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Lord E

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Great start so far, nice to se an other TGW AAR, good work with France. Seems like the German AI acted a little strange, not attacking you, but that will just make things more interesting ahead. Can the Germans defeat the Russians, will France take the offensive and bring the war to German soil… Looking forward to more :)


Edit: Post nr 1300 Hurray :D
 

unmerged(45769)

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Lord E said:
Great start so far, nice to se an other TGW AAR, good work with France. Seems like the German AI acted a little strange, not attacking you, but that will just make things more interesting ahead. Can the Germans defeat the Russians, will France take the offensive and bring the war to German soil… Looking forward to more :)


Edit: Post nr 1300 Hurray :D

*Clap clap clap clap clap clap*
 

unmerged(45769)

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Oranje Verzet said:
"The man that lit the final fuse- Gavrilo Princip" ... I saw a site where historians call him the man of the 20th century... What a bum he.

Never played France with the TGW, so im curious to see what you can do with them. Good luck!

Hmm...let's say: Millions of people wouldn't've died if he hadn't pulled the trigger that time.
 

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Chapter II: The war on the Western Front intensifies

sommetynesideattack6xi.jpg


Winter-Spring 1915

With the failure of the Schlieffen Plan the war in the west bogged down quickly into trench warfare. Stretching from the shores of the North Sea to the mountains of neutral Switzerland an elaborate network of trenches were constructed during the winter of '14-15, reinforced in places by concrete bunkers and machinegun strong-points and with Razor wire and minefields scattered liberally across no-man's land. For France the war had seen little offensive action, only a mounting number of attritional casualties. Pressure was building again from those who called for an offensive plan, something they envisaged as a great blaze of glory and an easy victory over the degenerate Hun in order to restore pride to France. Though the French General Staff tried it's best to put down such motions and continue what they saw as the successful containment thwarting of German ambitions (by dragging the war out the Entente's industrial superiority would have time to make victory inevitable.) The matter came to a head however when several senior French politicians, including Prime Minister Doumergue, demanded something "actually be done" in the war, in order to relieve some of the pressure on Russia and "actively seek victory over Germany". Under this pressure the General Staff was forced to draw up and refine plans with the objective of capturing Alsace-Lorraine.

In the meantime, the war in the East preceded the same as ever- constant attacks and counter-attacks ending in high death tolls but never achieving a breakthrough or change in the overall situation. The Russian Army Command took the confident and rather dispassionate view that their superiority in terms of manpower would allow them to bleed the German Army dry. Further south though, the Entente forces were faced with potential disaster. After the fall of Belgrade what was left of the Serbian Army had been forced to withdraw to the south of the country, and their eventual defeat was viewed by many commentators as inevitable. The Serbs however, had one very powerful trick up their sleeves, and had long-anticipated the need to fight Austria through guerrilla means. Several Serb Army units under the command of the legendary figure of resistance Field Marshal Putnick affected the breakout into and infiltration of the Austrian hinterland in Bosnia and Hungary with the intention of distributing captured Austrian rifles and ammunition to arm Slav agitators and start a partisan movement. The ploy was largely successful; Austrian army units had to be brought down from the border with Italy to quell the uprisings and constant attacks that plagued supply columns, and precious time was bought for the rebuilding of the Serb Army.


Putnick rallies the ethnic Slavs in Austria

By the time Putnick's plans were coming to fruition in early spring the French General Staff had completed plans their for what was to be named the Alsace offensive. The attack was scheduled to begin on the 14th of March, and no less than 39 French Divisions would participate.

 
Last edited:

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Political pressure to start an offensive can never lead to good results i say. The attack shall be made from Nancy, this is gonna get bloody I'd say.
 

Zuckergußgebäck

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The germans seem thinly stretched in Alcase-Lorraine. You might just stand a chance here. Although the title says '-1919' :(
 

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Indeed nothing good ever comes of poloticians involved in stratergy... :(
 

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You'll see what results this 'political pressure' had soon, Zucker's got the idea though, Germany *did* look thin on that border and I could attack from two directions without needing to watch both flanks or a river. Anyways, on to the fight...

P.S. I've made all of the big in-game shots thumbnailed now, so they don't dominate the post anymore or suck bandwidth if you're a modem user :)
 
Last edited:

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Chapter III: The Alsace Offensive

sommeattackfilm1lq.jpg


'The opposing French and German trenches, their parapets hard frozen, were so close that they were actually within hearing of each other. Towards dawn a rapid thaw set in. The parapets melted and subsided, and two long lines of men stood up naked, as it were, before each other, face to face with only two possibilities - wholesale murder on the one side or the other, or a temporary unofficial peace for the making of fresh parapet protections.

The situation was astounding and unique in the history of trench warfare. The French and German officers, without conferring and unwilling to negotiate, turned their backs so that they might not see officially so unwarlike a scene, and the men on each side rebuilt their parapets without the firing of a single shot.'

Lord Northcliffe commenting on an incident shortly before the Alsace offensive.

March 1915

Trench warfare had been a fact of life of the Western Front for some 8 months, and had heralded some of the most atrocious conditions man has been forced to endure; epidemics of 'trench foot' and 'shell-shock' spread through the ranks of both sides, vermin thrived and daily rain came in the form of artillery bombardments unrivalled in scale, all in the bitter cold of winter. It had also witnessed two of the stranger incidents in the history of warfare, the incident described above and the famous 'Christmas truce'; brief glimpses of humanity and mutual respect in an otherwise brutal and inhuman environment. By mid-spring, shortly before the post-winter thaw and notorious April rains, trench warfare on the Western Front was about to add another horror to its legacy. The meat-grinder, prolonged and sustained offensive.

At 07:00 hours on the 14th of March, 1915, 39 French Divisions began the first major French offensive in the Great War, preceded by a half-hour long artillery barrage. At the simultaneous blowing of over a hundred whistles literally thousands of French Infantrymen began to climb their parapets and begin their assaults on German trench lines. The terrain was often difficult, broken by shell holes as it was, and the Germans held much of the advantageous high ground along the front. None-the-less the French Army initially went about their duty with enthusiasm, eager for the chance to show the Hun their quality, break the drudgery and deadlock of trench warfare and therefore escape the discomforts that go with it.


The Alsace Offensive begins

It was not to be however, despite the great advantages in numbers held. The German positions were well prepared, complex and well-designed trench lines were supplemented by numerous pre-war fortifications and artillery was accurately 'zeroed' in on certain strategic and 'choke' points. German re-enforcements also came quickly and in plentiful numbers, somewhat negating the numerical advantages the French had counted on. In the face of these obstacles French casualties were inevitably immense; over a 15-day period much of the 2nd Army battered itself to pieces and suffered an estimated 40,000 casualties, and yet for all this sacrifice success was extremely limited. The result of the long-standing and popular political pressure applied to the General Staff was an absolute disaster. However, rather than curbing French popular enthusiasm for offensives, people blamed poor planning and preparation rather than the formidable defences and technologies of the time. This idea was in fact re-enforced further when the second devastating blow to fall on the Army's morale struck less than a week later. As such the disaster of the Alsace offensive can be considered two or even three-fold- not only was it a massive waste of human life which gave no gains whatsoever, but it paved the way for the German counter-attack in the Argonne region of Belgium and subsequently to re-enforce the 'offensive mentality'.

'Our modern battles afford no spectacle; they are cruel and mysterious. There are big empty spaces clotted with shell holes and cut with long furrows which mark the soil as the veins make marble patterns on the hands. There are columns of smoke from bursting shells, a line of shadows that creeps close to the earth and disappears. Those who are in the battle never know anything more of it than one episode.'
Account of an anonymous French staff officer.

britishintheargonne2et.png

British soldiers cover the withdrawl of French troops.

'I have read a good many stories of battle, and some of their embroideries appear to me rather exaggerated; the truth is quite good enough by itself. Although they were bombarded beforehand, my men went very firmly into action. The cannonade worked on the ears and the nerves, getting louder with every step nearer the front, till the very earth shook, and our hearts jumped in our breasts.

Where we were there were hardly any trenches or communication trenches left. Every half-hour the appearance of the earth was changed by the unflagging shellfire. It was a perfect cataract of fire. We went forward by fits and starts, taking cover in shell-holes, and sometimes we saw a shell drop in the very hole we had chosen for our next leap forwards.

A hundred men of the battalion were half buried, and we had scarcely the time to stop and help them to get themselves out. Suddenly we arrived at what remained of our first-line trenches, just as the Boches arrived at our barbed wire entanglements - or, rather, at the caterpillar-like remains of our barbed wire.

At this moment the German curtain fire lengthened, and most of our men buried in shell-holes were able to get out and rejoin us. The Germans attacked in massed formation, by big columns of five or six hundred men, preceded by two waves of sharpshooters. We had only our rifles and our machine guns, because the 75's could not get to work.'

An anonymous French soldier sent north to re-enforce the Argonne positions.

N.B. The 75's (75mm Howitzers) 'could not get to work' because they were stuck in the clogged and muddy roads in transit to the front.

April 1915

The German reply to the Alsace Offensive came in the form of the Argonne Counter-Offensive, and began on the 5th of April, less than a week after France's humiliating withdrawal. The German General Sixt von Amin lead 21 divisions of the Kaiserliche Armee (professional soldiers) in an attack against a total of only 16 Entente divisions. The Entente forces were mainly comprised of hastily trained and less lavishly equipped French reservists (the French People's Voluntary Army), French cavalry units and Belgian regulars. Also present at the battle were elements of the Japanese and British Expeditionary Forces. Despite heavy rains and resulting muddy ground conditions the battle was successfully concluded in favour of the German Army by the 16th of April, forcing the Entente to establish new positions on the borders of the Maas river. This constituted a second humiliating blow to the Entente, marking an all-time low in the French Army's morale. In the eyes of the public the loss of the Argonne forest region, the city of Arlon, and the unprecedented success of the German offensive served only to show the incompetence of their leaders, further undermining their arguments for a defensive policy. After the Argonne counter-offensive many feared that the now committed and aggressive German Army would prove every bit as successful as the Prussian Army had in the 1870's.

frenchretreat2oz.png

Regular French soldiers retreat during the Argonne counter-offensive.

Note- Quotes are originally from 'Source Records of the Great War', Vol. IV, ed. Charles F. Horne (1923)
 
Last edited:

Patriotes1837

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I like this AAR. Might convince me to finally download this Mod. Allenby, you rule.

À Berlin! À Berlin!
 

Allenby

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Evans, a catastrophic failure. I certainly hope that your allies send you a few tech upgrades to give you the edge over the Germans. Either that, or place an order for about forty guards divisions with artillery attachments. ;)


Patriotes1837 said:
I like this AAR. Might convince me to finally download this Mod. Allenby, you rule.

Thank you, kind sir.
1f6799a9.gif



Patriotes1837 said:
À Berlin! À Berlin!

I thought you French Canadians were opposed to the war. Don't jump on the bandwagon! :p
 

unmerged(34884)

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I like the quotes and the story is very well written I must say. Good job!

In the future I would make the pictures a bit less chaotic and not make them too big. The composition is good and fresh to use several pictures, but the last one is a bit too big IMHO.

Would have expected nothing but defeat with such an attack, attacks are very hard on the Western Front. But now Germans are breaking through there, mostly due to lack of Field Marshall and/or ranking commanders..?
 

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Allenby said:
Thank you, kind sir.
1f6799a9.gif

My pleasure.

But seriously, that mod looks great. I guess I'll have to reinstall HoI then.


I thought you French Canadians were opposed to the war. Don't jump on the bandwagon! :p

I'm actually half French and half French Canadian , which makes me quite annoying for your average anglo-saxon
 

unmerged(49083)

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Hi, where it has the picture below "The Alsace Offensive" i've actually got in my DvD them soldiers on the move to the trenches, so you have the picture and I have them actually doing something.
 

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Patriotes1837- I'm honoured to be a good showcase for the mod :)

Walter Model- Yeah the film is generally regarded as a classic, so it just had to make it's way into my AAR :D In fact, no WW1 AAR should be without it, perhaps it's a neccessarry cliché? ;)

Allenby- It wouldn't be WW1 without a few failed offensives, on my part I really wanted to see how the two sides matched up and how the battles fought out in the game (been a while since HoI 1 has been dusted off, and it's not your average HoI either) The loss was fairly major, I don't recall how many casualties the Germans took, but I know I wouldn't have kept the attack going so long if there wasn't a chance of winning at some stage or other org wise. Still, considering the re-inforcements that turned up, for the purpose of the AAR it was a complete debacle. Fits the 'story' of the war better, and the feel of the Great War in general ;) Surely, not launching dumb attacks is too a-historical :rolleyes:

Oranje- the picture *is* a bit chaotic you're right, I made them to remind me of the narrative, I guess I should refine it (i'll do so now in fact). The attack is explained above, but the counter-offensive was successful because the troops were predominantly volunteers (militia). I don't understand why the leader is a 'faceless' I think he may have been Belgian(?). I should have got a FM up there, but tbh the attack took me off guard after the AI's misleading passivity (I didn't take any troops away from that region for a start).
 
Last edited:

SirCliveWolfe

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Very nice update... and a typical French offensive ;)

It seems like this one might be for the long haul.

Patriotes1837 said:
I'm actually half French and half French Canadian , which makes me quite annoying for your average anglo-saxon

Well I'm fully British/English... which just drives anybody French nuts!! :p :D
 

SirCliveWolfe

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  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
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  • Europa Universalis III Complete
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  • Victoria: Revolutions
Evans said:
Northern or Southern English?

A true northner living in the south... why?