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Trap77
06-21-2009, 10:40 PM
Greetings all,

I'm new and I am sure this topic has been covered here before but I have always been interested in this question:

What could Hitler have done differently that would have won WWII for Germany?

(After all, with all the setbacks, they did come whisker close to winning)

1) Crash development of a German 4 engine bomber resulting in a deployable bomber as early as 1940. The Germans would have been able to smash the Russian tank factories beyond the Ural mountains.

2) Act nicer to the Ukrainians in '41. Many Ukrainians hated the 'Soviet' occupiers of Ukraine. Had the Germans recruited them against the Soviets, there would have been an additional half million plus men to throw against Moscow in the Autumn drive against the Soviet capital.

3) Winter boots and clothing for the Germans troops. Nuff said.

4) Full war time mobilization of German industry starting in 1940. Hitler did not get around to that till late '42.

5) Not gotten too 'emotional' over the conquest of Stalingrad.

There are many more points like these, please add to the list.

pdf27
06-22-2009, 02:03 AM
1) Nope - as the RAF/USAAF demonstrated (under far more favourable conditions), destroying single factories is very, very difficult indeed.
2) There were actually an awful lot of Hiwis out there anyway - and they made next to no difference. Germany just didn't have the industrial base to support them well enough.
3) All that existed, it was just in warehouses in Germany. There simply wasn't enough transport to move fuel, food, munitions and winter clothing forward - the same reason that several million Soviet civilians starved to death that winter. The Germans took their food to avoid having to ship it forward themselves (this was planned in from before the start of Barbarossa, incidentally).
4) Might have extended the war a few months. Once the US was in, whatever they did was irrelevant - the US had the same potential for industrial mobilization as the rest of the world put together.
5) Might have saved a single army group (bit of a shadow one at that). Then again, might not have - Stalingrad and the counterattack tied up very large Soviet forces too.

Rising Sun*
06-22-2009, 09:14 AM
Conclude negotiations with Franco for Spain to join the Axis in 1940, thus securing land transport through Spain to Gibraltar; capture Gibraltar; control access to the Mediterranean; and alter the whole course of the naval, land and air wars based upon Allied access to the Mediterranean and Suez Canal, which then influences aspects of the British and Allied effort against Japan.

Which then has implications for German access to oil in Iraq and Iran, among other things, which significantly improves Germany's ability to launch and fight a sustained war in the East without being diverted by campaigns in North Africa, Greece, and Crete, and which leaves Malta isolated but then unimportant as there is no need to support a North African force.

German control of Iraq's and Iran's oil also deprives the Allies, essentially Britain, of those supplies, although the impact of this may not be hugely significant as much of that oil was devoted to Britain's Mediterranean operations.

There is no Allied invasion of Italy or anywhere else, nor does Italy surrender, so German forces are left to face only the Eastern and Western fronts, without LOC being diverted to various Mediterranean land operations.

pdf27
06-22-2009, 02:16 PM
Doesn't help all that much - the overwhelming majority of Allied supplies to the Med came via the Cape of Good Hope and Suez, rather than the Straits of Gibraltar.

Additionally, Gib is NOT an easy place to take during WW2 (I've just spent two weeks on an extended tour of the place, including a lot of the underground systems closed to the public) and taking it or not is pretty much irrelevant to the goal - Algeciras or Tarifa are quite capable of closing the Med by themselves.

Deaf Smith
06-22-2009, 07:49 PM
He could have blew his head off in '33 and saved the world an awfull lot of pain and death.

Deaf

Trap77
06-22-2009, 10:52 PM
1) Nope - as the RAF/USAAF demonstrated (under far more favourable conditions), destroying single factories is very, very difficult indeed.
2) There were actually an awful lot of Hiwis out there anyway - and they made next to no difference. Germany just didn't have the industrial base to support them well enough.
3) All that existed, it was just in warehouses in Germany. There simply wasn't enough transport to move fuel, food, munitions and winter clothing forward - the same reason that several million Soviet civilians starved to death that winter. The Germans took their food to avoid having to ship it forward themselves (this was planned in from before the start of Barbarossa, incidentally).
4) Might have extended the war a few months. Once the US was in, whatever they did was irrelevant - the US had the same potential for industrial mobilization as the rest of the world put together.
5) Might have saved a single army group (bit of a shadow one at that). Then again, might not have - Stalingrad and the counterattack tied up very large Soviet forces too.

Hum, some very key points indeed. Perhaps, as Deaf has indicated, Hitler was fated to lose from the moment the invasion of Poland began.

1) I disagree. German tank production was ground down by the Allied bombings. Parts were always in short supply. Just compare German/Soviet tank production numbers. A shortage in any one critical area of production would mean delays.

In addition, while Speer was able to de-centralize German war production early on, the Soviets had one main centralized tank production center. Just look up 'Tankograd' in the city of Chelyabinsk. The Soviet system was geared toward central production centers. Who knows what would have happened if they were forced to decentralize.

Germany had a robust air defense system and fighter cover (FW-190). The Soviets had neither. Perhaps the subjecting of Soviet production and population centers to just a fraction of what the US 8th Air Force had wrought on Germany would have changed the overall strategic position for the Soviets.

2) Yes, there were some Ukrainians who fought along side with the Russians. However, while the Germans were initially greeted as liberators, relations quickly soured. Had they treated the Hiwis better then their recruitment efforts and resulting numbers would have been much better.

I'm suggesting that had the Germans suplimented their forces with large numbers of Hiwis during that last push toward Moscow, Operation Typhoon, the Germans might have been successful. In that final push, the Germans commited over 900,000 men. Perhaps another 500,000 would have tipped the balance? (cannon fodder sometimes works)

3) The winter gear did not get to the troops in time and in sufficent quantities. That is my point. There is also the persistant rumor that a train load to winter clothing was brought up to the rear of the Moscow front in '41 but was withhield from the troops so as to 'make them more motivated' in taking the Soviet capital. Again, it might have tipped the balance.

4) The critical aspect here is knocking the Soviet Union out of the war. Either by defeating them in '41-'43 or forcing them into a negociated capitualtion. Either way works.

Then, in June of 1944 the Allied landings at Normandy would have faced hundreds of German divisions; those recalled from the Eastern Front. Not to metion all the additional tanks and aircraft.

Again, it's a mater of degree. If the Germans had more equipment, could they have knocked the USSR out of the war?? Perhaps.

5) Had the Germans been able to get a solid logement across the Volga, they could have gone all out toward the Soviet Production centers past the Urals (Tankograd again) My plan: make a faint toward Stalingrad, force Stalin to defend 'his' city while the bulk of the forces (Hoth's tanks) head deep into the Soviet industrial backfield.

Yes, in the end, all of that might not have made a difference. The Germans could not understand or calculate the resilience of Soviet industry and the Russian people. There are accounts filed by German officers of entire Soviet armies materializing out of nowhere. It seems that the entire USSR was mobilized from Moscow past Siberia in fighting the Germans.

Time was not on Germany's side. They needed a quick victory in the East. Perhaps that was untenable under any condition?

pdf27
06-23-2009, 02:08 AM
1) I disagree. German tank production was ground down by the Allied bombings. Parts were always in short supply. Just compare German/Soviet tank production numbers. A shortage in any one critical area of production would mean delays.
Yes, to an extent - but remember that the allies were going all-out to flatten German industry and Speer STILL managed to get production to increase. Bombing was helpful, but not overwhelmingly critical. Furthermore, given that the Soviets had already evacuated their tank factories behind the Urals once - what's to stop them doing it again.


In addition, while Speer was able to de-centralize German war production early on, the Soviets had one main centralized tank production center. Just look up 'Tankograd' in the city of Chelyabinsk. The Soviet system was geared toward central production centers. Who knows what would have happened if they were forced to decentralize.
Now look at a map of Chelyabinsk - it's about 1000 miles east of Moscow. Only the B-29 was marginally capable at those ranges, nothing the Germans ever built came close - and fighter escort is out of the question.


I'm suggesting that had the Germans suplimented their forces with large numbers of Hiwis during that last push toward Moscow, Operation Typhoon, the Germans might have been successful. In that final push, the Germans commited over 900,000 men. Perhaps another 500,000 would have tipped the balance? (cannon fodder sometimes works)
How do you arm and feed them? As already mentioned, the German transport links were completely maxed out. If you have no additional supplies, then adding troops will not increase your combat power, just your casualties.


3) The winter gear did not get to the troops in time and in sufficent quantities. That is my point. There is also the persistant rumor that a train load to winter clothing was brought up to the rear of the Moscow front in '41 but was withhield from the troops so as to 'make them more motivated' in taking the Soviet capital. Again, it might have tipped the balance.
A rumour of a trainload. Whoopee-doo. That's a drop in the ocean of what is required. There was plenty more (in warehouses in Germany - Goebbels' scheme of "collecting winter clothes for the troops" was propaganda for internal consumption only) but the transport links to get it there just didn't exist. The German army of the time was essentially horse-drawn, and the Russian railways had both insufficient capability and had been wrecked by the retreating Soviet forces.


4) The critical aspect here is knocking the Soviet Union out of the war. Either by defeating them in '41-'43 or forcing them into a negociated capitualtion. Either way works.
Except that Hitler's mentality of the Germans being Aryan Supermen facing the sub-humans precluded him signing any form of peace treaty with them. Thus, unless they were willing to occupy the entire Soviet Union or some form of client-state was willing to do it for them, this wouldn't happen.


Then, in June of 1944 the Allied landings at Normandy would have faced hundreds of German divisions; those recalled from the Eastern Front. Not to metion all the additional tanks and aircraft.
Two problems with that. Firstly, not all those divisions would be in Normandy. Secondly, as the aftermath of Brest-Litovsk demonstrates, the majority of those divisions would still be tied down in the East as occupation troops. Even in 1918, the Germans still had about a Million troops in the East...


5) Had the Germans been able to get a solid logement across the Volga, they could have gone all out toward the Soviet Production centers past the Urals (Tankograd again) My plan: make a faint toward Stalingrad, force Stalin to defend 'his' city while the bulk of the forces (Hoth's tanks) head deep into the Soviet industrial backfield.
Very deep indeed - you're talking about doubling the length of an advance that was already perceptibly running out of steam. That goes beyond the territory of "what could Hitler do" into "what can I imagine he would have liked to do".


Perhaps that was untenable under any condition?
Yes.

Rising Sun*
06-23-2009, 08:29 AM
Doesn't help all that much - the overwhelming majority of Allied supplies to the Med came via the Cape of Good Hope and Suez, rather than the Straits of Gibraltar.

Additionally, Gib is NOT an easy place to take during WW2 (I've just spent two weeks on an extended tour of the place, including a lot of the underground systems closed to the public) and taking it or not is pretty much irrelevant to the goal - Algeciras or Tarifa are quite capable of closing the Med by themselves.

I also referred, perhaps not as clearly as I should have, to blocking access from Suez, and the reverse impact on the war against Japan, such as precluding Churchill's plan (or maybe just an assurance to Australia) to move part of the Med fleet through Suez to deal with a serious Japanese threat to Australia.

I was contemplating Germany controlling access to the Med from both ends (ignoring the Soviet possibility from the Black Sea) and thus excluding all the Med based Allied operations.

Deaf Smith
06-23-2009, 10:59 AM
Ever think if Hitler would have just kept inside his borders, helped his people, made it a strong country, then Germany might have been a world power today? Might have even later become the world power.

After all, about all he really did was make the U.S. and Russia far far stronger in the end.

Sort of like what Darth Vader did... and evil tends to do that.

Trap77
06-24-2009, 11:47 PM
What a lively debate. Thanks for the info to think about.

As for:

1) I still think the bombing of Soviet tank factories (as well as other Soviet military industry, as in steel mills) could have played a critical roll. Had those factories been bombed before they were evacuated.....

Yes, Tankograd could still have been reached by a 4 engine bomber from German Occupied territory in the Ukraine. Think, B24's raided Ploesti from N. Africa, not from the bases in England.

2) Ukraine was full of food, they could have brought their own food with them. The territory of Ukraine had plenty of assets that could have been pressed into service to fight the Soviets.

My point is that the start line for Operation Typhoon was 200 miles west of Moscow. Major German units got within 75 miles of the city by late November. Perhaps with one last push, and an additional 200,000 Ukrainian troops, they could have made it. Perhaps.

If not in late '41 then again, with more troops, they try a direct assault in the Spring of '42. At that point in the war the Germans were still within 250 miles of the Soviet capital. Ignore Stalingrad to the south and push all out, with Hoth's tanks in the lead, to Moscow.

As for point 4, I think Hitler was indicating by late '41 and early '42 that he would have accepted a Soviet Union behind the Urals so long as he was in control of European Russia. Yes, it seems that everyone who invades Russia forgets that there are like 4 time zones east of Moscow to deal with.

That's the thing with 'what if' scenarios, there is just no way to prove the outcome. Thanks for the insights.

As for DS's points.
Yes I agree, Hitler was a viscious monster foisted on the German people. I could, and should, go into the rise of Hitler in another thread.

However, just let me make these points: Hitler was nothing, a nobody. Then somebody, or some group, funded this rise to power.

Who?

Well, a man named Fritz Thyssen wrote a book entitled, "I paid Hitler". Ok, I believe Fritz. Then there was a Hitler cheering section among the elite of Britain who funded Hitler. Of couse, not to be left out were top American industrialists like Ford and Rockafeller who funded Hitler. Last, there was the Grandfather of our previous President, Prescott Bush, who set up a bank in the USA that laundered Nazi loot during WWII that kept the German war effort going.

Why? Why would they all do that?

2 reasons:

1) Build up German military industry and aim Germany at the Soviet Union under Stalin. Stalin was building his own tank invasion force. Use the German army to 'take care' of Stalin. Send a crazy to deal with the other crazy.

2) In the end, Germany has no option to win and will be destroyed. There goes Germany as a major competator to the Anglo/American Empire.

Hum.....

(Ok, this is my last word here)

pdf27
06-25-2009, 12:56 PM
Yes, Tankograd could still have been reached by a 4 engine bomber from German Occupied territory in the Ukraine. Think, B24's raided Ploesti from N. Africa, not from the bases in England.
Ploesti was ~1000 NM from the US bases in Africa - about the same distance Chelyabinsk was from the German front line. This raid required the longest-ranged bomber in the Allied inventory at the time, fitted with overload fuel tanks, and hence carrying a minimal bomb load. US casualties were severe on the raid, and the official allied report on the raid concluded that it caused no significant disruption to the production/refining of oil in Ploesti.


2) Ukraine was full of food, they could have brought their own food with them. The territory of Ukraine had plenty of assets that could have been pressed into service to fight the Soviets.
They were already using this food to feed the German forces anyway - you can't eat the same food twice. What you can do here is change which civilians you are going to starve to death to ensure that the militarily useful ones don't - but how is this going to help you recruit an army of Ukranians.


If not in late '41 then again, with more troops, they try a direct assault in the Spring of '42. At that point in the war the Germans were still within 250 miles of the Soviet capital. Ignore Stalingrad to the south and push all out, with Hoth's tanks in the lead, to Moscow.
Why? There is nothing of importance in Moscow beyond a railway junction. Napoleon succeeded in taking Moscow, which utterly failed to have any significant effect on the Russians. What is so different in 1941 from 1812?


As for point 4, I think Hitler was indicating by late '41 and early '42 that he would have accepted a Soviet Union behind the Urals so long as he was in control of European Russia. Yes, it seems that everyone who invades Russia forgets that there are like 4 time zones east of Moscow to deal with.
Really? Source on that one please, it's a completely new one to me.


However, just let me make these points: Hitler was nothing, a nobody. Then somebody, or some group, funded this rise to power.
He had a remarkable grasp of rhetoric and public speaking, being described by many as practically hypnotic. That is a major asset to a would-be demagogue.

Firefly
06-25-2009, 01:59 PM
If the NAZIs had done the following then they would have had more chance of winning a war.

Not started the War and left everyone alone.

Then of course Hitler couldnt do that as Nazism was based on conflict and terror, never mind the concept that the German people were superior to almost all other races and it was their manifest destiny to rule the globe.

Not declaring war on the US would have been a good move though. Im not even sure that this would have saved them from the Soviets in the end.

Trap77
06-25-2009, 11:13 PM
Moscow was the critical seat of power for the Soviet Elite. I have been to Russia, there is Moscow and there is the whole rest of the country. Take Moscow and you deal the Soviets a death blow. (Hint: Most of Stalin's generals did not like him)

As for Hitler accepting a 'peace' with Russia in '41-'42, there are many sources. Hitler had figured it out by '42 that Russia was too vast for Germany to finish off. Ukraine was critical to Germany for its strategic assets (food) and he needed a buffer between the Red Army and his Oil in Romania.

Check out the quotes and source material from the book entitled, "Marching Orders". By '43 Hitler is quoted, on page 138, by a Japanese diplomat saying that he intended to "retire to the fortress". That was Hitler's code, 'fortress', for Germany. Hitler knew that the US and Britain was coming for him.

http://books.google.com/books?id=FGqwGbMadJIC&pg=PA138&lpg=PA138&dq=hitler+peace+with+Russia&source=bl&ots=MumvUYJfHr&sig=A5kijQhdnYVZS_P0FELnGW5FZJQ&hl=en&ei=hEdESsq9LY3GMNWa3KMB&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4

Rising Sun*
06-26-2009, 09:13 AM
Take Moscow and you deal the Soviets a death blow.

It didn't work too well for Napoleon.

Even if the Germans took Moscow, all that would have happened is that the Soviets would have withdrawn their troops and industry further east, drawing Germany further into a war well beyond Germany's logistical capabilities where in time the Soviets probably would still have gained the upper hand.


(Hint: Most of Stalin's generals did not like him)

Hitler wasn't exactly universally admired by his generals either, but they still continued to do his bidding when he had brought Germany to its knees and long after they knew he had destroyed it. And Hitler wasn't as big a bastard as Stalin. Despots like them are not usurped.

Rising Sun*
06-26-2009, 11:26 AM
Well, a man named Fritz Thyssen wrote a book entitled, "I paid Hitler".

No, he didn't.


Ok, I believe Fritz.

Fritz didn't write it. Nor does it accurately reflect his views. It was published in 1941 by its author Emery Reves, a Hungarian emigre hugely opposed to the Nazis and who also happened to be Churchill’s literary agent and Churchill's / Britain's / anti-Nazi propagandist in America, while Fritz was imprisoned by the Nazis after trying to escape from Germany and not in a position to challenge Reves’ inventions attributed to him.


Then there was a Hitler cheering section among the elite of Britain who funded Hitler. Of couse, not to be left out were top American industrialists like Ford and Rockafeller who funded Hitler. Last, there was the Grandfather of our previous President, Prescott Bush, who set up a bank in the USA that laundered Nazi loot during WWII that kept the German war effort going.

None of them came on board until long after Hitler had come close to or achieved power in Germany.

Don't confuse supporting Hitler or taking profits from trading with Nazi Germany with funding Hitler.


Why? Why would they all do that?

2 reasons:

1) Build up German military industry and aim Germany at the Soviet Union under Stalin. Stalin was building his own tank invasion force. Use the German army to 'take care' of Stalin. Send a crazy to deal with the other crazy.

2) In the end, Germany has no option to win and will be destroyed. There goes Germany as a major competator to the Anglo/American Empire.

You ought to read the American strategic assessments in the decade or so preceding WWII, when it was debated whether America’s interests were better served by supporting Germany or Britain. There was no automatic support for Britain, while there was support for Germany.


However, just let me make these points: Hitler was nothing, a nobody. Then somebody, or some group, funded this rise to power.

Who?

Indeed.

Who would fund a nothing, a nobody, to do anything on a national scale?

Apart from a few like Thyssen, the rich and powerful did not come on board until after Hitler had come close to or gained power, which is the natural instinct of the rich and powerful as they don’t apply their closely held dollars to nobodies and nothings who can’t advance their interests.

Despite his early support for Hitler, Thyssen opposed many of Hitler's actions from the mid-1930s and later opposed the war. He tried to escape from Germany and was imprisoned by the Nazis. He ended the war in Sachsenhausen and then Dachau. Not exactly a poster boy for a rich supporter loved by the Nazis, is he?

redcoat
06-26-2009, 04:22 PM
1) Crash development of a German 4 engine bomber resulting in a deployable bomber as early as 1940. The Germans would have been able to smash the Russian tank factories beyond the Ural mountains.
.
The Luftwaffe didn't build a fleet of strategic heavy for a very simple reason. Their aircraft industry couldn't build a powerful tactical bomber force and a strategic bomber force at the same time.
Any attempt to do so would vastly reduce the number of bombers available to support the ground forces.

Trap77
06-26-2009, 08:57 PM
You're right, it is an open question as to the taking of Moscow dealing the Soviets a death blow. History shows the Russian people as being very nationalistic, perhaps they would have continued to to fight the Huns occupying their Slavic lands. I still think that the shock and awe effect of losing the capital would have driven the Soviets to the negotiation table.

(Bonaparte did not have Hoth's tanks as a 'Big Stick')

Hitler was not admired by his generals. True, all through the war Hitler and his generals tried to double cross each other. However, Hitler did not kill his generals (till the end) while Stalin had been killing them since the 1930's. And I'd say that Stalin met his end by the hands of Beria who poisoned him. Hitler's generals fought until his death by his hand.

Ok, I stand corrected. Fritz did not write 'I paid Hitler'. But:


In 1923, Thyssen met former General Erich Ludendorff, who advised him to attend a speech given by Adolf Hitler, leader of the Nazi Party. Thyssen was impressed by Hitler and his bitter opposition to the Treaty of Versailles, and began to make large donations to the party, including 100,000 gold marks ($25,000) in 1923 to Ludendorff.[1]. In this he was unusual among German business leaders, as most were traditional conservatives who regarded the Nazis with suspicion. Postwar investigators found that he had donated 650,000 Reichsmarks to right-wing parties, mostly to the Nazis, although Thyssen himself claimed to have donated 1 million marks to the Nazi Party.[2]. Thyssen remained a member of the German National People's Party until 1932, and did not join the Nazi Party until 1933.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritz_Thyssen

Yes, it was the American Rockafeller who wrote a check that kept the Nazi Party from going bankrupt in the 1920's.

As for Hitler's support network in Britain:
The most active support for Hitler came from Lady Astor, and their Cliveden Set, where we find Lord Brand, Lord Lothian, Lord Halifax, and Sir Neville Chamberlain. Another key British backer of Hitler was Lord Montagu Norman, the Governor of the Bank of England, who made possible the financial stabilization of the Nazi regime during its first months with the issuance of 'Hitler Bonds' fully backed and supported by this group.

Incidentally, it was under Hitler that the German war machine was reactivated. So, you can see how this critical support for the Nazi regime lead to WWII.

As for the British Empire and the USA:
Yes, during the 1920's there was serious talk of a 'commerce war' between the British Empire and US. The huge US naval base at Casco Bay Maine was built for just such a contingency. (it would have been used to counter the British base at Halifax) A deal was made and the British Empire became the Anglo-American Empire (Anglo-Persian Oil company becomes Arab-American Oil, ARAMCO)

Hitler was 'hired' to take out Stalin and destroy, through war of annialation, Germany's and Russia's ability to challenge the Empire.

Nickdfresh
06-26-2009, 09:38 PM
...
Hitler was 'hired' to take out Stalin and destroy, through war of annialation, Germany's and Russia's ability to challenge the Empire.

"Hired" by whom? There were businessmen that also had contacts with the Soviet Union such as Armand Hammer and while the "Red Scare" had been lurking over the US in the 1920s, by the Depression there was a certain affinity and fascination with the USSR on the left, including the moderate Democrat liberals that then controlled the US gov't.

You're giving way too much credit to either the British or US gov'ts of the time. While there was indeed talk of the Nazi Germans being a "bulwark against communism," don't for a minute believe the Western Allies (or what would become the Anglo-American Alliance) were any less mistrustful of Hitler as they were of Stalin...

ubc
06-26-2009, 10:42 PM
"Hired" by whom? There were businessmen that also had contacts with the Soviet Union such as Armand Hammer and while the "Red Scare" had been lurking over the US in the 1920s, by the Depression there was a certain affinity and fascination with the USSR on the left, including the moderate Democrat liberals that then controlled the US gov't.

You're giving way too much credit to either the British or US gov'ts of the time. While there was indeed talk of the Nazi Germans being a "bulwark against communism," don't for a minute believe the Western Allies (or what would become the Anglo-American Alliance) were any less mistrustful of Hitler as they were of Stalin...


The Europeans in general , while they were scared of Hitlers potential, saw Stalin as the bigger threat by a long shot...and yes they saw Germany as a wall against Stalinist expansion.It was not actually until Munich that a sea change occured and every one realise the threat was in their own back yard.

ubc
06-26-2009, 10:51 PM
The Luftwaffe didn't build a fleet of strategic heavy for a very simple reason. Their aircraft industry couldn't build a powerful tactical bomber force and a strategic bomber force at the same time.
Any attempt to do so would vastly reduce the number of bombers available to support the ground forces.


Thats odd because the original inception of the Luftwaffe was precisely to build a fleet of 400 multi engined strategic bombers along with numerous squadrons of recon aircraft and army cooperation aircraft and seaplanes to support the navy. Tactical fighter aircraft were a mere after thought from the wargames in 1934/35 that revealed the bomber force could not act as a sufficent deteriant to prevent enemy invasion.

The Spanish civil war combined with Hitlers seizing control of the strategic direction of Germany in 1936 changed all this. Hitler didn't care to develope war economy since that would take too long. Hitler believed the Americans were isolationist and would remain out, while Britain valued its empire to much and the Europeans were weak and would fold when attacked by the racially superior Wehrmacht. Instead he demanded as many forces as possible to act as occupation troops. In that context, Goering thought it better to build more medium dive bombers at the expense of schnell bombers and Heavy bombers.

It was possible to build both tactical and Strategic force in the context of a total war economy. But since Hitler rejected that direction, it would have been a difficult choice but still possible if the airproduction was rationalised around as few types as possible.

ubc
06-26-2009, 11:01 PM
It didn't work too well for Napoleon.

Even if the Germans took Moscow, all that would have happened is that the Soviets would have withdrawn their troops and industry further east, drawing Germany further into a war well beyond Germany's logistical capabilities where in time the Soviets probably would still have gained the upper hand..


That might be true in theory but when Stalin chose to defend Moscow along with the other soviet leaders, they made Moscow the center of power and therefore the centre of the campaign. The German General Staff understood this. If the Germans could encircled Moscow before they could escape , or convinced to remain and defend, then the entire campaign could have been decided by taking Moscow. Moscow was the cental communications and transportation hub. No movement westward is possible without it . Further once Moscow is taken, the Germans need only to sweep down the Volga and cut the Red Army off from 2/3 of its oil supply. After that it doesn't matter too much what they can or can not do, they are reduced to a managable threat.

Just like the BoB, Stalin and the Russians had to prove they could stand up to and resist the nazi aggression....if nothing else than to convince themselves they could do it.

Nickdfresh
06-27-2009, 06:09 AM
Thats odd because the original inception of the Luftwaffe was precisely to build a fleet of 400 multi engined strategic bombers along with numerous squadrons of recon aircraft and army cooperation aircraft and seaplanes to support the navy. Tactical fighter aircraft were a mere after thought from the wargames in 1934/35 that revealed the bomber force could not act as a sufficent deteriant to prevent enemy invasion.


I believe they did build strategic bombers early that were obsolete by 1938 IIRC. Incidentally, the Luftwaffe did have what was generally recognized to be a successful strategic bomber design, but one that was marred by early problems...

But as you know, the Luftwaffe, in one of its fatal flaws, was run by Heer generals who were solely obsessed with close air support and for compensating for the Versailles-imposed weaknesses in German artillery.


The Spanish civil war combined with Hitlers seizing control of the strategic direction of Germany in 1936 changed all this. Hitler didn't care to develope war economy since that would take too long. Hitler believed the Americans were isolationist and would remain out, while Britain valued its empire to much and the Europeans were weak and would fold when attacked by the racially superior Wehrmacht. Instead he demanded as many forces as possible to act as occupation troops. In that context, Goering thought it better to build more medium dive bombers at the expense of schnell bombers and Heavy bombers.

The Spanish Civil War only confirmed to Hitler's generals that tactical air power combined with mobile ground forces was key. You can't blame Hitler when his generals were building an air fleet that was an extension of the Heer. I also will add that it is generally recognized that Germany's quick work of France in 1940, tactical air power was key as was the massive superiority the French could not match in numbers -if they could match the Luftwaffe in quality to some extent. And the RAF tactical bomber was horrible and its fighter force was knackered by distance...

I don't recall his name, but there is a reason that one of the key Luftwaffe generals in charge of R&D, a former ace in WWI and playboy who loved America and probably wasn't really much of a Nazi, and who really didn't like administrative staff work as he was a pure pilot, committed suicide very early on, maybe late 1941. Because he realized the dire hopelessness of the German position and the inevitable storm of production coming against the Reich when the US inevitably entered WWII...


It was possible to build both tactical and Strategic force in the context of a total war economy. But since Hitler rejected that direction, it would have been a difficult choice but still possible if the airproduction was rationalised around as few types as possible.

But it wasn't possible to defend Germany by air, create a large tactical force, and then create a huge bomber fleet. Not for Germany IMO. And again, Tankograd would survive as the the Soviets probably would have simply done what the Luftwaffe did with an air defense network, though not as well.

flamethrowerguy
06-27-2009, 06:34 AM
I don't recall his name, but there is a reason that one of the key Luftwaffe generals in charge of R&D, a former ace in WWI and playboy who loved America and probably wasn't really much of a Nazi, and who really didn't like administrative staff work as he was a pure pilot, committed suicide very early on, maybe late 1941. Because he realized the dire hopelessness of the German position and the inevitable storm of production coming against the Reich when the US inevitably entered WWII...

That would be Ernst Udet.

Nickdfresh
06-27-2009, 06:49 AM
Thank you. I can't believe I forgot his name. But sleep deprivation, beer, and longs hours are getting the better of me.

Rising Sun*
06-27-2009, 07:21 AM
That might be true in theory but when Stalin chose to defend Moscow along with the other soviet leaders, they made Moscow the center of power and therefore the centre of the campaign.

On the face of it perhaps, but in reality Stalin moved the seat of government and the Praesidium and a lot of everything else that mattered, including Lenin's body, about six hundred miles east to Kuibyshev. That doesn't demonstrate any notion in Stalin's mind that Russia was going to fall with Moscow. It indicates that the Germans would have repeated Napoleon's experience of capturing a largely deserted city, to no great practical advantage.

Russia always had the ability to keep withdrawing eastwards, all the time sucking the life out of Germany's inadequate LOC and eventually bringing them to the point where the Russians would defeat Germany after it had fatally over-extended itself. There was also a huge Russian force on the Manchurian border which could have come into play, subject to the circumstances obtaining with the opposing Japanese forces at the time.

Rising Sun*
06-27-2009, 07:21 AM
Thank you. I can't believe I forgot his name. But sleep deprivation, beer, and longs hours are getting the better of me.

As long as it's not beer deprivation, you'll survive. :D

ubc
06-27-2009, 02:25 PM
Actually you have to blame hitler, since as CinC he set the pace of the entire rearmament and its strategic direction. Further Hitler insisted on no axis against the UK which the generals saw as the main justification for such a plane in the first place. Secrete Luftwaffe studies in 1937 confirmed that with out such a strategic bomber it was not possible to wage war directly against the UK. Something confirmed in the BoB. The references to "Ural bomber" were purely to suite Hitlers refusal to tolerate any anti British direction.

The late 1930s plan was to build a strategic bomber [Do-19/Ju-89] along with schnell bomber [Ju-88] plus divebombers [Stuka] etc for tactical work. But like all programmes, they depended on key individuals to champion the cause. Udet championed Dive bombing while Wever championed strategic bombing. Wever died in an pre war aircrash and that left the field to Udet to shape development, when Goering installed him incharge of development.

Combined with Hitlers ever expanding demands for more, more and more, these sealed the fate of the strategic bomber and for that matter the Schnell bomber as well. Coimbined they could have made a great pair since the Schnell bombers secondary roles was long range bomber escort. The figures for the original Ju-88 prototype before it was bastardised into a slant bomber show, it was very fast and very maneuverable, more so than the Me-110.....as well as the fact that it had more than double the range of the Me-110.

ubc
06-27-2009, 02:37 PM
On the face of it perhaps, but in reality Stalin moved the seat of government and the Praesidium and a lot of everything else that mattered, including Lenin's body, about six hundred miles east to Kuibyshev. That doesn't demonstrate any notion in Stalin's mind that Russia was going to fall with Moscow. It indicates that the Germans would have repeated Napoleon's experience of capturing a largely deserted city, to no great practical advantage.

.


Actually those moves were done in late 1941. Im speaking of the summer fall when Barbarossa was planned for. At that point Stalin insisted on defending Moscow and insisted his government stayed with him. The original German invasion plan was cut down , to the level of defeating the Red Army by the time they passed Smolensk , with out any follow up to Moscow.

This was the conclusion of a vast game of wishful thinking that the Red Army was small , weak and easy to defeat and German racial superiority would preveal. Most German officers knew that they had one chance to defeat the Russians and taking Moscow was the key. Many also feared it was much larger than they were letting on. But Hitler and his nazi elite believed in their own propaganda and gamble on the easy, quick victory...not for the first time such a gamble would change the course of history.

Rising Sun*
06-28-2009, 06:20 AM
Actually those moves were done in late 1941. Im speaking of the summer fall when Barbarossa was planned for. At that point Stalin insisted on defending Moscow and insisted his government stayed with him. The original German invasion plan was cut down , to the level of defeating the Red Army by the time they passed Smolensk , with out any follow up to Moscow.

Moscow wasn't directly threatened by the initial Barbarossa campaign. It was only the next step starting in October 1941 that directly threatened Moscow, which encouraged Stalin to prepare to abandon Moscow.

As I said earlier, that doesn't suggest that Stalin had any notion that Russia was going to fall with Moscow, regardless of the importance the Germans attached to the capture of Moscow.

Nickdfresh
06-28-2009, 06:40 AM
To the Germans, the importance of Moscow was its infrastructure they could have hunkered down in during the winter. But then, battling into Moscow wouldn't have been easy just as Stalingrad wasn't. The Germans would have been out of their element of mobile encirclement battles and would have fought the bloody street-to-street fighting that favored the Soviets and would have bogged down the Ostheer.

In any case, our Russian friends can thank the Japanese for releasing large reinforcements to the West in what amounted to a separate peace...

Nickdfresh
06-28-2009, 06:46 AM
Actually you have to blame hitler, since as CinC he set the pace of the entire rearmament and its strategic direction. Further Hitler insisted on no axis against the UK which the generals saw as the main justification for such a plane in the first place. Secrete Luftwaffe studies in 1937 confirmed that with out such a strategic bomber it was not possible to wage war directly against the UK. Something confirmed in the BoB. The references to "Ural bomber" were purely to suite Hitlers refusal to tolerate any anti British direction.

The late 1930s plan was to build a strategic bomber [Do-19/Ju-89] along with schnell bomber [Ju-88] plus divebombers [Stuka] etc for tactical work. But like all programmes, they depended on key individuals to champion the cause. Udet championed Dive bombing while Wever championed strategic bombing. Wever died in an pre war aircrash and that left the field to Udet to shape development, when Goering installed him incharge of development.

Combined with Hitlers ever expanding demands for more, more and more, these sealed the fate of the strategic bomber and for that matter the Schnell bomber as well. Coimbined they could have made a great pair since the Schnell bombers secondary roles was long range bomber escort. The figures for the original Ju-88 prototype before it was bastardised into a slant bomber show, it was very fast and very maneuverable, more so than the Me-110.....as well as the fact that it had more than double the range of the Me-110.

A greater emphasis on strategic bombing as opposed to the tactical onus on the Ju-88s and such would have changed nothing in relation to the War in the West against the British. The Luftwaffe lost the Battle of Britain not because they failed to smash the cities of Britain. They lost because they shifted focus from the RAF's aerodromes to the cities in retaliation. Not too mention they were fighting a competent, well prepared enemy in the RAF as the tables were turned against them -and it was Luftwaffe pilots that now had to fly across the channel...

Rising Sun*
06-28-2009, 07:28 AM
In any case, our Russian friends can thank the Japanese for releasing large reinforcements to the West in what amounted to a separate peace...

Yes, and if those in the Japanese leadership who wanted to strike into Siberia rather than southwards had got their way it would have been a very different war, for the Soviets and the rest of the Allies.

Which is where the Axis fell down compared with the Allies, because the Axis were more in the nature of a group of fascist nations each pursuing their own ambitions without regard to any common purpose, where the Allies were primarily the reverse.

ubc
06-28-2009, 05:30 PM
Moscow wasn't directly threatened by the initial Barbarossa campaign. It was only the next step starting in October 1941 that directly threatened Moscow, which encouraged Stalin to prepare to abandon Moscow.

As I said earlier, that doesn't suggest that Stalin had any notion that Russia was going to fall with Moscow, regardless of the importance the Germans attached to the capture of Moscow.

Exactly which is why I suggest that Barbarossa should have been targeted to end with the encirclement of Moscow by September. Historically this didn't happen because the original plan, fraught with wishful thinking and racial overtones, believed that the Red Army could be defeated by Smolensk. Had the planning been all along for target moscow , the operation would have been concluded in that manner.... probably by the end of September.

Ushering the Gestapo in so quickly on the heels of the Troops was Hitlers big mistake, since it was not until that materialised that the Soviet people found their back bone and realised that one devil might be preferable to another devil.

Further a parrallel operation through the Middle east and in cooperation with Turkey ,would have made the invasion of Russian a two thrust invasion. Stalin would have to lose one or the other.

Such a scale of operation could not begin until 1942, but would be worth the wait. As long as Stalin believed in the non aggression pact, they could wait that long.

In the mean time destroy the UK. Don't wast the long range bombers on the BoB instead focus on massive Convoy attacks inconjuctiuon with Uboat attacks to strangle the UK. When that happens you can start the BoB. Yes the primary focus would be to follow onriginal Strategic bomb doctrine targeting RAF military bases and not shift to city targets as this was far down the list of bombing priorities.

Historically the terror bombing of British cities was part of Hitlers war to scare the UK out of the war , as was the rushed invasion plan and the limited Uboat war.This is what happens when you deviate from your doctrine.You end up fighting the war the way the enemy wants.

So ultimately an invasion plan has to have been prepared.

pdf27
06-29-2009, 02:03 AM
Exactly which is why I suggest that Barbarossa should have been targeted to end with the encirclement of Moscow by September.
Historically this didn't happen because the original plan, fraught with wishful thinking and racial overtones, believed that the Red Army could be defeated by Smolensk. Had the planning been all along for target moscow , the operation would have been concluded in that manner.... probably by the end of September.
Errr... no. The German general staff were actually competent, and would have realised that this simply wasn't possible. Look at all the places where the Germans stopped their advance, and you'll find that it wasn't lack of pre-planning or troops - but lack of fuel and munitions. Furthermore, a very large fraction of the German army did that distance on foot - so resupply of boots becomes an important issue too. The pace of the advance was set by the rate at which they can get supplies forward to the troops - which in turn for the German army of the time was set by the pace of horse-drawn transport and railway construction/repair. A fully motorised army **might** have been able to advance faster (although the problems with transporting fuel foward the US/UK had in late 1944 suggest otherwise), but as it was the Germans had no hope of reaching Moscow before the deep freeze set in - and they had no experience of fighting in those conditions, meaning their equipment (tanks, weapons, etc.) were not yet adapted to them. Thus, Moscow was realistically out of reach until Spring 1942.


Further a parrallel operation through the Middle east and in cooperation with Turkey ,would have made the invasion of Russian a two thrust invasion. Stalin would have to lose one or the other.
Uh... what the hell did Turkey have to gain from such a war? Atatürk had only been dead 5 years, and Turkey an independent state for 20 at that point (having fought to be free of the Ottoman Empire). There was nothing for them to gain by joining in with the Axis, and much to lose. Besides, the terrain through which they would have to advance was pretty awful with no good roads or railways - so the Russians could stop such an advance with pretty minimal forces.


In the mean time destroy the UK. Don't wast the long range bombers on the BoB instead focus on massive Convoy attacks inconjuctiuon with Uboat attacks to strangle the UK. When that happens you can start the BoB.
Except the two don't use the same resources (air attacks were tried on channel convoys before the BoB proper started - but most of the important ones went into Liverpool, well out of the range of escorted German bombers). If you divert resources prewar into U-boats, you set up a much earlier confrontation with the UK and accelerate UK rearmament - U-boats are purely useful for convoy battles against the UK, and after WW1 the UK was very sensitive to them. Again, you lose at least as much as you gain.


Historically the terror bombing of British cities was part of Hitlers war to scare the UK out of the war , as was the rushed invasion plan and the limited Uboat war.This is what happens when you deviate from your doctrine.You end up fighting the war the way the enemy wants.
Umm... I call bullshit. The area bombing of UK cities was carried out because the German bomber fleet couldn't survive while attacking anything else - so went to night area bombing (the same reason the UK did, as it happens). Again, the invasion plan was rushed because they hadn't expected to need one and had to come up with something, while the U-bpat war was only limited due to lack of resources (as previously mentioned, not something the Germans could develop prewar without the UK getting **VERY** upset about it and doing something nasty to the Germans.

Rising Sun*
06-29-2009, 08:46 AM
The pace of the advance was set by the rate at which they can get supplies forward to the troops - which in turn for the German army of the time was set by the pace of horse-drawn transport and railway construction/repair.

And not only the pace of horse-drawn transport but the often overlooked problem of the transport required to carry food for the horses and their crews. Large numbers of horses continually moving through any given point cannot be fed by foraging.

Australia had a related problem on the Kokoda Track in 1942 where most supplies had to be carried by the troops and, primarily, native carriers. But the quantity of food the carriers had to carry for themselves increased with the length of the advance so that as the front advanced the front line supplies needed to press forward were steadily reduced by the need for the carrier train to carry supplies just to maintain itself, while there was no corresponding increase in the labour force available to carry supplies and while further limitations were imposed by the traffic capacity of the Kokoda Track as troops and others moved in both directions along a narrow track in very difficult country.

A related problem with the fleet train supplying the British fleet in the Indian Ocean from 1942 limited the scope for action of that fleet, and dictated that Britain could not significantly increase the size of that fleet.

A similar problem occurred with internal combustion engine transport as fuel had to be transported to supply the freight train, but the ratio of fuel required to maintain the freight train to freight carried is considerably more favourable for internal comubstion engines than for horse or human freight trains, due to the relative efficiency of the energy produced by the respective fuels in their respective engines.

pdf27
06-29-2009, 01:34 PM
There is a further (related) problem peculiar to Russia. As you advance into Russia from the West, the country is shaped like a funel. As you advance down it, your force/space ratios decrease. Since it takes significantly more force to attack than defend, an attacker will find their freedom of action increasingly circumscribed as they move East (due to the requirement to hold any territory taken).

This whole topic is on a false premise anyway - that if Hitler or some other unnamed German had done something differently, they would have won WW2. This has two related trains of thought - that the Germans winning would somehow be a good thing, and that the person suggesting the ideas is somehow a strategic genius who is better than both Hitler and the German General Staff. Both are fallacious - Nazism was a genuinely evil system, and most people suggesting such courses of action have no idea of tactics, let along strategy.

The one thing they never, ever do is allow for the fact that the Allies would have some form of reaction of their own whatever the suggested course of action (usually carried out with imaginary forces and phantom logistics - this thread is a prime example) is. Which is even more obviously fallacious than most of the other arguments.

ubc
06-29-2009, 02:21 PM
What you people need to do is to read something other than western histories ,after which you'd understand the war allot more.

From a morality POV , which BTW should have nothing to do with this thread '.... Hitler was not that much more evil than Stalin and some would argue allot less. Further all countries that indulge in empire building do so by brutally repressing & exploiting the occupied territories and almost always at the expense of millions of life’s. Try speaking to India historians about British Home rule....they almost make Hitler look like a 'normal European despot'.

One Indie historian told me that British home rule caused the deaths directly of 12 million of his country men in combat and the governors policies toward the cyclical famine may have been responsible for another 45 million out of 120 million, over the 4 centuries of British Home Rule. And to be clear , about 1/2 of those deaths may well have occurred in the last 20-30 years of the 19th century....not so far away in history, from the Nazi period.


One could argue from the POV of history, that had Hitler been born in the 19th century, he would have been seen as just another in a succession of brutal European dictatorships.

But surely we should not indulge in that kind of rhetoric, if the focus of the discussion is supposed to be military history? Surly that kind of discussion should be on a separate thread?

There is not really much point in responding to the other posts since they show a distinct lack of understanding of the history of the war from the German side, and since they started the war , that has to understood. It was absolutly central to Hitlers rush to war in 1936 , that...

[A] His war was a racial war against the Jews and the Slavs and the military aspects were secondary.

[B] to acknowlegde that Hitler substitued Military power for his Will power , his belief in German Racial superiority and his unshaken faith in his ablity to manipulate the other European powers including the British and the Soviets. He was convinced that the British would remain out of the war to protect their empire and he could cut a deal . So inorder to facilitate that , all anti British rhetoric was prohibited. Pandering to the British about naval treaties etc, was Hitlers way to generate a false sence of secruity.

[C] Hitler as part of the above game refused to allow general preperations for even a war economy to support such a war because he believed it would not be needed.

As a result of these the very country thats most responsible for WW-II was in some respects the least prepared for the war. So it falls on us to explore what might have been had a different course of action been followed.

Nickdfresh
06-29-2009, 05:41 PM
One note to the previous comments by pdf27 and RS*, what motorized transport the German Ostheer did have was often the much less robust and reliable captured French designs. Breakdowns and a logistical nightmare also significantly contributed to hindering the advance of the Ostheer...

http://www.tracks-n-troops.com/archive/Renualt%20AHN.jpg

Nickdfresh
06-29-2009, 06:02 PM
What you people need to do is to read something other than western histories ,after which you'd understand the war allot more.

Please define "Western histories," and then let us know which Eastern histories to read...


From a morality POV , which BTW should have nothing to do with this thread '.... Hitler was not that much more evil than Stalin and some would argue allot less. Further all countries that indulge in empire building do so by brutally repressing & exploiting the occupied territories and almost always at the expense of millions of life’s. Try speaking to India historians about British Home rule....they almost make Hitler look like a 'normal European despot'.


They were both pretty ****ing evil, and both severally hindered their countries war efforts by doing things like -oh- summarily executing their entire high commands on the eve of War, firing commanders that spoke with clarity and truth, pissing away their soldiers lives and equipment by demanding that they fight to the death instead of evacuating or retreating, and spending enormous resources to wipe out ethnic minorities which actually detracted from their War efforts...

As for your other comment, while I am no fan of British Imperialism and colonial history, I doubt British soldiers threw entire families out into subzero temperatures after stealing their winter cloths, food, and houses...


One Indie historian told me that British home rule caused the deaths directly of 12 million of his country men in combat and the governors policies toward the cyclical famine may have been responsible for another 45 million out of 120 million, over the 4 centuries of British Home Rule. And to be clear , about 1/2 of those deaths may well have occurred in the last 20-30 years of the 19th century....not so far away in history, from the Nazi period.

I'd be interested to know where exactly he is getting his historical sources from....


One could argue from the POV of history, that had Hitler been born in the 19th century, he would have been seen as just another in a succession of brutal European dictatorships.

We're coming awfully close for being a tad apologist here...feel free to compare a dictatorship that was much more than a fraction as brutal as Hitler was. The only one I can think of off the top of my head would be the Belgian ***** King Leopold who "raped" the Congo and killed hundreds of thousands if not over a million. But it would be difficult to compare Hitler's, and his willing henchmen's, use of technology to institute mass murder based on faulty science and decades of Antisemitic scapegoating...


But surely we should not indulge in that kind of rhetoric, if the focus of the discussion is supposed to be military history? Surly that kind of discussion should be on a separate thread?

You seem to be the only one bringing it up...


There is not really much point in responding to the other posts since they show a distinct lack of understanding of the history of the war from the German side, and since they started the war , that has to understood. It was absolutly central to Hitlers rush to war in 1936 , that...

No offense, but you don't seem to be presenting it very well. Nor are you really providing anything new...


[A] His war was a racial war against the Jews and the Slavs and the military aspects were secondary.

But they only began to kill Jews in earnest with the unspoken assumption that the US entry into the War in 1942 (the Wannsee Conference where the "Final Solution" "evacuation" of the Jews would be initiated was held around February of 1942) signaled the doom for any hopes of a complete German victory, if not the complete destruction of the Third Reich. It was sort of vengeance more than a real race war policy as there were varying opinions within the Nazi movement over what really should be done to the Jews. We could even perhaps argue that the entry of the US accelerated the Holocaust and some speculate that something less than the complete annihilation of European Jewry might have been acceptable if the Germans had been winning all along...


[B] to acknowlegde that Hitler substitued Military power for his Will power , his belief in German Racial superiority and his unshaken faith in his ablity to manipulate the other European powers including the British and the Soviets. He was convinced that the British would remain out of the war to protect their empire and he could cut a deal . So inorder to facilitate that , all anti British rhetoric was prohibited. Pandering to the British about naval treaties etc, was Hitlers way to generate a false sence of secruity.

[C] Hitler as part of the above game refused to allow general preperations for even a war economy to support such a war because he believed it would not be needed.

As a result of these the very country thats most responsible for WW-II was in some respects the least prepared for the war. So it falls on us to explore what might have been had a different course of action been followed.

The Germans, and Hitler, knew that they didn't have the resources to feed a prolonged war economy nor did they have the industrial base necessary for quick expansion. Even the Battle for France was thought a risky gamble and many in the German high command were dubious as anything other than a very quick victory would have left France and Britain with a massive strategic advantage culminating in a general offensive Eastward by the middle of 1941 or early 1942...

Trap77
06-29-2009, 08:30 PM
This has two related trains of thought - that the Germans winning would somehow be a good thing, and that the person suggesting the ideas is somehow a strategic genius who is better than both Hitler and the German General Staff. Both are fallacious - Nazism was a genuinely evil system, and most people suggesting such courses of action have no idea of tactics, let along strategy.


Gee....Look what I started.

I take a bit of offense to the 'projection' of thought in that statement.

1) Hitler was a monster, and a stupid one at that. German winning would NOT have been a good thing. But, since they came so close to winning, I came up with this topic.

Which brings us to,

2) No, I don't believe that I am a strategic genius. As I stated in the first post of this thread, I invite others to contribute to exploring Hitler's 'mistakes'.

Yes, I should have said up front that starting WWII was the original BAD idea for Hitler and the German people. If I was not clear about this point in the beginning and caused some ill feelings, then the mistake is mine.

Perhaps I have played Panzer General II too many times. It allows for a German victory in the East, then an invasion of Britain and ultimately an invasion of the East Coast of the USA. Spoiler alert: The German forces get nuked on US soil, so there is really no victory possibility for Germany at all.

As far as where this thread touched on with the rise of Hitler; I contend that it is an essential question to ask, "how did a pennyless WWI Austrian Corporal come to power to control Germany and wage a war against civilization?" Look close at Hitlers backers, especially those Elite of The City of London and Wall Street.

Yes, Stalin was also a Banker's boy and there was an attempt in the USA to overthrow FDR and institute a Fascist Regime in the USA by these Bankers.

For more on the rise of Hitler and his 'mistakes', see the historian Webster Tarpley and this vid on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzwhNimpA3U

(Ignore Paula Gloria on the Vid)

Rising Sun*
06-30-2009, 07:05 AM
As far as where this thread touched on with the rise of Hitler; I contend that it is an essential question to ask, "how did a pennyless WWI Austrian Corporal come to power to control Germany and wage a war against civilization?" Look close at Hitlers backers, especially those Elite of The City of London and Wall Street.

We might as well ask how a Corsican subaltern came to be a French emperor who took Moscow, and blame it on, say, the Catholic Church because one of its clergymen supported Napoleon's coup.

Such men were the products of complex events in tumultuous times rather than simple and single things such as backing by rich capitalists or the Catholic Church or anything else.

Every rich man, every bank, and every national bank outside Germany could have backed Hitler but it would have come to nothing without the tumultuous conditions which existed in Germany between the wars, and without Hitler's personal drive and ability.

redcoat
06-30-2009, 03:57 PM
But they only began to kill Jews in earnest with the unspoken assumption that the US entry into the War in 1942 (the Wannsee Conference where the "Final Solution" "evacuation" of the Jews would be initiated was held around February of 1942) signaled the doom for any hopes of a complete German victory, if not the complete destruction of the Third Reich. It was sort of vengeance more than a real race war policy as there were varying opinions within the Nazi movement over what really should be done to the Jews. We could even perhaps argue that the entry of the US accelerated the Holocaust and some speculate that something less than the complete annihilation of European Jewry might have been acceptable if the Germans had been winning all along...
...
The extermination of the Jews began in earnest with the attack on the Soviet Union.
By December 1941 229,052 Jews had been murdered in the Baltic states alone, and the only Jews left there were those whom the Nazis required for labour.
The Wannsee Conference was less a decision on the implementation
of the Final Solution and more of a meeting on how to do it more efficiently and profitably.

Trap77
06-30-2009, 08:03 PM
Every rich man, every bank, and every national bank outside Germany could have backed Hitler but it would have come to nothing without the tumultuous conditions which existed in Germany between the wars, and without Hitler's personal drive and ability.


Conditions that the British Empire played a large roll in with the demands that Germany accept 'responsibility' for the horrors of WWI and then imposing a fine of reparation that Germany could not pay. A fine, of couse, that had to be paid in the British Pound, which the Germans did not have.

Do a little reading on the German 'economist' Hjalmar Schacht and his roll with the Weimar Republic's hyper-inflaton.

Money is the mother's milk of politics, without out it the politician will perish. Follow the money.

(As for Bonaparte, look to the destabilizing events of the French Revolution and you will discover the hand of the Britsh Empire there as well)

Comrade Claus
07-01-2009, 12:59 AM
All right, I'm going to take a crack at it.

First of all, EVERY SINGLE TIME I see one of these 'what if' discussions, the EXACT SAME THINGS are covered, w/ the EXACT SAME RESULTS.

Let's start w/ the most common fallacy, the Luftwaffe Strategic Bomber.

According to US sources, the AAF losses of bombers were as follows

of 12,731 B-17's 4,688 lost; of 18,431 B-24's 3,626 = 8314 Heavy Bomber (27.68%)

of 9,984 B-25 380; of 5,288 B-26's 911=1,291 Medium Bombers (8.453%)

of 4,189 A-20 265; of 2,446 A-26 67=332 Light Bombers (5%)

As you can see, Heavy bombers are much more likely to be shot down & being more expensive in terms or resources & manpower I won't even get into how many Bomber Command planes were lost as well, but one figure I heard was that over 50,000 aircrew were lost. (Not the best use of lives I'd think)

The real flaw the Luftwaffe bombers was their defensive armament. Which during BoB was the MG 15 w/ only 75 rounds. An RAF pilot had 8 TIMES this firepower to bear on his target & had some 300 rounds per gun.

IS IT REALLY TOO HARD TO FIGURE OUT HOW ANY SUCH AIR CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE ALLIES WOULD END?!

During BoB, there was an alternative, the MG FF. Put 3-5 of those in a He 111 or Ju 87 and watch your loss rate plummet. The Spits & Hurries won't wanna go near them. They weigh about as much as a Browning .50 so thhe weight penalty isn't too bad.

Another problem is that the Bf 109 has too little range & a poor view from the cockpit. Solution? Raise the cockpit a foot, stick a fuel tank underneath, put a bubble canopy on top, take out the MG 17's (They're useless anyway) and add a second tank in it's place. Also, would it be feasible to place a 300L drop Tank under each wing of an Emil-7 model?

Continued in Part 2...

pdf27
07-01-2009, 01:40 AM
The real flaw the Luftwaffe bombers was their defensive armament. Which during BoB was the MG 15 w/ only 75 rounds. An RAF pilot had 8 TIMES this firepower to bear on his target & had some 300 rounds per gun.

IS IT REALLY TOO HARD TO FIGURE OUT HOW ANY SUCH AIR CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE ALLIES WOULD END?!

During BoB, there was an alternative, the MG FF. Put 3-5 of those in a He 111 or Ju 87 and watch your loss rate plummet. The Spits & Hurries won't wanna go near them. They weigh about as much as a Browning .50 so thhe weight penalty isn't too bad.
I sort of agree, but suspect "plummet" may be too strong a word. The B-17G had 13 guns of at least .50 cal, yet still suffered from serious losses to the Luftwaffe single-seat fighters.
The other thing to remember is that the weight penalty will cut into your bombload - not just of the guns themselves, but for the gunners and the room to put them in (German bombers were pretty cramped) and turrets to mount them. Given that the bombload wasn't all that big anyway, you might be looking at losing 10% of your force! Replacing guns probably costs you very little, but adding guns is where you suffer.


Another problem is that the Bf 109 has too little range & a poor view from the cockpit. Solution? Raise the cockpit a foot, stick a fuel tank underneath, put a bubble canopy on top, take out the MG 17's (They're useless anyway) and add a second tank in it's place. Also, would it be feasible to place a 300L drop Tank under each wing of an Emil-7 model?
Raising the cockpit that much is difficult - you get all sorts of nightmarish potential stability problems that you don't find out until you build a prototype. It might work if the stability isn't a problem, in which case it would provide a lot of benefits (the fuel tank is already there for example, which is right on the CofG). Bubble canopy happened later, and wing fuel tanks are a doddle (although having said that the firepower was a bit deficient as it was, so the extra fuel might not be worth the sacrifice). Drop tanks were feasible (although it might need to be centreline rather than each wing) - I can't remember the load carrying capacity of the aircraft however, 300L might be too much. The caveat however is that drop tanks are actually very difficult to get right in practice - the Luftwaffe and USAAF always had trouble with theirs, while the RAF ones were actually pretty good. I don't think anybody in 1940 had good ones.

Comrade Claus
07-01-2009, 02:25 PM
Heh, 'plummet' was too strong of a word, I just thought it sounded good.

I know that more gunners adds WAY more weight.. The He 111 Crew was 5, 1 pilot & 4 gunners (1 guy fired both beam guns) So, the He can be upgunned from 5 x MG 15 to 5 x MG FF. I'm not sure of the ammo weight but the gun weight penalty is 69.5 kg. If you drop the beam gunner & put his cannon in the Dorsal & Ventral positions (for twin MG FF in each) Then Weight penalty is negligible. But the nose position HAS to be enlarged! It's way too cramped to have a decent field of fire.

BTW, what is the field of fire for various WW 2 gun positions? (Axis & Allied)

Also, as lethal as the .5 cal is, 1 hit from a 20 mm mine shell at the very least would force a Spitfire to turn for home.

A Ju 87 w/ 1 MG FF in each wing & 1/2 in the rear would be far harder prey than the single MG 15 it was stuck w/.

The result of making the bombers more self-reliant has the benefit of freeing the fighters to make their sweeps. (in effect, this was how we killed the Luftwaffe. Though we still lost over 8,000 heavies.)

I have to disagree, the Erla-Haube isn't a TRUE bubble canopy. (like the FW 190 has) Every picture of it I've seen shows it to be just as obscured by the raised rear fuselage as all the other models. I understand about the drop tanks, but the P-51 still used them to terrific effect nonetheless.

I found that the P-51D had 392 US Gallons internal vs 106 US Gallons for the Me 109 (if the site I got this info from is accurate! :rolleyes: ) a considerable advantage. Triple the fuel=triple the range. The key is the landing gear of the P-51 allows room for 2 huge fuel tanks. The Bf 109 landing gear doesn't & it causes stability problems. but still, even raising the pilot's seat a few more inches would yield considerable gain. (I'd need a cutaway drawing of one to check how much.)

One further note, the most serious flaw to the Ju87 is it's fixed landing gear. Image how fast it would go if it could retract. (at least 50 mph faster perhaps). It would require additional hydraulics & some wing redesign, but far less than making a new plane from scratch.

Comrade Claus
07-01-2009, 04:03 PM
Part 2: The pre-war Kriegsmarine.

Oh God, where DO I start?!

How about this?

The High Seas Fleet in WW 1 was saved at Jutland by forewarning from Zeppelins. The WW 2 Kriegsmarine had no such 'eye-in-the-sky' despite it's known value. One benefit to the airship is that it can be built in the guise of a 'civilian' craft, but converted to military use in an instant.

Say if 100-200 were built for the Navy's use instead of the Condor. It has much farther range & can keep pace w/ U-boats & surface units. While many hear 'Zeppelin' & think 'OH THE HUMMMAAANNNIIITTTYYYY!!!' Much of that was due to volatile chemicals in the skin, which accelerated the flames. The Hindenburg served for some time w/ perfect safety (unlike the Titanic, which just couldn't manage to FLY over those pesky ice cubes!)

for payload it can carry radar, whatever the lightest unit available was, or several BF 109 T (modified w/ trapeze system) The Germans, BTW, built the USS Akron & Macon, which used this system.

Anyways, a Zeppelin would've made the Graf Zeppelin more efficient, since it wouldn't have to fly it's own planes for recon & could save them for strikes only.

BTW, can anyone dig up info on how much an airship weighs? All I can find is Cubic gas volume & length. (the weight of an airship = lifting gas + quantity of material in its body)

One further note, if an airship escorted the Blucher to Oslo fjord, it could've spotted the ambush waiting at Oscarsbjorg fortress. Another could've saved the 10 destroyers at Narvik as well.

Surface ships:

Little could be done to improve the light cruisers or panzerschiffe, they were already built. (they were pretty good designs too!)

But the 'heavy' cruisers were the worst ever designed. An 18,000 ton ship w/ only 3 in of armor belt?!

GODDAMNIT! A 4 inch destroyer could sink one before morning tea!

The Hipper design would've benefited from heavier armor & a nominal arm. of 3 x 3 x 8 in (but be secretly capable of 3 x 3 x 11 inch, ie, the guns meant for further Panzerschiffe) The engines should've been K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Stupid) rather than advanced, but unreliable.

I can't find info on the armor for the Scharnhorst class, but for it's size, could've been built to the Treaty Standard of the N. Carolina Class: 14 inch proof armor & 3 x 3 x 15 inch guns

AH, the Bismarck, pathetically undergunned & outgunned by ships half it's size. If it were built to the same scale as Scharnhorst, it'd still be large enough to wield 4 x 3 x 15 inch guns, like the 7 battleships of the Pennsylvania, New Mexico & Tennessee Classes.

Any moron could tell that the 37 mm CK C/30 was 100% useless as an AA gun. IT WAS SINGLE SHOT!!! There was no reason why the FlaK 18/36/37 couldn't be used instead, in QUAD mount to boot! (Surely any German Admiral w/ half a brain cell would've heard of our Quad 1.1 inch AA & want similar for their ships.)

A scaled down Bismark & Tirpitz would free enough steel tonnage to build a THIRD ship in their class, or a further Graf Zeppelin.

The G.Z. would've benefited from carrying only Bf 109 T since they'd be better at defending themselves than any carrier bomber & their payload would be similar to the Japanese Val. 1 x 250 kg bomb.

'Ideal Surface Group'

2 x Hipper Super Heavy Cruiser

1 x Scharnhorst 'Battlecruiser' (Battleship)

1 x Bismarck Battleship

1 x Graf Zeppelin Carrier w/ 50 x Bf 109T

U-Boats:

Whenever I see the crew dive to escape escorts in Das Boot, I cream at them, "SINK THE F@#&ING DESTROYERS!!! THEN YOU CAN ATTACK THE CONVOY AT THE SURFACE!!!"

The UBoats sank 2,000-3,000 transports during the war, at a cost of over 700 of their own (80% loss rate) But what if they focused this energy on ONLY Royal Navy Warships? They already sank the HMS' Courageous & Royal Oak & almost the Warspite & Ark Royal before the Bismarck was lost. What saved the other 2 ships was the fact that the UBoats had these insanely complex triggers, which were totally unreliable.

Note, if Ark Royal was sunk when 1st hit, it wouldn't have been available to stop the Bismarck's retreat in 1941.

Note #2, if this strategy was pursued in WW 1, the Lusitannia wouldn't have been sunk & we wouldn't have been able to use it as a pretext for war. The Death of the Royal Navy would have GUARANTEED the victory of the Germans in both wars! Certainly the sheer loss in life would have affected British Morale. The loss of all their battleships would be a powerful symbolic message. More so than the waves of bombers over London. Their "Barrier of Iron" ringing their islands would be torn away, leaving them naked to invasion.

If I may digress, the computer game, Warcraft 2, involves considerable naval combat. you always start HEAVILY outnumbered in warships, but through good strategy, you can destroy them all. much like if the Germans chose to.

Part 3 coming very soon. (How shall the trilogy end?!)

Trap77
07-01-2009, 09:58 PM
Can I interject here for a moment?
(well, I am going to anyway, even though I am way outclassed)

Part III: How about a discussion of Barbarossa and the drive on Moscow?

Now, about the Strategic Bombing:

The Luftwaffe and Allied bomber forces had different main objectives.

The German objective should have been, Destroy Soviet Tank Production and capability. Period.

The true objective of the Allied Bombing effort, the one not published in text books, was to Blast the Luftwaffe out of the skies and out of France. Look up 'Operation Big-Week'. It was simply a massive effort to target Luftwaffe production on the ground and shoot down the aircraft in the sky. It took place in Feb. '44.

Big Week, combined with the targeting of German cities for round the clock bombing, forced the Luftwaffe command to withdraw their fighters from France to cover the skies over Germany.

I'd say the plan worked. The total number of Luftwaffe ground attack aircraft on June 6th, 1944---exactly 2. After that, the Allied ground attack forces had a free hand all over Western Europe to destroy tanks, trains, troops, ect.

As for the German strategy, recall that the Russians had nothing close to the FW190 or even the 109. A strong fleet of bombers could have severely hurt the Soviet tank factories before they could be moved past the Urals. Then, in '42 they could have returned and taken out the centralized tank production at Tankograd with repeated strikes. I say, F the bomber losses, you win wars on the ground and you win on the ground with tanks.

Now, about the Battle for Moscow......

Deaf Smith
07-01-2009, 10:22 PM
Have any of you considered that if the 'advice' you give here to Hitler was implemented that the Allies would have invented counter measures?

I mean they were not dummies and would have made their own counter to whatever Hitler did. And unlike Hitler, they not only had many more resources, they had ULTRA. And ULTRA, reading the other guys mail, was an awful big advantage.

Schuultz
07-01-2009, 11:25 PM
What I wonder is how the Poles managed to solve the Enigma code in the first place?

pdf27
07-02-2009, 01:16 AM
A combination of some very good mathematicians indeed and a stronger motivation than everyone else to try the impossible.

Comrade Claus
07-02-2009, 06:53 AM
(well, I am going to anyway, even though I am way outclassed)





The true objective of the Allied Bombing effort, the one not published in text books, was to Blast the Luftwaffe out of the skies and out of France. Look up 'Operation Big-Week'. It was simply a massive effort to target Luftwaffe production on the ground and shoot down the aircraft in the sky. It took place in Feb. '44.

Big Week, combined with the targeting of German cities for round the clock bombing, forced the Luftwaffe command to withdraw their fighters from France to cover the skies over Germany.



It's nice to see that you have a clear understanding of your 'outclassedness';)

Let's get to the 3 reasons why the Jagdflieger were slaughtered in Big Week.

1: They took-off 'loaded for bear'. That is, they were so weighed down w/ extra cannon, that they were sitting ducks to our fighters.

2: We had the Gyro gunsight, which allowed even a novice pilot to outshoot the best marksmen. The Germans had this tech in 1942 & KNEW we had it, but delayed production until 1945! When it was TOO LATE to do them any good! Their lack of trained pilots wouldn't have been as much of an issue if they could actually HIT their target!

3: My God! "Berliner Luft" must consist of Stoopid Gaz! Not only did their Uboats waste time sinking transports while escorts became more & more numerous, their Fighters actually IGNORED OUR fighters to focus on our bombers!

Picture trying to rob a bank w/ a bunch of cops outside waiting for u to show up, but ignore them while yu go fer teyh cache. Guess what? they'll shoot u down before you even reach the door! Same w/ Big Week. They ignored our P-51's while targeting our bombers, we just slaughtered them all!

Here is a breakdown of losses:

US: 247 Bombers + 28 Fighters = 275

Luft: 355 Fighters ~ 100 pilots killed

Our pilots had a 12.7:1 kill ratio, no nation can win against such loses. We were playing the Air Superiority Game, the Germans weren't. Guess who won Air Superiority?;)

If they went ALL OUT against our fighters, they'd have stood a real chance at beating us. But they let themselves fall into the trap of protecting their homes & families at the cost of their lives. Thus GUARANTEEING the deaths of them & their loved ones in the long run!

My Part 3 won't be about Barbarossa. If you didn't notice, from Parts 1 & 2, I'm doing this Essay from Fall Weiss onward, in ORDER. Part 1, Luftwaffe. Part 2, Kriegsmarine. Take a guess at what Part 3 would be.

As for the Allies countermeasures, the improvements I made are the kind that are LEAST likely to provoke a major reaction. How WOULD the RAF deal w/ bombers which an take out 'Spitz w/ a few hitz?' They still had problems w/ their Hispano-Suiza cannons.

Or Hit & runs on their coast by Scharnhorst or Bismarck while Uboats lie in wait to ambush the battleships & carriers of the home fleet? If they pursue they'll lose many ships. If not, then whole coastal towns would be flattened.

The British shipyards were going all out anyway, they couldn't endure an increase of pressure on their fleet. For example, the Uboats sank up to 60 cargo ships a month, imagine if that was destroyers, battleships & carriers instead! Even OUR navy couldn't keep up w/ military loses of such a scale! w/ Britain out of the war, we American's would likely accept Hitler's Fait Acompli, we did when Stalin devoured all of Eastern Europe.

Rising Sun*
07-02-2009, 08:43 AM
Whenever I see the crew dive to escape escorts in Das Boot, I cream at them, "SINK THE F@#&ING DESTROYERS!!! THEN YOU CAN ATTACK THE CONVOY AT THE SURFACE!!!"

Given that the U boat commanders were generally very skilled and determined in carrying out their and Germany's aims, why do you think they didn't do that?

Which was the greater benefit to Germany, and the greater loss to the Allied war effort? Sinking one tanker carrying oil to Britain or the USSR? Or sinking one escort instead and letting the tanker proceed? With the same response in both cases from the remaining escorts?

Rising Sun*
07-02-2009, 08:58 AM
If they went ALL OUT against our fighters, they'd have stood a real chance at beating us.

How does blunting the defender's fighter force against the attacker's fighter cover help to avoid the damage inflicted by the attacker's bombers?

Doesn't it merely distract the defender from the real tactical and strategic threat and improve the attacker's tactical and strategic bombing effect by allowing more attacking bombers to get through?

How is this relevant to Allied bombing raids which had no fighter cover for much of the final part of their trip?


But they let themselves fall into the trap of protecting their homes & families at the cost of their lives. Thus GUARANTEEING the deaths of them & their loved ones in the long run!

Weren't the Germans engaged in the sensible tactical and strategic response of attacking the main threat to their capacity to continue the war?

Which was bombing directed primarily at military and war production targets rather than homes and families?

Wasn't the only 'trap' Germany fell into the unavoidable one of defending itself against the Allied bomber fleets by attacking the bombers which threatened its ability to continue the war by attacking its production and transport centres?

alephh
07-02-2009, 10:59 AM
My "vote" goes to treating all the eastern european population blocks nicer ("promising" them independence, etc).

That would have caused:
- Germans to have much more axis divisions early on (and had Germans armed them, saved/freed quite large number of Germans).
- Less partizan activity (which tied up a lot of troops, and made frontline less effective without sufficient amount of supplies).
- Less soviet divisions (they pretty much forced population to "enlist").
- More chaos/distrust/executions/mass-deportations inside the Soviet Union (Stalin was very very paranoid about this kind of thing).
- If it had seemed like Germany was liberating all the small countries from the godless soviet union, western powers would have been less keen to help soviets.
- Natural resources in those areas would have not been destroyed, and they would have been eagerly offered to the liberators (=Germans).

It's just amazing how Hitler used all the possible means to get what he wanted before 1940 (promises, politics, talking about peace, signing treaties, whatever it required)... After that he just basically unleashed Wehrmacht and didn't want any help from anyone. In one word: Hubris.

pdf27
07-02-2009, 02:40 PM
Or Hit & runs on their coast by Scharnhorst or Bismarck while Uboats lie in wait to ambush the battleships & carriers of the home fleet? If they pursue they'll lose many ships. If not, then whole coastal towns would be flattened.
They did exactly that in WW1. Initially it worked reasonably well (viz. HMS Aboukir, Cressy and Hogue), but once the RN got their act together it just wasn't worth it. In WW2 this would have been even more strongly the case, with the advent of effective land-based aircraft.


The British shipyards were going all out anyway, they couldn't endure an increase of pressure on their fleet. For example, the Uboats sank up to 60 cargo ships a month, imagine if that was destroyers, battleships & carriers instead! Even OUR navy couldn't keep up w/ military loses of such a scale! w/ Britain out of the war, we American's would likely accept Hitler's Fait Acompli, we did when Stalin devoured all of Eastern Europe.
Except they wouldn't have a hope of getting nearly that number - unless tied to a convoy, naval vessels would steam at about twice the speed while zigzagging, and are a significantly smaller and less obvious target than a convoy. At best they'd get 6 a month, which is a bearable loss rate for the RN of the early 1940s.

Trap77
07-02-2009, 05:20 PM
Yes Alephh,

That's what I was getting at.

Hitler was obsessed with race hatred. With that strategy, all he could do was self-isolate Germany. In the Ukraine the German troops were initially greeted as liberating heroes. However, within weeks that euphoria turned into hatred of the Germans as their 'ethnic cleansing' began to take place.

Could additional troops have made a diffrence in the drive on Moscow and Eastern Front in general? Perhaps, as has been noted, that the logistical problems were too great. Or, perhaps fresh troops who had a real inate hatred for Stalin and the Soviets (Under Stalin, millions of Ukraininas had been forced to starve) could have been the decisive factor.

Oh,
Nice analysis of Big Week. You have bolstered the case the the whole objective of Big Week was to knock the German fighters out of the air and clear the way for the Cross Channel Invasion.

US Bombers were the bait that the German fighter command had to deal with. Of course, it was the Allied fighters that got to do the stomping. They delt the Luftwaffe a blow that it never recovered from.

Why ignore the June '41 to December '41 time frame?

In all of the German High Command's plans, speed was the critical element. They knew that in a prolonged war, with the industrial output and population size of the Allies, they would end up losing. Just as the Germans 'won' WWI by 1915-1916, only to lose in the end when the industrial might of the US and populations of the West were brougth into play.

Happy 4th of July all.

redcoat
07-03-2009, 07:01 AM
My "vote" goes to treating all the eastern european population blocks nicer ("promising" them independence, etc)..
Major problem.
Due to a lack of resources, the German military leadership had already accepted the fact (even before the invasion) that they would have to strip the areas of the Soviet Union they managed to conquer of all available foodstuffs and fodder just to supply their army, which would, and did, cause massive starvation amongst the local population.
So they were always going to turn the local population against them.

Rising Sun*
07-03-2009, 09:20 AM
Major problem.
Due to a lack of resources, the German military leadership had already accepted the fact (even before the invasion) that they would have to strip the areas of the Soviet Union they managed to conquer of all available foodstuffs and fodder just to supply their army, which would, and did, cause massive starvation amongst the local population.
So they were always going to turn the local population against them.

Stalin did the same before the Germans occupied some Soviet territories, notably Holodomor in the Ukraine, but the populace didn't, or more probably wasn't able to, turn against Stalin's regime.

After the Germans attacked, the populace in those areas fought against the Germans.

Was that due primarily to antipathy generated by the Germans taking food or to the control Stalin had of the unfortunates under his reign?

Comrade Claus
07-03-2009, 09:59 AM
Ah yes, the racist policies. I'm not sure why the Nazis (not only Hitler thought this way) couldn't realize, the fastest way to exterminate untermenschen, was to trick them into killing each other. In this case, tricking Ukranians to kill Soviets. There was plenty of time for the Holocaust AfTER the Nazis win. The death camps were a hideous waste of resources.

(compare the money & materials they used to kill 6 million Jews to the resources the Hutu spent to kill 1 million Tutsi. On a per month basis, 300,000 Tutsi were murdered. In the Holocaust, let's say direct Jewish killings started Sept 1, 1939 & ended May 9, 1945 (some Jews were murdered before & after this) for a per month rate of 88,235.3. So the Nazis, wasted huge resources to kill LESS efficiently, than a bunch of illiterate machete armed savages.

Sadly, the Nazis could've praised the Jews instead of kill them. Imagine if Hitler promised them the Holy Land. He'd have had millions of the the fiercest soldiers, smartest scientists & skilled workmen siding w/ him. Plus Amarica would likely have sided w/ him. but Anti-Semitism plagued the minds of many if not most European leaders. The Holocaust was likely predestined, it was just the Nazis fell into the role of mass murderer.

As for the bombers, er, I forgot to mention the 2 engine fighters of the Jagdflieger. Obviously the Me 110 & 410 would attack the bombers once the 1 engine types are all keeping us busy. It beats having them sitting on the tarmac.

(I'm to tired to think of anything more for now.)

Carl Schwamberger
07-11-2009, 07:53 PM
What I wonder is how the Poles managed to solve the Enigma code in the first place?

There are several good books on this subject. Of the half dozen on my shelf the 'Battle of Wits' by Stephen Budiansky is most complete on the subject of the Polish effort.

A. As pdf27 wrote it started with hiring some young mathmaticians. The Polish army captain in charge of the effort was frustrated with the failure of traditional techniques & hired a recently graduated Doctor of Mathmatics. This man had specialized in the mathmatics for insurance arcturial study, a obscure but demanding part of the statistical branch of mathmatics. Several others like him were recruited in the next year or two. & before 1930 this tiny group had through the analysis of thousands of German radio messages discovered the keys for several proving it could be done. They also gradually over several years came to understand the actual mathmatics underlying the rotor encryption system of the Enigma machines.

B. Polish intellegence agents managed to divert for a few hours a Enigma machine during shipment from its factory. They were able to unpack, examine, and photograph the machine without the Germans figuring it out. The Poles had already modeled what they thought the machines mechanical system looked like. This allowed them to build working models, confirm or refine their mathmatical models, and began reverse engineering the system of rotors and electrical circuts to build decryption machines.

C. A French spy passed a operators manual for the Enigma machine to the French intel service. The French knew the Poles also had a interest in this and gave them a copy of the book. That confirmed for the Poles how the machine was actually used and gave them some clues as to flaws or weaknesses in the operators use of the machine.

D. From the moment the Germans began using the Engima machines, around 1924, the Poles built a huge data base of the German message traffic using it. From this they were able to find flaws in the way the Germans used the system, which simplified finding the encryption keys or initial settings of the rotors and plug board.

The budget for the Polish signals intelligence department was extremely small and part allocated to the Enigma research was of course much smaller. It took about twelve years for a dozen or so mathmaticians, military intel specialists, and radio engineers, to pick apart the basics of the Enigma machine and devise a practical encryption breaking system to apply to it.

Schuultz
07-11-2009, 11:22 PM
I'm amazed at how distrustful the other European nations seem to have been of the Germans, even a decade before the Nazis ever got to power.

But I guess so were the Germans of them.

Carl Schwamberger
07-12-2009, 06:34 PM
They were all distrustfull of each other. The level of suspsion and parnoia in Europe were at a elevated level.

Comrade Claus
07-15-2009, 08:50 AM
And the sad thing is, they still probably are, it's just 'Classified'.

Things like 'Enigma' are only revealed when one side is destroyed & the victor wishes to show how they did it. Kinda like the TV Show that was "Gulf War One" w/ exposition by Collin Powell.

It's ironic how the European Nations are fielding newer weapons despite not sharing borders w/ enemies, Kaliningrad Oblast, Dictatorial Belarus & Turkey notwithstanding. Doesn't seem very 'trusting' of them. Is a Typhoon or Gripen really practical against insurgents?

But I was never aware that the Enigma was so... OLD! I thought it was one of the things ushered in by the Nazi Era (ie, NEW in 1939). No wonder it was cracked so early in the war, the Poles already had much of the homework (for almost 2 DECADES!) on it done already. They certainly contributed more than they are credited for by Mainstream Americans.

Schuultz
07-15-2009, 09:10 AM
Well, Comrade, in many ways the Europeans just don't want their armies to trail behind the US too much. Partially, because
1) They can afford new weapons/systems
2) They still want to have some influence in the world
3) They still don't trust the Russians
4) They had 1400 years of constantly fighting against each other, with only 19 years of peace and relative safety. (I subtracted the 40 years Cold War from it)
5) I haven't checked, but this has to be the longest time in history that the major European nations have not had a war.
6) The political attitude at the moment is very much that if Europeans want to be a superpower again some time in the future, they have to unite (European Union), and part of being a superpower are strong armies. Now I'm not a big fan of the EU for several reasons, but that's part of the notion of it.

Trap77
07-15-2009, 10:28 PM
5) I haven't checked, but this has to be the longest time in history that the major European nations have not had a war.


The last time Europe enjoyed a period of relative peace (relative being the operative word here) was during the time of the Ancient Roman Empire. It was called the PAX Romana. Its timing was approximately 207 years (27 BC to 180 AD) and was started under Ceasar Augustus after he defeated Marc Antony and took control of the Empire.

Of course, during the Pax Romana there were numerous boarder skirmishes and internal revolts that had to be quelled. Marcus Aurelius fought the Germanic tribes along the boarder of the Empire for about 10 years.

Some European historians call this time of peace the Pax Americana.

And since the concept of the Modern Nation State was established, this is the longest peried of modern peace.

Let's hope all the world's leaders have learned the lessons fo WWII: War Sucks.

Gen. Sandworm
07-15-2009, 10:39 PM
Some European historians call this time of peace the Pax Americana.


Really doubt that any worthy historian would refer to the period of Pax Romana as Pax Americana.

However like the period of Pax Romana was not totally peaceful nor any age known as Pax Americana. The cold war period or any period post ww2 was not really all that peaceful. It was only peaceful in the sense we didnt have global war on the scale of ww2.

Schuultz
07-15-2009, 11:02 PM
Well, I think he tried to say that for the Europeans, this right now is the time of Pax Americana, because there is simply no point in starting a war without the support of the US, and whatever nation knows that the US will be on the other faction's side will rather back down and negotiate than face certain military defeat - no nation in Europe can take on the US, as much as some of us dislike them.

In a way, America has become a Big Brother watching the European states, making sure they don't lead wars against each other as they used to do. It simply wouldn't be in their interest if Germany, England and France fought.

If the EU became a unity, and therefore turned into a serious political, economical and military threat for US domination, however, things might change very quickly. Look at the UK and the German Empire at the end of the 19th/early 20th century - Friends turned Foes as the Union of German states threatened British dominance.

Trap77
07-16-2009, 09:47 PM
Some European historians call this time of peace the Pax Americana.

Um.....

The 'this' in the above sentance refers to 'THIS CURRENT' time of relative peace in Europe. I was not trying to call Pax Romana a Pax Americana.

I thought that was obvious, I should have added the part about the current peace in Europe.

Schultz seems to have gotten my point.

Gen. Sandworm
07-17-2009, 05:54 AM
Anyhoo......

Back on topic ..... the more Hitler got involved (military decisions) in the war the worse the Germans did. If he had not micro-managed so much they might have done better.

Obviously the treatment of second class citizens didnt help in any matter. Just tied up logistics and supplies that could have been better used.

Not listening to Goering would have helped.

IMO the worst idea was declaring war on the US. This did nothing but help to lose complete control of the seas. Was a great asset to the Russians because it gave the UK the proper means to conduct military operations. Also it made it clear thru many means that Japan was not going to invade eastern Russia (yes i know Russians spies did the job). It gave a huge manufacturing asset to the allies from a nation that could hardly be touched. The ingenuity of the US/UK and the "brute force" effort put forth by Russia is what won the war. The entrance of the US into the war did not usher in a complete or confident conclusion but it did not aid Germany or her allies in anyway.

Declaring war on the US would have only been beneficial if it was certain that Japan would have aided Germanys effort to crush Russia. This was not really possible for the Japanese.

As any type of historian I hate to deal in "what ifs" but I do feel that Germany (+ allies) could draw a stalemate with Russia and the UK if they would not have had the support of the US.

Also the enigma code really should have been changed. They dropped the ball on this one for sure.

Im sure alot of this has been mentioned before so feel free to skip this post (didnt have time to read the entire thread).

Comrade Claus
07-18-2009, 02:11 AM
Are you KIDDING ME?! Even before Pearl Harbor, the US Navy was escorting transports (Reuben James anyone?) & trying to goad the Germanys into a shooting war. Even if Hitler DIDN'T wage war on us, the Atlantic Charter dictated a 'Germany First' strategy.

Why does everyone ignore this little fact?! Germany declaring war on the US after Pearl Harbor had NO EFFECT in the long run. It'd be like if Saddam declared war on us after 9/11. He didn't, but we killed him anyway, even after he surrendered to us. (The Shia lynched him after a show trial)

Part of the 'micromanaging' by Hitler was a result of the escalating revelations of the betrayals he faced. Wilhelm Canaris, Rommel (There had to be a reason we suffered so few casualties on D-Day) eventually even Himmler betrayed him to save his own skin. Who nows how the war would've changed if the Anglophile Canaris was killed or sacked earlier.

BTW, the European Union will only be truly unified when only one language & culture reigns supreme. The likely winners are English & Arabic. And if the UK & France weren't so selfish hogging their nukes & if the EU replaced UK & France on the Security Council.

Ideally the politicians in Germany would grow a pair & start expanding their military (10 Divisions would be enough) & going full native w/ their equipment. Multinational consortia are very inefficient. (look at the Airbus A400 Tac Airlifter) Can the Germans even DESIGN an airplane anymore? The last one I saw was their Hansa Jet from the 60's. I mention them since they are Europe's strongest economy and as such should be able to nearly equal the US in military strength. Their fleet is virtually nonexistent, a few LHDs would be a useful addition.

Now back to the Nazi what ifs. We should stop discussing their racist policies. They were voted in on them so any major change would affect public opinion. The US politics in WW 2 for example didn't change so much. From the get go it was 'Unconditional Surrender or Annihilation' Such a rigid policy guaranteed a greater bloodshed.

Rising Sun*
07-18-2009, 05:26 AM
Are you KIDDING ME?! Even before Pearl Harbor, the US Navy was escorting transports (Reuben James anyone?) & trying to goad the Germanys into a shooting war.

How does this sit with pre-Pearl Harbor American isolationism and overwhelming popular reluctance to get involved in another European war, not to mention the desire of some major and influential American capitalists (e.g. Henry Ford) to continue to profit from the European war by supplying one or both sides without America getting involved in the war?

Where is the evidence that America was trying to goad Germany into a shooting war compared with, say, just providing protection to merchant shipping carrying its goods?


Even if Hitler DIDN'T wage war on us, the Atlantic Charter dictated a 'Germany First' strategy.

No, it didn't.

It merely referred to a world after the defeat of Nazism.

The Germany First policy was possible only because American grand strategists had decided in the late 1930s that America's interests were best served by supporting Britain in a European war. Consideration was given to supporting Germany, or staying out of a European war. It wasn't inevitable that America would support a Germany First policy, or even that it would support Britain.


Why does everyone ignore this little fact?! Germany declaring war on the US after Pearl Harbor had NO EFFECT in the long run.

Pretty true, as public opinion swung from being largely against war with Germany before PH to being largely for it after PH.


Part of the 'micromanaging' by Hitler was a result of the escalating revelations of the betrayals he faced. Wilhelm Canaris, Rommel (There had to be a reason we suffered so few casualties on D-Day) eventually even Himmler betrayed him to save his own skin. Who nows how the war would've changed if the Anglophile Canaris was killed or sacked earlier.

This is new to me.

Could you expand on it?


I mention them since they are Europe's strongest economy and as such should be able to nearly equal the US in military strength. Their fleet is virtually nonexistent, a few LHDs would be a useful addition.

Research the GDP of Germany and compare it with America.

The EU can challenge America but Germany on its own ain't got a chance.

Germany might be struggling to match California.


Now back to the Nazi what ifs. We should stop discussing their racist policies. They were voted in on them so any major change would affect public opinion.

The Nazis were never voted in by anything approaching a majority of German voters. They never did better than about a third of the vote in the elections which paved their way to power. The Nazi vote actually fell by about 15% in the second of the 1932 elections, which made Hitler realise that he had to sieze power as he wasn't going to get it through the ballot box.

It is a misconception to claim that the Nazis were voted in on racist policies, as if that was the only policy they had. It wasn't a major part of whatever electoral appeal they had, which related more to dealing with problems besetting Germany in the midst of the Great Depression.

Nickdfresh
07-18-2009, 05:33 AM
Are you KIDDING ME?! Even before Pearl Harbor, the US Navy was escorting transports (Reuben James anyone?) & trying to goad the Germanys into a shooting war. Even if Hitler DIDN'T wage war on us, the Atlantic Charter dictated a 'Germany First' strategy.

Why does everyone ignore this little fact?! Germany declaring war on the US after Pearl Harbor had NO EFFECT in the long run. It'd be like if Saddam declared war on us after 9/11. He didn't, but we killed him anyway, even after he surrendered to us. (The Shia lynched him after a show trial)

Part of the 'micromanaging' by Hitler was a result of the escalating revelations of the betrayals he faced. Wilhelm Canaris, Rommel (There had to be a reason we suffered so few casualties on D-Day) eventually even Himmler betrayed him to save his own skin. Who nows how the war would've changed if the Anglophile Canaris was killed or sacked earlier.

....

Germany's declaration of War made it quite a bit easier for FDR politically. You're not only ignoring what was still a large segment of Isolationist sentiment that had changed its mentality to "let's remember Pearl Harbor!" Not, let's remember Munich!

If fact, without Hitler's declaration, things could have evolved much differently as there was a virulent strain of Anglophobia in the US high command at the time. Even after the German declaration, officers such as Admiral King favored a 'Japan first' strategy. There is little doubt that Pearl Harbor removed all roadblocks to the US supporting Britain, nor was there much doubt that the FDR administration would have forced the issue and caused some sort of incident enough to justify War. But it was by no means an easy sell to politically justify a Germany First strategy to the American people, who were still very cynical regarding European adventures. And even if the US had declared war, things might have unfurled quite a bit differently...

Rising Sun*
07-18-2009, 05:53 AM
If fact, without Hitler's declaration, things could have evolved much differently as there was a virulent strain of Anglophobia in the US high command at the time. Even after the German declaration, officers such as Admiral King favored a 'Japan first' strategy. There is little doubt that Pearl Harbor removed all roadblocks to the US supporting Britain, nor was there much doubt that the FDR administration would have forced the issue and caused some sort of incident enough to justify War. But it was by no means an easy sell to politically justify a Germany First strategy to the American people, who were still very cynical regarding European adventures. And even if the US had declared war, things might have unfurled quite a bit differently...

I think this indicates that there were different opinions in different segments of American society, government and the military.

The pre and post Pearl Harbor Gallup polls swung about 180 degrees from majority against to majority for war with Germany.

This might have been influenced by FDR etc banging the drum against Japan as an Axis power aligned with Germany etc, but my recollection is that it was a pretty sudden change. This suggests that people were more influenced by the PH attack than any political influence.

As for Admiral King, I've always liked his crusty anti-imperialist "I'm not going to help the Limeys regain their colonies." approach.

Perhaps a lot of American lives would have been saved and Japan would have been pushed back quicker if the American leadership had paid a bit more attention to King's "Japan first" attitude and put resources into the Pacific in 1942. America was fully engaged in a real and grinding war against Japan for all of that year. Rather than putting resources into Europe for a future war which didn't involve American troops actually fighting anyone until the end of the year in North Africa, and then not very well compared with the air, naval and ground operations in the Pacific, a useful fraction of the resources devoted to Europe would probaby have had a much greater impact against Japan.

Comrade Claus
07-18-2009, 07:13 AM
(Sadly I lost a post I just typed. This is a retype)

Part 3: The Army

While the deficiencies of the Heer are not as crippling as those of the Luftwaffe or Kriegsmarine, they were still significant, culminating in the Crete Massacre that led to Hitler banning all further Airborne operations.

Infantry/Fallschirmjager:

The bulk of soldiers carried into battle a rifle that was over 4 decades old, the K98. While of revolutionary design in it's time, by 1939, it was sorely outdated, of use only as a sniper rifle. The basic squad was armed as follows 1xMP-38, 1xMG-34, 7xK98 & 2xPistol (gunner & ammo carrier) The Ideal Squad should've been; 6xMP38, 2xMG15 & 4xPistol.

Am I right in guessing that a box-fed (ie Bren or BAR) or Drum (MG 15 or DP) machine gun reloads faster than a belt-fed (MG 34 or MG 42)?

Why haven't there been any historians comparing these weapons side by side on TV?! A WW 2 Weapons Olympics would sweep the Nielson Ratings!

The K98 only had 5 shots, the Enfield, 10. The Germans knew this since WW 1 & had a full 3 decades to do something about it. Like WIDENING the magazine well so it too can hold 10 shots, w/ a new 10 rd stripper clip to load it with. The MP 38 had it's own problems, most serious was its flimsy magazine well & lack of a foregrip.

Making a full-sized pistolgrip for the magazine well would've cured both problems, a heavier gauge wire stock would be useful as well.

The MG 15 drum feed would be less likely to foul up than a belt-fed MG 34and carry more shots, 75 vs 50. (I may be wrong, I haven't found any sources contradicting the 50 rd belt that was standard for the Germans.

Finally, the P38 should've been given a staggered magazine like the Browning High Power since an 8-shot capacity is too little.

The paratroopers should've been given a large capacity weapon to jump with since most of their weapons were in containers. An MP-38 may have weighed too much, so a p38 w/ a 15 shot magazine & a longer barrel might have been sufficient.

Panzers:

One can really call the Pz I & II REAL tanks, they were essentially all-terrain scout cars. So let's look at the Panzer III & IV. It was clear that the British were set on the 2 pdr as standard & the French the 47 mm. The Panzers armor wasn't even close to surviving hits from those weapons let alone anything heavier. And the 37mm KwK 36 & 75mm KwK 37 lacked the punch to threaten the Matilda & French Vehicles. The Germans should've given ALL Pz 3 & 4 the Kwk 37 gun, but w/ a longer barrel & increased cartridge capacity. The Battle of France & Dunkirk would've been VERY different If the bulk of the Panzer Arm was equipped w/ WunderPanzers.

Also, the 'vertical-horizontal-vertical' glacis the Germans used on all their tanks except the Panther & Konig Tiger (which FINALLY used SLOPED armor) really had to have been abandoned. There wasn't any damn sense to it! :confused::confused: A sloped Panzer 4 (w/ plates of the same thickness as it's regular, BOXY self) would almost be a match for even a Panther. Later in the war, a secondary turret housing a Panzerschreck on the commander cupola would've allowed it to deal w/ KV-1 & Stalin tanks.

BTW, how much increase in velocity would the KwK 37 get if it's barrel length was doubled form L/24 to L/48 w/out an increase in propellant?

Well, that's it for my dissertation on the ways Germany could've done far better in WW 2, WITHOUT all the outlandish 'WHAT IFS?' that most people focus on ad nauseum. I could've gone even farther into all the support vehicles & humble artillery, but I can't find any GLARING flaws there.

I'll work on a later dissertation, on the Evolutionary timeline of the ULTIMATE WERHMACHT!

However, because of the greater success of these humbler changes, the Nazis would likely be even LESS liable to make changes. But, at the same time, doing so much better, earlier in the war, would put them in a better position to WIN the war before Pearl Harbor. I would really like if some computer wiz could cook up a simulation to compare the CLASSIC German forces vs my IMPROVED versions a la the Deadliest Warrior or RealTimeStrategy.

Rising Sun*
07-18-2009, 08:18 AM
(Sadly I lost a post I just typed. This is a retype)

Part 3: The Army

While the deficiencies of the Heer are not as crippling as those of the Luftwaffe or Kriegsmarine, they were still significant, culminating in the Crete Massacre that led to Hitler banning all further Airborne operations.

Infantry/Fallschirmjager:

The bulk of soldiers carried into battle a rifle that was over 4 decades old, the K98. While of revolutionary design in it's time, by 1939, it was sorely outdated, of use only as a sniper rifle. The basic squad was armed as follows 1xMP-38, 1xMG-34, 7xK98 & 2xPistol (gunner & ammo carrier) The Ideal Squad should've been; 6xMP38, 2xMG15 & 4xPistol.

Am I right in guessing that a box-fed (ie Bren or BAR) or Drum (MG 15 or DP) machine gun reloads faster than a belt-fed (MG 34 or MG 42)?

Why haven't there been any historians comparing these weapons side by side on TV?! A WW 2 Weapons Olympics would sweep the Nielson Ratings!

The K98 only had 5 shots, the Enfield, 10. The Germans knew this since WW 1 & had a full 3 decades to do something about it. Like WIDENING the magazine well so it too can hold 10 shots, w/ a new 10 rd stripper clip to load it with. The MP 38 had it's own problems, most serious was its flimsy magazine well & lack of a foregrip.

Making a full-sized pistolgrip for the magazine well would've cured both problems, a heavier gauge wire stock would be useful as well.

The MG 15 drum feed would be less likely to foul up than a belt-fed MG 34and carry more shots, 75 vs 50. (I may be wrong, I haven't found any sources contradicting the 50 rd belt that was standard for the Germans.

Finally, the P38 should've been given a staggered magazine like the Browning High Power since an 8-shot capacity is too little.

The paratroopers should've been given a large capacity weapon to jump with since most of their weapons were in containers. An MP-38 may have weighed too much, so a p38 w/ a 15 shot magazine & a longer barrel might have been sufficient.

Panzers:

One can really call the Pz I & II REAL tanks, they were essentially all-terrain scout cars. So let's look at the Panzer III & IV. It was clear that the British were set on the 2 pdr as standard & the French the 47 mm. The Panzers armor wasn't even close to surviving hits from those weapons let alone anything heavier. And the 37mm KwK 36 & 75mm KwK 37 lacked the punch to threaten the Matilda & French Vehicles. The Germans should've given ALL Pz 3 & 4 the Kwk 37 gun, but w/ a longer barrel & increased cartridge capacity. The Battle of France & Dunkirk would've been VERY different If the bulk of the Panzer Arm was equipped w/ WunderPanzers.

Also, the 'vertical-horizontal-vertical' glacis the Germans used on all their tanks except the Panther & Konig Tiger (which FINALLY used SLOPED armor) really had to have been abandoned. There wasn't any damn sense to it! :confused::confused: A sloped Panzer 4 (w/ plates of the same thickness as it's regular, BOXY self) would almost be a match for even a Panther. Later in the war, a secondary turret housing a Panzerschreck on the commander cupola would've allowed it to deal w/ KV-1 & Stalin tanks.

BTW, how much increase in velocity would the KwK 37 get if it's barrel length was doubled form L/24 to L/48 w/out an increase in propellant?

Well, that's it for my dissertation on the ways Germany could've done far better in WW 2, WITHOUT all the outlandish 'WHAT IFS?' that most people focus on ad nauseum. I could've gone even farther into all the support vehicles & humble artillery, but I can't find any GLARING flaws there.

I'll work on a later dissertation, on the Evolutionary timeline of the ULTIMATE WERHMACHT!

However, because of the greater success of these humbler changes, the Nazis would likely be even LESS liable to make changes. But, at the same time, doing so much better, earlier in the war, would put them in a better position to WIN the war before Pearl Harbor. I would really like if some computer wiz could cook up a simulation to compare the CLASSIC German forces vs my IMPROVED versions a la the Deadliest Warrior or RealTimeStrategy.

Or the Heer could just have been a more modern army and used trucks instead of horse carts, which would have improved its mobility, logistics and performance considerably more than the points you have mentioned (and with which points the Heer did rather well, anyway).

Although that then introduces a problem about getting fuel, and manufacturing the trucks etc.

Comrade Claus
07-19-2009, 12:07 PM
Or the Heer could just have been a more modern army and used trucks instead of horse carts, which would have improved its mobility, logistics and performance considerably more than the points you have mentioned (and with which points the Heer did rather well, anyway).

Although that then introduces a problem about getting fuel, and manufacturing the trucks etc.

You just refuted your own statement. Oil was at a premium. Although, late in the war, some lighter Panzers were converted to coal burning engines, I think I saw them on this site as well. But the limited supply of oil was needed most for the Luftwaffe. It was the Stukas that blasted a path through the French Army on the way to the channel. More trucks would've just clogged the roads further. Plus if worse comes to worst, you can't EAT your truck. ;) Whereas horse steaks are quite tasty. Also horses are stealthier than trucks. Remember the infiltration of Ardennes when France was invaded? A convoy of trucks rumbling through forest roads would've tipped off the Allies.

Also, when you quote me, it's okay to cut everything aside from what you want to focus on. It was indeed a lengthy post. :mrgreen:

As for the liability of the Kar 98, if games like Medal of Honor bothered to let you play a German fighting the Allies, you'd quickly grow frustrated by the limited capacity & slow-operating bolt compared to the Garand.

A 10 man squad w/ Garands can slaughter a 120 man company armed w/ K 98s. The only exception to this would be a static, WW 1 situation involving long-range aimed fire. But most combat ranges give the Garand a superiority comparable to a Winchester vs a Brown Bess.

I have a personal anecdote that has some bearing on this.

My dad's stepfather was involved in an attempted robbery of his tire shop.. He has a revolver of the type where you have to pull the hammer back for each shot. He had 5 shots against 6 Black Panthers w/ semiautos. In seconds, he dropped 5 while the last made a run for it. If he'd been armed w/ a K98 he wouldn't have gotten one shot out. On a further note, they had combat experience in Vietman, while he spent WW 2 as a guard at an Japanese-American Interment Camp, where he'd killed several inmates during his tenure. Whether he did so in cold blood will never be known. He was a cruel man, so I wouldn't have put it past him. But that doesn't change the fact that w/ a decades old gun, he wiped out a gang who had even killed several police during their crime spree. Which is VERY impressive. The point to this anecdote is that a fast firing gun, even manual, is far superior to a slow firing weapon.

There were straight-pull bolt action rifles which outmatched Mauser style bolt actions by a vast margin. I own one, a Swiss Schmidt-Rubin. I've outshot modern semi-auto's w/ it. So the use of the K 98 as a mainstay in WW 2 was an inexcusable folly.

Ah dear, I didn't mean to run-on like that, sorry. When I'm passionate about something, I get long-winded.

pdf27
07-19-2009, 03:11 PM
There were straight-pull bolt action rifles which outmatched Mauser style bolt actions by a vast margin. I own one, a Swiss Schmidt-Rubin. I've outshot modern semi-auto's w/ it. So the use of the K 98 as a mainstay in WW 2 was an inexcusable folly.
Didn't the Canadians try a straight-pull rifle in WW1 (the Ross?). IIRC it was rapidly dropped in favour of the SMLE as being not much use outside a range, with the SMLE being a massively superior Battle Rifle.

Nickdfresh
07-19-2009, 03:26 PM
...
The bulk of soldiers carried into battle a rifle that was over 4 decades old, the K98. While of revolutionary design in it's time, by 1939, it was sorely outdated, of use only as a sniper rifle. The basic squad was armed as follows 1xMP-38, 1xMG-34, 7xK98 & 2xPistol (gunner & ammo carrier) The Ideal Squad should've been; 6xMP38, 2xMG15 & 4xPistol.

...


Interesting points, but it should be said that the Heer and SS believed that small unit infantry tactics should be centered around the machine-gun, whereas the Allies tended to believe in the primacy of the rifleman. The Germans believed that the rifleman supported the machine-gun and the Allies believed the machine gun supported the rifleman. So yes, the Allies enjoyed an overall advantage in personal weapons. But the Germans had better machine-guns and are generally regarded (although I think it is often overstated) to have had better infantry tactics and combat training and to have been more effective in most small unit engagements, at least initially...

Richie B
07-20-2009, 03:25 AM
Didn't the Canadians try a straight-pull rifle in WW1 (the Ross?). IIRC it was rapidly dropped in favour of the SMLE as being not much use outside a range, with the SMLE being a massively superior Battle Rifle.


There was nothing wrong with the Ross as a peacetime rifle - it was extremely accurate.

The problem was that the design of the mechanism was extremely susceptible to fouling and could not stand up to the harsh conditions in the trenches.

Regards

Richie

Comrade Claus
07-20-2009, 06:06 AM
Hmm, remember Sgt York? Relying on machine guns to carry the fortunes of squads & platoons to compensate for slow rifles didn't work very well for them. He killed over 20 & captured over 100 of the rest. (Why didn't they pretend to surrender, then rush him when he came into view? Or call for a few mortar bombs to be dropped. Unless the story of him single-handedly picking off an ENTIRE machine gun company, [battalion?] was an embellishment. I always felt it was far-fetched, that a hundred Germans could fight so poorly as to lose a single American. He's not Chuck Norris or Rambo:rolleyes:)

Plus, if a well-thrown grenade hits the squad MG & damages it, the rest of the squad is kaput. Plus, when the gunner is reloading, the squads firepower drops VERY sharply.

Does any one know the shots per minute each type of WW 2 squad could fire?

I think the Marine one, w/ THREE BARs is the most powerful.

"The current world record for aimed bolt-action fire was set in 1914 by a musketry instructor in the British Army—Sergeant Instructor Snoxall—who placed 38 rounds into a 12 inch wide target at 300 yards (270 m) in one minute"

That is from the Wikipedia entry for the Enfield. What is the record ROF for the Mauser?

A good redesign for the Kar 98 would be the inclusion of a 10rd en bloc clip & a bolt w/ more than 2 locking lugs, allowing a decrease in the number of degrees required to turn the bolt.


Didn't the Canadians try a straight-pull rifle in WW1 (the Ross?). IIRC it was rapidly dropped in favour of the SMLE as being not much use outside a range, with the SMLE being a massively superior Battle Rifle.

"its tight chamber dimensions were unsuitable for larger tolerance British cartridges. With the Mk III, it was also possible for a careless user to disassemble the bolt for cleaning and then reassemble it with the bolt-head rotated a half turn, causing it not to rotate and lock into the receiver. This could result in a highly dangerous and sometimes fatal bolt blow back on firing. Snipers, however, who were able to maintain their weapons carefully and use them to maximum effect, retained a considerable fondness for the weapon"-Wikipedia, Ross Rifle

So it's problems weren't the straight-pull bolt per se, but other design flaws, which could be & WERE compensated for.

pdf27
07-20-2009, 07:22 AM
Hmm, remember Sgt York? Relying on machine guns to carry the fortunes of squads & platoons to compensate for slow rifles didn't work very well for them. He killed over 20 & captured over 100 of the rest. (Why didn't they pretend to surrender, then rush him when he came into view? Or call for a few mortar bombs to be dropped. Unless the story of him single-handedly picking off an ENTIRE machine gun company, [battalion?] was an embellishment. I always felt it was far-fetched, that a hundred Germans could fight so poorly as to lose a single American. He's not Chuck Norris or Rambo:rolleyes:)
He was an exception. All the major armies had similar doctrines going into the war (that the major firepower in the attack was provided by individual riflemen, with limited support from artillery and support weapons). The Americans maintained it into 1918, but all other armies had since dropped it as a bloody failure. Support weapons (MGs, artillery and tanks) suppressed the enemy to allow the infantry to get up close and personal.


Plus, if a well-thrown grenade hits the squad MG & damages it, the rest of the squad is kaput. Plus, when the gunner is reloading, the squads firepower drops VERY sharply.
The former is hardly an argument not to have an MG - because if you replace it with rifles your firepower is much the same as it is when the MG is damaged. As for reloading, that's just an argument for better individual skills & drills and for comms within the sub-unit.


I think the Marine one, w/ THREE BARs is the most powerful.
The BAR wasn't a great section automatic weapon - no barrel change and bottom loading magazines. A Bren would always outperform a BAR in practice, and any belt-fed weapon will outperform both.


What is the record ROF for the Mauser?

A good redesign for the Kar 98 would be the inclusion of a 10rd en bloc clip & a bolt w/ more than 2 locking lugs, allowing a decrease in the number of degrees required to turn the bolt.
Rate of fire is pretty low. IIRC the problem isn't with the number or angle of lugs, but their position - the Enfield has them at the rear, IIRC, enabling a much more ergonomic throw to the bolt at the cost of reduced strength. The whole reason the rate of fire was so high on the SMLE was that you could hold the bolt between forefinger and thumb while pulling the trigger with your little finger, radically reducing the hand movements required. Reloading with stripper clips is a minor improvement - all sides used 5-round clips, so expanding the box magazine to 10 rounds will only save 1 reload per engagement - a minimal improvement given the extra weight.

Rising Sun*
07-20-2009, 07:35 AM
The BAR wasn't a great section automatic weapon - no barrel change and bottom loading magazines. A Bren would always outperform a BAR in practice, and any belt-fed weapon will outperform both.

Subject to the problem that belt fed weapons are more prone to stoppages when used in fire and movement as they pick up dirt in the belt, and are also more likely to need a No.2 to feed or assist with stoppages which reduces the squad firepower by one or carries an extra man who isn't a rifleman.

A Bren / BAR / whatever is more likely to be a better weapon in a squad fire and movement attack than a belt fed weapon, where it is less likely to suffer stoppages and is more likely to be fired in short bursts from changing positions.

A belt fed weapon is much more useful in a static position, even an improvised one such as responding to an ambush, where its (relative to a magazine weapon) sustained fire ability is better suited to resisting attackers.

Schuultz
07-20-2009, 08:22 AM
The whole reason the rate of fire was so high on the SMLE was that you could hold the bolt between forefinger and thumb while pulling the trigger with your little finger, radically reducing the hand movements required. Reloading with stripper clips is a minor improvement - all sides used 5-round clips, so expanding the box magazine to 10 rounds will only save 1 reload per engagement - a minimal improvement given the extra weight.

You're right about that, it's possible to do some very quick shooting - but unless I've been doing it wrong, you hold the Bolt with thumb & index finger, while you pull the trigger with the ring finger.

Also, even though the Enfield has a 10 round mag, this only really gives it an advantage during the initial stages of an engagement, as you have to reload it with 2 stripper clips, leading to a longer reload time if you want the full mag, and probably causing soldiers to only reload with one clip at a time in a heated battle.

Rising Sun*
07-20-2009, 08:38 AM
You just refuted your own statement. Oil was at a premium.

No, Hitler miscalculated when he struck both north at Moscow and south towards the Caucasus oil fields, when he had long known that oil was at a premium and crucial even to his largely horse-drawn war effort.

Had he pursued the latter objective alone and then pushed on to the oil fields to the south such as in Iraq, where Britain barely managed to retain control even without German forces there, he would have had more than enough oil to do pretty much what he wanted. As well as denying oil to the Allies, which would have had a significant impact on their ability to continue their war.

And if the Axis powers had operated on a unified basis as the Allies did, Germany might have derived some benefit from the huge resources in the Netherlands East Indies, which were not as well exploited as they could have been by the Japanese because of their failure to protect their merchant shipping. Assuming that the Axis forces had the shipping to do that, which largely they didn't when it mattered because they didn't anticipate properly the impact the Allies would have on their merchant shipping.

pdf27
07-20-2009, 10:19 AM
You're right about that, it's possible to do some very quick shooting - but unless I've been doing it wrong, you hold the Bolt with thumb & index finger, while you pull the trigger with the ring finger.
Very probably - it's about 15 years since I got my paws on one...

carlobee
07-21-2009, 01:08 AM
If Hitler was clean and good in his intentions for his people and the nation ever since he started, He could have captured the hearts of many people and not leave a negative impression on some. When you are remembered that way, you are truly victorious. http://storeyourpicture.com/images/signature_imageHost.jpg

Comrade Claus
07-21-2009, 09:14 AM
The Americans maintained it into 1918, but all other armies had since dropped it as a bloody failure.

Um, what do you mean? The US tried what, which failed bloodily?



The former is hardly an argument not to have an MG - because if you replace it with rifles your firepower is much the same as it is when the MG is damaged.

Whoa whoa whoa! I wasn't saying that! I was saying that it was a bad idea to have a MG which was 99% of a squads ROF in a battle. If the gun is taken out the rest of the squad can pretty much be ignored for more serious threats. But a squad w/ high ROF rifles or SMGs should at least be 25% of the squads rof. A US squad which lost it's BAR, (or 3) can still beat any other squad w/ it's Garands alone.



The BAR wasn't a great section automatic weapon - no barrel change and bottom loading magazines. A Bren would always outperform a BAR in practice, and any belt-fed weapon will outperform both.

A BAR has 20 shots, most belt-fed Squad MG had 50 shots, so the BAR must reload 2.5 times for every Belt-fed reload, but the BAR reloads more than 2.5 x as fast so it is in action for longer periods of time!

Plus, I saw a picture of a MG 34 w/ it's barrel being changed. It's awkward at best. (the MG 42 barrel change was a vast improvement)

Lets compare Bren, Bar & MG 34/42

Bren 30rd box 500 rpm, 3.6 sec to empty

BAR 20 rd box 350-600 rpm 2-3.4 sec to empty

MG 34 50 rd belt- 75 rd twin drum 800-900 rpm 3.33-3.75 (50 rd)/5-5.625 sec (75 rd)

So you see the belt fed runs out of ammo at pretty much the same time, but is FAR slower to reload.

Reload sequence

Bren/BAR

1. press magazine release. 2. Remove box. 3. insert fresh box 4. chamber rd. 5. FIRE!

MG 34/42

1. remove belt box 2. attach new belt box 3. open cover 4. place belt on feed tray 5. close cover 6. chamber round 7. FEUER!!!

How many seconds pass? Another thing to remember is that the belt drum weighs quite a bit more than a bren/bar box & is more tiring to handle a lot of them in a sustained battle.


Rate of fire is pretty low. IIRC the problem isn't with the number or angle of lugs, but their position - the Enfield has them at the rear, IIRC, enabling a much more ergonomic throw to the bolt at the cost of reduced strength. The whole reason the rate of fire was so high on the SMLE was that you could hold the bolt between forefinger and thumb while pulling the trigger with your little finger, radically reducing the hand movements required. Reloading with stripper clips is a minor improvement - all sides used 5-round clips, so expanding the box magazine to 10 rounds will only save 1 reload per engagement - a minimal improvement given the extra weight.


only ONE reload? :rolleyes: how many shots does a soldier fire in a typical engagement? Lets say he fires 30 shots. W/ a 5 rd clip, he reloads 5 times. w/ a 10 shot enbloc, only twice. It takes the same amount of time to load a clip. The longer the battle goes on, the more noticeable the advantage.

The only advantage a German sq had w/ it's MG 34/42 is that the sound of the thing firing scared the S*** out of the other side. As long as a UK sq w/ it's 10 shot SMLEs could keep from getting wiped out by the bullet spam
It would eventually outgun the German squad. Consider 'Saving Private Ryan', the battle at the end involved LOTS of firing over a long period of time. Also, that one kid took all those Germans prisoner w/ his Garand. If he had a Mauser, they'd have tackled him. They had no MG whatever to help them, as happens in a real war.

Making a rifle w/ a single 10 rd clip rather than 2 5 rd clip isn't that hard, our Garand had 8 rds, '10' is only 2 rds more.

Comrade Claus
07-21-2009, 09:31 AM
If Hitler was clean and good in his intentions for his people and the nation ever since he started, He could have captured the hearts of many people and not leave a negative impression on some. When you are remembered that way, you are truly victorious. http://storeyourpicture.com/images/signature_imageHost.jpg

Um if that WERE the case... it WOULDN'T have BEEN Hitler. Everyone leaves a bad impression on someone, no mater HOW much of a saint they truly are.

Remember a guy called Jesus? Really nice guy, fed the hungry. But some chafed at his style & he died a gruesome death.

And let's not forget certain politicians who shall remain unnamed who invaded other countries & truly pissed off much of the world. At least Hitler looked cool & made really awesome speeches. (the other dudes speeches I fell asleep trying to watch, didn't help I had to take a second job juist to survive his presidency) Was he 'clean' & 'good'? WMDs? Freedom in Iraq? Most of the Christians have fled, never to return to the 'democratic paradise'

If he just kept focus on Bin Laden, 4,000+of us would be alive today.

Err, sorry to digress, but a politician of a set philosophy is unlikely to 'do the right thing' if it contradicts his 'ideals' remember Truman's unconditional surrender'? Churchill & STALIN were said to be appalled at his insistence to cling to this objective & refusal to show flexibility. Hundreds of thousands died as a result. Maybe millions.

BTW, what is that image in your post? A pile of books?

Nickdfresh
07-21-2009, 12:07 PM
...
Whoa whoa whoa! I wasn't saying that! I was saying that it was a bad idea to have a MG which was 99% of a squads ROF in a battle. If the gun is taken out the rest of the squad can pretty much be ignored for more serious threats. But a squad w/ high ROF rifles or SMGs should at least be 25% of the squads rof. A US squad which lost it's BAR, (or 3) can still beat any other squad w/ it's Garands alone.

I have no idea what you are getting at with this, but the small unit infantry formation that gets out the most overall lead usually wins the fight. That includes general purpose machine-guns, which are vastly more effective. That's not to say that there weren't other factors, nor that the Allies didn't have advantages of their own. But it is worth mentioning that the US Army based much of its post-war infantry tactics on the GPMG system largely perfected by the Heer. US infantry training during WWII was seen as inadequate and US soldiers needed to be effectively re-trained (if they survived as "replacements") by their NCOs and junior officers to break them of the "one-shot, One-kill" mentality when the US Army had in practice developed tactics of mass firepower in the field...

And I have no idea how you can "prove" that a US squad with Garands is going to "beat any other" with any certainty as many US squads were slaughtered at little places such as The Kasserine Pass, Omaha Beach, and in the Hurtgen. And their super-rifles didn't save them...



A BAR has 20 shots, most belt-fed Squad MG had 50 shots, so the BAR must reload 2.5 times for every Belt-fed reload, but the BAR reloads more than 2.5 x as fast so it is in action for longer periods of time!

Plus, I saw a picture of a MG 34 w/ it's barrel being changed. It's awkward at best. (the MG 42 barrel change was a vast improvement)

Lets compare Bren, Bar & MG 34/42

Bren 30rd box 500 rpm, 3.6 sec to empty

BAR 20 rd box 350-600 rpm 2-3.4 sec to empty

MG 34 50 rd belt- 75 rd twin drum 800-900 rpm 3.33-3.75 (50 rd)/5-5.625 sec (75 rd)

So you see the belt fed runs out of ammo at pretty much the same time, but is FAR slower to reload.

Reload sequence

Bren/BAR

1. press magazine release. 2. Remove box. 3. insert fresh box 4. chamber rd. 5. FIRE!

MG 34/42

1. remove belt box 2. attach new belt box 3. open cover 4. place belt on feed tray 5. close cover 6. chamber round 7. FEUER!!!

How many seconds pass? Another thing to remember is that the belt drum weighs quite a bit more than a bren/bar box & is more tiring to handle a lot of them in a sustained battle.

The above calculations are utter crap and meaningless. A fixed German machine-gun was supported with reams of ammunition, and a few attacking BAR wielding soldiers would be no match. That's not to say that the BAR wasn't a great gun, it was.

But it was designed to be used as a true infantry rifle, not a section support weapon...



only ONE reload? :rolleyes: how many shots does a soldier fire in a typical engagement? Lets say he fires 30 shots. W/ a 5 rd clip, he reloads 5 times. w/ a 10 shot enbloc, only twice. It takes the same amount of time to load a clip. The longer the battle goes on, the more noticeable the advantage.

I have no idea where you are getting these calculations from, but it is generally recognized that video games do not count...


The only advantage a German sq had w/ it's MG 34/42 is that the sound of the thing firing scared the S*** out of the other side. As long as a UK sq w/ it's 10 shot SMLEs could keep from getting wiped out by the bullet spam
It would eventually outgun the German squad. Consider 'Saving Private Ryan', the battle at the end involved LOTS of firing over a long period of time. Also, that one kid took all those Germans prisoner w/ his Garand. If he had a Mauser, they'd have tackled him. They had no MG whatever to help them, as happens in a real war.

Making a rifle w/ a single 10 rd clip rather than 2 5 rd clip isn't that hard, our Garand had 8 rds, '10' is only 2 rds more.

Complete crap. The MG42 was a cheaply made, accurate, and effective gun system not because of its rate of fire so much -that was just the icing on the cake- but because it was an ergonomic weapon system that could be quickly and flexibly redeployed in a fluid battle situation. In contrast, the Browning was mostly fired from a tripod and was far more cumbersome just because of its design and canvas ammunition belt feeding system.

The German soldiers carried belt after belt of ammo and I believe it to be significantly more than the average squad of GIs or Tommies would have carried for their Brownings or Vickers (not to mention their BARs and Brens)...

Nickdfresh
07-21-2009, 12:15 PM
Subject to the problem that belt fed weapons are more prone to stoppages when used in fire and movement as they pick up dirt in the belt, and are also more likely to need a No.2 to feed or assist with stoppages which reduces the squad firepower by one or carries an extra man who isn't a rifleman.

A Bren / BAR / whatever is more likely to be a better weapon in a squad fire and movement attack than a belt fed weapon, where it is less likely to suffer stoppages and is more likely to be fired in short bursts from changing positions.

A belt fed weapon is much more useful in a static position, even an improvised one such as responding to an ambush, where its (relative to a magazine weapon) sustained fire ability is better suited to resisting attackers.

It should be mentioned though that in most situations, the Allies would have been encountering Germans in static positions and their MG42s... :shock:

Comrade Claus
07-22-2009, 03:46 AM
I have no idea what you are getting at with this, but the small unit infantry formation that gets out the most overall lead usually wins the fight. That includes general purpose machine-guns, which are vastly more effective. That's not to say that there weren't other factors, nor that the Allies didn't have advantages of their own.

I'll try this again, this time using a modern squad for an example.
A US squad w/ 11 men, which are armed w/ 9 x M 16 & 2 x Saw. The m16s have 30rd mags & the Saw have 200 rd belts. The ROF is 800 rpm (M16) & 750 rpm (SAW) giving the M16 2.25 sec of firing & 16 sec for the SAW. In those 2.25 sec, the squad M16s fire 270 rds, the Saws fire only 56 shots. So in the first critical seconds, the rifles actually outgun the SAWs. I can't calculate the ROF for the M16 beyond that, since I don't know how many sec it takes to reload. I don't understand why no one bothers to find out & post in wikipedia articles. The whole point I'm getting at is that despite it's massive fire power, a belt-fed MG takes a long time to reload, due to its numerous steps, so a squad w/ better rifles will have a great edge. And don't forget, the US Army is undefeated, the same can't be said for the German, Japanese or Italian Armies. And our casualties were significantly less (cheap shot I know, but it's irrefutable proof)


And I have no idea how you can "prove" that a US squad with Garands is going to "beat any other" with any certainty as many US squads were slaughtered at little places such as The Kasserine Pass, Omaha Beach, and in the Hurtgen. And their super-rifles didn't save them...


Omaha was us advancing over open terrain engaging Germans in concrete bunkers w/ 250 rd belts in their MG 42s. It's rather hard to aim at tiny openings when the whole beach is being shredded. But remember, by days end, we were in charge & all the Germans were dead, captured or fleeing inland. We lost 2,000 men, the Germans around 6,000. Hurtgen was under the worst tactical conditions imaginable, beyond the Omaha slaughter.


The above calculations are utter crap and meaningless. A fixed German machine-gun was supported with reams of ammunition, and a few attacking BAR wielding soldiers would be no match. That's not to say that the BAR wasn't a great gun, it was.

A FIXED gun, I'm comparing the MG 34/42 in it's mobile, bipod version, a point you continue to ignore. In it's fixed role, it goes up against the Vickers & M1919 Browning. Stop bringing a gun to a knife fight. And I'd appreciate if you'd stop calling my figures crap, I spent several hours researching & cross-checking them for accuracy. Meaningless INDEED.:evil:

YOU try to find figures for the shots per minute these guns can achieve, instead of mocking mine. Plus the attacking side would use grenades & flame throwers to take fixed MGs out. Or try sniping w/ the few Springfield bolt actions, or try flanking the position. Those Omaha pillboxes seemed very vulnerable to attacks from the rear by guys who dashed between them


But it was designed to be used as a true infantry rifle, not a section support weapon...

A soldier is just as dead if he is shot by a BAR used as an 'infantry rifle' as he is if he's shot by a BAR used as a 'Section support weapon'


I have no idea where you are getting these calculations from, but it is generally recognized that video games do not count...

Video games? VIDEO GAMES?! How dare you! I have NEVER once played a WW 2 video game! I was giving a # as an example!I would like to see someone else weigh in on this to see if they can understand.

Here's a math lesson, 10 bullets in a gun is BETTER than 5! It means you spend less time reloading in battle! Like the M16, which has 20 & 30 shot magazines, both of which take the same amount of time to reload the one w/ more bullets is BETTER! Thus a Mauser 98 K which has an enlarged 10 shot box is vastly better than a 5 SHOT! And while it was said that this WOULDN'T give an advantage because it would STILL be reloaded w/ 5 shot clips, even an IDIOT would be able to design a 10 shot clip!:rolleyes:

The Germans were fools for sticking w/ a rifle w/ as many flaws as the 98K when improving it would've taken little time or effort. The Nazis had 6 years, from 1933 to 1939 to make these changes. But they did make a Cold War rifle, the G 3 that was superior to our Cold War rifles.


Complete crap. The MG42 was a cheaply made, accurate, and effective gun system not because of its rate of fire so much -that was just the icing on the cake- but because it was an ergonomic weapon system that could be quickly and flexibly redeployed in a fluid battle situation. In contrast, the Browning was mostly fired from a tripod and was far more cumbersome just because of its design and canvas ammunition belt feeding system.

Ergonomic? Can you fire it while standing like a BAR? Bonnie from 'Bonnie & Clyde' used one as her personal weapon AND she was less than 5 ft tall. How's THAT for ergonomics? And IIRC, the Brownig M1919 wasn't used in INFANTRY squads as much as the BAR, it was in units like the HEAVY WEAPONS Squad, Platoon, ETC

[/QUOTEThe German soldiers carried belt after belt of ammo and I believe it to be significantly more than the average squad of GIs or Tommies would have carried for their Brownings or Vickers (not to mention their BARs and Brens)...[/QUOTE]]

How much do these belts weigh? I thought the Myth of Germans being 'Supermen' was Busted by Jessie Owens BEFORE the war started.:rolleyes: Last I checked, canvas weighed LESS than steel. And costs less to manufacture. How many Panzers could the Germans have built for all those steel links?

Rising Sun*
07-22-2009, 05:00 AM
Concentrating on rates of fire, magazine capacity, canvas versus link belts and various other technical aspects of small arms is not a reliable guide to who is likely to win an engagment, battle, campaign or war.

Training, experience, battle-hardening, motivation, morale, leadership and tactics appropriate to the purpose are far more important.

A squad with the best weapons but which is deficient in all or most of those other qualities will generally be defeated by a squad which has most or all of those qualities but supposedly technically inferior weapons.

This ignores other battlefield factors of greater importance than who has what small arm, such as cover from view, cover from fire, ground favourable to defender versus ground favourable to attacker, distance of open ground over which to attack, whether it's an ambush or contact, and so on.

pdf27
07-22-2009, 05:49 AM
The ROF is 800 rpm (M16) & 750 rpm (SAW) giving the M16 2.25 sec of firing & 16 sec for the SAW.
Ummm... no. Light automatic weapons like the Minimi are capable of reasonably accurate suppressive fire in automatic, rifles like the M16 are not. Practical rate of fire for any automatic rifle tops out at about 60 RPM if you're in mad minute territory, 15 RPM in normal situations.


So in the first critical seconds, the rifles actually outgun the SAWs.
Ummm... depends on the nature of the target, but in pure rate of fire terms they don't.


I can't calculate the ROF for the M16 beyond that, since I don't know how many sec it takes to reload. I don't understand why no one bothers to find out & post in wikipedia articles.
A few seconds. It's irrelevant anyway - fire like that for more than a couple of magazines and your rifle will start to melt, and unless you've got arms like a gorilla you'll end up giving your targets a hell of a fright rather than actually hitting them at any sensible distance.


The whole point I'm getting at is that despite it's massive fire power, a belt-fed MG takes a long time to reload, due to its numerous steps
Not really. When I was in Gibraltar recently (running around the tunnels carrying a GPMG), reloading in the dark took perhaps 5-10 seconds longer than it would for a rifle. This being a big, heavy weapon that I'd not fired before being reloaded in the dark when I was hanging out of my arse. Flip up the top cover, throw the rounds in the feed tray and slam it back down. Simple.


Omaha was us advancing over open terrain engaging Germans in concrete bunkers w/ 250 rd belts in their MG 42s. It's rather hard to aim at tiny openings when the whole beach is being shredded. But remember, by days end, we were in charge & all the Germans were dead, captured or fleeing inland. We lost 2,000 men, the Germans around 6,000.
Infantry weapons were only a tiny fraction of the firepower deployed here on both sides - the Allies in particular had an enormous quantity of support firepower, right up to 16" rifles. Overall casualty figures may therefore be rather misleading.


And I'd appreciate if you'd stop calling my figures crap, I spent several hours researching & cross-checking them for accuracy. Meaningless INDEED.:evil:
Awww, diddums. You realise that the three of us are all ex or serving members of various armed forces? We've done for real what you've read about.


YOU try to find figures for the shots per minute these guns can achieve, instead of mocking mine.
Can is irrelevant. A light role GPMG in deliberate fire mode should only fire at 30 RPM for instance, according to British doctrine. The sheer weight of ammunition you have to carry precludes you firing at the full cyclic rate except in very, very unusual circumstances.


Plus the attacking side would use grenades & flame throwers to take fixed MGs out. Or try sniping w/ the few Springfield bolt actions, or try flanking the position.
You forgot the MFC, FOO, FAC, Armoured support and organic support weapons (MGs, anti-armour weapons such as PIAT or Bazooka, etc.) that would also be on call.


Here's a math lesson, 10 bullets in a gun is BETTER than 5! It means you spend less time reloading in battle! Like the M16, which has 20 & 30 shot magazines, both of which take the same amount of time to reload the one w/ more bullets is BETTER!
Depends on your rate of fire. At a deliberate rate of fire, you will be able to reload between shots and keep up the same rhythm of fire. If the ergonomics are wrong (e.g. 10 round clip being a pain to load) or doing so causes stoppages, then a 10 round clip is a bad thing.


Thus a Mauser 98 K which has an enlarged 10 shot box is vastly better than a 5 SHOT!
Nope


And while it was said that this WOULDN'T give an advantage because it would STILL be reloaded w/ 5 shot clips, even an IDIOT would be able to design a 10 shot clip!:rolleyes:
Uh huh. Would said idiot be able to redesign and replace the webbing for the entire army, the ammo boxes, the factories producing the ammunition, etc.? Changing something like that is a MASSIVE undertaking, which is for instance why the British stuck with .303 for so long, despite having wanted to change since before WW1.


But they did make a Cold War rifle, the G 3 that was superior to our Cold War rifles.
Nope, compared to an FN-FAL it was a piece of junk. The only reasons the Germans used it was because FN Herstal refused to sell it to them (while giving the design for free to many of the Allied nations in WW2).


How much do these belts weigh? I thought the Myth of Germans being 'Supermen' was Busted by Jessie Owens BEFORE the war started.:rolleyes: Last I checked, canvas weighed LESS than steel. And costs less to manufacture.
Utter bollocks. Steel pressings as used in Link ammo are very, very cheap and compared to the empty brass cases weigh the square root of naff all. On a strength to weight ratio, canvas is many times weaker than steel (which is why they build skyscrapers out of canvas, right?) and is significantly more expensive - canvas belts require people to sew them, steel link can be pressed out automatically by the millions.


How many Panzers could the Germans have built for all those steel links?
Two or three, maybe. Steel was not the limiting factor here.

Rising Sun*
07-22-2009, 06:02 AM
It should be mentioned though that in most situations, the Allies would have been encountering Germans in static positions and their MG42s... :shock:

That's part of what I was getting at in my last post.

Any weapon, its feed, cyclic (as distinct from real) rate of fire, and whether or not it comes with cup holders, GPS and satellite phone generally doesn't have a lot to do with its effect in battle against weapons designed for similar purposes.

A weapon's effect in battle is determined mostly by factors such as those I mentioned in my last post and, as you have pointed out, by other factors such as siting and whether it is in a prepared defensive position.

Which gets into various other factors, such as whether the defender is in a prepared weapon pit or an earth and log bunker or a concrete bunker, and the extent of interlocking arcs of fire and the width and depth of mutual support, the extent to which flanking moves are possible or impossible, the availability of artillery and air support to the attacker and defender etc, etc, etc.

Rising Sun*
07-22-2009, 06:14 AM
Utter bollocks. Steel pressings as used in Link ammo are very, very cheap and compared to the empty brass cases weigh the square root of naff all. On a strength to weight ratio, canvas is many times weaker than steel (which is why they build skyscrapers out of canvas, right?) and is significantly more expensive - canvas belts require people to sew them, steel link can be pressed out automatically by the millions.

Also, canvas absorbs moisture and it ain't the best material in the tropics where, among other things, it rots.


Two or three, maybe. Steel was not the limiting factor here.

Would these tanks have been linked? ;)

Rising Sun*
07-22-2009, 06:36 AM
I'll try this again, this time using a modern squad for an example.
A US squad w/ 11 men, which are armed w/ 9 x M 16 & 2 x Saw. The m16s have 30rd mags & the Saw have 200 rd belts. The ROF is 800 rpm (M16) & 750 rpm (SAW) giving the M16 2.25 sec of firing & 16 sec for the SAW. In those 2.25 sec, the squad M16s fire 270 rds, the Saws fire only 56 shots. So in the first critical seconds, the rifles actually outgun the SAWs.

pdf27 has already adverted to this, but how'd you like to calculate how long it is before the weapon gets barrel droop; deflection in degrees; and how long before the barrel is overheated?


I don't understand why no one bothers to find out & post in wikipedia articles.

Probably because the people who know such things wouldn't waste their time posting on wiki where any idiot can change their post.


The whole point I'm getting at is that despite it's massive fire power, a belt-fed MG takes a long time to reload, due to its numerous steps, so a squad w/ better rifles will have a great edge.

A belt-fed MG doesn't have any more firepower than a magazine fed one of similar calibre. It just has a greater sustained fire capability, which often doesn't matter all that much as nobody is going to put full belts straight through one unless the enemy is about to crawl over them like ants.

A long time ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I did a bit of training on MGs of various sorts.

I'd rather be behind one, magazine or belt fed, facing an attacking squad than be in the attacking squad.

And I'd rather be behind one in a squad attacking rifleman than be a rifleman I was attacking.


And don't forget, the US Army is undefeated, the same can't be said for the German, Japanese or Italian Armies. And our casualties were significantly less (cheap shot I know, but it's irrefutable proof)

Actually, the same can be said, for the Germans and Japanese anyway.

They, like the Americans and other Allies, were both undefeated in their attack phases.

Comrade Claus
07-22-2009, 07:06 AM
Concentrating on rates of fire, magazine capacity, canvas versus link belts and various other technical aspects of small arms is not a reliable guide to who is likely to win an engagment, battle, campaign or war.

Training, experience, battle-hardening, motivation, morale, leadership and tactics appropriate to the purpose are far more important.

A squad with the best weapons but which is deficient in all or most of those other qualities will generally be defeated by a squad which has most or all of those qualities but supposedly technically inferior weapons.

This ignores other battlefield factors of greater importance than who has what small arm, such as cover from view, cover from fire, ground favourable to defender versus ground favourable to attacker, distance of open ground over which to attack, whether it's an ambush or contact, and so on.

True, very true. Most people think the Gulf War was lopsided due to us having a vast technological edge over Iraq, but many of the star performers, B-52, F-111, A-6 & A-7 as well as the F-4 Wild Weasel were Vietnam Era. The Iraqi weapons were of a similar generation of ours, & even the 'crude' MiG-25 scored their only A2A kill (one later survived a fight w/ EIGHT f-15s w/ AMRAAMs! Their loss mostly came from unimaginable incompetence. Like having the bulk of their Army in the Desert, rather than in the cities.

I was comparing squads on their weapons alone, since quality of squads training & experience varies. The vast # of Hitler Youth were mere cannon fodder to us regardless of their weaponry. Those armed w/ Panzerfausts were essentially Suicide Bombers since they were usually killed after they shot, if not before.

Nickdfresh
07-22-2009, 08:05 AM
I'll try this again, this time using a modern squad for an example.
A US squad w/ 11 men, which are armed w/ 9 x M 16 & 2 x Saw. The m16s have 30rd mags & the Saw have 200 rd belts. The ROF is 800 rpm (M16) & 750 rpm (SAW) giving the M16 2.25 sec of firing & 16 sec for the SAW. In those 2.25 sec, the squad M16s fire 270 rds, the Saws fire only 56 shots. So in the first critical seconds, the rifles actually outgun the SAWs. I can't calculate the ROF for the M16 beyond that, since I don't know how many sec it takes to reload. I don't understand why no one bothers to find out & post in wikipedia articles. The whole point I'm getting at is that despite it's massive fire power, a belt-fed MG takes a long time to reload, due to its numerous steps, so a squad w/ better rifles will have a great edge. And don't forget, the US Army is undefeated, the same can't be said for the German, Japanese or Italian Armies. And our casualties were significantly less (cheap shot I know, but it's irrefutable proof)
...

Here's a math lesson, 10 bullets in a gun is BETTER than 5! It means you spend less time reloading in battle! Like the M16, which has 20 & 30 shot magazines, both of which take the same amount of time to reload the one w/ more bullets is BETTER! Thus a Mauser 98 K which has an enlarged 10 shot box is vastly better than a 5 SHOT! And while it was said that this WOULDN'T give an advantage because it would STILL be reloaded w/ 5 shot clips, even an IDIOT would be able to design a 10 shot clip!:rolleyes:

It doesn't take long at all to reload an M-16A1/2 --seconds maybe.. The problem with your "calculations" and "mathematics" is that you are completely removing the human factor and the "fog of war" aspects of combat and distilling it down to simplistic averages deduced on firing ranges where no one is actually shooting back at you.

For instance, as I have seen in training, what good does quick reloading of a weapon do if they are blindly firing into a plume of smoke, darkness of night, or worse --even mistakenly at their own side?

You're forgetting the aspects of fear, confusion, and the fact that those will excess ammo will simply use up their excess ammo with little more real effect in many cases - which is one of the reasons the US Army refused to mass issue the BAR to begin with (along with the fact that it was too heavy for sustained combat). And I've said here that overall I thought the BAR was a good weapon when used properly, and the US military did have a firepower advantage in some circumstances. But there are a couple of points that you miss.

The US Marines enjoyed an overall firepower advantage in combat over Japanese attackers, even when most were armed with the Springfield at Guadalcanal, as the Japanese infantry weapons along with their command and control was vastly inferior. This was shown early, when carry out attacks on Henderson Field against a well emplaced, motivated foe. We could even mention that at Wake Island the Marines were never overrun and surrendered prematurely largely out of error. So, it isn't just about personal weapons, the effectiveness encompasses a whole host of factors such as training and small unit leadership, both at which the Japanese and Germans excelled. After all, I think artillery kills far more soldiers (in conventional war) than small arms fire does by at least a 3:1 ratio IIRC.

It has been calculated that during the Vietnam War, US forces fired 6000 rounds for every ONE the NVA or NLF fired at them! What good was their firepower of the M-14, M-60, M-16, etc., then? We still lost.


Omaha was us advancing over open terrain engaging Germans in concrete bunkers w/ 250 rd belts in their MG 42s. It's rather hard to aim at tiny openings when the whole beach is being shredded. But remember, by days end, we were in charge & all the Germans were dead, captured or fleeing inland. We lost 2,000 men, the Germans around 6,000. Hurtgen was under the worst tactical conditions imaginable, beyond the Omaha slaughter.

Okay. Then what about the Normandy battle were the US was bogged down in Hedgerows against Heer and SS armed with mostly weapons no heavier than anti-tank guns and mortars? They were able to bottle up the US Army in what amounted to an infantry battle for weeks of bloody, hard fighting despite undergoing a pummeling. The Japanese did similar in the PTO and were able to still inflict heavy casualties and mask their firepower deficiencies through clever uses of fortifications and terrain...


A FIXED gun, I'm comparing the MG 34/42 in it's mobile, bipod version, a point you continue to ignore. In it's fixed role, it goes up against the Vickers & M1919 Browning. Stop bringing a gun to a knife fight. And I'd appreciate if you'd stop calling my figures crap, I spent several hours researching & cross-checking them for accuracy. Meaningless INDEED.:evil:

YOU try to find figures for the shots per minute these guns can achieve, instead of mocking mine. Plus the attacking side would use grenades & flame throwers to take fixed MGs out. Or try sniping w/ the few Springfield bolt actions, or try flanking the position. Those Omaha pillboxes seemed very vulnerable to attacks from the rear by guys who dashed between them

Well, seeing as the Heer/SS held out for a long time considering they were locked in a death vice of a two front War against relentless enemies outproducing them in nearly every facet of weaponry, I'd say they did well. Wouldn't you? And the Omaha pillboxes and trenches served their purpose. A sustained German counterattack might have rolled up the unfortunate early waves on Omaha. But the Germans were never trained nor told to counterattack and US artillery interdicted any reinforcements...


A soldier is just as dead if he is shot by a BAR used as an 'infantry rifle' as he is if he's shot by a BAR used as a 'Section support weapon'

So? The Bren was better suited for sustained firing. I never said anything but the BAR being a very good weapon when used within its limitations, usually in twos or threes mutually supporting each other...


Video games? VIDEO GAMES?! How dare you! I have NEVER once played a WW 2 video game! I was giving a # as an example!I would like to see someone else weigh in on this to see if they can understand.

Well, maybe you should then...


The Germans were fools for sticking w/ a rifle w/ as many flaws as the 98K when improving it would've taken little time or effort. The Nazis had 6 years, from 1933 to 1939 to make these changes. But they did make a Cold War rifle, the G 3 that was superior to our Cold War rifles.


The K98 was reliable and easy to produce. They did in fact have other self-loading rifles and even managed the first practical assault rifle. But they had a whole host of difficulties in all production. And you're forgetting that all of the Nazis main potential enemies -France, Poland, Britain, and the USSR- all had bolt-action rifles in service. The US was the only nation doing a significant effort to produce a working self-loading rifle in the near term, despite a crippling depression...


Ergonomic? Can you fire it while standing like a BAR? Bonnie from 'Bonnie & Clyde' used one as her personal weapon AND she was less than 5 ft tall. How's THAT for ergonomics? And IIRC, the Brownig M1919 wasn't used in INFANTRY squads as much as the BAR, it was in units like the HEAVY WEAPONS Squad, Platoon, ETC

Um, I believe you can fire an MG42 from the hip actually just like one can the M-60. And Bonnie did wield a BAR that was "cut-down," but not all day under battlefield conditions. But I guess Bonnie was pretty good at wield all sorts of guns. :)

And what do you mean regarding the Browning? It was issued to platoons as a fire support weapon.




How much do these belts weigh? I thought the Myth of Germans being 'Supermen' was Busted by Jessie Owens BEFORE the war started.:rolleyes: Last I checked, canvas weighed LESS than steel. And costs less to manufacture. How many Panzers could the Germans have built for all those steel links?

Um, the canvas had to be reloaded, the disintegrating links didn't. The belts didn't weight that much. But then, how much did the standard load of .30-06 ammo weight in bandoleers? And the biggest problem with panzers was that the Germans shelved plans for their next generation early on, and had to react to the T-34. Then they faced a whole host of production difficulties as they failed to convert to a full war economy until it was too late...

Comrade Claus
07-22-2009, 09:36 AM
Practical rate of fire for any auto rifle tops out at about 60 RPM if you're in mad min territory, 15 RPM in norm sits.

15 rpm? w/ a 30 shot gun? I do better w/ a civilian semi auto .223 (Ruger Mini-14, hate the caliber, love the gun!:cool:) As I recall, changing mags is no problem speed wise. 4 seconds at most. Though I have no military service, I frequently outshoot guys from the nearby base on the range. I generally take bets regarding speed & accuracy ($5 or an MRE is my price) I bought a Ruger Mini-30 for myself last Xmas. Using the same round as an AK to outshoot Vets of Iraq & Afgh is an interesting experience. One such match involved popup targets, I got well over those 15 shots you mentioned. I emptied 2 x 30rd boxes & was well into the 3rd when the whistle blew. The other guy was just changing to his 3rd mag. It was pretty close. I got 2 less targets (out of 60 total) because I reloaded 1 extra time (he missed a few at the end), but had tighter groupings & 1 extra hit on each one. I put 4 shots (my natural rhythm) in each while he went for 3 shots. So, he hit 20, I got 18. Course, when I take on the 30-40 yr old Reservists, I lose quite often. I prefer the 18-20 yr olds.:oops:


fire like that for more than a couple of mags and your rifle will start to melt, and unless you've got arms like a gorilla you'll end up giving your targets a hell of a fright rather than actually hitting them.

really? My arms are kinda stringy, but I have no problem w/ the recoil on my Ruger Minis, course, civilian loads tend to be much tamer than military in those calibers, right? Probably why I have little trouble w/ the heating too. And the scenario was at urban distances, 75-100 yards/meters.



Not really. When I was in Gibraltar recently, reloading in the dark took perhaps 5-10 seconds longer than it would for a rifle. This being a big, heavy weapon that I'd not fired before being reloaded in the dark when I was hanging out of my a$$. Flip up the top cover, throw the rounds in the feed tray and slam it back down. Simple.

How fast would you have reloaded if you had good lighting? BTW, I never really got how the ammo in the Luger/Mp18 'snail drum' moved up the angled neck, since it's rather long & very 'bent'.



Infantry weapons were only a tiny fraction of the firepower deployed here on both sides - the Allies in particular had 16" rifles. Overall casualty figures may therefore be rather misleading.

UGH, I KNOW! Whenever I read a casualty figure, I scream, "There's a HUGE diff btwn a guy w/ a toe shot off & a guy who's a red smear at the bottom of a crater!" I can never find fatality figures for D-Day. I never really understood, when it was clear that the pillboxes were still operational, why we didn't hold off the further waves of landing craft & fire our battleships until they were out of ammo or Omaha was turned into an estuary. We just kept shoving cannon fodder at the Germans until we overwhelmed them. And why, when the Brits took their beach earlier, didn't they try to outflank the beaches slaughtering us? On the Longest Day, they were shown lounging & having TEA! (creative license probably) Or once the first LZ was secure, to send ALL the soldiers to that sector. And what about the LSTs? They can beach, right? Why didn't they accompany the 1st waves of infantry? a dozen Flame thrower tanks per every 200 infantry would've given the Germans some real food for thought. (Those DD tanks didn't succeed too well right? I saw a PBS documentary where a postwar light tank was given a DD screen. As soon as it was in the water... It sank! It was a Scorpion or Scimitar IIRC)



Aw, diddums. You realize that the three of us are all ex or serving members of various armed forces? We've done for real what you've read about.

It'd be nice if those books were actually PROOFREAD before being published! For all the typographical errors that were obvious to me, there are God knows how many that aren't. Oddly these military books are overwhelmingly published in the UK. Salamander, Amber, but the worse by far is the WW 2 encyclopedia by Rand McNally (American, not British of course) It was bloated w/ errors & it was grossly biased. Calling Hitler the incarnation of evil but completely glossing over Stalin's heinous crimes. Like Katyn or Nemmersdorf (disputed I know, more civilians died in (Koenigsberg by a factor of 1,000)



A light role MG should only fire at 30 RPM for instance, according to British doctrine. The sheer weight of ammo you have to carry precludes you firing at the full cyclic rate except in very, very unusual circumstances.


An machine gun limited to... 1 shot every 2 seconds?! On Extreme Marksmen, this pistol expert was clocked at 400 rpm w/ a semi auto. Documentary footage from battles tent to show machine guns fired far more vigorously.


You forgot the MFC, FOO, FAC, Armored support and organic support weapons (MGs, anti-armor weapons such as PIAT or Bazooka, etc.) that would also be on call.
MFC? FOO? I get the Forward Air Control. But, the MG. If you saw an advancing enemy try to set up an MG, or 2 guys lugging a bazooka around, you'd be pretty sure to let them have it 'w/ both barrels' I left out all that support on purpose, since I was comparing pure infantry squad vs pure infantry squad, w/ no support weapons at all. I mean, on D-Day, the Germans were doomed, their heaviest weapon was 6 x 15 cm howitzers that they abandoned after pulling them away from the Pont du hoc battery. We had multiple battle ships to pound them into dust.

(A smart German commander would've concentrated all his weapons in the Cities of Carentan Bayeux & Caen, w/ only a few observation posts on the beach to direct long range fire. Creating 3 'hedgehog' positions, rather than the easily compromised linear defense the Atlantic wall was stuck with. (Surprisingly, the Game Warcraft 2 supports the idea that the hedgehog is superior to the linear style of defense.) We'd have had to hold back on our carpet bombing & naval barrage w/ all those civilians in the area. & the buildings... well it was well known by 1944 that urban warfare benefited the defenders far more than the attackers. I'll post a picture of the Normandy area map w/ the defenses as they were & in an optimal 'hedgehog' style


Depends on your rate of fire. At a deliberate rate of fire, you will be able to reload between shots and keep up the same rhythm of fire. If the ergonomics are wrong (e.g. 10 round clip being a pain to load) or doing so causes stoppages, then a 10 round clip is a bad thing.


True, the G41 semiauto apparently had issues


Nope

I can't imagine that the Germans never captured any SMLE rifles during WW 1 to study, then to redesign the Mauser to have a similar capacity.



Would said idiot be able to redesign and replace the webbing for the entire army, the ammo boxes, the factories producing the ammunition, etc.? Changing something like that is a MASSIVE undertaking, which is for instance why the British stuck with .303 for so long, despite having wanted to change since before WW1.

the webbing according to the article I found on German small arms, said "each ammo belt, of which the soldier carried 1 or 2, had 3 pouches. Each pouch held 3 x 5rd clips" Redesigning a fabric bandoleer to accept 10 rd enblocs shouldn't have crippled the industry, it wasn't like designing the Me 262. And how complex were those ammo boxes anyway? At most, 4 things had to be redesigned, the Clip, the rifle magazine, the bandolier, the ammo box (I'm guessing that the clips were stored in smaller boxes, which were then stored in larger boxes, right?). The other things you state (factories producing ammunition), seem to imply changing the very ammunition used. Which, BTW, happened w/ the Sturm Gewehr w/ it's 7.92 Kurz.



Nope, compared to an FN-FAL it was a piece of junk. The only reasons the Germans used it was because FN Herstal refused to sell it to them (while giving the design for free to many of the Allied nations in WW2).

Compared to a FAL, maybe, but how about an M16? which jams constantly & which needs 30 hits, or 5 minutes to kill who it shoots. I've read too many articles written by soldiers who fought in Vietnam, Somalia & the war on Terror on the lack of stopping power the .223 has, even w/ fragmenting ammo, to think the G 3 w/ it's hard-hitting 7.62 is a sucky rifle. BTW, wikipedia says the Germans HAD the FN FAL & called it the G 1. While the Wiki is notorious for unreliability, there were pictureso f GERMAN soldiers carrying them in the field, the fact the Germans had over 100,000 of them then REPLACED it w/ the G 3 is rather telling, plus the G 3 spawned a very large family of weapons and a LOT of countries still use it.



Utter bollocks. Steel pressings as used in Link ammo are very, very cheap and compared to the empty brass cases weigh the square root of naff all. On a strength to weight ratio, canvas is many times weaker than steel (which is why they build skyscrapers out of canvas, right?) and is significantly more expensive - canvas belts require people to sew them, steel link can be pressed out automatically by the millions.

Skyscrapers, :lol: but fabric making machines were made during the industrial revolution and canvas can probably be sewn in huge quantities by them. BTW, how hard would it have been to make aluminum cases instead of brass? I always hear about STEEL cases, but those rust & are heavy. Is aluminum too weak?



2 or 3, maybe. Steel was not the limiting factor here.

Hm, I guess you're right, armor steel needed nickel & chromium whereas links probably didn't. That's what you're driving at right?

Comrade Claus
07-22-2009, 09:48 AM
Also, canvas absorbs moisture and it ain't the best material in the tropics where, among other things, it rots.



Would these tanks have been linked? ;)

The linki-tanks, Sir, was the funniest thing I read all night! .& I spent several hours on TvTropes. But, yeah, the water, grime & rotting are a very good point, all the better reason for box magazines of 20-30 rd capacity.course, i guess they tend to get abandoned after use.

Nickdfresh
07-22-2009, 10:08 AM
15 rpm? w/ a 30 shot gun? I do better w/ a civilian semi auto .223 (Ruger Mini-14, hate the caliber, love the gun!:cool:) As I recall, changing mags is no problem speed wise. 4 seconds at most. Though I have no military service, I frequently outshoot guys from the nearby base on the range. I generally take bets regarding speed & accuracy ($5 or an MRE is my price) I bought a Ruger Mini-30 for myself last Xmas. Using the same round as an AK to outshoot Vets of Iraq & Afgh is an interesting experience. One such match involved popup targets, I got well over those 15 shots you mentioned. I emptied 2 x 30rd boxes & was well into the 3rd when the whistle blew. The other guy was just changing to his 3rd mag. It was pretty close. I got 2 less targets (out of 60 total) because I reloaded 1 extra time (he missed a few at the end), but had tighter groupings & 1 extra hit on each one. I put 4 shots (my natural rhythm) in each while he went for 3 shots. So, he hit 20, I got 18. Course, when I take on the 30-40 yr old Reservists, I lose quite often. I prefer the 18-20 yr olds.:oops:

Well, you might be a total bad-*** on the shooting range. But the 15-rounds a minute is apparently the same now in pdf27's day as is was in mine. It is the average number of rounds one can send down range in a sustained fire-fight without melting one's barrel or fouling the weapon too badly - or using up all the ammunition being carried. I was told the exact same thing in training..


...
Compared to a FAL, maybe, but how about an M16? which jams constantly & which needs 30 hits, or 5 minutes to kill who it shoots. I've read too many articles written by soldiers who fought in Vietnam, Somalia & the war on Terror on the lack of stopping power the .223 has, even w/ fragmenting ammo...

The latter versions of the M-16A1/2/3/4 do not "jam constantly." That's an outdated myth resulting from switching the powder of the 5.56mm M193 cartridge to the same used by the 7.62mm NATO round during the Vietnam War coupled with the Pentagon further tinkering with Eugene Stoner's design without his blessing (not coating the barrel with chrome for instance). Soldiers were also told it was a wonder weapon of the space-age that needed no cleaning, and no kits were initially issued.

There is no "lack of stopping power" with the 5.56mm at short to intermediate ranges. It indeed fragments and explodes at shorter ranges and causes hydro-shock to the human body due to its high velocity and ballistic wound damage that can be unpredictable. It's not perfect, as the small caliber ammo had problems penetrating the jungle canopy in Vietnam. But the weapons work well enough when augmented by semi-auto sniper rifles such as the M-39 and M110. The silly Freudian "it's too small" stuff is silly at this point...

pdf27
07-22-2009, 10:57 AM
15 rpm? w/ a 30 shot gun? I do better w/ a civilian semi auto .223 (Ruger Mini-14, hate the caliber, love the gun!:cool:) As I recall, changing mags is no problem speed wise. 4 seconds at most.
15 RPM is the rate of fire that doctrine prescribes as a deliberate rate of fire, i.e. that which should be used to keep an enemy suppressed without wasting ammunition. 30 RPM is the rapid rate of fire, to be used when winning the firefight, an enemy attack is coming in, etc.
And I'd love to see you doing much better than 15 RPM when doing it properly. This means that you need to have done the whole dash-down-crawl thing carrying substantial amounts of weight for several hundred meters beforehand, then be firing from the prone position, changing your position every few shots. Then firing 15 effective shots per minute is quite a challenge - and firing faster just means wasting more shots. Any idiot can do a Beiruit Unload in the general direction of some targets.
In any case, changing mags isn't the problem - bombing up is. Riflemen typically only carry about 120 rounds (4 mags), with section and platoon 2ICs carrying the reserve ammo. Once those mags are burned up, that rifleman is armed with nothing more dangerous than a bayonet until he's bombed up again.


Though I have no military service, I frequently outshoot guys from the nearby base on the range. I generally take bets regarding speed & accuracy ($5 or an MRE is my price) I bought a Ruger Mini-30 for myself last Xmas. Using the same round as an AK to outshoot Vets of Iraq & Afgh is an interesting experience. One such match involved popup targets, I got well over those 15 shots you mentioned.
Staying in one position, and not breathing out of your hoop? Easy - the practical limit is about 90 RPM for that. Never going to happen in the real world though.


really? My arms are kinda stringy, but I have no problem w/ the recoil on my Ruger Minis, course, civilian loads tend to be much tamer than military in those calibers, right? Probably why I have little trouble w/ the heating too. And the scenario was at urban distances, 75-100 yards/meters.
There is a place for automatic fire (very, very close range mainly, when clearing positions). However, try firing on automatic out to say 200m - your groupings will be horrendous.
As for heating, how long are you firing for - 2-3 minutes? It hasn't had time to get hot at that stage. Keep going for half an hour (as you may have to) and you'll start melting things. Look up the SA80A2 acceptance trials for an idea of what a military rifle may have to do if you're interested.


How fast would you have reloaded if you had good lighting?
Significantly faster - I'm used enough to the SA80 to reload by feel, but can't do that with a GPMG yet.


I never really understood, when it was clear that the pillboxes were still operational, why we didn't hold off the further waves of landing craft & fire our battleships until they were out of ammo or Omaha was turned into an estuary. We just kept shoving cannon fodder at the Germans until we overwhelmed them.
Because Artillery (as demonstrated on the Somme, at Ypres and elsewhere) can suppress, but can't take positions. Further suppressive fire wouldn't have done much to help and would have allowed the German reinforcements from inland to get much closer, making the final landings more hazardous.


And why, when the Brits took their beach earlier, didn't they try to outflank the beaches slaughtering us? On the Longest Day, they were shown lounging & having TEA! (creative license probably)
1) They did - the Germans didn't cooperate. IIRC there was a significant Panzer counterattack which reached the sea between Gold and Omaha. Furthermore, I've walked over the area in between. It isn't small, and is awful country for infantry to attack over today, let alone 60 years ago. Taking it in a day would be TOUGH.
2) Lounging around and drinking tea is exactly what you should be doing if you have a few minutes spare - and is still taught by the British Army today. "Lounging Around" gets you low to the ground where you are hard to see and harder to hit. Getting a brew inside you warms you up and gives you a lot of energy, something the infantry always need. This would have been a fraction of the invasion force, not all of it - with the rest doing other tasks such as fighting or humping stores.


Or once the first LZ was secure, to send ALL the soldiers to that sector.
A firefight is the most confusing place on earth, particularly without radios. Sending troops into the wrong sector, and sending more than the sector is expected to take, is a recipe for chaos and failure.


And what about the LSTs? They can beach, right? Why didn't they accompany the 1st waves of infantry?
They were known as Large Slow Targets for a reason...


a dozen Flame thrower tanks per every 200 infantry would've given the Germans some real food for thought. (Those DD tanks didn't succeed too well right? I saw a PBS documentary where a postwar light tank was given a DD screen. As soon as it was in the water... It sank! It was a Scorpion or Scimitar IIRC)
They were very successful in the British and Canadian sectors. It appears that they were launched too far out to sea in the US sector, and their crews given insufficient small boat handling skills. It appears that those which sank tried to reach their sector, while those that got ashore tried to make for whatever sector they could reach given the sea conditions.


An machine gun limited to... 1 shot every 2 seconds?! On Extreme Marksmen, this pistol expert was clocked at 400 rpm w/ a semi auto. Documentary footage from battles tent to show machine guns fired far more vigorously.
30 RPM is the deliberate rate of fire. IIRC the rapid rate is about 120. And that's light role (equivalent to the Bren/BAR). Sustained role is something like 250 and 500 RPM respectively I think, but can't quite remember.


MFC? FOO? I get the Forward Air Control.
MFC = Mortar Fire Controller, FOO = Forward Observation Officer. The guys with radios who bring in Mortars and Tube Artillery respectively on those who incur your displeasure.


But, the MG. If you saw an advancing enemy try to set up an MG, or 2 guys lugging a bazooka around, you'd be pretty sure to let them have it 'w/ both barrels'
Anyone dumb enough to get seen deserves to get shot. If you're in view of the enemy, you crawl everywhere to avoid exactly that. Even if you're carrying a GPMG.


I left out all that support on purpose, since I was comparing pure infantry squad vs pure infantry squad, w/ no support weapons at all.
Nobody fights like that.


We'd have had to hold back on our carpet bombing & naval barrage w/ all those civilians in the area. & the buildings...
Which would be why we flattened Caen a couple of weeks later....


Compared to a FAL, maybe, but how about an M16? which jams constantly & which needs 30 hits, or 5 minutes to kill who it shoots.
The US equivalent to the G3 is the M-14, not the M-16.


BTW, wikipedia says the Germans HAD the FN FAL & called it the G 1. While the Wiki is notorious for unreliability, there were pictureso f GERMAN soldiers carrying them in the field, the fact the Germans had over 100,000 of them then REPLACED it w/ the G 3 is rather telling, plus the G 3 spawned a very large family of weapons and a LOT of countries still use it.
It was a pirate copy of the FAL, and FN were VERY unhappy about it. A lot of places may use the G3 (largely because there are a lot of cheap ones about), but the FAL was far more popular and frankly far better.


BTW, how hard would it have been to make aluminum cases instead of brass? I always hear about STEEL cases, but those rust & are heavy. Is aluminum too weak?
Ever tried using an aluminium thread in steel, or vice-versa? It often binds up solid, which could cause cases to break up in the chamber. Also, Aluminium isn't much stronger than steel for the same weight, but more bulky - so you need bigger cases.


Hm, I guess you're right, armor steel needed nickel & chromium whereas links probably didn't. That's what you're driving at right?
Among other things - armour plate also needs rolling into slabs, face hardening and heat treating, and after all that needs to be manufactured into a tank. Creating the mild steel to base it on is only a small part of the process, and usually the one with the fewest bottlenecks.

Rising Sun*
07-23-2009, 12:01 AM
Ergonomic? Can you fire it while standing like a BAR? Bonnie from 'Bonnie & Clyde' used one as her personal weapon AND she was less than 5 ft tall. How's THAT for ergonomics?

I don't think so.

The evidence from the other gang members was that Bonnie Parker never fired a shot from anything, let alone a BAR.

Ivaylo
07-23-2009, 05:37 AM
He had to make a different politik for the ukranians and other people groups in the East - the politic for mass killing and clearing space for the german folk was quite bad in the end it just bringed more partisans and red army soldiers and tightened the situation . Moscow had to be a very far priority as capturing it won't bring the end of the war in any way , Leningrad and Stalingrad had to be his first targets . When attacking he in some major offensives used only the Wehrmacht ( for example for the fight in Stalingrad ) and where the hell was the SS - sitting behind the lines , more personal was to be used in the offensives and if the doctrine was different for the ukrainians even bringing them as allies things maybe were to be different who knows .

Comrade Claus
07-24-2009, 10:33 AM
15 RPM is the rate of fire that doctrine prescribes as a deliberate rate of fire, i.e. that which should be used to keep an enemy suppressed without wasting ammunition. 30 RPM is the rapid rate of fire, to be used when winning the firefight, an enemy attack is coming in, etc.
And I'd love to see you doing much better than 15 RPM when doing it properly. This means that you need to have done the whole dash-down-crawl thing carrying substantial amounts of weight for several hundred meters beforehand, then be firing from the prone position, changing your position every few shots. Then firing 15 effective shots per minute is quite a challenge - and firing faster just means wasting more shots. Any idiot can do a Beiruit Unload in the general direction of some targets.
In any case, changing mags isn't the problem - bombing up is. Riflemen typically only carry about 120 rounds (4 mags), with section and platoon 2ICs carrying the reserve ammo. Once those mags are burned up, that rifleman is armed with nothing more dangerous than a bayonet until he's bombed up again.

True, from various memoirs I've read, the ammo load is around 100 rds in general. I had in mind the old maxim about war being long stretches of waiting, interspersed w/ brief, intense moments of Hell.



Staying in one position, and not breathing out of your hoop? Easy - the practical limit is about 90 RPM for that. Never going to happen in the real world though.

Very true, my skills on the range don't quite carry over to hunting... and I don't have to worry about the deer shooting back at me, course I do gotta worry if Cheney's prowling about:lol:


There is a place for automatic fire (very, very close range mainly, when clearing positions). However, try firing on automatic out to say 200m - your groupings will be horrendous.

As for heating, how long are you firing for - 2-3 minutes? It hasn't had time to get hot at that stage. Keep going for half an hour (as you may have to) and you'll start melting things. Look up the SA80A2 acceptance trials for an idea of what a military rifle may have to do if you're interested.

Generally, the matches are each 1-1.5 minutes, then a 10-15 minute break to let the others have their turn at the line.



Significantly faster - I'm used enough to the SA80 to reload by feel, but can't do that with a GPMG yet.


That's the Bullpup rifle right? It's kinda awkward w/ a banana mag. The FN P-90 & Calico seem to be more suitable for a bullpup configuration.


Because Artillery (as demonstrated on the Somme, at Ypres and elsewhere) can suppress, but can't take positions. Further suppressive fire wouldn't have done much to help and would have allowed the German reinforcements from inland to get much closer, making the final landings more hazardous.

IIRC, the Typhoons, Maquis & Paratroopers took or destroyed all the bridges leading to Normandy, or at least those that could support Panzers which delayed them for days. & I meant when our guys were being pined down, couldn't our big guns have fired at least a few salvos on or behind the Germans to rattle them a bit? however accurate the big guns were, a few 16 in shells in front of the gunports would've given the MG crews a real bad day. What was their Circular Error Probable? 100 feet? IIRC, our battleships were far more accurate than bombers were. The problem w/ our early barrage was that we didn't know the location of ALL the defenses. But when they started firing... then we knew where to focus our next salvoes.


1) They did - the Germans didn't cooperate. IIRC there was a significant Panzer counterattack which reached the sea between Gold and Omaha. Furthermore, I've walked over the area in between. It isn't small, and is awful country for infantry to attack over today, let alone 60 years ago. Taking it in a day would be TOUGH.

2) Lounging around and drinking tea is exactly what you should be doing if you have a few minutes spare - and is still taught by the British Army today. "Lounging Around" gets you low to the ground where you are hard to see and harder to hit. Getting a brew inside you warms you up and gives you a lot of energy, something the infantry always need. This would have been a fraction of the invasion force, not all of it - with the rest doing other tasks such as fighting or humping stores.

It'd have been nice for the movie to put that scene in context. Since most Americans wouldn't know that. IIRC, Saving Private Ryan virtually ignored the non-American forces, compared to Longest Day (I'm not very fond of Spielberg, but he's better than Michael Bay)


A firefight is the most confusing place on earth, particularly without radios. Sending troops into the wrong sector, and sending more than the sector is expected to take, is a recipe for chaos and failure.


They were known as Large Slow Targets for a reason...

How much of what the Germans had able to threaten them anyway? Of the dozens of sources I've looked at, the only heavy weapons the beach defences had there were 6 x 15 cm guns (howitzers?) & ONE battery of 75 mm guns. The Pont Due Hoc guns had been abandoned even before firing.


They were very successful in the British and Canadian sectors. It appears that they were launched too far out to sea in the US sector, and their crews given insufficient small boat handling skills. It appears that those which sank tried to reach their sector, while those that got ashore tried to make for whatever sector they could reach given the sea conditions.


30 RPM is the deliberate rate of fire. IIRC the rapid rate is about 120. And that's light role (equivalent to the Bren/BAR). Sustained role is something like 250 and 500 RPM respectively I think, but can't quite remember.



MFC = Mortar Fire Controller, FOO = Forward Observation Officer. The guys with radios who bring in Mortars and Tube Artillery respectively on those who incur your displeasure.

Ah, I've never seen those military Acronyms before


Nobody fights like that.


Haven't there been cases of squads getting separated from their support in the heat of battle? A paratrooper on D-day had his whole unit scattered when their transports were getting hit by flak & for the 1st 3 days had no more than 20 guys from several other units cobbled together. They had no mortars, bazookas & only 1 machine gun which they lost in a particularly bad firefight. And his was just one of thousands of such stories.


Which would be why we flattened Caen a couple of weeks later....


Err, I do remember that *shiver* Heavy bombers used for Tactical Air Support. Not exactly pinpoint like Stukas or Dauntlesses would be. But still, if Caen had more Germans in it when we tried taking it, the battle could've ended up like Monte Cassino, but w/ so many on the beach. Yeah, they were in bunkers & pillboxes, but being closer to shore meant we had clearer targets to bombard.


The US equivalent to the G3 is the M-14, not the M-16.

Though the Germans still kept their G 3 when we discarded the M 14 for the M 16, from 'nam till the 90's



It was a pirate copy of the FAL, and FN were VERY unhappy about it. A lot of places may use the G3 (largely because there are a lot of cheap ones about), but the FAL was far more popular and frankly far better.

I recall reading something about the Falkland's War & the Argentinian's had FAL rifles & according to the Brits using .223 rifles (can't recall if they were M 16s or SA 80s, but there were having a real hard time of it & the Argentinians took a disturbing number of hits before going down. (maybe they were amped on amphetamines :cool:) Freudian or not, a larger caliber bullet is typically heavier. Why else would the Abrams be armed w/ a 120 mm gun rather than a higher velocity 105 mm gun? Plus I'm really surprised the US bought German for the gun, considering no small measure of Germanophobia in NATO.



Ever tried using an aluminium thread in steel, or vice-versa? It often binds up solid, which could cause cases to break up in the chamber. Also, Aluminium isn't much stronger than steel for the same weight, but more bulky - so you need bigger cases.

Hm, so brass doesn't have those problems like Aluminum. Is there anything better than Brass that's cheap, strong & light?

pdf27
07-24-2009, 10:51 AM
True, from various memoirs I've read, the ammo load is around 100 rds in general. I had in mind the old maxim about war being long stretches of waiting, interspersed w/ brief, intense moments of Hell.
Ambushes are like that (on either side). Otherwise, firefights can get very protracted, occasionally lasting for hours.


Generally, the matches are each 1-1.5 minutes, then a 10-15 minute break to let the others have their turn at the line.
Yeah, any rifle should be fine over that period of time. It's sustained fire that wrecks them.


That's the Bullpup rifle right? It's kinda awkward w/ a banana mag. The FN P-90 & Calico seem to be more suitable for a bullpup configuration.
People keep telling me that, but I've never found it. The pistol grip being forward makes it very easy to hold steady when changing mags, which I personally like.


meant when our guys were being pined down, couldn't our big guns have fired at least a few salvos on or behind the Germans to rattle them a bit?
It wouldn't rattle them significantly - their positions were designed to withstand exactly that, and the crews were usually the sons of the men who withstood million-shell barrages in 24 hours on the Western Front a generation earlier (in some cases, even the same men). The barrages at Normandy were pitiful in comparison.


It'd have been nice for the movie to put that scene in context.
How could it? Wouldn't make a good film.


How much of what the Germans had able to threaten them anyway? Of the dozens of sources I've looked at, the only heavy weapons the beach defences had there were 6 x 15 cm guns (howitzers?) & ONE battery of 75 mm guns. The Pont Due Hoc guns had been abandoned even before firing.
LSTs were practically unarmoured (the plating might keep out splinters at a pinch) and stuffed to the gills with fuel, ammunition and people.


Haven't there been cases of squads getting separated from their support in the heat of battle? A paratrooper on D-day had his whole unit scattered when their transports were getting hit by flak & for the 1st 3 days had no more than 20 guys from several other units cobbled together. They had no mortars, bazookas & only 1 machine gun which they lost in a particularly bad firefight. And his was just one of thousands of such stories.
So there were a few cock-ups. Doesn't make it a good idea to design your whole concept of operations around minimising the effect of this limited number of problems.


Though the Germans still kept their G 3 when we discarded the M 14 for the M 16, from 'nam till the 90's
In the same way as the UK kept the FAL until the mid 1980s. The 5.56mm round was foisted on the US military by that fool Robert Strange MacNamara <spit> and his efficiency drives. It was originally designed for hunting small game (prairie dogs, rabbits, etc.) and adopted by the USAF as a lightweight weapon for their security police (incidentally, the AR-15 was originally designed as a 7.62mm weapon - see the AR-10 for details). It is highly lethal when striking with enough velocity, but has limited range.
Incidentally, the Germans kept a lot of otherwise obselete kit. Probably because they were short on cash, keeping a very large conscript army.


I recall reading something about the Falkland's War & the Argentinian's had FAL rifles & according to the Brits using .223 rifles (can't recall if they were M 16s or SA 80s, but there were having a real hard time of it & the Argentinians took a disturbing number of hits before going down. (maybe they were amped on amphetamines :cool:)
The UK used SLRs (slightly modified FAL rifles, often known as "inch pattern" FALs, while the Argentinians used standard FALs as well. Some UK forces (SAS, RM Mountain & Arctic Warfare, etc.) used AR-15s (note, NOT M-16s), but in very limited quantities.


Freudian or not, a larger caliber bullet is typically heavier. Why else would the Abrams be armed w/ a 120 mm gun rather than a higher velocity 105 mm gun? Plus I'm really surprised the US bought German for the gun, considering no small measure of Germanophobia in NATO.
The US is not known for building tank guns - the 105mm was a British design, necked up from the WW2 20 Pdr IIRC (Tony Williams, where are you?)


Hm, so brass doesn't have those problems like Aluminum. Is there anything better than Brass that's cheap, strong & light?
Very ductile and so suitable for deep-drawing to form cartridge cases. And if that list of good things isn't enough for you, you'll never be satisfied!

Rising Sun*
07-25-2009, 06:52 AM
2) Lounging around and drinking tea is exactly what you should be doing if you have a few minutes spare - and is still taught by the British Army today. "Lounging Around" gets you low to the ground where you are hard to see and harder to hit. Getting a brew inside you warms you up and gives you a lot of energy, something the infantry always need. This would have been a fraction of the invasion force, not all of it - with the rest doing other tasks such as fighting or humping stores.

It'd have been nice for the movie to put that scene in context. Since most Americans wouldn't know that.

A useful piece of advice given to me on battlefield conduct was along the lines: Eat when you can, sleep when you can. And when there's nothing to do, do nothing.

It's about conserving your energy and taking every opportunity to replenish it, because you never know how long you'll be in action when it starts, or starts again.

steben
10-08-2009, 01:20 PM
Hitler could not win that war he tried to win. It is quite simple.
Double fronts is too much. Germany was not prepared to get involved in a second great war, and while involved it never tried to address full war economy at the right time. The latter a strange feature since Hitler's rise to power gave him all the credit and support to make that part happen.
The Blitzkrieg succes was a tiny lapse in "expected" time and space, and much was possible because of Allied failure, rather than Axis superiority. It made for an extremely hard and long period in time of horror, since since it fortified nazi believe and means. Had there been no blitzkrieg, Hitler would've been in some war crime jail in 1941.

But looking at the most serious answer I could give is the only fact that Hitler should have waited. The allied juggernaut was NOT being prepared and most of the allied superiority came from necessity (economics, production, technology) once the nazis broke out. The allied forces in 1939-1940 were in fact - in history as written - already a bigger and stronger nut to crack than Germany could offer. They had more men, more machines and most of the machines were better. But still the Germans succeeded with their Blitzkrieg.
Summarized, I do not believe Hitler when looking at it would have had a more difficult route if he would have waited a couple of years, since Germany too had research going on, they would have had more and better material and the Blitzkrieg tactics still would have worked at first blow.

And of course, the crazy projects and tanks didn't work at all, in fact they made things worse.
Hitler wasn't alone however, the american T-28 project and british A39 tortoise were as wacko as the moustache.
http://www.battletanks.com/images/T-28-3.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b4/IWM-MH-9865-Tortoise.jpg

Deaf Smith
10-08-2009, 09:53 PM
Hitler could not win that war he tried to win. It is quite simple.
Double fronts is too much.

And that is true. There was really no way to win in once he attacked Russia.


Hitler wasn't alone however, the american T-28 project and british A39 tortoise were as wacko as the moustache.

Yes, but we had the industry to make them! Make them and the gas to run them! Germany just didn't have the resources.

Deaf

steben
10-09-2009, 02:05 AM
Yes, but we had the industry to make them! Make them and the gas to run them! Germany just didn't have the resources.

Deaf

Well, some remarks on this: Germany din't only have the industry as well (they made more projects than UK+US) but had better designs as well IMHO.

The problem was - as you mentioned - the Germans did not have the resources to USE them and surely couldn't handle the maintenance.

Deaf Smith
10-10-2009, 06:28 PM
Well, some remarks on this: Germany din't only have the industry as well (they made more projects than UK+US) but had better designs as well IMHO.

The problem was - as you mentioned - the Germans did not have the resources to USE them and surely couldn't handle the maintenance.

steben,

America alone made over 40,000 Sherman tanks. Germany barely made 40,000 armored fighting vehicles.

This gives you a hint of what the Germans could produce .vs. Allied countries:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_production_during_World_War_II

And Japans:

http://www.combinedfleet.com/economic.htm

No, the Germans, especially after they invaded Russian and Japan got the U.S. involved, were doomed as well as the whole Axis enterprise.

Deaf

Nickdfresh
10-10-2009, 07:04 PM
And Hitler claimed War on the US, which he wasn't really obligated to do was not the least of his blunders...

VonWeyer
10-11-2009, 01:11 AM
And Hitler claimed War on the US, which he wasn't really obligated to do was not the least of his blunders...

Agreed!

ubc
10-12-2009, 03:13 PM
steben,

America alone made over 40,000 Sherman tanks. Germany barely made 40,000 armored fighting vehicles.

This gives you a hint of what the Germans could produce .vs. Allied countries:


Deaf

According to Chamberlain and Doyle the Germans produced 87,956 'armored fighting vehicles', during the nazi reign of which about 4500 were made before the war began.

Nickdfresh
10-12-2009, 05:20 PM
According to Chamberlain and Doyle the Germans produced 87,956 'armored fighting vehicles', during the nazi reign of which about 4500 were made before the war began.

But not tanks. Their total of production was a drop in the bucket compared to the Allies. They only held on mainly because they were fighting defensively by 1944, and the Allies all had made mistakes of one form or another which prevented them from performing better against the panzers...

flyerhell
10-12-2009, 08:28 PM
So really, if I am reading everything correctly, it looks like the Germans losing the war would have been inevitable...they just couldn't possibly compete with the massive industry and economies of the US and the USSR. Even if the "total war" doctrine was applied in Germany earlier, it probably would have only delayed the inevitable. The population of both the USSR and US were also much higher than the population of Germany, which would offer the opportunity for more men to fight.

Once the USSR was attacked and especially once the US got involved, the Axis were pretty much screwed. At that point the best the Germans could probably hope for was some kind of conditional peace settlement that would leave the Nazis in power in Germany.

One other thing that is important to note (I think someone else touched on this earlier) - While the Germans had massive production loss (not to mention hugely decreased morale) due to raids and very heavy damage by US and UK bombers, the USSR and especially the US were able to produce needed war materials easily, without having to worry about loss of production due to the war - the USSR simply moved their factories east and the US was able to produce war materials without fear of anything (other than possibly sabotage) as the fighting on both fronts was thousands of miles away.

One thing that I would be interested in learning more about (that someone else mentioned) is how the Allies could have stopped the Germans from taking over more land, had they acted more decisively earlier.


According to Wikipedia, the Polish defense plan was based on the Western Allies invading Germany's western border. Here is probably how the Germans could have been stopped more easily:

Perhaps French and British troops could have been sent to Poland earlier to help guard the borders, or at least once the fighting started, sent over troops to help the Poles fight off the Germans? What about the Soviets, once they invaded the eastern part of Poland? Would British and French troops fire on Soviet troops?

More realistically, the French and British could have invaded Germany from the west as the vast majority of the German military (Wikipedia cites a figure of (eighty-five percent of their armored forces) were engaged in Poland. The French did actually invade Germany and were able to successfully advance into Germany, before the invasion was called off (read more about this here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_betrayal#The_Phoney_War).

The Poles were also able to inflict significant damage on the Germans (Wikipedia cites a figure of Poland costing the Germans approximately the equipment of an entire armored division and 25% of its air strength).

The French, British and Polish were COMPLETELY caught off guard by the way that the Germans fought. They expected the trench warfare from WWI to resume and did not expect to fight the highly mobile and armored German forces.

Any predictions about what would have happened, if the French and British didn't stop the invasion of Germany? Could the Germans have pushed them back out? The Germans were more technologically advanced and better organized (I am guessing here) than the French but with most of their army in Poland it would have been a huge loss of morale and shocking to the Germans, had the British and French been able to have gotten pretty far into Germany's Western border. The Germans would have been forced to pull divisions out of Poland to fight the British and French in Germany, which would have given some relief to the Poles, at least before the Soviets invaded (I doubt the Poles could have resisted the Soviets but at least they would have had a fighting chance against the Germans).

Schuultz
10-12-2009, 10:05 PM
So really, if I am reading everything correctly, it looks like the Germans losing the war would have been inevitable...they just couldn't possibly compete with the massive industry and economies of the US and the USSR. Even if the "total war" doctrine was applied in Germany earlier, it probably would have only delayed the inevitable. The population of both the USSR and US were also much higher than the population of Germany, which would offer the opportunity for more men to fight.

Exactly, however, Germany was dumb enough to bring both those deciding superpowers into the game itself. First by invading Russia, then by declaring war on the US (who would have no casus belli otherwise).


Once the USSR was attacked and especially once the US got involved, the Axis were pretty much screwed. At that point the best the Germans could probably hope for was some kind of conditional peace settlement that would leave the Nazis in power in Germany.

The chances for such a settlement are low. On the one front, you're fighting naive Idealists who want to abolish your dictatorship, on the other extreme Ideologists who, after once awakened, wouldn't stop short of spreading their political system.


One thing that I would be interested in learning more about (that someone else mentioned) is how the Allies could have stopped the Germans from taking over more land, had they acted more decisively earlier.

Easier said than done.


According to Wikipedia, the Polish defense plan was based on the Western Allies invading Germany's western border. Here is probably how the Germans could have been stopped more easily:

Perhaps French and British troops could have been sent to Poland earlier to help guard the borders, or at least once the fighting started, sent over troops to help the Poles fight off the Germans?

This is a lot easier said than done. Both the UK and France were still pretty much broke from WW1 and paying off their debts. And, even though Chamberlain was considering attacking Germany earlier, he and his French counterpart simply couldn't afford it. If they had wanted to create an army to equal the Wehrmacht & SS, they would've had to borrow more money from the US - problem was the States weren't willing to give any more for the time being.


What about the Soviets, once they invaded the eastern part of Poland? Would British and French troops fire on Soviet troops?

Yes, if ordered.


More realistically, the French and British could have invaded Germany from the west as the vast majority of the German military (Wikipedia cites a figure of (eighty-five percent of their armored forces) were engaged in Poland. The French did actually invade Germany and were able to successfully advance into Germany, before the invasion was called off (read more about this here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_betrayal#The_Phoney_War).

Again, look above at the financial problems. They simply couldn't afford it, their countries were broke. (Hitler, as a dictator, didn't have the same problem)


The French, British and Polish were COMPLETELY caught off guard by the way that the Germans fought. They expected the trench warfare from WWI to resume and did not expect to fight the highly mobile and armored German forces.

There were actually French generals who predicted that Trench Warfare wasn't the new face of war. However, they didn't have the resources to retrain their troops in time. Sucks how it all comes back to money, doesn't it?


Any predictions about what would have happened, if the French and British didn't stop the invasion of Germany?

The German army would have pushed them out. Simply because the Brits and French didn't have the money to sustain an army powerful enough to withhold the Wehrmacht at the time. However, the war would have been fought on German soil.

tankgeezer
10-12-2009, 10:30 PM
Hitler could not win that war he tried to win. It is quite simple.
Double fronts is too much. Germany was not prepared to get involved in a second great war, and while involved it never tried to address full war economy at the right time. The latter a strange feature since Hitler's rise to power gave him all the credit and support to make that part happen.
The Blitzkrieg succes was a tiny lapse in "expected" time and space, and much was possible because of Allied failure, rather than Axis superiority. It made for an extremely hard and long period in time of horror, since since it fortified nazi believe and means. Had there been no blitzkrieg, Hitler would've been in some war crime jail in 1941.

But looking at the most serious answer I could give is the only fact that Hitler should have waited. The allied juggernaut was NOT being prepared and most of the allied superiority came from necessity (economics, production, technology) once the nazis broke out. The allied forces in 1939-1940 were in fact - in history as written - already a bigger and stronger nut to crack than Germany could offer. They had more men, more machines and most of the machines were better. But still the Germans succeeded with their Blitzkrieg.
Summarized, I do not believe Hitler when looking at it would have had a more difficult route if he would have waited a couple of years, since Germany too had research going on, they would have had more and better material and the Blitzkrieg tactics still would have worked at first blow.

And of course, the crazy projects and tanks didn't work at all, in fact they made things worse.
Hitler wasn't alone however, the american T-28 project and british A39 tortoise were as wacko as the moustache.
http://www.battletanks.com/images/T-28-3.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b4/IWM-MH-9865-Tortoise.jpg

I disagree with your assertion,it is too general. The T-28/95 project was for the purpose of breaching the Sigfried line, and reducing other fortified positions. It was not a tank,nor would it have been used as one. And, as the war progressed more quickly than expected, this project was canceled, and the one remaining prototype was abandoned, the other of the two having been destroyed in testing.

Trap77
10-12-2009, 10:52 PM
I'm going to wade in here again.

Yes, the Germans sealed their fate the moment they crossed into the USSR. The key was to take Moscow by early December '41, knock out Leningrad and push hard to Baku on the Caspian by early '42. That would have taken the USSR out of the war. Ok, possibly.

The German Army got within 75 miles of Moscow by December '41. Close.

On the issue of Poland, yes that was exactly the plan in '39. The German Army only had 5 mobile divisions, the rest went in on foot and the artillery was hauled by horses. The only real place to put up a well fortified resistance in Poland is the hills and forest land around Warsaw.

The plan: Allow the German Army to go all the way to Warsaw. Have the Polish army hold them and grind them down with concealed anti-tank weapons around Warsaw while at the same time the combined British and French Armies walk across the Rhine, take the industrial Rhur Valley from the Germans and force a capitulation of Germany.

That did not work because just as the German Army reached Warsaw, the Red Army of the USSR attacked and invaded from the East. Faced with a double threat, the Polish resistance evaporated.

As to the money issue: Mostly bogus. With all the supposed money issues, the French still maintained the largest army in the world and were able to build the Maginot Line....all except that critical area in Belgium due to political, not money, issues.

Which leads to, how many Main Battle Tanks (Panzerkampfwagon Mark IV's) did the German Army have for it's invasion of France? Less than 500. They had more Mark III's but those were smaller and used mostly against other tanks. The Mark IV fired the high explosive round necessary for killing troops.

Overall, the German Army in the 1939-1941 era was not that powerful.

(oh, and Hitler's finances for his army came from American and British sources in the run up to the war and continued, Prescott Bush, throughout the war)

steben
10-13-2009, 02:05 AM
Which leads to, how many Main Battle Tanks (Panzerkampfwagon Mark IV's) did the German Army have for it's invasion of France? Less than 500. They had more Mark III's but those were smaller and used mostly against other tanks. The Mark IV fired the high explosive round necessary for killing troops.

You don't often win battles and by no means wars by "killing troops".
Don't get my wrong, I understand your input, but at the time around 1939-1940 tank - and surely "combined" mobile - warfare was a very enigmatic newcomer. Yes, the allies had 3x more fighting vehicles, most well armoured and with potent guns etc, yet the Germans had tactics and skill on their side. Literature explains very well how the shortage of material was bypassed by the german blitzkrieg - aided by spreading blur, propaganda and strategical deception - punching at the small target areas once the actual fighting began with all they had, most often deliberately driving away from danger zones, enemy tank formations etc...
Mere numbers and technical differences between standing armies became very futile.
Germany won by strategy and tactical superiority, which summarizes all german succes throughout the war. Not to mention the effect of the Luftwaffe, which was designed as fying panzercorps, ground support and artillery all in one.



Overall, the German Army in the 1939-1941 era was not that powerful.


In materialistic numbers and figures, yes.
But training, new tactics, morale and discipline were monopoly af the germans at the time.
And again don't forget the luftwaffe and their new skills at the time. On top of it, as a major exception, the ME109 was at the outbreak a very top notch machine, which outclassed by technical evolution and the germans typically used this fully.

Nickdfresh
10-13-2009, 08:50 AM
...
On the issue of Poland, yes that was exactly the plan in '39. The German Army only had 5 mobile divisions, the rest went in on foot and the artillery was hauled by horses. The only real place to put up a well fortified resistance in Poland is the hills and forest land around Warsaw.

The plan: Allow the German Army to go all the way to Warsaw. Have the Polish army hold them and grind them down with concealed anti-tank weapons around Warsaw while at the same time the combined British and French Armies walk across the Rhine, take the industrial Rhur Valley from the Germans and force a capitulation of Germany.

...


I believe that Panzerknacker posted an interesting thread on one of the most potent anti-tank rifles in the world at that time that was developed by the Polish Army. Sadly, the weapon was kept mostly secret and in armories - limiting not only the Poles training with the weapon and preventing its general use as the vast majority of the Polish Army was not even AWARE such a rifle existed. With the speed of the Heer advance, the resulting chaotic situation, and the general ignorance of the weapons forced the abandonment of many of them. No one knows what impact numbers of these rifles distributed would have achieved as a man portable anti-armor weapon. But there is little doubt that they would have been effective against the thin armor of the first and second generation panzers...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wz._35_anti-tank_rifle

steben
10-13-2009, 09:16 AM
I believe that Panzerknacker posted an interesting thread on one of the most potent anti-tank rifles in the world at that time that was developed by the Polish Army. Sadly, the weapon was kept mostly secret and in armories - limiting not only the Poles training with the weapon and preventing its general use as the vast majority of the Polish Army was not even AWARE such a rifle existed. With the speed of the Heer advance, the resulting chaotic situation, and the general ignorance of the weapons forced the abandonment of many of them. No one knows what impact numbers of these rifles distributed would have achieved as a man portable anti-armor weapon. But there is little doubt that they would have been effective against the thin armor of the first and second generation panzers...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wz._35_anti-tank_rifle

Actually, the Poles did a great job anti-tank-wise. I can't elaborate at this instant, yet the Germans lost a big deal of their light armoured panzers to anti-tank guns.
Again, the panzer drive's succes depended a lot on the spread of anti-tank weapons, resulting in poor firepower density where the panzer spearheads punched though. An error the allies didn't correct enough the next year as well, when they mistakenly relied more on the Ardenne pines than their guns.

Nickdfresh
10-13-2009, 10:35 AM
Well, some remarks on this: Germany din't only have the industry as well (they made more projects than UK+US) but had better designs as well IMHO.

The problem was - as you mentioned - the Germans did not have the resources to USE them and surely couldn't handle the maintenance.


Germany's industry was a complete clusterf***. This was something endemic to Hitler's regime as he seemed to enjoy reigning over chaos and bitter rivalries for his affections. Germany didn't even go over to a full war economy until after the US entered and had already planned her increased output under the peacetime (semi) mobilization of 1940-41. Speer was the one who brought order to the chaos and Germany did not have anything close to the industry necessary for fighting a two front war.

As for their better designs, those were still somewhat late and largely in-response to the Red Army's T-34s and KV-1s and the Germans never quite solved all the 'teething' problems of their Tigers or Panthers, at least not with the need of quick fixes and "Jerry-rigging." I would also add that the German fixation on "bigger and better" (but mostly bigger) tanks and the multitude of designs was almost as much of a problem as they had too many projects in the hands of too many different groups. This detracted from the ideal of a more coherent production program to get the troops more Panthers augmented by Panzer Mark IV's, a few Tigers as breakthrough tanks/tank destroyers, and dedicated TDs such as the Stuggs & Jagdpanzers IMO.

The United States also had some "better designs" which were largely relegated to stateside as the US Army's Ordinance Dept. conducted much research based on the feedback of actual ground commanders who indicated quite clearly that the "Tank Destroyer Doctrine" was working according to plan. These were only really brought into the European Theatre of Operations at the end and bore fruition in such models as the M-26 Pershing, which itself was loosely based on the Sherman's supposed successor, the M-27, as design similar to the T-34 in specifications...

steben
10-13-2009, 12:53 PM
Germany's industry was a complete clusterf***. This was something endemic to Hitler's regime as he seemed to enjoy reigning over chaos and bitter rivalries for his affections. Germany didn't even go over to a full war economy until after the US entered and had already planned her increased output under the peacetime (semi) mobilization of 1940-41. Speer was the one who brought order to the chaos and Germany did not have anything close to the industry necessary for fighting a two front war.

As for their better designs, those were still somewhat late and largely in-response to the Red Army's T-34s and KV-1s and the Germans never quite solved all the 'teething' problems of their Tigers or Panthers, at least not with the need of quick fixes and "Jerry-rigging." I would also add that the German fixation on "bigger and better" (but mostly bigger) tanks and the multitude of designs was almost as much of a problem as they had too many projects in the hands of too many different groups. This detracted from the ideal of a more coherent production program to get the troops more Panthers augmented by Panzer Mark IV's, a few Tigers as breakthrough tanks/tank destroyers, and dedicated TDs such as the Stuggs & Jagdpanzers IMO.

The United States also had some "better designs" which were largely relegated to stateside as the US Army's Ordinance Dept. conducted much research based on the feedback of actual ground commanders who indicated quite clearly that the "Tank Destroyer Doctrine" was working according to plan. These were only really brought into the European Theatre of Operations at the end and bore fruition in such models as the M-26 Pershing, which itself was loosely based on the Sherman's supposed successor, the M-27, as design similar to the T-34 in specifications...

I do not have any doubts regarding what you are telling here, you know. ;)
I just pointed out that "big tank projects" were not a lonesome German issue.
And yet for some reason, of course it could be I look at it too much in the german doctrine way - tank vs tank that is - I pull the card of the German heavy designs.

And, yes, Germany didn't have the monopoly on design as well. The T34 was exactly what the soviets needed in this war. The M4 may as well have been the perfect design for the US doctrine.

ubc
10-13-2009, 01:30 PM
But not tanks. Their total of production was a drop in the bucket compared to the Allies. They only held on mainly because they were fighting defensively by 1944, and the Allies all had made mistakes of one form or another which prevented them from performing better against the panzers...

And Hitler didn't make mistakes ? :confused: Hitler was the biggest mistake that happened to Germany in the 20th century .:shock:

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/weapons_and_manpower.htm

This site underscores the figures. Germany plus Italy/Rumania & Hungry etc are easily 50,000 tanks/SPGuns. Compared to Russia, they have a 2:1 advantage, while the west would be a little less since something like 20-25% of the allied forces were in the Pacific fighting the Japanese.

Combined the allies have 4:1 advantage but if Germany can fight each allie seperately, they can defeat any invasion of "Europa"....that is if numbers alone were the deciding factor ;) Especially if you consider production near the end. The combined allied production in 1944 was 51,000 tanks & SPguns, while Germany produced 19,000 tanks and SPGuns. Which suggests the allied advantage was disappearing. In this case the allied combined advantage is only 2.7:1 bearly enough to succeed. One can see why Stalin needed the second front so much and clearly even with this, more was needed. This is where allied Strategic Bombing campaign comes in, because the first thing they were able to achieve after neutralising the Luftwaffe, was to bomb the German fuel industry into extinction. Its kind of hard to wage mechanize warfare without any fuel.

Trap77
10-13-2009, 10:03 PM
What a fine and totally cool discussion we have going on. Great responses.

About those Italian/Rumanian/Hungarian tanks, and forces: Most of those people did not like fighting and dieing for the 3ed Reich. The Italians produced crappy tanks, because FIAT simply did not want to militarize. The Italians build cool sports cars but not tanks.

Second line troops don't do that well agiant top first line troops. Every battle in WWII shows that, on all sides.

But, it was a huge fault of Hitler: Being mean to others, especially his friends. That strategy never works. Hitler self-isolated and that was a major downfall.

As for my point about German Army tank strength; I was making the point that a major concerted effort to take out the German Main Battle tanks in France might have slowed the German advance enough for the superior numbers of Frence troops to carry the day.

As for the 109, as good as it was, the Spitfire was better. The 109 was based on a German race plane. Good speed and agility, poor fuel capacity and hard to land.

steben
10-14-2009, 01:19 AM
As for my point about German Army tank strength; I was making the point that a major concerted effort to take out the German Main Battle tanks in France might have slowed the German advance enough for the superior numbers of Frence troops to carry the day.

Well, I guess the French might 've thought just that, yet they simply couldn't make it happen because of rigid old command structure against the communication&command marvel of the speedy German army. And again: the allies were decieved.



As for the 109, as good as it was, the Spitfire was better. The 109 was based on a German race plane. Good speed and agility, poor fuel capacity and hard to land.

Ok, but talking about blitzkrieg on the western continent, that didn't matter that much.

steben
10-14-2009, 01:25 AM
... and even if struck by admiration of Hitler's plans and bravery... and even if you wanted the communistst to have lost etc...

Wouldn't it have been better the Germans still would have become more like we are (and therefor like they are today themselves) after the war? I mean: if Germany would have won, what the hell would be the benefits if they wouldn't have changed their ways?

I'm asking this because of the sheer internal problem I have for myself: I never liked Stalin to gain so much out of WWII, yet a Europe under Nazi rule would've been like the history of eastern Europe, yet this time up to Le Havre...

Let's say I point my arrows more at continentals. Non-Europeans will easily say: hell yeah mister, of course.

Rising Sun*
10-14-2009, 05:54 AM
I mean: if Germany would have won, what the hell would be the benefits if they wouldn't have changed their ways?

The Nazis would have got what they wanted, which is why they went to war.

Just like everybody else who starts a war of aggression aims to get what they want.

Imposing their will and system on the conquered territories for their own benefit are the benefits.

Nickdfresh
10-14-2009, 10:03 AM
And Hitler didn't make mistakes ? :confused: Hitler was the biggest mistake that happened to Germany in the 20th century .:shock:

Of course he did. I think I've pointed out many of them in this thread or another. But I was speaking in terms of doctrine - specifically the US Tank Destroyer doctrine that was formulated in the panic of unpreparedness and the Fall of France in 1940 and misinterpreting the lessons of the rapid collapse due to German armor. This caused the US to keep the M-4 Sherman tank virtually unchanged until far too late in 1944, and it inhibited the development of bigger, better tanks such as the M-26 Pershing until the final push into Germany when its impact was more psychological than military. It could have been deployed by the late summer of 1944....


http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/weapons_and_manpower.htm

This site underscores the figures. Germany plus Italy/Rumania & Hungry etc are easily 50,000 tanks/SPGuns. Compared to Russia, they have a 2:1 advantage, while the west would be a little less since something like 20-25% of the allied forces were in the Pacific fighting the Japanese.

Just numbers. Firstly, how many did the Allies produce? Secondly, most Italian, Romanian, and Hungarian stuff was obsolete and on another, much lower level than the Allied equipment produced after 1941. The Italians were knocked out of the Axis by 1943 and at least some of their equipment was on the side of the Allies. And if you add up the numbers of German panzers actually not obsolete by 1942 (the Pz Mk IV, Panther, Tiger, King Tiger, and the last versions of the Pz Mk III IIRC) and even add the assault guns/tank destroyers such as the Stug and Jagdpanzer, and its a drop in the bucket against American production of the Sherman, various tank destroyers, and the Pershing. Then factor in the British and certainly the massive Soviet production of the T-34 and IS2s.

Even with the US and Commonwealth commitment to the Pacific, there were only so many tanks needed as Shermans were used mainly in an infantry support role as volcanic island geography generally did not favor tanks or battles of maneuver, and much of it was second rate until 1944...


Combined the allies have 4:1 advantage but if Germany can fight each allie seperately, they can defeat any invasion of "Europa"....that is if numbers alone were the deciding factor ;) Especially if you consider production near the end. The combined allied production in 1944 was 51,000 tanks & SPguns, while Germany produced 19,000 tanks and SPGuns. Which suggests the allied advantage was disappearing. In this case the allied combined advantage is only 2.7:1 bearly enough to succeed. One can see why Stalin needed the second front so much and clearly even with this, more was needed. This is where allied Strategic Bombing campaign comes in, because the first thing they were able to achieve after neutralising the Luftwaffe, was to bomb the German fuel industry into extinction. Its kind of hard to wage mechanize warfare without any fuel.

How would the Germans fight each allied nation separately? Even if they only fought the Soviet Union bucked-up by US support, they might have achieved a stalemate, but complete unconditional Soviet surrender was probably highly unlikely. Secondly, play with numbers all you want, but the Luftwaffe was largely shot out of the air by 1944 and there was little fuel for extended operations. The Allies, especially the US, actually began paring down production by 1944, as well as her conscription manpower, because they already had more than they could move via the sea. And much more than they would need after the defeat of Germany..

You are also ignoring the cliche of the German Heer and SS being a steel tipped arrow on a shaft of wood. They were towing their Panthers by oxen in Normandy by early 1944 and came nowhere near the United States in production in trucks and soft-skinned field cars. All this while the Wehrmacht was still a rail-bound army using horses and ox-carts while the US and GB forces were almost totally mechanized. The Soviet Red Army was also still somewhat reliant on rail and horse, but significantly less so than the Heer. This thanks to the massive shipments of Jeeps and Dodge/Studebaker trucks from the US...

Nickdfresh
10-14-2009, 10:11 AM
This thread seems very much related to one started, and somewhat pointless, possibly intentionally so. And again, it's in the wrong forum.

I'm not trying to be a ***** here, but why do a bunch of posters who started this month seem intent on spamming the wrong forum with nearing a dozen threads on innocuous Hitler-topics?

Rising Sun*
10-14-2009, 10:49 AM
... but why do a bunch of posters who started this month seem intent on spamming the wrong forum with nearing a dozen threads on innocuous Hitler-topics?

An unquenchable thirst for knowledge?

steben
10-14-2009, 11:17 AM
This thread seems very much related to one started, and somewhat pointless, possibly intentionally so. And again, it's in the wrong forum.

Funny that it ended up here once I used the word "military", but actually my question is not really military related. I think I understand what you mean with wrong forum.



I'm not trying to be a ***** here, but why do a bunch of posters who started this month seem intent on spamming the wrong forum with nearing a dozen threads on innocuous Hitler-topics?

My post doesn't really focusses on Hitler or his favourite movie. I'm talking about exactly the same proces you talk about (the "what if..."s). I wanted to confront the question about the war with question about the afterwar. ;)

steben
10-14-2009, 11:19 AM
An unquenchable thirst for knowledge?

Only all the people and processes besides and around Hitler are subject of and to knowledge, not Hitler himself. I think we all know enough about him by now.

steben
10-14-2009, 11:26 AM
...This caused the US to keep the M-4 Sherman tank virtually unchanged until far too late in 1944, and it inhibited the development of bigger, better tanks such as the M-26 Pershing...



...and its a drop in the bucket against American production of the Sherman...

Well, the Sherman can't have been bad then after all? ;)

I value the Sherman better than the T34, you know. At least as infantry tank, it was very good. The war itself shows us all that the way the allies fought had succes, not? I think the mere production rates of Germany and the US, simply justified the Sherman.

ubc
10-14-2009, 07:28 PM
Nick

Firstly this thread doesn't belong to anyone in particular and all are welcome to contribute. If you don't like the fact that we are going over 'old ground', then exercise your right not to participate. Don't read or post on this thread, thats what the rest of us do. People are entitled to their opinions and have a right to express them too.

You argue that allied micromeddling their doctrine was some how important in underminding allied war efforts, but Hitlers complete rejection of German military doctrine and replacing it with his own half assed seige mentality, is not relevant? This is an odd POV.

You comment on obsolete Axis tanks, but ignor that 1/3 of all allied tanks built during the war were light tanks and by defination obsolete, compared to medium and heavy tanks. Fact is all tanks can be useful if you know how.



Most of the 19,000 tanks produced in 1944 were StugIII/JagpzIV/PzIV/or the heavies.If we break it down we have

~ 5000 tanks/Spguns based on Tiger/Panther chassie
~ 13,200 Tanks or SPguns base on the Pz III/IV chassie
~ 700 Sp guns based on Pz II/38t

In 1944 the Russians produced
~ 6000 light tanks or SPguns
~ 18,000 T-34 and SU AFVs
~ 5,000 heavy tanks and ISU AFVs

Allied figures are rather obscure so some one else will have to supply them.


The other examples you site are anachdotal and thus not useful to this discussion.

Trap77
10-14-2009, 09:57 PM
Quick point about the Sherman:

It was the tank that the LST's and other transports were designed to carry and deposit on the Beaches of Normandy. That fact alone makes it the 'choice' tank for the Allies in Western Europe through the fall of 1944.

Recall also that the port of Antwerp does not become operational for the allies until well into the fall of '44. The lion share of the supplies were being landed on the beaches of Normandy until Antwerp becomes operational.

Given the size and weight of a Heavy Tank, no to mention fuel consumption, the real need was to get the MOSTEST into battle the quickest....choce: Sherman M4

As far as Sherman v. T34 goes....look to Korea for that answer. Things got ugly for the Sherman against the T34 in that Theater.

steben
10-15-2009, 01:10 AM
You comment on obsolete Axis tanks, but ignor that 1/3 of all allied tanks built during the war were light tanks and by defination obsolete, compared to medium and heavy tanks. Fact is all tanks can be useful if you know how.

True.
Just the simple fact the blitzkrieg succeeded with rather light equiped divisions gives your quote enormous credit. ;)




Most of the 19,000 tanks produced in 1944 were StugIII/JagpzIV/PzIV/or the heavies.If we break it down we have

~ 5000 tanks/Spguns based on Tiger/Panther chassie
~ 13,200 Tanks or SPguns base on the Pz III/IV chassie
~ 700 Sp guns based on Pz II/38t

In 1944 the Russians produced
~ 6000 light tanks or SPguns
~ 18,000 T-34 and SU AFVs
~ 5,000 heavy tanks and ISU AFVs

Why would one wonder Stalin wanted a double front?
If you put this figures bext to battle results/value things would have gone nasty for the soviets.

steben
10-15-2009, 01:15 AM
Quick point about the Sherman:
Recall also that the port of Antwerp does not become operational for the allies until well into the fall of '44. The lion share of the supplies were being landed on the beaches of Normandy until Antwerp becomes operational.

Given the size and weight of a Heavy Tank, no to mention fuel consumption, the real need was to get the MOSTEST into battle the quickest....choce: Sherman M4

voila!
Tank design in summary



As far as Sherman v. T34 goes....look to Korea for that answer. Things got ugly for the Sherman against the T34 in that Theater.

I don't know enough about that to comment.
I sure know on the other hand that Israel used with succes the Sherman Firefly.

I must admit I rather spoke of the 1942-1945 period and definitely not to ground the T34/85 - of which I think it was the main Korean match - which had for once a good gun. The 34/76 was in my eyes rather a design phase than a historic MBT.

Nickdfresh
10-15-2009, 11:15 AM
Nick

Firstly this thread doesn't belong to anyone in particular and all are welcome to contribute. If you don't like the fact that we are going over 'old ground', then exercise your right not to participate. Don't read or post on this thread, thats what the rest of us do. People are entitled to their opinions and have a right to express them too.

That wasn't directed at you. I folded another thread into this one as I felt it was a bit redundant and in the wrong forum. And I am not just a participant in this forum, I am a moderator in it acting in the perceived site's best interests. The original poster has expressed he was no major problems with it, so I would hope you wouldn't either...


You argue that allied micromeddling their doctrine was some how important in underminding allied war efforts,

Um, no. That's not quite what I argued. The "Tank Destroyer Doctrine" had nothing to do with "micromeddling" by political leaders. It was simply an overweening and wrongheaded approach to armored warfare by military ones that were inexperienced and possibly in a bit of a panic after the Fall of France. I do apologize for not making this clearer since you are obviously confused and your comments aren't even close to the point I was making....


but Hitlers complete rejection of German military doctrine and replacing it with his own half assed seige mentality, is not relevant? This is an odd POV.

I never said it wasn't relevant. I'm not even aware of making the comparison. But I do not recall Hitler having what can be described as a half-assed Siege mentality. I believe he was a willing adherent to mobile armored combined arms warfare and nudged his more conservative generals in that direction although he certainly isn't responsible for "Blitzkrieg" tactics as that is a whole complex series of events. But I did mention that Hitler exhibited very flawed judgment on numerous occasions and routinely overruled his competent generals with his own incompetence of the "Austrian Corporal" school of warfare as his officers derisively referred too him as...


You comment on obsolete Axis tanks, but ignor that 1/3 of all allied tanks built during the war were light tanks and by defination obsolete, compared to medium and heavy tanks. Fact is all tanks can be useful if you know how.

Okay, so I'll repeat myself for a third time. Compare the actual models in service during the critical periods of 1942 to 1945, and the Allies always had an overwhelming numerical advantage. What good would Hungarian, or even Italian, armor do for the Heer? Indeed, after (most of) Italy went over to the Allies, the remaining fascist formations under Wehrmacht control were rearmed with PzIVs and Panthers IIRC. A more accurate comparison is the actual numbers of AFVs on each side during -say- the Normandy campaign --where the Wehrmacht was heavily outnumbered and could only fight a holding action by bottling up the British with their armor, and the Americans with the highly defensible terrain of the hellish hedgerows. But they could hold neither indefinitely...

And for you last point about a "tank being a tank." Yes, the French tanks captured after the Fall by the Wehrmacht were useful, but only for internal security operations and for cannibalization for the Atlantic Wall defenses. Most of the Italian, Romanian, and Hungarian armor was smashed on the Eastern Front, Africa, of in Italy proper. And while say French Souma tanks were better than nothing for the Heer defending Normandy right after the invasion, they were obsolete after 1942 and were made quick work of by Shermans, TD's, and Bazookas in both Sicily and Normandy. So, clearly there is a world of difference between a PzIV Aus. H and a FT17 Renault. I'm pretty sure which one you'd prefer going into battle against T-34s in on the Eastern Front --or Shermans with in Normandy...


Most of the 19,000 tanks produced in 1944 were StugIII/JagpzIV/PzIV/or the heavies.If we break it down we have

~ 5000 tanks/Spguns based on Tiger/Panther chassie
~ 13,200 Tanks or SPguns base on the Pz III/IV chassie
~ 700 Sp guns based on Pz II/38t


Which is still almost nothing as their losses on the Eastern Front alone were astronomical. The production surge was to make good crushing losses in the USSR, North Africa, and for the coming D-Day invasion. This was followed up with the almost complete routing of the Axis forces in France and the losses of nearly all their heavy equipment...


In 1944 the Russians produced
~ 6000 light tanks or SPguns
~ 18,000 T-34 and SU AFVs
~ 5,000 heavy tanks and ISU AFVs

The Soviets produced more T-34s alone than almost all German AFVs combined? Not too mention US Shermans and other types.


Allied figures are rather obscure so some one else will have to supply them.


The other examples you site are anachdotal and thus not useful to this discussion.

Which examples specifically? Like the examples you posted that include German assault guns that were in some instances based on obsolete French AFV chassises and were made mince meat of during -say- the Battle of the Bulge?

Nickdfresh
10-15-2009, 11:33 AM
Quick point about the Sherman:

It was the tank that the LST's and other transports were designed to carry and deposit on the Beaches of Normandy. That fact alone makes it the 'choice' tank for the Allies in Western Europe through the fall of 1944...Given the size and weight of a Heavy Tank, no to mention fuel consumption, the real need was to get the MOSTEST into battle the quickest....choce: Sherman M4

As far as Sherman v. T34 goes....look to Korea for that answer. Things got ugly for the Sherman against the T34 in that Theater.

I agree with the first point to an extent. I've never said the Sherman was a bad tank -it was a very good one and the Allies had the consideration of shipping the Axis and even the Soviets didn't have. But that's not to say that the Shermans couldn't have been improved to the M4A3E8 76mm gun variant sooner than it was and a mix of 75mm (to attack infantry and battlefield fortifications) and 76mm gunned Shermans firing tungsten ammo (to counter panzers along with the tank destroyers) been sent to Normandy initially. Also, even a small number of Pershings in Normandy by August or September 1944 might have had an impact on both morale and battle beyond their numbers. I think the US Army even turned down the British offer of the 17-pounder gun, which could have made the Sherman "Easy-Eight" on par with even the Panther in firepower terms at least...

As for The Korean War - the Sherman M4A3E8 (which I think almost all were in the US Army inventory by the late 1940s) more than held their own against the T-34/76/85 in Korea as I think they had a kill ratio in their favor. Even though the Pershing/Patton killed the most T-34s of any tank and the British Centurion completely outclassed the T-34.

I think you were thinking of the M24 Chaffee Light Tank, which was initially the only US tank in Korea and was completely outclassed by the North Korean T-34s...

steben
10-15-2009, 12:51 PM
I agree with the first point to an extent. I've never said the Sherman was a bad tank -it was a very good one and the Allies had the consideration of shipping the Axis and even the Soviets didn't have. But that's not to say that the Shermans couldn't have been improved to the M4A3E8 76mm gun variant sooner than it was and a mix of 75mm (to attack infantry and battlefield fortifications) and 76mm gunned Shermans firing tungsten ammo (to counter panzers along with the tank destroyers) been sent to Normandy initially. Also, even a small number of Pershings in Normandy by August or September 1944 might have had an impact on both morale and battle beyond their numbers. I think the US Army even turned down the British offer of the 17-pounder gun, which could have made the Sherman "Easy-Eight" on par with even the Panther in firepower terms at least...

Yes, of course you're right. ;)
Actually what you suggest is as true as the suggestion about different approaches the Germans could have taken, for example start vast tank production as early as in 1940 instead of 1942. I'm pretty sure whatever the possibilities they had in production (just as the US had possibilities in armament) would have overblown their possibilities in armament. Yes, the allies put the Axis in the shadow regarding production, yet at the outbreak of war a double German tank arsenal (which is still way under their production rate in 1944, so at least very feasible) would have made a real shock.



As for The Korean War - the Sherman M4A3E8 (which I think almost all were in the US Army inventory by the late 1940s) more than held their own against the T-34/76/85 in Korea as I think they had a kill ratio in their favor. Even though the Pershing/Patton killed the most T-34s of any tank and the British Centurion completely outclassed the T-34.

I think you were thinking of the M24 Chaffee Light Tank, which was initially the only US tank in Korea and was completely outclassed by the North Korean T-34s...

Didn't the Israeli's use Fireflies against T-55's somewhere in history?

Nickdfresh
10-15-2009, 02:43 PM
Yes, of course you're right. ;)
Actually what you suggest is as true as the suggestion about different approaches the Germans could have taken, for example start vast tank production as early as in 1940 instead of 1942. I'm pretty sure whatever the possibilities they had in production (just as the US had possibilities in armament) would have overblown their possibilities in armament. Yes, the allies put the Axis in the shadow regarding production, yet at the outbreak of war a double German tank arsenal (which is still way under their production rate in 1944, so at least very feasible) would have made a real shock.

It wasn't just a question of production, but it was also a massive intelligence failure largely due to the Nazi racial policies as they believed the Slavic Soviets could never develop such a superior machine in the T-34/76. The Tiger, Panther, the upgunned PzIVs mounting the long barrel 75mm L/43 or L/48, and various tank destroyers mounting the same were largely a reaction to the onslaught of the T-34s and KV-1s and would not have come about before the Winter-Spring of 1942...


Didn't the Israeli's use Fireflies against T-55's somewhere in history?

They used a "Super-Sherman" mounting a French made copy of the German 75mm long gun mounted in the Panther IIRC...

See this thread: http://ww2incolor.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6409

ubc
10-15-2009, 11:27 PM
Nick I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Working backwards, all the tank production I mentioned was new built production and did not include any of the ~4000 tanks that were captured and converted during the war. But as Steben pointed out since the German Blitzkrieg was sharpened on a tank force that was mostly Pz-I & II, it clearly points out that atleast the Germans knew how to use tanks no matter what there potential. In combat its the relative difference in the troop training and doctrine that determines success, not the number on one side vs the other.

Thats a western military doctrine/obession. We refer to it as bean counting. Pretty much every major oponent the Germans squared off against through the first two years of the war out numbered them in tanks and yet they the Germans still beat them. Clearly the number of tanks do not determine the success or failure of a campaign/battle.

Only people who focus on strategic wars of attrition, obsess with tank numbers , because they need the tank relative capability, as an fallable attempt to assign numerical value to quantity of tanks, so it all can be crunched up into some 'science of war' equation. Germans understood that 'Art of War' is the key to understanding and succeeding in war. So they had a doctrine based on 'task orders' assigned to lesser commanders and then giving them the resources and freedom of maneuver to excute their task at hand.

This is refered to as "Auftragstaktik", which featured 'untrammeled authority' to allow freedom of command up and down the chain of command. When Hitler took over C-in-C position of the OKW and sacked his top Panzer Generals after the failure at the gates of Moscow in Dec 1941, he sent a chilling message up and down the line, that loyalty to the Furher was far more important than the doctrine of "Auftragstaktik". Increasingly as Hitlers Politics took over , Military leaders were promoted based on party loyalty rather than command ability.

From that point on Hitler increasingly suffocated any operational maneuver and initiative, forcing all Division movement orders to only come from OKW....which also meant by mid war that the allies often knew what these divisions were ordered to do before they got the orders themselves, due to Ultra decrpts. His seige mentality and no retreat orders, went completely counter to the whole spirit and excution of "Auftragstaktik".


This was the real turning point of the war. Before that the German strategy of avoiding a two front war by sequentially defeating there enemys through lighting campaigns of mobility to defeat the armies of their enemies, with a very cost effective doctrine; ruled the day. After this point Hitler locked Germany into a two front war of attrition it could not win , even without the benifit of this highly effective doctrine..... She was doomed from that point on.

read more

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mission-type_tactics

http://www.ducimus.com/Archive/auftrags-oleary.htm


"Auftragstaktik is more than giving a mission to a subordinate and allowing him the latitude to execute it. Rather, it is the superior's duty to specify the objective and the framework within which the subordinate has to accomplish the mission. The commander provides all the resources to carry out the mission.

This, in turn, means that execution itself becomes the executor's responsibility. His skills, creativity and commitment will become the key elements of execution".

http://kotare.typepad.com/thestrategist/2009/02/more-on-auftragstaktik.html


http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/resources/csi/Wray/wray.asp

steben
10-16-2009, 05:43 AM
Auftrag = Art of "Delegation" ? ;)
But indeed, local tactical freedom, hand in hand with quick telecommunication made a great effort.
IIRC, there was a major counterattack in feb 1943 led by Von Manstein (probably the biggest german military genius at the time) that exactly bundled all of the German succes formulas.

Between 13 January and 3 April 1943, an estimated 500,000 Red Army soldiers took part in what was known as the Voronezh–Kharkov Offensive.[1] In all, an estimated 6,100,000 Soviet soldiers were committed to the area, with another 659,000 out of action with wounds of varying severity. In comparison, the Germans could account for 2,200,000 personnel on the Eastern Front, with another 100,000 deployed in Norway. As a result, the Soviets deployed around twice as many personnel as the Wehrmacht in early February.[31] However, as a result of their over extension and casualties taken during their offensive, at the beginning of Manstein's counterattack the Germans could achieve a tactical superiority in numbers, including in the number of tanks present—for example, Manstein's 350 tanks outnumbered Soviet armor almost seven to one at the point of contact.[29]

As for the T34... The Germans were well aware of the tank, since it was in development in the same period as the germans were developing their machines as well on Russian testing grounds...
And I already mentioned that the western Allies too had superior armament and armour in the 1940 campaigns. The Germans simply didn't win based on size and numbers. Never. Action and reaction speed was murdering on close targets, while strategical patience and control prevailed on larger scale.
You don't win a war on numbers only, nor on a type of tank.

"Russians won because of their T34" is pure nonsense. The 1940 model, which was most present in 1941, still had an underpowered gun and a non ergonomic turret. And again, the Germans were aware of the shortcomings, stalking the enemy with movement, high rate of fire, hitting exhausts and suspensions and finally forcing the crews to squeeze their outmost inside the uneasy tank.

The germans made exactly the same error :
"Wir werden Sieger
durch unsere Tiger" (We will be victors thanks to our Tigers) ...

Nevertheless, the T34 cannot be ignored as a great leap in design history, nor can the Tiger be ignored for it's proven qualities in punching counterattacks.

Rising Sun*
10-16-2009, 06:57 AM
In combat its the relative difference in the troop training and doctrine that determines success, not the number on one side vs the other.

Thats a western military doctrine/obession. We refer to it as bean counting. Pretty much every major oponent the Germans squared off against through the first two years of the war out numbered them in tanks and yet they the Germans still beat them. Clearly the number of tanks do not determine the success or failure of a campaign/battle.

Only people who focus on strategic wars of attrition, obsess with tank numbers , because they need the tank relative capability, as an fallable attempt to assign numerical value to quantity of tanks, so it all can be crunched up into some 'science of war' equation. Germans understood that 'Art of War' is the key to understanding and succeeding in war. So they had a doctrine based on 'task orders' assigned to lesser commanders and then giving them the resources and freedom of maneuver to excute their task at hand.

Very sound points of general application to all wars.

Which also illustrate one of the periodic deficiencies in America's military strength, being a focus on overwhelming firepower and surperiority of equipment at, sometimes, the expense of depth and quality of training and leadership.

The largest nations may have the most successful armies in terms of major wars won, but smaller nations often have more effective armies in terms of the successes they achieve against larger or better equipped nations.

Relative to the size of its enemies, Germany is an outstanding example of the latter in its early victories against in total vastly numerically superior enemies east, west, north and south because it was, as is implied by your comments, more attuned to and skilled in using what it had effectively from the study and application of the art of war than were its enemies. This is doubly impressive when one considers the many deficiencies Germany suffered in the crucial areas of transport and natural resources.

Against that is Germany's spectacular failure to recognise the relationship between military capacity and industrial capacity, both for its own purposes and in its enemies' capacities.

So, like the Japanese, the Germans were highly skilled in advancing their war militarily against often numerically superior enemies but wilfully blind to the wider issues of their and their enemies' capacities to wage the war to a conclusion.

Hitler could have done a lot more to win WWII by recognising and dealing with the industrial aspects of his war and by recognising the industrial aspects of the USSR's and America's ability to wear him down and overwhelm him. Assuming, of course, that he was determined to be stupid enough to attack the first and declare war on the second, thus pretty much sealing his fate because of Germany's inability to match the industrial capacity of two nations he didn't need to fight, or at least not when he foolishly chose to fight them and fight them together.

Of course, the best thing Hitler could have done to win WWII was advance his suicide to the end of 1940, thus leaving professionally trained and competent military strategists and leaders to determine and wage the remainder of the war.

Or he could have used loyal Jews of modest to great ability in various disciplines or just as loyal soldiers to assist a non-anti-Semitic Germany, along with not diverting various precious resources to persecuting, transporting and exterminating Jews in Germany and especially in the occupied territories. Any organism that chews out its own guts has little prospect of survival.

pdf27
10-16-2009, 07:30 AM
Which also illustrate one of the periodic deficiencies in America's military strength, being a focus on overwhelming firepower and surperiority of equipment at, sometimes, the expense of depth and quality of training and leadership.
That's a rather weak argument. The essence of German success in WW2 was the ability to apply overwhelming force at a point of their choice, and move said point faster than the Allies could react to this. This was done by delegating command to the lowest practical level, cutting out many of the decision loops used by their opponents.
The entire thrust of US doctrine and equipment is to enable them to apply overwhelming firepower at a point of their choice, and to give them the maximum possible latitude as to where this point is. This is where the near obsession with guided weapons, navigation and communications comes from - it means even private soldiers can have an enormous amount of firepower on call at very short notice, acting as a massive force multiplier. This in turn means that to lose a conventional fight of any sort, the US forces have to be both very poorly led by the standards of everyone else out there and heavily outnumbered.

steben
10-16-2009, 08:18 AM
Which also illustrate one of the periodic deficiencies in America's military strength, being a focus on overwhelming firepower and surperiority of equipment at, sometimes, the expense of depth and quality of training and leadership.

I don’t agree. The US as active element on the battleground was in a nutshell a small part of the Allied efforts in a 6 year-total. You are speaking more or less of the USSR instead (not at least about their monstreous artillery).


Relative to the size of its enemies, Germany is an outstanding example of the latter in its early victories against in total vastly numerically superior enemies east, west, north and south because it was, as is implied by your comments, more attuned to and skilled in using what it had effectively from the study and application of the art of war than were its enemies. This is doubly impressive when one considers the many deficiencies Germany suffered in the crucial areas of transport and natural resources.

Still, German success depended a lot on the failure of the Allies to put professional leadership and analysis on the playground.


Against that is Germany's spectacular failure to recognise the relationship between military capacity and industrial capacity, both for its own purposes and in its enemies' capacities.
So, like the Japanese, the Germans were highly skilled in advancing their war militarily against often numerically superior enemies but wilfully blind to the wider issues of their and their enemies' capacities to wage the war to a conclusion.

Not so much failure to recognition of the capacity – Hitler never hided his awe for Britain and the US - but rather bad forsight in geopolitics and alliances. Accompanied by Hitler’s arrogant disbelief in longterm strategies.


Hitler could have done a lot more to win WWII by recognising and dealing with the industrial aspects of his war and by recognising the industrial aspects of the USSR's and America's ability to wear him down and overwhelm him. Assuming, of course, that he was determined to be stupid enough to attack the first and declare war on the second, thus pretty much sealing his fate because of Germany's inability to match the industrial capacity of two nations he didn't need to fight, or at least not when he foolishly chose to fight them and fight them together.
Of course, the best thing Hitler could have done to win WWII was advance his suicide to the end of 1940, thus leaving professionally trained and competent military strategists and leaders to determine and wage the remainder of the war.
Or he could have used loyal Jews of modest to great ability in various disciplines or just as loyal soldiers to assist a non-anti-Semitic Germany, along with not diverting various precious resources to persecuting, transporting and exterminating Jews in Germany and especially in the occupied territories. Any organism that chews out its own guts has little prospect of survival.

In summary: Hitler never should’ve invented national-socialism then in order to win the war? But what would the war be about then?

Rising Sun*
10-16-2009, 08:45 AM
That's a rather weak argument.

I disagree. (Well, I would, wouldn't I? :D )

The Americans (not that they are unique among the Allies or anyone else in having some terrible failures among some glorious victories) didn't do too well at the Kasserine Pass or Buna in early contacts against Axis enemies, and both for the same reasons: poor leadership and untested troops.

The Germans hadn't been tested when they started their assaults in Europe, but they didn't have the same failures against Poles, French, British and Soviet forces, along with other minor irritants such as the Greeks, but they did considerably better than the Americans in the Americans' first encounters with the Germans.


The entire thrust of US doctrine and equipment is to enable them to apply overwhelming firepower at a point of their choice, and to give them the maximum possible latitude as to where this point is.

It didn't work at the Kasserine Pass, or Buna, or in the Phillipines.

The difference between those failures and later American successes is not simply the doctrine or the availability of overwhelming firepower but, as ubc outlined, the training and quality of the troops and their leadership.

As was amply demonstrated by the turnaround Gen Eichelberger achieved with the virtually inert 32nd Div at Buna, when he converted it from a bunch of largely dispirited men pretty much lounging about the field to an effective fighting force which went on to take the Japanese positions it had stalled against under its previous leadership only a few weeks earlier. He did it with virtually no rest or reinforcements or significant improvements in weaponry or tactical capacity. It is one of, if not the, greatest achievements of a corps leader in any army anywhere ever in the field, and largely unknown and ignored because he was suppressed by MacArthur. To my knowledge, no American or any other Allied corps (or division down or army up) commander did anything similar in Europe or anywhere else during WWII, nor am I aware of a greater example of outstanding leadership by a corps commander who among other things inspired his troops by leading a patrol at platoon level against the enemy. http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/resources/csi/battles/battles.asp#XVIII

I think that ubc summed it up adequately with:


In combat its the relative difference in the troop training and doctrine that determines success, not the number on one side vs the other.

Doctrine is fine, but without properly trained troops is means nothing.

Nickdfresh
10-16-2009, 09:36 AM
Nick I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Try stoicism...


Working backwards, all the tank production I mentioned was new built production and did not include any of the ~4000 tanks that were captured and converted during the war.

Of course, as they were almost useless as anything other than tractors and gun turrets after 1942. Czech and French designs, too deficient for much more than infantry support even in the early part of the war. The Czech panzers were reliable and effective, but they were quickly obsolete.


But as Steben pointed out since the German Blitzkrieg was sharpened on a tank force that was mostly Pz-I & II, it clearly points out that atleast the Germans knew how to use tanks no matter what there potential. In combat its the relative difference in the troop training and doctrine that determines success, not the number on one side vs the other.

The German tank forces generally encountered small numbers of French tanks as the French had a completely different conceptualization of what an armored battle would be and spread their forces thinly across a wide front for infantry support accordingly. What armor they did mass, they sent charging headlong in an ill-advised thrust into Belgium to meet the perceived main German attack. In theatres such as the Belgian frontier, there were instances where French tanks bested the Germans and fought them to a temporary standstill. However, French armor was ill-suited for tank vs. tank combat in design, tactics, and command-and-control. The Germans were well aware of their own deficiencies and very few PzIs or IIs actually were in the spearhead. When numbers of French tanks were encountered, the Germans relied on PzIIIs, IVs, and various Czech types to quickly overwhelm them.

It should be noted that there were few instances where the French, or the BEF for that matter, deployed their armor in a concentrated front and counterattacks to cut off the German axis of advance were attempted. But when they did, most notably in De Gaulle's attack and in the BEF counterattack using Matildas, they too caused panic in the German lines. But it was too little, too late.


Thats a western military doctrine/obession. We refer to it as bean counting. Pretty much every major oponent the Germans squared off against through the first two years of the war out numbered them in tanks and yet they the Germans still beat them. Clearly the number of tanks do not determine the success or failure of a campaign/battle.

Actually, you're the one with the "obsession." You're repeating the typical myth that the Heer/SS was some unstoppable juggernaut that could only be defeated by massive numbers, and yet they could overcome such numbers using their mad skills of "Schwerpunkt." While this was true for the first couple years, by the end of Barbarossa, the superiority of the Wehrmacht began to show cracks and in a battle of attrition or when encountering unexpected tactical situations they did not control nor initiate. That's part of warfare and also a standard by which an army must be judged, not just how well they out-plan their initial enemies at the outset of a war where they control the initiative. In many instances, the German Army was often no better than their adversaries. Their adversaries caught up by 1942-43. Was either Patton or Zhukov any lessor than the German generals of their period?

You're also repeating the myth of the monolithic Wehrmacht/Heer/Waffen SS in that you are implying the Wehrmacht was the same consistent, known quality from 1939 to 1945 when nothing could be further from the truth. The hard realities of defeats and battles of attrition had fundamentally changed the training of recruits and the tactics employed soldiers in the field by 1943 to a fundamentally defensive situation where they were forced to 'play not to lose rather than win' (to use a sports analogy). The ability to conduct large scale offensives using "Schwerpunkt" had been lost, and their adversaries -especially the US and Red Armies, were now far more capable on conducting the large battles of maneuver as they were completely or partially mechanized whilst the Germans still had an army of panzers ans well trained infantry followed by horse and oxes dependent on railroads....


Only people who focus on strategic wars of attrition, obsess with tank numbers ,

You mean like the "people" who won WWII. :)

Only people who focuses on a narrow set of circumstances where the Wehrmacht was superior to their enemies at the start of the War are apologists for the losers. Schwerpunkt worked in small spaces and ideal tank country such as France. In the vast expanses of the Soviet Union, or against an ever more competent enemy such as the British Eighth Army, however it 'blew its wad' and ran out of steam...


...because they need the tank relative capability, as an fallable attempt to assign numerical value to quantity of tanks, so it all can be crunched up into some 'science of war' equation. Germans understood that 'Art of War' is the key to understanding and succeeding in war. So they had a doctrine based on 'task orders' assigned to lesser commanders and then giving them the resources and freedom of maneuver to excute their task at hand.

You've completely misunderstood their conceptualizations then. The reason Germany relied on "Schwerpunkt" was in a sense out of desperation. They needed to inflict a quick and decisive victory on France and Britain in 1940 as they knew they were ****ed in a War of attrition. The French and the British knew this as well which is why they delayed the start of major operations for as long as they could. Both sides knew the Germans had the advantage in training, tactics, and experience in 1940 in mechanized warfare, which is why the French were hoping for a major defensive engagement that would bloody for the Germans and take away their one advantage in resources -a manpower ratio advantage of 2:1. They then hoped to go over to the offensive once their advantages in Naval power, raw materials, and industrial might was realized by 1941 and when Germany presumably would be isolated by blockade and diplomacy...


This is refered to as "Auftragstaktik", which featured 'untrammeled authority' to allow freedom of command up and down the chain of command. When Hitler took over C-in-C position of the OKW and sacked his top Panzer Generals after the failure at the gates of Moscow in Dec 1941, he sent a chilling message up and down the line, that loyalty to the Furher was far more important than the doctrine of "Auftragstaktik". Increasingly as Hitlers Politics took over , Military leaders were promoted based on party loyalty rather than command ability.

Um, it wasn't Hitler that threatened both Rommel and Guderian with courts martial during their relentless drives for basically ignoring and countermanding orders to periodically halt their panzers in France during "Sickle Cut" to allow the infantry to catch up. There never was such a thing as complete "untrammeled authority as it was the general staff that allowed some tactical autonomy, but demanded overall control. It was only under Hitler that such a daring attack plan into France came into fruition. You can't just take the lousy, incompetent Hitler you want to blame for the loss of the War without acknowledging that Hitler sort of knew what he was doing and was willing to take gambles for victory his generals weren't in the beginning, for the most part, early on and he prodded his generals to "think outside the box" for Fall Gelb and Rot..

Secondly, Hitler was responding to the fact that there was little secret that his generals of Army Group Centre were the main yoke of anti-Nazi resistance in the German Army because it was they who began to realize that a strategic, complete victory over the Soviet Union was highly unlikely once the US entered the War. Also, what would anyone else have achieved as the Wehrmacht was fundamentally unable to supply its forces with the necessary gear to contend with the Russian winter? What difference did it make at that point? The die had been cast by the Winter of 1941. The Japanese Nonaggression pact had freed up Soviet forces from the Far East and the latest T-34s were now encountered in numbers shocking the Germans. What tactical freedom would alter the balance for this? And the German command was always centralized. otherwise how does one control and sync the actions of three massive army groups?


..From that point on Hitler increasingly suffocated any operational maneuver and initiative, forcing all Division movement orders to only come from OKW...completely counter to the whole spirit and excution of "Auftragstaktik".

.

Then what was The Battle of Kursk all about? Are you implying that the Soviets knew the Enigma secrets, or even needed them, for that one? They were well aware of where the Germans were going to attack in their great do-or-die offensive merely by the massing of the forces and they simply countered it with massive works, armored counter thrusts, and an apocalyptic battle that was more to Ivan's liking than it was Fritz's. And the Red Army broke their ability to sustain a large battle of maneuver on the Eastern Front forever...




This was the real turning point of the war. Before that the German strategy of avoiding a two front war by sequentially defeating there enemys through lighting campaigns of mobility to defeat the armies of their enemies, with a very cost effective doctrine; ruled the day. After this point Hitler locked Germany into a two front war of attrition it could not win , even without the benifit of this highly effective doctrine..... She was doomed from that point on.

Agreed.

Nickdfresh
10-16-2009, 11:15 AM
I disagree. (Well, I would, wouldn't I? :D )

You always have to be a pain in the arse. :)


The Americans (not that they are unique among the Allies or anyone else in having some terrible failures among some glorious victories) didn't do too well at the Kasserine Pass or Buna in early contacts against Axis enemies, and both for the same reasons: poor leadership and untested troops.

Well more the former, less the latter. US troops were indeed untested, but they were also somewhat well trained and equipped by the end of 1942. The more I read about Kasserine Pass, the more I lay the blame on possibly the singular worst commander to be placed in a position of responsibility greater than leading a latrine digging detail --General Fredenhall (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lloyd_Fredendall)-- who was notoriously terrible in terms of his inability to grasp the overall situation as he simply "froze," much like in that Band of Brothers episode about Foy and the Battle of the Bulge. It should be noted that contrary to what you are saying, the battle was saved by another American General, Ernest Harmon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Harmon), who was an observer that took control of the American side of the battle and effectively relieved Fredenhall. He stabilized the situation and prevented anything more than a localized German victory that was largely irrelevant in the end other than for forcing the US Army to make changes and become better under Patton (who I think is also overrated. Harmon was offered command of the ii Corp incidentally after the Pass, but turned it down fearing it would appear as if he stole Fredenhall's job)...


The Germans hadn't been tested when they started their assaults in Europe, but they didn't have the same failures against Poles, French, British and Soviet forces, along with other minor irritants such as the Greeks, but they did considerably better than the Americans in the Americans' first encounters with the Germans.

The Germans hadn't been tested, but neither were their foes at that point. And you could argue that their Freikorp experiences against the Poles counted for something as did their experiences with an artificially capped and undersized army in the Reichswehr that had to use mobility to compensate for lack of numbers... ;)

And could anyone call the defeat in six weeks in France as anything "better than the Americans" did in WWII?


It didn't work at the Kasserine Pass, or Buna, or in the Phillipines.

Buna I can't speak for, but at the Philippines, the Americans did pretty much what they intended. They blunted the Japanese assaults and inflicted tactical defeats on them and held out --albeit with MacArthur straying from War Plan Orange and botching things. But it mattered little as the plan as you well know was to hold out for a relief force, which would never come after Pearl Harbor (which wasn't part of War Plan Orange :) ). Not to defeat the Japanese decisively as they never had the resources to do so...


The difference between those failures and later American successes is not simply the doctrine or the availability of overwhelming firepower but, as ubc outlined, the training and quality of the troops and their leadership.

The problems were that the US Army was less than 200,000 strong in 1939 and expanded to a projected force of 12,000,000 by 1942 (I can't recall the actual number of soldiers by the end of 1942, but they never quite got there). That's something the Germans could never do, so obviously they had to win out of the gate...


As was amply demonstrated by the turnaround Gen Eichelberger achieved with the virtually inert 32nd Div at Buna, when he converted it from a bunch of largely dispirited men pretty much lounging about the field to an effective fighting force which went on to take the Japanese positions it had stalled against under its previous leadership only a few weeks earlier. He did it with virtually no rest or reinforcements or significant improvements in weaponry or tactical capacity. It is one of, if not the, greatest achievements of a corps leader in any army anywhere ever in the field, and largely unknown and ignored because he was suppressed by MacArthur. To my knowledge, no American or any other Allied corps (or division down or army up) commander did anything similar in Europe or anywhere else during WWII, nor am I aware of a greater example of outstanding leadership by a corps commander who among other things inspired his troops by leading a patrol at platoon level against the enemy. http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/resources/csi/battles/battles.asp#XVIII


I agree, and in some respects, MacArthur reminds me of Stalin in his overall attitude regarding his subordinates in that he needed brilliant generals like Eichelberger to win for him just as Stalin needed brilliant tacticians such as Zhukov, but he immediately also needed to discredit them or suppress their achievements as they would be seen as potential rivals for both glory and position...


I think that ubc summed it up adequately with:

Doctrine is fine, but without properly trained troops is means nothing.

Of course. But even relatively well trained troops who are well led at the junior officer level can still be put into a meat grinder by extremely poor senior leadership of "dead wood". Fortunately, Gen. Fredenhall was more the exception than the rule though. And the US Army did get the better, aggressive commanders to rise to the top. And he is also very easily to slag as he was not just completely incompetent, but also a bit of a corrupt and cowardly **** who deserves little sympathy for his paralysis during the Kasserine Pass episode as he treated subordinates terribly and was more concerned with building a massive command bunker impervious to everything, which sapped up badly needed US combat engineers and resources for several weeks and probably cost hundreds of lives to mines and the lack of battlefield fortifications...

ubc
10-16-2009, 01:01 PM
Nick you really are a card, so I will avoid debating with you since you seem to resort to personal insults as a substitue for content....and your a moderator?

You were the one claiming that German production was a 'mere drop in the bucket' and this contributed to their defeat. I merely showed that this was not only untrue but not really relevant to victory or defeat.

Some points of interest for those of us who actually study these issues indepth.

In the first weeks of Barbarossa , Army groups south encountered and defeated two entire Soviet mechanised corps which were equipped with a significant number of T-34 and KV-1. Read Glantz "Fourth Art of War Symposium-Intial Period of War on the Eastern Front". These were defeated by operational maneuvers that cut these mechanized corps off from their LOS and Command. Since the Germans intell and recon flights were on there game, they knew the position of all major Soviet units with 24 hours of their movement. The Russians had 2272 tanks [of which 576 were T-34/KV tanks] while Panzer Group 4 had 636 Panzer II/III/IV. Its also important since its considered one of the largest tank battle of the war. Glantz reports that contray to popular history, 500 of the Russian T-34/kv were grouped into 3 tank divisions which were hammered and defeated in a matter of days by a much smaller Panzer force. Clearly this reinforced the notion that relative tank numbers didn't determine success or failure in modern warfare.

In reviewing the battles in France none of the allied counter attacks mounted to anything more that minor setbacks and since the allies were so deeply engadged in the North, they could have never made anything operational out of these pin*****s. BTW the bold German maneuver was Mansteins, plan not Hitlers. He had rushed OKW to produce a plan after Poland invasion and gave them a month or two to prepare. This is insufficent time to generate a new plan so they just dusted off and modified the Schlieffen plan , which was the best they could do in such a short time.

Manstein had presented his proposal, but they could not change plans at that time. With worsening winter this invasion was put off several times, which allowed time to reconsider the plan. Hitler demanded a push through Beligum but Halder was pushing Mainsteins plan. When the original plans fell into Allied hands, every one agreed that Mansteins plan was the way to go since , if the alllies responed as was expected, they would insert themselves into an impossible situation which would turn the sickel cut maneuver into a campaign winning maneuver.

Nickdfresh
10-16-2009, 01:35 PM
Nick you really are a card, so I will avoid debating with you since you seem to resort to personal insults as a substitue for content....and your a moderator?

Um, show me one single insult I've made against you. You're the one making comments over and above what has been posted. And you should talk! There are several instances here where you essentially paraphrase me by completely rewriting what I said into almost "strawman" territory instead of just quoting me and countering the points you disagree with!

And yes, I am a "moderator," what is your specific complaint? That I don't totally agree with you? I don't totally disagree either. You raise some good points, but you're taking the whole Schwerpunkt-is-god thing too far...

BTW, if you're "done debating with me." why did you make this post?


You were the one claiming that German production was a 'mere drop in the bucket' and this contributed to their defeat. I merely showed that this was not only untrue but not really relevant to victory or defeat.

You did did you?

Which historical source can you show that makes any sort of specific conclusion similar to yours? Because I've never read, seen, or heard anything even remotely drawing the same conclusions you are attempting too. In almost every modern "total War," the industrialized nation will defeat the one that is lessor so in attrition..


Some points of interest for those of us who actually study these issues indepth.

In the first weeks of Barbarossa , Army groups south encountered and defeated two entire Soviet mechanised corps which were equipped with a significant number of T-34 and KV-1. Read Glantz "Fourth Art of War Symposium-Intial Period of War on the Eastern Front". These were defeated by operational maneuvers that cut these mechanized corps off from their LOS and Command. Since the Germans intell and recon flights were on there game, they knew the position of all major Soviet units with 24 hours of their movement. The Russians had 2272 tanks [of which 576 were T-34/KV tanks] while Panzer Group 4 had 636 Panzer II/III/IV. Its also important since its considered one of the largest tank battle of the war. Glantz reports that contray to popular history, 500 of the Russian T-34/kv were grouped into 3 tank divisions which were hammered and defeated in a matter of days by a much smaller Panzer force. Clearly this reinforced the notion that relative tank numbers didn't determine success of failure in modern warfare.

Um, LOL. Then why didn't the Germans defeat the Soviets at Kursk? That was also Manstein's plan. ;) It's funny how you keep bringing in these anecdotes. However, the Germans failed to defeat the Soviets at the gates of Moscow even before you claim that Hitler ruined it all for them. Why is that?

BTW, which source are you citing the above information from since if you're going to insert specific facts and figures, you ought to link them. Secondly, at the beginning or Barbarossa, a massive surprise attack, the Soviet Red Army was in complete disarray due largely to Stalin's orders preventing most units from going on high alert despite the fact that it was painfully obvious to just about every semi-competent Soviet commander that a general offensive was imminent. So, on the one hand you're concluding that it was essentially "all Hitler's fault" the Heer was defeated on the Eastern Front, but yet the Red Army can claim that it was Stalin's dictatorial military incompetence that forced the Red Army to drop their adherence to "Deep Battle" (openly, many commanders such as Zhukov still did in private). He also prevented them from going on high alert and preparing a coherent defense against the Germans in 1941 for fear of "provoking" the Fritzes. This even though Stalin had several spy rings and a highly placed agent in the Wehrmacht telling him War was imminent IIRC...

So if in your eyes the Wehrmacht/SS can lay the blame for their failures at the feet of Hitler, then the Soviets must be able to also lay the blame for the catastrophe that befell them in the Spring and Summer of 1941 at the feet of Stalin!


In reviewing the battles in France none of the allied counter attacks mounted to anything more that minor setbacks and since the allies were so deeply engadged in the North, they could have never made anything operational out of these pin*****s.

Right! I just said that! See, we do agree on something other than Hitler was an idiot.


BTW the bold German maneuver was Mansteins plan not Hitlers. He had rushed OKW to produce a plan after Poland invasion and gave them a month or two to prepare. This is insufficent time to generate a new plan so they just dusted off and modified the Schlieffen plan , which was the best they could do in such a short time.

Manstein had presented his proposal, but they could not change plans at that time. With worsening winter this invasion was put off several times, which allowed time to reconsider the plan. Hitler demanded a push through Beligum but Halder was pushing Mainsteins plan. When the original plans fell into Allied hands, every one agreed that Mansteins plan was the way to go, since if the alllies responed as was expected, they would insert themselves into an impossible situation which would turn the sickel cut maneuver into a campaign winning maneuver.

I never said it was "Hitler's" "plan." I said Hitler forced his general staff to come up with new ideas. I agree Manstein is the main one deserving credit, but the plan was also tweaked by Halder and others as I've said previously. It should be said that it was also the plan of many generals to talk Hitler out of an invasion of France. Everything else said is correct -- although it should be said that in addition to the French expecting a Schlieffen-redo, they feared a German alternate attack into the Low Countries (which of course happened) and that it would be both politically unacceptable to allow those nations to fall while French forces stood idle. The French command assumed the Germans would also fortify these areas complicating a serious French offensive into Germany, primarily through Belgium, into the Ruhr Valley in the second half of 1941 or early 1942....

herman2
10-16-2009, 02:09 PM
Originally Posted by ubc
Nick you really are a card, so I will avoid debating with you since you seem to resort to personal insults as a substitue for content....and your a moderator?

....Leave my friend Nick Alone!~He's more a man than you ever will amount to be....:army:

Nickdfresh
10-16-2009, 02:47 PM
Herman, leave ubc alone!

flamethrowerguy
10-16-2009, 04:06 PM
Then why didn't the Germans defeat the Soviets at Kursk?

Treason!!!

Nickdfresh
10-16-2009, 04:52 PM
Treason!!!

Damn Swiss spy rings!! :D

But the massive German preparations weren't exactly a secret and according to Wiki, and I think another source I've read (the famous historian author escapes me), Zhukov pretty much knew where the shoe was going to drop...

peopleselbow
10-16-2009, 06:13 PM
even if germany won a few more battles
the war would still have been lost for them

ubc
10-16-2009, 07:02 PM
Only people who focuses on a narrow set of circumstances where the Wehrmacht was superior to their enemies at the start of the War are apologists for the losers. this is insulting to anyone who has study one side or another side of a war. In addition refering to anothers point of view as
myth is equally insulting.

Your painting with a very wide brush with such generalisations that when you include such insulting comments, you are no longer discussing the post or thread , but arguing boardering on flaming. When its common knowledge that you are the moderator, you set the tone for the thread and the board in general .

I have no time for argument. In that last post of mine only the first sentence refered to you and as such I used your name. The rest was to the discussion atlarge which I indicated and also referenced. Its in the post.

Yes Stalin is equally to blame for Soviets defeat in Barbarossa, while Hitler is to blame for Germanys defeat at the gates of Moscow. It was his unrealistic schedule that had the Wehrmacht defeat the Red Army by Smolensk, a mistake that he further compounded by diverting the main emphasis of the invasion from Moscow to the flanks. Anyone who has studied the Blitzkrieg in its excution would have know that [as was the case with the counter attacks by the allies in France 1940], the Soviets were too committed to forward defence, to mount any effective counter offensive, so the flanks were no were near as vulnerable as Hitler feared.The Kiew operation was a waste of time and resources.

However reviewing Soviet prebarbarossa wargames its clear they had not understood the sheer increase in tempo of operations that this new method of fighting implied. The Germans achieved in a matter of days, what the soviet 1940 wargames assumed would take weeks.

BTW Mansteins Kharkow -Kursk operation was supposed to sequential excuted in April May 1943. Instead Hitler intervened and tried to turn such an operational maneuver into a summer offensive. But the operational maneuver was based on the fluid situation in April 1943 , not the summer when the Soviets knew where Hitler intended to attack and had months to prepare for it. The Soviets had their own share of spys in the west.

Rising Sun*
10-16-2009, 07:38 PM
Herman, leave ubc alone!

Nick, leave Herman alone!

Nickdfresh
10-16-2009, 09:01 PM
this is insulting to anyone who has study one side or another side of a war. In addition refering to anothers point of view as is equally insulting.

Oh please, that was a response to your own arrogant posting of:


Only people who focus on strategic wars of attrition, obsess with tank numbers ,

So what should we "focus on?" The happy times when the panzers ran free bereft of the realities if their factory origins?


Your painting with a very wide brush with such generalisations that when you include such insulting comments, you are no longer discussing the post or thread , but arguing boardering on flaming. When its common knowledge that you are the moderator, you set the tone for the thread and the board in general .

You've thrown out plenty of insults of your own, sunshine. I'm "flaming?" No, actually, you claiming some innate superiority of knowledge (which you've done at several points here) would be trolling...


I have no time for argument. In that last post of mine only the first sentence refered to you and as such I used your name. The rest was to the discussion atlarge which I indicated and also referenced. Its in the post.

Yes Stalin is equally to blame for Soviets defeat in Barbarossa, while Hitler is to blame for Germanys defeat at the gates of Moscow. It was his unrealistic schedule that had the Wehrmacht defeat the Red Army by Smolensk, a mistake that he further compounded by diverting the main emphasis of the invasion from Moscow to the flanks. Anyone who has studied the Blitzkrieg in its excution would have know that [as was the case with the counter attacks by the allies in France 1940], the Soviets were too committed to forward defence, to mount any effective counter offensive, so the flanks were no were near as vulnerable as Hitler feared.The Kiew operation was a waste of time and resources.

Um, my basic understanding is that the operations in the Ukraine were to gain valuable foodstuffs, and further to deny them to the Soviets, which hardly seems a waste of time or resources. Secondly, what good have taking Moscow have been in the end? What would this have achieved? Napoleon took Moscow and still lost. The real problem was not the diversion to the flanks, but the complete lack of winter equipment getting to the troops in time to stave off the effects of the Winter that the Wehrmacht would never really recover from.

And the Soviets would have mounted a counter offensive regardless of whether the Germans entered Moscow or not. Even if they entered the city, what would that have meant?


However reviewing Soviet prebarbarossa wargames its clear they had not understood the sheer increase in tempo of operations that this new method of fighting implied. The Germans achieved in a matter of days, what the soviet 1940 wargames assumed would take weeks.

Maybe, but the Germans at least knew that June of 1941 would not be a "wargame." Had the Soviets anticipated the attack many knew was coming, the Germans would have suffered even greater casualties. Certainly, they would have pushed the Red Army back regardless. But the Red Army units that went over to high alert under the guise of "readiness exercises" performed far better than those that were sleeping...


BTW Mansteins Kharkow -Kursk operation was supposed to sequential excuted in April May 1943. Instead Hitler intervened and tried to turn such an operational maneuver into a summer offensive. But the operational maneuver was based on the fluid situation in April 1943 , not the summer when the Soviets knew where Hitler intended to attack and had months to prepare for it. The Soviets had their own share of spys in the west.

Firstly, it was not just Hitler that intervened, it was was the majority of the general staff opposing any hasty offensives as the Heer suffered terribly the previous winter. Zhukov knew where the attack was coming in April even before the "Lucy Ring" tipped off the Kremlin as it was an obvious target area and the Soviets know were conducting constant battlefield reconnaissance and such a large scale operation was impossible to hide and were able to deduce that a thorn in the German lines would be unacceptable to any sound commanders. As it was, the Germans barely had time to rush their knew Tigers and Panthers to the battle area before the timeline of the operation to not only make good their losses, but to match the Soviet machines already online...

flamethrowerguy
10-17-2009, 08:54 AM
Damn Swiss spy rings!! :D

But the massive German preparations weren't exactly a secret and according to Wiki, and I think another source I've read (the famous historian author escapes me), Zhukov pretty much knew where the shoe was going to drop...

Several German commanders mentioned in their memoirs that the operation could've still become a success if it wasn't aborted because of the allied Sicily landings...

Nickdfresh
10-17-2009, 09:38 AM
Several German commanders mentioned in their memoirs that the operation could've still become a success if it wasn't aborted because of the allied Sicily landings...

I recall that on some British series on the History Channel, but it was a bloody, disorganized brawl by that point anyways. This may be a case where Hitler really screwed himself as Germany could have effectively ceded Italy and fortified the mountainous frontiers and effectively kept the Allies pinned down. But then, I think OKW feared that if Hannibal could cross the Alps with elephants, maybe Monty or Clark could have done it with Shermans...

Rising Sun*
10-17-2009, 10:06 AM
But then, I think OKW feared that if Hannibal could cross the Alps with elephants, maybe Monty or Clark could have done it with Shermans...

Hannibal didn't have aeroplanes.

A greater and more immediate threat was that airbases in Italy gave the Allies a vastly improved range into German occupied areas.

ubc
10-18-2009, 05:02 PM
Kharkow-Kursk was not planned as a summer offensive, but excuted as a spring counter offensive [March-April 1943] to set up for any summer offensive. But Manstein wanted any build up of forces to be used as more counter offensives. The Drive on Kursk was supposed to just straigten out the line prior to any summer action. The shortened line would free up valuable forces. The inital halt was asked to regroup the panzer groups before resuming, but would only have lasted a couple of weeks. However Hitler intervened and delayed the whole process to turn it into a "summer offensive" a couple of months later.

The primary aim Hitler might have had for Kiew was not part of the original plan. In fact the original plan emphasised to avoid diverting the main effort from Moscow. Economic arguments never figured in these military campaigns. The original plan was to reach Moscow as fast as possible and take out the political center of Russia. However the original plan also envisaged that the Red Army could be defeated by Smolensk, followed by a quick march on Moscow.

The winter fighting had little to do with the problems, it was more to do with the lack of planning for railway traffic/conversion to allow supplies to be pushed forward fast enough for the armies to keep marching. Since Hitler was so convinced the Red Army was weak and could be beaten by Smolensk, the planning for railway conversion/prepwork extended only to Smolensk.

Had Hitler taken the Red Army seriously, they would have planned for railway supply all the way to Moscow and made more of an effort to build up railway construction units. As a result of the defeat of France, Germany had twice as much railway freight cars and locomotives and had considerable latitued to divert such resources and personnel to extended the logisitical mission to Moscow and beyond. Once Moscow is reached it can be encircled and isolated and defences built up for the inevitable counter attack. If the Germans can get there before the winter they can dig in sufficently to weather a serious increasingly desperate Soviet counter attacks through 1942, thus sapping the Red Army resources. This inturn should free up German resources for operational maneuvers in 1942, to sweep through the south to cut off the Baku oil from the Red army, bringing them to the point of collaspe.

Trap77
10-18-2009, 08:27 PM
Wow,

I think we have enough material here to form the basis of a good book.

Yes, ultimatly Hitler could not bring himself to understand that the Russians were inflicting losses on the German Army that the Germans could not afford nor replace. While, on the other hand, the Russians could call upon their vast reserves in manpower and material from their Eastern streaches in Siberia.

Ther Germans were amazed at how Soviet armies could almost materialize our of no where. Siberia saved Western Russia in WWII.

Kursk: That should have its own thread.
I submit that ultimatly it was the courage and determination of the Soviet Soldier that won the day in that battle, that couldron of death. Again, the Soviets were able to call upon vast reinforcements during the last days of the battle that turned the tide.
(I still say that Hitler wanted to deliver a final 'punch in the nose' in that theater against the Soviets and then attempt to consolidate his holdings in the East)

Oh and perhaps that famous historian and author that was referred to earlier is Alan Clark who wrote the stunning book "Barbarossa'.

<<Salute>>

herman2
10-19-2009, 07:35 AM
Nick, leave Herman alone!

You guys Kill Me!!..LOLOLOL;)

Nickdfresh
10-19-2009, 01:23 PM
Rising Sun* leave Nick alone!

Nickdfresh
10-19-2009, 01:51 PM
Kharkow-Kursk was not planned as a summer offensive, but excuted as a spring counter offensive [March-April 1943] to set up for any summer offensive. But Manstein wanted any build up of forces to be used as more counter offensives. The Drive on Kursk was supposed to just straigten out the line prior to any summer action. The shortened line would free up valuable forces. The inital halt was asked to regroup the panzer groups before resuming, but would only have lasted a couple of weeks. However Hitler intervened and delayed the whole process to turn it into a "summer offensive" a couple of months later.

Um, I don't have my books handy but I think it wasn't just Hitler that halted the panzers, those were orders given by OKH and the Germans were having numerous problems and it was a collective decision, not merely the Furher's prerogative (regardless of how many of the Wehrmacht generals attempted to white wash their actions and failures by placing the blame solely on Hitler. Not least of which was the devastating loss of 800,000 soldiers at and around Stalingrad. They also had an acute shortage of panzers, especially of the variety that could meet the T-34 on equal terms and final deliveries were unable to be achieved until early summer.


The primary aim Hitler might have had for Kiew was not part of the original plan.

Anyone who has ever been in a military knows that no plan survives 'first contact.' (no matter how little they might have actually done, like in my case)


In fact the original plan emphasised to avoid diverting the main effort from Moscow. Economic arguments never figured in these military campaigns. The original plan was to reach Moscow as fast as possible and take out the political center of Russia. However the original plan also envisaged that the Red Army could be defeated by Smolensk, followed by a quick march on Moscow.

The winter fighting had little to do with the problems, it was more to do with the lack of planning for railway traffic/conversion to allow supplies to be pushed forward fast enough for the armies to keep marching. Since Hitler was so convinced the Red Army was weak and could be beaten by Smolensk, the planning for railway conversion/prepwork extended only to Smolensk.

Had Hitler taken the Red Army seriously, they would have planned for railway supply all the way to Moscow and made more of an effort to build up railway construction units. As a result of the defeat of France, Germany had twice as much railway freight cars and locomotives and had considerable latitued to divert such resources and personnel to extended the logisitical mission to Moscow and beyond. Once Moscow is reached it can be encircled and isolated and defences built up for the inevitable counter attack. If the Germans can get there before the winter they can dig in sufficently to weather a serious increasingly desperate Soviet counter attacks through 1942, thus sapping the Red Army resources. This inturn should free up German resources for operational maneuvers in 1942, to sweep through the south to cut off the Baku oil from the Red army, bringing them to the point of collaspe.

Moscow was only the symbolic political center of Russia. It could easily have been replaced and the political leadership could have been transferred to the East just as their tank factories were sent to 'Tankograd(s).' Even if the Germans enter Moscow, there is absolutely no guarantee of victory just as the Germans didn't fare well in street fighting in Stalingrad a year later. Secondly, the Winter counteroffensive by the Soviets with units released from the East by Japanese nonbelligerence may well have caused even more of a set back had AGC been fighting in street to street fighting in Moscow.

The lack of planning was thorough. But the Wehrmacht couldn't just transfer the entire French rail system to Russia, as they still had to maintain networks in the West and occasionally feed their armies there and the French. They simply did not have the manpower to both commit large numbers of combat forces against the Soviets and still maintain a proper logistical support network. The Wehrmacht also believed they somewhat alleviated their supply problems by use of French military trucks, AFVs, tractors, etc. But found to their horror they only exacerbated their problems with maintenance, spare parts, and that the French vehicles were much less hearty than the Opels and Mercedes...

While Hitler's emphasis to hit the Ukraine did draw off strength, it also made sense on some level. That was the breadbasket and a central communications hub for the Soviets and they would be forced to defend the area and at least theoretically the Germans would have to put less resources into occupying and defending it. What didn't was the cruelty of the local populace inherent to the German occupation which turned many otherwise sympathetic against them. And Hitler was far from the only German to severally underestimate the fighting quality of the Soviet Union's forces and many if not most of his generals echoed his "kick the rotten door in" thesis...

steben
10-20-2009, 03:41 AM
About city objectives: the madness of draining resources and manpower in order to occupy a single city is inherent to all targets. Whether Moscow or Stalingrad: if not encircled (look at 6th army themselves) no city is economic nor strategic.
The Soviet rail network with its hub in Moscow didn't need full occupation of Moscow to be disrupted. Cutting it off was enough. And thusfar strategic factor of Moscow.
Even in war games (and we all know war games) encircling and continueous mobility is the key.

Galt
11-17-2009, 11:48 PM
off the top of my head....this is a list of things Hitler could/should have done differently, in chronological order...

Of course hindsight is 20/20

1. Development of a 4-engine bomber. This was originally a big part of the pre-war luftwaffe plan (Ju 89) but was cancelled in 1938.

2. Less reliance on a blue-water German navy. They could never catch up with the British and French, and their efforts could have been much better served producing more land-based weapons. While the Germans were making enormous efforts to develop their surface navy and produce over 1000 Uboats (the Uboats admittedly did pose a viable threat), the Russians for instance produced almost no ships during the war, concentrating almost entirely on land weapons, which they used to overwhelm the Germans. The German Navy had almost 1,000,000 men at is peak late in the war. Being a land power primarily, could they afford this?

3. Decision not to capture Dunkirk. After reading various memoirs, including Guderian's and Bake's (the panzer commander who was about 5 miles away from Dunkirk when told to stop), it is very obvious that Hitler was in a position to easily capture the city destroy the BEF, thereby possible forcing Churchill's hand for a negotiated settlement with the British.

4. Not forcing Franco to allow the Germans to capture Gibraltar.

5. After the Battle of France, it was very apparent that panzers were the key to victory. Hitler ordered that panzer production be increased to 800 a month. When told the cost (2 billion Riechmarks, 100,000 workers), he decided that the toll on the civilian economy was too great, and kept production levels at the same level as before the invasion. Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt did not feel this constraint about keeping civilian production at a high rate at any time during the war. The Panzer IV had been in production since 1938, and only had 400 available for Barbarossa. This ruling starved German formations of panzers in 1941/42 when the war was still arguably winnable.

6. After the victory in France, Hitler temporarily stopped all new weapons development programs. He also temporarily demobilized a large number of divisions.

7. Battle of Britain. Sea Lion was always a pipe dream. Germany didn't have the naval resources to invade Britain. The air war over Britain was just a huge drain of Luftwaffe resources that could better be used in preparation for Barbarosa.

8. Getting involved in the Mediterranean. Mussolini's incompetence forced Hitler's hand here. Italy should have stayed out of the war entirely. The resources in fuel, armor and aircraft needed in the Med could have been much better used in the East, and may have been enough to tip the balance in Germany's favor. If all the Panzers that had been sent to Africa up to December 1941 would have been available to send at that time to assist in the final push to Moscow, it could have dramatically changed the balance of power for AGC which had maybe 200 machines still running. I talking hypothetically, but the battle for moscow was a very close call.

9. Invasion of the Balkans. This was a waste of time and resources, and later a drain of German resources, as many divisions needed to be stationed there. Hitler could not have met his May 15th Barbarosa timetable in any event (due to flooding along the Bug, and logistical issues), but they certainly could have started the offensive in early June. 2 extra weeks of good weather for German mobile troops would conceivably been enough to all for Moscow to have been captured.

10. The Moscow option. If he would have kept the historical timeline, Hitler should have either focused on capturing Moscow with all of AGC's resources, or, if he still insisted on the capture of Kiev, he should have shut down his offensive after the Viazma encirclement of operation Typhoon in early october. The soviets were surprised that the Germans even started typhoon so late in the year given the fact that the autumn rains would completely immobilize both armies. Hitler could have dug his armies in, waited out the winter weather, and with prepared positions, easily repulsed the Russian winter counter offensives, without the massive loss of men and equipment that came with the disaster in front of Moscow in late 1941.

Declaring war on America. This was insanity. He was already fighting on two fronts, and in an unprovoked fashion, declared war on the mightiest industrial power on earth. He declared war right after Pearl Harbor. It is very doubtful that the US Congress would have declared war on Germany until Hitler forced their hand. This led to America being in a position on November 1942 for land throughout North Africa in Operation Torch, which happend at the same time as the defeat at El Alamein and the initial encirclement at Stalingrad. Torch left Hitler with no choice but to occcupy all of France, needing a large number of divisions to do so....divisions that could otherwise have been routed to the East to possibly relieve Stalingrad. As it was, only the 6th Panzer division could be spared for the task, and this was not enough.

11. Hitler's "Norway Fixation". Hitler stationed more than 400,000 troops in Norway, where they bascially did nothing for 5 years. For instance, if even half of those troops could have been shipped over to AGN, the capture of Leningrad could have very conceivably been accomplished in 1941, thereby resulting in the freeing of a large number of divisions for deployment elsewhere.

12. Hitlers insistence of giving up no captured ground. AGC's front line looked like a jigsaw puzzle with half the pieces missing in 1942. By straightening out the line, he could have easily had another dozen divisions available for other parts of the front..namely the south, where the main focus of German activity was in 1942.

Treatment of the occupied territories' population. The Germans were initially greeted as liberators in the Ukraine, but everywhere in Russia, German policies led to an unprecedented partisan movement which severely affected the German's ability to prosecute the war. If Soviet numbers are to be believed, the Germans suffered several hundred thousand casualties at the hands of partisans, and lost countless amounts of supplies along supply lines which the partisans either interdicted or destroyed.

13. Sending the 11th army to Leningrad. They were a very cohesive fighting force after the fall of Sebastopol. Hitler sent part of the army to Greece (where it did nothing for the rest of the war), part to AGC, and the rest to Leningrad, where it never was used for an offensive. As Manstein says in his memoirs, keeping it in the south would certainly have paid huge dividends if it was used for protection on a flank of the 6th army. The Russians in 1942, were almost certainly not strong enough to have broken through a Don River line comprised of these troops.

14. Hitler's vacilation of Blau's objectives. Hoth believed that an unfortified Stalingrad was ripe for the taking in July 1942 by a fast moving thrust by the 4th Panzer army. Hitler decided for no apparent reason that the 4th pz army was needed to support Army Group A (caucuses). It spent a month in a huge traffic jam (75% of all armor in the east was in area a few kilometers square ), doing nothing at all, before it was reassigned to Paulus for the drive on Stalingrad. By then, defenses were stiffened, and a chance to take Stalingrad without a bloody battle were lost....as was the entire war in the East.

15. No retreat from Stalingrad. Hitler's will would never allow a retreat, but one was certainly possible in late November 1942 (the germans had twice as many troops in the pocket as the Russians thought and they would not have initially been able to deal with that large an attacking force with their thin screen of troops), and although it would have suffered great hardships in a retreat towards the Muis, it would have put AGS in a much better situation to hold off the Russians in their 1943 offensives.

Tunisia. Hitler send massive amounts of aid to the Africa Corps once it was cornered in Tunisa, and had no hope of holding out. He allowed none of these troops to be sent back to Germany, even when defeat was definite. Over 300,000 prisoners were taken, a large percentage of which were high quality german troops and experienced panzer crews.

16. Delays in the production of the ME262. large numbers of ME262's in the summer of 1944, which should have been case, would have made the bombing campaign of the 8th air force much more difficult.

17. Citadel. It went against every tenant of Blitzkreig philosophy. Attacking the enemy at the strongest point of their line without the element of surprise or numerical superiority. It was sheer lunacy, especially after the losses the previous winter. The resources squandered there made it impossible for Manstein to perform another miracle like the one he did the previous winter in recapturing Kharkov.

end of part 1

Galt
11-17-2009, 11:49 PM
continued....

18. Hitlers repeated inability to see the reality of the Eastern front after Citadel. He insisted on holding on to the Donetz basin, the Crimea, the Kuban bridgehead, without the troops to do so. His overextended divisions were never in a position in the South to form a line of any strength, and his divisions were defeated piecemeal. The Russians had massive superiority in men, tanks, and thanks to lend-lease, mobility in the form of 1000,s of excellent american trucks now starting to arrive in huge numbers (420,000 total).

Private Armies......His sanctioning of the Luftwaffe field divisions, the Volkstrum, and the SS. With infantry divisions being bled white on the Eastern Front, there were about a half million surplus luftwaffe personnel of excellent quality available. Goering would not let his National Socialists in the Luftwaffe be tainted by traditional German Army leadership, so insisted they be grouped in their own Divisions. They had no experienced combat leadership and were generally slaughtered by the Russians. A luftwaffe field division was the obvious place to break through a german defensive line. Instead of these potentially high-quality troops being integrated into existing depleted veteran divisions, filling out their ranks and making them formidable fighting forces, they were essentially completely wasted, while the exisiting German infantry divisions remained far understrength and of limited combat value
because of this.

The Volkstrum was an idea originally floated by Goebbles to Hitler in early 1943. He was rebuffed by Hitler. When he was finally allowed to organize it in late 1944, he reportly said, "if that fool would have allowed me to do this 18 months ago, we would not be in this mess". The Volkstrum did allow for many more divisions to be organized, but Bormann, seeing Goering and Himmler essentially grabbed control of the Volkstrum making it is his own. Again, divisions of relatively ill equipped young boys and older men, had limited value, and could have been better utilized being integrated into existing units.

SS Troops fought hard and were of significant value, but in many cases, a private in an SS squad had the education and leadership qualities to be a non-commissioned or regular officer in an army infantry division. That, and the fact that they received the newest and best weapons, severely limiting what reinforcement was available for the regular army divisions that were fighting for their lives.

20. Uboat production. Although 70%+ of German manpower was on the eastern front. over 50% of the manufacturing resources were in the West. Most of the luftwaffe, the huge effort to build the West Wall, the V weapons programs, and the U-boat production effort are examples of this. With U-boats doing less and less, would it have made more sense to limit their production (until the new XXIII boats were ready), and focus manufacturing resources on panzer, truck or support weapon production?

21. Bagration. It would have been a huge disaster in any event. The Soviets were too strong for it not to have been. Hitler's refusal to reduce the length of the front line, in order to hold onto cities like Vitebsk for "political reasons", was a recipe for disaster. Then his no retreat orders for his largely immobile infantry divisions, made Bagration a debacle of unequaled size. As Newton, the author of Walther Model's biography stated, Hitler's stand fast orders turned a loss that should have been about 150,000 soldiers and having the offensive petering out around the Polish border, into a loss of over 300,000 men and the offensive going all the way to the Vistual river. The Germans were never to recover from this battle. Even the Soviets never planned for the offensive to be so successful after their huge losses in other attempts against the 9th army and other AGC formations.

22. His conduct against the allied invasion. There was never a realistic chance stopping the Allies in Normandy. The allied air forces made this a forgone conclusion. In hindsight, it was time to give france up, which Hitler would never do. If the troops in the South of France and along the Atlantic Wall, which were almost all lost, could have been moved en-mass to the German border ( the old Segfried line, and other natural defensive positions), they would have very possibly outnumbered their allied attackers. I don't believe the Allies would have had the strength to break through those lines with the 75 or so divisions they had available until well into 1945, if not longer. Think of Monte Casino, but with the Germans have vastly superior resources in men, armor and artillery. The only significant advantage the Allies would have enjoyed would have been air power, but given the rugged terrain, it would have been of limited use.

23. Army Group North. First they had to stay in the Baltic States for political reasons (keeping Finland in the war). Then after Finland stabbed the Germans in the back, they stayed in Courland for the purposes of Donetz's u-boat training. Keeping 26 good divisions in Courland while East Prussia was being raped, seems to be sheer madness (and there were also those 400,000+ troops still in Norway at this time).

24. Battle of the Bulge. With the Russians on the doorstep of Berlin, was it advisable to send the German's best armor to fight in hilly forrested terrain in the winter? It was a gamble, but one the Germans could reasonably not afford to take given the horrors that were about the face East Germany's population at the hands of the Russians.

25. No defense in depth. Elastic defense was always a word not tolerated by Hitler. With the Germans exhausted and depleted still from Bagration, Hitler insisted that German front lines be only 1-2 miles from Russian front lines along the Vistula. The 46,000 guns assembled by the Russians for their January 1945 offensive made child's play of these defenses, destroying the divisions on the line and occupying most of East Prussia, Silesia, and Pomerania.

26. Appointing Himmler in charge of Army Group Vistula. labled a "military ignoramous" by Guderian, Himler was appointed commander of the only army group between the Russians and Berlin. In the few weeks he was in charge, he did tremendous damage to the German army.

26. Offensives in Hungary. When the Battle of the Bulge was over, and the Russians were on the Oder, the remnants of the armored forces from that battle were sent to Hungary, as well as new armored troops. With the Russians a few miles away from Berlin, sending over 1000 panzers and the only really cohesive panzer divisons to Hungary seems crazy, in spite of the few oil wells that were there.

Some of my points are certainly debateable, and I have not read all this thread. I'm not predisposed to think of Hitler as the worst commander in the history of warfare. However he was a man who placed the force his will over logic and rationality, which was an unforgivable sin. After looking objectively at his decisions, I have to say that he certainly did more damage than any commander in history ever did to his military and his country.

steben
11-18-2009, 01:31 AM
It surely looks like most of your points can be summarized: strategic failure of Hitler's views. After 41-42 it make no sense eventualy to drag criticism towards German strategic policy. We all know German command did all to ignore Hitlers medieval orders where possible. In a way it makes the Wehrmacht generals even bigger.

Yet on the other hand I don't understand your view on the me262's. At the point in the war where the Germans were able to build them, they ware King Tigers in the air: draining resources, halting normal production, maintenance and fuel problems... And by the way: teh Allies had ways to counter the early jets. The Mustangs were able to fight them very well.

Chevan
11-18-2009, 04:32 AM
Moscow was only the symbolic political center of Russia. It could easily have been replaced and the political leadership could have been transferred to the East just as their tank factories were sent to 'Tankograd(s).' Even if the Germans enter Moscow, there is absolutely no guarantee of victory just as the Germans didn't fare well in street fighting in
The Moscow was far NOT just a political centre, but the general cross all the railway, water and autoban ways and lines of supplies.
Although i /m agree the capturing of Moscow wasn't the guaranty for germans they had won the war.
The fall of Moscow also may case the Japanes Kvantung army to start an agression in Syberia. I heard also the Turkey was waiting the fall of Moscow to began an attack of Caucaus alongside the Axis powers.



The lack of planning was thorough. But the Wehrmacht couldn't just transfer the entire French rail system to Russia, as they still had to maintain networks in the West and occasionally feed their armies there and the French. They simply did not have the manpower to both commit large numbers of combat forces against the Soviets and still maintain a proper logistical support network. The Wehrmacht also believed they somewhat alleviated their supply problems by use of French military trucks, AFVs, tractors, etc. But found to their horror they only exacerbated their problems with maintenance, spare parts, and that the French vehicles were much less hearty than the Opels and Mercedes...

Yeah thay were much surprised by that:)
Yet they widely used the captured Chechoslovakian vehicles for the first time.
But i have to add that GErmans had discovered the most of Opels and Mersedess didn't work when temperature fall down till the -40:)


While Hitler's emphasis to hit the Ukraine did draw off strength, it also made sense on some level. That was the breadbasket and a central communications hub for the Soviets and they would be forced to defend the area and at least theoretically the Germans would have to put less resources into occupying and defending it. What didn't was the cruelty of the local populace inherent to the German occupation which turned many otherwise sympathetic against them. And Hitler was far from the only German to severally underestimate the fighting quality of the Soviet Union's forces and many if not most of his generals echoed his "kick the rotten door in" thesis...
I heard the Germans got such impression of Red Army after finnish Whinter war, that caused the big casualties among reds, mostly due to frost.But they didn't learned the lesson from it of it untill the Winter 1941:)
BTW Hitler also underestimated the Americans as soldiers. He consider America as a "most weak link of allied coalition".
till, at least Battle of Bulge...

Schuultz
11-19-2009, 05:00 AM
I think part of the Over-estimation of the French and Under-estimation of Russia came from WW1.

There, things were pretty much the other way around. The Germans expected an easy victory in the West and tough fighting in the East.

What happened is history, the West ground itself to a standstill while the Germans could celebrate several victories in the East.

So Hitler might just not have realized that the times have changed and that the Czarist Russian Army did not equal Stalin's army?

Chevan
11-19-2009, 05:18 AM
So Hitler might just not have realized that the times have changed and that the Czarist Russian Army did not equal Stalin's army?
But even Czarists Army fought succesfully the Austro-hangarian army in 1915.Until the boslhevics has transformed the "Imperialistic war into the Civil one".
Honestly i think the Hitler's general "under-estimation of Russia" comes not from ww1 but from his owm "race-superiority concept" of German race over Slav race.
He never hided the fact he applied the "untermenshen ideology" to East.The general concept of Russian Army in GErmany that time was ..."Boslshevic mongols hordes , leading by jewish NKVD commisars by fear". Such army can't fought well on definition.
So he starts very risky plan Barbarossa, having fighting Britain at back.

Schuultz
11-19-2009, 06:11 AM
But don't you think that a large part of the perceived weakness the Germans had of a Communist Army could be traced back to the behavior the soldiers showcased in 1917?

Maybe they believed that (Untermensch theory aside), a Communist army would lack the discipline and authority of a fascist/royal army.

Chevan
11-19-2009, 06:56 AM
But don't you think that a large part of the perceived weakness the Germans had of a Communist Army could be traced back to the behavior the soldiers showcased in 1917?
Maybe they believed that (Untermensch theory aside), a Communist army would lack the discipline and authority of a fascist/royal army.
Well the disciplice have an influence at combat effectiveness without doubt but it's not at all. The fact that the Red Army have finaly won the Tsarist White army in Civil war would force the foreign observer to make the certain conclusion, to the favor of Red Army.
the another importaint even that Hitler simply ignored- the Soviet participater enough effective in Spanish civil war of 1936 . The Soviet wearpon and officer corp fought well there. Ad to that hte Soviet success to repel the Japane agression in Halkin-gol in 1939.
So honestly , if to look outside- the Red Army wasn't weak like Hitler tryed to think.
The GErmans army ( i.e. the officer corp) was superior of course in 1941-43.But Red Army at least was much stronger than French army( or any other European army )that time

cato
11-19-2009, 08:16 AM
off the top of my head....this is a comprehensive list of everything Hitler could/should have done differently, in chronological order...

Wish I had a dollar for every re-play of WW2 with all the 'What-ifs'.
Chevan is right , Hitler had no real strategic vision and stumbled from one situation to another being as opportunistic as he was in his rise to power.
The trouble with the fuhrerprinzip is that the Boss is right even when he is wrong.
Blitzkreig was a strategy that was designed to overcome Germany's initial economic and material weakness. To win a series of short, sharp, wars by 'knockout blows'. Even Hitler in 1939 did not believe that Germany could sustain a long war against the Western powers and expected a compromise peace after the initial battles. The unexpected success led to the gambler's instinct to double the bet and re-double the bet.
Paul Kennedy "Rise and fall of the great powers", suggests that, from purely economc critera, once the 'knockout blows' against Britain in 1940 and against Russia in 1941 had failed, the jig was really up and the war, from 1941 was only sustained by a ruthless exploitation of the occupied territories and an increasing willingness to sacrifice troops. Albert Speer confirmed the fundamental weaknesses of the Reich wartime economic system.
Hitler was also a techno-nut. He was totally besotted by new technology, especially if it promised to be bigger and better, so scarce resources were ploughed into dozens of projects that, in the final analysis were not cost-effective.
Of course, a better road to World domination would have been to form a customs union with Austria in 1936, not an anschluss. The same with Czechoslovakia and Poland--making them client states within a few years in a common currency area. Joining a military pact with Britain and France and being nice to Jews and slavs---and when the time came to invade Russia, just splinter off Byelorussia, the Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia etc into independent and aliied states----WHAT AM I SAYING---THAT's THE EU!

Schuultz
11-19-2009, 09:07 AM
The GErmans army ( i.e. the officer corp) was superior of course in 1941-43.But Red Army at least was much stronger than French army( or any other European army )that time

I'm not sure whether that's a fair statement. The Russian army had 2 years to arm itself, not to mention the critical ability of extensive strategic depth - a luxury neither of Germany's previous opponents had.

However, if by "strong" you mean manpower and the Will to fight, then you're right.

Galt
11-19-2009, 09:14 PM
Regarding the ME-262....

The reasons why Mustangs were able to shoot some of them down were due primarily to the fact that in most engagements they outnumbered the 262's 15-20 to 1. A typical U.S. bomber stream would have 600-800 escorting fighters.

They got most of their kills by circling German airfields and waiting for the 262's to take off and land. Jet's without afterburners are very slow accellerating and taking evasive action during take off and landing. The Germans set up flak corridors, and had piston engine patrols to help the 262's, but in 1945, their resources were very limited. Other kills were made by flying high cover over bomber formations and diving on 262's, thereby eliminating some of the speed advantage.

Still in spite of this, ME-262's claimed over 500 allied aircraft, against a loss of 100 262's in the air. They had several aces, one of whom shot down over a dozen mosquitos. Another shot down at least 10 mustangs. Several more shot down several 4-engine bombers, in spite their limited numbers, and intensive allied defensive counter measures. They were just perfecting the devastating use of rocket attacks on bomber formations (from outside of B-17 machine gun range) when the war ended.

The ME-262 simply needed to have been brought out sooner in the war for it to have been a war changing machine. Remember that the Allies did not start to control the skies over Germany until 1944. What would have happened if large numbers of ME-262's were available at the end of 1943?

This certainly could have happend, but it probably would have been a worse outcome to WWII according to Adolph Galland, chief of the fighter arm. He had this to say about that in an interview in 1991. He stated similar things in his book (the first and the last).

In the case of the 262, there is no question that many mistakes were made. The design and development of the plane were delayed for a year by an order of Hitler, who wanted to accelerate short-range developments and cancel long-range projects. But this was completely wrong in the case of the 262. Hitler had little understanding of the Air Force at all, and for air combat - none at all. He couldn't think in three dimensions. He was an army man. If everything had been done perfectly, we would have gained 4-5 months development. We would have gained 2-3 months production. We could have had about 600-800 Me 262s ready for combat, on permanent bases, by the end of 1943. This would have delayed the invasion, of course, without question, and would have changed the air dominion of the Allies, but the result would have been that the [Western] Allies would have moved more slowly, and the Russians would have come farther, certainly to the Rhine. There would have been more destruction. And so ultimately, this order of Hitler's that was completely wrong had a good result.

Whether Galland is right about this is open to debate, certainly if the invasion would have been delayed, many more divisions could have been allocated to the Eastern Front. With German rail yards, fuel plants, panzer and airplane factories not being bombed, the Russians would have faced a stronger German opponent in the East.

Comrade Claus
11-19-2009, 10:45 PM
Wish I had a dollar for every re-play of WW2 with all the 'What-ifs'.

The trouble with the fuhrerprinzip is that the Boss is right even when he is wrong.
Blitzkreig was a strategy that was designed to overcome Germany's initial economic and material weakness. To win a series of short, sharp, wars by 'knockout blows'. Even Hitler in 1939 did not believe that Germany could sustain a long war against the Western powers and expected a compromise peace after the initial battles. The unexpected success led to the gambler's instinct to double the bet and re-double the bet.

Hitler was also a techno-nut. He was totally besotted by new technology, especially if it promised to be bigger and better, so scarce resources were ploughed into dozens of projects that, in the final analysis were not cost-effective.
Of course, a better road to World domination would have been to form a customs union with Austria in 1936, not an anschluss. The same with Czechoslovakia and Poland--making them client states within a few years in a common currency area. Joining a military pact with Britain and France and being nice to Jews and slavs---and when the time came to invade Russia, just splinter off Byelorussia, the Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia etc into independent and aliied states----WHAT AM I SAYING---THAT's THE EU!

Hmm. Pretty good. The Fuerer Prinzip didn't just cripple the Nazis, but every group that surrenders free will to one person. One reason I enjoy reality shows is because the same exercise in human folly is repeated w/ few if any learning Hitler's lesson. Coach from last season of Survivor & Dave from the current one are 'fuereprinzip' personified.

As for the EU, what a farce. Just read this article to see my point:

http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/aug2009/gb2009086_977202.htm

The germans allowwed their once world class aerospace industry wither until they had to buy foreign to fulfill every military contract. EUROfighter, EUROcopter, EUROmissile, etc. When they built something themselves, Leopard 1 & 2, their numerous small arms programs, PzH 2000, they got their goods in only a few years. Whenever they let another country build something, Typhoon, Tiger, Meteor, it takes DECADES & BILLIONS of 'EUROS' overbudget. Hell, the Airbus A400, which was started in 1982, hasn't even flown yet!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A400M

It's as old as I am and the only example is sitting in Spain. It's more pathetic than the Spruce Goose, which was built in only a few years 7 actually flew. When the EU countries work together instead of alone, they FAIL UNITED, succeed DIVIDED!

As for Stupid Jetpack Hitler, our own leaders are obsessed w/ 'Silber Vogel' The F-22, B-2 & F-35 are almost worthless in the 'War on Terror' Era. What are needed are more A-10's, AC-130's & B-52 analogues. Some F-5 Tiger/ F-20 Tigersharks, would work too. But yeah, he wasted resources. The Bismarck & Tiger were huge wastage of steel. After Taranto & Pearl Harbor, he should've finished the Graf Zeppelin & 'Peter Strasser' & used them to coordinate Wolfpacks. More Panzer 4J & Panther were better than Tiger.

Finally, it's no surprise that people 'What-If' WW 2 ad nauseum, it was the last war of empires. When Germany lost, it forever lost it's superpower status. Italy, Britain & France also lost relevance in the world, but Germany was like the Elves in the 3rd age of Middle Earth. There is no more Bundes Republic Deutschland, there is only Deutschland, a state in the European Union, capital, Brussels. So people who look at the glory of prewar europe & see the sad joke that failed to keep us from invading Iraq, or stop the genocide in Darfur, or fail in any endeavour not backed by the might of the united states, Russia, India or China, naturally wonder what would've happened if Hitler WON his war. Well, no Cold War for one. Israel wouldn't be created (the final solution), so no War on Terror of Cultural Revolution, or Rwanda Genocide. And since Hitler hated smoking:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-tobacco_movement_in_Nazi_Germany

So Nazi World Domination would've saved far more people than it would've killed. Since WW 2, around 24 million Americans died from smoking.

pdf27
11-20-2009, 02:13 AM
When they built something themselves, Leopard 1 & 2, their numerous small arms programs, PzH 2000, they got their goods in only a few years. Whenever they let another country build something, Typhoon, Tiger, Meteor, it takes DECADES & BILLIONS of 'EUROS' overbudget. Hell, the Airbus A400, which was started in 1982, hasn't even flown yet!
That's because the programmes the attempted themselves were relatively simple designs where the development costs could be spread over a large number of items (the Leopard II is a prime example of this). Typhoon is at the other end of the spectrum - it is beyond the financial capability of Germany as a nation to develop. The delays and budget overruns are largely due to the desire to change specification mid-project to improve capability or reduce costs (Germany being the prime offender with Typhoon, as it happens).


The F-22, B-2 & F-35 are almost worthless in the 'War on Terror' Era. What are needed are more A-10's, AC-130's & B-52 analogues. Some F-5 Tiger/ F-20 Tigersharks, would work too.
F-22 and B-2 are arguably of little use if you want to assume the US will never fight a war again against another nation state. F-35 is not even then - the sensor fusion and reduced maintenance man hours/flight hour make it more suitable than any current aircraft for providing CAS. The A-10 is OK, largely as a result of the pilots rather than the aircraft (I know of someone who was calling in fire from an A-10 to within 10m of his own position in Helmand, and I've seen the video of it). The AC-130 looks flashy but isn't as effective as SDBs or artillery, while the B-52 is about as much use as a B-2 and less use than a B-1. The F-5/F-20 are dangerously obsolete - they do not have the sensor capability nor room for upgrades required to call in attacks that are danger-close to your own position with anything bigger than cannon, nor do they have the carefree handling of modern aircraft types which is so important to freeing the pilot to concentrate on the target.

cato
11-20-2009, 05:25 AM
Typhoon is at the other end of the spectrum - it is beyond the financial capability of Germany as a nation to develop. The delays and budget overruns are largely due to the desire to change specification mid-project to improve capability or reduce costs


An even bigger problem today is that third party countries are reluctant to buy high-ticket defence equipment unless they are 'part of the process'.
The Eurofighter and the F35 are good examples. 'Participants in the F35 programme are the United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Canada,Turkey,Australia, Norway, Denmark, Israel and Singapore. These are not just purchasers of a fininshed product--they all have a voice in development and a portion of production. If the aircraft, as expected is sold to India, Brasil and South Korea-those countries' substantial aerospace industies will also want a slice of the action. This means endless commitees, reports to go through multi-layers of bureaucracy and constant exposure to politicking
The process is called 'Offset': if you want to sell me your stuff--then give me some of the work.

steben
11-20-2009, 05:40 AM
In the case of the 262, there is no question that many mistakes were made. The design and development of the plane were delayed for a year by an order of Hitler, who wanted to accelerate short-range developments and cancel long-range projects. But this was completely wrong in the case of the 262. Hitler had little understanding of the Air Force at all, and for air combat - none at all. He couldn't think in three dimensions. He was an army man. If everything had been done perfectly, we would have gained 4-5 months development. We would have gained 2-3 months production. We could have had about 600-800 Me 262s ready for combat, on permanent bases, by the end of 1943. This would have delayed the invasion, of course, without question, and would have changed the air dominion of the Allies, but the result would have been that the [Western] Allies would have moved more slowly, and the Russians would have come farther, certainly to the Rhine. There would have been more destruction. And so ultimately, this order of Hitler's that was completely wrong had a good result.

Whether Galland is right about this is open to debate, certainly if the invasion would have been delayed, many more divisions could have been allocated to the Eastern Front. With German rail yards, fuel plants, panzer and airplane factories not being bombed, the Russians would have faced a stronger German opponent in the East.

Quite the doom scenario... :lol:

I think it is wide open to debate. delay = smaller front = less stress on resources = stronger eastern front.
And also = ME262 on eastern front, development, bomber...

steben
11-20-2009, 05:42 AM
An even bigger problem today is that third party countries are reluctant to buy high-ticket defence equipment unless they are 'part of the process'.
The Eurofighter and the F35 are good examples. 'Participants in the F35 programme are the United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Canada,Turkey,Australia, Norway, Denmark, Israel and Singapore. These are not just purchasers of a fininshed product--they all have a voice in development and a portion of production. If the aircraft, as expected is sold to India, Brasil and South Korea-those countries' substantial aerospace industies will also want a slice of the action. This means endless commitees, reports to go through multi-layers of bureaucracy and constant exposure to politicking
The process is called 'Offset': if you want to sell me your stuff--then give me some of the work.

Reminds me of the Iraq and Afghan wars of the US combining a lot of Belgian and German arms industries...
Belgium = small arms
Germany = armor canons and ammo

Just imagine how the scattered European decision(s) not to question the campaigns would have been altered if the US would have start using let's say ... chinese arms and ammo?

Comrade Claus
11-20-2009, 05:57 AM
off the top of my head....this is a list of things Hitler could/should have done differently, in chronological order...

Of course hindsight is 20/20

1. Development of a 4-engine bomber. This was originally a big part of the pre-war luftwaffe plan (Ju 89) but was cancelled in 1938.

2. Less reliance on a blue-water German navy.

3. Decision not to capture Dunkirk.

4. Not forcing Franco to allow the Germans to capture Gibraltar.

5. After the Battle of France, When told the cost (2 billion Riechmarks, 100,000 workers), he decided that the toll on the civilian economy was too great, and kept production levels at the same level as before the invasion.

6. After the victory in France, Hitler temporarily stopped all new weapons development programs. He also temporarily demobilized a large number of divisions.

7. Battle of Britain.

8. Getting involved in the Mediterranean. Mussolini's incompetence forced Hitler's hand here. Italy should have stayed out of the war entirely.

9. Invasion of the Balkans.
10. The Moscow option.
Declaring war on America. This was insanity.

11. Hitler's "Norway Fixation".

12. Hitlers insistence of giving up no captured ground.
Treatment of the occupied territories' population..

13. Sending the 11th army to Leningrad.

14. Hitler's vacilation of Blau's objectives.

15. No retreat from Stalingrad.

Tunisia. Hitler send massive amounts of aid to the Africa Corps once it was cornered in Tunisa, and had no hope of holding out.

16. Delays in the production of the ME262.

17. Citadel. Attacking the enemy at the strongest point of their line without the element of surprise or numerical superiority. It was sheer lunacy,


Hmm, pretty good. Although:

1. A 4 engine bomber would've been a waste unless they built a long-range fighter FIRST. The Bf 109 couldn't even escort the 2 engine bombers used over britain beyond london.

2. The Navy was a HUGE waste, especially in the Norway campaign.

3. Dunkirk, hmm. They had the Royal Navy & RAF to consider.

4. Franco, yeah. He coulda leaned a bit more on the, "If it weren't for Germany, you'd still be rotting in Morocco. So let us through to gibraltar." W/ morocco & gibraltar taken, the west end of the mediterreanean woulda belonged to the Axis. The African campaign woulda gone smoother.


5. cutting panzer production was a bad idea. all tank built after france fell should've been high-end Panzer IVs. The Panzer IIIs were useless.

Declaring war on US. Hostilities were escalating to a head even before Pearl.

11. Norway. Getting there before Churchill invaded was a huge mistake. If Hitler waited a couple hours, he coulda been the 'hero' 'liberating' Norway from UK

12. 'no retreat' bad idea. My best strategy is to retreat to a chokepoint every now & then to slaughter my enemies in various games. Hitler needed to read a history book.

Rascism. Hitler shoul've realized, he had all the time in the world to wipe out untermenschen AFTER he won the war.

16. Improving the Me 109 & Fw 190 woulda taken less time than the 262. Training more pilots as early as possible woulda improved things. & producing gyroscopic gunsights too.

17.Why they didn't outflank the kursk defences & starve them out I have no Idea. Or opening up a can of 'whoop'-gas, err. Nerve Gas. If no one survives no one4 can tatle on the Nazis.

It's badly written, but I'm too tired to spell/grammar check.

cato
11-20-2009, 06:12 AM
I though that you all might be interested in this.

Cost of a Spitfire fighter June 1940
Engine £2,000 0 0
Fuselage £2,500 0 0
Wings £1,800 0 0
Undercarriage £800 0 0
Guns £800 0 0
Tail £500 0 0
Propeller £350 0 0
Petrol Tank (Top) £40 0 0
Petrol Tank (Bottom) £25 0 0
Oil Tank £25 0 0
Compass £5 0 0
Clock £2 10s 0d
Thermometer £1 1s 0d
Sparking Plugs 8s 0d
Screws, nuts rivets etc. £1000 0 0

Al-up cost £9 047. 19s 0d

About U$ 45,000 in 1940 money or US$644,850 in 2009 money.

During 1940 it was publicised that £5000 would buy a Spitfire--a huge amount in 1940, but a realisable sum. Thousands of Spitfire funds were set up all around Britain and the Commonwealth and even the US. £5000 was the amount of money a boy scout troop, a school, a village, a masonic lodge or a Ladies club could raise.

The Spitfire took 20 months from Air Ministry Contract to first delivery.

Nickdfresh
11-20-2009, 08:09 AM
Regarding the ME-262....

The reasons why Mustangs were able to shoot some of them down were due primarily to the fact that in most engagements they outnumbered the 262's 15-20 to 1. A typical U.S. bomber stream would have 600-800 escorting fighters.

They got most of their kills by circling German airfields and waiting for the 262's to take off and land. Jet's without afterburners are very slow accellerating and taking evasive action during take off and landing. The Germans set up flak corridors, and had piston engine patrols to help the 262's, but in 1945, their resources were very limited. Other kills were made by flying high cover over bomber formations and diving on 262's, thereby eliminating some of the speed advantage.

Still in spite of this, ME-262's claimed over 500 allied aircraft, against a loss of 100 262's in the air. They had several aces, one of whom shot down over a dozen mosquitos. Another shot down at least 10 mustangs. Several more shot down several 4-engine bombers, in spite their limited numbers, and intensive allied defensive counter measures. They were just perfecting the devastating use of rocket attacks on bomber formations (from outside of B-17 machine gun range) when the war ended.

The ME-262 simply needed to have been brought out sooner in the war for it to have been a war changing machine. Remember that the Allies did not start to control the skies over Germany until 1944. What would have happened if large numbers of ME-262's were available at the end of 1943?

This certainly could have happend, but it probably would have been a worse outcome to WWII according to Adolph Galland, chief of the fighter arm. He had this to say about that in an interview in 1991. He stated similar things in his book (the first and the last).

In the case of the 262, there is no question that many mistakes were made. The design and development of the plane were delayed for a year by an order of Hitler, who wanted to accelerate short-range developments and cancel long-range projects. But this was completely wrong in the case of the 262. Hitler had little understanding of the Air Force at all, and for air combat - none at all. He couldn't think in three dimensions. He was an army man. If everything had been done perfectly, we would have gained 4-5 months development. We would have gained 2-3 months production. We could have had about 600-800 Me 262s ready for combat, on permanent bases, by the end of 1943. This would have delayed the invasion, of course, without question, and would have changed the air dominion of the Allies, but the result would have been that the [Western] Allies would have moved more slowly, and the Russians would have come farther, certainly to the Rhine. There would have been more destruction. And so ultimately, this order of Hitler's that was completely wrong had a good result.

Whether Galland is right about this is open to debate, certainly if the invasion would have been delayed, many more divisions could have been allocated to the Eastern Front. With German rail yards, fuel plants, panzer and airplane factories not being bombed, the Russians would have faced a stronger German opponent in the East.

Keep in mind however, that if more Me-262s were available earlier, strategic air-power (already beginning to run out of practical, worthwhile targets in the cities) could have been shifted to carpet bomb Luftwaffe aerodromes. Something that was mainly left to tactical air-power making strafing runs...

steben
11-20-2009, 08:28 AM
Oh dear... as soon as a "better option then" (eg: ME262) is seen as a problem...
these quotes explain the possible dead end of a what-if fallacy.

Comrade Claus
11-24-2009, 07:30 PM
Al-up cost £9 047. 19s 0d

About U$ 45,000 in 1940 money or US$644,850 in 2009 money.

During 1940 it was publicized that £5000 would buy a Spitfire--a huge amount in 1940, but a realizable sum. Thousands of Spitfire funds were set up all around Britain and the Commonwealth and even the US. £5000 was the amount of money a boy scout troop, a school, a village, a masonic lodge or a Ladies club could raise.
The Spitfire took 20 months from Air Ministry Contract to first delivery.

Wow, beats the 20-30 years & $100 million it costs to get a F-22 or Typhoon nowadays. And a Spitfire would be more practical in the Wart on Terror.There's a reason the A-10 is no faster than an end of WW 2 era fighter.

But what happens if a Gov't can't afford anymore weapons? Does it stop building? Or does it point it's guns at the CEOs & demand weapons for free? 'Donated' airplanes as it were. That's why I never understood war bonds.

Schuultz
11-24-2009, 09:13 PM
When a government can't afford fighting anymore, it has to make peace. That's what counter-insurgents and guerrillas often count on - the governing principle of asymmetrical warfare:

If you can't defeat the enemy on the battlefield, raise the costs of the war until he can no longer afford it.

Look at Spain after the Spanish Armada - the nation was bankrupt, the armies - which had not been paid for months - were in a state paralyzing mutiny.

Look at what happened to Germany after WW1 - even though the armies had also been bled dry on the battlefield (something that, ironically, the Germans had planned to do with the French, not expecting the major British/Commonwealth support) - another major reason for the German surrender was also that the Empire was bankrupt, and the state was effectively unable to function. That's also the reason why after WW2, the US put billions of US-Dollars into the European economies, so that they can continue to function and could be rebuild effectively - otherwise Europe would have been in a state of chaos and anarchy - almost none of the European governments could afford to rebuild at the time. (The financial aid was, of course, not a purely selfless act - America needed a strong Europe to help counterbalance the Soviets - a bankrupt state would have been the perfect feeding ground for communists. America's denial to waive British war debts after WW1 was a major factor for the British inability to re-arm in the face of an aggressive Third Reich, and America had learned its lesson.)

In order to understand war bonds, you have to understand the principle of a currency:

In the US at the time, the value of the US Dollar was bound to the federal Gold reserves - that means, theoretically, everybody who had a US-Dollar, owned a share of the federal financial reserves. The value of a single US-Dollar was determined by the amount of dollars X over the market value of the US-financial reserves Y.

By buying war bonds, and therefore giving the US some of their financial shares back, the government its financial obligation to its citizens temporarily reduced, and could use those resources to buy more weaponry without endangering its economy by devaluing the Dollar.

The alternative route, namely that if a government does not have enough financial resources/people don't buy war bonds, would be to print more money. However, this changes the ratio of currency in circulation to the actual financial value of the state, therefore devaluing the currency.
If X (currency) is 100 and Y (financial resources in Gold) is 1000, that means that each currency, is worth 1000/100 = 10.

Now, if a government is broke and prints large sums of currency, X goes up, for example to 200. Then the worth of every currency is 1000/200 = 5.
This is called inflation of the currency (the opposite would be called deflation).

It would give the warring nation more money to purchase arms, but would at the same time devalue the currency, slowly wrecking the economy. That's the reason why Post-WW1, a loaf of bread could cost up to 10,000,000 Reichsmark. The government had printed so much currency, that its value had gone done drastically, and basically destroyed the lifetime savings of its citizens. Just imagine if tomorrow, the Dollar was suddenly worth 1/1000 of its current value, and instead of $2.99, a Big Mac was $2,990.00 - how much would your savings be worth then?

If anything is wrong with the way I explained things (in, admittedly a basic manner), please correct me - this is the best I know, and I'd hate to live under wrongful assumptions. :D

steben
11-25-2009, 01:28 AM
War bonds are a form of mid/long term private savings you deposit by the state, yet at a lower yield than normal market terms. Led by patriotism, trust or even fear, civilians withdraw capital away from the banks and give it away to the state asured with the government's commitment to pay the debt (usually) after the war. As Schuultz explained, the monetary balance is far from disrupted, preventing inflation and in many cases actually tending to go to deflation, as soon as the low growth of money mass (because of the low yield) crumbles to the raised production of goods (in this case: military capital).

It is not that different than long term savings at the bank, except it is mixed with nationalism and emotional ingredients rather than pure financial motives.

pdf27
11-25-2009, 01:31 AM
Wow, beats the 20-30 years & $100 million it costs to get a F-22 or Typhoon nowadays. And a Spitfire would be more practical in the Wart on Terror.There's a reason the A-10 is no faster than an end of WW 2 era fighter.

From another forum, illustrating why the idea of Spitfires as practical modern aircraft is risible...

In 1942 - 44, it required a strike of 220 B-17s to ensure the destruction of a 50ft by 50ft target. Put another way, an average B-17 Group could be expected to place 32.4 percent of its bombs within 1000 feet of the aiming point when aiming visually. The average B-24 Group under the same conditions could be expected to place 30.4 percent of its bombs within 1000 feet of the aiming point. The big problem is that bombing accuracy declines precipitously as more and more bombers target the same area.

Now, a B-17 cost USD238,329. So, the capital cost of a B-17 formation as defined above would be USD52,432,380.00. The cost of the bombs used would be US$880,000. The effort would require 2,410 air crew. Losses would be between six and ten aircraft, equating to 66 - 110 men (dead or prisoners). Casualties in the remaining aircraft would equate to roughly 200 men, mostly lightly injured but with some serious injuries and some dead.

Now, today, destroying such a target would require one bomb (the CEO is much less than 50 ft) costing USD21,000. The F-15E costs USD100.0 million and has a crew of two people. It has roughly a 2 percent chance of being lost on a strike mission against normal defenses, meaning the capitalized loss cost would be US$2 million. The aircraft carries (usually) four bombs and would hit four of the specified targets in a single raid.

Note that the above costs are in at-the-time dollars - so the equivalent cost of the B-17 formation would be roughly $700 million in 2009 dollars. Additionally, you should note that the A-10 has a payload big enough to make it a super-heavy bomber by WW2 standards.

pdf27
11-25-2009, 01:37 AM
If anything is wrong with the way I explained things (in, admittedly a basic manner), please correct me - this is the best I know, and I'd hate to live under wrongful assumptions. :D

Only significant comment to make is that a number of countries abandoned the Gold Standard at about this time, after which point the link of currency to gold reserves is broken. The British for example were not on the Gold Standard from 1915-25 and 1931-present.

steben
11-25-2009, 01:56 AM
War bonds are a form of mid/long term private savings you deposit by the state, yet at a lower yield than normal market terms. Led by patriotism, trust or even fear, civilians withdraw capital away from the banks and give it away to the state asured with the government's commitment to pay the debt (usually) after the war. As Schuultz explained, the monetary balance is far from disrupted, preventing inflation and in many cases actually tending to go to deflation, as soon as the low growth of money mass (because of the low yield) crumbles to the raised production of goods (in this case: military capital).

It is not that different than long term savings at the bank, except it is mixed with nationalism and emotional ingredients rather than pure financial motives.

I'ld like to add one thing: on a point after a war, many of the military spendings are becoming useless and often obsolete. This is the starting point of a fragile balance. The use of the war bond material is therefor lengthened as much as possible (recce, training, civil) to reduce the spendings at the time the bonds have to be redeposited to the civilians. Partly because of this, a continued threath (think of cold war) can prevent a collapse, since the government has to keep spending and can actually tempt the population to accept funding the bond debt with new bonds.

Schuultz
11-25-2009, 04:49 AM
Only significant comment to make is that a number of countries abandoned the Gold Standard at about this time, after which point the link of currency to gold reserves is broken. The British for example were not on the Gold Standard from 1915-25 and 1931-present.

Very true - I tried to avoid mentioning Gold later on in my explanation, but it simply appeared to be the most simple way of explaining things.

By now, I don't think there's a tangible thing the US-Dollar is bound to - I haven't really bothered to look into it yet, but afaik, it's a really weird system.

China has adopted a really shady system, too - they haven't bound their currency to something universal - such as Gold - but rather the US-Doller. A Yuan is always something around $0.65 US-Dollars, if I'm not mistaken.

However, if I remember correctly, the Euro is still bound to the collective Gold reserves of the EU-member states, isn't it?

Rising Sun*
11-25-2009, 04:56 AM
By now, I don't think there's a tangible thing the US-Dollar is bound to ...

Try oil.

Iraq breaking away from paying for oil in USD and breaking the oil backing of the USD has been argued as the primary reason for the Iraq war. http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Iraq/Iraq_dollar_vs_euro.html

herman2
11-25-2009, 02:07 PM
Things, Hitler could have done to win WW2??...hmm...well one thing I know for sure...If he hired RS to be one of his Field Marshall's, he'd of had an undoubtedly great chance of winning the war, thats for sure. ;)

Comrade Claus
11-25-2009, 06:42 PM
Things, Hitler could have done to win WW2??...hmm...well one thing I know for sure...If he hired RS to be one of his Field Marshall's, he'd of had an undoubtedly great chance of winning the war, thats for sure. ;)

Um, 'RS'? Who's that? Too vague!

So, if a country runs out of money, it loses the war? Like, let's say, D-day is a bust & Wall Street collapses again & the economy goes to zero. The Nazis then win? I just can't picture a nation w/ a huge army, wiling to fight to the death & being vastly more powerful than it's opponent, can lose just because the money's gone. Vietnam, however was not a loss due to money, but the Nation not really having it's heart in it. It's not like we had something to avenge, like Pearl Harbor or 9/11. Although the war on terror is bleeding us white.

Besides, there's a little acknowledged reason Germany lost WW 1. The 1918 Flu. One Documentary I saw placed the death toll in Berlin aloe at a THOUSAND A WEEK. Can a country really maintain the will to fight w/ the whole world falling on it while everyone's children are dying at home? Saying the Communists or economic ruin were the main causes is laughable. The way the disease killed mainly the young, especially soldiers on the frontlines. Not even machine guns can rack up a death toll so quickly.

One name for it was the '3 day flu' because it only took that long to die. One cough from a prisoner or two & half a week later half the division in the area is dead. Doesn't take long for huge gaps to appear in the German front. If I'm wrong, blame PBS. ;P Of course, the hardships imposed by the Versailles Treaty & the occupation of Germany Proper & expulsion from Alcace/Lorraine caused the death rate of the Flu to increase more than in many other countries.

Err, that Millennium Spitfire idea is 'risible'? It's not like you can't put a couple 500lb JDAMS or Mavericks or Sidewinders on one. It'd cost less to build & maintain than an F-35. We don't need air superiority fighters anymore. We can just lob Tomahawks & ALCMS at enemy airbases to destroy the MiGs on the ground. Plus the Spit would be stealthier than a jet w/ 40,000 lbs of thrust heating the sky. Plus you can fly it from a dirt strip. Not that I'm a Spitfire fan. I prefer the Thunderbolt I P-47 or Skyraider. <3 <3

Happy thanksgiving to those who have it.

pdf27
11-26-2009, 01:35 AM
Err, that Millennium Spitfire idea is 'risible'? It's not like you can't put a couple 500lb JDAMS or Mavericks or Sidewinders on one.
One JDAM is probably marginally over the safe MTOW for Afghanistan, and it wouldn't be able to hit anything with any of them, not having the weight margin for targeting equipment.


It'd cost less to build & maintain than an F-35.
Unlikely - the infrastructure to built very powerful piston engines simply doesn't exist any more, and they were always extremely maintenence-intensive, while the F-35 is designed from the start to be easy to maintain.


We don't need air superiority fighters anymore. We can just lob Tomahawks & ALCMS at enemy airbases to destroy the MiGs on the ground.
This makes multiple enormously risky assumptions, and I don't know precisely where to start. Perhaps it should be that a JDAM can do the same thing for a tenth of the cost if launched from a penetrating fighter aircraft (the F-35 being the only likely candidate for the next 20 years), or that it assumes that the enemy has no way of defending against 30 year old cruise missile designs. Maybe I should even point out that against a halfway competent enemy cruise missile attacks will do no more than inconvenience an airbase for a few hours - they certainly won't let you catch all their aircraft on the ground, or find the dispersals accurately enough to hit.


Plus the Spit would be stealthier than a jet w/ 40,000 lbs of thrust heating the sky.
Not against Radar, which provides most of the volume-search for air defence systems. There it is beaten by the whacking great rotating radar reflector bolted on to the front of the engine. Additionally, 10-20% of the thrust of a WW2 fighter was provided by the engine exahusts.


Plus you can fly it from a dirt strip. Not that I'm a Spitfire fan. I prefer the Thunderbolt I P-47 or Skyraider.
As can be done by a Harrier, F-35 or A-10.

steben
11-26-2009, 01:43 AM
Things, Hitler could have done to win WW2??...hmm...well one thing I know for sure...If he hired RS to be one of his Field Marshall's, he'd of had an undoubtedly great chance of winning the war, thats for sure. ;)

Or blocking Vodka resources.

Rising Sun*
11-26-2009, 06:19 AM
Additionally, 10-20% of the thrust of a WW2 fighter was provided by the engine exahusts.

I haven't heard that before.

Is that why they had stub exhausts angled back off the engine?

I've always assumed that the stub exhausts were just the most efficient and or cost efficient exhaust system.

Wouldn't the thrust vary depending upon circumstances, e.g was there a scavenging effect of external air in a dive which would counteract any thrust compared perhaps with whatever thrust was available on take off?

Also, wouldn't the thrust effect vary with altitude so that it weakened as the air thinned at higher altitudes?

pdf27
11-26-2009, 09:49 AM
Is that why they had stub exhausts angled back off the engine?
Yes, very much so.


Wouldn't the thrust vary depending upon circumstances, e.g was there a scavenging effect of external air in a dive which would counteract any thrust compared perhaps with whatever thrust was available on take off?
Varies radically with circumstances - remember many aircraft had multi-stage superchargers, and which stage was operating would be critically important. Also, as it's effectively a jet, propulsive efficiency varies radically with speed, and in a different way to that for a propeller.


Also, wouldn't the thrust effect vary with altitude so that it weakened as the air thinned at higher altitudes?
Yes, but the other way around - the prop varied like that, but the effect of the supercharger meant that exhaust thrust is actually more important at high altitude/high speed. NOT a simple situation.

Rising Sun*
11-26-2009, 05:44 PM
Yes, very much so.


Varies radically with circumstances - remember many aircraft had multi-stage superchargers, and which stage was operating would be critically important. Also, as it's effectively a jet, propulsive efficiency varies radically with speed, and in a different way to that for a propeller.


Yes, but the other way around - the prop varied like that, but the effect of the supercharger meant that exhaust thrust is actually more important at high altitude/high speed. NOT a simple situation.

Thanks.

When was the exhaust thrust effect worked out and when was it first applied?

Did it have much effect on a normally aspirated engine or just on supercharged ones?

Comrade Claus
11-26-2009, 09:10 PM
One JDAM is probably marginally over the safe MTOW for Afghanistan, and it wouldn't be able to hit anything with any of them, not having the weight margin for targeting equipment.


A more powerful engine & refined aerodynamics would allow a Millenium Spit, or Hurrie or Tiffie or other WW 2 era fighter to at least lift a pair of 500-600lb class weapons. And modern comms are far smaller than the bulky radio sets carried in the 40's. The Predator is small & lightweight, but can launch it's own Hellfires. How much do you think JDAM equipment weighs anyway? All you need is an interface to tell the bombs GPS where to land. If the target's location is already known, like the Schweinfurt ball bearing plant, the plane can take off w/ the bombs preset & not need anything other than standard shackles.

Unlikely - the infrastructure to built very powerful piston engines simply doesn't exist any more, and they were always extremely maintenence-intensive, while the F-35 is designed from the start to be easy to maintain.

Then what do you think the Leopard tank runs on? Euros? A 1500 hp V-12, thats what. And what about NASCAR? There are thousands of weekend engine monkeys souping-up piston powerplants all over America.

The A-22 Sadler attack plane was DESIGNED around a 300 hp truck engine for ease of maintenance. A V-12 is easier to repair than a Turbofan w/ hundreds of fast spinning blades. W/ a liftfan AND an afterburner. And let's not forget the RAM. It ain't cheap.

As for vulnerability to radar... Did the Taliban have radar? The Somali militias or pirates? How many planes were lost to Saddams SAMs in 2003? Our own Patriots shot down more! The fact is, only a couple countries have any serious Air Force/ Air Defence. And most of them, (Russia, China) benefit too much from trading w/ us (Russian Oil, Chinese... EVERYTHING) to risk it by going to war w/ us. And we have too much to lose if we go to war w/ them over anything (Russia attacking Georgia, China someday w/ Taiwan) And most of the rest can be pressured by Russia & China.

And any radar that does appear, gets blasted off the air w/ an AGM-88 HARM before the operator can blink.

The modern Air Force only needs the following.

Tanker, AWACS, JSTARS, Drone/ Wild Weasel Control. (can be built on the same base airframe i.e. Boeing 707/ DC-10)

Heavy Transport/ Gunship/ Bomber (C-17/ C-5 class 120,000lb+ bombload)

Medium Transport/GS/Bmbr (C-130J 40,000lb+ bombload)

Light Transport/GS/Bmbr Gulfstream Class

Heavy Attack A-10 Class/A-26/Ju-88

Medium Attack Skyraider/P-47 Class/Stuka

Light Attack A-22 Saddler/Spitfire

Point-Defence (for the rare enemy MiG or Hijacked Airliner. F-5/ F-20 Class)

The C-130, B-52, F-4 & Mig-21 have proven that even a VERY OLD design can still be first class w/ regular upgrades.

The AC-47 was earning it's keep in Nam alongside the Skyraider just fine. So A modernized WW 2 era warplane makes far more sense than some Wunderwaffe like the F-22, which has yet to take down any terrorists. If one bombs Bin Laden, then maybe, MAYBE, I'll respect it. Until then, it's a money pit like the NH 90, Tiger, A400 & EF 2000/ Rafale. Why third-world countries waste so much time on fancy jets is a mystery to me. Like South or Central America is gonna be invaded by make believe bogeymen. The Apache Longbow/ Mi-28N can handle most ACTUAL crises for far less than a fighter jet. ;)

Sorry if this isn't the thread for this. But seriously, a Spit w/ JDAMs is much like a Predator/ Reaper w/ a cockpit, End of Sermon.

Comrade Claus
11-26-2009, 09:20 PM
Oh, I almost forgot to address this.

it can take of from dirt runways

As can be done by a Harrier, F-35 or A-10.

But jet engines burn more fuel/ lubricating oil than a piston. Plus they suck in more dust & wear out faster. They are also more vulnerable to combat damage.

Plus the F-35 is too damed heavy to be zipping about on just one engine. I like the Harrier, but they really shoulda made a twin engine version. And they should made a carrier version of the A-10 for the Marines. I'm sure they'd have loved a heavy mud mover in that class.

And then this.


From another forum, illustrating why the idea of Spitfires as practical modern aircraft is risible...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuart Slade
In 1942 - 44, it required a strike of 220 B-17s to ensure the destruction of a 50ft by 50ft target. Put another way, an average B-17 Group could be expected to place 32.4 percent of its bombs within 1000 feet of the aiming point when aiming visually. The average B-24 Group under the same conditions could be expected to place 30.4 percent of its bombs within 1000 feet of the aiming point. The big problem is that bombing accuracy declines precipitously as more and more bombers target the same area.

Now, a B-17 cost USD238,329. So, the capital cost of a B-17 formation as defined above would be USD52,432,380.00. The cost of the bombs used would be US$880,000. The effort would require 2,410 air crew. Losses would be between six and ten aircraft, equating to 66 - 110 men (dead or prisoners). Casualties in the remaining aircraft would equate to roughly 200 men, mostly lightly injured but with some serious injuries and some dead.

Now, today, destroying such a target would require one bomb (the CEO is much less than 50 ft) costing USD21,000. The F-15E costs USD100.0 million and has a crew of two people. It has roughly a 2 percent chance of being lost on a strike mission against normal defenses, meaning the capitalized loss cost would be US$2 million. The aircraft carries (usually) four bombs and would hit four of the specified targets in a single raid.

That is a VERY BAD example. The B-17's were for bombing Strategic Targets. Over 90% of targets engaged by the American military since the Cold War ended were TACTICAL in nature,. thus requiring light, fighter-bombers or gunships. Heavy Bombers in WW 2 were just a waste of effort... until the A-bomb made aiming accuracy briefly unimportant. (Why try hitting a factory or burning down a cultural center w/ a thousand bombers & 10,000 tons of bombs when just one plane & one 5 ton bomb can turn 100,000 fathers, mothers & children into dust in a millisecond?)

We would've beat the Nazis years earlier if we never bothered w/ Strategic Bombing. Fighter Sweeps & interdiction (B-25, -26, A-20,-26)were far more cost effective.

"Risible" indeed. I resent people opposing a cheaper, simpler 'moustrap'. A $100 million supersonic jet dropping 4 $20,000 bombs on 4 $100 mud huts in the mountains to kill 100-400 illiterate flat-earth types whose lives are worth NOTHING, isn't the best for olur economy. Plus that guy didn't even calculate the cost in gas used by the B-17 or the F-15E. four Cruise missiles are far cheaper. We really need to convince the russians to let us Build GLCMs again. As long as they're non-nuke & are used on 'savages' only, they shouldn't complain. Hell, we might as well pay them $1000+ for every GLCM we fire in combat just to keep them happy. Or if THEY build them & WE BUY & use them.

Again, sorry if I've stepped on any toes. (It just sickens me to watch our country hemorrhage money against those who don't deserve this level of 'investment'. Especially when my family struggles to make ends meet, penny by penny. We should come first for our Gov't. Those Git'mo trash get free Health care & 3 squares a day & a roof over their heads.)

pdf27
11-27-2009, 01:38 AM
When was the exhaust thrust effect worked out and when was it first applied?
Unsure - IIRC the first prototype Spitfire didn't have ejector stubs, nor did the early Me-109s, suggesting that the idea is roughly contemporaneous with the war. It may be that the idea is older, but aircraft speeds and powers were too low to be worth the extra weight previously.


Did it have much effect on a normally aspirated engine or just on supercharged ones?
Since the exhaust gas will be hotter than the ambient air, there will always be an effect - it will just much be larger for supercharged engines as the total mass flow of air will be much bigger, and the exhaust pressure should be too - combining to give the gas much more energy.

pdf27
11-27-2009, 02:06 AM
A more powerful engine & refined aerodynamics would allow a Millenium Spit, or Hurrie or Tiffie or other WW 2 era fighter to at least lift a pair of 500-600lb class weapons.
If that happens you're designing a whole new aircraft, essentially. At which point it becomes cheaper and less risky to start from a clean sheet of paper or from a more modern design (e.g. Tucano).


And modern comms are far smaller than the bulky radio sets carried in the 40's.
Agreed, but 1940s radio sets were tiny anyway. The real weight in modern aircraft is in the optics, lasers and radars needed for most modern weapons, and for their cooling systems.


The Predator is small & lightweight, but can launch it's own Hellfires.
The Predator is small, lightweight, and about the same size as a WW2 fighter aircraft. Hell, you do realise that even relatively old aircraft like the Phantom are still about the same size and weight as a WW2 heavy bomber, right?


How much do you think JDAM equipment weighs anyway? All you need is an interface to tell the bombs GPS where to land. If the target's location is already known, like the Schweinfurt ball bearing plant, the plane can take off w/ the bombs preset & not need anything other than standard shackles.
Do you know anyone who's been out in Afghan? I know a lot, and one of them (Rfn Andrew Fentiman RIP) was even killed a week or so ago. One thing that is universally the case is that the target location is never known until seconds before bomb release. Additionally, high quality optical information from the aircraft is required before release is authorised - hence older aircraft being of little use.


Then what do you think the Leopard tank runs on? Euros? A 1500 hp V-12, thats what. And what about NASCAR? There are thousands of weekend engine monkeys souping-up piston powerplants all over America.
I've seen a Chally 2 powerpack (~1200 BHP) and an early model Merlin (also ~1200 BHP). The Merlin is about half the size and weight, and the disparity just grew over the course of the war - late model Merlins of about the same size were putting out ~2000 BHP. As for the racing cars, they run at a level of unreliability that would be utterly unacceptable in an aviation context, although at similar specific powers.


A V-12 is easier to repair than a Turbofan w/ hundreds of fast spinning blades. W/ a liftfan AND an afterburner.
Ummm... no. A turbofan has essentially one moving part, and that requires naff-all maintenance. Mean time between overhauls on a modern commercial turbofan engine is roughly the same as the total life of some piston engines.


As for vulnerability to radar... Did the Taliban have radar? The Somali militias or pirates? How many planes were lost to Saddams SAMs in 2003? Our own Patriots shot down more!
But what about Serbia, or Iraq in 1991. Both recent wars, and with very different air defences to deal with.


And any radar that does appear, gets blasted off the air w/ an AGM-88 HARM before the operator can blink.
Ummm.... No. There were targets over Serbia that had 30+ HARMs fired at them and still worked. An enormous amount depends on how good the radar crew are.

cato
11-27-2009, 03:57 AM
Re: Millenium Spits etc.

This is deja vu all over again. Nato powers seem to have a blind spot where COIN aircraft are concerned. Britain had a couple of aircraft, the de Havilland Hornet and the Bristol Brigand in Malaya, but they were replaced by jets (Vampires, venoms and Canberras) half-way through the campaign. The Aussies sent Sabres.
In Vietnam the Americans used the A1 Skyraider as a COIN aircraft in the early days, it wasn't designed for the task, but was reasonably effective. The A1-s were given to the South Vietnamese.
Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall NATO is still equipped and equipping to fight WW3 yet it is COIN conflicts they have been involved since 1945.
What's wrong with a Super Tucano or a Pucara? ( the only Pucara in Nato inventory is one captured by Britain from the Argentines).
Even when COIN aircraft are discussed its all around adapting Jet trainers as firing a hellfire misile from 30,000 ft is safer than getting in close.
Surely some protection can be provided against MAPAD weapons/
Interestingly, the old Rhodesian Air Force was very successful with the Aermacchi 260 and an adapted Cessna Skymaster even though they were almost the last choice the RDF would have made had they had available suppliers.

pdf27
11-27-2009, 04:16 AM
But jet engines burn more fuel/ lubricating oil than a piston. Plus they suck in more dust & wear out faster. They are also more vulnerable to combat damage.
All false. If fuel consumption is so high, why do no current commercial airliners use piston engines when fuel represents such a high fraction of the operating cost? Dust is a far bigger enemy to piston engines because of the requirement for seals on the pistons (not present in jet engines). As for combat damage, that's highly implausible too. Inline piston engines could be shot down with a single leak in the coolant system (although radial engines were much, much tougher) while in Korea jet aircraft were usually only shot down when the pilot was killed or incapacitated, they were that tough.


Plus the F-35 is too damed heavy to be zipping about on just one engine.
Why? The engine is big enough, so power:weight ratio is not an issue, and with single engined aircraft like the F-16 engine failure is an acceptably low cause of aircraft loss (with many of these losses being due to issues that would also down a twin engined aircraft, such as fuel starvation).
Most of the predjudice about single engined aircraft comes from the early days of aviation, where piston engines were massively unreliable and lots were needed to ensure some were still working throughout the flight. With modern gas turbines, that simply isn't an issue any more.


I like the Harrier, but they really shoulda made a twin engine version.
Why? In a hover, if one engine was lost then unless you have a massive and dangerously complex gearbox arrangement (like the V-22 - where it is arguably the biggest single problem with the project) then a failure of either engine will cause the loss of the aircraft through loss of control. Hence, a twin engined Harrier would not only be lost at nearly twice the rate through engine failures, but due to the assymetric nature of the failure far fewer of the pilots would be able to successfully eject.


And they should made a carrier version of the A-10 for the Marines. I'm sure they'd have loved a heavy mud mover in that class.
The Harriers don't operate off aircraft carriers, they operate off the helicopter carriers, which the A-10 would not be able to do. Were they to operate off the USN nuclear carriers, there would be major issues with the air group - and as the USMC are very much a second class type of citizen so far as the USN are concerned this won't happen.


That is a VERY BAD example. The B-17's were for bombing Strategic Targets. Over 90% of targets engaged by the American military since the Cold War ended were TACTICAL in nature,. thus requiring light, fighter-bombers or gunships.
Irrelevant - that was the scale of effort required to get a bomb that size onto a small target at a significant range from base - a bomb of the same size and at the same range that an F-15 could easily do. Given the nature of the Afghan war, much of the air support still comes from similar or greater distances due to the lack of in-country airbases.


We would've beat the Nazis years earlier if we never bothered w/ Strategic Bombing. Fighter Sweeps & interdiction (B-25, -26, A-20,-26)were far more cost effective.
Except many of the situations which enabled the lighter bombers to be so cost-effective were created by those very strategic bombers. Go look up the casualties suffered early in the war by very similar bombers in the Battle of France to see what I mean - on several raids none of the attacking aircraft survived to return home.


"Risible" indeed. I resent people opposing a cheaper, simpler 'moustrap'.
About as much as I resent people who can't tell the difference between a mousetrap and a feather duster.


A $100 million supersonic jet dropping 4 $20,000 bombs on 4 $100 mud huts in the mountains to kill 100-400 illiterate flat-earth types whose lives are worth NOTHING, isn't the best for olur economy.
In that case, don't get involved in Afghanistan in the first place.


Plus that guy didn't even calculate the cost in gas used by the B-17 or the F-15E.
Since about 200 B-17s were required, this is really, really obviously going to cost more for the B-17 - so why undermine your own argument?


four Cruise missiles are far cheaper. We really need to convince the russians to let us Build GLCMs again. As long as they're non-nuke & are used on 'savages' only, they shouldn't complain. Hell, we might as well pay them $1000+ for every GLCM we fire in combat just to keep them happy. Or if THEY build them & WE BUY & use them.
Why should the Russians make your lives easy for a small payment? Besides, hitting pre-designated targets is a very small fraction of what tactical aircraft do in Afghanistan right now - they are used far more often as sensor platforms or in a presence role to scare off attack.


Again, sorry if I've stepped on any toes. (It just sickens me to watch our country hemorrhage money against those who don't deserve this level of 'investment'. Especially when my family struggles to make ends meet, penny by penny. We should come first for our Gov't. Those Git'mo trash get free Health care & 3 squares a day & a roof over their heads.)
If you want more money from the government, vote for a socialist party who will withdraw from foreign entanglements and give you money taken from richer people. Don't whine about the cost of something you don't understand.

pdf27
11-27-2009, 04:19 AM
Re: Millenium Spits etc.

This is deja vu all over again. Nato powers seem to have a blind spot where COIN aircraft are concerned.
<snip>
What's wrong with a Super Tucano or a Pucara?
What is essentially happening is that this role is being taken over by unmanned drone aircraft such as the armed Predators. However, there is still a place for much more advanced aircraft - they have a much faster response time to troops in contact, and have much better sensor integration and sensor fusion. Additionally, they offer an insurance policy against more competent enemies should any such arrive.

cato
11-27-2009, 08:11 AM
What is essentially happening is that this role is being taken over by unmanned drone aircraft such as the armed Predators. However, there is still a place for much more advanced aircraft - they have a much faster response time to troops in contact, and have much better sensor integration and sensor fusion. Additionally, they offer an insurance policy against more competent enemies should any such arrive.


Of course, that much is obvious. But I would suggest that there is still a hole in the middle of that range for a, OK, modern, electromagnetic and biological sensor-laden and heavily armed low and slow manned craft.
I read recently that UAVs seem to kill 10 civilians for each targeted enemy--maybe that's a function of not being able to descend and use the Mk 1 eyeball. It would be a lot cheaper to operate as well and stay in action when the satellite link went down.

steben
11-27-2009, 09:15 AM
Of course, that much is obvious. But I would suggest that there is still a hole in the middle of that range for a, OK, modern, electromagnetic and biological sensor-laden and heavily armed low and slow manned craft.
I read recently that UAVs seem to kill 10 civilians for each targeted enemy--maybe that's a function of not being able to descend and use the Mk 1 eyeball. It would be a lot cheaper to operate as well and stay in action when the satellite link went down.

I like your point of view.

pdf27
11-27-2009, 01:55 PM
Of course, that much is obvious. But I would suggest that there is still a hole in the middle of that range for a, OK, modern, electromagnetic and biological sensor-laden and heavily armed low and slow manned craft.
If such a craft were cheaper than a modern fast jet, then there would be such a hole (modern fast jets can do the low/slow thing too). The problem is that the sensors cost an awful lot while higher performance doesn't cost very much - hence it makes economic sense to combine two roles and give the one you're suggesting to the fast jets.

cato
11-27-2009, 06:04 PM
From 'Defence of the Realm' Setember 2007

After the idiotic letter from Paddy Keenan last week in The Sunday Telegraph (still no link) – claiming that a Tucano with a bomb load "would not get much further than the end of the runway", we have no less than four letters in the print edition of the paper today – occupying the lead slot (no link).

The first is from Group Captain (Ret) Hastings, who commanded the Sultan of Oman's tactical air force in Dhofar Province in the latter stages of the war which, he writes, "had similarities with the current Afghan operations". He adds: "Air strikes were flown against a ruthless and determined enemy equipped with surface-to-air-missiles, heavy machine guns and AK47s."

Hastings continues:

Significantly, the slower aircraft (Strikemaster jets) performed extremely well with guns, rockets and bombs and did not suffer in comparison with the faster jets (Hunters). Moreover Strikemasters were extremely precise because of a longer target acquisition time in the attack dive and excellent manoeuvrability – much valued at low level over rugged terrain. Once a Strikemaster put down effective suppression fire against the enemy only feet away from our ground forces.

Slower aircraft cost probably three to four times less than modern, faster types, and are cheaper to maintain and repair. Maybe Ann Winterton has a point: particularly as the losses to enemy SAMs were no worse with slower aircraft.

Interestingly, we referred to Strikemasters in this context in December last year, and again in March of this. It is no coincidence that this aircraft was based on the then RAF's basic trainer – the Jet Provost – as is the Super Tucano based on the RAF's current basic trainer.

With a letter from this author (here) and another supportive letter which attests to the Tucano's manoeuvrability, the final offering recalls the Argentine twin-engined Pucara ground attack aircraft, used in the Falklands. This is from Peter Davey of Bournemouth, who adds:

Something like that would seem well suited to current operations in Afghanistan, with the benefit of new materials and techniques and 30 years' more experience, to turn a losing weapon into a winning one. I trust that we are not too proud to learn from our old enemies, in order to deal with our new ones.

Great minds clearly think alike as we also noted this aircraft in December, to illustrate the concept of "a light, cheap ground attack aircraft."

Altogether, these letters make a significant contribution to the debate and, once again, it is notable that the debate is going on in the letters pages, rather than in the main newspaper. Although covered by specialist websites, once again the MSM has excluded itself from important defence issues.

On one point though, Group Captain Hastings is a little out of date – costings. With a Eurofighter at £60 million (at least) and a Super Tucano in the order of £4 million, the cost ratio can be as high as 15:1. Then, there is the cost of operations and weapons.

Even with its inflated overhead, it only costs the RAF £5,000 an hour to operate a Tucano, while the Eurofighter is estimated at £40,000 an hour.

undefinedThen, one would expect the Tucano, with accurate, low-level delivery. to be able to use "dumb" bombs. On the other hand, to overcome the limitations of fast jets, we are seeing increasingly sophisticated munitions being used, the latest development being the focused lethality munition (FLM).

What we did not discuss in our piece on this weapon was the cost. Currently, it is expected to work out at £15,000 per bomb and, giving its confined effect, one could argue that more would be needed to achieve the same result that the Tucano could get, using two "dumb" bombs.

For the sake of argument, therefore, we could posit a Tucano completing a mission for under £10,000 (including the price of the ordnance) while a Eurofighter, using four FLMs, would come in at £100,000 – ten times the cost.

We would like to think that that was what Gen. Sir Richard Dannatt had in mind in his recent speech (which we said was far more profound than the media indicated). On equipment, he offered the following observations:

We also need to radically rethink the way that we think about our equipment. We need to start from the bottom by looking at equipping the man first and building the system around him. Too often we have been seduced by high technology, sometimes without really understanding what it can deliver or how it can improve our effectiveness.

If Dannatt cares to turn his mind to the cost and effectiveness of CAS, then he might find a useful ally in Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup. In the earlier stages of his career, Sir Jock flew Strikemasters in Oman, on the very missions for which Group Captain Hastings thought them so suitable.

cato
11-27-2009, 06:21 PM
From Defence Industries Dailyhttp://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/the-majors-email-british-harrier-support-in-afghanistan-revisited-02661/

As this National Defense magazine article notes, fast jets simply aren’t an ideal choice for close air support, and the British aren’t alone in having this issue. US Army Sgt. First Class Frank Antenori discuss his recent experiences in Iraq:

“The aircraft that we have are awesome, but they are too awesome, they are too fast, too high speed. The older technology, the A-10, is far better than the new technology, Antenori said. “The A-10s never missed, and with the F/A-18s we had to do two or three bomb runs to get them on the target,” he said, recalling his recent experiences in combat.”

Dispatches from Afghanistan add an additional edge, and reinforce the point:

The A-10 combines some of the best of today’s high-technology Air Force with a solid, low-tech foundation. The addition of a targeting and laser-designation pod was a huge boost to the plane’s capabilities, but still no substitute for the pilot’s eyeballs.

“Most other aircraft rely heavily on (electronic) sensors to find and target the enemy,” said Capt. Rick Mitchell, deployed here from the Air Force Reserve Command’s 442nd Fighter Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. “In the A-10, it’s not unusual for a pilot to use binoculars.”

pdf27
11-28-2009, 03:27 AM
Which is why the majority of British friendly fire casualties in both Iraq wars have been due to A-10s. Eyeballs give people on the ground a warm fuzzy feeling, but they're heavily outperformed by modern optical sensors.
If we were still using dumb munitions, then yes, something like the Strikemaster/Tucano would be a good call as they get better CEPs. However, with guided munitions a jet flying at supersonic speeds will do better still, with the guidance kit making up the diference. What has happened is that, unless using guns, the speed of the aircraft has become irrelevant.

Comrade Claus
11-28-2009, 03:54 AM
How'd we even get into the spitfire debate? Ah, I remember, someone used it's unit cost as an example.


All false. If fuel consumption is so high, why do no current commercial airliners use piston engines when fuel represents such a high fraction of the operating cost? Dust is a far bigger enemy to piston engines because of the requirement for seals on the pistons (not present in jet engines).

IIRC, the benefit of faster transit offset the increase in fuel consumption. And the transit from piston to jet was made before the 1970's Oil Crisis, when fuel prices exploded. Plus civil airliners don't use afterburners. Also, the formula for kinetic energy dictates than to go twice as fast requires 4 times the energy. And if props are so lousy, then why does the C-130, Americas most successful transport since the C-47, have props rather than pure jets? Oh & also, it's be very hard to build a piston engine that could move a Boeing 747, Jets scale up far easier. But we're not talking about civilian aircraft, we're talkin' about SMALL warplanes.


Why? The engine is big enough, so power:weight ratio is not an issue, and with single engined aircraft like the F-16 engine failure is an acceptably low cause of aircraft loss (with many of these losses being due to issues that would also down a twin engined aircraft, such as fuel starvation).
Most of the prejudice about single engined aircraft comes from the early days of aviation, where piston engines were massively unreliable and lots were needed to ensure some were still working throughout the flight. With modern gas turbines, that simply isn't an issue any more.

It's not about reliability, it's about if combat damage takes out an engine. How many A-10's would we still have if they crashed each time an engine was taken out? Or Apaches & Blackhawks w/ 1 engine to fly on?

[QUOTE]
Why? In a hover, if one engine was lost then unless you have a massive and dangerously complex gearbox arrangement (like the V-22 - where it is arguably the biggest single problem with the project) then a failure of either engine will cause the loss of the aircraft through loss of control. Hence, a twin engined Harrier would not only be lost at nearly twice the rate through engine failures, but due to the asymmetric nature of the failure far fewer of the pilots would be able to successfully eject.

Asymmetry? Who thought I was talking about a side-by side design? You know what they say about assumptions... The British Lightning, as monstrously ugly as it was proved that the over-under design could work. A Harrier type V/STOL w/ twin turbofans would have more power and be able to carry a larger payload. As for the reduced chance of ejecting, the Yak-28 had an auto-eject function to compensate for more dangerous flight eccentricities. Deviate from know safe parameters & WHOOSH you're getting some hang time while the V/STOL eats dirt.



The Harriers don't operate off aircraft carriers, they operate off the helicopter carriers, which the A-10 would not be able to do. Were they to operate off the USN nuclear carriers, there would be major issues with the air group - and as the USMC are very much a second class type of citizen so far as the USN are concerned this won't happen.

I KNOW what Harriers fly from, the Tarawa & Wasp class LHA/LHDs.You're saying an A-10 can't take off from the 800 feet of deck on an assault ship? Other countries (Russia) have flown bigger jets (Su-27K) than the A-10 from ski-jumps. They also have an A-10 analog (Su-25K). So a Marine flattop could be modified during it's next SLEP to fly STOL attack planes to augment the lightweight harriers. Besides, the Navy used AD-1 Skyraiders in Korea & 'Nam off their flattops, IIRC. They're basically the step-dad of the Warthog. And Marine F/A-18's fly from Navy Carriers all the time. Also, when we retire our old Navy Carriers, they could be "hand-me-down"ed to the marines like the WW 2 escort carriers were. Replace the reactors w/ gas turbines Add some troop accommodations & a vehicle park & you've got yourself a Heavy Marine Assault Ship.



Irrelevant - that was the scale of effort required to get a bomb that size onto a small target at a significant range from base - a bomb of the same size and at the same range that an F-15 could easily do. Given the nature of the Afghan war, much of the air support still comes from similar or greater distances due to the lack of in-country airbases.

It'd be cheaper to station STOL COIN in Afghanistan close to the action. We're supposes to be their to help build their Democratic military aren't we? A number of airbases all over the country would kill 2 birds w/ one stone. And serve to bring development to far flung villages too, like medical aid.


Except many of the situations which enabled the lighter bombers to be so cost-effective were created by those very strategic bombers. Go look up the casualties suffered early in the war by very similar bombers in the Battle of France to see what I mean - on several raids none of the attacking aircraft survived to return home.

By SMALL groups of poorly armed planes! The Blenheim & Battle were PATHETIC in self defense! Plus they had no escorts attached to them. Comparing OUR Light & Medium bombers to the sad jokes the British & French used is a very bad analogy.:rolleyes:

Attacks by A-26s used formations of a hundred planes & up. Plus the A-26 could outrun & out fight most German fighters. And the P-51's had overwhelming advantage over the Luftwaffe. W/out heavy bombers, we'd have resources for more fighters & medium bombers.

Lt. Col Clifford Erly (In the book "The Encyclopedia of Aircraft of WWII" by Amber Books.) "Once rid of it's bombs, it was a real fighter. Not only were we as fast as any fighter, we were almost as maneuverable. I have never heard of a fight successfully attacking an A-26 because we had the choice. We could run away in the straight-way or we could turn and fight."


About as much as I resent people who can't tell the difference between a mousetrap and a feather duster.

That analogy make no sense. A spitfire has more in common w/ a F-15E than a mousetrap does w/ a feather duster. Now if you compared a hammer to a mousetrap, THAT would be a good analogy because both can kill mice, just one does it much better. But the other is more versatile.:mrgreen:


In that case, don't get involved in Afghanistan in the first place.

So you're saying we should just let the Taliban continue to tear the place apart? I'm still pissed they blew up those priceless Buddha Statues! It's be like blowing up the Sphinx of the pyramids because Muslims didn't build them. And you're forgetting the OPIUM! We've fought a 40 year war in Columbia over drugs & Afghanistan is a new front in that.



Since about 200 B-17s were required, this is really, really obviously going to cost more for the B-17 - so why undermine your own argument?

Wrong, my argument was on how a Tactical/ Coin aircraft was preferable to a fleet of high flying ducks wallowing slowly towards a small target surrounded by thousands of civilians who were far more likely to get hit while burning huge loads of fuel in the process (a very good reason why the Germans didn't try doing the same to Britain). Or a $50 million dollar Mach 2.5+ gas guzzler which is only advantageous against enemies w/ very advanced air defenses, which MOST of the world lacks. How much would that F-15 burn on a typical mission? I usually see them w/ at least 1x600 Gal tank externally, that's probably more than a spitfire can carry internally. So it has more range, so? It's like an argument I read about F-14's vs B-2s during allied force. The B-2s had to fly all the way from Missouri to Serbia & back while the F-14s only had to go from the Adriatic, a fraction of the distance. It was in an issue of Flight Journal. I wasn't trying to compare B-17 fuel use to an F-15s


Why should the Russians make your lives easy for a small payment? Besides, hitting pre-designated targets is a very small fraction of what tactical aircraft do in Afghanistan right now - they are used far more often as sensor platforms or in a presence role to scare off attack.

I was saying why we don't need AIR SUPERIORITY fighters anymore. We can destroy any enemy air force on the ground the moment we feel we gotta go to war. I mentioned Russia because we can't deploy Tomahawks or other cruise missiles from ground launchers because we signed the INF treaty w/ Russia. But countries tend not to interfere w/ us if we bribe them.


If you want more money from the government, vote for a socialist party who will withdraw from foreign entanglements and give you money taken from richer people. Don't whine about the cost of something you don't understand.

Speaking of Gov't cost, the Death Penalty uses a lethal injection, TWO actually! And they flush the line clean before using the second chemical. And apparently, they even use an alcohol wipe before putting the needle in. That ain't cheap. A bullet costs a few cents & you can use a policeman's sidearm for it, or a length of rope.

(We fed our German POWs a measly 1000 calories a day & denied them Red Cross aid, at least 70,000 died & we hung most of those we charged w/ war crimes only a year after they surrendered. Khalid Sheik Muhammad is still alive [for now]. And they fought w/ more honor & courage than terrorists.)

Of course the money spent on executing criminals is WAY exceeded by other prison costs.And the death penalty was halted AGAIN, last I heard.
As for voting, both parties refuse to respect my values, so I will withhold my vote until a new party rises to supplant them. As least someone is trying to think outside the box.

cato
11-28-2009, 10:50 AM
Which is why the majority of British friendly fire casualties in both Iraq wars have been due to A-10s. Eyeballs give people on the ground a warm fuzzy feeling, but they're heavily outperformed by modern optical sensors.
If we were still using dumb munitions, then yes, something like the Strikemaster/Tucano would be a good call as they get better CEPs. However, with guided munitions a jet flying at supersonic speeds will do better still, with the guidance kit making up the diference. What has happened is that, unless using guns, the speed of the aircraft has become irrelevant.

To blame the eyeball of US A-10 pilots is a bit of a false premise. Perhaps you should blame who is using the eyeball.
Watch the video of the notorious case where Cpl Hull was killed. The A10 pilots are loitering at 10,000 ft,, three miles up-range. They spend some 10 minutes talking to their controller. Then attack, firing weapons at 4000 feet, twice at which point the non-attacking wingman USES HIS BINOCULARS!
These particular guys were Air National Guard with no training on NATO identification procedures.
But back to the point, the A-10 was designed as a tank-busting close support aircraft--not a COIN asset. All the modifications in recent years are designed to allow it to identify and attack targets from further and further away and at higher altitude.
There is a grand idea that all friendly assets will sport an IFF device that has an individual, unforgeable code that will return a signal from a radar ping with ID, GPS location and other data--it still an idea. Together with existing fire-control systems that rely on friendlies uploading their GPS position to update deployment data in the battlefield control system. should work, but doesn't all of the time. All of this is great for a Desert Storm type fight against a conventional military foe.
But, how does this help a pilot descriminate from, say, insurgents have a brew-up after planting an IED and an Afghan knees-up at a wedding party?
I can see no problem of a loitering sensor platform on a UAV and big-bad fast jets with JDAMS being augmented by the type of COIN craft mentioned earlier and, how about this for coincidence, the US, Britain, Australia and Canada have all called for proposals for such aircraft in the last three months!
Maybe they have found something out.

Nickdfresh
11-28-2009, 01:23 PM
...

I KNOW what Harriers fly from, the Tarawa & Wasp class LHA/LHDs.You're saying an A-10 can't take off from the 800 feet of deck on an assault ship? Other countries (Russia) have flown bigger jets (Su-27K) than the A-10 from ski-jumps. They also have an A-10 analog (Su-25K). So a Marine flattop could be modified during it's next SLEP to fly STOL attack planes to augment the lightweight harriers. Besides, the Navy used AD-1 Skyraiders in Korea & 'Nam off their flattops, IIRC. They're basically the step-dad of the Warthog. And Marine F/A-18's fly from Navy Carriers all the time. Also, when we retire our old Navy Carriers, they could be "hand-me-down"ed to the marines like the WW 2 escort carriers were. Replace the reactors w/ gas turbines Add some troop accommodations & a vehicle park & you've got yourself a Heavy Marine Assault Ship.....

A hugely expensive proposition for an aircraft that doesn't really suit USMC close air support needs. Old ships get mothballed for a reason, namely that they're too expensive to maintain anymore. It would be just another excess of redundant capability and trying to fix a problem that doesn't exist out of some Warthog fetish...

The A-10 was born as a pure tank buster--sort of the new NATO Sturmovik--and its ordinance loads can almost be as much a hazard to friendlies than to the enemy. While it is effective in certain close air missions, most marines and soldiers prefer attack or observation/light attack helicopters and the weapon of choice in a counterinsurgency fight. Although, I have read that the US Army was planning on trying to recondition the old OV-10 Broncos to see if they could be brought back into service as light attack and observation platforms like they were early in Vietnam --before inter-service rivalry between the USA and the USAF force the Army to forgo most of their fixed wing armed fleet IIRC...

pdf27
11-29-2009, 02:58 AM
IIRC, the benefit of faster transit offset the increase in fuel consumption.
No, the benefit comes from being physically capable of flying very high. Current airliner speeds are all to do with certain benefits to the efficiency of the wing that spring from flying under certain transonic conditions, which allow you to have a patch of supersonic air on top of the wing and so give particularly good L/D values.


Also, the formula for kinetic energy dictates than to go twice as fast requires 4 times the energy.
No, it states that the energy posessed by something quadruples as the velocity doubles. This is not the same thing.
Lift and drag of aircraft do vary with velocity squared, but only up to a certain speed (about 0.3 Mach). Above this compressibility kicks in and these equations go out the window.


And if props are so lousy, then why does the C-130, Americas most successful transport since the C-47, have props rather than pure jets?
Strawman - the statement was that piston engines were rubbish, not propellers. As I am well aware (having recently spend 10 hours in the back of one of the flaming things), C-130s are powered by gas turbine engines.


It's not about reliability, it's about if combat damage takes out an engine. How many A-10's would we still have if they crashed each time an engine was taken out? Or Apaches & Blackhawks w/ 1 engine to fly on?
With most modern weapons, if it's close enough to take out an engine then the entire aircraft is toast. Only a handful of MANPADS are small enough for that, and with modern weapons there is no need to get into the engagement envelope for them.



Asymmetry? Who thought I was talking about a side-by side design? You know what they say about assumptions...
Nobody. Draw a force diagram of what you're suggesting, ensure that the turning moments are zero and then take out an engine. They will no longer be zero in all axes, which is a fundamental requirement for safe hovering flight, unless your lift source is driven by a gearbox from your power source(s). Which is how helicopters and the V-22 do it.


The British Lightning, as monstrously ugly as it was proved that the over-under design could work.
Errr... no, it proved such a design could be made to fly. The fact that nobody has done it since despite major reductions in the frontal area shows you why saying that it "could work" is a bit of an overstatement.


As for the reduced chance of ejecting, the Yak-28 had an auto-eject function to compensate for more dangerous flight eccentricities. Deviate from know safe parameters & WHOOSH you're getting some hang time while the V/STOL eats dirt.
JSF has the same thing (at least in principle). It is something else to go very fundamentally wrong, and just not needed on the Harrier.


So a Marine flattop could be modified during it's next SLEP to fly STOL attack planes to augment the lightweight harriers.
No, it couldn't. Doing so would fundamentally compromise their primary mission of flying off helicopter assaults. The modifications would be massive (an angled deck for starters, as while an A-10 **may** be able to take off from a ski-jump, it can't land on one) and mean that it can't perform it's primary mission while A-10 operations are ongoing. Harriers can take off and land just like helicopters, so fit in just fine.


Also, when we retire our old Navy Carriers, they could be "hand-me-down"ed to the marines like the WW 2 escort carriers were. Replace the reactors w/ gas turbines Add some troop accommodations & a vehicle park & you've got yourself a Heavy Marine Assault Ship.
The only way to do this is to lift off the nameplate and slide a new ship underneath. Just changing from nuclear to gas turbines is a structural nightmare, let alone the other alterations. What you have in mind may leave the ship so weak it would snap in two while parked in dock.


So you're saying we should just let the Taliban continue to tear the place apart? I'm still pissed they blew up those priceless Buddha Statues! It's be like blowing up the Sphinx of the pyramids because Muslims didn't build them. And you're forgetting the OPIUM! We've fought a 40 year war in Columbia over drugs & Afghanistan is a new front in that.
You state that the primary responsibilities are to people like you in the US, rather than to villagers in Afghanistan in your earlier posts. Now you state that you should be protecting statues in Afghanistan. Make your frikking mind u.


(a very good reason why the Germans didn't try doing the same to Britain).
They did. Using bombers optimised for the very type of tactical mission you continuously suggest we should optimise our air forces for. And lost heavily, with atrocious casualties.

pdf27
11-29-2009, 03:15 AM
To blame the eyeball of US A-10 pilots is a bit of a false premise. Perhaps you should blame who is using the eyeball.
Absolutely - sorry, I may not have been clear enough here. I blame a system that sends aircraft out to hunt for enemies using only their eyeballs, with minimal or no comms to forces on the ground and no optics beyond a set of binos. Even a halfway-decent targeting pod would have made it very clear that the orange recognition panels were not in fact "orange rockets".


Watch the video of the notorious case where Cpl Hull was killed. The A10 pilots are loitering at 10,000 ft,, three miles up-range. They spend some 10 minutes talking to their controller. Then attack, firing weapons at 4000 feet, twice at which point the non-attacking wingman USES HIS BINOCULARS!
I've watched it several times after it was leaked (that caused a LOT of bad feeling over here incidentally, after the US refused to release any information to the inquest into how this guy died - it's a frikking INQUEST!). There were several other major failings in addition to those you describe - notably that they ask the controller for details of any friendly forces in the area, then decide to kill what they're looking at anyway before he gets back to them to tell them that there are indeed UK forces in the area.


These particular guys were Air National Guard with no training on NATO identification procedures.
The 10 or so guys we lost to A-10s in 1991 were also killed by ANG pilots. Spot the pattern?


But back to the point, the A-10 was designed as a tank-busting close support aircraft--not a COIN asset. All the modifications in recent years are designed to allow it to identify and attack targets from further and further away and at higher altitude.
About what I'm suggesting should be done ;)


But, how does this help a pilot descriminate from, say, insurgents have a brew-up after planting an IED and an Afghan knees-up at a wedding party?
It does not and cannot. All that can is improved sensors and keeping eyes-on for substantial lengths of time - or best of all, guys on the ground who can get in close.


I can see no problem of a loitering sensor platform on a UAV and big-bad fast jets with JDAMS being augmented by the type of COIN craft mentioned earlier and, how about this for coincidence, the US, Britain, Australia and Canada have all called for proposals for such aircraft in the last three months!
Maybe they have found something out.
As I understand it, what they're after is essentially a manned-UAV. Afghanistan and Iraq are very, very congested electronic environments, and there is basically no room in the spectrum for more UAVs - plus UAVs are badly affected by IED jammers. Hence the growth of aircraft to fulfil that role, with the guys looking at the imagery on board. This seems mostly to be done by Beech King Air aircraft, which apparently go by the name of "Funny-Looking King Airs" or FLKAs.

Ivaylo
11-29-2009, 06:43 AM
sorry but i can't see the link between A-10 , NATO and how can Hitler won the war :D

Schuultz
11-29-2009, 09:23 AM
Maybe, if he had A-10s and NATO on his side, he could've defeated Russia :D

Comrade Claus
11-29-2009, 05:27 PM
I've watched it several times after it was leaked (that caused a LOT of bad feeling over here incidentally, after the US refused to release any information to the inquest into how this guy died - it's a frikking INQUEST!). There were several other major failings in addition to those you describe - notably that they ask the controller for details of any friendly forces in the area, then decide to kill what they're looking at anyway before he gets back to them to tell them that there are indeed UK forces in the area.

What the Hell was wrong w/ those guys? What part of "don't engage w/out positive ID" could they not understand?

And I want to sincerely apologize for my govt's behavior regarding the refusal to release the info. My country's a real jerk like that (Although, when the Abu Gharib photos were released, my dad felt the man who came forward w/ them should've been executed for treason) they know they can basically get away w/ anything. Like that ski lift accident in Italy. So many innocent people killed. BTW, are you from the UK, pdf27? Because when you mention the UK guys getting killed, you have an "it's Personal" feeling to it.



The 10 or so guys we lost to A-10s in 1991 were also killed by ANG pilots. Spot the pattern?

I guess training 1 weekend a year isn't quite enough?:oops:


It does not and cannot. All that can is improved sensors and keeping eyes-on for substantial lengths of time - or best of all, guys on the ground who can get in close.

That to me, troops on the ground, is the very definition of COIN. Guys who can get in close & actually CONFIRM that the target is good to hit. Airpower is a SUPPLEMENT to ground power, not a replacement.


As I understand it, what they're after is essentially a manned-UAV. Afghanistan and Iraq are very, very congested electronic environments, and there is basically no room in the spectrum for more UAVs - plus UAVs are badly affected by IED jammers. Hence the growth of aircraft to fulfill that role, with the guys looking at the imagery on board. This seems mostly to be done by Beech King Air aircraft, which apparently go by the name of "Funny-Looking King Airs" or FLKAs.

"MANNED-uavs" Hmm. So much for the Air Force's idea to replace all manned aircraft w/ UCAVs. And I for one would HATE if they made autonomous UCAVs (Terminator anyone?) BTW, I have a pic of that Beechcraft, it has all these aerials on it like a pincushion.

BTW, what are your assessments of Tom Clancy & Larry Bond? Are they ill-informed & biased? Both basically claim the AMRAAM is a 100% successful silver bullet while Russian arms are way bellow 1% effective. And they say the F-117 is COMPLETELY INVINCIBLE. (But how'd the Serbs shoot several down? Act if God?) I honestly don't know how 30 HARMS failed to take out 1 Serb radar. Was it mobile like an SA-8 platform? But Mr Clancy gets the "Seal of Approval" from our military. Although Larry Bond, when he had France & Germany team up against nato (The used the "Francmark" as currency of the Eurcon state. He gave the French the Rafale jet & ANL missiles while Germany only had Phantoms w/ Sparrows (The F-4F NEVER HAD AIM-7s) He also gave Poland a fleet of F-15s.

Yeah, I can hear you guys laughing through my modem. He gave an impoverished East European country one of the most powerful jets of all & France all the cutting edge weapons but left Germany w/ 30 yr old Tech. Plus he had the French start the war, but the Germans did all the fighting & dying while the French sat on their rears screaming insults.

Isn't that racism?

I couldn't even stomach trying to read his latest books. The plot was all rinse-repeat w/ new names for the cast. Every male lead even fell for a red-head in each book.:rolleyes::evil:

But please, if you can find a modern war book that doesn't read like a sales brochure for Lockheed Martin or a Televangelist screed to smite unbelievers, let me know. I prefer a novel where the victor isn't predetermined by here the book was printed.


Although the SA-2 only had a 1% PK in 'Nam & even less today. The SA-3 were 'Completely ineffective' (Despite taking out 2 F-117As) SA-5 no success in Libyan use. SA-6, Yom Kippur PK 2.3% while 16 batteries wiped out in Bekaa valley w/out a SINGLE KILL. The SA-8 only got one plane in Lebanon '82. SA-9 'Totally Ineffective". The SA-7 in Yom Kippur, 500 missiles fired, just 4 kills. SA-14 'Mixed Results. - "The Dictionary of Modern War" Edward Luttwak & Stuart Koehl

Um, are those figures for Russian SAMs correct? I got them 'word for word' from the book mentioned (It was listed at $45 but I only paid $5. Is that because the book is junk?) Note that most of those missiles were used against Israel. And that the Muslim countries & Russia don't agree w/ Israel's 'assessments' Someone has to be lying & Russia & the Middle East nations are notorious for dishonesty as well as everything evil under the sun. I don't want to sound racist, but when every Muslim fighting force in history does SO POORLY even w/ massive numerical superiority & technological parity or sSUPERority even, I have to ask, "Is it just them?" But our own battles in the Middle East proved that Saddam & others were legally retarded when it came to waging war. In 2003 he did even worse, despite learning our power in 1991. Did he really think the 125mm on a T-72 would work in Iraq where it failed in Kuwait? Nothing less than a point blank hit from a 152 or 203 mm gun would even scratch it. Or a 500lb IED:lol:

Was there any time when Arab armies actually OUT FOUGHT Israel? Succes by Insurgents & terrorists don't count, I'm talkin' head to head, army to army. (I must admit, I feel it's a shame Israel didn't exist before WW 2. Just Imagine Hitler's reaction if he invaded & found out how wrong he was about the Jews being 'inferior'. If anything the Israelis are truer SuperMen than the make-believe Aryans. They've never been defeated. But strangely, they don't win many Olympic medals.:confused: )

Comrade Claus
11-29-2009, 06:49 PM
If that happens you're designing a whole new aircraft, essentially. At which point it becomes cheaper and less risky to start from a clean sheet of paper or from a more modern design (e.g. Tucano).

Hmm. I'd have thought that one could reduce drag & increase speed/range simply by using improved skin on the aircraft. That wouldn't call for redesigning the whole plane. When the DB605AS was fitted to the Me 109G, the engine cowling was 'completely redesigned', improving streamling & performance in addition to what the engine itself added. The result was stil called the Me 109G.



Agreed, but 1940s radio sets were tiny anyway. The real weight in modern aircraft is in the optics, lasers and radars needed for most modern weapons, and for their cooling systems.

I'll retract my claim on the radio, as I recently looked at a cutaway of a Spitfire I. The radio was far smaller than I pictured. The reason I mentioned the Predator was because I wanted to point out how small & lightweight its Optics & laser are. How much does the Predator sensor package weigh anyhow? Surely the Thermal Imager & laser could be fit on a Spit, right? Planes like the Hellcat even carried a radar. (Modern radar the size & weight of the APS-19A would be more powerful & effective)



Do you know anyone who's been out in Afghan? I know a lot, and one of them (Rfn Andrew Fentiman RIP) was even killed a week or so ago. One thing that is universally the case is that the target location is never known until seconds before bomb release. Additionally, high quality optical information from the aircraft is required before release is authorised - hence older aircraft being of little use.

Yes, as a matter of fact I do. Over 200 families in my town have husbands in the 10th Mountain Division Fightling In Afghanistan right now. I always buy beers at the Legion for some the guys when they get back & we talk all the time. They seem to really like the A-10 & think a lot of my ideas, (the ones you don't think would fly, so to speak) a really great. You do have my sympathy for the late Mr Fentiman. (What is 'Rfn' exactly?) When I was saying that a GPS could be set on the ground, I was giving an extreme example of how easy it would be to fit a JDAM on anything that flies. I could've use a large kite or a balloon for example.;) I do know that a plane should have at least enough 'brains' to not hit the wrong hut.



I've seen a Chally 2 powerpack (~1200 BHP) and an early model Merlin (also ~1200 BHP). The Merlin is about half the size and weight, and the disparity just grew over the course of the war - late model Merlins of about the same size were putting out ~2000 BHP. As for the racing cars, they run at a level of unreliability that would be utterly unacceptable in an aviation context, although at similar specific powers.

I certainly know that ground vehicle engines way far more per HP than plane engines. You had implied that there is NO CAPACITY FOR ANY manufacture of WW 2 class HP piston engines in this day & age. I was using a tank engine as an example of a piston engine which is rated to a similar amount as a WW 2 plane. BTW, it only took a few years for pistons to evolve from the 695 hp RR Kestrel VI to the massive 2,200 hp Wright Duplex Cyclones of the B-29, so if it can happen then, then it could happen again. W/ computer controlled lathes & other tooling, a person can make pretty much anything he wants if he can afford the materials. If the US asked Pratt & Whitney to turn out some new cyclones, it'd only take a few weeks for some new ones to roll off the assembly line. [Although, strangely, the only plane engines designed in Germany are pistons of 100 hp & below. They don't design turbines (not aircraft, ship or tank at least) or turboprops or turboshafts. & only a few rocket motors are designed by them (for missiles not space launchers.) I may be wrong, but I've spent months trying to find out otherwise, but there is NO DATA ANYWHERE which says otherwise.]


Ummm... no. A turbofan has essentially one moving part, and that requires naff-all maintenance. Mean time between overhauls on a modern commercial turbofan engine is roughly the same as the total life of some piston engines

I meant repair as in "Taking a few 20mm HE rounds head on. Can a turbine withstand that kind of damage & ever run again? I've seen P-47 engines w/ half their cylinders shot away & the engine still worked. & some of those engines were made to run at 100% again. Some that weren't were cannibalized. A turbine w/ that level of damage is finished, good only for scrap. But I've seen A-10s & Su-25s make it back w/ one whole engine shot away, so they beat any single engine jet. Plus my dad's worked both on jet & piston engines, as well as helicopter turboshafts. He prefers the piston engine from the maintenance perspective. And he has 40 years of experience.



But what about Serbia, or Iraq in 1991. Both recent wars, and with very different air defenses to deal with.

Well COIN isn't really intended for those kinds of enemy. Plus Predators & AC-130s have propellers but we used them against Iraq & Serbia just fine. But bunker busters on Aircraft Hangars & submunitions on runways (delivered by VERY BRAVE RAF Tornado pilots) Won Air Supremacy early on. The few MiGs who made it off the ground didn't last long. Even an unarmed EF-111 brought one down! (God, those Iraqis were pathetic.) Then the B-52s carpet bombed all those divisions which were graciously retarded enough to make themselves stand out in the open desert rather than hide in towns & cities. The A-10s, Apaches & Cobras reduced their conspicuously parked T-72s like target practice while our Abrams wiped out what was left. Their SAMS were wiped out w/ decoy drones & HARMs in an event called "Poohbah's Party" , mentioned here:

http://books.google.com/books?id=YcVDeau_E88C&pg=PA156&lpg=PA156&dq=poobah's+party+KARI&source=bl&ots=Kk7lEnWuJg&sig=n1yCpBGTpNKnaE2ydjBTYFNg9Ew&hl=en&ei=WhITS7DCK9GYlAek3aGTBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CBEQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=poobah's%20party%20KARI&f=false

Serbia was different due to politics & the fact that the Serbs actually concealed their armor in towns, used decoys AND used human shields. But their air defenses were even less of a threat than Saddam's, except for losing 2 F-117As. How DO you shoot down a invisible jet w/out getting your own radar slagged by a HARM? We royally screwed up against Serbia. (Since we were trying to stop a GENOCIDE, we should've put more pressure on the Serbian people by carpet bombing Belgrade & the rest of Serbia. w/ our B-2s every night. Every bridge, train station, powerplant, regardless of civilian casualties. If their army was intent on murdering unarmed women &children, then their homes, wives & children shouldn't be sacrosanct either. Eventually those killers would've gotten the point. Clinton let too much slide, especially after Srebinica. Serbia clearly didn't fear us since we went out of our way to spare their civilian populace any suffering.:rolleyes: The ONE time a people DESERVED to be burned Dresden/ Hiroshima style. Their army had places called 'RAPE camps' for Christs sake! In comparison, the SS Totenkophverband were the Knights of the Round Table.:evil: (I grew up watching Serbia's horrors every evening on the news & asking why America let it go on for so long. All those children in Sarejevo getting legs blown off by Serbian mortars, seeing the skeletal survivors of Serbian Extermination Camps. It was the Holocaust in miniature. But the monsters get only 10-20 year sentences, no Death penalty, no Life Sentences. And no rank & file soldiers charged. The whole Bosnian Serb 'Army' should be shot. They scarred me for life)



Ummm.... No. There were targets over Serbia that had 30+ HARMs fired at them and still worked. An enormous amount depends on how good the radar crew are.

How good the radar crew are? How good do you have to be to evade 24/7 multi-spectral satellite recon, recon drones, Mach 5-6 missiles flying at you each time you turn on anything. Plus the HARM has an autopilot, even if the radar goes quiet, the missile will still fly toward the source. I've seen footage of a HARM HITTING the dish of a radar station on autopilot alone. And if the radar switches off and STILL by some miracle, avoids a direct hit, the SAMs won't have any guidance. Unless they have an Active Radar &/or Infrared back up. I don't recall Serbia having anything more modern than SA-3s

xoodozhnik
11-30-2009, 07:20 AM
Schuultz I pmed you

pdf27
11-30-2009, 05:43 PM
BTW, are you from the UK, pdf27? Because when you mention the UK guys getting killed, you have an "it's Personal" feeling to it.
I'm currently a member of the British Army (Royal Engineers TA). So yes, it's very personal.


"MANNED-uavs" Hmm. So much for the Air Force's idea to replace all manned aircraft w/ UCAVs. And I for one would HATE if they made autonomous UCAVs (Terminator anyone?)
Thing is, they do the job that people keep suggesting for reconditioned old designs, have been doing it for some years now, and do it many times better than any reconditioned or new build old design could ever hope to.


BTW, what are your assessments of Tom Clancy & Larry Bond? Are they ill-informed & biased?
Of Tom Clancy's work, Red Storm Rising was pretty good, but the rest was fantasy (if a rather entertaining one). I've not read Larry Bond


Both basically claim the AMRAAM is a 100% successful silver bullet while Russian arms are way bellow 1% effective.
The difference isn't in the weapon itself, but in the way it is used. NATO doctrine and systems are extremely effective, while those of most users of exported Russian weapons (which are emphatically NOT the same as those the Russians used - in Soviet times the export versions were referred to as "monkey models") are incompetent to put it charitably.


(But how'd the Serbs shoot several down? Act if God?)
Incompetence on NATO's part - the single F-117 shot down flew down the same route three nights in succession. The third time the Serbs (not being total fools) had parked a SAM battery right underneath it, which promptly shot it down.


I honestly don't know how 30 HARMS failed to take out 1 Serb radar. Was it mobile like an SA-8 platform?
As I understand it the "home in on last recorded position" function of the missile wasn't working too well, so they were reduced to using lots of them in series to force the radar to stay off the air. IIRC it was eventually taken out with an ALARM.


But please, if you can find a modern war book that doesn't read like a sales brochure for Lockheed Martin or a Televangelist screed to smite unbelievers, let me know. I prefer a novel where the victor isn't predetermined by here the book was printed.
Red Storm Rising is, as mentioned, pretty good. The Third World War by General Sir John Hackett is also pretty good, although the ending leaves a bit to be desired.


Um, are those figures for Russian SAMs correct? I got them 'word for word' from the book mentioned (It was listed at $45 but I only paid $5. Is that because the book is junk?) Note that most of those missiles were used against Israel. And that the Muslim countries & Russia don't agree w/ Israel's 'assessments'
Probably true for those fired at the Israelis - as mentioned before, these are "export model" missiles which are radically less effective than the Soviet ones would be, and additionally all Arab armies have massive institutional, cultural flaws which make them ineffective. The biggest one is the mindset that "knowledge is power" - which means that anyone finding out something new will do everything in their power to make sure nobody else finds out, which sabotages training like you wouldn't believe. Add in the fact that in most Arab countries a competent army would be a threat to whatever tinpot dictator is in charge this week and the complete non-existence of professional NCOs on the western model and you have a massively ineffective army. The Soviets had some of these problems (lack of long-service NCOs being partially made up for by giving the better conscripts the role after a tough course, and the KGB to keep an eye on the army), but nowhere near as severely. The quality of general education in the Red Army would also have been much higher, leading to better use of the weapons.


Was there any time when Arab armies actually OUT FOUGHT Israel? Success by Insurgents & terrorists don't count, I'm talkin' head to head, army to army.
It came close on the Golan during the Yom Kippur war, but prior to that you're back to either the Ottomans (if you count the Turks as Arabs - which I don't) or the Crusades. In either case, Western armies were frankly slapped stupid by their opponents on multiple occasions.

pdf27
11-30-2009, 06:03 PM
Hmm. I'd have thought that one could reduce drag & increase speed/range simply by using improved skin on the aircraft.
You can. Unfortunately most of the improvement comes from reduced weight - the majority of drag comes from the cross-sectional shape of the wing rather than the surface properties.


(What is 'Rfn' exactly?)
Rifleman. He was serving with 7 RIFLES, on attachment to 3 RIFLES as an Assault Pioneer.


W/ computer controlled lathes & other tooling, a person can make pretty much anything he wants if he can afford the materials. If the US asked Pratt & Whitney to turn out some new cyclones, it'd only take a few weeks for some new ones to roll off the assembly line.
Pratt don't in any way have the capability (wrong sort of tooling). If we were very lucky and found all the drawings (needle in a haystack job - I'd be stunned if you got more than 10% of them). While most things are possible with 5-Axis tooling, many of them are very difficult and slow, and programming the tooling takes an awfully long time. With complex machines like that, furthermore, you often find critical features (e.g. tempering of poppet valve seats) that aren't fully contained on the drawings and take some experimentation to get right. You're probably looking at over a year to get production quantities of engines available.



I meant repair as in "Taking a few 20mm HE rounds head on.
If you're in range of 20mm, you're flying way too low - because it puts you in range of a whole lot of more lethal systems, and a 20mm is a big beastie - far too big for insurgents to tote around.


(Since we were trying to stop a GENOCIDE, we should've put more pressure on the Serbian people by carpet bombing Belgrade & the rest of Serbia. w/ our B-2s every night. Every bridge, train station, powerplant, regardless of civilian casualties.
You do realise that this would have caused at least a hundred times the number of civilian casualties we were trying to prevent, right? Furthermore, it would have been a war crime under the strict legal definition that the British Army works too (and I assume most other NATO forces too) and so would have destroyed any potential NATO coalition.


Their army had places called 'RAPE camps' for Christs sake! In comparison, the SS Totenkopfverband were the Knights of the Round Table.:evil: (I grew up watching Serbia's horrors every evening on the news & asking why America let it go on for so long. All those children in Sarejevo getting legs blown off by Serbian mortars, seeing the skeletal survivors of Serbian Extermination Camps. It was the Holocaust in miniature. But the monsters get only 10-20 year sentences, no Death penalty, no Life Sentences. And no rank & file soldiers charged. The whole Bosnian Serb 'Army' should be shot. They scarred me for life)
Ummm.... few points here. All three sides did exactly the same sort of thing, and committed atrocities against each other - but the Serbs got the worst press. Furthermore, the link between the Bosnian Serbs and the Republic of Serbia was never very clear and provable - about as close as that between Sinn Fein and the IRA. On that basis the UK would have been justified in carpet bombing Boston, MA on a regular basis.
Additionally, NATO went to war with Serbia over the status of Kosovo. When the war started the evidence of war crimes was frankly pretty thin, amounting to perhaps 20 or so civilian deaths in murky circumstances caused by security forces trying to fight Muslim Insurgents. Sound familiar? Kosovo was fought largely because the west had got fed up with the Serbs over Bosnia, not because it was uniquely horrific.


How good the radar crew are? How good do you have to be to evade 24/7 multi-spectral satellite recon, recon drones, Mach 5-6 missiles flying at you each time you turn on anything. Plus the HARM has an autopilot, even if the radar goes quiet, the missile will still fly toward the source. I've seen footage of a HARM HITTING the dish of a radar station on autopilot alone. And if the radar switches off and STILL by some miracle, avoids a direct hit, the SAMs won't have any guidance. Unless they have an Active Radar &/or Infrared back up. I don't recall Serbia having anything more modern than SA-3s
It isn't as hard as you might think, especially if you aren't too particular about siting your radars away from civilian areas. A great deal depends on how well your systems are networked together.

Valkyrie
06-01-2010, 05:37 PM
That is a good question.I believe that Hitler made three very important mistakes.1,Switched bombing buring the Battle of Britain from RAF airfields to civilian targets and I know what people say that he was trying to force British public opinion into surrendering,but in fact by switching to bombing cities he done two things,A,allowed the RAF to repair their airfields and B, stiffened the resolve of British civilians. 2,Invaded Russia,we all know what a catastrophe that was, 3,Failing to instigate Operation Green,the invasion of Ireland.Ireland came close to being invaded.There are photos taken by the Luftwaffe of the major ports in Ireland such as Cobh with its hugh natural harbour,Cork and Kinsale.If Ireland had been invade instead of Russia a very different picture could have emerged.

Rising Sun*
06-02-2010, 06:57 AM
3,Failing to instigate Operation Green,the invasion of Ireland.Ireland came close to being invaded.There are photos taken by the Luftwaffe of the major ports in Ireland such as Cobh with its hugh natural harbour,Cork and Kinsale.If Ireland had been invade instead of Russia a very different picture could have emerged.

Yes, it would have been a very good idea to invade Ireland so that Germany had to supply troops largely cut off by the RN on the other side of England, Scotland and Wales so that German troops occupying Ireland with no amphibious attack capacity could pretend to threaten England from the west.

Particularly as Op Green was at best subsidiary to Sealion, so it would have been suicide to pursue Green without Sealion.

But the ultimate insanity would have been to occupy Ireland, thus freeing the hugely grateful British from the need to protect themselves from the Irish and drawing in endless numbers of German troops trying to subdue the Irish, a task in which the British failed to succeed for several centuries.

This may have bogged down even more German troops than invading Russia managed, but with vastly fewer casualties on both sides and for a lot longer with no clear result on either side.

;) :D

Valkyrie
06-02-2010, 01:01 PM
Not true that Sealion had to take place before Green.France had already fallen,french ports were in German hands,ideal for supplying forces in Ireland.You may also forget that in Ireland the IRA or Irish Republican Army was keen for German support in attacking Britain.Also in Ireland there were many fortifications left over from British colonial rule.Many of these fortifications were positioned at the entrances to harbours such as Cork;which was photographed by the Luftwaffe.
The Royal Navy at that stage in the war could easily have been overwhelmed.America was not in the war yet.The Nazis had sent a number of spies from both the SD and Abwher to Ireland,most notably Hermann Goertz.
Basically there was local help in the event of an invasion,e.g. IRA;there were many fortifiactions left in good condition,e.g.Fort Camden in Co.Cork which had capability of launching torpedos from land;a spy network made up of German and Irish personnel;a some what weakened RAF,if bombing of airfields had continued instead of switching to civilian targets;a U.K. cut off by share distance from U.S. help.Also from Irish ports access to an immence sea board,with many sheltered harbours.

pdf27
06-02-2010, 02:54 PM
How were the Germans going to get there, swim?

burp
06-03-2010, 04:24 AM
Things Hitler could have done to win WWII?
For me is simple: leave military choises to soldiers! Beside the fact that Hitler fought in WWI and he was decorated for bravery twice times at the time he became leader of German he was already crazy. He removes capable generals that doesn't agree with him (see Heinz Guderian and Adolf Galland) and ignore common military sense, shot and retrat means that you can shot another day but Hitler doesn't accept this tactic.

For me noticeable errors:
- believe that the Germany could win against all Allies at the same time, too much battles at the same time is not fattible;
- believe that the Germany could win against USA, an example, Germany produces about 1000 airplanes at month, USA produces about 6000 airplanes in the same month;
- insist on conquer Russia, thousands of squared kilometers of absolutly nothing of strategic significant, while North Africa can be very useful with his strategic reserve of higly useful materials;
- use a politics to keep high generals for their loyalty not for their capability ignoring the fact that they are the first reason for defeat, Goering for example;
- insist on divert important resources from so long needed frontline vehicles for project that a man with healty mind can understand are waste of resources (example Mauss or fighter-bomber version of Me 262);
- ignore the suggestions and the requests from commanders on field, like Rommel asking more supplies in North Africa or all high commander in Russia that suggest that Stalingrad can be conquered with simple siege instead a direct assault;
- divert resources from front-line to insane thing, like use train to move Jews instead to move food;
- press into service combat weapons not tested or not completely tested, in mechanized war reliability is a weapon like hitting power;
- ignore lessons from WWI, an example, the central Empires must surrender also because the naval block cuts off all supply lines, a defect never resolved, everyone knows that Uboat cannot win the maritime war alone;

I hope that i don't write reason already discussed in this thread.

Valkyrie
06-03-2010, 05:56 AM
Do you actually know where Ireland is? I think there are other websites for silly remarks.I refer you back to my last posting.

Firefly
06-03-2010, 06:10 AM
Not true that Sealion had to take place before Green.France had already fallen,french ports were in German hands,ideal for supplying forces in Ireland.You may also forget that in Ireland the IRA or Irish Republican Army was keen for German support in attacking Britain.Also in Ireland there were many fortifications left over from British colonial rule.Many of these fortifications were positioned at the entrances to harbours such as Cork;which was photographed by the Luftwaffe.
The Royal Navy at that stage in the war could easily have been overwhelmed.America was not in the war yet.The Nazis had sent a number of spies from both the SD and Abwher to Ireland,most notably Hermann Goertz.
Basically there was local help in the event of an invasion,e.g. IRA;there were many fortifiactions left in good condition,e.g.Fort Camden in Co.Cork which had capability of launching torpedos from land;a spy network made up of German and Irish personnel;a some what weakened RAF,if bombing of airfields had continued instead of switching to civilian targets;a U.K. cut off by share distance from U.S. help.Also from Irish ports access to an immence sea board,with many sheltered harbours.

I find most, if not all of your post pretty ludicrous.

1. As asked already, how would the Germans get there?

2. What would the Germans do when they got there? What, if anything was the strategic value of Ireland in 1940?

3. How would they sustain themselves once there?

4. Why would the IRA support the Nazis? Simply because they were fighting the British I suppose? The suppositions seems very strange and I imagine that very much like in places like Latvia the IRA would then form their own little Einzatsgruppen to hunt out loyalists and Brit supporters. Incedentally would this have include the Mass Extermination of the Protestant population of Northern Ireland, or would they have simply been used as slave labour.

5. If the Royal Navy could have been 'easily' overwhelmed at this stage of the war, then why wasnt it?

I think you need to put quite a bit of thought into your answer before it becomes anywhere near lucid or believable. Right now it sounds like of of those Turtledove fantasies.......

Cheers

Nickdfresh
06-03-2010, 07:16 AM
And the IRA, assuming they were a factor at all, might have a hard time supporting another occupier. They weren't at all ideologically in line with the Nazis. I believe another element of extreme rightist Irish fascists (Blue Shirts maybe?) fought in Spain and perhaps a few went along with the Nazis as well...

As for the plan to invade Ireland, it would have been a great way to strand the Wehrmacht like shipwrecked castaways...

Rising Sun*
06-03-2010, 09:31 AM
Not true that Sealion had to take place before Green.

Agreed.

But as Sealion was incapable of landing forces in England because, among other things, the river barges wouldn't survive the weather on many days just crossing the Channel, how were they going to get to Ireland?

And what were they going to do there once landed and within range of aircraft from England?


France had already fallen,french ports were in German hands,ideal for supplying forces in Ireland.

Ditto.

Supplying Ireland how? Through a RN blockade after the Germans landed in Ireland?


You may also forget that in Ireland the IRA or Irish Republican Army was keen for German support in attacking Britain.

You forget that the IRA was not in control of Ireland; could not control it; and that de Valera's government was ruthless in suppressing the IRA.


Also in Ireland there were many fortifications left over from British colonial rule.Many of these fortifications were positioned at the entrances to harbours such as Cork;which was photographed by the Luftwaffe.

How does that assist the Germans in threatening England once they're ashore?

How does that weaken Britain's position when Ireland is neutral and responsible for its own defence?


The Royal Navy at that stage in the war could easily have been overwhelmed.

Really?

Then why didn't it happen?


America was not in the war yet.

True, but Britain managed to fight on for the first couple of years of the war without America being involved, during which time it managed to extricate itself from Dunkirk and hold the Germans in North Africa on land; win the Battle of Britain in the air; and at sea defeat the Graf Spee and sink the Bismark.


The Nazis had sent a number of spies from both the SD and Abwher to Ireland,most notably Hermann Goertz.

So? Goertz and other German spies landed in Ireland didn't achieve anything. Most were rounded up and imprisoned sooner or later, as was Goertz.


Basically there was local help in the event of an invasion,e.g. IRA

The same applied to England with Mosley's blackshirts and some elements of the ruling classes. But do you think they really reflected the majority opinion?

The IRA was a tiny minority in Ireland and was being rooted out by de Valera's government.


there were many fortifiactions left in good condition,e.g.Fort Camden in Co.Cork which had capability of launching torpedos from land

That would be very handy if the RN sailed in line of battle in front of the launching points.


I can't see that invading Ireland was going to hand victory to Hitler. And, even allowing for his lousy strategic and tactical judgment at critical times, neither could he.

Rising Sun*
06-03-2010, 09:35 AM
Do you actually know where Ireland is? I think there are other websites for silly remarks.I refer you back to my last posting.

Are you referring us back to your last posting for silly remarks?

Clave
06-04-2010, 04:38 PM
There was one the Hitler could have done, he could have stopped being a psychopathic maniac and listened to what his officers in the field were actually saying...

Valkyrie
06-04-2010, 05:20 PM
There was one the Hitler could have done, he could have stopped being a psychopathic maniac and listened to what his officers in the field were actually saying...

I agree.It seems that any officer that disagreed with him was dismissed.

krazedkat
06-14-2010, 01:06 PM
1) Not have attempted such a premature attack on the USSR
2) Not been such an *** at the beginning and, instead, start killing Jews once you have many countries supporting you
3) Not killed himself -.-, this seems obvious but maybe he missed it

ubc
06-14-2010, 02:23 PM
I was watching the Movie "The Rise of Evil", in which Robert Carlyle played a very convincing meglomanic Hitler. You got the feeling that all he had to do was nod his head at some one and that person would disappear. A true blooded maniac.

In that movie their is a scene right after the Beer hall putch of 1923, when the military is hunting to arrest him

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer_Hall_Putsch

He hides in the house of his friend and is so depressed he is about to blow his brains out. But the friends wife stops him from doing this. If she had not stopped him , all history would have changed for ever.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hitler%3A_The_Rise_of_Evil

Schuultz
06-14-2010, 06:37 PM
I was watching the Movie "The Rise of Evil", in which Robert Carlyle played a very convincing meglomanic Hitler. You got the feeling that all he had to do was nod his head at some one and that person would disappear. A true blooded maniac.

Don't take everything that movie shows for the truth. It is, after all, a TV-drama. There are plenty of scenes and 'truths' which this movie features which are still highly debated among historians whether they are true or not, and others are simply made up.

You should look at it more as a history-drama than a reenacted-documentary.

SonOfWWIIVet
06-14-2010, 07:55 PM
This might seem rather elementary, but no country could have, then or now, succeed in a long and protracted war against what was essentially "the rest of the world" without immediate control of adequate natural resources. Germany had a fighting war machine that was second to none; however, they had less and less fuel and natural resources to operate that machine as the war progressed. Germany's road to victory turned into a holding action, and then a long hard withdrawal (for them and us) after they abandoned their strategy to take the Caucasus and the Middle East after the loss of North Africa and Stalingrad.

Nickdfresh
06-14-2010, 09:31 PM
1) Not have attempted such a premature attack on the USSR
2) Not been such an *** at the beginning and, instead, start killing Jews once you have many countries supporting you
3) Not killed himself -.-, this seems obvious but maybe he missed it

Um, how would "killing Jews" have helped Hitler win? Not killing himself? If he'd have done it in 1942, all bets are off on who wins--or at least gets a settlement...

Rising Sun*
06-15-2010, 06:40 AM
Um, how would "killing Jews" have helped Hitler win? Not killing himself? If he'd have done it in 1942, all bets are off on who wins--or at least gets a settlement...

I read krazedkat putting it the other way, i.e. that the "instead' statement meant that Hitler killing Jews was counter-productive.

Although, even if that is the correct reading, I don't know that it had too much to do with winning or losing the war. The Holocaust, and sundry other Nazi extermination programs of lesser note outside their own communities but equal or greater numbers (Russians) and perhaps similar proportional impact (Gypsies) had nothing to do with the war, apart from occurring during and being facilitated by it.

There was certainly a diversion of resources from potential military uses in pursuing these extermination and persecution programs, but I doubt that Germany would have won even if it hadn't engaged in them. The Luftwaffe and Kreigsmarine didn't lose resources to them but each was still defeated in its own arena. Even if the einsatzgruppen stiffened resistance in the East, the Heer certainly didn't lose North Africa or Italy because of the extermination programs. but only because they were defeated militarily.

pingponghobo
06-15-2010, 11:28 AM
1) Not have attempted such a premature attack on the USSR
2) Not been such an *** at the beginning and, instead, start killing Jews once you have many countries supporting you
3) Not killed himself -.-, this seems obvious but maybe he missed it

i agree with numbers 1 and 2, but the 3rd was kind of a given, even though he was in a bunker during the bombing, it would be a better idea in his mind to kill himself rather than be captured and taken as a POW. killing himself would bassically just end the war on the eastern front, even though it was bassically already coming to its end.