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Forum LockedCould the Me 262 have won the ww2?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jonathan4290 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2009 at 18:40
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Hello to you all

Those manning anti-aircraft positions were 2nd rate troops not fit for frontline service or understrengthed divisions.
  
Al-Jassas
 
True but a million men is still a HUGE pool of manpower. Without the bombing campaign these million men could be building trucks to improve the Wehrmacht's logistics in the east or  training to be 1st rate troops so sateillite states didn't have to plug holes in the east.
 
Also in addition to just being there, in "No End Save Victory" edited by Cowley, an author comments that on average it took nearly a million rounds of ammunition to take down one bomber. This is not an attritional rate the Allies want to endure but what else could the Western Allies do from the British Isles. These million rounds of ammunition again could've been put to better use.
 
Strategic bombing was not decisive on its own but forced Germany to overreact and divert scarce resources.
Like great battles? How about when they're animated for easy viewing?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2009 at 18:56
Originally posted by Cryptic Cryptic wrote:

I wonder how many of those 352 claimed kills by Hartmann and other high scoring aces are German propaganda exaggerations.    


none? afterall they were all recorded and there was inner-German competition.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jun-2009 at 23:14
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:


none? afterall they were all recorded and there was inner-German competition.
How does that eliminate the possibility of exaggerations? For example, the evidence needed for claiming a kill could be lowered (especially after late 1943). The pilots could be encouraged to claim possibles as "killed" for home morale. Squadron commanders could claim kills for their entire unit based on "eyewitnesses" and then assign the claimed kills to individual aces.  I doubt that in the desperate days of 1944 and 1945 aces were going to question such practices as it would only hurt morale at home.
 
In WWI, the victory claims of Central powers and Allied powers aces were about equal. In WWII, Hartmann is purported to have outscored the leading Russian ace by 5.5-1 and the leading British ace by 10-1. Even accounting for quality of opposition issues, frequency of missions etc. the high German numbers do not seem mathematically or humanely possible.
 
The reason why these scores have not been questioned is that it would be impossible to dis prove the claims them and there is a gobal love affair with the skills of WWII German tank crewman and fighter pilots.  Though the Germans had the most lethal military in the world from 1870 to 1945, I doubt they were that goodWink.  
 
 


Edited by Cryptic - 10-Jun-2009 at 23:23
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Jun-2009 at 07:24

The Russians made sure they had the aces among other spoils of war and these particularly were treated bad.

 
Hartmann was kept as a POW for over 10 years and only after top political intervention he and other aces were released.
 

 
plus, if the average Russian pilot logged 15 hours of flight before going into combat, I don't think it is impossible.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheRedBaron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Jun-2009 at 10:13
German kill claims are inflated to a certain extent in some cases.
 
Often several pilots would gain credit for the same kill if both claimed the kill. Sometimes squadron kills would be applied to each pilot, this certainly happened in the case of Rudel.
 
While they certainly were excellent pilots, alot of German kills were built up in the early strikes, particuarly those against airfields and grounded aircraft in the opening stages of Barbarossa.
 
Kill tallies dont always equate to an accurate record of a pilots skill or performance.
 
Probably the best German pilot was Hans-Joachim Marseille who was killed in North Africa, but is widely regarded as one of, if not the best, fighter pilot ever. All his kills were against high quality opposition rather than the poor quality 1941 Red Air Force.
 
Cryptic is correct is his ascertion that these figures are rarely challenged. Many historians, such as Gordon Williamson for example, happily trot out German propaganda and fail to examine the actual combat records or even the personal testimony of those involved. His account of Wittmann in Villers-Boacage is pure fantasy.
 
To accept these figures with blind belief is just to buy into Nazi propaganda of the period. One should always view them with a note of caution.
 
As an aside, tank kill claims were also often inflated, again with various crews often claiming the same kills. Also as the German forces retreated it became harder and harder to actually verify the claims so all these figures should be treated with a note of caution, although they should still be seen as a marker for how good certain German 'Aces' were... or perhaps how poor their opposition were in comparison?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11-Jun-2009 at 20:16
the aces phenomenon of ww2 Germany can be easily explained for most part. aces of the deep: only Germany and the US really had a doctrine of total sea war and the japanese didn't had as many transports as the western allies in the atlantic so it shouldn't be surprisign at all that Germany produced u-boat aces. tank aces can also be explained because Germany had steady tanks before most other countries. after the introduction of the Tiger and the Panther, tank crews coul accumulate kills before the allies had comparable tanks and the end of the war pretty much prevented any allied tanker from outranking the established German aces.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Jun-2009 at 09:10
The USSR lost more than 88k planes in combat operation due to both flak and fighter intervention. The US lost about 20k (I think) and britain lost a similar number both in combat and both fighters. The much feared mustangs lost up to 3000 planes shot down either by flack or by fighter engagement. Due to the low number of pilots at those times and because reported Luftwaffe losses in men and material were quite low and many were due to mechanical failure (more Bf109s were lost while attempting to land than were shot down), I don't see why are these numbers are inflated.
 
Go to youtube and search for the guy I think you will find enough material from German archives to prove Germans had the greatest pilots. I saw newsreels with Rudel distroying 2 or three tanks in one raid, I think there are videos of Galland and Rall too.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Jun-2009 at 15:12
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

 
Go to youtube and search for the guy I think you will find enough material from German archives to prove Germans had the greatest pilots. I saw newsreels with Rudel distroying 2 or three tanks in one raid, I think there are videos of Galland and Rall too.
I am sure that German experts, as with experts of all countries were capable of destroying multiple targets on a single mission. The question is, "How often did they do it?"
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

I don't see why are these numbers are inflated.
 
Perhaps the issues regarding German claims are hard to resolve because of these points:
 
-On a unit by unit level, the Germans were the most lethal military in WWII. 
 
-There has been a love affair by historian and military history readers with the skills of German aces and tankers. As mentioned by The Red baron this romanticization has led these claims being blindly accepted and scoring practices that led to inflated numbers to be ignored.  
 
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

The USSR lost more than 88k planes in combat operation due to both flak and fighter intervention.
  
Reliable figures regarding Soviet losses are very difficult to find because Soviet losses have been inflated and deflated over the years for a variety of reasons. Was the tempo of air operations on the Eastern Front high enough to have 88,000 combat losses plus those lost in training and aircraft destroyed  /abandoned on the ground?


Edited by Cryptic - 12-Jun-2009 at 15:29
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheRedBaron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Jun-2009 at 15:32
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

tank aces can also be explained because Germany had steady tanks before most other countries. after the introduction of the Tiger and the Panther, tank crews coul accumulate kills before the allies had comparable tanks and the end of the war pretty much prevented any allied tanker from outranking the established German aces.
 
Not quite... I think you will find the T-34 in 1941 may have shocked a few Germans into wondering who had the best tank...
 
Allied forces generally removed those with high scores in all arms back to training establishments in order to pass on their knowledge.
 
The German were not in a position to do this (though it was offered to Wittmann after Villers-Bocage) and their 'aces' remained on the frontline out of need and also for reasons of propaganda.
 
Its interesting to note that Germany's leading tank ace, Kurt Knispel, rarely featured in propaganda and also never got the Knights Cross for the reason that he was not as politically acceptable as other 'Aces'.
 
As for recent historians, in his book 'Aces of the Reich', Gordon Williamson fails to get the tanks aces in the right order, rating Wittmann as the highest scoring (when he was third or fourth) and he fails to mention Kurt Knispel at all! So no, I dont trust what certain historians have to say, especially those that rely on Nazi propaganda as a source material.

So yes, their is a major dispute regarding German claims and counting practices especially from 1944 to the end of the war.
 
I also fail to see what historical relevance a few bits of footage are on youtube. Perhaps close checking of the Bundesarchiv records might be a better way to find the answer...
 
If you want to have blind faith in these claims, then thats up to you.
 
Personally I prefer to go with Steven Zaloga's comments that all claims must be taken with a pinch of salt... Often a large one!
 
On the Eastern Front, the German Fremde Heere Ost (Eastern Front Intelligence Service), reguarly cut all claims from units in half to get an accurate assesment of enemy losses. This was often due to dual counting by those involved in the action and knocked-out tanks being shot at again by other units moving past them and claiming the kill.
 
The focus on a few rare exceptions in the form of German tank aces, covers up the fact that the majority of German tank crews from 1944 were thrown into action with poor training.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Jun-2009 at 05:45
Hello to you all
 
The number of Russian losses is the official number and all sources I saw say it is more or less the correct number. The Americans and the British lost about 20k planes each and these are official stats too and there is no comparison between the average Russian pilot qualifications and the average anglo-American pilot's during WWII. So again I can't see any reason why the numbers are wrong.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheRedBaron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2009 at 11:01
So despite the Germans themselves admitting overcounting by 50%, you still believe the figures are correct. 

Not alot of point in bothering to argue with you then, if you think the German Intelligence Service in WW2 were wrong and that the over-counting was correct. 


One final thing...

Go check the losses for the Schweinfurt Raids. 

Then go check how many bombers the Luftwaffe pilots claimed to have shotdown.

Then go see how many bomber wrecks were actually counted on the ground by German Intelligence.

There you will see that they over estimated their kills by well over 50%.





Edited by TheRedBaron - 14-Jun-2009 at 11:13
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jun-2009 at 16:48
Alright redbaron, even if we assume that the germans inflate their numbers by 50% this will still put Hartman and all german aces who claim to have shot down more than 150 allied planes at more than 100 planes each which will still make then super aces and better than the best allied aces.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheRedBaron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jun-2009 at 10:24
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Alright redbaron, even if we assume that the germans inflate their numbers by 50% this will still put Hartman and all german aces who claim to have shot down more than 150 allied planes at more than 100 planes each which will still make then super aces and better than the best allied aces.
 
Al-Jassas
 
 
I never said they weren't better pilots, though that too is subjective and open to debate due to the differing doctrinal elements and circumstances the opposing sides had to operate in.
 
Indeed I would rate Hans-Joachim Marseilles as the greatest fighter pilot ever, closely followed by Hartmann and Barkhorn.
 
All I disagree with is the blind faith placed in German kill totals. I have no problems with them being excellent pilots (though circumstance, doctrine and theatre also play a role in how these kill rates were built) so best is rather dependant on all those factors.
 
Just because someone stays alive longer, may not make him better... Perhaps just luckier.
 
You also have to take into account the Allied procedure of rotating seasoned pilots out of the frontline to become trainers while German pilots stayed at the front.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jun-2009 at 18:37
Originally posted by TheRedBaron TheRedBaron wrote:

 
Not quite... I think you will find the T-34 in 1941 may have shocked a few Germans into wondering who had the best tank...


this is a matter of crew skills not tanks, besides the strongest tank up to the introduction of the Tiger was the French Char 2, not the T-34 who is somewhat overhyped.
 
Quote So yes, their is a major dispute regarding German claims and counting practices especially from 1944 to the end of the war.


that doesn't make much sense because if you look at Me 262 scores alone you'll find that the highest ranking ace has 'only' 20 shootdowns which cannot be called inflated by all means. besides it is rather wlel known that kill-counts in the Luftwaffe were very strict.

 
Quote I also fail to see what historical relevance a few bits of footage are on youtube. Perhaps close checking of the Bundesarchiv records might be a better way to find the answer...


so if someone uploads Bundesarchiv footage on youtube that takes away all its credibility?
 
Quote The focus on a few rare exceptions in the form of German tank aces, covers up the fact that the majority of German tank crews from 1944 were thrown into action with poor training.


i don't see how that takes anything away from those who enjoed excellent training before, but is rather a testimony that Germany from 44 onwards was in a poor shape. or how it serves to show how German aces had inflated numbers...

Quote I never said they weren't better pilots, though that too is subjective and open to debate due to the differing doctrinal elements and circumstances the opposing sides had to operate in.


same as with aces of the deep, just because Germanies enemies didn't fully exploited their possibilities doesn't take away from their skill, if anything on the contrary so.

 
Quote Indeed I would rate Hans-Joachim Marseilles as the greatest fighter pilot ever, closely followed by Hartmann and Barkhorn.


because he mostly fought 'elite' Commonwealh troops in NA as opposed to poorly trained pilots on the eastern front like most others?
 
Quote Just because someone stays alive longer, may not make him better... Perhaps just luckier.


luck also plays it's role, but staying alive is quite an indicator for skill nevertheless, besides there were high ranking aces that didn't outlived ww2.
 
Quote You also have to take into account the Allied procedure of rotating seasoned pilots out of the frontline to become trainers while German pilots stayed at the front.


again, that doesn't take away anything from German numbers, it's not the fault of those pilots that allied pilots did that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheRedBaron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jun-2009 at 09:55
Yes... The T-34 was so overhyped that Guderian asked for a division of them...
 
 
Sorry but Im not gonna bother arguing with someone who cant stand having his beloved 'kamaraden' questioned... You carry on loving the propaganda mate. I think you are arguing the wrong thing and again, dismissing the fact that the German Intelligence Service reguarly halved all claims... You seem to know more than them...
 
My points do not also question individual skill... That is your own assumption or my arguement and utterly incorrect.
 
 
But one thing I will answer is on Marseille.
 
The reason he was the greatest fighter pilot is easy and has nothing to do with fighting Commonwealth pilots (though he didnt make huge scores by shooting up ground targets like some pilots, though Hartmann didnt either it has to said).
 
The reason for his prowess is his markmanship.
 
He was able to shoot down planes with a minimum of rounds, often using a few well placed shoots rather than whole bursts to down an enemy machine.
 
His ability was shown on the 1st September 1942 when he shotdown 17 RAF planes. Research into Allied records have confirmed these kills as likely to have occured from Marseille as over 20 aircraft were shotdown in the sector he was operating in that day.
 
However his claims are also disputed by historians such as Robert Tate. Russel Brown has also disputed Marseilles claims for 15th September. In short, Marseilles claims have had around 60% of his kills verified by other sources.
 
That almost neatly matches the German Intelligence Service practice of halving all unit kill totals to give an accurate picture of losses to the enemy.
 
You have your opinion... For mine, I will rely on the German Intelligence Service rather than Goebbels propaganda.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jun-2009 at 10:43
I've been following this discussion and I don't know what to think of those who contest the scores of German pilots in WWII. Maybe ignorant?
Here's a link to aplace where they could read, if they do know what that mean, what were the reasons for the high numbers the Luftwaffe experten achieved: http://www.acepilots.com/discussions/us_german_aces.html
 
Back to the question of the thread, I think that the Schwalbe, all by itself, could not have won the war for Germany. Many more other ingredients were required, some of them being:
1. Resources - the germans had the expertise to build fighter jets yet they had not the proper materials. The engines of the 262 were a good design but were hampered by the fact that Germany could not produce high quality alloys not because the metalurgists were stupid but because they did not had acces to some important raw materials. Oil was not, although many think different, the main issue.
2. Training - the Luftwaffe was one of the worst trained airforce. Even Galland emphasised on gaining experience in combat rather than raising the standards in training. The 262 was not a kite. It required a lot of training to be used effectively.
3. Usefulness - an aircraft is only good if it does adequate good work. But the 262 was limited to being an interceptor. Hitler almost had the right idea make it a bomber. The right idea would have been multi role. Something like the P47, Tempest, FW 190 f. True, the 262 was good at shooting down strategic bombers, but how many Sturmoviks were shot down by it?
 
The Me 262 could not have won the if Germany could produce it in 1939 on a similar scale as the 110.
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Well that link doesnt go against anything I have written...
 
Beside which nothing on there gives any arguements against overclaiming. All it does is give reasons for high scores, which are not in doubt, even at 50% reduction (and I personally dont think the overclaiming was that high), German scores are still massive.
 
So you are quite ignorant as you obviously havent read the posts to see what was being talked about.
 
What it does do is breakdown kills to sortie to provide what is called a 'kill ratio' generally seen by some as a better indicator of skill.
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Etnad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jun-2009 at 11:45
Cezar, I would say you ruin a plane by making it a multiplane. At the time when Hitler made it a bomber it took on a lot of weight and thereby loosing its advantage in speed. And what would a bomber have helped when Germany was constantly attacked by bombers, I would say interceptor was essential at the time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jun-2009 at 14:00

Originally posted by TheRedBaron TheRedBaron wrote:

Well that link doesnt go against anything I have written...

Beside which nothing on there gives any arguements against overclaiming. All it does is give reasons for high scores, which are not in doubt, even at 50% reduction (and I personally dont think the overclaiming was that high), German scores are still massive.

So you are quite ignorant as you obviously havent read the posts to see what was being talked about.

What it does do is breakdown kills to sortie to provide what is called a 'kill ratio' generally seen by some as a better indicator of skill.

My post wasn't especially adressed to you. The altercation regarding German kills started with this statement made by Cryptic:

Quote I wonder how many of those 352 claimed kills by Hartmann and other high scoring aces are German propaganda exaggerations.

And if I were to adress your posts I would go for the one when you state that

Quote Most of Germany's oil was NOT synthetic.

Maybe this link will shed some light your ideas: http://www.fischer-tropsch.org/primary_documents/gvt_reports/BIOS/bios_1697.htm

just a few points from there:

Effect of Air Attacks.

Dr. Butefisch was unable to say when the shortage of oil was really felt because the position regarding attacks in Germany was always kept a close secret. He was, however, aware of the severe decline in production as soon as the May 1944 bombing of the synthetic oil works started. Up till then there had been no anxiety felt about oil supplies.

According to Butefisch the damage to communications did not seriously interfere with oil production except in the case of the Ruhr plants where rail dislocation hampered production at Scholven and Gelsenberg. In general, the effect of the bombing of communications had only a secondary effect on oil production. The actual bombing of the plants was far more important. Butefisch stated that he was astonished at the rapidity with which bomb damage to railway tracks was repaired. At one time a shortage of railway tank wagons became imminent but this was unexpectedly relieved by the shortening of communications due to the retreat in Russia, and from then on there was an abundant supply of tank wagons.

The damage to communications did not, in general, prove a serious factor in the repair of plants. He felt that any delays in the completion of repairs were due more to lack of materials caused by the muddled priorities of the Geilenberg programme than to difficulties in transporting materials.

The Germans designed their aircraft to use synthetic oil. They asked the producers to try and raise the octane numbers of the fuel they produced. What most people probably don't know is that when speaking of Romanian oil for Germany they think of fuel. Actually the Romanian oil is not good for fuel it is far more suited for lubricants and additives. Those were harder for Germany to produce so that's why they created Festung Ploiesti. Not to mention the fact that the capacity of the refineries out there were larger than in the whole Third Reich.

If we discuss the effect of the Me262 and relate it to the Allies Oil Campaign then we set our timeline in March 1944. Let's say that the 262 exists in sufficient numbers to destroy enough bombers to make the Allies stop their strategic bombing campaign. The 262, an interceptor, rules the skies. BUT it cannot bust tanks. And it cannot be used effectively on the Eastern Front where air combat is fought at low alltitude and lower speeds and there is actually need for attack aircraft not high performance/high speed interceptors. You cannot expect the 262s to escort the Stukas or the 129's. Then you must rely on the classic types like the FW 190 and the Me 109 which takes us back to production capacities of Germany. I mean could enough 262's and let's say 190's (I love that plane) be produced simultaneously? An even deeper analysis should also focus on training capacity for pilots since the 262 is way harder to fly than a classic plane. It also requires a lot more infrastructure and logistics.

The point is that the aparition of the Me 262 was an important event in military history but its impact on the outcome of WWII is not very significant.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Temujin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jun-2009 at 18:40
Originally posted by TheRedBaron TheRedBaron wrote:

Yes... The T-34 was so overhyped that Guderian asked for a division of them...


Guderian wasn't exactly the greatest tank commander either if you look at his failure of taking Tula which cost the Moscow campaign, so why should i care for his opinion. the T-34 wasn't the most feared Russian tank in 1941 either, it was rather the KV-2. all what made the T-34 in 1941 exceptional was his sloped armour.
 
 
Quote Sorry but Im not gonna bother arguing with someone who cant stand having his beloved 'kamaraden' questioned... You carry on loving the propaganda mate. I think you are arguing the wrong thing and again, dismissing the fact that the German Intelligence Service reguarly halved all claims... You seem to know more than them...
 
My points do not also question individual skill... That is your own assumption or my arguement and utterly incorrect.


it is perfectly fine with me if you question established facts if you do so by providing evidence and arguments, however what you did was merely a matter of belitteling and relativisation, besides claiming some sources as ultimate truth and other sources as biased without, again, providing any reason why we should believe the sources you favoured compared to others which are just as credible. for example i fail to see why i should take the German intelligence of ww2 as the ultimate source of truth while obviously, as you said yourself, they themselves were pretty much in the dark as to what was really going on at the front.
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