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Axis Teamwork .

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by 4th wilts, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    Hi guys, I've read and argued about allied "Teamwork",Monty and Bradley for example,in different threads on different forums,but rarely Axis "Teamwork".I would like to know your views on any Axis teamwork you can think of.cheers.4th.
     
  2. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    You can have Rommel/Kesselring and Rodolfo Graziani as a sample. But more or less as a sample of how it had not worked like. I believe that there was not such a"Teamwork" for the reason that the German High Command hasn´t seen their allies as equal to them.
     
  3. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Rommel felt that Italians could be good soldiers if properly led and equipped, or if teamed with German forces. He often attached the Ariete armored division to the Afrika Korps, and he used mixed battlegroups at El Alamein: Ariete/21st Panzer, Littorio/15th, Trieste motorized infantry division/90th Light. IIRC German and Italian paratroops also worked well together; as elite forces they probably felt they had much in common.

    General Giovanni Messe was sufficiently well regarded that his 1st Italian Army in Tunisia 1943 comprised German and Italian troops.
     
  4. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Thats correct Carronade! But that was at a "lower" level. There have been some good units at the italian side like the Bersaglieri and the Alpinis. The problem was much more at the higher levels.
    The teamwork of the Allied had to grow during the war, it was not from the beginning. They learned to accept each other and knew that they need each other. From the beginning the British had been a bit of snooty to the US boys or like they´ve siad the " Yanks", cause their battle experience was very little to nothing. But this changed very quick and the Brits learned to gain respect.
     
  5. scipio

    scipio Member

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    You could have Rommel and a whole list of Italian Generals, eg Bastico who Rommel, as usual, never bother to inform that he was starting Sonneblumen - "General Bombastico" - Rommel's nickname for him gives a clue to his thoughts.

    Or Gambara who after another tirade from Rommel was heard to wish that he could live another 20 years in order to fight the Germans again.

    Of course, many Italians Generals had done just that in WW1 - and on many occasions, even lower ranks in the Italian Army were of the opinion that they were fighting for the wrong side - that their real Foe was Germany and old Ally, Britain.

    Beside which Rommel fell out with everyone on his own side except Hitler. Cursed Halder (to his face) for sitting on his bum and never being involved in real fighting.
     
  6. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    What about Doenitz and Raeder or is that stretching it..
     
  7. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    They´re out of the same stable but their teamwork wasn´t good.
     
  8. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Patron  

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    I think Ulrich is correct. I have seen nothing to suggest that the Nazis felt that their allies measured up to them. While the Allies may have bickered, there was not a feeling of "us" and "them" which seems to have been endemic to the German High Command.
     
  9. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    I also Understand Rommel "Blamed"axis shipping losses on Italian dockers being spies.Is there any truth in this,or was it simply"ultra",and the not much discussed British submarine activity.And of course the R.A.F.,and later U.S.activity in the Mediterranean.cheers.4th wilts.
     
  10. Gebirgsjaeger

    Gebirgsjaeger Ace

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    Heard this too and in my opinion it was more a helpless act of Rommel. Maybe that there was the one or other harbor worker a spy, why not? But this wasn´t the real reason for the losses.
     
  11. harolds

    harolds Member

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    As far as Germany's allies go, you must list the Finns and the Romanians. Now the Romanians were, I believe, sort of a satilite nation to Germany. However, they took heavy casualties in their army on the Eastern Front. They also contributed some air units to the fight. Of course they also had the all-important Ploesti oil field complex that contributed heavily to the Axis cause.

    Now, on the other hand, the Finns were a small nation but wow, could they fight. Of all the countries the Soviets fought in WW2 and thereafter, they occupied every capitol of their enemies except one--Helinski!
    I don't know how many Soviets died on the border region of Finland but I know it was a bunch! I also know the Germans did NOT feel the Finns were inferiorior to them.
     
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  12. scipio

    scipio Member

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    But was there any real co-operation between the Finns and the Germans - both seemed to do their own thing and that does not amount to teamwork.

    Same applies even more to the Japanese and Germans. No teamwork because there was no team to begin with.

    The only thing approximating to a team were Italians and Germans and that was mostly appalling.
     
  13. harolds

    harolds Member

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    The Germans and Romanians cooperated in the air defence of Polesti and also in the sending of Romanian army units to Russia. German army units were used in Finland so that took cooperation also.
     
  14. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    Hey guys,so would you agree that Germany and Romania produced the best teamwork,on the Axis side in the war.Cheers,4th.
     
  15. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    I wouldn't. The Romanians in Russia operated in distinct armies, and their sectors of the front offered opportunities for Russian breakthroughs, most notably the encirclement of Stalingrad, before the Germans could respond (this was also true of Italian and Hungarian forces on the Ostfront). I think the mixed German-Italian battle groups and armies in North Africa evinced a much higher level of teamwork. The British at times targeted the weaker Italians, to which Rommel reacted by "corsetting" them with German units.

    I don't know much about the Finns, hopefully someone does, but I expect the Germans had more respect for them than some of their allies.
     
  16. harolds

    harolds Member

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    The fact that the Italian and Romanian forces were not particularly effective in stopping Soviet advances does not mean that they didn't cooperate with the Germans. I might also add that the Romanian AF had some fairly good fighter units (armed with Bf/Me 109s).

    I do know that the Finns had to train the German soldiers to operate in their arctic environment, so again, some level of effective cooperation.
     
  17. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    IMO there was a lot instances of cooperation from but generally the axis nations fought parallel wars.
    Possibly Nazi race superiority theories contributed to this, hard to create a team when one side thinks he's genetically supperior.
     
  18. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    This is a sort of interesting topic; I don’t see any real co-operation as in “team-work” in the Axis powers from the top down. It is rather difficult to see how it could be implemented as to a joint direction as per outcome. Those who joined with Germany/Italy in the Axis, were always going to be subservient to Germany with even Italy being a second class participant due to their lower rung on Hitler’s racial ladder.

    The European “Axis” was always going to be subservient to Hitler’s Nazi state sort of attitude and the Japanese as “Honorary Aryans” were completely outside of the circle. Now while the western allies of the UK and USA eventually became dominated by the USA, there was a Combined Chiefs of Staff (CCS) organization established within three months of America “joining the fray” officially. This included land, sea, and air force generals from both sides on an equal footing as per strategy and logistics where everybody’s opinion seemed to be weighed and discussed. The UK may not have had as powerful an input as they wished, but they were listened to and respected non the less.

    This created a system by which the two most powerful opponents to the Axis in the west coordinated their military actions to the benefit of both. Now, the Soviets were not included in the CCS, but they were not excluded either as they were informed of most of the major actions which the UK and USA would launch against the Nazi state. The Stalinist regime always thought the west wasn’t doing enough, but in reality they were doing all they could considering the distances involved. The Soviets were fighting in their own back-yard, the British had the Channel, and the USA had the Atlantic as buffers. The Soviets had their own directions and tactics of battle on their own fronts, the western allies did as little as possible to obstruct them and as much as they could to aid them. That is sort of “left-handed” teamwork.

    Now, the other side of this is how the commanders on the field treated and used their “allies”, and in those cases I would venture that the Germans used and respected the troops offered them by other nations as well as they could without turning them into “cannon fodder”. And with a few exceptions so did the western allies. One of the outstanding flaws here is the relationship between Chiang's Chinese and the American/British. Somehow they never really presented a "teamwork" front against the Japanese. That is most likely another example of racial hatred/suspicion on both sides, a breakdown of "teamwork", and it resulted in disaster in the Far East.
     
  19. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Patron  

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    I agree with TOS about both the Germans and the Japanese. Cooperation is not the same as teamwork. Both cooperated with their allies, but the belief in their superiority viz a viz their enemies precluded any sense of teamwork. Each believed so strongly in their superiority that they found it impossible to create a true team. The Germans in the west and the Japanese in the east felt that those who cooperated with them were somehow tainted with their inferiority, thus true teamwork was unlikely.
     
  20. harolds

    harolds Member

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    However, let's remember that the ..."two most powerful opponents to the Axis in the west..." had one advantage: a (more or less) common language and culture. Even within this alliance, there were definite strains and problems from day one.

    While I think the Romanians were kind of under Hitler's thumb, the same cannot be said of the Finns. I think in this situation Mannerheim called the shots militarily, not the Germans.
     

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