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What is the most overlooked, undervalued, underestimated aspect of WWII?

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  • Originally posted by lodestar View Post
    Okay.
    Here's the part that is just about the historical topic(s) under discussion:

    "There are still plenty if issues we can explore.

    As an example, Purist’s exploration of French inaction in Sept 1939 and the reasons (valid or not?) for it in Post#129 is excellent material for discussion.
    My father remembers clearly the period of the dreaded ‘Affiches Blanches’ the call-up posters and the great fear the army would have to go through 14-18 again.
    I needs to be remembered just how desperate the Western powers (especially the French who had suffered the most) were to avoid a repeat of ‘the trenches’. Appeasement is much condemned now but at the time it was a widely supported and perfectly understandable approach.
    I’ll open a thread shortly on my on-going ‘Road to War’ series to discuss this further.

    Other topics we can explore regarding this thread are, for example:
    from Post # 113:
    . "Italian midget submarine warfare. A world leader and in way ahead of it's time. If the rest of Italy's war effort had been as on the ball as this we'd all be eating herrings and smoked cod (or whatever it is Italians eat)!"

    Post # 81. "Whatever the faults, tyrannical oppression and at times near insanities of pre-war Stalinist rule, it was cancelled out by Hitler's insane racial doctrine and his attempt to implement it with Barbarossa.
    The Nazi's just being themselves was all the guarantee needed to ensure they'd lose the war."

    Post # 61: "Campaigns: Japan's war in China and the impact of having so many divisions tied down there on prosecution of war elsewhere.

    Decision: Uhhh it's the deluxe hindsight/armchair general question. Let's cheat and say; variety of decisions that led to the historical size of British forces in France in 1940.
    Weapon: Trucks / US-UK radio-artillery infrastructure

    Post # 60:
    "The Soviets had female COMBAT pilots

    Not to take anything away from the great courage and daring of Western female pilots who served so bravely ...but...the Soviets had female COMBAT pilots .

    The really are unsung. At least in the West."

    Post # 28: "If the Germans were smart, they would have tried to make allies of the Russians and Ukrainians they conquered, many of which had no love for the communist government and Stalin. But the Nazis contempt and treatment of the native peoples turned most of them to support the devil they knew. But even with the Nazis contempt of the Slavic people, they still managed to find Ukranians to fight against the Soviets, so great was their hatred against the Communist."

    Plenty more I’m sure.

    Fair enough? I'm just interested in developing further ideas and expanding existing ones.

    Regards
    lodestar
    I don't think you can fairly quote figures of casualties of one particular country as more deserving, when thousands were mindlessly slaughtered on both sides. I do not expect the Germans wanted a return to trench warfare either. lcm1
    'By Horse by Tram'.


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

    Comment


    • The Freanch and the approach to another war

      Originally posted by lcm1 View Post
      I don't think you can fairly quote figures of casualties of one particular country as more deserving, when thousands were mindlessly slaughtered on both sides. I do not expect the Germans wanted a return to trench warfare either. lcm1
      No of course they didn't want a return to trench warfare either, which is why they developed the 'Blitzkrieg' doctrine (and yes guys I know it wasn't the term they used at the time and is essentially a phrase coined by an American journalist) to avoid a repeat of the 1914-18 experience.
      The French hoped to avoid it ( a return to attrition trench warfare) by essentially building an 'impregnable' 'super-trench' the Maginot line, at least on the Franco-German main border.

      I didn't say or imply that French losses were more 'deserving' just that they had (out of the Western powers) suffered the most.
      Not just in overall losses but per capita.
      In addition the war was mostly fought on their soil which suffered attendant 'collateral damage' and was fought mainly by 'their' army (and yes, yes, the UK and Empire and Italians and Belgians and US were all there as well and suffered as well).

      That's the main why the desire to avoid another war ran so deep and why the 'Maginot mentality' held sway and why appeasement is perfectly understandable (however misguided it was) as an attempt to avoid it.

      With greatest respect lcm1, 'the Brits', as my dad (and no doubt many other 'continental' Europeans) used to say, need occasionally to be reminded that they did not do most of the fighting or suffer anything like most allied losses in either world war.

      Could that issue be considered another (dare I say) overlooked, undervalued aspects of WWII?

      Regards
      lodestar

      Comment


      • Taken overall, losses on the Allied side in WW2, military and civilian combined, hugely outnumbered those on the Axis side.
        The highest losses of all were suffered by the Soviet Union and China.

        Reasonable estimates for the Soviet Union seem to be somewhat over 20 million, possibly around 22 million.
        The figures for China appear to start from at least about 12 million.

        The totals for both Britain and the USA are roughly in the neighbourhood of half-a-million each. Of course as we know, neither nation had to fight land campaigns on their home soil.

        On the Axis side, the Germans seem to have lost about 8 million.
        Japan's figures are somewhere around 3 million plus.

        It's no surprise that the two countries with the largest populations, both of which had to fight for years on their home soil, would suffer the greatest human losses.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties
        "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!)

        Comment


        • Originally posted by lodestar View Post
          No of course they didn't want a return to trench warfare either, which is why they developed the 'Blitzkrieg' doctrine (and yes guys I know it wasn't the term they used at the time and is essentially a phrase coined by an American journalist) to avoid a repeat of the 1914-18 experience.
          The French hoped to avoid it ( a return to attrition trench warfare) by essentially building an 'impregnable' 'super-trench' the Maginot line, at least on the Franco-German main border.

          I didn't say or imply that French losses were more 'deserving' just that they had (out of the Western powers) suffered the most.
          Not just in overall losses but per capita.
          In addition the war was mostly fought on their soil which suffered attendant 'collateral damage' and was fought mainly by 'their' army (and yes, yes, the UK and Empire and Italians and Belgians and US were all there as well and suffered as well).

          That's the main why the desire to avoid another war ran so deep and why the 'Maginot mentality' held sway and why appeasement is perfectly understandable (however misguided it was) as an attempt to avoid it.

          With greatest respect lcm1, 'the Brits', as my dad (and no doubt many other 'continental' Europeans) used to say, need occasionally to be reminded that they did not do most of the fighting or suffer anything like most allied losses in either world war.

          Could that issue be considered another (dare I say) overlooked, undervalued aspects of WWII?

          Regards
          lodestar
          I did not think that I had given the impression that I thought we had ( the Brits ) did more in either war than anyone else. I must say though, that we ('The Brits' ) did get a 'little' riled with the American attitude ' We are here now, to win this War for you'. We were a tired country that had lived through nearly three depressing and killing years and were finding it a little difficult to laugh off. It's a long time ago now I know, but some smells hang around. lcm1
          Last edited by lcm1; 26 Feb 17, 01:08.
          'By Horse by Tram'.


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

          Comment


          • Originally posted by lcm1 View Post
            I did not think that I had given the impression that I thought we had ( the Brits ) did more in either war than anyone else. I must say though, that we ('The Brits' ) did get a 'little' riled with the American attitude ' We are here now, to win this War for you'. We were a tired country that had lived through nearly three depressing and killing years and were finding it a little difficult to laugh off. It's a long time ago now I know, but some smells hang around. lcm1
            As in, "They are overfed, overpaid, over-sexed and over here?"
            Will no one tell me what she sings?--
            Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
            For old, unhappy, far-off things,
            And battles long ago:
            -William Wordsworth, "The Solitary Reaper"

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Desiree Clary View Post
              As in, "They are overfed, overpaid, over-sexed and over here?"
              Wellll, that was said by some but I was too well brung up to even fink such fings!!
              'By Horse by Tram'.


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

              Comment


              • lucy Spy ring

                Originally posted by lodestar View Post
                What is the most overlooked, undervalued, underestimated aspect of WWII?

                I’m developing this as a companion and contrast piece to my earlier thread-starter:
                What are WWII’s most over-used and overwrought clichés?
                Intelligence war: . Once again no contest, Lucy Spy ring (sorry Enigma and Ultra fan boys).
                The Lucy Spy ring has to be one of the most undervalued contributions to victory.
                Cripes, will the whole story of this, still in many ways mysterious network / operation / organization (should we even call it that?) /phenomenon ever be fully told?

                Surely a greatly underrated aspect of the war.

                The most important, influential intelligence/spying coup of all-time?

                The Soviets (and now Russians) just had brilliant performances in this field over the years.
                Lucy, getting the A-bomb, Philby Burgess, Maclean, Blunt and Cairncross, moles in the CIA, compromised US presidency.

                Intelligence triumphs like Lucy were crucial in WWII but as one historian pointed out in the end the Soviet spy-services coud do nothing to save communism.

                Fascinating stuff.

                Regards
                lodestar

                Comment


                • What I think has always been overlooked is why German factories were able to go on churning out planes/tanks/guns/ammo etc throughout the entire war?
                  Why didn't the allies simply bomb them to rubble?

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Poor Old Spike View Post
                    What I think has always been overlooked is why German factories were able to go on churning out planes/tanks/guns/ammo etc throughout the entire war?
                    Why didn't the allies simply bomb them to rubble?
                    DUH!!!! They tried pretty hard to do just that duh.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                      Logistics. .
                      First reply takes the prize!

                      Originally posted by Poor Old Spike View Post
                      What I think has always been overlooked is why German factories were able to go on churning out planes/tanks/guns/ammo etc throughout the entire war?
                      Why didn't the allies simply bomb them to rubble?
                      Our chaps flew over with bombs you see, but their chaps came up to meet us with fighters -
                      Terribly unsporting!

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Poor Old Spike View Post
                        What I think has always been overlooked is why German factories were able to go on churning out planes/tanks/guns/ammo etc throughout the entire war?
                        Why didn't the allies simply bomb them to rubble?
                        To add to what HPJ said, Britain and the USA, combined, put a heck of a lot of effort into a very comprehensive bombing program.

                        As you would no doubt be aware, German industrial centres were often the main target; closely followed by other assets such as infrastructure, communications and housing capacity for industrial workers.
                        With the benefit of hindsight, it's possible to think of ways in which the bomber forces might have been more effectively employed on at least some occasions.
                        Nevertheless, after considerable reading (including works by the likes of Richard Overy), I have come to believe that the Allied bombing campaign was quite effective and did impact heavily on the Axis war effort.

                        Arguments to the effect that the basic resources - and especially the human resources - might have been better used will, however, most likely continue to be heard.
                        It can be a controversial topic.
                        "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!)

                        Comment


                        • And Axis transport system... Railways and all...
                          "Keep Calm. Use Less X's"

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by panther3485 View Post
                            Nevertheless, after considerable reading (including works by the likes of Richard Overy), I have come to believe that the Allied bombing campaign was quite effective and did impact heavily on the Axis war effort.
                            Overy (either in The Air War or The Bombers and the Bombed)remarks that pieces of heavy machinery are hard things to blow up.
                            Will no one tell me what she sings?--
                            Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
                            For old, unhappy, far-off things,
                            And battles long ago:
                            -William Wordsworth, "The Solitary Reaper"

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Poor Old Spike View Post
                              What I think has always been overlooked is why German factories were able to go on churning out planes/tanks/guns/ammo etc throughout the entire war?
                              Why didn't the allies simply bomb them to rubble?
                              Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
                              DUH!!!! They tried pretty hard to do just that duh.
                              Yeah and failed miserably!
                              Care to explain to us why jerry was still able to produce almost 8,000 tanks in 1944 despite having been bombed continually for 4 years?

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Poor Old Spike View Post
                                Yeah and failed miserably!
                                Care to explain to us why jerry was still able to produce almost 8,000 tanks in 1944 despite having been bombed continually for 4 years?
                                Because of two primary reasons:

                                1. They probably could have produced far more without bombing.

                                and

                                2. Speer released most of Germany's strategic reserves of materials in early 1944 to massively boost production. This would mean that by 1946 German production would have crashed, and crashed badly, due to lack of raw materials. Put another way, Germany couldn't sustain those production levels for more than about 2 years before they ran out of "stuff" to make things with.

                                Comment

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