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How come the allies won?


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Originally posted by stikkypixie:

Ok then quoting from my limited knowledge of ancient history, what about Rome, in it's glory days it employed many, many slaves.

True, but they didn't really have a lot of good competition once they beat Carthage. That and the muscle part of the empire, the army, was composed of citizens or allies who again felt it was their duty to serve. When that tradition declined so did Rome.

(I know, the reader's digest version of the condensed story.)

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Ok then quoting from my limited knowledge of ancient history, what about Rome, in it's glory days it employed many, many slaves.

Wandering off the topic here but hell, I was a classicist before I was a WW-II nut, sorta.

Roman slavery isn't really comparable with the 'Arbeit Macht Frei' forced labour/death camp thing except in those few areas of the economy where they dumped people they really didn't like to do unpleasant work and then grind them into the dirt until they died (For a nice fictionalised account of Roman silver mining, 'the silver pigs' has a nice story). A fair chunk of the Roman economy was run by unfree labour but in the main they didn't have a whip cracking loonie standing over them, they were as much a class as anything else.

As an aside, the whole thing about sabotage by slave labourers is probably true but I think it was exaggerated post-war by the "We should have won" brigade in Germany, a variation of the "Stab in the back" whinge from WW-I.

"Oh lackaday, if only those Jews/Poles/Frenchmen/Slavs/Trades Unionists that we were working to death had not put too little powder in our shells, then our wonder weapons would have worked!"

Hamfisted administration of an economy and getting oneself into fights that one had no realistic chance of winning.

On the actual battlefield... well, JasonC's shown how allied kit can work :) (pencils down notes for next game)

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A related question comes to mind;

What in the Wide World of Sports were the Italians thinking?

I can understand they might have a chance with their tankettes and other assorted tin coffins fighting poorly armed natives in North Africa, but to say they were a bit under-armored for a fight with a modern opponent seems quite charitable.

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Many thanks to JasonC for his post on fighting the early war British. Great stuff!

I've read "Why the Allies Won"--a good, solid, clear book. In my view, one of the big allied advantages was superior thinking on the strategic level. The Brits and Ami's were able to talk each other out of some bad ideas (invading France in '42 or '43; Churchillian adventures in the Baltic), whereas Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo had no one to check their mistakes--each acted as a free agent and loose cannon. And even though the Soviets acted largely on their own, the 1-2 punch of eastern and western Allies served to dismantle the Reich in a coordinated way.

Now on to tactics. What do folks think about buying US airpower later in the war? In May '45 you can get a P-47D (reg) for about 400 pts. Is this a good deal? They carry 2x1000 lb bombs plus 1x500 plus 8 strafes with 8x.50 cal MGs (death to HTs!). I'm torn between this (much more powerful FBs than in CMBO), and buying some good old VT arty, which I find to be quite lethal to both man and armored beast. VT arty seems to me the secret weapon of the western Allies, late war.

Meanwhile, I've developed a healthy respect for the Allied M-10 in CMAK. If a German opponent loads up on uber-armor, the M-10 can be a cost effective response. Somehow, it seems much more effective than in CMBO.

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wow that was a great reply by jason C, i use that tatic and it floored my mate in a tcp ip game! anyway, u people seem to forget at the time of the second world war the USA wasn't the super power it is now, in fact its probly the only country that gained alot becuase of the war, and if the war had not had happen it wouldn't have been, anyway hilters mistake (which their was many of) was to attack poland in 39..he himself didn't want war just yet..he promise hes fleet that war would not happen till at least 1944...he was just a gambler..and that one failed, tho he was lucky he knocked out france early...but after that it was unlikly he could have won...as for him to invade england was soo unlikly..even if he defeated the royal airforce in the battle of britain..the royal navy would have threw itself into the channel to stop the germans land/supplying...it would have took heavey losses...but it would have stop a invason and woud have gave england enough ime to make up its fighter losses....as ast that time england was making more fighters then germany. also the usa only got the nuclear bomb first becuase, they took all the english reseach on it (they also took all the jet engine reseach) and they got the rest from germany. after she was defeated. anyway germany was bound to lose it in 1939...but it just took till 1945 defeat it.

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Originally posted by Jack Carr:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Franko:

Generally speaking, the Allies won because they had better soldiers and better equipment. Of course, there are many people who will argue this, but they're all wrong.

F

Not disagreeing with you on this point.

In your opinion, better in what way or ways? </font>

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Originally posted by Dirtweasle:

A related question comes to mind;

What in the Wide World of Sports were the Italians thinking?

I can understand they might have a chance with their tankettes and other assorted tin coffins fighting poorly armed natives in North Africa, but to say they were a bit under-armored for a fight with a modern opponent seems quite charitable.

Italy didn't choose to be invaded by the British and the Americans. They chose to take part in the German invasion of France in 1940. Once down that road, of course they'd try to damage Brits in North and East Africa as well unless they actually wanted to evacuate all Italian colonies there instead. A disastrous miscalculation. Even invading France didn't go well, and France was already in serious trouble.
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A couple of points.

First, Hitler's personality did factor heavily in poor German military decisions, as has already been point out. But here, the important distinction lies in differences between democratic and totalitarian governments. Churchill was, in his approach to military matters, a lot like Hitler. He fancied himself a general, was always coming up with hare-brained schemes (remember, his political career was almost ruined by the disaster at Gallipoli). The difference was that Churchill, after plying his persuasive talents to the utmost, would in the end let his generals make the final decision. (Read Lord Alanbrooke's autobiography for a great description of this). Whereas, Hitler would insist on being right and fire anyone who opposed him. The early war successes in Poland and France, where he had pushed the offensive doctrine of younger officers like Guderian over the objections of more conservative senior generals, lent him the aura of a military genius - especially in his own eyes.

Second, strategically, the "axis" was really just a marriage of convenience, and had none of the coordination and cooperation that marked the Allied side, especially between the two that mattered, Germany and Japan. What if, for example, Japan had pushed westward rather than eastward in 1942? Instead of dying at Midway, the Japanese fleet might have been able to drive the British from the Indian Ocean, block the flow of supplies to Russia via Iran (not to mention the flow of supplies to China over the Burma road), and link up with the Germans in Cairo. The oilfields of the middle east would have fallen to the Axis. Or, the Japanese could have attacked Russia in the east and kept the Siberian army from reinforcing Moscow. Now EITHER of those

events would have drastically changed the strategic picture in 42. The point is, the axis never concentrated on a single enemy. Good thing, too.

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i agree with all the (sane) posts above. and of course a thanks to JasonC for suggesting another approach than my usual "IN THE TREES AAARGH ARTY! OUT OF THE TREES QUICK OH GOD EVERYONES DEAD WHY WHY GOD WHY." tactics.

the Germans in the east turned a population that initially supported them into deadly enemies almost straight away. when these territories were re-conquered by the Russians these people were only too eager to join the Red Army. these "bonus soldiers" formed up to 50% of the Red Army i believe (from the CMBB forum). and by the end of the war the Soviets were running low on man power. the myth of everlasting reserves of fresh soldiers is just incorrect. possibly fostered by Soviet operational art concentrating vast amounts of men an materiel at the schwerpunkt. so these soldiers definately made a differance.

if they had just used the velvet glove until they had the victory things may have been different. but of course as someone posted earlier, to be able to do that they would not have been nazis. and if they were not nazis they would not have started the war anyway.

still. the underlying reason the Germans lost is that they wanted a short war. and did not contemplate that the other people involved may not. by the time this sank in and they started putting their industry on a war footing, everyone else had been doing it for years.

the eastern front was a bigger version of The Rumble in the Jungle. with the Germans playing Foreman.

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Originally posted by Franko:

Generally speaking, the Allies won because they had better soldiers and better equipment. Of course, there are many people who will argue this, but they're all wrong.

F

Yes Franco I'll argue this. In 39 the Germans had better soldiers. The Brits learned to fight in the desert and they were equal warriors after that. In 41 the Germans were far better soldiers than the Russians. By Stallingrad the Russians learned to fight, and they were equal warriors after that. In 42 North Afrika the Americans were green , by Sically they learned to fight. At the ground pounder level all the countries warriors were pretty much equal.

It was the logistics and Ultra that beat the Germans.

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Wasn't it the Germans that, surprisingly to themselves, had the inferior armor after the onset of operation Barbarossa. Their initial armor couldn't compete with the T34 and KVs. The PIII was obsolete when it began production and PIV was originally a short barreled support tank.

Was it these early years of "learning" that promted the germans to build promote the PIV and build the larger tanks such as the Panther and later Tigers?

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Originally posted by aka_tom_w:

BUT did anyone say that Hilter was a DOLT as a military strategic leader??

Like how crazy and megalomanic do you have to be to voluntarily decide it would be a "good thing" to open a 2nd front against a nation as HUGE and resource rich and long and deep (as in about 500 million football fields long/deep) as Russia?

3) Hilter was a dolt and and chose to invade Russia for What good reason :confused: ???

Are we questioning the iron-clad good sense of Adolf Hitler?

THE reason Hitler sent Germany to war WAS to attack Russia. Yea, he wanted to get back at the French, and he wanted to get the corridor back, but Hitlers eyes were always firmly fixed east.

Hitler also knew that he could not resist a Soviet invasion with present borders. And a Soviet invasion would have happened eventually.

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By Stallingrad the Russians learned to fight, and they were equal warriors after that
Oh no. That I'll have to dispute. On the defense the russians were the match of the germans. The basic soldier was fairly decent.

But on the offense the russian infantry tactics from Squad and up to companylevel were abyssmal. Basicly "The Human Wave". Attacks using brute force of artillery and manpower to make up for what it lacks in finesse.

These flaws in russian infantry tactics have lived on(partially) and is a serious weakness in the tactics of Warzawa pact armies and their successors.

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I think perhaps the most intelligent thing anyone could possibly say about the relative merits of Allied and Axis armies is that both sides had examples of very good equipment and examples of very bad equipment.

Saying that Axis soldiers were uniformly "good" or "bad" or that Allied soldiers were uniformly "good" or "bad" - even if restricting this appelation to a specific period of the war - is also nauseatingly simplistic, not even close to the truth, and guaranteed only to turn debate into a flame war with each nationality taking sides.

There were plenty of good Polish soldiers in 1939, just as the German Army had its share of slugs in the same period.

If anyone wants to discuss individual details like squad tactics, fieldcraft, etc., that may be a better place to start, but by 1944 I would say all the major combatants in Europe were on an even playing field as far as that went.

The great intangible in comparing troop quality is EXPERIENCE. And as this only applies in general specific cases, and not as a broad blanket, there isn't much point to that discussion either.

Say you wanted to discuss German soldiers and Canadian soldiers in October 1944. Well, German basic training then was about 7 weeks, with an additional period of trades training, while Canadian soldiers probably went through a period of training that was longer. However, many German soldiers were put into the line without doing their trades training, and Canadian infantry reinforcements were routinely being sent up from artillery, anti-aircraft and support units, some with no infantry training at all. Were Canadian soldiers "good" and German soldiers "bad" by this point?

No - you can't judge them all in broad strokes. Some German soldiers were still very good, with years of experience under their belt, from the low countries, North Africa, Italy, Russia, Normandy et al. Some Canadian soldiers by this point had experience in North Africa (as individuals attached to the British for battle experience), Sicily, Italy, Normandy also. Some German soldiers were straight out of basic training, perhaps were even employed as a whole in ersatz units (one of the SS units to fight at Arnhrm was a Training and Replacement unit, for example), and some Canadian soldiers were remusters from the artillery who had never fired a Bren gun or thrown a grenade during their training.

So continue with the drivelly comparisons if you must, none of them really hold any water. You can make some broad generalizations, but the soldiers of each major combatant nation were probably just as good as the soldiers of any other major combatant nation when it gets right down to it. Differences in doctrine and training are of interest, and differences in equipment go hand in hand with doctrine.

It's not like Agincourt, where only one side had soldiers who knew how to employ a major weapons system.

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Originally posted by Jack Carr:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by chris talpas:

Another critical factor was ULTRA. The British were able to sink much of Rommel's supplies as they crossed the Med leaving him chronically short of materiel.

Reading Rommel's mail allowed an adjustment in strategy. Not that different from peeking at your opponent's move prior to plotting your own.

Chris

I agree. They cracked the German code and could intercept important supplies. I think the Allies did this strategically so as not to tip off the Germans of their discovery. </font>
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Originally posted by Sergei:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Dirtweasle:

A related question comes to mind;

What in the Wide World of Sports were the Italians thinking?

I can understand they might have a chance with their tankettes and other assorted tin coffins fighting poorly armed natives in North Africa, but to say they were a bit under-armored for a fight with a modern opponent seems quite charitable.

Italy didn't choose to be invaded by the British and the Americans. They chose to take part in the German invasion of France in 1940. Once down that road, of course they'd try to damage Brits in North and East Africa as well unless they actually wanted to evacuate all Italian colonies there instead. A disastrous miscalculation. Even invading France didn't go well, and France was already in serious trouble. </font>
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Originally posted by Michael Dorosh:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Jack Carr:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Franko:

Generally speaking, the Allies won because they had better soldiers and better equipment. Of course, there are many people who will argue this, but they're all wrong.

F

Not disagreeing with you on this point.

In your opinion, better in what way or ways? </font>

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Originally posted by Franko:

How like Dorosh to pose as an intellectual ...and then toss it all in the toilet with an ad hominem attack.

Pot, meet the Kettle.

Kettle, say hello to Pot.

If you wanted to defend your statement on some kind of intellectual grounds, go ahead and try, but the fact that you made the blanket statement "I am correct and everyone else who disagrees is wrong" really doesn't put you in any category but "ass." Sorry if you feel offended.

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Originally posted by Big Demonic Bunny:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />By Stallingrad the Russians learned to fight, and they were equal warriors after that

Oh no. That I'll have to dispute. On the defense the russians were the match of the germans. The basic soldier was fairly decent.

But on the offense the russian infantry tactics from Squad and up to companylevel were abyssmal. Basicly "The Human Wave". Attacks using brute force of artillery and manpower to make up for what it lacks in finesse.

These flaws in russian infantry tactics have lived on(partially) and is a serious weakness in the tactics of Warzawa pact armies and their successors. </font>

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