Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Missed Opportunities...

Discussion in 'Leaders of World War 2' started by Hoosier phpbb3, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. Hoosier phpbb3

    Hoosier phpbb3 New Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    Messages:
    904
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Bloomington, Indiana USA
    via TanksinWW2
    For the life of me, I can't understand why Hitler and the Panzer Corps didn't better utilize the world-class resources captured early in the war.
    Look at the quality of the French and Czech armor--and manufacturing--that the Nazis had at their fingertips. The Somua S-35 and Char B1 bis were more than a match for most of the German armor they faced. The French 47mm was a superb little AT weapon.
    Why did the Germans not take advantage of the wealth of both weapons and manufacturing capabilty and better integrate these components into the Panzer Corps?
    Thoughts?

    Tim
     
  2. canambridge

    canambridge Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Messages:
    1,649
    Likes Received:
    6
    via TanksinWW2
    Not invented here?

    Seriously, it seems that the S-35 was not very reliable, even by early war German standards, although the B1 seems to have been alright. The small one man turrets without hatches or cupolas was probably the main factor. The tanks the Germans did use were modified to have a turret hatch. I doubt the basic hull design would have allowed a larger turret.
    Why they didn't use the French 47mm AT gun is a very good question.
     
  3. David.W

    David.W Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Messages:
    4,980
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Devon. England
    via TanksinWW2
    Because the PaK 38 was well on it's way? As was the 5cm KwK L/42.

    No German produced 47mm Ammo?
     
  4. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Messages:
    11,708
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Luton, UK
    via TanksinWW2
    The tanks - well, many were used, but typically were either given to anti-partisan units or were converted into Self-Propelled guns or even Tank Destroyers. Which tells you that the Germans did not consider them worthy of Front-line service as tanks (unlike the Czech models they captured). Why? My guess is that, while fighting individually as tanks the better French tanks were excellent, they were next to impossible to incorporate into the German doctrine of armoured warfare, by virtue of their one-man turrets.

    The 47mm gun? Well, it was good, but not so good that it would take precedence over the 50mm PAK.
     
  5. smeghead phpbb3

    smeghead phpbb3 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Messages:
    1,269
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Melbourne, Orst-Ray-Lia
    via TanksinWW2
    Two things you lot might be forgetting...

    1st: Production

    The Char 1B was a vintage WW1 tank... As were plenty of French weapons in 1939... Getting the parts for it would have been a nightmare, especially given the logistical state of the French Army in 1939...

    Tanks like the Char had literally been sitting around collecting dust since the 20's... Spare parts were either hard to get or non-existant; The French factories which originally manufactured them had either gone out of business or moved on to manufacture different products... That or they had been destroyed by the Germans... Even if they were functioninal they definately weren't able to meet the requirments for a equipping a full panzer division...
    Not so much of a problem for more modern tanks like the S-35 Somua, assuming the factories were not damaged, but lets face it... How many French tanks in 1939 were modern?

    2nd: Re-Naming

    After capturing French Tanks the Germans did not keep the old names, they gave them new names... German names... 'superior' names :grin: ... It's possible you may have read them in a book somewhere and simply assumed by the name that they were German, but in fact it may have been a French tank... Below I've listed some of the names that were changed (from my book on French tanks!)

    FT-17 ----------------- PzKpfw 18R 730 (f)
    Hotchkiss H-39 -------PzKpfw 39H (f)
    Somua S-35 ----------PzKpfw 35C 739 (f)
    Char 1B bis------------PzKpfw B1 (f)
    Char 1B bis -----------PzKpfw B1 Flamm (f) (German flame thrower conversion)
    Renault AMC 35 ------PzKpfw AMC 738 (f)



    The (f) at the end of each designation means 'Franzoich'... The letter signifying the country of origin...
    Similarily the (t) on the end of PzKpfw 38 (t) refers to 'Tschechoslowakische'...
     
  6. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Messages:
    11,708
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Luton, UK
    via TanksinWW2
    Not really...

    Actually the Char B1 was first produced in 1935. The Char 2C was a WW1 left-over (although it was too late to actually serve in WW1) and there were a total of 8 in service in 1940, all of which were rendered immobile when the Luftwaffe bombed the train that was carrying them.

    The only WW1 tank still in large-scale use in the French army was the FT-17, which was used by the Germans for anti-partisan duties.
     
  7. Hoosier phpbb3

    Hoosier phpbb3 New Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    Messages:
    904
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Bloomington, Indiana USA
    via TanksinWW2
    Just seems to me after over-running both the French and Czech with their armor production capabilities, the Germans should have been able to continue producing whatever materiale needed to support current armor needs.
    No doubt Germans would have made some modifications to suit their Panzer-style of battle... like working radios, cupolas for ingress/egress and observation.
    Somua was a stout design... as was the Char B-1bis. Instead the Germans couldn't decide what specifically they needed, so they built a plethora of different native-platforms, ie. Panzer I, II, III, IV, V and VI. Standardization was what they really needed.
    Keep the French and Czech facilities producing overtime... to supplement the Germans' own production-line of panzers.

    Tim
     
  8. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Messages:
    11,708
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Luton, UK
    via TanksinWW2
    As I said above, the French tanks did not really fit into the German style of warfare. The German tanks (except the PzI, intended as a training tank) all had multiple-person turrets. To bring the French tanks up to a suitable standard they would need to be quite heavily re-engineered to accomodate a larger turret.

    And frankly, none of them would be a match for the T-34 - and none would be capable of being upgraded to such a status without big modifications as mentioned above. Whereas the PzIV had a lovely wide turret ring, and ws capable of such upgrades that it remained capable throughout the entire war.

    As for the 'standardization' issue, 6 (or is it 7?) main types over the war does not seem too much. Churning out large quantities of French tanks (they had more than 6 types in service in 1940 btw :wink: ) would only make the standardization issue a joke, and create a logistical nightmare.

    The PzKpfw 38 (t) was still built. And when the tank itself was obsolete, the chassis was still produced as the Hetzer (sorry Christian :wink: )
     
  9. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Messages:
    4,356
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    High Point, North Carolina, USA
    via TanksinWW2
    Would not the French tanks have been useful against British tanks like the Valentine? I mean, aside from the Matilda, British armor types in the desert were not exactly awe-inspiring for a long time.
     
  10. majorwoody10

    majorwoody10 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,898
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    ca.usa
    via TanksinWW2
    why is the one man turret not compateble with german panzer doctrine ?could a new radio installation not correct the defect ....
     
  11. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Messages:
    11,708
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Luton, UK
    via TanksinWW2
    Basically it is to do with workload. German doctrine was quite heavily into flexibility, rapid movements, etc. Consequently, their tanks had a designated commander, who had no other job than to command the tank, to maintain situational awareness, and to react to local situations and to radioed instructions.

    In a 1 man turret, the tank commander has to maintain situational awareness while simulaniously loading, aiming and firing the gun. Do you think he could react as quickly and as effectively to new situations as well as a German tank commander who was more-or-less independant of other duties?
     
  12. jeaguer

    jeaguer New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Messages:
    929
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    via TanksinWW2
    .


    the german used the french tanks , they gave some to the hungarians , some were converted , most must have been scraped for the steel in them
    the german use of europe was intense and well organised
    the farming , manufacturing and mining in belgium ,holland ,france and other occupied countries was exploited extensively ,
    the occupied countries arsenals were working overtime supplying the germans factories with parts ,
    at chatelrault and tulle the food ration was increased above the then current minimum, the heavy forge workers at renault and citroen factories were issued with steak rations to be eated on the spot ,
    making sure they would be strong rather that feeding their half starved kids
    the the policy of the germans was that weapon systems had to be assembled in the reich , the exceptions were rare and usually of non frontline items , such as observation planes , trucks or chassis , neutrals like sweden and swisterland would sell war equipment or aluminium , sweden , spain , finland and turkey supplied raw materials
    all those countries were bullied to give the reich extensive trading credits virtually working for nothing or very little .
    the alternative was starvation
    germany controlled the food supply



    .
     
  13. BiPolar Bear

    BiPolar Bear New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    California
    via TanksinWW2
    While the Germans captured many French tanks and did indeed use them, there were never going to be as many French tanks available as there were Czech tanks because when Germany entered Czechoslovakia they captured the Skoda munitions factories intact. They bombed the heck out of a lot of French industry and destroyed most of the ability to provide ongoing support of captured equipment. At the same time the resources for manufacturing new equipment, raw materials, steel, etc. were transferred to factories in Germany producing there own equipment.
     
  14. jeaguer

    jeaguer New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Messages:
    929
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    via TanksinWW2
    .
    I know of quite a few use of french chassis being modified , such as the lorraine ,and the somua , the german army West had divisions equipped with french tanks in 42
    tanks turrets were incorporated into the atlantic wall
    the situation was the same for the artillery , it was used in the west
    the air force is never mentionned , probably judged rubbish

    I never heard mentionned heavy bombing of french industry prior to may 40
    , if you know something , please tell me , I always thought that the strategic bombing was a british development and I know next to nothing about luftwaffe operations before the spring 1940 .

    the germans were very fond of the skoda work and its tanks using them in all sort of ways
    they had them for a few years and were familiar with it , also it was out of range of allied bombers .

    the skoda work were managed by goering younger brother , it wasn't too bad under him
    an endearing character , he would have been send to dachau if not for his brother
    as an example during a party , an officer raised his glass to him with a friendly " Heil hitler "
    to which he answered by raising his glass too and a friendly " kiss my arse ! "

    .
     
  15. BiPolar Bear

    BiPolar Bear New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    California
    via TanksinWW2
    I was referring to the May 1940 bombing raids that did considerable damage to civil and industrial targets throughout northern France.
     
  16. jeaguer

    jeaguer New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Messages:
    929
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    via TanksinWW2
    .

    Thanks , the whole subject of air power and its strategic versus tactical use is a bit of a new field to me .
    I started with the " all strategic bombing is a wank " school of thought
    with" the tactical air power is overrated " line ,
    recently , I've come to believe that tactical air power is more that a waste of fuel and that there is other use for planes beside recon , artillery spotting and emergency transports .
    however the damage done to the industries must have been repared , by september 1940 the steel of lorraine was being send to germany , the iron mines hardly missed a beat
    however a lot of bombing and machine gunning of the columns of fleing refugiees took place ,
    cementing in the population the reputation of the germans as utter bastards

    .
     
  17. FNG phpbb3

    FNG phpbb3 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Messages:
    1,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    via TanksinWW2
    Stats alone are very misleading when it comes to bombing vs production especially for Germany

    Despite the very heavy damage and disruption caused at great effort and cost to the allies the German war machine increased it's output year on year.

    Why was that? Was the bombing having any effect? The answer is yes.

    But the fact is that germany got more organised, focused more resources to the war machine and came up with better ways at protecting their factories from disruption.

    Had the allies had not bothered then Germany's capacity and production would have been much higher than it was.

    FNG
     
  18. jeaguer

    jeaguer New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Messages:
    929
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    via TanksinWW2
    .

    .

    would it ?,
    by 44 the germans were making more stuff that they had men or fuel to operate ,
    the limitations were raw material , energy ( coal and electricity )
    and skilled manpower .
    Speer organised teams of workers rushed on a striken site ,restarting production often days after a bombing ,
    during the big week , the messerchmit factories discovered that the machines were simply buried under the brick rubble and could be restarted in a shift .
    the dispersal of production , basic camouflage blunted the bombing effectiveness ,
    however an operation targetting rail canals and roads from the second half of 44 had an immediate effect in slowing down production

    .
     
  19. lynn1212

    lynn1212 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Messages:
    351
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    upstate NY USA
    via TanksinWW2
    resourses

    a often overlooked fact that for most of the war germany never went to 3 shift production. often it was 1 shift 5 or 6 days a week. why did this happen when there were shortages in many important weapons systems? two main reasons. first germany never really accepted they were in a long war until it was too late. shortages were accepted since it was all going to be over soon. the second reason [ and perhaps the most telling] was there was never enough raw materials available. name almost any really necessary feedstock and germany was short of it. fuel, rubber, bauxite, chromiun, nickle, copper, good coal, and many others. they were even short of edible fats and other food stuffs. why bring more factories on line when you can't feed what you already have? one place where they did they did screw up was their failure to use women in the workplace. even when their labor shortages were at their worst they ignored women and used slaves. ??????
     
  20. jeaguer

    jeaguer New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Messages:
    929
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    via TanksinWW2
    .

    It's one of the big question ,
    the gearing of nazi germany for war production , from 1935 to 45 every indication seems to point to a conquest of the world on the cheap .

    the economy was in the incompetent hands of goering as reich minister for the plan ,this was not remediated until the arrival of speer in early 42 .

    there was a belief amongst the nazi hierarchy that the kaiser germany collapse was due to the strains and privations of the civilian population culminating in the winter of 17-18 ,
    there was a deliberate effort to take it easy with the home front

    as for germany being short of every ressources , short yes but not to such an extend as to be crippling ,
    they had abundant coal and iron ressources , pilfering the conquered countries was systematic and creative in its scope ,
    the infamous herzast (?)plugged some gaps
    my guess is every vehicle and war article witch could be recycled probably was .
    it remain that germany felt it was winning easily , without trying too hard until the end of 42 , there was no need to go on a " total war " footing
    El Alamein was hair brushed by the propaganda as one of those see-saw peculiar to the desert warfare ,
    the landing of the U.S Army in north africa , followed by the public agony of the long suffering 6th army could not be denied .
    Goebbels, not hitler , announced the hard war

    .
     

Share This Page