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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. TheRedBaron

    TheRedBaron Ace

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    ..and it was still nothing to do with German tanks. The Panzer I,II,III were all inferior in terms of armour and gun to French counterparts and none had the resilience of the Matilda or the speed of the cruisers.

    What they had was radios...

    You point is also flawed as Germany was in no position to attack the USSR till 1941 by which time T-34s had been rolling off the production lines for a while. Even older Soviet varients, the BT-7, would give most German tanks in 1941 a run for their money. Add in the KV-1 and you have a completely unbalanced situtation. Germany was in no way suprior to the Soviets in gun/armour in 1941. They did not outclass the French in 1940.

    The Germans had better communications. Plus the Soviet unwillingness to deploy large bodies of armour also helped...
     
  2. TheRedBaron

    TheRedBaron Ace

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    What a load of crap...

    Please... Napoleons Imperial Guard ever only really fought one engagement en masse at Waterloo, despite a few showings in Eylau, Borodino and comparing slow moving 19th century warfare to WW2 is utterly ridiculous.

    They had a 100 aces with 100 kills? Really... Wanna list them for me, cos I bet ya half of them aint in 1st LAH. Even if you mean in total... Well possibly but propaganda is a wonderful thing...

    Sorry but do you even know how the Germans counted tank 'kills'? Most were highly inflated and tanls units would often share kills and somtimes pass kills onto the aces in the units. Add in Mr. Goebbels and its all inflated. The Germans had no way of counting kills accurately unless they re-took areas and could count the wrecks. That didnt happen often when retreating so all claims from '43 on are suspect, but I take all of them with a pinch of salt.

    Take Wittmann for example... The reality of Villers-Bocage is way different to the propaganda version. How many books still quote him as the top tank ace despite Knispel hoplding that accolade.
     
  3. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Nawwww... I'm sure the Germans had more than one soldier. Do you know what his name was? They really should give him a medal!

    :lol:
     
  4. Hawkmoon432k

    Hawkmoon432k Dishonorably Discharged

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    Red Baron,
    Thanks for enlightening me on the Napoleon's guard. By 100+ aces I meant the German Luftwaffe (they = Germany in the sentence and yes poor writing on my part). I disagree on the tank kill part, yes I know about Knuspel.

    As for the load of crap, I like to discuss WWII and am open to learn, but if its gona insults...well I'll just leave there and refrain from future discussions on the subject. Not worth my time.
     
  5. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    As The Red Rabbi uses to say: "Mazel Tov, Tovaritch!" :D
     
  6. Richard

    Richard Expert

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    Vet

    Sorry for sounding harsh, had a bad day.

    carry on...........:D
     
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  7. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    "Hawkmoon432k"; one must be careful about the
    indiscriminate
    use of the word "aces", no-one may expect you to mean "air aces" alone.

    There were air aces, submarine aces, and armored aces. The allies had their share of air aces as well, not as many "kills" per pilot as the Luftwaffe since our aces were rotated home to train other pilots, where as the Axis pilots had to "fly ‘til ya die".

    In numbers of "air aces", the allies had more (five or more air kills) aces than the Axis, however the Luftwaffe and Imperial Japanese had more kills per ace (see above).

    For fun check out this site:

    http://users.accesscomm.ca/magnusfamily/ww2.htm

    Taking nothing away from the skilled pilots of either of the Axis powers, just pointing out that the use of proven skilled pilots differed between opponents.
     
  8. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    This is my last comment along these lines.

    Keep it polite.
     
  9. Hawkmoon432k

    Hawkmoon432k Dishonorably Discharged

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    brndrt1
    Thanks for the site, how many aces did the Allies have in total? Germany alone had around 5000.
     
  10. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    I would have no idea, numbers of "aces" isn't the question here, the allies had many more (over five) air aces, but the need to keep flying is more important which alters the numbers themselves per pilot. The American policy was fly "x" number of combat sorties, and rotate home to teach. Each group had a different number of combat sorties, fighters one set, bombers one set, transport aircraft another. And each set changed as the war progressed. Originally it was 25 bomber missions (Memphis Belle/Hell's Angel), and in my own Dad's instance it was 45 combat sorties in his C-47. He flew many more sorties than that, but only 45 were counted since only those were in "contested" airspace. 45 sorties in hostile air, in an unarmed transport must be worth something as well. He was transferred back to the States in August of 1944, after he had made his last three flights post D-Day dropping cannisters full of supplies and weapons.

    So I don't know, count them up yourself, I don't have the time. Even the fellow who has put that together says that the 5000 aces number for Germany is suspect, and he can find only documentation for a bit over half that number (read his own disclaimer on the Germany section).
     
  11. TheRedBaron

    TheRedBaron Ace

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    Sorry the way you worded it made it hard to follow.

    You disagree on what of the tank kill part?

    Its well known that German propaganda did its part.

    But if you disagree then tell me this...


    How did they accurately count confirmed tank kills when retreating and unable to verify a hit or a kill?
     
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  12. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    the simple answer is NO
     
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  13. Hawkmoon432k

    Hawkmoon432k Dishonorably Discharged

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    I disagree on the inflation of tank kills because:
    A lot of the descriptions I've read from personal memoirs vividly describes these "inflated" kills, usually a T34 for example is hit between the turret and body, explodes in white (fuel) flames, the turret often being lifted right off the body. I also can't see the Germans very often counting the same kill twice (ie by two individual tanks) because the usual scenario saw the Germans outnumbered by many enemy tanks (so its unlikely that they pick the same target). Besides this, if you tally up the number of tanks lost by the Allies vs the Germans, its pretty clear that the Germans destroyed a lot more tanks than they lost. Also German panzer counterattacks, even after 43, often retook lost territory (only to loose it again latter). If anything it was the Soviets who inflated kills (until recently that is, after the fall of the Communists the true Soviet casualty figures were revealed). Plus, anything hit by a Panther or Tiger usually stayed dead (not that these were the most common German tanks by any means) while Panther's and Tigers were likely disabled than T43s.

    On the Air Aces, if you don't know the number of Allied aces why do you assume its more than the axis? I understand the rotation system, thx, but thats not the point.
     
  14. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    So some people can't even respect what they themselves say, can't keep to a decision...

    Strange place for a fuel tank, isn't it? Moreover considering the T-34 used diesel fuel, which is much more difficult to ignite than gasoline. Suspect, isn't it? And if the turret is lifted off, it's not because of a fuel explosion (a rare occurence anyway) but an ammunition explosion.

    So your argument is that as the Germans had so many targets they were not going to hit the same twice? Can you prove that? No, it's just a hunch.

    I'm sure there were a lot of those, especially considering that from the aftermath of Zitadelle the Germans had lost the initiative and were defending against the continuous Soviet offensives. So I suppose they would not have many opportunities to do that, and they would have other more urgent priorities than counting hulks.

    By the way, doing a statistic of dead Soviet tanks (I don't think you'll find many after Zit, or have many opportunities for your PK people to photograph them), what percentage can you ascribe to that form of destruction you mentioned?

    For all this I'll be charitable with you and say you are clutching at straws. If you want to deceive yourself please go ahead, but do not try to deceive others. Of course the uncharitable way would be related to an expression making allusion to the contents of bovine intestines, but let's keep this polite.
     
  15. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Has somebody been reading those weird Kurowski 'Panzer Aces' books?

    Steely grey steeds driven by men with steely gazes into the steely Russian steppes against the Steely Soviet hoard while the steely wind hammers on their steely helmets... etc. etc. etc. ;).

    Cheers,
    Adam.
     
  16. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    LSSAH wasn't even a division in strength until 1943 and wasn't designated a Panzer Division until almost 1944. In 1939 it along with Totenkopf, and other small SS units barely constituted the equivalent of a strong division in 1940. The only reason the Heer even considered their combat use seriously was that they were motorized; a rarity at the time in the German military making them far more valuable.
    These units barely saw action in Poland. In France their contribution was negibable. The first time the SS really had a significant role was Russia.

    The reason the Luftwaffe had so many high scoring pilots was simply the practice of keeping such men in action until they were shot down and killed or captured. The Western practice was to rotate pilots out of combat and allow them to be used for training new pilots. By late 1943 the Luftwaffe could be characterized as having a handful of expert crews and pilots with a mass of barely trained and completely unprepared cannon fodder flying within their ranks.
    I would also have you look up threads on Allied tank aces. There are several you probably never heard of that are easily a match for any German one. The difference is that the Allies (and Soviets by 1944) had better trained crews on the whole. These made far more difference than a handful of tank aces ever would.
    At sea the U-boat was marginalized by an massive superiority in not only numbers but equipment and technology of the Allies. Technique, tactics, and training of Allied ASW and submarine crews not only eclipsed but far surpassed that of Germany.
    US submarines for example (of which I know more than British ones) were far more capable than U-boats. Their sonar equipment was much better. Their radar and ESM systems infinitely so. Careful study and disemination of tactics and methods led the US to better submarine warfare than the Germans even dreamed of.
    For example, the US sub captains came to regard radar as a highly useful tool to avoid enemy detection and attack. German captains saw it as little more than a dangerous beacon the enemy could use to attack them. The difference in philosophy was due entirely to a lack on the part of the KM in developing radar and tactics for its use versus a deliberate development and operational reserach effort than made it highly useful to the US.
    An interesting engineering feature was that US submarines had air conditioning, German ones didn't. This made US boats far more comfortable to operate and gave far greater crew efficency than a U boat could manage.
    The US won their submarine war in the Pacific. The British were successful in submarine operations in the Mediterrainian. The Germans by 1943 were lucky to get a boat back to port from an operational cruise.

    You mention snipers. A virtually meaningless angle of warfare at anything above the lowest tactical level. By the by, the US provided their troops far more sniping equipment than did the Germans.

    I've mentioned engineering elsewhere. The Germans didn't hold a candle to the US in this field, were far behind the British and, didn't match the Soviets in improvised field craft. This was one area where they were completely inferior to their opponets.

    Logistics has also been brought up. Again, the Germans simply were not nearly as good in this realm as their opponets.
     
  17. Seadog

    Seadog Member

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    [q]ignoring Supply, logitics, Industrial power and just make them completely and utterly the same[/q]

    That is like saying take away their guns, planes and ships. You cannot ignore even one aspect of combat if you are to have a winning force. One of the big issues that is often ignored, is what do you do when you have won. The Germans ignored that, as have many other armies. When you take over, where is the food, and other supplies going to come from for both the troops and residents? If you do not take care of the civilians, you make sure they are still enemies. How many countries that Germany conquered could have been allies if they were treated better by the nazis?

    Guns and cannons are useless without ammo. Troops cannot function without food and replacements. Tanks go nowhere without fuel. You can stretch your supply lines, but you can never break them. That is why the Red Ball express was such a monumental undertaking and so vital to the Allies.

    Communications is also a key component, but it can also be a two edge sword. Land lines are secure, but can be cut at the worse times, and often fixed positions rely too much on them. Radio is not secure and can be used to target command centers. Even in WW2, they had some radio targeting equipment that would allow artillery to home in on troops.
     
  18. FramerT

    FramerT Ace

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    Great...no. Good......yes.
    "Number of tank aces and tank kills"? Look at how much territory Japan took with next to nothing in armor. Yet Japan nor Germany could hold what they took.

    Honorable mention, Soviet Union? Maybe, as long as it was a land battle. Her Navy was worse than Germany's. A great armed force could put an army and hold anywhere.
     
  19. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    What Soviet navy ? :D
     
  20. Hawkmoon432k

    Hawkmoon432k Dishonorably Discharged

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    "These made far more difference than a handful of tank aces ever would."

    If allied soldiers were, on the average and when the whole of the war is considered, equal to the Germans (or even better) how come the Germans inflicted more combat casualties than they took in virtually every branch of combat, even though they were often missled and outnumbered? Sorry your arguements fall flat because they are not born out by the numbers.
     
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