US expeditionary force in World War I

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
5,776
Spain
and compared to any other army that was always relying on conscripts?
Well Pugsville...

If you have a Professional Army system and in middle of a war you change the model.... you are in disadvantage. The difference with respect the others European countries was that British citizen had done none military service in their life...not maneouver at all. German, France, Italy, A-H, Russia etc had mandatory military service. Each subject had to go to the army for 1 to 3 years... and each year.. for next 25 years. they had to go to the army few weeks each year.... nothing as that we can see in Britain. In 1916, the British recruit was in disadvantage in relation to the rest of European conscripts.

Kevin.

You are right. Not prohibition in Conscription Act in 1916 (not applied in Ireland). But in the British Official History (Official HIstory of the Great War. Military Operations. France & Belgium. 1916. Volumen I. Page 151 is very clear: "after which date (it is talking about 27th January 1916) all voluntary enlistment even for the Territorial Army ceased"

So... according with this information... I guess the Voluntary Service was banned from 1916 on wars... because everybody had to go to the Army. Not voluntary anymore. Or Do you have any other interpretation? The 1916 ACt was not applied in Ireland only in Great Britain. So in Ireland, yes , there were volunteers after 1916 Act.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
7,634
Well Pugsville...

If you have a Professional Army system and in middle of a war you change the model.... you are in disadvantage. The difference with respect the others European countries was that British citizen had done none military service in their life...not maneouver at all. German, France, Italy, A-H, Russia etc had mandatory military service. Each subject had to go to the army for 1 to 3 years... and each year.. for next 25 years. they had to go to the army few weeks each year.... nothing as that we can see in Britain. In 1916, the British recruit was in disadvantage in relation to the rest of European conscripts.
France the system was fairly universal not so elsewhere. France around 80% well called up pre war into the system, Germany 54%.

All reservists were called up in 1914. Germans reaching the amy from 1915 had no more experince than their british counterparts,
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
2,553
Sydney
.
Pugsville you overlook an important point ,
ALL the French and German men had served their time in the Army
that was the whole point of the national service lasting two or three years with a further number of years in the reserve

while officers would sneer at older soldiers , they were in fact trained already and could be used pretty much straight away
the classes of 1904 to 1912 were excellent
Britain had some territorials which could be formed into line regiments ,
to a lesser extend the US National guards might be called soldiers by a broad definition
none of those could compare with the training of the compulsory national service
 
Sep 2012
879
Spring, Texas
Not everyone was called up in the old European Conscript Armies of Europe. When the Reserves were called up in 1914, a large number of young men volunteered for the Army. Adolph Hitler, a citizen of the Austro-HungarianEmpire living in Munich, volunteered for the Bavarian Army and was soon getting shot at. Most of these new volunteers were sent to new Corps and sent to the Front without training. Their first combat was called "The Slaughter of the Innocents".
 
May 2011
13,381
Navan, Ireland
............................

Kevin.

You are right. Not prohibition in Conscription Act in 1916 (not applied in Ireland). But in the British Official History (Official HIstory of the Great War. Military Operations. France & Belgium. 1916. Volumen I. Page 151 is very clear: "after which date (it is talking about 27th January 1916) all voluntary enlistment even for the Territorial Army ceased"

So... according with this information... I guess the Voluntary Service was banned from 1916 on wars... because everybody had to go to the Army. Not voluntary anymore. Or Do you have any other interpretation? The 1916 ACt was not applied in Ireland only in Great Britain. So in Ireland, yes , there were volunteers after 1916 Act.
Your quote says enlistment into the 'Territorial army' not the British army.

Does it state you could no longer join the regular army? or the 'New armies'?
No it doesn't so no matter what you'd like to believe the British army even in 1918 was still approx. 2/3 rds made up of volunteers.
 
Dec 2014
5,776
Spain
France the system was fairly universal not so elsewhere. France around 80% well called up pre war into the system, Germany 54%.

All reservists were called up in 1914. Germans reaching the amy from 1915 had no more experince than their british counterparts,
Yes France was the heavy militarist State in Belle Époque... (not the famous "Prussian militarism"). All reservist were called up in 1914 but not all of them were sent to Front...France (or Germany, or Austria or Russia etc) had more soldiers in 1916 than Britain... the compulsory system was adapted to their societies... every body knows what to do...Well, German soldiers had more experience in instruction....and more veterans in 1915/16 than British.
You can choose one system or other.. both they have up and down.. pro and cons. Professional is an excellen soldier but when you need to stablish a compulsory system.. the recruit is awful... if you have a conscript system. you have not soldiers as good as professional but you have a better recruit.
B
France the system was fairly universal not so elsewhere. France around 80% well called up pre war into the system, Germany 54%.

All reservists were called up in 1914. Germans reaching the amy from 1915 had no more experince than their british counterparts,

Well, you are right about France.. It was the most military state in Europe during Belle Époque (and not the famous "Prussian militarism"). By other side.. not all people was calle upon weapons in 1914... the reserves were gradually movilized... although most of them.. I agree, in 1914. And yes, in 1915, Germany had more veterans and more trained recruits than Britain because UK had a Professional Army. An excellent soldier but when you need to organize a compulsory system after the Professional and then Volunteer army... you know the kind of recruit you are going to have.

It is right nobody (not even the BEF) had experinces in a kind of war as the one who broke in 1914.. but the professional soldier adapted best (as the trained recruit adapted better than the non-trained recruit). In 1916... The British had a low quality recruit as the "cream of nation" had joined the army well as professional in 1914 or as volunteer in 1914-1915. The others armies had the same quality... not as high as the professional infantry in1914 but better than volunteer and conscript.

Dear Kevin,

I cannot argument with you about English language but the phrase after which date all voluntary enlistment even for the Territorial Army ceased" I think it is easy to be understood.

After with date means after Conscription Act came into force (it is said January 27th 1916).. all voluntary enlistment (I think it means all the volunteers), the word "even for" (maybe I am wrong but I think it means including... as to say not only for the Army but also for the Territorial Army.. in any case in this forum there are hundreds specialist in English languages.. not me. But word "Even for" I understand as not even volunteers accepted in Territorial Army.. so much less in Regular Army.

No it doesn't so no matter what you'd like to believe the British army even in 1918 was still approx. 2/3 rds made up of volunteers.

I don´t want to believe nothing.. simply I write what I read in OR. You said 66% were volunteers in 1918.. Ok.. I guess you are counting people were volunteers befroe January 1916... I asked to you how to know who were volunteers or not after 1916... and I think... you don´t know how to know it.
 
Oct 2010
7,634
By other side.. not all people was calle upon weapons in 1914... the reserves were gradually movilized... although most of them.. I agree, in 1914. And yes, in 1915, Germany had more veterans and more trained recruits than Britain because UK had a Professional Army. An excellent soldier but when you need to organize a compulsory system after the Professional and then Volunteer army... you know the kind of recruit you are going to have.
The Germans immeditaely art the start of teh war called up all reservists and lundstrum. over 3 million reervists were moblised in the first two weeks. The Germans had intergated their resevists intotheir fornt line troops. This game them an initial numbers advanatge, but the advnace in 1914 was delayed and hampered by resevists being unfit struggling with the demand of constant marching. By 3 months intothe war teh Germnas had called up all their trained reserves and apll of the class of 1914. by teh start of 1915 thety were no fruther reserves of trianed men.

The British Army was tiny. Long service professionals, well trianed. The actually much more recent expeince and a more modern advanced dcortine at the start of the war in 1914 (mainly thanks to the bollacking they got form the boers) with the xecption of heavy atrtllery which they mostly lacked. The "new army" or Kicthcner's army that debut on the Somme was hadtily raised and trained mass army of volunteers which suffered horribly. This masisve quick expandion tto millions of men army had many of the same problems as the US amy expansion though they didn;t quite balls up the trianing and expandion process as badly as the US did.,
 

Similar History Discussions