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Wednesday, July 12, 2017
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John

Hitlers underestimation of Russia.

Question

The Americans made an 8 part world war 2 documentary whilst the war was still going on. (propaganda documentaries)

In one of them, it describes how Russia had a population of, I think it was 160 to 180 million at the time Hitlers invasion started. (havent watched it for ages)

Im wondering if these population figures were known to Hitler before he invaded Russia ??

It was said that Germanys population, at the time, was around 80 million, about half or less than half of the Russians.

If Hitler was aware of this, then I wonder how he could have so badly underestimated the size & scale of their numbers ??

Twice he thought they'd run out of man power, at Moscow, then at Stalingrad.

At Moscow, he had accounted for about 3 million of them, plus many millions of civilians along the way.

But if he knew he was up against 160 million or so, then surely (you would think) he should have known there was still multitudes more to come, even with 3 million out of the way.

Im guessing he mustn"t have known the true population of Russia, at the time ????

Does anyone know ????

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Philip Whitehouse said:

Interesting. Do you really believe that the Nazis could possibly have won against such a combination of powers ?

Good question. I believe that there is always a possibility for tipping the scale the other way, merely due to so many close calls on tactical levels affecting strategic outcome of any war. But this is a special case. You see, Hitler killed himself at the end of the war, while many of his subordinates survived. How many of them would eventually write memoirs, and how many of them writing memoirs would blame themselves for committing blunders instead of blaming the conveniently late Fuhrer? For example, look at the infamous pause at Dunkirk. Conventional wisdom is that Hitler blundered by issuing an order to pause the assault, but I've seen accounts about von Runstedt himself writing the order and sending it for Hitler to sign, because his tank commander Kleist had requested the halt due to his losses, because von Runstedt believed that Luftwaffe could finish off the British on the beaches, and because he preferred to 'heroically' grandstand on the doorsteps of Paris instead.

Edited by George Collins
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yes they were able to win,but his generalls rarelly had a free hand,but when did did well but only untill the fuhrer intevened again,and the odds werent that overwhelming after all they had romania and croatia both close to russia and could of had finland if hitler had been more sensible

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58 minutes ago, Triumphdave said:

Finland was an ally to Germany and used German weapons in its multiple conflicts with Russia.

This is much more complicated. In fact, from November 1939 through March 1940 - during the Winter War between USSR and Finland - Hitler's Germany and Stalin's USSR were allies, both de facto and de jure. Likewise, Finnish assets included American Brewsters, British Vickers and French Renaults. 

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On 6/20/2018 at 3:21 AM, George Collins said:

Good question. I believe that there is always a possibility for tipping the scale the other way, merely due to so many close calls on tactical levels affecting strategic outcome of any war. But this is a special case. You see, Hitler killed himself at the end of the war, while many of his subordinates survived. How many of them would eventually write memoirs, and how many of them writing memoirs would blame themselves for committing blunders instead of blaming the conveniently late Fuhrer? For example, look at the infamous pause at Dunkirk. Conventional wisdom is that Hitler blundered by issuing an order to pause the assault, but I've seen accounts about von Runstedt himself writing the order and sending it for Hitler to sign, because his tank commander Kleist had requested the halt due to his losses, because von Runstedt believed that Luftwaffe could finish off the British on the beaches, and because he preferred to 'heroically' grandstand on the doorsteps of Paris instead.

Also, when the war came to an end Russia was still (rather justifiably!) perceived as a threat, requiring the creation of NATO to counterbalance it... The addition of GERMAN troops to a Western alliance would be very helpful, but first Germany had to be granted absolution for its sins. Everything was blamed on the Nazi Party, which required some highly imaginative re-writing of history. Imperial Germany had deliberately dropped bombs on London during WW1; had violated Belgian neutrality, massacred Belgian civilians (in a self-fulfilling prophecy, the Imperial German Army predicted that Belgian civilians might give them problems, and the soldiers "got their reprisals in first." Germany had treated its few African colonies utterly abysmally - and when they defended themselves created a series of murder camps, which quite openly murdered Africans on an industrial scale. (They actually sold picture postcards of the main camp!) This was happening when Adolf Hitler was just 8 years old, so the suggestion that aggressive behaviour by the German state and institutionalised mass murder was something that HE invented just doesn't bear close examination.It's a long-standing Prussian tradition! But Hitler and the Nazis made for a VERY convenient scapegoat.

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6 hours ago, Triumphdave said:

Finland was an ally to Germany and used German weapons in its multiple conflicts with Russia.

only early on not later on

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, Ron Walker said:

Also, when the war came to an end Russia was still (rather justifiably!) perceived as a threat, requiring the creation of NATO to counterbalance it... The addition of GERMAN troops to a Western alliance would be very helpful, but first Germany had to be granted absolution for its sins. Everything was blamed on the Nazi Party, which required some highly imaginative re-writing of history. Imperial Germany had deliberately dropped bombs on London during WW1; had violated Belgian neutrality, massacred Belgian civilians (in a self-fulfilling prophecy, the Imperial German Army predicted that Belgian civilians might give them problems, and the soldiers "got their reprisals in first." Germany had treated its few African colonies utterly abysmally - and when they defended themselves created a series of murder camps, which quite openly murdered Africans on an industrial scale. (They actually sold picture postcards of the main camp!) This was happening when Adolf Hitler was just 8 years old, so the suggestion that aggressive behaviour by the German state and institutionalised mass murder was something that HE invented just doesn't bear close examination.It's a long-standing Prussian tradition! But Hitler and the Nazis made for a VERY convenient scapegoat.

I was reading the history of one british WWII vet who fought against the japanese in Burma and he said that they hay an evil streak in their behavior (that, talking about civilians and enemies mass murdered, and he said that Germans had that evil streak also). I agree with Ron in this area, there's something mean about the way they behave. Maybe some idea of superiority and the right to impose above the rest... may be.

 

Edited by Carlos Ruz

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19 hours ago, original said:

only early on not later on

Not really.

During the "Winter War" (1939-1940) the Finns used a variety of weapons and aircraft almost all sourced from non-German sources.

During the "Continuation War""  (1941-1944) it's true that what armour there was and, later, the Me BF-109G were German.

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in his one and only recording he says he still would of gone ahead anyway,nonetheless youve gottta bear in mind the germans could of easilly won if the japs had invaded from the east at same time instead of attacking pearl harbor ,

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15 hours ago, Carlos Ruz said:

I was reading the history of one british WWII vet who fought against the japanese in Burma and he said that they hay an evil streak in their behavior (that, talking about civilians and enemies mass murdered, and he said that Germans had that evil streak also). I agree with Ron in this area, there's something mean about the way they behave. Maybe some idea of superiority and the right to impose above the rest... may be.

My late father-in-law fought in Burma.and was amazed at the Japanese attitude to life - not just others': their own too.Having taken a prisoner, the prisoner sought permission to relieve himself in private. His hands were securely tied, so they decided that it would be safe. Out of sight of his captors, the prisoner removed a small pencil from his pocket, placed the point in a corner of his eye, and deliberately fell forwards, driving the pencil into his brain with fatal consequences. His culture had driven into him that this was the ONLY way to make reparation to the Emperor for the shameful act of allowing himself to be taken prisoner.In other words, not the behaviour of a fanatic, but perfectly logical and normal behaviour. Prussian (and then German) military tradition - of unquestioning obedience - is in a similar vein. (I posted a comment about "the Captain of Koepenick" a few days back) We West Europeans tend to regard such actions as utterly aberrant... yet we paradoxically reward acts of suicidal bravery with the highest medals we've got.

James Clavell - an Australn/American author - was taken prisoner by the Japanese, and subsequently wrote about his experiences in the novel "King Rat", in which (like J.M. Barrie's "The Magnificent Crichton") he explores the idea that the behaviour patterns that make sense as a POW are quite different to those best suited to life OUTSIDE the camps. Clavell was also struck by the seeming paradox of how the Japanese can focus on beauty and culture, yet treat their prisoners so badly. He spent many years, post war, travelling throughout the Far East observing Chinese and Japanese culture, which led to more novels (Perhaps "novel" is a misnomer. When a book is written by someone who has become an expert on something, and s/he uses it as a showcase to display something FACTUAL that he wants to show you... is it still right to call it "fiction"?!) His Novel "Shogun" explores the Japan of the mid 1600's, as seen through the eyes of a shipwrecked Englishman.Life (in England) win the days of Queen Elizabeth I was rather different to today.... but the difference between England and Japan was far, far wider. In Japan, there was a total lack of social mobility: a society heavily structured along (mainly hereditary) military lines. Towards the bottom of the social "ladder", peasants didn't even have names. If your father was a miller, he'd be called "Miller" (no first name) and you'd be "The Miller's son". And eventually you'd become the new miller. Note that "miller" isn't your NAME - it's your JOB! Continual struggles for power between the families near the top of the pile, resulting in (after a brief period during which things DID change significantly) the NEW ruler demanding that things went back to how they'd been BEFORE the changes, NO further contact with the outside world, and NO CHANGES. And so things remained until the mid 1800's. Exactly as they had been 300 years earlier. As a younger man, I was utterly fascinated - and a little repelled -  by the Japanese. "Western Culture" is "the way it is" as a result of evolution. Japan changed from being an UNCHANGING 16th century society into a modern culture mainly by copying others; "adopting and adapting". And some aspects of Japanese life seem not to have really changed at all. The huge feudal family estates, each with its own army, may have gone... but Japanese INDUSTRY, in the form of massive industrial conglomerates (called "Zaibatsu") fulfil very similar roles. And Japanese government seems to exist largely to protect the interests of those Zaibatsu.

There is a deeply worrying tendency to insist that ALL humans are effectively the same, and to accuse anyone who disagrees of being "Racist". When Gulf War 2 came to an end, I predicted disaster: the people of Iraq are - and have been for many centuries - a TRIBAL people.When there's a problem, they look for a TRIBAL solution. (Saddam Hussein's favourite movie was apparently "The Godfather" - a story in which (if you rename "tribe" as "Family") fitted well with his own view of the world.  The Bush administration, foolishly, believed in their own propaganda: Everyone wants to be an American. Give them to chance to be at least LIKE an American, and the problems will solve themselves". Iraq stubbornly remained a culture of over 120 tribes, tribes that the USA continued to ignore. In a tribal society, if you hold elections, each tribe will field its OWN candidate(s) their election promise - special treatment for THEIR tribe.And the biggest tribe will (surprise!) get the most votes, and give the plum jobs to its own tribal members, award contracts to their own... etc.,In fact there's no point in even HOLDING elections; the biggest tribe is ALWAYS going to win. And the smaller tribes are going to become increasingly pissed off at being permanently excluded from power.

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You are correct about Iraq being tribal. Most people don't realize that Iraq was created by the British after WW1. The country was comprised of 3 main tribes that hated each other and did not want to be a country together. The U.S. made a huge mistake after the Gulf War by not letting the tribes divide the country into 3 parts.  Iraq is still a mess today and might yet divide its self. 

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On 6/22/2018 at 5:04 PM, Philip Whitehouse said:

Not really.

During the "Winter War" (1939-1940) the Finns used a variety of weapons and aircraft almost all sourced from non-German sources.

During the "Continuation War""  (1941-1944) it's true that what armour there was and, later, the Me BF-109G were German.

The documentaries that I have seen on the Winter-War especially a miniseries produced in Finland but shown on BBC, clearly show the troops wearing Nazi helmets and firing bolt-action Mausers. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Triumphdave said:

The documentaries that I have seen on the Winter-War especially a miniseries produced in Finland but shown on BBC, clearly show the troops wearing Nazi helmets and firing bolt-action Mausers. 

Finns used swastikas as identification, but it does not make their equipment German necessarily. Even Wehrmacht painted crosses over Soviet tanks like T-26 and T-34 and recycled them in Russia. But more importantly, you need to be careful watching network "documentaries". I remember seeing (US) History Channel special on Barbarossa with images of rolling Tiger tanks and narrator talking about how Wehrmacht overwhelmed RKKA with their Panzer divisions in June - July of 1941. Of course, I happen to know for a fact that Tigers were not even in production until 1943, not to mention that Wehrmacht fielded barely 4 thousand tanks against RKKA's 10 thousand and change.

Edited by George Collins

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12 hours ago, George Collins said:

Finns used swastikas as identification, but it does not make their equipment German necessarily. Even Wehrmacht painted crosses over Soviet tanks like T-26 and T-34 and recycled them in Russia. But more importantly, you need to be careful watching network "documentaries". I remember seeing (US) History Channel special on Barbarossa with images of rolling Tiger tanks and narrator talking about how Wehrmacht overwhelmed RKKA with their Panzer divisions in June - July of 1941. Of course, I happen to know for a fact that Tigers were not even in production until 1943, not to mention that Wehrmacht fielded barely 4 thousand tanks against RKKA's 10 thousand and change.

Quote

The Tiger I About this sound listen (help·info) is a German heavy tank of World War II deployed from 1942 in Africa and Europe, usually in independent heavy tank battalions. Its final designation was Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger Ausf. E often shortened to Tiger. The Tiger I gave the Wehrmacht its first armoured fighting vehicle that mounted the 8.8 cm KwK 36 gun (not to be confused with the 8.8 cm Flak 36). 1,347 were built between August 1942 and August 1944.[9] After August 1944, production of the Tiger I was phased out in favour of the Tiger II.

While the Tiger I has been called an outstanding design for its time,[10] it was over-engineered,[11] using expensive materials and labour-intensive production methods. The Tiger was prone to certain types of track failures and breakdowns, and was limited in range by its high fuel consumption. It was expensive to maintain, but generally mechanically reliable.[12] It was difficult to transport, and vulnerable to immobilisation when mud, ice and snow froze between its overlapping and interleaved Schachtellaufwerk-pattern road wheels, often jamming them solid. This was a problem on the Eastern Front in the muddy rasputitsa season and during extreme periods of cold.[citation needed]

The tank was given its nickname "Tiger" by Ferdinand Porsche, and the Roman numeral was added after the later Tiger II entered production. The initial designation was Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausführung H (‘‘Panzer VI version H’’, abbreviated PzKpfw VI Ausf. H) where 'H' denoted Henschel as the designer/manufacturer. It was classified with ordnance inventory designation SdKfz 182. The tank was later re-designated as PzKpfw VI Ausf. E in March 1943, with ordnance inventory designation SdKfz 181.

Today, only about seven Tiger Is survive in museums and private collections worldwide. The Tiger 131 at the UK's Tank Museum, which was captured during the North Africa Campaign, is currently the only one restored to running order.

Ooops!

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ron Walker said:

Ooops!

So, I stand corrected that it went into production in August 1942 and was deployed  by the end of that year. It was still nowhere near RKKA in the summer of 1941.

Edited by George Collins

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, George Collins said:

Finns used swastikas as identification, but it does not make their equipment German necessarily. Even Wehrmacht painted crosses over Soviet tanks like T-26 and T-34 and recycled them in Russia. But more importantly, you need to be careful watching network "documentaries". I remember seeing (US) History Channel special on Barbarossa with images of rolling Tiger tanks and narrator talking about how Wehrmacht overwhelmed RKKA with their Panzer divisions in June - July of 1941. Of course, I happen to know for a fact that Tigers were not even in production until 1943, not to mention that Wehrmacht fielded barely 4 thousand tanks against RKKA's 10 thousand and change.

The Finns certainly used "Swastikas"; so did British author Rudyard Kipling as his personal logo. (I own several of his books in editions going back to the late 19th century, featuring his elephant's head and swastika logo on the binding)  Germany also initially supplied the Chinese with German "coal skuttle" tine hats too....Swastikas on Finnish planes have little or nothing to do with Germany, any more than Red stars painted on Soviet equipment has any connection with the USA (whose gear is emblazoned with white stars) FInland's Swastikas are, I beleieve, traditionally grey, rather than Germany's black.

Edited by Ron Walker

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Swastikas were widely used before the NAZI party 'hi-jacked' it as their symbol. HMS Emperor of India, My grandfather's ship during WW1, had a swastika in the centre of the ship's crest and I have a miniature version of it that I inherited from him. Emperor of India was an Iron Duke class battleship in Jellicoe's Grand Fleet, and as such would have seen action at Jutland, had she not been in dry dock at Invergordon, when the German High Seas Fleet put to sea in May 1916.

That said, I also have seen crests allegedly from the same ship, that just feature a crown, 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/24/2018 at 8:33 AM, Triumphdave said:

The documentaries that I have seen on the Winter-War especially a miniseries produced in Finland but shown on BBC, clearly show the troops wearing Nazi helmets and firing bolt-action Mausers. 

It's true that Finnish troops did wear the German M1916 helmet, (with white covers)

But it doesn't necessarily follow that they were issued as a result of any German alliance:-they also used captured Soviet helmets.

Further  ,the characteristic German helmet were also used by the Chinese army (as previously mentioned) and also the army of the Irish Free State.

Edited by Philip Whitehouse

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