Britain's completely underrated role in WWII

You can’t fault the voters. Your government managed to screw up a pretty straightforward mandate.
**** off to the Brexit threads with this distraction, please.
 
There is a vast bunker complex, which was to be the alternative seat of government. The city is behind the widest part of the Volga river and its hydro dams, so has a natural defensive barrier.

Of more note to Arrsers, its also reputed within Russia to have the hottest girls. Legend has it that this was because if Catherine the Great spotted a pretty girl in St Petersburg or Moscow, they'd be exiled to Kuibyshev. This was to reduce "competition" for the Empress. Hence the local female gene pool is supposed to be considerably enhanced. I have to say that, having lived in the Samara oblast for a couple of years, I firmly believe the legend!
You know the rules PHOTOS!!!!!
 
In all honesty, I think much of the ex-soviet population would have quite happily submitted to colonial rule by the Germans.

There has always been a sort of slavish admiration for the Germans within Russia, and its culture has strong bonds, with German even providing much of the more modern vocabulary in the language (along with English and French). Large German populations existed in Russia (not least the Volga Germans), and their relative advancement (towns, construction, agriculture, technology. industry, etc) compared to the locals was held in some awe.

In fact, to be brutal, German rule would have probably collectively benefited the ex-soviet peoples, and advanced their societies in a way that their own tyrants have failed to do to this day.

I say collectively because, of course, of the Germans policy of anti-Semitic genocide. I expect that either the Germans would have eventually stepped back from this policy in their new colonies, given that many of the key local elites requires to administer the lands were of Jewish extraction or, if they'd cracked on anyway, then the latent anti-Semitism in the population would have let it pass (as demonstrably happened in much of occupied Europe). Its worth remembering that the soviets themselves quickly imprisoned and/or murdered most of their own prominent Jewish activists as soon as their wartime propaganda value passed.
I quite agree with most of that. Irrespective of the internal politics of the. NS lot, I think it would have eased after a while. Not least because many German soldiers themselves considered it counter productive. Moreover the Jewish folk were quite used to the pogroms. My own maternal Grandma was said to have been links to a Jewish side, in Prussia and her own views were quite disspationate on the matter “ Ach das hat immer passiert, aendert nichts “. From a purely continental point of view the Words like Razzia, Pogrom, Franc Tirelleleur” Are not German.All continental armies used the same priciples. Even Zippenhaft was not unique to Germany.
 
All this talk of Germania and Greater Europe seems to be getting them excited...
...the ******* dullards.
 
I read the Peate piece with interest. One of the things that surprised me was his contention that Normandy, opposite the British and Canadian forces saw the greatest concentration of German armour in the war. I always thought that Kursk would have held that accolade. I did a quick search and found numbers suggesting that some 2000 tanks were committed to Normandy, by the Germans and some 3000 to Kursk. Still at Kursk, I'm guessing that the Germans were split broadly equally to the north and south of the salient, so that would allow for some 1500 tanks on each side of the pincer, and those forces were some 130 miles apart at the start of the battle. So I guess Peate may be broadly correct in his contention that The British and Canadians defeated the bulk of the German armour in the west, in the much smaller area around Caen.
 
Another factor to bear in mind with regards to Soviet sneers about western supplied fighters is quality of fuel. Even as early as the Battle of Britain, Spitfires and Hurricanes were benefitting from having higher octane fuel (around 100 IIRC) than Bf 109s and 110s. By 1944/45, USAAF P-51s/47s/38s were getting anything up to 150 octane fuel. I am not sure how much good fuel went to the Sovs; how early; and how well distributed even if received. Suspect the early Hurricane deliveries suffered particularly from a lack of good fuel, over and above their other deficiencies and obsolescence.
 
The higher the octane the hotter it burns and therefore most efficiently. Russia had sufficient supplies and therefore efficiency wasn't an issue, Keep it running was.
 
Soviet fuel was, IIRC, rated at about 73 Octane, so it was shite, basically and not fit for a high-powered aero engine and, as normal, theft and waste of fuel was chronic among Soviet troops and people and it wasn't until the advent of 100 octane powered Hurricanes that the Soviets copped on and segregated the proper aircraft fuel from the ordinary crap and kept it exclusively for aircraft use (and the occasional MTB). Incidentally, German fuel for aircraft wasn't as low octane as some people think; their classifications were different and they were using 100 Octane equivalent on the ME 109 Es by late 1940.
 
One of the things which surprised my father when we visited Germany. (He was part of the post war occupation) was that he never met any ex Wehrmacht who fought against the brits and Americans.
They all fought on the eastern front.
I met several during my tours in BAOR and Berlin - including a former Colonel in Hitler's Leibstandarte during an E&E exercise in Schleswig-Holstein, we were sleeping in his barn...scared the sh*t out of him, he invited us into his house for breakfast... photos of him in his SS uniform on the mantle, etc., including one with him and Adolf! Cordial old bugger!
 
One of the things which surprised my father when we visited Germany. (He was part of the post war occupation) was that he never met any ex Wehrmacht who fought against the brits and Americans.
They all fought on the eastern front.
I suspect that's a bit like the comments about the size of the French Resistance. IE: If every Frenchman who claimed to be in the Resistance actually had been, they'd have not needed D-day!
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
I've never been a fan of revisionist history or positions taken on decisions made with the benefit of hindsight but one of the times WWII history needed a massive re-evaluation was when the OSA released the part that Bletchley Park & Ultra played in the defeat of the Axis. Many of the battlefields 'brilliant' decisions suddenly became "well, we based our decision on the information we already had," which did open up different interpretations and also questions of "so why did some decisions go wrong then?"
Ultra was a force multiplier, not a direct war winner. It didn't matter how good your intelligence was if you didn't have the boots on the ground, the hulls or the air frames to take advantage of it. Ultra's decisive contribution in the first half of the Battle of the Atlantic was evasive rooting - sending the convoys where the U-boats weren't. When the number of U-boats was such that evasive routing wasn't possible, Ultra was used to make sure that the escorts of the most threatened convoys were reinforced with additional warships and escorts. The U-boats only really took a hammering when the numbers of aircraft and escorts reached a critical number + the technology arrived.

The numbers who knew about Ultra were tiny until the closing months of the war. It is estimated that only a dozen people at Western Approaches Command knew about it for the bulk of the war: the C-in-C, his deputy, the watch-keepers and their deputies, the Coastal Command liaison officer and his deputy and so on. All of the meetings would have been held in side rooms and no notes would have been kept.

At the RAF's Central Interpretation Unit (the nerve centre of photo interpretation) only the CO knew. And at Bomber Command HQ, only de Mobray - the Naval Liaison officer - and the Command Intelligence Officer were the only persons properly in the know, although Saundby (deputy C-in-C) probably had an inkling as he liaised with de Mobray as to where air dropped mines were to go. Harris didn't formally find out until after D-Day, when Bomber Command itself became an official recipient.

Even when used, Ultra was heavily disguised. There were, for example, some very puzzled aircraft captains who were told to fly a a specific point in the Med at night and make a sighting report despite the sea being empty. That was to explain the forthcoming smiting from the RN's warships or submarines - who were being vectored to an intercept by Ultra.

Wordsmith
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
Quoting Wiki for convenience:

"Between June 1941 and May 1945, Britain delivered to the USSR:

[Snipped for Brevity]

These amounts are truly staggering, and yet the information has largely been airbrushed from public awareness of WW2 history.

In the Soviet Union and now Russia itself, this information has been more or less suppressed since the war. The museums and official publications barely mention Lend Lease or direct aid.
The biggest role Lend Lease played was keeping Russia in the war while her European factories were being relocated the other side of the Urals in 1941. Armies need something to fight with, and while the factories were in transit, they weren't producing.

When Russia brought Germany to an effective halt at Stalingrad, Lend Lease was also a bit of a sop for no Second Front being opened, as was Bomber Command heavy casualties over Germany.

When the Russians cranked up their production, a lot of it was good: Stormoviks, T34s, Stalin Organs and so on. The Western Allies often then supplied the high tech icing on the cake: 100 octane fuel and plentiful lorries for example. The Russians might have folded in 1941 without Lend Lease, and it gave them technical advantages later in the war,
but I suspect they would have won without it - it just would have taken longer and cost more blood.

Wordsmith
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
I suspect that's a bit like the comments about the size of the French Resistance. IE: If every Frenchman who claimed to be in the Resistance actually had been, they'd have not needed D-day!
Many of the Free French who has fought throughout the war received less than enthusiastic welcomes from the 'colonels' of the resistance when they returned - they didn't like reminding they'd been passive in France for the bulk of the war while the Free French had been fighting (and dying) on behalf of the Allies.

Pierre Closterman (who fought through the war in the RAF) returned to France and was told he'd had an easy war. "You had it easy in England, while we had to face the Germans every day".

The real heroes of the resistance weren't there to see victory. Of those who took up arms in the aftermath of France's defeat, all too many ended their lives in the concentration camps or in front of a firing squad.

Wordsmith
 
The real heroes of the resistance weren't there to see victory. Of those who took up arms in the aftermath of France's defeat, all too many ended their lives in the concentration camps or in front of a firing squad.
All too often sent there, directly or indirectly, by their own countrymen.
 

overopensights

ADC
Book Reviewer
You can’t fault the voters. Your government managed to screw up a pretty straightforward mandate.
Know the rules Jonesy, you are not qualified to comment on internal UK matters, just like I'm not qualified to mention that one of the most powerful Nations in the world had their arse kicked by village peasants.
 
There is a magnificently passionate and detailed reply on Quora to the question "Who actually defeated Nazi Germany, America or the Soviets?"

- https://www.quora.com/Who-actually-defeated-Nazi-Germany-America-or-the-Soviets

Needs editing but told me many things I did not know, about British and British Empire resources, skill, organisational ability, productivity and fighting capability - and how well we managed compared to both our allies and enemies.

Would welcome comments and suggestions for further reading.
Some years ago on arrse a link was posted to a blog run by an Australian historian, and damn and blast I can’t find it now.

He opined that Britain and the empire could have defeated nazi Germany on their own since they were starting to get the upper hand, had the resources of the empire and the ordered equipment from the us was coming on stream.

The us’s entry diverted equipment meant for Britain which scuppered some of the plans.

It’s awhile since I read it so i probably haven’t got all the details correct, one of them be8ng whether Britain winning depended on whose side the soviets were on.
 

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