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Old January 23rd, 2013, 09:51 AM
Awilla the Hun Awilla the Hun is offline
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A more powerful WWI German tank force

Historically, Germany deployed a number of tanks in WWI. The number was very small, and the A7V was pretty terrible. This bucks the trend somewhat of Germany being regarded as a master of all forms of innovation in land warfare.

How can we change this so as Germany becomes a pioneer in WWI tank development? What effects would it have?
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 10:18 AM
Michel Van Michel Van is online now
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the problem for the Germans was, the british Tank arrived in end of 1916 on the Battle field.
the Supreme Army Command react on this problem and order at "Allgemeines Kriegsdepartement, 7. Abteilung, Verkehrswesen."
to construct a similar weapon, they build the prototype A7V tank in 7 weeks

but the Supreme Army Command order only TEN armored A7V and 90 A7V "trucks" for replenishment transport
the Supreme Army Command try to correct the Error, but in 1917 the economic situation of German Empire was terrible.
thanks to boycott and deficiency on material like rubber or Steel or deficiency on workers
they build only 20 armored A7V because, the priority on production was on U-boats and Aircrafts.
Again a order by the Supreme Army Command...
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 10:43 AM
Elfwine Elfwine is offline
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So how do we change that?

Germany's steel production is huge - larger than Britain, France, and Russia put together in 1913 (and even when strains of WWI see industrial production run down Germany industry, Germany is not insignificant), it should be noted.

Sure, demands on that are also high, but IF it chose to try to develop tanks more than it did OTL, it won't be without materials.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 11:22 AM
deathscompanion1 deathscompanion1 is offline
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Originally Posted by Elfwine View Post
So how do we change that?

Germany's steel production is huge - larger than Britain, France, and Russia put together in 1913 (and even when strains of WWI see industrial production run down Germany industry, Germany is not insignificant), it should be noted.

Sure, demands on that are also high, but IF it chose to try to develop tanks more than it did OTL, it won't be without materials.
The thing was that it also had to keep it's allies in the fight as well.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 11:25 AM
AdA AdA is online now
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They could have opted for a lighter design in the general category of the Renault FT.
The German lack of interest in tanks comes mostly from WW1 tanks being essencially useful only for the breakthough phase of offensives (that the germans had solved by using improved tactics), being too slow and short ranged for the exploitation phase. Tanks were therefore well suited to the allied "one step at a time" mental roadmap to victory from 1917 onwards, but less appealing to the German "great leap forward" mindset.The one person in Germany who could have arguably changed that was EvF, who was no longer in the top slot at the critical moment.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 02:16 PM
Michel Van Michel Van is online now
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Originally Posted by Elfwine View Post
So how do we change that?

Germany's steel production is huge - larger than Britain, France, and Russia put together in 1913 (and even when strains of WWI see industrial production run down Germany industry, Germany is not insignificant), it should be noted.

Sure, demands on that are also high, but IF it chose to try to develop tanks more than it did OTL, it won't be without materials.
off corse was Germany Empire the biggest steel producer in Europe
But during WW one it face two problems, import stop on iron ore manganese, chromium, vanadium and tungsten.
the reserve and local resource are use up for Weapons, ammunition production.

next to that the Supreme Army Command put the priority on production on U-boats.
what needed high quality steel, normally used in Tank armor.
i wonder what happened if they had change there priority on Tank production.

Especially on production of K-Wagen (short for Großkampfwagen)
a super heavy tank of 120 tons weight , armed with four 77 mm fortress guns and seven Maxim machine guns and had a crew of 27 men...
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 05:00 PM
unprincipled peter unprincipled peter is offline
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Austria, Germany, Britain, and France all had inventors/innovators propose the development of the tank in the early 1900's. All were ignored. I have perfect hindsight vision, but I still have to wonder why. It was obvious that machine guns and modern small arms were going to be a deadly defensive weapon. Armoring personnel or their carriers does have a precedent, so the advantages should have been seen, and effective light/mobile tanks/troop carriers/munition carriers developed. Still, Germany ignored the advantage of steel canon until Krupp fortuitously gave one he couldn't sell to Wilhelm I and he demands it be given a shot. You could have Kruppwerks repeat the scenario with tanks. Once the advantage of tanks were seen, development was initially iffy because of the immediate speed in which they were needed to be fielded. Slow that down to reasonable development speed requirements, and it's easy to field a tank in WWI. All that was lacking was the will, and that's an easy magic to create (see Rast's TL)

Give that scenario, trench warfare is either avoided, or ended early because heavier tanks could have been easier to develop off the basis of the earlier tanks. If only one side has tanks, it's game over for the other side. If both sides have them, with all else staying the same, I don't know enough of military tactics to say who has the advantage. Assuming that Schlieffen plan remains, Germany can sweep through quicker, but one would also think that France could breakthrough in the center rather than running into a brickwall, and the S plan required France to get stonewalled.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 05:11 PM
deathscompanion1 deathscompanion1 is offline
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Originally Posted by unprincipled peter View Post
Give that scenario, trench warfare is either avoided, or ended early because heavier tanks could have been easier to develop off the basis of the earlier tanks. If only one side has tanks, it's game over for the other side. If both sides have them, with all else staying the same, I don't know enough of military tactics to say who has the advantage. Assuming that Schlieffen plan remains, Germany can sweep through quicker, but one would also think that France could breakthrough in the center rather than running into a brickwall, and the S plan required France to get stonewalled.
Engine limitation spare parts and awful doctrine mean that while tanks will have notable effects on tactical battles they by no means change the nature of the fighting.

WWI era tanks were slow and vulnerable they were not war winners and even with better designs and tactics would remain tactical in nature.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 05:11 PM
Arafeel Arafeel is offline
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Originally Posted by Elfwine View Post
So how do we change that?

Germany's steel production is huge - larger than Britain, France, and Russia put together in 1913 (and even when strains of WWI see industrial production run down Germany industry, Germany is not insignificant), it should be noted.

Sure, demands on that are also high, but IF it chose to try to develop tanks more than it did OTL, it won't be without materials.
Fuel might be an issue. And then the German army was 35% more efficient at killing that the allies were, they also spent roughly 10.000 £ pr enemy casualty vs 39.000 £ for the allies. So would tanks really help?
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 05:33 PM
Awilla the Hun Awilla the Hun is offline
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Originally Posted by Arafeel View Post
Fuel might be an issue. And then the German army was 35% more efficient at killing that the allies were, they also spent roughly 10.000 £ pr enemy casualty vs 39.000 £ for the allies. So would tanks really help?
It's easier to kill lots of the enemy if you sit on the defensive, as the Germans did for much of the Western Front, and WWI tanks are not going to contribute that much to a defence. Especially when, as you said, German tanks will suffer from fuel issues. The tanks may be useful at Verdun or the Luderdorff Offensive, however. (Not so much in the Schlieffen Plan, I suspect-the Plan was logistically burdened enough as it was, and using tanks for the first time ever in 1914 will inevitably see significant issues in reliability, tactics, and so on as commanders struggle to use the new weapons. And more tanks means less logistical 'space' for things like infantry, siege guns, etc.)
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 06:09 PM
Michael B Michael B is offline
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Originally Posted by unprincipled peter View Post
Austria, Germany, Britain, and France all had inventors/innovators propose the development of the tank in the early 1900's. All were ignored.
That is because the lesson "learned" from the Russo-Japanese War is that infantry can punch their way through trench lines because that is what the Japanese did. If you do a different analysis you realise that it is going to be expensive in manpower to charge emplaced machine guns and so start looking at alternatives.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 06:11 PM
Elfwine Elfwine is offline
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That is because the lesson "learned" from the Russo-Japanese War is that infantry can punch their way through trench lines because that is what the Japanese did. If you do a different analysis you realise that it is going to be expensive in manpower to charge emplaced machine guns and so start looking at alternatives.
Of course, this also means that you have to have the generals expect to need solutions rather than thinking they can render it moot.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 06:12 PM
ANARCHY_4_ALL ANARCHY_4_ALL is offline
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Check out A Shift in Priorities by rast there is a link to it in the Continuing Early 20th Century Poll. It is about how Germany shifts it's priorities and deploys a more successful tank force. Which enables a CP Victory scenario.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 07:27 PM
BigWillyG BigWillyG is offline
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Originally Posted by AdA View Post
They could have opted for a lighter design in the general category of the Renault FT.
The German lack of interest in tanks comes mostly from WW1 tanks being essencially useful only for the breakthough phase of offensives (that the germans had solved by using improved tactics), being too slow and short ranged for the exploitation phase. Tanks were therefore well suited to the allied "one step at a time" mental roadmap to victory from 1917 onwards, but less appealing to the German "great leap forward" mindset.The one person in Germany who could have arguably changed that was EvF, who was no longer in the top slot at the critical moment.
How about this being completed early enough to see combat?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LK_II
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 07:53 PM
Julian Julian is offline
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Originally Posted by ANARCHY_4_ALL View Post
Check out A Shift in Priorities by rast there is a link to it in the Continuing Early 20th Century Poll. It is about how Germany shifts it's priorities and deploys a more successful tank force. Which enables a CP Victory scenario.
Said story is completely unrealistic, as tanks had nowhere near the capability to achieve major exploitation operations in 1918.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 08:18 PM
unprincipled peter unprincipled peter is offline
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deathscompanion

WWI tanks rapidly got better in the 2nd and 3rd generations. The first generation was designed and built in a rush during wartime, and had to be designed to overcome extreme entrenchment. Given my scenario of a prewar designed tank, you are afforded a lighter, more mobile tank with most of the initial flaws worked out.

With a tank ready for the outbreak of war, you don't end up in static extremely dug in trenches, because mobility isn't shut down to a standstill. you're always going to have trenches (by WW2, they were called foxholes). If the tanks operational OTL at the end of WWI were available from the start, you do not have the static lines/trenches that developed. No, it's not as mobile as WW2, but it's not static trench warfare of WWI
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 09:18 PM
deathscompanion1 deathscompanion1 is offline
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Originally Posted by unprincipled peter View Post
WWI tanks rapidly got better in the 2nd and 3rd generations. The first generation was designed and built in a rush during wartime, and had to be designed to overcome extreme entrenchment. Given my scenario of a prewar designed tank, you are afforded a lighter, more mobile tank with most of the initial flaws worked out.

With a tank ready for the outbreak of war, you don't end up in static extremely dug in trenches, because mobility isn't shut down to a standstill. you're always going to have trenches (by WW2, they were called foxholes). If the tanks operational OTL at the end of WWI were available from the start, you do not have the static lines/trenches that developed. No, it's not as mobile as WW2, but it's not static trench warfare of WWI

The thing is engines for any meaningful type of armour weren't around so they would be armour cars that can move through mud, also known as death traps on a modern battlefield.

Even the 2nd and 3rd Generation tanks only mattered when the German army was already bled white and were used en masse. They would also be completely incapable of matching the field armies speeds so would instead be used to break through enemy strong points when the front bogged down which no army expected to happen.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 10:10 PM
BigWillyG BigWillyG is offline
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Originally Posted by unprincipled peter View Post
WWI tanks rapidly got better in the 2nd and 3rd generations. The first generation was designed and built in a rush during wartime, and had to be designed to overcome extreme entrenchment. Given my scenario of a prewar designed tank, you are afforded a lighter, more mobile tank with most of the initial flaws worked out.

With a tank ready for the outbreak of war, you don't end up in static extremely dug in trenches, because mobility isn't shut down to a standstill. you're always going to have trenches (by WW2, they were called foxholes). If the tanks operational OTL at the end of WWI were available from the start, you do not have the static lines/trenches that developed. No, it's not as mobile as WW2, but it's not static trench warfare of WWI
I'd imagine something akin to Chaco War or Spanish Civil War in terms of nobility.
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Old January 24th, 2013, 08:25 PM
ANARCHY_4_ALL ANARCHY_4_ALL is offline
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Said story is completely unrealistic, as tanks had nowhere near the capability to achieve major exploitation operations in 1918.
I disagree they def had the capability all was needed was the initiative. In ASIP, Colonel Bauer and several other innovative German officers provide this. And it's provided one of the longest lasting TL's in this thread. Winner of a Turtledove as well. But you're entitled to your opinion though. I still disagree.Anyway I think A Shift In Priorities' premise best answers the OP.
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Old January 24th, 2013, 08:54 PM
Deckhand Deckhand is offline
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And it's provided one of the longest lasting TL's in this thread. Winner of a Turtledove as well.
All that proves is the author is immune to criticism, and that there are lots of Germany lovers on the forum, nothing about the inherent plausibility.
You like it, great. Personally i rank it i the same category as any of Beer or Eurofed's silly timelines. But the OP can make up his own mind.
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