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).