World War II Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Fluke_Groundwalker, Oct 30, 2001.

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  1. Lord_Tantuphilos Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 1, 2001
    I am afraid that was WWI, the Zimmerman telegram.

    As for the Soviet Union being able to take Germany on her own, I think not. Although the Soviets were able to launch a massive offensive against Army Group Center in summer 1944 after the D-Day invasion, it should be known that the western front took up a great deal of resources away from the eastern front as early as 1942. A million troops were stationed on the western front in 1944, not counting Italy, including a large portion of the Luftwaffe which was dearly needed in the east.

    The US's contribution was legion to the Soviet effort. The US's air forces tied down the Luftwaffe, damaged industry and kept many good units to slowly waste whilst on garrison duty. We need not mention the vast material in tanks and planes the US also gave the Soviets.

    Had Germany had all her resources against the Soviets from the beggining, without help from the USA, I am certain the Soviets would have not won the war. I am sure that some peace would have been reached short of total victory for either side.
  2. Ghost_of_Caesar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2000
    star 4
    The weather report codes had been compromised, and Bletchley Park used that as a means to crack Enigma, but Enigma was rather advanced. The daily encipherment key and the required plug combination for the day in question was required to decipher the message. The absence of either one would result in an unreadable message. Needless to say, even at the height of codebreaking successes, Bletchley Park never enjoyed 100% success. Which is precisely why the Kreigsmarine continued to use Enigma all way through the war.

    HE: The tale goes a little something like this - about halfway through the Battle of Britain, a German bomber overshot its assigned target in the London docks and hit a civilian district of London. Churchill was rightly furious, and ordered a strike at Berlin. When bombs started falling on Berlin, Hitler was furious, and ordered that the attacks switch from concentrating on RAF fighter bases to civilian targets. This happened at a point where the Luftwaffe was mere missions from breaking the back of RAF Fighter Command.

    Lord_Tantuphilos - Russia was already on the roll in late 1942. How do you think Stalingrad turned into the bloodbath that it was? The Red Army outflanked and cut off 6th Army, while General Guderian's Panzers tried tried to relieve the garrison. The Battle of Kursk came next, in May 1943. After that, there was literally no stopping the Red Army. Certainly, the Normandy landings tied up some resources, but they were inconsequential. The only pause that the Red Army made was stopping short of Warsaw in mid 1944.
  3. eaglejedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2001
    star 5
    1. On naval armaments- another mistake made ws in downgrading the armament of the Bismarck-class from 21" to 16" and finally to 15". Hitler also did not devote enough resources to the Kreigsmarine in general, nor give their Admirals a chance to prove themselves. Poor intelligence in Operation Weserubung caused the loss of the heavy cruiser Blucher to hidden Norwegian torpedo batteries and the loss of other ships to the RN.
    2. On the Enigma- remember that there was no one time when the code was cracked- it was more like a see-saw; the British would crack the current Enigma, start decoding a lot of messages, the Germans would make a better one, and then the British would start having trouble getting the messages again. This phenomenon is largely reflected in the changing course of the Battle of the Atlantic from 1939-1944.
    3. On the extermination camps- why not bomb them?
    "Bombers go off course all the time. Drop their loads in the strangest of places."
    -Brigadier Duff Smith, Chief of SOE, in the novel BLACK CROSS.
    4. Note that the pause before Warsaw was not due to any military necessity, but rather to Stalin's political priorities; he wanted to allow the Home Army, which was loyal to the legitimate Polish government-in-exile in Britain, to be destroyed by the Germans.
  4. Ghost_of_Caesar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2000
    star 4
    Thank you so very much, eaglejedi - you summed up in one sentence what I've been trying to say about Enigma all along. :D

    One thing I'd like to get some views on is the moral rightness of the Laconia Order - was Admiral Doenitz justified in issuing this order? For background purposes, it arose out of operational necessity when U-156 was attacked on the surface while in the process of rescuing survivors from the wreck of the SS Laconia, among them 80 women and children, not to mention 1800 prisoners of war. The attack occured after the U-boat commander broadcast in the clear, endangering his command for the safety of the survivors, a request for assistance. Shortly afterwards, an Allied bomber arrived on scene, saw the Red Cross banner draped across the deck of the U-boat, and requested instructions. The Allied commander on Ascension Island ordered that the sub be sunk. U-156 escaped only after cutting free the lifeboats and ordering the survivors on deck back into the water. Subsequently, Admiral Doenitz ordered that in no case was a U-boat to render assistance to shipwreck survivors, even though it went against all articles of maritime law, which to that point in the war had been obeyed to a great extent. Further information can be found at U-Boat.net.
  5. Fluke_Groundwalker Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2001
    star 5
    Wow. How'd you people learn so much?? I'm in awe.
  6. Humble extra Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 1999
    star 5
    they eat the brains of veterans and or historians, that way you assume their knowledge, and if done properely, their power as well
  7. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    Nimitz issued his own order of similar intent for the pacific if I'm not mistaken.

    Doenitz was right. Operating in a war zone is tough enough without being attacked in humanitarian operations. Tough luck for the survivors and in this case the allies fault.
  8. Fluke_Groundwalker Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2001
    star 5
    I have to read a couple of books on World War II for my Honors English class.

    One of them is called The War: A Concise History. It was written by Louis L. Snyder. Has anyone read it, or heard about it??
  9. Uruk-hai Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2000
    star 5
    Eaglejedi, are you talking about the Warsaw uprising? If so, I've never heard it called the Home Army before.
  10. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    The main Polish Resistence group was called the "Home Army"

    The units in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising were called bya name i can't remember right now.

    As I remember both uprisings were landed on with both feet by the Germans.
  11. Ghost_of_Caesar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2000
    star 4
    Quite correct farraday. The Allies even supported the uprising to an extent, however, western Allies failed intheir efforts because airdrops for the most part landed in German held parts of the city, and the Soviets deliberately airdropped the wrong sorts of equipment - incorrect ammunition for the Home Army weapons, etc.

    And furthermore to the Laconia Order, that is the primary reason Grand Admiral Doenitz was tried for war crimes at Nuremburg. He went to the extent of calling Fleet Admiral Nimitz to testify in his defence, because, if the Allies used the same tactics of unrestricted submarine warfare, how could it be considered a war crime?
  12. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    There was that, but he also used Slave labour in his shipyards and was actually the person who authorized the surrendor if I remember correctly.

    I think they were holding him responsible for not speaking out in the meetings where they discussed what was happening.

    I read part of the transcript from the nuremburg trials.. but I can't remember what else was there.
  13. Fluke_Groundwalker Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2001
    star 5
    What would've happened if the United States had invaded Greece instead of Italy?
  14. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    We would have gotten screwed royally.

    Have you studied the geography of Greece?

    It's a bloody horrible country to stage ground opperations in against a good foe.

    The Persians learned it. The ottomans learned it and several other peoplr did but I'm to tired to remember.
  15. Ghost_of_Caesar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2000
    star 4
    Tactically, it would have been a nightmare, and strategicly, what would have been the point? Once an invasion force got out of Greece and stated heading north, there would have been all sorts of local tactical problems with ethnic minorities busy fighting each other and everyone else in the region. Why buy trouble? The problems in the Balkans have been happening for centuries, and the confusion caused by war only seems to magnify it.

    Italy was perfect for invasion - once Mussolini had been deposed, Italian resistance collapsed, and the Germans had to waste manpower protecting from a possible attack from within.
  16. Fluke_Groundwalker Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2001
    star 5
    That's what I told my world history teacher, but he said I was wrong, and it would've been better invading Greece than invading Italy.
  17. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    I believe WW2 should never have happened.

    but it did.

    Evil men were involved, good men, and I can't change the past

  18. doggiedog13 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 23, 2001
    who's fdr? and i agree with not getting far in chess by giving up your queen. we know that the aircarft carriers were out in the pacific when the attack occured. so, why didn't they go to pearl harbor and help. i mean, the japs had to have flown over the carriers in order to reach the harbor, so, what happened? now, with the war againest terriorism, i'm more than glad to join my high school's rotc class. my dad's dad was in the war. but he died of a heart attack, so i don't even know him, but i heard from my dad that he lost both his legs trying to safe his men. i don't know what rack he was, but he must have been up high.
  19. Ghost_of_Caesar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2000
    star 4
    You are completely off track there doggiedog13.

    1. FDR is Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the US president at the time of the raid on Pearl Harbour.

    2. True the American aircraft carriers were out to sea during the raid.

    3. The Japanese raid didn't fly over the carriers because the Japanese carriers were north of Hawaii, while the nearest US carrier, USS Enterprise, was to the south west. Besides, the ocean is pretty damn big, and ships aren't all that easy to spot from a plane at any altitude. A good comparison is trying to pick a single car on the highway while looking from an airliner at 40,000 ft. Even if you can see the highway you aren't going to be able to pick out something that has a surface area of around 5 square metres from nearly 13 kilometres away.
  20. mutley Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 1998
    star 4
    Very impressed with reading knowledge and understanding..but remember this if you really want to know-talk to a digger(ex-serviceman for those outside of Aus and NZ).

    More important talk to your family, my Grandfather would not speak to anyone about the war unless they wore a uniform--I did-- and my Grandfather saw alot of things.
  21. Obi Anne FF admin Celebrations, Europe

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1998
    star 7
    Well some of us have problems with that, it's hard to find someone who was there when you live in a neutral country.

    To go back to the Laconia order.

    I don't think that Doenitz had any choice but to give it. The U-boats were to precious to be gambled with, after all Germany couldn't keep up with building them as fast as they needed. And as you say the allies issued the same orders in the Pacific. That Doenitz was held responsible is yet another proof that the Nuremberg-trials could have been handled a lot better than they were.

  22. eaglejedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2001
    star 5
    1. Very interesting. I had not heard of the Laconia Order before. I must learn more of this. Good point about Nuremberg. While it wasn't exactly victors' justice, given that the men on trial did do terrible things in violation of the Geneva Conventions, some of the military officers tried were arraigned for offenses committed also by Allied military officers, and some for "crimes against the peace." If being the one to start a war is a war crime, then many Western war criminals have gone unpunished. Not arguing that it shouldn't be a war crime, but there is an obvious double standard here.
  23. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    Considering in the late twenties war was outlawed I'd say we're pretty much laughing.

    Now that thought that a submarine would have to pick up survivors is absolutely ludicrous. Back then they had actually made a treaty saying if they couldn't pick up the survivors then they weren't allowed to torpedo the merchant ship.

    Absolute insanity. The british were arming merchant ships and gave orders for them to ram submarines. It would have been insane for the subs to try to stick around and 'play fair'.

    Bah, the whole thing stems from the concept that using submarines is in some way unfair. Like getting shot at is more sporting.

    Idiots.
  24. eaglejedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2001
    star 5
    That's the Brits for you- you've got to play the game right. Of course, they were always accusing the US (with some relative accuracy) of wanting to play war either by the Marquess of Queensbury rules or from five miles up in the air.
  25. Obi-Wan_and_only Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 27, 2001
    star 2
    Yeah, those crazy Brits. How many Pacific Islands did they storm again...oh yeah, I remember now
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