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Old 24th January 2021, 09:51 AM   #121
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Yes, but they captured some 18 more from the likes of the French and the Dutch. Which I mentioned before. Hell, they even had a Greek one in the Mediterranean, although obviously that one couldn't get out into the Atlantic.

Plus, Raeder was planning to build more (though he never got the resources to actually complete them.)

So for the purpose of his plan to send the Bismarck to tank the fire from the enemy battleship, while the destroyers go after the transports, yes, he would have enough destroyers to send with the Bismarck.

Mind you, it's still a stupid plan, but lack of destroyers is the least of its problems.
How many French destroyers put to sea under German colours?
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Old 24th January 2021, 02:02 PM   #122
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In the battle against the Bismarck the following British Tribal-class destroyers took part:

Cossack, Sikh, Zulu, Maori, Mashona, Tartar and the Polish destroyer ORP Piorun.

They made torpedo attacks but none hit.
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Old 24th January 2021, 08:14 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
How many French destroyers put to sea under German colours?
From the French specifically, that would actually be 3 La Melpomène class "torpedo boats", effectively small destroyers, although they weren't in German use at the time of Bismarck's voyage. One destroyer hull (L'Opiniatre, a.k.a. ZF-2) was slated to be completed by the Germans, and actually actively built at the time, so it would have been factored into Raeder's considerations. (They only finally decided to give up on building it in July 1943.)
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Old 24th January 2021, 08:20 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
In the battle against the Bismarck the following British Tribal-class destroyers took part:

Cossack, Sikh, Zulu, Maori, Mashona, Tartar and the Polish destroyer ORP Piorun.

They made torpedo attacks but none hit.
That they did, but rjh01 was talking about shadowing the Bismarck. Which was really heavy cruisers.
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Old 24th January 2021, 09:16 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
In the battle against the Bismarck the following British Tribal-class destroyers took part:

Cossack, Sikh, Zulu, Maori, Mashona, Tartar and the Polish destroyer ORP Piorun.

They made torpedo attacks but none hit.
Their attacks were important though. Bismarck was forced to change course every time a torpedo run was made slowing it's escape.
It is the job destroyers were made for.
Destroyers also attacked and delayed Scharnhorst also forcing it to turn away several times at North Cape when it was finally cornered.
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Old 24th January 2021, 09:18 PM   #126
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
From the French specifically, that would actually be 3 La Melpomène class "torpedo boats", effectively small destroyers, although they weren't in German use at the time of Bismarck's voyage. One destroyer hull (L'Opiniatre, a.k.a. ZF-2) was slated to be completed by the Germans, and actually actively built at the time, so it would have been factored into Raeder's considerations. (They only finally decided to give up on building it in July 1943.)
So no destroyers then
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Old 25th January 2021, 12:47 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
So no destroyers then
Not in the least since the German destroyers had a maximum range of about 2000 nautical miles at 19 knots (most had about 1500 NM range).
Which would have meant they would have run out of fuel just after HMS Hood was sunk.
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Old 25th January 2021, 03:07 AM   #128
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Using battleships to refuel destroyers was common practice, though. Every fleet did it, though the Americans tended to do it more because of the gigantic fuel capacity of the Iowas.

Also, the difference isn't as big as you'd think. E.g., sure, a Fletcher can claim a 5500 NM range and a Tribal can claim 5700, but that's at 15 knots. You push it to 19, it reduces quite a bit, since resistance raises sharply. E.g., wave drag is proportional to the square of the speed. You go from 15 to 19, it almost doubles, and your range does the opposite. So, yeah, range isn't exactly as big a difference as people assume.
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Old 25th January 2021, 03:29 AM   #129
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Originally Posted by erwinl View Post
Not in the least since the German destroyers had a maximum range of about 2000 nautical miles at 19 knots (most had about 1500 NM range).
Which would have meant they would have run out of fuel just after HMS Hood was sunk.
They could have refueled at sea if the weather was calm, the problem was German Destroyers were designed for North Sea and Baltic operations.
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Old 25th January 2021, 03:55 AM   #130
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Using battleships to refuel destroyers was common practice, though. Every fleet did it, though the Americans tended to do it more because of the gigantic fuel capacity of the Iowas.

Also, the difference isn't as big as you'd think. E.g., sure, a Fletcher can claim a 5500 NM range and a Tribal can claim 5700, but that's at 15 knots. You push it to 19, it reduces quite a bit, since resistance raises sharply. E.g., wave drag is proportional to the square of the speed. You go from 15 to 19, it almost doubles, and your range does the opposite. So, yeah, range isn't exactly as big a difference as people assume.
Yes.
But if you want to make the maximum use of your battleships range, and one of the (very deserved) criticisms is that Lutjens omitted to top off Bismarcks fuel bunkers, using that very precious fuel to refuel a bunch of destroyers is not conductive for any reasonable effective operation.

Don't forget that the reason the German destroyers were still at Narvik in 1940, to be destroyed by the Royal Navy, was because they had emptied their fuel bunkers in order to go the entire distance from Bremerhaven to Narvik and still hadn't been refueled by the time Warspite arrived!

I do like to see some citations that the German navy used it's battleships to refuel their destroyers, because I don't think they ever did as part of their ordinary operations.

Operation Rheinubung had low potential of actually succeeing, but stringing along some of Germany's destroyers would mean the operation to be literally dead in the water, before the operational area was even reached.
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Old 25th January 2021, 04:23 AM   #131
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I'm not saying the plan was for them to have destroyers for Rheinübung. It was just one of the (rather over-optimistic) options they considered for the future. Bearing in mind that they were at the time requesting designs for stuff like the Z1942 class, which would have outranged any allied destroyer if they had to run at the same speed. (Though arguably the biggest over-optimism was still having a working battleship by then )

I'll point you at that systemic organization chaos again. All branches had pretty much no idea what resources they'll get, and even that was usually more like through whatever side-ways pressure or connections you could use. Or could depend on how much you impressed Adolf, and could change quite abruptly based on that. Or usually on failing to impress him. As a result, they also usually had rather... unrealistic expectations of what they'll get in the future.

That affected all branches.

The Kriegsmarine had the most... unrealistic expectations of them all, and Raeder made plans like he was actually going to get most of that.
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Old 25th January 2021, 05:10 AM   #132
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I'm not saying the plan was for them to have destroyers for Rheinübung. It was just one of the (rather over-optimistic) options they considered for the future. Bearing in mind that they were at the time requesting designs for stuff like the Z1942 class, which would have outranged any allied destroyer if they had to run at the same speed. (Though arguably the biggest over-optimism was still having a working battleship by then )

I'll point you at that systemic organization chaos again. All branches had pretty much no idea what resources they'll get, and even that was usually more like through whatever side-ways pressure or connections you could use. Or could depend on how much you impressed Adolf, and could change quite abruptly based on that. Or usually on failing to impress him. As a result, they also usually had rather... unrealistic expectations of what they'll get in the future.

That affected all branches.

The Kriegsmarine had the most... unrealistic expectations of them all, and Raeder made plans like he was actually going to get most of that.
Part of the Kriegsmarine, yes. Most specifically the surface fleet.

Although they did get the most of it from the Norway campaign. I think we can all agree that the German navy punched way above its weight in that regard (even with all the losses they took, they should never have been able to do all that they in fact did).
After that, the question is, what do you do with the surface fleet? It is too weak to search for battle and aside from 'Fleet in being', what do you do with it? I think 'Fleet in being' would have gotten the most of results, or at least waste for the allies, but this just was not in Germany's, or more Hitlers, menthality.

I think that from all the various forces Germany had, only the submarine part of the Kriegsmarine had any idea about the nature of the fight that lay ahead of them. They and only they (Well, more specifically Dönitz) planned for and expected a war of attrition.
All the other forces just went for the biggest bang, they could deliver, in order to win the battles.
And winning battles they could, but they had no idea how to win the war, if their opponent was able to weather that hit they gave them.

To be sure. The U-boat arm was defeated in the end, but their focus (except when order to send U-boats to the mediterranean) was always on attritional warfare.
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Old 25th January 2021, 05:34 AM   #133
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I wouldn't blame Hitler for the surface fleet screw-ups, actually. Rheinübung wasn't his idea, for example. In fact, Raeder even kept it secret from Hitler. When Hitler finally found out that the Bismarck has buggered off, he was furious and wanted to call it back, but Raeder managed to convince him that it'll divert British attention from the invasion of Crete. This would be mirrored in the way it ended: also without Raeder informing Hitler. Hitler only learned from the press that his precious battleship had been sunk. And he was furious again, but obviously he couldn't call it back now.

Generally, there was this myth built in the post-war memoirs, where every bad decision was Hitler's and every good decision was his generals' genius. Usually the general writing that memoir. Not saying you subscribe to it, but just saying. Turns out that actually Hitler had the most clue about grand strategy and strategical goals, and his generals and admirals... not so much.

Well, ok, maybe apart from Dönitz, which did seem to have the most clue about what he was doing.

But anyway, even the surface fleet ambitions and neglecting uboats (at least initially), I wouldn't necessarily blame on Hitler's megalomania per se. I'll point out again at that deliberate chaos, and pitting arms and services against each other. It was deliberate that each would be given grand hopes to fight for, preferably against each other, so they can't collude against Hitler.

This however mostly applied to the top level, at least as Hitler's personal attention was concerned. So the Kriegsmarine got promised mostly what Raeder wanted, because Raeder was the top guy. Dönitz was lower rank, so basically getting what he wanted would only matter if he could get Raeder to ask for it. (At least unless he was going to go the Milch way and fight his superior. Which he didn't.) And Raeder was a surface fleet kinda guy.
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Old 25th January 2021, 06:07 AM   #134
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
I wouldn't blame Hitler for the surface fleet screw-ups, actually. Rheinübung wasn't his idea, for example. In fact, Raeder even kept it secret from Hitler. When Hitler finally found out that the Bismarck has buggered off, he was furious and wanted to call it back, but Raeder managed to convince him that it'll divert British attention from the invasion of Crete. This would be mirrored in the way it ended: also without Raeder informing Hitler. Hitler only learned from the press that his precious battleship had been sunk. And he was furious again, but obviously he couldn't call it back now.

Generally, there was this myth built in the post-war memoirs, where every bad decision was Hitler's and every good decision was his generals' genius. Usually the general writing that memoir. Not saying you subscribe to it, but just saying. Turns out that actually Hitler had the most clue about grand strategy and strategical goals, and his generals and admirals... not so much.

Well, ok, maybe apart from Dönitz, which did seem to have the most clue about what he was doing.

But anyway, even the surface fleet ambitions and neglecting uboats (at least initially), I wouldn't necessarily blame on Hitler's megalomania per se. I'll point out again at that deliberate chaos, and pitting arms and services against each other. It was deliberate that each would be given grand hopes to fight for, preferably against each other, so they can't collude against Hitler.

This however mostly applied to the top level, at least as Hitler's personal attention was concerned. So the Kriegsmarine got promised mostly what Raeder wanted, because Raeder was the top guy. Dönitz was lower rank, so basically getting what he wanted would only matter if he could get Raeder to ask for it. (At least unless he was going to go the Milch way and fight his superior. Which he didn't.) And Raeder was a surface fleet kinda guy.
Going to war was the premier bad decision and that one was Hitler's.

But yes, I agree he had much more of a long term vision, while the generals were much to much wedded to the Prussian way of 'war of movement and hit them so hard that then enemies will fall and thus end the war'.
Which is a good way to fight battles, for sure, but no way to fight a war, once your enemy can withstand that first blow.

Infact I think Hitlers decision to let 6th army stay in place at Stalingrad, for instance, was the correct one, once the relieve by Manstein (operation Winterstorm) had failed.
By that point none of 6th armies soldiers would get out and as such were already completely lost to Germany's further war actions. But what they could and did was tie up, and kill a lot of Soviet soldiers, who would otherwise be able to truly cut off Army group A in the Caucasus.

Seeing as how bad things were for the Germans in Operation 'Little Saturn', you can imagine how much worse things would have been, if 6th army would have just surrendered after it was completely clear that it wouldn't get out of the pocket. Which would have been the humane thing to do for the soldiers of 6th army, but an even bigger disaster for the rest of the German Army if the Soviets had the resources they needed for Operation Saturn, instead of Operation Little Saturn, which they ended up doing.

So points (purely seen from a German perspective) for him for making fight sixth army for so long. No points though for getting 6th army's head in the noose and then failing to resupply it with fresh soldiers.

And then there is the whole issue that WWII would have possibly ended sooner if the Soviets could have pulled of Operation Saturn. But that is a different discussion.
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Old 25th January 2021, 06:22 AM   #135
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Originally Posted by erwinl View Post
Going to war was the premier bad decision and that one was Hitler's.
Well, I meant when it came to military campaigns.

Otherwise, sure, starting the war was pretty bad, but even that came from an even worse idea: autarky. (As in, that wasn't even a means in order to have a war. It was the long term goal. All the lebensraum and starting a war was in order to achieve complete autarky.)

And all that deliberate organization chaos, infighting and corruption was arguably even worse.

And I mean, to see how much that meant, you know how Germany paid for a lot of the war with what they confiscated from the Jews and whatnot? Well, even there the losses to basically corruption were immense. When for example the Lodz ghetto was completed, as one of the first ghettos, the guy in charge routed a whopping third or so of what he confiscated to his own pockets. You'd think he'd get his ass kicked for it, but nope, it was more like an example of a successful Aryan will to conquer and all that.

And even that would get worse. The Wehrmacht (which were no saints either) was going, basically, "dude, you're ruining the local industry, infrastructure and our logistics with your shipping Jews around", the SS basically went "screw you, who cares about your logistics?" Not in those exact words, but that was the general gist.

The whole state was becoming basically a pile of detrimental ideas on top of other detrimental ideas, most of which could be traced to Hitler.
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Old 25th January 2021, 06:27 AM   #136
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As a side note, when you look at how bad it all was for Germany, it's kinda mind-boggling that a bunch of skinhead numbskulls are actually pining for the good ol' times of Hitler.
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Old 25th January 2021, 07:06 AM   #137
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
As a side note, when you look at how bad it all was for Germany, it's kinda mind-boggling that a bunch of skinhead numbskulls are actually pining for the good ol' times of Hitler.
So completely true.
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Old 25th January 2021, 07:07 AM   #138
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, I meant when it came to military campaigns.

Otherwise, sure, starting the war was pretty bad, but even that came from an even worse idea: autarky. (As in, that wasn't even a means in order to have a war. It was the long term goal. All the lebensraum and starting a war was in order to achieve complete autarky.)

And all that deliberate organization chaos, infighting and corruption was arguably even worse.

And I mean, to see how much that meant, you know how Germany paid for a lot of the war with what they confiscated from the Jews and whatnot? Well, even there the losses to basically corruption were immense. When for example the Lodz ghetto was completed, as one of the first ghettos, the guy in charge routed a whopping third or so of what he confiscated to his own pockets. You'd think he'd get his ass kicked for it, but nope, it was more like an example of a successful Aryan will to conquer and all that.

And even that would get worse. The Wehrmacht (which were no saints either) was going, basically, "dude, you're ruining the local industry, infrastructure and our logistics with your shipping Jews around", the SS basically went "screw you, who cares about your logistics?" Not in those exact words, but that was the general gist.

The whole state was becoming basically a pile of detrimental ideas on top of other detrimental ideas, most of which could be traced to Hitler.
Technological advanced version of a human locust society.
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Old 26th January 2021, 01:08 AM   #139
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That is an apt analogy. Another good one I've heard was "mafia society".
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Old 26th January 2021, 01:32 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
That is an apt analogy. Another good one I've heard was "mafia society".
I don't think 'Mafia society' (though I do love the term) does justice to the destructive tendencies of the nazis.

While the mafia does see it's victims as a kind of 'cattle' (to name an analogy) to live of, at least they understand that the mafia's livelihood is better when their cattle do well enough (with well enough of course being relative and not at all being a nice position).

The nazis on the other hand were just simply strip mining the countries they had conquered.
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Old 26th January 2021, 02:49 AM   #141
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That was meant more about the fighting for power and authority between capos and each trying to make himself richer at the expense of everyone else. It's a different aspect of it, really.

Edit: and this affected even ethnic Germans from Germany. The "capos" plundered their own state and wasted its resources.

Which really ties into why I said I don't understand the neo-nazis. If it were just affecting the OTHER groups, ok, I can see how someone would want to live better at someone else's expense. Not approve, mind you, but I can understand the thought process. But here even if one sees the world as "us vs them", it wasn't "us" living better at the expense of "them". Here the "us" group was worse off for it too.

Edit: and not just as in some abstract way. For example, life expectancy was dropping and child mortality was rising even before the war years, even as they were improving again in the surrounding countries after the low of the great depression. Malnutrition was becoming a real problem in one of the most industrialized countries in Europe. Life under the nazis really was bad.
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Old 26th January 2021, 03:20 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
That was meant more about the fighting for power and authority between capos and each trying to make himself richer at the expense of everyone else. It's a different aspect of it, really.

Edit: and this affected even ethnic Germans from Germany. The "capos" plundered their own state and wasted its resources.

Which really ties into why I said I don't understand the neo-nazis. If it were just affecting the OTHER groups, ok, I can see how someone would want to live better at someone else's expense. Not approve, mind you, but I can understand the thought process. But here even if one sees the world as "us vs them", it wasn't "us" living better at the expense of "them". Here the "us" group was worse off for it too.

Edit: and not just as in some abstract way. For example, life expectancy was dropping and child mortality was rising even before the war years, even as they were improving again in the surrounding countries after the low of the great depression. Malnutrition was becoming a real problem in one of the most industrialized countries in Europe. Life under the nazis really was bad.
Agree with you.
I was thinking more of the nazi state as a whole, but if you look at it just one lever more detailed, you are absolutely right.
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Old 26th January 2021, 03:29 AM   #143
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Life under the nazis really was bad.
None of them ever even got their much promised VW Beetle...well, apart from (I think) Hitler.
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Old 26th January 2021, 03:31 AM   #144
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
None of them ever even got their much promised VW Beetle...well, apart from (I think) Hitler.
They built them as the Kubelwagen instead.
I bet the soldiers stuck in the mud wished they had Jeeps or Universal Carriers instead.
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Old 26th January 2021, 04:12 AM   #145
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
None of them ever even got their much promised VW Beetle...well, apart from (I think) Hitler.
Not even him, actually. He had to do with a Mercedes-Benz 770, a.k.a., the most expensive German car at the time
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Old 26th January 2021, 09:23 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by erwinl View Post
I don't think 'Mafia society' (though I do love the term) does justice to the destructive tendencies of the nazis.

While the mafia does see it's victims as a kind of 'cattle' (to name an analogy) to live of, at least they understand that the mafia's livelihood is better when their cattle do well enough (with well enough of course being relative and not at all being a nice position).

The nazis on the other hand were just simply strip mining the countries they had conquered.
There is a WWII channel on Youtube by the people who did the great war, and it had a point on that in their war against humanity. So many of the nazis were so invested in antisemitic propaganda that they could not accept that the Jews were by and large poor farmers. They simply did not have the wealth to extract that the nazis were intending on.
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Old 26th January 2021, 11:13 AM   #147
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
There is a WWII channel on Youtube by the people who did the great war, and it had a point on that in their war against humanity. So many of the nazis were so invested in antisemitic propaganda that they could not accept that the Jews were by and large poor farmers. They simply did not have the wealth to extract that the nazis were intending on.
I know. We’re one of their Patreons.
Extremely good channel.
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Old 26th January 2021, 01:52 PM   #148
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I'd like to know the channel please. Both of them.
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Old 26th January 2021, 02:15 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by bignickel View Post
I'd like to know the channel please. Both of them.
The great war

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUc...PEDf69RRVhRh4A

Between 2 Wars

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...fY2D1jy_sEssNG

World War 2

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCP1...DA7jYkZAELRhHQ
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Old 27th January 2021, 12:14 AM   #150
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For an in dept review of the Battle of Stalingrad, one should visit this youtube channel.

He just posted episode 19 (each of about 40-42 minutes long) and only now, did we enter Stalingrad itself and are at the point where most stories about this battle start.

In fact. This series of video's is almost required if you ever want to read the in dept Stalingrad books by David Glantz, because the maps in those books are worse than unreadable.
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Old 27th January 2021, 06:16 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Not even him, actually. He had to do with a Mercedes-Benz 770, a.k.a., the most expensive German car at the time
I wasn't sure if he got the first one to actually roll off a production line. Indeed, I don't know if one ever actually did.
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Old 27th January 2021, 04:06 PM   #152
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I'm not sure if there actually was a production line for any, to be honest. And I mean, actual production line, as opposed to hand-built prototypes.
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Old 29th January 2021, 07:36 PM   #153
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Another thing that's at a higher level than a battle, I'd like to nominate Belgium in the '30's. Now we can debate how well the original plan to have the French and British battle the Germans on Belgium's border would have worked (with the Ardennes still being were they are, and all,) but proclaiming neutrality and trusting the Germans to stick to it? And I mean, it wasn't even the first time. They had been neutral in 1914, and, well, just ask any Belgian how well THAT kept Germany away.
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Old 30th January 2021, 05:57 AM   #154
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From Belgium's POV it was the best of a bad geographic situation - join an Anglo-French alliance and definitely become the battleground in a fight between them and Germany, or be officially neutral and MAYBE stay out of it
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Old 30th January 2021, 06:04 AM   #155
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Well, where would Hitler go THROUGH to get to France, being that he'd been agitating for laying down the smack on France since the 20's?
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Old 30th January 2021, 06:17 AM   #156
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Belgium should have realised the point of the Maginot Line was to make Belgium the battlefield.
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Old 30th January 2021, 06:25 AM   #157
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Pretty sure they knew that, but thought that if they just say "we're neutral", Germany will go "well, then I guess we just can't have our war. Ah well, maybe next time."

'Cause, you know, it worked so well in 1914
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Old 30th January 2021, 11:08 AM   #158
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Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop View Post
Belgium should have realised the point of the Maginot Line was to make Belgium the battlefield.
I don't think that's correct. Maginot line extended all the way to north coast, but apparently since Ardennes were thought to be badly passable for tanks, it had only weaker fortifications there. Similar setup was used in Czech mountains and it would likely work here. (Bunkers were upgraded versions of French variants)
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Old 30th January 2021, 11:20 AM   #159
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French plans were to use the Maginot line as an anchor for their right flank and to pivot forwards into Belgium.
When the Germans attacked they put the largest part of their army in to Belgium andthe French moved forward as planned.
This was just a diversion on the part of the Germans and their main attack as we know came through the Ardennes.
It didn't look like a diversion as it involved a larger part of the army.
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Old 30th January 2021, 11:38 AM   #160
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Originally Posted by Klimax View Post
I don't think that's correct. Maginot line extended all the way to north coast, but apparently since Ardennes were thought to be badly passable for tanks, it had only weaker fortifications there. Similar setup was used in Czech mountains and it would likely work here. (Bunkers were upgraded versions of French variants)
The original plan was to leave a gap there, so Germany would HAVE to attack through Belgium, while leaving France's industry behind the line alone. They scrambled to extend the line along the Belgian border later, when it became amply clear that Belgium won't budge from its neutrality position, but it wasn't anywhere near complete by the time of the German attack, so that's why it was weaker.

Now mind you, the original plan wasn't to screw over Belgium either. They still planned to mass a lot of army on the border between Belgium and Germany and have some fortified positions and all. Just a lot less fortified than the Maginot line, so they'd know Germany attacks there.

And then there was the demilitarized zone, which as long as it was enforced, didn't really leave Belgium in any immediate danger. You know, on account of not actually having the German army on their border.

'Course, when both France and Britain went "meh, who cares?" about the demilitarized zone (and then kept on going "meh, who cares?" about everything else), suddenly Belgium wasn't all that sure they'd go to war if they get invaded either. Being the funnel through which all the German army comes didn't sound that hot, if you're not sure those guys are actually going to fight it off.
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