| FORUM | ARCHIVE |                    | TOTAL QUIZ RESULT |


  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Pearl Harbor, strategic defeat and significance?
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login


Welcome stranger, click here to read about some of the great benefits of registering for a free account with us and joining us in our global online community.


Pearl Harbor, strategic defeat and significance?

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Rhoops View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard


Joined: 21 Jun 2009
Status: Offline
Points: 8
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rhoops Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Pearl Harbor, strategic defeat and significance?
    Posted: 04 Sep 2009 at 18:13
I hadn't realised just how big a task force the Japanese sent to Pearl Harbor in 1941, relative to the earlier comparable Taranto operation. Which makes the corresponding statistics and results indicate overwhelming failure:
Here's just some of the  indicative factors:

                                                        BRITISH                                            JAPANESE
Precedent                                        No                                                    Yes
Successful Reconnaissance              Multiple                                            No
Primary Target                                  6BS, 7HC                                         3AC 8BS 2HC
Carriers used                                   1                                                      6
Aircraft used                                    21                                                    360
Primary target destroyed                 1 +2 put out of action                      5BS
Facilities Damaged                           minimal                                            some +188 Arcft
Attacking aircraft losses                   2                                                     27
Enemy Response                             Strategic Withdrawal                       Reconstruction


Given that the primary objectives were not that different in scale, the Japanese appear to have used 10x the resources to obtain them, destroyed only double with them , at 10 times the cost.

What this indicates to me is not a military failure, but the more important ones of organisational and conceptual ineptness in the Japanese military establishment.  Taranto was a raid, and used limited resources to achieve a high return on investment.  Raiding like this is well established, and often disproportionately successful.

The Pearl Harbor attack was also a raid, but organised like a mini invasion with resources to match but without the commensurate aims.  The absence of successful reconaissance rather indicates this amateurish conceptualisation; effectively just an oversized stab in the dark.  The disorganised Byzantine attempts to recover Roman North Africa, seem of the same order.

My point is that when considering WW2, over the years, I've realised that: one first dumps the guns and tanks and generals rubbish they taught you in school, then one re-thinks it from the point of view of strategic oil reserves, then moves on to consider the staggering advantages in economic management theory available to the Allies, democracies with at least 300 years of continous government, against a medieval neo-baronial organisation in 10 year old Germany, and similarly in Japan.

Contrast that most simple of moral boosters, the 'scrap iron for spitfires' campaign in Britain, virtually useless in aim, but an exceptionally effective means to promote national morale, in comparison with the haplessly brutal propaganda issued by the Nazi's. 

I. like many of the Nazi's I guess, always wondered how the 'effete' democracies won the WW2.  Spike Milligan expressed it rather well a the end of the N. African Campaign.

"Dear Fuhrer, beaten ve haff been by zer Ordinary Layabouts, signed Formidable German Army".

Perhaps the system of social organisation that allows for 'ordinary layabouts' is flexible and complex enough to produce a similar level of economic and military sophistication, clearly unavailable to German and Japan.  In total war, the democracies had a cultural superiority on a scale that by comparison with technology would be like bringing 40,000 archers to battle against a modern mechanised division.

Just thought I'd mention it, I was looking at Nazi oil reserve statistics 20 years ago, and they're quite popular now, not seen anything yet on the anthropological mechanics of cultural sophistication as a means of understanding military success.  (Minor exception being the significance of the undefeated Western Heavy Infantryman- as a direct ancestor of the hoplite)

Be rather useful against certain antagonists today perhaps...!







Edited by Rhoops - 04 Sep 2009 at 19:42
Back to Top
Sponsored Links


Back to Top
rider View Drop Down
King
King
Avatar

Joined: 09 Aug 2004
Location: Norwich, UK
Status: Offline
Points: 5544
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Sep 2009 at 19:05
By a point of cultural superiority, no nation based on democratic concepts can equal itself to an autocratic state in terms of the spirit of a soldier, as I see it.
Back to Top
Al Jassas View Drop Down
King
King


Joined: 07 Aug 2007
Status: Offline
Points: 5000
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Sep 2009 at 19:28
The Japanese bite was much bigger than what they can chew. When they should have gone after the carriers and even attack mainland US and distroy the Panama canal, they withdrew and waited for the Americans to come. It was a gift for the Americans that they used wisely. Only in 43 after they far exceeded what they initially had they were on full offensive.
 
Al-Jassas
Back to Top
Rhoops View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard


Joined: 21 Jun 2009
Status: Offline
Points: 8
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rhoops Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Sep 2009 at 19:39
Exactly!
The spirit of the Japanese/German soldier is undeniable.  So why did they loose?
The spirit of the Japanese soldier was not much use to him when his superiors asked him to rely upon it when he was starving and eating grass on the retreat in Burma.  I don't recall any Allied invasion plans 'forgetting' logistics.
The unreinforced and isolated Japanese Pacific island defences had to regularly fall back on hopeless suicidal charges, because they had no other options.  Suicidal warfare was not necessary for any of the democracies even before 1943.  Autocratic states may produce devoted soldiers, but major wars are rarely won by soldiers,  its primarily economics, and looking to future, probably some form of cultural assertiveness.
Back to Top
Al Jassas View Drop Down
King
King


Joined: 07 Aug 2007
Status: Offline
Points: 5000
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Sep 2009 at 19:56

Hello Rhoops

Saying that democracy won the war is totally wrong, it was a 25 year old autocratic (and much more politically opressive than either the Nazi's or Japanese) that won 80% of the war. If the war was trictly between the Nazis and the "democracies" those democracies would have lost the war or at least reached a stalement.

The Germans/Japanese weren't stupid, they knew that oil is the only way to win the war and distroy your enemy. That is why the Germans drove to the Caucasus and the Japanese occupied Indonesia. However as I said, both countries took a bite that was more than they could chew. Germany was fighting on two fronts while nearly 70% of Japanese war effort was in China.
 
Al-Jassas
Back to Top
rider View Drop Down
King
King
Avatar

Joined: 09 Aug 2004
Location: Norwich, UK
Status: Offline
Points: 5544
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Sep 2009 at 21:51
I would consider the Japanese defeat to lie mostly in it's basic principle of kantai kessen. Without it, the Navy could have been free to disrupt all US movements on a small scale, without resorting to pointlessly huge decisive standoffs.
Back to Top
Rhoops View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard


Joined: 21 Jun 2009
Status: Offline
Points: 8
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rhoops Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Sep 2009 at 13:29
I'm not saying it was 'Democracy' that won the war, I'm saying in WW2, the Allied democracies had institutional advantages in their 100+ year old imperial global governments and commensurate economic management systems that were way beyond those 'developed' in Germany and Japan in less than 10 years.
Put  it another way- 'the Soft Underbelly of Europe' concept.  Churchill is still derided for this notion by the entrenched tradition of military historians.  Military philosophy is based on attack or defense.
The N. African/ Italian/Greek campaigns do not appear intended  purely for military victory by the Allies.  They make far more sense as primarily economic warfare.  Southern Europe/N. Africa was the soft underbelly of the German supply, logistics, shipping and reinforcement capability.  N. Africa/Egypt was the centre point of Allied logistic capability- unhindered access from Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa, Rhodesia, America, etc.  What better battlefield for demonstrating allied economic and management power?
The N. African/Italian campaign was a massive victory of attrition.  A huge amount of material for potential victory on the primary battlefield- the Eastern Front, ended up at the bottom of the Meditteranean.  But the Italian campaign was not 'won' militarily in Italy, it was won at Kursk.  Germany or Japan never had this ability to project the effects of economic power into strategic victory from one front simultaneously to another.
They both fought tactical wars for strategic victory, whereas the Allies fought a strategic war, lost tactically many times, but won because they alone had the ability through economic and government  flexibility to fight like this.
The Axis lost, despite having more committed soldiers because they went into a world war without the management systems to fight one. The Pearl Harbor defeat is a classic example of this confused approach.
 
And Russia? Presumably the fighting qualities of the 'autocratic soldier' hadn't changed between Aug 1941 and May 1945?  They were however massively supplied from the global economic network of the democratic allies, and half the opposing Eastern Front luftwaffe ended up in the Meditteranean. The Russian front was not a separate autonomous battlefield, but integral within the democratic allied war effort.  The reverse is not true.  Russia, like Germany/Japan did not fight a
strategic war, but a tactically single front reactive one. Without the sophistication of the democratic allies support, I say there would have been considerable doubt as to their ability to win alone.
 


Edited by Rhoops - 05 Sep 2009 at 13:46
Back to Top
fantasus View Drop Down
Arch Duke
Arch Duke
Avatar

Joined: 07 May 2009
Location: Denmark
Status: Offline
Points: 1943
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Sep 2009 at 14:50

For both world wars: the combined strength of the one part (the losers) in any important category (manpower, territory, natural ressources, industrial and other production etcetera) were so far bellow the allied winners. Perhaps a bit simpl and "dull" explanation, but not far from the truth?

Back to Top
Al Jassas View Drop Down
King
King


Joined: 07 Aug 2007
Status: Offline
Points: 5000
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Sep 2009 at 15:19
German industry was the most efficient industry during the war. Read about Speer and how he transformed every German village into an industrial village and how in 1944, when the war was surely lost, German industrial output exceded all other countries except the US. Germany had the oppurtunity to impliment a war economy since day one but that wasn't done untill late 43.
 
Plus one must remember, virtually all the German industrial base was the same that run Germany's war effort in WWI and the Franco-Prussian war. Same thing applies to Japan where the same Zaibatsus which armed the Japanese in the Sino-Japanese war and the Russo-Japanese war half a century earlier.
 
Your view might be correct for the smaller partners of the Axis like Italy, Finland and the others but not Japan and Germany, theirs were as sophisticated as any other "democracy".
 
The Axis wasn't unaware about the economic aspect of war, why did they committ so many subs and attack the Caucasus and Eypt if they weren't interested. The fact is they were simply overwhelmed. The Japanese had a front that was at least 20k Km long (From Hawaii to Madagascar) while the Germans faces 4 times their numbers in the combined fronts they fought in.
 
Al-Jassas
Back to Top
fantasus View Drop Down
Arch Duke
Arch Duke
Avatar

Joined: 07 May 2009
Location: Denmark
Status: Offline
Points: 1943
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Sep 2009 at 17:12
 USA, USSR: Each perhaps 3-4 times "Greater Germanys" population. How big Superierity in production of raw materials? USA industrial output about all adversaries combined.Then there is all imperial manpower, production. It is hard to see anytthing but allied victory without par better quality of german and axis material, strategy, armies etcetera, or some major surrender,uprising in empire, or other unexpected events. Perhaps something similar for ww1.
Back to Top
rider View Drop Down
King
King
Avatar

Joined: 09 Aug 2004
Location: Norwich, UK
Status: Offline
Points: 5544
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Sep 2009 at 21:16
Yeah, they were, simply put... outproduced.
 
Does anyone have the graphs detailing the production of armaments, new units and such for every participating nation by the way?
Back to Top
Rhoops View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard


Joined: 21 Jun 2009
Status: Offline
Points: 8
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rhoops Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Sep 2009 at 12:52
"German industry was the most efficient industry during the war."
In what way?
After the Battle of Britain, the Luftwaffe (with the resources of all Grosser Deutschland, Norway, Holland, Belgium, France, Poland, and supplied by Sweden and Russia) had less aircraft, the British had more (all made in Britain).  Lord Beaverbooke achieved this by harmonising and obtaining the most productive system possible for fighter aircraft.  The Germans didn't consider doing the same until 1944.  Their factories were highly efficient, but their armies froze up on the Eastern Front in 1941 because of lack of appropriate equipment.
Their aircraft factories produced hundreds of advanced HE177 4 engine bombers-that didn't work because the Luftwaffe production committee added confused demands of a strategic bomber, and had to scrap the lot.
I think you are confusing efficiency with productivety.
German production increased dramatically in the last years of the war, not simply as a tribute to Speer's organising capabilities, but because Germany was so badly organised for efficent production of what she needed in the first place.  Not a single conventional 4 engined strategic bomber rolled off a production line into an operational squadron...
The structure of the German war economy was a mess.   It operated with no coherent aim, guidance or objective, until far too late.  It was run much like a medieval court, different factions with different aims competing for resources, and duplicating efforts.  This is exactly what one expect of a 10 year old state.  Its like asking a teenager to design an army.  He'll produce lots of big tough muscular soldier with a big guns... and no economic management structure that'll keep them in the field 2 years later.  Britain and the US had been running complex open market economic systems for over a century, and the application of this advanced knowledge to military objectives won the war.
Nazi Germany always looks a big and tough adversary to the purely military minded, one you get beyond that- its organisational ability to wage a world war was frankly a joke.  The Imperial German government in WW1 did a far better job with the resources it had.  Undefeated in Africa, strategic bombing offensive, destruction of the russian army, etc etc. 
 
 


Edited by Rhoops - 06 Sep 2009 at 13:05
Back to Top
Al Jassas View Drop Down
King
King


Joined: 07 Aug 2007
Status: Offline
Points: 5000
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Sep 2009 at 15:54

Hello Rhoops

As I said before, one must understand why Germany failed to produce so much and that is simple,  It was only in late 43 did Germancy decide to turn into a war economy while Britain, the USSR and the US turned their economies into war economies from day one. A war economy is one where the entire peace time production is ceased and turned to support the war effort. You don't see 1943 or 44 models of cars in the US simply because all automobile factories were seized by the government and turned into military production.

In Germany this didn't happen, Germany continued to produce peace tie goods like cars, light industries like home appliances way into 43. Only the major reverse forced to seize everything and by that time it was too late. Here are links to some numbers:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_production_during_World_War_II#Tanks_and_self-propelled_guns

 
AL-Jassas
Back to Top
Rhoops View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard


Joined: 21 Jun 2009
Status: Offline
Points: 8
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rhoops Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Sep 2009 at 23:16
Al Jassas, when you say
"It was only in late 43 did Germancy decide to turn into a war economy while Britain, the USSR and the US turned their economies into war economies from day one." would you like to suggest some wider reasons for this?
Why did Germany launch into a world war without the ability to fight one from 'day one'? 
My original point is that this lack of foresight is an effect of the institutional 'naivety/lack of sophistication' inevitable with a new form of government.  Futurism/Fascism/Communism were all inefficent and brutal methodologies because they had no options to be subtle, complex or sophisticated.  That is an effect of time and development.  This was not availble to Germany and Japan whereas it was to the democratic allies.  In terms of military equipment tactics etc etc, there is no overwhelming reason I can see why the Axis was at any particular disadvantage.  Their lack of resources relative to American industrlal power is a red herring.  Britain did at Taranto a vast amount of damage comparable with the Japanese at Pearl Harbor with a tenth of the resources.
The military/industrial answer to "Why did the Axis loose the war?" is to my mind no answer at all.  It explains nothing of the peculiar circumstances of 2 aggressive military powers being defeated by powers that at the outbreak of war were relatively non military economic giants.  The difference i believe is that the efficent nature of the economic powers was sufficient to convert them into efficient military powers, whereas the efficency of the Axis powers military never had the option to increase so drastically because the underlying and more complex economic necessities for fighting a long war were impossible to implement in such a short period.  You can change the nature of an aircraft in a year, an economy takes decades to completely restructure successfully.This is very obvious when you look at the sheer overlapping variety of aircraft availble to the allies at the end of the war, contrasting with the limited range available to the Germans.  If the Marauder failed as a design, so what, there were half a dozen similar types to fill the niche.  When the Germans failed to create a strategic bomber... it was a disaster.  That to me looks like a consequence of short sighted planning innate to singular military campaign forecasts.  With a wider economic based world view model, variety is inherent.  And this is why I am suggesting that while totalitarian states may produce great soldiers, they have a huge institutionalised inefficency in their use, and it is that factor way beyond any other that lost Germany and Japan WW2.


Edited by Rhoops - 09 Sep 2009 at 23:23
Back to Top
Bernard Woolley View Drop Down
Earl
Earl


Joined: 11 Jun 2008
Status: Offline
Points: 260
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bernard Woolley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Sep 2009 at 22:51

I'm sorry Rhoops, but (assuming I understand your theory correctly) I think you may have it backwards. I would think that the authoritarian regimes in places like Germany and Japan were symptoms of those countries' economic limitations, rather than the cause of those limitations.

I don't know as much about prewar Germany, but certainly in Japan a strong, purposeful state was seen as essential to closing the obvious gap between their own capabilities and those of more advanced countries. They didn't feel they had time to wait for organic grassroots development to raise them up, so they opted to supercharge their drive toward a particular set of benchmarks and goals through the use of a command economy and brutal national discipline. It's worth mentioning that a democratic path wasn't a realistic option at all at that time, since most of the population was probably incapable of understanding or appreciating the concept of elected government. You have to appreciate just how far behind the rest of the world Japan was when it began its modernization effort (this is in fact uniquely quantifiable, since it was exactly 218 years between the official closure of the country in 1635 and the arrival of Perry's squadron in 1853).

In a few words, I don't think authoritarian regimes stunt economies so much as stunted economies are more susceptible to adopting authoritarian regimes.

As for bad decision-making: You're correct that Japan wasn't prepared for a drawn-out war with the US in 1941, but again this wasn't necessarily because of a lack of foresight - it was because there was no realistic scenario in which they could expect to win such a war. They planned for the quick war they hoped would unfold, and gambled on it working. Since they were already being bled to death by American embargoes, there didn't seem to be much to lose by trying.

Back to Top
Rhoops View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard


Joined: 21 Jun 2009
Status: Offline
Points: 8
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rhoops Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Sep 2009 at 16:57
"I think you may have it backwards".
Maybe I do, it's only a theory as you say, but I'd not be willing to give it up based on the idea that C19 & C20 Germany was economically backwards. Since unification (under the Prussian monarchy) Germany has been the economic powerhouse of Europe, outstripping British imperial production in a number of the most basic materials within a generation. 
If you need to rely upon modern Germany as an example of economic backwardsness to justify the notion that 'stunted economies produce authoritarianism', then I suspect the notion is pretty defunct in the first place.  They got hit as hard as any other Western democracy by the 1929 Depression but were then only one to go authoritarian.  Using your argument, Britain, France and the USA should also have gone authoritarian too. They didn't, therefore some other factors are primary. And what is the most obvious difference betwen those states if not duration of existence?
Taking Soviet Russia, the authoritarian regime arose from an agricultural economy, and attempted to enforce the economic advantages of a Western industrialised society without recognising that it was built on free enterprise.  70 years later after an incredible human cost it finally fell apart. Authoritarianism artificallly created its own economic circumstances and failed miserably to make them work.  Other agricultural societies across the world have made the leap to democracy- India, the main example without resorting to incredibly inefficient authoritarian regimes. There is no direct correlation i can see between a limited economies' evolution and authoritarianism.


Edited by Rhoops - 11 Sep 2009 at 17:20
Back to Top
Bernard Woolley View Drop Down
Earl
Earl


Joined: 11 Jun 2008
Status: Offline
Points: 260
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bernard Woolley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2009 at 10:13
As I understand it, Germany was hit much harder by the Depression than the other countries you mentioned.
 
I of course agree that the Soviet Union's authoritarian regime eventually proved unsustainable and burned itself out. But that doesn't mean it was mill around Russians' necks from the get-go. The Soviet regime managed to build an industrial economy in a time frame that would have been impossible for a budding democracy. I think you would need to find a more appropriate example than India to show that democracy would have been a viable option for the Russians, as India did not 'leap' from agriculturalism to modernity. It was conquered and subjected to foreign rule for a century and a half, then spent a further half-century as an economic basketcase and international irrelevancy, before finally stumbling into success over the past two decades. India's emergence as a 21st century economic power is a great achievment, but not every country is willing or able to take this slow path to development.
Back to Top
gcle2003 View Drop Down
WorldHistoria Master
WorldHistoria Master
Avatar
PM Honorary Member

Joined: 06 Dec 2004
Location: Luxembourg
Status: Offline
Points: 13262
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2009 at 11:18
Consider theories of democratic vs authoritarian governments all you like (and somehow include the dictatorships in the Soviet Union and China in that consideration). It remains true that in WW2 the big guys beat the little guys, once the little guys' surprise attacks had fizzled out.
 
 
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork.

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.

Back to Top
Rhoops View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard


Joined: 21 Jun 2009
Status: Offline
Points: 8
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rhoops Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2009 at 11:48
"big guys beat the little guys"
Well as a fierce advocate of NATO for 30 years I'm disinclined to agree!  NATO won the cold war despite a massive imbalance of conventional and nuclear arms.  How? Economic efficiency- washing machines, cars and tellys.  A state with a well balanced free economy enjoys a force multiplier factor that is invisible but significant enough to sufficiently forestall conventional imbalance of 3-5 times at least I'd guess.
Think of it in purely military terms: Hoplite warfare, Xenophon's 10,000 beat the Persian army despite being hugely outnumbered.  Why?  Because hoplites were armed and organised as a coherent group, making 10,000 worth 200,000 semi organised Persians.
Alexander the Great added more force mulitplying factors- longer sarissas, more flexible phalanx movements, and shock cavalry.  The Persian empire collapsed in front of this. The allies in WW2 used their vast economic experiance as a huge force muliplier.  They could because Germany and Japan were so badly organised for a global war, this economic advantage was like handing the war to the Allies on a plate.  And there were members of the British War Office who already knew this in 1939.  
I'm suprised that the notion is not more widely known.  The overwhelming preference for denial on this post, well since the human race has spent 90% of its existence bashing rocks together in exactly the same way as their forefathers did for 10,000 generations, perhaps suggests an innate disposition against entertaining new ideas...? 
Back to Top
Al Jassas View Drop Down
King
King


Joined: 07 Aug 2007
Status: Offline
Points: 5000
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2009 at 14:51
The USSR self imploded and the NATO had little role in that (yes, Reagan didn't end the cold war). Actually if there was a conventional war between NATO and the USSR little doubt exist on who will win.
 
In WWII, Germany faced nearly 5 times its total strength and thus its defeat was only a matter of time. The Russians mustered 35 million men throught the war, the US about 15 million, Britain about 5 million, France about 5 million and I didn't even start to mention the Chinese or the Balkan countries. Germany and its allies barely reached the 20 million mark which by the way was the maximum number they could muster before they affect their armed production.
 
Even if they had the best army in the world, even if they were as organized as you claim they would still lose because of numbers.
 
Al-Jassas
Back to Top
Bernard Woolley View Drop Down
Earl
Earl


Joined: 11 Jun 2008
Status: Offline
Points: 260
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bernard Woolley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Sep 2009 at 16:28

Originally posted by Rhoops Rhoops wrote:

"big guys beat the little guys"

Well as a fierce advocate of NATO for 30 years I'm disinclined to agree! NATO won the cold war despite a massive imbalance of conventional and nuclear arms. How? Economic efficiency- washing machines, cars and tellys. A state with a well balanced free economy enjoys a force multiplier factor that is invisible but significant enough to sufficiently forestall conventional imbalance of 3-5 times at least I'd guess.

Think of it in purely military terms: Hoplite warfare, Xenophon's 10,000 beat the Persian army despite being hugely outnumbered. Why? Because hoplites were armed and organised as a coherent group, making 10,000 worth 200,000 semi organised Persians.

Alexander the Great added more force mulitplying factors- longer sarissas, more flexible phalanx movements, and shock cavalry. The Persian empire collapsed in front of this. The allies in WW2 used their vast economic experiance as a huge force muliplier. They could because Germany and Japan were so badly organised for a global war, this economic advantage was like handing the war to the Allies on a plate. And there were members of the British War Office who already knew this in 1939.

As has been said, there never was an all-out war between the NATO and Warsaw Pact countries, so we can't compare their capacity to handle all-out war.

I suspect I disagree with your opinion on hoplites and Xenophon and Alexander, but to go into that would be to drift off-topic. Suffice to say I don't see the relevance of discussing them here. If your theory is about how different kinds of societies handle extended conflict, wouldn't the obvious example from that period be the Peloponnesian War?

Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.10
Copyright ©2001-2017 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.094 seconds.