Started by tbone0106, July 15, 2012, 06:28:49 AM
Quote from: tbone0106 on July 19, 2012, 01:35:33 PMAnd what, exactly, is wrong with that?
Quote from: Possumpoint on July 20, 2012, 10:28:31 PMI've heard it said that we were able to defeat our enemies in WWII because our industrial base and transportation system was never attacked. We could out produce the materials of war and supply both our troops and our allies. Our problem was protecting our supply lines. Europe and Japan didn't have the protection. Once our supply lines were secured, it was a war of attrition.
Quote from: mdgiles on July 23, 2012, 05:56:03 AMThe US assumed it would have to fight across oceans, so it designed ships, planes and other methods to do so. The Germans and Japanese never seem to have made that intellectual leap. Hitler for example, from the first wanted to go to war against the Soviet Union, but never designed bombers capable of striking deep into his potential target. He never mechanized his army to allow it to cross the great distances involved. The Japanese went to war with a nation on the other side of the Pacific, but seem to have given no thought to the logistics involved in striking the US. Again, no long ranged bombers. No logistics train for their fleet. Few troops specially trained, with special equipment to land on islands. They also should have stopped on the way and seized Midway on the way back from Pearl Harbor. And - for the 59 millionth time - how could an island nation neglect anti submarine warfare! Plus a few bombing raids on California, and the hue and cry to bring our forces back to defend and fight against the Japanese would have made the Germany first policy untenable.
Quote from: tbone0106 on August 18, 2012, 02:33:28 PMYeah, Hitler and Co. never figured out the difference between "strategic" and "tactical." They were forever stuck on "tactical." One example: the never-ending insistence on every new aircraft being able to dive-bomb. The Ju-88 was a damn fine medium to long-range bomber, but was crippled by the dive-bombing requirement. Even the world-changing Me-262, the first ever operational jet fighter, was delayed and shackled by the same inane mandate -- the ability to dive-bomb.This is what top-down command gets you every time. In a general sense, this is the attitude that resulted in the Vietnam mess.
Quote from: mdgiles on August 22, 2012, 04:07:59 AMYou mean things like American planes not having guns, because some Pentagon whiz kid decided the "era of dogfights was over" - until it wasn't. How about arming our planes with missiles that didn't lock on until a certain range, and then requiring that our planes be inside that range to make visual identification. Which made the missiles worse than useless. How about replacing our rifles with a new one - when all the bugs hadn't been worked out yet - because it was cheaper and McNamara was a bottom line guy.
Quote from: Foreigner on August 22, 2012, 12:13:07 PMHere in Germany one of the things people criticize at least non-publicly is the bombing of Dresden when the war was already pretty much over.I'm not a WW2 expert, but I guess that was mainly the British, wasn't it?Also, from a human point of view, I even think that revenge was emotionally justified.From an ethic point of view, though, that was probably wrong.Oh, and if we're talking about strategic bombing in Europe, I'd like to put something else here: The lack of bombing of rail roads to the concentration camps. Not that I think those were intentionally not bombed, but I have to admit that my grandma sometimes implied just that, saying "If the Americans knew about such things, why didn't they bomb those railways?".Now I know that my grandma is honestly quite uneducated when it comes to politics. But I never asked any American for an opinion on that stuff. And who knows, maybe that is an legitimate question after all?Since when did the US know about the concentration camps anyway? I honestly don't know.
Quote from: Foreigner on August 30, 2012, 12:21:03 PMAlright, thanks for your replies you two. Interesting stuff.I still doubt that the bombing of Dresden the way it happened happened just for military reasons, but I still need to do some research on this.What I didn't know, though, was that the risk of Americans bombers was that high. All I know is that my dad's father was forced to help operating one of those huge cannons we used to shoot down your planes when he was just 16 years of age, but that was here in western Germany, not over there near Dresden.On the other hand, if you would have known what was actually happening to Jewish people over here, I still like to believe that you would have done something about it. I get that you don't want to risk your soldiers' lives without a good reason, but in my opinion you risked those lives for far less good reasons, at least after WW2. Also to me America has always been about heroes, growing up with Hollywood movies and stuff. Sure, Hollywood is just Hollywood... but it's an important part of America that's going out to the world and inspires lots of people.I think Americans under-estimate their power, when it comes to this kind of inspiration. I know of young people in Iran, for example, who like the kind of American culture they see on TV or the internet a lot (they probably copy and spread this stuff illegally on CDs and thumb drives due to censorship). Now if the way they experience America in real life is completely different, those people may turn their backs on America and possibly on all of western civilization. So I'd like to see you guys living up to it, you know. It matters more than you think.
Quote from: mdgiles on August 31, 2012, 03:52:15 AMI've always found it fascinating the things civilians, with absolutely no personal knowledge of war, feel willing to risk soldiers lives for. For example the movie "Saving Private Ryan" has always enraged me. as an former Marine, sending all those men out on a mercy mission was stupid. As for your father having to operate anti aircraft guns at 16, that was the result of the German people allowing themselves to be taken in by a bunch of madmen. And foreigners liking American culture is all well and good, but that doesn't mean we should risk soldiers lives to spread it. The fact of the matter is that the death camps weren't military targets in most cases. So attacking them would have made no military sense. In reality the only thing that bothers me about the Air War over Germany is that the B-29 and the A-bomb weren't ready a year earlier. Think of how many lives would have been saved had they been able to A-Bomb Hitler's eastern headquarters in July 1944.
Quote from: tbone0106 on August 31, 2012, 05:03:28 AMB-29s and A-bombs would certainly have ended the war in Europe a whole lot sooner. But the B-17s and B-24s in service at the time could easily have reached and carpet-bombed the Wolfsschanze in July 1944. They didn't simply because we didn't know where it was.
QuoteFWIW, Saving Private Ryan was, I've always thought, a cheap Hollywood vehicle for Tom Hanks, and nothing more. It wasn't based on any true story, and, as you point out, it made no damn sense at all. An extrapolation of The Fighting Sullivans story, it was just sentimental hogwash.
QuoteForeigner, we make movies and write books about things for very good reasons. Consider "Memphis Belle" for instance. The book was written, the movie was made, and the plane was remembered because it got from England to Germany and back 25 times -- an incredibly rare and difficult achievement. Your grandfather was very good with his 88-mm Flugzeugabwehrkanone. He and his like shot down our bombers wholesale. You have reason to be proud, and so do we.