By Quincy Wright
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Extra info for A study of war, vol.1
14 Keegan (1999), p. 162; Snyder (1984). 15 Ulrich and Ziemann (1997), pp. 134–5. 16 The never ending casualty lists of the first weeks and months of the war revealed the consequences of this mentality. 17 French junior officers frequently complained that the generals’ orders to attack in October 1914 served no purpose other than to give ‘the appearance of doing something’ (de paraître agir). The generals’ ‘philosophy of the will’ (volontarisme) was concerned with personal prestige and career—for which the soldiers paid with pointless casualties.
This required a great deal of discipline and control. The first part of this chapter will explore a central problem that the regiments faced during the first, and the initial part of the second, phases of the war: the death of the active officer corps of 1914–15. The second part investigates how the Western Front was used to test tactical and technological innovations, placing regiments under immense pressure to continually adapt. The third part delineates the shift away from the ideal of the aristocratic officer to a more modern concept of leadership.
P. ’ 19 Goya (2004), p. 178; Keegan (1999), p. 89. 20 Cru (1933), p. 24. ’21 The regiments’ respective ‘baptisms of fire’ effectively illustrate this ‘well-schooled eager recklessness’ (anerzogene frische Draufgehen):22 Even before the fight had started, his Royal Highness Prince Joachim Albrecht and the head of the machine gun company rode ahead on reconnaissance, bafflingly exposing themselves to the enemy’s fire, without dismounting. The regimental staff were in the firing line at the front throughout the fight.