Tanking It

Note: No podcast this week. The day job has consumed almost all of my time, so I was unable to put anything together. I’ll be back next week.

While burning the midnight oil on a project, I put on a documentary about the evolution of the battle tank in World War II. It was free on Amazon and it looks like it was done by the Brits, as all of the experts were British. Most of it was archival footage, so maybe it was made by an American company. Most of these things are just bits from prior shows cobbled together with a new narrator. As documentaries go, it was mediocre, but it made noise and it was free, so it was good company while I was working on other things.

One interesting thing about tank evolution that never gets mentioned in America is just how good the Soviets were at making tanks. The Germans are always assumed to have been the great tank builders, followed by the Americans, but it was the Russians who dominated the field in the tank game. Russian tanks were fast, powerful and easy to operate by their crews. Most important, they were reliable in all weather. The Russians assumed they would be fighting in horrible conditions and built a tank for it.

The Germans, in contrast, made one error after another when it came to tank design and tank building. They were obsessed with coming up with the biggest, most powerful tank, rather than making lots of good enough tanks. The result was lots of innovative designs, but most were failures and there was never enough of them. The Panzer IV was a very good tank with a platform that was flexible, but the Germans kept trying to come up with a super tank, rather than make lots of these. That was a costly error.

The American tank, which was used by the British, was not a great tank, but they were cheap and reliable, which meant there were loads of them. It was also a flexible platform for all sorts of other uses. The Sherman tank was about using the two advantages the Americans had over the Germans. One was more industry and the other was more soldiers. The plan was to beat the Germans with volume. While it would take five Sherman tanks to take out a German tank, that was math that worked in favor of the Americans.

This conflict between the perfect and the good enough showed up in many places during the war. The Germans seemed to look at the whole thing as an engineering project. The first step was to accept the restraints and then solve for the variables. The Russian and American view was always to limit the constraints and thereby increase the number of possible right answers. The Germans had much better human capital, but their opponents always had many more choices. They also had numbers, which counts for a lot.

When you apply this conflict between the perfect and the good enough to modern warfare, the American military looks a lot like the Germans. The quest for the perfect fighter jet has led to the F-35 boondoggle. Instead of pouring billions into these white elephants, the money could be used to build swarms of cheap drones, but no one is getting rich from making cheap and useful military gear. The same thing is true with sea power. American warships are technical masterpieces, but probably useless in a real war.

This comparison raises the question that perhaps there is a parallel between the state of human capital in the American elite and the German elite during the war. The German soldiers were the best in the world, but the people further up the line were not the best tacticians. At the upper reaches, the strategist were terrible in all sorts of ways, starting with Hitler, who was laughably inept at running a war. Winning was never an option, but the Germans could have avoided total obliteration if they had better leaders.

The blame for this is always put on Hitler and that’s a good place to start, but the Germans had a brain power problem throughout the planning layer. This is obvious in how they went about making tanks. Instead of going for a tank that was cheap and easy to produce by a civilian workforce, they tried to build tanks that were complex and required specialists to produce. The effects of allied bombing raids were amplified by this strategic blunder in production planning. This is a very basic error in planning and execution.

One possible cause of this was that the middle-aged men who would have been sorting these production and design problems had died during the Great War. The German army tended to “use up” their units, rather than cycle them in and out of lines. That meant that a lot of experience with supply and logistics was lost in the trenches. The British and the Americans rotated units in an out of the lines, thus they came out of the war with a vast number of people with experience in the nuts and bolts of war fighting.

The current ruling class needs the Germans to be seen as the ultimate in super villains, but the truth is the Germans were dumb about a lot of important things. The Russians came up with slopped armor, for example, and the Germans never bothered to steal the idea, even after Kursk. The Germans got their hands on the Churchill tank, but never bothered to learn anything from it. They never learned from the Americans how to use communications to coordinate their artillery and their armor.

In many respects, the story of the tank in the war is a great proxy for the story of human capital and cultural intelligence. The Germans had the best trained military on earth, but they lacked human capital in the strategy and tactics layer. Either the culture was unable to produce it or there was simply not enough smart people to create the necessary smart fraction. That was ultimately why the Germany was wiped from the map. It’s probably why no new culture has arisen from that place on the map either.

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Felix_Krull

It’s not like the Germans never thought of sloped armour, rather than decide the boxy model was superior: yes, it was easier to penetrate, but the stability of the chassis was increased.

Bruce humphrey
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Bruce humphrey

everyone knew about sloped armor after WW1. it was a design decision. you lose a tremendous amount of inside space from sloped armor. the T34-76 was very cramped and as a result had a poor reload time. the Soviets and Germans merged in later designs, sloping front armor and not on sides. ex. panther and t44

Mr. Xloveli
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Mr. Xloveli

We live in the age of the Great American Peace, the Pax Americana. America’s preferred tank today being the M1A1, it has an across-the-line superiority in helicopters, tanks, jet fighters, carriers and the following, Click Here to see.

Juri
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Juri

About Pax Americana, people living in Former Yugoslavia, Afganistan, Iraq,Yemen Chetchnia , Georgia, Ukraine, Syria, Libya and so on , honestly disagree . How many drug deaths, suicides, immigrant violence victims and the rest of Cultural Marxism victims was saved by this absolutely useless tank ?

Kruton
Member

World wide violence has gone down every year since the collapse of the USSR! Thank you !

David Davenport
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David Davenport

Here’s the forefather of the T-34, the Model 1931 Christie tank, designed by the extremely unSlavic J. Walter Christie.

Christie M1931

Christie tried to sell his design to the US AS Army, but failed.

Member

It was more immediately the progenitor of the BT series, which were deathtraps. The Christie suspension was a dead end, and not the reason for the T-34’s success.

David Davenport
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David Davenport
David Davenport
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David Davenport
Member

Nope. More spam Here’s the actual link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98JbJuXE3JE

Member

Spam. Maybe unintentional spam (bad link?), but spam.

Member

The cramped turret of the T34-76 was not because its armor was sloped, otherwise the T34-85 would have been equally cramped.

Wilbur Hassenfus
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Wilbur Hassenfus

It’s broadly true that German tank thinking in that war has been overrated. However, the Panther and the Tiger II had sloped armor. So did the Hetzer, Jagdpanther, Jagdtiger, and many other TDs and assault guns. The Panther was specifically designed to one-up the T-34. The Germans didn’t think of sloped armor, but when they saw it, they knew a good thing. The wartime penchant for gigantism was real, and gave them a lot of trouble with vehicles that were too heavy for the technology of the day. Prewar, the panzers III and IV were designed like the Sherman to… Read more »

David Davenport
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David Davenport

Here’s the ancestor of the T-34, designed by American J. Walter Christie:comment image&exph=696&expw=928&q=christie+m1931+tank&selectedindex=1&cbir=sbi&ajaxhist=0&vt=0

Member

“Stability of the chassis” is an issue, how? Thick welded steel plate doesn’t flex.

On the other hand, width can be limited by rail transport considerations. So side slope limits interior space when that happens.

John
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John

I want to say it was a Hastings book (Retribution maybe) that discussed how Japan never changed either. They had good troops and Bushido and all that but never updated their tech, At the beginning of the war with the US, it was Zeros versus a P40 Warhawk maybe. At the end it was Zeros (what was left of them) versus Corsairs and Hellcats. They both believed the superiority of their tribe would win the day I guess.

Mike
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Mike

I read a book on the training of Japanese fighter pilots. The selection and training process was as stringent as any I’ve ever read about. Pilots had to have vision strong enough to point out stars and planets in the daytime sky. This produced small numbers of truly exceptional pilots. The U.S. on the other hand aimed at a process that produced a lot of pretty good pilots. The Japanese dominated early on, but the Americans kept replacing the pilots it lost. Japan would not lower its standards and so could not.

Calsdad
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Calsdad

The Americans also rotated out their best combat trained pilots back to the US to train more pilots. The Japanese did not do this. So when the Americans started killing off the highly trained and highly experienced Japanese pilots (they had been fighting long before the Americans entered the war) – the Japanese had no reserve of knowledge and experience to fall back upon to train new pilots.

Mcleod
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Mcleod

Granddad was an engineer for Douglass during the war and the story I was told by the old man was that they had a captured Zero they were inspecting and granddad was scared to walk under it for fear that it would fall apart on top of him. True/not true? Doesn’t matter, it makes a good story.

Drdog
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Drdog

He was right. US got their hands on a fully intact zero right after midway.

pdxr13
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pdxr13

Mitsubishi Zero were very-light (stripped of protection for the pilot, lacking redundant systems), giving them excellent climbing and good fuel economy. Not good at taking hits like heavy-slow US aircraft. No free lunch.
Did the Imperial Army choose this strategy, or were they forced into it by iron/steel shortages? The Germans had shortages of everything, and developed ersatz for almost everything, even orange soda “Fanta”.

Member

Well, the Imperial ARMY had nothing to do with the development of the Mitsubishi NAVY Type 0 fighter. And the “strategy” was dictated by the need for range in the Pacific.

Toddy Cat
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Toddy Cat

One reason for the similarities might be the “Wehrmacht Worship” so common in the US Military right now. Not admiration for Nazism, far, far from it, but the idea that the German Army of WWII was the ne plus ultra of military machines, and that the only reason that they lost was that they were outnumbered. You can see this obsession with the Wehrmacht in everything from our tactical doctrine to the composition of divisions to the shape of our helmets to our obsession with superweapons. This in spite of the fact that Hitler himself thought that the German Army… Read more »

Al from da Nort
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Al from da Nort

Toddy; You must understand that the so-called ‘Wehrmacht worship’ is a polemic device in ongoing factional fighting within the US Ground Forces. ‘The Maneuver Warfare Faction’, largely composed of tankers, is the one forwarding it. They admire the Wehrmacht’s demonstrated tactical flexibility at the small unit level and their development of junior officers to be able to conduct wide-ranging mobile operations. It could be highly effective, as the Wehrmacht demonstrated, against a large peer competitor land army opponent. The Counter-Insurgency Faction, largely composed by special forces and infantry folk do not participate in such worship. In fact, while they agree… Read more »

Toddy Cat
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Toddy Cat

Very interesting – thanks for the insight.

Primi Pilus
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Primi Pilus

Fascinating history: Stormtroop Tactics – Innovation in the German Army, 1914-1918; Gudmundsson; 1989. Supports the notion of the (evolved) superiority of the WWI German army. Also shows that the word “stormtrooper” has been sorely abused in allied culture.

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

My uncle designed the production lines for the Mustang fighter, specifically the cockpit. To help, the USAF even sent a captured Messerschmitt for examination to the plant. I can’t comment on tanks, but it seems the German Luftwaffe was the epitome of thrift wrt their fighters. Basically, an oil pressure gauge, altimeter, fuel and airspeed gauge. Even the seat was bare metal with a sheep skin tied to it. The spec’s for the Mustage were an order of magnitude greater and my uncle judged that it took dozens of man hours more to produce the Mustage cockpit on the line… Read more »

Member

Nope. The Japanese didn’t update their tech because they were incapable of updating their tech at anything like the pace the rate the Americans could. But see https://www.quora.com/Did-Japan-have-a-replacement-for-the-Mitsubishi-A6M-Zero-if-they-did-what-happened-to-it

erp
Member

The reason: they destroyed the very people who could have seen the flaws. The great German thinkers were Jews.

Stephen Macevicz
Member

How is that working out for us?

erp
Member

Don’t understand the question? If you mean the US has turned the public schools into lefty propaganda dispensers, then I agree.

Stephen Macevicz
Member

That, and what is described in Mearsheimer and Walt’s book on the Israeli lobby. As c matt says, they are definitely cunning thinkers; now, if I could only believe that we were all on the same team.

erp
Member

Cunning?

Member

New here? Another Guest has Jews on the brain, as do a number of loons here.

erp
Member

If your reply is to me, I was questioning the use of the word, cunning, in the previous comment. Hence the use of the ? .

I don’t have Jews on the brain, but I would like to have an explanation of the reasoning that says in print in a public forum that people who’ve been forced out of their homes and countries and been slaughtered since biblical times to the present are seen by people with access to the internet as “cunning”?

Guzalot
Guest
Guzalot

German Jews got us atomic bombs to end the war and eventually the Apollo program. I’d say that worked out pretty well.

Flame away.

slumlord
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slumlord

Hapsburg Jews actually.

Member

Ashkenazi Jews, actually. There is no such thing as a “Hapsburg Jew”.

c matt
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c matt

I tend to agree. When it comes to war planning, strategy, etc. there are few tribes more adept than the Jews. Definitely cunning thinkers.

erp
Member

If you are referring to Israel, there’s nothing that sharpens the mind better than a billion enemies at your border.

Nathan
Guest

How does one end up with “a billion enemies” in the first place?

ensitue
Guest
ensitue

be non-muslim

pdxr13
Guest
pdxr13

Hey! I’m a non-Muslim. There’s a mosque down the way so I can go get me some infidel goyim hate.

erp
Member

Well it’s a long story that I’m pretty sure you know. If not, Google history of the Jews and why the left panders to Islam.

JimP
Guest
JimP

Funny how post war Germany didn’t need “great thinkers” to become a world class economy and exporter.

erp
Member

No? They lucked out when Germany was split in two and we poured gazillions into West Germany, rebuilt the country and provided military protection from the Soviets.

JimP
Guest
JimP

So how come we pour gazillions into the other 95% of the globe and get zero ROI?

The Germans have their worth in some areas.

Lorenzo
Guest
Lorenzo

@Jim P The Germans are extremely worthy in most areas, but choosing who to chase out of their country and who to let in is not their strong point.

Member

It was before WW2.

Lorenzo
Guest
Lorenzo

It was still dumb.

Moran ya Simba
Guest
Moran ya Simba

“The Germans are extremely worthy in most areas, but choosing who to chase out of their country and who to let in is not their strong point.”

That’s a money quote lol

pdxr13
Guest
pdxr13

They would have done fine without the list of undesirables inside of Germany, especially without a total war to wreck the economy. You don’t need Jews to make jewelry or have a “sophisticated” economy, just like you don’t need Gypsies to get your pockets picked, or celebrated homosexuals to make films. The presence of “The Other” reduces trust in society, and low-trust societies suuuuuuck. Normal Germans can do all of these things AND preserve their society with overly-perfected machines (BMW M5 & MBZ OM-617a in a 300D). The Germans were going to fix France, make peace with the UK, then… Read more »

Member

“The Germans were going to fix France, make peace with the UK, then go home.”

That’s not what Hitler said in Mein Kampf, never mind the inferiority of the indigenous bratwurst in the areas he intended should become lebensraum.

erp
Member

What ROI do we get from Germany — other than condescension, I mean?

pdxr13
Guest
pdxr13

High-IQ mechanical engineers, who are also somewhat borderline autistic geniuses who can focus on the task very well. You can’t just go buy that in China.

erp
Member

Why not? I thought Chinese have the highest IQ’s in the world. I mistrust those tests for lots of reasons, mostly lots of chicanery among the low IQ geniuses in academe.

ensitue
Guest
ensitue

Germans average 110 IQ, 3rd world nations; 70s to 90s. Do the math

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

There is a book, “Hitler’s Jews” (IIRC) that outlines the number of Jews given “dispensation” in order to fight for Germany in the war—many in front line combat units. Not specific to the JQ as we discuss it, but an interesting read. At least I found it interesting in that so many Jews could ignore the obvious threat they faced and still promote the interests of such a hostile society they lived in.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

Beyond the 35000 juden in the military and 1500 in the officer class, I suspect the propagandists, financiers, secret police, business council, and other top-level decision makers were also overrepresented by “great minds”. Looking at the pictures of the propagandists, Heydrich, Himmler, Goebbels or Goering (I get em mixed up, so piss off)- they have the genetic tell, the low, slungback ears. Can’t be camoflagued, as shabbos/crypto Mengele was trying to do. (He remained free and unprosecuted until his death in 1992, yes, the boogeyman himself.) Oddly, after the war, who controlled Germany? The patriotic, nationalist Sephardi had been shipped… Read more »

Member

You are a loon.

Calsdad
Guest
Calsdad

This is patently bullshit. The Germans kept innovating right up until the end of WW2. The Jews had long since been removed from the population and sent off to the camps. There’s a good series about the development of tanks starting in WW1 on Netflix right now. I believe it’s a French series. One of the key things they point out about German vs. Russian tanks – was that the German tanks were over-engineered vs the Russian tanks. The Russians RELENTLESSLY streamlined the production and design of the T-34 – to the point where they evaluated whether it was worth… Read more »

Rod1963
Guest

This is spot on. The Germans kept innovating up until the end. They didn’t need Jews at all.

Member

Not having Jews didn’t help them get the Bomb, which is the only way they weren’t going to lose the war.

erp
Member

This is on par with the great myth of Soviet military strength that collapsed as soon as Reagan called their bluff.

Things will be very different when Trump calls the bluff of the one worlders.

Steven G Johnson
Guest
Steven G Johnson

If. Not when. I love Trump, but he doesn’t seem to share my idea of who the enemy is.

erp
Member

What do you think he’s doing right now. He doesn’t need to send in the marines, although everyone knows they’re available at his nod.

Baron
Guest
Baron

One detail that gets overlooked, was critical, Calsdad, is the German tanks were padded, they burnt quickly if hit, the Russians were not, the crew wore padded hats.

Member

Russian tanks burned just fine. When tanks burn it’s not “padding” that’s burning. And, no, German tanks weren’t anyway particularly “padded”. Look at the inside-the-tank explorations on The_Chieftain’s YouTube channel.

Nathan
Guest

If you’re familiar at all with German cars, you can see the parallels. BMW and VW have clever engineering, but they’re overcomplicated at the expense of price, durability/serviceability.

pdxr13
Guest
pdxr13

Chrysler Corporation products suffered from German mechanical complexification during the overseas ownership. Cool looks, but what about the Slant-6/318/440 six-pack? Fiat understands resurrected zombie-cool muscle cars and brought back the Rapid Transit System of 1970.

Landroll
Guest
Landroll

Regards your comment about Russian manufacturing processes. I’ve worked on Russian equipment military equipment built as late as the mid nineties. They do not waste time machining surfaces that do not require plane surfaces. Casting flash and sand mould stipling on surfaces is left if not required to be removed for operation. Panels are all match drilled so vehicles generally can not have panels swapped between them during maintenance. Lots of little stuff like that but all just good enough.

Lorenzo
Guest
Lorenzo

I don’t know about “great thinkers, but Germany, Italy and the central European countries that Hitler conquered produced the scientists who fathered the atomic, and later Hydrogen bombs. He chased them out but kept the tank engineers, thus choosing poorly.

Boarwild
Guest
Boarwild

Very true.

Monty James
Guest

If you have time, this is an interesting lecture on the design, production, and doctrinal choices made which resulted in the Sherman–US AFV Development in WW2, or, “Why the Sherman was what it was”:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwIlrAosYiM&t=5113s

Two more about the Sherman:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udnEpV160zU&list=PLEAEU2gs2Nz9w0BfANdoClKtK6jTM1gIN

and the T-34-85:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCSh8aS1_D0&list=PLEAEU2gs2Nz9Sb-MmrP09kKsCW387X6Ea

Federalist
Guest
Federalist

“No podcast this week.”
NOOOOOOO!

Larkin Lover
Guest
Larkin Lover

Interesting, and probably true, but I wonder to what degree there has been an active repression of German culture and ideas in the post war period? In addition to the fact that east Germany was behind the iron curtain for much of the post war twentieth century. I know that German poets have complained that they are left out of anthologies and books, presumably because of lingering anger about the nazi period. Germany is still the powerhouse of Europe economically, so to me this argues that there remains a formidable smart set there.

Da Booby
Guest

“…but the truth is the Germans were dumb about a lot of important things.”

Well, now that US courts have ruled t’s unconstitutional to exclude women from the draft I guess Uncle Sam’s got the Germans beat in the “dumb” department.

Western decadence has finally come home to roost:

https://theredfootedbooby.com/2019/02/26/in-the-news-u-s-federal-court-rules-women-are-not-exempt-from-registering-for-the-draft/

Mike
Guest
Mike

I thought the Germans did apply sloped armor to their Panther tanks, at least in the front? I think at the tactical level the Germans did fairly well, they just didn’t have the ability to see the bigger picture, so no matter how well the fought they were doomed to lose. The May 1940 invasion of France was pretty bold and clever, yet they didn’t finish off the Allied army in Dunkirk when they could have. I’ve been watching “The Greatest Story Never Told” and one thing the doc claims is that Hitler believed that with the Molotov Ribbentrop pact… Read more »

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

“I always wondered why the British only declared war on the Germans but not the Russians.”

That is a damn good question.

Boarwild
Guest
Boarwild

Or why not when the Russians attacked Finland in 1939?

Walt
Guest
Walt

Not a threat to the UK.

Drake
Guest
Drake

The Germans could have won a war, just not the one Hitler bumbled into. He wasted men and treasure on pointless campaigns like North Africa, without securing Gibraltar – so they were sure to lose. And Civil Affairs! They were so stupid. It was insanity to invade Russia without invading or settling with the Brits first. But if you are going to invade, at least be evil geniuses about it and act like liberators – get the locals to fight on your side instead of oppressing them until you have to waste regiments fighting civilians. Be nice to them at… Read more »

tonaludatus
Guest
tonaludatus

from the wisdom of Field Marshal Montgomery:
Rule 1, on page I of the book of war, is: “Do not march on Moscow”. Various people have tried it, Napoleon and Hitler, and it is no good. That is the first rule. I do not know whether your Lordships will know Rule 2 of war. It is: “Do not go fighting with your land armies in China”. It is a vast country, with no clearly defined objectives…

Drake
Guest
Drake

Hitler didn’t just break the rule, he had his armies simultaneously march on Moscow, Leningrad, and Stalingrad to ensure failure.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

I’ve wondered why idiot uncle Dolphie struck out in all directions; such absurd overreach doomed his nation.

As the Zman said, the smart ones died in WW1, and he was getting often deliberately bad info, as we see happening with Trump today.
Almost as if someone else under him would benefit were he to lose.

Redbeard
Guest
Redbeard

Uncle Joe may have had the same ultimate objective as Adolf; destruction. Were I the Sovietskis I probably would have withdrawn my forces slowly and forced the Germans to continue to stretch their supply lines while simultaneously contenting with one of the coldest winters on record yet the Russians just poured men into Stalingrad to halt them probably more for symbolic reasons than anything tactical. Brave, noble, maybe, maybe not.

Member

What makes you think that “withdraw[ing your] forces slowly” is an achievable goal? Withdrawals don’t turn into routs because the withdrawing side plans that to be the result.

Stalingrad was indisputably a victory for the Russians. They didn’t need a secret objective to justify trying for that result.

Member

Franz Halder wasn’t Jewish, if that’s what you are implying.

Member

Tell it to the Mongols, who defeated both.

james wilson
Guest
james wilson

Hitler had the war won in 1938. Germany was long out of the Great Depression. The same could not be said for Britain, France, and the US. Russia was in a permanent self-imposed depression. Eastern Europe depended on Germany for their economic development. But Adolf had gotten up on his old enemies without getting even. Unsatisfying.

Walt
Guest
Walt

Incredible considering he knew how vulnerable Russia was to losing the Ukraine and Belorussia. He could have crippled the Soviet Union by dragging Moscow’s troops away from the Crimea and into the Ukraine. Then an unsettling of the Middle East through the Black Sea could have finished off the USSR without a 40 year cold war.

CAPT S
Guest
CAPT S

Hubris is the problem, which apparently goes hand-in-glove with technological superiority. If I had to choose a preferred adversary it would be the nation/culture that thinks they’re superior and “indispensable.” If I could choose the enemy to avoid it would be the hardened peasant with a cheap rifle and plentiful ammo. I was part of many discussions on our future navy, where senior leaders were creaming themselves over the next multi-billion dollar tech marvel. I asked the question, “How many places can it be at once?” Thinking I’m the idiot, they scowl “Well just one at a time of course.”… Read more »

andyinsdca
Guest
andyinsdca

“hardened peasant with a cheap rifle and plentiful ammo” hmm….sounds like an Afghani.

Redbeard
Guest
Redbeard

…or Vietcong. My understand of these “peasant” fighting forces is that they are tenacious and stretch their limited capabilities to amazing degrees AND win battles… but at gigantic costs. Pyrrhic victories most of them.

Shrugger
Guest
Shrugger

Arthur C. Clarke wrote a good Sci Fi short story on this theme of technological overkill:
httpp://www.mayofamily.com/RLM/txt_Clarke_Superiority.html

Juri
Guest
Juri

Very good overview. Those German super weapons were in fact expensive useless toys and the brilliant German generals were idiots who did not understood the basics of the art of war. The problem was aristocracy. Despite grabbing power, all other life spheres in Germany remained under control of rich Elite who had isolated themselves from real life by generations and lost any capability to think. Actually entire West has this problem. In the Eastern Europe, much of common sense is caused by…..communists who wiped the degenerate Elite away. Goebbels in his diary openly admits that Stalin with his purges made… Read more »

Member
Felix_Krull

Every sentence in your comment is wrong.

erp
Member

In the US the degenerate academic elite is running the show in cahoots with politicians and media.

Primi Pilus
Guest
Primi Pilus

Amen. Take a gander at Roger Kimball’s article in The New Criterion (March 2019):

Decline & Fall: classics edition
On identity politics in classical education.

Have a large glass of good bourbon at hand …..

Saml Adams
Guest
Saml Adams

The Finns had a field day with a Soviet Army stripped of all of its experienced officers during the Purges.

Juri
Guest
Juri

No, they were idiots, not officers. Finland was very lucky and very brave to survive officers attack. Without Stalin purges, Finland probably succeed to defend Mannerheim Line and saved their entire territory. Stalin entire success was based on fact that all countries around Soviet Union were prepared to fight with idiots like Tukhachevsky. and The Purge came as horrific surprise. Can you imagine, you build your Army to fight with commanders like David Hogg and suddenly Chesty Puller jumps out from nowhere.

Redbeard
Guest
Redbeard

The stalanistic purges were probably only good to a certain degree. At some point, not too far off, you kill initiative and risk taking from your support staff as well as lose a ton of experienced human capital.

Mcleod
Guest
Mcleod

The F-35 in testing last week flat out smoked it. The cost of the F-35 comes from pentagon/congressional purchasing, personnel requirements and the decrease in orders relative to development cost. Lockheed is, hands down, the best defense company in the world. When the screaming about the F-35 started, I suspended my judgement because it’s Lockheed. Your point is still valid because the pilot is, and has been for forty years, the limiting factor. Aircraft have to be buffered, sometimes significantly, simply because the pilot wouldn’t survive. Even leaving the buffering out, think about how much weight could be removed by… Read more »

Drake
Guest
Drake

Agree with all. AND the start-from-scratch one-size-fits-all requirement was stupid. They could have just kept making much better variants of F-22’s for the Air Force while the Navy designed a new carrier-based aircraft.

The Marines could have purchased, designed or modified something into a VTOL or just gone with drones. They are good at getting stuff done on the cheap.

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

Bleeding the enemy dry is a calculation that seems difficult to compute. Damn near, is just not good enough. Even at 4-5 to one, the German army failed. The Americans in Vietnam were at what, 10-20 to one? We still lost.

Drake
Guest
Drake

We bled and bombed them dry enough to negotiate a peace accord. Could have done it again in 75-76 but the commies were running Congress by then.

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

We did not negotiate a peace accord, we negotiated a face saving surrender (and subsequent withdrawal). The oriental mind understood this and complied. The war never stopped for a moment, no cesation of hostilities—none (except on our side). Nixon and Kissinger surrendered in Paris. It was exactly as (I believe) Goldwater used to quip, “…declare victory and go home…”. South Vietnam was left to fend for itself and that bought us time to get the hell out without too many more casualties and of course a Nixon re-election (which is all scummy pol’s care about). Compare our withdrawal and the… Read more »

Mcleod
Guest
Mcleod

Vietnam was lost with Watergate. PAVN was scared shitless of US air power and didn’t wiggle their pinky toe until they were absolutely sure the US wouldn’t provide the air cover they agreed to. The only reason Nixon didn’t veto Case Church is because Congress passed it with a veto proof margin.

Mcleod
Guest
Mcleod

The German Army was doomed to failure from the start. Hitler knew he would have fight the Soviets sooner or later, and he chose sooner. That the Germans damn near pulled it off is impressive.

james wilson
Guest
james wilson

Hitler believed he would have to fight the Soviets sooner or later, but he believed lots of things. There were many effective avenues to weaken the Soviets without ever firing a German artillery piece.

Hoyos
Guest
Hoyos

Less “lost” and more got bored and went home. When you don’t have the will to have WW2 rules for fighting guerillas (all fighters without portfolio will be shot), you’re at a major disadvantage. Even the much vaunted “graveyard of empires” in Afghanistan didn’t really beat the Soviets, the Soviet Union was falling at home. We’ve got this weird myth that guerilla wars are unwinnable when armies have been winning them for all time.

erp
Member

Lost? The only thing we lost was our minds allowing lefty politics to wage the Vietnam war.

Calsdad
Guest
Calsdad

Chateau Heartiste had a post up the other day that had a map of Europe showing the male to female sex ratios after WW2 was over. If I recollect correctly – Russia was at 62 to 100 It’s true that Russia had more and probably better tanks than the Germans. But another very significant factor is that the US sent massive amounts of Lend Lease aid. Here’s the crucial info: In total, the U.S. deliveries through Lend-Lease amounted to $11 billion in materials: over 400,000 jeeps and trucks; 12,000 armored vehicles (including 7,000 tanks, about 1,386[43] of which were M3… Read more »

Occassional Commenter
Guest
Occassional Commenter

“…think about how much weight could be removed by removing the pilot and everything that comes with the pilot.”

The USAF already ran the numbers on this. Any weight savings by removing the pilot as associated life support would be offset by the required SATCOM and other communications gear now needed to operate the plane remotely.

Member

The SATCOM would be able to take more G’s.

And experts hired by pilots will reach the conclusions that those pilots want them to. Do you really believe that comm gear has to be that weighty?

Member

There’s a very good series of podcasts featuring Nicolas Moran, who goes by the name of “the Chieftain;” He’s in the Army reserves, I believe and served in an armored unit, but he performs research for the on-line game “World of Tanks.” The podcasts are known as “the Chieftain’s Hatch,” and are very interesting because he is able to gain access to museum versions of tanks and actually get in them and see how easy they were for the crew to operate. His opinions, even if one disagrees with them, are highly informative, because they are based on not only… Read more »

Chris_Lutz
Member

His videos are great. His talk about the Sherman really has some excellent points. It wasn’t just a matter of designing a tank. It was a matter of designing a tank that you could get across an ocean and support logistically. Plus, with the typically close engagement ranges in Western Europe, being able to penetrate 2 inches of armor at two miles didn’t matter.

Wizard of Poz
Guest
Wizard of Poz

Did the incentives of the Wehrmacht’s interior political system play a role in the dysfunction? The U.S. military has had nearly two decades’ worth of lessons in the Middle East to figure out what works and what doesn’t, but they still come up with ideas like ACUs and the F-35 (while trying to EOL the godlike A-10). Not to mention women in the combat arms… The bad ideas currently being generated are coming from officers who were somewhere between the platoon and battalion level when the war started, so inexperience is no excuse. The promotion system depends on making a… Read more »

Calsdad
Guest
Calsdad

Politics always plays a role.

The endless quest to kill the A-10 is a perfect example for a piece of excellent US equipment that has more than proven it’s worth.

A good example of this same sort of thing for the Germans is the Stg 43. Which Hitler didn’t think was useful in the war effort. If the Germans were able to kill so many Russians with bolt-action rifles – imagine what the Wehrmacht could have done with a magazine fed “assault” rifle.

Dirtnapninja
Guest
Dirtnapninja

The sherman was a great tank. It was well made, fast, decently protected, had a three man turret with radio communications, smooth suspension and superior fire control. And it could be mass produced in huge numbers.

But you are right..we wouldnt make Shermans anymore. We’d overengineer it. Its the same problem in the entire American military. Or the west for that matter. We cant just keep it simple.

Drake
Guest
Drake

I was in an armor battalion and wouldn’t want that kind of death-trap. So no, we wouldn’t build it again. I saw what happened to “simple” tanks like the T-62 in ’91. It was like clubbing baby-seals. Even infantry weapons like the Dragon were getting 1-shot kills.

Juri
Guest
Juri

It`s the user, not the tank. Those poor 80 point IQ half illiterate Iraqis would have been killed in the complicated machines probably even more and sooner. T 62 was built for Europe and not for open desert where only distance matters. T 62 is twice lighter than Abrams , very little electronic trace, crew serviceable and very long operational range. They should have go long around and hit logistics from behind, not wait for their death in front of Abrams long cannon and superb detection and sight system.

Drake
Guest
Drake

It has a glass-jaw. The turret is pathetically thin single-layer steel and they have live ammo stored in the turret itself – so as soon as hot metal burns through, ammo starts detonating inside the crew cabin. If the tank is sealed, the crew ends up shot out the entry hole is a hot mist.

No thanks.

Juri
Guest
Juri

Yes but this is cheap. For example against tactics described in your next comment Soviets would use T 62 manned with fast breeding Central Asia Muslims. Cannon fodder is very important part of war and using Abrams with white crew in town full of mines and ambushes is very expensive. This is fundamental difference with West and East mindset. In the US nobody thinks about cheap tank with black ghetto crew.who`s only function is blew up mines for of white crew Abrams…:D

Primi Pilus
Guest
Primi Pilus

Ahhhhh. I just love to hear that tanker-talk. AViators could get a bit conceited and repetitive …. 😉

Redbeard
Guest
Redbeard

Talking about the M1 Abrams? The rounds are stored in the turret with the crew but in a sub-compartment sealed by an hydraulically actuated door. Likewise the top potion of this compartment is intended blow away through the top of the turret if the store ignites and goes up.

Drake
Guest
Drake

Right – the M1 can blow it’s ammo without killing the crew. The Russian tanks T-72 and earlier will absolutely kill the crew if a round goes off inside.

Drake
Guest
Drake

My buddies and I used to debate whether on not we could have won if we traded equipment and positions with the Iraqis. A yes answer assumed we would put the heavy equipment in the cities and conduct ambushes.

Joshinca
Guest
Joshinca

Perhaps Germany learned too much from 19th century warfare in Europe and her colonies which was one repeated example after another of a smaller technically superior force annihilating a much large inferior force.

The US first hand experience in the Civil war and the pacification of the plains was largely the opposit – the triumph of logistics and materially overwhelming the enemy.

Dirtperson Steve
Guest
Dirtperson Steve

It’s the same principle used against the south, like pawns in a game of chess. The South was decisively winning the war early on but was limited in men and resources. The northern factories could keep them better stocked and with a ready supply of poor European immigrants to throw at them the south eventually ran out of resources. In WWII the US also had a large force of poor to throw at the conflict. I had always thought it was patriotism and propaganda that got that generation to enlist. I found out over the past few years my grandfather… Read more »

Larkin Lover
Guest
Larkin Lover

Right, I’ve read that one southerner could whip five Yankees.

Mcleod
Guest
Mcleod

That’s true even to this day.

Drake
Guest
Drake

That’s why they call them “crackers”?

Aaron Rider
Member

Honestly, do you people actually read history books or do you read comments on Southern troll blogs? Have you ever heard of the battle of Brawner Farm? I reckon you probably haven’t. At Brawner Farm, a few Wisconsin regiments held off an entire Confederate DIVISION, including the famous Virginia Stonewall Brigade. Or we could discuss the Hornet’s Nest at Shiloh, where Midwestern Yankees held for hours against one of the largest and most determined Confederate attacks of the war. We could discuss the Battle of Gettysburg, where even rebel survivors admitted the Yankees had fought harder than any tiger. Or… Read more »

Saml Adams
Guest
Saml Adams

The Westerners in the Union armies are never given their due. My gg grandfathers regiment stood at Peachtree Creek, enfiladed on both sides of their line and fighting hand to hand for nearly four hours to prevent a rout of Sherman’s crossing. By wars end they fought in 16 major battles and less than 260 men were left from an initial enlisted roster fo 1,155 in July 1861. I’d say the “whipped” ratio was in their favor.

The Last Stand
Guest
The Last Stand

What books would you recommend on the Civil War? The last one I read was Battle Cry of Freedom by James MacPherson.

Al from da Nort
Guest
Al from da Nort

T.L.S.; It’s hard to find an account with the Goldilocks level of detail: Enough to understand the basics but not so much that you get caught up in the minutiae. IMHO: – If you want to understand the Grand Strategy of the War and The Western Theater of War’s campaigns, I’d recommend MG JFC Fuller’s The Generalship of Ulysses S. Grant. – If you want to understand the basic unit tactics, it’s hard to go wrong with Paddy Griffith’s Battle Tactics of the Civil War. – If you wan to understand the Eastern Theater of War’s campaigns and both sides… Read more »

Saml Adams
Guest
Saml Adams

Surveys or specific theaters and topics?

A.B. Prosper
Guest
A.B. Prosper

The Civil War was as much economic as anything. Its not like the Union was believing in fair pay for honest work. They just substituted immigrants for slaves. Its a small moral improvement used as a pretext for controlling the Southern economy. Cheap labor either as slavery or through mass immigration has always been America’s addiction. Its harder to quit for our elite than heroin is for a junky living on the streets In the end the endless chiseling on wages will doom the US anyway. It didn’t take Lincoln or the Confederates but people who allowed slavery and had… Read more »

Aaron Rider
Member

This is almost all wrong “The South was decisively winning the war early on but was limited in men and resources.” Hey Dirtperson Steve, have you ever heard of the West Virginia campaign of 1861, where Robert E. Lee was forced to retreat out of the Mountain State? Probably not. Have you ever heard of Mill Springs, Fort Donelson and Fort Henry, Shiloh, Corinth, or a host of other battles in the west? Your assertion is based on the typical ignorance of the fact that there was – believe it or not – a war west of Virginia! And, with… Read more »

Member

Lee was not in command of the forces in WV. (He would not become an actual field commander until he took over from wounded General Joe Johnston on May 31, 1862.) Lee was sent to WV as an observer by Davis because word got back to Confederate HQ of problems there. Lee made excellent suggestions, but the two field commanders were incompetent and hated each other. For some reason, Lee is blamed for the failure of a campaign in which he had little or no authority. That changed after he took charge of the Army of Northern Virginia. Within a… Read more »

james wilson
Guest
james wilson

At Antietam, Lee’s battle strategy utterly contradicted anything he had done before or since, until Gettysburg. He stood and fought against superior forces, taking massive casualties, believing if he withdrew from that field losing the war became inevitable due to considerations of morale and politics. So yes, success was always a dicey proposition for the South. Without their greatest allay, McClellan, and the back stabbers at the Union general staff in Washington, the war would have been over in 1862. With Grant, Sherman, or even Meade in charge Antietam is a Union victory and the Confederates go on their heels.… Read more »

Member

You saw what I wrote above and ignored it. Even with Lee’s plans in his pocket, McClellan could not defeat Lee. Had those plans not fallen into his hands, the war would have been over and Washington would have fallen to Lee. Had Grant been the commander in 1862, Lee would have sent him reeling back into Maryland just like the others. By the time Grant came east, the war was virtually over and Lee could only hope to grind down the Federals while waiting for a miracle…which never came. But grind Lee did…Grant lost over 65,000 casualties in a… Read more »

james wilson
Guest
james wilson

I read what you wrote. Maybe you didn’t read what i wrote. McClellan, with every advantage including Lee’s plans in his pocket, did not defeat Lee because he did not want to defeat Lee, or anyone else. I’m not rooting for the home team because I don’t have one.

Saml Adams
Guest
Saml Adams

What tends to get ignored in Civil War histories is that the war was won in the West, using armies that were very different from those in the East. Study Sherman’s campaign and you’ll it was a masterpiece of maneuver, tactics and economical logistics that allowed for the destruction of the South’s economic capability. Similarly earlier in the war the same was done with the closing of the Mississippi. Battles like Shiloh were the exception than the rule. The experience of my gg grandfathers regiment at Peachtree Creek where they took 40% casualties repelling Hood’s counterattack were considered very much… Read more »

Al from da Nort
Guest
Al from da Nort

Sam;
Agreed. Grant’s Vicksburg Campaign was also a masterpiece of maneuver warfare enabling a win over superior overall numbers, badly used.

Severian
Guest

Whether Germany’s done or not, they’ve got a strong case for “most influential culture of the past millennium.” Certainly in recent history: Modern life is equal parts Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud. Throw in Luther, Kant, and Mozart and you’ve got “Western Culture, 1500-present.” They made their mistakes, no doubt, but what a run!

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

What you’ve pointed out is what makes Germany’s potential societal disintegrantion so tragic. They have much to still contribute as a society, but mentally they no longer seem to have the will to survive. Come to think of it, we currently also live in such society. Different root causes, same effect. 🙁

tonaludatus
Guest
tonaludatus

sure, we have Herr Maxwell, Herr Kelvin, Herr Darwin, Herr Fleming, Herr Rutherford, Herr Dirac, Herr Poincare, Herr Carnot,…

james wilson
Guest
james wilson

There is a good case to be make that, with the exception of the Attics, Greeks were a product of migrating German tribes. The Etruscans had German origins, and were then replaced by other Germans, who became known as Romans. German blood in white America is, by percentage, greater than that of the British Isles.
Where the Germans originated is another story.

Dutch
Guest
Dutch

Technical excellence and “good enough” with large numbers each has its own merits. It seems to me a combination of both is ideal, because the enemy knows how to counter one or the other, but countering both is much more difficult. But I am a civilian, what do I know?

Yves Vannes
Member

Their early victories and the easy with which they held them gave the Germans a false sense of security and a bloated sense of their capabilities. This delusion evaporated after Stalingrad and Kursk. By then it was too late. Trying to retool and reengineer in the middle of a two front was not going to happen successfully. It’s both a logistical problem and a personnel problem.

TomA
Guest
TomA

The useful analogy is with the current Deep State program to secure it’s dominance via expelling Trump and then gradually implement a global tyranny via technology-aided indoctrination of the masses plus importation of drone worker-parasites. They possess enormous resources/strengths, but a key weakness is ossified leadership that leans heavily on ruthlessness/overwhelming brutality as it’s first-line defense. They are not well prepared for countless simple cheap counterattacks arising out of the ether.

Hoagie
Guest
Hoagie

That’s why our best bet is guerrilla warfare. Hit and run.

Chazz
Guest
Chazz

To start an engine in very cold conditions requires a means of reducing the viscosity of the lubricating oil. In most WWII battle tanks this was achieved by returning oil to a small tank inside the larger one. Oil in the small tank can then be readily preheated or diluted. German tanks invading the Soviet Union lacked this feature, so in the very cold Russian winter, they had to leave their engines running or they wouldn’t be able to re-start them. The Soviets knew this and let the Germans keep advancing until they were low on fuel at which point… Read more »

Larry Darrell
Guest
Larry Darrell

The Asness Chair of Applied Liberty is moving on from Neocon Review and starting yet another anti-Trump online-only publication. He is of course staying on as a “fellow” at the Neocon Review Institute – which is where the real money (and no work) seem to be.
So he has been pushed out of the visible part of Neocon Review (no one, especially Asness Chair, would volunteer for a clearly doomed startup) while still staying glued to the invisible money-teet at the “Institute.” Everyone’s a winner!

Member
Felix_Krull

The three main reasons Germany lost were these: 1) Oil 2) Fuel 3) Gasoline. The Germans lost six weeks into the war. At the beginning of Barbarossa, the OKW estimated that they had six weeks worth of fuel for full-scale, offensive military operations. In that time, the Soviet Union had to surrender, so they could get access to the Caucasus oil fields. Only by de-motorizing both the military and industrial sectors, were they able to go on as long as they did, and by the end of the war, they were basically thrown back to WWI tactics. So it wouldn’t… Read more »

Juri
Guest
Juri

The main reason Germany lost was the problem that leaders were idiots. When you do not have oil then you must figure out how to win the war without oil. This is called Art of War.. Germany had only one way to win and this was to destroy the only thing, what Soviet Union, USA and British Empire could not produce in their industries. The soldiers. All Germany efforts should have gone to destroy the enemy’s infantry. Caucasus was irrelevant. Except oil you also need the manpower to operate machines and when everybody have so much oil when they want,… Read more »

Member
Felix_Krull

There’s a lot of reasons Germany lost, but the point that I was trying to make, was that they’re all irrelevant if you run out of fuel.

It’s like with nukes: no matter what Germany had done, they’d still lose because the United States got the atomic bomb first.

Lorenzo
Guest
Lorenzo

“One possible cause of this was that the middle-aged men who would have been sorting these production and design problems had died during the Great War.” Killing Walter Rathenau was an own goal in that respect. Maybe a lot of smart guys died in WWI, but the Axis powers made pretty stupid use of the ones who survived., Persecuting and killing your smartest people is a dumb strategy if you want to win a war. Step one to designing effective war planes is to not force Theodore von Kármán out of your territory to work for the enemy. How dumb… Read more »

Saml Adams
Guest
Saml Adams

At a macro level, the German’s biggest blunder was simply not realizing that they were in a war of economies, not armies. Until Speer came on the scene, the German economy was not on full war mobilization status. The US, Russians and British were from the start. Years ago in college read a book called “Behind the Urals” that detailed the movement of almost all Russian industry behind the mountain redoubt. But the other thing the Allies did was effectively allocate production based on comparative advantages. We only sent the Russians things like aluminum that they were poor at producing.… Read more »

Chris_Lutz
Member

US Armor crew losses in Europe were pretty low compared to being in the infantry. The problem of the Sherman catching fire immediately after being hit was fixed early on in the war. The tank repair guy who wrote the book about how Shermans burned was wrong. He was just on the battlefield far after the fact. The fire retardant systems wouldn’t necessarily stop a fire. They would though delay the fire long enough for the crew to escape. So he saw all of these burned out tanks thinking they went up like a torch.

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

“Why make something simple, when you can make it complicated?”, is the standard German engineering mantra followed by “We take pride in the fact we can find a problem for every solution.” While there’s no debate that German engineers are highly skilled and well educated, creativity and risk are not German traits. Which doesn’t translate very well in a combat situation where soldiers are under a very hierarchical command structure and everything is about following orders. Americans, on the other hand, made things up as they went, adjusting to the situation and not depending on higher command for leadership or… Read more »

Drake
Guest
Drake

My last BMW (as in last ever) used to break down for absurd reasons. The motor mount literally broke off because a German engine decided to save an ounce by using aluminum bolts. Other times car parts I have never heard of malfunctioned.

Member

I’ve had several high end BMWs and Mercedes. Marvelous cars with few maintenance issues.

Al from da Nort
Guest
Al from da Nort

Karl; Having studied the matter, I must differ about whose armies had the most hierarchal structure, rigidity of thinking and followed orders regardless of situation in WWII. Without a doubt the palm goes to England, followed by the USSR and then France. The Singapore Campaign in 1941 is a good case in point. The Brit propaganda about this was pure projection and possibly made to excuse their own practices by saying that the Krauts were worse. In the case of the USSR, the rule was, if you followed orders and failed you *might* not get shot by the NKVD. You… Read more »

Al from da Nort
Guest
Al from da Nort

Karl; Having studied the matter in some depth, I must disagree with you which participant in WWII had the most rigid command structure and only followed orders. There is no doubt that the Germans had the most rigid individual soldier discipline. However their command structure encourage junior leader initiative at the tactical unit level at least as well as did the American. The palm for command rigidity in thinking goes to the Brits, closely followed by the USSR. A look The Singapore Campaign of 1941 is a good example of British rigidity in thinking and operations. British propaganda portraying ‘the… Read more »

Karl Horst (Germany)
Guest
Karl Horst (Germany)

For anyone making a trip to Europe this year who has an interest in WWII and would like to see various tanks, planes, etc., I can recommend a couple of places well worth a visit. If you fly into Frankfurt, head south to Heidelberg, then continue east to the Technick Museum Sinsheim – https://sinsheim.technik-museum.de If you’re in Munich, be sure to visit to the Deutsches Museum. Give yourself a full day here – https://www.deutsches-museum.de/en If you’re in the UK, my favorite is the RAF Museum in Wolverhampton, situated between Birmingham and Shrewsbury. https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/cosford/ And of course if you’re in Belgium,… Read more »

John Smith
Member

Au contraire Z. Germany could have ripped the head off the soviets and shat down their necks. If the Battle Of Britain had gone on for another week the Brits would have folded. The reason they held on as long as they did was the Spitfire – an aeronautical masterpiece of its time with Rolls Royce engines and a build time of 300 000 man hours. The P51 was a masterpiece too. The F35 IS the Soviet T35 tank of modern airplanes. VTOL technology is going to be critical in the next war. If you want to talk about masterpieces… Read more »

Member

A multicultural/gender neutral military is a disaster waiting to happen.

Shane
Guest
Shane

If Robert Heinlein is any guide then the U.S deep state and the always eager neo cons picking a fight with a capable opponent and getting a harsh drubbing could be the breath of life that a failing U.S and Western Civilization sorely needs. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terran_Federation_(Starship_Troopers)
Maybe only the Wrath of Gnon can save the West and eradicate the Poz
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_Challenge_2002
Worth a read.

UKer
Guest
UKer

The Battle of Britain was helped enormously by the number of Polish, French and other nationalities who came to the UK in 1940, and the fact that the fighting was over southern England. We got our pilots back if they bailed out; German survivors were prisoners of war.

I believe the Luftwaffe decided against the continual bombing of airfields in Kent and the rest of the south-east and went for the big cities, which while spectacular did not help their war aims in the short term.

james wilson
Guest
james wilson

In 1925 Billy Mitchell was busted from Brigadier General to Colonel for insubordination, then later that year court-martialed after accusing Army and Navy leaders of an “almost treasonable administration of the national defense” for investing in battleships instead of aircraft carriers. He resigned from the service shortly afterward. Ironically, Carriers are now the sacred cows battleships once were. Worse, considering that the brass approved a photo shoot of military men wearing high heeled shoes in support of women in the military, it is impossible to judge how pozzed leadership has become.

JR Wirth
Guest
JR Wirth

The German culture itself is responsible for these tank defects. It’s a culture where Herr Mueller sits behind a frosted glass door with the word “Direktor” on it, and no one challenges Herr Mueller’s plans, as it’s the Director’s responsibility, within the system, to come up with those plans. The Japanese have this culture on steroids, but they reinvented their economy to mass produce the day after the war was over, so mass production became their goal. Germans never fully adopted the mass production culture, even to this day. If you drive an Audi, or something like that, they’re technical… Read more »

Christopher S. Johns
Guest
Christopher S. Johns

Weirder stuff:

Girls und Panzer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAAnUqhKWZI

Dan
Guest
Dan

The Germans….like the Russians had no qualms about murdering their best and brightest military minds…..if Erwin Rommel hadn’t chosen suicide he would have faced a fiing squad. Stalin murdered countless capable officers. Both Hitler and Stalin valued blind
compliant loyalty over competence. Here in the US we don’t execute generals….we blackmail them into retiring and disappearing from the public eye. Obama ran literally DOZENS of capable officers out of the military because they refused to embrace socialism. We are paying a steep price for that now.

Mike
Guest
Mike

I thought Rommel chose suicide because he was involved in that plot to kill Hitler. Of course if you try to overthrow the government and fail you will be treated as a traitor, no matter how bright you are.

The Germans failed because they let themselves get roped into a conflict bigger than they could handle. They tried taking on most of the world’s great powers all at once. It was doomed from the start. No amount of brilliance would have saved them.

wiltedrosemarybush
Guest
wiltedrosemarybush

Overall a great read (as always) but I will pick at this nit: “The Russians came up with slopped armor, for example, and the Germans never bothered to steal the idea, even after Kursk.” What on God’s Green Earth are you talking about?!? The Panther was conceived fairly quickly after the rude shock of meeting the T-34 during Barbarossa. Indeed the entire Kursk offensive was delayed significantly in order to be able to deploy the early production run of Panthers to the battle. And the Tiger II, Jagdpanther, Jagdpanzer III & IV, Hetzer and a few others all featured sloped… Read more »

Vegetius
Guest
Vegetius

Hitler’s downfall was not caused by poor military leadership, but an ideological assumption that led to a massive strategic blunder.

In the NatSoc worldview, Soviet power consisted of a thin strata of parasitical Jews dominating Slav subhumans.

German war and occupation plans were based on the idea that this power would disintegrate upon contact with the Blitzkrieg.

This did not happen, Stalin became a Russian Nationalist overnight, and the rest is history.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

That points out a flaw in my own tiresome thinking.

Was he at war with the “central bankers” in most capitols?

Did he think that we peasants yearned to be free of the Money Power, of the financial engines that created modern imperial commerce?

wschurchill
Guest
wschurchill

I’m a fan of the ZMan blog, and I think the main point–2 industrial wars permanently damaged in the gross Germany’s human capital, i.e., “smart fraction”–is solid, but some of the supporting evidence needs a reconsideration. –The Russians invented nothing substantive; rather they were skilled at adapting Western military innovations to their own circumstances (e.g.,the T-34 suspension & sloped armor were derivatives of WJ Christie’s T-3). The Russians knew what they needed, knew what was possible, and adjusted industrial effort effectively to meet their needs, to include borrowing and building on western tech That’s not nothing–but they were not great… Read more »

Shrugger
Guest
Shrugger

I would say this post shows a sure-fire way to provoke comments…state a few opinions on WW2, esp. the Nazis, and watch the fur fly.

Alzaebo
Guest
Alzaebo

WW2 Nazis and the War of Northron Aggression always make for a fun Friday, you betcha!

We sons of WWll vets love to play with our army men, just like the sportsball kids.

(No I mean it. I was outraged when I found my eager-beaver brother had thrown away my favorite mismatched little plastic gang.
You know, the red Apache with the tomahawk, the blue Union officer with the sword, the green GI’s crouching with rifles…)

Ivar
Guest
Ivar

Here is an example of German overengineering at its finest. Before posting this link I had to watch the video again and I still can’t believe it. The particular car model is the VW Touareg:

“How to Change a Tire with a VW Jack (The Widowmaker)”:

https://youtu.be/SHyVIcjkL3k

Shrugger
Guest
Shrugger

A study in Teutonic autism

Member

As an engineer who works in the aerospace industry and who has worked on the F-35 program previously, I can tell you the problem isn’t on our end designing and building the aircraft. It’s always the customer. The U.S. military is infamous for writing incomprehensible, all-singing, all-dancing requests and then changing their mind multiple times in the middle of the process. The F-35 is compromised by the need for the STOVL B variant, no doubt about it. Providing space for the lift fan (which is dead weight after the aircraft transitions to normal flight) guaranteed that the aircraft would struggle… Read more »

LineInTheSand
Guest
LineInTheSand

Z: “The day job has consumed almost all of my time…” I can’t be the only one who wonders about what Z’s day job is.

My guess is that he is a manager at a large company and has overseen software integration projects, given his use of software integration as a metaphor.

(I don’t want to dox Z, I’m just curious and will avoid all specifics.)

Member

My guess is he works in the electronics department at Walmart. Spends most of his days trying to upsell old black women HDMI cables. “See those connectors? That’s not gold plated, that’s REAL GOLD.”

Jrod
Guest
Jrod

“I don’t want to dox z” Then leave it alone.

Member

Oh here comes Jrod with the Jrod up his butt laying down the curt reprimand. If you listen to the podcast, Z has implied plenty of times, what the other commenter wondered. Anyway, what’s fascinating is how Z hasn’t been doxxed. He’s been to enemy National Review get-togethers. So they know what he looks and sounds like. He’s been to friendly Dissident conferences, which surely contain enemy spies. So that’s more people that have seen him. Both friend and foe. Secrets are rarely held. People talk. His voice is unmistakable. I can’t believe someone hasn’t followed him out to the… Read more »

Member

Operation Paperclip. That’s why the American MIC and secret intelligence services are German. On the bright side it got the American flag planted on the moon.

Member

The Panzer IV was arguably the best medium tank of WW2, late model variants proved more than a match for the Sherman. The problem for the Germans was they couldn’t make enough of anything to make a difference against the huge numbers fielded by the Allies.
Same with any conflict, quantity has a quality all of its own. If you want your white nationalism you’re going to have to figure out how to get more white babies on a large scale. A lot more… and so far all I can see is it going the other way.

UKer
Guest
UKer

it’s worth remembering that tanks were originally conceived as infantry support machines, rather than machines fighting each other. Kursk showed that major tank battles were possible, and ideas changed. However air control enabled the allies to attack German armour from the air in ’44which was decisive, and also the allies had developed the process of getting damaged tanks back for repair. I am not sure the Wehrmacht saw recovery and repair as the way forward.

sirlancelot
Guest
sirlancelot

History repeats itself and the Germans are not the only ones guilty of building over complicated machinery. The M1 A-1 Abrams had its own teething pains. The introduction of turbo power is awesome unless you put the intake on the back deck right behind the treads kicking up all the dirt and dust. Of course back then we were bailing out Chrysler giving them the contract. Perhaps the design flaw was automotive engineers building tanks ? Another area where the Germans were superior but fell short was their submarine fleet. Military leaders wanted to build 300 subs to dominate the… Read more »

Compsci
Guest
Compsci

German sub fleet effort failed because of too few built? Perhaps the Kriegsmarine was not allowed to build as many as requested, but the uboat effort failed due to improved technique by the allies wrt covoy’s, underwater detection, and attack—both at sea and home bases. Indeed, in 1943, just about every uboat built—more than a 100–was lost. In 1944 all uboats were recalled to base and operations—except for a few special cases—ceased. Building more uboats would have been a waste, they were simply obsolete given current technology of the time.

Member

This is the kind of conversation girls never gave a crap about. But now they want to bitch about being underrepresented in tank talk and shit.

PawPaw
Guest
PawPaw

This is why there are numerous books and movies about the men who served in tank battalions in wartime and only one farcical movie called “TankGirl”. There is no place for a girl in a tank. There is a very interesting article in the Chicago Tribune dated Dec. 16,1991, intitled “Weekend Warriors prove their mettle”. This is about a Marine reserve squadron that was called to active duty during Desert Storm, sent to Twentynine Palms for a month of training in the Abram’s tank, then shipped to Kuwait to take part in the last major tank battle that the U.… Read more »

Range Front Fault
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Range Front Fault

Frip and Z….great and informative column! Just let go of any female bitching. This is the difference on display between the male and female brain. Pretend you’re in the Bellona Club on Veterans Day 1923 talking with other men on the history of war. Your brain can work with great volume and depth re mechanical and technical. Plus the immense amount of bravery to fight war and make civilizational history. I’ll admit…..this is P**** Envy on my part. I had zipzeronada interest in tanks and war until I passed 50. Years ago at a PTA meeting, I got bored and… Read more »

PawPaw
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PawPaw

Range;
My apologies if my remarks were construed as “female bitching”
Let me assure you that if it wasn’t for my little wife of almost 50 years I realize that I wouldn’t have amounted to much. I’ve been following your posts on the Z blog for the last 6 months and appreciate your intelligence and acumen.

Range Front Fault
Guest
Range Front Fault

PawPaw…..Good Grief man! No need for an apology! I wasn’t looking for female bitching on either side of the great male/female divide. No worries. Was responding to Frip to let him know that some of us gals DO get tired of overly sensitive women always jumping on each other and men at the drop of a hat. Glad men can find a space to themselves. I greatly appreciated the military tank column, am happy and comfortable with the way men think, just plain like men, such an intriguing difference. If I came through otherwise, then I need to practice clarity.… Read more »

Moran ya Simba
Guest
Moran ya Simba

Fun topic. For starters, I agree that the US military today is a lot like the German military back then technically (not morally). They want the uber-pricey super weapons. But you also see the Russian principle in everyday life. I even call it the ‘T-34 principle’ after the Russian tank. The T-34 was all about ‘good enough and cheap, so you can get as many as possible.’ Where is this relevant today? Well, if you’re a prepper, it is relevant in ammo or even arrows. I took up archery about 6 yrs ago just for fun. Then I realized that… Read more »

Millie Woods
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Millie Woods

I’ve worked with some Germans over the years. They’re technically smart and industrious but you can’t tell them anything.

Dave
Guest
Dave

I remember squatting in S. Vietnam (one of the “domino” countries – you remember those don’t you?) and looking at a cartoon in Stars and Strips. It was after the Six Day War (six fricking days) and the cartoon showed our President offering to trade with the leader of Israel (an American female Jew) the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff for one Moshe Ryan (I think that’s right, the leader of Israel’s military). So true then and so sad now. You can go back and forth on your “dislike” of folks of the Jewish persuasion all you like. After seventeen… Read more »

Drdog
Guest
Drdog

USAF may have a clue at last — they are requesting funding for production of the F15’X’. Its a 40yo design that still has life.

Dan D.
Guest
Dan D.

This is a great piece, especially the line “The Germans seemed to look at the whole thing as an engineering project.” I work in consumer electronics in Silicon Valley and we face exactly what Z Man is trying to explain here: over-engineering leads to failure beause you don’t have unlimited time. Good enough is often entirely good enough. Field it and learn from the performance. Iterate the design. Of course, as with all websites like this, there are instead 150+ comments debating the genius of various tank models, their inventors, color, etc. by the “I know military stuff!”-crowd. It’s so… Read more »

Member

I looked at the first episode of that tank series and, yeah, I’ve seen other material from that source before on Youtube. “Military” cable channel, I think. The rotating tank wireframe images (on the one of the M3, the barrel of the 75mm looks awfully long, btw) is diagnostic, as is the laughable disconnect between the narration (which is of dubious accuracy) and the film images. I mean they talk about the excessive height of the Sherman…. and show an image of a Grant. Or its tendency to catch on fire… and show an image of two burning German eight-wheeled… Read more »