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Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/20/2010 12:46:58 PM   
Joe D.


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Did anyone catch this PBS show last night?

Based on previously unavailable Soviet archival info, PBS claimed the battle for Stalingrad was already decided when the Panzers supporting Paulus' infantry got tied-up in a battle just north of the city, but I thought tanks didn't do well in urban areas.

Also, didn't "Russian" rats knaw away the wiring of any German tanks that made it into the city?

The show also described the battle of Kharkov, claiming that the Germans simply didn't have enough troops to capture and process all the Russian POWs taken; however, the game manual for PC: Kharkov reveals that even after being surrounded by German mechanized forces, many Soviets soldiers escaped because the dismounted Axis infantry -- further slowed by its horse-drawn supply lines -- lagged far behind its armor and couldn't seal these traps in a timely manner.

Perhaps PBS should buy some Matrix titles before making any more historical claims?

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RE: Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/20/2010 12:58:34 PM   
Obsolete


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quote:

but I thought tanks didn't do well in urban areas.


Lightly armoured tanks don't. 

I'm not too familiar with PBS, the last time I watched the History channel they were re-building a Hellcat, and there were quite some factual errors that make me wonder who the hell wrote this nonsense.  The M18 was the #1 killing machine of WW2, and apparently it won the second world war, so THEY claimed.  So take that you pesky Russian patriots! 

In fact, they went so far as to pint-point some western battle where four Hellcats apparently were responsible for breaking the Axis back!?  So again, take that you pesky Russians!  Bunch of brainwashed commies.






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RE: Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/20/2010 4:11:08 PM   
anarchyintheuk

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Joe D.

Did anyone catch this PBS show last night?

Based on previously unavailable Soviet archival info, PBS claimed the battle for Stalingrad was already decided when the Panzers supporting Paulus' infantry got tied-up in a battle just north of the city, but I thought tanks didn't do well in urban areas.

Also, didn't "Russian" rats knaw away the wiring of any German tanks that made it into the city?

The show also described the battle of Kharkov, claiming that the Germans simply didn't have enough troops to capture and process all the Russian POWs taken; however, the game manual for PC: Kharkov reveals that even after being surrounded by German mechanized forces, many Soviets soldiers escaped because the dismounted Axis infantry -- further slowed by its horse-drawn supply lines -- lagged far behind its armor and couldn't seal these traps in a timely manner.

Perhaps PBS should buy some Matrix titles before making any more historical claims?


Yup, it was ok.

Generally tanks didn't do well in urban areas. The producers of the show may have thought the panzer corp north of the city could have encircled Stalingrad by going across the Volga bend or at least disrupting reinforcement into the city itself. Imo pretty doubtful. The show didn't say much about the waste of 4th Panzer in getting to the city sooner either.

It was interesting seeing all the 'do not retreat' orders issued by Stalin/Stavka during 7/42-8/42.

The Germans had the same problems w/ processing prisoners and failing to effectively surround the Russians in 41 at Bialystok, Smolensk and Kiev. Nothing had changed since then to make them think an encirclement battle would be any different in 42.

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RE: Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/20/2010 5:15:41 PM   
Joe D.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Obsolete

... I'm not too familiar with PBS, the last time I watched the History channel they were re-building a Hellcat, and there were quite some factual errors that make me wonder who the hell wrote this nonsense.  The M18 was the #1 killing machine of WW2, and apparently it won the second world war, so THEY claimed ...


My dad commanded a Hellcat in WW II; it's design was somewhat "revolutionary" in that at 20 tons, it's ground pressure was only 11.9 psi, which meant it could support infantry (7 psi) on almost every type of terrain they traveled.

But w/only a high-vel 76 mm gun, it was no "killing machine".

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RE: Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/20/2010 5:40:48 PM   
hitler25


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Hi dude,
Do you know the city of Leningrad was siege for so long that some people,without any food supply since many month,
they becames cannibal!!!!

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RE: Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/21/2010 2:35:45 AM   
D.Ilse


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It was ok.

The next two shows that followed the Stalingrad show that night on Battlefield Tech, were crap though. Both left out out large gaps in the progress of techs through the ages..Like Whitmore's Rifle and his influence on standardized parts.

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RE: Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/21/2010 3:43:49 AM   
Jeffrey H.


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I recall the the mice eating the wiring was a problem for the Germans who had used straw to cover the engines in feezing weather. So, that wouldn't really apply to the initial phases of the Stalingrad battle. Also, it's my understanding that the 16th panzer and the 60 motorized infantry division did initially reach the Volga North of the city, but that was in the early phases of the battle.

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RE: Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/21/2010 7:42:46 AM   
wodin


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Cannibilism was rife in the Ukraine during collectivisation. The German soldiers consatntly heard horrific stories about starvation and cannabilsm from the villagers they met on the way to Stalingrad. Little did they know that many of them would starve to death and many who were taken prisoner in Stalingrad resorted to cannabilism in the gulags.

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RE: Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/21/2010 11:49:35 AM   
Joe D.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: D.Ilse

It was ok.

The next two shows that followed the Stalingrad show that night on Battlefield Tech, were crap though. Both left out out large gaps in the progress of techs through the ages..Like Whitmore's Rifle and his influence on standardized parts.


Here in New England, Secrets was followed by 2 episodes of a show on the evolution of land warfare, one of which did show a lathe making a rifle stock while a narrator explained that craftsmen no longer had to produce weapons one at a time.

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RE: Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/21/2010 2:11:42 PM   
Obsolete


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quote:

My dad commanded a Hellcat


He surely must have told you some interesting stories?  Unless all was quiet on his front.  I'm curious to know all the goods, and bads about the M18 he had to say?  What did he really like, and what about it did he really hate? 




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RE: Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/21/2010 4:53:08 PM   
GoodGuy

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Joe D.

Did anyone catch this PBS show last night?

Based on previously unavailable Soviet archival info, PBS claimed the battle for Stalingrad was already decided when the Panzers supporting Paulus' infantry got tied-up in a battle just north of the city, but I thought tanks didn't do well in urban areas.


Anti-tank warfare in urban areas was pretty difficult in 1941/1942, just like most close combat engagements (INF vs tanks) in 1941/1942, if AT guns (and the necessary calibres) weren't available.
In 1942, when the Germans progressed through the city, towards that tiny strip (still held by the Russians later on) at the river, the Russians may have had one or another AT gun in the city, probably a good number of AT-rifles and numerous Molotows and makeshift bombs, I guess, but these RPG-40 AT grenades were so limited (regarding weight/range and penetration [20mm of armor only]), the Russians just did not have sufficient means to effectively fight German medium armor in close combat (in summer 1942). The Germans were better off with their AT hollow-charges, but these involved getting right near an enemy tank to put the magnetic charge case to the tank (which may be even more difficult in an urban area than in a trench environment in the field, if the tanks are escorted by infantry units).

quote:

The show also described the battle of Kharkov, claiming that the Germans simply didn't have enough troops to capture and process all the Russian POWs taken;


Just like during the big battles of encirclement in 1941, tanks performed the cut-off/encirclement, while INF was responsible for avoiding that stragglers would get away. On Russian breakout attempts, German tank units then often bolstered the defensive lines or helped reducing the pocket. In 1941, quite often the inf just waited and mowed down the Russian human waves (desperately formed in an attempt to steamroll the German lines... well, impossible mission if you're starving, if you have little to no ammo and if you're supposed to storm against a shyteload of MGs and big calibres).
During the Second Battle of Kharkov, after the encirclement was complete, German artillery continuously pounded the Russian troops inside the pocket, you can actually see that in the video I linked below, btw, then mechanized infantry and foot units reduced the pocket, while German tank formations east of the pocket managed to fend off all Russian attempts to relief the encircled troops.

So, actually, I think the Germans rather didn't have the resources to feed the Russian POWs and set up proper camps. Considering that ~300,000 Germans were opposed by ~640,000 Russian troops .... the Germans were pretty busy and did not have the infrastructure (and the will I guess) to cater for so many POWs on a sufficient level. Just like on the "Rheinwiesen" (see below), a handful armed soldiers can guard a huge amount of POWs, even in the open. Number of personnel wasn't the problem, imho.

The Allies faced a similar situation when they created 20 POW camps in 1945 (called "Rheinwiesenlager", situated on the grassy banks of the River Rhine, where the German POWs had to stay and live in the open without any shelter - most just had blankets or some tattered rain coats, there were no buildings, just a few lines of barbed wire and observation posts). The Germans basically lived in holes they dug themself in order to protect them from rough weather conditions, there were no tents. Each camp was supposed to hold 5,000-10,000 prisoners max., to have one administration building, a medical aid building and kitchen. There were 40,000 POWs in one of these camps. Some German authorities claimed ~4500 dead due to malnutrition, the weather conditions (constant exposure to rain/weather) and bad sanitary conditions, some sources' estimations range from 3,000 - 10,000 death totals.

In order to be able to intern these German POWs in these camps (which violated the Geneva Convention), the US declared all German soldiers who got into captivity AFTER the unconditional surrender to be "DEF" (Disarmed Enemy Forces), the Brits coined the term "SEP" (Surrendered Enemy Personnel), with both the US and the British authorities stating that the Convention would not apply to them, as these Germans - per definitionem - wouldn't be prisoners of war.

This trick reminds one of the wordplay the Bush administration invented for enemy fighters captured in Afghanistan, naming them "enemy combatants", which alledgedly allowed the US to imprison and try them outside the US criminal law jurisdiction and outside US territory.
In 1943, due to the US' fear that they would not be able to feed all the German prisoners after victory, Eisenhower's staff developed the term DEF, in order to be able to lower nutrition specs and possible deployment as labour force (rebuilding duties, mine-clearing, as part of reparations).

The British military was so overstrained and concerned about the sheer numbers of German prisoners (after the surrender) that they refused to take over the agreed amount of prisoners, so that the US had to take over all prisoners and run the camps exclusively.

quote:

... however, the game manual for PC: Kharkov reveals that even after being surrounded by German mechanized forces, many Soviets soldiers escaped because the dismounted Axis infantry -- further slowed by its horse-drawn supply lines -- lagged far behind its armor and couldn't seal these traps in a timely manner.


Sounds a bit like ummm "propaganda".

If you consider that the Russian offensive (which included an attack on the Charkov perimeter) involved more than 500,000 Russian troops, and if you consider casualty numbers authors like Antony Beevor (he claims that 240,000 Russians became POWs, in his book [1998]) or David Glantz (he states that the Russians had 207,000 casualties - captured and wounded, in his book from 1998) came up with, then I think it's safe to say that were some Russians who managed to escape prior to completion of the encirclement.

However, according to Beevor, less than one man in ten managed to escape the Barvenkovo pocket.

EDIT: Let's drop in some German propaganda:
http://timelines.com/videos/5c9c974f20db6f6b97f424a8d38c21bb?autoplay=true

So the movement of the German armor, and the following link up of Axis troops east of the then encircled Russians was relatively swift and fast, so I doubt that the Russians managed to escape en masse. After several days of attacking and advancing, the Russian offensive lost momentum, so the Russians sent units that were low on supplies and exhausted to the rear (to refit), but the German tanks then cut right through those units in order to close the pincer, gaining up to 10 kilometers on the first day.

The game Men of War: Red Tide does something similar, it exaggerates the effects and effectiveness of the Russian counter-operation in the Crimea in September 1941 (51st Red Army and Black Sea Fleet operations at Feodossija and Kerch), during the so-called "Kerch-Feodossija operation"), which was meant to relief the defenders of Sevastopol and retake the Crimea. It was also projected to take the German supply-hub at Dzhankoy, which would have made German tank operations difficult if not impossible.

After some initial success, where one should mention that the Russian effort involved 60.000 troops of the Caucasian Front, plus the Marines of the Black Sea Fleet [Asow-Flotilla] around 20,000 troops], while 1 German division had to defend the Kerch-peninsula (46th Inf Division), while Feodossija was defended by an German engineer batallion, a Panzerjäger batallion and some Rumanian coastal gun units, only, the Germans performed a tactical withdraw from Kerch, AFTER eliminating most of the Russian beachheads North and South of Kerch.
The 46th Div. caused quite some Russian casualties, IIRC, and withdrew eventually, but after some reorganisation the Axis (Rumanian inf troops and up to ~120 German tanks were redirected to the Feodossija sector) then fielded ~25,000 troops, excluding the 73rd Inf Div. which was withdrawn from Henichesk and committed at Feodossija later on.

This Russian operation delayed the fall of Sevastopol, but the Russians figured that the goal of the operation, to retake the Crimea or at least most of it, could not be accomplished, so they focused on attempts to strengthen the Sevastopol forces with off-shore convoys and to keep up operations around Feodossija and Kerch. The Germans took both sectors eventually, though.
The commander of the 46th Division, General von Sponeck, was court-martialed later on for withdrawing his division (violating an OKW-order that had not reached him), as he assumed that successful Russian landings at Feodossija would have cut off his unit. The division then conducted a forced march to reach the Northern end of the Crimea, leaving behind most of its heavy guns.

That said, despite the impressive Russian effort (with a troop contingent more than thrice of the size of the German contingent), the 51st Army suffered more than 40,000 casualties, with 32,500 dead. So instead of exploiting the 46th Division's mistake (to evacuate vital parts of the Crimea), the Russians lost focus and drove the operation into the ground.

Now back to the game, the game makes it look like the "heroic" (the game's wording) commitment of Red Army troops and Russian Marines created a longer period of vital successes on the Crimea, while in reality the operation was a waste of resources and managed to delay the fall of Sevastopol by probably around 6 months only, let alone the fact that the Russian (initial) advance didn't even get near the German supply hub, a goal the Russians had forgotten about, obviously. The 6 Russian Divisions that had landed at Kerch, facing the German 46th Div. did not even attempt to pin down that German division (its temporary heavy resistance and counter-attacks prior to its tactical retreat may have been one reason, bad organization and lack of focus on the Russian side may have been another reason).

Bottom line, I rather mistrust History channel flicks and so-called "research" done by Russian devs. The total lack of information regarding superior German weapon sights/optics in tanks within the TOW2 dev team would be another example for some Russian devs' (partially) biased or (if you will) uninformed take on things.

My 2 cents

< Message edited by GoodGuy -- 5/21/2010 11:50:02 PM >


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RE: Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/21/2010 11:32:55 PM   
Doggie


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quote:

In order to be able to intern these German POWs in these camps (which violated the Geneva Convention), the US declared all German soldiers who got into captivity AFTER the unconditional surrender to be "DEF" (Disarmed Enemy Forces), the Brits coined the term "SEP" (Surrendered Enemy Personnel), with both the US and the British authorities stating that the Convention would not apply to them, as these Germans - per definitionem - wouldn't be prisoners of war.

This trick reminds one of the wordplay the Bush administration invented for enemy fighters captured in Afghanistan, naming them "enemy combatants", which alledgedly allowed the US to imprison and try them outside the US criminal law jurisdiction and outside US territory.


Since the U.S. was involved in trying to keep the entire population of western europe from starving to death at the time, one could understand why captured German soldiers were not at the top of the priority list. The people nearer the top of the priority list might be the entire population of the Netherlands, as the German army requistioned nearly all their food for their own use. Then there was the matter of uncounted displaced persons and death camp survivors, as well as the civilian population of Germany itself.

Having lived in Germany for an extended period of time, I am not unsympathetic to the German point of view, but then maybe those Germans should consider themselves lucky they were at the mercy of Americans and not monsters like themselves. I know the people I met in Bavaria who owed their lives to kindness of American soldiers during the post war period were keenly aware of how lucky they were to not live in the Russian or French sectors.

As for the poor innocent Muslims of Afghanistan, they could have been executed under the terms of the Geneva Conventions, as captured Germans were when they were found attempting to murder American dressed in civilian clothes or American uniforms. As it stands, those poor innocent victims of American imperialism are the most pampered, spoiled "enemy combatants" in the history of human civilization. Unlike Axis war criminals, not one of them has been given the proper hanging they deserve.

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RE: Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/22/2010 12:21:59 AM   
Joe D.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: GoodGuy

... In order to be able to intern these German POWs in these camps (which violated the Geneva Convention), the US declared all German soldiers who got into captivity AFTER the unconditional surrender to be "DEF" (Disarmed Enemy Forces), the Brits coined the term "SEP" (Surrendered Enemy Personnel), with both the US and the British authorities stating that the Convention would not apply to them, as these Germans - per definitionem - wouldn't be prisoners of war.

This trick reminds one of the wordplay the Bush administration invented for enemy fighters captured in Afghanistan, naming them "enemy combatants", which alledgedly allowed the US to imprison and try them outside the US criminal law jurisdiction and outside US territory.


To qualify for treatment under the Geneva Convention, the Muslim holy warriors in Afghanistan and elsewhere would be required to wear a distinctive uniform that didn't conceal their weapons, as well as a rank structure answerable to a chain of command.

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RE: Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/22/2010 12:34:58 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Everyone,

Please keep this on topic to World War II, do not bring current events or politics into it. Thanks.

Regards,

- Erik

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RE: Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/22/2010 12:36:50 AM   
Mac67

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: GoodGuy

The Allies faced a similar situation when they created 20 POW camps in 1945 (called "Rheinwiesenlager", situated on the grassy banks of the River Rhine, where the German POWs had to stay and live in the open without any shelter - most just had blankets or some tattered rain coats, there were no buildings, just a few lines of barbed wire and observation posts). The Germans basically lived in holes they dug themself in order to protect them from rough weather conditions, there were no tents. Each camp was supposed to hold 5,000-10,000 prisoners max., to have one administration building, a medical aid building and kitchen. There were 40,000 POWs in one of these camps. Some German authorities claimed ~4500 dead due to malnutrition, the weather conditions (constant exposure to rain/weather) and bad sanitary conditions, some sources' estimations range from 3,000 - 10,000 death totals.



That still sounds more comfy than Auschwitz

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RE: Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/22/2010 12:45:06 AM   
Joe D.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Obsolete

quote:

My dad commanded a Hellcat


He surely must have told you some interesting stories?  Unless all was quiet on his front.  I'm curious to know all the goods, and bads about the M18 he had to say?  What did he really like, and what about it did he really hate? 


As the TD's NCOIC, dad's position was in the open "combat compartment" on top, but it was an improvement over the self-propelled gun mounted-halftrack that he trained with at Fort Hood, or the towed French 75 his unit was initially equiped with when it arrived in Europe.

Dad didn't get his Hellcat til later in the war, but once when his TD platoon was supporting infantry advancing on a town, a German King Tiger suddenly appeared to confront them; although the Tiger didn't have any infantry support, the TDs just couldn't stop it: after his TD hit it several times, dad looked thru the gun site and saw the tank would only need a new paint job!

Fortunately a Thunderbolt flew by and let loose a salvo of rockets that penetrated the thinner armor on top of the Tiger, otherwise I would't be here to type this.

TDs weren't a match for most German armor until they were up-gunned w/a 90 mm later in the war.

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RE: Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/22/2010 1:34:05 AM   
GoodGuy

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Doggie

Since the U.S. was involved in trying to keep the entire population of western europe from starving to death at the time, one could understand why captured German soldiers were not at the top of the priority list.


Actually, liberated Russian slave workers in the Ruhrgebiet (industrial heart of Germany) weren't at the top either, it seems. Same with some KZ inmates in some parts of Germany. After taking the Krupp facilities and other areas, the US withdrew their troops, and it took British patrols to keep the East European (ex-)prisoners from wandering around, raping and looting. Still, the food supply didn't kick in BEFORE June 1945, where then the ex-slaves got food stamps and clothes, at least.

It wasn't about a total lack of food supplies, but about bad organization. There were more than enough US Army rations sitting in England, to at least bridge several weeks, if not months.

quote:

... as the German army requistioned nearly all their food for their own use.


Not really. The German troops had sufficient food supplies until the end of the war. Actually, the Dutch "Hongerwinter" was a result of German retaliations against the Dutch people, set in effect as punishment for the railway strikes. The strikes were an attempt to hamper German operations (in the Netherlands) suggested by the Dutch exile government, which witnessed the failure of operation Market Garden. The food supply embargo was then partially lifted by the Germans in November 1944, where they then allowed food transports via rivers and canals, but the hard winter that kicked in shortly after lifting the embargo made continuous transports impossible. Before May 1945 the Germans had allowed Swedish deliveries of flour and air drops of food by the Royal Airforce.

quote:

Having lived in Germany for an extended period of time, I am not unsympathetic to the German point of view, but then maybe those Germans should consider themselves lucky they were at the mercy of Americans and not monsters like themselves. I know the people I met in Bavaria who owed their lives to kindness of American soldiers during the post war period were keenly aware of how lucky they were to not live in the Russian or French sectors.


Well, I wasn't trying to point out how badly Germans had been treated after the end of the war (which you seem to suggest), but I was trying to emphasize that feeding huge amounts of prisoners is quite an organizational challenge and that it can be a resource-drain on victorious Armies. I think that it's well known that Russian or German authorities did not care too much about proper nutrition levels of and proper shelter for their East European prisoners.
In contrast, they treated US and British Air Force members, who were imprisoned in camps run by Luftwaffe units relatively well. The living conditions of British/US Army members and Russian soldiers (in German captivity) differed like day and night, too.

quote:

As for the poor innocent Muslims of Afghanistan, they could have been executed under the terms of the Geneva Conventions, as captured Germans were when they were found attempting to murder American dressed in civilian clothes or American uniforms.


Well, I didn't fraternize with any Muslim fighter or terrorist and I won't ever do it, I'm happy with being a christian and belonging to the Western hemisphere, so I don't know why you read between my lines.
As for "innocent" Afghans: Since the Talibans (initially mostly from Pakistan) and other fighters are from many different countries (well, including Afghanistan), jurisdiction may have a hard time to handle this properly. Nowadays, the ISAF and EOF troops don't face a particular country, but fighters and groups consisting of a wild mix of nationalities. Still, like the Vietcong in Vietnam, the first batch (captured in and after 2001) should have been treated like prisoners of war, as they weren't acting like guerillas and terrorists, but like regular fighters of the Taliban movement/government. The fact that they didn't wear uniforms doesn't mean that they were spies trying to disguise their undercover work by wearing "civilian" clothing. They wore what I'd call "traditional" clothing, which wasn't meant to disguise anything, plus they did not conceal their weapons prior or during hostilities.
Even though the Geneva Convention may lack covering entities that do not wear the "proper" clothing, Child soldiers (without uniforms) in Africa use to enjoy the same rights (in theory) as grown-up soldiers in regular uniforms, if they are not acting as spies.
You might want to read recent discussions covering the Geneva convention in international law.

quote:

As it stands, those poor innocent victims of American imperialism are the most pampered, spoiled "enemy combatants" in the history of human civilization.

While they may not have to live like Russian prisoners in Germany, like German prisoners in Russia or like German POWs in the Rhein camps, I wouldn't consider a cage without roof (means without proper protection from the sun/rain) to be part of some "pampering". The conditions didn't improve for years, and it took constant nagging from the Red Cross, other NGOs, activists and a Supreme Court decision change things, resulting in the implementation of minimum standards for the "orange" bad guys, at least.

quote:

Unlike Axis war criminals, not one of them has been given the proper hanging they deserve.


You might want to read up on what happened to the bulk of Axis war criminals: Only a small percentage was actually convicted. There's a famous drawer (which is located in the central German Public Prosecution Department, IIRC) that still holds 6000 files of war criminals, and if I am not mistaken, a really low percentage of these was convicted (1-2% ?).
Also, Italy, the US, and quite some other countries held back files and evidence, for political reasons (the NATO needed Germany in the ensuing cold war). The Italian military responsible for prosecuting war crimes put the majority of their files into a file cabinet, sealed it and moved the side with the drawers against a wall... it was rediscovered some time ago, and caused quite some uproar in Italy, the file cabinet was then coined "cabinet of infamy". Besides getting a hold of the 2nd line of the Nazi government (including Göring), neither the Allies nor the Germans (and other countries) did well when it came to try war criminals.

But still, I don't see why enemy fighters (say like the Taliban captured in 2001 and brought to Guantanamo), in cases where you can't find connections between them and the attacks on 9/11, should deserve some hanging (or a trial for war crimes, in general). That's pretty much like an enemy entity would demand to hang every US prisoner, without asking any questions or proper judicial investigation.

You seem to confuse my historical elaboration in my previous post with some imaginary political statements (I didn't make). Just leave out politics, thanks.


< Message edited by GoodGuy -- 5/22/2010 2:19:24 AM >


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Post #: 17
RE: Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/22/2010 1:43:50 AM   
GoodGuy

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Joe D.

Fortunately a Thunderbolt flew by and let loose a salvo of rockets that penetrated the thinner armor on top of the Tiger, otherwise I would't be here to type this.


Well, **** happens, bad luck for the Tiger crew, but I'm glad you can type this.

(in reply to Joe D.)
Post #: 18
RE: Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/22/2010 1:54:13 AM   
GoodGuy

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mac67

That still sounds more comfy than Auschwitz


I don't get why people have to read between the lines and relativize, or why they insinuate that there's a revisionist attitude once they see a German posting some objective descriptions of historical events.
I described that the Western Allies had to face a tough organizational challenge and that they failed for months and partially again in winter 1945/46. Many Europeans suffered of this lack of organization, which affected the agressors (former German military personnel), European civilians and the victims of German enslavement and oppression alike. I think that wasn't too hard to decrypt, was it?

The Marshall plan then actually helped to improve things later on.


< Message edited by GoodGuy -- 5/22/2010 3:13:01 AM >


_____________________________

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Bastogne

---
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Tim Stone
8th of August, 2006

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Post #: 19
RE: Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/22/2010 4:01:44 AM   
Obsolete


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Well thanks for the Tiger story.  I had a FEELING no Tiger commander would be trading in his tank for an M18, despite what the History channel may try to insinuate.  I guess the script writers always have to try to BEEF UP the subject of their episodes all the time in order to maintain viewing interest.




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RE: Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/22/2010 4:24:39 AM   
Obsolete


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Actually there is one more thing I'm curious about.  I know Americans made the mistake of building just about all their Tank Destroyers as Open-Top vehicles.  During the war the engineers tried to repair this by designing some sort of armoured skirt to place upon the top of those in service.  It turns out they were having too much casualties through this vulnerability by shell fragmenting.

This is a bit hard me to picture.  I could understand this being a weak-point since any idiot can just toss a grenade/cocktail in the air and score a hit inside.  Or any infantry on a high vantage point could simply aim down and knock off some of the crew inside.  But why is it shell-fragmentation was a worry?  I just don't understand how a shell hitting anywhere against the M18 could then move up, and then BOOM explode downward into the hell from the top? 

Perhaps this fragmentation problem was due to rechochett off nearby terrain? 




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RE: Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/22/2010 6:24:00 AM   
Halsey


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Uh, the armored attack was to break through the encirclement.
So that they could be resupplied.
They weren't actually attacking Stalingrad.

Been to the mass cemetary at St Petersburg.
It was a sobering experience.
They wouldn't have made it that long if it wasn't for Lake Ladoga freezing up.
When it was solid ice they snuck through supplies to the city.

Read a book instead, don't rely on television, or the internet for the actual truth.

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Post #: 22
RE: Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/22/2010 6:57:42 AM   
06 Maestro


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Obsolete


This is a bit hard me to picture.  I could understand this being a weak-point since any idiot can just toss a grenade/cocktail in the air and score a hit inside.  Or any infantry on a high vantage point could simply aim down and knock off some of the crew inside.  But why is it shell-fragmentation was a worry?  I just don't understand how a shell hitting anywhere against the M18 could then move up, and then BOOM explode downward into the hell from the top? 

Perhaps this fragmentation problem was due to rechochett off nearby terrain? 





Time fuses, of a sort, have been around for a very long time. By WW2, it was old hat. An air burst, accurately placed, would have devastating affects on an unprotected target.

Also, it is not easy for any idiot to get within rifle range of armored vehicles-grenade range?? Wouldn't even want to think about it. In such a setting as Stalingrad that would have been possible, but that was an unusual situation.

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RE: Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/22/2010 1:22:34 PM   
Joe D.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Halsey

... Read a book instead, don't rely on television, or the internet for the actual truth.


I'm not relying on PBS; note the words (now) in bold.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Joe D.

Did anyone catch this PBS show last night?

Based on previously unavailable Soviet archival info, PBS claimed the battle for Stalingrad was already decided when the Panzers supporting Paulus' infantry got tied-up in a battle just north of the city, but I thought tanks didn't do well in urban areas ...

The show also described the battle of Kharkov, claiming that the Germans simply didn't have enough troops to capture and process all the Russian POWs taken ...

Perhaps PBS should buy some Matrix titles before making any more historical claims?



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Post #: 24
RE: Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/22/2010 1:44:15 PM   
Joe D.


Posts: 3897
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Obsolete

Actually there is one more thing I'm curious about.  I know Americans made the mistake of building just about all their Tank Destroyers as Open-Top vehicles.  During the war the engineers tried to repair this by designing some sort of armoured skirt to place upon the top of those in service.  It turns out they were having too much casualties through this vulnerability by shell fragmenting.

This is a bit hard me to picture.  I could understand this being a weak-point since any idiot can just toss a grenade/cocktail in the air and score a hit inside ...


That's why arm'd vehicles have infantry support, but Hellcats formerly used by S. Korean forces used kevlar to cover its open compartment.

IMO, the open combat compartment was to make the TD lighter and faster; in theory, a TD platoon could either encircle a slower opponent, or become hard-to-hit, fast-moving targets.

Early TD tactics were exemplified by their motto, "Seek, Strike, Destroy"; unfortunately, this often resulted in high casualties for TD personnel; Hellcat commanders were later advised to use defilade whenever possible.

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Post #: 25
RE: Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/22/2010 2:02:26 PM   
Joe D.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: GoodGuy

quote:

ORIGINAL: Joe D.

Fortunately a Thunderbolt flew by and let loose a salvo of rockets that penetrated the thinner armor on top of the Tiger, otherwise I would't be here to type this.


Well, **** happens, bad luck for the Tiger crew ...


This happened towards the end of the war, so the crew was either "green" or fanatical enough to think they were so invulnerable in a King Tiger that they could advance out into the open w/o any support in broad daylight despite Alled air superiority!

That, or dad or was just lucky; his back-up plan was to shell-shock the crew w/continous hits, but even a lone King Tiger is a formidable opponent.

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The best fighter-bomber of World War II

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Post #: 26
RE: Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/22/2010 2:10:01 PM   
Obsolete


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Time fuses, of a sort, have been around for a very long time.

I wouldn't think you could get that accurate on a timer to knock out a TD.  I guess it makes sense with a slow yet high projectile?




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RE: Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/22/2010 2:27:08 PM   
Helpless


Posts: 14808
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quote:

They wouldn't have made it that long if it wasn't for Lake Ladoga freezing up.
When it was solid ice they snuck through supplies to the city.


City been supplied by lake fleet (barges) before that. From beginning of blockade 60k tons of goods been passed to Leningrad withing 30 days ~2k per day. 152 days of ice road allowed to bring 362K tons - ~2.3tones a day.

During next navigation period 1,099,500 tons of good been carried to both directions (790tons to Leningrad). Besides that fuel and electricity been brought by tube and cables on the lake's bottom.

So the freezing fact was not decisive. The worst pas period of thin ice when neither way could be functional.

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Post #: 28
RE: Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/22/2010 2:46:58 PM   
06 Maestro


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Obsolete

Time fuses, of a sort, have been around for a very long time.

I wouldn't think you could get that accurate on a timer to knock out a TD.  I guess it makes sense with a slow yet high projectile?




Air bursts-over head-anywhere close, will do the trick. Some large rounds have a casualty producing radius of 300 meters. Imagine one battery-or perhaps a battalion fire on a given area. Open top vehicles are more more vulnerable.

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Post #: 29
RE: Secrets of the Dead: Stalingrad - 5/22/2010 3:47:04 PM   
planner 3

 

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IMHO a Mortar round, lobbed in an open cockpit would devistate the crew. I also suspect a good FO would utilize this factor in chosing a target. Just an old mans opinion.

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