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      Welcome, everyone, to the new 910CMX Community Forums. I'm still working on getting them running, so things may change.  If you're a 910 Comic creator and need your forum recreated, let me know and I'll get on it right away.  I'll do my best to make this new place as fun as the last one!
The Old Hack

Story Wednesday January 31, 2018

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19 hours ago, Vorlonagent said:

The interesting question is why Austria (technically Austria-Hungary) would declare war on Serbia knowing full well that Serbia had strong ties to Russia.  They didn't have to to go to war, but from your description (I haven't studied WW1 that closely) It sounded like they wanted to.  The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand could have simply been the excuse the Austrians were looking for to declare a war they already wanted but couldn't justify diplomatically without some kind of provocation. 

Most of my knowledge about the lead-up to WWI comes from the Extra History series on it. From that, it seemed like Austria-Hungary had two main motivations. One: revenge for the death of the Archduke(He was the heir to the throne after all) Two: dampen the growing agitations for increased freedoms among the various minorities in Austria-Hungary, which were slowly breaking the empire apart.

19 hours ago, Vorlonagent said:

If the Austrians were itching for war, then, and they weren't blind to the web of alliances across Europe, they would have to realize that Russia would intervene on behalf of Serbia.  As it happens the Russians as a people always fondly looked on the Serbs as "little brothers", which is true even today.  Bottom line: The Austrians believed that they could take the Russians in a fight, especially with the help of the Germans, who themselves wanted to empire-build after spending a long time divided against themselves and being relatively weak players on the European stage.  Germany could well have attacked France because France was protecting countries Germany wanted to conquer.

The Austrian were banking on their German allies, but they were also banking on Russia being slow to mobilize. If Austria could have crushed Serbia fast enough, then there was little the Russians could do. Unfortunately for the Austrians, they delayed for several reasons, letting the support of the Nations of Europe wane (who might have been sympathetic to Austria if the had acted while the issue was fresh), and giving Russia time to get their stuff together (While also forgetting to tell their own military staff to get ready for war ahead of time). To be honest, how Austria handled the issue would almost seem like a comedy of errors, if the ending wasn't so tragic.

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3 hours ago, Drasvin said:

Most of my knowledge about the lead-up to WWI comes from the Extra History series on it. From that, it seemed like Austria-Hungary had two main motivations. One: revenge for the death of the Archduke(He was the heir to the throne after all) Two: dampen the growing agitations for increased freedoms among the various minorities in Austria-Hungary, which were slowly breaking the empire apart.

So expansion to keep their disparate parts focused outward and thinking about conquest instead of secession? 

Russia has that same problem today.  I have heard an idea, that Russia is either shrinking or expanding.  Either the tensions between individual interests within Russia's boarders are all pulling away, or Russia is out conquering and everybody's unified behind the effort.

3 hours ago, Drasvin said:

The Austrian were banking on their German allies, but they were also banking on Russia being slow to mobilize. If Austria could have crushed Serbia fast enough, then there was little the Russians could do. Unfortunately for the Austrians, they delayed for several reasons, letting the support of the Nations of Europe wane (who might have been sympathetic to Austria if the had acted while the issue was fresh), and giving Russia time to get their stuff together (While also forgetting to tell their own military staff to get ready for war ahead of time). To be honest, how Austria handled the issue would almost seem like a comedy of errors, if the ending wasn't so tragic.

Those errors literally cost them their empire.  Stupidity is a capital offense,, sometimes even for nations.

I somehow missed that Ferdinand was heir to the throne.  I thought he was just a generic noble of some kind.  I also wasn't aware of the internal pressures in Austria-Hungary that were impelling them to war.  Thanks for new info.

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37 minutes ago, Vorlonagent said:

Those errors literally cost them their empire.  Stupidity is a capital offense,, sometimes even for nations.

I somehow missed that Ferdinand was heir to the throne.  I thought he was just a generic noble of some kind.  I also wasn't aware of the internal pressures in Austria-Hungary that were impelling them to war.  Thanks for new info.

One of their generals was a true marvel. He had read about some of the historical exploits of the Austrian Army about a century before and decided that this was the way to wage war. Only there happened to be a small difference between the Austrian Army he read about and the one of 1914. The historical Austrian Army contained highly motivated and trained troops with an excellent supply network, allowing it to cross impressive distances and still remain combat ready upon arrival to the field of battle. The one of 1914 contained demoralised and poorly led and trained troops and there was a notable absence of excellent supply network. In fact, the only thing it had in common with the historical Austrian Army was its weaponry.1

So when the general marched his troops to meet the advancing Russians, they did manage to get two thirds of the way to the place he wanted to go at very nearly the speed he demanded of them. At that point they fell apart due to exhaustion, lack of supplies and a general state of near mutiny. This general literally marched his army into uselessness.

Austria might have been knocked out of the war in 1914 if the Russians facing them had been decently led, trained, supplied and armed. Unhappily for Russia, their troops were in nearly as poor a state as the Austrians and their Minister of Logistics was an utterly corrupt imbecile who spent more than a third of his budget on bribes, favours for friends, magnificent feasts and his own bank account. He was noted for saying that all a good cavalryman needed to win was his trusty saber and that artillery was expensive, useless toys.

 

1This was not actually a good thing.

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7 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

One of their generals was a true marvel.

I believe this marvel would be Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf. However, he had stiff competition in the "Most Marvelous General" competition of that war in Luigi Cordona and Douglas Haig.

 

 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Tom Sewell said:

However, he had stiff competition in the "Most Marvelous General" competition of that war in Luigi Cordona and Douglas Haig.

I believe that Haig was one of the principal reasons the Germans referred to the British soldiers as 'lions led by donkeys.'

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2 hours ago, Vorlonagent said:
6 hours ago, Drasvin said:

Most of my knowledge about the lead-up to WWI comes from the Extra History series on it. From that, it seemed like Austria-Hungary had two main motivations. One: revenge for the death of the Archduke(He was the heir to the throne after all) Two: dampen the growing agitations for increased freedoms among the various minorities in Austria-Hungary, which were slowly breaking the empire apart.

So expansion to keep their disparate parts focused outward and thinking about conquest instead of secession? 

Russia has that same problem today.  I have heard an idea, that Russia is either shrinking or expanding.  Either the tensions between individual interests within Russia's boarders are all pulling away, or Russia is out conquering and everybody's unified behind the effort.

Not so much expansion, as they had no intent to annex Serbia (the Hungarian part of the empire wouldn't agree otherwise. Though they did a poor job of conveying this fact to other nations, if they had, Russia might have backed off as annexation of Serbia was their main worry), as they were trying to show off their might and show that they weren't going to be pushed around and humiliated by other nations and peoples. That's of course based on what I know from Extra History. Other sources might have other information and provide other perspectives.

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Just now, Drasvin said:

Not so much expansion, as they had no intent to annex Serbia (the Hungarian part of the empire wouldn't agree otherwise. Though they did a poor job of conveying this fact to other nations, if they had, Russia might have backed off as annexation of Serbia was their main worry), as they were trying to show off their might and show that they weren't going to be pushed around and humiliated by other nations and peoples. That's of course based on what I know from Extra History. Other sources might have other information and provide other perspectives.

Demanding that all Serbian judges be placed by the Austrians sounds like de-factor annexation to me...

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1 hour ago, The Old Hack said:

I believe that Haig was one of the principal reasons the Germans referred to the British soldiers as 'lions led by donkeys.'

I heard the Germans were quite scared of the Canadian forces under Sir Arthur Currie.

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6 minutes ago, Scotty said:

I heard the Germans were quite scared of the Canadian forces under Sir Arthur Currie.

Everybody were scared of the Canadians in every war.

Canadians are just not known for going into war with the intent of serving the enemy tea and scones, for some reason.

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Just now, Vorlonagent said:
2 minutes ago, Drasvin said:

Not so much expansion, as they had no intent to annex Serbia (the Hungarian part of the empire wouldn't agree otherwise. Though they did a poor job of conveying this fact to other nations, if they had, Russia might have backed off as annexation of Serbia was their main worry), as they were trying to show off their might and show that they weren't going to be pushed around and humiliated by other nations and peoples. That's of course based on what I know from Extra History. Other sources might have other information and provide other perspectives.

Demanding that all Serbian judges be placed by the Austrians sounds like de-factor annexation to me...

Based on how Extra History told it(Which mentioned law enforcement officers being allowed more or less free reign in Serbia instead of judges, which would still be something no sovereign nation would allow), Austria never expected the demands to be met. It was an attempt to seem "reasonable" and to attempt for "peace." They wanted the sympathy of Europe, so that the other nations didn't try to intervene as they exacted bloody vengeance on Serbia.

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8 hours ago, Drasvin said:

Two: dampen the growing agitations for increased freedoms among the various minorities in Austria-Hungary, which were slowly breaking the empire apart.

Does that list of minorities include the Hungarians? :)

4 hours ago, Vorlonagent said:

So expansion to keep their disparate parts focused outward and thinking about conquest instead of secession? 

Russia has that same problem today.  I have heard an idea, that Russia is either shrinking or expanding.  Either the tensions between individual interests within Russia's boarders are all pulling away, or Russia is out conquering and everybody's unified behind the effort.

It used to be much more common. In fact, I'm sure Spain really regrets there is noone to conquer to keep those Catalans in ...

Most European countries however already split as much as they wanted.

4 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

This was not actually a good thing.

4 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

and that artillery was expensive, useless toys

... they learned from that mistakes, didn't they? I mean countries. I expect those generals were executed.

2 hours ago, The Old Hack said:
2 hours ago, Scotty said:

I heard the Germans were quite scared of the Canadian forces under Sir Arthur Currie.

Everybody were scared of the Canadians in every war.

Canadians are just not known for going into war with the intent of serving the enemy tea and scones, for some reason.

Wait ... are you saying that people would be more or less afraid if Canadians would serve tea and scones?

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4 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Most European countries however already split as much as they wanted.

I expect you'd know better than me, but people can always subdivide more the easier it is to do it.  The Scottish want another vote over breaking away from the British after all.

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6 minutes ago, Vorlonagent said:
12 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Most European countries however already split as much as they wanted.

I expect you'd know better than me, but people can always subdivide more the easier it is to do it.  The Scottish want another vote over breaking away from the British after all.

That's why I said most and not all. Like ... we have Spain, Britain and then Albanians want their own state from various pieces of other states, and there is 49 states in Europe (not counting Russia which is mostly in Asia anyway), that seems like most are ok doesn't it?

It's true that there are more separatists movements on list, but lot of them wants just some autonomy inside the state they are in or moving region from one existing state to other.

... on the other hand ... yes, if the splitting would be easier (and it WOULD be if European Union decided to support it) there might be more. People are already more eager to split when it doesn't mean they would need to build border crossings.

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1 hour ago, hkmaly said:

Wait ... are you saying that people would be more or less afraid if Canadians would serve tea and scones?

People look at Canada and see a bunch of polite apologetic people, but that's what we want them the think. ;)

 

 

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5 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

Everybody were scared of the Canadians in every war.

Canadians are just not known for going into war with the intent of serving the enemy tea and scones, for some reason.

The Germans might have won the war in 1915 with their first gas attack--except they faced a Canadian division. The Moroccan troops next to them ran away.

One should always keep in mind that the national sport of Canada is hockey.

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10 minutes ago, Tom Sewell said:

One should always keep in mind that the national sport of Canada is hockey.

I thought that "Officially" the national sport of Canada was Lacrosse.

 

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1 hour ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

I thought that "Officially" the national sport of Canada was Lacrosse.

To which sport do you refer? The former head of General Motors was on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me a few years ago when he explained why he had to change the name of the Buick LaCrosse. Seems it's a term in Canada for "a form of self-entertainment."

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6 hours ago, hkmaly said:

... they learned from that mistakes, didn't they? I mean countries. I expect those generals were executed.

Czarist Russia did not learn in time. It fell and was replaced twice, first by a burgeois revolution, then by the Leninists. The Empire of Austria and Hungary likewise collapsed and split into two. All that remained of what was once the mightiest power in central Europe was a rump around Vienna. Some lessons are so expensive that they do not leave much behind to benefit from what they taught.

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55 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:
7 hours ago, hkmaly said:

... they learned from that mistakes, didn't they? I mean countries. I expect those generals were executed.

Czarist Russia did not learn in time. It fell and was replaced twice, first by a burgeois revolution, then by the Leninists. The Empire of Austria and Hungary likewise collapsed and split into two. All that remained of what was once the mightiest power in central Europe was a rump around Vienna. Some lessons are so expensive that they do not leave much behind to benefit from what they taught.

Hmmmm ... there was lot of learning happening in first world war. But you're right, doesn't seem it was in Austria-Hungary or Russia ... it was mostly Germany and Allies. The fact Austria-Hungary effectively stopped to exist after war and Russia went through several revolution which included executing of all people who learned anything might be related to that ...

 

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19 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Hmmmm ... there was lot of learning happening in first world war. But you're right, doesn't seem it was in Austria-Hungary or Russia ... it was mostly Germany and Allies. The fact Austria-Hungary effectively stopped to exist after war and Russia went through several revolution which included executing of all people who learned anything might be related to that ...

Yeah, the execution of General Tukachevsky and all the most competent staff officers of the Red Army just a year before WWII erupted might not have been Stalin's smartest move ever. Particularly not since they had trained together with the Germans for a decade until Hitler broke off relations after coming to power. They were the ones who best understood the Wehrmacht and had the keenest grasp of how modern warfare was likely to work. Their loss meant that the Red Army had to relearn all these lessons in the costliest possible way once Operation Barbarossa began in May 1941.

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19 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

Yeah, the execution of General Tukachevsky and all the most competent staff officers of the Red Army just a year before WWII erupted might not have been Stalin's smartest move ever.

The idea of attacking Pearl Harbor and get US into war might've been similarly stupid, but at least most people believed the war between US and Japan was inevitable anyway. This execution was totally needless.

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10 hours ago, hkmaly said:

The idea of attacking Pearl Harbor and get US into war might've been similarly stupid

This was the successful Japanese strategy for war with Russia earlier in the 20th Century.
You make an overwhelming attack on the enemy fleet and then sue for peace on your terms.

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1 hour ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

This was the successful Japanese strategy for war with Russia earlier in the 20th Century.
You make an overwhelming attack on the enemy fleet and then sue for peace on your terms.

But Japan didn't get peace with Russia on its terms. Teddy Roosevelt orchestrated the Treaty of Portsmouth in such a way that Russia wasn't obliged to pay the reparations Japan was counting on to pay for the war. If Russia had been forced to pay those reparations, it couldn't have paid for the military buildup that made it a threat to Germany in 1914.

And that is how Teddy got his Nobel Peace Prize.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Pharaoh RutinTutin said:

This was the successful Japanese strategy for war with Russia earlier in the 20th Century.
You make an overwhelming attack on the enemy fleet and then sue for peace on your terms.

You also have to be sure that's the fleet you want to actually knock out.  The fleet docked at Pearl were mostly older ships.  The US was busily putting together an updated navy, but like the Doomsday machine of Dr. Strangelove, we just hadn't told anybody so it had zero deterrence value.  Of course we were mostly building a surface fleet, but very quickly into WW2, The US started asking the same question of cruiser-size ships planned or being built, "can we turn this into a carrier?"

Ironically, the Japanese had  actually done the reverse already.  They built aircraft carriers that were ready for a quick-conversion to cruisers if a war broke out. 

Backstory: Between WW1 and WW2, the Washington Naval Treaty and follow-on treaties set rigid limits on the number of surface ships that the signatory nations (which included Japan) could build and the sizes they could build a class of ship to.  Nations were trying to outdo each other with ever larger ships (especially battleships, but not just battleships) carrying ever-larger guns and things were getting out of hand.  Nobody understood the importance of aircraft carriers at the time so carriers were one of the few things that weren't limited.  So the Japanese built carriers in order to cheat on the number of cruisers they were allowed.

If the Pearl harbor attack was stupid, Germany's war declaration on the US was brain-dead.  So much so that one wonders if it were the actions of a time-traveler trying to keep history on track.

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