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Old 08-12-2010, 03:36 PM
 
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I mean how did they have enough people to fight on all fronts and to do what they did? What was the population, like 40 million at the time?
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Old 08-12-2010, 04:33 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
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Well they didn't do it; they lost.

They got as far as they did because they had the most efficient army and air force at first and because they had unity of purpose. Also blame early blunders by their enemies; especially the French and Soviet governments.
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Old 08-12-2010, 06:31 PM
 
Location: Aloverton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarveytheRabbit View Post
I mean how did they have enough people to fight on all fronts and to do what they did? What was the population, like 40 million at the time?
Well, they forced a lot of conquered people into slave labor, and forced or enticed many more into the military. A surprising percentage of the troops facing the Allies in Normandy were Russian. Also, several countries conquered by Germany had numerous Volkdeutsche, German speakers who in effect added to the overall population base. I think, though, that even in the Waffen SS something like 1/3 who served were Slavic, Asiatic, Baltic, etc.
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Old 08-12-2010, 07:34 PM
 
Location: 304
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I was just thinking of this same topic today

It is amazing to think of how powerful of a force the Germans were, but fell due to misplaced priorities
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Old 08-12-2010, 08:00 PM
 
Location: New York City
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Not sure if the population of Austria and Sudetenland is included in te 70 million.

Also, Germany didn't fight alone. Italy, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Finland, Slovakia, Croatia together provided a considerable number of troops (even if they were of second rate quality). This is of course besides the Hiwis, collaborators, POWs in labor camps etc.

What is more surprising is that Germany didn't use the full potential of its manpower until it was too late and the war was basically lost.
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Old 08-13-2010, 07:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by j_k_k View Post
Well, they forced a lot of conquered people into slave labor, and forced or enticed many more into the military. A surprising percentage of the troops facing the Allies in Normandy were Russian. Also, several countries conquered by Germany had numerous Volkdeutsche, German speakers who in effect added to the overall population base. I think, though, that even in the Waffen SS something like 1/3 who served were Slavic, Asiatic, Baltic, etc.
This explains it pretty well; the Germans had help from conquered peoples in Eastern Europe, and of course, Italy was on their side for the bulk of the war.

Germany's biggest mistake was attacking Russia, obviously. One can only imagine what kind of force would have been facing the Allies as they approached D-Day if the Germans hadn't been fighting on the Eastern Front.
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Old 08-13-2010, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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The denial mentality of the western allies was a huge contributing factor to Hitler's early success. England and France, the victors of WW I, were horrified by the idea of a rerun of that grand scale calamity, so their thinking was that Germany, the loser in that war, must be even more horrified by the idea of relaunching those hostilities. They continued to delude themselves that German ambitions were limited and they could not embrace the idea that Germany would be willing to restage WW I on an even larger scale, to restore what they saw as their rightful place as the leading European nation.

Hitler prospered for the same reasons that so many brigands and marauders have triumphed....right up until the last moment, the victims just couldn't believe that the opposition was going to be as cruel and unfeeling as it turned out to be.
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:53 AM
 
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Bascailly Hitler made his first mistake in starting the war four years earler than plan which left his navy complete unprepared. He misjusgded the french and british. He alos did not contemplate the ari defense whcih was britains only real success early i teh war.Actaully lookig at europe its was bascailly destroyed and bankrupt; both winners and losers before the war even ended.looking at just troop growth and massive prodcutio figures the war was bascailly over when the USA got into the war.A example was that by the end of the war the USA had more ships than all other navies in the world combined just the pacfic war. Its air plae prodcution was like 80,000 just for the pacific.It never saw fit to even prodcuce the super fortress for the european war.
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Old 08-13-2010, 05:09 PM
Status: "Trump got Punked" (set 8 days ago)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarveytheRabbit View Post
I mean how did they have enough people to fight on all fronts and to do what they did? What was the population, like 40 million at the time?
I was also thinking about this the other night as I was reading a book by John Toland about WWI.

I do not have the book in front of me, but he noted that by the end of the Great War the nation of Germany had lost close to 4 percent of its total population (around 65 million I believe).

From other sources I see that the Germans mobilized 11 million men; of these, almost 6 million were killed or wounded (1.7 million killed, the rest wounded). Out of a total population of 65 million that is a lot of the 'service eligible' men who were killed. France also suffered horrific numbers killed and wounded (indeed, an even higher percentage than the Germans).

So, at the end of WWI a significant number of male Germans, of fighting age, were either killed or incapacitated. WWII started, in earnest, 20 years, or one generation, later. The Germans, as we know, managed to field a fair number of men to fight (as the war drew to a close, the age eligibility rose to include pretty old men). France (as well as other countries) also managed to find men to send out to fight.

It does seem that Nature, or whatever you wish to call it, manages to re-populate a stricken population.

We have all heard of the Baby Boomers, due to the utter explosion of births occuring after WWII in the USA (1946 to 1964 is generally regarded as the 'baby boom' age). Thus in Germany. From what I have read over the years, the number of births in Germany (and France, etc) also 'boomed' after the end of WWI. Those surviving veterans came back home ready to get married and have babies, and the waiting women were ready. Does 'nature' make such women more fertile? Or is it simply 'the more you do the greater the chance of pregnancy' apply? Who can say for sure.

Anyway, by the time WWII began in earnest, there were plenty of young men available to answer the call. It is an interesting question and thought.

A short personal note: I drove around West Germany in 1980 for a few weeks. It was sobering to see the number of men, obviously vets from WWII, in the streets lacking an arm or leg, or even eyes. I guess if I were to return today they would be mostly gone. My father, a rather young WWII vet (he entered the Army in 1944 and served in the European theater in the Third Army) died last year age 84. The number of WWII vets is growing less and less, day by day. I think it interesting that the very last WWI vet (one whom actually fought) died not too long ago.
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Old 08-13-2010, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Your population takes a far worse blow if something suddenly kills a large percentage of your young women. It is less damaging to lose your young males. It is the mathematics of biology. While the rooster can service a multitude of hens, the hens require only one rooster. The remaining human males of reproductive age,(which is far longer than a woman's) can match the semen output of male population before a percentage of them were wiped out. They simply need to incorporate a wider array of targets.

Thus, while Germany lost 4% of its population in WW I, because those losses were overwhelmingly male, it did not suffer at all in terms of its ability to grow replacements.
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