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Thread: WWI: Who's to Blame and How Could Germany Have Won?

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    WWI: Who's to Blame and How Could Germany Have Won?

    Germany is responsible for the Great War. Blaming the bloody Serbs to have caused the greatest bloodshet ever would be ridiculous. The Austrians were unreasonable, sure. They could have negiotiated favourable conditions.
    Still, Germany was the major party of the alliance. We pulled the strings and Austria could have done nothing against our will.

    Then there is the unnecessary invasion of Belgium which brought England into the war. Hitler wouldn't have been that stupid. The Kaiser neither, he was just a nobody in terms of warfare. The German High Command is to blame for that.

    Without the invasion of Belgium one could have defended the French-border and crushed the Russian within one year. Then turn west, show the Frenchmen some proper German attitude and that's it.

    _____________________

    Situation 1917:
    Again, Germany is the only one to blame for the US-entry. The Tommies were smart in letting the Lusitania be sunk (by diverting her from the original route into U-boat terrain). Still, it was the f**k-up again of the German High Command.

    ______________________

    Situation 1918:
    The whole western campaign that year was a bad joke. Germany had 20 more divisions than the Allies in spring. What they didn't have were transports and supplies. The offensive was doomed to fail.

    Even with the oncoming US-troops, Germany would have had more than enough soldiers to defend the Rhine. The newly gained Ukraine would have solved the blockade problem in time.

    Result: Peace treaty in 1919, give the Frenchies Alsace-Lorraine, keep the Ukraine.

    _______________________

    Situation late 1918:
    Form a line of defense on the Rhine, the upcoming winter would have made further allied progress impossible. Use the winter to regroup, dig in, pacify the inner front (by any means necessary, traitors don't deserve mercy especially in times of war).

    1919 would have resulted in a stalemate, the following winter a peace would have been negotiated not to different from the one above with the sole difference of Germany paying reparations and Austria bleeding (who cares?).

    __________________________

    Any comments?
    "We were never more free than under the German occupation!"

    - Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Re: WW I: who's to blame and how could Germany have won?

    I have a few...

    Sure is that strategically, Germany won the first World War. They subversively agitated Russia into revolution, and WON the war in the east (Brest-Litovsk treaty).
    In the west, however, Germany couldn't have won the war. Neither side were able to break through, and the thinking in second-generation warfare made it impossible.
    I don't believe it was intentionally, but Germany really withdrew from the war, to prepare themselves better for the next one. (something the Russian just as unintentionally do today, when breaking up the USSR into 16 pieces would allow breathing space, and dissolve the Cold War stalemate)

    Both "small Germany" then and "small Russia" now are seen as relatively peaceful states, who seek cooperation internationally. A high price to pay to dissolve trench war/cold war stalemate, but with much larger gains in the future.
    Germany had to withdraw and wait twenty years until conquering the West.

    About the blame-game... what's sick is that people wanted the war, despite the fact that the western world back then was probably more globalized than now. I think one should blame the civilisation itself, making peoples' lives so boring that they wanted to murder the neighbor people, which they knew better then than ever before.

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    Re: WW I: who's to blame and how could Germany have won?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deling
    In the west, however, Germany couldn't have won the war. Neither side were able to break through, and the thinking in second-generation warfare made it impossible.
    I don't agree, it was basically England who saved the french, without them Germany could have won.

    But I think Belgium was worth a shot, it was a risk, it could have been succesfull, history tells us it wasn't, that's it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deling
    About the blame-game... what's sick is that people wanted the war, despite the fact that the western world back then was probably more globalized than now.
    No it wasn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deling
    I think one should blame the civilisation itself, making peoples' lives so boring that they wanted to murder the neighbor people, which they knew better then than ever before.
    I think it really wasn't the boredom, it was just the "I am better than you" attitude, due to recent success in industry and sience, etc.
    "Nothing is more disgusting than the majority: because it consists of a few powerful predecessors, of rogues who adapt themselves, of weak who assimilate themselves, and the masses who imitate without knowing at all what they want." (Johann Wolfgang Goethe)

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    Re: WW I: who's to blame and how could Germany have won?

    WWI was a tragedy for all Europeans!Millions of Europeans were slaughtered in the battlefields ,in my humble oppinion, for nothing!I blame the close mind ''nationalism''chauvinism and the Jewish bankers warmongers like Basil Zaharov who sell weapons to both sides!
    ME NE FREGO

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    Re: WW I: who's to blame and how could Germany have won?

    "I don't agree, it was basically England who saved the french, without them Germany could have won.

    But I think Belgium was worth a shot, it was a risk, it could have been succesfull, history tells us it wasn't, that's it."


    What's that kind of thinking? Of course Germany couldn't have won on the western front, it didn't have any strategical advantages. About England fighting on France's side: well, I put that into calculation too, obviously.

    "No it wasn't."

    Nice answer! I'm really mute now! ...going to USA, or out of it, in the early 20th century didn't require that you had a passport. The same slipping into Greater Russia, which was almost without obstacles along the long and hardly-defined Austrian-Hungarian/Russian borderline.
    In 1913, many liberal intellectuals, Italians,English,American,German,French. .even Swedish.. believed war would be an impossibility, because of the free transit of people and capital across the world.
    Comparing now and then, analogously my conclusion is that the world was perhaps MORE open then than now. For Europeans, that's.

    "I think it really wasn't the boredom, it was just the "I am better than you" attitude, due to recent success in industry and sience, etc."

    I claim that 99% of the involved populations didn't give a damn whether or not this-or-that science man were this-or-that nationality. Serious studies really claim the boredom of modern society was ONE (note: not the only) cause of war mass-hysteria (Spengler indicate, a.e, this in his work).

    PRINCE EUGEN: Sometimes I think Southern Euros should lead the torch of Europe, not central-and-northern Euros. Strangely, despite, the relative peace, we haven't progressed ideologically nor mentally one bit...

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    Re: WW I: who's to blame and how could Germany have won?

    England

    Without England Germany would of course have won the war.
    Even with England and its sheer unlimited colonial manpower, the allies were as wasted as Germany in 1917. Both sides were down and out.

    Germany would have even reached a stalemate on the western front and thus in the long run reached a white peace, if not USA had entered the war and thus tipped the scale in the Entente's favour.

    As I said before, Germany brought England and USA into the war, so we Germans can only complain about our own leadership.
    Anything else would be stupid and ignorant.
    We didn't have to invade and butcher a neutral country like Belgium and afterwards complain about England's entry.
    We didn't have to sink US-merchant ships (although the "Lusitania" for example carried war material) which doesn't really matter as every sane mind can figure out that it will bring the US into the war.

    It's like WW2 where many people today claim that Germany never stood a chance.
    That might be valid only if assuming that we had to fight against (France,) England, USA and Russia at the same time.
    Same as WW1. We picked our opponents and picked too many at once.
    If we hadn't done that then both wars would have been won fairly easily.
    ____________________________________

    Boredom vs. Glory

    No one will actually disagree that boredom played a major role in EVERY war before WW2 (when for the first time 'war weariness' prevailed).
    1918 changed the minds of people completely or 1865 in the case of the USA.

    Before that wars have mostly been over quickly with few casualties.
    No German had any memory of the 30 years-war which devastated the country. It was simply too far in the past. In the meantime Prussia had fought several glorious wars against Denmark, Austria, France and so on.
    All of which were quick and decisive victories.

    Life 100 years ago was rather boring compared to today.
    Nationalism and patriotism was stronger than in our days.

    Therefore people wanted wars for these two reasons:
    - Boredom
    - Glory (personal and national)
    Which of these factors is the stronger one, I don't really know.
    I hope this discussion won't turn into a skirmish between those two camps.

    ____________________

    Industry, science

    During the time of the industrial revolution, the balance of power in Europe shifted rapidly. Not only did nations like Prussia (and later Germany) rise to the top spot, but also the top spots switched frequently.
    A new invention here and there and suddenly England was on top again.
    Not to mention all the smaller countries.

    Before WW1 we had a long peace-period (1871 - 1914).
    Treaties, alliances and territorial agreements were based upon relations of power 50 years ago.
    Country A was stronger than B in 1871, thus treaties between those two countries were in favour of A.
    In the following decades though, the economical and industrial balance between A and B changed completely due to inventions and policies in country B.
    Now country B is twice as powerful as country A and therefore doesn't feel obliged to the treaties and territorial agreements of a time when it was inferior.

    Country A however is not willing to step back and accept the new balance of power. Out of pride, out of fear, out of failure to realize the new balance.
    It is therefore searching for allies (which might suffer from the same circumstances) against country B.

    The political situation is a stalemate as no side is willing to make a compromise.
    War is the only solution and country B feels confident enough to win it.
    "We were never more free than under the German occupation!"

    - Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Lightbulb Re: WW I: who's to blame and how could Germany have won?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deling
    What's that kind of thinking? Of course Germany couldn't have won on the western front, it didn't have any strategical advantages. About England fighting on France's side: well, I put that into calculation too, obviously.
    But the point was that Germany would not have invaded Belgium and thus no England you know.
    And after the casualties of war reached the number of the first mobileization all army dropped in performance quite heavily, somehow Germany and England were the only ones to escape this phenomen.
    So at least it can be assumed that Germany at least had quite good chance against France in the long run, at least it would be a draw and not a victory for France.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deling
    Nice answer! I'm really mute now! ...going to USA, or out of it, in the early 20th century didn't require that you had a passport. The same slipping into Greater Russia, which was almost without obstacles along the long and hardly-defined Austrian-Hungarian/Russian borderline.
    In 1913, many liberal intellectuals, Italians,English,American,German,French. .even Swedish.. believed war would be an impossibility, because of the free transit of people and capital across the world.
    Comparing now and then, analogously my conclusion is that the world was perhaps MORE open then than now. For Europeans, that's.
    It is true that the world of this time was more open, but in regard to regulations, but that's about it. Globalization was nowhere as near as today if you compare the number of immigrants, (even with regulations!) the numbers of goods traded, etc. it's just no comparison man, nad thus your statement was completely false.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deling
    I claim that 99% of the involved populations didn't give a damn whether or not this-or-that science man were this-or-that nationality. Serious studies really claim the boredom of modern society was ONE (note: not the only) cause of war mass-hysteria (Spengler indicate, a.e, this in his work).
    Fair enough. It was just my impression, but OK I admit you have a good point.
    My point about sience was not about the praise for the inventor though, but that one country had something the other country had not, and thus felt superior.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deling
    PRINCE EUGEN: Sometimes I think Southern Euros should lead the torch of Europe, not central-and-northern Euros. Strangely, despite, the relative peace, we haven't progressed ideologically nor mentally one bit...
    Well Sweden has done quite well in the last 300 years hasn't it?
    But actually I once thought that crime is rising in the country because there is just no one else to fight Who knows
    "Nothing is more disgusting than the majority: because it consists of a few powerful predecessors, of rogues who adapt themselves, of weak who assimilate themselves, and the masses who imitate without knowing at all what they want." (Johann Wolfgang Goethe)

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    Re: WW I: who's to blame and how could Germany have won?

    "But the point was that Germany would not have invaded Belgium and thus no England you know.
    And after the casualties of war reached the number of the first mobileization all army dropped in performance quite heavily, somehow Germany and England were the only ones to escape this phenomen.
    So at least it can be assumed that Germany at least had quite good chance against France in the long run, at least it would be a draw and not a victory for France."


    Against France alone Germany could've won, that's certain. France didn't have any strategical advantages over Germany. Problem is that England would've probably entered the war regardless of whether Germany occupied Belgium or not. England could never accept one nation's hegemony over continental Europe, which all "Concerts of Europe", "Westphalian treaties" and "balance of power" dogmatisms' show. England were afraid of unified Germany, and already in Fashoda(Sudan) 1898 the English clearly hinted towards a pro-French (some sort of English-French colonial distrobution, new Demarcation line) policy in European politics... and in extra-European.
    But USA entering the war wasn't at all a certainty, nor Japanese entering.

    "It is true that the world of this time was more open, but in regard to regulations, but that's about it. Globalization was nowhere as near as today if you compare the number of immigrants, (even with regulations!) the numbers of goods traded, etc. it's just no comparison man, nad thus your statement was completely false."

    Regulations was one thing, and that's because there weren't any strong, authoritarian state that could CONTROL movements of people and capital perfectly. Free trade, for instance, were more free (from a Western perspective) then than now, because there weren't any regulations then either (except the protectionist policies of especially Germany, vis a vis the free-trade policy of Britain, because it was the most industrialized nation). In absolute numbers, capital is more "liberated" now than then, but if one reads for instance Lenin's "Imperialism as the highest stage of Capitalism" you'll find that free-trade in relation to the extra-European world was more or less limitless...mostly because there were few non-European free-states.

    Regarding migration: from 1820-1920 atleast fifty million Europeans migrated to other parts of the world, America, South America, Australia, India, South/Eastern Africa. 50 million is, however, probably too small a number.
    From a European perspective, the world was more OPEN FOR US then than now. From a global (non-European perspective), the world today is more open for NON-EUROPEANS. Migration streams have shifted, so from a population perspective the world was more open (and even though communications wasn't as well-developed as today, it still was relatively easy to travel) for Europeans (because they were Europeans, and literally owned the world) then than now.

    "But actually I once thought that crime is rising in the country because there is just no one else to fight"

    Which is partly true. Even the Prophet of militant Globalism, Francis Fukuyama, acknowledges in his "End of History and the Last Man" that the worst threat to world-democratization is 'thymos'; will to Glory and recognition. In a world of a gray bourgeousified mass, "the Last Men", there's no vitalism that can give life higher meaning, heroism. Thus 'thymos' may, for the sake of recognition and heroism, destroy the world-democratization project because of sheer boredom and antipathy.
    And if we think a little: Isn't the world boring? Doesn't we want action? Isn't that an instinct that makes people radical in the first place?

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    Re: WW I: who's to blame and how could Germany have won?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deling
    Against France alone Germany could've won, that's certain. France didn't have any strategical advantages over Germany. Problem is that England would've probably entered the war regardless of whether Germany occupied Belgium or not.
    I don't really see any noticable difference regarding the outcome of the war to be honest.
    Without the british expeditionary force, the Schliefen-plan would have succeeded.
    Once the Brits would have finally found an excuse to enter the war, it would have been too late. Hence you might say, after the fall of France in late 1914 they wouldn't even have entered an all but finished war.
    Even if, how would you suppose a 1914-D-Day to have happened?

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    "We were never more free than under the German occupation!"

    - Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Re: WW I: who's to blame and how could Germany have won?

    Can anyone explain to me how a dispute between Austria and Serbia over the assassination of an archduke came to involve Germany, France, Belgium, England, Russia and ultimately the United States ? I have never been able to make any sense whatever of that war.

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