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Fire and Rubble


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9 minutes ago, Anonymous_Jonze said:

Yeah, I don't think this accurate. I think a lot of Americans actually might like playing the Germans more. Since ya know History channel portrayed everything as the UNSTOPPABLE BEAST that German the TIGER and PANTHER was.

I think it's more about a lot of Americans wanting to fight the Communists, and Korea would be too.. ambiguous for them.

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4 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

I think it's more about a lot of Americans wanting to fight the Communists, and Korea would be too.. ambiguous for them.

For older generations maybe. But young people in America don't generally have the same connections to Communism.

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1 hour ago, Anonymous_Jonze said:

Yeah, I don't think this accurate. I think a lot of Americans actually might like playing the Germans more. Probably thanks to the History channel portraying everything as the UNSTOPPABLE BEAST that the German TIGER and PANTHER was. 

I can remember watching  The History Channel and Saving Private Ryan when I was in elementary school and being fascinated by the Wehrmacht, Luftwaffe, SS and everything about them warfare wise. I’ll play as the Germans all day any day.

Edited by Modernrocco
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31 minutes ago, AttorneyAtWar said:

Oh boy I can see where this is going. Pull up thread!

Heh.  Well, to be honest I think you'd be hard pressed to find an old school wargamer that didn't focus on German stuff first.  Let's face it, Panthers are dead sexy!  Growing out of that phase is the mark of maturity ;) 

True fact... my first toy tank was a King Tiger at age 5.  I also had a SdKfz 18, GI Joe sized.  It was not too long after that when I learned not to leave plastic toys in the rear window space of a 1970 Ford Falcon Sedan during the summer on a sunny day.  Looked liked the halftrack had been hit by a WP artillery shell and the KT got a sorta Krummlauf barrel (though the mud guards did have a more realistic bent look to them)!  Damn, I still miss them.

Steve

 

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11 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

 

That is for sure part of it.  But it's also about what is in wider popular culture.  Western Europeans understandably also focus on things like Normandy and Arnhem rather than Brest-Litovsk or Zhytomyr.  Until recently most of the books, TV shows, movies, etc. involved Westerners talking about Western Front because that is not only what they were most directly involved in but also because they had easy source materials to draw from.  Especially 1st hand accounts from people who fought there. 

I can say from first hand experience it used to be VERY difficult to get good stuff on the Eastern Front.  Glanz was one of the first, and for a time pretty much the only, English speaking historian digging deep into what happened on the Eastern Front.  Recently it's become a lot easier, but culture changes much more slowly.

You'd think the Germans might have made up for that, but collectively it seems they almost wanted to forget it ever happened.  I've had many conversations with German wargamers over the years and they preferred the Western Front as well.  The Eastern Front had a lot more emotional baggage for them.  Understandable.

 

One of the best books on this issue I've read recently was "The Myth of the Eastern Front".

It depicts precisely what you talked about: how the memories of the Eastern Front and Russian participation in WW2 were effectively erased from the public memory in US and Western countries.

Moreover, the authors argue, that the American popular culture to the large extent adopted what was initially the German wartime view on Soviet Union, e.g.  Wehrmacht soldiers  were flawless knights that used superior tactics and weapons to defend European civilization from Eastern barbarian hordes. Wehrmacht war crimes were politely put under the rug in favor of building the image of anti-Bolshevik fighters. 

Americans put Franz Halder, the man who designed plan Barbarossa, in charge of the network of German generals who prepared hundreds and hundreds of materials on Eastern front to consult US military. Many guys like Adolf Heusinger seamlessly moved from Hitler's bunker to the chair of NATO Military Committee.  Manstein and Huderian wrote popular memoirs that reinforced German variant of Eastern front history in Western public opinion. Sure, they omit "the bad parts", like their involvement in genocide, and claim that they lost only because they were outnumbered and Hitler gave unprofessional orders.

Surprisingly enough, recently I witness the revival of interest towards Eastern front. Not only the large number of related history books hit the shelves, but many PC games exploited the topic. Maybe I'm wrong, and its my subjective evaluation biased because of my own interest in the subject. 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, dbsapp said:

One of the best books on this issue I've read recently was "The Myth of the Eastern Front".

It depicts precisely what you talked about: how the memories of the Eastern Front and Russian participation in WW2 were effectively erased from the public memory in US and Western countries.

Moreover, the authors argue, that the American popular culture to the large extent adopted what was initially the German wartime view on Soviet Union, e.g.  Wehrmacht soldiers  were flawless knights that used superior tactics and weapons to defend European civilization from Eastern barbarian hordes. Wehrmacht war crimes were politely put under the rug in favor of building the image of anti-Bolshevik fighters. 

Americans put Franz Halder, the man who designed plan Barbarossa, in charge of the network of German generals who prepared hundreds and hundreds of materials on Eastern front to consult US military. Many guys like Adolf Heusinger seamlessly moved from Hitler's bunker to the chair of NATO Military Committee.  Manstein and Huderian wrote popular memoirs that reinforced German variant of Eastern front history in Western public opinion. Sure, they omit "the bad parts", like their involvement in genocide, and claim that they lost only because they were outnumbered and Hitler gave unprofessional orders.

Surprisingly enough, recently I witness the revival of interest towards Eastern front. Not only the large number of related history books hit the shelves, but many PC games exploited the topic. Maybe I'm wrong, and its my subjective evaluation biased because of my own interest in the subject. 

 

 

Yeah, that's a great book!

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28 minutes ago, dbsapp said:

One of the best books on this issue I've read recently was "The Myth of the Eastern Front".

It depicts precisely what you talked about: how the memories of the Eastern Front and Russian participation in WW2 were effectively erased from the public memory in US and Western countries.

Moreover, the authors argue, that the American popular culture to the large extent adopted what was initially the German wartime view on Soviet Union, e.g.  Wehrmacht soldiers  were flawless knights that used superior tactics and weapons to defend European civilization from Eastern barbarian hordes. Wehrmacht war crimes were politely put under the rug in favor of building the image of anti-Bolshevik fighters. 

Americans put Franz Halder, the man who designed plan Barbarossa, in charge of the network of German generals who prepared hundreds and hundreds of materials on Eastern front to consult US military. Many guys like Adolf Heusinger seamlessly moved from Hitler's bunker to the chair of NATO Military Committee.  Manstein and Huderian wrote popular memoirs that reinforced German variant of Eastern front history in Western public opinion. Sure, they omit "the bad parts", like their involvement in genocide, and claim that they lost only because they were outnumbered and Hitler gave unprofessional orders.

Surprisingly enough, recently I witness the revival of interest towards Eastern front. Not only the large number of related history books hit the shelves, but many PC games exploited the topic. Maybe I'm wrong, and its my subjective evaluation biased because of my own interest in the subject. 

 

 

Yup its a great example to bring up when someone tries to hit you with "ThE VicToRs WRitE hiStoRy".

I wasn't immune to it either, I also fell under the spell of the big cats and the valiant but hopeless fights in the east when I was a kid (hell when I was posting on this forum in like 2012). I'm glad I snapped out of it though and I have a much more balanced view of it all now.

Edited by AttorneyAtWar
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3 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

Heh.  Well, to be honest I think you'd be hard pressed to find an old school wargamer that didn't focus on German stuff first.  Let's face it, Panthers are dead sexy!  Growing out of that phase is the mark of maturity ;) 

True fact... my first toy tank was a King Tiger at age 5.  I also had a SdKfz 18, GI Joe sized.  It was not too long after that when I learned not to leave plastic toys in the rear window space of a 1970 Ford Falcon Sedan during the summer on a sunny day.  Looked liked the halftrack had been hit by a WP artillery shell and the KT got a sorta Krummlauf barrel (though the mud guards did have a more realistic bent look to them)!  Damn, I still miss them.

Steve

 

It really is. Its amazing how 99% of people start out thinking that the Germans were these unstoppable supermen, just goes to show you the power of pop culture when it comes to stuff like war.

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2 hours ago, AttorneyAtWar said:

It really is. Its amazing how 99% of people start out thinking that the Germans were these unstoppable supermen, just goes to show you the power of pop culture when it comes to stuff like 

 

Nowadays people think that every German soldier was a war criminal or camp guard. They know little or nothing about ww1, Versailles, the conditions of a merciless war or the criminal side of communism. For the average American ww2 is a series of awful Hollywood movies. So yeah, the power of pop culture indeed. 😉

Btw men like Heusinger and Speidel received their NATO positions because of their (partly justified) treason during the war. Apart from that the Americans always have been prepared to make friends with anyone they could use for their own interests. After all the Uncle Joe nonsense during the war the positive view of the American people about Russia had to be changed, so the Germans became useful again. Not very styleful perhaps, but a very necessary adjustment at the time. 

Edited by Aragorn2002
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13 minutes ago, Aragorn2002 said:

The fascination is not about that handful of King Tigers or jet fighters or Hitler and his fanatics, but the average outnumbered and battered German soldier in his foxhole, facing impossible odds while his hometown was being bombed to smithereens. Fighting on in conditions the average American soldier would never have stomached for that long, knowing that they fought for a lost cause and an evil regime and that surrender would only bring even more misery.

Nowadays people think that every German soldier was a war criminal. They know little or nothing about ww1, Versailles, the conditions of a merciless war or the criminal site of communism. For the average American ww2 is a series of awful Hollywood movies. So yeah, the power of pop culture indeed.

 

🙄

Yes, no other soldier displayed bravery like the German soldier, definitely not the Russian soldier who literally fought for the survival of his people. Who knew that if the Germans succeeded a genocidal campaign would be carried out to kill or enslave every single Russian in his country. I don't even know what to say about your comment on American soldiers, your sweeping generalization is just funny to me honestly. I'd imagine though that the ones who encountered the concentration camps or heard of them fought pretty damn well against the bastards who enabled it, that's good enough for me for that war.

German soldiers being war criminals is well documented in every service, so yes you can try to hand wave away a lot by saying "Not every German soldier!" but it doesn't do anything to the now well known fact that the Wehrmacht carried out the policies of the Nazi government and systematically murdered their way through Europe.  Also your right most did know they fought for an evil regime and they still kept fighting before they even knew they were going to lose! What does that tell you about those men?

 

 

Edited by AttorneyAtWar
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The bravery of the Russian and Allied soldiers is not at dispute. Nor are the German crimes. 

What it tells me about the men who fought on is that they didn't want to end up in Siberia and have their women raped.

As simple as that.

But let's leave it at that. We don't want this thread closed and I also see your valid points. If you feel like putting me right some more, you can pm me and we will continue this conversation in a civil manner.

Edited by Aragorn2002
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2 hours ago, AttorneyAtWar said:

German soldiers being war criminals is well documented in every service, so yes you can try to hand wave away a lot by saying "Not every German soldier!"

Here are the figures. According to Fullbrook a professor of German history. 140000 charges have been laid between 1946-2005 of whom 6656 were convicted of war crimes. A total of 13.6 million of German served in the armed services. The statement that most German soldiers were found not guilty of war crimes is based on fact. Found not guilty doesn't have the same meaning as innocent in a court of law. Well over 95% of members of the German armed services are presumed innocent. Not taking prisoners every army has their Ronald Speirs in Band of Brothers to prosecute them is just hypocritical. 

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30 minutes ago, chuckdyke said:

Here are the figures. According to Fullbrook a professor of German history. 140000 charges have been laid between 1946-2005 of whom 6656 were convicted of war crimes. A total of 13.6 million of German served in the armed services. The statement that most German soldiers were found not guilty of war crimes is based on fact. Found not guilty doesn't have the same meaning as innocent in a court of law. Well over 95% of members of the German armed services are presumed innocent. Not taking prisoners every army has their Ronald Speirs in Band of Brothers to prosecute them is just hypocritical. 

I never said every German soldier was a war criminal, but if this is a hill you want to die on go right ahead. I'd imagine those numbers (if they're correct, I don't have them in front of me) don't account for those who died and the many crimes that were forgiven or unknown due to the Cold War. If they knew about the holocaust and what other units and their fellow soldiers were doing (Which they almost assuredly did) and said nothing they are complicit in my opinion. That goes for any Army that wages a war of genocide, they all received the general orders and knew what was expected of them.

We have something called an "unlawful order" in the US military. Any order that is deemed illegal like the murder of POW's or civilians can be refused outright even if given by a high ranking NCO/officer. Nazi Germany had no such thing and no soldier was punished for it in the east officially as far as I know. And no, German soldiers were not killed or incarcerated on mass if they refused these orders, I've already heard that one a million times.

Edited by AttorneyAtWar
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6 minutes ago, AttorneyAtWar said:

I never said every German soldier was a war criminal, but if this is a hill you want to die on go right ahead. I'd imagine those numbers (if they're correct, I don't have them in front of me) don't account for those who died and the many crimes that were forgiven or unknown due to the Cold War. If they knew about the holocaust and what other units and their fellow soldiers were doing (Which they almost assuredly did) and said nothing they are complicit in my opinion. That goes for any Army that wages a war of genocide, they all received the general orders and knew what was expected of them.

With the same reasoning you can indeed condemn the whole red army, but let's end this argument and return to Fire and Rubble.

Edited by Aragorn2002
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While I agree there was a degree of so-called "wehraboo-ism" about the German military there are now those going too far in rehabilitating the conduct of Soviet army.

Lets not forget the Soviet military initially invaded Poland along with their Nazi allies and committed the Katyn massacre. They also invaded the Baltic countries who joined the Eastern Poles enslaved under a genocidal regime.  All in line with the The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.

Lastly Soviet soldiers did not liberate Eastern European countries but merely exchanged one tyranny for another. Many of those same "liberating" Soviet solders would later turn their guns on the people of Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

 

 

Edited by AlanSA
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22 minutes ago, chuckdyke said:

Here are the figures. According to Fullbrook a professor of German history. 140000 charges have been laid between 1946-2005 of whom 6656 were convicted of war crimes. A total of 13.6 million of German served in the armed services. The statement that most German soldiers were found not guilty of war crimes is based on fact. Found not guilty doesn't have the same meaning as innocent in a court of law. Well over 95% of members of the German armed services are presumed innocent. Not taking prisoners every army has their Ronald Speirs in Band of Brothers to prosecute them is just hypocritical. 

By 1945 there were 8,5 millions members of Nazi Party. How many of them were found guilty in a court of law? 

Just for starters:

Wikipedia

Deutsche Welle

Spiegel

As for professor Fullbrook, that you quote to whitewash Wehrmacht, her massage was quite opposite to what you are trying to prove. She complained that the numbers of convicts were too low: 

"Fulbrook, professor of German History and Dean of the Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences at University College London, notes that “perhaps 200,000 people, and possibly closer to a million, were at one point or another actively involved in killing Jewish civilians. And the ranks of those who made this possible were far wider.”

She adds that “The total number of persons convicted under the Federal Republic for Nazi crimes was in itself fewer even than the number of people who had been employed at Auschwitz alone.”

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16 minutes ago, AttorneyAtWar said:

said nothing they are complicit in my opinion.

Absolute master of the air. The Allies could have bombed the railroads leading to Bergen Belsen, Auschwitz etc. They didn't this would have broken the transport to the extermination camps. Westerbork concentration camp in the Netherlands was manned by Dutch Federal police only the commander was a German. The issue of concentration camps is not as black and white as you seem to think. I was brought up by WW 2 survivors and eyewitnesses. This is what they had to say about allied troops. "Ze waren geen haar beter!" There was not one iota difference. After all this is a wargaming hobbysite and I just had to put my two bob's worth in. To be found guilty you need a conviction. There was a fair amount of horse trading going on after WW2. The fact is 95% was never convicted of anything.   

Edited by chuckdyke
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11 minutes ago, Aragorn2002 said:

With the same reasoning you can indeed condemn the whole red army, but let's end this argument and return to Fire and Rubble.

Please, don't compare Red Army which saved Russian people from slavery and Jewish people from extermination to German army which killed 27 mln Soviet citizens. 

It's better to return to Fire and Rubble indeed.

 

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The threads seems to go the same way as the new modules name! Fire, then rubble! Probably delayed the release with a few hours!

Either way I am looking forward to the new module and hope it will be out soon so we can be busy having fun with the new toys :) 

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