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Old 02-03-2016, 03:01 AM
 
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I was wondering, even though Germany did have a program for young women it was mostly just to spread propaganda and instill in them the desire to have children and take care of family. But what if instead they had given them all combat training with guns and knives, etc.?

Do you think it could at least have held the Russians back a little longer? At the very least when the Russians invaded Berlin the women would have been able to have some kind of defense against the mass rapes and sexual assaults they caused. Imagine if when they were coming in women snipers shooting at them wherever they may be.
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Old 02-03-2016, 05:23 AM
 
Location: Finland
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No. On all fronts in 1944 the Germans lacked critically all equipment fighting a successful war. The Volkssturm was in itself a reckless waste of people which had no strategic value. Mobilising women would've created only more casualties.
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Old 02-03-2016, 06:21 AM
 
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No, it would not have made any difference, nor would it have prevented any attrocities from being committed. There would, however, have been more dead German women. You could also argue that it would have caused more attrocities.
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Old 02-03-2016, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proptop View Post
I was wondering, even though Germany did have a program for young women it was mostly just to spread propaganda and instill in them the desire to have children and take care of family. But what if instead they had given them all combat training with guns and knives, etc.?

Do you think it could at least have held the Russians back a little longer? At the very least when the Russians invaded Berlin the women would have been able to have some kind of defense against the mass rapes and sexual assaults they caused. Imagine if when they were coming in women snipers shooting at them wherever they may be.
What would have been the point? Eisenhower wasn't going to send Allied troops into Berlin to clean it out, so women fighters would have been as effective as the old men and boys that the Nazis did send against the Red Army, and no, armed women, especially snipers, would not have really been much of a defense against the mass rapes. The Red Army was out for vengeance against all Germans for all the horrors that Hitler visited upon them and theirs, and some snipers weren't going to stop them.
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Old 02-03-2016, 07:36 AM
 
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The tides of war are not always determined by man-(or woman)power. Logistics, equipment, materials, supply, morale, strategy and tactics are the deciding factors. Germany drafting woman into combat roles would simply mean lots of dead German woman.

Nor would mass rapes make a difference. Once these woman were disarmed and taken prisoner, what do you think there fate would be?
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:50 AM
 
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I read this book a few years ago. The author does mention Hitler's failure to use women was one of his mistakes.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hitlers-Mist.../dp/0688058213
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Old 02-03-2016, 12:03 PM
 
Location: southern kansas
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Originally Posted by Ariete View Post
No. On all fronts in 1944 the Germans lacked critically all equipment fighting a successful war. The Volkssturm was in itself a reckless waste of people which had no strategic value. Mobilising women would've created only more casualties.
Not to mention the lack of long range strategic planning by Hitler and his High Command. I don't think the lack of manpower was that much of a problem in the early & mid stages of the war. Bad planning, short-term tactical thinking as opposed to strategic planning, and trying to fight a long distance war with a basically tactical air force & inadequate logistical supply capability, were more of a factor than troop numbers... especially on the eastern front. Having women in combat roles wouldn't have made much difference, except to add to the numbers of killed & captured.
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Old 02-03-2016, 12:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ulsterman View Post
I read this book a few years ago. The author does mention Hitler's failure to use women was one of his mistakes.

Hitler's Mistakes: Amazon.co.uk: Ronald Lewin: 9780688058210: Books
Yeah but Hitler, more accurately the Axis fighting in the European theater, had plenty of manpower - not only Germans and Italians, but Romanians (Romania alone had almost one million soldiers fighting for the Axis), Austrians, Hungarians, Bulgarians, Yogoslavia, Croatia...later on they had Vichy France and forces, including SS divisions, from just about every occupied European country...Finland was fighting Russia....some of these countries changed sides as they in turn were occupied by Allied forces.

By the time manpower loss became an issue, the end was already decided and no amount of manpower would have changed things. The manpower loss that hurt Germany was in there best skilled and battle experienced troops, which are invaluable and unreplaceable. Germany was left to drafting boys and old men, inexperienced garrison troops, and they were just cannon fodder. Likewise, its co-belligerent forces (Romania, Italy, etc) did not really fight well.

Now, perhaps, a difference could have been made if back in the mid-30's Hitler had instituted a program of training and drafting all woman of fighting age, training them, putting them into battle at the start of hostilities. But such actions are really impractical for a country at peace. By the time war broke out and losses mounted up on the Russian front, it was too late.
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Old 02-03-2016, 01:17 PM
 
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Hitler, Nazi and German military scoffed at the USA entering the war especially the part about American women as part of the war effort. That is their taking not only military (or quasi/supporting) positions but entering the workforce to replace men that were in military and or to increase the labor supply. They called American women "pampered" (we assume they were only speaking of a certain demographic, mainly white middle and above classes) , and wouldn't be up to the effort. How wrong they were.....


Arming a bunch of German women at the last minute would have been useless against the advancing Russian military. Even the lowest of Russian solider would have had more training with a gun or rifle than newly armed German females. As noted giving arms to what males that were left in Germany (those too old or young, maimed or whatever other reason kept them out of the military) did little good. In some instances they *might* have slowed down advancing Russians, but that was about all.


IIRC Germany wouldn't have had the necessary amount of then modern guns and ammunition in sufficient numbers to arm remaining civilians.


As for the rapes (which by the way all Allied forces got into the act, though the Russian military took the largest blame), the fact German women were actively participating in warfare may have been used to justify any cruel treatment later. Not saying this is correct, and lord knows there was little sympathy for German women and girls regardless, but there you are.
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Old 02-05-2016, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Type 0.7 Kardashev
10,577 posts, read 6,827,947 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proptop View Post
I was wondering, even though Germany did have a program for young women it was mostly just to spread propaganda and instill in them the desire to have children and take care of family. But what if instead they had given them all combat training with guns and knives, etc.?

Do you think it could at least have held the Russians back a little longer? At the very least when the Russians invaded Berlin the women would have been able to have some kind of defense against the mass rapes and sexual assaults they caused. Imagine if when they were coming in women snipers shooting at them wherever they may be.
A difference? Sure. More people - most of them Germans - would have died. Would it have changed the outcome of the war. Not in any significant way.

It is worth noting that Hitler was very conservative when it came to the roles of women on German society. Goebbels pursued a long and frustrating campaign to get Hitler to commit Germany to total war. He wanted, for example, to expand the industrial labor force to include women, understanding that a great deal of potential labor was going untapped. Hitler finally came around on that point after Stalingrad. Given that he dragged his feet that long on simply women working in factories, he wasn't likely to pull the trigger (so to speak) and any significant deployment of women in combat roles.
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