Many of the generals of World War I were almost completely out of touch with the lethal technology of the twentieth century.
尤其在1914年8月 显而易见 它依然是一个问题
In August 1914 this became very apparent. It remained a problem
It remained a problem throughout the war though and led to the catastrophic loss of millions of young men’s lives.
我是Indy Neidell 欢迎来到第一次世界大战
My name is Indy Neidell; welcome to the Great War.
At the beginning of the week, the Austrians were slowly invading Serbia, the Germans were
the Germans were nearing Warsaw and besieging the fortresses of Belgium, the French had mounted their first
而法国在撤退之前开始了他们的第一次进攻 同时英国人向欧洲大陆派遣了军队 超过100000人
the French had mounted their first offensive before retreating, and the English were transporting over 100,000 troops to mainland Europe
我们现在看到的现代大炮 机枪 还有可以快速
What we’ll see is that when modern artillery, machine guns, and trains that could quickly
move millions of troops around the continent met field tactics from a century earlier,
this week would spiral into some of the bloodiest carnage of the entire war.
当时法国已经有了作战计划 17号计划 基本包括了对德国边境的集中防御军力
The French had a battle plan, Plan XVII, which very basically involved a defensive concentration
of forces along the border with Germany with counterstrikes into
Germany or possibly Belgium.
The French army still thought it was the 1800s, and they went to
war in brightly colored uniforms with officers waving sabres in the front mounted on chargers,
and marching bands playing music and the standard form of attack was masses
of men advancing the way they had for centuries-in the open.
陆军上校塞里特 法国战前对抗柏林的军事专员 曾数次告知法国
Colonel Serret, the French pre-war military attaché to Berlin, had repeatedly told France
of the benefits of drab uniforms to help defend against modern artillery now that war could
但均未被采纳 在8月20号 他的话得到了证实
be conducted at a distance, but he was ignored. His words proved prophetic on August 20th
though, as the French army, in their bright colors, were slaughtered at Morhange, where
the German army had a hilltop base, which had an unobstructed view for miles and miles.
The French, over 40,000 strong in their beautiful blue and red uniforms, marched straight across
open fields towards it. The Germans mowed down the French army columns, killing thousands
upon thousands and taking 20,000 prisoners. The French were forced to retreat all the
way back into France, 25 kilometers within its own borders.
The next day, the French Army mounted another offensive in the forest of the Ardennes. French
Commander in Chief Joseph Joffre, who during these early days of the war often seemed like
战争初期的法国独裁者 解决了所有的问题 在法国受到广泛欢迎的霞飞
dictator of France, he had it all figured out. Joffre, wildly popular in France and later
known as Papa Joffre, had at this point never commanded an army before nor worked with a
general army staff.
现在 他看到了之前的德国是多么强大 他也知道
Now, he had seen how strong the German left was the day before, and he knew how strong
the right was in Belgium, so he figured the center was weak. He figured wrong.
On the 22nd, the French attacked at Virton, just inside Belgium, in a heavy fog. When
the fog suddenly cleared, the French found themselves completely exposed to German hilltop
在你试图猜想接下来发生了什么之前 先说一下 法军当时明文规定
gunners, and before you even try to guess what happened next, here’s a little piece
of information French field regulations stated at the time that an assault could move 50 meters
in 20 seconds before an enemy would have time to reload. Those regulations totally omitted
the existence of machine guns. Virton was a catastrophe and the French panicked and
At Bellefontaine the French lost a third of their forces. At Rossignol, it was worse as
the French forces were trapped on a narrow road by German troops already well-deployed
among the trees and the French were mowed down, and even the main French army further
west was forced to retreat from Charleroi to avoid being surrounded.
在1914年8月22号这一天之内 法国损失了27 000名士兵
On one single day, August 22, 1914, the French lost 27,000 killed, as well as those wounded,
missing, and captured. This was the single greatest loss one nation would have in one
single day during World War One. In fact, by the end of August, France had lost 75,000
soldiers killed in the war, and another 200,000 wounded or prisoners. France never fully recovered
from this, but it’s remarkable that she even recovered at all and was able to continue
Now, the German army’s problem wasn’t so much one of being out of time as it was
being out of touch. It was a belief that if an officer had been properly trained then
he would know what to do in battle and could act independently of his orders. This independence
would come back to haunt the Germans and we saw it in play big style this week, as the
Germans launched their first major offensive on the Eastern Front.
The German High Command, mainly army Chief of Staff von Moltke, had given orders to the
army in the east that they were not to make any attacks at all on the Russians until France
had been defeated in the west, but the German General Francois in the field, seeing an opportunity,
于是无视这些命令 并在8月17号攻击俄国 造成了成千上万的伤亡
had disregarded these orders and attacked on August 17th, inflicting thousands of casualties
and taking 3,000 Russian prisoners. The ironically named Francois was actually born in Luxembourg,
but his father had been a Prussian general and Francois was loath to give up any Prussian
territory, being famous quoted as saying “General Francois will withdraw when he has defeated
Francois believed that even though the Russians had the numbers, the German advantage in weapons
and equipment meant that they should attack the Russians now, and he convinced his superior,
von Prittwitz, to also go against orders and on August 20th the Germans attacked at the
battle of Gumbinnen. The German attack against the Russians proved to be a failure, and Francois
and the Germans were forced to retreat, thousands of them killed by the Russian guns, leaving
some 6,000 German prisoners in Russian hands.
Moltke and Prittwitz panicked a bit after this defeat and worried that Berlin might
even be threatened by the Russian army. Prittwitz retreated more than 150 kilometers, leaving
East Prussia to the Russians, and Moltke transferred several divisions from the French front to
the Russian front.
然而 我们回顾下法国前线就知道 德国军队就在这里
However, if we look back over at the French front, the German army there was, as we’ve
talked about before, implementing the Schlieffen Plan, by which they would sweep down through
Belgium and northern France, bypassing the heavily defended Franco-German border, and
ideally defeat the French within six weeks so the whole German army could then turn its
attention toward Russia. So Moltke taking troops away from France to use against Russia
might not have been his best idea.
但是施里芬计划似乎进行的很顺利 在8月20号 德国军队进入了布鲁塞尔
But the Schlieffen Plan seemed to be going well. On August 20th, German troops entered
Brussels, the first European capital occupied by a foreign army since Paris in 1870.
But to really see generals being both stuck in the past and acting independently of orders,
we have to turn our attention to the Balkans.
By the middle of August, the Austrian army was finally established on the eastern shore
of the Drina River and began advancing into Serbia. The Austrians soon learned the hard
way that the Serbian army knew its business, and the Austrian army was hopelessly out-of-date.
The Serbs used things like hand grenades, which scared the crap out of the Austrians,
who had never seen them before and Austrian General Oskar Potiorek had no interest in
things such as artillery ballistics and modern mountain guns, and to him infantry-artillery
coordination didn’t exist. Potiorek had actually been in the car with Franz Ferdinand
the day the Archduke was assassinated, and it was he who had botched security that day.
And like many of the other military leaders at this point in the war, he was a career
officer who had never seen a day of battle.
8月15号 奥地利军队侵占了Mount Cer 这是德里纳河东边的一个30千米的高原
On August 15th, the Austrian army assaulted Mount Cer, a defended plateau about 30 kilometers
east of the Drina. It was tough climbing for the Austrians and they had to leave their
这天晚上 大雨滂沱 他们到达了山顶
artillery behind. In the evening, in heavy rain, they reached the plateau. At one AM,
凌晨1点时 塞尔维亚军队包围了奥地利人 对正在熟睡且无组织的奥地利人开火
the Serbian troops closed in, opening fire on the sleeping and disorganized Austrians.
那时 塞尔维亚人将奥地利军士集合起来 杀了很多军官
In just the time it took for the Austrian army to rally, most of its officers were killed,
and hand-to-hand combat lasted until the dawn.
With the dawn came Serbian reinforcements and artillery, and they forced the Austrian
他们逼迫着奥地利军队撤退 在8月20号 在Mount Cer战役中的幸存者全部撤退到了波斯尼亚
army to withdraw. On the 20th of August, the survivors of Mount Cer retreated all the way
back to Bosnia, having suffered nearly 28,000 casualties in the battle and its aftermath.
By the evening of August 24th, no Austrians remained in Serbia except for 4,500 prisoners
So at the end of this week, Germany was advancing in the west and retreating in the east, but
what we see most of all is a generation of Frenchman being killed and maimed because
their high command was in a Napoleonic fantasy, and the great Austro-Hungarian Empire,
奥匈帝国中充满了不称职的官员 落后的设备 不与时俱进的观念
with its incompetent officers, outdated equipment, and outdated ideas had been humiliated by
a tiny Balkan nation.
Over the next four years, warfare would basically move from 1870 to 1940. Death would come to
从未想到士兵是以这样的方式结束生命的：空中 海上 海下
soldiers in never before imagined ways; from the skies, on the seas, under the
地面以上 地上 甚至是地下
seas, above the ground, on the ground, and even below the ground. The mindsets
of the men leading these soldiers to their deaths changed only slowly though, and before
they caught up with modern tactics and technology, ten million young men would die.
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And if you want to know how this all could have happend and why. You can watch our three
episodes of the Prelude to War Specials. Right here!
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are happy to have them.