World War II Discussion Thread

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

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  1. GrandAdmiralPelleaon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 6
    Not sending more aircrafts to France in 1939/1940.

    Really.
  2. Ghost_of_Caesar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2000
    star 4
    Roosevelt responding to Hitler's declaration of war on the US by sending 8th Air Force to Britain, among other things, would certainly rate up there. I'll have to think of some more.
  3. Charles_Windflyer Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2002
    star 1
    I love conversations like this !!
    Although I might not have the knowledge of specifics, such as ranks and such, I'm somewhat suprised that Midway is so favored as the "turning point" in the Pacific. Yes, Midway was the first major success for the US in the Pacific, and the Coral Sea proved the worth of air power, but I would humbly say the actual turning point was Guadacanal. Until that point, we were like a fighter against the ropes, lashing out and occassionally making a hit, but after Guadacanal we actually started moving in the direction we wanted to move, and we (The US) controlled the war. Instead of being a bright moment of success in an otherwise desperate war, it was where momentum truly shifted to the US.

    Oh! also, as far as the UK or USSR defeating the 3rd Reicht without US assistance, I feel that although the variables are far too countless to be definitive, to say Normandy was "no big deal" as someone suggested is asinine.
    We might not have been a superpower in '41, but by D-Day, we were a definite 3rd force to be dealt with. The resources dedicated to defending the western front, if sent entirely to the USSR would have made up for the one extraordinarily harsh winter that stopped the Nazi advance. The UK was "running on fumes" if you will and would easily have been over run within a year, particularly if the western front resources had been directed towards the Ural oil fields.

    Differences in tactics between WWI and WWII:
    French tactic in WWI = put on gas mask and raise white flag
    French tactic in WWII = Forget gas mask and raise Vichi flag, suggested color ,white.

    That was a joke, okay ... flame if you must.
    Charles
    just my thoughts.
  4. Ghost_of_Caesar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2000
    star 4
    One thing that must be considered there is that the UK was not totally alone prior to December 1941. They counted among their allies every member nation of the British Commonwealth, and many of the larger nations had dispatched expeditionary forces at least to North Africa, and in Canada's case, to Britain itself. In fact, the British army was in such a bad state after Dunkirk, that Canada had the only army in Britain capable of fighting at 100% strength had the Germans invaded.

    Had certain things gone Britain's way, such as Japan not getting violently expanionist in 1941, the Commonwealth quite certainly could have eventually handled Germany in the west and Mediterranean theatres. RAF Bomber Command was certainly up to the task of strategic bombing of the 3rd Reich. The Royal Army and the Commonweath expeditionary forces were capable of taking on the best the Wehrmacht had to offer, especially after they licked the wounds taken at Dunkirk. In fact, some of the biggest blows Rommel took in North Africa were during late 1941 and early 1942 when the BEF was in no shape to do anything except fill spaces on a parade ground - the campaign in Greece, Crete and North Africa was handled entirely by 8th Army, 2nd AIF and other assorted "colonial" forces. Granted, the American involvement in North Africa was the final body blow which accelerated the end of the DAK, but the end was somewhat predetermined by that point.
  5. Obi Anne FF admin Celebrations, Europe

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1998
    star 7
    The reason why I see Midway as the turning point is not because of everything starting to go the US way in the war, but it stopped Japan from advancing.

    If Japan had won Midway they would have been able to keep their supplies going without problem, now instead they lost a big part of their navy, and the US could continue to strike directly at the Japanese positions. Everything that was needed after Midway was patience, since Japan didn't have the possibility to build up a new navy to counter the losses.
  6. Tod Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 29, 1999
    star 4
    One greatest achievement in WW2 was Finnish Winter War against USSR 11/30/1939 - 3/13/1940. For 105 days a small country managed to defeat everything Stalin threw to battle.

    In the end Finnish army which was about 300 000 strong had lost 25 000 dead and 44 000 wounded Russian losses were about 250 000 dead and 300 000 wounded. Finnish army didn't even have guns for every soldier.

    British sent Finland weapons left over from WW1 which didn't even work and from USA Finland received about half-dozen Brewster fighters with no spare parts. The only real military aid came from Sweden and other nordic countries.

    It's no surprise that in the end Finland was doomed to lose but thanks to valiant defense Finland managed to stay independent country. Winter War is still unparalleled example what determined people can do when fighting for their freedom.
  7. Grand_Admiral_Jaxx Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 23, 2000
    star 5
    I sort of skipped the other pages, and read only the first few posts...

    Let's get down and dirty... I'd like to think I have a decent knowledge of WW2, but I hope someone out there can stretch that knowledge for me.

    Try these for size...

    1) Agree or disagree: British general Bernard Montgomery is overrated.

    2) Agree or disagree: Field Marshall Erwin Rommell was the most brilliant leader in WW2

    3) Agree or disagree: There are a lot of comparisons between Hitler and Roosevelt

    ----

    I'll put my own thoughts, but I want to read other thoughts first, so I can respond accordingly. I do better responding than opening ;)
  8. Fluke_Groundwalker Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2001
    star 5
    Wow, this thread still lives...cool.
  9. GrandAdmiralPelleaon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 6
    Rommell was a brilliant tactician. I don't know if he was the best though.
  10. Obi Anne FF admin Celebrations, Europe

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1998
    star 7
    It's hard to say who's the best, after all both sides had very different possibilities to act, Rommel for example had just a limited possibility to plan his over all strategy by himself. There is of course also the difference between the battlefields, Europe is different from Africa, and both are different to the Pacific or Russia.

    I must say though that Rommel was a brilliant military leader, and would probably have been even better if he had had the chance to take all strategical decisions by himself.
  11. Ghost_of_Caesar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2000
    star 4
    1) Agree or disagree: British general Bernard Montgomery is overrated.

    2) Agree or disagree: Field Marshall Erwin Rommell was the most brilliant leader in WW2


    1. Sir Bernard Law Montgomery is hardly overrated. In the first instance, he succeeded where two previous commanders had failed miserably - stopping Rommel in the desert. The most famous accustation of Monty being overrated comes from Saving Private Ryan in which Capt Miller and another officer discuss Monty. The instance referred to was in fact caused by Field Marshal Montgomery's forces being held up by stiff resistance by a division of veteran troops from the Eastern Front. Another instance of Monty's alleged incompetency is Operation Market Garden. That was merely another case of intelligence units failing in their duty to the front line combat troops. Market Garden was a brilliantly planned operation, and had the intel types got it right, could have led to American and British forces taking Berlin by Christmas 1944.

    2. Generalfeldmarschal Erwin Rommel was every bit as brilliant as his reputation suggested. However, I doubt whether he could be considered the single most brilliant military mind in the Wehrmacht. It is a case of far too many brilliant minds, every one of them as specialised as the next. Karl Donitz was a genius when it came to undersea warfare, Heinz Guderian developed virtually all of the tactics of armoured warfare, many of which still used by armies around the world, George Patton was a master of cavalry tactics, and so on. Rommel was as much the right man at the right time, however, with the right combination of anti-authoritarianism, tactical and strategic knowledge and charisma.
  12. Grand_Admiral_Jaxx Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 23, 2000
    star 5
    my line about Montgomery had nothing to do with Saving Private Ryan.

    Montgomery is too by-the-book, and he relied more on the muscle of American forces, because he and Rommell were at standstill until the Americans came in.

    In one instance, in the European theater of war, Anerican forces had to steamroll through German divisions that Montgomery was supposed to take care of, but Monty was too hesitant to do a thing. After the battle, however, Monty took credit for it all.
  13. Jedi_Xen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2001
    star 4
    Rommell was a brilliant tactician. I don't know if he was the best though.

    Thats right GAP, the US, USSR, and UK put brilliant commanders on the field in WWII as well, Eisenhower and Patton immediatley come to mind.

    Montgomery is too by-the-book, and he relied more on the muscle of American forces, because he and Rommell were at standstill until the Americans came in.

    Lets put this in perspective though, in the British defense they had extremley low morale, and an army with low morale is not very effective. They had been run out of mainland Europe, lost an ally in France, had constant air raids over their country, looked at the prospect of both Spain and Turkey joining their enemy and until 1941 were virtually fighting the Nazi's alone, that could put a damper on any army.

    The entry of the USSR in the war was a morale boost, but they were weary of the Soviet's, in 1940 they thought the USSR might attack them to.

    When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor a new morale swept through the army, they had an ally they trusted in the US, in positions where they were falling back in Africa they began to bring the battles to a standstill and even before the US arrived went on an offensive, for the first time since the fall of France it looked like a war they could win.

    I read something that Winston Churchill had said when he found out of the Pearl Harbor attack it was along the lines of "Gentlemen we have just won this war." the next morning his peers noticed he looked more rested than before and when asked he simply said "I selpt the sleep of the victor." Churchill knew the war was as good as won.
  14. Admiral_Thrawn60 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2000
    star 6
    I'm not sure if this has been discussed yet. If it has, just ignore me. What do you people think of the accusations that Roosevelt and Churchill knew the attack on Pearl was coming, and Roosevelt wanted to get involved, but he knew the American people did not want to fight a foreign war. So, according to the accusations, in effect, Roosevelt sacrified those people and weapons at Pearl in order to be able to join the war. After all, Roosevelt and Churchill were buddies.

    I believe that Roosevelt did not want to get involved in the war, and did not know the attack on Pearl would happen. One indicator of this is the fact that the planes were lumped close together, to prevent sabotage. If Roosevelt knew an attack would come from the air, he would have taken steps to minimize the damage done from such an attack. Those planes were perfect targets, the way they were.
  15. Fluke_Groundwalker Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2001
    star 5
    I think I said this in my first post, but I'll say it again.

    I believe Roosevelt knew the war was coming. I think he wanted to get involved. He was power hungry.
  16. Wedges_Wingman Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2001
    star 2
    Monty often did a good job of shooting himself in the foot in a political sense. He *was* rather vain, but then again, most great commanders are. A cautious commander, he did not play the political game as well as many other officers.
    For instance, he is often blamed for not breaking out of Normandy, something he had promised he would do - a somewhat rash promise. However, his British and Canadian troops held down many crack Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS units, allowing the Americans to break out in the south with minimal effort.

    -J
  17. Charles_Windflyer Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2002
    star 1
    If I remember correctly, FDR's cabinet, advisors and aides were all screaming to enter the war, but the citizens were pretty much split 50/50 towards entry into war.
    On one hand, you had the FDR types that turned a blind eye to Hitler's agression and double cross on the non-agression pacts expressing that "it was non of our business what went on in Europe" and you had those like Charles Lindberg and Henry Ford who actually SUPPORTED the Hitler regime. These two forces pretty much made sure that the US wouldn't enter the war unless it was forced to.
    Did FDR want our hand forced? Perhaps, although I don't think he was actually inviting involvement, he just didn't want to make the decision. If he knew about the attack on Pearl Harbor(I believe that with the general Japanese agression pre-December 1941 he knew that SOMEWHERE we were going to be attacked, but not necessesarily where), he may have not moved on it, just so he wouldn't have to stick his neck out and make the decision to go to war.


    Was FDR like Hitler, perhaps... his actions in the depression are a bit analogous to his "Master planner" Albert Speer's public works, and FDR's attempt to stack the Supreme Court can be parallelled with Hitler's stacking the Govn't with Nazi members... but FDR fortunately wasn't as extreme.
    Just my humble 2 cents
    Charles
  18. Grand_Admiral_Jaxx Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 23, 2000
    star 5
    Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh did NOT support the Nazi Regime; they supported Isolationism.

    Ford was stationed in the isolationist capital of the world: Chicago. They had no desire to get in the war at all.

    Lindbergh, on the other hand, argued that it was not feasible for the US to invade Germany, not was it feasible for Germany to invade the US.

    As for FDR knowing... I agree and disagree.

    For starters, there has been NO major air attack of any kind until Pearl Harbor. Pearl was a first for aerial raids.

    Second, at the time, battleships were considered to be the most advanced and most useful weapons of war. The carriers, even though they existed, are basically secondary. The battleships were perfect targets while the carriers were at sea.

    Third, and this ties with one, because there were no major air raids of any kind, they weren't expecting a Pearl attack like the one they got... they were expecting sabatoge. They were expecting a major raid in either the Philipines and Australia.

    Fourth... yes, Roosevelt was a genius. Power hungry? Nah. Just a brilliant politician. He understood the game better than anyone else did. While Hitler and Stalin used a hammer to crush their enemies, Roosevelt was the snake charmer that talk his or her enemy into doing whatever he wanted.
  19. Jedi_Xen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2001
    star 4
    For starters, there has been NO major air attack of any kind until Pearl Harbor. Pearl was a first for aerial raids.

    WRONG! No offense but you keep forgetting about our courageous British allies. Ever hear of the battle of Britain? Nothing but pure air raids, sure Germany had the bigger and supposingly better air force, but the UK won the battle, and because they won the battle it allowed them and us to win the war. The US and UK were not going to win the war without the other, neither were going to lose it, but they needed eachother to win it.
  20. eaglejedi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2001
    star 5
    Actually, Ford did support Hitler. He, like so many others, helped raised money to fund the Nazi Party and the Third Reich. He was an avowed anti-Semite, which is not surprising since, overall, he was a very ignorant man, as shown by this anecdote:
    During the First World War, a newspaper printed an editorial criticizing Ford and he sued; the editorial was actually based on a misunderstanding, and the specific basis had been ruled libel, but his lawyer characterized the entire thing as libelous. This was a big mistake, for the editorial said Ford was stupid, and thus his lawyer had to prove he was not stupid. This he failed to do. Ford thought "chili con carne" meant a large mobile army, said Benedict Arnold was a great writer, and placed the Revolutionary War at 1812.

    More and more on-topic later.
  21. Humble extra Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 1999
    star 5
    i think part of the whole anti monty thing is that there was a sense of missed opportunity, in the Northern Desert anyway, where Britain could have been totally victorious alot earlier, if the 8th Army hadn't been split up to go to Greece and such, and the loss of such talented generals as Clark? (i am not sure if thats the right name, i refer to the british general who masterminded the operations against the italians, and who was captured by the germans...)........it was really the last chance for Britain to go it alone, and it was messed up (by alone, of course i count Commonwealth/Imperial forces as british)
  22. Ghost_of_Caesar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2000
    star 4
    But the catch with that is that Monty had nothing to do with the early stages of the desert war. Generals Wavell and Archibald failed miserably, quite probably because of the reasons you stated, HE. Monty was the general who succeeded where they failed.
  23. Humble extra Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 1999
    star 5
    archibald? that doesn't sound familiar, do you mean that other general, um, auchinluk (ok, i admit to having no idea how to spell his name at all)
  24. Ghost_of_Caesar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 27, 2000
    star 4
    Damn it, you're right, thanks for catching that, HE. I was thinking of General Sir Claude Auchinleck, the man who replaced Sir Archibald Wavell as CinC Middle East theatre.
  25. Wedges_Wingman Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 11, 2001
    star 2
    G_A_Jaxx, Ever heard of Taranto? The Fleet Air Arm destroyed most of Italy's Mediterranean Fleet in its harbour, and the Italians never dared roam the Med again. This was in 1940. Meanwhile, Japanese Observers watched this with great interest...
    The Stringbag did it first!

    -J
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