papalagi (papalagi) wrote,

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (1874 - 1965) The world crisis Part V —The Unknown War

The Eastern Front



Falkenhayn was a convinced and inveterate ‘Westerner.’ He believed that any great offensive against Russia would evaporate in the immense indefinite regions and measureless recesses to which the Russian armies could retire. Constantly before his mind’s eye rose the warning pictures of the fate of Napoleon’s Grand Army in the invasion of 1812. He did not choose to remember that Napoleon had no railways which could continually nourish large armies 1,000 or 2,000 miles from their home-base, and provide them with shelter from the winter and well-stocked depots at every stage of their advance. All his heart was in the war in France and Flanders. There alone, in his view could the supreme struggle be decided. There, was the proper and official theatre of war. There alone, could orthodox military principles receive their satisfaction. These strong professional views he shared with his leading opponents, with Joffre, with French, and after French with Haig. ‘Better,’ he might almost have exclaimed, ‘be defeated in adhering to sound military doctrine, than conquer by “irregular” methods.’

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