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Thread: Which theatre

  1. #16
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    Default Re: Which theatre

    Quote Originally Posted by student-scaley View Post
    9th Amroured Bde, Western Desert 1941, golden (although deadly) age for British armour. Having met some of the vets from my regiment it would have been an honour to have served with them there.


    I agree with "golden (though deadly)". In terms of armoured firepower the British basically had nothing worthy of the term, at that time. The Churchill tank was not yet in service in any numbers, and it was only a "safe bet" by virtue of its' thick armour. As with any British tank of 1941 its' main weapon was woefully inadequate, tragically outdated.

    As with the Italian tanks, the term "iron coffins/iron crematoria" comes to mind very rapidly, when looking at British tanks in 1941.

    I do not in any sense disparage the courage or fighting ability of the British soldiery. Patently, it took vast courage to go into combat in tanks that the crews knew were far from adequate to the tasks they were called upon to execute.

    Regards, Uyraell.

    "Honi-Soit Qui Mal'Y Pense." :
    "Ill unto he who ill of it thinks."
    Edward III, Rex Britania, AD1348.

    "Wenn Schon, denn schon."
    "Be It Done, Best be It Be Done Well."
    Known German adage.

    "Until you have looked into a veteran's eyes and actually seen it,
    you'll never fully understand."
    ^Uyraell^

    "Aligaes : Amore vel Ira." :
    "^Winged Ones^ : Love or Wrath."

  2. #17
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    Default Re: Which theatre

    Any campaign facing the Germans or Italians. At least the vast majority of German troops weren't fanatic to the point of being suicidal and fought within the limits of the Geneva Convention.

  3. #18
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    Default Re: Which theatre

    Quote Originally Posted by Dixie Devil View Post
    Any campaign facing the Germans or Italians. At least the vast majority of German troops weren't fanatic to the point of being suicidal and fought within the limits of the Geneva Convention.
    Given a choice between facing Germans and Italians in North Africa, I'd go for the Italians. If only because their officers had much better cutlery, crockery, and napery when they surrendered. And great waiters, who knew where the wine was, and how to serve it.

    The vast majority of Italians, at least in North Africa, weren't fanatical to the point of risking being shot and fought within the limits of their supply of white sheets. They're my kind of guys.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  4. #19
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    Default Re: Which theatre

    Yes the Italians would be my first choice of people to face in combat but by the time the U.S. entered the war we weren't facing just Italians even in North Africa.

  5. #20
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    Default Re: Which theatre

    It should be noted that there were some circumstances where the Italians fought every bit as well as their German counterparts given their inferior weaponry. Notably in the mountainous areas where American and British armor and mobility were marginalized. Rick Atkins gives accounts of US and Italian soldiers exchanging rocks and truncheon blows after they had run out of ammo and grenades in the ridge lines and caves of Algeria, although they didn't usually go to the point of fighting to the death if they could avoid it..

  6. #21
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    Default Re: Which theatre

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    It should be noted that there were some circumstances where the Italians fought every bit as well as their German counterparts given their inferior weaponry. Notably in the mountainous areas where American and British armor and mobility were marginalized. Rick Atkins gives accounts of US and Italian soldiers exchanging rocks and truncheon blows after they had run out of ammo and grenades in the ridge lines and caves of Algeria, although they didn't usually go to the point of fighting to the death if they could avoid it..

    As I've said in other threads, the best Italian units were as good as any nation's best units in WWII.

    But Italy didn't have a lot of such units.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  7. #22
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    Default Re: Which theatre

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    As I've said in other threads, the best Italian units were as good as any nation's best units in WWII.

    But Italy didn't have a lot of such units.
    I think that fighting in enclosed fortifications and hilly terrain does something to buck-up soldiers' spirits and courage. Maybe because the battle is more personal and armies suffering from technological disadvantages can suddenly bring their enemies --enjoying a superiority in logistics, transport, and firepower-- down to their level...

    I think this was a big part of the Japanese "third force" spiritual combat in WWII and one of the reasons they were so ferocious. I'm reading about Guadalcanal now, and it seems that when the marines landed initially near what would become Henderson Field, the Japanese Army and Korean laborers inexplicably fled so quickly that there was hot food, beer and Saki, and plenty of extra weapons and construction vehicles for the marines to later use. The later first major effort to evict the marines also was a complete disaster and the Japanese commanders realized, to their horror, that they could not overcome the US superiority in firepower in a straight up infantry attack in what they had previously dismissed as an American and Western weakness, or the over reliance on firepower. The US soldiers and marines also utilized their fortifications extremely well in a way they didn't initially on Bataan and were not able too on Wake Island. The Americans began derisively described the Japanese Army, previously thought almost invincible, as prone to "dramatic" gestures of battlefield futility, although extremely disciplined and courageous..

  8. #23
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    Default Re: Which theatre

    I would opt for The North African Campaign with an armoured unit... maybe the 1st Armoured Division. Although I'm not a big fan of the desert, the cold European winter would have done me in long before the Germans could have a chance to.

  9. #24
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    Default Re: Which theatre

    Quote Originally Posted by 32Bravo View Post
    Scenario: You are conscripted to a force partaking in the actions of WWII.

    Which force, and in which theatre, would you opt for, given the choice, and why?

    Cryptography. Any theatre (Hawaii or London would do fine though!)

    Deaf

  10. #25
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    Default Re: Which theatre

    High command in WWI, perhaps in place of Joffre. Because I wouldn't be shot at, and I could make decisions that could save peoples' lives...

  11. #26
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    Default Re: Which theatre

    Quote Originally Posted by Churchill View Post
    High command in WWI, perhaps in place of Joffre. Because I wouldn't be shot at, and I could make decisions that could save peoples' lives...
    You would equally be making decisions that cost people's lives.
    I Cite Wilmott, who in "Crusade in Europe" cites/quotes Eisenhower (Admitted note: Ike's version does differ from Wilmott's in wording though the gist is the same): "In some ways, the man in combat has it easier, whereas staffs generally have to knowingly make decisions they are certain will result in the loss of lives. The only thing responsible staffs can do, is to (try to) minimise those losses."

    Regards, Uyraell.

    "Honi-Soit Qui Mal'Y Pense." :
    "Ill unto he who ill of it thinks."
    Edward III, Rex Britania, AD1348.

    "Wenn Schon, denn schon."
    "Be It Done, Best be It Be Done Well."
    Known German adage.

    "Until you have looked into a veteran's eyes and actually seen it,
    you'll never fully understand."
    ^Uyraell^

    "Aligaes : Amore vel Ira." :
    "^Winged Ones^ : Love or Wrath."

  12. #27
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    Default Re: Which theatre

    Quote Originally Posted by Uyraell View Post
    You would equally be making decisions that cost people's lives.
    I Cite Wilmott, who in "Crusade in Europe" cites/quotes Eisenhower (Admitted note: Ike's version does differ from Wilmott's in wording though the gist is the same): "In some ways, the man in combat has it easier, whereas staffs generally have to knowingly make decisions they are certain will result in the loss of lives. The only thing responsible staffs can do, is to (try to) minimise those losses."

    Regards, Uyraell.
    If you're talking about the Australian war correspondent Chester Wilmot, how he ended up in Europe and how good he was at military evaluations (which is part of the reason he ended up in Europe after being effectively banned in Australia) is a great but sad story.

    If anyone is interested I'll start a separate thread on it.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  13. #28
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    Default Re: Which theatre

    Quote Originally Posted by Uyraell View Post
    You would equally be making decisions that cost people's lives.
    I Cite Wilmott, who in "Crusade in Europe" cites/quotes Eisenhower (Admitted note: Ike's version does differ from Wilmott's in wording though the gist is the same): "In some ways, the man in combat has it easier, whereas staffs generally have to knowingly make decisions they are certain will result in the loss of lives. The only thing responsible staffs can do, is to (try to) minimise those losses."

    Regards, Uyraell.
    Ok, let me rephrase my last post's reasoning: I could make decisions that cost less people their lives, and accomplish my goals quicker.

  14. #29
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    Default Re: Which theatre

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    If you're talking about the Australian war correspondent Chester Wilmot, how he ended up in Europe and how good he was at military evaluations (which is part of the reason he ended up in Europe after being effectively banned in Australia) is a great but sad story.

    If anyone is interested I'll start a separate thread on it.
    I am interested.
    While I found Chester Wilmott's style a strange mix between colloquial and dry, it was also a hell of an interest book to read. "Crusade in Europe" was one I kept as a "handy reference" for years, until my collection was broken up.

    Regards, Uyraell.

    "Honi-Soit Qui Mal'Y Pense." :
    "Ill unto he who ill of it thinks."
    Edward III, Rex Britania, AD1348.

    "Wenn Schon, denn schon."
    "Be It Done, Best be It Be Done Well."
    Known German adage.

    "Until you have looked into a veteran's eyes and actually seen it,
    you'll never fully understand."
    ^Uyraell^

    "Aligaes : Amore vel Ira." :
    "^Winged Ones^ : Love or Wrath."

  15. #30
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    Default Re: Which theatre

    Quote Originally Posted by Churchill View Post
    Ok, let me rephrase my last post's reasoning: I could make decisions that cost less people their lives, and accomplish my goals quicker.
    Wisely said
    Though I meant no ill.
    The ex Servicemen I knew, some of whom had been in mid-level command (Wing Commander, in one case, Destroyer First Officer in another) Squadron Adjutant in another) expressed in various ways the citation I quoted earlier. That is a lesson I have never forgotten, though I'm of the view that modern perspectives tend to overlook it.

    Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf gave a similar view as cited in his book, written after Gulf War 1.

    Regards, Uyraell.
    Last edited by Uyraell; 03-21-2009 at 02:00 PM.

    "Honi-Soit Qui Mal'Y Pense." :
    "Ill unto he who ill of it thinks."
    Edward III, Rex Britania, AD1348.

    "Wenn Schon, denn schon."
    "Be It Done, Best be It Be Done Well."
    Known German adage.

    "Until you have looked into a veteran's eyes and actually seen it,
    you'll never fully understand."
    ^Uyraell^

    "Aligaes : Amore vel Ira." :
    "^Winged Ones^ : Love or Wrath."

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