Discussion:
Russia attacks in 1914
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SolomonW
2018-05-09 03:28:23 UTC
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Russian thought in the event of WW1, that they had to attack Germany
immediately otherwise if they waited, German would defeat France and then
come for them.

As it was the Germans with minimal forces defeated the Russian army in
probably German's greatest military victories at Tannenberg and at Masurian
Lakes. Overall, the Germans did move some troops to East but few. The
French, however, managed to hold.

Now what would have happened, if instead the Russians had attacked the
Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Russians would certainly have done better
against the Austrians. As the Germans could not stand by, they would have
to move large forces East.
The Horny Goat
2018-05-09 05:08:17 UTC
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Post by SolomonW
Russian thought in the event of WW1, that they had to attack Germany
immediately otherwise if they waited, German would defeat France and then
come for them.
That WAS after all Schlieffen's vision!
Post by SolomonW
As it was the Germans with minimal forces defeated the Russian army in
probably German's greatest military victories at Tannenberg and at Masurian
Lakes. Overall, the Germans did move some troops to East but few. The
French, however, managed to hold.
The Czar managed to have two army commanders who completely refused to
work together - which went a LONG way to Germany's success in
defeating them in detail.
Post by SolomonW
Now what would have happened, if instead the Russians had attacked the
Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Russians would certainly have done better
against the Austrians. As the Germans could not stand by, they would have
to move large forces East.
Which is pretty much what they DID do in late 1915 early 1916.

In my opinion the Russians NOT attacking the Germans in 1914 means the
French DON'T hold on the Marne and the dead hand of Schlieffen (at
least as he was understood in Berlin) is victorious.

Of course attacking on the scale the French did in Plan 17 nearly
handed the victory to Germany anyhow...I'm referring to French losses
in Aug/Sep 1914.
SolomonW
2018-05-09 07:31:06 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
Post by SolomonW
Russian thought in the event of WW1, that they had to attack Germany
immediately otherwise if they waited, German would defeat France and then
come for them.
That WAS after all Schlieffen's vision!
The Russians and Austrians saw a similar vision.
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by SolomonW
As it was the Germans with minimal forces defeated the Russian army in
probably German's greatest military victories at Tannenberg and at Masurian
Lakes. Overall, the Germans did move some troops to East but few. The
French, however, managed to hold.
The Czar managed to have two army commanders who completely refused to
work together - which went a LONG way to Germany's success in
defeating them in detail.
Indeed
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by SolomonW
Now what would have happened, if instead the Russians had attacked the
Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Russians would certainly have done better
against the Austrians. As the Germans could not stand by, they would have
to move large forces East.
Which is pretty much what they DID do in late 1915 early 1916.
In my opinion the Russians NOT attacking the Germans in 1914 means the
French DON'T hold on the Marne and the dead hand of Schlieffen (at
least as he was understood in Berlin) is victorious.
I am not so sure partly as the Germans suffered a major supply problem at
Marne and the diversions of German troops East were not that great.
Post by The Horny Goat
Of course attacking on the scale the French did in Plan 17 nearly
handed the victory to Germany anyhow...I'm referring to French losses
in Aug/Sep 1914.
The Horny Goat
2018-05-09 16:14:21 UTC
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Post by SolomonW
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by SolomonW
Russian thought in the event of WW1, that they had to attack Germany
immediately otherwise if they waited, German would defeat France and then
come for them.
That WAS after all Schlieffen's vision!
The Russians and Austrians saw a similar vision.
I'm not denying your point - it was in fact one of the more likely
scenarios for a German win in 1914. Had France surrendered in Oct/Nov
1914 I very much doubt Russia would have tried to continue the war
against Austria and Germany alone and it likely (even for the French)
been a fairly 'soft' peace. Certainly a 1914 peace would have been far
milder than what Fischer and others say German war aims were by 1916.
Post by SolomonW
Post by The Horny Goat
The Czar managed to have two army commanders who completely refused to
work together - which went a LONG way to Germany's success in
defeating them in detail.
Indeed
Which in my opinion is a failure in command at the highest level. The
rivalry between Samsonov and Rennenkampf far exceeded Patton vs
Montgomery a generation later.
Post by SolomonW
Post by The Horny Goat
In my opinion the Russians NOT attacking the Germans in 1914 means the
French DON'T hold on the Marne and the dead hand of Schlieffen (at
least as he was understood in Berlin) is victorious.
I am not so sure partly as the Germans suffered a major supply problem at
Marne and the diversions of German troops East were not that great.
I am personally convinced a swing west of Paris (the original plan)
would have been both more effective and logistically challenging. It
almost certainly would have meant the collapse of the BEF with
enormous political consequences as there would have been no "rush to
the sea" which pretty much saved the BEF after Mons.
SolomonW
2018-05-10 02:20:11 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
Had France surrendered in Oct/Nov
1914 I very much doubt Russia would have tried to continue the war
against Austria and Germany alone and it likely (even for the French)
been a fairly 'soft' peace. Certainly a 1914 peace would have been far
milder than what Fischer and others say German war aims were by 1916.
Why do you think the peace would be milder then German war aims in 1916?
The Horny Goat
2018-05-10 05:15:23 UTC
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Post by SolomonW
Post by The Horny Goat
Had France surrendered in Oct/Nov
1914 I very much doubt Russia would have tried to continue the war
against Austria and Germany alone and it likely (even for the French)
been a fairly 'soft' peace. Certainly a 1914 peace would have been far
milder than what Fischer and others say German war aims were by 1916.
Why do you think the peace would be milder then German war aims in 1916?
A war that ended in 1914 would see fewer casualties than in 1916 or
later plus positions on all sides hardened as the war continued longer
SolomonW
2018-05-10 08:10:09 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
Post by SolomonW
Post by The Horny Goat
Had France surrendered in Oct/Nov
1914 I very much doubt Russia would have tried to continue the war
against Austria and Germany alone and it likely (even for the French)
been a fairly 'soft' peace. Certainly a 1914 peace would have been far
milder than what Fischer and others say German war aims were by 1916.
Why do you think the peace would be milder then German war aims in 1916?
A war that ended in 1914 would see fewer casualties than in 1916 or
later plus positions on all sides hardened as the war continued longer
However, an easy German victory would encourage Germany to want more plus
if France is knocked out, then nothing stops Germany from domination in
Europe.


If I remember in 1916, there were significant talk of peace on both sides.
Tragically it did not happen.
The Horny Goat
2018-05-10 16:48:57 UTC
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Post by SolomonW
If I remember in 1916, there were significant talk of peace on both sides.
Tragically it did not happen.
Two things about that: (1) they never actually talked face to face,
(2) if you read Fischer you will see that German war aims including
major territorial acquisitions including about 1/2 of Belgium and a
strip of French territory between Abbeville and the Belgian border.

Even without their colonial demands that's the kind of demand only a
completely defeated country would be expected to accede to.

May as well say the German 1941 ambition in Russia was the Urals.
SolomonW
2018-05-11 00:05:22 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
Post by SolomonW
If I remember in 1916, there were significant talk of peace on both sides.
Tragically it did not happen.
Two things about that: (1) they never actually talked face to face,
Yep
Post by The Horny Goat
(2) if you read Fischer you will see that German war aims including
major territorial acquisitions including about 1/2 of Belgium and a
strip of French territory between Abbeville and the Belgian border.
These offers in 1916 came from a different source, the Social Democrats.


Please have a read here
https://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/article/peace_initiatives


From the German court point of view the Social Democrats were too big to
ignore and it made good PR.
Post by The Horny Goat
Even without their colonial demands that's the kind of demand only a
completely defeated country would be expected to accede to.
May as well say the German 1941 ambition in Russia was the Urals.
Indeed.
Rich Rostrom
2018-05-09 06:50:09 UTC
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Post by SolomonW
Now what would have happened, if instead the
Russians had attacked the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
The Russians would certainly have done better
against the Austrians.
Russia _did_ attack Austria in 1914, and won a
major victory by early 1915.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
SolomonW
2018-05-09 07:31:41 UTC
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Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by SolomonW
Now what would have happened, if instead the
Russians had attacked the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
The Russians would certainly have done better
against the Austrians.
Russia _did_ attack Austria in 1914, and won a
major victory by early 1915.
Okay the question here if the Russians attacked with about twice the force
that they did.
Rhino
2018-05-14 14:54:34 UTC
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Post by SolomonW
Russian thought in the event of WW1, that they had to attack Germany
immediately otherwise if they waited, German would defeat France and then
come for them.
As it was the Germans with minimal forces defeated the Russian army in
probably German's greatest military victories at Tannenberg and at Masurian
Lakes. Overall, the Germans did move some troops to East but few. The
French, however, managed to hold.
Now what would have happened, if instead the Russians had attacked the
Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Russians would certainly have done better
against the Austrians. As the Germans could not stand by, they would have
to move large forces East.
I gather from Solzhenitsyn's book on the topic - August, 1914 - the
Russian defeat had more to do with bad generalship than slow
mobilization. You might simply want to posit better generals on the
Russian side and wonder how things would have turned out then.

I'm not sure it's plausible to have Russia go after Austro-Hungary and
ignore Germany in 1914. Although Austro-Hungary is (apparently) the
weaker foe, it would also leave Russia weaker south by going south than
to stand fast against Germany.
--
Rhino
Rhino
2018-05-14 14:59:27 UTC
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Post by Rhino
Post by SolomonW
Russian thought in the event of WW1, that they had to attack Germany
immediately otherwise if they waited, German would defeat France and then
come for them.
As it was the Germans with minimal forces defeated the Russian army in
probably German's greatest military victories at Tannenberg and at Masurian
Lakes. Overall, the Germans did move some troops to East but few. The
French, however, managed to hold.
Now what would have happened, if instead the Russians had attacked the
Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Russians would certainly have done better
against the Austrians. As the Germans could not stand by, they would have
to move large forces East.
I gather from Solzhenitsyn's book on the topic - August, 1914 - the
Russian defeat had more to do with bad generalship than slow
mobilization. You might simply want to posit better generals on the
Russian side and wonder how things would have turned out then.
I'm not sure it's plausible to have Russia go after Austro-Hungary and
ignore Germany in 1914. Although Austro-Hungary is (apparently) the
weaker foe, it would also leave Russia weaker south by going south than
to stand fast against Germany.
Oops. That was *supposed* to say:

...it would also leave Russia weaker by going south than to stand fast
against Germany further to the north or attacking Germany.
--
Rhino
SolomonW
2018-05-15 02:14:28 UTC
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Post by Rhino
Post by Rhino
Post by SolomonW
Russian thought in the event of WW1, that they had to attack Germany
immediately otherwise if they waited, German would defeat France and then
come for them.
As it was the Germans with minimal forces defeated the Russian army in
probably German's greatest military victories at Tannenberg and at Masurian
Lakes. Overall, the Germans did move some troops to East but few. The
French, however, managed to hold.
Now what would have happened, if instead the Russians had attacked the
Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Russians would certainly have done better
against the Austrians. As the Germans could not stand by, they would have
to move large forces East.
I gather from Solzhenitsyn's book on the topic - August, 1914 - the
Russian defeat had more to do with bad generalship than slow
mobilization. You might simply want to posit better generals on the
Russian side and wonder how things would have turned out then.
I'm not sure it's plausible to have Russia go after Austro-Hungary and
ignore Germany in 1914. Although Austro-Hungary is (apparently) the
weaker foe, it would also leave Russia weaker south by going south than
to stand fast against Germany.
...it would also leave Russia weaker by going south than to stand fast
against Germany further to the north or attacking Germany.
Germany was not going to attack Russia, what Germany would have to do is
send troops to Austro-Hungary to keep it going.

The Horny Goat
2018-05-14 21:48:50 UTC
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On Mon, 14 May 2018 10:54:34 -0400, Rhino
Post by Rhino
I gather from Solzhenitsyn's book on the topic - August, 1914 - the
Russian defeat had more to do with bad generalship than slow
mobilization. You might simply want to posit better generals on the
Russian side and wonder how things would have turned out then.
I would argue that most ANY pair of Russian corps commanders in 1914
could have done a better job than Rennenkampf and Samsonov.
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