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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

August 1914 "it will be over by Christmas" who said that?

Terry Carter

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I think the Kaiser told his troops that they would be home "before the leaves fall" but I can't give a reliabl;er source for the quote.


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From The British Newspaper Archives (Newcastle Journal - Tuesday 20 October 1914)

" The Kaiser is reported by the Burgomaster of Weimar to have wound up an address to his troops there on October 2nd with the following words 'Well boys, before the leaves fall from the trees here we shall all be back in the dear Fatherland. "

I have seen newspaper articles from as early as September mentioning " Over by Christmas " I think, also, on the 24th September Lord Curzon mentions newspaper reports of same, and that he does not agree with the statement. Will have more time to look later. Try Papers Past, BNA, and Hansard, if you have a minute. :thumbsup:


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Krupp had stockpiled 2 years worth of material, the German government had ensured emergency food stocks for 2 years, in England both Haig and Kitchener made references to the war lasting as long as 2 years. somewhere I've seen something that said Foch was of a similar opinion Joffre seems to have been more sanguine. I don't think many of those in a position to be able to judge the matter thought it would be over that quickly although none expected it to last as long as it did.

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Can you point me in the direction of your information about German stockpiling, please? I ask because, according to Michael Howard, "The German, or rather, Prussian bureacracy had, like the Prussian army, always been regarded as a model of its kind. It had played litle part in preparing for the war: mobilisation and everything connected with it were in the hands of the military authorities. There was a good 'war chest' in the Reichsbank, but that was as far as civilian war preparations went. In spite of German vulnerability to blockade, nothing had been done to stockpile imported war materials essential to war production. It was only on the initiative of the civilian Walther Rathenau, creator of the huge electrical combine AEG, that the War Ofice set up a War Materials Office, initially under his leadership, to control and distribute essential stocks. At the same time the shipping magnate Albert Ballin took the lead in creating a Central Purchasing Organisation to rationalise the acquisition of essential imports."


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