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Thread: Who were the best soldier of ww2?

  1. #1881
    Lord de Lyonesse's Avatar Kernow bys vyken!
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    Default Re: Who were the best soldier of ww2?

    Surely, in the face of all that befalled them, the Soviets were the 'best' with the Germans following and finally the British. Not so much the 'soldiers' but the pilots and seamen.

    And guys don't be nasty towards Poland, i'm doing the Cold War and the Ghetto rising in 1944 was horrible. The Russian's halted so the flower of Polish indepedence died. I'm British and feel sad for how Britain sold Czechslovakia and Poland down the river. Should've listened to Leo Amery and Austin Chamberlain - rearm and give Fritz a bloody lesson in 1930 not 1940!
    Last edited by Lord de Lyonesse; April 10, 2010 at 07:45 AM.
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  2. #1882
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    Default Re: Who were the best soldier of ww2?

    Reading stalinist schoolbooks is really bad idea.
    If it comes to being betrayed by commanders - for example gen. Dąb-Biernacki abandoned his army in the most critical moment. On the other hand, general Rómmel's HQ was "cut off" by German Panzers from his army and bombed by Luftwaffe - thus he "had to retreat to Warsaw, leaving his forces back", as he later explained in London.

    After the Soviet Invasion on September 17 the Polish Commander in Chef ordered to avoid combats against the Red Army and ordered the "general retreat to Hungary and Romania via the shortests roads" - he was among the first persons to complete this order, by the way (as well as the entire government and the High Command).

    Despite that in some places Polish units put spontaneous and brave resistance against the Red Army and the bulk of the Polish Army fought against both invaders for three more weeks after its High Command had escaped to Romania. The last major battle of the campaign was a Polish tactical victory - but they ran out of ammo and thus had to surrender on October 6. Some groups of soldiers fought much longer (e.g. mentioned Hubal, whose cavalry unit fought until the Spring of 1940).
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  3. #1883
    Lysimachus's Avatar Spirit Cleric
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    Default Re: Who were the best soldier of ww2?

    Cavalry was used by all armies of the war, often in large numbers. Besides it should be understood that conditions of warfare are 'a bit' different in the East.
    What, a few divisions? It's not exactly like they were being used in their traditional role like in the medieval times (in which they were the be all or end all), it normally involved using them to reach a destination and then dismounting prior to battle (exceptions include the cossacks in the Korsun-Shevchenkovsky who used their sabres to slash fleeing Germans), which is a job easier done by motorised/mechanised divisions (of which the Poles were woefully lacking in).

    In this context. Someone could find it rather ironic that it was US Cavalry which apparently was charging enemy tanks.
    Link please

    Obsolescent ? Hardly so. Such a wide term to discuss. But you know that already, you have to know it.
    "An active infantry division was made up of three infantry regiments, each of three battalions, an artillery regiment of two battalions of French or Polish 75mm field guns and one battalion of 100mm howitzers (these 100mm guns, mostly of Czech origin were being replaced by Polish-manufactured 105mm and 155mm pieces when the war began)..." (The Blitzkrieg Campaigns, page 37)

    "The anti-tank company possessed nine Bofors 37mm anti-tank guns and the cannon platoon two ancient Russian 75mm field guns for infantry support...

    ...supporting the infantry in their operations were eleven cavalry brigades, considered to be the elite of the army. Each brigade consisted of three or four cavalry regiments, a reconnaissance squadron of thirteen TK/TKS tankettes and eight W2.29/W2.34 armoured cars...


    ...the 10th Mechanised Cavalry Brigade consisted or two battalions of 7-TP tanks one battalion of French-built Renault R-35 light tanks, two scout tankette companies, an independent Vickers light tank company and three companies of obscolescent French Renault FT-17 light tanks of First World War vintage." (page 39)

    The Polish army lacked in consistency, used out of date weapons and equipment and this was supplemented by their reliance on their cavalry which was even getting dated during World War I (cavalry charges in the early days got shot up by the enemy, and their use was restricted to the Mesopotamian campaign).

    On the other hand, Germany was fielding powerful weapons like their 88mm FlaK guns, Pz III and Pz IV models (which were far superior to the Polish tankettes and had a lot of room for upgrade), MG34s, Sdkfz251 halftracks which could be modified for a vast amount of roles, superior fighter aircraft and superior tactics (Blitzkrieg). I just can't see how on earth the Polish soldiers were the best, your opinion is clearly fueled by patriotism.
    Last edited by Lysimachus; April 10, 2010 at 08:52 AM.
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  4. #1884
    cegorach's Avatar Artifex
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    Default Re: Who were the best soldier of ww2?

    Lysimachus

    What, a few divisions?
    Those few divisions' were often more than what Poland had (11 brigades).

    It's not exactly like they were being used in their traditional role like in the medieval times (in which they were the be all or end all), it normally involved using them to reach a destination and then dismounting prior to battle (exceptions include the cossacks in the Korsun-Shevchenkovsky who used their sabres to slash fleeing Germans), which is a job easier done by motorised/mechanised divisions (of which the Poles were woefully lacking in).
    True, horse, tradiitonal cavalry was most likely used only in Asia and Africa. Nothing specific about Soviet cavalry or Polish, German, Romanian, Finnish, Hungarian, Italian etc.

    Quote:
    In this context. Someone could find it rather ironic that it was US Cavalry which apparently was charging enemy tanks.
    Link please
    26th Cavalry Regiment - some sources mention it charging Japenese troops supported by some tanks. Probably crappy 89s, but still.

    Of course I am using this event only because of its shock value. It is questionable if they actaully charged tanks, but nice reversal of the old 'POL cavalry charging tanks' urban WW II legend.



    An active infantry division was made up of three infantry regiments, each of three battalions, an artillery regiment of two battalions of French or Polish 75mm field guns and one battalion of 100mm howitzers (these 100mm guns, mostly of Czech origin were being replaced by Polish-manufactured 105mm and 155mm pieces when the war began)..." (The Blitzkrieg Campaigns, page 37)
    Read in red.

    "The anti-tank company possessed nine Bofors 37mm anti-tank guns and the cannon platoon two ancient Russian 75mm field guns for infantry support...
    Again. Besides the Russian cannons were very good weapon, even if old.
    ...supporting the infantry in their operations were eleven cavalry brigades, considered to be the elite of the army. Each brigade consisted of three or four cavalry regiments, a reconnaissance squadron of thirteen TK/TKS tankettes and eight W2.29/W2.34 armoured cars...
    Again.

    ...the 10th Mechanised Cavalry Brigade consisted or two battalions of 7-TP tanks battalion of one French-built Renault R-35 light tanks, two scout tankette companies, an independent Vickers light tank company and
    Again.Incorrect.The brigade used only two companies of tanks (Vickers and recon tankettes), the rest was for other units while the R-35 were bought in 1939for money from the French credit.

    Both brigades (from planned four) were motorized-mechanized units with a small tank section which during the campaign were supported by additional units, some of them never planned to join these forces.
    three companies of obscolescent French Renault FT-17 light tanks of First World War vintage." (page 39)
    Which were not used. Contrary to those in French army.

    The Polish army lacked in consistency,
    That is incorrect.
    Old cannons were used by all armies.
    Most likely with the exception of the Wehrmacht (because of post-WW 1 restrictions), Soviets and the Americans - all to lesser degree than France, italy, Japan etc.

    Older weapons were gradually replaced by newer, that is all and that happened in all normal armies. Replacing old artillery with new models immediatelly would not only be impossible given production capabilities but bankrupt the state as well.

    I don't know why older weapons replaced by newer, units re-equipped with new AT and AA weaponry or older tanks replaced with new is something which is so peculiar.



    used out of date weapons and equipment and
    Again in context of modern helmets, rifles, machine guns, AT cannons and rifles, AA guns, majority of motorized vehicles etc. We are talking about rearming an army.

    this was supplemented by their reliance on their cavalry which was even getting dated during World War I (cavalry charges in the early days got shot up by the enemy, and their use was restricted to the Mesopotamian campaign).
    I don't know whay are you mentioning this example. Charging was rare during the WW II and as far as I know only asian and african armies seen such purpose as important.

    Besides Polish Army reliade on infantry, not cavalry. Though cavalry fought very well in 1939, better than it could be expected. I believe it is a known fact.

    On the other hand, Germany was fielding powerful weapons like their 88mm FlaK guns, Pz III and Pz IV models
    Of course, but you are comparing modern equipment aren't you?
    Everyone knows that Wehrmacht was equipped mainly with modern weapons also because it didn't have old. It was cost effective to replace older models with new weaponry only after some time and it was on its way in Poland.

    There are numerous exaples of modern equipement in Polish Army, yet you decide to choose the best of German vs. nothing from Poland.
    We can always compare rifles, granade throwers, mortars, AT rifles, helmets, pistols etc. That is why I said it is a complicated subject so it is difficult to discuss who was better - French colonial soldier or Japanese veterans in the Malayas.

    (which were far superior to the Polish tankettes and had a lot of room for upgrade)
    And because of that the tanketes were not produced for a while and were considered a weapon useful for training. There were no planned vehicles based on tankettes, except the (successfull) tank destroyers armed with 20 mm FK cannon.

    If you want to talk about medium tanks there were none of these in Polish Army (were planned to enter service from 1940-41), but in 1939 there were not too many in almost every other army in the world too.

    I just can't see how on earth the Polish soldiers were the best, your opinion is clearly fueled by patriotism.
    So why are you talking about tanks, airplanes, artillery? In other words about armies.

    Soldiers are people so please compare their abilities, personal equipement, training etc.

    If you can add point criticising those in Polish units do it.

    Is this thread is about armies or soldiers?




    Quote Originally Posted by Volh Vseslavich View Post
    You hear that, Domen123, you are a Stalinist now.
    Nope Volkh - your post was.

    Exactly the same phrases were used in stalinist schoolbooks.
    So is your conclusion.

    The government left the country after the Soviet Invasion this way saving the continuity of the state itself why for every example about commanders leaving his men there is several for those who stood to the end.
    Last edited by cegorach; April 10, 2010 at 10:24 AM.


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  5. #1885
    Heathen Hammer's Avatar Tribunus Augusticlavii
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    Default Re: Who were the best soldier of ww2?

    Nope Volkh - your post was.

    Exactly the same phrases were used in stalinist schoolbooks.
    So apparently stalinist schoolbooks provided certain facts. So what?
    The government left the country after the Soviet Invasion this way saving the continuity of the state itself why for every example about commanders leaving his men there is several for those who stood to the end.
    And how does that exactly contradict my post?

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  6. #1886
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    Default Re: Who were the best soldier of ww2?

    The government left the country after the Soviet Invasion this way saving the continuity of the state itself.

    Of course that they left the country after - not before - the Soviet Invasion.

    The government - OK. But the High Command? They could have stayed and died with dignity, instead of saving the continuity of themselves.

    Another thing is that the government which escaped had not much to do with the government in Exile, which was a newly formed government.

    Link please

    Check here:

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...g=artBody;col1

    And also:

    "The last American mounted tactical cavalry unit in combat was the 26th Cavalry (Philippine Scouts) in Philippines, stationed at Ft Stotsenburg, Luzon, 1942, which fought both mounted and dismounted against Japanese invasion troops in 1942. On the Bataan Peninsula, the 26th Cavalry (PS) staged a mounted attack against the Japanese on 16 January 1942. The battered, exhausted men of the 26th Cavalry climbed astride their horses and flung themselves moments against the blazing gun muzzles of Japanese tanks. This last mounted pistol charge was led by Ed Ramsey in command of G troop, 26th Cavalry. It was the last mounted charge in America's annals, and proved the climax of the 26th Cavalry's magnificent but doomed horseback campaign against the Imperial Japanese Army during the fall of the Philippines in 1941-42. According to a Bataan survivor interviewed in the Washington Post (10 April 1977), starving US and Philippine troops ate all the regiment's horses."

    "The last mounted cavalry unit was the 129th Cavalry Squadron, activated 01 May 1944 for tactical instruction at the Cavalry School, which was deactivated 06 February 1945. However, the 127th Cav deactivated at Ft Riley in 1947. Also, consider the Horse Platoon, 16th Constabulary Squad, in Berlin (originally the Horse Platoon, 78th Cavalry Recon Troop, 78th Div. The last active cavalry post was Ft Riley, KS, where the Cavalry School deactivated on 31 October 1946 or November 1946, including horses & training detachment (129th Squadron?). The last U.S. cavalry horse in U.S. service died on 24 May 1959. The last mounted (horse or mule) US Army unit was the 4th FA Bn & 35th QM Pack Co, both deactivated at Ft Carson, CO, 15 February 1957."

    Some photos:

    Back to the cavalry! A detachment of the Provisional Mounted Reconnaissance Troop of the Fifth (US) Army passing through a shell-torn Italian mountain town

    US cavalry training in 1941

    And some more links:

    http://pinoyhistory.proboards.com/in...read=89&page=1

    http://www.ww2incolor.com/forum/show...n-World-War-II

    Cavalry was used by all armies of the war, often in large numbers. Besides it should be understood that conditions of warfare are 'a bit' different in the East.
    What, a few divisions?

    The Red Army formed over 100 cavalry divisions during WW2, not just "a few". Yet in 1939 they possesed few dozens of cavalry divisions. Other armies which used cavalry during WW2 were for example German, Romanian, French, Italian, American, Filipino, British, Japanese, Chinese, Hungarian and many more.

    "An active infantry division was made up of three infantry regiments, each of three battalions, an artillery regiment of two battalions of French or Polish 75mm field guns and one battalion of 100mm howitzers (these 100mm guns, mostly of Czech origin were being replaced by Polish-manufactured 105mm and 155mm pieces when the war began)..." (The Blitzkrieg Campaigns, page 37)

    The book is wrong. Nothing was replaced by anything.

    100mm guns were Polish-manufactured too - they were being produced in Starachowice and Stalowa Wola factories, on Skoda license. 105mm and 155mm pieces were in heavy artillery battalions (apart from light artillery regiment each active division had got a heavy artillery battalion with 3 x 105 and 3 x 155mm).

    I don't like Western books about Poland in WW2 for such basic and stupid mistakes, mainly.

    "The anti-tank company possessed nine Bofors 37mm anti-tank guns and the cannon platoon two ancient Russian 75mm field guns for infantry support

    Wrong again. Those platoons of 75mm field guns (2 each) for infantry support were in infantry regiments, not in anti-tank companies.

    ...supporting the infantry in their operations were eleven cavalry brigades, considered to be the elite of the army. Each brigade consisted of three or four cavalry regiments, a reconnaissance squadron of thirteen TK/TKS tankettes and eight W2.29/W2.34 armoured cars...

    The book is wrong. Some infantry divisions were considered elite as well (like 1st Legionary Infantry Division, for example). Apart from mentioned units, each brigade also had got one Horse Artillery Battalion and one battery of Anti-Aircraft artillery + services.

    Some cavalry brigades had got also attached Rifle battalions, which they received soon before the outbreak of war.

    ...the 10th Mechanised Cavalry Brigade consisted or two battalions of 7-TP tanks one battalion of French-built Renault R-35 light tanks, two scout tankette companies, an independent Vickers light tank company and three companies of obscolescent French Renault FT-17 light tanks of First World War vintage." (page 39)

    The book is wrong once again.

    The 10th Motorized Cavalry Brigade had got only one company of Vickers E tanks and one company of reconnaissance tankettes. Other units - including those two battalions of 7 TP tanks, one battalion of R-35 and companies of FT-17 tanks were independent units and never belonged to the 10th Motorized Brigade. Apart from the 10th Motorized Brigade there was also Varsovian Armoured-Motorized Brigade. During the campaign one of these battalions of 7 TP tanks was attached to this brigade.

    By the way - Polish sources are the best if you want to read about Polish Army TO&E in 1939, but for those who don't speak Polish this is recommended:

    http://niehorster.orbat.com/029_pola...ons/_1939.html

    The only thing I don't get is why he translated "szwadron" ("squadron") as "company" ("kompania") if it comes to cavalry units and why he translated "szwadron liniowy" ("line squadron") as "saber company" (kompania z szabelkami ???) - http://niehorster.orbat.com/029_pola...ns/co-cav.html.

    The Polish army lacked in consistency, used out of date weapons and equipment and this was supplemented by their reliance on their cavalry which was even getting dated during World War I (cavalry charges in the early days got shot up by the enemy, and their use was restricted to the Mesopotamian campaign).

    Polish cavalry in the Inter-War era moved to the battlefield mounted but fought dismounted. If one take a look at the "Polish Cavalry Handbook" from 1922 only fourteen pages describe mounted warfare, and 53 pages describe tactics on foot. Since the modernization and reorganization of this formation which took place in mid 1930s, the Polish cavalry was equipped with anti-tank guns (Bofors 37mm), anti-tank rifles (UR), grenade launchers, light and heavy MGs, rifles, pistols and sabres. Sure, the cavalry trained with lances beacuse it was traditional, but mostly the lance was used in ceremonies. It was never intended to be used in warfare. There were only 9,000 lances, while the Polish cavalry numbered some 70,000 men. In late August / early September 1939 lances remained in barracks and were not taken by units to the frontline.

    The Polish army lacked in consistency.

    What exactly do you mean?
    Last edited by Domen123; April 10, 2010 at 02:42 PM.

  7. #1887
    Lysimachus's Avatar Spirit Cleric
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    Default Re: Who were the best soldier of ww2?

    Oh gawd, I can't be bothered to answer all the Polish stuff in this thread, i'm neither very knowledgeable nor willing on the subject, so i'll just leave it at you're right i'm wrong

    Though i'll stand by my case of arguing that in no way were the Polish the "best soldiers".
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  8. #1888
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    Default Re: Who were the best soldier of ww2?

    Quote Originally Posted by tonymurphy88 View Post
    A soldiers only as good as his equipment and his commanding officer Russians unfortunatly had bad equipment and bad officers
    but enjoyed "endless" numbers of cannon-fodder. Germans, not so much!

  9. #1889
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    Default Re: Who were the best soldier of ww2?

    Though i'll stand by my case of arguing that in no way were the Polish the "best soldiers".

    According to many of those who fought against them and many of those who fought alongside them, Poles were some of the best soldiers of WW2.

    I already posted many examples in this thread. Just to recall Joseph Klein, soldier of 1. Fallschirmjäger-Division (about his combats near Monte Cassino):

    "Poles were admirable. It really must be said, they were fearless soldiers - the most brave of all. As if they had some kind of external propulsion. It was on the edge of fanaticism."

    Source - television statement of Joseph Klein for BBC from 2008 (part of "World War II Behind Closed Doors" series).

    Another opinion of Erich von Manstein this time, from his "Verlorene Siege":

    "The enemy's losses in blood were undoubtedly very high indeed, for he had fought with great gallantry and had shown a grim determination to hold out in even the most hopeless situations. [...] There cannot be any doubt that things might have turned out very differently had the Western Powers taken the offensive in the west at the earliest possible moment. This would, of course, have presupposed the existence of a Polish command with a rather greater sense of reality - a command which, instead of scattering all its resources from the outset in an effort to cling on to what could not be held, would have concentrated its forces at the crucial points and fought systematically for the time needed to confront the Germans with the dilema of a real war on two fronts. The bravery with which the Polish troops fought right up to the end would have been an adequate guarantee of their ability to hold on until the Allies reached the Rhine and forced the German command seriously to consider calling off the campaign in Poland."

    And many other similar accounts I already quoted on previous pages of this thread - no sense or purpose to post them again.

    But probably the most impressive Polish military achievement in WW2 and often uderrated and dimnished in British literature (who try to justify the indolence of their own commanders - Montgommery at the top) was the excellent performance of Polish 1st Armoured Division in the battle of Falaise. The Polish division locked the gap and prevented large German forces from escaping the pocket, at the same time resisting constant attacks of several elite German divisions (mainly armoured Waffen SS divisions) from outside the pocket for four days. All of that despite the poor Montgomerry's leadership, who prefered to keep more divisions in reserve than on the battlefield. Monty had got 5 armoured divisions, but kept three in reserve and sent only two (1st Polish and 4th Canadian) to lock the Germans inside the pocket:

    Advances of Polish division

    In Chambois - Polish 10th Dragoon Regiment (mot.) from 1. Armoured Division advancing towards Chambois from the north established contact with American 359th Infantry Regiment from 90th Infantry Division advancing towards Chambois from the south - they met in Chambois, finally closing the Falaise pocket. Chambois - on the left we can see ppor. Władysław Kłaptocz, on the right we can see mjr. Leonard C. Dull:



    Another map - yellow arrows represent movements of the Polish division:



    During that battle the Polish 1st Armoured Division killed a few thousands and captured 5,650 German soldiers - including 1 general (Gen. Elfeld, commander of a Panzerkorps), 4 colonels (Oberst), 2 Oberstleutnants and 150 other officers for the loss of 656 own casualties in Operation Totalise (including 121 killed, 499 wounded and 36 missing) and further 1441 casualties in Operation Tractable (including 325 killed, 1002 wounded and 114 missing). Moreover - out of those 446 Poles killed, 94 were killed by Friendly Fire of American bombers.

    After the end of the battle of Falaise Polish division was resting and repairing vehicles for several days. On 29th of August 1944 it saw action again - starting its 10-days pursuit of the German forces, through the areas of Northern France and Belgium. During that 10-day pursuit, Polish division advanced for 470 kilometres towards Germany, captured 3,487 German soldiers (including 40 officers), 47 field guns, 2 tanks, 3 armoured cars, 2 military tractors, 8 mortars and 2 AA guns with a loss of 227 men - 57 killed and 170 wounded.

    The video below shows combat footage of the Polish division - for example some scenes from the "Mace" ("Maczuga" - the most fierce combats during the entire battle of Falaise took place there) after the battle - including the cross with Jesus Christ located at the top of the hill - destroyed German equipment and vehicles can be seen:



    Polish soldiers and destroyed German equipment in the Falaise pocket

    Let's also take a look at Polish forces which participated in combats in Africa:

    Losses of Polish SBSK (gen. Stanislaw Kopanski) in Africa from 19 August 1941 to 17 March 1942:

    - 156 killed (including 109 in Tobruk and 25 during the battle of El-Ghazala in December of 1941)
    - 15 missing
    - 467 wounded
    - several hundreds sick (mainly in Tobruk)

    During that period the brigade captured over 2,000 POWs (including 1,600 in the battle of El-Ghazala).

    Areas of combat operations of the brigade:

    Map of operations of the Independent Carpathian Rifle Brigade (SBSK)

    The Polish brigade also participated in the assault of famous Bardia Fortress on December 31st 1941.
    Last edited by Domen123; April 10, 2010 at 05:48 PM.

  10. #1890
    Lysimachus's Avatar Spirit Cleric
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    Default Re: Who were the best soldier of ww2?

    So you're saying German soldiers weren't better than that? I would procure information for you from my books, but i'm a bit tired now. Being under constant air attack, overwhelming odds and a blockade that was starting to strangle Germany's economy, the disgruntled German soldier performed far beyond what was expected of him and fought on all the way to the end of the war. Not discounting Polish achievements, just that you don't seem to take in to account that of others.
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  11. #1891
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    Default Re: Who were the best soldier of ww2?

    Quote Originally Posted by Domen123 View Post
    Of course that they left the country after - not before - the Soviet Invasion.

    The government - OK. But the High Command? They could have stayed and died with dignity, instead of saving the continuity of themselves.

    Another thing is that the government which escaped had not much to do with the government in Exile, which was a newly formed government.


    Legally it had EVERYTHING to do with the new government. According to the law, the constitution, according to the international law as well any future gov in exile would be rebels.
    I cannot imagine the consequences if continuity of the POL government, of the country itself was questionable - thousands more would be kept in gulags, there might be a form of civil war in Poland on the top of 'normal' occupation policy.
    All possibilities opened by the government, the archieves it carried, legal power it had, all that under Soviet or nazi 'care' are mindblowing.

    Cost in human life and looted property. Remember what Soviet puppet government managed to approve? If it happened 5 years earlier consequences would be terrible.

    See?

    There is no need for rushed or emotional conclusions.


    Lysimachus

    Oh gawd, I can't be bothered to answer all the Polish stuff in this thread, i'm neither very knowledgeable nor willing on the subject, so i'll just leave it at you're right i'm wrong

    Though i'll stand by my case of arguing that in no way were the Polish the "best soldiers".
    So I suggest to discuss a topic where you could prove you are knowledgable. As you said this one is not of those.

    In this case it was impossible to answer in one or two short lines. I am sorry for that - but amount of questionable content required that.

    So you're saying German soldiers weren't better than that? I would procure information for you from my books, but i'm a bit tired now. Being under constant air attack, overwhelming odds and a blockade that was starting to strangle Germany's economy, the disgruntled German soldier performed far beyond what was expected of him and fought on all the way to the end of the war. Not discounting Polish achievements, just that you don't seem to take in to account that of others.
    See? Something similar can be written about Poles or several other soldiers of the II WW

    Among the best means that can be chosen one of viable options in the poll.

    I don't know why you are opposing that. What is the point actually?


    Volh Vseslavich Quote:
    Nope Volkh - your post was.

    Exactly the same phrases were used in stalinist schoolbooks.
    So apparently stalinist schoolbooks provided certain facts. So what?
    Quote:
    The government left the country after the Soviet Invasion this way saving the continuity of the state itself why for every example about commanders leaving his men there is several for those who stood to the end.
    And how does that exactly contradict my post?


    I guess it does:

    Polish soldiers fought very bravely and sometimes to the last of their men. But they were betrayed and abandoned by their government and commanders.
    You are accusing them of betrayal, just like it was done in 1940s-1980s by the Soviet propaganda.

    I am sure that if they stayed the Soviets would treat them with respect, just like it was done historically in a certain forest close to Smolensk, just like it was done with defendes of Lvov who negotiated a capitulation agreement with Soviet commanders. Which of course the Soviets respected and even as the ink was still wet helped the Poles, provided transport, tour guides and accomodation.
    Last edited by cegorach; April 11, 2010 at 12:03 AM.


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  12. #1892
    Lysimachus's Avatar Spirit Cleric
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    Default Re: Who were the best soldier of ww2?

    See? Something similar can be written about Poles or several other soldiers of the II WW

    Among the best means that can be chosen one of viable options in the poll.

    I don't know why you are opposing that. What is the point actually?
    You're saying Polish soldiers fought and died in North Africa, Italy, Western Europe, Germany and Eastern Europe under the pressures of an overwhelming enemy repeatedly? I mean, for Fall Gelb and Operation Barbarossa, the Germans didn't even outnumber their enemies. That remained a constant throughout the war, and became worse once the Allies had amassed overwhelming levels of soldiers and equipment. How on earth the Germans fought against that, I just don't know. Poland was cracked in a month, it took nearly six years to bring down Germany. Putting the contribution of the German soldier to the Polish soldier on the same level, well it's just not on the same level.
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  13. #1893
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    Default Re: Who were the best soldier of ww2?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lysimachus View Post
    You're saying Polish soldiers fought and died in North Africa, Italy, Western Europe, Germany and Eastern Europe under the pressures of an overwhelming enemy repeatedly? I mean, for Fall Gelb and Operation Barbarossa, the Germans didn't even outnumber their enemies. That remained a constant throughout the war, and became worse once the Allies had amassed overwhelming levels of soldiers and equipment. How on earth the Germans fought against that, I just don't know. Poland was cracked in a month, it took nearly six years to bring down Germany. Putting the contribution of the German soldier to the Polish soldier on the same level, well it's just not on the same level.
    Hmm, how you can compare Poland with Germany? Poland fought alone vs. Germany and SU. Germany, had a bigger base, a bigger army, a larger teritory, more developed technology and as well allies (not always as good as germans, but still). And fought mostly against SU. In west, before US stronger implication they doesnt have much problems. If they doesnt have that idiot Hitler they might subdue UK too, if destroy their defeated army at Dunquerque. On land warfare french and british was defeated, and without their best land army, UK would not be able to resist to an invasion probably.

    Anyway, best soldiers was probably romanian mountain hunters, to be a bit nationalist now

  14. #1894
    Lysimachus's Avatar Spirit Cleric
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    Default Re: Who were the best soldier of ww2?

    Quote Originally Posted by diegis View Post
    Hmm, how you can compare Poland with Germany? Poland fought alone vs. Germany and SU. Germany, had a bigger base, a bigger army, a larger teritory, more developed technology and as well allies (not always as good as germans, but still). And fought mostly against SU. In west, before US stronger implication they doesnt have much problems.

    Anyway, best soldiers was probably romanian mountain hunters, to be a bit nationalist now
    Yes and Germany fought against an SU receiving lend-lease from Britain and the US, and by 1944 was up against vast quantities of soldiers in France and Italy.

    If they doesnt have that idiot Hitler they might subdue UK too, if destroy their defeated army at Dunquerque.
    No, they'd have to destroy the RN and RAF before invading the UK, which didn't happen.

    On land warfare french and british was defeated, and without their best land army, UK would not be able to resist to an invasion probably.
    Um, yes they could, considering the impossibility of a German invasion that even if it did take place would be a very hard to maintain affair.
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    Default Re: Who were the best soldier of ww2?

    Putting the contribution of the German soldier to the Polish soldier on the same level, well it's just not on the same level.

    You cannot put the contribution of both countries on the same level because Germany simply had got dozens of times more resources than Poland.

    But are we speaking about the performance of individual soldiers in this thread (and compare achievements of units of similar size), or about how many soldiers did individual armies had (e.g. Germany ~20,000,000 millions during the entire war, while Poland only ~1,000,000 during the entire war - how to compare this?).

    No, they'd have to destroy the RN and RAF before invading the UK, which didn't happen.

    Which didn't happen and to which experienced Polish and Czech fighter pilots largely contributed.

    which is a job easier done by motorised/mechanised divisions (of which the Poles were woefully lacking in).

    Lysimachus, I'm not sure if you realize that the III Reich spent around 90,000,000,000 RMs on developing her military machine before September of 1939, while Poland spent only around 6,700,000,000 PLN (or 3,350,000,000 RMs) on developing her military machine before 01.09.1939 - which is 27-times less than the III Reich spent.

    Poland was simply not rich enough to develop large mechanized forces. Plus there was low amount of cars and trucks in the country, as well as few decent roads.

    Considering the disproportion in financial means, Polish army should have been 27-times weaker or smaller than the German army. And it wasn't.

    Poland was cracked in a month.

    Not by Germany alone, about which you forget. If not the Soviet Invasion, cracking Poland would have lasted for at least 2 months.

    And first of all you cannot compare Polish to German economic abilities.

    As I wrote, Germany was economically far superior to Poland - it had got much more resources and much more money to develop their armed forces than Poland. It did not look the same way when comparing Germany and her Allies to the "Big Three" - the USSR, the USA and the Great Britain. The Allies were of course superior to the Axis economically, but here it was not so one-sided. Axis economy was powerful and that's why they were able to replace their losses and fight for many years.

    But at the end war is always ruled by economy. The economically or technologically superior side always wins.

    I mean, for Fall Gelb and Operation Barbarossa, the Germans didn't even outnumber their enemies.

    For Operation Barbarossa they outnumbered the Russians at the beginning in terms of men. Not in terms of equipment though. During the Fall Gelb they slightly outnumbered their enemies and first of all they had got superiority in the air. Moreover the Blitzkrieg figured on concentrating forces in certain parts of the frontline in order to achieve local superiority in numbers and win decisive victories - that's how they could achieve superiority in certain battles. Sedan, for example.

    That remained a constant throughout the war, and became worse once the Allies had amassed overwhelming levels of soldiers and equipment. How on earth the Germans fought against that, I just don't know.

    Don't exaggerate, it didn't look like that the Allies always had an overhelming numerical superiority, often they didn't have it.

    and by 1944 was up against vast quantities of soldiers in France and Italy.

    Superiority in numbers and means of combat of the Allies in France and Italy was smaller than those of the Germans in Poland in 1939.


    considering the impossibility of a German invasion that even if it did take place would be a very hard to maintain affair.

    Those ~10 British infantry divisions would be a very hard to maintain affair? Are you kidding? Just see how easily they rolled the BEF in France.
    Last edited by Domen123; April 11, 2010 at 05:36 AM.

  16. #1896
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    Default Re: Who were the best soldier of ww2?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lysimachus View Post
    Yes and Germany fought against an SU receiving lend-lease from Britain and the US, and by 1944 was up against vast quantities of soldiers in France and Italy.



    No, they'd have to destroy the RN and RAF before invading the UK, which didn't happen.



    Um, yes they could, considering the impossibility of a German invasion that even if it did take place would be a very hard to maintain affair.
    Well, Germany and its allies fought against SU at that point (until 1944). Leand-lease from US and Britain was helpful for soviets, agree, but not as much as win the war because of that alone. It was not helping them with soldiers, just with materials, which wasnt as huge important as you might think. On the other side Poland fight alone vs Germany and SU, having big land borders with each of them. Their only allied of them was Romania, who let their army (what was left of it) and treasure to be evacuated on romanian soil, then in west.

    Britain was saved by the fact it was an island, had a good navy, germans was more interested in defeating SU and Hitler was an idiot. If Britain switch the places with France, Wermacht will end marching victorious in London, as it did in Paris. If britain troops are destroyed at Dunkerque this will leave UK without the best part of its land army (good for germans even if they didnt want to invade UK later). And if germans didnt had an eye on east i am sure they was able to secure a channel for a land invasion, and ocupy at least London.
    Last edited by diegis; April 11, 2010 at 05:34 AM.

  17. #1897
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    Default Re: Who were the best soldier of ww2?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lysimachus View Post
    You're saying Polish soldiers fought and died in North Africa, Italy, Western Europe, Germany and Eastern Europe under the pressures of an overwhelming enemy repeatedly?
    Exactly.

    North Africa - Carpathian Brigade,

    Italy - 2nd Polish Corps,

    Western Europe - Polish divisions and Maczek's brigade in 1940, Podhalan Brigade in Norway in 1940, Polish Air Forces over Britain, France and Germany, Polish Navy, 1st Armored Division in 1944-45 and the Parachute brigade in 1944.

    Eastern Europe - 1939, Polish underground between 1939 and 1945, Polish Army under Soviet command in 1944-45.



    I know, I know it was about German army, but as you see not only.
    But thanks for giving me this opportunity.


    I mean, for Fall Gelb and Operation Barbarossa, the Germans didn't even outnumber their enemies.
    Neither did Poles or many other nations' units and forces.


    That remained a constant throughout the war, and became worse once the Allies had amassed overwhelming levels of soldiers and equipment. How on earth the Germans fought against that, I just don't know.
    Questionable. Besides I don't know what you are going to prove this way - that Germans were superior to EVERYBODY, that noone can be compared to their troopers, that no other soldier, but from Germany can be considered the best?

    I said Polish soldiers are ONE OF options. Clearly among the best.

    Is the 'among the best' grup limited to german soldiers?

    Poland was cracked in a month, it took nearly six years to bring down Germany.
    Hmm so why Polish soldiers were fighting after that? I guess we all imagine things, just like this Polish flag in Berlin in 1945...

    Last time I've checked Poland didn't capitulate and carried on fighting during the entire war. In many, many cases they were the same people who fought in 1939.

    Putting the contribution of the German soldier to the Polish soldier on the same level, well it's just not on the same level.
    Again, I don't get what is your point.

    I am talking that Polish soldiers are one of reasonable, realistic choices in the poll.

    I understand that according to you only German fighters can be chosen and noone else.
    Is that what you are trying to prove?

    If so, say it for the frak's sake and let it be over.
    Last edited by cegorach; April 11, 2010 at 06:15 AM.


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  18. #1898
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    Default Re: Who were the best soldier of ww2?

    I think it is a matter of how the soldiers fought without support.. For example at the first years of war the Germans had aircraft, tanks, trucks, great number of supplies and the Greek army had none of these things.. Therefore we should look at how effectively the troops of each nation fought in the more difficult situations and I would say that Germans were very good soldiers, because they fought bravely when the end had come (1943-1945), the English fought bravely in Egypt and the Greeks fought bravely in the mountains of Epirus against overwhelming Italian forces.. The Russian troops especially on the start of the war fought without fear of dying..
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  19. #1899
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    Default Re: Who were the best soldier of ww2?

    Quote Originally Posted by diegis View Post
    Britain was saved by the fact it was an island, had a good navy, germans was more interested in defeating SU and Hitler was an idiot. If Britain switch the places with France, Wermacht will end marching victorious in London, as it did in Paris. If britain troops are destroyed at Dunkerque this will leave UK without the best part of its land army (good for germans even if they didnt want to invade UK later). And if germans didnt had an eye on east i am sure they was able to secure a channel for a land invasion, and ocupy at least London.
    Yes the same old argument carted out concerning geography. It wouldn't mattered if Britain was an island or not because without a strong navy and airforce to protect it would've have fallen easily after a large part of the BEF perished in France. But a combination of both of these factors prevented any realistic chance of the Germans launching an invasion across the channel, even if Hitler had concentrated more on knocking Britain out of the war rather than taking on the Soviet Union.

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  20. #1900
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    Default Re: Who were the best soldier of ww2?

    ^^Also bearing in mind that if Britain was connected to continental Europe by land, then it would have a much larger army anyway (Probably at the expense of the navy)
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