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  #1  
Old 16 Nov 17, 08:28
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The difference between ‘excuses’ for the Germans losing and REASONS why

The difference between so-called ‘excuses’ for the Germans losing and REASONS why they lost.
It has become pretty clear over the several years I’ve been on this Forum that many posters have real problems being able to differentiate between EXCUSES why Germany lost battles (and ultimately the war) and REASONS why they lost

It’s especially noticeable when some talk about the latter war years (late 1942 to May 1945) when the odds against the Germans were becoming more formidable by the day.

Of course everyone in their right mind hates the Nazis and what they represented.
It is also understandable that WWII buffs directly link, by common sense extension, the German military machine and the war aims of the Nazis.

However this seems to create difficulties when it comes to understanding that while they were fighting for the vilest of causes, all elements of the German military were not by default, inherently bad (‘evil’ even).

But, as they are stereotypically and easily identifiable ‘bad guys’, the German military in many people’s minds could (again by extension) simply not have been fighting against massive odds, with their back to the wall, fighting with desperate determination etc.
Because of course the bad guys ‘don’t do that’.

They not us, are ‘the hordes’.
We not them, fight against impossible odds.
We not them lose only if overwhelmed by weight of numbers etc.

Okay, okay, I am of course stereotyping and making assumptions about other people’s thinking to an extent but you get the idea?
Essentially I’m saying that people need to realise the odds the Germans faced by 1943/45 was the reason they lost.This is especially true in two theatres; the land war in West in 1944-45 and the naval contest in the Atlantic.

In the land war in Western Europe historian after historian has pointed out that massive allied weight in material, manpower, industrial strength, economic might, and logistics made the chances of German victory (especially with so much tied up in the huge struggle in the east) against the Western allies non-existent.
Having said that however let me make it quite clear the Allied soldiers who faced off against the Germans at this stage the war deserve every bit of respect and honour they have been given for their role in destroying Nazism.

So far as the naval war (essentially the struggle against the ‘U-Boats) goes as I have said in an earlier thread “The German naval threat myth in WWII” :

“In overall terms however, they (the U-Boats) had no chance to overcome the massive naval superiority, ship-building capacity, Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) aircraft and vast advantage in global network of bases, established sea-lanes, naval training infrastructure and naval warfare experience the Anglo-allied maritime powers enjoyed.”

Some people seem to think that anyone who points out the odds the Germans faced in overall terms are ‘just making excuses’.
They’re not.
They are pointing out that there are perfectly rational, logical and understandable explanations (ie: REASONS) for German failure/defeat.

Regards
lodestar
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  #2  
Old 16 Nov 17, 10:19
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Quote:
Essentially I’m saying that people need to realise the odds the Germans faced by 1943/45 was the reason they lost.This is especially true in two theatres; the land war in West in 1944-45 and the naval contest in the Atlantic.
No, the odds faced 1943-45 were a symptom of why they lost. The reasons are far more complex.
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Old 16 Nov 17, 11:41
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[QUOTE]
Quote:
Originally Posted by lodestar View Post
The difference between so-called ‘excuses’ for the Germans losing and REASONS why they lost.
It has become pretty clear over the several years I’ve been on this Forum that many posters have real problems being able to differentiate between EXCUSES why Germany lost battles (and ultimately the war) and REASONS why they lost
I think you answered with most of the REASONS why the Germans lost already but this is still a good thread in the making



Quote:
Of course everyone in their right mind hates the Nazis and what they represented.
Agreed in hindsight but it was only after the concentration camps were liberated and the Allies actually witnessed the "rumors and intelligence They were receiving during the war that they knew the horrific extent of this evil.

Quote:
It is also understandable that WWII buffs directly link, by common sense extension, the German military machine and the war aims of the Nazis.

However this seems to create difficulties when it comes to understanding that while they were fighting for the vilest of causes, all elements of the German military were not by default, inherently bad (‘evil’ even).

But, as they are stereotypically and easily identifiable ‘bad guys’, the German military in many people’s minds could (again by extension) simply not have been fighting against massive odds, with their back to the wall, fighting with desperate determination etc.

Regards
lodestar
I won't touch these last three paragraphs with a 10 foot pole!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluenose View Post
No, the odds faced 1943-45 were a symptom of why they lost. The reasons are far more complex.
I think the complex reasons behind what you call symptoms and the symptoms, if that is what you prefer to call the actual battle engagements, is why Lodey started the thread.

Regards,Kurt
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  #4  
Old 16 Nov 17, 12:21
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I think the complex reasons behind what you call symptoms and the symptoms, if that is what you prefer to call the actual battle engagements, is why Lodey started the thread.
No, you simply have not understood what I said. Nazi Germany lost the war long before it faced the 'odds' of 1943-45. The battles it fought and conditions under which they were fought during these years were symptoms of deeper strategic, political and economic issues that it had - to be frank - ****ed up in the preceding years.

1943-45 was a consequence - ie a symptom - of the deeper reasons that Nazi Germany lost the war, not the reason for the loss of the war.

Not much point starting a new topic on this, it has been discussed at great length before and there are many fine, single-volume works that explain this in significant depth.
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  #5  
Old 16 Nov 17, 14:24
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I'd say then that the REASON the Germans lost the war was NOT "faced great odds in 1943-45". It was because they had to defeat France in 1940, Britain in 1940-41, and Russia in 1941-42. And succeeding in 1 out of 3 wasn't good enough to win the war overall.

The Germans failed to win (equals lost in my book) against Britain and Russia in 1940-42, and during these crucial years they could hardly be said to have faced overwhelming odds.
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Old 16 Nov 17, 15:09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lodestar View Post
In the land war in Western Europe historian after historian has pointed out that massive allied weight in material, manpower, industrial strength, economic might, and logistics made the chances of German victory (especially with so much tied up in the huge struggle in the east) against the Western allies non-existent.
The reality is that in Western Europe that they were not destroyed by the mass of material, but by the first 35 or so Allied divisions to land.
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Old 16 Nov 17, 17:01
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Originally Posted by Aber View Post
The reality is that in Western Europe that they were not destroyed by the mass of material, but by the first 35 or so Allied divisions to land.
-and by a s**t-load of aircraft, and don't forget all the German veterans of the Russian Front who thought that the same tricks would work just as well in the west... whoops.

As for the U-Boats, Doenitz said that he needed 300 to win, and by Spring of 1943 he had that many... and lost. The reason why was technological advancement, and lots of CVEs.
Imagine that, German scientists eating the dust left by the US and UK.

There is no question that numbers and equipment did tell against Germany in the end, and IMHO lead to a full an complete victory instead of another 1918.
A lesson we seem to have forgotten.
Today we build expensive toys, instead of tough weapons that work well and can also be stamped out like cookies. Quantity has a quality all it's own, as they say.



And above all, THIS -

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Loaded_LST.jpg
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Last edited by The Exorcist; 16 Nov 17 at 17:20..
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  #8  
Old 16 Nov 17, 21:19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mconrad View Post
I'd say then that the REASON the Germans lost the war was NOT "faced great odds in 1943-45". It was because they had to defeat France in 1940, Britain in 1940-41, and Russia in 1941-42. And succeeding in 1 out of 3 wasn't good enough to win the war overall.

The Germans failed to win (equals lost in my book) against Britain and Russia in 1940-42, and during these crucial years they could hardly be said to have faced overwhelming odds.
This isn't completely true. The Germans failed to finish Britain before starting a war with Russia. Had Germany focused on just finishing Britain, it is likely that at some point a peace would have been negotiated.

I'd think a Germany focused on defeating Britain would have finished the British in North Africa. They would have had the resources to take Malta and neutralize Gibraltar, not to mention overrun Egypt.
With a Japanese entry into the war, Britain would have been in a pretty tight spot. So long as Germany keeps the US out of the European war, Britain would have been hit at that point. They couldn't invade the continent on their own, probably would have had difficulty even taking back peripheral areas under German control.
With Italian / German control of the Med it opens possibilities the Germans originally didn't have.
A bomber campaign alone against Germany wasn't going to win the war for Britain, any more than a U-boat campaign would have defeated Britain. But, with the number of defeats on land and in the far East rising, the public might have agitated to throw in the towel with Germany.
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Old 16 Nov 17, 21:50
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Surely the reason why Germany lost the war was because their leadership got the nation into the ridiculous situation whereby they had to defeat the USSR, the USA and the British Commonwealth simultaneously: so of course they lost.
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Old 17 Nov 17, 08:06
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Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
I'd think a Germany focused on defeating Britain would have finished the British in North Africa. They would have had the resources to take Malta and neutralize Gibraltar, not to mention overrun Egypt.
This one, again. The Germans were enormously lucky that when they were first going to Africa, the British were going to Greece.

A rational attempt to 'take' Egypt will need to see a vast effort building sufficient merchant ships, ferries and coastal vessels, pouring huge amounts of concrete expanding the poor ports of Libya, the construction of a railway from Tripoli to Egypt - which the SAS will just love!
And at the end of it you've got Eighth Army grinning at you along a 40 mile front.
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Old 17 Nov 17, 12:41
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I can't believe TAG is bringing up that old and thoroughly demolished counter factual. He even tries to throw in the fallacious Japan joining the war without also bringing in the US. These are usually comments made by clueless newbie fanboys not people who have been around a while. It is especially confusing given that TAG has posted numerous times on the logistical and construction deficiencies of the Axis.

The commonwealth could have contained and economically strangled the European Axis and thus win the war. By themselves.
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Old 17 Nov 17, 12:57
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As this is not the Alternate History section of the forum, could "What if" discussions please be confined to that section of the board.
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Old 17 Nov 17, 15:33
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Originally Posted by BELGRAVE View Post
Surely the reason why Germany lost the war was because their leadership got the nation into the ridiculous situation whereby they had to defeat the USSR, the USA and the British Commonwealth simultaneously: so of course they lost.
Yes, in a nutshell.

Lodey, read Tooze (Wages of Destruction), Ellis (Brute Force), Overy ( Why the Allies Won)
and Craig (Hitler's U-boat War) and you'll know the answer to your OP "Reasons Why". As for excuses, Hitler's dog ate his homework. Works as well as any number of German generals' memoirs.
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Old 17 Nov 17, 16:57
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Yes, in a nutshell.

Lodey, read Tooze (Wages of Destruction), Ellis (Brute Force), Overy ( Why the Allies Won)
and Craig (Hitler's U-boat War) and you'll know the answer to your OP "Reasons Why". As for excuses, Hitler's dog ate his homework. Works as well as any number of German generals' memoirs.
I would like to add Mawdsley and Forczyk for those that still clinging to their vision that the 'heroic Wehrmacht gallantly fell before the multitudinous, mindless, Soviet hordes'.

Nazi Germany lost the war in 1939-41. Everything afterwards is reaping the whirlwind.
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Old 17 Nov 17, 19:41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluenose View Post
I would like to add Mawdsley and Forczyk for those that still clinging to their vision that the 'heroic Wehrmacht gallantly fell before the multitudinous, mindless, Soviet hordes'.

Nazi Germany lost the war in 1939-41. Everything afterwards is reaping the whirlwind.
Agree. Halder wrote in his diary that Barbarossa had failed when the Wehrmacht did not succeed in destroying the Red Army west of the Dvina .
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