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Old Yesterday, 03:35 PM   #321
Rincewind
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Join Date: Apr 2010
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
It's not just pilots. Germans never rotated their infantry either, with the net result that by the end of for example Verdun, for everyone it looked like death is just a matter of time, and morale was predictably hitting rock bottom.
Hi Hans,
I have no argument with your assessment regarding the morale of the German Infantry, but do have a minor comment:
The Germans did actually rotate their infantry.
If we take, for instance, the 6th Division (that took Fort Douaumont) in late 1915-1916:
In September 1915 it was sent to Serbia, suffering losses, until returning to the Western Front in December for rest and reorganization.
At the end of January it was sent to just north of Verdun.
From Feb 22nd it attacked, taking the Fort, but was stopped from advancing further.
March 2nd it was withdrawn from the front to be reinforced.
On March 8th it made an unsuccessful attack on the village of Douaumont, being withdrawn again on 15th and sent to Mulhouse to recover and be reorganized.
From April 25th it was engaged – again in the Douaumont area – and suffered more than 60% casualties.
At the end of May it was relieved and sent for rest to Ville au Montois.
Between June and September it was in Champagne in quiet sectors.
At the beginning of October it was sent to the Somme and spent much the month fighting in the region of Gueudecourt, again suffering heavy casualties.
When relieved, it was sent to another quiet sector in the Argonne until the start of April 1917.

So – they certainly did use up their divisions before taking them out of the line.

Data from: Histories of two Hundred and Fifty-one Division of the German Army which participated in the war (1914-1918) [Naval & Military Press Ltd]
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Last edited by Rincewind; Yesterday at 03:38 PM.
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Old Today, 04:25 AM   #322
Henri McPhee
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Join Date: Dec 2012
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There is a bit about First World War tactics and strategy on You Tube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rblfKREj50o
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