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Posted: 8/10/2017 7:55:41 PM EDT
Armor, Infantry, (troop) Cavalry and (battery) Artillery.

My vote?  Germans.  Without question.
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 7:57:55 PM EDT
[#1]
Germans
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 7:58:40 PM EDT
[#2]
Finns
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 7:59:21 PM EDT
[#3]
1. Germans
2. U.S.
3. Brits
4. Japs
5. Russians
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 8:06:25 PM EDT
[#4]
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 8:07:10 PM EDT
[#5]
Italians
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 8:08:20 PM EDT
[#6]
Germans without a doubt. Auftragstaktik and all that good stuff. Most muricans don't want to admit it but post war the US military did their level best to copy the shit out of what the Germans were doing.
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 8:13:04 PM EDT
[#7]
Germans.  MG-34 or 42.
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 8:14:48 PM EDT
[#8]
The Germans for armor and infantry, the US for artillery.

Cavalry is trickier and it depends on if you're talking traditional cavalry or armored cav/recon. If it's the first one tossup between the Germans and US, if the later then the Russians, Germans and Italians used the most horse cavalry formations during the war but aside from partisan/anti-partisan use they weren't used very effectively by any of them. The best use of mounted troops in a conventional "cavalry" role was probably the US again with what they did on Sicily, although it was done by mounted infantry units and not actual cavalry.

Also how about Airborne? There it was the US hands down, with the Brits (and Poles with the Brits) next, followed by the Germans, even though the Germans used theirs mostly as regular (but highly trained and motivated) infantry for most of the war after what happened on Crete but they did some pretty impressive things with them during the invasion of the Low Countries. And what Skorzeny did with his Mussolini jailbreak was impressive, even though that is more of a special operations sort of deal than a traditional airborne operation. Ironically, the Soviets actually fielded the first airborne units in the early '30s, but they were pretty terrible at actually doing airborne stuff.
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 8:16:56 PM EDT
[#9]
Probably Germany...but they were ground up on the Russian front.
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 8:17:14 PM EDT
[#10]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
1. Germans
2. U.S.
3. Brits
4. Japs
5. Russians
View Quote
Germans
Brits/Japs
US
Russians
Chinese

Both British and Japanese (early war) junior officers were pretty competent. The Brits mainly were mainly hampered by shitty politicized higher echelons, but the junior leaders were decent.
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 8:18:06 PM EDT
[#11]
Beginning of war- Germans

End of war- US
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 8:19:07 PM EDT
[#12]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
The Germans for armor and infantry, the US for artillery.

Cavalry is trickier and it depends on if you're talking traditional cavalry or armored cav/recon. If it's the first one tossup between the Germans and US, if the later then the Russians, Germans and Italians used the most horse cavalry formations during the war but aside from partisan/anti-partisan use they weren't used very effectively by any of them. The best use of mounted troops in a conventional "cavalry" role was probably the US again with what they did on Sicily, although it was done by mounted infantry units and not actual cavalry.

Also how about Airborne? There it was the US hands down, with the Brits (and Poles with the Brits) next, followed by the Germans, even though the Germans used theirs mostly as regular (but highly trained and motivated) infantry for most of the war after what happened on Crete but they did some pretty impressive things with them during the invasion of the Low Countries. And what Skorzeny did with his Mussolini jailbreak was impressive, even though that is more of a special operations sort of deal than a traditional airborne operation. Ironically, the Soviets actually fielded the first airborne units in the early '30s, but they were pretty terrible at actually doing airborne stuff.
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I recall reading somewhere that the first Soviet paratroopers initially were trained to jump into deep snow without parachutes. But I'd say you are mostly correct in your assessment.
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 8:19:16 PM EDT
[#13]
Germans.
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 8:23:29 PM EDT
[#14]
Who ever answered Soviets knows nothing.
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 8:24:01 PM EDT
[#15]
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Quoted:
Finns
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highly effective. better than the germans according to....the germans (light infantry, anyway)

that said, not a major power
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 8:28:47 PM EDT
[#16]
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Quoted:
Who ever answered Soviets knows nothing.
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Soviet senior leaders, they had some decent ones. From my understanding the junior officers were not particularly good, but that was probably mostly due to inflexible doctrinal methods and lack of decent communications. They did have a few good ones, if you read about the war in the far north and their operations into Norway, but thats more like Spetsnaz type stuff.
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 8:32:26 PM EDT
[#17]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


I recall reading somewhere that the first Soviet paratroopers initially were trained to jump into deep snow without parachutes. But I'd say you are mostly correct in your assessment.
View Quote
That story got started when a military observer (forget from which country, it may have actually been from Germany as this was the early-mid '30s when there was all sorts of military cooperation going on between the two) saw the Soviets pull the "dropping in snow drifts trick" without chutes during a demonstration; but it wasn't a normal airborne drop it was a demonstration on how they could insert agents using a really slow, really low Po-2 biplane with the agent dropping right off the wing. He wrote it up and somehow it turned into the story that all Soviet paratroopers were able to do that, which wasn't the case. I'd have to dig for the book that tells about how that all got conflated but that's basically the jist of it.

The Soviets did some brigade sized demonstrations in the '30s that were observed by people from all over and they definitely used chutes, although they tended to drop from a lot lower than anyone else who subsequently formed airborne formations did and they didn't bother with backup chutes because of how low they were jumping from. If the main didn't work they were toast so why bother with a backup.
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 8:46:28 PM EDT
[#18]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


Soviet senior leaders, they had some decent ones. From my understanding the junior officers were not particularly good, but that was probably mostly due to inflexible doctrinal methods and lack of decent communications. They did have a few good ones, if you read about the war in the far north and their operations into Norway, but thats more like Spetsnaz type stuff.
View Quote
Soviets got crushed early.

For decades after the war, Von Mellenthin's account (a good read by the way "Panzer Battles") is dismissive of the Soviets, especially at unit level.  

Later research has shown a more complex picture.  The 1944-45 Soviet Army was a formidable force at the Operational level and below.

All the stupid ones were dead by that point and they had significant experience.
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 8:53:11 PM EDT
[#19]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

Soviets got crushed early.

For decades after the war, Von Mellenthin's account (a good read by the way "Panzer Battles") is dismissive of the Soviets, especially at unit level.  


Later research has shown a more complex picture.  The 1944-45 Soviet Army was a formidable force at the Operational level and below.

All the stupid ones were dead by that point and they had significant experience.
View Quote
I read that book.  I do remember him talking about how good the Soviets were at infiltration before an attack.  Can't remember much else.
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 9:20:15 PM EDT
[#20]
Germans early on in Europe, but that's to be expected. They had a five year headstart, did a whole lot of unit training, had a long tradition of quality officer selection and basic training. But by '43 their system was being stretched you the max, by then most field and company
grade officers were all new, officer selection standards were dropping, unit attrition was severe. This across all branches. Their arty wasn't bad, better than Brits and Russians, but they lacked the priority the US pushed, they lacked radios, so they paid the price for poor prioritization.  It wouldn't be the first time the Germans got bit in the assfor poor prioritizing...

I'd also say British were just behind the Germans, they had a pretty good officer program.

Soviets were crippled by typical issues involving casualties, poor senior leadership,  commie commisar party hacks interfering with selection, overly micromanaging senior command who'd willingly throw away a corps to appease their boss and prove their devotion.

US Army didnt excel in most combat arms, its unfortunaye. We didn't do terribly but infantry, armor, cav platoon leader slots were pretty low on the list of priorities for high quality, high testing recruits, who were sent to the USAAF, signals, artillery before infantry, cav, or armor got their picks. And then airborne took an even bigger chunk out the infantry officer corps, poaching high performers. And our system was pretty overextended by '44-45, we grew so big so quickly it was really starting to show up then, and senior commanders, knowing the Germans were on the rope, really turned up the pressure on needing fresh bodies. Company officer attrition was terrible after Normandy (not that it wasnt shitty in Italy too), a platoon leader with a couple months in his unit or a company commander with a year or more in the Army was amazing. But they weren't the only ones suffering the effects of attrition.

Robert Rush's book Hell in the Hurtgen Forest examines the battle of the Hurtgen and compares and contrasts both systems under less than ideal conditions for both sides who each took horrific casualties. The US Army system really demonstrated its strength there, we proved mid battle we could resupply humans as well and beans, bullets,  bandaids. It lends credit to the US Army's much maligned replacement system, something i used to think was criminal. I don't totally buy Rush's arguments but it definitely has some very valid points.

Overall WWII taught us that there isn't a point to going through the work for quality for that sort of war. In an industrial war with or without nukes you can train them for two years or two months and it won't matter much, in the meat grinder they all die equally.
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 9:21:08 PM EDT
[#21]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

Soviets got crushed early.

For decades after the war, Von Mellenthin's account (a good read by the way "Panzer Battles") is dismissive of the Soviets, especially at unit level.  

Later research has shown a more complex picture.  The 1944-45 Soviet Army was a formidable force at the Operational level and below.

All the stupid ones were dead by that point and they had significant experience.
View Quote
I read that years ago. And i agree the soviets werent bad, most of that was german and later american propoganda. On the operational level they were better than the US IMO. Like i said, on the tactical level they had less flexibility than the US and Germans and this made the "look" worse on that level.
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 9:21:36 PM EDT
[#22]
In Max Hasting's book Overlord, he comes to the conclusion that 100 German troops were the equal of 125 American or UK troops, or 250 Soviets.  Unless the individual German soldat is simply better, the difference comes down to leadership.
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 9:31:08 PM EDT
[#23]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I read that book.  I do remember him talking about how good the Soviets were at infiltration before an attack.  Can't remember much else.
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View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:

Soviets got crushed early.

For decades after the war, Von Mellenthin's account (a good read by the way "Panzer Battles") is dismissive of the Soviets, especially at unit level.  


Later research has shown a more complex picture.  The 1944-45 Soviet Army was a formidable force at the Operational level and below.

All the stupid ones were dead by that point and they had significant experience.
I read that book.  I do remember him talking about how good the Soviets were at infiltration before an attack.  Can't remember much else.
Generally the infiltration doesnt mean like against the Japs or the Chinese or Vietnamese. Soviet doctrine called for encroaching their lines ridiculously close to the Germans, moving a shit ton of infantry,  engineers, and armor close their potential breach site, all without the Germans knowing.

They had shitty comms so that's why they massed fires the way they did,  they knew a lot would miss so they just added numbers to ensure that even with missing they'd hit the target.

A short arty prep barrage and the lead elements would go.  Often penal units epuld lead to trigger mines and eat the initial return fire. These units were former enlisted and officers who'd gotten in trouble for a variety of problems,  their crime was either execution or else risk death through insane attacks in the hopes of a pardon back to a normal unit.

Following them would be Guard infantry amd armor,  better units often with decent (though utterly ruthless) regimental and division officers. They'd exploit the breach and try to play their end of Deep Attack tactics. The follow on forces were utter crap,  barely disciplined,  barely civilized.
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 9:40:19 PM EDT
[#24]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
In Max Hasting's book Overlord, he comes to the conclusion that 100 German troops were the equal of 125 American or UK troops, or 250 Soviets.  Unless the individual German soldat is simply better, the difference comes down to leadership.
View Quote
I read that book and his book Armageddon, too.  He was none too complimentary of the Yanks.  I took that 50/50 to British bias and truth.  
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 9:47:37 PM EDT
[#25]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
In Max Hasting's book Overlord, he comes to the conclusion that 100 German troops were the equal of 125 American or UK troops, or 250 Soviets.  Unless the individual German soldat is simply better, the difference comes down to leadership.
View Quote
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 9:52:31 PM EDT
[#26]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:
In Max Hasting's book Overlord, he comes to the conclusion that 100 German troops were the equal of 125 American or UK troops, or 250 Soviets.  Unless the individual German soldat is simply better, the difference comes down to leadership.
http://i300.photobucket.com/albums/nn38/rccox/EB254A79-09EC-4D93-B90A-8B3A3CF65969.jpg
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 9:56:37 PM EDT
[#27]
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 10:02:29 PM EDT
[#28]
The question is sort of akin to asking which football team was the best in a given year....it is the winner of the superbowl.  Just as in any game, another team may start out strong, but if they fail to put in the appropriate players at the appropriate time, they will lose the game, just like Germany did.  

Germany might have won if, if, if, if.....but they didn't.
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 10:04:03 PM EDT
[#29]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I read that book.  I do remember him talking about how good the Soviets were at infiltration before an attack.  Can't remember much else.
View Quote
He was also very complimentary of their river crossing operations.  Which is instructive.  These are among the most difficult tactical operations to perform, especially under fire.

It is a backhanded compliment, really, when you think of how dismissive he is in general of their tactical leadership.

You have to think of the Soviets as "before and after" in WWII.

While it's arbitrary, I generally set the bar after the German victory in Kharkov in '43.

After that, whatever the Soviet Army was prior, it was a completely different animal after.

The Germans were not without victories after that, but after that, none of them mattered.
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 10:05:08 PM EDT
[#30]
My Dad said the Germans, especially armor
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 10:05:36 PM EDT
[#31]
Germans had pros at the beginning--superior to everyone.  KIAs resolved that
Brits had good people at start and finish
US surpassed them all by the end.
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 10:09:10 PM EDT
[#32]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
The Germans for armor and infantry, the US for artillery.

Cavalry is trickier and it depends on if you're talking traditional cavalry or armored cav/recon. If it's the first one tossup between the Germans and US, if the later then the Russians, Germans and Italians used the most horse cavalry formations during the war but aside from partisan/anti-partisan use they weren't used very effectively by any of them. The best use of mounted troops in a conventional "cavalry" role was probably the US again with what they did on Sicily, although it was done by mounted infantry units and not actual cavalry.

Also how about Airborne? There it was the US hands down, with the Brits (and Poles with the Brits) next, followed by the Germans, even though the Germans used theirs mostly as regular (but highly trained and motivated) infantry for most of the war after what happened on Crete but they did some pretty impressive things with them during the invasion of the Low Countries. And what Skorzeny did with his Mussolini jailbreak was impressive, even though that is more of a special operations sort of deal than a traditional airborne operation. Ironically, the Soviets actually fielded the first airborne units in the early '30s, but they were pretty terrible at actually doing airborne stuff.
View Quote
I consider parachute troops light infantry for the purposes of this discussion.  They were the cream of the crop in every army, so if you're looking for a qualitative average, they are not representative of whatever their country was, IMO.

They were all the best light infantry troops from their particular countries.  As were the "mountain" troops, back when that distinction really meant something.
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 10:10:53 PM EDT
[#33]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Germans without a doubt. Auftragstaktik and all that good stuff. Most muricans don't want to admit it but post war the US military did their level best to copy the shit out of what the Germans were doing.
View Quote
Spot on assessment.
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 10:15:34 PM EDT
[#34]
tag for learnin'.  i don't know enough about the specific responsibilities of company commanders to evaluate, but would like to know more if anyone can give a tl;dr.
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 10:15:45 PM EDT
[#35]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:


I consider parachute troops light infantry for the purposes of this discussion.  They were the cream of the crop in every army, so if you're looking for a qualitative average, they are not representative of whatever their country was, IMO.

They were all the best light infantry troops from their particular countries.  As were the "mountain" troops, back when that distinction really meant something.
View Quote
Interesting parable for today.  Raise the training bar, get exceptional morale and performance.  Lower the training bar...
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 10:17:37 PM EDT
[#36]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
The question is sort of akin to asking which football team was the best in a given year....it is the winner of the superbowl.  Just as in any game, another team may start out strong, but if they fail to put in the appropriate players at the appropriate time, they will lose the game, just like Germany did.  

Germany might have won if, if, if, if.....but they didn't.
View Quote
No, this isn't entirely true. The Germans were running out of raw materials, which also effects the outcome.

Using your sports metaphor: take the Super Bowl, then take cleats from one of the teams & let them play. Ill-equipped vs equipped?

You can be Patton--no tanks, no results.
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 10:22:13 PM EDT
[#37]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By KC-130 FLT ENG:
Italians
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Yous trollin
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 10:23:23 PM EDT
[#38]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

Yous trollin
View Quote
Apparently, their frogmen were capable. But that was it
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 10:24:03 PM EDT
[#39]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
The question is sort of akin to asking which football team was the best in a given year....it is the winner of the superbowl.  Just as in any game, another team may start out strong, but if they fail to put in the appropriate players at the appropriate time, they will lose the game, just like Germany did.  

Germany might have won if, if, if, if.....but they didn't.
View Quote
Not accurate.  I think in order to understand victory or defeat, you have to examine strengths and weaknesses.

Clearly, "we" the allies won at the end of the day because of advantages in industrial capacity, logistics, military intelligence and population.

The Krauts put up the fight they did, while disadvantaged in those fields, they were superior in almost all respects at the tactical level.

It's no harm to see their strengths for what they were and to add those lessons to the advantages we still otherwise have.

The United States, 1944 and after, fought competently on balance in every measurable tactical aspect, IMO.  That said, the Germans, fought expertly.  They were outclassed by the other measures (logistics, intel, etc.).  Had they been better, if not even close to equal, the war would have taken a different course. (the result of which, we can only speculate.  that said, there is no hypothetical based on realistic circumstances that can anticipate an axis victory, IMO.).
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 10:25:01 PM EDT
[#40]
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Quoted:
Who ever answered Soviets knows nothing.
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Truuuuuu

Very predictable with regards to combined arms. Ze Germans just didn't have the resources to counter it.
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 10:26:42 PM EDT
[#41]
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Quoted:

Truuuuuu

Very predictable with regards to combined arms. Ze Germans just didn't have the resources to counter it.
View Quote
Quantity has a quality all
its own
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 10:28:26 PM EDT
[#42]
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Quoted:
Apparently, their frogmen were capable. But that was it
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:

Yous trollin
Apparently, their frogmen were capable. But that was it
Capable of what? Whipping up some tasty cannolis?
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 10:28:58 PM EDT
[#43]
Initially..... Germans. Battle hardened combat vets of many campaigns.

As the war dragged on we got better.
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 10:29:01 PM EDT
[#44]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

Yous trollin
View Quote
The Italians did have some fantastic troops.  Especially the smaller the units got.

Their Army was a clown show of Nepotism, Cronyism and other species of ineptitude.

I'm pretty sure the Italian Army of WWI would have bitch slapped the Italian Army of WWII.

It's really a shame that Italian Arms have the reputation they do, because their performance in WWII is not representative of their (short) history in the modern period.  Especially compared with the dash (and flashes of greatness at the unit level) they showed in WWI.   
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 10:29:17 PM EDT
[#45]
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Quoted:

Capable of what? Whipping up some tasty cannolis?
View Quote
What do you have against cannoli?
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 10:30:43 PM EDT
[#46]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quantity has a quality all
its own
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Quoted:

Truuuuuu

Very predictable with regards to combined arms. Ze Germans just didn't have the resources to counter it.
Quantity has a quality all
its own
I was thinking more of the lack of German air power available on the Eastern Front after D Day as opposed to lack of German bodies.
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 10:30:57 PM EDT
[#47]
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Quoted:

Capable of what? Whipping up some tasty cannolis?
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Their "SEALs" were the best of WWII.  By far.  Not even close.
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 10:32:29 PM EDT
[#48]
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Quoted:

I was thinking more of the lack of German air power available on the Eastern Front after D Day as opposed to lack of German bodies.
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There were too many commies to kill
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 10:32:37 PM EDT
[#49]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

The Italians did have some fantastic troops.  Especially the smaller the units got.

Their Army was a clown show of Nepotism, Cronyism and other species of ineptitude.

I'm pretty sure the Italian Army of WWI would have bitch slapped the Italian Army of WWII.

It's really a shame that Italian Arms have the reputation they do, because their performance in WWII is not representative of their (short) history in the modern period.  Especially compared with the dash (and flashes of greatness at the unit level) they showed in WWI.   
View Quote
"Italian guns get the job done."
- John F. Kennedy
Link Posted: 8/10/2017 10:34:32 PM EDT
[#50]
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Quoted:

Their "SEALs" were the best of WWII.  By far.  Not even close.
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That's what I remember from my reading from years ago.
Some pretty daring missions IIRC
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