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after all is said and done I remember my brother's saying and he admits to hearing it else where.  Strategy wins battles, and Logistics wins wars.  Simple as that.

Reb

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I visited Japan this spring and I thought about exactly this question. The owerall effects of the atomic bombings.
A simple siege might have done it. On the other hand, they were tough people with small demands.
The atomic bombings had an enormous chock effect. Estimated 90,000–146,000 died in Hiroshima. Prior to that, a conventional bombing of Tokyo had created a firestorm with an estimated death toll of 100,000. That figure has later been disputed since both sides may have had reasons of their own for minimizing the death toll.  As many as 200,000 lives may have been lost in one night. Nevertheless, it didn’t create the same arousal.
In Hiroshima the question: “Could this be justified?” only comes naturally. Shortly after Hiroshima I went to the island Shikoku and I realized that the answer is “Yes”. The terrain highly favors low-tech warfare. Steep mountains, narrow clefts and dense vegetation would, in my judgement, have rendered heavy equipment, including airplanes, almost useless. All the advantages would be with the defenders. The war would be prolonged significantly. Continuous terror bombing could have taken millions of civilian lives and the US military losses would be enormous.
So yes. I agree with R Naumann. No matter how terrible they were, I would say the atomic bombs saved lives.

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On 2/11/2017 at 3:51 PM, Ron Walker said:

 

Which of course leads to the proviso "If Russia had allowed it." Post WW2, in the panic to include Germany in the newly formed NATO alliance, it was necessary to re-write quite a lot of German history. Everything became the Nazi's fault. That Germany had built its first death camp (in its South African protectorate) when Hitler was just eight years old makes "it was all the Nazi's fault" somewhat absurd. Nazism merely continued standard doctrines from the old Imperial Germany, Who bombed civilians in London during WW1? Who invaded neutral countries during WW1? Who was the first to use poisoned gas? Hard to blame such behaviour on a man who at the time was a mere corporal in the army. Clearly, these were NOT very nice people.

Inter wars, during the Weimar republic, when Germany was spilt into two by a thin strip of land declared to be part of Poland, Ostpreuss (East Prussia) was at an economic disadvantage, being cut off from the rest of the country. A scheme was established to subsidise the costs of production in East Prussia called "OstHilfe". And it appears that the Democracy-supporting parties in the Weimar Republic were embezzling money from the scheme hand-over-fist.Politically, the country was divided three ways; Democrats, Communists and Fascists. The Democrats for the most part looked like crooks, the Communists were dancing to Moscow's tune. No wonder Germany fought a brief, but vicious civil war after the conclusion of WW1. The Navy sided with the Reds, the Army sided with the Right. The right won... the democrats claimed the victory. But large areas of the country - notably Berlin and Hamburg - remained sympathetic to the Communist cause, Right wing support was strongest in the South of the country.

Given Stalin's behaviour during his years as Soviet leader, I suspect that a "peaceful Germany" would have been just TOO tempting a target. Remember that Stalin is thought to have ordered the murder of very many more people than Hitler ever did.(although there's a new book which disputes these figures. Even if Stalin did kill "only" 10,000.000 people, as opposed to Hitler's 11,000,000, in a "Peaceful" Germany, most of Hitler's numbers would have lived... but not Stalin's.)

 

I think you are a little unfair to the German people. I'm not saying you're exactly wrong about it, and I am not saying it was ok what the Germans did, but I want to point out that attacks on neutral countries and bombing civilians is not a special German conduct without precedent.

In 1801 and again in 1807, the British attacked Denmark-Norway, who at the time were neutral, and in 1807 they even performed terror bombing of Copenhagen with phosphorus loaded Congreve rockets.

Nor is concentration camps a German invention. They have always been in use wherever human conflict, or oppression, have occurred. The picture is blurred. It seems to me that concentration camps lie on a continuum gradually ranging from partly humanitarian facilities, over prison camps, some with discriminating food rations, that in it selves lead to death by starvation. The final step, the industrialized death camp, is a Nazi thing without precedent.

No matter Stalin’s personality he could have been forced to accept a peaceful Germany It is possible to maintain an army strong enough to deter potential attackers without necessarily put it to use offensively. In fact, it was Carl von Clausewitz who said that you do not need to be the strongest, you only need to be strong enough.

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3 hours ago, Robert Elbrønd said:

I visited Japan this spring and I thought about exactly this question. The owerall effects of the atomic bombings.
A simple siege might have done it. On the other hand, they were tough people with small demands.
The atomic bombings had an enormous chock effect. Estimated 90,000–146,000 died in Hiroshima. Prior to that, a conventional bombing of Tokyo had created a firestorm with an estimated death toll of 100,000. That figure has later been disputed since both sides may have had reasons of their own for minimizing the death toll.  As many as 200,000 lives may have been lost in one night. Nevertheless, it didn’t create the same arousal.
In Hiroshima the question: “Could this be justified?” only comes naturally. Shortly after Hiroshima I went to the island Shikoku and I realized that the answer is “Yes”. The terrain highly favors low-tech warfare. Steep mountains, narrow clefts and dense vegetation would, in my judgement, have rendered heavy equipment, including airplanes, almost useless. All the advantages would be with the defenders. The war would be prolonged significantly. Continuous terror bombing could have taken millions of civilian lives and the US military losses would be enormous.
So yes. I agree with R Naumann. No matter how terrible they were, I would say the atomic bombs saved lives.

Well, given the fanatical response of the Japanese when we invaded the Marianas that even involved civilians was definitely a preview of what an invasion of Japan would look like. The hospitals in Hawaii were prepared to accept up to a million US casualties in the event of an invasion of the Japanese homeland and I would image the Japanese would have suffered millions of casualties of both civilian and military.

I got an interesting perspective of WWII from Japanese civilians when I visited Pearl Harbor several years ago. Their concept of WWII is that the US cut off the oil supply to Japan, they attacked Pearl Harbor to destroy the US Navy, and the US dropped atomic bombs on Japan.

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13 hours ago, Robert Naumann said:

Well, given the fanatical response of the Japanese when we invaded the Marianas that even involved civilians was definitely a preview of what an invasion of Japan would look like. The hospitals in Hawaii were prepared to accept up to a million US casualties in the event of an invasion of the Japanese homeland and I would image the Japanese would have suffered millions of casualties of both civilian and military.

I got an interesting perspective of WWII from Japanese civilians when I visited Pearl Harbor several years ago. Their concept of WWII is that the US cut off the oil supply to Japan, they attacked Pearl Harbor to destroy the US Navy, and the US dropped atomic bombs on Japan.

It's totally unfashionable to suggest such an idea - probably regarded as racist(!) but... the Japanese historically just don't THINK like Westerners. They remained trapped in a feudal medieval bubble for 220 years  until Commodore Perry turned up in 1853, and demanded - at cannon-point - that Japan opened its doors to the world.Make no mistake - as Isaac Newton put it, we "stand on the shoulders of Giants". WE know stuff because others before us discovered it.

(I'm sorely tempted to diverge into a discussion of the impact of the Lisbon Earthquake (and the Tsunami that followed it) of 1755 on European thinking. The quake struck on All Saints' Day, when Portugal's churches were packed full of Christian believers... who were crushed when the churches collapsed on top of them, or burned when the candles set fires, or drowned when then Tsunami arrived. It CHANGED how people across Europe saw religion.WHY had god killed so many of his OWN? Previously, .the answer to "Why is the sky blue?" would probably be "Because that's how God likes it!" Not good enough to get religion off the hook after 1775. Now it began to be accepted that The world was a complicated mechanism, like a clock, which God had created, wound it up, and left it ticking.Investigating how it worked was now acceptable. But I'm not going to do that!)

The Japanese remained a FEUDAL society - yet also, nominally, a democracy.They genuinely regarded the Emperor as a God.To die for your country and emperor they regarded as not merely a duty, but a great honour. My late father-in-law fought in Burma with the XIV army and captured a Japanese private, who before they could get him back to base had plunged a pencil through his own eye into his brain with fatal results. And it was a "democracy tempered by assassinations". Anyone stupid enough to oppose the rabidly agressive nationalism of the ruling party could expect to be assassinated by an officer cadet.(Which happened several times!) Even when there was nowhere else TO go... surrender was just too alien a concept to the Japanese. Unthinkable - like child molestation is regarded in today's Western societies. The threat of immediate extermination - "one city, one bomb" was what it took to impose a paradigm shift.

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On 4/11/2017 at 6:06 AM, Robert Naumann said:

Well, given the fanatical response of the Japanese when we invaded the Marianas that even involved civilians was definitely a preview of what an invasion of Japan would look like. The hospitals in Hawaii were prepared to accept up to a million US casualties in the event of an invasion of the Japanese homeland and I would image the Japanese would have suffered millions of casualties of both civilian and military.

I got an interesting perspective of WWII from Japanese civilians when I visited Pearl Harbor several years ago. Their concept of WWII is that the US cut off the oil supply to Japan, they attacked Pearl Harbor to destroy the US Navy, and the US dropped atomic bombs on Japan.

Please don’t get me wrong. I will gladly elaborate my views on Danish history, more specifically the first years of WWII. We were not German allies, but we were nevertheless contributing to their war effort. Denmark weren’t the “Snow White” they taught me about in school and I’m in no way anti-American. This said to prevent J. McCarthy to come and get me.

 

The background for the conflict is a cascade of unforgiven deeds that dates back to the twenties.

The US blockade is an historical fact. Whether it justifies a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, is another question. The Japanese thought so.

On the other hand, the United States had good reasons for establishing a blockade. Or so they felt, and they had The League of Nations backing it.

All in all, I’ll say that the embargo was justifiable. The Japanese Empire were conducting wars of conquest on their neighbors for no other reason than “inherited right”. Their version of “Lebensraum” thinking, so to say.

 

What worries me is if the embargo is left out of US history and, likewise, if the reasons for the embargo is left out of Japanese history. If so, then why is it done? Is it that our leaders, even in democracies, don’t think that we, the common people, will understand? Or maybe even understand to well? I’ll elaborate on that later.

Was it necessary to neglect the blockade to make the world, particularly the US population, back the war and find the use of atomic bombs justified? What kind of thinking would that be? One should not use the bomb to punish the Japanese population. I have argued that the atomic bombings were the right thing to do, but due to some very different reasons.

Or, more likely, in my opinion, is it that the leaders wanted to hide their own incompetence? In fact, the attack on Pearl Harbor should not come as a surprise. Again, and I should re-read my von Clausewitz, and the leaders at the time should have read him just once, because he would have predicted an attack. Not as a risk, but as unavoidable. Not necessarily on Pearl Harbor, but some reaction had to come, simply because the embargo was highly effective. Even more so, from a Japanese perspective they were, although by proxy, already at war with the US, since loans and weapons aid were given to the direct opponents of the Japanese. Helping these opponents was also, in my opinion, justifiable, but to let themselves, and the whole nation, be surprised by the Japanese?

That was, no offense meant, arrogant incompetent leadership.

 

Reality is complicated but to paint a black and white picture is dangerous. It lays the ground for future conflict.

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3 hours ago, Robert Elbrønd said:

Please don’t get me wrong. I will gladly elaborate my views on Danish history, more specifically the first years of WWII. We were not German allies, but we were nevertheless contributing to their war effort. Denmark weren’t the “Snow White” they taught me about in school and I’m in no way anti-American. This said to prevent J. McCarthy to come and get me.

 

 

 

The background for the conflict is a cascade of unforgiven deeds that dates back to the twenties.

 

The US blockade is an historical fact. Whether it justifies a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, is another question. The Japanese thought so.

 

On the other hand, the United States had good reasons for establishing a blockade. Or so they felt, and they had The League of Nations backing it.

 

All in all, I’ll say that the embargo was justifiable. The Japanese Empire were conducting wars of conquest on their neighbors for no other reason than “inherited right”. Their version of “Lebensraum” thinking, so to say.

 

 

 

What worries me is if the embargo is left out of US history and, likewise, if the reasons for the embargo is left out of Japanese history. If so, then why is it done? Is it that our leaders, even in democracies, don’t think that we, the common people, will understand? Or maybe even understand to well? I’ll elaborate on that later.

 

Was it necessary to neglect the blockade to make the world, particularly the US population, back the war and find the use of atomic bombs justified? What kind of thinking would that be? One should not use the bomb to punish the Japanese population. I have argued that the atomic bombings were the right thing to do, but due to some very different reasons.

 

Or, more likely, in my opinion, is it that the leaders wanted to hide their own incompetence? In fact, the attack on Pearl Harbor should not come as a surprise. Again, and I should re-read my von Clausewitz, and the leaders at the time should have read him just once, because he would have predicted an attack. Not as a risk, but as unavoidable. Not necessarily on Pearl Harbor, but some reaction had to come, simply because the embargo was highly effective. Even more so, from a Japanese perspective they were, although by proxy, already at war with the US, since loans and weapons aid were given to the direct opponents of the Japanese. Helping these opponents was also, in my opinion, justifiable, but to let themselves, and the whole nation, be surprised by the Japanese?

 

That was, no offense meant, arrogant incompetent leadership.

 

 

 

Reality is complicated but to paint a black and white picture is dangerous. It lays the ground for future conflict.

 

To begin with, the USA were never members of The League of Nations, regrettably.

As for the Pearl Harbor attack, there was a precedent for this in the Russo-Japanese War of 1905, (Port Arthur),so perhaps the US planners might have expected it. The Japanese,of course, were fighting a particularly nasty war in China-witness Nanking,1937- so again,there should have been few illusions as to the character of the Japanese regime.

But this is viewing all in hindsight.

 

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Just saying, this is all very interesting and I am learning a lot! Thanks,

 Therese

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In any case, I think it was:

fighting war on too  many fronts. Just couldn't be done. Especially not with the Russians because they just had an unlimited supply of manpower.

as my dad used to say ( he was a WW2 veteran) the German personality...both their strength and their weakness. Germans love order and love following orders. They structured their forces very strictly via chain of command. When they were strong and winning? This worked well. But when chips were down? It became a problem. i.e. if their commander was killed? It took too long for them to slot in another commander, it stopped their momentum and regularly gave allies time to regroup. Germans were probably fearful of stepping up? They preferred to take orders rather then give them, overall. They love their structure and their hierarchy. Whereas the allies? Brits and Aussies and Americans? Their commander got killed? The next in command would quickly step up and they'd keep moving.  I'm sure you get the crux of it. That's what dad used to say anyway!

Some very strange decisions made too...by the Germans. Many have been spoken about here. One of the most perplexing and we'll never know the answer...why they stopped the Battle of Britain when they did? They pretty much had the UK. The British were wrecked, had no more to give. Estimates range from a few days to a few weeks at most. The men were absolutely buggered and would not have been able to go on for much longer....all they had to do was keep it up a few more weeks and they would have had Britain....why did they stop? Who  knows? Did they have false intelligence saying that Britain had more resources then they had? 

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The British people and the soldiers from  Canada then in Britain  and the spirit  of the people led by Churchill and the Royal Family who never left  created a force that the Nazis would not conquer for years. The Nazis had their hands full standing ,the Russians off.

They Nazis did not have anything similar to Dieppe to learn how to make a landing.

B ombs alone will not conquer Ed 

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On ‎11‎/‎7‎/‎2017 at 12:37 AM, T.A.T said:

 

Some very strange decisions made too...by the Germans. Many have been spoken about here. One of the most perplexing and we'll never know the answer...why they stopped the Battle of Britain when they did? They pretty much had the UK. The British were wrecked, had no more to give. Estimates range from a few days to a few weeks at most. The men were absolutely buggered and would not have been able to go on for much longer....all they had to do was keep it up a few more weeks and they would have had Britain....why did they stop? Who  knows? Did they have false intelligence saying that Britain had more resources then they had? 

What saved the RAF and in turn GB was when the Germans stopped bombing radar and airfields and started bombing cities. This gave the RAF a reprieve an allowed them to rebuild.  The Luftwaffe had the RAF on the ropes, but let them bounce back. Still, it would have been difficult invading BG due to the British Navy.  Most of the shipping sunk during the Battle of Briton were not Navy, so GB still had what at that time was probably the biggest navy in the world. Crossing 20+ miles of water would have been difficult at best and maybe impossible.

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Several factors at play here but primarily the losses of planes and aircrews to the Liftwasse had become unsustainable. (The Germans had lost 1,977 of their 2,550 available aircraft and 2.585 aircrew killed or captured.) British bombers had destroyed many of the invasion barges and the Luftwasse had not achieved air superiority which forced Hitler to give up on Operation Sea Lion and he decide to concentrate instead on Barbarossa and would deal with England later.

 

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On ‎11‎/‎6‎/‎2017 at 11:42 PM, Philip Whitehouse said:

 

As for the Pearl Harbor attack, there was a precedent for this in the Russo-Japanese War of 1905, (Port Arthur),so perhaps the US planners might have expected it. The Japanese,of course, were fighting a particularly nasty war in China-witness Nanking,1937- so again,there should have been few illusions as to the character of the Japanese regime.

But this is viewing all in hindsight.

 

Oh, the US knew an attack was coming all right, they just never considered they would attack that far from home. The US had deciphered enough of the Japanese messages to know something was afoot and even had a good idea when, just not where.  Even worse, after the Pearl Harbor attack and warning MacArthur to be ready, he was caught napping in the Philippines and most of the airpower there was destroyed on the ground.

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1 hour ago, Carl Grimm said:

Oh, the US knew an attack was coming all right, they just never considered they would attack that far from home. The US had deciphered enough of the Japanese messages to know something was afoot and even had a good idea when, just not where.  Even worse, after the Pearl Harbor attack and warning MacArthur to be ready, he was caught napping in the Philippines and most of the airpower there was destroyed on the ground.

Yes. Learned this at school. The Americans didn't think thatan attack woukd come in Hawaii.

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34 minutes ago, Carl Grimm said:

Oh, the US knew an attack was coming all right, they just never considered they would attack that far from home. The US had deciphered enough of the Japanese messages to know something was afoot and even had a good idea when, just not where.  Even worse, after the Pearl Harbor attack and warning MacArthur to be ready, he was caught napping in the Philippines and most of the airpower there was destroyed on the ground.

The Japanese were fascinated by the sinking of the Italian Navy - in their own naval base! - by planes from the Royal Navy. Japan had attacked the Russian Navy at Port Arthur during WW1, but Taranto was a decisive battle where a complete fleet was destroyed FROM THE AIR in a surprise attack. They were desperate for more information, but had limited contact with Mussolini's Italy So they spoke to their friends in Germany; and the Germans courteously gave them access to one their own BEST secret agents, a man codenamed "Tricycle".The Japanese asked HIM to investigate the possibility of repeating the Taranto attack. Unbeknown to the Germans. Tricycle was a double agent, controlled by the British.And he was smuggled to the USA BY the Germans, where he reported to J.Edgar Hoover at the FBI who he was and why he was there. The FBI didn't believe him, and Sir Frank Tizzard was diverted from his work as head of the British government mission to swap technology for weapons to vouch for him. Tricycle got his name (his real name was Dusko Popov) because he was very fond of taking two women to bed at the same time. (British Military Intelligence had a wicked sense of humour. In fact, it still has!) Hoover seemed to be far more concerned with what he saw as Popov's perversion than he was about his country being attacked. So, yes. The Director of the FBI had information "direct from the Horse's mouth" about the attack... And seemed not to care.
 

Quote

In 1941, Popov was dispatched to the United States by the Abwehr to establish a new German network.[24] He was given ample funds and an intelligence questionnaire (a list of intelligence targets, later published as an appendix to J.C. Masterman's book The Double Cross System). Of the three typewritten pages of the questionnaire, one entire page was devoted to highly detailed questions about US defences at Pearl Harbor on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. He made contact with the FBI and explained what he had been asked to do.

During a televised interview, Duško Popov related having informed the FBI on 12 August 1941, of the impending attack on Pearl Harbor. For whatever reason, either the FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover did not report this fact to his superiors,[25] or they, for reasons of their own, took no action in regard to this apparent German interest in Pearl Harbor.

Hoover had a distrust for Popov considering the fact that he was indeed a double agent. MI6 had given the FBI in New York a notice that he would have been showing up. Popov himself has said Hoover was quite suspicious and distrustful of him and, according to author William "Mole" Wood, when Hoover discovered Popov had taken a woman from New York to Florida, he threatened to have him arrested under the Mann Act if he did not leave the US immediately.

 

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On 7/11/2017 at 6:42 AM, Philip Whitehouse said:

To begin with, the USA were never members of The League of Nations, regrettably.

As for the Pearl Harbor attack, there was a precedent for this in the Russo-Japanese War of 1905, (Port Arthur),so perhaps the US planners might have expected it. The Japanese,of course, were fighting a particularly nasty war in China-witness Nanking,1937- so again,there should have been few illusions as to the character of the Japanese regime.

But this is viewing all in hindsight.

 

Yes, you are right. I didn’t mean to include the US as a member of the League of Nations. English isn’t my first language and I probably didn’t use the right words. Maybe the expression “The US embargo was in accordance with (instead of backed by) the League of Nations” is better.

I did not know that the Japanese had done the same thing at Port Arthur. Yet another reason a Japanese attack should not be surprising.

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The Japanese had reason to believe that a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor would destroy the American fleet.   They had destroyed the Russian fleet at Port Arthur while it was in harbor.  The British destroyed the Italian fleet at Torento while it was in the harbor.  The American fleet was all lined up to make an easy target.   The only thing that helped was that they were in a double row.  The USS West Virginia saved the USS Tennessee and other front row ships protected those behind them.  The Japanese did not hit the dry docks enabling speedy repair to the damaged ships.  The aircraft were lined up in straight rows making easy targets.  Three commanding officers should have been court martialed  Kimmel, Short, and McArthur. 

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1 hour ago, Robert Elbrønd said:

Yes, you are right. I didn’t mean to include the US as a member of the League of Nations. English isn’t my first language and I probably didn’t use the right words. Maybe the expression “The US embargo was in accordance with (instead of backed by) the League of Nations” is better.

 

I did not know that the Japanese had done the same thing at Port Arthur. Yet another reason a Japanese attack should not be surprising.

 

Not to worry: your English is far,far  better than my Danish.

But you're quite correct: it certainly should not have come as a surprise.

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On 7/11/2017 at 7:37 AM, T.A.T said:

In any case, I think it was:

fighting war on too  many fronts. Just couldn't be done. Especially not with the Russians because they just had an unlimited supply of manpower.

as my dad used to say ( he was a WW2 veteran) the German personality...both their strength and their weakness. Germans love order and love following orders. They structured their forces very strictly via chain of command. When they were strong and winning? This worked well. But when chips were down? It became a problem. i.e. if their commander was killed? It took too long for them to slot in another commander, it stopped their momentum and regularly gave allies time to regroup. Germans were probably fearful of stepping up? They preferred to take orders rather then give them, overall. They love their structure and their hierarchy. Whereas the allies? Brits and Aussies and Americans? Their commander got killed? The next in command would quickly step up and they'd keep moving.  I'm sure you get the crux of it. That's what dad used to say anyway!

Some very strange decisions made too...by the Germans. Many have been spoken about here. One of the most perplexing and we'll never know the answer...why they stopped the Battle of Britain when they did? They pretty much had the UK. The British were wrecked, had no more to give. Estimates range from a few days to a few weeks at most. The men were absolutely buggered and would not have been able to go on for much longer....all they had to do was keep it up a few more weeks and they would have had Britain....why did they stop? Who  knows? Did they have false intelligence saying that Britain had more resources then they had? 

This view of German command philosophy is very wrong. It was quite different. I’m speaking of the “Wehrmacht”.

The Germans invented the “Auftragstaktik“. Mission-type tactics” or mission command. It was studied, and copied, post war by all major western forces.

 

“Gentlemen, I demand that your divisions completely cross the German borders, completely cross the Belgian borders and completely cross the river Meuse. I don’t care how you do it, that’s completely up to you” ―Oberst Kurt Zeitzler, Chief of Staff Panzergruppe Kleist, 13 May 1940”

 

Yes, they were disciplined. Because they understood the value of it. Yes, they were good at following orders. If they made sense, that is. The individual soldier was respected and counted on

They were the first, in fact the Prussians, to understand that you cannot keep your line of command during the heat of battle. If you can’t contact the colonel, the captain is in command. If you can’t reach the captain, the lieutenant is in command. And so forth, all the way down to the individual soldier.

It was the German military strategist Helmuth von Moltke who said: “No Battle Plan Survives Contact With the Enemy”. This simple fact was acknowledged and considered by all links in the chain of command.

The task remained the same and you were expected not to stay put awaiting new orders, from someone you could not get in contact with, because the original plan was no longer appropriate.

The “Wehrmacht” was the most flexible army of its time, and probably the most effective. Also during retreat. I’m sure there must be some examples, I just don’t know of them, where superior German units, in numbers and material, were defeated by allied troops in open battle.  Not speaking of commando raids or such.

You may not approve of their doings, I certainly don’t, but I do respect them.

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8 hours ago, Lyle Zerla said:

The Japanese had reason to believe that a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor would destroy the American fleet.   They had destroyed the Russian fleet at Port Arthur while it was in harbor.  The British destroyed the Italian fleet at Torento while it was in the harbor.  The American fleet was all lined up to make an easy target.   The only thing that helped was that they were in a double row.  The USS West Virginia saved the USS Tennessee and other front row ships protected those behind them.  The Japanese did not hit the dry docks enabling speedy repair to the damaged ships.  The aircraft were lined up in straight rows making easy targets.  Three commanding officers should have been court martialed  Kimmel, Short, and McArthur. 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Carl Grimm said:
16 hours ago, Robert Elbrønd said:

This view of German command philosophy is very wrong. It was quite different. I’m speaking of the “Wehrmacht”.

 

The Germans invented the “Auftragstaktik“. Mission-type tactics” or mission command. It was studied, and copied, post war by all major western forces.

 

 

 

“Gentlemen, I demand that your divisions completely cross the German borders, completely cross the Belgian borders and completely cross the river Meuse. I don’t care how you do it, that’s completely up to you” ―Oberst Kurt Zeitzler, Chief of Staff Panzergruppe Kleist, 13 May 1940”

 

 

 

Yes, they were disciplined. Because they understood the value of it. Yes, they were good at following orders. If they made sense, that is. The individual soldier was respected and counted on

 

They were the first, in fact the Prussians, to understand that you cannot keep your line of command during the heat of battle. If you can’t contact the colonel, the captain is in command. If you can’t reach the captain, the lieutenant is in command. And so forth, all the way down to the individual soldier.

 

It was the German military strategist Helmuth von Moltke who said: “No Battle Plan Survives Contact With the Enemy”. This simple fact was acknowledged and considered by all links in the chain of command.

 

The task remained the same and you were expected not to stay put awaiting new orders, from someone you could not get in contact with, because the original plan was no longer appropriate.

 

The “Wehrmacht” was the most flexible army of its time, and probably the most effective. Also during retreat. I’m sure there must be some examples, I just don’t know of them, where superior German units, in numbers and material, were defeated by allied troops in open battle.  Not speaking of commando raids or such.

 

You may not approve of their doings, I certainly don’t, but I do respect them.

 

Probably the biggest factor in Germany's defeat was the cracking of the Enigma code which gave allied commanders fore knowledge of the Wehrmacht's intentions. Similarly cracking the JN25 gave us the victory at Midway, the turning point in the war with Japan.

 

 

 

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Probably the biggest factor in Germany's defeat was the cracking of the Enigma code which gave allied commanders fore knowledge of the Wehrmacht's intentions. Similarly cracking the JN25 gave us the victory at Midway, the turning point in the war with Japan. Also the British use of double agents in their XX program as well as the deceptions to protect Overlord to conceal the invasion plans of both Sicily and Normandy.

Edited by Robert Naumann
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Yamamoto just didn't think big enough. He failed to send a third wave to attack the dry-docks,the sub base, and the fuel storage tanks at Pearl. Even though he didn't get our four carriers, taking out these assets at Pearl and using his subs to cut off supplies to Pear Harbor would have set our actions in the Pacific by months if not years. 

Also he could have sent an invasion fleet with his carrier strike force to invade the smaller Hawaiian islands around Oahu, which were   practically undefended rather than wasting his efforts at Wake, Guam, and Midway.which posed no threat to Japanese operations in the Pacific if the Japanese neutralized our base at Perl Harbor.

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1 hour ago, Robert Naumann said:

Yamamoto just didn't think big enough. He failed to send a third wave to attack the dry-docks,the sub base, and the fuel storage tanks at Pearl. Even though he didn't get our four carriers, taking out these assets at Pearl and using his subs to cut off supplies to Pear Harbor would have set our actions in the Pacific by months if not years. 

Also he could have sent an invasion fleet with his carrier strike force to invade the smaller Hawaiian islands around Oahu, which were   practically undefended rather than wasting his efforts at Wake, Guam, and Midway.which posed no threat to Japanese operations in the Pacific if the Japanese neutralized our base at Perl Harbor.

But Yamamoto was not in tactical command. The decision was up to the admiral in charge of the strike force, Admiral Nagumo.

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True, but Yamamoto was the chief strategist who who planned the attack on Pearl Harbor. Think what would have happened if the Japanese had seized or blockaded the Hawaiian Islands at the outset of the war in the Pacific, which I think they could have accomplished.

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