Originally posted by Lonestar24
Australia, based on history, could have been expected to join a fight.
In Europe? No. Sorry, but in the 70s and 80s Australia would not have come running to the aid of WE by shipping its only armoured regiment O/S for an unspecified period. The only strategic reserve it had were the Cents and it had no-one to drive them. Since WW2 Australia's military involvement has been purely regional. Korea, Malaya, Malaysia, VN, ETimor. Other efforts have been purely humanitarian-based. UN jobs in Angola or the initial deployment to Somalia. The only time the entire army has gotten involved was Dili. You seriously think that with the USSR attempting to liberate Europe the Chinese would have sat around and let the small democracies shift defence resources and NOT tried to take advantage of the situation?
Um, I did. Take any GDP-PPP per capita list, erase all the microstates and tax heavens as their numbers are not representative, and you pretty much arrive at that number, give or take.
Maybe it's just me being pedantic, but I took you at your words. Not at them give or take...
But here's the thing...Your circles don't matter much when I take a harder hit and hit back harder than you can.
Precisely not. The most basic maneuver in the history of warfare is flanking,
Cool. More words to argue over. The most basic manouvre in the history of warfare is the frontal advance. Flanking comes about as a means to defeat the frontal advance without the casualties a counter-advance would guarantee. Whether at Megido or on the plains of Zulu, we all know about flanking. But there's no point in flanking in a vehicle which cannot hit. Or hit back. The plains of northern Germany would have been no place for grand flanking manouvres. NATO would have been on the defensive and with inferior numbers, being hit in the flanks while attempting to flank, not comfortable.
the best guarantee for a victory is encirclement.
Yes, that's what the impis thought at Isandlwhana. Pity they forgot to tell the Welsh at Rorke's Drift that particular theory.
The individual combat strength of a tank does not matter AT ALL in a flanking maneuver (as long as it is strong enough to hurt the enemy);
Tell that to Michael Wittman.
and its the maneuver that wins battles, not a big ass gun.
Tell THAT one to every teenager in love with Konigstiger.
There is a reason why modern tankers still treasure their roots in cavalry.
Yes, its because they want to have some sort of "glorious history" and "illustrious predecessor" on which to hang their "honour" and "prestige" and other words I can put in parenthises. It makes them feel more special than the Air Force, which has no tradition prior to 1914.
There are actually only two basic maneuvers, the charge and the flanking, and in a both defense and attack the charge would favor a strong tank like the Chieftain as it leads to an endurance battle. But considering the superior numbers of the Soviet tank corps and the danger of tactical neclear weapons, that was pretty much out of the question.
And yet the British chose to develop a tank that was best suited to those elements. Maybe they had a different set of battle plans to you. Maybe they designed a tank that could achieve a higher-than-parity kill/loss ratio based on their ability to replace said tanks during wartime and maybe they understood just how SMALL a place the BOAR's theatre of operations was and how much opportunity for manouvre there was.
Flanking is almost always the better option, and pretty much all the great victories in military history were won by those who were the best at flanking, at denying the enemy room to maneuver - often with far inferior forces on paper.
But we could also list the number of times static defence has defeated flanking. In fact, let's look at specific examples of static defence being used SPECIFICALLY to defeat armies that based their victories on flanking.
The two that come to mind are Morsehead defeating Rommel at Tobruk and the Soviets holding the Wermacht at Leningrad (Stalingrad is different). ALL the German victories in Barbarossa came from successful encirclements. So Stalin, lunatic that he was, simply removed himself from manouvre warfare and went into endurance. Morsehead used inferior captured Italian tanks in his defence of Tobruk.
Another example is the afore-mentioned Rorke's Drift. BP did it at Mafeking. Wellington is most famous for a victory against a master of manouvre and advance. El Alamein 2 and Bastogne are more examples of static defence defeating manouvre.
The problem with Tannenberg is that it's the lone successful piece of the Schlieffen plan. The Germans did not defeat the Brits and French prior to dealing with the Russians (the failure of manouvre warfare) and it was also manouvre by train. Who is going to shift entire armies by train during WW3? Except for Soviet armies coming out of Siberia.
The problem is that people often judge tanks based on caliber, armor thickness and the like, while there are actually big differences in the conceptual design.
I agree. Prior to the (US) introduction of the gas turbine and the UK's decent powerpacks you had your choice of two of three necessities. If you wanted speed and manouvre you had to sacrifice armour (everybody went for 100ml+ guns). The Brits chose armour over speed, noting that armoured columns of Churchills may have crawled like snails, but they did so through the ranks of Porsches.
Personally, I happen to find a concept called "survivability" to be of more use than speed. The latter does not guarantee the former. Look at the Merk, big, heavy and slower than a snail on valium. But how many crews have been lost?
german tanks championing mobility and platoon firepower sacrificing armour, while british tanks favoured armour and individual firepower while enduring substandard to abysmal mobility - a school of thought of which the Chieftain is the prime example.
Two thoughts: 1. Ironic, no, that the Germans appear to have learned the lesson of Tiger (and Maus) and gone away from behemoths carrying huge guns while the Brits, who defeated Tiger with mobility, appear to have embraced the concept with (first Conqueror and later) Chieftain.
So, what should we infer from that?
2. Given their experiences throughout WW2, starting with the worst and ending with the best tanks, what does that tell us about the Brits and their plans to fight the Sovs?
on a slightly repetitive note, first we argue over hyperbole, then you bring out your description of the Chieftain's mobility. I guess the problem is one of comparisons. Compared to what, exactly, are we saying the Chieftain's mobility was sub-standard or abysmal? A Series II Land Rover? Yes. A T-64? Hmm.
German tanks are built on the premise that protection technology never develops as fast as weaponry.
Perhaps, but that is during times of war AFTER experience has been gained of how limited one's weaponry is. AND THAT is based on the experience of WW2. Since 1945, how many conflicts have seen the failure of a waepons system to beat an armour package and the introduction of a new weapon system WITHIN THE SPAN OF THAT CONFLICT?
Given those two positions, the British route, of producing armour with a view to it attempting to outlast a couple of generations of anti-armour weapons, would appear to be the better option.
So the question has to be which is the most useful vehicle, not the best.
The problem is that that question requires another: To what use will you put your vehicle?
If it's taking on regiments of T-62s, 64s and 72s in Konrad Adenaur's backyard, I personally want to be sitting inside a Chieftain. Grand manouvre warfare works brilliantly in the North African desert or the plains of European Russia, but when you come from Australia, Germany looks like an incredibly effing SMALL place. And unlike Kuwait and Iraq (or Sinai), it is somewhat more built-up than the Gulf hinterland.
Where were all those Red Guards divisions going to manouvre without stepping on each other's toes. Flanking? They would have been too busy flanking each other to have time to flank NATO.