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On 6/22/2016 at 9:39 PM, Sublime said:

Doesnt matter anyways man. Back to the topic... does it 'feel' weird to anyone now that ww2 is 75 yrs old? Like somehow much more distant? It just seems so much further away and of course it is than any other period of my life i was concious of it - but somehow it just feels a million miles further away. Then again i guess its just as far away as 5 min ago for me anyways - thats to say its the past and its gone.

WW2 is nearly 77 years old. Started in September '39. "Went large" in '41, sure, but there'd been near two years of hostilities prior to that, even if the Autumn of '39 was pretty quiet once Poland fell, '40 and early '41 were pretty busy by sea, land and air.

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On 6/23/2016 at 7:26 AM, Michael Emrys said:

But now, that war too is not so much fading out, but is in a way receding into its proper dimensions as a thing of the past. Still dramatic and consequential, still an interesting bit of historiography, but maybe not so overawing as it once was.

I think in the minds of people who enjoy history, WWII is assuming a remembrance akin to the American Civil war. Those 4 years are probably still #1 if you combine memorabilia, travel, literature, games etc.. At least here in the US. Of course a lot has to do with Civil War battles being fought on local soil, being well documented, and the size of the US economy. There are current running TV series and films that use the Civil War as a backdrop. I wonder if WWII will hold the same interest after 150 years? In US, I think it will be always be #2 to the Civil War. 

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On 6/25/2016 at 2:51 PM, Sublime said:

Yes womble. Im pretty sure you know I know that too ;) nxt you.ll be calling me a septic and think i wont know what that means lol

The 75 yrs was referring to barbarossa.

[shrug] Who'm I to know you don't consider the "real" start of WW2 the beginning of the GPW? After all, it was the invasion of Russia that sealed the Third Reich's fate... without getting into hypotheticals about how Stalin's boys would have done a couple of years later when they rolled across the M-R line, or whether the Western Allies would have been able to break into Europe without the Ostfront tying up top rank formations.

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I dont go on what I consider to be anything on the matter. The start of the GPW isnt recognized in Western society as the start of the war nor is Dec 7 41 unless youre a serious idiot from America or its on the history channel ;)

I go by what is acknowledged everywhere in Western society as the proper beginning to WW2 i.e. the invasion of Poland in Sept. 1939 with subsequent declarations of war by England and France.  You could make the argument WW2 started in Manchuria but I disagree.

Russia did seal Hitlers fate. However I honestly think he sealed his fate anyways when he lost the Battle of Britain. Roosevelt had a ironic definition of neutrality and I honestly think one way or another the US was going to get involved in the war.  After that I really think its just a matter of time until atomic bombs started detonating on German cities.   And of course like you said about the Soviets. If Hitler hadnt invaded that doesnt mean that problem would just go away - more like delayed. I think Stalin would have attacked not a la Suvorov and JK almost immediately or in early 42. But by 43 or 44? Almost definitely but of course who knows. Once you get into alternate history the further you get away from the original time line the more everything in the world has changed radically and noone really knows where it could have gone.  Maybe the US wouldnt have a mass shooting gun problem - instead we.d be speaking Finnish and talking about Finnish pine cone massacres ;)

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51 minutes ago, Sublime said:

However I honestly think he sealed his fate anyways when he lost the Battle of Britain.

Or you could just as easily say that Hitler sealed his fate by starting a war without first having made adequate preparations to successfully invade Britain. And since that would, among other things, entail a huge buildup of his navy—which I consider beyond the industrial capacity of Germany in the time allowed—it amounts to saying that he doomed himself by starting a war at all.

But getting back to Barbarossa, I have lately been toying with an idea. In order to have even an equal chance of winning against the USSR, Germany needs to win big and win fast, i.e. in that first summer. I think there were two reasons why that didn't happen. One was that the German army could not move with the necessary alacrity to capture the objectives that would have compelled a Soviet collapse. The other was that it could not provide the necessary logistic support at that range. To remedy those two deficits before the rains set in, Germany needs trucks. Thousands and thousands of trucks. With more trucks in the pipeline as well as spares to keep them all moving. Germany simply could not produce motor vehicles in the required numbers because its automotive industry was never really close to the size to do so.

So here is the idea I have been toying with. Suppose that instead of building the historical army that it did, say it goes for one, say, two-thirds the size. This means perhaps hundreds of thousands of young men free to go into the automotive industry that Germany is building up throughout the 1930s. It also means that all the other impedimenta that went into all those divisions of leg infantry that are not being created can be omitted allowing resources to be diverted into other projects, like creating fully mobile divisions and the logistic echelons to support them. Would that have won the war for Germany? I doubt it, but it might have improved the odds for it.

Michael

Edited by Michael Emrys
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Given the fact that mad Addy was hell bent on lebensraum he would have 

53 minutes ago, Sublime said:

I go by what is acknowledged everywhere in Western society as the proper beginning to WW2 i.e. the invasion of Poland in Sept. 1939 with subsequent declarations of war by England and France.  

Russia did seal Hitlers fate. However I honestly think he sealed his fate anyways when he lost the Battle of Britain. 

Given mad Addy's addiction to lebensraum he couldn't do anything but Russia. I've always felt that Germany lost the war the day they staged a victory parade in Berlin just after the fall of France.

In the meantime mate, given recent events here in Limeyland keep an eye out for bedraggled emigres speaking a strange version of English washing up on the shores of Cape Cod.

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IMHO, Germany lost the war the day they invaded Poland and Britain didn't stay neutral. The German economy didn't get into full scale war production until 1942. The German navy didn't feel they would be ready for a war until 1945 with a minimum 300 U-Boats (100 on station, 100 in transit and 100 in port at any given time). 

With an unsinkable aircraft carrier so close to mainland Europe, backed by an 'everything short of war' America Germany didn't have the resources or industrial capacity to compete. A war with Russia would be the last thing the Reich needed. I don't see how they could have defeated Russia, too big, too much distance to cover for an army that existed on boot leather and horseshoes and too many men to fight. 

And the Russians learned. It took them several years and millions of men but they got better tactically and strategically.  

Napoleon said of his foes at Leipzig in 1813 'These dogs have learned something.' Even after the war no German general admitted that the allies got the better of them. It was always Hitler's fault and interference  

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I think Germany would probably have still lost Emrys. But you did cut right to the heart of the matter and Lend Leases' trucks are often cited as one of the very most important items given to Russia.  A lot of historians have wondered aloud how much longer, if at all, it would have taken the Red Army to eject the Germans and move into Germany.

 

P.s. anyone seen the German movie "Guess Whose Back?" About Hitler? It had some pretty funny moments.

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5 hours ago, Sublime said:

I think Germany would probably have still lost Emrys.

I don't think there is any way they could have lost me since they never had me. ;):D Otherwise, I agree. It would have taken a long string of weird and unlikely events for Germany to have won.

5 hours ago, Sublime said:

But you did cut right to the heart of the matter and Lend Leases' trucks are often cited as one of the very most important items given to Russia.

Some historians claim that all those cans of Spam were even more important.

Michael

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23 hours ago, Sublime said:

I think Germany would probably have still lost Emrys.

Oh dear. Who knew he was such a key player?

 

17 hours ago, Michael Emrys said:

Some historians claim that all those cans of Spam were even more important.

Not just historians. After the war, Nikita Khrushchev said "Without Lend-Lease, the Red Army would have starved." I previously provided this as part of one of the long Lend-Lease threads. Since his wartime role was as Stalin's personal representative to the senior field commanders, he was very well positioned to know this. The quote was my rather pointed rejoinder to those who minimized the importance of Lend-Lease to the Russian war effort.

23 hours ago, Sublime said:

But you did cut right to the heart of the matter and Lend Leases' trucks are often cited as one of the very most important items given to Russia.

If you read the accounts of the soldiers over on IRemember.ru and elsewhere, it is clear they considered the Studebaker truck as essential to winning the war.

Regards,

John Kettler

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On 26/6/2016 at 6:05 PM, Sublime said:

Russia did seal Hitlers fate. However I honestly think he sealed his fate anyways when he lost the Battle of Britain. Roosevelt had a ironic definition of neutrality and I honestly think one way or another the US was going to get involved in the war.  After that I really think its just a matter of time until atomic bombs started detonating on German cities.

They didn't really need nuclear weapons though, conventional explosives and firebombs were levelling German cities on a horrible scale..

Edited by Bulletpoint
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31 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

They didn't really need nuclear weapons though, conventional explosives and firebombs were levelling German cities on a horrible scale..

True enough, but there was a psychological factor that may have been important. With Japan, we had already burned most of their most important cities to the ground and that hadn't been enough to compel surrender. But being able to do that with one big bomb did the trick. Whether the German leadership would have responded in the same way is open to speculation of course. If Hitler had still been alive at that point, he might have said, "Well, it's all just part of the Götterdämmerung, after all," and kept on fighting. But if Hitler was gone and more rational heads were in charge who didn't want Germany to be turned into a glowing hole in the ground, a Bomb or two could have convinced them that it was time to throw in the towel.

Michael

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8 minutes ago, Michael Emrys said:

True enough, but there was a psychological factor that may have been important. With Japan, we had already burned most of their most important cities to the ground and that hadn't been enough to compel surrender. But being able to do that with one big bomb did the trick. Whether the German leadership would have responded in the same way is open to speculation of course. If Hitler had still been alive at that point, he might have said, "Well, it's all just part of the Götterdämmerung, after all," and kept on fighting. But if Hitler was gone and more rational heads were in charge who didn't want Germany to be turned into a glowing hole in the ground, a Bomb or two could have convinced them that it was time to throw in the towel.

Michael

Good points, but I think if Hitler was gone, and more rational heads were in charge, you still wouldn't have needed atomic weapons, the Germans would have surrendered anyway at that point. Especially to avoid Russian occupation.

About Japan, I think a key part of their surrender was that the emperor was offered to stay in power, which meant a lot for the emperor himself, and also for the Japanese national pride. But regarding Hitler that option just wasn't on the table.

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4 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

Good points, but I think if Hitler was gone, and more rational heads were in charge, you still wouldn't have needed atomic weapons, the Germans would have surrendered anyway at that point. Especially to avoid Russian occupation.

Yes, that has a high likelihood. I think that at least as early as the middle of 1944 a lot of the German leadership was looking for some way to get rid of Hitler and come to terms, at least with the Western Allies. Whether they in turn would have accepted a limited surrender that did not include the Soviets is problematical. At least they were making a lot of noise that that would not be acceptable. Whether the Germans would then have gone the further step to either (A) extend the surrender to include to the Soviets, or (B) simply stopped fighting against the Allies and opened the front in the West while continuing to fight in the East is also problematical. No doubt the Western Allies would have continued eastward while capturing and disarming those German soldiers they encountered until they made contact with the Soviets somewhere to the east of the historic line. This would not have spared the Germans from a Soviet occupation, as the occupation zones had already been drawn up and agreed to, but it might have made the overrunning of their country a slightly milder affair.

Michael

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3 hours ago, Michael Emrys said:

(B) simply stopped fighting against the Allies and opened the front in the West while continuing to fight in the East is also problematical.

One hypothetical that would get me interested in end-of-war modules. West vs the Soviet East. We will never get the Cold War so a "CM46" would be a nice C'est la vie. No BFC, you don't necessarily need a design the Free French.  

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1 hour ago, kevinkin said:

One hypothetical that would get me interested in end-of-war modules. West vs the Soviet East. We will never get the Cold War so a "CM46" would be a nice C'est la vie. No BFC, you don't necessarily need a design the Free French.  

Except that would be wildly unhistorical. The countries that would be involved in such a war were all intensely worn out and another war, except for a few hot-headed fighters like Patton, is the last thing they would want.

Michael

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8 hours ago, Michael Emrys said:

wildly unhistorical.

True. But "worn out" is relative to the circumstances (aka hypothetical backstory) presented to those needing the rest. Given the sheer amount of military material in Germany and the tensions of the times, one can dream up a enough plausible tactical skirmishes to fill a module. There will be missing historical eras when all is said and CM is done. I would trade those for CM46. But leaving all those painstakingly designed units and vehicles on either side iron curtain just seems wasteful.  

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I find it quite amazing actually because the logistic experts within the german general staff stated that germanys absolute final logistic tripwire fell very far short of moscow, cant remeber off the top of my head and im at work now so cant check, sorry.  Hitler overuled and said that russia as a state wou.d be finished by then anyway.  Absolute criminal towards your own troops that in your stategic plan doesnt enable you to capture a vital objective.  That they actually got to the suburbs of moscow is amazing in itself.

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14 minutes ago, Doc844 said:

That they actually got to the suburbs of moscow is amazing in itself.

That the Germans were ferocious fighters cannot be denied. That they were able to foil the Allies in Italy long after it was expected (in some quarters) that they would fold up and retire north is another evidence of that. So was their recovery and stubborn defense in the West in September 1944 after their armies there had been all but obliterated. For those of us who care about such things, one cannot but feel that it was a great pity that such a magnificent force could not have been given a more worthy task than to service the mad ideals of Nazism.

Michael

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On 6/29/2016 at 5:07 PM, Michael Emrys said:

 one cannot but feel that it was a great pity that such a magnificent force could not have been given a more worthy task than to service the mad ideals of Nazism.

Without Mad Addy's "ideals" that force would never have existed. And which worthy tasks did you have in mind? Driving Musso out of Ethiopia in the service of the League of Nations? Defending China from Japanese invasion? Being offered to the Republic of Spain in it's hour of need? 

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