German Spring Offensive succeeds-how does President Wilson react?

Not that I know of. For his part Zabecki assumes that they would immediately try to retake it. Personally I don't see why they would not try if they felt there was the slightest possibility of getting it back. It was, as has been often stated here, very important to the BEF. If French and British reinforcements are on their way, or in the vicinity, as they should be by this time, then it seems unlikely that they would not.
It would however be very hard to do so with the logistics in complete shambles thanks to the loss of the supply dumps in amiens, as it is hage seems to have thought the loss of amiens was to be his signal to leave, so there might not have been any counter attacks even if he really should.
 
It would however be very hard to do so with the logistics in complete shambles thanks to the loss of the supply dumps in amiens, as it is hage seems to have thought the loss of amiens was to be his signal to leave, so there might not have been any counter attacks even if he really should.
IOTL the supply dumps (or at least the ammunition supply dump) had been evacuated from Amiens by the 25th. The contingency plans in place during Michael did not involve evacuation but shifting logistics systems through the Northern Ports, to account for the loss of Amiens. Thus at least until the hypothetical Georg succeeds, the British would have the capability of supporting forces in an attack on Amiens. The French forces would obviously be on their own logistics system coming from the south.

Later plans for the loss of both Amiens and Hazebrouck did involve evacuation but I am not sure if it was the only option discussed or one of several contingencies. Either option seems plausible.
 
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I forgot to answer this when it was posted McP. Sorry about that. For the Allies, yes, they were counting on American manpower. Technically the British did have some manpower they could tap as they maintained a very large and probably unnecessary Home Army right through the war. The British also had grade requirements for recruits that were, by French and German standards, overly selective. They had relaxed standards somewhat over the winter of 1917 but they were still more restrictive than either the Germans or French, AIUI.

Therefore, technically, the British could probably refill their losses to a greater extent than they did IOTL. However, the reluctance to relax standards and release men from the Home Army seems to have not originated from the political level but from the General Staff. Therefore it seems unlikely that they would undertake such measures unless they were much more desperate than OTL.

So, yeah, they were waiting for American manpower. The Germans, AFAICT, had basically no manpower reserves remaining. Win or lose, what men they lost were probably not going to be replaced.
Haig and Lloyd were at odds, Haig if we recall oversaw some of the bloodiest offenses of the war and persisted in them regardless of feedback. Lloyd understandably didn't want another meat grind, however Haig was a conservative darling whose removal would threaten British unity, so he withheld troops (if you read into it, Haig's staff and aids were being swapped out too). So yes there was a few hundred thousand soldiers waiting around the islands, which were released when it became clear that they were needed.

Plus the colonies, should things get dire there's millions of colonials.
The commonly quoted distance from the German front line to Amiens is 60 km. However...

In short, I don't think the Germans have the capability to reach Amiens before the Allies can reinforce it. If they did, I don't think they could hold it, and even this would only come at the cost of shifting resources to Michael that would undercut Georg, which removes Zabecki's sequential attack from the board.
To add some context on storm troopers, the selection and training of one is very selective and hard to mass produce; they are to run behind a surprise barrage of artillery-letting up on the attack sector while artillery continued on other sectors to keep them in the dark, they are to keep running and fight only with knives, no guns are used on the offensive least it tips off adjacent enemies, should they encounter strong-points they are to grenade them and keep pressing on. The attack is sustained by surprise, some luck (fog and rotating out), and constantly pushing echelons of storm troopers after it all of whom are as lightly provisioned and armed as they could be to keep up the advance. Of course there's only so far one can run in one day of fighting, obstacles, causalities, and sheer exhaustion, delays in supplies and the doctrine of a unrelenting push resulting in heavy attrition of the highly trained and difficult to replace spearheads.

All of that is the first objection, my second is with this:

I readily admit I am not as sure of this one, as the first. I have not spent as much time looking into it. But the assumption tends to be that if the rail centres fall then the British must leave the continent. And I am not sure why to be honest. That GHQ was preparing contingency planning involving evacuation, I am well aware, but that does not mean that is the only option or the only one they considered. If Amiens and Hazebrouck fall then the British cannot direct supplies that land in one port to formations with supply chains running back to other ports. That much I understand. But I am not clear on why this means that each formation cannot be served by the rail lines from the Channel ports. This could end up amounting to 6 separate forces holding lodgments around 6 separate ports, but that does not seem impossible. And I think it would be the option that the BEF's political masters would go for, even if GHQ did not like it. While not as useful as the full BEF deployed as part of a contiguous line with the French Army, it would still force the Germans to keep forces facing West when they want to be going south.

And that is assuming that by the time that Hazebrouck is taken, that Amiens would not be back in Allied hands (if it were taken in the first place).
Its based on the bonkers assumption that the Germans, when they were starving IOTL are able to bring more heavy arty, ammo, and railways over a greater distance and somehow hit railheads accurately over 70km-120km and in sufficient volume that it knocks the ports out of battle (why they didn't do this effectively when the Germans were closer to the ports with the same cannons + air support in the past 4 years is ignored). Of course just like WWII, the British will withdraw from the war after retreating cross the channel (its never explained why they can't just go south-west like they did before, they did have more trucks, trains, and mules or why they would seek peace.)
 
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IOTL the supply dumps (or at least the ammunition supply dump) had been evacuated from Amiens by the 25th. The contingency plans in place during Michael did not involve evacuation but shifting logistics systems through the Northern Ports, to account for the loss of Amiens. Thus at least until the hypothetical Georg succeeds, the British would have the capability of supporting forces in an attack on Amiens. The French forces would obviously be on their own logistics system coming from the south.

Later plans for the loss of both Amiens and Hazebrouck did involve evacuation but I am not sure if it was the only option discussed or one of several contingencies. Either option seems plausible.
Considering thos dumps were primed to blow when the Germans got nere them, it dosnt seem like they were evacuated (not to mention mostly impossible, there was way to much ammunition to be moved in that short amount of time) and the plan really was to evacuate past the somme if Amiens was captured, including most of the British army back to Britain, because non of those ports had the capacity to support the British army, non of them were actually very big. And that would be the same for the French sense the issue was never about amount of supplies but moving them to were there need to be (which is impossible without the armines hub).
 
If the ports are unable to keep up a steady stream of supplies (which they already have been doing for years), how do they have the capacity to withdraw the BEF?
In 1940 about 300-350,000 men were evacuated but in 1918 the BEF is around 2 million strong. Germany no longer has the strength to drive the BEF off the continent.
 
If the ports are unable to keep up a steady stream of supplies (which they already have been doing for years), how do they have the capacity to withdraw the BEF?
In 1940 about 300-350,000 men were evacuated but in 1918 the BEF is around 2 million strong. Germany no longer has the strength to drive the BEF off the continent.
Supplies are much bulkier than people, people are fungible, supplies isn't- most would be retreating south.
 

themeatking

Banned
Both @Zulfurium's A Day in July and @TheReformer's To the Victor, Go the Spoils are well-written, fairly realistic depictions of what would have happened had such a scenario happened in real life.

Again, as every other poster in this thread has previously said, somehow removing Ludendorff from the OHL is key to achieving a somewhat productive end to the war by the end of the year 1918. He is definitely his own greatest enemy.
 
Supplies are much bulkier than people, people are fungible, supplies isn't- most would be retreating south.
Well probably not most the rail road net is going to be hellish trying to go south, for example Dunkirk could never have supplied the British army in ww2 but that didn't stop them from using it to evacuate, or overlord in the other direction, landing division in Normandy wasn't hard but they need Cherbourg to resoply and thats with things like adifical worfs that definitely weren't a thing in ww1.
Honestly there isn't really a major port on the north cost between naci and annttwerp (thats why the British have always wanted to keep France out of Antwerp, it s quite literally the first big port France can launch a invasion from on that cost) even la hoch and charburdurg didn't provide as much supply as the French Atlantic ports, they were simply not big enough.
 
Lloyd understandably didn't want another meat grind, however Haig was a conservative darling whose removal would threaten British unity, so he withheld troops
That is the traditional interpretation. From what I can tell the situation is actually a lot more complicated. The War Office apparently doctored their figures when giving them to Cabinet. Presumably they were aiming to force the government to allow expanded recruitment, including from industry (As much as I like Willy Robertson, he tended to see politicians as an obstacle to be neutralized rather than political masters, so I can kind of believe this). The Government therefore had no trust in the numbers being given to it, and little trust in their military advisors.

Nevertheless, it appears that the government did actually try to find more replacements, as they were the ones who suggested drawing down the Home Army and reducing the requirements for frontline service. The War Office refused.

I am not a big fan of Lloyd-George, and I think he certainly contributed to the problem with commitments to Italy and other fronts and extensions of the British line that the BEF could not really afford. He also almost certainly lied to Parliament about the manpower issues. But it is not completely clear, to me at least, that he was responsible for holding back reserves artificially. Relations between the government (particularly Lloyd-George) and the War Office during WW1 make for a frustrating and dysfunctional tale.

Considering thos dumps were primed to blow when the Germans got nere them, it dosnt seem like they were evacuated (not to mention mostly impossible, there was way to much ammunition to be moved in that short amount of time)
I rechecked Zabecki, since I had it open and he said this on page 289:
The British, meanwhile, had already cleared their ordinance depot at Amiens, and were developing plans to blow up the ammunition dumps on their southern line of communications.
He references Ian Malcolm Brown's "British Logistics of the Western Front, 1914-1918" for this one. Since that is a $160 book and the preview does not cover page 186, I will have to take his word for it.

Couple things with this. For starters, I misremembered the date. This was on the 28th March, not the 25th. Second, we were both partially correct. The Depot at Amiens was cleared but by the 28th, not the 25th. The British were looking at blowing up their ammo dumps along their southern line. This would probably be the one running along the south side of the Somme in the following Map:
1631706818461.png

If so, that does not mean that they were blowing them immediately. Just that they had plans to do so. They would likely blow them if and when they came under threat of capture by the Germans.

Alternatively the "southern line of communications" could technically mean the lines running south and west of Amiens that had been supplying Fifth Army. However, these had been taken over by the French on the 25th at the same time as Fifth Army had been put under French command, so the first interpretation seems more likely to me.

You also note from this map that, if needed, the British can use Abbeville and Doulons to transfer supplies for an assault to retake Amiens. They are not as good as Amiens but they would work for the time being.

the plan really was to evacuate past the somme if Amiens was captured, including most of the British army back to Britain,
Zabecki says this in his section on March 25th( page 257):
The British Q-Staff also prepared to fall back to the north, and started to develop Scheme X and then Scheme Y to increase the supply flow through the northern ports, while shutting down the southern line of communications.
And this on page 572:
Around 25th March Q-Staff started developing contingency plans (Scheme X and Y) based on having to abandon their northern line of communications. Then they developed Scheme Z to abandon the southern ports and lines of communications.
To get some more detail I checked Zabecki's source list. In both cases he references A.M Henniker's "Transportation on the Western Front 1914-1918". Thankfully, this volume is archived online (https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc1.$b633844&view=1up&seq=457&skin=2021).So I took a look at the section mentioned (page 402-411).
Here is what it had to say on Scheme X and Y:
As early as March 26th the advance of the enemy towards Amiens led to a meeting under the Q.M.G to consider the arrangements to be made to meet the contingency of the enemy pushing a wedge between the British and French, with the consequent loss of the southern L .of C. At this meeting it was arranged that certain movements should be started at once. On March 31st the C.G.S communicated to the G.O.C L. of C a "Scheme X" for the disposal of personnel, animals and stores from the Amiens-Abbeville-Blargies-Dieppe area. Later the scheme developed into "Scheme Y" with accompanying evacuation schemes for (a) Calais and Dunkerque, and (b) the Abbeville, Abancourt and Dieppe areas.
So Scheme X was just a shift of resources off of the line that terminated in Amiens. This was likely in response to the possible loss of Amiens. Only Scheme Y includes evacuations, and could be the source of the evacuation from the continent assumption? Its not entirely clear. A trigger condition is not shown in regards to this plan. Its also not clear when it evolved from Scheme X. It would have had to have been sometime in Early April as Scheme Z only came about on March 31st and the policy decisions that drove Scheme Z came about in April.

As to Scheme Z there is actually a lot to unpack here:
Page 384
Pending the arrival of American forces in sufficient strength to enable to offensive to be assumed the strategic aims of the Allies were threefold. The primary aim was to prevent the enemy separating the British and French forces and then overwhelming each in turn; the second aim was to cover Paris; and the third to cover the Channel Ports. A serious advance by the enemy between Arras and the Somme would isolate the British from the French; continuous fighting with heavy losses on any part of the front might make a drastic reduction in the length of the front held by the British inevitable. In the event of either of these possibilities, to secure the first strategical object of a continuous front it might be necessary to abandon the entire area north of the Somme.

The British aims were to cover the Channel ports while at the same time keeping in close touch with the French on the British right; the avowed intention was to maintain all ground held and make no voluntary withdrawal; the GHQ defence line was being constructed and preparations made for the inundations as a precaution and for emergency use only. But at the same time in view of the possible eventualities, a scheme known as the Z scheme was being worked out for the complete evacuation of the whole area north of the Somme and for a new line of defence along that river.
Page 402 (following on from the Scheme X and Y info above)
During April the policy was adopted of maintaining a continuous front even at the expense if necessary of abandoning the whole area north of the Somme; the scheme for such a retirement was known as the Z scheme.
So, a couple things come to light from this:

1. Perhaps most glaringly, Scheme Z was not a withdrawal across the Channel to Britain. It was actually a withdrawal south to the Somme. Perhaps others here caught on to that earlier but I did not. This means that if Scheme Z was implemented, then the British and the French would still be operating alongside each other on the continent. Therefore, if Scheme Z were implemented, the stated aim of the Spring Offensives (to knock the British out of the fight before moving on to the French) would not be achieved.

2. The British were not hovering over the button to implement this plan. This was an emergency plan only.

Further reading of the section that Zabecki quotes reveals some other tidbits:

1. It was not finalized and ready for implementation until July. This was not a plan that GHQ had on hand to implement if things went wrong in the spring. It seems more like because of the Spring Offensives Scheme Z was planned as a "just in case this happens again" type of thing.

2. It's planning was the province primarily of the Director of Transport, not the Quartermaster General.

3. Stores were the lowest priority item considered for evacuation. This makes some level of sense. The stores in the logistics system in France do not constitute long term storage, but a pipeline to the front, with its cargo being often used as fast as it is shipped across the channel. Destroying it is not ideal but does not represent a catastrophe as long as more can be brought from the source. The important bits were the support infrastructure that had been set up over the last 3.5 years. And it looks like most of this was accounted for in the move.

4. Trigger conditions mention Amiens but not Hazebrouck. At least according to this source British were obviously worried about Michael and the threat to Amiens, but more because it made it harder to stay in contact with the French than because of the loss of Amiens. Likewise, the section on Scheme Z does not greatly mention Hazebrouck but the worry that an advance in Flanders would allow the Germans to cut off or slow down the transit from some of the Northern ports (hence the mention of the GHQ line).

So it seems that at one point the evacuation of the BEF, possibly to Britain may have been considered in Scheme Y. At some point in April the decision was made that any retreat would be to the south to remain in contact with the French. It is hard to say how that would have gone but that was the plan. In every case, these were contingency plans. They never reached implementation and it is not guaranteed that they would be. They were prepared by the Director of Transport, under the authority of the Q.M.G, not directly that of GHQ, the C-in-C or the War Cabinet.

To my mind, even if, in that brief period that Scheme Y was the dominant plan, the British felt the need to implement it, Political needs would cause Whitehall to stop a full evacuation of the BEF from the continent, assuming that is what Scheme Y is actually suggesting.
 
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Both @Zulfurium's A Day in July and @TheReformer's To the Victor, Go the Spoils are well-written, fairly realistic depictions of what would have happened had such a scenario happened in real life.

Again, as every other poster in this thread has previously said, somehow removing Ludendorff from the OHL is key to achieving a somewhat productive end to the war by the end of the year 1918. He is definitely his own greatest enemy.
The main problem i have with both of them is that they make the Americans way to willing to throw in the towel, same with the French. America was planing to have 5,000,000 men in combat by 1919. Nothing was stopping them from gust crushing Germany at that point.

Also sense we apere to gust be haveing the same arguments time and time again why don't we talk about something else, such as my suggestion earlier about how Wilson will use the much greater leverage he now has as the savior of the war effort instead of historically being the Jonny come late he was in OTL.
 
The main problem i have with both of them is that they make the Americans way to willing to throw in the towel, same with the French. America was planing to have 5,000,000 men in combat by 1919. Nothing was stopping them from gust crushing Germany at that point.

Also sense we apere to gust be haveing the same arguments time and time again why don't we talk about something else, such as my suggestion earlier about how Wilson will use the much greater leverage he now has as the savior of the war effort instead of historically being the Jonny come late he was in OTL.
The problem is that though numerous, the US army was rather bad - And what's required is a front, unless the Germans are dislodged from their positions like straight away, Paris supply lines are sufficiently disrupted that it would have to be partially evacuated and there is just no way the French government could survive that.
 
The problem is that though numerous, the US army was rather bad - And what's required is a front, unless the Germans are dislodged from their positions like straight away, Paris supply lines are sufficiently disrupted that it would have to be partially evacuated and there is just no way the French government could survive that.
Thay probably could have, the government was perfectly willing to leave Paris in 1914 and keep fighting, and considering how far the French went in the franco Prussian war I'm not convinced losing Paris when they still have hope in the Americans means they lose the will to fight is reasonable. Also the American army was not so bad as to negate the massive numerical supremacy they had, it would make the german numerical supremacy in spring 1918 look quant.
 
The main problem i have with both of them is that they make the Americans way to willing to throw in the towel, same with the French. America was planing to have 5,000,000 men in combat by 1919. Nothing was stopping them from gust crushing Germany at that point.

Also sense we apere to gust be haveing the same arguments time and time again why don't we talk about something else, such as my suggestion earlier about how Wilson will use the much greater leverage he now has as the savior of the war effort instead of historically being the Jonny come late he was in OTL.
Both @Zulfurium's A Day in July and @TheReformer's To the Victor, Go the Spoils are well-written, fairly realistic depictions of what would have happened had such a scenario happened in real life.

Again, as every other poster in this thread has previously said, somehow removing Ludendorff from the OHL is key to achieving a somewhat productive end to the war by the end of the year 1918. He is definitely his own greatest enemy.

Cheers, I'll take that.

That being said, funny enough, In recent weeks I've actually been thinking of reduxing and amending parts of TTVGTS. Minor realism errors due to info uncovered after the updates annoy me too much - too much of a perfectionist. Somewhat along the lines of what cjc says.
 

themeatking

Banned
The main problem i have with both of them is that they make the Americans way to willing to throw in the towel, same with the French. America was planing to have 5,000,000 men in combat by 1919. Nothing was stopping them from gust crushing Germany at that point.

Also sense we apere to gust be haveing the same arguments time and time again why don't we talk about something else, such as my suggestion earlier about how Wilson will use the much greater leverage he now has as the savior of the war effort instead of historically being the Jonny come late he was in OTL.
As both TLs have pointed out, transporting 5,000,000 men within the space of just one year(1919) is an outright implausible expectation.

Whether Wilson will have any leverage left or not at this stage will depend upon whether the French fold or hold once the Germans resume their offensives west of the Rivers Somme and Aisne. All bets are off if the WI continues up to this stage.
 
As both TLs have pointed out, transporting 5,000,000 men within the space of just one year(1919) is an outright implausible expectation.

Whether Wilson will have any leverage left or not at this stage will depend upon whether the French fold or hold once the Germans resume their offensives west of the Rivers Somme and Aisne. All bets are off if the WI continues up to this stage.
That would sertenly been a surprise to every allied staff on the western frount consdering that was what they planned to have happened. I think the issue is that the Americans had a ton of transport ships in production and ready to be used over the winter of 1918-1919 so one really can't use the "historical" transportation numbers for 1918 because they were going to be very different by January 1919.
 

themeatking

Banned
That would sertenly been a surprise to every allied staff on the western frount consdering that was what they planned to have happened. I think the issue is that the Americans had a ton of transport ships in production and ready to be used over the winter of 1918-1919 so one really can't use the "historical" transportation numbers for 1918 because they were going to be very different by January 1919.
In ADiJ, a few field armies' worth of Americans to get shipped over across the English Channel in order to rebuild the shattered Allied Armies after the 1918 Spring Offensive.

I do believe that the author quite clearly writes in the discussion thread that transporting and then supplying 5,000,000 men across the Channel was really just a very long-term staff plan that did not correlate with the reality that neither the Americans nor the British had enough shipping tonnage even in 1919 across the Atlantic in order to perform such a colossal task.
 
In ADiJ, a few field armies' worth of Americans to get shipped over across the English Channel in order to rebuild the shattered Allied Armies after the 1918 Spring Offensive.

I do believe that the author quite clearly writes in the discussion thread that transporting and then supplying 5,000,000 men across the Channel was really just a very long-term staff plan that did not correlate with the reality that neither the Americans nor the British had enough shipping tonnage even in 1919 across the Atlantic in order to perform such a colossal task.
Once again that would be a surprise sense latterly every plan made mid to late 1918 had that assumption, also what discussion tread are you talking about, care to provide a link?
 
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