One problem that many of us who want to make arguments about guns have with those on the other side of the argument is that they don’t know what they are talking about. It is very difficult to make arguments if the other side doesn’t have a clue. By and large, that includes the media, who have an obligation to at least get the facts straight. All too frequently, they do not. Here, from the Week Magazine, is a case in point.
There have been and will be, scores of articles on why the Germans lost the Eastern front. They will talk about the lack of tanks, not enough Panthers or Tigers, or the crappy roads and rails. I think, though that a key number that just about everybody will overlook is the one I found here:
That racist bastard General of The Confederacy, Nathan Bedford Forrest once said that winning means getting there the fastest with the mostest. In order to do that, an army on campaign needs to be concerned about the condition of its supply. That is, military professionals talk about logistics. The recent war in Ukraine is a perfect example. It looks as if the Russian Army has lost and that the main reason they have lost is logistics and a lack of these:
On February 3, 2022, a Russian colonel had this to say about the forthcoming invasion of Ukraine. He only made one mistake. He said that the armed forces of Ukraine were inferior. They were obviously not.
Here is the translated text in full. The link is at the bottom.
For the record, most tanks in WW2 were not Diesel powered, because in WW2 Diesel engine technology was not up to producing compact powerful engines that would fit in tanks. See below for videos of German tanks that killed their crews.
In any case the same things keep getting repeated, over and over again, and like the diesel-gasoline engine issue the people that parrot the same crap over and over can’t be bothered to get it right.
Perhaps the most notorious book about the incompetence of the US Army is Death Traps by Belton Cooper.
The static fronts of World war 1 created a unique logistics situation. this was especially true due to the great numbers of troops and artillery involved and the sheer amount of material that needed to be provided. In 1914-1918 the truck was still in it’s infancy and the traditional use of horse or mule transport simply could not keep up with the demands of modern industrial war. Standard gauge rail could get material almost to the front, but the size of standard gauge equipment and track meant that trying to get damaged track back into operation over war torn ground just was not feasible. A different solution was needed. Enter the light rail. Here’s a video of the American AEF light rail operations. The operations of all the combatants on the western front were similar.
Having looked at the winning side, I thought that I would look at the losing side and show why, in the end the Germans strategy comes down to “how to do it the wrong way.”
Germany’s design strategy was rather different from the evolutionary development strategy pursued by it’s enemies. The Wermacht started the war with tanks that, while small were adequate for the jobs they called upon to do.
The M6 is one of those military options that the US Army pursued and then dropped. Through 1940 and the beginning of the war the US Army initiated these various armored vehicle and self propelled gun project as stopgaps and in response to evolving doctrine. As the war progressed and these various vehicles proved to be redundant, the programs were reduced to a barely sustained level and then canceled altogether. So if the question is ever asked why the US didn’t design a heavy tank, the answer is that they did. Then the Armored forces decided that the gains were not worth the resources.
I first heard of this project reading about it in Ian Hogg’s book Artillery back in the 1970’s. That book didn’t have too many details and I’ve never really thought about it much since. This post has most of the details and what the V3 was about.
Apparently there is a documentary coming out about the guns and their installation. The fact is that this thing would never have succeeded because it’s was too obvious and too big a target. And it would have solved any of Germany’s strategic problems even if had been deployed and used. The ammunition for the gun was about the same size as the Qassam rockets that Hamas uses to hit Sredot and as about as accurate. And Germany had no way of determining the effect of the weapon and would be firing blind. In the end this was a waste of resources that Germany desperately needed elsewhere