THE GREAT WAR




 
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October 9th, 2004  
Young Winston
 
 

Topic: THE GREAT WAR


The 86th Anniversary of Armistice Day is fast approaching so I thought it was a good time to do some more reading about WW1.

Just finished Professor John Mosier’s book about WW1 called the Myth of the Great War (written about two years ago). He produces much information to support his claims that “the Germans won the battles and the US saved the Allies”.

Many of you may have read it. I would say that many of our American contributors would take delight in this book. Canadians, New Zealanders, Australians, Scots, Irish, French, English and other readers should have a look at it if they haven’t already.

I found the book very interesting, particularly the following points that he makes:

1. The US significantly funded the Allies with $10 billion in loans over the duration of the war.
2. The US produced millions of tons of toluol (an important constituent of TNT) that enabled the Allies produce enough artillery shells. They would have run out otherwise.
3. Also supplied rifles and ammunition.
4. The Germans were superior to the Allies in tactics, planning, quality and type of armaments.
5. The Germans won the battles prior to the AEF actions in June, 1918.
6. The British and French Generals were generally hopeless, wasted millions of lives and hid the truth from the press. Some even believed their own propaganda (NOTHING NEW HERE).
7. Casualty figures for the German forces were consistently lower than the Allies.
8. British historians have consistently played down the role the US played in WW1.
9. The AEF numbers, rising from 0.5 million (mid 1918) to 2 million by November, 1918 were irresistible.
10. By September, 1918 the AEF was the only army capable of winning the war.

Mosier shows much compassion for the common soldier but consistently sticks the boots into the Allied generals (mostly deserved). He is critical of the BEF arguing that they were always slow to adopt new tactics and the Germans were always one step ahead of them.

He also examines the Verdun campaign and lesser known battles by the French in a different light. The Eastern Front and Italian campaigns are also covered.

I found his overview of the 1918 Western Front fighting particularly from March onwards rather disappointing considering the years of research that he has supposedly done in producing his book.

He skims over the German March offensive claiming that the BEF were positioned too close to the front and when the hammer fell they were annihilated, broke with many of the units fleeing from the Germans. No mention is made of the brave defensive actions that were carried out over the following weeks that slowed down the German onslaught towards Amiens.

Mosier quickly skips to the Marine Corp action at Belleau Wood and makes the bold claim that this was the first time the Germans had been thrown back from a defended position that they were determined to hold.

He then makes a cheap shot about the Australians and Canadians efforts falling short at Passchendaele (they didn’t take the whole Passchendale-Staden Ridge) even with overwhelming artillery support. Mosier never mentions the terrible conditions faced or how the different phases of the battle (over many months) varied in method of combat.

I am not sure what Mosier thought the Australians were doing at the town of Villers Bretonneux (east of Amiens) April, 1918 when they threw the Germans out of the town after a brilliant military display.

No mention is made of General John Monash, one of the great generals in 1918.

No mention is made of the contribution the Canadians made in 1918. General Currie is given a brief mention (also one of the great generals of WW1).

Mosier moves quickly on to the major AEF campaigns and the conclusion of the war.

No doubting that American finance, material and supplies, and the AEF were critical to ending the war in 1918 but in trying to balance the ledger for the American cause he has diminished the efforts of the BEF in final year of the war.

Lyn MacDonald’s book “Spring, 1918” is an excellent book about the German Spring Offensive in March’ 1918. There are many other books superior to Mosier’s work.

Overall, I enjoyed Mosier’s book but was disappointed with some aspects of it.

Forum contributors may wish to discuss this book, the 1918 campaigns or other aspects of the Great War.
October 9th, 2004  
Airborne
 
Wiat, does he talk sricktly on the campaigns of 1918? Wat about the other fronts, like Romainia and Russia, and against Turkey?
October 9th, 2004  
Bellerophon
 

Topic: Re: The Myth of the Great War & How the US saved the All


Quote:
Originally Posted by aussiejohn
The 86th Anniversary of Armistice Day is fast approaching so I thought it was a good time to do some more reading about WW1.

Just finished Professor John Mosier’s book about WW1 called the Myth of the Great War (written about two years ago). He produces much information to support his claims that “the Germans won the battles and the US saved the Allies”.

Many of you may have read it. I would say that many of our American contributors would take delight in this book. Canadians, New Zealanders, Australians, Scots, Irish, French, English and other readers should have a look at it if they haven’t already.

I found the book very interesting, particularly the following points that he makes:

1. The US significantly funded the Allies with $10 billion in loans over the duration of the war.
2. The US produced millions of tons of toluol (an important constituent of TNT) that enabled the Allies produce enough artillery shells. They would have run out otherwise.
3. Also supplied rifles and ammunition.
4. The Germans were superior to the Allies in tactics, planning, quality and type of armaments.
5. The Germans won the battles prior to the AEF actions in June, 1918.
6. The British and French Generals were generally hopeless, wasted millions of lives and hid the truth from the press. Some even believed their own propaganda (NOTHING NEW HERE).
7. Casualty figures for the German forces were consistently lower than the Allies.
8. British historians have consistently played down the role the US played in WW1.
9. The AEF numbers, rising from 0.5 million (mid 1918) to 2 million by November, 1918 were irresistible.
10. By September, 1918 the AEF was the only army capable of winning the war.

Mosier shows much compassion for the common soldier but consistently sticks the boots into the Allied generals (mostly deserved). He is critical of the BEF arguing that they were always slow to adopt new tactics and the Germans were always one step ahead of them.

He also examines the Verdun campaign and lesser known battles by the French in a different light.

I found his overview of the 1918 Western Front fighting particularly from March onwards rather disappointing considering the years of research that he has supposedly done in producing his book.

He skims over the German March offensive claiming that the BEF were positioned too close to the front and when the hammer fell they were annihilated, broke with many of the units fleeing from the Germans. No mention is made of the brave defensive actions that were carried out over the following weeks that slowed down the German onslaught towards Amiens.

Mosier quickly skips to the Marine Corp action at Belleau Wood and makes the bold claim that this was the first time the Germans had been thrown back from a defended position that they were determined to hold.

He then makes a cheap shot about the Australians and Canadians efforts falling short at Passchendaele (they didn’t take the whole Passchendale-Staden Ridge) even with overwhelming artillery support. Mosier never mentions the terrible conditions faced or how the different phases of the battle (over many months) varied in method of combat.

I am not sure what Mosier thought the Australians were doing at the town of Villers Bretonneux (east of Amiens) April, 1918 when they threw the Germans out of the town after a brilliant military display.

No mention is made of General John Monash, one of the great generals in 1918.

No mention is made of the contribution the Canadians made in 1918. General Currie is given a brief mention (also one of the great generals of WW1).

Mosier moves quickly on to the major AEF campaigns and the conclusion of the war.

No doubting that American finance, material and supplies, and the AEF were critical to ending the war in 1918 but in trying to balance the ledger for the American cause he has diminished the efforts of the BEF in final year of the war.

Lyn MacDonald’s book “Spring, 1918” is an excellent book about the German Spring Offensive in March’ 1918. There are many other books superior to Mosier’s work.

Overall, I enjoyed Mosier’s book but was disappointed with some aspects of it.

Forum contributors may wish to discuss this book, the 1918 campaigns or other aspects of the Great War.

The Germans won the battles prior to the AEF actions in June, 1918.??????


Yea right,have'nt time now but will return..what a load of S-h-i-t
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October 9th, 2004  
Earling
 
I find the bias of such books makes them very hard to read. Not to say the author isn't usually right about some points, but they take them out of context.
October 10th, 2004  
Bellerophon
 
A couple of interesting articles on the subject.


http://www.lib.byu.edu/~rdh/wwi/comment/gpypres.html

http://www.lib.byu.edu/~rdh/wwi/comment/haig1.html
October 10th, 2004  
Redneck
 
 

Topic: Re: The Myth of the Great War & How the US saved the All


Quote:
Originally Posted by shaggydog
The Germans won the battles prior to the AEF actions in June, 1918.??????


Yea right,have'nt time now but will return..what a load of S-h-i-t

Adjust your attitude immediately. There is a right way and a wrong way to disagree with others, and if you cannot behave in a mature manner, you will be removed from the member list.
October 10th, 2004  
Bellerophon
 

Topic: Re: The Myth of the Great War & How the US saved the All


Quote:
Originally Posted by Redneck
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaggydog
The Germans won the battles prior to the AEF actions in June, 1918.??????


Yea right,have'nt time now but will return..what a load of S-h-i-t

Adjust your attitude immediately. There is a right way and a wrong way to disagree with others, and if you cannot behave in a mature manner, you will be removed from the member list.
Huh?I was'nt disagreeing with anyone here.
October 14th, 2004  
bush musketeer
 
 

Topic: nutty professor


mite get this book and have a read, am guessing he's a yank professor?
dont know about the first 2 points but disagree with points 3,4,5,8,9,and 10.
some of the allied generals were hopeless they also had some great tactians like in most wars.
point 7 depends on which battles he talks about but when you were attacking the defender usally had the better deal.

the BEF wasn't anihilated during the march 1918 offensive. but i guess he probly wants to make the americans lokk better probly sell more books that way?

in some places they did break as did the portugese in places, yet in other places they held there positions despite great odds or went down to the last man in others.
as far as belleau wood claim if i said what i thought of that i mite not be on here very long but germans were thrown back from defended positions they were determined to hold well before belleau wood.

the canadians, scots, irish, Aussies, english and others that fought at Passchendaele did more good then mosier and his interlectual mate's will ever bloody do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i wonder if the aef ever faced simmilar coinditions in the short time they were in the war that would compare to passchendaele, pozeires or fromelles?

is this book availiable at the AWM in canberra john?

cheers
October 14th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
The role of the USA in World War I was important. They were the only major power involved that hadn't lost all but the barest thread of morale, for one thing. The French and British were a lot closer to capitulation that history admits. Germany was also exhausted, but they got a boost of sorts from Russia dropping out of the war. That also freed up all troops that had been fighting on the Eastern Front.

In supplies and in troops, they were obviously not the only contributor. Nor were they necessarily the most substantial. They were, however, more than sufficient of an addition to the overall 'stack' to tip the scales in the French and British favor. That should not be seen as an insult to the role played by others.

Many like to downplay the US role. Easily done since the US stayed out of the war till the only the last year and a half. Many insist that the United States ought to have entered sooner. The truth is, minus the Zimmerman Note, the USA probably never would have been involved. Some sources claim that the Zimmerman Note was an elaborate hoax orchestrated by Britain, but the case is a very weak one from what I've seen. Still, the general thankless attitude of the French, British and others probably put the USA firmly back to its "Isolationist" policy. There is little doubt that it has a very substantial impact on the reluctance of the United States to enter World War II. A tiny bit of gratitude could have made a world of difference.

Can anyone claim that the Allies could have won World War I without the United States? It seems extremely unlikely to me, especially after Russia quit.
October 15th, 2004  
Young Winston
 
 
Not sure about getting it at the AWM Matt.

I just got it out of the Library. I think it is a fairly easy book to get hold of.