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Tactics over Strategy!

Discussion in 'What If - Other' started by tinmanl19, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. tinmanl19

    tinmanl19 Member

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    We often mistake Germany's loss because of poor choices by Hitler and his yes men in the upper ranks after 1942. Hitler was convienced that anyone who didn't agree with him was there for against him. However German tactics were scond to none on a large scale. They held off larger forces for years, on tactics alone. This is my question to you. Give Hitler a rational mind From 1936 until Either victory or defeat :
    Victory is defined as a Hitler run Germany with at least France, The Low Lands , Italy, Spain, and Eastern Europe and Russia to the Volgo River. Assume England is given an honorable surrender.
    Defeat leaves an intact Germany with Hitler still both alive and fuctional, but no war crimes.
    This is not a gimmie, and by no means am I suggesting that the Holacaust did not happen, however, there are positions in history where this would not be a factor. I simply ask yuou to take this one all the way out.
     
  2. Jaeger

    Jaeger Ace

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    I don't agree.

    You will have to define the difference between Strategy and Tactics for starters.
    The superiour tactics that fended off their enemies for years, what is that?

    The Germans were forced on the defensive in 1942 and withdrew till they hit the ruins of Berlin. They attempted to use an elastic defence utillising Kampfgruppen to plug the gaps, and yield ground to gain time. They failed (that is the reason why I'm typing in English not German). The elastic defence was first tested in combat in 1940 by the French. (remember them? The chaps who have become wrongfully infamous for dropping their gear and run) Towards the end of the French campaign the Germans suffered terrible losses against the French deployed in hedgehogs using elastic defence principles.

    Why would Hitler run the south and eastern parts of Scotland? Lowlands?? Or is it the Low countries? Consisting of three sovreign states, of whom two are colonial powers during the war.

    'Give Hitler a rational mind?'
    What irrational things did he do? Neglected to build the Army Airforce or Navy? By 1939 no power in europe could best him. So he pulled the Molotov Ribbentropp pact. Still working rational right?

    1941 BANG attacks Russia. GAME OVER. A gamble that had slim odds indeed. Stalin even helped him along for the first days of the attack.

    So your victory condition of occupying from the Atlantic to the river Volga. Well herr Hitler did just that. But he did not have enough of anything to hold it did he.
     
  3. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    I also disagree. The problem here is Germany went into WW 2 without a grand strategy. This was not just Hitler's fault but can equally be laid at the feet of the OKW.
    Staying just with strategy, let me ask the question what was Germany's grand strategic plan in September 1939? The answer for me was the conquest of Poland and a vague conceptual idea for the defeat of France and possibly Britain. Beyond this there was the political concept of liebenstraum and an invasion of Russia to follow at some point.
    Italy was not part of the equation, nor was Mussolini's military ambitions.
    After Poland fell, Germany had to improvise an invasion of Denmark and Norway to secure their northern flank. This was not particularly planned for. The only major German players to discuss this even periferally were admirals in the Kriegsmarine like Wegner.
    Hitler hoped Britain would stay out of the war. Only the KM, again, had any coherent plan from the outset to deal with the British.
    France was initially to be defended against little more. Once Poland fell planning begin to take the low countries and France in ernest. Yet, there was no real follow up plan for the victory that followed.
    At this point the Germans tried to completely improvise an invasion of England as well as an air campaign that the Luftwaffe never envisioned.
    Then came the distraction of Italy. With Italy's entry into the war Germany felt they had to prop up their weak ally to prevent British incursions onto the continent in Southern Europe. This added alot of ground and nothing of real usefullness for Germany to defend.
    Rather than tie up loose ends, Hitler embarked on a campaign in Russia that was poorly planned. Beyond initial objectives the strategic plan was vague. Logistics and engineering was left at a minimally planned level.

    Tactically, the Germans started the war with a very coherent doctrine that worked far better than their opponet's doctrines did. However, as the war progressed Germany failed to evolve their tactics to meet the changing conditions of war they faced. In fact, in Russia the Wehrmacht learned lessons from the fighting that when applied in the West later in 1944 proved disasterous against the Western Allies.
    As but one example of this is the German excuse of the Western Allies using overwhelming firepower, particularly artillery, to crush their fronts and allow breakthroughs. Obviously, the reality is that Germany was at a loss to find a way to counter this either through tactics or equipment and were losing battles due to that. The Germans are as much or more to blame for Allied tactical successes as the Allies should be credited for finding tactics that worked against the Germans.
    Another example is with the U-boats. Admiral Räder devised an initial tactic that would give good results: The wolfpack. The problem was that the Allies devised new tactics and equipment to counter this specific set of tactics. The Germans failed in turn to devise a useful counter to Allied tactics and in the end lost the Battle of the Atlantic. The Type XXI might have been a counter but it was developed too late to have effect.

    Basically, the blame for German failure lies with not just the Nazi political leadership and the bulk of the blame needs to go to the General Staff and leadership of Germany's military. Why? Because they were the ones who were to turn vague political directives into actual military operations. Their strategies met only shallow immediate objectives while their tactics proved unable to adapt to changing conditions of war. On top of this they eschewed an indepth study of logistics and engineering; two critical areas of the military art in modern war.
     
  4. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    I don't know. Did OKW really have a say in how, when and where to attack? as for the grand strategy, wasn't expansion to the East. Everything else was not in the plan. Hitler probably was relying on his 'political' genius to gain what he wanted. Which is why he was surprised at Britain's declaration of war. He did not want to fight England nor want a two front war. He wanted Russia and was willing to and did fight a two front war to get it. So, the Germans as a whole did not have any kind of strategy because Hitler only let them know as little as possible. The American Generals in Vietnam knew how it felt to fight with their arms tied. This is what the OKW had to contend with.
     
  5. von Rundstedt

    von Rundstedt Dishonorably Discharged

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    There is an old saying "can't see the forrest, because of the trees" or something like that. The reason i said this quote is because Hitler had a grand plan to dominate the world in his 1,000 year Reich, but when it came to conquering the world Hitler and the General Staff of the OKW failed, why?

    Because of tactics, Germany one fatal mistake was to keep an alliance with Italy, while Italy militarilly was strong her heart was not, Mussolini tried and failed to motivate a peace loving nation into a martial nation in less that a generation, could not be done, and it showed on the battlefield, and eventually Germany had to divert valuable men and equipment to bail Italy out time and time again.

    Soviet Union, once again Germany failed tatically, there were millions of Byelorussians, Ukrainians, Russians and many other ethnic groups that were opposed to Stalin, but because of Hitler's hatered would not allow them to be recruited (although some were in secret) i have no idea the exact numbers but imagine if you will say the Wehrmacht had an additional 4 or 5 million troops fighting against Stalin in 1942.

    Now onto the Jewish question, imagine if you will, Hitler deciding in a grand act of lucidity that the persecution of the Jews would be tatically suicide for Germany as she need men and more importantly, the brains (scientist) again imagine the Jewish scientists that would be working on the Atomic Bomb, and that Germany had atomics in 43 or 44, no one would be able to stand in Germany's way.

    Luftwaffe, the luftwaffe should have been converted into a heavy strategic bomber force prior to WWII, while the medium bombers play a tatical role, and fighter numbers should have been at least double. Also Goring was the last person i would entrust to run a chook raffle, let alone the nations air defence force.

    I can go on forever but you get the picture.
     
  6. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Hi Runny!

    I'd like you to show me this plan because I never saw it.

    Waht tactics? When was Italy strong, in Mussolini's speeches? Read your own paragraph, you're tripping over your own shoelaces.

    No, Germany failed strategically. And how would you feed, equip and arm all these extra troops with the Reich's resources? Is adding more cannon-fodder to your own army a sound strategy?

    No, that was strategical suicide, not tactical. Albert Einstein was not a platoon sergeant.

    The US strategic force (8th AF for example) took years to make a telling mark on Germany's war effort, and then some evaluations put even that in doubt. Read the US Bombing Survey. Would Germany be able to mount such a alrge effort to build such a large force to bomb "the UK to the stone age", while leaving the US out of range?

    Do you get the picture yourself?

    Tactics - your doctor moves from street A to street B in search of a larger waiting room to provide his patients more comfort.
    Strategy - Your Health Authority Decides on a better location for a new hospital with better road access, better public transportation, better parking arrangements, improved patient processing, better staff in order to serve an entire district.
     
  7. von Rundstedt

    von Rundstedt Dishonorably Discharged

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    Well i give up, i love you like a brother but did you have to pick me to pieces, you know what i was saying, it may not be as eloquent as an Oxford Professor but i had a go.
     
  8. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    I don't know what you were saying, I know what you were writing. Is it my fault you can't find the arguments to sustain a serious discussion? The problem always is the devil is in the details.
     
  9. Jaeger

    Jaeger Ace

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    You all know the lession about not to judge a book from it's cover.

    This thread is the exemption that proves the rule.
    Even the thread title is flawed. Stratagy?
     
  10. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    It has to do with a particular branch of cloud science.

    And your signature is missing a full stop.
     
  11. von Rundstedt

    von Rundstedt Dishonorably Discharged

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    Cat fight, cat fight. Handbags at twenty paces ladies.
     
  12. tinmanl19

    tinmanl19 Member

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    ok so I was a little drunk when I wrote this thought, sorry my spelling isn't up to par, now go screw. I'll be watching " The Longest Day" with a bottle of JD if you need me.
     

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