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Old 15 February 2014, 08:39 AM
Andrew of Ware's Avatar
Andrew of Ware Andrew of Ware is offline
Join Date: 22 April 2003
Location: Ware, Hertfordshire, England
Posts: 8,017

You make some good points, E. Q. Taft. As the war was fought was fought on such a huge battlefront generals had to be a long way behind the line so they could keep an eye on developments. Improved communications meant they could give orders from a great distance - although field telephones were far from reliable (see Blackadder).

Yes, Britain had to prevent a German dominated Europe and did not want Germany to have access to ports west of the Straights of Dover - but it was ill-prepared for a land war. Its army, as compared to the Royal Navy, was tiny and relied on reservists (the territorials).

Improved tactics, especially by the British, eventually led to the allies triumphing in 1918. The Battle of the Somme, hideous as it was, taught the British how to combine the use artillery and infantry effectively. Later the British also learnt how to use tanks as well - leading to the huge advances made in the '100 Days' from August to November 1918. [See the BBC History Magazine book on the First World War, especially pages 60 - 61.]

German air technology was superior to the British and French, the Sopwith Camel and Snoopy not withstanding (see the display at the RAF Museum Hendon), but it was the British who learnt how to use it effectively in combination with other forces. For example Zeebrugge where, arguably for the first time, air, land and sea forces were combined. [See the BBC History Magazine book, page 89.]
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