Author Topic: Questions Thread  (Read 68563 times)

Offline Captain Pyjama Shark

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Re: Questions Thread
« Reply #450 on: 14-07-2013, 22:07:06 »
Hey guys this is gonna be a pretty long post but I didn't really know where else to put it.  A friend liked a post in a facebook group, and looking that group I saw this post.  It's just a casual list of the 10 most important battles of WW2.  I know that's some teleological history but I was wondering what you guys thought about it since it piqued my interest.  Do you agree or disagree with this dude, and if not what do you think were the most important battles?  Again I'm shamelessly taking this from someone else I didn't compile it myself. 

Quote
On a related note, I also believe that WWII as a whole didn't really have a strictly decisive singular set of engagements (which is where I'd disagree with Overy's book that I mentioned yesterday). But if I had to make a list of the overall 10 most important battles of the war, I'd do so as follows:

1) The Battle of Sedan: This battle, in securing the success of Operation Sickle-Slice, created the gigantic Nazi Empire that was able to spend years fending off two rising superpowers and one declining superpower. From this one French catastrophe, all else that went wrong in the war for some and right for others followed. No Sedan or more precisely no French collapse, no war as we know it.

2) The Malaya-Singapore Campaign: The campaign that did in the British Empire, provided the greatest military performance of the Imperial Japanese Army in the entire war, and provided another classic illustration that superior manpower and firepower insufficiently used lead absolutely nowhere. It's worth pointing out again that nowhere did Japan have a quantitative superiority in manpower or a qualitative superiority in equipment. The only difference was the people in command.

3) The First Battle of Smolensk: Doomed Operation Barbarossa, and set in motion the apocalypse in slow motion for the Nazis that the Eastern Front proved to be. Eight weeks of fighting that for the Nazis brought tactical victory on all sectors but one brought for the Soviets a strategic victory and a tactical victory on one sector of the Front, to boot.

4) The Battle of Crete: A shattering German victory due primarily to Freyberg's fumbling, this battle was a Pyrrhic victory that ended German use of airborne troops as anything but elite cannon fodder while providing the major rationale behind the Allied development of airborne troops as the war went on.

5) Operation Overlord: In inaugurating the major confrontation in Western Europe and setting up the defeat of the Axis Powers in Normandy, this deserves IMHO a ranking on any list in the Top 5. It is ranked here primarily because the first four had IMHO greater strategic impact on the overall war, as I see the fate of the Axis as only a matter of time from the summer of 1943. I could easily switch this one up to 3 an drop down First Smolensk and the Battle of Crete without any real issues.

6) The Battle of Beda Fomm: This battle ensured that the Axis made the dubiously considered decision to send German troops into a campaign they knew never had a chance before it began, thereby establishing ultimate Axis disaster and the ruin of Erwin Rommel's carefully Goebbels-inflated reputation.

7) The Battle of the Ruhr Pocket: After this battle major combat in the Western side of the war was over, at a fraction of the staggering losses sustained in the Battle of Berlin. This, however, is included where the latter was not because the Vistula-Oder Offensive had, along with the other 1944-5 campaigns already ensured the Axis-Soviet War was won and Yalta had established the occupation zones. The Ruhr Battle, OTOH, greatly shortened the overall war.

8) The Battle of Okinawa: This battle was a decisive element in the decision to drop the atomic bombs, by virtue of increasing the fear of what a third campaign in a major Axis belligerent would have involved. It was also by proportion one of the few campaigns where the Imperial Japanese Army actually inflicted more casualties than it sustained, and a sign that as odd as it sounds their doctrine was still improving in 1945 even as the country stood on the brink of collapse.

9) Operation Solstice: Delayed the Berlin Offensive by a matter of some months, thereby prolonging the endgame and permitting the Nazis to build the elaborate and very powerful defenses around Berlin that bled the USSR as heavily as they did in Zhukov's sector.

10) The Battle of Illomantsi: A delayed confirmation that a rational military approach commanded by generals, not thugs dedicated to a cartoonish ideology, could have actually dealt severe damage to a USSR even at its peak. Also the battle that enabled Finland to avoid outright satellization as was the case with other late-war Soviet attacks on small Axis countries.

Offline Ekalbs

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Re: Questions Thread
« Reply #451 on: 14-07-2013, 23:07:56 »
Hey Guys,

Simple question.

Where there any Panzer 4 H with skirts and Zimmerit in the African theater? We started flames of war and i have 10 but would use them in my European force instead.

Thanks,
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Offline THeTA0123

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Re: Questions Thread
« Reply #452 on: 14-07-2013, 23:07:38 »
Nope. Not present
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Offline Slayer

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Re: Questions Thread
« Reply #453 on: 15-07-2013, 01:07:24 »
Do you agree or disagree with this dude, and if not what do you think were the most important battles?
 

Quote
On a related note, I also believe that WWII as a whole didn't really have a strictly decisive singular set of engagements
 
This is a matter of perception, and thuis it is personal. It is also semantics: battle, campaign, strategic or tactical victory, you can split and/or lump as much as you like: it will take pretty long before it gets ridiculous.

OK, my opinion:

1) The Battle of Sedan: agreed, esp with Fall of France as signpost event for Axis domination over Europe.

2) The Malaya-Singapore Campaign: somewhat agreed, it was a major factor in ending colonial empires as a whole, not just the British. But it had more meaning for the postwar period than for the war itself.

3) The First Battle of Smolensk: agreed, identical to "start of Operation Barbarossa", which is a classic pivotal point in the war, recognised by many historians.

4) The Battle of Crete: disagreed, only the use/disuse of paratroopers was decided here, but their influence on the overall war was minimal. The Soviets next to never used them, and still they contributed the most in European victory.

5) Operation Overlord: agreed. Without Overlord, a longer war and no American influence in postwar Europe.

6) The Battle of Beda Fomm: disagreed. There is only one decisive battle in Africa and that is of course El Alamein.

7) The Battle of the Ruhr Pocket: disagreed. After Bulge the Germans were already incapable of mounting anything offensive. Ruhr was a large mopping up, not a "decisive" battle.

8) The Battle of Okinawa: disagreed. This battle was a decisive element in the explanation ofthe decision to drop the atomic bombs. Many people keep forgetting that both Eisenhower and Marshall told Truman that dropping the bombs was not necessary in any military way. Truman wanted to do it to see what the bomb could do (hence there were two bombs dropped, of different types), and to show Stalin what he was capable of. The fact that Japan might end the war sooner was nice, but not the main cause. I agree in the sense that this was the last major battle, but not anyhthing decisive again. Guadalcanal was way more decisive, or Midway.

9) Operation Solstice: disagreed. Something isn't decisive when it only delays something, with the end result being the same.

10) The Battle of Illomantsi: agreed and disagreed. Agreed on Finland's part. What I know about it, is that it was quite important for Finland's future, but overall in the entire war, minor siginificance.

I get the impression that this guy is anti Soviets, as he calls them thugs and their ideology cartoonish, only mentions the way they lost many lives, but dismisses their results totally. I'm not saying the Red Army didn't know any thugs or that communism is cool and all, but to each his own. The USA has also an ideology, and the people believing in that aren't thugs either, right?

Also, Stalingrad should be in any type of list composed just like this one. "Forgetting" that one is very biased, or simply stupid. Same goes for mentioning Ruhr but dismissing Berlin.

So, my list, in no particular order (well, it turns out to be somewhat chronological):

Fall Weiss, Fall of France, Battle of Britain, Operation Barbarossa, El Alamein, Stalingrad, Midway, Guadalcanal, Battle of the Bulge, Battle of Berlin.

Offline Eat Uranium

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Re: Questions Thread
« Reply #454 on: 15-07-2013, 01:07:36 »
Something I've been wondering:

When the various NATO nations decided that the 105mm L7 wasn't good enough and went to 120mm guns, why did the British decide that 2 part ammo was the way to go while the Germans (and thus the rest) continued to use combined ammo?

Offline Ts4EVER

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Re: Questions Thread
« Reply #455 on: 15-07-2013, 01:07:57 »

I get the impression that this guy is anti Soviets, as he calls them thugs and their ideology cartoonish, only mentions the way they lost many lives, but dismisses their results totally. I'm not saying the Red Army didn't know any thugs or that communism is cool and all, but to each his own. The USA has also an ideology, and the people believing in that aren't thugs either, right?



Read it again, he means the germans.

Offline Born2Kill 007

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Re: Questions Thread
« Reply #456 on: 15-07-2013, 02:07:35 »
Fall Weiss, Fall of France, Battle of Britain, Operation Barbarossa, El Alamein, Stalingrad, Midway, Guadalcanal, Battle of the Bulge, Battle of Berlin.

Why do you mention Fall Weiss but don't mention Pearl Harbor? (not meant as saying you're wrong or forgot something, just asking this out of interest since i see them as practically the same importance)

And own opinion on this matter:
I hate lists of "10 things that blablabla", if it really is 10, then idc, but taking 10 just because we have a decimal system is bullshit. I largely agree with Slayer his battles, but for example think Kursk also has its place in it.
« Last Edit: 15-07-2013, 02:07:14 by Born2Kill 007 »
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Online VonMudra

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Re: Questions Thread
« Reply #457 on: 15-07-2013, 03:07:10 »
Quote
the ruin of Erwin Rommel's carefully Goebbels-inflated reputation.

I at least like this bit ;)

Offline Kading

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Re: Questions Thread
« Reply #458 on: 15-07-2013, 08:07:25 »
Something I've been wondering:

When the various NATO nations decided that the 105mm L7 wasn't good enough and went to 120mm guns, why did the British decide that 2 part ammo was the way to go while the Germans (and thus the rest) continued to use combined ammo?

The two part ammunition was also used by the US in the M-103. Actually, it was the same gun as the British Conqueror. That took place several years before the Leopard I was introduced with its 105 mm gun with single part ammunition. Later, with the most recent generation of first rate MBTs starting in the 1970s, the tank guns got back up to 120mm single part ammunition.
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Offline Erwin

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Re: Questions Thread
« Reply #459 on: 15-07-2013, 09:07:02 »
Any list without Battle of Kursk is not true in my opinion. Putting Stalingrad aside, it was the main failed-offensive for depleting Germany's last reserves and in the end it caused almost a swift loss of Ukraine. After this Soviets retook half of Ukraine in a 3 months effort.

Also, depleting Panzer forces could not be replaced soon which enabled Soviets to gain the initiative over the entire front. After this battle Germany had no longer enough armor to support it's 2 Army Groups at the same time so they began to send their forces to the attacked one and tried to rely on their intelligence for the next upcoming attack. The most famous failure of their intelligence was believing Soviets to attack South of Ukraine, instead where they attacked Central Army Group. Stripped from it's Panzers, Army Group Centre was decimated and Germany lost half a million soldier in a few days.
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Offline Tankbuster

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Re: Questions Thread
« Reply #460 on: 15-07-2013, 10:07:20 »
Fall Weiss, Fall of France, Battle of Britain, Operation Barbarossa, El Alamein, Stalingrad, Midway, Guadalcanal, Battle of the Bulge, Battle of Berlin.

Why do you mention Fall Weiss but don't mention Pearl Harbor? (not meant as saying you're wrong or forgot something, just asking this out of interest since i see them as practically the same importance)



Noone even mentions the battle of Imphal. sigh

Offline Flippy Warbear

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Re: Questions Thread
« Reply #461 on: 15-07-2013, 10:07:47 »
Battle of Tali & Ihantala was way more important to Finns than Ilomantsi was.

Offline Slayer

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Re: Questions Thread
« Reply #462 on: 15-07-2013, 13:07:53 »
Read it again, he means the germans.
Ah yes, I see it now. It was a little late last night ;) My point about Soviet losses and results, Stalingrad and Berlin still stands, though.

Why do you mention Fall Weiss but don't mention Pearl Harbor? (not meant as saying you're wrong or forgot something, just asking this out of interest since i see them as practically the same importance)

And own opinion on this matter:
I hate lists of "10 things that blablabla", if it really is 10, then idc, but taking 10 just because we have a decimal system is bullshit. I largely agree with Slayer his battles, but for example think Kursk also has its place in it.
I agree with the importance of Pearl Harbor being largely equal to Fall Weiss, but I was making this list, and I had 8 so I had to pick 2 more and chose the start and the end of the war in Europe (Weiss and Berlin). Also agree with the "it has to be 10" thing.

Battle of Tali & Ihantala was way more important to Finns than Ilomantsi was.
Thanks, I knew you would elaborate on this one :)

@ Kursk: yes, could be in, too. Maybe switch it for Berlin, as that was "only" the endfight.

Offline Zoologic

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Re: Questions Thread
« Reply #463 on: 15-07-2013, 18:07:35 »
Well, it is a battle, not a whole campaign. So Operation Barbarossa or "Kursk" simply cannot be included to the counter list.

So for my pieces here:

Pearl Harbor is like inevitable, it was a surprise attack, did not change the outcome of the war, and the US was kinda expecting it but don't know when or where. It is much more symbolic rather than a true military success. It hits the US public much surprise, which helps explain the hype and apparent significance. But, it eventually helped to change the US public's opinion regarding the US participation on the war. It could have happened anywhere and as little as limited engagement incident that resulted in American casualties. And the US will join the war anyway.

The battle itself is pretty much one-sided, and the Japanese Navy doesn't achieve much more than bombing the facility and killing more than 3,000 people. It is not in anyway equal to Fall Weiss (which technically cannot count here) or the Battle of Sedan, where it will lead to eventual Nazi domination over western Europe and changes the face of the second world war from the "Great War." The Great Britain was on the brink of defeat after that, potentially altering the course of the war if the outcome of the Battle of the Britain wasn't favourable to the British side. Moreover, the Japanese never really took advantage over their surprise victory on Pearl Harbour, instead the US successfully retaliated with more symbolic raid over the Japan's capital city itself! The French or the Brits couldn't really bomb Berlin 4 months after being defeated at Sedan.

I am more with Erwin, the whole Kursk salient battles are very important indeed, technically the Prokhorovka, where the German Southern offensive was successfully held back at heavy cost and reversing the momentum which will eventually lead to German defeat. To me is like a boxing match, where a series of punch exchanges forced the other weaker but more technical boxer into his guard stance until his eventual defeat. Stalingrad was much more like a surprise hit from the opponent, dealing a shocking blow to the other boxer's morale, which is arguably detrimental to the outcome of the match.
« Last Edit: 15-07-2013, 18:07:57 by Zoologic »

Offline THeTA0123

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Re: Questions Thread
« Reply #464 on: 15-07-2013, 18:07:43 »
Something I've been wondering:

When the various NATO nations decided that the 105mm L7 wasn't good enough and went to 120mm guns, why did the British decide that 2 part ammo was the way to go while the Germans (and thus the rest) continued to use combined ammo?
The british believed that it was easier to handle in the cramp confinements of the tank
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