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Remembered Today:

Neutral Observers of BEF & German Armies ?


JMB1943
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This topic is prompted by another thread "Lessons from the Russo-Japanese War" posted in this sub-forum.

Is it known if there were officers of non-combatant nations posted to observe the conduct of the BEF & German Armies ? Did they publish accessible reports ?

Since practically the whole of the 'civilized' world was embroiled, it seems that only the US, Scandinavia & Holland were outside the conflict at the start.

It would be interesting to know the opinions (from those with no axe to grind) of British & German unit-handling (platoon to Corps level), logistics, inter-arm co-operation, tactics, grand designs etc.

Regards,

JMB

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This topic is prompted by another thread "Lessons from the Russo-Japanese War" posted by MartinG in this sub-forum.

Is it known if there were officers of non-combatant nations posted to observe the conduct of the BEF & German Armies ? Did they publish accessible reports ?

Since practically the whole of the 'civilized' world was embroiled, it seems that only the US, Scandinavia & Holland were outside the conflict at the start.

It would be interesting to know the opinions (from those with no axe to grind) of British & German unit-handling (platoon to Corps level), logistics, inter-arm co-operation, tactics, grand designs etc.

Regards,

JMB

Hi JMB

Take a look at chapter 4 in Preparing for Battle: Learning Lessons in the US Army During World War I, a masters thesis by LCDR Glen Cullen from 1999. He goes into the lessons the Americans were drawing from their observations. The thesis is available here: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=24&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwio2LWggOTJAhVFqh4KHRaeAeg4FBAWCC0wAw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.hsdl.org%2F%3Fview%26did%3D449825&usg=AFQjCNFi08tlYLQ23RbwjbMcdyaKPr1nWA&sig2=1dY5LyCVzleWkgp0Cxh_Vg&bvm=bv.110151844,d.dmo

I will also see what I can track down from Joseph Kuhn, who was the US military attaché to Germany in 1915. I believe I've seen reports somewhere, but my mind might be playing tricks on me.

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Hello,

I have read in German regimental histories about visits from Spanish officers to the frontline, I seem to remember that there were some Swedish officers visiting occasionaly as well (apart from the volunteers in the German army). The most famous observer was a Swiss colonel named Karl Egli, who published a few books as well.

Jan

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Gentlemen,

Thank you both for giving me a starting point.

Regards,

JMB

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Have seen references to William WILD BILL DONOVAN of the US Army & 69th NY Inf having been to Europe to observe what was happening. Not sure he went as official observer & may not be true. It's even mentioned in the film "Fighting 69th".

I'd hope the US had observers with the RN, RFC & BEF. Not sure we'd have any with the Germans.

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