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Military sizes during World War 2?

Discussion in 'Historical Debates' started by ronki23, Sep 14, 2021.

  1. ronki23

    ronki23 Well-Known Member

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    Not just the army but how many naval vessels, aircraft and tanks did they have ? By they I mean

    Germany
    Japan
    Italy
    USSR
    UK
    France
    USA
     
  2. Secret Chief

    Secret Chief Meghalayan Ape

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    Is google not your friend?
     
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  3. We Never Know

    We Never Know Well-Known Member

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    Here are current statistics. Maybe you can search from it.

    2021 Military Strength Ranking
     
  4. ronki23

    ronki23 Well-Known Member

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  5. ronki23

    ronki23 Well-Known Member

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    I don't understand how France was defeated so quickly; they were very harsh toward Germany after World War 1 and were prepared for German expansion but still lost.

    I don't agree Britain would have lost against the Germans: both HM Navy and the RAF would have beat back any sort of invasion.
     
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  6. John53

    John53 Well-Known Member

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    They put most of their effort into the Maginot Line and Germany went around it.
     
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  7. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    At their largest point? Or in total? Or at commencement or completion of hostilities?

    Sorry for answering a question with a question, but that makes a considerable difference to what you're asking.
     
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  8. ronki23

    ronki23 Well-Known Member

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    How can you go around it ?
     
  9. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    I can go as in depth on this as you want, so let me know.
    The short answer is that they were well prepared to re-fight the battles of WW1, and were tied to fixed line defences, and an assumption on German tactics which proved to be completely wrong (much as @John53 said).

    There is a bit more to it.

    The funny misconception often is that German blitzkrieg tactics, combined with their modern weapons were overwhelming, but the Germans hadn't perfected their tactics, and their weapons really weren't particularly modern in many cases at this point of the war. The ravages of the Versailles Treaty hadn't allowed for a mass expansion of the army, or a mass modernization. They worked around it, but there were limits to what was possible, and it impacted on both build-up and training.

    The Spanish Civil War was important, though.
     
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  10. John53

    John53 Well-Known Member

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    They went through the Ardennes Forest, the line was weak there because the French didn't think an army could get through it.
     
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  11. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    [​IMG]

    They attacked via the 'Low Countries'.
     
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  12. ronki23

    ronki23 Well-Known Member

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    All of them really; I want to see a forces comparison.

    People say the Germans lost because they invaded Russia in the Winter but if I'm not mistaken, they took over parts of Russia and the Russians themselves sustained heavy casualties.

    People also say the Germans would have beat Britain had there not been America. I disagree: while Britain may not have been able to liberate her allies from Nazi control, she had a very powerful navy and airforce which would have repelled German invasion.

    Besides, the Russians took care of most of the German troops so a 2 pronged attack of Britain and Russia would have defeated the Germans
     
  13. Kangaroo Feathers

    Kangaroo Feathers Yea, it is written in the Book of Cyril...

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    Size isn't everything. France lost for a variety of reasons, but the biggest is that they concentrated the forces in the wrong place and were outflanked by the Germans from an unexpected direction.

    As for whether or not Britain would have eventually lost, these hypotheticals are largely meaningless, because we can really only discuss what actually DID happen, as it happened. That said, if the UK had not received the support of the allies, eventually they likely would have been invaded and overrun eventually, but exactly how that would have played out we can't know.
     
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  14. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    Hi mate...
    Okay...I'll try and give you a proper answer. It'll take a little bit to get together, as I'll need to double-check some figures, etc. Got a nice little home library around these topics.
     
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  15. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    France was defeated quickly because the Germans went through neutral Belgium to bypass the Maginot Line. I believe the Allies wanted permission to help fortify Belgium, but the Belgians refused because they thought it would provoke the Germans into invading. Didn't make any difference. The Germans didn't ask permission before invading Belgium.

    Germany could not have beaten Britain. They lost the air battle over Britain, but even if they had won, they still had to cross the channel and get the through the Royal Navy. The Germans didn't have much in terms of transport vessels. Their plan involved using river barges from the Rhine, but those vessels were not suitable for the rough waters of the English Channel. At best, they could have tried to isolate Britain and attack Atlantic convoys to try to starve them out - which they did do with some success, but the US and UK fleets were just too large to contend with.

    But it would still take a few years before the combined forces of the U.S., British Empire, and Free French could launch the Normandy invasion to retake France from the Germans. I don't think Britain could have done that without help. It also needed the Soviets to coordinate an offensive at about the same time, so that the vise would slowly close on the Germans.

    Many people believe that Hitler's invasion of Russia was a big mistake, which it probably was - although there were reasons behind it. Stalin and Hitler signed a ten-year non-aggression pact in 1939, although both probably knew that one of them break it. I've heard some theories that the reason Stalin made a pact with Hitler was because he thought Britain and France were weak, due to their caving in to German demands at Munich. So, he might have been hoping for Germany, France, and Britain to get bogged down in war, so he could be free to do what he wanted in Eastern Europe (which he did by attacking Finland, the Baltics, and Bessarabia). He probably didn't expect France to fold up so quickly.

    Germany also got stuck with a bad alliance when Italy failed in their campaign against Greece. This is how Hitler got involved in the Balkans. Also, Romania was a primary source of oil for Germany, and the Russian encroachment in Bessarabia seemed to worry Hitler. He still saw Russia as a threat. Since France had fallen and Britain was severely crippled, he apparently felt he had enough breathing room to attack Russia, since that was the only other potential threat he faced. He wasn't at all worried about the United States, as both Germany and Japan never really understood the U.S. and sorely underestimated our capabilities.

    The last time the Russians and Germans met (1914-1918), it didn't go very well for the Russians. The Germans seemed to think that they'd repeat the same success they had the last time. Considering Stalin's debacle against the Finns, some might have thought the Red Army wasn't up to par. And in the first months of the Barbarossa campaign, the Germans were winning handily. They probably pushed towards Moscow too quickly, far ahead of their supply bases (I believe the closest one was in German-occupied Warsaw). They were right outside the city, but could go no further.

    Meanwhile, Stalin reactivated many of his officers who had been purged (but not killed, only exiled to Siberia), and he brought up his Siberian forces when he was confident the Japanese would not attack, then launched the Moscow Counteroffensive where the Germans got pummeled.

    In my own opinion (with some 20/20 hindsight), I think another big mistake was in launching a spring offensive in southern Russia, rather than northern Russia. The lifeline for Russia was in its northern seaports, Murmansk and Arkhangelsk, which is where they received supplies of food, munitions, and other equipment from the West. Allied shipping suffered heavy losses while running convoys to Murmansk, but it was vital to the Allied war effort. If the Germans had put all their efforts into a northern campaign which would have cut off or possibly captured those seaports, then the supply lines to Russia would have been severely curtailed. There were other routes available, such as Vladivostok, but that was right on the Sea of Japan. And the Germans already captured most of the Black Sea ports, so there was really no other way to get supplies in, other than by air.

    But Stalin did have enough foresight to relocate his industries and build new factories in the Ural Mountain region, which was still safe from the Germans.

    The Case Blue campaign was a bit convoluted, since Hitler wanted the Caucasus oilfields, but ended up getting bogged down in Stalingrad. The objectives were unrealistic, and Hitler's "stand or die" command pretty much sunk the whole campaign. His generals warned him that he needed to withdraw and regroup, since the Soviets were building up their forces against the Romanian and Italian forces guarding the Germans' left flank at Stalingrad. When the Soviets attacked, they were quickly overrun and the Soviets began a pincer movement to surround the German forces at Stalingrad. Goering promised that he could resupply the Stalingrad forces by air, but it was an empty promise.

    That brings up another fatal mistake: Hitler should have canned Goering and put a real officer in charge of the Luftwaffe. Goering's buffoonery is what cost them the Battle of Britain, too.
     
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  16. ronki23

    ronki23 Well-Known Member

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    I disagree that we (Britain) would have been invaded by Germany had it not been for USA: maybe we would not have been able to liberate Europe but I'm sure we would have been able to repel any invasion and the Germans would have just given up. The Royal Navy and the RAF were extremely powerful and second only to the USA.
     
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  17. Kangaroo Feathers

    Kangaroo Feathers Yea, it is written in the Book of Cyril...

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    disagree all you want, like I said earlier "things would have been different if things were different" discussions are fairly pointless.
     
  18. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    If it was just Germany vs. Britain, and assuming Germany didn't have to worry about Russia or America getting involved, then they would have had all the resources and industries of continental Europe at their disposal. If Russia and all its resources were under German control, they would likely be able to build up an even more powerful air force and navy. That's all a lot of "what if," but within a few years, they might have built up a strong enough force to invade Britain.
     
  19. F1fan

    F1fan Well-Known Member

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    It was Guderian and his panzer tactics. Blitzkrieg. It worked on Poland and Russia too.

    The French actually had a very good tank, the Char. It was better than the Panzer 1 and 2. But the French didn't have the tactics to defend against Guderian.

    The Battle of Britain was what led to the cancelation of Operation Sealion. Hitler wanter air superiority, and Georing couldn't make it happen.
     
  20. F1fan

    F1fan Well-Known Member

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    Hitler had no patience at all. He had a peace with Russia in 1940 and Stalin was happy about that. Hitler could have kept bleeding England in definitely. Sink cargo ships. Keep the pressure on the RAF. The big error is that Germany changed their focus of attack from the RAF airbases to the cities and manufacturing. That gave the RAF time to breathe and rebuild, and then beat the Luftwaffe. That was a blunder.

    Hitler had no reason to go after England in 1940. He really should have attacked Russia instead and not let the Red army have another year to build. Of course, I doubt the result would have been different. Those Russian winters....
     
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