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What are WWII’s most overrated, overemphasised and exaggerated in importance aspects?

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  • What are WWII’s most overrated, overemphasised and exaggerated in importance aspects?

    What are WWII’s most overrated, over-emphasized and exaggerated in importance aspects?

    As you may have deduced this a companion and contrast piece to my earlier thread-starters:
    . What are WWII’s most over-used and overwrought clichés?
    . What is the most overlooked undervalued underestimated aspect of WWII?

    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.

    Neato right?

    I’m interested in what campaigns, weapons (or even weapons ‘systems’), leaders, theatres, ‘arms’ of the military, tactical and operational level facets of the military art etc. posters think may have been somewhat or even vastly ‘over-hyped’.

    There are of course a large number of ‘aspects’ to choose from.
    I’ll kick things off with a few suggestions.
    Some are off the cuff with no comments and some with intro passages from previous threads I‘ve worked on over the 14 years I been on the Forum:

    . The whole NW European / Italian Campaign 1944 - 45
    The most obvious example I guess.
    One historian summed it up along these lines:
    “The underlying implication is that it was crucial in winning the war rather it was a large scale albeit difficult mopping up operation”
    Okay, okay the guy was obviously being deliberately provocative but in overall terms does he have good point?

    . The Mediterranean/North African Campaign
    From an earlier lodestar thread-starter:

    In addition Hitler and the high command were nearly totally focused on the developing massive showdown at Stalingrad and were not going to ever give the Med/NA theatre anything other than sideshow status."
    In comparison to the German deployment in the USSR, Rommel's force has been described as peppercorn or miniscule.
    Or as the great British historian Barrie Pitt put it in [British] 'Military History' magazine May 1984 edt:

    This was where the real land war was to be fought - Russia - between army groups consisting of millions of men. In the secondary, Mediterranean theatre, what were to the British campaigns of honour, enterprise and desperate gallantry such as the Siege of Tobruk, the Greek Campaign and the Battle for Crete - were to their opponents little more than trifling nuisances.

    On the other hand the Brits had no other land combat commitments against the Germans and Italians at that stage. They had been fighting in the desert for two years and desperately needed to wrap up the issue and restore morale and prestige. Hence, the huge influx of material and supplies and fighting men to the NA front.

    I doubt there was ever going to be much the Axis could have done to reverse the overall situation in the theatre by then and I don't adhere for a moment to the idea postulated by some writers that the British army needed Monty’s 'magic' to become ‘winning force’, or would have been beaten by the makeshift, depleted, exhausted force Rommel commanded”

    . The U-Boat ‘menace
    I posted the following on my earlier post 'Which World War did Germany have most chance of winning?' under the sub heading of naval matters in WWI &WWII:

    Naval WWII:
    Germany faced impossible odds in the World War Two naval war from day one but only recently have historians like Clay Blair for example, in his benchmark opus ‘Hitler’s U-Boat War Vol.1 & 2’ shown that the old conventional wisdom of Germany’s submarines ‘almost winning the Battle of the Atlantic’ is virtually a total myth with vast majority of convoys getting through not only unmolested but undetected by the subs!
    There was certainly a WWII U-boat ‘nuisance’ and much tonnage was taken out by them in six years and enormous ‘hype’ expended by the allied propaganda machine on the menace they posed.

    In overall terms however, they had no chance to overcome the massive naval superiority, ship-building capacity, Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) aircraft and vast advantage in global network of bases, established sea-lanes, naval training infrastructure and naval warfare experience the Anglo-allied maritime powers enjoyed.”

    . Strategic Bombing Campaign

    . Special Forces’ (Commandos, Raiders, OSS, SOE etc.)

    . Airborne forces in general
    From an earlier thread-starter of mine regarding ‘Airborne units.... a wasteful extravagance?’

    Charles MacDonald (former deputy chief historian of the US Army) wrote the definitive work on WWII airborne operations nearly forty years ago in ‘Airborne to Battle’ as part of the Purnell’s History of the 2nd World War weapons book series.
    After an exhaustive analysis of major and minor Axis and allied airborne operations and developments in WWII, he sums up the basic problem with the whole airborne concept in his final chapter ‘Wither the Airborne’ in the following manner:

    The conclusion is inescapable that airborne forces as employed in the 2nd World War were a luxury - spectacular, impressive, and often highly useful, as many a luxury can be but a luxury no the less.

    The expense of training specialized, airborne troops, the diversion of resources from other programs, the leadership denied regular units by the diversion of highly qualified and motivated men into elite units and the cost of providing special equipment such as planes, gliders, parachutes - all those would have to be weighed against the results

    . German Secret weapons
    From my earlier thread-starter:Realistically, what WWII German secret/advanced weapons programme had the best chance of being a game-changer?’

    I’d like to open a discussion on aspects of the old standard of German World War II secret weapons development and whether it realistically had the potential to be a game-changer in the outcome of WWII in Europe?

    Realistically, of course being the key word.

    Much drivel has been written about the Nazis ‘being close to having the A-bomb’ or how ‘if only’….they had deployed the ME 262 earlier and in larger numbers, or stuck a nerve gas warhead onto a V2 etc,
    Generally the stuff of fantasists, fanatics and fanboys,

    However, the Germans had some excellent potential developments in the wings and all sorts of avenues were being explored by war’s end.

    However …….. there were enormous problems in terms of resource allocation, production, transportation, training of weapons users, administration and organisational structures bureaucratic inertia, deployment and maintenance ec etc.

    And above all would Hitler okay something or not and would it help against the Soviets (the actual ‘war’ that mattered most crucially in overall terms).

    . Montgomery and of course his nemesis Patton

    . US mass production
    It absolutely ensured that when the Western allies actually (finally) and seriously engaged the Germans army they nearly always did so at massive materiel advantage.
    However, of course most of the German Army was err….ummmm…… otherwise engaged.

    Anyway I’m sure you folks get the idea.

    What do posters think?
    What are the most overrated, overemphasised and exaggerated in importance aspects of WWII?

    Regards lodestar

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