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

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

    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?
    It behoves me to do so …....ergo it is done.
    It would amuse me to do so ……ergo it is done
    As it has been said by lodestar. Let it be as lodestar has said.

    Everyone okay with that?
    Thought so.

    If push came to shove there’s not a man or woman on this Forum or any other who would even contemplate defying my will.
    The path to enlightenment is always ‘the way of lodestar.
    Blah, blah blah …God I’ve become a self-parodying, repetitive bore.
    Sorry about that. It happens to best of us.
    Guess that’s why happened to me.

    But enough of prologue.

    Seriously what I’m interested in is what posters consider the wars most undervalued, little-known/publicised and or unappreciated aspect of WWII.
    By ‘aspect’ I’d like people to put forward their ideas for categories such as: campaigns, weapons, personalities, developments, social and national movements, strategies, units etc.

    My top picks in some categories:
    Campaigns: . US Submarine war against Japan’s Merchant Fleet and her Empire’s shipping lanes.
    What the U-boats failed to achieve in the Atlantic, the US ‘Silent Service achieved and then some in the Pacific. Crippling Japan’s capacity to supply it's Pacific garrisons and effectively destroying its merchant Navy.
    . Orde Wingate’s controversial Chindit ‘behind the lines’ operations in Burma.
    . Tito’s brilliant and eventually triumphant Partisan war against the Axis occupying forces (in terms of Axis divisions eventually engaged it dwarfed for example, the North African campaign).

    Developments: . Usung advances in medicine, science and technology

    Historical movements: . The basic advancement of liberal ideals and subsequent decline in overt racism, anti-Semitism and straight up, moron-level ‘My Country Right or Wrong’ nationalistic pride.
    . Spread of Communism for several decades after the war.

    Decision: No contest. The most crucial ‘allied’ side decision made in WWII was made by Stalin (his army actually WAS fighting in 1941-43 not planning on and deciding what to do) to simply stay in Moscow come what may in mid-October 1941 as the panzers crept closer.

    Weapon: . V2 Long-Range guided ballistic missile (please don’t tell me the allies were ‘developing’ something similar like that nit-picking argument recently about WWII jets)

    Military unit: .Tito’s Partisans (again), defenders of Leningrad, Brandenburgers, German attack force that took Fort Eben-Emael

    Intelligence war: . Once again no contest, Lucy Spy ring (sorry Enigma and Ultra fan boys).

    Personality: . Tito (again - hey I see a lodestar thematic developing here, this is good stuff)

    Get the idea?

    Anyway, I’m sure posters will have their own suggestions and even extra categories (pigeon-hole) they may want to share.
    However please, nothing which you think can’t be pigeon-holed. I detest pretensions of individuality.

    Please keep in mind I’m looking for the: unsung, the undervalued, the under-recognised and the overlooked etc - no picking something completely mainstream and trying to pretend it has been much underestimated. (I came close with the V2 choice but hey, it’s my thread so I get some leeway).

    Looking forward to your input.

    Regards lodestar

  • #2
    Logistics. Patton's drive east, for example, was impossible without the enormous effort of the Redball Express.
    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
      Logistics. Patton's drive east, for example, was impossible without the enormous effort of the Redball Express.
      Please MM, don't encourage him, lcm1
      'By Horse by Tram'.


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

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      • #4
        Sgt. Rock Comic books.

        Without WW2 they would never have been written.
        Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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        • #5
          1. The failure of Britain, and especially France to immediately attack Germany after Hitler seized Poland. What is the sense of declaring war and then sitting around for months and months so you could organize properly and bring all your forces to bear in a set piece attack leaving nothing to chance. Two thirds of Germany's forces were deployed in Poland after the fall of Poland. This was the time for action by the French and British.

          2. The Soviet Red Army's will to persevere no matter what happened 22 June 1941-November 1941. They were a determined bunch totally underestimated by Hitler and his General Staff and their intelligence department.

          3. United States listening to Churchill's "soft underbelly" theory of defeating Germany in Africa and by creeping up Italy at a snails pace instead of an invasion in NW Europe 1 year earlier.

          Regards,Kurt
          Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

          Comment


          • #6
            Sulfa drugs, penicillin, and tetanus vaccines.

            All were invented before the war, but for the first time the pharmaceutical companies were included in wartime production planning and resource allocation to ensure that there was sufficient supply for military and civilian requirements.

            Disease had been one of the top causes of peacetime and wartime death and debilitation since the beginning of recorded history. That ended in WWII everywhere that could be reached by medical supplies.

            Comment


            • #7
              The impact on civilians and the contributions and sacrifices everyone had to make. The forces of the Allied forces were for the most part civilian draftees, the working force was likewise dedicated to supplying the needs of an incredibly demanding war machine.
              In 1940 the total number of US forces was 458,365, by 1945 that number had grown to 12,209,238.
              38.8% were volunteers 61.2% were draftees.
              The total population of the US was 138 million.
              9% of our population were in uniform.
              Today we have a population of 380 million, 0.5% serve.
              Rationing of everyday needs, food, clothing, gasoline. The support in the way of high taxes to pay for the war, and yet more money raised by voluntarily purchased war bonds.
              I can not imagine the outrage that would arise today in such a situation.
              We will never witness such a sacrifice by the general public again.
              Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
              Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Urban hermit View Post
                . .
                We will never witness such a sacrifice by the general public again.
                And that's exactly what i want for my children and why 400 000 of yours died during WW2.
                For not seeing it again.
                That rug really tied the room together

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                • #9
                  The 69 percent of production workers covered by collective bargaining agreements in the U.S.

                  The story of how the war effected unions is extremely complex but there in no doubt that a new spirit of cooperation emerged. This new spirit of cooperation however could be argued to have actually weakened the unions and set the stage for increased corruption.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Surely the one salient aspect of World War II that nowadays is overlooked the outcome.
                    Right DiD triumph.The forces of totalitarianism WERE defeated.The evils of Concentration Camp and mass murder WERE averted. History by-and-large DID move into Churchill's "broad,sunlit uplands".
                    One can,of course,argue that we've seen troubles aplenty since and the fruits of victory have been largely squandered,but imagine the world now if the Axis had triumphed.
                    "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
                    Samuel Johnson.

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                    • #11
                      China. Front size and human losses were equivalent to East Front.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The disarming of the German Magnetic mine and the resulting countermeasures of degaussing and sweeping with electrical leads.
                        O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy. And the Lord did grin. And the people did feast upon the lambs, sloths, carp, anchovies, orangutans, breakfast cereals, fruit bats

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                        • #13
                          Woman in the work force in large numbers. The Home front during peace hasn't been he same since. The full integration of American Forces.
                          "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                          Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                          you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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                          • #14
                            One of the most overlooked, undervalued, underestimated aspect of WWII is that the war was basically over by 1943, won by the allied powers. The last two years was just a mopping up operation. Planners of war-production were already adjusting production towards peace-time needs, like accepting a certain in-effeciency in tank production in order to secure the necessary post-war production facilities, but not ending up with too many tanks on their hands.

                            Another is that the "victory" of British strategy at the Casablance conference was not brought on by clever British manouvering or a change in US views. It was brought on by the fact that the US economy could not support an attack on Western Europe earlier than the summer of 1944. So just pull out the chapters on Casablanca in 99% of your books

                            Someone said logistics - I'd say economy.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by cbo View Post

                              Another is that the "victory" of British strategy at the Casablance conference was not brought on by clever British manouvering or a change in US views. It was brought on by the fact that the US economy could not support an attack on Western Europe earlier than the summer of 1944. So just pull out the chapters on Casablanca in 99% of your books

                              Someone said logistics - I'd say economy.
                              Do you think that they could have opened a second front 1 year earlier instead of launching operation Torch and then the subsequent operations in Sicily and Italy?..I think Montgomery pretty much had things wrapped up in NA.
                              Maybe the intervention of the U.S. helped sped things up but eventually DAK was going to be defeated. Why Italy?...Yes the operations there successfully attained Italy's capitulation and Mussolini's departure and then drew many German divisions down there but I am still thinking NWE in 1943 and a faster opening up of 2 fronts on either side of Germany.

                              Stalin was certainly of the same opinion:

                              http://ww2history.com/key_moments/Ea...alin_in_Moscow

                              Regards,Kurt
                              Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

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