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The Red Lion Tavern
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Empire: Total War Heaven » Forums » The Red Lion Tavern » Military Awesomeness and Speciality
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Topic Subject:Military Awesomeness and Speciality
Awesome Eagle
Spear of Mars
(id: awesomated88)
posted 04-26-14 07:54 PM EDT (US)         
So we all know that Australia had some of the best infantry in the World Wars, but what about other catagories nations excelled in comparatively? Here they are and lets see what results.

(DISCLAIMER) All nations excelled in something or rather, with many men being brave even if they did not get recognized in world opinion. This is not a "All Australian soldiers were awesome" thread, and there were many mitigating factorys, but just a general impression as to those who did what they could under the circumstances.

World War One:

Airforce
Infantry
Tanks
Artillery
Supply
Transport
Generalship

World War Two:

Strategic bombing
Close Air support
Infantry
Tanks
Artillery
Supply
Transport
Generalship
Captainship
Carrier Warfare
Battleship Warfare

Modern:
Airforce
Infantry
Tanks
Aritllery/ bombardment
Supply
Navys
Force projection

EDIT: Feel free to argue, but normal debating rules apply
Also, If you want to add categories let me know.

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it- George Santayana
History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are- David C. McCullough
Wars not make one great- Yoda

[This message has been edited by Awesome Eagle (edited 04-26-2014 @ 08:04 PM).]

AuthorReplies:
Awesome Eagle
Spear of Mars
(id: awesomated88)
posted 04-26-14 08:02 PM EDT (US)     1 / 11       
I will get it started:

World War One:

Airforce: Quantity: Britain, Quality: Germany
Infantry: Australia of course (Although the Scotts, Canadians and Germans are tied in my book)
Tanks: Britain
Artillery: Beginning of the War: Germany, End of the War: Britain
Supply: Britain
Transport: The Germans had the best Rail, but British had the best motor.
Generalship: Australia (MONASH!)

World War Two:

Strategic bombing: USAF
Close Air support: Beginning of the War: Germany, End: Russians & US are tied
Infantry: Australians, Germans, Russians
Tanks: German
Artillery: German
Supply: US
Transport: US
Generalship: Russians & Germans & US
Captainship: Britain
Carrier Warfare: US
Battleship Warfare:

Modern:
Airforce: US
Infantry: Australian, British
Tanks: Probably US
Aritllery/ bombardment
Supply
Navys: US in lead but somewhat losing it
Force projection: US

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it- George Santayana
History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are- David C. McCullough
Wars not make one great- Yoda
Scenter102
Mariner
posted 04-26-14 08:55 PM EDT (US)     2 / 11       
Anti-tank catagories should be in WWII and Modern day.

World War One:

Airforce Brits
Infantry Gurkhas
Tanks Brits
Artillery No opinion
Supply US-UK
Transport US-UK
Generalship Germans

World War Two:

Strategic bombing Germans and Americans are tied
Close Air support Germans and Russia
Infantry Japanese and SS
Tanks USSR
Artillery No opinion
Supply U.S.
Transport I feel like the japanese earn a mention, but has to be U.S.
Generalship Germans But I dislike a general with a passion on all sides(Montgomery and MacArthur)
Captainship
Carrier Warfare Japanese
Battleship Warfare Germans

Modern:
Airforce U.S.
Infantry North Korea, indoctrinated soldiers
Tanks Germans or UK
Aritllery/ bombardment Germans
Supply US
Navys US
Force projection US
Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 04-27-14 05:02 AM EDT (US)     3 / 11       
World War One:

Airforce Germany. During most of the war they led the field in innovation in both tactics and design, not to mention skill. The best US ace was Eddie Rickenbacker with 24; the red Baron had 104 and many other Germans well over the 50.
Infantry. The US Marines and 3rd Infantry (Army) fought some tough battles, but my praise goes mostly to the Anzacs and the Canadians for tactics and assault, followed by the German Sturmtroppen once tanks made their entry.
Tanks. UK. They invented them, and used them best, though the US had some interesting events with their Whippets.
Artillery. German artillery has always been very good. I know little about the others.
Supply. Germans. Untouched by war's sledge, the US could provide anybody with anything available. But the Germans had a wonderful and much more useful infrastructure and (until the very end when supplies ran out everywhere) kept their armies supplied on someone else's soil. It has to do with the rail lines- All French lines went through Paris- so from metz to Strasbourg over Paris, while the Germans had a network lattice which allowed rapid transfer of anything anywhere. Genius!
Transport. US Same reason as above.
Generalship. Gotta be the Germans, followed closely by the French. Yes, the French. The German generals made great headway in the West before things settled down into trench warfare which killed just about every general's career until tanks came along. Yet the Germans knocked Russia out of the war (admittedly with Russian help- Kerensky's offensive was poorly timed) and helped the Austrians against Italia. The British did well against the Turks in Egypt and Palestine- first use of Blitzkrieg, and the indirect approach- but the Entente commander-in-chief (I speak of the Frenchman Foch here) welded vastly different armies together and deployed these forces to blunt the German attacks, create offensives of his own, and attritt the foe white. His commands bled the Entente less white than it did the Germans, and helped hold the front together. Maybe not operational skill, but generalship encompases much more than simply skill on the battlefield. But then again, if we are to choose a single man as best general, the Canadian commander would probably lead the vote.

World War Two:

Strategic bombing- USAAF. Daylight bombing hit 45% of its targets, while the RAF hit 50% of its night-time targets. Note! The USAAF target was a single factory building or complex, and 45% of the bombs landed on it. The RAF targt was the entire city, and 50% of its bombs fell within the city limits. Nobody else really got into strategic bombing.
Close Air support- early war- Luftwaffe. Late war: USAAF. By 1944 the USAAF had the numbers (quality is nice, but numbers annihilate) AND the quality of vehicles. The British Spitfire was on par with the Mustang, but in CAS missions, the P-47 Thunderbolt (Jug) was the mainstay of the European theatre CAS while the F&F Hellcat, F4U Corsair, and (I forget the name of the dive bomber) pounded the Japs into protoplasmic jelly in preparation for assault landings. The Russians had something going, but if it wasn't enough to make it into the history books, it is not enough to be considered here.
Infantry- early war: Japan. Mid-war: Australia. Late war: Germany. Nobody could stand against the Japanese in the early days without taking horrific losses. As the Chinese started pushing back, and the US got into the brawl over there, Japan ceased expanding and went over to the defensive. In the mid-war- 1942-1944 Australian infantry was the best, especially in North Africa. In the late war, the Germans were performing miracles with small bands of infantry and tanks against hordes of Americans, Russians, and Brits, earning high praise from me.
Tanks: USSR. The American tanks were shit until the up-gunned Sherman. Same with the British. The Germans had wonderful designs- The Panther was considered the best tank in the world until the mid-1950's- but they also had useless things like the Maus and the Elephant. The Russians came up with one of the best tanks fo the war early on- the T-34, improved it by upgunning it from the 85mm to the 100mm cannon, and produced the JS II and JS III as well- all good tanks. It was on these treads that the Wehrmacht was dashed and later overrun.
Artillery. The Soviets had quantity, but I give quality to the Germans. They could reach England from the Netherlands (V1s and V2s count as rocket artillery).
Supply- US. No contest.
Transport- US. NO contest. Everyone else still had horses in their Tables of Organization and Equipment.
Generalship- Germans, closely followed by the Soviets. Patton was great, and Eisenhower worked miracles keeping Montgomery and Patton from killing each other, but the Germans had the best overall performance of generalship during the war, from start to finish. Often massively outnumbered, they held back the Red Tide longer than expected, with fewer men and vehicles. Von Manstein and Rommel in particular were genii. On the Soviet side, Zhukov and Koniev planed and excuted Stalingrad, where an entire German Army was pocketed, and blunted the Panzers at Kursk in an epic struggle. I detract points from the Soviets because their spy networks gave them very advanced warning, but still, they showed great skill.
Captainship- I assume this means company-level tactics on the battlefield? Germans, followed by the US. Battlefield Initiative scores strong in both those armies.
Carrier Warfare- Japan started out the best, but the US soon got the hang of it and took the Japanese carrier fleet out at Midway, then began rolling the Japs back.
Battleship Warfare. There really was not a lot of this in WWII. The Italian fleet fought an engagement, as did the French, before both fleets got wiped out or scuttled. The German battleships were used as merchant raiders, and were hunted down and sunk by bombers. In the Pacific, battleships were used for shore bombabrdment. The one time the Japanese thought to use their battleships as shipkillers- in the Philippines- they were sunk quite quickly by the American warplanes. American battleships fared better once raised from bottom of Pearl Harbor- they annihilated a Japanese fleet in the Philippines. Thus I give this to the US.

Modern:
Airforce- The US. Does this really need explanation? Who else can fly a heavy bomber into a foreign land on another continent, drop a bomb through a chimney, and return home UNSEEN?
Infantry- If we are talking run-of-the-mill generic infantry, my opinion is tied between the US Army and the Israeli Defense Force, with the British Army as a close third. Russia was highly evaluated until Afghanistan in the 1980s, the disintegration of the USSR in the 1990s and the foolishness in Georgia in 2008. For Special forces, I grant the UK the edge over the US and Russia- while the Green Berets (and SEALs) and Spetsnaz are very very good, so is the SAS and it has a hell of a good rep.
Tanks. The Russians have been putting out shit since WWII, with the T-80 showing any sort of capability. Therefore I go with the Americans (M1A2), the Germans (Leopard II) and the British Challenger. All three are pretty similar with regards to firepower (120mm cannon), armor, and speed.
Artillery/bombardment: here Russia shined for a long while, though the Americans have overtaken them.
Supply- US. No contest.
Navies- US. Again, no contest.
Force projection- US. Again, no contest.

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Edorix
High King of Britain
posted 04-27-14 08:48 AM EDT (US)     4 / 11       
Cease this foolishness. Britain comes first in every category ever.

Honestly, it's like you people have been living under a rock...

...

• EDORIX •
~ ancient briton ~

/\
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(dis ma house)
Scenter102
Mariner
posted 04-27-14 09:22 AM EDT (US)     5 / 11       
You've obviously been living under a thicker one.
Pitt
Commodore
posted 04-27-14 11:48 AM EDT (US)     6 / 11       
Insofar as it's possible to rank these things, I think the British are being undervalued for artillery. Time and time again you read how rapidly targeted artillery brought German attacks to a standstill. In Normandy, large German armoured counterattacks ran into a wall of fire and ground to a halt.

I've misplaced my copy so can't give a page reference, but in FW von Mellenthin's memoirs of the Second World War, Panzer Battles*, he refers to the British as masters of the modern infantry battle (though is critical of their capacity for manoeuvre warfare).

* A book well worth reading, if you can find a copy. The author was a General Staff officer who served in France, North Africa and Russia.

"Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty, hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to talk French." - P.G. Wodehouse, The Luck of the Bodkins

[This message has been edited by Pitt (edited 04-27-2014 @ 11:50 AM).]

Edorix
High King of Britain
posted 04-27-14 03:59 PM EDT (US)     7 / 11       
You've obviously been living under a thicker one.
How many suspension points are required before an American spots irony?

...

• EDORIX •
~ ancient briton ~

/\
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(dis ma house)
DarthDovah101
Mariner
posted 04-27-14 05:36 PM EDT (US)     8 / 11       
Can a special award be given to this man? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Churchill
Scenter102
Mariner
posted 04-27-14 08:57 PM EDT (US)     9 / 11       
How many suspension points are required before an American spots irony?
32 :P
Jekyll
Mariner
(id: Vault Dweller)
posted 05-30-14 06:43 AM EDT (US)     10 / 11       
proud Australian myself but surely we are being given a pretty favourable review here, I don't think being sent to sh*tholes should make you qualify as the best quality infantry. Also correct me if im wrong but I was under the impression early war japan had some of the better machines and pilots in terms of aviation but no way of effectively replacing them, hence the introduction of kamikaze tactics as all the experienced pilots were lost?
Excelsior
Mariner
posted 07-08-14 02:06 PM EDT (US)     11 / 11       
I think Russia deserves mention in the modern theatre, due to the tiny economy they have and the pretty decent warplanes they are supposedly about to roll out. (Although this could be just more propaganda).

Also, a good category to add would be Spy networks to all these countries. Spies were essential to the war effort, and even today with all the tech stealing going around.
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