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#21 Jim Martin

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 0240 AM

A bit of Germanophile wet dreaming of the kind favoured by Max Hastings, methinks. I can think of several examples of German troops getting second prize when they had equality or even superiority.

BillB


One of the episodes of "Band of Brothers" shows the incident where a platoon led by Dick Winters took out was it 2 companies of Waffen SS? In Holland.
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#22 superfractal

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 0322 AM

.
In World War I they almost did it, at least to a draw. Only the arrival of US armies tilted the balance, together with an economy in shambles due to blockade.
So to answer I'd say that the myth about german prowess is quite sound, keeping in mind what were their weaknesses.


Thats not true, in ww1(i assume you are talking about the 1918 offensive) never actualy broke the British line and it's debatable what it would have acheived as at that time there trianing and equipment were not up to the standard of the British army. Who managed to break through the German line as a matter of course (arguably from the somme).
Although the German army did develop the Storm trooper tactics (originaly from pioneer battalions i belive), but they only did this for a vey small proportion of the army, most infantry divisions had changed little tacticly from 1914 (except for the tight columns, and in one case i have read, attempting to fire bolt actions from the hip!) the German army remained very rigid and unflexible throughout much of ww1.

Remember Rommel was an infantry commander in ww1, his book "infantry attacks" was based on his understanding of British infantry attacks as he saw them(or at least so i have read.).

Thats not to say that the German army did not have it good side's in ww1, but alot of the German army's early succsess can be attributed to there mobilisation time rather than ability.
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#23 Wolfman

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 0332 AM

One of the episodes of "Band of Brothers" shows the incident where a platoon led by Dick Winters took out was it 2 companies of Waffen SS? In Holland.


Right, at the crossroads, immediately following Market Garden. I recall 50 German KIA and 100+ WIA, for 1 US KIA and something like 22 WIA from the resulting German artillery barrage.

Edited by Wolfman, 06 January 2007 - 0333 AM.

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#24 Nic240

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 0427 AM

Thats not true, in ww1(i assume you are talking about the 1918 offensive) never actualy broke the British line and it's debatable what it would have acheived as at that time there trianing and equipment were not up to the standard of the British army. Who managed to break through the German line as a matter of course (arguably from the somme).
Although the German army did develop the Storm trooper tactics (originaly from pioneer battalions i belive), but they only did this for a vey small proportion of the army, most infantry divisions had changed little tacticly from 1914 (except for the tight columns, and in one case i have read, attempting to fire bolt actions from the hip!) the German army remained very rigid and unflexible throughout much of ww1.

Remember Rommel was an infantry commander in ww1, his book "infantry attacks" was based on his understanding of British infantry attacks as he saw them(or at least so i have read.).

Thats not to say that the German army did not have it good side's in ww1, but alot of the German army's early succsess can be attributed to there mobilisation time rather than ability.

It has been a long time since I read infantry attacks but most of what I remember has Rommel fighting against the French in the first part of the war and against the Italians for most of the rest of the war. When I first read it I was looking for new tactical insight and found what he was writing about was the same thing I was trained for at Ft. Benning in 1978.
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#25 Gabe

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 0512 AM

Win or lose, in the end people only remember you for the cool toys.
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#26 Ken Estes

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 0539 AM

Trot off and read some accounts by people who fought against them, it might give you a clue. They might not have won a war and as Tony says the praise might get a bit overdone sometimes, but as he also says they nonetheless took some beating at the operational level. Even when taking on half the world virtually single handed.

BillB

I think it is on a dedication page of Russ Weigley's Eisenhower's Lts there appears quoted passage of the British Army: "One cannot claim to have seen modern warfare until one has fought the German Army" or words to that effect.

Back to the thread:
Tradition counts. It dates from Prussian victories under Frederick II [the Great], reinforced by Bluecher & Company and the 1813-15 campaigns in Germany, France and Belgium, then the striking series of victories in the three wars of German Unification, 1864-71 [well, not so striking 1864!].

While WWI did not bring final victory, the Germans did the heavy lifting for the Central Powers and the performance of their armies [aided by the postwar myth that they were never defeated in the field, "just stabbed in the back by the liberals" -- a popular rightwing notion that seems international] means that the army of 1939 is poised to fignt and win. It then goes on to accomplish just that, until late 1942.

Edited by Ken Estes, 06 January 2007 - 0540 AM.

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#27 superfractal

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 0554 AM

It has been a long time since I read infantry attacks but most of what I remember has Rommel fighting against the French in the first part of the war and against the Italians for most of the rest of the war. When I first read it I was looking for new tactical insight and found what he was writing about was the same thing I was trained for at Ft. Benning in 1978.


Well i havnt actualy read infantry attacks, but i was collectivly qouting Paddy Griffith's British art of attack 1916-18 and British army's experience (which has several authors, its more a collection of essays).

The only thing i would say is that i found this http://www.amazon.co...l/dp/0960273603 which puts him in line with your memory. So perhaps rommel was judging from battle reports. Or more likely i forgot exactly what the passage said!

Or perhaps alternativly they Rommell and British high command held similar views, Rommell always sought to outflank his opponents and British high command always sought to re open mobile warfare and out manouver the German army. Perhaps that it what they claimed and i misrememberd.
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#28 savantu

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 0707 AM

The germans lost every war due to being overwhelmed on any level.

It doesn't matter if you have 5000 or 6000 Panthers for which you have no fuel when the enemy has 20000 tanks , produces more in a month than you in 6 and has unlimited fuel and support.

The allies get a lot of praise for their performance against the germans in the west , but IMO they sucked badly.They enjoyed such a superiority on all accounts that it was something like US vs. Iraq in 2003.Yet , they needed almost 9 months to advance as much.

Taking Ardennes as an example of allied performance is equally dumb IMO , the germans stopped because they remained without fuel.The americans were to busy saving their south pole to even fire back.
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#29 Jim Martin

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 0714 AM

It has been a long time since I read infantry attacks but most of what I remember has Rommel fighting against the French in the first part of the war and against the Italians for most of the rest of the war. When I first read it I was looking for new tactical insight and found what he was writing about was the same thing I was trained for at Ft. Benning in 1978.


They were teaching reconnaissance-pull doctrine and mission orders at Benning in 1978???

I was still being taught 5 paragraph orders by the USMC in 1992.....
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#30 superfractal

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 0734 AM

The germans lost every war due to being overwhelmed on any level.

It doesn't matter if you have 5000 or 6000 Panthers for which you have no fuel when the enemy has 20000 tanks , produces more in a month than you in 6 and has unlimited fuel and support.

The allies get a lot of praise for their performance against the germans in the west , but IMO they sucked badly.They enjoyed such a superiority on all accounts that it was something like US vs. Iraq in 2003.Yet , they needed almost 9 months to advance as much.

Taking Ardennes as an example of allied performance is equally dumb IMO , the germans stopped because they remained without fuel.The americans were to busy saving their south pole to even fire back.


Unlimited fuel and ammo did you say! i suppose you have a source for that? You see because around septembe the Allied army's only had enough supplies for one big push. doesnt tend to happen with unlimited supllies?

And how did the allies suck badly in italy or normandy where they managed to inflict casulties at a rate of what 2-1 over all? And im pretty sure the Germans were not equiped that badly i mean they managed counter attacks on the 6th june and were attempting more later. Im not sure how many armoured counter attacks iraq managed on the first day!
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#31 Jim Martin

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 0737 AM

Unlimited fuel and ammo did you say! i suppose you have a source for that? You see because around septembe the Allied army's only had enough supplies for one big push. doesnt tend to happen with unlimited supllies?


Actually, the situation changed dramatically in the fall of 1944 with the clearing of the Scheldt Estuary and the opening of the port of Antwerp. By Feb 1945, the Allies truly were swimming in supplies. Even prior to that, the availability of fuel, ammunition, spare parts, maintenance support, etc to the Allies, far outstripped that available to the Germans in 1944.

The Germans may have repulsed Market Garden, but they did so with horribly understrength units. The problem for the Allies was that paratroopers are no match even for understrength armored formations, and the Germans were fighting a defensive battle against XXX Corps in conditions which heavily favored the defender--"Okay, the Germans won the coin toss. XXX Corps, you get to drive on this single-lane elevated road, single file, while the germans hide in the woods and shoot anti-tank guns at you the entire length of your trip..."
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#32 superfractal

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 0743 AM

Actually, the situation changed dramatically in the fall of 1944 with the clearing of the Scheldt Estuary and the opening of the port of Antwerp. By Feb 1945, the Allies truly were swimming in supplies. Even prior to that, the availability of fuel, ammunition, spare parts, maintenance support, etc to the Allies, far outstripped that available to the Germans in 1944.


yes you are right, but i just dont think it was unlimited in terms of delivery at least. There would still be logistical constraints and there would be a certain maximum inherent within that. The allies may have produced more ammo than they needed but thats not quite the same thing as unlimited. Especialy as intense fighting would still lead to shortages in the short term.

I just dont buy the "allies only won cuz they built teh sherman", it may have been a big factor but the strategic strength of allied command was the reason. The free flowing supllies was a symptom.
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#33 BillB

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 0828 AM

One of the episodes of "Band of Brothers" shows the incident where a platoon led by Dick Winters took out was it 2 companies of Waffen SS? In Holland.

Yup, if you add that to the fight at Brecourt Manor and Carentan that's three examples from just one unit. Now of course you could play devil's advocate and point out that the 101st Airborne were not you run of the mill Allied unit, but that was not in the original discussion parameter. Plus there are plenty of examples from the "run of the mill" too. :)

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#34 BillB

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 0831 AM

The allies get a lot of praise for their performance against the germans in the west , but IMO they sucked badly.They enjoyed such a superiority on all accounts that it was something like US vs. Iraq in 2003.Yet , they needed almost 9 months to advance as much.

Taking Ardennes as an example of allied performance is equally dumb IMO , the germans stopped because they remained without fuel.The americans were to busy saving their south pole to even fire back.

Thanks for that, Savantu. If that's the best you can do, how about just leaving the adults to talk. :rolleyes:

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#35 BillB

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 0832 AM

Thats not true, in ww1(i assume you are talking about the 1918 offensive) never actualy broke the British line and it's debatable what it would have acheived as at that time there trianing and equipment were not up to the standard of the British army. Who managed to break through the German line as a matter of course (arguably from the somme).
Although the German army did develop the Storm trooper tactics (originaly from pioneer battalions i belive), but they only did this for a vey small proportion of the army, most infantry divisions had changed little tacticly from 1914 (except for the tight columns, and in one case i have read, attempting to fire bolt actions from the hip!) the German army remained very rigid and unflexible throughout much of ww1.

Remember Rommel was an infantry commander in ww1, his book "infantry attacks" was based on his understanding of British infantry attacks as he saw them(or at least so i have read.).

Thats not to say that the German army did not have it good side's in ww1, but alot of the German army's early succsess can be attributed to there mobilisation time rather than ability.

Good post, well put FWIW.

BillB
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#36 Jim Martin

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 0835 AM

The germans lost every war due to being overwhelmed on any level.

It doesn't matter if you have 5000 or 6000 Panthers for which you have no fuel when the enemy has 20000 tanks , produces more in a month than you in 6 and has unlimited fuel and support.

The allies get a lot of praise for their performance against the germans in the west , but IMO they sucked badly.They enjoyed such a superiority on all accounts that it was something like US vs. Iraq in 2003.Yet , they needed almost 9 months to advance as much.

Taking Ardennes as an example of allied performance is equally dumb IMO , the germans stopped because they remained without fuel.The americans were to busy saving their south pole to even fire back.



Try reading some non-fiction some day. My copy of Mansoor's "GI Offensive in Europe" is boxed up somewhere, but he has ammunition expenditure figures for the 28th Inf. Division in the Bulge on Dec. 16--the amount of ammunition they used was absolutely astronomical, and shows a very determined defense being waged. Perhaps someone else with a copy of Mansoor's book can post the figures and educate poor savantu.
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#37 BillB

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 0844 AM

Win or lose, in the end people only remember you for the cool toys.

Sad, but so very, very true.... :(

BillB
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#38 Marek Tucan

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 0847 AM

The allies get a lot of praise for their performance against the germans in the west , but IMO they sucked badly.They enjoyed such a superiority on all accounts that it was something like US vs. Iraq in 2003.Yet , they needed almost 9 months to advance as much.


Maybe they didn't advance so much because they didn't want to pave their path to Berlin with countless bodies inmassive frontal attacks?
Besides, the supply was critically restricted until the Antwerpes harbor got opened.

Taking Ardennes as an example of allied performance is equally dumb IMO , the germans stopped because they remained without fuel.The americans were to busy saving their south pole to even fire back.

Really? Maybe you should find out something against defense of Bastogne or St Vith. Or about that group of stubborn engineers that delayed KG Peiper for quite some time.
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#39 superfractal

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 0858 AM

Good post, well put FWIW.

BillB


thankyou, although i think i cocked up a little on the infantry attacks part.
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#40 BillB

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 0914 AM

thankyou, although i think i cocked up a little on the infantry attacks part.

Mebbe, but more than near enough for government work, IMHO. :D

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