What if Gott hadn’t been killed....

Discussion around the Second World War.
Posts: 282
Joined: 16 Mar 2012, 07:13
Location: Bonnie Scotland

Re: What if Gott hadn’t been killed....

Post by dadlamassu »

cartfc wrote: 10 Jun 2018, 17:58 Well the Russians used the same system for logistics, train and then horse or truck and no one seems to belittle their logistic efforts. As for the Germany economy I would have to disagree. Was watching an episode of the World at War the other day and a number of German industrialists were talking about the slow down in the economy and the cut backs in production and that was 1940 after the campaign in France. But you are right the Germans were slow in mobilising their full economy for war unlike the democracies.
That is true the Russians did use similar forms of transport but the logistic system was different. The logistic tail of a Russian formation was small by Western standards. In their advance Westwards the Russians did not need to change the gauge of the railway or modify their locomotives and rolling stock. The Russian advance westwards was carried out in several bounds over three years

I saw that episode too, the reference was to the scaling back of war production after the fall of France despite the preparations for the invasion of Russia. The Germans had access at virtually no cost raw materials and agriculture from Austria, Poland, Norway, the Low Countries, Czechoslovakia, France and other captured territories as well as the plundered fortunes of the Jews and other persecuted groups. Sweden and Switzerland were still trading. Romania was providing oil at no cost from October 1940 and even Russia until Barbarossa was providing grain and oil in vast quantities. German income tax in 1940 was about 13% while in Britain it was 23%.
Posts: 258
Joined: 25 Mar 2012, 03:05

Re: What if Gott hadn’t been killed....

Post by cartfc »

I presume they would have had to change back the ones the Germans changed to European gauge?! With the conquered territories comes a lot more mouths to feed. All the countries the Germans conquered in 1940 were feeding themselves and able to import goods and raw materials from other countries and/or there colonies, all of which was cut off. The Germans had nothing to trade with as their foreign reserves were exhausted and even if they had limited choices of trading partners. My understanding was the reason the Romanians were giving oil for free was because the Germans couldn’t pay anyway and Romania didn’t want to go the way of Norway. The net benefit of the 1940 conquests was minimal once the windfalls from the takeovers had gone. Remember conquered countries need administration, defences and troops to guard them. That needs money.
I find it a supreme irony though that Hitler with a dictatorship felt the need to bribe the German people into supporting the war, whereas the democracies got that support, and the subsequent hardships it entailed, if not enthusiastically at least with a willing acceptance.
Posts: 20
Joined: 10 Feb 2018, 09:33
Location: Nottingham

Re: What if Gott hadn’t been killed....

Post by Panzer21 »

I think my reply has been interpreted as some sort of paean for the glorious Nazi war machine over the bumbling British...
Far from it.......I'm well aware of who won WW2.

The original question was whether Gott would have made a better commander of 8th Army than Monty, in the Western Desert.
Unfortunately, this means asking whether either could have successfully used British armour as well as the Germans; whether they could resist Churchill's imperious simplistic urgings (political) and ultimately whether they could solve the logistical nightmare of sustaining an offensive all the way to Tripoli.

Monty solved the middle one and almost the latter albeit slowly and with some halts (with the aid of an invasion at the other end of North Africa), but he doesn't have had much success at the first. Of course if you believe him, that wasn't his fault.

I'm not convinced the British did get it right until towards the end of the war. A lot of that was down to pre-war doctrine and the British regimental system, both of which worked against the concepts of co-ordination, especially at a divisional or corps level.

The DAK were far from perfect, as was Rommel and they had their share of Snafus but just reading about Sidi Rezegh in Crusader and the Cauldron in Gazala suggests to me at least they had a better grasp of the tenets of armoured warfare in the desert than the British.
From what I've read about Monty, I doubt he would have displayed the skills of mobile warfare over those of positional warfare that he (sort of) excelled at.

As it's all hypothetical opinion, none of this really matters! :-)
Post Reply