Which was Churchill's biggest wartime blunder? - Page 9




 
--
 
October 31st, 2008  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiktin
Winston Churchill was a great man. People of my generation can never forget what we owe him. He was largely responsible for the development of the tank in World War I, along with Col. Estienne in France. Unfortunately, he did not keep up with military developments between the wars and did not, at first, understand what was going on in France in l940. But to answer your question directly, I believe his greatest blunder was sending HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse to the far east, thinking it would discourage the Japanese from starting a war!
I tend to agree with you about the Prince of Wales and Repulse.

The Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm attack on the Italian fleet at Toranto by ancient bi-plane Swordfish torpedo attack aircraft, proved that the mighty battle ship is all too easy to destroy by air power, even slow moving 90 knots+/- aircraft. The Japanese studied the Toranto attack carefully during their planning to attack Pearl Harbour.

Unlike the British powers that be, Germany fully understood and developed the integration of armour with other arms such as aircraft and infantry on the battle field. A HUGE mistake on the part of the British.
October 31st, 2008  
LeEnfield
 
 
The German tactics where based on those developed by Britain, except during the the wars and the depression not that amount of money was spent on the forces and their equipment. Due to this Britain and their Allies were always playing catch up on much of the battlefield equipment.
October 31st, 2008  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeEnfield
The German tactics where based on those developed by Britain, except during the the wars and the depression not that amount of money was spent on the forces and their equipment. Due to this Britain and their Allies were always playing catch up on much of the battlefield equipment.
I agree. There was a book written (The title and the author escapes me) by an officer in the British Army regarding tactics and armour. His book was basically ignored by the British, but not by the Germans, they studied it closely. Very closely.
--
October 31st, 2008  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
I agree. There was a book written (The title and the author escapes me) by an officer in the British Army regarding tactics and armour. His book was basically ignored by the British, but not by the Germans, they studied it closely. Very closely.
I am guessing you are talking about the work of B.H. Liddel Hart and J.F.C Fuller, I am not sure that you attribute German tactics solely to the British though as many nations post WW1 were seeing these tactics advocated even Charles de Gaulle was a strong advocate of combined arms and the usage of massed armour and aircraft.

I have no doubt that Fuller and Liddel Hart influenced Guderians thinking but I am inclined to believe that it just reinforced what many tacticians were already realising.
November 1st, 2008  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
I am guessing you are talking about the work of B.H. Liddel Hart and J.F.C Fuller, I am not sure that you attribute German tactics solely to the British though as many nations post WW1 were seeing these tactics advocated even Charles de Gaulle was a strong advocate of combined arms and the usage of massed armour and aircraft.

I have no doubt that Fuller and Liddel Hart influenced Guderians thinking but I am inclined to believe that it just reinforced what many tacticians were already realising.

Thanks Monty, they are indeed whom I was thinking of.

Liddell Hart began publishing his theories during the 1920s in the popular press. Ironically, he saw theories similar to or even developed from his own adopted by Germany and used against the United Kingdom and its allies during World War II with the practice of Blitzkrieg.


While J. F. C. Fuller, his ideas on mechanised warfare continued to be influential in the lead up to World War II, ironically more with the Germans, notably Heinz Guderian, than with his countrymen.


On 20 April1939 Fuller was an honoured guest at Adolf Hitler's 50th birthday parade and watched as "for three hours a completely mechanised and motorised army roared past the Führer." Afterwards Hitler asked, "I hope you were pleased with your children?" Fuller replied, "Your Excellency, they have grown up so quickly that I no longer recognise them."
November 2nd, 2008  
errol
 
 
The Greece campaign was also another Churchill disaster.
November 2nd, 2008  
LeEnfield
 
 
Churchill had a good eye for the big plan, but unfortunately we did not have resources to carry out his ideas.
Most of the projects he proposed were very sound and a couple of times came close to pulling it off. Crete for instance the Commonwealth Troops killed so many German paratroopers that Hitler never used then as parachute troops again. Had the Generals in charge not pulled out of the main airfields to regroup, then the Germans would not have been able to land their J52 there with reinforcements which then allowed them to over run the Island. The Generals had been told that this airfield was the key to German success from information from Ultra yet they still left the Airfield to regroup.
The Cabinet and many of the General Staff also wanted to pull out from Malta and it was Churchill that said no to that one, was he right or was he wrong. Most of Churchill's ideas were spot on, what let him down many time was poor planning, and good leadership from the Generals
November 10th, 2008  
Firefoxy
 
I believe Churchill biggest blunder was the Grease compaine.It went so wrong.
Churchill could of help Australia with the Singapore deffence.
November 12th, 2008  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefoxy
I believe Churchill biggest blunder was the Grease compaine.It went so wrong.
Churchill could of help Australia with the Singapore deffence.
I really don't think Singapore could have held out for much longer then they did, even with massive reinforcements.

As far as I can remember, Singapore's fresh water came across the causeway to Mac Ritchie Reservoir near Bukit Timah, simple to cut off.

Although the Japanese were low on Ammunition, Singapore could have been held under siege until more supplies were brought up with fresh troops and equipment..

The RAF only had obsolete and outdated aircraft which were destroyed by the more modern Japanese fighters, therefore, there were no effective means to defend against air attack.

HMS Prince of Wales and Repulse had already been sunk.

British and Commonwealth troops were under supplied with heavy equipment including artillery.

Once mainland Malaya was lost, so was Singapore.

So really, who was to blame? It wasn't Churchill. Was it War Office Military planners? Various British Governments cutting back on defence spending?

Even after the surrender of Singapore, the 14th Army in the Far East was always known as the "Forgotten Army"
November 13th, 2008  
FourthMan
 
 
Hmm Greece and singapore, he was so determined to defeat hitler it clouded his judgement.