German vs. Allied war-making potential

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German vs. Allied war-making potential

Post by Guaporense » 11 Nov 2009 21:02

Split off from http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=82745

Thunderbolt in ground attack role the Smithsonian Museum records that from 6 June 1944, to VE day Thunderbolt units destroyed 86,000 railway cars, 9,000 locos, 6,000 AFVs, and 68,000 trucks.
Thats plain wrong.

They claimed to have destroyed that number of stuff, but in fact, their performance was far inferior to claimed kills. IN fact, the Germans never deployed more than 6 thousand AFV in the western front in WW2!

From the Barbarossa sitehttp://operationbarbarossa.net/Myth-Bus ... .html#an_3:
Normandy 1944: the RAF’s and USAF’s Story
If there was any campaign in WWII where conditions were perfect for airpower to demonstrate its ability to kill armour, it was in Normandy in the summer of 1944. The Allies had air supremacy (which is much more then just air superiority) and during daylight hours they could attack any target at will, with the single proviso of avoiding very nasty concentrated Flak guns. They had thousands of some of the best and most powerful ground attack aircraft available in WWII. They had virtually unlimited supplies of ammunition, fuel and huge amount of logistical ground support. Air bases were in easy range, targets were concentrated in a small front line area, and the weather could not realistically have been better.

According to the RAF, the Hawker Typhoon was the most effective ground attack and tank killing aircraft in the world in 1944, which may have been true. No fewer than 26 RAF Squadrons were equipped with Typhoons by mid 1944. These aircraft operated round the clock during the Normandy campaign operating in ‘cab rank’ formations, literately flying above the target area in circles, waiting their turn to attack. Official RAF and USAF records claim the destruction of thousands of AFVs in Normandy. There are many examples such as:

* During Operation Goodwood (18th to 21st July) the 2nd Tactical Air Force and 9th USAAF claimed 257 and 134 tanks, respectively, as destroyed. Of these, 222 were claimed by Typhoon pilots using RPs (Rocket Projectiles).(2)
* During the German counterattack at Mortain (7th to 10th August) the 2nd Tactical Air Force and 9th USAAF claimed to have destroyed 140 and 112 tanks, respectively.(3)
* On a single day in August 1944, the RAF Typhoon pilots claimed no less than 135 tanks as destroyed.(4)

So what really happened? Unfortunately for air force pilots, there is a small unit usually entitled Research and Analysis which enters a combat area once it is secured. This is and was common in most armies, and the British Army was no different. The job of The Office of Research and Analysis was to look at the results of the tactics and weapons employed during the battle in order to determine their effectiveness (with the objective of improving future tactics and weapons).

They found that the air force’s claims did not match the reality at all. In the Goodwood area a total of 456 German heavily armoured vehicles were counted, and 301 were examined in detail. They found only 10 could be attributed to Typhoons using RPs (less than 3% of those claimed).(5) Even worse, only 3 out of 87 APC examined could be attributed to air lunched RPs. The story at Mortain was even worse. It turns out that only 177 German tanks and assault guns participated in the attack, which is 75 less tanks than claimed as destroyed! Of these 177 tanks, 46 were lost and only 9 were lost to aircraft attack.(6) This is again around 4% of those claimed. When the results of the various Normandy operations are compiled, it turns out that no more than 100 German tanks were lost in the entire campaign from hits by aircraft launched ordnance.(7) Thus on a single day in August 1944 the RAF claimed 35% more tanks destroyed than the total number of German tanks lost directly to air attack in the entire campaign!

Considering the Germans lost around 1 500 tanks, tank destroyers and assault guns in the Normandy campaign, less than 7% were lost directly to air attack.(8) The greatest contributor to the great myth regarding the ability of WWII aircraft to kill tanks was, and still is, directly the result of the pilot’s massively exaggerated kill claims. The Hawker Typhoon with its cannon and up to eight rockets was (and still is in much literature) hailed as the best weapon to stop the German Tiger I tank, and has been credited with destroying dozens of these tanks in the Normandy campaign. According to the most current definitive work only 13 Tiger tanks were destroyed by direct air attack in the entire campaign.(9) Of these, seven Tigers were lost on 18th July 1944 to massive carpet bombing by high altitude heavy bombers, preceding Operation Goodwood. Thus at most only six Tigers were actually destroyed by fighter bombers in the entire campaign. It turns out the best Tiger stopper was easily the British Army’s 17pdr AT gun, with the Typhoon well down on the list.

Indeed it appears that air attacks on tank formations protected by Flak were more dangerous for the aircraft than the tanks. The 2nd Tactical Air Force lost 829 aircraft in Normandy while the 9th USAAF lost 897.(10) These losses, which ironically exceed total German tank losses in the Normandy campaign, would be almost all fighter-bombers. Altogether 4 101 Allied aircraft and 16 714 aircrew were lost over the battlefield or in support of the Normandy campaign.(11)
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by Guaporense » 11 Nov 2009 21:12

The Germans had the best technology in the war in most areas. Thats the record given by operational performance of their weapons.

In the period of 1939 to 1941 Germany had by far the best military technology in the world (overall). The allies had some advantages in some areas, like the T-34 and that French tank with sloped armour. But overall performance was for the germans.

That started to change in 1942 to 1944.

But, in terms of AFV technology the Germans had the best tanks at the end of the war.

In terms of fighters the Me-262 was maybe the best fighter in the world until 1950 or something, while the submarine type XXI was a quantum leap in submarine technology. While the Me-109 was the most efficient fighter in WW2, in terms of cost/benefit analysis. Yes, the P-51 was a better plane, but the P-51 cost 3 to 4 times the price of a Me Bf-109 G-6.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by Mark V » 12 Nov 2009 00:19

Guaporense wrote:The Germans had the best technology in the war in most areas. Thats the record given by operational performance of their weapons.

In the period of 1939 to 1941 Germany had by far the best military technology in the world (overall). The allies had some advantages in some areas, like the T-34 and that French tank with sloped armour. But overall performance was for the germans.

That started to change in 1942 to 1944.

But, in terms of AFV technology the Germans had the best tanks at the end of the war.

In terms of fighters the Me-262 was maybe the best fighter in the world until 1950 or something, while the submarine type XXI was a quantum leap in submarine technology. While the Me-109 was the most efficient fighter in WW2, in terms of cost/benefit analysis. Yes, the P-51 was a better plane, but the P-51 cost 3 to 4 times the price of a Me Bf-109 G-6.
OK - i agree, Germans were best in all way.

And Allied were WRONG by winning the war.

Mig-15 was crap airplane. Me-262 could fly circles around it.

IS-2, ISU-152, and Pershing were absolutely crap.

Type XXI could kill even Ohio -class nuclear submarine, and its never tested reliability was of no doubt- because GERMANS invented it.

By the way - Bismarck was the best battleship of all time !! - i am sure of it.

And there is something wrong between exchange ratios between dollar and reichmark - oh i forgot that reichmark was not exchangable to any free country of this world...

....and Amies could afford to good finish on P-51 and much more, they could burn enough dollar bills so that the smoke cloud would cover whole Germany - smoke screen of Freedom :lol:





Regards


sorry: joke

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by Kelvin » 12 Nov 2009 04:53

Hi, Guaporense, I don't agree with German techonoloy was the best during 1939-1942. On the other hand, I think they had better technology during 1943-45.

In 1940, overrall German tanks were inferior to French tank like Char B and Somua. In 1941, T-34 and KV tank suprised German. German got bact their advantages in tank technology in 1943 when Panther appeared. As Panther suffered from technical problem in that year but by 1944, after some changes, it became terrible weapon.
Many German tank destroyers in the initial period of war were inferior.like Pz I panzerjager and Marder. But by 1944, introduction of Jagdpanzer IV L70, Hetzer and Jagdpanther altered the situation.

Me 109 fighter not the best in period of 1939-1941, the best was Spitefire. If German had the best technology in 1940, especially in figthers, Britain will be occupied and the war is won completely in the west.

German lacked the power to complete its aircraft carriers, it she had aircraft carrier, she had controlled the Atlantic or Meditterean sea. She could capture Gibralter without the help of Spanish land based airforce. And Malta would fall also.

During 1939-1942, German won because she had better training and doctrine in armor-airpower operational war when the Allies still looked for WWI as their fighting method. And in 1941, German faced much stronger powers like Russia and USA. The battle is not so easy for her in 1939 against Poland and 1940 against France, Scandanavia and the Low Countries.

During 1943-45, German tank technoloy became get back their advantages as I mentioned above and maybe the best. Anyone feared Tiger. Russian always give captured Panther to their best tank crew as award. So Russian also think Panther better than their T-34/85. Either British Cromwell or US sherman were no match for German Panther and Tiger.

Of course , Me-262 was the best fighter in 1944. German new submarine maybe altered the situation in the Atlantic if the war proloned longer than 1945.

MG 42 began huge production in 1943 and its performance suprised their enemy. Allied MG was inferior. Assault rifle was the breakthrough in rifle revolution in 1944.

Only in gun technology, I think German was better than allies : German 10.5cm and 15 cm howitzer, 8.8 cm dual purpose gun, 7.5 cm and 15 cm IG and 8 cm mortar were very good gun. Also German MG-34.

Also, not to mention another innovation : V-2 Missiles

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by LWD » 12 Nov 2009 14:20

Guaporense wrote:The Germans had the best technology in the war in most areas.
Some evidence please.
Thats the record given by operational performance of their weapons.
Operational performance is only partially and indirectly a reflection of technology. In any case the utter defeat of Germany would tend to indicate your conclusion is incorrect.
In the period of 1939 to 1941 Germany had by far the best military technology in the world (overall).
Really? How about some details.
The allies had some advantages in some areas, like the T-34 and that French tank with sloped armour. But overall performance was for the germans.
You keep claiming this but have made absolutley no case for it.
... But, in terms of AFV technology the Germans had the best tanks at the end of the war.
That's rather debateable. In some areas they may have had a lead but not in others. How do you define best tanks ir terms of technology? I'm not sure I'd consider flawed armor, self imolation, and misrable reliability as characteristics of great technology or best tanks.
In terms of fighters the Me-262 was maybe the best fighter in the world until 1950 or something,
The Me-262 would not even have been considered for deployment by allied airforces in WWII. While it had a lead technologically in some areas it was not a world leader in all and was eclipsed by late war early post war jets well before 1950.
while the submarine type XXI was a quantum leap in submarine technology.
As was the E-boat but this was offset by the by the status of the rest of the German surface fleet. In particular naval aviation.
While the Me-109 was the most efficient fighter in WW2, in terms of cost/benefit analysis. Yes, the P-51 was a better plane, but the P-51 cost 3 to 4 times the price of a Me Bf-109 G-6.
I'd like to see the cost/benefit analyis that showed that. Indeed coming up with comparable cost is a rather daunting task in and of itself. As for comparing it to the P-51 the Me-109 was simply incapable of performing some of the tasks that a P-51 did. Your equation kind of blows up when you devide by 0.

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by LWD » 12 Nov 2009 14:37

Kelvin wrote:.... German got bact their advantages in tank technology in 1943 when Panther appeared.
Really?
As Panther suffered from technical problem in that year but by 1944, after some changes, it became terrible weapon.
I'd call a vehicle that with a tendency to be a self immolating hanger queen a "terrible" weapon from the get go.
...German lacked the power to complete its aircraft carriers, it she had aircraft carrier, she had controlled the Atlantic or Meditterean sea. She could capture Gibralter without the help of Spanish land based airforce. And Malta would fall also.
??? The HIndenburg was a really lousey design for a CV not much more capable than US CVEs. Even if Germany had built several it's not at all clear that they would have had the impact that you invision. Indeed most likly their greatest impact would have been on fish populations. Sunk warships tend to be very good for them.
During 1939-1942, German won because she had better training and doctrine in armor-airpower operational war when the Allies still looked for WWI as their fighting method.
German armored doctrine was clearly superior at that time. It' not clear that their aviation doctrine had the same edge. As for the allies their doctrine had evolved since WWI but it was clearly inferior to that of the Germans at the time (although the Soviets for instance had a pretty decent armored doctrine it just wasn't well implemented).
.... Either British Cromwell or US sherman were no match for German Panther and Tiger.
One on one starting within engagement range usually not. But a US or British armored division was more than a match for a German one. And if you had a duel at the end of a 100 mile road march often as not the Panther or the Tiger would be a no show.
Of course , Me-262 was the best fighter in 1944.
Depends on how you define "best". If you are haveing an engine quite every 10-15 flight hours in my book you are not in the running.
MG 42 began huge production in 1943 and its performance suprised their enemy. Allied MG was inferior.
Depends again on the role and how you define it. If one is in a defencive postion for instance I'd take the M2 any day over the MG 42.
Assault rifle was the breakthrough in rifle revolution in 1944.
But they didn't become the standard issue at any point did they? While the US was issueing semi autos in 42.
Only in gun technology, I think German was better than allies : German 10.5cm and 15 cm howitzer, 8.8 cm dual purpose gun, 7.5 cm and 15 cm IG and 8 cm mortar were very good gun. Also German MG-34.
How wsa the German 105 better than the US 105 or the German 150 better than the US 155. Certainly the US and Britain had superior artillery doctrine. The US 90mm was also if not the equal essentially on a par with the 88. The high velocity German 75mm gun was one of the best tank killers of the war but was pretty mediocre in the HE department.
Also, not to mention another innovation : V-2 Missiles
Innovataive certainly but as a military weapon rather wortheless. CEP was that of greater London and caused an average of ~12 casualties per impact.

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by Guaporense » 12 Nov 2009 20:36

Sure Mark...

That explains why north vietnam won the war too... They had better technology than the US.... :lol:
You keep claiming this but have made absolutley no case for it.
And do you have? In 1941 the Germans deployed less than 2 thousand mediun tanks against 3.5 thousand T-34, the result: Most of the T-34 were destroyed.

Read that:
http://operationbarbarossa.net/Myth-Bus ... ters2.html
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by Guaporense » 12 Nov 2009 21:10

Operational performance is only partially and indirectly a reflection of technology. In any case the utter defeat of
Germany would tend to indicate your conclusion is incorrect.
Sure, if a country is defeated in war that means that their military technology is inferior. However, what about numbers?

The allies mobilized 65 million men, the Germans, 15 million.

All operations were the allies didn't have numerical superiority and/or aerial supremacy resulted in defeat.

In Normandy, for example, the germans had 90.000 killed and wouded (operational casualties), 2.000 aircraft lost and 2.000 AFVs. The western allies had 218.000 (KIA, WIA: operational casualties), 4.500 aircraft and 4.000 AFVs.

Compared to 1940, where the Germans suffered 137.000 operational casualties and lost 1250 aircraft, while the allies suffered 360.000 operational casualties and 2.000 planes lost.

What was the difference between 1940 and 1944? Numbers: 1940, numerical parity. 1944, numerical advantage of 3 to 1 in the ground and 7 to one in the air.
Really? How about some details.
Tanks with radios.
That's rather debateable. In some areas they may have had a lead but not in others. How do you define best tanks ir terms of technology? I'm not sure I'd consider flawed armor, self imolation, and misrable reliability as characteristics of great technology or best tanks.
What? The Sherman was a german tank?
I'd like to see the cost/benefit analyis that showed that. Indeed coming up with comparable cost is a rather daunting task in and of itself. As for comparing it to the P-51 the Me-109 was simply incapable of performing some of the tasks that a P-51 did. Your equation kind of blows up when you devide by 0.
Well, how many Me-109 would you prefer to a P-51? 5? 10? 20?
Last edited by Guaporense on 12 Nov 2009 21:30, edited 1 time in total.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by Guaporense » 12 Nov 2009 21:25

It is wrong to say that Germany had the best technology in most areas by the late war. However, it is also wrong to say that the allies had the best technology in most areas.

For example, the allies had:

The best rifle: M1
The best mass produced fighter: P-51
The best strategic bomber: B-29
The best heavy tank: IS-2 (in terms of cost)

The germans had:

The best assault rifle.
The best submarine.
The best fighter: Me-262
The best medium tank (Panther).
The best bomber.
The best heavy tank, tiger II (in terms of fighting power, but it cost too much).
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by phylo_roadking » 12 Nov 2009 22:43

The best heavy tank, tiger II (in terms of fighting power, but it cost too much).
Check out David Fletcher's article in Classic Military Vehicle some time ago about their debut in Normandy; fighting power? Anything but! 8O
The best bomber.
Er....which???

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by The_Enigma » 12 Nov 2009 23:12

Guaporense wrote:It is wrong to say that Germany had the best technology in most areas by the late war. However, it is also wrong to say that the allies had the best technology in most areas.

For example, the allies had:

The best rifle: M1
The best mass produced fighter: P-51
The best strategic bomber: B-29
The best heavy tank: IS-2 (in terms of cost)

The germans had:

The best assault rifle.
The best submarine.
The best fighter: Me-262
The best medium tank (Panther).
The best bomber.
The best heavy tank, tiger II (in terms of fighting power, but it cost too much).
Dont you think that is all a little over-simplistic, misses the point of a true comparison and ultimetly a little childish?

Do provide a comparion of forces and deem "the best" blah blah, surely it would be wiser to discuss years and even campaigns. I.e. The Battle of France, 1940; who had the advantage over whom in different areas?

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by Qvist » 13 Nov 2009 14:30

I know it'd sort of kill the discussion, but isn't the obvious thing here that all major combatants made very great technological advancements during the war, and, in different areas, fielded some systems that were advanced and highly effective by the standards of the time and some that were less so?

And if we have to discuss who was best, could we at least try not to confuse that with who produced weapons that proved the most useful to them? Clearly, the Sherman, the Panther and the T-34/85 all represented great advances in armored technology compared to what any army in the world could field in 1940. Clearly, V2 missilies and the Me-262 represented technological advances that outstripped that of the allies in these fields, irrespective of whether they were well-rounded and efficient weapons systems or not. Clearly, the allies developed counter-submarine systems to a higher point than the Germans developed submarine technology. I don't know if the same capacity can be said to have existed in the Soviet Union, but at least as far as Britain, the US and Germany is concerned, it seems to me that the results generally reflect which basket the eggs were put in rather than any inherent major difference in technological capabilities. Either of these countries had the capability to produce leading technologies if it chose to prioritise them more highly than the others.

cheers

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by LWD » 13 Nov 2009 14:41

Guaporense wrote:It is wrong to say that Germany had the best technology in most areas by the late war. However, it is also wrong to say that the allies had the best technology in most areas.

For example, the allies had:

The best rifle: M1
The best mass produced fighter: P-51
This one is certainly debateable.
The best strategic bomber: B-29
The axis weren't even playing this game.
The best heavy tank: IS-2 (in terms of cost)
??? defining best in terms of cost alone? By the way how do you compare the costs of something produced in a comunist country with a non convertable currency?
The germans had:

The best assault rifle.
The best submarine.
Barely operational at the at the end of the war. Did they even get into combat? If not there just another experimental weapon.
The best fighter: Me-262
Arguable. Too unreliable to be fielded in significant numbers or become a mainstay. Another case of an experimental weapon rushed into limited use.
The best medium tank (Panther).
Again argueable and the arguments have run many pages.
The best bomber.
????
The best heavy tank, tiger II (in terms of fighting power, but it cost too much).
Care too make a case for this?

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by LWD » 13 Nov 2009 14:55

Guaporense wrote:
Operational performance is only partially and indirectly a reflection of technology. In any case the utter defeat of
Germany would tend to indicate your conclusion is incorrect.
Sure, if a country is defeated in war that means that their military technology is inferior. However, what about numbers?
You implied victory was a valid measure of tehcnological superiority. I mearly demonstrated that by your own measure your conclusions didn't hold up.
... All operations were the allies didn't have numerical superiority and/or aerial supremacy resulted in defeat.
Really? Perhaps it comes down to what you call an operation. Certainly if you get down to the divisional level you can find cases where this is not true.
Really? How about some details.
Tanks with radios.
[/quote]
The French didn't have tanks with radios.
That's rather debateable. In some areas they may have had a lead but not in others. How do you define best tanks ir terms of technology? I'm not sure I'd consider flawed armor, self imolation, and misrable reliability as characteristics of great technology or best tanks.
What? The Sherman was a german tank?
The Sherman didn't self immolate that was a characteristic demonstrated only by the Panther at least in any numbers that I'm aware of. LIkewise the flawed armor and poor reliability are hardly characteristic of the Sherman.
I'd like to see the cost/benefit analyis that showed that. Indeed coming up with comparable cost is a rather daunting task in and of itself. As for comparing it to the P-51 the Me-109 was simply incapable of performing some of the tasks that a P-51 did. Your equation kind of blows up when you devide by 0.
Well, how many Me-109 would you prefer to a P-51? 5? 10? 20?
If I have to escort a bomber over Berlin and am flying from Britain any number of Me-109s are worthless. Again where is this cost/benefit analysis

I noticed also that you've neglected areas where the allies fielded significantly better technology and useded it very effectivly. Others have mentioned ASW but theres also naval surface warfare, code breaking, ECM, radar, communications, jet engines, and of course atomics.

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by ljadw » 17 Nov 2009 09:31

Kelvin wrote:
Optiow wrote:I believe that some German tech was better than the Allied counterparts. Germany were the masters when it came to Submarines, and if they had had more funding then they would have been able to starve Britain. So in submarines they were superior.

In small arms fire, the Germans had the Mauster 98, which many believe was a reliable gun, even if it only held 5 rounds. the Germans did not believe in rapid fire anyway, and were told to fire all 5 rounds, but not to reload fast and fire again like the British were taught to do. The MP-40 was a good gun. It had stoppages a lot and was inaccurate, but then so was the Thompson and Sten guns used by the Americans and British. The Germans had a good machine gun (MG-42) but it became scarce as the war went on.

In planes, the Germans were disadvantaged. The British had the Spitfire at the start of the war, which was superior to the German Messerschmidt at that time. And although the Germans did upgrade that plane so it was superior to a spitfire eventually, the American Thunderbolts, Mustangs and Lightnings were better. It was only because of the skill and courage of the German aircrews in their planes that they survived for so long.

In technological aspect, US M-1 was superior anyway. But German rifles were obsloete but German infantry main firepower was from machine gun. MG was their main weapon in small unit action and rifles only secondary. And German MG 34 and 42 was more superior than any allied MG. The number of MG in German infantry battalion even more than US infantry battalion in 1960's.
I think that the Germans being superior in submarines is irrelevant,because the Allies did not wage a U Boat war against Germany;you could also say that the allies were better in aircraft carriers,but that is wrongthe Germas did not built nor used aircraft carriers .

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