Germans rarely admit that they're wrong

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To paraphrase something I remember reading on military strategy: in World War II, the Germans started out with better equipment, better discipline and more manpower. But they lacked imagination.

Sorry, but anyone remotely acquainted with the history of WWII knows this is utterly wrong.

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One of the things that strikes me about Germany is that it's a society built for security. There are probably long historic reasons for this, but the result is a country of the world's best engineers - logic, order, safety and comfort matter hugely. But part of being ordered and having everything fit together is you have to respect hierarchy and there are consequences for getting things wrong.

 

Then again, they've got a much better train system than we do, so I guess everything has its place.

Agreed! Things are constructed for security here: well-built houses (not like the flimsy things we build in the US), efficient public transport, a "system" or "committee" for every possible life activity, social insurance, the list goes on and on. Even the strange need to turn the heat up to 30 degrees when it's 10 degrees outside, and wearing a scarf in June or socks with your Birkenstocks, is meant to give a feeling of security, in the form of physical warmth.

 

 

Sorry, but anyone remotely acquainted with the history of WWII knows this is utterly wrong.

They were working on the nuclear bomb, and if they'd discovered it first, they would have won the war. Scary thought!

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Hmh, the last time I looked at a map and compared Germany with the British Empire, the USSR and the USA, I thought that the Germans had rather a little bit too much imagination to think that they could win that conflict.

Well maybe it's because they always insist on saying Engländer instead of British - maybe they just wouldn't realise that the British Empire was a bit bigger than Kent - or fondly imagined that Scotland would go over to the Germans.

 

As for imagination and WWII - they were pretty imaginative - especially with their Blitzkrieg doctrine - a lot of it was ripped off from Basil Liddell Hart - but as the British didn't listen to him and the Germans did that makes them pretty flexible in my book.

 

As for admitting they were wrong/did something distasteful - I always find it amusing how 'forgetful' some famous Germans have been. It's amazing the number that forgot that they were in the SS or SA or both. That's another German method if things are a little embarrassing for them. It's especially amusing when some of these forgetful people start lecturing the world on e.g. human rights in Tibet. I prefer to be informed about human rights by non former members of the SA and SS. So no, some Germans do not admit they're wrong, they just forget they were.

 

Moving away from that I remember when I first arrived in Germany and would be in a business meeting and would produce some statistics - completely solid and given by the primary source, only to be told "das glaube ich nicht" - I almost fell off my chair when i was first told that - but they just mean "really?" - or so I've been told.

 

Most Germans I know in my friends/family cricle admit when they were wrong - it's no big deal.

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Well maybe it's because they always insist on saying Engländer instead of British - maybe they just wouldn't realise that the British Empire was a bit bigger than Kent - or fondly imagined that Scotland would go over to the Germans.

Their main problem surely was underestimating Russia and the US, not Britain.

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So... show us an example in this thread where person being accused (the Auslander) was actually wrong, and the person doing the accusing (the German) was actually right, but the accused (Auslander) still insisted on an apology for the accusation (whew).

Well, we didn´t necessarily get a very balanced view, did we?

 

 

So I find it baffling when I see people who see it as their public duty to complain about services or whatever, who then stay quiet at work when they know something could be done better, because the boss has spoken.

Don't know about Australian companies but US management isn´t any different in my experience.

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Their main problem surely was underestimating Russia and the US, not Britain.

That, and their gamble that the US won't join the European theater even if they get involved with Japan. In the end it's the sheer numbers that got them, plus the fact that Hitler was no general and made some decisive blunders in the east front when things started getting hairy there. They were superior in every other aspect of warfare.

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As far as I know, logistics were not their strong point. They could advance at a rapid pace but not supply those troops accordingly. And I've heard that Hitler has not meddled that much with the generals strategies and it was in fact Rommel's idea to not defend the Normandy beaches and instead that other place (forgot the name). Hitler expected a landing on Normandy. But I don't know if anything of that is true. I think Germany could never have won that war with their strategie. If they had treated the people of the occupied countries (particularly in the east, of course) as human being instead of human waste, then they might have won the war against Russia. But with their race agenda it was impossible. Russia was too big.

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... But I don't know if anything of that is true ...

It isn´t ...

 

Erich von Manstein

 

 

... Von Manstein continued to argue with Hitler about overall strategy on the Eastern Front. Von Manstein advocated an elastic, mobile defense. He was prepared to cede territory, attempting to make the Soviet forces either stretch out too thinly or to make them advance too fast so that they could be attacked on the flanks with the goal of encircling them. Hitler ignored Manstein's advice and continued to insist on static warfare. Because of these frequent disagreements, von Manstein publicly advocated that Hitler relinquish control and leave the management of the war to professionals, starting with the establishment of the position of commander-in-chief in the East (Oberbefehlshaber Ost). Hitler, however, rejected this idea numerous times, fearing that it would weaken his hold on power ...

Heinz Guderian

 

 

... He protested against Hitler's decision and as a result lost the Führer's confidence.[citation needed] He was relieved of his command on 25 December 1941 after Fieldmarshal Günther von Kluge, not noted for his ability to face up to Hitler,[citation needed] claimed that Guderian had ordered a withdrawal in contradiction of Hitler's "stand fast" order. In Panzer Leader (da Capo Press), Guderian claims he told Hitler to his face that because Moscow had not been taken by Christmas 1941, the war would be lost. Guderian was transferred to the Oberkommando des Heeres (OKH) reserve pool, his chances of being promoted to fieldmarshal, which depended on Hitler's personal decision, possibly ruined forever. Guderian would deny that he ordered any kind of withdrawal[citation needed]. Ironically this act of apparent insubordination is cited by his admirers as further proof of his independence of spirit when dealing with Hitler. Guderian's own view on the matter was that he had been victimized by von Kluge who was the commanding officer when German troops came to a standstill at the Moscow front in late autumn/winter 1941. At some point he so provoked von Kluge with accusations related to his dismissal that the field marshal challenged him to a duel, which Hitler forbade ...
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It is possible that the topic has changed in the last 4 pages but I cannot be arsed to read it all so excuse the change back if it has.

 

I once had a German admit a wrong AND apologize. I think the reason I remember it is because it only ever happened that one time :)

 

I get a call from the bank and this nice woman lets me know they booked 580 euro out of my account and paid someone elses rent with it. She was very sorry about it :)

 

I tend to be a little over protective of the Germans when people point out faults they seem to find but in this case I cannot disagree. The Germans do not like to admit they are wrong. (to be honest I don't think we danes are any better)

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I guess that's how the locals deal with it! ;-)

Yes, alcoholism will help you to deal with your German [control freak, obviously] in-laws. :lol: My way was not letting them think my German was very good... I always had the excuse that I couldn't understand everything they were saying. Try it! ;)

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It's like a nation of bratty pre-pubescents behavior-wise. Did you observe Germans driving alone in a car? They histrionically gesticulate and pantomine and yell and cuss and tsk-tsk and head shake and hammer against the steering wheel for every little slight, real or imagined ... as if anyone can hear or see it except their self-absorbed petty little selves. They look like unfunny versions of Roberto Begnini as the taxi driver in Night on Earth about three minutes in. When I see all that nonesense going on in my rearview mirror, I like remain completely expressionless whilst pulling away from traffic lights exxxxxtra slooooow and squirting my front and back windshields with undiluted antifreeze about 50 times, until their heads appear to be on the verge of actually exploding. Don't get mad ... get even.

 

I suggest you start drinking heavily.

So you are this (insert curseword of your choice) in front of me? You are so lucky we are not allowed to carry guns... :ph34r:

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Ermmm, in the area of aerial combat?

 

Total bollocks as usual.

You mean when they bombed the shit out of Britain for almost a full year without the Brits being able to contain them, inflicting 20 times more casualties than suffered? That the Germans "lost" the Battle of Britain was just because they thought they could subdue Britain or annihilate its aerial defenses with their strategic bombings. This again was a strategic failure, not a tactical one. The mistake was done already in Dunkirk by not destroying the BEF, and exacerbated in the Battle of Britain by not coupling the aerial assault with a naval invasion. You can't win land battles from the air. Not then, not today, not ever. That was the mistake.

 

Strategic bombing at that time was a costly operation even for a well trained and equipped air force. It is true that the Luftwaffe suffered a 5:1 ratio of casualties against them (compared to the RAF) in the Battle of Britain, but the allies lost 160,000 airmen during the strategic bombing of Europe (I don't have the numbers for the Luftwaffe). The defeat of the Germans by the RAF was a (very successful) propaganda trick that worked wonders to drive the morale of the Brits (those who survived the bombings, that is), but if the RAF won the Battle of Britain (official v-day 31 October 1940), why then did the Luftwaffe keep on bombing Britain for another 10 months, and why did the allegedly defeated Luftwaffe drive the German victories in North Africa and on the eastern front after that?

 

But don't try thinking too much about it, it will strain your mental physique. Just believe in whatever you're fed.

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Ermmm, in the area of aerial combat?

 

Total bollocks as usual.

 

That was exactly what I meant. The idea that a German soldier does not willingly surrender territory to the enemy was something no sane general would accept.

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So, let me get this straight, the Germans actually won the Battle of Britain and didn't get outfought by Hurricanes and Spitfires?

 

They just decided to cancel the invasion cos they couldn't be bothered and not because they couldn't gain air superiority?

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I thought this thread was about the GERMANS but as we all can see, TTers are basically the same or even more stubborn and ridiculous than an average German.

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... The idea that a German soldier does not willingly surrender territory to the enemy was something no sane general would accept ...

The Russians learned their lesson the hard way during the Battle of Kiev (1941) ...

 

 

... The encirclement trapped 452,700 troops, 2,642 guns & mortars and 64 tanks, of which scarcely 15,000 escaped from the encirclement by 2 October. Overall, the Southwestern Front suffered 700,544 casualties, including 616,304 killed, captured, or missing during the month-long Battle for Kiev. As a result, four Soviet field armies (5th, 37th, 26th, & 21st) consisting of 43 divisions virtually ceased to exist. The 40th Army was badly affected as well. Like the Western Front before it, the Southwestern Front had to be recreated almost from scratch ...

 

... This was an important lesson for the Stavka to learn on evading and extricating troops from other encirclement battles. In the later Battle of Moscow, they avoided being encircled by the German forces, and by the time of the Battle of Stalingrad, it was they who were encircling the German formation ...

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So, let me get this straight, the Germans actually won the Battle of Britain and didn't get outfought by Hurricanes and Spitfires?

 

They just decided to cancel the invasion cos they couldn't be bothered and not because they couldn't gain air superiority?

They couldn't get air superiority because this just isn't something you can get by a long campaign of constant strategic bombing, no matter how trained your men are and how good their equipment is. The only case in history where strategic bombing achieved air superiority was in the 6 day war, but this was a surprise attack and not an ongoing campaign.

 

Look, the Spitfires and Hurricanes were grand jolly chaps and whatever you want. But if the Germans have amassed an invasion, they wouldn't have been able to defeat the Wehrmacht, not on their own. That was why the miracle of Dunkirk was such a miracle. It saved the freedom of Britain, eventually.

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Right, they couldn't get the moon to crash on Britain either, so they were clearly not superior in every theater. The fact remains that the Luftwaffe was superior to the RAF for two long years, and its force only began to dwindle towards the end of the war because of attrition, mostly against the Russians.

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