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The German Military 1871-1918

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    Posted: 04-Sep-2012 at 21:42
Very interesting discussion - Thumbs Up

Just a couple of comments.  The first is to expand on one of Belasarius's comments:

The Germans, and every other belligerent, got a shockingly fast lesson in the disintegration of ordinary roads subjected to military usage.  Roads were rapidly reduced to impassable bogs in any sort of rain, the surfaces broken by the passage of horses, vehicles, and heavy guns.  The French should have known this, thanks to the campaigns of Napoleon when he ruined every road he used as well.  So should the Germans.

The Schlieffen Plan failed to take into account how the Belgians and their allies might feel about being invaded.  That always seemed like a very elementary failure to me.

The war was as much about settling old scores and "cleansing" as it was about anything else, which led to a lot of atrocities committed by many nations.

Lastly, Germany did not welcome commoners into the Officer Corps, nor were they accepted willingly or gracefully.  Troops were made into officers to fill the terrible gaps left by the dead and wounded, but they were not welcomed into an Officers Corp traditionally made up from nobility and the privileged.  They were a necessary evil in the eyes of the German High Command.  The old Prussian traditions did not die easily, and it should be noted that when Hitler - an enlisted man in WWI -  rose to power, he retained an intense dislike for the officers with "von" and "zu" attached to their names throughout WWII.  He was most comfortable around officers without pedigrees.

WWI was the war that put an end to the class of officers of nobility and privilege by kililng most of them, but to their credit, they died leading from the front, even the generals.


Edited by Mountain Man - 04-Sep-2012 at 21:48
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
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