Notice: This is the official website of the All Empires History Community (Reg. 10 Feb 2002)

  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Register Register  Login Login

The German Military 1871-1918

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <123>
Author
deadkenny View Drop Down
General
General
Avatar

Joined: 21-Aug-2007
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 994
  Quote deadkenny Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The German Military 1871-1918
    Posted: 06-Feb-2008 at 21:05
Originally posted by Belisarius57

...French performance during the first phase of the war is nothing short of remarkable in comparison....
 
You seem a little too quick to absolve the French of their failings in trying to support your 'theory' about the German military being 'overrated'.  If the Schlieffen Plan was 'flawed', the French Plan XVII was disasterous and nearly cost the French the war right at the start.  Even given the problems with the Schlieffen Plan, it might have been enough to give Germany the victory given the disasterous French plan, if not for the failure of von Moltke (the younger), who 'missed the point' of the plan and repeatedly weakened the critical right wing and left the left wing too strong.
 
Originally posted by Belisarius57

...In the east, Tannenberg, although heralded as a stunning tactical triumph, was a strategic disaster for the Germans, and may even have cost them the war. Because of Tannenberg, almost a third of the forces allocated to the vital right wing of the Schlieffen plan were prematurely withdrawn from France...
  Are you sure about that figure of 'almost a third', because it sounds way too high to me.  Could you quote specifically the units, or the total number of men, that were transferred?
 
Originally posted by Belisarius57

...This is compounded in 1918, when infiltration tactics by storm troops was seen by many as evidence of tactical genius and heralded as a new and innovative war winner. Everyone seems to have overlooked that the French invented these tactics in early 1915, and they were widely used and developed by the British between 1915-17...
 
This is misleading, if not outright incorrect.  The Germans developed the infiltration tactics 'themselves', starting with smaller units as early as 1915, expanding through 1916 to all out efforts against Italy and Russia in 1917.  The fact that the Allies were also working along the same lines themselves during the same period is irrelevant.  The Germans did not  'copy' these tactics from the French or British.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana
Back to Top
Kapikulu View Drop Down
Arch Duke
Arch Duke
Avatar
Retired AE Moderator

Joined: 07-Aug-2004
Location: Berlin
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1914
  Quote Kapikulu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Feb-2008 at 22:51
Originally posted by Belisarius57

...In the east, Tannenberg, although heralded as a stunning tactical triumph, was a strategic disaster for the Germans, and may even have cost them the war. Because of Tannenberg, almost a third of the forces allocated to the vital right wing of the Schlieffen plan were prematurely withdrawn from France...
 
Originally posted by deadkenny

Are you sure about that figure of 'almost a third', because it sounds way too high to me.  Could you quote specifically the units, or the total number of men, that were transferred?
 
Tannenberg overall was somewhat a risky plan, that's true. However, I have some reservations there.
 
1) Without taking risks, you can not gain any solid gains..
2) Nearly twice outnumbered Germans actually needed such a risky plan to prevent Russian advance in Prussia
3) Despite the transfer of thousands of men in Eastern Part of the Prussian front, this was not something that would have cost Germany "the war". Germans had the intelligence of what Rennenkampf's 1st and Samsonov's 2nd army was doing, thanks to their successful intelligence in decoding Russian speaker codes...And they relied on it while transferring. Samsonov's 2nd army was annihilated before Rennenkampf's 1st can do a huge advance anyway.
 
Originally posted by Belisarius57

...This is compounded in 1918, when infiltration tactics by storm troops was seen by many as evidence of tactical genius and heralded as a new and innovative war winner. Everyone seems to have overlooked that the French invented these tactics in early 1915, and they were widely used and developed by the British between 1915-17...
Originally posted by deadkenny

This is misleading, if not outright incorrect.  The Germans developed the infiltration tactics 'themselves', starting with smaller units as early as 1915, expanding through 1916 to all out efforts against Italy and Russia in 1917.  The fact that the Allies were also working along the same lines themselves during the same period is irrelevant.  The Germans did not  'copy' these tactics from the French or British.
 
True, deadkenny...Oskar Von Hutier is the excel of the infiltration tactics...Which proved very well results in final phases in the East, Caporetto, and final Kaiserschlacht and Spring Offensives(indeed, Hutier's group was able to dig a hole in French lines in final offensives, though the rest of the success did not come)
We gave up your happiness
Your hope would be enough;
we couldn't find neither;
we made up sorrows for ourselves;
we couldn't be consoled;

A Strange Orhan Veli
Back to Top
Belisarius57 View Drop Down
Janissary
Janissary


Joined: 21-Apr-2007
Location: United Kingdom
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 28
  Quote Belisarius57 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Feb-2008 at 12:48

Ive been informed someone had responded to my post, so I thought Id best have a look. I rarely visit or post on this site any more so many apologies for my delayed reply.

 

Originally posted by deadkenny

You seem a little too quick to absolve the French of their failings in trying to support your 'theory' about the German military being 'overrated'. If the Schlieffen Plan was 'flawed', the French Plan XVII was disasterous and nearly cost the French the war right at the start. Even given the problems with the Schlieffen Plan, it might have been enough to give Germany the victory given the disasterous French plan, if not for the failure of von Moltke (the younger), who 'missed the point' of the plan and repeatedly weakened the critical right wing and left the left wing too strong.

 

What a strange remark. Can you point out just where in my post I absolve the French from anything? I merely stated that French performance in recovering the situation in 1914 was truly remarkable in comparison to the Germans failures to remedy their breakdowns in supply, command and communications. Are you saying the Germans had no such breakdowns? If so, then the French achievement is all the more impressive.

 

The Schlieffen plan is generally considered to have been unworkable from the beginning regardless of what von Moltke tinkered with. Schlieffen overestimated the abilities of the German armies marching capacity and underestimated the likely resistance they would encounter. He also failed to adequately factor in the destruction to communications such as roads, railways, etc, in modern warfare which caused a breakdown in the rudimentary German logistic system. It should come as no surprise to learn that the over rated German General Staff never provided for a logistics or communications department in their organisation until after the war, still I suppose they had to learn that lesson the hard way.

 

Originally posted by deadkenny

Are you sure about that figure of 'almost a third', because it sounds way too high to me. Could you quote specifically the units, or the total number of men, that were transferred?

 

Specific numbers are largely irrelevant here. If youre that interested, look up the actual figures, Im sure you can work it out for yourself. As I recall off the top of my head it was two Corps transferred during the battle and either 4 or 6 more during the battle of the Marne; Id have to look it up. What is important, and the point I was making is, that a critical number of German forces that might have proved decisive in the West, spent their time travelling between fronts to no purpose, rather like dErlons Corps during Ligny and Quatre Bras.

 

Originally posted by deadkenny

This is misleading, if not outright incorrect. The Germans developed the infiltration tactics 'themselves', starting with smaller units as early as 1915, expanding through 1916 to all out efforts against Italy and Russia in 1917.  The fact that the Allies were also working along the same lines themselves during the same period is irrelevant.  The Germans did not 'copy' these tactics from the French or British.

 

My comments are in no way misleading nor in error. Im afraid you appear to be misinformed about the origins of German so called Hutier Tactics. Hutier had nothing to do with inventing German infiltration tactics; this is better attributed to, amongst others, one Captain Rohr, who first encountered French infiltration tactics on the Western Front in 1915. Most WW1 historians including Keegan, Strachan, inter alia. now agree the Germans probably got hold of French training pamphlets and translated them for their own use. Hutier did however appreciate their usefulness and eventually developed Rohrs ideas into a cohesive system at Corps/Divisional level, in conjunction with Bruchmuellers artillery tactics, which incidentally, were also based on and developed from methods pioneered by the British and French. This is the system that is correctly termed Hutier Tactics as distinct from infiltration tactics used in general. The Germans first used these tactics at Riga in 1917, a year or more after the French and the British were using infiltration tactics extensively up to brigade level. The Allies never bothered to create specific storm troop units, recognizing the limitations and disadvantages such units entailed. This is something Hutier failed to do and the resultant concentration of the best, fittest men into irreplaceable specialist elite units dragged down the overall quality of the remaining army. Their heavy losses accelerated the armys final collapse in 1918. German Storm troop tactics have been given greater prominence due to the initial successes of the Kaiserschlacht than they truly deserve; they were not as successful as many uninformed people think they were. Allied infiltration tactics, on the other hand, in conjunction with air and armoured assets, were far more successful when they were used to break the Hindenburg line and during the 100 days; and these rather than later German ideas formed the basis of modern combined arms operations. The Germans, of course, subsequently copied and developed their Blitzkrieg from these allied tactics, for the next war.

 

Ive scanned many of your posts on this forum and you do appear to hold intensely pro-German views. This is fine with me; I have no problems with patriotism so long as you dont allow it to close your mind to ideas or historical truths that dont fit your world view. I hope Ive clarified my original post to your satisfaction. Until next time. B.Smile

Back to Top
Temujin View Drop Down
King
King
Avatar
Sirdar Bahadur

Joined: 02-Aug-2004
Location: Eurasia
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 5221
  Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Mar-2008 at 21:13
actually blitzkrieg had nothing to do with anything seen in ww1 except for the battle of megiddo 1918 in palestine. the tanks in ww1 were neither capable nor used in a way Blitzkrieg tactics would demand from them. and considdering the huge assets of cavalry, the Schlieffen plan could have very well worked in ww1 already if it was not for a completely idiotic doctrine and drill that dumbed them down to complete unimportance and waste of ressources.
Back to Top
Guests View Drop Down
Guest
Guest
  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jul-2010 at 12:54
I had not heard the German soldiers were ever considered to be anything but order followers.  I had heard the advantage of US soldiers is from childhood, they had been taught to be independent thinkers.  This is a particular concern to me because the US replaced its model of education with the Germany model in 1958, with significant social ramifications.  Of course this was done for military reasons.  The German model advances technology rapidly.  This focus on military technology was particularly important in the first world war.  The rest of the world just was not motivated to think in terms of military technology, as the Germans were.  The Prussians lived for a love of military might, like the US was living for a love of God, before it imitated Germany in every significant way. Totally different mind sets.  However, it should be said, this mind set was not the German mind set.  It was the Prussian mind set.  

Germans and Prussians lived in completely different environments, with the result of complete different cultures.  The Germans were congenial, artistic, dreamy and intellectual people, and the Prussians were sour and dour people according to Charles Sarolea's author of "The Anglo-German Problem" published in 1912.    The Germans had the natural resources the Prussians had to have to fulfill their aspirations, of using military force for economic purpose, and the Germans allowed the Prussians to rule, because they didn't think it was in the German nature to make the hard the decisions rulers must make.   I think our whole imagine of Germans was distorted by Prussians.   But I am dependent on old books and can not go back in time to observe this for myself.

There was a major change in the Prussian military leading up to the first world war.  

The war of the future is a problem of economic organization of the most difficult nature and the highest technical achievement, such as has never been hitherto demanded form any army.  The old military qualities must give way to the organizing qualities.  No doubt the courage and endurance of the individual soldier must remain for all times the foundation of military power, but organizing genius is required in order not to waste that courage and endurance.  This is clearly shown form a mere examination of the colossal numbers engaged.  To transport, to locate, and to feed these masses of men is the daily preoccupation of the military authorities.  That they rightly understand the nature of the problem is certain, but it is very doubtful whether the problem can ever be adequately solved by commanders who are recruited from the Junkertum.  Mere military capacity does not suffice here.  Both enemies and friends admit that our corps of officers possess such military capacity.  Anxiety only arises with regard to their other qualifications.  We know that our nation possess in its industries successful organizers, brains accustomed to direct great quantities of material and "personnel"....  Dr. Friedrich Naumann
  

It has been said the organizing genius of Germany wasn't that good, but we should understand the reliance on the hierarchy of authority was absolute.   Germans followed orders.

And to make a long story short, think- Halliburton.  Look at the change in the US military.  It hires out much of the operations that were all done by the military in previous wars.   Before 1958 that US did not have a standing military industry.  Now we assume the government will spend millions on military research, and entire towns are dependent on military industry.  Cheney was invested in the defense  and tied to Halliburton.  I don't mean to take this thread off track, but this change begins with Prussians leading up to the first world war, and hopefully some will remember when we were organized differently, and the military took care of all its own needs.  



 


Edited by Carol - 18-Jul-2010 at 17:23
Back to Top
Cryptic View Drop Down
Arch Duke
Arch Duke

Retired AE Moderator

Joined: 05-Jul-2006
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1962
  Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Jul-2010 at 17:48
Originally posted by Carol

I had not heard the German soldiers were ever considered to be anything but order followers.  I had heard the advantage of US soldiers is from childhood, they had been taught to be independent thinkers.  This is a particular concern to me because the US replaced its model of education with the Germany model in 1958, with significant social ramifications.  
 
You are oversimplifying the German military.  German society as a whole was known for obediance. The German military encouraged independent thinking and allowed junior leaders far more freedom of action and creativity than other armies did. During both WWI and WWII, the Germans routinely allowed experienced NCOS to lead platoons and if necessary, companies.  Great Britain and the U.S., in contrast, refused to assign NCOS to "officer positions".
 
Following WWII, the Israelis were looking for a military to serve as a role model.  They  picked the German Wermacht despite the fact Moshe Dayan and other Israeli commanders had served in the British system.   
 
 
Back to Top
Guests View Drop Down
Guest
Guest
  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jul-2010 at 23:02
Originally posted by Cryptic

Originally posted by Carol

I had not heard the German soldiers were ever considered to be anything but order followers.  I had heard the advantage of US soldiers is from childhood, they had been taught to be independent thinkers.  This is a particular concern to me because the US replaced its model of education with the Germany model in 1958, with significant social ramifications.  
 
You are oversimplifying the German military.  German society as a whole was known for obediance. The German military encouraged independent thinking and allowed junior leaders far more freedom of action and creativity than other armies did. During both WWI and WWII, the Germans routinely allowed experienced NCOS to lead platoons and if necessary, companies.  Great Britain and the U.S., in contrast, refused to assign NCOS to "officer positions".
 
Following WWII, the Israelis were looking for a military to serve as a role model.  They  picked the German Wermacht despite the fact Moshe Dayan and other Israeli commanders had served in the British system.   
 
 

I am guessing NCOS is non commissioned officers?   In times of war, young kids can raise through the ranks very fast.   I don't really have a good idea of what you are talking about.  However, I do know in 1917 J.A.B. Sinclair, Surgeon, United States Navy, Portland Recruiting Station, Portland, Oregon, spoke to the National Education Association 

"The German military organization is the world's model, at least from the standpoint of immediate accomplishment  of results, and there we can do better than too emulate it in its perfect working."  Mind you he is speaking to teachers and school principles.   He is not talking about how the military is organized, but about how education must prepare a civilization for war.   Prussian generals were discussing this long before anyone in the US became aware of it.   Anyway, Sinclair goes on to say..

"Skilled workers have always been in demand.  But the art of war is just now undergoing a scientific  revolution as seen in the machine gun, the aeroplane, the hydro-aeroplane.  The forty-two-centimeter, 20-mile asphyxiating-gas-shell-hurling artillery wireless communication from the sky for fire direction, and auto trucks that have raised the rate of march for infantry from fifteen to one hundred and twenty miles a day, as in Gallieni's flank movement for the defense of Paris.  Auto machines have been fitted with the scythes of Boadicea to slash thru wire entanglement, and, turreted for rapid-fire guns, span trenches and emulate the destructiveness on land of the submarines in the sea.  Searchlights have made every commander a veritable Joshua, who can prolong the day for the enemy's slaughter.  A new art of war has sprung full armed from the battlefields of Europe.  These improvements in the art of killing call for a very great horde of skilled mechanics.  The teaching of these should be supplied by the trade school.  Our need for an organization which will be capable of utilizing new knowledge thus made necessary, promptly available, is imperative.  Our enemies already have this knowledge and have taken advantage of it in their organization.  ....."

Mind you this is only the first world war.  Air warfare and the nuclear bomb created even more pressure for replacing liberal education with education for technology for military and industrial purpose.  The social ramifications of this are huge.  
Back to Top
Cryptic View Drop Down
Arch Duke
Arch Duke

Retired AE Moderator

Joined: 05-Jul-2006
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1962
  Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jul-2010 at 20:17
Originally posted by Carol

I am guessing NCOS is non commissioned officers?
Yes, NCO is a widely used acronymn for non commisioned officer or sargeant. 
Originally posted by Carol

   In times of war, young kids can raise through the ranks very fast.  
True, but it was more complex than that. The British, French and to a lesser exent American armies had the concept of an "Officer Class" drawn from the upper classes of society.  
 
As a result, potential leaders who were from a farm or working class background (NCOS) were denied opportunities to lead units in the British and French Armies.  The U.S. military was less stringent, but was still reluctant to assign NCOs (working class) to officer positions.  The Germans, despite their "robotic" stereotype, were far more flexible.
Originally posted by Carol

I don't really have a good idea of what you are talking about.  

"The German military organization is the world's model, at least from the standpoint of immediate accomplishment  of results, and there we can do better than too emulate it in its perfect working."
As Sinclair noted, the Germans were known for military excellence.  The Germans could not have achieved this excellence in the Franco- Prussian war, WWI, and WWII by being unthinking robots.  This excellence was achieved by emphasizing creativity and imagination at all levels of command and at all ranks.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Edited by Cryptic - 24-Jul-2010 at 20:33
Back to Top
Guests View Drop Down
Guest
Guest
  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jul-2010 at 10:24
Yes, the Prussian/German acceptance of working class people into the higher ranks, as opposed to the French and English class division is, why past President Eisenhower, praised the Germans for their contribution to democracy.   This point was argued by the Prussians who previously had a class divisions, coming from feudalism I believe, when being a knight was an honor, and only boys from wealthy families could hope to have this honor.  Their training began age 7, and it is ridiculous to think just any peasant could be a good military man, right?  Wink   

Whenever speaking of Germans, I think of the reputation as wild warriors.  This is complete individualism in battle.  They had significant victories in wars with Romans, who were disciplined, right?  So there is a progression form individual glory being possible to anyone entering a battle, to an elitism and back to being equals, but with a difference.

That difference is "merit".   There is equal opportunity, up to a point.  A person must have proven merit to advance.   However, there is a ranking system, a hierarchy of authority/power.    I do not believe encouragement to be creative, means acting out of the boundaries of rank.   The Prussians narrowly defined each position, and anyone who filled that position would do the job exactly the same as the person before.  Creativity in how the job was done would not be okay, and here is why...  

In the US before we learned efficiency from the Germans, everyone did their own thing.  In a bureaucracy, how each individual did his job, depended on this individuals particular personality and skills.   Getting a job was largely about being related to someone, or liked by the person doing the hiring.  We are talking real loosey goosey here.  When someone dies or otherwise left the organization, it was devastating to the whole organization.  Everything around this person would change, because the new person to do the job would have a different personality and different skills, and want to do things differently.   

Here is the Prussian genius.   They paid exacting attention to what needed to be done, and defined every job in detail.  Now we have something to go on when determining the merits required for this job.  Who the person is and who the person knows, doesn't mean squat.  What we want to know is can the person do this, this, and that?   Hold in mind, this is how determine if the peasant is the man we want in this job.  This is how to equal opportunity, and why Eisenhower praised the Germans for their contribution to democracy.  Now everyone who fills the position will do the job exactly the same as the person before, and there is no disruption.  This is vital on the battle front where people are killed.   It turns the military force into a military machine, that can not be stopped by taking out keys men.   

It took us a long time to adopt this model, and we did at a price, with huge social ramification!  I have witnessed this change in my life time.  We have gone from being assimilated into organizations threw personal contacts and on the job training, to having a college degree, and proven merit, before we can even get through the door.   Our whole society is becoming mechanical as was Germany.   We are even worse, because we are hung up on empirical information than the Germans.   In away this hurts our democracy, which is much more personal than we are today.  

The bottom line is- the Prussians went from an aristocrat military, to a people's military force.  This opened positions of rank to anyone with proven merit.  At the same time, it is a strong organization, than is completely impersonal.  Every position is well defined, and anyone in that position will do the job exactly as the person before.   Just as anyone can rise in the ranks, everyone is dispensable.   Who you are doesn't matter, only what you can do, and it doesn't matter if you drop dead, because you are replaceable.  

Now consider the social implications of this.Wink 
Back to Top
Cryptic View Drop Down
Arch Duke
Arch Duke

Retired AE Moderator

Joined: 05-Jul-2006
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1962
  Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Jul-2010 at 16:30
Originally posted by Carol

Whenever speaking of Germans, I think of the reputation as wild warriors.  This is complete individualism in battle.  They had significant victories in wars with Romans, who were disciplined, right?  So there is a progression form individual glory being possible to anyone entering a battle, to an elitism and back to being equals, but with a difference.
A very interesting thought.  I have never seen it put that way before. Previous threads here focused on the military efficiency of team work (disciplined units) over glory seeking individual warriors.  The social history pattern aspect was left out.
Originally posted by Carol

We have gone from being assimilated into organizations threw personal contacts and on the job training, to having a college degree, and proven merit, before we can even get through the door.  
The old way had some inefficiencies (everyone started at the bottom, seniority system slowed the advance of other talented people etc.)   But... the old way also had a social safety valve. It gave meaningful employment to millions who would not normally been able to compete.
 
Originally posted by Carol

  In away this hurts our democracy, which is much more personal than we are today.  
The economic meritocracy may do more than hurt our democracy, it may clash violently with it.  Consider the following: 
-The IQ based meritocracy is now global and ruthlessly competitive.
-IQ, however, is a bell curve. In the end millions of people simply cannot compete.
-The old, well paid "safety valve" jobs have disappeared
-We have a wide open deomcracy, people are used to being heard, they are not used to being quiet or accepting things. 
 
One can see the potential for instability.  Then factor in....
 
Capital is very fluid now.  Leaders of the meritocracy can move entire industries to find employees with more merit.  In the old system, Ford, Krupp, Fiat etc were tied to their home regions. They had a long term interest in the well being of the masses.  Today, leaders of the meritocracy can have little long term  interest in the area.  If things get tough, they just move to India, China etc.
Originally posted by Carol

The bottom line is- the Prussians went from an aristocrat military, to a people's military force.  This opened positions of rank to anyone with proven merit.  At the same time, it is a strong organization, than is completely impersonal.  Every position is well defined, and anyone in that position will do the job exactly as the person before.   Just as anyone can rise in the ranks, everyone is dispensable.   Who you are doesn't matter, only what you can do, and it doesn't matter if you drop dead, because you are replaceable.  
Well said.  As a side note, the Prussians may have copied Napoleon.  Napoleon instituted a military meritocracy as well backed by phenomenal orgainization.  One of Napoleon's key commanders was the son of a grocer. Another was a former "warf rat".  


Edited by Cryptic - 26-Jul-2010 at 14:36
Back to Top
Guests View Drop Down
Guest
Guest
  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Jul-2010 at 08:25
Thank God, someone else who sees both the good and the bad!   I want to say so much in response to what you said, Cryptic, but that would be taking this thread off topic.  Might we just say, the progression of the military changes in Germany, lead to a whole society that was obedient to authority, and did not question authority.   Charles Sarolea, writes of a very funny situation resulting in this blind obedience to authority in his 1912 book.  Religion of course played into this obedience of authority.  The bible has much to say about the importance of obedience to authority.  The Bible without lessons for democracy, is not a good thing, but exasperates the problem of authority, and that is what you had in Germany.  There are also the philosophers Nietzcshe and Hegel. 

I am surprised little thought is given to the over all social interplay with military order and social order.  War is good for religion and religion is good for war.   

Martin Luther wrote a huge number of books, which fortunately are available to me through the local university.  Basing his understanding of humans on the bible, God ordains some to be masters, and others to be servants.  From there, many passages in the Bible speak of the rightness of obedience to authority.  Germany was the seat of the Holy Roman Empire and the Protestant Reformation.  These were strongly religious people, who want to believe God is in control.  They did not resist the authority above them, because they believed a good Christian obeys authority, and God will intervene if things are going against his will.  You may know some Christians today, who believe like this, and believed Bush was doing the will of God when he invaded Iraq.   This is important to the military power that Germany had, under Prussian control.

Prussians lived for military might, and the Germans were obedient Christians, trusting the will of God is done. Bismark applied Prussian military bureaucracy to citizens, and this what makes national programs like a nation pension plan possible.  You see, the whole society comes under military control in the form of social programs.  Also the culture honored military men, as the US honored industrial leaders.  There is a lot going on socially that leads to military might and visa versa.   




Edited by Carol - 26-Jul-2010 at 11:20
Back to Top
Cryptic View Drop Down
Arch Duke
Arch Duke

Retired AE Moderator

Joined: 05-Jul-2006
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1962
  Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Jul-2010 at 17:10
Originally posted by Carol

  I want to say so much in response to what you said, Cryptic, but that would be taking this thread off topic.  
lets start a new topic:
 
 
Originally posted by Carol

 The Bible without lessons for democracy, is not a good thing, but exasperates the problem of authority, and that is what you had in Germany.  There are also the philosophers Nietzcshe and Hegel. 
 
Martin Luther wrote a huge number of books, which fortunately are available to me through the local university.  Basing his understanding of humans on the bible, God ordains some to be masters, and others to be servants.  From there, many passages in the Bible speak of the rightness of obedience to authority.  
 
I agree, but I think you are being a little hard on Christianity.  All religous systems emphasize obediance and teach that the traditional social order is part of the divine plan. For example, Imperial Japan, though non Christian, produced the same level of obediance as Prussia. Confucian China demanded obediance to the "mandate of heaven".  Hinduism's caste system exactly codifies the existance  divenly ordained authority figures.   
 
Ironically, atheistic communism demanded and received absolute blind obediance in Stalinist Russia and Maoist China.  I think the most bizare cases of absolute obediance occured here.
Originally posted by Carol

  You see, the whole society comes under military control in the form of social programs.  Also the culture honored military men, as the US honored industrial leaders.  There is a lot going on socially that leads to military might and visa versa.   
I agree. Germany pured every ounce of leadership talent into its military.  I also agree about your point on social movements and military might. I have never thought of it before. It makes perfect sense, the military might of WWI needed a disciplined society and a disciplined economy to create and support it properly.
 
Originally posted by Carol

 You may know some Christians today, who believe like this, and believed Bush was doing the will of God when he invaded Iraq.  
I do. This is very frighting that military policy was linked to some interpertations of the Book of Revelations.  It is very close to the Ayatollah Khomeini planning battles in the Iran - Iraq war based on interpertations of battles in the Koran.


Edited by Cryptic - 26-Jul-2010 at 17:31
Back to Top
Nick1986 View Drop Down
Emperor
Emperor
Avatar
Mighty Slayer of Trolls

Joined: 22-Mar-2011
Location: England
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 7940
  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Apr-2011 at 15:51
The Germans did some vicious things during WW1 (as did their British and French enemies) but they had the coolest uniforms and weapons:
Back to Top
Athena View Drop Down
Baron
Baron


Joined: 28-Sep-2010
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 403
  Quote Athena Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Apr-2011 at 20:15
From "The Anglo-German Problem" published in 1915

Dr. Friedrich Naumann has emphasized the fundamental differences between the war of yesterday and the war of to-morrow, and has pointed out what will be the chief difficulties the military command will have to contend with.

The war of the future is a problem of economic organization of the most difficult nature and the highest technical achievement, such as as never been hitherto demanded from any army.  The old military qualities must give way to the organizing qualities.  No doubt the courage and endurance of the individual soldier must remain for all times the foundation of military power, but organizing genius is required in order not to waste that courage and endurance.  This is clearly shown from a mere examination of the colossal numbers engaged.  To transport, to locate, and to feed these masses of men is the daily preoccupation of the military authorities.  That they rightly understand the nature of the problem is certain, but it is very doubtful whether the problem can ever be adequately solved by commanders who are not recruited from the Junkertum.  Mere military capacity does not suffice here.  Both enemies and friends admit that our corps of officers possess such military capacity.   Anxiety only arises with regard to their other qualifications.  We know that our nation possesses in its industries successful organizers, brains accustomed to direct great quantities of material and "personnel" - men who create new conditions of life for whole economic districts without having to appeal to any mystical authority.  As democratic politicians we may often have to oppose bitterly those captains of industry, but if it come to war we shall be willing to be led by them, because we know that they have the brains.  It is true that they much not meddle with technical duties of the officers, but the administration of the war material must be their province.  And even with regard to the technique of war, it becomes from year to year more questionable whether this can be managed more efficiently by a corps of noblemen than by the representatives of middle class technique.  However much we may value the moral qualities of the old ruling class- and, with all political differences of opinion, we shall not minimize those qualities- we must admit that we are witnessing a transformation of methods of attack and defence which in addition to the old question of iron discipline raises the modern question: how far shall we be able on the battle field to replace the human unit through machinery?  It is obvious that this will never succeed completely, for there does not exist a machine which does not need a human soul to work it.  At the same time it is doubtless that in this direction mighty changes are at hand.  We can see here a repetition of the process which we notice in nearly all industries- the subordination and displacement of human labour in mines, machines, and means of transport.  If you examine a weaving mill you shall find comparatively few men; but those units must have the mechanical ability in the blood.  Those conditions do already exist to a large extent in naval warfare.  Ships are built and equipped with an insignificant number of men compared their fighting power.  But those men must work like animated machines.  Even so the air fleet of to-morrow will demand a large amount of technical application and technical ability, but very few military units.  War is becoming impersonal, and is becoming reduced to a rivalry of money and economics.  That even  here military members of the nobility may achieve great results is shown by the admirable example of Count Zeppelin.  But the impression remains that there still survive in the army the traditions of the pre.industrial age- traditions not only of loyalty and discipline, but also of technical ignorance.  We have still too much of the parade soldier whose knees are more pliable then his fingers or his brain.  The industrializing of the army is coming, but very slowly.  It begins with the artillery, but it ends at the cavalry.  We have still failed fully to realize that under a system of universal service  a nation pays and labours in order that its weapons shall be absolutely of the first class.  The nation which can put the best technique into the military service will probably, in the altered conditions of modern warfare, achieve victory.   

Back to Top
Athena View Drop Down
Baron
Baron


Joined: 28-Sep-2010
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 403
  Quote Athena Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Apr-2011 at 22:33

Cryptic, you picked up on the connection between military order and social order, and I want to deepen understanding of this.  Notice Dr. Friedrich Naumann, concludes with the importance of education.

We have still too much of the parade soldier whose knees are more pliable then his fingers or his brain.  The industrializing of the army is coming, but very slowly.  It begins with the artillery, but it ends at the cavalry.  We have still failed fully to realize that under a system of universal service  a nation pays and labours in order that its weapons shall be absolutely of the first class.  The nation which can put the best technique into the military service will probably, in the altered conditions of modern warfare, achieve victory.  


Now here is what J.A.B. Sincliar, Surgeon, United States Navy, Portland, Oregon Recruiting Station, Portland, Oregon had to say that the 1917 National Education Association Conference.

"As  sudden as was the act of an unknown youth whose leap exploded the European powder mine was the stroke of the German military machine, and the momentum with which the war of wars developt was the most amazing feature of the world's cataclysm.  This is proved by the startling fact that in less than three months the losses in killed, wounded, and missing was a million men, and nine nations, numbering in fighters eighteen million souls, were at war.  Such a state and such events were possible only thru the workings of the most highly organized and scientifically operated military machine the world has ever known, and well it was for that machine's opponents that they too were in a measure organized after the same general plan.

One of the most salient features of the opposing military-naval establishments of the European nations at war today is the specialization of the one time citizen now soldier along scientific war industrial trade lines, and since past and present events and the best human forecast do not justify the human hope for early world peace- it behooves the citizens of this our country, now adding its part to this well-nigh universal conflict, to train its young men to think and work in like scientific lines to the end that mobilization of these resources may insure our nation against disaster.  

The German military organization is the world's model, at least from the standpoint of immedicate accomplishment of results, and therefore we hardly do better than to emulate it in its perfect working.  It was effected in its minutest detail by the very essence of scientific thought and application.  In that organization every tongue fitted its groove, every tooth its socket.  We have seen how Kaiser's marvelous soldiers carried their banner to the very outskirts of Paris in August and September, 1914.  It is the Great God efficiency, to which the Germans were required by their commanders to pay homage of worship- and it behooves us either to effect a thing that will operate as well or to copy theirs.  The fact of the world at war has silenct the erring lips that declared against the necessity for preparation against disaster, like that of Belgium and Servia."


Industry in the US wanted to close the schools, claiming they were not getting their monies worth from education, because they still had to train new employees.  Had industry in the US won this argument, it would have brought an end to the child labor laws that kept children out of the factories during school hours, and our children would have been condemned to being low wage, ignorant factory workers with no hope for better lives.  The Protestant work ethic and ideas of sinners and salvation, could have held us back in the dark ages.   Christians in the US did protest against the addition of science to education.   But because modern warfare, demanded technologically trained men, and schools were the best institution we had for mobilizing our country, our schools were not closed.  

However, we continue liberal education until 1958, when we passed the National Defense Education Act, and replace our liberal education, with Germany's model of education for technology for military and industrial purpose.  In 1958 Eisenhower embedded the Military Industrial Complex in the US, and today we are what Germany hoped to be, and the social and economic ramifications are huge!    

I really want to add what Tocqueville had to say about democratic nations with democratic military order to our thinking, but I think that might need to be another thread.  Although Dr. Friedrich Naumann, did mention the democratic change of the armed forces, and this is important to the success of their military forces.   Democracy, industry and technology revolutionized our social order and consciousness, separating us from the past, as much as man kind running around on two legs is separated from apes swinging in trees.   This is no longer the Jeffersonian democracy of our forefathers.  



Edited by Athena - 05-Apr-2011 at 23:43
Back to Top
Serge View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard
Avatar

Joined: 14-Apr-2011
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1
  Quote Serge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Apr-2011 at 14:51
Germany was never really fully united between late 1400's until 1871 so their military was mainly focused on small conflicts with their close neighbors or later small earldoms which are authentically German SmileSo to think logically-could have Germany wielded a large army capable of conquering its neighbors in a long war during the world war I?No!That's one of the main reasons for Germany's failure in the great war...Therefore Germany wasn't very strong for that time. 
Lord of the rings fan
Back to Top
Galleon View Drop Down
Janissary
Janissary
Avatar

Joined: 12-Apr-2011
Location: California
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 27
  Quote Galleon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Apr-2011 at 14:58

I recommend this book:

 
 
 
Title: Imperial Germany Military Officers ---Head Dress
 
 
 
@Serge, welcome to the forum by the way! Clap
 


Edited by Galleon - 14-Apr-2011 at 14:59
Back to Top
Cryptic View Drop Down
Arch Duke
Arch Duke

Retired AE Moderator

Joined: 05-Jul-2006
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1962
  Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Apr-2011 at 10:41
Originally posted by Nick1986

The Germans did some vicious things during WW1 (as did their British and French enemies) but they had the coolest uniforms and weapons:
Yes, but I think the soldiers in the drawings are stormtroopers.  Stormtrooper batalions were given the best of everything.  The equipment given to ordinary German reserve units included alot of circa 1870, Franco-Prussian war surplus stuff.

Edited by Cryptic - 15-Apr-2011 at 10:42
Back to Top
Athena View Drop Down
Baron
Baron


Joined: 28-Sep-2010
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 403
  Quote Athena Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Apr-2011 at 15:24
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Army

This is an excellent site.  The Prussians unified Germany, and institutionalized military affairs.  This is what I have been writing about, and it applies to the US as well.  Only the US didn't take the necessary steps, including the education part of being a military state, until 1958.   I am stressing the education point, because of the comment that I over simplify the German reality, and seem to know the that Germans were known for being obedient to authority.  My friends and I are horrified by young receptionist who follow orders, and seem completely clueless about a reality other than the procedures they learn.  We no longer question how the Jews were put to death, because we see that same order following mentality today, in the US.  

After several military failures, it was determined the common soldier was a fit soldier, but it was the commanders who caused the failures, because they came out of a class system, the old order.   The new order, the one Eisenhower praised the Germans for and brought into the US, is based on merit not social status. 

I think we need a better understanding of the terms "old order" and "new order" and of why Eisenhower praised the Germans for their contributions to democracy.  


Edited by Athena - 15-Apr-2011 at 15:47
Back to Top
Athena View Drop Down
Baron
Baron


Joined: 28-Sep-2010
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 403
  Quote Athena Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Apr-2011 at 12:24
Originally posted by Serge

Germany was never really fully united between late 1400's until 1871 so their military was mainly focused on small conflicts with their close neighbors or later small earldoms which are authentically German SmileSo to think logically-could have Germany wielded a large army capable of conquering its neighbors in a long war during the world war I?No!That's one of the main reasons for Germany's failure in the great war...Therefore Germany wasn't very strong for that time. 


You are missing an understanding of Prussian military bureaucracy, and how applying this to citizens, it becomes possible to mobilize a nation for war in a short time.   Germany was very strong when it engaged in the first world war, and had the most advanced military technology of the day, because this was the intent of public education, which began with kindergarten.   West Germans who wanted nothing to do with war and the hard work of unifying Germany, surrendered to the Prussians, as a good wife obeys her husband.  West Germans were dreamy, idealist and friendly people, who trusted God's will be done.  Prussians loved military might as the people of the US (Western Germany too) loved God.   Yes, in a short time, the Prussians were able to convert all the resources of Germany, into a a very powerful military machine. 

Am I wasting my time here, or is anyone paying attention to the quotes I am taking from books written when history was made?    Those quotes are not copy and paste, but take time to convert from the books to the computer.  The information seems to be ignored? 
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <123>

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Bulletin Board Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 9.56a [Free Express Edition]
Copyright ©2001-2009 Web Wiz

This page was generated in 0.188 seconds.