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  #16  
Old 01 May 12, 09:50
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1914 - France
1915 - Russia
1916 - France
1917 - Russia / Britain
1918 - Britain / France

Something roughly like that.
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  #17  
Old 01 May 12, 10:05
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rojik View Post
1914 - France
1915 - Russia
1916 - France
1917 - Russia / Britain
1918 - Britain / France

Something roughly like that.
I will rather say :

1914 : Russia
1915 : Britain/France
1916 : Russia
1917 and 1918 : Britain/France
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  #18  
Old 06 May 12, 07:30
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I would say thus:

France carried the Bulk of Defensive fighting on the western front, and played a large role in sideshows such as the Macedonian Campaign (balkans campaign rather) and Gallipoli, along with (not too sure on this one) the desert.

Russia, quite obviously, carried the bulk of the fighting for two years, that is 1915 and 1916, though their offensive actions were significant in 1914.

However Is still stand by my view that the British blockade was the main factor that causes Entente victory, and that British (and colonial) troops staved off the worst of the 1918 spring offensive, though not without loss (Re Gough's army).
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  #19  
Old 06 May 12, 11:17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dashy View Post
I would say thus:

France carried the Bulk of Defensive fighting on the western front, and played a large role in sideshows such as the Macedonian Campaign (balkans campaign rather) and Gallipoli, along with (not too sure on this one) the desert.

Russia, quite obviously, carried the bulk of the fighting for two years, that is 1915 and 1916, though their offensive actions were significant in 1914.

However Is still stand by my view that the British blockade was the main factor that causes Entente victory, and that British (and colonial) troops staved off the worst of the 1918 spring offensive, though not without loss (Re Gough's army).
I think you've missed the amount of offensive (in a double sense of the word) fighting done by the French army in 1915. Without it, the rest of the French WWI experience just makes no sense at all.

Bulk of the offensive fighting by the Entente in 1915: France. The Russians got to deal with having become the German top priority in that year and ended up on the defensive. The French found themselves with a huge manpower advantage over the Germans in the west, and the British certainly sent what they had, but had yet to turn up in real force. France took some 2 million casualties in 1915 from this super-aggressive stance against the Germans. Possibly it might have helped the Russians in some little way, as was also part of the intention behind it, just hardly anywhere near enough to justify the expense.
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  #20  
Old 06 May 12, 14:55
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The French may have been the dominant Allied power at the start , but by the end it was the British and Commonwealth armies that broke the Germans lead the victorious 100 days campaign. After the 1917 mutinies the French offensive capability was limited.
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Old 06 May 12, 18:10
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Originally Posted by Johan Banér View Post
I think you've missed the amount of offensive (in a double sense of the word) fighting done by the French army in 1915. Without it, the rest of the French WWI experience just makes no sense at all.

Bulk of the offensive fighting by the Entente in 1915: France. The Russians got to deal with having become the German top priority in that year and ended up on the defensive. The French found themselves with a huge manpower advantage over the Germans in the west, and the British certainly sent what they had, but had yet to turn up in real force. France took some 2 million casualties in 1915 from this super-aggressive stance against the Germans. Possibly it might have helped the Russians in some little way, as was also part of the intention behind it, just hardly anywhere near enough to justify the expense.
Not to sound harsh, But I meant successful assaults. if one is even to compare, say, the gains of the Canadian divisions, with the French divisions the extent of British success becomes apparent.

The French offensive stance was important, but mainly defensive in nature, their attacks were usually in response to attacks made by the Germans. But don't get me wrong, the French defense was probably more instrumental in stopping the Germans than the British offenses, and let's not forget that nearly as many Britons died as French saving the world from those Germans .
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  #22  
Old 06 May 12, 19:38
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It was hardly surprising that France played a dominant role on the Western Front,since it was upon her soil that most of the fighting took place.

(An interesting subsidiary argument- which has doubtlessly been debated before -was would have France prevailed without the assistance of the British Empire in that theatre?)

Russia,an enormously loyal ally, certainly did her best to assist France 1914-1917.

The French Army mobilised almost half a million men less that the Britsih Empire, yet French fatalities were almost half as many again and wounded more than twice as numerous: which at least goes to show the extent of France's sacrifice.
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  #23  
Old 06 May 12, 20:17
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For those who are interested in the French role in 1918 (about which there is sadly little in the English language), you could do worse than spending an hour listening to Michael Neiberg's presentation on Second Marne or read his book "The Second Battle of the Marne."

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  #24  
Old 07 May 12, 02:06
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dashy View Post
Not to sound harsh, But I meant successful assaults. if one is even to compare, say, the gains of the Canadian divisions, with the French divisions the extent of British success becomes apparent.

The French offensive stance was important, but mainly defensive in nature, their attacks were usually in response to attacks made by the Germans. But don't get me wrong, the French defense was probably more instrumental in stopping the Germans than the British offenses, and let's not forget that nearly as many Britons died as French saving the world from those Germans .
So, what did the French do in 1918?

Considering I've searched the anglosphere internet in vain for online accounts of a number French battles in 1918, and come up with nothing, I'm not really convinced here.

And why do you want to compare with Canadians? Which Canadians, when, compared to which French actions?

For instance, here's an intersting internet resource re French WWI casualties, broken down over time and region. What one can for instance notice is the reappearance in late 1918 of French casualties along frontlines some of which otherwise not active since 1914. This as a direct result of the French army piling into the Germans again in independent offensive actions. Of which I tend to look in vain for accounts in English of, like the French late 1918 offensive in the Ardennes.
http://www.grande-guerre-1418.com/in...d=26&Itemid=27

(I also tend to come away from a lot of the English language WWI online stuff where there was a Anglo-French, or French-American joint offensive, distinctly wondering what the French were doing? But I guess that's just me being a suspiscious bastard, since obviously they did nothing. And the French are just such liars in their own history of WWI...)

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  #25  
Old 07 May 12, 02:47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BELGRAVE View Post
The French Army mobilised almost half a million men less that the Britsih Empire, yet French fatalities were almost half as many again and wounded more than twice as numerous: which at least goes to show the extent of France's sacrifice.
The French wounded does make for some interesting comparisons. One of which is probably the conclusion that for all the things wanting in the French army going into WWI, the French army medical corps apparently wasn't one of them. The French save rate was pretty staggering, and possibly part of the reason — as Dashy pointed out — almost as many British as French lost their lives in WWI (well about 2/3), since the rate of wounded was more like 3:1 Frenchmen to Britons. The for WWI French WIA to KIA is about 3:1, and the British more like 3:2.

Then again, it might also be an effect of how the fighting in WWI developed? All the early combatants — Germans, French, Russians and Austrians — racked upp staggering proportional casualty rates (65-90% or their total armies), while later entrants (i.e. when entering in full force; British, Italians), typically ended up with less than 40% of their armies as casualties. The big difference they all show are masses of wounded for the early fighters, and proportinally higher numbers of killed-to-wounded for the later entrants. Which very simply figured could just be a matter of better tactics and cover all around, with deadlier means used to try to dislodge them (more force per soldier needed and applied, meaning more fatalities in the process)?
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Old 07 May 12, 04:17
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Originally Posted by Johan Banér View Post
The French wounded does make for some interesting comparisons. One of which is probably the conclusion that for all the things wanting in the French army going into WWI, the French army medical corps apparently wasn't one of them. The French save rate was pretty staggering, and possibly part of the reason — as Dashy pointed out — almost as many British as French lost their lives in WWI (well about 2/3), since the rate of wounded was more like 3:1 Frenchmen to Britons. The for WWI French WIA to KIA is about 3:1, and the British more like 3:2.

Then again, it might also be an effect of how the fighting in WWI developed? All the early combatants — Germans, French, Russians and Austrians — racked upp staggering proportional casualty rates (65-90% or their total armies), while later entrants (i.e. when entering in full force; British, Italians), typically ended up with less than 40% of their armies as casualties. The big difference they all show are masses of wounded for the early fighters, and proportinally higher numbers of killed-to-wounded for the later entrants. Which very simply figured could just be a matter of better tactics and cover all around, with deadlier means used to try to dislodge them (more force per soldier needed and applied, meaning more fatalities in the process)?
Interesting indeed,France's early losses-and perhaps the others- can perhaps be attributed to the prevailing philosophy of the "superiority" of offensive action above all and the essentially fluid action in 1914. Thus, a higher ratio of casualties of all types could be attributed to rifle and machine-gun fire.

By the time the later participants:- the British Empire in force and the rest-trench warfare had become the norm and artillery had become the major casualty-producing weapon .This would certainly have affected the killed-to-wounded ratio. Perhaps there are statistics available to support or refute this ?
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Old 07 May 12, 04:29
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Originally Posted by Johan Banér View Post
So, what did the French do in 1918?

Considering I've searched the anglosphere internet in vain for online accounts of a number French battles in 1918, and come up with nothing, I'm not really convinced here.

And why do you want to compare with Canadians? Which Canadians, when, compared to which French actions?

For instance, here's an intersting internet resource re French WWI casualties, broken down over time and region. What one can for instance notice is the reappearance in late 1918 of French casualties along frontlines some of which otherwise not active since 1914. This as a direct result of the French army piling into the Germans again in independent offensive actions. Of which I tend to look in vain for accounts in English of, like the French late 1918 offensive in the Ardennes.
http://www.grande-guerre-1418.com/in...d=26&Itemid=27

(I also tend to come away from a lot of the English language WWI online stuff where there was a Anglo-French, or French-American joint offensive, distinctly wondering what the French were doing? But I guess that's just me being a suspiscious bastard, since obviously they did nothing. And the French are just such liars in their own history of WWI...)
To rely on the internet as such is not the best as much information is locked off in databases that search engines blithely ignore. Try hitting Historical Abstracts or JSTOR; you're much more likely to find articles and scholarly treatises there than on the populist internet.

The French launched the first of the counteroffensive battles, following the Kaiserschlacht, in July 1918. That the French don't get much kudos is because there are an awfully large number of British, Australian, Canadian and US historians or rather pundits all pushing for their own national recognition. The French conducted several offensives south of the British positions following from the Second Battle of the Marne. Most anglophone "historians" of the 100 days ignore the fact that French soldiers still held approximately 60% of the Western Front lines. The AEF's assault on the St Mihiel salient was in conjunction with French offensives on either side.

To attach any special importance to any particular national force, be it the Canadian Corp, the BEF (sans Empire forces), the AEF, the Belgians or even the French is to forget that most of the battles during the 100 days were joint efforts, that Empire troops were under the logistical train of the BEF and got most of their artillery support from British and not national troops, that the AEF was largely equipped by the French and that the aerial recce could have been done by either the RFC or the Armee de l'Air.
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Old 07 May 12, 04:58
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Originally Posted by BELGRAVE View Post
Interesting indeed,France's early losses-and perhaps the others- can perhaps be attributed to the prevailing philosophy of the "superiority" of offensive action above all and the essentially fluid action in 1914. Thus, a higher ratio of casualties of all types could be attributed to rifle and machine-gun fire.

By the time the later participants:- the British Empire in force and the rest-trench warfare had become the norm and artillery had become the major casualty-producing weapon .This would certainly have affected the killed-to-wounded ratio. Perhaps there are statistics available to support or refute this ?
The increase in numbers, and heaviness, of the artillery over times seems the bet me, yes.

I think our best shot might be casualty statistics for limted periods and single actions. So, limited induction tends to come in the bargain, or so it seems to me. The kind of detailed aggregate figures for the entire war one would like seems notoriously difficult to find. Then again, aggregate WWI casualty statistics in themselves is a bit of a known problem area.
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Old 07 May 12, 05:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
To rely on the internet as such is not the best as much information is locked off in databases that search engines blithely ignore. Try hitting Historical Abstracts or JSTOR; you're much more likely to find articles and scholarly treatises there than on the populist internet.
Oh yes, for sure. I also tend to hunt around Jstor. (And I tend to favour French language resources, where French WWI matters are concerned.)

The small point I'm after is that there's a certain... incompleteness? shall we say... about a number of aspects of WWI historiography in a lot of the easy-to-access popular accounts that are widely spread at get considerable traction.
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Old 07 May 12, 07:00
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To reference Canada's role I took some URL's from the ... francosphere? One from what seems to be a Quebec site and from the French Wikipedia
. Capturing, routing and destroying some 30 odd divisions is no mean feat for an army, let alone a corps!

As for first offensives after the Spring offensive, I bring forth the assaults of the NZ division near Auchonvillers, considering the Somme is considered an "Offensive Action" even though little was gained, the NZ divisions assaults which took strategically important high ground (successfully!) should certainly be counted as one. (Glynn Harper's Dark Journey)

I'm not trying to downplay the role of the French, they did most of the work throughout WW1 and have tragically been ignored by most Anglo Saxii Historians, for whom it would seem Flanders is the only area that saw combat. But the fact remains that Britain and her Colonies contributed more in terms of successful offensives, especially in the latter stages of the war.
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