Bomster

Banned
What if the BEF were somehow defeated even more viciously than they were IOTL's Battle of Mons, perhaps even having their retreat flanked by the Germans and maybe even getting encircled. Could the Germans simultaneously encircle and severely damage or destroy both the BEF and the French Fifth Army at Mons and Charleroi? How could this be possible? How would this change the outcome of the war?
 
I'm not sure encirclement like that is possible when both armies are moving at walking pace and have eyes in the sky. It would probably take Sir John French doing something incredibly stupid like fortifying a town and trying to wait out a siege with his "Contemptable Little Army". If he does that then all he accomplishes is putting the BEF in a self built POW camp on starvation rations.
 

Bomster

Banned
I'm not sure encirclement like that is possible when both armies are moving at walking pace and have eyes in the sky. It would probably take Sir John French doing something incredibly stupid like fortifying a town and trying to wait out a siege with his "Contemptable Little Army". If he does that then all he accomplishes is putting the BEF in a self built POW camp on starvation rations.
Was there any decisions made by the Germans in those opening throes of the Western Front as they pushed through Belgium into France that could have won them the Race to the Sea or even Paris?
 
What if the BEF were somehow defeated even more viciously than they were IOTL's Battle of Mons, perhaps even having their retreat flanked by the Germans and maybe even getting encircled. Could the Germans simultaneously encircle and severely damage or destroy both the BEF and the French Fifth Army at Mons and Charleroi? How could this be possible? How would this change the outcome of the war?

Mons was a victory for the BEF.


Are you thinking of Le Cateau ?

 
Was there any decisions made by the Germans in those opening throes of the Western Front as they pushed through Belgium into France that could have won them the Race to the Sea or even Paris?

Yes, but you won't finding them by looking more closely at what 1st, 2rd, 3rd Armies did, you'll need to step back and have a look at what OHL did with 4-7th Armies and 8th Army in the East.

The big thing is allowing the 6th and 7th Armies to attack after defeating the French at the battle of Mulhouse which finished at late August. Instead they were allowed to attack, with limited success, and were not stripped of their troops to head west until after the defeat at the Marne and retreat to the Aisne, Army Abteilungs Falkenhausen, B and C were created on 17, 18 and 19 Sept from what was left after the 5th, 6th and 7th Armys sent a lot/most of their troops west. This should have happened from 26 August.
 
Mons was a victory for the BEF.


Are you thinking of Le Cateau ?

Mons was not a victory for the British, also I don't know where Wikipedia is getting the casualties for the battles from but they are wildly off.

In reality the British lost about 1,600 men at Mons wail the Germans lost about uncaritably 1,900. Also only 2ed corps actually fought all day, 3ed dint git into action untill the break though happend and the 4th dint even get to the battlefield untill after dark. The 2hkk never made it to the battlefield because Kluck was convinced that the BEF was at lille and there for had them marching though all hell and creation trying to find them. He dint even know a battle happened at Mons untill the next day.

So there's your pod, Kluck actually lisinse to his calvary when they report that the bef was at Mons (or use his air recononsence which he dint throughout the intier 1914 campaign) moves so that his hole army is actually facing the BEF, or gust have his calvary corps swing around the completely unprotected British left sense the British calvary was bisiy keeping a tenuous connection the the French fith army on its right. And roll up the interer BEF.

Something similar could have happened at le cateau as well. Really the bef was extremely lucky that it was facing someone unqualified to monuver a force as larg as an army. Something unfortunately coman in the imperial german army during 1914.
 
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