Most impressive military achievement in the 20th Century? - Page 3




View Poll Results :Most impressive military achievement in the 20th Century?
The Japanese victory over Russia, 1905. 6 2.47%
The Allied victory in WWI, 1914-1918. 3 1.23%
The Finnish stand against the USSR, 1940. 46 18.93%
The Axis victories in the first half of WWII, 1939-1942. 29 11.93%
The Allied victory in WWII, 1939-1945. 39 16.05%
The Israeli victory in the Israeli Independence War, 1948. 11 4.53%
The UN/USA victory in the Korean War 1950-1953. 2 0.82%
The Israeli victory in the Six Days War, 1967. 30 12.35%
The Arab relative succes in the Yom Kippur War, 1973. 3 1.23%
The Israeli Victory in the Yom Kippur War, 1973. 10 4.12%
The North-Vietnamese Victory in the Vietnam conflicts, 1945-1975. 20 8.23%
The Mujahidin victory in the Afghan War, 1979-1989. 7 2.88%
The Hizballa succses in the Invasion of Lebanon,1982-2000. 4 1.65%
The UN/USA victory in the Gulf War, 1991. 11 4.53%
Other. 22 9.05%
Voters: 243. You may not vote on this poll

 
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May 18th, 2005  
behemoth79
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
It has to be the German victories of 1939-42. Note I say German because it would be unfair to Germany to give any of the other Axis partners joint credit.

Why?

Well because it changed the face of warfare forever. Now, for the first time since the Mongol armies thundered across the plains of Asia 800 years ago we had an army that began to move faster than the speed of the marching man. Anyone who's ever read 'Panzer Leader' by Heinz Guderian will realise what a struggle it was for the German Panzer arm to get started. Without Hitler's favour and Guderian's brilliance and perseverance against the odds the Germans would have lost the initial Battle of France and a new dawn of trench warfare would have set in. But it didn't. Instead, Germany's armies with Panzers at their spearheads crushed every army in their path in the first three years of war. The great Allied victories in Europe took their cue from those first three years and all modern armies today take their cue from Blitzkrieg.
we think alike you and I. I think the biggest impact was your last sentence. Blitzkrieg has completely changed the face of warfare. Im not sure if he got it from somewhere or just made it up, but one of my teachers stressed that, "you gotta hittem firstest with the mostest."
May 19th, 2005  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by behemoth79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
It has to be the German victories of 1939-42. Note I say German because it would be unfair to Germany to give any of the other Axis partners joint credit.

Why?

Well because it changed the face of warfare forever. Now, for the first time since the Mongol armies thundered across the plains of Asia 800 years ago we had an army that began to move faster than the speed of the marching man. Anyone who's ever read 'Panzer Leader' by Heinz Guderian will realise what a struggle it was for the German Panzer arm to get started. Without Hitler's favour and Guderian's brilliance and perseverance against the odds the Germans would have lost the initial Battle of France and a new dawn of trench warfare would have set in. But it didn't. Instead, Germany's armies with Panzers at their spearheads crushed every army in their path in the first three years of war. The great Allied victories in Europe took their cue from those first three years and all modern armies today take their cue from Blitzkrieg.
we think alike you and I. I think the biggest impact was your last sentence. Blitzkrieg has completely changed the face of warfare. Im not sure if he got it from somewhere or just made it up, but one of my teachers stressed that, "you gotta hittem firstest with the mostest."
I've read that it was Nathan Bedford Forrest, Civil War General who said; "You gotta get there the firstest with the mostest". Sounds like a variation on that. But yeah I agree. The impact of Blitzkrieg on warfare has been as big as the impact of the horse or musket. If it wasn't for Blitzkrieg WW2 likely would have been fought in trenches.
May 19th, 2005  
Arclight
 
I'm split between the Axis victories in the first half of WWII and the North Vietnamese struggle. The Axis, as stated in previous posts, changed the face of battle. But I do believe the pure perseverence displayed by the North Vietnamese throughout more than a quarter century of war edges that accomplishment out. To take that amount of casualties, fight for that long, and go up against the greatest nations in the world deserves quite a bit of credit. Though, the war with the U.S. was a very restrictive war on the US part, so I do believe that could knock it to number two under the Axis option.
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May 19th, 2005  
godofthunder9010
 
 
From the fall of Saigon, to subsequent continued hostilities and Vietnam's much needed intervention in Cambodia ... then jumping straight into the Sino-Vietnamese War ... there isn't much of a time gap. Vietnam spent most of the Twentieth Century fighting the most powerful nations in the world: Japan, France, the USA and China. None of them defeated Vietnam and all were humiated to varying degrees. And to top it off, there was no break in the action. Not more than a couple years from one war to the next. Extremely difficult not to find all of that impressive.
May 20th, 2005  
Bory
 
 
I said the Israeli War of Independence. Oddly enough I just finished learning about the creation of Israel in Modern History so it was for me an easy choice.

A country not even a year old, greatly out numbered, and surrounded held off Invasion on all borders, captured and kept its capital, and then won the war.

Don't know about you guys but thats pretty dam impressive in my view.
May 24th, 2005  
Ashes
 
Doppleganger wrote...............

__________________________________________________ ____________________________________________
It has to be the German victories of 1939-42. Note I say German because it would be unfair to Germany to give any of the other Axis partners joint credit.

Why?

Well because it changed the face of warfare forever. Now, for the first time since the Mongol armies thundered across the plains of Asia 800 years ago we had an army that began to move faster than the speed of the marching man. Anyone who's ever read 'Panzer Leader' by Heinz Guderian will realise what a struggle it was for the German Panzer arm to get started. Without Hitler's favour and Guderian's brilliance and perseverance against the odds the Germans would have lost the initial Battle of France and a new dawn of trench warfare would have set in. But it didn't. Instead, Germany's armies with Panzers at their spearheads crushed every army in their path in the first three years of war. The great Allied victories in Europe took their cue from those first three years and all modern armies today take their cue from Blitzkrieg.
__________________________________________________ ______________________________________________

Just a few observations........

You mention the Mongols....
There was perhaps one key difference between the success of the Mongols and the eventual falure of the Blitzkrieg tactics of the Whermacht, the Mongols under Genghis Khan always had superb logistics, the Whermacht didn't, and that was one of the main reasons the Mongols were so successful over such an immense area, and the Germans [ in Russia ] weren't, and therefore lost the war.

The problem was that Germany lacked the resources, technology and expertise to gamble on the creation of an all mechanized, or motorised, force when rearming in the 30's, so the Panzers were backed up and supplied mainly by a large slow moving army, just like armies had for centuries. The vast majority of German military transport was horse drawn. Each regiment had 683 horses [ a total of over 600,000 horses in the initial attack ] as opposed to just 73 motor vehicles [ They used over 3 million horses during the course of the war. ]

While the fast moving Panzer armies could create havoc with slower moving Russian armies in the field, the bulk of the German armies were advancing at walking speed, and were often left a long way behind, [ along with much needed fuel and supplies ] thus leaving the Panzers vulnerable to counter attack, and eventually, [ and very importantly ] the Germans lost control of the air, making Panzer operations difficult.
The Germans military planning for Barbarossa has been described as 'logistical imbecility'.

The Germans eventually failed, after a relatively short four years, to achieve their ultimate goal [ with their new tactics ] which was to conquer Russia, and therefore control Europe.

And as you say the Mongols covered a much larger area and lasted centuries.

And I'm not as sure as you, that a "new dawn of trench warfare would have set in.''

General Erich von Ludendorff and his staff developed the concepts from which modern war would evolve and defeat trench warfare in 1918.

His new offensive doctrine of 'attack in depth', which reintroduced new attacking manoeuvre's on the battlefield, with highly trained stormtroopers. In the last German offensive of the war they broke the trench warfare stalemate, and came close to success.

Plus, the advances in tank development, and more importantly, air power, meant that first world war type trench warfare was possibly a thing of the past [ despite the French wasting valuable manpower in the defuct Maginot line ].

There were many men of vision like Guderian, struggling for Blitzkrieg type tactics, in all the leading countries in the late 20's early 30's, such as General Paul Andre Mais, and Colonel Doumemc and De Gaulle of France, advocating combined tank operations, and Red Army General and theorist Mikhail Tukhachevsky.

Tukhachevsky held very advanced ideas on military strategy, particularly on the use of tanks and aircraft. His ideas were opposed by Stalin's military cronies from the Civil War, Voroshilov and Budenny, and he was eventually executed in the army purges of '37.

The German commanders like Guderian and Manteuffell, put into practice the tank tactics and theories that the British were experimenting with in the late 1920's, and the writings of the foremost theorist on combined tank tactics, Captain Basil Liddel Hart, and others like General Fuller, and General Hobart.

[ Guderian, in a tribute to Hart before the war, sent an inscribed photo of himself with the words ... To captain Liddel Hart, from one of his disciples in tank warfare and the creator of modern tank strategy. ]...

But they, and many others, were all butting their heads against the brick walls of conservative army high commands, until unfortunately [for Europe ] Hitler, the only leader willing to take the risk, gave the green light for combined tank operations soon after coming to power, giving the Germans the chance for early victories. It was very successful [at first] on the relatively short Western front, and initially in Russia, but in the long run, had fatal flaws, which eventually led to it's failure.
May 24th, 2005  
Zucchini
 
In the context of WW2, excellent post.
May 24th, 2005  
Doppleganger
 
 
Hi Ashes. Once more a big reply ready for my dissection! Here goes..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashes
Just a few observations........

You mention the Mongols....
There was perhaps one key difference between the success of the Mongols and the eventual falure of the Blitzkrieg tactics of the Whermacht, the Mongols under Genghis Khan always had superb logistics, the Whermacht didn't, and that was one of the main reasons the Mongols were so successful over such an immense area, and the Germans [ in Russia ] weren't, and therefore lost the war.
It's unhelpful to compare the logistical needs of the Mongols compared to those required by Blitzkrieg. It's much easier to have superb logistics when all you have to look after are men and horses who can feed themselves on route to any objective.

The Germans did not lose the war because of the failure of Blitzkrieg tactics nor solely because of faulty logistics. They also lost because of faulty planning, faulty intelligence and overconfidence.

The only reason why I mentioned the Mongols was to illustrate that now, the first time since then, were armies were moving on average faster than the speed of the marching man.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashes
The problem was that Germany lacked the resources, technology and expertise to gamble on the creation of an all mechanized, or motorised, force when rearming in the 30's, so the Panzers were backed up and supplied mainly by a large slow moving army, just like armies had for centuries. The vast majority of German military transport was horse drawn. Each regiment had 683 horses [ a total of over 600,000 horses in the initial attack ] as opposed to just 73 motor vehicles [ They used over 3 million horses during the course of the war. ]
Not true. The main problem was that almost all of the German General Staff at the time were VERY resistant to the creation of all mechanised forces. They saw tanks as infantry support weapons, just as they had been used in WW1. The reason for the over reliance on horses was the fault of the above and also the failure of German industry to tack to a war footing basis (on Hitler's orders). Guderian fiercely argued for all mechanised forces in the 1930's but because of the above resistance he only partially got what he asked for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashes
While the fast moving Panzer armies could create havoc with slower moving Russian armies in the field, the bulk of the German armies were advancing at walking speed, and were often left a long way behind, [ along with much needed fuel and supplies ] thus leaving the Panzers vulnerable to counter attack, and eventually, [ and very importantly ] the Germans lost control of the air, making Panzer operations difficult.
The Germans military planning for Barbarossa has been described as 'logistical imbecility'.

The Germans eventually failed, after a relatively short four years, to achieve their ultimate goal [ with their new tactics ] which was to conquer Russia, and therefore control Europe.

And as you say the Mongols covered a much larger area and lasted centuries.
Which is why Guderian argued for all mechanised Panzer and Panzergrenadier Divisions to help offset that. As long as you have infantry type troops in sufficient number to hold objectives, it does not matter so much about slow moving infantry troops in your wake.

Ashes. Take a look at the sheer size of the Soviet Union. Remember that Blitzkrieg was still a very new concept. Barbarossa called for a short, decisive defeat of the USSR. When examining Barbarossa in that light it is not as poorly planned as some say. Yes, the Germans badly underestimated the Soviet ability to resist and yes, there were other big failures, notably the failure to put German industry onto a war footing. But the plan as a 3 month campaign was well planned and it worked spectacularly well until its timetable became unstuck and it was clear that Barbarossa would no longer win the war in 1941.

This is a topic for another thread, so I won't go into the reasons why Germany lost WW2. Suffice to say, it was nothing to do with Blitzkrieg tactics whatsoever. In fact, Blitzkrieg tactics were the only reason why Germany was initially so successful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashes
And I'm not as sure as you, that a "new dawn of trench warfare would have set in.''

General Erich von Ludendorff and his staff developed the concepts from which modern war would evolve and defeat trench warfare in 1918.

His new offensive doctrine of 'attack in depth', which reintroduced new attacking manoeuvre's on the battlefield, with highly trained stormtroopers. In the last German offensive of the war they broke the trench warfare stalemate, and came close to success.

Plus, the advances in tank development, and more importantly, air power, meant that first world war type trench warfare was possibly a thing of the past [ despite the French wasting valuable manpower in the defuct Maginot line ].
Guderian and Manstein both believed that a new dawn of trench warfare would have set in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashes
There were many men of vision like Guderian, struggling for Blitzkrieg type tactics, in all the leading countries in the late 20's early 30's, such as General Paul Andre Mais, and Colonel Doumemc and De Gaulle of France, advocating combined tank operations, and Red Army General and theorist Mikhail Tukhachevsky.

Tukhachevsky held very advanced ideas on military strategy, particularly on the use of tanks and aircraft. His ideas were opposed by Stalin's military cronies from the Civil War, Voroshilov and Budenny, and he was eventually executed in the army purges of '37.

The German commanders like Guderian and Manteuffell, put into practice the tank tactics and theories that the British were experimenting with in the late 1920's, and the writings of the foremost theorist on combined tank tactics, Captain Basil Liddel Hart, and others like General Fuller, and General Hobart.
True, there were a few theorists between the wars who were looking at using tanks in a more far-sighted way. Guderian was the man who was given the opportunity to develop them and he did so extremely well. We can argue that some of the others also would have achieved what Guderian did but none of them had the chance so the argument is moot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashes
[ Guderian, in a tribute to Hart before the war, sent an inscribed photo of himself with the words ... To captain Liddel Hart, from one of his disciples in tank warfare and the creator of modern tank strategy. ]...
If you've read 'Panzer Leader' Guderian is indeed respectful of Liddel Hart's influence on modern combined arm tactics. You'll also know that Guderian is suprisingly modest about his own influence on such techniques and does not come across as someone who blows his own trumpet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashes
But they, and many others, were all butting their heads against the brick walls of conservative army high commands, until unfortunately [for Europe ] Hitler, the only leader willing to take the risk, gave the green light for combined tank operations soon after coming to power, giving the Germans the chance for early victories. It was very successful [at first] on the relatively short Western front, and initially in Russia, but in the long run, had fatal flaws, which eventually led to it's failure.
Ok Ashes. Please tell me what the fatal flaws of Blitzkrieg are. Please also tell me what type of tactics modern armies are using in the field because they look pretty similar to modified Blitzkrieg tactics to me.

What tactics do you think the Allies were using against Germany after 1942?

As I mentioned above (and as you mentioned yourself), it was other reasons, like logistics, that led to German failure in WW2. On the Eastern Front the biggest reason why Germany lost was due to force relations. Simply put, the Red Army was able to field a strategic reserve and the Wehrmacht wasn't. That is the most compelling reason why Germany lost the Ostfront and therefore WW2.
May 29th, 2005  
AussieNick
 
I'd say the stopping of the Japanese on Kokoda and the defeat at Milne Bay (the first land defeat of the Japanese army). Not numerically huge, or massive losses or anything like that. But the conditions, and the fighting was amazing.



Not the best pic of the conditions, but it does show the Owen Stanley Ranges in Isurava on the Kokoda trail.... this is the openening of the Australian war memorial here.
May 30th, 2005  
Bory
 
 
I was going to say Kokoda. It was fairly impressive under the circumstances. Unless of course your name is Thomas Blamey