German vs. Allied war-making potential

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Guaporense
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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by Guaporense » 12 Dec 2009 23:01

LWD wrote: Not sure at all how that is relevant to this topic.
That the intensity of combat in the western front in 1940 was greater than in 1944? Well, this means that the US and British troops never saw the same thing that the French saw in 1940. The invincible wehrmacht armies of 1940 didn't exist anymore in 1944. In 1944 the allies faced a enemy greatly smaller in quantity and quality than in 1940. This is relevant to my argument that the loss of manpower in the eastern front was the most important factor in the difference in the outcome of 1940 to 1944.
"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 LWD » 12 Dec 2009 23:03

Guaporense wrote:
phylo_roadking wrote:
1- France had more tradition of war
Than who exactly...Germany? Prussia???
Than the US.
That's what I thought you meant but you still haven't supported it.
... However, German divisions in 1944 were better equipped than their equivalents in 1940. I am comparing relative strength, i.e.: removing the effects of technology in the equation.
That may be what you are attempting to do but you are being spectacularly unsuccessful at it.
Well, I you want numbers you can say that fighting the French in 1940 yielded a exchange rate of 2.5 French kia+wia per German. While in 1944 the proportion was roughly the same in Normandy, and the German soldiers of 1944 were inferior to the soldiers of 1940.
Were they? It's not at all clear that's true and again you are neglecting the difference from being on the offensive vs beign on the defensive. Ie you are making unwarranted assumptions and basing opinions on them then calling both facts.

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by Guaporense » 12 Dec 2009 23:05

LWD wrote:
The_Enigma wrote:
Likewise a far small percentage of the RAF aircraft were being used in operations vs Germany than the US.
I would just like to know then what the RAF was actually doing during the war then? What percentage of air forces, excluding training elements, were not engaged in combat operations agaisnt German targets; i.e. fighter-sweeps, bombing/escort mission, patroling the Atlantic and hunting subs etc
My point was that Germany itself became essentially the front line. The majority of the planes over Germany in 1944 were US planes. While there may have been more British planes in Europe than US planes many were dedicated to things other than the bomber campaign vs Germany. IE the things you mentioned as well as defence of Britain itself.
You are 100% wrong: Most of the tonnage dropped on Germany was from British bombers. While most of the tonnage dropped on the occupied countries was from American bombers. The situation was the reverse of the situation that you described. The british dropped 900,000 tons of bombs over ger, while the us dropped 600,000.
"In tactics, as in strategy, superiority in numbers is the most common element of victory." - Carl von Clausewitz

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LWD
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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by LWD » 12 Dec 2009 23:09

Guaporense wrote:
LWD wrote:
The_Enigma wrote:
Likewise a far small percentage of the RAF aircraft were being used in operations vs Germany than the US.
I would just like to know then what the RAF was actually doing during the war then? What percentage of air forces, excluding training elements, were not engaged in combat operations agaisnt German targets; i.e. fighter-sweeps, bombing/escort mission, patroling the Atlantic and hunting subs etc
My point was that Germany itself became essentially the front line. The majority of the planes over Germany in 1944 were US planes. While there may have been more British planes in Europe than US planes many were dedicated to things other than the bomber campaign vs Germany. IE the things you mentioned as well as defence of Britain itself.
You are 100% wrong: Most of the tonnage dropped on Germany was from British bombers. While most of the tonnage dropped on the occupied countries was from American bombers. The situation was the reverse of the situation that you described. The british dropped 900,000 tons of bombs over ger, while the us dropped 600,000.
However that's not what I said. The British Lancasters carried a heavier bomb load and since the British were mostly bombing at night so no escorts. The US was bombing during the day and escorting the bombers with even more numerous fighters.

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by Guaporense » 12 Dec 2009 23:15

LWD wrote:
Guaporense wrote:
phylo_roadking wrote:
1- France had more tradition of war
Than who exactly...Germany? Prussia???
Than the US.
That's what I thought you meant but you still haven't supported it.
ever heard about ww1, napoleon, etc?
That may be what you are attempting to do but you are being spectacularly unsuccessful at it.
Do you know books that made any explicit comparison of French to US soldiers of WW2?
Were they? It's not at all clear that's true and again you are neglecting the difference from being on the offensive vs beign on the defensive. Ie you are making unwarranted assumptions and basing opinions on them then calling both facts.
1- Second to statistical studies, German soldiers suffered less casualties than US soldiers in the defensive and in the offensive.

2- What assumptions? I used the data on allied combat casualties on normandy plus data on german combat casualties on france, disconted from other operations and compared to the ratio of ger/french combat casualties in 1940. I reached the conclusion that US and British troops were as inferior to German soldiers in 1944 as French troops were in 1940, and since German soldiers in 1944 were inferior to German soldiers in 1940, then I reached the conclusion that French soldiers in 1940 didn't suck that much. So, if I have 130 French divisions on one hand and 60 US divisions on the other, well, I think that I can chose the 130 French divisions over the 60 US divisions.
"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 Dec 2009 23:28

LWD wrote: However that's not what I said. The British Lancasters carried a heavier bomb load and since the British were mostly bombing at night so no escorts. The US was bombing during the day and escorting the bombers with even more numerous fighters.
Well, the US dropped 800,000 tons of bombs over nazi occupied territory, while the british dropped 400,000. While the British dropped 900,000 over Ger and the US dropped 600,000. So, I don't think that a smaller proportion of British aircraft was allocated to fly over Ger than US aircraft.
"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 Dec 2009 23:42

1- France had more tradition of war
Than who exactly...Germany? Prussia???
Than the US.
Since the founding of the nation - War of Independence 1775 1783, Northwest Indian War, Quasi-War, Barbary Wars, Tecumseh's War, Creek War, Peoria War, War of 1812, Seminole Wars, Black Hawk War, Mexican-American War, Utah War (against the Mormons), Americal Civil War, Spanish-American War, Philippine-American War, the Boxer Rebellion, The "Banana Wars" (Intervention 1915-33 in Cuba, Mexico, Panama with the Panama Canal Zone, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua (twice!), WWI, the "Polar Bear Expedition" (Russian Revolution)....a busy 150 years...

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by Guaporense » 12 Dec 2009 23:51

LWD wrote: Did they really? How big was a French division? How does it compare to a US division especially as committed to combat?
Well, an US division had 14,300 men. A German division had 16,700 men. I guess that a French division had ~15,000 men. Divisions have fairly standard size.
That is a huge leap of faith. And in the direction of fantasy. A US division from 1945 would have had little or no trouble handling a French 1940 division if the conditions were anywhere hear even. In a confrontation between 2 French 1940 divisions and a US division from 1945 unless the French had overwhelming advantage of terrain (something like the Maginot line) I'd still bet on the US division and be willing to give odds. The US divisions of that time had huge advantages of doctrine, technology, and experience over the 1940 French ones.
Then how they had some difficulties handling undertrained, undersupplied, 14 year old German soldiers when they outnumbered then 3 to 1? I mean, if the allied divisions of 1944-45 were so great, then why they weren't in Berlin in September 1944?

The fact is that the allies weren't better in the late war compared to early war. The Germans that were worse and in much smaller numbers. The difference in outcome can be easily explained by numbers plus allied air superiority. Second to some, if the allies didn't have airsuperiority, they would have lost most battles that they won.

In fact, Manstein didn't mention allied superiority in ground forces as a factor of German defeat in 1944-45. He mentioned air superiority. So, even with numerical superiority of 4 to 1 (second to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Fr ... ld_War_II)), the allies failed to make this superiority felt.
There's a difference between being important and being the "most important".
Clausewitz said that it is practically impossible for an army to defeat another army 2 times larger.
Not at all.
Well, I based this statement on my readings. The Americans were more focused on aircraft, the definitive technological weapon of war, than other players of WW2 (well, the British too had the aircraft fetish). But that had a geographical factor too.
How does a focus on aircraft translate into the "muntions play a lesser part in German doctrine"?[/quote]

Aircraft made about 40% of German munition production, even more in the US and in Britain. So, focusing more on aircraft implies focusing more on munitions.
And also, the USSR too allocated a larger proportion of their war resources to the production of munitions than the Germans.
How does that relate to your point about munitions and doctrine?
That both the US and the USSR depended more on munitions than ger.
Last edited by Guaporense on 13 Dec 2009 00:11, edited 2 times 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 Dec 2009 23:58

phylo_roadking wrote:
1- France had more tradition of war
Than who exactly...Germany? Prussia???
Than the US.
Since the founding of the nation - War of Independence 1775 1783, Northwest Indian War, Quasi-War, Barbary Wars, Tecumseh's War, Creek War, Peoria War, War of 1812, Seminole Wars, Black Hawk War, Mexican-American War, Utah War (against the Mormons), Americal Civil War, Spanish-American War, Philippine-American War, the Boxer Rebellion, The "Banana Wars" (Intervention 1915-33 in Cuba, Mexico, Panama with the Panama Canal Zone, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua (twice!), WWI, the "Polar Bear Expedition" (Russian Revolution)....a busy 150 years...
If you consider minor conflicts, then Brazil and Colombia are the countries with most military tradition in the world. Here in Brazil we have practically a constant civil war every day, since 50,000 people are murdered per year in my country, including thousands of police officers. If you calculate military tradition by number killed, than China and Russia lead the way.

However, If you consider only wars with major powers, the US was in only 1: Their independence war (i don't consider ww1 and ww2 as an example of us vs major powers because the lionshare of the fighting was not borne by them). France had dozens of wars with major powers. If you consider that France was the country most responsible to winning ww1, then I think that has some weight.
"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 » 13 Dec 2009 00:22

However, If you consider only wars with major powers, the US was in only 1: Their independence war (i don't consider ww1 and ww2 as an example of us vs major powers because the lionshare of the fighting was not borne by them). France had dozens of wars with major powers. If you consider that France was the country most responsible to winning ww1, then I think that has some weight.
Take a look at the history of the War of 1812!....or the Spanish-American War!!! Some of us are silly enough to regard the Empire of Spain and the British Empire as "major powers"!!! Particularly the latter in 1812....when it was busy conducting a "world war"! 8O

As for whether wars are truly wars - ANY war where a nation is in a declared "state of war" with another or another group is a "war". I'm afraid YOU do not get to choose your frames of reference over THAT! The Hague Conventions do it for you! :lol:

However -
since 50,000 people are murdered per year in my country
Murders are not war....or else the "nation with the greatest martial tradition is probably...the nation of East L.A.! :lol: :lol: :lol:
Here in Brazil we have practically a constant civil war every day
Do you REALLY? Is your government really in a DECLARED "state of war" with any political group....or is it in fact involved in various Insurgencies and "Police Actions"? That's WHY they actually have different names/reference terms - to indicate they are NOT wars!
If you calculate military tradition by number killed, than China and Russia lead the way.
Outside of the primary-level school playground - noone does.
France had dozens of wars with major powers. If you consider that France was the country most responsible to winning ww1, then I think that has some weight.
Really???? Let's take that same period 1775 to the 29th of August 1939 - how many wars with "major powers"?

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by The_Enigma » 13 Dec 2009 02:54

Guaporense wrote:However, German divisions in 1944 were better equipped than their equivalents in 1940. I am comparing relative strength, i.e.: removing the effects of technology in the equation.
So if you remove the effects of technology from the equation just how better equipped were these differnt divisions; i would assume all those newly developed 75mm AT guns, panzerfausts, panzershrecks, MG42s, the somewhat small numbers of Stg44s and semi-auto rifles, the upgunned/uparmoured tanks etc etc would not be playing a part in this discussion due to them involing the effects of technology. So in what way, excluding technological improvements etc per your own statement, were the divisions better equipped? :D
My point was that Germany itself became essentially the front line. The majority of the planes over Germany in 1944 were US planes. While there may have been more British planes in Europe than US planes many were dedicated to things other than the bomber campaign vs Germany. IE the things you mentioned as well as defence of Britain itself.
I understand, making a bit of an assumption, that there would be more yank planes in the air than Brits; doesnt mean the percentages would be up the wall i.e. a good chunk of the USAAF would be in engaged agaisnt the Japanese.
Well, an US division had 14,300 men. A German division had 16,700 men. I guess that a French division had ~15,000 men. Divisions have fairly standard size.
Divisions are flexible... So what German divisions would these be, and what year? Additionaly, just what percentage of each division was combat infanty or arms supporting the frontline action i.e. the teeth to tail ratio - thats more important than on paper strengths.
I reached the conclusion that US and British troops were as inferior to German soldiers in 1944 as French troops were in 1940, and since German soldiers in 1944 were inferior to German soldiers in 1940, then I reached the conclusion that French soldiers in 1940 didn't suck that much.
I think you need to go read some works by the likes of David French and Stephen Ashley Hart then rethink your conclusions on the ability of the British tommy; you will find the tommy to be quite a capable soldier.
Then how they had some difficulties handling undertrained, undersupplied, 14 year old German soldiers when they outnumbered then 3 to 1? I mean, if the allied divisions of 1944-45 were so great, then why they weren't in Berlin in September 1944?
The landser have their birthday during the last page of discussion? Considering you were not able to provide an answer to what division was made up of 13 year olds, would you like to inform us which formations were comprised of 14 year old soldiers? Remember the 12th SS is off limits because they sure as fuck didnt. :D

As for the latter part of your statement, this shows that you have much to learn: Amateurs talk tactics, Professionals study logistics. I suggest you go and read this topic: A perspective on Eisenhower's Broad Front Strategy You should aim to read the posts aimed at logistics, you will find that regardless of tactical, operational, or even strategical effectiveness - logistics play a bigger role. One document provided notes how the logistical system was on the verge of collaspe by Sept-Oct. You will also note discussions on the ability of the German army to mobilise her manpower and get formations into the field. So why wernt the Western Allies in Berlin for Sept 1944 - a mixture of logistical problems, and the fact the German Army had not been defeated.
if the allies didn't have airsuperiority, they would have lost most battles that they won.
Those cheating Western Allies were at it again! In reality though it was just payback for their offside goal scored on 25/12/1914 ... cheating bloody Germans!

Ok, would you care to explain how the Battle of Normandy and the Bulge were won? Care to explain how due to air superiority the Allies were not able to bounce the Rhine during Market-Garden?
the allies failed to make this superiority felt
Sure as shit netted 230, something thousand prisoners in North Africa in part because of it :P
If you consider that France was the country most responsible to winning ww1, then I think that has some weight.
:lol: Since when! I think you will find the British/Imperial Army won the day :P
phylo_roadking wrote:Really???? Let's take that same period 1775 to the 29th of August 1939 - how many wars with "major powers"?
:lol: Do we split the 1792-1815 war (i.e. the French Revolutionary Wars and the various wars that made up the Napoleonic Wars) into as many as we can to boost the numbers? :P
Last edited by The_Enigma on 13 Dec 2009 03:29, edited 8 times in total.

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by phylo_roadking » 13 Dec 2009 03:08

So in what way, excluding technological improvements etc per your own statement, were the divisions better equipped?
Greater percentage of horse "power" in the rear echelons? - better equiped for the roses! :D

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by The_Enigma » 13 Dec 2009 03:26

phylo_roadking wrote:
So in what way, excluding technological improvements etc per your own statement, were the divisions better equipped?
Greater percentage of horse "power" in the rear echelons? - better equiped for the roses! :D
Ah crap ... your right! Hes right ... ill bail here :(

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by EKB » 13 Dec 2009 10:38

Guaporense wrote:
LWD wrote: However that's not what I said. The British Lancasters carried a heavier bomb load and since the British were mostly bombing at night so no escorts. The US was bombing during the day and escorting the bombers with even more numerous fighters.
Well, the US dropped 800,000 tons of bombs over nazi occupied territory, while the british dropped 400,000. While the British dropped 900,000 over Ger and the US dropped 600,000. So, I don't think that a smaller proportion of British aircraft was allocated to fly over Ger than US aircraft.

Not sure of your timeline but that is not a logical conclusion. There were far more long-range escort fighters in USAAF service, while RAF strategic bombers tended to fly at night with larger bomb loads, less defensive weapons, and a smaller crew.

RAF Fighter Command had more than a few squadrons of Mustangs though not all of them were employed in the role of escorting British strategic bombers. In 1942 RAF Coastal Command lobbied, unsuccessfully, to purchase standard Lockheed Lightnings to replace the Beaufighters in the day fighter role. No surplus P-38s were available by that time. The British had a previous (1940) contract to buy P-38s but unfortunately the Air Ministry ordered the test aircraft built without vital standard equipment such as turbo-superchargers and counter-rotating propellers (M-322B). With derated power, the P-38 was not much faster than a Beaufighter and did not handle so well with both props swinging in the same direction.

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Re: German vs. Allied technology

Post by ljadw » 13 Dec 2009 15:21

Guaporense wrote:
LWD wrote:
Guaporense wrote:
phylo_roadking wrote:
1- France had more tradition of war
Than who exactly...Germany? Prussia???
Than the US.
That's what I thought you meant but you still haven't supported it.
ever heard about ww1, napoleon, etc?
That may be what you are attempting to do but you are being spectacularly unsuccessful at it.
Do you know books that made any explicit comparison of French to US soldiers of WW2?
Were they? It's not at all clear that's true and again you are neglecting the difference from being on the offensive vs beign on the defensive. Ie you are making unwarranted assumptions and basing opinions on them then calling both facts.
1- Second to statistical studies, German soldiers suffered less casualties than US soldiers in the defensive and in the offensive.

2- What assumptions? I used the data on allied combat casualties on normandy plus data on german combat casualties on france, disconted from other operations and compared to the ratio of ger/french combat casualties in 1940. I reached the conclusion that US and British troops were as inferior to German soldiers in 1944 as French troops were in 1940, and since German soldiers in 1944 were inferior to German soldiers in 1940, then I reached the conclusion that French soldiers in 1940 didn't suck that much. So, if I have 130 French divisions on one hand and 60 US divisions on the other, well, I think that I can chose the 130 French divisions over the 60 US divisions.
Frieser in 'the Blitzkrieg Legend' gives 1O4 French divisions manning the Nort East Front,not 130;btw it is wrong to count only the number of divisions :US divisions in 1944 had a lot of non divisional units attached,had more firepower and more mobility .
About the German losses in 1944 in the west :I have the following figures for 6 june to 31 january 1945 (army and Waffen SS only )
KIA 66321
WIA 221548
MIA 411978
total:699833

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