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Wednesday, July 12, 2017


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  1. 6 points
    The Nazis lost WW2 because Hitler, (a bloody incompetent corporal), insisted on detailing the specifics of campaigns. While the plans laid down by Wehrmacht's general staff won them France Hitler insisted on letting the British expeditionary force escape when he let Göring take the lead in bombing them. Not only did they botch the plans Luftwaffe had for reducing British defenses when they reordered to bomb cities as petty revenge, but they insisted on a two front war with operation Barbarrossa, nay, a three front war when they went to the aid of Mussolini before Barbarossa. Then there were the grandiose schemes. Building giant guns and giant tanks. While at the same time Hitler stopped the production of assault rifles and jeg fighters. Last but not least, spending logistical resources on cruel and cowardly genocide against civilians. I repeat: Hitler lost the war all by himself.
  2. 3 points
    And following on from Joris' remark: "Failure to take Britain out of the war...", the Axis powers' failure to take out Malta. By holding on to Malta, the British navy and air force were able to pretty well control attempts by Germany and Italy to supply and reinforce their armies in North Africa. This in turn pinned down German forces in North Africa - they had to defend themselves against British and Commonwealth forces - and they were stopped at El Alamein from advancing into the Mandate of Palestine and on towards the Caucasus mountains where they cause havoc to Soviet forced and help capture the oil fields around the Caspian Sea. Malta was strategically important out of proportion to its small size. And by the German forces being pinned down in North Africa by Britain and its allies in North Africa, this effective German war machine was prevented from joining the fighting anywhere on the Eastern Front. - I agree also with Philip Whitehouse that Italy's attack on the Balkans hampered Germany's military strength on the Eastern front both in terms of war material and the wastage of time in a 'silly' war that could have been avoided.
  3. 3 points
    He was a general and a Field Marshal and relied on giving tactical orders which meant that he was doing everyone else's jobs and ignoring his own which was supposed to be strategic decisions. He routinely went to the front to meddle because he couldn't help himself which meant that during critical stages of battles no one knew where he was to make those higher level decisions.
  4. 3 points
    My father CSM George DuRante joined the US Navy during WW1 in 1917. At the start of WW 2 he switched to the US Army in which he served til retired medically in 1970, for a career of 53 years. I've been told on good authority that he served longer than any other enlisted man. He and my mom are buried at Arlington,and his tombstone lists-WWI,WW2,Korea,and Vietnam.I served in the Navy,did a tour in Vietnam,then was discharged.
  5. 3 points
    Indeed. Why the yanks allowed them to keep face by keeping their god emperor is beyond me. They should have forced a total unconditional surrender like the allies did by carpet bombing german cities. The japs killed thousands at pearl harbour a total unprovoked attack on the USA itself justification enough for total surrender upon american victory let alone the millions of chinese killed and raped.
  6. 3 points
    Why did the Axis lose the war ? Because they got themselves into the ridiculous situation where they were at war with the USSR, the USA, and the British Commonwealth simultaneously.
  7. 2 points
  8. 2 points
    I live near (i.e. within sight of) what was a Fleet Air Arm training school, (now known as "Ronaldsway Airport") Trainee pilots from Ronaldway practiced dive-bombing over the sea a few hundred yards offshore (There's still a big concrete "->" set into the slope to point the way towards the target. The planes they were practising on had a worrying tendency to spray hydraulic fluid directly into the pilot's face as he pulled up from the dive. Quite a number never DID pull up as a result, and just crashed (fatally) straight into the sea. The plane is remembered for attacks on the Tirpitz (without success)... and for crashing worryingly often. So I nominate... The Fairey Barracuda. (The second Fairey plane to achieve a nomination!)
  9. 2 points
    I chose to vote “Yes,” even though the success of an amphibious invasion would be highly suspect. Britain might have been nearly demoralized by that point, but it’s a far cry from a readiness to capitulate. Defeating an army in the field is simply not the same as conquering a nation on its own soil (see also: Japan 1945, and Russia - twice). Still, Britain might have been forced to negotiate, at a minimum, had Hitler been more patient. The Wolf Packs were highly successful to that point in the war, and were slowly starving the country of precious war materiel. Make no mistake, by the end of 1940, the UK was on the ropes. Hitler being Hitler, however, was really the fatal flaw for the Germans. That’s not to say that the defeat of the Nazis was predestined; and, certainly, no one would have known just how utterly bankrupt were his skills as a Commander in Chief. Moreover, a bit more luck on his part, and a few more critical errors among the Allies, and History’s turn might have been far different.
  10. 2 points
    Although the US did warn the Japanese people it wasn't in particular very clear about the type of bomb it would drop. Also correct me if I am mistaken, but the Japanese actually had feelers present in Russia to look for the possibility of negotiating peace. I think if you have to remain neutral then dropping of the atomic bombs can be termed as necessary evil because from the Allied point of view it saved about a million soldiers' lives but from the Japanese point of view it killed about a million civilians and caused many more problems directly related those bombs.
  11. 2 points
    Invading Poland is seen as the actual beginning of WW2 so it is a big mistake for the world. Invading Poland (by it's self) had very little adverse effect on Germany or it's plans to occupy Europe. Without a doubt Hitler's biggest mistake was invading Russia before he had totally dominated Western Europe especially England.
  12. 2 points
    Thanks George, so we dont have agreed figures for how many Stalin killed I see. A cruel irony of Stalin and Hitler is that they both killed the same people. The Russians and Slavs had to endure two of the most murderous dictators in history in the twentieth century, with Hitler killing around 20 million in USSR (14 million civilians, 6 million soldiers) by some estimates and Stalin murdering another 25 million of the same nation. We are very lucky to live in the time and place we do.
  13. 2 points
    In a way, Adam, you are asking at least two different questions - both good ones! (1) Who caused the greatest number of deaths; and (2) who would have caused the greatest number of deaths if he had won? So, who WAS the greatest criminal, and who was POTENTIALLY the greatest criminal? In both cases we are up against rather creative, politically motivated statisticians. For example, one professor in the U.S. 'calculated' that Stalin's gulags killed over 80 million people. Let's pause and digest this figure. It sounds impressive; we would like to believe it because it seems to confirm our opinion of Stalin, anyway. BUT: back in the 1920s-1930s, 80 million was about a third of USSR's total population. This cannot be right. So then you begin to worry about statisticians and their craft. And you start wondering where the figure of 30 million died of starvation under Stalin. (You read similar figures for the Chinese famines under Mao). Is this figure 'reasonable'? Do these figures suggest a political bias? When I was a school boy, the alleged losses (military and civilian combined) on the Eastern Front was about 15-18 million; now it somehow risen to 20-28 million. In terms of future brutality, I believe that Hitler would have been the one with the highest real figure of population losses. There were no breaks on Hitler's brutality; I believe there was with Stalin - his brutality was more targeted, and famine is not something one can control in time to save lives; some of its losses must be left to 'accident' or 'chance' or 'carelessness'. But Hitler killed and killed deliberately. Had he won the war, there probably wouldn't be a 'Slav' left in Europe or a 'Turk' left in Central Asia. During the war, Churchill refused to try to alleviate the famine in India by using the navy to ship grain to the stricken areas. He has been criticised for this. It is said he had an unswerving hatred for Indians. Furthermore, it has been said that Indian grain merchants were hoarding huge amounts of grain, waiting for higher prices. If true, all one can say that the profit motive can sometimes be inhuman. Not making a political point here; just saying... Good question, though. It makes one think.
  14. 2 points
    Since I was a kid, I started reading and making drawings about WWII because there were 3 magazines (or comics) about the war areas (U2, SOS and Trinchera, or Trench). I became very fond of them, and collected every one of them through the years. I noticed the gallantry, sacrifice and efforts of the fighting men and the machines they used. I became most interested of WWII planes, being my favorites The Spitfire, the Mosquito, the Tempest, the Lancaster and B-17 bombers from the Allied side, and the ME-109, FW 190, JU 88 and Me-262 from the German side. Also some other fighter bomber planes in particular stories. But later I became also a fan of war films and began to understand the tragedy behind the war. I think that no war was so special than this: there were the biggest battles known everywhere (exceptin Jutland), as the Battle of Britain, Stalingrad, Kursk, D-Day, the biggest deploy of submarines, the biggest and more powerful war ships known, the larger bomber attacks, the technical advances and, of course, the atomic bombs. Never so many million dead people and so much destruction were achieved. From then on nothing was the same when talking about wars.
  15. 2 points
    Leo. Yes Gort was going to Command in North Africa but died. To say that Montgomery was the last in a long list of candidates and that he was not popular with Churchill is, I believe, incorrect. Churchill was impressed with Montgomery’s innovative approach to defence post Dunkirk and held him in high regard in accounts that i have read. Monty’s almost miraculous ability to raise the morale of the 8th Army by personally speaking to nearly all of his new command, usually from the ‘stage’ of a tank and ordering them to use precious water to shave and to smarten up generally was very effective.
  16. 2 points
    Not sure that Montgomery was the greatest but as with all WW2 commanders, to rank them you have to put them into their context. As a junior officer, Montgomery had been on the Somme on the first day and the casualties always haunted him. After Dunkirk he was in charge of a length of the south coast and on an inspection he impressed Churchill with his innovative approach using what little he had to hand and his fighting spirit. The North African to and fro caused Churchill to worry that the German soldier had better fighting qualities than the British soldier. Churchill remembered how impressed he had been with Montgomery during the ‘darkest days’ and held talks with him where once again he was impressed by his views. Monty said that any commander would need superior numbers and resources if he was to win with the minimum casualties. He was appointed and as with Churchill’s ‘common touch ‘ speeches he employed the same tactics to build the morale and fighting spirit of the 8th Army. The submarines from Malta were ordered to deplete Rommel’s resources as much as possible while Monty was reinforced by ship around the Cape of Good Hope. Monty also deployed his forces with great skill, and out witted Rommel. In Europe his actions during the Falais Pocket fighting were exemplary. Montgomery was never at ease with the American Commanders (he repeatedly infuriated Eisenhower and of course Patton) but did Command the most US Forces under non US Command ever in history during the fight back at the battle of the bulge. He was let down by his junior staff who refused to believe Dutch intelligence of a German tank force on R and R near Arnhem and Market Garden subsequently failed but had it succeeded it would have been one of the greatest gambles of WW2. He knew that Horrocks would face great difficulties in moving his armour north along a single road but he had to accept the terrain that he was to fight on. He disobeyed Eisenhower’s order to stop advancing in Northern Germany and thereby prevented the Soviets moving ever westwards and probably ‘liberating’ Denmark, which would have complicated the ‘ cold war’ beyond measure. I had the honour of meeting both Monty and a member of his senior staff which probably makes me biased but I would describe him as a successful reliable commander with great rapport with the men in his command but also never at ease with the Americans, especially Patton. For me, taking into account all of the history, politics, pressure and forces/ resources that he had to contend with, I would suggest that Zhukov was the best commander of WW2.
  17. 2 points
    iI am interested in War history because i was part of it.. iam nearly 91 years of age, i wenrt tru tghe London Blitz, was in the Home Guard when i was 16, i volunteered for the Army on my 17th birthday, called up at 17 and a i/2. and served 4 years in Germeny , Italy and Jugolavia, demobben in jan 1948, then recalled again in 1951 for retraining for Korea. i wasa D/o in the Royal Artillery.
  18. 2 points
    My Mother was British and met Dad while he was stationed in England during WW2. Dad was part of the Army-Air Corp and repaired radios on P-47s. Mom followed Dad back to the states where they were married and started a family. I graduated HS in 68 and joined the AF that same year. I served in SE Asia during Nam and got out after my 4yr hitch. I joined the Army Guard in 84, and 2yrs later I landed a full time slot as a combat photographer. I ended up serving 24yrs with the Indiana Army Guard. As a photographer I was sent to most war zones, and training missions. I saw more of the world then most troops ever will, and I am thankful for it.
  19. 2 points
    The Avro Vulcan - a raity, in that you don't find many supersonic strategic bombers with aerobatic capabilities! Dating back to a time when the UK led the world in Jet design.
  20. 2 points
    Could it be that Hitler tried to take on the Great Bear at the same time he was fighting a war in the West. His general staff consisted of around 9 people while the Pentagon had hundreds to do the planning. They were over whelmed.
  21. 2 points
    Dear Pieter, As a symbol (And a fine fighter aircraft), the Spitfire was THE airplane of the "Battle of Britain". It was, however, the less glamorous Hawker Hurricane that accounted for 60% of the German aircraft shot down during the engagement.
  22. 2 points
    Declaring war on the U.S. after Pearl Harbour. Would have been great pressure on Roosevelt to stay out of Europe otherwise, but Hitler played right into Roosevelt and Churchill's hands.
  23. 2 points
    T-34's turned the tables at Kursk. After that, the Germans were only going one way. Without it, the war in the West would have been a different ball game.
  24. 2 points
    Spitfire, without it the Battle of Britain would have been lost.
  25. 2 points
    2 Things, One was Hitler's decision to split Army Group center on the way to Stalingrad. The other was to declare war on the United States of America,