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Truth... As We Know It (of General Patton)
The Chieftain's Hatch ^ | March 22, 2012

Posted on 03/10/2013 6:59:35 PM PDT by JerseyanExile

A Bridge Too Far is one of my favourite war movies. Pretty much the last of the Big Screen Epics, with an All Star Cast, it doesn’t try to do much except simply tell what happened. No romantic sub plots, no political commentary, it just goes all-out to bring us the story. There’s a scene near the beginning, where von Rundstedt and Model are discussing if they need to worry about stopping Patton or Montgomery.

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“He’s their best. I’d prefer Montgomery, but Eisenhower isn’t that stupid” says von Rundstedt. The whole Monty/Patton argument in general is frequent, and shows up even in the Hatch forum (See the El Alamein thread).

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Now, this handsome fellow was a chap by the name of General der Panzertruppe Hermann Balck. By most accounts he was quite a competent chap, probably one of the best Panzergenerals the Germans had to offer. It is doubtful that many officers could have performed as he did in the Eastern Front. The Autumn of 1944 saw him in command of First Army, in central France. He had some issues to deal with. In a letter he wrote to von Rundstedt, he said “I have never been in command of such irregularly assembled and ill-equpped troops.” Certainly the German Army in October 1944 was not the same as it had been in 1941. His next sentence, however, bears some attention: “The fact that we have been able to straighten out the situation again and release the 3rd Panzergrenadier Division for the Northern front can only be attributed to the bad and hesitating command of the Americans and the French…” Later he said “Within my zone, the Americans never once exploited a success.” The unit facing him was US Third Army, the bad and hesitating commander he referred to turned out to be this fellow.

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Yep, it’s George S. Patton Jr, the US’s best tank general of WWII. What’s going on?

When he was over to partake in Operation Think Tank, Harry Yeide gave me a copy of his new book, “Fighting Patton.” I love books like this. He completely ignores preconceptions, that which we know to be true simply because everybody knows it, and digs down to find the verifiable truth for himself. He said he was watching the movie “Patton”, and was intrigued by the German intelligence officer who kept the historical bio of the man. In this case, Yeide almost completely ignored the US writings, and instead went straight to the German war records and diaries of the people facing Patton to see what –they- were saying. It makes fascinating reading and throws a number of our preconceptions on their heads.

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Now, I have somewhat mixed feelings about General Patton. The US Army has seen fit to name its museum of leadership after him, but while he may have been a great leader, I (please ignore the soap box under me) have something of a belief that his style of leadership belongs in a museum and there may be better role models for today’s young officers. The authoritarian style is something of an anathema to what I have seen work, but then, I work with 21st Century soldiers, not ones from 1940s. For current purposes, my opinion on this is irrelevant: What counts is what 1940s Patton did with his 1940s soldiers against 1940s Germans, Italians and French. Well, he led them to victory. What's interesting, though, is the perception of how he did it and of what people thought of him.

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By and large in North Africa, the Germans not only had no clue who this Patton fellow was, they pretty much didn’t care anyway. The records show that their focus was Montgomery, the forces in the West facing the Americans basically had to work with whatever the Axis forces had to spare after taking Montgomery into account. Who the American commander was was somewhat irrelevant to them. Move to Sicily, and the great dash to Palermo didn’t impress the Germans either: They had voluntarily abandoned the territory. The reason why Montgomery was slow while Patton was able to loop around the island at high speed? The Germans had moved all available forces from the West to stop Montgomery, they didn’t care about the West of the island. After all, their escape route was to the East. And then they discovered, to somewhat their surprise, that the Allied advance was so hesitant that they were able to get most of their men and heavy equipment off the island, which they hadn’t thought would be possible when they started the Sicily defence. The name “Patton”, however, still didn’t seem to mean much to them.

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Ok, we move on. Patton is beached for a while, as we know, and then put in charge of FUSAG, the fictional unit supposed to invade the Pas de Calais. The common story is that the Germans were so in awe of Patton that they were convinced that wherever he was, that’s where the main invasion would be, and that may have been the intent. Problem seems to be that most German officers had never heard of the man at that point. Just because the US newspapers or General Eisenhower may have thought the Germans feared Patton doesn’t mean that the Germans felt the same way! That they were worried about FUSAG is pretty much a given, but they were worried about a supposed huge body of men and equipment. It could have been commanded by General Snuffy, as far as they cared. When he does move to the continent and takes over the US Third Army, the Germans had already decided to withdraw to the German border, and the race across France actually took about four weeks longer than the Germans had anticipated it would. And while they were doing it, the primary focus of the Germans was, again, Montgomery. Units facing Bradley (and thus Patton) generally had to make do with what was left over. There seems to have been no "Patton Panic" in the German Army.

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There’s a scene in “Patton” where the various allied officers are having a chat with Bradley about the German Ardennes offensive. Patton (George C Scott, of course) stuns the assembled men by announcing that he can have elements of his Army make a left turn and head for Bastogne in three days. All very impressive. German records for the planning of the Ardennes expedition indicate that they expected an attack from the South a little faster than that. And by the time Patton had actually gotten his forces to the fight, the German offensive was already considered a lost cause by the Germans. The commander of the forces which actually stopped the offensive? Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery overall, and General Courtney Hodges with his First Army in particular.

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Now, I’m going to go off-track for a second here. Whatever the merits of Patton, Hodges is someone who probably deserved to have a movie of his own. He joined the Army as a private only three years before Patton commissioned as a lieutenant, yet was his equal under Bradley in the French campaign. His First Army undertook some of the most significant fighting of the Western front, but it seems that few people have even heard of him. If you get the opportunity, he might be worth a little personal research. To a large extent, this demonstrates the folly of the Monty/Patton argument: In France, Montgomery and Patton were not even competitors, except perhaps for press coverage. Montgomery’s counterpart was Omar Bradley, Patton’s counterparts as Army commanders were Hodges, Simpson, and Gerow. How many Patton/Hodges arguments are there on the Internet?

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Now, I’m not saying that Patton didn’t have his good points. When he knew he was free to advance, he did so with a speed that few could, or would, match. His philosophy of offence above all else is matched by some of the most successful generals out there (although, granted, it worked for Custer as well during the US Civil War, and we know how that ended up afterwards), and he was a senior commander on the winning side so he must have had merit. “Fighting Patton” is a 500-page opus, almost 20% of which is supporting notes and references, and Yeide reports both the praise that the Germans gave Patton as well as their criticism. It really is worth the read. Fundamentally, Patton was the US Army’s best tank general in WWII in a field of… erm… Quick! Name a US ‘tank general’ in WWII other than Patton? And to crown off the mythology and seal his fame, he died tragically. That, colorful and competent, there’s little wonder he’s the US’s most famous general of the time, if not ‘ever.’ To the Germans, though, he was pretty much just another general, not anyone to take really significant note of.

The point of this all, though, is one which I try to make repeatedly. Take conventional wisdom with a grain of salt. For example, there’s nothing wrong with being slow and methodical as a commander when you can afford to be, a trait commonly associated with Montgomery. Which is fortunate, because that’s how a good number of German officers described their opposition, which turned out to be Patton. (“Hesitant “and “missing opportunities” was another common description, mind). And, of course, Patton never faced the ultimate test of conducting a fighting withdrawal. We know that Patton was a commander worthy of praise, the Germans credited him for it when they felt it was deserved. But Harry Yeide went further, took the initiative and effort to challenge the “US side of the US story” and look into the background, only to reinforce that the truth as we know it may not be the whole truth. Good for him, and may he continue.


TOPICS: Books/Literature; History
KEYWORDS: generalpatton; patton; whatgarbage; ww2; wwii
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1 posted on 03/10/2013 6:59:36 PM PDT by JerseyanExile
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To: JerseyanExile
"Patton never faced the ultimate test of conducting a fighting withdrawal."

Why?

2 posted on 03/10/2013 7:12:13 PM PDT by LZ_Bayonet ( I AM THE TEA PARTY LEADER !)
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To: JerseyanExile
"We're wearing......the wrong camouflage."
3 posted on 03/10/2013 7:16:18 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: JerseyanExile

“October 1944 .... hesitating command of the Americans and the French…” Later he said “Within my zone, the Americans never once exploited a success.”

Wasn’t that about the time the 3Rd Army was running out of fuel?


4 posted on 03/10/2013 7:19:02 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: JerseyanExile

Patton was the real deal and the Germans knew it. He only had a couple of minor foul ups. He sent a way too small column to capture the prison camp his Son-in-Law was in. The whole effort was a foul up from the get go.

Also Patton was held up a little longer than he though he would be at Metz.

I have seen an interview with a German General, I can’t be sure if it was Von Rundstedt but he was in an English prison at the time. He was asked who were the best Allied generals and he simply said Patton and Montgomery. Who he thought were the least effective were Bradley and Clarke.


5 posted on 03/10/2013 7:23:40 PM PDT by yarddog (Per Ardua Ad Alta.)
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To: JerseyanExile
Interesting. The German Army was broken by the Russians on the Eastern front. Our losses on D-Day still did not equal the average losses by day on the Eastern Front for the Red Army.

Our major contribution to the European War was supplying the Red Army with the transport to out run the German Army to Berlin. Strategically our overall plan was sound, we would have been in a cul-de-sac in Nothern France if we invaded there before 1944. Late 1942 and 1943 we, with the Brits, cleared the Mediterranean front, knocking out Italy. creating a 3rd front there.

We were careful after D-Day for the reason that the Germans had interior supply advantage despite air superiority. Patton may have been correct that he could have punched passed the German west wall in September, but he still would have exposed the flank has the northern front was stuck. (The Bridge Too Far put paid to any more daring thrusts for the duration.)

But it was a political blunder that the Western Allies didn't press on in Germany and move farther East when it was wide open in April to create a military accomplished fact given Stalin reneging on earlier agreements.

6 posted on 03/10/2013 7:25:04 PM PDT by AU72
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To: JerseyanExile
One unmistakable sign of ignorance is to take the word of those who were licked, when discussing the SOB who licked them. True amateurish gullibility.

One of Patton's major accomplishments with his so-called authoritarian leadership style, was that his Third Army suffered the lowest rate of casualties of any unit of similar size and combat engagement.

His "authoritarian" training, expectations and discipline saved lives and as one survivor of Bastogne told me personally they were all really glad to see Patton when they were relieved.. He never knew or mentioned anybody else. And he didn't get Patton's name from the Sunday papers or the movies, like this joker.

7 posted on 03/10/2013 7:25:48 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: JerseyanExile

I have to ask, where are you going with this post? I mean it’s interesting, but there must be an agenda here.....which is fine....just wondering what it is.


8 posted on 03/10/2013 7:35:58 PM PDT by C. Edmund Wright
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To: JerseyanExile

Where did this garbage come from. What is the Chieftians Website?

Looks like a place for kiddies to play study of war and buy video games.

My father was attached to Patch’s Army and the 3rd Army and was camped accross a lake from Patton’s headquarters. His impression of Patton was not from some history book he was there and saw him regulary. Near Bad Tolz Germany & Bad Wiessee Germany.

He to this day has nothing bad to say about the “bull” Patton. And nothing good to say about the arrogant “Monty”.

At 19 my father carried a M1 across parts of Europe. He was an armorer, worked on Quad 50’s and Bofors.

At 87 he is still a tough cookie. We talk daily about the insanity of the Commie B_tards who are taking over our nation. The fire is still in his belly and his eye.

I can assure you that he would straighten you out about what George Patton WAS.


9 posted on 03/10/2013 7:43:22 PM PDT by Texas Fossil
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To: JerseyanExile

I believe that some folks would make the case that Patton basically used blitzkrieg tactics — and that he did blitzkrieg better than the Germans did blitzkrieg. Perhaps some Germans didn’t like to admit that.


10 posted on 03/10/2013 7:47:17 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy (The ballot box is a sham. Nothing will change until after the war.)
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To: JerseyanExile

One thing Patton did which I have not seen reported very much is he worked his staff extremely hard. He would make them produce a complete set of battle plans for 3 or 4 different scenarios.

Then when the combat began he already would have made provision for what happened and how to respond.


11 posted on 03/10/2013 8:00:54 PM PDT by yarddog (Per Ardua Ad Alta.)
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To: LZ_Bayonet

Luck.

He was not in the Philipines when the Japanese attacked.


12 posted on 03/10/2013 8:37:24 PM PDT by Pikachu_Dad (Impeach Sen Quinn)
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To: AU72

“But it was a political blunder that the Western Allies didn’t press on in Germany and move farther East when it was wide open . . . given Stalin reneging on earlier agreements.”

Calling it a “blunder” is akin to saying that President Ubama made a “blunder” by supporting blood thirsty anti-American Islamists during the so-called “Arab Spring.”

Both were deliberate political decisions made by socialists that had predictable outcomes against the best interests of our nation.

IMHO
Oldplayer


13 posted on 03/10/2013 8:53:39 PM PDT by oldplayer
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To: JerseyanExile

Excellent Post!!


14 posted on 03/10/2013 8:57:51 PM PDT by longfellow (Bill Maher, the 21st hijacker.)
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To: Texas Fossil

I had a great uncle who served under Patton; that same uncle said he would follow Patton anywhere to fight anyone.


15 posted on 03/10/2013 9:09:14 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: hinckley buzzard
Basically true ~ the losers made some poor judgments ~ both in terms of strategy as well as in tactics, at all levels from the theatre as a whole to individual fire teams.

Why anyone should imagine their judgments regarding the quality of one of our generals or another should be respected is a good question.

A German Error of major consequence ~ how to build tanks. The Germans built large tanks and effective tanks ~ but yet they built them slowly since they'd decided to hand the work over to folks who usually built locomotives.

The Allies made use of automotive manufacturing capability ~ people who built trucks ~ and they could produce tanks, or chassis for use in Russia, quite rapidly.

In the end the best of the big German tanks proved totally inadequate. The Allied tanks were a stupendous success.

My dad and General Christmas regularly flew to various cities throughout the American heartland as the General saw to the production and deployment of tanks and other American rolling stock for the war ~ you almost never hear of General Christmas ~ BTW, there were two of them ~ the guy meeting with company engineers and executives in Detroit, Indianapolis, Chicago, St. Louis, Louisville, etc. was actually far more relevant to what went on in Europe ~ and Russia ~ than Patton or any other field general.

That's why he got to hop around in the most luxuriously appointed and capable aircraft owned by the US government ~

16 posted on 03/10/2013 9:09:48 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: oldplayer
There was an Allied plan and they expected to draw so many casualties in the final push against the Germans. Russia drew the short straw and had to pay in blood.

They also had this legitimate grievance against the Germans who'd just knocked down 60% of all standing structures in what used to be called the USSR.

Eventually Stalin died, a series of apparatchiks of questionable talent followed, and in the end we got to see Boris Yeltsin on TV writing decrees that dismantled that structure and put the Russians on a different path.

Maybe that could have happened earlier with a deeper Allied advance from the West, and maybe it couldn't.

17 posted on 03/10/2013 9:14:38 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah
Russia drew the short straw and had to pay in blood.

A lot of that blood could have been avoided if they had a different ruler....The Soviet Union won, in spite of Stalin.

18 posted on 03/10/2013 9:23:09 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator
Yes ideed, Solzhenitsyn said as much.

As for Patton, the German general F.W. von Mellenthin in his memoir PANZER BATTLES praised Patton as a man who “could think along big lines”. Remember too that Patton would have made even more progress if so much material support had gone to fiascoes like Market Garden.

19 posted on 03/10/2013 9:42:22 PM PDT by Monterrosa-24 (...even more American than a French bikini and a Russian AK-47.)
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To: hinckley buzzard
One unmistakable sign of ignorance is to take the word of those who were licked, when discussing the SOB who licked them. Very true. For example, much of the writing by German officers on the Eastern Front following the end of the Second World War fell prey to this, and the extent to which their writings were misleading only started to come to light after Russian archives began to be opened up to the West in the 1990s. But contemporary battle-reports, letters, and personnel writings are a different beast from post-war memoirs and the like.
20 posted on 03/10/2013 10:06:47 PM PDT by JerseyanExile
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To: C. Edmund Wright

No agenda. I decided that since this history-column series was petty interesting that perhaps I should begin posting them here weekly. I just finished reading an autobiography about Patton so I figured I’d start with this one.


21 posted on 03/10/2013 10:07:07 PM PDT by JerseyanExile
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To: Texas Fossil
Sorry, my fault - I probably should have explained the source of this article better. World of Tanks was a tank simulator game that came out several years ago, one with a surprising eye for historical accuracy and research. Their official forums eventually became one of the largest websites on the internet dealing with the history of armored warfare. Eventually regular columns dealing with the history of tanks and armor tactics were added to the main website by the owners.

This particular column is written by an Army officer who served in armor for 15-years, and who works at a tank museum. The "Chieftain's Hatch" contains a great deal of in-depth research on tanks and armored warfare in the first-half of the 20th century, especially on obscure topics. Making sense of naming conventions of American vehicles? Experimental light tank designs of the 1950s? Information on why the US Army stuck with inadequate 75mm guns on M4s far into the later part of the Second World War?All of that and more, often complete with original documents from government archives.

22 posted on 03/10/2013 10:07:23 PM PDT by JerseyanExile
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To: JerseyanExile

Okay, fair enough, and it is indeed intriguing. I don’t agree with this particular take...but enjoyed it nonetheless....


23 posted on 03/11/2013 1:06:20 AM PDT by C. Edmund Wright
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To: Pikachu_Dad

I doubt he would have had his planes lined up on the runway like McArthur did.


24 posted on 03/11/2013 1:52:09 AM PDT by Fai Mao
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To: muawiyah
Why anyone should imagine their judgments regarding the quality of one of our generals or another should be respected is a good question.

FWIW, after the war General Lee was asked which of the generals he faced was the toughest opponent.

His answer? McClellan.

25 posted on 03/11/2013 1:54:29 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: JerseyanExile

I call bs. Monty was done in North Africa until he got our Shermans. When he did, he just frontally assaulted what was left of the Afrika Corps.
After D Day, Monty’s troops couldn’t keep up with the American advance either. Montgomery was a diva. As bad as MacArthur in the Pacific.
We went into France in June, 1944. By April, 1945 it was over. Less than a year. There was no hesitation on the part of the U. S. forces.


26 posted on 03/11/2013 1:59:33 AM PDT by Palio di Siena
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To: dfwgator
Could be ~ that last battle was rugged. The Germans didn't want to go down, they were fighting with their backs to the wall, the enemy was coming for their homes ~ all that stuff.

We could have all waited a few months and turned Germany into a sea of radioactive mud.

Did you ever stop to think that in WWII all choices were bad choices. Compound that with the fact that psychopathic killers are incapable of being good judges of others, and you had one terrible mess.

27 posted on 03/11/2013 5:52:21 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Army Air Corps

Yep. Anywhere, to the very gates of hell. That is what war is.

No one who has ever been there will tell you otherwise.

The world is not and will not be a peaceful place. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar.

War via drones may seem like a video game, but the point of impact is real. Holder’s comments under questioning by Ted Cruz this week was illuminating. The bastards would actually target US citizens who disagreed with them or threatened their power. No matter if it is constitutional or not. Evil vermin, yes they still very much exist.


28 posted on 03/11/2013 6:06:58 AM PDT by Texas Fossil
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To: JerseyanExile

There are so many things wrong with the statements of the author of the article, it is hard to know where to begin with the debunking. Suffice it to note the whole them amounts to no more than a heap of stinking revisionist crap the author should be ashamed of presenting to the public. Contrary to the outrageous falsehoods of the author, Patton was very well known to the German Wehrmacht. In addition to his debut role as the American tank commander in the First World War, German panzer tacticians such as Guderian studied Patton’s books and other information on tank warfare and integrated the information into their own tactics used in CASE YELLOW and later in the early part of the Second World War.

The author also wrongly assumes the German general must have been talking about Patton’s Third Army, instead of the Seventh Army.


29 posted on 03/11/2013 6:35:47 AM PDT by WhiskeyX
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To: JerseyanExile

Excellent...most excellent. Thank You.


30 posted on 03/11/2013 6:47:37 AM PDT by Tainan (Cogito, ergo conservatus sum -- "The Taliban is inside the building")
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To: C. Edmund Wright

The ageenda is appareent by the title of the Website: think Chieftan tanks.


31 posted on 03/11/2013 6:55:43 AM PDT by WhiskeyX
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To: ClearCase_guy

Guderian used Patton’s prewar works about tank tactics to further develop his own blitzkrieg tank tactics.


32 posted on 03/11/2013 6:58:53 AM PDT by WhiskeyX
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To: muawiyah
"The Allied tanks were a stupendous success"

Really?

The Germans called the Sherman tank "the Ronson", because one hit and it would blow up and catch fire.

The mechanics of the Sherman were very good. But the tank was underarmored and undergunned especially against heavier German equipment.

Arguably the best tank of WW-2 was the Russian T-34, which was diesel, heavier gunned, very fast and was the first to make use of sloped armor, which greatly improved protection.

33 posted on 03/11/2013 9:37:29 AM PDT by Jimmy Valentine (DemocRATS - when they speak, they lie; when they are silent, they are stealing the American Dream)
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To: Jimmy Valentine
you missed the point ~ the Allied tanks were among the armaments in the successful armies. The German tanks were among the armaments in the unsuccessful armies.

BTW, the Russians found success against the Germans ~ you did know that, right?

34 posted on 03/11/2013 9:42:08 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Jimmy Valentine

It turns out 10 Shermans will generally take out one superior German tank.

Our tanks were not qualitatively successful, in particular, but they were wildly successful quantitatively.

As the saying goes, “Quantity has a quality of its own.”


35 posted on 03/11/2013 11:34:47 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Jimmy Valentine

“Arguably the best tank of WW-2 was the Russian T-34, which was diesel, heavier gunned, very fast and was the first to make use of sloped armor, which greatly improved protection.”

The Soviets didn’t seem to think so, because they used the Sherman tanks to equip their elite Guards Tank Divivions.


36 posted on 03/11/2013 11:51:52 AM PDT by WhiskeyX
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To: muawiyah

Like the Grant and Stuart tanks, huge successes [sarc].


37 posted on 03/11/2013 11:57:49 AM PDT by WhiskeyX
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To: WhiskeyX
"Sherman tanks to equip their elite Guards Tank Divivions"

Only until such time as their productive capacity improved to the point where the T-34's became primary. I saw a number of T-34's at the Ukrainian War Memorial in Kiev. They are the roughest looking thing going because they had to be built fast with no "finish" on them.

When the Russians finally turned the tide against the Germans, the T-34 was their lead. That is the tank that won at Kursk.

38 posted on 03/11/2013 12:39:06 PM PDT by Jimmy Valentine (DemocRATS - when they speak, they lie; when they are silent, they are stealing the American Dream)
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To: JerseyanExile
The story I like about Patton is when he lost the paper work to court martial some soldiers who had shot German guards of a concentration camp.
39 posted on 03/11/2013 12:48:15 PM PDT by PeterPrinciple
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To: Jimmy Valentine

After the wet ammo storage system was introduced in the M4, the T-34 was actually MORE likely the burn than the Sherman. A Russian tankers who used both is the source of that statement.


40 posted on 03/11/2013 1:13:50 PM PDT by SoCal Pubbie
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To: JerseyanExile

My neighbor served with General Patton, and has a couple of photos of the two of them.


41 posted on 03/11/2013 4:08:02 PM PDT by LucyT (In the 20th century 260 million people were killed by their own governments.)
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To: Sherman Logan

Thanks to Henry Ford and his industrial genius in creating assembly line manufacturing we could crank out tanks, planes, mechanized vehicles beyond anything our enemies and allies could do.


42 posted on 03/11/2013 6:13:09 PM PDT by AU72
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To: AU72
Thanks to Henry Ford and his industrial genius in creating assembly line manufacturing we could crank out tanks, planes, mechanized vehicles beyond anything our enemies and allies could do.

Although I suspect he had mixed feelings about them defeating Nazi Germany.

43 posted on 03/11/2013 6:15:31 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Texas Fossil

“My father was attached to Patch’s Army”

My 93 yr old father also served in Patch’s Army, in a AA battery assigned to the Corp HQ. Actually dad also served under Patton until Alexander Patch took command of the 7th. Patch was a very good general. Little known because he didn’t cultivate the press, and the 7th Army’s campaign didn’t involve Normandy.

Dad has told me that the men he served with preferred Patch. Patton could be petty, for example ordering medical personnel to wear steel pots when they were far from the front. All that this accomplished was to make their job of attending to the wounded more difficult.

A family friend of ours had been a young German POW. At the end of the war Patton selected him out of a POW camp to clean his riding boots and perform similar chores. He was actually treated quite well by Patton, other than the time that Patton found some dirt remaining in the wedge of a boot heel and threw the boot at him. “Dirty!” Patton yelled.

Years later dad served with one of Patton’s sons, a Colonel, in Vietnam. He says the son was one of the finest officers he served with in his career in the Army.


44 posted on 03/11/2013 8:14:05 PM PDT by Pelham (Marco Rubio, for amnesty, Spanish, and the Karl Rove machine.)
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To: Jimmy Valentine

“Sherman tanks to equip their elite Guards Tank Divivions”
Only until such time as their productive capacity improved to the point where the T-34’s became primary. I saw a number of T-34’s at the Ukrainian War Memorial in Kiev. They are the roughest looking thing going because they had to be built fast with no “finish” on them.

When the Russians finally turned the tide against the Germans, the T-34 was their lead. That is the tank that won at Kursk.


You’ve got your history backwards. The Lend-Lease Sherman tanks were a later replacement for the T-34 tanks. The Lend-lease Sherman tanks were delivered to the Soviet Union during the period of 1943-1945, and the Red Army used them as a high reliability replacement for the T-34. Among the early deliveries were some 38 of the M4-A2 Sherman tanks equipped with the Diesal engines used by the 229th Tank Regiment, 48th Army at the Battle of Kursk. As further deliveries of the Sherman tank arrived, they were used to equip the Red Army’s elite tank units for the remainder of the Second World War, and the more than 4,000 Sherman tanks comprised some 16% of Soviet tanks during the war or one in six Soviet tanks. The Soviet Sherman tanks were highly valued by the Red Army to the end of the war where they participated in large numbers on the Soviet-Japanese front in 1945.

The Sherman tanks were also highly effective against Soviet T-34/85 tanks in the Korean War, where the Sherman was in half of the tank to tank engagements, killed 3 to 1 in loss rate, and very few of which became unrecoverable or unserviceable. On average only one crewman was killed wheen a Sherman was knocked out, whereas on average only one crewman survived when a T-34 tank was knocked out. This survival rate, improved habitability, being equipped with a tactical radio, good performance, superior ease of maintenance and reliability combined to make the Sherman a first choice of tank in the Red Army.


45 posted on 03/11/2013 8:37:21 PM PDT by WhiskeyX
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To: Pelham

When dad was near Munich he befriended a young Russian who was held as a POW by the Germans. Oh, how he hated them. He spoke fluent German and was used by my father and some others a an interpreter. They called him “little Joe” and even took up a GI uniform to fit him. He wore the uniform when they were on patrol.

My father considered adopting him and bringing him to Texas when he returned. He talked to the CO about it but did not, he was concerned that the war so hardened him that he might be a problem. His CO was receptive to the idea.

When I was a young man he told that I almost had another brother and then about “Little Joe”. He has often wondered what became of him.

Patton detractors had best avoid the subject in Dad’s presence.


46 posted on 03/11/2013 8:44:58 PM PDT by Texas Fossil
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To: PeterPrinciple

Was the about Lt. Jack Bushyhead after the liberation of Dachau?

One account:

http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauLiberation/BuechnerAccount.html

My father’s company was encamped near Munich and he spent part of the winter after it was liberated guarding German POW labors who cut the forest there for firewood. Some of those POWs were SS. They were normally identified with a tatoo. One of them was an SS doctor, they used the term loosely.


47 posted on 03/11/2013 9:06:21 PM PDT by Texas Fossil
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To: Texas Fossil

Stalin blackmailed the Western Allies into forcibly repatriating Russians, Ukranians, and others in exchange Anglo-American and other Western Allied POWs detained by the Soviet forces as bargaining chips. Stalin ordered these repatriated POWs to be shot after they debarked from the transport ships at the Crimean docks. Allied officers raged in vain as this happened. When the U.S. refused to continue these reppatriations, thousands of American detainees were allegedly disappeared into the Soviet gulags.


48 posted on 03/11/2013 9:52:01 PM PDT by WhiskeyX
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To: Jimmy Valentine
“The Allied tanks were a stupendous success”
Really?

“The Germans called the Sherman tank “the Ronson”, because one hit and it would blow up and catch fire.”

The anecdote misrepresents the larger truth. All medium tanks had a tendency to burn like a lighter when penetrated by the AP rounds of a heavy tank or another medium tank. The M4 Sherman was designed and built as a medium tank capable of defeating 1942 era medium tanks and anti-tank weapons. By the time the M$ was widely deployed in the ETO, Germany and the Soviet Union supplemented their tank forces with heavy tanks and larger caliber anti-tank weapons capable of defeating the M4 armor. Nevertheless, the M4 proved to be quite capable of matching the vast majority of threats it faced, particularly the most numerous German medium tanks, Panzerkampfwagon II/IV, and smaller caliber anti-tank weapons. Even the German heavy tanks proved vulnerable at the typical ranges actually fought in the tank against tank engagements. While there were some occasions where one Tiger tank knocked out nine M4 medium tanks in one engagement, there are also other engagements where the reverse situation occurred with the Shermans knocking out a succession of Tiger tanks. Due to the relative rarity of the German Tiger and Panther tanks versus the German medium tanks, the Shermans rarely engaged them in tank against tank battles. When they did find themselves in such engagements, the Shermans did reasonably well and the disparagement of their lesser guns, 75mm and 76mm high velocity, are not justified when seeing the actual numbers of engagements and tanks knocked out.

“The mechanics of the Sherman were very good. But the tank was underarmored and undergunned especially against heavier German equipment.”

The Shermans were never meant to enter such engagements, and when necessity required them to do so their results overall were fair to good. The heavier armament and armor versus the lesser numbers and lesser availability due to maintenance left the Sherman in control by virtue of numbers and by virtue of defeating the heavier armament in most engagemens..

Arguably the best tank of WW-2 was the Russian T-34, which was diesel, heavier gunned, very fast and was the first to make use of sloped armor, which greatly improved protection.

The T-34 tank had less armor than the Lend-Lease Soviet M-4/A2 Sherman tank, so the superior sloping of the glacis was necessary to give the T-34 slightly improved technical protection. Unfortunately, the T-34 theoretically better frontal protection did not translate into better protection in actual combat. When knocked out, the M-4 tank crew on average suffered one crewman killed, bu the T-34 crew experienced the opposite result with only one crewman surviving the knockout. This survivability improvement, reliability, simplified maintenance, tactical radio absent in the T-34, and many other attributes made the M4 a favorite among the soviet tank regiments.

49 posted on 03/11/2013 10:37:27 PM PDT by WhiskeyX
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To: WhiskeyX

Life is cheap to a Commie B_tard.

Until it is his.

Totalitarianism in all it’s forms is evil.


50 posted on 03/12/2013 6:18:16 AM PDT by Texas Fossil
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