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Top 5 biggest mistakes

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by nicklaus, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. mikebatzel

    mikebatzel Dreadnaught

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    Skipper, I was under the impression that the delay in launching Barbarossa was actually better for the Germans. The Spring thaw had come a bit late that year, and the ground was unusually wet and soggy. This would have led to a slower advance with many of the tanks getting stuck in the mud. Correct me please, if I'm wrong. As hard as I try, I can't remember where I got that from.
     
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  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The Maginot line wasn't all that much of a mistake. Not extending it to the coast was.
    Since I can't come up with anything better and I've yet to see anyone else do so either not sure I'd call this one of the top 5 either.
    While Dunkirk was a bit of disaster a fair amount was learned from it as well and it wasn't all that big of operation. I'd say Market Garden was a much bigger mistake due in large part to there being other much more provitable things that could have been done at the time. However Kursk and the Bulge are probabably both worse mistakes than either of the above.
     
  3. JagdtigerI

    JagdtigerI Ace

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    That is correct. While the northern force already slowed by the dense forests, both advances had a very tough time traversing the muddy roads. The advance would have to stop and go constantly as vehicles got caught in the mud. So when winter came it was a big help at first as the roads hardened over and they could make their advance more quickly. However, whether it was better is another story. Probably not because of the other reprecussions of winter. Everything froze, from men to firing mechanisms.
     
  4. froek

    froek Member

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    Btw for people who call invading USSR bad.
    If Germany didn't attack USSR,the USSR would have attack Germany.
    If Germany has attacked (sorry for grammar) Russia directly after Poland he could maybe win because the USSR was much weaker then.
     
  5. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    Why do you believe the Manhattan Project was a mistake?

    What alternative would you propose?
     
  6. Wolfy

    Wolfy Ace

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    1. Not building a team of nazi rocketeer commandos

    [​IMG]

    2. Invading the Soviet Union
    3. Japanese attacking Pearl Harbor--> Germans declaring war on the US
    4. Hitler taking the role as Grofaz--> This lead to Stalingrad
     
  7. macker33

    macker33 Member

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    In no particular order,

    Hitler not taking malta or gibralter.

    The germans delaying barbarossa by 6 weeks so the german army could help out the italians in the balkins.

    Pushing for a grand surface fleet instead of more uboats at the start of the war.

    Not fitting me109s with drop tanks during the battle of britain.

    Not sending a 3rd wave to attack pearl harbour.
     
  8. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    I was more referring to the whole concept which Kai spoke off. Too many resources wasted on something that didn't work. Using the resources for something else like weapons, tanks, planes etc. would have proved more beneficial? Maginot line provided a false sense of security, a huge and unfortunate blunder.

    Had the line been ran through Belgium or other neutral countries to complete the defense, well that might have very well have been a different story.

    The conduct of the whole battle from the German side is really what I was referring to. Had the Germans not moved away from RAF targets to bombing cities and perhaps concentrate on the radar.....?

    The reason why I did not choose Market Garden or Operation Zitadelle ( while both larger in scale and casualties ) is because both of these were executed when Germany's fate had already been sealed. Yes, Kursk would have changed the time line but not the war.


    NO!
     
  9. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    The Maginot Line did just as designed, it funneled the German aggressors away from the French border. Sadly the Belgians had dropped their alliance with the French, and declared themselves neutral (that worked so well in WW1 they decided to try it again), and by the time they did so it was too late to extent the Line to the Channel.

    You don't (diplomatic boo-boo) build strong fortifications between yourself and an ally, which is what Belgium was right up to that point, then also the water table from the end of the original Maginot to the Channel is only feet below the surface in some places, so it couldn't have been as extensive as the other sections even if it had been built.

    Of course having the dinosaur Gamelin in overall command, sitting in a chateau at Vincennes which had neither telephone or radio contact with his army wasn't a "brilliant move" either. All dispatches had to be hand-delivered either by motorcycle or horse messenger. Gamelin was on such poor terms with his second in command (Alphonse Georges), he wouldn't even speak to the man when they were in the same room! He would speak to his aide, his aide would speak to the other aide, and then that aide would reply to Gamelin's aide. Not the "chain of command" needed in a fast moving, rapid communications "new war".

    The Line (as it existed), did exactly what it was designed to do, but what it was designed to defend against wasn't what happened.
     
  10. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    It's not at all clear he could have taken Gibralter and failing would certainly have been a mistake. Malta might have been possible but it would very much depend on when and it would have also been very risky. Then there is the question of just how much it would have helped.
    They didn't do it to help the Italians or that was only part of the reason and if you'll look at previous posts you'll see that this may actually have been beneficial.
    Hitler didn't plan on fighting the British. More u-boats might have soured relations with them even more and provoked a counter response. Against anyone else but the US or Japan the German navy would have been very useful.
    How much would this have really helped? Not enough to make much of a difference from what I can see. Indeed while it might have upped RAF losses some there might have been a even greater loss of German planes.
    It's not even clear that this was possible at least on the 7th and the losses could have turned an overwhelming victory into a phyrric one.
     
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  11. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Then it isn't the theory that's wrong it's the exection.
    They were loosing the BOB from the start. The radar instalation were pretty hard targets to take out and the British had replacements and even some mobile units in the pipeline. Furthermore the Germans were under a lot of time pressure. I simply don't see what else they could have done that would have improved things much other than perhaps not to fight the battle.
    But what could they realistically have done at Dunkirk that would have changed the war?
    That's not at all clear. Certianly they wouldn't have attacked in 41 but after that it's a guess.
     
  12. Devilsadvocate

    Devilsadvocate Ace

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    What are "rocketeer commandos"?

    And what would the mission of Nazi Rocketeer Commandos have been?

    The whole things sounds like one of those 1940's Saturday matinee serials.
     
  13. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I took it as a fairly reasonable attempt at humor....

    You think he was actually serious?
     
  14. Wolfy

    Wolfy Ace

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    It is.

    YouTube - The Rocketeer - Nazi Propaganda Cartoon
     
  15. White Flight

    White Flight Member

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    Originally Posted by Sloniksp
    “The conduct of the whole battle from the German side is really what I was referring to. Had the Germans not moved away from RAF targets to bombing cities and perhaps concentrate on the radar.....?”

    Originally Posted by Iwd
    “They were loosing the BOB from the start. The radar instalation were pretty hard targets to take out and the British had replacements and even some mobile units in the pipeline. Furthermore the Germans were under a lot of time pressure. I simply don’t see what else they could have done that would have improved things much other than perhaps not to fight the battle.”

    The big Nazi blunder on England’s Chain Home Radar System is they considered it a civil instillation. Not a military target.
     
  16. JagdtigerI

    JagdtigerI Ace

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    The Germans were hampered with poor intelligence and even worse analysis; they believed British radar facilities were underground rather than above and removed radar towers from their target lists.
     
  17. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Agreed, but couldnt it also be argued that the reason why Hitler went around is because of the gap?

    Surely, had the wall be completed to its true intention, well then it would be quite interesting to see what the Germans would have done. :D

    Fine get all technical! PPSH!! :D

    This has always been a topic of debate in books and TV shows etc. Me being far from an expert on the topic simply can not add anymore. What I have stumbled upon on several occasions, however,was that the RAF, while taking less casualties then the Luftwaffe and fighting on their own soil were in a very tough spot even loosing 1 vs 2 or even 3 Luftwaffe planes shot down. What kept them alive and gave them the ability to train more pilots, repair airfields and build planes was the change in German strategy in which cities began to be bombed instead of RAF targets. Again I am far from an expert so excuse my ignorance on the matter.

    Well aside from capturing a staggering number of POW's from both France and Great Britain which Germany would later face and perhaps a wet dream of having some leverage for peace talks with GB not very much. :)

    Agreed. 43' is a widely accepted year but even then there is no solid evidence which backs that up. I too lean towards 43' as a year when war with Germany and Russia would have broken out, that is only speculation however.

    Some here have been pointing out recently that Stalin was on the verge of attack in 41' well that's just rubbish.
     
  18. bigfun

    bigfun Ace

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    Read the posts above and you will see it my dear.
     
  19. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    All these premises are false... There is no substantial evidence that the USSR's planned to attack Germany. Stalin may have had that in mind and even discussed it with some generals... but, if it was true, nothing could have been donde earlier than 1943...

    And yes, maybe the USSR was weaker in 1939... but so was Germany... And what would have Germany done with the Western Front? Repeat the same mistake of WWI (and II, though much earlier)?

    My candidates are (for Europe), in chronological order:

    • Failure at Dunkirk
    • The planning, execution, build up and change of strategy... all in and about the Battle of Britain.
    • Making Malta the essential priority of the entire Mediterranean theatre
    • 'Barbarossa'
    • Declaring war on the USA
    For Japan it's only one: ever attempting to provoke the USA into a war...
     
  20. macker33

    macker33 Member

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    lwd;true what you say that the germans mightnt have been able to take gibralter but failing to do so cost the germans N.africa,
    there is no way the british could have built up sufficent forces to stop rommel at El Alamein if the germans controlled all sea lanes into and out of the mediterrainian.
    The oil beyond would have done a great deal to help the german war effort and on top of that the germans would have only had to fight on one front in africa.

    As for the 6 week delay for the commencement of barbarossa due to the foray into the balkins all you have to ask yourself is how would the war in russia turned out had the germans reached moscow 6 weeks earlier.

    As for the uboats thats only wisdom in hindsight and there was no way of knowing that thats how things would have worked out so i guess that cant really be put down as an error of judgement.
     

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