What makes a justified/morally correct war? Now discussing the 2003 US invasion of Iraq

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by saturn5, Feb 12, 2010.

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  1. Danaan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2008
    star 4
    Fair enough as far as carbines go. Panzerfausts and -schrecks were always more efficient than their Allied counterparts, which was not without consequence in the field. Also, there is the matter of squad-to-company level training/communications. At this time, the German army was the best organized and most well-trained army of the world.

    Well, we saw what the exhausted elite units from the Eastern Front could do to Allied forces when they happened to be on vacation right in the path of operation Market Garden. They proved more than a match for the elite paras, even with the element of surprise on the Allied side, though it is clear that the whole operation also was poorly planned.

    And to be precise, the Germans had not been losing for the last three years in 1944. Both the summers of -42 and -43 saw major German offensives that really troubled the Russians and cost the Red army much more manpower and equipment than it did the Germans - often in ratios of 3-1. Of course, the Russians had reserves and industrial power to sustain such losses. The Germans did not. And they would have been even more succesful if Hitler had not been meddling with his General's plans. It could even be argued that the blame for Stalingrad was entirely Hitler's - Manstein certainly didn't want to get bogged down in block-to-block fighting, and he also argued emphatically in favour of withdrawing from Stalingrad before the encirclement was completed, but the Fuhrer wouldn't listen. But I'd argue that the fact that the Germans could hold the Red Army at bay for as long as it did speaks volumes of the Germans' skills as fighting soldiers.
  2. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    If the Russians had the men & material to sustain and clearly eventually drive back those German offensives you just mentioned, then it doesn't matter if the Germans sustained tactical victories and inflicted material losses on the Russians; they were still doomed on a strategic level. They lacked an ability to strike in a strategic manner at practically any of their opponents outside of England, and this ultimately doomed them against both the Western Allies and the Soviet Union.

    I suppose my basic point is that the Germans ultimately lost, despite their tactical-level advantages-which ultimately turned out to not be of serious consequence in the prosecution of the war. Yes, Panthers and Panzershrecks and German commo equipment were all superior to their Allied counterparts, but the disadvantages the Germans fought under-a lack of strategic reach, a delusional supreme commander, and a lack of industrial areas immune to attack from their opponents-proved to undo any tactical-level advantages the Germans had.

    WW2 in Europe was the ultimate expression of conventional war-making; the doctrine developed from it-of a combined deep-short campaign strategy that eventually became codified by NATO as the "AirLand Battle" in the 1980s-proved to be the blueprint for conventional warfighting up until the turn of the century; the Germans did not grasp that a superior tactical advantage is no substitute for the strategic fight.
  3. LtNOWIS Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 4
    I think you're essentially correct here. But I don't think intervening in Italy was ever really practical, since totalitarianism there started off so slowly. I suppose the Western European nations were complicit in recognizing Italy's control over Ethiopia, unlike the the USA and USSR.

    Again, I think you're essentially correct here. One interesting fact is that the German business community cooperated a lot with the Chinese, before the Sino-Japanese War. I think Hitler's primary reason for siding with the Japanese over the Chinese was the feeling that they were better able to resist communism, which I suppose was true. Still, declaring war on the United States was a pretty clear mistake.
  4. saturn5 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2009
    star 4

    Was the liberation countries like Holland worth Hiroshima? DAMN RIGHT IT WAS!

    Weapons of WW2

    Best pistol-Browning 9mm (used by Britain AND Germany)
    Best sub machine gun- MP44 Schmeisser (Germany)
    Best assault rifle-well there only really was one! (Germany)
    Best battle rifle-M1 Garand (US)
    Best sniper rifle-Lee Enfield (Britain)
    Best light machine gun-Bren gun (Britain)
    Best Genral Purpose Machine Gun-MG42 (Germany)
    Best heavy machine gun-Browning 'Ma Deuce' (US)
    Best anti-tank weapon-Panzerfaust (Germany)
    Best artillery piece- 88 (Germany)
    Best tank- King Tiger (Germany)
    Best fighter-Me 262 (Germany)
    Best bomber-Superfortress (US)
    Best submarine- tupe 21 (Germany)

    Germany on the whole had better weapons but the allies relied on weight of numbers and ultimately they prevailed

    Russia's industry was formidable but would have been screwed without all the raw materials etc provided by the Western allies through Iran and especially the Arctic convoys. And remember the US and British Empire are also fighting the Japanese, Italians and Vichy French at the same time whereas the Russians did nothing, declaring war on Japan 6 days before they surrendered.
  5. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Was the liberation countries like Holland worth Hiroshima? DAMN RIGHT IT WAS!

    The phrasing of this particularly is a false comparison: Holland was already liberated by the point Hiroshima was bombed: the bomb had no effect on that.

    When considering the dropping of the Atomic Bomb and whether it was right or wrong, we have to take into account WHY it was dropped. That it was done to:

    A) Liberate countries under PREVIOUS occupation by Japanese ALLIES
    B) Liberate countries under CURRENT occupation by Japanese ALLIES (of which there were no effectively none)
    C) Liberate countries under PREVIOUS occupation by the Japanese
    D) Liberate countries under CURRENT occupation by the Japanese
    E) Liberate countries under THREAT of occupation by the Japanese

    All seems unlikely. The bomb doesn't seem as if it would have had an effect on many of those things, and even in the case of it staying Japan's hand in attacking a NEW country, had it the capacity, there is no way for the United States to have known the Japanese would be deterred. They just may have kept pressing ahead (in fact, there are those that argue that the Japanese surrender was not spurred on by the dropping of the Atomic bombs, but Russia finally entering the Eastern War and entering Manchuria).

    This may seem as if I am arguing that the bomb should not have been dropped... well that's not necessarily the case either becuase this is a rather difficult subject.

    Firstly, whatever the final intent of the United States -- which seems primarily to have been concern over the lives of American troops in a Japanese invasion -- the upshot of the dropping of the bomb was that, if it is true that dropping the bomb spurred the Japanese surrender -- not only were American lives saved, but Japanese. Additionally, while it may be a bit absurd to argue that every member of Japanese society was the same, it might be well to note that as much as we decry the populace of Germany in electing Hitler, Japanese society, for whatever reason, was as far as I've seen even MORE complicit in the actions of its government. True, they believed, erroniously, that what took place was the will of Hirohito (nothing could really be further from the truth), but even if it were Hirohito's will... that's not really saying much.

    In other words, loathe as it might be to say, this was a population that had fully supported atrocity after atrocity in the far east and the taking of territory clearly not thier own. If there was any particular dissent, I'm unaware of it (while there was much private dissent of Hitler). They had shown by this point absolute willingness to die for thier Emperor.

    What really, was the alternative here? Should we grieve at the deaths of the millions of Japanese? Of course. But is it not worthwhile to ask -- at this time, would they have grieved for ours? How often did they grieve for what they were doing to the Chinese or Vietnamese?

    The other thing to consider is that although the atomic bomb did not necessrily have the affect that may have been intended to induce fear in the USSR... Stalin as we all know had probably made a series of the greatest intelligence coups in modern history, the magnitude of which went a long way into pushing the US into the Cold War... it is entirely possible that the way in which it was done and the timing of it at the end of the war had a grand effect later on the hesitation to use these weapons.

    Had Hiroshima not occured, would Kruschev and Kennedy had a different, less knowledgable understanding of the depth of what was at risk during the Cuban Missile Crisis? Would it not be possible that the US and USSR might have blundered into war much more readily because the reality of self-annihilation had not been made clear with the historical events of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Had they thought simply in conventional terms, perhaps they might not have tried so hard to work out a deal.

    Were these things true they were not Truman's intent and so he would not recieve credit for such a thing. But it would do to say to those who
  6. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Just one thing to point out about the planned invasion of Japan-Japan would've have been even more of a smoldering graveyard if that plan had gone through; there were contingency plans for use of nuclear weapons on defending forces, among other things.

    Operation Downfall

    One thing that is never really brought up is the estimates for Japanese casualties-you hear the one million American dead figure alot, but you never hear about the estimated five to ten million Japanese casualties that Allied planners thought were likely. Japan in 1945 had an approximate population of 71 million; so we'd be talking 12-13% of the population dying during the course of the invasion.

  7. Danaan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2008
    star 4
    I was once quite convinced that the A-bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki was fundamentally unmotivated and downright criminal in nature. I'm no longer as certain. The Japanese goverment of the time was dominated by hawks of the particularly fanatical variety. Even after two atomic bombs, the decision to surrender was taken with a minimal majority - a substantial minority still wanted to continue the war until there was literally nothing left of the Japanese people, so it seems that the bombs were indeed necessary to force the government to finally order a surrender.

    The great tragedy is that the bombs still consisted a traumatic event and a massive atrocity, not only given their effects on the populations of the cities, or the national consciousness of the Japanese people (they've really allowed Japanese people to paint themselves as victims to the extent that they've simply silenced all talk of Japanese war crimes), but also for the world - the potential for worldwide nuclear holocaust - and even for the Americans. In the wake of the atombic bombs, a whole lot of highly questionable research was conducted in the name of "national security" wherein American citizens were purposefully exposed to radation without being informed of this to learn more about its effects - we're talking both servicemen and civilians numbering in the 100 000s. It might not be talked about today, but it happened. It probably should be talked about, because there are scars there that have probably not healed. By dropping the bomb and engaging heavily in atomic bomb development, the US traumatized itself...
  8. saturn5 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2009
    star 4
    I included Holland and the A-bomb in reply to a previous post.

    The vital thing about the A-bomb was it's psychological effect. It allowed Japan a way out with honour, they could still fight our ships, planes and troops but the against the A-bomb there was no possible hope so it allowed them to surrender whilst saving face. Even THEN it took 2 bombs and direct intervention by the Emperor and even after that the military high command tried to stage a coup to prevent surrender and killed themselves when it failed. The idea that it was the Russians who ended the war is delusion by left wingers who desperately want to try to find some good in the USSR and discredit the A-bomb. Russia wasn't going to invade Japan and if they could stomach the loss of the Phillipines, Saipan and Okinawa they could lose Korea

    Read a very interesting story once where a historian travels back in time and inadvertently causes the failure of the D-day landings. This allows the Germans time to perfect many of their advanced weapons temporarily turning the tide against the Russians who then sign another non-aggression pact with them. Meanwhile in the US a Vietnam style anti-war movement starts up with draftees burning their draft cards at huge rallies and fleeing to Mexico to avoid conscription, protesters chanting 'Hey, hey FDR, we don't want your stinking war' and arguing that the US provoked the axis into war, that the US navy fired first on the Germans (again like Vietnam), occupied Iceland, made allies of Stalin etc
    When the time traveller tries to convince the anti-war protesters of the Holacaust he's disbelieved, told it's none of their business or informed of Stalin's massacres or the ill-treatment of Afro-Americans. The symbol of the anti-war movement is the picture of a maimed Japanes child, just like the famous image of the Vietnamese girl hit by napalm.
    In the end he convinces Truman to drop the A-bomb on Berlin but then has to give evidence at his trial when Truman is impeached for war crimes
  9. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Here's a question: was demanding unconditional surrender necessary to end the Pacific War? By 1945, the Japanese Navy was at the bottom of the ocean, and with the Russians coming in on the Chinese mainland, their ground forces were looking to be decimated as well. With their armed forces smashed everywhere, the Japanese military would have lost a lot of prestige even in a negotiated peace....maybe enough for them to lose their grip on power? On one hand the Japanese committed widespread crimes against humanity and probably deserved to have their government dismantled by force, but on the other hand a negotiated peace similar to the Treaty of Versailles might have spared more lives and maybe have wound up with a change in the Japanese government in the long-term?
  10. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    On one hand the Japanese committed widespread crimes against humanity and probably deserved to have their government dismantled by force, but on the other hand a negotiated peace similar to the Treaty of Versailles might have spared more lives and maybe have wound up with a change in the Japanese government in the long-term?

    We shouldn't be so quick to infer the safety of lives in the short term ensures the same in the long term. I've argued against the Iraq invasion becuase it to me is very highly doubtful if Hussein's regime would have ended up killing and displacing as many Iraqis as the war ended up doing (in all fairness this was not the intention of the United States: but it was predicted this would most likely happen, and happen it did and on its watch).

    But history itself would bear out that a treaty of Versailles in this scenario would be undesirable. Had Germany been utterly crushed in WWI it would likely have happened at the cost of fewer lives than it took to fight and end WWII.

    True: we cannot presuppose Germany would have been so easy to re-form in the manner it has -- the Germans have been told, with a lot of truth, that what happened leading up to WWII was in huge proportions, thier fault. And the USSR had a very serious mitigating factor in the German people figuring out what thier current priorities had to be in a post-1945 world. Considering in 1918 the USSR was very inward looking and it could have been tough for the average German to swallow that thier country was responsible for everything in WWI no matter how obliterated they were, we should acknowledge the two situations are not the same.

    Still: it bears noting that although Germany lost WWI, it essentially did so UNBROKEN. It's armies had been beated, finally, on the battlefield, but Germany itself had not been invaded. It's very possible, some say, that Germany could have carried on past 1918, but the populace had simply had enough by then.

    Now transpose that to the Japanese scenario -- where the Generals were even more fanatic than many Nazis, and certainly many pre-Nazi Germans, and the populace was even more willing to go along with it. To not break Japan, it would seem to me, would have been a recipe for later disaster.

    The Japanese need to be brought to its knees -- not by anyone in particular, but by SOMEONE -- becuase that's simply at this point what it TOOK. When a nation is conviced it is even at least partially in the right when it is totally in the wrong, it will fight to preserve that pride and dignity. And it will teach its children to fight for it. And soon we are into a Baltic scenario of people slaughtering others because of some 500-year old slight that's long since passed out of living memory. It happens.

    Had Japan not been broken it would have risen from the ashes as it has today: but with very different aims and desires. And it would have been no different had any other sort of nation been in that positions with that level of fanaticism.
  11. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Well spoken. And the world, possibly?

    Gonk, I'm not sure you can legitimize Hiroshima and Nagasaki for being the face of the threat of the Cuban missile crisis. Firstly, presidents should know and realize what their weapons are capable of, and secondly - probably more importantly - in the decades following WWII, bombs were developed that were many times as destructive. Thirdly, if we're talking about 'morally correct/justified', I certainly don't think it's worth searing 200.000 people to death just so other people are scared a bit more. Isn't that really... terrorism?
  12. Danaan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2008
    star 4
    Terror-bombings were adopted as a method for war by all powers at that point in the war. It was even called by that name. the purpose of bombing Dresden, Hamburg and Tokyo and creating firestorms to kill vast numbers of civilians was to strike terror into the civilian population, it was argued that this would break the will to fight in the enemy nations. The atomic bombs were deployed in correspondence with that philosophy. They were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki because those were important military targets, they were dropped to terrorize the civilian population. So, yes, it was terrorism. And no, that was not out of the ordinary for 1945.
  13. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Gonk, I'm not sure you can legitimize Hiroshima and Nagasaki for being the face of the threat of the Cuban missile crisis. Firstly, presidents should know and realize what their weapons are capable of, and secondly - probably more importantly - in the decades following WWII, bombs were developed that were many times as destructive. Thirdly, if we're talking about 'morally correct/justified', I certainly don't think it's worth searing 200.000 people to death just so other people are scared a bit more. Isn't that really... terrorism?

    I'm a numbers man, Watto -- I readily cop to the fact that it's morally better, assuming the lives in question are all morally equal people, to save 200,001 lives at the cost of 200,000. If 200,000 people died just to scare 3-4 billion to the point that they decided not to launch another conflict in which many millions would have died, I consider that a just decision.

    I do not pretend it is a proud decision, nor a decision to be lauded or to pat oneself on the back about. Or that even the person that made the decision should not themselves be jailed on War Crimes for the purposes of the rule of law, even if it was the only true alternative: though I would leave it to others to pass sentence and judgement.

    To 'know' and 'realize' what a weapon is capable of is very different from theory to reality. The Germans and Allies supposedly 'knew' the effects of poison gas in WWI and used it... and in cases inadvetendly gassed thier own men. And they knew it so well that it was used again in WWII by the Allies... though it is interesting that Hitler would not allow gas to be used becuase of how inhumane he believed it to be (this though was almost certainly because HE was the victim of a gas attack... I find it highly unlikely he'd have given as much thought about it had it not have happened to have befallen him).

    There was no bomb dropped after WWII, to my knowledge, that was as destructive as atomic weaponry. Not in the context of a conflict. Collectively you can certainly say that altogether a certain boming campaign was as destructive or more destructive. But a single bomb targeted against human beings? I'd like to see the source, please.

    In a nutshell, I don't trust ANY leader to 'know' the pitfalls of thier own weaponry just by reading up on them. There are leaders that can be trusted to do that, but there's been far too many in the United States and elsewhere that can't be trusted with such an attitude and foresight to just take that notion at face value.

    Remember that developing bombs is not the same as using them. You can always in your head think that this or that bomb is being developed 'just in case'. What is far more important is when the possibility comes up that you might actually have to use it. Much better then to have what happened at Hiroshima emblazoned on the head of every world leader and every voter that supports them. The US was traumatized? The world was traumatized? GOOD! Not for the sake of the Japanese, but themselves: better traumatized than dead. Better to be worried of nuclear annhilation than be sold on flowers and ticker-tape parades telling yourself and your friends "it'll all be over by Christmas" with a figurative nuke in your hands assuring there'll never be another Christmas ever again.
  14. saturn5 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2009
    star 4
    The bombs ended the war and saved the lives of millions, that's what righteous military action is all about, take some life to save infinitely more.

    As for 'was it necessary to crush them utterly?' I say yes, when you look at the Japanese civilians flinging themselves off the cliffs at Okinawa and Saipan you get the impression of an entire nation of Taliban waiting for us. Remember some Japanese soldiers marooned on small pacific islands held out until the 1970s, killing dozens of local people in the process. Japs had plenty of fight left, Kamakaze planes, mini-subs etc Remember the USS Indianapolis?

    Hiroshima was a military target, it had three army divisions based there and the Headquartes of the 2nd Army. Nagasaki was a major naval base and port.
  15. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    Revised list of WW2 weapons.

    Best tank- T-34 (Soviet Union)
    Best fighter- P-51 mustang (US)
    Best bomber- De Havilland Mosquito B.XVI (Britain)
    Best submarine- type 7 U-boat (Germany)
    Best dive bomber - Dauntless SBD (US)
    Best carrier - Essex class (US)
    Best destroyer - Fletcher class (US)
    Best battleship - Iowa class (US)

    Yeah, these may not seem right, but they actually were far superior than the original list.

    The Mustang certainly wasn't the equal to the 262, but its simplicity and excellent performance made it the dominant fighter of WWII

    The type 7 U-boat was the most significant sub of WWII because of its early successes in the war. Type XXI arrived too late in the war to be of any good.

    The Soviet T-34 far surpassed the German Tiger in regards to its simplicity and excellent protection rating. The Tiger may have been far more durable, but it was simply too complex and expensive to build in mass numbers.

    The De Havilland mosquito was the best bomber in my opinion because it was used in virtually every European campaign, was easy to produce, and could carry the same bomb load of the B-17. It may not be as well recognized as heavy bombers, but it was truly the best of WWII.

    I placed the Dauntless on the list above the Stuka for reasons that it was carrier-borne and had retractable landing gear. Although it was a close comparison. Germany's Stuka was very effective early in the war, but was obsolete by the end. The helldiver actually was a worse dive bomber than what it was intended to replace, so I marked that one down.

    That is part of the reason Germany lost. The Me 262 was far superior than anything the allies could produce, but it was far too expensive and unreliable to have made a difference. If it had arrived earlier in the war, it might have had a greater impact, but it still would have been severely outnumbered by simpler piston-driven fighters. The Tiger was a juggernaut, but it was a very expensive one at that. The Russians actually resorted to using their own tanks to ram enemy Tigers; and it worked rather well.

    And I actually would make the claim that the US B-17 was one of the worst bombers ever used. Its poor bomb load meant that you had to send more in order to accomplish the same mission. The Superfortress was far superior, but I still believe the mosquito did far more to impact the war than any heavy bomber.
  16. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    True, but the scenario I envisaged was one in which the Japanese military is more or less completely obliterated, by the U.S. Navy in the Pacific and by the Red Army in China. Navies in particular are a great source of national pride....can you imagine what Americans today would think if a Nimitz-class carrier were sunk? When Japanese citizens ask in a post-war Japan, "where's our navy?" and the answer is, "we don't have one anymore" then I'm sure the military dictatorship won't fare well in terms of public opinion. The same happened to Argentina following the Falklands war.

    I've read that many Japanese had a great deal of respect for America and were "dismayed" to find themselves at war following Pearl Harbor (quote from somewhere, I forgot). It seems that there's a good amount of anti-militarist sentiment within Japan even during the war period, albeit highly suppressed. A catastrophic military defeat however would have emboldened this camp (just as the pacifist movement took root in actual history) and possibly have allowed them to take power. I suppose I'm just speculating at this point, but you see what I'm getting at.
  17. Danaan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2008
    star 4
    This is a list that depends heavily on what criteria are used for assessement.

    For instance, by 1941, it is no doubt that the T-34 was the best medium tank in existence. But the comparison is really not the Tiger, which is a heavy tank, but the Panther, which did clearly outclass the T-34, and prompted the Russians to build the T-34 76, giving the advantage in tanks back to them. Likewise, the Russians equalled to or surpassed the German heavies with the KVs and the JSs. But this is only interesting if armour/main gun is the main focus for the list. If it is versatility and productivity (which you use for some equipment but not others), then certainly the Sherman will win every single time. Sure, it took 5 Shermans to knock out one Panther, but hey, could they ever be massproduced and used in just about every single role one could think of using a tank for.

    For the Dauntless, I think your criteria are way too narrow. Really, only a seapower is interested in using a carrier-based craft, and for the Germans, that was simply a redundant quality when chasing Russian tanks. What happens when we instead consider the craft's combat capacity? Well, the retractable gears does make the Ju vulnerable to fighters, but it's primary role is bombing land targets, as small as a tank, and those gears actually helped it with speed management in dives. The Ju was excellent at its job - just look at the successes of the 87G during -43. Also, if versatility and productivity/adaptability should be a criteria, then the Ju should rank very high indeed, as it managed to see service, and useful such, throughout the war.

    Finally, air combat manouverability is not the only criteria for evaluating fighter aircraft. Indeed, not a single one of the German fighters were developed with ACM in mind - they were streamlined for boom-n-zoom attacks, i.e. ambushes that depend on very high speed diving and then climbing out of reach again, and their craft excelled at that. The Dora proved a match for both Spits and P-51s.
  18. saturn5 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2009
    star 4
  19. LtNOWIS Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 4
    Morally, I don't think the bombing of Hiroshima was different than any of the other instances of strategic bombing during World War II. I don't see a moral difference between killing 120,000 people in Hiroshima and 120,000 people in Tokyo.

    The Iowa class had thinner armor and smaller caliber guns than the Yamamoto. But, the armor was better-quality steel, and the shells were better-designed. The engines were better-designed and smaller, meaning the armored area was smaller, which saved a huge amount of weight. It also had the superior dual-purpose 5" secondary guns. So, it was probably a better class of battleship all things considered.

    Edit: This website breaks down the argument very nicely. It also points out the superior fire control systems of the Iowa-class.
  20. Danaan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2008
    star 4
    Strange that an American would find the American ships to be superior. It's a rare thing to hear an American say something non-American is better, in my experience ;)

    Now, I'm not an expert on naval warfare, but other comparisons I've seen have put the Yamato on top. And it's Yamato, not Yamamoto. The latter was a Japenese admiral during the war, not to be confused.
  21. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    My list takes a weapon's capabilities into account, but is not determined by that in itself. I knew all about the Musashi and Yamato's 18 inch guns and their hull's resiliency to torpedoes. But the enormous vessels were far surpassed by the size of the investment made into building them. Not like Iowa-class were cheap or anything, but they were really the pinnacle of battleship design. They were probably the first class of fast-battleships, which made them ideal for escorting carriers. And despite the lower caliber guns, the design of the shells gave them close to the same penetrating power of the 18 inch Yamato. The Bismarck, Tirpitz, Mushashi, and Yamato were all juggernauts; but size had little to do with their performance. Few Iowa-class battleships took combat damage, but they were designed to take huge amounts of damage without sinking. That pales in comparison to Mushashi, which took about 36 torpedo and bomb impacts before it was lost.

    I've checked this site: http://www.combinedfleet.com/baddest.htm and found that some of the numbers are not so accurate. I have to say that I was surprised to see the Yamato score rather low for its anti aircraft armament, considering the sheer number of gun emplacements all over the ship. I also don't see how its underwater protection could score anything below maximum points. It was designed to take torpedoes better than virtually any other ship. Size does weigh in on that rating. I also think that Bismarck's guns were overrated for a ship its size, considering that the smaller South Carolina class packed 9 x 16 inch guns while the 55,000 ton juggernaut only packed 8 x 15 inch.

    I also took the P-51's combat performance into consideration when I chose it. If I were subdividing all the characteristics, I would give the FW-190 a better score for its ability to take and deliver punishment; it's only because of its poor performance at high altitude which lets it down. The 262 simply takes about everything up by another 30%; and those four 30 mm cannons are a devastating armament. The thunderbolt is built like a battleship, so it's the best fighter for ground attack. The Zero had the greatest range and agility of any fighter until the corsair was introduced... but was easily destroyed because it lacked self-sealing fuel tanks and armour. Me-109 was ahead of its time at the start of the war, and was built in greater numbers than any other fighter. The P-51's range was second only to the P-38, but it was the fastest piston-driven fighter ever built. Its single engine design made its production rating very high, as well as its overall combat performance. It unfortunately was not as capable of taking punishment as a radial engine fighter, but it was intended to outperform everything else until the 262 came into existence.

    The T-34 was truly the best tank of WWII by most expert opinion. It most certainly wasn't an equal to a Tiger or Panther, but its other advantages more than made up for that. It used slope armour, had much greater range, and its simple design made it easy to manufacture. It didn't match that of the American Sherman in the economic categories, but its combat performance more than made up for that. Its armour and cannon are not the greatest of all WWII tanks, but they are comparatively the best for its size. The Germans tended to favor quality over quantity, but Tigers were simply too far outnumbered for that to matter.
  22. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    So I say: throwing nukes is bad.
    And Gonk and LtNowis say: so is carpet bombing.
    But that doesn't really do anything to my argument that throwing nukes is bad.

    The only truly morally justified way to engage in warfare is to engage the opposing army on the battleground. No civilians. Not even when the other side is targeting your civilians. If you want to keep the moral high ground, you just don't go there. And you certainly don't throw an atomic bomb over a crowded city that hasn't been warned.
  23. Danaan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2008
    star 4
    You know your WWII equipment well, that's for sure. Maybe even better than me ;) I was really more interested in the politics and strategy than equipment specs - I'm just not the engineer type, I guess.

    Still, I gotta ask a few questions.

    It is true that the T-34 was the best tank of its day when it was introduced, for all those reasons you list. But the same could be said for other equipment of the era which you still don't list as highly. So, the Ju-87, again, was quite the ground-breaking design when the Germans first made it. It might have been obsolete by 1945, but in 1939, it was state of the art.


    As an aside, by the way, for anyone who is a WWII buff, I highly recommend Battleground Europe, a PvP MMO that is simply the best WWII sim out there. Only reason I'm not playing anymore (after some 7 years of subbing) is that my rig is too dated and I just have too little time as a father of a toddler 8-} . The equipment is exceptionally well modelled (no hits points there), and most players are true WWII hardcore buffs.
  24. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    All bombing causes great collateral damage. They could easily have been in excess of 200 meters off target from high altitude, so you often needed dozens of heavy bombers to ensure the target is destroyed.

    In today's warfare, you can hit a target a meter wide with a smart bomb. That's the kind of warfare everyone seems to favor, considering that you can ensure you'll always hit your target. Risk to civilians at a minimum... unless your laser targeting system is off. Right? Yeah... you can easily get a bomb to +/- a few meters of a given target. But once that bomb hits, the range of the collateral damage from the explosion is not so well confined.

    The question with bombing comes down to how eager you are to destroy a target and the acceptable loss of life which comes from it. You do consider civilian casualties, but you must also consider those of your air crews and the cost if the target isn't destroyed.
  25. shanerjedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2010
    star 4
    Yes, the bombs were a necessary evil. Dropping them saved lives, Allied and especially Japanese.

    If the allies had invaded, they would've had to kill hundreds of thousands of people schooled in the art of "protect your home or die".

    Cities across Japan would've been leveled and civilian deaths would've been staggering and unsurpassed in the history of warfare.

    Dropping the bombs was a justified act.
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