The Eastern Front decided WWII? - Page 3




 
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January 21st, 2012  
Marcelo Jenisch
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
They are called intangibles because you can not measure there value, it may have been that the bombing of Germany was the decissive action of the war but you can not place an actual value on the action therefore it is intangible.
Wel...

The impact of bombing on German morale was significant according to Professor John Buckley. Around a third of the urban population under threat of bombing had no protection at all. Some of the major cities saw 55-60 percent of dwellings destroyed. Mass evacuations were a partial answer for six million civilians, but this had a severe impact on morale as German families were split up to live in difficult conditions. By 1944 absenteeism rates of 20-25 percent were not unusual and in post-war analysis 91 percent of civilians stated bombing was the most difficult hardship to endure and was the key factor in the collapse of their own morale.[150] The United States Strategic Bombing Survey concluded that the bombing was not stiffening morale but seriously depressing it; fatalism, apathy, defeatism were apparent in bombed areas. The Luftwaffe was blamed for not warding off the attacks and confidence in the Nazi regime fell by 14 percent. Some 75 percent of Germans believed the war was lost in the spring of 1944, owing to the intensity of the bombing.[151]
Buckley argues the German war economy did indeed expand significantly following Albert Speer’s appointment as Reichsminister of Armaments, "but it is spurious to argue that because production increased then bombing had no real impact". But the bombing offensive did do serious damage to German production levels. German tank and aircraft production, though reached new records in production levels in 1944, was in particular one-third lower than planned.[17] In fact, German aircraft production for 1945 was planned at 80,000, "which gives an idea of direction Erhard Milch and the German planners were pushing", "unhindered by Allied bombing German production would have risen far higher".[

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strateg...g_World_War_II

And:

by September 1943, 8,876 of the deadly, dual purpose 88 mm guns were also defending the homeland with a further 25,000 light flak guns – 20/37 mm. The 88mm gun was an effective AA weapon, it was a deadly destroyer of tanks and lethal against advancing infantry. These weapons would have done much to augment German anti-tank defences on the Russian front.
To man these weapons the flak regiments in Germany required some 90,000 fit personnel, and a further 1 million were deployed in clearing up and repairing the vast bomb-damage caused by the RAF attacks. To put this into perspective General Erwin Rommel's German forces defending Normandy in 1944 comprised 50,000 men, and their resistance caused the Western Allies grave problems.
This diversion to defensive purposes of German arms and manpower was an enormous contribution made by RAF Bomber Command to winning the war. By 1944 the bombing offensive was costing Germany 30% of all artillery production, 20% of heavy shells, 33% of the output of the optical industry for sights and aiming devices and 50% of the country's electro-technical output which had to be diverted to the anti-aircraft role.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Bomber_Command

You told this is intangible, can't be measured. Ultimately it cannot (how the Germans would use such resources and the Soviets react). But, you can estimate it, yes. Economical and military aspects can be united to provide a picture of the German and Soviet potentials in such a scenario. This is exactly the same thing the folks who do war simulations about hypotetical scenarios do. So, there's no way to prove that were the Soviets who really defeat the Germans, or even less that the Germans would be defeated by the Soviets alone. This is what makes the conflict a global one.
January 21st, 2012  
samneanderthal
 
There is nothing intangible about reallistically comparing what the Germans did with extremely few resources while the Soviets were receiving lots of them and estimating what the Germans would have done with far more and better resources in the east, it's extrapolation.
January 21st, 2012  
Marcelo Jenisch
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by samneanderthal
There is nothing intangible about reallistically comparing what the Germans did with extremely few resources while the Soviets were receiving lots of them and estimating what the Germans would have done with far more and better resources in the east, it's extrapolation.
People like a lot to say how the Germans would repulse the D-Day if was not for Russia, but apparentely the other way around doesn't seems to have the same reception.
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January 21st, 2012  
lljadw
 
The Italians in Norway :a good joke,but inimaginable:the Germans would never trust them,it would mean total liberty for the British to land in Norway,and what about the Gestapo,and the REichskommisar for Norway (Terboven ?)
January 21st, 2012  
Marcelo Jenisch
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lljadw
The Italians in Norway :a good joke,but inimaginable:the Germans would never trust them,it would mean total liberty for the British to land in Norway,and what about the Gestapo,and the REichskommisar for Norway (Terboven ?)
Joke? I'm assuming here that Britain didn't remained in the war, signing peace after France (don't matter for what reason, and this would bring more problems to the Russians without the LW losses in the BoB). The Italians would be more a police force than a defending Army. And to give even more credit for what I'm saying, since Hitler really expected Britain to accept such a peace, he probably had a plan to surprise Stalin in the case. Just don't know if would work.
January 21st, 2012  
lljadw
 
The German troops in Norway could not be used on the Eastern front of the 300000 men,a lot belonged to the KM and the LW,and the others had no battle experience .
January 21st, 2012  
lljadw
 
About the Flak :as always,people are confounding between the 88 mm Flak(which was an anti aircraft weapon,and was unfit against tanks),and the 88 mm PAK,which was an anti tank weapon,and of which only 3649 were produced .
January 21st, 2012  
samneanderthal
 
The 88 mm Flak was used extensively for antitank purposes by Rommel in France and NA, etc, the 51 LW Flak batallions in Barbarossa used the 88 mm Flak. The 88 mm PAK was used by the army and SS, and like the 88 mm Flak, planes and tanks, there were never enough of them in any front after France fell.
The Germans often lured the enemy tanks within emplaced gun range, rather than moving the guns within range. the Americans took the bait in Fad, before the Kasserine Pass and paid dearly.
January 21st, 2012  
Der Alte
 
The bottom line is that the USSR had the numbers and resources to win a war of attrition on the Eastern Front, and Germany did not. The war on the Eastern Front would eventually and inevitably bleed Germany white, as it did, adversely affecting Germany's ability to fight on all other fronts. Or even adequately defend her own airspace against the coming onslaught of Allied bombers and fighters. The USSR did not have the economic power to hammer Germany to her knees, as did the U.S. But the USSR was able to bleed Germany to death over time, perhaps analogous to the debilitating effects that a slow but fatal disease like leukemia has on the human body.

Probably Germany's best chance to defeat the USSR would have been to talk Japan into attacking the USSR from the east (and leaving the US strictly alone). Initally, I suspect that Hitler was too arrogant and overconfident to ask his Asian ally for help, even though he eventually needed it desperately. For their part, the Japanese Army had earlier been handled roughly by the Soviet Army on the northern border of Manchuria and probably wanted no more battles with the Red Army. Later, it was too late for both Germany and Japan. Also, the Japanese did not want to fight a war in Siberia that they probably could not win, especially as their Army was heavily engaged in China. They were a naval power and the IJN could not contribute much to a war against the USSR. Of course, the IJN could have contributed a lot to a war against the Royal Navy in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, but that would have almost certainly brought the US into the war, an event that Germany was trying to avoid. Ultimately, Japan had less to contribute to a German victory than the USSR had to contribute to a British victory, so any Japanese strategy would probably have failed.
Once the US entered the war on the Allied side, Germany was doomed. Even if Hitler had refrained from attacking the USSR and that power had remained neutral throughout the war, America simply had too many resources. Just as in the First World War, the US and the British Empire (plus most of the rest of the Western Hemisphere) would have eventually won a war of attrition.

Again, Germany's best hope would have involved Japan and the USSR. If Hitler had refrained from attacking the USSR (Japanese diplomats were trying to get the USSR to join the Axis when Germany attacked, thereby demonstrating that at least some in the Japanese government had a much better concept of global strategy than did Hitler), and instead convinced both Japan and the USSR to join the Axis and help Germany, Italy and their allies against the British Empire, the US and their allies, it would have been a long and bitter war indeed, perhaps another stalemate. The posibility of stalemate or Axis victory would have been enhanced if Hitler also forced Spain into the war on the Axis side, taking Gibralter, driving England from the Mediterranean and protecting Italy. In fact, of course, Hitler did open a second front by attacking the USSR and the US and UK made the European war their first priority after Japan drew the US into the war on Dec 7, 1941. Even though Germany gained Japan as an active ally, she was doubly doomed. By which I do not mean to imply that defeating Germany (and Italy and Japan) was easy. In fact, it was a long, costly, dangerous, bloody road to victory. At the time it appeared to Allied leaders and soldiers alike that the Axis powers might win the war. From their perspective, they were engaged in a death struggle that they might very well lose. But, with the benefit of hindsight, we can see that their overwhelming industrial might meant that the odds heavily favored the Allies.

I would like to make a few comments about Adolf Hitler, since he personified the Third Reich, and made most of the strategic decisions. I regard Hitler as a superb (if evil) politician with great political insight. This allowed him to gain power, re-arm Germany, and gobble-up parts of Europe with impunity. Once the war started, however, his weaknesses became evident. He had some tactical sense, probably due to his experience in WW I as a combat infantryman. But, he was a very poor strategist. As far as I can tell, he never had a "grand strategy." By which I mean a clear set of goals for the war and a plan to reach them. Hitler was, in fact, taken by surprise when England and France declared war on Germany. He had expected to partition Poland without fighting a major war, and had no plan beyond defeating Poland. Hence the period of "Phony War" after the defeat of Poland, while the German generals planned the campaign against France.
January 21st, 2012  
Marcelo Jenisch
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Alte
For their part, the Japanese Army had earlier been handled roughly by the Soviet Army on the northern border of Manchuria and probably wanted no more battles with the Red Army.
The USSR won because Stalin and Zhukov committed themselves to this battle whereas the Kwangtung Army HQ never realized what was developing and treated the situation as more of a typical border incident vs. the major brew haha that the USSR percieved it to be. Stalin wanted to make a statement......and Zhukov, so authorized committed his forces more decisively and brought in the logistics to support his goals. It hardly went all rosy for him and his forces but in the end their side 'achieved' it's objectives. The Japanese committed primarily a new and green division (The 23rd) which also was a smaller new triangular style division which in turn committed it's forces piecemeal, including at the end a couple regimental groups from another Div. Logistics and firepower wise, committment was peacemeal.

If the Japanese didn't joined with Hitler in 1941, his signing of the pact with Stalin just as Japan was being defeated in Nomonhan was certainly of critical importance. The non-warning of the Barbarossa was also a preponderant factor.
 


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