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Old November 23rd, 2012, 03:58 AM   #51

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Originally Posted by rvsakhadeo View Post
I appreciate your remarks on the Pearl Harbour attacks. However, your quotation by Robert Heinlein is very apt. Who is this fellow ? Relation of Conrad Heinlein ?
Heinlein was an American Science Fiction writer. His most famous work was Starship Troopers.
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 04:01 AM   #52

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Thanks ! Please do have a look at my comments on the German attack on the Soviet Union as the biggest mistake !
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 04:05 AM   #53

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Thanks ! Please do have a look at my comments on the German attack on the Soviet Union as the biggest mistake !
I have and I agree for the most part. But we already have many qualified ppl speaking on that score, and my area of specialization is the Pacific war.
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 04:17 AM   #54

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That's a bit overstated. While certainly damaging, the Pearl Harbor attack wasn't as decisive as might have been, nor as the Japanese had hoped. The 1st Air Fleet sank or damaged obsolescent battleships and lesser vessels. They did NOT damage any USN carriers or infrastructure facilities. Right or wrong, Nagumo opted not to launch the planned third strike that would have taken out the tank farms, submarine pens, and drydocks.
Decisive in what way? That id did not forced USA to surrender immediately? That was not its goal.

It's goal was to paralyse US navy and give Japanese free hand in Pacific and South Asia. And that goal was accomplished. It took USA 6 months to interfere with Japanese activities.

Regardless of age of the ships sunk or damaged in Pearl Harbour those ships would not have been sitting in harbour have they been available to Americans. 3 carriers that were missing during attack did nothing decisive for half a year other than attacking meteorological stations, ferrying aircraft around and making propaganda attack on Tokyo out of sheer desperation. And only 2 were actually stationed in PH, third one was out of reach of attack altogether.

So PH attack accomplished what it was supposed to accomplish very successfully and with minimal looses on Japanese side. Could it have accomplished more? Possibly. But it could also accomplish much less or fail altogether. It was very daring and risky action. How that can count as greatest mistake of the war I do not understand.
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 05:57 AM   #55

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The term "Jap" is demeaning to Japanese ppl. Please refrain from using it here on historum.
Sorry but that is just ridiculous! Its like saying using the words Brits, Yanks or Ozzies is demeaning.
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 05:58 AM   #56
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Arguably, WW2 itself as a whole was an immense objective mistake from any of the people who in any objective way might have contributed to the beginning of either the European or the Asian-Pacific War.

(Hence my previous answer to this thread; IMHO this German gentleman contributed more than any other human to that effect)

Aside from that obviousness, my guess is that the term "mistake" is inherently relative: i.e. for whom?
Not to mention that it is implied from any contributor the knowledge on the right answer (as opposite to "mistake") for any issue in turn.

IMHO the main potential usefulness of any thread like this one is to explain why was any purported mistake actually mistaken relative to to any proposed historical alternative, as in fact some Historumites have already done here.


Just to pick out an example among myriad (even if we restrict ourselves just to the contributions of this thread) let say Pearl Harbor:

If it was any mistake, which would have been the "right" option for Japan in December 1941?

Let say any alternative wiser military strategy against the US, UK & co.?
Any actual proposals?

Or totally au contraire, to unconditionally surrender China & Indochina and to ally itself with the Allies against the Axis?
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 07:59 AM   #57

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Mussolini trying to follow Hitlers path instead of Franco's was a bad one.
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 08:38 AM   #58

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Purge of officers was a good decision. It removed high ranking commanders who had no real military skill but a lot of political (Bolshevik) allegiance, like Yakir and Tukhachevsky, and replaced them with generals with actual talent, like Vasilevsky and Zhukov.

The amount of officers purged from the Red Army was 2.5-7% of total officers, not a huge amount... Only a few hundred total military commanders were killed- the rest just expelled from the party and from their job. Many of them were expelled not for political reasons, but for drunkenness, laziness, and so on. The purged officers, mainly from Civil War, were replaced by more educated ones and trained in tank formations, instead of cavalry tactics. Officers with higher education went from 25% before the purge to 40% after it, to over 50% by the 1941 attack.
Interesting. I'll take note of this in further Stalin discussions.
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 12:45 PM   #59

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Sorry but that is just ridiculous! Its like saying using the words Brits, Yanks or Ozzies is demeaning.
Sorry, but when you have your own message board website, you can decide what sort of language is unacceptable on it.
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 01:49 PM   #60

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Purge of officers was a good decision. It removed high ranking commanders who had no real military skill but a lot of political (Bolshevik) allegiance, like Yakir and Tukhachevsky, and replaced them with generals with actual talent, like Vasilevsky and Zhukov.

The amount of officers purged from the Red Army was 2.5-7% of total officers, not a huge amount... Only a few hundred total military commanders were killed- the rest just expelled from the party and from their job. Many of them were expelled not for political reasons, but for drunkenness, laziness, and so on. The purged officers, mainly from Civil War, were replaced by more educated ones and trained in tank formations, instead of cavalry tactics. Officers with higher education went from 25% before the purge to 40% after it, to over 50% by the 1941 attack.

From from what I have read it did have an effect and was one (and only one) of the reasons for the German invasion as they wished to take advantage of the window of oppertunity offered before the Red army recovered.

Officers like Vasilevsky and Zhukov did not come to the fore by design but rather luck--- So 2.5 - 7% of the officer corps but what percentage of higher commanders? Merriman quotes 30--40, 000 officers including all 8 admirals and 75 out of 80 members of the Supreme Military Council.

Just because someone is removed for 'drunkenness' or being 'lazy' doesn't mean it wasn't political it could ,perhaps, mean someone was being subtle.

A college education doesn't men the officer is better than a Civil war veteran.
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