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

WW2

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by Wittmann, May 25, 2001.

  1. Wittmann

    Wittmann Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2001
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0
    A friend of mine said:
    A war like the second world war can only be started and fought the way it was bye someone as srazy as hitler. And because the person must be that crazy he'll lose it anyway. I don't know what to think about these words, what do you think.
     
  2. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2000
    Messages:
    8,386
    Likes Received:
    888
    Location:
    Jefferson, OH
    What is that famous saying, "There is a fine line between genius and insanity." I do believe Hitler was a psychopath but wholly in control, at least in the beginning before Moreau's shots got to him. He was definitely an opportunist. He told the people what he wanted but in the form that they actually wanted to hear. Who doesn't want to believe that they are superior. That their problems are caused by someone else. My thoughts.
     
  3. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Messages:
    25,883
    Likes Received:
    855
    Well said both of you, and I agree with you Pzjgr. Nuff said? :cool:
     
  4. Killjoy

    Killjoy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2000
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    "'Nuff Said"?
    Of course not!
    Part of the manner in which the war was fought originated from the "Continental" mentality, if you will...
    Consider:
    Germany's foes (victims?) at the outset were a proverbial "stone's throw" away geographically speaking. Hence, lack of overall mechanization, dinky fighter aircraft with short ranges, laxadaisical strategic bomber program, and a mindset reflecting the European character of the epoch (no insult intended!)
    Once out of this narrow paradigm, as in the Battle of Britain, where heavy bombers and longer ranging fighters would have done the job properly, or in Barbarossa, where fully mechanised forces were called for, the problems of an armed forces "designed" to fight a certain type of battle were brought glaringly into focus.
    If the sanity, or lack thereof, of Mistah Hitlah could be said to have contributed to the nature of the war as it was fought, it lay in his inability to alter the system he had created to deal with the crises its nature had brought about.
    As with most "cult of personality"-type dictatorships, he put in key positions sycophants rather than those most able...
    Peachy-keen during those late-nite tea & kuchen parties when you need people to nod and comment on how sagacious your ramblings are, but not-so-hot at transforming your cumbersome, inadequate production system, or weeding out crappy designs before they are rolling off your assembly lines, or stalling dead on the battlefield! :eek:

    Didn't mean to sound overly self-righteous! ;)
     
  5. Otto

    Otto Rested & Resupplied with MREs. Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2000
    Messages:
    9,601
    Likes Received:
    1,719
    Location:
    DFW, Texas
    "Nuff Said"?
    No Way!

    Killjoy I agree with what you state to a point. Although many were useless yes-men, not all Hitler's appointment were as you said 'sycophants'. People like Albert Speer, countless generals, and many people in the government were all very capable individuals. Some were responsible for the meteoric rise of germany after WWI and others, (like Speer) were responsible for her continued success throughout the war.

    As for the Battle of Britain, it is true that long range aircraft would have made things easier for the Germans, but the battle was lost due to poor strategy, not aircraft range. Fighter Command was all but defeated when Goering/Hitler decided to bomb British cities. Bombing cities caused much havoc, but it did not damage Britain's Air power at all. Long range aircraft bombing British cities would have been just as unsuccessful. The Battle of Britain could have and would have been won as a purely tactical battle.

    Consider the type of war a nation such as Germany would need to fight to emerge victorios. Germany would always be surrounded by enemies, have less production capability, less manpower and less natural resources than her enemies. To win a war Germany would need a short, decisive conflict that would render these resources of her enemies useless. Such a war would require concentrations of strong, technically superior weapons, all under a good stategic plan. Long term wars would never be the way to victory for germany, as her enemies could outproduce German factories and could afford to sustain much more damage than Germany. Resources dictate that a short war is the key to German success. Short wars require tactical weapons; two dive bombers over one long range srategic heavy, one good heavy tank over two good light tanks, etc, etc. On top of this, a cohesive and decisive plan would need to be implemented and adhered to. The Battle for France was a perfect example of this. At that point in the war, the allies had superiority or parity with the German forces in every category. However, Gaermany won in a matter of weeks. Surely this was better for Germany than a long strategic battle intended to wear down Allied forces through indirect attrition. So, speed and tactics are keys for germany. A long term startegic plan would be suicide.

    I submit that the German military ideology of a tactical army was the only possible route to victory for Germany. The attition of a strategic war would mean death to Germany, and it did ultimately.

    When Germany was forced into a long-term, strategic, "total" war, there was almost no chance for victory anymore.

    At any rate, I agree with Killjoy in priciple on Hitler's horrendous leadership. However, I disagree with you about Germany's loss being due to her inability to fight a long term war. I believe germany lost because Hitler steered away from his only possible succesful ideology, tactical dominace.
     
  6. Killjoy

    Killjoy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2000
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Otto:
    "Nuff Said"?
    No Way!

    Killjoy I agree with what you state to a point. Although many were useless yes-men, not all Hitler's appointment were as you said 'sycophants'. People like Albert Speer, countless generals, and many people in the government were all very capable individuals. Some were responsible for the meteoric rise of germany after WWI and others, (like Speer) were responsible for her continued success throughout the war.
     
  7. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Messages:
    25,883
    Likes Received:
    855
    When I said Nuff Said, I meant it as, I didnt have anything to add to what they had said, not that there was nothing else to say for someone else. ;)
     
  8. Otto

    Otto Rested & Resupplied with MREs. Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2000
    Messages:
    9,601
    Likes Received:
    1,719
    Location:
    DFW, Texas
    I love a good discussion!! Good stuff Killjoy.

    I agree with you that Germany was in dire straights once she invaded Russia, because as you said, the War was transformed into a long term stategic battle. One where, strategic planning, strategic weapons, and a long term production chain were necessary. This strategic need was even more critical because the UK was still in the war!!

    If the Germans had won the quickly and tactically, the nature of the conflict never would have changed to that strategic conflict you were describing and that the Germans were so poor at.

    This would mean, I believe, a war won by 1942 at the absolute latest! No easy task.
     
  9. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2000
    Messages:
    8,386
    Likes Received:
    888
    Location:
    Jefferson, OH
    I agree, Germany had to win quickly because she did not have the resources to get involved in a long drawn out war, especially against the industrial might of the US. No way they could have won. Perhaps, they could have kept all their gains if they would have not declared war on the US and implemented their untermensch brutality against the Soviet satellite countries and used them to help fight against the Soviets. Then they could have won in the East and settled down before the US would have inevitably joined in. Yes, good discussion here.
     
  10. Wittmann

    Wittmann Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2001
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi, about the battle of britain I saw a very good program on (Dutch) tv where they said that an invasion wasn't possible anyway and that it never was hitlers intention to do so. They said that Hitler believed there could be peace with Britain, and Churchil was the main obstacle. What they said was the goal of the airraids was not to defeat britain but to make sure there would be elections and churchil was send home. (Maybe you think this is bull, but there were some people involved in this program (experts) so there story was very convincing). Some facts as presented in the program: the invasion was prepared were sloppy and wouldn't have worked anyway, and some excelent divisions were transferred to the east even before the battle of britain was over.

    [ 13 June 2001: Message edited by: Wittmann ]
     
  11. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2000
    Messages:
    8,386
    Likes Received:
    888
    Location:
    Jefferson, OH
    I agree with a majority of what that show said.

    1. I believe it was never Hitler's intention to invade the Brits. But, once France fell, I believe he did want to do it but as the plan progressed, he discovered that it would not be feasible. I don't believe anything about trying to get churchhill out.

    2. From the technical point, There is no possible way Germany could have launched an amphib assault. It did not have the resources for such a manuever. They could have done an airborne assault with alot of ferrying of troops and equipment once the FJ took some airfields but this would have had to be done immediately before the RAF could come up with a strategy and fine tune their radar tactics.

    Either way, Germany could not have done it in 1940.
     
  12. Killjoy

    Killjoy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2000
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hoo-Wee!! Stuff!!!

    OK!
    Herr Generalfeldmarschal:
    I was just being sarcastic! ;)

    Otto:
    War won by '42 indeed!
    This brings up the 'eternal' debate as to how Barbarosa could have been done differently to have achieved that very thing.
    One has heard everything from 'ignore Moscow' to 'Moscow at all costs', and all manner of permutations in between.
    To me, the campaign was fought consistent with German doctrine. Namely: Destroy the enemy army in the field (and the fall of that nation will follow). After taking on the order of 3 million prisoners, destroying or capturing 10,000 tanks & guns, and coming a stone's throw from the capital city, it's not hard to see how they thought the job had been done.
    One can only speculate what Britain would have done if the Russians had signed an armistice (can't see them surrendering outright). I keep hearing that line from "Rule Britannia" about 'never, never, never shaa-all be slaves...' and imagine them fighting on regardless of Mistah Hitlah's offers of peaceful co-existence.
    Another error on the part of the Germans , IMHO, was the weapons development halt/ban imposed by AH in 1940, which lasted until 1943, when it was apparent that Crazy Ivan wasn't going to roll over & die, and 'the Yanks were coming...'
    I know this was done to save $ & facilitate the continued 'plush' consumer economy the nazis were using as a propoganda tool to both show off to the world that the glorious National Socialist Germany could both fight a war & keep the Frauleins in stockings & Kaffeekuchen, but think of the lost time on development of heavier tanks, jet aircraft, rockets & the like...

    PzJgr:
    Problem with nazi racial policies is... ...the nazis.
    A colossal error, not arming the Slavs who were only too willing to join in a crusade against Bolshevism, only to beg for their help three years later!
    I recall reading that AH was too afraid they would turn on the Germans once armed.
    The crux of the biscuit is, however, that the nazis would never have been in a position to make such an error without the National Socialist policies (rantings?) which got them into power to begin with.

    Wittman:
    Have read about AH's anglo-Germanic co-dominium dreams also.
    Mistah Hitlah apparently thought of the British as a sort of 'lost aryan tribe', and went so far as to propose as part of a joint rulership of the world the use of Waffen-SS troops to Britain as security forces in India!
    Some have gone so far as to say that the decision to halt the panzers at Dunkirk, and the subsequent half-hearted pursuit of the invasion of the UK were 'inspired' by AH's hope that, eventually 'that warmonger' Churchil, would be thrown out of office and a more pro-axis, or at least pro-coexistence govt would replace him...
    Also, I believe that the 'necessity' of subduing Britain was part of a notion that the Western powers would have to be so subdued to prevent their intervention on behalf of Lebensraum - I mean Russia!
     
  13. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Messages:
    25,883
    Likes Received:
    855
    Dear Killjoy: No problem-I like to hear some sarcasm oncet in awhile ;) ;)
     

Share This Page