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Did Nazi Germany have the greatest armed forces in history?

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by Vet, Aug 4, 2008.

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  1. Vet

    Vet Dishonorably Discharged

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    When you look at their equipment, the skill of their soldiers, and their tactics I can't help but to think how powerful they were. It took many nations to defeat them. I know this is a very broad question but I believe it is worth discussing.
     
  2. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Rogues,

    Be judicious with replies to this oft discussed subject and keep you comments between the ditches.
     
  3. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    No, Nazi Germany did not come close to the most powerful military of their era nor within history. Some of the most powerful militaries of history include:

    The Mongols. They nearly were successful in conqueroring the known world.
    The Romans. Tactically not the most proficient or vicious but their strategic ability was a world beater.
    On a smaller scale the armies of Edward III. He had one of the most impressive string of victories in European history and, he won virtually all of them heavily outnumbered. At Dupplin Moor he was outnumbered almost 10 to 1!
    And of course, the US: During WW 2 the US became the sole power capable of projecting useful, massive, military power to any point on Earth. The Germans couldn't match this at any point. The US made multiple amphibious assaults of multiple divisions in size throughout the war. Without having the Pacific War to fight too the US and Commonwealth could have landed as many as 12 divisions on D-Day. The US carrier fleet alone had more aircraft aboard ship in 1944 than the Luftwaffe could muster up.
    Even today the US is still the most impressive military on the planet, like it or not.

    As for the Germans:
    The defeated Poland mostly by overwhelming force of arms. The Germans greatly outnumbered the Poles both in manpower and equipment. The Germans then took Norway by a hair. In the process they lost virtually their entire fleet. But, they were also facing very limited and marginally capable opposition. They then defeated France (and the low countries). France fell mainly due to their own pathetic doctrine in the field. Lack of depth and resolution once the Germans cut their forces in Belgium off left the French no time to adopt effective tactics on a useful scale.
    After that they had a moderately successful campaign in the Balklans. Yugoslavia proved to be an impossible thorn to remove from their side.
    From this point on Germany was finished. The were unable to defeat Britain a sea power due to their lack of the same. They could not finish off the Soviet Union another large land power, they simply lacked the resources to do it.

    Note also, that post the fall of France that no German infantry division was ever operationally successful on the offensive against their Western (US / UK) counterparts with one exception: 18th VG versus 106th ID in the Ardennes.

    In equipment their best was as good as any in the world. Problem was it was rarely available and even then usually only in limited numbers. Instead, they usually had to make do with inferior or obsolesent equipment, captures, or substitutes. This is true on land, at sea, and in the air.

    Had the Western Allies been more willing to trade lives for ground the Germans likely would have been defeated as much as a year to 18 months earlier in the West.

    You might want to peruse this thread too: http://www.ww2f.com/weapons-wwii/24098-high-tech-german-military.html
     
  4. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    I agree Jeff. It has been hashed about over and over. I suggest that Vet check out the various threads created about the German armed forces. The simple answer is NO.
     
  5. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    I believe the Red Army post WW2 most certainly deserves a mention.

    In 1946 the Red Army was by far the largest and the most experienced the world has ever seen.
     
  6. Vet

    Vet Dishonorably Discharged

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    I agree and I don't think the U.S. could have defeated the Red Army and I believe they knew that too.
     
  7. Seadog

    Seadog Member

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    No, they had surprise and a little experience on their side to start with, but by 1943, all the others had gotten up to speed and surpassed them. The Russians taught the Germans what true blitz was in 1944. Even so, I think the US had the best military at the time. Much of what the Russians accomplished was due to Allied help. They had the tanks and many of the aircraft needed, but still relied on Studebaker trucks and Aircobras. With what the US had on tap, they would have the manufacturing edge. Luckily, there was no need to find out.
     
  8. Hufflepuff

    Hufflepuff Semi-Frightening Mountain Goat

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    No, not the best. Strong, but not strong enough. Definitely not the best in history.

    I would suggest, if you were trying to find the greatest armed force in history, look at the Assyrians, Romans, Macedonians (Under Alexander the Great), or other armies in that field.
     
  9. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    And yet another subject beaten to death and the love of some "What If"'ers LOL
     
  10. Vet

    Vet Dishonorably Discharged

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    Don't be critical. It's a message board and not all of us have been here that long. Provide a link to that thread so I can get some opinions.
     
  11. Mortman2004

    Mortman2004 Dishonorably Discharged

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    THe Salvation Army is far greater and more powerful... AND NOBODY HATES THEM lol
     
  12. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Did Nazi Germany have the greatest armed forces in history? No.

    Did they have the greatest propaganda genius since Ramsess II? Yes.
     
  13. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    One word.....

    LOGISTICS!
     
  14. Hufflepuff

    Hufflepuff Semi-Frightening Mountain Goat

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    Good point
     
  15. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    LOGISTICS? LOGISTICS? We don't need no stinkin' LOGISTICS! LOL.

    LIke I have said before. There are Quite a few threads debunking the myths of the German military.
     
  16. clems

    clems Member

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    armed forces = navy + Air force + army

    army: they were the best until 1943, then they began to collapse while the US army and Red army became more and more powerful.

    Navy: in 1940 even, they were no match against neither the french nvay nor the royal navy. The US, italian and japanese navies were better too.

    Air force: they won the battle of france with huge casualties, lost in britain, lost the aerial supremacy on both major fronts then.

    And the german soldiers were neithersuperior nor inferior to they counterparts, just quite equal :
    -Even after 43, the german managed to be fierce soldiers.Notice the casualties of the red army, the battle for Caen (the brits and canadians did have a lot of difficulty), market-garden.
    -On the other hand, the french and poles proved superior at monte cassino, in the falaise gap, they had much casualties. In fact, after normandy, i think the quality of the german soldiers on the western front went deteriorating: in the ardennes, the US proved superior, the colmar pocket was cleared by the franco-american with much more loss for the germans, and in the Ruhr, they loss so much prisonners...Not to mention the entire western germany campaign in 1945 were neither the anglo-canadian in the north, nor the americans in the centre and the franco-americans in the south faced huge resistance, unlike the red army in some points.

    The quality if the soldier often depends of the situation: in 1916, the french soldiers stood brillantly, in 1940, their moral deteriorated more quickly. But four years later, in 1944, they proceeded brillantly in Italy... And the italian soldiers were very brave and strong during WW I (unlike what the legend tells to us, mainly because of Caporetto...Well, i would have surrender too if i have had the same commanders that the italian during this battle), and in WW II, they weren't cowards but they had a low moral (just see the number of prisonners)...But still some of them fought very bravely.
     
  17. dgmitchell

    dgmitchell Ace

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    In 1946 the Red Army did not have the A-Bomb and the US military did. I think that trumps the strength of the Red Army. US Technology could have destroyed the Red Army, don't you think? The results might have been apocalyptic, but they would have been decisive in the favor of the US.
     
  18. TheRedBaron

    TheRedBaron Ace

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    THEY LOST.

    Nuff said.
     
  19. Vet

    Vet Dishonorably Discharged

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    That is the only way the U.S. would have stopped the Red Army had they decided they wanted all of Europe. I believe that without nukes it would have been difficult to contain the USSR right up until the fall of their empire.
     
  20. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    This has been discussed in the "What If?" forum. The subject is about the German armed forces of which the answer is till NO.
     
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