Market Garden

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by Ursus, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. Ursus

    Ursus Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,030
    Location:
    El Salvador, Central America.
    Tell me about learning!! I've learned a lot of things with both of you. Mainly that you should respect an adversary when he really knows what he is talking about. Second, I know next to nothing about WWII, but you really have sparked my interest on learning more.(I know who my consultants would be). And finally, if I ever witness two black belts starting a fight, I would have a seat to enjoj it!:) :)
  2. I've never argued otherwise. The Sherman did a magnificant job, there is no question about that, but part of that "magnificant job" happened because we had LOTS of Shermans. Consider for a moment: if we had only the same number of Shermans as the Germans had Tigers and Panthers, who would likely have won? You argue that a doctrine of mobility was the key. Perhaps it was in the reality of WWII on the Western Front after D-Day, and in the East as well after the Battle of the Kursk Salient in 1943. The M4 was not intended to fight tanks, as you have pointed out repeatedly, and when it did, it usually lost to thicker German armor and the far greater penetration power of the German main gun. But that leads us straight back to my basic argument: the M4 was a wholly defficient tank for anything except infantry support, and tragically, it could have been much better. Reasonable mobility coupled with adequate armor and main armament could have been achieved much earlier than the development of the M26 late in the war, and had that been done, thousands upon thousands of American lives might have been saved.

    Germany ultimately lost the war because Germany was overmatched virtually from the outset of the fighting, not in terms of technology (where the Germans had the edge throughout the war and which accounts, in part, for Germany's early success), but in terms of manpower and basic industrial capacity. War is, in the final geopolitical analysis, largely an economic activity. Napoleon once said that, "God fights on the side of the heaviest artillery." There is much truth to that statement, and the "heaviest" artillery (which extends to number as well as size of guns) is nearly always produced by the side with the greatest industrial and manpower capacity. Clauswitz also said that, "War is the continuation of diplomacy by other means." That is also axiomatic, but it is the economic ability to "continue" that diplomacy that ultimately matters. Despite their technological advantage, the Germans simply did not have that ability. I don't mean to sound like Karl Marx (whose ideas are mostly the dreams of a fool on LSD), but he was right about war always having an economic basis somewhere.


    Thank you for the kinds words, Bear, and you point out a very salient truth. Polish and I (along with many others around here) argue a great deal on issues like this simply because we enjoy the argument and the exchange of ideas between intelligent minds. Yes, I disagree with Polish on some things, and he with me. That does not mean that we do not respect the ideas and opinions of the other. Polish put it best earlier in this thread when he said,
    History is neither simplistic nor logical because it must, by definition, involve the often complex and illogical activities of human beings. Yet that is the very thing that makes history so fascinating.

    Amen to that, Polish! That, in a nutshell, is why I teach history for a living!
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2006
  3. Ursus

    Ursus Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2006
    Messages:
    1,030
    Location:
    El Salvador, Central America.
    "History is a fickle misstress". Indeed.
  4. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2001
    Messages:
    8,095
    Location:
    Indiana
    But, having said all that warm fuzzy stuff, I CAN'T let you get away with.....

    "not in terms of technology (where the Germans had the edge throughout the war and which accounts, in part, for Germany's early success),"


    As Robert the Klansman Bird would say, "Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!";)

    Germany did NOT have a "technical edge" at the beginning of the war! In fact, ANY technological edge it MAY have had was in experimental, futuristic weapons ("smart bombs," Jets, ramjets, ballistic missiles)at the END of the war that did NOT get operational, so did NOT materially affect the OUTCOME.

    They would have been BETTER to SCRAP that stuff and make BETTER CONVENTIONAL stuff that RAN and could FIGHT NOW!!!!


    THey did NOT have "superior" aircraft at the beginning of the war! At best they MATCHED their opponents in capability They just USED them TACTICALLY better than their foes...but they FAILED miserably when it came to STRATEGIC Bombing, or Escort fighters! They NEVER got that right!

    They only WON with tanks that were INFERIOR to their enemies, by using them SMARTER. When they DID make "technologically superior" tanks, (ahem.) they FORGOT WHAT THEY WERE USED FOR.

    Technologically Advanced??? Oh yeah, our "superior" Enigma Code Machine will NEVER get broken....

    Technologically advanced? WHY didn't they "understand" radar until it was too late for the BOB, much LESS for their Uboats?

    Technologically advanced? Why COULDN'T they make a transmission that didn't throw TEETH or CLUTCHES that WORKED????

    Technologically ADVANCED? With explosive AMMO that didn't explode? Tracer ammo that didn't trace?

    Technologically advanced? In a HORSE DRAWN ARMY THE ENTIRE WAR???????? EVEN in 1945?????

    NO!! NO! NO!

    I will NOT let you claim that...

    "Technologically advanced" got us the ANTIDOTE to the R/C Guided bombs that sunk a VERY few ships in the mediterranean in less than 4 months!

    "Technologically Advanced" got us MOTORIZED logistics, trucks and tanks that WORKED.

    "Technologically Advanced" made the Germans think the British had made a new and improved model of the Spitfire for the BOB, when all it was was OUR 100 octane fuel we got them just before the battle, that we were using in Aircraft since the 1930s, that the Germans NEVER figured out how to use or make the entire WAR????

    I COULD go on and on with BOTH lists, but I'll cut to the chase....

    "Technologically advanced" got us the Atom Bomb! In 1945!!!! When the GERMANS were scraping around for more HORSES, to pull their "superior" ME262s to the FLIGHT line....on a HIGHWAY.

    THINKING they were MORE "Technologically Advanced" than ANYBODY else got the Germans their Gotterdamerrung. Or WHATEVER is the stupid name for German Hell.....:cool:


    DON'T make the same mistake!!!
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2006
  5. While you make some valid points, Polish, I must challenge you on that one. The FW 190 WAS better even than the Brit "Spitzfeuer" and far better than the Hurry. It's only limitation was its short range capability, and that was a problem the Brits had as well. The Brits, however, had the advantage of fighting over their own territory during the B of B.

    Now, as to more technologically advanced . . . who was it that developed and depoloyed the first ram jet (cruise) missile? How about the world's first ballistic missile? How about the world's first truly effective jet fighter aircraft, and rocket aircraft for that matter? Yeah, the Brits had the Meteor, but it was never produced in quantity until after the war, and was inferior to the Me 262 anyway as later testing clearly showed. How about the Type XXI submarine, Polish? How about the development of the schnorkle, which we later adapted to our Guppy class subs? I could easily go on, but you get the point. :D ;) :cool:
  6. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2001
    Messages:
    8,095
    Location:
    Indiana
    Yeah, I get it, AND I thought I dealt with it...While YES it was "State of the Art," NONE of that stuff materially AFFECTED the outcome of the war!

    And MY point is when you have HORSES pulling WAGONS to bring ammo to your SPGs, when your "next gen" transmissions are TOO WEAK for EVERY new and heavier tank, when the Uboats you went to WAR with are too small, AND too rare, when you are using SLAVE LABOR who are sabotaging your shells, etc.,etc, etc...

    ...Spending ANY time and money on Rockets and Jets and "Mega-Tanks" or any OTHER "super weapon" and having your "best and brightest" technicians fueling a V-2, is INSANE!!!!
  7. True, Polish, it didn't ultimately, but it easily could have, and nearly did in some cases. Had the Germans had that Type XXI U-boat operational by mid-1943, for example--which they certainly could have--I wonder if the cross-channel invasion would ever have taken place, and indeed, I wonder seriously if Britain would have survived to be used as a launching platform for that invasion. My point here was simply that in a purely technological sense, the Germans were quite formidible folks indeed. The fact that the technology they developed was not used effectively has nothing to do with the brilliance of its invention. Failure to use that technology effectively lies in the sphere of politics and economics, not science. I think we would both agree that Uncle Adolph was a megalomaniacal fool (fortunately for Western Civilization!), and it was his short-sighted and frequently anal decisions that made it virtually impossible for the Germans to win. Remember, it was Hitler, not the German high command who ordered Operation Barbarosa and the declaration of war against the U.S. in December 1941. It was Hitler, not the German military/industrial establishment who decided to make the Me 262 into a fighter-bomber instead of the pure fighter-interceptor it really was. And finally, it was Hitler and his Nazi minions who ordered vast German resources committed to the destruction of European Jewry instead of to building weapons.

Share This Page