Military Review

McMahon's army on the road to disaster

Having won the battles of Mars-la-Tour and Saint-Privat, which forced the Rhine French army to take refuge in Metz, the Germans laid siege to the French, for which they isolated the 7 corps of the 1 and 2 armies under the command of Friedrich Karl and continued movement to Paris. Under the leadership of Crown Prince Albert of Saxony, the so-called Maas army was formed, consisting of the remaining three corps and four cavalry divisions. This 4 was in succession, and the 3 of the German army was ordered to conduct an offensive against Paris, and also to detect the main forces of the French army, because the French still had remnants of the MacMahon army.

In the meantime, the French quickly formed the Chalon army, including the 1, 5, 7 corps under the command of MacMahon and the newly formed 12 corps. The core of the 12 Corps was a division left on the Spanish border, joined by four regiments of marines. In addition, two cavalry divisions were added. The French emperor arrived at Chalon and placed in command of Marshal MacMahon a new army. In the French main apartment (headquarters) it was believed that Marshal Bazin retreated from Metz. The counter movement of the Shalonsky army, approximately, to Verdun could in a few days lead to the unification of both armies, and the creation of a powerful army group capable of resisting the victorious German army. On the other hand, MacMahon should have also taken care of the defense of Paris. The appearance of the army of the crown prince of Prussia on the Meuse threatened both the French capital and the right flank of the Shalonsky army.

On August 18, a report was received from Bazin that he held his position in the battle of Rezonville, but in order to proceed further, the troops must be supplied with ammunition and food. At the same time, it became obvious that the messages of the Rhine Army were already under threat. Marshal MacMahon decided to go to Reims, from where he could go to Paris (making a small detour), or move towards Bazin. However, having received the news that not all Prussian troops were drawn to Metz and that Prussian cavalry had already appeared before Vitry, the marshal decided that he should go to Paris. There he could give battle under favorable conditions, as he had the support of the capital’s resources and even in case of failure could make a retreat, hiding behind a huge city and its forts.

MacMahon believed that a movement to help Bazin could lead to the loss of the only remaining French army. The Chalon army, in his opinion, could soon become the core for the formation of 250 — 300-thousand. an army that could defend Paris. "Heading east," McMahon argued to the government, "I may be in a difficult situation and suffer a rout that I seek to avoid." Marshal believed that he "could not take such a risk and find himself surrounded by the Prussian armies" and offered to go to Paris.

However, the new messages from Metz still misled the supreme French command and did not give a clear idea of ​​the situation there. It was reported that 18 August "the army also maintained its position," only the right wing made a change of front. “The troops need 2 – 3 days of rest,” but Marshal Bazin “still expects to move north” and make his way through Montmedy and Saint-Meneuld to Chalon if this road is not very busy. In the latter case, he will go to Sedan and even through Mezieres to reach Chalons. In addition, 22 August from Paris received a dispatch addressed to Napoleon III from the Minister of War. In it, Cousin-Montaban insisted that MacMahon go to Metz, since political considerations, the interests of preserving the empire, require it. “Paris, by the way, does not need an auxiliary army,” the head of government and the minister of war assured. “He is able to defend himself against the army of the crown prince of Prussia. The defensive work has moved far ahead; a new army is being created in Paris. ”

As a result, MacMahon did not dare to leave Bazin’s army without support, and on August 23, he did take the place of Paris in the direction of Stenay. This movement was poorly prepared. Two corps were left completely without food. The French commander was forced to pull the army north to Rethel, where large food warehouses were located, and where the railroad facilitated the transport of everything needed. Thus, fatigue from previous marches, demoralization as a result of previously suffered defeats, lack of food and other supplies led to the fact that the movement of the Chalons army was extremely slow, with forced deviations to the west in search of food. As a result, the Shalon army lost some advantage in time over the Prussian army and very slowly moved east.

McMahon's army on the road to disaster

Marshal Patrice de MacMagon

At that time, as the French army was moving in a wide arc to the east, the German armies, speaking at the same time, went in a direct direction to the west. The Prussian command decided that the left-flank 3 Army moved to the 1 transition ahead of the right-flank Maas Army so that, wherever the French stopped, attack them simultaneously from the front and the right flank, swinging north of Paris. The first transition brought the German troops to Maaas, the second - August 24 - on the line Saint-Dizier, Bar-le-Duc, Verdun. The second attempt to take the Tul fortress on the move did not lead to success. At the same time, the cavalry pushed far ahead reported that the French had cleared Chalon and moved towards Reims. 25 August both armies were instructed to move in the direction of Reims.

New news confirmed the direction of the French army. The newspapers in Paris readily blurted out military secrets; they gave harsh speeches in the National Assembly: "A French general who leaves without the help of his comrade will be subject to the curse of the fatherland." Declared shameful for the French people, if the brave Bazin left without support. With the power of public opinion in France, it was obvious that military considerations would submit to political ones. Indeed, a telegram from London reported to the Paris newspaper Temp that MacMahon suddenly decided to help Bazin, although the location of the Shalon army near the capital was more advantageous from a military-strategic point of view, and leaving the road to Paris threatened the security of France.

As a result, in the evening of August 25, the Prussian king approved the turn of the armies to the right and at night orders were sent directly to the appropriate corps. August 26 German cavalry intelligence discovered the 7 French Corps on the heights of Vouziers. The appearance of several weak cavalry outposts, sent out by the Germans for observation, caused in the French army a hardly explainable commotion. Things reached the point that the appearance of enemy cavalry was considered to be the start of the German offensive. The 7 corps stood all night in a rifle in the pouring rain, and Marshal MacMahon decided the next morning to move with all the troops to the aid of the 7 corps. The main reason for the French panic was poor intelligence. If the Germans skillfully used the cavalry for reconnaissance, then the French had a failure in this area. If the French had used their cavalry on the right flank, the sudden appearance of the German cavalry would have been impossible. But the French 1-I cavalry division was in front of a completely safe left wing, and the 2-division was behind the army.

After the German cavalry appeared on the right flank, MacMahon should either go towards the enemy, so his southern flank was under threat of an enemy strike and further eastward, led to the enemy's embrace of the Shalon army, or it was necessary to admit that the march was impossible and that its continuation leads to a catastrophe. This forced the army to return to Paris, where its presence was more appropriate. According to some military historians, the 27 of August MacMahon still had the opportunity to overthrow the 12 German Corps blocking his way, since the rest of the German troops were so far away. However, MacMahon, ill-informed about the location of the enemy, was afraid to be surrounded by the German armies. Therefore, after clearing up the misunderstandings, Marshal 27 of August continued his march, at least with some of the forces. The 7 and 5 corps covered the movement in Wuszier and Bussancy, the 12 corps moved forward to Le Schoen, and the 1 corps and part of the cavalry were left behind on p. En In the meantime, the Prussians were marching northward with reinforced marches.

Finding that no one could be seen in Montmedy from the Rhineland army, that Bazin’s army still remained with Metz, MacMahon decided to retreat. He gave orders to carry it out and conveyed his intention to Paris. However, he was not allowed to realize this correct intention. On the night of August 28, McMahon received persistent objections. The war minister telegraphed: "If you leave Bazen without help, a revolution will break out." The Council of Ministers set a specific requirement - to release the Metz. It was indicated that the marshal had only a part of the blockade German army in front of him, that he was several days ahead of the crown prince, and to cover Paris he moved to Reims General Vinoy with the newly formed 13 corps. Marshal, contrary to his understanding of the military situation, complied and gave new orders. McMahon, as he later claimed, was aware of the unreasonableness of the army march to the east, but he did not have enough independence to defend his opinion. The troops had already acted, and so when changing the direction of the march numerous crossings of columns occurred, which complicated and slowed down the movement. This further demoralized the army. Senseless marches exhausted the soldiers.

It is worth noting that the MacMagon army had weak combat capability, in contrast to Bazin’s army. The Shalonian army was formed from the remnants of MacMahon's troops, retreating to Chalon after the defeats of August 6, as well as from the troops of the 12 corps formed in Chalon. As acknowledged by the Chief of Staff of the 12 Army Corps, General Schmitz, who was observing these forces at Chalon, they “looked as if they had been fighting for six months already ... The majority did not have backpacks or rifles. All the officers lost their luggage and their horses in these ill-fated battles of 6 August 1870. ” Schmitz's data coincide with the characteristic that Engels gave to the remnants of MacMahon's troops in those days. "It was," he wrote on August 19, "a mixture of soldiers of all military branches and different regiments, without weapons, without cartridges, without satchels; cavalrymen had no horses, gunners no guns; a motley, disorganized, demoralized crowd, which would have taken weeks to organize into battalions, squadrons, and batteries. ” The troops that made up the 12 Army Corps, with the exception of the Marine Corps brigade, were also of little use for immediate engagement with the Prussian army. This corps has so far been staffed only by the 18 battalions of the Mobile Department of Seine, with 13 500 men, and a small number of untrained new recruits. Many were armed with guns of outdated systems, others did not have guns at all. Thus, to lead such an army to meet the powerful German corps meant to destroy the last army at the disposal of the French command. Such an army could fight the enemy, relying on the resources and fortifications of Paris, and not in the course of maneuvering combat.

At this time, the German cavalry was categorically ordered not to interfere with the enemy and not crowding him, limited to observation. Therefore, the 29 of August the Germans were not looking for a battle. It was supposed to start a decisive clash only on August 30. On the German side, first the Saxon corps went out to the French, then the guard. After some time, the rest of the corps came up. The German headquarters moved to Grand Pré, and on the basis of the reports received there, it was decided to 30 in August, before the French go over the Meuse to attack them. The Maasian army was indicated to advance on Bomon, the 3 Army between this point and Le Chen.

Domestic crisis in France

At this time there was a split in the military-political leadership of France. There were two strategic lines. The head of the French government, Cousin-Montaban, who acted in concert with the regent, believed that the MacMagon army should have gone to Metz and, having overcome the resistance of the German troops, on the way, joined Bazin’s 170 thousandth army. After the successful completion of this operation, it was intended by the combined forces of both armies to give battle to the Prussians in the vicinity of Metz, and then by moving to Paris to suspend the march of the remaining Prussians to the capital. Cousin-Montaban wanted to remove from the capital the emperor, so as not to cause a revolutionary explosion. A military victory over the Prussians was supposed to save the building of the Second Empire. The victorious army could stop the revolution. Thus, the movement of the MacMahonian army to the rescue of Bazin’s army was dictated mainly by political considerations. Therefore, the government continued to insist on the movement of the MacMahonian army to Metz, to help Bazin and after it became clear that Bazin did not want to lead troops from the encirclement.

General Louis Jules Trochu, who claimed to be the Minister of War, was a decisive opponent of this plan. He had already 10 August, that is, before the army of Bazin was surrounded, suggested, without waiting for the final formation of the Shalon army, immediately begin moving to Paris troops of MacMahon and Bazin. Later, when it became clear that Bazin’s army was blocked in Metz, Troshu urged to abandon the idea of ​​combining the forces of the two armies, in which he did not believe in success, and insisted on an immediate movement of the Shalon army to Paris. He believed that having an army near Paris would solve two problems at once: prevent the revolution and save the capital from the Prussians.

Both Cousin-Montauban and Troshu wanted to prevent a revolution in Paris, but with different methods. 17 August 1870 passed military council at Chalon. The imminence of the revolution, as soon as the capital becomes aware of the 16 defeat of August, seemed so obvious to the meeting participants that Prince Napoleon (Napoleon IV heir to the French throne) openly spoke to the emperor about the danger of being "forcibly removed from the throne". "Under the circumstances," the prince noted, "only one person, General Trochu, who is popular among the people of Paris, can try to save the emperor." Troshu was to return immediately to Paris as the emperor-appointed military governor of the capital and commander of the Paris garrison. His task was to prepare the population of Paris for the return of the emperor and to carry out the necessary military measures for this.

Troshu, who was keen on this, expressed his willingness to take on "such a hard mission." “In that dangerous state of the country,” he said, “the revolution will plunge it into the abyss. I will do my best to prevent a revolution. ” It was decided that an emperor would arrive in Paris after the general. The Shalonsky army also had to start moving immediately to the capital. However, as we know, the army was eventually driven to “help” Bazen. In addition, Troschu set an additional condition for the immediate return to Paris of the 18 mobile guard (mobile) battalions.

The unexpected appearance of General Troshu in Paris was greeted by the head of the government and the Minister of War Cousin-Montaban (Count Palicao) with extreme hostility. The regent also reacted to this. Upon learning of the upcoming arrival in Paris of Napoleon III, Empress Eugenia said: “Only the enemies of the emperor could advise him to return to Paris. He will not return alive to the Tuileries. ” For such a claim the regent had good reasons. Rumors of military defeats brought Paris to the brink of a revolutionary explosion. On August 18, the regent sent a dispatch to Napoleon III at Chalon, which stated: “Have you considered all the consequences of your return to Paris after two defeats suffered? As for me, I do not take responsibility to advise you that. " In fact, the empress demanded to abandon the decision and stay in Chalon. Palikao still 17 August, as soon as he became aware of the Schalon decision, telegraphed the emperor, insisting on maintaining the former strategic plan. 18 August from Napoleon III arrived the answer. The French emperor announced his decision to abandon the plan adopted at Chalon. The head of government immediately re-ordered MacMahon to join up with the army of Marshal Bazin.

From the very first day of his return to Paris, Troshu began to demonstrate autonomy from the government. In an appeal from 18 in August to the Parisians, he made it clear that he intended to focus on the majority of the population, and was not inclined to coordinate his actions with the political line of the government. Troshu declared his readiness "not to use the power that is given to him by the state of siege, but to base his relations with the population on the principles of mutual trust and moral influence on those who, due to excessive zeal, are not able to restrain themselves." He assured the population of Paris that the capital would henceforth be turned into a center of military defense. “Paris,” said the general, “again assumes the role that belongs to him; he intends to become the center of great efforts, great sacrifices and examples. ” On August 19, the general had to give a special explanation in the press regarding his statement yesterday about “moral strength” as the basis of his future relationship with the public. However, in his new clarification, Troshu even more clearly emphasized his differences with the government of the Second Empire. Thus, Troshu challenged the political regime of the Second Empire. No wonder the French and foreign press regarded the statements of Troshu as “political manifestation”. Troshu's next two appeals — the first of 19 August “To the National Guard of Paris, to the mobile guard, to the soldiers of the Parisian regular army and to all other defenders of Paris”, and the second from 23 of August, specifically addressed to the mobile guard, were made in the same spirit .

Troshu's speeches caused a split in the top leadership of the Second Empire, which was already in crisis. Cousin-Montaban took all measures to limit communications Troshu with the troops under his command. They could not remove the military governor from his post; Troshu's popularity grew in Paris every day. He became the idol of the Parisians. The press in every way praised his military talents, reinforcing among the broad masses the conviction that in his person the empire had finally found its savior. Thousands of mobile guard bayonets with relatives and other communications in the capital stood behind Troschu. In an effort to gain as much popularity as possible, Troshu held an 24 of August in the camps Saint-Maur a military review of the mobile guard battalions returned to Paris by 18. The inspection was organized with great pomp and attracted many citizens. The camp was announced cries of "Long live Troshu!" Long live the general! ”

Thus, the split in the top leadership of Paris weakened the defenses of the French capital. Each center of power ignored the orders of the other. In addition, as the defeats of the Second Empire grew, Troshu, like Thiers, was increasingly inclined to the idea of ​​creating a coalition bourgeois government. Just like Thiers, he considered it expedient to temporarily cooperate with the bourgeois Republicans, in order to prevent the revolution in Paris and seize all power in their hands.

At the same time, while the MacMagon army was going to defeat, the government still hid from the population of Paris the defeats suffered by the French troops in the Metz area. While the German press reported, for example, that the French army suffered 16 on August defeat at Mars-la-Tour, the Paris press claimed that the Germans were thrown against the Moselle on August X., and French troops won, only with big losses. The false reports about the battles of 16 and 16 of August, which ended allegedly in favor of the French army, were interspersed on columns of French government newspapers with equally false statements about the full combat readiness of the Chalons army and the undoubted success awaiting the MacMahon army. The Parisians believed these reports, although the whole of Europe was full of rumors of a new military catastrophe that befell France. Therefore, the bitter truth will be for them a very heavy blow.

French Prime Minister Charles Cousin-Montaban (August 9 1870 - September 4 1870)

Military Governor of Paris, General Louis Jules Trochu

To be continued ...
Articles from this series:
The collapse of the Second Empire

145 years of the Paris Commune
Second empire on the road to disaster
The second empire on the road to disaster. Part of 2
The second empire on the road to disaster. H. 3
The beginning of the Franco-Prussian war. Plans and the state of the French army
The First Defeats of the Second Empire: the Battle of Weisenburg, Werth, and on the Shpichhern Heights
Battle of Colombey - Nuilla
Battle of Mars-la-Tour
Battle of Saint-Privas - Gravelotte
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  1. demiurg
    demiurg 4 May 2016 08: 28
    Franco-Prussian war is very similar to Russian-Japanese. In one country, the revolutionary situation in the government is a mess, and despite the obvious preconditions, the army is not ready for war. And her rival, a young tiger, chose a very good time.
    1. RPG_
      RPG_ 4 May 2016 12: 28
      Not once similar. Unlike the French, the Russian army was ready for war and properly armed, but the generals were depressing.
      1. Roman 11
        Roman 11 4 May 2016 16: 43
        Quote: RPG_
        but the generals were depressing

        Rather, the command and the masses are generals. But among them there were separate Nuggets: Kondratenko, Mishchenko, the same Samsonov showed himself well.

        As for Kuropatkin, with his idea to repeat the year 1812 in the East, this idea is not bad, but it diverges too much from the political situation of a motley, fragmented by countless reasons and signs of a society - managed by a corrupt, clumsy, poorly organized and prepared state system. In which there could be no talk about the education of YOUNG highly qualified personnel, who sensitively capture any ongoing movements in the country.
    2. HERMES
      HERMES 4 May 2016 14: 08
      No .... the French underestimated Germany ... now everyone knows perfectly well what happens when Germany is not penniless. The army, which smashed its neighbors on an ongoing basis, and even managed to gouge all of Europe in its time, cannot be weak. of which nobles ... were ...
      1. Roman 11
        Roman 11 4 May 2016 17: 13
        Quote: HERMES
        No .... the French underestimated Germany ... it is now that everyone knows perfectly well what happens when Germany is not penniless ...
        It is not clear why, after the war with Austria and Denmark, this was not closely monitored? There should have been suspicions of a fast-paced neighbor. His thorough analysis, opportunities, probable opponents and allies did not follow in general, they lived in the Crimean War, and society was unbalanced.
        Quote: HERMES
        The army that routed its neighbors on an ongoing basis, and even managed to gouge all of Europe at one time, cannot be weak.
        Again, each case is separate - exactly which neighbors, what general political situation was at that time, balance and balance of power with neighbors. And then, the French were also considered strong, just weaker than the human and technical components. They simply did not prepare either for 1870 (looked through), or by 1940 (for resources and politically) ...... they were to blame themselves, the society was very keen on various fantasies, and now the same thing. It seems that they were seriously tuned once - before 1914, when they nailed to the wall, otherwise they would be renamed to Germany.
        1. HERMES
          HERMES 4 May 2016 21: 58
          Quote: Novel 11
          Again, each case is separate - exactly which neighbors, what general political situation was at that time, balance and balance of power with neighbors. And then, the French were also considered strong, just weaker than the human and technical components

          All this is understandable ... German politicians are not stupid ... but still I think that in all the situations and situations you have described, the factor of the German soldier and the generals is of considerable weight. The German soldier was not inferior to the Russians in fortress.
          But in terms of combat training, they excelled everyone without exception. This was their main advantage.

          Not a single nation in the world has actually fought against the whole world for so long and successfully. They were able to crush the United States, Britain (with their countless satellites and dominions), the USSR all at once. The USSR was frankly lucky. Winter near Moscow helped a lot, that would not tryndeli there ... at Stalingrad, the Achilles heel of the Germans became their worthless allies - the Romanians and Italians (the encirclement of Stalingrad by the Red Army on their conscience) .Near the Kursk Bulge, the Germans attacked the greatest defensive lines in history, on the admittedly outnumbering the enemy at least in twice in terms of manpower and six times in terms of equipment, and even entrenched. And even in this case, they were able to break through the defense in the southern direction very quickly. And again failure (for the Germans, this became the law of meanness) ... the Germans had to transfer very combat-ready divisions to Italy in connection with the massive landing of the Anlo-Americans (many experts note that this became fatal for the operation of the Germans, although the victory at the Kursk Bulge by the fact was not, because the German army did not flee, but in an organized manner retreated to its former positions). The German army finished off Hitler's order "not a step back" ... as a result of which there were many cauldrons and encirclements from the Red Army. The Germans sat in positions instead of retreating. And after all that I described above ... and even Taking into account at the time of 1944 the general superiority of the enemy in manpower of about 8k1, in equipment 15k1, in aviation, the superiority was even more colossal .... in short, in this situation, no army in the world could withstand.

          All I want to say ... in no case should you laugh and underestimate the enemy ... even the former and disarmed. France paid a dear price for this. Thanks must be given to the USSR, not the USA, because if not the USSR, if not the Red Army - the Germans crushed anyone who would stand in their way into powder.
          1. Alexey RA
            Alexey RA 5 May 2016 16: 13
            Quote: HERMES
            Winter near Moscow helped a lot, so that there would not tryndely ...

            You might think that the Germans voluntarily reached the first stage of the war until winter.
            By the way, winter was a problem for us too - especially for the armored vehicles with their "overgrown bugs" T-60.
            T-60 - the patency of the tank is completely limited. A narrow caterpillar cuts through the snow to the ground, the tank sits on the bottom.
            The depth of overcoming the snow with the T-60 tank is not more than 30 cm, along uneven terrain - 20-25 cm.
            Conclusion on the use of T-60 tanks:
            and). Recent operations of the tanks of the 20th Army showed that the T-60 tank, with a snow cover of more than 30-40 cm, can only move along highways. Large frosts lead to frequent warming up of engines and fuel consumption. Rare heating is not possible; water in the radiator freezes.
            b) It is advisable to use tanks in areas with less snow - in the south. In the areas of Moscow, the snow cover is large and the T-60 is essentially excluded for attack by deployed combat formations, together with infantry, these tanks can be used on roads, for the defense of settlements, headquarters, etc.

            Quote: HERMES
            near Stalingrad, the Germans 'Achilles' heel became their worthless allies - Romanians and Italians (the encirclement of Stalingrad with the Red Army on their conscience).

            And where did they come from there? Why did the Germans have to cover the flanks with the allies? And the casket just opens - holding positions in the city itself and regular attacks on German positions from the north pulled almost all combat-ready (read - German) units to Stalingrad. Even a division intended to strike in the direction of Astrakhan was thrown into battle. So I had to plug holes in quiet areas with what was at hand.
            So Romanians with Italians on the flanks are not a cause, but a consequence.
          2. Alexey RA
            Alexey RA 5 May 2016 17: 08
            Quote: HERMES
            Near Kursk, the Germans attacked the greatest defensive lines in history, knowingly outnumbering the enemy by at least two times the human resources and six times the technology, and even dug in. And even then they were able to break through the defense in a southerly direction quickly. And again failure (the Germans already became the law of meanness) .... the Germans had to transfer very combat-ready divisions to Italy in connection with the massive landing of non-Americans (many experts say that this became fatal for the German operation, although the victory on the Kursk Bulge was it wasn’t, because the German army didn’t run, but in an organized way retreated to its previous positions).

            Yes, yes, yes ... alignment of the front line - to the Dnieper.

            By the time the Germans began to transfer forces to Italy with the Citadel, everything was already clear - the German offensive had failed. Moreover, this transfer to Italy was carried out often without equipment, which was taken away to make up for the losses of the remaining units.

            The Germans weren’t even helped by Rotmistrov’s giveaway - when he threw 2 tank corps into the attack without reconnaissance, without artillery preparation, through narrow passages, battalionally. Moreover, the Germans took this plan into account in their plans - but the forces assigned to reflect it and completely defeat the Russians were partially stuck in Katukov’s defense.
            Quote: HERMES
            The German army finished off Hitler's order "not a step back" ... as a result of which there were many cauldrons and encirclements from the Red Army. The Germans sat in positions instead of retreating.

            Heh heh heh ... well, the Germans in Belarus tried to retreat. Got summer 1941 on the contrary.

            With the superiority of the enemy in the air and the presence of numerous mechanized formations, the retreat turns into the abandonment of heavy weapons, a meat grinder at the crossing and the dismemberment of formations by strikes of the moving parts of the enemy. And if you sit still, you can try to skip the mechanics by yourself ... and plug the mouth of the breakthrough behind them (as it was in 1941-1942). In addition, the enemy’s retention of transport nodes is a great obstacle to the supply of mechanical units that have escaped ahead.
            1. Ostwest
              Ostwest 5 May 2016 22: 45
              I suspect that you answered a lover of Bavarian beer, without publicizing your weakness.
              There is General Frost and the weak flanks and the offensive in Italy, which was when everything near Kursk ended.
              The usual liberalistic delirium and waving fists after a fight. All these factors were taken into account, but were underestimated by German generals, not the worst in the world, perhaps the best, not like today's couch strategists, and our generals, who learned very well in the first period of the war, which was unsuccessful for us. Then they beat the Germans in the summer and winter. And they didn’t look at the flanks. They acted skillfully, efficiently, came to Berlin and gave the soldiers the opportunity to sign on the Reichstag, and it costs a lot.
              1. Roman 11
                Roman 11 6 May 2016 08: 42
                Quote: OstWest
                and our generals, who did a great job in the first period of the war, unsuccessful for us.

                You can’t study like that, 8,866 million dead for severe examinations is an incredible price. In addition, at the 2nd stage of the war, complete superiority in power. An ideal army with an average generality (excluding a small group of prominent strategists-governors Chernyakhovsky, Vasilevsky, Antonov, Vatutin) appeared with us in the 2nd half of 1944.
          3. Roman 11
            Roman 11 5 May 2016 20: 30
            Quote: HERMES
            The USSR was frankly lucky. Winter near Moscow helped a lot, whatever the trunks ... under Stalingrad, the Germans became the worthless allies of the Germans and Romanians (the encirclement of Stalingrad by the Red Army on their conscience). Under the Kursk Bulge, the Germans attacked the greatest defensive milestones in history, on the obviously outnumbered enemy at least twice in human resources and six times in technology, and even dug in. And even in this case, they were able to break through the defense in a southerly direction. Acha (the Germans it was already the law of meanness) .... German had to throw very combat-ready divisions in Italy

            We must speak openly, but the Fritz on the arc had the most selective army, all sorts of heads confirm this, they really have excellent grassroots officers, and such qualities as discipline, rigor, order, endurance add power.
            With us, do not forget what happened to the army on the eve of the war - the entire command staff was replaced. Stalin thought that the war would be like a civil war — if the commanders of the fronts and armies were naturally selected according to Darwin’s theory (remember how many there were Olderogge, Khvesin, Muravyov, Shorin, Egoriev, Samoilo, Nadezhny, Lazarevich - the list is big), then the most will remain professional. The Second World War was already different there, the supreme one just started (the execution of Pavlov and 3 generals), then Konev could stand against the wall, Meretskov risked following Stern and Co. ....... in general, the military themselves began to actively intervene in the matter, thanks to which some were released in the first months of the war. Thus the army was trained in so far as ..... and this could not but affect. Hence the level of ours in comparison with the Germans. Here is just a visual episode: Stalin - the Politburo decided to appoint you chief of the general staff of the KA, Zhukov - I have never been at headquarters, I can’t be the chief of the general staff. “The Politburo has decided to appoint you!”

            Result: A skirmish with Pavlov according to the results of the games, with the famous Bialystok ledge, but when Zhukov becomes the chief of the general staff he forgets about this ledge! And at the beginning of the war, the Germans surround our armies there. And only in the 41st how many armies were updated? Who and how many trained them?

            And the Fritz studied with our own Uborevich, Cork, Tukhachevsky and others.
  2. demiurg
    demiurg 4 May 2016 08: 28
    Franco-Prussian war is very similar to Russian-Japanese. In one country, the revolutionary situation in the government is a mess, and despite the obvious preconditions, the army is not ready for war. And her rival, a young tiger, chose a very good time.
  3. Cartalon
    Cartalon 4 May 2016 09: 00
    In general, the Prussian French were worried little internal bickering was more important at all stages of the war
    1. Chiropractor
      Chiropractor 4 May 2016 14: 57
      like you, punctuation marks ...
  4. Roman 11
    Roman 11 4 May 2016 17: 26
    Hmm, I would study with great interest and scrupulously this war in detailed diagrams - the classic genre, White starts and wins. A very strong strategy with reach, approach, ability to keep pace, good interaction and intelligence at the tactical level, management of corps and smaller structures - in a word, everything is according to Napoleon ...

    Unfortunately the map of war is general. No one knows if there is a Franco-Prussian company with detailed, phased maps ?? Can not be in color.
  5. Oprychnik
    Oprychnik 4 May 2016 18: 49
    Strong work, Alexander. He worked hard.
    1. Oprychnik
      Oprychnik 4 May 2016 18: 55
      In general, I mean the whole series. I downloaded everything on myself on Twitter. I look forward to continuing.
  6. Robert Nevsky
    Robert Nevsky 5 May 2016 18: 12
    For France in 1870-71 and 1940 there is much in common ...
  7. Sergey-8848
    Sergey-8848 30 December 2016 16: 34
    The defeat in the first war with the Germans (at that moment - the Prussians), desperate (sometimes) resistance during the Great (i.e., World War I) war; inglorious rout in 40 days during World War II (when the Germans got their hands on the French). How can you fight like that! This is not due to outbursts of national spirit and patriotism. But a surge of pohrenizm - quite, for - what difference does it make to whom to pay tax for a pig, if he only gets an ear from her. And the lesson of the Commune is to help.