Create Your Own All-Star Military

Jun 2012
6,759
At present SD, USA
#31
I suppose a "worst matchup" might be:

2nd Fleet: Russians in the Russo-Japanese War
I can't really say much on the original Pacific squadron, the forces sent to relieve the forces at Port Arthur and Vladivostok really brought down the effectiveness of the Russian Navy as a whole. A guy on YouTube going by the name Drachinifel (Drachinifel) has a video covering the voyage of the force sent from Europe to the Pacific. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong for them... and THEN they met the Japanese...
 
Likes: sailorsam
May 2018
540
Michigan
#32
Moltke the Elder was with Bismarck and Wilhelm I, not Frederick the Great... .
Umm...obviously? Frederick was dead long before Moltke was born.

You seem very committed to the idea that the German Army of WWI sucked, and they mismanaged their economy worse than the Allies. I'll see if I have time this weekend to post the numerous charts, statistical analyses, and so on that actually show the opposite. Aside from that, I'd recommend you read The Pity of War by Niall Ferguson. I used to feel the same way you do about Germany in WWI, but Ferguson makes a very convincing argument.
 
Jun 2012
6,759
At present SD, USA
#33
You seem very committed to the idea that the German Army of WWI sucked.
Not that they sucked. The Germans didn't necessarily have a bad army, but it's an army that people have greatly overrated. Once the Western Front stabilized, they pulled back and dug in on ground that was both above where the Allies were and at times with a river between them. With the Allies lacking heavy artillery and the massive stockpile of them at the start of the war, this gave them further difficulties to try and overcome, particularly as they were the ones who had to go onto the offensive to try and push the Germans out. This gave the Germans a tremendous advantage that had little to do with the quality of their troops or their officers, as the decision making as fairly basic. If one is to take a defensive stance, one would want to be dug in on high ground that would force the enemy to move about in the open.

And for as much as people have seemed to go on about German "elite ability," keep in mind that the reason the Germans won the Battle of Mons was the fact that they had more men there than the British, not that they were better skilled. There, in fact the opposite was true. The British Regulars were well trained and able to engage in the made minute, something the Germans could not match. The result of this fighting was that German troops thought they were attacking several machine gun nests when it was little more than standard infantry with the SMLE. The British withdrew at Mons because the French were already in retreat following the Battle of the Frontiers and the Germans in that battle had the manpower to envelop the British lines.

and they mismanaged their economy worse than the Allies.
In general, yes. The Germans were starving in 1918. The French and British weren't. The Germans were running out of money and had little to pay for the war by 1918 short of printing more money... which would increase inflation. The French and British didn't, though they would be left with financial debt to the US and France would have to rebuild their country, particularly their most industrially rich area, which the Germans looted for their war effort. And by the last years of the war, the Germans were melting church bells and ripping up pipes to gain the supplies needed for the war. The French and British weren't forced to the same sacrifices and thanks to their naval strength, they were able to keep access to their colonies for resources and to those outside the conflict. Something Germany largely lost by the time the British blockade was in place.

The Germans managed to keep things going with what they had, yes, but their economy did weaken as a result of the war, which essentially made it a case of merely putting off the inevitable once the blockade was in place.

Aside from that, I'd recommend you read The Pity of War by Niall Ferguson. I used to feel the same way you do about Germany in WWI, but Ferguson makes a very convincing argument.
Given his connections to a Conservative think tank and that "The Pity of War" has the central thesis of "World War One was ALL Britain's fault" and claiming to be discovering various "myths," I'd take a lot of what he argues with a pound of salt. Much like Mosier, he may have some individual points to make, but most of his argument is more distortion and speculation without real evidence to break it up.
 

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