Discussion:
Kursk--"The Most Overhyped Battle in History"?
(too old to reply)
David Tenner
2017-08-09 15:40:25 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
"If the Germans had destroyed a few Soviet divisions and eliminated the
Kursk salient, the Soviets would merely have rebuilt their strength and
attacked somewhere else..."

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/tiger-tiger-burning-bright-why-kursk-the-most-overhyped-17334?page=show

Thoughts?
--
David Tenner
***@ameritech.net
jerry kraus
2017-08-09 15:54:20 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David Tenner
"If the Germans had destroyed a few Soviet divisions and eliminated the
Kursk salient, the Soviets would merely have rebuilt their strength and
attacked somewhere else..."
http://nationalinterest.org/feature/tiger-tiger-burning-bright-why-kursk-the-most-overhyped-17334?page=show
Thoughts?
--
David Tenner
No. The Battle of the Bulge is the most overhyped battle in history. And, my father's infantry company was almost wiped out in it, too.
SolomonW
2017-08-10 05:55:38 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by jerry kraus
Post by David Tenner
"If the Germans had destroyed a few Soviet divisions and eliminated the
Kursk salient, the Soviets would merely have rebuilt their strength and
attacked somewhere else..."
http://nationalinterest.org/feature/tiger-tiger-burning-bright-why-kursk-the-most-overhyped-17334?page=show
Thoughts?
--
David Tenner
No. The Battle of the Bulge is the most overhyped battle in history. And, my father's infantry company was almost wiped out in it, too.
Quite possibly true in ww2.
Alex Milman
2017-08-10 12:49:44 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by SolomonW
Post by jerry kraus
Post by David Tenner
"If the Germans had destroyed a few Soviet divisions and eliminated the
Kursk salient, the Soviets would merely have rebuilt their strength and
attacked somewhere else..."
http://nationalinterest.org/feature/tiger-tiger-burning-bright-why-kursk-the-most-overhyped-17334?page=show
Thoughts?
--
David Tenner
No. The Battle of the Bulge is the most overhyped battle in history. And, my father's infantry company was almost wiped out in it, too.
Quite possibly true in ww2.
Only in the Anglophonic history.
SolomonW
2017-08-11 06:49:35 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Alex Milman
Post by SolomonW
Post by jerry kraus
Post by David Tenner
"If the Germans had destroyed a few Soviet divisions and eliminated the
Kursk salient, the Soviets would merely have rebuilt their strength and
attacked somewhere else..."
http://nationalinterest.org/feature/tiger-tiger-burning-bright-why-kursk-the-most-overhyped-17334?page=show
Thoughts?
--
David Tenner
No. The Battle of the Bulge is the most overhyped battle in history. And, my father's infantry company was almost wiped out in it, too.
Quite possibly true in ww2.
Only in the Anglophonic history.
I remember talking about Kursk with some Australian who did not know about
the battle or its importance.
Alex Milman
2017-08-09 19:22:14 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David Tenner
"If the Germans had destroyed a few Soviet divisions and eliminated the
Kursk salient, the Soviets would merely have rebuilt their strength and
attacked somewhere else..."
http://nationalinterest.org/feature/tiger-tiger-burning-bright-why-kursk-the-most-overhyped-17334?page=show
Thoughts?
Well, I read few articles from this magazine and never was impressed (to put it
mildly). While Kursk was, of course, overhyped, the same can be said about
many other "historical" battles so nothing new there and some of the "points"
are quite silly.

Of course, not too many Tigers were destroyed (even with the allowance for the
German "minimization" of their losses) but the main German tank was "Panther"
so the Tigers are neither here nor there.

The much greater Soviet tank losses were not as much an indication of tactical
ineptitude as a logical result of the fact that at the time of Kursk the Germans
updated their armor making it practically invulnerable to T-34's 75mm guns:
IIRC, even a Panther could be hit only from 300 - 500m and on a side only while
the German tank artillery was effective from at least 1km (or even 2). The
Soviets were still in a process of experimenting with a new more powerful gun
but it was not there, yet, at the time of Kursk. There were, IIRC, photos of
the tanks rammed by other tanks but this can be expected in a tank battle
happening in such close quarters.

OTOH, simple shrugging off the German plan of attack as something trivial does
not speak well about author's competence: they managed to find and hit a weak
zone in the Soviet defense on the South (totally bypassing the most fortified
area), which allowed a breakthrough and forced the Soviets to throw the reserve
tank army into a fight to stop it.

And, of course, the German tanks were not moved out immediately to fight in
Sicily: the fighting continued for few days more (operation Roland). Manstein
is not a completely reliable source on his own operations (especially, those
unsuccessful) and, anyway, it was a general pattern of the German generals
to blame their failures on Hitler. :-)

Anyway, the Soviet offensive on the North already started and the German troops
on the South started withdrawing even before Roland was officially stopped:
the Soviets launched an offensive by 2 fronts, Southwestern and Southern
against the southern wing of Army Group South, pressing upon the 6th Army and 1st Panzer Army (aka, the Soviets had plenty of reserves, which made Manstein's
activities rather pointless and even dangerous).

Not sure why author bothered to bring up the Bulge: unlike Kursk where both
sides had been well-prepared, the Bulge was clearly Ike's/Bradley's flop and,
unlike Bulge, there were no encirclements or chaos at Kursk.
David Tenner
2017-08-10 14:37:05 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Alex Milman
Post by David Tenner
"If the Germans had destroyed a few Soviet divisions and eliminated the
Kursk salient, the Soviets would merely have rebuilt their strength and
attacked somewhere else..."
http://nationalinterest.org/feature/tiger-tiger-burning-bright-why-kursk
-the-most-overhyped-17334?page=show
Thoughts?
Well, I read few articles from this magazine and never was impressed (to
put it mildly). While Kursk was, of course, overhyped, the same can be
said about many other "historical" battles so nothing new there and some
of the "points" are quite silly.
Actually, the most overhyped battle of all time was Waterloo...
--
David Tenner
***@ameritech.net
jerry kraus
2017-08-10 14:42:09 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David Tenner
Post by Alex Milman
Post by David Tenner
"If the Germans had destroyed a few Soviet divisions and eliminated the
Kursk salient, the Soviets would merely have rebuilt their strength and
attacked somewhere else..."
http://nationalinterest.org/feature/tiger-tiger-burning-bright-why-kursk
-the-most-overhyped-17334?page=show
Thoughts?
Well, I read few articles from this magazine and never was impressed (to
put it mildly). While Kursk was, of course, overhyped, the same can be
said about many other "historical" battles so nothing new there and some
of the "points" are quite silly.
Actually, the most overhyped battle of all time was Waterloo...
--
David Tenner
I see what you mean. Napoleon was doomed, in any case, he was facing off against all of Europe by this time. Still, it did mark the end of his power. Naturally, the British wanted to take credit for this, and were disinclined to acknowledge that that Russians would certainly have made mincemeat out of Napoleon's army if Wellington had failed.
The Horny Goat
2017-08-10 15:08:40 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Thu, 10 Aug 2017 09:37:05 -0500, David Tenner
Post by David Tenner
Post by Alex Milman
Well, I read few articles from this magazine and never was impressed (to
put it mildly). While Kursk was, of course, overhyped, the same can be
said about many other "historical" battles so nothing new there and some
of the "points" are quite silly.
Actually, the most overhyped battle of all time was Waterloo...
I would argue Dunkirk - sure the implications of a 300,000 man pocket
would have been huge but the evacuation was certainly no victory.

I used to think it would have made Sealion possible but even the idea
of an armistice on German terms (after forcing the capture of the
entire BEF) would be a reach. Not with a sane ruler in Berlin but
certainly Hitler being Hitler I find the idea of a peace in June-July
1940 questionable at best.

As for Waterloo, Napoleon surrendered shortly afterwards so at least
his war was ended reasonably quickly. (Now to be sure had Napoleon won
on 18 June 1815 even if he had suffered no losses at all - ha! -
dealing with the oncoming Austrians and Russians would have been
"challenging" but he definitely surrendered after Waterloo)
David Tenner
2017-08-10 15:56:21 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by The Horny Goat
On Thu, 10 Aug 2017 09:37:05 -0500, David Tenner
Post by David Tenner
Post by Alex Milman
Well, I read few articles from this magazine and never was impressed (to
put it mildly). While Kursk was, of course, overhyped, the same can be
said about many other "historical" battles so nothing new there and some
of the "points" are quite silly.
Actually, the most overhyped battle of all time was Waterloo...
I would argue Dunkirk - sure the implications of a 300,000 man pocket
would have been huge but the evacuation was certainly no victory.
I used to think it would have made Sealion possible but even the idea
of an armistice on German terms (after forcing the capture of the
entire BEF) would be a reach. Not with a sane ruler in Berlin but
certainly Hitler being Hitler I find the idea of a peace in June-July
1940 questionable at best.
As for Waterloo, Napoleon surrendered shortly afterwards so at least
his war was ended reasonably quickly. (Now to be sure had Napoleon won
on 18 June 1815 even if he had suffered no losses at all - ha! -
dealing with the oncoming Austrians and Russians would have been
"challenging" but he definitely surrendered after Waterloo)
The reason I call Waterloo "the most overhyped" is that I think Albert
Guerard was right when he wrote (in *France: A Modern History*, p. 281) "The
question has often been asked, 'What if Napoleon had won at Waterloo?' The
answer is as certain as any mere hypothesis can be: Waterloo would have
occurred a few weeks later under another name. Physically, the disparity of
forces was too great. Morally, France had lost heart."
https://archive.org/stream/franceamodernhis006433mbp#page/n307/mode/2up/
--
David Tenner
***@ameritech.net
The Horny Goat
2017-08-10 16:33:42 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Thu, 10 Aug 2017 10:56:21 -0500, David Tenner
Post by David Tenner
Post by The Horny Goat
As for Waterloo, Napoleon surrendered shortly afterwards so at least
his war was ended reasonably quickly. (Now to be sure had Napoleon won
on 18 June 1815 even if he had suffered no losses at all - ha! -
dealing with the oncoming Austrians and Russians would have been
"challenging" but he definitely surrendered after Waterloo)
The reason I call Waterloo "the most overhyped" is that I think Albert
Guerard was right when he wrote (in *France: A Modern History*, p. 281) "The
question has often been asked, 'What if Napoleon had won at Waterloo?' The
answer is as certain as any mere hypothesis can be: Waterloo would have
occurred a few weeks later under another name. Physically, the disparity of
forces was too great. Morally, France had lost heart."
https://archive.org/stream/franceamodernhis006433mbp#page/n307/mode/2up/
As you know I routinely use the reductio ad adsurdem argument here as
I did when I suggested Napoleon would have faced an extremely
challenging situation vs the Austrians / Russians even had he won at
Waterloo (which I define as decisively defeating the combined British
and Prussian forces with their allies) WITH NO CASUALTIES WHATSOEVER.

In short, I think we're making the same argument.
Alex Milman
2017-08-10 20:18:25 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David Tenner
Post by The Horny Goat
On Thu, 10 Aug 2017 09:37:05 -0500, David Tenner
Post by David Tenner
Post by Alex Milman
Well, I read few articles from this magazine and never was impressed (to
put it mildly). While Kursk was, of course, overhyped, the same can be
said about many other "historical" battles so nothing new there and some
of the "points" are quite silly.
Actually, the most overhyped battle of all time was Waterloo...
I would argue Dunkirk - sure the implications of a 300,000 man pocket
would have been huge but the evacuation was certainly no victory.
I used to think it would have made Sealion possible but even the idea
of an armistice on German terms (after forcing the capture of the
entire BEF) would be a reach. Not with a sane ruler in Berlin but
certainly Hitler being Hitler I find the idea of a peace in June-July
1940 questionable at best.
As for Waterloo, Napoleon surrendered shortly afterwards so at least
his war was ended reasonably quickly. (Now to be sure had Napoleon won
on 18 June 1815 even if he had suffered no losses at all - ha! -
dealing with the oncoming Austrians and Russians would have been
"challenging" but he definitely surrendered after Waterloo)
The reason I call Waterloo "the most overhyped" is that I think Albert
Guerard was right when he wrote (in *France: A Modern History*, p. 281) "The
question has often been asked, 'What if Napoleon had won at Waterloo?' The
answer is as certain as any mere hypothesis can be: Waterloo would have
occurred a few weeks later under another name. Physically, the disparity of
forces was too great. Morally, France had lost heart."
https://archive.org/stream/franceamodernhis006433mbp#page/n307/mode/2up/
Very reasonable except, perhaps for the last sentence: I'd say that France
simply was running out of its resources but perhaps this is what author
meant. But Waterloo gave the Brits a cause to brag about THEM defeating
Napoleon. The annoying facts like the Duke being outmaneuvered by Nappy and
the Prussians also playing some role in the event were conveniently shrugged
off (Byron wrote some rather sarcastic stuff on that account). Just as an
annoying thought, wouldn't it be better for pretty much everybody if Nappy
won at Waterloo just to be defeated soon afterwards in the same way he was
defeated in 1814 by just not being able to be everywhere at the same time
so nobody in the allied camp can claim a personal credit.
Rich Rostrom
2017-08-11 05:58:52 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David Tenner
The reason I call Waterloo "the most overhyped" is that I think Albert
Guerard was right when he wrote (in *France: A Modern History*, p. 281) "The
question has often been asked, 'What if Napoleon had won at Waterloo?' The
answer is as certain as any mere hypothesis can be: Waterloo would have
occurred a few weeks later under another name. Physically, the disparity of
forces was too great. Morally, France had lost heart."
https://archive.org/stream/franceamodernhis006433mbp#page/n307/mode/2up/
Well, there's that...

But there are other reasons.

It was the last battle, and it was the battle
where the very hyped British got to defeat
Napoleon. The anglosphere soon became the
dominant intellectual milieu, and British
historians and others filled it with endless
celebrations of that victory.

(Yes, the British are hyped. They write
about themselves a lot, and their language
is now the dominant world language. And they
have a very high opinion of themselves, or
did for a long time.)
--
The real Velvet Revolution - and the would-be hijacker.

http://originalvelvetrevolution.com
Alex Milman
2017-08-11 13:06:56 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by David Tenner
The reason I call Waterloo "the most overhyped" is that I think Albert
Guerard was right when he wrote (in *France: A Modern History*, p. 281) "The
question has often been asked, 'What if Napoleon had won at Waterloo?' The
answer is as certain as any mere hypothesis can be: Waterloo would have
occurred a few weeks later under another name. Physically, the disparity of
forces was too great. Morally, France had lost heart."
https://archive.org/stream/franceamodernhis006433mbp#page/n307/mode/2up/
Well, there's that...
But there are other reasons.
It was the last battle, and it was the battle
where the very hyped British got to defeat
Napoleon.
Role of the Prussians was conveniently forgotten as well as
the fact that while being successful (or lucky) as a tactician,
Wellington was not successful at all as a strategist.
Post by Rich Rostrom
The anglosphere soon became the
dominant intellectual milieu, and British
historians and others filled it with endless
celebrations of that victory.
(Yes, the British are hyped. They write
about themselves a lot, and their language
is now the dominant world language. And they
have a very high opinion of themselves, or
did for a long time.)
--
Very shrewd observation. :-)
The Horny Goat
2017-08-11 16:56:29 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Fri, 11 Aug 2017 06:06:56 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Rich Rostrom
The anglosphere soon became the
dominant intellectual milieu, and British
historians and others filled it with endless
celebrations of that victory.
(Yes, the British are hyped. They write
about themselves a lot, and their language
is now the dominant world language. And they
have a very high opinion of themselves, or
did for a long time.)
--
Very shrewd observation. :-)
Well that had as much to do with two factors as anything else: (1) the
liberation of western Europe by American, British and other English
speaking countries in 1944-45, (2) the rise of the internet two
generations later.

If there is anything that collectively wants to make the august
members of the Academie Francaise choke it surely must be the internet
since that sealed the demise of French as THE world language.
Alex Milman
2017-08-12 15:01:20 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by The Horny Goat
On Fri, 11 Aug 2017 06:06:56 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Rich Rostrom
The anglosphere soon became the
dominant intellectual milieu, and British
historians and others filled it with endless
celebrations of that victory.
(Yes, the British are hyped. They write
about themselves a lot, and their language
is now the dominant world language. And they
have a very high opinion of themselves, or
did for a long time.)
--
Very shrewd observation. :-)
Well that had as much to do with two factors as anything else: (1) the
liberation of western Europe by American, British and other English
speaking countries in 1944-45, (2) the rise of the internet two
generations later.
I'm not 100% sure what any of the above has to do with the Battle of
Waterloo or the Brits being "overhyped" for most of the XIX century.
The Horny Goat
2017-08-12 15:56:13 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Sat, 12 Aug 2017 08:01:20 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
Well that had as much to do with two factors as anything else: (1) the
liberation of western Europe by American, British and other English
speaking countries in 1944-45, (2) the rise of the internet two
generations later.
I'm not 100% sure what any of the above has to do with the Battle of
Waterloo or the Brits being "overhyped" for most of the XIX century.
The whole point is that if you had asked in 1800 what would be the
primary language of the world in 2000 you might have said English but
you might well have said French. In 1900 you probably would have said
English primarily due to the growing influence of the United States,
in 1950 no other language would have come close and by either 2000 or
2017 the chauvinists of the Academie Francaise would have been
apoplectic.

200 years from now I would expect the English language would have
continued to evolve (as it has for the last 1000 years) but any of us
would have no trouble making ourselves understood just like if you
dropped Shakespeare into 2017 Trafalgar Square they would think him
strange but he could communicate.

I'm suggesting the leading role of the Allies in WW2 (which led to
English spreading well beyond the "Anglosphere" and largely replaced
French and German as the dominant second language learned worldwide)
and even more so the Internet played a big role in that. Lots of
languages are spoken but even beyond non English speaking areas it's
by far the dominant #2 language people want to learn.
Alex Milman
2017-08-12 21:34:32 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by The Horny Goat
On Sat, 12 Aug 2017 08:01:20 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
Well that had as much to do with two factors as anything else: (1) the
liberation of western Europe by American, British and other English
speaking countries in 1944-45, (2) the rise of the internet two
generations later.
I'm not 100% sure what any of the above has to do with the Battle of
Waterloo or the Brits being "overhyped" for most of the XIX century.
The whole point is that if you had asked in 1800 what would be the
primary language of the world in 2000 you might have said English but
you might well have said French.
By mid-XIX the answer would be quite clear: "English". Not just because of
the (not yet too dominant) US but because the Brits were "everywhere"
Post by The Horny Goat
In 1900 you probably would have said
English primarily due to the growing influence of the United States,
Conversation was about the Brits, not the English language so this is
rather irrelevant. By mid-XIX the British Empire became a dominant state in
the world (even if its military capacities were quite limited) and the Brits
(we are talking about the "people of society" because most of the rest were
too busy trying to make a living) became a very special breed of an internationally recognized animal known for his condescending attitude to the
lesser species and obsessive concern about his personal comfort and habits.
While travelling across the Ottoman-ruled Balkans British traveler would
describe in passing a heap of the severed heads on a roadside (the "natives"
should be kept subdued) but dedicate a page or two to the important issue of
not getting the eggs for breakfast describing in some detail how assigned to
them Turkish official scared to death the locals to procure the needed
item (in the quantities which the travelers could not consume).
pyotr filipivich
2017-08-12 23:50:21 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
On Sat, 12 Aug 2017 08:01:20 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
Well that had as much to do with two factors as anything else: (1) the
liberation of western Europe by American, British and other English
speaking countries in 1944-45, (2) the rise of the internet two
generations later.
I'm not 100% sure what any of the above has to do with the Battle of
Waterloo or the Brits being "overhyped" for most of the XIX century.
The whole point is that if you had asked in 1800 what would be the
primary language of the world in 2000 you might have said English but
you might well have said French.
By mid-XIX the answer would be quite clear: "English". Not just because of
the (not yet too dominant) US but because the Brits were "everywhere"
Post by The Horny Goat
In 1900 you probably would have said
English primarily due to the growing influence of the United States,
Conversation was about the Brits, not the English language so this is
rather irrelevant. By mid-XIX the British Empire became a dominant state in
the world (even if its military capacities were quite limited) and the Brits
(we are talking about the "people of society" because most of the rest were
too busy trying to make a living) became a very special breed of an internationally recognized animal known for his condescending attitude to the
lesser species and obsessive concern about his personal comfort and habits.
While travelling across the Ottoman-ruled Balkans British traveler would
describe in passing a heap of the severed heads on a roadside (the "natives"
should be kept subdued) but dedicate a page or two to the important issue of
not getting the eggs for breakfast describing in some detail how assigned to
them Turkish official scared to death the locals to procure the needed
item (in the quantities which the travelers could not consume).
"Terrible Storm in Channel - Europe cut off!" Times headline.
--
pyotr filipivich.
For Sale: Uncirculated Roman Drachmas, feature Julius Ceaser's Portrait,
several dated 44 BCE. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity.
The Horny Goat
2017-08-13 01:02:29 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Sat, 12 Aug 2017 16:50:21 -0700, pyotr filipivich
Post by pyotr filipivich
"Terrible Storm in Channel - Europe cut off!" Times headline.
That's apocryphal but has been repeated numerous times since (most
recently following Brexit) and has always been considered a parody.

I can't find any mention of the 'headline' claimed to be before 1955
which of course is far far after the heyday of the British Empire.

Some would argue however (and I'd probably agree) it fairly
represented the mentality in the late Victorian era.
Alex Milman
2017-08-13 13:05:25 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by pyotr filipivich
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
On Sat, 12 Aug 2017 08:01:20 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
Well that had as much to do with two factors as anything else: (1) the
liberation of western Europe by American, British and other English
speaking countries in 1944-45, (2) the rise of the internet two
generations later.
I'm not 100% sure what any of the above has to do with the Battle of
Waterloo or the Brits being "overhyped" for most of the XIX century.
The whole point is that if you had asked in 1800 what would be the
primary language of the world in 2000 you might have said English but
you might well have said French.
By mid-XIX the answer would be quite clear: "English". Not just because of
the (not yet too dominant) US but because the Brits were "everywhere"
Post by The Horny Goat
In 1900 you probably would have said
English primarily due to the growing influence of the United States,
Conversation was about the Brits, not the English language so this is
rather irrelevant. By mid-XIX the British Empire became a dominant state in
the world (even if its military capacities were quite limited) and the Brits
(we are talking about the "people of society" because most of the rest were
too busy trying to make a living) became a very special breed of an internationally recognized animal known for his condescending attitude to the
lesser species and obsessive concern about his personal comfort and habits.
While travelling across the Ottoman-ruled Balkans British traveler would
describe in passing a heap of the severed heads on a roadside (the "natives"
should be kept subdued) but dedicate a page or two to the important issue of
not getting the eggs for breakfast describing in some detail how assigned to
them Turkish official scared to death the locals to procure the needed
item (in the quantities which the travelers could not consume).
"Terrible Storm in Channel - Europe cut off!" Times headline.
"But certain things are preventing me from enjoying the scenery: scorpions,
centipedes and figures of the Brits." :-)
Alex Milman
2017-08-10 20:05:44 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by David Tenner
Post by Alex Milman
Post by David Tenner
"If the Germans had destroyed a few Soviet divisions and eliminated the
Kursk salient, the Soviets would merely have rebuilt their strength and
attacked somewhere else..."
http://nationalinterest.org/feature/tiger-tiger-burning-bright-why-kursk
-the-most-overhyped-17334?page=show
Thoughts?
Well, I read few articles from this magazine and never was impressed (to
put it mildly). While Kursk was, of course, overhyped, the same can be
said about many other "historical" battles so nothing new there and some
of the "points" are quite silly.
Actually, the most overhyped battle of all time was Waterloo...
Well, the world is not uniform and Waterloo is a good candidate in the
Anglophonic history. In Russian, for example, it was hardly treated as
something really important. But as far as the Anglophonic history is
involved, there are also defeat of the Armada (which was hardly a victory pf
the English navy and which hardly was something Spanish conquest of England
and which completely ignores the fact that there were 2 more Armadas soon
afterwards) and victory at Trafalgar (which definitely did not prevent
French invasion and which was anything but surprise even for the French and
Spanish leaders). Well, probably Agincourt belongs to the same category: even
the German historians were not buying the "traditional" numbers.

In Russian history the 1st big overhyped battle was at Kulikovo: it did not
stop the Tatar overlordship over Russian lands, it did not have a serious
political impact (within few years Moscow had been burned by the Tatars), it
was not "epic" in the terms of numbers and nowadays there are serious doubts
if it really happened where it supposed to happen. Battle at Lake Peipus (known
outside Russia thanks to the movie) was of a zero importance and all "known"
details seems to be a combination of a complete BS and cultural
misunderstandings (inability to interpret the contemporary art). Most of the
hype was due to the fact that Prince Alexander (who actually did not have a
nickname "Nevsky") was a founder of the line of the Princes of Moscow.
And as far as the Napoleonic wars are involved, the Russian favorite "overhyped" battle is Borodino.

Austrians, AFAIK, tend to "overhype" Battle of Zenta, etc.


And, speaking of history in general, the victories of Alexander were overhyped:
he tended to have a healthy numeric and quality advantage except for Gaugamela
where Darius did have some numeric advantage but no army, just a disorganized
collection of the tribal contingents.

But how about the UNDERHYPED battles that actually produced very significant
results but are not too well known?

For example - Vorskla (1399). Political results were quite serious (noticeable
weakening of the Grand duchy of Lithuania of which Poland took advantage) but
even more serious would be results of an alternative outcome: creation of
"super-Lithuania" controlling practically ALL Russian lands and the Golden
Horde (which would cede direct overlordship of the Russian lands to Lithuania).
SolomonW
2017-08-11 06:53:00 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Alex Milman
he tended to have a healthy numeric and quality advantage except for Gaugamela
where Darius did have some numeric advantage but no army, just a disorganized
collection of the tribal contingents.
Battle of Issus
SolomonW
2017-08-11 07:05:30 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by jerry kraus
overhyped battle
Do you have definition, for example; the Battle of Actium was a fair minor
battle, but its consequences were huge?
Alex Milman
2017-08-11 13:08:12 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by SolomonW
Post by jerry kraus
overhyped battle
Do you have definition, for example; the Battle of Actium was a fair minor
battle, but its consequences were huge?
Yes, "ignored" battles with the big consequences (or preventing these
"consequences" from taking place).
The Horny Goat
2017-08-11 16:57:25 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Fri, 11 Aug 2017 06:08:12 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by SolomonW
Post by jerry kraus
overhyped battle
Do you have definition, for example; the Battle of Actium was a fair minor
battle, but its consequences were huge?
Yes, "ignored" battles with the big consequences (or preventing these
"consequences" from taking place).
One could argue Nelson's victory at the Nile for much the same
reasons.
SolomonW
2017-08-12 11:16:36 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by The Horny Goat
On Fri, 11 Aug 2017 06:08:12 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by SolomonW
Post by jerry kraus
overhyped battle
Do you have definition, for example; the Battle of Actium was a fair minor
battle, but its consequences were huge?
Yes, "ignored" battles with the big consequences (or preventing these
"consequences" from taking place).
One could argue Nelson's victory at the Nile for much the same
reasons.
Preventing these consequences could be almost any battle, in any number of
examples julius caesar could have died long before coming dictator of
rome.


What about if Stalin had died in the Battle for Tsaritsyn.
pyotr filipivich
2017-08-12 16:59:54 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by SolomonW
Post by The Horny Goat
On Fri, 11 Aug 2017 06:08:12 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by SolomonW
Post by jerry kraus
overhyped battle
Do you have definition, for example; the Battle of Actium was a fair minor
battle, but its consequences were huge?
Yes, "ignored" battles with the big consequences (or preventing these
"consequences" from taking place).
One could argue Nelson's victory at the Nile for much the same
reasons.
Preventing these consequences could be almost any battle, in any number of
examples julius caesar could have died long before coming dictator of
rome.
What about if Stalin had died in the Battle for Tsaritsyn.
Or shot in a failed revolutionary bank robbery?
--
pyotr filipivich.
For Sale: Uncirculated Roman Drachmas, feature Julius Ceaser's Portrait,
several dated 44 BCE. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity.
Rich Rostrom
2017-08-12 19:51:01 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by pyotr filipivich
Post by SolomonW
What about if Stalin had died in the Battle for Tsaritsyn.
Or shot in a failed revolutionary bank robbery?
Young Winston Churchill speared by a Dervish at Omdurman.

Deputy Sheriff Teddy Roosevelt shot by a cattle rustler in North Dakota.

Crown Prince George of Hanover decapitated by a cannon ball at Oudenarde.

William Marshal, killed in a jousting accident in his third tournament.

Etc, etc, etc.
--
The real Velvet Revolution - and the would-be hijacker.

http://originalvelvetrevolution.com
pyotr filipivich
2017-08-12 23:50:21 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by pyotr filipivich
Post by SolomonW
What about if Stalin had died in the Battle for Tsaritsyn.
Or shot in a failed revolutionary bank robbery?
Young Winston Churchill speared by a Dervish at Omdurman.
Deputy Sheriff Teddy Roosevelt shot by a cattle rustler in North Dakota.
Crown Prince George of Hanover decapitated by a cannon ball at Oudenarde.
William Marshal, killed in a jousting accident in his third tournament.
Etc, etc, etc.
Or the flux, the crud, or any one of several childhood diseases.

Or the train was late and their parents never met, etc, and so
forth

"Aliens invade earth, all humanity wiped out in plague, film at
eleven."
--
pyotr filipivich.
For Sale: Uncirculated Roman Drachmas, feature Julius Ceaser's Portrait,
several dated 44 BCE. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity.
The Horny Goat
2017-08-13 01:13:11 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Sat, 12 Aug 2017 16:50:21 -0700, pyotr filipivich
Post by pyotr filipivich
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by pyotr filipivich
Post by SolomonW
What about if Stalin had died in the Battle for Tsaritsyn.
Or shot in a failed revolutionary bank robbery?
Young Winston Churchill speared by a Dervish at Omdurman.
Deputy Sheriff Teddy Roosevelt shot by a cattle rustler in North Dakota.
Crown Prince George of Hanover decapitated by a cannon ball at Oudenarde.
William Marshal, killed in a jousting accident in his third tournament.
Etc, etc, etc.
Or the flux, the crud, or any one of several childhood diseases.
Or the train was late and their parents never met, etc, and so
forth
"Aliens invade earth, all humanity wiped out in plague, film at
eleven."
There's a reason that the verse "For want of a nail...." is so famous
in the AH genre
pyotr filipivich
2017-08-13 16:16:12 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by The Horny Goat
On Sat, 12 Aug 2017 16:50:21 -0700, pyotr filipivich
Post by pyotr filipivich
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by pyotr filipivich
Post by SolomonW
What about if Stalin had died in the Battle for Tsaritsyn.
Or shot in a failed revolutionary bank robbery?
Young Winston Churchill speared by a Dervish at Omdurman.
Deputy Sheriff Teddy Roosevelt shot by a cattle rustler in North Dakota.
Crown Prince George of Hanover decapitated by a cannon ball at Oudenarde.
William Marshal, killed in a jousting accident in his third tournament.
Etc, etc, etc.
Or the flux, the crud, or any one of several childhood diseases.
Or the train was late and their parents never met, etc, and so
forth
"Aliens invade earth, all humanity wiped out in plague, film at
eleven."
There's a reason that the verse "For want of a nail...." is so famous
in the AH genre
Yep - and Sobel wrote a great book with that title, too.
--
pyotr filipivich.
For Sale: Uncirculated Roman Drachmas, feature Julius Ceaser's Portrait,
several dated 44 BCE. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity.
The Horny Goat
2017-08-13 20:36:33 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Sun, 13 Aug 2017 09:16:12 -0700, pyotr filipivich
Post by pyotr filipivich
Post by The Horny Goat
There's a reason that the verse "For want of a nail...." is so famous
in the AH genre
Yep - and Sobel wrote a great book with that title, too.
You seriously expect a SHWI grognard not to know that?

It was a high point of a vacation some years back when I found the
Sobel book in a bookstore. The missus couldn't understand why I was so
pleased!
The Horny Goat
2017-08-12 22:41:44 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Sat, 12 Aug 2017 09:59:54 -0700, pyotr filipivich
Post by pyotr filipivich
Post by SolomonW
What about if Stalin had died in the Battle for Tsaritsyn.
Or shot in a failed revolutionary bank robbery?
I think we all understand that most major historical figures had
brushes with death at various points before they became prominent

Churchill - Sudan, South Africa, New York City (nearly run over by a
car while doing a speaking tour in 1926)
Hitler - mostly WW1 or the Beer Hall Putsch
Teddy Roosevelt - gored by a buffalo, San Juan Hill etc
FDR - didn't recover from Polio
Truman - artillery oficer WW1

und zo on und zo on

I don't know of ANY prominent figure of the 20th century who couldn't
have been offed without requiring ASBs.

That's pretty much a given in the AH genre
pyotr filipivich
2017-08-12 23:50:21 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by The Horny Goat
On Sat, 12 Aug 2017 09:59:54 -0700, pyotr filipivich
Post by pyotr filipivich
Post by SolomonW
What about if Stalin had died in the Battle for Tsaritsyn.
Or shot in a failed revolutionary bank robbery?
I think we all understand that most major historical figures had
brushes with death at various points before they became prominent
Churchill - Sudan, South Africa, New York City (nearly run over by a
car while doing a speaking tour in 1926)
Hitler - mostly WW1 or the Beer Hall Putsch
Teddy Roosevelt - gored by a buffalo, San Juan Hill etc
FDR - didn't recover from Polio
Truman - artillery oficer WW1
und zo on und zo on
I don't know of ANY prominent figure of the 20th century who couldn't
have been offed without requiring ASBs.
That's pretty much a given in the AH genre
Yep.
--
pyotr filipivich.
For Sale: Uncirculated Roman Drachmas, feature Julius Ceaser's Portrait,
several dated 44 BCE. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity.
Rich Rostrom
2017-08-14 22:06:58 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by The Horny Goat
I don't know of ANY prominent figure of the 20th
century who couldn't have been offed without
requiring ASBs.
There is some risk of death in ordinary life, so
_anyone_ could die without extraordinary intervention.

That's a given.

But some people have ruan much greater risks than
others: they were in war zones in combat or under
attack (e.g. anyone in Britain during the Blitz),
survived natural disasters or murderous tyranny (e.g.
anyone in the USSR, 1930-1953), or had risky hobbies
like mountain climbing, arctic exploration, or auto
racing.

(Audrey Hepburn: nearly starved to death in the
Netherlands in the Hunger Winter of 1944-45. George
Lucas: almost killed in a racing crash, 1962.)

Some prominent figures of the 20th century who did
_not_ run any special risks: William Howard Taft,
Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover,
Dwight Eisenhower (never in action), Jimmy Carter,
Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Earl Warren, Margaret
Thatcher, Lloyd George, Pierre Trudeau, Indira Gandhi,
Juan Peron, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Henry Ford,
Joe Kennedy, Elvis Presley, Alfred Hitchcock, Billy
Graham, Eleanor Roosevelt, King Juan Carlos.

Also Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, Babe Ruth, Pele...
--
The real Velvet Revolution - and the would-be hijacker.

http://originalvelvetrevolution.com
The Horny Goat
2017-08-14 22:49:19 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Mon, 14 Aug 2017 17:06:58 -0500, Rich Rostrom
Post by Rich Rostrom
Some prominent figures of the 20th century who did
_not_ run any special risks: William Howard Taft,
Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover,
Dwight Eisenhower (never in action), Jimmy Carter,
Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Earl Warren, Margaret
Thatcher, Lloyd George, Pierre Trudeau, Indira Gandhi,
Juan Peron, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Henry Ford,
Joe Kennedy, Elvis Presley, Alfred Hitchcock, Billy
Graham, Eleanor Roosevelt, King Juan Carlos.
Pierre Trudeau in 1942 put on an SS uniform (this was during a period
when U-boats were sinking ships in the Gulf of St Lawrence) and rode
his motorcycle around the Jewish quarter of Montreal to terrorize the
locals. Clearly a sick "childish gag" by an entitled rich kid but one
that in 1939-45 could easily have seen him shot. Hoover commanded US
relief efforts post WW1 (i.e. during the "Spanish" epidemic), there
are all sorts of military men on that list who could have been killed
in trianing accients - for instance Canada's prime minister John
Diefenbaker volunteered for overseas service in WW1 but injureed his
back severely enough while training in England that he was sent home
while his unit went to Flanders. (Something about a training trench
collapsing on him in England) Meanwhile his future nemesis Lester
Pearson and Harry Truman were both artillery officers (which was not
all that hazardous compared to being "PBI" poor bloody infantry though
plenty were killed in counter-battery fire) Diefenbaker could also
have been killed when he very publicly disavoiwed KKK endorsement in
the 1925 election.

One could argue Churchill's biggest clash with death (other than at
Omdurman or during the Boer War where he escaped through Boer lines)
was in 1926 when he was nearly run over in NY City while crossing the
street during a speaking tour.

Jimmy Carter was chief engineering officer on a nuclear submarine -
and while there never has been a nuclear accident on any US Navy ship
it's mostly due to the efforts of men like him. His grandchildren all
hae 10 fingers and 10 toes so presumably he didn't absorb too many
rads!
pyotr filipivich
2017-08-15 04:22:17 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by The Horny Goat
One could argue Churchill's biggest clash with death (other than at
Omdurman or during the Boer War where he escaped through Boer lines)
was in 1926 when he was nearly run over in NY City while crossing the
street during a speaking tour.
Or leaping from a bridge into a tree as a boy, in order to not get
caught in a game. He did spend some time laid up in bed afterwards.
He could have missed.
--
pyotr filipivich.
For Sale: Uncirculated Roman Drachmas, feature Julius Ceaser's Portrait,
several dated 44 BCE. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity.
The Horny Goat
2017-08-15 16:21:13 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Mon, 14 Aug 2017 21:22:17 -0700, pyotr filipivich
Post by pyotr filipivich
Post by The Horny Goat
One could argue Churchill's biggest clash with death (other than at
Omdurman or during the Boer War where he escaped through Boer lines)
was in 1926 when he was nearly run over in NY City while crossing the
street during a speaking tour.
Or leaping from a bridge into a tree as a boy, in order to not get
caught in a game. He did spend some time laid up in bed afterwards.
He could have missed.
My whole point was that there are zillions of well known factoids
about various great figures in history that could have led to their
demise that had nothing whatever to do with warfare.
pyotr filipivich
2017-08-15 20:52:18 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by The Horny Goat
On Mon, 14 Aug 2017 21:22:17 -0700, pyotr filipivich
Post by pyotr filipivich
Post by The Horny Goat
One could argue Churchill's biggest clash with death (other than at
Omdurman or during the Boer War where he escaped through Boer lines)
was in 1926 when he was nearly run over in NY City while crossing the
street during a speaking tour.
Or leaping from a bridge into a tree as a boy, in order to not get
caught in a game. He did spend some time laid up in bed afterwards.
He could have missed.
My whole point was that there are zillions of well known factoids
about various great figures in history that could have led to their
demise that had nothing whatever to do with warfare.
True. And the equally "scary" thing is - the number of Great Men
who died in infancy IOTL whom we never heard of, but had a major
impact in an ALT.
But that ways lies madness.
--
pyotr filipivich.
For Sale: Uncirculated Roman Drachmas, feature Julius Ceaser's Portrait,
several dated 44 BCE. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity.
Gene Wirchenko
2017-08-16 05:40:29 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Tue, 15 Aug 2017 13:52:18 -0700, pyotr filipivich
<***@mindspring.com> wrote:

[snip]
Post by pyotr filipivich
True. And the equally "scary" thing is - the number of Great Men
who died in infancy IOTL whom we never heard of, but had a major
impact in an ALT.
But that ways lies madness.
And soc.history.what-if.

Tell me a story.

Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko
Rich Rostrom
2017-08-20 09:25:34 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by The Horny Goat
Pierre Trudeau in 1942 put on an SS uniform (this was during a period
when U-boats were sinking ships in the Gulf of St Lawrence) and rode
his motorcycle around the Jewish quarter of Montreal to terrorize the
locals.
This falls under risks of ordinary life.
Post by The Horny Goat
... killed in training accients...
Same thing, unless the training was unusually hazardous.
Post by The Horny Goat
Jimmy Carter was chief engineering officer on a nuclear submarine...
Non-combat service, not in a hazardous duty: "Risks of ordinary life."
--
The real Velvet Revolution - and the would-be hijacker.

http://originalvelvetrevolution.com
Alex Milman
2017-08-20 13:23:14 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by The Horny Goat
Pierre Trudeau in 1942 put on an SS uniform (this was during a period
when U-boats were sinking ships in the Gulf of St Lawrence) and rode
his motorcycle around the Jewish quarter of Montreal to terrorize the
locals.
This falls under risks of ordinary life.
Post by The Horny Goat
... killed in training accients...
Same thing, unless the training was unusually hazardous.
Post by The Horny Goat
Jimmy Carter was chief engineering officer on a nuclear submarine...
Non-combat service, not in a hazardous duty: "Risks of ordinary life."
You extended initial proposal all the way to a complete absurdity. The question
was rather straightforward: the battles in which a different outcome would
have SIGNIFICANT results (preferably, more significant than OTL results).

For example, Waterloo would not be one of them but Austerlitz would.
The Horny Goat
2017-08-20 17:10:00 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Sun, 20 Aug 2017 04:25:34 -0500, Rich Rostrom
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by The Horny Goat
Pierre Trudeau in 1942 put on an SS uniform (this was during a period
when U-boats were sinking ships in the Gulf of St Lawrence) and rode
his motorcycle around the Jewish quarter of Montreal to terrorize the
locals.
This falls under risks of ordinary life.
Wearing an enemy uniform when your country is at war is a 'risk of
ordinary life'? You and I must come from different neighborhoods!
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by The Horny Goat
... killed in training accients...
Same thing, unless the training was unusually hazardous.
Post by The Horny Goat
Jimmy Carter was chief engineering officer on a nuclear submarine...
Non-combat service, not in a hazardous duty: "Risks of ordinary life."
In fairness by definition a nuclear submarine can be in combat at any
time - that's the whole point. Given the nuclear reactor it's only the
superior engineering skills of the US Navy that keeps them safe.

Kursk is a prime example of what can go wrong. (The ship not the
battle)
Rich Rostrom
2017-08-22 20:59:35 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by The Horny Goat
On Sun, 20 Aug 2017 04:25:34 -0500, Rich Rostrom
Post by Rich Rostrom
This falls under risks of ordinary life.
Wearing an enemy uniform when your country is at war is a 'risk of
ordinary life'? You and I must come from different neighborhoods!
It was a prank. Nobody shot at him, or anyone else.
His biggest risk was crashing his motorcycle, which
is a risk tens millions of people run everyday.
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Rich Rostrom
Same thing, unless the training was unusually hazardous.
Post by The Horny Goat
Jimmy Carter was chief engineering officer on a nuclear submarine...
Non-combat service, not in a hazardous duty: "Risks of ordinary life."
In fairness by definition a nuclear submarine can be
in combat at any time...
But Carter never was.
--
The real Velvet Revolution - and the would-be hijacker.

http://originalvelvetrevolution.com
The Horny Goat
2017-08-23 07:38:28 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Tue, 22 Aug 2017 15:59:35 -0500, Rich Rostrom
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Rich Rostrom
This falls under risks of ordinary life.
Wearing an enemy uniform when your country is at war is a 'risk of
ordinary life'? You and I must come from different neighborhoods!
It was a prank. Nobody shot at him, or anyone else.
His biggest risk was crashing his motorcycle, which
is a risk tens millions of people run everyday.
True it was an immature prank - but wearing an enemy uniform on a city
street during wartime is quite a bit differrent from some Antifas tard
carrying the Hammer and Sickle in 2017. Wearing that uniform
specifically in the Jewish quarter at the time could be expected to
generate several calls to police.

Any police officer in wartime who saw someone in SS uniform on a
Canadian (or American) street could be reasonably expected to shoot
first and ask questions later. You have to understand that German
U-Boats were at that same time operating less than 200 miles away -
and I very much doubt the average Montreal copper readily recognized
the difference between SS and Kriegsmarine uniforms.

Perhaps you and I have different ideas on 'the perils of everyday
life"
There were plenty of Canadians overseas at that point and few if any
had returned to Canada to share their experiences.

Alex Milman
2017-08-12 15:06:26 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by The Horny Goat
On Fri, 11 Aug 2017 06:08:12 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by SolomonW
Post by jerry kraus
overhyped battle
Do you have definition, for example; the Battle of Actium was a fair minor
battle, but its consequences were huge?
Yes, "ignored" battles with the big consequences (or preventing these
"consequences" from taking place).
One could argue Nelson's victory at the Nile for much the same
reasons.
If there was no Battle at the Nile, not too many things would change on a
global scheme. The French would not march to India anyway and their control
over Egypt did not change anything in Europe while it lasted. The Republic
would not make it a major battlefield and Bonaparte would have to operate
with the forces he had. Sooner or later he would figure out that returning
to France is a good idea so he would leave his troops behind (otherwise it
would look as a defeat) and sail...
The Horny Goat
2017-08-12 15:57:51 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Sat, 12 Aug 2017 08:06:26 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
One could argue Nelson's victory at the Nile for much the same
reasons.
If there was no Battle at the Nile, not too many things would change on a
global scheme. The French would not march to India anyway and their control
over Egypt did not change anything in Europe while it lasted. The Republic
would not make it a major battlefield and Bonaparte would have to operate
with the forces he had. Sooner or later he would figure out that returning
to France is a good idea so he would leave his troops behind (otherwise it
would look as a defeat) and sail...
For sure the Battle of the Nile ended any thought of French troops
going anywhere they couldn't get to on their own feet!
Alex Milman
2017-08-12 21:37:36 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by The Horny Goat
On Sat, 12 Aug 2017 08:06:26 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
One could argue Nelson's victory at the Nile for much the same
reasons.
If there was no Battle at the Nile, not too many things would change on a
global scheme. The French would not march to India anyway and their control
over Egypt did not change anything in Europe while it lasted. The Republic
would not make it a major battlefield and Bonaparte would have to operate
with the forces he had. Sooner or later he would figure out that returning
to France is a good idea so he would leave his troops behind (otherwise it
would look as a defeat) and sail...
For sure the Battle of the Nile ended any thought of French troops
going anywhere they couldn't get to on their own feet!
From Egypt they could not sail in any meaningful direction, anyway: with Suez
Canal not being available, yet, sailing to India was a little bit difficult
and where else would they go?
The Horny Goat
2017-08-13 01:12:17 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Sat, 12 Aug 2017 14:37:36 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
One could argue Nelson's victory at the Nile for much the same
reasons.
If there was no Battle at the Nile, not too many things would change on a
global scheme. The French would not march to India anyway and their control
over Egypt did not change anything in Europe while it lasted. The Republic
would not make it a major battlefield and Bonaparte would have to operate
with the forces he had. Sooner or later he would figure out that returning
to France is a good idea so he would leave his troops behind (otherwise it
would look as a defeat) and sail...
For sure the Battle of the Nile ended any thought of French troops
going anywhere they couldn't get to on their own feet!
From Egypt they could not sail in any meaningful direction, anyway: with Suez
Canal not being available, yet, sailing to India was a little bit difficult
and where else would they go?
I thought I was one the arguing the battle of the Nile was over-hyped!
Given French goals at the time an expedition to Egypt didn't really
make sense in the first place. If they were trying to bring down the
Ottomans they were in the wrong place and what else could be the
objective? If India well that says their strategic planning was done
using a globe as India is a lot further from Egypt than Egypt is from
France even if roads suitable for supporting an army existed at all!

Even the idea that a force the size of the French army expedition to
Egypt is quite ludicrous.
Alex Milman
2017-08-13 13:19:02 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by The Horny Goat
On Sat, 12 Aug 2017 14:37:36 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
One could argue Nelson's victory at the Nile for much the same
reasons.
If there was no Battle at the Nile, not too many things would change on a
global scheme. The French would not march to India anyway and their control
over Egypt did not change anything in Europe while it lasted. The Republic
would not make it a major battlefield and Bonaparte would have to operate
with the forces he had. Sooner or later he would figure out that returning
to France is a good idea so he would leave his troops behind (otherwise it
would look as a defeat) and sail...
For sure the Battle of the Nile ended any thought of French troops
going anywhere they couldn't get to on their own feet!
From Egypt they could not sail in any meaningful direction, anyway: with Suez
Canal not being available, yet, sailing to India was a little bit difficult
and where else would they go?
I thought I was one the arguing the battle of the Nile was over-hyped!
Given French goals at the time an expedition to Egypt didn't really
make sense in the first place. If they were trying to bring down the
Ottomans they were in the wrong place and what else could be the
objective? If India well that says their strategic planning was done
using a globe
Actually, this would not be such a big surprise:

Few years after the Egypt expedition Paul I ordered the Cossacks of Don to
march on India (you can check the distances and keep in mind that by that
time the "stans" were not conquered, yet.

Until the late XIX the Brits were under the impression that India is within a
walking distance from what was at these times Russian border. It WAS joked
(or maybe it was not a joke) that this was because they were using small maps
in the Foreign Office :-)
Post by The Horny Goat
as India is a lot further from Egypt than Egypt is from
France even if roads suitable for supporting an army existed at all!
You are missing one more important option: there is a theory that the real
purpose was to send certain excessively popular and ambitious
general as far from France as was technically possible. As the following events
demonstrated, he was not sent far enough. I strongly suspect that there was
some quiet celebration among the Directory members when they received the
news about the Battle of the Nile.
Post by The Horny Goat
Even the idea that a force the size of the French army expedition to
Egypt is quite ludicrous.
Well, not for the contemporaries: look at the size of the French and British
armies that by this time successfully operated in India.
The Horny Goat
2017-08-13 15:49:47 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Sun, 13 Aug 2017 06:19:02 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
Even the idea that a force the size of the French army expedition to
Egypt is quite ludicrous.
Well, not for the contemporaries: look at the size of the French and British
armies that by this time successfully operated in India.
Yes I understand that. Are you suggesting they marched to India? I
would find that highly surprising.
Alex Milman
2017-08-13 19:51:09 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by The Horny Goat
On Sun, 13 Aug 2017 06:19:02 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
Even the idea that a force the size of the French army expedition to
Egypt is quite ludicrous.
Well, not for the contemporaries: look at the size of the French and British
armies that by this time successfully operated in India.
Yes I understand that. Are you suggesting they marched to India? I
would find that highly surprising.
No, what I was saying is that the European armies operating on the East were
of a limited size, much lesser than one sent to Egypt.


An OFFICIAL purpose of the expedition was to undermine the British access to
India and promote the French commerce by having Egypt as a base. This was Nappy's idea fix which he discussed during his Italian campaign with Talleyrand. The whole notion was probably based on the report by Baron de Tott
who was sent with a secret mission to Levant in 1777(and even prospected the area for the construction of a canal in Suez).

'According to a 13 February 1798 report by Talleyrand, "Having occupied and fortified Egypt, we shall send a force of 15,000 men from Suez to the Sultanate of Mysore, to join the forces of Tipu Sultan and drive away the English."' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_campaign_in_Egypt_and_Syria#Proposal

If one leaves aside the inconvenient questions like how long (if at all)
construction of the canal would take with the means available at that time,
it is reasonable to assume that 15,000 French soldiers (especially, if they
were led by general Bonaparte) arriving to India and being backed up by the
Mysor troops could mean VERY BAD news for the East India Company (Mysor backed
up by the French won the Second Anglo–Mysore War of 1780 - 84).


Now, it is not a big surprise that young general Bonaparte was overly excited
and optimistic (even as the 1st Consul he did not abandon an idea of attacking
British India by a combined French-Russian attack). Why someone as sane and
cynical as Talleyrand officially endorsed it is a separate question and an
answer perhaps linked to the intention of the Directory to sent certain
general as far from France as possible, no matter how much would it cost in
money and human losses. It should be quite obvious for them that, with a
general British naval superiority, a free merchant traffic on the Med would not
be possible, Egypt or no Egypt but, on a positive side, there was a good
chance that the said general ends up on the bottom of the Med well before he
manages to land in Egypt (who knew that Nelson would screw up?): "no person,
no problem".
The Horny Goat
2017-08-13 20:40:21 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Sun, 13 Aug 2017 12:51:09 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
If one leaves aside the inconvenient questions like how long (if at all)
construction of the canal would take with the means available at that time,
it is reasonable to assume that 15,000 French soldiers (especially, if they
were led by general Bonaparte) arriving to India and being backed up by the
Mysor troops could mean VERY BAD news for the East India Company (Mysor backed
up by the French won the Second Anglo=E2=80=93Mysore War of 1780 - 84).
Now, it is not a big surprise that young general Bonaparte was overly excited
and optimistic (even as the 1st Consul he did not abandon an idea of attacking
British India by a combined French-Russian attack). Why someone as sane and
cynical as Talleyrand officially endorsed it is a separate question and an
answer perhaps linked to the intention of the Directory to sent certain
general as far from France as possible, no matter how much would it cost in
money and human losses. It should be quite obvious for them that, with a
general British naval superiority, a free merchant traffic on the Med would not
be possible, Egypt or no Egypt but, on a positive side, there was a good
chance that the said general ends up on the bottom of the Med well before he
manages to land in Egypt (who knew that Nelson would screw up?): "no person,
no problem".
Given what we know of French Directory politics that explanation
doesn't surprise me at all. Napoleon was fortunate not to wind up
rotting in an Ottoman prison once he lost his fleet.
Alex Milman
2017-08-14 20:21:05 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by The Horny Goat
On Sun, 13 Aug 2017 12:51:09 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
If one leaves aside the inconvenient questions like how long (if at all)
construction of the canal would take with the means available at that time,
it is reasonable to assume that 15,000 French soldiers (especially, if they
were led by general Bonaparte) arriving to India and being backed up by the
Mysor troops could mean VERY BAD news for the East India Company (Mysor backed
up by the French won the Second Anglo=E2=80=93Mysore War of 1780 - 84).
Now, it is not a big surprise that young general Bonaparte was overly excited
and optimistic (even as the 1st Consul he did not abandon an idea of attacking
British India by a combined French-Russian attack). Why someone as sane and
cynical as Talleyrand officially endorsed it is a separate question and an
answer perhaps linked to the intention of the Directory to sent certain
general as far from France as possible, no matter how much would it cost in
money and human losses. It should be quite obvious for them that, with a
general British naval superiority, a free merchant traffic on the Med would not
be possible, Egypt or no Egypt but, on a positive side, there was a good
chance that the said general ends up on the bottom of the Med well before he
manages to land in Egypt (who knew that Nelson would screw up?): "no person,
no problem".
Given what we know of French Directory politics that explanation
doesn't surprise me at all. Napoleon was fortunate not to wind up
rotting in an Ottoman prison once he lost his fleet.
I'd say that ending in an Ottoman prison was rather unlikely, taking into an
account that the fleet was lost after he successfully landed and that it would
take quite a few rather extraordinary things to achieve the outcome you are
talking about, like a complete extermination of the French expeditionary force
by the Ottomans (fat chance). In OTL general Menou eventually capitulated to
the Brits and were transported to France. Menou made a distinguished career
during the Consulate and Empire: was made a count of the Empire, awarded Legion
of Honor and (much more rare) Order of the Iron Crown, and ended up being
Governor of Venice.

But it would be funny to have France without Napoleon. I think this was
discussed while ago but perhaps I'd think about some feasible option.
pyotr filipivich
2017-08-13 16:16:12 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
I thought I was one the arguing the battle of the Nile was over-hyped!
Given French goals at the time an expedition to Egypt didn't really
make sense in the first place. If they were trying to bring down the
Ottomans they were in the wrong place and what else could be the
objective? If India well that says their strategic planning was done
using a globe
Few years after the Egypt expedition Paul I ordered the Cossacks of Don to
march on India (you can check the distances and keep in mind that by that
time the "stans" were not conquered, yet.
Until the late XIX the Brits were under the impression that India is within a
walking distance from what was at these times Russian border. It WAS joked
(or maybe it was not a joke) that this was because they were using small maps
in the Foreign Office :-)
Total tangent - I can relate. I made the mistake of planning an
"autotramp" (Hitchhiking expedition) from Munich to Madrid using the
map of Europe in the back of the pocket notebook provided by the bank.
That and taking the road to Garmisch rather than Kempten - oops! I
never made it back to Madrid.

tschus
pyotr
--
pyotr filipivich.
For Sale: Uncirculated Roman Drachmas, feature Julius Ceaser's Portrait,
several dated 44 BCE. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity.
Robert Woodward
2017-08-12 16:16:56 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
On Fri, 11 Aug 2017 06:08:12 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by SolomonW
Post by jerry kraus
overhyped battle
Do you have definition, for example; the Battle of Actium was a fair minor
battle, but its consequences were huge?
Yes, "ignored" battles with the big consequences (or preventing these
"consequences" from taking place).
One could argue Nelson's victory at the Nile for much the same
reasons.
If there was no Battle at the Nile, not too many things would change on a
global scheme. The French would not march to India anyway and their control
over Egypt did not change anything in Europe while it lasted. The Republic
would not make it a major battlefield and Bonaparte would have to operate
with the forces he had. Sooner or later he would figure out that returning
to France is a good idea so he would leave his troops behind (otherwise it
would look as a defeat) and sail...
I have read that the Battle of the Nile weighed on the morale of the
French captains and admirals at Trafalgar (i.e., they were defeated in
their minds before the battle was joined).
--
"We have advanced to new and surprising levels of bafflement."
Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan describes progress in _Komarr_.
—-----------------------------------------------------
Robert Woodward ***@drizzle.com
Alex Milman
2017-08-13 19:54:40 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Robert Woodward
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
On Fri, 11 Aug 2017 06:08:12 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by SolomonW
Post by jerry kraus
overhyped battle
Do you have definition, for example; the Battle of Actium was a fair minor
battle, but its consequences were huge?
Yes, "ignored" battles with the big consequences (or preventing these
"consequences" from taking place).
One could argue Nelson's victory at the Nile for much the same
reasons.
If there was no Battle at the Nile, not too many things would change on a
global scheme. The French would not march to India anyway and their control
over Egypt did not change anything in Europe while it lasted. The Republic
would not make it a major battlefield and Bonaparte would have to operate
with the forces he had. Sooner or later he would figure out that returning
to France is a good idea so he would leave his troops behind (otherwise it
would look as a defeat) and sail...
I have read that the Battle of the Nile weighed on the morale of the
French captains and admirals at Trafalgar (i.e., they were defeated in
their minds before the battle was joined).
Outcome of Trafalgar was obvious, Nile or not: neither French nor Spanish
navies had well-trained naval cadres and their leaders knew it quite well.
Chrysi Cat
2017-08-20 20:06:02 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On 8/10/2017 2:05 PM, Alex Milman wrote:

<snip>
Post by Alex Milman
But how about the UNDERHYPED battles that actually produced very significant
results but are not too well known?
I'm prolly gonna get massively ridiculed for being not only Americentric
but provincial at that, but how about Glorieta Pass?

If it's an actual Confederate victory, where their supply train isn't
destroyed, then Richmond may well have access to the gold and silver
coming out of Colorado Territory. That *may* be enough to get one or the
other Great Power in on their side before the Fall of Vicksburg, even if
Colorado Territory precious metals are going to take months to arrive
thanks to the place being one of the last areas in North America where
all transport has to rely on either animals or walking humans. That, in
turn *could* mean Vicksburg stays in rebel hands. Great Power support
would also obviate the need for a successful invasion of the Union by
the Army of Northern Virginia.

Not to mention that if they can somehow get rid of Chivington (which
almost has to happen to save the supply train, since he was the officer
in command of the force that destroyed it), then there's no Sand Creek
massacre. Not sure if saving a few thousand Arapaho and Cheyenne does
much in the long term, but it does write out the only Coloradan-led
atrocity of the American Indian Wars.
--
Chrysi Cat
1/2 anthrocat, nearly 1/2 anthrofox, all magical
Transgoddess, quick to anger
Call me Chrysi or call me Kat, I'll respond to either!
The Horny Goat
2017-08-11 01:47:24 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Wed, 9 Aug 2017 10:40:25 -0500, "David Tenner"
Post by David Tenner
"If the Germans had destroyed a few Soviet divisions and eliminated the
Kursk salient, the Soviets would merely have rebuilt their strength and
attacked somewhere else..."
http://nationalinterest.org/feature/tiger-tiger-burning-bright-why-kursk-the-most-overhyped-17334?page=show
Thoughts?
By 1943 the Soviets did not have an unlimited number of bodies at hand
to lose and by 1945 were having severe manpower problems.

A military stalemate that lasted through August 1944 with the loss
ratio "enjoyed": by the two sides might not automatically gone the Red
Army's way. In OTL the loss ratio wasn't 1-1 until January 1945 when
the Red Army was within East Prussia and outside Soviet 1941
territory.
Alex Milman
2017-08-12 21:40:40 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by The Horny Goat
On Wed, 9 Aug 2017 10:40:25 -0500, "David Tenner"
Post by David Tenner
"If the Germans had destroyed a few Soviet divisions and eliminated the
Kursk salient, the Soviets would merely have rebuilt their strength and
attacked somewhere else..."
http://nationalinterest.org/feature/tiger-tiger-burning-bright-why-kursk-the-most-overhyped-17334?page=show
Thoughts?
By 1943 the Soviets did not have an unlimited number of bodies at hand
to lose and by 1945 were having severe manpower problems.
A military stalemate that lasted through August 1944 with the loss
ratio "enjoyed": by the two sides might not automatically gone the Red
Army's way. In OTL the loss ratio wasn't 1-1 until January 1945 when
the Red Army was within East Prussia and outside Soviet 1941
territory.
Stalemate at the salient would not result in a general stalemate: the battle
was ended by the Soviet counteroffensives from the North and South of the
salient.
The Horny Goat
2017-08-13 01:08:37 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Sat, 12 Aug 2017 14:40:40 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
By 1943 the Soviets did not have an unlimited number of bodies at hand
to lose and by 1945 were having severe manpower problems.
A military stalemate that lasted through August 1944 with the loss
ratio "enjoyed": by the two sides might not automatically gone the Red
Army's way. In OTL the loss ratio wasn't 1-1 until January 1945 when
the Red Army was within East Prussia and outside Soviet 1941
territory.
Stalemate at the salient would not result in a general stalemate: the battle
was ended by the Soviet counteroffensives from the North and South of the
salient.
While certainly true it's a completely different point than the one I
was making.

Some feel the Red Army won simply by being willing to kill more of
their own soldiers than the Germans. That's far from the whole story:
the Red Army of 1943 was a far better force than two years earlier
even despite the disasters of spring 1943.

Solzhenitsyn's account of his personal experience of war rings true to
me (particularly the part about how morale rose as the death toll
declined in late 1944) but he's far from the only one who says that
manpower was getting acute after Bagration.
Alex Milman
2017-08-13 13:32:32 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by The Horny Goat
On Sat, 12 Aug 2017 14:40:40 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
By 1943 the Soviets did not have an unlimited number of bodies at hand
to lose and by 1945 were having severe manpower problems.
A military stalemate that lasted through August 1944 with the loss
ratio "enjoyed": by the two sides might not automatically gone the Red
Army's way. In OTL the loss ratio wasn't 1-1 until January 1945 when
the Red Army was within East Prussia and outside Soviet 1941
territory.
Stalemate at the salient would not result in a general stalemate: the battle
was ended by the Soviet counteroffensives from the North and South of the
salient.
While certainly true it's a completely different point than the one I
was making.
Some feel the Red Army won simply by being willing to kill more of
the Red Army of 1943 was a far better force than two years earlier
even despite the disasters of spring 1943.
Of course, it was on more than one account.
Post by The Horny Goat
Solzhenitsyn's account of his personal experience of war rings true to
me (particularly the part about how morale rose as the death toll
declined in late 1944) but he's far from the only one who says that
manpower was getting acute after Bagration.
By the time of Kursk they started calling to service people in their late
30s and early 40s. According to my father they were much better soldiers
than the youngsters in their 20s.

Then, there is one more factor on other side. During the Weimar Republic
Germany trained a small but highly competent military force which was then
used as the backbone for Hitler's much greater army (serving as officers and
noncoms). OTOH, by 1941 the Red Army had serious problems with a quality of
the junior commanders especially noncoms (most of whom were not professional
military). Losses on one side and growing experience on another made things
more equal. The same goes for the air force. Both Germany and Japan relied
too much on the high quality professionals who were ending up with the
high scores of kills before they were eventually shot down, However, there
was no war time training programs allowing these professionals to transfer
their experience and the eventual results are well known. While the Red Army
did not go as far as the US Army, it did pay much more attention to training
of the new cadres (the aces were routinely promoted to the command positions).
The Horny Goat
2017-08-13 15:48:06 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Sun, 13 Aug 2017 06:32:32 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Then, there is one more factor on other side. During the Weimar Republic
Germany trained a small but highly competent military force which was then
used as the backbone for Hitler's much greater army (serving as officers and
noncoms). OTOH, by 1941 the Red Army had serious problems with a quality of
the junior commanders especially noncoms (most of whom were not professional
military). Losses on one side and growing experience on another made things
more equal. The same goes for the air force. Both Germany and Japan relied
too much on the high quality professionals who were ending up with the
high scores of kills before they were eventually shot down, However, there
was no war time training programs allowing these professionals to transfer
their experience and the eventual results are well known. While the Red Army
did not go as far as the US Army, it did pay much more attention to training
of the new cadres (the aces were routinely promoted to the command positions).
Germany trained a "small but highly competent military force" because
they were bound by the 100,000 cap of Versailles. I've read several
sources suggesting that the strength of the Wehrmacht in 1939-41 was
at least as much in its non-coms as in its officer corps. And of
course Versailles disallowed the Luftwaffe :)

Unfortunately for Russia most of the officers who trained with the
Wehrmacht in the 1920s were purged in the 1930s. There were plenty of
competent officers in the Red Army in 1941 but not nearly enough.
Those who survived were superb officers by 1943. When they were
allowed to be of course. With the possible exception of late 1941
(which I question) I don't believe actual disloyalty occured with
several obvious exceptions (Vlasov notably though in his case he
distinguished himself in 1941 and was thrown onto the attack in 1942
and was embittered when after initial successes he was not given
support and became encircled) which allegedly was the whole point of
political officers.

(You can't read any recent account of Khrushchev's wartime career
without seeing how far he interfered in military actions of which he
was less than skilled. And he was far from the only one)
kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
2017-08-13 18:06:00 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by The Horny Goat
Germany trained a "small but highly competent military force"
because
they were bound by the 100,000 cap of Versailles.
As a result they reduced time in active service and increased length
reserve service to keep a similar pool of reserves as prewar. It has to
be remembered that while Hitler was the first German Leader to repudiate
Versailles, German attempts to get round the limitations started in 1920.

I have been following a dispute over German glider clubs and what is not
disputed is that they provided basic training for future Luftwaff pilots.
The Horny Goat
2017-08-13 20:28:37 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
Post by The Horny Goat
Germany trained a "small but highly competent military force"
because
they were bound by the 100,000 cap of Versailles.
As a result they reduced time in active service and increased length
reserve service to keep a similar pool of reserves as prewar. It has to
be remembered that while Hitler was the first German Leader to repudiate
Versailles, German attempts to get round the limitations started in 1920.
I have been following a dispute over German glider clubs and what is not
disputed is that they provided basic training for future Luftwaff pilots.
Yup - German attempts to get around the Versailles military
restrictions started pretty much as soon as the ink was dry. (As they
say on Game of Thrones "It is known!") It was the whole point of
German-Russian military cooperation after WW1.

What they were (successfully) counting on was that the Allies would
not take serious counter-measures of the numerous breaches of the
military restrictions of Versailles. It was a key reason that
Churchill and Stalin had agreed even before Pearl Harbor that the war
vs Germany would not end until all or most of Germany was occupied.
pyotr filipivich
2017-08-13 21:12:10 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by kenney@ cix.co.uk (Kenneth Young)
Post by The Horny Goat
Germany trained a "small but highly competent military force" because
they were bound by the 100,000 cap of Versailles.
As a result they reduced time in active service and increased length
reserve service to keep a similar pool of reserves as prewar. It has to
be remembered that while Hitler was the first German Leader to repudiate
Versailles, German attempts to get round the limitations started in 1920.
I have been following a dispute over German glider clubs and what is not
disputed is that they provided basic training for future Luftwaff pilots.
Yup - German attempts to get around the Versailles military
restrictions started pretty much as soon as the ink was dry. (As they
say on Game of Thrones "It is known!") It was the whole point of
German-Russian military cooperation after WW1.
German shipyards still made submarines for sale - but delivery was
to be made by German Crews. Thus, Germany kept up some level of
U-boot skills without having any U-boots.
--
pyotr filipivich.
For Sale: Uncirculated Roman Drachmas, feature Julius Ceaser's Portrait,
several dated 44 BCE. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity.
Alex Milman
2017-08-13 20:09:43 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by The Horny Goat
On Sun, 13 Aug 2017 06:32:32 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Then, there is one more factor on other side. During the Weimar Republic
Germany trained a small but highly competent military force which was then
used as the backbone for Hitler's much greater army (serving as officers and
noncoms). OTOH, by 1941 the Red Army had serious problems with a quality of
the junior commanders especially noncoms (most of whom were not professional
military). Losses on one side and growing experience on another made things
more equal. The same goes for the air force. Both Germany and Japan relied
too much on the high quality professionals who were ending up with the
high scores of kills before they were eventually shot down, However, there
was no war time training programs allowing these professionals to transfer
their experience and the eventual results are well known. While the Red Army
did not go as far as the US Army, it did pay much more attention to training
of the new cadres (the aces were routinely promoted to the command positions).
Germany trained a "small but highly competent military force" because
they were bound by the 100,000 cap of Versailles.
But they used it intelligently.
Post by The Horny Goat
I've read several
sources suggesting that the strength of the Wehrmacht in 1939-41 was
at least as much in its non-coms as in its officer corps. And of
course Versailles disallowed the Luftwaffe :)
Yes, this seems to be beyond any doubt.
Post by The Horny Goat
Unfortunately for Russia most of the officers who trained with the
Wehrmacht in the 1920s were purged in the 1930s.
I doubt that this would amount to too many and this definitely was not the
main reason for the weakness of the lower officers and non-coms.
Post by The Horny Goat
There were plenty of
competent officers in the Red Army in 1941 but not nearly enough.
The main problem was in the low-rank officers and non-coms: most of the
troops were not professional military but rather conscripts who served 2 (or 3
years). As a result, there was a severe shortage of the non-coms of ANY quality:
most of them had to be raised from the ranks and trained within couple years
of service and then they'll leave; not too much better was situation with the
junior officers - the necessary numbers simply could not be produced by the
existing system of the military schools. Situation in the mechanized units
was even worse than in infantry by the obvious reasons: country simply did not
have enough people even marginally familiar with the cars, tractors, etc.:
unlike Germany, the SU of the 1930's was not an industrialized country with
plenty of technical cadres and people experienced in using the machinery.
The Horny Goat
2017-08-13 20:34:52 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
On Sun, 13 Aug 2017 13:09:43 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
Unfortunately for Russia most of the officers who trained with the
Wehrmacht in the 1920s were purged in the 1930s.
I doubt that this would amount to too many and this definitely was not the
main reason for the weakness of the lower officers and non-coms.
Never said it was. What I said was in the Seeckt era there was
considerable cooperation between the Wehrmacht and Red Army and that
both sides gained technical skills from their cooperation.
Unfortunately the Germans gained more from their joint efforts as
having German connections in 1935-37 was hazardous to an officer's
health.

Was it A factor in 1941? Definitely. Was it a decisive or nearly
decisive factor in the Red Army's unpreparedness for war in 1941?
Definitely not.
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
There were plenty of
competent officers in the Red Army in 1941 but not nearly enough.
The main problem was in the low-rank officers and non-coms: most of the
troops were not professional military but rather conscripts who served 2 (or 3
most of them had to be raised from the ranks and trained within couple years
of service and then they'll leave; not too much better was situation with the
junior officers - the necessary numbers simply could not be produced by the
existing system of the military schools. Situation in the mechanized units
was even worse than in infantry by the obvious reasons: country simply did not
unlike Germany, the SU of the 1930's was not an industrialized country with
plenty of technical cadres and people experienced in using the machinery.
As opposed to the US and Canada where one of the lessons the Germans
"learned" in both Russia and North Africa was that the best way to
immobilize a truck or APC was to target the driver as there was not
normally more than one man per vehicle who knew how to drive. Not so
with Canadians and Americans particularly in the breakout from
Normandy.
Alex Milman
2017-08-14 21:37:24 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by The Horny Goat
On Sun, 13 Aug 2017 13:09:43 -0700 (PDT), Alex Milman
Post by Alex Milman
Post by The Horny Goat
Unfortunately for Russia most of the officers who trained with the
Wehrmacht in the 1920s were purged in the 1930s.
I doubt that this would amount to too many and this definitely was not the
main reason for the weakness of the lower officers and non-coms.
Never said it was. What I said was in the Seeckt era there was
considerable cooperation between the Wehrmacht and Red Army and that
both sides gained technical skills from their cooperation.
Unfortunately the Germans gained more from their joint efforts as
having German connections in 1935-37 was hazardous to an officer's
health.
Well, it was but anyway the Germans were almost "doomed" to gain more because
during the period of that cooperation (which ended when Hitler came to power)
the Soviets hardly had a professional army and most definitely did not have
anything close to the necessary numbers of the technically competent personnel
capable of benefitting from the experience and neither did they have enough of
the officer cadres with an adequate military education to benefit from the
non-technical part of the cooperation (if there was one).
Post by The Horny Goat
Was it A factor in 1941? Definitely.
Well, off the top of my head I can list quite a few "A" factors of at least
equal importance besides those I already listed above. This is strictly for the
mechanized units:

(a) Rather chaotic developments in the tank production which resulted in
almost complete absence of the spare parts.

(b) Inability to provide the field technical services including the repairmen
shops towing equipment (they supposed to be present but remained on paper).
As a result, even slightly damaged tanks had been abandoned on a battlefield.

(c) Severe shortage of the soldiers and non-coms with any type of a technical
expertise in the mechanized units. Plus big percentage of the personnel of the
mechanized units in the spring of 1941 had 4 years of school or less (or none
whatsoever), significant numbers did not even speak Russian.

(d) Mechanized corps did not have the auxiliary units outside the divisional
structure. As a result, the divisions had been routinely weakened by the units
taken for the corps-level tactical tasks. IIRC, mechanized corps did not have
infantry units either.

(e) No coordination with aviation. At least some of the mechanized corps units
had their own aviation unit but, AFAIK, they were equipped with the old bi-plans
(later made famous as the night bombers flown by the female crews) pretty much
useless for the daytime support or even reconnaissance.

(f) The anti-tank artillery was effective against the pre-WWII
armor but after campaign in France the Germans added armor to their old tanks
which made them almost invulnerable to the 45mm guns.

(g) A complete (as in 0%) shortage of the armor-piercing shells in the tank
units as of summer of 1941.

(h) T-34 having so many serious defects that technical review conducted few
weeks before German attack declared it unfit for the service. Its legendary
invulnerability applied only to a direct hit by a reasonably small caliber
into the front armor (unfortunately, the Germans tended to attack from the
flanks).

You are seemingly unwilling to recognize that a country which was just in
a process of industrialization simply could not simultaneously develop
industry AND military hardware AND to produce enough technically-savvy cadres
to serve in industry AND agriculture AND military. The same goes for the
new types of equipment: the Soviet Union did not have enough high quality
engineers (neither did Tsarist Russia), which means that any new development
involved a protracted trial and error process before it was launched into
the production and when it was coming to the production, the industrial plants
routinely had difficulties with adopting the new models and usually were
well behind the schedule. Why? The same reasons: shortage of the qualified
cadres (on all levels), primitive equipment, etc. When the war start started
there was no even enough rifles (my father was training an infantry unit with
the wooden "rifles"). And "not enough" goes for pretty much everything all
the way for such trivial things as phone wire (not sure if usage of a barbed
wire as a substitute is not a legend). So what can be expected from an army
in such a state?

As for the leadership, quite a few of those executed were the leftovers of the
RCW with a very limited understanding of a modern war (like Marshal Blucher).
Out of those who left quite a few had the same service record as those
executed and most of them did not produce any miracles. Most of those who
reached Marshal's or Army General level by the end of war had relatively low
ranks when the war started or had what could be considered as the wrong
association. Zhukov came from the 1st Cavalry Army and until 1938 was a cavalry man, Konev was Voroshilov's protégé, Bagramyan was a cavalry commander
until 1936 and started WWII as a colonel, Rokossovsky - a cavalry officer who
served under Timoshenko (later sided with Tukhachevsky but was arrested mostly
due to association with Blucher) who managed to release him from the prison,
started war as Major-General, etc. So not every former cavalryman was an
idiot and not everybody who was not prosecuted was a nincompoop.

What is missing in the legend is a simple fact there were not enough of the
qualified officers in the Red Army even before the purges: it was rapidly
expanding from a small semi-regular post RCW force with the same issues from
which suffered Soviet industry and everything else, no adequate base.
Loading...