December 18th, 1914
大英帝国的疆域在1914年遍布世界 在其领土上 太阳的确永不落下
The British Empire was worldwide in 1914, and the sun truly never set upon it. It had
数个世纪的战争和海外征服造就了这一帝国 但这一周 一些不一样的事件发生了
been built by centuries of war and conquest abroad, but this week something different
happened. For the first time in over 200 years,
British civilians at home were killed by enemy action.
I’m Indy Neidell; welcome to the Great War.
Last week we saw the Austro-Hungarian army disgraced as it retreated once again from
奥军因此而蒙羞 在更北面 奥军将
Serbia, having been badly beaten by the Serbs. Further north, the Austrians were pushing
俄军击退回山区 同时 在更遥远的北方 德军-俄军前线
the Russians back in the mountains while even further north the German-Russian front had
settled into stalemate for the winter. The Western Front was still also in stalemate,
where it would remain for years, and the German Pacific navy had been finally destroyed.
1915 is just around the corner so let’s take a look at how some of the warring nations
now viewed the war.
Britain and France were by this point committed to the destruction of Prussian militarism,
and they meant to ensure that post-war Germany would not have the industrial or military
来发动另一场战争 事实上 为了贯彻如上指令 这使得
means to start another war. Thing is, this made the conditions for victory nothing short
of total victory in order to be able to dictate such terms.
The Germans were a little more existential about the whole thing. They realized that
defeat would mean total disgrace. Now, they certainly had no initial plans for world domination,
但是随着事情的发展 他们的胃口变得越来越大 尤其是在银行家和
but as things unfolded the schemes got grander and grander, especially among bankers and
实业家中 他们热衷于谈论合并 并且不单单把攫取经济霸权作为最终目的
industrialists, who enthusiastically spoke of annexations, and not just economic hegemony
as the result. Army Chief of Staff Falkenhayn, for example, had ideas of permanent conquest
in the west, though not in the east.
The German strategy had been based on a quick war so 1915 was the war year that never should
have been. Germany found itself on a huge two front war against Russia and France with
England slowly pulling her strength together from her worldwide empire that would eventually
see her also fielding millions of soldiers on the western front.
At around this time in Germany there were the suddenly popular catchwords “the war
“战争一定要在东线获胜” 而且许多人认为 实际上是有可能
must be won in the east”, and many people believed that it was actually possible to
defeat Russia by force of arms and this would cause the western allies to change their minds
对战争的看法并求和 这很荒谬 因为在东线作出的任何决定都不能
about the war and sue for peace. This was ludicrous. No decision in the east would spare
them from fighting to the end in the west.
而且 英法两军真的别无选择 唯有继续在西线
And the French and British really had no option other than to continue to attack and attack
on the western front. Germany’s successes back in August had given her most of Belgium
and a big industrial chunk of France, and the Germans were only around 100km from Paris.
French General Joseph Joffre couldn’t take a passive approach, which would allow the
Germans to either plan a big offensive or transfer troops to the eastern front. Especially
而爱国主义情绪更是推波助澜 要将德军赶出法国的领土 可如何进行是个大问题
with the patriotic issue of getting the Germans off of French soil. The big question was how?
The answer for the moment was a series of winter offensives that began this week and
continued well into 1915.
One of these was the first battle of Artois, which began on December 17th. The objective
取得维米岭高地的控制权 有趣的是 法军开始
was gaining control of the heights of the Vimy ridge. Interestingly, the French began
to use siege techniques from centuries ago that now once again had a place in warfare.
They sapped trenches across no mans land and connected them to form jumping off points
as close to the German lines as possible. They also began to avoid mass offensives and
instead make series of smaller attacks against
points of tactical importance, such as the ridge.
In addition to the developing action at Artois, the Champagne offensive was just about to
begin all along a 40 kilometer stretch from Auberive to Massiges in an attempt to break
through to the Mezieres railway junction.
Over 250,000 troops would be deployed backed by 700 guns.
这支队伍人数众多 但是正如我们所看到的时间点 再一次
That is a huge number of men, but as we’ve seen time and again, it’s often dwarfed
by the amount of men fighting on the Eastern Front.
现在 正如我们所见 数周之前在这里 奥匈帝国军队在利马诺瓦战役
Now, a couple of weeks ago there we saw the Austro-Hungarian Imperial army pushing the
Russians back at the battle of Limanowa to halt the Russia drive toward Budapest. That
battle finally ended this week with a Russian defeat. The Austrians held the Dukla pass
and the threat of Russian invasion of Hungary was over.
事实上 奥军差不多有机会将俄军包围 但冬季的天气
Actually, the Austrians nearly had an opportunity to surround the Russians but the winter weather
and the inadequate railway system ruined that chance. This was not quite the end of the
war of motion on the Eastern Front, which had em phatically ended on the western one,
but it was another big step in ending the possibilities of
Russian invasions of Austrian or German territory.
British territory was not, on the other hand, safe any more.
12月16日 德国海军轰炸了士嘉堡 惠特利和哈特尔普尔
On December 16th, the German navy bombarded Scarborough, Whitley, and Hartlepool, which
resulted in the first British civilians killed by enemy action since 1690.
You gotta wonder what the Germans were thinking, though. This was a purely terrorist exercise
不包含军事目的的恐怖行动吗 恰恰相反 它希望通过突出英国的脆弱
that didn’t have a military purpose- on the contrary it was to demoralize the British
从而打击英军的士气 但它失败了 事实上 它恰好发挥了
by highlighting their vulnerability, but it failed. In fact, it had just the opposite
effect and was a huge propaganda victory for the British, certainly increasing popular
对德军的憎恨 坚定了英军的决心 而德军后来有时甚至
hatred of the Germans and steeling British resolve, and in future the Germans would even
be sometimes known as the “baby killers of Scarborough”.
Thing is, German Admiral Franz von Hipper was totally unenthusiastic about bombing British
seaside towns, which he thought completely irrelevant strategically. He was really concerned
with facing the British Fleet, and he actually should have had his chance this very day.
For all the remembrance of Scarborough, the events of December 16th could have gone many
many times worse for the British.
See, British code breakers knew already the 14th that von Hipper was heading out the following
是为了其后几日的突袭 但他们并不知道其目标所在 所以英军的六艘战列舰和
day for a raid but didn’t know his target. So there were 6 British battleships and four
battle cruisers waiting at Dogger Bank in the North Sea with some support to engage
von Hipper when they could find him, but what the code breakers did NOT know was that the
entire German High Seas fleet was heading right for the British ships
including 18 dreadnoughts and 54 destroyers.
现在 16日从早到晚 双方的驱逐舰发生了零星的战斗
Now, during the night and morning of the 16th a few rival destroyers engaged each other
occasionally, but the seas were too heavy for anything decisive and visibility was pretty
糟糕 但数小时之后 问题显然出现了——公海舰队在哪里？
terrible, but after a few hours the question became evident- where was the high seas fleet?
好 海军上将弗里德里希·冯·英格诺尔突然将舰队带回本部 严格来说 早晨5:45
Well, Admiral Friedrich von Ingenohl had suddenly taken it home. Seriously. At 5:45 in the morning,
after hearing about the clashing destroyers, he had erroneously assumed that he was about
to face the entire Grand Fleet. But his mission was only to support von Hipper’s coastal
突袭 而且他没有德皇的命令以发动一场大战 所以他掉转船头
raid and he had no orders from the Kaiser to fight a big battle so he turned around
and went home and threw away the German navy’s best strategic opportunity of the entire war.
Both fleets made it back home without the loss of a ship, but while the Germans lost
一个绝佳的战机 而英军的公共关系紧张起来 试想英国舰队
a great battle opportunity and the British got a PR boost, think how much respect the
British fleet lost when its actions of that day became public: it knew that von Hipper
was coming, but did not try to head him off from the coast, sacrificing dozens of civilian
生命以及数百人受伤的代价 而且随后在进攻结束后 未能在其回港时拦截他
lives with hundreds more injured, and then failed to intercept him after the attack when
he was heading home, meaning those people, those British civilians were sacrificed for nothing.
Not a good day for the British Navy.
Neither was it a good day for someone we haven’t heard from yet in the war-neutral Portugal.
Specifically, Portuguese Angola.
This week saw the battle of Naulila, which actually has a bit of a back-story. In October,
a German delegation to the fort of Naulila from German Southwest Africa to negotiate
一份互不侵犯条约 但这支代表团成员被杀害了 德国人做出反应 攻击并
a non-aggression pact had been killed, and the Germans had responded by attacking and
destroying first Fort Cuangar and then some other small forts. Now, on December 18th,
现在轮到了瑙里拉 德军的进攻很迅速 而葡军在经历了数小时的战斗后即
it was Naulila’s turn. The attack was quick and the Portuguese fled after a few hours
四散奔逃 在此战期间 他们损失了约150人 五倍于德军的损失
of fighting during which they lost about 150 men, roughly five times the German losses.
But Portugal and Germany were still not officially at war, and indeed would not be until 1916,
in spite of skirmishes between their colonial territories. Funny how many people can die
in a war when you’re not “at war”.
So that’s where we stand at the end of the week, with small actions in Africa, small
actions along the British coast that triggered big outrage, a huge action beginning in France,
and a huge action ending in the East.
Think how it must have felt to the people of Scarborough, Whitley, and Hartlepool. Oh
当然 他们处于交战状态而且知道它 但是数百年来 没有人 甚至拿破仑也没能
sure, they were at war and knew it, but no one, not even Napoleon, had attacked the ordinary
people of their little island kingdom for hundreds of years. It meant a quick and rude
awakening to the reality of modern war- that this was not a war of honor, not a war of
体面的战争 也不是一场在传统道德标准约束下进行一战争 这是一场无情的战争
decency, and not a war conducted by any traditional moral standards. It was a war of brutality
而其死亡的规模在此之前难以想象 而在这场战争中 在任何交战国
and of death on a scale never before imagined, and it was a war where no one, man, woman,
没有任何一个人 男人 女人或是儿童能够保证安全
or child, in any of the warring nations, was safe.
See you next week.
If you missed last weeks Episode where we talked about the Austrian – Hungarien Empire
being badly beaten by the Serbs then click right here.
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