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Drakken
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Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:29 am

bobbob wrote:After being in the back ground on this forum since pretty much from the start, ive decided to start to particapate in some of the discussions. To begin with ive being play military games as far back as the 70,s, with a collection of over 40 Avalon Hill boardgames and a good complment of computer games over the years. I will be looking for some email games if anyone wants to put up with a rookie. So onto my first question, will Canadian troops be put in with regular British troops or will they be marked differently. Although they were part of the English forces it would be the first time that they were under direct command of Canadian Generals. At the least i would like to see some type symbol showing that they are different than the English. Thanks. PS: Hope this make it in the right thread.


They weren't different from the British in WWI: They were British colonial troops. Prime Minister Borden didn't send them overseas as a "Canadian" independent force, like MacKenzie King would do in 1939, but as "British "colonial" troops to be commanded by the British High Command.

That is one of the main reasons, in restrospect, why Quebec Nationalists were upset at the time of the declaration of war in 1914. While most French-Canadian Nationalists of the time, including Wilfrid Laurier, were in favour of going overseas to help France as a "brethen in need", they opposed going there as British "subjects", but rather as a fully autonomous "Canadian" army and navy. For unknown reasons, Borden refused. To him we were bound to be British colonials, English-Canadian or not.

In fact, Canada was not an fully independent Dominion at the time as far as foreign affairs were concerned. Canada didn't declare war on the Central Powers on its own in 1914. They simply followed London's actions, like Ireland or other British colonies throughout the Empire. Compare with the Canadian's independent declaration of war on Germany on September 10th, 1939, after the 1931 Statute of Westminster.

Sure, Canadians like Arthur Currie got to be general and command Canadian troops, but the Canadian Corps remained nonetheless under British command, and its Divisions and Regiments to be used piecemeal throughout the BEF's front despite political pressure from Canada. Did they perform great military feats? Sure, especially at Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele. But were they an independent force? Certainly not in WW1.

Palpat
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Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:57 am

Sol Invictus wrote:I disagree. Don't get me wrong, the CP had an uphill climb to be sure. If they didn't win quickly in 1914 or early 1915, the odds go up even further. But If America had stayed out of the war, it could have went either way very easily. The decision to forego unrestricted submarine warfare and the silly daliance with Mexico would have kept America on the sidelines. Those were simply horrendous failures in strategy.


By the time of the US entry in the war, things are almost surely already done. Germany is doomed to loose, and its only chance are the offensives. Which failed. The US did not save the day, as their contribution was nothing more than 2-3 divisions by the time of Spring 1918 victories, that is the same as Portugal. But it's true that the moral impact was quite important: Germany speed up its offensives, fearing a non-existent (at least until 1919) US army. If the Germany had taken Paris in 1914, after destroying the french army, they would have kick France out of the war. Unless french morale is very low in 1918 (which wasn't, as shown by french victories and combatitvness), I don't think the loss of Paris would have kicked France out of the war, if it army are still there and the BEF still there too.
I repeat: the game has to simulate morale and food problems.

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Sol Invictus
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Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:34 pm

Palpat wrote:By the time of the US entry in the war, things are almost surely already done. Germany is doomed to loose, and its only chance are the offensives. Which failed. The US did not save the day, as their contribution was nothing more than 2-3 divisions by the time of Spring 1918 victories, that is the same as Portugal. But it's true that the moral impact was quite important: Germany speed up its offensives, fearing a non-existent (at least until 1919) US army. If the Germany had taken Paris in 1914, after destroying the french army, they would have kick France out of the war. Unless french morale is very low in 1918 (which wasn't, as shown by french victories and combatitvness), I don't think the loss of Paris would have kicked France out of the war, if it army are still there and the BEF still there too.
I repeat: the game has to simulate morale and food problems.


I agree, only a small chance for the CP to win in 1918 and I am not suggesting that America was the sole saviour of the TE, but simply knowing that fresh and numerous reserves of manpower were flowing to the Western front had a large impact on both side's morale and plans. My original point was that the outcome of WWI was not a forgone conclusion and there were several ways that I can imagine that the CP could have won. This being a direct comparison to ACW and WWII.

It seems that the game mechanics will allow an Eastern Front First strategy and this will have a large impact on how the war plays out.
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Drakken
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Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:52 pm

Sol Invictus wrote:I agree, only a small chance for the CP to win in 1918 and I am not suggesting that America was the sole saviour of the TE, but simply knowing that fresh and numerous reserves of manpower were flowing to the Western front had a large impact on both side's morale and plans. My original point was that the outcome of WWI was not a forgone conclusion and there were several ways that I can imagine that the CP could have won. This being a direct comparison to ACW and WWII.


Also, while people tend to argue that Germany was magically done for the day America had entered the war, the truth is that American soldiers and commanders sent on the Western front on 1917 were green amateurs and, from a logistical and military point of view, more of a liability than an asset. The Allied high command had no illusion on the general low quality of the American recruits arriving in their trenches, the poor training of its officers, and the huge logistical quagmire the arrival of such new troops was creating. In fact, the situation was so dire after the first Americans expeditionary forces arrived that the French Commanders were already planning their offensives for the year 1919-1920. They were still planning to be around 2-3 years in the future.

Also, in 1917 the United States were not the industrial juggernault we know in 1941. The United States weren't expected to be fully ready militarily until late 1918...

Germany still had time to win the war in 1917, even with the United States on Allied side. And especially with the Russian crumbling in the East because of the Revolution. IMHO, late 1917-early 1918 was the last window of opportunity Germany had to decisively win the war on the West. The French public were fed up of the war, and much of the active population of France was either dead, wounded, shell-shocked, or still in the trenches. Paris falling, after four years of bloodshed, butchery, and death, would have literally destroyed the French morale.

tagwyn
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Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:36 pm

HA! The Germans were tired of the war too and were not up to the 1917 offensive, were they? They didn't win, did they? :p apy:

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Drakken
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Wed Aug 27, 2008 8:16 pm

tagwyn wrote:HA! The Germans were tired of the war too and were not up to the 1917 offensive, were they? They didn't win, did they? :p apy:


So they were exhausted, but they could argue that militarily, they were "slightly" winning. After all, the Russians were now out of combat, the Western front was laying through Belgian and French soils (and not German), and Germany lands had not been yet devastated. You are rarely tired of the war when you feel you have the advantage. :sourcil:

An armistice after the Russian Revolution would mean, in time, reconcentrating more than a million German soldiers westward. That is why they helped Lenin return to Russia. :p apy:

In whole, good arguments to continue the war in 1917 until the cessasion of war in the East could allow to redeploy the Eastern armies back to the West.

TommH
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Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:57 pm

For a interesting take on WWI I suggest "The Myth of the Great War". really interesting conclusions based on very solid oringinal source research.

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Stwa
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Thu Aug 28, 2008 12:21 am

Drakken wrote:Also, while people tend to argue that Germany was magically done for the day America had entered the war, the truth is that American soldiers and commanders sent on the Western front on 1917 were green amateurs and, from a logistical and military point of view, more of a liability than an asset. The Allied high command had no illusion on the general low quality of the American recruits arriving in their trenches, the poor training of its officers, and the huge logistical quagmire the arrival of such new troops was creating. In fact, the situation was so dire after the first Americans expeditionary forces arrived that the French Commanders were already planning their offensives for the year 1919-1920. They were still planning to be around 2-3 years in the future.

Also, in 1917 the United States were not the industrial juggernault we know in 1941. The United States weren't expected to be fully ready militarily until late 1918...

Germany still had time to win the war in 1917, even with the United States on Allied side. And especially with the Russian crumbling in the East because of the Revolution. IMHO, late 1917-early 1918 was the last window of opportunity Germany had to decisively win the war on the West. The French public were fed up of the war, and much of the active population of France was either dead, wounded, shell-shocked, or still in the trenches. Paris falling, after four years of bloodshed, butchery, and death, would have literally destroyed the French morale.


Interesting opinion,

I have been under the belief (from sources I have read and partly my own opinion), that the combination of Austria and Germany lost the war in 1914. The balance of the war, being mainly arrogance attribted to all of the participants. Never mind the Americans.

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Duckman
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Fri Aug 29, 2008 10:18 am

in the decades leading the the great war, the repeated failings of german diplomacy arranged some unlikely allies into an anti-german camp. which made the war a lot more difficult for the central powers than it could have been. sadly, a minister of bismarcks statue was lacking in the wilhelmine period, maybe partly because of the very nature of an autocratic monarchy. however, i think both camps still had a fighting chance for the defeat of their enemies. would a military triumph save AH from demise? probably not, although it would post pone it somewhat.

Bertram
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Fri Aug 29, 2008 11:02 am

As to the US involvement: it is true that it didnt amount to much in number of divisions. More important is their potential, both in men and in material production. The Germans were afraid that the intervention of the USA would tilt the scales in the long run.

The main reasons for the German last offensive was that it was the last chance to decide the war before the USA arrived in force. The Germans even knew it had but a slim chance of succeding, and would cost much. They took the gamble anyway, because they thought they would loose in the long run, when the USA arrived.

Without the USA intervention the Germans probably would have been content to fight a defensive war. After all, they were more or less satisfied with the status quo. They had conquered a large piece of France, and expanded in the East. It was up to the Allieds to attack. With Gemany just keeping on the defensive, the war would at least have taken much longer.


As to sloppy diplomacy: the Germans were not alone in that. Turkey was leaning more to the English then to the Germans, right till the English took some of their warships (which were being build in England). Like the Royal Navy would be lost without them....

Mhoram
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Fri Aug 29, 2008 11:47 am

How the CP could have won the war? Well, there were some serious mistakes:

1. Germany buildt a fleet

In the last years of peace more than 25 % of the military spendings were used for the fleet. Germany couldn't afford two additional army corps which were planed in 1912. What might have happend if these corps would have been on the German right wing in 1914? Or if the German troops had more guns and machine guns? :tournepas


2. Germany buildt the wrong fleet

Germany invested its money in battleships with a short range - these ships couldn't really leve the north sea. What if Germany had buildt more light ships with higher speed and long range as commerce raiders? What if Germany had spent the money in building some hundrets SUB before 1914? :tournepas


3. Germany attacked the wrong enemy

What might have happend if Germany had remained in defence on its western border and let the French attack a well prepared defence? Would England declare war in 1914 if Belgium is not attacked and there are no German soldiers on French ground? What would happend to the Russians if there were additional German armies? Would a joint attack of Germany and A-H into Beloruss encircle the russian army? :tournepas

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PhilThib
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Fri Aug 29, 2008 1:04 pm

At least in the game you can try Option 3 :coeurs:
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Florent
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Fri Aug 29, 2008 4:56 pm

And in VGN, i suppose that 1 will be possible too :niark: .
As for the submarines, i think the technology in 1914 was not the same as 1916, i mean the design of the submarine.

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PhilThib
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Fri Aug 29, 2008 5:02 pm

You're right... +1 :sourcil: :cwboy:
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keith
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Thu Sep 04, 2008 9:36 pm

been reading through this thread, very interseting. Just a thought but if the russian revolution took place in 1916 would this have given the germans the chance to win the war in 1917

tagwyn
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Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:23 am

Soundoff: Germans tried to take Paris in 1914 and in 1918. They did try. :p apy:

tagwyn
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Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:39 am

My dad was in N. Africa, Italy, and Europe during WWII. When, in my youthful, know-it-all mode, I told him that the Nazis were beaten after losing at El Alamein and Stalingrad, his comment was: "Bulls***!!!" :p apy:

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Yoi
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Fri Sep 05, 2008 10:46 am

Also the german defeat is not only a military defeat

For all spécialist of the period the deafeat is not a military deafeat but a political deafeat

The miltary take down come with the contestation and after the revolution
-> Spartakiste (Karl libnecht and Rosa luxembourg) and republican
Also the german economy was strangled and the live of the working class are really really bad (working class fight in front and "slave" in factory)

I think you can't do a WW1 game without speak of the russian revolution and this conséquence on the war

PS : excuse me for my english
PPS : I prepare a little list of book on this periode :)

Palpat
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Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:11 pm

Yoi wrote:Also the german defeat is not only a military defeat

For all spécialist of the period the deafeat is not a military deafeat but a political deafeat

The miltary take down come with the contestation and after the revolution
-> Spartakiste (Karl libnecht and Rosa luxembourg) and republican
Also the german economy was strangled and the live of the working class are really really bad (working class fight in front and "slave" in factory)

I think you can't do a WW1 game without speak of the russian revolution and this conséquence on the war

PS : excuse me for my english
PPS : I prepare a little list of book on this periode :)

The defeat is both military and political. By the summer and autumn 1918, Germany is licked on the field. It's over, constant withdrawal.

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Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:41 pm

Drakken wrote:Also, while people tend to argue that Germany was magically done for the day America had entered the war, the truth is that American soldiers and commanders sent on the Western front on 1917 were green amateurs and, from a logistical and military point of view, more of a liability than an asset. The Allied high command had no illusion on the general low quality of the American recruits arriving in their trenches, the poor training of its officers, and the huge logistical quagmire the arrival of such new troops was creating. In fact, the situation was so dire after the first Americans expeditionary forces arrived that the French Commanders were already planning their offensives for the year 1919-1920. They were still planning to be around 2-3 years in the future.

Also, in 1917 the United States were not the industrial juggernault we know in 1941. The United States weren't expected to be fully ready militarily until late 1918...


It wasn't the men (Though the potential was decisive in the German mind), it wasn't the equipment, it was the money. Britain funded the war effort of every one of their allies. They could only do this because of massive support from America. They had already purchased all the US securities from their own citizens, at the time America joined up they had reserves to basically pay off war expenses for three more weeks. After that, they were tapped out. They had exhausted nearly every avenue available for borrowing money. American bankers were not going to supply them further without securities which the US government provided when they entered the war. England might have been able to support their own effort for a while, but their allies lose all their borrowing power.

France was only able to raise about 20% of the cost of war internally, Italy was even worse off. Without that aid, things get a lot more dicey. If Italy and France can't continue to fund their armies, and have no prospects of getting help in the near future, I'd say there are good odds that the Germans are able to take France out of the war. Germany was in desperate straits too at the time, but it wasn't generally known how close they were at the time. They had just freed up a huge number of troops, and like the boy who cried wolf, the Allied commands had been saying for about 4 years now that the Germans were running out of will and manpower, only to be proven most definitely wrong over and over. It's all well and good to plan your big 1918 offensive, but without the money, it's not happening regardless of what else you do.

Of course, I don't expect the game to go into this much detail, but the opportunity was there. When your opponent's money supply line is drying up, helping him re-open it usually isn't the wisest plan.
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kyle
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re:

Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:21 am

soundoff wrote:Runyan, as a British European, with due respect, I could argue the same about AACW.....'what real chance did the South ever have of winning the war'.

As has been pointed out to me many many times by folks more well versed in American history than me....they had a chance....perhaps not much but they had a chance.

In European history the same case that can be made for the Confederacy in the ACW can be made for the Central Powers in WW1....they had a chance.


In the ACW, the south never had a chance at winning the war. Only delusional southerers say otherwise. While I can't exactly speak for Britain and France, there was far to much risk for basically no reward in joining their little rebellion. Despite what the South likes to portray, they were not exactly a unified bunch. They did, and do have pride, and also put up a good fight, but they were never going to win between 61-65 fighting a traditional war, which they decided to do.(but I live in the northern part of the US so what would I know).

As per WWI, wasn't Russia a mess economically? And the US I believe was still in an isolationist policy until the time we entered WWI. Though I would have to agree with an earlier post that the US's biggest contribution in both WWI and WWII was in money and supplies, though we were not the industrial juggernaut we were, until 1941. The men the US sent over just helped the British and French speed things up, though I think with the full US backing financially and economically, they could have done that themselves. But that wouldn't have happened until the US entered the fight. I think the US helped Russia out a little too, but seeing as we also invaded Russia shortly after WWI (yes US did that, granted it was only with a few hundred troops, but it happened, and we like to gloss over that footnote of history) I doubt we helped them out as much as the British and French.

I think it was inevitable that the US was going to join the war because of the peculiar and odd relationship we have with the British, but the timing was probably in limbo. For some very odd reason, we never seem to care what happens with the French though. No disrespect, just an odd observation coming from an American.

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TheDoctorKing
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National morale failure

Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:21 am

I think that the only way the Germans could have won after August 1914 was by a failure of national morale by one or more of the western Allies. One candidate would be France; as an earlier poster mentioned, the mutinies in 1917 might well have spread to the rest of the French army and caused defeat there. Italy almost experienced the same outcome after Caporetto. The British were farther away but another bungled offensive like the Somme and their soldiers might have quit and gone home too. The Russians did in 1917. Ultimately, the Central Powers all experienced some form of this. But a battlefield defeat is hard to imagine.

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Duckman
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Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:18 pm

TheDoctorKing wrote:I think that the only way the Germans could have won after August 1914 was by a failure of national morale by one or more of the western Allies. One candidate would be France; as an earlier poster mentioned, the mutinies in 1917 might well have spread to the rest of the French army and caused defeat there. Italy almost experienced the same outcome after Caporetto. The British were farther away but another bungled offensive like the Somme and their soldiers might have quit and gone home too. The Russians did in 1917. Ultimately, the Central Powers all experienced some form of this. But a battlefield defeat is hard to imagine.


well said. thats why i so excited about this national morale aspect of the game! :) hooray for ageod :coeurs:

tagwyn
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Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:56 pm

I am an American also. The Observation about France is unsupportable and unworthy! t

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Spharv2
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Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:47 am

tagwyn wrote:I am an American also. The Observation about France is unsupportable and unworthy! t


Which observation would that be?
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txjackalope
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Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:40 am

If Germany had been successful in drawing out and widdling down the British Fleet to the point where they could fight and win a decisive action they would have won the war. Britain would have either had to negotiate a peace or transfer large amounts of its army back to the Isles to protect against invasion. CP could then use that weakness to overrun France and Russia.

Point of Clarity: the U.S. Army of 1918 was by no means "green". American troops had been in armed combat in Mexico the previous 2 years. Large portions of the Officer Corps and upper level enlisted were veterans of the Spanish American War and the Phillippine War. They also had the experience of several Carribean interventions between 1900 and 1917 and were involved in the Boxer rebellion. High losses in American Infantry has been a consistent problem because generally compared to others nations high capability commanders end up in specialties such as the Engineers as oppossed to commanding front line infantry(this was also true in WW2).

Respenus
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Thu Oct 16, 2008 8:25 am

txjackalope wrote:Point of Clarity: the U.S. Army of 1918 was by no means "green". American troops had been in armed combat in Mexico the previous 2 years. Large portions of the Officer Corps and upper level enlisted were veterans of the Spanish American War and the Philippine War. They also had the experience of several Caribbean interventions between 1900 and 1917 and were involved in the Boxer rebellion. High losses in American Infantry has been a consistent problem because generally compared to others nations high capability commanders end up in specialities such as the Engineers as opposed to commanding front line infantry(this was also true in WW2).


Maybe. You must not forget the fact that this was trench warfare and not the tropic like environment of the Philippines. That experience might have helped them in the second World War, yet they were unprepared for what the trenches held for them. The fact that Americans came to the rescue was more of a morale boost. Surely, it would have been harder for the Entente to win with the Germans concentrating their power on the West with Russia out of the war.

I guess it's best to leave speculation out of this and accept the course that history took. As for alternative history, we'll have our game in less than a month.

D_K
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Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:42 am

Duckman wrote:well said. thats why i so excited about this national morale aspect of the game! :) hooray for ageod :coeurs:


this makes me happy as well, national morale is the best way to win in either AACW or in the next game on WW1. i am glad this aspect is included it makes it a more realistic feel.

i think the south could have won, if they had better results at gettysburg. actually i think their biggest blunder was not securing the heights ASAP. if they won that battle it could have completely changed that war. as regards WW1 i dont think Germany was defeated in 1914, this is B.S. I was reading about the third battle of Ypres(1917) tonite and it amazes me just how many casualties the allies took over such little ground taken(and then they gave it back up again!!! 4 months later). If Germany could have fought on we would have seen a wayyyyyyyy higher death toll. not to mention the allies were completely exhausted and at their own breaking point along the western front as well.

D_K
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Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:54 am

kyle wrote:In the ACW, the south never had a chance at winning the war. Only delusional southerers say otherwise. While I can't exactly speak for Britain and France, there was far to much risk for basically no reward in joining their little rebellion. Despite what the South likes to portray, they were not exactly a unified bunch. They did, and do have pride, and also put up a good fight, but they were never going to win between 61-65 fighting a traditional war, which they decided to do.(but I live in the northern part of the US so what would I know).


well, im not a southerner, and i say they did have a chance. if your counting just numbers....then maybe i could see what your saying, but there is so much more to it then that. how about troop quality? morale? the desire to fight because your defending your homeland? what do you think would have happened if gettysburg was more like fredricksburg? do you think they would have stopped there and not taken washington? anyways....its all speculation....but i figure they had a chance, maybe only a small one.

by the way, im from canada....thats north to you !!!!

Irish Brigade
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my two cents

Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:32 am

Actually my view is a little different. I think that the CP had a better chance to win WWI than the axis did of winning for one important reason. Poltical strength. By 1917 the compatants were rushing towards destruction because of exhaustion. If Germany could of held off against inciting the US for one or two more years. I think France may have let go of the ghost before Germany did. After all germany did something they did not do in WWII..win in the east. Even if the 18 offensive gets blunted it may have been more of a Somme when the Allies resurged. Without the fresh US troops and the hope that it brung it may have been different, communist revolution in France? Or maybe the British leaving the shores of the continent and working on the empire.

I am not saying it would have happened..but it might have.

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