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Old 12-20-2015, 10:17 AM
 
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Germany could have won even if Austria and Turkey folded. America's entry precipitated a rushed German offensive in 1918 that was ill-planned, had no goal and went nowhere.

As bad as Germany was is 1917-1918, morale in France was worse than Germany's. In 1917, whole sectors of the French lines were undefended. The troops had deserted. Germany never discovered that these sectors were undefended. Without America, French morale would have only been worse in 1918.

If Germany had settled on defense in 1918 and consolidated its eastern conquests, brought fresh troops from newly created (and occupied) eastern states, harvested the 1918 crop from these lands, it would have replenished itself. By 1919, another million German troops from the east could have joined the million transferred to France in 1918. Then the scales would have been tipped in Germany's favor.
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Old 12-20-2015, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Southeast Michigan
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Originally Posted by Futurist110 View Post
When exactly did Winnie write that, though?



Completely agreed.
Make a Google search. He made this statement in a 1936 interview with an American journalist. I think NYT. Then retracted. The magazine sued him for libel but as the lawsuit progressed the WW2 was in full swing and no one in their right mind would allow taking to court the wartime prime minister of our vital ally. This quote has been known during his lifetime.
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Old 12-21-2015, 08:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggy001 View Post
The main impact of the arrival of American troops was on moral. Positive for the Allies, negative for the Germans. However, the brunt of the fighting in 100 Days Offensive which broke the back of German resistance was borne by the British and French armies around Amiens and the Somme. While the American army was involved in the Meuse-Argonne area and acquitted itself admirably, the Hindenburg line was broken by the 1st and 3rd British armies at Cambrai.

From a purely military point of view, the Allies would have probably won with or without American intervention. The Germans had been bled dry, the Allied blockade was starving them of war materials and food and their CP allies - Austro-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire - were more of a liability than an asset. What American involvement meant was that the Germans could not win and that had a huge effect on moral.

I think that probably true. John Keegan said as much in one of his books.

The Central Powers were now looking at an alliance whose newest member had a seemingly inexhaustible supply of fresh troops.
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Old 12-21-2015, 03:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troyfan View Post
Germany could have won even if Austria and Turkey folded. America's entry precipitated a rushed German offensive in 1918 that was ill-planned, had no goal and went nowhere.

As bad as Germany was is 1917-1918, morale in France was worse than Germany's. In 1917, whole sectors of the French lines were undefended. The troops had deserted. Germany never discovered that these sectors were undefended. Without America, French morale would have only been worse in 1918.

If Germany had settled on defense in 1918 and consolidated its eastern conquests, brought fresh troops from newly created (and occupied) eastern states, harvested the 1918 crop from these lands, it would have replenished itself. By 1919, another million German troops from the east could have joined the million transferred to France in 1918. Then the scales would have been tipped in Germany's favor.
Which sectors are you referring to? I've read about instances of French units refusing orders to go on the offensive but not widespread desertion and abandonment. Without the US the allies would be less eager to launch fresh offensives in 1918 but neither were facing the kind of pressure that forced the Germans to throw in the towels.

I believe that Germany has a narrow path to a negotiated peace without the US but it is extremely unlikely that they can defeat the western allies outright. Germany has neglected to develop tanks and armored carriers and these tools were instrumental in the allied breakthrough in the Hundred Days offensive. I also doubt the Germans can get enough food from the newly conquered territory since they already controlled and exploited most of it before Brest-Litovsk.
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Old 12-23-2015, 10:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mkwensky View Post
Which sectors are you referring to? I've read about instances of French units refusing orders to go on the offensive but not widespread desertion and abandonment. Without the US the allies would be less eager to launch fresh offensives in 1918 but neither were facing the kind of pressure that forced the Germans to throw in the towels.

I believe that Germany has a narrow path to a negotiated peace without the US but it is extremely unlikely that they can defeat the western allies outright. Germany has neglected to develop tanks and armored carriers and these tools were instrumental in the allied breakthrough in the Hundred Days offensive. I also doubt the Germans can get enough food from the newly conquered territory since they already controlled and exploited most of it before Brest-Litovsk.
Mostly along the Aisne in the Picardy department. 1/2 the French divisions on the Western Front were effected to some degree. The high command court marshaled thousands but few were executed, mostly the leaders.

German intelligence, proving it was anything but, failed to discover the breakdown in morale and even in troop strength.

Armies administering occupied territories seldom do a good job and the Germans on the Eastern Front were no better than most. The duties of carrying on the war eclipsed whatever trifling matters of civil administration come up.

An independent Ukraine and Belarus, given another year to come up to speed, could have made all the difference to Germany. These regions were the breadbaskets of Russia, producing enough food for the whole country.

The 1918 German offensive (Kaiserschlacht), even without tanks, was the most successful offensive since 1914 of any combatant in terms of depth of penetration. It pioneered many tactical innovations which were very effective on the barbed wire/trench warfare battlefield. With time to gather more reserves, figure out exactly what the objectives should be, maybe launching in September or even March of 1919, it could have been decisive.

In any case, it certainly would have pushed French morale off the cliff on which it perched.
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Old 12-23-2015, 10:34 AM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
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Originally Posted by Proptop View Post
Say during WWI the U.S had not given the allies any kind of support at all, do you think the CP could have won?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jobseeker2013;42335581[B
]I think terms would have been dictated out of Berlin. With the collapse of Russia in 1917, And without the USA being involved in ANY way, I think Germany would be in the driver's seat. I don't think the CP could have "won" the war however. It would be more of a negotiated peace, with the other side saving face[/b]. Keep in mind, the Germans needed a million men in Russia in 1918. That's the problem when new lands are acquired, troops are needed for occupation.

I have no clue what these terms could have been for the Germans, but I can see for example they keeping Alsace Lorraine, but losing some if not all their overseas colonies, and keeping the Russian lands. Ottoman Empire continuing and Austria Hungary getting some Russian lands as well.

It would be an interesting result because you would have a Germany dominating continental Europe economically but Russia's European borders would be where they are now.
I lean toward the Germans loosing anyway if the Americans do not get in but it is possible the Germans might have been able to hold out in 1918 without the Americans in the war. It is amazing that the Central Powers lasted as long as they did in real life. Jobseeker raises some good points.

What is unknown is what effect the Americans not being in the war would have had and whether it would have made a difference. For instance:
--- the effect on German morale
--- the effect on Allies morale, notable in France (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Army_Mutinies )
--- The German spring 1918 offensive - whether it would have been less rushed before the Americans were ready or if the Germans could have stayed more on the defensive.
--- Wilson's 14 points do not help undermine the German and Austrian home fronts.
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Old 12-23-2015, 10:38 AM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troyfan View Post
Germany could have won even if Austria and Turkey folded. America's entry precipitated a rushed German offensive in 1918 that was ill-planned, had no goal and went nowhere.

As bad as Germany was is 1917-1918, morale in France was worse than Germany's. In 1917, whole sectors of the French lines were undefended. The troops had deserted. Germany never discovered that these sectors were undefended. Without America, French morale would have only been worse in 1918.

If Germany had settled on defense in 1918 and consolidated its eastern conquests, brought fresh troops from newly created (and occupied) eastern states, harvested the 1918 crop from these lands, it would have replenished itself. By 1919, another million German troops from the east could have joined the million transferred to France in 1918. Then the scales would have been tipped in Germany's favor.
This is sort of what I am thinking. However, the question is whether the Germans would have stayed on the defense in the West now that the Russians were knocked out. In real life with their rushed offensives in early 1918, they wasted much of their best divisions and weakened themselves fatally.
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Old 12-23-2015, 05:53 PM
 
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It's also noteworthy that Germans were literally starving to death in at the beginning of 1918: a big reason to rush the offensive in the West.
While the French Army suffered mutinies (which never translated in "deserted sectors"), France in 1918 held the majority of the line, had the majority of troops, tanks and guns, produced the majority of Allied equipments and fought as hard as Great Britain (with the slight difference that France had been fighting non-stop since 1914, while Britain had to build up her strength).
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Old 12-23-2015, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Southeast Michigan
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Another telling thing is that Germans were unable to take advantage of the extremely deteriorated situation of the Russian army on the Eastern front between the February Revolution and the Bolshevik coup. You'd think that a determined attack would collapse the Russian resistance and help German morale and strategic situation. But instead they continued the slow dug-in positional warfare.

One of the reasons may be that their last good troops were in the West, and the Eastern front was barely holding on and simply did not have the capacity for a large scale attack. Another reason may be the lack of trust in troops' willingness to fight the newly revolutionary Russia (before the Bolshevik coup, it was widely seen as a democratic revolution). A lot of these troops were Slavic subjects of Austria-Hungary that were ever ready to switch sides.

As someone also pointed out, Germany had no tanks, while the British and French were building them en masse. These tanks, especially the British "rhomboid" tanks (forgot the name) were game changers, and would be capable of breaking the positional stalemate. The very first tank attack on a large scale happened in 1917 and was very successful, but the success was unanticipated and there was no army units assigned to the tanks to exploit the advantage. In 1918 there was a plan for the massive strategic use of tanks to break the German front line, scheduled for 1919. The Brits were planning to build 4,500 tanks to implement it. The French also had many tanks, actually more than the Brits. If Germany didn't collapse that same year, this plan would surely be put to use and I don't think Germans had much to counter it with.
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Old 12-23-2015, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Bronx
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Originally Posted by Proptop View Post
Say during WWI the U.S had not given the allies any kind of support at all, do you think the CP could have won?
If the US shifted its support to Germany, probably Germany would have had a chance at Victory. The US wanted to remain neutral but public opinion, America's Anglo heritage and the business class wanted to support Britain and its Empire, the very same organization that the US has a colony chased out 140 years prior. Germany could have won World War 1, but Germany suffered from a poor alliance system. Italy did not want to fight for the Alliance and did not intervene in the war. Austria was a declining power in all regards, and the Ottoman Empire was also on the decline and was the sick-man of Europe. Both Austria and Ottoman Empire suffered from constant ethnic rebellions that saw their Empire's shrink. Also Britain controlled trade routes. One of the routes Britain controlled was Mediterranean, Britain controlled its entrance off the coast of Spain by Gibraltar, they controlled Malta, they controlled Cyprus, and the Suez Canal. Any American goods that need to get to Austrian and Turkish ports would be impossible. Also American ships would have to pass through the English Channel to get to Germany again Britain controlled that shipping lane. In order for US to help Germany. The US needs to build a Navy that can not only match but out match Mother Britain. The US wont surpass the British Navy Until World War 2.
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