HistoryNet.com RSS
ArmchairGeneral.com RSS

HistoryNet.com Articles
America's Civil War
American History
Aviation History
British Heritage
Civil War Times
MHQ
Military History
Vietnam
Wild West
World War II

ACG Online
ACG Magazine
Stuff We Like
War College
History News
Tactics 101
Carlo D'Este
Books

ACG Gaming
Boardgames
PC Game Reviews

ACG Network
Contact Us
Our Newsletter
Meet Our Staff
Advertise With Us

Sites We Support
HistoryNet.com
Once A Marine
The Art of Battle
Game Squad
Mil. History Podcast
Russian Army - WW2
Achtung Panzer!
Mil History Online

Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > World War I

Notices and Announcements

World War I The war to end all wars.

View Poll Results: Is the Opening of New Fronts a Way to Win the War?
Yes 9 20.45%
No 6 13.64%
Depends 28 63.64%
Other 1 2.27%
Voters: 44. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 15 Apr 12, 13:30
Major Sennef's Avatar
Major Sennef Major Sennef is offline
Leave of Absence
Netherlands
Distinguished Service Award 5 Year Service Ribbon Summer Campaign Most Decisive Battle Campaign, 2008 
Greatest Spy Movies Campaign Greatest Blunders Campaign Best Pin-Up Of World War II SPQR Campaign 
 
Real Name: Jeroen Sennef
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Mission in Sahel in RL
Posts: 6,352
Major Sennef has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Major Sennef has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Major Sennef has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
Major Sennef has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Major Sennef has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Major Sennef has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Major Sennef has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Major Sennef has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Major Sennef has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Major Sennef has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Major Sennef has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Major Sennef has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Major Sennef has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Major Sennef has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Major Sennef has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
Is Opening Up New Fronts a Way to Winning the War?

During WW1 in both the Allied and the Central camps, schools propagated their views on the opening up of new fronts.
You had the 'Westerners' who maintained that the war could only be won on the Western front and that any deviation of resources was harmful to winning the war,
versus the 'Easterners' who held as view that battering the stalemate that was the Western fornt would be waste of resources and that new posibiities for winning the war should be created by opening new fronts.

Historically new fronts were opened: Gallipoli; Mesopotamia; Saloniki; ...
the entrance of till than neutral countries such as Italy and Romania caused new fronts to be created,
but it could be good IMO to think outside the envelope of place and also consider e.g. the War at Sea, the unrestricted submarine warfare and the War in the Air as of openings of new fronts that did require scarce resources.

In finding the answer to the thread's question it may be especially instructive to look beyond history and cast the net a bit wider by including Model Thinking e.g. the Colonel Blotto game and see which side is normally favoured by opening new fronts.
Lastly, as you no doubt have realized, though this is a WW1 forum, the question in general can also be instructive for studying other wars in the past and something useful may even be inferred on current conflicts such as the Global War On Terror
__________________
"You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you!" - Leon Trotsky, June 1919
Reply With Quote
Facebook Connect and Magazine Promotions

World War II Magazine
$26.95

Armchair General Magazine
$26.95
Military History Magazine
$26.95
  #2  
Old 15 Apr 12, 13:55
Half Pint John's Avatar
Half Pint John Half Pint John is online now
General of the Forums
United_States
Distinguished Service Award 5 Year Service Ribbon March Offensive Summer Campaign 
100 Greatest Generals, 2008 Most Decisive Battle Campaign, 2008 Greatest Westerns Campaign Greatest Spy Movies Campaign 
Greatest Blunders Campaign Best Pin-Up Of World War II 
 
Real Name: John "The HUMBLE"
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Stuttgart Germany
Posts: 36,348
Half Pint John has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Half Pint John has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Half Pint John has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Half Pint John has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Half Pint John has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Half Pint John has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Half Pint John has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Half Pint John has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Half Pint John has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
Half Pint John has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Half Pint John has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Half Pint John has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Half Pint John has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Half Pint John has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Half Pint John has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Half Pint John has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
Depends.

Opening up new fronts takes resources in material and people. Do you have more than your foe? Well it cause him more problems than for you? Gallipoli is a good example imo were the allies played into the Turks/Germans hands. Dumb move. Looking at the Pacific in WWII the US used two many fronts. The Islands and Up from Australia and into the Philippines. One side had the resources while the other was stretched thin.
__________________
"Ask not what your country can do for you"

If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates.*


NO one wins a war!!!! They just lose less.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 15 Apr 12, 17:50
Vassilli's Avatar
Vassilli Vassilli is offline
First Lieutenant
United_States
 
Real Name: Steven
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 575
Vassilli is on the path to success [1-99] Vassilli is on the path to success [1-99] Vassilli is on the path to success [1-99] Vassilli is on the path to success [1-99] Vassilli is on the path to success [1-99] Vassilli is on the path to success [1-99] Vassilli is on the path to success [1-99]
Depends

Like Half pint pointed out, by creating new fronts you stretch the enemy out, but you risk doing the same to yourself.
__________________
"There is no justice among men."- Tsar Nicholas II

“People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election.” - Otto Von Bismarck

"It is always easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them." - Alfred Adler
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 15 Apr 12, 18:59
Twitter3's Avatar
Twitter3 Twitter3 is offline
Major General
Poland
5 Year Service Ribbon Greatest Westerns Campaign Greatest Blunders Campaign CWiE 1939-45 Campaign 
 
Real Name: Brian
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Inner Banks
Posts: 2,506
Twitter3 is on a distinguished road [300] Twitter3 is on a distinguished road [300] Twitter3 is on a distinguished road [300] Twitter3 is on a distinguished road [300] Twitter3 is on a distinguished road [300] Twitter3 is on a distinguished road [300] Twitter3 is on a distinguished road [300] Twitter3 is on a distinguished road [300] Twitter3 is on a distinguished road [300] Twitter3 is on a distinguished road [300] Twitter3 is on a distinguished road [300] Twitter3 is on a distinguished road [300] Twitter3 is on a distinguished road [300] Twitter3 is on a distinguished road [300]
I also went with depends. What are your goals? Each side has different goals and they can determine how many fronts to open. I think it also depends on the size of the war (small, local fighting vs. 'world war').
__________________
"War is sorrowful, but there is one thing infinitely more horrible than the worst horrors of war, and that is the feeling that nothing is worth fighting for..."
-- Harper's Weekly, December 31, 1864
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 15 Apr 12, 23:56
Wellington95's Avatar
Wellington95 Wellington95 is offline
General of the Forums
Armchair_General
Greatest/Best Tank of WW2 Campaign 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Mordor
Posts: 6,002
Wellington95 is on a distinguished road [300] Wellington95 is on a distinguished road [300] Wellington95 is on a distinguished road [300] Wellington95 is on a distinguished road [300] Wellington95 is on a distinguished road [300] Wellington95 is on a distinguished road [300] Wellington95 is on a distinguished road [300] Wellington95 is on a distinguished road [300] Wellington95 is on a distinguished road [300] Wellington95 is on a distinguished road [300] Wellington95 is on a distinguished road [300] Wellington95 is on a distinguished road [300] Wellington95 is on a distinguished road [300] Wellington95 is on a distinguished road [300]
Well considering Gallipoli failed and Salonika did nothing in until the Allies were winning on other fronts I'd say it was pretty ineffective in World War I. In World War II, however, the use of multiple fronts stretched the German supply lines thinner, made them more vulnerable, and more easily overpowered at concentrated fronts such as North Africa, Italy, and Stalingrad.

Well, I suppose I shouldn't say easily...
__________________
"I am the Lorax, and I'll yell and I'll shout for the fine things on earth that are on their way out!"

~Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 16 Apr 12, 01:00
Rojik's Avatar
Rojik Rojik is offline
General of the Forums
Australia
Greatest Blunders Campaign Best Pin-Up Of World War II 
 
Real Name: Keyser Söze
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Bay 13
Posts: 7,968
Rojik has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Rojik has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Rojik has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
Rojik has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Rojik has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Rojik has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Rojik has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Rojik has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Rojik has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Rojik has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Rojik has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Rojik has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Rojik has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Rojik has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Rojik has achieved enlightenment [1200+] Rojik has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
Comes down to what it is you are trying to do. If you have resources that can be spared or better used on another front, you can make the enemy fight in an area it would prefer not to, and / or you will be drawing enemy forces away from a more important area, then it's probably a good thing.

Essentially it is the same question you would ask yourself on any battlefield - what is the best ground for me to fight on, what is the best application of my resources, what would the enemy prefer I didn't do etc etc.
__________________
Winter Is Coming
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 16 Apr 12, 05:00
broderickwells's Avatar
broderickwells broderickwells is offline
General of the Forums
New_Zealand
5 Year Service Ribbon Best Pin-Up Of World War II Greatest/Best Tank of WW2 Campaign 
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Auckland
Posts: 9,099
broderickwells has set a fine example for others to follow [1000] broderickwells has set a fine example for others to follow [1000]
broderickwells has set a fine example for others to follow [1000] broderickwells has set a fine example for others to follow [1000] broderickwells has set a fine example for others to follow [1000] broderickwells has set a fine example for others to follow [1000] broderickwells has set a fine example for others to follow [1000] broderickwells has set a fine example for others to follow [1000] broderickwells has set a fine example for others to follow [1000] broderickwells has set a fine example for others to follow [1000] broderickwells has set a fine example for others to follow [1000] broderickwells has set a fine example for others to follow [1000]
Opening new fronts works if it means you are fighting to your strengths or the other guy's weaknesses. And if you can keep the new front a secret long enough until the other guy can't respond in time.

The Dardanelles/Gallipoli campaign suffered from being the worst kept secret ever, whereas Salonika had no support from the British until quite late.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 16 Apr 12, 11:37
The Ibis's Avatar
The Ibis The Ibis is offline
ACG Forums - General Staff
United_States
Distinguished Service Award Greatest Spy Movies Campaign Greatest Blunders Campaign Best Pin-Up Of World War II 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 7,405
The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
I voted other, but I guess I could have voted it depends.

IMHO, up until Russia was effectively knocked out of the war, the answer is no, since the Eastern Front served the purposes of dispersing CP strength and there was a threat to the CP that war could have been won by the Entente in the East (Russians in Berlin).

Once Russia is no longer a real threat to the Germans, in the absence of other fronts, the war can only be won in the West. Its where the Germans have to fight the hardest and make the greatest sacrifice. Thus, causing the Germans to disperse their forces makes sense to weaken them in the main theater.

By the same token, since Germany was already weakened, and by the time America is in the war, the Allied Powers have a massive superiority in men and matériel, the Allied Powers could afford to do it without weakening their position on the main front significantly. And once they made the attempt, the Germans couldn't sit by and let them do it unchecked.
__________________
"The secret of managing is to keep the guys who hate you away from the guys who are undecided." - Casey Stengel
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 16 Apr 12, 13:11
xristar's Avatar
xristar xristar is online now
Corporal
Greece
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: MK
Posts: 69
xristar is on the path to success [1-99] xristar is on the path to success [1-99]
Schematically speaking, the extension of the scale of war activities benefits the side with the greater resources. Speaking specifically about WW1 this is counterbalanced by the fact that the Central Powers occupied a central position and could operate from internal lines.
For example it was more demanding logistically for the Entente to provide Anglo-French troops to the Balkans than it was for the Central Powers to provide Austro-German, and this imbalcane would increase as the front moved inland.
However one should not ignore that the members of the Central Powers were not equal. The situation was more complex than just schematics. Turkey and Bulgaria were not self-sufficient in war supplies and Turkey in particular was in a very exposed position. Austria was in better shape but it was more vulnerable to centrifugal forces by its constituent nations. Already from the start it was recognized that it was possible to cause Hungary to sue for peace separately. The monolithic view that some people have that the war was all about attrition is incorrect. Or at least one has to define attrition more loosely to include popular morale, such as the demoralization from losing "national lands".
As such, and I said that at another thread, it is my view that the Balkan theater offered a very good opportunity for the Entente to inflict a heavy blow to the Central Powers by cutting off Turkey from the rest, neutralising Bulgaria, and possibly causing a political collapse to Austria.

Last edited by xristar; 16 Apr 12 at 13:47..
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 16 Apr 12, 13:21
The Ibis's Avatar
The Ibis The Ibis is offline
ACG Forums - General Staff
United_States
Distinguished Service Award Greatest Spy Movies Campaign Greatest Blunders Campaign Best Pin-Up Of World War II 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 7,405
The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
Quote:
Originally Posted by xristar View Post
The monolithic view that some people have that the war was all about attrition is incorrect. Or at least one has to define attrition more loosely to include popular morale, such as the demoralization from losing "national lands".
You're right. This is an important point. History is replete with examples showing that wars don't have to end with the total destruction of an enemy's army. They can end when the enemy decides he cannot fight on. Destruction of the enemy's armed forces is only one of the things that can accomplish this objective. Sun Tzu would say doing so can even be counterproductive in the long run. But that's another debate.
__________________
"The secret of managing is to keep the guys who hate you away from the guys who are undecided." - Casey Stengel
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links

  #11  
Old 16 Apr 12, 13:41
Mountain Man's Avatar
Mountain Man Mountain Man is offline
General of the Forums
United_States
ACG Ten Year Service Award 5 Year Service Ribbon Greatest Spy Movies Campaign Best Pin-Up Of World War II 
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Colorado Rocky Mts, USA
Posts: 53,250
Mountain Man has disabled reputation
Depends.

As previously pointed out, a new front stretches the enemy, but also your own forces. You requires large, flexible and easily and rapidly mobile forces, well coordinated and fully supported by a massive logistical train.

Right here, right now, American has not done well fighting on two fronts.
__________________
Ipso custodes, custodiet est?"
"Who watches the watchers"\?"
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 16 Apr 12, 14:20
Glenn239's Avatar
Glenn239 Glenn239 is offline
General
Canada
5 Year Service Ribbon 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Ontario
Posts: 5,364
Glenn239 is walking in the light [200] Glenn239 is walking in the light [200] Glenn239 is walking in the light [200] Glenn239 is walking in the light [200] Glenn239 is walking in the light [200] Glenn239 is walking in the light [200] Glenn239 is walking in the light [200] Glenn239 is walking in the light [200] Glenn239 is walking in the light [200] Glenn239 is walking in the light [200] Glenn239 is walking in the light [200]
Germany's path to victory lay in narrowing the war to just one front, eliminating the need to divide its strength between different fronts, and being forced to use its resources to prop up weaker allies. The Anglo-French required multiple fronts, to stretch CP resources, divide the German army between tasks, and maintain the blockade by way of an unbroken ring of hostile powers.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 16 Apr 12, 14:36
The Ibis's Avatar
The Ibis The Ibis is offline
ACG Forums - General Staff
United_States
Distinguished Service Award Greatest Spy Movies Campaign Greatest Blunders Campaign Best Pin-Up Of World War II 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Miami, Florida
Posts: 7,405
The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+] The Ibis has achieved enlightenment [1200+]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn239 View Post
Germany's path to victory lay in narrowing the war to just one front, eliminating the need to divide its strength between different fronts, and being forced to use its resources to prop up weaker allies. The Anglo-French required multiple fronts, to stretch CP resources, divide the German army between tasks, and maintain the blockade by way of an unbroken ring of hostile powers.
In that case, are you acknowledging that Germany could never win the war since it could never achieve autarky based on accessible continental resources and thus there would always be a naval front as well?
__________________
"The secret of managing is to keep the guys who hate you away from the guys who are undecided." - Casey Stengel
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 16 Apr 12, 14:40
rebpreacher's Avatar
rebpreacher rebpreacher is offline
General of the Forums
United_States
Best Pin-Up Of World War II 
 
Real Name: Kirk
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: At home, I think.
Posts: 15,042
rebpreacher gives and gets respect [800] rebpreacher gives and gets respect [800]
rebpreacher gives and gets respect [800] rebpreacher gives and gets respect [800] rebpreacher gives and gets respect [800] rebpreacher gives and gets respect [800]
I voted depends also. Everything depends on any of it. Your Army-anything.
__________________
My name is Shackleford, Rusty Shackleford, I refuse to speak without my attorney present.
Geh!
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 17 Apr 12, 06:25
Full Monty's Avatar
Full Monty Full Monty is offline
General of the Forums
EU
ACG Ten Year Service Award 5 Year Service Ribbon 
 
Real Name: Dick Barton
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Essex
Posts: 26,444
Full Monty has disabled reputation
No, opening up new fronts can only lead to a dispersion of effort thus violating basic military principles. It is only justifiable if one side enjoys a considerable advantage in men and materials over its opponent(s) allowing it to stretch its enemy whilst retaining sufficient force to achieve victory at the appropriate moment.
__________________
Signing out.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Please bookmark this thread if you enjoyed it!


Thread Tools
Display Modes



Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:22.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.