Comparing WW2 Militaries

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    • Comparing WW2 Militaries

      I’m bored, and in the mood. I will be comparing the militaries of the 8 major powers in WW2. This is nothing scientific and I’m not actually making a research paper, this is all for fun.

      I will be using 4 different elements:

      Land Military effectiveness and power

      Air/Naval Forces effectiveness and power (these tend to be tied together)

      Economy and Industry (Logistics will be lumped in here too)

      Leadership and Organization (Intelligence can be thrown in here too)

      The ranking will be from 1-5 uh… tanks for each one.

      Our countries:

      German Reich

      United Kingdom (along with Commonwealth)

      Third Republic of France, Vichy and Free France

      Kingdom of Italy and Italian Social Republic

      Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

      United States of America

      Empire of Japan

      The Chinese United Front (I’m gonna lump them together)

      We go one by one and look at each factor, then eventually rank them 8-1

      First: German Reich.

      Land Military: Where do we start? This land force conquered nearly all of Europe, its soldiers were very well trained and equipped with advanced weaponry, at least until the Endsieg. It numbered around 5 million men at its height. German land vehicles, while often too expensive and low in number, where very high quality and effective when used as intended. While there were some issues brought on by other elements, it did its job extremely well and took over a vast portion of Europe. 5 Tanks.

      Air & Naval forces: A little bit less impressive. The German navy had some good ships, but they were outclassed by Western nations and relatively easily defeated by them. Their submarines and that form of warfare was powerful, but it never compared to the allied navy and didn’t damage their logistics enough to really have enough of an effect. The Luftwaffe is more interesting. In the early part of the war, it was extremely effective, the bane of The allied powers and inflicting significant damage on the Reich’s enemies. Their planes were very advanced and German pilots were well trained and accomplished astonishing things against their enemies. However the Soviet and Allied Air Forces managed to overpower and bring it down in the later section of the war. I will give this element 3.5 Tanks.

      Economy and Industry: This is possibly the most important of the elements. Is Germany as amazing of an economy as it is a military? Ha! No. The German economy, while large, was still out produced easily by all major powers it was facing for most of the war, Britain being the only exception. German logistics were surprisingly primitive, relying on horse drawn carriages for supplies. They were going to use Rhine river barges if Sea-lion ever came to shove. This was the weakest point of the German War effort, they relied on Holocaust slave labor for 25% of their GDP in later years and everyone knows about their oil and manpower issues. I can only give Germany 3 Tanks for this, unfortunately.

      Leadership and Organization: Germany has a very talented and well trained officer class. Generals were experienced and brought the best strategies, tactics and doctrine that Germany had to offer. The problem here does not lie with your average officer, but rather the top. Yes, good old Shitler and his top generals. Hitler has basically complete command over his military. If you wanted power, you’d go through him. Any one he favored would gain more control and could bring down rivals. This led to a weird game at the top ranks of the Reich’s military where everyone tried to gain his favor, and people who didn’t, such as Rommel would be screwed. Along with this Hitler and his generals made dumb mistakes. Some of these were from Hitler, such as launching the battle of the bulge, while others, such as Operation Citadel were caused by his generals. Blunders such as these usually got worse as the war dragged on. Because of this weakness, I will have to award Germany only 4 tanks here.

      Next Faction: the United Kingdom and Commonwealth

      Land Military: This was not the main focus of the British military, but where they did fight, they generally did well enough. The Africa campaign and fights in France show decent competence from the Brits, and their Soldiers were well trained. British tanks weren’t the best (something tells me someone is gonna go after me for saying that) but they did their job well enough. That’s how I’d describe the whole British and commonwealth armies. They weren’t the main focus of the empire, that was air and sea. Their numbers just weren’t high enough, and it’s very likely major operations such as D-day, which Commonwealth forces preformed greatly I might add, wouldn’t have been possible without US manpower. While Commonwealth land forces
      were great, they just weren’t focused on as much and quite that special. They get 3.5 Tanks.

      Air and Naval Forces: Now we are talking! The Royal navy needs no introduction, starting as the largest and most powerful fleet on earth during the war and remaining a highly potent force! Their ships were stellar, and they succeeded in the vast majority of their goals. The Air Force is also excellent, with planes such as the Spitfire being some of the best in the world, they single handedly managed to even defeated the Germans in the Battle of Britain. Still, defeats in air and sea against the Axis in France, Norway, Malaysia and Singapore does weigh the Commonwealth down a little, and the very overstretched placement of all these forces around the world caused issues. The Commonwealth will receive 4.5 Tanks.

      Economy and Industry: Much like the Army, it did its job. Britain was able to produce enough to survive against the Germans, and make any landings impossible. Sometimes British industry even managed to slightly outproduce Germany. Still, one can’t forget how much support the US gave here. While Britain probably wouldn’t have lost without it, all that money, ships and other support given significantly helped to further the British war effort. I will give the Commonwealth 3.5 Tanks here.

      Leadership and Organization: The Commonwealth had pretty good of everything here. British Generals weren’t godlike geniuses, but they tended to be smart and could be relied on to succeed against the Germans when needed. Churchill is a bit overrated in my opinion as many of his bad decisions such as India are understated while his role in preventing a British surrender is a bit overrated. Still, the Commonwealth command structure was good, officers led better and better as the war went on, and British intelligence was possibly the best in the war. I believe they comfortably earn themselves 4 tanks.

      Next is France and its later states.

      Land Forces: Early in the war, French tech was some of the best. Their tanks were snatched by the Germans and used to great effectiveness in many campaigns. The average soldier was not a coward by any means. Of course though, they did lose. But Free French Forces after show great skill in the places they did fight. Algerian and Moroccan Free forces straight up won Monte Cassino for the allies, and Free French forces fought like hell in their country when liberating it from the Nazis. The Vichy French also fought relatively well, with French forces actually holding the Reichstag to the last man. French tech was pretty good for its time, and while the defeat does way heavily, later fighting allows me to give the French a solid 3.5 Tanks.

      Naval and Air Forces. Less impressive. The French navy was strong, but the land defeat led to its most major contribution being its destruction by the British in Algeria. The Air Force was rather advanced, but it didn’t accomplish very much and was outmatched even early on by the RAF or Luftwaffe. There actually isn’t too much to say here, 2 Tanks.

      Economy and Industry: Thanks to resources from its colonies and thriving industry it could have been said to be pretty good, but it was still outmatched by the Germans. Low population growth and the government being kinda broke also made them worse than the Germans. And of course the defeat by Germany losing Free France any real industry kinda sucked for them. Other than whatever the allies decided to give them, or that they could capture and maybe build in a small amount of African factories, they didn’t have much. Vichy France didn’t fare much better; most of their resources were stolen by the Germans. Because of all this, France only gets allotted 2 Tanks.

      Leadership and Organization: TERRIBLE! No use of radios and a strict top-down command structure was very ineffective. Their leaders made terrible decisions that lost France the war. Only competent generals like De Gaulle provide any recompense for this element, 1.5 Tanks.

      CarKing the 6th of the Abrahamic Caliphate

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Carking the 6th ().

    • Post Two!

      Next up: Kingdom of Italy

      Land Forces: Not the best tech wise. Italian tanks were kinda weak, their guns were not too special either. The individual soldiers weren’t too incompetent or badly trained, and when defending their home after 1943 they had some success, but the Italian land military just wasn’t the best. Still, it had a little bit of success, especially in Ethiopia (using chemical weapons though…) so it gets 2.5 Tanks.

      Air and Naval Forces: Alright, their planes and ships were pretty good. Not as good as the other major powers, though. Western allied ships and planes were simply better is most ways. Still, the Regia Marina wasn’t that bad, having a bit of success in the war. I’ll give It 3 tanks.

      Economy and Industry: Similar to France. Mussolini didn’t even want to join the war until he believed the Italian economy would be ready, which was around 1943. He simply believed that war was won and decided to jump in on Hitler’s success. Italian Factories were smaller and couldn’t build as much, the country was more poor, and overall just not comparable to other major powers. It built much, much less in the war. Logistics were also bad, and Italian ports, especially in Libya not being enough to supply their army in Africa was one of the main reasons for Rommel’s defeat. 2 Tanks.

      Leadership and Organization: You thought France was bad? You’ve seen nothing! The army was very corrupt, with less competent people and more Mussolini’s friends in power. Systemic corruption led to many defeats, and a weak leadership allowed Mussolini to easily be toppled by the king and Grand Council of Fascism. Unlike France there really wasn’t anything good ever leading Italy, though their soldiers were pretty brave. 1 Tank.

      We move on to the USSR!

      Land Forces: Although bad leadership kinda messed things up, especially in the early war; I’d still give that late war USSR a top notch position. Soviet Soldiers were fighting for the literal existence of their people, and were very brave. Although early on the army was conscripted, years of fighting created millions of battle hardened veterans. Soviet tanks, artillery and guns ranged from good enough to excellent, with the most used of these such as the T-34 being some of the best in the war. The sheer numbers as well, with the Red Army being the largest in all of human history to date should also be considered. All this forces me to barely give the USSR 5 tanks.

      Naval and Air forces: Navy was trash and barely existed. It only really mattered after this war, and did very little. The Air Force is more interesting, and while it wasn’t quite as large or effective as the US, it become very large and powerful, gaining air superiority over the Germans. Some Soviet Planes were especially advanced, and top of the line. Still, the navy weighs things down. 3 tanks.

      Economy and Industry: Even with all the land, population and resources that the USSR lost to the Germans, the Soviet Union managed to be the second largest producer in the war. Hordes of tanks, guns, artillery and more came out of Soviet Factories, with all possible needed resources to boot. Lend Lease only provided around 7% of Soviet war expenses, and took place basically entirely after 1942, when the war was already practically won in 1943. Money didn’t really hamper the communist county too much, while some more specialized fuels and resources were received from allies, none of this was required to win the war. Because it was able to be self sufficient and produce a huge array of
      materiel, the USSR gets 4.5 tanks here.

      Leadership and Organization: At first it was terrible. Political commissar can execute you, Stalin micromanaged and pulled idiotic moves killing hordes of people, and a top down system led by incompetent post-purge commanders caused even more failures. However as the war went on, Stalin became less of a complete stupid garbage idiot, reducing his hold on the military, freeing commanders from the gulags, allowing competent people to take charge, and leading to a very effective military. Generals like Zhukov and Rokossovsky were some of the best in the war, turning a shattered Red Army into an effective military. Officers later in the war were experienced and battle hardened, with full confidence in the comrades they had fought for years with. Although Stalin weighed it down, the USSR still gets a good 4 Tanks.

      Next up is the United States.

      Land Army: Kinda Complicated. The US was not ready for a war when attacked. While it was expanded and somewhat in the process of preparing, the Great Depression and isolationism meant that the US did not really care about its military, only keeping a good navy. So when the war started, the US rushed to scrape together and throw some things at their enemy. As the war dragged on the US had a decent land force. Their tanks, mainly the Sherman were ok, getting the job done and being easy to repair and mass produce. Their guns were all somewhat heavy and complicated at times, but effective and famous. American soldiers were well trained and fought well. However that late entry and unprepared nature of the army leaves the US with 4 Tanks here.

      Naval and Air Forces. This is where the US can shine. The US was large and became huge, with tribes and experienced sailors at helm that crushed Japan once the initial defeat streak had ended. US carriers were phenomenal and the planes they held were not shabby either. The US Airforce was easily the best in the war. Their planes were great and flown by well trained pilots, and combined with gargantuan numbers. The US gets 5 tanks.

      Economy and Industry: Humongous. Gargantuan. Godzilla sized. Just kidding. It dwarfed Godzilla land about 10 to 1. The US had so many resources as factories that it could supply its other allies as well as fight a two front war. The sheer scale is maddening. They were supplying millions of soldiers things like chocolate and cake miles away. A German commander commented about this and how hopeless that made him feel. I remember hearing of a Japanese commander who saw more US vehicles in Tokyo after the war than he had seen in his entire life. The sheer scale of the US economy is not to be understated. An easy 5 Tanks.

      Leadership and Organization: The US had quite a few good generals, and was commanded rather well. While German propaganda and Rhetoric may lead some to think that they don’t compare to generals like Manstein or Rommel, US commanders were still competent men who often times led even better than them. Still, the US really had to spawn an army out of thin air and trial and error, so it’s officer core and training wasn’t as good at first, it did improve to a good level. 4 Tanks.

      CarKing the 6th of the Abrahamic Caliphate
    • Post three!

      The Next is the Empire of Japan!

      Land Forces: The IJA was Ok, especially against opponents like China, however it did not fare so well against other major powers. Their tanks were weak, weapons more outdated, and numbers lower than their enemies (expect for China, who had few tanks and just as old guns). They made up for this with good training and fanatical devotion. Japanese forces fought hard and rarely surrendered. Still, things like Banzai charges led to significant casualties that they could not endure, and the way they were crushed by the US and Soviet Union shows how behind they were technologically. However in China, their main opponent which they had faced for years, their use of weaker tanks and light armor shows an advantage and reasoning, as it was pretty effective on that front of the war. 3.5 Tanks.

      Air and Naval Forces. Japan’s best section is here. If this was the early part of the war, they would get a 5 with ease. Their planes and those piloting them were the best on Earth, their fleet was huge, advanced and unmatched by most. However as the war went on the UK and especially US began to out match them, with the battleship heavy IJN being no match for US carrier and AirPower, with American planes bringing down many of Japan’s finest pilots, and leading to desperate Kamikaze attacks. All this demotes Japan a bit. It’s very, very close, but the late war weakness just slightly pulls Japan down to a 4.25 Tank count for this element.

      Economy and Industry: Weak. One of the main reasons for Japan’s attack was to gain resources as their island didn’t have many. Still, even with South East Asia the US easily outpaced them in every margin by many, many orders of Magnitude. Manpower wise as well, China and America blew them out of the water. Japan literally has not one resource or industrial advantage over the US during the entire war. 2.5 Tanks.

      Leadership and Organization: Actually decent. Japan had an experienced officer core, with years of fighting in China. They had multiple good generals, and were led well overall. Still, the split between the IJN and IJA led to countless headaches, as they worked against each other and often fell together as well. This infighting can not be understated, it was like the Civilian Government, IJN and IJA were 3 different states in one country. Even the invasion of China itself was done by the IJA without the Civilian governments authorization. This really drags Japan down, leaving it with 3 Tanks for this final section.

      Last country: The Chinese United Front! It will be lumped together as a whole.

      Land Army: Not the best equipped, but the fought hard with what they had. Chinese forces were fighting to defend their home. They and their partisans gained quite a bit of experience fighting the Japanese over the years. The communists were especially effective at times. This army was also huge and numbered in the millions. It didn’t have much armor though, and was not technologically advanced. Thanks to that, it will get 3 Tanks.

      Air and Naval forces: Not much here. China didn’t really have a navy and what they did have was easily crushed by Japan’s navy. Their Airforce was also rather weak, and they had to really often on foreign powers for air support. Japan practically ended up destroying their entire navy and airforce throughout the war, though allied support (especially the USSR) supplied planes. 2 Tanks.

      Economy and Industry: China lacked a major industry, and couldn’t build very much heavy weaponry during the war. Tanks and Planes being mass produced was not gonna happen. Still, they had decent amounts of guns and factories to Mae them, along with the most manpower of all factions in the war. China also was also pretty resource rich, so they could sustain their war effort when it came to basic supplies such as food and many raw materials. 2.5 Tanks.

      Leadership and Organization: Meh. Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong were not the most competent leaders. While they and especially the latter did have some success in facing the Japanese, and it can’t be understated that they ended up actually winning the war they were fighting. Still, they made many stupid decisions, such as flooding the Yellow river, and they got wacked badly by Japan, especially in the Ichi-go offensive. Because of this, I shall give them only 2 Tanks.

      Now for the ranking! Unfortunately I am out of characters so I shall write it on the next post..

      CarKing the 6th of the Abrahamic Caliphate
    • Alright, time to rank! Let’s look at the best in each section then rank from bottom to top:

      Land Army: USSR. The Soviet Union by far outnumbers and outproduces anyone else here. Its tanks are better than that of the US and more numerous than Germany.

      Air/Naval: United States. Overwhelming numbers combined with great quality win them here. The UK gets outnumbered with worse carriers, and the war itself shows Japan in comparison.

      Economy/Industry: United States again. They are overwhelmingly ahead of everyone else. Same goes for second place USSR, who is miles ahead of third place UK (they simply had a slightly more effective economy than Germany).

      Leadership and Organization: in the Early war, easily Germany. Most well trained and led force out there. Fanatically loyal. However the system became more top down as time went on, while the USSR loosened control, allowing some of the best generals of the war to take charge, telling me that the USSR just barely wins this section.

      Now to rank, starting with 8 and going to 1!

      8: The Kingdom of Italy. They simply had too weak of an industry and incompetent leadership. They lost the war early on and are easily the weakest of the major powers. I give the Kingdom of Italy a final score of 2/5 Tanks.

      7: The Chinese United Front. They simply didn’t have very much heavy weaponry, and they lacked competent leadership to use it. Millions of Chinese people died pointlessly due to their incompetent leaders, and they didn’t have the tanks and planes to make up for it. I give the Chinese United front 2.5/5 Tanks.

      6: The Third Republic of France. The reason France wins out is thanks to them having a decent industry, navy and more competent leadership later on. They barely win out, but France’s overall importances throughout the war, even in their captured equipment, makes them the more effective military. Still, only slightly, and you could make an argument in favor of China. I give The Republic of France 2.75/5 Tanks.

      5: Empire of Japan. Now we are actually talking about competent militaries! While Japan was very effective with what they had, and dealt significant casualties to their enemies, once they faced another major power in the form of the US with a good industry, they faltered and couldn’t handle it. Their economy and industry stood no chance while their leadership did not work together very well, being crushed. The Empire of Japan will get 3.5/5 Tanks.

      4: United Kingdom and Commonwealth: These guys win out thanks to their doing better under pressure across the world compared to Japan. With Submarines, multiple fronts and the entire Axis at a time against them, they held out and kept them at bay. While their economy and land forces kinda hold them back compared to the other major powers, the Commonwealth stood for humanity alone in its darkest hour, and held out. The United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations gets 3.75/5 Tanks.

      3: German Reich: Germany managed an impressive feat. They conquered most of their continent, even with 3 major forces standing against them at once. While their Economy, Navy and Leaders failed them, their highly advanced military and huge successes are not to be understated. The German Reich receives 4/5 Tanks.

      2: Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: The Red Army was the largest military force ever assembled in Human history, a forcé literally larger than the militaries of all countries in 1939 put together. These soldiers were battle hardened in the bloodiest front of the deadliest war in human history, and used equipment of good quality, containing numbers of which the world had never seen. The Soviet Economy was reliable, and while their navy was weak and Stalin acted as their Achilles heel, the Former didn’t really matter to them and the latter gave up control over time, allowing competent commanders to take charge. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics has earned 4.5/5 Tanks.

      1: United States of America: The most important part of war wins it for the US. That is its ridiculous economy. Other factors like leadership and the army are good enough, with the US not having anything insane in that regard but enough excellent generals and quality guns and weapons to keep up with its peers. The Navy and Airforce are excellent, providing an overwhelming force over the Axis. But the big thing is that the US economy by the end of the war was a quarter of the entire world output. It outnumbered all of the Axis combined, and while the USSR was somewhat comparable, the damage it revived from German ransacking and it still being smaller give the US an advantage in that regard. Because of this, the US wins out as the most powerful faction in WW2. The United States of America has 4.75/5 Tanks

      Well… that was fun.

      CarKing the 6th of the Abrahamic Caliphate