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Was the German Army (Heer) really so superior?

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  • Originally posted by lcm1 View Post


    What has always amazed me is the fact that there were hundreds of ships and landing craft in the channel on the night of June 5th, OBVIOUSLY not heading for the Calais area as the Germans apparently expected and yet apart from a scuffle with an E boat on one occasion they were blissfully unaware of what was heading towards Normandy until it was to bl***y late!! lcm1
    Never doubt the arrogance of old Generals with a few too many victories under their belt.

    Isn't there an old adage about that, something about not being a true leader until you have lost a fight?

    Damn... wish I could remember that one.
    "Why is the Rum gone?"

    -Captain Jack

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    • Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
      Never doubt the arrogance of old Generals with a few too many victories under their belt.

      Isn't there an old adage about that, something about not being a true leader until you have lost a fight?

      Damn... wish I could remember that one.
      You're right there. Just noticed your quote at the end,love the old Bill S: My favourite?........'And gentlemen now abed,will curse that they were not with us.......etc: lcm1
      'By Horse by Tram'.


      I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
      " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

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      • Originally posted by lcm1 View Post


        What has always amazed me is the fact that there were hundreds of ships and landing craft in the channel on the night of June 5th, OBVIOUSLY not heading for the Calais area as the Germans apparently expected and yet apart from a scuffle with an E boat on one occasion they were blissfully unaware of what was heading towards Normandy until it was to bl***y late!! lcm1
        On of the reasons could be the allies jamming the Nazi radars with "window" small sheets of silver paper also 30 ships sailed under the radar jamming aircraft with large balloons tied to them to give the large radar shadow of a large ship this operation made the Nazis think that an invasion force under air cover was heading for Cape d' Antifer.

        You gotta love WW2 faints and counter intellegence
        http://g.bf3stats.com/pc/1LP76r6C/melba_101.png

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        • Originally posted by 150935 View Post
          On of the reasons could be the allies jamming the Nazi radars with "window" small sheets of silver paper also 30 ships sailed under the radar jamming aircraft with large balloons tied to them to give the large radar shadow of a large ship this operation made the Nazis think that an invasion force under air cover was heading for Cape d' Antifer.

          You gotta love WW2 faints and counter intellegence
          Well I know about 'window' but I had not heard of it being used then. lcm1
          'By Horse by Tram'.


          I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
          " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

          Comment


          • Originally posted by lcm1 View Post
            Well I know about 'window' but I had not heard of it being used then. lcm1
            Well according to Mark Arnold-Forster who was the Author of The World At War they used it so there you go you learn things every day
            http://g.bf3stats.com/pc/1LP76r6C/melba_101.png

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            • Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
              They were better prepared in 39, but not really due to kit. Marching your armies through other peoples countries, and without actually having to fight them, allows them to hone all those skills that make an army more effective.

              How so?

              The Heer never really had a decisive edge in any area of combat concerning kit at any time of the war. And yes I do include the MG42 and MP44 in that catorgary, as well as Tigers and Panthers and 88mm's and Nebelwerfers and......et al.......

              Not talking weapons in my post, but the way they were tailored to work together from the outset.


              I'm not sure they did from 42/3. If the Germans were considered so formidable the Paras would never have been dropped at Arnhem. In addition, the main reason for the Paras failure at MG was supply. A rifleman is no good without any bullets. As for Hungary, I've never heard of the Red Army units thinking the enemy was any better than their own troops.

              And you never will, but something Stalin said after a pre-war wargame is instructive;
              "It's encouraging for you to assume that one of out Divisions can stop a German Division, but is it true?"


              I'm not sure how true that really is. Certainly Red Army officer promotions was very results, especially after the early defeats. In addition, contrary to what many believe, Red Army officers, regardless of rank, could be tried for losing too many men in an encounter.

              And the ones that survived the Purges? That was about political reliability, not ability.

              This I'm in agreement with you. They came up with new ideas when they were limited to kit, and further new ideas when they weren't. I reckon the British were up to 10 years or so behind the Germans at times, and didn't begin to catch up until 42 onwards in most respects. However, by 44 they had overtaken them in several key areas, as had other nations.

              Their worst failure, IMHO, was the lack of lateral command and control. It was all top-down, which must have played havoc when units overlapped on the front.
              In fact, it did.


              I don't believe that was any more true of the Heer than any other army.

              I get that from eyewitness accounts, testimony about how discipline can naturally to them... but mostly how they automatically responded to orders that most sane men would think twice about.

              They weren't automatons, and definitely not super-men, either.


              I'm sure they will .

              All imo, and willing to stand corrected as usual.
              ...
              "Why is the Rum gone?"

              -Captain Jack

              Comment


              • Originally posted by lcm1 View Post
                You're right there. Just noticed your quote at the end,love the old Bill S: My favourite?........'And gentlemen now abed,will curse that they were not with us.......etc: lcm1
                Ah, good ol' Henry at Agincourt, gotta be the best one ever for motivating the troops.

                Best delivered by sir Lawrence Olivier, if I recall correctly.
                "Why is the Rum gone?"

                -Captain Jack

                Comment


                • Originally posted by 150935 View Post
                  I found it interesting what I have read so far in Siege of Tobruk Revisited the author seems to take a hard point of view on Rommel in his actions in the first skirmish during the surrounding of Tobruk where one of his Divisional Commanders was killed and the 1st major battle and the first defeat of German arms in the war also known as the Easter Battle the author believed that Rommel was in such a rush to take Tobruk and he didn't do any proper reconsence poor tactics and pretty much his field commanders did not have any up to date maps going into the battle so the author has basicaly painted Rommel as impatient and a below average General I found that very interesting.
                  Not an isolated incident for Rommel - see also the rush to the wire during Operation Crusader, and the debacle of the attack at Medenine during Operation Capri.

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                  • Originally posted by Bravo Zero View Post
                    And it put the Heer at a disadvantage in terms of combat because it's troops were not placed in the most ideal defensive positions they could of been at, but they still managed to inflict over 200,000 casualties in just 11 weeks of fighting!
                    And how many did they suffer themselves?

                    A reminder, the Germans had an Army Group effectively destroyed in the Normandy battles.

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                    • Originally posted by Aber View Post
                      Not an isolated incident for Rommel - see also the rush to the wire during Operation Crusader, and the debacle of the attack at Medenine during Operation Capri.
                      So Rommel didn't have the virtue of patience
                      http://g.bf3stats.com/pc/1LP76r6C/melba_101.png

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                      • Originally posted by Bravo Zero View Post
                        And it put the Heer at a disadvantage in terms of combat because it's troops were not placed in the most ideal defensive positions they could of been at, but they still managed to inflict over 200,000 casualties in just 11 weeks of fighting!
                        Before you get too carried away note that the great majority of Allied casualties were wounded - most of whom would return to service in due course.
                        In contrast most of the much heavier German casualties would never return.

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                        • Originally posted by deterrumeversor View Post
                          We see how effective their help was in the winter of '42 don't we. Let alone how much of the German military was tied down defending them and their countries because they lacked the means of defending themselves?

                          I am not trying to denegrate the service or troops of any of the above countries, but lets face it, with the exception of Finland they were poorly equipped, poorly led, poorly used, and certainly of no more an aid than they were of a hindrance. But then that happens when your troops are in a war that is not popular with the peoples, and seeing as they were drug into the war in the east by Hitler, well you see what happens don't you.
                          Why do you think Finnish troops were more of an aid than Romanian troops? They did nothing but stop on the easily defended Karelian Isthmus. Given this difference, I also don't know how one can establish they were better led and used. They didn't have to fight much or at great distances beyond their borders.

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                          • Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                            ...
                            Not making it easy for me to reply ?

                            They were better prepared in 39, but not really due to kit. Marching your armies through other peoples countries, and without actually having to fight them, allows them to hone all those skills that make an army more effective.
                            How so?

                            For the same reason battlefield exercises are conducted today. They simply had the advantage of conducting said exercises on a huge scale and in other peoples countries.

                            The Heer never really had a decisive edge in any area of combat concerning kit at any time of the war. And yes I do include the MG42 and MP44 in that catorgary, as well as Tigers and Panthers and 88mm's and Nebelwerfers and......et al.......

                            Not talking weapons in my post, but the way they were tailored to work together from the outset.

                            Certainly upto 41 they held all the advantages as far as command and control was concerned.

                            I'm not sure they did from 42/3. If the Germans were considered so formidable the Paras would never have been dropped at Arnhem. In addition, the main reason for the Paras failure at MG was supply. A rifleman is no good without any bullets. As for Hungary, I've never heard of the Red Army units thinking the enemy was any better than their own troops.
                            And you never will, but something Stalin said after a pre-war wargame is instructive;
                            "It's encouraging for you to assume that one of out Divisions can stop a German Division, but is it true?"

                            A pre Barbarossa division would not. A Soviet tank or motorised corps (aprox same size) of 1944 may not be as weak as you may think.
                            I'm not sure how true that really is. Certainly Red Army officer promotions was very results, especially after the early defeats. In addition, contrary to what many believe, Red Army officers, regardless of rank, could be tried for losing too many men in an encounter.
                            And the ones that survived the Purges? That was about political reliability, not ability.

                            After 41 political reliability was not as important as ability.
                            This I'm in agreement with you. They came up with new ideas when they were limited to kit, and further new ideas when they weren't. I reckon the British were up to 10 years or so behind the Germans at times, and didn't begin to catch up until 42 onwards in most respects. However, by 44 they had overtaken them in several key areas, as had other nations.
                            Their worst failure, IMHO, was the lack of lateral command and control. It was all top-down, which must have played havoc when units overlapped on the front.
                            In fact, it did.

                            I don't believe that was any more true of the Heer than any other army.

                            I get that from eyewitness accounts, testimony about how discipline can naturally to them... but mostly how they automatically responded to orders that most sane men would think twice about.
                            They weren't automatons, and definitely not super-men, either.


                            Man for man most Heer units were not outfighting Allied or Soviet units, although there are a few examples either way I can think of.
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                            • The big reason why Germany held the advantage at the beginning:

                              Volume of combat munitions production of the major belligerents, 1935-44
                              (annual expenditure in $ billion, U.S. 1944 munitions prices

                              1935 - 1939:

                              USA - 0.3
                              UK - 0.5
                              USSR - 1.6
                              Germany - 2.4

                              1940

                              USA - 1.5
                              UK - 3.5
                              USSR - 5.0
                              Germany - 6.0


                              Quite simply Germany at the beginning outspent everyone else on armaments.

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                              • About the Normandy deception:if the Germans had known that Normandy was not a feint,the result would have been the same .
                                Immediately at DDay the Germans were sending to Normandy everything that was available,because,otherwise the allies would be in Paris on 25 june .

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