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Hans von Seeckt


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#51 LJAd

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 10:48 AM

Goring's idea that the P-51s shot down were hit over France or Belgium was an drug addict going into denial. Galland knew who and where they fought the Mustangs. This denial and refusal to acknowledge the truth was a long-standing tradition with the Reichsmarshal starting with the BoB. By 1944 Goring was totally discredited with Hitler and the other services, not to mention with many in his own service.

Goering was not discredited because he was a drug addict,but because the LW could not prevent Harris and Spaatz from destroying the German cities .

 

I like also to see the proofs for the claim that the German cities were destroyed because Goering was addicted to morfine .

 

The denial of the shooting-down of the P 51 over Germany was a logical one from the German POV:if the P 51 could fly over Germany,this meant that the LW had lost the air battle over Germany :there was nothing to do against it .Thus,let sleeping dogs lie .If goering had accepted the truth (=that the enemy fighters could fly over Germany) ,would this have changed anything ? Would Dresden  and other cities have been spared ?

 

One can't claim that Goering's denial was a wrong decision ,because,it didn't hurt the LW .



#52 LJAd

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 11:45 AM

About Stalingrad :Goering's decision was logical:I would have said the same .

 

After the war,the German public opinion was demanding a scape-goat,and the scape-goats were found easily : it were the deceased : Hitler and Goering (Zhukow/Yeremenko would not be accepted by the public opinion) .

 

If Jeschonnek had returned to Berchtesgaden and said :I was wrong:the LW can not supply 6 Army (or something different,but also meaningless),6 Army would not be saved ;the outcome would still be the same .

 

Saying that the survival of 6 Army depended on supplies by air is putting the chart before the horses:survival of 6 Army depended on

 

a)a break out of 6 Army

 

           B) a rescue operation

 

A without  B (or B without A) was impossible and A+B was only possible if it happened very quickly:after a few weeks,it would be impossible .

 

If A+ B was not possible,6 Army was doomed  even with air supplies

 

If A+B was possible, air supplies were not necessary .

 

And this was the same for Demyansk,Bastogne,Corregidor,etc....



#53 TiredOldSoldier

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 08:50 AM

Why ? ultimately a trapped force needs to be rescued but isolation may last for months as long as sufficient supplies get through, wounded get evacuated, and replacements can be brough in Demyansk, and Tobruk did.

So stating the air bridge was irrelevant because there could be no immediate relief of breakout is wrong. The true conditions for an isolated force survival are:

( A ) A relief attempt will succeed at some point

( B ) Supplies and replacements allow the force to survive until relieved.

 

Condition B was very much dependent on the LW, and condition A partly so as a relief attempt was heavily dependent on the Soviets having to allocate large forces to contain the pocket. If the Panzer divisions in the pocket could be supplied back to an effective state that could be too much for the red army.

One major German problem at Stalingrad was that up to the encirclement any fresh troops or supplies were thrown into the meat grinder, many infantry divisions were stripped of the most effective elements by creating KG around their Pionnier batallions, so had little or no offensive capability left. As a result there was nothing immediately available to attack out with and lack of supplies and Soviet pressure prevented any meaningful reorganization.


Truth is the first victim of conflict

#54 LJAd

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 05:56 PM

Why ? ultimately a trapped force needs to be rescued but isolation may last for months as long as sufficient supplies get through, wounded get evacuated, and replacements can be brough in Demyansk, and Tobruk did.

So stating the air bridge was irrelevant because there could be no immediate relief of breakout is wrong. The true conditions for an isolated force survival are:

( A ) A relief attempt will succeed at some point

( B ) Supplies and replacements allow the force to survive until relieved.

 

 

This is not correct :

 

A:a relief attempt was only possible during the first days (a maximum of 2 weeks): a relief operation in january was out of the question

B: no :the question is not if 6 Army could survive, but if it could be saved :while 6 Army could survive with air supplies (it survived 10 weeks),it could not be saved by air supplies : every day,6 Army would become more and more weaken :air lifts could not replace lost tanks,artillery,trucks,the Ju and He could not transport heavy ammunition .

 

During the first few weeks,a relief attempt was possible AND air lifts were not necessary.

 

After these few  weeks, a relief attempt was out of the question and an air lift could only extend the agony of 6 Army(which was the reason why the air lift was not stopped after the failure of the rescue attempt : the doomed 6 Army was tying Soviet forces .

 

The problem is that we don't know what Hitler asked to Jeschonnek and what Jeschonnek said ,but, given the situation,it is more than probable that Hitler asked if 6 Army could be supplied by air (if this was necesssary)til it was relieved by Manstein and that Jeschonnek said :yes (in which he was correct,although Hitler nor Jeschonnek knew how much would be needed).

 

It is also more than probable from the air lift problem .that the relief decision was taken independently 

 

Later,Jeschonnek blamed Goering,he said (but,this is unproved) that he recognized that he was wrong,but that Goering forbade him to tell it to Hitler .

 

Later,Goering blamed Hitler: he said (but this is unproved) that Hitler said : if the LW can not supply 6 Army,it is lost,and that he (=Goering),blackmailed emotionally could only  answer: the LW will supply 6 Army .

 

Later,the Army blamed ...(as one can expect ) the LW:

 

Zeitzler said (but that is unproved) that he told Goering (in the presence of Hitler) :you are a liar.

 

Manstein said : it is all the fault of Goering (but we know that we shouldn't believe anything from Manstein unless it had been proved not twice,but five times .)



#55 harolds

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 03:05 PM

If you, LJAd, are saying that Goring was a competent air force commander, that is remarkable! I've never read anything from any credible air historian that would back that assertion up. His drug addiction alone would make him unfit for command. Drug use severely impairs a person's decision making ability, plus opiod use and addiction make one lethargic and lazy. Not to mention that he was deep down a political animal and based many of his decisions on what was best for him politically: i.e. what Hitler would approve.

 

Stalingrad could be only be partially supplied by air and then only for a relatively short time. After that, plane losses, deteriorating weather, mechanical breakdowns etc. would keep on reducing the amount of supplies well below the minimal acceptable level. Letting Hitler believe anything else, especially after Jeschonnek corrected himself, was totally irresponsible. One of the reasons Dowding and Montgomery kept their place in history is that they resisted Churchill's demand that they do something that would have been militarily unwise. To resist unwise demands of politicians is the military and moral requirement of high commanders. Goring falls short in all departments.



#56 LJAd

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Posted 22 November 2014 - 05:30 PM

To say"letting Hitler believe anything else" is not correct,because it implies that Hitler believed that 6 Army could be supplied til it was rescued,and,there is no proof for this .The survival of 6 Army did not depend on air supplies,but on a rescue mission (Wintergewetter).Hitler knew it :if Manstein could not save 6 Army,it was doomed .If Goering was saying:we can't supply 6 Army,the OKH would blame the LW,if he said : we can supply 6 Army ,the OKH also would blame the LW :it was a lose/lose situation:the only reasonable thing was to keep silent .

 

I am saying that before the war and til 1943,Goering was a competent air force commander;after Stalingrad,he abdicated,IMHO,mainly because he knew that the war was lost and that he would end on the gallows



#57 harolds

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Posted 23 November 2014 - 03:37 PM

Actually the survival of 6th Army depended on it breaking out while it was still able to do so. Had Goring believed Wolfram v. Richthofen and Jeschonnek (he recanted his earlier advice very quickly) they might have convinced Hitler to give Paulus the order to break out before the Soviet ring became too strong and the Germans too weak. Telling a superior what he wants to hear vs what he NEEDS to hear to bad practice, but then Goring was a mass of bad practices.



#58 LJAd

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Posted 23 November 2014 - 07:38 PM

Hitler never would have admitted the outbreak of 6 Army :the aim of Wintergewetter was to make a contact with 6 Army which would remain where it was .



#59 harolds

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 12:40 AM

No. When the Wintergewetter force was within 20 miles of the Stalingrad perimeter, Paulus was supposed to start a breakout. This according to von Mellithin. It was too late by then, plus the Soviets started another attack that pushed the German forces back even further. 6th Panzer was taken from Wintergewetter which fatally weakened it. The only chance for 6th army was to break out as soon as possible after being surrounded.



#60 lwd

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 05:02 PM

Example: When asked by Hitler if the LW could supply Stalingrad throughout the winter, Jeschonnik said yes. Later, after doing the math he realized that there was no way that could be done. He told Goring he would go to Hitler, explain the mistake and take the blame. Goring forbade him to do so saying that the LW couldn't disappoint Hitler any more. Goring may have been very culpable in the Stalingrad disaster.

 

Example: Goring going into denial about the Allies having the capability to field a long range fighter; even going to the extreme of ordering Galland that the P-51s shot down over Germany were NOT shot down over Germany! He categorically stated that such things were "impossible".

The problem with these examples is that they are post 1941 and the topic would seem to focus on the mid and late 30's. From what I've read Goring suffered from a progressive decline so his performance in this time period doesn't really say much about his performance in the period of interest.

1)Göring was asking the question if one should continue the attacks on the radar installations,because,the informations from the LW Ic (Martini) indicated that these attacks had no result . If the informations were wrong,this was not the fault of Göring.

It was up to him to at least some extent to consider the reliability of his information sources. Even then it would have been in his perview to consider alternatives. That said I don't see this as being a major flaw especially when as the above it's actually after the period of interest.

 

2)Why would the observation of Göring be wrong? The importance of radar has been much exaggerated,may I observe that 3 years later,the Allies did not attack systematically the German radar installations ?

I'm not sure what "oservation of Goring" you are talking about. I do agree that the importance of radar has been exaggerated but you need to put that into a logical framework to be of much use. As for the allied attacking German radar they did in a very concerted way the attacks however were at the system via EW rather than just bombing the radar sites.

 

3)You asked me to give "good" orders from Görong: the directives from 15 august 1940 were,IMHO,"good" orders, not things that were deleterious.I am still waiting for exemple(s) of a nefast role of Göring = of orders from Göring which were nefast for the LW,NOT for mistakes that were irrelevant for the outcome of the war .

I don't see them as being outstanding in either direction. Hardly sufficient to prove incompetence but not

 

...

The denial of the shooting-down of the P 51 over Germany was a logical one from the German POV:if the P 51 could fly over Germany,this meant that the LW had lost the air battle over Germany :there was nothing to do against it .Thus,let sleeping dogs lie .If goering had accepted the truth (=that the enemy fighters could fly over Germany) ,would this have changed anything ? Would Dresden and other cities have been spared ?

 

One can't claim that Goering's denial was a wrong decision ,because,it didn't hurt the LW .

That very much depends on whether the denial was for the "benefit" of the public or it was an accepted internal attitude. In the latter case it may and indeed probably did hurt the LW. On the other hand as I've pointed out earlier this is well after the period of interest that is the base topic of this thread.

 

This is not correct :

 

A:a relief attempt was only possible during the first days (a maximum of 2 weeks):...

This is considerably off topic but again you have taken a rather extreme and poorly stated position.  Obviously a relief attempt was possible at just about any point prior to the surrender and perhaps even afterward.  The probability of success would of course decline greatly as time advanced.  You have stated a very definitive interval when it could be attmepted but it's not clear when that interval starts thus confusing the issue.

 

If you, LJAd, are saying that Goring was a competent air force commander, that is remarkable! I've never read anything from any credible air historian that would back that assertion up. His drug addiction alone would make him unfit for command. Drug use severely impairs a person's decision making ability, plus opiod use and addiction make one lethargic and lazy. Not to mention that he was deep down a political animal and based many of his decisions on what was best for him politically: i.e. what Hitler would approve.

...

I seem to recall reading one that was actually quite positive about his early carreer right up to the start of the war from what I recall.  From that point on there was an accelerating decline in his competence of which the drugs and political situation surely played a part.

 



#61 Diesera

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Posted 21 December 2014 - 06:07 AM

Well I find him to be an great general but still mysterious figure.

#62 LJAd

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Posted 21 December 2014 - 07:28 AM

Goering  or von Seeckt ?



#63 harolds

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Posted 21 December 2014 - 05:07 PM

If Diesera is referring to von Seeckt, then that would be normal for a General Staff officer. They had as creed, "A General Staff officer is always more than he appears." To be public figures such as Rommel, Patton, Monty, and MacArthur became, was anathema to them. Recognition by their fellow officers was to be their only reward.

 

Back to Goring: (Admittedly off topic, but it's useful to compare a political officer such as Goring to a well-trained pro like von Seeckt.) Goring's habit of going into denial, normal for an addict, was a prime example of incompetence. If one can't look at the facts and make reasoned conclusions, then he is not competent to be an officer, much less one of very high rank.  Goring was provided data by Galland, Milch and others early in '42 showing what the USA's entrance into the air war would mean for Germany. He refused to take the warnings seriously so by the time they came true, it was too late to do much.



#64 Smiley 2.0

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Posted 21 December 2014 - 08:02 PM

Please forgive me, but this was before I realized that Hermann Goering was a bad commander, but before I knew that, several years ago, for some reason I thought that he wasn't that bad of a commander. I don't know why but I always felt that way based on the early successes in the war with the Luftwaffe. Then I began learning more about the Battle of Britain and how poorly he managed that. Then I learned about how everyone made fun of him because he was heavy, (in one book, they talked about some of the names the Luftwaffe gave him based on his size, and although I can't remember any off the top of my head I do remember that they were hilarious). And then I learned about how he was a morphine addict and that he mostly enjoyed hunting a raiding art museums instead of doing his job as commander of the Luftwaffe. Probably the most revealing insight was when I read A Higher Call by Adam Makos, and it amazed me how pathetic Goering was especially the way he refused to believe anything that came to him.


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#65 Smiley 2.0

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Posted 21 December 2014 - 08:05 PM

I do think that without Guderian I believe that the Germans would not have been so advanced in Blitzkrieg as they were. Because it was him who studied the use of tanks ad realized their great potential and he was the developer of the Blitzkrieg tactic. I just think that he at many times wasn't well treated by Hitler.


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#66 Smiley 2.0

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Posted 21 December 2014 - 08:08 PM

Was Hans von Seeckt the one who was secretly advancing/building up the German army in places like Russia? Correct me if I am wrong, I might be thinking of another general.


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#67 harolds

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Posted 21 December 2014 - 08:21 PM

You're correct Smiley 2.0.



#68 LJAd

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Posted 21 December 2014 - 09:07 PM

I do think that without Guderian I believe that the Germans would not have been so advanced in Blitzkrieg as they were. Because it was him who studied the use of tanks ad realized their great potential and he was the developer of the Blitzkrieg tactic. I just think that he at many times wasn't well treated by Hitler.

I have to disagree : Guderia, was telling these things  after the war and a lot of what he was telling can be considered as contrary to the truth .That he was not well treaded by Hitler is not true : normally he should have beeb sackedalready in 1940,because he was a macho  who did not care about the orders of his superiors,for Guderian,obedience was good for the others,not for him .



#69 Smiley 2.0

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Posted 21 December 2014 - 09:10 PM

Your insight makes sense, but would you say the same about his development of Blitzkrieg?

 

Or are you referring to how he was treated by Hitler and his behavior of disobeying his superiors?


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#70 Diesera

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Posted 23 June 2016 - 09:49 PM

Hitler thought he was better general than his most of the real generals , to some extent his moves on field in against allied was working it although the German generals did not advice for example his invasion of France through invading the low countries .
Hitler was a risk taker which explain his actions of invading soviet union,
What baffle about Hitler the most how he did not in calculating the resources of the British Empire .
Example middle east and India
If he want oil then the rich oilfield of the Arabia would satisfying his army for oil
The problem is he didn't have a huge navy and interesting a historical figure called fritz Grobba and he believe Germany didn't taken advantage of the anti British in the British colonial .
The German goal was mainly to reconquista of eastern Europe for his pan germanic or pan German
It was successful nearly in first world War . Actually I don't know if they cares other germanic languages
Hans von seeckt was German nationalist and his forces did not taken any steps to fight the revolting Frei Krops against the Weimar government .
As example in during the 1920 putsch
The new government was not recognized by the bureaucracy so it collapsed easily quickly .
I read his Wikipedia article (seeckt) in short word
He was secretly retraining and rearm German forces . And he was anti Jewish figure even to point regardless of the effectiveness of the Jewish solider . His wwi biography states he was adviser for austrian-Hungarian army and he did Good job at it and he was recognized

#71 steverodgers801

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Posted 24 June 2016 - 04:48 PM

LJAD if you read Guderians book, Achtung Panzer, then you will see that a lot of things he developed were unique. The most important things were, radio in each tank, developing tanks after the PZ 1 and 2 that had a commander who was free from other chores and the most important combined arms and concentrating tanks into large units . His insistence paid off in the crossing of the Meuse. Where the allies did not believe a tank unit could cross with out infantry support, his PZ had enough support to make the crossing on their own.  Panzer Leader is a self serving memoir that should be taken with a grain of salt.



#72 steverodgers801

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Posted 24 June 2016 - 04:52 PM

The idea of taking Arabia is absurd. The requirements to take the area where vastly beyond German capacity, especially with out a navy.  Look how hard it was to get to the Caucasus and there was a direct land link.






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