(Gotthard Heinrici @ Oct 24 2005, 03:23 AM) [post=40548]Incidentally I amn't glorifying Russia's actions here. I am however saying that not everything is as black and white as it should be. [/b] My objection was that Russia attacked Poland too and war declared on Germany because of it. But Chech. was not a part of the pact so I don't consider the two coequal. (Gotthard Heinrici @ Oct 24 2005, 03:23 AM) [post=40548]I dont agree with your assertion that Blitzkrieg is all about aircraft. Yes it is a very important element but the Tank is an important element too. This is an article explaining the concept: The Concept of Blitzkrieg. Airforce attacks enemy front-line and rear positions, main roads, airfields and communication centers. At the same time infantry attacks on the entire frontline (or at least at main places) and engages enemy. This restrains the enemy from knowing where the main force will attack and makes it impossible to prepare any defenses. Concentrated tank units breakthrough main lines of defense and advance deeper into enemy territory, while following mechanized units pursuit and engage defenders preventing them from establishing defensive postions. Infantry continues to engage enemy to misinform and keep enemy forces from withdrawing and establishing effective defense. Infantry and other support units attack enemy flanks in order to link up with other groups to complete the attack and eventually encircle the enemy and/or capture strategic position. Mechanized groups spearhead deeper into the enemy territory outflanking the enemy positions and paralyzing the rear preventing withdrawing troops and defenders from establishing effective defensive positions. Main force links up with other units encircling and cutting off the enemy. As you can see, there is more to it than just Stukas diving out of the sky. Indeed the origins of Blitzkrieg dates back to the Stormtuppen tactics originally devised for the German Offensives of 1918. Aircraft had no real presence back then ,especially in a ground attack role. [/b] Well, the whole term of Blitzkrieg has become used as a term of hyperbole. Looking at the word "Lightening war" implies that it is something different from a standard offensive. What would that offensive be? Every major offensive had tanks and infantry as the lead elements. According to the definition you gave, if you remove aircraft you have just described about 99% of all attacks even those not considered Blitzkrieg. The point that gets lost here is a critical one because it completely hides why a Blitzkrieg was even remembered as anything other than another simple ground assault. Moving tanks at high speed just because you want to boast that you “blitzkrieged” the enemy is unquestionable suicide. Blitzkrieg is not intended to be suicide and certainly wasn't therefore the definition does not meet the reality. The thing that differentiated Blitzkrieg as a "new type of war" was aircraft and aircraft alone. This is because under normal attacks, the enemies front lines were in tact and you could not "lightening" anything. If you moved at lightening speed toward a front of dug in tanks and anti-tank guns the only lightening you would see is your own armor exploding in a suicide disaster. Hardly anything to create a term Blitzkrieg for. Blitzkrieg, regardless of how people want to describe it is really better described as mercilessly destroying the enemy’s ground strength with air and then mopping up with ground forces. This is what a Blitzkrieg did. It was not a mighty tank battle. No Blitzkrieg was ever as dominant as deadly and as “lightening” rapid as Patton's Shermans ("Tommy cookers" or “Ronson lighters” to most) moved against the massive German armor including Tigers and Panthers which were often abandoned running from the awesome unstoppable massive "M4"s. My point there is that people that love history and reality at the same time, you have tremendous objection to very idea that a Sherman was dominating Tigers or Panthers to the point they run like scared rabbits and have to abandon these weapons in tact just to escape with their lives. This should have been a red flag but most are willing to accept it because Patton did move in a hurry. There are stories of Panther tanks sitting in one position and destroying 27 Shermans like a shooting gallery. If then a Sherman is so vulnerable, then how the heck did Patton move so fast and why would you abandon stronger tanks? This should be an outrage to those that are interested in knowing the truth about what happened. I can tell you exactly what happened. It's very clear if you read Rommels writings. It was the devastating tactical air. There were no Shermans “hammering” Tigers, Panzer IVs and Panthers. Where is the reality here? So how did Patton “outdo” blitzkriegs for speed and destruction? It’s simple, massive tactical air. This is the gist of why the term Blitzkrieg is even known today as an impressive show, rather than a byword that illustrates too much faith in fast armor attacks. This is where I say that historians (and those that try to make Blitzkrieg out to be something it wasn’t) and tank-o-files who romanticize the role of a tank need to be called out on the carpet because they have been pissing down our leg and telling us it is raining for 60 years now. WWII was TAC, TAC, TAC and then mop up with your tanks when the enemy tanks and artillery were destroyed. The only thing a tank had to be careful about is AT guns. This is more than some kind of obsession on aircraft. It was what dominated the war and what decided if you would win or lose. Nothing else. (Gotthard Heinrici @ Oct 24 2005, 03:23 AM) [post=40548]And as for your assertion that Russia was literally back in the 1800's as a nation, well you do a grave dishonor to the nation that built the T-34, which essentially was the first Main Battle Tank at a time when the US could only design tanks like the Sherman, Stuart or the Grant. and its Attack aircraft the IL-2 was an ingenious piece of engineering ensuring excellent attack capabilities whilst wielding armor around the cockpit to help increase pilot protection, and it was an inspiration for the A-10 by the US. [/b] Russia has no innovations they didn’t steal. It was a country of darkness and cruelty for decades. The people lived primitive. Just like in the 1800s. There were no vehicles, no farm equipment, electricity, radio, no nothing. It was out of the past. In Russia, they had no reason to overblow the role of tanks so this is why you think the IL-2 was "all that and a bag of chips". But with the Allies, Patton and Monty dictated what would be written down in history and why the P-47 was so overlooked by most and the Sherman vs German tank fiasco was swallowed hook, line, and sinker. Tank commanders giving history have swept the fact that the TAC air did all the fighting of tanks, under the carpet. Your bit about the IL-2 is a little strange. The IL-2 was not as heavily armored or rugged as a Jug. It didn’t have as good of rear armor and did not have bulletproof glass. It could not perform like a Jug either. The Jug was used as a fighter for the first part of the war until it had pretty much eradicated the Luftwaffe, then it was switched from a role as a deep escort fighter to a tactical air role because it was one of the most prolific tank buster. The Mustang had a longer range than most versions of the Jug so it made a better long range escort. The Jug was the first piston fighter to top 500 mph and could carry 3000lbs. The IL-2 was liquid cooled and could be knocked out if the cooling system was compromised. It also lacked rear armor made it vulnerable. It required two men instead of one. It could only carry a total of 2200 lbs of ordinance and that included the machine gun and cannon rounds. Its ceiling was only about 15000 feet, almost a third of a Jug’s. It was very vulnerable to enemy fighters whereas enemy fighters were very vulnerable to the Jug. Not the same planes at all. Here is a link that describes were the A-10 gets its name. Both planes were made by Republic http://www.strategic-air-command.com/aircr...thunderbolt.htm it was NOT designed after the IL-2. It was not called the IL2-II, rather it was called the Thunerbolt II. The IL-2 was a knock-off of a Stuka and was not quite in the category of a Jug. I think you must be getting these ideas from the IL-2 game. The IL-2 would also take a back seat to the Tempest which was quite an impressive ground attack airplane and gives the Jug a run for its money. Your bit about the Shermans is a little misleading. The T-34 was a good tank and cheap to make. The Sherman was too. But the Sherman was designed for offense. The US didn’t believe in tanks as much as they believed in air power. The emphasis was that air could do it and Shermans would be much easier to ship across the Atlantic. The T-34 was not produced and shipped across the ocean. The American tank of note in WWII would have been the Pershing. But it was too heavy to ship all over the world, and it was not needed as critically because US doctrine was not to take a tank against another tank. The Sherman was a better value. Shermans were used for killing light armor and infantry and for this role it excelled.