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

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  • In terms of flak, the Luftwaffe got priority on shell production over the Wehrmacht. This was to an extent that the Wehrmacht suffered from a severe shortage of artillery rounds. There were flak barrages that would fire off 20 to 40,000 rounds in a matter of less than an hour against bomber raids.
    The Luftwaffe's demand for radar, radios, and other electronics left the Wehrmacht short of such equipment for their use in ground units as well.

    Then there were desperation measures like the Wilde Sau single seat night fighters. The pilot attrition rate approached 50%. The Luftwaffe might as well of just taken the pilots out and shot them as to put them in a plane and expected them to attack bombers at night.

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    • Originally posted by Javaman View Post
      Is this accurate for the Soviet Far East June 1941? http://www.niehorster.org/012_ussr/4...ast-front.html

      I don't think this include the Trans-Baikal forces.
      This link (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kantokuen) contains a good amount of information about the Soviet Far East forces and the danger they faced from Japan.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Poor Old Spike View Post
        Yes, perhaps the Allies were hitting the wrong targets, I dunno.
        For example tanks and planes can't operate without fuel, and it was pouring into Germany so I wonder why the Allies didn't simply cut the fuel supply line somewhere along its length between the middle east and the refineries etc?
        (My bold)
        I don't think it was quite as simple as one supply line that could effectively be attacked and therefore, cut Germany's flow of oil.
        Also, I think the idea of it coming from the Middle East is, at the least, flawed.
        This being said, the Western Allies did have an "oil campaign".
        The RAF and USAAF had oil related targets on their bombing list but the assigned level of priority varied from time to time.
        For example, by the last couple of years of the war the Romanian oil fields at Ploesti, alone, seem to have been supplying about 30 percent of the Nazi's oil needs.
        Some interesting stuff here:

        https://www.warhistoryonline.com/wor...duction-x.html

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_ca...f_World_War_II

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0f47_6ciR_g

        http://www.roconsulboston.com/Pages/...y/Ploesti.html

        Last edited by panther3485; 08 Feb 18, 02:16.
        "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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        • The Allies had an oil plan as early as 1940 when Operation Pike was established to bomb the Soviet oil facilities at Baku cutting off supplies to Germany. It got as far as two RAF photo recce aircraft flying over Baku and airfields being planned in Northern Iraq and Cyprus. It was called off for practical and political reasons.

          Germany did not put all its eggs in one basket as far as transporting oil was concerned and a number of different routes and means of transport were used. Oil storage was dispersed with lots of small well concealed tanks and bunkers. It wasn't until Allied fighter bombers could range over Germany that her oil assets could really effectively be destroyed.
          Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
          Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

          Comment


          • Originally posted by RichardS View Post
            I think, he does??, that one frequently over looked aspect of the bombing campaign was the resources the Germans had to pour into the defense against the bombers. Just think of all the fighters, AA guns and support equipment and personnel that could be employed elsewhere, but had to defend the Reich against air bombing. I wonder if anybody did a systematic study of how much was put into the defense of the Reich?
            (Image of ugly airplane removed )

            Overy is the closest, I think: https://www.amazon.com/Bombers-Bombe.../dp/0670025151
            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 RichardS View Post
              I think, he does??, that one frequently over looked aspect of the bombing campaign was the resources the Germans had to pour into the defense against the bombers. Just think of all the fighters, AA guns and support equipment and personnel that could be employed elsewhere, but had to defend the Reich against air bombing. I wonder if anybody did a systematic study of how much was put into the defense of the Reich?
              If one looks at the German Admiralty archives in many meetings the reason that Hitler gives for not allocating more labour and steel to the U boat building programme is that it is needed to produce weapons to defend German cities.
              Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
              Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

              Comment


              • Originally posted by RichardS View Post
                I think, he does??, that one frequently over looked aspect of the bombing campaign was the resources the Germans had to pour into the defense against the bombers. Just think of all the fighters, AA guns and support equipment and personnel that could be employed elsewhere, but had to defend the Reich against air bombing. I wonder if anybody did a systematic study of how much was put into the defense of the Reich?

                I thought the US Strategic Bombing Survey ETO did that to a large degree.
                http://www.anesi.com/ussbs02.htm
                "Amateurs study tactics; professionals study logistics"
                -Omar Bradley
                "Not everyone who studies logistics is a professional logistician, and there is no way to understand when you don't know what you don't know."
                -Anonymous US Army logistician

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Javaman View Post
                  I thought the US Strategic Bombing Survey ETO did that to a large degree.
                  http://www.anesi.com/ussbs02.htm
                  Hitler started shorting the U boat programmer after the 1000 bomber raid by the RAF
                  Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                  Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

                  Comment


                  • Regardless, U-boat construction was greatly effected by bombing.

                    http://ww2live.com/en/content/world-...ressive-images

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                    • Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                      Regardless, U-boat construction was greatly effected by bombing.

                      http://ww2live.com/en/content/world-...ressive-images
                      But some time later about 1944
                      Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                      Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by RichardS View Post
                        I think, he does??, that one frequently over looked aspect of the bombing campaign was the resources the Germans had to pour into the defense against the bombers. ...

                        I read that some several thousand 88mm guns had to be relocated from the Eastern Front to Germany. That had to effect the Soviet offences in 1944.

                        Comment


                        • To add to the discussion of why German war
                          production peaked in Fall '44 (I think):

                          IIRC, Germany did not go to a full war footing
                          until relatively late. They kept up civilian
                          production for far longer than the Allies.

                          I would be interested if anyone has charts of
                          War production as % of GDP for major nations
                          in WW2 by year.

                          This is something I vaguely remember reading,
                          so please correct if this is wrong.
                          "The good old hockey game is the best game you can name
                          and the best game you can name is the good old hockey game"

                          - Stompin' Tom Connors - The Hockey Song

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by McMax View Post
                            I read that some several thousand 88mm guns had to be relocated from the Eastern Front to Germany. That had to effect the Soviet offences in 1944.
                            Yes, plus the deployment of considerable Luftwaffe resources to protect the Reich.
                            "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
                            Samuel Johnson.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by HMan View Post
                              To add to the discussion of why German war
                              production peaked in Fall '44 (I think):

                              IIRC, Germany did not go to a full war footing
                              until relatively late. They kept up civilian
                              production for far longer than the Allies.
                              Tooze disputes this. The German factories were working full blast, but were short of raw materials and coal IIRC
                              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
                                Tooze disputes this. The German factories were working full blast, but were short of raw materials and coal IIRC
                                This is part of it. Up to the beginning of 1944 when Speer released all the strategic reserves, many factories were limited by the raw materials they were receiving. In some cases, artificial scarcity existed due to things like monopolies or patents. For example, Krupp controlled all tungsten carbide production in Germany. They had a monopoly and refused to give it up. The government didn't intervene and break it up either. So, no company was going to design products that used tungsten carbide other than Krupp. They got used to not having TC machine tools, doing everything with high speed steel instead.
                                It wouldn't have mattered if Germany had more tungsten raw material either, as Krupp would have controlled the production and distribution to their advantage regardless.

                                Then you have the Meister system in place. Many German industries failed to move towards higher efficiency production means until well into to the war. Instead, there was lots of hand work and hand fitting of parts in virtually all parts of German industry.

                                The MG 42 and Sturmgewher are two examples of how Germany later tried to increase productivity by design. Both used more stamping parts than previous small arms. This meant a low skill worker using a die and hydraulic press could stamp out parts quickly and reliably without much training.

                                The Meister system of skilled journeyman workers doing hand work in the aircraft industry resulted in a German airplane consuming about double to triple the aluminum to be manufactured that one in the US did. Sure, most of that waste was scrap aluminum that was recycled, but recycling takes time and energy. Eliminating the waste would have meant more planes for a given amount of raw material.

                                So, you have some pretty gross and inefficient methods of manufacturing going on, and a shortage of raw materials both due to lack of supply and artificial bottlenecks created by German industry itself. They combined to reduce German production significantly.

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