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Old 01-02-2019, 05:32 AM
 
Location: London
3,952 posts, read 3,409,344 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScoPro View Post
We didn’t run out of carriers as I listed. You should say “ ran short of carriers” (for a few months) and you would be correct. Yes, we needed all the help we could get in 1942 in the Pacific, and the UK & its Commonwealth nations graciously responded.

But I guess according to you the soviets didn’t really need anything the US gave them? Even Zhukov later admitted the US supplied war materiel was a major help to their effort, as was that of the other allies.

It is generally acknowledged over here that the US tanks were inferior tin cans compared to Soviet, German, and Brit armor. I ought to know, as my father commanded a tank regiment in the 2nd Armored Division in the postwar years.

All things said, I am not one of those who thinks the US “won the war”, but we certainly did affect the outcome on most fronts.
The U.S. was down to one operational carrier. The British loaned a carrier, painted in dark U.S. Navy grey operating planes with U.S. markings. The idea of painting the ship was so the Japanese would not think the U.S. was short of carriers - an assist and bluff. When HMS Victorious docked in the U.S. to be painted, the U.S. officials were eager to give her the once over. They were particularly interested in the air control room, where carrier and land based planes were controlled from one point. The U.S. Navy adopted the control room on all their future carriers, changing the Essex class carriers under construction.

I go by facts. The U.S. supplied about 10% to the British, mainly raw materials, and 5% to the USSR. If you read and listen to Americans you would think the U.S. supplied 90% of everything.

Yes, the U.S. relied on one infantry tank with a poor 75mm gun, which was a disgrace when you look at the scale of U.S. manufacturing. Montgomery was in charge of all ground forces in Normandy, who gave the U.S. armies an infantry role as their armour and doctrine he thought not up to facing massed top rated German armour. U.S. forces only faced about forty assault guns and some obsolete French tanks until the German Mortain counter-attack. According to U.S. armour historian Steven Zaloga, the U.S. only ever faced 3 three Tiger 1 tanks in all of WW2 in a tank v tank. The British faced the brunt of German armour destroying 90% of it.
"And then in August of course the breakout operations, so US tanks are running like wild through Brittany, through France to Paris and there are scattered encounters with German tanks but on a very small scale."

"The first time the US has a really big tank on tank encounter with German armor is Arracourt, the fighting in Lorraine in September of 1944. Fourth Armored Division is confronted by a few of the new German Panzer Brigades. And that’s a lopsided victory on the US side."
- Zaloga
https://tankandafvnews.com/2015/01/27/zaloga_interview/

Last edited by John-UK; 01-02-2019 at 07:00 AM..

 
Old 01-02-2019, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
5,135 posts, read 3,280,989 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John-UK View Post
What I wrote was clear: The British continually fought the Japanese all through the war on land, the U.S. never. If you know the history and timeline of WW2 you will know that after the initial Japanese successes, the USA never fought them on land resorting to naval warfare. Only when the U.S. went small island hopping did they resume fighting Japanese ground troops. The British fought them on the ground from 7 December 1941 until they surrendered. In Fact, the Japanese attacked the British a few hours before the U.S.
Maybe your sentence has a different meaning in British English, I don't know. But in American English, what it's saying is that The USA never fought the Japanese on land. And that is 100 percent false. In fact, the US was fighting the Japanese on land, somewhere, during the great majority of the conflict. To my immediate recollection, the largest gap would be the time between when Corregidor fell and when the Guadalcanal invasion began, which was only a few months.
 
Old 01-02-2019, 11:52 AM
 
Location: London
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bus man View Post
Maybe your sentence has a different meaning in British English, I don't know. But in American English, what it's saying is that The USA never fought the Japanese on land. And that is 100 percent false. In fact, the US was fighting the Japanese on land, somewhere, during the great majority of the conflict. To my immediate recollection, the largest gap would be the time between when Corregidor fell and when the Guadalcanal invasion began, which was only a few months.
I do not want to labour a pedantic point. What I wrote was clear in any sort of English. The U.S.A. did not continually fight the Japanese on the ground (boots on the ground) in WW2. That is a plain fact. The British inflicted 62,000 casualties on the Japanese at Imphal and Kohima - the largest casualties the Japanese had ever suffered in their history to that point. End of sub topic.
 
Old 01-02-2019, 11:53 AM
 
30,514 posts, read 15,642,236 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John-UK View Post
My vote for best general of WW2 goes to Montgomery.
Not a bad candidate, but Slim - unlike Montgomery - had to completely reverse the thinking of his army. In 1940, the Commonwealth forces in Burma thought of the jungle as an unsurmountable obstacle, criss-crossed by narrow roads - and whoever held the roads, held the terrain. The Japanese maneuvered through the jungle and forced unit after unit to withdraw. Slim took his lumps, applied the hard-earned lessons, made his entire Army rethink their way of fighting - then repaid the Japanese who'd thought him so well, with interest. Once he went on the offensive, the Commonwealth forces were quite at home in the jungle, they traveled light and time after time popped up in places where the Japanese would really rather they hadn't been.

In the process, he had his staff work out an entirely new logistics setup. The idea of keeping a major fighting force supplied by airdrops for weeks on end - on purpose - was untested.

OTOH, Montgomery's campaigns were, to my way of thinking, extremely well-executed examples of what careful planning and diligent staff work can do - but he didn't break new ground to the same extent.

If you'll pardon a simile, Montgomery was like a Grand Master at chess. Methodical, several moves ahead, no mad dashes or crazy surprises. Grind the opponent down one piece at a time. Slim looked at the board, realized he was in trouble, and forced a rule change. Suddenly his pieces moved in different ways.

Of course, no one has ever asked me to lead anything larger than a platoon, so...
 
Old 01-02-2019, 03:00 PM
 
Location: San Diego CA
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Yes. But letís not forget Orde Wingate and his Chindits down on the ground moving through supposedly impenetrable jungle terrain and beating the Japanese at their own game. He was an eccentric and not necessarily popular with his own troops. But he pioneered jungle warfare from a Western perspective. His death in an airplane crash was a significant loss to British forces.
 
Old 01-02-2019, 05:54 PM
 
Location: London
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dane_in_LA View Post
Not a bad candidate, but Slim - unlike Montgomery - had to completely reverse the thinking of his army. In 1940, the Commonwealth forces in Burma thought of the jungle as an unsurmountable obstacle, criss-crossed by narrow roads - and whoever held the roads, held the terrain. The Japanese maneuvered through the jungle and forced unit after unit to withdraw. Slim took his lumps, applied the hard-earned lessons, made his entire Army rethink their way of fighting - then repaid the Japanese who'd thought him so well, with interest. Once he went on the offensive, the Commonwealth forces were quite at home in the jungle, they traveled light and time after time popped up in places where the Japanese would really rather they hadn't been.

In the process, he had his staff work out an entirely new logistics setup. The idea of keeping a major fighting force supplied by airdrops for weeks on end - on purpose - was untested.

OTOH, Montgomery's campaigns were, to my way of thinking, extremely well-executed examples of what careful planning and diligent staff work can do - but he didn't break new ground to the same extent.

If you'll pardon a simile, Montgomery was like a Grand Master at chess. Methodical, several moves ahead, no mad dashes or crazy surprises. Grind the opponent down one piece at a time. Slim looked at the board, realized he was in trouble, and forced a rule change. Suddenly his pieces moved in different ways.

Of course, no one has ever asked me to lead anything larger than a platoon, so...
Slim was special of course with me, also with you, in having him up with the best. The forgotten army and general. You are 100% correct in that he changed the doctrine of the troops. He made the British better jungle fighters than the Japanese. Japan, like Britain, and many of its empire troops, had no jungles. So the Japanese were no naturals in jungles, only adapting to the situation they were in.

Zhukov is in contention of course. Unfortunately, no U.S. general came near to the three of: Slim, Zhukov and Montgomery. Yamash1ta who was the man who took Singapore was good, but over-stretched his supply lines, as did Rommel on many occasions. Many German generals were over-rated, as they had well trained troops with a good doctrine which made them look better.

I say Montgomery because his record is there for all to see. Opinions do not matter, only results. As to the opinions of Monty being cautious, I take you to his proposed 40 division thrust into Germany after Normandy, which Eisenhower rejected who went for a ridiculous broad-front strategy. Although another topic, it was foolish to put Eisenhower in command of all ground forces. He did not have the experience.

Montgomery outlined his ideas on future strategy in a letter to the Chief of Staff Alanbrooke. He suggested the two Army Groups, the U.S. 12th and the British 21st, should: ‘keep together as a solid mass of forty divisions, which would be so strong that it need fear nothing.’ This force would advance northwards with the 21st Army Group on the western flank to clear the Channel coast, the Pas de Calais, West Flanders, and secure the vital port of Antwerp and south Holland before moving across the Rhine in the north and so to the Ruhr. The U.S. 12th Army Group would form the eastern flank of this manoeuvre and move with their right flank on the Ardennes, being directed via the Aachen Gap towards Cologne and the Rhine. The move would lead to a pincer-like thrust on the Ruhr, the industrial centre of the German Reich.

I would not say the above was cautious. It was actually common sense when looking at the situation in late August/early Sept 1944. Chase a defeated army to its industrial strong point, supplying the military ending the war quickly.

Montgomery's approach was confirmed after the war in interviews with the senior surviving German commanders, von Rundstedt, Student, Blumentritt and Rommel’s former chief of staff, General Speidel. They were unanimous in declaring that a full thrust would have succeeded in crossing the Rhine and might have ended the war in 1944, since the Germans had no means of stopping such a thrust reaching the Ruhr.

Last edited by John-UK; 01-02-2019 at 06:02 PM..
 
Old 01-02-2019, 06:01 PM
 
Location: London
3,952 posts, read 3,409,344 times
Reputation: 1691
Quote:
Originally Posted by msgsing View Post
Yes. But letís not forget Orde Wingate and his Chindits down on the ground moving through supposedly impenetrable jungle terrain and beating the Japanese at their own game. He was an eccentric and not necessarily popular with his own troops. But he pioneered jungle warfare from a Western perspective. His death in an airplane crash was a significant loss to British forces.
I did mention Wingate. He dispelled the myth of the Japanese being invincible troops in jungles. The Chindits attacked the Japanese from all sides in the jungle. This was a great morale boosting effect on British forces ready to move into the jungles, with a negative affect on Japanese. The Chindits were very quick to counter-attack. They outfought the Japanese, who were frightened of meeting them.
 
Old 01-03-2019, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
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Well then, I guess the US didnít do much according to John, so we might as well have stayed out of the Big Fight.
 
Old 01-03-2019, 06:26 PM
 
30,514 posts, read 15,642,236 times
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John-UK, I am not going to quibble over nominating Montgomery - it's like trying to decide if a pole vaulter or a marathon runner is the best athlete, there's no settling it.
 
Old Yesterday, 07:16 AM
 
Location: London
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dane_in_LA View Post
John-UK, I am not going to quibble over nominating Montgomery - it's like trying to decide if a pole vaulter or a marathon runner is the best athlete, there's no settling it.
Just look at Montgomery's record, no western general comes close. US generals, who were only colonels only a few years previously, not liking Montgomery abrasive ways should be discounted.

Robin Neillands in The Battle for the Rhine 1944 covers Montgomery well. He says, command in war is not a popularity contest. He points out that Montgomery’s unpopularity with certain U.S. generals appears constantly in the histories of the period and was, apparently, a factor in the conduct of the campaign and questions of command. It is therefore important to separate the character of Montgomery from his professional expertise: it is more than probable the former aroused American hostility and the latter aroused American jealousy. Neillands emphasises Montgomery had seen more service than all the US generals put together, not troubling to conceal the fact that he regarded some of them - but by no means all of them - as amateurs.

Last edited by John-UK; Yesterday at 08:00 AM..
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