1. Mosier tends to leap to his own conclusions and expects you to leap along with him. This is so in his BLITZKRIEG MYTH as well as the roughly 2/3s of the GREAT WAR MYTH that I have finished. Unfortunately he is not unique in doing so. The student of history must always remain vigilant. This does not mean that there are not some elements of interest to be found in his works.
2. I believe that his assessment of the heavy artillery of the different WWI armies is correct. I also believe that his belief in the superiority of high trajectory fires is also correct.
3. I believe that all armies had to revamp their tactics and suffered horrendous losses while doing so. Mosier is correct when he credits the Germans for doing so more rapidly than the allies.
4. Mosier is also correct in crediting the Germans with more decentralized and consequently more flexible operations.
5. I'm anxious to get to Mosier's rationale for the US's winning of the war. They DID win the war. Despite a lack of military efficiency, the US did win the war because all the other powers were so exhausted that they couldn't not win the war.
6. Mosier does tend to play a bit fast and loose w the casualty figures. Everyone does.
Regarding comments about US winning. All the other powers had fought to the point of exhaustion. All the US did was come in with fresh troops, huge numbers of fresh troops and massive economic superiority. They only had to be there. They suffered tremendous casualties because of their ignorance of trench warfare and lack of training, but they tipped the scale by sheer weight of numbers.
An additional comment regarding various numbers: "Statistics are like a bikini...what they reveal is interesting, but what they conceal is vital."
During the Mongol conquests there were several cities whose whole population was "put to the sword" after the city fell. Would these count?
lwd wrote:One of the reasons I linked was that there was a lot of discussion and some good points made. I think there was a fair amount of rebuttal. Some of it comes down to semantics. I'm not sure that I would say that, at least compared to the European powers, the US supplied either huge numbers or took tremendous losses. We just weren't in it long enough for that to apply. The US economic potential was pretty much untapped also. The US entry represented more potential than fact but combined with the deteriorating conditions in Germany it was at least one of the things that pushed Germany over the edge. I personally wouldn't call that winning.
I will admit that I haven't read either of his books mentioned but those who were less than impressed with them have a pretty good record on that board anyway.
RF wrote:Another aspect of the actual death count from WW1 Karl is that not only are the original estimates of dead when revised is almost always downward, but the fact that the influenza pandemic of 1918 and 1919 is almost airbrushed out of history. Very few people of my generation are aware that it even happened, that far more people died in that pandemic than in WW1. Yet it is WW1 alone that is remembered.
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