Sunday, April 22, 2012

German Flying Wing

Have you seen the sketches of the Horten HO229? The flying wing that Captain America took from Red Skull in his 2011 film is based on the concept. However, what was interesting to me, was that it was designed to be one pilot, yet a strategic bomber. An odd combination, but I think I know what it was designed for.

Germany assumed that crossing over the Urals for bombing missions was unfeasible. You would need long-range, expensive aircraft. They would have to have trained crews capable of operating for hours going over vast wilderness, only to arrive on target for bombing of industrial centers strewn out across Siberia. At the same time, the Soviet Union had moved numerous MIG fighter craft into Siberia. The MIG was unreliable at ceilings below 5000 feet, but excelled at interception, especially of high flying aircraft like said bomber. During Operation Barbarossa, most of the fighting happened under 5000 feet.

Thus, with temporary landing fields set out all across Siberia, its very possible that Russian Airpower might have taken a heavy toll on Nazi strategic bombers. I think this aircraft would have been the perfect answer to that. A single man, super-sonic aircraft that sped over the vast Siberian wilderness, a small flight of these could really terrorize a Soviet Industrial Center, then retreat whence they came.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Urban Warfare in Operation Barbarossa

I've always had an interest in Urban Warfare. With the use of sewers and concrete buildings, the whole landscape can become a fortress for the defender, and hell for the attacker. However, I remember reading in the Battle of Smolensk and other similar urban combats, that direct fighting only last (for example) 10 days. Whats most interesting, is that during Operation Barbarossa, the Germans kept decent track of predicted Soviet fatalities, and they definitely kept track of Soviet Prisoners. But never, accounts of German lost or dead.

This would make sense if the German military was being beaten backwards, with lines of supply, command, and the various processes that go with it strained in the defense. However, the Germans were moving forward. I have a tendency to think that the Germans had a good account of how many they were losing, but chose not to report upon those numbers, as not to provide fuel to the Soviet cause.

Maybe their losses were more than they expected from an inferior enemy? I could definitely imagine that as a case.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

American Tanks in WWII

It is interesting how much focus the M4 Sherman gets among the military community in the US. Armchair Generals and the like act as if the eastern front never happened sometimes. I think it is astounding, especially when 9 out of 10 Whermacht killed during the war were killed by Red Army Soldiers.

So while I do think American Tanks were reliable and capable, they were nothing compared to what the Germans or Russians were playing around with at the time.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

America in World War II

Happy Birthday to me. Given that today is my birthday, and I am American, I thought I would post my article about American Infantry Weapons in WWII. This holds a special place for me, as I spent 6 years in the Army, and I can directly see an evolution of our infantry tactics from World War II, in the types of weapons we use.

Its very interesting.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

British Tanks

The British employed their own unique concepts and methodologies for using the Tank in World War II. British tanks were generally faster and meant for longer range, with the exception of Infantry tanks. While they held the concept of penetration (of enemy lines) that the Germans held, they had little development in the way of tank to tank combat.

Still, a very interesting article, and worth checking out.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The British Army

The British Army was known for it coalition of nations and peoples that were fighting from around the world, ind defense of Liberty. As such, British Infantry Weapons could be as varied as the Gurkha blade, to specific production models of regular British weapons. Check out the article for more information.

As always, check out my Hearts of Iron III Youtube Series.