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Was the German Army (Heer) really so superior?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Wellington95 View Post
    Germany had TONS of help against the Soviets. Thousands of SS recruits from Ukraine, Belorussia, and other Eastern European countries took part in the invasion of the Soviet Union.

    Perhaps what you're trying to say is that the allies of Germany were not as strong as the Allied powers?
    The SS were the fourth branch of the Wehrmacht. I had meant in terms of fighting for their own home countries as Axis partners to Germany.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Bravo Zero
      I had actually meant in terms of equipment as well as troops. But it proves my point in that they were not exactly the best allies to have. Some even say that Hitlers invasion of the Soviet Union had to be postponed because of having to help the Italians in Greece....
      Incorrect. the planning begun in 1940 looked for a May 15th start but the Germans could not be ready. The shortage of rail capacity meant the build up in the spring was delayed and troops and supplies could be in place for May. Further,... as has been stated time and time again around here when Barbarossa is discussed (use the Search function), the spring came late in 1941 and the rivers in central and northern Poland were still in flood into June. The fields and roads could not support major vehicle traffic and the invasion was pushed back to June 15th and then again June 22nd (the trains).

      All troops used in the Balkans that came from AG South were back on station for Barbarossa or had been replaced (traded) in the line by OKW reserve formations.
      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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      • #33
        Originally posted by m kenny View Post


        Japan and the Allied 2nd front in the far east/pacific............
        To expand it even farther: CBI, SW Pacific, Central Pacific, North & Northwest Pacific theaters.
        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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        • #34
          Originally posted by m kenny View Post
          Italy.........
          How big was the Italian Army? And how much of it was sitting in English POW camps by the end of 1940?? The Italians sucked supplies, resources, and manpower away from Germany by embroiling the Heer in the Balkans, Greece, North Africa, and the Med in general.

          Originally posted by m kenny View Post
          Finland.......
          Yes, who moved right up to the pre-winter war boundry, set up defenses and went no further?? And who turned on the Germans in the fall of 1944 after being beaten in a 3 month campaign by the Soviets.


          Originally posted by m kenny View Post
          Rumania.....
          Hungary....
          Bulgaria.....
          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.

          Cheers,
          Deter

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Roadkiller View Post
            Can someone name the last "major" battle won by the Heer? (I know the definition of "major" will be a problem)
            Originally posted by The Purist View Post
            Kiev Sept 1941.
            I would say the second battle of Kahrkov, May 1942, after which the Wehrmacht eized the initiative again for the rest of the year until Stalingrad.
            Reaction to the 2016 Munich shootings:
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            • #36
              Surely after Kiev the Vyazma-Bryansk battle also counts, but 2nd Kharkov is probably the last 'battle' that can easily be defined as from Voronezh onwards it is difficult to put a neat ring around the actions fought to the Volga.

              Tobruk, June '42?
              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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              • #37
                Originally posted by deterrumeversor View Post
                How big was the Italian Army? And how much of it was sitting in English POW camps by the end of 1940?? The Italians sucked supplies, resources, and manpower away from Germany by embroiling the Heer in the Balkans, Greece, North Africa, and the Med in general.
                Without securing these regions Germany couldn't be sure it wouldn't be struck by the Allies in the underbelly. Establishing complete control over the Mediterranean and sealing the Suez canal could've been a serious blow at Britain.

                Yes, who moved right up to the pre-winter war boundry,
                set up defenses and went no further??
                BS

                And who turned on the Germans in the fall of 1944 after being beaten in a 3 month campaign by the Soviets.
                The Finns pretended to fight the Nazis while the Nazis pretended to retreat. When the SU finally told the Finns it was not going to take any crap from them any longer, the Finns had to stop playing their favourite game of slimy weaseling and sort of attacked the Nazis. A few thousand were killed on both sides, but that's about it. A great "turn on" indeed.

                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?
                Well, surely then had to supply the Germans supermen only - anyhing less would be treason and "unfair" The Romanians and Italians did the same as Soviet or French or British troops facing a massive armoured onslaught in 1940-1941. If you discount them as any sort of an army, you've got to discount like 90% of Red Army in 1941, for example.

                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.
                Oh really? Even if you discount their battlefield performance (like the Romanians did the job of storming Odessa and Sevastopol), you have to take into account they were often allocated to police duties on the occupied territories. In other words, they "did the jobs the Germans wouldn't always do". Like the Romanians were busy butchering Jews in Bessarabia, and the Hungarians (as well as the Romanians) were engaged in police actions in the Ukraine and Russia. The latter worked so hard the population feared them more than the Germans. Every Axis-allied soldier doing the menial job of ethnic cleansing, garrisoning towns and guarding the supply routes freed up a "superior" German for the front line.
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                • #38
                  Originally posted by ljadw View Post
                  IMHO,saying that the entire experienced Soviet forces were wiped out in 1941,is not demonstrating a good knowledge of the subject :why would the 1941 Soviet forces be experienced? Most of them had been called up in 1940/1941,even in the spring of 1941,there was a big shortage of manpower and officers:half a million of reservists had been called up .
                  I believe I answered your drive by snippet if you take in the whole context of the statement.

                  Originally Posted by deterrumeversor
                  The USSR had almost their entire experienced troop force wiped out, and had to rebuild their entire Army 2 to 3 times over in the bloodbath that best describes the fighting of 41 and 42. (A feat that I am not so sure the Western Allies could have managed, but that is for a different thread) So their Army was almost predominantly inexperienced troops fresh out of training for the first 3 years.

                  But I will elaborate, as the Soviet losses were so severe during the first half of the war (not just '41) they did not have an available pool of experienced manpower to work with. As they gained any experience they were usually killed or captured during the early part of the war. And I would have to say that troops trained in peacetime are still better trained than raw troops rushed into units and fed into the battle in desperation. Plus the troops that had experience during the Russo-Japanese battles were rushed to the front in the winter of '41 and were mostly all gone by the spring of '42

                  Cheers,
                  Deter

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Bluenose
                    Surely after Kiev the Vyazma-Bryansk battle also counts, but 2nd Kharkov is probably the last 'battle' that can easily be defined as from Voronezh onwards it is difficult to put a neat ring around the actions fought to the Volga....
                    Perhaps but after Kiev the Germans ability to actually win the war had been lost. Vyazma-Bryansk were part of the Typhoon/Moscow campaign and arguably fall into the category of "poor start but good ending" of a battle/campaign.

                    Second Kharkov is a good choice but it doesn't appear to have effected the Red Army ability to recover from the summer defeats and still be a going concern by September.

                    Originally posted by Bluenose
                    Tobruk, June '42?
                    A low point for the British but its importance to the war was slight. Besides,.. there were 3 Germans and 6 Italian divisions at Gazala so it wasn't really just a German victory
                    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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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by deterrumeversor View Post
                      How big was the Italian Army? And how much of it was sitting in English POW camps by the end of 1940?? The Italians sucked supplies, resources, and manpower away from Germany by embroiling the Heer in the Balkans, Greece, North Africa, and the Med in general.
                      The bulk of Rommel's army was Italian. He depended entirely upon the Italians and contrary to your opinion his Italian soldiers aquitted themselves quite well.
                      Indeed if it were not for the fact Rommmel stole all the Italian transport after Alamein then there might have been far fewer (stranded) Italian POW's and the bulk of the AK would have been captured long before Tunisia.


                      Originally posted by deterrumeversor View Post
                      Yes, who moved right up to the pre-winter war boundry, set up defenses and went no further?? And who turned on the Germans in the fall of 1944 after being beaten in a 3 month campaign by the Soviets.
                      Moral? chose your friends carefully........anyway the Soviets still had to fight the Finns.



                      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 think you will find 'they' were defending German intersts (eg oil) first and foremost.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by ljadw View Post
                        Maybe,those who are claiming that the Heer was better,could also explain why it was defeated ?
                        Hey look, I can roll my eyes too!!!

                        Also answered in my post!

                        Originally Posted by deterrumeversor
                        The German Army was out manned, out gunned, and their industry was out produced....They were beaten yes, by sheer numbers, yes...

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Roadkiller View Post
                          I have not studied the topic of the Heer's proficiency in any depth so I am reserving my vote until I can clear up a few things.

                          Can someone name the last "major" battle won by the Heer? (I know the definition of "major" will be a problem)

                          Certainly tactically they seemed to have an edge early on. However, I have read accounts that later in the war Commonwealth troops were able to anticipate German moves due to a certain amount of doctrinal inflexibility. There is an allied advance, they set up for the "inevitable" German counterattack, repulse it and advance against a now disorganized German resistance. Simplified but certainly presented in my reading. Is it true?

                          Operationally the Heer seemed quite strong throughout the war. Able to put troops and resources where they felt they needed them to achieve goals at about the divisional/army level?

                          Strategically I think they were hopeless. Some of that can be laid at the political leadership, but the General Staff must take the blame for faulty logistics planning, flawed intelligence analysis (or did they simply not seek it?), and the assumption that tactical and operational success would translate into strategic victory (although that seemed to work early on: Battle of France for example?).
                          The battles won thing is a tough one offensive or defensive? Technically the Heer won a few defensive battles after Stalingrad but weren't able to capitalize on them.

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                          • #43
                            Also answered in my post!


                            Quote:
                            Originally Posted by deterrumeversor
                            The German Army was out manned, out gunned, and their industry was out produced....They were beaten yes, by sheer numbers, yes...
                            "Quantity has a quality all its own"...
                            There are no Nazis in Ukraine. Idiots

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by m kenny View Post
                              The bulk of Rommel's army was Italian. He depended entirely upon the Italians and contrary to your opinion his Italian soldiers aquitted themselves quite well.
                              You are quite right about both these points.
                              It was, and he did say that; but then he was their leadership wasn't he. Kind of helps make my point about them not being well led doesn't it. Have you looked at how the Italians did in the desert prior to Rommels arrival?
                              Had things been different and they (meaning all the Axis lesser Power's armed forces) been led by competent leaders, and had higher morale; they would have been a much greater asset, but they were not and therefore....

                              Cheers,
                              Deter

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                              • #45
                                Had things been different and they (meaning all the Axis lesser Power's armed forces) been led by competent leaders, and had higher morale; they would have been a much greater asset, but they were not and therefore....
                                ... the Germans managed with what they had, exactly like all the other nations.

                                Surely in some people's wet dreams they had to get all the possible advantages, but surprisingly enough, they didn't get them. What a terrible injustice for guys wearing such cool uniforms, killing inferior peoples with such efficience and staying loyal to their maniacal government to the bitter end!
                                www.histours.ru

                                Siege of Leningrad battlefield tour

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