BlitzKreig: Everything

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posted on Oct, 19 2006 @ 08:17 PM
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Originally posted by Ioseb_Jugashvili
tactics weren't applied against such inferior enemies...

The highly mobile armor columns in close support with air power were clearly similar to the Blitzkreig. They used mobility to make it so that the enemy had to remain immobile. Its the same reason why cavary has allways been such a great addition to a force. THe riders can move so fast that the other side has leave the field and fortify. Thats what the huns forced the romans to do, what the germans forced europe to do, and what the american's forced hussein to do. Its arguable that its overkill, but that doesn't mean that the tactic wasn't used.
The 'new' component of the Shock and Awe campaign was that there are strikes focusing on command and control centers, as in the leaders and the infrastructure that permits military units to communicate with one another. Effectively they made the 'fog of war' so thick that the soldiers couldn't even see one another.

Hitler was simply a moron, and against advice attacked

Indeed, or, at least, incredibly underestimated the russians. He seems to have really beleived that aryan master race bullhockey. That a 'lighting war' was the way a super-man would fight the war, and against everyone at once if he had too, that victory was assured.

He had already a air and sea front with the UK, and North of Africa...but well...his idiotic decisions saved the world

Cheers to that! And now instead of us all speaking german under his rule, we can toast his defeat with german beer!


სადღეგრძელოს თქმა, წარმოთქმა





INc2006
the polish military was actually a large and rather powerful, and the world was shoked when they fell within a week or so...

Similar to iraq though, Iraq was the main regional power. People were more expecting of the defeat of course, since it had already happened in Gulf 1.


[edit on 19-10-2006 by Nygdan]




posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 05:19 PM
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Blitzkreig emphasized the quick breakthrough of central defenses, and that means that it never really destroyed the entire force of the enemy but only brokethrough that the enemy was left behind, and hence meaningless and discouraged and confused...



posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 11:47 PM
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It seems there are two destinctly different understandings of what is mean't by the Blitzkreig. The first is what Hitler did in WW-II and is more of a strategic approach to fighting, while the other is an operational method of fighting battles that involved deception and manuever to bring about an enemy armies collapse.

'Hitlers war' was actually a gamble to seize as much of Europe before the great powers could mobilise there total war economies [~ 2 years]. Hitler hoped to achieve victory by rapid surprise attack and risky maneuvers, starting the war with "Limited war economy" and try to 'wing it' by exploiting the power of propaganda and shifting the balance of power in unexpected directions [Pack of Steel with Russia]. Features like airpower etc allowed for rapid shifts in the military force to achieve above mentioned surprise.

Since he was not a good strategist his gambles caught up with him stalling the war effort enough for the allies to catch up.

The origin of the second explaination is based on British WW-I General Fullers "plan 1919". This was a operational approach to campaigns designed to defeat the stalemate of the 4 years of trench warfare and was planned to be unleashed in 1919 in the western front. The war was over by then but a form of Blitzkreig was attempted by General Allenby in 1918 culimating in the battle for Megiddo and the subsquent drive on Damascus to defeat the Turkish army and drive them out of Transjordan.

At that time and in WW-II mechanized forces were too expensive to make an entire large European army with, so a balance of infantry and mechanized forces was a fact of life....kind of like a 'hi-lo mix'. But how best to exploit the best features of both forces to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts.

Massed leg mobile infantry forces are cheap to raise and deploy in the field and can endure significant casulties and still function as a 'force', as WW-I showed. Infantry can blend into the terrain and become extremely difficult to weed out especially in rough terrain. There achillies heel is there lack of operational mobility and the massive supply network needed to feed such a force in the field over a country wide 'front'. If this line of supply can be interdicted or cut, then the entire sections of the 'front' could collapse leading to whole sale retreat. Such a large ponderous force becomes very difficult to control in such a retreat and if pushed can turn into a rout.

The mechanized force are small expensive hard hitting units that can move very fast to an area, mass and overwhelm any defence and break through into the rear and drive deep into the enemys territory. Through radio communications they can be very effectively controled to exploit intelligence on enemy forces. Generally leg mobile infantry units were much harder to move and control in the field . However mechanized forces very movement extracts considerble ware and tare on these heavy armored vehicles curtailing just how far they can go. Worse since they lack much in the way of infantry , they lack effective screens to protect the terrain they are able to grab, especially at night. So how best to utilised and not waste this small expensive force when it gets into the enemy rear. Like Infantry forces such mechanised force also require secure supply lines but usually have fast vehicles to keep them supplied.

More importantly, if the enemy has similar mechanised forces theres nothing to prevent him from waiting until your mechanized forces break through the thick infantry cordon and then use his mechanised reserves to intercept the break through force in a 'sword and shield defence'. This becomes doubly so if both forces are mostly mechanized . How do you break through an enemy line who has the same mobility as you do?

The British plan was to deceive the enemy as to the expected area of break through, inducing him to concentrate his forces and deploy his mobile reserves in this area 'fixing' him in place. This was achieved by signals deception, combined with massed infantry attacks in the area of interest to force the enemy to commit his reserves. If the enemy had an specific piece of turf he 'needed' he would likely dig in his heels and defend it to the death. If properly exploited that could fix him in place without too much effort. Provided your infantry has sufficent AT weaponry to engage this enemy reserve mechanised force , your mechanized force becomes free to maneuver to an unexpected weak area of the front, break through and drive into the enemy rear to cut off his mechanised and infantry forces from their supply line, bringing about their whole sale collapse.

Once the enemies force are in retreat , your mechanised force [which usually is still in the enemies rear] can push the enemy back all the way to his center of command [GHQ] and supply [Army depot] . Once this happens your enemy loses the remaining control over his forces and they disintegrate leaving the country defenseless. At that point pursit is directed to his center of government and industry, and the 'collapse' becomes a 'national' collapse and rout and the war usually ends.



posted on Oct, 23 2006 @ 07:19 PM
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Lonestar24.

I think that Blitzkrieg can be summarized in two sentences, the first by Clausewitz (duhhhh, IIRR) "Forget your flanks and make the enemy worry about his own."

The second by Sun Tzu. "Never attack the point of your enemy's greatest strength."

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2. The basic essence of the Blitzkrieg tactic is not "speed" itself, but mobility in all aspects.
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I would say less 'mobility' than the implication of operational freedom it implies. If you are not obeying a linear contiguous formation rule whereby all unit shoulders must remain in contact with each other, you are able to turn in behind your enemy when he advances in like manner and terrain or tempo causes discontinuity.

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Blitzkrieg cannot be correctly evaluated without considering directly what it is aimed to avoid: a rigid front, the immobile endurance war of WW1 fashion. This mobility is achieved by pinpointing enemy defenses with considerable force, but then using mobile units to target specifically the weak points in the enemy defenses, break through, wrap up. And here´s the danger: should the enemy be able to prevent being enclosed, and instead close his own lines again, the breakthrough units are cut off from the main body of the attacking force.
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Pincer and Envelopment movements are not prerequisite to true Blitzkrieg tactics as they get you back into the OODA loop of responding to your opponent's force geometries. The use of such tactics were actually not as preeminent in early German attacks as they were later Russian ones. And the only reason the Russians switched to such doctrine is because they got tired of battering their heads against German layered defenses which began with AT guns and mines in depth and had a kampfgruppe capstone to contain any proto-OMG breakout.

Blitz does indeed work against enemy psychologies but it is not one of shock (at least as defined militarily) so much as expectation of occupation. If you hit here today and there tomorrow, any response which is two days out of phase is going to be hit _in the march_ to the first predictable encounter point. Rommel and the 'Ghost Division' in France come to mind.

In this, striking at _fixed_ points of high value (civillian, industrial or transport/communications) all can cause the threat to begin to react with causal agreement to your own ops maneuver-fire-logistic cycle. Indeed, the very depth you operate within someone's country can become 'sufficiently offensive' to cause them to react on an apparency of territorial loss that has nothing to do with real warfighting abilities.

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The mobility of the involved units is not only achieved by the mechanization, but precisely because these units were used at weak defense points giving them room to maneuver, by the widespread use of radio communication, and also a strong flexibility in the command structure. And here lies the true strength of the german forces: The "Auftragstaktik", or mission-type tactic, which gives even low commanding officers considerable freedoms in achieving their goals, and enables them to quickly react on unforeseen or changeing circumstances.
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Agreed. Absolutely amazing how many people buy into the Hitler Channel descriptions of German tactical inflexibility when in fact it was the German ability to puzzle-piece together a scratch force with each unit slotting into a known doctrinal role that made them last so long.

Having said this, there can be no doubt however that excess armor mechanization with specialism panzer and panzer grenadier units ultimately led to the demise of Germany. Because mech infantry are too slow and really too few to invest a given target location and pure armor (especially that early in the war) too lacking in ability to reduce or bypass it defended fixed points QUICKLY, without the use of preemptive airpower tactics to assist.

Later attempts to 'fix' this were compromised both by Hitler's obsession with generating new units rather than supporting fielded ones. And by the heavier weights and reduced fuel economies of the tanks that became necessary to deal not only with fortifications but also field armies possessed of equal mechanized force architecture.

In this, it can be fairly stated that, at least as Hitler envisioned it as a multidivisional Corps attack, Blitzkrieg was indeed defeated by flattery in it's opfors, less than 2 years after it's initial inception.

At that point, the steel used in a tank could have been better applied to more guns and trucks to push the pure-infantry (booted) force around the battlefield in a containment action that was nothing if not an early version of cellular warfare.

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In contrast to this is the "Command and control" variant that angloamerican and Russian forces practise to this day. The "Auftragstaktik was a german concept that began emerging towards the end of the 19th century, but it requires a profoundly professional and educated officer corps ... so it was perfect for Germany, since they turned the 100.000 soldiers they were allowed by the Versailles treaty into exactly that: a specialized commanding corps. Basically all it needed in addition to have an army was some conscripted manpower.
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The Russian inferiority was political. The American one based on a lack of supporting fires. Once we got both problems solved, the Germans could not mass sufficient forces to make Blitz work, even without such other-modifiers as air supremacy.

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3. "Shock and Awe" has NOTHING in common with the principles of Blitzkrieg. Blitzkrieg is aimed at defeating the enemy by local superiority- with Shock and Awe, the assumption that the enemy is already defeated in his inferiority is a PREREQUISITE to even start. It does not involve tactical flexibility, because all the set goals HAVE to be achieved to ensure the utter destruction, and to achieve the necessary psychological effect on the enemy - and all that according to a rigid masterplan. Basically that "tactic" means to continue kicking the opponent in the kidneys while he is already knocked out just to make sure he´ll neve stand up again.
>>

S&A is nothing but a fires based psyops attack designed to separate a people from their government by showing that unity does not provide a greater defense. It allows for military operations without /quite/ the worry of facing a united militia type defense but does not remove the threat of irregular or quick-conscript level tactics.

And as you stated, it also requires a great deal of preparatory work in reducing such things as any operating air defense.

Having said that, there are elements of Blitz operations in both the imbedded media and things like 'Thunder Runs' which are specifically designed to exploit operational deception in a drive-by kind of attraction of attention away from the operative force frontages in assaults on key COGs.

Where these centers of gravity are not going anywhere and serve as the ultimate 'here we sit and become predictable' Tar Baby potential; the ability to maintain local operational initiative and freedom by NOT attacking, only 'showing presence' sufficient to enable /other/ activities (infantry heavy Marine advances from the SE over the bridges) can help avoid Stalingrad like conditions where an overcommitment to investiture immediately devolves to a MOUT quagmire.

i.e. Typically Blitz has as it's ultimate goal something which is /incredibly/ predictable. And even if you can hump your logistics past all the leavebehind units designed specifically to slow you up (usually by multi axising WITHOUT intent to envelope so much as feint and split defensive frontal axes), you have to recognize that that goal cannot be arrived at without itself an endgame that exploits the abilities and weaknesses of the very unit formations you have designed to win a mobile warfare scenario underarmor.

Hitler failed in this at the Channel, Moscow and S-Grad with the third time charm effect.

KPl.



posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 12:42 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Whatever, I never compared Shock and Awe to Blitzkrieg, while no doubt it was based on it it's not the same thing. Also, Shock and Awe is a military concept, you can argue about it's effectiveness against whomever but I fail to see why it cannot be compared to another military concept and tactic.


For the simple fact that the Blitzkrieg was designed against enemies of similar technological capabilities. Shock and Awe is a combat tactic designed against an opponent with not close technological capabilities. I'd like to see "Shock and Awe" working against an enemy with high altitude SAMs and fighters, like China or Russia, not to forget you wouldn't simply fly in a couple of Prowlers to sneak in F-18s, advanced countries radars can't be denied just like that with electronic warfare.

Only resemblance to WW2 is that Iraq still used Flak



Originally posted by WestPoint23
Inferior to us, yes, but inferior in general is relative, also those Poles riding horses against German tanks and mechanized infantry sure were comparable adversaries.
Inferior to the US, to China, to Russia, to Europe, and any other developed country with an army. Switzerland could have taken on Iraq, no problem. Inferior, no excuses.

Hehe...the poles...well somebody forgot Dunkirk, having the British and French soldiers munched by the Germans...or perhaps Battle of the Bulge, big surprise huh! Of course...hadn't Hitler and Germany saved your day...that battle would have ended very different.

Poles were not weak, infantry was in good shape, and so was artillery...so its reasonable to say they could have lasted longer than the humilliating time they did.
It was their leadership that brought them down...Germans were lining up their tanks at the border, and they still wondered if they were going to be attacked...



posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 07:40 PM
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Originally posted by Ioseb_Jugashvili


Originally posted by WestPoint23
Inferior to us, yes, but inferior in general is relative, also those Poles riding horses against German tanks and mechanized infantry sure were comparable adversaries.
Inferior to the US, to China, to Russia, to Europe, and any other developed country with an army. Switzerland could have taken on Iraq, no problem. Inferior, no excuses.

Hehe...the poles...well somebody forgot Dunkirk, having the British and French soldiers munched by the Germans...or perhaps Battle of the Bulge, big surprise huh! Of course...hadn't Hitler and Germany saved your day...that battle would have ended very different.

Poles were not weak, infantry was in good shape, and so was artillery...so its reasonable to say they could have lasted longer than the humilliating time they did.
It was their leadership that brought them down...Germans were lining up their tanks at the border, and they still wondered if they were going to be attacked...


Yes this point is missed on most people. Infact the entire german rearmament drive kicked off in the late 1920s due to the sudden realisation that ...

A) the polish war with Russia in 1922 had shown them to be perfectly capable of fighting modern mobile wars.

B) Since the ToV limited Germany to just a few days ammo supply, they could not hope to put up anything other than token resistance to a Polish attack before the war would end. The Generals wishful thinking was that the Leaque of Nations would leap to their defence to drive the Poles back out


It was not until defense minister Groener slammed the high command for such wishfull thinking that he was able to convince his 1928 government to break the ToV and start spending the money for limited rearmament.

[edit on 24-10-2006 by psteel]

[edit on 24-10-2006 by psteel]



posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 09:03 PM
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well listen i guess we can all agree that Blitzkreig is about achieving a target as fast as possible with the mostest(qoute from i think U.S. Grant "get their the fastest with the mostest). like if Hitler pushed entirely for Moscow, and captured it, then if need be engage lenningrad for the important oil supplies in the caucasus, after those two victory russia would've been the germans. but Blitzkreig isn't all too effective in the first place against such large countries like Russia, it would work agaisnt Poland, France, Britain, Norway, Finland, basically mid-size and small countries, but not huge countries like russia, china, india, etc. partly because of supply lines which would be extended so far as to be rendered inneffective and easy to destroy, and of course trhe varied weather and terrain...



posted on Oct, 24 2006 @ 10:02 PM
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German's inability to defeat the UK and USSR has more to do with the limits of the gamble he took by opting for numerically large army with limited war economy capability. He never believed he would have to fight either of these in the context of a european wide war. He expected his gamble on Poland to resemble Munich.

There were many in the German high command who feared the worse, but it was becoming clear even at that point that saying so was bad for your health.

Had Germany stayed the course on the total war economy based on the synthetic or secure resource base Eastern Europe offered ready by the early to mid 1940s, he would have had the hugh mobile army with capable Luftwaffe & KM to defeat all of those opponents in a couple of years. Blitzkreig methodly along with doctrine and excellent training and moral would have ensured the out come.



posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 09:11 AM
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psteel

You are missing one big problem the Germans had in WW2...Hitler.
Having a goat as a military leader, was not the best strategy, any German General could have told you. In fact...there was even an attempt to kill Hitler. The sole, biggest reason they lost the war was Hitler "the goat".
Point being, no matter how effective your military might be, having a goat as a leader, won't do you any good.

kinda reminds me of a country in the present...
touche



posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 05:58 PM
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Actually there were at least 3 attempts to kill Hitler - all carried out by Germans.

It's been said that the key difference between UK & Germany was that the UK Senior Army Commanders (particularly Allanbrooke) managed to deflect most of Churchill's crazy ideas (with notable exceptions - Greece for example) whereas the German High Command (particularly after the suitcase bomb) were in no position to refuse Hitler's orders.



posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 07:09 PM
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Originally posted by crgintx
He also screwed up by trying to turn the most advanced fighter in the world, the ME-262 into a bomber to attack London.


- No he didn't. This is quite wrong, London never came into it.

The initial idea was that the Me262 would be the only secure and survivable platform with which the Luftwaffe could attack the inevitable (and known to be due at any time in summer 1944) allied landing sites in France.

Hitler wanted it as a fast bomber capable of penetrating what they knew were likely to be the dense allied fighter screen over the beach-heads.

Tactically this was logical and actually quite sensible.

Strategically it appears disastrous.......but only if you ignore the truth that neither Hitler nor anyone else was responsible for the real delays to the Me262 program.......which was the chronic lack of strategic materials with which to manufacture a reliable jet engine.

(even at the wars end they were only capable of 10 - 25hrs supposedly 'safe' running before rebuilding.....and that was a lottery and not a guarantee)

I recommend 'Me262 Stormbird Rising by Hugh Morgan, Osprey books, ISBN1 855324083 as a great Me262 resource.


He could have turned the skies over Europe into a killing field for the -262 equipped Luftwaffe in late 1943 instead of barely being able to field them in 1944-45.


- This is what I mean.

No he couldn't. Nobody could have because the technology was too immature and they simply did not have the materials with which to make a reliable jet engine.


BlitzKreig was good tactics but Hitler didn't have the logistics to support it to its conclusion.


- Blitzkrieg was great when you could win swift easy and relatively cost-free victories against a much weaker opponent.

The trouble was that that could never be sustained.
Germany simply didn't have the necessary resources to fight the inevitable draw-out war.
The fantasy that Russia could be easily defeated was just that, a denial of reality and an ill-informed day-dream (as the results and history prove)!
German forces became completely exhausted, disastrously logistically stretched, grossly materially depleted and eventually hurled decisively onto the defensive and ultimately defeated utterly.

I'd also disagree that the post Stalingrad Russian tactic of massed strength in depth and across a broad front was the same thing as the German Blitzkrieg, it wasn't.
Blitzkrieg was based around a few distinct points of attack.
The late-war Russian doctrine was about attacking on a broad front with combined arms using overwhelming force in depth.

[edit on 26-10-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 09:55 PM
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i would disagree quite a bit, i agree that Germany didn't have enough resources to cover 3 fronts, but still the main reason that germany lost in russia was really having a "goat" as a strategist and leader of military affairs, Hitler divided the 3 armies invading russia into 3 one going to Stalingrad, one to lenningrad, one to moscow, even took out a bunch of the army going to moscow andput into Stalingrad, all this was disastrous there was now way Moscow could've been captured with one small army, Stalingrad was of no strategic importance, the original plan was a full drive to moscow, but then hitler divided the armies into two, and then to three, and there just wasn't enough forces to insure a fast drive for moscow, adn the offensive bogged down, and hence allowed the russians to destroy the german russia offensive in most all important battles(moscow, stalingrad, lenningrad, kursk, krakow, 2nd battle of kiev, etc.)



posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 10:24 PM
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Sminkeypinkey,

>>
The initial idea was that the Me262 would be the only secure and survivable platform with which the Luftwaffe could attack the inevitable (and known to be due at any time in summer 1944) allied landing sites in France.
>>

The 262 would have been inferior even in this role because it was too slow and lacked adequate sighting. The Arado might have been better but only to the extent that you could operate it from BEYOND Allied interception and OCA airfield attack radii. And that in turn would only last so long as the jets had the advantage of operational surprise. A few distinct passes by individual sorties to 'make or break' the attack at the surfzone means _nerve gas or bios_ as your only viable means of defeating force massing.

And Hitler, the gas victim, didn't have the balls.

That said, the 262 could have had a million slaves hand polishing turbine blades and every experten from every top unit back in the RVD to serve as a cadre core of 1PHA slashers. After which the big question becomes whether 50-80, even a couple hundred Allied fighters could chase down the defenders into miles long flak lanes with equal numbers of overhead PISTON DCA and win. The obvious answer is NO. Because the German fighters were our equal in the vertical/slow speed game at low level. Because you can't win if you face the same problem they did every day: Attacks from behind and below. Because they would have been facing the same problem the Germans were during BOB: Fighting over enemy territory where every pilot loss is permanent. 2-3 weeks of concerted 262 attacks by a small circus level of experten would have completely thrown off the Allied escorts, ruining the experience levels in key units like Debden and _that_ would have been the end of Allied massed day raids because as soon as you realize the 'lowest common denominator' effect (every plane has a pilot with the same training interval) it becomes possible to begin using twins and 190s with rockets and heavy guns to simply plink the threat from standoff.

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Strategically it appears disastrous.......but only if you ignore the truth that neither Hitler nor anyone else was responsible for the real delays to the Me262 program.......which was the chronic lack of strategic materials with which to manufacture a reliable jet engine.
>>

See above. The real waste of the German high tech attempts in rocketry was not inherent to development itself (which stole chromium and manganese in huge quantities) but the fact that it was dedicated to offensive systems with much more complex navigation and scaling problems _and no WMD_ to make the effort worthwhile.

OTOH, the same can be said of the heavy tank program and indeed the /insistence/ on maintaining all marks of all models in production instead of standardizing early to a single type and getting the Czech works online to help.

The steels you needed for axial turbines were fully creatable, especially for a small force of DCA jets which never faced flak and were coddled and shepherd protected in every way from allied escorts and sweeps (imagine a 109 with nominally an hours worth of flight time NOT having to waste half of it climbing to altitude, moving to marshal and then heading for the bomber stream = no more field suppression.).

The ability was there, certainly the /drive/ was (with the rammjaeger and big blow efforts). It was simply never exploited in a way that said "THIS IS WHAT WILL GIVE US TIME."

>>
(even at the wars end they were only capable of 10 - 25hrs supposedly 'safe' running before rebuilding.....and that was a lottery and not a guarantee)
>>

So do it. Triple the number of black men per plane and replace and trim the engines after each flight. Give pilots three planes that they fly in rotation, twice per day.

REALIZE that, with jet speed, your operational hours per sortie are going to be fairly low, especially since the 262 actually had fairly decent legs.

The only thing it eventually will come down to of course is a B-29 over Berlin but the fact remains the Germans fought poorly because they had no direction from the top to prioritize along specific operational lines.

And that was Herr Hitler playing nepotism and one-off-the-other head games with his general staff.

>>
I recommend 'Me262 Stormbird Rising by Hugh Morgan, Osprey books, ISBN1 855324083 as a great Me262 resource.
>>

Nothing which fails to acknowledge the effects of contemporary DCA doctrine (which being 'merely ideas' could have been dreamed up at any time) on limited force tactics can adequately explain the stupidity of the German warfighter operational planning by a country IN THE THROWS of a battle that would ultimately consume them if they didn't exit the box they had put themselves in.

>>
No he couldn't. Nobody could have because the technology was too immature and they simply did not have the materials with which to make a reliable jet engine.
>>

Crap.

>>
- Blitzkrieg was great when you could win swift easy and relatively cost-free victories against a much weaker opponent.
>>

The nature of Blitzkrieg is to CREATE easy victories however by forcing the enemy to match a disciplined operational tempo of organized logistics and imbedded fires which most nations on a peacetime footing simply cannot achieve. It's effectiveness lasted well into the war, even defensively, because it depended on German training and operational finesse in putting relatively small units far afield. So you cannot just say 'a weaker opponent' because Blitz -makes weakness it's target-. And against a linear frontal force rather than a cellular one, the weakness will ALWAYS be present.

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The trouble was that that could never be sustained.
>>

Blah blah blah. The Germans would have won at Moscow long before they came in sight of it. If they had made a concerted effort to bomb and shell and commando attack the rail lines that fed the defense. They could have avoided /losing/ that campaign, simply by exercising the same operational discretion by which they had advanced so far to simply shorten their lines in face of weather and building Soviet defenses.

The same can be said for Leningrad and Dunkirk and even Stalingrad ALL of which could have been won in the earliest stages, simply by allowing the armor to exercise it's decisive ability to advance in small task force level columns an wipe out weak rear guard units BEFORE linkup with the mech infantry which Hitler routinely /insisted/ be present to keep the apparency of a unified force. Stalingrad was lost at the Don river crossings, long before Group A went off to play tank wars in the mountains.

It is this hesitancy, this FEAR of the obvious which is _just keep doing what you have been_ that makes a leader pull back from the tar baby trap in his own mind.

And in turn is a politically motivated sense of 'loss of control' rather than any real (intel briefed) threat which is all too often 'proven by history' to happen because the operational psychology is one of waiting until the defenses coallesce into the nightmare you imagined was 'there all along'.

Hitler and Co. were complete idiots. Because the nature of lightning war is that of ALL high mobility operations: You explore, you shape, you break out, you exploit. And in the process some of the fingers of mechanized forces are going to get broken off. Indeed you WANT that to happen because it means that 'here be dwagons' and you can reinforce (a highly fluid) offense elsewhere knowing that your off-balance enemy has just flagged himself on your ops map.



posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 10:25 PM
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But NOTHING you lose with small kampfgruppe like teams compares what happened to 6th Army in SGrad. And that happened because Hitler didn't want his tanks outpacing his ability to 'see all angles' of a war that SHOULD have been about: "Defining the enemies flanks by forgeting yours."

>>
Germany simply didn't have the necessary resources to fight the inevitable draw-out war.
>>

The Germans did a damn fine job, admittedly because the Allies were nothing if not punk morons for most of the war. Had they taken Turkey. Had they not saved Italy's worthless bacon in the Balkans and then been distracted by Greece. Had they not split their force columns in the advance on Moscow AND Leningrad. They could have well reachieved the 'superman' MORALE supremacy which had been slightly tarnished in BOB. And with west-of-Urals Russian resources including the Caucasus oil and excellent prepositioning to threaten the Canal in a linkup with Japan (which might well have been more willing to prosecute their own obligatory offense against the USSR if Germany had decisively pushed their noses in in the West), German could well have won, if not the war then at least a politicized peace.

Because there were elements in Britain and the U.S. who would have gained influence within our own political process had this initial set of forays been made to 'agree' with their sympathies.

DO NOT underestimate the value of shock. Especially when the ability to reinforce a threatened frontage is limited by distance (as time) and geographic isolation (as features).

>>
The fantasy that Russia could be easily defeated was just that, a denial of reality and an ill-informed day-dream (as the results and history prove)!

German forces became completely exhausted, disastrously logistically stretched, grossly materially depleted and eventually hurled decisively onto the defensive and ultimately defeated utterly.
>>

There Germans were in a position to win multiple times. That they did not was inherent to their failing to fallow through on an operational tactic which was never designed to hold ground but only to prevent it's occupation inf the chase-about defense of key COGs. Only Hitler, with his fantasies of lebensraum and 'not one inch of retreat' drooling obsessive compulsive commitment to owning DIRT made the Germans both predictable and bled-white enough to prevent continuing use of the SAME tactics to defeat the Russians initially.

>>
I'd also disagree that the post Stalingrad Russian tactic of massed strength in depth and across a broad front was the same thing as the German Blitzkrieg, it wasn't.
Blitzkrieg was based around a few distinct points of attack.
The late-war Russian doctrine was about attacking on a broad front with combined arms using overwhelming force in depth.
>>

The Russians applied logistics to the same kinds of assault but acknowledged the German superiorities in local fires and discipline by doing the reverse: Rather than attempt to bypass and draw the enemy into open field conditions, they wanted to do typical pin and maneuver, locking a given German force in place and then advancing somewhere (100-200 miles) elsewhere. Again, this technique CAN be defeated, most often through CS/CSS and F2 attacks on threat maneuver logistics. But not if you allow your leadership to dictate where you will hold and where you will appear to fade and yield. Because now it is YOU who must be wary of 'ultimate goal' fixed point vulnerabilities and how you would avoid being fixed to a given defense while units that should have already been withdrawn cross a key river or city.

Read Von Mellenthin and some of the other good Oste Front titles. As late as mid-summer 1944, if the Germans had been allowed _operational flow and freedom to dictate initiative_ their exit from the Ukraine and Baltic states into the dense wooded areas of Eastern Poland and Czechoslovakia would have been clean and the fronts stabilized with a LOT more dead Russians behind them. And enough residual forces to make a real fight of it in the denser (perfect for ambush, hard to mass in) terrain elevations and cover of true Eastern Europe.

DO NOT fall for the idiocy of thinking that what is evil is mandatorily stupid. Because the German system in Allied hands would have put U.S. forces in the Alsace Lorraine area by no later than fall 1943, if we had only assessed and distilled the same tactics of _small units, deep and in numbers with air on call and mortars in the column_ that made the original Blitzkrieg work. And nobody would have questioned the across-pond distances or 'operational uncertainties' of our having chosen to come into Europe a full year before the Atlantic Wall was what it was, even in June 1944. Not with Kursk/Kharkov ongoing, the Luftwaffe driven from the West the previous year and ITALY ENDING AT FRICKIN' SWITZERLAND!

Speaking of Kursk, here is where you see the end of blitz. Because heavy tanks cannot be maneuvered any distance without massive fuel and logistics support and light tanks can no longer count on even a numbers overmatch against the period T-34 and KV among others. So you do indeed see Blitz transitioning to a low-depth, high-intensity (because it's predictable) fight with Elephants, Tigers and Panthers whose very nature should have signalled a change in German operational stance over to the defense.

Even here however; it is an abortion of history which states that the Germans 'were losing' or in fact 'lost' the battle. Because until Hitler pulled key line units out to cover the phantom invasion of the Balkans, they were within about 20 miles of linkup, breaking through the last Russian defensive belts. HAD THEY DONE SO, the Russian inferiority complex might well have reasserted itself and while German forces could not reasonably expect to hold the terrain for long, they might well have stabilized the front through psychological impetus alone (i.e. the WWI scenario). Instead, an indecisive fight became a rout when Russian logistics replaced their losses within a couple months and then it was pell mell back to the Dneper and beyond no matter what because the PERCEPTION of the upper hand and operational initiative had forever passed away.


KPl.



posted on Oct, 26 2006 @ 10:35 PM
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The German attack into Russia failed precisely due to the lack of focus on one clear cut objective. That, and starting the attack in late June rather than as early as possible in the spring is what doomed Germany on the Eastern front.

If they had focused their attack on Moscow and started it earlier in the year, the Germans would have captured Moscow well before winter set in and would have been able to set up defensible positions. Lenningrad would have still been isolated and Army Group South could have secured the southern flank to the Sea of Azov and the Donets River and waited out the winter until the next year for the final push on Stalingrad and the Caucasus mountains.

Had these things occured, 1942 would have been a much different year, with Moscow captured there might not have been a Russian winter counterattack and Gemany would have destroyed much of the Red Army in Spring/Summer of 42. The rest of WWII would have been much different had Gemany, or should I say Hitler, kept his eye on the prize rather than multiple prizes.



posted on Oct, 27 2006 @ 08:39 AM
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If you read what was said at the time you'll see that Hitler was so intent on the Me262 as a bomber (or perhaps more accurately as a fighter-bomber) and why.

The fact that the Me262 was not a competent bomber or that the Arado Ar 234 Blitz was a more capable bomber - having been purpose designed to be one - isn't really relevant to this point.

.....it's also worth noting that the Ar234a flew for the first time almost 1yr later than the Me262 and needed much work to turn into an operationally suitable type.
Once redesigned for operational use (for instance being fitted with a proper undercarriage!) the b (which first flew in march 1944) and would compete throughout it's 'life' for the same scarce Jumo jet engines and never be available in anything like the numbers the Me262 was produced in
(although it's worth remembering that only a small proportion of those planes ever took to the air).

The fact remains that the stated theory was that the Me262 was expected to be the only available German aircraft capable of penetrating and surviving the expected allied fighter screen(s) to attack the allied landing areas early enough so as to them disrupt sufficiently and buy time for the German's to respond in force.

As for resources?
Well I am always reminded of ifs, buts and maybes.

IMO most comments about 'they coulda' revolve around ignoring their commitments to resource the other theatres they were either fighting in too or were holding.

Which really boils down to 'they couldn't'.



posted on Oct, 27 2006 @ 09:31 AM
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Hitler may have gotten ahead of himself, but I think its safe to say that the Germans had the largest collection of competent military leaders ever in history. Just look at the names, Blomberg, Busch, Keitel, Rommel, von Rundstedt, the list goes on and on.

With that, you can't really explain Germany's defeat without mentioning the financial side of things. After a while, Germany simply couldn't borrow the money needed to keep its economy going. If you fight wars at the high level that the Germans were fighting at, you need to constantly be financing the war, but the money simply ran out.

It had nothing to do with stupidity. Too many times people make the mistake of saying that somebody was stupid and whatnot. But as incompetent as a leader may be, there is something called common sense and a simple acknowledgment of reality that may ultimately keep a man from making a certain decision. If you say the Germans were stupid, then you have to say our military leaders in Vietnam and Iraq were downright retarded, because the German military commanders were some of the best in modern history.



posted on Oct, 27 2006 @ 12:24 PM
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I agree with sweetmonicaido. The OKW had the best generals and leaders that the Wehrmact, Luftwaffe and Waffen-SS could field - at the time.

It must also be remembered that when the Russians occupied Eastern Poland, they moved several Fronts to within fifty or so miles of the redrawn border with Germany. The Fronts were, I believe, mostly Class 'B' units with a smattering of Class 'A' Guards Infantry or Armoured brigades.

The Red Army Air Force was still re-equipping, replacing old and worn out WWI aircraft but even so, they still fell prey to the rampaging Me 109s, Bf 110s and Ju87s.

I believe that had Hitler not launched Operation Barbarossa when he did, Stalin might well have launched a surprise attack against Germany via occupied Poland.

It seems to me that Hitler miscalculated with the invasion of Russia. Not because of lack of men and materiels, but the timing. He should have secured the western front along the Low Countries borders, then invaded Russia.

With regards to blitzkreig, it worked extremely well in Russia for Army Group North [Commanded by Ritter von Leeb]. He had 7 Inf Divisions and 3 Panzr Divisions under his command. 16th and 18th Armies together with the 4th Panzer Group, fought through Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and the Russian cities of Pskov and Novgorod.

Army Group South [Commanded by Karl von Rundstedt] also did very well. He commanded 52 Inf Divisions that included 15 Rumanian, 2 Hungarian and 2 Italian
Infantry units, plus 5 Panzr Divisions - the 1st Panzer Group, 6th , 11th and 17th Panzr Armies.

Army Group Centre [Commanded by Fedor von Bock] were, more often than not, bogged down by the extensive Prypet Marshes to the front and north west. However, with 42 Inf Divisions and 9 Panzr Divisions of the 2nd and 3rd Panzr Armies, they were able to penetrate deep into Russia, from either side of Brest-Litovsk and converged just ahead of Minsk, followed by 2nd, 4th and 9th Armies, which rolled eastwards from their start positions, consolidating the German posns.

Hitler was able to muster tremendous forces for the invasion of Russia. Not all the units fielded were battle hardened vetrans but I believe that Blitzkrieg tactics allowed his forces to capture vast swathes of countryside and millions of Russians as prisoners.

It was the weather and only the weather that stopped the Germans cold in their tracks. It was certainly not the Russians themselves.

This winter allowed the Russians to dismantle their inductry and place it far behind the Ural Mountains out of the Luftwaffe's reach.



posted on Oct, 27 2006 @ 12:32 PM
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Originally posted by sweatmonicaIdo
Hitler may have gotten ahead of himself, but I think its safe to say that the Germans had the largest collection of competent military leaders ever in history. Just look at the names, Blomberg, Busch, Keitel, Rommel, von Rundstedt, the list goes on and on.

With that, you can't really explain Germany's defeat without mentioning the financial side of things. After a while, Germany simply couldn't borrow the money needed to keep its economy going. If you fight wars at the high level that the Germans were fighting at, you need to constantly be financing the war, but the money simply ran out.

It had nothing to do with stupidity. Too many times people make the mistake of saying that somebody was stupid and whatnot. But as incompetent as a leader may be, there is something called common sense and a simple acknowledgment of reality that may ultimately keep a man from making a certain decision. If you say the Germans were stupid, then you have to say our military leaders in Vietnam and Iraq were downright retarded, because the German military commanders were some of the best in modern history.


You just argued your self into a corner cause most of us believe that the Americans were retarded to go into Vietnam and Iraq!

German resource base was comparable to France and UK combined at the start of the war. After western Europe is over run there resource base is comparable to USSR & UK base combined. Had Germany overrun UK and USSR I dare say their combined resource base would have rivaled even the Americans.

Germanys mistake was following Hitler and believeing in his 'magic'. Early in the 1930s German strategic leaders concluded that a European wide war could be won provided an sufficently large enough economic base was established ahead of time through secure access to eastern European resources and the development of substitued materials industry [synthetic materials]. Had this strategic vision been followed and the German civilian economy sacrificed along the route , Germany could have had a total war economy to support a world war by 1943/44. That would have been the ideal time to wage war since technologically their enemies would have had made little progress from the historic 1939 technological base.

Radar ,Jets, guided missiles and rocketry etc were part of the prewar thinking that would transform the defensive German civilian based armed forces into an offensive force to defeat the Great powers. They would have been ready by 1942/1943 had there development not been halted by Hitler and Goering in early 1940 since they figured the war was all but won already and they would not be needed. That fact alone delayed the development by atleast two years. The technologicial hurdles were not significant and Me-262 could have been ready for mass production at the end of 1942 anyway.... Oh and BTW at the end of the war historically the Jumo 004 jet engine with fuel regulators were exhibiting 100 hours bench tests with out failures, so the reliability problem would have been a moote point. Historically the lack of fuel was a much bigger limiting factor in their success.

[edit on 27-10-2006 by psteel]



posted on Oct, 27 2006 @ 04:27 PM
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Defining Blitzkreig without integral modern airpower is off base. From 1939 till now air superiority has been primary in dominating the battlefield.

The intricate story of jets in Germany is greater than most imagine. There never was a problem with turbine technology other than initial materials and reliability that were worked through. By the second generation of engines appearing at the very end they were superior in every way including thrust. Every vehicle and weapon goes throuh protypical stages and gestation periods of evaluation and improvements. German jets were no exception. The A-4 had reliable rocket motor materials down as far as vanes that rode in the severe heat of the rocket blast for maneuvering plus reliable sub-assemblies, and guidance systems- all improved over testing and in service use.

The RLM- Reichsluftfahrtministerium (Air Ministry) send down the requirements to A.G. Messerschmitt for a turbojet fighter in 1938.

Released to the public domain only in 2001, a 1922 incident and conversation with General Billy Mitchell and Wernher von Braun’s teacher, Dr. Hermann Oberth plus a few others came to light. Oberth predicted rocket propelled bombs and turbine engine power for aircraft. The root ideas were alive and well at this early date. Oberth published a paper in 1923 that was to so inspire Werner von Braun. It was titled ‘Die Rakete zu den Planetenraumen’ (By Rocket into Planetary Space.) This was followed by a longer version (429 pages) in 1929 that was internationally regarded as a work of tremendous scientific importance. So this stuff wasn’t new to the late 1930s. The “master plan” was at work for two decades before!

At the very beginning of Hitler’s reign in 1933 he was apprised of the rocketry situation in Germany. In fact the full family of ‘Aggregates’ went from the A-1 to the projected A-12! The A-9/A-10 was a 2-stage ICBM capable of reaching the east coast of the USA. When Hitler was briefed on the long-range rockets he gave permission for development. This tells us something. Of course by 1941 ALL projects that wouldn’t see fruition in a year were suspended.

But it was mid-1943 when the A-4 was given his sanction to be weaponized to the fullest by Hitler. 2 years were lost on it and in wholehearted development of jets planes as well.

the Weimar Republic continued rocket development until Hitler came to power in 1933. They made great strides that could never have been duplicated during the war years of 1939-45 alone no matter how much effort was expended.

Part of the mystery of jet development boiled down to personalities. Ernst Heinkel was for several reasons we can't go into here at odds with the leadership of the RLM and Willi Messerschmitt was unabashedly favored even when Heinkel had a better mousetrap. In this instance the HE 178 had already flown with a Heinkel Hirth turbine in August 1939! Heinkel was at work on the HE 280. It flew in April 1941. The Me 262 would not fly solely on Junkers Jumo jets until July 1942!

Even with all that head start The 262 was chosen though performance was about equal with the HE 280. The change to a tricycle landing gear was changed from the V5 to the V6 prototypes- no big hold up. The HE 280 was designed and 1st flew with one. At the time when both machines were coming along the war was going along well enough that it was foreseen that jets wouldn't be needed before Germany won.

It was a convoluted game of personalities, back stabbing, Hitleresque politics and lack of resolve on certain key aerospace areas in Germany. The Me 262 was no more a bomber than the P-47 was. The fact that either could be pressed into a ground attack roles means nothing. The 262 was rigged up with optics for LEVEL bombing, clearly something it was never conceived for.

The true facts are that given emphasis the Germans could have had 2-stage rockets with radioactive warheads plopping onto New York or Washington D.C. by 1945. As of 1943 they have the materials and ability to construct radiological material bombs. There exist US War Dept. documents discussing nuclear missile attacks. WE thought they were real enough back then.

Also given proper Hitler priority there is absolutely no reason to make excuses for German technological know-how in fielding both jet fighters and bombers. There are myriad potentially sound designs. Some were paper designs and others were almost ready to fly. The He 280 could have been on the line by late 1942 with the 262 no later than the end of summer 1943, instead of a year later had emphaisis and priority been placed one of them. Beyond these crates were too many to list bombers and fighters. In fact the 2nd generation of Luftwaffe jets were on the way about to be tested is fact. These planes were capable of well beyond 600 MPH with ejection seats and Mk 108 30 mm cannon as standard.

On October 14, 1943 when the 103 P-47s turned back near Aachen, the Luftwaffe fighters pounced like lions on the B-17s sent to bomb Schweinfurt’s ball bearing plants. 3 Thunderbolts were lost defending the Big Friends. Fifty-nine B-17s went down over the Reich’s airspace. 6 others were destroyed near of over England from ditching or bailouts. Another 17 were damaged so badly that they would never fly again. Only 50 planes received no damage of the 257 that made it over Germany’s airspace.

This failure combined with heavy losses previously nearly convinced the USAF to join GB in night bombing. And day time efforts barely put 1/2 the bombs dropped on the targets as it was. Had the heavies met a few jet squadrons based at Aachen without escorts it would have had serious consequences.

As for countering the 262 there was no equal face off scenario where piston engine fighters were anywher near on par in one on one. The only success to be had was "rat catching" when the jets were pounced on at takeoff or at landing when they were slow and vulnerable. By diving at high speed and using the inertia produced it was possible to make a firing pass on a jet hoping for damage before he got away.

con't






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