(jimbotosome @ Dec 13 2005, 02:54 PM) [post=43083]Only 7 nations made the list? I would have thought the commonwealth nations like New Zealand and Australia would have been ranked equal to those of the rest of the Allies. Never saw anything that contrasted them from the British or Americans. That has to make them feel good. I would like to point out what I believe is a myth. That infantry was better or worse than the others. How would you ever know? If you were supported by artillery, air power and armor then you looked like a dominant infantryman. It’s easy to look good when you are overrunning a routed enemy. If the German's were the best fighters, then why did they get mopped up and driven back into their homeland? While I don't believe it was due to the fighting abilities of the German soldier, it certainly does not make a positive statement either. If there is an inference that one soldier is braver than the others, I think it would be difficult to prove and be very subject to opinions. You might as well ask who had the best uniforms. There is not an infantryman of any nation who body does not "sheer in half" when a splinter of artillery hits near them. Not a one that does not bleed to death when a bullet punctures an artery. All of them will fight until it becomes futile and the intelligent ones will surrender when it is hopeless in order to tie up the enemy's resources in POW camps rather than just dying for a "noble" reason. The Germans prepared their army for years. They had war in mind all along. They dedicated their nation to the execution of war. Had the other nations have done the same then the Germans would have looked unprepared. But I think you have to consider results. An intelligent soldier is of far more use than a brave soldier. The Japanese and the Russians were brave as to charge machine gun fire. And how did this accomplish their objective? The Germans fought with their lives to protect a cruel and insane madman. Was this brave or stupid? The Germans also were placed in desperate situations. This means they were forced to fight to survive. They often had no options but to fight. Does this mean they were better? Is it also saying that other infantry with their backs to the wall would not do the same? Do we exalt them because their poor decisions constantly left them in dire straits? Just something to think about. [/b] Leaving my own patriotic bias toward the Allied armies aside for a moment, I think the Wermacht are plainly deserving of veneration - particularly in the last months of the war - simply because of the ferocity of the fight they put up. Fighting alone against virtually the whole civilised world and on two fronts, they made the Allies' pay dearly for every inch of ground, when it would have been so much easier for the individual soldiers to have simply surrendered. Why did they continue to fight? In most cases, not out of a desire to help defend the Nazi regieme, which was widely despised by this time. Rather, it was out of desperation to protect their families and homeland, particularly from the expected barbarism of the communist hoardes. There were, of course, fanatical elements: the SS, for instance, demanding a fight to the death, but on the whole they fought with skill and gusto to protect those they loved. At the end, the Allies were left in no doubt that they had fought a strong and determined enemy, not a militia on its last gasps!!!