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#1 Richard Lindquist

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 1955 PM

C.S. Forester is primarily known in the literary world as the author of the long series of Horatio Hornblower novels and short stories.  A lesser known work of his is a World War I book called "The General" with a protagonist who, through a series of happenstances becomes the CO of a cavalry regiment during the Mons, Marne, and Ypres campaigns.  His regiment is virtually wiped pout at 1st Ypres.  Because of their gallant stand and another set of fortuitous events he becomes CG of a Kitchener's Army division and then a corps commander.  The morale of the book is that his dogged determination and dedication are not sufficient to win the war on the western front and his war comes to an end when he is badly wounded during the German 1918 offensive.  It is a good read.

 

 

"The General" by C.S. Forester.  


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#2 Michael Eastes

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 0424 AM

Thanks for the heads-up. I've already got a deep pile of WW1 books to read, so why not a novel?

 

BTW, Solzhenitsyn's August 1914 is also a good read ( at least, the military parts ) and worthy of a look, IMO.


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#3 Ken Estes

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Posted 21 December 2014 - 0355 AM

At the lower end, do not pass up Yaroslav Hasek, Schweik, the Good Soldier, a great work filled with satire and a classic in its own right. Supposedly inspired Heller to write Catch 22.

 

prvni_vydani.jpg


Edited by Ken Estes, 21 December 2014 - 0402 AM.

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#4 Michael Eastes

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 0147 AM

At the lower end, do not pass up Yaroslav Hasek, Schweik, the Good Soldier, a great work filled with satire and a classic in its own right. Supposedly inspired Heller to write Catch 22.

 

prvni_vydani.jpg

The Austro-Hungarian armed forces apparently really were that messed up.


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#5 bojan

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 0903 AM

Michael, just try to find book by one of few competent A-H generals, Alfred Kraus. Name is "The Causes of our Defeat". You will find that Schweik is very mild in criticism compared to him...


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#6 Marek Tucan

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 0956 AM

Schweik deals with the low level fuckups mostly :)


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#7 rmgill

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 1602 PM

C.S. Forester is primarily known in the literary world as the author of the long series of Horatio Hornblower novels and short stories.  A lesser known work of his is a World War I book called "The General" with a protagonist who, through a series of happenstances becomes the CO of a cavalry regiment during the Mons, Marne, and Ypres campaigns.  His regiment is virtually wiped pout at 1st Ypres.  Because of their gallant stand and another set of fortuitous events he becomes CG of a Kitchener's Army division and then a corps commander.  The morale of the book is that his dogged determination and dedication are not sufficient to win the war on the western front and his war comes to an end when he is badly wounded during the German 1918 offensive.  It is a good read.

 

 

"The General" by C.S. Forester.  

I've read The Captain from Connecticut. And of course I've read the Hornblower series.  I have been on the lookout for a copy of The General. 


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#8 bojan

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 2046 PM

Schweik deals with the low level fuckups mostly :)

Plenty of low level examples also. For example whole reason for introduction of Mannlicher 1895 straight-pull rifle was to reach mythical 20rpm (most turn-bolts topped at about 10-12). Which was all fine, except troops were issued with whole 45 rounds (so bit over two minutes of firing). Luckily for logisticians most troops were not even trained to utilize high rates of fire...

Then there was a handgun issue.

Cavalry adapted Roth-Steyr M.07 pistols (really it should be called Roth-Krnka, as both Steyr and FEG were only manufacturers) in 8mm Roth caliber.

Infantry used 1898 Rast-Gasser revolvers in 8mm Gasser

Steyr 1912 was introduced as a war started in 9x23mm Steyr.

Since there was not enough of those guns old Gasser 1870, 1873 and 1877 models were used. Caliber 11mm Gasser

Then there were also officier's Gasser Kropatschek in 9mm Gasser.

And substitute standard, private purchashe, Steyr Pieper 1909 in .32 ACP

And C-96 Mausers in 7.63x25mm

And Mannlicher 1901/1905 in 7.65mm Mannlicher.

Then Hungarians used 7.65mm Frommer Long, dimensionally identical to .32 ACP, but more powerfully loaded, so regular .32 ACP produced stopages in Frommer pistols. Which was (un)fortunate as Frommer pistols were PoS and none liked them.

So 8 calibers (not including whole horde of non authorized pistols) of small arms.

But at least rifles were standardized, right?

Nope.

Mannlicher 1895, 1890 used 8x50R Mannlicher. Older Mannlicher 1888 used dimensionally same cartridge, but loaded with compressed black powder. Even older 1886 Mannlicher used 11mm Werndl Long cartridge, same one used by Werndl rifles. Fruhwirth gendarmerie carbine (also used in some reserve cavalry units) used 11x36mm caliber, fortunately originally same as 11mm Gasser. Except AH adopted shorter 11mm Gasser loading (11x29 instead of 11x36mm) in 1888 and that shorted cartridge produced problems in Fruhwirth carbines. And there was also 11mm Werndl Long Carbine, that was used by Wernd carbines used by reserve cavalry and artillery units..

Then due the rifle shortages various other rifles were used, in 7x57mm Mauser, 7.92x57mm Mauser (both I and IS version, ofc, not interchangeable), 6.5mm Schonauer and 7.65mm Mauser.\

So about 10 calibers for long arms.

 

Made Russians look like well standardized.


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#9 urbanoid

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Posted 22 December 2015 - 0717 AM

 

Made Russians look like well standardized.

 

Weren't they in that timeframe (WW1)? Few million Mosins in 7.62x54R, Winchesters in 7.62x54R, Madsen and Maxim MGs with the same calibre, Nagant revolvers as a standard sidearm...

 

Sure, they bought some other firearms from the French, Americans and Japanese, but that was already during the war.


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#10 bojan

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Posted 22 December 2015 - 1013 AM

For sidearms Russians standardized on Nagant, but some reserves used S&W Russian and motorcycle troops used C-96. Rest were private acquisitions except for some Luger and FN 1903 (last one mostly in police however).

 

For long arms it was not exactly nice situation:

7.62x54R (Mosin, Madsen, Maxim, Winchester, Colt MGs)

6.5mm Arisaka (Arisaka rifles, Madsen)

8x50R Lebel (in Lebel and Berthier rifles and Chauchat and Hotchkiss MGs)

10.75mm Berdan (in two versions, rifle and Carbine)

.303 (Lewis and Vickers MGs, but this was mostly AF)

6.5x52mm and 10.35mm Italian Vetterli Carcano (1870-87-15 and 1870-87 Vetterli rifles) - those were soon replaced however.

.351 and .401 WSL (limited amount)

There were also captured Mannlicher rifles in 8x50R Mannlicher that were widely used and well liked, especially by cavalry, but A-H also used captured Mosins (Arisakas also), so I'll discount those for both,


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#11 urbanoid

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Posted 22 December 2015 - 1046 AM

Um, thanks, but I guess I wasn't precise enough - I meant before the war. During the war, if one can't produce enough for the mobilised reserves and to make up for the losses, there's simply no other way than buy firearms AND ammo abroad. The captured ones should also be discounted as well as those used by other services (that have their own logistics).

 

Berdan definitely counts as part a pre-war (reserve) stock, what about Lebel, Berthier and Carcano rifles?


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#12 bojan

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Posted 22 December 2015 - 1322 PM

Acquired during war.

But AH also got 7mm, 7.65mm 7.92mm I and IS, 6.5mm Schonauer during war.

OTOH Russians also have 1891 and 1910 pattern 7.62x54R. So before war:

 

AH long arms:

-8x50R Mannlicher

-8x50R Mannlicher BP

-11mm Werndl Long

-11mm Werndl Long Carbine

-11x36mm Frutwith 

Used by:

Frutwith carbine

Werndl

Mannlicher 1886

Mannlicher 1888

Mannlicher 1890

Mannlicher 1895

So 5 differene calibers used by 6 separate rifle systems

 

Russia long arms:

7.62x54R model 1891

7.62x54R model 1910 (those two were interchangeable in theory, but required different sights, so interchangeability is a bit of bogus)

10.75mm Berdan

10.75mm Berdan Carbine

Used by:

Mosins of various models

Berdan rifle and carbine

So 4 calibers used by two different weapon sistems

 

AH sidearms:

8mm Roth

8mm Gasser

11mm Gasser

9mm Gasser

9mm Steyr

used by

Roth-Steyr M.07 pistol

Rast Gasser M.98 revolver

Gasser M.70 and M.70-74 revolver

Gasser Kropatschek M.76 revolver

Steyr M.12 pistol

So 5 different calibers used by 5 different weapon sistems

 

Russian sidearms:

7.62mn Nagant

.44 Russian

7.63x25mm Mauser

used by 

Nagant revolver

S&W Russian revolver

Mauser C-96 pistol

3 calibers used by 3 different weapon systems.

 

Even worse for A-H when you factor in different non-interchangeable parts weapons...

 

And less said about AH artillery the better...


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#13 urbanoid

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Posted 22 December 2015 - 1503 PM

Many tanks! :)


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