WW1 German Command

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Nonynon, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. Nonynon

    Nonynon Regular Member

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    So here we are, Berlin, 1914 and the next war is coming in a matter of days. What strategy would you take as the head of the strongest army of the Centrals?

    Historically countries like Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and the USA all joined the war on the allies side but many of them can be persuaded into fighting alongside the Centrals. Others, like Sweden might have joined the Centrals would circumstances allow them.
    A few maps:
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    Ignore the red line and Xs.
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    Last edited: Apr 14, 2011
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  3. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Stay home and save 16m lives.
     
  4. Nonynon

    Nonynon Regular Member

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    But you are in charge of the Centrals, not the world. And if you do not attack (Centrals attacked first in WW1) then surly the Entente (allies) will.

    Edit: I thought that because this is an Indian forum then maybe most members don't really know what strategies were really taken so we aren't going to get the same answers from everybody after considering what happened in reality, what proved affective and what did not.

    For more background information:
    1. As Germany you have a secrete alliance with the Ottoman empire so they would probably join the war with you pretty soon (they really hate Russia) and Austro-Hungery is there with you from the start. Sweden also really hates Russia, wants to capture Finland back but has an extremely small army so unlikely to want to join a war in a near future.
    2. The Entente is right now only France, Serbia and Russia but Britain is looking for an excuse to join the war and Belgium is a highly likely candidate. Spain, Switzerland, Albania, Holland, Denmark and Norway are all expressing extreme neutrality and no will to join the war at this point or at any near future.
    3. The Russian people are sick from years and years of oppression from the tzar (Russian king) and as the last painting tells you, Russia shows signs of a 4. revolution going underway (in reality, at first the Germans thought Russia would stay out of the war in fear of revolution but Russia turned out as one of the first countries to open hostilities that eventually led to war).
    4. Western Germany is full of railroads that can help deploy units a lot faster but the east is the richer part of Germany.
    5. In the place were Modern day Ukraine is supposed to be in, there are huge grain fields supplying all of Russia, something extremely important for Russia to hold tight.
    6. As Germany, you have a huge navy, second only to Britain's.
    7. Notice the lack of countries, that means there are a lot of suppressed nationalities ready to fight for their freedom (Largely most of Austro-Hungery, Poland, Finland, Ireland, the African colonies and the Arabs).
    8. Greece hates Turkey. Bulgaria hates Serbia.
    9. Italy had a triple alliance with Germany and Austro-hungery but now Italy surprises you and refuses to join the upcoming war with you.
    10. There are subs, air ships (reconnaissance and bombing), early age reconnaissance planes, no fighter or bomber planes but there is cavalry. Lots and lots of cavalry for every army. There are no assault rifles or sub machine guns but there are machine guns and radio communications. As Germany, you also have a new form of weapon - gas (mustered gas) that you can shell you're enemies with by artillery. It blinds whoever is exposed to it and it can also kill.
    11. Its August.
    12. In the far east, Japan has an alliance with Britain. But they still really hate USA. USA doesn't want this war but they will probably help their democratic allies of Britain and France. China doesn't want a new big war with Japan so they are unlikely to want to participate in a war. USA is trying to protect China from Japan.
    13. Latin America doesn't want a war, especially not with USA.

    No need to bring up a book about how to run the war, all you need to do is give the general strategy with which you will want to start you're war with. Personally, I'm extremely interested in hearing what those of you that don't know how really happened will say.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2011
  5. Nonynon

    Nonynon Regular Member

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    A map to show you how hard it was for Austro-Hungery to maintain itself against it's minorities fights for independence:
    [​IMG]
    It was a crumbling Empire.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2011
  6. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    Recognizing that Germany's industrial might was greater than France or Britain's, and that current tactics did not allow decisive manuever warfare, I would focus on a strategy of static defence and attrition.

    On the Western Front, I would dig in after capturing Belgium, rather than trying to capture Paris. I would try to conserve men and resources whenever possible by avoiding vain offensives, and let the British and French wear themselves out against my battle line. On the Eastern Front, I would do what Germany historically did, and place just enough troops there to prevent a Russian breakthrough.

    I would make it a top priority to build good relations with America and make them sympathetic to our cause. Propaganda should be aimed at America's large immigrant population from the Central Powers. By this time, America's is the world's largest industrial power by far, and it is vital that America does not join the Allies if Germany is to win.

    I would avoid unrestricted submarine warfare, mainly to appease America. Fiascos like the Zimmerman Telegram are to be avoided.

    No matter what you do, the war is going to be long and bloody. But the best bet is for Germany to dissuade America from joining the Allies, and then wearing out the French and British through attrition. The Russians are not a problem due to political upheaval in Russia.
     
  7. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    /\/\/\ Civfanatic I would beg to differ a little from your strategy. Attacking Russia was biggest mistake of Germany. Russia was huge and needed lots of manpower to conquer it and thats what led to to defect of Germany on Russian front. Also Russia was friend of Germany at that time .IMHO instead of attacking Russia they should have used their manpower on France and England. Once france and England were defected there would have been none to challenge them in Europe and America would not dare to intervene in that scenario.
     
  8. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    You are confusing WWII with WWI. Germany crushed Russia on the Eastern Front and knocked them out of the war early on. The October Revolution guaranteed that. Russia wasn't friendly to Germany at that time.
     
  9. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    Yes I am . I apologize for my mistake. I am having a running nose and not in very good of mental state. I am out of DFI unless I am ok. :(
     
  10. AOE

    AOE Regular Member

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    The possibilities are endless in this scenario, given that alliances in Europe shifted as often as people changed clothes, any amount of scenarios could be drawn. Naturally I think this war was a pointless one, a hard-learned lesson that Europeans should have given up their ambitions of colonialism. If I were in the seat of the Germans, I would probably consider doing the following:

    1. The Germans compromise with France over the issue of Alsace-Lorraine, giving the latter to France. Try and build cordial relations as well, perhaps also by assuring the French that the Germans would not pursue the idea of capturing Morocco.
    2. If I had to go to war, I would keep the alliance with Russia and attack Austria-Hungary to annex the provinces of Austria and Bohemia; since that was supposed to be a part of the original German unification process. Historically the Prussians were successful at fighting the Austrians, so this should be an easy victory. Germany could divide up the rest of the Austro-Hungarian empire into friendly pro-German states.
    3. In the process of doing that, assuring the British and Americans that German interests would not clash with theirs. Perhaps handing over some of Germanys less successful/useful colonies in Africa as a token of good will, or allowing their independence.
    4. Encouraging the dismantlement of the Ottoman Empire with the help of the British, French, and Greeks. Cede most of Western Anatolia and Thrace to the Greeks, and the eastern half to the Armenians and Kurds. There is also the possibility of an ice free port for Russia here. The rest can be divided up either to be administered by the allies, or for independence. If the lobby for Israel is still prevalent, then also set up a zone for the Jews to migrate to, which would also include Gaza, the West Bank, and Golan Heights under their control.
    5. If at any point in the above the Russians fail to live up to their side of the bargain, then Germany could use the 'Great Game' as a diplomatic extension to the British against the Russians. If a war broke out, the combined effort would most likely be victorious for the Germans, or at the very least they can capture enough territory in Eastern Europe to administer or to set up friendly German states; such as an independent Poland, Ukraine, Baltic states, etc...
    6. Consider at some point creating a constitutional monarchy, republican constitution, or some kind of democracy; rather than continue the system of absolute monarchism.
     
  11. Nonynon

    Nonynon Regular Member

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    I don't think saying 'you don't know that' is fair so I'll say in the first months the war was not static.


    As for my Idea, although it's very tempting to attack France and Belgium right on the start with all those railroads that can deploy the German army to the west very fast, I'd ask the Austro-Hungarians and Ottoman Turks to focus an early war energy on Russia in order to push into the Ukrainian Grain fields. Once those are taken, Russia would starve and that should speed up the upcoming revolutions. In the East, the war was a lot less static (lots of open fields) even on the early part of the war so I want to use that to focus my war effort where I will gain a lot of land, the same effort spend on France would give a lot less land as reward.
    If we take Ukrain then Romania will have every reason to join the war on the allies side because they wanted part of Ukrain for themselves so I would remember to deploy defenses there.
    If that's done then Britain and France would probably start pushing a little on the West but I'll stay with defensive tactics for now while sending more men into the Ottoman empire so that we could push into Egypt and cut the Suez. That should force the British empire to bring resources and men from Australia, the Far east and India from around Africa. I don't think pushing any more into Africa is important because the Entente have huge colonial armies there and there's not much else that could be gained in Africa. Taking the Gibraltar would be almost impossible so I'd stop any further advances into north Africa as well.
    All this should take a year or two so that's how I'd start my war.
    Around this time Britain would probably start kicking the crap out of my navy so I'd consider invading Denmark in order to keep control of the Baltic sea or at least getting Denmark to allow me to send some soldiers to it's north. Unless that would get USA too angry but that might not happen. If I have the Baltic sea safe then I would be able to continue trade with Sweden and Norway and that's extremely important if the war is taking so long.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2011
  12. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    The Schlieffen Plan failed because the tactics and technology of the time did not allow decisive maneuver warfare. The war was bound to become static sooner or later.

    The Germans should have learned from the other wars of the last decade, especially the Russo-Japanese action in Manchuria, which was basically a precursor to WWI in terms of tactics and technology used. Infantry were fodder, artillery was supreme, and trenches were ubiquitous.
     

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