Best Infantry of the War

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

  1. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    In a way, and having experienced action with them. the British (Any UK) are hard to beat as fighting men. They have been fighting around the world for a few hundred years. Someone mentioned the LAH Panzers.....Very powerful armoured mob, had their backside torn off at Falaise. Then they were anything but powerful.
  2. Cpl Rootes

    Cpl Rootes Senior Member

    Never seen this thread before so I'll give my tuppence.

    In my opinion some of best infantry were the German SS and Panzergrenadier troops. Although not always well equipped they always fought well and bravely (with the exception of some of the SS Divisions who committed war crimes) even at the end in Berlin they fought with grim determination. Of course one could argue that they fought in Berlin in the hope that the Western allies would reach them before they had to go into Russian captivity, but nethertheless the were excellent fighting troops throughout the war.

    However the British/Commonwealth troops had incredable amounts of determination and the ability to 'Pull rabbit's out of the hat' or to hold on against all odds. This has been demonstrated not on in WW2 but in other wars as well. Like the storming of Badajoz in the Napoleonic Wars, Rorke's Drift in the Zulu Wars, The retreat to Mon's in WW1, many WW2 Battles such as Tobruk and Armham and battle's after WW2 such as the Gloster's in Korea and the Falklands.
  3. Stephen

    Stephen Member

    To judge the best infantry maybe you should look at the kill ratio they had against opponents. There is no doubt that using this method the German infantry were superior in WW1. In WW2 they were facing a huge inbalance in material and numbers from the end of 1942 onwards in the west. In the east also largely due to lend lease from 1943 they had a material and numerical inferiority though their numerical inferiority was not as great as some people think. Untill the end of 1942 they clearly were the best overall capable of winning even when outnumbered as in Russia or the desert.

    It has to be take into account that the German army towards the end of the war was not the force it once was but that it was still fighting hard was remarkable. From the end of 1942 it usualy found itself fighting against a numerical and material superiority which at times was huge. I would argue that no allied army would have been able to fight against the odds the German army did for as long or inflict the casualties on their opponents the German army did. Even in Normandy which was a disaster fought against overwhelming odds acording to the figures I have they inflicted aprox. 210,000 dead and wounded on the allies and suffered aprox. 240,000 themselves. In the east they certainly had a better kill ratio and I think also in the west.
  4. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Discharged

    wiltshire men,in fact all shire men.
  5. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    wiltshire men,in fact all shire men.
    So I take it you mean the British Army??
  6. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Where did you get this idea that we had more equipment or men? For a long time in Normandy we were outnumbered. As regards the arms, The Germans was far superior in quality in everything. We could call on the bloody awful tin can Shermans (Ronson lighters) in large numbers, and other horrible Tommy Cookers. The Panther and the Tiger were outstanding as was the spandau and the 88mm.
    For a light Mc gun we had the Sten....God forbid! It would not fire when you wanted it to and did when you did not want it to. A cheap and nasty weapon that must have caused numerous casualties amongst our own men. Specially fingers and thumbs.
  7. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Discharged

    a rifle butt being stoved into any jerry,s head was great equipment,sapper
  8. Cpl Rootes

    Cpl Rootes Senior Member

    a rifle butt being stoved into any jerry,s head was great equipment,sapper

    if you managed to dodge the Spandau bullets, Panther and Tiger guns and all the other debris of war flying around then yes, a rifle butt would (I suppose) do the job.
  9. brainythree

    brainythree Junior Member

    Anybody know of the Newfoundlanders who served in WW11? Al so the book...
    The GunnersWW11
    Creative Printers
    published 1987
    written by Edward Chafe
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Sorry to disagree with you there, Sapper, but the 3rd Division has long been out of existance in the British Army. (the 3rd was also an outstanding division 1914-18, by the way)


    I think I may be missing something here, 3 Div is still up and running (UK) but 1 Div is the main British (Armoured) Div in the British Army as far as I'm aware.

    I do bow to anyones superior wisdom mind :)


    Edit. Apologies I should have read all the thread first ....doh !
  11. willywills

    willywills Junior Member

    Chindits,Jewish Brigade,Poles the Russians had a all woman Battalion,that fought to the last,German accounts of the action said that they fought a hard battle.All nations i think had good and bad,as has been mentioned the Germans had better command structure at lower levels.Aussies are good fighters,but one account by an Aussie who was at Tobruk said the Brits look like us and fight and die like us.The Americans as a rule of thumb go for it,there are many accounts of brave and brilliant actions.
  12. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I must add the Royal Ulster Rifles here. For they have been known to walk steadily through a heavy hail of mortar and shell fire, like a Sunday afternoon stroll.
  13. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I hate these "Best ....." threads almost as much as " What If's."
  14. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Wait till someone mentions The History Channel :D
  15. Passchendaele_Baby

    Passchendaele_Baby Grandads Little Girl

  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Just to open things up a bit....Lets not forget these ;)
  17. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Ah Drew, the Sally Ann. Every service mans friend.
  18. craftsmanx

    craftsmanx Junior Member

    This really is a useless thread as it's simply not possible to say WHAT best is let alone WHO is best, Are we talking about Jungle/desert/Urban/Amphibious (you name it). The thing to bear in mind is that it's horses for courses. Before deciding who is best you have yto take into account the opposition. One could say the best infantry in the world was the infantry who defended the Admin Box against overwhelming Japanese forces, except that they weren't all infantry of course.
  19. craftsmanx

    craftsmanx Junior Member

    Perhaps useless is the wrong word, perhaps pointless would be a better word.
  20. 51highland

    51highland Very Senior Member

    Perhaps useless is the wrong word, perhaps pointless would be a better word.

    Possibly pointless, though it has thrown up some interesting opinions. ALL servicemen believe that their particular regiment, battalion, Division is the best. That's patently obvious just by reading Sapper's post. My Ftaher thought that the 51st HD were the best, Black watch thought they were the best in the Division but my Father said the Camerons KNEW that the Camerons were the best.

    After all is said and done every Section, Platoon, Company, Battalion Regiment and Division has some very brave men, brave men, every day men and some not so brave men, regardless of any nationality.

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