User avatar
samba_liten
Sergeant
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:55 am

The Muelhausen gap

Sat Sep 27, 2014 12:21 am

Does the German player need the means to close this gap sooner?

It did exist historically as you can see here: http://carto1418.fr/19140901.php. If you click forward a few days or weeks, you will see that the French didn't take advantage of it. Why? What did the Germans have to stop them?

Was it simply the threat of the attack through Belgium? Lack of strategic objectives beyond the gap?

Altaris
Posts: 1543
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:20 pm

Sat Sep 27, 2014 2:17 am

France historically made some good gains in this sector in August 1914, but had to make a general withdrawal to address the German advance on the Marne in late August/early September. Keep in mind Moltke allowed the Kronprinz to launch offensives against Alsace-Lorraine as well, which further put pressure on the French along the French-German border.

I think it's adequately represented as is, France needs to be able to generate some level of threat, otherwise they won't bother attempting an offensive into the Lost Provinces.

User avatar
GlobalExplorer
AGEod Veteran
Posts: 777
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:35 pm
Location: Berlin
Contact: Website

Sat Sep 27, 2014 7:56 am

Just a shot on the dark. I have no idea, my first thought is topography, my second that it's too far away from anything strategically decisive. France might have calculated that to hit Germany decisively an offensive has to threaten the Ruhrgebiet and not towns along the Swiss border. Although Baden Würtemberg is the home of a lot of industry today, there was nothing that could not have been moved elsewhere, unlike the Steel / Coal industry.

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

Sat Sep 27, 2014 1:27 pm

METZ and DIEDENHOFFEN/THIONVILLE were heavily fortified, as were STRASSBERG and SAARBERG, but Mulhausen and left flank close to Swiss border was not fortified and so- easy pickings.
Also the Schlieffen plan (if it did exist as troops were far too less to implement it in total) was to welcome the French to march into this trap and then lose the War in Northern France or around Paris.

Searry
Colonel
Posts: 307
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:19 pm

Sat Sep 27, 2014 5:44 pm

My PBEM opponent actually made a good use of this and made me divert two corps' to the area. The situation has remained idle though.

User avatar
samba_liten
Sergeant
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:55 am

Sat Sep 27, 2014 5:52 pm

I advanced into the gap myself in my PBEM. I didn't go deep though. Trying to go north between the rivers instead. I seem to be causing a bit of pain...

bob.
General
Posts: 543
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:56 pm

Sat Sep 27, 2014 6:24 pm

If the Germans choose to go East first, then this gap is definitely the best choice for the French advance. Straßburg is flat terrain, so once you managed to secure Mühlhausen and that other province before it, you can use your superior numbers.
And once Straßburg falls, the Germans are in a very tough spot and are forced to rail in reinforcements ASAP.

From my experience a French advance on the other parts of Alsace-Lorraine is EXTREMELY difficult, even if the Germans choose to go East first.

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

Sat Sep 27, 2014 8:03 pm

I think the Mulhouse route is a deadend. The Rhine would have been hard to cross and easy for the Germans to defend. I've been many times to its shores here near Freiburg, it's really an imposing defensive line. So what's the point into pushing there?
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
samba_liten
Sergeant
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:55 am

Sat Sep 27, 2014 8:18 pm

The point for me was that my opponent left a gap, and failed to send any troops to bottle me up. We are up to January 1915, and still the road east is wide open. Since it is harder to attack than to defend, he would have to send a substantial force to kick me out, or several smaller ones to bottle me up. Either way, so far, it seems to me that the push has been worth it.

It has also, as a bonus, enabled me to attack northwards between the rivers, thus saving me the malus (can't believe that's not in the dictionary! lol) a river crossing would cause.

bob.
General
Posts: 543
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:56 pm

Sat Sep 27, 2014 8:42 pm

Don't know about the terrain in reality... I do live some 250km away from Mühlhausen and have been there, but I didn't really think about its defensiveness back then :thumbsup:

In the game though, it seems to me that the Mühlhausen-Colmar-Straßburg route is by far the easiest to force for the French. And with their goal of taking Alsace-Lorraine... well, they need to start somewhere!

I can't really tell you about the difficulty of crossing the Rhine... in the game where I advanced over this route, my German opponent had no troops in Freiberg so I was able to just secure it. It seems to me that in the first weeks of the war, it is very unlikely the Germans will have significant forces defending the crossing there, though.

I am only taking about a Russia-first non-Schlieffen game here. IMHO if the Germans go through Belgium, there is no real point in attacking Alsace-Lorraine anyway.

User avatar
H Gilmer3
AGEod Veteran
Posts: 775
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 2:57 am
Location: United States of America

Sat Sep 27, 2014 9:44 pm

bob. wrote:Don't know about the terrain in reality... I do live some 250km away from Mühlhausen and have been there, but I didn't really think about its defensiveness back then :thumbsup:

In the game though, it seems to me that the Mühlhausen-Colmar-Straßburg route is by far the easiest to force for the French. And with their goal of taking Alsace-Lorraine... well, they need to start somewhere!

I can't really tell you about the difficulty of crossing the Rhine... in the game where I advanced over this route, my German opponent had no troops in Freiberg so I was able to just secure it. It seems to me that in the first weeks of the war, it is very unlikely the Germans will have significant forces defending the crossing there, though.

I am only taking about a Russia-first non-Schlieffen game here. IMHO if the Germans go through Belgium, there is no real point in attacking Alsace-Lorraine anyway.


That's kind of my thoughts as well. Defensive and hold ground in that area and try to stop the advance from the North.
To End All Wars AAR in the War Room. Join us as we laugh, we cry, we drink beer, and we joke on how badly I play......

http://www.ageod-forum.com/showthread.php?36936-To-End-All-Wars-AAR-Western-Entente-against-the-AI-of-Central-Powers!

User avatar
GlobalExplorer
AGEod Veteran
Posts: 777
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:35 pm
Location: Berlin
Contact: Website

Sat Sep 27, 2014 10:02 pm

I like the "trap" theory proposed by Shri. French axis of attack would move along the German-Swiss border, through mostly hilly, rural terrain and aim at Bavaria, 400km away as the crow flies.
At best it would reach Munich, where it would be open to counterattacks from all sides, Central Germany, Czechoslovakia and Austria. A swing north to Stuttgart would have been possible but resulted in contact with the main German armies again. Bavaria was of no major strategic importance back then, industrialization and wealth of this area only took off after WW2.
https://www.google.de/maps/dir/M%C3%BClhausen,+Frankreich/M%C3%BCnchen/@49.6007881,11.035042,7z/data=!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x47919b6c1d88946b:0x40a5fb99a393360!2m2!1d7.335888!2d47.750839!1m5!1m1!1s0x479e75f9a38c5fd9:0x10cb84a7db1987d!2m2!1d11.5819806!2d48.1351253!3e2
So it sounds likely that it was a trap and that the French also understood it was a trap.

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

Sun Sep 28, 2014 3:43 am

Bavaria though important was too far n deep.. What about supplies and flank attack.. A world war one army that was 50 miles from railhead.. 80km.. Was a beached whale... In short useless

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

Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:51 am

In my first beta game I had crossed the Rhine as France and occupied Freiburg (heh!) and the Schwarzwald region. The early CP AI nonetheless covered its flanks and I could not move further inside Germany. It's a nice distraction to go through Southern Germany, but I think in case of Schlieffen one should focus on bouncing the German thrust towards Paris which is by far more dangerous.
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)

bob.
General
Posts: 543
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:56 pm

Sun Sep 28, 2014 1:34 pm

Now that I am thinking about it, Mühlhausen gives 20 National Morale with French historical war plan though, doesn't it?

So it seems to me taking Mühlhausen at all cost is actually a great idea because 20 more NM gives you better cohesion for your troops. And the objective goes away after August 1914 if I am not mistaken so you just need to hold it for two turns.

User avatar
GlobalExplorer
AGEod Veteran
Posts: 777
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:35 pm
Location: Berlin
Contact: Website

Sun Sep 28, 2014 1:52 pm

20 NM for one town sounds excessive, if Berlin gives 30 to Russia, and Wien 8

bob.
General
Posts: 543
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:56 pm

Sun Sep 28, 2014 1:54 pm

On the one hand, it is a lot. On the other hand, it is a great incentive for the French to attack Mühlhausen. Otherwise, why would they ever do it?

User avatar
GlobalExplorer
AGEod Veteran
Posts: 777
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:35 pm
Location: Berlin
Contact: Website

Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:20 pm

Was this really so important to France? It's beginning to sound like it is Stalingrad or something

User avatar
samba_liten
Sergeant
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:55 am

Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:33 pm

The Plan XVII attacks were some of the bloodiest in the whole war.

Also, the way i see it, the early turns are a race between France, Germany, and Russia to create the biggest threat. Who ever wins forces the other side to react, and gets the initiative.

bob.
General
Posts: 543
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:56 pm

Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:40 pm

Well...

I just double-checked and I am afraid I was mistaken. Mühlhausen is only worth 5 NM. Colhausen is worth another 3 NM.

I forgot that I got +10 NM from the German war plan! :bonk: And I guess I got some more NM from some battles.

Those numbers look a lot more sensible, don't they? :D

Sorry for the confusion, everyone!

User avatar
GlobalExplorer
AGEod Veteran
Posts: 777
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 4:35 pm
Location: Berlin
Contact: Website

Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:21 pm

+5 NM makes sense.

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

Mon Sep 29, 2014 6:13 am

samba_liten wrote:The Plan XVII attacks were some of the bloodiest in the whole war.

Also, the way i see it, the early turns are a race between France, Germany, and Russia to create the biggest threat. Who ever wins forces the other side to react, and gets the initiative.


Plan XVII was foolhardy and almost led France to Disaster just like CONRAD Plan of Austria, 2 reasons why this did not happen-
Joffre for all his faults realized his mistakes in late August and proceeded to rectify them quickly. Conrad did not and hence, France was saved due to Joffre even though he is to be partly blamed for the disaster. Despite British Jingoism, in 1914- British contribution was quite minimal it was all French contribution, It was in 1915 and more importantly after 1916- Verdun that the British component was substantial and equal to French.

Return to “To End All Wars”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests