Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Was the Wehrmacht overrated?

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

  1. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    Messages:
    8,809
    Likes Received:
    371
    Location:
    Portugal
    God bless Ireland! Full of intelligent people. It must be the genepool I left there, hither and thither :D
     
  2. tikilal

    tikilal Ace

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,133
    Likes Received:
    66
    So Za how much did you have to pay him to say that? I'll do it for double. I am trying out reverse capitalism.
     
  3. Chesehead121

    Chesehead121 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    2
    The Germans CONSTANTLY proved there worth at places like Stalingrad, The Ardennes, and yes, France of all places. The Maginot line was a fortress, and the Wehrmacht blitzed it within weeks. Yes, they made it look like a cakewalk, but the Allies had a little more trouble attacking it a few years later in the war, didn't they...
     
  4. JagdtigerI

    JagdtigerI Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2008
    Messages:
    2,352
    Likes Received:
    209
    Stalingrad...they lost....Ardennes offensive (1944?)....they lost.....as for the Maginot line, they just took advantage of the "inefficiency" of the line by out flanking it. I don't see your argument.
     
    Sloniksp likes this.
  5. Wolfy

    Wolfy Ace

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,900
    Likes Received:
    90
    I think the Germans did pretty well in the Ardennes Offensive- given the awful, decimated state of their TOE, severe lack of training and artillery, and American defensive advantages. German vs. US casualties were roughly even but that can be attributed by the losses accrued by the US counteroffensive. US forces lost more tanks, though.
     
  6. macker33

    macker33 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Messages:
    465
    Likes Received:
    15
    Heck no,if anything the germans were and still are underatted.
    Now understand,i'm not a nazi fanboy but they were just so ahead of all other armies of WWII,it wasnt weapons or tactics or that defeated the germans but pure weight of numbers.

    Just be grateful they did lose.
     
  7. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Location:
    Michigan
    Sorry you are at best only partially correct. Doctrineally the Germans did have an edge going into the war. They also had a better trained military than most of their opponents at that point. However that vanished by mid war and they were well behind the allies in various areas by the end.

    There's a book out called When Odds Were Even that you may want to look up.
     
  8. JagdtigerI

    JagdtigerI Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2008
    Messages:
    2,352
    Likes Received:
    209
    :eek: Weapons...the more reliable and adaptable T-34 and Sherman were certainly factors in the German defeat...tactics....was Operation Uranus not a tactical move? Was Overlord just a lucky weight of numbers success?

    Yes the Wehrmacht is most defintainly overrated by most people with lesser knowledge of the war. "Of course the Germans could of won, it was just the Russian winter!" :rolleyes: The thought that Germany could take on 3 world superpowers with the industrial capabilites it had is silly.
     
  9. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    5,945
    Likes Received:
    758
    Location:
    Phoenix Arizona

    Have you read this entire thread? I'll just point out two areas that the Wehrmacht was horribly inefficent / deficient in: Logistics and engineering. These two alone can be pointed to as major reasons for their defeat in North Africa and Russia. I'm not talking about numbers of tanks or manufacturing capacity of their industrial base here. Instead, I'm looking at their ability to build, repair and, maintain infrastructure like railroads, roads, bridges, depots and the like and, the ability to move supplies to their combat forces at the front.
    In both areas the Germans are woefully pathetic. The Japanese do better. Even the Russians manage to out do them. That's bad. And, it is a major reason they were defeated.

    In the end, the Germans initially defeated themselves because of their inept handling of logistics and engineering. That bought the Allies time to develop armies that could match the Germans in combat prowess and at the same time allowed them to put in place the supply system that could keep them fighting anywhere in the world.
    That is something the Germans cannot come close to touching as a success.
     
  10. Totenkopf

    Totenkopf אוּרִיאֵל

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,460
    Likes Received:
    89
    I dont really know why people repeatedly talk about the German uniforms when talking about their fighting skill. There is nothing wrong with what they had, they simply had a proud military history that gave them a knack of having their men look nice. One of the only other uniforms I like just as much as the Germans ones would be one of the US dress uniforms. http://www.iraqwarnews.net/uploaded_images/1-12-09a-780141.jpg which funnily enough gives me a German Déjà vu.
     
  11. Kruska

    Kruska Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,866
    Likes Received:
    190
    I do not believe that the Wehrmacht was overrated by any opponent in WWII, everyone involved new what they were worth - certainly not a simple military force to be overlooked by anyone.

    That the Nazi Leadership overestimated the capacity of the Wehrmacht to fight the world - and that the Nazi Leadersip overestimated the Wehrmacht way beyond the totally underestimated Soviets is certainly true.

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  12. JagdtigerI

    JagdtigerI Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2008
    Messages:
    2,352
    Likes Received:
    209
    Good point Kruska, you bring up the question "overrated by whom?". I was simply commenting on whether the Wehrmacht was overrated by people today.
     
  13. Kruska

    Kruska Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,866
    Likes Received:
    190
    Hello Jagdtiger,

    sorry i didn't interpret your forwardings as such.

    On that part, I would say YES, especially by those "design-adorers" :D

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  14. Cowboybob

    Cowboybob Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    4

    England had already declared war on Nazi Germany right as they invaded Poland,so it would not have been a "cold war" so to speak.

    If Germany had not Attacked the U.S.S.R then the invader could have been turned into the invaded.

    The Battle of Britain could have been much more decisive on the strategic level.

    I think that if Germany had not Attacked,then Stalin would have just said he was going to side with Britain and join the war on his own terms.
     
    macker33 likes this.
  15. JagdtigerI

    JagdtigerI Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2008
    Messages:
    2,352
    Likes Received:
    209
    The Soviet Union would not have attacked Germany any time before 1943.

    Also could you clarify your statement about the BOB?
     
  16. macker33

    macker33 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Messages:
    465
    Likes Received:
    15
    well i would agree with most of the points leveled at my statement and i get what ye are saying.
    i think people forget the real viable danger the germans possesed.
    In war films germans always get mowed down in droves and people should lose that.
    Lone Sentry: What Jerry Thinks of Us... and Himself (U.S. WWII Intelligence Bulletin, December 1944)

    Germany losing wasnt a forgone conclusion.
    Also german engineering itself wasnt the problem the german were and still are very good,BMW,Porcshe etc.
    The problem was the lack of thought into what direction their projects should go,no heavy bomber for instance,non standardisation etc.
     
  17. Wolfy

    Wolfy Ace

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,900
    Likes Received:
    90
    I know that Chrom does not post here anymore, but:

    90% of a PG division is "fighting soldiers" and 65% of US divisions is fighting soldiers?

    This figures are a bit odd to me. What is the definition of a "fighting solider"? The majority of the losses in a ground division accumulates in the rifle battalions and in other directly deployed groups (armor, APC, etc.).

    I was under the impression that German divisional bayonet strength for various organizations was usually around 45-55% and US divisional bayonet strength was lower, at around 35-45%. And the lower US % is not due to an incidental decrease in fighting strength, but rather towards the fact that more US personnel were being distributed to man heavy weapons and such. Which should be seen as an net increase in combat power.
     
    macker33 likes this.
  18. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,223
    Likes Received:
    451
    I think the argument about the "peace loving allies" being cought by surprise does not hold when you think that the Germans started rearming on a large scale only after 1933 and did not go to full scale war production until 1943 while their opponents had kept large standing armies between the wars.

    Initially the Germans had a better grasp of modern war, though they never mastered some parts (like the need for standardisation, logistics or advanced engineering equipment). The learning curve was far from easy, Guderian wrote he experienced nearly 20% tank breakdown percentages during the unopposed invasion of Austria.

    IMO the real difference is that the German's very aggressive doctrine, possibly influenced by Nazi ideology, made the German army better than the opposition in the short high intensity 1939/1941 campaigns but incapable of adapting to a more prolonged one where the mass of infantry units, that made up the bulk of the German army, were left to slowly die at the end of a thin supply line just because Nazi ideology didn't understand the need to rotate and rest troops.

    In 1939/41 the Germans got away with a succession of gambles with limited forces (Norway, France, Crete, Rommel in the desert in 1941 and even Poland if you take a possible French offensive into account) that repeatedly surprised their less risk prone opponents that believed you should not attack at those odds.

    German operational planning was opportunistic, Guderian after crossing the Meuse had no clear orders on which direction to take, he could have aimed at Paris rather than the Channel ports, the battle of Kiev and the Stalingrad campaign are other examples. Fresh troops can possibly thrive in that kind of confusion, overstretched units that have already been in the frontline for months will loose focus and the battle as happened time and again after 1941.
     
    macker33 likes this.
  19. Wolfy

    Wolfy Ace

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,900
    Likes Received:
    90
    I still find it odd that relatively well equipped and mobile British and French units in France 1940 did not make highly damaging final stands like Soviet and German units generally did during hopeless crisis.
     
  20. sniper1946

    sniper1946 Expert

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Messages:
    12,560
    Likes Received:
    1,017
    not at all,one of the greatest armies of last century..
     

Share This Page