WWII - most highly rated infantry, armour etc...

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by lancslad, May 3, 2007.

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  1. Sometime ago I read Max Hastings "Armageddon" in which he referred to the RA as the most effective arm of the British Army in the 1944/45 period. I'm currently reading Cornelius Ryan's "A Bridge Too Far" and encountered an interesting, related quote attributed to von Runstedt:

    "Throughout his career, von Rundstedt had closely studied British military tactics; he had also, to his own misfortune been able to observe American warfare at first hand. He had found the Americans more imaginative and daring in the use of armour, the British superb with infantry."

    Putting aside the differences of opinion - although I suspect given von Runstedts position that his carry more weight - the issue got me thinking that if you could pick and choose amongst the Western allies and axis powers during WWII who would you select? Tricky bit here is timing during the war but since this is largely theoretical I'd go for the following:

    Armour - German officers & Russian post 1942 tanks
    Infantry - British officers & German infantry
    Artillery - British
    Supply - US
    Engineers - US (but only on the back of the supply issue)


  2. Wasn't the US supply lines renowned for being pilfered all the way along so the troops at the front got next to nothing?
  3. Armour - German officers & Russian post 1942 tanks
    Infantry - German maybe Finns
    Artillery - Russian/American Russian quality and American numbers
    Supply – US numbers and German adaptability.
    Engineers - British, think Hobart’s funnies and ability to improvise
  4. 11 Hussars were the best Regiment in WW2

    End of.
  5. Infantry = ANZACs no question
    Armour = Germans
    Artillery = Russians
    Logistics = US
    Engineers = British
  6. Infantry=Italians
    Artillery=Free French
    Logistics=Sovs (one rife between three)
  7. You need to include the SS in there somewhere, the things they did can't change the fact that they had some superb soldiers.
  8. Of the other side, the Waffen-SS were at times quite exceptional. (Never to be confused with the Nazi "political" SS, upon whom they would have spat - if their manners hadn't been so well-bred).

    Of the British, see FM Montgomery's assessments.

    Royal Ulster Rifles = arguably the finest, hardest-fighting line infantry in modern times.

    British Special Forces (SOE, SAS, SBS, LRDG etc.) = Exceptional; and an example often copied by the rest of the world, but never equalled.
  9. chrisg46

    chrisg46 LE Book Reviewer

    Dont you mean, german officers, British OR's? i understood that we adopted the german officer selection process after the war as it produced better leaders. Back then, you had to be the right kind of gent to be an officer still....
  10. Was that because it had an RAF Regt unit incorporated in it (No II Armoured Car Company)? Standby for incoming....
  11. 4 th KSLI, 11 th armoured in normandy
  12. for a combination of all the elements it has to be the Deutches Afrika Korps...leadership, elan, true understanding of combined arms ops and honour. The key part of which was the 21st Pz Div...one of the longest serving units in the Heer OOB. from Czechaslovakia in '36 all the way to the defence of berlin.
    but for logistics...american...the redball express during the ardennes campaign stands out.
    armour...german.... tiger/panther/ Pzkpfw IV
    officers....german...Rommel/wittmann/peiper/dietrich/von runstedt/guderian
    infantry....german esp waffen ss(as a grunt thats a hard thing to admit!)
    artillery...british but german mortars

    and a new catergory best uniforms.....German...who the F*** designed the british helmet in WW2!!
  13. SOE..MI9......1940 - 1945..women section
  14. Superb soldiers?

    After the Polish campaign the came under heavy criticism for lack of combat capabilities.
    The notable and splendid victories made by German units were, made when the WSS only played a minor role.
    Later on the SS got the funds to grow large, to some extent because they followed the MLAR orders given by Adolf to the extreme.
    The kitting up (And fanatism) of SS divisions with the best equipment meant that they where regarded as top notch. Wheermact units with lover standard equipment often had more proper education.

    Generals of the SS were to a large extent politically appointed, so generals like Sepp Ditrich (whose military experience was as a sergeant in WWI) was no match for properly educated opponents.

    The SS units who fought with most skill was often the ones made up of foreign volunteers, whom often had previous military service in there home country.