Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by corpcasselbury, May 29, 2004.
That probably depended on where you were standing at the time.
I'm sure most Allied servicemen would have been happy if the Germans had decided to only use their Mg 34 & 42 as clubs!
A more serious example - the disasterous French use of their 'machineguns' in the Franco-Prussian war. While not really true machineguns (as far as I can work out - they may well habve been!) they would still have been highly effective at killing lots & lots of Germans.
Except the French classed them as artillery, so kept them with the artillery, rather than with the soldiers right up at the sharp end.
End result - they did bog all.
Disaster for France, but I'm sure the Germans were jolly happy.
True but I don't think that was a mistake unique to the French. The first machine guns were far from man portable.
True - witness Custer leaving his behind as they'd slow him down.
I just used the Franco-Prussian War as an example of how not to use a battle-winning weapon!
Not intentionally French-bashing, in case Castelot is reading! :grin:
This French tactic could well have worked during the famous Charge of the Light Brigade, defending artillery - or could that carnage have gotten any worse? I think not...
Talk about off-topic!
This is true.
I believe that the Italian Navy is another example of a good weapon not being basically wasted. Granted, their armor tended to be inferior to that of the British warships that they opposed, but there are ways to compensate for that, especially since they tended to be faster than their Royal Navy opponents. I have read one source which stated that Mussolini was largely responsible for the poor performance of the Italian battle fleet. Seems he promoted a large number of younger (and presumably Fascist) officers to flag rank, devastating the morale of the older, professional flag officers in his service.
There was definitely a problem with the leadership of the RM, but I still think the most important problem was that of fuel for the fleet. Logistics, logistics, logistics.
Indeed. There's nothing that guzzles fuel than a large surface fleet. Still, a determined effort might have found ways to at least partially overcome this difficulty before it got too far out of hand.
Well, for starters, by cutting waste as much as possible, by instituting well escorted convoys to cut down on tanker sinkings, and by reducing fleet sorties to such a point as were necessary for both operations and training.
I think a better thought out declaration would have helped. Remember reading that the Italian's effectively lost about a third of their merchant fleet because they were outside the Med and the British sure as hell weren't going let them in through the straits or the canal
Yeah, was that a dumb move or what? It wouldn't have affected the oil situation in any notable way, but it still was a moronic move.
As part of the Axis forces, how much oil did Italy get from Romania and did it have anything like the German synthetic oil plants?
I don't think the Italians got anything from Ploesti. As far as I can recall, all oil from the refinery went to Germany, although I could be mistaken about that.
I agree, that *was* an incredibly dumb move! Mussolini evidently wasn't given to thinking things out before he did them. :roll:
It's interesting to note how unprepared for WW2 most of the navies of the combatants were. None of them had enough ships to meet all of their operational requirements, except for Japan. Most of them were burdened with large numbers of obsolete or obsolescent vessels, though it must be said that they did usually manage to get a surprising amount of good service from those outdated ships. None of them had enough destroyers, especially modern ones. Air power was in short supply for all except for, again, Japan. Doctrines were still being worked out for submarines and aviation. It's no wonder that losses were so heavy on both sides in the first year of fighting for each of them.
Japan wasn't prepared either. Look at their escort (Kaibokan) program. Four units were ordered in 1937. Four units. You have to get through 1941 before you find another order, another four units.
What appears to be a relatively well prepared Japanese navy is actually a navy prepared for a short-term commitment--kind of like an NBA team with five good starters and no bench.
Like everyone else they were ready for some kinds of fights but not others. Their failure to develope meaningful anti sub systems was disastrous. It was perfectly possible for American subs to pick off the escort and then target the merchant ships.
Really a lack of escorts was a problem for all of the big three. The British were probably best off since their vessels had sonar but they still needed far more hulls
The next time any person or orgnization claims that Canada did not play a major role in WW II let them go to this site.
I agree, the IJN was more prepared for a short war than the long one they wound up fighting. However, I still believe that the IJN was *better* prepared overall for war in December of 1941 than the USN was, or the other combatant's navies had been in September of 1939.