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View Diary: Touring Verdun (184 comments)

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  •  WWI tanks were too slow and unreliable (8+ / 0-)

    to be a major operational factor, since they couldn't really keep up with a sustained infantry advance.

    What led to the German defeat in the end was starvation and attrition.

    The Germans never could break the British sea blockade, which led to the German population being pushed to the brink of starvation by the the winter of 1917-1918.

    The Germans temporarily got a respite when Russia collapsed in 1917 and they were able to shift troops from the East Front to the Western Front, but given that they were trying to win a war of attrition against countries with superior populations, that strategy was doomed.

    Sure, Germany bled France white, but they weren't able to bleed the UK, the British Commonwealth, the French colonies, and the U.S. without being bled out themselves.

    By Fall of 1918, Germany was facing revolution and starvation at home and they had to sue for peace.

    •  The tank didn't need to keep up with the advance, (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, NYFM, magnetics, devtob, HeyMikey

      what they needed to do was to blast a hole in the lines big enough for the infantry to pour through.  In later conflicts there was a need to have them with greater range, but at this stage a rupture in the lines that allowed penetration and disruption of the communications would have been sufficient.  This point was not understood by the leaders of the armies since it was new and armies are not good at doing new things.

      The larger communications problem caused by the blockade did take its eventual toll.

      "I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man.'" J. R. Robertson.

      by NearlyNormal on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 10:12:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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