Discussion in 'WWII General' started by Ironcross, Apr 8, 2006.
why did the germans have so many successes early in the war?
I have always thought that the early German successes were due to their new form of warfare overwhelming their opponents. This was a new tactic and used new weapons that did not fit into the conventional strategies of the times. They were able to move quicker and strike harder than was expected. They used some good strategic maneuver and had the element of suprise.
When this changed their success was much slower or was not a success at all.
Motivation was also a factor. The German nation and her armed forces wanted war to avenge the 'injustices of Versailles'.
The people of Poland, Holland, Belgium, France, Great Britain - and, don't forget, the USA - really didn't want another war and you can hardly blame them for that.
True, the Germans wanted a limited war - but got a lot more than they bargained for.
High tempo of operations, initiative at all echelon levels. If you see an opprtunity act quickly and ask permission later. Air force motivated and well equipped for the ground support task.
Well equipped, excellently trained troops, with high morale, new weapons, and new tactics.
Poland: A combination of mass (far more troops), better operational technique and, the defenders lack of suitable terrain for defense.
France and the Low Lands: France in particular suffered from a horrendously bad doctrine of warfare. This, probably more than anything else, did them in. When combined with a fair level of apathy in their military and, poor equipment in many cases the French were hit. Belgium and Holland just didn't have the strength to stop Germany.
Britain alone did not have the werewithal on the continent to stop the Germans either.
The Balkans: None of these nations had either the doctrine or military to take on the Germans successfully.
Russia: In the early period a combination of an inept military, poor equipment partiuclarly logistical support, and poor doctrine led to the massive failure of the Red Army. Later, much of these problems were corrected but, never entirely. The Soviets won far more on quantity than quality.
concerning France, you also have to figure out the unbelievable incompetence of the French military leaders
(one example : the GHQ, located in Vincennes - near Paris, was not equipped with radio nor phone : it was all about written messages sent via motorcycle riders...)
and also the total collapse of will of the country leaders (Prime minister, government and Parliament)
In the Battle for France I do believe the Germans had a lot more respect for the B.E.F than the French. Probably to do with fact the British put up more of a fight. New German tactics and weapons along with the feel good factor went a long way in the early years.
This was not incompetence per se. It was a manifestation of French military doctrine. Methodical battle as it was known did not require fast flexible decision making. Rather, it was expected that in a war against Germany the combat would stalemate much as it had in WW 1. Because of this view the French High Command expected to have ample time to plan offensives and react to German operations. Thus, no need for radios or other means of rapid communications.
Once again the forward thinkers got the edge over those who expected more of the same. That can only last so long,though. Then everyone knows what to expect.
The French Calvary was actually mounted on horseback to fight the German tanks.
I agree but France had many many more troops than the BEF wat advantages did the bef had over the France ie did the BEF hav better tanks and equipment than the French.?
[ 13. April 2006, 06:35 PM: Message edited by: Machine Gun Nest 1985. ]
I agree but France had many many more troops than the bef wat advanges did the bef had over the France.? </font>[/QUOTE]They were French...
nice 1 MILLER
Nice 1 but completely unacceptable in this forum. The Czechs were Czechs, the Poles were Poles, the Belgians were Belgians, the Dutch were Dutch, the Danes were Danes, the Norwegians were Norweagians and so what? Are you going to play the ignorant slander all these peoples too because they were defeated by the Germans?
This kind of shallow statements may be appropriate in some forums I know, but I doubt they cut much ice here.
On target as usual Za.
No i guess maybe cos miller didnt give much thought in his question that maybe why.
i can smell a closed topic on its way......
If I recall correctly the problem was that the French did not have the reserves to stop the Germans once the allied realized what the Germans were up to. That´s why Churchill was so amazed by the French saying already about one week in to the battle that they had lost.
Am I correct that the majority of the French Army was stationed in or near the Maginot Line?