Sid Guttridge wrote:Hi trapperP,
Why do you think "we must agree that the Germans had the best of weapons AT THE START OF THE WAR"?
This is patently not true across a majority of weapons groups.
I refer you to my post of 18 Jul 2011 12:08.
Which German weapons do you believe were the best in the world at the start of WWII and why?
Even the U-boats weren't particularly outstanding in 1939-40. They lacked the range of US or Japanese submarines and their torpedoes had faults (exposed in the Norwegian campaign) and were certainly inferior to the Japanese.
German superiority seems to have relied less on superior weapons than in their ability to use any weapons they did have to greater effect than most of their competitors.
A lot of this superiority is hidden out of sight. For example, the Germans had had considerable experience of mechanized operations over 1936-39 and had learnt more about logistics and maintenance than their contemporaries. As a result they could move air units forward relatively rapidly and their motorized formations had better serviceability rates than most opponents.
I would suggest the US had the best infantry Rifle as Standard, the M-1 and the best pistol as Standard, the M-1911.
In terms of MGs, the Germans were working from a different theory and the mobility of the MG 34 and MG 42 arguably make them superior to the equivilent weapons carried by the Allies.
In terms of tanks at the outset of the war, the Germans had no tank to match the T-34 and the best tank in German service was the Skoda 38-t.
Aircraft are more problematic, the Spitfire and Hurricane were more manuverable than the ME-109 but the ME-109 was armed better and available in greater quantity. The Aichi Val was a better dive bomber than the Ju-87 Stuka in terms of payload, range, and while carrying similar armament the guns were better placed and the Val was a dogfighter that could defend itself. The He-111 and Ju 88 were underpowered, under armed and under armored. The Stirling and Lancaster Bombers had more range and higher payloads. The B-17 had range, armor. and armament and was superior to either German design.
I will defer to your knowledge on Submarines. The Kriegsmarine was always sort of the forgotten middle child of the German military, in that the Army was the oldest and got a lot of the goodies and the Luftwaffe was the baby who gets attention by doing lots of new things.
I agree the superiority was a combination of superior tactical doctrine and also it is easier when you are going to strike first rather than try to defend all the possible area that could be attacked.