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  #16  
Old 17 May 15, 12:32
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The USN should have realized British leadership was useless. Sunk all German capital ships early in 1942 and sent all its own capital ships to the Pacific, where it ran the show.
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  #17  
Old 17 May 15, 15:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco;3037248[B
]Denning told Pound that he believed the Swedish report to be false since the Norwegian observers and radio traffic indicated no Tirpitz sortie.
[/B]
If Wasp does not ferry planes, she can refit in April and return to the Atlantic, ready for PQ-17. Churchill cancels the absurd Madagascar operation and uses his own carriers to ferry his planes and the other ships in the Atlantic, where the Germans are having a great time.

The Japanese should have a hell of a time deploying ships, planes, troosp and supplies from Singapore to the Mozambique Channel, with the RN in Kenya (they ran away from Ceylon, but eventually they´ll have to make a stand)

British logic:

1) Churchill presses for priority on the European theater. He gets it.

2) He recalls the fleet to Kenya (weakening Ceylon) and ignores Roosevelt's plea to liberate Burma, so China, the linchpin against Japan, can be supplied, because he considers NA far more important than the E)

3) He neglects the Soviets (the linchpin of the priority 1 European theater) and sends a large fleet to invade neutral Madagascar and takes months doing so, while he relies on American CVs and BBs to police the Atlantic and ferry planes to Malta.

The idea of securing Madagascar (further from Japan than from Britain, very close to Aden, SA and Mauritius and next door to the RN base in Kenya, when Japan is already extremely over stretched), while the USSR, allied shipping in the Atlantic and China are on the verge of collapse can only be conceived by a brilliant strategist like Winnie and be clearly understood and justified by You.
Denning told Pound that he believed the Swedish report to be false since the Norwegian observers and radio traffic indicated no Tirpitz sortie.

Have you been reading your files ( i.e., Wikipedia ) again? Alternatively, perhaps you do not understand what Ultra was.

Denning based his advice mainly on GCCS decrypts, and was receiving regular updates from Harry Hinsley, of the naval section of GCCS.

When asked by Pound for his reasons for believing that Tirpitz had not sailed, he gave them as follows:-

1). Tirpitz' previous caution when briefly sortied against PQ12.
2). There had been no decrypts from Bletchley Park ordering U-Boats to keep clear of the convoy's track in order to give a Tirpitz led squadron a free run.
3). HF/DF reports indicated U-Boats in the immediate vicinity of the convoy, whereas should a Tirpitz led attack have been intended point 2). would have applied.
4). Luftwaffe decrypts indicated that Tovey's battle squadron had not been detected, and that one of Hamilton's cruisers ( which had been detected ) had been wrongly identified as a battleship.
5). A further Luftwaffe decrypt had identified an aircraft in the vicinity of Hamilton's squadron, and that the Luftwaffe believed that an as yet unlocated British carrier was in the area.
6). The types of signals being detected from German units in the area did not include any signals characteristic of Kriegsmarine surface ships at sea.
7). British patrol submarines off North Cape had not transmitted any sighting reports of German surface ships.

Pound then asked 'Can you assure me that Tirpitz is still in Altenfjord?'

Denning replied that 'although I was confident that she was, I could not give an absolute assurance but fully expected to receive confirmation in the fairly near future when Bletchley had decoded the new traffic.'

Much of the above is from the National Archives at Kew, but I would urge you to obtain a copy of British Intelligence in the Second World War Volume 2, by F. H. Hinsley.

The rest of your post is well up to the usual standards we all expect of you, and therefore not worthy of the time & effort of a structured response
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  #18  
Old 17 May 15, 15:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
The USN should have realized British leadership was useless. Sunk all German capital ships early in 1942 and sent all its own capital ships to the Pacific, where it ran the show.
And now for something equally relevant...

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  #19  
Old 17 May 15, 17:26
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You forgot to mention that the reason for Pound insistently requiring that assurance from Denning was the Swedish report.

In any event, with the fleet at his disposal, only a sick brain could conclude that stripping a most valuable convoy of escort was the wisest decision, instead of seeing this as an excellent opportunity to destroy the LW, U-boats and maybe even Tirpitz. Only a sick brain would send victorious with such planes and not use her, Duke of York, and a reasonable numnber of DDs to protect the convoy all the way.
I'm sure You can justify using dozens of DDs for Pedestal, Madagascar, etc, and keeping extremely few close to the huge PQ-17 (before withdrawing them).

TAG
I understand the Italians were the only ones deploying deep water mines. Did the USN ever learn from them when they became allies? It seems that mining the San Bernardino and Surigao straits makes a lot of sense.
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  #20  
Old 17 May 15, 18:03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
TAG
I understand the Italians were the only ones deploying deep water mines. Did the USN ever learn from them when they became allies? It seems that mining the San Bernardino and Surigao straits makes a lot of sense.
You understood wrong.

Nobody had a "deep water" mine in WW 2. For deep water mining drifting mines were the norm. These floated on the current at a depth of anywhere from 10 to 30 feet below the surface. Some had a built in self-destruct device that rendered them inoperable after so many hours / days of use.

The US version was the Mk 19 (and mod 1 and 2) air droppable drifting mine with a 540 lbs. torpex warhead and a contact fuze.

Italy had two drifting models. One had a 154 lbs. warhead and used Hertz horns. It had a service life of 9 hours.
The second was 430 lbs. warhead and used a displacement type fuse (that is, when bumped by a ship it the vibration / movement caused the fuse to fire).

Germany had the UMA(K) drift mine with a 66 lbs. warhead using hertz horns for fuzing.

Japan had the Type 3 mark 2 mod 1 aircraft droppable drift mine with a 110 lbs. charge.

Britain didn't produce a drift mine in WW 2 but had one in WW 1.

The problem with drift mines is that the layer has no control over where they go. They can be as much a risk to one's own ships in time as they are to the enemy.
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  #21  
Old 18 May 15, 02:13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
You forgot to mention that the reason for Pound insistently requiring that assurance from Denning was the Swedish report.

In any event, with the fleet at his disposal, only a sick brain could conclude that stripping a most valuable convoy of escort was the wisest decision, instead of seeing this as an excellent opportunity to destroy the LW, U-boats and maybe even Tirpitz. Only a sick brain would send victorious with such planes and not use her, Duke of York, and a reasonable numnber of DDs to protect the convoy all the way.
I'm sure You can justify using dozens of DDs for Pedestal, Madagascar, etc, and keeping extremely few close to the huge PQ-17 (before withdrawing them).

TAG
I understand the Italians were the only ones deploying deep water mines. Did the USN ever learn from them when they became allies? It seems that mining the San Bernardino and Surigao straits makes a lot of sense.
You forgot to mention that the reason for Pound insistently requiring that assurance from Denning was the Swedish report.

I didn't mention it because it wasn't the reason for his question. You should stop reading wikipedia and read Hinsley's book instead.

In any event, with the fleet at his disposal, only a sick brain could conclude that stripping a most valuable convoy of escort was the wisest decision, instead of seeing this as an excellent opportunity to destroy the LW, U-boats and maybe even Tirpitz. Only a sick brain would send victorious with such planes and not use her, Duke of York, and a reasonable numnber of DDs to protect the convoy all the way.

I have never argued that Pound's decision was the correct one because it wasn't. However, Broome's close escort was adequate to defend PQ17 from U-Boat and aircraft attack.

Victorious was not there to protect PQ17 from air attack, she was there to attack Tirpitz or any other German warship should it sortie against the convoy, just as had happened with PQ12. The heavy covering force was not there to defend the convoy from U-Boats or air attack either, but to intercept Tirpitz should she emerge. If this force had been with the convoy then the Luftwaffe would have detected it, and any possibility of bringing Tirpitz to battle would have vanished, given the manner in which Tirpitz had hitherto been employed. Battleships & carriers are not ideally suited to protecting slow moving convoys from U-Boats and aircraft. I would have thought you would have understood this.

Pedestal was not a normal convoy in any sense of the word. It was a major fleet operation with a single specific objective in mind, and in any case the sea room available in the Med. was far more restricted than in the Arctic.

Madagascar was a totally different animal, and I have already described the reasons for it. Unfortunately, FDR, Churchill, and the rest lacked your remarkable strategic grasp, also known as wisdom after the event, or hindsight.
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  #22  
Old 18 May 15, 02:24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
You understood wrong.

Nobody had a "deep water" mine in WW 2. For deep water mining drifting mines were the norm. These floated on the current at a depth of anywhere from 10 to 30 feet below the surface. Some had a built in self-destruct device that rendered them inoperable after so many hours / days of use.

The US version was the Mk 19 (and mod 1 and 2) air droppable drifting mine with a 540 lbs. torpex warhead and a contact fuze.

Italy had two drifting models. One had a 154 lbs. warhead and used Hertz horns. It had a service life of 9 hours.
The second was 430 lbs. warhead and used a displacement type fuse (that is, when bumped by a ship it the vibration / movement caused the fuse to fire).

Germany had the UMA(K) drift mine with a 66 lbs. warhead using hertz horns for fuzing.

Japan had the Type 3 mark 2 mod 1 aircraft droppable drift mine with a 110 lbs. charge.

Britain didn't produce a drift mine in WW 2 but had one in WW 1.

The problem with drift mines is that the layer has no control over where they go. They can be as much a risk to one's own ships in time as they are to the enemy.
Technically there were deep mines used by the British but these were targeted at submarines. They were used successfully on the convoy routes.
The western approach to the south western ports were heavily mined with conventional mines but a small channel was left clear for the convoys to sail through. In this small channel deep mines were sown that were too deep to effect surface ships but ideally placed to sink a submerged sub. The Germans knew about the main minefield and the clear channel. But they didn't know about the deep mines. At least three u boats were sunk by those deep mines.
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  #23  
Old 18 May 15, 02:36
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Could be Draco's bashing considered like your daily gym ?
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  #24  
Old 18 May 15, 02:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surrey View Post
Technically there were deep mines used by the British but these were targeted at submarines. They were used successfully on the convoy routes.
The western approach to the south western ports were heavily mined with conventional mines but a small channel was left clear for the convoys to sail through. In this small channel deep mines were sown that were too deep to effect surface ships but ideally placed to sink a submerged sub. The Germans knew about the main minefield and the clear channel. But they didn't know about the deep mines. At least three u boats were sunk by those deep mines.
Well, the British did have a deep depth charge, the Mk X. It was a huge depth charge weighing about 3,000 lbs. overall with a 2,000 lbs charge. It was designed to be used against very deep U-boats and fired from a torpedo tube. Most DD on Western Approaches duty carried one or maybe two, depending on how many torpedo tubes were still on the ship.
But, that really wasn't a mine.
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  #25  
Old 18 May 15, 11:13
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I meant mines deployed against surface ships in deep water, say beyond 400 m. not mines placed before the draft of surface ships.

The USN had the mark 6, which was deployed in water 300 m deep.

The italians did deploy 2 harbour or 2 drift mines joined by a chain, which pulled them towards the ship, greatly increasing the possibility of contact with a ship and of sinking the ship with a double explosion.
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  #26  
Old 18 May 15, 13:45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
The USN should have realized British leadership was useless. Sunk all German capital ships early in 1942 and sent all its own capital ships to the Pacific, where it ran the show.
Very good!

I do not doubt for a moment that the US Navy could have despatched any German capital ship which it encountered in the North Atlantic in 1942.

However, after the Channel Dash in February 1942, Gneisenau never sailed again, and Scharnhorst remained motionless until March 1943, when she arrived at Altafjord.

Tirpitz reached Trondheim in January 1942, but after narrowly escaping an attack by Albacores from Victorious in the course of an abortive operation against PQ12, her only other appearance at sea was in September, 1943, when, together with Scharnhorst and nine destroyers, she bombarded what was essentially a large shed near Spitzbergen.

As the Kriegsmarine demonstrated a marked disinclination to send their few heavy ships out to almost certain destruction by committing them to extended operations in the Atlantic after the loss of Bismark and the network of supply vessels in mid 1941, pray tell us how the US Navy would have been any more successful at bringing about the happy state of affairs you describe above than the Royal Navy was.

Perhaps you might consider looking up the concept of the 'Fleet in Being.' I am sure it will be somewhere in 'your files.'
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  #27  
Old 18 May 15, 14:38
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Doveton,
Here is hindsight for You.

Sun Tsu, Alexander, Archytas & Demosthenes lived millenia ago, yet they are surprisingly applicable today.

After much trouble, I finally gathered a very talented medium and ancient Greek and Chinese scholars and spent all night gathering these strategists and informing them about the forces, battles, etc, involved throughout WW II (starting in 1918) and discussing it with them.

I am exhausted now, but I decided to write this post while everything is fresh in my mind.

They asked myriad profound questions and made dozens of illuminating comments. At times laughing hysterically and at times smacking their foreheads.

Here is a wee abstract of their most interesting comments.

Sun Tsu commented that after thousands of years, all the leaders involved ignored most of his precepts most of the time (I added: despite many editions of your book). For example, the British always reacted to major offensives as their enemies expected and Churchill repeatedly tolerated and even rewarded incompetence in such commanders as Mount Batten, Harris, Pound, Cunningham, etc, Hitler, Mussolini, Roosevelt, Stalin, Tojo and Yamamoto did exactly the same. All the nations involved repeatedly attacked where and when the enemy was strongest and not where he was most vulnerable and could suffer substantial strategic losses.

All 4 luminaries were surprised at the very strong USSR not making an alliance with Chiang and capturing Manchuria when the USSR was so strong and Japan had bitten more than it could chew in China.

All 4 were shocked at Hitler siding with Stalin to invade Poland, instead of using Poland as an ally or at least as a shield against his objective, the USSR.

Demosthenes was shocked at the gratuitous Anglo-German naval treaty and at Britain supplying the Italian navy and at France, Belgium,the US and Britain allowing Germany to ignore Versailles completely and build up its forces so soon after wiping them out at incredible cost.
At first he thought it absurd that the strong British, French or US navy did not wipe out the Japanese navy in 1937, when Japan invaded China. I explained that democracy limited these powers to words and sanctions, while the Japanese used guns. He simply could not understand why the US continued selling oil, scrap, technology, radios, etc, until months after Japan invaded Indochina and why Britain tolerated Lord Semple for years, despite knowing that he was selling invaluable secrets to the IJN.

Demosthenes was puzzled by the huge RN losing a CV to Scharnhost, and the mighty RN attacking Bismarck and Pinz Eugen with an equal number of vessels (one of them much older) and at the invasion of Madagascar while the fleet is being massacred in the Atlantic and Med and invaluable Ceylon (much closer to Japanese forces) is very vulnerable.

Archytas and Demosthenes were shocked at the British evacuating from Dunkirk, when the French and British navies were so formidable and German armour so weak and the allies could easily defend and supply the hundreds of thousands of men in the pocket and even replace them with large forces elsewhere in France and in both huge empires. He said that it cannot even be considered a pocket, when it is a port a few miles from Britain and the rest of France and the allies rule the sea (much like very defensible Athens with Pyreus against Sparta or Tobruk in 1941).

All 4 wondered at the massive superiority in materiel and personnel of the allies and at the long time it took to defeat the axis, mainly because of Britain fighting only weak German forces in Africa and the US attacking Japan where it mattered less and allowing it to use the resources of Manchuria, Formosa, etc, for so many years, instead of Invading France in late 1941 or in 1942 and simply expelling the Japanese from Burma in 1942 and wiping out the IJA in the continent with the huge Chinese, Indian and American forces.

Alexander and Sun Tsu could not believe that Hitler would waste a huge air force (in essence the largest investment of the German economy in the 2 years before the war and the real strength of its forces) attacking extremely strong and useless Britain, without a navy to invade it. They clearly saw that instead of keeping the huge WM idle for long months, Germany should have joined the numerous but ill- equipped Italian forces to invade extremely weak Tunisia, Egypt, Palestine, Joprdan and Syria and join up with friendly Turkey, Iraq, Arabia and Iran to gain invaluable and strategic areas to invade the USSR and to link up with Japan through the Indian Ocean.

Demosthenes could not believe that Mount Batten would waste a DD and 400 extremely well trained men to destroy the drydock gate in St Nazaire, instead of letting Tirpitz sail toward it only to sink it so close to Britain, instead of having to bomb her in a distant fjord in Norwegian weather.

All 4 were puzzled by the British, Free Franch and Poles not invading weak Panteleria, Tunisia, Sardinia or Sicily in late 1940 or in 1941 or even in early 1942 (with Canadian, Anzac, Indian and American forces, including the marines in Iceland, etc,) with a truly formidable navy and air force and an idle BA, but instead attempting to invade neutral and remote Dakar, fighting in Libya and Egypt (having to supply their forces around South Africa, precisely for not invading Pantelleria, etc,), fighting in useless, neutral Syria, suffering heavy losses supplying Malta (for not invading Pantelleria, etc,) raiding strong Dieppe with a ridiculous navy and air force (without any intention of establishing a beachhead), attempting to invade the Dodecanese with a ridiculous navy and landing force and no air force and raiding strong Tobruk with a ridiculous navy and landing force, invading distant Madagascar and losing a huge number of ships to U-boats.

None of them could understand why Britain would waste 1/2 of its resources blowing up houses, but always had fewer and worse planes in Norway, France, continental Greece, Crete, Malaya-Singapore, Burma, Ceylon, etc, despite producing more and better planes than Germany and receiving tens of thousands of planes from the US and Canada and while Germany lost thousands of its few planes in the USSR and all over Europe and N Africa.

Demosthenes, Archytas and Sun Tsu wondered why the huge US fleet was isolated and useless in PH and PoW and Repulse were isolated in Malaya, instead of most of the US Pacific fleet joining the RN, Dutch, RAN, RNZN and the USN ships in the Philippines, forming an invincible force in the PI, Borneo, Singapore and DEI. Or why the invincible force attacking PH ran away after bombing PH (damaging only the BBs in shallow water), instead of remaining to damage at least a CV and a CA in deep water with its 6 CV and sinking them with a BB.

Demosthenes could not understand how the poor Dutch navy could have better torpedoes than the formidable American navy. That the mighty RN would use lousy torpedo biplanes with good torpedoes, and the Americans would use much faster monoplanes with lousy torpedoes at the same time.

All 4 wondered why the allies wasted years in useless Libya & Italy (instead of isolating Africa by taking Pantelleria, etc, in late 1940) and then waited till 1944 to land in an extremely strong Normandy and then in the weak French Riviera, instead of landing simultaneously in the Riviera in late 1941 or early 1942 from Sardinia and in Dieppe with huge fleets (including the excelent British landing ships, which were not used in Dieppe) and landing forces, when Germany had suffered heavy losses and was extremely busy in the USSR and its production was still ridiculous.

Alexander and Sun Tsu could not believe that Hitler had so little mobility (horses) throughout the war and would not invade Lithuania, Latvia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Estonia in July 1939. Leaving Finland and Poland as buffers and then using the USSR against Britain (instead of against Poland) to gain access to invaluable middle east oil and only then attack the USSR.

Last edited by Draco; 18 May 15 at 15:00..
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Old 18 May 15, 14:44
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Originally Posted by Doveton Sturdee View Post
Very good!

I do not doubt for a moment that the US Navy could have despatched any German capital ship which it encountered in the North Atlantic in 1942.

However, after the Channel Dash in February 1942, Gneisenau never sailed again, and Scharnhorst remained motionless until March 1943, when she arrived at Altafjord.

Tirpitz reached Trondheim in January 1942, but after narrowly escaping an attack by Albacores from Victorious in the course of an abortive operation against PQ12, her only other appearance at sea was in September, 1943, when, together with Scharnhorst and nine destroyers, she bombarded what was essentially a large shed near Spitzbergen.

As the Kriegsmarine demonstrated a marked disinclination to send their few heavy ships out to almost certain destruction by committing them to extended operations in the Atlantic after the loss of Bismark and the network of supply vessels in mid 1941, pray tell us how the US Navy would have been any more successful at bringing about the happy state of affairs you describe above than the Royal Navy was.

Perhaps you might consider looking up the concept of the 'Fleet in Being.' I am sure it will be somewhere in 'your files.'
The RN wiped out the italian fleet in being in Taranto with a ridiculous number of biplanes. The IJN wiped out the USN BBs with 40 torpedoes and 80 artillery shells with fins (only 1 of which did real damage). It is incredible that the numerous British and American CVs and the massive air forces could not promtly dispatch the few KM capital ships in early 1942. Only incompetence can account for not wiping out Schanrhorst and Gneisenau before or during the Channel Dash and for Tirpitz, etc, surviving the mighty fleets and air forces and remaining a threat for years.

Last edited by Draco; 18 May 15 at 14:52..
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Old 18 May 15, 15:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
The RN wiped out the italian fleet in being in Taranto with a ridiculous number of biplanes. The IJN wiped out the USN BBs with 40 torpedoes and 80 artillery shells with fins (only 1 of which did real damage). It is incredible that the numerous British and American CVs and the massive air forces could not promtly dispatch the few KM capital ships in early 1942. Only incompetence can account for not wiping out Schanrhorst and Gneisenau before or during the Channel Dash and for Tirpitz, etc, surviving the mighty fleets and air forces and remaining a threat for years.
Sorry, but what you actually wrote was :-


The USN should have realized British leadership was useless. Sunk all German capital ships early in 1942 and sent all its own capital ships to the Pacific, where it ran the show.

I do not see any reference in the above to air forces.

Your post is, therefore, entirely irrelevant, except in so far as your reference to the italian fleet in being does indeed demonstrate that you do not understand what the term actually means.

Incidentally, you appear to have given up on your earlier thread (Nicholas II dies in Otsu). Does this mean that the mighty Valkyrien has completed her task of sinking the Japanese mercantile marine, or has she simply run out of suitable wardroom furniture to burn?
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Old 18 May 15, 15:44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
Doveton,
Here is hindsight for You.

Sun Tsu, Alexander, Archytas & Demosthenes lived millenia ago, yet they are surprisingly applicable today.

After much trouble, I finally gathered a very talented medium and ancient Greek and Chinese scholars and spent all night gathering these strategists and informing them about the forces, battles, etc, involved throughout WW II (starting in 1918) and discussing it with them.

I am exhausted now, but I decided to write this post while everything is fresh in my mind.

They asked myriad profound questions and made dozens of illuminating comments. At times laughing hysterically and at times smacking their foreheads.

Here is a wee abstract of their most interesting comments.

Sun Tsu commented that after thousands of years, all the leaders involved ignored most of his precepts most of the time (I added: despite many editions of your book). For example, the British always reacted to major offensives as their enemies expected and Churchill repeatedly tolerated and even rewarded incompetence in such commanders as Mount Batten, Harris, Pound, Cunningham, etc, Hitler, Mussolini, Roosevelt, Stalin, Tojo and Yamamoto did exactly the same. All the nations involved repeatedly attacked where and when the enemy was strongest and not where he was most vulnerable and could suffer substantial strategic losses.

All 4 luminaries were surprised at the very strong USSR not making an alliance with Chiang and capturing Manchuria when the USSR was so strong and Japan had bitten more than it could chew in China.

All 4 were shocked at Hitler siding with Stalin to invade Poland, instead of using Poland as an ally or at least as a shield against his objective, the USSR.

Demosthenes was shocked at the gratuitous Anglo-German naval treaty and at Britain supplying the Italian navy and at France, Belgium,the US and Britain allowing Germany to ignore Versailles completely and build up its forces so soon after wiping them out at incredible cost.
At first he thought it absurd that the strong British, French or US navy did not wipe out the Japanese navy in 1937, when Japan invaded China. I explained that democracy limited these powers to words and sanctions, while the Japanese used guns. He simply could not understand why the US continued selling oil, scrap, technology, radios, etc, until months after Japan invaded Indochina and why Britain tolerated Lord Semple for years, despite knowing that he was selling invaluable secrets to the IJN.

Demosthenes was puzzled by the huge RN losing a CV to Scharnhost, and the mighty RN attacking Bismarck and Pinz Eugen with an equal number of vessels (one of them much older) and at the invasion of Madagascar while the fleet is being massacred in the Atlantic and Med and invaluable Ceylon (much closer to Japanese forces) is very vulnerable.

Archytas and Demosthenes were shocked at the British evacuating from Dunkirk, when the French and British navies were so formidable and German armour so weak and the allies could easily defend and supply the hundreds of thousands of men in the pocket and even replace them with large forces elsewhere in France and in both huge empires. He said that it cannot even be considered a pocket, when it is a port a few miles from Britain and the rest of France and the allies rule the sea (much like very defensible Athens with Pyreus against Sparta or Tobruk in 1941).

All 4 wondered at the massive superiority in materiel and personnel of the allies and at the long time it took to defeat the axis, mainly because of Britain fighting only weak German forces in Africa and the US attacking Japan where it mattered less and allowing it to use the resources of Manchuria, Formosa, etc, for so many years, instead of Invading France in late 1941 or in 1942 and simply expelling the Japanese from Burma in 1942 and wiping out the IJA in the continent with the huge Chinese, Indian and American forces.

Alexander and Sun Tsu could not believe that Hitler would waste a huge air force (in essence the largest investment of the German economy in the 2 years before the war and the real strength of its forces) attacking extremely strong and useless Britain, without a navy to invade it. They clearly saw that instead of keeping the huge WM idle for long months, Germany should have joined the numerous but ill- equipped Italian forces to invade extremely weak Tunisia, Egypt, Palestine, Joprdan and Syria and join up with friendly Turkey, Iraq, Arabia and Iran to gain invaluable and strategic areas to invade the USSR and to link up with Japan through the Indian Ocean.

Demosthenes could not believe that Mount Batten would waste a DD and 400 extremely well trained men to destroy the drydock gate in St Nazaire, instead of letting Tirpitz sail toward it only to sink it so close to Britain, instead of having to bomb her in a distant fjord in Norwegian weather.

All 4 were puzzled by the British, Free Franch and Poles not invading weak Panteleria, Tunisia, Sardinia or Sicily in late 1940 or in 1941 or even in early 1942 (with Canadian, Anzac, Indian and American forces, including the marines in Iceland, etc,) with a truly formidable navy and air force and an idle BA, but instead attempting to invade neutral and remote Dakar, fighting in Libya and Egypt (having to supply their forces around South Africa, precisely for not invading Pantelleria, etc,), fighting in useless, neutral Syria, suffering heavy losses supplying Malta (for not invading Pantelleria, etc,) raiding strong Dieppe with a ridiculous navy and air force (without any intention of establishing a beachhead), attempting to invade the Dodecanese with a ridiculous navy and landing force and no air force and raiding strong Tobruk with a ridiculous navy and landing force, invading distant Madagascar and losing a huge number of ships to U-boats.

None of them could understand why Britain would waste 1/2 of its resources blowing up houses, but always had fewer and worse planes in Norway, France, continental Greece, Crete, Malaya-Singapore, Burma, Ceylon, etc, despite producing more and better planes than Germany and receiving tens of thousands of planes from the US and Canada and while Germany lost thousands of its few planes in the USSR and all over Europe and N Africa.

Demosthenes, Archytas and Sun Tsu wondered why the huge US fleet was isolated and useless in PH and PoW and Repulse were isolated in Malaya, instead of most of the US Pacific fleet joining the RN, Dutch, RAN, RNZN and the USN ships in the Philippines, forming an invincible force in the PI, Borneo, Singapore and DEI. Or why the invincible force attacking PH ran away after bombing PH (damaging only the BBs in shallow water), instead of remaining to damage at least a CV and a CA in deep water with its 6 CV and sinking them with a BB.

Demosthenes could not understand how the poor Dutch navy could have better torpedoes than the formidable American navy. That the mighty RN would use lousy torpedo biplanes with good torpedoes, and the Americans would use much faster monoplanes with lousy torpedoes at the same time.

All 4 wondered why the allies wasted years in useless Libya & Italy (instead of isolating Africa by taking Pantelleria, etc, in late 1940) and then waited till 1944 to land in an extremely strong Normandy and then in the weak French Riviera, instead of landing simultaneously in the Riviera in late 1941 or early 1942 from Sardinia and in Dieppe with huge fleets (including the excelent British landing ships, which were not used in Dieppe) and landing forces, when Germany had suffered heavy losses and was extremely busy in the USSR and its production was still ridiculous.

Alexander and Sun Tsu could not believe that Hitler had so little mobility (horses) throughout the war and would not invade Lithuania, Latvia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Estonia in July 1939. Leaving Finland and Poland as buffers and then using the USSR against Britain (instead of against Poland) to gain access to invaluable middle east oil and only then attack the USSR.
I am exhausted now

So it is exhaustion then. That is a great relief. When I first read the above, I rather suspected that you must have been what is euphemistically described as 'tired & emotional.'

Clearly, an unworthy conclusion!
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