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10

The German and Austrian Jewish population was about 750,000, of which three quarters were exterminated. Whereas the total German population was about 70 million. But 1941, when the extermination program began the number of Jewish forced labourers in German was 60,000, compared to the 2,000,000 foreign labourers (Fremdarbeiter) [source]. The Nazis decided ...


10

Ironically, even though tanks were introduced in 1916 (at the battle of the Somme), they had little impact on World War I. They did not break up the trench warfare of the time (even though they were designed to do that). It was during the period BETWEEN the two world wars, that generals thought about tanks. The British expert was Basil Lidell-Hart, and the ...


9

There were many reasons for an invasion: punishing Naples for its support of the Knights of Rhodes, whom the king Ferdinand I of Naples sent two ships of reinforcements against the Turks, determining a burning defeat of the Ottomans creating a bridgehead for further operations in Italy, against Naples and possibly Rome (we have to keep in mind that the ...


8

The Greeks had demonstrated military superiority over the Persians for many years. Both Cimon and Agesilaus had led successful expeditions into Persian territory. That Persia maintained its dominant position over Greece had not so much to do with their own military capabilities, but rather because of the incessant warfare amongst Greek cities. Their focus on ...


8

To better answer this question you need to go back to the opening stages of the invasion. Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Northern France took place beginning on June 6th 1944. However, it took several weeks for the Allied forces to break out from their initial positions and by the time this happened most of the German forces that had been in ...


8

According to this source, Napoleon was particularly indebted to Sun Tzu for the combination of "Chang" and Ch'i. http://www.lesc.net/blog/napoleon-and-sun-tzu-gary-gagliardi-science-strategy-institute That is, the combination of a direct attack, which could be repulsed with difficulty, followed by a "smaller," but more lethal surprise attack that would ...


7

The invasion of Italy was a huge psychological success for the Allies. It caused the Italian government to overthrow Mussolini in a coup d'etat and join the Allies. One (admittedly the weakest) of the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis had fallen before the Allies lost one of their major powers (Britain, the Soviet Union or China) to the Axis. From this point of view, ...


7

Campaigns of Napoleon: The Mind and Method of History's Greatest Soldier by David Chandler is a good source of informations on Napoleon. See pages 749-797, chapter "War Pans and Preparations". Mostly, the supplies were stored and ran from Poland. However, the army was accompanied by no less than 200,000 animals and 250,000 vehicles. A lot of the supplies ...


7

DISCLAIMER - the answer is written from the point of view of Reich's rulers Invading the USSR was not a strategic blunder, the timing however was unfortunate. The alliance with Japan was intended to provide the Soviets with a second front in the east, drawing their troops away from the west, thus making things easier for the Germans. And for a while it ...


7

I voted up lins314159's answer. I would like to add a couple of things though. The vast majority of Alexander's empire actually started his tenure as the Persian's empire. So a great deal of credit (and attention) should be paid to all the work they did to put that empire together. However, Persia's loss of the Persian-Greek wars 100 years earlier had ...


6

As far as I know, David's correct - the wargame as we know it today was invented shortly after Napoleon's time by a Prussian man named Reiswitz. Without knowing your source on this, I see three possibilities for Napoleon's wargames: 1) It was something like chess (variations were popular at the time), which could provide the psychological insight you ...


5

Napoleon's army got some supplies from occupied and allied territories of course, especially from Prussia and Poland. Still, the distances were too long to get sufficient supplies in and so the soldiers plundered villages on their way to collect food. This turned out particularly devastating on their way back: the Russians used scorched earth tactics and the ...


5

Broad answer for a broad question: the introduction of tanks shifted the advantage back in favour of the attacker. During WWI, the machine gun made it very easy to defend a chunk of ground. You dug some trenches to protect against shells, set up this heavy weapon, and mowed down anyone who came too close. That's why they had such huge casualties for ...


5

Italy was (and is) an industrial and financial powerhouse - Mussolini was an ineffective wartime leader, but the resources his nation lent Hitler were essential to continuing the war. Removing Italy from the Axis sphere of influence was high on the list of Allied strategic goals - remember, the Allies' game plan was to deny Germany the means to make war in ...


5

Suleiman the Magnificent died a year after the Great Siege and was succeeded by Selim II. The change in leadership also brought a change of focus. Selim decided to move against the equally strategically positioned Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The War of Cyprus started only five years after the Great Siege, and although the Ottomans ultimately prevailed, ...


4

If the thrust of the question is, did Hitler lose World War II because of the way he treated the Jews and other people he didn't like, that is a very interesting question. There are actually TWO issues here. 1) Did the cost of resources expended in the Holocaust help defeat the war effort, and 2) Did the "opportunity cost" of the Holocaust help the defeat ...


3

The Italian campaign, while it diverted German troops from the Russian front, also diverted landing craft, troops and other resources from the Allied buildup to invade France, delaying that event into 1944. As an earlier post noted, when the Allies did invade France from the south, they inflicted substantial casualties on the Germans at a far lower cost than ...


3

Joe Johnston is one of the intriguing generals in the ACW but his record is mixed to say the least. And I say that as someone who likes the man. His abilities to plan were somewhat lacking. He came within an ace of being cut off from Atlanta in the opening stages when McPherson pulled back from Resaca into Snake Creek Gap, allowing the Rebs to pull back ...


3

The Charisma - Macedonian soldiers were ready to go with Alexander, because they loved their leader and didn't just go with him because of fear of him. The War techniques - Alexander was "great" at designing new techniques at war. For example, He let the war chariots go inside his line and made his warriors attack the chariots from behind. The chariots then ...


3

Against the Romans, Alexander would have lost. Several hundred years later, when Perseus of Macedon fought the Roman army, the Macedonians found it hard to keep the line strait and their ranks unbroken, so once there was a gap, the Romans would rush in and massacre the people left and right. The Macedonians with a ridged command structure and armed with ...


2

According to Napoleon: His Army and His Generals: Their Unexamples Military Career (Jean Charles Dominique de Lacretelle, Page 382), Napoleon played vingtun "21" (aka Blackjack) and chess when he was being taken into exhile. As a somewhat complex strategy game, it would be a telling example of a general's behavior, though I don't have proof that he played it ...


1

With the primacy of the tactical defense and the Confederacy's paucity of manpower resources, perhaps Joseph Johnston should have been in command of the Army of Tennessee a lot sooner than just after the disaster at Missionary Ridge (November 25, 1863). If Rosecrans would have had to try to maneuver against Johnston in central Tennessee instead of against ...


1

Johnston's strategy was clearly correct. He traded space for time, and whittled away at the attacking army. This was what the entire Confederacy needed to do. As to Hood's policy: the historical rule of thumb, going back centuries, was that an attacker needed to outnumber a defender 3 to 1 to be able to carry a strongly defended position. During the ...


1

Extending the supply lines of the enemy Drawing the enemy into a difficult terrain the defenders know better Trading space for time Waging partisan warfare behind the enemy lines Turning the war into one of attrition (works if you have numerical supremacy)



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