Jump to content


Getting an "Insecure Connection" warning for Exisle? No worry

Details in this thread

Today in History

History-World

  • Please log in to reply
19 replies to this topic

#1 Talkie Toaster

Talkie Toaster

    There's no Shepard without Vakarian

  • Islander
  • 1,136 posts

Posted 23 June 2003 - 09:53 AM

Germany launches Operation Barbarossa- starting the most titanic, bloody war in history with the invasion of Russia.

On this day in 1941, over 3 million German troops invade Russia in three parallel offensives, in what is the most powerful invasion force in history. Nineteen panzer divisions, 3,000 tanks, 2,500 aircraft, and 7,000 artillery pieces pour across a thousand-mile front as Hitler goes to war on a second front.

The collapse of defence of France in May 1940 had been sudden, and devastating. The defeat of France left only Britain free of Nazi domination in Western Europe. With the Luftwaffe unable to suppress the RAF, and lacking adequate transport, the Germans eventually abandoned the idea of the invasion of Britain as too risky. However, this was as nothing compared to the risks involved with their leader's increasingly demented designs on Germany's Eastern neighbours. Yugoslavia, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece were soon added to the Nazi empire, with varying degrees of resistance. This again was a very quick campaign, but it was fought at the expense of Hitler's plan to invade Russia. By delaying the the German attack on the Soviets, the campaign in the Balkans wasted some of the invaluable good weather needed to secure a quicky victory in the East. This may have saved the Soviet Union- it certainly saved Moscow itself.

In some places the Germans were actually welcomed as liberators- such as in Croatia. This was to be a rare experience for the German aggressors, who normally met the resentment and hatred of the occupied peoples. In Stalin's realm they may well have expected similar welcome, for overthrowing the deadly hand on the party. However, the actions of the Nazis in the Russia would guarantee them the Sovietsí enduring hatred, and resistance.

German industry was hampered in meeting the war needs of the Reich by inadequate planning and consideration, coupled with the intrusive and competitive demands of the individuals in the Nazi hierarchy.  Production climbed throughout the war, but critical shortages developed and were never properly rectified. Hitler himself, increasingly intrusive as the war went on, cancelled much of the supplies ordered for the Russian invasion, when he determined that the war had been won in the first summer offensive. By the time production was re-directed his troops were freezing, without adequate winter clothing, and low on munitions and food in the Russian ice and snow.

One of the persistent myths of the war was that the Germans were overwhelmingly stronger, and better organised than their opponents. Certainly, their military organisation was very strong, and their staff officers often out performed their opposing numbers. However, they were quite rightly dubious about Hitlerís adventures in general ship. Certainly, they did not want the attack on Russia, and having failed to have Hitler abandon the idea, they then failed to have the war fought in the most direct and efficient manner. Hitler confused his economic aims with his military aims and concentrated much of his strength were it could not be brought to bear, on the critical struggle in front of Moscow.

Stalin too intruded on his generals- or, at least, those of his generals who had survived the vicious purging on the thirties. It was he who decided that the campaign would be fought progressively. Thus, the Soviets fought were they stood, and withdrew slowly. This gave Hitler the triumphs of the early campaign, with massive encirclements of Soviet forces, and the taking of huge numbers of prisoners. The Furher suffered constantly from the delusion that the war in the East was over- that the inferior soldiery of the barbarian Soviet state could not withstand the power of the panzers and the Luftwaffe. The Red Air Force lost thousands of fighters in the opening weeks of the fighting, and would take time to re-group and re-equip. The Germans smashed army after army- and even the German staff began to believe, like their leader, that the staggering Soviet loses could not be made up. Widespread expectations of Soviet collapse were wide spread.

But the Russians kept fighting.

New divisions appeared in the lines- including some of the most powerful Soviet formations, transferring from Siberia. Also deployed were new tanks- far stronger than anything the Germans had, that defied all but the power of the German anti aircraft artillery. There were signals that the Soviets were far from finished- but it did not sink in until the snow and frost of winter guaranteed a second summer of fighting.

As the summer of 1941 dragged on the German expansion slowed. They had lost some 560,000 men in the opening campaign- about one sixth of their original attacking force. In doing so, they had killed or captured nearly four million Soviet troops. By any standards of military accomplishments, the success of the Nazis in Russia were incomparable- however, their success was insufficient for task of the victory over the Soviet Union.

The army was still largly horse drawn and was very slow in following the panzers over the vast distances and inferior communications network of Western Russia and the Ukraine. It was an inadequate tool for the job- no matter how much the early successes disguise this fact. Many factors disguised the hollowness of the victory from the Germans. One thing that misled them was the preponderance of obsolete material in the Soviet inventory. The Red Air Force had few truly competitive fighters in the 8,000 planes that opposed the Germans at the beginning of the war. This concealed the fact that their new designs were excellent, and that the rate of production was already far higher than the German capacity- even if the Nazis had mobilized their industry for optimum performance. Similarly, of 20,000 Soviet tanks in June 1941, only a combined 1,500 were effective.

Amid the ruins of the conquered territory that Stalin's scorched earth policy left incapable of supporting the invading forces the German drive petered out. Then came the winter. Germany employed 146 divisions at the time of their attack on Russia. There were 19 Panzer divisions, and 12 moterized divisisons that would handle the offensive drives that would bring victory. Supply problems quietly escalated as they went, not only due to increasing distance, but also to the increasingly comprehensive destruction of communications by the retreating forces and increasing levels of Partisan activity. German logistics were to stumble along constantly near the point of disasterous collapse. Critical shortages would cripple the German offensive, as would the un-sutiability of much of their equipment for the extreme cold of winter.

Meanwhile, the Soviets were not only undergoing their own miracles of industrial mobilisation and improvisation, they began to receive supplies from the Allies. While only a trickle of planes and other arms flowed to the Soviet Union, as with tanks and artillery the Russians proved quite capable of producing their own weapons. Where the Alliesí aid became critical was in the thousands of excellent American trucks, the millions of pairs of boots, and so on. The support was selective- being assigned to some areas to free Soviet capacity to deal with others. The handful of Spitfires Britain could initially spare were effectively no more than a gesture. 18,000 Western combat planes were given to the Russia during the war. Though significant, this pails besides the Russian output, which reached 3,000 per month.

In addition to substantial aid from the Britain, the Soviets eventually received over 11 billion dollars in lend lease assisstance. Most of this consisted of medical supplies, transportation, raw materials, and food. There is little doubt that without the aid the death toll would have been even higher, and the war a great deal longer. However, Allied aid was only supplementary to the Soviets' own sacrifice, and achievements.

The Sovietsí new home grown fighters and attack aircraft were a fearsome proposition, revealing the Soviets to be very advanced in some areas. They were the core of a new air force to be employed Luftwaffe style in close ground co-ordination. The German staff was well aware of the prerequisites for success- paramount, of course, was air supremacy. When they could no longer guarantee this factor over the Easterm Front they knew that the only guarantee was of eventual defeat. Their failure was emodied in the factories of the Soviet Union.

Edited by Talkie Toaster, 23 June 2003 - 06:39 PM.

Blessed is the mind too small for doubt.

#2 Rov Judicata

Rov Judicata

    Crassly Irresponsible and Indifferent

  • Islander
  • 15,720 posts

Posted 23 June 2003 - 04:44 PM

Don't know how I missed this earlier.

Thanks for the primer TT. :).
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. ß 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.

#3 Ilphi

Ilphi
  • Islander
  • 4,071 posts

Posted 23 June 2003 - 08:24 PM

Thanks for the overview. Yesterday I watched a series of programs on Tsar Nicholas IInd before, during and after the 3 revolutions. The diary entries after the revolutions as he dug a garden and shoveled snow are very poignant.
Yea, ere my hot youth pass, I speak to my people and say:
Ye shall be foolish as I; ye shall scatter, not save;
Ye shall venture your all, lest ye lose what is more than all;
Ye shall call for a miracle, taking Christ at His word.
And for this I will answer, O people, answer here and hereafter,
The Fool - Padraic Pearse

#4 Ogami

Ogami
  • Islander
  • 2,976 posts

Posted 23 June 2003 - 08:59 PM

Anthony Beevor had a fascinating new book on the siege at Stalingrad, there were many mistakes made by Stalin at the onset of the war. First of all, he had purged tens of thousands of officers from the Army in the 1930s, that left his troops without competent commanders when fighting began. At first they tried to fight in the Communist style, but soon found they had to resort to appeals to patriotism and past military heroes from the time of the Czars. A sort of egalatarian chain of command was hastily replaced with the standard arrangement of enlisted and officer.

Worse for the fighting soldier, millions of Russians were sent to their deaths in senseless "human wave" assaults, lacking any strategy or planning. Their lives were thrown away wholesale by a ruthless dictator, whereas a democracy would not have spent their lives so freely. During the siege of Stalingrad, for example, Russian generals would launch massive assaults to celebrate holiday's or Stalin's birthday, regardless of the heavy losses. Stalin considered his land overpopulated, and like his genocidal purges of the 1930s, could not care less how many people were slaughtered to keep him in power.

-Ogami

#5 Aric

Aric

    Ar1ARX

  • Islander
  • 504 posts

Posted 23 June 2003 - 09:12 PM

How does history regard Germany not invading Britain, and instead turning to the USSR?  I understand that the Germans were ill positioned to invade Britain, but considering the staggering undertaking that was the Soviet invasion, in any either-or scenario, I can't believe that they considered the Soviet invasion as the preferred choice.

I would have thought that there should have been many top German military people pushing for invading Britain.  Considering that they had France, they must have had excellent staging points, and while I realize that assembling a transport fleet requires more than just retasking a fishing boat or a pleasure yacht, the Germans were so close to Britain, and even after losing the Battle of Britain, Germany must still have had enough planes to protect Germany's transports and other surface ships needed for amphibious invasion.  And finally, seeing as how D-Day was in June, we could assume that June has at least a few good weather and tide days in the Channel, so there must have been at least some points in favour of invading Britain instead of the USSR.

I guess direct interference by Hitler could have precluded the possibility of delaying the Soviet invasion, but I guess I don't understand why the British invasion was so completely abandoned after losing the Battle of Britain.

Aric

#6 Ogami

Ogami
  • Islander
  • 2,976 posts

Posted 23 June 2003 - 09:22 PM

Aric asked:

How does history regard Germany not invading Britain, and instead turning to the USSR?

To be brief, history regards Hitler as insane.

Hi Aric, I'm amazed anyone else is up at this ungodly hour. Hitler and Stalin had a gentleman's agreement between dictators, they divied up Poland between them. Yet Hitler's hatred of communism was equal to that of his hatred for the democracies. A sane commander would have first dealt with Britain, and then turned to the Soviet Union. Hitler delayed his invasion of Britain, and went ahead with the invasion of Russia. Hitler's generals warned him repeatedly not to fight a war on two fronts, but he was well, nuts.

-Ogami

#7 usmarox

usmarox

    Honi soit y mal y Kevlar

  • Islander
  • 617 posts

Posted 23 June 2003 - 11:48 PM

Quote

How does history regard Germany not invading Britain, and instead turning to the USSR?

Well, there are two considerations here.

First, the Nazi preoccupation with race, and the official declaration that Slavic peoples were untermensch (I didn't say these were rational considerations).  From this, we get the impression that Hitler was not at all concerned with the quality of the Soviet military.  On this count, we also have to take into account Hitler's similar anti-Communist sentiment.  So, rationality aside, those were pretty compelling reasons to invade the Soviet Union.

Second, there is a certain amount of anecdotal evidence to suggest that Hitler quite liked and respected Britain and British culture.  I can't provide a source for this, as I'm going on what my history teacher told me, but apparently it is there.  This would then seem to give a certain amount of credibility to the suggestion, a few years ago, that Operation Sealion, as the planned invasion of Britain was called, was simply an elaborate ruse to persuade us to surrender.  Similarly, the Battle of Britain was the active component of this plan, designed to put pressure on Britain.  These two facts tally with the fact that the bombing of non-military targets didn't begin until after the Battle of Britain - a campaign designed to acheive air superiority.  This ties in with Hitler's fascination with Britain.

The first part you can take to the bank.  The second, though, is a lot of (learned) speculation, unfortunately.  Make of it what you will.
Miscellaneous ramblings and utter negativity - my LJ

You are not free, whose liberty is won by other, more righteous souls.  You are merely protected.  You suck the honourable man dry and offer nothing in return.  Now, the time has come for you to pay for that freedom, and you will pay in the currency of honest toil and human blood."

Inquisitor Czevak, Address to the Council of Ryanti.  

And no less true for being fictional.


Two ears, one mouth.  Use them in that ratio.

#8 Ogami

Ogami
  • Islander
  • 2,976 posts

Posted 24 June 2003 - 12:24 AM

You are quite right on both counts, Usmarox. In the months leading up to the war, Germany went to great efforts to pacify Britain and reach some sort of accomodation with them. And there were many in the British government (I believe they called them quislings) who were ready to work with the Nazis. Fortunately they had an obstinate old man who wanted no accomodation with those murderous thugs, and the world is better off because of it.

-Ogami

#9 Talkie Toaster

Talkie Toaster

    There's no Shepard without Vakarian

  • Islander
  • 1,136 posts

Posted 24 June 2003 - 01:08 AM

usmarox, on Jun 23 2003, 12:49 PM, said:

Second, there is a certain amount of anecdotal evidence to suggest that Hitler quite liked and respected Britain and British culture.  I can't provide a source for this, as I'm going on what my history teacher told me, but apparently it is there.  This would then seem to give a certain amount of credibility to the suggestion, a few years ago, that Operation Sealion, as the planned invasion of Britain was called, was simply an elaborate ruse to persuade us to surrender.  Similarly, the Battle of Britain was the active component of this plan, designed to put pressure on Britain.  These two facts tally with the fact that the bombing of non-military targets didn't begin until after the Battle of Britain - a campaign designed to acheive air superiority.  This ties in with Hitler's fascination with Britain.
I remember hearing about this as well- IIRC it is mentioned in  Hitler's book Mein Kampf. Hitler admired the 'Aryan' British race and their world spanning empire.
Blessed is the mind too small for doubt.

#10 Talkie Toaster

Talkie Toaster

    There's no Shepard without Vakarian

  • Islander
  • 1,136 posts

Posted 24 June 2003 - 01:25 AM

Aric, on Jun 23 2003, 10:13 AM, said:

I would have thought that there should have been many top German military people pushing for invading Britain.  Considering that they had France, they must have had excellent staging points, and while I realize that assembling a transport fleet requires more than just retasking a fishing boat or a pleasure yacht, the Germans were so close to Britain, and even after losing the Battle of Britain, Germany must still have had enough planes to protect Germany's transports and other surface ships needed for amphibious invasion.  And finally, seeing as how D-Day was in June, we could assume that June has at least a few good weather and tide days in the Channel, so there must have been at least some points in favour of invading Britain instead of the USSR.
While starting a war with the USSR had was even more dangerous than the war with Britiain I think it says something that the high command that thought it could smash Russia in a single blow gave up on the invasion of Britain.

There are several items that are absolutely critical for an amphibious invasion to have any chance of success.

These are:
Air superiority, with total air supremacy over the invasion sight.
Naval superiority, with total naval supremacy in the area of operations.
Adequate transport to get the invasion force there.
The ability to supply those forces once they were there.
An army.

Germany had no shortages of armies, but one out of five is not enough. Germany failed to suppress the RAF, who would sortie en mass if Germany attempted an invasion. They would have to find some way to deal with the Royal Navy; which is far stronger than the Kreigsmarine. Please note that the Luftwaffe is thus going to have to deal with the RAF and RN at the same time. And assuming that the Rhine river barges that the Germans planned to use to transport 10 infantry divisions with no heavy equipment actually make it; the German forces in the beach head will soon find themselves cut of from supply and becoming more outnumbered and outgunned as British forces are shuttled to the invasion zone.

There were real invasion scares in Britain in 1940; but it can be seen with hindsight that Sealion was a no go until Germany had had a considerable naval build up.

The following articles go into the subject in much greater depth than I could have:

http://www.flin.demo...thist/seal1.htm

http://gateway.alter...ys/Sealion.html
Blessed is the mind too small for doubt.

#11 Talkie Toaster

Talkie Toaster

    There's no Shepard without Vakarian

  • Islander
  • 1,136 posts

Posted 24 June 2003 - 01:44 AM

Ogami, on Jun 23 2003, 10:00 AM, said:

Anthony Beevor had a fascinating new book on the siege at Stalingrad, there were many mistakes made by Stalin at the onset of the war. First of all, he had purged tens of thousands of officers from the Army in the 1930s, that left his troops without competent commanders when fighting began. At first they tried to fight in the Communist style, but soon found they had to resort to appeals to patriotism and past military heroes from the time of the Czars. A sort of egalatarian chain of command was hastily replaced with the standard arrangement of enlisted and officer.

Worse for the fighting soldier, millions of Russians were sent to their deaths in senseless "human wave" assaults, lacking any strategy or planning. Their lives were thrown away wholesale by a ruthless dictator, whereas a democracy would not have spent their lives so freely. During the siege of Stalingrad, for example, Russian generals would launch massive assaults to celebrate holiday's or Stalin's birthday, regardless of the heavy losses. Stalin considered his land overpopulated, and like his genocidal purges of the 1930s, could not care less how many people were slaughtered to keep him in power.

-Ogami
I haven't read Beevor's Stalingrad yet (but I plan to once my exams are over!) or indeed very much on the Eastern Front. What little I have read certainly confirms the destruction Stalin's vicious purges caused on the Red Army; placing inexperienced officers and weak yes men in the most important positions. The havoc this caused became manifest during the Russo-Finish war of 1940. After this many officers langushing in the Gulags were given their old commands back (assuming they hadn't been executed) but the Red Army still wasn't fully reorganized by the time Barbarossa rolled around.

However, I do get the impression that human waves were more than shovelling infantry onto the fire. Certainly, in 1941-42 the Red Army took a disproportionate number of casualites, in large part due to inexperienced or useless officers or as a result of the early defeats leaving the army badly wanting for trained infantry and equipment. IIRC most Russian casualties during WW2 actually occured during this period- which is interesting given the massive battles between 43-45 (Kursk, Bagration, Berlin etc).

Stalin was certainly every bit as ruthless and brutal as Hitler; although he was a lot smarter.
Blessed is the mind too small for doubt.

#12 Uncle Sid

Uncle Sid

    Highly impressionable

  • Islander
  • 1,414 posts

Posted 24 June 2003 - 03:06 AM

Beyond Hitler's racial and culturl motivations, keep in mind, Barbarossa was launched for very sound strategic reasons.  For one thing, British control of the Suez and the Middle East would make it very difficult for Germany's war effort to get enough oil to ramp up enough to continue it's advance unhindered.  The oil fields the Russians controlled and the access through Russia to the Middle East were key strategic targets for the Germans.  That's a key reason why Stalingrad was as important as it was, for instance.

Also, Hitler and Stalin were frankly just waiting to attack one another.  Better to smash them immediately than to wait for the Soviets to be able to get to work subverting the areas that Germany controlled.  The assessment of Stalin's weakness as a dictator were well founded, and waiting longer for the attack would just have just meant that the Germans would have faced the T-34's and the Sturmnoviks at the start of the war, instead of a half a year or more into it.  Hitler's problem was that he was just as bad of a dictator as Stalin, and he was overextended to boot.

Of course, Hitler was nuts, and he got in the way, and that's a big reason they lost that campaign.  However, while the timing and prosecution of the offensive was poor, it was not entirely a horrible or unnecessary idea.  

Well....from the point of view of a world conquering Nazi anyhow.  :)
I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it. - Jack Handey

#13 Aric

Aric

    Ar1ARX

  • Islander
  • 504 posts

Posted 24 June 2003 - 11:48 PM

Hi Ogami, it's been a while, I thought you vanished, good to see you around again.  As for the hour, I'm travelling, time has lost all meaning to me.  Of course, but in spite of his insanity Hitler was clever enough to build his Reich, it can't be unreasonable to believe that he could recognize the necessity of invading Britain.  As for German ability and willingness to invade Britain, I'll of course defer to the expertise of those who know much about this.

Even if Hitler didn't want to fight Britain, it was my understanding that he needed the Middle East oil fields, and Britain stood in their way on that one, plus they could have used invading the Middle East and fighting Britain there instead of in Britain as a means of preparing a second front for the subsequent Soviet invasion.

So if Hitler had let his Field Marshals run the invasion against the Soviets, is it generally believed that the Soviets could have been defeated?  It was, after all, a massive invasion, if the army was properly directed by a competent military leader, properly trained and equipped, with a singular purpose, is it believed that they could they have actually succeeded?  I can't imagine if this army was insufficient, what size army would have been needed to defeat the Soviets.

Aric

#14 Ogami

Ogami
  • Islander
  • 2,976 posts

Posted 25 June 2003 - 02:26 AM

Hi Aric,

Nice to chat with you. I think Hitler only needed those Middle Eastern oil fields to fight a war on two fronts. As of 1939-1940, European oil fields (the Balkans?) were sufficient.

-Ogami

#15 Talkie Toaster

Talkie Toaster

    There's no Shepard without Vakarian

  • Islander
  • 1,136 posts

Posted 25 June 2003 - 02:31 AM

While very strong, the German army in 1941 had several limitations. For a start, it wasn't completely mechanized. What armour the Germans had was concentrated into Panzer and motorized divisions. They were certainly very good, but most of the army relied on its feet, or on horses, for transport. Given the huge distances involved this present many supply difficulties- especially when it is realised what a hotch podge of equipment the Germans had. A siginificant chunk of their tank fleet were actually Czech designs. There were several different trucks in use; and none of them had interchangable parts.

Despite this, Germany might still have been able to win; especially after the crippling effect Stalin had had on the Red Army which hadn't recovered from the purges by 1941. Whether or not the USSR could have been knocked out in 1941 is debatable, and something I can't really answer. However, Germany might well have been able to win a battle of atrition against the USSR. The manpower reserves of Germany and her allies were very significant, and nearly as great as that of Russia IIRC. Further, the industry in Germany and the Nazi Empire was certainly greater than the industry of the USSR. These factors went even futher in Germany's favour after Barbarrosa as huge tracks of Soviet teritory, population and industry came under Nazi control. Many of these people, if the Germans had been benevolent; gone in going "come on guys, join us for the big push to finish Stalin off"; then they could have probably have counted on significant support from throughout the USSR- especially areas like the Ukraine.

However, Germany failed to take advantage of this. The Soviet Union (as well as Britain and the USA) went to a total war footing as soon as the war started. Germany begin to do this until 1943. Added the movement of entire factories behind the Urals meant that the Soviet Union was actually outproducing Germany in the materials and munitions.

In weapons, the Soviets would go from strength to strength as the war progressed. However, though they showed the ability to match the Germans in the technology of war, their soldiery was the tool that destroyed the Wehrmacht. Of great importance was the simple bulk of men available- but the way they fought was equally significant. Alongside the weight of arms, the stoic, stubborn selflessness of the Russians, withstanding the rigours of climate and battle, overcame the Germans.

The Soviet winter offensives regained little territory compared to that conquerored by the Germans- but it was sufficent to reveal what had been going on behind the lines. In addition to mass exterminations by SS special commandos (the Einsatzgruppen) starvation and disease went unchecked. The brutality of the Nazis in Russia would achive several adverse effects for their cause. The resolve of the entire Soviet Union stiffened. Their own regime may have been wicked, but here was a greater evil. Soviet self sacrifice was a small price to pay to avert such horrors. Further, were they may have been accepted as liberators by a larger proportion of the population their behavior insured a determined and effective resistance movement that would hamper their communications, tie down dozens of divisions in suppression, and leave no secure area for troops to withdraw from the fighting to regroup. Finally, it also ensured the cold malice of the Red Army when, it turn, it began to overrun German territory.

If it had been better led or had more modest aims, Germany might have had some chance of success. Instead, the Nazis not only caused the European War, but guareented it would be lost- and in the process would be the greatest possible disaster for Germany.

Edited by Talkie Toaster, 25 June 2003 - 02:47 AM.

Blessed is the mind too small for doubt.

#16 CJ AEGIS

CJ AEGIS

    Warship Guru!

  • Islander
  • 6,847 posts

Posted 25 June 2003 - 01:17 PM

Quote

Aric: while I realize that assembling a transport fleet requires more than just retasking a fishing boat or a pleasure yacht, the Germans were so close to Britain,

Irony here is that part of the German plan was to actually use river barges as amphibious transports.  The thing was that they only had a maximum tow speed of 3 knots.  The two monitors that the Royal Navy operated during World War II spent an awful lot of their time busting up river barges and other amphibious craft that were massing for an invasion attempt.      

Quote

Aric: Germany must still have had enough planes to protect Germany's transports and other surface ships needed for amphibious invasion.

A) If you look at D-Day youíll see why this type of plan for the Germans just would have been a disaster.  Even with complete air, naval, and material superiority the Allies had one tough fight on their hands.  The Germans would have been dealing with a situation that involved none of these advantages.
B) The Luftwaffe would have only been able to adequately defend the invasion fleet during the daylight hours.  At this point while some limited combat was occurring at night there was still no reliable way to attack naval vessels.  The Royal Navy would have sufficient qualitive and numerical superiority to smash any invasion during the night.  

Quote

usmarox: These two facts tally with the fact that the bombing of non-military targets didn't begin until after the Battle of Britain - a campaign designed to achieve air superiority.

The Blitz and the terror attacks on the English populace is among the primary reasons why the Germans ended up losing the Battle of Britain.  Prior to their switch in tactics Fighter Command in Southern England was stretched right taut to the breaking point.  Iíve always found it ironic that luck and Hitlerís propensity for sticking his nose into things led to the change in strategy.  It was after a RAF bombing raid against Berlin that Hitler decided they would launch the blitz and attempt to terrorize the population of Britain.  

Quote

Talkie Toaster: Hitler admired the 'Aryan' British race and their world spanning empire.

It contrasts rather interestingly for the contempt he had for the United States and how he considered it to be incapacitated as a military power.

Edit: Grumbles about typing when the mind is running but connection to the fingers is spinning.

Edited by CJ AEGIS, 25 June 2003 - 09:24 PM.

"History has proven too often and too recently that the nation which relaxes its defenses invites attack."
        -Fleet Admiral Nimitz
"Their sailors say they should have flight pay and sub pay both -- they're in the air half the time, under the water the other half""
        - Ernie Pyle: Aboard a DE

#17 Talkie Toaster

Talkie Toaster

    There's no Shepard without Vakarian

  • Islander
  • 1,136 posts

Posted 25 June 2003 - 07:16 PM

CJ AEGIS, on Jun 25 2003, 02:18 AM, said:

The Blitz and the terror attacks on the English populace is among the primary reasons why the Germans ended up winning the Battle of Britain. 
:blink:

Quote

It contrasts rather interestingly for the contempt he had for the United States and how he considered it to be incapacitated as a military power.

'When I said that British fighter-bombers had shot up my tanks with 40mm shells, the Reichsmarschall who felt himself touched by this, said: "That's completely impossible. The Americans only know how to make razor blades." I replied: "We could do with some of those razor blades, Herr Reichsmarshall."'

-Erwin Rommel
Blessed is the mind too small for doubt.

#18 Ilphi

Ilphi
  • Islander
  • 4,071 posts

Posted 25 June 2003 - 09:21 PM

Yeah, Um.. CJ AEGIS, I'm not one to nitpick, but....  :lol:
Yea, ere my hot youth pass, I speak to my people and say:
Ye shall be foolish as I; ye shall scatter, not save;
Ye shall venture your all, lest ye lose what is more than all;
Ye shall call for a miracle, taking Christ at His word.
And for this I will answer, O people, answer here and hereafter,
The Fool - Padraic Pearse

#19 CJ AEGIS

CJ AEGIS

    Warship Guru!

  • Islander
  • 6,847 posts

Posted 25 June 2003 - 09:28 PM

Talkie Toaster, on Jun 25 2003, 08:17 AM, said:

:blink:
:o  Thanks for the catch.  I so loathe it when my brain says one thing and the typing says another.:crazy:

Quote

TT: 'When I said that British fighter-bombers had shot up my tanks with 40mm shells, the Reichsmarschall who felt himself touched by this, said: "That's completely impossible. The Americans only know how to make razor blades." I replied: "We could do with some of those razor blades, Herr Reichsmarshall."'

-Erwin Rommel

The problem for the Germans in regards to underestimating the US was that it went straight to the top with Hitler.
"History has proven too often and too recently that the nation which relaxes its defenses invites attack."
        -Fleet Admiral Nimitz
"Their sailors say they should have flight pay and sub pay both -- they're in the air half the time, under the water the other half""
        - Ernie Pyle: Aboard a DE

#20 Talkie Toaster

Talkie Toaster

    There's no Shepard without Vakarian

  • Islander
  • 1,136 posts

Posted 26 June 2003 - 09:47 AM

CJ AEGIS, on Jun 25 2003, 10:29 AM, said:

The problem for the Germans in regards to underestimating the US was that it went straight to the top with Hitler.
The Nazi leadership in general, and Hitler in particular, was firmly implanted in fantasy land for most of the war. The British will surrender! The Americans can't fight! One kick on the door of Russia and the whole rotten structure will crumble!

Prehaps if some of the Nazi leadership had been more firmly routed in reality then they might have been more successful.
Blessed is the mind too small for doubt.



Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: History-World

0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users