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  #51  
Old 12-31-2010, 03:28 AM
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Originally Posted by MPB in Salt Lake View Post
The Rachael Ray story, in a nutshell.
"also President/Reichsstatthalter of Prussia, Minister of Forestry, Plenipotentiary of the Four Year Plan, head of the Forschungsamt, and for about a year, Minister of Economics."

You left this part out.

Best wishes,
hh
  #52  
Old 12-31-2010, 07:34 AM
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Goering always brings to mind the saying that amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics.

He failed at Dunkirk, failed to take out Britains radar chain which ultimately lost him the B of B, failed to resup Stalingrad, failed to protect the Reich from allied bombing raids, had virtually no fighter coverage over the European battle fronts after D day .

Its more a case of finding something that he didn't fail at.
  #53  
Old 12-31-2010, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by handsomeharry View Post
"also President/Reichsstatthalter of Prussia, Minister of Forestry, Plenipotentiary of the Four Year Plan, head of the Forschungsamt, and for about a year, Minister of Economics."

You left this part out.

Best wishes,
hh
Also Reich Game Warden. He loved that position since it allowed him to hunt bison and keep pet lions. When he abandoned (and blew up) Carinhall he shot several of his favorite bison to keep them from the Soviets.

There are apparently some major archaeology projects going on around Carinhall now.
  #54  
Old 12-31-2010, 11:03 PM
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I am interested in the German jet planes. I know that the ME-262 was pretty unreliable, but waht about the Arado fighter-bomber? Allied pilots who flew them after the war considered them to be pretty good aircraft.
The aircraft were quite good, it was the engines that were the problem. They were less than reliable under test conditions and even more of a problem when used under operational conditions.
  #55  
Old 01-01-2011, 01:05 AM
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FWIW The thread on whether Dresden was a warcrime or not, led me to this quote from Goebbels following the attack

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Goebbels is reported to have wept with rage for twenty minutes after he heard the news of the catastrophe, before launching into a bitter attack on Hermann Goering, the commander of the Luftwaffe: "If I had the power I would drag this cowardly good-for-nothing, this Reich marshal, before a court.... How much guilt does this parasite not bear for all this, which we owe to his indolence and love of his own comforts
  #56  
Old 01-01-2011, 05:14 PM
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How Very Nazi!


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Originally Posted by outlierrn View Post
FWIW The thread on whether Dresden was a warcrime or not, led me to this quote from Goebbels following the attack
This is rich-after murdering millions of Jews, Poles, Russians, the great Herr Goebbles was upset about Dresden. It remids me of a quote by Galeazzo Ciano (Mussolini's SIL): "the Germans weep about the bombing of their cities..they have always been dishing it out and now they have to take it"
  #57  
Old 01-04-2011, 11:32 AM
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How do you explain the German's still using the obsolete JU-87 Stuka? It was barely adequate in 1939-totally obsolete by 1943. Yet the Luftwaffe kept buying them-maybe evidence of corruption in the contracts process?
  #58  
Old 02-07-2013, 10:34 AM
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Idiot? They did IQ tests at the trials and Hermann scored the second highest score, genius level. I do not admire the guy just getting historical facts correct. Like, he was against the invasion of Russia, tried to seek peace with Britain and tried on several occasions to achieve that. Once free from drugs he routinely made the prosecution at the trials look silly. Basically, he was a man who was consumed by drugs and greed. I think he would have been happy to sit around and get high than go to war. on that note he was aware of the destructive nature of war and like I said before was against many of Hitlers plans for war and invasions
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:59 AM
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Everybody was kind of under the influence of Douhet, about the supremacy of bombers ("Bombers will always get through !", right ) and real-life examples like Guernica tended to prove them right, until they faced an opponent that wasn't wiped out of the sky.
It's a late reply, but I'll take advantage of the thread's revivial to add my thoughts about the infamous "the bomber will always get through!" belief. The quote itself actually came from British politician Stanley Baldwin, although Douhet had promoted the same general concept.

They were essentially right...except for radar.

Douhet published his treatise in 1921, before the advent of radar. His point, as I understand it, was not that heavily-armed bombers could fight off interceptors (as the Americans were to struggle to prove), but that given the large expanse of sky, the huge surface area of countries, and the high speed of bomber aircraft, it would always be extremely difficult to predict when and where bombers would appear, and get a sufficient force of interceptors in place to stop them. Spreading out your interceptors increases your chance of finding the bombers, but results in only a few of the interceptors being in the right place at the right time; concentrating your interceptors for battle results in the rest of the sky being undefended. Keeping interceptors aloft uses up fuel and tires out pilots and imposes maintenance issues; keeping them grounded means you can't get them into position in time when the raid comes.

The invention of radar changed all that. By giving warning of the impending approach of bombers, radar allowed economical use of interceptors; by giving direction (and later, distance and altitude) it permitted precise concentration of the interceptors against the bomber streams. This reversed the advantage bombers had once enjoyed.

I know that ground-based spotter networks tried to do what radar eventually did, but they were far inferior. Not only did radar (and concomitant close control of fighter resources) win the Battle of Britain, but German radars (although lagging behind Allied equivalents) were instrumental in giving the Allied heavy bombers such a hard time, eventually forcing the Americans to all but give up until the arrival of suitable escort fighters.

Supporting my analysis, as soon after the war as nuclear weapons could be miniaturized enough to be carried by smaller aircraft, air forces switched to development of very fast nuclear-armed bombers intended to fly in very low -- to stay under radar. It was widely assumed that high-flying heavies would be toast.

And today, stealth bombers have fulfilled Douhet's vision (for now, until some countermeasure arrives). So far, they always do get through -- because there's no radar in their world.

So "the bomber will always get through!" wasn't nonsense, so much as that it had been overtaken by (technological) events.
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:51 PM
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It's a late reply, but I'll take advantage of the thread's revivial to add my thoughts about the infamous "the bomber will always get through!" belief. The quote itself actually came from British politician Stanley Baldwin, although Douhet had promoted the same general concept.

They were essentially right...except for radar.

Douhet published his treatise in 1921, before the advent of radar. His point, as I understand it, was not that heavily-armed bombers could fight off interceptors (as the Americans were to struggle to prove), but that given the large expanse of sky, the huge surface area of countries, and the high speed of bomber aircraft, it would always be extremely difficult to predict when and where bombers would appear, and get a sufficient force of interceptors in place to stop them. Spreading out your interceptors increases your chance of finding the bombers, but results in only a few of the interceptors being in the right place at the right time; concentrating your interceptors for battle results in the rest of the sky being undefended. Keeping interceptors aloft uses up fuel and tires out pilots and imposes maintenance issues; keeping them grounded means you can't get them into position in time when the raid comes.

The invention of radar changed all that. By giving warning of the impending approach of bombers, radar allowed economical use of interceptors; by giving direction (and later, distance and altitude) it permitted precise concentration of the interceptors against the bomber streams. This reversed the advantage bombers had once enjoyed.

I know that ground-based spotter networks tried to do what radar eventually did, but they were far inferior. Not only did radar (and concomitant close control of fighter resources) win the Battle of Britain, but German radars (although lagging behind Allied equivalents) were instrumental in giving the Allied heavy bombers such a hard time, eventually forcing the Americans to all but give up until the arrival of suitable escort fighters.

Supporting my analysis, as soon after the war as nuclear weapons could be miniaturized enough to be carried by smaller aircraft, air forces switched to development of very fast nuclear-armed bombers intended to fly in very low -- to stay under radar. It was widely assumed that high-flying heavies would be toast.

And today, stealth bombers have fulfilled Douhet's vision (for now, until some countermeasure arrives). So far, they always do get through -- because there's no radar in their world.

So "the bomber will always get through!" wasn't nonsense, so much as that it had been overtaken by (technological) events.
Thanks for the informative post. Before radar was developed, Major Edwin Armstrong of the USA Signal Corps had an idea for detecting enemy bombers-by detecting the RF radiation caused by their spark plug arc emissions. Did that idea ever work? It would require a very high gain, low noise amplifier-something difficult to do in the 1920s.
  #61  
Old 02-11-2013, 10:33 AM
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...detecting enemy bombers-by detecting the RF radiation caused by their spark plug arc emissions. Did that idea ever work? It would require a very high gain, low noise amplifier-something difficult to do in the 1920s.
A few years ago I was driving in south London and had the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight fly over at maybe 2000 feet. 6 unsuppessed Merlin engines. Made quite a row on the radio. So I think this may have been do-able in some form.
  #62  
Old 11-22-2013, 07:16 PM
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Goring is being simultaneously misunderstood and underestimated here. Misunderestimated!

Goring was not a stupid man by any stretch of the imagination. He was cynical and opportunistic; it's not even clear that he was all that devoted to the philosophy of Nazism, but he was happy to go along with it if it meant he got powerful and rich. Himmler killed people because he hated them. Goring killed people because it meant he could get bigger houses.

Goring was openly doubtful about every escalation of the war, and his promises to Hitler were, as much as anything, a reflection of the fact that Hitler didn't want to hear anything but the most positive predictions anyway. And it's not like the Luftwaffe under Goring was a band of fuckups; they achieved some of the greatest aeiral campaign victories of the war. Actually, they acheived ALL their successes under Goring and none under the people who led it afterwards. You can't blame Goring for Dunkirk or the Battle of Britain without also giving him credit for the Luftwaffe's incredible successes against France, Poland, and the Soviets in 1941. The invasion of Crete was also a Goring campaign.
Göring was not a stupid man - that's true, but if we speaking about raw facts he wasn't more than overweight junkie and kleptomaniac hedonist after 1941-1942 and still this totally incompetent guy was Luftwaffe Commander! Luftwaffe Nro. 1. That's is something unbelievable and terrible. And yes, the war start was good like you said, but hey you can't fight in a war and you cant win the war if you only look in a past when war starts to go wrong way. Then you have to react and fast. You can always criticize Soviet Union and their methods in war and leading the war but atleast Stalin&co. throw wrong guys out on their places before they cause too much damage. That was something what you can call dynamic and successful leading and reacting. And it didn't always have to mean shot or even prison. Hitler kept Göring and look what happened to Germany?

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I also don't think it's being sufficiently noted that by late 1942, Goring was no longer really calling most of the shots for the Luftwaffe, and after Stalingrad he was calling no shots at all. Things like how the Me-262 were deployed - which would not have made a damned bit of difference anyway - weren't his call.

As to whether the Luftwaffe was appropriately equipped and whatnot, I'd suggest that it was in fact the greatest air force on the planet for quite some time and fanwanking over whether they'd have done better by building more FW-190s and fewer Me-109s, or whatever, is really missing the point entirely. There is no realistic change in strategy that would have resulted in German victory; they were outnumbered by an absolutely ridiculous degree by enemies who could build planes every bit as good as anything Germany was building. Changing production from this plane to that does not change the fact that in 1943 alone, the United States built almost as many planes as Germany built in the entire war.

Germany was not going to win the Battle of Britain. There simply wasn't any way they were going to shoot down enough RAF planes to completely take Britain out of the skies. They were not going to win the war against the Soviets with strategic bombing, and they sure as hell weren't going to beat the USA. No amount of tabletop wargaming guesses are going to change the outcome of World War II.
Like I said earlier Göring was Luftwaffe Commander aka Luftwaffe Nro. 1 in the whole war time 1939-45. Galland, Milch and many others see very well and very early what needed to be done but there was always one thing on their way: Hermann Göring.

"There is no realistic change in strategy that would have resulted in German victory"

That's pretty interesting argument if you look country which have the best tanks, jet fighters, modern guns like StG 44, missiles, own nuclear program etc. etc. Just for example: do you think that even allies could've handle unlimited loss in Germany bombing campaign?
  #63  
Old 11-22-2013, 07:24 PM
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This thread's coming to get you, Barbara!
  #64  
Old 11-22-2013, 10:14 PM
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Last time I was in the Munich airport they called over the radio: Mr. Goring. Mr. Goring. Last call for mr. Goring to go to gate number ...

Anyway it was my understanding that Hitler didn't choose his top people for their competence. But for loyalty and for their inability to work together, since he preferred that the various departments were at strife with and competed with each other for Hitler's favors.

Last edited by Rune; 11-22-2013 at 10:18 PM.
  #65  
Old 11-23-2013, 12:14 AM
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"There is no realistic change in strategy that would have resulted in German victory"

That's pretty interesting argument if you look country which have the best tanks, jet fighters, modern guns like StG 44, missiles, own nuclear program etc. etc.
There's nothing interesting about that argument; Germany had bitten off far, far more than it could chew in going to war with the Commonwealth, the USSR, and the USA. It was doomed to be buried by its adversaries in industrial production. Regarding best tanks, the Soviet T-34 and KV series were by far better than what Germany could field from 1941-43, and by 1943 they had irrecoverably lost the strategic initiative to the USSR on the Eastern Front. Presumably by "best tanks" you mean the Panther and the Tiger. Neither was ever available in very large numbers, and they were mechanical nightmares, requiring enormous maintenance and breaking down frequently. The Panther was worse than a nightmare when first introduced; it would break down constantly and one of its teething problems was the engine had the habit of spontaneously setting itself on fire. The Panther was only ever supposed to comprise half of the tanks of a panzer division on paper, but in practice there were never enough of them for even that. The Tiger was used exclusively in independent heavy panzer battalions and companies. The real workhorses for Germany up until the end of the war were the Pz-IV and the StuG-III, both of which were no more than roughly the equals to the Sherman and the T-34. Something else to bear in mind is that supply in the Commonwealth and US was entirely motorised. Germany used 2.75 million horses for supplies and as the prime mover for artillery during the war.

Regarding jets, by the time the Me-262 became available Germany was facing severe shortages of fuel and of trained pilots. Regarding "modern guns" like the StG-44, only limited numbers were ever available and it didn't come remotely close to becoming the standard infantry rifle in the German army. The standard German infantry rifle for the entire duration of the war was the "modern" Kar98k bolt-action rifle which was itself no more than the evolution of the Gewehr 98 bolt-action rifle used by Germany in WW1. The 98 refers to the year it was developed, 1898. Regarding Germany’s nuclear program, it was years behind the Manhattan project.

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Just for example: do you think that even allies could've handle unlimited loss in Germany bombing campaign?
I'm unsure if you mean losses in the Allied strategic bombing campaign against Germany or losses to a German strategic bombing campaign here. If you mean the former, losses were already high; at times Bomber Command was losing more bomber crews than the number of German civilians it was killing. While it was certainly useful in ways, it was by no means vital in defeating Germany. Despite the strategic bombing campaign against Germany, German production of war materials continued to increase right up until the final months of the war when Germany was losing access to raw materials left and right entirely independent of the effects of strategic bombing. If you mean a strategic bombing campaign by Germany, the ill-fated He-177 was the closest thing Germany ever came to a strategic bomber. It too had serious mechanical problems, it was nicknamed by German aircrews the Luftwaffenfeuerzeug (Luftwaffe's lighter) or the "Flaming Coffin".
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Old 11-23-2013, 02:05 AM
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Either way, Göring was convinced he could destroy a force of infantry numbering something like 300,000+ with solely aerial bombardment. In the end, while such a move was hectic on ground forces, it's akin to trying to kill a bunch of ants with a sledgehammer. Sure, you'll get some of them, but you'll miss a lot of them too. Even today with better weapons in the air, purely air power cannot alone defeat huge forces of infantry. Men can hunker down, find cover, etc. If you want to take out 300,000+ soldiers you need to use other soldiers (at least for now, although infantry drones are of course coming into widespread use.)
I fail to see why drones could be any more effective than pilot-bearing aircraft. Or do you mean, like, remote-controlled robot infantry? Never heard of any such thing outside SF, but at this stage it wouldn't surprise me.
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Old 11-23-2013, 02:09 AM
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Anyway it was my understanding that Hitler didn't choose his top people for their competence. But for loyalty and for their inability to work together, since he preferred that the various departments were at strife with and competed with each other for Hitler's favors.
He even liked to duplicate functions, like, two intelligence/security agencies, two functional equivalents of foreign ministries, etc., so, again, the department heads would be competing for his favor. And his armed forces were top-heavy with officers for similar reasons. A political instinct at once shrewd and stupid -- it is probably why Hitler (1) was able to hold on to absolute power for so long and (2) lost it all in the end. Of course, another reason was that Hitler's exercise of absolute power was often incompetent; he overestimated his own military abilities, and he might have won the war if he had only trusted his generals to make the tactical decisions. (Of course, the most important reason of all that he lost was that he tried to take on the British Empire, the Soviet Union, and the United States of America all at the same time.)

Last edited by BrainGlutton; 11-23-2013 at 02:13 AM.
  #68  
Old 11-23-2013, 10:57 AM
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I fail to see why drones could be any more effective than pilot-bearing aircraft. Or do you mean, like, remote-controlled robot infantry? Never heard of any such thing outside SF, but at this stage it wouldn't surprise me.
Mind you're quoting me from 2010, by the way. But yes, there's definitely infantry drones. Here's a list of some in various states of development/deployment:

Gladiator Tactical Unmanned Ground Vehicle

Armored Combat Engineer Robot (ACER)

Guardium (IDF)

Forest-Miller TALON
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Old 11-23-2013, 10:59 AM
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Its more a case of finding something that he didn't fail at.
Looting.
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Old 11-23-2013, 11:00 AM
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Mind you're quoting me from 2010, by the way. But yes, there's definitely infantry drones. Here's a list of some in various states of development/deployment:

Gladiator Tactical Unmanned Ground Vehicle

Armored Combat Engineer Robot (ACER)

Guardium (IDF)

Forest-Miller TALON
That is all so . . . so . . . cool! Eat it, Iron Man!
  #71  
Old 11-23-2013, 12:15 PM
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Goering wasn't all that bad, for a fat strutting dope addict who wore lots of makeup.

The German strategic air plan was a disaster, thankfully.
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Old 11-24-2013, 06:55 PM
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There's nothing interesting about that argument; Germany had bitten off far, far more than it could chew in going to war with the Commonwealth, the USSR, and the USA. It was doomed to be buried by its adversaries in industrial production. Regarding best tanks, the Soviet T-34 and KV series were by far better than what Germany could field from 1941-43, and by 1943 they had irrecoverably lost the strategic initiative to the USSR on the Eastern Front. Presumably by "best tanks" you mean the Panther and the Tiger. Neither was ever available in very large numbers, and they were mechanical nightmares, requiring enormous maintenance and breaking down frequently. The Panther was worse than a nightmare when first introduced; it would break down constantly and one of its teething problems was the engine had the habit of spontaneously setting itself on fire. The Panther was only ever supposed to comprise half of the tanks of a panzer division on paper, but in practice there were never enough of them for even that. The Tiger was used exclusively in independent heavy panzer battalions and companies. The real workhorses for Germany up until the end of the war were the Pz-IV and the StuG-III, both of which were no more than roughly the equals to the Sherman and the T-34. Something else to bear in mind is that supply in the Commonwealth and US was entirely motorised. Germany used 2.75 million horses for supplies and as the prime mover for artillery during the war.
Of course Stalingrad was bad thing for Germany but not everything. Almost right after that Germany win the Third Battle of Kharkov and there was change for new success. And what is important to notice: in 1943 there was only one front in Europe. Panthers and Tigers were new and fresh tanks on the front in 1942-43 so of course there was problems at the start. Just like there was problems in KV and T-34 when those tanks were new in the front. And the important thing: there was heavy bombing against Germany development, production and factories. The allies would do their job on the homefront perfectly peaceful conditions almost without any fear what comes to german bombers.

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Regarding jets, by the time the Me-262 became available Germany was facing severe shortages of fuel and of trained pilots. Regarding "modern guns" like the StG-44, only limited numbers were ever available and it didn't come remotely close to becoming the standard infantry rifle in the German army. The standard German infantry rifle for the entire duration of the war was the "modern" Kar98k bolt-action rifle which was itself no more than the evolution of the Gewehr 98 bolt-action rifle used by Germany in WW1. The 98 refers to the year it was developed, 1898. Regarding Germany’s nuclear program, it was years behind the Manhattan project.
Yes, because Hitler and Göring didn't fully understand the potential and need of fighter like Me 262 and the same thing was in StG44 with Hitler.

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I'm unsure if you mean losses in the Allied strategic bombing campaign against Germany or losses to a German strategic bombing campaign here. If you mean the former, losses were already high; at times Bomber Command was losing more bomber crews than the number of German civilians it was killing. While it was certainly useful in ways, it was by no means vital in defeating Germany. Despite the strategic bombing campaign against Germany, German production of war materials continued to increase right up until the final months of the war when Germany was losing access to raw materials left and right entirely independent of the effects of strategic bombing. If you mean a strategic bombing campaign by Germany, the ill-fated He-177 was the closest thing Germany ever came to a strategic bomber. It too had serious mechanical problems, it was nicknamed by German aircrews the Luftwaffenfeuerzeug (Luftwaffe's lighter) or the "Flaming Coffin".
I mean the Allied strategic bombing campaign against Germany. If country all the time lose more and more factories, production, critical materials, etc. etc. it's just impossible to win the war. Of course you can play hide and seek (hundreds and thousands little factories here, there and everywhere etc.) for a little time but in the end it's not enough and when you don't have no air force in the front in battles either it's just catastrophe. For example Operation Overlord or Operation Bagration in the summer 1944 - where was Luftwaffe? In the modern war against modern states the one side which don't have successful air defence and succesful air force that is the country which will lose the war. And, yes the allies losses were big but not even near as big they would' ve be.
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Old 11-24-2013, 07:45 PM
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Its more a case of finding something that he didn't fail at.
I'll have you know, sir, that he was a goddamn virtuoso at failing. And not a dab hand at morphine intake, either !

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The invasion of Crete was also a Goring campaign.
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. At least edit it in post- some.

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Originally Posted by Rocket 100
That's pretty interesting argument if you look country which have the best tanks, jet fighters, modern guns like StG 44, missiles, own nuclear program etc. etc.
That would be swell, if not for the fact that quantity has a quality all its own. If you get one (completely unbalanced in the ruleset ! ) Tiger to the front, and I have 15 crummy Shermans, or worse for you 15 balls to the wall awesome T-34s, I'll tend to win most of the time.

Besides, for all its touted (and way overstated in popular media, BTW) tech advantage, Germany pissed much of it away in most stupid fashion. 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.
Yeah, they had StG 44s, which they had to trick Hitler into allowing.
Yeah, they had a nuclear program, which Hitler quashed or at the very least deliberately neglected because it was "Jew science".
Yeah, they had missiles, which they farted away at London, pretty much at random, never achieving anything with them.
And don't get me started on Type XXI U-booten.

The Allies, for their part, might have had tedious old shit but LOTS AND LOTS of it, radar, and to top it off broke the Axis' crypto like Chris Christie sitting on a baby chair. Oh, and they weren't mass murdering maniacs sinking a non-negligible amount of what paltry resources they did have on further pointless mass murder, so that's a fringe benefit.

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The allies would do their job on the homefront perfectly peaceful conditions almost without any fear what comes to german bombers.
Um, yes... and ? Is it their fault that they won the Battle of England, or that Hitler declared war on the entire world, including relatively large and prosperous bits of it he didn't have a hint of a glint of the dream of a chance of harming directly ?
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Old 11-24-2013, 08:20 PM
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Even though he had the biggest and most modern air force in 1940, he couldn't have destroyed Britain from the air, or launch a successful air invasion. That sort of air power didn't appear until 1945.

As to his successes in the initial years of the blitzkrieg and defense of the reich, that's another story.
  #75  
Old 11-25-2013, 01:47 AM
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Of course Stalingrad was bad thing for Germany but not everything. Almost right after that Germany win the Third Battle of Kharkov and there was change for new success.
Third Kharkov only brought the Soviet offensive which had been advancing since winter 1942 to a halt in spring 1943. It didn't happen 'almost right after' Stalingrad. See map here for territorial changes on the Eastern Front between the encirclement of Stalingrad and the Soviet winter offensive finally coming to a halt (18 November 1942-March 1943). If you'll notice the green area west of Moscow, that is the Rzhev salient which Germany abandoned in March 1943 in order to come up with some sort of reserve to squander in the failed offensive at Kursk that summer.

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And what is important to notice: in 1943 there was only one front in Europe. Panthers and Tigers were new and fresh tanks on the front in 1942-43 so of course there was problems at the start. Just like there was problems in KV and T-34 when those tanks were new in the front.
Only if you consider the front in Italy not to be in Europe. 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. You've also ignored the limited numbers that were ever available. Peak strength in Normandy reached a grand total of 432 on July 30, 1944. Peak strength on the Western Front happened the day before the launching of the Ardennes Offensive - "A status report on December 15, 1944 listed an all-time high of 471 Panthers assigned to the Western Front, with 336 operational (71 percent)." Note the operational rate of only 71 percent the day before a surprise offensive with late model Panthers. After the offensive "A status report on January 15, 1945 showed only 97 operational Panthers left in the units involved in the operation, out of 282 still in their possession." - a 34 percent operational rate.

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And the important thing: there was heavy bombing against Germany development, production and factories. The allies would do their job on the homefront perfectly peaceful conditions almost without any fear what comes to german bombers.
What German bombers? The He-177? Even if Germany had concentrated on production of more He-177s, and the resources diverted would have to mean less of something else, Germany had lost control of the skies over its own territory by that point. It was in no position to contest control of the skies of Britain again, and could do nothing to touch the US or Soviet tank factories in the Urals.

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Yes, because Hitler and Göring didn't fully understand the potential and need of fighter like Me 262 and the same thing was in StG44 with Hitler.
The Me-262 wasn't going to make Germany's fuel problems go away. The StG44 was developed behind Hitler's back, but he gave it his blessing when he found out about it. Even with his blessing only 425,977 were ever manufactured. For comparison the USSR produced more than 6 million PPSh-41 submachine guns during the war.

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I mean the Allied strategic bombing campaign against Germany.
As I've said; 1) losses were already very high early on for both the Commonwealth at night and the USAAF during the day and 2) the strategic bombing campaign was not vital to defeating Germany. It was certainly useful, but Germany was going to lose the war whether there was a strategic bombing campaign or not.
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Old 11-25-2013, 04:28 AM
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Besides, for all its touted (and way overstated in popular media, BTW) tech advantage, Germany pissed much of it away in most stupid fashion. 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.
Yeah, they had StG 44s, which they had to trick Hitler into allowing.
Yeah, they had a nuclear program, which Hitler quashed or at the very least deliberately neglected because it was "Jew science".
Yeah, they had missiles, which they farted away at London, pretty much at random, never achieving anything with them.
And don't get me started on Type XXI U-booten.
Indeed, the supposed technological advantage of Nazi German is largely a lot of horseshit. It's hard to claim a technological advantage when your using horse drawn carts to move by far the lion's share of your supplies and moving most of your artillery while the Western Allies didn't use so much as a single horse barring exceptional situations where mules were more useful than trucks such as some parts of Italy. The TO&E of a German 1943 pattern infantry division included 2,652 horses and only 256 trucks.

As you mentioned the Allies had far better radar than the Germans, better artillery and far better artillery doctrine, the Time on Target technique was pioneered by the US Army. Germany had nothing comparable to the B-17, B-24, Wellington and Lancaster, much less the B-29 and no high performance fighter with the range of the P-51. While everyone else in the world was using bolt-action rifles, the US was the only nation to abandon bolt-action for self-loading rifles with the M1 Garand. When the Germans had to plan for Operation Sealion, as impossible of a plan as it was, they planned to use Rhineferries which would have capsized in anything but the calmest sea. Planning for amphibious operations the Western Allies came up with a slew of successful landing craft and ships from the LST to the LCVP and the LVT and DUKW. In combating U-Boats the Allies came up with a range of successful weapons such as the Hedgehog, Mousetrap and Squid ASW mortars and the Mk-24 FIDO ASW Acoustic Homing Torpedo. The highly touted Panzerschreck and Panzerfaust were reverse engineered from the American Bazooka. Allied radar technology was so far ahead of Germany's that it was developed into the proximity fuze. Germany didn't have a monopoly on jet aircraft, the US P-80 and the British Gloster Meteor were both operational by the end of the war.

Germany of course had some things better than the Allies and did some things better than the Allies, but had no real technological edge over the Allies.
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Old 11-25-2013, 07:21 AM
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Indeed, the supposed technological advantage of Nazi German is largely a lot of horseshit. It's hard to claim a technological advantage when your using horse drawn carts to move by far the lion's share of your supplies and moving most of your artillery while the Western Allies didn't use so much as a single horse barring exceptional situations where mules were more useful than trucks such as some parts of Italy. The TO&E of a German 1943 pattern infantry division included 2,652 horses and only 256 trucks.
You are working against sixty years of movies and ahistorical conversations. Best of luck changing that here. The idea that the Germans were more technologically advanced is now so ingrained it's nearly impossible to uproot.
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Old 11-25-2013, 09:19 AM
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He was pretty much a fat, perverted idiot who never understood the real strengths or, more importantly the limitations of air power
To be fair, nobody really fully understood the strengths and weaknesses of air power in the early days of WWII. Both the doctrine and the machines themselves were progressing pretty rapidly at that point.

The difference was that in large part, the Allies had the manufacturing muscle and manpower to figure out what did and didn't work without losses of pilots and planes being irreplaceable like they were for Germany.

And the technological edge issue is interesting. On paper, the Germans had better technology than the Allies did- stuff like liquid fueled rockets, jet fighters, etc... but in large part this was illusory. The Allies had these things as well to some degree, but in most cases, chose to produce the simpler and cheaper versions under the rationale that 3 P-51 fighters were superior to 1 Me-262, or 5 76mm gunned Sherman tanks were superior to 2 Panther tanks.

And for the most part this was true. In some cases, Allied technology, or the application thereof was more advanced than the Germans. For example, the "time on target" technique and extreme artillery coordination of the US forces was groundbreaking and diabolically effective, and was enabled by the widespread use of radios by US forces. It's not as sexy as jet powered cruise missiles or rocket fighters, so it doesn't get a lot of popular press.
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Old 11-25-2013, 09:20 AM
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The Germans did have sone technically advanced stuff; however, they suffered from what might be termed 'fanboy syndrome' - the focus was on developing stuff that, individually, looked really cool, at the expense of developng warmaking systems that worked. So, constantly tinker to get a small number of really awesome looking tanks, rather than tooling up to make a large number of tanks that consistently worked. Looking for the best rather than the good-enough, right now.

As the war progressed and defeat loomed, Hitler became increasingly obsessed with "super weapons" that could turn the tide.

The nature of the Nazi government ensured this outcome. Upthread, people were noting that Goring spent his time infighting and ass-kissing. This was not considered by the Nazis themselves as a bug in the Nazi system, but was, bizzarely enough, thought to be a feature: Hitler was convinced, and Nazi ideology stated, that constant infighting among the Nazi bigwigs together with centralized personal control by the great leader kept the Nazi state strong. An internalized survival of the fittest, as it were. Oddly, they actually appeared to believe this, and the result was constant turf battles - one weapon of which was to appease Hitler by turning out shiny new weapons guaranteed to make him happy, rather than objectivly looking into needed weapons and logistics systems that actually made a difference.

It may be somewhat unfair to castigate the Germans for relying so much on horsepower - they suffered throughout the war from gas shortages - but to an extent, this is a result of this phenominon: heavy trucks are simply not as sexy, fanboy-style, as heavy tanks.

Mind you, no-one at the time had anything near the manufacturing ability in the area of motor vehicles as the US - the imbalance is just absurd, and the US basically provided the lion's share of trucks for all of the allies - but still.
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Old 11-25-2013, 10:25 AM
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In combating U-Boats the Allies came up with a range of successful weapons such as the Hedgehog, Mousetrap and Squid ASW mortars and the Mk-24 FIDO ASW Acoustic Homing Torpedo.
Well, if you want to go that way, the Germans came up with the schnorschel, homing torpedoes, electric wake-less torpedoes, anechoic tiles and ultimately the first submarine designed to run submerged 100% of the time - a revolutionary idea at the time (whereas for example the Hedgehog is more of a "you know what, finding submarines is tedious, let's just blow up the whole sea from here to there" solution to a problem - efficient, but not elegant nor all that novel ).

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The highly touted Panzerschreck and Panzerfaust were reverse engineered from the American Bazooka.
Nitpick : the 'schreck was indeed a copy of the bazooka (and a better one, IIRC) but the 'faust was original KrauTech I believe.

Interesting thing is, of all the Nazi whizbang that would be copied by the Allies post-war and pushed even further throughout the Cold War, the Panzerfaust concept is one of the few that never was emulated, to my knowledge. I wonder why, since you'd think a cheap, lightweight handheld tank buster might come in handy, particularly in urban warfare. Maybe modern grenade launchers are just better panzerfausts ? I'm not sure how blow-stuff-uppy that thing really was.
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Old 11-25-2013, 10:35 AM
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Interesting thing is, of all the Nazi whizbang that would be copied by the Allies post-war and pushed even further throughout the Cold War, the Panzerfaust concept is one of the few that never was emulated, to my knowledge. I wonder why, since you'd think a cheap, lightweight handheld tank buster might come in handy, particularly in urban warfare. Maybe modern grenade launchers are just better panzerfausts ? I'm not sure how blow-stuff-uppy that thing really was.
The M72 LAW, adopted in 1963, is similar to the Panzerfaust in many respects: single-use, lightweight, unguided, light anti-tank weapon.
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Old 11-25-2013, 11:57 AM
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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.

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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?

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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).
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Old 11-25-2013, 01:19 PM
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As soon as helicopters offered a viable alternative, dropping by parachute was relegated to small special-forces operations in every army.
You could say the same thing about amphibious landings as well, but how else were the Marines going to capture an island?

Large scale paratroop drops are another thing that seems foolish in hindsight, but at the time was the best option, even if kind of flawed.


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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.
It wasn't so much that they were individually machined, it was that the engines were hand-fitted. In other words, they'd machine the cylinder bores, and then either find the best fitting pistons out of all the ones they had on hand, or machine pistons specifically for the cylinders AS bored. Basically they spent the time and effort to make sure all the parts fit just-so, while US manufacturers tended to build the parts so that you could grab any piston and have it fit any bore reasonably well. Maybe not as well as a hand-fitted one, but it probably took a fraction of the time and expense to put that piston in versus a hand-fitted one.
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Old 11-25-2013, 02:43 PM
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You are working against sixty years of movies and ahistorical conversations. Best of luck changing that here. The idea that the Germans were more technologically advanced is now so ingrained it's nearly impossible to uproot.
We can but try.

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The Germans did have sone technically advanced stuff; however, they suffered from what might be termed 'fanboy syndrome' - the focus was on developing stuff that, individually, looked really cool, at the expense of developng warmaking systems that worked. So, constantly tinker to get a small number of really awesome looking tanks, rather than tooling up to make a large number of tanks that consistently worked. Looking for the best rather than the good-enough, right now.
You are quite right, and I mean no offense by this, but fanboy syndrome is so insidious that you are falling prey to some of it right here. Hollywood hardly helps where every German tank has to be a Tiger, or wargames going back to Squad Leader and PanzerBlitz where the German side is usually drowning in Panthers, Tigers, Jagdpanthers, Wespes, Hummels and Wirbelwinds and all of the infantry are tooling around in Sd.Kfz. 251 halftracks.* German armor was inferior tank for tank to French and British armor during the fall of France in 1940. German armor was inferior to Soviet armor from the beginning of Barbarossa up until at least 1943. They were successful because they were better able to use what they had. The Germans made extensive use of captured Soviet 76.2mm guns as the PaK 36(r), both as a towed piece and mounted on the Marder because it was far superior to the anti-tank guns Germany had available; the German 75mm PaK 40 was only just entering production as 1941 drew to a close.

Even when these smaller numbers of ‘best’ equipment became available, they never came close to being the majority of the equipment Germany was using; Germany kept producing the good-enough right now in larger numbers than the more difficult to produce best equipment. Up until the last days of the war, German armor was much more likely to be a Pz-IV or StuG-III than a Panther or a Tiger, a self-propelled AT gun a Hetzer than a Jagdpanther, infantry rifles to be Kar98(k)s than StG44s, fighters to be Me-109s or FW-190s than Me-262s, and U-boats a Type-VIIc than a Type XXI.

*Only one of the four panzergrenadier battalions per panzer division was even on paper supposed to be mounted on half-tracks, for comparison all three armored infantry battalions in a US armored division were mountd on half-tracks both on paper and in practice.

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It may be somewhat unfair to castigate the Germans for relying so much on horsepower - they suffered throughout the war from gas shortages - but to an extent, this is a result of this phenominon: heavy trucks are simply not as sexy, fanboy-style, as heavy tanks.
The fuel situation for Germany was certainly a part of the problem, but the inability of German industry to produce enough trucks was as well. Prior to the launching of Barbarossa the Germans scoured occupied Europe for trucks to try to make up for the shortfall, but this had its own logistical problems. Rather than having to provide spare parts for only a few models of wheeled vehicles, it was a nightmare of its own trying to provide spare parts for scores of different models of wheeled vehicles manufactured by every country Germany occupied.
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Old 11-25-2013, 03:27 PM
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We can but try.

You are quite right, and I mean no offense by this, but fanboy syndrome is so insidious that you are falling prey to some of it right here. Hollywood hardly helps where every German tank has to be a Tiger, or wargames going back to Squad Leader and PanzerBlitz where the German side is usually drowning in Panthers, Tigers, Jagdpanthers, Wespes, Hummels and Wirbelwinds and all of the infantry are tooling around in Sd.Kfz. 251 halftracks.* German armor was inferior tank for tank to French and British armor during the fall of France in 1940. German armor was inferior to Soviet armor from the beginning of Barbarossa up until at least 1943. They were successful because they were better able to use what they had. The Germans made extensive use of captured Soviet 76.2mm guns as the PaK 36(r), both as a towed piece and mounted on the Marder because it was far superior to the anti-tank guns Germany had available; the German 75mm PaK 40 was only just entering production as 1941 drew to a close.

Even when these smaller numbers of ‘best’ equipment became available, they never came close to being the majority of the equipment Germany was using; Germany kept producing the good-enough right now in larger numbers than the more difficult to produce best equipment. Up until the last days of the war, German armor was much more likely to be a Pz-IV or StuG-III than a Panther or a Tiger, a self-propelled AT gun a Hetzer than a Jagdpanther, infantry rifles to be Kar98(k)s than StG44s, fighters to be Me-109s or FW-190s than Me-262s, and U-boats a Type-VIIc than a Type XXI.

*Only one of the four panzergrenadier battalions per panzer division was even on paper supposed to be mounted on half-tracks, for comparison all three armored infantry battalions in a US armored division were mountd on half-tracks both on paper and in practice.
Fair enough - I really ought to have prefaced my remarks by stating this was the situation when the Germans were losing, not when they were winning (and yes, I know, even when they were losing, not every German tank was a Tiger, or even a large number of them - it is just that they put a disproportionate effort into the glamourous stuff).

The Nazi domination of the army was progressive throughout the war.

Emphasis of the glamour stuff had a distorting effect far outside the actual numbers involved - for example: the Germans delayed launching Kursk so that Panthers would be avaliable - even though only a tiny number of Panthers actually made it to that battle and they had, allegedly, very little impact.

It isn't that the Germans insisted on only having the "best" - that wasn't my meaning at all, and no doubt it is my fault that you read it that way; rather, as the war progressed and the Nazis became more dominant over the course of the war, they put effort they could ill afford into getting "the best", effort they could more profitably have put elsewhere. The military returns from, for example, the tiny number of super-duper tanks they actually made were simply not worth the cost.

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The fuel situation for Germany was certainly a part of the problem, but the inability of German industry to produce enough trucks was as well. Prior to the launching of Barbarossa the Germans scoured occupied Europe for trucks to try to make up for the shortfall, but this had its own logistical problems. Rather than having to provide spare parts for only a few models of wheeled vehicles, it was a nightmare of its own trying to provide spare parts for scores of different models of wheeled vehicles manufactured by every country Germany occupied.
True, and as I noted, the US was absolutely dominant in this area. The Red Army moved on Berlin in US-made trucks.
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Old 11-25-2013, 03:33 PM
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You could say the same thing about amphibious landings as well, but how else were the Marines going to capture an island?

Large scale paratroop drops are another thing that seems foolish in hindsight, but at the time was the best option, even if kind of flawed.




It wasn't so much that they were individually machined, it was that the engines were hand-fitted. In other words, they'd machine the cylinder bores, and then either find the best fitting pistons out of all the ones they had on hand, or machine pistons specifically for the cylinders AS bored. Basically they spent the time and effort to make sure all the parts fit just-so, while US manufacturers tended to build the parts so that you could grab any piston and have it fit any bore reasonably well. Maybe not as well as a hand-fitted one, but it probably took a fraction of the time and expense to put that piston in versus a hand-fitted one.
I find this difficult to believe..by the early 1930's American automobile engine factories all had automatically bored and honed blocks , by a fixed multi-head boring mill. So the Germans were using 1920's technology? Unbelievable.
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Old 11-25-2013, 05:46 PM
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You could say the same thing about amphibious landings as well, but how else were the Marines going to capture an island?

Large scale paratroop drops are another thing that seems foolish in hindsight, but at the time was the best option, even if kind of flawed.
I didn't say it, so much as quote a respected military analyst, John Keegan. His point was very specifically that paradrops seemed like a good idea, but proved so wasteful of elite formations in all -- all -- major operations ever attempted that armies stopped using them entirely (like the Germans after Crete) or used them only for small-sale special forces ops while trying to transition to something else. The idea of vertical envelopment -- dropping a large formation behind enemy lines -- as a method of winning battles was, it turns out, fatally flawed.

This happens occasionally in warfare, like the idea of using hydrogen-filled zeppelins, some things simply do not work out, even if they were neat ideas.
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Old 11-25-2013, 06:09 PM
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There is no such thing as a tank that's "too well-made." Properly casted, welded and fitted, both the tiger and panther performed as well as the allied tanks. The trouble was by late 1944, a lot of the heavy industries was already dominated by slave labor, workers who had no love for the German cause. Though shoddy work or deliberate sabotage were punishable by immediate execution, workers still managed to break a few gear teeth, or mis-align rotating parts.
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Old 11-25-2013, 08:44 PM
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I find this difficult to believe..by the early 1930's American automobile engine factories all had automatically bored and honed blocks , by a fixed multi-head boring mill. So the Germans were using 1920's technology? Unbelievable.
Boring and honing are seperate operations. Both operations are staggered, cylinders 1 & 5, then 3 and 7, and then the other side would be worked on. Pistons were done in 5 different sizes, A thru E, to match the bore size.
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Old 11-26-2013, 10:04 AM
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I find this difficult to believe..by the early 1930's American automobile engine factories all had automatically bored and honed blocks , by a fixed multi-head boring mill. So the Germans were using 1920's technology? Unbelievable.
Look up the Rolls-Royce Merlin; apparently the British ones ran like tops, but were designed for hand-fitting and meticulous craftsmanship. It took Packard getting hold of the design and reworking it for modern manufacturing techniques before it took off (so to speak) as a mass-produced aircraft engine.

The thing was, US auto makers made a huge proportion of the pre-war cars and trucks and were very experienced in mass-producing engines and other components, while the European manufacturers had primarily concentrated on luxury models made in considerably smaller numbers.
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Old 11-27-2013, 07:15 PM
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That would be swell, if not for the fact that quantity has a quality all its own. If you get one (completely unbalanced in the ruleset ! ) Tiger to the front, and I have 15 crummy Shermans, or worse for you 15 balls to the wall awesome T-34s, I'll tend to win most of the time.

Besides, for all its touted (and way overstated in popular media, BTW) tech advantage, Germany pissed much of it away in most stupid fashion. 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.
Yeah, they had StG 44s, which they had to trick Hitler into allowing.
Yeah, they had a nuclear program, which Hitler quashed or at the very least deliberately neglected because it was "Jew science".
Yeah, they had missiles, which they farted away at London, pretty much at random, never achieving anything with them.
Germany's successful War Machine almost always based on quality over quantity no mather what was the situation and when it's like that the nr. 1 question is that there have to be succesful air defence and air force to protect materials, production and factories. And of course: in the front too.

And:

Jet Fighters. well, in the start there is always more problems.

StG 44: yes, like I said earlier.

Nuclear Program: every country had a lot of problems in their nuclear programs. For example: what was Soviet Union nuclear program before they find Germany program?

Missiles: situation in end-1944 and 1945 was pretty desperate. Have you ever heard Wasserfall missiles and Dr. Walter Thiel?

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Um, yes... and ? Is it their fault that they won the Battle of England, or that Hitler declared war on the entire world, including relatively large and prosperous bits of it he didn't have a hint of a glint of the dream of a chance of harming directly ?
What I said earlier is a fact not an opinion. I was comparing allied workers and their working conditions to german workers and their conditions.
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:56 PM
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Third Kharkov only brought the Soviet offensive which had been advancing since winter 1942 to a halt in spring 1943. It didn't happen 'almost right after' Stalingrad. See map here for territorial changes on the Eastern Front between the encirclement of Stalingrad and the Soviet winter offensive finally coming to a halt (18 November 1942-March 1943). If you'll notice the green area west of Moscow, that is the Rzhev salient which Germany abandoned in March 1943 in order to come up with some sort of reserve to squander in the failed offensive at Kursk that summer.
What I meant was that the Third Kharkov battle and success came almost right after Stalingrad. (February and March).

It take way too long before Kursk started after that.

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Only if you consider the front in Italy not to be in Europe. 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. You've also ignored the limited numbers that were ever available. Peak strength in Normandy reached a grand total of 432 on July 30, 1944. Peak strength on the Western Front happened the day before the launching of the Ardennes Offensive - "A status report on December 15, 1944 listed an all-time high of 471 Panthers assigned to the Western Front, with 336 operational (71 percent)." Note the operational rate of only 71 percent the day before a surprise offensive with late model Panthers. After the offensive "A status report on January 15, 1945 showed only 97 operational Panthers left in the units involved in the operation, out of 282 still in their possession." - a 34 percent operational rate.
Again what I meant It was only July when there was two front in Europe and compared to Normandy the Sicilian Campaign was different thing.

There was problems in Germany tank production and definitely not the least was allied bombing raids against Maybach engine plant and other tank factories.

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What German bombers? The He-177? Even if Germany had concentrated on production of more He-177s, and the resources diverted would have to mean less of something else, Germany had lost control of the skies over its own territory by that point. It was in no position to contest control of the skies of Britain again, and could do nothing to touch the US or Soviet tank factories in the Urals.
Yes, when there is not heavy bombers to destroy enemy factories and industry the only real choise is to concentrate everything to protect own factories and industry.

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The Me-262 wasn't going to make Germany's fuel problems go away. The StG44 was developed behind Hitler's back, but he gave it his blessing when he found out about it. Even with his blessing only 425,977 were ever manufactured. For comparison the USSR produced more than 6 million PPSh-41 submachine guns during the war.
Well, allied bombings had very heavy effect what comes to Germany fuel problems/fuel shortage. That was self-feeding situation.

StG44 mass production lasted very, very little time comparing to PPSh-41.

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As I've said; 1) losses were already very high early on for both the Commonwealth at night and the USAAF during the day and 2) the strategic bombing campaign was not vital to defeating Germany. It was certainly useful, but Germany was going to lose the war whether there was a strategic bombing campaign or not.
1) Yes, but not enough. Not even near as big they would' ve be.

2) The strategic bombing campaign was vital to defeating Germany because it effect everything and in the end there was no Luftwaffe to fight.
  #93  
Old 11-28-2013, 05:53 AM
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What I meant was that the Third Kharkov battle and success came almost right after Stalingrad. (February and March).
Stalingrad was encircled in November 1942. Third Kharkov was fought in February and March 1943. That's four months later, not 'almost right after'. If you take another look at the map of the Eastern Front linked, you'll notice the Red Army continued to advance west from Kursk despite being stopped at Third Kharkov from further advances in that direction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket 100
It take way too long before Kursk started after that.
The Germans deliberately abandoned the Rzhev Salient after fighting to hold it for 14 months specifically to shorten the length of the front and to free up divisions for use elsewhere. That elsewhere turned out to be squandering them at Kursk. See here:
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Abandoning it effectively meant the Germans would abandon any future offensive against Moscow.

Defending the salient required 29 divisions. Its abandonment freed up 22 of those divisions. It created a strategic reserve which allowed the Germans to stabilize the front and somewhat recover from massive losses at Stalingrad.

It is easy to understand the doubts of general Heinz Guderian about the strategic aims of the later Battle of Kursk, since the Germans had to abandon the strategically important Rzhev-Vyazma for gathering troops to take a much less valuable one at Kursk.[5] In other words, the retreat of the Germans in operation Buffel was tactically and militarily successful, but the abandonment of "the Rzhev-Vyazma pistol" was a strategic loss for Nazi Germany on the Eastern Front.

The reserves gained by the Germans through the withdrawal were soon after used up in the offensive against Kursk later in 1943.
And here:
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the name Büffel Bewegung (Buffalo Movement in German) was given to a series of local retreats conducted by the German Army on the Russian Front during the period 1–22 March 1943. This movement eliminated the Rzhev Salient and shortened the front by 230 kilometers, releasing twenty-one divisions for use elsewhere. This allowed the Germans to create a reserve for operations elsewhere on the Eastern Front.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket 100
Again what I meant It was only July when there was two front in Europe and compared to Normandy the Sicilian Campaign was different thing.
If that is what you meant, you didn't convey it by stating that there was only one front in Europe in 1943.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket 100
There was problems in Germany tank production and definitely not the least was allied bombing raids against Maybach engine plant and other tank factories.
Again, German armament production in all categories increased every month from 1941-44 despite the strategic bombing, and the final collapse in production levels in 1945 was as much due to the physical loss of land where the factories and resources were located to the advancing Allied ground forces. This also does nothing to address the fact that the Panther had a horrible operational rate due to mechanical unreliability even in late models after the bugs of the engine setting itself on fire were addressed. The day prior to launching the largest offensive in the West since the Allies had returned to the continent the Panther only had a 71% operational rate. One month later the survivors had a 34% operational rate. The slow production rate of the Panther also ensured that the Pz-IV remained the mainstay of German panzer divisions, as it was much easier to produce and remained in production until the end of the war. It also wasn't uncommon for there to be more running StuG-III assault guns in panzer divisions than running Panthers despite the fact that on paper the 1944 TO&E(warning, pdf file) authorized more Panthers in the second panzer battalion than the number of StuGs in the (self propelled) Panzerjäger Battalion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket 100
Yes, when there is not heavy bombers to destroy enemy factories and industry the only real choise is to concentrate everything to protect own factories and industry.
Germany didn't get to make this choice. It was being buried in aircraft production by its enemies just like it was in all other categories of armaments. Germany concentrated on single engine fighters because there was no other choice for them. Among the other factors, they only needed one engine, not four. Either way, the He-177 was a disaster as a strategic bomber. The engines were extremely unreliable, hence the nickname "flaming coffin". Believe it or not, early models of the He-177 had dive brakes. That's right, one of the design requirements of the closet thing Germany came to a proper strategic bomber was that it be able to dive-bomb.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket 100
Well, allied bombings had very heavy effect what comes to Germany fuel problems/fuel shortage. That was self-feeding situation.
Yet again, this is simply not true. The US Strategic Bombing Survey conducted after the war found that it had nowhere near the effect it was hoped to have in all categories of production, including fuel. Germany's fuel problem was that they simply did not have control over the production of enough of it. One of the primary effects of the strategic bombing was the destruction of the Luftwaffe as any kind of effective force through attrition combating the bombers, and more particularly their fighter escorts. The P-38, P-47 and P-51 could all ultimately escort the B-17s and B-24s deep into German airspace and perform equal to or better than the Me-109 and FW-190. The FW-190 and particularly the Me-109 had very short legs, as amply demonstrated during the Battle of Britain when the Me-109 was pushing its fuel reserve dog fighting over London from bases on the French and Belgian coast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket 100
StG44 mass production lasted very, very little time comparing to PPSh-41.
And? Again, pay attention to the numbers, they are the year they were introduced to service. More than 6 million PPSh-41s being produced from 1941 had a much greater impact than less than a half million StG44s being produced starting three years later. And again, any objections he may have had aside it was developed behind Hitler's back, and one he was made aware of it he gave it his blessing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket 100
1) Yes, but not enough. Not even near as big they would' ve be.

2) The strategic bombing campaign was vital to defeating Germany because it effect everything and in the end there was no Luftwaffe to fight.
1) Have you looked up the loss rates of Bomber Command and the 8th and 15th USAAF in early operations? To reiterate, Bomber Command was losing more flight crews KIA than the number of German civilians it was killing. In the disastrous Schwienfurt-Regensburg mission the 8th USAAF lost almost three times as many flight crews as the number of German civilians it killed. 2) Horseshit. The strategic bombing campaign was in no way vital to defeating Germany. They were going to be steamrollered by the Red Army in the end regardless. For the nth time, production of war materials by Germany increased every year despite the strategic bombing.
  #94  
Old 11-28-2013, 06:20 PM
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Strategic bombing is not supposed to make the enemy raise their hands and surrender in the face of raining bombs. It helps to weaken your enemy, in terms of lower production and morale. Dissonance is correct in saying it was not vital in defeating Germany by 1945. That time frame is important. If Germany was strong enough to resist the allied offensives on both sides from 1944 to maybe 1947, then strategic bombing starting in 1944 would definitely be vital in ensuring her (eventual) defeat.
  #95  
Old 11-28-2013, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Dissonance View Post
SThe strategic bombing campaign was in no way vital to defeating Germany. They were going to be steamrollered by the Red Army in the end regardless. For the nth time, production of war materials by Germany increased every year despite the strategic bombing.
This is a meaningless statement without refernece to

1. An idea of what Germany COULD have produced without bombing, and
2. What the military cost to Germany was of resisting strategic bombing.

It is fact that a substantial portion of that production was dedicated to trying to stop Allied bombing; according to Keegan, a quarter of German shell production was being used trying to shoot down bombers, and by later in the war pretty much the entire Luftwaffe was involved in the same endeavour, as opposed to supporting German troops. As the German army joke went, "If you see black planes they're British, if you see white planes they're American, if you see no planes it's the Luftwaffe."

It is perhaps interesting to ask why, if bombing was so useless, the Germans invested so much in trying to stop it. And what could they have done with that investment elsewhere?
  #96  
Old 11-28-2013, 11:25 PM
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This is a meaningless statement without refernece to

1. An idea of what Germany COULD have produced without bombing, and
2. What the military cost to Germany was of resisting strategic bombing.
You're misreading me, the statement was in response to Rocket 100's comment that
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket 100
There was problems in Germany tank production and definitely not the least was allied bombing raids against Maybach engine plant and other tank factories.
Whatever the problems the strategic bombing campaign caused the Germans, reducing tank production certainly wasn't one of them; the idea that the strategic bombing campaign caused a net reduction in German armaments output is belied by the fact that production of armaments in all categories continued to increase each month throughout the entire war until the final closing months. Could they have netted more had there been no strategic bombing campaign? Sure. Did the strategic bombing campaign cause a net reduction in German production? Certainly not.

Quote:
It is fact that a substantial portion of that production was dedicated to trying to stop Allied bombing; according to Keegan, a quarter of German shell production was being used trying to shoot down bombers, and by later in the war pretty much the entire Luftwaffe was involved in the same endeavour, as opposed to supporting German troops. As the German army joke went, "If you see black planes they're British, if you see white planes they're American, if you see no planes it's the Luftwaffe."
Indeed, that is why I said
Quote:
Originally Posted by me
One of the primary effects of the strategic bombing was the destruction of the Luftwaffe as any kind of effective force through attrition combating the bombers, and more particularly their fighter escorts.
Quote:
It is perhaps interesting to ask why, if bombing was so useless, the Germans invested so much in trying to stop it. And what could they have done with that investment elsewhere?
I've not said it was useless, only that it was not vital to defeating Germany as Rocket 100 seems to think. The strategic bombing campaign was not necessary for the defeat of Germany, they were going to lose the war with or without it, particularly with the situation Rocket 100 posits of German wunderwaffe such as the Me-262 and Wasserfall causing heavy losses to Allied bombers in the last year and a half or so of the war. The strategic bombing campaign was carried out in spite of heavy losses in early operations, and would almost certainly continue to be carried out even if losses became heavy again late in the war. Even had the Western Allies decided to abandon the strategic bombing campaign, Germany’s defeat was assured by 1944. Average pilot quality in the Luftwaffe had already been devastated by attrition, Germany had no prospects of improving thier fuel situation, and the Western Allies and to a slightly lesser degree the Soviets enjoyed an overwhelming superiority in tactical airpower.
  #97  
Old 11-29-2013, 08:21 AM
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...the idea that the strategic bombing campaign caused a net reduction in German armaments output is belied by the fact that production of armaments in all categories continued to increase each month throughout the entire war until the final closing months. Could they have netted more had there been no strategic bombing campaign? Sure. Did the strategic bombing campaign cause a net reduction in German production? Certainly not.
I agree with the rest of your points, but I don't see how this invalidates RickJay's essential point.
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Old 11-29-2013, 11:55 AM
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I agree with the rest of your points, but I don't see how this invalidates RickJay's essential point.
It doesn't; I don't think RickJay's essential point is invalid. I agree with what he said and hold more or less the same opinion on the strategic bombing campaign as he does; I think he might have just been reading more into my statement that the strategic bombing was not vital to defeating Germany and that production continued to increase in spite of the strategic bombing than was there. I certainly don't consider it to have been useless and mean vital in the strict dictionary sense: absolutely necessary or important; essential. While useful, the strategic bombing campaign was not absolutely necessary or essential to the defeat of Germany, and disrupting, or even more fantastically forcing a halt to the bombing campaign with wunderwaffe wasn't going to save Germany from defeat.
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Old 11-29-2013, 01:49 PM
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I agree with the comments (about the ineffectiveness of the bombing). Which is why I always wondered-why didn't the RAF and USAAF concentrate on bombing the Ruhr valley exclusively? It was the source of most of Germany's coal and steel, and it was closer to England. It is true, Germany had a few other coalfields (mostly Silesia); but destroying the Ruhr would have really shut German armaments down, and fast.
  #100  
Old 11-29-2013, 02:04 PM
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It doesn't; I don't think RickJay's essential point is invalid. I agree with what he said and hold more or less the same opinion on the strategic bombing campaign as he does; I think he might have just been reading more into my statement that the strategic bombing was not vital to defeating Germany and that production continued to increase in spite of the strategic bombing than was there. I certainly don't consider it to have been useless and mean vital in the strict dictionary sense: absolutely necessary or important; essential. While useful, the strategic bombing campaign was not absolutely necessary or essential to the defeat of Germany, and disrupting, or even more fantastically forcing a halt to the bombing campaign with wunderwaffe wasn't going to save Germany from defeat.
My position is that the only thing that could have saved Germany from defeat would have been if the Soviet Union had collapsed internally following the intital shock of the invasion, as Hitler thought it would.

When the Soviets did not collapse, Germany's defeat was pretty well sealed, absent some truly improbable circumstances. The war could have lasted longer though.
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