WWII tread,...

Discussion in 'Girls-Basketball' started by preshlock, Mar 6, 2020.

  1. preshlock

    preshlock Member
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    like the German Army in 1945 we are in a constant state of retreat being relentlessly pursued from board to board constantly falling back on all fronts. But just like the German Army we are still full of fight.

    On this day in 1945 the Germans launched their last major offensive of the war near Lake Balaton in Hungary with the objective of retaking Budapest. Operation Spring Awakening was to be conducted by 17 divisions {8 panzer, 2 panzer grenadier, & 7 infantry} of 200,000 troops from 6. Armee, 6. SS Panzer Armee, & 2. Panzerarmee the bulk of Army Group South. One Hungarian cavalry corps also took part in the offensive. Hitler's generals had pleaded with him to mass these forces along the Oder to defend Berlin but he was undeterred.

    The attack was to envelop the Third Ukrainian Front between the Danube and the Drava Rivers before retaking Budapest. Despite the buildup of desperately needed forces elsewhere near Lake Balaton the Soviets still outnumbered the Germans 2:1 before reinforcements were brought in. The battle took place in truly miserable cold and muddy conditions greatly hampering both sides. Some progress was made, particularly by the I. SS & II. SS Panzerkorps but by March 13 all eastward momentum had stopped.

    Soviet troops had used the many rivers and muddy ground along with superior numbers and firepower managed to slow the German advance to a halt as Red Army reinforcements were concentrated on the northern flank. With the German offensive contained the Red Army began to steadily push the Germans back to the start points on March 16. During the retreat a furious Hitler ordered the 1. SS LAH and 12. Hitler Youth panzer divisions to have his name removed from their cuffs. When asked if that included the cuffs from the dead Hitler dropped the matter.

    While the Battle for Berlin would be the bloodiest battle during the last stage of the war the bloodiest campaign was the Soviet drive from Budapest to Vienna against Army Group South. Conquering Hungary would cost the Red Army close to 1,200,000 casualties from October 1944 to the end of the war in May 1945.

    In other WWII related topics the new Tom Hanks movie Greyhound, Cpt. Mumbles himself, was released. Looks absolutely terrible.
     
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  2. wiremaker

    wiremaker Well-Known Member
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    By 1945, what was the tech advantage for zee Germans over the Red Army? I’m pretty unfamiliar with what the Ruskies were packing, other than Mosin rifles.

    TIA for keeping these threads semi regular.
     
  3. JuniorFloyd

    JuniorFloyd Member
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    When the U Boat commander started talking real greasy to Tom Hanks

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. preshlock

    preshlock Member
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    short answer is pretty much everything from infrared night vision devices to assault rifles. But the Soviets had very reliable equipment
     
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  5. Lana

    Lana Well-Known Member
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    And lots of it (I think...)
     
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  6. wiremaker

    wiremaker Well-Known Member
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    Night vision? Got damm.
     
  7. Cards1968

    Cards1968 Well-Known Member
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    Aliens visited them 1st.
     
  8. preshlock

    preshlock Member
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    for the most part German night vision devices would be mounted on heavier panzers that "snipe" opposing armor in the dark. Soviets referred to them as vampires. But the devices could also be mounted on smaller objective such as rifles.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. preshlock

    preshlock Member
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    on April 16, 1945 the Soviet Red Army began to advance from the Oder River to Berlin. The last great battle for Europe had commenced as 2,500,000 Soviet troops in 196 divisions advanced against 760,000 Germans in 50 divisions in Army Groups Vistula and Army Group Center. In Berlin the Garrison numbered about 90,000. German troops fought with grim desperation, such as at Seelow Heights, greatly aided by the steep sloping hills, marshes, and many forests of eastern Brandenburg but Soviet forces had overwhelming manpower, firepower, and complete control of the skies. Rapid progress was made and Berlin was surrounded on April 24 by the First Belorussian Front and First Ukrainian Front. With Berlin encircled Stalin demanded his commanders press forward quickly to take the German capital regardless the losses. Defending Berlin was a hodgepodge of troops consisting of veteran Army units, hastily conscripted Army units, Waffen SS, naval infantry, Luftwaffe, Berlin Police, Volksstrum, Hitler Youth, and foreign volunteers. A far cry from the mighty Wehrmacht that marched into the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941. Before the Soviet offensive began Hitler decided he would not go to Bavaria but instead would die in Berlin.

    In Berlin street battles were intense and at heavy loss, particularly to armor, the Red Army steadily advanced. German troops made very effective use of the rubble, homes, and buildings to setup defensive positions as German tactics for city battles had been well honed by April 1945. Moreover while Germans troops were overall poorly equipped they had been amply provided with machine guns, other automatic weapons, Panzerfaust, and Panzerschrek which were lethal in close urban terrain. Against determined resistance the Red Army reached the S-Bahn on the evening of April 25 and the Spree River on April 28. The next day the Red Army pushed across the river into the government quarter entering into the Reichstag and hoisted the Red Banner above Berlin on May 2. With Red Army troops less than a 1,000 meters away from the bunker beneath the Chancellory Hitler singed his last will and testament on April 29. On the afternoon of April 30 Hitler committed suicide, his body was taken outside of the main bunker entrance, placed in a shallow grave, doused with gasoline, and set on fire.

    After Hitler died General Helumth Otto Weidling the last commander of the Berlin Garrison, with at the time less than 10,000 troops left, attempted to reach terms with the Soviets closing in on the Chancellory under General Vasily Chuikov, the famous defender of Stalingrad and now conquerer of Berlin. Head of the General Staff Hans Krebs, who spoke fluent Russian, and before Operation Barbarossa had been a German military attache to the Soviet Union was sent forward to seek any terms the Soviets were willing to offer. Upon reaching the headquarters of General Chuikov General Krebs attempted to reach a conciliatory mood. With May Day approaching Krebs addressed Chuikov saying a time of peace was approaching our long warring peoples. Chuikov dryly replied that a great day was approaching the Soviet people but for the German people it was “difficult to say.” Krebs returned empty handed to the Chancellory and shot himself to avoid witnessing the total defeat of Germany. On May 2 Weilding surrendered Berlin unconditionally to the Soviets. By that afternoon all fighting had to come an end in Berlin.

    The Berlin campaign would be one of the bloodiest of the war resulting in the complete destruction of Army Group Vistula and the Berlin Garrison. A sizable portion of Army Group Center had been overrun as well. Soviet losses amounted to 360,000 with practically the entire German defending force opposite the First Belorussian and First Ukrainian Fronts being destroyed. When counting the Berlin Garrison total German losses were upwards of 1,000,000. Most of the German losses were in the encirclements of Army Group Vistula outside of Berlin. About 200,000 German troops were lost in Berlin. In addition around 130,000 Berliners and civilian refugees died in the battle. Hitler’s last act cost Germany dearly.

    But as Norm McDonald says for all the evil that Hitler did at least he killed Hitler.
     
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  10. preshlock

    preshlock Member
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    May 27, 1941 the Sinking of the Bismarck

    The Bismarck conducted only one mission, Operation Rhine Exercise. Along with the heavy cruiser the Prince Eugen the Bismarck left Gotenhafen, German Baltic Sea coast, on May 19 to conduct commerce raiding in the northern Atlantic. Upon completion of the mission the ships were to sail to Brest France to join the battlecruisers Gneisenau and Scharnhorst. Before departing the Admiral Luetjens told his wife not to expect his return.

    British intelligence with help from the Swedish navy and Norwegian resistance learned of the mission and that the ships had reached Bergen in southwestern Norway on May 21. RAF aerial reconnaissance confirmed this later in the day. Late on May 21 Bismarck and Prince Eugen departed Bergen to sail for the Denmark straight, between Iceland and Greenland. The Royal Navy was laying in wait.

    While Operation Rhine Exercise had been suggested to Hitler by the head of the Navy Admiral Reader it had not been approved. Only after Bismarck and Prince Eugen left the Norwegian coast and were at sea was Hitler informed the ships were at sea sailing towards the Atlantic. Reluctantly Hitler approved the mission.

    As Bismarck and Prince Eugen approached the entrance to the Denmark Strait British cruisers began to shadow them. The mighty 15 cm guns of the Bismarck were able to keep them at bay but the quicker British ships were to stay within radar range. Reporting the ships to the British battlecruiser Hood and battleship Prince of Wales to intercept them.

    Early on the morning of May 24 the Battle of the Denmark Strait began. It would not last long. Mistakingly the two British ships targeted the Prince Eugen who was in lead. While the Bismarck ranged in on the British. After just three salvos the superior gunnery instruments of the Bismarck honed in on the Hood and the Bismarck began firing quick salvoes. The Hood was straddled with heavy gunfire when a shell from the Bismarck broke through the armored plating of the ammunition hold. A massive explosion engulfed the Hood which quickly broke in half and sank. Of the close to 1,500 sailors on board the Hood there were 3 survivors. Prince of Wales, heavily damaged, quickly broke off the engagement and retreated. Bismarck and Prince Eugen were now free to begin hunting in the Atlantic.

    Realizing the British were fully aware of Operation Rhine Exercise. Luetjens ordered the Prince Eugen to continue with the mission while Bismarck, slightly damaged but flooding, would sail for Brest. The massive Home Fleet of the Royal Navy sent every ship they could into the Atlantic while ships from as far away as the Mediterranean were pulled to search for the Bismarck. Despite the British cruisers continuing to trail the Bismarck, Luetjens was able to shake them with clever evasive maneuvering.

    Prince Eugen completed the mission and survived the war without ever having lost a crewmen to battle.

    It was the British fleet carrier force that hobbled the Bismarck using obsolete Fairy Swordfish torpedo planes. A carrier strike was launched against the Bismarck which had been found by ariel reconnaissance. Bismarck was able to dodge all but one torpedo which scored a hit causing additional flooding. But the Bismarck was able to carry on with slightly reduced speed with the British unaware of the ship's exact location. Making steady progress towards France the Bismarck was located from the air once again on May 26. Another carrier airstrike was launched once again the Bismarck with superb maneuverability was able to dodge most of the torpedoes. But one of the torpedoes struck the ship locking the rudder in place. While Bismarck was able to continue towards the French coast the ship could only sail west in long arching circles which enabled the massive battlegroup from the Home Fleet to catch the Bismarck.

    Early on May 27 the British battleground consisting of two battleships, three cruisers, and seven destroyers was in position to attack Bismarck. Understanding the hopelessness of the odds Luetjens informed the crew the mission was now to bring glory to Germany and the German navy. Shortly before 11:00 after hours of gallant battle against an impossibly larger force the Bismarck sank. Of 2,200 crewmen there were 100 survivors.
     
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