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Shimrra Jamaane
Aug 9, 2007

Remind me to work out until I also am buff and have to keep a pillow in front of my okay I'll be honest this is like the 50th custom title I've done tonight and I'm just phoning it in now.

Yeah, so I was browsing my campus textbook store today and I stumbled across something strange. One of the books in the history aisle had an odd cover, as if something didn't quite belong.

Shimrra Jamaane fucked around with this message at Sep 22, 2011 around 21:09

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SeanBeansShako
Nov 20, 2009


So when is it hitting the cinema?

Volmarias
Dec 31, 2002

This could be too paranoid to be effective, but it's a thought.

...

See, stuff like that make me confident in my decision to convert a Jovian moon mine shaft into a survival bunker!

Shimrra Jamaane posted:

Yeah, so I was browsing my campus textbook store today and I stumbled across something strange. One of the books in the history aisle had an odd cover, as if something didn't quite belong.



PBF has you beat.

Mr. Sunshine
May 15, 2008

Can anybody find me somebody to love rape and torture?


Kopijeger posted:

On that note: I have seen a facsimile of an article from the Völkischer Beobachter cirka 1943 that referred to the air forces that bombed Berlin as "angloamerikanische Lufthunnen". Seems that "hun" was more or less used as shorthand for "marauding barbarian" without considering who the historical Huns were or what they did.

You know how people like to compare perceived bad guys to Hitler and the Nazis? Well, before WWII the Huns were seen as pretty much the epitome of evil fuckers, so you compared your enemies to that. Isaac Deutscher claims that when the purges were really getting under way in the Soviet Union, two old bolsheviks (whose names I can't remember at the moment) who could see what Stalin was doing fearfully whispered to each other: "He is worse than Attila!"

Admiral Snackbar
Mar 13, 2006


The design of the Panther was indeed a huge contributor to its numerous problems. The lengthy and convoluted design process resulted in a tank that was far too heavy for its own suspension and transmission, hence the frequent breakdowns. Furthermore, as Nenonen said, the design was a radical departure from previous German models, and it took a great deal of time and effort for them to ramp up its production. However, this is just more evidence that it was not an appropriate design for the circumstances. Of course, this was just one of the symptoms of the conscious German decision to eschew mass production techniques in favor of skilled craftsmanship. In comparison, the up-gunning of the Panzer IV was far more practical in terms of design and manufacturing, but it took them forever to actually get around to doing it.

My point is that while certain aspects of the Panther's design, such as its optics, its gun, or its armor, were certainly major advances in terms of German armored vehicles, they did not add up to the quantum leap in performance that had been promised by its creators, especially since they could not be (never mind were not) produced in sufficient numbers to really make a difference.

Amused to Death
Aug 10, 2009

google "The Night Witches", and prepare for

So what about the Tiger II, a formidable beast of a heavy tank, or a mechanical nightmare that really had no chance regardless of it's good points?

Saint Celestine
Dec 17, 2008

Lay a fire within your soul and another between your hands, and let both be your weapons.
For one is faith and the other is victory and neither may ever be put out.

- Saint Sabbat, Lessons

Amused to Death posted:

So what about the Tiger II, a formidable beast of a heavy tank, or a mechanical nightmare that really had no chance regardless of it's good points?

Mechanical fuel guzzling nightmare to operate.

Maybe, just maybe, it might be good if you had a solid support structure for it coupled with air superiority...

Herv
Mar 24, 2005


Pretty sure it had the same engine as the Panther. Though, the Porsche turret did look pretty slick!

They should have just built T-34's, or the simple rear end kicking equivalent.

/armchair

Ghost of Mussolini
Jun 26, 2011


Herv posted:

They should have just built T-34's, or the simple rear end kicking equivalent. one million Ha-Gos
/armchair

Admiral Snackbar
Mar 13, 2006


The Generals actually asked for a direct copy of the T-34 but Germany didn't have sufficient materials, specifically aluminum, to replicate the engine.

Shimrra Jamaane
Aug 9, 2007

Remind me to work out until I also am buff and have to keep a pillow in front of my okay I'll be honest this is like the 50th custom title I've done tonight and I'm just phoning it in now.

Couldn't they just get as close as possible?

Oxford Comma
Jun 26, 2011
Oxford Comma: Hey guys I want a cool big dog to show off! I want it to be ~special~ like Thor but more couch potato-like because I got babbies in the house!
Everybody: GET A LAB.
Oxford Comma: OK! (gets a a pit/catahoula mix)


If the German's had won Kursk, what would likely have been the outcome?

I'm asking a lot about Kursk because I'm reading a book on it. While the book is sound as far as explaining what unit did what, its kind of a dry read and makes me think of quite a few questions.

Shimrra Jamaane
Aug 9, 2007

Remind me to work out until I also am buff and have to keep a pillow in front of my okay I'll be honest this is like the 50th custom title I've done tonight and I'm just phoning it in now.

Oxford Comma posted:

If the German's had won Kursk, what would likely have been the outcome?

I'm asking a lot about Kursk because I'm reading a book on it. While the book is sound as far as explaining what unit did what, its kind of a dry read and makes me think of quite a few questions.

Define "won."

Oxford Comma
Jun 26, 2011
Oxford Comma: Hey guys I want a cool big dog to show off! I want it to be ~special~ like Thor but more couch potato-like because I got babbies in the house!
Everybody: GET A LAB.
Oxford Comma: OK! (gets a a pit/catahoula mix)


Shimrra Jamaane posted:

Define "won."

Had achieved their objectives at a reasonable cost in men and material.

EvanSchenck
Sep 8, 2010


Oxford Comma posted:

Had achieved their objectives at a reasonable cost in men and material.

The first thing you should do when posing a counterfactual is to ask whether its even plausible. "What if Hitler was gay and black" is an exaggeration, but it's a criticism of a real problem in this kind of thought experiment. The Battle of Kursk was a trap laid by STAVKA for the German army, which OKH walked right into with its eyes wide open. The historical performance of the Germans at Kursk--the northern axis of attack stalling immediately, with the southern spearhead coming close to Prokhorovka before being halted by exhaustion and the arrival of the Soviet mobile reserve--was actually quite good considering they were attacking carefully prepared positions against an enemy well-provisioned with reserves. If you're entertaining alternate history it's more likely for them to have fallen short of that mark, than to have bettered it.

Even given that, besides the defensive forces in the salient and the mobile reserves, there were also the Soviet forces to the north and south of the salient, waiting to execute the counteroffensive operations (Kutuzov and Rumyantsev). If Zitadelle had gone by the numbers, and the Germans had caught every break, they might have encircled the defenders in and around Kursk. However, it's distinctly possible that this would not have seriously hindered the subsequent Soviet counteroffensive. The purpose of the defensive operation was to exhaust the Germans and force them to commit their mobile reserves, and even if the Germans were not stopped cold before completing the encirclement it still would have required everything they had. The pocket would only have been cut off a short time before the counteroffensive crashed through the German lines and reestablished communications. Arguably the outcome might have been worse than historical, because it would have been harder for the German forces to escape if they were wedged hard between a Kursk pocket and the rest of the Soviet forces.

Moving from that, even had the encirclement caused the Soviets to abandon their plans for a counter-offensive, the forces assembled for Kutuzov and Rumyantsev were around, and they would be instead been used to break the encirclement. So basically, the best of all possible results, moving beyond the bounds of probability, is for the Germans to fight to a draw, with both sides sustaining serious damage--damage that the Soviets would be better positioned to recover from.

wdarkk
Oct 26, 2007

Friends: Protected
World: Saved
Crablettes: Eaten


Honestly continuing the war longer isn't necessarily in Germany's interests.

Amused to Death
Aug 10, 2009

google "The Night Witches", and prepare for

On Kursk, I'm kind of surprised the Soviets never actually let the German assualt go further inwards in an attempt to lure the Germans into a false sense of a possible victory, then go for an encirclement of the lead units. But then again given the amount of power the Soviets had concentrated in the area vs what the Germans had maybe they just didn't care.

Also one thing I've always wondered, had Hitler not declared war on the US, how long would it have taken before the US inevitably joined in against Germany, days, weeks, months?

Amused to Death fucked around with this message at Sep 24, 2011 around 02:23

Ferrosol
Nov 8, 2010


Amused to Death posted:

On Kursk, I'm kind of surprised the Soviets never actually let the German assualt go further inwards in an attempt to lure the Germans into a false sense of a possible victory, then go for an encirclement of the lead units. But then again given the amount of power the Soviets had concentrated in the area vs what the Germans had maybe they just didn't care.

Also one thing I've always wondered, had Hitler not declared war on the US, how long would it have taken before the US inevitably joined in against Germany, days, weeks, months?



A couple of months at most. Roosevelt was already deliberately provoking the Germans by having US Navy ships escort allied convoys.All it takes is a big enough sinking and BAM! instant Casus belli. You already have the sinking of the Reuben James so a few more attacks like that and you have your excuse for war.

Panzeh
Nov 27, 2006

Wargames pretty much make you Hitler. It's awesome being Hitler.

Amused to Death posted:

On Kursk, I'm kind of surprised the Soviets never actually let the German assualt go further inwards in an attempt to lure the Germans into a false sense of a possible victory, then go for an encirclement of the lead units. But then again given the amount of power the Soviets had concentrated in the area vs what the Germans had maybe they just didn't care.

This kind of thing tends to come up more after the fact, as when you're in the midst of a tough defensive fight you really aren't thinking about how they're in a trap. I don't think you can really blame Stavka for not trying to get fancy with this because if you let the Germans go further you risk losing a lot of men.

The Soviets bagged all kinds of Axis troops in Bagration anyway.

Alchenar
Apr 9, 2008

The level of betrayal I felt when Paradox announced their new wallpaper tore something from me that I'll never be able to recover. They tore away my ability to respect anything, and they tore away my ability to feel human.

Ferrosol posted:

A couple of months at most. Roosevelt was already deliberately provoking the Germans by having US Navy ships escort allied convoys.All it takes is a big enough sinking and BAM! instant Casus belli. You already have the sinking of the Reuben James so a few more attacks like that and you have your excuse for war.

And how on earth does he justify this while the US is in the middle of the (at the time) losing was on the other side of the planet?

Nenonen
Oct 22, 2009



Alchenar posted:

And how on earth does he justify this while the US is in the middle of the (at the time) losing was on the other side of the planet?

USA was not alone in the war against Japan, and indeed Japan simultaneously declared war on both USA and Britain and invaded Malaya on December 8th. USA and the British Empire were in that war together, and I think it would have been untenable for Brits to keep fighting against Japan unless USA also pledged to fight the Nazis.

Kemper Boyd
Aug 6, 2007

no kings, no gods, no masters but a comfy chair and no socks


Panzeh posted:

This kind of thing tends to come up more after the fact, as when you're in the midst of a tough defensive fight you really aren't thinking about how they're in a trap. I don't think you can really blame Stavka for not trying to get fancy with this because if you let the Germans go further you risk losing a lot of men.

The Soviets bagged all kinds of Axis troops in Bagration anyway.

And the Soviets didn't do that good in Kursk anyway. While the Soviets won the battle, it was very costly for them, too. They won, they were able to win the war unlike the Germans, but it was still a bloody affair for everyone involved.

Oxford Comma
Jun 26, 2011
Oxford Comma: Hey guys I want a cool big dog to show off! I want it to be ~special~ like Thor but more couch potato-like because I got babbies in the house!
Everybody: GET A LAB.
Oxford Comma: OK! (gets a a pit/catahoula mix)


With regards to Kursk, the Germans surely must've known how tough a fight it would've been for them to have pushed the Soviets back from their salient. Even if the Germans had been successful in this, the loss of man and material would've been very difficult to sustain. While the Soviet Union was losing a lot more men, they seemed to be able to bear their losses better than Germany could.

So even if German had "won" the offensive for Kursk, is there anyway that they could've sustained an offensive in the Eastern front with the losses they were incurring?

Nenonen
Oct 22, 2009



No, German strategic offensives were kaputt after the destruction of the 6th Army, and the opening of the Italian front just made it worse. Their only hope was to sap the Soviet strength so that the opponent wouldn't have been able to resume offensive for a long time, but there's very little chance that Heer could have followed on any success in Kursk with a sweeping advance like in summers of 1941 and 1942.

Ograbme
Jul 26, 2003

D--n it, how he nicks 'em

How is the Stryker? I somehow got the impression that it suffers from design by committee/feature creep but I don't know how true that is.

Oxford Comma
Jun 26, 2011
Oxford Comma: Hey guys I want a cool big dog to show off! I want it to be ~special~ like Thor but more couch potato-like because I got babbies in the house!
Everybody: GET A LAB.
Oxford Comma: OK! (gets a a pit/catahoula mix)


So pretty much Germany was done after Stalingrad?

SeanBeansShako
Nov 20, 2009


Oxford Comma posted:

So pretty much Germany was done after Stalingrad?

I personally think their fate was sealed the moment they lost the battle for Moscow just outside the city.

But Stalingrad did indeed destroy them.

gohuskies
Oct 23, 2010


Oxford Comma posted:

So pretty much Germany was done after Stalingrad?

Germany was done the moment they decided to enter a war of total annihilation with Russia without putting their economy on a 100% war footing. Hitler thought he could have guns and butter, and ended up with neither. Germany produced more tanks in 1944 than in 1941, and there's no reason for that except that at first they chose to fight with a hand behind their backs to try to keep the civilians at home happy. Taking this city or that city are minor details in comparison.

Ograbme
Jul 26, 2003

D--n it, how he nicks 'em

Was civilian morale really that important with a relatively fanatical population and near absolute control?

Alchenar
Apr 9, 2008

The level of betrayal I felt when Paradox announced their new wallpaper tore something from me that I'll never be able to recover. They tore away my ability to respect anything, and they tore away my ability to feel human.

Ograbme posted:

Was civilian morale really that important with a relatively fanatical population and near absolute control?

Well the Nazis didn't really have either but the answer is no. Admitting that though means conceding that the 'stab in the back' myth wasn't true, and Hitler was never going to do that.


e: the irony was that when the war started going badly and people got depressed there was no impetus for revolt because they realised that Hitler had pulled them all into a war of annihilation with him and their only hope was to keep going.

Alchenar fucked around with this message at Sep 24, 2011 around 22:08

Panzeh
Nov 27, 2006

Wargames pretty much make you Hitler. It's awesome being Hitler.

Ograbme posted:

Was civilian morale really that important with a relatively fanatical population and near absolute control?

I think it's very difficult to say exactly what civilian morale was doing in Germany, and to say it didn't matter because there wasn't a revolt is disingenuous. I think that it definitely had an affect, especially the strategic bombing tended to sap the will to fight of the Germans, but Goebbels was actually good at his job.

By the way, the Germans were far from fanatics. Especially from late 1944 on, German units tended to surrender en masse in pitched battles.

Tab8715
May 20, 2006


On the subject of Alternate-History, is possible the Japanese could have won the pacific?

I'm probably the most ignorant about this theatre.

Panzeh
Nov 27, 2006

Wargames pretty much make you Hitler. It's awesome being Hitler.

Tab8715 posted:

On the subject of Alternate-History, is possible the Japanese could have won the pacific?

I'm probably the most ignorant about this theatre.

Japan was a country with a bit more industrial capacity than Italy but poor raw material production locally. It had a huge merchant marine requirement but not the navy to escort it. Japan's army in particular was so bereft of modern equipment that the anemic NRA(Nationalist Chinese) could fight them reasonably well.

They managed to get an extraordinary amount of production from their capacity, but, it still paled in comparison to the half-effort the US gave them.

SeanBeansShako
Nov 20, 2009


Tab8715 posted:

On the subject of Alternate-History, is possible the Japanese could have won the pacific?

I'm probably the most ignorant about this theatre.

Not really, unless everyone in China suddenly decided that the whole 'extermination and looting' thing was cool and lay down and gave Japan all their resources and land.

Imperial Japan basically bit off more than it could chew. Even if the Japanese knocked out the Carriers at Pearl Harbour it wouldn't have mattered in the long run as the United States simply outclassed Japans Military, Industry and of course the most important thing of all resources.

Nenonen
Oct 22, 2009



Tab8715 posted:

On the subject of Alternate-History, is possible the Japanese could have won the pacific?

No. Japanese industrial base was too limited in comparison to USA, and if you want to contest the control of oceans then you depend on your industrial brawn even more than with land warfare because you can't rely on natural defences (ocean is not one when your enemy has carriers with bombers that can torch your cities from altitudes that your fighters can't reach). It certainly didn't help that Japan had no sources of oil of their own - but then, if they did they wouldn't have gone to war with USA...

EvanSchenck
Sep 8, 2010


Ograbme posted:

Was civilian morale really that important with a relatively fanatical population and near absolute control?

There's always been this tendency in reaction to the crimes of the Nazi state to try to explain them by pathologizing the German national character, like there was something intrinsically wrong with them and that's why they did the Holocaust and started WWII. This distorts the real lesson that we need to learn from Nazism, which is that the crimes of the Nazi state were at the ground level committed and enabled by ordinary, everyday people who were just muddling through and trying to get by. After the war a lot of Germans claimed to have been "apolitical," and said they had no knowledge of the criminal behavior of the German government, but that's also a lie.

The honest answer is that they willingly ignored and put up with injustice and barbarism from their government, because the Nazis had been able to stabilize the German economy and political system. After the Nazis took power (through legal means, remember) the economy seemed to improve, unemployment dropped, street-fighting political organizations--a fixture of the Late Weimar era--disappeared, and Germans could begin to feel proud of their nation again. If they felt uncomfortable about what was happening to their Jewish friends, if they were worried about the possibility of another war, if they disliked the new limits on political expression, they kept it to themselves.

Life and Death in the Third Reich by Peter Fritzsche is a great book that really tries to examine what life was like under the Nazis. Ask the question, how could so many ordinary people allow such tremendous crimes to be committed in their name, and his answer is basically that people would rather be comfortable than ethical.

I'll get back to your actual question, though:

quote:

Was civilian morale really that important?

Hitler and his ruling certainly certainly believed it was, and they were almost obsessed with maintaining the German standard of living. From a certain perspective this was very sensible. Ardent Nazi loyalists were in actuality a small proportion of the population, and before 1933 the combined number of people diametrically opposed to Nazism (e.g. working-class supporters of the Socialist and Communist parties) was actually significantly larger! The Nazis took and maintained power by supplementing their minority of diehard Nazis with a majority that supported them conditionally. Most of the bourgeoisie, the career bureaucrats who had been running the government since the Second Reich, the Prussian officer corps, the big capitalists, and so forth were with the Nazis as a matter of convenience. In case of a major decline in standard of living, a serious spike in unemployment, or whatever, it wasn't unreasonable to worry that their hold on government would become precarious.

There are actually a lot of oddities in the structure of the Third Reich that are only really explained by these problems. For example, the Nazis had a well-attested practice of duplicating the traditional government bureaucracy with party organizations, and then both would operate in parallel and interfere with one another. This happened because the Nazis could not entirely trust the career bureaucrats, who had often been in their posts since before 1914, but they couldn't simply eliminate them, either.

INTJ Mastermind
Dec 30, 2004

It's a radial!

So what was the closest the Allies came to losing the war? When Doenitz's U-Boat blockade was in its heyday?

Ghost of Mussolini
Jun 26, 2011


Oxford Comma posted:

So pretty much Germany was done after Stalingrad?
Germany was done when it entered war with the UK and France. The Nazis (who were totally incompetent at actually running the country) pretty much got the best result possible versus France and were able to make it collapse absurdly quickly. From a standpoint of industry, resources and manpower, the Axis powers never had a chance. By Barbarossa they were just digging their own grave at full speed.

Alchenar
Apr 9, 2008

The level of betrayal I felt when Paradox announced their new wallpaper tore something from me that I'll never be able to recover. They tore away my ability to respect anything, and they tore away my ability to feel human.

INTJ Mastermind posted:

So what was the closest the Allies came to losing the war? When Doenitz's U-Boat blockade was in its heyday?

May 1940, when Lord Halifax almost became Prime Minister instead of Churchill.

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SeanBeansShako
Nov 20, 2009


When you look back on, it is kinda depressing how Germany, Italy and Japan actually became threats when you notice that a majority of their victories were from slight technological prowness, the world powers being crippled by the economic troubles of the time or just experimenting with post 1st World War tactics.

The late twenties and thirties really hosed the world up.

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