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War and Military History War and Military History Forum - Warfare, Tactics, and Military Technology over the centuries

View Poll Results: Best Infantry of History
Spartan Hoplites 20 8.97%
Theban Hoplites 0 0%
Macedonian/Hellenistic Phalanx 16 7.17%
Roman Legion/Auxilia/Comiatenses 73 32.74%
Libyan-Phoenecian Mercenaries 1 0.45%
Celtic/Gallic warriors 1 0.45%
Dacian Falxmen 2 0.90%
Germanic tribe warriors 2 0.90%
Viking Warriors 8 3.59%
English Men-of-Arms 4 1.79%
French Men-of-Arms 24 10.76%
Italian Men-of-Arms 1 0.45%
German Landsknecht 10 4.48%
Swiss Pikemen 22 9.87%
Spanish Terico troops 14 6.28%
Scottish Highlanders 7 3.14%
Ottoman Jannisaries 13 5.83%
Indian Rajput warriors 7 3.14%
Medieval Chinese Heavy infantry 12 5.38%
Aztec Warriors 0 0%
Mayan Warriors 0 0%
Incan warriors 0 0%
Appache Warriors 3 1.35%
Russian Streltsy 4 1.79%
Ming Dynasty Infantry 5 2.24%
Qing Dynasty Infantry 5 2.24%
British Line Infantry 21 9.42%
French Line Infantry 40 17.94%
Prussian Line infantry 16 7.17%
Russian Line Infantry 3 1.35%
Swedish Line Infantry 7 3.14%
American Line Infantry 3 1.35%
Zulu warriors 4 1.79%
Sioux Warriors 1 0.45%
US Infantry(modern) 34 15.25%
British Infantry(modern) 11 4.93%
French Infantry(modern) 11 4.93%
German Infantry(modern) 15 6.73%
Russian Infantry(modern) 7 3.14%
other 17 7.62%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 223. You may not vote on this poll

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Old December 19th, 2016, 10:03 PM   #521

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The Germans have the best armed forces since the country's unification in the 19th-Century. Only poor leadership and overwhelming opposition kept them from winning the world wars. One on one they're unbeatable, as Austria and France learned to their chagrin.
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Old December 20th, 2016, 09:59 AM   #522

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Originally Posted by Steel of Fury View Post
The Germans have the best armed forces since the country's unification in the 19th-Century. Only poor leadership and overwhelming opposition kept them from winning the world wars. One on one they're unbeatable, as Austria and France learned to their chagrin.
In 1914 the average British infantry unit was far better than the average German infantry unit, as they found out at their own cost. Remember that the abilities of a infantry unit does not necessarily mean those units always won. The British were forced to retreat after Mons, but that was due to the size of the BEF in 1914 and the fact that French had already been forced to retreat. With no support on his flanks, had Sir John French stayed at Mons, he would have been overwhelmed through superior German numbers... not superior German troop quality.
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Old December 20th, 2016, 10:44 AM   #523

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Originally Posted by TheMulattoMan View Post
It's usually more of a PR and ignorance thing. Something around 50% of the German Wehrmacht was Infantry. The Wehrmacht Infantry were the heavy lifters of the German force without them Germany wouldn't be anything great in the conflict. The pushed back the Russian Army, destroyed the French Army, shared blows with the Brits and Americans, while not being quite a motorized military and used horses to pull and push things around.
The French Army, however, wasn't destroyed in 1940. It was beaten, but when Petain surrendered, there were still French units in the field, many of which didn't WANT to surrender. And even the defeat in 1940 tends to get overrated in Germany's favor...

France didn't fall due to superior German troop or material superiority, however. It fell because Gamelin put together a plan that was strategically designed to counter the Schlieffen Plan, which the Germans weren't using in 1940. As such, his move put the French army entirely OUT of position when the Germans attacked. If you look specifically at the fighting at Gembleax Gap and at Hannut in 1940, you'll find that they were tactical French victories where their armor was able to get the head to head match-up they were intended for... However, the French couldn't stay there because the German army had already broken through very THIN lines at Sedan and were effectively behind those French forces in the north. Caught out of position, the French would have needed to have gone through the same tactical lessons that German enacted in the 30s... but they didn't, thus when Gamelin guessed wrong on where the German main thrust was... (he thought northern Belgium while Manstien chose southern Belgium), his army was incapable of fully extricating itself from the trap...

And by the time of the Dunkirk evacuation, one needs to remember that the bulk of the troops holding the perimeter were FRENCH not British. It was largely the British being evacuated from the line which forced the French to hold the perimeter to allow for the evacuation... and in that the French proved fairly successful, even if it only allowed for a continued evacuation...

And 1940 isn't even the end of French involvement in WW2. Free French units held off several attacks by the Italians and Germans at Bir Hachim. Free French units were among the first units to break the Gustav Line south of Rome and moved through terrain thought impassable by the Germans, and in Italy, that would have had to have been mostly infantry as the mountains made armored warfare difficult. In 1944 Free French commandos landed in Normandy, while Free French Armored units were attached to Bradley's Army Group and the 2nd Armored division would be the first to enter Paris. In the fall of 1944, Free French units landed in the south of France, forming the First Free French Army, who chased the Germans north along with the US 7th Army. They would secure the southern end of the Vosages Mountains and squeeze out the last German units around Colmar and by 1945 would join the rest of the Allies in crossing the Rhine.

Originally Posted by TheMulattoMan View Post
But remember when there is a huge Army force rolling in their direction they call in the heavy duty conventional forces not the special units. Wehrmacht are quite underrated if I say so.
They aren't underrated. They're OVERRATED. They got lucky in 1940 that the French plan was to do EXACTLY what Manstein wanted them to do and that the Soviets had purged all of their best officers in the 30s and was in the midst of trying to get new ones. None of that had anything to do with the ability of the average German soldier. The Germans benefited from these mistakes early on that allowed them to secure so much territory that it wouldn't be easy to dislodge them.

And against the Americans and British after 1940-1941 are really somewhat limited with regard to their success. Rommel had surprise on his side when he first arrived in Africa, but failed to take Tobruk, where Australian and Free Polish infantry units that were well entrenched held out against German armor to the point that many of Rommel's own subordinates questioned his knowledge on armored warfare. They managed to hold out until Operation Crusader was launched and relieved the defenders at Tobruk. And while Rommel would recover to win the Battle of Gazala, that still took him into a meat-grinder at El Alamein that resulted in his defeat and ground his army down to the point where he couldn't hold...

And while the first American encounter with the Germans at Kasserine Pass was an American defeat, it wasn't enough to knock America out of the war and Germany ultimately lacked the resources destroy the American forces in Africa. In this, the Americans recovered and ultimately pushed the Germans back. And through Sicily and the landings in Normandy, the Americans and British NEVER altered their tactics to try and mirror the Germans. The Germans managed a surprise again in Operation Wacht am Rhein in the winter of 1944, but it still didn't force the Allies to change their tactics and proved to be a defeat in the end once the surprise was over. And from there, the Germans didn't really stop anything...
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Old December 20th, 2016, 11:03 AM   #524
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Just one more thing about the battle of Gembloux gap, 1st Moroccan infantry division(7th RTM) was immediately engaged in the battle after a walk of......135 kilometres in only three days.
They charged successfully at the baionett Germans servants of machine-gun.
At the end of this battle one French battallion of this division had 90% casualties and one German battallion was totally annihilated.

Last edited by phil1904; December 20th, 2016 at 11:11 AM.
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Old February 8th, 2017, 04:09 AM   #525
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Roman legions.
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