Top 11 Misconceptions of World War 2
The Top 11 Misconceptions about World War 2 - Eurocentric Edition covers "Blitzkrieg", Mechanization, Battle of Britain, Sealion, US, Me 262, Strategic Bombing, Aces, Barbarossa, Axis and Military Intelligence.
Military History Visualized provides a series of short narrative and visual presentations like documentaries based on academic literature or sometimes primary sources. Videos are intended as introduction to military history, but also contain a lot of details for history buffs. Since the aim is to keep the episodes short and comprehensive some details are often cut.
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Playlist with more in-depth videos: • Complement to Top...
Frieser, Karl-Heinz: The war in the West, 1939-1940: an unplanned Blitzkrieg. In: Cambridge History of the Second World War, Volume I: p. 287-314
Ferris, John; Mawdsley, Evan: The war in the West, 1939-1940. The Battle of Britain? In: Cambridge History of the Second World War, Volume I
Ferris, John: Intelligence In: Cambridge History of the Second World War, Volume I: p. 637-663
Gerwarth, Robert: The Axis. Germany, Japan and Italy on the road to war, In: Cambridge History of the Second World War, Volume II: p. 21-42
Germany and the Second World War. Volume IV - The Attack on the Soviet Union
Germany and the Second World War. Volume VI - The Global War
Rahn, Werner: Der Seekrieg im Atlantik und Nordmeer, Kapitel I: Der Atlantik in der deutschen und alliierten Strategie, in: Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg - Band 6 - Der Globale Krieg. S. 275-298
Horst Boog, Jürgen Förster, Joachim Hoffmann, Ernst Klink, Rolf-Dieter Müller, Gerd R. Ueberschär: Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg. Band 4. Der Angriff auf die Sowjetunion
Germany and the Second World War. Volume VII - The Strategic Air War in Europe and the War in the West and East Asia, 1943-1944
Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg - Band 7: Das Deutsche Reich in der Defensive. Strategischer Luftkrieg in Europa, Krieg im Westen und in Ostasien 1943-1944/1945
Boog, Horst: Die strategische Bomberoffensive der Alliierten gegen Deutschland und die Reichsluftverteidigung in der Schlußphase des Krieges; in: Müller, Rolf-Dieter (Hrsg.): Der Zusammenbruch des Deutschen Reiches 1945 - X/1- die Militärische Niederwerfung der Wehrmacht. S. 801
Schabel, Ralf: Die Illusion der Wunderwaffen. Die Rolle der Düsenflugzeuge und Flugabwehrraketen in der Rüstungspolitik des Dritten Reiches
Overy, Richard: Battle of Britain: Myth & Reality
Penrose, Jane: The D-Day Companion.
Lavery, Brian: We shall fight on the Beaches. Defying Napoleon & Hitler: 1805 and 1940
Günther Rall Interview:
• Bf109 Ace Günther...
„Lend Lease Act“
Roosevelt’s Fireside Chat / Rattle Snake Speech
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I have a rare book to send you... where would i send it to get it to you?
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I'm still not convinced about barbarossa, i can quote german officials about the incompatibility of the wehrmacht facing winter warfare, and that the winter caused barbarossa to fail.
Military History Visualized BUT ITS EdUcaTioNaL
Capitalism. Destroying good things since day one.
Very interesting video. I was reading "D-Day Through German Eyes" awhile back. There was a comment from a German Officer that had been captured that I found very telling. He was being held at the beach and was watching trucks, jeeps, and other motorized vehicles powering off the landing ships. He kept wondering where are the horses? When he realized there were none, he realized the war was over. It does not get enough attention that horses were still used a lot in the German as well as most of the European armies of the period.
Yes, for Germany it was the Pferd World War.
I have also read that book and remember that comment. I also remember the one by the fellow who was very impressed that we made little effort to fix damaged vehicles, we just rolled another one out of the motor pool. And another guy who was surprised we were able to ship in all of our food and water, so we didn't have to live off local produce at all.
@Odysseus Rex Actually we had good repair capabilities for vehicles, especially armor, keeping vehicles in service, units available. The ones damaged beyond repair or in locations too costly to be retrieved from could be left because of the never ending supply of new.
@Lynn Wood That's certainly true. I was just retelling what the German soldiers observed.
The value of rotating fighter pilots back to teaching positions cannot be underestimated.
0:10 Blitzkrieg 0:49 Mecanized German Army 2:05 Battle of Britain 2:45 Operation Sealion 4:01 The US was neutral towards the war in europe 5:01 The Me 262 was too late 5:58 Strategic Bombing was useless 7:05 German Aces were better 8:14 Barbarossa failed due it being delayed 9:50 The axis was an alliance 10:16 Military intelligence won the war
The British and Americans defeated the Nazis. Soviet Russia won the war.
@Nicholas Jones how do you figure that?
@Adam Rutland i’m guessing he saying that the idea that the British and Americans defeated the Nazis by themselves is more of a fallacy. The Soviet union certainly did the most to defeat the Nazis. Even if the CCCP was almost as evil as the Nazis. The Soviets took on most of the German army, and suffered the most casualties.
Complete rewrite of WWII. The tiger tanks and ME 262 came too late to effect the outcome of the war. As for the strategic bombing, it made it very hard the Nazi to rearm as easily the Allies. The invasion of Russia failed because the Germans had to bail out the Italian in The Balkens in April and May of 1941 which caused the time table to be pushed back to Late June instead late May or early June of 1941. This delay cause the Germans to not have winter clothing available and be caught by the Russian Winter.
The Americans were neutral and more of a hinderance until late 1942
As an English speaking historian, thank you very much for producing these videos! It's great information and I appreciate you working outside your native language to bring it to us!
For those who may have misunderstood the title, "Eurocentric" means the "European Theater of Operation". The Pacific War was a completely different story and is very well covered in Military History Visualized (MHV). MHV's and TIK presentations are up-to-date and outstandingly documented and/or referenced. Besides, Mr. Kast (Bernhard) is Austrian (German-speaking native), he can decipher and understand a lot of the original German sources of information. He also works in academia where he has access to a lot of original documentation. Thank you Mr. Kast for such interesting and informative video productions. I spent my life in the military (28 years), attended the War College (Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, USA) and had to study "lessons learned from WW II" extensively but I have seldom enjoyed lectures that possessed the quality, the illustrations and that stirred up such interest as your video presentations. I wish you could teach military history in NATO higher education facilities (Military schools, colleges, war colleges...). Again, thank you, Ciao, L Kapitän zur See USN (Ret), Maine, USA.
@lancelot1953: the word "means", which you employ, would probably be better qualified by a term such as 'in this context', since Eurocentric is merely a focus on European politics, culture, history and heritage: it doesn't mean a theatre of operations.
First, thanks for your service, second, thanks for your insight into Mr. Kast's identity. I really love his videos and his accent. Thanks to both of you.
@Keith Cooper Hi Keith, you are welcome. It is nice to read some "civil" and courteous comments on YT. Peace be with you, Ciao, L
@Elr James The context is the war to begin with, ergo by definition it's primarily referring to operations.
I would like to point out something you seem to have overlooked about Operation Barbarossa : When Germany invaded, they were treated as heroes by the poor populations on the border/frontier. There was a particular political unrest when Stalin began taking territory from other countries. There is a wide belief that Germany could have exploited this and taken Russia. They, instead, began rounding up anybody and everybody and sending them to die in camps or outright killing them on the spot. This fueled resentment amid the populace and gave rise to the partisan movement.
Not everyone but enough to turn the locals against them, or at least no longer supportive.
This just makes me wonder what would have happened if Hitler were less racist
@Omar Gerardo López he wouldn't be hitler then
@Benismann not as we know him, but would be still called Adolf Hitler, maybe he would be remebered just like any other leader of ww2
Germany in 1940: Okay, so we need to prepare for a decades-long war for France Germany in 1941: Russia will collapse in a matter of weeks, right?
Ben Hamilton Seems that overestimating your enemy makes you fare better.
+AI of course, you try harder/don't get too proud
Ben Hamilton kek
How much did the rapid collapse of the French military lead to the German belief that Russia would also collapse?
Great analysis. I am 82. I grew up seeing mostly US films which gave a very distorted view of everything. My dad served as a combat engineering officer with the 3rd army in Europe. He also had a view that was very limited to his own experiences, but I trusted his view as an expert.
As usually, you were clear and concise, showing the sources you accessed for your presentation, and getting to the point with a brief explanation. As usually, you did a great job.
Minor correction regarding the Me 262: you know full well that when people say it was 'too late', they're not talking about the plane's combat readiness, they mean that by the time it was made operational, Germany had already lost the war (granted, you could say that Germany lost the war the moment they opened a second front by attacking the USSR - they just couldn't fight a total war on two fronts) - it was just a matter of how long it would take them to lose and how much territory would be taken by either the western Allies or the Soviets.
To be fair, they really weren't fighting a total war on two fronts. They were fighting an air war on two fronts but they were completely wiping out their enemies on one front and generally winning on the other until reinforcements arrived and they had to end the campaign in the West. Remember that for Germany they really didn't have a second front until the invasion of Italy. The war in Africa was generally very small and also definitely not a total war.
The Me262 worked in its absence. One photo reconisance Mosquito was chased by a plane he did not know about. He did know that no plane should be able to get that close to him. However, he dodged and the experience was part of his debrief. The next photo recce which went missing was chalked up to this new fighter. Then it got a reputation. So, whether it was there or not, beware! Good of you to put up the facts.
Very insightful episode,i have read that the German High Command were very concerned about the basic performance of the Army during the invasion of Poland,not least the breakdown rate of what vehicles they had,the luftwaffe may have been overwhelming but had the Poles used defence in depth instead of a strong outer defence the German army could have found it a lot harder to achieve victory.
I would actually like to see an episode on why the French military collapse so rapidly, the role of Charles Degaule's book and the difference in equipment between the German and the French army.
It's pretty widely known, the French (and British) assumed the main attack would come through the north because they assumed that the Ardennes Forest was impenetrable to armored columns and get caught in a trap; also French tanks were scattered among their infantry divisions rather than being concentrated in forward-pressing columns.
@Audioventura the primary cause for Frances defeat was that they had no reserve divisions, all their divisions were deployed to the front line, the French could not react or reinforce breaching areas such as the Arden forest. As for tanks the French actually had many very good and reliable tanks.The German tanks at the beginning of the war could be seen as inferior in many ways. France and the allies never took advantage of their armor tactically to put it plainly. The generals had no idea what to do with these armored units in terms of tactics.
So the Sickle-Cut, where the Germans successfully went from the Ardennes and Sedan all the way up to the Channel, created an incredibly bad strategic position for the French, British and Belgians. Their plan had been to put their best forces in Belgium, digging in at the Meuse - in anticipation that the main German attack would mirror that of the Schlieffen plan in 1914. This left the best Allied troops cut off in Belgium, and in positions they hadn't even been in for very long. It is important to note that the Belgians did not allow the French and British until the Germans actually invaded them. This was obviously a disaster, but it was not necessarily a fatal one. The Germans would have had a lot of difficulty actually closing out the pocket that now existed in Belgium, and their control of the "cordon" in France was not rock-solid. However, the psychological effect on the French was devastating. The French right-wing, which overlapped significantly (though not totally) with High Command, effectively gave up the fight. A lot of them (explicitly) preferred the anti-communist Germans to the French left-wing, who had power in France. The 1930s in France had been incredibly divisive in the Left wing-Right wing fight. Consider the situation in 1914: the French elite were determined to fight on, even when the Germans were knocking at the door of Paris. The whole republic fought hard for 5 years to beat the Germans. The exhaustion from WWI definitely contributed to the psychological state of the military in 1940, but with a firmer leadership and less political division, the French could have fought on in 1940. Now they may still have eventually lost, but it would have cost the Germans a lot more - and would have definitely altered the course of the war.
Even though you do not know how to spell, if you know how to read, you easily can find out.
Some of those horses came in handy when the 6th Army was trapped in front of Stalingrad. Seriously, this is well researched and presented. You are to be commended for excellent work.
After watching this, my thoughts about the single biggest mistake made by the German High Command is not the decision to push forward with Barbarossa, but the decision to push the British too far. And not because I'm British, but because it meant that Germany's military assets and resources had to be divided and in some cases stuck in drawn out campaigns of attrition.
I think Hitler hoped/believed that the British would negotiate a settlement, and when they didn't, realized he had to knock the Soviets out of the war before the U.S. had a chance to militarize its economy and use Britain as a base from which to project its strength into continental Europe (Hitler wrote I believe as early as 1926 Mein Kampf that the U.S. would always come to the British side eventually just like in World War One).
their biggest mistake was that they assumed too much. They assumed poland would be given up by the allies, they assumed britain wouldnt want to fight a war, they assumed soviet union will fall in 0.3 second after the invasion, etc. Altho it's pretty understandable considering that they were given austria and czechoslovakia for free
They could have gone the Middle Eastern route instead and seized the Persian oil supply of the British navy.
@Benismann Well Austria joined pretty much voluntarily and yes assumptions were made (the British estimated the Germans would defeat the Soviets faster than the Germans did btw).
@watching99134 it doesn't matter what Austria or austrians say tho, what matters is if the big powers agree. And they did. And allies making false assumptions is nowhere near as bad considering how much resources, time and space they have
That was very interesting, thanks! You mentioned the Axis was not a proper alliance, and indeed it wasn't. One wonders what might have happened if Germany had allowed it's allies to build Bf 109 or FW 190 fighters, Pzkw IV and later tanks under licence as well as allowing them to continue with their own research and allow for interoperability? By way of contrast, think if the P-51 with the Merlin engine, co-operation in the Battle of the Atlantic and so on.
Thank you, especially, for pointing out that the Germans themselves found allied strategic bombing was finally effective, in the last months, when it focused on fuel supplies. I guess that was largely attacking refineries. Your other points didn't surprise me, and I found them well presented. Thanks for shedding light on history as it actually happened. :)
This is really good. The Blitzkrieg correction is really interesting. One of the factors that led to Hitler's inevitable defeat was early and easy successes. The US Lend Lease, and supportive posture towards England. This is well known. The occupation of Iceland is also well known, but never as more than a footnote. There seems to be a tradition in the U.S. of 'we can do whatever we want, but it's not a war...' but don't dare do anything to us. Still I think the record is that U.S. Naval operations against German U-boats was ineffective through 1942. It's also good to see German sources and analysis. As someone who's read a lot of history, but speaks no German, I notice more and more how languages spoken by the author are a significant factor in the sources they cite. It's also refreshing that you take a clear eyed view of history. My grandmother advised me when I was very young "Learn history, because it can kill you." I don't want favorite myths, patriotic songs...
"Shermans were completely inadequate and tigers were the best tanks ever" comes to mind.
pfff Shermans was the most produced tank during the entire war
Watch some war movies and you see which tank that usally wins. (Hint: it isn't the Tiger).
(If you count all versions) the t-34 was actually the most produced tank during the war (50'000 against the m4's 40'000).
Dylan Milne Shermans were awesome tanks but got outdated by 1944. Against Panthers and tigers and even that with fireflys they matched them. And tigers were pretty shit tanks overall. Since they were so unrelieable.
Much like the evolution of the BEF in 1914 to the Conscription Army of 1918, the British Army by 1945 was a very different beast to the one in 1939 that's for certain. I think one the biggest misconceptions of the War was that France simply surrendered in 1940 actually.
This historian really is great. Keep up the good work. I've done a history degree and have an understanding of the issues but you dig into it so well and concisely revealing the truth behind myth. Well done.
thank you, be sure to check out my newer videos, because this was is rather dated (late 2016 if I remember correctly), since then I think I got a bit better.
While I do agree in terms of development the ME 262 wasn't released too late, time wise it was by the time it reached service there were too few skilled German pilots that could have maximized its capabilities and just too few produced to make a difference.
One comment about pilots and experience-in the skies of occupied Europe, German pilots were over friendly (to them) territory and could bail out or crash-land and be back in the air the next day. They could be shot down mulitiple times and keep on flying, gaining experience and accumulating kills. An Allied pilot who didn't get out of German airspace for any reason-whether he was shot down, had mechanical trouble or ran out of fuel-would most likely end up as a prisioner. An Allied pilot's first bad day could be the end of the war for him. The Battle of Britain was exactly the opposite-the RAF pilots had the home advantage.
I've also read that at least some of the German Aces accumulated kills against antiquated and isolated Russian fighters and bombers.
Very true, but the #1 advantage (IMO) that the British had was radar. Had the Germans focused on destroying the chain home system & the airfields, & NOT hitting cities, the outcome of the BoB would've been much different!
@stevebrownrocks Even then, it wouldn't have been that much different. Many RAF bases were outside the flight range of German planes. If the RAF got really desperate, they could order their planes to be based at these out-of-range airfields. The planes could fly into combat anytime the radar stations saw anything coming across the Channel, but the airfields would be safe.
Thomas Saldana true, but without the radar the outnumbered fighters wouldn't have stood a chance. I don't think the Germans would've been able to defeat & occupy GB either way, unless GB totally surrendered.
@stevebrownrocks If this, if that, the Germans could maybe have defeated the RAF. But then what? There was no way they were going to invade Britain in the near term. And only in the long term if they could defeat the Royal Navy. Which they could not. Nor were they ever even close to defeating the Russians. From the moment they invaded Poland stalemate with control of Western Europe (excluding Britain) was Germany's best case scenario.
It was very finely balanced. The capture of U-559 was the biggest turning point as I see it, but wars are very complex, and my education is probably Brit-centric.
"The capture of U-559 was the biggest turning point as I see it, " i literally never heard of that
These are excellent videos; well researched, annotated, and free from bias. I know you tend to focus on European and global conflicts, but a very interesting area of research you might tackle in the future is the balance of means and military agency at the start of the American Civil War and how those material and leadership imbalances affected the strategic aims of both sides. Would love to see something on this...
You opinions are always well explained and back up with data and other factual info. Thanks Bernhard.
Intelligence played a huge part in the battle of midway. Churchill knew were to sleep at night because the intelligence he received. Failing to know the opposing forces intention lead to the Germans launching a winter offensive the battle of the bulge. Intell might not be the sole factor for victory but it is one of the most important factors
Lots of good info I had never thought about but makes perfectly good sense. The invasion of England for example. The U-boats were the only thing in the Kriegsmarine that Hitler really cared about. The rest of the German Navy was very small and would have been blown out of the water by the Royal Navy if Hitler had tried to invade. Good informative video.
Not sure ships like the Bismarck and Tirpitz were "very small"...(I know you mean the navy in general but they also had heavy cruisers like the Graf Spee, Prinz Eugen, and Deutschland).
@watching99134 The German surface force in numbers was small. They certainly had some larger ships but hardly in numbers enough to boast about. And going into the area of controversy, I agree with Drachinifel that Bismarck and Tirpitz were both over rated and not the huge deal history has turned them into. The German Surface fleet wasn’t that great. The submarine fleet of course another story.
For anyone who is not aware, planes destroyed on the ground are still considered kills. Many of the kills by German pilots were these types of kills especially during Barbarossa.
What's also neglected about Barbarossa is that it wasn't so much a German invasion of the USSR as a European one. Although the other countries involved Hungary, Romania, Italy and even Spain) were militarily insignificant they were important because whenever you read about the Red Army smashing through the front in an encirclement movement they always seem to be hitting areas held by these allies first. Another note from Russia is that in the book "D-Day through German Eyes" mentioned in another comment there was a story from an officer in charge of fortification in one sector who talked of applying the lessons learned at Kursk from the Russians about defence in depth. Fortunately for the Allies they hadn't had time to apply them fully by D-Day. (Another snippet was the mention of something like half a million KOA -- Russian -- troops at Normandy on the German side. They were militarily useless. They were also separated from other PoWs and shipped directly back to Russia.)
I like your explanations, they show history is made based on many factors, not just one.
Observation is excellent
Such is life, is it not?
the factor I have been obsessed with lately is war production. It's simply amazing how much war production in the US and in England contributed to the allies win
Wow. I have read countless books, watched hundreds of documentaries and seen videos about WW2. I haven't seen new information or perspectives in a long time. This channel is the first to provide to me new facts, information and perspective in years!!! Great videos, great channel!
Interesting stuff :) would love to discuss the whole Battle of Britain and Operation Sealion aspects. Had the Luftwaffe kept the pressure up on the RAF bases then sooner or later they would have brought them to their knees. Operation Sealion is not as simple as it ever sounded, like you say D-Day showed the immense preparation needed, however Germany would not have been facing a beaten army bereft of heavy weapons. At sea while Britain had surface superiority, with both Uboat/Eboat threats and air superiority the Royal Navy would have been highly exposed, especially as they would have to be stationed virtually in the channel to be able to respond to any Invasion and so with range of the Luftwaffe Also would be fascinated to discuss if Germany had been able to deny Dunkirk and capture 250K British soldiers, would Germany had forced a peace with Britain? They did not want war in the West their eyes were always looking east. Also the resulting impact on Battle of Britain and Operation Sealion.
The problem with 'sooner or later' is that by the time later arrives, it's late September at best and the weather is now too rough to attempt an invasion, which means the British have all winter to rebuild.
For blitzkrieg, in the last months of ww1 the British and Commonwealth troops laid down the principles and practice of how combined arms should function. The battle of Amiens is the first blitzkrieg.
Excellent. I liked and subscribed. I was born in 1943 and my father was in the British Royal Navy. I have been fascinated by the history of WW2, first as a boy by the war movies made during and just after the war, and then as an adult by the later releases of declassified information. I read Winston Churchill’s history, The Second World War, which contained a lot of detail, but was very one-sided (and self-promoting). I am very hungry for the details from a German viewpoint. I would love to read a similar history by a German historian of the same vintage.
Excellent review. Very enlightening. There are so many tv shows and other commentaries which are careless and inaccurate with their comments. One example is that RAF was on verge of collapse in Battle of Britain. It simply adds drama to some other point in the show but then becomes conventional wisdom. I’m afraid American shows are the most inaccurate. Loose lips not only sink ships but cause widespread lack of real understanding. I truly respect and enjoy your work.
I think one of the biggest successes of strategic bombing was, that the germans had to react. They had to protect important areas with FLAK and AA guns, they had to build up successes and radar stations, they had to keep planes at home as interceptors and they had to redeploy a huge part of their industry. Without a single bomb hitting a target that makes a huge difference. Industry capacity that was needed in so many areas was occupied by the strategic bombing.
Maybe but then again Germany peaked production output in 1944... so it’s very complex. Maybe Germany‘s output would have been smaller if the bombing didn’t make them so nervous about possible impact. And Churchill after Dresden clearly addresses that the British have to stop terror bombing under false pretense of trying to hit industry. He was very well aware that the bombing wasn’t doing anything substantial to the industry and as said in this video some small effective operations against Ploesti and some specialized factories did most of the damage. Germany didn’t lack industrial capacity or train routes, they only lacked oil, materials and some specialized parts
The biggest surprise of my WWII reading was when I bought a used book about the invasion of Russia for $1. Before that, I was only interested in the European side of the war. Afterwards I realized I had missed the most important part of the war against Germany.
@Abb Cc The point the OP was making was that he was only familiar with the Western aspect of the European theater, no need to go looking for annoying points to make.
Russia is in "European side" of the war
This is the first time I've run across Military History Visualized videos. It is refreshing to see a completely content-driven and thoroughly researched documentary. The producer completely blows off flashy visuals and slick-sounding narration in favor of measurable evidence. For me, the great joy of history is seeing a single event from many points of view. The differences in those accounts teach me more than any single story. Errors, remorse, justifications, conceits, strategic goals. financial pressures, religious doctrines, applied tactics, and more teach me about the human condition. While I still enjoy the WWII combat footage, I will also look for Military History Visualized perspectives.
I very much enjoyed your analysis. I suppose I'm old enough to still appreciate actual cited historical sources and quotations, even in an audio-visual presentation. Gut gemacht, Junge! I notice you make no mention of the ruinous diversion of resources, particularly later in the War, towards carrying out the Holocaust. I imagine it may have contributed significantly to defeat.
i've enjoyed your videos for quite a while for their attention to detail. well thought out graphics, and ability to cover complex subjects in an approachable manner. I have pushed the like button on many of these videos for those reasons, however this is the first time I have wished for a love button. Your use of humor, from the bronies comment to the "If you don't have a hammer...." remark, was brilliant and added much to the video.
The Battle of Britain comments are interesting. If a Luftwaffe victory was still unlikely overall had they continued to target the British airforces, I would love to know a bit more behind the reasons why. Any videos on that? :)
Strategic bombing was especially ineffective when it focused on civilian targets instead of military targets (included all the fuel/transportation infrastructure).
Really liked this video. A few points that may be added. The Nazi navy was heavily reliant on U-boats (as was The US navy in the Pacific). They saw them as both offensive and defensive weapons that could punch well above their weight. Perhaps the Nazi high command hoped to sink much of the British fleet with them. The Nazi high command probably didn't consider the possibility of a sudden alliance between The US and The USSR (who had been sworn enemies for over 20 years). I think this may have surprised them. As for the blitzkrieg, shouldn't Napoleon be credited with inventing it? The master of it may well have been US Civil War General Ulysses Grant. He quickly realized that that method was about the only way to defeat Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Just a few thoughts. But I learned a lot from your presentation.
Me 262: A point that is often overlooked is: It was not because sir Frank Whittle did not know that axial flow turbines were the theoretical better solution - he knew all about that; but he also knew of the difficulties of the axial flow as opposed to centrifugal flow turbines. Indeed many fighters after the war had a decided rotund body - the Saab J29 had the nickname "Tunnan" or the Barrel. I can recommend Captain Eric Browns assesment of the Me 262, which is available on KZhead. The Me 262 was horrible as an aircraft. Now Eric Brown is perhaps the most experienced and insightfull testpilot ever - bar none - and it is still a miracle that he lived to a ripe old age. Soll ich das zu Deutsch übersetzen?
While this was a very informative video and my understanding of WWII has changed over the course of it, I would like to point 2 things out. -Blitzkrieg I wouldn’t know when the term blitzkrieg was first used, but the invasion of Poland, Danmark, The Netherlands and Belgian (pherhaps even Norway, I’m not sure) are generally regarded as Blitzkrieg invasions. Through the EFFECTIVE (sorry for the capitals, I simply don’t know how to write in Italics on Phone) use of the German Tanks, motorised infantry and Planes, the Germans surprised the enemy, who didn’t expect them so quickly. Of course a victory still requires regular fighting, but the element of surprise surely counts for something. (Side note: the Blitzkrieg invasion of the Netherlands kinda failed, but the following bombing proves your other point, about the effectiveness of bombing) The second thing I’d like to point out: the war with Britain. Not specifically the battle of Brittain, not operation Sealion, but the overall war. Churchill stated after the war that if Germany had continued to bomb the English cities for one more week, he would have surrendered. So this again proves the effectiveness of bombing, while also pointing out that perhaps the battle of Brittain nor Sealion would be won, but that the UK still would have surrendered.
Wow, this is at the same time the most concise, the most clear, obvious and convincing versions of these issues. Thank you.
I have actually started using his talks on the German Army to play HOI4. It was pretty effective until I found the same issues.
I must admit I had minimal interest in hearing the German perspective on these battles and this conflict. But I do find the points you make both interesting and credible. I wondered if your interest in military history was solely on the World Wars or if there are other conflicts you have a particular interest in? I am in the early stages of writing a book about the American Civil War.
I believe the author is actually Austrian fwiw.
@watching99134 So was Hitler. I don't see any significant difference between being Austrian and German. Ethnicity, culturally, linguistically and historically entwined.
Nothing there I was not already appraised of but excellent idea to put so many myths worth debunking together and putting them across in such a succinct and yes, entertaining way. Excellent. Will be forwarding this link to a few unbelievers I have locked horns with over the years. Especially about the sheer folly of even considering any invasion of Britain across our very convenient little moat called the English channel and the sheer numbers of the Grand Fleet in Scotland when compared with the all but non existent and certainly invisible German Navy. I lived in Germany for about 6 years, arriving in 1969 and leaving, on that occasion in 1971. Returned a couple of times and left finally in 1980. I had the good fortune to have met and conferred with many old soldiers (both German and a great many amongst the misplaced persons who had fought in a variety of uniforms during their youth) I do remember, quite clearly, at a fairly formal event in Munster c1970 an ex German Infantry officer offering the following "Some of those who had bothered to investigate the possibilities of war realised Germany was defeated the moment we set foot outside of Germany" That is, as best I can remember, almost word for word. He went on to say, and the exact wording of this is nowhere near as clear in my memory - something along the lines of - "We also knew there were senior officers who thought similarly and he had heard one senior commander voice the opinion that those running the war had seriously underestimated the ability of the British Empire to wage war and now Hitlter had been foolish enough to ensure war with Britain the end was all but inevitable and just a matter of time. Declaring war on the USA merely shortened the war by a few years. That stuck with me and the more I looked into it and the older I got the more I realized there was a strong sense of realism in the man's words. I enjoy watching/listening to your work - vielen dank.
Your videos are always interesting, informative, and dispels many false conceptions. As always, a marvelous topic and presentation. Kudos
Thank you. I have shown one or two about barbarossa to my colleague who is the u.s. history teacher while I am a geography teacher; and he still won't believe me that the Russian winter did not stop the Germans. I will gladly try to show him this one since i just watched this now. Side note: But he still won't believe me with this Barbarossa deal... -_-
The Battle of Britain was closer than suggested. While the RAF had a very large number of fighter aircraft, they were actually running short of skilled pilots. What helped was the usage of European pilots (French, Polish, Czech) but, even then, the attrition rate on fighter pilots was that high that consideration was given to re-deploying bomber pilots
The fighter pilot thing in particular has two really interesting wrinkles. First, the allies have a bunch of pilots who aren't remarkable in terms of kills, but like you said didn't see many enemies. Jimmy Thach, who everyone should be able to agree was an exceptional talent, only shot down five enemies. How can this be? Very simple. He went on five sorties where he saw enemies. Five kills is tiny. One kill per sortie is astoundingly good though. Then he went stateside to pioneer fighter tactics and then eventually provide the intellectual basis of fleet air defense tactics that last to this day. The other point is if you go to a list of aces, you see a lot of axis pilots, about half of them dead. Then you scroll down and you see a huge number of living allied aces. Living aces with twenty or fewer kills is a list where the staggering majority of members are allied. That says two things to me. First, fighter combat is very darwinian. If a pilot can't stand up to their opponents, then they're a target. There's a lot of targets on the axis side, many more than there are on the allied side. Second, a living ace had the potential to keep racking up scores. A dead ace has been used up. A living ace will keep going. We can only guess at where a living ace would have wound up over time. So the US, towards the end of the war, is filling the skies with potential.
man, love your videos! they are very objective and full of useful information, always proved by real facts. I am glad that I found your channel! keep up the great work!
The heat resistant metal aspect was interesting. Never had I ever thought of that as a needed resource.
To be sincere I thought I knew it all, but this video has given me a lot to think about and learn regarding the WW2
The real reason I think Operation Barbarossa failed was the simple matter of logistics. Napoleon actually won most of his battles in Russia when he invaded but had to retreat because he didn’t have the logistics needed to continue the invasion. Same story with Germany
Great video that put things in context. Props to you and the research you did for this.
Sherman's had just as much armor and maneuverability as a tiger tank. It's 75mm could destroy all german tanks except the panther, king tiger, and jagdtiger. The 76mm removed the panther from that list. Each sherman would operate with 5 tanks because that is a platoon. Sherman's actually fought a tiger one time and the sherman won.
Well Done, MHV! Your Infographic presentation does an amazing job of "presenting the facts" in hard detail. BRAVO!
One of the map based wargame companies published a recreation of Operation Sea Lion they admitted to having to include non-historical elements in order to give the German player any chance of winning.
In 20 years coming, Russia never had a chance to take Kiev...
Superb work. So many widely believed ideas about the Second World War are lazy generalizations that cannot stand up well to scrutiny. I think we should test every oft-repeated narrative that comes our way, in all matters, both ancient, recent, and especially contemporary.
I've been learning about WW2 for about 50 years--can't believe how much of it was just plain wrong. Excellent video.
Good selection and explanation. Pragmatic, concise, calm, and well researched too.
@Military History Visualized and thank you
I’d say the allies cracking the Enigma code helped them out quite a bit during the war
A great video. From a personal stand point I consider the claims of the superiority of German Armour and the ineffectiveness of Allied Armour to be one of the greatest misconceptions of the second world war. But that's a personal issues I've been talking to people about for a long while.
Skringly Well... Crusader tanks were useless we all know that
The British had a knack for producing unreliable designs; it would made MAN engineers blush :D Fortunately for them, they had some good designs here and there. The Valentine, for example.
@Richardsen Ironically, the Valentine didn't see that much action in British service after North Africa, and saw far more action on the Eastern Front in Soviet service. Although it was a bit undergunned for their tastes, it was extensively used as a training vehicle for Soviet tankers, and in secondary theatres, where the relatively poor armament wasn't such an issue
@Xenonfastfall crusaders weren't useless, well some of the early ones were unreliable but once that issue was fixed if it was a solid tank, it was the early war tank doctrine that was terrible, once that doctrine was replaced they performed just as well as any contemporary tank
Speaking about aces, we should take into consideration differences in allies and axis war strategies. Allies had enough production and training capabilities to construct a lot of mechanized equipment including planes and tanks and to equip them with sufficiently trained crews. On the other hand axis hadn’t such opportunities, and they based their was strategies heavily on small quantities of very experienced crews. This is true for both German tank and plane crews. And this is definitely true for the Imperial Japan, because almost ALL their strategies were based on this idea, they built one of the best ships, equipped them with exceptionally trained crews, constructed the best planes of the war and harshly trained pilots, so they had only 300 pilots ready per year. We can learn about this trough Saburo Sakai’s memoirs, where he describes his experience in army, fleet and aviation schools. We also could see, how it changed through out the war via Hiro Onoda’s memoirs. So this strategy proofed to be useless in terms of a total war, that lasts more then a year.
Great video. A question I have about the birth of Blitzkrieg tactics in WW2, is how does that differ from the “strategy” Germany had in ww2 for short quick and decisive wars and not a long drawn out one as they didn’t have the resources for a long war. With that in mind I would be grateful if someone could please explain how this quick war with blitzkrieg tactics was not the intention in 1940? Or was is that 1940 in west helped them understand how best to apply their quick war strategy?
One of the best explanations of this war that I have seen. Brilliantly done!
It's odd. Every book I read on ww2 states that strategic bombing was extremely effective at reducing German production effectiveness. (As well as several professors I talked with) with numbers estimated at reducing the Reich's production at around 50%
Brilliant. So much is contrary to accepted "facts" that I learned in high school and popular media. This in no way diminished the valor shown by US troops, one of which was my father, Army Air Corp, 15th AF, 464th bomber group, based outside Naples, 1944-45.
Unbiased history is very much appreciated, love this channel. God bless.
A tidbit about Operation Sea Lion. When I was a kid in Brittany I remember hearing adults often talk about the war. We lived at the tip of the tip that jutts out into the Atlantic on one side, and the English Channel on the other, and I could see a concrete blockhouse for a cannon pointing to our tiny beach from my back door. I remember particularly my mother arguing with somebody about how frightened of the water the German soldiers were, that during the amphibious assault training for Sea Lion on our coast, the German soldiers had to be tied together in groups of four in their invasion barges, and when those barges capsized in Brittany's horrible weather, for days drowned German soldiers washed ashore still tied together in groups of four. Nowhere have I seen that mentioned in WW2 history books.
Good topic. I thought Germany could have won the Battle of Britain because I had the incorrect British Aircraft production numbers.( I cant believe it took me so long find out the correct numbers...thanks to you.) Speaking of the British Navy... Did they develop a strategy to deal with a German assault ..( Airborne and amphibious ) after and while they were dealing with the Dunkirk evacuation? Or were their plans more ad hock?
Allied pilots wre not only sent home, they were sent home to teach new pilots. I remember that old Gunter Rall interview where he made his points.
One has to wonder did the German High Command have its head up its butt with the lack of coordination to know what the strengths of all of its combined forces were, most especially with Operation Sea Lion with the Kriegsmarine in such a poor state after the invasion of Norway ? Good video !
I don't know if they ever really intended to put Sea Lion into operation, every country has rivalries between service branches.
Another one is the flying tigers used outdated horribly non-maneuverable. However the P-40(B, C, & E). Could all turn better than the A6M(0 and 2) and the Ki-43(all variants) of which they fought. They could also put speed them. That’s not to say they were at an advantage, they weren’t. They had at most 10 aircraft up at a time (near the end) near sometimes 30 or 40 at a time.
FDR wanted to help out the british, the average american just wanted to be out of the depression.
true, since a large majority of the public viewed Germany as a civilized and wonderful nation. It was a difficult job for FDR and the Department of Information's head Robert Horton to convince otherwise
josh slatter Seems like he did both since American workers built the bombs, guns, tanks, and fuel for the Brits.
Carlos Medina bn
Bryce Boepple Nobody was innocent in WWII but saying that the war was for money doesn't make any senes. Great Brtitan had it empire destroyed, the USA aquired so much debt we still haven't recovered, if anything Germany benefited the most economically seeing how after the war the German debt was wiped and as of now it has become the econmic power house of Europe. The USA didn't make back as much money as you would think.
Brian, exactly. Bryce's FDR quote is his critique of Ford and Dupont, not a an expressionof his own feelings. Britain got net present hundreds of billions in value from the US during the war that was never paid back
You are mainly correct in all but a few things... 1) After Battle of Britain, the British air force think it was the time for a strike back... but despite the bulk of the Luftwaffe being driven to other locations (mainly mediterranean and east front) the defensive Fw190 managed to achive an impressive win/lose ratio against spitfires, when UK planes had to confront Germans with terrain disadvantage, the tides turned way more heavily than in the battle of Britain, yet this is often overlooked, so an extent of hostilitys without the East front (and maybe a strategy shift into naval bombardment) might had turned very different. 2) The intelligence didn't won the war for allies, but if one single technical factor could be recalled as the most decisive one in the entire war was the radar use, and UK (and later USA) had a major advantage on radar, even lower tier ships were confident to engage larger enemy forces on the night thanks to radar advantage (battle of north cape is an example, aswell as the 1st battle of sirte -despite the outcome of that last one-). at some point in the war during 1943, Germany didn't even had a propper radar warning, Things were THAT BAD for Axis.
Always found it fascinating how horse dependent the Heer still was even by Normandy.
I feel like you under stated the effects the intelligence had. The 'false' intelligence in Operation Fortitude greatly effected the length of the war. Allied victory was inevitable but but the length and allied casualty were greatly effected in large and small scale by allied superior intelligence.
Don't forget RE: Aces that early german kills were against far less capable aircraft with a whole bunch still on the ground as well. It was a turkey shoot for awhile in the beginning.
Very well researched. It is not well known how much Germany was outgunned on the sea in 1940. Also, the large numbers of small attack boats (very effective for coastal defense) on the British side would have made landings very difficult but especially getting supplies ashore, heavy equipment and reinforcements. Even if the Germans had landed say 80% of their amphibious troops (say 40-50 thousand) and maybe placed anither 30,000 parachute troops (probably very optimistic, given the losses Germany was to suffer at Crete in 1941 and the size of the British home guard), they would have been outnumbered at least 10 to 1 in the south of the UK. And without air superiority and the seas all but swept of German ships, Operation Sealion would have been a worse disaster than the British-Canadian Dieppe raid in 1942. Please do a video on this, it could be quite interesting.
Correct about Germany's lack of an amphibious warfare capability. This was hard won by the Allies, with Gallipoli in WW1, The Dieppe raid, Operation Torch (North Africa), Ironclad (Madagascar), Sicily, Selerno on the Italian mainland, as well as the US island hopping campaign in the Pacific from Guadalcanal to the Japanese southern islands of Iwo Jima and Okinawa...all before the June 6th 1944 Operation Overlord - Normandy landings. The Boche had none of this and the Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine in 1940 couldn't back it up anything like the Allied air and naval power from 1943 onward. Operation Sealion - the invasion of England would have made the Gallipoli fiasco look like a success.
I think the involvement of the German Airforce in the Spanish Civil War contributed to a high number of aces
I LOVE LOVE LOVE ALL THE unique glyphs you use. "baby strategic Bomb" brilliant. so many have uses outside this fine historical edifice. be nice if there was an attributed collection
Just stumbled about this older video. Very well done. My only comment would be to compare German and British land troops available for Operation Sealion. The Germans were far superior if I am not mistaken. I guess the German plan could have been to gain air superiority and then shuttle soldiers in civilian vessels, protected by the Luftwaffe. Any Royal Navy vessel would have come under air attack if they had tried to interfere.
Germany had access to special alloying steels well before the war began with 100,000 tons armour mounted on their own EAST WALL & WEST WALL. That amount of nickel chrome would have allowed completion of ~ 30,000 jet engine hot sections, through several years of war. Also access to tungsten was available from china at the rate being consumed pre-war. This could have been exchanged for the > 1400 Panzer 1 tanks that China could have used against Japan in the 1930s.
Very interesting and informative, and I think intelligent, studied, documented and professional. Thank you
A few things: 1. Some German military thinkers were working on blitzkrieg before the war, but it wasn't adopted completely until after it was discovered just how effective it was. The Germans themselves were shocked by how effective it actually was. Before the war several leading military men had actually been against it, thinking it to be too risky. 2. Strategic bombing during World War 2 was extremely effective, but it wasn't anywhere near as effective as pre-war advocates had claimed it would be. That's why people think it was ineffective. The claims supporters made about strategic bombing between the World Wars were often completely without basis in reality. It was claimed that bomber fleets could win wars on their own by striking at the enemy's infrastructure while suffering and inflicting very few or no casualties. Now we know that those claims were complete baloney. 3. Unlike the Polish military, which had almost completely disintegrated by the time the Germans reached Warsaw(while individual units still fought, military cohesion was almost non-existent at that point), and the French military, which hadn't collapsed completely when the Germans reached Paris, but was just on the verge of doing so, the Red Army, while heavily damaged, was still intact and functional as a force when the Germans reached Moscow.
1987MartinT The German technique of mechanised war was shaped by the weaknesses of the Wehrmacht, ie the lack of heavy tanks and mechanised infantry and artillery. They grouped most of their tanks and mechanised troops into Panzer divisions to emphasise those troops strengths, instead of mixing them with horse drawn and marching troops and diluting them.
1987MartinT Without the delay to operation barbarossa I believe the germans wouldve captured moscow which couldve lead to a collapse of the soviet military. Germans destroyed the first line of moscow defences and captured over 500 000 soviet troops, this left moscow practically undefended with only 90 000 infantry left. Unfortunately the advance to moscow was stopped by bad weather.
Luukas Saarnio the Russians wouldn't have been stopped by the capture of Moscow, they had fallen back further east already and had millions of men. They would used scorched earth tactics past Moscow. How do we know? Look at Napoleon's campaigns in Russia. Also past Moscow Germans would have run out of oil and lost. It was pretty much unwinnable once the Soviets moved their industry and manpower east and were determined to fight (or be wiped out by claimed superior Germans)
Luukas Saarnio there is so much evidence even on this channel to debunk the moscow and delaying claim
KMessi6 Exactly. If germany had been faster and swifter in their attack the russians wouldnt have had time to move their industry and the capture of moscow would've been the final straw.
My history professor told me the two most important things to remember about Russia is that "it's really, really big and really, really cold." Remember those two things and you can explain why almost anything has gone the way it has in all of Russian history, including the failure of Barbarossa.
"When it rain down on you, it rain down on the enemy too." - Joseph Jacques Césaire Joffre. When you're freezing, the Russians are freezing too. So I would set aside the cold as a non decisive issue. Yes, you may say that Russian are better prepared to cope with the cold, but hey! What stop you to be prepared to cope with the cold too? And now we reach the main issue: "it's really, really big". And the name of the game is LOGISTIC. When every cartridge, every shell, every can of fuel and every loaf of bread had to be brought from thousands of miles away. And every mile will ate a lot of supplies just to bring those meager leftovers to the front line, deep inside Russia. And, except the Poles in 1611, nobody made it to Russia and get away with it. :)
Strategic bombing is a subtle but a very effective tactic in limiting an enemy state's capability to continue waging a war
You missed one more reason why German pilots had so many kills. As purported by many German pilots, in many squadrons, pilots would "pool" their kills and attributed all of them to their commanding officer to make him an ace. This was well known fact in the East, but it has been kept quiet in the West. Not sure why.
On the Me 262 I won’t say they they did delay that specific plane but jet engines were introduced far earlier and could have been tried to be implanted into a plane way earlier but were ignored in favor of the known and reliable normal engines.
I'm sure I've read that, at the height of the Battle of Britain, the UK was producing more aircraft than Germany. The longer it went on, the stronger the RAF got.
WW2 history lesson from a German accent is surprisingly refreshing..
He escaped, and Simon Wiesenthal couldn't find him
He says : the mistakes Germany made during WW2 I hear : how I will win the war when I get time travel _and yes I'm joking_
@Stephen Ryder Yes he's been hiding in plain sight lol
@Darth KEK That's not funny (yes i'm joking too)
Your videos are so good and well researched- thank you.
Sealion was wargamed at RMA Sandhurst in 1974 with major participants from each side, including Adolf Galland. Look it up. It produced a resounding defeat for Germany and would have changed the course of WW2.