CIC 477

Past Issues
CIC 476
CIC 475
CIC 474
CIC 473
CIC 472
CIC 471
CIC 470
CIC 469
CIC 468
CIC 467
CIC 466
CIC 465
CIC 464
CIC 463
CIC 462
CIC 461
CIC 460
CIC 459
CIC 458
CIC 457
CIC 456
CIC 455
CIC 454
CIC 453
CIC 452
CIC 451
CIC 450
CIC 449
CIC 448
CIC 447
CIC 446
CIC 445
CIC 444
CIC 443
CIC 442
CIC 441
CIC 440
CIC 439
CIC 438
CIC 437
CIC 436
CIC 435
CIC 434
CIC 433
CIC 432
CIC 431
CIC 430
CIC 429
CIC 428
CIC 427
CIC 426
CIC 425
CIC 424
CIC 423
CIC 422
CIC 421
CIC 420
CIC 419
CIC 418
CIC 417
CIC 416
CIC 415
CIC 414
CIC 413
CIC 412
CIC 411
CIC 410
CIC 409
CIC 408
CIC 407
CIC 406
CIC 405
CIC 404
CIC 403
CIC 402
CIC 401
CIC 400
CIC 399
CIC 398
CIC 397
CIC 396
CIC 395
CIC 394
CIC 393
CIC 392
CIC 391
CIC 390
CIC 389
CIC 388
CIC 387
CIC 386
CIC 385
CIC 384
CIC 383
CIC 382
CIC 381
CIC 380
CIC 379
CIC 378
CIC 377
CIC 375
CIC 374
CIC 373
CIC 372
CIC 371
CIC 370
CIC 369
CIC 368
CIC 367
CIC 366
CIC 365
CIC 364
CIC 363
CIC 362
CIC 361
CIC 360
CIC 359
CIC 358
CIC 357
CIC 356
CIC 355
CIC 354
CIC 353
CIC 352
CIC 351
CIC 350
CIC 349
CIC 348
CIC 347
CIC 346
CIC 345
CIC 344
CIC 343
CIC 342
CIC 341
CIC 340
CIC 339
CIC 338
CIC 337
CIC 336
CIC 335
CIC 334
CIC 333
CIC 332
CIC 331
CIC 330
CIC 329
CIC 328
CIC 327
CIC 326
CIC 325
CIC 324
CIC 323
CIC 322
CIC 321
CIC 320
CIC 319
CIC 318
CIC 317
CIC 316
CIC 315
CIC 314
CIC 313
CIC 312
CIC 311
CIC 310
CIC 309
CIC 308
CIC 307
CIC 306
CIC 305
CIC 304
CIC 303
CIC 302
CIC 301
CIC 300
CIC 299
CIC 298
CIC 297
CIC 296
CIC 295
CIC 294
CIC 293
CIC 292
CIC 291
CIC 290
CIC 289
CIC 288
CIC 287
CIC 286
CIC 285
CIC 284
CIC 283
CIC 282
CIC 281
CIC 280
CIC 279
CIC 278
CIC 277
CIC 276
CIC 275
CIC 274
CIC 273
CIC 272
CIC 271
CIC 270
CIC 269
CIC 268
CIC 267
CIC 266
CIC 265
CIC 264
CIC 263
CIC 262
CIC 261
CIC 260
CIC 259
CIC 258
CIC 257
CIC 256
CIC 255
CIC 254
CIC 253
CIC 252
CIC 251
CIC 250
CIC 249
CIC 248
CIC 247
CIC 246
CIC 245
CIC 244
CIC 243
CIC 242
CIC 241
CIC 240
CIC 239
CIC 238
CIC 237
CIC 236
CIC 235
CIC 234
CIC 233
CIC 232
CIC 231
CIC 230
CIC 229
CIC 228
CIC 227
CIC 226
CIC 225
CIC 224
CIC 223
CIC 222
CIC 221
CIC 220
CIC 219
CIC 218
CIC 217
CIC 216
CIC 215
CIC 214
CIC 213
CIC 212
CIC 211
CIC 210
CIC 209
CIC 208
CIC 207
CIC 206
CIC 205
CIC 204
CIC 203
CIC 202
CIC 201
CIC 200
CIC 199
CIC 198
CIC 197
CIC 196
CIC 195
CIC 194
CIC 193
CIC 192
CIC 191
CIC 190
CIC 189
CIC 188
CIC 187
CIC 186
CIC 185
CIC 184
CIC 183
CIC 182
CIC 181
CIC 180
CIC 179
CIC 178
CIC 177
CIC 176
CIC 175
CIC 174
CIC 173
CIC 172
CIC 171
CIC 170
CIC 169
CIC 168
CIC 167
CIC 166
CIC 165
CIC 164
CIC 163
CIC 162
CIC 161
CIC 160
CIC 159
CIC 158
CIC 157
CIC 156
CIC 155
CIC 154
CIC 153
CIC 152
CIC 151
CIC 150
CIC 149
CIC 148
CIC 147
CIC 146
CIC 145
CIC 144
CIC 143
CIC 142
CIC 141
CIC 140
CIC 139
CIC 138
CIC 137
CIC 136
CIC 135
CIC 134
CIC 133
CIC 132
CIC 131
CIC 130
CIC 129
CIC 128
CIC 127
CIC 126
CIC 125
CIC 124
CIC 123
CIC 122
CIC 121
CIC 120
CIC 119
CIC 118
CIC 117
CIC 116
CIC 115
CIC 114
CIC 113
CIC 112
CIC 111
CIC 110
CIC 109
CIC 108
CIC 107
CIC 106
CIC 105
CIC 104
CIC 103
CIC 102
CIC 101
CIC 100
CIC 99
CIC 98
CIC 97
CIC 96
CIC 95
CIC 94
CIC 93
CIC 92
CIC 91
CIC 90
CIC 89
CIC 88
CIC 87
CIC 86
CIC 85
CIC 84
CIC 83
CIC 82
CIC 81
CIC 80
CIC 79
CIC 78
CIC 77
CIC 76
CIC 75
CIC 74
CIC 73
CIC 72
CIC 71
CIC 70
CIC 69
CIC 68
CIC 67
CIC 66
CIC 65
CIC 64
CIC 63
CIC 62
CIC 61
CIC 60
CIC 59
CIC 58
CIC 57
CIC 56
CIC 55
CIC 54
CIC 53
CIC 52
CIC 51
CIC 50
CIC 49
CIC 48
CIC 47
CIC 46
CIC 45
CIC 44
CIC 43
CIC 42
CIC 41
CIC 40
CIC 39
CIC 38
CIC 37
CIC 36
CIC 35
CIC 34
CIC 33
CIC 32
CIC 31
CIC 30
CIC 29
CIC 28
CIC 27
CIC 26
CIC 25
CIC 24
CIC 23
CIC 22
CIC 21
CIC 20
CIC 19
CIC 18
CIC 17
CIC 16
CIC 15
CIC 14
CIC 13
CIC 12
CIC 11
CIC 10
CIC 9
CIC 8
CIC 7
CIC 6
CIC 5
CIC 4
CIC 3
CIC 2
CIC 1

Short Rounds

" . . . Ten Clowns"

By 1793 James Gregory (1753-1821) had attained considerable success as a physician in his native Scotland, having for many years been a member of the medical faculty of the University of Edinburgh, and from 1790 was head of the university’s School of Medicine, and author of Conspectus medicinae theoreticae (1788), a widely-used medical textbook, as well as a recognized authority on English usage and a philosopher of some note. He was also a patriot, and decided to answer the call when Britain went to war with Revolutionary France. 

Gregory was commissioned a captain in a militia battalion associated with the Royal Edinburgh Volunteers.

Set on doing his bit to the best of his abilities, Gregory was very attentive to his duties, studied the manuals carefully, and even engaged the services of the regimental sergeant-major to provide extra instruction.

But Captain Gregory proved a poor soldier, one account noting that “He never . . .  attained eminence in his military capacity.” Sergeant Major Gould of the Royal Edinburgh Volunteers said of him, "he might be a good physician, but he was a very awkward soldier."   

The officer volunteers were drilled privately in what is now Edinburgh’s Adelphi Theatre. Reportedly, during one drill, while the men were marching across the stage, a trap-door opened as Captain Gregory stepped on it, and he plunged into the darkness below, whereupon one of his comrades quipped, “Exit Gregory’s Ghost!” At drill Gregory would often interrupt the proceedings to ask questions. This so frustrated the sergeant major that he once snapped, “Damn it, sir, you are here to obey orders, and not to ask reasons: there is nothing in the King's orders about reasons!” 

So exasperated did Sergeant Major Gould become with Gregory that he once shouted, “. . . sir, I would rather drill ten clowns than one philosopher.”

Gregory’s military service was short and undistinguished. But his medical and literary careers flourished for many years, and he even attained the presidency of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.

As for the Royal Edinburgh Volunteers, it later became the 80th Regiment of Foot, and continues today after many amalgamations as part of the 3rd Battalion, Mercian Regiment (Staffords).

 

Counting the Beans: Military Resources of the Rival Alliances in 1914

Treatments of the political situation leading up to the outbreak of the Great War usually note that Germany was allied with both Austria-Hungary and Italy, forming the “Triple Alliance.” Opposed to this alliance were the “Entente Powers,” France, Russia, and Britain, of which the first two were closely allied, while the third was less clearly committed to concerted military action.

For decades the German General Staff understood that the Triple Alliance was inferior in military forces. They calculated that opposing them would be the Entente, which would be joined by Belgium and the Netherlands, scheduled to be attacked by Germany, as well as Serbia and Montenegro, in Austria-Hungary’s sights. They also concluded that Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy would probably be joined by Romania, and the Bulgarians, both ruled by German princes, with the latter also blood enemies of the Serbs, and possibly the Turks, who were increasingly hostile toward Britain, hoped to recover some of their loses in the Balkan Wars, and had a long-standing hostility against Russia.

Counting the beans, that is the available number of divisions upon mobilization, the German General Staff calculated that Entente Powers would probably be able to field a little over 230 infantry divisions by mid-1914, while Germany and her likely allies would have about ten divisions more, before further mobilization took place. 

 

Presumed Number of Divisions Available on M-Day
Entente Powers Central Powers
Belgium 9*   Austria-Hungary 49
Britain 5   Bulgaria 18*
France 85   Germany 89
Montenegro 4   Italy 35
Netherlands 4  Romania 15
Russia 114   Turkey 36
Serbia 12  
Total 233   Total 242
Note: * There were actually 6 Belgian and 12 Bulgarian divisions, each of which was the equivalent of about 1½ normal-sized divisions in manpower and firepower. Figures are somewhat idealized, taking into account best-case mobilization estimates, while excluding some independent formations of brigade strength. Actual mobilization was somewhat less for the major powers, more for the smaller ones. Figures for Britain omit Commonwealth and Empire forces; by the end of 1914 several Indian and Commonwealth divisions would be in Europe. Naturally, no allowance has been made for qualitative differences among the various armies, or between active and reserve divisions of each army.

 

Of course in 1914, the alignment of forces didn’t quite work out as the Germans calculated. While the final version of the German war plan omitted an invasion of The Netherlands, thus reducing the number of divisions against them by 4, Italy and Romania both refused to support an Austro-German offensive war. The terms of their alliances with Germany did not obligate them in an offensive war, and, in the case of Italy, provided a specific loophole permitting the country to opt out if standing with Germany meant going to war with Britain. Both countries had been drifting out of Germany’s orbit for some time. Moreover, neither Turkey nor Bulgaria jumped immediately into the war on Germany’s side. This changed the ratio of divisions between the Entente powers and what quickly became known as the Central Powers from 233-to-242, a modest superiority for the latter, to 229-to-138, a serious inferiority (c. 40 percent). Although the Turks and Bulgars entered the war by the end of 1914, Italy joined the Entente in 1915 and Romania in 1916, followed by the wholly unanticipated participation of the United States in 1917.

Thus, the German General Staff’s “bean counting” failed to consider the possibility of changing political and strategic concerns among their presumptive allies, and was a major cause of the disaster of 1914-1918. 

 

"Come as a Friend."

Following his campaign to liberate the Greek cities of Asia from the Persians in 396-394 B.C., King Agesilaus II of Sparta (r. 400-360 B.C.) decided to return home by the route that the Persians had used nearly a century earlier during their attempt to conquer Greece. So he took his army across the Hellespont, and marched into Thrace. As he approached each of the many little Thracian kingdoms, he dispatched envoys to ask whether he should cross their country as a friend or as an enemy. Most of the kinglets accepted his friendship, but the Trallians demanded an enormous “gift” to allow him passage.

Agesilaus promptly told them to come get their gifts, and marched into their country. Finding the Trallians formed for battle, he engaged then and inflicted a crushing defeat. The rest of the Thracians quickly caught on, and his passage was not further interrupted.

When Agesilaus approached the borders of Macedonia, he once again dispatched an envoy, asking King Archelaus II (r. 396-393 B.C.) whether he whether he would receive the Spartans as friends or as enemies.

Surprisingly, King Archelaus replied, “I will consider the matter.”

To this, Agesilaus said, “Then do think about it, and we meanwhile will commence our march."

Archelaus promptly replied, “Come as a friend.”

 


© 1998 - 2022 StrategyWorld.com. All rights Reserved.
StrategyWorld.com, StrategyPage.com, FYEO, For Your Eyes Only and Al Nofi's CIC are all trademarks of StrategyWorld.com
Privacy Policy