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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 6/20/2001 6:27:46 PM EST
I know Tom Brokaw will not agree with me, but I really believe the Soviets won the war in the ETO. The U.S & British were at most a sideshow. Just compare the numbers of equipment and manpower the Germans used versus the Soviets as compared to the Western Front. The Americans did defeat Japan almost single-handly, but you definitly have to give credit to Joe Stalin and his boys.
Link Posted: 6/20/2001 8:44:29 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/20/2001 8:44:03 PM EST by TacCar]
Yeah, but the Russkies never had to land on Normandy beachheads, and they never had to face Rommel in the desert. Besides, Adolf Hitler's blunders and insanity were responsible for the defeat of Nazi Germany as much as anything. Who cares what Tom Brokaw thinks anyway?
Link Posted: 6/21/2001 5:30:58 AM EST
Plus, if the American & British bombers had not destroyed the German fuel supplies and everything else, the outcome in Europe might have been different. How many tons of stuff came to Murmansk to save the Russians? No doubt the Russians suffered and contributed, but by 1945, the German Military was a far cry from what it was in 1940. John
Link Posted: 6/21/2001 5:47:59 AM EST
Post from SS109 -
I really believe the Soviets won the war in the ETO.
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C'mon, if it hadn't been for the delay of Operation Barbarossa, Uncle Joe would have been toast by early Fall, 1941. If it hadn't been for the 1939 Non-agression pact that Stalin signed with Hitler, the war might never have even started. Russkis were just pulling their own chestnuts outta the fire. I'm sure Poland has a different view of pre-war Soviet 'adventurism.' Eric The(Don'tEvenTalkAbout'KatynForest')Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 6/21/2001 8:41:31 AM EST
Don't forget that the U.S. supplied massive amounts of material to the Soviet war effort for a long time, including shipments of vehichles and aircraft (correct me if I'm wrong). They sure as hell didn't do it alone. And another thing, sure the Russian people fought stubbornly, but their military was crushed early in the war due to Stalin's idiocy and refusal to prepare for the war. Mother nature kicked in too, and Hitler found out the hard way that history doesn't lie, he should have read more of Napoleon's memoirs.
Link Posted: 6/21/2001 10:10:44 AM EST
yeah, its tough to discern who won, with so many factors at play. i would be on the side of which factors LOST the war instead. hitler's mistakes were numerous: he delayed barbarosa, while at the same time applying an unrealistic time frame to the operation - i believe 2 or 3 months??? he was so arrogant in his optimism, that he refused to include a resupply plan! he said it would be over before the troops needed supplies! also, while his troops were beginning to be bogged down by winter, he diverted a huge force to the south into ukraine, instead of driving hard towards moscow. he wasted tons of equipment and man-power on his "final solution" - in fact he stepped up the efforts the closer he came to losing the war, instead of diverting energies to the war effort. he refused to allow his troops to retreat in the east, even if the land held was strategically useless, costing countless casualties. finally, i really believe that he saw the russians as inferior, and totally underestamated their resolve and ingenuity. the americans were fighting hard in the west, causing huge headaches for the furor - i believe he also didn't expect us to go all out like we did! mistakes cost the war, i use as evidence the fact that the difference between the russians and the americans was a matter of hours - we reached berlin virtually at the same time.
Link Posted: 6/21/2001 4:10:00 PM EST
a strong contributing factor to the rapid crumble of the ostfront in 1944 was the elimination of the officer corps after the failed bomb attack in the wolfslair (?) in 1944. other factors were the absence of fuel for vehicles, ammunition and supplies. the german army fought until all fuel and all rounds were spent. at one point, panzers that were used to train tank crews were refitted for service by the teachers on their on voition and took out some russian tanks. completely outnumbered and then abandoned them when they ran out of fuel. the then completely insane hitler (mostly due to amphetamine poisoning - possibly genetic also) called for the persecution of all suspect. generalfeldmarschall rommel was a victim of this purge as well. senior officers turned over hundreds of innocent junior officers to appease this blood hunt, to save their own necks from the ss meat hooks. steve
Link Posted: 6/21/2001 5:02:47 PM EST
I think Germany was already going downhill in 1943, Hitler's actions just speeded the end.
Link Posted: 6/22/2001 7:41:13 AM EST
I doubt the British & Australian's would agree the U.S. almost single-handly defeated Japan
Link Posted: 6/23/2001 9:12:56 AM EST
Oppenheimer almost single-handedly defeated the Japanese.
Link Posted: 6/24/2001 5:53:14 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/24/2001 5:52:49 AM EST by Golgo-13]
Don't give the US too much credit for supplying the Soviets during WWII. There was some early lend-lease of trucks and other equipment, but the Soviets may point to the reconstruction of their manufacturing base as a genuine accomplishment/victory during WWII. By the end of the war they were pouring out weapons and vehicles at a fantastic pace. The US also performed great feats of mass production, but we didn't do it under fire and after having had our existing factories captured or destroyed. We were brought up in this country hating the Soviets (I was, anyway, and I still hate commies) but we should not allow that to blind us to historical realities. Whether they did it quickly, efficiently, intentionally, because of Stalin's errors or in spite of them, because of Hitler's actions or in spite of them, the Soviets (and satellite states) defeated the Germans (and satellite states) on the eastern front pretty much w/o our help.
Link Posted: 6/24/2001 7:59:20 AM EST
Assuming that Stalin refused to prepare for war is a fallacy - Stalin's entire point (and justification for rapid heavy industrialization) was enumerated in a speech he gave in 1931 stating that the Soviets had less than 10 years to prepare for war. He knew what was coming (although in the first hours of the invasion he refused to believe that it was more than a border skirmish). Certiantly his purges didn't have a great effect on military command ability, but as far as industrial preparedness goes, no other nation managed to in 10 years go from no heavy industry to the second largest heavy industry base in the world. However, the Soviet system suffered from severe inefficiency and only made up for it by countering that with sheer volume. In short, they overwhelmed the Germans. Don't forget that a shot from our Sherman's couldn't even penetrate a Panzer while the Soviet T-34's cut through them like butter. Like so many things, I think the eventual defeat of Germany was a combination of factors and that the Soviets and the United States contributed greatly. But the Soviets lost 27 million people in that war - we lost somewhere around 350,000. And it's probably no coincidence that the turning point of the war for the Germans was at the Battle of Stalingrad. This is all generally a sore point for the Russians who feel that the Allies ignored the Soviets until it was convient for them. By the way, Stalin was the worst thing that could have happened for the Soviet Union. But on the other hand, it can be said that without his leadership and forsight that the Soviets would have been unprepared for a war with Germany.
And another thing, sure the Russian people fought stubbornly, but their military was crushed early in the war due to Stalin's idiocy and refusal to prepare for the war. Mother nature kicked in too, and Hitler found out the hard way that history doesn't lie, he should have read more of Napoleon's memoirs.
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Link Posted: 6/24/2001 10:27:45 AM EST
We, British and US, sent appx. 6,000 tanks of various types to the USSR. 2,000 Shermans and some M3 Grants (nicknamed coffin for 7 brothers). The USSR made 55,000 T-34/T-34-85 tanks during the war. By comparison the Germans made less that 2,000 Tiger I/II's and appx 6,000 Panthers. The US made appx 49,000 Shermans. The Russians also made a multitude of self propelled guns. The T-34's, except the T-34-85's, were not equal to the Panthers. Of course the T-34's came out over a year before the Panthers and were unstoppable except by 88 for a while. The Germans were using long rifled barrels in their tanks, (Tiger, Panther, and MKIV's)think of them as a giant match rifle. The Russian equpiment was mostly smoothbore, think of a giant AK-47. The Germans would try to keep the Russians further back where the could snipe'em. The Russians were forced to get close. If a Russian round hit home it was a powerful hit. The Russians also produced some super heavy tanks JSI-JSIII, 122 mm main gun. The Russians had the largest air force prior to operation Barbarosa, then they had none. They rebuilt their air force with mostly USSR fighter designs, they did get some P-40's and P-39's fron the US, after we had replaced them with better designs. The USSR didn't develop a strategic air force, but did have a large and by the end of the war eefective tactical air force. What we gave the Russians was mainly trucks and half tracks. They never had enough. That allowed them to concentrate their efforts on building tanks. The Russians and Germans were fighting each other with armies that had appx 10,000,000 men each from 1941 until 1944. No the Russians didn't have to invade Normandy but the Germans never made it to Denver either. Nor did the US have entire army groups encircled and decimated. The German forces in North Africa represented less the 1% of German combat troops. The death of the Africa Corps was as much du to air attacks on German supply ships. Many of the German divisions in Normandy were made up of captured peoples and Germans that had been considered to old or young to be 1st line soldiers. A few of the "divisions" were shattered remanants of German east front division sent to the west to refit. German divisions had authorized strenghts of appx 12,000. Some of the "divisions", made up of actual 1st rate troops, in France were 2,000 men strong.
Link Posted: 6/24/2001 10:52:21 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/24/2001 10:56:14 AM EST by OLY-M4gery]
The Russians didn't have to face Rommel: No they didn't but the faced Gruderian, and Von Hoth. Gruderian was Rommel's commander during the invasion of France. Gruderian knew what he was doing. Kesselring was the German commander in Italy and was a tough opponent, he spent much of the war on the eastern front until he was re-assigned to Italy. The Germans had tons of tough competent commanders, we just know about Rommel because we fought him very briefly. He was replaced as North Africa Korps commander shortly after the US arrived. If the Germans had fought either the eastern front or the western front alone they would have been much tougher. The 1,000,000 or so Germans in France could have made a big difference in Russia. I don't wanna think what 10,000,000 extra German troops could have done on the western front if they weren't tied up with the Russians. We owe a lot of the defeat of Germany to the Greeks. The Italians invaded Greece w/o telling the Germans. The Italians initially made good gains against the Greeks. But by the end of the week the Greeks fought them back to the border, and the Greeks captured most of the Italian equipment that had been used in the invasion. So Hitler ordered the Wermarcht to take Greece. Hitler was afraid the British would send troops to Greece and open up a land war. If Italy hadn't invaded Greece the invasion of Russia would have been much better timed. And the Russians tied up a lot of Japanese troops by Siberia. The Russians had divisions near Japenese held Korea, which meant the Japanese had to have troops ready in case the Russians started an offensive. If those Japanese troops had been available to fight against US troops...... Of course after Pearl Harbor the Russian pulled "Cossacks" off the line in Siberia and sent them to Stalingrad. Because the Russians knew the Japanese wouldn't attack Russia right after starting a war with the US. My guess the Russians did more dying and killing in that war, but all counries involved played a valuable part. Deciding who did what to start the war. Germany was severly economically punished by France and Britian at the end off WWI, breeding serious resentment. The military treaties with Germany were not enforced by the European allies. When German troops marched into the Rhineland re-taking it from the French and English, who had taken it over after WWI, neither country resisted the Germans. The German army general staff was ready to "take power from Hitler" If his actions led to violence. His actions didn't so he wasn't removed. That was before the 1939 Russian-German non-aggresion pact.(1936 IIRC)
Link Posted: 6/24/2001 11:06:11 AM EST
I have to agree with most of what you all have written. Also, the one big mistake was Hitler's insistence on "fortresses." (stand or die edicts) Thousands of good soldiers were sacrificed that way. Still, they accomplished successes with what they had. I have read of incredible tank VS tank victories by some of their Panzer "aces." John
Link Posted: 6/24/2001 11:24:01 AM EST
501st Hvy Tank Bn (IIRC) Maj Otto Clasius leading his 20 Tiger I's finds a Soviet armored brigade coming at his "battalion", which is at appx company strength. Decide the risk to hi remaining tanks is to great. Orders the rest of the Tigers to stand by while his tank and the Bn XO's tank engage the Soviet brigade. 85 Soviet tanks destroyed 1 Tiger slightly damaged, Soviet advance stopped. I wanna say mid 1943 in Central Russia. The Germans had some incredible soldiers.
Link Posted: 6/24/2001 11:29:10 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/24/2001 11:30:35 PM EST by TacCar]
I got nothing against Germans, and they are particularly good at fighting wars(or at least used to be), but we've kicked thier asses twice, so much for the invincible German war machine. What if Japan never attacked Pearl Harbor and we didn't have all those troops tied up fighting japanese? The what ifs could go on and on....
Link Posted: 6/25/2001 12:28:42 AM EST
TacCar, Not to argue or anything but I wouldn't say we "kicked their asses" in WW1&2. In WW1 we didn't enter the theater with a credible force until 1918. The ass end of the war. As a matter of fact you could say we did arrive in the nick of time, as there were many German divisions from the Russian front that were on their way west after the peace treaty w/the Russians. Without us there I doubt that the outcome would have been the same. As for WW2, even the Germans admit that the conflict with the Soviets was the cause of 88% of their casualties. Us/English/Everybody else against them efforts made up the rest. Not too great when you consider the following; 1) The Air War 2) North Africa 3) Italy (we never did fully seize Italy, the surrender in Berlin happened first) 4) Almost a years worth of fighting in Western Europe following the D-Day landing. Against primarily second rate units & equipment. All of the above plus the Balkans, French, and Polish excursions caused a paltry 12% of the German casualties. I don't that qualifies as kicking ass. It is too bad that for the second time in less than half a century we allowed our selves to get suckered into what essentially ends up being European tribal bloodletting. What a waste. And yes it would be an interesting "what if"...we could not goad the Japanese into firing the first shot.
Link Posted: 6/25/2001 1:21:46 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/25/2001 8:00:32 PM EST by Invictus]
NO-AR, Excellent synopsis on east front equipment and situations. If you will allow me I would like to chip in my two drachmas worth. The T-34/76's from 1940-1942 were the best overall tanks anywhere in service at the time. They had superior reliability, speed, cold weather performance and armor. The 76.2mm main gun could defeat the frontal armor on any mk III, mk IV, StuG III or any other German tank in service at the time. It did not take too long for the Wermacht to figure this out. As if the T-34 was bad most people don't know about the KV series of heavy tanks, these were the tanks that could only reliably be stopped by the 88mm FlaK guns at the early portion of the war. These two tanks were a hell of a headache if they had competent crews and commanders. Of course this was a huge part of the Russian problem, competence and determination. From '43 on it seemed like a tit for tat tank race...Tiger I...Russian KV-85...Panther...T-34/85...JagdPanther...SU-100...King Tiger...JSII...etc. Not to mention that the invading Germans constantly marvelled at the early Russian anti-tank (76.2 x L41.5) cannons as well as the field arty, especially the 122 and 152mm guns. All the above that was captured were gleefully collected into the German supply system, their ammo manufactured in Germany then turned against the former owners. Yeah the Armerican Lee and the British valentine kinda sucked. But the Brit Churchill and the US M4A2-76mm(W) were actually pretty effective and well recieved by the Soviets. You sure seem to know an awful lot about WW2, NO-AR, do you participate in any sims like Close Combat 3/4/5? BTW...what part of WI are you from?
Link Posted: 6/25/2001 2:06:34 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/25/2001 2:08:37 AM EST by OLY-M4gery]
Close Combat 2/3, East Front II, and a few of the old SSI, Talonsoft, and Avalon Hill computer games.-not too much playing now 'tho- Rogue Spear....... Not to mention the squad leader board game series. Plus I've studied WWII and some of WWI, including WWII in Russia. Once I realized the numbers etc. I realized that the Eastern Front was much larger conflict. Most people do't realize how light early war weapons were. The T-34 appeared when the germans had MKIII's and MKIV's as main battle tanks, most armed with 37mm guns and a few medium 50mm's. Germans AT guns were mainly 50mm at the time. The Russians had 76mm AT from day 1. The Tiger I's were intitially thought to be a faiure. The were put into combat in early '42 in a wooded swamp. They didn't do well. It took a while until they were put back in service, but this time they were out in the open where the could use their gun to it's full advantage. The Russians liked the Shermans for their reliablity. They also "up-gunned" some to the more powerful 76mm of later T-34 types. Just like the British "up-gunned" theirs and some of our, with 17 pound guns. We also had a 76mm gun that was more powerful than the 75mm initially used.
Link Posted: 6/28/2001 12:14:45 AM EST
Got two words for you, ATOMIC BOMB! We shoulda nuked those f**#ers till they glowed in the dark.
Link Posted: 6/28/2001 1:01:21 PM EST
Orginally posted by Mr Clean:
I have read of incredible tank VS tank victories by some of their Panzer "aces."
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One such, Michael Wittman, 1st SS panzer division. His tiger had over a 130 Russian tank kills before he was transfered to the western front in 1944. Also noted, the Russians produced 106,000 tanks but lost 96,000 in the process. At the battle of Kursk, which I believe was the turning point of the war, it was Russian anti-tank guns which took out most of the tigers and not Russian tanks. I would have to agree with the orginal post that the Soviets were responsible for most of the success in the European theater.
Link Posted: 6/28/2001 1:35:16 PM EST
According to new info the Germans didin't lose that much equipment at Kursk. The Russians lost a bunch, but knowing that Uncle Joe wouldn't accept failure they inflated the german losses. German records show far less losses than the Russians say they killed. But the Russians did stop the Germans and by that point the Germans couldn'y afford ANY losses. Of course the Russian equipment that was lost was probably replaced my newer equipment, the had plenty of industrial capacity by then.
Link Posted: 6/28/2001 1:59:23 PM EST
very true. The Russians could accept the losses but each tank the Germans loss was a blow by this time. After Kursk, the Germans were on the defensive for the rest of the war on the eastern front. Regarding the losses of manpower and equipment at Kursk, Guderian replied, " There was the real prospect that they would never be rehabilitated in time to defend the eastern front. From now on the Russians were in undisputed possession of the initiative"
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