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Biggest Strategic Mistakes of World War II


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Old 12-05-2014, 03:50 AM   #221
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One of the biggest blunders may have been the Americans' decision to send unescorted bombers to bomb Germany in daylight after the British had already lost too many planes doing it .

Lord Beaverbrook initiated the campaign to collect donations of pots and pans from English households . These were, ostensibly, to be melted down and used to build airplanes . However, one of his descendants said in an interview that the metal in pots and pans was unsuitable for aircraft construction and that the whole campaign was intended only to boost morale by making everyone feel himself to be a part of the war effort . If that is true, Beaverbrook's deception is shameful as well as a blunder . Imagine all of the time and work wasted collecting pots and pans , which could have gone to productive work .
Spitfire production was never as high as desired . I've read that Spitfires could have been made in Canada but the English likely feared postwar competition from a Canadian aircraft industry and refused to license Canadian firms .
Patton's undermanned attack on Fort Dinant , described in the opening pages of O'Reilly's book , sure looks like a blunder as does MacArthur's frontal attack on a small island at the beginning of the war .
The British reliance on a crackable Admiralty code led to U-boat singings of cargo ships in sight of U.S. shores .
The Prince of Wales and Repulse were sent out without air cover despite Billy Mitchell's pre-war tests and warnings .

Cruelty can be a blunder too : Japanese mistreatment of natives on Pacific Islands induced these people to help the allies . German atrocities against Russian civilians may have stiffened Russian resolve and triggered reprisals once the Russians invaded Germany .

NOTE : None of this compares to the stupidity of the Feguson Missouri protestors . The worst tactic in the world is to block traffic on major roads because it will make enemies of 100% of the motorists they detain . The second-worst is looting because it reveals a motive of personal gain rather than a goal of political change . The third worst tactic is arson because no one but a fool finds it thinkable ; Arson endangers firefighters' lives as well as anyone who may be inside a burning building for whatever reason . These blunders are compounded when the objective is murky ; are the protestors hoping to force the police and neighborhood watch volunteers to leave black criminals alone ? Are they doing all this just to plant cameras on all police officers ? Are they simply rioting and yelling to feel powerful and to get revenge on white people for perceived wrongs ?
Regardless, the predictable result will be another 50 years of people regarding blacks with fear and suspicion, avoiding them, discriminating against them . The innocent will suffer along with the guilty .
The blunders of WWII don't seem so idiotic in the context of today .
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Old 12-05-2014, 09:55 AM   #222
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Germany in fact was allied with both Russia and Japan for two years. Hitler and Stalin started WW2 together after the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

I am not sure what you are getting at speaking of Tito. Yugoslavia was never a serious player outside its own borders, before or after WW2. It had a strong Resistance during the German occupation. I appreciate the personal touch, but history doesn't care.
True.Tito took control of Yugoslavia too late to make a difference(1943)
The only thing Yugo partisans did during the was resisting the Nazi's and Fascist occupation and "kept them busy" while Anglo-Americans and Russian where fighting them.

Actually, thanks to the operations led by the partisans(French, Italian and Yugo), Anglo-Americans were able to invade Germany held territories with less losses and in a faster way(E.g. Invasion of Italy)
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Old 12-05-2014, 11:00 AM   #223
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Excellent post! Especially about Ferguson,Mo.
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Old 12-05-2014, 11:01 AM   #224
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One of the biggest blunders may have been the Americans' decision to send unescorted bombers to bomb Germany in daylight after the British had already lost too many planes doing it .

Lord Beaverbrook initiated the campaign to collect donations of pots and pans from English households . These were, ostensibly, to be melted down and used to build airplanes . However, one of his descendants said in an interview that the metal in pots and pans was unsuitable for aircraft construction and that the whole campaign was intended only to boost morale by making everyone feel himself to be a part of the war effort . If that is true, Beaverbrook's deception is shameful as well as a blunder . Imagine all of the time and work wasted collecting pots and pans , which could have gone to productive work .
Spitfire production was never as high as desired . I've read that Spitfires could have been made in Canada but the English likely feared postwar competition from a Canadian aircraft industry and refused to license Canadian firms .
Patton's undermanned attack on Fort Dinant , described in the opening pages of O'Reilly's book , sure looks like a blunder as does MacArthur's frontal attack on a small island at the beginning of the war .
The British reliance on a crackable Admiralty code led to U-boat singings of cargo ships in sight of U.S. shores .
The Prince of Wales and Repulse were sent out without air cover despite Billy Mitchell's pre-war tests and warnings .

Cruelty can be a blunder too : Japanese mistreatment of natives on Pacific Islands induced these people to help the allies . German atrocities against Russian civilians may have stiffened Russian resolve and triggered reprisals once the Russians invaded Germany .

NOTE : None of this compares to the stupidity of the Feguson Missouri protestors . The worst tactic in the world is to block traffic on major roads because it will make enemies of 100% of the motorists they detain . The second-worst is looting because it reveals a motive of personal gain rather than a goal of political change . The third worst tactic is arson because no one but a fool finds it thinkable ; Arson endangers firefighters' lives as well as anyone who may be inside a burning building for whatever reason . These blunders are compounded when the objective is murky ; are the protestors hoping to force the police and neighborhood watch volunteers to leave black criminals alone ? Are they doing all this just to plant cameras on all police officers ? Are they simply rioting and yelling to feel powerful and to get revenge on white people for perceived wrongs ?
Regardless, the predictable result will be another 50 years of people regarding blacks with fear and suspicion, avoiding them, discriminating against them . The innocent will suffer along with the guilty .
The blunders of WWII don't seem so idiotic in the context of today .
Excellent post,especially about Ferguson Mo.
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Old 12-05-2014, 09:12 PM   #225
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Those who criticize Patton and McArthur for leading from the front know very little about leadership.

Would you fight harder for a leader that says "CHARGE" or for a leader that says 'FOLLOW ME?"

Julius Caesar defeated Versingatorix at Alesia because he personally led the final charge against overwhelming odds. Roman soldiers saw his scarlet robe blowing in the wind and rallied to defeat the Gauls.

The charge up San Juan Hill was led from the front by Teddy Roosevelt.

And as for HairyAss Truman and his "limited war" just look at what he started. We haven't had a decisive victory in a war since WW2. (except for a couple of very small engagements during the brief time when we had a real man, Ronald Reagan, in the WH)
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Old 12-07-2014, 10:49 AM   #226
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Those who criticize Patton and McArthur for leading from the front know very little about leadership.
Patton was not a leader, he was a "Theory X" (See: McGregor), commanderA.K.A., Personnel Manager. There is a difference. Riding around in a Jeep near the front line, slapping soldiers in field hospitals, giving soldiers fines for minor offenses and deriding them does not a leader make.
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Would you fight harder for a leader that says "CHARGE" or for a leader that says 'FOLLOW ME?"
If he ever did that (please supply a citation), that would make him a micromanager, who was usurping the role of a junior officer. A "Platoon Leader" (usually a Second Luitentnt), is the one who would be the one to shout, "Follow me." His strategy may have won battles, but his childish posturing and ranting did nothing to motivate his men. In short, he was a poor leader and miserable human being and his sucesses were not because of his
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leadership
style, it was in spite of it. If you knew anything about the science of leadership (see McGregor again), you would know that.
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Originally Posted by locutus View Post
And as for HairyAss Truman and his "limited war" just look at what he started. We haven't had a decisive victory in a war since WW2. (except for a couple of very small engagements during the brief time when we had a real man, Ronald Reagan, in the WH)
Harry Truman was responsible for the indecisive Vietnam, and the current middle eastern wars? Gosh, I thought Harry had been dead for years.

Last edited by dahermit; 12-07-2014 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 12-10-2014, 02:17 AM   #227
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