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Was the German Army (Heer) really so superior?

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  • Originally posted by lcm1 View Post
    My remark about the Germans not having time on their side was solely in regards to the possibility of invading England. lcm1
    Ah! True. The longer they waited the more insane that idea becomes......

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    • The Germans were fighting against general time,and,this was dictating them the strategy to follow .

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      • Actually, following the fall of France time was on Germany's side.
        I'm with ljadw; the summer of 1940 was a false apogee for the 3rd Reich; in terms of raw materials they were in a worse position than that prior to Fall Gelb because they now had the entire of Western Europe to feed and supply with none of the imports from overseas that their new dominions had been used to receiving. As Europe was a net importer of necessities, this further impressed the need to break the UK or take Russia.

        Coupled with this was a degree of administrative incompetence that their enemies could never believe, resulting in potential [short-term] benefits being wasted.
        History is not tragedy; to understand historical reality, it is sometimes better to not know the end of the story.

        Pierre Vidal-Naquet

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        • I have a wonder: I read of several battles during the Poland campaign where the Wehrmacht got it rather badly. During the western campaign, several battles also were rather casualty heavy for the Wehrmacht no? Could it be that at the starts of the war, the Wehrmacht wasn't so great on the tactical level, but on the operational / strategic level? After all, in the early campaign, the Wehrmacht successfully concentrated its forces to achieve breakthroughs, having the mass of their army defeat enemy forces in detail, and so on. I wonder could it be that this was reversed later in the war, with the Wehrmacht becoming superior on the tactical level, being experienced by many years of war, but being outmaneuvered on the strategic level, trying to hold everything at once while the enemy picked his Schwerpunkt and defeat with his mass German formations in detail?
          Reaction to the 2016 Munich shootings:
          Europe: "We are shocked and support you in these harsh times, we stand by you."
          USA: "We will check people from Germany extra-hard and it is your own damn fault for being so stupid."

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          • The German army in Poland was just as green as every other army. Its advantage lay in method, which was much more flexible than Polish or French or British. Care must be taken not to inflate a few German tactical reverses and draw the conclusion that they did not actual hold those advanatges. Likewise, inflating Polish abilities because they succeeded here and there also can lead to wrong conclusions.

            As a rule German method was superior and it showed in the success of the Germans between 1939 and 1942. German materiel was no better nor were its troops more brave or robust. It was the tempo of German operation that left the others behind and opened tactical opportunities that junior ranks were permitted to exploit. That in itself made a huge difference.
            Last edited by The Purist; 22 Mar 12, 15:40.
            The Purist

            Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

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            • The problem evaluating the German Army in Poland was that by trying to defend everything in Poland the Poles, while brave, defended nothing.
              Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

              "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

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              • Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                The German army in Poland was just as green as every other army. Its advantage lay in method, which was much more flexible than Polish or French or British. Care must be taken not to inflate a few German tactical reverses and draw the conclusion that they did not actual hold those advanatges. Likewise, inflating Polish abilities because they succeeded here and there also can lead to wrong conclusions.

                As a rule German method was superior and it showed in the success of the Germans between 1939 and 1942. German materiel was no better nor were its troops more brave or robust. It was the tempo of German operation that left the others behind and opened tactical opportunities that junior ranks were permitted to exploit. That in itself made a huge difference.
                Is it possible also, that the 'small team dynamics' and ability to use initiative at lower levels, were better in the German army?
                Last edited by panther3485; 22 Mar 12, 22:17.
                "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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                • Originally posted by panther3485 View Post
                  Is it possible also, that the 'small team dynamics' and ability to use initiative at lower levels, were better in the German army?
                  Although having experienced them firsthand I do not claim by any means to be an expert on them and their tactics.I did find one thing about them though that has stuck in my memory, if they were 'dug in' they were stubborn fighters and very difficult to move. lcm1
                  Last edited by panther3485; 22 Mar 12, 22:18. Reason: spelling correction in quote
                  'By Horse by Tram'.


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

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                  • Originally posted by panther3485 View Post
                    Is it possible also, that the 'small team dynamics' and ability to use initiative at lower levels, were better in the German army?
                    That's all part of the 'method'.
                    The Purist

                    Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

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                    • Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                      That's all part of the 'method'.
                      OK.
                      "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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