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  #21  
Old 17 July 2015, 22:21
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It is over 1000 miles from Stalingrad to the eastern border of Slovakia. 2 years is doable, 10-12 days? Probably not.
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  #22  
Old 18 July 2015, 07:53
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Here is that message from the grandson of that German Fallschirmjager I was talking about. It's not the best English but you can tell what he is implying. Says his grandfather escaped two POW camps as well.

I´m very proud of him and he learned me a lot of good things and one was : Do the things you have to do and do them right! He was a good man and has seen some really hard combats like Monte Cassino or the Falaise Gap and he was at the Normandy on the 2nd Day of the landing. He did also his duty in fighting against Russian partisans and had some close combat fights with pistol and knive agains the their british counterparts and against the 101st Airborn near Eindhoven. He always said that the most Russians weren´t of much worse and the British weren´t that bad but he always said that he had the hardest fights with US Airbornes from Frnace to the Rhine. So after his opinion you had some heros too!

He served and fought on the most fronts of ww2. I have his military report and he was at the following fronts: Poland, Russia, Africa, Sicilly, Italy, France, Netherlands and at the end at the Ruhrpocket. He was a brave man and fled 2 times from POW camps. First from US and second from the Free French.

Last edited by There First; 18 July 2015 at 08:22.
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  #23  
Old 18 July 2015, 08:29
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RONA/Kaminsky were brutal. But brutally killing civilians in anti-partisan operations is hardly a mark of effectiveness. Baltic troops were good. I don't consider Finnish to be eastern European, but rather Scandinavian/northern European.
Finnish and Russians share a lot of the same DNA. At least that is what I have learned through my testing.
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  #24  
Old 18 July 2015, 11:47
Kouta Kouta is offline
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Finnish and Russians share a lot of the same DNA. At least that is what I have learned through my testing.
Finns definitely aren't Eastern European by their genetic makeup. They (we) share genes with Siberian populations, but those aren't Slavic either. Largely, the DNA is very isolated from the rest of the world around Finland.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finns#Genetics
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  #25  
Old 18 July 2015, 15:03
Attila175 Attila175 is offline
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Originally Posted by There First View Post
Here is that message from the grandson of that German Fallschirmjager I was talking about. It's not the best English but you can tell what he is implying. Says his grandfather escaped two POW camps as well.

I´m very proud of him and he learned me a lot of good things and one was : Do the things you have to do and do them right! He was a good man and has seen some really hard combats like Monte Cassino or the Falaise Gap and he was at the Normandy on the 2nd Day of the landing. He did also his duty in fighting against Russian partisans and had some close combat fights with pistol and knive agains the their british counterparts and against the 101st Airborn near Eindhoven. He always said that the most Russians weren´t of much worse and the British weren´t that bad but he always said that he had the hardest fights with US Airbornes from Frnace to the Rhine. So after his opinion you had some heros too!

He served and fought on the most fronts of ww2. I have his military report and he was at the following fronts: Poland, Russia, Africa, Sicilly, Italy, France, Netherlands and at the end at the Ruhrpocket. He was a brave man and fled 2 times from POW camps. First from US and second from the Free French.
It would be cool to see his Soldbuch. Not many Fallschirmjager saw action in Poland. Same with Africa.

I don't understand why some people, especially Americans, get caught up in the WWII German military. There are things to be studied and learned, but some people's fascination with them make me wonder if there is some ideology behind it.
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  #26  
Old 18 July 2015, 15:57
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It depends on the geography if the blitzkrieg is effective. Sure it worked against the small European nations.

The Soviet Union was vast and that method of warfare was not going to be sustainable over that distance.
Thirty-five years ago I was a very young soldier stationed in Baden-Wurttemberg. One cold rainy afternoon myself and another GI were sitting at a table in a Gasthaus drinking beer. Anyway, an old German man who could speak decent English came and sat with us. We asked him what he did during the war and he told us one of the best stories I've ever heard. At the end of '41 he was in one of the forward elements of the main Wehrmacht columns that were advancing on Moscow. He basically said that the only reason they didn't proceed was because they were out of ammunition, food and winter clothing.

Last edited by X18BSOCAL; 18 July 2015 at 16:22.
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  #27  
Old 18 July 2015, 16:27
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It would be cool to see his Soldbuch. Not many Fallschirmjager saw action in Poland. Same with Africa.

I don't understand why some people, especially Americans, get caught up in the WWII German military. There are things to be studied and learned, but some people's fascination with them make me wonder if there is some ideology behind it.
I know I had ancestors who served in the German military but I am not going to mention which units. Funny because some of my Slavic ancestors fought against them in the exact same locations in the Ukraine.
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  #28  
Old 18 July 2015, 16:33
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Finns definitely aren't Eastern European by their genetic makeup. They (we) share genes with Siberian populations, but those aren't Slavic either. Largely, the DNA is very isolated from the rest of the world around Finland.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finns#Genetics
This is how it is listed on my account. Finland/Northwest Russia 5%. Now you are correct it is not of the typical R1A1 variety which is the typical Slavic X chromosome. Now when I look at the chromosomes of Finns who are a genetic match I notice they have a lot of Russian DNA as well.

Last edited by There First; 18 July 2015 at 16:41.
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  #29  
Old 18 July 2015, 16:35
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Originally Posted by X18BSOCAL View Post
Thirty-five years ago I was a very young soldier stationed in Baden-Wurttemberg. One cold rainy afternoon myself and another GI were sitting at a table in a Gasthaus drinking beer. Anyway, an old German man who could speak decent English came and sat with us. We asked him what he did during the war and he told us one of the best stories I've ever heard. At the end of '41 he was in one of the forward elements of the main Wehrmacht columns that were advancing on Moscow. He basically said that the only reason they didn't proceed was because they were out of ammunition, food and winter clothing.
They supposedly ran out of ammunition and fuel during the Battle of the Bulge. Also, I believe they had a lot of equipment freeze up outside of Moscow.
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  #30  
Old 18 July 2015, 17:27
Attila175 Attila175 is offline
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I love the way the Germans always blame logistics or being out-numbered as if that isn't part of war or the quality of a military.

"Amateurs talk about tactics, but professionals study logistics."
- Gen. Robert H. Barrow, Commandant of the Marine Corps
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  #31  
Old 18 July 2015, 18:34
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Originally Posted by Attila175 View Post
I love the way the Germans always blame logistics or being out-numbered as if that isn't part of war or the quality of a military.

"Amateurs talk about tactics, but professionals study logistics."
- Gen. Robert H. Barrow, Commandant of the Marine Corps
They also bitch about our excessive use of artillery like there is a rule of limitations on artillery.
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  #32  
Old 18 July 2015, 18:42
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What sprung this discussion from the other thread was the false claim the Germans were less fit that the Russians.

The Russian beat up on a shell of a German army and probably should keep their smack talk to a minimum.

Debating the merits of blitzkreig or their lack of logistics doesn't change the fact that the Wehrmacht fielded a well trained, well led Army made up of tactically proficient people. Their small units were especially good. I'm less than enamored about the Germans than just about anyone, but any objective study IMO shows this to be true.
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  #33  
Old 18 July 2015, 18:53
Attila175 Attila175 is offline
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What sprung this discussion from the other thread was the false claim the Germans were less fit that the Russians.

The Russian beat up on a shell of a German army and probably should keep their smack talk to a minimum.

Debating the merits of blitzkreig or their lack of logistics doesn't change the fact that the Wehrmacht fielded a well trained, well led Army made up of tactically proficient people. Their small units were especially good. I'm less than enamored about the Germans than just about anyone, but any objective study IMO shows this to be true.
Totally agree
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  #34  
Old 18 July 2015, 20:47
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In my opinion-

At the moment a person becomes involved in argument of 'National Prowess'- I know I am no longer discussing with an historian. It is like adult version of listening to teenage boys argue in xbox commando games about which special operations unit is 'the best'. :)

The discussion topic is multiple military of different Nations, with vast difference- unit-to-unit- in a world war.

I have seen notable differences in proficiency in different missions amongst fewer than 10 modern squadron of 1 Nation. These proficiency can change better or worse in only 2 year time based on commander, cadre, command environment. And that is 2 year of 'peace' training and deployment.

The gods can only imagine what the variation would be during daily combat status, for months at the time. 'Was Regiment X the best regiment ever?' I do not know, but if it was great at this battle in 1943 was it the same regiment in 1944 after it loses 50% of its fighting Soldier and 80% of its combat NCO and Officer?

Maybe the view is different from the air- I think sometimes student of history, especially student with no military service (and so no personal experience in how ephemeral and complicated 'a unit' can be to its members) cannot actually visualize the scope of the war.

To see the assembled strikers, fighters, support (fuel, EW) for Yugoslavia- fangs out, hair on fire, war-shot on the wings and in the belts- for many I am certain that was 1x in the life to see it and fly among it. Even initial attacks into Iraq would not put it to shame.

After the first night- maybe because of the historical angle- Luftwaffe and RAF Fighters into the attack together. There was some discussion.

50 years earlier- take all of those #s aircraft. Multiply by 10 or more. And that is day and night, NW Europe only. 'Boggling' the mind indeed.

If you have seen 100 Pz. on the ground in maneuver, it is American, German, British, maybe some Danes. 500 on one side, in the inverse bell formation, in the attack, across wide fields of Ukraine. I can imagine better than most- but still I cannot really envision it.

The only way to grade the units is by the individual battles where the tactical and operational factors can be accurately reconstructed. This is why I prefer the tactical and operational and strategic studies from Glantz and others- they rely on the unit reports to their own commands, both sides of conflict, and then compare/recreate/analyze.

Who had 'best' Soldiers? I know that every single American Soldier sent by idiot higher command into Hürtgenwald is forever a better Soldier than I ever was or ever would be. Because they were there with a rifle.

The doctrine and quality of commanders that affect the performance of a unit do not decide the fighting valor of the Soldiers, the pilots.

I am certain there are many skilled brave French Soldiers who die unknown in first 2 weeks of battle of France. Soldiers who would have been right at home in any German Pz.Gr. unit.

And the most battle hardened IAF Fighter Pilots will tell you some 1 or 2 story about how the best Fighter Pilot they may have seen was an Arab- who died crippled from takeoff by reliance on GCI, and only really shined at the end- forced into a 1 on 4 not by lack of SA, but doomed by inferior Squadron tactics and deployment.

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  #35  
Old 18 July 2015, 21:07
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Originally Posted by Silverbullet View Post
Debating the merits of blitzkreig or their lack of logistics doesn't change the fact that the Wehrmacht fielded a well trained, well led Army made up of tactically proficient people. Their small units were especially good. I'm less than enamored about the Germans than just about anyone, but any objective study IMO shows this to be true.
IMO, their training is what made the German Army of WWII so efficient.
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  #36  
Old 19 July 2015, 03:32
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IMO, their training is what made the German Army of WWII so efficient.
They did begin at a young age in the Hitler youth.
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  #37  
Old 19 July 2015, 03:35
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Originally Posted by Silverbullet View Post
What sprung this discussion from the other thread was the false claim the Germans were less fit that the Russians.

The Russian beat up on a shell of a German army and probably should keep their smack talk to a minimum.

Debating the merits of blitzkreig or their lack of logistics doesn't change the fact that the Wehrmacht fielded a well trained, well led Army made up of tactically proficient people. Their small units were especially good. I'm less than enamored about the Germans than just about anyone, but any objective study IMO shows this to be true.
No doubt. Their Fallschirmjager pulled off some of the best special operations in history.
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  #38  
Old 20 July 2015, 12:28
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Originally Posted by Attila175 View Post
I don't understand why some people, especially Americans, get caught up in the WWII German military. There are things to be studied and learned, but some people's fascination with them make me wonder if there is some ideology behind it.
I've also wondered about this. For some, it clearly goes beyond impartial historical interest into some sort of cult thing. You don't see this kind of fascination with the Imperial Japanese military (outside of radical nationalists in Japan, maybe).

Still, interesting discussion, and when it comes to a successful force being led by well-trained officers and NCOs, the question of sustainability of that training comes into play...Wehrmacht training certainly changed, and likely suffered, during the course of the war. Was this a major factor later in the war?

The classic example of this dilemma was the difference in the training pipelines for naval aviators between the IJN and American forces in the Pacific...American pilots arrived in combat with a only few hundred total flight hours and didn't fare well against IJN and IJA aviators with several combat tours in China. However, the Japanese training pipeline couldn't account for the losses of experienced pilots and crews at Midway and thereafter...and this certainly became a major factor contributing to their defeat. So...was Japanese aviator training "better", in the final analysis, than a system that pushed trainees through quickly, and even continuously lowered standards until late in the war?

I haven't read much on Wehrmacht training, as a whole.

Last edited by Brianj; 20 July 2015 at 12:41.
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  #39  
Old 20 July 2015, 15:04
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Originally Posted by Silverbullet View Post
What sprung this discussion from the other thread was the false claim the Germans were less fit that the Russians.

The Russian beat up on a shell of a German army and probably should keep their smack talk to a minimum.

Debating the merits of blitzkreig or their lack of logistics doesn't change the fact that the Wehrmacht fielded a well trained, well led Army made up of tactically proficient people. Their small units were especially good. I'm less than enamored about the Germans than just about anyone, but any objective study IMO shows this to be true.
The early German blitzkrieg into Russia was also enabled by the fact that a paranoid Josef Stalin had replaced ninety percent of his Generals at the Marshall, Corps, and Army levels and two thirds of his division generals in the late 30's. Once the newer Soviet Generals learned German tactics, they were very adept at copying them. It took some time enhanced by very poor German logistics, but when the reversal game, it was a reverse blitzkrieg. Also, credit Hitler and his General staff with enough meddling to make even his best Generals ineffective.
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  #40  
Old 20 July 2015, 15:15
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The classic example of this dilemma was the difference in the training pipelines for naval aviators between the IJN and American forces in the Pacific...American pilots arrived in combat with a only few hundred total flight hours and didn't fare well against IJN and IJA aviators with several combat tours in China. However, the Japanese training pipeline couldn't account for the losses of experienced pilots and crews at Midway and thereafter...and this certainly became a major factor contributing to their defeat. So...was Japanese aviator training "better", in the final analysis, than a system that pushed trainees through quickly, and even continuously lowered standards until late in the war?
It was as much a question of aircraft as it was training. The IJF Zero could outmaneuver comparable US aircraft early in the war. US pilots learned to attack from elevation and dive through the IJF formations rather that engage in dog fights. They would then use their speedier planes to outrun the Japanese. US planes also had an advantage of self-sealing fuel tanks where the IJF did not. As the war progressed, our pilots were the ones with better training as we had the time and material to accomplish this. We also had better aircraft in the pipeline that offset the Zero's earlier tactical proficiency.
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