Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (Full Version)

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Canoerebel -> Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 4:41:50 PM)

Which do you think cost the Axis Powers the greatest strategic harm in World War II?

1) Japanese failure to equip fighters with self-sealing gas tanks and armor

2) German failure to equip heavy tanks with machine guns

3) German failure to have fighters with sufficient legs to escort bombers deeply into Britain




Dobey -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 4:47:54 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel

Which do you think cost the Axis Powers the greatest strategic harm in World War II?

1) Japanese failure to equip fighters with self-sealing gas tanks and armor

2) German failure to equip heavy tanks with machine guns

3) German failure to have fighters with sufficient legs to escort bombers deeply into Britain



I'm going to go with a variation of number 3. The fact that even with long range escorts the German tactical bombers were totally insufficient to use in a strategic bombing campign. i.e the lack of long range, heavily armed, strategic bombers. (Which may have also been able to be employed against the soviets later).




scott1964 -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 4:48:34 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel

Which do you think cost the Axis Powers the greatest strategic harm in World War II?

1) Japanese failure to equip fighters with self-sealing gas tanks and armor

2) German failure to equip heavy tanks with machine guns

3) German failure to have fighters with sufficient legs to escort bombers deeply into Britain

How about #4: Hitler's stupidity. [X(]




che200 -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 4:52:11 PM)

1. No. not that important they got armour in 1943 the problem, the real problem was there replacment/training program for pilots. 

2. No Only some german tanks lacked machineguns.(They were tank destroyers)

3. Caused the most harm. Had there been german fighters with greater range the casualties the luftwaffe took would have been less.(and they needed to attack the radar stations as well)




CarnageINC -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 4:55:02 PM)

Not to be picky but these all have tactical implications not strategic. 

Out of your choices I say 1, it hurt them over the long run.

2.  the Germans had great combined arms doctrine so I think that the impact of the guns was not as great as 1.
3.  The British would of fought on regardless and I think it would of only prolonged what resulted anyways.

I would say the biggest strategic blunder was the Luftwaffe breaking off bombing FC fields and going after the cities.  They were so close to having air superiority that I think Hitler might of thought twice about attacking Britian.




Canoerebel -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 5:14:34 PM)

Don't "poo-poo" the lack of machine guns on German tanks.  That killed the Panzer divisions during the Battle of Kursk.




Q-Ball -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 5:29:30 PM)

I don't think the MGs were even the biggest tank problem for the Germans. Their biggest problems were in tank-production, specifically they kept building obsolete types longer than they should have, built way too many variations and chassis which limited opportunities for economies of scale, and over-engineered alot of their tanks regardless.

What German AFVs didn't have MGs? I thought all of them did except the Marders.




mcissell -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 5:31:03 PM)

I know you gave us only three stratege sugestions but none of those were the answer. The German and Japanese miltary leaders either failed to learn about the American Civil War, or if they did, they competley misunderstood it. Now this may be grand-strategy and if so maybe I didn't read the question.




Shark7 -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 5:32:44 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel

Which do you think cost the Axis Powers the greatest strategic harm in World War II?

1) Japanese failure to equip fighters with self-sealing gas tanks and armor

2) German failure to equip heavy tanks with machine guns

3) German failure to have fighters with sufficient legs to escort bombers deeply into Britain


4) Declaring War on the worlds 2 greatest producers at the same time, along with the rest of the Free World. [;)]




Hard Sarge -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 5:37:29 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel

Don't "poo-poo" the lack of machine guns on German tanks.  That killed the Panzer divisions during the Battle of Kursk.


read the quatermasters reports, they didn't get killed, and it was only one AFV that didn't have MGs on it

end of the battle, they were able to pull a number of Panzer Divs out of the lines and rush them to the Med to defend against the landings there, with out having to refit

the loss of the Panzer Divs at Kursk is a Russian Myth




Rob Brennan UK -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 5:38:33 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Q-Ball

I don't think the MGs were even the biggest tank problem for the Germans. Their biggest problems were in tank-production, specifically they kept building obsolete types longer than they should have, built way too many variations and chassis which limited opportunities for economies of scale, and over-engineered alot of their tanks regardless.

What German AFVs didn't have MGs? I thought all of them did except the Marders.


I think CanoeRebels reffering to the Elephant/Ferdinand super tank destroyers. More akin to mobile pillboxes than tanks , they suffered from far more than being overrun by soviet tank killer squads. the entire premise was flawed .. 5 more stugs vs 1 elephant would have been a better use of resources imo.

pretty much all german tanks had good MG armament so it's not a generic problem anyway.




Hard Sarge -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 5:40:20 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Q-Ball

I don't think the MGs were even the biggest tank problem for the Germans. Their biggest problems were in tank-production, specifically they kept building obsolete types longer than they should have, built way too many variations and chassis which limited opportunities for economies of scale, and over-engineered alot of their tanks regardless.

What German AFVs didn't have MGs? I thought all of them did except the Marders.


the Elephant didn't carry a bow mounted MG, later model did, along with a AA mount

depends on which Marder you mean, a number of them had a bow gun, most still had a AA mount, but again, that is a Tank hunter, not a Tank




Hard Sarge -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 5:42:28 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel

Which do you think cost the Axis Powers the greatest strategic harm in World War II?

1) Japanese failure to equip fighters with self-sealing gas tanks and armor

2) German failure to equip heavy tanks with machine guns

3) German failure to have fighters with sufficient legs to escort bombers deeply into Britain


would say letting the English get away at Dunkirk was more important to any of these, if you capture those, then the bluff of SeaLion has more effect





AcePylut -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 5:47:17 PM)

2 major mistakes:

#1) Dunkirk
#2) That mistake made on June 22, 1941





Nikademus -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 5:49:46 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Hard Sarge


quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel

Don't "poo-poo" the lack of machine guns on German tanks.  That killed the Panzer divisions during the Battle of Kursk.


read the quatermasters reports, they didn't get killed, and it was only one AFV that didn't have MGs on it

end of the battle, they were able to pull a number of Panzer Divs out of the lines and rush them to the Med to defend against the landings there, with out having to refit

the loss of the Panzer Divs at Kursk is a Russian Myth



I think someone must have found an old copy of The Tigers Are Burning [:D]




John 3rd -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 5:58:40 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: CarnageINC

Not to be picky but these all have tactical implications not strategic. 

Out of your choices I say 1, it hurt them over the long run.

2.  the Germans had great combined arms doctrine so I think that the impact of the guns was not as great as 1.
3.  The British would of fought on regardless and I think it would of only prolonged what resulted anyways.

I would say the biggest strategic blunder was the Luftwaffe breaking off bombing FC fields and going after the cities.  They were so close to having air superiority that I think Hitler might of thought twice about attacking Britian.



Concur. The Germans should NEVER have stopped bombing the RAF Sector AFs. They nearly ahd the RAF on the ropes. It is a great 'what if.'




JohnDillworth -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 6:07:12 PM)

quote:

How about #4: Hitler's stupidity.

If Hitler doesn't hang that right turn at Kharkov we would all be driving Volkswagens[sm=Tank-fahr09.gif]




JohnDillworth -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 6:09:59 PM)

quote:

2 major mistakes:

#1) Dunkirk
#2) That mistake made on June 22, 1941

yup, If they go in May 1941 as planned this is altogether a much closer thing




Hard Sarge -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 6:25:45 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Nikademus


quote:

ORIGINAL: Hard Sarge


quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel

Don't "poo-poo" the lack of machine guns on German tanks.  That killed the Panzer divisions during the Battle of Kursk.


read the quatermasters reports, they didn't get killed, and it was only one AFV that didn't have MGs on it

end of the battle, they were able to pull a number of Panzer Divs out of the lines and rush them to the Med to defend against the landings there, with out having to refit

the loss of the Panzer Divs at Kursk is a Russian Myth



I think someone must have found an old copy of The Tigers Are Burning [:D]


not read that in ages, but got much better ones lying around :)

GF let you open the pocket book yet ? I got a battle plan waiting just for you !




Canoerebel -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 6:30:53 PM)

The Tigers are Burning is probably the worst work of history I've ever read (not being negative here - I've posted several times about the best history books I've read, but truly this one was the worst)




Dobey -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 7:13:04 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Hard Sarge


read the quatermasters reports, they didn't get killed, and it was only one AFV that didn't have MGs on it

end of the battle, they were able to pull a number of Panzer Divs out of the lines and rush them to the Med to defend against the landings there, with out having to refit

the loss of the Panzer Divs at Kursk is a Russian Myth


From what I've read this is pretty much the case. Kursk was the largest armoured battle in history, yes, but it wasn't the loss of Armour that hurt the Germans it was the staggering losses to their Panzer Grenadier formations (The elite mechanised infantry). In particular the Grossdeutchland Division(sp) was out of action for some time, not cause it couldn't replace the tanks, but because it couldn't train quality infantry fast enough to replace casualties.




Q-Ball -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 7:17:24 PM)

"What If's" are always interesting, but moreso to me for the War in Europe.

I think the Germans could have produced a different result by not attacking Russia, or keeping up the pressure on the RAF, not declaring war on USA, or any number of interesting scenarios that possibly could have changed the war's outcome. Even if the RAF is destroyed I don't think the Brits surrender, but I guess you can argue it's possible.

I struggle, though, to come up with any what-if that would produce a result for Japan other than it's destruction. Better pilots, more carriers, reverse Midway, etc......the result to me is all the same. Japan gets crushed in 1944, period. I suppose it's theoretically possible that Japan retains more territory by withdrawing from China and suing for peace, but the Army would NEVER have allowed it, even if the Emperor had ordered it.




Nikademus -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 7:17:30 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Hard Sarge


not read that in ages, but got much better ones lying around :)

GF let you open the pocket book yet ? I got a battle plan waiting just for you !



Its nice to be wanted. Maybe this week. Just had to fork out serious buckage for Sadkovich's "The Italian Navy in WWII"






castor troy -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 7:44:44 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel

Don't "poo-poo" the lack of machine guns on German tanks.  That killed the Panzer divisions during the Battle of Kursk.



only 90 Ferdinand didnīt have a MG, all other tanks had them. Strategically this hasnīt had any effect on the Germans. Halve of those heavy tank destroyers were equipped with an MG34 as a field conversion.




FatR -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 7:50:31 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel

Don't "poo-poo" the lack of machine guns on German tanks.  That killed the Panzer divisions during the Battle of Kursk.

Eh, that's probably a misunderstanding, stemming from the fact that Elefants (and only them) indeed had no machine guns. Except, they only got in a situation where they needed them once during the entire battle (normally, they were placed in the rear of tank formations to repel counterattacks with their heavy guns). And there was only 90 of them out of approximately 3 thousands of tanks, tank killers and self-propelled guns.




moonraker -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 7:57:01 PM)

Well for me it's the first one. Because the Japanese also didn't fit much in the way of protective armour for pilots either which caused a fair few casualties especially once the Allies got better fighters.




Q-Ball -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 8:48:37 PM)

How about this choice:

1) Japanese failure to appreciate the effectiveness of US submarines, and commit adequate resources

2) German failure to put economy on full war footing until 1942. Even then, failure to adopt full US industrial practices for assembly line production (rather than "batch" production)

3) German failure to develop a strategic bomber (the Luftwaffe was really a ground-support airforce)

....I think any of these are probably more important than the original list. Maybe too strategic, because you could add to that, in general: "Axis failure to fully appreciate the industrial strength and resolve of the Allied powers, particularly that of the United States"




Zemke_4 -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 8:54:38 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel

Which do you think cost the Axis Powers the greatest strategic harm in World War II?

1) Japanese failure to equip fighters with self-sealing gas tanks and armor

2) German failure to equip heavy tanks with machine guns

3) German failure to have fighters with sufficient legs to escort bombers deeply into Britain


All of three of these make huge assumtions, and should be put into historical context.
For Example...
(2) Most German tanks had MGs, the one you refer to in the Battle of Kursk was known as the Elephant or Ferdinand, based on the Porsche chassis. 90 were built and sent to the battle, they were credited with over 500 tank kills. 48 survived the battle. The only way to kill them due to their heavy armor was close assault by infantry, thus the famous "they had no MG problem. When they were used properly, according to doctrine, they were very effective killers of other tanks.

1943 - German SP Assault Gun/Tank Destroyer 8.8cm(3.5") Mounted on Porsche Tiger Tank chassis (Sd Kfz 184)"Elephant" "Ferdinand"




JohnDillworth -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 8:59:15 PM)

quote:

How about this choice:

1) Japanese failure to appreciate the effectiveness of US submarines, and commit adequate resources

2) German failure to put economy on full war footing until 1942. Even then, failure to adopt full US industrial practices for assembly line production (rather than "batch" production)

3) German failure to develop a strategic bomber (the Luftwaffe was really a ground-support airforce)


1 was huge. The USN essentially accomplished what the Kriegsmarine wanted to do with the U-boats. Almost complete shutdown of a merchant fleet

2 was big but the economy did eventually come up to speed. Not mass producing adequate models of tanks hurt. They developed excellent tanks but could not mass produce them. Thje tiger is a great example. They were like coo koo clocks. Each hand built in Bavaria. They did however, produce pelnty of adequate aircraft. Plenty of 109's and 190's. Excellent aircraft both.

# 3 I don't think would have made any difference. Russians had massive industrial capacity and they just would have moved it further and further back. Unless they came up with a B-29 it would have made no difference.




mike scholl 1 -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/1/2010 9:24:02 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel

Which do you think cost the Axis Powers the greatest strategic harm in World War II?

1) Japanese failure to equip fighters with self-sealing gas tanks and armor

2) German failure to equip heavy tanks with machine guns

3) German failure to have fighters with sufficient legs to escort bombers deeply into Britain



None of the above. Failure to adequately mobilize their industrial base to support a prolonged battle of attrition was by far the worst blunder. None of the Axis powers really tried to fully mobilize their economies until 1943---which is why their most productive year was 1944. There are many reasons for this, but all come back to the basic ignorance and prejudice of their military and national command authority.




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