Race to the Front: The Materiel Foundations of Coalition Strategy in the Great War

Race to the Front: The Materiel Foundations of Coalition Strategy in the Great War

Race to the Front: The Materiel Foundations of Coalition Strategy in the Great War

Race to the Front: The Materiel Foundations of Coalition Strategy in the Great War

Synopsis

When war broke out in Europe in 1914, nearly every combatant foresaw a short decisive conflict. Experience would soon prove, however, that this belief was sorely misplaced. Eventually, excessive economic dislocations would topple every authoritarian regime. Only the intervention of the United States would save the British and the French from collapse. This book traces the trilateral struggle between the Entente, the Central Powers, and the United States to determine the outcome of the war. Stubbs focuses on a few essential factors vital to understanding this three-way race: the acquisition of war materiel, food, human resources, and the movement of each.

Excerpt

The trenches haunt Europe. More than 71,912,965 men served in them, and 37,604,936 became casualties (52 percent; see Table 6.1). in 1918 influenza killed 25 million civilians globally. Never had war cost so much. the cost in real terms is incalculable; numbers simply lack meaning once they reach such staggering sums. Yet no study can be complete without an accounting of the costs.

The Entente mobilized 45,101,900 men and suffered 21,340,469 killed, wounded, missing, and prisoners, or 46 percent of those mobilized. the Central Powers lost 16,444,467 out of 26,874,641, or about 61 percent. Permanent losses include those killed, those missing, and those who became invalids as a result of the war. Prisoners and the sick and wounded represent temporary losses. Prisoners might escape, and the sick and wounded might recover. (Obviously, the sick or wounded might die or become incapacitated. Such men are counted among permanent casualties.) Men who lost limbs or who were permanently incapacitated could not return to service and their loss also created an additional burden on the civilian economy.

central powers

The Central Powers suffered a gross casualty rate of 61.33 percent, but a permanent casualty rate of 28.65 percent of those mobilized. Not all of

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