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Old 11-25-2013, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Kobal2 View Post
The clusterfuck that ensured Germany never dropped another paratrooper over the entire course of the war ? For the record, that's not a good line to have on one's résumé.
Meh, hard to blame him when the problem is with paratroops as a military concept. For what it's worth, John Keegan has identified four really large-scale uses of paratroopers during the war...going from memory, Crete, D-Day, Market-Garden and Operation Varsity, I believe. Although three of the four were technically successes, they were Pyrrhic victories at best. All four operations entailed heavy losses to superbly trained troops. It turns out parachuting is too risky and too subject to the vagaries of wind and ground conditions to be useful in large-scale military operations. As soon as helicopters offered a viable alternative, dropping by parachute was relegated to small special-forces operations in every army.

Originally Posted by Kobal2 View Post
Yeah, they had jet fighters, and they were REALLY cool when they didn't blow themselves up ! And then they used them to try and hunt other nimble fighters, which they were shit at hitting because they were going so fast ; instead of wreaking havoc on heavy bomber formations.
I'd always read the Germans used their ME-262s almost exclusively against the bomber streams; do you have a cite for that?

Originally Posted by Dissonance View Post
You're not getting how much of mechanical nightmares the Tiger and Panther were to maintain compared to the T-34 or the Sherman. Mechanical issues weren't limited to early production models. It's a common misconception that since the major issues were more or less fixed in later production models of the Panther that it therefore didn't have problems. It did, the Panther was never really 'fixed' in the sense of becoming mechanically reliable and not liable to breakdown with much, much greater frequency than the Sherman or T-34. Again, the major issues in early production models of the Panther were serious major issues, up to and including the Panther destroying itself when the engine decided it wanted to set itself on fire.
In addition to mechanical unreliability, German tanks tended to have another problem: the parts that worked were too well-made, if you can believe it. I saw a documentary where they showed a Panther engine block. Other nations would have stamped out the frame parts for such an engine block, but the Germans machined the entire thing lovingly like luxury watchmakers. The process took a long time, but the engine block still fit together perfectly some 70 years later.

The expected lifetime of a Panther at the front in 1944 was a few days to a few weeks at most.

That kind of lavish attention to the wrong detail plagued the German war effort. Great expense and labor to produce a magnificent work of art that would then be immediately destroyed (like as not, while still enroute to the front, without ever firing a shot in anger).