I have not said that any of those concerned could have fired Falkenhayn. However, if Falkenhayn's object was a Marshall contends to raise the butcher's bill high enough to leader civilian leadership to negotiate a peace, the individuals to whom i referred were his superiors in such matters--matters in which he would have held no direct portfolio.
Well, you said that Falkenhayn was trying to convince his "superiors." Apparently, your notion of "superior" includes anyone who might have had some kind of connection, even the most tangential, with Falkenhayn -- and if that's the case then so be it. Obviously, we have very different notions of what "superior" means.
I'm not sure why Marshall would contend that Falkenhayn was attempting to convince the civilian leadership to sue for peace, unless he meant that Falkenhayn was attempting to convince the French
civilian leadership to sue for peace. Falkenhayn, let us not forget, thought that Verdun would be a German victory, so it's extremely unlikely that he intended to force the German
government to sue for peace.
Apart from being aware of the distinctions between howitzers and mortars, i would paraphrase a remark Joe once made to me: "Manchester called them mortars, the gentleman in the linked article called them mortars, others in the 162 hits i got called them mortars, i think i may be forgiven if call them mortars."
Then you would be just as wrong as them.
And these gentleman are doing what?
I have absolutely no clue. Looking at the website
, a few observations can be made. First, the men are located at the rear
of the gun: as the other photos on the page show, the wheels of the gun were located at the front, and the position of the firing shield is also consistent with the artillery piece facing away
from the camera. If the soldiers, then, are loading the gun, they are certainly not loading at the muzzle, but rather at the breach. And given that the projectiles weighed anywhere from 400kg up to 1160 kg, it shouldn't be surprising that it took more than a few soldiers to load the piece. The photo's caption seems to support this conclusion:
Die "Dicke Berta", hier das fahrbare M-Gerät, in Ladestellung.
Translation: The "Big Bertha," here the mobile M-model, in loading position.