Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Non-naval discussions about the Second World War. Military leaders, campaigns, weapons, etc.
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Karl Heidenreich
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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Thu Mar 25, 2010 3:42 pm

Hey guys, my silence is due that we here are trying to connect our transformer and heat up all the electrical panels which has been more challenging than normal. As soon as this emergency is over I will answering.

lwd and VeenenbergR:

Lee and Veenenberg, I`m deeply moved by your comments, really. I must say that I have the greatest respect for all the members (with a likely sole exception) of this forum but must acknowledge that a lot of what I do know now I have learned here. Discussion helps a lot and, indeed reading is not sufficient. All of us must be gratefull with José Rico and this forum.

Bgile,

I know that lately I have been overly and unnecesary hostile so I apologyse, again, for being such an asshole. I respect you a lot, man.

Best regards and write as soon as posible,

Karl
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by VeenenbergR » Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:52 pm

IWD wrote
I simplly can't believe this is correct. Indeed didn't the Soviets loose more men that the Germans in even the final battle for Berlin?
Iwd, you really are a crack on naval warfare but about landwarfare you have to study more statistics AND analyze the which way battle losses in certain circumstances
are computed.

Bagration: about the same losses but Germans lost more irreplacable losses (POW) than the Soviets.The Germans lost almost 350.000 men with a large percentage KIA and MIA. Soviet losses about the same, but wounded instead of POWS.

France summer 44: German losses 360.000 of which 100.000+ KIA (same number op POW's) so at least 200.000 irreplacable losses; Allied losses 300.000 of which 75.000 were KIA.

Moldavia/Kishinev: Soviets lost 60% of German losses but Germans lost more than twice irreplacable losses than the Soviets. The Germans lost almost 200.000 men with a very large percentage(95%) KIA and MIA

The great offensive in Poland january, february and march 1945: the Germans lost almost 500.000 men with a very large percentage KIA and MIA. Soviet losses were less......................

Ost-Preussen/Königsberg/ Samland offensives: he Germans lost almost 300.000 men with a large percentage KIA and MIA. Soviet losses were about 125% of the German losses: 375.000.

Kurland battles 1945: the only area that the Soviets lost more men than the Germans (16th and 18th armies). German losses were around 60-75.000. Soviet losses: twice that amount.

Berlin & Brandenburg:
The 3 Fronts of the Soviets in the battle of Berlin altoghether lost some 360.000 men of which 80.000 were KIA. The Germans lost about 500.000 men of which 125.000 were KIA.
This apart from severe civilian losses (according to Wiki 125.000 alone in Berlin).
Others sources call 22.000 military death of the 56th Panzer Corps in Berlin (there were 60.000 defenders, including Volkssturm, Marine Infantery and Hitlerjugend) and a same number of civililans. But that is only the city of Berlin. As all now know the defenses near Küstrin, Seelow also cost a number of casualties (10.000 KIA) and the 80-100.000 in the Halbe pocket lost about 25.000 to 30.000 soldiers in the famous breakout attempts (24.000 soldiers are burried at Halbe Waldfriedhof). 3rd Panzer Army in the North (Felix Steiner) and 12th Army (Wenck) South West of Berlin and 4th panzer Army in the South all lost between 10 and 20.000 KIA.

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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by Bgile » Thu Mar 25, 2010 6:56 pm

Karl,

None of us is immune to emotional reactions, and I understand that. I'm certainly not. My country has been at war almost continuously since 1941 in one way or another, and I'm very much in tune to what is going on in the various world hot spots. The USA gets criticized for pretty much everything we do, and it's hard to imagine it being any other way. We get criticized if we attack someone and criticized if we don't. We are the favorite target for pretty much everyone's rhetoric, and sometimes I let that affect me in this forum more than it should.

When someone says or implies that our military was second rate in WW2, it's hard not to apply that to every conflict since, including our current involvement in the various hot spots of the world. The guys who fought and died in WW2 were from the same stock as the guys who are fighting and dieing right now in Afghanistan, but to some people they are always going to be second rate in every way compared to the exalted Germans of WW2.

I've written a number of posts in response to some of what I thought were the most egregious stuff over the last few weeks but deleted them before submission. Some people are just not able to seriously consider other points of view, and attempting to approach the issue logically won't work and isn't worth the attempt.

What I keep telling myself is that I can still learn things here (and I do) and keep my own knowledge of the almost superhuman effort of some of our guys in the fight against Radical Islam to myself and not let the stuff here bother me. For the most part I'm successful but at times I'm a bit too close to it not to react inappropriately.

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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by VeenenbergR » Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:03 pm

Iwd
Singapore, Bataan, and Wake for a start.
And you DARE to compare those tiny insignificant places (at least Wake is!) with the huge Kessels of the Ostfront: Stalingrad 43, Minsk 44, Kishinev 44, Budapest 45, Heiligenbeil 45, Halbe 45 and Prague 45??? Each (except Budapest) with > 200.000 encircled men and losses almost up to the maximum?

Or the 2 huge Soviet encirclements of 1941? The Kiev and Vyazma pockets? Or the Kertsj and Charkow pockets of 1942?

R.

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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by VeenenbergR » Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:16 pm

Bgile: the equipment of the US army was NOT second rate to anyone.

The M10 and M36 Tank destroyers were most efficient and DID stop virtually all German armored counterattacks of 1944 and 1945. Especially the Panthers suffered from these tank killers.
With their Tungsten armour piercing shot and open turrets they were keen able to stop any Panther which showed his nose around a corner somewhere.

The Sherman was very effective against infantry strongholds. And there were many Shermans...........

US artillery was second to NONE in WWII. and there were many of them..........

US P47 and P51 rank among the very best fighters of WWII: the Thunderbolt was very very difficult to shoot down. They wrought havoc among the enemy.

The B29 was the best heavy bomber of WWII.

The US built the best Trucks and all infantry divisions were in fact all motorised infantry divisions. No army could say that ALL infantry was motorised.
If the Germans would have 50% of all their infantry motorised in 1941, they surely would have conquered the Soviet Union by the end of 1941.
Instead they had only 14 (15) divisions of motorised infantry. :kaput:

The Jeep........ :dance:

The multi-clip/shot Garand was a first rank rifle!! The best !

The warships were functonal in design but in each catagory (subs, destroyers, cruisers, battleships and aircraft carriers) were the most effective and efficient in each of the categories.

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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by boredatwork » Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:37 pm

VeenenbergR wrote:Iwd
Singapore, Bataan, and Wake for a start.
And you DARE to compare those tiny insignificant places (at least Wake is!) with the huge Kessels of the Ostfront: Stalingrad 43, Minsk 44, Kishinev 44, Budapest 45, Heiligenbeil 45, Halbe 45 and Prague 45??? Each (except Budapest) with > 200.000 encircled men and losses almost up to the maximum?

Or the 2 huge Soviet encirclements of 1941? The Kiev and Vyazma pockets? Or the Kertsj and Charkow pockets of 1942?

R.
You said "stress"
tension: (psychology) a state of mental or emotional strain or suspense; "he suffered from fatigue and emotional tension"; "stress is a vasoconstrictor"
Nowhere in the dictionary definition does it say that stress is dependent upon size.

If you didn't want comparissons based on what the average person would be considered "stressful" then maybe you should have been clearer what you meant rather than insult the memory of soldiers by dismissing their suffering because they weren't "fortunate" enough to have sacrificed their lives in a battle that VeenenbergR deems worthy of praise.
Last edited by boredatwork on Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by lwd » Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:40 pm

VeenenbergR wrote:Iwd
Singapore, Bataan, and Wake for a start.
And you DARE to compare those tiny insignificant places (at least Wake is!) ....
Yes and why not? You were talking about suffering. Armies don't suffer people do. Again WHAT IS YOUR POINT? None of this is relevant to the title of this thread or 99% of the discussion here.

Now that I think about it size is completely irrelvant to my response. You said the US and Britian had not experianced the sort of thing Germany had. Quite clearly they did.

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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by lwd » Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:49 pm

VeenenbergR wrote:Bgile: the equipment of the US army was NOT second rate to anyone.
By the time we were in the war arguably true. In 1939 not so true.
...
The warships were functonal in design but in each catagory (subs, destroyers, cruisers, battleships and aircraft carriers) were the most effective and efficient in each of the categories.
I wouldn't say most effective and efficient in each catagory. They ranked right up there most of the time if you are talking about the newer vessels. But ships like the Omaha's and 4 stackers were hardly first line equipment at the time not to mention the Langley....

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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by tommy303 » Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:59 pm

And you DARE to compare those tiny insignificant places (at least Wake is!) with the huge Kessels of the Ostfront: Stalingrad 43, Minsk 44, Kishinev 44, Budapest 45, Heiligenbeil 45, Halbe 45 and Prague 45??? Each (except Budapest) with > 200.000 encircled men and losses almost up to the maximum?
I would not say that to someone that was there. While scale may be an important ruler for historians to judge an event and its impact on the course of events to which it was a part, it is really rather meaningless when reduced the mental and physical suffering of the individuals. Does it really matter, in human terms if it is a few hundred, a few thousand, a few tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands? Maybe to the statisticians these places pale to insignificance, but not to the men involved or their families at home I suspect not.
All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated...As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness....No man is an island, entire of itself...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.John Donne, 1624.

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood and Earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned these defended;
And saved the sum of things for pay.

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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by Bgile » Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:02 pm

VeenenbergR wrote:Iwd
Singapore, Bataan, and Wake for a start.
And you DARE to compare those tiny insignificant places (at least Wake is!) with the huge Kessels of the Ostfront: Stalingrad 43, Minsk 44, Kishinev 44, Budapest 45, Heiligenbeil 45, Halbe 45 and Prague 45??? Each (except Budapest) with > 200.000 encircled men and losses almost up to the maximum?

Or the 2 huge Soviet encirclements of 1941? The Kiev and Vyazma pockets? Or the Kertsj and Charkow pockets of 1942?

R.
VR,

Maybe if you were there you wouldn't consider them insignificant. It's hard to imagine that the Russians treated German soldiers any worse.

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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by VeenenbergR » Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:29 pm

Sorry guys, that I could not convince you of the gigantic struggles and disasters of WWII, I always was so deeply moved and fascinated by.
As a boy I did read Stalingrad through the eyes of the German author "Carell" (Barbarossa) and because he wrote "in a way you were there" I felt sympathy for the ones which fought so far from home and became trapped in a nightmare scenario of gigantic proportions. What interested me most was why the Germans never could take the famous "Oven" (Halle 4) of the Red Oktober factory.
One building which could not be occupied because of its enormous strength and underground labyrinth through which the Soviets poured in their reinforcements when it became dark........
You would argue then what the hell on earth they were doing there and that they rightly were punished by the ones which they intended to conquer.
And ok yoy are right. But.......most soldiers were mislead (by Hitler) or forced into the war by the Nazi Regime. An last but not least they were human beings .......
War is a develish and frightful thing: humans turn into murdering machines, mostly because they have no alternative.
A deadly embrace until one side gives in or is beaten.

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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by tommy303 » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:26 pm

You don't have to convince us of the suffering or the scale. This is something that we already know. All we are saying is that while the huge cataclysmic battles you cite have more men involved, the suffering of the individuals in one of those is not unlike the suffering of an individual on Corregidorr, Wake, Singapore, etc..To call the suffering, terror, and sacrifice of a handful of men at Wake Island insignificant compared to the suffering terror and sacrifice of thousands somewhere else does a terrible injustice to their memories. Put a german survivor from one of your big east front battles together with a US survivor of Corregidor, and those two vets will know what the other went through.

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood and Earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned these defended;
And saved the sum of things for pay.

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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by Bgile » Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:55 pm

I think you would find that what the USMC went through at places like Iwo Jima was every bit as bad as Stalingrad. The battles didn't last as long, but they were terrible in their ferocity and brutality. Naval gunfire and air support failed to reduce the defenders very much, even after three days of it. They were too well dug in. They didnt' surrender, and each cave and bunker had to be reduced, and they had interlocking fields of fire.

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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by VeenenbergR » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:14 pm

Tommy and Bgile. Allright then, that is true and I am fully aware of the frigtfull battles which were fought also in the battles of a lesser scale than "The great Eastern Front pockets".

Each campaing had its "highpoints" were the fighting became pitched dark and very intensive. Both by the way the artillery or a carpet bombing devastated the whole area in short time or the aur was so full of bullits that even a mosquito would be killed. House to house fighting or fighting for dugged in defenders is also most intensive and rich of casualties: The Pacific strongholds, the German cities, villages, forests and strongholds along the West Wall, the mountains in Italy, the cauldron battles on the Eastern Front and the battle for the big cities: Stalingrad, Warsawa, Budapest, Breslau and Berlin.

Brest, Cherbourg, Brest-Litovsk, Metz, Toulon, Colmar, Aachen, Geilenkirchen, Sevastopol (3x), Berlin, Breslau, Königsberg, Danzig/Gotenhafen, Pillau, Kolberg, San Pietro, Monte Casino, Ortona, Anzio, Longstop Hill, Monte Lungo, Cherkassy/Gniloy Tikisch, Stalingrad, Cholm, Sinjavino, Bubruisk, Orsja, Ostrava, Budapest, Brody, Warsawa. Peleliu, Iwo-Jima, Okinawa, Corregidor aso. These all were very intensive and costly battles.

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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by Bgile » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:06 pm

I think it's well known that city fighting in all those places you chose to list just now wasn't as bad as at Stalingrad, and it wasn't as bad as the Pacific Islands because the defenders would actually retreat or surrender rather than fight to the death.

I'd also like to point out that nowhere but in the Pacific did anyone have to deal with human controlled guided missiles on a massive scale. The allied fleets had to deal with small scale guided bomb attacks. The British population had to deal with missile attacks.

Every army and navy had their travails, and if you were there, they could be very bad. The Germans lost the war, so naturally the end casualties were much higher than anyone except for the Russians, who lost by far the most.

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