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Old September 24, 2008, 02:29 PM   #15
Scorch
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Join Date: February 13, 2006
Location: Washington state
Posts: 11,407
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How much of an advantage was the garand ?
Immense, but it was not the only advantage we had. We had a country thousands of miles away that could turn out food, ships, planes, tanks, guns, ammo, etc, etc, without fear of Axis strikes. We delivered millions of tons of high explosives and incendiaries to targets within their industrial centers without having to fear retaliation. We sank their naval assets and destroyed their ability to stop us from delivering hardware wherever we wanted to. And yes, we had the Garand, as well as many other infantry weapons. But if you want an understanding of how we won WWII, you have to analyze the whole, not the parts.
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from shows I have seen by " experts " the germans viewed the rifleman as being there to support the machine gun with the MG as the main tactical element as opposed to most allied armies seeing the MG as being in support of the rifleman ( squad )
One basic difference in command and control: German army troops obeyed orders and were hesitant to act independently, American troops act more independently but occasionally lack coordination. German army troops were trained in tactics that centered around the most senior men directing platoon actions. This made the German units very difficult to break up and disperse, but made them susceptible to the death of their leaders. Squad tactics, as used by the US Army, were difficult for the Germans to control since they were so highly mobile. Different rules, different results. In general, German troops were very resilient due to the larger number of men in an operating unit, as opposed to US tactics where one or two men getting killed was difficult to deal with.
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a lot of it was the man behind that rifle that won the day
Nice ideal, in reality air support and artillery can be more effective in open areas than infantry, but inside a town it's the grunt that does the dirty work. Without the massive air bombing programs the Allies poured out on Nazi Germany, the Germans would have been better armed than we were. But just the sheer number of troops marshaled against the Germans spelled failure for their efforts. At the end of WWII it is estimated that 1/2 the adult male population of Germany was killed, wounded, or captured, as opposed to maybe 10% casualty rate for US troops.
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What they absolutely could not STAND was American artillery.
No infantryman likes artillery, even their own. In WWII, German artillery was in the front lines, very mobile and adaptable and could be directed very accurately and rapidly. Ours was more remote and had massive firepower, but often damaged the troops it was designed to help. Again, different rules, different results.
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I must start this thread by saying that I have no military experience ( and due to my govt's laws I would refuse to serve anyway)
Sorry if this offends you, but you are confusing the duty of a citizen soldier with self-serving politics and selfishness. It is the duty of a citizen to defend the nation, whether they agree with the particulars of the way it is run or not. For example, I served to defend this country's citizens' right to free speech so that they could insult me as I walked down the street in uniform. Ironic, isn't it? It is also your duty as a citizen to work within the political system to change what needs to be changed if you disagree with their policies and actions. If you do not participate in politics, it doesn't mean politics does not affect you.

Lots of ideas and facts that can be discussed at great length.
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