Germany's Weapons in WWII

Non-naval discussions about the Second World War. Military leaders, campaigns, weapons, etc.
dougieo
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Re: Germany's Weapons in WWII

Post by dougieo » Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:07 am

Is it really any surprise that a new Battleship "fully worked up" and new Heavy Cruiser"fully worked up" could take out a 20 year old Battlecruiser and a brand new Battleship"not worked up" out?

and by the way at the start of the DS wasnt it 8*15 + 8*8 v 4*15 + 6*14? all of course due to the incompetence of the British who according to the Germans were still at Scapa

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Re: Germany's Weapons in WWII

Post by Vic Dale » Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:23 pm

dougieo wrote:Is it really any surprise that a new Battleship "fully worked up" and new Heavy Cruiser"fully worked up" could take out a 20 year old Battlecruiser and a brand new Battleship"not worked up" out?

and by the way at the start of the DS wasnt it 8*15 + 8*8 v 4*15 + 6*14? all of course due to the incompetence of the British who according to the Germans were still at Scapa
There was no incompetence on either side. Some say Hood should have concentrated on Hood from the start, but although Adm. Holland had said the squadron should concentrate fire on Bismarck if the German squadron was concentrated, on finding them dispersed by about 3000m and all likelyhood that the leading ship could escape whilst closing the range, it was necessary close at a rate which did not yield too much ground to the southwest.

if the German squadron was to be bagged complete (also indicated in the Admiral's Battle Orders) they would have to engage ship-for-ship - as they did.

When Prinz Eugen and Bismarck began to register hits on Hood it may have become clear that Hood needed to engage the heavier ship with PoW if they were going to overwhelm her, so a shift of target is logical, as is the decision to engage as they did at the outset.

The remark; "We are firing on the wrong ship." Does not necessarily imply wrong identification, or even a tactical error, all it indicates is a shift in the tactical situation and a need to shift target.

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Re: Germany's Weapons in WWII

Post by lwd » Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:28 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:...
The overall best most succesfull pilot of WWII is Eric Hartmann with 352 kills.
How many times was he shot down? Does this factor in? You could also argue that Rudel was the most successful as he had even more kills.
The following 111 (one hundred eleven) top aces below Hartmann are all German (not a single American, British, Polish, Japanese nor Soviet). Just Germans. Germans flying "inferior" Me 109, FW 190 or Me 262 (jet, which the "allied" superior technology lacked).
Do you have some documentation of that? I've seen the totals of a lot of the German aces questioned.
... And he flew a Zero, which has been disqualified as a good oponnent for the Brewster Buffalo or the Wildcat.
Where did this come from? No one that I've seen has ever said that the Buffalo was better than the Zero (well maybe some Finns but those were different Buffalos) and the general consensus seams to be that the Wildcat and Zero were roughly equal. Incidently your Finish ace probably flew a Buffalo for a good number of his kills.
The first allied top aces appears down the list and is not even American: ..
No surprise there at all. US personnel policies and numbers pretty much precluded them racking up the kills no matter how much better they or their equipment was than their opponents. Take a look at the LER's of various aircraft however and you get an entirely different picture.

I may have to start counting strawmen there were so many in the post I'm replying to I lost count.

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Re: Germany's Weapons in WWII

Post by lwd » Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:35 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote: Best overall sub skippers:
...
Depending on criteria you might be right but since you don't list your criteria it's hard to say. I suspect that it was either the number of ships sunk or the tonnage. Neither of which are necessarily the best judge of the quality of sub skippers.
Karl Heidenreich wrote:Tired?
Best tank commander of WWII?
Michael Wittmann.
Here is a really good case of why top kill doesn't indicate best since he got himself and crew killed doing something stupid.
As with the Red Baron, von RIchtofen (a German, you know) everybody claims to have killed him:
There you go exagerating again. I didn't see any US, French, Italians, Russians, Japanese, etc on the list so obviously not everyone is claiming it. Oh Eisenhower is German name also. Your point is?
The standard doctrine of the European Theatre issued to the American Tankers was the following: 5 Shermans per Tiger, if less disengage.

5 to 1. That´s speaks a lot.
Documentation please. I am virtually certain that it was not doctrine. I'm not even sure it was a wide spread rule of thumb.

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Re: Germany's Weapons in WWII

Post by lwd » Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:40 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:And, for the last, the balance in battleships:
1 Bismarck Class BB
In order to sink it you need:
KGV + Rodney + Sheffield + Dorsetshire + Ark Royal + many destroyers, etc. etc. etc.
It would help if you got your facts strait. Your list isn't what was needed to sink it it was what sunk Bismark. Note that one bomber sunk Tirpitz the only other BB sunk by a single bomber I can think of was Arizona which unlike Triptiz was not at war at the time. By your logic then Tirptiz isn't quite as good as Arizona.
Shall I continue?
If you want to go ahead but we have a saying about when it's time to quit digging

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Re: Germany's Weapons in WWII

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:24 pm

lwd:
Do you have some documentation of that? I've seen the totals of a lot of the German aces questioned.
Of course I do. You are the one that never shows yours:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Wo ... I_air_aces

Suit yourself.
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Re: Germany's Weapons in WWII

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:26 pm

lwd:
It would help if you got your facts strait. Your list isn't what was needed to sink it it was what sunk Bismark. Note that one bomber sunk Tirpitz the only other BB sunk by a single bomber I can think of was Arizona which unlike Triptiz was not at war at the time. By your logic then Tirptiz isn't quite as good as Arizona.
Another "just a few holes in the bridge" cheap argument. You look like O.J. Simpson´s lawyer man, really. Do you know the kind of bomb dropped over Tirpitz. Not the kind a Betty could carry, anyway.
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Re: Germany's Weapons in WWII

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:29 pm

lwd:
Here is a really good case of why top kill doesn't indicate best since he got himself and crew killed doing something stupid.
He was outnumbered.
There you go exagerating again. I didn't see any US, French, Italians, Russians, Japanese, etc on the list so obviously not everyone is claiming it. Oh Eisenhower is German name also. Your point is?
On rethorics again, my friend. You usually diverts atention when got hit pretty bad, isn´t it. Go and try to lure some other incautious with your games.
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Re: Germany's Weapons in WWII

Post by lwd » Sun Dec 07, 2008 7:38 am

Karl Heidenreich wrote:lwd:
Do you have some documentation of that? I've seen the totals of a lot of the German aces questioned.
Of course I do. You are the one that never shows yours:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Wo ... I_air_aces
..
It'll take me a bit to find the references but I did note that yours mentioned that the Germans counted things quite a bit different than the allies.

Then if you are talking about the quality of equipment your probably better off looking at what happens when the average pilots meet and that didn't really work out to the advantage of the Germans now did it?

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Re: Germany's Weapons in WWII

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sun Dec 07, 2008 5:28 pm

lwd:
It'll take me a bit to find the references but I did note that yours mentioned that the Germans counted things quite a bit different than the allies.

Then if you are talking about the quality of equipment your probably better off looking at what happens when the average pilots meet and that didn't really work out to the advantage of the Germans now did it?
I never knew that the Germans had a different numerical system than the allies. Why was that, they had six fingers per hand during the nazi regime?

What about the other claims?
Last edited by Karl Heidenreich on Sun Dec 07, 2008 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Germany's Weapons in WWII

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sun Dec 07, 2008 5:30 pm

lwd:
quality of equipment your probably better off looking at what happens when the average pilots meet
Yes, you´re right. While the German had outstanding pilots the allies had average pilots at the best. So, they need better planes.
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Re: Germany's Weapons in WWII

Post by lwd » Sun Dec 07, 2008 8:53 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:...
I never knew that the Germans had a different numerical system than the allies. Why was that, they had six fingers per hand during the nazi regime?
PLS try and understand what you read before you post it. The Germans didn't give fractional credits for one thing. So if several pilots got in on the kill the credit went to the senior pilot. In practice fromw what I've read this meant that wingmen very seldom got credit for kills. I've also seen discussions where it was brought up that at least one of the German "experten" got credit for more kills in one day that the British lost on that front during the same time. Now all sides over claimed to some extent but again from what I've read the German system broke down badly near the end of the war and the propaganda value of inflating claims outweighted the value of rationally assessing them. I remember reading that at least one country (I'm not sure which one though) counted kills by engine number ie a 4 engine bomber counted as 4 kills. Now there are some good reasons for doing this but it does mess up comparisons that don't take it into account.
Karl Heidenreich wrote:lwd:
quality of equipment your probably better off looking at what happens when the average pilots meet
Yes, you´re right. While the German had outstanding pilots the allies had average pilots at the best. So, they need better planes.
In general all major western fighters (with the possible exception of the P-40) had LERs greater than one. That means they shot down more opponents than planes lost. Now if you take out the kills by say the pilots with more than 20 kills on both sides the western allies had a huge advantage. Is it pilots or planes or both? Of course many of the top German aces racked up their claims in the East as did the Finns hmm... could there be some correlation there? Then there is the fact that US fighter pilots had very few opportunities to engage German bombers but the Germans had lots of opportunities to engage allied bombers. Simply put the conditions are such that the number of aces and their kills is a poor indicator of the quality of pilots from one nation to the next.

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Re: Germany's Weapons in WWII

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:37 pm

lwd:
PLS try and understand what you read before you post it. The Germans didn't give fractional credits for one thing. So if several pilots got in on the kill the credit went to the senior pilot. In practice fromw what I've read this meant that wingmen very seldom got credit for kills. I've also seen discussions where it was brought up that at least one of the German "experten" got credit for more kills in one day that the British lost on that front during the same time.
That I can understand and it´s why I post this two days ago:
OK. Let´s say that the nazis lied to everybody. Then Eric Hartmann only shot down half those he claimed and that somehow USA didn´t account properly Bong´s score and he shot down three times as much. Still Hartmann outscores Bong 176 kills to 120. Still the German was 50% better than Bong.
But believe me, not even official US Air Force had contested the German top killers of WWII. That´s why a source of clearly western and liberal origin as wikipedia don´t dispute the number of kills.

I think we can move on because, whatever the final count:

Germany had the best pilots and planes
Germany had the best sub skippers (I´m not so sure about the subs, I believe USN had better ones)
Germany had the best tank commanders and tanks (Tiger, Panther)

And that´s it, I believe.
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Re: Germany's Weapons in WWII

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:43 pm

There is something else that I believe the Germans had better than everybody else but it´s really political incorrect to say it. But now that we are in these arguments let´s say it:

The best, overall, armoured units in every front of the whole WWII are not only German but from the Waffen SS: the panzer divisions such as Totenkoft or Das Reich which serve and confronted the greatest and most violent enemy. We are talking of the wrath of the Soviet Union Red Army Tank Armies in places as Kharkov or Kursk, to mention only two. And there are accounts were a single Waffen SS Division did confront and defeat whole armies. The problem is that, being from SS, which were related to the units at the concentration camps, are the target of political and moral dilemas, good ones as a matter of fact.
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Re: Germany's Weapons in WWII

Post by lwd » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:03 am

Karl Heidenreich wrote: ...
That I can understand and it´s why I post this two days ago:
OK. Let´s say that the nazis lied to everybody. Then Eric Hartmann only shot down half those he claimed and that somehow USA didn´t account properly Bong´s score and he shot down three times as much. Still Hartmann outscores Bong 176 kills to 120. Still the German was 50% better than Bong.
No it means he shot down more planes than Bong. Bong may actually have been a better pilot (or not). Kills are a function of skill, the plane, and opertunity. The German pilots had much greater opportunities so even a German of somewhat lesser skill flying a plane that was not quite as good as the P-38 could expect to have a higher score especially if he was flying on the eastern front.
...
Germany had the best pilots and planes
Just looking at all the missions fighters had to perform in WWII if you use equal weights and assign reasonable values to how well they would perform that mission then the German planes won't come up on top. They will suffer in the long range bomber escort and carrier operations missions. As for the best pilots while the Germans may have had the highest scoring aces if you look at the results of fighter vs fighter combats on the western front I think you'll find that they lost more than they won.
Germany had the best sub skippers (I´m not so sure about the subs, I believe USN had better ones)
US subs had to operate in different conditions. Operating in the North Atlantic vs the British and later US the German subs were probably better. By the same token operating vs the Japanese in the Pacific the Germans were probably better. As for commanders and crews. US and British ASW was much better than the Japanese so I would expect that the Germans were forced to become better in playing the ASW game than the US. Now whether or not that makes them better overall is an open question.
Germany had the best tank commanders and tanks (Tiger, Panther)...
None of the German tanks would have worked as well in US service as the Sherman did. Similarly I don't think any other tank produced by the Soviets would have done as good a job for them as the T-34 did. As for commanders and units there's a book called When odds were even that examines one of the few cases where the Germans and US forces went up against each other in a fluid battle where the numbers were approximately equal. I haven't got a copy or read it but I understand the US won fairly convincingly.

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