I never took you that way. I think people often mistake me for saying something that seems like I am offended but I "rarely" get my feelings hurt. I am an American and as you know we have a propensity to cut to the chase and I think we tend to violate the directness protocols of a lot of cultures that gives the impression we are hostile or upset. You have no need to apologize for anything buddy, but thanks for being considerate anyway. Tank-o-phile, you are right, my bad. I don’t speak English very well, as I said, I am an American. Now, my rationale for saying you “sound” like a tank-o-phile was the recognizing what appears to be the quintessential visceral awe that tank-o-philes have when they speak of the eastern front. It reminds me of the line in the Wizard of Oz that goes “Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my! Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!”. Sometimes tank-o-philes they take off their hats and put them over their heart when they speak. I understand that there were many people killed on the eastern front but then again there were a lot of British killed at Somme in WWI in a decision that made absolutely no sense what so ever. Maybe Geoff can explain that one sometime, it leaves me scratching my head. WWI taught the Allies that something needs to be done to get superiority rather than just getting into a static front and fighting to a perpetual stalemate. For the Allies, they looked to the skies and the Axis looked to the tank. Seems like a day doesn’t go by sometimes when you don’t hear about how many Shermans it takes to take out a Tiger or hear how a T-34-85 is a match for a Tiger. When the talk about the eastern front going at it and how bad things were compared to the western front, I want to barf. To the German soldier that was on the western front, the enemy was far more fearsome than the eastern front. On the eastern front it was starvation to fear, not enemy tactics. Germany’s lack of preparedness and bad timing for the offensive on Russia was why they failed to finish annihilating an extremely poor enemy of the Soviet Union. The winter stopped the German advance. The devastation of the non-Russian allies was what allowed Russia to mount a counter-offensive. The Russians never marauded the German’s supply line so in theory the could have never stopped them just as they didn’t before the record cold winter set in. It was the Allies that mauled their supplies by bombing their industry back into the Stone Age and fed Russia, every kind of war aid you can imagine from food to tanks to yes, "fighter/bombers". That’s what stopped the Tigers, that’s what stopped the Stukas, that’s what stopped the Blitzkrieg of Russia. NOTHING else. Russia’s strategy was to run scads of tanks at the Tigers and hopefully one or two would get destroyed just from the numbers. If Germany’s tank industry had been sustained, then they would have been able to eventually exceed Russia’s production of "cannon fodder" tanks with their own and then completely stop Russia’s production of everything. Russia chased a starving unsupplied and unprotected army back to Germany. The reason was the western front was annihilating the Luftwaffe, the production industries, the fuel industry, the supply truck industry. Too me, the eastern front was pointless, not awesome. Germany was producing fighters. They were not being sent to the eastern front. Fighters did them no good their. In fact, they often couldn't even start them in cold weather. No, make no mistake, the German fighter production was being sent to the western front to try to stop the debilitating bombing going on by Allied air. This is why the Luftwaffe could not build up in either theater. The ME-262s were used in the Western front because they knew it was the key to beating anyone including Russia. It isn't that the eastern front is disregarded as much as it is the western front is misunderstood because the losses are counted in terms of men and equipment that are destroyed on the battlefield rather than men and equipment that are destroyed period. Why is this not obvious? This is why I say tanks do nothing to stop massive production of opposing tanks or the front. It is all air power. All of it. Without supply, no equipment can survive or advance. Win/Lose = Supply Supply = Air Power therfore applying the "Transitive Property of Equality" we get: Win/Lose = air power. Well, I have stated often when I state this position of mine that you have to have boots on the ground. This means you need an occupying force to consolidate gains, not to produce them. It is air power alone that determines who has a gain. On the ground you are at the mercy of the sky. Agreed that weather does limit the ability to conduct operations in the air. But it does more so with armor. Take a look at the mud bath the Tigers died in during the spring thaws. I only need a few hundred feet below a cloud to operate in a plane. Also the devastation from the air buys you plenty of time while the enemy is licking his wounds from the clear days where you devastated him. Again, you are making straw man arguments. I never said you don’t need basic services. Shoes are very important in winning a war but a specific shoe is of no consequence. Same thing with a tank. This should be very clear by the fact we were using “Ronson” lighters to chase the Germans back to Germany while the Russians with the best tanks and most quantity of tanks in the war had a virtual stalemate slugging it out with Germany on the eastern front even though the Germans were being systematically stripped of their supplies and equipment by the bombing in the west. Woah! Hold the phone there. The Human Disregarding Idiots I was referring to were the ones that called for the Human Waves, not the poor saps forced to charge a tank with a cheesmo rifle in a human wave. These sicko lifeless dogs would shoot the soldiers that fled a hopeless situation in front only to find their own commissars shooting at them from behind. Stalin was proud of this. This is about as scumbag as humans get. The Russians as a military were a sorry bunch. There is no way to adore the strategies and tactics of the worst army in WWII. The soldiers may have been brave, but then again they may not have been, its not like they had a choice to choose to be a hero or a coward, they were dead either way. I tend to think that if they were really brave or intelligent they would have turned that rifle and taken out the commissars so that they could have saved some of the brothers in arms and have escaped to a rational tactical position where they could figure out how to attack their enemy. The Russian soldier was simply cannon fodder. You know that. I don’t fault them from being in this lose-lose situation but I certainly don’t exalt them for it either. At the start of the US Air assault from Britian the Germans had not only the most experienced and veteran pilots, but tremendously superior numbers. The weaknesses in German Air Force doctrine was probably not illustrated any better than by the RAF in the BoB. The British use of a handful of aircraft, some ornery pilots, and radar completely crushed the Luftwaffe confidence. Your comments about North Africa are also surpizing. You might ought to invest in the Rommel Papers if you don’t already have it. He seems to be in stark disagreement with you. Germany stalled in Egypt because their supplies were destroyed by a combination of the RAF, USAAF and the Royal Navy and their armor was being continuously decimated by aerial assaults by the strange new bombers called “Liberators”. When the Americans joined the fray (with new equipment and a pretty decent air force itself) then they party was over. This is when the Germans jammed those remaining massive tanks into reverse and ran full throttle, indirectly, back to Berlin with the only remaining victory coming from a small short victory at Kassarine Pass against some rookie American soldiers. It was Rommel that said that because of the air superiority that he told Hitler who admitted he was right that the war could no longer be won in 1943. Rommel was genius of a general. He was not under some illusion that it was the new Shermans that were going to dominate his new Tigers. It is not hard to understand reading the drive back across North Africa as the very reason the war was now going in the other direction. Artillery is good, it has a big role but it also requires a stable front and it can only be used in certain circumstances. But then again, Germany had very good artillery in Normandy and they were simply not allowed to use it because each barrage could lead to the immediate destruction of the piece that fired it. Air power erased German artillery so that in all intents and purposes it simply did not exist as a useable weapon in the western front. Again, I feel I must iterate, a tank is good against unprotected infantry and any stray truck or light armor not destroyed by the advancing air strikes. But it does not make a difference what kind of tank you use. They were simply inconsequential. Moving SCADS of tanks from the eastern front would not have changed the race across France with the exception that it would have taken a bit longer to completely annihilate those additional tanks from the air supremacy. Russia was a factor only in the amount of time. This was the premise lain out in the first place. You seem to have forgotten the original argument. It was argued that the Allies could not have beaten Germany if Germany had not invaded Russia. The USAAF and the RAF could have STILL bombed the German armor out of existence. More sorties? Yes. More time? Yes. A different out come? Not a chance. Well, again, you sort of seem to be in agreement with me but you also seemed to disagree by the straw man argument you made. I never said or implied all you need is air supremacy. I remember reading a reference by Gen Doolittle and his son who was an officer during WWII and they were together flying up to France in a transport plane when his boy looked out and saw a major traffic jam of Allied supply trucks, armor of all types etc in long columns that stretched for miles. He turned to his day and said,” no way you could get away with that if you didn’t own the sky”. Not sure where you are going with this. Rolling Thunder was a stupid idea that was a political strategy to bomb a trail that they could simply move to the sides of until the bombers were gone and move on. The VC moved at night. They slept during the day. LeMay thought the idea was moronic. He wanted to bomb military targets instead, dams fuel centers, aircraft assembly plants, etc but Johnson and McNamara were afraid it would escalate the war. The idea was to break their will by putting holes in the country side. Probably not the best use of air power, and certainly not the best example to use to make a point you think you have. The US was afraid to invade and crank up a full scale war in both Korea and Vietnam. The invasion of the Chinese into Korea could have been decimated by airpower as the Chinese had nothing but 270,000 foot soldiers but Mac was prevented from using his air power above the 38th parallel. Macarthur wanted to do this and/or a few other things to keep his troops from getting killed by the overwhelming numbers but Truman was missing a political backbone and many US soldiers died because of this cowardice. Mac was grossly critical of this cowardice in the press which led to his “being replaced” with Ridgeway by Truman and his “old soldiers never die” speech before congress. Air power can defeat anything accept politics. Politics when properly mixed with cowardice is even more powerful than a nuclear bomb. Gotthard, I don’t want to sound insulting or condescending but the arguments you made make it hard for me to take you serious. If you are joking, no problem because I like to cut up myself. But the examples you gave have nothing to do with the efficacy of air power and the expression is “that dog won’t hunt”.