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Old 06-01-2011, 11:59 AM
 
Location: TMI
416 posts, read 301,760 times
Reputation: 230

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Quote:
Originally Posted by stan4 View Post
I'll never understand that...

It's like the USC losers saying at the 2005 Rose Bowl..."Oh, yeah? Well, we were the better team!" Well, then...why did you lose?
Being better does not mean you will win 100% of the time. There are circumstances where you still will not win.
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:33 PM
 
Location: New York City
2,790 posts, read 4,491,375 times
Reputation: 1770
Quote:
Originally Posted by stan4 View Post
I'll never understand that...

It's like the USC losers saying at the 2005 Rose Bowl..."Oh, yeah? Well, we were the better team!" Well, then...why did you lose?
Suppose the losing team has better players but the winning team has twice as many players on the field.
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:03 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
13,488 posts, read 14,374,196 times
Reputation: 29389
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMarbles View Post
Suppose the losing team has better players but the winning team has twice as many players on the field.
That is an apt and concise answer to Stan4's analogy about two football teams. It accurately reflects the reality on the ground during the European portion of World War II. The American industrial production capacity out-produced the German and the Soviet manpower reserves were so much greater than the German and Stalin didn't care about trying to minimize his own casualties. So not only did the allies have more players on the field, but they had more tanks, more planes and more of everything. Even in the west, Allied manpower gradually was ascendant; consider that the British, Canadian, and American ground armies that we hear about most were supplemented by various Polish and French units and even units of other nationalities.
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Old 06-01-2011, 05:15 PM
 
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
653 posts, read 824,995 times
Reputation: 443
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wallbanger View Post
We lost Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq, too. We still had the better troops.
Maybe you lost Vietnam but, Afghanistan and Iraq are a completely and pretty much harder wars to fight on.

Vietnam was more like a traditional war, you could tell the difference between vietcongs and civilians(even though there were citizens engaged on, but they were only a few); now the last 2 ones seem more as endless wars. The soldier can't tell which one is a citizen or an insurgent. Danger is anywhere, anytime, they can't take it easy only for a few minutes, because that could be enough to a terrorist waiting inside a bomb-car, truck... There's no way to get protection and safetiness before that situation. Green zone in Baghdad doesn't work, Kandahar region is a no-man's land. As we see, it isn't a matter of who has the best ground troops, but it requires a lot of intel service(which CIA couldn't provide most of time), what would be essencial to win any war from now on.
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Old 06-05-2011, 10:05 PM
 
Location: NC, USA
7,089 posts, read 11,692,829 times
Reputation: 3946
Quote:
Originally Posted by ricardobrazil View Post
Vietnam was more like a traditional war, you could tell the difference between vietcongs and civilians
AHHHHH, I take it you like fiction!!
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:46 AM
 
8 posts, read 6,219 times
Reputation: 16
The Germans also used combined arms. The full integration of air and ground forces were devastating. Germany had been at it for a while as well. Not to mention, they were usually fortified, and had better equipment. The Germans were definitely noted as good fighters. I wish I knew more. I didn"t know our artillery was so respected.
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Old 06-05-2011, 11:04 AM
 
Location: São Paulo, Brazil
653 posts, read 824,995 times
Reputation: 443
Quote:
Originally Posted by kvinnie View Post
The Germans also used combined arms. The full integration of air and ground forces were devastating. Germany had been at it for a while as well. Not to mention, they were usually fortified, and had better equipment. The Germans were definitely noted as good fighters. I wish I knew more. I didn"t know our artillery was so respected.
I'm surprised you're not mentioning V-2 rockets. They were a fearfully threat to England and France. I think if Einstein hadn't gone to America and wasn't a Jewish, Germans would have destroyed and anihillated all Europe with Atomic bombs. He died in regret for what he'd helped creating.
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:49 PM
 
Location: New York City
2,790 posts, read 4,491,375 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricardobrazil View Post
I'm surprised you're not mentioning V-2 rockets. They were a fearfully threat to England and France. I think if Einstein hadn't gone to America and wasn't a Jewish, Germans would have destroyed and anihillated all Europe with Atomic bombs. He died in regret for what he'd helped creating.
V2 Rockets were little more than scare tactics and had a negligible effect on the war itself. Also Einstein wasn't really involved in building the Atomic bomb. The United States developed it first because it was willing to spend - and had available - the colossal resources to build it.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:49 AM
 
14,660 posts, read 30,649,095 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMarbles View Post
V2 Rockets were little more than scare tactics and had a negligible effect on the war itself. Also Einstein wasn't really involved in building the Atomic bomb. The United States developed it first because it was willing to spend - and had available - the colossal resources to build it.
Very good point. There is much evidence that shows the Germans had the knowledge to build an atomic bomb. What they lacked was good raw material (the best uranium sources in the world were in the Belgian Congo, Canada and the United States and they were all in Allied hands) and the massive amount of infrastructure needed to refine the material and built a bomb.

The Manhattan Project dedicated less than 10% of its funding to actually building the weapon and that is often seen as the easy part. Indeed German scientists captured after the war and upon hearing of the bombings in Japan openly discussed exactly how the Allies did it. What the major feat of the Manhattan Project was involved the development of the extensive infrastructure and power generation necessary to refine the available ore to weapons grade. Those refinement developments are what made the bomb possible and it was simply well outside of the capabilities of almost any nation at the time save the United States to do it.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:42 AM
 
14,660 posts, read 30,649,095 times
Reputation: 13890
Quote:
Originally Posted by kvinnie View Post
The Germans also used combined arms. The full integration of air and ground forces were devastating. Germany had been at it for a while as well. Not to mention, they were usually fortified, and had better equipment. The Germans were definitely noted as good fighters. I wish I knew more. I didn"t know our artillery was so respected.
I find a lot of people focus on Germany at their peak and try to apply that to the rest of the war. Certainly the Germans used combined arms tactics to great effect early in the war, but that ability pretty much ceased to exist as the war dragged on. By 1942/43 the style of warfare used early in the war was simply not possible. German tactics relied heavily upon air superiority and that advantage was universally lost early in the war. A big reason for this was the constant drain of fighters needed to defend Germany proper, which made it possible for the Allies to gain battlefield air superiority.

Further German artillery while similarly deployed to the American and British style had a very different command and control structure. Artillery requests could not be made directly by engaged units. The orders had to pass through the overall command structure before being authorized and relayed to the artillery. It is ironic that in the early stages of the war embedded Luftwaffe coordinators could direct air strikes almost at will, but the local ground commander could not directly call for artillery support. The Germans also focused heavily on counter-battery fire setting that as the engagement priority.

Also, much is made of the German mechanized forces, but these represented a very small percentage of the overall force. 90% of German infantry travelled by foot or bicycle. Only 40% of units had any form of mechanisation. The vast majority of units were heavily reliant upon draft animals, particularly horses and these were almost the exclusive means of moving around their artillery and anti-tank weapons.

On the armored front, most focus on the Tiger and Panther variants and hold them up as examples of superior weaponry. In the opening stages of the war, the Germans were universally reliant upon the light Panzer I and II's and the light-medium Panzer III's, which were no better than other nations tanks (actually most were considered inferior to Allied tanks of the time). As the war progressed, the most common tank was the Panzer IV, which was adapted from its infantry support role into a tank fighter. In practical terms it was only marginally better than the American Sherman and inferior to the British Firefly and later Soviet T-34 variants. Even when the Panther and Tiger were brought into service, there were only small numbers available and both suffered from major mechanical issues.

I would also argue the idea of "superior" equipment. While German arms were quite good, I think it is a stretch to say it was superior to what the Allies had. The best example of superior is the German infantry machine gun and it's variants which were quite excellent. However, individual infantry weapons often composed of bolt action rifles. The "better" weapons like the Stg44 came about very late in the war and while quite good were produced in limited numbers. The average German platoon even with its excellent machine guns had a much lower rate of fire, particularly on the offensive than Allied units. By comparison, many German units in Normandy often mistook a single American platoon for an entire company based on the rate of fire American units could achieve with their weapons.

None of that detracts from the fact that German soldiers were very good, if anything looking at the reality of their arms versus the perception of their arms actually reinforces that point. Personally, of the major combatants of WW2, I would probably agree that the Germans were the "best".
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