.

Not really affetcing the U boat problem. Convoys were the solution and Lloyd George would have forced it on the Admirality if he had to and the convoys were immediately and completely sucessful in reducing the U boat problem to quite small. The Idea that the british would have neigiotated some peace treaty without trying convoys is ludrioucs, absurb and without any sort of merit. And once tried , it was so immediately sucessfull, so much less troiuble than they thought and brought immedite relief.,

Yes german Intelligence was poor. if they did not know abnout the oil how would they have known that 15 destoryers werenbot there? And like 15 destrouyers would have balanced the odds between the fleets. The British had clear superioty, the Germans knew it. And what exactlly was the German fuel situation.
 
Oct 2013
12,223
Europix
#47
Admiral Sims was the USN's theater commander in Europe during WW1, and had a reasonably diverse career before the War, including two tours as President of the Naval War College. Located in Newport, Rhode Island, the NWC is the Navy's professional development academy; officers commission through a college's ROTC or the US Naval Academy at Annapolis and go to professional development training at Newport. Saying all this to say that ADM Sims was one of the more intellectual and well-informed officers in the United States Navy in 1917, and was a natural choice to be the Naval equivalent of Black Jack Pershing.

Being well-read as he was, he shared the common perception that Allied victory was inevitable and U-boat "piracy" really wasn't having any real effect on the inevitable outcome. First chapter is called "When The Germans Were Winning," and while he briefly covers the land catastrophes that befell Britain, France and Italy in 1916, interestingly, there's not a syllable about the Russian Revolution. The main point thus far is within weeks of his arrival in London in April 1917 he was sure of the following facts:
1) U-Boats were sinking British shipping at a rate the British shipbuilding industry couldn't make good on

2) The Allies had completely failed to find any reliable means of locating submarines; the Brits had only destroyed 50-60 in the entire war

3) Virtually the entire British political-military establishment, David Lloyd George excepted and called out in the text, was of the opinion that, barring solving the submarine problem, the UK would have to get out of the war in 6-8 weeks at most.

He is definitely of the opinion that, rather than the desperate gamble that Conventional Wisdom so often portrays "unrestricted submarine warfare" as, the German Admiralty saw the Allied catastrophes of 1916 (specifically the meat grinders of Verdun and the Somme) as a strategic opportunity to being the war to a close by forcing the UK out in weeks before the Americans could make any sort of contribution. American entry into the war was a coldly calculated risk. The Allies had gone through tremendous amounts of men and materiel that they couldn't make good on without the British merchant marine. American factories, Canada, India and Australia were oceans away, the Tsar had abdicated in March and Russia was in chaos, and the Italians were in stalemate. Removing the UK from the war was a simple mathematical calculation, leaving France to face the Germans, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottomans virtually alone.

As previously mentioned, the shipping crisis was critical in the Spring of 1917; the Home Fleet was restricted to 5/8 speed except in dire emergencies. And only the ineptitude of German intel prevented their control of the surface of the seas; some feinting sorties would quickly have depleted the supply of imported fuel oil. The American capital ships that were eventually deployed being coal-fired vice oil burners was not due to any anti-British sentiment on the part of the USN's senior leadership. Instead, it was an austerity measure based entirely on the critical shortage of fuel oil in the UK. And their assignment to convoy duty speaks volumes of the RN''s incapability to adequately support both the Grand Fleet AND adequately support convoys.

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To be honest, that analysis, is lacking a fundamental aspect: Germany.

Reading it, one would say that allies were on the brink of collapse, while Germany (and Austro-Hungary) were turning flawlessly, at full speed. Which is utterly false.

The mutinies were mentioned previously in this thread. There was more than just mutinies in armies. I suggest to begin with this small study (it is in English) on one of the aspects of the war in Germany, rarely mentioned, although more than important: Labour Movements and Strikes, Social Conflict and Control, Protest and Repression (Germany) | International Encyclopedia of the First World War (WW1)
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
7,635
#48
Oil Shortage was an Oil tanker shortage problem, the Oil was overwhelmingly coming form the USA and there was no shortage of oil. In 1917 the RN was down to 3-4 months supply, and handed over 1 months supply to Army. Start of 1916 teh Royal navy had about a year reserve so over about 18 months, they had lost 3/4 of their reserve. SO at thhat rate there would have been oil shortage after another 6 months. (losing 1 month of resves every 2 months)

The US had a large tanker fleet. The Problms was solved historically by US entry and use of US tankers. WIthout US entry the problem could only solved by gaining access through purchase or lease, which would have been expesnive aggravating the ecnomic criisis.
 
#49
Sims' book, like all publications by serving Naval officers of the era, was approved for publication by Secretary Daniels. It therefore can be considered an official document.

Shuck and jive, Euros. Shuck and jive.

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Oct 2013
12,223
Europix
#50
Shuck and jive, Euros. Shuck and jive.
1. "Euros" is the plural for "Euro", which wasn't in circulation during the WWI.
2. "Shuck and jive" isn't the most convincing argument. To be honest, it isn't an argument at all.
3. The good part is that I learned a new slang expression that I didn't knew, although it seems it's dating before WWI.