Wednesday, 19 December, 2012

The War at Sea [First World War]

Hi Viewers,
This post is a continuation of our last post  The Year 1916 of the First World War. We really hope that this topics really does throw some light on the basic condition of the War and you are able to get a clear picture of what events actually happened.

The mobs in Germany and England expected a series of naval attacks between the rivals. Something like the past (Battle of Trafalgar- 21 October 1805). But this time both the sides were cautious this time, so none of the sides dared not risk an action which might result any harm to their main fleets.

John Rush-worth Jellicoe (1859-1935), British Admiral, was very cautious as Winston Churchill quoted 'was the only man on either side who could have lost the war in an afternoon'. The Germans also were quite cautious because they had developed only 16 of the latest Dreadnoughts (Type of Battleship which was introduced in the early 20th century. It was larger and faster than its predecessors and was equipped with large calibre guns.) against 27 British.

HMS Dreadnoughts

As usual as always during a war, strategies, plans, theories, everything is taken into account. So the Allies also aimed to use their navies in three ways:

  • to blockade the Central Powers, preventing goods from entering or leaving which ultimately will result in starvation.
  • to keep trade routes open between Britain, her empire and the rest of the World, so that the Allies themselves would not starve; and 
  • to transport British troops to the contingent and keep them supplied via the Channel ports.
The British were successful in carrying out the naval aims. They also fought the Battle of Falkland Islands in which they went into action against the Germany's Imperial navy units stationed abroad, result being the demolition of one of the main German squadron led by Admiral Garf. By the end of 1914 nearly all the German units stationed abroad were destroyed except being their main fleet which did not venture outside Heligoland Bight and the squadron blockading the Baltic to cut off supplies to Russia.

We will continue this post in our next one where we will be discussing the problems caused by the Allied Blockade and Retaliation of Germans with mines and submarine attacks. 

Monday, 17 December, 2012

The Year 1916 of the First World War

Hi Viewers,
We know that it has been a long time since we shared our views as we were on a trip that explored the ancient dimensions of our past. Now coming to the point, In the previous post we discussed about the events of the year 1915 which actually was phenomenal, even as per the present standards. Now we will be discussing the year 1916, the year which actually is famous for the following two extremely crucial battles in the Western Front:

  • Battle of Verdun [21 February – 18 December 1916]
  • Battle of Somme [1 July – 18 November 1916

Battle of Verdun
Battle of Verdun: Erich von Falkenhayn [7 June 1913 – 21 January 1915], who was the General of the Infantry unit of Germany. As for Verdun, it was a massive fortress town of the French for which the Germans feared. The Germans planned to draw all of the best French troops to the defense of Verdun, destroy them so that their final orders can be carried out easily which ultimately was to win the war, but nothing went as planned. The French under Philippe P├ętain [(24 April 1856 – 23 July 1951], who was designated to Divisional General, defended stubbornly forcing the Germans to restrain the attack in the month of June. The estimated number of casualties were [Germans: 280000 and French: 315000]. The intention of the attack was clear, the inflicted huge number of casualties to the French but as the old proverb goes: To gain something you also have to lose something, the Germans to lost heavily. 

Battle of Somme
Battle of the Somme: The Battle was actually a series of attacks, mainly by the British to relieve pressure on the French at Verdun. The British wanted to take more control of the trench line as the French army weakened. This kept the Germans fully committed and they dared not risk to sending reinforcements to the eastern front against Russia. The progress was not much. The Allies advanced only few seven miles and hundred yards on an thirty mile front. The real importance of the battle was the actual blow to the German morale. The German realized that Britain was a military power to reckoned with. The number of casualties were Germans: 650000, British: 418000, French:194000. The British Commander-in-Chief Hiag at that time came under severe criticism for persisting with the suicidal frontal attacks.Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg himself mentioned in his memoir that the Germans could not have survived many more campaigns like Verdun and the Somme.The Battle of Somme also contributed to the fall of the British Prime Minister, Raymond Asquith.



This is all for this post. In the next post we will be talking about David Lloyd George and the War at Sea.
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