AHC: Germany breaks through a Verdun

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by SAVORYapple, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. SAVORYapple Resident Taiwanese Guy

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    I know the Germans just wanted to bleed the French Dry, but WI they actually achieved a breakthrough?
     
  2. teg The Worst Unionist Gone Fishin'

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    It honestly depends. If they broke through in the first weeks of the battle, then they'd probably take Verdun and a bit more on the side. It would put them in a very strong in 1917 as they wouldn't have been bled white. A late victory doesn't give the Germans much more than a ruined city, a shattered army and worse French army mutinies, which means France probably becomes a dictatorship in 1917.
     
  3. Archibald space jockey !

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    It was extremely close - the day was July 12, 1916 at the Fort de Souville, in the morning.

    Souville was the very last of the French fort to hold, behind was the top of the last hill, and on the other side was the town of Verdun itself.
    The Germans were only a hundred meters from Souville, launched an attack, with the survivors actually reaching the top of the fort. There was little men standing, though - not more than a dozen. Those men stood there for what, 15 minutes ? and they could see the town of Verdun not that far away. Then the french got out of the fort and wiped them out.

    Never did the Germans reached Souville again. Within days, the french counter attacked and pushed the frontline far enough from Souville. Whatever happened after that point, Verdun was a stalemate. I think it is more or less the moment when the Germans lost WWI - although that could be discussed of course.
     
  4. Snake Featherston Banned

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    This requires them to attack on both sections of the front instead of one of them, and to be seeking a breakthrough instead of a battle of attrition. Ironically if they *had* sought it there was a strong possibility that such a breakthrough might have been gained but it would have been a much shorter battle and one of those meaningless tactical victories like the First Battle of Cambrai in practice. More ironically if the Germans win a relatively fast breakthrough battle this is not as fatal for the *French* as it looks on the surface, either, as they were to an extent considering withdrawing from Verdun in the first place.

    No long Verdun mitigates some of the disenchantment that led to the 1917 mutinies and that in itself has no small amount of butterflies for the Western Front.