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Was the German Army (Heer) really so superior?

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  • Ha! Ha!

    The master race in all it's glorious superiority...

    491px-Prisoners_1.jpg

    The long toll of the brave
    Is not lost in darkness
    Over the fruitful earth
    And athwart the seas
    Hath passed the light of noble deeds
    Unquenchable forever.

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    • Originally posted by Von Richter View Post
      The master race in all it's glorious superiority...

      [ATTACH]46301[/ATTACH]

      You forgot the flying pigs Von
      "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."- Sir Winston Churchill, about R.A.F. fighter pilots."
      "It is well that war is so terrible, else we grow to fond of it." - Robert E. Lee

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Robbie Lynne View Post
        You forgot the flying pigs Von
        Ha! Ha! Good 'un Robbie Lynne!!!
        The long toll of the brave
        Is not lost in darkness
        Over the fruitful earth
        And athwart the seas
        Hath passed the light of noble deeds
        Unquenchable forever.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by The Purist View Post
          Kiev Sept 1941.
          I can think of several battles after Kiev 1941 that the Germans won - Tobruk (June 1942) and Krim (Sebastopol among it) are two. The push to Caucasus, Kharkov March '43.

          While Tobruk might not be very major it was so in a relative sense.

          Last edited by leandros; 20 Mar 12, 12:35.
          River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion
          Saving MacArthur - a book series on how the Philippines were saved - in 1942!

          Comment


          • Originally posted by leandros View Post
            I can think of several battles after Kiev 1941 that the Germans won - Tobruk (June 1942) and Krim (Sebastopol among it) are two. The push to Caucasus.

            While Tobruk might not be very major it was so in a relative sense.

            Na und?

            Ed
            The repetition of affirmations leads to belief. Once that belief becomes a deep conviction, you better wake up and look at the facts.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by MonsterZero View Post
              I heard that in the French society at the time, political disunity was so bad the communists and leftists were seen as a greater evil compared to the Germans. The French middle class would have rather welcomed German soldiers in their cities.

              This will always be a controversial subject.
              Indeed. What it cooked down to is that the French just didn't want to be dragged into the war. Sarcastically enough, if the French had withstood the British pressure of declaring war on Germany in September '39 the Brits would have been much better off - provided Hitler hadn't attacked France after all. Imagine, Hitler wanted to get to the throat of the Frenchies, and peace with Britain. Instead it would have been the other way around...

              The Germans would have had no French air and sub bases, the British army would have been intact, the RAF in better shape, no massive bombing of London with loss of civilian life and valuables.

              Fred
              River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion
              Saving MacArthur - a book series on how the Philippines were saved - in 1942!

              Comment


              • Originally posted by leandros View Post

                The Germans would have had no French air and sub bases, the British army would have been intact, the RAF in better shape, no massive bombing of London with loss of civilian life and valuables.

                Fred



                And pot the red would never have ritten that great book... wot he wrote!
                The long toll of the brave
                Is not lost in darkness
                Over the fruitful earth
                And athwart the seas
                Hath passed the light of noble deeds
                Unquenchable forever.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by leandros View Post
                  I can think of several battles after Kiev 1941 that the Germans won - Tobruk (June 1942) and Krim (Sebastopol among it) are two. The push to Caucasus, Kharkov March '43.

                  While Tobruk might not be very major it was so in a relative sense.

                  Ah,the good disciple of Clausewitz
                  The battles the Germans won are not proving they were "better" (and "better" is a childish term).
                  These battles also had as result,that the result was :NOTHING:after Tobruk ,there was Alamein ,their victories only were tactical ones
                  BTW:they lost the push to the Caucasus
                  And,what about the battles they lost :Barbarossa,Typhoon,Citadelle,Bagration,Normandy,t he Bulge ??
                  I think it's totally outdated to judge an army on the battles it won,there also are its performances during a retreat .
                  A better exemple would be to look at the German performances during the Soviet counter offensive in the 1941/1942 winter.
                  Last edited by ljadw; 20 Mar 12, 15:26.

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                  • Originally posted by ljadw View Post
                    Ah,the good disciple of Clausewitz
                    The battles the Germans won are not proving they were "better" (and "better" is a childish term).
                    These battles also had as result,that the result was :NOTHING:after Tobruk ,there was Alamein ,their victories only were tactical ones
                    BTW:they lost the push to the Caucasus
                    And,what about the battles they lost :Barbarossa,Typhoon,Citadelle,Bagration,Normandy,t he Bulge ??
                    I think it's totally outdated to judge an army on the battles it won,there also are its performances during a retreat .
                    A better exemple would be to look at the German performances during the Soviet counter offensive in the 1941/1942 winter.
                    The question was: Any German battle victories after Kiev 1941.
                    Answer: Yes
                    River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion
                    Saving MacArthur - a book series on how the Philippines were saved - in 1942!

                    Comment


                    • I'm not going to wade through the whole thread. But, I will add this:

                      After 1941 in the West no German infantry division won a single division sized battle on the offensive against their Western counterparts with the exception of the 18th and 62nd VG versus 106th US ID in the Ardennes.

                      As infantry divisions make up roughly 70%+ of the German Army's field divisions that speaks to the vast bulk of their military being relatively ineffective.

                      Of the remaing 30% or less that was partially or completely mechanized against the Western militaries from 1943 (late 42 really) on they only scored the occasional tactical or operational victory. Not once did they manage to win a strategic victory. In the East the same can be said from late '43 on.

                      In strategy, the Germans.... to put it bluntly.... spewed. After Poland their entire strategic plan was essentially a series of improvisations. For France a variant of the Schlieffin Plan was dusted off. Invading Norway was totally improvised as a reaction to British and French moves there. The low lands invasion was an unnecessary ancillary to invading France. Germany had no real need or reason to invade Holland or Denmark.

                      North Africa and the Balkans were totally unexpected campaigns based on having to pull Italy's chestnuts out of the fire when Mussolini decided to run a parallel war with Germany... unsuccessfully.....

                      Invading Russia was Hitler's concoction based on politics rather than sound military strategy. The Wehrmacht was unprepared logistically and engineering-wise for that campaign and in large part that caused its failure.

                      As the war progressed it became more and more one big improvisation of everything for the Germans. There was only occasionally a real thoughtout strategy or even operational plan behind anything they did.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                        I'm not going to wade through the whole thread. But, I will add this:

                        After 1941 in the West no German infantry division won a single division sized battle on the offensive against their Western counterparts with the exception of the 18th and 62nd VG versus 106th US ID in the Ardennes.

                        As infantry divisions make up roughly 70%+ of the German Army's field divisions that speaks to the vast bulk of their military being relatively ineffective.

                        Of the remaing 30% or less that was partially or completely mechanized against the Western militaries from 1943 (late 42 really) on they only scored the occasional tactical or operational victory. Not once did they manage to win a strategic victory. In the East the same can be said from late '43 on.

                        In strategy, the Germans.... to put it bluntly.... spewed. After Poland their entire strategic plan was essentially a series of improvisations. For France a variant of the Schlieffin Plan was dusted off. Invading Norway was totally improvised as a reaction to British and French moves there. The low lands invasion was an unnecessary ancillary to invading France. Germany had no real need or reason to invade Holland or Denmark.
                        Not quite that simple. Case yellow did in part rely on the Germans going through the Low Lands, the firmer high grounds that is, to get around the static defences blocking their way. The taking of Eben Emael was essential to allowing such a movement with the Germans moving through Maastricht, or via Tilburg and Breda into Nothern Belgium, with the objective of attacking the enemy's Northern flank.

                        Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                        North Africa and the Balkans were totally unexpected campaigns based on having to pull Italy's chestnuts out of the fire when Mussolini decided to run a parallel war with Germany... unsuccessfully.....

                        Invading Russia was Hitler's concoction based on politics rather than sound military strategy. The Wehrmacht was unprepared logistically and engineering-wise for that campaign and in large part that caused its failure.]
                        The problem with Barbarossa looks a bit more complicated logistically and did not leave much room for improvisation once the armee groups had been committed just because of the sheer size of the area of operations.

                        Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                        As the war progressed it became more and more one big improvisation of everything for the Germans. There was only occasionally a real thoughtout strategy or even operational plan behind anything they did.
                        This is quite true, the period after 1943 is clearly characterised by the Germans fire fighting.

                        Ed.
                        Last edited by dutched; 21 Mar 12, 10:30.
                        The repetition of affirmations leads to belief. Once that belief becomes a deep conviction, you better wake up and look at the facts.

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                        • You could throw in that following the fall of France the Germans were pretty much clueless about any realistic means to deal with England too.....

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                          • Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                            You could throw in that following the fall of France the Germans were pretty much clueless about any realistic means to deal with England too.....
                            Yes TA, that is very true.For one very important reason, they knew that to make us finally succumb to their gentle persuasion they needed to cross the Channel first and if they tried to do that the RN would likely get a little bit cross and they would come off second best,because they did not have the facilities to achieve such a venture.To reach that stage they needed time and time was what they did not have. Throw in the lunatic idea of attacking Russia and beating Britain was the thing that dreams were made of.One thing though, there are a lot of so called 'Experts' that are only to ready to belittle the German army that is one thing I refuse to do. The problem that the senior German officers had was they were tied to a madman who would countermand any order or advice they may wish to make if he was having one of his bad days and you cannot run a successful war if that sort of thing is hanging over you. I am not saying that they were able to win from 42 onwards, but it certainly did not help the situation they were in. 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
                              Yes TA, that is very true.For one very important reason, they knew that to make us finally succumb to their gentle persuasion they needed to cross the Channel first and if they tried to do that the RN would likely get a little bit cross and they would come off second best,because they did not have the facilities to achieve such a venture.To reach that stage they needed time and time was what they did not have. Throw in the lunatic idea of attacking Russia and beating Britain was the thing that dreams were made of.One thing though, there are a lot of so called 'Experts' that are only to ready to belittle the German army that is one thing I refuse to do. The problem that the senior German officers had was they were tied to a madman who would countermand any order or advice they may wish to make if he was having one of his bad days and you cannot run a successful war if that sort of thing is hanging over you. I am not saying that they were able to win from 42 onwards, but it certainly did not help the situation they were in. lcm1
                              I think it is a mistake to think the German leader was a madman. Cunning, evil and obsessive, manipulative and meddling and at times foolish and an unrealistic fantasist, but he was not a raving lunatic. I think too much of the allied wartime propaganda imagery is still lingering and clouding
                              the assessment of some. Just for those who do not know me that well, I ain't a fanboy, the opposite. More over the image many seem to have of the German army is largely due to the German propaganda machine.
                              The image of the German Heer as a fully mechanised army, belied the truth.
                              I had that image as well, until my mum dispelled it. "What tanks?" :she said,
                              "Horses and carts and marching soldiers is all we've seen". It was not until the liberation that she saw a large mechanised army. It was the allied army.

                              Ed
                              The repetition of affirmations leads to belief. Once that belief becomes a deep conviction, you better wake up and look at the facts.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by dutched View Post
                                I think it is a mistake to think the German leader was a madman. Cunning, evil and obsessive, manipulative and meddling and at times foolish and an unrealistic fantasist, but he was not a raving lunatic. I think too much of the allied wartime propaganda imagery is still lingering and clouding
                                the assessment of some. Just for those who do not know me that well, I ain't a fanboy, the opposite. More over the image many seem to have of the German army is largely due to the German propaganda machine.
                                The image of the German Heer as a fully mechanised army, belied the truth.
                                I had that image as well, until my mum dispelled it. "What tanks?" :she said,
                                "Horses and carts and marching soldiers is all we've seen". It was not until the liberation that she saw a large mechanised army. It was the allied army.

                                Ed
                                If movies such as 'Downfall' are any indication, Hitler seems to have taken on at least the appearance of a "raving lunatic" towards the end.
                                "England expects that every man will do his duty!" (English crew members had better get ready for a tough fight against the combined French and Spanish fleets because that's what England expects! However, Scotland, Wales and Ireland appear to expect nothing so the Scottish, Welsh and Irish crew members can relax below decks if they like!)

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