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The Billy Bishop credability debate

Discussion in 'Non-World War 2 History' started by Siberian Black, Nov 8, 2006.

  1. Castelot

    Castelot New Member

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    As I expected you did not answer my question as to which allied army in WW1 fought more sucessfully as the french.
    It is commonly admitted by historians that the french army was the most important of allied armies in WW1.
    Also I do not see the point in repeating that France would have lost without Britain or Russia, as it is obvious that the same goes for Russia and Britain had they had to fight without France.(Russia actually lost even tough it had powerfull allies).

    Being victorious as member of a coalition doesn't make the victory less impressive.Britain for once never won a major war without a powerfull coalition by it's side....Does that discredit Britain's whole military history....????
    Also the fact that France would not have been able to take on Germany alone has nothing to do with poor leadership.Germany simply was much more powerfull(for example Germany in 1913 had a population of 66.9 million as compared to France's 39.7 million.Germany the same year produced 17.6 million tons of steel as compared to France's 4.6 million tons.)

    Do you think Canada would have defeated Germany without allies.(Because by your own definition that means canadians were poorly led....)


    They lost anyway.The fact that France lost to coalitions in the Napoleonic wars and in the 7 years war did not prevent you from mentioning these wars in your list of french defeats.



    [/quote]


    Then why did the most famous british military historian call the french the militarily most sucessfull nation.
    Obviously he should have asked for your opinion first....


    Now please give me examples that prove your point about France always being poorly led.
    Unless you do so(or at least try to do so), I'll have to consider that you're not interested in historic facts but that you rather want to express your anti-french bigotry.
    (In which case there would be no point for me to waste my time responding to you).
     
  2. Canadian_Super_Patriot

    Canadian_Super_Patriot recruit

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    Then why did the most famous british military historian call the french the militarily most sucessfull nation.
    Obviously he should have asked for your opinion first....


    Now please give me examples that prove your point about France always being poorly led.
    Unless you do so(or at least try to do so), I'll have to consider that you're not interested in historic facts but that you rather want to express your anti-french bigotry.
    (In which case there would be no point for me to waste my time responding to you).[/quote]

    The british army fought more successfully.

    Examples of poor leadership: Nivelle offensive(caused 10,000's to mutiny.100,000 dead within a week)

    60% of the germans on the western front were fighting the french , but they took 2.2 times the casulties the british did.

    Didnt they lose 120,000 troops in the first few months of ww1 ?

    Werent they using napoleonic uniforms and some napoleonic field tactics at the beginning of the war ?

    In my dad's military books(sorry , cant show you)the other allies on the western front showed a mot more advance than the french, and the french gave more and larger attacks then the other allies.(online maps comign soon to prove this)

    they have won wars , but man they have lost quite a few.Often due to , as I said , POOR LEADERSHIP.

    IM looking for the qualities of the french army and sardinian armies and the austrian armies of the 1859 war. It's diificult to find info on it.

    Thats just the tip of the iceberg...
     
  3. smeghead phpbb3

    smeghead phpbb3 New Member

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    Whether or not France was poorly led in WW1 does not chaneg the fact that they were the most instrumental nation in bringing about Germany's defeat. Castelot is right, historians are unamious as to this fact... Frances industrial capacity oustripped all other nations bar America, whose involvment in the war was quite minimal... An example of this is that fact that during WW1, France produced 5000 tanks, more than all other nations cambined, twice as many as Britain, or 200 times more than Germany :wink: Arguably it was only thanks to the massive numbers of French tanks that the Hudred Days Offensive was such a success, they indeed were the breaktrough weapon needed to end the war. France's army was the largest of the Western allies, as was her airforce (as previously outlined) The French Navy, though not as large as Britains, is often forgotten for their enormous successes in securing the Mediterranean and effectively cutting off the naval supply lines between the Central Powers and the Ottoman Empire.

    Wrong. I'd like to see you try to prove that one.

    Mutiny was rife in all armies in WW1. The British have their fare share of military blunders as do the French... Gallipoli being probably the biggest military blunder (casualty wise) in history... By your logic that makes them the most incompetant, however that clearly is not the case... Generals in WW1 did not have the benefit of hidsight, nor did they understand the ineffectivness of new weapons with old-world tactis. WW1 was a blunder on all sides.

    Recall the Schlieffen Plan... Why did Germany attack France first? It was because they deemed France to be a larger military threat than Russia... The Germans reasoned that the Russians would take 6 weeks to organise and effective military response, by which time they believed Paris could be taken... They were wrong, Paris was not taken and Russia moblized in 15 days, however, Germany's decision to invade France first reflects their belief that the element of suprise was better spent on France than on Russia... Germany did not want to risk invading Russia and suffering a French counterattack. However they were willing to suffer a Russian one...

    This is also wrong. Total dead in WW1 are as follows
    Britain & Empire : 908,371
    France & Empire : ~1,327,000

    That is more like 1 : 1.4

    Total casualties in WW1 are as follows
    Britain & Empire : 3,249,179
    France & Empire : 4,331,375

    That is 1 : 1.3

    Now consider total men present at the Western Front in WW1.
    Britain & Empire : 7,052,453
    France & Empire : ~9,000,000

    That is 1 : 1.2, a negligable difference considering that it was France and not Britain who was invaded

    Now consider the fact that two fifths of France's casualties were suffered in 1914, due to what can be equated to 'Blitzkrieg' tactics and the element of suprise that the Germans possessed... You will find that the numbers do not support your argument :wink: Disparities between British and French casualties is negligable at best and may even be slightly in France's favour...
    The argument that France was more militarily incompetant than Britain on the basis of casualties suffered is unfounded and incorrect
     
  4. Castelot

    Castelot New Member

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    Well, spontaneously, the Somme offensive springs to mond for the british.
    Over 50.000 men lost during the first day of the offensive, hundreds of thousands in the weeks to come for an advance of some 12 km.
    Really an example of outstanding leadership.

    Or the german offensice against Verdun, some 400.000 men lost for absolutely no territorial gain.(Granted, territorial gain was not the primary objective of that offensive,m but still....)

    Wrong.From 1914-16 actually it was more like 80-90% of the germans facing french troops.It was only from 1916 onwards that considerable parts of the allied front were being overtaken by british troops.Not before 1917 did the british represent 30-40% of allied forces.
    And most of french casualties occured in these 2 years.







    Yes, at a time where the french army alone was figthing over 80-90% of the german army.No other allied army in WW1 ever was in the same situation of facing such important german forces, so these casualties are nor treally surprising.



    Doesn't it surprise you that the allied offensive of 1918 was sucessfull in the first place, after all they were being commanded by one of those incompetent french....
    Seriously, I am looking forward to see those maps....

    That statement is actually not wrong at all, but obviously applies to mostly every nation on earth, so again, why that pathologic obsession with France....?
     
  5. Canadian_Super_Patriot

    Canadian_Super_Patriot recruit

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    French tanks were little more than a few tons British tanks were bigger and weighed , i dunno, 30 or so tons.I am going to argue the industrial output.Secondly, i wasnt counting britain's allies. Britian as a nation last 600,000 men , so my earlier prediction was correct.

    British forces were also badly led , but not to the point of mutiny.

    Russia , since it's war with japan had been seen as the giant with clay feet. A lot of brave men , but inferior equipment and training for the soldiers in the field.

    The french were by no means weak, but germany was stronger and France could not have held out on it's own. If you study the maps then you'll notice that the british made more advances without as many casulaties and the mutinies.The french barely made any headway and they took a lot more casualties. This shows poor leadership on the french part.Out of all the powers the french probably made the least headway.I believe that and I think I'm right. The germans didn't get past verdun. it was a defensive war. Either side had a difficult time getting past the other.French successes towards the end of the war were due in large part to exhaustion and low morale at the german side. The casualty rates will prove my point.

    And Castelot, I dought I would have any bigoted feeling towards the french seeing how my ancestry is 1 quarter french.

    The british were militarily incompetant , yes , but they knew when to quit. Nivelle and Joffre simply kept it up till they were dismissed.
     
  6. smeghead phpbb3

    smeghead phpbb3 New Member

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    Wrong again I'm afraid, you are assuming that all British tanks were Mk IV Male tanks and all French tanks were Ft-17's, since they are the predominant tanks in photographs... In fact the French produced more heavy tanks than Britain as well, with larger 75mm guns... the largest guns the British used were 'only' 57mm... Furthermore the production of heavier tanks has been considered a faulty move as the heavy weight meant most of them got stuck in the mud... Lighter tanks like the Ft-17 were superior in traversing trenches due to their light weight... Although not as heavily armored, armor mattered little as long as the tank could withstand rifle rounds... basically the Mk IV Male could be penetrated by anything of larger calibre than a Gewehr-98... so heavier armor didnt really do that much in WW1 except for slow the tank down... the FT-17 was really just a more useful tank than the Mk IV for the same reasons that the T-34 was more useful than the KV-1... lighter but more mobile and still gets the job done... Many consider the FT-17 to be the best tank of the war...

    Look here for the numbers of tanks produced...
    http://wio.ru/tank/ww1tank.htm
    France outsripts Britian in both heavy and light tank production, again the facts contradict your argument

    But it was British officers who ordered and commanded the forces of Australia, New Zealand, India and Canada... Since you are making an assessment upon British leadership it would be selective and misleading to omit evidence from those four entire armies, simply because the troops themselves were not British... If you do so you must also remember to omit the casualties suffered by the French Foreign Legion, as the soldiers themselves were not French...
     
  7. Castelot

    Castelot New Member

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    Here is a link to a map of the evolution of the western front from august to november 1918.

    The army called BEF isa the british army.
    The armies of generals Castelnau(in the Vosges), and Fayolle and Maistre(at the right of the brits) are the french armies.

    Now please tell me where do you see that superior advance of the british army.
    If you have maps showing a different situation, please show them.
    (Not that I necessarily think that it is very relevant, as it says nothing about the amount of german forces opposing both armies....)


    I could go on by showing maps of the advance of allied units from Greece to Austria in a few weeks in 1918, under the leadership of General Franchet d'Esperey who wasn't really british either....








    http://www.dean.usma.edu/history/web03/atlases/great war/great war pages/great war map 23.htm
     
  8. McRis

    McRis New Member

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    They knew when to quit?...Paschendale springs in my mind...
     
  9. Canadian_Super_Patriot

    Canadian_Super_Patriot recruit

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    Not exactly. Haig knew it would be taken , but with heavy casulaties.H edidnt seem to mind because he was used to the casulaties.
     
  10. Siberian Black

    Siberian Black New Member

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    Paschendale was a bloody massacer. What was that battle where he sent half the Newfies in, they got slaughtered so he sent some more in after them? (Note to self: DO NOT mention Gen. Haig to 'Seth' unless I have a death wish.....)
     
  11. smeghead phpbb3

    smeghead phpbb3 New Member

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    Oh now it makes sense... When the British took casualties it didnt matter because Field Marshal Haig was used to them... However when the French took casualties it was poor leadership and negligence :p As I have proven before, casualties were suffered at virtually identical between French Republic and British Empire soldiers...
     
  12. Canadian_Super_Patriot

    Canadian_Super_Patriot recruit

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    Im arguing that the brits took more ground with less casulaties. They didnt exactly cross europe but they made a lot more pregress then the french , and again , at a lighter cost, even with colonial troops included.
     
  13. Canadian_Super_Patriot

    Canadian_Super_Patriot recruit

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    Let's end this. U think your right and i think im right. theres no progress in the future of this conversation.
     
  14. Castelot

    Castelot New Member

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    Since(as I expected) you are obviously neither willing (or capable) to show a single source confirming your "french=incompetent" thesis nor willing to accept the evidence brought up by smeghead as well as by me, I actually agree that there's no point continuing this.
     
  15. Canadian_Super_Patriot

    Canadian_Super_Patriot recruit

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    Yeah , my mentioning of the nivelle offensive dosent hold nay weight and the extremely high casulaties(more that anyone ecept russia)dosent seem to hold any weight.
     
  16. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    Those points have both been disproven by Smeghead and Castelot. I agree with them that we have yet to see facts in your favour, CSP.
     
  17. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    I should point out that the BEF, in the early stages of WW1 (Mons to the Marne) actually lost slightly over 100% of its original strength...

    It's leader, with the ironic surname of French, kept making really bad decisions, like splitting the relatively small force into several smaller forces... :roll:
     

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