World War II Discussion Thread

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

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  1. Ghost_of_Caesar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2000
    star 4
    It's a case of wanting to play soldier by outdated rules and concepts. The rules by which the Brits tried to punish Doenitz were for use during WW1, and even then were vastly outdated. The Prize Rules covered such things as warning the target vessel of the impending attack (a foolish concept if ever I heard one), aiding and assisting any survivors of such an attack. It even states that a submarine must stop the the target vessel, board and search it to determine it's status. Further details can be found here. Such rules were completely impractical in an era where the successful use of submarines depended on secrecy, and the precedent established by Doenitz and Nimitz ensured that those rules were thrown out after WW2.
  2. eaglejedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2001
    star 5
    1. Obiwan and only- And when did the United States enter the war? And what did we do while Czechoslovakia, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Yugoslavia, and Greece were overrun in 1938-1941, bombs were falling on London, the RAF lads were dying like flies over the Channel in 1940, the Soviet Union raped Finland and absorbed the Baltics in 1939-40, and was subsequently fought within an inch of its life by the Wehrmacht in 1941?
    Not to mention while Spain was taken over by a fascist insurgency 1936-1939, or while the Japanese first stole Machuria in 1931 and then invaded the rest of China in 1937.
  3. eaglejedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2001
    star 5
    How many Amerikans went over and died in commando raids to show Britain wasn't lying down for Hitler? How many Amerikans died in the invasion of the Soviet Union? How many years did the US stand alone against the Narzis?
    Same answer as your question.
  4. The Cooler King Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 31, 2000
    star 1
    Come to think of it, if Hitler hadn't declared war on the US, Roosevelt probably would not have entered into the European Theatre of Operations at all. Which would have meant no round the clock strategic bombing, a considerably delayed, if not non-existant D-Day, and probably a complete change in the course of the war.
  5. Wedges_Wingman Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2001
    star 2
    Ladies. Gentlemen. I must say that I have been reading this discussion with great interest and pleasure. However on the course of the war issue, I feel I must point out that the war was a chaotic system. Many mistakes were made on both sides, so predicting the outcome of the war based on a single variable is a little tenuous. On the other hand, here's one for you:

    If Hitler had turned his strategic reserve against the Soviets as opposed to throwing his crack troops into the battle of the bulge, would Germany have remained united post-war under a western democratic government?

    I await your comments with interest.

    -J
  6. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    No.

    The division of Germany and Austria into Zones of occupation was decided pre-VEday the actual control of the territory involved being unimportant.
    This is also often ignored by those suggesting if we had taken Berlin Germany would have remained unified. They also tend to ignore the horrendous Russian casualties taken in the march on Barlin.
  7. Ghost_of_Caesar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2000
    star 4
    I have to second farraday's assessment. That is precisely what the Tehran and later the Yalta agreements sought to establish. Churchill and Roosevelt more or less stuck to the agreement reached, even though Stalin tried to double-cross it a couple of years after the war with the Berlin Blockade.
  8. Fluke_Groundwalker Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2001
    star 5
    Ok, this thread is dying. I have a few questions though.

    What were Hermann Goering and Hiemerich Himmler's ranks?
  9. eaglejedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2001
    star 5
    Reichsmarschall [approximately equivalent to six stars, for Amerikans] and Reichsfuhrer [an SS rank about the same or a bit higher], respectively.
    The exact equivalency of Reichsmarschall is debatable as there were two separate ranks of field marshalls- Feldmarschall and Generalfeldmarschall; I can't remember which was higher.
    Keep in mind that all SS officer and NCO ranks used the word "fuhrer," as in Obergruppenfuhrer (a high general), Oberstgruppenfuhrer (colonel general), Brigadefuhrer (Brigadier General), Standartenfuhrer (Colonel), Obersturmfuhrer (Lt. Colonel; Eichmann's rank), Sturmbannfuhrer (Major), Hauptscharfuhrer (Sergeant Major or 1st Sergeant).
  10. Fluke_Groundwalker Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2001
    star 5
    Thank you. You're a life saver.
  11. Forward_Deploy Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2001
    star 1
  12. Ghost_of_Caesar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2000
    star 4
    eaglejedi, not correct on the German flag ranks. The correct order and ranks are Generalmajor, Generalleutnant, General der (eg Armee), Generaloberst, and Generalfeldmarschal.

    Go here for a fairly complete idea of Wehrmacht rank insignia across the board. It has images and explanations of all known rank insignia which applied to commissioned officers and enlisted men of the Wehrmacht.
  13. ArnaKyle Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 4
    Ah, World War II enthusiasts, very nice to see such intellectual discussion here!

    To bump this up to the top, I have a question:

    Do any of you participate in living history? There is a teriffic World War II airshow, the largest in the country (United States), just a few miles away from me. It's called World War II weekend, and I'm involved in the living history aspect this year.

    Oh and to add some commentary on the war in general...what does anyone think of the Atomic Bomb? I always thought it was the smart decision to drop it, considering it saved an estimated 1 million troops. Yes, it flattened Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the money that went into Project Manhatten was more then considerable...I still feel it was a good decision. The Japanese would have done anything to save their motherland, being a militaristic society, where death is considered honorable. However, I know a lot of people disagree over this...anyone?
  14. Obi Anne FF admin Celebrations, Europe

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1998
    star 7
    Strategical and tactical the bombing of Hiroshima was justified, but when they dropped the bomb over Nagasaki Japan had already decided to surrender. We also must think about what they knew about the a-bomb, I don't think they realised they danger of radiation. Yes a lot of people would die, but that would happen anyway, and in that case it was right to drop the first one. Now when we know how dangerous it is it would never be justified to do something like that.
  15. eaglejedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2001
    star 5
    Ghost_of_Caesar, BS. Just about everything I said was correct. I also knew everything you said, except that Generalfeldmarschall came right after Generaloberst. Hell, I can give the rest of the officer ranks from bottom up- Leutnant, Oberleutnant, Hauptmann/Rittmeister*, Major, Oberstleutnant, Oberst.
    I merely stated that there was a Feld Marschall, w/o the "General," which I believe I saw in the movie "The Longest Day," where they were showing the Western Front commanders and giving their ranks, and I believe Rommel and the other Armee Gruppe commander were Generalfeldmarschall, and Rundstedt was called simply Feldmarschall. Of course, it may have been a simply typo.
    In any case, the point still comes out the same. The equivalency of the ranks of Reichsfuhrer and Reichsmarschall cannot be exactly given.
    The Naval ranks of course, were entirely different- I don't off hand remember them all.
  16. Ghost_of_Caesar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2000
    star 4
    Oh, so you want to get technical, eaglejedi? Your statement implied that there were two seperate field marshal ranks in the Wehrmacht. There was in fact only one. The link I posted earlier points that out clearly. Gerd von Rundstedt's correct rank was Generalfeldmarschall, as was Erwin Rommel, and by way of appointment, von Rundstedt outranked Rommel.

    I never disputed the point about the ranking of Reichsfuhrer and Reichsmarshal, as they were unique, both to the men who held those ranks, and also to history. But seeing as you bring it up, those ranks were political, not military. Goering was deputy leader of the NSDAP, while Himmler headed the SS (Schutzstaffel). The two appointments had no equivalency - the fact that Goering headed the Luftwaffe is irrelevant. The only way to compare the two is if you exclude Goering's title and compare their appointments as heads of the Luftwaffe and SS. So, in a purely political sense, Reichsmarshal outranked Reichsfuhrer.

    Naval ranks had nothing to with the point I was making. The term "flag rank" refers genericly to any military officer who is a brigadier general/ commodore or higher. The only reason the term is normally associated with naval commands is that the common use of the word is flagship, a naval term. For example, Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz was a flag officer, as was Brigadier General Charles Yeager (Ret), as was General George Patton. By extrapolation, the same applies to general ranked military officers around the world.
  17. Fluke_Groundwalker Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2001
    star 5
    Simmah down, ya'll!

    Does anyone know of any websites, or have any information comparing/contrasting the styles of combat in World War I and II?
  18. Ghost_of_Caesar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2000
    star 4
    I can't really point you in the direction of a website that would be appropriate, Fluke. However, I can safely say that even during the course of WW1, the tactics and strategies were very fluid form theatre to theatre - that is to say that trench slaughter was not the sole method of warfare practised.

    The desert war in the Middle East was at all times a fast, fluid and freemoving style of warfare making great use of mounted troops and primitive mechanised infantry. These concepts were adapted to suit the times and equipment available during WW2 (tanks replaced cavalry, APCs replaced horse drawn carts).

    Even the early use of tanks on the western front in 1917 was an astonishing advance. It may have taken a couple of decades to refine their use, but the basic ideas of armoured warfare as practised in WW1 are still practised today in some armies.
  19. Fluke_Groundwalker Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2001
    star 5
    I thought the combat styles of World War II were a lot different than those of World War I?
  20. Ghost_of_Caesar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2000
    star 4
    In France, yes, the styles were very different. But in other theatres, they were predecessors to the styles used later.

    The trench warfare in France taught the powers that were the art of warfare had to change and move forward with the times. They learnt that lesson.

    The key here is that WW1 was not confined to a 1000 mile strip of fighting in northern France, but Turkey, Syria, Palestine and a few other places. The way a war is fought depends as much on the terrain it is fought on as much as the troops fighting it and the commanders leading them.
  21. stinrab Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 1998
    star 5
    WWI- attrition
    WWII- Blitzkrieg
  22. Ghost_of_Caesar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2000
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    Nice way to sum it up in five words or less Stinky. ;)

  23. Uruk-hai Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2000
    star 5
    Too simplistic though. WW2 was a war of attrition in some areas as well. Stalingrad and Lenningrad for example. Trench warfare was used in those two places also.

  24. eaglejedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2001
    star 5
    I disagree. Modern armored warfare is not just about the tank. What the Germans really passed on to future strategists and tacticians was only the blitzkreig, but also early combined arms warfare. At the beginning of the Second World War, the Germans had five Panzer Divisons (plus one ramshackle division that didn't operate together) and four Light Divisions. They still had only ten when they invaded France, but they defeated the French (1) because their tanks were concentrated in divisions, but also (2) with combined arms formations.
    The Panzer division had concentrated tanks, but also had infantry, artillery, recon, engineer, and antitank elements. Many of the French mechanized formations, whether "armored", "armored cavalry", cavalry, or motorized, lacked artillery and supporting arms, by comparison to infantry divisions.
    The French armor, of course, was further divided among a number of independent tank battalions distributed among the infantry divisions and so on.
    However, the Germans did not truly perfect combined arms warfare, because the tank was still a very powerful weapon, and the late-war German designs were very hard to take on with anything except another heavy tank or a tank destroyer.
    The true modern combined arms warfare was not developed until the 1970s and 80s, learning from the Israeli experience fighting with tanks against Syrian and Egyptian man-portable ATGMs in 1967 and especially 1973. With the introduction of these powerful light antitank weapons, the infantry became once again an element almost equal to armor, overall.
    True blitzkreig warfare does not work the way it used to in this situation. One may break through the front lines, but two men in a jeep with a TOW, or a couple of these jeeps at various points, can easily delay the exploiting forces enough for reserves to be moved in. It sounds silly, but think about it. A battalion of T-80s is advancing on a town, and all of a sudden, the lead tank is hit by a missile. The missileers reload and two, three, maybe four tanks are burning by the time the armored commander calls in suppressing fire on the town. Before the artillery can actually find them with its shells, or even bracket the area properly, the men jump into the jeep and drive on to the next town, where the process is repeated.
    In addition, the introduction of the helicopter, as well as the improvement in airborne and airmobile tactics over the last fifty years, and the development of mechanized airborne forces by the Soviet Union, makes it a whole new ball game.
    So you see, modern warfare is quite different from the style of war practiced by Guderian, Zhukov, Montgomery, and Rommel. Some of the tactics and strategies used with these new weapons may be archaic, but that will continue to change as the tactics of the last war get men killed in new ones.
  25. Fluke_Groundwalker Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2001
    star 5
    Ok, there is a thread about the biggest of mistakes of World War II, but what were some of the best decisions of World War II?
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