History 2179 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Erich Ludendorff, Ottoman Empire, Central Powers

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16 Dec 2015
Germany’s “Year of Decision
o“New” Oensive Tacticss to be Used on the Western Front
Ludendor Oensives of 1918”
Allied Lines Nearly Break
Appointment of Supreme Commander Foch
American Troops Arriving
Massive Use of Tanks: Battle of
Central Powers Start to Drop Out
1. Bulgaria
2. Ottoman Turkey
Wilson’s Demand for Germany “Democracy”
3. A-H: Battle of Vitorio Veneto
German – Alone
November 3rd Revolt of Kiel
November 7th: Kaiser Abdicated
Germany Republic Formed
November 11: Germany – “Armistice”
“Stab in The Back Theory”
Germany’s “Year of Decision” – “New” Oensive Tactics to be Used on Western Front
Germany can move troops from east to west. The two front war is over, AH has seem to have
won at every front. We go into this psychologically thinking that the Germans are going to win,
the Germans are going to lose – shock of their defeat. It particularly shook Hitler. They were
clearly winning and then they lost.
Russia will be out of the war, the submarines are still working but not as eectively. New
oensive tactics – “new” because they have already been tried. A lot of it is being observant and
realizing what dierent armies have done. Ludendor is good at changing the German army in
oensive ways, in little <ne tuning ways. He knows it has to happen and has to happen quickly.
The German population is beginning to suer. Food riots and lack of food.
Sense in Germany of war weariness – a conclusion needs to be reached. German society is
beginning to fall apart and increasing civilian discontent. The Americans are coming – how many
and how quickly will they arrive? Quickly and a lot!
Ludendor puts together 3 “new” tactics; some have been tried out prior to this. Short artillery
barrage – 4 hours long. There will also be a rolling of creeping barrages. This is not new, a lot of
armies have tried this. A whole wall of steel coming down which travels just in front of the
moving troops. Some of the units are not going to attack in waves, which is a suicidal attack
strategy. The idea was that you cannot trust your soldiers.
Ludendor will put together storm troopers that will be elite troops, which have the ability to
move not in waves and use cover. These highly trained troops are looking at one speci<c spot on
the trench – the soft spot.
There is going to be 3 attacks in 3 separate places. Ludendor is running out of men, this is there
last chance. They can’t attack all 3 places at once. There is not enough man power or materials
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