Military plans and the army of the Entente

Military plans and the army of the Entente

Over cooked Allied army was listed as the French army. But the first global war demonstrated the inaccuracy of the representation. Although we can not say that the French did not pay attention to their own army. The defeat in the war of 1870-1871 left a definite mark on all French society. For more than 40 years, the country and the army was preparing for revenge, not to clash on life and death. The thought of revenge and the protection of the majestic power of his position, the fight against the German Empire for the world market and the preservation of its own colonial empire led Paris with a special solicitude relate to the development of their own army. The French tried to put its armed forces on the ability of a level playing field with the Army of the Second Reich. Difficulties along the way because there were internal political crises (his character of government, so many socialists were against war and militarization), more than a weak economy, the smallest in population, the lack of "Prussian" discipline and other reasons.

To keep up with the German army in the size of the French tried to build up a yearly call for recruits, but the measure was virtually impracticable because of weak little population growth. Since August 7th 1913 law was introduced on the transition from 2-year to 3-year service. This measure gave the French command opportunity to urge the fall of 1913 under the banner of two outright conscription age, which gave a contingent of recruits to 445 thousand people. In 1914, the composition of the army continued without colonial forces, headed for 736 million people. After mobilization of France fielded 1.3 million people — 5 armies and one cavalry corps — at 4 thousand guns.

With all of this has been paid great attention to the improvement of native troops in the French colonies, this move had a significant benefit to their own homeland. The strength of the French armed forces was the fact that the provision of capacity frisky moving troops to the border and maneuvering massive armies were guaranteed a strong network of railways. In addition, it was recognition of the need for widespread adoption of the theater of war auto transport (when the war started, people tossed to the front, even by taxi), the path of which the French were the first of all the European powers, and what have gained significant results. Sufficiently well prepared team composition, considerable attention was paid to training a fighter. The eastern boundary covered powerful chain of fortresses that could be a strong support for Fri defensive zone. The main strongholds were: Verdun, Toul, Epinal and Belfort, and for the advanced forts was another line of forts, which could become a mainstay of the defense to spare — in the region of Dijon, Reims, Laon, France, and in the center was a fortified camp of Paris. There were fortresses and on the way from Belgium to Paris, even though they are out of date. Need to see that the Germans treated the French fortifications in all seriousness, so Schlieffen wrote: "France should be seen as a huge fortress. In the outer belt of fortifications plot Belfort-Verdun virtually impregnable … ".

But there were feeble places that revealed war. In particular, they concerned the strategy, plan of war, troop training. The Franco-Prussian War served as a French military theorists example of the need to return to the "highest traditions of" the era of Napoleon Bonaparte. Was approved by the theory of the "elan vital." According to the views of Ferdinand Foch in 1908, he was head of the Academy of the General Staff, the war is dependent on the "layout of the moral forces" fight — a fight 2-wills, and victory points "moral winner of an advantage." "The victory — it will." All other causes, such as weapons, to strengthen the organization, supply, natural causes, etc., declared a "lower part of the art of war." The enemy was necessary to overcome the pressure and "will."

Defense generally discounted. In 1913, adopted a new charter of the field, who said: "The French army, vorachivayas to their own traditions, does not recognize any other law, except for the offensive." In other documents say that the defense is likely only for "economy of effort on some parts." In such cases, proposed to use the terrain, digging of speech was not. Dig trenches even forbade, as this form of Marano, undermines the spirit and cheerfully offensive rush. It was believed that the French army to dig trenches will not be, "she will always be strongly storm and did not humiliate himself for defense."

Advent was to be fast, with the introduction of all the forces in the battle, the role of the preparatory investigation was limited to a minimum. Advancing infantry had to close order. Strategic reserves is not allowed, like the Germans, it was necessary to throw into battle at once. If the British (borax trained), German and Russian defected to the field form the color "khaki", the French have kept the tradition of the Middle Ages — a colorful, beautiful form: reddish pants, reddish cap, blue coats and overcoats. The cavalry stood gleaming cuirasses, helmets with horsehair tails or plumes of snow-white feathers. When there was a proposal to move to form a protective color, it was waived because it "undermined the military spirit."

Military plans and the army of the Entente

Infantry were preparing to "Napoleon marches" in 40 km to the bayonet rolls. Not enough time was given weapons training. The French are very underrated role of heavy artillery, if the Germans were to the beginning of the war about 1,700 heavy field guns, the French have only 84. The numbers that the heavy field artillery will slow coming. In the light field guns gap was not so big, but also serious: the Germans — about 5 thousand, the French — 3360. At the cavalry had guns. Underestimated the role of aviation at the beginning of the war the Germans had 232 airplane, the French — 156.

French Infantry Division was equal in numbers of German — 17 thousand bayonets in the cavalry division was 4 thousand people. In the French part was not even field kitchens, also because of the offensive strategy (not to delay), the men were provided with dry rations and had to cook food on the fire without the help of others. The problem was with the connection did not develop radio and telephone communications, believing that will cost the messengers. Phones relied only the high command. Not figured out the French, as well as the command of other countries, the need for large supplies of ammunition to maintain a long-term war. Increase production capacity had been during the war.

Service of the French was divided into active and a spare. Unlike the Germans, the vaults practically chased, it was thought that the ending of the war will be settled parts of the human (this error was typical for all countries), in which there is a "fighting spirit". Reservists had to serve in the rear guard objects, etc. And French believed that the Germans do the same.

The bi
g mistake the French command was the view that a successful detour through Belgium unfeasible. Did not believe the French command to the big number of the German army, so that the Germans almost all army corps were in the 2-copies — and spare field (this is the beginning of the war allowed the army to almost double). French military thought it was a body. French intelligence produced the Schlieffen Plan, bought it for a huge sum. But the French command decided that it was a fake, because it is impossible to realize. We Germans, according to the French, about 26 cases, and the forces for such operations just is not enough, the German orders in the front will be stretched. And if the Germans otvazhutsya to invade through Belgium, while the French army just be able to cut in half the German front.

General Victor Michel more seriously the Schlieffen plan and offered to knock towards the German invasion of Belgium, violating its neutrality. In case of acceptance of his plan to the German main force and the French army group would encounter in Belgium. But his proposal was rejected. General Joseph Jacques Joffre years 1911-1914 he was Chief of the General Staff, and during the First World War was the commander in chief, Michel said that he was "out of his mind."

Military plans and the army of the Entente

Ferdinand Foch.

"Plan 17"

French strategic plan of the military command of the First World War, the other day was a purely offensive, in the spirit of "high traditions." His concept in its final form developed more by 1911. Its creators Joffre and Foch believed that the need to advance on Berlin, capital of Germany, the smallest way.

Along the border with Germany and Luxembourg Army deployed 5. The main blow was delivered through Lorraine, on the right wing French Army. There's meant to break through the defense of the Germans, the Germans snatched release in 1871, the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine, and then invade the interior of Germany, to break through the Rhine and go to Berlin. Second strike planned to put in the Ardennes, so were going to cut off the German right wing of the main forces, rear bases. The right wing of the Germans, according to the views of the French command was not very strong. The left flank of the likely front — most of the French-Belgian border — was covered poorly.

Because the Germans blow through Belgium was a surprise for the French command and tore their plan of offensive war. I had to improvise on the defensive.

Military plans and the army of the Entente

Joseph Jacques Joffre


The German command perfectly understood the shortcomings of the French army and French attempts to return the "spirit of Napoleon" to the troops. And more afraid of the English, who had wide experience of war in the colonies. But that was only partly right, the British had the best and most powerful navy in the world, all the attention was concentrated on him to keep the title of "Mistress of the sea." Economized on land army, it was a common policy. In addition, many believed that Britain would not fight a war in Europe. And if it is, then locally, not taking part in large-scale ground combat.

Army wore colonial character (the police officer). The call was not recruited to the army of volunteers. Parts were on duty throughout the planet and were very scattered. In Britain itself had only one field expeditionary force — six infantry divisions, one cavalry division and one cavalry brigade, which was intended for a probable European war. And for the defense of the country was the least prepared Territorial Army — 14 infantry divisions and 14 cavalry brigade. Expand the English army at the expense of reserves was not prepared abilities.

Military plans and the army of the Entente

Need to see that the whole British army (as a team, as well as private, non-commissioned) was perfectly prepared. Many have combat experience were different English colonial "hot spots." The shelves were prof. But there were a lot of bugs — in the colonies, they brought the police service in the main character, accustomed to the rather weak enemy (irregular troops). Accustomed to act in the battalion, regiment, did not prepare for the huge battles with the clash of tremendous masses of people and significant use of modern tools. In addition, the victory over the "natives" generated from the British contempt for the enemy. There were significant prepyadstviya in the technical equipment of troops. Languid field guns was more than the French, but not by much — 126, light field guns — 1220, planes — 90.

At the head of the troops before the war was made Marshal, the hero of the conquest of the Sudan and the second Anglo-Boer War, Lord Horatio Herbert Kitchener. He showed himself quite well. Managed repeatedly to increment the number of the British army at the expense of volunteers and prepared the first introduction in 1916 of universal conscription. Since the beginning of trench warfare in Europe has focused on the development of the military industry, the growth of production of guns and ammunition. From a military point of view, was a supporter of operations on secondary theaters of war. There was a violent man, but an intelligent and far-sighted politician who defended the interests of Britain. Chief of the English expeditionary force (BES) in France was General John French. He started his career in the Navy, then joined the Army, was Connick (Hussars), participated in the war in the Sudan ("The Nile Expedition"), during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902 commanded a cavalry division. He became a hero of the war, worked well. Since 1907 — the inspector general of the armed forces of Britain, since 1912 — Head of the Imperial General Staff.

Initially, British expeditionary forces numbered 87 thousand people — two army corps (each had 2 infantry divisions), some one Cavalry Division, one infantry and one cavalry brigade, 328 guns. British forces then increment up to 1 million people. Field Marshal French was not under the French High Command and had the opportunity from the English government to preserve their actions in complete independence. As a result of the compulsory indication of the John French consistency between the French and British military command in the first year of the First World War, was absent, and it is a very negative impact on the course of military operations.

Clear strategy of war on land in London was not. Many believed that Britain should not have to wage war on anyone's side, to preserve neutrality. Others have argued that it is necessary to conduct amphibious operations only local, and use the army as an appendage of the fleet. There was some agreement, though not complete (the French before the start of the war were not sure whether the British to wage war), that the English fleet will cover the Atlantic coast of France to French Navy was able to concentrate all power in the Mediterranean.
Also meant that the British landed a field expeditionary army in France, and will take a left, open flank of the French border to the border with Belgium.

Military plans and the army of the Entente

Horatio Herbert Kitchener


The Belgian government was confident in the status of "permanent neutrality" and did not prepare the army and the country for a major war. In addition, this status is actually up to the start of the war confirmed and Germany. The military had no experience of combat, because she was in poor condition. Citizens believed military gathering parasites that are not themselves found a peaceful life. Many thought that the army does not need. Discipline was low, the exercises were held occasionally. The form was colorful and made beautiful Belgian fighter targets. Was feeble arms. The situation somewhat, it rectified only the presence of massive cross-border fortresses — Liege, Namur, and of seaside Antwerp was considered a strong fortification.

Forms the army of volunteers, joined by recruits, they were selected by drawing lots. In 1909 he entered the militia law, according to him were obliged to serve in the military of the 1st son of the family and remained a voluntary system. Conscription introduced only in 1913, she was very unpopular among the people. Size of the army was small compared 117 thousand, six infantry divisions and one cavalry division, 312 field guns. The team became lord of Albert I. Chief of Staff of the Belgian army was General de Moranvil Saller. Belgian troops were stationed on the principle of neutrality in all major areas: in Ghent Division 1 (protection of the coast from the UK), 1 division in Antwerp (Dutch direction), another in Liege (Germany), two divisions on the French border, and two in Brussels.

But generally, a small resistance Belgian army was more massive than expected in Berlin.

Military plans and the army of the Entente

Lord of Belgium Albert I.


Serbian Army militia different system of acquisition, and the Serbs at that time were a warrior people, the army was popular militia. The Serbian Army had significant and successful military experience Balkan wars of 1912-1913 and was a strong military body, which supported the whole people, imposing force. It justified the war, when the Austro-Hungarian army could not break the Serbian resistance in the beginning of the war, as expected, and even suffered a series of defeats.

Serbia was able to deploy a total of 6 armies of up to 250 thousand people. Their composition was 12 infantry divisions and one Cavalry Division, and other individual compounds, squads. Her arms were around 610 guns (among them 40 heavy guns of old times 180 samples). The country had no aircraft, its own military industry, and arsenals were devastated by the Balkan wars, not enough guns, ammunition, ammunition and other physical and technical means. The human and material reserves of the Serbian army were very limited. Chief of the Serbian Army was the Prince Regent Alexander I, and the actual commander of the army was the chief of staff Radomir Traveler.

Military plans and the army of the Entente

Voivod Radomir Traveler.

Serbia was an ally of Montenegro, she exhibited a 45-60 thousand (Division 4), her arms had 100 field guns and 100 mining. Montenegrin army led by Lord of Montenegro Nikola I, as the chief of the General Staff was Serbian General Bozidar Jankovic. In Montenegro, there was also the military industry, airplanes, ships to protect the coast.

Serb commanders prepared two levels of the war: 1) war with Austria-Hungary alone, tough defense, and 2) the war on Austria-Hungary in an alliance with Russia, ie the enemy's army was to fight a war on two fronts. Serbs in such a scenario does not preclude the ability of the transition in coming to the area of the rivers Sava and Kolubara in Sabac.

4 Serbian armies had their zone, they covered up. The 1st Army was to hold the fort on the banks of the Danube, the 2nd Army defended the district of Belgrade, 3rd Army was concentrated in the area of Valjevo, 4th Army was deployed in the area of the Upper Morava and should provide a link to the Montenegrin army. Serb positions were covered by strong natural boundaries — the lines of the rivers Danube, Sava and Drava. Both of the main ways in which could hit the Austro-venry were covered: the invasion from the north (the River Danube and Sava) and west (the river Drina). In the center of the country has been concentrated spare group of several divisions that had been at an equal distance from both unsafe areas.

Army of Montenegro unfolded 6 th. Novopazarskom squad in Sandzak, about 30 thousand along the western border with Austria-Hungary, other forces were at the center of the country as a reserve.

Military plans and the army of the Entente

Serbian infantry positions peninsula Ada Ciganlia on the Sava River. 1914.

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