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Monday, 31 July 2017


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Duffers - you don't need to buy a book.

Just ask PompousG, he'll tell you. All you need to know.

Woof woof.

Cuffers, how could I have forgotten that!

Happy to oblige my friends. Dowding's decision was not brave it was perfectly and indisputably rational. Since neither the Hurricane nor the Spitfire were sufficiently superior in any respect to inflict an acceptable kill ratio against superior numbers of Me109s (See previous comment about A Galland) and operating in poorly supplied forward bases in France made little sense there was only one thing that did make sense. And that was putting the Spitfires and Hurricanes and all their pilots in a superior environment where they had the force multiplying assistance of ground control radar as well as close unthreatened supplies of fuel, pilots and spare parts and a nice friendly landing zone for pilots who had to bail. They needed every damn plane too. Logistics, always logistics. Unsurprisingly when Dowding made exactly those arguments up the chain of command they listened.

Ahoy Pompous G!

You by any chance got a sort of "Unified Theory Knowledge of Everything" blog you can give the address to so I can dispense with all these bookmarks (not to mention my physical library)?

Oh heck Pompous G belay that, I got a great-grandchild or two scouting unis - just give me the location where you lecture.

I'll ensure they come up there (and stay) unarmed.

(Logistics hmmm ... you mean like as in Lend-Lease?)

Eh David ... thoughts?

No JK but I do have this theory that you can learn things by reading and exercising critical judgement of what you have read. You can look at this as hard work or, if you like learning things, a true pleasure. Normally I like to hang out in places where people know things that I don't know and can offer incisive reasoning and factual insight into their field of expertise. Hence my deep and abiding love of University grad student bars where you can find both brains and beer.

If you have a library of books and have both read and thought about what you have read it is not evident in your opinions. But I do wonder what you believe you achieve with name calling? Do you think that will convince me you know what you're talking about? So no I am not talking about lend-lease per se. In military terms logistics is about getting the force you need where you need it with the materiel support to do the job. It is not just the things themselves.

I'm always prepared to listen to a cogent argument. Tell me why I am wrong.

Pompous G?

"Normally I like to hang out in places where people know things that I don't know ..."

(25 July PG) "But I do know that I know more than just about anybody here."

You do see the incongruity Pompous G?

So we "regulars" around here might come to a reasonable conclusion that here Pompous G, you're self-aware abnormal?

What I set myself to achieve has been met.


Now see here TheBigHenry when you arrive back, not even I can credit myself any speedier creation that hasn't occupied the requisite seven days.

I rest.


"Normally I like to hang out in places where people know things that I don't know and can offer incisive reasoning and factual insight into their field of expertise."
Somehow, that is not the impression I got when you barged into this semi-congenial salon swinging your dick around. Most people do not interpret belligerence as a sign of good will.

Hey all y'all,

You have my word of honor that I was typing my remark just as JK posted his. He may be faster on the draw, but we do think alike.

To paraphrase Tricky Dick, "I am not a plagiarist!"

Not a very flattering review of Mr Mosier's book.

Still it may be worth the read Duffers just to see how rigorous the analysis is.

Why don't PeterG (and Bobby) set up their own blog for people who like to be patronised?

"Dowding's decision was not brave it was perfectly and indisputably rational."

This sentence implies that being brave and rational is mutually exclusive. In fact Dowding's decision was both brave and rational. In PG's urge to be contrarian he becomes illogical.

"Since neither the Hurricane nor the Spitfire were sufficiently superior in any respect to inflict an acceptable kill ratio against superior numbers of Me109s "

So you are acknowledging that the Spit was superior to the Me109 now? It's just the superiority wasn't "sufficient" enough and the logistics too stretched and that out-weighed the Spit's superiority. No more "elliptical wing" bollocks here any more, no sireee!

You've gotta slip your little corrections, volte faces, and everything in between much more subtly than that on D&N.

Or why not try just admitting you were wrong?


Or why not try just admitting you were wrong?

Choke, splutter, gasp. SoD you know not what you ask.

Hurricane nor the Spitfire were sufficiently superior in any respect to inflict an acceptable kill ratio against superior numbers of Me109s (See previous comment about A Galland)

PG you were arguing that the Spitfire was not superior and you were referred to the comment by Galland as an opinion expressed by someone who had to fight them.

Don't mind you being wrong but at least be consistent in your "wrongness"

"He declines to accept the post-war version that it was a combination of armour and air power that was decisive in WWII battles."

Victory in all conflicts is in the presence or absence of strategy (a master stroke, a genius strategist, one who can defy superior forces with better strategic employment of inferior forces), and, tactics / grand tactics (a doctrine at the lower levels that renders the forces of one army simply better than the other, so that the same idiot in command of each of two armies would see the one with superior doctrine win), and, the sheer numbers involved.

Somewhere in the three dimensions of that matrix lies the outcome.

The German doctrine at the lower levels was superior to all others during WWII. They combined the offensive "élan" sprit of Bonaparte with the offensive "turn the flanks" pattern of Frederick the Great, and this was instilled as a standing order to all troops engaged in an offensive, i.e. you didn't have to wait for an order to seek out the enemy, find his flanks, turn them, and assault.

The German willingness and ability to combine arms in delivering the doctrine added to the effectiveness of their forces.

Plus they had a few wonder weapons like the MG 34/42 and 88, which in the hands of folks (or was that volks?) adopting the doctrine and the combined arms tactics, provided the third in this triple multiplier of effectiveness.

All other things being equal - an engagement between two equally sized forces with two equally able commanders - would see the Germans win. Not once. Not twice. But every time.

This is most obvious in the historical board wargames I play. Each counter represents a unit, say a battalion. If you faithfully reproduce the start conditions of an historical battle using the accurate orders of battles and rate each unit type the same between forces, so an allied infantry battalion the same as a Jerry one, likewise for tank battalions, artillery batteries, etc., the game is over in minutes and the Jerries lose hands down, including in all they cases where they one the actual battle. The only way to balance the game to make the historical outcome the most likely outcome is to rate the German units higher than their allied equivalents - and often by an order of magnitude.

Sad to say, but man for man, unit for unit, type for type, they were better at it than any of the allied forces. (Although not, of course, in the case of airborne troops, in which they were immeasurably inferior).


including in all they cases where they one the actual battle

should be

including in all the cases where they won the actual battle


Sad to say, but man for man, unit for unit, type for type, they were better at it than any of the allied forces

Bullshit SoD. Do yourself a favour and read the histories of the New Zealand 2nd Division in Africa and Italy and the Australian 6th, 7th and 9th Divisions in Africa. Man for man they gave the Germans a thrashing and were selected to act as shock troops in attack and rear guard in withdrawal/retreat.

I am not denigrating British forces in Africa in anyway but your statement about German superiority over everyone else is wrong.

I have quoted him before, many a time and oft'! So I will do so again and urge you all to find a copy of his book: "A Genius for War: The German Army and General Staff 1807-1945" by Col. T.N.Dupuy, USA, Ret.

In his research into combat effectiveness of the main forces in WWII, he says this:
"There were substantial combat effectiveness differences within the national contingents - British, American and German - but the overall comparisons were quite constant. On the average, a force of 100 Germans was the combat equivalent of 120 American or 120 British troops. Further refinements in the model began to reveal that in terms of casualties the differential was even greater, with German troops on the average inflicting three casualties on the Allies for every two they incurred. This relationship - a 20% combat effectiveness superiority, and a 3-to-2 casualty inflicting superiority - was found to be still in effect during the 1944 fighting in Normandy and France, and as late as December 1944, at the same time as the Ardennes offensive."

The fact is that they were just better at war than we were - despite the best efforts of our greatest secret asset - Adolf Hitler!

Playing Devil's advocate here Lawrence, but the German Fallschirmjager were pretty bloody good, as anyone who came up against them in places such as Crete and Cassino could attest. Even our Maroon Machine, or those totally superb gents of the 82nd and 101st from the other side of the pond would have had their work cut out if they had run into them on anything like equal terms.

Just getting caught up here but to reply to JK and Henry. I would suggest you maybe visit PM Carpenter's site where your host here is fond of visiting. I model my behavior here on his there. You may trust that I am never unintentionally rude.

On the subject of Mosier's opinion, these are easily dealt with. He is completely wrong and not a little chauvinist. So when did the addition of American manpower to the front of the first World War generate the breakthrough that forced the Germans out of their occupied territory and back into Germany? The answer is never. That war of attrition remained such right up to its last day. When it ended it was because of the collapse of the German capacity to supply soldiers and materiel to the front and feed their civilian population at the same time. The Germans lacked the capacity to continue and certainly lacked the capacity to execute another major offensive capable of changing the result. It was nice of the Yanks to join in and all but they did not win that war. They certainly helped but they didn't march into germany any faster than any of the other allies.

The Americans were vastly more significant in winning the Second World war even if they were once again a bit tardy on getting started. But that isn't Mosier's completely wrong thesis about that war. Conventional tactics my ass. Dunkerke would not have occurred at all if conventional tactics (whatever that was supposed to mean) had predominated in the second world war. When in that war were that static defensive lines that fought over the same ground for months or years ever a dominant feature of that war? I can count them on one hand. Vis Stalingrad where the Germans were so focused on capturing that city they allowed a whole army to be destroyed by envelopment by high speed mobile armor and infantry.

This is what you get when an English professor writes or rewrites military history that he does not understand. I did not read them of course because the reviews by the professionals were not kind. Mostly they just laughed. Critical judgment anyone? Out host thinks Heinz Guderian was the best general of the war and you can make a case for that. But you can't believe that and Mosier.


I agree - I was joking about Brit airborne.

We used to sing the Fallschirmjager's song after a few beers. We knew they were good.


Mmm, not quite as I remember it ...

They had a cranky way of exiting the aircraft, didn't they?!

Effing glad we didn't do that.


An example of PeterG's spelling and reading abilities:

"Out host thinks Heinz Guderian was the best general of the war"

What 'our host' actually wrote:

"von Manstein (the greatest general of the war)".

My Bad, let's just substitute his name for Guderian. Von Manstein was great why? Master of maneuver wasn't he? Especially in getting out of sticky strategic situations. Guderian was just the best tactical general. Neither had any use for trench warfare did they or fixed defensive positions? A read of any review of Mosier's opinions should have told you he had his head up his ass.

If I remember rightly (firing from the hip here), Guderian was for much of his career involved in the research, design, development, and implementation of the doctrine that gave that 20% effectiveness bonus and 3 for 2 casualty infliction advantage to every Jerry general in WW2.

He was the main man, or one of them, in the tail end of the great studying, learning, and change process that extended back over a hundred years to the disaster of Jena-Auerstadt. The Jerry armed forces' superiority in WW2 was all Bonaparte's fault - if he hadn't thrashed them so soundly at Jena-Auerstadt they'd never have turned their Teutonic mind-machine so singularly to the subject matter of how to win wars for a century and a half, with the consequences so starkly analysed and presented by Dupuy.

20% or an extra 1-in-3 of Rommel, Manstein, et al's achievements were down to the weapon they wielded - forged in its final modern excellence by Guderian.

And 20% or 1/3 of every Jerry general in WW2 summed up is greater than any one of them on his own.

So yes, Guderian was great.


David, ... again, thoughts?

Oops David?

First things first;

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