The first five weeks of the war have seen great offensives by Germany, Russia, and Austria-Hungary,
larger than any military operations in history.
Hundreds of thousands of men have died, but today
all of those offensives come to an end.
I’m Indy Neidell; welcome to the Great War.
At the beginning of the week, the French and the British were re-grouping around Paris
as the Germans advanced. The Germans were also advancing in the east, hoping to push
the Russians back to Russia,while further south there was the Russians advancing to
push the Austrians back toward their empire.
Two weeks ago, a Russian army had been absolutely destroyed at the Battle of Tannenberg, and
though the Germans had been trying to press their advantage, there hadn’t been a major
battle since then. That changed this week.
On the morning of September 9th, the German army, bolstered by troop arrivals from the
front in France, attacked the Russians and once again simply crushed them at the Masurian
Lakes, and the Russian army only escaped complete and total destruction by the remarkable speed
of its retreat from the lakes, moving 40 kilometers a day to leave the Germans far behind.
These two battles, especially Tannenberg, were truly historical victories, and they
pushed all Russian troops off of German soil. They also destroyed Russian numerical superiority
over the Germans for the time being. Russia would still have a strong presence just across
the border, but the Germans were no longer worried about being steamrolled by the endless Russians army.
Here’s a little anecdote from the retreat- some Russian soldiers were trying to take
a statue of Bismarck from a town in East Prussia to bring home, but their commander told them
not to take it because he didn’t want there to be an international incident.
Now, the Russian people as a whole might have been totally demoralized by the catastrophic
defeats they had suffered against Germany, had they not beaten Austria-Hungary nearly
as badly in the Battle of Galicia, which also ended September 11th.
This was the group name for a series of battles over several weeks during Austria’s offensive
into Russian territory. These battles ended with Russia taking 130,000 prisoners and inflicting
324000个奥地利人伤亡 是的 你没听错
324,000 Austrian casualties. Yes, you heard that right.
See, the Austrian army under Chief of Staff Conrad von Hotzendorf had attacked with a
相比之下数量非常小的俄国军队 事实上 失败更多是因为奥地利人的无能
much smaller force than the Russians had, and the failure was actually due more to Austrian
incompetence than Russian brilliance. The Austrian army was forced to retreat 160 kilometers
toward the Carpathian Mountains. Conrad’s failure and humiliation were now total, and
remember, there were perhaps only one or two people on earth who bear more responsibility
for the beginning of World War One and all the carnage that was to follow than Conrad
von Hotzendorf. Another side note here: At one point a bit down the road, Conrad confessed
向他的参谋说 如果大公弗朗兹·斐迪南还活着的话 必须让他
to his staff that if Archduke Franz Ferdinand was still alive he would take the man responsible
for such military disaster- Conrad himself- out and have him shot.
也是在本周签订了伦敦条约 法国 英国和俄国
It was also this week that also saw the pact of London, when France, Britain, and Russia
agreed that none of them would make a separate peace with Germany or Austria-Hungary. They
他们将会战斗到底 在西线 这似乎是最好的结果
would fight to the end. In the Western Front it seemed like it might well be the end. The
Germans had advanced toward Paris for two weeks, and the final battle of that offensive was approaching.
As the Germans neared Paris, though, the French were finally gaining a bit of an advantage.
In spite of their massive losses the past three weeks, they had a newly recruited and
才凑齐队伍 当弹尽粮绝的德国人已经前行了33个日夜后 同样的
formed army, while the exhausted Germans had been advancing for 33 straight days. Also,
the Germans had followed the retreating British not to Paris, but just to the northeast, and
south of the river Marne, over-extending their supply lines and losing the chance to take
巴黎的机会 这是他们的战争计划中的一个重要目标 施里芬计划 所以在
Paris, which was the major goal of their battle plan, The Schlieffen Plan. So it was south
of the Marne that the British and French prepared to do battle.
The Battle of the Marne began on September 5th, 1914; a battle that the French and the
British could absolutely not afford to lose. Over two million troops were engaged in the battle.
The French used the railways to constantly take up new positions and outmaneuver the
Germans. This might not have been such a big problem if the Germans had better communications,
但冯·莫尔特克 这个德国军队的主参谋在科布伦茨 超过500公里远的地方 他训练出
but von Moltke, the German army Chief of Staff, was at Koblenz, over 500 km away, and he practiced
a system of de-centralization where his generals often just did what they saw best. Moltke
莫尔特克也是一个十分敏感的人 在这一点上 他谈及他自己并写信
was also very high-strung, and by this point he was talking to himself and writing letters
to his wife where he would freak out about the amount of blood spilled in the war and
the feeling he must personally answer for it.
It’s pretty amazing when you realize that the Germans got this far when their generals
often had no idea what the others were doing. During the entire battle of the Marne, Moltke
and the German High Command issued no orders at all, and the last two days didn’t even receive any.
The Germans had two armies here, and the western one under General von Bulow had been forced
划出一条南北线来面对法国 以抵御法国的进攻 对吧？
to make a new north-south line facing Paris to defend against French advances, right?
Von Bulow moved troops from his left to his right to counter attack, but this counter
attack opened up a gap between von Bulow and the eastern army under von Kluck, and standing
before that gap was the British Expeditionary Force, who cautiously advanced. Von Bulow’s
army was now cut off from von Kluck’s with communications almost non-existent. This is
where the taxi legends come in.
As the French surged and the Germans reinforced, the French General Joseph Gallieni, did something
that he quoted as “at least out of the ordinary”, and indeed it was something nobody had ever
done before. Gallieni requisitioned all the Paris taxicabs to shuttle reserves 50 kilometers
from the city to the front. The automobile was still in its infancy, but this was over
400辆车 在当时是一个庞大的数量 大部分士兵都没有这么奢侈的
400 cars, a huge amount for the time, and most of the soldiers had never had the luxury
乘坐过汽车 有两件事 虽然这对战斗的实际影响不大
of riding in an automobile.Two things though- the actual impact of this on the battle
was quite modest, and the taxi drivers were paid; their meters were running the whole time.
在9月8日 你可以争论这场战役 这整个战争 甚至是整个
On September 8th, the battle, and you could argue, the whole war, and even the whole 20th
二十世纪都处于平衡状态 进攻和反击 所有这一切都只是一个问题
century hung in balance. Attack and counterattack, all across the line, and it was simply a question
of who would crack first.
It was a night attack on the 8th, when the French captured Marchai-en-Brie that really
形成了浪潮 当冯·布洛反击 他的军队和冯·克卢克之间的差距
turned the tide. When von Bulow fought back, the gap between his army and von Kluck’s
缩短到了30公里 并且他在数量上超过冯·克卢克的军队 英国人现在已经进入缺口
grew to nearly 30 km, he was outnumbered, the British were now well into the gap, and
在极短的时间内 冯·布洛下达了撤退的命令 在1914年9月9日上午9点02分
in the wee hours, von Bulow gave the order to retreat. At 9:02 AM on September 9th, 1914,
the German forces began to withdraw.
在9月9日 德国人被迫穿过马恩河 并在13号穿过埃纳河
On September 9th, the Germans were driven back across the Marne and on the 13th across
the Aisne, a total retreat of 100 kilometers. It was there on a ridge that the German troops
dug in, and we see now one of the unsung military advances of the war, the spade, in action.
德国人使用了它 但法国人没有 所以德国人可以挖战壕：而法国不行
The Germans used it; the French did not, so the Germans could dig in: not so the French.
There’s no telling how many thousands of Frenchmen were lost to the German advance
because of such a simple tool. A man in a hole is impossible for artillery to spot,
并且不会被枪打中 手榴弹也可以近距离投掷 虽然对很多法国人而言
and can’t be shot by a rifle, and hand grenades would require close contact. For many Frenchmen,
though, using such a defense was a dishonorable means of conducting a battle. They would soon
learn that honor had no a place in modern warfare. That modern warfare had now cost
close to one million lives in only five weeks, and during the first few months of the war,
an average of over 15,000 lives were lost every day.
在9月14日 极度疲劳的莫尔特克从德军统帅部撤走 他在最后
On September 14th, a shattered Moltke was removed from the German command. He had in
意识到了难以承受的人员伤亡 看这些命令 他在最后
the end found the casualties unbearable, and looking at the few orders he issued the last
two weeks of his command, you can see him slowly falling to pieces, but it’s hard
但我们很难对他产生同情的：在地球上没有一个人 甚至是康拉德 也没有比莫尔特克带来更多的战争
to have sympathy for him: no man on earth, not even Connad, had done more to bring about
the war than Moltke, but he proved incapable of commanding his nation’s armies.
Three great offensives were over this week, and much of the pattern was set for the rest
of the war. I’m going to end today’s episode with a quote from the historian Martin Gilbert
to tell you how
“Denied their triumphal entry into Paris, the German army would go on fighting on the
Western Front for another four years, as hopeful of victory in August 1918 as they had been
in August 1914. But the hopes of a month earlier of being able to defeat France in a knockout
blow and then turn all their military strength against Russia had been dashed. The war of
rapid victories had become a strategy of the past, and a dream for the future. Germany
was going to have to fight simultaneously, and with constant danger, in both east and
west. France was going to have to fight on French soil. Russia was going to have to regain
收复西面的土地 奥地利则收复东面的土地 圣诞节还有三个半月
land in the west and Austria to regain land in the east. Christmas was still three and
a half months away, but every warring state was going to have to search for new strategies,
and even new allies.”
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