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

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bklooste -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/4/2010 2:03:00 PM)

Historically they did not abandond all the SE airfields that were around and N of London ( you dont get more SE than London) which led to the results... Note the premise of my coments was a reply to a suggestion to abandon SE airfields so the germans can continue their atatcks vs the airfields, so your saying you can abandon the SE and have airfields > 250 km N of London ( ie N of York which is still at about 40% range from a plane comming from Calais) and still cap /protect London with reasonable loiter time, now thats smoking. London to Calais is only 149km ( 82 nautical miles)
Range of the Me109 was certainly enough to escort any raids of airfields within range of London. Note the comments about London being at the extreme range of the Me109 are garbage , at that range from further bases than Calais they had only 10 minuntes dog fight time but at combat speeds its only 20 minutes to london and dogfighting uses a lot of fuel.

quote:

ORIGINAL: mike scholl 1


quote:

ORIGINAL: bklooste

How can the RAF do this they would have had to evacuate London since the Germans could strike airfields within fighter range of it...I'm sure the Luftwaffe would have loved sending 300 planes every day over London with indecinaries I think whoever was in charge of the RAF who did that would be out of a job .



What have you been smoking? At best, the Germans hoped to force the British to abandon the airfields along the SE Coast of England. London is farther NW, and at the very limit of Bf-109 range. In fact, many of the airfields in that area were beyond German fighter range. Trying to bomb London in daylight was what got the Luftwaffe soundly trounced in the Battle of Britain..., and closing down the Southeastern airfields would just put more fighters in the London area.






LoBaron -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/4/2010 3:38:19 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: bklooste

Historically they did not abandond all the SE airfields that were around and N of London ( you dont get more SE than London) which led to the results... Note the premise of my coments was a reply to a suggestion to abandon SE airfields so the germans can continue their atatcks vs the airfields, so your saying you can abandon the SE and have airfields > 250 km N of London ( ie N of York which is still at about 40% range from a plane comming from Calais) and still cap /protect London with reasonable loiter time, now thats smoking. London to Calais is only 149km ( 82 nautical miles)
Range of the Me109 was certainly enough to escort any raids of airfields within range of London. Note the comments about London being at the extreme range of the Me109 are garbage , at that range from further bases than Calais they had only 10 minuntes dog fight time but at combat speeds its only 20 minutes to london and dogfighting uses a lot of fuel.

quote:

ORIGINAL: mike scholl 1


quote:

ORIGINAL: bklooste

How can the RAF do this they would have had to evacuate London since the Germans could strike airfields within fighter range of it...I'm sure the Luftwaffe would have loved sending 300 planes every day over London with indecinaries I think whoever was in charge of the RAF who did that would be out of a job .



What have you been smoking? At best, the Germans hoped to force the British to abandon the airfields along the SE Coast of England. London is farther NW, and at the very limit of Bf-109 range. In fact, many of the airfields in that area were beyond German fighter range. Trying to bomb London in daylight was what got the Luftwaffe soundly trounced in the Battle of Britain..., and closing down the Southeastern airfields would just put more fighters in the London area.





The basic problem of this is that alone the knowledge of having only fuel for 10mins on combat power, over enemy territory and with a channel to cross
does weird things to a pilot.
Nearly all daylight raids the Germans sent over London resulted in unbearable losses for the LW.

On the other side of the world Saburo Sakai, when praising his beloved Zero, highlighted its range as one of the major advantages over
the Allies. He pointed out that the ability to fight without thinking about fuel consumtion made this task much easier and emphasised that
low fuel had a huge negative effect on a pilots combat performance. He also expressed
a high respect for the Allied pilots that dared to cross big areas of ocean with their short legged single engine fighter.




Mark Weston -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/4/2010 4:13:48 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: bklooste

Historically they did not abandond all the SE airfields that were around and N of London ( you dont get more SE than London) which led to the results... Note the premise of my coments was a reply to a suggestion to abandon SE airfields so the germans can continue their atatcks vs the airfields, so your saying you can abandon the SE and have airfields > 250 km N of London ( ie N of York which is still at about 40% range from a plane comming from Calais) and still cap /protect London with reasonable loiter time, now thats smoking. London to Calais is only 149km ( 82 nautical miles)
Range of the Me109 was certainly enough to escort any raids of airfields within range of London. Note the comments about London being at the extreme range of the Me109 are garbage , at that range from further bases than Calais they had only 10 minuntes dog fight time but at combat speeds its only 20 minutes to london and dogfighting uses a lot of fuel.


1. "You don't get more SE than London". Look at a map before making definite (and definitively silly) posts. South East of London is what we call Kent, where in fact a number of 11 Group's squadrons were based. Most of 11 Group was based south of London.

2. Surprisingly it wasn't possible to base the several thousand aircraft of two Luftflotte in Calais. Their bases were spread all across northern France, Belgium and Holland. So measuring distances from Calais will give you absurdly optimistic estimates of range and endurance.

3. Forming up 100+ bomber raids from multiple airfields took a lot of time. Calculating combat radius as max range / 2 minus 10 minute allowance for combat will again lead to horribly optimistic estimates when pilots might spend up to an hour circling their airfield before the mission got under way.

4. "Withdrawing north" in the context of this discussion means withdrawing north of the Thames. The idea of pulling the RAF back to York would be a bizarre one which no-one apart from you has mentioned.

5. "Range of the Me109 was certainly enough to escort any raids of airfields within range of London." We know for a fact that the Luftwaffe didn't believe this so I'm not sure why you do.




mike scholl 1 -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/4/2010 6:35:35 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mark Weston
5. "Range of the Me109 was certainly enough to escort any raids of airfields within range of London." We know for a fact that the Luftwaffe didn't believe this so I'm not sure why you do.



Might I suggest that he is looking at the direct transfer range, without the factors of climbing to altitude, forming up, or having to travel at less-than-optimal speed to maintain station on the bombers being escorted? He's probably also assuming that the game's "sweep" routine has some relevance here.

With only the Brits having radar and the forward observer corps, the RAF's Spits and Hurricanes simply avoided the Luftwaffe's "Free Chase" missions and waited for the real targets (the bombers) to show up. All sweeps got the Germans was ops losses..., thus Goering's insistance that his fighters fly "close escort" (severely limiting their range).




LoBaron -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/4/2010 7:21:04 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: mike scholl 1


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mark Weston
5. "Range of the Me109 was certainly enough to escort any raids of airfields within range of London." We know for a fact that the Luftwaffe didn't believe this so I'm not sure why you do.



Might I suggest that he is looking at the direct transfer range, without the factors of climbing to altitude, forming up, or having to travel at less-than-optimal speed to maintain station on the bombers being escorted? He's probably also assuming that the game's "sweep" routine has some relevance here.

With only the Brits having radar and the forward observer corps, the RAF's Spits and Hurricanes simply avoided the Luftwaffe's "Free Chase" missions and waited for the real targets (the bombers) to show up. All sweeps got the Germans was ops losses..., thus Goering's insistance that his fighters fly "close escort" (severely limiting their range).



[:D]

You hit the mark.

This and every British pilot knowing that he can jump over homecountry and probably be seen by a number people out watching and saving, compared to be frightened to look at the fuel gauge
and having the same people watching-if-you-jump-and-funs-over might also have been a bit of a downer...

I guess it must have been a similar feeling for an 8th Airforce pilot in 43. But the ressources behind that were different and thats why this is a strategy game and not a flight simulator. [;)]




Nikademus -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/4/2010 7:47:19 PM)

Fighting over one's own territory does convey advantages, but from what i've read this didn't do much to soothe British/Commonwealth/Allied nerves when the order to scramble came in.




LoBaron -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/4/2010 9:33:36 PM)

Still I don´t think that difference between sudden excitement/fear (like the scambling squads) and nagging/long-time fear (like
crossing the channel/worry about fuel consumption, keeping a large formation in sight, may having to bail over enemy territory)
cancel each other out.
From a "like to have" scenario perspective.

There were only a few heroes and the majority just wanted to complete the ordered mission and get the **** out...





Big B -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/5/2010 1:23:28 AM)

This is historic - because I'm going to publicly admit "I don't know"[:D]
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

But I would guess my three greatest reasons for Axis harm would have been:
1) Point 3 above - not equipping German fighters with workable drop tanks - to allow prolonged air combat over British skies in the BoB. (I understand they made them, but discovered they leaked and were unusable?)

2) BoB shifting prime Luftwaffe target from RAF airfields to cities.

3) Definitely failing to undertake the invasion of Malta. High price - Yes, but doable.

Hard to say overall, many mistakes were made. As someone pointed out - the USA was effectively a co-belligerent with Britain from the beginning.
But, in a moment of fantasy, what if Hitler declared war on Japan instead of the US after PH?
Silly in the extreme, but maybe it would have made active US intervention in Europe a difficult sell for FDR in Dec 1941? It sure wouldn't have hindered Japan's Pacific War since Germany couldn't make the declaration good....

Oh well - Cheers[sm=party-smiley-012.gif]




DaveP -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/5/2010 1:51:49 AM)

Allow me to throw a handgrenade into this discussion.

All of this talk of the Battle of Britain and the lack of German strategic bombing capability is interesting, but irrelevant. WWII in Europe was fought and won in Russia; the participation of the Western Allies was peripheral and of minor importance. The German forces left in the west before 1943 were litttle more than garrisons -- the British posed no real threat (only slightly more than if Britian had been driven to its knees in 40-41). By the time there was a true two front war, the turning point had been reached in Russia and the outcome was already decided. As much as it offends American pride, the participation of the US in Europe only helped speed up a Russian victory (though it was decisivie in keeping Western Europe free of Russian domination in the post-war period).

Most people argue that the turning point was either Stalingrad or Kursk. My old military history professor positied that the turning point was during the winter of 41-42 when the Germans lost 10% of their armored forces -- loses that their production capacity (as has been well described by other posters) was unable to make good. Pick whichever you like, but they are all before the Germans faced a real threat in the West.

Ducking for cover,
DaveP




Torplexed -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/5/2010 2:18:33 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: DaveP

As much as it offends American pride, the participation of the US in Europe only helped speed up a Russian victory (though it was decisivie in keeping Western Europe free of Russian domination in the post-war period).


Doesn't offend me. With a vicious enemy on her throat, Russia had the far more brutal, but straightforward and simple war. Essentially, a vast land struggle with the Red Air Force acting as flying artillery. The US had a complex war in many dimensions. On land, at sea, under the sea, in the air, and had to conduct a strategic bombing campaign against two very different antagonists. In addition, the US had to play some delicate diplomatic balancing acts with Britain and China, and a host of minor allies while plying them with arms and oil, while also supplying Russia with a substantial amount of aid and equipment (Stalin, on the other hand could afford to ignore most diplomatic niceties). The US managed to work in a very expensive atomic bomb program too. All this from a stubbornly isolationist nation with an army smaller than Portugal's was in 1939.

And, in the end Russia's staggering causality list probably saved a lot of American lives. D-Day, as conducted wouldn't have been possible if the majority of German divisions had been stationed in France.

Plus, we got the part of Europe with the better-looking women. [;)]




Big B -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/5/2010 2:23:23 AM)

Well, for the sake of discussion - I think the reason many like myself zero in on the BoB is because it seems that among the mistakes made in attacking the USSR - is the feeling that leaving a Britain at war in the German rear was fatal. Therefore, the only chance to rectify that - is to get peace with Britain first...and Germany's best chance of that would be the BoB.

I think your history professor was close to the mark in positing that Germany's best chance (only chance?) of beating the USSR was in the initial campaign (a lot has been written about that)...but it always seems that NOT entering a two-front war was an absolute pre-condition for any chance of ultimate success in the East, so back to the BoB.

I would go one further and suggest that any real chance for Axis victory would have to be predicated on a vastly different set of war aims and Public Relations understanding.
I think if Germany would have been more politically savvy, and painted themselves as the victims of unjust Allied aggression somehow, and most importantly of all - conducted themselves as understanding that they would have to live with their neighbors amicably after the war...they might have gotten away with what Napoleon did for 20 years or more.

Other than that - I don't see the Axis as having any chance of prevailing over the rest of the world in the long run.

Cheers.
quote:

ORIGINAL: DaveP
Allow me to throw a handgrenade into this discussion.

All of this talk of the Battle of Britain and the lack of German strategic bombing capability is interesting, but irrelevant. WWII in Europe was fought and won in Russia; the participation of the Western Allies was peripheral and of minor importance. The German forces left in the west before 1943 were litttle more than garrisons -- the British posed no real threat (only slightly more than if Britian had been driven to its knees in 40-41). By the time there was a true two front war, the turning point had been reached in Russia and the outcome was already decided. As much as it offends American pride, the participation of the US in Europe only helped speed up a Russian victory (though it was decisivie in keeping Western Europe free of Russian domination in the post-war period).

Most people argue that the turning point was either Stalingrad or Kursk. My old military history professor positied that the turning point was during the winter of 41-42 when the Germans lost 10% of their armored forces -- loses that their production capacity (as has been well described by other posters) was unable to make good. Pick whichever you like, but they are all before the Germans faced a real threat in the West.

Ducking for cover,
DaveP






mikemike -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/5/2010 2:29:45 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: mike scholl 1

With only the Brits having radar and the forward observer corps, the RAF's Spits and Hurricanes simply avoided the Luftwaffe's "Free Chase" missions and waited for the real targets (the bombers) to show up. All sweeps got the Germans was ops losses..., thus Goering's insistance that his fighters fly "close escort" (severely limiting their range).



I don't know if only the Brits had radar, those Freya sets were pretty transportable, but the Luftwaffe certainly didn't use them for offensive operations.

I think fighter sweeps were an approach in the right direction, if the Luftwaffe wanted Fighter Command to come up and fight, but they should have used USAAF tactics, that is strafing everything that moves, be it a train, a column of soldiers, a bus full of nuns, or a postman on his bike. It would have been politically impossible for Fighter Command to ignore that kind of raid. Use the Bf110's as fighter bombers. On day bombing raids, use only Ju88's. Use all other bombers on night raids while the Brits can't counter the Knickebein guidance system. There were, for historical reasons, any number of important military and industrial installations in the south of Britain, including the major production line for Spitfires (Supermarine Southampton) and a number of shipyards. It would also have been possible to create havoc in the railway net. The problem of the Luftwaffe was not having a properly thought-out strategic plan how to bash Britain and not having decent intelligence to select the right targets. And of course the whole invasion idea was an impossibility to begin with.

Now some remarks about German industry:
- During the Battle of Britain, Messerschmitt was working only one shift so the Luftwaffe was having problems replacing their fighters
- Series production of the best German bomber, the Ju88, was impeded by a design that was not productionized, there were about 11,000 different types of screw in a Ju88!
- Most of German industry was not geared for mass production at the beginning of the war, this changed only slowly until Speer became War Production Czar in 1943. Mass production started with some vehicle types pre-war (the Volkswagen Kübel, Opel and Ford trucks - yes, US trucks provided the major share of motor transport for the Wehrmacht, too, about 180,000 Opel Blitz trucks - an adapted Buick design produced originally in a purpose-built GM plant near Berlin - and about 50,000 Ford trucks). Later extended to small arms (MP 38/40, MG42, StG44, Panzerfaust). From about 1944 onwards the German industry successively switched to mass production methods, indeed, a number of economy historians tell us that this paved the way to convert most of the industry and its workforce quickly to mass production post-war (providing the basis for the "Wirtschaftswunder" or economic miracle), something British industry never quite managed. That's why cars built in Britain nowadays are either handcrafted small-series production, German, or Japanese.

BTW, you may still end up driving Volkswagens if GM and Ford continue to do what they did in the last decade (Vision of a true American electric car: a Ford F150 with a 3,000 pound battery)!




castor troy -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/5/2010 7:44:10 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Torplexed


quote:

ORIGINAL: DaveP

As much as it offends American pride, the participation of the US in Europe only helped speed up a Russian victory (though it was decisivie in keeping Western Europe free of Russian domination in the post-war period).


Doesn't offend me. With a vicious enemy on her throat, Russia had the far more brutal, but straightforward and simple war. Essentially, a vast land struggle with the Red Air Force acting as flying artillery. The US had a complex war in many dimensions. On land, at sea, under the sea, in the air, and had to conduct a strategic bombing campaign against two very different antagonists. In addition, the US had to play some delicate diplomatic balancing acts with Britain and China, and a host of minor allies while plying them with arms and oil, while also supplying Russia with a substantial amount of aid and equipment (Stalin, on the other hand could afford to ignore most diplomatic niceties). The US managed to work in a very expensive atomic bomb program too. All this from a stubbornly isolationist nation with an army smaller than Portugal's was in 1939.

And, in the end Russia's staggering causality list probably saved a lot of American lives. D-Day, as conducted wouldn't have been possible if the majority of German divisions had been stationed in France.

Plus, we got the part of Europe with the better-looking women. [;)]





Oh, you shouldn´t underestimate the look of Eastern European women, ever been to Prague for example? [;)]




Mark Weston -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/5/2010 10:58:49 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: DaveP

All of this talk of the Battle of Britain and the lack of German strategic bombing capability is interesting, but irrelevant. WWII in Europe was fought and won in Russia; the participation of the Western Allies was peripheral and of minor importance. The German forces left in the west before 1943 were litttle more than garrisons -- the British posed no real threat (only slightly more than if Britian had been driven to its knees in 40-41). By the time there was a true two front war, the turning point had been reached in Russia and the outcome was already decided. As much as it offends American pride, the participation of the US in Europe only helped speed up a Russian victory (though it was decisivie in keeping Western Europe free of Russian domination in the post-war period).


As a counterpoint to the western public's understanding of WWII and the western bias of WWII histories from, say the '50s to the '70s saying this sort of thing makes some kind of sense. Taken literally though it's a gross over-simplification, IMO.

quote:

Most people argue that the turning point was either Stalingrad or Kursk. My old military history professor positied that the turning point was during the winter of 41-42 when the Germans lost 10% of their armored forces -- loses that their production capacity (as has been well described by other posters) was unable to make good. Pick whichever you like, but they are all before the Germans faced a real threat in the West.


Without the commitments in Norway, the Mediterranean, and (most importantly) defending against the strategic bombing offensive the Luftwaffe would probably have had the resources to maintain air superiority over the eastern front right through to 1945. Without its commitments (relatively small though they were) in France and North Africa the army would probably have had the reserves needed to turn Stalingrad from a catastrophic collapse into an enforced retreat. By 1945 the Red Army was approaching a severe manpower shortage; in a fictional Germany vs USSR deathmatch the turning point might have been in 1946 when the Germans won the war of attrition.

This always reminds me of another debate that pops up here in Britain every now and then. Now the traditional British public understanding of history is that the Duke of Wellington beat Napoleon Bonaparte at the battle of Waterloo and ended his French Empire for good. If you've read a bit of history you'll know that really Waterloo was the culmination of a series of four battles fought over three days between the French, British (really Anglo-Belgian-Dutch-German) and (Blucher's) Prussian armies. So every now and then someone who enjoys a bit of revisionism turns up in the media, or with a new book, arguing that Blucher won Waterloo and Wellington just had good PR and a short but stormy debate ensues. But the only real answer to "who won the battle of Waterloo; Wellington or Blucher?" is "both, you idiot!"

(P.S. Google spell-checker doesn't like "Prussian", but the only alternative it can offer me is "Abyssinian". Oops)




mike scholl 1 -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/5/2010 12:19:35 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: mikemike

Now some remarks about German industry:
- During the Battle of Britain, Messerschmitt was working only one shift so the Luftwaffe was having problems replacing their fighters
- Series production of the best German bomber, the Ju88, was impeded by a design that was not productionized, there were about 11,000 different types of screw in a Ju88!
- Most of German industry was not geared for mass production at the beginning of the war, this changed only slowly until Speer became War Production Czar in 1943. Mass production started with some vehicle types pre-war (the Volkswagen Kübel, Opel and Ford trucks - yes, US trucks provided the major share of motor transport for the Wehrmacht, too, about 180,000 Opel Blitz trucks - an adapted Buick design produced originally in a purpose-built GM plant near Berlin - and about 50,000 Ford trucks). Later extended to small arms (MP 38/40, MG42, StG44, Panzerfaust). From about 1944 onwards the German industry successively switched to mass production methods, indeed, a number of economy historians tell us that this paved the way to convert most of the industry and its workforce quickly to mass production post-war (providing the basis for the "Wirtschaftswunder" or economic miracle), something British industry never quite managed. That's why cars built in Britain nowadays are either handcrafted small-series production, German, or Japanese.




MikeMike. I made this same point more generally back on page one of this discussion:

"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."

As for the "Wirtschaftswunder", it is much easier to achieve when all of you industrial plants have been reduced to rubble and you have to re-build from the ground up (especially with the Marshal Plan to pay for it). Britain ironically wound up paying a heavy price for "winning" the war.








GoodGuy -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/5/2010 3:17:10 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


TBH, none of these.

1) Japanese fighters were sufficient and partially superior when fighting US opponents, for quite some time. Japan's production figures (and the resource situation) could just not make up for the losses sufficiently, PLUS the US plane designs and the technological equipment improved dramatically, leading to US nightfighter capabilies ~1944/45.
Also, quite some US planes, while some models were less agile, offered reasonable protection for the pilots, that's the interesting detail here. So if a pilot had to disengage because his plane got shot up, or if he had to land/bail or even touch down on the water, it was the level of protection that helped him to stay alive and helped the US to maintain a proper pilot pool, while Japan's pool of able pilots proceeded to decrease to a really threatening low level in 1944.
The US (just like the Germans) also employed a search and rescue procedure with seaplanes (the Germans used seaplanes and torp boats), which ensured that some downed precious pilots could fly again.

2) German heavy tanks had a sufficient amount of MGs.
The Pz.Kpfw VI Ausf. b (King Tiger) had a MG34 in the front glacis (bow-MG), a coax. MG34 in the turret and an AA-MG on the turret (roof).
I could imagine that you might have had the Ferdinand (later designated Elefant) in mind there, but this was rather a self-propelled AT-gun than a heavy tank, and only the 90 Porsche chassis/running gears employed in the Elefants were originally meant to equip a heavy tank, the Tiger I, since Porsche's prototype was dismissed, so these parts became available. The first version had no MG. After Kursk, 48 of the remaining 50 Elefants were upgraded with a frontal coax. MG.
Hitler's hope (that the Elefants would have a major impact on Russian tank formations) was spoiled by the lack of mechanical reliability in the main, and not by Russian infantry that managed to get close to these beasts.

There are accounts that the Elefants of the 653. Schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung and the 654. Schw. Pz.Jg.-Abteilung (translates to "tank hunter" Abteilungen, well tank destroyer - if you will), each equipped with 45 Elefants, destroyed over 500 Russian tanks, 20 AT guns, ~100 guns (inf guns, arty, and the like).
An elefant consumed ~1000 liters of fuel per 100 km, because the 2 Maybach motor engines powered 2 Siemens electric engines, which in turn powered the carriage (think they really wanted a cumbersome drive, eh? [;)]).
I'd say a missing MG wasn't the real problem there, nor did it do ANY "strategic harm".
Loosing 40 of those beasts wasn't a strategic letdown either, especially if you consider how many other German tank units were involved.

3) German fighter cover over London (for example) was not possible, only the Me 110 had the range and a somewhat acceptable time frame for combat (IIRC minutes only, though).
The Me 109 used to have a bit less than 10 mins over the British coast, especially if they started from Luftflotte 3 airfields like Le Havre (III. JG2, some vets said they had only 2-4 minutes for enemy engagements), Cherbourg, Amiens and other distant airfields (and they did, eg. Jagdfliegerführer 3). Even some Luftflotte 2 Me 110 units had to watch their fuel, if you consider that they had to make it to London and back home, as some of these fields were based at rather distant locations like Abbeville (Me 110, ZG 76), Yvrench (Me 110, ZG 26) or Laval (Me 110, ZG 76), for example.

You should have put different options for the aim to discuss "strategic harm" to the Axis' course. There are so many German mistakes, but I'll list a few examples, so you can see that you clearly missed the goal when you listed those options as serious strategical impacts.

  • 1) a) Japan's failure to protect its own resource convoys. (US subs sunk a vital part of Japans total tonnage).

  • 1) b) Japan's failure to solely focus on carrier production (instead of building the biggest Battleship of the time).

  • 2) a) Germany's failure to streamline (and dramatically increase) tank production (figures) before 1943.

  • 2) b) Germany's failure to draft everyone who could hold a rifle before 1944.

  • 3) Germany's failure to FOCUS on (the then anything than ineffective) raids on British airfields and radar stations in the South and the South East, and the Supermarine manuf. (main) facility.
    (But no, psychopath Adolf threw a fit because the RAF managed to drop a few bombs on Berlin for the first time [he got used to it later on], so he started to shift the main effort to London and London's docks instead. Adolf was probably the most idiotic military leader of the last century, he just showed some good instinct once when he picked up Manstein's idea for the offensive against France).

    My 2 cents.




06 Maestro -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/5/2010 10:13:50 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: DaveP

Allow me to throw a handgrenade into this discussion.

All of this talk of the Battle of Britain and the lack of German strategic bombing capability is interesting, but irrelevant. WWII in Europe was fought and won in Russia; the participation of the Western Allies was peripheral and of minor importance. The German forces left in the west before 1943 were litttle more than garrisons -- the British posed no real threat (only slightly more than if Britian had been driven to its knees in 40-41). By the time there was a true two front war, the turning point had been reached in Russia and the outcome was already decided. As much as it offends American pride, the participation of the US in Europe only helped speed up a Russian victory (though it was decisivie in keeping Western Europe free of Russian domination in the post-war period).

Most people argue that the turning point was either Stalingrad or Kursk. My old military history professor positied that the turning point was during the winter of 41-42 when the Germans lost 10% of their armored forces -- loses that their production capacity (as has been well described by other posters) was unable to make good. Pick whichever you like, but they are all before the Germans faced a real threat in the West.

Ducking for cover,
DaveP


George Marshall, who was a pretty decent strategist, would agree with your professor; Germany lost the war by December 1941. The reason for such a position was not that the Soviets were guaranteed to beat Germany, but that Germany could not defeat the Soviet Union before the Western Allies would be able to launch powerful attacks into Europe. Hitler took a great chance in invading Russia-many high level guy's, such as Goering, tried to talk him out of it. It was a gamble-the bet was lost by December of '41-it just took a while to collect the debt.

Regarding the damage to Germany's PZ units; losses actually exceeded 50% within a couple of months from June 22nd-in AFV's at least. The PZ units were largely rebuilt for the '42 summer offense. What could not be rebuilt were the infantry unit losses which were suffered during the winter. It is a fact that the cold was killing and maiming more Germans troops than the Russians were-even during the great winter counter attack. This went on for 2 months. The losses were severe and could not be covered by replacements-not even remotely possible. The reduction in available infantry had a major impact on the final decision to attack south in '42 instead of taking Moscow. There was a rational fear of German infantry divisions being reduced to nothing if an offense on Moscow was launched in '42.

IMO, if Germany had peace in the west, it could have beaten the USSR-guaranteed win. So, what was Germany's biggest mistake? Short answer-creating a two front war with limited resources.





06 Maestro -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/5/2010 10:41:17 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: GoodGuy

[
  • 3) Germany's failure to FOCUS on (the then anything than ineffective) raids on British airfields and radar stations in the South and the South East, and the Supermarine manuf. (main) facility.
    (But no, psychopath Adolf threw a fit because the RAF managed to drop a few bombs on Berlin for the first time [he got used to it later on], so he started to shift the main effort to London and London's docks instead.


  • Actually, the RAF began bombing Berlin in May of '40-three or four months before the bombing of London was ordered.
    I read an interesting speech by Hitler regarding the decision to bomb London-the bombing of Berlin really ticked him off (Goering was no doubt a little upset;what with people asking "where is Meyer--or Mier:). The raids were tiny compared to what was to come, but there were still some gruesome results. German civil defense was not ready for such attacks-people did not know what to do-and there were few, if any air raid shelters. People hid in their basements-seems rational, but for a coal fired steam heating systems setup, not very safe. I'm fairly certain that the bombing of Berlin was a calculated plan to goad Hitler into a mass bombing of London. Britain could withstand the loss of 100,000 civilians, but they could not withstand the loss of the aircraft factories. One other little benefit-propaganda films.

    quote:


    Adolf was probably the most idiotic military leader of the last century, he just showed some good instinct once when he picked up Manstein's idea for the offensive against France).
    My 2 cents.


    I'm inclined to agree with you, but there is a very impressive lineup of shockingly stupid commanders-some in very high positions. Hitler had half an education-I think he delighted in "correcting" the professionals. I recall a statement from one of the wartime Chief of the General Staff that Hitler told him; " this operational command is easy-anyone can do it".

    I think Hitler was outdone in idiocy by a WW1 Italian general. That General was the head homer of the Italian Army (forgot his name) anyway, he would council his staff and commanders that; "it's not important as to what the enemy plans to do, it is only important as to what we plan to do". Now, that has to be a good runner up for all time stupidity (last cwntury, anyway. [;)]




    GoodGuy -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/5/2010 11:02:28 PM)


    quote:

    ORIGINAL: 06 Maestro

    So, what was Germany's biggest mistake? Short answer-creating a two front war with limited resources.


    Yes. And this makes me wonder ... what would have happened if Hitler wouldn't have been so trigger-happy to declare war on the US? I am not sure whether the US would have declared war on Germany say before 1943. Now imagine no US landings in Africa (Montgomery had Rommel on the run, finally, but it still would have taken quite some time to drive Rommel out of Africa), no second front in South Italy. I doubt England would have had the resources to carry out the landings in Italy on their own. No US aircraft screen from Iceland's airbase to suppress the German subs. The subs would have had a free for all in that sector in 1942 and 1943, at least outside the British aircraft screen. The US could have focused on the Pacific, which they did until late 1942 anyways. Landing crafts (LST/LCP) designed for the landings in Normandy wouldn't have been developed/needed before 1946, probably. I think that was another big mistake. Involving the US did not turn out favorably for the Germans in those 2 wars. [:D]




    06 Maestro -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/5/2010 11:27:22 PM)


    quote:

    ORIGINAL: GoodGuy


    quote:

    ORIGINAL: 06 Maestro

    So, what was Germany's biggest mistake? Short answer-creating a two front war with limited resources.


    Yes. And this makes me wonder ... what would have happened if Hitler wouldn't have been so trigger-happy to declare war on the US? I am not sure whether the US would have declared war on Germany say before 1943. Now imagine no US landings in Africa (Montgomery had Rommel on the run, finally, but it still would have taken quite some time to drive Rommel out of Africa), no second front in South Italy. I doubt England would have had the resources to carry out the landings in Italy on their own. No US aircraft screen from Iceland's airbase to suppress the German subs. The subs would have had a free for all in that sector in 1942 and 1943, at least outside the British aircraft screen. The US could have focused on the Pacific, which they did until late 1942 anyways. Landing crafts (LST/LCP) designed for the landings in Normandy wouldn't have been developed/needed before 1946, probably. I think that was another big mistake. Involving the US did not turn out favorably for the Germans in those 2 wars. [:D]



    IIRC, the US occupied Iceland in '40-in any event, long before the US entered the war. The U.S. Navy was actually attacking German subs long before the U.S. was in the war. This is one of the justifications Hitler gave (against all advice-again) to DOW the U.S.

    However, the U.S. could have been delayed from entering the European war for a long time to come-if Hitler did the savvy thing-he did not. I suspect that the U.S. still would have poured in massive aid (such as 300 Sherman at El Alemien)even while maintaining neutrality. It is an interesting scenario where England and Russia go it alone against the European Axis-with only industrial help (limited) from the U.S.

    As you mentioned, from November '42 the Axis would have been in a much stronger position. Without the landings in NW Africa, the DAK would have rebounded. There were multiple times that Rommel had to forgo a swift and punishing counter attack during the withdrawal through Libya due to almost no supplies reaching the remnants of the PZ Army. Everything was being poured into Tunisia. It is not just possible, but very likely the situation would have stabilized in Africa for the Axis. Malta was still not out of the fire-it was critically low on basic supplies by the end of '43 when the blockade crumbles due to the loss Libya.

    Without the U.S. air offense Germany's production would have been considerably higher in '43 and '44. In view that things were actually close as it was on the eastern front, production alone could have altered the strategic situation.

    So, it seems that a close runner up for the second most stupid thing done by Hitler was DOWing the U.S. Too bad for Germany that Hitler thought that "Americans only know how to make refrigerators and razor blades".




    laika -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/5/2010 11:28:07 PM)

    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Torplexed


    quote:

    ORIGINAL: DaveP

    As much as it offends American pride, the participation of the US in Europe only helped speed up a Russian victory (though it was decisivie in keeping Western Europe free of Russian domination in the post-war period).


    Doesn't offend me. With a vicious enemy on her throat, Russia had the far more brutal, but straightforward and simple war. Essentially, a vast land struggle with the Red Air Force acting as flying artillery. The US had a complex war in many dimensions. On land, at sea, under the sea, in the air, and had to conduct a strategic bombing campaign against two very different antagonists. In addition, the US had to play some delicate diplomatic balancing acts with Britain and China, and a host of minor allies while plying them with arms and oil, while also supplying Russia with a substantial amount of aid and equipment (Stalin, on the other hand could afford to ignore most diplomatic niceties). The US managed to work in a very expensive atomic bomb program too. All this from a stubbornly isolationist nation with an army smaller than Portugal's was in 1939.

    And, in the end Russia's staggering causality list probably saved a lot of American lives. D-Day, as conducted wouldn't have been possible if the majority of German divisions had been stationed in France.

    Plus, we got the part of Europe with the better-looking women. [;)]



    Yep, don,t forget that Germany lost the war in the east long before the West launched D-day. The advance to Moscow was lost and after plan blue with the lost of Stalingrad(6th army destroyed)and the lost of the oilfields in the Kaukasus it was clear that Germany never could win this war. They tryed in Kursk but and the fight was even but lost at the end because of quantity and lack of recourses. But what would happen if Hitler had listen to his great generals? that will alway,s be a question. Russia could produce masses T-34 and other war tools and had millions of soldiers. Also russian tanks are better for mantenance as the overengineerd German tanks




    06 Maestro -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/5/2010 11:53:20 PM)


    quote:

    ORIGINAL: laika

    Yep, don,t forget that Germany lost the war in the east long before the West launched D-day.


    30 to 50% of the German Army was tied down in Norway, France, the Balkans and Germany waiting for a real attack from the west. I strongly feel that those deployments had something to do with Germany being heavily out-gunned in the east.

    If you add in the naval and air requirements for the war in the west, then the picture becomes even more sharp. The Soviets did not, and could not, go it alone.




    GoodGuy -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/6/2010 12:06:20 AM)

    quote:

    ORIGINAL: 06 Maestro

    IIRC, the US occupied Iceland in '40-in any event, long before the US entered the war. The U.S. Navy was actually attacking German subs long before the U.S. was in the war. This is one of the justifications Hitler gave (against all advice-again) to DOW the U.S.


    But this was not fully fledged warfare against German operations in the Atlantic Ocean. The tard could have held his horses there. :P (I'm not saying "should", as I wouldn't have liked a "1000" years Reich thingy. [;)]

    quote:

    It is an interesting scenario where England and Russia go it alone against the European Axis-with only industrial help (limited) from the U.S.


    I'd like to see this sufficiently covered as a what-if in games, actually.

    quote:

    "Americans only know how to make refrigerators and razor blades".


    LOL. Hey, you forgot Swing (Swing kids in Germany were persecuted, tortured, imprisoned, some were sentenced to death or died in KZs), Coca Cola and MickeyMouse. [;)]
    The US had everything Adolf hated. [:D]




    DaveP -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/6/2010 12:21:32 AM)


    quote:

    ORIGINAL: 06 Maestro


    quote:

    ORIGINAL: laika

    Yep, don,t forget that Germany lost the war in the east long before the West launched D-day.


    30 to 50% of the German Army was tied down in Norway, France, the Balkans and Germany waiting for a real attack from the west. I strongly feel that those deployments had something to do with Germany being heavily out-gunned in the east.

    If you add in the naval and air requirements for the war in the west, then the picture becomes even more sharp. The Soviets did not, and could not, go it alone.



    What time period are you talking about? During the critical year of 1942, German forces in the west were little more than was necessary to control conquered countries, and those troops were largely reserve and replacement units that had little or no front line combat capability. The entire British land combat capability was tied up in North Africa by a very anemic panzer corps. Good troops with a talented leader, I grant you; but not exactly a draining "second front."

    Again, I submit that there was no appreciable two front war when the Germans invaded Russia and when the war turning battles were fought. I think people are overestimating the threat the British army posed to Germany before American participation.

    I do want to add that I am not denigrating America's contribution to WWII, the war against Japan was mostly an American effort (though now I have probably offended the Ozzies. Sorry). But American participation in Europe simply sped up an end that the Russians had largely determined.

    Returning to the bunker,
    DaveP




    06 Maestro -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/6/2010 12:39:37 AM)


    quote:

    ORIGINAL: GoodGuy

    quote:

    ORIGINAL: 06 Maestro

    IIRC, the US occupied Iceland in '40-in any event, long before the US entered the war. The U.S. Navy was actually attacking German subs long before the U.S. was in the war. This is one of the justifications Hitler gave (against all advice-again) to DOW the U.S.


    But this was not fully fledged warfare against German operations in the Atlantic Ocean. The tard could have held his horses there. :P (I'm not saying "should", as I wouldn't have liked a "1000" years Reich thingy. [;)]


    Quite true, but it was a good start.


    quote:


    quote:

    It is an interesting scenario where England and Russia go it alone against the European Axis-with only industrial help (limited) from the U.S.


    I'd like to see this sufficiently covered as a what-if in games, actually.


    Well now, you have the game already-you just need a better patch. Hopefully, 1.4 will do the trick for HoI3. It should be getting close to being released. You can try the RC if you are "froggy".


    quote:


    quote:

    "Americans only know how to make refrigerators and razor blades".


    LOL. Hey, you forgot Swing (Swing kids in Germany were persecuted, tortured, imprisoned, some were sentenced to death or died in KZs), Coca Cola and MickeyMouse. [;)]
    The US had everything Adolf hated. [:D]


    Mostly, yep. He did like our helium, but we wouldn't give him any.[;)] Made him angry-me thinks.




    GoodGuy -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/6/2010 12:53:06 AM)

    quote:

    ORIGINAL: DaveP

    ... German forces in the west were little more than was necessary to control conquered countries, and those troops were largely reserve and replacement units that had little or no front line combat capability. The entire British land combat capability was tied up in North Africa by a very anemic panzer corps. Good troops with a talented leader, I grant you; but not exactly a draining "second front."


    This sounds like a reasonable assessment at first glance.
    But if you consider the effort Italy had to stem in order to secure convoy traffic in the Mediterranean - a job that overstrained the Italian Navy in 1942 already (despite the rather successful engagements when meeting British naval forces in 1941/1942 - well, ok thanks to close German air support :p ), and if you consider the overall amount of Italian and German troops that had been positioned in the Balkans and in Greece (Crete, Greek coast, Islands) temporary or for more than a year in fear of Allied landings (somewhere in 1943, some German units resided there until 1944), the German effort for Air superiority in the Mediterranean (which was achied by 1942 IIRC), plus the combined forces in Afrika, then you could say that this whole Southern/South Eastern deal wasn't a fully blown 2nd front, but a serious and constant drain on Axis resources that got close to a 2nd front.

    On top of that, while Italy fully committed its resources, Italy's Navy could have performed better and could have put up even more effort in the Medit., but due to Hitler's refusal to pass sufficient amounts of fuel, Italy's Navy had to pump down the fuel of their battlefhips in order to redistribute it to the destroyers, for convoy duties, in 1942 IIRC.




    06 Maestro -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/6/2010 1:32:07 AM)

    Regarding Germany's deployments in the west; It does not matter at what point you analyze the situation, there were significant forces in France and elsewhere. At the outset of Barbarossa there where some risks taken by late summer by withdrawing nearly everything. However, there were certainly still at least a million men in the west in '41. In 1942 there were even more.

    Look at what happened in Dieppe. The Canadians did not come ashore to happy welcoming parties and sit around for a day or two while some German reserve force from 100 miles away made their way to the beach. The Canadians ran into heavy defensives upon landing. The same thing would have occurred nearly everywhere along the north French coast, the Low Countries, Germany and Norway. Such defenses were not maintained by by a handful of 2nd rate units. It was a very sizable chunk of Germany's armed forces. As the war dragged on, the numbers in the west continued to grow-as did the percentage. By the spring of '44, over 40% of German armor was in France alone. Also, by the spring of '44, the Luftwaffe fighters had to be withdrawn to Germany itself. This certainly had an impact on the Russian front. I recall seeing the figure of 40 operation fighters available to AGC at the start of Bagration-this to face about 5,000 Red AF a/c. That situation was directly attributable to the western Allies air offense against Germany.

    Its not my aim to belittle Russian contributions to victory, but simply to point out that they could not have achieved victory without the direct and indirect assistance from the west. To state it more clearly; if the western Allies had made peace with Germany in Jan 1944 (I know that's fantasy, but just to make a point)there could have been over 90 German divisions made available for service on the eastern front. The amount of armor would have more than doubled by spring and the Luftwaffe would have been 4 times stronger in numbers-and significantly more effective. Any Soviet advance would not have been possible-even in 1944. By 1945 it is likely that Germany would have had a strategic advantage and cleaned house in the east.




    Torplexed -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/6/2010 1:50:40 AM)

    Just out of curiosity, roughly how many Germans in 1941-42 were tied up in the Kriegsmarine and the U-Boat arm in the Battle of the Atlantic?




    GoodGuy -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/6/2010 2:55:42 PM)

    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Torplexed

    Just out of curiosity, roughly how many Germans in 1941-42 were tied up in the Kriegsmarine and the U-Boat arm in the Battle of the Atlantic?


    I'll see what I can find, I have a pretty good book that covers the entire war effort of the U-boat arm, the numbers should be in there, maybe there are infos about the destroyer and torpedo boat arms as well.

    I'd say you should then also consider the amount of maintenance, guard/garrison, aerial recon, air support, coastal defense and resupply personnel, including the massive workforce that erected U-boat bunkers in France.






    Torplexed -> RE: Which Caused the Axis Powers the Greatest Harm (3/6/2010 6:00:09 PM)


    quote:

    ORIGINAL: GoodGuy

    I'd say you should then also consider the amount of maintenance, guard/garrison, aerial recon, air support, coastal defense and resupply personnel, including the massive workforce that erected U-boat bunkers in France.


    Indeed. In many respects, the War in the Atlantic was Germany's "Western Front" from 1940 to 1944. Unlike the Luftwaffe, the Kriegsmarine couldn't really be usefully employed against the Soviet Union. The Soviet Baltic Fleet was kept economically bottled in up for most of the war by both the Luftwaffe and a mine barrage/net across the Gulf of Finland. The majority of Red Navy sailors from the Baltic Fleet found themselves deployed in naval infantry battalions in the trenches around Leningrad instead. The Soviets fared a bit better in the Black Sea having to face only the diminutive Romanian Navy, until the loss of ports and bases in the Crimea gave the Germans almost undisputed naval supremacy there as well.

    Stalin's interest in the Soviet Navy never extended much beyond seeing them as a reserve of manpower to provide bayonets for the land fighting. Rightly so, since the War in the East was never going to be decided on the sea.




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