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Old 05-14-2012, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Texas
14,023 posts, read 8,991,342 times
Reputation: 7374
Quote:
Originally Posted by nightbird47 View Post
What is so awful is they had done it seventeen or more times with the identical result, and a good military mind should know there is a point you quit wasting resources, which would be your men. When they had to be forced to go at the point of certain death it should have been a wakeup call that it was not going to work and had become a dark, macabre ritual.
But, General's don't have the authority to just stop wars. The leaders on both sides of the trenches were not stupid (in most cases). They recognized the futility and waste of it all, but what could they do about? Refuse to fight and be replaced? Overthrow their governments to stop the slaughter?

Quote:
It would be the same as if in WW2 the allies had done repeated small *doomed* beach landings just to show they were trying.
Uh...they did in the Pacific. After the debacle of Tarawa, it should have been obvious that something better had to be devised than mass, frontal assaults across open beaches. However, politics intervened as the future of the Marine Corps was at stake. So, they simply tweaked their strategy and continued wasting lives on island strongholds which could have simply been bypassed and left to wither away.

They finally achieved their goal at Iwo Jima. As Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal put it, "The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next five hundred years."
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Old 05-14-2012, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
10,549 posts, read 6,095,550 times
Reputation: 7656
Quote:
Originally Posted by nightbird47 View Post
What is so awful is they had done it seventeen or more times with the identical result, and a good military mind should know there is a point you quit wasting resources, which would be your men. When they had to be forced to go at the point of certain death it should have been a wakeup call that it was not going to work and had become a dark, macabre ritual.

It would be the same as if in WW2 the allies had done repeated small *doomed* beach landings just to show they were trying.
I would blame the politicians for their inability to settle the war, not the generals. If all frontal attacks are futile, and frontal attacks are the only option available, then the alternative is no attacks at all. And if there are no attacks, why are you at war?

The deepest tragedy of WW 1 was that most of the participants were fighting with no actual war goals other than winning...because losing was unthinkable.

Austria-Hungary went to war against Serbia because they believed Serbia was a threat to stirring up the minorities within the empire. Everyone else was fighting because...everyone was fighting.

What is very difficult to understand is the incredible enthusiasm with which nations and volunteers went to war in 1914...all without any particular war aims.
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Old 05-14-2012, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Petticoat Junction
931 posts, read 713,264 times
Reputation: 1432
How can the I stand for Idiotic when it's a Roman numeral one?
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Old 05-14-2012, 01:45 PM
 
6,640 posts, read 8,815,491 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stillkit View Post
And, I have to remind everyone that the trenches in France were not the only theater of war. In the east, the Balkans, the Locarno front and Middle East, it was a war of maneuver. For that matter, so too was France in the opening and closing days of the war. The trenches are the popular conception of WWI, and with good reason, but they are not symbolic of the whole war.
That was my first thought when I read the first page of posts. Everyone thinks of WWI as this trench warfare scenario. It was actually very fluid on other fronts, including the ocean and parts of Africa and Asia.

But it is a fascinating war in terms of the introduction of technologies. Also in terms of casualties (not facinating as much as horrible), where almost an entire generation of Europeans were wiped out. The first time in history in which the forces (not just individual troops or divisions) of several nations (Russia and France) were so exhausted and fought-out that it's troops basically refused to fight anymore.

Someone mentioned France not surrendoring, which is true. But by 1917 they were basically done as a cohesive fighting force. They were used up (although they had a comeback of sorts with the arrival of US troops in 1918).
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Miami, FL
3,167 posts, read 1,704,831 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovcatto View Post
Would you mind posting a source for this information?
Numerous books. Start with John Terraine and his White Heat and The Smoke and the Fire. Then John Ellis and his Brute Strength and The Sharp End.

A fairly recent one is Corrigan in Mud,Blood and Poppycock but his approach is faulty in many areas. I have only browsed through it. It is more towards upending the British generals were Donkeys approach of earlier writers.

I will give you more when you are done with the top four.
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:23 PM
 
31,308 posts, read 16,743,741 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Felix C View Post
I will give you more when you are done with the top four.
Perhaps I am taking your comment the wrong way, but if not, thanks but I don't do reading assignments.

Just a simple recitation of the casualty rates for each war one would think would be more than sufficient, and a simple citation of the source, if a link is not available.

Thanks.
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Miami, FL
3,167 posts, read 1,704,831 times
Reputation: 2288
Then continue learning your history from documentaries.
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:17 PM
 
31,308 posts, read 16,743,741 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJBarney View Post
How can the I stand for Idiotic when it's a Roman numeral one?
I should just ignore your pedantic nonsense... so I will.
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:19 PM
 
31,308 posts, read 16,743,741 times
Reputation: 14239
Quote:
Originally Posted by Felix C View Post
Then continue learning your history from documentaries.
Why is that folks assert simple facts and when innocently asked for substantiation instead of answer the question, prefer to deflect? Oh well.

Any way, what I have found is interesting for example:

During WWI U.S. forces had 11,516 total deaths out of 4,734,991 men at arms.

During WWII the U.S. suffered 116,516 deaths out of 16,112,566 men at arms.

Roughly the same rates, except that WWI stats are for `1917-1918 one year, while the WWII stats comprised 1941-1946, (Source: Congressional Research Service). It is hard for me to imagine that the WWI casualties rates for France, Great Britain or Germany were greater for World War 2, which is why I asked for your sources.

Last edited by ovcatto; 05-14-2012 at 04:48 PM..
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:24 PM
Status: "City of Brotherly Love" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: University City, Philadelphia
14,345 posts, read 4,113,241 times
Reputation: 8396
Quote:
Originally Posted by stillkit View Post
I think it's a better warning of what George Washington called "entangling alliances." It's been called The War Nobody Wanted for good reason.

When Austria set out to "punish" Serbia for the assassination of the Archduke, various treaty obligations began to kick in and within a few days, the whole continent was mobilizing and fighting over what was essentially a local affair.
It was like dominoes ... or a house of cards ... one nation's actions had repercussions on others. Alliances and "honor" entangled the entire European continent.
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