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German Army discussion (from Great Quotes III)

Discussion in 'World History' started by Kyriakos, May 19, 2017.

  1. historix69

    historix69 Emperor

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    Soviet overall casualties are estimated around 26-27 million. 8.4 million soviet soldiers were KIA, another 3 million died as POW.
    Germany lost 2.7 million soldiers KIA and another 1.1 million died as POW.
    Millions of soviet civilian deaths resulted from combat, scorched earth strategies from both sides, partisan activities, retaliation of both sides, war crimes, diseases, starvation, etc.

    If you compare the ratio of KIAs : 8.4 / 2.7 = 3,1 and consider soviet forces reaching superiority in number and material in end of 1942, beginning of 1943 (Stalingrad), soviet casualties were high until May 1945. In 1944 the soviets used 10 times the number of air planes, tanks, artillery pieces, etc. compared to german troops and still sufferes high casualties. Stalin forced his troops to be fast to "liberate" as much as possible of eastern europe.
    German losses in 1944/45 were also much higher than in the beginning of the campaign, but KIA numbers were still lower than soviet casualties. (More german POWs.)

    Edit : removed the "37 million" since it is not an official number but was only noted on a russian news site.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2017
  2. red_elk

    red_elk Deity

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    Umm, no, German losses KIA were 4.5-5.5 millions (edit: ~3.5 millions on Eastern front) and also more than one million were losses of their allies (Romania, Hungary, Finland...)
    Soviet and Russian historians also estimate total Soviet losses as 26-27 millions. Somewhat higher estimation was given by Glantz, IIRC.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2017
  3. historix69

    historix69 Emperor

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    These are the overall German losses for WW2. The 2.7 million were in the east.
     
  4. red_elk

    red_elk Deity

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    2.7 is a number given by German historians, and it includes only 1941-1944 casualties.
    From what I see, estimates for 1941-1945 vary between 3.5 and 4.1 millions, not counting German allies.
     
  5. historix69

    historix69 Emperor

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    It seems that reported numbers of German losses (KIA, MIA, POW) in 1944/45 are unreliable since the reporting system broke down. So the 4 million may be a realistic estimate.

    Spoiler :


     
    Last edited: May 22, 2017
  6. red_elk

    red_elk Deity

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    The diagram seems corrrect, more or less. Also note that military deaths include deaths in captivity, which in case of USSR estimated as 3-3.5 millions.
     
  7. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Deity

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    Jip
    I digged up more numbers and that confirms what you say.

    In looking for more info about "how" that movement, surprise and chaos functioned

    The German tanks had a wireless for grouped actions of their mobile spear units, alo coordinating their air power on the relevant spots.
    Had the French tanks that ?
    I could not find any info there.
    But I think this was an important difference in effective tank power.

    The other thing I am led to understand is that the German tanks avoided tank battles:
    • They rushed forward, to new strategic locations
    • Their Infantery was used to keep hold of these locations
    • French tanks were and had to be countered by anti-tank units
     
  8. red_elk

    red_elk Deity

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    I believe this is true for everybody, not only for Germany. Tanks are generally not intended to fight against other tanks.
    Pz-VI would devastate T-34 in direct engagement, but T-34 is considered superior tank by overall characteristics. Arguably the best one in WW2.
     
  9. historix69

    historix69 Emperor

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    The french and british command were uncapable to coordinate a strong counter-offensive :
    - against the bridge-head at Sedan and later
    - to cut off the German tank spearhead which was far head into france.

    German 37mm tank- and anti-tank-guns were useless against the high armour french and british tanks unless they hit sensitive spots. The Germans improvised and used artillery and the famous 88mm-anti-air-gun against the allied tanks or called for close air support. German tank groups with radios also coordinated and outmaneuvered french tanks who had no radios, e.g. by diverting them so that some tanks could attack from behind. You can also target the tracks if you cannot penetrate the armour.

    The heavier French tanks only had low fuel and had to be refueled after 2 hours of battle.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Sedan_(1940)#Battle_of_Stonne
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Arras_(1940)

    If you are interested in this theme I recommend :
    2005 : Karl-Heinz Frieser : The Blitzkrieg Legend: The Campaign in the West, 1940
     
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  10. historix69

    historix69 Emperor

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    The T-34 (or T34/76) was a Soviet tank which was first encountered by the Germans in 1941 on Eastern Front. At that time it was superior to the fielded German tanks I-IV but it still could be defeated by artillery and the famous 88mm-anti-air-gun or by close air support. The Germans improved their tank models III and IV and developed the superior new types V Panther and VI Tiger which were available in 1943.
    For example the Panzer III had many different types : with 37 mm/L45, 50 mm/L42 short and 50 mm/L60 long and 75 mm/L24 gun. They also increased armour from 15 mm in the beginning to up to (50 + 20) mm. The different types were called "Ausführung" A-N.
    In 1942 the Germans also had improved anti-tank guns like the 75 mm PAK 40.
    The Soviets reacted on new German tank types V and VI and developed the T34/85.
    The T-34 was massproduced during the war (around 60.000 T-34) while Germany did not develop a tank type for massproduction and only produced smaller numbers of different tanks, e.g. around 6.000 Panther and 2.000 Tiger in 1943-45.

    see :
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-34

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzer_III
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzer_IV
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panther_tank
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiger_I

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturmgeschütz_III
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7.5_cm_Pak_40

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_armored_fighting_vehicle_production_during_World_War_II
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
  11. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Deity

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    more than 500 pages.
    So looked at reviews and the like
    in line with what you stated
    the following rung a bell (S.J. Newland):
    "Instead of operating with mission-type orders, the German operational commanders, at least until Hitler’s heavy hand restricted them, had a considerable degree of independence during a campaign. This independence gave commanders on the operational level the latitude to take advantage of rapidly emerging opportunities, altering plans on the spot when necessary".
    And also from P.M.H. Bell:
    "In the campaign itself, the Germans owed their success more to individual initiative than to careful planning—for example, a devastating Luftwaffe attack on 13 May only took place because an officer disregarded an order to change the plan".

    I had heard a similar explanation why the Panzer division at the battle of Arnhem was so effective from someone who had studied that.

    So... the Germans were better at mobility to conquer ground.

    But that does not for me answers the question why this big french army did surrender in Belgium.
    Why did they not just dig in, and made a static battle ?
    Was that the effect of the air superiority of the Germans ?
    Or something else ?
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
  12. historix69

    historix69 Emperor

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Dunkirk

    The Belgian pocket contained around 1.7 million allied soldiers from whom some hundred thousands escaped via dunkirk evacuation while some others were able to sneak through the then thin german lines into the south, leaving behind their heavy equipment. Finally around 1.2 million allied soldiers surrendered.

    I think that the German troops in the south cut off the supply lines for the allied troops. Without a steady supply with ammo, fuel, etc. and without stockpiles of supplies, they could not have resisted for a long time.
    The German troops of Army Group B were pushing from the north-east while the tanks from Army Group A were already at the port cities blocking the way back into france. When a retreating army has no more room to retreat, it has to fight or surrender.

    The infamous "Halt" order stopped the German tanks for some days, so the allies could dig in around dunkirk and start to evacuate troops. (Without the stop, Guderian's 1st or 10th tank division (?) probably could have taken dunkirk at may 24th before the allies reached it.)

    British air presence around dunkirk was significant since the british planes were close to their home bases. Both sides lost more than 100 fighter planes due to dogfights.

    When the German tanks resumed attack on dunkirk, allied resistance was much harder, German tanks and airplanes were also hindered by bad weather (rain, clouds) for some days.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
  13. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Deity

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    It is all plausible what you say....
    so thanks for the link and your remarks
    It was a static fight. No real benefit anymore from Blitzkrieg effects
    and re logistics... jip, plausible... and perhaps supplying fresh ammo etc using the port of Dunkirk was not feasible

    but somehow it does not satisfy
    (I am not good in grey shades and understanding halfway... my bad)
    I wish BBC or another with enough resources would make a good documentary
    and then not as prime focus the glory of the miracle of rescuing the british BEF and allied soldiers
    but the why how the Germans were able to pull this off.... cq why things happened as they happened.

    Anyway
    what I digged up as well
    The German Army Group A had 45 divisions for around 900.000 and the Army Group B had 30 divisions for around 600,000. Army Group C with 18 division was far away, trolling the Maginot and the upper-Rhine.
    So in total 1.5 M German troops against a similar amount of allied forces.
    The infamous "Halt" is a discussion on her own I am led to believe. There are statements that the two leading Generals did not want to push on because they did not want to risk that the allied forces would break out and reorganise in the South of France.. So they preferred a risk free strangling by accepting "some" troops escaping to UK.
    Was that a bad strategy ? IDK. The allied forces left enough equipment behind to arm 3-5 divisions and the amount of logistical units was bigger than the German army had at that moment in France (except for all the horses the Germans used !)

    Digging on... it seems there was a perception and political factor as well involved.
    Some qoutes from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-French_Supreme_War_Council

    A. "At 7.30 on the morning of 15 May, Winston Churchill, who had been Prime Minister for just five days, received a desperate telephone call from Paul Reynaud announcing that "the French were beaten … that they had lost the battle." Reynaud begged for all the aircraft and troops that could be spared. The British Prime Minister agreed to fly to Paris the following day to attend what would be the first crisis meeting of the SWC".
    B. "On 16 May, Churchill flew to Paris, with Sir John Dill, Vice-Chief of the Imperial General Staff, General Hastings Ismay, his deputy as Defence Minister, and Air Marshal Joubert de la Ferté, Deputy Chief of the Air Staff. The delegation arrived in Paris during the afternoon and found the French in a state verging on paralysis. General Maurice Gamelin explained that the Germans had broken through on a 50 km front and had already advanced 60 km inward from Sedan. When Churchill asked about the strategic reserve, Gamelin replied that there was none. Churchill then inquired when and where Gamelin proposed to attack the flanks of the bulge. Gamelin replied with a hopeless shrug and the famous words: "Inferiority of numbers, inferiority of equipment, inferiority of method".
    C. "A private meeting between Churchill and Reynaud took place over lunch in London on 26 May. Both men deal with the meeting in their memoirs, but the precise details are confused. Churchill says that the French prime minister 'dwelt not obscurely with the possible French withdrawal from the war'. Reynaud pressed for more British air support and warned that if the Battle of France were lost, Pétain would urge strongly for an armistice. However, it seems that Reynaud did not directly ask Britain to release France from its promise made on 28 March not to enter into a separate armistice with Germany".

    So.... while the allied, the French troops were fighting bravely, this !@#$%^ was happening in the background.

    Was that perhaps the reason that Churchill was happy to rescue his army rather than risking it to keep a stronghold on the continent to fight back ?
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
  14. historix69

    historix69 Emperor

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    The British had a professional army, not a conscript army. They had to rescue their experienced soldiers to be able to train more soldiers in england and to defend against a possible German invasion. If the Germans had suceeded in taking this elite of the British Army as prisoners, Churchill might have been forced to withdraw and England might have made a deal with Hitler. Churchill wanted to avoid this by all means.

    A military unit like a (german tank) division in 1940 had something like 12-15.000 men, (300 tanks), 100 recon-vehicles, 100 (anti-tank-, anti-air-guns and artillery), 1.400 lorries, 600 cars, 2.000 motorbikes, ... When on retreat (like the allys) these thousands of vehicles move with different speed on streets together with the thousands of other vehicles of neighbouring units, eventually vehicles break down, run out of gas, get stuck or get mixed with vehicles of neigbouring units. This can result in a big mess and a division might need a couple of days after a retreat to reorganize before it can fight effectively. Since the tanks were slow and need to be refueled frequently, it is likely that the allied units lost tanks on the retreat. The Allied commanders were not able to launch a concentrated counter-attack against the German tank divisions in the south.

    A static defense like at dunkirk could only buy a few days since the Germans could use tanks, artillery and bomber against the concentrated, surrounded allied troops from all sides, while the allies probably had problems to find and use their heavy weapons between all their vehicles. Maybe if the Germans had stopped their attack for a couple of weeks ...

    Quite interesting is the last note on the War Council Page :
    You find this also in Churchills book about "The Second World War". The British proposed that the French should enter a UNION with the British and continue the war, even when France is lost.

    When the French made an armistice with the Germans, Churchill ordered the British Fleet to seize or destroy the French Fleet in "Operation Catapult" to prevent the ships falling into German hands :
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attack_on_Mers-el-Kébir
     
  15. innonimatu

    innonimatu Deity

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    Whatever excuses one makes for the withdrawal of allied troops and the surrender of France, Leningrad and Stalingrad stand in contrast as to how fiercely a fight could have been made for some strategic land. France was not defeated when it surrendered, now was britain when it absconded from fighting on the continent.
     
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  16. r16

    r16 not deity

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    relates to post until last time ı was here , meaning Monday

    ah yes , time to dig up Brute Force again . Now that the value of a book can be gauged by the critics that have lend their names to the bookjacket , assuming one knows them . Like this Field Marshal Lord Carver who says "a masterpiece of its kind" or a book that's "heartily recommended to specialist and general reader alike" as mentioned by the Journal of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst . Bracketed by these two ı would be ready to believe this guy named Norman Stone of the Sunday Times , but then ı have no need , finishing the book like a dozen times in the two and a half decades ı have had the volume and am in total agreement with what he says , but let's have him supply the verdict as a native English speaker : "John Ellis's well documented and briskly written book...crackles with irritation. Ellis tells a melancholy story, but tells it well."


    that the Germans had no right to achieve as much as they did in WW II but their enemies were bigger fools . One can even develop some sense of pity for the Japanese as they were ground to dust . Get that book -if available- if you are halfway interested in numbers of war and the ways they apply . ı think ı read the back jacket with 100% interest only now in 2017 .


    though since our knowledge is a combination of what we have learned over the years ı was a bit heartbroken that you have to read it all over again to make up tables of equipment and it might not cover the whole bases anyhow . But sure enough it references that the French might have distributed so many hundreds of tanks into penny packets to support Infantry , but their concentrated forces were almost an equal of the Panzer Divisions in their entirity .



    let me allow to follow the posts above as a guideline to avoid the typical r16 scatter . As for Alternative history stuff there is a certain comic series ongoing that delves into how some alien deity broke up the D-Day with a storm and will possibly bring Adolf from the afterlife after he got outed or something earlier in the war ... This being proof that a German victory being almost impossible however you twist the facts . Although ı should read the link first to judge whether it's overblown or not , am really partial to the importance of the PzKw 38(t) . Maybe not the "mainstay" but it was good enough to be present , numbering 772 for the invasion of the Soviet Union , contrasting to 965 IIIs and 439 IVs . All short 75s for the IVs and only 44 of the IIIs with long 50 mm guns that undisputably make the latter superior to the Czechs for anti-tank work . Lovely fact that the Dictator of Germany ordered long guns for his Panzers to kill Commies and all the German Army did was doing nothing , maximizing profits possibly . Until found out by the said Dictator ... Germans certainly had no trouble with the 38 , basing 25% of their tank park on it , despite its 2 man turret . 3 man turrets being a so important part of the German superiority early in the war ... 38 stopped being a gun tank only because it was too small to carry a cannon big enough to kill KVs , just like the III was . But chassis became an assault gun and 38 was still better , with production of IIIs either ending or planned to end by 1945 and nothing of the sort for the Czech thing .


    the superior operational capability of Germans is undisputed , but it can also be argued the thicker armour of the Allied tanks would begin to tell if the fighting got slower . Not in my locked thread and ı would have to really look for them but ı have these posts in this forum that argue Germans avoided tank to tank and used anti-tank guns instead . As already mentioned in this thread . Fast moving panzer formations engaged isolated Allied units in series , massively superior in each engagement , overwhelming the opposition by all means possible and attacking the next with similar advantages . Each German victory emboldening them and doing the exact opposite on their enemies . Afterall there is a reason why nobody pays much attention to June 1940 fighting in France , after Dunquerke with cowardly French having a stable front and a full understanding of the German methods and could have even won if they had not lost so much in May . Not 100% sure , perhaps but within bounds of reason . Nobody wants it known or something that Germans were not gods on earth that could only be defeated at Al Alamein , or by American prowess awesomely shown by Patton off the Bocage , or by the Red Army steamrolling all the way from Stalingrad . Yeah , the French have one forward and 5 rear gears on their tanks .



    the trouble with the T-34/KV combination is that they were so new that their crews had almost no idea of what to do with them . Am not going to start a rant of what the Germans might have done with them , now that the Russians obviously lost a thousand of them straight away and had Germans had half the brains they are supposed to have they would have 100s of them running , before the winter set in . Next year they looked real hard to get some KVs to be used in the planned invasion of Malta . Not 34/85s or JS-2 , but they would have done quite good . Even as mere basis for conversion to assault guns . So what ? ı think the Russians were converting captured IIIs into assault guns of their own even in 1944 . Newer narratives no doubt will insist on forgetting that Guderian himself asked for a straight T-34 copy , but the German industry lacked expertise (and aluminium ?) for the diesel engine and they had to wait for the Panther . Until 1943 and a month or two in delaying the Battle of Kursk .



    as for Evil making Germans stronger while the Allies avoided operations that might lead to extensive casualties the Brute Force is really recommended . ı don't think any officer in the now extinct Turkish Military could like a book that talked negatively about its Marshals , but just check the reviewers in the beginning . Yeah , Montgomery with careful calculations and never suffering a reverse , but he might have destroyed Rommel half a dozen times before he ran all the way to Tunus or might have been bolder in Italy or Normandy . The Russians might have made it to the North Sea and yet create a Peoples Republic of Danemark while Montgomery was doin' his thing citing the opposition was too great for him to cross Elbe during late April 1945 . Eisenhower sent up some American troops and "When the 82nd [Airborne Division] crossed it, it advanced 36 miles on the first day and captured 100,000 prisoners." And you know this is the guy who allowed something like Market Garden , because a fast success there would allow him to command the Nothern Thrust all the way to Berlin and did practically nothing as the British troops were written off , while he could . Once again , Ellis ; one really has to read that 540 pages , discounting the extra 100 of references . Allies' penchant for attrition battles that they could not lose weakened their ability to grasp opportunities in maneouvre and they had this incredible knack of running into deservedly famous Pakfronts whenever they could not avoid the feeling that they should "move" . Leads one to almost believe that they all hated the troops under their command , wanted all of them dead .



    also on some unlocked thread about the notion that the Sicklecut was intentional , Germans planning to encircle the Anglo French Armies rushing into Belgium and the like . Thinking they could cross the Ardennes while it was no tank country . That they would be never spotted doing all that with so little aerial reconnaissance by the Allies . With the opening post here kinda surprised that the Netherlands fell without Panzers . Within certain caveats , if that's the word , these are kinda wrong . Germans know they can't beat the Allies , so they repeat the Schilieffen Plan . Really . Not for Paris , but to provide an outer defensive screen for Ruhr . Netherlands invaded not only for the radar stations to check on RAF but as an hostage of sorts . To provide oil from Balikpapan and the rest in case a ceasefire can be achieved with the West and Nazism can return to its very function of killing Commies , Lebensraum , all that jazz . With the Royal Family of the Dutch to be captured by paratroops with their entire Goverment structure . Paratroops unmasked by the campaign in Norway and the Dutch pointing all those sticks skywards whereever applicable . With only one Panzer Division , the 9th ı believe , assigned to that theater , because of the immense defensibility of the Dutch terrain and the entire Sedan operation as a massive feint , to attract all the attention with the stinging memory of 1870 pushing the French to deploy to defend their country , instead of driving into Belgium . You see , the Germans gotta have Belgium as well and everybody fears Spitfires , advance to be complete by the time RAF discovers how to fight Spits , and the thing that they can escort ground attack planes that might wreak havoc with German convoys of trucks and horse carts . Because a belt for Ruhr means a victory for Nazism leading to a temporary peace , ceasefire meaning a two front war with Allies sure to stab in the back just as Wehrmacht makes it Moscow , the German Army has its secret plans go missing , Hitler outraged and Manstein comes up with what's up . Standart r16 fare , you don't have to believe it . Actually , better if you don't ...


    charles de Gaulle took the command of that division fully expecting to be the saviour of France as all the others were in Belgium and the mass of German Armour was there elsewhere . He was the pick of the politicians , in case you are wondering if they knew where the Germans would strike . There was no retreat on those days . Germans arrived on the Meuse on the 3 or 4th day while they should have done by the 10th or even later . This figure was calculated by both the French and the Germans and de Gaulle would have engaged a few armoured car companies , instead whole corps and thus saved France . And got reinforced by all those French Armies , too . Just like Kemal and Gallipoli , but nobody likes Turks . Might still have happened but for the rumours that the Germans had crossed the river on the first night after Germans arrived and that's what broke the French morale . This sentence really assumes that the French could reinforce airfields nearby and do something about the Stukas . Losing the river line was a terrible thing or something .


    tunisgrad is not comparable to Stalingrad in terms of German losses , but equally terrible for what happened to Luftwaffe's transport fleets . Ellis to the rescue : "What's surprising, perhaps, are the extravagant claims made about the significance of the victory, both at the time and since. Some particularly unperceptive English and American propagandists sought to compare the victory in Tunisia with that of the Stalingrad, and some fairly meaningless sets of figures were bandied about. The favourite comparison was between the 290,000 Axis troops killed or captured in 'Tunisgrad' and the 250,000 or so similarly accounted for at Stalingrad. A more meaningful comparison, however, is that between the numbers of German divisions destroyed in each battle. The records show that in North Africa the Germans lost [3 and one third] panzer divisions, 3 light divisions, one infantry division and some paratroopers. In the Stalingrad pocket were lost 3 panzer divisions, 3 motorized divisions, 1 Jaeger and thirteen infantry." The book has German divisions and thirteen in italics . You see , this guy wrote books before , one on the Monte Cassino and was about to do the usual salute to the heroism of the Allied troops against the murderously effective Germans and discovered the Allies were led nowhere at the level they could have been , a whole new lions and donkeys argument ending up as the Brute Force .


    but of course this is where the thread turns into the discussion of planes . There's no need for Allied planes to attack Germans on the ground , the fear of Spitfires escorting Shturmoviks is a German fear , based on the simple fact that they would do so , if they could . Not that Il-2 exists at that moment , you see ... But then the poor Battle might have gone the same way , with leading to Firefly , a nifty useful plane even if it was for carrier duty where one is rather limited for space . Armour instead of speed , but there can be many to argue for the Typhoon way with smaller fuselage , more power and more speed . Anyhow . All the Allied pilots have to do is going after a medal and shooting as many German planes as possible . There's so much talk of Allies developing the air-ground cooperation in Tunus , but the massacre of the Ju-52s over the Med required none of that staff work and fancy words . Apparently only 343 Germans came back after being sent to Africa for duty there . True dat in France of 1940 there's no reporting system , Radar and Observer Corps and hundred of miles of telephone lines to conduct them all , but whenever a German assault is taking place there's bound to be a gaggle of Luftwaffe planes around . Which do a lot for successful conclusion of an attack or defence . Stall the German operations and wait for the shipments from America to arrive and yet another bloodbath in France that will attrite both the "Frogs" and "Huns" . Or a ceasefire . Just don't forget to stab your newfound Nazi friends in the back as soon as they have captured Leningrad . You need an evocative place to re-introduce your White pals .
     
  17. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Deity

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    I looked some more in that UNION.
    PM Paul Reynaud did propose this UNION with UK to his cabinet on the evening of June 16.
    It was not only rejected, but he was forced to step down.
    He had not a strong position. He was a right wing economist and had good support from that, but most right wing people did not support his stance on war and Germany.
    They saw the Sovjet Union as the real enemy.

    During the night WW1 hero Petain was asked to take over. The next morning Petain said on the radio to the French people that the war should stop and he would give France the benefit of himself: "Je fais à la France le don de ma personne".
    The radio message was recepted very positively by the French people and all over France armed forces started to surrender.
    The Germans made between June 17 and the formal date of the armistice more POW than since the start of the war.

    France was a divided country and had not the stomach for a long lasting battle and certainly not for a "total war" where their cities would be bombed by the Germans.
    Just like Belgium and the Netherlands.
    War weariness of WW1 ?
    Anti communist feelings of a part of the population ?
    Sympathy for the fascist ideology of a part of the population ?

    I come more and more to the conclusion that Churchill did the right thing with pulling his troops back.
    A stronghold on the continent would be a risk. A stronghold behind the Channel and the North Sea was good defendable.
    That UNION fitted well in that strategic concept.
    No devastating war on France territory
    and buying time to get help of the USA and the waiting game on Germany declaring war on their ideological arch-enemy the communists.
     
  18. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    It was still cowardly of France, but as noted there was even more cowardice from Holland, Belgium, and Czechia before that. Afaik Czech had some tanks and defendable positions, but didn't want to have their precious Prague bombed, so surrendered without a fight. That isn't commendable at all. At least Poland did fight. Greece fought as well.
     
  19. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Deity

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    Amsterdam
    I agree fully about Holland (I am Dutch)

    The German army could run in fast over the solid ground in the eastern part of NL and had reached the zone of wetlands protecting the wealthiest and most populated area of NL in the west.
    Here a motorised army just sinks in the ground, and driving over the few roads and dykes is easy to defend with anti-tank.
    But it never came to that war, because the Germans had full air superiority.

    The bombing of Rotterdam and the threat to bomb Utrecht was apparently too much.
    To be fair: bear in mind the horror pictures of the, at that moment recently, bombing of Guernica in 1937 in Spain by the German Luftwaffe.

    Also for the Netherlands it was a mix of war weariness, pro-nationalist-fascist (10-20%) and anti-communist sentiments.
    The general sentiments in the Netherlands were anyway more pro-German than pro-British also because of the Boer Wars (1880 and 1900) in our former colony South-Africa where the British were the first to invent concentration camps to stow away the guerilla prisoners, our farming family from long ago.
     
    Kyriakos likes this.
  20. Gen.Mannerheim

    Gen.Mannerheim Grand Moff

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Whale Tail Island
    Rotterdam was bombed because the Netherlands were never expected to fight back.

    Originally, the OKH had settled on not invading the Dutch. The attack into the Low Countries was meant to draw the Allies into Belgium. The decision to take the Netherlands came from the Luftwaffe who wanted the Dutch airbases to assist in their planned attack on Britain. Thus the thrust into the Netherlands was less intricately planned, and excepting a para-unit had sub quality units assigned to the invasion. The Dutch army unsurprisingly preformed better than expected in the early days against this garbage attack. Hitler ordered the bombing of Rotterdam to hurry things along, knowing that they couldn't move over better units as the entire German Army was a little busy at the time.
     

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