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Thread: World War I

  1. #1

    Default World War I

    I'm sure one of these appears every once in a while in this part of the forum I have seen it before.

    This time I want to touch upon the pure insanity of the 'long march'. The long march being the hop up top and walk across this field of death and if you make it to the other side hope for the best. God be with you.

    I was just watching a documentary on the heart wrenching battle of Somme. Just... It was horrible you think they could have reverted to the old stand at 100 yards and fire strategy or something...

    Yes I know the guns were getting more accurate the arty more long range the MG's more deadly but still...

    Now I can't right a full opinion article on this tonight but I will finish it later on when I dont have tons of school work and have to be up in 4 hours
    Tho' I've belted you an' flayed you,
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    You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!
    Quote Originally Posted by North Korea
    It is our military's traditional response to quell provocative actions with a merciless thunderbolt.

  2. #2
    Chieftain of the Pudding Race Member Evil_Maniac From Mars's Avatar
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    Default Re: World War I

    Well, the stormtrooper offensives near the end of the war showed how the stalemate could be broken. My personal opinion believes that there were too many closed minds.

  3. #3
    Honorary Argentinian Senior Member Gyroball Champion, Karts Champion Caius's Avatar
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    Default Re: World War I

    What was really the battle of Somme? The advance of Germany into France without their knowledge?




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  4. #4

    Default Re: World War I

    The Somme was a (mostly) British offensive that was supposed to alleviate the pressure on the French at Verdun.

  5. #5
    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: World War I

    IIRC it's also one of the single most notorious clusterfrags in British military history, largely thanks to some serious failures of quality control in artillery ammunition and some rather over-optimistic planning.

    Anyway, after the sheer idiocy of the start of the war was over "going over the top" wasn't actually as much pure suicide as it might initially seem like; this was mostly thanks to artillery preparation, which when properly done tended to leave fairly little in the enemy's forward trenches capable of shooting at the advancing infantry. Three problems, however: one, enemy artillery could still do quite a number on the troops, doubly so as sooner or later they were out of the reach of your gunlines but could, obviously, still cover their own trenches and most of the no-man's land; two, partly due to this it was next to impossible to sustain a decisive penetration into the enemy trench system - getting reinforcements and supplies over was difficult in the extreme (indeed, IIRC the tank grew out of projects to develop an armoured prime mover for just such supply purposes - and such were also built besides the actual assault vehicles); three, not only did pretty much everybody quite soon learn to only garrison the forward trenches only lightly with delaying forces, keeping the main bodies of troops pulled back in (relative) safety from where they could then be deployed to repulse an attack, the Germans at least took to constructing extremely resilient concrete troop bunkers deep underground in the forward trenches, from which the soldiers then emerged to man the MGs and firing ledges after the worst hurricane bombardement was over.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: World War I

    There was also the british Creeping Barrage which made it so that they would reach the trenches the minute the barrage stopped.

    The french deemed if they lost 15% of their troops to 'friendly' fire the barrage was a success
    Tho' I've belted you an' flayed you,
    By the livin' Gawd that made you,
    You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!
    Quote Originally Posted by North Korea
    It is our military's traditional response to quell provocative actions with a merciless thunderbolt.

  7. #7
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: World War I

    The creeping barrage wasn't an exclusively British thing - anyone with any control of their artillery did it. There were nasty variations on it as well, like the stop start barrage that crept ahead of the front trenches and erected an HE wall in the zone beyond to stop any counterattack, the back and forth barrage that crept ahead of the front trenches, then came back again when the defenders started sticking their heads up. There was reported one example of a cavalry breakout being blocked by a barrage wall, turning back to find their retreat blocked by another wall, as were all other sides, and the walls gradually closing in and killing everyone. The science of artllery advanced greatly in WW1.

  8. #8

    Default Re: World War I

    It was developed by the British and like i for mentioned, the French expected to lose 15% of their own troops in an attack do to it. there were also rolling barrages gas barrages and several others which i have yet to read about

    And there is a video documentary the tells about that one experience
    Last edited by Veho Nex; 03-21-2008 at 23:31.
    Tho' I've belted you an' flayed you,
    By the livin' Gawd that made you,
    You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!
    Quote Originally Posted by North Korea
    It is our military's traditional response to quell provocative actions with a merciless thunderbolt.

  9. #9
    Member Member 5 Card Draw Champion, Mini Pool 2 Champion, Ice Hockey Champion, Mahjong Connect Champion Northnovas's Avatar
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    Default Re: World War I

    The creeping barrage was not really effective till Vimy 1917. The Canadians saw the errors of the Somme with infantry waves marching shoulder to shoulder and out of sync after the barrage.
    The Canadians were trained prior to the engagement and the training paid off! In later months the French were back to see what the Canadians did at Vimy.
    Also the use of sound ranging by a Canadian, artillery knocking out enemy artillery positions. He recruited the help of British scientists whose advice on this topic had been previously refused by the British Army.
    They placed microphones in No Man's Land. Whenever the enemy fired, McNaughton and his crew could geometrically calculate how long the sound would take to reach each microphone. They could pinpoint enemy guns in less than 5 minutes and within 28 yards (they could even tell the calibre of the guns)!

  10. #10
    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: World War I

    Other fun stuff was the gas warfare, and why not all kinds of flame-spewing nastiness while we're at it. As if the trench war wasn't horrible and overbearing enough before...
    "Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. --- Proof of the existence of the FSM, if needed, can be found in the recent uptick of global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Apparently His Pastaness is to be worshipped in full pirate regalia. The decline in worldwide pirate population over the past 200 years directly corresponds with the increase in global temperature. Here is a graph to illustrate the point."

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  11. #11
    Coffee farmer extraordinaire Member spmetla's Avatar
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    Default Re: World War I

    And then there's also the horrible sanitary conditions that led to the rampant spread of very deadly disease.

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    Sovereign Oppressor Member TIE Fighter Shooter Champion, Turkey Shoot Champion, Juggler Champion Kralizec's Avatar
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    Default Re: World War I

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchman
    Other fun stuff was the gas warfare, and why not all kinds of flame-spewing nastiness while we're at it. As if the trench war wasn't horrible and overbearing enough before...
    I bet the Germans were really sorry for having used that- the allies took to the idea and used way, way more of that stuff eventually then the inventors themselves, who found their weapon generally less effective due to wind direction...

  13. #13
    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: World War I

    Strictly speaking the French actually started it (tear gas in bunker assaults or somesuch), but it sort of escalated really fast thereafter...

    Don't remember off the top of my head who was the first to use flame-projectors. By the late war everyone already had man-portable flamethrowers a-plenty anyway, so I don't think it really matters.
    "Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. --- Proof of the existence of the FSM, if needed, can be found in the recent uptick of global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Apparently His Pastaness is to be worshipped in full pirate regalia. The decline in worldwide pirate population over the past 200 years directly corresponds with the increase in global temperature. Here is a graph to illustrate the point."

    -Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

  14. #14
    Come to daddy Member Geoffrey S's Avatar
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    Default Re: World War I

    In other words, it was far from the static, stubborn and idiotic mess hindsight has often made it out to be. The classic over the top suicide charge was largely an early war thing, and a significant number of developments which proved useful for later conflicts were developed in that context.
    "The facts of history cannot be purely objective, since they become facts of history only in virtue of the significance attached to them by the historian." E.H. Carr

  15. #15
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: World War I

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffrey S
    In other words, it was far from the static, stubborn and idiotic mess hindsight has often made it out to be. The classic over the top suicide charge was largely an early war thing, and a significant number of developments which proved useful for later conflicts were developed in that context.
    There wasn't much alternative anyway. If you're relatively safe in a hole in the ground, but you want to get to the other side to occupy ground, the only thing you can do is go "over the top". The only questions are how the supporting arms help you get there, and how your getting there is supported afterwards.

  16. #16
    Chieftain of the Pudding Race Member Evil_Maniac From Mars's Avatar
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    Default Re: World War I

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenring
    I bet the Germans were really sorry for having used that- the allies took to the idea and used way, way more of that stuff eventually then the inventors themselves, who found their weapon generally less effective due to wind direction...
    It was another thing that came down to a bad descision - if the gap created had been exploited, who knows what could've happened?

  17. #17

    Default Re: World War I

    In relation to the Somme and the creeping barrage .
    The French had already adapted , while the British mostly went with a timetable of predicted movement the French went with a forward controled movement , it meant that they could advance the barrage in time with the troops (or call it back) rather than attempting to advance the troops in time with the barrage .
    It was the main reason why the French made it to their objectives on day 1 of the Somme and the British didn't .

  18. #18
    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: World War I

    Quote Originally Posted by Evil_Maniac From Mars
    It was another thing that came down to a bad descision - if the gap created had been exploited, who knows what could've happened?
    The exploiting bit tended to be easier said than done. For one thing, in the comparatively clear and intact grounds behind the trench lines mobile troops like cavalry and armoured cars could be used to the full - and were very useful for containing penetrations.

    'Sides, war gases had the real problem they tended to linger and were just as detrimental to your troops if protection wasn't topnotch - and even then, the filters in the masks only lasted for so long. That's one reason they later were no longer used to try to clear ground for assaults, but rather harass, pin down artillery, and create "barrier zones" that blocked enemy reinforcements.
    Last edited by Watchman; 03-23-2008 at 17:29.
    "Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. --- Proof of the existence of the FSM, if needed, can be found in the recent uptick of global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Apparently His Pastaness is to be worshipped in full pirate regalia. The decline in worldwide pirate population over the past 200 years directly corresponds with the increase in global temperature. Here is a graph to illustrate the point."

    -Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

  19. #19
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: World War I

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchman
    'Sides, war gases had the real problem they tended to linger and were just as detrimental to your troops if protection wasn't topnotch - and even then, the filters in the masks only lasted for so long. That's one reason they later were no longer used to try to clear ground for assaults, but rather harass, pin down artillery, and create "barrier zones" that blocked enemy reinforcements.
    One charming method of harassment the British used was to pick out certain units for special treatment, following them wherever they'd been posted, and gassing them.

  20. #20
    Vermonter and Seperatist Member Uesugi Kenshin's Avatar
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    Default Re: World War I

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchman
    The exploiting bit tended to be easier said than done. For one thing, in the comparatively clear and intact grounds behind the trench lines mobile troops like cavalry and armoured cars could be used to the full - and were very useful for containing penetrations.

    'Sides, war gases had the real problem they tended to linger and were just as detrimental to your troops if protection wasn't topnotch - and even then, the filters in the masks only lasted for so long. That's one reason they later were no longer used to try to clear ground for assaults, but rather harass, pin down artillery, and create "barrier zones" that blocked enemy reinforcements.
    Another important thing to note is that communication was by and large terrible during an assault. The higher ups usually couldn't communicate with their troops after the assault began, especially as units started to move deeper into enemy territory. Once communication deteriorated things would bog down on their own, adding armored cars, cavalry, enemy artillery, enemy fortifications, mud, gas and even the occasional aircraft to the mix really didn't help.
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    Member Member KrooK's Avatar
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    Default Re: World War I

    For me world war one was one big lasting of resources. I can't understand why Germans who made modern warfare on eastern front did so illogical on western.

    BTW first time poison gas became used into 1915 on eastern front.
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    Sovereign Oppressor Member TIE Fighter Shooter Champion, Turkey Shoot Champion, Juggler Champion Kralizec's Avatar
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    Default Re: World War I

    Quote Originally Posted by KrooK
    For me world war one was one big lasting of resources. I can't understand why Germans who made modern warfare on eastern front did so illogical on western.
    I don't recall the specifics, but it started as limited ad hoc trenching when the Germans lost their momentum. The French started a countertrench, and both tried to expand their line fast enough so that they could work around the flank of the other. Eventually the line ran from Switzerland to the Channel.

  23. #23
    Clan Takiyama Senior Member CBR's Avatar
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    Default Re: World War I

    The troop density was lower on the eastern front so it was not as easy to create the same strong defense lines as seen in the west. The low quality of the Russian army also helped of course.


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  24. #24
    Come to daddy Member Geoffrey S's Avatar
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    Default Re: World War I

    More room, combined with significantly more modern logistics, meant that German advantages could for more efficiently be pressed against Russia - similar things can be seen in more outlying regions of the Ottoman empire.
    "The facts of history cannot be purely objective, since they become facts of history only in virtue of the significance attached to them by the historian." E.H. Carr

  25. #25

    Default Re: World War I

    BTW first time poison gas became used into 1915 on eastern front.
    No it wasn't , the eastern front had the first large scale use of tear gas which isn't classed as a poison gas as such and anyway it had been used since august 1914 on the western front.

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    Senior Member Senior Member Yeti Sports 1.5 Champion, Snowboard Slalom Champion, Monkey Jump Champion, Mosquito Kill Champion Csargo's Avatar
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    Default Re: World War I

    I thought the first use of poisonous gas was on the Western Front in 1916.
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  27. #27

    Default Re: World War I

    I thought the first use of poisonous gas was on the Western Front in 1916
    Nope , asphyxiants were used in april 1915 , the tear gas used earlier apperantly doesn't count as poisonous because it isn't lethal(apart from in very heavy concentrations or due to an allergic reaction) .

  28. #28
    Chieftain of the Pudding Race Member Evil_Maniac From Mars's Avatar
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    Default Re: World War I

    First used about a week before the Second Battle of Ypres on the Western Front, and in the Battle of Bolimov on the Eastern Front.

  29. #29
    Member Member KrooK's Avatar
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    Default Re: World War I

    I don't meant tear gas - I meant chlorium (Cl).
    As Maniac said it has been first time used by Germans 31.05.1915 on eastern front during battle of Bolimov. Earlier (31.05.1915) at same place Germans used tear gas however it was too cold and gas did not do any damage.
    Last edited by KrooK; 03-24-2008 at 21:23.
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    Default Re: World War I

    Quote Originally Posted by KrooK
    I don't meant tear gas - I meant chlorium (Cl).
    As Maniac said it has been first time used by Germans 31.05.1915 on eastern front during battle of Bolimov. Earlier (31.05.1915) at same place Germans used tear gas however it was too cold and gas did not do any damage.
    22 Apr 15 the Germans used 160 tons of chlorine against the French and Colonials. Bolimov was the first use but the casualties were only in the hundreds. At Ypres there were 6,000 French and colonials that died within minutes but like other tactical errors of the Great War the German High Command was unsure of the new weapon and did not exploit the gap; no reserve troops. By the time they moved in it was evening and the British and Canadians had closed the gap left by the French and stopped the German advance.

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