WWII

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Re: WWII

Postby RodgePodge » Sat Oct 17, 2015 11:23 pm

Beagle wrote:
Pckfn23 wrote:Lend-Lease was signed into law more than a year and a half before the Russians were finally able to repel the Nazis in Stalingrad. It had a significant impact on the ability of the Russians to fight Germany. While it did not help the British fight through the Battle of Britain, it did help them recover from it.


Stalingrad (Part of Fall Blau (Case Blue) launched by the Germans in the summer of 1942) was a side show to the ill fated drive on Moscow. Moscow was by then a fortress never to be taken so with their capital safe, the Soviets could allow the Germans to drive deeper into the Caucasus. The Germans aim was to capture the oil fields. Just like the drive on Moscow, it failed even after initial early successes.

So, what was the actual affect of Lend Lease in Stalingrad? Some tanks, food, cigarettes, clothing and ammo were used, but he Red Army had a starting tank park in 1942 of 7,700 tanks, added to that the 24,719 produced that year and another 3,000 of Lend Lease, you can see that Lend Lease made up less than 10% of the tank park for that year. During Operation Uranus (The encirclement of the 6th Army in Stalingrad) less than 10,000 Lend Lease motor vehicles were used while the motor vehicle pool in the Red Army was 378,000.

As far as Lend Lease being signed in advance: First, the signing on 11 June 1942 was the ratification of the "Russian Master Agreement", it was not the beginning of Lend-Lease to the Soviet Union. The first protocol actually dates to 1 October 1941 with the formal request by the Soviet Union for aide. The declaration of eligibility was agreed by the US and UK on 7 November 1941 and the first Lend-Lease (as opposed to "Cash and Carry") shipments sailed on that date. But preliminary talks began as early as August 1941 IIRC.

Second, Lend-Lease shipments completed to the USSR from the US were:

1941: 180 tanks, 150 planes, 8,300 vehicles, total value about $435,000.
1942: 3,000 tanks, 2,500 planes, 79,000 vehciles, total value $35,479,000. In addition, the UK shipped 2,600 tanks and 2,000 aircraft.

By 1 March 1943, 3,250,000 US tons of goods had been shipped, including 49,000 tons of toluene and TNT, 94,000 tons of critical non-ferrous metals, and 92,000 tons of rail-road rails and equipment. In the first six months of 1943, a further 49,000 motor vehicles were shipped and by 30 June 1943 a total of 1,000,000 tons of food had been shipped.

As for Naval superiority, the Allied powers didn't gain the advantage in the Atlantic until midway through 1943.


Germany never really had a Navy that could deal with Great Britain, much less the US, so Germany never could implement Operation Sealion (The planned operation to land troops and take London) at any point in WW2. By 1943, the US was on-site (along with 5 Carrier Groups and BB's and escorts) so the Germans could only use their U-Boats to harass shipping.

The truth is, Germany never could have landed troops and they knew it and that is one of the main reasons they never launched an attack. Even worse, they could never keep a force supplied across the English Channel either. The British were way too strong. They wanted to knock out the Soviets quickly, then sue for peace. As it was previously pointed out, Hitler never wanted a war with Great Britain.

IMO, once Germany lost the chance to take Moscow, it was all downhill from there and just a matter of time before she lost everything. Lend lease helped speed that up immensely.

EDIT: These are excellent sources for Lend Lease:

Harrison, Mark. Accounting For War. Great Britain: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
Kaberov, Igor. Swastika In The Gunsight. Leningrad: Lenizdat Publishing House, 1975.
Krivosheev, G. F. Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses in the Twentieth Century.
Red Hammers, Soviet self-propelled artillery and Lend Lease armour 1941-1945 by Charles C. Sharp


You're right on with everything.

Also, holy cow you're an expert! Thanks for the books I will add them to my way-too-long reading list.
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Re: WWII

Postby HeavyD » Sun Oct 18, 2015 12:21 am

Great thread. WW2 is a personal favorite topic of study and hobby for me.

There are no arguments here with any of the posts. But if I had to isolate one decision that caused the war to turn in favor of the allies is Hitler's emotional decision to stop bombing military targets in Britain and start the London blitz in response to British bombing of Berlin. That may have been the turning point, but the war was lost after the Soviets weren't brought to surrender before the winter of 1941.

While most casual observers are aware of "blitzkrieg" and Germanys technological advantage, they are unaware that 80% of Germany's army was horse drawn. Horse drawn wagons providing supplies for lighting warfare is a fools errand. The supply lines could stretched nearly a 1,000 miles from Berlin to the front. In 1943, Germany had 322 divisions, only 52 were mechanized.

The German-Soviet war intrigues me the most. If any posters are interested, check out "Soviet Storm" on Youtube.

It is an 18 part series produced recently by Russian TV. Very well done.
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Re: WWII

Postby RodgePodge » Sun Oct 18, 2015 7:10 am

HeavyD wrote:Great thread. WW2 is a personal favorite topic of study and hobby for me.

There are no arguments here with any of the posts. But if I had to isolate one decision that caused the war to turn in favor of the allies is Hitler's emotional decision to stop bombing military targets in Britain and start the London blitz in response to British bombing of Berlin. That may have been the turning point, but the war was lost after the Soviets weren't brought to surrender before the winter of 1941.

While most casual observers are aware of "blitzkrieg" and Germanys technological advantage, they are unaware that 80% of Germany's army was horse drawn. Horse drawn wagons providing supplies for lighting warfare is a fools errand. The supply lines could stretched nearly a 1,000 miles from Berlin to the front. In 1943, Germany had 322 divisions, only 52 were mechanized.

The German-Soviet war intrigues me the most. If any posters are interested, check out "Soviet Storm" on Youtube.

It is an 18 part series produced recently by Russian TV. Very well done.


Not only that, but German tanks weren't even technologically suprerior for most of the war. French tanks were better in 1940 and Soviet tanks were better in 1941-42. Yes Tiger I's were absolute killers but they were rare, and Tiger II's were even more rare and not available until late in the war. Panthers were absolute killers too but once again not available until late. And all tanks suffered from logistics problems.

But yeah in 1941 the main battle tank of the Wehrmacht was the Pz.III with the short barreled 50mm, which was useless against the T-34s and KV-1s (frontally). Even the longer barreled 50mm wasn't a reliable penetrator, which led to the Pz.VI F2, which was a killer but lacking in armor. Germany's success was due to tactical expertise, radio use, and individual soldiering.

Overall it showed that training > technology, but production + manpower > training. Credit to the German soldiers though because they were seriously amazing on the tactical level.
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Re: WWII

Postby Lord Ben » Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:08 am

To win militarily they needed a political solution. I think if they would have found a way to stretch the war out another half decade. Too many wars in too short of time produced too many enemies who were determined to fight until the end.

Allies fought the long war though, they didn't give up after defeats and mobilized the economy to fight against Germany. But as much as I want to rah-rah the USA it was mostly the Soviets who fought Germany just as it was mostly the USA that fought Japan.

Fall of 42 we invaded North Africa and it was also The Stalingrad time. There was 176 German divisions on the Eastern Front compared to 4 divisions in Africa. By December they'd added reinforcements to 6 divisions in Africa.

The divisions that Germany had in the West and the flak guns in their cities that could have been AT guns on the Eastern front certainly helped but it was primarily the Soviets who bore the brunt of the fighting. Without them fighting Hitler we stood zero chance.

Win a couple battles and sign a peace treaty with the defeated was the template up until midway through the war, when Germany didn't get that and picked on a new enemy in Russia the game was up unless they could have turned it around and forced a political solution.
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Re: WWII

Postby Beagle » Mon Oct 19, 2015 3:07 am

RodgePodge wrote:You're right on with everything.

Also, holy cow you're an expert! Thanks for the books I will add them to my way-too-long reading list.


Thanks! As Heavy D said, this is a great thread. I could talk WW2 all day long and never get bored. Especially the battles and strategy on the Eastern Front. Great stuff to discuss and a lot of old myths to dispel.

EDIT: If you are not familiar with a former Coronel by the name of David M. Glantz, he should be on your list of Authors to read as well. Here is a short bio along with all of the books he has put out:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Glantz

These are books I consider essential:
Stumbling Colossus: The Red Army on the Eve of World War (1998) ISBN 0-7006-0879-6
When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler (1995) ISBN 0-7006-0717-X

These two will give you a whole new appreciation for the Eastern Front, the lead up to the invasion all the way through the capture of Berlin.

Here is a great, yet detailed read on Operation Mars:
http://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/docume ... untrpt.htm

Zhukov's Greatest Defeats is a 423 page .PDF that looks (even more) in-depth at Operation Mars and how the Soviets covered up epic defeats. It also touches on Operations Jupiter, Uranus and Saturn as well:

http://www.1942.ru/book/glants/glants_mars42_eng.pdf

A lot of his work comes directly from the archives of the former Soviet Union and is worth the time it takes to read it.
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Re: WWII

Postby dirty sanchez » Wed Oct 21, 2015 2:32 am

RodgePodge wrote:
HeavyD wrote:Great thread. WW2 is a personal favorite topic of study and hobby for me.

There are no arguments here with any of the posts. But if I had to isolate one decision that caused the war to turn in favor of the allies is Hitler's emotional decision to stop bombing military targets in Britain and start the London blitz in response to British bombing of Berlin. That may have been the turning point, but the war was lost after the Soviets weren't brought to surrender before the winter of 1941.

While most casual observers are aware of "blitzkrieg" and Germanys technological advantage, they are unaware that 80% of Germany's army was horse drawn. Horse drawn wagons providing supplies for lighting warfare is a fools errand. The supply lines could stretched nearly a 1,000 miles from Berlin to the front. In 1943, Germany had 322 divisions, only 52 were mechanized.

The German-Soviet war intrigues me the most. If any posters are interested, check out "Soviet Storm" on Youtube.

It is an 18 part series produced recently by Russian TV. Very well done.


Not only that, but German tanks weren't even technologically suprerior for most of the war. French tanks were better in 1940 and Soviet tanks were better in 1941-42. Yes Tiger I's were absolute killers but they were rare, and Tiger II's were even more rare and not available until late in the war. Panthers were absolute killers too but once again not available until late. And all tanks suffered from logistics problems.

But yeah in 1941 the main battle tank of the Wehrmacht was the Pz.III with the short barreled 50mm, which was useless against the T-34s and KV-1s (frontally). Even the longer barreled 50mm wasn't a reliable penetrator, which led to the Pz.VI F2, which was a killer but lacking in armor. Germany's success was due to tactical expertise, radio use, and individual soldiering.

Overall it showed that training > technology, but production + manpower > training. Credit to the German soldiers though because they were seriously amazing on the tactical level.
The concept of Blitzkreig, now known as Close Air Support was a new tactic as well which helped the Wehrmacht roll to easy victories in the early part of the war. This early success undoubtedly made Hitler a little too overconfident.
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Re: WWII

Postby dsr » Wed Oct 21, 2015 2:43 pm

RodgePodge wrote:Actually many, including Pat Buchanan, have argued that the UK would have been much better off accepting Germany's peace offerings in 1940, and I happen to agree. They would have not wrecked their colonial empire and economy, and Germany would have been free to deal with the Soviets, who were a much larger existential threat to the West.

This may have been true in a purely economic sense, I don't know. But in a real-life sense, it's as wrong as it comes. Is a man better if he stands back and watches his wife being raped and suffers no permanent physical injury, or is he better if he fights back and saves her at cost of permanent injury?

Bear in mind also that Germany's peace offerings were worthless. Any hypothesis that has Hitler telling the truth at the expense of self-interest is invalid. IMO.
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Re: WWII

Postby RodgePodge » Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:32 pm

dsr wrote:
RodgePodge wrote:Actually many, including Pat Buchanan, have argued that the UK would have been much better off accepting Germany's peace offerings in 1940, and I happen to agree. They would have not wrecked their colonial empire and economy, and Germany would have been free to deal with the Soviets, who were a much larger existential threat to the West.

This may have been true in a purely economic sense, I don't know. But in a real-life sense, it's as wrong as it comes. Is a man better if he stands back and watches his wife being raped and suffers no permanent physical injury, or is he better if he fights back and saves her at cost of permanent injury?

Bear in mind also that Germany's peace offerings were worthless. Any hypothesis that has Hitler telling the truth at the expense of self-interest is invalid. IMO.


Why should Britain care what happened to the rest of Europe?

And by all accounts Hitler was completely serious about peace with the British.

dirty sanchez wrote:The concept of Blitzkreig, now known as Close Air Support was a new tactic as well which helped the Wehrmacht roll to easy victories in the early part of the war. This early success undoubtedly made Hitler a little too overconfident.


Close air support was used but was not the key factor of the blitzkrieg. In fact, CAS in WWII, even in 1945, was very limited in its effectiveness.
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Re: WWII

Postby Lord Ben » Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:57 pm

RodgePodge wrote:Not only that, but German tanks weren't even technologically suprerior for most of the war. French tanks were better in 1940 and Soviet tanks were better in 1941-42. Yes Tiger I's were absolute killers but they were rare, and Tiger II's were even more rare and not available until late in the war. Panthers were absolute killers too but once again not available until late. And all tanks suffered from logistics problems.

But yeah in 1941 the main battle tank of the Wehrmacht was the Pz.III with the short barreled 50mm, which was useless against the T-34s and KV-1s (frontally). Even the longer barreled 50mm wasn't a reliable penetrator, which led to the Pz.VI F2, which was a killer but lacking in armor. Germany's success was due to tactical expertise, radio use, and individual soldiering.

Overall it showed that training > technology, but production + manpower > training. Credit to the German soldiers though because they were seriously amazing on the tactical level.


I've been going over old articles of The Chieftain's hatch where a historian/researcher/journalist type guy working for this game company posts historical tidbits (archive here: http://worldoftanks.com/en/news/pc-browser/21/ ) Anyway one of the more interesting reads I've found had to do with the concept that our tanks frequently lost against Tiger and Panther tanks, etc. There are a few elements that are true to it and it was the common theme of the GI talk in the day, etc. One thing I was surprised to find is that the results were actually quite even overall. Basically in a big pitched battle where a Tiger or Tiger II on defense had a great location picked and the Sherman's were forced to attack they had a very very rough time of it. But it evened out in the most common types of engagements where two tanks blundered into each other unexpectedly. In those types of situations the biggest determining factors of who won was who shot first and who was surprised. In those we were better because we surprised German tanks far more often than they surprised ours. Basically because of our tactics and numerical superiority. A german tank forced to break cover and move from location A to B had a pretty good chance of blundering across the path of a Sherman watching a road or field and getting destroyed whereas the American tanks rarely ran across German armor because they kept them for special occasions and in bigger groups instead of as infantry support.

Anyway, I've been going over the archive to find that Army study of the combat data but I keep finding interesting stuff to read and getting sidetracked... :)
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Re: WWII

Postby RodgePodge » Thu Oct 22, 2015 12:33 am

Lord Ben wrote:
RodgePodge wrote:Not only that, but German tanks weren't even technologically suprerior for most of the war. French tanks were better in 1940 and Soviet tanks were better in 1941-42. Yes Tiger I's were absolute killers but they were rare, and Tiger II's were even more rare and not available until late in the war. Panthers were absolute killers too but once again not available until late. And all tanks suffered from logistics problems.

But yeah in 1941 the main battle tank of the Wehrmacht was the Pz.III with the short barreled 50mm, which was useless against the T-34s and KV-1s (frontally). Even the longer barreled 50mm wasn't a reliable penetrator, which led to the Pz.VI F2, which was a killer but lacking in armor. Germany's success was due to tactical expertise, radio use, and individual soldiering.

Overall it showed that training > technology, but production + manpower > training. Credit to the German soldiers though because they were seriously amazing on the tactical level.


I've been going over old articles of The Chieftain's hatch where a historian/researcher/journalist type guy working for this game company posts historical tidbits (archive here: http://worldoftanks.com/en/news/pc-browser/21/ ) Anyway one of the more interesting reads I've found had to do with the concept that our tanks frequently lost against Tiger and Panther tanks, etc. There are a few elements that are true to it and it was the common theme of the GI talk in the day, etc. One thing I was surprised to find is that the results were actually quite even overall. Basically in a big pitched battle where a Tiger or Tiger II on defense had a great location picked and the Sherman's were forced to attack they had a very very rough time of it. But it evened out in the most common types of engagements where two tanks blundered into each other unexpectedly. In those types of situations the biggest determining factors of who won was who shot first and who was surprised. In those we were better because we surprised German tanks far more often than they surprised ours. Basically because of our tactics and numerical superiority. A german tank forced to break cover and move from location A to B had a pretty good chance of blundering across the path of a Sherman watching a road or field and getting destroyed whereas the American tanks rarely ran across German armor because they kept them for special occasions and in bigger groups instead of as infantry support.

Anyway, I've been going over the archive to find that Army study of the combat data but I keep finding interesting stuff to read and getting sidetracked... :)


Well, the Germany Panthers and Tigers were designed for combat in the open steppes in the east, not in the clustered hedgerows and towns of France. Getting in close was the best tactic for Shermans, and then swarming and flanking. It's not like Panzers were invincible - they had their flaws. But overall by 1944 their numbers, logistics, and experienced tankers were so thin that there was nothing they could do in the grand scheme of things.

But, look at the kill/loss ratios in the East. Despite being against huge odds they absolutely wrecked Soviet units. The main problem was just logistics and numbers.

But yeah, Western tankers did well, especially with the upgunned Shermans. Tigers were an old design though and Tiger II's were so incredibly rate. Much more common were Panthers, but yeah, Shermans performed well, especially the Easy Eights and Fireflies.
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Re: WWII

Postby dsr » Thu Oct 22, 2015 1:24 am

RodgePodge wrote:Why should Britain care what happened to the rest of Europe?

And by all accounts Hitler was completely serious about peace with the British.


Because Europe is a closer to Britain than Cuba is to the USA, perhaps? And I know President Kennedy cared what happened there.

The evidence suggest Hitler was not serious about peace with the British. He signed one peace treaty with Britain, at Munich in 1938. He broke its terms within the year. Isn't that proof enough that his word was not to be relied on?
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Re: WWII

Postby Lord Ben » Thu Oct 22, 2015 1:40 am

At about the 30 minute mark, maybe 31, he talks about the same study I'd read.

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Re: WWII

Postby Beagle » Thu Oct 22, 2015 2:56 am

Lord Ben wrote:At about the 30 minute mark, maybe 31, he talks about the same study I'd read.



That guy has an annoying tone in his voice but I managed to get through most of it. Thanks for posting it. Around the 30 min. mark, he starts discussing The Battle of Arracourt and to be honest, he doesn't do a very good job or give the battle it's just due, considering the circumstances of the engagement.

"The cause of the heavy losses for the Germans was the disjointed nature of the attack, and the poor tactical deployment of the German AFVs (Armored Fighting Vehicles) in the heavy fog and rolling terrain of the battlefield, which allowed the American tanks (mainly 75mm M4 Shermans, and a few M5A1 Stuart light tanks), M18 tank destroyers, and 155mm artillery units to maneuver and stay hidden until the German AFVs (the majority of which were Panther tanks) had closed within range. It was this tactical situation, a combination of defensive ambushes, fire and maneuver tactics, and excellent use of the terrain to establish superior firing positions, which allowed the 4th Armored Division to negate the superior armor and firepower of the German AFVs. Allied air power had also hampered the arrival of the German panzer units and disrupted close coordination between the units in the attack. Some of the panzer units originally slated to be in the counterattack never made it to the battle as they suffered heavy casualties whilst en route in separate encounters with other Allied forces."

I think he got his numbers wrong as well:

"The final tally for the battle was as follows: Of the 262 tanks and assault guns deployed by the German units in the week of fighting near Arracourt, 86 were destroyed, 114 were damaged or broken down, and only 62 were operational at the end of the month. The 4th Armored Division, which had borne the brunt of the Arracourt tank fighting, lost 41 M4 medium tanks and 7 M5A1 light tanks during the whole month of September, and casualties had been 225 killed and 648 wounded."

The one aspect I really enjoyed though was that he said, essentially, that tanks do not operate in a vacuum but in platoons supported by infantry, anti-tank guns, artillery and all of the other supporting elements. He is 100% correct and the majority of all combat did not involve armor at all. Also, the German and American philosophy on the use of armor was quite different.

Still, all in all, it is tough to find a better model AFV than the German Panther, despite all of it's early flaws. With superior optics for the guns and Infra Red Night fighting in the final months of the war, these were down right killers.
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Re: WWII

Postby Lord Ben » Thu Oct 22, 2015 4:17 am

Listen to the rest of it as well. It's all pretty good. He's from England I believe... I'm not sure the different accents but I'm assuming it's one of those.

It was this tactical situation, a combination of defensive ambushes, fire and maneuver tactics, and excellent use of the terrain to establish superior firing positions, which allowed the 4th Armored Division to negate the superior armor and firepower of the German AFVs.


That's kind of his entire point throughout the 45m video and all his other writings he has is that you can't just line two tanks up a variable distance away and fire their main guns vs the front armor of each and declare one or the other the victor.

The Shermans having and USING terrain advantage isn't a dismissal of the battle as a good case study - it's of primary importance to anything other than ballistics testing because the tanks mechanical ability to adapt to real combat conditions have to be accounted for in determining superiority.
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Re: WWII

Postby Lord Ben » Thu Oct 22, 2015 4:26 am

**I think the numbers you quoted were for the total battle where the ones he used where the ones killed by tank fire and excluded those from aircraft/anti-tank weapons, tank destroyers, etc.**

================

Here is an interesting tidbit too though.

American View of American Tanks:

General Collier, commander of Combat Command A of White’s 2nd Armored Division, offered this assessment:

The consensus of opinion of all personnel in the 66th Armored Regiment is that the German tank and anti-tank weapons are far superior to the American in the following categories:

• Superior flotation.
• Greater mobility. This is directly contrary to the popular opinion that the heavy tank is slow and cumbersome.
• The German guns have a much higher muzzle velocity and no tell-tale flash. The resulting flat trajectory gives great penetration and is very accurate.
• The 90-mm, although an improvement, is not as good as either the 75 or 88. …
• German tank sights are definitely superior to American sights. These, combined with the flat trajectory of the guns, give great accuracy.
• German tanks have better sloped armor and a better silhouette than the American tanks


German view of German tanks:

General Fritz Bayerlein, commander of the Panzer Lehr Division, offered this summary of the Panther after the campaign in Normandy:

While the PzKpfw IV could still be used to advantage, the PzKpfw V [Panther] proved ill adapted to the terrain. The Sherman because of its maneuverability and height was good ... [the Panther was] poorly suited for hedgerow terrain because of its width. Long gun barrel and width of tank reduce maneuverability in village and forest fighting. It is very front-heavy and therefore quickly wears out the front final drives, made of low-grade steel. High silhouette. Very sensitive power-train requiring well-trained drivers. Weak side armor; tank top vulnerable to fighter-bombers. Fuel lines of porous material that allow gasoline fumes to escape into the tank interior causing a grave fire hazard. Absence of vision slits makes defense against close attack impossible.


Heck, he even preferred the IV to the V.
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