View Full Version : World War II


willemvanoranje
Oct 02, 2001, 08:51 AM
It seems a bit strange to me that there is no WW II thread yet. :) It's one of the most popular subjects of history, at least one of my favorites.

So, I think that Hitler could've won the war by:

1. Taking England (= not bombing London)
2. Waiting longer before attacking Russia
3. Breaking with Mussolini or letting him stop to act military in Africa and Greece.
4. Start the war in 1943 as originally planned with far more superior weapons than in 1939.

TheDuckOfFlanders
Oct 02, 2001, 09:26 AM
5: by insuring oil supplies.That's why they attacked egypt.

Knight-Dragon
Oct 02, 2001, 11:04 AM
Personally I think Hitler's greatest mistake was his supreme race 'ideology'. Had he presented himself as the liberator from Communism when he invaded the Soviet Union, the entire army and people of the Soviet Union could have crossed over to join the German invaders. For years prior to WW2, Stalin had been oppressing the peoples of the Soviet Union like hell, liquidating the officer corps of the Red Army, massacring the kulaks (better-off peasants) in the drive to collectivize agriculture and etc. In fact, in the beginning months of the invasion, whole Red Army army groups simply collapsed and the Germans were capturing millions of POWs.
Had Hitler had done so, he could have conquered all of Europe till maybe the Urals and with the new huge pool of manpower, natural resources and industrial capacity in the East, he could have really built Fortress Europe along the Atlantic coast. Heck he could even have invaded Britain eventually. Or even America maybe. Even if the Americans did join the war, it would be a damn difficult operation even to secure a beachead on mainland Europe. The Germans could throw the entire weight of all the units involved historically in the Eastern Front (both German and Soviet) at any landing force.
Fortunately for all of us, Hitler being Hitler and so we have the world as it is today. Lucky!

Magnus
Oct 02, 2001, 12:16 PM
If Hitler only would have let his generals run the war, instead of taking personal command, Germany most likely WOULD have won. His extreme hubris was his downfall.

amadeus
Oct 02, 2001, 12:31 PM
Hitler would *not* have won the war. He may have taken France and Spain, but not Britain, and certainly not the United States or Russia. The Russians had too harsh of a terrain for German ground troops, and we (North America) have distance supremacy.

Hitler used a lot of junk science in making his decisions towards the end (1944) of the war like positions of constellations and all kinds of that crazy crap...

joespaniel
Oct 02, 2001, 06:46 PM
First of all, thanks for starting a WW2 topic.

I am a military history buff and the second world war is my favorite topic, especialy europe.

It goes without saying that its a great thing for the world that Hiltler's Germany did NOT win, and if you look at the pivitol years 1940 and 1941 it was a very close thing.

Operation Sealion was a total crap-shoot for the Germans and in hindsight may not have been possible anyway. The British admited after the war they were prepared to use gas on invading Germans on the beaches, and no invaison of England could realisticly be supported with the Royal Navy and Air Force still in action.

The critical mistake came in Russia, with Hitler's decision to take the armor from Army Group Center and attack south from Smolensk against Kiev in Autumn 1941. Even at the time it was deemed unnescessary because a sucessful attack on Moscow would have isolated all other fronts and caused them to wither away. Moscow was the political head and heart of the USSR as well as the main rail junction.

At the time of the attack on Kiev, Moscow was ill-defended and the feared Russian winter and Autumn rain still far off. With their armor left unmolested by Hitler, Guderian's panzers would have delivered the fatal blow to Russia, knocking the USSR out of the war and giving Germany much, much more resources and leverage against Great Britain.

However, armchair general that I am, I admit the US entry into the war may have still causesd the end result to be the same. Only many German cities may have ended up as radioactive holes in the ground. Who knows...

G-Man
Oct 02, 2001, 07:08 PM
Hitler came to power because he had mad ideas and his downfall was his madness.

joespaniel
Oct 02, 2001, 07:50 PM
Amen to that.:crazyeyes

Siggy
Oct 04, 2001, 02:57 AM
I once read an excellent article written by a historian about Hitler's blunders which weren't blunders actually. I saw some of htose so called blunders also in this thread. I will see if I can translate the article and post it here. I do not fully agree with that historian but he has some interesting views about the subject.

Flatlander Fox
Oct 04, 2001, 05:11 AM
I'm inclined to think that the whole war ended for Germany the moment they attacked Russia. Even if Moscow would have been taken, I think that just garrisoning Russia would have sapped the Germans strength too much to overcome. And the Russians would have fought forever, due to the atrocities committed by the advancing Wehrmacht. The Germans had been feeding their war machine with resources captured in their conquests. But during the Russian campaign, the scorched earth policy was slowly degrading that machine's performance.

The only thing that the United States' entry to the war did was ensure that the Soviets stopped at Berlin, instead of the Atlantic Ocean on the coast of Portugal. The Red Army was that big. And the Germans were that

That's why Patton wanted to attack the Russians, he saw what was coming.

In an essence, the U.S. and England were fighting after 1943 to save Europe from Russia, not from Germany.

allan
Oct 04, 2001, 05:37 AM
"And the Russians would have fought forever, due to the atrocities committed by the advancing Wehrmacht."

Yep, due to the fact that the Slavic people were on Hitler's list of "inferior" races, not that far above the Jews....

Hitler's breaking the non-agression pact with Stalin (at least before securing Britain, which he probably could have done without the eastern front) was, I agree, the beginning of the end for him, even with the initial huge victories. Russia was not only big, but fairly evenly industrialized throughout, even in the wastes of Siberia. Occupation even west of the Urals would have probably taken up his entire forces.... However, one wonders if Stalin would have eventually broken the pact himself, if Hitler was coming close to subduing Britain....

I also agree that his megalomania doomed him from the start, as it does with all such rulers who lose track of their limitations....

Also, even if Hitler did not attack Russia, the US would still have eventually defeated Japan (that was inevitable no matter what Tojo did), and would have probably nuked Berlin and/or the industrial area around Frankfurt or Dusseldorf. Good thing that didn't happen.... Of course, if Hitler could buy enough time after securing Britain, he too might have developed nukes, then a Cold War would have started between Europe and the US....

Arguably perhaps too is Hitler's alliance with Japan--bringing the US against him as well once Pearl Harbor was attacked.

So many ifs, which is what makes civ scenarios so fun.... :)

willemvanoranje
Oct 04, 2001, 08:29 AM
You know, in an interview I had to conduct for school, my (German) grandmother said she felt the same: they knew the war was lost when Germany invaded the Soviet Union.

Siggy
Oct 04, 2001, 09:55 AM
No, that is far too simple. They didn't lose the war because they invaded Russia. There were more factors that played a part. I will translate that article I was talking about and post it here. It will take awhile and I might even post it in parts because it is a large article.

Sodak
Oct 04, 2001, 11:38 AM
The Russian industrialization would eventually have overcome the Germans, had they taken Moscow or not. In just a few years, this machine was rolling out trainloads of ammo, guns of all sizes, tanks, you name it - in volumes not before seen. Some of the advance into Germany was slowed only by the arrival of more equipment, not by the defeated German army. In contrast, Germany was more or less a heap of rubble by the end of the war. Production was declining, there was no more labor to tap for war purposes. With this in mind, Germany was in deep doo well before 1944.

joespaniel
Oct 04, 2001, 09:59 PM
I have read that Hitler's war aims were never to fight France and England but always to push east into Russia. His goal, more or less, was to secure a lot of land and resources for Germany to grow and become a great empire. The greatest of all time.

Some of his ideas, he admited, were spawned from reading American history. I think he forgot to take into account that the Sioux didnt have T-32 tanks and 200 million people.:eek:

willemvanoranje
Oct 05, 2001, 02:28 AM
It's true that Hitler never intended to attack England, I don't know about France. He wanted to ally with England, 'cause he knew they would become a threat sooner or later if not allied with Germany. He didn't expect England and France to declare war on Spetember 3rd, because of one of his advisors who said that England would never do so. Fact is, that he needed more 'Lebensraum', and that the only option for that was the east. He originally wanted to attack in 1943 or later, but his health and other things made him afraid he might die before the completement of his plans, so he attacked a few years earlier.


Another thing was, that Hitler stopped a lot of projects for new great weapon in 1940 and 1941 because he thought the war would be over by then. If he had not done that, he would've had numerous tanks superior to the Tiger, fighters far better than the FW 190, and bombers better than the B-17! That would've repelled the Russian counte-offensives and certainly would've made the war last a few years longer.

Siggy
Oct 05, 2001, 02:37 AM
Originally posted by Sodak
The Russian industrialization would eventually have overcome the Germans, had they taken Moscow or not. In just a few years, this machine was rolling out trainloads of ammo, guns of all sizes, tanks, you name it - in volumes not before seen. Some of the advance into Germany was slowed only by the arrival of more equipment, not by the defeated German army. In contrast, Germany was more or less a heap of rubble by the end of the war. Production was declining, there was no more labor to tap for war purposes. With this in mind, Germany was in deep doo well before 1944.

I totaly disagree with this. Germany reached its production peak in LATE 1944. There were more tanks and airplanes produced in that year than in 1939 and 1940 together. (or was it 1940 and 1941? well, you get the point?) Again a far too simple statement and simply not true.

The production in Germany didn't just decline because of the strategic air offensive. Production did increase until fall 1944, and finally after that it slowly grinded to a standstill in february-march 1945; as late as that and not because of the strategic air offensive, but because of lack of raw materials and simply the industrial areas were overrun in this period by allied ground forces and offcourse because the infrastructure got messed up.

Siggy
Oct 05, 2001, 02:51 AM
Originally posted by willemvanoranje


Another thing was, that Hitler stopped a lot of projects for new great weapon in 1940 and 1941 because he thought the war would be over by then. If he had not done that, he would've had numerous tanks superior to the Tiger, fighters far better than the FW 190, and bombers better than the B-17! That would've repelled the Russian counte-offensives and certainly would've made the war last a few years longer.

He didn't stop that. Prototype of the Me262 flew in late 1941 or early 1942. It didn't appear earlier because someone (Hitler himself?) ordered that that plane should be capable of carrying bombs. That extra period of development, testing etc. made the plane appear in summer/fall 1944 instead of spring/summer 1943. That would have made the difference.

How about the Panther tank? It was developed in 1942. Was a great weapon, wasn't it?

B-17 was developed as a strategic bomber. Germany didn't develop weapons like that ( well, it developed some futuristic airplane capable of strategic bombing) because it wasn't a priority. The airplanes germany used were developed to work together with the wehrmacht during the blitzkrieg as tactical support, not as strategic weapons. All those bombers Germany developed were in strict terms tactical bombers and were not meant to be used as strategic weapons.

And the last question: what were those better weapons you are talking about? Panther 2? Mauss? Which airplane, which tank?

willemvanoranje
Oct 05, 2001, 06:24 AM
I can't give you names, I don't know them. I read it in the book of Ian Kershaw about Hitler. And yes, it was Hitler who wanted to use the Me262 as an attackbomber instead of fighter. The Germans <i>were</i> developping a bomber called 'Amerika' 'cause it had to be able to reach New York.

Siggy
Oct 05, 2001, 07:49 AM
Originally posted by willemvanoranje
I can't give you names, I don't know them. I read it in the book of Ian Kershaw about Hitler. And yes, it was Hitler who wanted to use the Me262 as an attackbomber instead of fighter. The Germans <i>were</i> developping a bomber called 'Amerika' 'cause it had to be able to reach New York.

Did it ever fly?

catullus
Oct 05, 2001, 09:04 AM
Stopping the tank/armour development was probably a good idea for the Germans. Maus would have been too big to be practical. And the sketchboard battleship-on-tracks models were even more hopeless.
Even the King Tiger was a laugh at the strategic level. Sure, it could kill anything, and nothing could kill it (except fighter planes). But it was a mechanical monster, too complicated, breaking down all the time, it drank diesel by the gallons, sank down and got stuck in any terrain, and the roads (and bridges!) couldn't support it. It was a failure strategically.
Personally, I think the Mark V tank (Panther) was a better tank than the Mark VI (Tiger) strategically. Maybe they would have fared best stuck building mods on Mark IV, like the allies did with the Sherman.

C.

Robespierre
Oct 05, 2001, 05:18 PM
1) The Germans probably couldn't have "taken" Britain, because the British were defending themselves just too well and America wouldn't just let Britain perish. America was propping Britain up, while the British air force proved its superiority in the air under the circumstances. And Hitler couldn't execute an invasion without clearing the air first. Hitler COULD knock Britain out of the war, however, for instance he should have captured all the British soldiers at Dunkirk, this would have been a serious blow to the island. If Hitler had maintained his position after the defeat of France, with Britain as the aggressor and thousands of British POWs in German hands (to be returned in exchange for peace and also not available to defend their motherland), it is quite possible that America (and hence Britain) could be convinced to end the war against the Germans and allow France (as a state) to perish.

2) Attacking Russia in a full-scale total war of national survival was a bad idea, no matter when. Time wouldn't have changed that. What Hitler SHOULD have done, however, was capitalized off of the Slavic peoples' hatred of Russian rule and entered victoriously as the champion of freedom against Communism. Hitler could have introduced a whole new world order in the east, basically a series of nominally independent German puppet states. Stalin, acting from the heartland of Russia, would be forced to make a peace and the Russian Empire would be dismembered forever (or at least for a while). Hitler ruined things when he enforced a policy of mass extermination in the East, which undermined efforts to build any new type of order and turned all the local peoples from fervent pro-nazis into fervent anti-nazis, creating the kind of situation that could (and did) bring the Soviet Union from the brink of defeat to victory.

Thus, by forcing both Britain and the Soviet Union into peace, Hitler could have annexed most of France and half of Russia and gotten away with it. If he and his party weren't such a bunch of racist idiots, they could have truly created a Reich to stand for a thousand years (or at least until today). If Germany had adopted a positive policy towards the Slavic peoples in the East, they could have become valuable members of the German Reich that would ensure an end to Russian hegemony in Europe forever. Meanwhile, in the west, the Germans could have fostered a new Reich that included much of France. Totalitarianism doesn't necessarily mean mass murder and racism. The German state could have remained dedicated to ideals like courage, unity, and strength without adopting a policy of mass racial extermination. Instead of hunting down Jews, Hitler should have been hunting down just communists and working on winning the support of the USA.

willemvanoranje
Oct 06, 2001, 03:39 AM
The fact is the RAF was almost dead by the time Hitler decided to let the Luftwaffe attack London instead of airfields. If he wouldn't have done that, the RAF would've 'died', troops would have landed and German bombers would've bombed all English resistance, basically, Hitler would've conquered England, though he would not be able to attack Russia after that in my opinion.

No it did not fly.

Knight-Dragon
Oct 06, 2001, 05:19 AM
"2) Attacking Russia in a full-scale total war of national survival was a bad idea, no matter when. Time wouldn't have changed that. What Hitler SHOULD have done, however, was capitalized off of the Slavic peoples' hatred of Russian rule and entered victoriously as the champion of freedom against Communism. Hitler could have introduced a whole new world order in the east, basically a series of nominally independent German puppet states. Stalin, acting from the heartland of Russia, would be forced to make a peace and the Russian Empire would be dismembered forever (or at least for a while). Hitler ruined things when he enforced a policy of mass extermination in the East, which undermined efforts to build any new type of order and turned all the local peoples from fervent pro-nazis into fervent anti-nazis, creating the kind of situation that could (and did) bring the Soviet Union from the brink of defeat to victory.

Thus, by forcing both Britain and the Soviet Union into peace, Hitler could have annexed most of France and half of Russia and gotten away with it. If he and his party weren't such a bunch of racist idiots, they could have truly created a Reich to stand for a thousand years (or at least until today). If Germany had adopted a positive policy towards the Slavic peoples in the East, they could have become valuable members of the German Reich that would ensure an end to Russian hegemony in Europe forever. Meanwhile, in the west, the Germans could have fostered a new Reich that included much of France."

That was exactly what I was getting at earlier on. Well-said! :goodjob:

Bretwalda
Oct 08, 2001, 07:46 AM
I agree with those who said that Hitler might have won the war: E.g. if Dunkirk was more successful from the German point of view GB might sue for peace. An invasion against Britain (Seel÷we) might have worked out in '40 or '41. Don't underestimate the moral results of Britain's fall: USA would probably turn to an isolationalist view and the Soviet Union wouldn't possibly think, that could win.

Other major mistake was not to use the strong anti Russian feelings in the East: yes there were Stormtroops made up entirely Ukrainains, and other nationalities.

The end would lead to a Europe that would have been dominated by Germany (instead of USSR dominating East), and probably the same kind of Cold War would have evolved.

To Hitlers strategic brightness (or foolness): The first phase of the war brought successess with such steps that his generals would try to risk (and paid off handsomely) - on the second part however made quite few bad decisions.

I doubt however that the Russian industrialization could overtake that of Germans: their mere number of cannon fodder could last for many years - that and the General Winter was that they opposed the Germans. Germany was producing army machinery at such a rate even in 1944 that was say the least impressive. My grandpa' says that there were tanks and all kinds of stuff - and without gasoline... That was the major problem: lack of fuel (sorry if that was commonplace for you)

To the sucking King Tiger topic: yes, but not so good ideas were on all sides: e.g. if I know correctly some US tanks used high octane gas in the beginning. That meant that they were blown to pieces in any hit (or at least started to burn) while German tanks used diesel engines... The movie of Battle of Bulge showed what those tanks were capable of :)

Sorry for being long :)

Siggy
Oct 08, 2001, 09:58 AM
Bretwalda, :goodjob: You must have read that article I was mentioning. :-) Totaly agreed with.

I am working on a translation, however I wonder if I can find a english translation without doing the work myself. The author is A.J.P. Taylor. He is American so he should have written that article in English in the first place... Man, am I smart

:rolleyes:

Magnus
Oct 08, 2001, 12:01 PM
Agreed the Germans could have used the hatred of the enslaved Russian people to help them destroy the USSR - unfortunately, the Germans, instead of acting like liberators, managed to be even worse to the people than the Soviets who preceded them, havinfg the effect of galvanizing strength for 'mother russia' - this is another case where Hitler's ideological racism hurt the war campaign.

Robespierre
Oct 08, 2001, 09:16 PM
I doubt however that the Russian industrialization could overtake that of Germans: their mere number of cannon fodder could last for many years - that and the General Winter was that they opposed the Germans. Germany was producing army machinery at such a rate even in 1944 that was say the least impressive.

Russian industrialization DID overtake that of the Germans. World War I proved that masses of Russian cannon fodder couldn't overtake industrially superior Germany, but by World War II not only did the Russian have more "cannon fodder" - they also had more cannons. I think it would be hard to find any accurate statistics (since everything on both sides of the Nazi-Soviet war was altered for propaganda anyway), but everything I have read about Kursk and Stalingrad points toward the fact that the Russian victory was fueled not only by the massive reaction against the German barbarism but also by the industrial might of Stalin's Soviet Empire.

The Russians were forced to pay a far bloodier price for their industrialization than any other country, because of their cruel dictator, but in the end their industry defeated the Germans. They were outproducing the German Panzer Corps with their superior Soviet tanks, outproducing German artillery, and outproducing German small arms. Hitler never mobilized the German economy for warfare - he was preparing only for short blitzkrieg campaigns, where the original supplies of the armies would suffice (a la Napoleon). This was a big mistake.

Siggy
Oct 09, 2001, 02:21 AM
Originally posted by Robespierre

They were outproducing the German Panzer Corps with their superior Soviet tanks, outproducing German artillery, and outproducing German small arms.

Don't be foolish; Russian tanks were not superior, they were adequate to do the job, probably because of the massive numbers. Superior is an overstatement.

joespaniel
Oct 09, 2001, 02:34 AM
In 1941 the Soviet T-32 was superior in every way to existing German armor of all types. The Germans had a hell of a time knocking these out. It usualy required a 88mm ATG to kill one.

Later, the German Tigers and Panthers were the bad boys.

Bretwalda
Oct 09, 2001, 04:02 AM
Are you sure you meant to write T-32?

This tank? (http://www.skalman.nu/soviet/ww2-equipment-tank-t32.htm)

I think you meant this (http://www.skalman.nu/soviet/ww2-equipment-tank-t34.htm) one: T-34

As it states there (of course every source should be treated with some suspiction - this one, too) It was superior in quality in '41, but not in quantity and I also might add: The Soviets were not able to use it properly, as Germans have learnt, already.

Later on it changed. Soviets had superior numbers but inferior quality... to the later German tanks

And that is only one piece of war machine... Many times Luftwaffe was a big help to ground troops - again German war machine was better coordinated.

Originally posted by joespaniel
In 1941 the Soviet T-32 was superior in every way to existing German armor of all types. The Germans had a hell of a time knocking these out. It usualy required a 88mm ATG to kill one.

Later, the German Tigers and Panthers were the bad boys.

Siggy
Oct 09, 2001, 05:26 AM
In this context I once read a "funny" account on one KV-1 tank (early war soviet heavy tank). It blocked the german advance somewhere on the northern front in June 1941, killed a battery of light german anti-tank guns and a lot of soft vehicles. Germans at last managed to disable it. They shot a track off and jammed the turret. The monster was still blocking the road however ( no way around it and ; terrain sucked at that location) it's guns and machine guns were still in working order. They moved some light anti-tank guns up and tried to knock it out. They failed. 37mm Grenades were bouncing off the armor, they didn't have '88's around and at last they even tried it with an 75mm howitzer. Also this desperate measure didn't have any effect as that gun had only HE-shells. After some hours of fruitless firing on the monster with about anything they could move up a hatch opened with a hand waving a white rag. The crew surrendered with no scratch apart from bleeding ears. They were totally stunned, but Ok. No one of the grenades managed to penetrate the tank.

Bretwalda
Oct 09, 2001, 05:38 AM
Kind of funny, that I read the same type of story somewhere, but with a Tiger II and Shermans.

Actually it was a bit different, as it stated that after a while the German crew abandoned the vehicle, however even after that they were unable to move it! (engine of 2 Shermans broke down on the attempt...)

Finally they came to a solution: they chopped the trees around it and circumnavigated it :))




Originally posted by Siggy
In this context I once read a "funny" account on one KV-1 tank (early war soviet heavy tank). It blocked the german advance somewhere on the northern front in June 1941, killed a battery of light german anti-tank guns and a lot of soft vehicles. Germans at last managed to disable it. They shot a track off and jammed the turret. The monster was still blocking the road however ( no way around it and ; terrain sucked at that location) it's guns and machine guns were still in working order. They moved some light anti-tank guns up and tried to knock it out. They failed. 37mm Grenades were bouncing off the armor, they didn't have '88's around and at last they even tried it with an 75mm howitzer. Also this desperate measure didn't have any effect as that gun had only HE-shells. After some hours of fruitless firing on the monster with about anything they could move up a hatch opened with a hand waving a white rag. The crew surrendered with no scratch apart from bleeding ears. They were totally stunned, but Ok. No one of the grenades managed to penetrate the tank.

Le Petit Prince
Oct 09, 2001, 12:01 PM
I think the biggest strategic errors of all time have been made by Hitler

1.Stop to attack the RAF but bomb the cities instead...He would have take London

2. Stop the german center army group instead of taking Moskva by fear of being surrounded!!! YEAH but he would have taken moskva!!

joespaniel
Oct 09, 2001, 08:29 PM
Thank you, Bretwalda, thats what I was thinking of. T-34.

The Germans had poor intelligence about Russian units and equipment before Barbarrossa. They underestimated the troop, equipment and supply strength of the USSR over and over during the war.

The Germans did, however, have;

-Experiance (at first) and much better training.

-The Luftwaffe (again thanks Bret), until the ground forces outran its range ( they couldn't make foward airbases fast enough ).

-Morale. They hadn't been beaten, yet.

The Germans Army also had one other huge advantage. Communications. Initialy, they were far ahead of the armies it faught in wireless use. This was one of the things that made the fast-paced offense possible.

The combined-arms concept didn't hurt, either.

joespaniel
Oct 09, 2001, 08:37 PM
I saw an interview with a former German officer who, with an 88mm ATG and crew, held off a British column of Shermans for hours.

He said;
They just kept coming up the road and we kept picking them off. But eventualy we had to retreat. We ran out of ammunition before they ran out of tanks!

Graeme the mad
Oct 10, 2001, 05:01 PM
There is a simple way the war could have been won by the Axis - the Japanes attack USSR instead of US. Dont get me wrong Britian was incredibly important in the war (im very patriotic) but the US was necessary to win it.
If pearl harbour hadnt been attacked then US would not have got into the war (they were quite happy to let fascist dictators control the world as long as it didnt bother them).
The USSR would have been defeated by joint German and Japanese offensives and by the time that US public might have realised how bad things were for there own interesrs the Nazis would have almost certainly have had the Atom bomb and then Britain falls and a cold war situation arises with Japan vs US vs Germany though Japanese power would have been seriously hard pushed to be established in China

Im thinking of writing a book set in 1962 on the consequences of the Japanese not bombing pearl harbour so have researched it fairly thouroughly: would you buy it?

joespaniel
Oct 10, 2001, 05:49 PM
Yes, I would buy it. I like history 'what if' stories.

Actualy designed a scenario for civ2 along those lines, were the Japaneese attack Russia instead.

The attack on Pearl Harbor backfired on the Japaneese in the long run. Yamamoto knew it when he uttered those words...

" I fear all we have done is wake a sleeping giant"

Magnus
Oct 10, 2001, 11:26 PM
hmmm - I think the thread has changed from WW2 to Axis & Allies(TM) strategies :rolleyes: ;)

Japan knew it was going to have to tangle with the USA eventually, that's why it figured a sneak attack would slow it down enough to allow Japan to control the Pacific unchallenged - it almost worked.

Knight-Dragon
Oct 10, 2001, 11:37 PM
The Japanese did fight the Soviets .......... but some years before WW2. There were a few big actions betw the Soviet forces in the Maritime Province and the Japanese Kwantung Army which was garrisoning Manchuria sometime in the 30s. The Japanese got mauled badly cos they didn't have the heavy armor to match the Soviet tanks. So they never tried again after a negotiated peace.

Why else do you think Stalin put all those Siberian divisions in the Far East? To guard against possible Japanese attacks. After he got confirmation fr his spy in Tokyo that the Japs won't attk, he immediately transferred those units to Moscow who arrived in the nick to time to beat back the encroaching Germans.

Knight-Dragon
Oct 10, 2001, 11:41 PM
"Japan knew it was going to have to tangle with the USA eventually, that's why it figured a sneak attack would slow it down enough to allow Japan to control the Pacific unchallenged - it almost worked."

They were reusing the tactic they used with great success against Tsarist Russia during the Russo-Japanese War of 1905. Sneaked attacked the Russian Far East Fleet at Port Arthur, then landed troops to beat the Russians out of Manchuria and finally destroyed the Russian Baltic Fleet (which travelled halfway around the world to attk Japan).

Flatlander Fox
Oct 11, 2001, 10:04 AM
Adolf Galland (German Fighter Ace and head of the fighter wing of the Luftwaffe) wrote in his book that the Me 262 would have been up and running in '43 but Hitler meddled with the production due to his desire for a Fighter Bomber. Also, the complete lack of a strategic bomber for Germany hurt them badly in the ill advised Blitz of London.
SKM is right, the German production peaked in '44, and was still going quite well up until they were overran by Allied Forces. The reason for that statistic is that the German industry had just begun to reach it's potential when the house of cards came down.

The problem the Luftwaffe had late in the war was primarily fuel, they just didn't have enough. Plus the allies were flying huge formations, with long range escorts. The Luftwaffe couldn't put up enough planes to stop the raids.

There has always been a big question as to how effective the strategic bombing was on Germany. I tend to believe that it was demoralizing, but not very effective in terms of curbing industrial production.

I stand by my assessment that the war ended with the Russian Campaign. No German supertank would have saved the Wehrmacht from total destruction.

Speaking of tanks, the Panther is widely regarded as the best tank of the war. But with a little reading, you will discover that the Panther was mechanically unreliable also. I am pretty sure that the T-34/54 was more reliable mechanically. At least that's what a few veterans of the war have said.

A great book to read is "Last Train from Berlin" by H.K. Smith. Written in 1942, this book gives you a birds' eye view of Berlin during the beginning of the war up until December of '41. An incredible look at the German people of the war, whose story is not so often told. A little on the biased side, but still a good read. (Plus it was the middle of the war!!!)

Knight-Dragon
Oct 11, 2001, 10:43 AM
"SKM is right, the German production peaked in '44, and was still going quite well up until they were overran by Allied Forces. The reason for that statistic is that the German industry had just begun to reach it's potential when the house of cards came down."

:confused: Not exactly sure what you mean I am right about since my posts have nothing to do with German industrial production. But I do know this.

Hitler was reluctant to switch to a war economy in the beginning of the war as he was unwilling to risk the collapse of the home front. That was exactly what happenned around the end of WW1. The Allies' economic blockade of Germany simply starved the Germans of raw materials so as American troops began to arrive in the trenches of Western Europe in sufficient numbers, the Kaiser began to have dissatisfaction within the ranks of his subjects. The Navy mutined and the Army lost the will to fight. Eventually the citizens threw out the Kaiser and negotiated a peace with the Allies.

So even though the Germans had won in the East and carved out large territories from a collapsed Russia (Hitler's lebensraum ;) ), but they refused to continue to fight. The trenches had killed a lot of German troops as well and their morale and spirit had snapped. So Hitler drew this lesson and didn't force a war economy on the German people. He was expecting a fast campaign in Russia (he believed the Russians would be much like as during WW1) and planned for such. He certainly didn't expect Stalin to throw (and sacrifice) millions of troops at him recklessly.

So when Hitler realized he's in for a long war, he began pushing more output fr German industry. But by then the Americans were entering the war and the Soviets were counter-attacking. It was too late and he didn't secure enough fuel too. German industry produced the greatest nos of planes in 44 and 45 but there wasn't sufficient fuel and also trained experienced pilots.

Actually I don't really recall WW1 that well but that's roughly what I thought happenned. Hope greater minds than mine will illuminate more on this point.

willemvanoranje
Oct 11, 2001, 10:54 AM
Yeah! What if stories rule!

Knight-Dragon
Oct 11, 2001, 11:01 AM
Originally posted by willemvanoranje
Yeah! What if stories rule! :confused: Now I am even more lost. :confused:

willemvanoranje
Oct 11, 2001, 12:08 PM
:D Sorry. I just read a little boook, suggested by my school history book, about what would've happened to several wars if leader X would've done this and not that. It covers both World Wars, other wars of this century, the German-French war, and some battles in the middle ages. It's really cool.

Magnus
Oct 11, 2001, 12:23 PM
What is the book named?:)

Robespierre
Oct 11, 2001, 04:28 PM
Books like that tend to really, really oversimplify things. I'm not saying that that book does, I haven't read it, but this has been my experience. For example, a book will say: "Well, if Hitler had provided his soldiers with proper winter clothing when invading Russia, he would have won World War II and we'd all be living in the Third Reich" while ignoring the thousands of other variables that influenced the outcome of the war.

Robespierre
Oct 11, 2001, 04:28 PM
Books like that tend to really, really oversimplify things. I'm not saying that that book does, I haven't read it, but this has been my experience. For example, a book will say: "Well, if Hitler had provided his soldiers with proper winter clothing when invading Russia, he would have won World War II and we'd all be living in the Third Reich" while ignoring the thousands of other variables that influenced the outcome of the war.

willemvanoranje
Oct 12, 2001, 02:10 AM
Did you just repeat yourself thaere? :lol:

The book is in Dutch, translated it is called: "Events that could've changed the world" or something like that. I don't know the author: I brought the book back to the library yesterday.

Le Petit Prince
Oct 12, 2001, 09:45 AM
by flatlander fox
Speaking of tanks, the Panther is widely regarded as the best tank of the war. But with a little reading, you will discover that the Panther was mechanically unreliable also. I am pretty sure that the T-34/54 was more reliable mechanically. At least that's what a few veterans of the war have said.

The T-34 was far better than the Panther...and at least the russian didnt have to urinate on their tanks to make them work at freezing temperature...

" by joespaniel
The attack on Pearl Harbor backfired on the Japaneese in the long run. Yamamoto knew it when he uttered those words...

I fear all we have done is wake a sleeping giant"

WRONG! :confused: Yamamoto never said this sentence!!! This sentence have been worked out for the movie "Tora tora tora!" Just read any book before the movie tora tora tora and youll see and talk with real historian....


I read a book on what is call "parallel world fiction"written by : Rosenberg or something like that the title was in french le nez de cleopatre"..this book has 4-5 stories whit if stories...First one is that people on Earth are capable of mental things like teletransport because an Alien tried to stop us from disvovering atomic power but he missed is shot!!!...second is the Black Plague that killed 80% of people so europeans never discovered america so America is filled with indians and south america with Aztec...one other is that Hitler won with Japan WWII over the US so the US are seperate in two (Japan control US west and germany control Us east)...

Bretwalda
Oct 12, 2001, 09:59 AM
Originally posted by Le Petit Prince


The T-34 was far better than the Panther...and at least the russian didnt have to urinate on their tanks to make them work at freezing temperature...


Khmm, by the way which T-34 do you mean? There were at least dozen of different types just in the world war! Which Panther (there were fewer types from this) do you want to compare to which T-34? You can find a link somewhere up this thread that leads to the desciption of T-34s...

The case you are refering to is probably when diesel oil gets sticky under low temperature: there are much easier solutions to that: set a fire under the tank :) That people still do in Siberia with truck: you have two options if it is not too cold: either you let is run all the time or worm up gasoline somehow.

However if its really cold you must keep the engine running otherwise the whole motor block freezes into a big slub of ice...

Le Petit Prince
Oct 12, 2001, 10:14 AM
by Bretwalda:
there are much easier solutions to that(urinate on tanks): set a fire under the tank... either you let is run all the time or worm up gasoline somehow

may I remind you that German DIDNT have enough fuel to let their tank run!!! They even didnt have enough to make counter-attack!!!

Second: All the Gemans were freezing to death (did ever saw a video of the german troops in stalingrad?) There was no wood first because of plains of russia and second because russians burn all that they could so the germans had nothing to burn...the soldiers also prefered to make a fire for them than a fire for a tank that couldnt transpierce T-34 shielding...

joespaniel
Oct 12, 2001, 11:31 PM
Le Petit - I never saw the movie. I read the quote in a book. Still I won't argue if he said it or not. I wasn't there...;)

I will stand by the statement that Pearl Harbor was a huge mistake, in hindsight. Lend-lease was helping the Allies, but the US entry into the war was crucial. Without Pearl Harbor, how much longer would the US have remained neutral, and at what cost...

----------------------------------------------
"Nikita Khrushchev is buried" -History
----------------------------------------------

willemvanoranje
Oct 13, 2001, 02:09 AM
That was the big problem of the Germans. The Mk. IV was a pretty reliable tank, but it was weak and inferior to the T-34. The Panther and Tiger were both equal to or better than the T-34, but they were very unreliable, broke down all the time, sucked up gasoline (or diesel) as if they were shadowdale drinking beer, and las t but not least, they were seriously outnumbered.

Flatlander Fox
Oct 13, 2001, 07:43 AM
It was Siggy, not SKM who uttered those words...( Submarines threw me off!)

Anyway, Speaking of Axis & Allies Strategies, I always wondered what would have happened if there would have been more of a push in the Soviet Far East by the Japanese. It always works for me in the game ;), so why not in real life??? :)

Besides the logistical nightmares, what was it that prevented the Japanese from heading for the resources of Siberia?

Knight-Dragon
Oct 13, 2001, 08:04 PM
"It was Siggy, not SKM who uttered those words...( Submarines threw me off!)"

I am a dragon now! Or what looks like a dragon.

"Besides the logistical nightmares, what was it that prevented the Japanese from heading for the resources of Siberia?"

Soviet armor. They got beaten badly (lost tens of thousands of infantry) when they tried in the 1930s. The Japanese didn't really have the tanks to form real armored divisions since they didn't need them for their Chinese invasion (the Chinese weren't putting up much a fight) or in other operating theatres (diff to operate in jungle or marshy or island-like terrain).
Then the Soviet armor divisions left for the war in the west but the Japs never even tried probably cos of intelligence failure. By then, they had already engaged the Americans.

joespaniel
Oct 14, 2001, 05:18 PM
SKM is right. From several books I've read, the Japanese Military was still sore from the spanking they got (from Zhukov) in Outer Mongolia. Japan attacked Russian territory after alot of border incidents, and was winning at first. The Soviets reinforced and started really kicking their @$$. Japan sued for peace quickly.

Hitler didn't want to share in the glory of Russian conquest with the Japanese until he started losing, which was right about the time Japanese planes were warming up their engines to go to Pearl Harbor. Too late!

Knight-Dragon
Oct 14, 2001, 08:43 PM
Although the Germans and Japanese were allied, they weren't really coorperating much; nothing in comparison with the Allies. Both had their own priorities. The Japs had begun much earlier, taking over Manchuria in the early 1930s, then began a full-scale invasion of China in 1937. The Germans only got to full-scale war in 1939 although they had begun expanding some years earlier thru some bloodless conquests.
In fact, Wehrmacht officers were training the Chinese Nationalist army up till Hitler got serious about the alliance with Imperial Japan. I remembered this picture very clearly - of Chinese soldiers dressed in Wehrmacht uniforms fighting against the Japs. Unfortunately only a few infantry divisions were trained and all those got wiped out when the Japs advanced up the Yangzi river valley (which was the heartland of Nationalist power).
Wonder what the Chinese armies would be like had the Germans stayed. :crazyeyes

PinkyGen
Oct 14, 2001, 09:04 PM
Nothing like the Onion, whose title went something like this. (Not exact quote.)

"Japan signs alliance with Aryan Supremist Nation."

(Aryan's and non Aryan's working together ;) )

Crazy Eddie
Oct 15, 2001, 07:50 PM
I've heard the Germans were pretty peeved with the Japanese - at least a third of all US aid to Russia was sent to Vladivostok, travelling past the Japanese home islands in US built ships.

joespaniel
Oct 15, 2001, 08:11 PM
True fact; the Germans we're developing a guided missle!

It was a glider bomb that had a window in the front with a compartment behind it. Inside the compartment was a hungry pidgeon trained to peck at a picture of a ship with its beak (by rewarding it with food). The glass of the window was actualy a steering wheel, mechanicaly connected to the rudders of the glider-bomb so the pushing of the bird would literaly steer the bomb, right into a ship! A big improvement over the non-guided glider bombs which were very inaccurate, but still sometimes our feathered friends just were'nt up to the job. Maybe they were allied sympathizers. Anyway it was never used in combat.:)

Case
Oct 15, 2001, 09:26 PM
Originally posted by joespaniel
True fact; the Germans we're developing a guided missle!

It was a glider bomb that had a window in the front with a compartment behind it. Inside the compartment was a hungry pidgeon trained to peck at a picture of a ship with its beak (by rewarding it with food). The glass of the window was actualy a steering wheel, mechanicaly connected to the rudders of the glider-bomb so the pushing of the bird would literaly steer the bomb, right into a ship! A big improvement over the non-guided glider bombs which were very inaccurate, but still sometimes our feathered friends just were'nt up to the job. Maybe they were allied sympathizers. Anyway it was never used in combat.:)

:eek: :lol:

The Germans also designed a coal powered orbital bomber :D

Siggy
Oct 16, 2001, 04:21 AM
Originally posted by Le Petit Prince


may I remind you that German DIDNT have enough fuel to let their tank run!!! They even didnt have enough to make counter-attack!!!

Oh bull****! You're talking about the end of the war.

Second: All the Gemans were freezing to death (did ever saw a video of the german troops in stalingrad?) There was no wood first because of plains of russia and second because russians burn all that they could so the germans had nothing to burn...the soldiers also prefered to make a fire for them than a fire for a tank that couldnt transpierce T-34 shielding...

You're mixing up things, pall. The first winter the Germans were freezing to death. They wore everything to keep warm. Stalingrad was cut off before the real Russian winter began. They flew in supply. Simply said: they could surrender comfy and warm but without bullets or fight to keep warm with ammo. Apparently they choose the last option.

BTW there were almost no german tanks who couldn't knock out a t-34 late in the war, so far your post is rubbish too. Tip: read more books. (and don't forget Band of brothers, got it yesterday and it is superb)

Siggy
Oct 16, 2001, 04:25 AM
Originally posted by willemvanoranje
That was the big problem of the Germans. The Mk. IV was a pretty reliable tank, but it was weak and inferior to the T-34. The Panther and Tiger were both equal to or better than the T-34, but they were very unreliable, broke down all the time, sucked up gasoline (or diesel) as if they were shadowdale drinking beer, and las t but not least, they were seriously outnumbered.

PZ IV was dangerous when in hands of an experienced crew. Even an early version pz IV could knock out a t-34. Espessialy at short ranges. The big problem for the Panther and Tiger was that they were pressed in service too early. The later versions were as reliable as the pz IV

Bretwalda
Oct 17, 2001, 04:47 AM
Don't you generalize things like hell? That is true that Germans didnt have adequate supplies of fuel at the end of the war but yes there were counterattacks: should I mention operation Waldteufel, op. Konrad, or the Battle of the Bulge?

History is not that simple!

It's OK to watch movies (=German troops at Stalingrad) but don't take every detail granted there. There is a movie (in Hungarian :) ) titled 'The Real Mao' which is a fake documentary movie about Mao Ze Dong. It is a kind of test how much you believe - there were people that believed it all because it uses the techniques of documentary movies.
However I guess the evaluation of historical sources and the movies created from them could be another thread, so I dont want to be offtopic.

Originally posted by Le Petit Prince


may I remind you that German DIDNT have enough fuel to let their tank run!!! They even didnt have enough to make counter-attack!!!

Second: All the Gemans were freezing to death (did ever saw a video of the german troops in stalingrad?) There was no wood first because of plains of russia and second because russians burn all that they could so the germans had nothing to burn...the soldiers also prefered to make a fire for them than a fire for a tank that couldnt transpierce T-34 shielding...

VanOranje
Oct 17, 2001, 09:43 AM
Originally posted by joespaniel
First of all, thanks for starting a WW2 topic.

I am a military history buff and the second world war is my favorite topic, especialy europe.

It goes without saying that its a great thing for the world that Hiltler's Germany did NOT win, and if you look at the pivitol years 1940 and 1941 it was a very close thing.

Operation Sealion was a total crap-shoot for the Germans and in hindsight may not have been possible anyway. The British admited after the war they were prepared to use gas on invading Germans on the beaches, and no invaison of England could realisticly be supported with the Royal Navy and Air Force still in action.

The critical mistake came in Russia, with Hitler's decision to take the armor from Army Group Center and attack south from Smolensk against Kiev in Autumn 1941. Even at the time it was deemed unnescessary because a sucessful attack on Moscow would have isolated all other fronts and caused them to wither away. Moscow was the political head and heart of the USSR as well as the main rail junction.

At the time of the attack on Kiev, Moscow was ill-defended and the feared Russian winter and Autumn rain still far off. With their armor left unmolested by Hitler, Guderian's panzers would have delivered the fatal blow to Russia, knocking the USSR out of the war and giving Germany much, much more resources and leverage against Great Britain.

However, armchair general that I am, I admit the US entry into the war may have still causesd the end result to be the same. Only many German cities may have ended up as radioactive holes in the ground. Who knows...

Wasnt this because he had a shortage of fuel and oil??? He went further south because of the oil fields in the south of russia. Or iam I wrong. ?

Greetz.,

Bretwalda
Oct 17, 2001, 10:12 AM
Well, this is the history book point of view where the whole WWII is told in 3 pages... :)

Originally posted by VanOranje


Wasnt this because he had a shortage of fuel and oil??? He went further south because of the oil fields in the south of russia. Or iam I wrong. ?

Greetz.,

Le Petit Prince
Oct 17, 2001, 01:01 PM
we where talking about the end of the war no? I read THE book to read which is the Battle of Stalingrad...It is said numerous times that It was worst than people think due to German and russian propaganda...I'm sure german didnt make some counter attack because of the lack of fuel...If not why German didnt continue their advance during winters... but they didnt need in the first winter cause russian didnt have the tanks to attack...but in the second winter...russian had the tanks to conduct attack in winter...they were also much more but...

what is Band of Brothers??? movie or book

sorry here to have some difficulties to defend my points of view in english...I'm french

Whiskey Priest
Oct 17, 2001, 06:54 PM
A good book to read about the American-British relations between 1939-41 is A Man called Intrepid (I think that is what it was called) very interesting stuff about Enigma (the "unbeatable" german code) Lend-Lease and Allied Special Ops during war (Including the "failed" invasion at Dieppe in 1942, not very much is known about this op outside Canada)

Did you know there was an actual Commander James Bond, who was a British Agent during the war. Pretty cool huh!

joespaniel
Oct 17, 2001, 09:44 PM
To Van Oranje -

The drive on the caucassus in 1942 (and Stalingrad) was a drive for oil as well as a flanking maneuver against Moscow. Truth is, Hitler was afraid to attack Moscow directly after getting his @$$ kicked at the gates of the Capitol in 1941.

In 1941, the drive south to Kiev was to entrap a pesky Soviet army that wouldn't die. It infuriated Hitler, but it really could have been easily contained and dealt with after Moscow was captured. This was pointed out to Hitler by Guderian, who could have lost his command (maybe his life!) for contradicting Hitler. It was no good.

Hitler ordered a massive wheeling movement of Guderians armor south to Kiev and smashed the Soviets. It took months to organize, execute and then redeploy the armor towards Moscow.
By that time, the Reds dug in and fortified.

The going got tougher and tougher. The autumn rains turned the dirt roads and fields to slop. Then the cold came. The worst Russian winter since records were kept. The whole attack faltered.

By December, the tank oil was frozen in the engines. Frostbite was claiming German soldiers by the thousands every night. Russian resistance became fanatical. Workers with no training were organized as battalions to fight off the closing Germans. Everything they had was being thrown into the defense of Moscow.

And some Germans were so close they could see they Kremlin! Hitler ordered attack after attack, but it was impossible. The German armies were bled white. Fresh Soviet divisions from Siberia were arriving and going into the line.

Then, just days before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor half the world away, Stalin unleashed his counteroffensive. Over 100 divisions strong, including armor, cavalry, ski troops, paratroopers and partisans to name a few. The Germans reeled back, never to see Moscow again, except as POWs.

The argument is that if Guderian had been allowed to take Moscow when it was weaker, they would have had months to fortify and even drive to the Urals! Whatever may have been, its a tragedy and testiment to the stupidity of Hitler.

He wouldn't listen to his generals. He underestimated the Soviets over and over. He bullied everyone until he met a bigger bully. Stalin.

Fortunately for us, Hitler was his own worst enemy.

Knight-Dragon
Oct 17, 2001, 10:03 PM
Yes, the Soviets traded men and space for time. They knew that time was on their side and as the war dragged on, the odds for the Soviets would only get better. The Germans couldn't replace their battle losses (men) but the Soviets could (several times over). So as the war in the East dragged on, the initiative eventually returned to the Soviets and they counter-attked like hell.
Hitler was blinded by his own successes. Against the professional opinions of his generals, he pushed them to take back the Rhineland and take over Sudetenland and Austria, then invaded Poland, France and the Low Countries successfully. So as his successes mounted, he believed himself to be the greatest strategist of all times and so kept overriding his generals in the conduct of the war.

Siggy
Oct 18, 2001, 03:01 AM
Originally posted by Le Petit Prince

what is Band of Brothers??? movie or book

[/B]

It is a book. I heard it is produced as a tv-series also. It is on US TV I believe. Read some comments on it on another forum. The book is from a author called Ambrose. It is about some paratroopers from 506th airborne regiment (or was it battalion?) serving with the 101 airborne division.

I hope the tv-serie will reach the european channels soon!

time
Oct 18, 2001, 03:43 AM
Band of Brothers is on HBO every sunday night at 9:00, great show.

Bretwalda
Oct 18, 2001, 03:55 AM
Don't forget, that it was not that clear in the path of the war...

It is easy to see it when it is past, but it was close in reality.

Originally posted by SKM
Yes, the Soviets traded men and space for time. They knew that time was on their side and as the war dragged on, the odds for the Soviets would only get better. The Germans couldn't replace their battle losses (men) but the Soviets could (several times over). So as the war in the East dragged on, the initiative eventually returned to the Soviets and they counter-attked like hell.
Hitler was blinded by his own successes. Against the professional opinions of his generals, he pushed them to take back the Rhineland and take over Sudetenland and Austria, then invaded Poland, France and the Low Countries successfully. So as his successes mounted, he believed himself to be the greatest strategist of all times and so kept overriding his generals in the conduct of the war.

Le Petit Prince
Oct 18, 2001, 01:20 PM
by Siggy:
I hope the tv-serie will reach the european channels soon!

HEy! I'm french but I live in quebec (we speak french) so I live in america...but I dont have HBO:mad:

so everybody agree with me now...few posts away everybody was against me...

So I ask my question again: Why did Hilter didnt believe that if he had take the capital he wouldnt not have won the war against USSR ??? Ok for Kiev but why did he have not went directly for Moskva?

willemvanoranje
Oct 18, 2001, 01:50 PM
Errr....after a long time of decoding....


Hitler just thought that the conquest of Moscow wouldn't result in a strategic advance. He thought Leningrad was more important, because it was a big city with a lot of troops. Besides, Murmansk could be cut of more easy from there. And he went for the Kaukasus (Stalingrad) for the oil that can be found there. As we all know, oil is something Germany really needed.

Knight-Dragon
Oct 18, 2001, 09:16 PM
"And he went for the Kaukasus (Stalingrad) for the oil that can be found there."

Stalingrad is not located in the Caucasus which is a region somewhat south of that. It is a city on the Volga which guards the way to the Caucasus. The Wehrmacht units that did reach the Caucasus had to pull back after the 6th Army (I think) surrendered in Stalingrad after being surrounded by the Soviets during the Battle of Stalingrad.

willemvanoranje
Oct 19, 2001, 07:07 AM
I know, I know. But on the way to the Kaukasus, he was stopped at Stalingrad.

joespaniel
Oct 19, 2001, 08:25 AM
Originally posted by willemvanoranje
I know, I know. But on the way to the Kaukasus, he was stopped at Stalingrad.
... by a good Russian @$$ kicking!

Stalingrad was another turning point for an already faltering German campaign in Russia. I don't have time to spin tales today, though. I have to go to work, maybe this weekend.

The Sovs lost over 800,000 people at Stalingrad. The city was reduced to a rubble heap. It was also the grave site of the German Sixth Army...

Knight-Dragon
Oct 19, 2001, 08:43 AM
"The Sovs lost over 800,000 people at Stalingrad. The city was reduced to a rubble heap. It was also the grave site of the German Sixth Army..."

It was one of Hitler's stupid mistakes. He shld have allowed Paulus to retreat while they still could. Instead Hitler insisted that the 6th Army defended Stalingrad to the last man. He actually believed Goering's boast that the Luffwaffe could supply the army there by air. Hitler even made Paulus a Reichmarshal and gave him a marshal's baton cos no Reichmarshal of the Wehrmacht had ever surrendered on the field of battle. But to no avail, in the end, the 6th Army surrendered. The Germans lost 100k plus (?) good men there.

Simon Darkshade
Oct 19, 2001, 09:22 AM
Stalingrad also very important transport hub, being on convergence of the two main rivers, Don and Volga. Well over half of all Soviet trade and transport went thru Stalingrad. In addition, Hitler disliked the name. He was a big one for symbolism, Gefreiter Hitler of the 6th Bavarian Infantry. SS troops diverted and scaled mount Ebolus(something like that) to unveil the hakenkreuz (was it the Blutfahne itself? I cannot recall) on its peak to unleash mystic powers. Reichsfuhrer Himmler was very much into the occult.

As for the success or not of the Caucasus invasion, remember that the terrain gets very mountainous north of Baku and Grozny, and was almost impassable to the Germans, in addition to drawing out supply lines.

Stalingrad were a close thing in stages, if you take a tactical or operational view. Mansteins relief force got within 30 miles of Paulus, then had to pull back. But in strategic terms, the thrust on it extended the Germans significantly, and the Soviets had a lot of manpower to throw into the area under Zhukovs encircling force. The Soviets simply followed the simplest of all options and hit the German forces in the weak sections of the front manned by Romanians and other foreigners with overwhelming force. This time, a major encirclement on the Eastern Front actually had important strategic consequences...

willemvanoranje
Oct 20, 2001, 02:01 AM
I know of a man, who faught at Stalingrad (I believe he's dead now). He was a good friend of my grandparents, but what he had seen, and what he had been through at Stalingrad affected him his entire life. He still had nightmares and stuff. A mark of how devastating a war can be for the human mind.

CurtSibling
Oct 20, 2001, 03:15 AM
ADOLF'S CHECKLIST FOR SCREWING UP HIS WAR

1. Damned afwul racial attitude - check!
2. Not invading the UK - check!
3. Meddling in the conduct of the war - check!
4. Liquidating capable generals - check!
5. Not utilising sympathetic peoples - check!
6. Crappily timed invasion of USSR - check!
7. Half-hearted invasion of North Africa - check!
8. Ignoring the development of Jet tech in 1939 - check!
9. Not evolving airborne tactics - check!
10. Squandering of men and machines - check!
11. Not ending the war when things went crap in 43 - check!
12. Bad treatment of East Europe - czech!

:( I could go on and on, but ya get the picture!
Hitler, fall on yar own sword you are a Oxy-Moron!
In addition to destroying (for a while) a proud and fine nation,
He dragged the world into a crappy war and ruined upteen chances for victory in favour of narrow-eyed greed and petty rivalry,
Humans, eh?:rolleyes:

Adolf, What a failure!
Go hang yer head in hades!:lol:

And you too Stalin...ya big spoon-head!:mad:

CurtSibling
Oct 20, 2001, 03:24 AM
Just or the record,

I will NOT be making any of these "little blunders" when
I play WW2 scenarios on CIV3!:goodjob:

So Beware you red armies at Kharkov!!!:mad:

Stukas are comin' for ya!:lol:

Bretwalda
Oct 20, 2001, 03:51 AM
I mostly agree with you, however the problem with the airborne divisions was not "not evolving tactics" but actually to sustain such losses in lesser important battles like Crete that they could not be used later effectively e.g. against the planned but never carried out Malta invasion.

Originally posted by CurtSibling
ADOLF'S CHECKLIST FOR SCREWING UP HIS WAR

1. Damned afwul racial attitude - check!
2. Not invading the UK - check!
3. Meddling in the conduct of the war - check!
4. Liquidating capable generals - check!
5. Not utilising sympathetic peoples - check!
6. Crappily timed invasion of USSR - check!
7. Half-hearted invasion of North Africa - check!
8. Ignoring the development of Jet tech in 1939 - check!
9. Not evolving airborne tactics - check!
10. Squandering of men and machines - check!
11. Not ending the war when things went crap in 43 - check!
12. Bad treatment of East Europe - czech!

This last one - was it on purpose? :eek: Whatever: East Europe was always treated badly no matter when in history - believe me I am Hungarian ;)

:( I could go on and on, but ya get the picture!
Hitler, fall on yar own sword you are a Oxy-Moron!
In addition to destroying (for a while) a proud and fine nation,
He dragged the world into a crappy war and ruined upteen chances for victory in favour of narrow-eyed greed and petty rivalry,
Humans, eh?:rolleyes:

Adolf, What a failure!
Go hang yer head in hades!:lol:

And you too Stalin...ya big spoon-head!:mad:

joespaniel
Oct 20, 2001, 10:31 AM
Check out the thread about 'Hitler and future generations'. Some good stuff there, too.

Heres a big what if:

What would have happened if Hitler waited 1 year to attack Russia, in the Spring of 1942?

CurtSibling
Oct 21, 2001, 06:44 AM
Originally posted by Siggy


He didn't stop that. Prototype of the Me262 flew in late 1941 or early 1942. It didn't appear earlier because someone (Hitler himself?) ordered that that plane should be capable of carrying bombs. That extra period of development, testing etc. made the plane appear in summer/fall 1944 instead of spring/summer 1943. That would have made the difference.

How about the Panther tank? It was developed in 1942. Was a great weapon, wasn't it?

B-17 was developed as a strategic bomber. Germany didn't develop weapons like that ( well, it developed some futuristic airplane capable of strategic bombing) because it wasn't a priority. The airplanes germany used were developed to work together with the wehrmacht during the blitzkrieg as tactical support, not as strategic weapons. All those bombers Germany developed were in strict terms tactical bombers and were not meant to be used as strategic weapons.

And the last question: what were those better weapons you are talking about? Panther 2? Mauss? Which airplane, which tank?

Don't like to disagree, but the "Adolf wanted the schwalbe to be a Jabo" agrument is one of the big misconceptions of WW2.

Sure, the Austrian despot wanted the Me262 biult to be a bomber as well as a fighter, and this posed no problem to Messerschmitt GmBh, what actually held up the deadly jet's production was a chronic shortage of a reliable version of the Junkers Jumo Jet Engine!:)

So there ya are, taken from the luftwaffe Archive books I have read!!!:goodjob:

CurtSibling
Oct 21, 2001, 06:46 AM
Originally posted by joespaniel
Check out the thread about 'Hitler and future generations'. Some good stuff there, too.

Heres a big what if:

What would have happened if Hitler waited 1 year to attack Russia, in the Spring of 1942?

Um, even more drunk Russians driving T-34s and Schturmoviks??!!:D

CurtSibling
Oct 21, 2001, 06:51 AM
Originally posted by Bretwalda
I mostly agree with you, however the problem with the airborne divisions was not "not evolving tactics" but actually to sustain such losses in lesser important battles like Crete that they could not be used later effectively e.g. against the planned but never carried out Malta invasion.


This last one - was it on purpose? :eek: Whatever: East Europe was always treated badly no matter when in history - believe me I am Hungarian ;)


Better airborne tactics means less losses, by default!
Hey not malice intended with the Czech thing!
I have 2 good friends from Hungary and Bulgaria, the finest individuals you could meet!

We Scots have always had bad treatment too and have always saluted East Europe!:goodjob:

joespaniel
Oct 21, 2001, 10:28 PM
Originally posted by CurtSibling


Um, even more drunk Russians driving T-34s and Schturmoviks??!!:D

:lol: Either that or we would all be speaking Deutch and eating snitzel. :D

CurtSibling
Oct 22, 2001, 01:32 AM
Originally posted by joespaniel


:lol: Either that or we would all be speaking Deutch and eating snitzel. :D

Ja!:mad:

But think of all those gorgeous german girls!!!:goodjob:

Simon Darkshade
Oct 22, 2001, 01:37 AM
Just on the issue of the Luftwaffe not having a true strategic bomber, this is the case. However, there was the so called "Ural Bomber" under development prior to 1936 (called this becuae it was designed to have the range for the Urals and back), a pet project of the then head of the Luftwaffe, whose name escapes me momentarily. He died, however, in a plane crash in 1936, and was replaced by Kesselring, who concurred with Goering on the Luftwaffe mainly being a ground support force. They were not big affecianados of the Douhet/ Mitchell/ Trenchard school of strategic air power.

Max Wever was the blokes name, he says as he checks his airpower paper from military history:cool:

Whether the existence of this would have had a different effect on the course of Operation Eagle is a matter of debate.

joespaniel
Oct 22, 2001, 11:19 PM
The German failure to turn the Med into an "axis lake", was a huge missed opportunity. They should have took Malta, and smashed the British in Egypt as soon as humanly possible.

Hitler's Russian war build up was absorbing all the resources needed to deal the mortal blow to the English empire. German conquest of the Middle East would have crippled the UK, and given Hitler the oil he needed. Plus a road into the Southern USSR...

willemvanoranje
Nov 05, 2001, 01:50 AM
I couldn't agree with you more. Hitler had a serious problem is setting his priorities. He attacks England. Oh, oops. Failed. Well no matter, next one. Russia. Hmmm, not going very good. He should've finished England before attacking Russia.
It's well known that Hitler wasn't a great strategic mind.

Bretwalda
Nov 05, 2001, 04:35 AM
I think this is simplification: Hitler had brilliant ideas AND competely rubbish ones as well... Also most of his early political gambles paid off handsomly...

Originally posted by willemvanoranje
I couldn't agree with you more. Hitler had a serious problem is setting his priorities. He attacks England. Oh, oops. Failed. Well no matter, next one. Russia. Hmmm, not going very good. He should've finished England before attacking Russia.
It's well known that Hitler wasn't a great strategic mind.

willemvanoranje
Nov 05, 2001, 12:08 PM
Well, he didn't have the smartest advisors as well. He had some great generals, but most of them were afraid to open their mouth. And Ribbentrop is probably the most stupid politician ever.

joespaniel
Nov 05, 2001, 03:44 PM
I've always said Hitler was a piss poor military strategist. He took credit for sucesses planned and carried out by others like Manstein and Guderian. He ignored the lessons of WWI and started a two front war, also falsly predicting Russia would collaspe when Barbarossa began. One mistake after another. The Allies considered Hitler their best secret weapon!

He was a a two bit hood, and deserved to die and be burned in a ditch full of gasoline. Oh, wait...;)

PinkyGen
Nov 05, 2001, 10:30 PM
One of the reasons the what-if's with Hitler don't really hold is because this was a war started by Hiter. Without Hitler, WWII would have been radically different.

At 1941, Hitler looked like a military genius. He invaded Poland, Norway, and France, and every time he overruled his own generals. When Guderian and others were breaking out, the High command tried to reign them in. Hitler countermanded that order and let the Blitzkrieg go to the sea.

Thus, without Hitler, Germany would not have been in the USSR in 1941, with almost all of Europe behind him.

Also, keep in mind that most of our history (until 1991) about WWII came from German generals, who were trying to blame everything on Hitler. Hitler still made blunders, but the Wehrmacht deserves some blame as well.

PS. in 1942, the Soviets would have had their defensive belt in Poland built, and more T-34's, and more training. Not to mention Pearl Harbor, so the divisions facing the Japanese could have been brought up earlier too.

Esca
Nov 07, 2001, 09:58 PM
I have not read every post, but someone early on said the "Amerika" bomber did not fly.
Well, it did. Try this:-

http://users.visi.net/~djohnson/prototyp/me264.html

It could reach as far an Indiana with a payload of 11000lbs and a cruising speed of 398 mph.
There was another version with six engines and swept wings, looking like a B36.

It was called the ME264 if you want to do your own search.
There were plans to base some in the Phillipines to attack the American Eastern seaboard.

The flying prototypes were repeated damaged in air raids, which slowed down the production.

willemvanoranje
Nov 08, 2001, 02:40 AM
I think it was me who said that the bomber didn't fly. I thought they didn't even get prototypes flying. I didn't read the link you gave, but I guess it says that the 'Amerika' did fly.

willemvanoranje
Nov 08, 2001, 07:01 AM
This is the one!:

Esca
Nov 08, 2001, 05:41 PM
Or this one actually airborn.

Esca
Nov 08, 2001, 05:56 PM
The Germans put a lot of thought into bombing America.
They had this idea for the 264 to tow a glider loaded with fuel.
Refuel from it just short of America then cut it adrift.

It would be like a giant flying drop tank.

With this method they could reach anywhere in North America.

They thought the 264 would be like the Mosquito, virtually impossible to intercept in the high level bombing role.

Doing a cruise climb all the way across the Atlantic, it had a ceiling of 40,000ft. A top speed of 396 MPH. A pressurized cabin and 20mm canon for defence.

A very impressive aircraft and that was only the prototype.

joespaniel
Nov 09, 2001, 05:02 PM
Originally posted by PinkyGen
At 1941, Hitler looked like a military genius. He invaded Poland, Norway, and France, and every time he overruled his own generals. When Guderian and others were breaking out, the High command tried to reign them in. Hitler countermanded that order and let the Blitzkrieg go to the sea.

Actualy, the invaision fo France, as it occured, was planned by Manstein, and Hitler took credit. Hitler ordered the fast-advance to halt in the middle of May, however Guderian sent out a "recon by force" (ignored the order, in other words) and ended up on the coast. Hitler again took credit for it.

Norway was planned by a field general, who's name I cant remember at this time. An old alpine soldier...

PS. in 1942, the Soviets would have had their defensive belt in Poland built, and more T-34's, and more training. Not to mention Pearl Harbor, so the divisions facing the Japanese could have been brought up earlier too.

A good point. However, the skill and tactics of the Wehrmacht would still have been too much for the static Red Army.

This is all arm-chair generaling anyway. Hitler was a fool, because only a fool would have started the war in the first place. Germany is fortunate to be the great nation it is today, in spite of what that Austrian paper-hanger did to them.

knowltok
Nov 27, 2001, 02:57 PM
As far as a what if goes, what if Germany adn't declared war on the U.S. after Pearl Harbor? What would the U.S. have been able to do and when would they have done it if they hadn't had that excuse. The American people didn't really want to go to war in Europe again and it would have been impossible for FDR to get a Europe First strategy if the US wasn't at war with Germany. As close run a thing as the European Theatre was, it is quite possible that Germany could have knocked out the USSR if they hadn't had all the American supplies and diversions.