Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Thu 21 Aug, 2014 01:25 am
@Lustig Andrei,
The eventual savior of the situation, in a certain respect, was von François, an ethnic French protestant. (His ancestors went to Prussia after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. Frederick Wilhelm, called the Great Elector, took Protestant refugees from all over Europe in the aftermath of the so-called 30 years war, and used them to populate Prussia. Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière was Germany's most successful U-boat commander during the First World War.)
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  2  
Reply Thu 21 Aug, 2014 08:05 am
@Lustig Andrei,
Lustig Andrei wrote:
Reading along, totally absorbed and fascinated.

I can't wait until they get to the Battle of Jutland, the only large battleship battle that took place when battleships were cutting-edge weapons.

I suppose I'll have to wait a couple years.
panzade
 
  2  
Reply Thu 21 Aug, 2014 08:11 am
@oralloy,
Yeah. May 2016 to be exact.
Bakers Dozen
http://notesfromthewaitingroom.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/thebattleofjutland.jpg

In the meantime, there's a few PC games I'm looking at
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Aug, 2014 07:41 am
@Lustig Andrei,
Lustig Andrei wrote:

Interesting to note that, judging from their family names, the Germans on the Eastern Front are under the command of an ethnic Pole while the Russians are fighting under an ethnic German.

Prittwitz is a place name, possibly Polish or maybe Sorbian. I doubt that he had any Polish blood. As Setanta noted, François was the descendant of French Huguenots. Rennenkampf was, I believe, descended from one of the German families that were encouraged to immigrate to Russia by Catherine the Great (a German herself).
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  3  
Reply Sat 23 Aug, 2014 08:25 am
23 AUGUST 1914

WESTERN FRONT: German and British units face each other for the first time in a major action on the Western Front. The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) takes a desperate stance at the Belgian city of Mons, astride the German 1st Army's line of advance. Although the BEF inflicts heavy casualties on the Germans, it is forced to retire. With the French armies retreating all along the front, the British have no choice but to fall back along with their allies.

FAR EAST: Japan declares war on Germany.

EASTERN FRONT: A general engagement between Austro-Hungarian and Russian armies develops along the front in Galicia. The Austro-Hungarians enjoy some initial success in the Battle of Krasnik, but Russian counterattacks will send them into a full retreat.

Reserve officer Paul Wittgenstein, an aspiring concert pianist, is shot in the right elbow and is captured by the Russians. Russian surgeons amputate his arm, and he is later repatriated as part of a prisoner exchange.



Wittgenstein, older brother of philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (who also served in the front lines for Austria-Hungary) did not allow his wartime injury interfere with his career plans. He went on to commission works from Sergei Prokofiev, Maurice Ravel, Benjamin Britten and other composers for one-hand piano.

http://www.tydecks.info/online/bilder/WittgensteinPaul.jpg
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  3  
Reply Sat 23 Aug, 2014 09:01 am
Sidebar
When I was 8 years old in Buenos Aires my grandfather told me a little bit about his WWI experience.

He was a Pole that moved to Vienna Austria and enlisted in the Austro-Hungarian army.

Since he was fluent in Russian he ended up posted to a POW camp for Russian prisoners. As I remember, he said they were overwhelmed by the sheer numbers(500,000 or so in 1914-1915) Many of the POWs slept in the fields and outbreaks of Typhus were common.

His camp in Terezin(Czech Republic)Notice the young boys conscripted into the Russian army.
http://histclo.com/imagef/date/2007/08/rus-pow15s.jpg
joefromchicago
 
  3  
Reply Sun 24 Aug, 2014 06:10 am
@panzade,
No one was prepared for either the number of prisoners or the number of casualties in the first months of the war, because those numbers dwarfed anything that had ever occurred before. Your grandfather was a very lucky man to have been assigned to a non-combat position. And Terezin is perhaps better known by its German name - Theresienstadt - which was the site of a far more infamous camp in the next world war.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  4  
Reply Mon 25 Aug, 2014 05:48 am
According to the CBC, it was one hundred years ago today that Lt. Harry Colebourn, a veterinarian in the Royal Canadian Veterinary Corps, purchased a bear cub from a hunter in White River, Ontario, for $20. He reported to a Canadian cavalry regiment, where the bear cub, which he had named "Winnipeg Bear" in honor of his adopted home town, became a favorite of the troopers, who then smuggled her to England.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/ac/Harry_Colebourne_and_Winnie.jpg

Winnie and her pet human on Salisbury Plain, December, 1914.

When the regiment shipped out to France, they found a home for Winnie at the London Zoological Gardens, where she quickly became very popular. One little boy who used to like to go see Winnie was named Christopher Robin.
izzythepush
 
  0  
Reply Mon 25 Aug, 2014 09:30 am
@Setanta,
There is a plaque at London Zoo that commemorates said bear.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  4  
Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2014 06:58 am
26 AUGUST 1914

EASTERN FRONT: The Battle of Tannenberg opens. Using interior lines, the German 8th Army, now under the command of Hindenburg, turned from facing Rennenkampf's 1st Russian Army, advancing from the east, to Samsonov's 2nd Army, invading East Prussia from the south. Aided by a thorough knowledge of the Russian plans, which were transmitted in the clear over wireless, the Germans would encircle a large portion of the 2nd Army and destroy it.



One of the most complete victories in World War I, the Battle of Tannenberg made Hindenburg and Ludendorff into national heroes overnight. Much of the actual planning, however, was done by Col. Max Hoffmann, who suggested naming the battle after the nearby town of Tannenberg - thus erasing the stain from a similarly named battle in 1410 in which a Polish-Lithuanian force defeated the Teutonic Knights. The battle would later become the centerpiece of Alexander Solzhenitsyn's novel 1914.

http://www.bildpostkarten.uni-osnabrueck.de/albums/userpics/10014/normal_14_1-013pp.jpg
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  4  
Reply Thu 28 Aug, 2014 09:19 am
28 AUGUST 1914

NORTH SEA: In the first major naval engagement of the war, the British attack a flotilla of German light cruisers and destroyers in the Heligoland Bight and sink three ships while suffering only minimal casualties. As a result, the kaiser restricts naval sorties until the High Seas Fleet ventures forth again in 1916.

WESTERN FRONT: To deal with the unexpectedly vigorous Russian offensive in the East, Moltke, the chief of the German general staff, orders two corps to be transferred from the Western Front to East Prussia
.


The two corps withdrawn from the Western Front arrived too late to be of any assistance to Hindenburg, whose overwhelming victory at Tannenberg showed they weren't necessary anyway, but their absence was felt when the Germans faced the French at the Battle of the Marne.

http://www.the-weatherings.co.uk/images/heligoland.jpg
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  3  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2014 08:24 pm
31 AUGUST 1914

FAR EAST: Japanese land and naval forces begin the siege of Tsingtao, a German outpost on the Chinese mainland.

WESTERN FRONT: Heeding a call for assistance from the 2nd Army, General Kluck, commander of the German 1st Army, makes the decision to follow the retreating French 5th Army south rather than proceed westward according to the Schlieffen Plan.



Kluck commanded the army on the end of the German right wing. According to the Schlieffen Plan, the 1st Army was to sweep around Paris to the west, effectively trapping any French forces in a grand enveloping maneuver. Considering the logistical constraints that were already hampering the German advance, Kluck's decision to abandon the Schlieffen Plan in favor of pursuing the fleeing French 5th Army was probably the correct call. Kluck hoped to turn the French left flank and roll up the enemy line. That change of plans, however, put the Germans in a dangerous position between Paris and the French armies. Unbeknownst to Kluck, the French commander, Joffre, was using interior lines to quickly assemble a new army in Paris.

Kluck's decision also reveals the extent to which German commanders were typically given far more leeway to follow their own initiative and deviate from the pre-conceived plans. That was evident through all levels of German command, and derived, in large part, from Clausewitz's theories on warfare.

http://tsaamericahistory.wikispaces.com/file/view/map_von_schlieffen_plan.jpg/197930426/423x338/map_von_schlieffen_plan.jpg
0 Replies
 
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2014 09:17 pm
Reading with interest.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  3  
Reply Wed 3 Sep, 2014 04:09 pm
3 SEPTEMBER 1914

EASTERN FRONT: Following up a successful engagement against the Russians at Komarow, General Moritz von Auffenberg, commander of the Austro-Hungarian 4th Army, turns south to assist the hard-pressed 3rd Army. That move, however, creates a gap in the Austro-Hungarian line, which the Russian 5th Army, led by General Pavel Plehve, exploits. The resulting battle of Rava Ruska is a massive setback for Austria-Hungary, and Chief-of-Staff Conrad is forced to order a general retreat eight days later which only ends at the foothills of the Carpathian mountains.



The Austro-Hungarian disaster at Rava Ruska offset the German triumph at Tannenberg. The Germans, in response, hastily formed a new 9th Army in Silesia to relieve some of the pressure on their allies. It would not be the last time the Germans were forced to come to Austria-Hungary's aid.

http://ww1blog.osborneink.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/czaricon.jpg
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Wed 3 Sep, 2014 04:20 pm
Tsingtao is the only truly good beer produced in the Far East. The brewery was established there in 1903 by German settlers.
0 Replies
 
Lustig Andrei
 
  4  
Reply Wed 3 Sep, 2014 04:30 pm
@joefromchicago,
Gen. Plehve was an ethnic Latvian, as were a number of other so-called 'Russian' commanders. The territory of Latvia had become a part of the Romanov tsarist empire during the time of Peter the Great (early 1700s) and one way for any Latvian male with any education to get ahead was to seek a commission in the tsar's army as he could not own any land. The Russian economy at this point was still largely that of feudal state, despite some reforms instituted in the 1860s which finally did away with the system of serfdom. But serfdom or no serfdom, the land was still owned by the nobility, many of them ethnic Germans. Co-incidentally, the first commander-in-chief of the Red Army, just three years later, in 1917,during the Communist revolution, was also a Latvian national -- General Vahcietis (var. spelling: Vacietis). Aleksandr Solzhenitsin, when he was living in the USA, never let Latvian-Americans forget that, in his words, "it's you who made the Bolsheviks succeed in 1917." He was referring to the role played by the corps-sized unit known as the Latvian Rifles which was stationed near St. Petersburg at the time of the November uprising and which took the side of the insurgents before engaging in a forced march back to their own native soil to conntinue fighting the Germans which were still occupying Latvian territory.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  4  
Reply Sat 6 Sep, 2014 12:43 pm
5 SEPTEMBER 1914

WESTERN FRONT: Joseph Gallieni, recently named by Joffre to command all of the French forces assembled in the neighborhood of Paris, orders the newly formed French Army of the Somme, soon to be called the 6th Army, under the leadership of General Michel-Joseph Maunoury, to attack the exposed right wing of the German 1st Army in the vicinity of Meaux, about 25 miles north-east of Paris. Meanwhile, the French 5th and 9th armies apply pressure on the German 2nd Army. This action marks the beginning of the First Battle of the Marne.



Kluck's decision to deviate from the Schlieffen Plan and move his 1st Army to the east of Paris meant his right wing was "in the air." Joffre, taking advantage of interior lines and reorganizing the French forces retreating from the frontiers, formed the 6th Army, which concentrated in Paris. This army was well-positioned, then, to strike Kluck's exposed flank. Reacting to the unanticipated attack, Kluck swung his army 90 degrees to face the 6th Army. That maneuver, in turn, created a gap between the 1st and 2nd armies that the French would soon exploit.

http://www.worldwar1.com/roads/jpg/roads_villeroy1.jpg
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  4  
Reply Sat 6 Sep, 2014 01:34 pm
6 SEPTEMBER 1914

WESTERN FRONT: While Kluck's 1st Army held its ground against the advance of Maunoury's 6th Army, Joffre became aware that a gap had opened up between the German 1st and 2nd armies. He orders the 5th Army, under its new commander, General Louis Franchet d'Espèrey, to advance into the gap, assisted by the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), under the command of Sir John French.



Franchet d'Espèrey had relieved Charles Lanrezac as commander of the 5th Army on 3 September. In the initial stages of the war, the 5th Army, at the extreme left of the French line, had been ordered to advance against the Germans, despite Lanrezac's protests that he faced overwhelming odds and the very real possibility of being encircled by the German armies, which were wheeling around his position in accordance with the Schlieffen Plan. In fact, Lanrezac was correct, but it appears that he was a rather prickly character and, even though he managed to extricate his army and conduct a skillful retreat, his constant griping finally drove Joffre to sack him for "lack of offensive spirit." Franchet d'Espèrey, as it turned out, proved to be an able replacement, something of a rarity in the French army.

http://p9.storage.canalblog.com/93/29/255782/13412655.jpg
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  4  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2014 02:05 am
Louis Franchet d'Espèrey (called Desperate Franky by the BEF's rank and file) for all of his pomposity and bluster, cooperated well with French, and consulted with him in forming a plan of attack. French and many BEF officers considered him the architect of the successful allied attacks of the battle of the Marne.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  4  
Reply Sun 7 Sep, 2014 07:51 pm
7 SEPTEMBER 1914

EASTERN FRONT: After a stinging defeat at the hands of the Serbs in the opening days of the war, the Austro-Hungarian army invades Serbia for the second time in what would become known as the Battle of the Drina.

WESTERN FRONT: The French 7th Division, newly arrived in Paris from the east, was ordered to reinforce the 6th Army, which was in a desperate struggle with Kluck's 1st Army. The only problem was that there was no transportation to the front. General Gallieni, the military governor of Paris, hits upon the solution to the dilemma: utilize Paris's taxicabs. Estimates vary, but the cabs delivered about 5,000 troops to the front.



The "taxicabs of the Marne" grew into a legend far out of relation to their military significance. Contrary to popular belief, the reinforcements did not turn the tide of battle, or even save Paris. The battle was won by the 5th Army and the BEF, not the 6th Army. Nevertheless, the taxicab convoy became the symbol of the wholehearted commitment of the French public to the war effort, even though the cabbies, as swept up as they might have been in the patriotic fervor, made sure to keep the meters running.

http://i1238.photobucket.com/albums/ff496/SectionEuro/taxisdelaMarne2.jpg
0 Replies
 
 

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