The Second World War / World War Two

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That comes in to the whole discussion of 'Is Fascism left wing or right wing' I'd argue Fascism is left wing because it embraces this principle of Karl Marx that the workers should own ('control') the means of production. Hitler and Mussolini were without doubt born as working class, and controlled the means of production for the benefit off their people.

Mussolini I believe was, at least at first, genuine. Hitler may have been purely cynical, but maybe be wasn't - after all, we won and we are hardly likely to assign any pure motives to an enemy, especially one whose racial views are now utterly unacceptable.

In any case I believe traditional politics are a circle - extreme left and extreme right are almost indistinguishable.
I'd argue Fascism was rightwing. The nazis 1925 programme called for workers control but under the Nazis in government Capitalism flourished, there were no divisions of profits. Far from being nationalised the big German combines made huge war profits.

Those nazis who did believe that workers deserved a bigger share were liquidated in June 1934 in the Night Of The Long Knives.

Jewish owned companies were seized by the State but in most cases were sold to nazi party members.

The same is true of Mussolini, capitalism flourished. The means of production was in the hands of the individual capitalist companies.

The only control of the means of production was through war measures similar to those adopted in the UK and US.

The fact that a party claims to be Socialist or influenced by Marx does not make that a fact.

We'd be better off discussing Did Hitler Survive WW2 Or Did He Die In It. A good Fortean Topic.
 
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hunck

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Remains of Spitfire pilot found in Cornwall 75 years after crash

Sqn Ldr Daniel Cremin, 25, was killed while testing new Spitfire planes on a clear moonlit night over the far south-west of Britain on 24 March 1942, the inquest in Truro was told.

In June last year, Stuart Palmer, a metal detectorist, discovered the Australian-born pilot’s bones after digging down 4ft (1.2 metres) at the crash site near St Erth, Hayle.

They were confirmed as those of Cremin after DNA testing with his son Mark, now 78.

A second service was arranged at the Wiltshire cemetery and Cremin’s remains were interred in his original grave with military honours in November.

DS Nigel Green, of Devon and Cornwall police, said records showed Cremin, in Spitfire AB462, took off from Portreath, where No 66 Squadron was based, at 9.20pm on 24 March 1942.

Another Australian pilot, Sgt William Norman, took off in Spitfire AB496. Both planes were “the latest versions of the Spitfire” at the time, Green said.

“The planes collided in mid-air,” the officer told the inquest. “Both pilots were killed and the wreckage landed in two adjacent fields.”

“Sqn Ldr Cremin and Sgt Norman practised dusk landings. They took off again at 21.20 hours on a clear moonlit night for night flying practice.

“They collided near St Erth and both were killed. The planes landed in adjacent fields and were burnt.
 

Yithian

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Was just having a poke around some of the channels I subscribed to and it appears that the team behind The Great War have agreed to do something similar for WW2, except that it is going to be something even bigger. Potentially bringing in 8 different You tube channels that cover relevant area like the development of small arms, aircraft and tanks in addition to the standard weekly run through of events that happened that week and biographies of important individuals in the war.
Starts tomorrow here!


The only hiccup is that the esteemed Bloke On The Range and these chaps have had a contretemps and his channel will not now be part of the collaboration--sadly, because he's great.
 

George_millett

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I had heard there were some similar issues with C&R Arsenal as well. Does any one know if they have got the things they requested to buy into the project?
 

Yithian

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Hitchens has a new book out: The Phoney Victory--sounds at least a bit controversial.

Interview on the subject:

 

Jim

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Yithian

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Article on what appears to be the worlds only operational Tiger tank.
An unrelated but interesting fact is that the Germans only manufactured ~ 20K main battle tanks whereas the allies (including the USSR) made > 200K main battle tanks during the WW2.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/ar...ger-Tank-paces-75-years-captured-British.html
And that is one of the reasons they lost the war. I listened to a lecture on tank production in which it was opined--I summarise--German tanks were over-engineered, to meet stress and endurance targets that would never be met on the battlefield as the tank or the component was highly-likely to have been destroyed before the superior production came into play. They are oft-praised for pioneering new designs and producing variants for specific purposes, but this was at the cost of interchangabiliy of parts.

Once the Americans got the motor industry refitted snd reorganised for tank production, the Germans were sunk. And this was no coinicidence. Allied design and production was tweaked based not only in the light of battlefield effectiveness but also on analysis of the total life of the tank and its likely fate.

No expert on armour; hope I'm remembering this accurately.
 
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Jim

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The Germany deployed the Panther tank in 1943 (used during middle 43 to 45). It used a 77 mm gun with more penetrating power than that of the Tiger tanks. At ~ 45 tons it was the perfect balance of speed, good maneuverability and fire power and pretty much outclassed all other tanks during the war (including the Firefly and T34).
As Yithian pointed out the German war effort was hampered by over engineering. The Tiger and King Tigers are prime examples. They also had the widest variety of tanks of the warring countries. This resulted in a logistical nightmare. 6 K Panthers were built vs only > 2 K Tigers. Had the Tigers been nixed in favor of more Panthers the Germans would have been much better off (20 - 20 hindsight, glad they didn't.
 

Yithian

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The Germany deployed the Panther tank in 1943 (used during middle 43 to 45). It used a 77 mm gun with more penetrating power than that of the Tiger tanks. At ~ 45 tons it was the perfect balance of speed, good maneuverability and fire power and pretty much outclassed all other tanks during the war (including the Firefly and T34).
As Yithian pointed out the German war effort was hampered by over engineering. The Tiger and King Tigers are prime examples. They also had the widest variety of tanks of the warring countries. This resulted in a logistical nightmare. 6 K Panthers were built vs only > 2 K Tigers. Had the Tigers been nixed in favor of more Panthers the Germans would have been much better off (20 - 20 hindsight, glad they didn't.
Thanks for the specifics, Jim.

I was reading the battalion war diary for 9th Border Regiment last night. The unit is known today mostly owing to Quartered Safe Out Here, a memoir by former member George Macdonald Fraser. Once you know your way around the abbreviations and have a map at hand it's fascinating stuff.

It did cause me to wonder, however. Was there a battalion that managed to enter Burma without being mistakenly strafed by the RAF before seeing any Japanese? 1st Dukes suffered the same fate back in 1942, and I know I've read of it happening to other units, too.

The diarist somewhat mockingly records that HQ company was heavily strafed by RAF Hurricanes. Causalties: one pony killed, one mule wounded.

This was July/Aug 1943 near the Tiddim Road in the Chin Hills.
 

maximus otter

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The Germany deployed the Panther tank in 1943 (used during middle 43 to 45). It used a 77 mm gun...
75 mm ;)

l believe that the average tank in WW2 served for 12 weeks between rolling off the production line and being knocked out/breaking down/being abandoned.

German late war panzers were well-engineered compared with, say, the T-34. The Russian tank didn’t even typically have radios or intercoms: The commander signalled other tanks using flags, and instructed the driver by kicking his left shoulder to turn left, and right to turn right.

By the end of the war, however, the Russians had produced almost 60,000 T-34s; the Germans only ~5,800 Panthers. As the old monster Stalin is quoted as saying, “Quantity has a quality all of its own.”

maximus otter
 
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titch

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There is a remake/reboot of a das boot threatening us soon. ALARMMMMMM!!
 

Jim

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The original was a good movie, it will be hard to top. However lets bear in mind that German submarine - naval warfare arm was actually a very small contingent of the German war effort. Unlike others warring powers such as Britain, Japan and the US the European war was primarily a land war of unprecedented magnitude and brutality. ~ 70 % of military casualties occurred in the east in less than 4 years and exceeded 18 million deaths. The civilian deaths - murders in the East were without parallel in warfare (modern or historical. Totals civilians killed, murdered, dead of engineered famines designed by Germany range from> 22 to 35 million. The Nazi's destroyed > 10 K towns, villages and cities in the USSR. In most cases most the inhabitants weren't spared. Save you the nasty details. Stalin was responsible for civilian atrocities as well. After the 1st year war when the USSR nearly lost the war, Stalin toned down NKVD exceptions in order to get the backing of the Soviets people. This policy that was immediately reversed near wars end which led to several million more civilian deaths. The west tends to focus on North Africa, the invasion of Europe and the air wars. Still even on the western front the allies lost in excess of 1 million men (including 130 thousand allied pilots).
 
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Naughty_Felid

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75 mm ;)

l believe that the average tank in WW2 served for 12 weeks between rolling off the production line and being knocked out/breaking down/being abandoned.

German late war panzers were well-engineered compared with, say, the T-34. The Russian tank didn’t even typically have radios or intercoms: The commander signalled other tanks using flags, and instructed the driver by kicking his left shoulder to turn left, and right to turn right.

By the end of the war, however, the Russians had produced almost 60,000 T-34s; the Germans only ~5,800 Panthers. As the old monster Stalin is quoted as saying, “Quantity has a quality all of its own.”

maximus otter
Russian tanks did start equipping radios in their tanks from 43 onward and were supposed to be standard issue on tanks like the T-34-85 from 1944. (obviously during war this didn't always happen).

Both the Panthers and Tigers were over-engineered rather than well-engineered and needed considerable maintenance in the field. The German obsession with bigger, heavier tanks that were rushed to the front line without proper testing often failed because they were too complicated or just simply fragile.

Russian tanks were not perfect either and had their own issues. The T-34-85 may not have been able to go 1 on 1 with a Tiger but could easily handle earlier German PZ-III's and IV's and StuG's. As you say the fact that they could produce an eye-watering amount compared to Germany was one of the many reasons that the Soviets won the war on the Eastern Front.


The T-34 was a great tank but not the beast it's portrayed to be, neither is the Tiger. The Americans had a great tanks with the Sherman as did the much maligned Brits with the Churchill,(it's not all about tank vs tank), and if they'd got the Comet out earlier it would have easily been a contender for the best tank of WW2.
 

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The main strength of the T-34 and the Sherman was that they were produced in vast quantities. Even as late as 45 Soviet tank assaults were not generally well coordinated. For the most part the Soviets used armor in frontal wave – blunt force assaults. The Germans with less than 1/3 the # of tanks (sometime far fewer) managed to defend against this quite well considering. Radios appeared in Soviet tanks nearer war’s end, but were never used effectively. Particularly since the lower Soviet officers were not given flexibility in the field as was their German counterparts. The kill rations of a Panther, Stug or Tiger vs. a (T-34 or Sherman was between (4 to 10) : 1. A T-34 had a chance if it chance of taking out a Tiger or Panther if the shell hit where the turret meet the tanks main body. However even then they had to be within > 500’ (a Sherman has to be within 300’). The German tanks heavier tanks could take out the allied tanks at distances ~ 1 mile. The allied Firefly was an outstanding tank that came out near war’s end but production was limited. The larger Soviet IS2-JS2 was heavier than a tiger but was hard to aim and slow to fire. They were easily knocked out. BTW the chief architects of German armor warfare Von Manstein and Guderian didn’t championed the Tiger but the Panther and Stug instead. Hitler overruled them.
Disagree once the panthers got over the teething issues in mid 43 they excelled in all aspects. Despite the fact that German war production was bombed to hell they still made ~ 6 K in ~ 20 months.
Also the Germans had superior: anti-tanks – anti aircraft guns i.e.: the 88, the, 1st fully automatic rifles), the MG 42 machine which was simple to produce and could fire at a rate > = x2 that of any allied – soviet machine gun and the most dependable bolt action rifle of the war (the Karabiner 98 kurz) .

In general Hitler’s poor decisions i.e.: pushing the Tiger ahead, building giant railway guns, converting the ME262 to a bomber then back to a fighter (which delayed deployment for ~ a year), to name but a few cost Germany.
The Germans did hold the technological edge in general. However it just wasn’t enough to defeat the overpowering quantity and number of the Allies -Soviets. By war’s end the combined Soviet and Allied tank production approached 200 K main battle tanks. The Germans barely made ~ 40 K main battle tanks during the war. They allies had 2 to 3 times the number of troops and countless artillery guns which tore the Germans to sheds as the war progressed.
 

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Agree it was a great tank, but there is still enough info out there that suggest Panthers remained quite fragile and not surprising when you consider the lack of materials the Germans had to build with near the end of the war (molybdenum for example). Throw in all the other issues, lack of logistical and recovery support, poorly trained crews, etc then the Panther suffered.

I'll shut up otherwise we'll get moved to the tank thread.
 

Ermintruder

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This is just horrifying.... :-(

(The graphically-conveyed figures for WW1 are available here... I must confess, I seem to have been wrong in my presumption that the losses in 1914-18 would've been worse than WW2.... which they aren't)
 

Jim

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This is just horrifying.... :-(

(The graphically-conveyed figures for WW1 are available here... I must confess, I seem to have been wrong in my presumption that the losses in 1914-18 would've been worse than WW2.... which they aren't)
During the European portion of WW2 at least 60 million died. Might be considerable higher, some historians estimate that as many as 40 million Soviets perished in the war. More conservative estimates for Soviets deaths range from (26 to 29) million. Of course the deliberate targeting of civilians > 20 million killed - executed by the Nazis and another 5 million killed - executed by the Soviets during the war made this the 1st war in which civilian deaths far exceeded military deaths. This included those who died of engineered starvation, those executed outright and those who died in concentration or work camps. In addition ~ 20 million civilians also died from bombing, artillery fire or were simply caught up in a no-holds bared war (scorched earth policies), etc. Military deaths approached 20 million. At least 12 million of these being Soviets military. Add to this the ~ 20 total deaths in the far eastern theater of war. The majority were Chinese and or Pilipino civilians killed - executed by the Japanese.

Rybakovsky provided a list of the various estimates of Soviet war losses by Russian scholars since 1988.[77]
Deaths in millions for USSR during WW2 1941 to 1945
A. Kvasha (1988) 26–27 A. Samsonov (1988) 26–27 Yu. Polyakov (1989) 26–27 L.L. Rybakovsky (1989) 27–28 I. Kurganov (1990) 44 S. Ivanov (1990) 46 E. M. Andreev (1990) 26.6[78] A. Samsonov (1991) 26–27 A. Shevyakov (1991) 27.7 A. Shevyakov (1992) 29.5 V. Eliseev, S. Mikhalev (1992) 21.8 A. Sokolov (1995) 21.7–23.7 Boris Sokolov (1998) 43.3


WW1 ~ 20 million died form all causes.
 
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titch

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I am currently reading a book about the hunt for the bismarck, and without wanting to join in the fashionable "Churchill was monster" view, he really needed to back off and let the royal navy do its job.

Suggesting the captain of the Prince of Wales should get a court-martial for breaking off the bismarck action, suggesting king George V should stay in the hunt even if it meant running out of fuel and getting towed back , grumbling that the RN captains were lacking in aggression, ships where built to be risked...if I was an admiral I would have told him to piss off and run the country and let me run the fleet.
 
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...if I was an admiral I would have told him to piss off and run the country and let me run the fleet.
I think, in one form or another, that actually did happen - Churchill was often outbid by his experts; in most instances he seems to have accepted this as par for the course, most often - once he'd calmed down - without grudge or resentment.

A few years back a whole swathe of paperwork was released which minuted many of the war meetings Churchill attended. Churchill was an emotional thinker whose suggestions were very often quietly overruled by those more level headed and expert minds who had learned to weather his outbursts, wait for a pause in the stream of consciousness, and then calmly suggest a more practical alternative. It's fascinating reading - emotion and romanticism tempered by cold-logic and dry statistics created a very effective mix; it may be one example where the committee system actually worked really well.

(If my memory serves me well the subject of Lidice might be a good example: When Churchill heard of the massacre he insisted that the RAF completely obliterate a town of similar size in Germany - he was incandescent when his advisers pointed out that such symbolic gestures represented an enormous waste of resources and, although representing revenge for a reprisal, were likely to simply result in yet more reprisals in Nazi occupied territory. Churchill was outvoted, he got angry, he calmed down - eventually, he saw their point of view: a process which, I think, was not at all uncommon.)
 

Coal

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I think, in one form or another, that actually did happen - Churchill was often outbid by his experts; in most instances he seems to have accepted this as par for the course, most often - once he'd calmed down - without grudge or resentment.

A few years back a whole swathe of paperwork was released which minuted many of the war meetings Churchill attended. Churchill was an emotional thinker whose suggestions were very often quietly overruled by those more level headed and expert minds who had learned to weather his outbursts, wait for a pause in the stream of consciousness, and then calmly suggest a more practical alternative. It's fascinating reading - emotion and romanticism tempered by cold-logic and dry statistics created a very effective mix; it may be one example where the committee system actually worked really well.

(If my memory serves me well the subject of Lidice might be a good example: When Churchill heard of the massacre he insisted that the RAF completely obliterate a town of similar size in Germany - he was incandescent when his advisers pointed out that such symbolic gestures represented an enormous waste of resources and, although representing revenge for a reprisal, were likely to simply result in yet more reprisals in Nazi occupied territory. Churchill was outvoted, he got angry, he calmed down - eventually, he saw their point of view: a process which, I think, was not at all uncommon.)
I'd suggest that really good leader knows when their idea is not the best one...and is prepared to change their mind.
 
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I'd suggest that really good leader knows when their idea is not the best one...and is prepared to change their mind.
Yes. But I also think that the sort of tension created by very different styles of thought is a very good thing in the decision making process, because sometimes cold, hard and logical also needs tempering with something more combustible and human.

It can be argued that a major factor in the reasons why the Nazis lost was that so few dared to contradict their leader. I can easily imagine, if the boot was on the other foot, that Churchill would have argued his way into a Stalingrad the same way, and for the same reasons, that Hitler did; the difference being that his advisers would never have let him actually do it. But whereas Hitler's war was argued in a freezer - Churchills took place in a crucible.
 

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Yes. But I also think that the sort of tension created by very different styles of thought is a very good thing in the decision making process, because sometimes cold, hard and logical also needs tempering with something more combustible and human.

It can be argued that a major factor in the reasons why the Nazis lost was that so few dared to contradict their leader. I can easily imagine, if the boot was on the other foot, that Churchill would have argued his way into a Stalingrad the same way, and for the same reasons, that Hitler did; the difference being that his advisers would never have let him actually do it. But whereas Hitler's war was argued in a freezer - Churchills took place in a crucible.
I often wonder how much part the huge amount of pervitin played in poor decision making by the Wehrmacht .
 
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