Why Was Hitler Not More Careful? - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Inter-war period (1919-1938), Russian civil war (1917–1921) and other non World War topics (1914-1945).
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#13986298
Smilin' Dave wrote:Nazi Germany on the other hand had successfully rearmed by 1939 and everyone else was scrambling to catch up.

The Germans were behind both France and the Soviet Union. Germany should have been expected to lose against either France and Britain or the Soviet union. Hitler was demented. He just had a long run of exceptional luck. He complained about the Munich settlement, claiming he'd been denied a war. His whole life lacked prudence, his lack of a career, his WWI service, the Nazi party, extremely rapid rearmament. Many people underestimated the Soviet Union, however both Hitler and the Japanese were correct that something radical had to be done quickly if American dominance was not to become unchallengeable.
#13986358
Wow I am reading about Cicero atm and apparently he was proclaimed an enemy of the state (what a glorious title to achieve) and murdered by the government in 43 B.C, this was done by Augustus and the second Triumvirate and the second Triumvirate is viewed as the thing that marked the end of the Roman Republic!

You mean you've only just discovered this? What, didn't you watch the TV series Rome? :eh:
#13986391
Rich wrote:The Germans were behind both France and the Soviet Union. Germany should have been expected to lose against either France and Britain or the Soviet union. Hitler was demented. He just had a long run of exceptional luck.

It takes a large amount of ignorance to produce what you've just spouted.

France had literally given up any offensive doctrines and Britain had its defense budget slashed. Germany was superior both in offensive tactics and technology. The Soviet Union was only ahead of Germany in terms of sheer numbers, and that's not taking into account the '41 offensive.
#13986753
Preston Cole wrote:France had literally given up any offensive doctrines and Britain had its defence budget slashed. Germany was superior both in offensive tactics and technology.

Britain and France had more and heavier tanks. They had more lorries. I could be wrong but I think they had more artillery. They had more planes. The Ju 87 proved very effective in the early campaigns but it was very vulnerable and approaching the end of its effective life. The Germans had no real heavy bombers. One important area where the Germans excelled was anti tank weaponry but that was largely by accident using the 88mm AA guns. Early in the war Germany's enemies proved highly ineffective in anti tank or anti mechanised capabilities. There was no technological reason for this. Tanks were very poorly armoured in the early part of the war compared to later. It was a lot cheaper to produce an anti tank gun than a tank and an anti gun required far less logistical support. Although tanks and mechanised vehicles certainly made warfare more mobile, once semi competent anti tank defences were adopted the effect was much smaller than usually imagined. When you look at the battles at the end of WWII they weren't that different to those at the end of WWI, gargantuan quantities of artillery being necessary for any break through in a high density front.

Although failing to take to offensive was a terrible mistake, the allies could still expect to win. Germany couldn't sustain its war economy for long without access to more resources. That's why Hitler ordered the disbandment of half his armoured divisions after the fall of France. He knew his war economy was unsustainable. And if Germany has lost their supplies of Swedish ore, which they so easily could have done. They would only have a few months. Before the fall of France Germany was also highly dependant on the supply of Soviet materials. Stalin most certainly planned to attack, once Germany was fully embroiled in the West. I repeat Hitler was very, very lucky.

It takes a large amount of ignorance to produce what you've just spouted.

Oh well I shall look forward to being educated by your vastly superior depth of knowledge and analysis on the subject.
#13987363
Rich wrote:Britain and France had more and heavier tanks.

It's a bit more complicated than that though.
- A large part of the Western allied tank fleet in 1939 was composed of light tanks that were of limited use. Admittedly this goes for the Panzer I.
- German tanks often had better operational range, decent reliability, superior optics radios etc. These gave them great advantages on the offensive.
- German tankers would have made more experience than their Western allied opponents.
- German military units proved better at using combined arms, so even when the Allies deployed their heavy tanks, the Wehrmacht could count on their anti-tank guns (including the Flak 88), airpower, artillery etc.

Rich wrote:They had more lorries.

True, however the relatively short campaigns Germany had waged in Europe offset this disadvantage (it wasn't until North Africa and the Eastern Front this deficiency really started to bite. Also consider the Wehrmacht had a lot more experience with logistics. Even bloodless 'invasions' like the Anschluss were good dress rehersals for wartime logistics.

Rich wrote:I could be wrong but I think they had more artillery.

True, but German artillery was much better coordinated. French artillery standard procedure assumed access to phone lines and that the enemy would be in fixed positions. British artillery was better, but still had a long way to go.

Rich wrote:They had more planes.

The Germans started WWII with some good simple designs for planes, while the Western allies had a number of older planes and a mixed bag of newer designs.

Rich wrote:The Ju 87 proved very effective in the early campaigns but it was very vulnerable and approaching the end of its effective life.

Which wasn't a big issue in 1939 ;) . Again another allied deficiency made the Stuka all the more useful - lack of ground based air defences allocated to the divisions etc.

Rich wrote:The Germans had no real heavy bombers.

Not a great issue again because of the sorts of wars being fought and differences in doctrine. The Germans put a lot of effort into tactical airpower over strategic bombing, which proved a good move up until the Battle of Britain.

Rich wrote:One important area where the Germans excelled was anti tank weaponry but that was largely by accident using the 88mm AA guns.

The Pak36 was a decent anti-tank weapon in the early war, it only really struggled with heavy tanks, but that was true of most nations basic AT weaponry. From 1940 the Germans only got better with their AT guns.

Rich wrote:It was a lot cheaper to produce an anti tank gun than a tank and an anti gun required far less logistical support.

It did however have a disadvantage in that the tank could effectively go anywhere, while the AT gun is a static thing that needs to be pre-positioned. An excess of AT guns wouldn't have helped the Western Allies any more in the Battle of France any more than the tanks they had, because they still would have been outflanked but the German strategic thrust (which, granted, was largely a question of luck).
#13987604
I want to emphasise that my main point was about expectations in August 1939. So for example although heavy bombers were a waste of resources in practice, this was not known before the war started. On paper the Allies had a large superiority. Also the Soviets.
#13988140
Rich wrote:I want to emphasise that my main point was about expectations in August 1939. So for example although heavy bombers were a waste of resources in practice, this was not known before the war started. On paper the Allies had a large superiority. Also the Soviets.

Yes, but emphasising my original point to which you were replying, it's a question of what the Germans perceived. The year in 1939, the Nazis are weighing their options re. Poland and they look at the military they have built up vs. the Western Allies (the Soviets aren't a consideration yet, Poland is still essentially a buffer no matter what choice is taken and its not clear the Soviets would intervene to save Poland anyway) military. In this situation the Germans probably think their own doctrines are the correct ones.

If we go beyond contemporary perceptions, expectations etc. then the more technical points I raised become even more relevant.
#13988193
Political Interest wrote:The game Hearts Of Iron II is very interesting for those interested in alternative history. In one scenario I was able to play as Germany and avoid the war by not invading Poland and creating a European alliance. This move ensured German hegemony in Europe. Why did Hitler instead of invading Poland instead try to create an anti-communist European alliance and instead of trying to force the Germanic countries into a single state seek greater cooperation? Then he could also have sided more with Europe against Japan and toned down his provocations and aggressive rhetoric.


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