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  • Originally posted by THE TOPIC!
    The German's greatest mistake in WWII
    Beginning the conflict to begin with & then allowing Hitler to continue it for the duration of his life.

    Here endeth me opinion!


    ________________________________
    The Topic ISN'T:

    The USSR's greatest mistake in WWII

    The French's greatest mistake in WWII

    The UK's greatest mistake in WWII

    The USA's greatest mistake in WWII

    Yada, Yada, Yada... everybody else's, BUT the German's as specified by the OP, greatest mistake in WWII...


    Get to the topic & stay on it, or move along already.

    ACG Staff
    On the Plains of Hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of victory, sat down to rest-and resting... died. Adlai E. Stevenson

    ACG History Today

    BoRG

    Comment


    • Originally posted by walle View Post
      I will take what you said under consideration, thank you for your constructive criticism and contribution, iron.

      In war there can be both genocide and ethnic cleansing, history is full of it. That said, what did I write which prompted this response? Was it: war is a crime against humanity? I maintain that it is.
      Genocide is merely ethnic cleansing taken to extreme, and yes, it has happened often in history, both in war and "peace". That does not make it part of war, equivalent to war or even an expected byproduct of war. The wholesale slaughter of civilians by members of the German and Japanese military transcends even the cruelest definition of "war", which is, in my understanding, what happens when armies meet. It's one thing to kill someone holding a weapon. It's another thing entirely to kill someone holding a baby, hence there can never be any "moral equivalence" in the attitudes or actions of the Axis vis à vis those who opposed them.

      If anything it goes the other way — the "good Germans" who blamed everything on the SS are every bit as guilty as those wearing a swastika on their sleeve. If they died because the regime they supported could not defend them after leading them to war, then that is their fate. They died because they made poor choices.

      I'm not sure what you’re driving at exactly, care to explain?
      Many here are fed up with poseurs who try and diminish the scale of Nazi atrocity or excuse it by crying: "you did it too!" Except that we didn't. The Allies bombed Germany because bombing is one of the means of waging modern war. Guernica, Warsaw and Rotterdam were all "open", undefended cities that were bombed before the first bomb ever fell on Nazi Germany, so the Germans have nothing to whine about.

      What surprises me is that other people whine about it, as if any other choices were possible. I accept that the people in charge made the best decision they could with the information they had available every time they did. It is disrespectful and brings dishonour on honourable men to accuse them of atrocity in the manner they fought the war. I fear we would lose the war if we had to fight it today with all the bleeding-heart liberals we suffer nowadays. It was a hard war.

      Not at all, by the time [Dresden] was bombed Germany had already lost the war...
      Except that no one told the Germans. They may have been losing the war and they might even have admitted it privately, but they were nowhere close to surrendering, so the war went on, business as usual. Dresden was just one more viable target that had been on the list for months and which had finally made it to the top. Routine.

      The only reason Dresden is even remembered is that the bombing was so effective and German air and civil defenses so feeble that a firestorm resulted. It was the firestorm that caused all the casualties, not the bombing, so blame bad urban planning and inadequate civil defense for the catastrophe, not the bombing. Unlike genocide, bombing is part of modern war.

      Regards
      Scott Fraser
      Last edited by Scott Fraser; 10 Apr 13, 01:43.
      Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

      A contentedly cantankerous old fart

      Comment


      • Staying on topic is what lodestar requires from posters

        Originally posted by Admiral View Post
        Beginning the conflict to begin with & then allowing Hitler to continue it for the duration of his life.

        Here endeth me opinion!


        ________________________________
        The Topic ISN'T:

        The USSR's greatest mistake in WWII

        The French's greatest mistake in WWII

        The UK's greatest mistake in WWII

        The USA's greatest mistake in WWII

        Yada, Yada, Yada... everybody else's, BUT the German's as specified by the OP, greatest mistake in WWII...


        Get to the topic & stay on it, or move along already.

        ACG Staff
        Quite so!
        It's a fascinating topic is it not?
        But it's a lot harder to stay on topic once discussion escaltes isn't it?

        I kinda thought people would drift.

        I revived the topic from nine years ago with the following:
        lodestar revives eagle101's old post on Germany's biggest error -------------------------------------------------------------------------
        "Latest in my review of all posts from day one on the WWII Forum.
        Now this topic has no doubt been covered and debated to death in the intervining years since eagle101 first posted his little missive.

        Not a lot of responses back then but posters at least STAYED ON TOPIC! Which is something we now seem to have a lost of problem with.
        Lets revive the subject yet again and see if we can keep on track."


        Regards lodestar

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Charles C View Post
          That is false. The reason was that the UK bombed Berlin, to which Hitler responded by focusing almost all his bombing on London; a big mistake. The RAF were at its knees at one point.
          Really? Can you state the date? Can you also state Fighter Command's operational strength on that date? Or how many Fighter Command air bases were not operaitonl on that date, and for howe many hours they remained in that state?
          Sorry if I don't sound patient here. I've seen this quite questionable and very generic claim made so often that I'm getting indeed less and less patient with it.
          Michele

          Comment


          • Originally posted by walle View Post
            My point was that the bombings of London was retaliation for the bombings of Berlin. And that is a fact.
            No, my dear boy. It's a falsehood. The first of the two capitals to be bombed was London. On the night of 24-25 August.
            Get a book, get some facts, then take to the keyboard. You'll avoid this kind of loss of face.
            And yes, speaking for myslef, I do get flustered when I see falsehoods being peddled as historical truths. This is a history forum. Try to peddle a false coin on a coin collector forum and you'll see a similar reaction. It's what you can expect.
            Get your history right.
            Michele

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Desiree Clary View Post
              the Spitfires were dominating the 109s
              That would be incorrect, the British lost more fighters than the Germans, and almost all were to escorting 109's.

              The RAF lost 1,023 fighters, 376 bombers and 148 coastal aircraft totalling 1,547 losses.

              The LW lost 873 fighters (533 were 109's) & 1,014 bombers totalling 1,887 losses.
              Last edited by Charles C; 10 Apr 13, 04:42.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Charles C View Post
                That would be incorrect, the British lost more fighters than the Germans, and almost all were to escorting 109's.
                IIRC from Bungay, during the Channel battles the statistics showed 20% of Fighter Commands losses were to bombers defensive machine-gun fire.

                Dunno if the stats for the whole battle exist but RAF fighter losses to bombers defensive fire is unlikely to insignificant.

                Comment


                • The LW attacked in june Southampton,in july Norwich and Coventry,in august Coventry,Birmingham and London .

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Charles C View Post
                    That would be incorrect, the British lost more fighters than the Germans, and almost all were to escorting 109's.
                    Maybe that's because the British had nearly only fighters in the actual Battle of Britain?
                    Maybe because, on the contrary, the British fighters had as targets both enemy fighters and bombers? And that additionally, it was not uncommon for them to be ordered to concentrate on bombers and ignore fighters, even at their own peril?

                    The RAF lost 1,023 fighters, 376 bombers and 148 coastal aircraft totalling 1,547 losses.

                    The LW lost 873 fighters (533 were 109's) & 1,014 bombers totalling 1,887 losses.
                    No, 650 were Bf 109s. You are reading Bungay just like me, just have another look. p. 372 in my edition.

                    That said, yes, the British also lost bombers from Bomber and Coastal Command during the same time period. It is debatable whether these losses should be considered, when one looks at an air battle for air superiority over southern England. Should losses incurred while bombing Berlin, Münster or german warships in Kiel or dropping leaflets in France or sea mines in the Baltic be relevant to that battle for air superiority?

                    The point is reinforced if we look at who exactly downed what. The vast majority of the Bomber and Coastal Command operations were night raids. This means most of their losses were to FlAK and, however disappointing that is, to accidents.
                    On the contrary, the vast majority of the German losses, barring accidents, were due to Fighter Command. The British AA contributed, but in a minor way. The vast majority of their operations, until the end of the Battle of Britain and the beginning of the Blitz, were daylight operations - why, they wanted the British fighter arm to intercept them! And they got what they wanted.

                    If we look strictly at fighter performance, we could follow Bungay's suggestion, which is ascribing to the Bf 109 not 80% but 75% of all British fighter losses (dont' forget that apart from accidents and German bombers, you also have Bf 110s firing back). That would mean 770 British fighters downed by the Bf 109. The Bf 109 downed in combat were 650, and nearly all of them by British fighters. It's a 1.2:1 advantage for the Germans. Which is definitely small enough to be explained with the fact that the Bf 109s had no other target than British fighters, while the reverse was not true and actually, as mentioned, British fighters often concentrated on downing German bombers.
                    Michele

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Gooner View Post
                      IIRC from Bungay, during the Channel battles the statistics showed 20% of Fighter Commands losses were to bombers defensive machine-gun fire.

                      Dunno if the stats for the whole battle exist but RAF fighter losses to bombers defensive fire is unlikely to insignificant.
                      I severely doubt that seeing as the defensive fire from the German bombers was whoefully ineffective, those single 7.92mm machine guns did little damage and more crucially didn't cover much of the aircraft.

                      In other words, I'd be surprised if bomber defensive fire accounted for more than 5% of actual RAF fighter losses.

                      But if we count such things in then we need to take into account the German losses due to flak as-well.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Michele View Post
                        If we look strictly at fighter performance, we could follow Bungay's suggestion, which is ascribing to the Bf 109 not 80% but 75% of all British fighter losses (dont' forget that apart from accidents and German bombers, you also have Bf 110s firing back). That would mean 770 British fighters downed by the Bf 109. The Bf 109 downed in combat were 650, and nearly all of them by British fighters. It's a 1.2:1 advantage for the Germans. Which is definitely small enough to be explained with the fact that the Bf 109s had no other target than British fighters, while the reverse was not true and actually, as mentioned, British fighters often concentrated on downing German bombers.
                        One could claim that British fighters were hampered by having to concentrate on the bombers (same as German fighters over Germany from 43-45), but at the same time you could also say that the German fighters were even more hampered by their limited range, with many being shot down whilst running for home due to lack of fuel.

                        In other words, considering the short range of the 109's, they gave as good as they got. And this is coming from a Spitfire fan.

                        In short: The Spitfire far from dominated the 109, and these two fighters were very close to each other performance & capability wise, a lot closer than many want to admit.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Michele View Post
                          No, my dear boy. It's a falsehood. The first of the two capitals to be bombed was London. On the night of 24-25 August.
                          Get a book, get some facts, then take to the keyboard. You'll avoid this kind of loss of face.
                          And yes, speaking for myslef, I do get flustered when I see falsehoods being peddled as historical truths. This is a history forum. Try to peddle a false coin on a coin collector forum and you'll see a similar reaction. It's what you can expect.
                          Get your history right.
                          If you say so.

                          Originally posted by Scott Fraser View Post
                          Many here are fed up with poseurs who try and diminish the scale of Nazi atrocity or excuse it by crying: "you did it too!"
                          I can understand that, but since I have done no such thing all I can conclude from his response is that he views me as a Nazi poseur.

                          He's barking up the wrong tree.
                          Last edited by walle; 10 Apr 13, 09:44.

                          Comment


                          • As for English fighter planes being better than their German counterparts are not that simple, there are numerous versions of both both aeroplanes and there are things that number of downed aircrafts doesn't reveal. Such as quality of pilots, fatigue, air time before being forced to return to base et cetera.

                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFl8X4y9-94
                            Last edited by walle; 10 Apr 13, 07:58.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Charles C View Post
                              One could claim that British fighters were hampered by having to concentrate on the bombers (same as German fighters over Germany from 43-45), but at the same time you could also say that the German fighters were even more hampered by their limited range, with many being shot down whilst running for home due to lack of fuel.

                              In other words, considering the short range of the 109's, they gave as good as they got. And this is coming from a Spitfire fan.

                              In short: The Spitfire far from dominated the 109, and these two fighters were very close to each other performance & capability wise, a lot closer than many want to admit.
                              Of course I qualify my stance as being related to the Battle of Britain. There are plenty of other strategic and tactical issues that influenced the outcome and that have nothing to do with the performance of the two aircraft models. The Germans had not enough fuel; the British had radars; the Germans had sound tactical doctrine; the British had the home advantage; the Germans had initial numerical superiority; and so on and so forth. Indeed, if we needed a proof that these things do matter, above and beyond technical performance data, in the 1941 fights over French territory, the British fighters were defeated. So yes, I'm talking about the performance of the fighters in this specific campaign.

                              That said, the Spitfire was remarkably better than the Bf 109. At most altitudes it managed to package a (small) speed advantage with a (serious) maneuverability advantage. The Bf 109's wing load was too high, there is no way around it, which made it harder to pilot, more liable to high-speed stalls, and as mentioned less maneuverable. Additionally, the firepower configuration of the Bf 109 might have been better to fire at a bomber, but it was inferior to that of the two British fighters when firing at a smaller target, say a fighter.
                              Michele

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Charles C View Post
                                That would be incorrect, the British lost more fighters than the Germans, and almost all were to escorting 109's.

                                The RAF lost 1,023 fighters, 376 bombers and 148 coastal aircraft totalling 1,547 losses.

                                The LW lost 873 fighters (533 were 109's) & 1,014 bombers totalling 1,887 losses.
                                Charles, it's worth remembering that the Battle of Britain was mostly not a pure fighter-vs-fighter conflict. The presence of one side's bombers in the air in substantial numbers, just about every day, will act to skew the outcome of fighter-vs-fighter engagements. The primary task of the British fighters was to shoot down German bombers. The primary tasks of the German fighters were (a) to defend their bombers and (b) to destroy as many British fighters as possible, thus making the air environment steadily less threatening to their bomber force. Ultimately, the Germans were seeking to neutralize Fighter Command's resistance; at the very least over the SE portion of Britain.

                                Many of the British fighters downed, were caught ('bounced') while attacking, or preparing to attack, German bombers. Yet other British fighters were bounced while still trying to climb to the intercept. (More often than not - and especially in the earlier half of the battle - the German fighters had the advantage of height.)

                                The major disadvantages for the German fighter pilots were (a) that there were rarely enough of them to defend the bombers adequately; (b) their restricted radius of action and (c) that they were over, or near to, enemy territory for most of the fighting. So all too often, a German baling out was a POW; while a British fighter pilot baling out or doing an emergency landing was more often able to get back in the air quickly with a new aircraft (provided he was not significantly wounded).

                                In consideration of the above, and all factors considered during the Summer of 1940 over Southern England and the Channel, the defending fighter force was likely to suffer maybe up to about twice as many downed aircraft as the German fighter force (but not necessarily an equivalent ratio of lost pilots); which is pretty much what happened. Now reckon the downed German bombers - the real targets of the British fighter force - into the equation and the situation is looking pretty dire for the Luftwaffe. They simply could no longer sustain operations in the face of such losses; and in their efforts to protect the German bombers, Luftwaffe fighter strength dwindled alarmingly while RAF fighter strength had actually increased by the end of the Battle. It mattered little that the British lost more fighter aircraft. The Germans lost way too many expensive bombers, and expensively trained aircrews along with them. Those British fighter aircraft that were lost could be, and were, relatively readily replaced.

                                This is a very one-sided, 'no-win' situation for the Luftwaffe.
                                Last edited by panther3485; 10 Apr 13, 08:54.
                                "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
                                Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

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