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Jon writes about war

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On 08/12/2017 at 9:27 AM, JonS said:

You might enjoy this

http://www.radionz.co.nz/programmes/nz-wars

I'm looking forward to digging in to it

Thanks @JonS, the show was very enjoyable - worked very well for a long drive I did this weekend. Didn't get what was all the fuss about "Maoris inventing trench warfare", probably I missed some context to the discussion, the claim itself sounded a bit far fetched.

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1 hour ago, Michael Emrys said:

Trenches were used in the American Civil War, I believe in the Revolutionary War as well. When did the Maoris begin using theirs?

Michael

The battle discussed in the podcast took place in 1845.

Trenches had been long used before that during sieges, with M. Vauban's well known treatise on the siege of Maastricht 

trench-21.jpg

compiles the practical knowledge accumulated on siegecraft in the age of gunpowder. I couldn't find anything on the internet but I do recall reading about similar tactics being employed by the Ming, Japanese and Korean armies during the Imjin Wars (1592-1598).  

Ellaborate fieldworks and their assault were a prominent feature in Yorktown (1781)

Yrktn-1170x841.jpg

and Borodino (1812)

Battle_of_Borodino.jpg

 

Edited by BletchleyGeek

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Having said this re: antecedents, I find the fact that Maoris used earthworks to great effect is just the result of human intellect coming to the realisation that terrain can be engineered to enhance the defensive capabilities of a force equipped with fire arms in very specific ways. I doubt very much any Maoris were at Borodino or under Wellington under the Peninsular War investing Ciudad Rodrigo. But it is obvious that there were a number of very talented Maori individuals, who grasped very well the "tactical facts" of firepower,  and came up with methods which were similar to those used elsewhere in the world. 

The interesting thing is that they certainly seemed to grasp these "tactical verities" better than the average British officer of the time. 

Edited by BletchleyGeek

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It's probably a little overstated ;) One specific element I believe was first introduced by the Maori was overhead cover.  Artillery had come a long way since the Napoleonic wars, and bomb-proof dug outs rapidly became a feature of the Maori way of war.

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3 hours ago, JonS said:

It's probably a little overstated ;) One specific element I believe was first introduced by the Maori was overhead cover.  Artillery had come a long way since the Napoleonic wars, and bomb-proof dug outs rapidly became a feature of the Maori way of war.

That's pretty interesting @JonS.

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Kūpapa

The third force in the New Zealand Wars

 

What I shall do now is to set to work with all the Chiefs who will help me, and do all the good I can; and those who will not aid me, I shall not care for.

Governor Grey, 18611


 

Māori warriors formed an element of the Crown forces in practically all of the New Zealand Wars, and during some of campaigns in the late 1860s and early 1870s their numbers were a significant proportion of the total force. The Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 bound the British and Māori together, and the British believed – or deluded themselves into believing – that any Māori fighting for the Crown would henceforth be primarily motivated by their loyalty to the crown. The truth appears to have been more complex.

Māori fighting with or alongside the British came to be known as kūpapa. This can be either a noun or a verb – referring to the warriors themselves and their action of fighting alongside the British – and the term can be translated as being either neutral in a quarrel, colluding, or actively collaborating. The Māori Dictionary uses a more robust definition;

collaborator, ally, fifth column - a term that came to be applied to Māori who sided with Pākehā opposition or the Government. There has been a shift from a general meaning of neutrality to the modern use, which now sometimes has derogative connotations, similar to such terms as 'turncoat', 'traitor', 'quisling' and 'Uncle Tom'.2

This unflattering modern translation implies kūpapa were working against their own interests, or at least selling out their fellow Māori for some illusory advantage. Again, the truth appears to have been more complex. This essay will investigate the impact of kūpapa in the New Zealand Wars, the motivations behind Māori choices to become kūpapa, and assess whether this choice was primarily due to their loyalty to the Crown.

The first main cluster of reasons for Māori support of the British was for temporal reasons – either financial, or to protect Māori autonomy. The kūpapa who hunted Te Kooti through the Ureweras in the early 1870s did so at least in part for the money being offered by the Crown – in particular the £5,000 bounty on Te Kooti’s head.3

Māori along the lower Whanganui also supported the Crown for financial reasons. When they sold the land that would become Whanganui, they had good reason to be pleased with themselves. By attracting British settlers,

the real price for the town was its existence as an outlet for Maori products, a source of European goods, and the ultimate status symbol. The Maori would probably have paid to have it, … Lower Whanganui consider the town to be their property, Pakeha and all.4

In order to protect their investment they defended Whanganui against tribes from upriver in 1847 and 1864, and against Titokowaru in 1868. The British settlers directly benefited from this protection, but it was their investment the lower Whanganui kūpapa were protecting, not the settlers per se.

The Northern War in 1845-46 was fought between what were effectively three sides. Hōne Heke resisted the British in order to maintain mana and rangatiratanga in accordance with his understanding of the Treaty. The British under Governor FitzRoy of course opposed them in order to maintain law and order and Imperial control. Tāmati Wāka Nene provided the third force. Like Heke, Wāka Nene also fought to maintain mana and rangatiratanga, however he felt this goal was best achieved by working with the British.5 Wāka Nene therefore resisted Heke’s rebellion in order to maintain his own relationship with the colonial government. In some ways the Northern War was almost a tribal war between Wāka Nene and Heke over whether to resist the changes that had occurred since the signing of the Treaty, or to work with them. Wāka Nene’s men were present at the major battles and supported the British, although not always directly. Indeed Wāka Nene’s men at Ohaewai fought what almost amounted to a separate action, while the battle at Te Ahuahu involved no British forces at all.6 During the course of the Northern War, Wāka Nene supplied approximately as many men as the British were able to field on each of their main expeditions – about 1,000 men each.

Eventually both Heke and Wāka Nene each felt they had proved their point and established a peace, and it is notable that Heke never submitted to the British. Instead Governor Grey was invited to share the peace established between the Māori combatants.7

On the East Coast Rapata Wahawaha saved Ngati Porou from Te Kooti’s depredations by becoming actively involved in blocking his moves, then hunting him through the Ureweras. In resisting Te Kooti, Wahawaha also aligned his tribe with the Crown’s interests, thus safeguarding Ngati Porou from land confiscations.8 Further south, Te Hapuku Ngai Te Whatuiapiti and a number of other Māori chiefs fought with the British at Omarunui in 1866 against the Pai Marire there as a means of restoring the mana lost in the inter-tribal fighting a decade earlier.9

The other cluster of reasons for supporting the British was for spiritual or pragmatic reasons. Although not strictly kūpapa, and ultimately unsuccessful, both Te Ua Haumene and Titokowaru campaigned extensively for peace between the British and Māori, despite considerable provocation. Similarly, as early as 1843 Te Rauparaha sought to avoid conflict with the Crown, until it was forced on him at Wairau.10 Even so, in the subsequent conflict in the Hutt Valley Te Rauparaha sought to avoid conflict due to the influence of the missionary Octavius Hadfield and a belief that a war with the British would be too costly.11 He took this position even at the cost of his relationship with his close confederate Te Rangiheata.12

The support provided by kūpapa could be either military or non-military, or a mix. Nene also provided military support in the Northland War, although he generally fought alongside the British as a peer, rather than with them as a subordinate. The Lower Whanganui provided direct military support, as did the flying columns that scoured the Ureweras for Te Kooti.

In the run up to the Waikato War these was considerable discussion amongst the various tribes, and one of the key points of difference to emerge was how to respond to Grey encroachments into Kingitanga land. Construction of the Great South Road, the use of steamers on the Waikato River, and the construction of the government building at Te Kohekohe all caused friction. The ‘moderate’ leader Wiremu Te Whēoro was reported as saying the presence of the colonial government was a ‘treasure’ and ‘a precious thing’.13 Te Whēoro did not want to lose access to the advantages that access to the government bought, and in the subsequent war he would assist the logistic effort supporting Cameron’s forces invading the Waikato by providing labour for the distribution network from the Waikato Heads to Queens Redoubt at the southern end of The Great South Road.14 Alongside Te Whēoro were several hundred other so-called ‘Queenites’ who sided with the British, out of a total government force of around 10,000 men.

Regardless of the nature of support provided the reasons remained the same, to the frustration of the British. The support was conditional, and if those conditions weren’t met, then support from kūpapa tended to become reluctant or non-existent, such as when Nene established a separate peace with Heke.

From the Northern War fought between Hone Heke, Waka Nene, and the Crown, in the Bay of Islands during 1845-1846, down to the final manhunt for Te Kooti in the Ureweras by Wahawaha and Major Kemp in the early 1870s, it was usual for the opposing forces in the New Zealand Wars to consist of three sides, not two. Instead of a simplistic alignment of 'crown and kūpapa allied against the rebels', it is more useful to frame the fighting as the Crown fighting with and/or against Māori.

Kūpapa generally did not support the British out of simple loyalty to the crown, despite widespread respect for the person of Queen Victoria. Some leaders avoided conflict out of respect for British and their catholic faith, but when they fought it was for the advantages that accrued to them, and providing assistance to the Crown was incidental. Kūpapa didn't 'owe' the British anything. They were a third force in the New Zealand Wars, who fought on their own terms, and for their own objectives. Both kūpapa and 'rebel' Māori sought to protect their mana and their rangatiratanga, in order to protect a way of life they all felt slipping away.

 

Bibliography

anon., Te Aka Māori-English, English-Māori Dictionary, http://Māoridictionary.co.nz, accessed May 2017

Battersby, John (2000). The one day war; the Battle of Omarunui, 1866, Auckland, Reed

Belich, J. (1983). The New Zealand Wars and the Victorian interpretation of racial conflict (2015). Auckland: Auckland University Press.

Belich, J. (1989). I shall not die, Titokowaru’s War, New Zealand, 1868-1869. Wellington, N.Z.: Allen & Unwin Ltd.

Keenan, D. (2009). Wars without end : the land wars in nineteenth-century New Zealand. Auckland, N.Z.: Penguin.

misc., Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/biographies/, accessed June 2017

Moon, P. (2009). Hone Heke : Nga Puhi warrior. Auckland, N.Z.: D. Ling.

Paterson, Lachy, Colonial Discourses: Niupepa Maori 1855-1863, Otago University Press, Dunedin, 2006

Riseborough, Hazel (2002). Days of darkness: Taranaki 1878-1884. Auckland, N.Z.: Penguin

Taylor, Richard, Logistical operations in the Waikato War, 1863-64, Military Studies Institute Occasional Paper Series, No. 9, August 2005


 

Notes

1 Quoted in Paterson, Lachy, Colonial Discourses: Niupepa Maori 1855-1863, Otago University Press, Dunedin, 2006, p.174

3 Belich, James, The New Zealand Wars and the Victorian interpretation of racial conflict, Auckland University Press, Auckland, 2015 (1986), p.285

4 Belich, J. (1989). I shall not die, Titokowaru’s War, New Zealand, 1868-1869. Wellington, N.Z.: Allen & Unwin Ltd., p.26

5 Moon, P. (2009). Hone Heke : Nga Puhi warrior. Auckland, N.Z.: D. Ling., p.53-55, 97-104

6 Belich, James, The New Zealand Wars and the Victorian interpretation of racial conflict, Auckland University Press, Auckland, 2015 (1986), p.45-47

7 Riseborough, Hazel, Days of darkness; Taranaki 1878-1884, Auckland, Penguin, 2002, p.39

8 Steven Oliver. 'Wahawaha, Rapata', from the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/biographies/1w1/wahawaha-rapata (accessed 31 May 2017)

9 Battersby, John, The one day way; the Battle of Omarunui, 1866, Auckland, Reed, 2000, p.24-27

10 Keenan, D. (2009). Wars without end : the land wars in nineteenth-century New Zealand. Auckland, N.Z.: Penguin, p.135-138

11 Steven Oliver. 'Te Rauparaha', from the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/biographies/1t74/te-rauparaha (accessed 2 June 2017)

12 Angela Ballara. 'Te Rangihaeata', from the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/biographies/1t63/te-rangihaeata (accessed 2 June 2017)

13 Paterson, Lachy, Colonial Discourses: Niupepa Maori 1855-1863, Otago University Press, Dunedin, 2006, p.190

14 Belich, James, The New Zealand Wars and the Victorian interpretation of racial conflict, Auckland University Press, Auckland, 2015 (1986), p.136. Taylor, Richard, Logistical operations in the Waikato War, 1863-64, Military Studies Institute Occasional Paper Series, No. 9, August 2005, p12-13.

 

... back to contents

Edited by JonS

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Posted (edited)

Technology’s Contribution to the End of Trench Warfare

In the spring of 1918 four years of positional, attritional, trench warfare on the Western Front in France and Belgium suddenly came to an end. Over the final eight months of the war offensives by both the Germans and the Allies were able to achieve advances measured in miles per day, where previously miles per month had been considered good progress.1

A range of factors lay behind this return to semi-open warfare2; the cumulative effects of years of blockade on Germany, the release of large German forces from the Russian Front, political decisions that affected the size of the British armies in France, and a renaissance in infantry tactics and organisation.3 Overlaying this was a range of new technologies that restored the Principle of Surprise to the battlefield, and changed the style of war waged on the Western Front.4

From 1914 through to the end of 1917 both the Germans and the Allies faced the same fundamental problem: defensive firepower generated by well handled artillery and machine guns that exploited intelligently designed and constructed defences and obstacles could slow down an attacker long enough to ensure that sufficient reserves – travelling on the dense road and rail net of Western Europe – would arrive on any given battlefield before the attacker had been able to make a breakthrough. As a result, operations became very slow and deliberate wearing-out exercises, fought over small areas at extraordinary cost. For example, the Somme and Verdun in 1916 resulted in roughly 2 million casualties between them, although very little ground changed hands.5

The tactical and operational problem, then, was to find a way to surprise the enemy and speedily breach the entire depth of his defensive zone before reserves could arrive, and then to hold ground won against counter-attacks. It was recognised by 1917 that in order to do this all elements of the enemy’s defensive scheme – especially obstacles, MGs, and artillery – had to be neutralised swiftly and simultaneously.6 However, each part of the defence required a different solution – and different technology – to be overcome before surprise could be restored.

Many technologies contributed to ending the stalemate, such as improved warships, submarines, and antisubmarine warfare. These all played their part in weakening the land armies, but their direct effect on ground operations is hard to assess. Four key areas of technological development contributed directly to opening up the Western Front. These were artillery, aircraft, tanks, and infantry firepower.7

The way all nations used their artillery in 1914 was relatively unsophisticated. Communications were almost invariably by voice, most shooting was by direct lay, and the overall aim was destruction of the enemy immediately to the gun’s front. Over the following four years the effectiveness of artillery firepower increased out of all recognition, largely on the back of new technology. Improved communication equipment meant that guns could be controlled indirectly, which improved their survivability and therefore long-term usefulness.8 Understanding, measurement, and control of variations between individual guns, ammunition lots, and the effects of weather meant that targets could be accurately engaged without prior adjustment.9 A range of new ammunition natures and fuzes provided commanders with the ability to tailor fire to the particular effects they desired; smoke could be used to shield men moving in the open by blinding defenders;10 gas was used to create confusion and considerably hamper command and control;11 high explosive with graze fuzes could smash enemy positions, equipment, and men. Advances in target detection and survey, combined with the better measurement of ballistics, meant that targets far to the rear – most importantly the enemy’s artillery – could be engaged with confidence.12 At Amiens the British counter battery programme was so effective that

hostile artillery was insignificant and several enemy batteries were captured with the muzzle covers still on the guns, showing that the detachments had failed to reach their positions.13

Taken together these artillery technology innovations meant that specific results could be achieved on selected elements of the enemy’s defensive infrastructure, and be achieved quickly for a high degree of surprise. By 1918 artillery was being used in incredibly large, complex, and sophisticated fire plans to surprise, confuse, destroy, and defeat the enemy.14

Aircraft started the war as reconnaissance platforms and it was in this role that they served most usefully.15 The primary role of fighter aircraft was to protect friendly reconnaissance assets – including balloons – or to drive off those of the enemy.16 Over the course of the war the type and nature of reconnaissance conducted changed considerably. Early in the war reconnaissance was primarily by direct observation and verbal reports. By 1918 photographic surveys of the entire front were routine.17 These surveys would be compiled into large mosaics, and then minutely examined and compared to previous surveys to identify new positions, equipment, dumps, routes, and other items of interest.18 A significant proportion of this effort was dedicated to improving the accuracy and effectiveness of friendly artillery, especially its ability to engage enemy artillery.19 In that sense, improvements in aerial technology became improvements in the artillery system.20 Aerial reconnaissance was also used to assist other arms – photo mosaics of frontline trenches were invaluable for planning attacks and determining the enemy’s intentions.21 By 1918 wireless sets were being installed in aircraft, allowing them to report information to frontline units in near-real-time.22 Night time did not provide security, since aircraft equipped with flares enabled observation of the enemy at any time.23

Air power was also developed to intervene directly in the land battle. Both sides increasingly employed squadrons to attack ground targets with machine guns and bombs.24 This role exploited the inherent flexibility to quickly and unexpectedly concentrate firepower where it was needed – attacking pillboxes, anti-tank guns, and reinforcements, as they revealed themselves during the course of a battle. In this role, too, the use of wireless greatly assisted the speed with which ground attack aircraft could intervene on the battlefield.25 Compared to the artillery the weight of munitions delivered by WWI ground-attack aircraft was modest.26 However, its immediacy – and novelty - meant that airborne firepower was seen as a valuable addition.27

Aircraft also conducted resupply on a very limited scale in 1918, something that had never been tried before.28 In theory aircraft could leap over the shell torn and muddy battlefield to deliver supplies quickly and directly to where they were needed in order to sustain advances. Whilst useful, the long lead time required and the limited quantities of supplies that could be delivered meant that the impact of aerial resupply on operations in 1918 was modest.

The Somme, in September 1916, saw the battlefield debut of the tank. It had limited effect on that battle, and indeed throughout most of 1917 its effect was slight and drawbacks legion. Nevertheless, its potential was recognised. The Germans, due to their late start and stretched economy were never in a position to field effective tank forces.29 The French and the British, on the other hand, were each able to develop large armoured arms and employ hundreds of tanks on several occasions.

The tank’s great contribution to mobility in WWI was its ability to crush dense obstacle belts, and carry sufficient firepower to destroy enemy defensive positions left intact by the artillery. Using tanks to deal with wire and obstacles meant that obstacles could be left intact until an attack commenced, preserving surprise, and freed the artillery to engage other targets.30 The mobility and armour of the tanks meant they were able to bring their fire power to bear at accurately at close range, thus assisting the infantry forward.

Specialised models of tanks were produced to safely carry supplies, men, and drag wire for communications forward into the battle zone.31 As valuable as these niche technologies were, their effect was limited by the nature of the tanks themselves – hot, noisy, exhausting, prone to breakdown, short endurance – and the limited quantity of specialised models produced compared to the tasks required of them. These limitations also affected the battle tanks, denying them the opportunity for exploitation of their own success.32 Although the tanks were unquestionably useful in breaking the stalemate, the Germans demonstrated that similar results could be achieved without them in their spring 1918 offensives, while the British also found that significant success could be achieved without tanks in many of their attacks late in the year.33

Infantry battalions by 1918 had a distinctly modern look to them. Instead of a homogenous mass of 1,000 men, all armed with a rifle, attacking and defending en masse, they now routinely employed grenades, light and heavy machine guns, submachine guns, flame-throwers, mortars, and a variety of direct fire artillery.34

This range of weapons technology had created – and been created by – a demand for new infantry tactics. Using the new weapons and organised in small, self supporting units the infantry were able to in attack with each group working its way forward independently to flank, engage, and destroy enemy positions and achieve objectives.35 The new weapons also allowed the infantry to man positions with fewer men yet generate more firepower than previously.36

Along with these new technologies – sophisticated artillery, air power, tanks, and greatly increased infantry firepower – by 1918 there had been significant changes in the way forces were being employed. Both the Allies and Germans had come to realise that smaller, more flexible, independent and self-reliant units that were highly trained could, using infiltration tactics the new technologies and surprise, achieve better results on the attack while suffering fewer casualties.37

The success of these infiltration tactics was, however, dependant on another change. Infiltration tactics and flank attacks could only make headway where the enemy’s front wasn’t held continuously or strongly.38 The Germans had been thinning out their front lines in the face of increasing British artillery since the Somme in 1916, a practice that accelerated with the introduction by the British of their greatly improved artillery during Third Ypres in 1917.39

For the British, a similar change came as a result of the their own terrible losses suffered at Third Ypres.40 Politically motivated decisions were made to transfer several divisions from France to Italy, increase the length of front being held by the British, and tightly restrict the supply of replacements.41 All this meant that the British line in early 1918 was held much more thinly than before. In addition, the British had far less practice than the Germans at conducting defensive operations.42 The French had also suffered grievous losses in 1916 and 1917, and shared the British inexperience in defensive tactics.43 Furthermore, with Russia’s withdrawal from the war, Germany was able to transfer significant forces to the Western Front and concentrate overwhelming force at selected points. For example, The Germans concentrated 6,500 guns against the British for the opening of their offensive on March 21, 1918.44 This combination of thinly held lines, defensive inexperience, overwhelming mass plus new offensive tactics, and the new technologies to gain surprise, enabled the startling initial success of the German Spring 1918 offensives.

For various reasons the Germans had concentrated their best equipment and men in a relatively few special attack divisions.45 These divisions suffered heavy losses in their otherwise successful attacks,46 while the follow on forces – wholly untrained or equipped for the new attack techniques – fared even worse.47 Also, the Allied defences evolved quickly to decisively rebuff the new German tactics and technology at Arras in late-March and Reims in mid-July.48 When the German then lost the initiative they found themselves holding unprepared positions, over a longer front, and with fewer men who were on average of lower quality than before.49 This gave the Allies the opportunity to put their own new technologies, tactics, and organisations into effect to surprise the enemy. The confluence of these factors led to the spectacular victories at Hamel and Amiens.50 The subsequent Allied successes that won WWI were in turn enabled by the further progressive disintegration of the German Army, with successive positions being repeatedly broken open by the new technologies and techniques, in a spiralling cycle of success.

These thinner defences would nevertheless have been sufficient to halt the Allied advances had technology not changed over the previous years – in 1915 defences that were broadly comparable to those of mid- to late-1918 were sufficient to repulse all attacks. Similarly the well equipped but inexperienced Americans found that merely throwing new technology at the enemy without a sophisticated plan for employment could lead to disaster, as they discovered in several costly attacks.51

By 1918, then, the artillery was able to swiftly and effectively neutralise enemy defences, tanks could crush wire and obstacles and engage surviving strong points directly, while overhead the air force provided crucial intelligence, attacked point targets, and delayed reserves. This enabled the infantry to exploit surprise and swiftly and efficiently break into and through what would previously been impenetrable.52 However, these new technologies would have been unable to break the stalemate on the Western Front had they not been leveraged as part of a intelligent combined arms package, a package that also included new tactics, training, and organisations.53

 

Bibliography

Bailey, J.B.A., Field Artillery and Firepower (London: Routledge, 2004)

Bidwell, Shelford and Graham, Dominick, Fire-Power: British Army Weapons and Theories of War 1904-1945 (Winchester, Mass.: Allen & Unwin Inc., 1985)

Brown, Ian M., “Not Glamorous, But Effective: The Canadian Corps and the Set-Piece Attack, 1917-1918,” The Journal of Military History, Vol. 58, No. 3 (Jul 1994), pp. 421-444.

Campbell, Christy, Band of Brigands: The First Men in Tanks (London: Harper Press, 2007)

Cook, Tim, “Dying like so Many Rats in a Trap: Gas Warfare and the Great War Soldier,” The Army Doctrine and Training Bulletin, Vol. 5, No. 4 (Winter 2002-2003), pp. 47-56

Corum, James S., ”The Luftwaffe’s Army Support Doctrine, 1918-1941,” The Journal of Military History, Vol. 59, No. 1 (Jan 1995), pp. 53-76.

Dupuy, T.N., Understanding War, (London: Leo Cooper, 1992)

English, John A., and Gudmundsson, Bruce I., On Infantry (Westport CT: Praeger, 1994)

Griffith, Paddy, Battle Tactics of the Western Front: The British Army’s Art of Attack 1916-18 (Great Britain: Yale University Press, 2000)

Gudmundsson, Bruce I., On Artillery (Westport CT: Praeger, 1993)

Liaropoulos, Andrew N., “Revolutions in Warfare: Theoretical Paradigms and Historical Evidence – The Napoleonic and First World War Revolutions in Military Affairs,” The Journal of Military History, Vol. 70, No. 2 (Apr 2006), pp. 363-384.

Lupfer, Timothy T., The Dynamics of Doctrine: The Changes in German Tactical Doctrine During the First World War, Leavenworth Papers No. 4 (Combat Studies Institute, US Army Command and General Staff College, Ft Leavenworth, Kansas, July 1981)

Marble, Sanders, The infantry cannot do with a gun less: The Place of the Artillery in the British Expeditionary Force, 1914-1918, accessed via http://www.gutenberg-e.org/mas01, August 2003

NATO, Land Force Tactical Doctrine, ATP-35(B)

Palazzo, Albert P., “The British Army’s Counter-Battery Staff Office and Control of the Enemy in World War I,” The Journal of Military History, Vol. 63, No. 1 (Jan 1999), pp. 55-74.

Shimshoni, Jonathan, “Technology, Military Advantage, and World War I,” International Security, Vol. 15, No. 3 (Winter 1990-1991), pp. 187-215.

Steel, Nigel, and Hart, Peter, Tumult in the Clouds: The British Experience of the War in the Air, 1914 – 1918 (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1997)

Stevenson, David, 1914 – 1918: The History of the First World War (London: Penguin, 2004)

Terraine, John, White Heat: The New Warfare 1914-18 (London: Sidgwick & Jackson Ltd, 1982)

Travers, Tim, “The Evolution of British Strategy and Tactics on the Western Front in 1918: GHQ, Manpower, and Technology,” The Journal of Military History, Vol. 54, No. 2 (Apr 1990), pp. 173-200.

Travers, Tim, “Could the Tanks of 1918 have Been War-Winners for the British Expeditionary Force?” Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 27, No. 3 (Jul 1992), pp. 389-406.

Van der Kloot, William, “Lawrence Bragg’s Role in the Development of Sound-Ranging in World War I,” Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London, Vol. 59, No. 3 (Sep. 22, 2005), pp. 273-284.

 

Footnotes

1 British forces advanced some seven miles in five months over the course of the Somme Offensive in 1916. On 8 Aug 1918 at Amiens the British advanced eight miles in one day. Stevenson, David, 1914 – 1918: The History of the First World War (London: Penguin, 2004), pp.409, 426.

2 Terraine, John, White Heat: The New Warfare 1914-18 (London: Sidgwick & Jackson Ltd, 1982), pp.321-322.

3 Stevenson, 1914-1918, p.399. Griffith, Paddy, Battle Tactics of the Western Front: The British Army’s Art of Attack 1916-18 (Great Britain: Yale University Press, 2000), p.89. Travers, Tim, “The Evolution of British Strategy and Tactics on the Western Front in 1918: GHQ, Manpower, and Technology,” The Journal of Military History, Vol. 54, No. 2 (Apr 1990), p195. Brown, Ian M., “Not Glamorous, But Effective: The Canadian Corps and the Set-Piece Attack, 1917-1918,” The Journal of Military History, Vol. 58, No. 3 (Jul 1994), p.443. Shimshoni, Jonathan, “Technology, Military Advantage, and World War I,” International Security, Vol. 15, No. 3 (Winter 1990-1991), p.205.

4 Dupuy, T.N., Understanding War, (London: Leo Cooper, 1992), p.6. NATO, Land Force Tactical Doctrine, ATP-35(B), p.1-3. Travers, GHQ, emphasises the importance of surprise.

5 Stevenson, 1914-1918, p.162.

6 Bidwell, Shelford and Graham, Dominick, Fire-Power: British Army Weapons and Theories of War 1904-1945 (Winchester, Mass.: Allen & Unwin Inc., 1985), pp.129-130. Gudmundsson, Bruce I., On Artillery (Westport CT: Praeger, 1993), pp.88, 91-93. Marble, Sanders, The infantry cannot do with a gun less: The Place of the Artillery in the British Expeditionary Force, 1914-1918, accessed via http://www.gutenberg-e.org/mas01, August 2003, Chapter 4 – “Preparing the Attack, Part II:1917-1918”, sub-chapter “1918: Amiens”.

7 Liaropoulos, Andrew N., “Revolutions in Warfare: Theoretical Paradigms and Historical Evidence – The Napoleonic and First World War Revolutions in Military Affairs,” The Journal of Military History, Vol. 70, No. 2 (Apr 2006), pp. 377.

8 Bidwell, Firepower, pp.12, 68, 141-143. Marble, The Infantry, Chapter 2 – “Background through the end of 1914”, sub-chapter “1914: The test of battle”.

9 Marble, The Infantry, Chapter 5 – “The “Counter Blaster” and Counter-Battery Work”, sub-chapter “1917: The Problems Solved”.

10 Griffith, Battle Tactics, pp.140-141.

11 Terraine, White Heat, p.295. Stevenson, 1914-1918, pp.446-447. Cook, Tim, “Dying like so Many Rats in a Trap: Gas Warfare and the Great War soldier,” The Army Doctrine and Training Bulletin, Vol. 5, No. 4 (Winter 2002-2003), pp.49-40, 51, 52

12 Terraine, White Heat, p.308. Stevenson, 1914-1918, pp.446-447. Bailey, J.B.A., Field Artillery and Firepower (London: Routledge, 2004), p.142. Van der Kloot, William, “Lawrence Bragg’s Role in the Development of Sound-Ranging in World War I,” Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London, Vol. 59, No. 3 (Sep. 22, 2005), pp.281-282. Palazzo, Albert P., “The British Army’s Counter-Battery Staff Office and Control of the Enemy in World War I,” The Journal of Military History, Vol. 63, No. 1 (Jan 1999), pp. 68-72.

13 Terraine, White Heat, p.307, quoting General Birch.

14 Gudmundsson, On Artillery, pp.90-95, 99-100. Stevenson, 1914-1918, pp.375-376. Bidwell, Firepower, p.134.

15 Stevenson, 1914-1918, p.446. Steel, Nigel, and Hart, Peter, Tumult in the Clouds: The British Experience of the War in the Air, 1914 – 1918 (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1997), p.334.

16 Stevenson, 1914-1918, p.191.

17 Griffith, Battle Tactics, pp.137, 157. Bidwell, Firepower, p.103.

18 Bidwell, Firepower, p.103.

19 Bidwell, Firepower, pp.102-104. Marble, The Infantry, Chapter 5 – “The “Counter Blaster” and Counter-Battery Work”, sub-chapter “1917: The Problems Solved”.

20 Stevenson, 1914-1918, p.192. Griffith, Battle Tactics, p.157.

21 Bidwell, Firepower, p.103.

22 Steel, Tumult, p.334. Stevenson, 1914-1918, p.191.

23 Steel, Tumult, p.319

24 Steel, Tumult, pp.315, 317, 334, 335, 339. Terraine, White Heat, pp.289, 304. Bidwell, Firepower, pp.143-144. Travers, GHQ, pp.193-194. Campbell, Christy, Band of Brigands: The First Men in Tanks (London: Harper Press, 2007), p.358. Corum, James S., ”The Luftwaffe’s Army Support Doctrine, 1918-1941,” The Journal of Military History, Vol. 59, No. 1 (Jan 1995), pp. 54-56.

25 Bidwell, Firepower, pp.144-145.

26 For example at Amiens, on 8 Aug 1918, a total of 750 aircraft from the RAF were involved, each able to drop some hundreds of pounds of bombs per day. By contrast, the British employed about 2,000 pieces of artillery, each able to fire over a ton of shells per hour. Stevenson, 1914-1918, pp.192, 305, 307, 444-445.

27 Bidwell, Firepower, pp.144-145. Travers, GHQ, p.180.

28 White Heat, p.311. Tumult, p.335. During the siege of Paris in 1870-71 small quantities of items, including letters, were spirited out of the city by balloon, but that clearly wasn’t a supply operation. “$238,625 for mail from Prussian Siege”, The Dominion Post, Wellington, 9 April 2009.

29 Campbell, Band of Brigands, p.380. Terraine, White Heat, p.286.

30 Griffith, Battle Tactics, p.164. Bailey, Field Artillery and Firepower, pp.142, 148. Travers, GHQ, pp.192-193. Marble, The Infantry, Chapter 5 – “The “Counter Blaster” and Counter-Battery Work”, sub-chapter “1917: The Problems Solved”.

31 Campbell, Band of Brigands, p.389. Bidwell, Firepower, p.137.

32 Terraine, White Heat, p.303. Campbell, Band of Brigands, pp.389, 393. Stevenson, 1914-1918, pp.189, 444. Bidwell, Firepower, pp.137-138.

33 Bailey, Field Artillery and Firepower, p.145. See Travers, Tim, “Could the Tanks of 1918 have Been War-Winners for the British Expeditionary Force?” Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 27, No. 3 (Jul 1992), pp.389-406 for a backhanded acknowledgement of this point.

34 Bidwell, Firepower, p.127. Gudmundsson, On Artillery, p.83. Stevenson, 1914-1918, p.186. English, John A., and Gudmundsson, Bruce I., On Infantry (Westport CT: Praeger, 1994), p.28.

35 Stevenson, 1914-1918, p.193. Griffith, Battle Tactics, p.97. Lupfer, Timothy T., The Dynamics of Doctrine: The Changes in German Tactical Doctrine During the First World War, Leavenworth Papers No. 4 (Combat Studies Institute, US Army Command and General Staff College, Ft Leavenworth, Kansas, July 1981), pp.40, 42.

36 Bidwell, Firepower, p.140.

37 Terraine, White Heat p.291. Griffith, Battle Tactics, pp.96-99. English, On Infantry, pp.22-23, 28-29. Bidwell, Firepower, p.132. Lupfer, Dynamics of Doctrine, p.40.

38 Griffith, Battle Tactics, pp.63, 195.

39 Terraine, White Heat p.220. English, On Infantry, pp.25-26. Lupfer, Dynamics of Doctrine, p.35.

40 There were 244,897 British casualties over 100-odd days at Third Ypres, Terraine, White Heat p.291.

41 Griffith, Battle Tactics, pp.89, 218. Stevenson, 1914-1918, pp.404-406.

42 Stevenson, 1914-1918, pp.402.

43 The French continued to crowd front line trenches until Reims, 15 July 1918. Gudmundsson, On Artillery, p.95. Stevenson, 1914-1918, p.423.

44 Stevenson, 1914-1918, p.399, 408. This was more guns than the British held in all of France. Comparable concentrations were achieved for subsequent attacks.

45 In principle advanced attack techniques and tactics were available to the entire BEF, Griffith, Battle Tactics, p.194. For streaming of German Army see Terraine, White Heat pp.279, 280. English, On Infantry, p.29 and note 30, p.34. Stevenson, 1914-1918, p.400.

46 The Germans suffered such high casualties among the specialist assault troops in their attacks in March and May that they were unable to continue attacking. Similarly, the British suffered 250,000 casualties during The Hundred Days. However, casualties per mile of advance had dropped precipitously since 1916, and even 1917. Terraine, White Heat p.324. Campbell, Band of Brigands p.397. Travers, GHQ, p.189.

47 Terraine, White Heat p.287. Stevenson, 1914-1918, pp.411-412, 413. Griffith, Battle Tactics, p.60.

48 Stevenson, 1914-1918, pp.411, 423. Terraine, White Heat pp.288, 299.

49 As 1918 progressed, the average quality of the German Army continued to decline, Gudmundsson, On Artillery, p.102. Stevenson, 1914-1918, p.416.

50 Campbell, Band of Brigands, p.386. Stevenson, 1914-1918, pp.425-427.

51 For example the disastrous attack by 301st US Tank Battalion and 27th US Infantry Division on 27 September 1918, Campbell, Band of Brigands p.395. Also the US fiasco at the Meuse-Argonne, also in September, Stevenson, 1914-1918, p.430.

52 General Monash commented that Hamel was “all over in 93 minutes”, Terraine, White Heat, p.314. Campbell, Band of Brigands p.384 for Hamel, and p.386 for Amiens. The crossing of the St Quentin Canal on 29 September 1918 was carried out with great dash and success, Stevenson, 1914-1918, p.431. Overall casualties suffered by the British during The Hundred Days were comparable to Third Ypres, but the results achieved were incomparably greater, Campbell, Band of Brigands p.397, Terraine, White Heat p.323, and Stevenson, 1914-1918, p.442.

53 Stevenson, 1914-1918, p.447.

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Edited by JonS

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Great little summary @JonS - I found it of very high didactic value. I would suggest you to think about adding a "Further Reading" section, discussing and commenting  interesting bibliography.

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Been a while, Jon. Nice little essay. Thanks for it. You might have devoted more discussion to the AEF. Though at the outset they did indeed make mistakes, their advances in the last months were dramatic and exceeded what was expected of them.

Michael

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16 hours ago, Michael Emrys said:

Nice little essay.

Thank you :)

Quote

You might have devoted more discussion to the AEF.

The essay is about the role of technology in breaking the stalemate, and the AEF really didn't add anything to that. Tactically they peaked at about where everyone else was in mid-1917, and all the technology they used was borrowed, bought or gifted from either the French or the British.

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