Sunday, 17 August 2014

The best army of WW2?

A bit of a daft question to start with but the current special edition of Ligne de Front is a comparison of the relative strengths and weaknesses of the French, Japanese, Soviet, US and German armed forces. Not surprisingly, the Germans come out on top for most things, with the British being fairly average all round. I was surprised that British artillery was ranked below that of the US, but there you go. Crap tanks, average commanders and dodgy logistics maybe...but artillery, I think not.


  1. I always wonder when I read about "the best" of anything, if the questioner has indicated what standards are being used for the comparison. While being an advocate for US artillery superiority, it is quite apparent that British artillery usage was every bit as effective as that of the US. In addition, if we look at the development of elite forces, the British Army set very high standards for its airborne troops and the very highest standards for its Commandos.
    A/K/A The Celtic Curmudgeon
    "Grumpy is good."

  2. I would seriously question any system that rates British artillery below any other. The gunners learned their craft in the Great War and retained their skills ever after.

  3. If Germany comes out on top, then how come they lost?! The Best Army! Such questions should be left to Top Trumps!

  4. Best always raises the issue of best for what? The German Army had not the faintest grasp of either strategy or logistics, good operationally and tactically of course.

  5. Time on Target and FDC were the key doctrines that made the US artillery the most effective barrel for barrel in WWII. Both contributed to being able to mass the most guns (FDC) at just the right time (TOT) to cause maximum casualties.

    The Germans (who faced vast fleets of gun barrels in the east) commented on this time and again -- how, when facing US artillery , it seemed like massive numbers of rounds all arrived at precisely the same time -- before they could go to ground.

    British light and medium artillery were excellent weapons, but HE weight was always a bit of an issue.