The Dark Lord Kelebek
- Mar 4, 2016
There's some sidestepping going on here...Putting aside the good points brought up by the Butterfly Composer, the author does do this. He tries to use German and French sources wherever possible, sources that apparently weren't at all used by English-speaking WW1 historians.
Yes, mythbusting is a bit tricky when aiming at specialists in the subject.Given how much else he gets wrong I am unconvinced by this. Easy example would be the casualty figures he quotes which are way out of line with every other book on the subject. Mosier's figures are far higher for the British/French and massively lower for the Germans, supporting his theory that the Germans and Americans were amazing and everyone else idiots.
The problem is the figures just don't make sense. It's not just that Mosier disagrees with absolutely every other writer on the subject, it's that his figures don't match those of the various governments both now and at the time. Now it could be that the entire world is engaged in a mass conspiracy to lie about Western Front casualties to hide how amazing the German army was. Or it could be the author is badly wrong. I suspect the later. Thus I put it to you that even if he was using 'unused' sources they had likely been unused because they were wrong.
There are certainly of myths about the Great War that could be busted, it's just that they are myths held by the general public and not people who are actually interested in the subject.
The numbers seem to be a strange blend of believing and disbelieving propaganda and counting ineptitude at the time. Not that it really matters because the overall point is still unproven in his argument (germans are great, amercians are better) about the war. He also does the classic pitfall of the 20th c. by ignoring the russian and balkan fronts. The latter is a bit of a sideshow depending on your views but ignoring the east in either world war is, at this point, an indicator of either true ignorance of subject or deliberate propaganda work.
He is a bit infamous for serious pandering to a certain time of Amercian reader who likes a certain type of history. Whig history is hardly dead in the modern age, it just spans the anglosphere now.I'm not well-read enough nor committed to Mosier's views to argue this, only to comment that contradicting the majority opinion doesn't necessarily make you wrong, although it's more likely that you are.
I'm a bit uncertain about the map. If I read it right, it shows neutral Netherlands and Switzerland. Belgium, the dark brown bits, occupied by germany? The light blue round the north flank is the british counter attack and the force pushing west/east is where the main front is between france, Belgium and germany?General Allenby (it's Allenby isn't it?) sure knows how to terrify his subordinates. Holding the flanking line is an interesting strategy. It's precarious, especially if the Germans can cut off the men at Antwerp, but hopefully, it can weaken the German offensive. Every division on the frontline against Antwerp is a division not plunging into France!
If this is all correct, the germans may well be abput to fall back or be enveloped, at which point belgium gets mostly retaken and the western front takes on its otl shape. Of course, the germans could break through and gamble on marching to paris before the british can smash through their flanks. If they try this, the war in the west may well be over by Christmas, one way or another.