September 25, 1914.
The mobile war of short intense battles was over and the filthy war in the trenches had begun
and this week we see the trenches grow like lighting on the western front in the race to the sea.
We also see something even more sinister, as the war of the modern great
machines like mega artillery and motorized vehicles spreads to the skies and beneath the sea.
I’m Indy Neidell, welcome to the Great War.
At the beginning of the week, the battle of the Aisne was raging,
and British, French,and German alike were digging in.
In the east, the Austro-Hungarian army was retreating back
within its own borders, pursued by the Russians.
The Russians had suffered some great losses against the Germans,
but they had also had a string of victories over the Austrians.
By this time, the Austro-Hungarian army was recognized by both sides as the weakest of
渐渐地 我们异常清晰地看到 奥匈军只有在德军持续不断的援助下
the conflict, and it was becoming fairly obvious that it would require constant German assistance
才能尚存一线生机 因此 俄军穷追猛打
just to survive, and the Russians were thus committed to serious and continuous efforts
to finish it off so they could focus on Germany.
General Nikolay Ivanov, in charge of the Imperial Russian army on the Southwestern Front, put
what pressure he could on the retreating Austrians to the south, and after beating them in the
伊万诺夫又计划逐个攻破普热梅斯 克拉科夫 以及布达佩斯这些城市要塞
battle of Galicia, planned to take the city fortress of Przemsyl, then Krakow, and then on to Budapest.
This put the fear into the Germans, and they sent four army corps from the western front
就驻扎在克拉科夫以北 事实证明 俄军侧翼即刻受到威胁
to the east, just north of Krakow, which proved to be an immediate threat to the Russian flank.
This was very much a tribute to the German railway system,
and highlights again the German high command’s comments just before the war
that by 1917 the Russian railway system would be a match for the German one
and Germany would not then be able to win a war with Russia
so war must happen in 1914.
Ivanov diverted 30 entire divisions to tackle this threat and they began to march north,
leaving only 30 divisions in Galicia to deal with the Austrians.
But there were a further 25 divisions up in East Prussia
so it began to look like Ivanov had a real war machine to take on the Germans.
Of course, the Russians were also eager to get back at the Germans for the disastrous
losses at Tannenberg and Masurian lakes a few weeks ago,
so on the eastern front you now had a lot of people in motion, covering huge expanses of territory.
It was completely the opposite in the west.
At the Aisne River, it was a stalemate with the two sides dug into trenches separated
相距不过数百米 双方即无一方占优 也无一方有意撤退
by only a few hundred meters; neither side able to gain the upper hand or willing to retreat.
The British and French were suffering an average of 2,000 casualties each and every
day of the ongoing battle, which would last for several more weeks,
and the Germans were taking heavy losses as well.
Everyone now realized that frontal attacks were suicide,
so the armies began to try one of the oldest maneuvers in the history of warfare
they began to try to attack each other from the side, the flank,
where an opponent’s defenses are much weaker and he would basically be in a straight line.
Now, there were 300 kilometers of open ground between the Aisne and the English Channel,
open ground that was as yet un-ravaged by either army,
and the new German chief of staff Falkenhayn, who very much believed in a hard offensive war,
thought he saw an opportunity to envelop the allied forces in a way
that his predecessor, Moltke, was not able to in August.
As a bonus, even if he couldn’t surround his opponent,
if he could take the channel ports as far as Calais in the west,
he would have an excellent strategic advantage,
so he began to move.
The French and the British armies re-deployed to meet this new threat,
and they actually did an incredible job of it,
so as the autumn rains and cold came on in force,
the trench lines grew and grew to the northwest as each army tried to get around the other.
The problem now was that neither side was able to attack quickly enough,
尤其是无法在带着大炮的情况下 在一天内结束战斗 所以他们越走越远
or especially to bring up artillery quickly enough to seize the day, so further and further they went.
This is known as the race to the sea.
The French in the west, much like the Germans in the east, had a major advantage in railways.
1870年普法战争中 法国快速落败 主要原因便是其铁路系统落后
See, in the war with Prussia in 1870 the weaknesses of the French system had been a major factor
in her quick defeat, but France had learned her lesson, and over the next 40 years had
built one of the densest and most highly developed networks in the world,
while the German headache now was that the retreating Belgians had sabotaged their tracks
and taken away anything that could roll,
and even though Germany committed 26,000 men to clearing tunnels and fixing track,
it would take several more weeks to really get it up to speed.
Weeks that the German army might not have.
The beginning of the industrial war, the beginning of trench warfare, the beginning of the war
on other continents, there were still a lot of new beginnings at this point of the war,
including a big one- the beginning of the war in the air.
September 22nd marked the first British air raid on Germany.
They attacked the Zeppelin sheds in Dusseldorf and Cologne and took them completely by surprise.
People had realized in August, though, just what sort of advantages airplanes could bring to the war.
这通常是经验所得 比如有一次 驻扎在南锡的德军看见
Often it was learning by experience, such as when German troops in Nancy watched
a plane circle over them for a while before dropping what turned out to be a bright light.
The men stood around the obviously harmless “bomb” and wondered what its purpose was
until the French suddenly started shelling them now that they knew where they were.
新兴的航空业依然处于危险期 1912年 飞行员死于飞行事故概率为五十分之一
Aviation was still in its dangerous infancy- in 1912 the accidental death rate for pilots
was one in fifty- but the war would change all of that. Here’s some numbers for you:
英军有113架飞机服役 奥军48架 比利时军12架
the British went to war with 113 airplanes; the Austrians had 48, and the Belgians 12.
The French were actually the European aviationleaders before the war, and were alone among
the warring nations in having used planes in military service, which they had in Morocco 1913
到1914年10月 法国已订购了2300架飞机 3400台引擎
By October 1914, France had ordered 2,300 aircraft and 3,400 engines.
法国还是第一个划分机种的国家 分为战斗机 轰炸机 以及侦察机
They were also the first nation to organize their planes by types- fighter, bombers, and reconnaissance planes
all of the other armies followed suit and soon the “romantic” war of the flying aces would begin.
Another big first happened on September 22nd, when the German sub U9 sank three British
cruisers in one day off the Dutch coast.
Now, these three cruisers were sort of obsolete,
and the British government was worried they might be attacked by modern German cruisers,
but no one worried about the threat from a U-boat. That U-boat sunk all three ships with
only 6 torpedoes in under 90 minutes.
Since no one had any concept of submarine warfare, when the first cruiser was hit, the
other ones stopped to pick up survivors instead of getting the hell out of Dodge, and when
当第二艘遭袭时 第三艘又做了同样的事 最终 共有1459人阵亡
the second one was hit, the third one did the same. 1,459 men died. It was the worst
British naval disaster of the entire war.
The British Admiralty after that decided to
mine the North Sea “on a Napoleonic Scale”.
This event was an instant lesson on how important submarine warfare was to become,
and it shook the reputation of the supposedly invincible Royal Navy.
到了本周末 埃纳河的战壕里血战 轰炸不断
So at the end of the week, the bloody fighting and continuous shelling in the trenches in Aisne,
which heralded the new era of endless continuous battles- had yet to stop.
Both sides were also moving further and further toward the sea trying to find ground somewhere-
anywhere between Switzerland and the sea where they might finally gain a decisive advantage.
The Russians were massing in Poland to try to attack
both the mobile Germans and the Austrians in their fortress.
But what would be the biggest news of the week in the long run was that the war of the
great machines was taken to new levels with the war in the sky and the war under the sea-
two types of warfare that were completely new in the entire history of mankind. They
would change the way war was fought forever and over the next century would claim untold
millions of lives of soldier and civilian alike.
If you want to find out more about the transition from mobile warfare to the filthy trenches
of the Western Front, check out our episode from last week right here, and please share
你也可以在评论区 脸书或者推特上留言 与我们进行交流
your thoughts with us in the comments section or on Facebook or Twitter.