Sea Skimmer wrote:If by leadership he means Churchill, period, and for politics only, one can make a very good argument.
Yes, because speeches win wars!
As opposed to things like, you know, organizing the evacuation of a third of your industry and millions of your population in the span of weeks. On rail lines under constant bombardment.
It's like Skimmer said. Stalin's during-the-war accomplishments in terms of leadership have to be weighed against the damage he did to the country with his batshit political paranoia in the purges. And against his basically ignoring that the Germans were building up this big surprise attack.
ChaserGrey wrote:Beg to differ, at least by how I count "best equipment". The Germans arguably had the best toys, but a lot of their soldiers were still carrying Kar 98ks and moving their artillery on horses at the end of the war. The top-line equipment so often featured in video games, like the Tiger, StG 44 assault rifle, and Me-262 were made in vanishingly small quantities. I'd much rather be a "typical" American grunt than a "typical" German one.
For that matter, a lot of it wasn't much (or any) better than its counterparts
. Compare the Me-262 to something like the Gloster Meteor or the Lockheed P-80, and the Me-262 looks a lot less impressive. The difference is that Britain and the US didn't move heaven and earth to get a handful of P-80s into the war against the enemy in a hurry- if they'd made a priority of jet development, fielding them as counters to the Me-262 wouldn't have been beyond the US's capacity. The British, likewise, designed a jet for interceptions and didn't obsess about using it to dogfight enemy jets over Germany- they had enough planes for that.
Nephtys wrote: ryacko wrote:
Leaving aside the question of how "man for man" is different from "best soldiers", I'd love to know how you got "Japan" as an answer there.
Banzai charge. Only the Japanese have such disciplined warriors.
However manpower quality makes Germans better.
'Disciplined' just means they follow orders, respect their leaders and don't fight amongst themselves.
'Effective' is something entirely different. Which is probably a much better sign of general 'quality'. Japanese Soldiers not particularly 'effective', through their equipment, training, doctrine, and leadership.
That reminds me of something I read once.
"By God, these troops are disciplined! They couldn't fight their way out of a broom closet, but they've sure got discipline..."
ryacko wrote:Banzai charges are not an example of tactical ability, but of discipline and willingness to obey orders. The Pacific War lasted for decades if you would count hold outs. I suppose you wouldn't give a medal of honor to the soldier who used himself as a shield to prevent his squad from being blown up by a bomb.
So? There's a real question here. Are you just arbitrarily defining "superiority" so that you can award it to the Japanese here? Or when you say "best" do you mean "most effective?"
The quality of soldiers in an army cannot be separated from whether their behavior makes sense and causes harm to the enemy. If my
army sits in its position and shoots the crap out of you and makes you pay very heavily to take its position, while your
army decides to do one big glorious suicide charge into the teeth of my machine guns and all get killed on the first day of the battle... who had the best army?
Your army is dead, my army is alive. If we were both defending identical positions against an identical enemy, I'd hold out longer
, because I wouldn't be launching a banzai charge and getting all my troops killed.
Also, what about other ways in which one soldier can be better than another? Japanese soldiers were often physically smaller and weaker. Did being bigger and stronger, so they could carry more heavy equipment make British soldiers better in some way? Soviet soldiers were often inexperienced with heavy machinery, which made it harder for them to operate cars and trucks. Did having a higher literacy rate and more technical experience make American soldiers better than Soviet troops in some way?
Is a soldier who's motivated to fight for their home "superior" to a soldier who's not motivated because he doesn't give a crap and will desert at the first opportunity? Because that could refer to the same country's army
, at different times and places. Soldiers who would fight very bravely in one situation might look completely stupid and useless and cowardly in another.
There were numerous battles in which defeat seemed inevitable (the US army in the Phillipines for example) to the defending army, but the defenders held out until reasonably possible (before their men could mutiny). I suppose you would defect at the soonest opportunity to "burden the enemy."
This is childish and absurd. The point is that if you really
judge "best soldier" by "hurts the enemy most," you have to think about this. You can ignore it if you think "best soldier" means "does what I admire based on my cartoon idea of what war is about," but you can't expect other people to care much about that. And if you think about doing harm to the enemy, then hell yes
there comes a point at which a bayonet charge is a less effective way to weaken the enemy than a surrender would be. A few bursts of machine gun fire are pretty cheap after all.
Where that point comes? It depends on how the battle is going.
Where would you draw the line between soldiers and officers? Which rank? Because I can see a great many boundaries that would cause hilarious snafus. Same between leadership and officers, for that matter. I also have to wonder whether German officers would be able to overstretch supply lines built on American industry if you go too far up the chain, and I can't help but think they might.
It starts at the point when the individual is required to see a bigger picture. You're missing my point.
What bigger picture? Does an army captain commanding 100 troops need to "see a bigger picture?" What about the Japanese officers who ordered those stupid banzai charges and frontal assaults? Are they "seeing a bigger picture?" Or are they "losing a battle?" What's the lowest rank you consider an "officer?" Because lieutenants, for example, aren't really required to do much more than keep their head down and lead their platoon heroically.