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Thread: Worst Military Performances of WW2: Pick Yours!

  1. #11
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    Re: Worst Military performances of WW2: pick yours!

    right you are.
    the blunder was to stay during winter.

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    Re: Worst Military performances of WW2: pick yours!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cnooc View Post
    contrary to popular opinion, Hitler's invasion of Russia did not come at a bad timing. Russia at the time had a late spring, and the ice did not thaw out until May. Contrary to the infracture of Germany, Russia's was very underdeveloped, and the roads were far and few between. And hardly any Russian highways could withstand the weight of the columns of Panzer divisions. Thus most of the time the Panzers traveled off roads, and at the time of May, the fields were damp and muddy, and the ground too soft for any panzer travel. Thus Hitler had to wait until late summer before the Russian ground could support the weight of his panzer columns and the roads not give away underneath the tanks (which still happened, alot).
    While I agree on the general conditions in Russia, it is also argued that the timing was a bit late; the invasion may have been when the conditions were perfect - but such conditions don't last. I once heard (by this I mean I read it somewhere and have forgotten the source) that Barabarossa was delayed a month because of the unexpected invasion of Greece. Not only the Greeks had fought off the Italians - they counterattacked. Germany had to launch an invasion after the Brits intervened. So the rash Italian action cost a couple of months to the plans for Russia. Now, I remember it was even argued that this might have cost the war to Germany. I got this from Wiki:

    It has been argued that the Balkan Campaign decisively delayed the German invasion of Russia. For example, during the Nuremberg trials after WWII, Adolf Hitler's Chief of Staff Field Marshall Wilhelm Keitel stated that "The unbelievable strong resistance of the Greeks delayed by two or more vital months the German attack against Russia; if we did not have this long delay, the outcome of the war would have been different in the eastern front and in the war in general, and others would have been accused and would be occupying this seat as defendants today".
    For the whole Greco-Italian war here's the full article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greco-Italian_War

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    Re: Worst Military performances of WW2: pick yours!

    regardless, it didnt work.

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    AW: Re: Worst Military performances of WW2: pick yours!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cnooc View Post
    His biggest mistake was not properly fitting his troops with winter clothing, (the same mistake that Napoleon made), and thus the might of the Wehrmacht was greatly enfeebled.
    Well, this was of course a bad military performance, but it was not because of Hitler, the winter clothing was available, but germany's logistics were bad, and mostly commanders made promises they couldn't put into practise.
    They just had a number of tons they could transport to the front, and the question was either ammuniton or clothes, I am pretty sure having no ammuntion would have made the Wehrmacht a loot more enfeebled.

    So in general, the worst military performance was Germany's logistics, or better put, they were not fast enough, Hitler should have adopted Guderians plan to race to moscow, and not split the army, maybe that was worse.
    "Nothing is more disgusting than the majority: because it consists of a few powerful predecessors, of rogues who adapt themselves, of weak who assimilate themselves, and the masses who imitate without knowing at all what they want." (Johann Wolfgang Goethe)

  5. #15
    Cnooc
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    Re: Worst Military performances of WW2: pick yours!

    the problem was not logistics, but of Hitler's fanatical policies. He insisted that the deportations of Jews, and other conquered people to the labor camps be given #1 priority, outweighing anyother military concerns, however pressing they may be. Many German commanders, including Guderian, and Rommel, tried to convince Hitler otherwise, but he was not to be persuaded. Given the constraints, people like Speer, Eichmann did a fantastic job, in terms of logistics. For example, late during the war, Speer managed to increase production 100% despite the fact that much of railroads and factories had been by then bombed out by the Allies.

    In short, it could be said of Hitler that he cared more for the extermination of Jews than for the welfare of the German army, and consequently, the German people. Hitler had many bright, competent, and loyal people working for him; it's a shame he didn't put them to better use which could have saved millions of German lives.

  6. #16
    Berliners Remember
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    Re: Worst Military performances of WW2: pick yours!

    ...regardless i wouldnt really consider that any kind of a military performance considering what the Werhmacht and Armed SS accomplished in the east, and always with much less than thier enemy. You can consider some of those factors and say that it did in some way eventualy effect the outcome which would lead to thier demise, however not a single military performance anyway.

    I acctualy have another one which i think is mabye not the absolute worst but certainly an example worth mentioning...i think it reflects back to some of the other soviet operations in the Finnish Winter war.
    The battle is the Battle of the Seelow heights which took place in 1945 between Soviet Union and Germany.
    Here are the figures: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Seelow_Heights

    I remembered this particular battle when it was mentioned in Beevor's Fall of Berlin.
    My summary:
    This was one of the last defensive strongholds before the red army army moved on to Berlin. I should also note i dont think the Russians expected the resistance they ran into...with mostly understreangth battle groups, volkstrum militia, and virtualy no armor and no air support, the Germans discapline remained unbroken and they were most stedfast in thier defense.
    The Soviet offensive begins with a massive artillery bombardment which i remember as being one of the most intense some of the VETERANS had ever seen. The attacking Soviet tank armies first attached large spotlights on their vehicles in order to blind and scare the defenders. Ironicaly this had the opposite effect and simply illuminated the attackers in full view as they approached which got many of them killed. The ill-coordinated Soviet attacks did eventualy break through, but with enormous losses in men and material (which they could replace).
    It was a Soviet victory but with about 3 times as many casualties AT LEAST (I think Wikipedia may be wrong on the casualty count for this battle which i remebered being much more.) In reality these horrific losses could have been averted had it not been for Stalins pressure on Zuhkov to take Berlin by a certain day which resulted in hundreds of thousands of soldiers deaths.

    In these hard and desperate times for the German armed forces they were still able to pull off victorys like this; again leadership plays a large role here. I remember reading in Otto Skorzeny's memoirs, the importance of expressing good leadership in the fight. He notes how it did absolute wonders for the soldiers morale upon seeing an officer pick up an anti-tank weapon and blast enemy armor at close range...in these hard times Germany was not short of heros.

    Anyway, sorry for the long post just wanted to express my own thoughts on the matter.
    Last edited by Berliners Remember; Saturday, August 12th, 2006 at 06:49 AM.

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    Re: Worst Military performances of WW2: pick yours!

    Quote Originally Posted by Berliners Remember View Post
    Hmm. Ture enough it was bad for the German war effort that thousands of French and British were able to escape only to return to fight another day, however it's kind of hard to tell how effective the attack would have been had Hitler not issued his famous 'Halt!' order. The panzers were stretched to thier limmits and had pretty much outrun thier supply lines so stratiegicly it was not a terrible move on Hitlers part..

    Really, the BEF had all but thrown their weapons aside in their headlong rush for the coast, and the French....The less said about them the better.
    Had the famous 'Halt' order not come the entire British war effort would never have come about, Britain would have been finished militarily....



    especialy if you take into the account that Hitler still thought Britain could be an ally and Dunkirk was sort of an act of good will.
    And that is why I put it forward as one of the "worst military perfomances of WW2"....
    Hitler never really had any understanding of the British mentality, It's one thing to wish for 'Grand visions', But the reality on the ground is always a sobering thought.

  8. #18
    Berliners Remember
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    Re: Worst Military performances of WW2: pick yours!

    Yes, but the overall military performance regarding the battle of Dunkirk was a huge German tactical victory with Germany recieving few losses in men and material in the battle itslef. The French and British forces on the other hand, lost around 70,000 men as well as 9 destroyers.
    There is a huge what-if senario with historians regarding the battle of Dunkirk, however i think it is clear that Churchill had a firm enough grip on the government, and had at least already convinced everyone else that there would be no negotiations with Germany...therfore they (Britain) still would not have surrendered unless there could have been some kind of overthrow of some sort which was unlikley.
    Anyways that is the way i see it.

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    Re: Worst Military performances of WW2: pick yours!

    Another view of a bluder is a lost opportunity. Immediately after Germany surrenedered General Patton wanted to re-arm the German Army (SS and all) and together the allies and Germans could drive the communists out of eastern europe and back into their own territory. I'm given to understand that the German military properly re-armed and supplied would have kicked the scheissed out of the Red Army. Stalin would have been put in his place and a lot of human misery created by the Berlin Wall and other Soviet atrocities would have been avoided.
    Instead of consideration, Patton was essentially fired and ordered home for insulting our Soviet "allies".


    I. W.

  10. #20
    Berliners Remember
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    Re: Worst Military performances of WW2: pick yours!

    Quote Originally Posted by Imperial Wizard View Post
    Another view of a bluder is a lost opportunity. Immediately after Germany surrenedered General Patton wanted to re-arm the German Army (SS and all) and together the allies and Germans could drive the communists out of eastern europe and back into their own territory. I'm given to understand that the German military properly re-armed and supplied would have kicked the scheissed out of the Red Army. Stalin would have been put in his place and a lot of human misery created by the Berlin Wall and other Soviet atrocities would have been avoided.
    Instead of consideration, Patton was essentially fired and ordered home for insulting our Soviet "allies".


    I. W.
    Heh, pretty interesting idea...too bad there was never any chance in hell the western allies would have allowed Patton to do or organize such a thing. Re-arming the SS & German army? Was he really thinking this was a possibility?
    Patton, although a competent American military armor comander (compared to the medicore achievments of most U.S. Military commanders), was also an arrogant one...he is given WAY too much credit, and was more image and flair than anything else. Patton adopted a lot of German mechanized attack strategies from the embarrassing American losses and tactical failures that came out of KasserinePass and some of the first significant American military contributions of the war.

    Although an interesting concept, it's really hard to tell how successful the western allies would have been had they just faced off with Soviet forces in 45'(asuming no atomic weapons are used). The two powers used pretty different ( mainly offensive) strategies.

    Soviet doctrine stresses that as long as their springboard for their axis of operations is maintained, even though local tactical failures may occur, overwhelming force could be provided to guarantee a flawless penetration. This sort of deep penetration tactic worked...... and produced quick and effective results-though imo, it places a low value on human life.
    The Western allied armies, whose training emphasized a particular obsession in reducing battlefield losses in almost all situations, never truly grasped this theory.
    To fight back and forth, and never achieve decisive results gives the enemy so much time to reorganize, rearm, and reinforce, thus achieving slow results, with only attrition factors viable (see Kursk for examples).

    Compare the Russian campaigns of 44/45 to Normandy/bulge/etc., and the soviets completely outshadowed the allies in their operational ability in the offensive.
    The soviets were far superior to the Western allies in operational doctrine and overall strategy. Their concept of waging war with a powerful foe was different. Every move was weighed not on the short-term, micro tactical outcome, but whether or not it was a relevant step to achieve the overall strategic timetable. Hence, the Russian tendency to launch multiple strong assaults if the initial one failed. Hence, the excellent & exploitive achievements of the Soviet armed forces in 1944-1945.

    You could sit here and anylize numbers, armor production and equipment logistics all you want- If the two sides faced off, there would most likley have been tremendous losses for both sides. Thats the only way i really know how to explain it.
    Last edited by Berliners Remember; Sunday, October 29th, 2006 at 10:26 PM.

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