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Old March 15, 2013, 07:24 PM   #51
Mike Irwin
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"this is where Hitler thought Germany was going technologically but there was no room for a semi auto?"

Pie in the sky plans on paper are one thing, and they often have little to do with economic and manufacturing reality.

Just because the Germans laid out plans for 90,000 ton battleships with 20 inch main guns doesn't mean that they had the economic or industrial capacity to build it OR rearm their military with semi-automatic/selective fire battle rifles.
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Old March 15, 2013, 08:16 PM   #52
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Quote:
"this is where Hitler thought Germany was going technologically but there was no room for a semi auto?"

Pie in the sky plans on paper are one thing, and they often have little to do with economic and manufacturing reality.
it's been a little while since I read the book and it was more of a boredom halfway through a 7 month deployment type read so I'm fuzzy on details but it seems that many of these pipedreams at least made it to the prototype stage, tanks like the P1000 Ratte, with crews of over 40 which never had a chance to be field tested and the panzer 7 maus that had enough prototypes in enough factories to be captured by both soviet and british forces.

again... not sure as to the validity of the claims but seems that there are a few different sources online that seem to corroberate... at least on the tanks...



Quote:
Just because the Germans laid out plans for 90,000 ton battleships with 20 inch main guns doesn't mean that they had the economic or industrial capacity to build it OR rearm their military with semi-automatic/selective fire battle rifles.
they didn't get all the way there but the bismarck class battle ships came pretty close... sortof...
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Old March 15, 2013, 10:37 PM   #53
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It's also worth noting that the Nazi Germany didn't enact a total war economy until 1943. While the US, USSR, UK all went to a total war economy from the moment hostilities started for each of them, the Nazi's delayed it until the war was just short of 4 years old for them. Any new weapons systems is going to be slowed as a result. Semi-auto rifles, aircraft carriers, wonder weapons...all of that would be slower to put into service as a result.
Even if they had developed an atomic bomb...nothing that would even approach being an effective delivery system.
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Old March 16, 2013, 02:30 PM   #54
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Conversely we can wonder why the US didn't develop a light easily manufactured machine gun with quick change barrels ala the MG34 and MG42?
And did the M-1 Garand really make that much of a difference, Patton's comments not withstanding?
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Old March 16, 2013, 03:21 PM   #55
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did the M-1 Garand really make that much of a difference, Patton's comments not withstanding?
we've kindof already touched on that topic...
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Old March 16, 2013, 09:31 PM   #56
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We tried to clone the MG42 early in the war, just couldn't work it right with the 30/06 round. The option was offered to copy it in 7.92mm but we did not want to produce two different battle cartridges, so we stayed with the 30/06 weapons. We finally produced a decent copy in the Vietnam era, the
M60, but still wouldn't accept the rate of fire that made the MG42 so formidable.
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Old March 17, 2013, 09:53 AM   #57
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"they didn't get all the way there but the bismarck class battle ships came pretty close... sortof..."

Bismarck and Tirpitz had 15" main guns, well within what other navies were building at the time. Bismark was also based on rather tried and true naval design concepts carried over from First World War ships.

The monsters that Germany planned on paper would have taken them far beyond that, or what most other nations were even capable of at the time.

For every inch increase in the shell diameter the shell adds disproportionately more weight, and becomes increasingly difficult to handle. The Japanese found that out with their two super battleships with 18.1" guns. Ironing out the shell handling problems was a very involved process that apparently was never 100% satisfactory.

Oh, and I was wrong... the H-44 class, which would have carried the 20" guns, had a design weight of 130,000 tons and a length of over 1,100 feet.

In order to produce a ship like that, German would have had to have virtually stopped production of tanks and many other armaments just to supply the armor plating in a reasonable amount of time.

And, even if they did, there was nowhere in Germany to build a ship that big.

As I said, pie in the sky planning (or even building prototype tanks of unusual proportions) doesn't mean you have the ability to actually produce that stuff in numbers substantial enough to make a difference.
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Last edited by Mike Irwin; March 17, 2013 at 09:59 AM.
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Old March 17, 2013, 10:50 AM   #58
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agreed... I was actually trying to be slightly facetious with my remarks about the bismarck. a battle ship of the proportions you are listing would be roughly the same dimensions as a Nimitz class aircraft carrier...
not something I think even engineers of today could tackle very easily.
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Old March 19, 2013, 12:38 AM   #59
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Air superiority, then air supremacy supporting ground forces can be so overwhelming, especially (as some people reminded us) when large industrialized nations are the enemy.

If the Luftwaffe had continued to launch sorties against both the English coastal radar -helped by spotters etc- and the very critical RAF airfields, instead of switching primary tactical bombing to English cities as Vergeltung/vengeance for the RAF's first revenge attack on Berlin, the Germans might have kept US forces from later using England as a strategic "aircraft carrier" and vast, handy troop base.

It's doubtful, at least to me, that German divisions with Garands would have made much of a difference.

And the P-47's extremely tough, air-cooled radial engines (as with the airframe) were not nearly as vulnerable to overheating during strafing sorties as the 'water'-cooled P-51's engines when coolant was lost.

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Old March 21, 2013, 09:25 PM   #60
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Has there ever been a war where small arms turned the tide?
Disease and weather killed more than battle through the civil war period.
By WWI heavy machine guns and artillery were causing battlefield casualties. I am not sure if the disease still killed more in WWI or not, but it was at least close.

Russian tanks and US & British firebombing destroyed germany in WWII. The number of tanks on the Eastern front was incredible. Glantz and Frieser say more tanks lost at Kursk than ever present on the western front.

Now even infantry tactics often rely on calling in firepower rather than winning with rifles. There are obviously exceptions in circumstances where support is not available or viable.
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Old March 21, 2013, 11:17 PM   #61
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Quote:
Has there ever been a war where small arms turned the tide?
Disease and weather killed more than battle through the civil war period.
By WWI heavy machine guns and artillery were causing battlefield casualties. I am not sure if the disease still killed more in WWI or not, but it was at least close.

Russian tanks and US & British firebombing destroyed germany in WWII. The number of tanks on the Eastern front was incredible. Glantz and Frieser say more tanks lost at Kursk than ever present on the western front.

Now even infantry tactics often rely on calling in firepower rather than winning with rifles. There are obviously exceptions in circumstances where support is not available or viable.
try saying that to anyone that has spent a year in Iraq kicking in doors... a lot of good tanks, gun ships, helecopters and bombers have done in urban combat environments...
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Old March 22, 2013, 03:11 PM   #62
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Well, I didn't kick down doors in Iraq, but I did in Afghanistan, and it was nice having the Air Force/Army Aviation over head.

Same goes for MRAPs and Strykers. No tanks over there when I was over there.

That being said, I do agree that it comes down to the man with the rifle.

And the man behind the rifle is far more important than the rifle itself.

Training. Training. Training.
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Old March 22, 2013, 03:32 PM   #63
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The Germans never should have attacked Pearl Harbor.
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Old March 22, 2013, 07:28 PM   #64
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The Germans never should have attacked Pearl Harbor.
They didn't know they were on double secret probation.
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Old March 22, 2013, 07:39 PM   #65
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Quote:
try saying that to anyone that has spent a year in Iraq kicking in doors... a lot of good tanks, gun ships, helecopters and bombers have done in urban combat environments...
I said turn the tide. I'm not convinced that was ever done in Iraq or Afghanistan, let alone by what. The fact that operations were limited as such in order to fight a political war and the results isn't something I would consider contrary to my point. That's at least another thread and probably another forum though.
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Old March 22, 2013, 07:54 PM   #66
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Oh, don't worry, I've read on here, and heard at the range, that the reason we aren't "winning" is because we don't use the AK/M-14/M-1/1873 Pattern Musket.

And, by the same token, I've read that my complaints about the M-4 aren't valid because I wear a stetson instead of a girl scout hat.

The rifle is an important tool to the Soldier, yes, and this thread has been vwery interesting, especially for the history to be learnt in reading it, but sometimes, we as the gun culture, and Americans, at least in my opinion, tend to romanticize the rifle a bit more than history bears out.

Hell, I'm guilty of it too.
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Old March 22, 2013, 08:55 PM   #67
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Has there ever been a war where small arms turned the tide?
Not including wars where industrialized nations slaughtered various brown folk: The Dreyse needle gun made a big difference in the mid-1800s.

Not sure you can say turned the tide but it did make a notable difference.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austro-...ts_and_tactics
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Old March 22, 2013, 09:15 PM   #68
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I've been scanning threw these remarks and all make valid points. I'll make mine! Why didn't Germany switch guns when they were preparing for war? They were preparing for war! Never switch horses when crossing the stream in the words of Abe Lincoln. They weren't across the stream but the channel was rising, the English Chanel. Only one other country in the world had a respectable semi auto, respectable because we won the first round. If it's not broke, why fix it, Browning M2.

The Garand: If it's so horrible and useless then why did Patton love it so much? He went through basic, he knew what a rifle was to a solider, although not a marine he might be able to hit a barn....from the inside of it.......with 9 shots. If you didn't get that your a navy boy.

One last thing: Someone thought it wise to make the comments about how 5.56 and how it's under powered....yadda...yadda. Nobody really cares. The reason for this comment is because they made the remark about "Having our butts handed too us." Well we have never fought a war with the 5.56, our last war fought AND won handily with the M1 Garand. The U.S. has been in 5 wars, arguably loosing The war of 1812 and victory in all others. Another history lesson, Mr Bill Clinton sent Americans into CONFLICT MORE TIMES THAN ANY OTHER PRESIDENT, SOMALIA AND IRAQ INCLUDED.
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Old March 23, 2013, 01:51 PM   #69
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Mr Bill Clinton sent Americans into CONFLICT MORE TIMES THAN ANY OTHER PRESIDENT, SOMALIA AND IRAQ INCLUDED.
Both Somalia and Iraq were adventures started by the first Bush administration. Our troops were already there when Clinton took office.

Not sure how many countries, but the "Global War on Terror" has seen American troops or equipment (drones) in several African and Asian countries.

If we include the "war on (some) drugs" we've had military interventions in dozens of countries for each administration since Nixon.

This list credits Woodrow Wilson with 10 separate interventions in South America. http://www.yachana.org/teaching/reso...rventions.html

This list has Clinton at 10 interventions world wide, but increases Wilson to 15.
http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/gros...rventions.html
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Old March 23, 2013, 04:22 PM   #70
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I don't think Patton went through Basic, and when he arrived for "Beast Barracks" or whatever they call it at West Point (he graduated in 1909 IIRC) ,the official Army rifle was the M1903, the cadets used Krags for D&C.
Why didn't the Germans develop and adopt a semi-auto rifle? They didn't see the need for one. Speer blames Hitler for being the WWI infantryman clinging to his familiar "carbine". Again, took John Garand about 16 years-1916-1932-to develop the M-1 then another 4 years of work after MacArthur disapproved of the .270 round. Each nation's armament is a result of tactical
doctrines, its industrial base and educational establishment, the whims of its Ruler, its battle experience, etc.
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Old March 24, 2013, 04:31 PM   #71
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Not including wars where industrialized nations slaughtered various brown folk
In North and South America Europeans are successful primarily b/c of disease and secondly continuous ?reinforcement? from Europe. 90% casualties before combat makes it difficult to win.
In most of Africa Europeans are held at bay, in this case often quite literally, by malaria until the discovery/invention of quinine in the early 1850s.

In Asia, European dominance was established using seaborn artillery to bombard coastal and river cities. There were very very few times when Europeans had a land army in Asia that could not be easily over run by the Chinese, Japanese, or Koreans.
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Old March 24, 2013, 05:04 PM   #72
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In Asia, European dominance was established using seaborn artillery to bombard coastal and river cities. There were very very few times when Europeans had a land army in Asia that could not be easily over run by the Chinese, Japanese, or Koreans.
The last Mughal emperor might disagree. The Duke of Wellington cut his teeth in Asia, fifty years before the Great Rebellion of 1857.
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Old March 25, 2013, 04:03 PM   #73
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The last Mughal emperor might disagree.
"Indian sub-continent," "South Asia," "Indo-Pak," all attempts to categorize an area that looks like part of Asia from space, but culturally and historically doesn't fit as well as a square peg in a round hole. Much like Mexico resulting in the term "Latin America."
I would also say the reason British influence did not extend beyond port cities into the interior of China at the time of the Mughal Empire is because it could not, not because the British were content to limit themselves to India. British endeavors around the globe at that time offer ample support of my point. If there was any confusion as to my point, at any time in modern history at least one of the three countries I listed could have accomplished the task, not all at every time or every smaller nation in the region. Even in WWII it took an Asian power(China), a European power(Russia), an American power(US), and even a bit from Australia to push the Japanese back after they successfully removed all European and American influence with alarming speed and ease. Remember the Japanese, not the Germans, fielded the largest battleships in history. They also engineered a functioning bridge over the River Kwai without any help from British prisoners, who were used for thoughtless manual labor labor(read up on how ticked a lot of both British and Japanese involved in that project were over the movie).
Had China wanted to wipe the British out of the interior of India in 1850 I think they likely could have. The British would have shelled a dozen or so Chinese cities and had the effect of a WWII firebombing though. Historical guesses as to the population of those cities varies widely, but by all accounts they were densely populated, highly combustible, and housed a sizable population. Beijing probably being the only city in the world with over a million residents at the time. Along with the loss of life, the British would have almost certainly been able to blockade every major port and navigable river.
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