Was Allied Victory In WWI Inevitable?

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Cato the Elder
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I would say it was because of the following reasons:

First of all, the Allies had greater manpower. By 1913, Russia had a population of 175 million, the USA 106 million, Britain 44 million and France 39 million. This gave the Allies a greater manpower than the Central Powers combined. Even factoring in Russia dropping out of the war in 1917, Germany with its 67 million and Austria-Hungary with its 52 million were doomed. Britain mobilised 9 million and France 8 million over the course of the war, whilst Germany mobilised around 11 million.

Then there is the relative economic strength of the Central Powers versus the Allies. The Central Powers only produced 19% of the world's manufacturing output compared to the 65% that the Allies produced. The Allies were generally more industrialised. America alone consumed 541 million metric tons of coal in 1913, more than any other power combined.

Source: The Changing Nature of Warfare: The Development of Land Warfare From 1792 to 1945 by Peter Browning (Cambridge, 2002)
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by Cato the Elder)
I would say it was because of the following reasons:

First of all, the Allies had greater manpower. By 1913, Russia had a population of 175 million, the USA 106 million, Britain 44 million and France 39 million. This gave the Allies a greater manpower than the Central Powers combined. Even factoring in Russia dropping out of the war in 1917, Germany with its 67 million and Austria-Hungary with its 52 million were doomed. Britain mobilised 9 million and France 8 million over the course of the war, whilst Germany mobilised around 11 million.

Then there is the relative economic strength of the Central Powers versus the Allies. The Central Powers only produced 19% of the world's manufacturing output compared to the 65% that the Allies produced. The Allies were generally more industrialised. America alone consumed 541 million metric tons of coal in 1913, more than any other power combined.

Source: The Changing Nature of Warfare: The Development of Land Warfare From 1792 to 1945 by Peter Browning (Cambridge, 2002)
In other threads such as https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=4555148 you believe in the Great Man view of history. Yet here you are relying for your conclusion on the vast, impersonal forces of population and economic power. You can't really have it both ways.

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Cato the Elder
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(Original post by ageshallnot)
In other threads such as https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=4555148 you believe in the Great Man view of history. Yet here you are relying for your conclusion on the vast, impersonal forces of population and economic power. You can't really have it both ways.

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Well, I am simply looking "objectively" at the evidence. Though I don't really believe that the Central Powers couldn't have won under any circumstances. But the figures I gave certainly suggest that Allied victory was inevitable.

It is perfectly possible to argue in favour of something you don't really believe in.
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by Cato the Elder)
Well, I am simply looking "objectively" at the evidence. Though I don't really believe that the Central Powers couldn't have won under any circumstances. But the figures I gave certainly suggest that Allied victory was inevitable.

It is perfectly possible to argue in favour of something you don't really believe in.
So which one don't you believe in?

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Cato the Elder
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(Original post by ageshallnot)
So which one don't you believe in?

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I don't really believe that Allied victory in WWI was inevitable. I'm arguing in favour of the idea it was for fun. I don't believe in historical inevitabilities of any kind.
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Withengar
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Considering that the German "Kaiser" offensive in Spring of 1917 almost turned the tide and won the Germans the entire war, any kind of speculation regarding inevitability seems ridiculous. The First World War was a time of rapidly-changing tactics and technology; therefore, in this highly turbulent time, there were really few certainties.
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by Cato the Elder)
I don't really believe that Allied victory in WWI was inevitable. I'm arguing in favour of the idea it was for fun. I don't believe in historical inevitabilities of any kind.
Hmmm...

Having read several of your posts I have come to the conclusion that you believe the last book you read.

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Cato the Elder
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(Original post by Withengar)
Considering that the German "Kaiser" offensive in Spring of 1917 almost turned the tide and won the Germans the entire war, any kind of speculation regarding inevitability seems ridiculous. The First World War was a time of rapidly-changing tactics and technology; therefore, in this highly turbulent time, there were really few certainties.
Ah, but that very offensive failed because the Germans lacked enough manpower in order to push it through to victory. The offensive petered out because the Germans were running out of reserves, giving the Allies time to launch the Hundred Days' Offensive which saw the "black day" of the 8th August 1918, at which the Germans were defeated at Amiens and lost 37,000 men in one day. Ludendorff himself remarked that Germany was doomed and that "we cannot fight the whole world". At this point Germany's economy collapsed due to the crippling British blockade which emphasises the industrial and economic superiority of the Allied powers and, to a certain extent, the inevitability of Allied victory in WWI.
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Cato the Elder
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(Original post by ageshallnot)
Hmmm...

Having read several of your posts I have come to the conclusion that you believe the last book you read.

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How did you come to that conclusion?
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by Cato the Elder)
How did you come to that conclusion?
Because you write verbose, uncritical summaries of books, agreeing with the author's views.

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Cato the Elder
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(Original post by ageshallnot)
Because you write verbose, uncritical summaries of books, agreeing with the author's views.

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Probably because I already had those views and they were merely buttressed by my reading.

I do read things I disagree with too, usually for entertainment. I have a copy of Edward Said's Orientalism that I am planning to read at some point, even though I think that Said was an idiot and his ideas were hypocritical and absurd. And I've read Hugh Trevor-Roper's famous essay excoriating Oliver Cromwell for incompetence and parliamentary mismanagement, which I utterly disagree with and have refuted in my coursework essay.
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CoolCavy
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I would argue so, if Germany had gone to war later it might have been different but in 1939 they were still underprepared in terms of armaments etc compared to the allies
Once the Blitzkrieg strategy was spent they had little else and Hitler became too fixated with pet projects whilst away in the Berghof which didnt exactly help matters
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Cato the Elder
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(Original post by CoolCavy)
I would argue so, if Germany had gone to war later it might have been different but in 1939 they were still underprepared in terms of armaments etc compared to the allies
Once the Blitzkrieg strategy was spent they had little else and Hitler became too fixated with pet projects whilst away in the Berghof which didnt exactly help matters
We're talking about WWI, not WWII.
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by Cato the Elder)
Probably because I already had those views and they were merely buttressed by my reading.

I do read things I disagree with too, usually for entertainment. I have a copy of Edward Said's Orientalism that I am planning to read at some point, even though I think that Said was an idiot and his ideas were hypocritical and absurd. And I've read Hugh Trevor-Roper's famous essay excoriating Oliver Cromwell for incompetence and parliamentary mismanagement, which I utterly disagree with and have refuted in my coursework essay.
That does rather suggest that you make your mind up before reading enough detailed material.

Are you planning on studying history at university?

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Cato the Elder
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(Original post by ageshallnot)
That does rather suggest that you make your mind up before reading enough detailed material.

Are you planning on studying history at university?

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Yes.
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CoolCavy
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(Original post by Cato the Elder)
We're talking about WWI, not WWII.
lol that's funny :lol: my bad sorry misread the thread title
in which case i would say no, both sides were pretty evenly matched imo and it was only the involvement of the USA which really swung it
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by Cato the Elder)
Yes.
Have you applied yet or is that next year?

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Cato the Elder
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(Original post by ageshallnot)
Have you applied yet or is that next year?

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I have applied this year.
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by Cato the Elder)
I have applied this year.
Good luck achieving whatever offers you have received.

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Cato the Elder
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(Original post by ageshallnot)
Good luck achieving whatever offers you have received.

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Thanks.
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