- Jan 2015
- Ontario, Canada
Yes despite all of the obstacles and various problems, not least of which logistical ones, the Kaiser and Moltke still went through with an attack on Paris. Moltke however was feeling unsure about the whole endeavour but went through with it anyway.It was a strategic concern, sure, but one the Germans willingly undertook. While the French had a great deal of trouble in pushing the Germans out... there really is no way the Germans could have pushed the past the Marne, take Paris, defeat France, and then turn east. Germany was likely to run out of supplies regardless of what happened in the campaign. The fact that the Germans managed to occupy a large portion of northern France is irrelevant. The French gave 100% and stopped the Germans at the very limits of their attacks...
From there, while the French weren't able to push the Germans out, by the time that the stalemated war on the Western Front began, the war had progressed into a stage that the Germans could NEVER win. They simply had neither the manpower nor the resources to fight on 3 or 4 fronts and win over 4 years of fighting while deprived of all the resources of their colonies due to naval blockade. And that is where Germany MUST be held back.
And in many places, the French did lead the way or did hold an advantage. For example, the first cannon to actually have a feature to allow the gun to recoil without having have the crew reposition the gun was the French 75mm field gun. While the gun wasn't that great in the siege war that would come, on the Marne it was highly effective at dealing with troops in the open which the larger German siege guns COULDN'T deal with. The first army to put a steel helmet into service was the French Army with the Adrian Helmet in 1915... now the German Stalhelm may have been of better quality, the fact remains that the French were first. And while the British were the inventors of the tank, their tanks were essentially armored boxes that would have more in common with a WW2 assault gun than any post WW1 tank. The first tank to have a working turret and to set the pace for tank design for the foreseeable future were the French with the Renault FT 17.
I do believe that the French had aerial superiority and the Germans sometimes struggled to keep up.
Great run through at some of the French equipment developments and German strategic obstacles.