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Those poor old Shermans - It took 5 to kill a Tiger

Discussion in 'Sacred Cows and Dead Horses' started by T. A. Gardner, Jul 9, 2004.

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  1. Christopher47

    Christopher47 Same Song, Fourth Verse

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    Look Adam...i apologise for aking up your time..

    You really do have my admiration, and I want to get this and other thing right...for me, for the forum, and for our many visitors.

    So, I do appreciate your replys. You don't need the likes, so I'll give you a smiley....:>
     
  2. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    1) The first sentence is very near to racism


    2) I don't think that there are many people who will consider the second sentence as something serious .
     
  3. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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    The German version.

    'we were attacked by the Red Hordes. Our panzers knocked out 50 T-34 tanks. 10 panzers had the turret shot off, 15 were hit and caught fire and 5 were captured by the enemy but we had no one-on-one frontally killed in a fair fight tanks. Thus our losses were nil. '

    Or

    'during the defence of Berlin our abteilung, comprised of at least 1 volunteer from every nation on earth, fought valiantly. 150 burning T-34 were piled up in front of our position and we had to retreat only because we ran out of ammunition.'
     
  4. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    About the book of Stone :

    Comments from Richard Overy :

    1)The result amounts to a travesty of historical writing

    2)Anyone who chooses this as their first book on WWII will be bombarded with errors and false statements .


    I like to add : There is no such thing as a serious concise history of WWII.
     
  5. Christopher47

    Christopher47 Same Song, Fourth Verse

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    I make no apologies for peasant cunning and animal instincts. I have seen both phrases used in straight histories of the Soviet forces.

    The quip about vodka is a joke....duh. Don't need a university degree to work that one out, but like all jokes about this war, theres a measure of truth in it....a measure of vodka to.

    Lj, you are so bent on dragging me down that you forget...your'e not published either. So, I'll just keep making my silly jokes about Sovviet soldiers thanks.

    Now, as for the German version, thats all fair and well. I agree. But, given the awfully high casualty lists of the soviets, their huge amounts of prisoners etc....their is more than a grain of truth to that fable as well.

    After all, if the Germans were exaggerating, Soviet casualty lists would be more agreeable, yes?

    Lj, just lets stick to the points, rather than you trying to prove what an intelligent rogue you are.

    Further, if ther is no such thing as a "serious concise history of WW2", WHY did everybody bend over backward to tell A.J.P. Taylor what an historical genius he was for his work of the same genre?
     
  6. Christopher47

    Christopher47 Same Song, Fourth Verse

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    and just as an aside....could you REALLY imagine the Red Army functioning without vodka? How would they get their infantryman to attack twelve deep, arm in arm, climbing over their own dead. Don't tell me this is a myth. Not the standard soviet assault, but this tpe of assault occurred far too often, and without vodka, I doubt the possibility of it getting to that point. The troops themselves would have refused, and then been disciplined by their officers, sent to the schrafboty.

    No vodka, no winter offensives either. No other single rationed commodity would have meant as much.

    And you can be as outraged as you want. Some things in war ARE outrageous, and a whole lot worse than that.
     
  7. Christopher47

    Christopher47 Same Song, Fourth Verse

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    Take away tobacco from the British soldier and you have instant morale problems.

    Withdraw the extra water issued to italian soldiers for their pasta...instant morale problems. The officers in the Italian Army are a good example of how you can alienate most of the people under you by issuance of superior rations and liquor.

    Japanese officers used to drink 100 proof sake, in bottles with salmon coloured labels. Non-coms and conscripts got sake much watered down. Take away both things and the Japanese military might have had big problems getting anyone to do anything.

    Not sure what americans used for liqour, but i know if you took their coffee away from them, instant morale problems. Their Civil War great grandfathers had exactly the same obsession.
     
  8. green slime

    green slime Member Patron  

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    Please, for the love of God the Almighty, lay off the caps!
     
  9. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    How do you know ? Were you present ?
     
  10. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr Patron  

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    I hate to jostle into someone else's punch-up but I have to agree that Norman Stone sometimes has to be taken with a large pinch of salt, he famously enjoys playing the academic enfant terrible and rubbing other historians up the wrong way. He delights in feuding via the pages of Literary Review.

    Kursk is endlessly open to argument and reassessment, for an update of the historiography I'd recommend Citino's 'The Wehrmacht Retreats' (University of Kansas Press 2012 ) with the entertainingly subtitled chapter, 'The Incredible Shrinking Battle Of Kursk'......
     
  11. Christopher47

    Christopher47 Same Song, Fourth Verse

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    look Lj...if you haven't got anthting to add, if your entire modus operendi is to sit here and pick holes, then push off. Otherwise....

    I could ask the same of everybody for every event we discuss...were you there?...

    and if I cannot comment because of such distinctions, then neither can you, or Adam, or martin, or Mr. Slime. None of us 'were there', so with our logic and readings we have to piece it together, bit by bit.

    Is there anything more you wish to say that contributes nothing positive? All done? Right, get back to posting like a normal human being again then, rather than playing negative "Its Academic".

    Got no axe to grind with you Lj...rather see you bak to positive contributions. Sarcastic i may be, but thats just me.
     
  12. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr Patron  

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    Have to confess - I wasn't there. So - exiting topic.
     
  13. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Nice try to make us forgetting that you have no proof for your claim about the attacks by Soviet soldiers with a stomach full of Wodka .Finally some people would begin to think that you are inventing your stories .
     
  14. Christopher47

    Christopher47 Same Song, Fourth Verse

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    I dont see any other way to be able to overcome the group urge than alcohol. You want them going in all 'pumped'. Alcohol is one of the best ways to do this artificially. You prime them with a vodka issue, while an officer steps forward, usually a politruk. for a pre battle propaganda speech.

    Vodka as the number one priority has a special use in winter. It provided warmth, and enables siberian and other snow trined troops to spend hours lying in the snow, jst out of range, with little or no movement, and rise later for another assault with the same verve as the last one." Vodka makes it possible for units to move by skis long distances without a stop, or observers to sit for longer than normal.

    Very handy really. And this isn't a guess. It's a fact of human nature. Russia still today, has a national problem with vodka and other alchoholic substance. It's the national indulgence that also has a practical role for those regions of the SU that spend more time covered in snow than not.
     
  15. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large Patron  

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    Sorry, but this is not true. Blame some misspent time at the Mountain Warfare School at Pickle Meadows for me knowing this, but Alcohol usage is contraindicated in an extreme cold environment. It causes dilation of the peripheral blood vessels, exaserbating heat loss and leading to a quicker onset of hypothermia. Initially, it will make the individual feel warmer as the blood vessels in their extremities dilate, but the additional heat loss will quickly lead to the early signs of hypothermia. Once hypothermia begins to set in the individual will begin to shudder uncontrollably as their mucsles involuntarily contract in an effort to generate heat. The body will attempt to constrict the peripheral blood vessels (countered by the alcohol) and shunt the blood to the body's core. Mental confusion and loss of muscle control follows soon after. Then it progresses towards tachycardia, cardiac arrest and death, if the core temp can't be stabilized. Loss of motor control doesn't recommend itself to long distance skiing, nor mental confusion towards an observer providing accurate information. So Vodka once back in the rear where there is shelter and warmth may prove beneficial, or enough that you don't care you're freezing while you slowly die, may work, but not for the reasons you stated.
     
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  16. green slime

    green slime Member Patron  

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    Excellent post USMCPrice. Very good description of the fallacy of drinking to stay warm in cold environments.
     
  17. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large Patron  

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    Thank you for the kind words sir.
     
  18. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    Alcohol is a common drug, but not the only one. The Germans and western allies offered amphetamines to their assault troops. The ancient cathegineans chilled out their galley oarsmen with Cannabis. Soldiers have a nose for alcohol and will seek it out if it can be found - and sometimes even when not. This entirely peripheral to debates about Shermans v Tigers, unless there is a suggestion that the panzer elite were high on amphetamines!.

    ,The accusation that some army relied on alcohol for courage goes back to Dutch and Germans of the C16th who give rise to the term "Dutch Courage." The British Army used to issue rum daily in the First World War, and under arduous conditions post Ww2.. USMC is correct to argue that in extreme cold weather alcohol is very bad for you. Even though the Sherman was far better suited than the Tiger for mountain warfare, it was't very often deployed above the snow line ;)

    Reading the veterans comments and the historic documentation, alcohol was seen as an aid to morale with a variety of justifications:-

    #1 It may not have done the soldiers any good physically, but a tot of rum was a boost to morale when standing to in the early hours or facing long periods of inactivity in unpleasant conditions.. It was also the rationale for the British Army to allow alcohol on exercises in post WW2 BAOR.

    #2 Commanders were aware of the risks of alcohol clouding judgement and distracting from performance. The WW1 literature refers to the tot as being insufficient to get you drunk. Some commanders insisted on soup being issued instead of rum - the GOC of the 33rd Division was unpopular for this reason.

    #3 it helped people to sleep after trauma. Some Australian units in WW1 did not issue rum before an attack but did so afterwards to help people to sleep. The locally recruited executioners who worked for the Einzatz gruppen killing in 1941-42 were issued with a lot of viodka to cope with the trauma of killing civilians of all ages. .

    I do know that many British armoured units which operated Shermans in WW2 shared the British Army high social tolerance of alcohol. It is/was big and clever to hold your drink and party hard, as ;long as you perform the next day. On many occasions I served with units whose AFV crews operated AFVs with drivers, gunners and commanders with what must have been well over the legal driving limits for blood alcohol. There is also a traditional view/myth that trying to perform when drunk is a fair test of how well skills have been learned. One of the German contributors to Alexander McKee's "Caen the Anvil of Victory" writes about his tank crew practising their drills while sat in a bar with their chairs arranged to correspond to their crew station. Was this just beery fun -or using alcohol as a substitute for training under pressures of exhaustion?
     
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  19. Thoddy

    Thoddy New Member

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    Re Methamphetamine (Pervitin) used by german forces
    At the beginning off ww2 until mid 1941 Pervitin was generally used for attenuation of the anxiety feeling and to increase(comment:eek:ne-off) performance and concentration among german soldiers, drivers and pilots. In 1941 past Illustration of negative duration effects the Reichsopium-law was changed and it was administered only on prescription. Consumption fell heavily on since then.

    Nevertheless it remained part of medical emergency packets of german soldiers (even late in the 1980s)
     
  20. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    Aphetamines were offered as a way to cope with sleep deprivation to the British Liberation Army in 1944. the history of 7 Medium Regiment RA includes mention of a trial of the drug on a digging exercise involving 48 hours non stop. Young officers were used as guinea pigs and the view was that whatever temporary benefit was negated by the negatives effects afterwards. One major took the drug in anticipation of a sustained period of activity but found himself stodd dpown and unable to rest or sleep. Another observation was of the disconcerting effect of over cheerful subalterns at breakfast....
     
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