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

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  • Lucy Spy Ring?

    Still can only post from the Local Library for now. Due to connection problems from my pC to this Site.

    I reiterate post #142 as an example of something critical and much overlooked:
    "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


    • Originally posted by Canuckster View Post
      Caen, Stalingrad and Ortona also come to mind as places where the rubble was used to make pretty good defensive positions.

      Instead of trying to bomb/shell the place into oblivion before going in, what would have been a better course of action?
      There was no alternative, when I think of Caen I think of a nightmare. The rubble was used by Snipers the buildings that were still standing were used as forts and every cellar, room and attic had to be searched and cleared, Continuous violence with your own life on a shoe string. lcm1
      'By Horse by Tram'.


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

      Comment


      • Originally posted by lcm1 View Post
        There was no alternative,
        That's what I thought might be the case. A tough nut to crack no matter how it was approached.

        when I think of Caen I think of a nightmare. The rubble was used by Snipers the buildings that were still standing were used as forts and every cellar, room and attic had to be searched and cleared, Continuous violence with your own life on a shoe string. lcm1
        I may have been mistaken earlier in this thread about the level of bombing/shelling Ortona took beforehand. Lots of the rubble may have been created by the Germans themselves, blowing up buildings to create strategic kill zones. Germans probably learnt their lessons the hard way on how to defend urban centres from the Russians at Stalingrad.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Canuckster View Post
          That's what I thought might be the case. A tough nut to crack no matter how it was approached.



          I may have been mistaken earlier in this thread about the level of bombing/shelling Ortona took beforehand. Lots of the rubble may have been created by the Germans themselves, blowing up buildings to create strategic kill zones. Germans probably learnt their lessons the hard way on how to defend urban centres from the Russians at Stalingrad.
          Hi Cr, yes I agree with you quite likely. I don't really know, very young, lived one day at a time! Remember how grateful we were to get the order back to the beach, we were only on loan. lcm1
          'By Horse by Tram'.


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

          Comment


          • Originally posted by lcm1 View Post
            Hi Cr, yes I agree with you quite likely. I don't really know, very young, lived one day at a time! Remember how grateful we were to get the order back to the beach, we were only on loan. lcm1
            This seems to me to be a good opportunity to say that I am two thirds of the way through Cornelius Ryan's 'The longest Day' A book that I have read at least twice before and why?... Because it is about human beings on both sides of the fence. I love it! It's a Classic!! lcm1
            'By Horse by Tram'.


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

            Comment


            • Originally posted by lodestar View Post
              Still can only post from the Local Library for now. Due to connection problems from my pC to this Site.

              I reiterate post #142 as an example of something critical and much overlooked:
              "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
              Soviet//Russian secrecy makes it less than half a story... and half a story isn't going to grab anyone's attention for long.

              When will the maskirovka finally be set aside, and the actions of long-dead heroes be revealed?

              Meh.... it may be too late already. Its not like the youth of any nation on Earth is very excited about history these days.
              "Why is the Rum gone?"

              -Captain Jack

              Comment


              • Originally posted by lodestar View Post
                Still can only post from the Local Library for now. Due to connection problems from my pC to this Site.

                I reiterate post #142 as an example of something critical and much overlooked:
                "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
                This was far more important to the Soviets and Russia than it was to either winning the war, or contributing to it.

                That spies in the US got sufficient information on the A-bomb to the Soviets for them to make one (along with captured German information) postwar does nothing to win WW 2.

                Soviet spies in Britain and the US did nothing particularly valuable to contribute to WW 2 victory. They changed no outcomes of major campaigns, they contributed little to battlefield outcomes, if anything.

                But, they gave the Soviets a major technological boost postwar into the Cold War. If anything, they contributed greatly to the instability and continued post war conflict between East and West.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by lcm1 View Post
                  This seems to me to be a good opportunity to say that I am two thirds of the way through Cornelius Ryan's 'The longest Day' A book that I have read at least twice before and why?... Because it is about human beings on both sides of the fence. I love it! It's a Classic!! lcm1
                  Hi lcm, my reading is leaning more that way as well...towards memoirs and personal level type stuff now as opposed to books with big arrows on maps. Got the big picture of what happened well enough, now I want something that's got more story telling.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Canuckster View Post
                    Hi lcm, my reading is leaning more that way as well...towards memoirs and personal level type stuff now as opposed to books with big arrows on maps. Got the big picture of what happened well enough, now I want something that's got more story telling.
                    Hi Canuckster, yes, that reminds me of a remark I have just made on the Guy Gibson topic. I said about my Company's Colours Sergeant. He had spent all of his working life in the Marines, was in his fifties and due to retire when the war started so instead he stayed on provided it was not behind a desk. He and men like him must have some wonderful memories but apart from talking to his mates down the Pub, they, in the majority of cases go to the grave with them. lcm1
                    'By Horse by Tram'.


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

                    Comment


                    • The USSR should always be remembered for its heroics during WW2, including in any WW2 documentaries shown in the USA or UK. The big 3 alliance is very very important to keep in mind,

                      Last edited by Stonewall_Jack; 30 Mar 18, 16:58.
                      Long live the Lionheart! Please watch this video
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=jRDwlR4zbEM

                      Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.

                      George S Patton

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                        Or by the logic of war which would dictate that the greater the threat, the greater the incentive the other side has to counter it. The Germans could make aircraft that could catch and shoot down a Mosquito. If it's the bomber of choice for the Allies, then the Germans make more fighters capable of catching and shooting it down.
                        Since they don't need lots of large caliber cannon to do that unlike shooting down a B-17, 24, or Lancaster, they choose lighter rapid fire armaments and planes that have the speed and altitude to catch a Mosquito.
                        Being unarmed is now a liability as it makes the Mosquito an easy target.

                        Losses mount, the Mosquito can no longer make penetrations unarmed or unescorted. Back to square one. As it was, the Mosquito was an annoyance compared to the hundreds or even thousand plus heavies dumping bombs all over Germany in massed raids, so it got less attention than it otherwise would have.
                        I don't think it is just a matter of aircraft that could catch and shoot down a Mosquito.
                        With jamming of radio / radar, there is going to be confusion of
                        exactly where & the course an enemy is taking. A faster aircraft is going
                        to mean a larger volume to search, meaning faster aircraft could more
                        easily hide in clouds or otherwise evade interception.

                        Another thing is that at night, the 2 engine Mosquito is harder to identify
                        as enemy vs. 2 engine German night fighters. So there would be more
                        German friendly fire or Germans chasing Germans. 4 engine heavies
                        are easier to ID as enemy for Germans.

                        Bottom line is that I think it might have been more effective to have
                        a larger Mosquito force. Larger #s of Allied aircraft would confuse
                        German defenses, with more diversions, small groups dropping window
                        to emulate large forces, etc.

                        That assumes the pilots and navigators bottleneck is solved - perhaps
                        with different priorities?
                        "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 HMan View Post
                          I don't think it is just a matter of aircraft that could catch and shoot down a Mosquito.
                          With jamming of radio / radar, there is going to be confusion of
                          exactly where & the course an enemy is taking. A faster aircraft is going
                          to mean a larger volume to search, meaning faster aircraft could more
                          easily hide in clouds or otherwise evade interception.

                          Another thing is that at night, the 2 engine Mosquito is harder to identify
                          as enemy vs. 2 engine German night fighters. So there would be more
                          German friendly fire or Germans chasing Germans. 4 engine heavies
                          are easier to ID as enemy for Germans.

                          Bottom line is that I think it might have been more effective to have
                          a larger Mosquito force. Larger #s of Allied aircraft would confuse
                          German defenses, with more diversions, small groups dropping window
                          to emulate large forces, etc.

                          That assumes the pilots and navigators bottleneck is solved - perhaps
                          with different priorities?
                          As I've said elsewhere one of the bottlenecks was training pilots and navigators rather than building aircraft so if for example you replace Lancasters with Mosquitoes you need more pilots and navigators to drop the same tonnage of bombs. The RAF was already straining to produce enough of these as it was.
                          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 MarkV View Post
                            As I've said elsewhere one of the bottlenecks was training pilots and navigators rather than building aircraft so if for example you replace Lancasters with Mosquitoes you need more pilots and navigators to drop the same tonnage of bombs. The RAF was already straining to produce enough of these as it was.
                            The Mosquito was much more accurate, and had a much lower loss rate(actually, the lowest loss rate of all Bomber Command aircraft), so, over time, you will need less crews to achieve the same amount of productive destruction(no, this is not an oxymoron), than with a given force of Lancasters/other "heavies".

                            A rule of thumb is that "training a crewman costs more than building the aircraft".

                            If less crews are being shot down, there is less need to train (costly)replacements.

                            The "cherry on top" is that you need to build less replacement aircraft, just maintain the ones already built.

                            A Mosquito can be considered as a "force multiplier", and a very effective one at that.

                            The Mosquito ended the war with the lowest loss rate of any aircraft in RAF Bomber Command service.
                            http://www.bombercommandmuseum.ca/mosquito.html
                            Last edited by At ease; 02 Apr 18, 05:36.
                            "It's like shooting rats in a barrel."
                            "You'll be in a barrel if you don't watch out for the fighters!"

                            "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease."
                            Sergei(son of Igor) Sikorsky, 'AOPA Pilot' magazine February 2003.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by At ease View Post
                              The Mosquito was much more accurate, and had a much lower loss rate(actually, the lowest loss rate of all Bomber Command aircraft), so, over time, you will need less crews to achieve the same amount of productive destruction(no, this is not an oxymoron), than with a given force of Lancasters/other "heavies".

                              A rule of thumb is that "training a crewman costs more than building the aircraft".

                              If less crews are being shot down, there is less need to train (costly)replacements.

                              The "cherry on top" is that you need to build less replacement aircraft, just maintain the ones already built.

                              A Mosquito can be considered as a "force multiplier", and a very effective one at that.



                              http://www.bombercommandmuseum.ca/mosquito.html
                              But your investment in training has to be front loaded before you get a return
                              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 MarkV View Post
                                But your investment in training has to be front loaded before you get a return
                                You start getting returns as soon as your more accurately placed load actually destroys a valuable target i.e. a factory building or militarily valuable facility, rather than just a workers house, and as soon as a crew(now 2 only rather than 7) makes it home that would otherwise be lost via being shot down.

                                The dividends would accrue rapidly.

                                It is not a difficult concept to grasp, or so I would have thought.
                                "It's like shooting rats in a barrel."
                                "You'll be in a barrel if you don't watch out for the fighters!"

                                "Talking about airplanes is a very pleasant mental disease."
                                Sergei(son of Igor) Sikorsky, 'AOPA Pilot' magazine February 2003.

                                Comment

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