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rcocean
09-29-2006, 10:50 AM
Reading some history of WW II and I'm amazed at how little respect Montgomery gets in the US histories. I know the man was unlikable (in fact most of the British Generals didn't like him) but we want Generals to win wars not popularity contests.

It seems to me Monty was mostly right and the US generals mostly wrong whenever they disagreed. To whit:

1) Monty wanted to concentrate all the effort in Sept 44 behind one big thrust into Germany, Ike disagreed and supported the "broad front" strategy. The result, failure we didn't even penetrate the Siegfried Line.

2) After Sept 44; Monty wanted one ground commander north of the Ardennes and concentration on one thrust. Bradley disagreed and went off with a lot of pennypacket attacks in November and early December that ended in failure and opened the way for the Ardennes counter-offensive.

3) Monty wanted to go to Berlin before the Russians got there. Ike disagreed and sent Bradley and Patton off to occupy Southern Germany to prevent a mythical "national Rebout".

4) Monty always believed in concentration in force and careful planning, while the US generals were always attacking on a broadfront and getting nowhere. Compare the low causualites suffered by the British/Canadians on D-day and the US Causulties at Omaha Beach.

PBNA-Boosher
09-29-2006, 11:03 AM
Have you been to Omaha Beach?

THERE WAS NO COVER. Allied troops, if they were lucky enough to get off the boats, had NOWHERE to hide from the blistering MG fire, mortars, snipers, and artillery. THAT was the reason for the high casualties on Omaha beach.
BTW, I agree with you that Patton was very reckless, but did Operation Market Garden (Monty's idea) work? No, it didn't. Patton in Europe, meanwhile, was steamrolling his way across and eventually managed to relieve Allied troops in Bastogne due to the dire situation there.

The reason the Western Allies did not go on to Berlin was because the Allied Powers agreed that the Soviet Union would be the power to take it. Eisenhower, an overseer of the Western Front, kept his word and allowed it to be a Russian victory. The Western allies held because they did not want conflicting territories. The Soviets, in particular, were not that happy of the Western powers encroaching on their seized territories either. Many friendly planes, troops, etc... from the Western Allies were shot down by Yaks on orders from their commanders, against the pilot's better intentions.
I'm not bashing the British, or Monty, and I don't mean to claim that EVERYTHING I say is right and EVERYTHING you say is wrong. What I want to say is that you did a bit of your homework here, I'll give you that. But do it all if you want full credit.

ploughman
09-29-2006, 11:15 AM
Pass the popcorn, this is going to be a good one.

MEGILE
09-29-2006, 11:17 AM
I don't have any http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/sadeyes.gif

rcocean
09-29-2006, 11:17 AM
Originally posted by PBNA-Boosher:
Have you been to Omaha Beach?

THERE WAS NO COVER. Allied troops, if they were lucky enough to get off the boats, had NOWHERE to hide from the blistering MG fire, mortars, snipers, and artillery. THAT was the reason for the high casualties on Omaha beach.
BTW, I agree with you that Patton was very reckless, but did Operation Market Garden (Monty's idea) work? No, it didn't. Patton in Europe, meanwhile, was steamrolling his way across and eventually managed to relieve Allied troops in Bastogne due to the dire situation there.

Thanks for the post. You make some excellent points. But I beg to differ in the following:

From what I've read the British (1) allowed more time for bombardment of the beaches and (2) used Mine-clearing tanks instead of engineers. These 2 things resulted in lower losses at 3 British landing beaches. I think if Bradley had taken the landing Omaha more seriously we would have allowed an extra 2-3 hours for Naval Bombardment and used as much armour as possible.

Its true market-garden didn't work, but *IT ALMOST DID*. And would have worked if Bradley's first army had been attacking northward at Monty's flank, instead of going off on its own toward Aaachen.

My whole point is *not* that Monty was a perfect general, but that he was more right than wrong most of the time. IMO, he was light years ahead of Bradley and Ike in terms of ability. Yet, the man is bashed consistently in US books and especially in the movies. See the movie"Patton" or the TV series "Ike" for example.

leitmotiv
09-29-2006, 11:19 AM
BLM made himself unpopular with the Americans and with the press by continually promising big results in his ops but not delivering. Goodwood was nearly his undoing because he promised a massive breakout and delivered a rupture, the destruction of many British tanks, and a small advance. Ike nearly gave him the sack for gross incompetence. He and his supporters retrospectively justified his fizzled pre-U.S.Cobra Normandy ops by claiming he tied down the German mobile forces allowing the Americans to smash through at St. Lo in Cobra. This is a way of saving something from failure. Given the terrain and the German forces, he would have had a hard time doing better. The biggest British failure in Normandy---the incomprehensible failure to grab Caen while it was wide open on 6 June, was not BLM's fault but the fault of the local div commander. BLM sacked many British generals in Normandy. There is lots of evidence for mediocre leadership on the div level.

BLM's biggest howler was Market-Garden, and it was his last chance to prove he could blow through the Germans and achieve a deep penetration. The planning on the corps level was dreadful (thinking you could move an armored div fast up two or three narrow **** roads---any could easily be blocked by a well-placed Sturmgeshutz), and the errors made at all levels were appalling. The intelligence was terrible. Still, it all comes back to the top. M-G was a shambles. BLM was a lot better than his detractors claimed he was, and a lot worse than he thought he was.

Da_Godfatha
09-29-2006, 11:19 AM
Sorry, he may have been a Hero to the British, but he was a terrible Officer. Take his victories in the Desert. They all came at a horrible price in lives of the soldiers. He used the "wear them down tactics", knowing that the Germans could not afford to lose so many men. The German Generals always were glad to fight against Monty, they knew what he would do, the same ol cr*p every time. Patton they did not like to fight against. He was able to adjust to the flow of the battle. Read some of the books written by them.

BTW, Monty would by todays standards have been court-martialed for him giving the order to shoot civilians in Irland early in his career. Most Irish Guards Units did not like to serve under his command.

In a nut-shell: Monty did not give a Rats-a$$ about the lives of his men. Main thing he was able to "out do" Patton.

Officers like him were "fragged" in Nam.

rcocean
09-29-2006, 11:28 AM
Originally posted by PBNA-Boosher:

The reason the Western Allies did not go on to Berlin was because the Allied Powers agreed that the Soviet Union would be the power to take it. Eisenhower, an overseer of the Western Front, kept his word and allowed it to be a Russian victory. The Western allies held because they did not want conflicting territories. The Soviets, in particular, were not that happy of the Western powers encroaching on their siezed territories either. Many friendly planes, troops, etc... from the Western Allies were shot down by Yaks on orders from their commanders, against the pilot's better intentions.

Excellent point. But why were Churchill and Monty so insistent that we take Berlin? I think the Germans would have allowed the US/british to take berlin with very little fighting. We then would have been in a position to dictate to Stalin the terms of occupation.

DmdSeeker
09-29-2006, 11:29 AM
<s******s> Mark Clark! <s******>

leitmotiv
09-29-2006, 11:33 AM
Er, in North Africa he was very popular because unlike the hapless Auchenleck, he put everybody down to the lowest Tommy Atkins "in the picture"---made sure everybody knew the strategic and tactical situation and what they had to do. Prior to his arrival, the soldiery felt left out of the loop, and many hadn't a clue what they should do. The British Yeomanry regiments continually destroyed themselves in fantastic Balaclava charges into German killing zones. BLM got the British armor under control for the first time in the campaign since early 1941, and stopped the charges. Alamein inevitably was going to be a meatgrinder because of the terrain, the narrow front, and the Axis defenses.

Doug_Thompson
09-29-2006, 11:34 AM
Read "Armageddon" by Max Hastings €" no rah-rah American bias there.

Hastings makes it abundantly clear that the Americans were no geniuses either. He then goes on to show that Monty was both lackluster and a royal pain in the backside.

Monty's taking of Antwerp while failing to clear the approaches to the port was one of the major, completely avoidable blunders of the war. Monty also got everything he wanted for "Market Garden" and squandered it. Monty, according to Hastings, was a "master of the set piece battle" who inexplicably came up with a totally unworkable plan.

Hasting's also debunks the "Berlin was open" myth. Good book.

charliedirk
09-29-2006, 11:38 AM
Monty was generally cautious with British and Canadian lives, mainly because unlike the Americans (who could afford to throw lives away) we did not have an almost limiltless supply of manpower.
This caution was partly to blame for the failure of Market Garden. Had an American general with an American armoured division led the charge to relieve the paras at Arnhem the results may, possibly, have been different.

leitmotiv
09-29-2006, 11:38 AM
Ridiculous. The Germans would have treated anybody who came into Berlin to a heavy butcher's bill. The flying courts martials and SS hangmen ensured that. They fought stubbornly until the Battle of the Ruhr smashed their last sizeable forces in the West.

PBNA-Boosher
09-29-2006, 11:40 AM
Originally posted by rcocean:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by PBNA-Boosher:

The reason the Western Allies did not go on to Berlin was because the Allied Powers agreed that the Soviet Union would be the power to take it. Eisenhower, an overseer of the Western Front, kept his word and allowed it to be a Russian victory. The Western allies held because they did not want conflicting territories. The Soviets, in particular, were not that happy of the Western powers encroaching on their siezed territories either. Many friendly planes, troops, etc... from the Western Allies were shot down by Yaks on orders from their commanders, against the pilot's better intentions.

Excellent point. But why were Churchill and Monty so insistent that we take Berlin? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

There were a few little things standing out in their minds... Probably nothing, I don't know. Battle of Britain, V1, V2, etc... (Likewise, I'm sure the Germans had plenty of strong opinions about the bombing of their cities too.)

leitmotiv
09-29-2006, 11:46 AM
Arnhem was a non-starter---the terrain did not allow fast movement. Intel to that effect was available and ignored.

As for American generals being able to slaughter limitless numbers of GIs, what planet are you on, charliedirk? Every GI had a Representative and Senator in Congress and whenever they were unhappy the NEW YORK TIMES and FDR knew in double quick time. The slapping incidents with Patton were prime examples---name another victorious army commander in WWII of another nation who nearly got ignominiously sacked for slapping a common foot soldier? The GIs had to be treated with caution.

PBNA-Boosher
09-29-2006, 11:49 AM
Originally posted by charliedirk:
Monty was generally cautious with British and Canadian lives, mainly because unlike the Americans (who could afford to throw lives away) we did not have an almost limiltless supply of manpower.
This caution was partly to blame for the failure of Market Garden. Had an American general with an American armoured division led the charge to relieve the paras at Arnhem the results may, possibly, have been different.

The outcome would have been the same. The Paratroopers of both the American 101st, 82nd, etc... and the British paratroops fought bravely, but it was a poorly conceived plan that brought more tragedy upon the allies.

ploughman
09-29-2006, 11:52 AM
Carrington's tanks, the ones that pulled up at Nijmagen because they had no infantry, could have just motored on to Arnhem as there was no PAK between there and the bridge. Carrington wasn't to know that, so he can't really be blamed, and had he gone for it and there had been PAK his command would'v been destroyed. But it's a funny what if isn't it. What if the American paratroopers had climbed aboard Carringtons tanks and they'd gone for it?

charliedirk
09-29-2006, 11:55 AM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Arnhem was a non-starter---the terrain did not allow fast movement. Intel to that effect was available and ignored.

As for American generals being able to slaughter limitless numbers of GIs, what planet are you on, charliedirk? Every GI had a Representative and Senator in Congress and whenever they were unhappy the NEW YORK TIMES and FDR knew in double quick time. The slapping incidents with Patton were prime examples---name another victorious army commander in WWII of another nation who nearly got ignominiously sacked for slapping a common foot soldier? The GIs had to be treated with caution.


Aww come onnn. dickwad.old blood n guts patton or as one Gi put it "our blood and his guts"..history speaks for itself- not only in Europe but perhaps more graphically in the pacific American generals threw lives into the mincer in a way no British general would have been allowed to

stathem
09-29-2006, 12:00 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Arnhem was a non-starter---the terrain did not allow fast movement. Intel to that effect was available and ignored.

As for American generals being able to slaughter limitless numbers of GIs, what planet are you on, charliedirk? Every GI had a Representative and Senator in Congress and whenever they were unhappy the NEW YORK TIMES and FDR knew in double quick time. The slapping incidents with Patton were prime examples---name another victorious army commander in WWII of another nation who nearly got ignominiously sacked for slapping a common foot soldier? The GIs had to be treated with caution.

Would now be a bad time to mention the Huertgen Forest?

leitmotiv
09-29-2006, 12:04 PM
Hogwallow. Obviously you never studied Normandy. The Battle of the Odon was a butcher shop for British infantry. Read CAEN:ANVIL OF VICTORY---at times in the Normandy campaign British Army infantry losses were catastrophic. That's one reason Goodwood was mounted as primarily an armor op---the infantry reserves had been exhausted. When it comes to military incompetence, few achieved the high standard set by Percival at Singapore.

Waldo.Pepper
09-29-2006, 12:07 PM
I think the Germans would have allowed the US/british to take Berlin with very little fighting.

I stopped reading this thread when I read the above quote.

I apologize in advance for what I am about to say, but really that is just about the stupidest thing I have read here on the Il2 board.

leitmotiv
09-29-2006, 12:11 PM
Hurtgen was a battle of attrition. Battles of attrition are always ghastly. If the soldiers of a nation are unable to fight through such a trial, wars cannot be won. Americans demonstrated time and again in WWII the ability to win despite appalling circumstances, and, even when they went down, like at Wake and the Philippines in '41-42, they fought to exhaustion or destruction.

Waldo.Pepper
09-29-2006, 12:11 PM
CAEN:ANVIL OF VICTORY
+1 Excellent - excellent - excellent book!

BiscuitKnight
09-29-2006, 12:14 PM
rcocean, why? You know how this will end.

I've been in a clan that's entirely yank except for me, and a few times this sort of thing has come up. The Americans just won't admit that Montgomery was any good as a general, while talking about the sunlight that shines out of Patton, Bradley, Eisenhower and MacArthur's collective you-know-what.

Montgomery had his faults: lack of regard for his men's lives - Anzio is a good example of this: Mark Clark refused to ask for help from Montgomery, and Montgomery wasn't going to give it until Clark asked, I'd say Clark was the bigger fool, but all the same, letting people die for your ego is inexcusable - he was overly cautious at times, he was egotistical. But the thing is, pretty much every famous general has faults. Patton was a nutcase - if he were a little less bloodthirsty and aggressive he might have had Eisenhower's job.

Montgomery's victories stand for themselves - consider the condition of the British before El Alamein. Montgomery won, despite the inferior British troop quality and general superiority of Das Afrika Korps. Montgomery, also, was the one who commanded the landings from D-Day onwards: the only saving grace of Eisenhower is he knew when not to interfere. Montgomery was in charge of the general strategy up until the day Eisenhower crossed the channel. And when did Eisenhower choose to cross the channel? Right when victory was achieved and the Americans were breaking out. Goodwood was exactly what Montgomery said it was - an operation to pin the heavy German units. For all those Saving Private Ryan fans, there were no Panzer IVs or Tigers, or SS, South of Juno Beach. The German armour in the US regions was largely obsolete French equipment and some Panzer IIIs and Marder IIIs, not Tigers and Panzer IV ausf Gs. Also, many of the regiments in the Cotentin Penninsular were poor quality, not even the level of regulars on the Eastern Front. The tough troops were the Fallschrimjaeger, the German Airborne, but they lacked tanks and much heavy equipment, even in 1944.

The point is that the US failure to easily tear through Cotentin and St Lo is much worse than Goodwood or Caen past D-Day, but the focus is on Montgomery'd percieved failures.

To clarify what I'm saying - BLM is only as flawed as most commanders of the war (half the Russian's great generals like Rodinsky, Zhukov, Chuikov and Yeremenko would get drunk during battles) but consistantly advanced while in command.

Market Garden gets my blood boiling whenever my clanmates say that was Montgomery's fault, for a lot of reasons. BLM wouldn't have proposed the risky operation if he were being given supplies: at that time there were only enough supplies reaching France for two army groups of three to advance: Bradley, Patton and Montgomery's groups. Guess which ones got the juice? Bradley and Patton. Bradley and Patton swept across vast swathes of France - all of it utterly useless. Mongtomery, meanwhile, was reduced to a crawl and yet sitting right on the Ruhr region - Germany's industrial heartland. Add that to the list of stupid things the supposedly great Eisenhower did wrong.

Montgomery therefore suggested a small scale operation to seize a few bridges. Eisenhower and his people seized on the idea and blew it all out of proportion, the chivvied BLM's group on its way. In Market-Garden's defense, it could have worked - it very nearly did, except that intelligent (oxymoron) failed to detected the entire 2nd(?) SS Panzer Division, which had just refitted in the Ruhr and sat right along the axis of advance. All these people who after the event sit there and say "Moving a Corps down a single highway is impossible" utterly frustrate me: how many of you had commanded an army from North Africa to Germany via Italy and France? The plan came quite close to success, even with the 2nd SS sitting there. So not only was the original plan, Monty's, different to the end product Market-Garden, it almost succeed despite the gross incompetence of Intelligence in not picking up an entire elite division.

And there's the criticism of the time it took Montgomery to redeploy his army to assist the Americans during the Ardennes offensive. First up, look at a map that has the offensive marked, and you'll notice British lines shifted very little, compared to the total rout of US forces in the region. Keep that in mind. Next, I believe it took 30+ days for Montgomery to build up a force to assist the Americans. Remember that Montgomery isn't getting enough supplies and has to move forces down to help the Americans when most of his men are far North, away from railway lines or even roads in some cases, in the Ruhr, not evenly spread out between North and South. The time taken redeploying is not that surprising, even without Montgomery's typical excessive caution.

Overall, I think the reason for the American's hatred of Montgomery is jealousy: great American commanders from WWII are usually cited as Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley and MacArthur. I'm going to start trouble here by saying that only Patton was successful. Eisenhower contributed nothing to D-Day all the way through to when he landed, after the Allied forces were confidently advancing, then he took control and made out as though it was his victory. Eisenhower then made the choice that vast areas of France with no strategic value were more important than the German industrial centre. Side note: he admitted that he believed it was better for US citizens to hear of big US advances than smaller British ones. Nice thinking, Sun Tzu - and I've heard Americans critise BLM for engaging in politics... Probably the reason I most dislike Eisenhower, though, is that Montgomery recognised that the Russians couldn't be trusted and pushed Eisenhower to advance as far East as possible to prevent the Russians annexing more countries to turn into new little Soviet Socialist Republics. Eisenhower ignored him. As such, large areas of Europe suffered through the heyday of Stalin and the USSR. Good move, Eisenhower. In fact, if it weren't for Montgomery making an unauthorised advance, the Russians would have annexed Denmark!

Included in this, BLM wanted to capture Berlin. Now, that was probably more for prestige of Britain and himself than humanitarian concerns, but a very large amount of East Germany's population had fled to Berlin and would now face the wrath of 3 million Red Army soldiers. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that if 1 million men are sufficient for a broad invasion of the USSR, 3 million men, with their attendant gear, will only cause more slaughter than is necessary. Stalin didn't care, he just wanted it done faster. If the British had moved in, the world would be a happier place today. And BLM wasn't asking for the Americans to take Berlin, he was offering his own men, who were eager to do the job. Eisenhower refused. And I must ask - what right had Eisenhower to deny the British the honour of taking Berlin after six years hard fighting?

But there's worse. Not all of East Germany's refugees were in Berlin. Many reached the Elbe and began crossing to American lines, the Red Army hard on their heels. Instead of helping these refugees, and Eisenhower knew damn well why they were fleeing, they were largely women and children, Eisenhower ordered the Americans to retreat several miles because the Red Army was shelling the refugees. What sort of human being does that?

I don't think I even need point out Bradley's failings.

MacArthur, he was successful. But he was a ****ing useless general - Korea, anyone? Bataan, anyone? I won't criticise MacArthur's efforts in Japan, what he did for that country, in rebuilding it, is beyond reproach. But he was a terrible officer.

So, to recap, I'd say it's jealousy that leads the Americans who do criticise Bernard Law Montgomery to do so, as he's the only well known British general of WWII - although I'd say William Slim was a much better general than Montgomery - thus they have to tear him down to mask their general's own failings, it'd be subconcious or barely acknowledged. I'll finish by saying the greatest Generals were German - Heinz Guderian puts Sun Tzu to shame - he'd even argue with Hitler, so he had some serious balls.

Xiolablu3
09-29-2006, 12:17 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
BLM was a lot better than his detractors claimed he was, and a lot worse than he thought he was.

Good point.

I never really liked him, although he did stabalise the front in the desert and beat ROmmel, whther it was thru numbers or whatever, noone had beaten Rommel before, even WITH numbers.

As for Omaha, the Americans could have had armour support from the swimming Tanks, but they launched them too far out and they all sunk. Almost every one of the British and Canadians tanks reached the shores on the other beaches, but no doubt it WAS the toughest beach to land on, because of the divisoins of SS in the area by chance, other beaches also had no cover, you cannot blame this on Montgomery.

Shame he looked like such a nobend and spoke like a tit. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

leitmotiv
09-29-2006, 12:17 PM
I agree, Waldo.Pepper, the comment about Berlin showed a dismal understanding of the Hitler state and the fighting resolution of the German army---Berlin was the grave of thousands of Russians.

The great thing about CAEN is that it was written while events were still fresh in the participants' minds, and the author had been there and seen it himself. The book is a goldmine. The parts about shooting prisoners were very instructive.

leitmotiv
09-29-2006, 12:23 PM
BLM's career demonstrates time and again he was his own worst enemy, and he sure as h--l acted like a jerk, and spoke like a tit. I have no love for him, but it struck me over the years how soldiers from Spike Milligan to Robert Crisp, and more, all thought he was tops because he brought them into the plan---they didn't just feel like robots under him. This says a lot!

BiscuitKnight
09-29-2006, 12:28 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
When it comes to military incompetence, few achieved the high standard set by Percival at Singapore.

That battle almost makes me cry, really.

About Berlin:

It wasn't open for the taking, but resistance from Volksturm and tired infantry units, even Russian Hiwis, would have been less, as well, the raping and looting wouldn't have happened. What you must remember is that although there would have been resistance, it wouldn't be with the same desperation as all those who feared Russian repercussions - many commanders at divisional, even corps level, believed that the Western flank was being left totally open and everyone was being used to slow the Reds so that the Western allies could come and save those who'd managed to flee that far.

BiscuitKnight
09-29-2006, 12:31 PM
Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
As for Omaha, the Americans could have had armour support from the swimming Tanks, but they launched them too far out and they all sunk. Almost every one of the British and Canadians tanks reached the shores on the other beaches, but no doubt it WAS the toughest beach to land on, because of the divisoins of SS in the area by chance, other beaches also had no cover, you cannot blame this on Montgomery.


There were no SS in the region of Omaha. Don't try to learn off movies, mate. The troops on Omaha beach were a unit that had served in Russia for a long time, quite hardened veterans, but the toughest troops in the region were FJG, not SS, and FJG, while tough buggers, weren't fanatical like SS.

Also, please remember that British naval support came in close to help the US on Omaha.

leitmotiv
09-29-2006, 12:37 PM
I don't think the flying courts martials or the SS punishment units would have allowed any slackening. The primary difference, of course, would have been the reduced number of post-battle civilian casualties. There is another factor: if Berlin had been delegated to the Western Allies, it would have been treated as a super Caen, and remember how the Western Allies dealt with Caen? They flattened it. It's possible more civilians might have been killed by the Western technique, and the battle might have dragged on much longer. There was no way the Western Allies would have tolerated the thousands of infantry casualties Stalin tolerated for a quick resolution of Berlin.

leitmotiv
09-29-2006, 12:41 PM
German paratroops of the 3rd Para Div were tough fighters, and the Royal Navy blew the way through for the U.S. after Bradley gave permission for them to shoot right over the Big Red Ones' heads.

DDastardlySID
09-29-2006, 12:52 PM
Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
I never really liked him, although he did stabalise the front in the desert and beat ROmmel, whther it was thru numbers or whatever, noone had beaten Rommel before, even WITH numbers.

IMO Rommel's defeat had more to do with Enigma intercepts leading to his fuel supply being cut off. Even with the overwhelming advantage of Enigma, Monty still almost managed to balls up the desert campaign (and I speak as someone who's great uncle fought in the Desert Rats).

As for Market Garden, we had intelligence reports stating that ""elements of the Second SS Panzer Corps, the 9th (Hohenstaufen) and 10th (Frundsberg) Panzer Divisions, were...refitting in the Arnhem area", backed up by reports from the Dutch underground, and even low altitude photos which clearly showed German tanks near the 1st Airborne division's drop zone. I remember, several years ago, writing an essay in Uni on the psychology of military incompetence. Market Garden featured heavily (although, to be fair, Monty was far from the only guilty party in that fiasco).

Cheers,
DD

BiscuitKnight
09-29-2006, 12:53 PM
IRT Leitmotiv

A lot of the SS units were foreign fascists who knew the NKVD would kill them if they surrendered. They weren't going to be taken alive by the Red Army. But the Western Allies weren't going to kill people. Also, there were enough desertions during the battles from Seelow Heights to the Reichstag itself that it's obvious the men performing summary executions weren't as effective as Hitler might hope. Most of the Volksturm units were just hurled at the enemy with panzerfausts or, if lucky, captured obsolete rifles. There usually weren't any SS in sight. So when the Tommis or Amis turn up, drop the weapons and surrender. The SS can't touch you now! Read Berlin: the Downfall 1945 by Antony Beevor, if you haven't already. Not only were small scale surrenders not uncommon, I think it was Wenck who drove his entire army through the forests south of Berlin to the Elbe, with civillians in tow, the Russians encircling them, to surrender to the Western Allies rather than the Red Army. That says a lot. If a general would fight his way though Red Army (Rodinsky's Front, I think), being torn to pieces all the way, as the better alternative to surrender, what do you think they would have done if the allies began driving towards Berlin?

And in regards to the FJG: yes, they individuals are probably only just below par with the 1944 SS in most regards, and I don't mean to dump on the achievements of the US soldiers. But there's a signifigant difference between the FJG, who had somewhat less heavy equipment than a properly outfitted German infantry unit, and the SS or SS Panzer divisions, who got the best of everything Himmler could get for them - Hitler certainly loved the SS more than the FJG, and that goes both ways, thus the SS had better resupply, equipment, as well as many units being armoured, and they were fanatical, whereas FJG were purely infantry and they hadn't all sworn an oath to Hitler. Tough, yes. Equal to the SS? No.

BiscuitKnight
09-29-2006, 01:01 PM
Originally posted by DDastardlySID:
IMO Rommel's defeat had more to do with Enigma intercepts leading to his fuel supply being cut off. Even with the overwhelming advantage of Enigma, Monty still almost managed to balls up the desert campaign (and I speak as someone who's great uncle fought in the Desert Rats).

Care to explain how he nearly stuffed it?

Also, oil being why Rommel was defeated - so, I suppose the fact that DAK was smashed at El Al counts for nothing, eh? And clearly German supply lines were completely cut off, I mean, they only shipped three or so divisions into Tunisia after El Al.


As for Market Garden, we had intelligence reports stating that "€œelements of the Second SS Panzer Corps, the 9th (Hohenstaufen) and 10th (Frundsberg) Panzer Divisions, were...refitting in the Arnhem area", backed up by reports from the Dutch underground, and even low altitude photos which clearly showed German tanks near the 1st Airborne division's drop zone. I remember, several years ago, writing an essay in Uni on the psychology of military incompetence. Market Garden featured heavily (although, to be fair, Monty was far from the only guilty party in that fiasco).

Cheers,
DD

First time I have ever heard intelligence was aware of the SS Panzer Divisons in the area - I believe that intelligence warned of remnants of destroyed divisions, but not specifically SS Panzers, and there's a BIG difference between elements, especially just shreds that had escaped Falaise, and an entire refitted division.

leitmotiv
09-29-2006, 01:02 PM
Paras were tough propositions in every army, definitely. I was refering to the SS punishment units stringing up soldiers. I haven't read Beaver---yet! Defer to your points. The Wenck example is definitely instructive.

leitmotiv
09-29-2006, 01:05 PM
See the book A BRIDGE TOO FAR which recounts the intel failures in detail---primarily the knowledge of armor in the area. The SS corps was identified and written off as being gutted after Normandy and the retreat.

BiscuitKnight
09-29-2006, 01:17 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Paras were tough propositions in every army, definitely. I was refering to the SS punishment units stringing up soldiers. I haven't read Beaver---yet! Defer to your points. The Wenck example is definitely instructive.

Beevor's books are fantastic, IMHO, he goes into so much detail that it paints as vivid a picture as Saving Private Ryan does of Omaha Beach - plus there are no historical inaccuraciesor compromises to the constraints of entertainment in his books http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif I read Stalingrad twice, but I have yet to read his other non-fiction works, I'll definately keep an eye out for them, especially the Spanish Civil War book.

Beevor, in Berlin "puts himself", for lack of a better way to put it (he doesn't really give conclusions or opinions, just facts, but he makes it very easy to draw conclusions) in the difficult middle ground about the Germans letting the Western Allies take the city without much of a struggle: he makes it clear that Hitler had no intention of surrendering to anyone, or even of going down to the lesser of two evils, but at the same time he presents evidence that pretty much everyone except Hitler wanted to surrender to the Western Allies, from Guderian or Donitz, even Party members like Bormann or Himmler, and avoid Russian retribution, especially with the detailed description of the German fight to the Elbe - which made Hitler furious - the people who surrendered, even to the Russians, it's very clear how brittle the German defenses were, but fairly clear that almost everyone accepted defeat except hardline SS soldiers, who even then would rather surrender to the Western Allies than the Red Army.

BiscuitKnight
09-29-2006, 01:21 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
See the book A BRIDGE TOO FAR which recounts the intel failures in detail---primarily the knowledge of armor in the area. The SS corps was identified and written off as being gutted after Normandy and the retreat.

Okay, it'd be good to read something that covers it in more detail - most of what I've read is in books that don't focus on it, and from documentaries. I find that documentaries give less hard information that books, and although I've read a decent bit, not to the level of detail I've read about D-Day or Stalingrad (I've read a lot on that battle, including Vassily Ivanovich Chuikov's book - highly propagandistic in some ways) or Berlin, etc.

triad773
09-29-2006, 01:26 PM
Originally posted by Waldo.Pepper:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I think the Germans would have allowed the US/british to take Berlin with very little fighting.

I stopped reading this thread when I read the above quote.

I apologize in advance for what I am about to say, but really that is just about the stupidest thing I have read here on the Il2 board. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well I don't think it would have been "to take Berlin with very little fighting," that's an over simplification I admit- but I do know that around the time the German General Staff members attempted to assasinate Hitler the other part of the plan was to begin negotiations with the Western Allies for peace. Long of the short of it, I am sure that given a choice that those remaining in Berlin would have preferred to surrender to the US or British then the Soviets.

leitmotiv
09-29-2006, 01:31 PM
BK, you would like the works of David M. Glantz. He is a former U.S. Army "Sovietologist" who has churned out an enormous output of superb histories on the Eastern Front since the end of the USSR and the opening of the Soviet archives of WWII. He has been using documents unseen by Western historians. His book on Kursk will alter your view of the battle forever. A remarkable historian. Highly rec.

Crash_Moses
09-29-2006, 01:59 PM
DON'T start trading book titles with Leitmotiv. You'll regret it...trust me. My wife still hasn't forgiven me for the library I purchased after our last go around... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-mad.gif

leitmotiv
09-29-2006, 02:34 PM
AWOL for weeks and suddenly shows up on payday!

Da_Godfatha
09-29-2006, 02:38 PM
Originally posted by BiscuitKnight:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by DDastardlySID:
IMO Rommel's defeat had more to do with Enigma intercepts leading to his fuel supply being cut off. Even with the overwhelming advantage of Enigma, Monty still almost managed to balls up the desert campaign (and I speak as someone who's great uncle fought in the Desert Rats).

Care to explain how he nearly stuffed it?

Also, oil being why Rommel was defeated - so, I suppose the fact that DAK was smashed at El Al counts for nothing, eh? And clearly German supply lines were completely cut off, I mean, they only shipped three or so divisions into Tunisia after El Al.


As for Market Garden, we had intelligence reports stating that "€œelements of the Second SS Panzer Corps, the 9th (Hohenstaufen) and 10th (Frundsberg) Panzer Divisions, were...refitting in the Arnhem area", backed up by reports from the Dutch underground, and even low altitude photos which clearly showed German tanks near the 1st Airborne division's drop zone. I remember, several years ago, writing an essay in Uni on the psychology of military incompetence. Market Garden featured heavily (although, to be fair, Monty was far from the only guilty party in that fiasco).

Cheers,
DD

First time I have ever heard intelligence was aware of the SS Panzer Divisons in the area - I believe that intelligence warned of remnants of destroyed divisions, but not specifically SS Panzers, and there's a BIG difference between elements, especially just shreds that had escaped Falaise, and an entire refitted division. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Man, they had PR photos of the Panzers. H'ell the German Generals said onlyMonty could be so stupid and land there.

Please stop with your one-sided only "Revisionist History lessons."

BTW, Rommel with hardly any supplies still kicked Monty's a$$. Rommel was in Germany on sick leave when Monty attacked. Intell intercepts knew that. If Rommel was in North Africa when Monty attacked,history would have been changed. He would have stopped them cold when they were bogged down in the mine fields.

Question, do you have a library were you live? Maybe you should visit it...and learn.

leitmotiv
09-29-2006, 02:38 PM
Crashmeister, get over Billfish's PTO quiz and start pitching me some SBD softballs!

http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/26310365/m/9921081484/p/9

Sergio_101
09-29-2006, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by rcocean:
Reading some history of WW II and I'm amazed at how little respect Montgomery gets in the US histories. I know the man was unlikable (in fact most of the British Generals didn't like him) but we want Generals to win wars not popularity contests.

It seems to me Monty was mostly right and the US generals mostly wrong whenever they disagreed. To whit:

1) Monty wanted to concentrate all the effort in Sept 44 behind one big thrust into Germany, Ike disagreed and supported the "broad front" strategy. The result, failure we didn't even penetrate the Siegfried Line.

<span class="ev_code_RED">the Siegfried Line was penetrated
in many places, and easily I might add.</span>


2) After Sept 44; Monty wanted one ground commander north of the Ardennes and concentration on one thrust. Bradley disagreed and went off with a lot of pennypacket attacks in November and early December that ended in failure and opened the way for the Ardennes counter-offensive.

<span class="ev_code_RED">Some truth to this, but Monty sat on his
hands while being given the Lions share of resources.
Patton complained bitterly about this.</span>

3) Monty wanted to go to Berlin before the Russians got there. Ike disagreed and sent Bradley and Patton off to occupy Southern Germany to prevent a mythical "national Rebout".

<span class="ev_code_RED">True! But Enigma decrypts said that there was
indded a "national Rebout". Hitler himself
shot the idea down.</span>

4) Monty always believed in concentration in
force and careful planning, while the US generals were always attacking on a broadfront and getting nowhere. Compare the low causualites suffered by the British/Canadians on D-day and the US Causulties at Omaha Beach.

<span class="ev_code_RED">Low casualties because Monty did nothing with his
huge army. It cost him his job.</span> http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

<span class="ev_code_RED">If we did it Monty's way a large German city
would have been nuked in August 1945.</span> http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif


Sergio

ploughman
09-29-2006, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by Da_Godfatha:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by BiscuitKnight:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by DDastardlySID:
IMO Rommel's defeat had more to do with Enigma intercepts leading to his fuel supply being cut off. Even with the overwhelming advantage of Enigma, Monty still almost managed to balls up the desert campaign (and I speak as someone who's great uncle fought in the Desert Rats).

Care to explain how he nearly stuffed it?

Also, oil being why Rommel was defeated - so, I suppose the fact that DAK was smashed at El Al counts for nothing, eh? And clearly German supply lines were completely cut off, I mean, they only shipped three or so divisions into Tunisia after El Al.


As for Market Garden, we had intelligence reports stating that "€œelements of the Second SS Panzer Corps, the 9th (Hohenstaufen) and 10th (Frundsberg) Panzer Divisions, were...refitting in the Arnhem area", backed up by reports from the Dutch underground, and even low altitude photos which clearly showed German tanks near the 1st Airborne division's drop zone. I remember, several years ago, writing an essay in Uni on the psychology of military incompetence. Market Garden featured heavily (although, to be fair, Monty was far from the only guilty party in that fiasco).

Cheers,
DD

First time I have ever heard intelligence was aware of the SS Panzer Divisons in the area - I believe that intelligence warned of remnants of destroyed divisions, but not specifically SS Panzers, and there's a BIG difference between elements, especially just shreds that had escaped Falaise, and an entire refitted division. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Man, they had PR photos of the Panzers. H'ell the German Generals said onlyMonty could be so stupid and land there.

Please stop with your one-sided only "Revisionist History lessons."

BTW, Rommel with hardly any supplies still kicked Monty's a$$. Rommel was in Germany on sick leave when Monty attacked. Intell intercepts knew that. If Rommel was in North Africa when Monty attacked,history would have been changed. He would have stopped them cold when they were bogged down in the mine fields.

Question, do you have a library were you live? Maybe you should visit it...and learn. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Rommel wasn't present at the 3rd battle of El Alamein.

Rommel wasn't present when the Normandy landings occurred.

Funny that. Bit prone to strategically unfortunate outbreaks of going home was Rommel.

Crash_Moses
09-29-2006, 03:04 PM
Holy wah! How long has THAT been going on? I'm ready to cry...can't take it any more...

I keep having this dream:

ME: Boss, I quit.
BOSS: Why?
ME: Well, there's this flight sim and...um...
BOSS: Is it IL-2? Pacific Fighters?
ME: uh...yes...actu...
BOSS: And you're addicted?
ME: Well, I wouldn't call it addic...
BOSS: And all this traveling is really cutting into your flight time?
ME: Yes! You don't happen to...
BOSS: No, no, no...I'm far too busy playing Medal of Honor. Here's your new laptop with TIR4, CH joystick, rudder pedals and specially modified carrying case. Off you go!
ME: Thanks Boss!
BOSS: No problem.

Returned from Kentucky yesterday. I'll be in Corona, CA on Sunday. Should have some time for some slow pitch at the hotel. Right now I have to get home to two small children who are in need of a severe tickling...

S!

BiscuitKnight
09-29-2006, 03:09 PM
Thank you for the book suggestion, Leitmotiv, I'll look into that (this forum is really expanding my reading list).

But I think I'll leave when the going is still somewhat good: I just got told to visit my local library by someone who spells "hell" with an apostrophe, spells "where" as "were" and I'll largely avoid the smaller things, in short, by someone semi-literate, beyond making unqualified statements. But just one question, "Da_Godfatha":

' Please stop with your one-sided only "Revisionist History lessons." '

Did you learn sentence formation from babelfish?

WOLFMondo
09-29-2006, 03:27 PM
Regardless what the armchair experts think, he generally got the job done under extreme pressure, pressure like none of us will ever realise or empathise with. Fact. He screwed up once, so what. He was better than most of the other US or British commaders on the scene. Fact. Regardless of losses, his troops liked him. I bet that would go down allot better with him that being bashed by the US. Look at Patton, that guy was surrounded in a blood bath of his own troops and he screwed up too, and no just once.

ploughman
09-29-2006, 03:33 PM
Thank god he didn't organise Overlord. Just think what a mess that would've been if he'd been involved.

Chuck_Older
09-29-2006, 03:46 PM
I bet Caesar's Gallic Commentaries says choice things about foreign peoples he encountered, too http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

leitmotiv
09-29-2006, 03:47 PM
You have been on double duty with no canteen, CM! We can turn the quiz into SBD Jeopardy! Cheers, JS

leitmotiv
09-29-2006, 03:51 PM
Nationalism and history do not mix. Although they do constantly. It's like trying to keep the sexes apart on an American aircraft carrier, herf herf.

huggy87
09-29-2006, 03:52 PM
Originally posted by rcocean:
Reading some history of WW II and I'm amazed at how little respect Montgomery gets in the US histories. I know the man was unlikable (in fact most of the British Generals didn't like him) but we want Generals to win wars not popularity contests.

It seems to me Monty was mostly right and the US generals mostly wrong whenever they disagreed. To whit:

1) Monty wanted to concentrate all the effort in Sept 44 behind one big thrust into Germany, Ike disagreed and supported the "broad front" strategy. The result, failure we didn't even penetrate the Siegfried Line.

2) After Sept 44; Monty wanted one ground commander north of the Ardennes and concentration on one thrust. Bradley disagreed and went off with a lot of pennypacket attacks in November and early December that ended in failure and opened the way for the Ardennes counter-offensive.

3) Monty wanted to go to Berlin before the Russians got there. Ike disagreed and sent Bradley and Patton off to occupy Southern Germany to prevent a mythical "national Rebout".

4) Monty always believed in concentration in force and careful planning, while the US generals were always attacking on a broadfront and getting nowhere. Compare the low causualites suffered by the British/Canadians on D-day and the US Causulties at Omaha Beach.

I haven't read the whole thread yet...

but your house of cards crumbled on the last line. There is no way you can compare what the americans faced on omaha to what anybody else (americans included) faced on any other beach. Also, Ike capitulated on the single thrust. The big thrust through Holland, "A bridge too far" and it didn't work due to some significant intelligence errors. Bottom line was the allies, both american and british, underesimated the fight left in the german forces.

ploughman
09-29-2006, 04:08 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Nationalism and history do not mix.

Have you ever seen them apart?

huggy87
09-29-2006, 04:09 PM
Originally posted by stathem:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Arnhem was a non-starter---the terrain did not allow fast movement. Intel to that effect was available and ignored.

As for American generals being able to slaughter limitless numbers of GIs, what planet are you on, charliedirk? Every GI had a Representative and Senator in Congress and whenever they were unhappy the NEW YORK TIMES and FDR knew in double quick time. The slapping incidents with Patton were prime examples---name another victorious army commander in WWII of another nation who nearly got ignominiously sacked for slapping a common foot soldier? The GIs had to be treated with caution.

Would now be a bad time to mention the Huertgen Forest? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Or dieppe?

ImpStarDuece
09-29-2006, 04:15 PM
Originally posted by huggy87:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by rcocean:

4) Monty always believed in concentration in force and careful planning, while the US generals were always attacking on a broadfront and getting nowhere. Compare the low causualites suffered by the British/Canadians on D-day and the US Causulties at Omaha Beach.

I haven't read the whole thread yet...

but your house of cards crumbled on the last line. There is no way you can compare what the americans faced on omaha to what anybody else (americans included) faced on any other beach. Also, Ike capitulated on the single thrust. The big thrust through Holland, "A bridge too far" and it didn't work due to some significant intelligence errors. Bottom line was the allies, both american and british, underesimated the fight left in the german forces. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Judicious and CORRECT use of British style specality tanks (DD tanks, Crocodiles, CHurchill AVRES, Spigot Mortar Tanks, Fsscines, Flail Tanks, Bridging Vehicles ect) may of indeed reduced casualties at Omaha, but it still would of been the bloodiest of the D-Day beaches.

The problem was that the low tide shale sea-wall was a major obstacle to getting tanks off the beach and past the bluffs, so as they would of had difficulty getting further inland to support the advance, the were not used. However, the DD tanks that were used on Omaha were dropped too far out (some in excess of 3 miles) and in too rough seas (waves of up to 6 feet), and as a result only 5 of 32 tanks assigned to the beach actually made it ashore, most swept far from where they were intended and floundered.

Doug_Thompson
09-29-2006, 04:18 PM
Would now be a bad time to mention the Huertgen Forest?


Voice in my head .... screaming ... No! Don't do it, Doug! ... It's one of those threads dominated by nationalistic bias! STTTTTOOOOPPPP!

I ... can't ... help ... it... AAHHGGGGHHHH!

All hope abandoned. I've entered here.

Huertgen Forest was a bloodbath and a slog, but it was brought on by Ike's fear of bypassing anything. He could have just ignored the woods, but was paranoid about getting "outflanked." Once he committed troops to this tar pit, of course the Germans reinforced it. It was practically the only place in Western Europe where they could fight while cancelling out Allied superiority in airpower, artillery and other material.

So, actually, it is further proof of how "risk adverse" Ike was €" the exception that proves the rule.

ploughman
09-29-2006, 04:18 PM
Originally posted by huggy87:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by stathem:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Arnhem was a non-starter---the terrain did not allow fast movement. Intel to that effect was available and ignored.

As for American generals being able to slaughter limitless numbers of GIs, what planet are you on, charliedirk? Every GI had a Representative and Senator in Congress and whenever they were unhappy the NEW YORK TIMES and FDR knew in double quick time. The slapping incidents with Patton were prime examples---name another victorious army commander in WWII of another nation who nearly got ignominiously sacked for slapping a common foot soldier? The GIs had to be treated with caution.

Would now be a bad time to mention the Huertgen Forest? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Or dieppe? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ooh. Tit for tat. Bye.

ImpStarDuece
09-29-2006, 04:21 PM
Originally posted by huggy87:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by stathem:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Arnhem was a non-starter---the terrain did not allow fast movement. Intel to that effect was available and ignored.

As for American generals being able to slaughter limitless numbers of GIs, what planet are you on, charliedirk? Every GI had a Representative and Senator in Congress and whenever they were unhappy the NEW YORK TIMES and FDR knew in double quick time. The slapping incidents with Patton were prime examples---name another victorious army commander in WWII of another nation who nearly got ignominiously sacked for slapping a common foot soldier? The GIs had to be treated with caution.

Would now be a bad time to mention the Huertgen Forest? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Or dieppe? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Dieppe was Mountbatten, Monty wanted it CANCELLED.

The raid was actually conducted without the authorisation of the Chiefs of Staff and completely failed to include proper intelligence services, including the Inter-Service Intelligence Board and the joint Intelligence Committee.

rcocean
09-29-2006, 04:52 PM
Originally posted by huggy87:

I haven't read the whole thread yet...
but your house of cards crumbled on the last line. There is no way you can compare what the americans faced on omaha to what anybody else (americans included) faced on any other beach.

The point is that causualties were much higher on Omaha they should have been, due to bad planning. Had been delayed the assault for another 2-3 hours for Naval Bombardment and used the tanks (Hobart's Funnies) to clear the minefields the losses would have been much smaller. The fact is that, even though the British faced a weaker defense than we did at Omaha they used more Naval Bombardment and specialized tranks An example of superior planning.


Also, Ike capitulated on the single thrust.
The big thrust through Holland, "A bridge too far" and it didn't work due to some significant intelligence errors. Bottom line was the allies, both american and british, underesimated the fight left in the german forces.

No. Ike gave *priority* to Monty's thrust and Market-Garden. He did not direct Bradley to cover Monty's flank and attack in the same direction, Bradley continued his main thrust toward Aachen, and Patton was not re-directed northward & he was only had his gasoline reduced for a week or so. Throughout September you had Patton attacking toward Metz, Bradley attacking toward Aachen, and Monty attacking Northward toward Arnhem. This was not the single thrust advocated by Monty.

MB_Avro_UK
09-29-2006, 05:33 PM
Hi all,

Provocative and also an interesting thread.

Maybe we can all learn something. No General has ever been perfect.

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

Sergio_101
09-29-2006, 05:54 PM
If not for political and personal problems Patton,
if given the resources and orders,
could have taken Berlin by Christmas 1944.
Even the Germans felt that Patton was the best
General on the Allied side.

Brutal, with a violent temper and a mad man Patton knew how
to fight. More importantly he knew how to win.

Monty knew how to look like a Field Marshal.

The movie PATTON made George S Patton look like
a head case. I read the his personal diary "The Patton Papers".
He was as 'mad as a hatter'.

Sergio

Aaron_GT
09-29-2006, 05:57 PM
Dieppe was Mountbatten, Monty wanted it CANCELLED.

AFAIK Monty saw that the plan was a frontal assault and indicated that it should either be a pincer movement or cancelled entirely.

Frequent_Flyer
09-29-2006, 06:30 PM
Originally posted by Sergio_101:
If not for political and personal problems Patton,
if given the resources and orders,
could have taken Berlin by Christmas 1944.
Even the Germans felt that Patton was the best
General on the Allied side.

Brutal, with a violent temper and a mad man Patton knew how
to fight. More importantly he knew how to win.

Monty knew how to look like a Field Marshal.

The movie PATTON made George S Patton look like
a head case. I read the his personal diary "The Patton Papers".
He was as 'mad as a hatter'.

Sergio Patton understood and executed modern warfare with no equal on the allied side.

Monty is the paradigm for insanity. ' only the insane continue to do the same thing the same way and expect different results '

Low_Flyer_MkVb
09-29-2006, 06:35 PM
Originally posted by Frequent_Flyer:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Sergio_101:
If not for political and personal problems Patton,
if given the resources and orders,
could have taken Berlin by Christmas 1944.
Even the Germans felt that Patton was the best
General on the Allied side.

Brutal, with a violent temper and a mad man Patton knew how
to fight. More importantly he knew how to win.

Monty knew how to look like a Field Marshal.

The movie PATTON made George S Patton look like
a head case. I read the his personal diary "The Patton Papers".
He was as 'mad as a hatter'.

Sergio Patton understood and executed modern warfare with no equal on the allied side.

Monty is the paradigm for insanity. ' only the insane continue to do the same thing the same way and expect different results ' </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Could you please qualify Montgomery's insanity?

Sergio_101
09-29-2006, 07:23 PM
I for one don't think Monty was insane.
He was just full of himself.
Monty's 'my way or the highway' attitude
and relentless self promotion got in the way
of victory.

Patton on the other hand was a bit out there.
After reading his "papers" I came away with
the feeling that he was a bit deranged.
But he was VERY GOOD.

Sergio

BiscuitKnight
09-29-2006, 08:08 PM
Sergio, your statement was so riddiculous I had to post again:

Patton the best Allied commander? Ha!

So Generals like William Slim, that developed new strategies (yes, that was Japan, not Germany - still an allied commander), they're not as good as Patton? Patton seems, from everything I know about him, which isn't a little amount, to have just been an overly aggressive headcase. It wasn't any real skill or insightfulness that made Patton successful, it was sheer aggression. Patton's strategy was hamfisted, hurling everything he had at the Germans, and of course, with the USA's economic power, that was a good course of action, and Patton's successes are undeniable. However, compare Patton, who faced a retreating Wehrmacht, to Chuikov, who held Stalingrad against superior numbers of well equiped German units, himself shelled constantly and living in conditions little better than his soldiers while trying to command a battle, and I think you'll see that Patton is by far inferior to Chuikov, for one. Or Zhukov, who was involved in Leningrad, Moscow, Stalingrad, Bagration and Berlin. Really, if you look into the Russian commanders, you see they're far more successful than their British or American counterparts, and quite resourceful. The Americans at no time faced Heinz Guderian, for example, the father of Blitzkrieg, but the Russians had to hold him off for the entire duration of Barbarossa and Typhoon. Arthur Model, Enrich Manstein, and others, spent most of their time facing off against Russians, not Western Allies. The Generals responsible for Poland, Denmark and Norway, the Low Countries and France, were mostly expended against the Russians in 41-42, the Americans never faced them (the British did, and were whupped).

It's utterly riddiculous to say Patton was the best allied commander.

Gumtree
09-29-2006, 08:29 PM
This is am arguement that I frequently have with some mate of mine that like to rev me up about allied leadership in WW2.

I am not going to try and adress 4 pages of quotes but must add that the old favourite that rears its head when people get stuck into Monty is Market Garden.

Some facts about Market Garden are that:
- Ike ordered Bradley to support Monty with the 9th Army on Bradleys left flank and to hold operations in 3rd Armies front.

-Bradley went away and immeadiately phoned Patton to tell him to the news and urge him to get so entangled with the Germans that Ike would have to support him.

-The commander of the 9th Army (I can not remember his name off the top of my head) was now stuck with a delema. His orders were to support Monty's thrust but since Bradley and Patton had dissobeyed orders (Patton not for the first time )and struck out to the South west his Army was being pulled in that direction and the thinning of his forces meant that he could provide little help to the British thrust.

Patton after reaping the glory of Monty's D-Day stratagey and getting all the headlines with 3rd armies thrust into defenceless towns south of St-lo was ordered to close the Falaise Gap by offering a strong shoulder to trap the German arimes there. He left a weak coprs in position refused to collaberate with the advancing Canadians and went so far as to race of for the Seine instead of closing the trap further to the East.

I find it reprehensible that Montgomery is continuously attacked and belittled by revisionist who obviously have an axe to grind.

Overlord was influenced greatly by Montgomery it was 'his show'. The troops followed him because he kept them alive,informed and confident to say otherwise is pure fallacy.

Unfortunately this rubbish has been spread by self interested writers based on a nationalistic line of argument.

Of all the high command in the western front (Ike, Bradley, Patton and Monty) Montgomery had more frontline experiance that the others combined.

This in no way takes away from their achievements, each officer mentioned had strenghts and weaknesses.

- Ike was a perfect Chief keeping the allies in step,I personally believe he should have made a Ground force commander and left the running of the fighting to him. (I would suggest this should have been Bradley due to the American preponderance of troops)

-Bradley was a strong commander who lead his troops very well and actually worked extremely well under Monty, the personality issues did not arise untill they were of equal rank. (something that often happened to Montgomery)

-Monty was a master of the set peice batttle and fought the fight with the huge resouces he had to his strengths. He liked a tidy battlefield and never liked to be on the back foot, but rather well ballanced at all times.His biggest problem was his vanity and ego,these 2 would lead to many of his troubles with the press and command, especially with the Americans.

-Patton was another commander with personality issues,whilst I no doubt his need to move forward I wonder at his motivation,it seems to me that he actually sabotaged Market Grden by drawing off resources to the South when he had been ordered to hold. He like Monty was a primadonna and his passion to beat Mongomery was an enormous flaw and I feel led to many rash decisions and subsequently a high loss of troops in order to get headlines.

To sum up this rant I feel it is unfair to criticise Monty for Market Garden without having a good understanding of the back room politics that were going on at SHAEF (by the RAF officers who dedicated their time with Ike and anyone else who would lend and ear) (and between Bradley and Patton) to undermining Monty.

Sorry for the rant but this topic gets me no matter how hard I attempt to ignore these acusations.

leitmotiv
09-29-2006, 08:44 PM
Patton: I have a friend who is the German military history specialist at the Army Command and General Staff College at Leavenworth, Kansas, and has educated a generation of American Army officers in the techniques and ideas of the Great German General Staff. He has been threatening to write an operational treatise on P for years. Whenever he hears somebody waxing on about P's brilliance, he reminds them that during the post-Falaise breakout, when he was supposedly tearing after the remnants of the German Army with every motorized unit in his command, he was using a full Armored Division for rear-area security---a novel concept. He also subjected the breakout to a detailed tactical atomization and found the motorized units under P's command were continually being slowed by German delaying units consisting of a handful of anti-tank guns or one or two Sturmgeschutz because they predictably refused to go off-road and stopped dead when confronted by hidden resistence in a village. The Germans knew once they stopped them, within 30 minutes or so the American tac air would arrive and flatten the village---so they got out of Dodge and like clockwork the village was flattened while the Germans were settling in in another village down the road. John Terrain wrote about the Allied crippling reliance on tac air in the Western Europe campaign in THE RIGHT OF THE LINE. CAEN: ANVIL OF VICTORY discusses the Allied use of tac air on French hamlets, villages, and towns which left the locals wondering what kind of people the liberators were!

Frequent_Flyer
09-29-2006, 10:49 PM
Originally posted by BiscuitKnight:
Sergio, your statement was so riddiculous I had to post again:

Patton the best Allied commander? Ha!

So Generals like William Slim, that developed new strategies (yes, that was Japan, not Germany - still an allied commander), they're not as good as Patton? Patton seems, from everything I know about him, which isn't a little amount, to have just been an overly aggressive headcase. It wasn't any real skill or insightfulness that made Patton successful, it was sheer aggression. Patton's strategy was hamfisted, hurling everything he had at the Germans, and of course, with the USA's economic power, that was a good course of action, and Patton's successes are undeniable. However, compare Patton, who faced a retreating Wehrmacht, to Chuikov, who held Stalingrad against superior numbers of well equiped German units, himself shelled constantly and living in conditions little better than his soldiers while trying to command a battle, and I think you'll see that Patton is by far inferior to Chuikov, for one. Or Zhukov, who was involved in Leningrad, Moscow, Stalingrad, Bagration and Berlin. Really, if you look into the Russian commanders, you see they're far more successful than their British or American counterparts, and quite resourceful. The Americans at no time faced Heinz Guderian, for example, the father of Blitzkrieg, but the Russians had to hold him off for the entire duration of Barbarossa and Typhoon. Arthur Model, Enrich Manstein, and others, spent most of their time facing off against Russians, not Western Allies. The Generals responsible for Poland, Denmark and Norway, the Low Countries and France, were mostly expended against the Russians in 41-42, the Americans never faced them (the British did, and were whupped).

It's utterly riddiculous to say Patton was the best allied commander. It is without question that Patton was the best allied commander.

Not only did the Russian command nearly always have superior numbers but superior armour to that of the Germans.Control of the air and a much shorter line of logistics to replace lost aircraft, armour etc. Shorter supply lines and God knows how much lend lease material. The Russians bled the germans white. If they were so superior review the number of russian casualties vs. German and than against the Americans. The US had inferior armour, A supply line that was measured in thousands of miles not several. The US was sending men and material to the Pacific and europe not to mention to the USSR. The Russians were nly fighting one enemy on one front and were brought to the brink-Brilliant leadership. Oh I almost forgot their commander in cheif was a paranoid alchohalic (Stalin). I guess great leadership starts at the top

Xiolablu3
09-29-2006, 11:03 PM
How did I guess this would end up with the US guys supporting Patrton and the UK supporting Monty?

Just shows the power of propaganda.


You pick some people off the forum and guess what their answer will be before they reply.

The Americans didnt have to face anything like the numbers that the Russians did, and by the time they were fighting in Normandy they ahd massive air power, and the Germans had virtually none.

You cannot compare the situation Patton was in (The war almost won when he entered the field) and the Russians (almost defeated in 1941 and having to stabilise the front).

Had Patton been in the situation the Russians were in in 1941, he would have been no better than Stalin with his human wave attacks, hurling men at the enemy without regard for their lives, only victory.

Luckily he wasnt, and the Russians/Brits had already done the hard work.. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif


In any place where the Allies and Germans met in anything like equal numbers, the Germans usually came off best, Allies worst - and thats a fact.

leitmotiv
09-29-2006, 11:21 PM
Wrong---I'm American as napalm and I am completely unimpressed by Patton. Strutting Southern California aristocrat martinet creep. I knew a GI who was in the Third Army. He said the soldiers hated his guts with a passion. Wearing a tie in the middle of the summer in a war zone? Another brilliant Patton move (see DEATH TRAPS): he vetoed the M-26 for the standard American tank in the Normandy invasion, and mandated the M-4. He was consulted as the U.S. Army's tank expert. By the way, his real voice was very high pitched and squealy. George C. Scott couldn't bear this so he didn't try to mimic his real voice.

PBNA-Boosher
09-29-2006, 11:51 PM
Originally posted by rcocean:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by huggy87:

I haven't read the whole thread yet...
but your house of cards crumbled on the last line. There is no way you can compare what the americans faced on omaha to what anybody else (americans included) faced on any other beach.

The point is that causualties were much higher on Omaha they should have been, due to bad planning. Had been delayed the assault for another 2-3 hours for Naval Bombardment and used the tanks (Hobart's Funnies) to clear the minefields the losses would have been much smaller. The fact is that, even though the British faced a weaker defense than we did at Omaha they used more Naval Bombardment and specialized tranks An example of superior planning. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

No, no no... you don't seem to get it. It wasn't bad planning. First of all, on beaches like Omaha, the naval bombardment had NO effect whatsoever. Even if we shelled their positions for another 20 days it wouldn't have mattered. There was still the problem that there was absolutely NO cover. I want you to picture yourself standing on an open beach, your rifle is useless because you can't shoot into the pillboxes from that range, the tanks don't exist because they had problems getting to shore, and the enemy has quite a few dozen MG's all pointing at YOU. (**** happens) Oh, and by the way, Tanks didn't clear those mines. US Combat engineers did. personally, I doubt the tanks would have been much good, with the amount of artillery the Germans had pouring down. Even if your "superior plans of the English" were put into effect there, they would have been the ones taking the dastardly merciless casualties. Omaha was the toughest beach to take, and we're lucky somebody with brains flanked on top of Pt. DuHoc and managed to help turn the day around. We owe a lot to the airborne boys as well for securing the exit from the Beaches. If you want bad planning then look at the Airborne drops the night before. That's the bad planning you ought to be complaining about.

panther3485
09-30-2006, 12:22 AM
Originally posted by rcocean:
"Compare the low causualites suffered by the British/Canadians on D-day and the US Casualties at Omaha Beach."

If you are going to make such a comparison, it is blatantly misleading to look at all three of the British/Canadian main beaches but only ONE of the two American main beaches.

While Omaha was certainly the bloodiest, Utah was, IIRC, noticeably the lightest for casualties. On this basis, overall US casualties, as a percentage of troops landed on Day 1, are not anywhere near so different from British/Canadian casualties as your focus on Omaha only would suggest.

In any case, conditions from beach to beach varied considerably so it's a bit difficult to make meaningful comparisons of this kind, based on casualties alone.

It is true that the British and Canadians did prove to be a bit better prepared in some respects, as for instance with the 'Funnies' (specialized armoured assault vehicles of various kinds), which the Americans did not seem particularly interested in using.... but how much of that was down to Monty?

As for BLM himself, yes, he was indeed a very highly capable general, arguably even an outstanding or great one (albeit seriously flawed.)

'Modest' is not a word one would use to describe Montgomery, who is said to have compared himself favourably with Alexander the Great and Napoleon!

The man had a huge, towering ego - maybe worse than Patton's - and seemed never able to admit to error, even when he did make an obvious mistake or miscalculation. Understandably, this irritated many of the Americans, not to mention some of the British as well.

A conversation is said to have once taken place between Churchill and the King, which went as follows:

Churchill - "Pretty arrogant fellow, that Monty. Sometimes, I begin to think he's after my job!"

King - "Oh, really? And all this time, I've been thinking he was after mine ."

Perhaps another quote that seems to mirror Monty's personality quite well goes thus:

"Mongomery was a great man to serve under, a difficult man to serve with and an impossible man to serve over."

Monty's judgement was usually very sound and he was right much more often than he was wrong.

Trouble is, he thought it was impossible that he could ever be wrong and that, IMHO, was his single greatest flaw. It is the sort of flaw that is bound to rub people the wrong way, no matter how capable you are. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif


Best regards, http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
panther3485

luftluuver
09-30-2006, 12:30 AM
Has the book Decision in Normandy by Carlos D'Estes been mentioned?

panther3485
09-30-2006, 12:37 AM
Originally posted by luftluuver:
Has the book Decision in Normandy by Carlos D'Estes been mentioned?

Assuming you mean Carlo D'Este; not sure if it's been mentioned as I haven't read every single post (maybe I will now). I hold this author in quite high regard and enjoy reading his work, which IMHO is historically informative and insightful while still being comparatively entertaining, compared to many other historical narratives.

Another title of his I would highly recommend is 'Bitter Victory - The Battle for Sicily 1943'


Best regards, http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
panther3485

BiscuitKnight
09-30-2006, 01:51 AM
Originally posted by Frequent_Flyer: It is without question that Patton was the best allied commander.

Not only did the Russian command nearly always have superior numbers but superior armour to that of the Germans.Control of the air and a much shorter line of logistics to replace lost aircraft, armour etc. Shorter supply lines and God knows how much lend lease material. The Russians bled the germans white. If they were so superior review the number of russian casualties vs. German and than against the Americans. The US had inferior armour, A supply line that was measured in thousands of miles not several. The US was sending men and material to the Pacific and europe not to mention to the USSR. The Russians were nly fighting one enemy on one front and were brought to the brink-Brilliant leadership. Oh I almost forgot their commander in cheif was a paranoid alchohalic (Stalin). I guess great leadership starts at the top

That's even worse than Sergio's post!

First up, you have embarassed yourself by saying the Russians had all the advantages in their campaings. In June 1941 Stalin's orders rendered their entire army useless. German veterans who were well trained and familiar with their equipment, with well trained officers and tried and true strategies and tactics, against the Red Army that had all its new thought since 1920 suppressed by Stalin as heresy, whoose equipment consisted of a hodge-podge of decent, terrible, and fantastic equipment, and with useless officers for the most part. The trained men were largely captured or killed or neutralised by routs in June 1941 - irreplacable losses, like the Japanese at Midway. Despite that, Yeremenko, one of the few decent commanders left post-purges, managed to scrape together a defensive line at Smolensk. Yes, it was smashed - but by now, many troops lacked rifles, some even lacked shoes, let alone uniforms, their main anti-tank weapon once the battle of Smolensk proper began was the Molotov Cocktail, not their ZIS anti-tank guns or superb T-34s or even mediocre KV-1s, just bottles of petrol. Yeremenko later established another line at Bryansk and Vyazma, but this too was smashed. Again, this is veteran Germans against untrained militias levied and hurled into combat, lacking equipment. The T-34 was superior to the Germans' best, the Panzerkampfwagen III - but not much else was. The Mosin-Nagant was on par - when issued. The PPSh wasn't in production, the PPD was rare, the Russians lacked mortars and had few artillery pieces after June. Their planes... well, you've played Il-2... But overall, a lack of strong commanders and training.

The Zhukov manages to slow down the Leningrad advance enough that Hitler switches plans, before being sent to Moscow where he brilliantly saved the day and began a highly successful counteroffensive - it was Stalin's mistake that lead to the disasterous winter battles.

I can't go on, because there's so much to say, but suffice to say a few more small points: the Red Army was grossly inferior in almost every respect to the German Army, but it had fine commanders, such as Yeremenko, Zhukov and Chuikov that could pull victory from disaster. Stalingrad, for example. Perhaps you don't realise, but the 6th Field Army of 600,000 men faced just a few broken Russian divisions that had been fighting nonstop since spring 1941. Overall, Chuikov, with less than 20,000 men for most of the battle, held off the entire 6th Army - the 6th Army didn't even have to guard its own flanks. Chuikov pioneered new tactics and got the best from his men. But no, I'm sure it was the uber T-34s (with untrained crews) and overwhelming numbers (600k Germans against 20k Russians) that won the battle. How about this: you go actually read some books on the Eastern front, instead of watching Enemy At The Gate; I recommend Antony Beevor's books, foremost. The Russians had inferior numbers of artillery until 1943, inferior training and experience, the stigma of horrendous 1941, inferior numbers of tanks in most cases even, and were hampered by transport and STAVKA problems.

But let's say that the Russians don't count. We've still got William Slim, who pioneered tactics that defeated the Japanese in Burma, for one, compared to bloody-handed Patton who's sole tactic was aggression.

I guess great arguments for or against something start with actual knowledge of the subject, huh?

panther3485
09-30-2006, 03:00 AM
Originally posted by rcocean:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by PBNA-Boosher:

The reason the Western Allies did not go on to Berlin was because the Allied Powers agreed that the Soviet Union would be the power to take it. Eisenhower, an overseer of the Western Front, kept his word and allowed it to be a Russian victory. The Western allies held because they did not want conflicting territories. The Soviets, in particular, were not that happy of the Western powers encroaching on their siezed territories either. Many friendly planes, troops, etc... from the Western Allies were shot down by Yaks on orders from their commanders, against the pilot's better intentions.

Excellent point. But why were Churchill and Monty so insistent that we take Berlin? I think the Germans would have allowed the US/british to take berlin with very little fighting. We then would have been in a position to dictate to Stalin the terms of occupation. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It was all agreed at Yalta, and the Western Allies were simply honouring the agreement.

panther3485
09-30-2006, 03:06 AM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
"The slapping incidents with Patton were prime examples---name another victorious army commander in WWII of another nation who nearly got ignominiously sacked for slapping a common foot soldier? The GIs had to be treated with caution."

Indeed. IIRC, the Germans, in particular, were amazed at this when they got news of it.

That said, it was nevertheless an offence in most armies, for an officer to assault an enlisted man.

Sergio_101
09-30-2006, 03:12 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Frequent_Flyer: It is without question that Patton was the best allied commander.


And Monty aomngst the worst.
http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif
Sergio

panther3485
09-30-2006, 03:17 AM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
"....That's one reason Goodwood was mounted as primarily an armor op---the infantry reserves had been exhausted."

And 'Goodwood' turned out to be very costly as well, IIRC.

panther3485
09-30-2006, 03:18 AM
Originally posted by Waldo.Pepper:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I think the Germans would have allowed the US/british to take Berlin with very little fighting.

I stopped reading this thread when I read the above quote.

I apologize in advance for what I am about to say, but really that is just about the stupidest thing I have read here on the Il2 board. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Bad, but I've seen far worse. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

Sergio_101
09-30-2006, 03:27 AM
Originally posted by panther3485:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Waldo.Pepper:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I think the Germans would have allowed the US/british to take Berlin with very little fighting.

I stopped reading this thread when I read the above quote.

I apologize in advance for what I am about to say, but really that is just about the stupidest thing I have read here on the Il2 board. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Bad, but I've seen far worse. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Truth is that the germans started to head west
to surrender to the western Allies after the
failure in the Ardennes (battle of the bulge).

In a "what if" scenario, if Patton was within
a few dozen kilometers to the west of Berlin
and Zukov was in the eastern suburbs of Berlin
the Germans would have thrown roses in the path
of the western Allied invaders.

Sergio

panther3485
09-30-2006, 05:14 AM
Originally posted by Frequent_Flyer:
"It is without question that Patton was the best allied commander."

It is certainly without question that he was among the best Allied commanders in WW2. If you try to insist that he was the best, you are going to get some tough counter-arguments from those who believe otherwise, especially if you include the Soviet commanders like Zhukov and others.



Originally posted by Frequent_Flyer:
"Not only did the Russian command nearly always have superior numbers but superior armour to that of the Germans."

Although there were exceptions, it is true that in general, the Soviets did have superior numbers. But how effective they were in battle was another question altogether, particularly in the early campaign.

As for 'superior armour', the Soviet tank park at the opening of Operation Barbarossa was large (sources vary but most put the figure around 20,000 tanks of all types). However, most of these vehicles were obsolescent and/or in a poor state of repair.

Only a minority were the newer KV and T-34 types, which were superior in fighting power to the best German tanks (PzKpfw III and PzKpfw IV) but were hampered in battle by having more than their fair share of troubles. These problems included:

(a) Shortages of properly trained crews
(b) Inadequate time for training of existing crews
(c) Shortages of ammuntion
(d) Shortages of spare parts
(e) Mechanical teething problems, which would take time to sort out (particulary in the KVs)
(f) Inexperienced unit commanders (which applied to most of the armoured units)
(g) Problems with tactical doctrine
(h) Very poor communications (few tanks had radios and many had no internal intercom)



Originally posted by Frequent_Flyer:
"Control of the air...."

The Germans had pretty near total air superiority from the opening of Barbarssa in June 1941 for at least the first year, and a measure of continued superiority until perhaps early 1943. For about a year after that, it swung back and forth. Not until 1944 had control of the air moved clearly into favour of the Soviets, after suffering staggering losses.



Originally posted by Frequent_Flyer:
"....and a much shorter line of logistics to replace lost aircraft, armour etc."

Perhaps not as short as you seem to think, though. Many of the Soviet production facilities had been moved far East, beyond the Urals, and a lot of the new factories were also located there. This was to put them not only far away from the furthest likely German land advances, but also beyond the practical range of Luftwaffe bomber forces.



Originally posted by Frequent_Flyer:
"Shorter supply lines and God knows how much lend lease material."

Figures are available on tonnages of various kinds of Lend Lease supplies that were shipped to the Soviets, how much actually made it there, and what proportion of Soviet supply needs was made up by Lend Lease goods.

Lend Lease supplies did not make a truly significant contribution to the Soviet war effort until after the tide of war on the Easter Front had already begun to turn decisively against the Germans. The Soviets achieved this entirely with their own manpower and almost entirely with their own supplies.



Originally posted by Frequent_Flyer:
"The Russians bled the germans white."

No argument there! That was their most decisive contribution to Allied victory against Nazism.



Originally posted by Frequent_Flyer:
"If they were so superior review the number of russian casualties vs. German and than against the Americans."

The fact that Soviet casualties were so staggeringly high is attributable to a number of factors, some of which are complex. Nevertheless, they did have some truly outstanding commanders who compared well with the best of any nation on the Allied side.



Originally posted by Frequent_Flyer:
"The US had inferior armour...."

Inferior to whose, and how? I would argue that the M4 Sherman, for example, was approximately on par (overall) with the T-34/76, the later 76mm Shermans with HVSS on approximate par (again, overall) with the T-34/85. It's true that the Americans did not field heavy types to compare with Tiger I or IS-2 until almost the end of the war, but that's another story and the Tiger was not in fact common on the battlefield anyway.



Originally posted by Frequent_Flyer:
"A supply line that was measured in thousands of miles not several."

I've already addressed the issue of Soviet supply lines, which were generally much longer than you give credit for. And once US forces were under way in the NW Europe campaign, their main supply line was back to Britain (although obviously most of the supplies originated from the USA - but the supply line across the Atlantic was by then both efficient and secure).



Originally posted by Frequent_Flyer:
"The US was sending men and material to the Pacific and europe not to mention to the USSR."

Yes. The USA had the industrial capacity, the logistic capacity, the shipping and the manpower to achieve this. The Soviets had the manpower and enough industrial capacity to mostly meet their own needs, but little more.



Originally posted by Frequent_Flyer:
"The Russians were only fighting one enemy on one front...."

Only one front but more than one enemy, unless you count the forces of the other Axis Alliance nations fighting there as 'German'.



Originally posted by Frequent_Flyer:
"....and were brought to the brink-Brilliant leadership."

Poor leadership (in general) did play a part in the early disasters suffered by the Soviets, but it's much more complex than that. Better commanders did come forward as the fighting continued, however, and clearly helped to swing the balance on a number of occasions. Stalin's purges of the Soviet Officer Corps, which removed many of the more experienced and competent officers, had played no small part in the early setbacks.



Originally posted by Frequent_Flyer:
"Oh I almost forgot their commander in cheif was a paranoid alchohalic (Stalin). I guess great leadership starts at the top.

Stalin certainly had his faults, but consider the faults of his opposite number in Berlin! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif


Best regards, http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
panther3485

leitmotiv
09-30-2006, 05:19 AM
If he had been a Soviet, German, or Japanese army commander, he could have had the soldiers shot on sight---the heck with slapping them!

Nobody has cited D'Este, LL. That book does quite a demolition of BLM's rep. D'Este is a huge fan of Geo Patton.

F6_Ace
09-30-2006, 05:26 AM
Going back a few steps, here...but with respect to the D-Day landings, I read once (The Code Book, Simon Singh) that British intelligence had incredibly accurate information about defence concentrations prior to the landings especially as the german wired communications had been disrupted and because they were relying on radio (which could be intercepted and the codes broken).

How did that fit in with the landings in general because my perception is that the British and Canadians strolled onto the beaches whereas the Americans, at Omaha, "did not". Was this due to an intelligence blackout for that area, a last minute change by the germans or a failing to follow the intelligence in the first place? (I also appreciate that there were other factors with sinking amphibious tanks etc)

BiscuitKnight
09-30-2006, 05:52 AM
Originally posted by Sergio_101:
Truth is that the germans started to head west
to surrender to the western Allies after the
failure in the Ardennes (battle of the bulge).

In a "what if" scenario, if Patton was within
a few dozen kilometers to the west of Berlin
and Zukov was in the eastern suburbs of Berlin
the Germans would have thrown roses in the path
of the western Allied invaders.

Sergio

You certainly rate among the more deceptive trolls I've seen.

IRT Panther3485

The allies agreed to a lot of things a Yalta. Among, them, I believe, was self determination for Poland. Churchill knew Stalin would cross them, but FDR wouldn't listen.

I agree with your post to Frequent Flyer entirely though.

panther3485
09-30-2006, 06:04 AM
Originally posted by Sergio_101:
"Truth is that the germans started to head west
to surrender to the western Allies after the
failure in the Ardennes (battle of the bulge)."


"Truth"? There was a general movement of civilian refugees (by no means exclusively German), from East to West, to escape the Soviets. And most German troops, if they got the choice, preferred to surrender to the Western Allies rather than the Soviets, but relatively few were able to exercise such a choice.

After the failure of the Ardennes offensive, there was still no overall collapse of German resistance against the Western Allies until almost the end. Their orders were to continue to resist and resist they mostly did.

Of course, resistance against the Soviets was generally more ferocious and resolute, but we can understand why that was. The Germans already knew only too well, what was happening to civilians in the zones that fell under Soviet control. And given the treatment meted out to many Germans who surrendered, death was arguably preferable anyway.



Originally posted by Sergio_101:
"In a 'what if' scenario, if Patton was within
a few dozen kilometers to the west of Berlin
and Zukov was in the eastern suburbs of Berlin
the Germans would have thrown roses in the path
of the western Allied invaders."

Resisting the Soviets more vigorously than the Western Allies would be one thing. Even positioning yourself for surrender to the British or Americans rather than the Soviets, which happened, is quite understandable.

But welcoming the Western Allies as 'liberators' (even if they ultimately would turn out to be just that?) That's quite another thing altogether, given continued and still quite rigid control by the Nazi regime almost to the end. It would be seen as an act of treason, and treated accordingly. I couldn't see any significant number of German military personnel seriously considering doing this. Not too many civilians either, for that matter. There would be exceptions, of course, but by and large they would resist to the end, or almost the end, just as they were ordered to do and expected to do.

Gumtree
09-30-2006, 06:12 AM
No, no no... you don't seem to get it. It wasn't bad planning. First of all, on beaches like Omaha, the naval bombardment had NO effect whatsoever. Even if we shelled their positions for another 20 days it wouldn't have mattered. There was still the problem that there was absolutely NO cover. I want you to picture yourself standing on an open beach, your rifle is useless because you can't shoot into the pillboxes from that range, the tanks don't exist because they had problems getting to shore, and the enemy has quite a few dozen MG's all pointing at YOU. (**** happens) Oh, and by the way, Tanks didn't clear those mines. US Combat engineers did. personally, I doubt the tanks would have been much good, with the amount of artillery the Germans had pouring down. Even if your "superior plans of the English" were put into effect there, they would have been the ones taking the dastardly merciless casualties. Omaha was the toughest beach to take, and we're lucky somebody with brains flanked on top of Pt. DuHoc and managed to help turn the day around. We owe a lot to the airborne boys as well for securing the exit from the Beaches. If you want bad planning then look at the Airborne drops the night before. That's the bad planning you ought to be complaining about.

It is fairly well accepted that the American initial failure at Omaha was down to some simple facts, namely,

-Bradley showed little or no interest in Hobarts 'Funnies' and subsequently had none go ashore with the initial landing troops. This meant that the engineers had little or no support like their compatriots on the other beaches, to clear the mines and wire.

-secondly to claim that the naval bombardment did nothing to the defences on Omaha is pure fallacy, a british destroyer sailed to within 1000 yds and engaged some troblesome pillboxes directly which led to the troops getting of the beaches. I have read accounts from German soldiers who survived this bombardment and they would disagree with the notion that the bombardment had no effect.

I have recently just returned from a trip to the Normandy beaches and Omaha whilst presenting difficult obstacles, I found that the other beaches offered comparable if not more difficult ones that were beaten by the use of 79th div armour. The British beaches were just as exposed as Omaha, in place of a high ridge the British and Canadians encountered well dug in Germans in buildings that had been turned into strongpoints.

I saw the strong points called Morris and Hillman on the route to Caen and now understand why this "open city" failed to be taken by one division in the opening day.

I find it constantly disapointing that people need to downgrade the effort of others, in order to place gloss on their own or their countries acheivements.

Goodwood has been raised as a costly failure, its also been claimed that Monty tried to breakout with this attack, this is wrong on both counts. Goodwood was launched as a reaction to the Germans sending armour to stiffen the American flank (2nd or panzer lehr I cant remember which off hand).

The attack was to draw the Germans back to Caen , the confusion comes from Monty giving missleading or missquoted information to his superiors that later was used by those that wished to undermine him.

I have never read an account claiming that the initial attack on Omaha slowed due to the incompitance of the American soldiers or their commanders, which is fair as they did all that could be expected of them against a well defended position, yet often read that the quality of the German troops at Omaha (352 div) was better dug in and organised that any where else in the invasion zone.( one poster previously even claimed that they were SS which they were not)

Yet I constantly read that the British failed due to lack of go, or poor planning or it was Monty's fault, I rarely read that the fanatical SS and 7 of the 9 Panzer divisions were all concentrated around the Eastern edge of the salient.

The battle of Normandy was fought and won by the men of 1st American Army under Bradley , the 2nd British Army under Dempsey both of whom served under the direction of Monty period!

The 3rd American army of Patton entered the fray when the Battle was a done deal, his tropps funneled throught the German lines that Bradley had prised open and advanced against weak retreating small packets of German resistance.

This drive by Patton took ground and towns, it made headlines and I would argue that Pattons name was made on the blood and toil of Bradley's and Dempsey's men.

The one point that is often forgotten in any discussion on Normandy is the quality of the German army. Outnumbered, with total loss of the air they outfought the allies tactically and through superhuman effort stayed the flood that was threatening to breakout for days and weeks.

Forget for a moment the cause they fought for these men and boys fought well above the level of the Allies, at least untill the allied soldiers learnt what modern warfare was about.

-HH-Quazi
09-30-2006, 06:17 AM
Originally posted by rcocean:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by PBNA-Boosher:

The reason the Western Allies did not go on to Berlin was because the Allied Powers agreed that the Soviet Union would be the power to take it. Eisenhower, an overseer of the Western Front, kept his word and allowed it to be a Russian victory. The Western allies held because they did not want conflicting territories. The Soviets, in particular, were not that happy of the Western powers encroaching on their siezed territories either. Many friendly planes, troops, etc... from the Western Allies were shot down by Yaks on orders from their commanders, against the pilot's better intentions.

Excellent point. But why were Churchill and Monty so insistent that we take Berlin? I think the Germans would have allowed the US/british to take berlin with very little fighting. We then would have been in a position to dictate to Stalin the terms of occupation. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ike knew the war was almost over, and wanted to end the war on good terms with Stalin, plus, he wanted to keep his word. ChurchHill and Monty could give a rats arse about what Stalin wanted and felt the British and Americans should enter Berlin first. And if hindsight was 20\20, ChurchHill & Monty were correct because Ike keeping his word and allowing the Russians to enter Berlin as its' conquerors didn't mean squat to Stalin. I believe he viewed it as a sign of weakness from Ike and afterwards the Berlin Air Lift.

panther3485
09-30-2006, 06:23 AM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
"If he had been a Soviet, German, or Japanese army commander, he could have had the soldiers shot on sight---the heck with slapping them!


Yes, certainly in the case of the Soviets and (I think) the Japanese. In the case of the Germans, to begin with anyway, there was supposed to be 'due process', with a Court Martial etc. And the irony is that in the German armed forces at least (out of those three you have mentioned), and all the Western armed forces, it was nevertheless still an offence for an Officer to physically assault an enlisted man. Generally, everything had to be done 'correctly', in accordance with 'regulations'.



Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Nobody has cited D'Este, LL. That book does quite a demolition of BLM's rep. D'Este is a huge fan of Geo Patton.

Yes. Like his work, for reasons already stated, but that does not necessarily mean I would agree with every single one of his opinions.

panther3485
09-30-2006, 06:30 AM
Originally posted by F6_Ace:
"....my perception is that the British and Canadians strolled onto the beaches whereas the Americans, at Omaha, 'did not'."

That 'perception' is incorrect. Resistance on different sectors of the British and Canadian beaches varied a lot. In a few places, they almost did 'stroll' ashore but in many the resistance was considerable and in some it was quite fierce, resulting in considerable losses.

If there was any one of the five major beaches where the invaders consistently 'strolled' ashore, that would be Utah, the other American beach, where the experience was almost the opposite of the bloody baptism of fire at Omaha. The British and Canadian beaches fell between these two extremes.

panther3485
09-30-2006, 06:35 AM
Originally posted by BiscuitKnight:
"The allies agreed to a lot of things a Yalta. Among, them, I believe, was self determination for Poland. Churchill knew Stalin would cross them, but FDR wouldn't listen."

Yes, 100 percent on the button, BK!

Churchill had tumbled Stalin as treacherous, but FDR seemed to be mesmerized by the Dictator, who could be very charming and persuasive when the occasion called for it. He could see Roosevelt was being 'sucked in' but was unable to significantly sway the proceedings. As Winston confided later:

"It wasn't the 'Big Three' at Yalta. It was the 'Big two-and-a-half' And I was the half."

Sad, but true I think. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

ImpStarDuece
09-30-2006, 08:26 AM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
If he had been a Soviet, German, or Japanese army commander, he could have had the soldiers shot on sight---the heck with slapping them!

Nobody has cited D'Este, LL. That book does quite a demolition of BLM's rep. D'Este is a huge fan of Geo Patton.

Having reread it quite recently, I think D'Este is more of a Monty fan than a Patton one. He gives both generals short shrift for their mistakes both on an off the battle field, but seems to reserve some paticular scorn for Pattons timidity in failing to closing the noose at Falaise and his willingness to sacrafice men for points of ego. Patton's personality is label as a "source of embarrasement" to Bradely and Eisenhower.

D'Este generally agrees with the account that Monty chose Cean as bait and the hinge of a well thought out trap, and credits him with adaptation, improvisation, clear thinking and decesive action in the highly fluid situation in Normandy, somthing most other military histories seem to point the opposite to, naming him a 'set piece general'. There are planty of times where he notes Monty radically altering plans on the spot to take advantage of new developments.

He then proceeds to lambast Monty's public statements about 'everything going exactly to plan', proving them thoroughly false as well as spearing Monty over his personal vanity, noting that Monty's greatest enemy was probably himself.

Of all the Allied generals in Decision in Normandy, it is Bradely that comes out the best in D'Este's opinion.

The question of perception of Monty and Patton is probably best summed up in the chapter entitled 'The Normandy Myth' which breaks down the historical and personality confilicts which have generated such huge anti-Ike and anti-Monty camps, as well as some anti-Patton stuff. If you want a really good look at how the Patton vs Momty thing built up, try reading it.

rcocean
09-30-2006, 08:43 AM
Originally posted by PBNA-Boosher:
No, no no... you don't seem to get it. It wasn't bad planning. First of all, on beaches like Omaha, the naval bombardment had NO effect whatsoever. Even if we shelled their positions for another 20 days it wouldn't have mattered. There was still the problem that there was absolutely NO cover. I want you to picture yourself standing on an open beach, your rifle is useless because you can't shoot into the pillboxes from that range, the tanks don't exist because they had problems getting to shore, and the enemy has quite a few dozen MG's all pointing at YOU. (**** happens) Oh, and by the way, Tanks didn't clear those mines. US Combat engineers did. personally, I doubt the tanks would have been much good, with the amount of artillery the Germans had pouring down. Even if your "superior plans of the English" were put into effect there, they would have been the ones taking the dastardly merciless casualties. Omaha was the toughest beach to take, and we're lucky somebody with brains flanked on top of Pt. DuHoc and managed to help turn the day around. We owe a lot to the airborne boys as well for securing the exit from the Beaches. If you want bad planning then look at the Airborne drops the night before. That's the bad planning you ought to be complaining about.

<span class="ev_code_black"> If you have time, suggest you read a book called "Omaha - The Flawed Victory" by Adrian Lewis; it lays out in detail the problems with the planning for the Omaha Beach landings. If have time or the inclination you could also read Morrison's "The Invasion of France and Germany". Morrison gives all the details on how effective the Naval bombardment was on D-day. Large numbers of German artillery pieces and pillboxes were knocked out by Destroyers and Naval gunfire. As you stated Omaha is an open beach, which means the landings should have been at night (pre-dawn) or preceded by enough Naval support to allow the troops to get inland. </span>

Da_Godfatha
09-30-2006, 10:11 AM
Originally posted by BiscuitKnight:
Thank you for the book suggestion, Leitmotiv, I'll look into that (this forum is really expanding my reading list).

But I think I'll leave when the going is still somewhat good: I just got told to visit my local library by someone who spells "hell" with an apostrophe, spells "where" as "were" and I'll largely avoid the smaller things, in short, by someone semi-literate, beyond making unqualified statements. But just one question, "Da_Godfatha":

' Please stop with your one-sided only "Revisionist History lessons." '

Did you learn sentence formation from babelfish?

Golly gee-whiz Air Biscuit...you sur'nuff told me!http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

F6_Ace
09-30-2006, 10:19 AM
Originally posted by panther3485:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by F6_Ace:
"....my perception is that the British and Canadians strolled onto the beaches whereas the Americans, at Omaha, 'did not'."

That 'perception' is incorrect. Resistance on different sectors of the British and Canadian beaches varied a lot. In a few places, they almost did 'stroll' ashore but in many the resistance was considerable and in some it was quite fierce, resulting in considerable losses.

If there was any one of the five major beaches where the invaders consistently 'strolled' ashore, that would be Utah, the other American beach, where the experience was almost the opposite of the bloody baptism of fire at Omaha. The British and Canadian beaches fell between these two extremes. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks for the correction; I'd not read up on this part of history but I had seen the photos and movies of some of the British landings and it looked a bit like strolling off the boats for a picnic.

What about the intelligence reports, though?

Frequent_Flyer
09-30-2006, 10:19 AM
Originally posted by BiscuitKnight:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Frequent_Flyer: It is without question that Patton was the best allied commander.

Not only did the Russian command nearly always have superior numbers but superior armour to that of the Germans.Control of the air and a much shorter line of logistics to replace lost aircraft, armour etc. Shorter supply lines and God knows how much lend lease material. The Russians bled the germans white. If they were so superior review the number of russian casualties vs. German and than against the Americans. The US had inferior armour, A supply line that was measured in thousands of miles not several. The US was sending men and material to the Pacific and europe not to mention to the USSR. The Russians were nly fighting one enemy on one front and were brought to the brink-Brilliant leadership. Oh I almost forgot their commander in cheif was a paranoid alchohalic (Stalin). I guess great leadership starts at the top

That's even worse than Sergio's post!

First up, you have embarassed yourself by saying the Russians had all the advantages in their campaings. In June 1941 Stalin's orders rendered their entire army useless. German veterans who were well trained and familiar with their equipment, with well trained officers and tried and true strategies and tactics, against the Red Army that had all its new thought since 1920 suppressed by Stalin as heresy, whoose equipment consisted of a hodge-podge of decent, terrible, and fantastic equipment, and with useless officers for the most part. The trained men were largely captured or killed or neutralised by routs in June 1941 - irreplacable losses, like the Japanese at Midway. Despite that, Yeremenko, one of the few decent commanders left post-purges, managed to scrape together a defensive line at Smolensk. Yes, it was smashed - but by now, many troops lacked rifles, some even lacked shoes, let alone uniforms, their main anti-tank weapon once the battle of Smolensk proper began was the Molotov Cocktail, not their ZIS anti-tank guns or superb T-34s or even mediocre KV-1s, just bottles of petrol. Yeremenko later established another line at Bryansk and Vyazma, but this too was smashed. Again, this is veteran Germans against untrained militias levied and hurled into combat, lacking equipment. The T-34 was superior to the Germans' best, the Panzerkampfwagen III - but not much else was. The Mosin-Nagant was on par - when issued. The PPSh wasn't in production, the PPD was rare, the Russians lacked mortars and had few artillery pieces after June. Their planes... well, you've played Il-2... But overall, a lack of strong commanders and training.

The Zhukov manages to slow down the Leningrad advance enough that Hitler switches plans, before being sent to Moscow where he brilliantly saved the day and began a highly successful counteroffensive - it was Stalin's mistake that lead to the disasterous winter battles.

I can't go on, because there's so much to say, but suffice to say a few more small points: the Red Army was grossly inferior in almost every respect to the German Army, but it had fine commanders, such as Yeremenko, Zhukov and Chuikov that could pull victory from disaster. Stalingrad, for example. Perhaps you don't realise, but the 6th Field Army of 600,000 men faced just a few broken Russian divisions that had been fighting nonstop since spring 1941. Overall, Chuikov, with less than 20,000 men for most of the battle, held off the entire 6th Army - the 6th Army didn't even have to guard its own flanks. Chuikov pioneered new tactics and got the best from his men. But no, I'm sure it was the uber T-34s (with untrained crews) and overwhelming numbers (600k Germans against 20k Russians) that won the battle. How about this: you go actually read some books on the Eastern front, instead of watching Enemy At The Gate; I recommend Antony Beevor's books, foremost. The Russians had inferior numbers of artillery until 1943, inferior training and experience, the stigma of horrendous 1941, inferior numbers of tanks in most cases even, and were hampered by transport and STAVKA problems.

But let's say that the Russians don't count. We've still got William Slim, who pioneered tactics that defeated the Japanese in Burma, for one, compared to bloody-handed Patton who's sole tactic was aggression.

I guess great arguments for or against something start with actual knowledge of the subject, huh? </div></BLOCKQUOTE> Your history does not go back far enough. The paranoid alchohalic, Stalin 'purged', by simply shooting a good majority of his officers in the 1930's- they were out to get him. The half wit that he was signs a non aggression pact with another lunatic. Than ignores all the intel. pointing to the German invasion. Focusing I'm sure on the real enemy his corp of officers. When war came the great Russian leadership folded like a cheap tent all theway back to Moscow.

Sergio_101
09-30-2006, 10:31 AM
Originally posted by Frequent_Flyer:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by BiscuitKnight:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Frequent_Flyer: It is without question that Patton was the best allied commander.

Not only did the Russian command nearly always have superior numbers but superior armour to that of the Germans.Control of the air and a much shorter line of logistics to replace lost aircraft, armour etc. Shorter supply lines and God knows how much lend lease material. The Russians bled the germans white. If they were so superior review the number of russian casualties vs. German and than against the Americans. The US had inferior armour, A supply line that was measured in thousands of miles not several. The US was sending men and material to the Pacific and europe not to mention to the USSR. The Russians were nly fighting one enemy on one front and were brought to the brink-Brilliant leadership. Oh I almost forgot their commander in cheif was a paranoid alchohalic (Stalin). I guess great leadership starts at the top

That's even worse than Sergio's post!

First up, you have embarassed yourself by saying the Russians had all the advantages in their campaings. In June 1941 Stalin's orders rendered their entire army useless. German veterans who were well trained and familiar with their equipment, with well trained officers and tried and true strategies and tactics, against the Red Army that had all its new thought since 1920 suppressed by Stalin as heresy, whoose equipment consisted of a hodge-podge of decent, terrible, and fantastic equipment, and with useless officers for the most part. The trained men were largely captured or killed or neutralised by routs in June 1941 - irreplacable losses, like the Japanese at Midway. Despite that, Yeremenko, one of the few decent commanders left post-purges, managed to scrape together a defensive line at Smolensk. Yes, it was smashed - but by now, many troops lacked rifles, some even lacked shoes, let alone uniforms, their main anti-tank weapon once the battle of Smolensk proper began was the Molotov Cocktail, not their ZIS anti-tank guns or superb T-34s or even mediocre KV-1s, just bottles of petrol. Yeremenko later established another line at Bryansk and Vyazma, but this too was smashed. Again, this is veteran Germans against untrained militias levied and hurled into combat, lacking equipment. The T-34 was superior to the Germans' best, the Panzerkampfwagen III - but not much else was. The Mosin-Nagant was on par - when issued. The PPSh wasn't in production, the PPD was rare, the Russians lacked mortars and had few artillery pieces after June. Their planes... well, you've played Il-2... But overall, a lack of strong commanders and training.

The Zhukov manages to slow down the Leningrad advance enough that Hitler switches plans, before being sent to Moscow where he brilliantly saved the day and began a highly successful counteroffensive - it was Stalin's mistake that lead to the disasterous winter battles.

I can't go on, because there's so much to say, but suffice to say a few more small points: the Red Army was grossly inferior in almost every respect to the German Army, but it had fine commanders, such as Yeremenko, Zhukov and Chuikov that could pull victory from disaster. Stalingrad, for example. Perhaps you don't realise, but the 6th Field Army of 600,000 men faced just a few broken Russian divisions that had been fighting nonstop since spring 1941. Overall, Chuikov, with less than 20,000 men for most of the battle, held off the entire 6th Army - the 6th Army didn't even have to guard its own flanks. Chuikov pioneered new tactics and got the best from his men. But no, I'm sure it was the uber T-34s (with untrained crews) and overwhelming numbers (600k Germans against 20k Russians) that won the battle. How about this: you go actually read some books on the Eastern front, instead of watching Enemy At The Gate; I recommend Antony Beevor's books, foremost. The Russians had inferior numbers of artillery until 1943, inferior training and experience, the stigma of horrendous 1941, inferior numbers of tanks in most cases even, and were hampered by transport and STAVKA problems.

But let's say that the Russians don't count. We've still got William Slim, who pioneered tactics that defeated the Japanese in Burma, for one, compared to bloody-handed Patton who's sole tactic was aggression.

I guess great arguments for or against something start with actual knowledge of the subject, huh? </div></BLOCKQUOTE> Your history does not go back far enough. The paranoid alchohalic, Stalin 'purged', by simply shooting a good majority of his officers in the 1930's- they were out to get him. The half wit that he was signs a non aggression pact with another lunatic. Than ignores all the intel. pointing to the German invasion. Focusing I'm sure on the real enemy his corp of officers. When war came the great Russian leadership folded like a cheap tent all theway back to Moscow. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


One only had to read "Mein Kamph" to have all
the intel needed. Hitler's main objective was
not France or Britian at all. They were
a major diversion he did not want.
The total destruction of all things Communist
and the siesure of lands to the east for "lebiensraum"
was the objective. Stalin seemed to figure
that Hitler was just another desopt like himself.
O'l uncle Joe blew it on that one big time!

Sergio

Vipez-
09-30-2006, 10:43 AM
Originally posted by BiscuitKnight:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Frequent_Flyer: It is without question that Patton was the best allied commander.



Perhaps you don't realise, but the 6th Field Army of 600,000 men faced just a few broken Russian divisions that had been fighting nonstop since spring 1941. Overall, Chuikov, with less than 20,000 men for most of the battle, held off the entire 6th Army - the 6th Army didn't even have to guard its own flanks.


Only 20,000 soviet soldiers in the front during battle of stalingrad? Sounds bizarre, considering for example soviets lost over 10,000 men (an entire division) during small part of battle, when fighting Germans around Mamayev Kurgan in one day.. Probably one of the bloodiest battles of the war.. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif

panther3485
09-30-2006, 11:04 AM
Originally posted by F6_Ace:
"Thanks for the correction; I'd not read up on this part of history but I had seen the photos and movies of some of the British landings and it looked a bit like strolling off the boats for a picnic."

Yes, I've seen the same photos and movies. What tends to happen is that we get fed the same limited amount of pictures and footage again and again. Over time, this builds up
an impression and often it's the wrong one.

In-depth study shows that conditions varied a lot from sector to sector of each of the main beaches. Detailed accounts from each sector are available.



Originally posted by F6_Ace:
"What about the intelligence reports, though?"


Originally posted by F6_Ace:
"I read once (The Code Book, Simon Singh) that British intelligence had incredibly accurate information about defence concentrations prior to the landings especially as the german wired communications had been disrupted and because they were relying on radio (which could be intercepted and the codes broken).
How did that fit in with the landings in general...."

There were specific points about the German coastal defences that were less than perfectly appriased by Allied Intelligence (Pointe Du Hoc being one example) and the results achieved by
code-breaking, though very good, were not as complete or reliable as some accounts may have suggested. Perhaps one illustration of that comes from 'Overlord - D-Day and the Battle for Normandy 1944', by Max Hastings:

"In the years since the revelation of the Allies' breaking of the German ciphers in the Second World War, it has sometimes been assumed that Ultra provided the Allies with absolute knowledge of enemy deployments and capabilities. This is a travesty of the truth. Ultra was of immense value, but its reliability and comprehensiveness varied greatly from day to day according to luck, the extent to which German units were signalling by radio rather than by using land-lines, and the speed of the decrypters at Bletchley Park."

In other words, yes, there would certainly have been gaps in Allied intelligence concerning the German defences and these would have played a role is some of the difficulties experienced at certain points. However, this is but one of a complex interplay of factors, many of which have been mentioned on this thread.


Best regards, http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
panther3485

heywooood
09-30-2006, 11:17 AM
wow - how is this still not locked...and did someone call someone else a "d!ckwad"...?


incredible...pass the salt

panther3485
09-30-2006, 11:20 AM
Hi Gumtree,

Agree with many of your points but:


Originally posted by Gumtree:
"Goodwood has been raised as a costly failure, its also been claimed that Monty tried to breakout with this attack, this is wrong on both counts. Goodwood was launched as a reaction to the Germans sending armour to stiffen the American flank (2nd or panzer lehr I cant remember which off hand).

The attack was to draw the Germans back to Caen , the confusion comes from Monty giving missleading or missquoted information to his superiors that later was used by those that wished to undermine him."

I've heard that before but interestingly, some historians at least would appear to see it differently. The section on Goodwood in Max Hastings' book 'Overlord' is worth a look, if you haven't seen it! It describes Goodwood as a failure (and actually uses that word - deeper reading of the chapter explains this in terms of it being, at least, a much more limited success than had been hoped).

As for 'costly', I don't think that can be refuted.

jurinko
09-30-2006, 11:23 AM
Monty sucked.

He was pursuing Rommel from Alamein to Tunis twice as long as necessary - Patton should corner them against the coast.

He did not push his troops to get Caen in the first day, which was quite manageable.

He (and Eisenhower) did not manage to close the Falaise pocket.

He sent paratroopers to Arnhem even the recon showed SS Hohenstaufen tanks in the target area. Btw, poor logistics (did I mention Antwerp harbor?) and missing air support would deny the attack through Holland to Berlin, Germans were not likely to give up because of that.

Plunder was very costly though succesfull, look what did Patton with negligible cost - crossed the Rhine..

He was not decisdive when it was right time to do so, and was attacking when it was unwise. His tactics was to get >5:1 superiority and go as steamroller, or to plan crazy Market Garden which was nonsense from the beginning.

Aaron_GT
09-30-2006, 11:29 AM
Ike knew the war was almost over, and wanted to end the war on good terms with Stalin,


Eisenhower's reasoning was that Berlin had no great military value and wasn't worth the lives of Allied soliders, especially since the political deal giving control of Eastern Germany had already been done. Eisenhower was not one to worry about being on good terms with Stalin (this was the job of FDR), especially given his attitude to the USSR when he was president (although his crossover with Stalin was brief).

Aaron_GT
09-30-2006, 11:33 AM
D'Este generally agrees with the account that Monty chose Cean as bait and the hinge of a well thought out trap, and credits him with adaptation, improvisation, clear thinking and decesive action in the highly fluid situation in Normandy, somthing most other military histories seem to point the opposite to, naming him a 'set piece general'.

Monty was well and truly hoist by his own petard here, as he liked to give the impression (as you note) that he planned carefully, when often he improvised.

Aaron_GT
09-30-2006, 11:39 AM
Your history does not go back far enough. The paranoid alchohalic, Stalin 'purged', by simply shooting a good majority of his officers in the 1930's-

Spot on.


they were out to get him. The half wit

Here you are off base. Whilst he made terrible mistakes due to his extreme paranoia, Stalin was certainly no fool and sadly he was the best prepared of the major Allied leaders at summits and conferences, keeping in his head information about troop dispositions. FDR and Churchill looked like dilletantes because of this (with the ultimate in this being the infamous 'spheres of influence' division on the back of a napkin).


that he was signs a non aggression pact with another lunatic.

I think Stalin realised in 1939 that he was in no position to defend against a German attack due to the purges (although he felt they were necessary he was still aware that new officers needed to be trained) and equipment. Grabbing a buffer zone in Poland made sense. The real blunder was in assuming that the attack had not come in June 1941 when it was in progress. He was probably expecting it to arrive in 1942.


Than ignores all the intel. pointing to the German invasion.

Yes, a function of his bizzare paranoia. He was at turns very adept and utterly paranoid. A very odd combination.


Focusing I'm sure on the real enemy his corp of officers. When war came the great Russian leadership folded like a cheap tent all theway back to Moscow.

Aaron_GT
09-30-2006, 11:42 AM
In other words, yes, there would certainly have been gaps in Allied intelligence concerning the German defences and these would have played a role is some of the difficulties experienced at certain points.


Also there was a lot of relatively low-grade intelligence that could add up to something important if collated and added together, but that took a lot of time. Even now the processes for doing this, even with modern computers and process engineering, are hardly foolproof.

panther3485
09-30-2006, 12:04 PM
Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
"I think Stalin realised in 1939 that he was in no position to defend against a German attack due to the purges (although he felt they were necessary he was still aware that new officers needed to be trained) and equipment. Grabbing a buffer zone in Poland made sense. The real blunder was in assuming that the attack had not come in June 1941 when it was in progress."

That was the 'finishing half' of his real blunder (or miscalculation). And you've got the 'starting half' below:


Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
"Yes, a function of his bizzare paranoia. He was at turns very adept and utterly paranoid. A very odd combination."

Indeed. When offered friendly warnings by the British on more than one occasion, about German intentions and the buildup of their forces, Stalin firmly rebuffed the British overtures. He was deeply suspicious of British intentions, believing that the whole thing was a giant ruse to embroil him in conflict with the Germans.

Even more amazing was the reply Stalin got from Hitler when he made tentative enquiries about this, and the fact that he allowed himself to be satisfied with Hitler's answer. When he asked about the reason for the large increase in forces not far from the border regions, Hitler replied - with breathtaking audacity - that he had moved his forces there so that they could escape the effects of British bombing! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

Frequent_Flyer
09-30-2006, 12:39 PM
Originally posted by jurinko:
Monty sucked.

He was pursuing Rommel from Alamein to Tunis twice as long as necessary - Patton should corner them against the coast.

He did not push his troops to get Caen in the first day, which was quite manageable.

He (and Eisenhower) did not manage to close the Falaise pocket.

He sent paratroopers to Arnhem even the recon showed SS Hohenstaufen tanks in the target area. Btw, poor logistics (did I mention Antwerp harbor?) and missing air support would deny the attack through Holland to Berlin, Germans were not likely to give up because of that.

Plunder was very costly though succesfull, look what did Patton with negligible cost - crossed the Rhine..

He was not decisdive when it was right time to do so, and was attacking when it was unwise. His tactics was to get >5:1 superiority and go as steamroller, or to plan crazy Market Garden which was nonsense from the beginning. To sum up your excellent points very succinctly. Monty's way of prosecuting a war was obsolete and had'nt changed much since the American Revolution.

Frequent_Flyer
09-30-2006, 12:49 PM
Originally posted by panther3485:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
"I think Stalin realised in 1939 that he was in no position to defend against a German attack due to the purges (although he felt they were necessary he was still aware that new officers needed to be trained) and equipment. Grabbing a buffer zone in Poland made sense. The real blunder was in assuming that the attack had not come in June 1941 when it was in progress."

That was the 'finishing half' of his real blunder (or miscalculation). And you've got the 'starting half' below:


Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
"Yes, a function of his bizzare paranoia. He was at turns very adept and utterly paranoid. A very odd combination."

Indeed. When offered friendly warnings by the British on more than one occasion, about German intentions and the buildup of their forces, Stalin firmly rebuffed the British overtures. He was deeply suspicious of British intentions, believing that the whole thing was a giant ruse to embroil him in conflict with the Germans.

Even more amazing was the reply Stalin got from Hitler when he made tentative enquiries about this, and the fact that he allowed himself to be satisfied with Hitler's answer. When he asked about the reason for the large increase in forces not far from the border regions, Hitler replied - with breathtaking audacity - that he had moved his forces there so that they could escape the effects of British bombing! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE> If you study both Hitler and Stalin they both had many manifestations of mental illness. They both chose to 'self medicate' one used drugs the other alcohol.Not a productive combination for important decesions. Boths made horrendous decesions they were never qualified to make. Regarding, strategy ,equipment production and design, allocation of resources and in many instances their command struture. Its proven through out history Dictatorship equals a miserable population.

p1ngu666
09-30-2006, 12:59 PM
FF, do u have ANY idea of the situation the russian army was in prewar? it was in no way capable of fighting well against the germans, and stalin knew that.

stalin was not a lunatic, he knew what he was doing... he was wrong to imprison, kill etc so many, but he also pulled russia forward greatly.

yes, some of the supply lines where short, thats because they went from factory in the city, to the frontline, which was around, or in the city http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

its hard to comprehend the russian front, totaly under apriciated....

and, i dont think monty was that bad, the opposite of rommel, who really gambled and pushed his forces to the limit and beyond...

Frequent_Flyer
09-30-2006, 01:13 PM
Originally posted by Vipez-:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by BiscuitKnight:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Frequent_Flyer: It is without question that Patton was the best allied commander.



Perhaps you don't realise, but the 6th Field Army of 600,000 men faced just a few broken Russian divisions that had been fighting nonstop since spring 1941. Overall, Chuikov, with less than 20,000 men for most of the battle, held off the entire 6th Army - the 6th Army didn't even have to guard its own flanks.


Only 20,000 soviet soldiers in the front during battle of stalingrad? Sounds bizarre, considering for example soviets lost over 10,000 men (an entire division) during small part of battle, when fighting Germans around Mamayev Kurgan in one day.. Probably one of the bloodiest battles of the war.. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE> History of warfare has taught us. The force fighting for and on his homeland is much more motovated. The Germans with the sick,very old and teenagers held off the largest tank army every assembled against a foe on the outskirts of Berlin. The Russians suffered monstrous losses. Where was the great stretagy and leadership from the Russians? They did it the way they always did 'feed the meat grinder', reenforce and move on.

How quick would have Patton been knocking at the door of the Reichstag with that armoured force? Combined with the USAAF. Faster than the Russians and much faster than Monty!!!

Frequent_Flyer
09-30-2006, 01:27 PM
Originally posted by p1ngu666:
FF, do u have ANY idea of the situation the russian army was in prewar? it was in no way capable of fighting well against the germans, and stalin knew that.

stalin was not a lunatic, he knew what he was doing... he was wrong to imprison, kill etc so many, but he also pulled russia forward greatly.

yes, some of the supply lines where short, thats because they went from factory in the city, to the frontline, which was around, or in the city http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

its hard to comprehend the russian front, totaly under apriciated....

and, i dont think monty was that bad, the opposite of rommel, who really gambled and pushed his forces to the limit and beyond... Yes, so did Stalin a significant amount of the German development of their modern weapon systems were tested and even developed on Russian soil to skirt the treaty it signed. This was the deal Stalin cut with Hitler, it also made intel gathering for the USSR easier.

Stalin was paranoid and delusional. Or just plain stupid. Lets monitor our untrustworty coconspiritors, than ignore all of the warnings and our own intel 'purge'our officer corp. Than agree to attack Poland simultaneously to aid the Germans into becomeing that much closer to Soviet soil. Its easy to see where all the great Soviet leadership came from-the top.

Ruy Horta
09-30-2006, 01:45 PM
Nothing wrong with Monty!!

He's just a little overrated, that's all...

Ruy Horta
09-30-2006, 01:48 PM
Originally posted by Frequent_Flyer:
How quick would have Patton been knocking at the door of the Reichstag with that armoured force? Combined with the USAAF. Faster than the Russians and much faster than Monty!!!

We'll never know, since Patton didn't...

Second, Patton rarely faced the face fanaticism and strength as the Russians did in general.

Patton, like Monty is a little overrated as a general.

heywooood
09-30-2006, 01:58 PM
more popcorn please...hey some of these hotdogs dont need any mustard atall...its built right in.

Frequent_Flyer
09-30-2006, 02:47 PM
Originally posted by Ruy Horta:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Frequent_Flyer:
How quick would have Patton been knocking at the door of the Reichstag with that armoured force? Combined with the USAAF. Faster than the Russians and much faster than Monty!!!

We'll never know, since Patton didn't...

Second, Patton rarely faced the face fanaticism and strength as the Russians did in general.

Patton, like Monty is a little overrated as a general. </div></BLOCKQUOTE> Killing innocent women and children terrorizing the european jewish community, forced labor camps, concentration camps and general inhumane treatment of all the countries you invade tend to breed fanatical enemies. ya think.

triad773
09-30-2006, 02:50 PM
Originally posted by jurinko:
He (and Eisenhower) did not manage to close the Falaise pocket.



Yes- Patton made no secret of his desire to cut off the German line and bag the salient. I have to beleive that it was pure politics in order to bide time for the Russians to take Berlin. Anything else was stupidity and a waste of both time and resources.

Aaron_GT
09-30-2006, 03:34 PM
Yes, so did Stalin a significant amount of the German development of their modern weapon systems were tested and even developed on Russian soil to skirt the treaty it signed. This was the deal Stalin cut with Hitler,

Are you sure, FF, that you are not thinking of testing under the Weimar Republic under the Treaty of Rapallo (1922) and so on. AFAIK this coooperation ended in 1933, even though the treaties were still technically in effect.

Ruy Horta
09-30-2006, 03:40 PM
BOW TO MY MOUSTACHE!

http://img.timeinc.net/time/magazine/archive/covers/1941/1101411013_400.jpg

F6_Ace
09-30-2006, 05:10 PM
I've got a moustache like that - I only wear it, though, when flying a Mosquito, Beaufighter or Tempest (for a Spitfire, I wear that mask that Tie Fighter pilots have).

Just to make things really authentic, I utter a 'wizard show, old boy' or 'what a frightful prang old Bozzer had' now and again and occasionally pass my pipe to my missus as I pretend to close my virtual cockpit.

ImpStarDuece
09-30-2006, 05:24 PM
Originally posted by triad773:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by jurinko:
He (and Eisenhower) did not manage to close the Falaise pocket.



Yes- Patton made no secret of his desire to cut off the German line and bag the salient. I have to beleive that it was pure politics in order to bide time for the Russians to take Berlin. Anything else was stupidity and a waste of both time and resources. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It was Patton favouring "a strong shoulder at Argentan to a broken neck at Falaise" and ignoring orders from to carry out a larger encirclement in favour of a glory hunting cavalry charge towards Paris that failed to close the Falaise pocket. He dumped the Canadian 2nd army right in it, who were expecting to link up with the US Third and were forced to halt because of fierce opposition and no pressure on the Germans coming from the 3rd army to the south.

leitmotiv
09-30-2006, 06:23 PM
Hottest selling new sim YANKS VS BRITS! Enjoy the pleasure of taking out the RONALD REAGAN with a Hawk trainer! Down goes London with 500 Minutemen! British frigates wipe out the U.S. cruise ship industry---work-out babes driven to despair! American Strike Eagles blow up every lager brewery in Europe---morale of UK males collapses and mass surrenders in army! British Special Forces poison every chicken in the world---no more KFC---U.S. Army surrenders due to loss of its staple food!

Hoenire
09-30-2006, 06:24 PM
It's all very simple once you remember that history is written by the winners. When I say winners I do not necessarily mean just the 1945 conflict but the aftermath too.

US won the European and Pacific wars.

The Brits and Commonwealth stopped the war being lost before winning the war in Africa(note, I am a Brit myself) and to a large extent in the Med.

The Germans, Japan and their allies lost the war

The Soviet and most East European peoples also lost even though the USSR had an immeasurable impact on the war being won and a damn good claim for them actually winning the war in Europe.

Anyway, as the US won the war they can say their generals are the best and Monty was rubbish. Think of their claim as being akin to the movie Flyboys and U571.

As an aside, my father once took me for a walk in the SOuth Downs - I forget exactly where. We walked through some fields of crop and small villages. As we passed a very small church on the top of a hill we saw a long black marble grave marker laid down over the top of a grave. This was Monty's grave - there were no special markers or pointers to say it was there. This struck me as particulary British and particularly Monty-ish. Perhaps Monty would have been a better general if his PR had been better, and maybe more "Hollywood"?

panther3485
09-30-2006, 06:41 PM
Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Yes, so did Stalin a significant amount of the German development of their modern weapon systems were tested and even developed on Russian soil to skirt the treaty it signed. This was the deal Stalin cut with Hitler,

Are you sure, FF, that you are not thinking of testing under the Weimar Republic under the Treaty of Rapallo (1922) and so on. AFAIK this coooperation ended in 1933, even though the treaties were still technically in effect. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You beat me to it, Aaron! (I might not have been quite as gentle or diplomatic as you, however. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif )

Aaron_GT
10-01-2006, 01:26 AM
I should have noted that it was under the secret annexe of the Treaty of Rapallo and that in 1922 it was Lenin in charge, not Stalin, but the bulk of the testing was during Stalin's regime.

The background is that in 1922 the civil war in Russia was over, but the USSR was still totally isolated and entirely broke due to the bad deal it got at the end of the war. It had also been subject to attack from Poland and so an ally the other side of Poland helped the USSR enormously. Of course the USSR was trying to intervene in German politics via the communists as well. The 1918-33 period in German politics was one of huge amounts of political violence, whereas 1933-9 became one of state terror.

Gumtree
10-01-2006, 01:55 AM
Originally posted by panther3485:


I've heard that before but interestingly, some historians at least would appear to see it differently. The section on Goodwood in Max Hastings' book 'Overlord' is worth a look, if you haven't seen it! It describes Goodwood as a failure (and actually uses that word - deeper reading of the chapter explains this in terms of it being, at least, a much more limited success than had been hoped).

As for 'costly', I don't think that can be refuted.

Yeah , I had read the many different points of view about Goodwood and I agree that there are many strong arguments against what I have stated. After reading Monty's Memoirs and the biography by Moreshead I felt that it supported my claims but ofcourse it isnt fair to use a source to defend a point when the source was written by the man in question or by someone officially writting the mans biography.

Since then I have read Crusade in Europe (Ike),Operation Victory (DeGuigand),Struggle for Europe (Wlmont), Battle for Normandy ( Neillands), there are many others that I have also read including Decision in Normandy (D'Este) and assorted books on Patton.

From all of these I came to the conclusions that the majority of the books whether critical or supportive of Monty often changed the facts after the case.

To see what Monty's plans were you have to go back to the last Command meeting at St Pauls school in the UK and see what the written objectives are.

Once you look at these, then I highly recommend reading AlanBrookes Diary Turn of the Tide & Triumph in the west (Arthur Bryant) if you already haven't.

These last books are a fantastic insight into the workings of the Allied high command, the touch on many of the Monty controversies as Brooke had to clean up after Monty's errors of judgement in his comments often.

I have not read Caen-Anvil of victory or Hastings books but after the praise it has recieved earlier i think I will be off to the shop tommorow to get myself a copy, it seems like a good read on a subject that really interests me.
By the way does anyone know of a good book on Bradley as I am struggling to get a copy of his memoirs-A soldiers life?

leitmotiv
10-01-2006, 02:16 AM
Good show re Alanbrooke's diaries. CAEN: ANVIL is indispensible for British Army/Canadian Army Normandy. Is excellent for Goodwood. D'Este's Normandy book is very good, but he wrote an absolutely fawning, jingo bio of Patton (I'm American, by the way). Patton was having an affair with his niece throughout the war---promised to marry the hapless thing. His battleaxe wife got wind of this at end of war and forced him to dump her. The girl killed herself.

panther3485
10-01-2006, 02:17 AM
Originally posted by Gumtree:
"Yeah , I had read the many different points of view about Goodwood and I agree that there are many strong arguments against what I have stated. After reading Monty's Memoirs and the biography by Moreshead I felt that it supported my claims but ofcourse it isnt fair to use a source to defend a point when the source was written by the man in question or by someone officially writting the mans biography.

Since then I have read Crusade in Europe (Ike),Operation Victory (DeGuigand),Struggle for Europe (Wlmont), Battle for Normandy ( Neillands), there are many others that I have also read including Decision in Normandy (D'Este) and assorted books on Patton.

From all of these I came to the conclusions that the majority of the books whether critical or supportive of Monty often changed the facts after the case.

To see what Monty's plans were you have to go back to the last Command meeting at St Pauls school in the UK and see what the written objectives are.

Once you look at these, then I highly recommend reading AlanBrookes Diary Turn of the Tide & Triumph in the west (Arthur Bryant) if you already haven't.

These last books are a fantastic insight into the workings of the Allied high command, the touch on many of the Monty controversies as Brooke had to clean up after Monty's errors of judgement in his comments often.

I have not read Caen-Anvil of victory or Hastings books but after the praise it has recieved earlier i think I will be off to the shop tommorow to get myself a copy, it seems like a good read on a subject that really interests me."

Yes, interesting points and I haven't read all of the sources you mention. Will have to add a few more books to my 'must read' list, I think!

Different perspectives are always helpful.


Best regards, http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
panther3485

leitmotiv
10-01-2006, 02:24 AM
To get a firm grip on the horrendous difficulties faced by Allied tank men in their wretched Shermans, read the absolutely indispensible DEATHTRAPS by a tank officer who was there. Was Patton's fault the U.S. Army went into Normandy in Shermans instead of the far-superior Pershings---whole, sad story in book.

BiscuitKnight
10-01-2006, 02:38 AM
First up, IRT Vipez-:

20,000 at most at any given time: Zhukov and Yeremenko fed forces into Stalingrad piecemeal to hold of the 6th Army, so that they could horde everything else for Operation Uranus. Stalingrad, the city battle, was bloody for the Germans, not the Russians. It is a misconception that Stalingrad was held by superior numbers - enemy at the gates, while I enjoyed it and appauled an Eastern Front movie, finally, was as bad, or worse, historically than Pearl Harbour - they were heavily outnumbered, even when you don't account for them being fed in piecemeal by Yeremenko.

Throughout the battle for the city increasing amounts of the 6th Army were available to Paulus for just the city itself and no need to protect his own flanks which would be covered by allied forces, which made Operation Uranus possible and successful. Throughout the entire battle the 6th had overwhelming superiority over the 62nd Army (the Russian Army in Stalingrad under Chuikov's command) and failed to take the city. The 62nd Army was composed of ragtag units pushed back from the West Bank of the Don throughout Operation Blau and I believe one division that was formerly of Chuikov's 64th Army. These divisions were riddiculously understrength. Chuikov was provided with several new divisions during the battle, however he had to ferry them across first. His command was insignifigant compared to the size of Paulus' but was never beaten. It was superior tactics that lead to the victory. It says a lot about Chuikov's ability that he had only been in command since early 1942 and yet by the time Stalingrad was being attacked, Yeremenko and Zhukov trusted him enough to give him the lynchpin of their strategy.

The argument that Russians "human-waved" is a fallacy. Again, I highly recommend Antony Beevor's Stalingrad and Berlin: the downfall 1945. Berlin begins by pointing out that the operation to capture Berlin was not typical of Russian battles, but a Stalin-bred travesty. The Battle of Berlin solidified the belief of the ignorant that the Russians won all their battles through superior numbers, but that's just not true. It's particularly telling that the generals present for the bombardment of the Seelowe Heights commented that Zhukov was not himself and throughout the battle his only orders were to press the attack harder. Alone, the phrasing of the quotes suggest this was unusual. You see Stalin deliberately assembled more men for the attack on Berlin than Hitler mustered for his invasion of the Soviet Union for that "achievement" in and of itself. Zhukov and his subordinates knew it would inevitably lead to unnecessary casualties, but what were they going to do? Tell Stalin he was wrong, right when it was obvious he no longer needed brilliant generals? The immense bombardment of the Seelowe Heights was ineffective because the commander pulled his men back, then moved them back in when the bombardment subsided - usually Zhukov would know the enemy general would do this and would have done something different. But the Boss called for an overwhelming awe-inspiring assault without any military logic in it. When his men began to stall on the heights, Zhukov wanted to launch another sharp bombardment, then push on, but knew Stalin would have his head on a platter if he said "I want to stop the attack" even if it was followed by "to launch a bombardment that will shorten the battle". Zhukov just ordered more men into the overcrowded space. He KNEW it was bad militarily, but had no choice. Stalin commanded most of the fall of Berlin, not Zhukov.

Look at the battles between Stalingrad and Kursk, and Kursk and Bagration. You'll all see that this myth of human wave isn't true. For one thing, Russian military equipment improved after the 1941 disasters, the quality weapons were increased in number and the poor ones were replaced: T-34s increased in numbers, the KV-1 was replaced by the IS-2, the PPD was replaced by greater numbers of the PPSh, the small artillery pieces were replaced with mortars, I-16s were replaced with Yaks (forgive the simplification, I know some of you will almost burst when reading that last bit http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif), et cetera.

The only human-wave assault I have read of in WWII by the Red Army was when a drunk commander ordered a company of officer cadets, without training or weapons, to drive a german Panzer III unit from a village. Obviously, it was slaughter. Other than that, nothing. Even Berlin was at least supported, even if it was deliberately overkill.

On other points:

- Stalin made the non-aggression pact with Hitler because he knew that Hitler was stronger. He got half of Poland when he was actually holding a weaker deck of cards, as it were. He once stated - and I wish I knew where I read it - that if Hitler didn't attack him first, he'd start a war in 1942. And that makes sense, when you consider the rising star of Zhukov showed the officer corps was recovering, the T-34 was entering production, the SVT-40 was replacing the Mosin-Nagant (they later switched to the less complex Mosin-Nagant because militiamen had no trouble maintaining or using it effectively, and it was easier to produce in large numbers, however for the intended 1942 army, the SVT-40 was an improvement), the modern designs were beyond prototype stage, et cetera. Without the disastrous losses in 1941, by mid 1942 the Red Army would have been decently equipped for war.

His choice of not fully demobilising or fully mobilising the Red Army caused the 1941 disaster on the first day, and later his other strategy of not retreating lost the battles at Smolensk and Kiev, to name a few. Stalin was in denial that Hitler would attack him, and wouldn't mobilise because he feared provoking Hitler, but wouldn't demobilise and move his troops from the border because he didn't want to lose territory and saw it as having his foot in the door, not recognising the danger.

- Eisenhower regarded Berlin of no military value, and Stalin had gotten FDR to order a link up with the Red Army to prevent a redoubt in the mountains. In the event, this was because Stalin didn't trust the Western Allies not to cross him and take Berlin, and never intended to link up with Eisenhower.

- Frequent Flyer, again, you present poor arguments. "The Germans with the sick,very old and teenagers held off the largest tank army every assembled against a foe on the outskirts of Berlin." Not true. The force on the Seelowe Heights, consisting of the only real remains of the Wehrmacht combined with Volksturm, held of a politically crippled attack on an already prepared high-ground defensive system. Once the Seelowe Heights were taken, the advance was fairly constant. "Where was the great stretagy and leadership from the Russians?" I assume you mean "strategy"? Well, it was hiding from Stalin's wrath, that's where. Rodinsky, for one, was already in Stalin's bad books, for being a Ukrainian.

"They did it the way they always did 'feed the meat grinder', reenforce and move on." hmm, sounds like the attack on Stalingrad by Paulus. Or the American attacks throughough the war. Doesn't sound like the Russian defenses of Smolensk, Stalingrad or Kursk, nor the offensives of Uranus and Little Saturn, or Ring, or Bagration. Hmm. I smell prejudice and ignorance.

"How quick would have Patton been knocking at the door of the Reichstag with that armoured force?" Quicker than Zhukov, but then, Patton never had to deal with Stalin, did he? I get the feeling that if we reversed Patton and Zhukov, and removed Stalin from the equation, the result of the Battle of Berlin would be the same: thousands of unnecessary casualties caused by callous orders.

"Combined with the USAAF." Yes. Let's turn Berlin into Dresden. Nice move, killing all those millions of refugees.

"Faster than the Russians" we've covered this: the Germans were tenaciously fighting the Russians, but would have been more ready to surrender to the Western Allies, moreover, there's the fact that the Russians had Stalin riding shotgun on them.

"and much faster than Monty!!!" based on what evidence? Patton's usual overly aggressive wasteful "strategy"?

Ruy Horta
10-01-2006, 03:14 AM
BK,

Perhaps many of the human wave stories have evolved around desperate attempts to break out of pockets, especially in 1941.

There seem to be plenty of quotes from the German side which affirm the human wave, yet most of them seem to be break out attempts early in the war.

But most of my reading seems to support what you've written above.

fighter_966
10-01-2006, 07:28 AM
Russians used human wawe tactics in Winter war
in Finland.. They didnt continue that in Continuation war

rcocean
10-01-2006, 10:31 AM
Originally posted by Ruy Horta:
BK,

Perhaps many of the human wave stories have evolved around desperate attempts to break out of pockets, especially in 1941.

There seem to be plenty of quotes from the German side which affirm the human wave, yet most of them seem to be break out attempts early in the war.

But most of my reading seems to support what you've written above.

I've read that men in "Punishment" battalions were used in "human wave" attacks throughout the war. The were also used to "clear" minefields on occassion.

Also, it should be noted that - compared to the USA/UK - the Regular Red Army units were somewhat indifferent to losses and suffered from poor communications. Units would attack and keep attacking until a higher up finally changed his mind.

BiscuitKnight
10-01-2006, 10:38 AM
Originally posted by Ruy Horta:
BK,

Perhaps many of the human wave stories have evolved around desperate attempts to break out of pockets, especially in 1941.

There seem to be plenty of quotes from the German side which affirm the human wave, yet most of them seem to be break out attempts early in the war.

But most of my reading seems to support what you've written above.

I guess that's true - I have read of the Russians even linking arms before charging in human waves attempting to escape encirclements. They soldiers would rout, then as they were running from the enemy they'd run into units that were blocking their escape. No weapons, enemies all sides - quite a way to go, linking arms and charging in a hopeless fashion across open ground to the enemy.

You're probably right that these sorts of events, coupled with Western prejudice - especially German - led to these stories growing. In the Russian Civil War and the war with Poland, the Russians did fight and win battles with human waves - Vassily Chuikov even mentions it in one of his books in the 1960s - but that was because the Red Army largely lacked any equipment - no artillery, tanks, planes, or rifles and uniforms, thus the only option open was human wave. So there's a reason for the myth, as you say, but certainly the Russians did not use human wave as their main strategy in WWII, or even infrequently - the only records of it I find are encircled men (in 1941 and even in early 1942) and therefore men who aren't following their commanders (or if they are, it's men as desperate as them with no view of what's going on) and the other recorded event is from a drunk commander who was subsequently court-martialled I believe (could be wrong: it wasn't over the mens' lives, but rather misuses of military resources if I'm thinking of the right event) and that was in the Don battles of 1942.

IRT fighter_996

Hmm, my knowledge of the Winter War is rather more limited than my knowledge of the actual June 22nd 1941 - 1945 conflict. Was this ordered from above (if so it'd be the legacy of the Red Army) or was it desperate men like Ruy Horta mentions who're not really being commanded?

Thhat would add to the stories that it was the Russian's method of winning battles in WWII, however, Frequent Flyer would still be wrong to say it was the Russian's strategy in WWII (you said they didn't repeat that in the continuation war, which further supports Ruy Horta's suggestion) and thus the Russian WWII commanders were poor. Also, many of the better Russian commanders appeared in 1942, after the collapses in 1941 had ceased and the generals actually had units to command and a chance to show their brilliance: even the best commander won't shine if his men ignore orders, if he is given contradictory orders from above or most of the other circumstances in 1941. By 1942 this was different.

triad773
10-01-2006, 10:46 AM
Originally posted by ImpStarDuece:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by triad773:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by jurinko:
He (and Eisenhower) did not manage to close the Falaise pocket.



Yes- Patton made no secret of his desire to cut off the German line and bag the salient. I have to beleive that it was pure politics in order to bide time for the Russians to take Berlin. Anything else was stupidity and a waste of both time and resources. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It was Patton favouring "a strong shoulder at Argentan to a broken neck at Falaise" and ignoring orders from to carry out a larger encirclement in favour of a glory hunting cavalry charge towards Paris that failed to close the Falaise pocket. He dumped the Canadian 2nd army right in it, who were expecting to link up with the US Third and were forced to halt because of fierce opposition and no pressure on the Germans coming from the 3rd army to the south. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Impstar- you just reminded me that I had mis-remembered. Was thinking Hoffalize(Battle of the Buldge) instead of Falaise. Thanks for catching that.

~S~

BiscuitKnight
10-01-2006, 10:54 AM
Originally posted by rcocean:
I've read that men in "Punishment" battalions were used in "human wave" attacks throughout the war. The were also used to "clear" minefields on occassion.

Shtraf companies were formed of men from gulags, who had committed political crimes (including retreat) or some were just prisoners for real prisons. They often lacked equipment, and yes, they were used to clear minefields, but this wasn't (normally) having them walk over mines, it was clearing them by probing for them and digging them out - under fire. Shtraf were basically seen as expendable infantry not worth the cost of keeping them, but they aren't really human wave, they were used for suicidal tasks like clearing minefields (after which they were eligible for being placed in regular units, though this rarely happened as the time taken to do so was usually longer than their lifespan) but they weren't used as human waves for several reasons:

- there were insufficient numbers of Shtraf to constitute overwhelming superiority of numbers and thus use in human wave.

- they often had some equipment, too valuable to be lost in pointless attacks.

- they were more useful when supported by other units (and therefore not human wave) for missions like clearing obstacles or retriving equipment. Wasting them in human wave attacks meant you had to wait until a new Shtraf company was sent to you for this "niche".

Shtraf were used for tasks that would cause hopelessly high casualties, but were necessary. I'm sure many US and British generals would have liked to have expendable units they could use to clear minefields, etc, and not have to waste more valuable units doing so (naturally they wouldn't want to live with the guilt, though, due to the different belief of the value of human life). Shtraf were also only a small percentage of troops even in 1942 when they were most prevalent. They were used for difficult tasks, not human wave: even charging an enemy emplacement isn't human wave if it's supported by other forces, it's just a frontal assault, moveover their uses were more as combat engineers.


Also, it should be noted that - compared to the USA/UK - the Regular Red Army units were somewhat indifferent to losses and suffered from poor communications. Units would attack and keep attacking until a higher up finally changed his mind.

Somewhat true: the Russians have/had a different view on the value of human life, than the West. I'm sure you'll find many other cultures (China, Japan) that have/had this belief. That still doesn't mean human wave was their strategy, or that they lacked adequate strategies. By 1944 they were emulating Blitzkrieg and had even improved on it in some ways. Chuikov was using superior tactics in 1942 to hold his positions, Zhukov and Yeremenko used Blitzkrieg style double pincers penetrating the enemy flanks and linking up to encircle the enemy in 1942 and had planned an even large one to cut off almost all of Army Group B. Kursk was held by defense in depth, not by human waves, etc.

Aaron_GT
10-01-2006, 10:55 AM
A little off topic, but semi-relevant...

As part of a large wargame (about 120 participants held at the Camberly Staff College). I played as one as the staff officers in the command of a Soviet Army as part of one of the Ukranian Fronts in the attack on Kirovograd. As part of the information pack a few weeks before the game we received material on the Marxist-Lenninist principles of war, reproduced from Soviet sources. It was interesting as human waves were not noted, but the need to always be agressive when possible but also flexible in attack and defence was noted. Being independent-thinking was also emphasised, although the fact that the Soviet army also had political commisars somewhat cut across that in practice.

[In terms of games mechanics you had to pass an interview to be allowed to become a Party member, but being one meant that if you screwed up you had a chance of some leniency in the first offence. A friend was unfortunately leading one of the adjacent armies that took the full force of a German counterattack, was pushed out of boundaries, was bombed and shelled by both Germans and Russians, and whose Army was broken. He had to leave the game after he was 'liquidated'. His character was not a Party member.

In the end the Soviet forces won, but it was a close run thing with regards to information flow and logistics. Our Army reached the last objective only through unauthorised borrowing of fuel from an adjacent Army.

Similar games run often revealed the same core issues - flow of information and logistics, and friendly fire happened in just about every game due to units being in unexpected locations and out of communication contact from headquarters.]

zugfuhrer
10-01-2006, 11:24 AM
Bernard Montgomery was according to my knowledge perhaps the most well known, overrated general on allied side.

He had many good sides like boosting morale in the forces of North Africa but he wasn€t a good tactical- operational- or strategic commander.
His upperlip was always stiff.

He got the luck to lead the allied forces during the first battle when the Commonwealth forces beat the Germans for the first time El Alamein, although he got the command by accident.

The allied superiority in numbers of divisions, tanks guns aircrafts where overwhelming, no one could loose that battle.

Monty planned operation Goodwood a total massacre of Sherman€s and Churchill tanks, he planned operation Market Garden a total vaist of life and material.
It was lucky that Monty didn€t have to take command in battle as commander of the British army in Germany.

leitmotiv
10-01-2006, 02:48 PM
Camberly? Very impressive, Aaron_GT!

From reading David Glantz' enormous output on Soviet operational technique from the Winter War to Manchuria 1945, the dominating fact was the huge lack of trained officers after the 1930's-1941 purges which gutted the Soviet officer corps from company level to front level. There were not enough officers with the requisite skill in 1941. Also, the Red Army was right in the middle of replacing its obsolute 1930's equipment with state-of-the-art tanks, airplanes, and guns. The perceived weakness of the Red Army was a central reason Hitler struck as soon as he was able. When you do not have officers, you have to use primitive tactics. Wave attacks, frontal assaults, and not being able to combine arms are symptoms. The rebirth of the Red Army was purely Darwinian---success, innovation, and skill got you promoted. Failure got you shot or sent to a penal battalion. By midsummer 1943, the Soviet Army was operating with skill. In 1941, what the Red Army had to overcome was Stalin, mediocre commanders, poor equipment, and superior German operational technique.

leitmotiv
10-01-2006, 02:56 PM
Interestingly, one of the primary reasons the German General Staff had for provoking war with Imperial Russia in 1914 was that the Russian Army was right in the middle of a huge moderization program which was supposed to complete in 1917. They argued 1914 was their last chance to go to war with a poorly-equipped, lumbering opponent who would be heavily out-gunned by superb German artillery. See EASTERN FRONT 1914-1918 by Norman Stone---20 yeats old, but all we have on this fascinating subject.

leitmotiv
10-01-2006, 03:04 PM
P.S. I studied current Soviet operational technique in the '80's with an ex-tanker friend. What was astonishing was that the very latest Soviet operational art in the '80's, for an attack on Western Europe, mandated the classical WWII Soviet technique of using waves of mechanized regiments to erode the Western defenses through sheer attrition---assuming they did not resort to the expected use of massed barrages of tactical nukes, biological, and chemical weapons. The same problem existed in the '80's as in early WWII---mediocre leadership. The Soviet system failed conspicuously to create excellent military forces throughout its history---except under the pressure of war.

WOLFMondo
10-01-2006, 03:15 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Hottest selling new sim YANKS VS BRITS! Enjoy the pleasure of taking out the RONALD REAGAN with a Hawk trainer! Down goes London with 500 Minutemen! British frigates wipe out the U.S. cruise ship industry---work-out babes driven to despair! American Strike Eagles blow up every lager brewery in Europe---morale of UK males collapses and mass surrenders in army! British Special Forces poison every chicken in the world---no more KFC---U.S. Army surrenders due to loss of its staple food!

I'd buy that game in an instant!

leitmotiv
10-01-2006, 03:20 PM
Hell, I think it's the best idea I ever had! The heck with LUFT 46---let's have YANKS VS BRITS 46!

LStarosta
10-01-2006, 03:47 PM
Monty FTL

rcocean
10-01-2006, 04:53 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
To get a firm grip on the horrendous difficulties faced by Allied tank men in their wretched Shermans, read the absolutely indispensible DEATHTRAPS by a tank officer who was there. Was Patton's fault the U.S. Army went into Normandy in Shermans instead of the far-superior Pershings---whole, sad story in book.


I think your comment on Patton is mistaken. Patton was not in charge of Tank Development; he was too busy fighting the war.
After Sicily and the slapping incident he was in the doghouse, Ike wanted to fire him and send him home in the Spring of '44 for talking out of turn. And Bradley was his boss from January '44 onwards.

The Pershing was stopped by McNair, who thought TD should fight tanks, and Ike, who prior to Normandy didn't think a larger tank was needed.

Patton had nothing to do with it. During the war he defended the Sherman, because thats what he had to do, to keep up morale.

Monty_Thrud
10-01-2006, 05:32 PM
This forum is becoming far to predictable... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/compsmash.gif

Sergio_101
10-01-2006, 05:37 PM
If you had offered Patton 20,000 Pershings
instead of Shermans I doubt he would have
hesitated to take the Pershings.
But all there was for the invasion was Shermans.

Shermans were not as bad as you guys think.
It was an excellent weapon.
No it was not a Tiger or a Panther..

Sergio

leitmotiv
10-02-2006, 12:09 AM
Don't rely on intuition---read the book, rcocean---intuition is worthless. Patton was asked, as the Army's expert on tank warfare, to chose between the M4 and the M26. He, for reasons which remain obscure, decided on the M4, and the Army accepted his advice. Patton was sidelined from the end of the Sicilian campaign in the summer of 1943 until Cobra---nearly one year. He had loads of time on his hands. Read DEATH TRAPS, Sergio, by a WWII U.S. tank officer who was intimately concerned with the Sherman. It was a positively awful tank: too high, too narrow (tendency to fall over), tracks too narrow (bogged ridiculously easily), gun terrible, and armor appalling. The Tiger I or II or the Panther could kill it outside of its effectiveness range. It was not even adequately armored against the Pz IV's 75.

Jester_159th
10-02-2006, 01:17 AM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
He, for reasons which remain obscure, decided on the M4, and the Army accepted his advice.

The reasons weren't obscure at all, and as much as I dislike the guy, I have to say according to my knowledge, Patton had very little to do with the decision.

The reason for going with the M4 was simple mathematics and logistics. If the entire US tank production line had had to re-tool to produce the M26, the number of available tanks on D-Day (and for the remainder of the European campaign) would have been nowhere near as high as it was.

As cold blooded as it sounds, the Allies could afford to lose 5-6 Shermans for every Tiger or Panther. The M4 was battle-proven and it's faults well known. The Pershing would have been an untried model, and as the Germans found with the early Panthers at Kursk; committing an untried nodel to a major (and potentially decisive) battle is not a good idea.

BiscuitKnight
10-02-2006, 02:17 AM
IRT Monty Thrud:

I do see a pattern: one group says white, the other says black. There will probably be a division along the lines of nationality, but there will also be a division along the lines of ignorance...

White gives reasons for White, Black spouts ****.

It continues, with Black's claims getting increasingly riddiculous.

Some agree with White throughout the thread and serious discussion is seen, at the same time:

Random people enter the thread and support White or Black with baseless claims. Especially on the side of Black, people enter and ignore the previous seven pages of discussion and repeat the same ignorant drivel as on page 1 that was refuted on page 2-4.

Thread will be locked, with Black convinced of superiority and White exasperated at Black's refusal to face fact.

IRT Jester 159th

The thing is, a few Pershings beats the hell out of a lot of Shermans. The known faults of the Sherman outweighed the downsides of potential Pershing faults: Sherman faults were seemingless endless:

- High profile
- Thin armour
- Unreliable powerpack
- Weak gun
- High centre of gravity
- Narrow tracks leading to bogging
- Less than fabulous power-to-weight ratio

Even if the Pershings were terribly unreliable, they'd still have better armour, firepower, centre of gravity, track width, lower profile...

I'd rather one Pershing than five Shermans, and I'd rather have two Pershings that return than five Shermans of seven that don't.

Jester_159th
10-02-2006, 05:17 AM
Originally posted by BiscuitKnight:

Even if the Pershings were terribly unreliable, they'd still have better armour, firepower, centre of gravity, track width, lower profile...

I'd rather one Pershing than five Shermans, and I'd rather have two Pershings that return than five Shermans of seven that don't.

On the technical side I agree with you (and more importantly the rank and file of the allied armoured units would have agreed with you as well!). But the fact remains that changing the tank production line over to the Pershing would have either delayed (or even jepadised in a worst case scenario) the Normandy campaign. The Allied governments and military high command weren't prepared to risk this and so took the decision to stick with the Sherman. The speed of the liberation of Europe if the Pershing had been brought into service earlier is certainly a very interesting "what if" situation though.

However my main point was that blaming Patton alone for this decision is unfair to him. He had many faults (and in my personal opinion neither Patton - nor Mark Clark - should ever have been promoted beyond regimental command), but this decision isn't one of them.

leitmotiv
10-02-2006, 11:36 AM
Again---read the book. The old canard about the M26 being rejected due to the greater number of M4s which could be shipped is bunk. Intuition is a waste of time in discussions about history. The M26 would not have experienced the same level of "wastage" as the egregious M4, thus it would not have been needed in the same numbers.

rcocean
10-02-2006, 11:37 AM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Don't rely on intuition---read the book, rcocean---intuition is worthless. Patton was asked, as the Army's expert on tank warfare, to chose between the M4 and the M26. He, for reasons which remain obscure, decided on the M4, and the Army accepted his advice. Patton was sidelined from the end of the Sicilian campaign in the summer of 1943 until Cobra---nearly one year. He had loads of time on his hands. Read DEATH TRAPS, Sergio, by a WWII U.S. tank officer who was intimately concerned with the Sherman. It was a positively awful tank: too high, too narrow (tendency to fall over), tracks too narrow (bogged ridiculously easily), gun terrible, and armor appalling. The Tiger I or II or the Panther could kill it outside of its effectiveness range. It was not even adequately armored against the Pz IV's 75.

Let - I have read the books. If you can find it, read the US Army Official History of the Ordenance Department, (The Green Books). I believe the correct volume is " Procurement and Supply". It talks about the struggle to get the T26 produced and into combat. There is also an out of print book called "Pershing" which also details the history of the tank.

The Villian in the whole thing was McNair- head of the AGF - and to a lesser extent, Eisenhower, head of the ETO. Neither of them thought a "heavy" tank was needed.

McNair had the crazy idea that TD should fight the Tiger/Panther and the Sherman should just "exploit". Ike just didn't see any need for a heavy tank. Its only after Normandy, that the ETO changed their mind and screamed for the Pershing to sent ASAP.

The man who wrote "Deathtrap", simply didn't didn't know what he was talking about. The Pershing was being developed in the USA in 43 and it was the Ordenance department and the AGF, that were responsible for its development and production.

Patton was just a General. No doubt his advice was sought, as was Bradley's, Mark Clarks, Hodges and any number of other generals in the PTO. But it was not decisive.

To use an exteme example, do you think the B-29 was developed because Curtis LeMay said it was OK?

leitmotiv
10-02-2006, 11:46 AM
Read the book---your sources are ancient. DEATHTRAPS was written by the maintenance officer of 3rd Armored Div in Normandy.

Ruy Horta
10-02-2006, 12:01 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Interestingly, one of the primary reasons the German General Staff had for provoking war with Imperial Russia in 1914 was that the Russian Army was right in the middle of a huge moderization program which was supposed to complete in 1917. They argued 1914 was their last chance to go to war with a poorly-equipped, lumbering opponent who would be heavily out-gunned by superb German artillery. See EASTERN FRONT 1914-1918 by Norman Stone---20 yeats old, but all we have on this fascinating subject.

The thesis is correct, but I have to disagree with its introduction.

It is a little one sided to accuse Germany of provoking war with Russia and thus starting WW1.

The causes for WW1 are very complex, more so than WW2, and the blame is pretty much shared by the primary combatants of 1914.

Ruy Horta
10-02-2006, 12:10 PM
Although the Sherman wasn't a great tank, it needs to be offset against the main opposition in 1942. According to Carell the first Grants and Shermans were quite a shock when first encountered. The main german tank in NA was still the PzKpfw III and many of the PzKpfw IV still had the short infantry gun. Seen in this light the Sherman and Grant were superior to most and equal to the best that could be fielded by the DAK.

The Sherman may have been mediocre in 1944/45, but it wasn't in 1942.

Jester_159th
10-02-2006, 01:18 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Read the book---your sources are ancient. DEATHTRAPS was written by the maintenance officer of 3rd Armored Div in Normandy.

So you read one book, written by a man who would have seen the effects of the Sherman's short-comings on men he knew first hand, and take his word as gospel?

Think again. It's impossible for someone who had personal experience with facing problems such as the Sherman had (and losses it caused) to have an unbiased view.

Also you say the other poster's source is ancient? Well it's no more ancient than the memories the author of Deathtraps was working from. The only difference is his memories are coloured by personal experience and time.

In this case, don't read the book. Go look up the production figures and the projected downtime involved in re-tooling an entire industry and do the math. If you still think this wasn't a major cause in the decision to stick with the Sherman, you've done the math wrong.

Aaron_GT
10-02-2006, 01:39 PM
Camberly? Very impressive, Aaron_GT!

We were just using the facilities, I wasn't in the army or anything. I presume that one of the organisers had some connections and managed to blag the use of the college.

leitmotiv
10-02-2006, 01:42 PM
I assumed you were now Chief of Staff of the British Army! Cheers!

Aaron_GT
10-02-2006, 01:45 PM
I assumed you were now Chief of Staff of the British Army!


Thank God I am not. That's an impossible job at the moment.

Just an amateur...

Camberly was ideal for that sort of game, though, as has all the required facilities for such a game as it is one of things they do during training. It's probably all changed now, though, as this was about a dozen years ago.

leitmotiv
10-02-2006, 01:58 PM
Fascinating. I'd give anything to be able to participate in a U.S. War College supercomputer war game. On the other hand, a friend in the Army tells me everybody has learned to game the system so the results are worthless.

ploughman
10-02-2006, 02:58 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Fascinating. I'd give anything to be able to participate in a U.S. War College supercomputer war game. On the other hand, a friend in the Army tells me everybody has learned to game the system so the results are worthless.

I read a book when I was a kid by a war-gamer, it was about how to improve your SAT scores which sounds tedious but it was geekishly fascinating. I scored 1170 on my first SAT, which was 30 poiints short of a scholarship cut off, so I bought the book and scored 1300 the next time round. That war-gamer made me about $25,000.

leitmotiv
10-02-2006, 07:02 PM
I can believe it, Ploughman. I took the SAT in 1969 when it was still just a test of knowledge, not a game, and whizzed through. Later took the same company's master's exam in English Lit, and whizzed through. But, in 1982, I decided to take the LSAT for the hell of it, and I was slaughtered. A lawyer friend of mine had taken the LSAT company courses for a year just to learn how to take the test, not to improve his knowledge---what ridiculous bunk! I realized that was what you had to do because the test had become a test of your skills in taking the test! I was laughing my head off when Harvard and a couple other Ivy Leagues dropped the SAT and commenced using interviews to test students' knowledge because they thought the test had become an industry which had nothing to do with testing learning.

BiscuitKnight
10-02-2006, 09:33 PM
Originally posted by Ruy Horta:
Although the Sherman wasn't a great tank, it needs to be offset against the main opposition in 1942. According to Carell the first Grants and Shermans were quite a shock when first encountered. The main german tank in NA was still the PzKpfw III and many of the PzKpfw IV still had the short infantry gun. Seen in this light the Sherman and Grant were superior to most and equal to the best that could be fielded by the DAK.

The Sherman may have been mediocre in 1944/45, but it wasn't in 1942.

I agree with you to a degree, Ruy: the DAK certainly didn't like having the Grants and Shermans around after facing the British cruisers that had poor armour and armament, and even the infantry tanks, with heavier armour, carried only weak guns. The Grant carried 51mm armour compared to the Crusader's 26mm and later 32mm, combined with a 75mm sponson gun, certainly posed a greater threat than the Crusader.

However, the Sherman, with its 75mm gun and 50mm of armour, high silhouette, less than stellar reliability, when compared to other designs, seems pretty bad:

The Panzer III is considerably older, but had 70mm of armour. Its 50mm gun was a mistake, (instead of 37mm possible up to 50mm it should have been 50mm possible to 75mm), but the high velocity, long barrel 50mm I believe (I could be wrong) was as effective as the Sherman's 75mm. The Panzer III also had a lower silhouette, didn't catch fire as often and was more reliable.

The Panzer IV was as old as the III, but had 80mm of armour exceeds the Sherman's, lower profile, etc, etc.

The T-34 makes a mockery of it, albeit the T-34 was a truly fantastic and foresighted design. 70mm sloped armour, 76.2mm gun, phenominal reliability, lower silhouette.

So, yes, the Sherman was capable in 1942 against Germany's short barrelled IIIs and IVs, but not the longer barrelled versions, nor the Tigers and Panthers that were entering service in 1942.

leitmotiv
10-02-2006, 11:30 PM
The PzKpfw IVF with the long 75 was the Tiger of 1942---it was an absolute beast. When they appeared in driblets at the end of the Gazala campaign, that was finis to the good run of the Grant, and they had the measure of the Sherman from the start. Furthermore, they had the measure of the better protected T-34/76 from the start, too. Only the Firefly and the Isherman keep the Sherman from the Great Dogs of History list, but both of them suffered from its wretched armor.

Interestingly, the M10 crews came up with an innovative way to deal with the German Panther. I read this story in a friend's U.S. Army tanker magazine in the late '70's. They found their 3" gun was unable to penetrate the Panther's turret armor from the front with any of the AP rounds they carried, but they discovered that massed HE fire killed or disabled the Panther crews by spalling. So, whenever they confronted Panthers they targeted the turrets and massed their fire on them. Article was illustrated with photos of Panthers KOed by this diabolical means. Only one game I know realistically models HE kills and that is RED ORCHESTRA.

panther3485
10-03-2006, 12:09 AM
Originally posted by Ruy Horta:
Although the Sherman wasn't a great tank, it needs to be offset against the main opposition in 1942. According to Carell the first Grants and Shermans were quite a shock when first encountered. The main german tank in NA was still the PzKpfw III and many of the PzKpfw IV still had the short infantry gun. Seen in this light the Sherman and Grant were superior to most and equal to the best that could be fielded by the DAK.

The Sherman may have been mediocre in 1944/45, but it wasn't in 1942.

Substantially correct, Ruy.

During the year of its introduction to combat (1942), the Sherman was generally equal to or better than the best enemy tanks. The exceptions were:

(a) The PzKpfw IV Ausf F2 (later Ausf G etc) with the long-barreled 75mm gun. However, precious few of these were available in N. Africa at any time during 1942.
(b) The Tiger I, which was available in even smaller numbers and only from December 1942 (the very first vehicles didn't arrive in theatre until 23 November '42).

Trouble is, from then on the Sherman quickly began to fall behind in the gun/armour race (a race, I might add, that was mainly dictated by the pace of developments on the Eastern Front).


Best regards, http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
panther3485

BiscuitKnight
10-03-2006, 12:58 AM
Originally posted by panther3485:
...that was mainly dictated by the pace of developments on the Eastern Front.


Aye: the T-34 was far ahead of tank design in 1940, and yet it was technologically simple. Tank design from 1919 was pretty poor, the one man turret became popular, worthless concepts like the Tankette and Cruiser tank were seized on by many, the infantry tank proved less than stellar for reasons I won't go into, the multiple turret tank was another unsuccessful fad, and so forth. The Panzer III was an example of what tank design should have been, but only the T-34 really shines as the way to make a tank, because the Panzer III lacked sloped armour (a simple way to increase protection), had an underpowered armament (37mm gun: it should have had 50mm gun and provision for 75mm) and thin armour at first. The T-34's only drawback was the lack of a commander, rectified in the T-34/85. Because the T-34 had a good power-to-weight ratio, good gun and reliablitity, it drove the Germans to add armour and up gun their tanks. This forced the Panzer III out of service (to a degree) and prompted the Panther. The Russians led the way during WWII with armour, the T-34 drove the Germans to improve their Panzer IIIs and IVs, and aim to replace them with Panthers and Tigers, this in turn caused the T-34/85, but the Russians had the IS-2 which forced the Germans to look into improving the Tiger, resulting in the travesties of 1945 like the Jagdtiger.

So the T-34 is what a medium tank should have been, the Panzer IV is sort of behind it with sloped armour, though ahead with the commander. The Sherman is rather behind for a '42 design, though competitive, but by '44 it's hopelessly obsolete.

p1ngu666
10-03-2006, 01:36 AM
u play RO too? haveto hookup for some games http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

the self propelled tanks are my favourite actully, would love some more of them, and artillery too.

watched a docu on kursk, 20,000 pieces of artiliery there http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-surprised.gif

its also interesting how the panther was nearly twice as heavy as a t34, like a different class of tank...

panther3485
10-03-2006, 01:36 AM
Originally posted by BiscuitKnight:
"The Panzer III is considerably older, but had 70mm of armour."

The PzKpfw III began its career with only 15mm of frontal armour (Ausf A, B, C and D) but this was doubled to 30mm from Ausf E, the first in the series to go into extended production, with some numbers entering service just in time for the beginning of the war.

After the Polish and French campaigns, many had additional 'retro-fitted' applique plates of 30mm added (front and rear hull and drivers front plate, but no addition to the turret), boosting overall protection in these areas to 60mm; similar modifications being made to many Ausf F and G.

With the Ausf H, the additional hull armour was fitted as standard and this variant was in service by 1941.

With the Ausf J and L, the front & rear hull/superstructure armour was changed to a basic single thickness of 50mm (initially without any extra plates). Turret frontal armour remained at 30mm for Ausf J but was increased to 57mm for Ausf L. During 1942, additional spaced 20mm plates began to be fitted on some vehicles, to the turret front and driver's front plate only.

This final level of protection over the driver's front plate would be the 70mm you are referring to, I think, but the hull front still had only 50mm total and the turrets varied. Even then, it was far from being the case in late 1942, that all the PzKpfw III in N. Africa were Ausf J or L with this extra armour. There were substantial numbers of the older versions still in service at this time.

A few Ausf M and N made it to N. Africa but these had the same level of frontal protection as the up-armoured version of the Ausf L and most didn't get there until early 1943.



Originally posted by BiscuitKnight:
"Its 50mm gun was a mistake, (instead of 37mm possible up to 50mm it should have been 50mm possible to 75mm), but the high velocity, long barrel 50mm I believe (I could be wrong) was as effective as the Sherman's 75mm."

The PzKpfw III's turret ring could not accommodate a long-barreled 75mm gun, but could just manage the short-barreled support version (Ausf N). This was essentially the same weapon that had been fitted to the PzKpfw IV Ausf A-F, so by 1943 the PzKpfw III was beginning to take over that support function with the PzKfpw IV already increasingly becoming the main gun tank. (It could accomodate the long-barreled 75 on account of its larger turret ring). Role reversal!

The main 'error' with the 50mm guns was fitting them too late and fitting the shorter version initially (L/42), when the longer version (L/60) would have been better.



Originally posted by BiscuitKnight:
"The Panzer IV was as old as the III, but had 80mm of armour exceeds the Sherman's, lower profile, etc, etc."

The story of up-armouring on the PzKpfw IV follows a somewhat similar pattern to that of the PzKpfw III. The frontal armour on the first long-barreled 75mm armed version (Ausf F2) was 50mm, hull and turret. Subsequently, the Ausf G had extra 30mm plates added to the hull front (less than half of the production vehicles) but even fewer Ausf G than Ausf F2 made it to N. Africa. Later versions of PzKpfw IV with 80mm frontal single thickness armour on the hulls did not make it to N. Africa at all. All these variants retained 50mm turret fronts.




Originally posted by BiscuitKnight:
"....nor the Tigers and Panthers that were entering service in 1942."

The Tiger had only just entered service, and in small numbers, during the later part of 1942 and mostly on the Eastern Front. The Panther did not see its first action until July 1943 (Kursk).

Sources available if required.


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panther3485

panther3485
10-03-2006, 01:39 AM
Originally posted by BiscuitKnight:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by panther3485:
...that was mainly dictated by the pace of developments on the Eastern Front.


Aye: the T-34 was far ahead of tank design in 1940, and yet it was technologically simple. Tank design from 1919 was pretty poor, the one man turret became popular, worthless concepts like the Tankette and Cruiser tank were seized on by many, the infantry tank proved less than stellar for reasons I won't go into, the multiple turret tank was another unsuccessful fad, and so forth. The Panzer III was an example of what tank design should have been, but only the T-34 really shines as the way to make a tank, because the Panzer III lacked sloped armour (a simple way to increase protection), had an underpowered armament (37mm gun: it should have had 50mm gun and provision for 75mm) and thin armour at first. The T-34's only drawback was the lack of a commander, rectified in the T-34/85. Because the T-34 had a good power-to-weight ratio, good gun and reliablitity, it drove the Germans to add armour and up gun their tanks. This forced the Panzer III out of service (to a degree) and prompted the Panther. The Russians led the way during WWII with armour, the T-34 drove the Germans to improve their Panzer IIIs and IVs, and aim to replace them with Panthers and Tigers, this in turn caused the T-34/85, but the Russians had the IS-2 which forced the Germans to look into improving the Tiger, resulting in the travesties of 1945 like the Jagdtiger.

So the T-34 is what a medium tank should have been, the Panzer IV is sort of behind it with sloped armour, though ahead with the commander. The Sherman is rather behind for a '42 design, though competitive, but by '44 it's hopelessly obsolete. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Without quibbling over details, your summary is, overall, a reasonable one BK! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

panther3485
10-03-2006, 01:50 AM
Originally posted by p1ngu666:
"....its also interesting how the panther was nearly twice as heavy as a t34, like a different class of tank..."

About 70 percent more (compared to the early T-34) but yes, the Panther was almost the same weight as the IS-2 and a tad heavier than the M-26 Pershing! To the Germans, Panther was classified as a 'medium' but in terms of its weight at least, the Soviets and maybe the Americans too, would have classed it as 'heavy'.


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panther3485

BiscuitKnight
10-03-2006, 01:56 AM
Originally posted by panther3485:
Without quibbling over details, your summary is, overall, a reasonable one BK! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Aye, that's all I intended it to be, as at the moment I've mislaid my best sources for exact armour widths; Obviously you haven't. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I believe the point about the 37mm with provision to 50mm should have been 50mm provision to 75mm stands: I know they designed the Panzer III to accomodate AT 37mm and 50mm guns, and I appreciate why they made the decision, however when you consider that the Germans knew the 37mm was only barely adequate in most situations, and would quickly be obsolete, it makes sense to issue 50mm weapons. So with the 50mm as the standard issue, you plan for upgrades when necessary: I think the M1 Abrams were built with provision to go from 105mm to 125mm, no? The point is that they designed a tank that was at best on par for 1938, but shouldn't they have designed a tank that would be above the average, with accomodation to increase lifespan?

I appreciate the correction about the Panthers: as I typed it I remember it crossed my mind that the Panther's early performance was so poor because it was rushed for Kursk. The Tiger, however, was operating in later 1942 (not sure the exact date) and I remember reading of two of them wreaking havoc in December 1942 against a Russian armoured unit near Leningrad.

leitmotiv
10-03-2006, 02:03 AM
Cheers, p1ngu666. I removed my installation recently because friggin Steam was causing some problems with my computer (refused to shut off---purged RO and Steam and now all fine). I like all the tanks but I am especially partial to the JS-2 and Panther. My favorite weapon is the Soviet AT rifle. I really enjoy sneaking up on StuGs, Pz IIIs and IVs and giving them steel at point-blank range in the flanks or rear---heh heh. Wonderful weapon. RO is fantastic!

ploughman
10-03-2006, 02:07 AM
Originally posted by p1ngu666:


its also interesting how the panther was nearly twice as heavy as a t34, like a different class of tank...

I saw a couple at Bovington this summer, the Panther G and a jagPanther, and I was amazed at how large this 'medium' tank was. Compared to the Shermans it was a monster, it even appeared as massive as the VIE, only the VIBs seemed significantly bigger.

panther3485
10-03-2006, 02:15 AM
Originally posted by BiscuitKnight:
"....however when you consider that the Germans knew the 37mm was only barely adequate in most situations, and would quickly be obsolete, it makes sense to issue 50mm weapons. So with the 50mm as the standard issue, you plan for upgrades when necessary: I think the M1 Abrams were built with provision to go from 105mm to 125mm, no? The point is that they designed a tank that was at best on par for 1938, but shouldn't they have designed a tank that would be above the average, with accomodation to increase lifespan?"

In the late 1930's, anti-tank guns in the range of 37-40mm were considered perfectly adequate, although forward thinking designers were already planning weapons around 50mm (as you say). When the Germans went to war in 1939, they felt confident that the 37 would be adequate for some time. This proved to be the case in Poland, but they got a bit of a surprise in 1940 against the heavier French and British tanks, which exposed the inadequacy of the 37mm weapons earlier and more profoundly than they had expected. This increased the urgency to ugrade to 50mm in the PzKpfw III.

When the design for PzKpfw III was laid down, it was thought that 37mm, with option to go to 50mm later, would work out OK. Even the Germans could not fully forsee just how rapidly things would change! And as far as tank armaments goes, they were very far from being the only ones 'caught on the back foot' in this way.

Easy for us to be wise in hindsight, I think. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif


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panther3485

BiscuitKnight
10-03-2006, 03:23 AM
Panther3485, I'll be short with this one:

I've read from a few historians who've given this view, and I find it's not hard to agree. In 1939 the 37mm was barely adequate against the thinly armoured Light tanks of the day, although the category of Medium tank was largely neglected outside of Germany and the USSR, that's no reason for an undergunned tank; in fact it's a reason for a heavier gun. The 37mm wasn't really effective against the SOMUA or Cruiser tanks, only against Light and Tankettes, it couldn't touch the heavy tanks of the day. For that reason, you'd expect the Germans to arm it with the much more capable 50mm and leave room for the 75mm to increase the lifespan of the tank (much as the M1 was designed or as shipwrights build ships with room for upgrades). It's really only because of the inept designs of the 1930s that the 37mm was adequate for any length of time: the tankette was an utter failure, the Light Tank was dismal, the Cruiser will be forever remembered as a deathtrap, heavy tanks have a mixed history, and it stands for itself that they were eventually phased out post-war, infantry tanks were undergunned. Germany should have measured their Mediums by balancing the best power-to-weight, cost, armour, weaponry, etc, not deciding that 37mm was "good enough" against enemy tanks and thus the best choice.

panther3485
10-03-2006, 06:11 AM
Originally posted by BiscuitKnight:
Panther3485, I'll be short with this one:

I've read from a few historians who've given this view, and I find it's not hard to agree. In 1939 the 37mm was barely adequate against the thinly armoured Light tanks of the day, although the category of Medium tank was largely neglected outside of Germany and the USSR, that's no reason for an undergunned tank; in fact it's a reason for a heavier gun. The 37mm wasn't really effective against the SOMUA or Cruiser tanks, only against Light and Tankettes, it couldn't touch the heavy tanks of the day. For that reason, you'd expect the Germans to arm it with the much more capable 50mm and leave room for the 75mm to increase the lifespan of the tank (much as the M1 was designed or as shipwrights build ships with room for upgrades). It's really only because of the inept designs of the 1930s that the 37mm was adequate for any length of time: the tankette was an utter failure, the Light Tank was dismal, the Cruiser will be forever remembered as a deathtrap, heavy tanks have a mixed history, and it stands for itself that they were eventually phased out post-war, infantry tanks were undergunned. Germany should have measured their Mediums by balancing the best power-to-weight, cost, armour, weaponry, etc, not deciding that 37mm was "good enough" against enemy tanks and thus the best choice.

The first development contracts for what was to become the PzKpfw III were issued in late 1934 and early 1935. The first vehicles were being manufactured in 1937.

To be fair about this then, we need to look at the MEDIUM tank designs that existed during the PzKpfw III's primary development time, 1935-1936, and of course those enemy designs under development that the Germans could either reasonably have been expected to know about, or to have anticipated.

Even the best of these, the French Somua S-35, which would go into battle in 1940 with a good 47mm gun, could NOT have been upgraded to anything significantly larger.

To put a long-barreled 75mm gun into a fully rotating turret on a MEDIUM tank was not something anyone was seriously undertaking at that time, not even as a potential 'upgrade'.

Even the armament calibre of the Soviet T-34, which became the World leader in this sense when it first appeared in 1940, was not forseen by the Soviets themselves until 1937 at the very earliest, by which time the basic design parameters (including turret ring and range of armaments) of the PzKpfw III had already been decided and it was in production. Even at that, the Soviets only settled on the switch from 47mm to 76.2mm part way through the development process (after they went from the A-20 to the A-32, under Mikhail Koshkin as the chief designer.)

Add to this that Germany was desperately re-arming and had a heck of a lot of catching up to do, just to put a bare minimum number of tanks into the field in time. To expect the Germans to have added the requirement to incorporate a 75mm long-barreled cannon, in a fully rotating turret, in a medium tank design developed in the time-frame 1935-36 (when nobody else was doing it), is not only unrealistic, it would also have necessitated other changes that would likely have impacted on production.

Sure, the 37 was found wanting by mid 1940 but the Germans could have fitted the 50mm L/60 more urgently than they actually did and this would have made a significant difference. And as we have seen, following their experiences in Russia, little time was wasted improving the PzKpfw IV to take over the role until something more potent could be (and was) developed.


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panther3485

luftluuver
10-03-2006, 07:16 AM
I have a good chuckle when I see people praise the T-34 and call the Sherman ****.

The Cats and late model P4s had no trouble disposing of T-34s, sloped armour or not.

On the Panther at Kursk, I think you will find that most of the casualties were because they tried to cross a known minefield.

BiscuitKnight
10-03-2006, 07:17 AM
The trouble of looking at contempory designs is that there is only really the SOMUA: the British were infatuated with the Cruiser and Infantry concepts, and just realising the worthlessness of Tankettes, the French were building a mixture of vehicles and the Soviets were messing about with the BT-7 and various abominations like the twin turreted light tank T-26 or the riddiculously oversize T-35.

The Tankettes, Cruisers and Infantry tanks don't fit into Blitzkrieg. The concept of the Medium tank that eventually became the Main Battle Tank was a well armoured vehicle with an acceptable gun and range/speed/power-to-weight ratio, mobility etc. To say the Germans should have fitted 50mm straight up because the French lights and British cruisers weren't is like saying people should aim to get equal exam scores and not try to excell, beyond the fact they're rather different.

The PAK 37 was inadequate for anything more than light armour at short ranges, at a time when tanks like Char B1bis had 60mm of armour and the Matilda had 78mm. The 50mm would make sense as giving the Panzer III adequate firepower to engage the heavier tanks of the day and give it stand off ability against the lighter tanks of the era (tankettes, Lights, Cruisers).

During 1930 there were concepts like the Tankette - a one or two man machine armed with a machinegun or light cannon (40mm at the very most) with the idea of reconnaisance or butchering infantry. Naturally it had riddiculously light armour and was utterly useless in combat because an anti-tank rifle would ruin it in one hit, anywhere it hit. Another flawed concept of the era was the infantry tank: a tank advancing at the pace of infantry to support them. The British really seized on the idea, producing the Matildas, Valentines and Churchills. They were all undergunned (the Churchill, in the latter half of WWII, carried only a 75mm gun) and although their armour (especially the Matilda) made them successful in cases, the fact that they were slow meant they were sitting ducks quite often, and their weak guns meant they weren't exactly a threat to Medium tanks (except the Churchill). The British focus was on these and Cruisers: fast tanks with lighter armour and guns, proven to be poor performers in the desert, not useless like Tankettes, but not great either. Light tanks were another favorite, basically similar to Tankettes, though more reasonable. The last category that saw focus was the heavy tank, prewar (the Tiger and IS-2 are quite different) which mounted several turrets, were overly large and cumbersome.

The result is that Britain produced no real Medium tanks until the Cromwell (essentially an upgunned and uparmoured Cruiser design) and thus nothing to compare the Panzer III to. The French seized on all concepts really, the SOMUA was only unhappily put into the Medium category. Its armour was intended to defeat 37mm guns, thus the Germans should have countered that with upgunning. The gun was a 47mm and had a one-man turret, another bad concept of the 1930s (or earlier - probably dates from the FT-17). The 47mm gun is more powerful than the 37mm, and older than the Panzer III. The SOMUA is about the only contempory Medium Tank and it has a larger calibre (do you have penetration stats, etc?) gun and thicker armour, though a poor overall design.

The Russians were at the time building worthless rolling scrapheaps like the T-35 and unhappy Light Tanks like the T-40. The BT-7 was a nice design, but similar to the SOMUA or Cruisers in failings. The T-34 and KV-1 came after the Panzer III, but the T-28 should have at least prodded the Panzer III into having a larger gun, as it mounted the 76.2mm and was supposedly a Medium tank.

The point I'm trying to make is that designs at the time didn't really meet the same tactical usage as the Panzer III, and thus comparisons are hard. However, the Panzer III's role is known and thus you can say that there are tanks around that it would engage mounting armour heavier than its 37mm gun could defeat when it was produced, or mounting heavier guns than it, and thus the 37mm is inadequate for its task at breaking through (although the Germans proved mobility mattered more than gunnery in France, for one). Thus, the designers 'should' have put the 50mm gun into the Panzer III and left room for the 75mm gun, garunteeing it could meet most tanks of the day on its own terms: the Wehrmacht wanted the 50mm, but the Armaments Ministry wanted commonality with the infantry (which begs the response "So upgun the infantry!") and thus the compromise was met. The point I intend to make (and that some historians have made) is that the 37mm was inadequate to rather a few of the Panzer III's potential enemies in 1935, and when you can avoid it you don't design obsolete weapons, thus the 50mm gun should have been the logical choice, not the 37mm. Providing 75mm capability is not such a direct to draw conclusion, but it does make sense in the context of keeping the tank effective for longer.

I do understand what you are saying, that it is easy to look at the Panzer III's performance in 1944 and say "why didn't they leave room for the 75mm in the first place!" much the same as saying "why didn't they build the Pershing in the first place!" and not recognising constraints of the time. And it's true, in 1935 the outlook was rather different to looking back on it from now. However the point can be made that some of the Panzer III's contempories mounted heavier armour or guns than a 37mm gun could deal with, and thus it's sensible to design the tank with more firepower off the board and perhaps leave room for a larger weapon later if you're feeling really smart.

panther3485
10-03-2006, 09:36 AM
Originally posted by BiscuitKnight:
"The trouble of looking at contempory designs is that there is only really the SOMUA....
The SOMUA is about the only contempory Medium Tank and it has a larger calibre (do you have penetration stats, etc?) gun and thicker armour, though a poor overall design."

Yes, of course, but regardless of how we classify the various types today (or even of the way they were classified back then), all the Germans would have had to go on as 'benchmarks' for comparison would have been those enemy designs that were perceived to come closest to their PzKpfw III's proposed role on the battlefield.

Yes, we must acknowledge that even in the mid-late 1930's the German tank men were not entirely satisfied with going for the 37mm and indeed are on record as having preferred to start with the 50mm, but there are reasons (including commonality of ammunition, time for switching over production to supply enough weapons of improved type, and other considerations) that mandated the 37mm to begin with, but also the sensible provision to allow for the 50mm later.

{The PzKpfw III was indeed a better overall design than the SOMUA. At the moment I'm working off memory, but IIRC the 47mm gun on the SOMUA was indeed considerably better than the German 37mm and compared approximately in anti-armour performance to the KwK L/42 50mm.}



Originally posted by BiscuitKnight:
"I do understand what you are saying, that it is easy to look at the Panzer III's performance in 1944 and say "why didn't they leave room for the 75mm in the first place!" much the same as saying "why didn't they build the Pershing in the first place!" and not recognising constraints of the time. And it's true, in 1935 the outlook was rather different to looking back on it from now. However the point can be made that some of the Panzer III's contempories mounted heavier armour or guns than a 37mm gun could deal with, and thus it's sensible to design the tank with more firepower off the board and perhaps leave room for a larger weapon later if you're feeling really smart.

I understand your points as well, and they are good points. I was hoping to convey that there was rather more to it and the decision to proceed as they did was wholly understandable, given all the factors involved, more even than just how the various tank designs compared then, or would likely compare in a few years time. Germany's position was very different to that of France, Britain or the Soviet Union.


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panther3485

panther3485
10-03-2006, 10:12 AM
Originally posted by luftluuver:
"The Cats and late model P4s had no trouble disposing of T-34s, sloped armour or not."

The T-34 deserves praise because of the huge advance it represented over all other nations' designs when it first appeared. That lead was not properly made up for at least two years after it was first met in battle by the Germans.

True, the long-gunned PzKpfw IV could quite easily knock it out, but was itself fairly vulnerable to the T-34. It was also at some disadvantage in speed and general mobility over the types of terrain and conditions typically found in Russia. Effectively, it was usually superior German tactics, training and communications that would make the biggest difference. Also, against the 76mm models of T-34, there was the question of crew layout, which favoured the German tanks until the T-34-85 appeared.

Although the Panther appeared in July 1943, it was some time after that before the 'bugs' were anywhere near properly resolved and the vehicle could be regarded as reasonably reliable. By the time it was available for service in significant numbers, the war was as good as lost for Germany anyway.

Comparison with the Tiger is rather inappropriate I feel (although there were obviously plenty of occasions when T-34s had no option but to try to tackle it - with understandably very high losses, usually).

The Tiger I was truly a magnificent and formidable tank, but it weighed about the same as two T-34 mediums, putting it in a completely different class. The total resources expended in its production, deployment and maintenance were enormously costly (though one could of course argue that its value on the battlefield justified the cost). Nevertheless, the far less costly and complex Soviet IS-2 was its match in many important respects, yet 10 tons lighter.

It was the mere appearance and existence of the T-34 (and to some extent the KV-1) that drove the Germans to crash-modify the PzKpfw IV, design & produce the Panther in great haste, and helped re-vitalize the impetus for their heavy tank designs to produce the Tiger.

This, together with the fact that it was one of the Soviets' war-winning weapons, is what assures the T-34 of its almost unique place in the tank design 'hall of fame'.

As for the Sherman:

I will not join some of the others here who have a very low opinion of the M4, since I do not believe it was anything like as poor a tank, all factors considered, as certain individuals here have made out.


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panther3485

leitmotiv
10-03-2006, 07:13 PM
For a detailed examination of the slaughter of the T-34/76 at Kursk, see Glantz and House's KURSK---the product of deep research into German and Sov archives. The ancient myth that T-34s charged and overwhelmed the German tanks was not true. They moved against the Germans repeatedly and were slaughtered repeatedly. The massive casualties they supposedly inflicted on the SS Divs were Sov propaganda. As luftluvver noted, the Panther's worst losses were self-inflicted---running into that minefield, and, initially, breaking down constantly. The queen of the Kursk battlefield was the Tiger I---the battle photographs are telling: one or two Tigers standing alone in the steppe surrounded by smoke trails from destroyed Sov tanks. Their kill ratio was astronomical. The hapless T-34/76 was being destroyed far outside of its effectiveness range. After the appearance of the Pz IVF lang the T-34/76 was a rum billet. A not inconsiderable factor was the poor optics on Sov tanks compared to the excellent optics on German tanks. Add to that, the two man turret on the T-34/76 forced the commander to be both commander and gunlayer---a difficult task if you ever try it in PANZER ELITE modded, for example. The biggest problem the T-34/76 faced was being outranged from the time the Pz IV lang appeared. It was not a dangerous opponent again until it received the 85mm gun and the three man turret. Having written all the above, there are few tanks which give you such a feeling of overwheming ascendency as the T-34 or KV-1 in 1941.

By the way, the two volumes of PANZER ACES are the most remarkable collection of tactical information I've found for WWII tanks. CAEN: ANVIL OF VICTORY has a great deal of useful information on the lamentable Sherman. In sum, it had a fast training turret---otherwise it was a coffin. Of course, the Firefly was an excellent weapon---as long as it avoided being hit.

sukebeboy
10-03-2006, 07:25 PM
Lifted this from a thread on the wargamer.com forums.

Interesting article from a Russian website on WWII. Discusses testing on captured King Tigers. Pretty llong but some interesting details...

--------------------------------------------------------------



The Pz Kpfw Tiger Ausf B heavy tank (also called the Sd Kfz 182 "special purpose fighting vehicle type 182," according to unified designation system used by the Germans), was developed by "Henschel" under the leadership of its chief designer Erwin Anders. It was in mass production from January 1944 up to May 1945. The tank weighed 69.4 tons, and had a power-to-weight ratio of 10.08 h.p. per ton. The hull and turret were made of rolled homogenous armor plate with low to medium hardness. 487 vehicles were produced in total.

The first "Tiger-B" tanks captured by Soviet forces were sent to the Chief Armored Vehicle Directorate's (GBTU) Armored Vehicle Research and Development proving ground (NIIBT) at Kubinka for comprehensive study. There were vehicles numbered 102 and 502. The very movement of these tanks to the loading station under their own power revealed numerous defects. At 86 kilometers, the left idler wheel went out of commission (when the bearings failed), as well as the left drive sprocket (when all the mounting bolts sheared). The high temperatures at the time, which reached 30 degrees Celsius (86 F), turned out to be too much for the cooling system. This led the right engine block to overheat and to continual overheating in the gearbox. The tank was repaired, but after that the right side running gear had completely failed. It was replaced with one scavenged from another tank, but this one almost immediately went out of commission again when the drive shaft roller bearings failed. Besides this, time and again it was necessary to change the track's elements, which were constantly breaking (cracking) due to the tank's colossal weight, especially when the vehicle was turning. The design of the track tensioning mechanism hadn't been completely perfected. As a result, the tension had to be adjusted after every 10-15 km of travel.

In the end, both captured vehicles were delivered to the NIIBT proving ground, where vehicle #102 underwent further maneuverability tests. This testing encountered severe obstacles connected with the extremely low reliability of the chassis elements, engine, and transmission. It was determined that 860 liters of fuel was sufficient for 90 km of movement over an dirt road, even though the vehicle's manual indicated that this amount of fuel should have been sufficient for 120 km. Fuel consumption per 100 km was 970 liters instead of the 700 liters according to this same (captured) manual. Average rate of movement along the highway was 25-30 km/h, 13.4-15 km/h along an dirt road. The average speed when moving over rough terrain was even worse: 6-7 km/h. The maximum speed, given as 41.5 km/h in the tank's technical documentation, was never even once achieved in the maneuverability tests.

In order to obtain an objective evaluation of the tank's armor protection, it was decided to subject to shell fire the hull and turret of the captured vehicle with turret number 502. Most of the systems and assemblies were removed for further study. The tank's armament was sent to the ANIOP for study.

The live fire tests were conducted in the fall of 1944 at Kubinka, during the course of which the following results were obtained:

"1. The quality of armor on the "Tiger-B" tank, in comparison with the armor on the "Tiger-I," and "Panther," tanks, as well as early production "Ferdinand" self-propelled gun, has sharply deteriorated. The first individual impacts caused cracks and spalling in the armor of the "Tiger-B" tank. A group of shell impacts (3-4 shells) caused large-scale spalling and fractures in the armor.

2. Weak weld seams appeared characteristic of all hull and turret joints. Despite careful workmanship, the seams held up to shell impacts significantly worse than they did in analogous constructions on the "Tiger-I," and "Panther," tanks, as well as the "Ferdinand" self-propelled gun.

3. Impacts of 3-4 armor-piercing or high-explosive fragmentation shells from 152, 122, or 100 mm artillery pieces caused cracks, spalling and destruction of the weld seams in the tank's 100-190 mm thick frontal armor plates at ranges of 500-1000 meters. The impacts disrupted the operation of the transmission and took the tank out of service as an irrevocable loss.

4. Armor-piercing projectiles from the BS-3 (100 mm) and A-19 (122 mm) gun completely penetrated when impacting the edges or joints of the "Tiger-B" tank's front hull plates at ranges of 500-600 meters.

5. Armor-piercing projectiles from the BS-3 (100 mm) and A-19 (122 mm) gun completely penetrated the "Tiger-B" tank's front turret plate at ranges of 1000-1500 meters.

6. 85 mm armor-piercing projectiles from the D-5 and S-53 gun failed to penetrate the tank's front hull plates or cause any structural damage at distances of 300 meters.

7. The tank's side armor plates were notable for their sharply unequal durability in comparison with the frontal plates and appeared to be the most vulnerable part of the tank's hull and turret.

8. The tank's hull and turret side plates were penetrated by armor-piercing projectiles from the domestic 85 mm and American 76 mm guns at ranges of 800-2000 meters.

9. The tank's hull and turret side plates were not penetrated by armor-piercing projectiles from the domestic 76 mm guns (ZIS-3 and F-34).

10. American 76 mm armor-piercing projectiles penetrated the "Tiger-B" tank's side plates at ranges 1.5 to 2 times greater the domestic 85 mm armor-piercing projectiles."

Here, for fans of the "King Tiger," it should be said that the 122 mm D-25 tank gun mounted on the IS-2 tank was the direct descendent of the A-19 gun-howitzer. Basically, these guns were different in their breech blocks (the D-25's was semi-automatic) and in a few technical details not affecting their ballistics. Consequently, the armor penetration capabilities of both guns were the same. In addition, the 100 mm BS-3 field gun and the D-10 tank gun, mounted on the SU-100, also had the same armor penetration capabilities.

During lab tests of the "Tiger-B" tank's armor, conducted at TsNII-48, it was noted that there had been an "evident gradual decline in the quantity of molybdenum (M) in the German T-VI and T-V tanks, and a complete absence in the T-VIB. The reason for replacing one element (M) with another (V, vanadium) must obviously be sought in the exhaustion of their on-hand reserves and the loss of those bases supplying Germany with molybdenum. Low malleability appears to be characteristic of the "Tiger-B's" armor. An advantage of domestic armor, as is well-known, is its high malleability; German armor has fewer alloys and is therefore significantly less malleably."

A comment should also be made here. More malleably armor results in a smaller number of secondary fragments when penetrated (these fragments intended to kill crew and to damage tank controls), and, besides this, the armor has a smaller chance of cracking.

During testing of the weapon, the German KwK 43 tank gun gave good results in both armor penetration and accuracy, practically the same as the Soviet 122 mm D-25 gun on the IS-2 tank. At a range of 1000 meters, the following projectile impact deviations from the aiming point were observed: 260 mm in the vertical, and 210 mm in the horizontal. In comparison, for the IS-2 tank's D-25 gun, the average projectile deviation from the aiming point did not exceed 170 mm in the vertical and 270 mm in the horizontal during stationary firing at a range of 1000 meters. The penetration capability of the 71-caliber long 88 mm KwK 43 Gun, with its muzzle velocity of 1000 m/s for its armor-piercing projectiles, was 165 mm at a 30 degree impact angle at 1000 meters. In particular, the "Tiger-B" projectile went completely through the turret of its "colleague" at a range of 400 m. But in high-explosive power, the 88 mm projectile was 1.39 times inferior to the 122 mm high-explosive fragmentation projectile.

The final report of 16 February 1945 on the "Tiger-B" tests stated the following:

"The frontal hull and turret armor is low quality. Non-penetrating damage (dents) in the armor caused cracking through the armor and large scale interior spalling. The side plates were notable for their sharply unequal durability in comparison with the frontal plates and appeared to be the most vulnerable part of the tank's hull and turret.

Shortcomings:
The chassis is complex and is not durable.
The steering mechanism is complex and expensive.
The side running gear is extremely unreliable.
The radius of action is 25% inferior to the "IS"-tanks.
The ammunition (except in the turret recess) is awkwardly located.
The excessive size and weight of the tank do not correspond to the tank's armor protection and firepower.

leitmotiv
10-03-2006, 07:32 PM
Fascinating. I noticed in RED ORCHESTRA the JS-2's HE is frequently a better choice for dealing with cats than AP---esp if you have to fight them with their forward armor presented.

panther3485
10-03-2006, 08:22 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Fascinating. I noticed in RED ORCHESTRA the JS-2's HE is frequently a better choice for dealing with cats than AP---esp if you have to fight them with their forward armor presented.

Ditto. I too find this fascinating, as until relatively recently there has not been a great deal of this kind of info coming from the Soviet side. (Though there has been a considerable amount from the Western Allies.)

Also, estimates of the armour 'strength' of the King Tiger in many traditional sources have usually been based on the assumption that armour quality (note; quality, not thickness) was at least similar to that of most other German tanks. During the last 12 months or so of the war, there must obviously have been great difficulties in maintaining quality, due to shortages of certain key materials.

Thanks for that, sukebeboy!


Best regards, http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
panther3485

HerrGraf
10-03-2006, 09:40 PM
A few observations:
The M4 Sherman was a great tank when it appeared in 1942. Its armor was adequate (it did get some uparmoring along its life cycle and wet storage for its ammunition- which was one of its worst failings). The biggist problem was that after 1942 it was way undergunned in the European theater. Thus it had to get in very close to score a killing blow to its opponents. It did indeed have a very high silhouette because of the original engine that it was designed for (an aircraft radial), but was far more mechanically reliable than any other tank at the time. As stated earlier, the M4 was not envisioned always going one-on-one with heavy enemy tanks, that was to be left to the tank destroyers. (Where is one when you need it?) Its main failure was a weak main gun. The Firefly proved that with a good main gun it was a very deadly opponent. Some testing was done mounting a 90mm, but the M26 was a better solution for the E.T.O. Still did ok in the P.T.O. Some Russian tankers thought it a better tank than the T34 because of its better reliability, good radios, better optics, ease of use, lack of operating noise (The T34 could evidently be heard operating a mile or more away.) and other niceties not found on typical Soviet equipment.

The P.K.W.III was envisioned as an exploitation tank, which is why it did not get the 50mm gun from the get go. The P.K.W.IV would supposedly punch the hole (supported by the MkIII) and then the MkIII would rush through and tear up the rear areas! Of coarse the way things are planned in the design stage and the way they really get used are two different things.

Glad that we are off of bashing Monty because he was a set piece general instead of one who forces exploitations like Patton and co. Personally I believe Clark was one of the worst allied generals in the western theater.

sukebeboy
10-03-2006, 09:47 PM
I've never understood this veneration for Patton that some people have. He was compitent but not outstanding. Really, other than chase a beaten army across France, what did he really accomplish with flair or skill?

HerrGraf
10-03-2006, 10:03 PM
Personally it is not veneration, just observing the different ways of forcing the battle by the the types of commanders.

p1ngu666
10-03-2006, 11:04 PM
patton appeals to the american conciousness, like the long emputy road, classic images of america, that mostly arent reality anymore (mmm traffic jam)

monty was involved in WW1, so thats why he was probably sensible and careful. he had seen the senseless slaughter and wanted to avoid that.

must way heavy on the mind to know the fate of so many is in your hands, and ppl will knit pick over your decisions.

we shall haveto get together todo some tests in RO and funstuff too http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

panther3485
10-03-2006, 11:44 PM
Originally posted by HerrGraf:
"A few observations:
The M4 Sherman was a great tank when it appeared in 1942. Its armor was adequate (it did get some uparmoring along its life cycle and wet storage for its ammunition- which was one of its worst failings). The biggest problem was that after 1942 it was way undergunned in the European theater. Thus it had to get in very close to score a killing blow to its opponents. It did indeed have a very high silhouette because of the original engine that it was designed for (an aircraft radial), but was far more mechanically reliable than any other tank at the time. As stated earlier, the M4 was not envisioned always going one-on-one with heavy enemy tanks, that was to be left to the tank destroyers. (Where is one when you need it?) Its main failure was a weak main gun. The Firefly proved that with a good main gun it was a very deadly opponent. Some testing was done mounting a 90mm, but the M26 was a better solution for the E.T.O. Still did ok in the P.T.O. Some Russian tankers thought it a better tank than the T34 because of its better reliability, good radios, better optics, ease of use, lack of operating noise (The T34 could evidently be heard operating a mile or more away.) and other niceties not found on typical Soviet equipment.

The P.K.W.III was envisioned as an exploitation tank, which is why it did not get the 50mm gun from the get go. The P.K.W.IV would supposedly punch the hole (supported by the MkIII) and then the MkIII would rush through and tear up the rear areas! Of coarse the way things are planned in the design stage and the way they really get used are two different things."

Excellent post, HerrGraf.

Couple of small points I'd like to add, if I may.

The Soviets generally liked the Sherman, as you say. In addition to the reasons you've already given, they liked the 'comfort' (by tank standards - if you can describe any of the WW2 tanks as 'comfortable') and the fact that it was much less exhausting on the driver.

Second, despite the Sherman's obvious weakness in anti-tank gunpower compared to its principal adversaries in NW Europe, the standard 75mm HE shot was very good in its class, for general purpose work and infantry support; better than, for example, that of the PzKpfw IV or Panther in these roles. Much of a tank's work was not fighting other tanks and in this regard the Sherman still held up pretty well, even after 1942.


Best regards, http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
panther3485

panther3485
10-03-2006, 11:50 PM
Originally posted by sukebeboy:
I've never understood this veneration for Patton that some people have. He was compitent but not outstanding. Really, other than chase a beaten army across France, what did he really accomplish with flair or skill?

Erm... maybe during the Sicilian campaign, beating Monty to Messina? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

Hang on though, maybe that was bullying and hard-driving rather than 'flair or skill'? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

sukebeboy
10-04-2006, 12:47 AM
No, that would be an interesting parallel to the Normandy campaign. I believe that the British and Canadians faced off against the more experienced, driven and well equipped Germans in most heavily occupied sector of the island whereas Patton's forces had to contend with the more lightly armed and less motivated Italian troops on the plains in the middle of the island.

True, Alexander gave Monty permission to try and swing west towards Etna in hopes that he could encircle the Germans and that took him into what would have been the American sector but that was Alexander's doing, not Monty's and Patton didn't raise any complaints at the time.

Further, it was actually Monty who suggested to Patton that the US 7th Army take Messina since they were in a better position to do so. Patton didn't instigate this.

I'd say that the Brits and Canadians did the heavy lifting, allowing the US forces to score the goal much like in Normandy.

Gumtree
10-04-2006, 01:11 AM
The sicilian campain was 2 battles in one. The eastern forces (8th Army ) was up against the mainstay of the defenders on a very defensible position,when the defences were near to being over run the Germans withdrew to another position, that was just as tough to overwhelm.

The Germans defended the coastal road because it was the shortest route to Messina.

Patton's boys , once again had the easier going, town after town fell to the publicity hungry Patton, yet the defenders infront of him where very weak when compared to the eastern front of the Island.

Once Patton had actually got through and into the open a great oportunity to encircle the Axis forces on the east coast presented itself.

The defenders who later were to be the mainstay of the defences at places like Cassino escaped, they escaped greatly because Patton and his ego refused to work with Monty and was transfix with reaching Messina first.

Unfortunately the poster who has put up the scillian campain as one of Pattons shinning moments perhaps should look beyond the press clippings and into the facts of the campain.

Again I am not trying to rubbish opinions just trying to bring to light the side of Patton that shows up time and time again, his total lack of team spirit.

It is interesting that the 2 most famous western comanders had such incredible personality flaws, I suppose the more I read about them the more I am in awe of Ike for keeping the enormous allied machine rolling forward, at Normandy.

Jester_159th
10-04-2006, 01:45 AM
Originally posted by panther3485:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by sukebeboy:
I've never understood this veneration for Patton that some people have. He was compitent but not outstanding. Really, other than chase a beaten army across France, what did he really accomplish with flair or skill?

Erm... maybe during the Sicilian campaign, beating Monty to Messina? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

Hang on though, maybe that was bullying and hard-driving rather than 'flair or skill'? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Or maybe that was because in Sicily the British and Commonwealth troops were facing the toughest opposition (ie: the majority of - if not all - the German forces on the island) and Patton only had to deal with Italians who didn't really want to fight except in one or two exceptional instances.

Gumtree
10-04-2006, 01:51 AM
One thing we should remember is that the GI fought the enemy anywhere they showed themselves. They were tuff, they had good equiptment and in the whole, they had such an abundance of equiptment that no other army could say their men were so well equipt (in quantity if not always quality).

I must ask to be excused if at times I sound like I am Yank bashing I don't mean to be, I have agreat respect for all soldiers, airmen and sailors who fought in the war.

I just get on my high horse when I see the facts get a little distorted through time.

ImpStarDuece
10-04-2006, 02:07 AM
This is what the Canuks thought of Patton:

"While 2nd Division was relaxing at Dieppe, British XXX Corps' tanks and recce cars were racing north through Amiens, Arras and Douai - plunging deep into Belgium to occupy Brussles on September 2 and Antwerp on September 4, with even more dash, in terms of speed and distance, than the Yanks achieved on their highly acclaimed drive for Paris after their break-out from the Normandy bridgehead. The American bridgeheads, confronted no organised resistance of consequence, in three days almost recahed Le Mans on August 6, a truly exciting advance that captured the imagination of all the war corresponents after the long weeks of bloody containment - particularly when the general commanding this dashing force packeda pearl-handled pistol on his hip in traditional cowboy style.

However, General Patton's seventy-five-mile thrust in three days pales in comparison with Lt.-Gen. Brian Horrocks's XXX Corps' thrust through France into Belgium aftertcrossing the Seine - 230 miles in six days, the Guards Armoured covering the final seventy miles in from Douai to Brussels in a single day. In fact, so swift was the initial British hundred-mile run to the Somme that General Eberbach, Commander of the Fifth Panzer Army, was captured in his pyjamas at Amiens*


*By comparison it took the swaggering Patton thirteen days (from August 6 to August 19), including three days clearing Chartres, to get from Le Mans to the Seine at Mantes, a distance of only about 140 miles."

From "The Guns of War: Book Two, The Guns of Victory" pp.3-4. By George B. Blackburn

An interesting camparison; the "slow, cautious" British, under Monty and Horrocks, significantly outpacing the 'dashing' Americans under Patton.

ploughman
10-04-2006, 02:19 AM
Sticking my neck out a bit on this one but I think the record for an advance of 73 miles in one day, held by the Irish Guards since the dash across northern France, was only broken during the Invasion of Iraq in 2003.

It must've been something though, for all the citizens of the occuppied territories that thought they were miles from the front only to stick their heads out the windows and see columns of Allied troops pouring through their towns and villages. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

panther3485
10-04-2006, 02:35 AM
Originally posted by sukebeboy:
No, that would be an interesting parallel to the Normandy campaign. I believe that the British and Canadians faced off against the more experienced, driven and well equipped Germans in most heavily occupied sector of the island whereas Patton's forces had to contend with the more lightly armed and less motivated Italian troops on the plains in the middle of the island.

True, Alexander gave Monty permission to try and swing west towards Etna in hopes that he could encircle the Germans and that took him into what would have been the American sector but that was Alexander's doing, not Monty's and Patton didn't raise any complaints at the time.

Further, it was actually Monty who suggested to Patton that the US 7th Army take Messina since they were in a better position to do so. Patton didn't instigate this.

I'd say that the Brits and Canadians did the heavy lifting, allowing the US forces to score the goal much like in Normandy.

Well picked up, sukebeboy, as I thought you probably would! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

panther3485
10-04-2006, 02:38 AM
Originally posted by Gumtree:
The sicilian campain was 2 battles in one. The eastern forces (8th Army ) was up against the mainstay of the defenders on a very defensible position,when the defences were near to being over run the Germans withdrew to another position, that was just as tough to overwhelm.

The Germans defended the coastal road because it was the shortest route to Messina.

Patton's boys , once again had the easier going, town after town fell to the publicity hungry Patton, yet the defenders infront of him where very weak when compared to the eastern front of the Island.

Once Patton had actually got through and into the open a great oportunity to encircle the Axis forces on the east coast presented itself.

The defenders who later were to be the mainstay of the defences at places like Cassino escaped, they escaped greatly because Patton and his ego refused to work with Monty and was transfix with reaching Messina first.

Unfortunately the poster who has put up the scillian campain as one of Pattons shinning moments perhaps should look beyond the press clippings and into the facts of the campain.

Again I am not trying to rubbish opinions just trying to bring to light the side of Patton that shows up time and time again, his total lack of team spirit.

It is interesting that the 2 most famous western comanders had such incredible personality flaws, I suppose the more I read about them the more I am in awe of Ike for keeping the enormous allied machine rolling forward, at Normandy.

Relax, Gumtree - that post about Patton in Sicily was very much 'tongue in cheek' (difficult to convey that sometimes using this medium). I know the historical realities frequently do not match what we see in the movies. (Good grief, mate, my knowledge and thoughts go a lot deeper than that!)

Thought I'd 'set it up' to see what you guys did with it. You didn't disappoint me! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

panther3485
10-04-2006, 02:41 AM
Originally posted by Jester_159th:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by panther3485:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by sukebeboy:
I've never understood this veneration for Patton that some people have. He was compitent but not outstanding. Really, other than chase a beaten army across France, what did he really accomplish with flair or skill?

Erm... maybe during the Sicilian campaign, beating Monty to Messina? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

Hang on though, maybe that was bullying and hard-driving rather than 'flair or skill'? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Or maybe that was because in Sicily the British and Commonwealth troops were facing the toughest opposition (ie: the majority of - if not all - the German forces on the island) and Patton only had to deal with Italians who didn't really want to fight except in one or two exceptional instances. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ding-ding!!!! Another one!

Beautiful response, Jester - you also do not disappoint! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

panther3485
10-04-2006, 02:43 AM
Originally posted by Gumtree:
One thing we should remember is that the GI fought the enemy anywhere they showed themselves. They were tuff, they had good equiptment and in the whole, they had such an abundance of equiptment that no other army could say their men were so well equipt (in quantity if not always quality).

I must ask to be excused if at times I sound like I am Yank bashing I don't mean to be, I have agreat respect for all soldiers, airmen and sailors who fought in the war.

I just get on my high horse when I see the facts get a little distorted through time.

That's my usual response as well, but just for once and for a nice little change, I thought I'd have a bit o' fun with this one! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

panther3485
10-04-2006, 02:50 AM
Originally posted by ImpStarDuece:
This is what the Canuks thought of Patton:

"While 2nd Division was relaxing at Dieppe, British XXX Corps' tanks and recce cars were racing north through Amiens, Arras and Douai - plunging deep into Belgium to occupy Brussles on September 2 and Antwerp on September 4, with even more dash, in terms of speed and distance, than the Yanks achieved on their highly acclaimed drive for Paris after their break-out from the Normandy bridgehead. The American bridgeheads, confronted no organised resistance of consequence, in three days almost recahed Le Mans on August 6, a truly exciting advance that captured the imagination of all the war corresponents after the long weeks of bloody containment - particularly when the general commanding this dashing force packeda pearl-handled pistol on his hip in traditional cowboy style.

However, General Patton's seventy-five-mile thrust in three days pales in comparison with Lt.-Gen. Brian Horrocks's XXX Corps' thrust through France into Belgium aftertcrossing the Seine - 230 miles in six days, the Guards Armoured covering the final seventy miles in from Douai to Brussels in a single day. In fact, so swift was the initial British hundred-mile run to the Somme that General Eberbach, Commander of the Fifth Panzer Army, was captured in his pyjamas at Amiens*


*By comparison it took the swaggering Patton thirteen days (from August 6 to August 19), including three days clearing Chartres, to get from Le Mans to the Seine at Mantes, a distance of only about 140 miles."

From "The Guns of War: Book Two, The Guns of Victory" pp.3-4. By George B. Blackburn

An interesting camparison; the "slow, cautious" British, under Monty and Horrocks, significantly outpacing the 'dashing' Americans under Patton.

Yes, we have to be very careful about generalizations, don't we? Actually, I've long been inclined to consider Horrocks as one of the more under-rated commanders of the War. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Gumtree
10-04-2006, 03:18 AM
Thats it ,
I am not going to bite again http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif, nope no amount of burley will get this little fish to bite..... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif
*thinks to self ,god I hope they dont start on the Spitfire is a noob bandwagon again....I will not respond ....I will not respond http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/compsmash.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

panther3485
10-04-2006, 04:35 AM
Originally posted by Gumtree:
Thats it ,
I am not going to bite again http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif, nope no amount of burley will get this little fish to bite..... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif
*thinks to self ,god I hope they dont start on the Spitfire is a noob bandwagon again....I will not respond ....I will not respond http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/compsmash.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

My apologies, Gumtree (and others).

I'm usually pretty serious with my posts and it's not like me to 'muck about' this way.

There was a small clue a few pages back, if anyone remembers, where I specifically mentioned and recommended one particular book, 'Bitter Victory - The Battle for Sicily 1943', by Carlo D'Este.

D'Este's enthusiastic research and intensive analysis of the campaign are among the better historical accounts I've read (IMHO). Even though I would not necessarily agree 100 percent with every single one of the conclusions in his books, I nevertheless endorse the high overall quality of his work and he certainly does a very thorough job on this one! (After reading his book and others, much more to the Sicilian campaign than I once suspected).

Having studied works of this calibre, it's hardly likely that I'd seriously and unquestioningly spew forth common misconceptions from movies!

Anyway, my apologies once more and I promise not to make a habit of it!


Best regards, http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
panther3485

Jester_159th
10-04-2006, 05:55 AM
Originally posted by panther3485:

Ding-ding!!!! Another one!

Beautiful response, Jester - you also do not disappoint! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif


D'OH!

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

Sergio_101
10-04-2006, 05:38 PM
Originally posted by sukebeboy:

Further, it was actually Monty who suggested to Patton that the US 7th Army take Messina since they were in a better position to do so. Patton didn't instigate this.

In "The Patton Papers" Gen George S Patton makes
it clear that he is racing "that SOB" to Messina.
No mention of Monty suggesting he take Messina first in his diary.

Sergio

SkyChimp
10-04-2006, 06:39 PM
Both of them were ugly. But Patton was bulldog ugly, and Monty was weasel ugly. Therefore, I must go with Patton.

leitmotiv
10-04-2006, 08:47 PM
Monty was a middle class English twit and Georgy was an upper class Southern Cal loon. Class-wise he trumps Monty. Monty was not only weasel ugly he was really a weasel---nearly got thrown out of the army for sadistic pranks. Georgy demonstrated bravery above and beyond---by constantly cheating on his battleaxe wife.

panther3485
10-04-2006, 08:58 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
"Monty was a middle class English twit...."

Which is a little out of the ordinary as the greatest, most dense concentration of twits in British society is among the upper classes, but I guess there have always those in the middle class who aspired to be upper class.... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

leitmotiv
10-04-2006, 10:49 PM
I don't know, I found the English middle classes to be highly competitive. I knew a female Labourite lawyer who gushed about being "Armani Labour" one night after lashings of curry and pints. We were given to understand that she and her fellow legalistas were finer creatures than the old, common, run of the mill Labour---but, of course, absolutely sympathetic to their plight of being exploited by the depraved Conservatives. I looked at my buddy and he looked at me, and we both said "come the revolution" while looking at a lamp pole.

panther3485
10-04-2006, 11:07 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
I don't know, I found the English middle classes to be highly competitive. I knew a female Labourite lawyer who gushed about being "Armani Labour" one night after lashings of curry and pints. We were given to understand that she and her fellow legalistas were finer creatures than the old, common, run of the mill Labour---but, of course, absolutely sympathetic to their plight of being exploited by the depraved Conservatives. I looked at my buddy and he looked at me, and we both said "come the revolution" while looking at a lamp pole.

I see your point.

You appear to be referring to what I'd call the 'new wave' of British middle-class twits, whereas I was referring more to the 'traditional' twits!

But what the heck, a twit is a twit, eh? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

jensenpark
10-04-2006, 11:18 PM
to me Patton's one of the biggest twits for almost singlehandily delaying the introduction of the Pershing - by favouring the Sherman.

The book "death traps" was sure a wake up to the extreme folly of Patton's ego/stubborness/stupidity.

p1ngu666
10-04-2006, 11:19 PM
u can get twits from any class http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

panther3485
10-04-2006, 11:43 PM
Originally posted by p1ngu666:
u can get twits from any class http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Yes, don't I know it!

But the types of twits that I had in mind, infesting the British Officer Corps in considerable numbers up until WW2 at least, were of the 'upper-class' variety, 'public-school' educated, 'daddy has a peerage', tally-ho type. Incredible how an empire was built!
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

leitmotiv
10-05-2006, 01:39 AM
The "New Men" as they were known from WWI-on could be right b------ds, too. No loyality but to themselves. Evelyn Waugh's SWORD OF HONOUR TRILOGY is full of them---a rogues' gallery, esp Ludovic. The best man I met in the UK was a retired Royal Navy officer. Old school. Complete gentlemen. Knew his history. His son was my age; had gone to Prince Charles' school. Very proper. Thorough gentleman. Loved woodworking and that was his occupation. Had a great deal of trouble with my partner who was the female Labourite from hell who was ready to mix it up over anything. She tested his impeccable manners sorely. Two of the nicest people I met were just regular people---both in the Territorial Army---locked myself out in the rain and they helped me out---man and wife.

ploughman
10-05-2006, 03:28 AM
Originally posted by panther3485:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by p1ngu666:
u can get twits from any class http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Yes, don't I know it!

But the types of twits that I had in mind, infesting the British Officer Corps in considerable numbers up until WW2 at least, were of the 'upper-class' variety, 'public-school' educated, 'daddy has a peerage', tally-ho type. Incredible how an empire was built!
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not by them, they moved in after all the hard graft had been done by the miltary entrepreneurs. Take India, in the 1880s it was tame, in the 1840s it was anything but. You wouldn't have caught cretins like Cardigan anywhere near the sub-continent in the 1840s, but once it was all gin and tonic they were happy to pop over. That period's interesting in the folk and quality of generalship that was at large. There were idiots, Elphinstone for one, but there were also some tough as nails leaders like Gough, Sale, and Grant (not the American one) who knew their trade inside out. Gough for one won more battles than Wellington and was never beat neither.

panther3485
10-05-2006, 03:53 AM
Originally posted by Ploughman:
"Not by them, they moved in after all the hard graft had been done by the miltary entrepreneurs...."

Good points. Not saying they were all bad, by any means. Just reflecting on how well the Empire was built, and for the most part successfully sustained afterwards (frequently against opposition or competition from other European powers), despite the apparently significant numbers of utterly useless twits, whose positions as Officers had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with military ability.

The good ones certainly were very good though, sometimes truly outstanding, as you have pointed out. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

ploughman
10-05-2006, 03:56 AM
Quite. The British Empire, despite twits.

Sorry if I came over as a bit aggressive, I think I may've had a cup of coffee too many this morning. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

panther3485
10-05-2006, 04:06 AM
Originally posted by Ploughman:
Quite. The British Empire, despite twits.

Sorry if I came over as a bit aggressive, I think I may've had a cup of coffee too many this morning. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

No wuckers, mate! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

Besides, nothing wrong with a little 'robust debate' here and there, it makes for colour and added interest! And the both of us being such thoroughly cultured and intelligent gentlemen, we know where to draw the line, don't we? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

ploughman
10-05-2006, 04:28 AM
You got all your bits yet?

panther3485
10-05-2006, 04:38 AM
Originally posted by Ploughman:
You got all your bits yet?

The ones from the local dealer, yes.
That's the CPU, GPU, optical drives and floppy drive.

The rest is in transit from Sydney. Transit times can vary between 3 and 8 working days, once your payment has been processed and after checking with the dealer I found they processed my payment this last Tuesday morning (Monday was a Public Holiday here). I've been told the wide variation is according to what carrier they use. In my case, it's a mob called 'Australian Air Express' so I'm hoping it'll be closer to 3 days, no more than 5. That means tomorrow (Friday) if I'm lucky or early to middle of next week if I'm not so lucky.

I'm hangin' out for this stuff, as you might imagine! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

BiscuitKnight
10-05-2006, 04:56 AM
I returned a HD to nintek via Aussie Post a few months back, and the buggers somehow lost it, then told me they were legally obligated to only refund me $50, not including the postage I paid for the $89 HD (total money lost was about $104 -$50 refunded). Bloody w*****s. Is it just me, or is our postal system inept? Moral of the story is, mate, don't send anything by Australia Post if it's worth more than $50, unless you insure it. They never told me until after they lost it! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

(your mention of freighting computer parts reminded me, not that you're using Aus Post)

ploughman
10-05-2006, 05:18 AM
Well, your post might suck but give your customs and excise service a kiss from me next time you're at the airport.

I sent a painting to a mate of mine in Newcastle, NSW a few years ago as a wedding present. Anyway, I put a commercial value on it for insurance purposes forgetting that he'd be obliged to pay tax on it if it exceeded the Aussie gift allowance. Some mate eh? Anyway he was lumped with a huge tax bill and I was feeling a bit of a heel so I got in touch with customs, turned out the painting was incarcerated at Sydney airport, and, can you believe it, after I gave them my sob story they let him off the tax and released the painting. I can't honestly believe of another revenue service on the planet that would've done it.

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

mynameisroland
10-05-2006, 05:42 AM
Originally posted by panther3485:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by luftluuver:
"The Cats and late model P4s had no trouble disposing of T-34s, sloped armour or not."

The T-34 deserves praise because of the huge advance it represented over all other nations' designs when it first appeared. That lead was not properly made up for at least two years after it was first met in battle by the Germans.

True, the long-gunned PzKpfw IV could quite easily knock it out, but was itself fairly vulnerable to the T-34. It was also at some disadvantage in speed and general mobility over the types of terrain and conditions typically found in Russia. Effectively, it was usually superior German tactics, training and communications that would make the biggest difference. Also, against the 76mm models of T-34, there was the question of crew layout, which favoured the German tanks until the T-34-85 appeared.

Although the Panther appeared in July 1943, it was some time after that before the 'bugs' were anywhere near properly resolved and the vehicle could be regarded as reasonably reliable. By the time it was available for service in significant numbers, the war was as good as lost for Germany anyway.

Comparison with the Tiger is rather inappropriate I feel (although there were obviously plenty of occasions when T-34s had no option but to try to tackle it - with understandably very high losses, usually).

The Tiger I was truly a magnificent and formidable tank, but it weighed about the same as two T-34 mediums, putting it in a completely different class. The total resources expended in its production, deployment and maintenance were enormously costly (though one could of course argue that its value on the battlefield justified the cost). Nevertheless, the far less costly and complex Soviet IS-2 was its match in many important respects, yet 10 tons lighter.

It was the mere appearance and existence of the T-34 (and to some extent the KV-1) that drove the Germans to crash-modify the PzKpfw IV, design & produce the Panther in great haste, and helped re-vitalize the impetus for their heavy tank designs to produce the Tiger.

This, together with the fact that it was one of the Soviets' war-winning weapons, is what assures the T-34 of its almost unique place in the tank design 'hall of fame'.

As for the Sherman:

I will not join some of the others here who have a very low opinion of the M4, since I do not believe it was anything like as poor a tank, all factors considered, as certain individuals here have made out.


Best regards, http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
panther3485 </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

JS2 was a later design than the Tiger, its real contemporary was the Tiger II. JS2 carried 22/28 rounds of main gun ammo compared to 80+ for Tiger ? JS2 had awful turret front design which allowed Tigers and Panthers to kill them at much longer ranges than the armour numbers on paper suggest. JS2 had pants optics and fire control mechanism compared to Panther and Tiger and also its light weight was bought at the price of crew comfort and efficiency.

The only area where the JS2 comes out on top imo is in the underated category of HE firepower vs infantry/bunkers ect.

All this bashing of the Panzer III ignores the fact that the Stug III evolved from it and it was arguably more important to the Wehrmacht than the Tiger or Panther.

BiscuitKnight
10-05-2006, 06:17 AM
Originally posted by mynameisroland:
JS2 was a later design than the Tiger, its real contemporary was the Tiger II. JS2 carried 22/28 rounds of main gun ammo compared to 80+ for Tiger ? JS2 had awful turret front design which allowed Tigers and Panthers to kill them at much longer ranges than the armour numbers on paper suggest. JS2 had pants optics and fire control mechanism compared to Panther and Tiger and also its light weight was bought at the price of crew comfort and efficiency.

The only area where the JS2 comes out on top imo is in the underated category of HE firepower vs infantry/bunkers ect.

All this bashing of the Panzer III ignores the fact that the Stug III evolved from it and it was arguably more important to the Wehrmacht than the Tiger or Panther.

Who's bashing the Panzer III? I've probably been its worst critic in saying the Germans would have been smarter mounting a 50mm first and leaving provision for a 75mm. Even then, I understand why they chose the 37mm with room for the 50mm - even the Germans, for all their insight, never forsaw much of the course of the war.

Other than that, I don't see any real bashing.

As for your defense of the Tiger: the IS-2's 122mm gun was selected because it could blow the turret off the Tiger tank at a considerable range. It didn't matter if the IS-2 was slightly inferior, the Russian doctrine was different to the German one: the Tiger was supposed to dominate the battlefield and come out unscathed after smashing entire Russian armoured platoons, whereas the IS-2 was meant to operate in large formations. One Tiger lost wasn't good for the Germans, whereas one IS-2 platoon lost barely mattered to the Russians.

The trouble with the Tiger's line of thinking was that it wanted to be impervious to enemy fire, and that's just impractical: you make armour impentable to the 76.2mm, they get a 100mm gun, you make armour imprevious to that, they get a 122mm gun, you make armour impervious to that and they get a 152mm gun, and so it goes. In the 1940s the gun was superior, right now apparently armour has the drop on guns, but at the time it was impractical to try and make an impervious tank: it was more feasible for the enemy to mount bigger guns than for you to carry sufficient armour to defeat their heavy-hitters. Even the Jagdtiger would have succumbed to a well placed 500lb bomb on its head. The mobility of that sucker was also so bad it was worthless for Blitzkrieg.

I think it says it all that Heinz Guderian insisted the Panzer IV stay in production and not give its share to the Panthers and Tigers. Wise move.

Gumtree
10-05-2006, 07:14 AM
Hey Guys I was wondering, the T-50/72/80 etc look alot like the JS series of tanks.
What my question is, did they evolve from these tanks or are they a completely different linage?

BiscuitKnight
10-05-2006, 07:30 AM
Different: the IS-2 became the poor quality IS-3 (good on paper, but apparently produced poorly) and onto the IS-10 before the Red Army recognised the Heavy Tank was dead. Meanwhile the T-34 became the T-44 with the 100mm gun (this is from memory) and that was superseded by the T-54 and T-55 that incorporated new design ideas with the T-34 basis. Even the T-64 bears a similarity and was largely based on the T-55, but a new design, not a modification. The T-80 came from the T-64, but the T-72 was again a new design. The T-72 spawned the T-90 while the T-80 is apparently a dead line, unless the Ukrainian T-84 spawns something new. The next Russian MBT will be from the T-72/T-90 line, and so while influenced by the T-34, the IS series has nothing really to do with the T-54/5 series or T-64, let alone the T-72. Hope that answers your q, and that I didn't miss anything.

panther3485
10-05-2006, 09:43 AM
Originally posted by mynameisroland:
"JS2 was a later design than the Tiger, its real contemporary was the Tiger II."

Yes, the IS-1/IS-2 were 'evolved' from the KV series and as you say, later designs than the Tiger I. However, IS-2 had to deal with Tiger I more often than Tiger II, if only because the latter was less common on the battlefield. It was also, in terms of its basic fighting attributes more closely comparable to Tiger I and in terms of its weight, to Panther, than to Tiger II, which was in a very different class again. In fact, neither the Soviets nor anyone else at the time had a tank in service that was reasonably comparable to Tiger II either in weight or in tank fighting power. The US M-26 Pershing was also a 'newer' design that was more 'contemporary' to the Tiger II but nevertheless still compared much more closely to Tiger I and Panther. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif



Originally posted by mynameisroland:
"JS2 had awful turret front design which allowed Tigers and Panthers to kill them at much longer ranges than the armour numbers on paper suggest."

The turret front design could have been better but was far from being 'awful'. And the 'kill them at much longer ranges....' due to that shape, though no doubt occasionally possible, was by no means as easy or consistently achievable as your wording would appear to suggest.

According to German tactical instructions, a Panther had to close to 600 metres to guarantee penetration of IS-2, while the IS-2 could penetrate the Panther at ranges of 1,000 metres.

(Source: 'IS-2 Heavy Tank' by Steve Zaloga and Peter Sarson, Osprey Publications.)



Originally posted by mynameisroland:
"JS2 had pants optics and fire control mechanism compared to Panther and Tiger"

Yes, but this was true of just about all Soviet tanks, compared to just about all German tanks, throughout the war. It was, effectively, a tactical disadvantage for Soviet tanks that applied 'across the board' - a 'constant'. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif



Originally posted by mynameisroland:
"....and also its light weight was bought at the price of crew comfort and efficiency."

True. Of course, this is a pattern we have consistently seen with Soviet designs from WW2 right up to the present. Pretty much another constant, with a few exceptions. Nevertheless, even when bought at such a price, lighter weight does have its benefits.



Originally posted by mynameisroland:
"The only area where the JS2 comes out on top imo is in the underated category of HE firepower vs infantry/bunkers ect."

You will notice that I never claimed superiority for IS-2 compared to Tiger, only that it was "its match in many important respects". For many intents and purposes on the battlefield, it was effectively just that. It was a tank that provided armour protection and firepower superior to its predecessor KV-1, combined with reasonably good mobility in an overall package that came closer to matching Tiger I than any previous Soviet tank in service.

And though it had its deficits (including a relatively slow rate of fire, to add to the ones you've already mentioned), it was markedly superior to Panther and both Tigers in one key area - which again, you have touched on. Sheer weight of the round. It fired a 25Kg HE projectile (compared, for instance, to the Panther's puny 7Kg). http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

Although tank enthusiasts are obsessed with the anti-armour performance of tank guns, based on historical record far more rounds of high-explosive are used by tanks in combat. Although being of broadly similar performance to the Panther's and Tiger I's main armaments in terms of armour penetration, the IS-2's 122mm gun was vastly superior as a support weapon.



Originally posted by mynameisroland:
"All this bashing of the Panzer III ignores the fact that the Stug III evolved from it and it was arguably more important to the Wehrmacht than the Tiger or Panther."

Broadly speaking, if you read my posts on this and other threads, you will see we should be in general agreement regarding the PzKpfw III. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif


Best regards, http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
panther3485

panther3485
10-05-2006, 10:04 AM
Originally posted by Gumtree:
Hey Guys I was wondering, the T-50/72/80 etc look alot like the JS series of tanks.
What my question is, did they evolve from these tanks or are they a completely different linage?

Hope you had no problems understanding BiscuitKnights answer, which was correct i.e. T-72 and T-80 did not 'evolve' from IS series, which came to a dead-end with the IS-8 (later designated T-10) as the final version of that lineage to enter series production. The T-10/T-10M had its heyday in the 50's and early 60's and approximately 8,000 had been produced, making it, numerically at least, the most significant tank of the Stalin series.

The T-50 was in fact a light tank designed to replace the T-26. Only 65 were built and it was quickly replaced in service by subsequent designs. It has no connection with the other Soviet vehicles we've been discussing.


Best regards, http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
panther3485

panther3485
10-05-2006, 10:23 AM
Originally posted by BiscuitKnight:
"Moral of the story is, mate, don't send anything by Australia Post if it's worth more than $50, unless you insure it. They never told me until after they lost it!" http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/35.gif

Correct moral. Many customers are unaware of this and a few find out the 'hard way'.

The actual number of 'lost' or 'damaged' items is miniscule in overall percentage terms when you look at the colossal volumes of mail handled by Post, but of course that's not much consolation to somebody who loses something (or has something arrive damaged), if it was sent by ordinary mail and is not adequately covered by the $50.00 maximum liability limit.

I've dealt with this first hand as I'm employed by Australia Post and worked for a while in their 'complaints department'.


Best regards, http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
panther3485

panther3485
10-05-2006, 10:57 AM
Wandered away from the subject of Monty a bit, haven't we? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

Gumtree
10-05-2006, 05:30 PM
Thank you that was much easier than getting off my backside and going to the bookshelf to read a book http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

panther3485
10-05-2006, 06:48 PM
Originally posted by Gumtree:
Thank you that was much easier than getting off my backside and going to the bookshelf to read a book http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

No problem as, in this particular case at least, I didn't have to pick up a book! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

SkyChimp
10-05-2006, 07:36 PM
Monty had a nipple ring on the left, and Patton had on the right. Therefore, Patton was the better General.

leitmotiv
10-05-2006, 08:19 PM
I have it on the excellent authority of the Patton Museum's curator, Merkin Muffley, that Georgy wore a gigantic codpiece while Monty was endowed like a stallion. Therefore, logically, Monty was the better general.

ploughman
10-06-2006, 02:45 AM
Originally posted by SkyChimp:
Monty had a nipple ring on the left, and Patton had on the right. Therefore, Patton was the better General.

And Scaramanga? Potentially the greatest leader since Alexander of Macedon?

ImpStarDuece
10-06-2006, 03:14 AM
Originally posted by Ploughman:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by SkyChimp:
Monty had a nipple ring on the left, and Patton had on the right. Therefore, Patton was the better General.

And Scaramanga? Potentially the greatest leader since Alexander of Macedon? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You really don't want to know where his ring was...

BiscuitKnight
10-06-2006, 03:45 AM
Originally posted by panther3485:
Correct moral. Many customers are unaware of this and a few find out the 'hard way'.

The actual number of 'lost' or 'damaged' items is miniscule in overall percentage terms when you look at the colossal volumes of mail handled by Post, but of course that's not much consolation to somebody who loses something (or has something arrive damaged), if it was sent by ordinary mail and is not adequately covered by the $50.00 maximum liability limit.

I've dealt with this first hand as I'm employed by Australia Post and worked for a while in their 'complaints department'.


Best regards, http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
panther3485

Open mouth insert foot... I laughed at myself when you said you'd worked in their complaints department.

I respect that Australia Post deals with a lot of mail, it's just that there've been a few muck ups at Australia Post's end over time, and then when I actually asked the person at the Post Office if there was anything, other than putting a return address on the package, I could do to make sure it didn't get lost, and she never mentioned anything like insurance or that if it was lost I only get $50 back, it really makes you wonder if the comedians aren't close to the truth with how Australia Post treats mail.

Probably the most frustrating part of the whole mess was that the HD was actually broken, hence why I was returning it - its practical value was nil but it ended up costing me on top of its $89 value in trying to redeem its cost! That just made me want to throw some cold spaghetti at a Llama.

panther3485
10-06-2006, 04:13 AM
Originally posted by BiscuitKnight:
"....when I actually asked the person at the Post Office if there was anything, other than putting a return address on the package, I could do to make sure it didn't get lost, and she never mentioned anything like insurance or that if it was lost I only get $50 back, it really makes you wonder if the comedians aren't close to the truth with how Australia Post treats mail."

Did you tell her what the value of the item was? If so, and if that's the way it went down, seems to me she should have advised you on your other options (including alternative services, such as Registered Post with Confirmation of Delivery, for example; not to mention insurance). Outside of ordinary mail, there are a number of services you can use that involve 'track and trace', i.e. the parcel will be barcoded and scanned at each major point of transit after lodgement (but not at the point of lodgement itself). Makes it a lot easier to trace 'lost' items but ordinary mail? Forget it. No records are kept and unless the postie or parcel contractor can remember the specific item (a long shot, given the sheer volumes they handle daily), you're sunk without a lifeboat.


Best regards,
panther3485

P.S. - Wouldn't necessarily blame the counter officer every time, as they can be under a heck of a lot of stress and pressure at times, thanks to...... well, no, I'd better not go there!

SkyChimp
10-06-2006, 06:07 PM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
I have it on the excellent authority of the Patton Museum's curator, Merkin Muffley, that Georgy wore a gigantic codpiece while Monty was endowed like a stallion. Therefore, logically, Monty was the better general.

It's great to have a big gun, but without ammo, it's worthless.

Monty had one testical. Patton had three. Therefore, Patton was the more ballsy general.

leitmotiv
10-06-2006, 07:03 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

jensenpark
10-06-2006, 07:20 PM
Originally posted by SkyChimp:


Monty had one testical. Patton had three.

I know how methodically you usually research things Chimp - but in this case, how 'bout you just say you heard it somewhere. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

leitmotiv
10-06-2006, 08:19 PM
I saw his documentary evidence. Straight from the Imperial War Museum---filed under "Chronic W---ers of British Military History". Patton's equipment is so impressive it is kept at the Aberdeen Proving Ground with the 16" railway gun.

ploughman
10-07-2006, 09:48 AM
Originally posted by leitmotiv:
I saw his documentary evidence. Straight from the Imperial War Museum---filed under "Chronic W---ers of British Military History".

Which volume?

leitmotiv
10-07-2006, 12:01 PM
Righto, Ploughman, Volume 471. Just head over to the IWM and see Mr Plimcott-Ballocks in charge of collections; he'll guide you to the material.

ploughman
10-07-2006, 02:09 PM
I understand the "Chronic W---ers of British Military History" records office was recently moved to a large warehousing complex on the M25 to better accomodate the volume of materials they have to maintain.

It's visible from space, apparrently.

Volume 471? Monty must be misfiled, that's still in names begining with A. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

leitmotiv
10-07-2006, 03:59 PM
A source in the Ministry of Defence has tipped off a dominatrix who posted a notice on Maddox Pacific Fighters forum telling that the MO files have been moved to the former R100/R101 airship hangar until further notice. I saw in the TIMES the other day the govt was considering slapping all "W---ers" files with the Official Secrets Act, and closing them 'til Hell freezes over.