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Posted: 7/26/2001 7:28:48 PM EDT
They are good tons of firsts first "good" DA auto (p38) first to widely issue pistols first to come up with "assault rifle" first to widley issue the sub machine gun I know there are more I just cant think right now but you have to agree that the germans are(or were) trend starters
Link Posted: 7/26/2001 11:57:12 PM EDT
It isn't my understanding that the Germans were the first to widely issue pistols--pistols were common issue among calvery for a very long time. I'm also not convinced the DA auto was an important advance. On the other hand, the Germans were the most advanced tactically for a very long time. Historically, German field officiers have been given much more lattitude, and have been expected to show personal initive, and they have embraced a much more flexable and practicle approach to war on the tactical level. This German superiority has been more than cancelled out by the American production capacity (which results from our excellent free market economics), and the Royal Navy, and in the last big brewhaw, the mass of the Red Army. There is an interesting book ([b]The Myth of the Great War[/b]) http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0060196769/qid=996220086/sr=1-1/ref=sc_b_1/104-2710244-9992746 that argues that the Germans were really beating the hell out of the allies during WW1, and that in the end it was American production and finally American military involvement that decided the issue. The Germans had knocked out one enemy country each year of the war (including Romania, Russia, and Italy), and killed the British in a ratio of about 2 to 1 (and inflicted causilties at an even higher ratio). Near the end of the war, the French military was on the verge of collapse. If the US hadn't gotten involved, the BEF would have been outnumbered by a force that outfought them man to man by a significant margin. The main advantage the Germans had were more flexable and practicle tactics, and a better apreciation for new weapons. They were less inclined to launch attacks on a broad front, and more likely to attack the enemies weak spots.
Link Posted: 7/27/2001 5:16:31 AM EDT
They learned from the lessons of WWI & changed to more mobiltiy & firepower until Hitler insisted upon focusing upon places (Stalingrad) & then entire army groups designed for mobility stagnated & were overwhelmed.
Link Posted: 7/27/2001 4:53:20 PM EDT
WHAT?!, No, you must be kidding. Politicians taking control of a potentially sucessful war and micro-managing to a stand-still?
Link Posted: 7/27/2001 5:09:40 PM EDT
One observation I had from the Germans was that it is possible to allow your technology to out-pace its practical uses. They were good at making the finest precision weapons or vehicles (Tiger tanks for example), but they took too long to produce and then in the field they could be difficult to maintain. The Russians on the other hand went for fast and cheap. I read and account where the Germans captured a Soviet T-36 and a high ranking officer suggested that the design be copied and mass-produced. He was practically labled a traitor by the Nazi heirarchy. The Germans were being overwelmed by the Russians in their cheap, fast and numerous tanks but it was considered an insult to German engineering to admit it. That being said, our modern day reliance on computer technology concerns me. Loss of a satellite, bad weather or shortage of operators can turn the most dazzling weapon systems into useless scrap metal. Sometimes it's nice to be able to whack something with a hammer to fix it. [smash]
Link Posted: 7/27/2001 9:55:16 PM EDT
the germans make great stuff, but like to "over engineer" everything i wouldnt say the russians go for fast and cheap, more like simple and effective
Link Posted: 7/27/2001 10:10:51 PM EDT
Germans are sort-a cool. They have the #2 hand gun(usp) and #2 long gun(G-3 OR 91) But I still think we rule: 1911 and AR I rest my case.
Link Posted: 7/28/2001 7:26:29 AM EDT
The only thing Germans know how to do well is goosestepping, making sausage, and drinking beer in October. Their workers are overpaid and their cars are a triumph in marketing. The P-38 is a step down from Browning's P-35. The last time the Mauser won a war was when both sides used it. The last time the Germans won a war was in 1870 against the Frogs of Napoleon III. Even the Italians could have pulled that off! Direct flames to my coworker at strulove@teckalaska.com
Link Posted: 7/28/2001 10:16:59 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/29/2001 9:55:35 AM EDT
The Nazi's learned, to some extent, from their experiences but tended to learn partial lessons. They also tried to drive nails with screwdrivers. Grin's observation about mobile armies & static strategies is a great illustration. They took a great tactical airforce and bled it dry in a strategic campaign against Britain (The Blitz). They took a tremendous strategic arm, the submarine, and bled it dry; refusing to adapt to the reality that the tactics of 1941/1942 weren't working. The Panther was an attempt to adopt T-34 features but it was a flawed attempt. Sloping armor and wide tracks were good. Excess complexity & weight lead to frequent breakdowns. Gasoline engine was a bad choice. MG42 was a simplified gun and much more producible than the finely machined MG34. Leadership also drove curious decisions. Enormous resources were put into the V1 and V2. Neither weapon was likely to be decisive. Hitler mandated that the Me-262 be produced and employed as a bomber, despite its point design as an interceptor. He even forbade the production of an improved rifle (SG) so the folks sidestepped the 'system' and dubbed it a machine pistol (MP). 'Awesome?' Perhaps in some areas. Fractured and unfocused are more to the point if you're thinking about WWII era innovations.
Link Posted: 7/29/2001 12:16:37 PM EDT
The Germans have not won a war in 130 years.
Link Posted: 7/29/2001 12:22:42 PM EDT
If everyone was against you do you think you would win?
Link Posted: 7/29/2001 12:30:49 PM EDT
That being said, our modern day reliance on computer technology concerns me. Loss of a satellite, bad weather or shortage of operators can turn the most dazzling weapon systems into useless scrap metal. Sometimes it's nice to be able to whack something with a hammer to fix it. [smash]
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Tell it to Iraq.
Link Posted: 7/29/2001 5:17:25 PM EDT
"We germans fear God. We fear nothing or no one on this earth." Bismark P.S. In my opinion we never should have let these troublemakers re-unite.
Link Posted: 7/30/2001 7:10:29 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Scarecrow: If everyone was against you do you think you would win?
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I kind hope that I'd be smart enough not to pick a fight with everyone. At least not at the same time. ;)
Link Posted: 7/30/2001 3:12:10 PM EDT
The Germans had the most advanced--and the best--tactical system from well before WW1 up until 1945. Going into WW1, their system of waging war was much more flexable and pragmatic than, say, the British methods (no doubt this helps explain why the British were killed in a 2:1 ratio by the Germans). Further, the Germans learned more from the experience than anyone else. The point that "the Germans haven't won a war in over 100 years" kinda remind me of the point that "the USSC in Miller didn't strike down a federal gun control law". Both statements are factually true while being missleading. Germany lost WW1 because of the immense amount of US aid to England and France that preceeded US entry into the war, and finally the actual military effort of the US after it had entered the war. Germany lost WW2 because of the immense US aid to the allies. Without the American high-yield gunpowder, trucks, and other war stuffs, I do not believe that the Red Army would have been able to win. However, even if you do believe that the Red Army could have won without US economic aid, clearly it wasn't due to superior tactics on their part. Germany did not exactly pick a fight with the US in either war. The US had in effect been engaged in an economic war with Germany long before the US entered the war. In both cases, interventionist US presidents pursued war. No doubt, the Germans did underestimate the US in both wars. Europeans tend to judge you by the size of your standing army. They should have used a different yardstick to judge the US. With our efficient and effective economic system, combined with our resources, we were unbeatable. The ultimate joke is on the US, however. Both wars helped push us towards the highly centralized, marginally constitutional government we enjoy today.
Link Posted: 7/30/2001 6:09:42 PM EDT
Originally Posted By MTweanie: The Panther was an attempt to adopt T-34 features but it was a flawed attempt.
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You are right. I checked my sources and it looks like I mis-spoke when I referred to the "T-36". Did anyone see "Tales of the Gun" on the History Channel recently? They have a feature on the weapons of the Wehrmacht that they ran several times over the last few weeks. It seems that their constant experimentation with new weapons in the field created logistics problems by the time you account for dozens of different small arms, spare parts, magazines and ammo.
Link Posted: 7/30/2001 6:14:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/30/2001 6:15:03 PM EDT by ARFFJEFFC]
Originally Posted By QCMGR:
That being said, our modern day reliance on computer technology concerns me. Loss of a satellite, bad weather or shortage of operators can turn the most dazzling weapon systems into useless scrap metal. Sometimes it's nice to be able to whack something with a hammer to fix it. [smash]
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Tell it to Iraq.
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Or maybe tell it to Serbia. Our whole Apache force grounded during the Kosovo campaign because they couldn't operate in that terrain and climate? The Hueys did better in Vietnam under harsher conditions. I'm not against high-tech equipment, unless we set ourselves up so that we can't operate at all unless it is all working perfectly.
Link Posted: 7/31/2001 9:01:40 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ARFFJEFFC: The Russians on the other hand went for fast and cheap. I read and account where the Germans captured a Soviet T-36 and a high ranking officer suggested that the design be copied and mass-produced. He was practically labled a traitor by the Nazi heirarchy. The Germans were being overwelmed by the Russians in their cheap, fast and numerous tanks but it was considered an insult to German engineering to admit it.
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Indeed, it was suggested that they simply copy the T-34. However, such wasn't practicle. What made the most sense was to copy the best features of the T-34 in a German design. This is what they did, in the Panther. The result was a superior tank, but one which had serious teething problems. Keep in mind, the T-34 was designed [i]before[/i] the war. The Soviets had time to work its kinks out. The Panther was rushed into service in the middle of the war. As a general note, the Germans were very willing to copy tactics or hardware. They suffer from the "not invented here" syndrome much less than Americans do. I have never heard that anyone was censured for wishing to copy the T-34. However, it is very true that during WW2 the German high command had lots of "cracks". This, I believe, is very much do to the Nazi mindset. At the highest levels of the Nazi system, personality ruled everything, and rational decisions were left by the wayside. Goring's leadership of the airforce is a case in point: at a high level it was split into a bomber command and a fighter command, and Goring basically let (even encouraged!) them fight among themselves. He played both against the middle, usually taking the side of bomber command.
Link Posted: 7/31/2001 9:33:37 AM EDT
Originally Posted By ARFFJEFFC: Did anyone see "Tales of the Gun" on the History Channel recently? They have a feature on the weapons of the Wehrmacht that they ran several times over the last few weeks. It seems that their constant experimentation with new weapons in the field created logistics problems by the time you account for dozens of different small arms, spare parts, magazines and ammo.
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As far as I know, their experimentation with small arms caused relativly few problems in this area. They pretty much stuck with the Kar98k, the MG-34, MG-42, MP-38 and MP-40. They did have limited issue of semi-auto rifles (the Americans and Russians also experimentd with rifle designs). The only small arms experimentation that they did that may have caused problems was the assault rifle introduction (and the FG-42). Now, I don't doubt they had problems with the mix of arms at the front; this was due to them using [i]everything[/i] they got their hands on, since they never had enough standard hardware. So they issued PPSH-41s, M1911s, Browning HPs, BRENs, SMLEs, and even Winchester model 1895s. Most of this mix went to "special" outfits: forign SS units and the like. But it had to cause problems. A more serious problem (that was the result of their experimentation) was their modifications of fighter planes. They came up special purpose models, often fitted with different weapons, and with very different flying characteristics. It made sense to put like planes together, but this wasn't always possible, and obviously it can really suck if your wingman's plane has a top speed 30 mph slower than yours. It is also true that German scientists were allowed to indulge themselves more than, say, American, British, or Russian scientists. This resulted in a lot of wasted effort. It is interesting to note that Heinkle came up with a jet fighter that was a combat ready design and ready for production early in the war. He was, however, in the doghouse as far as Hitler was concearned, and Goring pushed an Me paper-design over the Heinkle (if Goring had pushed Heinkle's design, Hitler would have probably gone with it, but Goring brownnosed instead). The eventual result was the excellent Me-262, but they had something ready to fly much earlier. The 262 was further pushed back, because Hitler insisted it be fitted as a bomber, and neither Goring nor Me were willing to stand up and say otherwise. At the very end of the war, Me-262s fitted with rockets proved that such a set up could end daylight bombing over Germany. But by then it was too late. Had they run with the Heinkle in the first place . . .
Link Posted: 8/4/2001 2:02:20 AM EDT
Check out this guy, go to the bottom and look under notes [url]http://www.feldgrau.com/rkgosd.html[/url][uzi]
Link Posted: 8/5/2001 10:26:45 AM EDT
Don't forget IR night vision gear. Wire guided Anti Tank missiles. Radio Guided Surface to Air Missiles High pressure low Pressure gun systems. The first practical recoilless gun systems. The first usage of Uranium penetrators in anti-tank guns. Invention of radar. The first to try to issue on a large basis assault rifles. Creation of synthetic fuels. Higher TNT output than most nations including us (until about late 1943). The best machinegun of the entire war (MG-42 and still arguably the best and longest serving GPMG). The first Jet Bomber (Not the Me 242). The Panther in the begining was a piece of junk due to transmission and engine problems but after these were worked out it was the best medium class tank of the war. The T-34 was not as good as most think, more were lost to breakdowns than enemy action, poor fire control systems, anemic gun(s)to name a few. The creation of rocket assisted projectiles (RAP) fired by conventional guns. Plus a few more things-I am glad we ended the war as soon as we did because if we had waited another 6 months or so to invade France it would have been more costly to win.
Link Posted: 8/6/2001 9:04:59 AM EDT
Originally Posted By thistle: Check out this guy, go to the bottom and look under notes [url]http://www.feldgrau.com/rkgosd.html[/url][uzi]
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The Germans also had the top air-to-air aces in alomost every catagory. Including top number of kills (352--Eric Hartmann), top number of kills in the West (158, all British--Hans Jociam Marciell), most 4 engine bombers (44), first (and still highest scoring) jet ace, etc. But the German flight schools didn't take advantage of these guys skills. In fact, Goring made a mess of their pilot training, by pitting the bomber command and fighter command against each other. In the end, Germany faced an avalanch of American planes and pilots. The top American pilots were not as good as the top German pilots, and the top American planes were not as good as the top German planes. But the Americans combined high quality with huge numbers. And like Stalin said, "quanity has a quality all its own". A surprising number of top German aces survived the war, as they had some of the most developed survival skills. But they got to see the young, poorly trained German pilots that were being turned out late in the war get shot down all around them.
Link Posted: 8/6/2001 11:08:45 AM EDT
You really can't compare the tallys of German pilots against the Western pilots. The German pilots were in the thick of it until the war was over or they were dead. US or British pilots were sent back after a few months at the front. Even Germans like Hartmann (352 kills) got off to a very slow start. IIRC, he did not acheive much of anything tally wise for his first year in combat. If our guys like Richard Bong were in a "target rich" environment for an additional year or two, we would have racked up some of those huge tallys as well. Alot of those high scoring aces were just getting started when they were rotated out. How about a thread on ground attack guys like Rudel and gulf war A-10's? Rudel's score can't be beleived until you delve into the details - 500+ tanks, a battleship, etc., in obsolete Stukas.
Link Posted: 8/6/2001 11:58:04 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DonS:
Including top number of kills (352--Eric Hartmann)
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All on the eastern front against inferior planes (until later in the war when newer designed Yaks and Migs were issued) such as P-39's, 'Ills', P-40's and Polikarpovs. Not to mention the grade of pilot fielded by the Sovs in the early years (39-42) which was POOR, the lack of usable airfields (the Germans held all of the pre-war western Russia airfields which forced the Russians to use mud bogs hence their aircraft's sturdy designs) and the Russian 'strategy' that, to my mind, mirrored the kamikaze attacks of the western Pacific campaigns. I'm sure a number of you have read Hartman's book in which he details these points and points to them for his early successes. Of course, after the Russians got wise and had better equipment Hartmann had become a tiger with the skills to go along with his superhuman vision (which, truly, led to the majority of his kills as he was able to see the enemy long before he was seen and maneuver for a surprise tail attack). Yes, the Germans WERE awesome in WWII. But that was, generally, on a tactical scale (use of riflemen to support the MG being huge) and in the area of equipment. Thank God Hitler was just a jew-hating Johnson or we'd all be typing German now. Imagine what would've happened if he'd released the panzers at Normandy not to mention if he'd waited until 1944 like he originally intended before starting the war!!! CB
Link Posted: 8/6/2001 1:52:26 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Claybuster: All on the eastern front against inferior planes (until later in the war when newer designed Yaks and Migs were issued) such as P-39's, 'Ills', P-40's and Polikarpovs. Not to mention the grade of pilot fielded by the Sovs in the early years (39-42) which was POOR, the lack of usable airfields (the Germans held all of the pre-war western Russia airfields which forced the Russians to use mud bogs hence their aircraft's sturdy designs) and the Russian 'strategy' that, to my mind, mirrored the kamikaze attacks of the western Pacific campaigns.
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The fact that the Russians had huge numbers of planes and were often out in force was also a factor. German aces had lots to shoot at, giving them ample oppertunity. This is similar in a sense to the success of the Finnish "super snipers" of the Winter War. But, even so, it shows skill. Also, the Germans had some impressive kills on the Western Front. Hans Jociam Marsiell (sp?) had 158 kills, all against the Brits, including 13 in one day. He also used very few rounds per kill. Hartmann, I have heard, considered him the best. One German shot down 44 American four engine bombers. Others had over 16 kills in jets (probably quite a bit more, since the Germans were rigerous about confirming kills, it wasn't something that a pilot just had to claim . . .)
Originally Posted By Claybuster: I'm sure a number of you have read Hartman's book in which he details these points and points to them for his early successes. Of course, after the Russians got wise and had better equipment Hartmann had become a tiger with the skills to go along with his superhuman vision (which, truly, led to the majority of his kills as he was able to see the enemy long before he was seen and maneuver for a surprise tail attack).
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Most people who were shot down never saw the guy who got them. Seeing the other guy first was one of the key skills for a fighter pilot.
Originally Posted By Claybuster: Yes, the Germans WERE awesome in WWII. But that was, generally, on a tactical scale (use of riflemen to support the MG being huge) and in the area of equipment. Thank God Hitler was just a jew-hating Johnson or we'd all be typing German now. Imagine what would've happened if he'd released the panzers at Normandy not to mention if he'd waited until 1944 like he originally intended before starting the war!!! CB
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I don't see their failures in quit this light. The Germans [i]were[/i] immpressive tactically. However, their faults went deeper than Hitler's mistakes. In fact, Hitler made some good military decisions (however, he convinced himself that he was [i]always[/i] right based upon a few times when he appeared to have better ideas than the military professionals. This later came back to hurt the German war effort, in spades). The big problem the Germans faced was their lousy, almost ad hoc high command structure. Hitler and perhaps Nazi philoshophy were responsible, but it wasn't just a matter of poor decisions during wartime. It goes deeper than that.
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