By T.H.E. Travers
"How the conflict used to be received" describes the main position performed through the British Expeditionary strength at the Western entrance in defeating the German military. specifically, the ebook explains the equipment utilized in combating the final yr of the conflict, and increases questions as to if mechanical struggle might have been extra generic.
utilizing quite a lot of unpublished fabric from records in either Britain and Canada, Travers explores the 2 issues of command and know-how because the sort of battle replaced from past due 1917 via 1918. He describes intimately the British army's protection opposed to the German 1918 spring offensives, analyzes command difficulties in the course of those offensives, and gives an overriding cause of the March 1918 retreat. He additionally totally investigates the position of the tank from Cambrai to the top of the struggle, and concludes that, adequately used, the tank can have made a better contribution to victory.
"How the struggle used to be gained" explodes many myths and advances newand arguable arguments. will probably be crucial analyzing for army historians and strategists, and for these drawn to the origins of mechanical battle.
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Extra info for How the War Was Won: Command and Technology in the British Army on the Western Front: 1917-1918
Then on 4 October 1917, Maxse wrote of a brilliant victory, with his corps gaining all objectives. On the other hand, there were certainly disastrous and bloody failures, as on 9 October 1917, when Lawrence’s 66 Division arrived late at the starting line, because of the swamps. 10 As a means of attempting to come to some conclusions about the wearing-out option, casualty figures, however unpleasant, might provide some direction, although these figures are notoriously unreliable. One historian, using official figures, advances the estimate of 448,614 BEF casualties for the period of Passchendaele as against 270,170 German casualties.
21 The key to the Cambrai operation was surprise, and this was now possible due to three factors. First, large numbers of Mark IV tanks were available to crush lanes through the wire and overcome the immediate defences rather than rely on a lengthy preliminary artillery bombardment, which told the enemy exactly where the attack was to go in, and also churned up the ground and impeded the advance. Secondly, the artillery was now able to do counter-battery and suppression work, and fire a standing and lifting barrage, without previous registration, thanks to the development of field survey and calibration techniques over the autumn of 1917.
26 Despite two weeks of training in tank-infantry cooperation before the attack, there were instances of commanders who simply refused, or were unable, to comply with tactical rules. One well-known example was Major General Harper, GOC 51 Division, whose infantry followed the tanks in waves some 150 to 200 yards behind, instead of close up in ‘worm’ formation, leading to failure in front of Flesquières village. Harper was afraid that the ‘worm’ following the tank would be enfiladed by machine gun fire.