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Was the Wehrmacht overrated?

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by ANZAC, Oct 20, 2006.

  1. ANZAC

    ANZAC Member

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    I was wondering, was the Wehrmacht as a whole, a little overrated?

    What's the good of having the most potent army in the world with top notch commanders when your army can only fight a continental war, not a world war, can't even cross the English Channel to finish of a desperate Britain let alone get within a bulls roar of of an enemy like the U.S. who can pound Germany to ruin with impunity.

    Japan on the other hand, with it's strong navy was at least able to fight a limited world war and bring the fight to American soil, and had the Americans very jittery in the first months of their Pacific blitzkrieg.
     
  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    [​IMG]


    Not bad I´d think.
     
  3. Ali Morshead

    Ali Morshead Member

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    It achieved many of its early victories against Nations ill-prepared for any combat, let alone modern combat.

    However its defensive record was excellent, often against overwhelming odds.
     
  4. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    An armed force that takes the gathering of half the world against it, and a good couple of years till final defeat can't be all bad, can it?
     
  5. Ali Morshead

    Ali Morshead Member

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    But Za,

    How many were ready for the onslaught, Just like the Japanese they took advantage of a world looking for peace.

    Easy pickings.

    It took most Nations 2-3 years to get into decent shape to reply, from the end of 1942 they stood no chance of further easy Victory and had to defend the long road back to Berlin.
     
  6. ANZAC

    ANZAC Member

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    Germany actually defeated Russia in the first war while fighting large French and British armies on the Western front.

    And David Glantz claims that in 1941 the Red army was poorly trained, inadequately equipped, ineptly organized, and consequently incapable of engaging in large-scale military campaigns--and both Hitler and Stalin knew it, the Wehrmacht invaded Russia with Italy, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary and Finland etc, as Allies and no worries of a second front in the time frame of Barbarossa--and lost.

    Didn't it basically come down to Nazi Germany fighting two European powers, one at a time, defeating one and losing to the other?

    By the time of Overlord, the war was well and truly decided in favour of the Soviets.

    Don't get me wrong, as I previously posted, the Heer was the most potent army in the world, especially 'till '42, but it was part of a fatally flawed military machine as a whole.
     
  7. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Yes, Ali, but they were a bit better than a speed bump otherwise it wouldn't have taken almost 2 years from Kursk to Berlin, considering all the problems they had on their own.
     
  8. Ali Morshead

    Ali Morshead Member

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    Not discounting the ability of the Wermacht in 1943-45.
    The overwhelming numbers they faced in the East, and the massive technology they faced in the West, would be enough to expect an immediate collapse. But they made the Soviets and Western Allies fight for every inch.

    My doubts is their Offensive abilities given that Poland, France,Btitain, Denmark, Belgium, Nederlands, Norway, Yugoslavia & Greece were hardly ready for the Warfare of 1939-40. A lot of territory was gained cheaply. Even their victories in Nth Africa were achieved at great risk, Rommel was lucky that the Brits decided to go to Greece and took their best Infantry & half an Armoured Div out of the Desert. As it was a porrly trained Infantry Division stopped Rommel in his tracks.

    After 1943, did any major German offensive succeed, of course many local attackes worked but we look at Zitadelle, Mortain & The Ardennes for at best a draw and 2 losses.
     
  9. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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  10. Fortune

    Fortune Member

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    i dont think they were overrated, seemingly glorius, but they were just the "average" military for germany at the time...
     
  11. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Yes, the opposition they faced really were not up to par, so those were easy victories. The Soviets of Barbarossa time were a mess of an army, so it was relatively easy as well, leaving aside the German logistical difficulties. After 1942, the opposition started learning and coupled with the lack of resources and logistical friction from then on it was all downhill.
     
  12. chocapic

    chocapic Member

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    fast does not necessarily means cheap

    During the 5 weeks of the Battle of France, the Wermacht's daily losses were superior to those suffered during Barbarossa (june - décember 1941).

    (N.B. : of course, this does not mean AT ALL that France offered as much resistance as USSR ;) )
     
  13. Seadog

    Seadog Member

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    As I see it, Germany had the best troops and the best equipment at the beginning of the war. As the war progressed, the Allies caught up in skill, experience and equipment. As the war continued, Germany could not keep up with the troop and manufacturing demands to sustain their efforts. The Allies learned what the German weaknesses were, and exploited those areas.
     
  14. JTF-2

    JTF-2 Member

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    fast does not necessarily means cheap

    During the 5 weeks of the Battle of France, the Wermacht's daily losses were superior to those suffered during Barbarossa (june - décember 1941).

    (N.B. : of course, this does not mean AT ALL that France offered as much resistance as USSR ;) )
    </font>[/QUOTE]WOW...I was not aware of that.
     
  15. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The worst thing Hitler could think of was the two-front war of WW1. Instead he got the 4-front war as he was attacked from the east, south, west and from above.

    I´m quite sure the attack in the west in 1944 would not have been as succesfull as it was if , say, the pact between Hitler and Stalin had not been broken, and Germany was receiving oil etc according to the pact. Now to succesfully land in France under these circumstances and push to the German border...
     
  16. Fortune

    Fortune Member

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    hitler tried to take on too many things at the time, he should have focused on one country at a time, and not multiple, i think thats what hurt him in the end....
     
  17. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    If only Hitler listened to what Otto Von Bismarck said almost 60 years earlier. " Germany must never go to war with Russia "
     
  18. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Personally I'm rather glad he let that little nugget slip his mind.
    Cheers,
    Adam.
     
  19. Jaeger

    Jaeger Ace

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    I do beleive that the Wehrmacht has been overrated. They were good fighters no doubt, but they had years and years of training before the first shot was fired. The fighting throughout the war showed that the allies had a good learning curve, and was more than a match for the Germans by '42-43. Perhaps the fastest learners (voiced by Monty) was the Americans. They took an awful pasting in the hills of North Africa, but no less than a year later they would best the Germans on the field.

    I think that the mental luggage that the Germans had. Kesselslacht, Vernichtungsgedanke halted the learning curve early in the war for the Wehrmacht. Once the german strategic thinking code was cracked, the allied would best them on all fronts. Tactical skill and extremely local victories accounted for nothing as the Allies advanced on all fronts.
     
  20. JTF-2

    JTF-2 Member

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    Was it skill that beat them (germany) OR was it, they we (the allies) had a step up on them because we cracked their code?

    I know it took skill to crack the code, but I'm just saying that maybe we wern't as skill'ed as we thought, because we were able to prepare, knowing what the germans were going to do.
     

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