World War II Discussion Thread

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

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  1. General Cargin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 15, 1999
    star 4
    Goering was, I think, smart enough to leave the business of fighting wars to the active duty professionals who had been through the military academies. Hitler, meanwhile, insisted on taking personal command of the Wehrmacht at a time when the utmost professionalism was needed by the commander in chief.
  2. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    As I remember, Goering tampered with the development of new German fighter technology with a very negative result.

    Or so I remember.
  3. MASTER_OBI-DAN Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2002
    star 4
    ?Goering's appointment as Reichsmarschall was seperate to his appointment as head of the Luftwaffe.?

    Agreed. ;)

    Hitler appointed Göring to be the Oberbefehlshaber der Luftwaffe (Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe) on March 1st 1935. On July 19th 1940, Hitler appointed Göring to be the Reichsmarschall des Grossdeutschen Reiches.


    ?It is correct that he was head of the air forces, but the appointment was seperate from the military chain of command.?

    I?m not exactly sure, but I assume that you?re referring to his appointment as Reichsmarschall des Grossdeutschen Reiches and not the appointment of Oberbefehlshaber der Luftwaffe. Göring, through the latter appointment, was at the top of the ?chain of command? in terms of the Luftwaffe; he could only be overruled by Hitler himself, as Commander-in-Chief of the entire German military. ;)

    In terms of whether or not Göring?s title/rank of Reichsmarschall applies to the Luftwaffe itself seems to be a thoroughly confused question. Right now, I concur with you, General Cargin. However, I will point out that there are an obscene number of websites (E.g.: here, here, here, and here), which seem to take Reichsmarschall as a official rank of the Luftwaffe. However, the scholarly quality of these websites remains another unanswered question though.

    Also, I should point out that Hitler appointed Göring to the rank/title of Reichsmarschall des Grossdeutschen Reiches on the same occasion (July 19th 1940 @ the Reichstag) when several military promotions were announced (E.g.: 12 Generals were made Field Marshals); thus, this may be another reason for the confusion. Regardless, I still need to do more research to answer this question properly; at this point, I believe that you are correct but I will keep you apprised of the results of my research. ;)


    ?The appointment of Reichsmarschall was equivalent to deputy Fuhrer, and he was indeed referred to in that capacity.?

    I know what you?re trying to say here, but be careful. Why, you ask? Because title/rank of Reichsmarschall was different from the (existent) office of the Deputy Führer, which was held by Rudolf Heß. Just days after Heß made his ill-fated flight to Scotland on May 10th 1941, the office itself was renamed the Party Chancellery, and subordinated to Hitler personally. Thus, the office of Deputy Führer was essentially eliminated and held by no one after Heß. As such, Göring was never ?indeed referred to in that capacity.?

    ;)
    />/>
  4. MASTER_OBI-DAN Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2002
    star 4
    ?Does anyone else ever get the feeling that Goring was incompetant??

    That?s actually a very good question, ADMIRALSPUZZUM. ;) But it is a difficult question to answer in a general sense, as Göring held numerous during the Nazi Era.

    Here is a list below of such offices/titles/ranks that Göring held (Source: The Jewish Virtual Library):

    GOERING, HERMANN WILHELM
    Successor designate No. 1 to Hitler; Reich Minister for Air; President of the Ministerial Council for the Defense of the Reich; member of the Secret Cabinet Council; Reich Forest Master; Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force; Prime Minister of Prussia; President of the Prussian State Council; President of the Reichstag; Plenipotentiary for the Four Year Plan; Head of the "Reichswerke Hermann Goering"; Reichsmarschall; SS Obergruppenfuehrer; SA- Obergruppenfuehrer.



    ?As I remember, Goering tampered with the development of new German fighter technology with a very negative result.

    Or so I remember.
    ?

    This is a definite possibility, faraday. Off the top of my head, I can?t come up with any notable examples right now though; but I will look into it. ;)

    What I personally recall as one of the most notable examples of tampering ?with the development of new German fighter technology with a very negative result? came from Hitler himself (against the express wishes of Göring and Adolf Galland). Specifically, Hitler insisted (some would say quite illogically) that the Me 262 should be configured as a fighter/bomber instead of a pure fighter; Hitler's insistence delayed the Me 262's introduction into active front-line service by several crucial months. (Also, there were several other reasons why the introduction of the Me 262 was delayed too.) ;)

    Here are some pictures of the Me 262:

    [image=http://www.accessweb.com/users/mconstab/me262a.jpg] [image=http://www.soton.ac.uk/~genesis/Pictures/Germany/Me262__1.jpg].
    />
  5. General Cargin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 15, 1999
    star 4
    In this instance, I beg indifference, Master Obi_Dan - I try to keep my interests to the military arena of the 3rd Reich. I have a great deal of respect for the common soldier, but I abhor the political misdeeds of the Schutzstaffel among others. BTW, for what it's worth you did interpretate my statement about Goring's appointment and the chain of command correctly.

    I will back up your claim on Hitler being responsible for the delays concerning the Me262. That fiasco eventually led to General Galland either resigning or being fired from his post as commander of the fighter corps and going back to a frontline command as commander of Jagdverband 44.

    Hitler's interference was common in matters of military procurement - another project he interfered with was the development of the StuG-44 assault rifle. Ol' Adolf insisted that all future firearms in development for the ground forces be sub-machine guns, bearing the designation Maschinen Pistole. The weapon was relabelled the MP-44 after Hitler saw the original StuG designation and cancelled it. The weapon then got into general distribution after Hitler discovered how effective the weapon really was.
  6. shocktrooper Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2002
    star 3
    I always loved the look of ME 262's, one of my favourite aircraft (pity it was on the wrong side)
    Back on the Topic of Goering, wasn't he a Cocaine addict/user or something (I'm sure I've heard that somewhere?)
  7. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    To my mind Goering's allowing Hitler to tamper was criminal, furthermore the dispersal or R and D on a multiplicity of new projects instead of concentrating on something like the ME 262.
  8. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2000
    star 6
    Do you think the outcome of the war, particular the Russian Front and the Battle for Britian, would have been different if Hitler had not ordered for the Me 262 to be modified into a JetBomber therefore delaying its introduction too late to do anything?
  9. SirLancelot Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2002
    star 4
    Actually Goring did not interfere with R&D so much as encourage it. Goring knew the 262 could save Germany from the bombers, had it started flying in 1943. But Hitler wanted a bomber with which to strike London, and he would not aprove the plane unless it could be a bomber. the designers had never built the plane to be a bomber, so 6 months where wasted on a futile gesture. This is according to D-Day by Stephen Ambrose, which i believe.


    you can tell how insane Hitler was becuase of the blatent errors he made. He believed in not fighting a two front war, yet he invaded Russia, he believed that if you defend everything you defend nothing, and it was these massive disregards for his own policy that doomed Germany in the war, and proved that Hitler was in fact mad.
  10. ADMIRALSPUZZUM Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2002
    star 4
    Invading Russia near Winter isn't exactly a great idea either.

    BRR!
  11. MASTER_OBI-DAN Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2002
    star 4
    "Actually Goring did not interfere with R&D so much as encourage it. Goring knew the 262 could save Germany from the bombers, had it started flying in 1943. But Hitler wanted a bomber with which to strike London, and he would not aprove the plane unless it could be a bomber. the designers had never built the plane to be a bomber, so 6 months where wasted on a futile gesture."

    I agree with SirLancelot on this issue. There is very little that Göring might have been able to do to affect real change in terms of the Me 262 and Hitler's insistence. Hitler was the Commander-in-Chief of the entire German military, Göring was the C-in-C of the Luftwaffe; thus, Hitler could overrule Göring and he did in this case. The only thing that Göring could have done was to resign; realistically though, it is doubtful whether this would have brought about real change. Such a resignation would have initially brought internal turmoil, but Göring would have been replaced by a pliant "yes-man" (as was the pattern), while such an act of futile defiance (of such a high-ranking Nazi) would have been tantamount to signing his own death-sentence (Göring, whose influence over Hitler at this point had begun to visibly wane, would have either been shot like Röhm or disassociated like Heß).

    You have to remember that this the Führerstäat that we're talking about here, farraday. In the Führerstäat (or Nazi Germany if you like), the Führerprinzip is in effect and Hitler?s word readily becomes absolute law via decree. Hitler is the C-in-C, the Reichskanzler, and Reichspraesident; thus, he is the locus of power. Whenever possible, Hitler always got what he wanted and resistance against his will was almost always crushed.

    Edit #1: Changing verbs (their tense).

    Edit #2: "Redesigning the Me-262 to be a fighter bomber was totally pointless..."

    I agree, General Cargin.


  12. General Cargin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 15, 1999
    star 4
    Redesigning the Me-262 to be a fighter bomber was totally pointless, because, not only could slower, less advanced aircraft do the job of close air support more effectively, but a frontline jet bomber was in mainstream production - the Arado 232 Blitz. Arado actually developed a few different models, even going to a 6 engine design atone point, I believe.

    The crazy thing is, it took the USAF 20 years post WW2 to realise that the job of close air support was best handled by low speed, low tech aircraft, when the Luftwaffe had it right in the first place with the Ju-87 Stuka. The USAF went full circle from prop fighters to fast jets which had pathetic low speed handling characteristics and mediocre weapons loadouts back to a piston engine attack fighter designed at the end of WW2.
  13. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2000
    star 6
    What does Goring have to do with my question? I asked would the Me 262 have made a diffirence if Hitler had not delayed its introduction by ordering for it to be turned into a JetBomber in the Battle of Britain and the Russian Front?
  14. SirLancelot Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2002
    star 4
    had the 262 gone into service in 1943 then it would have destroyed the 8th and 15th air forces, so yes it would have made a dfifference.
  15. General Cargin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 15, 1999
    star 4
    Yes, I agree - the Schwalbe would have made a very large hole in the daylight bombing force had it come into service in 1943 or even '42. There would have been neglible effect on the Eastern Front, mainly because the Soviet Frontal Aviation wasn't the most highly skilled bunch of fliers, nor did they have the best of aircraft. Put it this way, Erich Hartmann racked up a kill tally of over 250(?- might have been 350, can't really remember) enemy aircraft in around 18 months in various models of Messerschmidt Me 109s.
  16. MASTER_OBI-DAN Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2002
    star 4
    ?I asked would the Me 262 have made a diffirence if Hitler had not delayed its introduction by ordering for it to be turned into a JetBomber in the Battle of Britain and the Russian Front??

    Here?s a brief answer to your question, CmdrMitthrawnuruodo. IMHO, Me 262 would not have affected the Battle of Britain, as the turning point occurred on Sept. 15, 1940 (in favour of the RAF) and Hitler?s Directive 21 of December 18, 1940 (calling for an attack on the USSR before the defeat of Britain) represented its essential end. The first operational flight of the Me 262 with the crucial Jumo 004A-0 turbojets did not occur until July 18, 1942; this is more than a year and a half past the conclusion of the Battle of Britain. Thus, the Me 262 could not have made a difference in the Battle of Britain.

    The Me 262?s real potential for making a difference would have been in the skies over Western Europe/Nazi Germany (proper). In a fascinating interview found here, Adolf Galland speaks of the true potential of the Me 262 (in his opinion) and Hitler?s illogical insistence of using it in a fighter/bomber role in the first quotation.

    Please note that Galland states that the introduction of Me 262 would not have changed the final outcome of the war, but it would have delayed the end of the war, possibly prevented the Normandy Invasion of June 6, 1944 and might have ensured the Luftwaffe?s air superiority over Fortress Europe.

    ;)

  17. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2000
    star 6
    Okay.

    So, if the Me 262 was used as a fighter escort for the bombers and the Battle of Britain was restarted, would Britain have fallen?
  18. General Cargin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 15, 1999
    star 4
    No. I don't believe so. Germany's bomber force was never any match for the Allied bomber squadrons. Debate survives to this day exactly how vital to the outcome of the war strategic bombing was. Local air superiority was, without doubt, vital to a favourable outcome to both sides, and the fact is, the Allies had it, while the Reich did not.

    Strategic bombing had a formidable effect on industry, yet Germany was, with some exceptions, still largely cottage industry based. That is to say, those large factories destroyed by aerial bombing had the shortfall picked up by small facilities in isolated areas while the main factory was repaired. That is supported by evidence from some areas of German wartime production - eg Ju-88 bombers - which actually increased, or remained unaffected in terms of output by strategic bombing.

    The real failure in Germany was the failure to switch over to increased industrial output early in the war. For example, during the Battle of Britain, British production of Hurricanes and Spitfires nearly doubled, while German production of frontline fighters remained the same as at pre-war levels. That trend in all areas of wartime production continued long after America entered the war.

    Tactical mistakes also led to final defeat. As a hypothetical, what would have happened had Operation Sealion gone ahead in September 1940? Keep in mind the effect a successful invasion of England would have had on the invasion of Russia.
  19. MASTER_OBI-DAN Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2002
    star 4
    "So, if the Me 262 was used as a fighter escort for the bombers and the Battle of Britain was restarted, would Britain have fallen?"

    Generally speaking, nations during this period did not "fall" as a result of air power alone.


    "As a hypothetical, what would have happened had Operation Sealion gone ahead in September 1940?"

    There is actually a chapter of a book (that I have recently read) that is dedicated to this very question, General Cargin; the chapter is a good read and the counterfactual speculation is essentially sound. I highly recommend this book, if reading history books/texts is one of your hobbies and/or career. Here's the relevant information regarding the book:

    Ferguson, Niall. Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals. London: Picador, 1997.

    The chapter itself, is written by Ferguson and is entitled: "Hitler's England: What if Nazi Germany had invaded Britain in May 1940?"

    ;)

    />
  20. General Cargin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 15, 1999
    star 4
    I've not heard of that one. I'll have to look it up to see whether any of my armchair strategist theories match up.
  21. Lordban Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2000
    star 5
    Actually, the introduction of Me-262 would have made no difference. The luftwaffe was only three or four days from damaging the RAF enough for it not to be able to prevent an invasion of Britain, but the RAF's bombardment of Berlin triggered the emotional reaction we know, and the intensive bombing of British cities. It was a boon to the RAF, who could then repair their radars and airports, regaining eventually their edge over the Luftwaffe and ruining Hitler's initial plans for Operation Seelowe.
  22. General Cargin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 15, 1999
    star 4
    There's actually quite a few posts on preceding pages regarding the Battle of Britain, on the first two or three pages in memory serves me correctly.
  23. SirLancelot Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2002
    star 4
    yes, had the bombing campaign stayed with its original targets, air fields and defense fields, then the RAF would have been destroyed. but Hitler wanted to hit London more than anything, and as a result lost. In all honesty, London suffered but it mae it so the nation survived.

    as for Operation SeaLion. the invasion was to go on barges towed behind large partol boats. the problem with the barges is that they where made for streams and rivers, had they gone into open seas then they would have capsized, and the invasion force lost at sea. had the germans built up their paratroopers rather then dismanteling them and had built better ships then perhapes they could have taken Britan.
  24. Master-Aries Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2002
    star 1
    Operation Sea-Lion in itself is questionable, first things first, Germany could have gone two ways 1 enter Russia as Hitler wanted to from the beginning, 2 attack Britain, but as you correctly pointed out the British fleet was the deterrent.

    I believe Hitler if successful would then have attacked Britain, delaying essential shipments with the use of U-Boats and the recent bombings of London, Hitler felt confident he would have been able to do both.

    Russia?s was the greater threat as if she got organised Hitler would have lost the opportunity to attack Russia.

    Operation Sea-Lion, was a half assed attempt to secure Singapore moreover, the ABD agreements that were in place to ensure America?s participation were a farce, Churchill knew he needed 10 Capital ships and significant support to hang onto Singapore, that would have meant overextending his fleet leaving England wide open to attack from Germany.

    Initially America supported that agreement, but later after the second ABD contract was signed America pulled out, regarding technicalities to be the reason.

    Later one can see that Churchill had no intention of saving Singapore, and though Singapore was a lot closer to Japan and would have been a great tactical advantage to America, the plans for the coup at Pearl Harbour were more important, that evidence is now clear.

    So that supports the theory regarding Pearl Harbour?s supposedly sneak attack from Japan, was planned all along.

    Sincerely

    Master-Aries
    (MA)
  25. General Cargin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 15, 1999
    star 4
    You've just managed to completely confuse me, Aries.

    For starters, I don't know what the invasion of Singapore had to do with Operation Sealion - Sealion was postponed indefinitely 18 months before Singapore was attacked.

    Second, the Fallschirmjager were being built up for an airborne assault which would have paralleled a seaborne landing on Britain. The Fallschirmjager were later used on Crete, in a mission which literally ripped the guts out of an entire division of FJ, inspiring Hitler to swear never to use airborne troops in such large numbers again.

    Yet, Operation Mercury had the effect of convincing Britain and America that airborne troops would be a boon to winning the war. The Allies just went about training their paratroops to jump carrying their weapons instead of dropping the weapons in canisters at the same time as the paratroops jumped.

    Third, by the time Singapore came to be threatened by Japan, Britain could only spare two battleships to the Pacific theatre of operations. Every other RN asset was in use protecting the Atlantic convoys and the Mediterranean.

    Fourth, Russia may have ceased to be as great a threat had Sealion gone ahead. Most of the convoys sailing to Russia went via England. That was the logic behind occupying Norway by both sides. If Norway was occupied by either side, the northern convoys could be secured or threatened depended who the occupational force was.

    Fifth, getting back to Singapore, if Churchill had intended to sacrifice Singapore, why did he try to divert the 2nd AIF to Burma to shore up defences there? As it was, John Curtin prevailed and had the 2nd AIF brought home to help defend New Guinea. That little incident was sparked by the loss of Australia's only overseas deployed division in the PTO being forced to surrender at Singapore. Pure incompetence was behind the fall of Singapore, not a conspiracy to give it away.

    Had the Battle of Kokoda or the Battle of the Coral Sea gone the way of the Japanese, Australia faced invasion, which would have threatened further assistance to Britain from Australia. More arms were being manufactured in Australia for British use than were intended for Australian use.
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