Did the army consider using German equipment?

exsniffer

War Hero
SS Charlemagne we’re the ones defending the Fuehrer bunker during the battle of Berlin
Not strictly true. I read the rhe Viking SS Division members were also amongst the last defenders of the Riechstag
 
We fought in france during the first world war as a subordinate to France because the entire BEF constituted a tiny drop in the ocean on their orbat in 1914, and took until 1918 to be an appreciably similar size. Britain was the junior partner in the coalition on the Western Front until de facto 1917 when the army had both size and operational competence.

It was formalized later in the war with an agreement seeing Foche confirmed as the generalissimo of the entente / allied powers.

It was politically and militarily accepted, except perhaps by Sir John French, that the French were the senior partners on the Western Front, which speaks more about Sir John than anything else.

Supporting the French because of Verdun wasn't a case of the French crying for Britain to take their place because they couldn't be bothered, but the very need to support allies who were at breaking point. A quick look at the memoirs of Douglas Haig would confirm the very real appreciation that fighting at the Somme was too soon but also absolutely necessary.

You must move beyond Army myths that the BEF was the greatest force in 1914. Man for man it was excellent, but utterly tiny. The French fielded 62 divisions. The british matched the Belgium divisions -- 6 each! The french suffered 10 times more casualties (poor tactics, but an academic look at 1914 suggests that no one comes out particularly well) and still fielded a vastly larger army which covered much more of the line.

Yes, but not the point that I was trying to make. Take Loos. It was intended, even by Joffre, as a subsidiary operation - but every British general who saw the battlefield considered it unsuitable for a major operation, as it is. French and Haig both proposed alternatives that stood some chance of success but were shouted down by Joffre et al because, basically, they wanted their own way. One the Somme in 1916 the French contribution was reduced steadily so that the original scheme - a side-by-side offensive - became pointless - but were still determined to attack on a front with no strategic value because it kept us in our place.

By 1918 the French Army was flagging. Don't take my word for it, read the Official History, which is an excellent repository of facts if occasionally dodgy on opinion. Petain's reserve and the French failure even to get out of their trenches are well documented. And not just in France, Macedonia too.
 
By 1918 the French Army was flagging. Don't take my word for it
I certainly haven't disputed that. The French Army nevertheless participated in the Hundred Days and contributed more manpower and took greater casualties. The Hundred Days was absolutely the British Army's triumph, but the French had not sat back and left them to it.

One the Somme in 1916 the French contribution was reduced steadily so that the original scheme - a side-by-side offensive - became pointless - but were still determined to attack on a front with no strategic value because it kept us in our place.
The French contribution was reduced because the crisis point of the war at that time was Verdun and the French were just tenuously holding on. They desperately needed the pressure relived. The British bombardment commenced the same day the French were pushed off La Morte Homme at Verdun, which was a key position which had been contested for much of the battle. But critically the Germans indeed started diverting reserves to the Somme. I really don't think it was about keeping the British in their place, although it is fair to say the French felt that the British really weren't pulling their weight enough on the line. Even then, with all this, the French had almost as many divisions on the line. They also took more of their day 1 objectives.

Read of Joffre's efforts to get his own way with FM French in 1915. We fought at Loos because it fitted his plans, not because it was a good idea.
I'm more willing to concede this one, except that at this point the British Army was still a small and not particularly helpful component of the French plan and again this goes down to Britain being a very junior member of the coalition (in terms of the Land War). I think "Putting the British in their Place" is a bit disingenuous and if viewed through the prism of "our ally making a more proportionate contribution" is a fairer assessment of French feelings.

Lord Kitchener overruled French and Haig to carry out the offensive anyway. Perhaps it fitted into the wider strategy of coalition warfare. As with most of the engagements mentioned, the French were concurrently putting greater numbers into their own parallel offensive.
 
ive seen a picture of US Army training using trucks with a plywood tank silhouette affixed to the side
Better than the Canadian armed farces in 1980. We used signs around our necks saying 'T-72', 'BRDM' etc. Alas, I was told I wasn't taking it all serious enough when I made my own say '20 megaton H-bomb'.
 
I certainly haven't disputed that. The French Army nevertheless participated in the Hundred Days and contributed more manpower and took greater casualties. The Hundred Days was absolutely the British Army's triumph, but the French had not sat back and left them to it.


The French contribution was reduced because the crisis point of the war at that time was Verdun and the French were just tenuously holding on. They desperately needed the pressure relived. The British bombardment commenced the same day the French were pushed off La Morte Homme at Verdun, which was a key position which had been contested for much of the battle. But critically the Germans indeed started diverting reserves to the Somme. I really don't think it was about keeping the British in their place, although it is fair to say the French felt that the British really weren't pulling their weight enough on the line. Even then, with all this, the French had almost as many divisions on the line. They also took more of their day 1 objectives.


I'm more willing to concede this one, except that at this point the British Army was still a small and not particularly helpful component of the French plan and again this goes down to Britain being a very junior member of the coalition (in terms of the Land War). I think "Putting the British in their Place" is a bit disingenuous and if viewed through the prism of "our ally making a more proportionate contribution" is a fairer assessment of French feelings.

Lord Kitchener overruled French and Haig to carry out the offensive anyway. Perhaps it fitted into the wider strategy of coalition warfare. As with most of the engagements mentioned, the French were concurrently putting greater numbers into their own parallel offensive.

Ref bold exactly

Which is also why when discussing Britains Dinosaur donkey commanders and their pointless attacks the same context needs applying.

1916 Haig did not want to attack at all - he knew the army wasnt ready - he wanted to wait until 1917.
France however was insistent on a 1916 offensive - understaderbly so given that parts of it were in German hands

1917 - Paschendale - Mud - went on long past sensible etc - True if you look at it in isolation - not true if you look at it in the context of keeping the Germans far to busy to cause mischief on the French part of the line as that had sufferred a catastrophic collapse of morale

ref the French mutiny - Think of all the officers sat in Chateaus drinking wine - didnt care about the men false hoods levelled at Haig and British officers in General. Particuarly left in the trenches to rot myths


In reality - British units were in the trenches for a few days at a time then rotated
French (and German) Divisions stayed in the line until combat inneffective and were then swapped out

when out of the line British officers (still) took a great deal of care of their troops - organised activities* organised leave etc
French officers buggerred off home - leaving the rank and file to fend for itself in barracks - this is a major trigger for 1917.

*Likewise WW2 - Where the records show British troops got up to far less criminality than US etc - Chiefly because they were kept busy out of the line - no one (ok few) got to drift off unsupervised**.

** Of course much of this may stem from Wellingtons army which typicallty couldnt be trusted as far as a very small child could throw it
 
I recall sailing from BKYC to Denmark on ta 32 m yaucht called rhe Krannich (spp) or Crane which was said to have been a German entrant to the 1936 Olympics crewed by the SS. Wooden hull, brass fittings she was really beautiful.
....and also the name of my Mum's first Horse back in the early seventies. He was a lovely grey, mind he did have his foibles which I found out when I had to exercise him. Had a habit of getting into a canter, then dropping his shoulder.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
Ref bold exactly

Which is also why when discussing Britains Dinosaur donkey commanders and their pointless attacks the same context needs applying.

1916 Haig did not want to attack at all - he knew the army wasnt ready - he wanted to wait until 1917.
France however was insistent on a 1916 offensive - understaderbly so given that parts of it were in German hands

1917 - Paschendale - Mud - went on long past sensible etc - True if you look at it in isolation - not true if you look at it in the context of keeping the Germans far to busy to cause mischief on the French part of the line as that had sufferred a catastrophic collapse of morale

ref the French mutiny - Think of all the officers sat in Chateaus drinking wine - didnt care about the men false hoods levelled at Haig and British officers in General. Particuarly left in the trenches to rot myths


In reality - British units were in the trenches for a few days at a time then rotated
French (and German) Divisions stayed in the line until combat inneffective and were then swapped out

when out of the line British officers (still) took a great deal of care of their troops - organised activities* organised leave etc
French officers buggerred off home - leaving the rank and file to fend for itself in barracks - this is a major trigger for 1917.

*Likewise WW2 - Where the records show British troops got up to far less criminality than US etc - Chiefly because they were kept busy out of the line - no one (ok few) got to drift off unsupervised**.

** Of course much of this may stem from Wellingtons army which typicallty couldnt be trusted as far as a very small child could throw it

I have a facsimile of a little officers pocket book from mid WWI somewhere. As well as the proper officering and soldiering bit, a very large part of the book impresses with great emphasis the absolute duty of the young Officer looking to the welfare of the men under him. And as you say, his duty to keep his men busy and entertained when out of the trenches. Reading the book, it was very clear the duty of care to the men was writ large in the Officer Corp of the British Army. In contemporary memoirs of the men in the trenches, You very rarely find any grumbles about their officers, quite the reverse.
Yes, the much derided by historians ‘Donkeys’ often got their hampers sent to them by Army & Navy, You tend not to find mention of the same Officers routinely sticking their hands in their own pockets and buying in extras for their men.

I really can’t imagine a French Captain going forward each day and inspecting the latrines in his trenches to ensure that not only are they properly constructed, but more importantly kept clean and correctly maintained.
 
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Be interesting to see what "battle honours" a EURO Corps would have on their colours.
I’m sensing Ukraine.

always been viewed by Germany as the Breadbasket of Europe.

that’s why they’ve always been keen to have it under the control of Germany/Prussia/Greater Germany/EU.

there’s a lovely lecture Christopher Hitchens does on the foreign Policy of the EU is a continuation of pre War German foreign policy.

I suspect the EU didn’t realise when they started meddling in the Ukraine that the Russian bear was sleeping at the time.
 

syrup

LE
Better than the Canadian armed farces in 1980. We used signs around our necks saying 'T-72', 'BRDM' etc. Alas, I was told I wasn't taking it all serious enough when I made my own say '20 megaton H-bomb'.

T.A. Exercise somewhere in England

Squaddy gets handed a broom and told "ere's yer rifle lad if anyone comes shout the password if they don't reply shout bang bang and kill them"

Stood on the gate and he sees 5 blokes bunched up jogging towards him
Two at the front one in the middle and two at the back.
Password he shouts
No answer
He shout's again
No answer
After a third time he puts the broom to his shoulder takes aim and shouts BANG
Bang Bang Bang Bang he shoots all of them but they keep jogging towards him

He stops and looks

As they pass him into camp one bloke shouts across "**** off we're a tank"
 
I really can’t imagine a French Captain going forward each day and inspecting the latrines in his trenches to ensure that not only are they properly constructed, but more importantly kept clean and correctly maintained.
In October 1916 the 63rd Royal Naval Division fell foul of their new GOC, Major General Cameron Shute.

The General inspecting the trenches
Exclaimed with a horrified shout
‘I refuse to command a division
Which leaves its excreta about.’

But nobody took any notice
No one was prepared to refute,
That the presence of shit was congenial
Compared to the presence of Shute.

And certain responsible critics
Made haste to reply to his words
Observing that his staff advisors
Consisted entirely of turds.

For shit may be shot at odd corners
And paper supplied there to suit,
But a shit would be shot without mourners
If someone shot that shit Shute.


AP Herbert
 
I’m sensing Ukraine.

always been viewed by Germany as the Breadbasket of Europe.

that’s why they’ve always been keen to have it under the control of Germany/Prussia/Greater Germany/EU.

there’s a lovely lecture Christopher Hitchens does on the foreign Policy of the EU is a continuation of pre War German foreign policy.

I suspect the EU didn’t realise when they started meddling in the Ukraine that the Russian bear was sleeping at the time.
…. Austria actually, though it means much the same thing. It was on Stalin’s agenda…. c1922
 
The French contribution was reduced because the crisis point of the war at that time was Verdun and the French were just tenuously holding on. They desperately needed the pressure relived. The British bombardment commenced the same day the French were pushed off La Morte Homme at Verdun, which was a key position which had been contested for much of the battle. But critically the Germans indeed started diverting reserves to the Somme. I really don't think it was about keeping the British in their place, although it is fair to say the French felt that the British really weren't pulling their weight enough on the line. Even then, with all this, the French had almost as many divisions on the line. They also took more of their day 1 objectives.

Absolutely. But the British effort did not have to occur on the Somme, a part of the front with little strategic value - it was selected originally because it was the junction of the BEF and French Army. Haig had better ideas for action further north that offered greater returns if successful, and in that case would put more of a strain on the German Army but the Frogs thought we might be too far away to influence.
I certainly haven't disputed that. The French Army nevertheless participated in the Hundred Days and contributed more manpower and took greater casualties. The Hundred Days was absolutely the British Army's triumph, but the French had not sat back and left them to it.

Difficult to say. Certainly 1915 was the worst year of the war for the French and 1918 for us. The French were by 1918, determined that anyone except themselves would die for France. US divisions regularly formed the spearhead of French attacks from July onwards, even nine British divisions fought within French armies. And internally, a growing proportion of the French Army was Senegalese, Moroccan and Algerian - even Vietnamese.

Anyway, I don't think we're that far apart, just debating the degree....
 
Difficult to say. Certainly 1915 was the worst year of the war for the French and 1918 for us. The French were by 1918, determined that anyone except themselves would die for France.
I hold 1914 was by far the worst year for the French, if the measure is fatal casualties.
Sure, the total for 1915 was higher, but you have to take into account that the 1914 figures cover only five months of fighting, and so the loss rate for 1914 was far higher than 1915. 22 August 1914 saw the highest one day French fatalities when 27000 died during the Battle of the Frontiers.
 
Better than the Canadian armed farces in 1980. We used signs around our necks saying 'T-72', 'BRDM' etc. Alas, I was told I wasn't taking it all serious enough when I made my own say '20 megaton H-bomb'.
You should be right chuffed then that they’ve progressed enough to be using trucks in place of C-130’s for deploying airborne companies on exercises.....
 
I hold 1914 was by far the worst year for the French, if the measure is fatal casualties.
Sure, the total for 1915 was higher, but you have to take into account that the 1914 figures cover only five months of fighting, and so the loss rate for 1914 was far higher than 1915. 22 August 1914 saw the highest one day French fatalities when 27000 died during the Battle of the Frontiers.

Fair point. Either way, tis an awful lot of dead Frogs.
 

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