Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The German's greatest mistake in WWII

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #61
    Originally posted by goomohn View Post



    The Germans could have captured that army group.

    This has never been proved :even today,no one knows the actual British and German strength at the Dunkirk perimeter on 24 may 1940.

    Thus,this argument can not be used to condemn the halt order.

    Also,as it never has been proved that,if Dunkirk was lost,Britain would give up,this also can not be used .

    Comment


    • #62
      Invading Poland.

      Comment


      • #63
        Originally posted by ljadw View Post
        This has never been proved :even today,no one knows the actual British and German strength at the Dunkirk perimeter on 24 may 1940.

        Thus,this argument can not be used to condemn the halt order.

        Also,as it never has been proved that,if Dunkirk was lost,Britain would give up,this also can not be used .
        Sure it can be used; not because it would have proved anything, but because it bettered Germany's chances of a truly decisive victory- something that Manstein's plan was supposed to deliver. The Germans simply halted at a time when they were victorious almost everywhere, and when their opponents were in a state of utter confusion-and over what was little more than temporary logistical problems.

        And all this took place at a time when total victory was within the Germans' reach. At no other time of the war did they have such an opportunity. While it is true that the Germans had no idea what the future might hold, they did know that they were in the process of achieving a victory of unprecedented proportions. History pivots on events such as this. Good thing that Hitler was seized with overcaution.


        "Fortune is a woman; if you let her slip away from you one day, you cannot expect to find her there again the next."- Napoleon
        Sgt.

        Comment


        • #64
          Mmmh... the greatest German mistake of world war II. I'd say that other than declaring war on the US, it was Operation Barbarossa.

          There wasn't any real reason for why Hitler should have declared war on the US. Both the Germans and the Japanese specified that both were to commit to their respective regions of the world. Hitler never informed Japan about Barbarossa and Japan never informed Germany about the planned attack on Pearl Harbor. They were never that close in first place excepting for having similar governments and having the same enemies (mostly Britain). Why go to war with a country you don't even care about? Hitler was all about Europe and the US was anything but. I feel like he did it because like many others, he drastically underestimated the US's economic and military capabilities; were talking worst than the Soviet Union. It just shows you how arrogant he really was. When war was declared on the US, he must have believed he was weeks if not days away from defeating the Soviets and taking Moscow.

          I want to talk more about the mistake with Barbarossa, which involved more issues with military planning and decision-making skills rather than arrogance and poor logic.

          Hitler's grand plan was to eventually invade the Sovie Union and have complete control of the European mainland. I know many disagree but I think it was almost necessary for Germany to attack the Soviet Union as they did in 1941. If they waited to let's say 1942, they would face a much better prepared Red Army. Hitler intended to achieve his dominance over Europe in a span of only a few years. It was possible for Hitler to secure his Reich through pacts, treaties, and other means, but his main method was through the direct use of his military. I think that's partially why he was so aggressive through the late 1930s, which ultimately led to his invasion of Poland and the start of the war.

          The mistake that Hitler made was that he understimated the Soviet Union's military power while overestimating his own. The Battle of France was a decisive victory because of the ambitious plan for Case Yellow and the French Army's poor preparations. Originally, the Germans didn't intend on launching their main attack through the Ardennes. In fact, most members within the German High Command expected the war against the French to last for several months and even years (as late as 1942). Correct me if wrong, but I'm sure that some of the High Command's generals, don't know exactly who, believe that victory over France and the BEF wasn't even feasable.

          After the defeat of France, a brilliant and somewhat lucky victory (if you ask me) by the Wehrmacht, it was almost clear waters for the Germany, so it seemed. The Wehrmacht and its blitzkrieg tactics, was the most powerful force when it came to land warfare. Between the defeat of France and Operation Barbarossa, the German Heer again achieve decisive victories over its opponents, starting with the invasion the Balkans. Around the same time, there was also Rommel's first offensive. Yes, he was drastically short of supplies and manpower, but with tactical brilliance and a very competent force under his command, he drove back the underequipped and somewhat tired British Commonwealth after their brilliant campaign against the Italians in Operation Compass. So well executed was Rommel's first offensive that he even camptured General O'Connor, the brains behind Compass. *This is on another topic, but I would have loved to see a fight between two very skilled and aggressive generals such as O'Connor and Rommel.*

          However, despite these two grand offensives, let's not forgot two other, and even three, events that occured between the fall of France and the Barbarossa. Let's start off with the Battle of Britain. Poorly-made decisions was the number one cause that led to the Luftwaffe's failure. The one that most would agree was the greatest was Goering and Hitler's decision to begin bombing civilian targets rather than military ones. This breathing room allowed the RAF to have sufficient stregth to force its opponent to withdraw from the battle. Nevertheless, there were still other issues at hand. For one, Luftwaffe's intended role was not strategic bombing but rather tactical bombing and ground support. German aircraft clearly reflected this: the short range Bf 109, the Luftaffe's twin-engine medium bombers, and famous Ju 87 Stuka. And what if the Luftwaffe did succeed in achieving air superiority. How long would that last? And the bigger question is could the Germans pull off such a difficult operation like Sealion?

          Another "defeat" by the Germans was the invasion of Crete. I put defeat in quotes because technically it was a German victory. At the cost of taking Crete, which did interfier with the RN's ability to operate in the Mediterranean, Germany lost many of its battle-hardened and elite mountain troops and Fallschirmjager. More importantly, the Luftwaffe again took a heavy beating by losing a huge portion of its transport fleet, mostly, if not entirely, made up of Ju 52s.

          The third defeat, and in the long run wasn't too significant was the loss of the Bismark, the largest battleship during that period in the war. It wasn't too significant because 90% of the Battle of the Atlantic involved the u-boats attempts to sink Allied shipping, and Allied anti-submarine warfare in the form of destroyers, aircraft, etc... attempts to stop them.

          The mistake was that Hitler and suprisingly most of the German High Command didn't factor a series of things. Non of what I'm about to say is new:
          -Prepare for a long war. This means better logistics. Much better.
          -Winter preparations. Not just winter uniforms but also all-weather vehicles, machinery, etc...
          -Full production. Rather than slow down production after the fall of France, increase it. Make Albert Speer Minister of Armaments in mid-1940.
          -Better Intelligence.
          -No Nazi cruelty enforced upon the civilian populations in the Ukraine, Belorussia, etc ...., at least until the Stalin and the Soviet Union's government were defeated. Remember, most hated Stalin and his regime. Make the German soldier their hero rather than their executioner.
          -More men. This actually could cause more logistical problems, but the Wehrmacht had to maximize its offensive capability when it still had many advantages over the Red Army


          All of these things were feasible. Another one I would like to add is not even bother attacking Britain or even Crete in the first place. The Luftwaffe was actually weaker at the start of Operation Barbarossa than it was at the start of the Battle of France. Hitler did intend on conquering all of Europe, but he never seemed to plan it out. He and his High Command seemed to make decisions as they war progressed. For example, they didn't consider invading Britain until after France had fallen. If they wanted to win the war, they had to create a long-term plan; at least one that spanned for a few years. I would imagine that the defeat of the Soviet Union would have been the main goal.

          Perhaps these should have been the main objectives of the plan:
          -First defeat France
          -Second secure southern flank in Balkans
          -And meanwhile make grand preparations for the Invasion of Russia: production, intelligence, gathering resources, etc...
          -Lastly keeping just enough pressure on the British by attacking its supply lines in the Atlantic and distracting them with a competent General and an elite Corps in Africa.

          There are my thoughts. Good question btw.
          Last edited by thefw190fan; 23 Mar 13, 22:03.

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by ljadw View Post
            This has never been proved :even today,no one knows the actual British and German strength at the Dunkirk perimeter on 24 may 1940.

            Thus,this argument can not be used to condemn the halt order.

            Also,as it never has been proved that,if Dunkirk was lost,Britain would give up,this also can not be used .
            So, as I said before your main element in debating whether or not I believe the Dunkirk pocket escape is the worst mistake of Germany's war effort is: Denial. It cannot be proven that the US could have captured Osama bin Laden within the caves of Tora Bora. Logically though, if we had mined the perimeter, planned a build up of US armed forces, and patrolled the Pakistani border we would have not made the mistake of allowing Al' Qaeda jihadist to escape.

            Just because we don't have time machines and omniscience doesn't mean an assault and capture of the BEF would necessarily not cause the United Kingdom's surrender. I'd speculate the UK would sue for an armistice if their largest British army of the isles fell to Germany.

            It is obvious from operational maps that Germany had two regular armies and an armored corps along the south and eastern perimeter. Their flanks were secured by a further regular army and Kleist's armored divisions in the west. They could not have been any worse for wear than the bulk of the Allied forces within the pocket.

            To set rules for debate about a hypothetical answer to a subjective question is pretty stupid.
            Last edited by goomohn; 24 Mar 13, 05:16.

            Comment


            • #66
              A Hypothetical Solution to the Dunkirk Pocket

              Operations since 21 May
              23 May
              Halt Panzergruppe Kleist and spread the 9. Armee along the Somme. Attack with Kleist's divisions north as they're relieved. Integrate 4. Armee into Heersgruppe B. Continue attacks along the perimeter of the pocket with 15. Panzerkorps heading up the coast then east to form a kessel. Don't pull 2/3rds of Heersgruppe B's divisions and it's airsupport. Don't wait three days with half of your infantry redeployed for Case Red to begin the offensive.

              Bye bye Allied First Army Group.
              Last edited by goomohn; 24 Mar 13, 07:24.

              Comment


              • #67
                For me, the two biggest mistakes for the Germans are:

                (1) Invading Poland, which brought France and the British Commonwealth/Empire against them and triggered WW2.
                (2) Invading the Soviet Union.

                Both of these need to be qualified to a certain extent. Hitler seems to have thought it unlikely that Britain and France would really go to war over Poland and was prepared to gamble on it. He turned out to be wrong about that but given the indicators leading up to September 1939 and Hitler's personality, it is perhaps understandable that he would try it on.

                As for invading the Soviet Union, I don't think either Hitler or Stalin had any illusions that it was only a matter of time before they would find themselves at conflict with each other. If Germany had anything like a real chance to defeat the Soviet Union (which is doubtful anyway, with the benefit of hindsight), that chance was going to get smaller with time as the Soviets would grow steadily proportionally stronger and better prepared. So it was going to be 1941, or bust.

                Hitler's declaration of war against the USA ranks third for me, although given the conditions by the end of 1941 I don't think it would have been too long before Germany and the USA were at war anyway. Hitler knew that although the USA had vast resources and would be a truly formidable opponent, it would also take time to prepare and mobilize those resources to the extent that the USA would be able to decisively intervene on the European continent. Probably at least another year. This would give him one last chance to crack the Soviet Union in the campaigning season of 1942 and consolidate his hold on Europe, so as to be able to meet the inevitable Anglo-American counter-strike with all his resources.

                Fortunately for the Western Allies and for the World, it did not turn out this way.
                "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.

                Comment


                • #68
                  Originally posted by panther3485 View Post
                  For me, the two biggest mistakes for the Germans are:

                  (1) Invading Poland, which brought France and the British Commonwealth/Empire against them and triggered WW2.
                  (2) Invading the Soviet Union.

                  Both of these need to be qualified to a certain extent. Hitler seems to have thought it unlikely that Britain and France would really go to war over Poland and was prepared to gamble on it. He turned out to be wrong about that but given the indicators leading up to September 1939 and Hitler's personality, it is perhaps understandable that he would try it on.

                  As for invading the Soviet Union, I don't think either Hitler or Stalin had any illusions that it was only a matter of time before they would find themselves at conflict with each other. If Germany had anything like a real chance to defeat the Soviet Union (which is doubtful anyway, with the benefit of hindsight), that chance was going to get smaller with time as the Soviets would grow steadily proportionally stronger and better prepared. So it was going to be 1941, or bust.

                  Hitler's declaration of war against the USA ranks third for me, although given the conditions by the end of 1941 I don't think it would have been too long before Germany and the USA were at war anyway. Hitler knew that although the USA had vast resources and would be a truly formidable opponent, it would also take time to prepare and mobilize those resources to the extent that the USA would be able to decisively intervene on the European continent. Probably at least another year. This would give him one last chance to crack the Soviet Union in the campaigning season of 1942 and consolidate his hold on Europe, so as to be able to meet the inevitable Anglo-American counter-strike with all his resources.

                  Fortunately for the Western Allies and for the World, it did not turn out this way.
                  Lets say that Hitler didnt attack Soviet Union in 1941... Red Army would get better but how better? In 1941 their army wasnt pretty modernized, it was only huge. Stalin often tried to prove his power to German officers while they were in good relations. He was organizing those parades etc. That means that he believed that his army was doing pretty well (on paper).

                  And what about lend-lease? If Red Army attacks first is US going to help? How would Soviet better army look in 1942? It would be better organized and maybe little bit bigger (with more T-34s etc) but what about technology? Offensive tactics?
                  "Give me 100 000 croatian soldiers and I will conqure all world" - Napoleon Bonaparte

                  Soldiers are coming and leaving while war will never end.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Hansika View Post
                    Lets say that Hitler didnt attack Soviet Union in 1941... Red Army would get better but how better? In 1941 their army wasnt pretty modernized, it was only huge. Stalin often tried to prove his power to German officers while they were in good relations. He was organizing those parades etc. That means that he believed that his army was doing pretty well (on paper).

                    And what about lend-lease? If Red Army attacks first is US going to help? How would Soviet better army look in 1942? It would be better organized and maybe little bit bigger (with more T-34s etc) but what about technology? Offensive tactics?
                    The Red Army was in progress of re-organizing, upgrading and modernizing their forces. IIRC they were also strengthening their defensive line, which had moved further forward. Their industry was also still expanding and modernizing. The Soviets also had access to more natural resources, being less dependent or imports than Germany. Although the Germans were building up their strength too, Hitler was aware that the Soviet colossus would soon become so strong and well organized that any hope of defeating them (however much that hope might be) would vanish forever. It had to be no later than 1941. Even one year's delay was thought to diminish German chances of victory significantly.

                    As for the Red Army attacking first, that was IMO simply not going to happen in the near future at least. I think Stalin had been hoping that Germany would be heavily embroiled in war with Britain and France for at least a couple of years, thinking back to WW1. He was as surprised as everyone else when France fell so quickly. From then on, he was doing everything he could not to provoke Germany while at the same time jockeying to improve his position - quite a balancing act - hoping to buy time so that the Soviet Union could be properly ready for any potential conflict against the Germans. All the evidence seems to show that he did not want to believe the news of the German attack in June 1941 and was thrown very much off balance by it for a while.
                    Last edited by panther3485; 24 Mar 13, 11:00.
                    "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.

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      [QUOTE=thefw190fan;25011

                      The mistake was that Hitler and suprisingly most of the German High Command didn't factor a series of things. Non of what I'm about to say is new:
                      -Prepare for a long war. This means better logistics. Much better.
                      -Winter preparations. Not just winter uniforms but also all-weather vehicles, machinery, etc...
                      -Full production. Rather than slow down production after the fall of France, increase it. Make Albert Speer Minister of Armaments in mid-1940.
                      -Better Intelligence.
                      -No Nazi cruelty enforced upon the civilian populations in the Ukraine, Belorussia, etc ...., at least until the Stalin and the Soviet Union's government were defeated. Remember, most hated Stalin and his regime. Make the German soldier their hero rather than their executioner.
                      -More men. This actually could cause more logistical problems, but the Wehrmacht had to maximize its offensive capability when it still had many advantages over the Red Army


                      All of these things were feasible. .[/QUOTE]

                      No of these things were feasible,they are only and it would have been very unwise of the Germans .

                      1°Prepare for a long war : this would be suicdal : the German POV was that Germany would lose in a long war .
                      BTW: why would a long war mean better logistics ?

                      2° Winter preparations were not needed,as the plan was to win before the winter
                      3°Full production : production was not slow donw after the fall of France.
                      BTW: why appoint Speer in june 1940 ? Speer was not better than his predecessor Todt

                      4°Better intelligence would change nothing : Germany did not loose because of bad intelligence

                      5°An other occupation policy : it would change nothing.
                      BTW: that most hated Stalin and hisregime is 1)irrelevant 2) a post war invention

                      6° More men : impossible and irrelevant :it would change nothing .
                      Last edited by ljadw; 24 Mar 13, 14:25.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by goomohn View Post
                        So, as I said before your main element in debating whether or not I believe the Dunkirk pocket escape is the worst mistake of Germany's war effort is: Denial. It cannot be proven that the US could have captured Osama bin Laden within the caves of Tora Bora. Logically though, if we had mined the perimeter, planned a build up of US armed forces, and patrolled the Pakistani border we would have not made the mistake of allowing Al' Qaeda jihadist to escape.

                        Just because we don't have time machines and omniscience doesn't mean an assault and capture of the BEF would necessarily not cause the United Kingdom's surrender. I'd speculate the UK would sue for an armistice if their largest British army of the isles fell to Germany.

                        It is obvious from operational maps that Germany had two regular armies and an armored corps along the south and eastern perimeter. Their flanks were secured by a further regular army and Kleist's armored divisions in the west. They could not have been any worse for wear than the bulk of the Allied forces within the pocket.

                        To set rules for debate about a hypothetical answer to a subjective question is pretty stupid.
                        Something that is impossible to prove (British attitude after the loss of the half of the BEF) can not be used as an argument .

                        Two armies and an armoured corps is NO strength figure :strength figures would be :numbers of operational tanks,artillery,aircraft,amounts of fuel and ammunition,number of operational units,how far were these units from the perimeter?
                        The same for the allies .But,no information is available .
                        Thus saying that a German attack would be successfull is something impossible to prove,and can not be used as an argument .

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Says you. I've got a dimensional traveling device and have witnessed all of this happen in an alternate reality....

                          Philosophically, you cannot prove that I was making an argument. Therefore your rebuttals cannot be used for an argument.

                          Another speculation. If Belgians were able to contend perhaps France would have never fallen.

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            Those who insist on "proof" are deluding themselves. By that type of warped standard, the course of events in the Second would have been THE correct course; every single decision that any political or military leader made would have HAD to have been the correct one- because there was no "proof" that any alternate course of action (that was not taken) would have been better. Thus, no mistakes would have been made by any of the participants. Fortunately, history shows very clearly that human beings made mistakes in every activity that they have undertaken- and this jacked standard is merely one more example.
                            Sgt.

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              "History shows us " :that's the usual arguing with hindsight .

                              One can say that decision A was a mistake,if,it was known at the moment (thus not with hindsight) that the alternative (B) was possible,and that B would have a better result than A.

                              Exemple :the Kiew decision (=the delay of Typhoon from 1 september to 1 october):those who are saying that the delay was a mistake,have to prove

                              1)that Typhoon on 1 september was possible

                              2)that Typhoon on 1 september would be successfull

                              3)that these two points were known by the Germans before 1 september

                              If these 3 points can not be proved,one can not say that the Kiew decision was a mistake. You will notice that I do not say that the Kiew decision was the right one and that attacking on 1 september would be wrong .

                              The same for Dunkirk :I have not to prove that the halt order was good,the others have to proof that it was a mistake.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Originally posted by ljadw View Post
                                "History shows us " :that's the usual arguing with hindsight .

                                One can say that decision A was a mistake,if,it was known at the moment (thus not with hindsight) that the alternative (B) was possible,and that B would have a better result than A.

                                Exemple :the Kiew decision (=the delay of Typhoon from 1 september to 1 october):those who are saying that the delay was a mistake,have to prove

                                1)that Typhoon on 1 september was possible

                                2)that Typhoon on 1 september would be successfull

                                3)that these two points were known by the Germans before 1 september

                                If these 3 points can not be proved,one can not say that the Kiew decision was a mistake. You will notice that I do not say that the Kiew decision was the right one and that attacking on 1 september would be wrong .

                                The same for Dunkirk :I have not to prove that the halt order was good,the others have to proof that it was a mistake.

                                Now there is a good example of warped logic.

                                One must knowingly make a mistaken decision before it can be classified as a mistake.

                                In the real world a mistake can only truthfully be classified as a mistake with the benefit of hindsight.
                                If you make a decision with the certain knowledge that that decision is a mistake, would you not take another course of action ?
                                In which case there would never be any mistakes made.
                                Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

                                Comment

                                Latest Topics

                                Collapse

                                Working...
                                X