Ghastly Victories: The United States in the World Wars

…The final plan of the Entente Spring offensive of 1919 was essentially the German plan from Spring 1918 in reserve.
I feel like I'm starting to become pedantic, but at the same time this sentence fragment is driving me up the wall.

I'll stop if you want.
 
How is germany going to have the manpower to fight a second war after this one devastates it as much as WWI did France?
 
I haven't seen his name mentioned in some time: is Theodore Roosevelt still alive? And if so, how is his health? I have to hope that he's still very much alive and in good health: after the disastrous Wilson/Marshall years, the Republicans will likely be due for a decade or more of dominance--and with TR to lead them, very much a force for domestic forward strides and reconfiguring the world order to the US' liking.
 
Last edited:
I don't think he said that. We were only discussing TR. I don't recall any mention of Quentin.
Quentin's death is when TRs health really started going downhill OTL. If nothing's changed in regards to his health that would mean that Quentin's almost certainly dead as well.
 
Just discovered and read this all in one go. Really excellent and interesting. Can't wait to see where you're planning to take this.
 
Part 2-27
…On April 4th of 1919 at 2:00 in the morning guns all along the western front opened up as the Entente Spring Offensive had begun. Across most of the front it was simply harassing fire to divert the nature of the attack. In front of Arras and St. Mihiel it was rather different, being the much heavier type of firewall bombardment to cut off reserves and prepare the way for attacks by the BEF and AEF. The attacks were ultimately targeted at railway junctions near the Belgian border the Germans would have to defend, admittedly with no great hope of immediate success of that.

Rather it was expected that they would have to destroy the German Army in order to make any significant advance. By targeting those vital locations the Germans would have to fight on unfavorable terms in order to buy time to conduct a fighting withdrawal. In doing so they would grind the German reserves into dust in the most expedient possible manner. It would likely take months, Entente planners assumed, but the German Army would break and the remnants would be forced to withdraw into Germany or to surrender in place. Once that happened a Fall Offensive into the industrial regions Germany would end the war once and for all.

After two hours of bombardment the nature of the attack shifted, and one of the thickest ever clouds of Mustard Gas was deployed at the targeted areas. For an additional hour and a half entente guns dropped an enormous quantity of Mustard, with the heavier than air agent seeping into the underground shelters the Germans were riding out the bombardment in. Then the content of the gas shells shifted to a mixture of Mustard and a new agent that was being deployed in combat for the first time.

Known as Adamsite, it alone was an annoyance rather than a lethal threat, being officially classed on its own as a non-lethal chemical agent. In modern times the substance is often used as a riot control agent and paired with various forms of teargas. In the context of WWI two of the properties that make it useful in combating riots became horrifying. The first was that it could penetrate many lower grades of chemical protection, Entente Gas Masks were sufficient, but the Ersatz material laden German masks were completely ineffective against it. The second was that it induced vomiting and intense sneezing, for a healthy unmasked individual nothing that serious, but for someone in a gas mask it was a lethal problem.

The Germans in their trenches were left with three equally unpleasant choices. The first was to remain where they were and keep their masks on, and risk choking or drowning in their own vomit. The second was to remove the masks when the vomiting and sneezing began and be exposed to the potentially lethal and certainly incapacitating effects of the Mustard gas. The final choice was to run to the rear, and risk being slain by the unrelenting storm of explosives and steel fragments that was still raining down. All three were chosen and all three had horrible effects.

Five German divisions effectively ceased to exist by 7:15 when the actual assault began, with thousands dead and over ten thousand more injured or incapacitated. British and American Stormtrooper Units were able to penetrate 10 and 12 miles into the German positions by the end of the day against far lighter opposition that they had anticipated. Tank forces which were supposed to deal with German strongpoints were left behind by the rapid advance of the infantry. Holes twenty-five and thirty miles had been created in the German frontlines as other divisions were flanked and rolled up.

In keeping with their doctrine the German Eingrief divisions counterattacked the next day. Against the American attack, the rapid rate of advance allowed advanced parties of American stormtroopers to get between the Eingrief divisions and fix them with flanking attacks long enough for the tanks to be brought up. Against the British the greater density of Eingrief divisions allowed them to cover their flanks better, and they were able to inflict heavy losses on the lead British elements and drive them ack several miles before the tanks caught up.

The Eingrief divisions, rather than holding back the Entente Assault were effectively destroyed by the end of the fourth day of the fighting, and only a few reserve units and shattered remains of frontline forces were left to locally oppose the Entente breakthroughs. With the frontline collapsing by the day. In order to prevent a general collapse Ludendorff ordered a general withdrawal to the rear across three of the four Army groups on the Western Front.

The carefully husbanded German armored forces were committed to slow the Entente down. The armored battles at Troyon and Douai saw the first large scale tank to tank combat, and the effective destruction of the smaller German armored forces. The Entente simply had more tanks, more experience with them, and in the American sector better tanks based on the revolutionary French FT-17. Limited success was achieved elsewhere on the front, by using captured Entente tanks in penny packets and relying on misidentification to get in close. In the main the attacks were material failures, but they did achieve the goal of forcing the Entente to advance more cautiously with their tanks in company with the first waves of infantry and to allow the German forces to retreat in better order.

Better order did not at all mean good order, however. Desertion was common, and the hasty nature of the withdrawal meant that much equipment that should have been withdrawn was simply abandoned. Even whole units, including entire battalions, were lost track of in the confusion and captured. This was made worse as American, British and increasingly French troops aggressively probed at the retreating Germans…

…On April 13th Rheims was abandoned by the Germans, with American forces marching into the liberated city the next day to widespread fanfare and media coverage. The liberation of Rheims proved one of the turning points of the last days of the war, as it was one of the most famous French cities to be captured by the Germans. Its cultural importance was well known throughout Europe, and when news of its liberation reached the East it set events in motion throughout the Balkans and beyond…



-Excerpt from The Loss of Innocence: America in the Great War, Harper & Brothers, New York 2014
 
Known as Adamsite, it alone was an annoyance rather than a lethal threat, being officially classed on its own as a non-lethal chemical agent. In modern times the substance is often used as a riot control agent and paired with various forms of teargas.
I thought the stuff was obsoleted by tear gas?
 
The Germans are up a creek without the paddle.

How far has the allies advanced as of this last update? But the Germans are taking a lot of losses here that they can't afford to replace at this point.
 
Brutal and horrifying, nicely done - the mixing of a persistence agent and a vomiting agent together, what a way to die. I've had food poisoning, and having that while wearing a cloth mask while in a warehouse was tough enough to keep down until I got to the bathroom. The thoughts of being in a shelter, wearing a gas mask, and KNOWING death awaits no matter what I do.

Brutal and effective. I pray for them, cause that's all one can do.
 
I thought the stuff was obsoleted by tear gas?
OTL the stuff is considered obsolete. That said the stuff is still sometimes used, Venezuela still uses it, because it can penetrate improvised protective gear much better than tear gas

OTL is kinder and gentler world than TTL
 
Are you sure about that? Isn't tear gas banned for use in war while adamsite isn't? Looking at wiki about them, Adamsite seems less dangerous.
As the Author, who has a long term outline, YES

They are both banned for use in warfare, all chemical agents are because it can be really hard to tell the difference between them in the heat of battle. Adamsite is much more toxic than the most common formulations of tear gas, being based on Arsenic, hence why most countries don't use it
 
OTL the stuff is considered obsolete. That said the stuff is still sometimes used, Venezuela still uses it, because it can penetrate improvised protective gear much better than tear gas
Huh. I'll have to make a note of that.
OTL is kinder and gentler world than TTL
Yeah, I figured. This war alone is going to leave generational scars in excess of OTL--and the rest of the century is only going to get bloodier as a direct consequence.
 
Top