WW1 was Britain's chief geopolitical mistake? Britain transformed a smaller continental war into real World War, and weakened her own global position

Dec 2017
357
Florida
Is he really a right-winger? I've only read one of his books (The Pity of War) and came away with the impression he was of the radical left, specifically of the peacenik camp.
From my understanding, he is a bit of an odd bird because he loves the British Empire and he sees WWI as the crumbling(?) of the empire because of the British getting involved. So basically he was against Britain getting involved because it was the beginning of the end of the Empire if I am understanding him correctly.
 

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,913
Spain
The Entente Powers still would have won if the U.S.A. had stayed out of WWI.
Well. I don´t think so... Entente Powers were as exhausted as Central Powers.... in 1917....Entente was in not way in good position: Russia was exhausated and Collapsed after failed Kerensky´s offensive....Italy defeated in Caporetto... with the Austro-Hungarians knocking on the Venetian doors....French disillusioned after the drama of Chemin-des-Dames... British overwhelmed by the deadly siege imposed by the submarines...even Ottomans resisted harshly in Palestine and only in Mesopotamia, ...Quadruplice received bad news from Baghdad...

So.. USA was decisive.. Yes, I agree.. from a Military Point of view.... was not "impressive" because USA weren´t Military power (and they didn´t till 1942)...but USA decided WW1 because

1st: The great financial help that it meant for Entente
2nd: The great support in resources (literally food)
3rd: The great contribution in men... if they were not decisive in 1918.. they would have been in 1919 or 1920...
4th: It was a very important naval reinforcement for a British fleet that was running out
5th: The intervention forced the Centrals, very exhausted after 4 years of fighting, to change strategy, to rush forward, to go on the offensive ...
6th: It was a huge dose of morale for countries like France, Britain and Italy that were very exhausted by the war .. Caporetto, and Chemin-des-Dames would have been devastating blows if the next intervention of the "American friend" was not available ...
7th: At the same time it was a devastating blow to the morale of the Central Empires

So.. Yes... USA was decisive... of course.. I know.... USA did not carry the weight of war and their soldiers at no time carried the decisive weight on the battlefields ... But USA as a set, decided WW1.
Without USA intervention.... I only see a Stalemale or a Central Victory... as it took place in the East.
 

Tercios Espanoles

Ad Honorem
Mar 2014
6,701
Beneath a cold sun, a grey sun, a Heretic sun...
From my understanding, he is a bit of an odd bird because he loves the British Empire and he sees WWI as the crumbling(?) of the empire because of the British getting involved. So basically he was against Britain getting involved because it was the beginning of the end of the Empire if I am understanding him correctly.
Perhaps. In any event, I found his book useful for the many facts and figures he cites in support of his arguments. Whether one agrees with his conclusions or not, The Pity of War has a wealth of useful information.
 
Sep 2016
1,352
Georgia
martin76
Germany failed to defeat British and French during the Spring Offensive, while American presence was still small. They wasted their last offensive resources, even though AEF involvement in fighting was minimal.

We also should consider that British, French and Italians achieved great success on other fronts :
Austrians were crushed during Vittorio-Veneto offensive
Ottomans were decisively defeated in the Middle East during Battle of Megiddo
Allies ( French + British + Serbs + Greeks ) defeat Bulgarians in Vardar offensive. Bulgaria was the first nation to sue for peace, by the way.

So what are the prospects for Germans ? They completely failed to achieve a decisive victory on the Western front and wasted their last resources on that offensive, while all of their allies were defeated on other fronts and Blockade of Germany still continues. Meanwhile, there is Bolshevik Revolution on the East and Civil War.

pugsville also rightfully pointed out that France and Britain equipped the AEF with artillery, machine guns, tanks and aircraft.

Plus Central Powers were seriously lacking in resources by 1918 thanks to 4 years of attritional warfare against France, Britain, Russia, Italy and Serbia.
 
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martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,913
Spain
martin76
Germany failed to defeat British and French during the Spring Offensive, while American presence was still small. They wasted their last offensive resources, even though AEF involvement in fighting was minimal.

We also should consider that British, French and Italians achieved great success on other fronts :
Austrians were crushed during Vittorio-Veneto offensive
Ottomans were decisively defeated in the Middle East during Battle of Megiddo
Allies ( French + British + Serbs + Greeks ) defeat Bulgarians in Vardar offensive. Bulgaria was the first nation to sue for peace, by the way.

So what are the prospects for Germans ? They completely failed to achieve a decisive victory on the Western front and wasted their last resources on that offensive, while all of their allies were defeated on other fronts and Blockade of Germany still continues. Meanwhile, there is Bolshevik Revolution on the East and Civil War.

pugsville also rightfully pointed out that France and Britain equipped the AEF with artillery, machine guns, tanks and aircraft.

Plus Central Powers were seriously lacking in resources by 1918 thanks to 4 years of attritional warfare against France, Britain, Russia, Italy and Serbia.

Dear Gvelion..

Germans attacked in the West Front.. because USA intervention.... they needed to finish with the war before the huge USA´s industrial, financial, economic and human resources suffocated Germany. Not USA intervention.. not Spring offensives.
All the battles you wrote.... all of them took place after USA Intervention in the war.. not before. the same about Meggido.. the only Entente great victory before USA intervention... it was Baghdad in March, 1917.

Without USA economic support to Entente... I doubt a British-French victory in WW1... I can see a Stalemale...as the best. Nor France nor Britain were stronger industrial powers than Germany in 1914. It is truth.. the Naval Blockade also was very important... but without USA... not victory at all....

I understand.. US Army was not a great army (and of course.. not even between the 5 or 6 largest armies in those days).. but USA was a great economic power.
For example.. France borrowed 600 millions Dollars between 1914 and 1917.. And from April 1917 to november 1918...3,5 Billions dollars.

As for the loans given during the war .. the list is clear:

1st: USA
2nd: UK
3rd: German Empire
 
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Dec 2017
357
Florida
Perhaps. In any event, I found his book useful for the many facts and figures he cites in support of his arguments. Whether one agrees with his conclusions or not, The Pity of War has a wealth of useful information.
It is on my list to read. I'm usually reluctant to dismiss books outright. There is always some kind of use in reading a book. I think the only one I would always recommend never to read was this one book who's thesis was that pre-revolution America was this Rosseauian fantasy world of simplicity and agriculture. However, after the revolution and during the early 1800s, it changed into this advanced market economy that implicitly destroyed the fabric of America. I was a grad student at the time and I was already like...this guy didn't know about major port cities of the US? Market economies existed before the revolution...derp.
 
Sep 2016
1,352
Georgia
All the battles you wrote.... all of them took place after USA Intervention in the war.. not before. the same about Meggido.. the only Entente great victory before USA intervention... it was Baghdad in March, 1917.
So how USA intervention directly helped British to defeat Ottomans in the Middle East or to defeat Bulgaria ?
According to you the greatest contribution of Americans : creating the danger of Germany being overrun in 1919 and certain amount of loans ( by the way, that doesn't even come close to the financial and material aid Americans provided in WW2, for example.)

France and Britain equipped the AEF with artillery, machine guns, tanks and aircraft. You decided to ignore that point completely and also ingored the fact that Central Powers were exhausted by 1918 thanks to Entente efforts.

You seem to be forgetting such victories as Cer, Kolubara, Galicia, Marne and Brusilov offensive, which happened before 1917. Though Russians suffered heavy casualties as well during Brusilov campaign.
 
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martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,913
Spain
So how USA intervention directly helped British to defeat Ottomans in the Middle East or to defeat Bulgaria ?
According to you the greatest contribution of Americans : creating the danger of Germany being overrun in 1919 and certain amount of loans ( by the way, that doesn't even come close to the financial and material aid Americans provided in WW2, for example.)

France and Britain equipped the AEF with artillery, machine guns, tanks and aircraft. You decided to ignore that point completely and also ingored the fact that Central Powers were exhausted by 1918 thanks to Entente efforts.

You seem to be forgetting such victories as Cer, Kolubara, Galicia, Marne and Brusilov offensive, which happened before 1917. Though Russians suffered heavy casualties as well during Brusilov campaign.
USA.. supporting with money, foods, shipment mostly in West Front.. what made possible to free resources and men to others fronts...

In 1918.. Central Powers controlled Ukrainia (germans were in Kavkaz), Romania, Serbia, Montenegro... and enought food in Ukrainia and minerals too... but yes it was exhausted but as UK and France were exhausted too...
Battles you are talking didn´t decide WW1..