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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

El Pip

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I missed the previous version of this somehow, so I'm delighted to have caught this at the start.

I've not played the DH WW1 mod, but I have in various other HOI games and they all had one thing in common - the German AI cannot/does not do fleet in being. Typically t he High Seas Fleet sorties from port fairly rapidly and starts prowling around the North Sea, to face them you had better bring the entire Grand Fleet or risk defeat in detail. While this is certainly a risk, think Jellicoe being the only man who could lose the war in an afternoon, it is also a massive opportunity.

If you can sink most of the HSF by early 1915, and I strongly suspect the Germans will give you the opportunity, then a world of amphibious options open up. It is amazing what you can achieve when the Grand Fleet is supplying shore bombardment support.
 

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I missed the previous version of this somehow, so I'm delighted to have caught this at the start.

I've not played the DH WW1 mod, but I have in various other HOI games and they all had one thing in common - the German AI cannot/does not do fleet in being. Typically t he High Seas Fleet sorties from port fairly rapidly and starts prowling around the North Sea, to face them you had better bring the entire Grand Fleet or risk defeat in detail. While this is certainly a risk, think Jellicoe being the only man who could lose the war in an afternoon, it is also a massive opportunity.

If you can sink most of the HSF by early 1915, and I strongly suspect the Germans will give you the opportunity, then a world of amphibious options open up. It is amazing what you can achieve when the Grand Fleet is supplying shore bombardment support.
My goodness! And this is something the Germans might feasibly, realistically attempt as well. Try to keep the whole fleet together and either pick off the RN a bit at a time or test themselves in a grand battle and retreat I feel it goes wrong into being a fleet in being. So you really can and should take advantage of this if true!

Imagine the headlines....massive German fleet in the channel and North Sea. The grand fleet assembles! Stormy weather in North Sea block action. German fleet bombards Scotland! Sinks destroyer in serious naval blunder by admiralty. Churchill furious. The Great battle of Jutland, lasting perhaps several days of linked battles, before the Royal Navy wins but with some losses. German fleet obliterate. Kaiser stunned. Troop morale explodes.

Or something like that. Maybe it doesn't even go to he royal navy's way for years until they do manage to crush them. It would change the war as well because more resources would go to the German fleet and not the front, and to the Royal Navy as well. Perhaps the risk and danger of submarines is not realised in this war, or much later on. And the chance to open further fronts, perhaps directly support the Russians or land in Germany itself would be very interesting.

What seems certain is that the Mediterranean and Far East would be emptied of British ships for years whilst the German fleet is prowling around like that. In itself, a very interesting alt history.
 

El Pip

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And the chance to open further fronts, perhaps directly support the Russians or land in Germany itself would be very interesting.
Admiral Fisher Madness Intensifies - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltic_Project

"Now witness the firepower of these 18" armed and badly armoured large light cruisers. Commence shore bombardment of the Pomerania coast Admiral."

What seems certain is that the Mediterranean and Far East would be emptied of British ships for years whilst the German fleet is prowling around like that. In itself, a very interesting alt history.
The Royal Navy has huge numbers of pre-Dreadnoughts and Protected Cruisers that wouldn't help much in the North Sea, these can safely be shuffled around the world's oceans as required. And required they will be, the German surface raiders and pre-war foreign squadrons need hunting down.

Fundamentally however Germany lost the naval arms race and lost badly. The Royal Navy has a large numerical advantage, enough even to withstand a few setbacks if required, so there will be hulls spare for Imperial duties unless there is a mass outbreak of lead tea drinking in the Admiralty.
 

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Admiral Fisher Madness Intensifies -
Ah, ok. See the war won't be totally going the britsh way. Instead of a terrible turkish campaign we might have a terrible baltic campaign instead.

The Royal Navy has huge numbers of pre-Dreadnoughts and Protected Cruisers that wouldn't help much in the North Sea, these can safely be shuffled around the world's oceans as required. And required they will be, the German surface raiders and pre-war foreign squadrons need hunting down.
Yeah I was being a bit trite. The RN was massive after all, and should be fine everywhere at once. That being said, I wonder what the other powers would do woth their navies if the Germans are sailing round the North sea, the British are there too (and mostly everywhere else), the austrians and italians are both stuck in the adriatic (presumably)...what do the french do?

Fundamentally however Germany lost the naval arms race and lost badly. The Royal Navy has a large numerical advantage, enough even to withstand a few setbacks if required, so there will be hulls spare for Imperial duties unless there is a mass outbreak of lead tea drinking in the Admiralty.
Yeah I'm not suggesting the britsh will lose or even be inconvenienced by the german fleet sailing around. In fact, that's probably exactly what they want them to do, since a fleet in being is far more annoying and in this period, pretty safe.

What I think it might do though is give Fisher and Churchill something to do and preen themselves over, rather than sailing around the channel for a year and a half and then deciding they need to 'do something'.

So that's one interesting difference that might happen due to ai. What else? I suspect the AI on both sides will not handle the east front very well or very historically (russians do great, then germany, then really germany, then stalemate etc).

Edit: that fisher plan...so effective the wiki page on it is 3 paragraphs long. Details?
Also I read the imperial german navy page again and was again reminded that their navy was absurdly big for a non-naval power with little use for a battle fleet. Going to refresh my memory on pre war british battle plans to see what might be attempted this time
 
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This seems terrific.

I loved your WW2 Britain "Realtime" AAR.

Why was the WW2 one cancelled again.
I did not know that you had done an alien invasion AAR. I will check it out.
 

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What I think it might do though is give Fisher and Churchill something to do and preen themselves over, rather than sailing around the channel for a year and a half and then deciding they need to 'do something'.

Edit: that fisher plan...so effective the wiki page on it is 3 paragraphs long. Details?
The Baltic Project was a key bit of Fishers big strategy, like Kitchener and most of the rest of the professional military he believed it would be a long war, several years minimum and planned accordingly. Fisher, and Corbett who was working with him, saw a parallel with the Seven Years War and so looked at the point where Prussia came closest to defeat - the Russian naval invasion of Kolberg and the resulting siege of Berlin.

Fisher correctly believed the German high command would not have forgotten this either and the plan was built around their assumed reaction to it, not an attempt to recreate it. Fisher knew the Grand Fleet wouldn't be much use, and was required to counter the HSF, so wanted to build a 'siege fleet' of shallow draught monitors, minesweepers, the Large light cruisers and some landing craft. In the short term the monitors of this force, in co-operation with the Army was to contest the Flemish coast and retake it, all aimed at pushing the Germans back into the Baltic.

At this point the newly completed shallow draft fleet could sneak into the Baltic on the Swedish side (Swedish objections would be ignored), Zealand fortified if required (it was expected Germany would invade Denmark if they felt the Baltic was threatened, so the British planned to send an army to secure it once Denmark asked for help. If the Germans didn't invade, Zealand stayed neutral and so could be ignored. ) and the British would control the Baltic and complete a total blockade. The intervention of the HSF was expected and hoped for, because it would finally bring them to battle.

Best I can tell Fisher never intended to actually invade the North German coast as he was aware of the issues. I think it was mostly a threat, Fisher put great store in trying to manipulate the enemy into making mistakes, in this case terrify the Germans into thinking a naval invasion of the coast near Berlin is coming and they will panic; pulling troops of the front lines and weakening the front, finally committing the HSF despite unfavourable odds, etc.

All of this would have taken time, 12-18 months to get the siege fleet built, and the cabinet kept to it's delusion that it would be a quick war. So, tragically, the generals who wanted a mass conscript army won out and Britain abandoned her traditional way of warfare and committed to the 'continental' strategy of the Western Front. Which went well. Churchill, who was as bad as any other politician in thinking it would be a quick war, bullied through the Dardenelles 'plan' over Fisher and Corbett's strong warnings, because he wanted the fleet to be doing something and wouldn't/couldn't wait for the Baltic Project to be ready. Which again, went well.

Fisher had his faults, but he did at least have a coherent strategic vision and almost no-one on the Allied side had that. Fishers grand strategy for the war had been planned for years, took account of the enemy's priorities and reactions, and was based on thinking that had worked before. The Baltic Plan was risky certainly, but the risk were calculated and it played to Britain's strengths and the enemies fears and weaknesses. Plus it didn't involve throwing the youth of the Empire at machine guns and hoping to win the resulting battle of attrition. From a summary the Baltic Plan does look like madness, but when you look into the detail is an utter tragedy it was never implemented.
 

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Fascinating. I think another thing to note about this war was how ill-thought out the allied plans were. Aside from that naval plan, the RN didn't enter the war with a strategy at hand, and the army was designed to defend the empire, not fight a massive modern war.

Hence why whilst the troops were at first the finest on the western front and suprised the germans with how good their rifle fire was, the army didn't have the guns, shells or men for a long war. This wasn't helped by every politician ignoring every military officer warning of a long war.

I mean, this plan would have been fascinating to put into action, and was well thought out. Possiblely relied too much on prussian reaction but good that it took it into account. Better than the western front strategy anyway...but then again, without the british there, could the french hold for the first year and match the German race to the sea?

I think the author should certainly put serious thought into going the baltic campaign. It's what i would do ingame, not knowing anything about ww1 strategy. With this otl stuff though, it would be criminal not to at least consider trying it.
 

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  • Darkest Hour










JULY 7 - JULY 14, 1914

THE JULY CRISIS

"The mistakes that have been committed in foreign policy are not, as a rule, apparent to the public until a generation afterwards."

- Otto von Bismarck -






Belgrade, Serbia

“You have my word,” Hartwig said. “We knew of no plot to assassinate the Archduke.”

“And the Serbs?” Baron von Gieslingen asked without a moment of pause.

“I’m close friends with the Prime Minister.” Hartwig replied, as he drew another puff from his cigar. “I’ve always urged him to maintain good relations with your country.”

Baron von Gieslingen squinted for a moment.

Nicholas Hartwig had gone to the Austro-Hungarian embassy to smooth things over. War was in the air and diplomats like them would be needed to clean up the mess. Baron von Gieslingen was a general, but also the ambassador to Belgrade. A man of tact and honor.

“And the unfortunate rumor that your embassy held a party in celebration on the evening he died?”

A tiny pearl of sweat appeared on Hartwig forehead.

“A despicable and unfounded rumor.” He said. “Must have been spread by spies.”

Baron von Gieslingen did not seem too satisfied with the answer.

5 years ago, The Russians had sent ambitious Hartwig away. He was deemed too uncontrollable for a minister post, and so they sent him all the way to Serbia.

This had done little to stop the ambitious Hartwig.
He had worked the Balkans like a fiddle. Deals, and threats. Manipulation and information. He believed a strong Russia was a strong Serbia, and with his help the nation now had a web of strong allies. Of course, In the middle of this grand web he had placed himself: Nicholas Hartwig—the Russian ambassador to Serbia.

“Do you believe a war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia can be avoided?” Hartwig asked.

“Ah,” Baron von Gieslingen replied. “I’m confident that a… mutually satisfactory solution will be found. One that accommodates both Austria-Hungary’s and Russia’s regional interests.”

“Wladimir,” Hartwig said. “Whatever you boys are planning up there in Vienna. Remember that a cold head and a steady hand will get you further...”

He took one last puff from the cigar and stood up.
The meeting had not gone as he hoped, but at least they were exchanging information, and hopefully preventing matters from blowing out of proportion.

“I understand, Nicholas.” Baron von Gieslingen said. “I’ll see what I can... Are you feeling well?”

Nicolas Hartwig, the ambitious Russian ambassador collapsed in front of Baron Von Gieslingen.
Dead before he even hit the floor.






-------------------------------------------------


London, England


Captain John Robertson looked over at the large map hanging on the wall in the office. Several thick red strings had been connected, going from one pin to another. All over continental Europe.

“It’s all coming down like a house of cards,” General Cecil declared. “Just like we suspected.”

John wondered what his wife would say to this madness.

“Parliament seem more preoccupied with the Irish,” John blurted out.

Cecil cursed.

“The government will be in crisis soon enough, Captain Robertson.” He paced the room like an old lion. “As soon as they wake up, the Irish will be the last of our worries.”



THE QUESTION OF IRELAND:

“But the parliament has passed the bill to give them home rule.” John said.

“Ah, took them long enough.” Cecil replied. “They’ve been at it for ages. And now, at long last, a war will keep it out of their hands.”

John looked up at the map: A red string tied Belfast to London, and another tied Dublin to Dunkirk.

“What about Sir Asquith? He’s overseeing the whole ordeal.”

“Asquith’s days are numbered.” Cecil exclaimed. “We need a war leader, not a liberal, pussyfooting about.”

“Sir..” John stood up, quite flustered.

“Ah, I didn’t take you as a liberal chap.” Cecil laughed. “All right, all right. Asquith will have his hands full, and we will see to it that he has the best of help.”

“The Right Honourable H. H. Asquith, Prime Minister of the British Empire. The man that fate has seen fit to led us through this sordid mess.”



THE BRITISH EMPIRE:
“He now leads the largest Empire in history, one on which the sun never sets. Countless of colonies and satellites spanning the globe. To patrol it we have the greatest navy in the world, and factories to supply and uphold it all. However, chap, there is an issue: Mobilization. Can we move thousands of men, not to mention
hundreds of ships to Europe, where the hammer will fall?”



THE AFTERMATH IN SARAJEVO:
“The aftermath in Sarajevo has been quite extreme. Anti-Serb demonstrations have become more violent as the locals are hunting for revenge. Only made worse by the fact that police and local authorities in the city are doing nothing to prevent it. Around 1,000 houses, shops, schools and institutions—such as banks, hotels, printing houses, and what have you—owned by Serbs have been razed or pillaged.”



RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO SERBIA DIES:
“On July 10, Nicholas Hartwig, Russian Minister to Serbia, died suddenly while visiting Austrian minister Wladimir Giesl von Gieslingen at the Austrian Legation in Belgrade. It appears he died of a massive heart attack. The Serbian press immediately published several inflammatory articles accusing the Austrians of poisoning Hartwig while he was a guest at their legation.”

“Oh, my,” John gasped. “It really is coming to a boil down there.”

“I’m very much afraid that it is, dear boy.” Cecil sighed. “Let us pray the Austrians aren’t daft enough to pull the trigger.”






-------------------------------------------------


Vienna, Austria-Hungary

“If Serbia accepts this ultimatum, they would be mad.” Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister Leopold Berchtold declared.

The Imperial Council had gathered again to look over his draft, which were to be presented, first to the Emperor, and with his approval, transmitted to Serbia.

Germany had already given them full support to do what was needed: Strike at the venomous head of the Serbs.

“I take them as quite mad.” Said the Chief of the General Staff, Conrad von Hötzendorf. His thick mustache gave him the appearance of an older Franz Ferdinand. who, coincidentally had pushed for him to be reinstated a few years back.

“They could accept the ultimatum, and then we will look like fools.” He grumbled. Never a man of political zest.

Leopold held his tongue.
As the Foreign Minister, he had focused exclusively on the Balkans, where during the wars he had failed to contain the rising Russian influence and thwart Serbian ambitions for a united Yugoslav state. This had meant diplomatic defeat for Austria-Hungary, but also a reputation of being weak and indecisive for Leopold himself.

“If I may speak.” Hoyos interjected. “If perhaps we add something that undermines their sovereignty.” Hoyos was Leopold’s adviser, and most trusted aide.

“Let us have a say in their military, or better yet, in their justice process.” Hoyos proposed. “That will make it legally impossible for them to accept it.”

General Conrad von Hötzendorf nodded in agreement.

“Whatever works.” He said. “Gentlemen, mark my words; in 6 weeks, Serbia will fall.”






 
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TheButterflyComposer

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Nicolas Hartwig, the ambitious Russian ambassador collapsed in front of Baron Von Gieslingen.
Dead before he even hit the ground.
...this is not a metaphor. Or an omen.

Captain John Robertson looked over at the large map hanging on the wall in the office. Several thick red strings had been connected, going from one pin to another. All over continental Europe.

“It’s all coming down like a house of cards,” General Cecil declared. “Just like we suspected.”

John wondered what his wife would say to this madness.

“Parliament seem more preoccupied with the Irish,” John blurted out.

Cecil cursed.

“The government will be in crisis soon enough, Captain Robertson.” He paced the room like an old lion. “As soon as they wake up, the Irish will be the last of our worries.”
Remember Robertson, the last time we had to fight a massive land war in Western Europe, the whole continent collapsed, millions of people died and we struggled to stave off bankruptcy for nearly a decade. Thank God we managed it better than the French did!

Thank God for the Royal Navy.

That too, yes. But this is different, even if it seems the same. If a war between the great powers breaks, whoever wins will control the world for the next century. But to win, they'll have to fight and win an even larger war than a century ago! Millions of soldiers and countless civilians from all over the world! Machines that can kill thousands in minutes! Worse still, not one of us is going into this fight secure and unified. The Hapsburgs hate almost everyone in their empire, and are hated right back. The Russians despise the Tsar and their entire system of governance. France has been a seething bed of socialism for decades. Italy is a mess. The Ottomans are even worse. The Germans are raring to kill something, anything. And we are facing very difficult and pointed questions from the dominions, especially Ireland and India. We're haemorrhaging money, the working classes are getting more and more radicalised, and the army is designed to fight small colonial revolts, not the might of industrialised Europe. You take it from me lad, this world of ours is in the deep, fucking shit!

“But the parliament has passed the bill to give them home rule.” John said.
I know technically the bill passed but was delayed by the war, or that was the excuse, in otl. Does that mean you've decided to get it out of the way before the war begins? Very wise if so, if a little unorthodox considering contemporary politics.

“He now leads the largest Empire in history, one on which the sun never sets. Countless of colonies and satellites spanning the globe. To patrol it we have the greatest navy in the world, and factories to supply and uphold it all. However, chap, there is an issue: Mobilization. Can we move thousands of men, not to mention
hundreds of ships to Europe, where the hammer will fall?”
Well, I would recommend not doing that...since if you were the first to start doing so, not only would you look like war-mongering, paranoid lunatics but you'd encourage all the war-mongering and paranoid lunatics in the other GPs to start mobilising too! But yes, it is a big logistical problem. At least GB can rest easy on that score, since they have barely any army to move around or much ammunition for them, there isn't that much to ship to France should the needs must.

Of course, that's going to become a problem rather quickly...

“On July 10, Nicholas Hartwig, Russian Minister to Serbia, died suddenly while visiting Austrian minister Wladimir Giesl von Gieslingen at the Austrian Legation in Belgrade. It appears he died of a massive heart attack. The Serbian press immediately published several inflammatory articles accusing the Austrians of poisoning Hartwig while he was a guest at their legation.”

“Oh, my,” John gasped. “It really is coming to a boil down there.”

“I’m very much afraid that it is, dear boy.” Cecil sighed. “Let us pray the Austrians aren’t daft enough to pull the trigger.”
Um...

Germany had already given them full support to do what was needed: Strike at the venomous head of the Serbs.
Ah yes, the infamous blank cheque. How are you handling this in this timeline? Did they actually mean it or did the Austrians just feel emboldened by vague language?

“I take them as quite mad.” Said the Chief of the General Staff Conrad von Hötzendorf.
If there was anyone in this war who deserved to have his name written in blood, its this guy. I do hope something horrible happens to him before he spends too long in charge of Austria's military.

“Let us have a say in their military, or better yet, in their justice process.” Hoyos proposed. “That will make it legally impossible for them to accept it.”

General von Hötzendorf nodded in agreement.

“Whatever works.” He said. “Gentlemen, mark my words; in 6 weeks, Serbia will fall.”
Hmm. I mean, yes they did actually conquer Serbia eventually. I think they were actually the only power to achieve their set pre-war goal whilst in WW1. Rendered irrelevant by their collapse and destruction of course but still...technically...mission accomplished!



This was a good update to demonstrate the anxiety of the British looking on as Europe suddenly got very tense (having previously just been rather tense) due to several extremely smug and almost suicidally overconfident pricks in weird hats deciding that they can definitely take Serbia. Watch out for those Italians though!
 

Specialist290

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You can cut the tension with a knife...

All in all, there's probably little to nothing that Britain can actually do to prevent the war -- at this stage it's basically going to be damage control, mitigating the effects of all this madness to their own interests in the Continent.
 

Pieter Bruegel

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Huh, so Hartwig's heart attack was real. I thought that was a little drama you cooked up!

Truth is stranger than fiction as they say.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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You can cut the tension with a knife...

All in all, there's probably little to nothing that Britain can actually do to prevent the war -- at this stage it's basically going to be damage control, mitigating the effects of all this madness to their own interests in the Continent.
I suppose the rub is whether they can convince everyone to keep Belgium neutral. If they manage that, then they can join whenever they like against Germany (because they have vested interests in making sure they lose) so they have time to instigate that Baltic plan of theirs instead of just throwing men into France and hoping for the best.

Might even make sense for Germany to do that too, since keeping France back on a small border and focusing on Russia is much the same Andrew much more realistic than taking the whole country out before turning around and leaving Western Europe undefended (for the British) to take on Russia. Maybe the German high command suddenly realises how awful the Austrians are at fighting and decide that Russia is going to be the main front from the beginning?
 

El Pip

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I suppose the rub is whether they can convince everyone to keep Belgium neutral. If they manage that, then they can join whenever they like against Germany (because they have vested interests in making sure they lose) so they have time to instigate that Baltic plan of theirs instead of just throwing men into France and hoping for the best.

Might even make sense for Germany to do that too, since keeping France back on a small border and focusing on Russia is much the same Andrew much more realistic than taking the whole country out before turning around and leaving Western Europe undefended (for the British) to take on Russia. Maybe the German high command suddenly realises how awful the Austrians are at fighting and decide that Russia is going to be the main front from the beginning?
Germany has been planning to invade France through Belgium since the 1890s, they've been assuming Britain will side with the Entente since the mid 1900s and have never had that high an opinion of the Austro-Hungarians. By this stage, short of just abandoning Belgium (and France), not a lot Britain can do to avoid the war.

Not to say Britain couldn't do that, nothing in treaty actually required Britain to go to war. See for instance how the Dutch, also signatories of the Treaty of London, entirely failed to join the war. There was an implication that the signatories should do something to defend Belgian neutrality, but no actual requirement. Of course the much discussed "British interests, British honour, and British obligations" suggest abandonment is a bad idea, so I suspect we will see war break out as standard.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Germany has been planning to invade France through Belgium since the 1890s, they've been assuming Britain will side with the Entente since the mid 1900s and have never had that high an opinion of the Austro-Hungarians. By this stage, short of just abandoning Belgium (and France), not a lot Britain can do to avoid the war.

Not to say Britain couldn't do that, nothing in treaty actually required Britain to go to war. See for instance how the Dutch, also signatories of the Treaty of London, entirely failed to join the war. There was an implication that the signatories should do something to defend Belgian neutrality, but no actual requirement. Of course the much discussed "British interests, British honour, and British obligations" suggest abandonment is a bad idea, so I suspect we will see war break out as standard.
Oh...okay then.
Why did the Germans think they could fight the entire world at once with just one ally that they themselves thought were crap?
 

J_Master

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Oh...okay then.
Why did the Germans think they could fight the entire world at once with just one ally that they themselves thought were crap?
They found themselves backed into a corner, surrounded by enemies that wanted to see her gone/severely weakened. Russia at the time was modernizing her military and industry, and 1917 was already thought of as too late to fight Russia and win. Before than, they still had the chance to win in 1914, and thus, Germany gambled
 

El Pip

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Oh...okay then.
Why did the Germans think they could fight the entire world at once with just one ally that they themselves thought were crap?
General belief was that the Russians were worse, nowhere near ready for war and would take ages to mobilise. Plus the Schlieffen Plan was expected to work and deliver a rapid decisive victory, this would knock France out of the war and then you can focus on the East. Franco-Prussian War went from war declared to Siege of Paris in a couple of months (actual siege then took another 4 months, but obvs needed less troops) so it wasn't completely unprecedented. I mean it was impossible, the logistics could never work, and a lot of the German staff sort of knew it, but felt they had no option.

Overall Germany felt they 'had' to go to war before Russia industrialised and they faced a two fronted-war against peer opponents and a naval blockade, something that even they knew they couldn't beat. The other option, just not going to war, was ruled out as they expected France would provoke something just to get A-L back.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Overall Germany felt they 'had' to go to war before Russia industrialised and they faced a two fronted-war against peer opponents and a naval blockade, something that even they knew they couldn't beat. The other option, just not going to war, was ruled out as they expected France would provoke something just to get A-L back.
So there might have been a diplomatic out, but it required backing down considerably from what they'd been doing for the past decade with GB naval rivalry, France was never going to be buddies, and everyone else was a direct threat.
So they turned to military response, found that the war as that was probably going to happen was unwinnable and thus decided to hope on a really risky plan to try and at least surprise the enemy, knock one half of their forces out of the war quickly, then turn around and fight the Russians on land and the British at sea. They were still going to lose at sea, but if France could be taken out, then they thought that they could do enough damage to Russia to get a surrender off them, then Britain would have to call it quits because they weren't going to fight all by themselves.

Urgh...they kind of fucked themselves here, didn't they? No wonder the Entente were so cocky going into the war, they were 'going' to win. They just forgot that they actually still had to fight a war and minimise losses of men and resources on their own side. So I suppose the take-away we should get from all this is not that Germany was doomed (because they were and everyone knew it) but they at times nearly got a white peace anyway, through everyone cocking up so much.
 

Specialist290

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Urgh...they kind of fucked themselves here, didn't they? No wonder the Entente were so cocky going into the war, they were 'going' to win. They just forgot that they actually still had to fight a war and minimise losses of men and resources on their own side. So I suppose the take-away we should get from all this is not that Germany was doomed (because they were and everyone knew it) but they at times nearly got a white peace anyway, through everyone cocking up so much.
"In war and in chess, the victor is the one who makes the second-to-last mistake."
 

stnylan

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Out go the lamps
 

TheButterflyComposer

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  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Darkest Hour
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Semper Fi
Out go the lamps
Seems that way old chap. The tragedy is as discussed above, there doesn't seem to be a way out of this mess, even for just one of the powers.

EDIT: Ok, I'm not quite ready to let this go yet because the alternative is fightinf world war one. Is there no recourse of delaying this at least a little bit? Have an internarional summit or something? This would probably be possible if the US president wasn't such an isolationist...

Saying that, I suppose there wouldn't be that much to discuss, but it might work just as a chance for everyone in europe to meet up and try to convince countries to back their side before the shooting starts? Germany especially kind of needs some friends here.
 
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