- Dec 28, 2010
Generals always prepare to fight the last war. The last big European Wars before WWI were the Franco-Prussian War and Russo-Turkish war of 1877. The Napoleonic Wars were the last war of such scale. The takeaway from these was mobilize fast and first, invade the enemy before they could do the same, win a decisive battle, and be home by Christmas. These mindsets ran into difficulty with the level of mass mobilization/troop concentration meaning there was a continuous front rather than a decisive battle, and defensive innovations like machine guns, modern trench tactics, and barbed wire blunting offensive actions (at least in the west).