Илья - Reading log
[Recent Entries][Archive][Friends][User Info]
Richard Overy, Why the Allies Won (1995, re-reading). In 1942, the Axis Powers of World War II seemed on the verge of winning the war; in 1945, they lost, and the Allied Powers won. What happened? The most important reason was the capacity of the Soviet people to sacrifice everything, evacuate and recreate industrial infrastructure in unoccupied Ural, Siberia, Volga valley and Central Asia, continue producing tanks, airplanes and other weapons, and keep fighting. To what extent this sacrifice was voluntary, and to what done at gunpoint is really beside the point. The second most important reason was the enormous industrial capacity of the United States switching to war production. In 1943, Japanese shipyards produced 3 aircraft carriers, and in 1944, 4; American shipyards produced 90 in these years. Mass production, used so successfully for making cars before the war, was adapted to making bomber aircraft and cargo "Liberty" ships. The Allies also made better use of technology. A modern Russian handbook for high school history teachers became famous for calling Stalin "an effective manager". The real effective manager of the war was Albert Speer, the Reich Minister of Armaments; by 1944, he reduced 42 aircraft models to 5, 151 trucks to 23, a dozen anti-tank weapons to 1, and so on for all weapons. However, this was too late, when Germany was already losing the war; lack of spare parts and trained mechanics plagued the Wehrmacht. In contrast, the Soviets had 2 main models of tanks and 5 main models of aircraft. When they realized that they were losing the war with ordinary weapons, the Germans tried to win it with futuristic weapons: jet fighters, ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, while lacking banal trucks. The Americans only had one futuristic weapon, the atomic bomb, and the Soviets had none; after the war, the Americans whisked away German weaponeers such as Wernher von Braun and Hans von Ohain to make Cold War weapons for them.
One chapter I found very interesting was about the Allied bomber offensive. It failed to terrorize the German people into surrendering, and it failed to stop the increase in German war production. What it succeeded in doing was drawing the resources away first from the Eastern Front, and later also from the Western Front. In 1943-1944, German aircraft production switched to fighters from bombers, and 2/3 of German fighters were fighting Anglo-American bombers, allowing the gigantic battles on the Eastern Front to proceed without German bombing. The 88mm gun was very effective at destroying Soviet tanks; instead, 3/4 of them were aimed at Anglo-American bombers. All in all, in 1944 direct destruction of industry and diversion of manpower and resources to anti-aircraft defense together cost the Germans approximately half of their battlefront weapons and equipment. If this wasn't another front in the war, what was it?
There are also chapters on the Battle of Stalingrad, the Battle of Kursk, the invasion of France, wartime diplomacy, Allied and Axis leadership, but there are already hundreds of books on these topics. I think the most interesting chapters are about the war of economies and the war of technologies.
Tags: books, history, military history
|Date:||September 22nd, 2013 08:51 pm (UTC)|| |
|Date:||September 23rd, 2013 12:53 pm (UTC)|| |
> by 1945 more than 500,000 Europeans had been killed by aerial bombardment and large parts of their urban heritage had been razed to the ground through the calculated use of incendiaries.
Это и есть успех: это надолго отучило немцев устраивать мировые войны.
И аргумент "What it succeeded in doing was drawing the resources away first from the Eastern Front, and later also from the Western Front." в этой книге, как я понял, игнорируется.
I think your list - Russian cannon fodder and american industry is incomplete. The third part was British stubbornness.
|Date:||September 23rd, 2013 05:52 pm (UTC)|| |
ну, их упорность
объясняется очень простой и независимой причиной
патамушта остров :)
|Date:||September 23rd, 2013 12:41 pm (UTC)|| |
> The most important reason was the capacity of the Soviet people to sacrifice everything, evacuate and recreate
Опять Вы какой-то левацкой пропаганды начитались :-)
Главной причиной несомненно был многократный перевес военно-экономического потенциала союзников, и это не только США, но и Британская империя, и прочие. Чтоб полностью развернуть этот потенциал на производство вооружений как раз года 3-4 ушло.
СССР в войну зависел от поставок оборудования, теxнологий, стратегических материалов и продовольствия западными союзниками.