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Posted: 6/6/2003 3:14:54 PM EDT
Don't turn this into a pro-Nazi thread, but Hitler or the Nazi goverment did make some very sound decisions that did not turn into moneypits or end in a blood bath. One good idea was developing the Autobahn system. I would guess it had the same effect as the interstate highway system did here, but the US version was a couple of orders of magnitude more involved. Kinda hazy, but didn't Hitler personally approve the risky Operation Yellow plan against France, which succeeded beyond all expectations?
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 3:37:40 PM EDT
Hitler approved the plan to go into France. He aslo had some input on Wesurubung. He also came up with the idea of what we call the VW Bug.
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 8:37:12 PM EDT
I would say forming the Waffen-SS. The Wermacht was very much opposed to this at first and did not think highly of their fighting skills.
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 10:36:49 PM EDT
I will have to admit that he made a couple of good calls early in the war. Approving Mansteins plan for the invasion of France(1940), against the advise of the German general staff. The general staff plan was almost identical to the German invasion of WW1. The allies were expecting this and had planned accordingly. Certainly, Hitlers order "not give an inch of ground" during the Russian Winter counter-offensive in front of Moscow(1941) would have to be called a good decision. The German Army was in a sorry condition and any retreat would have quickly become a massacre of the German army. It saved the German army from suffering Napoleans Fate. Problem with both of these decisions is that he would never listen to advise from generals again. Hundreds of thousands of German soldiers would suffer from his failure to retreat from Stalingrad, North Africa, and the Normandy front.
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 1:50:52 AM EDT
Originally Posted By obershutze916: I would disagree. While the accomplishments of the SS are probably unmatched in warfare, their creation, IMO was a bad idea. They tended to get the best weapons, taking them from the regular army who did the vast majority of the fighting. They recieved the smartest, healthiest, best trained recruits wich denied the regular army a pool of NCO's that they so badly needed. They created a feeling of distrust between themselves and the regular army so that they would not work well together. The differecnce in uniforms and weapons taxed an already over-burdoned productiona and supply network. The efforts taken to form these special units over-burdened an already impossibly complex training, refit, and rotation schedule. Again, their accomplishments could be used to argue against this, but I think they were a mistake.
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First of all "smartest" could be argued as the SS perfered the more common man over the educated ones because they could be molded easier. The SS used slave labor for much of their uniforms. Still there were shortages noted so I'll give you that. What were the differences in weapons? The distrust might have been noted early on in France but by the time the Russia campaign was in full swing they preformed well with regular Heer units. The Heer was not as flexible and more set in their ways. Haussers tactics of smaller quicker units would not have worked with the Heer. The recruits were the best trained because of Hausser's training methods of focusing on endurance. While I would agree that the Heer did the majority of the fighting the Waffen-SS was more involved in the crucial spearhead attacks where the superior arms could be put to better use. You bring up an interesting point about if war would have gone better if there were no Waffen-SS. You think so...I think not. What is interesting though, given the resourses and time what would the army had looked like had it been trained and equiped to the SS standards.
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 3:10:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/7/2003 3:11:41 AM EDT by obershutze916]
I deleted my post as it seamed argumentitive. I cannot say for sure if the outcome would have been any different. As you stated, their tactics and use as fire brigades have never come close to being equaled. On the other hand the tactics of Guderian, Manstein, Rommel, Mannteuffel just to name a few were absolutely fantastic. Give them SS quality troops and they would have done as well. I just wonder if you had placed their leadership and personell into the army, what would the results had been? Without no seperate chains of command and supply etc. would things have been different? As for the weapons, the SS started out with anything they could get. It was a wonder they got anything done at all with so many captured weapons from so many different countries. By the time they became important in the east, they were given the best of the new weapon designs while many army divisions went without. I understand giving your best weapons to your best units, but you have to equip your regular units to some degree for them to be effective. I think this hurt the army and is my basis for some of the decent between the units. If the army had been armed and trained to the SS standards, (they had good enough leadership in the field so that is not an issue) I would think they would have been unstopable on the ground. Edited to say Mannteuffel was an SS general - oops!
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 6:59:03 AM EDT
So how different would it have been if: These bright young men had been trained as NCO cadre and dispersed, [b]with training in the new fast tactics and need for endurance[/b] to the regular units; The veterans were allowed to rotate back into training billets instead of staying in the combat units until they died; And The German Army had learned [b]early [/b] the use of semi and full auto longarms for all of the troops. it is my understanding that the K-98k stayed in use because it was felt to be a relatively unimportant adjunct to the MG, rather than important in and of itself; this necessarily slowing advances as the MG is slower to advance. They should have learned from [i] [b] Talvisota [/i] [/b]the importamce of rapid, maneuverable firepower. Too bad for the Wehrmacht that no-one had really seen the advantage of the M1 Garand in action prior to the war.
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 7:47:08 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Ohio: So how different would it have been if: These bright young men had been trained as NCO cadre and dispersed, [b]with training in the new fast tactics and need for endurance[/b] to the regular units;
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My [b]theory[/b] is that they would have brought more of the SS Sturm tactics into the army. My example is the armies premier division - GD. They took the best and brightest in the army, and look at their record. They used many of the same tactics the SS did.
The veterans were allowed to rotate back into training billets instead of staying in the combat units until they died;
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This was done quite often already. Many individual soldiers were not allowed combat after they reached a certain "fame" at the front. Pz Lehr was a whole army division made up of experienced tankers that went to teach at the training schools then formed into a fighting division.
And The German Army had learned [b]early [/b] the use of semi and full auto longarms for all of the troops.
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This would have made little to no difference early on as the opposition was not as well armed, or at best, evenly armed as the Germans. Once they got into Russia, they just didn't expect the type of warfare they ran into. By the end of the war, 40% of German forces were armed with a selfloading firearm of some type. At this point attrition had taken away most of the well trained experienced soldiers rendering this less effective. No doubt though, if the G-43 and / or MP-44 had been in [b]full[/b] service much earlier in Russia, it would have heped greatly. Due to hitlers screw ups, it would be hard to say if it would have made a difference in the end.
it is my understanding that the K-98k stayed in use because it was felt to be a relatively unimportant adjunct to the MG, rather than important in and of itself; this necessarily slowing advances as the MG is slower to advance.
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This is mostly true. In the German army, the MG was the main weapon of attack, and the rifle was intended only for support and to finnish off the job once the infantry had closed with the enemy. Also, throw Hitlers stupidity into the mix and you have your answer. Remember, the MP-44 was developed AGAINST Hitlers orders. The story goes that they were only placed into production when he asked an officer what they needed more of at the front, and he was told that "We need more of those new rifles".
They should have learned from [i] [b] Talvisota [/i] [/b]the importamce of rapid, maneuverable firepower.
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Guderian wrote the book on rapid mobile firepower. (after reading about it from some British officer who was dicretited for this theory). Most modern warfare is derived from what the Germans came up with and learned in this war. The one thing that hampered the Germans was the lack of ability to move. Lack of supply trucks, trains etc. This meant lack of food, fuel, spare parts etc. Also German vehicle prodution during the whole war was less than what the Americans GAVE the Russians in each of the last three years of the war. They were simply not able to use their own theory to its potential due to a lack of equipment.
Too bad for the Wehrmacht that no-one had really seen the advantage of the M1 Garand in action prior to the war.
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Many armies are slow to adopt new weapons. This is nothing new to history. There were designes on the table, but as stated above, they were not needed or wanted because of their tactics. German semi-auto weapons designed and used were quite good. Overly complex, but good weapons. Most would say not as good as the M-1, but again, the tactics were different.
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 11:11:16 AM EDT
The mustache
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 9:43:26 PM EDT
March in to the Rheinland. Staff was against because the French or the Czechs by themselves could have beat the Germans. Running the Scharnhorst and Gneisnau up the the English Channel. Common sense said the English would catch them and sink them and the move was so unexpected the English couldn't catch them
Link Posted: 6/7/2003 11:49:40 PM EDT
The raid on Gran Sasso. If htey made a movie of what the SS paras did no one would believe it.
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 5:05:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/8/2003 5:07:38 PM EDT by 95thFoot]
Originally Posted By pogo: (snip)One good idea was developing the Autobahn system.
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The Nazis didn't develop it, the Weimar Republic did, under Walter Rathenau (who, ironically enough, was Jewish). Hitler and crew merely expanded the concept after they took over in 1933.
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 5:15:54 PM EDT
He wanted the Lost Ark.
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 5:42:05 PM EDT
Very good site for such questions: [url]www.thirdreichforum.com[/url].
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 9:13:01 PM EDT
Thanks for the link. That is a fantastic site. But hey! This is OUR history forum inhabited by rabid enthusiasts that WE are trying to rejuvinate! :)
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 7:08:24 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Va_Dinger: Certainly, Hitlers order "not give an inch of ground" during the Russian Winter counter-offensive in front of Moscow(1941) would have to be called a good decision. The German Army was in a sorry condition and any retreat would have quickly become a massacre of the German army. It saved the German army from suffering Napoleans Fate.
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Ditto. Additionally, the germans had little training in retreat/withdrawl tactics.
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 8:43:59 PM EDT
Standard Heer tactics were to hold ground, and launch fierce local counter attacks. Obviusly this wouldn't always work in Russia and some of the most uniqe defensive stratagies ever imagined were developed as time passed, but they did have a stratgy in place st the time.
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 5:50:04 PM EDT
Originally Posted By pogo: Kinda hazy, but didn't Hitler personally approve the risky Operation Yellow plan against France, which succeeded beyond all expectations?
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Even better: Plans for Fall Gelb were intercepted (in a most amusing story). Hitler was furious as new plans had to be made, etc. The allies had to decide #1 whether the intercepted info was geniune or not (with the suspicion that it was indeed), and #2, now that the info was intercepted would he invade the west and if so, how would he now change the plans. In a stroke of madness/genius Hitler authorized the invasion in the EXACT CONFIGURATION originally planned. His reasoning: If they don't believe the invasion, they won't prepare for it. If they DO believe the invasion, they will surely reinforce other points of entry since the original points were revealed and would have been abandoned.
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