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Category: History & Archaeology|
The author of the book: Herbert Howland Sargent
Format files: PDF, EPUB, TXT, DOCX
The size of the: 553 KB
Date of issue: 2 June 2014
Description of the book "The Strategy on the Western Front: (1914 - 1918)":
An excerpt from a review in the "Naval Institute Proceedings," Volume 47, Issues 1:
THE THREE ERRORS
THERE were three great German offensives on the Western Front, we are told, in each of which Germany made a great strategical blunder: the first Marne, the Verdun campaign of 1916, and the offensive begun in March, 1918.
The first alleged error was in attempting the strategical offensive on two fronts at the same time. The Western Front, only one hundred and fifty miles long, was protected by the Moselle and Metz, backed by the Rhine and Strassburg; it could not have been turned by France PDF without violating the neutrality of Belgium or Switzerland. Had Germany held this line defensively with a small part of her combatant forces while she defeated her other enemies in detail, the war would not have lasted more than two years. Thus the Germans would have avoided violating the neutrality of Belgium and the consequential British and American hostility.
The failure of the western offensive is attributed particularly to the strength of Belfort, which commands the narrow pass into France between the Vosges and Jura ranges. "Had the Germans been able to capture this fortress," Sargent says, "the way would have been ePub opened for turning the Vosges and the fortresses of Epinal, Toul and Verdun and for the envelopment of the French right wing, which, with the left wing and the little British and Belgian armies already enveloped, would no doubt have resulted in the final surrender of the French army and the capture of Paris."
The Second Error: After the battle of the Marne Germany remained on the defensive on the Western Front for about eighteen months, during which she was considerably outnumbered by the Allies. She assumed the offensive in other parts of the theatre of war PDF with successful campaigns against the Russians and Serbians. But before she had entirely disposed of Russia, Serbia and Italy, she again assumed the offensive in the West by way of the Crown Prince's tremendous campaign for Verdun-one of the most formidable in history-which failed. This is charged as a mistake because with the same effort and less loss Germany could "have completed her victories in the Eastern Front, destroyed the army at Salonica, and captured that important seaport; then with greatly superior forces have struck and crushed the Italian army; and then, with all her enemies disposed of outside ePub of France and Belgium, have returned to the Western Front with an enormous preponderance of forces."
The Third Error: After the failure at Verdun the Germans again consigned the West to the defensive role, and resumed the offensive against Russia, Romania, and Italy. But here again the Germans were not persistent, for if they had massed their available forces in turn against Salonica and Italy, probably both would have been disposed of, the Germans would have occupied Greece and the valley of the Po, and would have advanced to the French and Maritime Alps for an invasion of PDF France via Nice.
Instead of following up her advantages in the Near East and in Italy, Germany precipitated her offense of 1918 in the West, beginning on March 21, with her powerful thrust at Amiens, followed by the attack against the British around Ypres and two attacks against the French between Reimes and Montdidier towards Chateau-Thierry, in none of which attacks was she able to make a sufficiently broad rupture in the line to allow resumption of a war of movement.
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Herbert Howland Sargent
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