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Thats not true, in ww1(i assume you are talking about the 1918 offensive) never actualy broke the British line and it's debatable what it would have acheived as at that time there trianing and equipment were not up to the standard of the British army. Who managed to break through the German line as a matter of course (arguably from the somme).

Although the German army did develop the Storm trooper tactics (originaly from pioneer battalions i belive), but they only did this for a vey small proportion of the army, most infantry divisions had changed little tacticly from 1914 (except for the tight columns, and in one case i have read, attempting to fire bolt actions from the hip!) the German army remained very rigid and unflexible throughout much of ww1.

 

The spring offensives were only mounted as an attempt to win the war before American numbers could influence the outcome. Absent American intervention, the Germans would probably not have gone on the offensive. They had a large new resource area in the Ukraine to draw from, and direct communications with Turkey from the Crimea, thanks to Brest-Litovsk. They were thus in a lot better shape than they'd been in a while. Also, without the loss of hope that the failed offensives and gathering Allied strength engendered in the German armies, it's likely that no merely British and French offensive could have succeeded in 1918. IOW, it's arguable that it was a synergy of the exhaustion caused by offensives mounted in fear of the Americans, combined with the actual arrival of significant American help, that did the Germans in, not any exceptional performance by the traditional Allies.

 

BTW, you can bite your tongues on accusations of American triumphalism. It could just as easily have been men from Mars -- the point is that significant extra help to the Allies, both in anticipation and actuality, is what caused the Germans to prematurely exhaust themselves and lose the will to continue.

 

As for the alledged rigidity and inflexibility of the German army in the later war, I suggest you read The Dynamics of Doctrine. While the stormtroop offensive tactics were relatively limited in penetration, flexible defensive and counterattack tactics were a staple of German doctrine by 1918.

 

Thats not to say that the German army did not have it good side's in ww1, but alot of the German army's early succsess can be attributed to there mobilisation time rather than ability.

 

German operational doctrine explicitly relied on efficient mobilization to overcome what was expected to be a tactical stalemate between similarly trained and equipped troops. Saying that this was the genesis of their success is saying that they succeeded in plans they had consciously made and relied upon.

Edited by aevans
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Maybe the Polish fate was due to a wretched Government system in which every Sejm seat has veto power, and could be easily tempted to vote against the interests of Poland?

 

Of course. I was being extremely simplistic, but still, regardless of governmental gridlock, in the feeding frenzy that was early modern Europe, a small state like Prussia should have been swallowed up, yet Poland ended up being the one swallowed up (ironically, parts of it by Prussia). Why that was what happened is I think the answer to this thread's question.

Edited by FlyingCanOpener
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Unlimited fuel and ammo did you say! i suppose you have a source for that? You see because around septembe the Allied army's only had enough supplies for one big push. doesnt tend to happen with unlimited supllies?

 

Compared with the germans those supplies were unlimited.Easy as that.

 

And how did the allies suck badly in italy or normandy where they managed to inflict casulties at a rate of what 2-1 over all? And im pretty sure the Germans were not equiped that badly i mean they managed counter attacks on the 6th june and were attempting more later. Im not sure how many armoured counter attacks iraq managed on the first day!

 

Hello ?

 

Were they equally sized or had similar firepower ?

I don't remember the germans having any air support.And if ww2 taught us a lesson is that air power is the reason why one side wins and one loses.Those counterattacks you mention were simple acts of desperation , irresponsible generals sending their forces to destruction.How else can you describre what happened in Normandy ?

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Thanks for that, Savantu. If that's the best you can do, how about just leaving the adults to talk. :rolleyes:

 

BillB

 

Coming from a brit I take that as a compliment. :rolleyes:

 

American:

 

89,987 casualties

(19,276 dead,

23,554 captured or missing,

47,493 wounded)

 

British: 200 dead, 1400 wounded and missing

 

German

84,834 casualties

(15,652 dead,

27,582 captured or missing,

41,600 wounded)

 

Imagine the 6th Panzer army with enough fuel for 2 more days.

Edited by savantu
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Try reading some non-fiction some day. My copy of Mansoor's "GI Offensive in Europe" is boxed up somewhere, but he has ammunition expenditure figures for the 28th Inf. Division in the Bulge on Dec. 16--the amount of ammunition they used was absolutely astronomical, and shows a very determined defense being waged. Perhaps someone else with a copy of Mansoor's book can post the figures and educate poor savantu.

 

What has ammunition expenditure to do with efficiency in combat ?

 

In ww1 artillery pounded the enemy sector with 20-40k t of ammo in a day.That's nuclear language.How effective was it ? You can burn a lot of ammo and the end result can be null/nada/zero/rien.

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I don't have the unit strength reports available, but if somebody told me the Germans had no more than 5,000 tanks (not just Panthers) at any one time, I'd be willing to believe it.

Well, of course, Tony, the total produced during the war does not equate to maximum total available at one time. But I believe Brummbaer was talking about the total production when he said (post #9), "the valiant german tankers had available less than 5000 Panthers throughout the whole war vs <how many?> T-34s and Shermans". If he were talking about the maximum number of Panthers available at one time, he would probably have said something like "no more than 1300", judging by graphs in Jentz's book.

 

Hojutsuka

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Maybe they didn't advance so much because they didn't want to pave their path to Berlin with countless bodies inmassive frontal attacks?

Besides, the supply was critically restricted until the Antwerpes harbor got opened.

Really? Maybe you should find out something against defense of Bastogne or St Vith. Or about that group of stubborn engineers that delayed KG Peiper for quite some time.

 

Nobody is saying here the allies were useless , far from it ( that's reserved to the italians ) , but taking credentials for defeating the germans in flamboyant manner is like the US touting we're the best after destroying Iraq. ( which is true , but that's another story alltogether )

 

German units were seriously undereauipped especially with heavy weapons , ammo quality was poor ( too much salt added to the powder ) and fuel was nowhere to be found.Their back was completly paralyzed by refugees and allied air force was causing havoc on the frontline and behind it.

 

What's to brag about ? Individual acts of bravery ? Fine , each army can point that. But saying : hey , we're the best is overstretched IMO.When the German Army was reasonably in shape , the allies were always on the 2nd place.

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Well, of course, Tony, the total produced during the war does not equate to maximum total available at one time. But I believe Brummbaer was talking about the total production when he said (post #9), "the valiant german tankers had available less than 5000 Panthers throughout the whole war vs <how many?> T-34s and Shermans". If he were talking about the maximum number of Panthers available at one time, he would probably have said something like "no more than 1300", judging by graphs in Jentz's book.

 

Hojutsuka

 

I saw a documentary about Tiger tanks whioch stated that at any time ( 1944 onwards ) the German Army did not have more than 80 operational Tigers.

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What has ammunition expenditure to do with efficiency in combat ?

 

In ww1 artillery pounded the enemy sector with 20-40k t of ammo in a day.That's nuclear language.How effective was it ? You can burn a lot of ammo and the end result can be null/nada/zero/rien.

 

Your statement was that the American troops were running too fast to fight the Germans. That is pure, unmitigated bullshit, as the ammunition expenditure records for 28th ID for December 16 clearly show. That is REGARDLESS of whether or not they were effective. In point of fact, they WERE effective in throwing off a very critical German timetable, against overwhelming odds due to local German numerical superiority and heavy armor concentrations.

 

As to other US formations running, the Americans held the Elsenborn Ridge quite handily thank you, stymying Dietrich's attempts to break out to the Meuse. The 106th had been put in untenable positions, were green, and as Sargent has pointed out, the troops were still ready to fight--their command surrendered them. Large numbers of support and rear echelon troops also set up ad hoc road blocks throughout the Ardennes, causing innumerable headaches for Germans as they were ambushed on the narrow forest roads. I've driven through the Ardennes extensively back in the late 70s and early 80's, and the road nets that were in that area--Clairveaux, Vianden, and other towns you'd read about if you ever bothered to seriously find out what happened. The terrain is a nightmare for an armored column on the offensive.

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I simply say German units were no better then their allied or russian enemies man for man and soldier for soldier.

 

A few things were working in their favor, though.

 

1. Better equipment in early parts of WW2

2. top level non commisioned officer corps

3. more tactical flexibility down to the platoon level.

 

If one reads the accounts from German soldiers there is one thing that strikes me personally as impressive nad that is that units functioned with all officers dead and a very junior nco in command. Yet they did not brake and still fought back. Such behavior was the norm for german units, while it did occur not with every allied army and it much more depended on the individual unit in those armies.

 

Although there were also bad german units - no doubt about that.

 

In the end the "german myth" comes from the cool uniforms and the cool toys the fielded in WW2. Well and the fact that at least the western allies had to come to terms with Germany quite quickly in the cold war. Harldy can tell your soldiers that they should fight side by side with lossers and know warcriminals to stop the red tide.

 

You will find extrme exampels of honor for every army in the second world war - even the French. (j/k)

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I simply say German units were no better then their allied or russian enemies man for man and soldier for soldier.

 

A few things were working in their favor, though.

 

1. Better equipment in early parts of WW2

2. top level non commisioned officer corps

3. more tactical flexibility down to the platoon level.

 

If one reads the accounts from German soldiers there is one thing that strikes me personally as impressive nad that is that units functioned with all officers dead and a very junior nco in command. Yet they did not brake and still fought back. Such behavior was the norm for german units, while it did occur not with every allied army and it much more depended on the individual unit in those armies.

 

Although there were also bad german units - no doubt about that.

 

In the end the "german myth" comes from the cool uniforms and the cool toys the fielded in WW2. Well and the fact that at least the western allies had to come to terms with Germany quite quickly in the cold war. Harldy can tell your soldiers that they should fight side by side with lossers and know warcriminals to stop the red tide.

 

You will find extrme exampels of honor for every army in the second world war - even the French. (j/k)

 

#1, the "better equipment" was problematical, in technical terms. It was used better, which brings us to #2, the NCO corps.

 

A landser had to go for an NCO course usually a year long to make SGT (time varied per branch). To become an officer, one had to be an NCO and go to officer training, again about a year. This resulted in a very highly trained small unit leadership - especially compared toUS and UK "90-day wonders." The Germans managed to keep up this training level until 1943 when they had to rebuild after Stalingrad and Tunisgrad. By 1945 what remained of the training schools were being dumped into scratch conglomerates that hardly deserve to be called units, at least in comparison with the 1939-42 army.

 

#3, all the extensive training led to the tactical flexibility you mention. However German "initiative" was different from American "initiative". The German was taught numerous "school solutions" and allowed to choose which he would use to get the mission accomplished. The US Army, forced to mass-produce an army almost from scratch, taught one basic tactical concept (firebase element and maneuver element) and left it to the man on the spot to come up with a plan. Sometimes the German method worked best, but as their training levels fell in 1944-45 they were taught fewer "school solutions" and lost flexibility, while the Americans became more experienced at making up a plan to fit the situation.

 

Basically the German WW2 army did not have a "caste" system separating officers and EM. A junior officer was just a good NCO who came up through the ranks and then went to officer training. This sweeping generalization breaks down the higher the ranks go, since the Seeckt army maintained a lot of "von class" officers left over from the Kaiser days, but ability triumphed over caste as expansion went on and you ended up with some definite"hoi-polloi" in high command slots by 1945.

 

Anyway, the German army outperformed everybody else because they trained better. When their training levels dropped, they lost the edge.

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Of course. I was being extremely simplistic, but still, regardless of governmental gridlock, in the feeding frenzy that was early modern Europe, a small state like Prussia should have been swallowed up, yet Poland ended up being the one swallowed up (ironically, parts of it by Prussia). Why that was what happened is I think the answer to this thread's question.

 

Someone once said that in the 18th century Poland elevated political inpetitude to an art form. A succinct way of describing a systemic failure. Polands political system worked, sort of, when it was left to itself. In their limited (to the gentry) democracy, any member of the gentry could veto anything, in theory, just by turning up to the local sejm & stating his objection, but in practice, the minor gentry were beholden to the magnates so the worst that happened was that magnates competed for the votes of the petty gentry, & bribe money diffused downwards - & kept a knightly class in being, with its horses, swords & guns, ready to defend the Rzeczpospolita (have I spelt that right?). But in the C18 outsiders realised that they could buy the votes of hedge knights in the same way as Polish magnates did, & used their bought votes to cripple the body politic, to their own advantage. How could a Polish magnate overawe a knight who'd ben bribed with an estate in German, Austrian, or Russian lands?

 

Poland doomed itself by adopting a dysfunctional political system. The veto right was national suicide. England had to spend a vast fortune to buy the votes of enough Scottish MPs for the Act of Union, even with a third of Scots MPs willing to support it for nothing. A third weren't for sale at any price, but that didn't stop us getting Scotland. By comparison, Poland was dirt cheap. Buy vetos to effective action, & whittle away, while the Szlachta argued endlessly . . . . A=a far greater prize, bought for a minute fraction of the cost.

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Of course. I was being extremely simplistic, but still, regardless of governmental gridlock, in the feeding frenzy that was early modern Europe, a small state like Prussia should have been swallowed up, yet Poland ended up being the one swallowed up (ironically, parts of it by Prussia). Why that was what happened is I think the answer to this thread's question.

Perhaps the Prussian Army and the genius of Frederick the Great are together responsible for Prussia's survival up to the end of 1761. But the end of 1761 saw Prussian fortunes at a nadir.

 

The Austrians had taken Sweidnitz, and with it, control of rich southern Silesia. In England, Pitt's resignation foreshadowed the end of the British subsidy for Frederick. Daun in the west evicted Prince Henry's troops from Saxony. The Russians took Colberg in Pomerania, giving them a base for a sustained attack on Mark Brandenburg itself, and cutting off Frederick from supplies of food and remounts in Poland.

 

In this desperate corner, Prussia was saved by chance, or fate, or a miracle. On 5 January 1762, Empress Elizabeth of Russia died, and her successor Peter III changed Russia from an enemy to a friend. Sweden followed Russia's lead, and Frederick found himself back in possession of Prussian territories occupied by Russia and Sweden.

 

The miracle barely lasted six months. In mid-July, a coup d'etat deposed Peter III and placed his wife Catherine, who was no friend of Frederick, on the throne as Catherine II, eventually to be known to history as Catherine the Great.

 

But the respite had been just enough. Gathering in the troops that had been opposing the Russians and Swedes, Prussian prisoners released by Russia and Sweden, and new troops raised from his newly restored possessions, Frederick prepared to deal with the Austrians in Silesia, assisted by a Russian contingent of 15-20,000 led by General Chernyshev. The news of Peter III's dethronement came to Frederick on July 18th. Realizing that the Austrians would not have the news yet, Frederick persuaded Chernyshev to delay his departure for three days, and on July 21st attacked the Austrians in their strong position at Burkersdorf, defeating them.

 

The Prussians then besieged Schweidnitz, and took it on October 9th after a bitter struggle. On October 29th, Prince Henry's army defeated the Reichsarmee at Freiberg, regaining almost all of Saxony.

 

The exhaustion of the contestants brought them to the conference table, and Prussia managed to avoid any loss of territory in the resulting peace.

 

While the fighting qualities of the Prussian Army and the generalship of Frederick and his (often undervalued) younger brother Prince Henry were instrumental in saving Prussia, they were not sufficient. Frederick himself listed "the death of Empress of Russia" as one of the three factors in the survival of Prussia in the Seven Years War (the other two were lack of agreement among Prussia's enemies and Austrian policy which tried to leave the hard fighting to its allies, thus missing chances to complete the overthrow of Prussia when the Austrians had managed to gain a victory or an advantage).

 

Like the death of Ogedei Khan in 1491 which turned back the Mongol armies that were threatening Europe, the survival of Prussia in 1762 hinged on a random event, the death of Empress Elizabeth of Russia.

 

Hojutsuka

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I simply say German units were no better then their allied or russian enemies man for man and soldier for soldier.

 

A few things were working in their favor, though.

 

1. Better equipment in early parts of WW2

2. top level non commisioned officer corps

3. more tactical flexibility down to the platoon level.

Ah, seahawk, most people include things like equipment, proficiency of non-commissioned officers, and tactical flexibility when comparing units of one nation to equivalent units of another nation. I think most people here on this forum would agree with you that someone born in Germany is not automatically a "superman" regardless of what Nazis thought. We just think it is too blindingly obvious to bother posting...

 

If one reads the accounts from German soldiers there is one thing that strikes me personally as impressive nad that is that units functioned with all officers dead and a very junior nco in command. Yet they did not brake and still fought back. Such behavior was the norm for german units, while it did occur not with every allied army and it much more depended on the individual unit in those armies.

Then you should read accounts of the fighting against the Japanese. Even more than the Germans, Japanese units typically fought on even with every officer dead. It was normal for a surrounded Japanese unit to literally fight to the last bullet and last man. You will, however, find it hard to read accounts from Japanese soldiers, because usually no one survived. :o

 

General Slim, who fought the Japanese in Burma, noted that if 500 Japanese were ordered to hold a position, the Allied forces would have to kill 495 to take the position, and the last 5 Japanese would suicide rather than surrender.

 

But in spite of the obedience and willingness of the Japanese soldier to fight to the death, I think that Germans were overall better soldiers than the Japanese in World War II. There is more to an effective unit than having obedient soldiers who are willing to die...

 

In the end the "german myth" comes from the cool uniforms and the cool toys the fielded in WW2. Well and the fact that at least the western allies had to come to terms with Germany quite quickly in the cold war. Harldy can tell your soldiers that they should fight side by side with lossers and know warcriminals to stop the red tide.

I am afraid that most military historians who have tried to do objective studies do not agree with your superficial assessment (T. N. Dupuy has been mentioned). Most people posting here accept that on the average German Army units did better than equivalent units of their enemies, for a variety of reasons including training of leaders, tactical doctrine, equipment, et cetera. If you do not like their conclusions, research battles in World War II, allowing for numbers involved on both sides, tactical posture, airpower or lack thereof, equipment, et cetera, and see what you come up with.

 

Hojutsuka

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But in spite of the obedience and willingness of the Japanese soldier to fight to the death, I think that Germans were overall better soldiers than the Japanese in World War II. There is more to an effective unit than having obedient soldiers who are willing to die...

 

 

A Japanese unit without officers would die to the last man (and try to take as many of the enemy with them).

 

A German unit without officers would still manuever, take advantage of the ground, and retire in suvcch a manner as to leave the overall line intact.

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Coming from a brit I take that as a compliment. :rolleyes:

 

American:

 

89,987 casualties

(19,276 dead,

23,554 captured or missing,

47,493 wounded)

 

British: 200 dead, 1400 wounded and missing

 

German

84,834 casualties

(15,652 dead,

27,582 captured or missing,

41,600 wounded)

 

Imagine the 6th Panzer army with enough fuel for 2 more days.

Take it how you like, it won't alter the fact that you almost invariably talk childish bollocks, and are conforming to type here as per usual. What is the stuff above supposed to show? Not much use without some dates and additional info for context. Anyway, raw stats might make pretty lists to impress the challenged of thinking, but don't necessarily mean a thing because they can be slanted however anyone takes a fancy to. You might have done better to list all the top line German units that came into Normandy fully manned and equipped and came out in bits after three months attrition. But then that wouldn't support your daft thesis would it. :rolleyes:

 

Like I said, if that's the best you can do you'd best run along and let the adults talk sensibly.

 

BillB

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<snip>... were useless , far from it ( that's reserved to the italians )...<snip>

 

<shakes head sadly>

 

There was a great deal wrong with the Italian Army in both world wars, but given leadership, any leadership, the Italian soldier could hold his own and do well despite generally inferior equipment and strategic mismanagement.

 

shane

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But I don't think that really was the original discussion parameter. Along the way somebody posted that superior numbers of Germans had *never* been defeated in WWII; any such absolute statement is ridiculous for a conflict the size of WWII.

 

It was the original discussion parameter in me and Jim's sidebar discussion - we were actually talking about the bit about Germans never being defeated. Which was from p620346 who actually said "I vaguely remember reading somewhere that NO German German frontline troops were ever defeated by an Allied unit of similar or lesser strength."

 

I however think it remains fairly obvious that *in general* the Germans were better man for man in land warfare effectiveness at the sub-strategic level, especially taking WWII as a whole not just the end. Only looking through a nationalist, pro US/Brit and especially Soviet, lens, can avoid that conclusion IMHO. As Tony Evans noted, and the absolute statement above demonstrated, that superiority can certainly be exaggerated, though.
I disagree, it is far from "fairly obvious" as there are plenty of examples of German troops and units not being better man for man over the course of the war, and I'd also suggest that your bit about exaggeration contradicts your initial assertion. And I resent the implication that I am looking through a pro-anything nationalistic lens. Not my bag, it doesn't sit well with objectivity.

 

The admittedly limited and controversial quantification by Dupuy, 25% superiority to the western Allies even in '43-'44, clearly implies and in fact explicitly includes, examples that were the other way around. Regardless of whether one accepts his number it should be uncontroversial to state that *if* his number is correct, individual divisions in a given large army varied in effectivness by considerably more than 12.5% from the mean so a 25% average advantage would not rule out cases where Allied divisions were better than German ones; also pretty clearly true in cases.

 

I don't know enough about Dupuy's work to comment, and I'm not actually clear what all this actually means in any case....

 

On some references quoted, I can't believe anybody is seriously proposing "Band of Brothers" as objective measure of the effectiveness of the 101st Airborne. That's a valuable subjective work about what it was like from the 101st's side. But, for example the German units left behind investing Bastogne had arguably inferior combat power to the 101st and strong supporting units in Bastogne. The American hold out was a psyshological achievement, other forces in similar situations have surrendered assuming their situation was hopeless (as popular accounts depict Bastogne, because it's probably what the defenders would have concluded if morally weaker). But, Bastogne was not in objective reality a miracle of tactical achievement by inferior arms. Once you get to the level of this platoon or company defeated superior forces...of course, but doesn't refute the thesis as reasonably stated.
Ref the first bit, why? You yourself state that the BoB book is a "serious subjective work", and the TV series sticks pretty faithfully to the book, so I don't think your objection is valid. Besides, the events cited appear in other works like Rendezvous With Destiny IIRC. Whichever, the salient point is that they clearly refute the suggestion that "...NO German German frontline troops were ever defeated by an Allied unit of similar or lesser strength." I'm also curious as to why you have concentrated your comment solely on Bastogne, as opposed to Brecourt Manor, Carentan and the incident against Kampfgruppe Oelkers near Arnhem, which are arguably more relevant.

 

And again, I suggest you pay attention to the opacity of your verbiage, as I lost track of what you were saying about halfway through the above paragraph.

 

Also "Infantry Attacks" was at least in part Rommel's interwar advertisement for himself; it had a quite positive effect on his career. Also great book, but AFAIK nobody has correlated in detail to accounts from the other side; one partial exception is "Rommel at Caporetto" (IA depicts basically only success, first against the French, then extensively against the Romanians, then the Italians at Caporetto, and at least the last was pretty real in general). I don't think claims of general tactical level superiority of the Germans in WWII would use "Infanrty Attacks" as proof per se.

 

Joe

Probably fair comment, I haven't read Rommel's book and cannot therefore comment.

 

BillB

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<shakes head sadly>

 

There was a great deal wrong with the Italian Army in both world wars, but given leadership, any leadership, the Italian soldier could hold his own and do well despite generally inferior equipment and strategic mismanagement.

 

shane

Now Shane, don't go contradicting savantu's wild broad brush strokes with trivia like accuracy... ;) :D

 

BillB

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1. It was the original discussion parameter in me and Jim's sidebar discussion - we were actually talking about the bit about Germans never being defeated.

 

2. I disagree, it is far from "fairly obvious" as there are plenty of examples of German troops and units not being better man for man over the course of the war, and I'd also suggest that your bit about exaggeration contradicts your initial assertion. And I resent the implication that I am looking through a pro-anything nationalistic lens.

 

3. I don't know enough about Dupuy's work to comment, and I'm not actually clear what all this actually means in any case....

 

4. You yourself state that the BoB book is a "serious subjective work",

 

5. And again, I suggest you pay attention to the opacity of your verbiage, as I lost track of what you were saying about halfway through the above paragraph.

1. You and Jim both are very protective of your "sidebar", ;). But, I take the statement that you were both arguing with as self evidently false, there are few valid "nevers" about WWII. I see the more subtle question of whether the Germans were better *on average* as being the only one really worth debating.

 

2. I stand by my generalization, don't personally see how an objective person who closely studies WWII can avoid the conclusion the Germans tended to be more able in land warfare per man and per unit resource. "Numerous examples" to the contrary (at small unit level) don't a rule make in a huge war with almost innumerable small unit examples. You're free to take it with or without resentment as you choose. The fact that some people exaggerate something doesn't make it untrue. Again I just wouldn't take seriously a statement that the Germans were never (anything from squad to army group) defeated in equal combat, nor Savantu's line of posting.

 

3. It would mean the Germans were more effective on average per man corrected for tactical situations and combat power (numbers and capability of weapons) on each side according to his statistical method applied at division level and above (as Tony stated earlier). Pretty simple concept and result.

 

4. I mean a book which sets out mainly to describe what the participants on one side believed they achieved, as opposed to what really happened. Some books do both, and there can be value in the first alone if done well like BoB; but a book like BoB is just not the right source to try to quantify the 101st's capabilities v. their opponents. To knock over a strawman (although I admit somebody set the strawman up for you two to happily thrash away at ;) ) like the Germans were *never* bested in equal combat, pretty much anything will do.

 

5. Kettle to pot, roger and out.

 

Joe

Edited by JOE BRENNAN
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1. The high casualties in the early on could be contributed by their general ruthlessness and bastardlyness of ignoring the neutrality of the low countries, had they fought fair, they might not have done nearly as good.

2. In WWI, there is a good chance even without the americans that germany would've lost the 1918 offensive was lackluster at best, and was stopped in most places.

3. Savantu, um, the numbers you presents were almost even in terms of casualties, and considering allied units were using the mediocre sherman tank, that's damn good, the battle of the bulge was hitler's dellusions acting up, it never had a chance, they had so few supplies and numbers, and many of their veterans were dead. (a draft of every german man from 16-60 was instituted for the battle)

Also it is true the germans has the coolest and mostly useless superweapons of possibly any way. What's ironic is that far and away the absolute best superweapon of this war or any other was invented by the US, not the germans, the atomic bomb.

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Guest aevans
1. The high casualties in the early on could be contributed by their general ruthlessness and bastardlyness of ignoring the neutrality of the low countries, had they fought fair, they might not have done nearly as good.

 

Awwww -- they didn't "fight fair". Allow me to stroke thy achy brow with a clue-by-four. The Germans were trying to win a war, not satisfy some abstract standard that the British and French didn't expect themselves to satisfy, at least as a far as Belgium was concerned.

 

2. In WWI, there is a good chance even without the americans that germany would've lost the 1918 offensive was lackluster at best, and was stopped in most places.
In analysis, you have to learn how to look beyond first order effects. Whenther or not the Germans stood a realistic chance of winning the war through offensive action, they would probably not have taken such action had the prospect of American intervention not existed. And without the exhaustion caused by the offensives and the demoralization caused by the inevitability of Allied strategic superiority given American help, there is little in the record to suggest that the French, British, and Italians could have pushed the Central Powers over in 1918. Past 1918, the exhaustion of the Allies was possible.

 

Also it is true the germans has the coolest and mostly useless superweapons of possibly any way. What's ironic is that far and away the absolute best superweapon of this war or any other was invented by the US, not the germans, the atomic bomb.

 

When people talk about German weapons in the tactical and operational context, they're not talking about "superweapons". They're talking about all of the standard "conventional" weapons, some of which were superior, some of which were inferior, and some of which were adequate.

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<shakes head sadly>

 

There was a great deal wrong with the Italian Army in both world wars, but given leadership, any leadership, the Italian soldier could hold his own and do well despite generally inferior equipment and strategic mismanagement.

 

shane

 

:blink:

 

Like in North Africa were 6000 brits defeated 200000 Italians? Or Ethiopia ? Or southern France ? Or Albania ?

 

We aren't in contradiction , just that you try to find excuses for their miserable performance on all grounds.In any flock there are a few black sheeps , but with the Italians black sheeps accounted for 99.8% of the Army.

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When people talk about German weapons in the tactical and operational context, they're not talking about "superweapons". They're talking about all of the standard "conventional" weapons, some of which were superior, some of which were inferior, and some of which were adequate.

 

 

If you look at the infantry division and compare accross the US, CW, and Soviet infantry divisions, where is the German weapons superiority?

 

Mauser bolt-action rifles

MG34 (later MG42)

50mm mortars

81mm mortars

37mm PAK

75mm inf guns

150mm inf guns

105mm howitzers

155mm howitzers

 

Only in the machineguns was there any "superiority" and a BREN fanatic will argue with you there.

 

 

As far as tanks are concerned, only the Panther and the Tiger can be said to "outclass" anything the allies had (and Soviet tank fanatics might argue there).

 

As King said, it was how they used their weapons that made the difference.

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Like in North Africa were 6000 brits defeated 200000 Italians? Or Ethiopia ? Or southern France ? Or Albania ?

 

We aren't in contradiction , just that you try to find excuses for their miserable performance on all grounds.In any flock there are a few black sheeps , but with the Italians black sheeps accounted for 99.8% of the Army.

 

The Italian army in Ethiopia is one great black sheep then. Competently led, totally cut off the supply, surrounded with enemy from all sides, doomed to defeat, yet fought valiantly thanks to good officer corps and commander. Also don't forget Italians formed an important part of Rommel's troops during both his successes and his defeats.

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