Best Infantry of the War

Discussion in 'General' started by DirtyDick, Jul 24, 2004.

  1. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    During the Cold War, when NATO played wargames, the defending forces were "Blue" and the aggressors were "Red." However, the Soviet Union complained about that, so NATO changed their aggressors to "Orange" and their nation to "Fantasia." A British officer observed that it was perfectly all right to practice vicious ways to kill people, but wrong to call them names that might upset them. :lol:
     
  2. morse1001

    morse1001 Very Senior Member

    Originally posted by Kiwiwriter@Nov 18 2004, 02:54 PM
    During the Cold War, when NATO played wargames, the defending forces were "Blue" and the aggressors were "Red." However, the Soviet Union complained about that, so NATO changed their aggressors to "Orange" and their nation to "Fantasia." A British officer observed that it was perfectly all right to practice vicious ways to kill people, but wrong to call them names that might upset them. :lol:
    [post=29542]Quoted post[/post]

    However, given the vast amount of deaths by friendly fire, it had been decided to think of suitable euphemisms.

    As for the use of "orange forces" it was still in use back in the eighties.
     
  3. morse1001

    morse1001 Very Senior Member

    Originally posted by BAYERNWALD+Nov 17 2004, 08:45 PM-->(BAYERNWALD @ Nov 17 2004, 08:45 PM)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteBegin-morse1001@Nov 13 2004, 01:15 PM
    the expression "blue on blue" comes from the vietnam war. The last major "friendly fire" in the british Forces was during the Falklands, when a SAS patrol met a SBS patrol in the dark near Goose Green.



    I believe the term originates from the use of the colour blue to denote friendly forces on military maps.

    Did this SAS/SBS exchange result in any casualties, as I can't find much about it? One from the Falklands that I do know about (a mate of mine was involved in it!!!) was between two company's of III Para during the days running up to the assault on Mt.Longdon (several casualties). There have been several incidents since '82 (one of which I was very nearly involved in in Northern Ireland) but they try to keep them out of the news (unless it's the US forces who perpetrated it!!!).

    "Blue on Blue" is also a term now used by the British police force to denote the same.

    B.
    [post=29530]Quoted post[/post]
    [/b]
    No casulties as far as I can remember, the info came major Southby-Tailour! I had two mates who were siggies attached to 2 Para at Goose Green.
     
  4. jewman

    jewman Junior Member

    HELLO again lol
    I have a fast and simple answer the Greeks, defended there country agaisnt all odds , and stopped the Itaian forces right at there front door and later pushed themselves into Albania. although not well equiped and hardly trianed, good leadership and the will to give there life to defend there country makes them the prefect soilder.


    The worst soilder is a tie between the Italians and the French showing no heart in the battlefeild and no BALLS.

    Your truely
    Jewman :)

    P.S i am not Greek if u were wondering
     
  5. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    Originally posted by jewman@Nov 21 2004, 07:15 PM
    HELLO again lol
    The worst soilder is a tie between the Italians and the French showing no heart in the battlefeild and no BALLS.

    Your truely
    Jewman :)

    P.S i am not Greek if u were wondering
    [post=29601]Quoted post[/post]
    That's a little too broad in slapping the Italians and the French. The Italian troops in East Africa held out until November 1941, and made life hell for the advancing Indian Army. After the war, some Gurkhas who had fought the Germans, Italians, and Japanese, were asked which was the toughest they had faced, and they said it was the Italians in East Africa...and Gurkhas should know. The French disintegrated badly in 1940, but redeemed their honor at Bir Hakeim and again in Italy, when Marshal Juin's French Expeditionary Corps and its mountain troops chased the Germans up the Liri Valley. The Allied generals didn't think much of Juin and his troops because of 1940, but he proved them wrong. The lousy Italian reputation came from the First Libyan Campaign, which set the tone for the Italian war effort thereafter. The average Italian soldier was poorly trained, badly led and motivated, and equally badly supplied. Many of them surrendered or fought badly. But others fought well and died at their posts.
     
  6. jewman

    jewman Junior Member

    I see the point that you are trying to make here and i dont think it answers the question. It is asking how badly did the infrantry do overall, not just little battles.
    Every dog has his day and same do the Italians aswell as French.

    Long time reader

    JEWMAN :)
     
  7. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    Originally posted by jewman@Nov 22 2004, 08:35 PM
    I see the point that you are trying to make here and i dont think it answers the question. It is asking how badly did the infrantry do overall, not just little battles.
    Every dog has his day and same do the Italians aswell as French.

    Long time reader

    JEWMAN :)
    [post=29625]Quoted post[/post]
    The battles of Bir Hakeim and Cassino were not "little battles." Neither was the East African campaign, which began in June 1940 and went on until November 1941. What do you mean by "overall?" Can you compare a poorly-trained Blackshirt Division or the poorly-trained 1st Libyan Division with the Alpini? Or the Folgore Parachute Division? All armies have their tough guys and failures. The British Army that disintegrated in Malaya in 1941/1942 included such tough outfits as the Gurkhas and the 2nd Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. But they still fell apart like the proverbial house of cards. Those same outfits defeated Japan's toughest troops in harsher situations in Kohima and Imphal. The Americans had their dud units, too, like the 106th and 99th Infantry Division. German reports indicate that many American units were not good at patrolling or night work. And "little battles" are what determine the abilities of combat soldiers and often test them in ways that the big campaigns do not. Much of combat is simply endurance. Much of military history is about training and logistics.
     
  8. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist

    Well, I'm going to be completely biased and say the British 51st Highland Div. Rose like a Phoenix from the ashes of Dunkirk, and then finished what they started, in North Africa, Italy and then NW Europe.
     
  9. sizbarm

    sizbarm Junior Member

    With the size of enemy that it confronted and largely beat time and again coupled with its size the Finnish troops should be counted as one of the finest and honerable (Ref Leningrad) troops of that era
     
  10. Ataris

    Ataris Junior Member

    I'll have to agree with the quality of the Finnish infantry, specifically during action in the winter of 1940 when the Russians decided to make a move.

    I have always held the Canadian Infantry in high regard, but I get a lot of conflicting reports about the quality of Canadian soldiers. I'd have to say the best regular Canadian infantry regiments were the Queen's Own Rifles, Black Watch, and the Vingt-douze(sp?)

    Another notable mentions : British Para's, 101st Airborne, 12th SS

    Didn't the Spanish have an outfit that fought for Germany ?
     
  11. morse1001

    morse1001 Very Senior Member

    Didn't the Spanish have an outfit that fought for Germany ?

    Both the Spainish army and airforce provided forces that fought with he Germans on the Eastern front.
     
  12. nolanbuc

    nolanbuc Senior Member

    One outstanding US Division that seems to have been overshadowed of late is the 82nd Airborne. I will admit that I am somewhat biased, being that my great-uncle served in the 82nd, in the infamous "Devils In Baggy Pants" of the 504th PIR. This regiment was so chewed up in Italy that it was held back from participating in D-Day with the rest of the 82nd. Not to belittle the contributions of the many other Allied units, but 82nd always seems to take a backseat in history to the 101st.
     
  13. Friedrich H

    Friedrich H Senior Member

    the Russians created a formidable fighting force and suffered horrendously, but could it be argued that the training of the individual Russian soldier was often very fleeting and their sheer numbers and the resolve of the political-military structure brought eventual victory.

    the sheer mass of numbers of the Red Army

    The USSR didn't win by sheer numbers. The Soviet foot soldier, the Iván, may have been ill-trained by Western standards, but was far more endurable than Western soldiers and, above all, by the late stages of the war, had a lot of practical combat experience (which is far more valuable than training). Let's remember that Soviet élite divisions were not élite because they were 'expensive' troops, like paratroopers, snipers or mountain units, they were élite because those units had earned the tittle through combat and their men were the best from all units.

    n 1940 the French Army was 5 million strong,

    No, it wasn't… its total number after mobilisation, including second hand reserves, wasn't bigger than 2 million men. Many less men than in 1914. The French Army's total was 120 divisions, whilst the German was 160.

    best infantry i.m.h.o. were ss troops (cruel and ruthless)...

    …and the ones who took most casualties… so, not that good after all… (Also, using the term 'good' for the SS is nauseating…)

    Ja, das whermacht ist gut! They had the upperhand in technology

    I don't think that's right… 1898 bolt-action rifles? Field telephones? Relaying on horses for everything?

    For me, the "All arms" divisions seems to be an excellent idea.

    Like Roman legions? Great idea! ;)
     
  14. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    The myth that the Soviets won through sheer numbers and bullheaded tactics is just that -- a myth. German generals created that in postwar interrogations and memoirs to excuse their own failure and warn their new allies about the "Red Peril." The fact is that the Soviets developed solid, if often wasteful, operational and tactical techniques. All of their offensives enjoyed surprise. They were superb at deception operations, use of reserves, and stressed movement, mobility, and firepower. They used stunning double envelopments at Stalingrad and Berlin.
     
  15. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Originally posted by Kiwiwriter@May 16 2005, 01:53 PM
    The myth that the Soviets won through sheer numbers and bullheaded tactics is just that -- a myth. German generals created that in postwar interrogations and memoirs to excuse their own failure and warn their new allies about the "Red Peril." The fact is that the Soviets developed solid, if often wasteful, operational and tactical techniques. All of their offensives enjoyed surprise. They were superb at deception operations, use of reserves, and stressed movement, mobility, and firepower. They used stunning double envelopments at Stalingrad and Berlin.
    [post=34500]Quoted post[/post]
    And their ability to exploit bridgeheads is well documented by FW Von Mellenthin in his memoirs. The Germans found it near impossible to budge the Soviets once they established a bridgehead across a river.
     
  16. sap81uk

    sap81uk Junior Member

    I personally believe the Canadian forces were the best infantrymen. Interesting fact about Finland. Of course no one mentions them. Leaving out specialist regiments which I think the Rangers are a part of (not sure really), I would say 2nd after the Canadian forces the British Devonshire and Dorset Regiment. Although not infantry a lot of this regiment arrived before D-Day hit, to prepare the land for the impending attack.

    But I really do think do Russians post WW2 were the greatest army. Even in WW2 they were pretty good, remember they held off the Germans for 2/3 years. But then again they're all as good/bad as each other to be honest, they all suffered heavy losses.

    My favourites however are the British Para's.
     
  17. Dpalme01

    Dpalme01 Member

    I think Ill have to say either the ANZACS or the SAS (if you call that infantry.
     
  18. laufer

    laufer Senior Member

    My nomination are the polish infantrymen from 21st and 22nd Mountain Infantry Divisions (1919-1939), Independent Podhale Highland Rifle Brigade (1940), 1st Podhale Highland Infantry Battalion of the 3rd Polish Infantry Brigade (a part of the 1st Polish Armoured Division) and the Polish Independent Carpathian Rifle Brigade reorganised (May '42) as 1 Carpathian Rifle Brigade of the Division of Carpathian Rifles (later 3 Carpathian Rifles Division). Especially those of them, who fought in more than one of the units mentioned above. So, generally I chose the Highlanders B)
     
  19. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    No Doubt! Best infantry Third Div.Who else would be picked to open the assault n Sword Beach but the East Yorks and the South Lancs....Bonny fighters.

    You do not send boys to do a man job.. that is why those two Regiments were chosen..... Choose the "Best" fighters to do the most difficult assaults.
    Sapper
     
  20. Orange

    Orange Junior Member

    Allthough I am not overly knowledgable on the quality of the different outfits mentionned in this thread, I will agree that the finnish forces had some of the best infantry of WW2.

    Also, for what it's worth, I have always heard that the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force(I don't know any of its inner outfit) was held in high regards by Rommel and that their infantry was very fierce and tenacious.
     

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