The First World War by Robin Prior

By Robin Prior

Commercial and ironclad energy reached its fruits within the conflict that engulfed Europe. As occasions might turn out, besides the fact that, the goods of the economic procedure of the twentieth century, together with the means of the approach to move huge reserves of manpower from civilian to army employment at brief realize, even more tremendously favoured thoughts of defence than offence. the end result was once a struggle of attrition and motionless fronts, finally to be unlocked merely while a moment wave of commercial innovation yielded capacity - the tank, the aeroplane - to damage the stalemate. this can be a entire historical past of global battle I. it's illustrated all through and accommodates computer-generated cartography to deliver the battlefields to lifestyles.

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His purpose was to force his way through to the ports of Calais and Dunkirk, thereby winning a significant battlefield victory and denying Britain its most direct route to France and Belgium. So in mid October, in that small part of Belgium that remained in Allied hands, and employing both veterans and eager young recruits supported by the massive artillery which had destroyed the Belgian forts, he launched a savage offensive. It has gone down in history as the First Battle of Ypres. The assault fell mainly on the British Expeditionary Force ('the Old Contemptibles', after a reference by the kaiser to Britain's 'contemptible little Erich von Falkenhayn, Moltke's successor as German commander-inchief Convinced that victory lay in the west, he launched the bloody offensive towards the Channel ports which was brought to a halt in the First Battle of Ypres (30 October - 24 November 1914).

And from start to finish they were superior in staff work - for example in their handling of reserves. No such contrast, it needs to be added, applied to the Russian and AustroHungarian armies. Neither was amply equipped or blessed with a competent level of command. But the Russian army was a more cohesive force, unaffected by the nationality differences which increasingly afflicted the Habsburg army as the struggle proceeded. And in terms of raw manpower, Russia had a larger pool on which to draw as the established armies of both sides were swiftly eliminated.

Brest-Litovsk followed on the 25th. Ludendorff, for one, anticipated the end of the German troops engaged in a river crossing during their advance into Russian Poland in 1915. tsar's armies. But at this point the intractable nature of the Eastern Front reasserted itself. The Germans had advanced 300 miles. Their railheads, 1915 pushed forward by the exertions of the railway troops, nevertheless lagged 50 to 100 miles behind the front. Supplies had to be manhandled the remaining distance. The troops too were becoming exhausted, the artillery was wearing out, Russian position in Grodno, August 1915.

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