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USA vs USSR after WWII?

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  • I think Patton seriously underestimated Soviet forces and overestimated his own. This clearly shows that the Allies had absolutely little idea just how strong the Soviet military was so any face-off would leave the Allies in a complete suprise.
    "Beneath its gilded beauty, though, there lies a poorly designed game which rewards the greedy and violent, and punishes the hardworking and honest; and if you think about it, that's a good representation of capitalism" - Nightfreeze about Eve Online

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    • More with Patton

      While I certainly don't think Patton was some kind of warrior god, I can't believe he could be THAT incorrect about their makeup. I mean, there is a world of difference between a force that can walk through Germany in days/weeks and one that is using oxen.

      Here is another quote, written on 18May1945 in his diary:

      "In my opinion, the American Army as it now exists could beat the Russians with the greatest of ease, because, while the Russians have good infantry, they are lacking in artillery, air, tanks, and in the knowledge of the use of the combined arms, whereas we excel in all three of these. If it should be necessary to fight the Russians, the sooner we do it the better."

      And this quote, from a 07May1945 meeting with US Secretary of War Robert Patterson:

      "I understand the situation. Their (the Soviet) supply system is inadequate to maintain them in a serious action such as I could put to them. They have chickens in the coop and cattle on the hoof -- that's their supply system. They could probably maintain themselves in the type of fighting I could give them for rive days. After that it would make no difference how many million men they have, and if you wanted Moscow I could give it to you. They lived on the land coming down. There is insufficient left for them to maintain themselves going back. Let's not give them time to build up their supplies. If we do, then . . . we have had a victory over the Germans and disarmed them, but we have failed in the liberation of Europe; we have lost the war!"

      Now do I think Patton was overconfident? Sure! But remember that on several occasions he made claims that many thought insane...yet he delivered in each case. I cannot believe that Patton of all people would that seriously overestimate an enemy force.

      It is possible that he was just reporting on what he saw. Remember, the Soviets had three full armies busy in Manchuria in August, so they were moving many of their forces East by this point. Maybe the Western Front wasn't as combat-ready as most people think?

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      • Originally posted by ThirdHorseman
        While I certainly don't think Patton was some kind of warrior god, I can't believe he could be THAT incorrect about their makeup. I mean, there is a world of difference between a force that can walk through Germany in days/weeks and one that is using oxen.
        There was also the diffrence beetween how much the Germans used in the East and how much in the West.

        Here is another quote, written on 18May1945 in his diary:

        "In my opinion, the American Army as it now exists could beat the Russians with the greatest of ease, because, while the Russians have good infantry, they are lacking in artillery, air, tanks, and in the knowledge of the use of the combined arms, whereas we excel in all three of these. If it should be necessary to fight the Russians, the sooner we do it the better."
        This only goes to show just how poorly Patton was informed of the Soviet military.

        -lack of artillery: The types of artillery bombardments used on the Eastern front were a lot greater then what was used on the Western front. The US military never experienced barrages executed by hundreds of guns.
        -lack of air: By the end of the war, the VVS had over 10,000 aircraft. One can hardly call that a "lack".
        -lack of tanks: Soviet tank production was greater then that of the US.
        -lack of knowledge of combined use of arms: They had this knowledge. Infact, I think it was a tad better given the fact that the most important aerial mission on the Eastern front was CAS (the Soviets also had accordingly lots of dive-bombers).

        And this quote, from a 07May1945 meeting with US Secretary of War Robert Patterson:

        "I understand the situation. Their (the Soviet) supply system is inadequate to maintain them in a serious action such as I could put to them. They have chickens in the coop and cattle on the hoof -- that's their supply system. They could probably maintain themselves in the type of fighting I could give them for rive days. After that it would make no difference how many million men they have, and if you wanted Moscow I could give it to you. They lived on the land coming down. There is insufficient left for them to maintain themselves going back. Let's not give them time to build up their supplies. If we do, then . . . we have had a victory over the Germans and disarmed them, but we have failed in the liberation of Europe; we have lost the war!"
        If the Soviets were able to supply the type of offensives such as Bargration, I fail to see why they would fail in case of an Allied attack.

        Now do I think Patton was overconfident? Sure! But remember that on several occasions he made claims that many thought insane...yet he delivered in each case. I cannot believe that Patton of all people would that seriously overestimate an enemy force.
        The thing with Patton is that he often got lucky. When he was given the command he pressed the attack which was a good idea at the given situation. However, if he had done so in other times he could have caused big problems to the Allies. There was a discussion on ACG on which the discussioners agreed that if Patton lead the drive through France with the 3rd Army after Normandy, it would have overstretched the Allied supply lines and could have possibly given the Germans a chance for a counter-attack.

        It is possible that he was just reporting on what he saw. Remember, the Soviets had three full armies busy in Manchuria in August, so they were moving many of their forces East by this point. Maybe the Western Front wasn't as combat-ready as most people think?
        At this point, the Soviets had over 12 million troops. Around 2-3 million were moved to the Far East district. There still remains a substantial force on the Western Front.

        I am not claiming that Patton is arrogant. I`m just saying he was overconfident of his forces and unknowladgable of the enemy forces.
        "Beneath its gilded beauty, though, there lies a poorly designed game which rewards the greedy and violent, and punishes the hardworking and honest; and if you think about it, that's a good representation of capitalism" - Nightfreeze about Eve Online

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        • Originally posted by Tom Phoenix
          I am not claiming that Patton is arrogant. I`m just saying he was overconfident of his forces and unknowladgable of the enemy forces.
          Perhaps he was arrogant. But perhaps he also understood his enemy and his weaknesses. The Soviets received the brunt of German resistance by the Wehrmacht in the last year of the war whereas the western allies were just someone that the German soldier wanted to surrender to. Perhaps the Soviets were a bit more tired than the western allies.

          Stalin thought nothing of losing men to capture Berlin and other capitals to satisfy his ego. How much of that was done without regard to losses and common sense regarding logistics? In a war against the Americans/western allies, were the men willing to once again charge foward, knowing that retreat may mean a death sentence? When given a choice between dying by throwing yourself into enemy guns or to die by getting shot in the back for not advancing, sometimes......soldiers will have something to say about that. Can it be possible that it was fortunate for Stalin that the Americans did not pursue war because the common Soviet soldier have had enough?

          Perhaps Patton saw the Soviets out of breath and unable to step up to the next challenge. I seem to remember that the US forces were self reliant and often gave food away, where as the Soviets were very often more hungry than the towns that they captured.
          Last edited by Salinator; 07 Sep 06, 03:57.
          Flag: USA / Location: West Coast

          Prayers.

          BoRG

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          • The problem with relying on Patton's notes and others who were with him is that they, the allied command and the allied governments had very little real knowledge of the true capabilities of the Red Army during the war. It was only after 1990 that we began to realize that the old myths about the Red Army winning by sheer weight of numbers was nonsense. The battle doctrine was more solid than the western allies and their ability to make a lot out of a little under estimated. We had only German sources to rely on and they were heavily biased.

            No allied army was going to able to advance against the Red Army as we did against the Nazis. We were outnumbered and outclassed in tanks, seriously out numbered in artillery, and in the air the numbers were too even. With air parity in in the opening weeks the Red Airforce would do as much if not more damage to us as we would to them (many of AA units were converted to infantry in late 44 and 45 to make up losses, for example). In infantry even the Germans admitted that the Russians were an incredibly tough foe that need to be literally dug out of his holes and seldom surrendered. The Red Army went from Stalingrad in Jan 43 to the Rumanian border by Feb 1944 with Russian tanks, Russian guns, Russian aircraft and Russian doctrine. The allied Lend-Lease trucks did not really begin to play a 'major' role until the last year of the war and a Lend-Lease stocks of tanks and aircraft only accounted for something less than 10% of Russian totals.


            Patton, IMO, was simply going on emotion. He was a romantic and simply could not see the forest for the trees. An aliied attack on the Soviet territories in 1945 would not have gone far and the inevitable counterattack would have been crushing. A Sherman with a 75mm guns is not a match for a T-34/85,...and there were more T-34s than Shermans.

            Cheers.
            Last edited by The Purist; 13 Sep 06, 21:06.
            The Purist

            Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

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            • Here are few production numbers to put the tank picture into focus (I'm sure sources vary), looking at the main combat models used by the two sides.

              Sherman 49,234 (w/ 76mm = 7968; w/ 105mm = 4680)
              Cromwell & Centaur 3000
              Comet and Challenger 1400
              Churchill 5640
              T-34 M40, 41 and 43 38,000+
              T-34/85 29,430

              Total: 59274 allied, 67430+ Russian

              Pershings (in Europe VE day) 310
              IS-2, Is-2m 3854

              Total: 310 Allied (+6 Centurian Mk I), 3854 Russian

              M10 4993
              M18 2507
              M36 1413
              Archer 665
              SU-76 12,671
              Su-85 2050
              SU-100 1675

              Total: 9578 allied, 16,396 Russian

              M7 GMC 3490
              M12 GMC 74
              Sexton 2150
              SU-122 1148
              SU-152 704
              ISU-122/152 4075

              Total: 5714 allied, 5927 Russian

              M5/M5a1 8884
              M24 4195
              T-60 8200

              Total: 13,079 allied, 8200 Russian

              Raw numbers put 87,955 allied main combat vehicles produced versus 101, 807 Russian. Considering most of the Russian models are technically superior and that Red Army had an arguably superior operational doctrine the western allies are outnumbered and outclassed. Not a receipe for success.
              Last edited by The Purist; 13 Sep 06, 21:05.
              The Purist

              Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

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              • Originally posted by salinator
                Perhaps he was arrogant. But perhaps he also understood his enemy and his weaknesses. The Soviets received the brunt of German resistance by the Wehrmacht in the last year of the war whereas the western allies were just someone that the German soldier wanted to surrender to. Perhaps the Soviets were a bit more tired than the western allies.
                His statements show that he had absolutely no idea about the enemy and his weaknesses. Not his fault but still...

                As for being tired...the Western Allies would have been much more affected by war weariness. The US soldiers wanted to go back home while the other Allies were (for the most part) involved in the war since its beggining in 1939.

                Stalin thought nothing of losing men to capture Berlin and other capitals to satisfy his ego. How much of that was done without regard to losses and common sense regarding logistics?
                You think so? Then I wonder why many city fortresses were bypassed by Soviet forces?

                In a war against the Americans/western allies, were the men willing to once again charge foward, knowing that retreat may mean a death sentence? When given a choice between dying by throwing yourself into enemy guns or to die by getting shot in the back for not advancing, sometimes......soldiers will have something to say about that. Can it be possible that it was fortunate for Stalin that the Americans did not pursue war because the common Soviet soldier have had enough?
                It is a common misconception that the Soviets were forcefully thrown to fight for every bit of Soviet soil, mostly inflated by Enemy at the Gates. The only units I know of that recieved such treatment were units created from Gulag prisoners. Also, even if something like that existed (for regular troops) I doubt the Soviets would have still followed it in the later war years.

                Perhaps Patton saw the Soviets out of breath and unable to step up to the next challenge. I seem to remember that the US forces were self reliant and often gave food away, where as the Soviets were very often more hungry than the towns that they captured.
                Can`t argue that as I have no information about that. However, I seriously doubt the Soviets would have any constraint in taking food from the "fascist pigs" in order to satisfy their own hunger.
                "Beneath its gilded beauty, though, there lies a poorly designed game which rewards the greedy and violent, and punishes the hardworking and honest; and if you think about it, that's a good representation of capitalism" - Nightfreeze about Eve Online

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                • Originally posted by The Purist View Post

                  Raw numbers put 87,955 allied main combat vehicles produced versus 101, 807 Russian. Considering most of the Russian models are technically superior and that Red Army had an arguably superior operational doctrine the western allies are outnumbered and outclassed. Not a receipe for success.
                  Until you factor in the Close air support the Allies enjoyed during 1944 and 1945.

                  Also, when the US Air Force heavy bombers were used to "attack" rear areas of the enemy, not many AFVs were found to be "servicable".

                  I truly feel that IF you add the German vehicle numbers into the ALLIES amount (bacause Joe's boys had to fight through them to get to the Allies), the Allies have a significant amount more of AFVs.

                  But then again, what do I know. I did NOT sleep in a "Holiday Inn Express" last night.
                  Kevin Kenneally
                  Masters from a school of "hard knocks"
                  Member of a Ph.D. Society (Post hole. Digger)

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                  • Read John Lewis Gaddis' "Now We Know" to get an understanding of Soviet thinking in 1945. Interesting read. They were desperate to avoid a war with the United States and the United Kingdom, and were careful not to overstep into areas of vital interests to the US and UK.

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