Discussing WWI & WWII

Nov 2013
2,153
891
NM
#71
Marching as to war

Your answer shows that the railway and oil had little, if any, impact on the reason war broke out.
So you have disproved your own theory :mellow:
Germany was always going to have internal lines of comms in any war in Europe. That wasn't amenable to change. UK's navy had already switched from coal to oil by 1914, I think it was. Additional trackage from Germany to the Middle East would have been noted in UK, & would have possibly been a concern in terms of speeding the dispatch of troops & material, & possibly importing resources (oil?) from there on the same track.

That change (from coal to oil) had large implications for naval operations - range, efficiency, speed of refueling, smokeless operations, rapidly generating full power & speed. I'd have to look @ the question more closely - but certainly UK would have been interested & concerned about the German navy's switch to oil from coal for fuel.

Not really my theory, it came up in the conversation.
 
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Feb 2014
2,434
1,131
Oregon
#72
Ok.

What part did oil play in Austro-Hungary's attack on Serbia.

What part did oil play in Russia's decision to defend Serbia.

What part did oil play in Germany's decision to support A-H

What part did oil play in France's decision to support Russia

What part did oil play in Germany's decision to attack France through Belgium.

What part did oil play in Britain's decision to defend Belgium.
Thank you for questions. You made look for answers and helped me learn more. Oil is essential to modern warfare. Can we agree on that? However, I never meant to say oil is want all the decisions were about. Many of those decisions were about economics and competing banking systems and this makes the wars about colonialism and economic gain. But this is also about military thinking and WWI was a major turning point in war!


How World War I ushered in the century of oil

Crude proves itself on the battlefield
“World War I was a war,” writes historian Daniel Yergin, “that was fought between men and machines. And these machines were powered by oil.”

When the war broke out, military strategy was organized around horses and other animals. With one horse on the field for every three men, such primitive modes dominated the fighting in this “transitional conflict.”

Throughout the war, the energy transition took place from horsepower to gas-powered trucks and tanks and, of course, to oil-burning ships and airplanes. Innovations put these new technologies into immediate action on the horrific battlefield of World War I.
I am not totally pleased with that explanation but it does call attention to dramatic changes in warfare and here is one of my favorite quotes from "The Anglo-German Problem".

The war of the future is a problem of economic organization of the most difficult nature and the highest technical achievement, such as has never been hitherto demanded from any army. The old military qualities must give way to the organizing qualities. No doubt the courage and endurance of the individual soldier must remain for all times the foundation of military power, but organizing genius is required in order not to waste that courage and endurance. This is clearly shown for a mere examination of the colossal numbers engaged. To transport, to locate, and to feed these masses of men is the daily preoccupation of the military authorities. That they rightly understand the nature of the problem is certain, but it is very doubtful whether the problem can ever be adequately solved by commanders who are recruited from the Junkertum. Mere military capacity does not suffice here. Both enemies and friends admit that our corps or officers possess such military capacity. We know that our nation possesses in its industries successful organizers, brains accustomed to direct great quantities of material and "personnel"- men who create new conditions of life for whole districts without having to appeal to any mystical authority. As democratic politicians, we may often have to oppose bitterly those captains of industry, but if it comes to war we shall be willing to be led by them, because we know that they have the brains. It is true that they must not meddle with the technical duties of officers but the administration of the war material must be their province. And even with regard to the technique of war, it becomes from year to year more questionable wither this can be managed more efficiently by a corps of noblemen than by the representatives of middle-class technique.
I have to run. But can you see the basic thinking about war was radically changed! WWI is no longer a war of nobles!
 
Apr 2015
1,685
1,949
Stockport. UK
#73
Thank you for questions. You made look for answers and helped me learn more. Oil is essential to modern warfare. Can we agree on that?
Yes ,but in 1914 armies didn't rely on oil for transport they used horses, their need for oil was of far less importance
Many of those decisions were about economics and competing banking systems and this makes the wars about colonialism and economic gain.
I agree, economics played a part, but you singled out Oil and that is your error.
You are a World War too early, if you had claimed that Oil was a major factor in the outbreak of the various conflicts of WW2 I would agree with you, the evidence is there, but not WW1.

But this is also about military thinking and WWI was a major turning point in war!
It was and oil did become a factor in WW1, but only after war had already broken out, and it became clear that it was not going to be a short war.
 
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Nov 2013
2,153
891
NM
#75
Eyes wide open

So much wasted knowledge on this forum..................knowledge is a terrible thing to waste......
It doesn't look like waste to me. We all put up our narratives & points, & defend them as best we can. If a particular POV is unsustainable, then perhaps we gain a better understanding, better knowledge of the topic @ hand.

That seems like a positive outcome to me. But of course, opinions vary.
 
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