Did the allies use the best strategy...? - Page 8


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Old 07-18-2014, 12:00 AM   #71
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The following article is relevant to this discussion even though the idea of a purely air war is not addressed :
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1208521/MAX-HASTINGS-How-Churchill-bullied-D-Da--triumphant-achievement--Americans.html

" It was memories of so many failures that made Churchill acutely apprehensive about D-Day, fearful to the last that something terrible could happen in Normandy.
As late as February 1944, amid a fit of depression he cried out: ‘Why are we trying to do this?’He briefly urged an alternative Allied landing in Portugal.

Likewise, the head of the Army, that fine soldier General Sir Alan Brooke, wrote bleakly on June 5 about the invasion: ‘At its best, it will fall far short of the expectations of the bulk of the people, namely all those who know nothing about its difficulties. At its worst, it may well be the most ghastly disaster of the whole war.’ "
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2650125/The-British-peoples-greatest-day-Cynics-say-time-But-today-raise-glass-sheer-ingenuity-courage-bloody-mindedness-Britons-like-Stan-Hollis-turned-potential-disaster-awesome-victory.html



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Old 07-18-2014, 10:42 PM   #72
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Thank God Ike didn't listen to Patton. He wanted to land at Calais. Right in the teeth of Rommel's panzers.



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Old 07-19-2014, 12:19 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by Rentacop View Post
The following article is relevant to this discussion even though the idea of a purely air war is not addressed :
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1208521/MAX-HASTINGS-How-Churchill-bullied-D-Da--triumphant-achievement--Americans.html

" It was memories of so many failures that made Churchill acutely apprehensive about D-Day, fearful to the last that something terrible could happen in Normandy.
As late as February 1944, amid a fit of depression he cried out: ‘Why are we trying to do this?’He briefly urged an alternative Allied landing in Portugal.

Likewise, the head of the Army, that fine soldier General Sir Alan Brooke, wrote bleakly on June 5 about the invasion: ‘At its best, it will fall far short of the expectations of the bulk of the people, namely all those who know nothing about its difficulties. At its worst, it may well be the most ghastly disaster of the whole war.’ "
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2650125/The-British-peoples-greatest-day-Cynics-say-time-But-today-raise-glass-sheer-ingenuity-courage-bloody-mindedness-Britons-like-Stan-Hollis-turned-potential-disaster-awesome-victory.html
The answer is, because of Stalin. That's where Stalin wanted the Second Front. He had reasons to oppose a Balkan invasion, favored by Churchill. Churchill was overruled by our President, who felt that he alone understood the Russians and had the key to Uncle Joe's inner soul, while his own mental health was deteriorating. (I am not trying to open a "second front" of debate here; just the facts)

As a footnote. Some writers, especially in periodicals, make too much of Churchill's depression to dramatize and "humidify" their stories. There is no evidence that Churchill's mood changed history in any meaningful way.
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Old 07-19-2014, 02:00 AM   #74
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I think the Me-262 is oversold.
It was a complete overmatch against our best aircraft of the time, but it was never a significant threat.

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The British had a working jet fighter before the Germans. Don't remember why they didn't pursue it, but the Germans were not unique in designing jets. If the Me-262 had started showing up in respectable numbers I suspect it would have just led to the Allies putting a higher priority in their own designs.
Sort of. Did it fly? Yes. It even flew in combat. Was it any more performant than their prop driven aircraft of the time? In acceleration and top speed, obviously, but handling for early models was not as good as the British expected. There were something like 900 or less built and they had 450 deaths. Not a stellar safety record, if you ask me.

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When it came to Air Power, the Allies did not stand still. Germany had some killer designs, but they lacked the production capability to field them in the numbers they needed. Hell, the Focke-Wulfes were dedicated killers, but Germany never had enough of them. Fast, fairly maneuverable, and armed to the teeth. Those things were nightmares. Instead, they had to stick with the Me-109 throughout the war because they already had a steady production of them. Granted, they had added so much to the 109 design that the ones in 1944 were vastly different than the ones from 1940.
The ME-109 was not as maneuverable as comparable designs due to wing loading whereas the FW-190 was a solid general purpose fighter, akin to our P-47 but lacking the armor, although purpose-built ground attack variants received more armor.

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This was also the problem with the Me-262. By the time the design was ready for production, the Germans had already expended a vast amount of resources and they were being bombed to hell and back by the Allies. Even, assuming, they switched everything to producing it AND their factories weren't bombed to hell, the Allies could still outproduce them. If the Germans started fielding jets routinely, we would have done the same and made more of them.
The problem was the engines and it was a problem shared by all German jet engines of the time. They could not produce the alloys required for the engines' operating temperatures.

In the grand scheme of things, jet aircraft were not a significant threat in German hands because Germany did not have, and never had, any significant quantity of fuel for any purpose. If you look at the total production output in WWII, axis fuel production was dwarfed by allied fuel production. In other words, even if Germany managed to solve its problems with jet engines and had the ME-262 a year ahead of when it did, the outcome of the war was a foregone conclusion.
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Old 07-22-2014, 07:34 PM   #75
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One of the turning points was when we bombed the conversion plants in the Ruhr valley that converted coal to gasoline. That was the last nail in the coffin as far as their fuel situation was concerned.

But Hitler's biggest strategic mistake was timing.

Most of his best and brightest from the General Staff and Admiralty told him that Germany could not properly be mobilized for all out war before 1945-1950 at the earliest.

They needed to convert all horse drawn equipment to motorized. They needed trucks to move infantry instead of boots. Especially across the vast distances of Russia. They felt they needed semi-automatic or automatic rifles to replace the Kar 98 as well.

They needed to build a very large long range bomber fleet.

The German Generals and Field Marshals knew what they were about, but they couldn't convince Hitler.

The Admiralty wanted many more and newer U-boats and half a dozen more super Battleships, along with a credible fleet of modern destroyers.

Most nations just "make do" with whatever they have when the war tocsin sounds. Very few have ever had the fore thought (or been willing to spend the money) to actually prepare properly.

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Old 07-22-2014, 09:03 PM   #76
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One of the turning points was when we bombed the conversion plants in the Ruhr valley that converted coal to gasoline. That was the last nail in the coffin as far as their fuel situation was concerned.

But Hitler's biggest strategic mistake was timing.

Most of his best and brightest from the General Staff and Admiralty told him that Germany could not properly be mobilized for all out war before 1945-1950 at the earliest.

They needed to convert all horse drawn equipment to motorized. They needed trucks to move infantry instead of boots. Especially across the vast distances of Russia. They felt they needed semi-automatic or automatic rifles to replace the Kar 98 as well.

They needed to build a very large long range bomber fleet.

The German Generals and Field Marshals knew what they were about, but they couldn't convince Hitler.

The Admiralty wanted many more and newer U-boats and half a dozen more super Battleships, along with a credible fleet of modern destroyers.

Most nations just "make do" with whatever they have when the war tocsin sounds. Very few have ever had the fore thought (or been willing to spend the money) to actually prepare properly.
Then his adversaries would have been better prepared also. The element of surprise would have been lost.
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Old 07-23-2014, 04:59 PM   #77
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One of the turning points was when we bombed the conversion plants in the Ruhr valley that converted coal to gasoline. That was the last nail in the coffin as far as their fuel situation was concerned.
The turning point was throwing resources at any idea that struck der Fuhrer's fancy and not listening to his experts in weapons design, tactics, and strategy.

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But Hitler's biggest strategic mistake was timing.
I think his greatest mistakes was not using all of Germania, Jewish, Aryan, or otherwise. Their own pride, arrogance, and persecution of their own people ultimately sapped Germany's brain trust, wealth, and production capacity.

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Most of his best and brightest from the General Staff and Admiralty told him that Germany could not properly be mobilized for all out war before 1945-1950 at the earliest.
Correct. This would be why a corporal can not and should not run the army, no matter how charismatic. Given the fanatical loyalty that the overwhelming majority of Germans had for him, a reasonable man would've permitted his staff to simply take direction and then determine the details of how to get there on their own.

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They needed to convert all horse drawn equipment to motorized. They needed trucks to move infantry instead of boots. Especially across the vast distances of Russia. They felt they needed semi-automatic or automatic rifles to replace the Kar 98 as well.
Germany did not have, and never had, sufficient fuel resources for the kind of transportation infrastructure that would have been required to win a war with Russia, let alone America.

Germany really needed standardization, which was really only something that America achieved, with respect to motor vehicles. For instance, if Germany had a common armored vehicle platform for personnel carrier, tank, and self-propelled guns, whether the platform was perfect for all roles or not would have been insignificant compared to being able to cannibalize parts from any type of vehicle to press another type into service.

The time and effort wasted on the Tiger, Ferdinand/Elefant, Maus, and the enormous railway guns were perfect examples of the waste I speak of and why Germany was destined to fail from a logistics and production standpoint.

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They needed to build a very large long range bomber fleet.
Where would they have flown their very large long range bomber fleet without gas? Germany did not have long range bombers because they were not necessary for the type of fighting that it engaged in.

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The German Generals and Field Marshals knew what they were about, but they couldn't convince Hitler.
Yep.

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The Admiralty wanted many more and newer U-boats and half a dozen more super Battleships, along with a credible fleet of modern destroyers.
Admiral Donitz realized that battleships were not a realistic counter to the Royal Navy and the Kriegsmarine did not have the resources for those types of ships. The sinking of the Bismarck put the final nail in the coffin with respect to that idea, whereas his U-boats had a marked impact on the ability of the Americans and British to wage war against Germany.

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Most nations just "make do" with whatever they have when the war tocsin sounds. Very few have ever had the fore thought (or been willing to spend the money) to actually prepare properly.
Yep. From a fighting capability perspective, Germany's most glaring shortcoming was the mistaken belief that the aircraft that it started the war with were sufficient for winning the war. If Germany had developed jet aircraft and surface-to-air missile systems earlier in the war, there's a good chance that even with its limited fuel supplies winning the war would have been a very different proposition for the allies.

If the Me-262 fighter or something like it and the surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles were available in quantity by 1942, the allied bombing campaign would've ground to a screeching halt and the only planes in the sky over Germany would have been German. This would have been an efficient use of the limited fuel resources that Germany had available.
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:44 PM   #78
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The limited fuel situation could have been mitigated if they had concentrated on capturing the massive oilfields in the Caucasus, like Runstedt, Paulus, Hoch and Manstein wanted to do rather than wasting massive resources trying to capture Stalingrad and Leningrad for Hitler's ego.



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