von Sachsen
Captain
Posts: 156
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:52 pm

AI Rupprecht Plan

Tue Jun 29, 2010 8:03 pm

I have noticed that the AI will never actually attack through Switzerland when it has chosen the Rupprecht Plan. I-III Armies just sit at the border while Germany takes all of the diplomatic reprecussions and the fact that the French now have another way into Germany. Is there anything that is being done for this, or for that matter is there anything I'm doing wrong?

User avatar
calvinus
Posts: 4679
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 4:52 pm
Location: Italy
Contact: Website

Tue Jun 29, 2010 8:52 pm

In my current game, AI played Rupprecht plan and attacked Switzerland. Germans manager to conquer 70% of Switzerland in Nov.-Dec. 1914, but then I recaptured most of lost territories, little by little, during 1915.

Mowers
Captain
Posts: 158
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:37 pm

Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:38 pm

I have also seen the AI attack into Switzerland under this plan.

Just rather unsuccessfully because they kept attacking with 1 unit

rubys62
Civilian
Posts: 0
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:57 am

your comments are very cool

Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:26 am

A pair of Christian Louboutin Shoes plus Pandora Jewelry, become the most popular with summer, in line with the Zumba Fitness DVD, P90X or Insanity Workout DVD fitness video tutorial these three certainly can make you a sexy goddess.

User avatar
Kensai
Posts: 2702
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:54 pm
Location: Freiburg, Germany

Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:21 pm

Out of curiosity, was the Rupprecht Plan a real historical plan?
Care to unify Germany as Austria? Recreate the Holy Roman Empire of the 20th Century:
Großdeutschland Mod
Are you tough enough to impersonate the Shogun and defy the Westerners? Prove it:
Shogun Defiance Mod (completed AAR)

User avatar
Citizen X
AGEod Veteran
Posts: 766
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:34 pm

Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:57 pm

Kensai wrote:Out of curiosity, was the Rupprecht Plan a real historical plan?


I doubt it, allthough not 100% sure. Rupprecht happened to be in command of the German 6th army in Lorraine. The only German invasion plan I know of is Operation Tannenbaum of 1940, but it never was seriously followed.
"I am here already.", said the hedgehog to the hare.

User avatar
Random
AGEod Veteran
Posts: 768
Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 4:10 pm

Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:16 pm

Kensai wrote:Out of curiosity, was the Rupprecht Plan a real historical plan?

With the caveat that none of the War Plans were actually war plans per se, a reasonable answer is probably "sort of".

What are generally referred to as war plans were more or less mobilization schemes in that hard objectives beyond initial contact were usually left pretty nebulous. In the case of von Moltke the Younger and his plan, generally called incorrectly the Schlieffen Plan, the seven west front armies were given tasks that largely depended on what the Entente did. That said, the invasion of Belgium was a given and extensive super-heavy artillery was provided to the right flank armies to deal with the fortified zones at Liege, Namur, Givet Mauberge and Lille.

The German's actually issued mobilization plans called Aufmarsches, generally in April and the one used in the Great War was Aufmarsche 1914/15.

However, generally every year would see staff studies and "staff rides" and kriegspiels to test different situations and the appropriate military responses. As near as I have been able to determine is that what is termed "Plan Rupprecht" was from a staff study aimed at preventing Britain joining France over Belgium and active Italian belligerence as an ally of Germany. Staff talks between Italy and Germany were very limited but using a southern German axis of advance was favoured by Cadorna, the Italian Chief of Staff. Invading Switzerland placed the German and Italian armies shoulder to shoulder and served to flank the French frontier fortifications.

Since Italian cooperation was always problematic and the Swiss Army was held in fairly high regard, there seems to have been little incentive to go so far as to creating an actual and complete mobilization scheme for a southern flanking operation. I could find nothing linking it to Crown Prince Rupprecht, Commander Sixth Army and de facto commander of the left flank of the German army in the West and so presume that the name was picked for colour.

Without Italian war entry on the side of the Central Powers and British neutrality, the Rupprecht Plan does not serve Germany at all well.

As an aside, those expansive arrows seen on map after map depicting the "Schlieffen Plan" have no counterparts in any existing contemporary German documentation and first appear in the post war US Army War Collage Atlas of the War! The German's were certain that they would be outnumbered in the West and the only forces actually anticipated to pass to the west of Paris as commonly believed, were some Ersatz corps that acted as strategic reserves and could be allocated to other areas if necessary. In the event those troops ended up at the siege of Antwerp, reinforcing Fifth Army at Verdun and to Eighth Army in the East before the right-flank armies reached the approaches to Paris.

-C

User avatar
Kensai
Posts: 2702
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 4:54 pm
Location: Freiburg, Germany

Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:15 am

Awesome, as I imagined, thanks for the interesting information!
Care to unify Germany as Austria? Recreate the Holy Roman Empire of the 20th Century:

Großdeutschland Mod

Are you tough enough to impersonate the Shogun and defy the Westerners? Prove it:

Shogun Defiance Mod (completed AAR)

User avatar
Shri
Posts: 887
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:57 am
Location: INDIA

Thu Nov 07, 2013 8:23 am

Random wrote:With the caveat that none of the War Plans were actually war plans per se, a reasonable answer is probably "sort of".

What are generally referred to as war plans were more or less mobilization schemes in that hard objectives beyond initial contact were usually left pretty nebulous. In the case of von Moltke the Younger and his plan, generally called incorrectly the Schlieffen Plan, the seven west front armies were given tasks that largely depended on what the Entente did. That said, the invasion of Belgium was a given and extensive super-heavy artillery was provided to the right flank armies to deal with the fortified zones at Liege, Namur, Givet Mauberge and Lille.

The German's actually issued mobilization plans called Aufmarsches, generally in April and the one used in the Great War was Aufmarsche 1914/15.

However, generally every year would see staff studies and "staff rides" and kriegspiels to test different situations and the appropriate military responses. As near as I have been able to determine is that what is termed "Plan Rupprecht" was from a staff study aimed at preventing Britain joining France over Belgium and active Italian belligerence as an ally of Germany. Staff talks between Italy and Germany were very limited but using a southern German axis of advance was favoured by Cadorna, the Italian Chief of Staff. Invading Switzerland placed the German and Italian armies shoulder to shoulder and served to flank the French frontier fortifications.




Since Italian cooperation was always problematic and the Swiss Army was held in fairly high regard, there seems to have been little incentive to go so far as to creating an actual and complete mobilization scheme for a southern flanking operation. I could find nothing linking it to Crown Prince Rupprecht, Commander Sixth Army and de facto commander of the left flank of the German army in the West and so presume that the name was picked for colour.

Without Italian war entry on the side of the Central Powers and British neutrality, the Rupprecht Plan does not serve Germany at all well.

As an aside, those expansive arrows seen on map after map depicting the "Schlieffen Plan" have no counterparts in any existing contemporary German documentation and first appear in the post war US Army War Collage Atlas of the War! The German's were certain that they would be outnumbered in the West and the only forces actually anticipated to pass to the west of Paris as commonly believed, were some Ersatz corps that acted as strategic reserves and could be allocated to other areas if necessary. In the event those troops ended up at the siege of Antwerp, reinforcing Fifth Army at Verdun and to Eighth Army in the East before the right-flank armies reached the approaches to Paris.

-C



Schlieffen Plan was at least a drawing board plan though GERMANY never had enough troops to actually implement it, it also called for invasion of Netherlands with 2 corps to improve logistics of the right wing.
Also troops used to bulk up the eight army were not ersatz, these were highly trained elite troops including the famous "GARDE RESERVE KORPS" including the 3rd guards division and guards reserve division (unlike reservists it was made up of guards of the smaller kingdoms like mecklenburg, etc) and the 3rd foot guards was the best division in GERMANY after the ALPENKORPS.. witness its participation as the "breakthrough" unit in almost every major campaign.

Moltke's 3 major mistakes were-
1. After the foolish Plan XVII invasion of Mulhausen-Saarburg-Strassburg, he should have welcomed it and let them come in a bit more and not let Rupprecht counter attack them.
2. The equally stupid and foolish "revised" Russian plan of invading East Prussia should have been welcomed even more and the existing forces were more than enough to defeat the russians - BATTLES of TANNENBERG and 1st MASURIAN LAKES confirmed this.
3. He should have pushed V.Bulow, V.Hausen and the 2 Crown Princes commanding the 4th and 5th armies to move faster, like V.Kluck did.

Graf Moltke the old commander of the Prussian/German armies had actually envisioned such idiotic invasions of Germany resulting in massive victories, wherein the armies would retreat a bit allow the invaders to stretch themselves and using the superior German Railways counter attack and crush the enemies on the RHINE or MASURIAN lakes.. his writing in the late 1880's almost came true in 1914, the French were not fully prepared for their invasion despite all the "ELAN" speeches of FOCH and the RUSSIANS were in disastrous straits as borne by History, the Russian General Staff's key planner- ALEXEEV the main adviser to the GRAND DUKE did not like these plans much and had little confidence of executing them.

Germans feared Russian numbers in the long term but not in the short term when they knew Russia was not capable of good logistics as borne by RUSSO- JAP war of '05. btw- HOFFMAN was one of the main observers of GERMANY in MANCHURIA and utilised this weakness of Russia to crush them in the east, it was he and not HINDENBURG who was the architect of Russia's defeats.

User avatar
Random
AGEod Veteran
Posts: 768
Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 4:10 pm

Thu Nov 07, 2013 9:31 pm

Also troops used to bulk up the eight army were not ersatz, these were highly trained elite troops including the famous "GARDE RESERVE KORPS" including the 3rd guards division and guards reserve division (unlike reservists it was made up of guards of the smaller kingdoms like mecklenburg, etc) and the 3rd foot guards was the best division in GERMANY after the ALPENKORPS.. witness its participation as the "breakthrough" unit in almost every major campaign.

Ersatz here is used in the original German Army sense, replacement troops, fully trained and equipped but not yet assigned as replacements to field units. Every annual conscription class produced soldiers in excess of the numbers necessary for the field units. In 1914, Ersatz units up to division level were created this way.

As for the rest, it is easy to be wise after the event. I suggest that you get hold of a copy of Gerhard Ritter's "The Schlieffen Plan: Critique of a Myth" for another view of the famous plan.

Everybody's pre-war doctrine (some might call it dogma) lay in the absolute faith in the primacy of the offensive; to just expect the generals to dump years of training in the opening days of the Great War makes zero sense and flies in the face of experience. Few of the leaders were "stupid" but many proved less than effective or unable to adapt to the realities they faced even if the command and control means allowed them to do so and that in itself was rare.

A Few Good reads include:

Norman Stone - The Eastern Front 1914-17;
Terence Zuber - The Battle of the Frontiers: Ardennes 1914 and The Real German War Plan 1904-1914
Robert Doughty - Pyrric Victory: French Strategy and Operations in the Great War
Bruce Gudmundsson - Stormtroop Tactics: Innovation in the German Army 1914-18

-C

User avatar
Shri
Posts: 887
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:57 am
Location: INDIA

Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:21 am

Random wrote:Ersatz here is used in the original German Army sense, replacement troops, fully trained and equipped but not yet assigned as replacements to field units. Every annual conscription class produced soldiers in excess of the numbers necessary for the field units. In 1914, Ersatz units up to division level were created this way.

As for the rest, it is easy to be wise after the event. I suggest that you get hold of a copy of Gerhard Ritter's "The Schlieffen Plan: Critique of a Myth" for another view of the famous plan.

Everybody's pre-war doctrine (some might call it dogma) lay in the absolute faith in the primacy of the offensive; to just expect the generals to dump years of training in the opening days of the Great War makes zero sense and flies in the face of experience. Few of the leaders were "stupid" but many proved less than effective or unable to adapt to the realities they faced even if the command and control means allowed them to do so and that in itself was rare.

A Few Good reads include:

Norman Stone - The Eastern Front 1914-17;
Terence Zuber - The Battle of the Frontiers: Ardennes 1914 and The Real German War Plan 1904-1914
Robert Doughty - Pyrric Victory: French Strategy and Operations in the Great War
Bruce Gudmundsson - Stormtroop Tactics: Innovation in the German Army 1914-18

-C


Well.. a lot did depend on the personal characters of the leading men in the sense that MOLTKE's inherent melancholic disposition created a sense of negativity whereas Kitchener/Churchill with their bombastic natures and jingoism created optimism and positivity, a different chief may have had a better sense of planning- all plausible history.

That German diplomatic bungling caused most of their problems is true, but to a great extant they were truly encircled and weak.
The militarism attributed does not also bear sense if you compare % spending on defense - <=3% for Britain, 3.2% for Austria, 3.4% for Germany, 4.5% for France and 6.4% for Russia. Also in terms of men conscripted in the standing armies- 30% for Russia (Huge Population), 40% for Austria, 52% for Germany and 82% for France.. (Britain did not have conscription)
[These figures can be easily counter verified by comparing military budgets and GDP figures]

As it was- Graf Moltke Sr. and Waldersee both suggested preventive wars to be waged.
Prof. Kennedy also has an implicit suggestion that 1905 was a good time to launch such a preventive as Russia was fighting in the far east.
Ludendorff in 1911-1912 talked of people's war and total war and an increase of 300000 to the standing army with corresponding increase to the mobilised army.
That Germany could easily bear this strain was vindicated by the fact that Germany mobilised 13.25 Million in the Great War vs Russia's 13 Million.

User avatar
Random
AGEod Veteran
Posts: 768
Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 4:10 pm

Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:30 am

Indeed. Niall Ferguson has written that British hostility to Germany was not from fear of German strength but rather a sense of opportunity to exploit German weakness. With the advent of the Three-Year Law in France, the German peacetime army fell to third place behind Russia and France. The Entente Powers were just to powerful and too wealthy and by 1914 Germany's window for successful preventative war proved to be already slammed shut.

Continued peace would have served Germany well and had they focussed on economic domination of Europe without the use of military force, who knows where the world would be today. It's said that there is no such thing as a good war or a bad peace. That might not always be true but it certainly fits when the war option is driven by fear, greed and opportunism as events played out in 1914.

-C

User avatar
Shri
Posts: 887
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:57 am
Location: INDIA

Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:58 am

I agree to an extent with that thesis, but if Germany has not supported Austria in 1914, it would have been a humiliation for Austria or maybe a Austro-Serb war in which Russia may launch on Austria with disastrous consequences for Germany as Austria was the only ally left due to horrible diplomacy.

Japan, UK, USA, Italy, Bulgaria, Turkey, Rumania, Greece, Scandinavian countries, Spain, Portugal were all candidates for allies for Germany and only 2-3 were picked.

Guess Fear coupled with Moltke's nervousness and the Kaiser's indecisiveness hit them hard. There is an alternate history of Fredrich III not dying in 1888 also proposed by Ferguson, this would perhaps have been the best scenario. His death a decade later would have meant Bismarck in the seat and Russia as an ally.

2nd Scenario-
Russia was struggling under its immense defense burdens and France was under pressure to repeal the 3 year law, the socialists did not like it.
Sooner or later Russia would have had another incidence of 1905 (Nichola II's incompetence is universally acknowledged). That would have been a good time to launch a preventive war.

User avatar
Random
AGEod Veteran
Posts: 768
Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 4:10 pm

Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:44 pm

Thanks for the well thought out posts, it's nice to have a conversation with someone with an apparent passion for the subject matter and who has analysed an incredibly complex subject outside of the largely dated standard accounts and conventional wisdom.

I agree to an extent with that thesis, but if Germany has not supported Austria in 1914, it would have been a humiliation for Austria or maybe a Austro-Serb war in which Russia may launch on Austria with disastrous consequences for Germany as Austria was the only ally left due to horrible diplomacy.

I tend to disagree with the contention that Austria would have been humiliated by accepting the final Serbian response to the July Demands and stopping short of war. Serbia in 1914 would probably be classes today as a failed state; the de facto government was driven by a reactionary and nationalist military, the head of state was a regicide and they had managed to alienate all of their neighbours. Serbia's one real asset was that the biggest kid on the block was solidly in her corner. I suggest that a diplomatic solution to the July Crisis may have served to diminish Russia or perhaps force her to open aggression, something that might have peeled away French and British support.

I have a sense that Wilhelm's "Blank Cheque" to Austria-Hungary was issued more as a gut response to the murder of his friend, the Archduke Ferdinand and to send a message that foreigners killing royalty had become a bad idea. No real evidence for that opinion but I think that it fits.

As for potential German allies:

Japan - Still reaping the benefits of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance;
UK - Money was thicker than blood. Had the Reinsurance Treaty kept Germany and Russia sweet that might have made a power block that Britain could deal with but I really doubt it. I think it more likely that perceived German designs in the East and the fear of the Russian Bear casting a glance towards India would have prevented a formal alliance;
USA - Not a chance. America's foreign focus was towards the Pacific rather than Europe;
Italy - Already and ally but one largely distrusted or dismissed. Better German-Italian relations might have paid huge dividends;
Turkey - Alliance with Berlin concluded 2 August 1914. Earlier might have been problematic.
None of the other countries mentioned really had any interests that conjoined those of Germany nor was Germany able to offer any substantive pluses while tying themselves to a Great Power by formal alliance might prove counter-productive in that any alliance inherently limits diplomatic options.

As for the alternate-world scenarios I think that it is important to recall that the Wilhelm-Bismarck falling out had more to do with Bismarck's reactionary stand against the Kaiser's moderate domestic social reforms than over foreign policy disagreements. The loss of the Reinsurance Treaty and subsequent creation of the Franco-Russian alliance may also be seen as one of the many German diplomatic failures that have their root cause in the German constitution (created by Bismarck), which left the Kaiser with potentially despotic powers over military and foreign policy while most of the purse strings were in the hands of the elected Reichstag. It was an unstable political arrangement for an modern industrial state with the highest standard of education in the world and a growing social conscience in the increasing urban population and I believe that it helped set Germany up for eventual failure.

-C

User avatar
Shri
Posts: 887
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:57 am
Location: INDIA

Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:39 am

+1

I think you have had this sort of conversation 100 times in the past and have thought all the moves on the chess board thrice over! :thumbsup:

With regards to German allies-
Turkey and Italy and USA you are spot on.
With regards to UK -more or less spot on but there could have been a swing to UK's neutrality instead of UK being in the triple alliance.
With regards to other potential allies, my thoughts were more towards benevolent neutrality rather than military ally, on land Germany was not really as weak as feared by Jr. Moltke and if UK was not in the game, France could not blockade and these neutrals would sell Germany the required Food and other Goods.

Pre- 1905, the Japanese army was mostly armed and trained by Prussian Officers and there was healthy exchange and mutual respect between Prussia-Japan as both shared a martial culture and a strong attachment to the Monarch. So there could have been a alliance or neutrality if Germany had given up its tiny islands in the pacific, they were anyway not relevant economically.

In many ways- Adolf Hitler understood the needs of Germany better than any of the Chancellors after Bismarck, in an alternate universe-
Germany should have shunned colonies and made only a cruiser fleet with a small battleship force to tackle the potential enemies in the Baltic( Lord Fisher feared such a Cruiser fleet as it would have been deadly to English Commerce)
With this- UK may have turned more benevolent and there will be more money to invest in the army (of course, socio - politico reasons meant army numbers would remain more or less same as were but with even more machine guns and artillery).
Germany's best bet was to have neutral UK, preferably benevolent; benevolent Swiss, Scandinavia and Low countries and an all out war with Russia so as to create a BREST-LITOVSK scenario.

As for all the faults of Wilhemine Germany (raised post WW2 mostly) and lack of true democracy- Bismarck gave it universal male franchise, universal education, healthcare, pension, disability payments, protection of jobs much before the UK thought of it (Germany pre WW1 was not Russia as is portrayed wrongly, there was no GESTAPO in Wilhelmine Germany - it did not such repressive institutions and nor was it Anti-Semite or Reactionary like France or Austria)

As an aside- in 2002-2003, almost 90 years after the start of the GREAT WAR, UK went to war with Iraq even though UK is supposed to be the best democracy in the world (hell in my own country, India- our constitution is a word for word copy of UK's unwritten constitution) even though there were huge protests in the streets of London. Wilhelmine Germany could never dream of doing that! (else 1905 war against Russia would have happened)

Return to “WW1 : La Grande Guerre 14-18”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests