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WWII Airpower


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1 hour ago, Bremspropeller said:

That's why trying to [trying to conquer the soviet union in the first place] was so stupid.

Now I'd be with you on this. ;)


1 hour ago, Bremspropeller said:

- 1137 (!) He 177s (which is a four-engined bomber)

But this force was never fully used - for many diffrent reasons (incompetance prominent among them) - but even if the plane was technically reliable fuel shortages would have prevented meaningfull use.


"Had Germany had a substantial force of 4-engined maritime patrols/ bombers, the strategical situation might have tipped quite a lot. Possibly even as far as bullying Britain into a ceasefire and negotiations."


interesting thesis - I have to admit I have no idea how large such force had to have been to achieve this goal or how regulary it would have had to operate and thus cannot judge if it might have been feasible.


1 hour ago, Bremspropeller said:

It was clear that Goering was trapped in 1918 with his views on aerial warfare.

On this I fully agree.

Edited by Eisenfaustus
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8 hours ago, Bremspropeller said:

I also think, though, that the common wisdom about the purge falls a bit short, as it neglects other "purges" and their effects

I think the argument mostly neglects that in the thirties, Russia had the most modern strategic bomber force and tank force in the world along with the doctrine in place to use it. The world was startled when Russia showed a 1200 men paradrop in the thirties. What the purge did was turning all that into a force that just shot at things it could make out by eye. So I really think you need a big, big sugar daddy if your war preparation is a purge. (And when things go south run back to the Gulag looking for residual capitalist traitors to help you out.)


But, as a second thought, I like your point. In effect, then one just should send the highest brass to the first front line (one carabine per five generals, one for ten field marshals, etc.). I think if everyone did that, we would probably see an improvement in many conflicts. It all comes down to motivation, right? That‘s a nice thought to start a week. ;) 


8 hours ago, Bremspropeller said:

The 8th AF bombers didn't destroy the Luftwaffe in the air - it was the escort, eventuelly completely freed form the bombers

Works for me.

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13 hours ago, Bremspropeller said:


I think it's unneccessary to say that the purge had an overall-negative effect.

I also think, though, that the common wisdom about the purge falls a bit short, as it neglects other "purges" and their effects - it doesn't matter if Eisenhower is a prime example or not. It's the fact that other armys and branches of service in other countries also had a significant exchange in all echelons of command and did reasonably well. Not least because of those changes. The purge was both a threat at first, but a chance later when more personnel with recent front-line experience raised in rank and influence.


When looking over to the leadership of the Luftwaffe, where WW1 veterans struggeled to grasp the technological challenges of the times being, it's important noting that a lot of failure was due to the old-timers. It was clear that Goering was trapped in 1918 with his views on aerial warfare.


When you switch from peace to war you need to change the leadership - or rearrange it. There are three types who need to be removed, or sent to positions where they will do the least harm, those: 


1) Hopelessly wedded to what worked in the last war and unwilling to recognize change

2) Good at peacetime administration but not good at war time command

3) Who are just political animals with no real military talents


Both the British and US forces had to go through this process, which is easy in hindsight but not easy at the time.  Getting the right people into the right jobs is as important a task for the heads of armed forces as is the determination of strategy.


The problem with the Soviet purges is that this is not at all what was intended: quite the reverse. Highly competent officers were sacked - or executed - simply because they were deemed insufficiently reliable. It is also pretty clear that Stalin knew perfectly well that in fact most of those purged were entirely loyal. The purge was an act of pure political terrorism which had nothing to do with military preparedness. Every sector of Soviet society was purged. 


The comparisons in the video are ridiculous, but this is what always happens when people set themselves up as contrarians for the sake of it.  There is a huge difference between pensioning off elderly, ineffectual commanders through early retirement and murdering many of your best officers (and their families).  





Edited by unreasonable
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