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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Was there actually any battles in Germany?


Ir0n Cr0ss
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Mate,

Yes the Russians in Prussia 1914/15 see "The Guns of August"

Cheers

S.B

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Actually it depends on how you view Alsace/Lorrainne... In the literal sense the battlefront ran through parts of Alsace which was technically part of Germany.

Andy

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Andy

G'day mate

Actually it depends on how you view Alsace/Lorrainne... In the literal sense the battlefront ran through parts of Alsace which was technically part of Germany.

Nothing technical about it mate, it was, de jure, Germany since it was legally annexed in 1871, regardless of the population composition or the will of that population. The fact that post bellum it was returned to France is also irrelevant. At the time it was Germany and the French invaded Germany in 1914 and fought a few battles there in that year. The French remained in that part of Germany for the balance of the war.

Cheers

Bill

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Not trying to start a nationalistic quibble, but even today it seems that, after almost 90 years of French rule, most or at least lots of people in Alsace seem to be ethnic Germans. Everyone seems to be named names like "Pierre Freulinghausen", judging by the signs on businesses, wineries, etc. Of course there is an Alsacian identity to some degree seperate from either the Germans or the French. I speak German and French and most of the people I spoke to were surely not standard-issue French, when I have visited, about four times. I gather that Lorraine was a lot more French. But I do not know the numbers, and it is probably more accurate to count most people in Alsace as "Alsacians", rather than either French or German. But the Alcasians mostly seem to have family names rooted in German names.

Bob Lembke

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There were a fair few risings in early 1919, a direct consequence of the war, accompanied by several (fairly one way) shoot outs. Although whether these constitue battles I am not so sure.

Jon

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Bob

G'day mate

The curious thing is that the region has always been one in a state of flux. The Romans always had problems there and any Germanic tribe that came along was allowed to settle in towns near their frontier which was mainly in Alsace. After the division into 3 parts of Charlemagne's empire, it was the ambivalent middle bit that was swallowed up by the by the Germanic Holy Roman Empire to the north and the French from the south. This pull between the Latin and Germanic tribes is seen in sharp relief with Alsace. It is the microcosm of the Great European Civil War which dominated the first half of the 20th Century.

Cheers

Bill

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The curious thing is that the region has always been one in a state of flux.

G'day Bill,

The thought strikes that "people" tend to settle along river valleys - ie both sides of a valley will tend to be ethnically similar - and be distinct from the people in the next valley. (Hardly a universal truth, so don't all jump at once...)

Unfortunately, come "Treaty Time", rivers make great lines on a map, dividing homogenous groups between two countries.

AL has been a distinct blend of Celtic/Germanic and then French/German since Caesar wrote his commentaries. "Lotharingia" and its descendants preserved that distinctiveness for 800 years. The dividing lines were only put there in 1648.

my 2 cents...

cheers

Frank

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In the early days of the war there was extensive fighting in Alsace, the French took Mulhouse twice.

Spoken Alsatian which can still be heard sounds more like German.

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In the early days of the war there was extensive fighting in Alsace, the French took Mulhouse twice.

The Schlieffen Plan allowed for the Germans to retreat before the French in Alsace-Lorriane so that the southern French army was not in a position to assist when the main attack came through Belgium.

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True, but if Germany really considered Alsace German - and some of their activity there was pretty harsh to civilians - why did they not recapture the territory France held throughout the war?

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Paul

G'day mate

if Germany really considered Alsace German ... why did they not recapture the territory France held throughout the war?

Not sure I follow your logic here. Let me show you why it doesn't scan. The internal logic should hold with the substitution of the key words. Here the key words are "Germany" = nation #1; "Alsace" = region; "France" = nation #2.

Let's try it - "if France really considered the Somme French ... why did they not recapture the territory Germany held throughout the war?"

Doesn't scan does it? The answer to this question forms the answer to your question.

Cheers

Bill

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In the early days of the war there was extensive fighting in Alsace, the French took Mulhouse twice.

Spoken Alsatian which can still be heard sounds more like German.

I asked my wife to look into this question, about "Alsatian". She has worked with languages daily at work for 25 years, and she reads 11 languages well or better, and dozens more poorly but usefully.

She reports that there are two "Alsatian" ("Alsacian"?) languages, aside from French and German. One, called "Alemani", is actually Middle High German, or standard German from 1680 or a bit earlier, with some modern bits of grammar eased in. (If I am not mistaken, the word is both the name of a Germanic tribe during the time of the Romans, and also closely related to the French word for "Germans.)

And then there is "Welche", an archaic form of French. It is not related to Celtic Welsh.

She says that there is a problem between active vs. inactive users of a language when counting the people who "have" a language; for example, those who know one but do not use it actively, vs. those who speak something on a regular basis, but she says that the users of "Alemani" are in the tens of thousands, but not in the hundreds of thousands, while "Welche" users probably are less than 2000.

There. More than you ever wanted to know.

Bob Lembke

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