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  1. - Top - End - #121
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by ExLibrisMortis View Post
    That's very insightful, Tobtor, thank you .

    Do you think it would be acceptable, from a medieval (city) lawmaker's perspective, to have a semi-permanent non-citizen community of labourers outside the city walls? Essentially a group of people who do not enjoy the protection of the city, but who are permitted to stay around for day labour and such, with the understanding that they'll be forced to flee in the case of siege?
    I agree on the answers of snowblizz.

    In general a (medieval European) city would want to have the labour adhere to city laws, since they need to be under some jurisdiction. If they wher enot uder the city, then they would be under a noble (or the church) which means two things: any fine they pay is not paid to the city, any punishment in form of forced labour goes to someone else etc, 2. said other authority will be their "lord" giving that authority influence over city labour-force is unwelcome.

    You could imagine a situation where a (very) powerful noble enforce such a situation, but the city would in general try to go around that by getting their own workforce.

    If what is wished for (for story purposes I assume) is a lower class living outside the city proper, that is possible. You could make a city with some area around the walls officially part of the city (such as beforementioned villages), but just with work force living there.
    Alternatively: As many cities are on rivers/coast, it could be that the main city was on an island (just off the coast or in the middle of the river) with a poorly defended "new" town on the mainland, with a very poor wall (perhaps just a dike)where the lower classes lived. They would still have to be subjected to city law, but was perhaps not citizens (there is a clear distinction between citizens and population in a city, but they are all under the city law).

  2. - Top - End - #122
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    This is a somewhat silly question...

    But in a medieval-ish fort or castle... Where were located the toilets that the soldiers used? Where did they bathe/wash themselves?
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  3. - Top - End - #123
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by BlacKnight View Post
    Wow, thanks for the detailed answers !
    The legal matters are very interesting. I wonder how things worked in the Roman Empire.
    Was immigration more free and common ? I suppose yes, but on the other side I don't know how they could police themselves more efficiently.
    If someone from Minor Asia arrived in a big Italian city would he have been forbidden from inhabiting in the city center ? But if he committed a crime and then escaped to Gaul ?
    The answer is that, similar to the British empire before ~1950, they were Roman citizens first and geographical location second. Immigration was common for occupations that required travel (merchants, soldiers, sailors, teachers, priests) but not common for normal workers.

    As for crime it was similar to anywhere else in the pre-radio transmission world. If you escaped to a new area and didnít draw attention to yourself you were basically safe. You probably were safe if you made it to the next city unless you had done something that made someone very important want to hunt you down.

  4. - Top - End - #124
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
    This is a somewhat silly question...

    But in a medieval-ish fort or castle... Where were located the toilets that the soldiers used? Where did they bathe/wash themselves?
    Many castles had toilet chutes cut into the walls for the use of some denizens. Others in the castle likely used a cesspit. These would have been unsealed generally, allowing gasses to escape, and then occasionally mixed with straw and cleaned out by a gong farmer. The mixture would be shipped out and used as fertilizer.

  5. - Top - End - #125
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
    This is a somewhat silly question...

    But in a medieval-ish fort or castle... Where were located the toilets that the soldiers used? Where did they bathe/wash themselves?
    The "privy" was originally a small structure placed inside or by/ontop the outerwall with a hole leading out. It wasn't that uncommon really from what I gather. Preferrably it would be over a moat or towards the river/water. Whatever counts as the backside (pun somewhat intended) of your castle.

    Yes at least once a castle (English one in France) fell because the enemy (the French) managed to infiltrate the crapchute.

    You washed in a bathhouse. No not a big Roman spa. Sort of like the lockerroom at a sportsclub. Or maybe in your private apartments if important enough to get/have those, it kinda depended.

    I just read a book about the Teutonic order and they built quite comfortable castles with amenities to make their lives a bit more bearable.

    Not all castles would be equally well equipped of course.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    A question for a modern context - if, due to production issues, the number of tanks available to an invading force has been attrited down far below its original number, to the point that only (relatively speaking) a handful are left, what 'workarounds' would there be to try and solve the issue?

    Additionally, assuming the same production problems mean that the numbers of other vehicles are insufficient, would it make sense to, using vehicles seized from the occupied territory it controls, the invading force tried to quickly mass-produce a large number of lightly-armored vehicles, basically technicals? They would presumably not be good for direct combat with a properly-equipped opposing force, but could they pick up the slack in other areas?
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  7. - Top - End - #127
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by PersonMan View Post
    A question for a modern context - if, due to production issues, the number of tanks available to an invading force has been attrited down far below its original number, to the point that only (relatively speaking) a handful are left, what 'workarounds' would there be to try and solve the issue?

    Additionally, assuming the same production problems mean that the numbers of other vehicles are insufficient, would it make sense to, using vehicles seized from the occupied territory it controls, the invading force tried to quickly mass-produce a large number of lightly-armored vehicles, basically technicals? They would presumably not be good for direct combat with a properly-equipped opposing force, but could they pick up the slack in other areas?
    The easiest thing to do is to look at what the Germans did in WW2.

    In situations where numbers of tanks were depleyed they were withdrawn from the frontline, and nursed back to critical strength. If the situation was totally desperate they would be held as a last ace in the hole either in attack or defence.

    For the production not keeping up with demand:
    - Integrate captured vehicles into your forces. This is only really viable if you have also captured production facilities.
    - Produce casemated assault guns/tank destroyers built on the chassis of existing tanks. I donít know about modern era but in WW2 AFV production it is the turret ring that was the most difficult to produce, which is why only the US produced turreted tank destroyers and why the Germans built so many Stugs.
    - produce Ďtechnicalsí on the chassis of your equivalent of half tracks.
    - produce improved infantry anti-tank weapons and anti-tank guns.
    - develop infantry anti-tank doctrines that give your infantry enhanced ability to take on armour.
    - use your airforce to off set your relative lack of armour.

    Britain, Japan, the USSR and Italy all did these activities to some degree or another, but teh Germans were the masters.
    Last edited by Pauly; 2018-11-09 at 04:04 AM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Pauly View Post
    For the production not keeping up with demand:
    - Integrate captured vehicles into your forces. This is only really viable if you have also captured production facilities.
    The Finnish army in WW2 used a lot of captured Soviet tanks despite not being anywhere near the actual production facilities.

    WW2 vehicles are ofc orders of magnitude simpler than a modern MBT. Though eg in the middle east ISIS used a lot of captured American equipment they had taken from Iraqi forces.

    ISIS also produced a range of armoured vehicles based on civilian vehicles (and yes it totally looked like some Mad Max 40k Ork hybrids) so there are more ideas there. A previous iteration of the thread had links to pictures.

    I agree with the idea that you would withdraw and concentrate what strength you had. That's also what the Germans grudingly did. Concentrating good forces into "firefighter task forces" to send to critical points.

    Quote Originally Posted by PersonMan View Post
    A question for a modern context - if, due to production issues, the number of tanks available to an invading force has been attrited down far below its original number, to the point that only (relatively speaking) a handful are left, what 'workarounds' would there be to try and solve the issue?

    Additionally, assuming the same production problems mean that the numbers of other vehicles are insufficient, would it make sense to, using vehicles seized from the occupied territory it controls, the invading force tried to quickly mass-produce a large number of lightly-armored vehicles, basically technicals? They would presumably not be good for direct combat with a properly-equipped opposing force, but could they pick up the slack in other areas?
    Honestly. The answer is in my opinion: draw upon the vast strategic reserve of tank overproduction you did for political reasons. And then dip into the stores of previous generation tanks mothballed somewhere.

    No modern army relies on actual tank production to keep numbers up. And no modern army is mentally equipped to stat making use of technicals.

    I'm also having trouble imagining a scenario where you lose so many tanks and aren't consequently just losing. If you are invading something this is the point where you stop and go "well, that's not working at all, we need to do something else" not start welding armour on pickups to keep an offensive going because clearly you are totally failing at that. So rather then your workaround is one of strategy and tactics not vehicular.
    Also as you acknowledge "technicals" won't directly replace tanks. But tanks only do tank jobs. You can't free up slack as there is none. Civillian trucks/cars can move men and materiel, but tanks are not involved here. Presumably improvised technicals could do jobs normally associated with light military vehicles but then we are back to the problem of "we are clearly losing the war following this strategy so a improvised bandaid isn't going to be fixing our deep strategic mistake".

    So in short, no it wouldn't. Improvised vehicles are the choice of the irregular and desperate mainly. Any fight that takes out your tanks in droves is not gonna be solved with technicals.

  9. - Top - End - #129
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Pauly View Post
    The easiest thing to do is to look at what the Germans did in WW2. [...]
    Thanks for the info!

    Quote Originally Posted by snowblizz View Post
    Honestly. The answer is in my opinion: draw upon the vast strategic reserve of tank overproduction you did for political reasons. And then dip into the stores of previous generation tanks mothballed somewhere.
    Oh, that's something I hadn't considered; I'll work that into the scenario as a factor, thanks for mentioning it!

    No modern army relies on actual tank production to keep numbers up. And no modern army is mentally equipped to stat making use of technicals.
    Mentally equipped? What exactly do you mean by that?

    I'm also having trouble imagining a scenario where you lose so many tanks and aren't consequently just losing. If you are invading something this is the point where you stop and go "well, that's not working at all, we need to do something else" not start welding armour on pickups to keep an offensive going because clearly you are totally failing at that. So rather then your workaround is one of strategy and tactics not vehicular.
    Oh, they're definitely losing. I should clarify - the technicals aren't meant to be a solution, but rather a symptom of the problems plaguing the invading force, a stopgap set up by lower-level leadership.

    Presumably improvised technicals could do jobs normally associated with light military vehicles but then we are back to the problem of "we are clearly losing the war following this strategy so a improvised bandaid isn't going to be fixing our deep strategic mistake".
    That was the idea, yeah - that you replace lighter vehicles with these makeshift ones and divert the saved resources into more tanks.

    So in short, no it wouldn't. Improvised vehicles are the choice of the irregular and desperate mainly. Any fight that takes out your tanks in droves is not gonna be solved with technicals.
    Would they potentially be of use, say, in providing more light vehicles for infantry to use on the defensive?

    A bit more context: the idea is that the invading force has significant early successes, but is already overstretched at the beginning and then "suddenly" runs into major issues when after a few major meat-grinder battles they find themselves unable to keep pushing forwards.

    At this point the strategic leadership is in shambles (and can't effectively be replaced, due to a massive political crisis) and measures like "weld armor plates onto trucks" are measures taken by lower-level leadership in an increasingly desperate situation. So the technicals are less a strategic solution and more an attempt by local commanders to try and mitigate a problem they can't actually solve.
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  10. - Top - End - #130
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by PersonMan View Post
    Thanks for the info!



    Oh, that's something I hadn't considered; I'll work that into the scenario as a factor, thanks for mentioning it!



    Mentally equipped? What exactly do you mean by that?



    Oh, they're definitely losing. I should clarify - the technicals aren't meant to be a solution, but rather a symptom of the problems plaguing the invading force, a stopgap set up by lower-level leadership.



    That was the idea, yeah - that you replace lighter vehicles with these makeshift ones and divert the saved resources into more tanks.



    Would they potentially be of use, say, in providing more light vehicles for infantry to use on the defensive?

    A bit more context: the idea is that the invading force has significant early successes, but is already overstretched at the beginning and then "suddenly" runs into major issues when after a few major meat-grinder battles they find themselves unable to keep pushing forwards.

    At this point the strategic leadership is in shambles (and can't effectively be replaced, due to a massive political crisis) and measures like "weld armor plates onto trucks" are measures taken by lower-level leadership in an increasingly desperate situation. So the technicals are less a strategic solution and more an attempt by local commanders to try and mitigate a problem they can't actually solve.
    A lot of the strategic overproduction is due to a need to keep skilled technicians employed, not lost to the civilian job market. It takes a very long time to train a skilled armor welder, for example, and to keep that person employed and available for potential war production you need to keep making tanks.

    Pressing captured tanks into service depends a lot on how much you captured. The Finns were able to keep a small number of KV-1s and T-34s in service because they devoted a lot of resources to maintenance and scavenging of parts. The Germans on the other hand deployed roughly 400 captured T-34s, but at a lower level of serviceability. The Australians pressed a number of captured M11/39s and M13/40s captured from the Italians into service, but that was 9nly for a short time.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    I just read the zonbie survival guide and its a partly hilarious, partly enraging compilation of debunked myths (world war z was actually a good read, but the survival guide is just so bad...). Anyways it mentions shark suits as possible armor and it got me thinking:

    How do those compare to historical mail armor?

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by PersonMan View Post
    Mentally equipped? What exactly do you mean by that?
    Basically modern armies are not exactly flexible and creative on the strategic layer. They have policies. Training. Insurance procedures (the US army paid troops to keep helmets on to reduce insurance dues!). As you say it would be the lower levels that does it but it will be haphazard and might run into issues of bureaucratic nature. What form do you use to requisition the use of the SAW on a Toyota flatbed. Who is gonna put their neck out to authorize that?

    Basically the "we trained to fight the last war" problem.

    Now it has happened for sure. During the Vietnam war they improvised a fighting platform out of APC:s "in-theatre". IIRC the modifications were improved and authorized later stateside and formed an upgrade kit for new APCs being made.

    The Normandie hedge cutters were a "grunt idea".

    What I'm sorta trying to get at is perhaps the difference between the US and UK ww2 armies. The former only used Shermans becasue damit Shermans. The latter used Hobart's funnies because they knew they needed specialised equipment for specialised jobs. That sorta showcases a difference in "flexible thinking" on the higher levels that can limit improvising.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Pauly View Post
    The answer is that, similar to the British empire before ~1950, they were Roman citizens first and geographical location second. Immigration was common for occupations that required travel (merchants, soldiers, sailors, teachers, priests) but not common for normal workers.

    As for crime it was similar to anywhere else in the pre-radio transmission world. If you escaped to a new area and didnít draw attention to yourself you were basically safe. You probably were safe if you made it to the next city unless you had done something that made someone very important want to hunt you down.
    I have read that, during the Edo period, it was easy to dodge the lawkeepers: Change your name, clothing and hairdo, move to a different place (within Edo itself, moving to a different part of the city was often enough) and you were reasonably safe...

    The real problem was to find a new place to live while lacking connections and papers. Society was organized as a web of interconnected, mostly self-governing families, villages and guilds, overseen by the daimyo and/or shogun's bureoucracy (the villages and guilds took care of themselves, the bureaocracy dealt with the heads of the groups, not with the individuals within each group). A stranger who wouldn't be taken in by somebody into their group was an outcast, and was considered an outlaw by default...

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Pauly View Post
    The easiest thing to do is to look at what the Germans did in WW2.

    - Produce casemated assault guns/tank destroyers built on the chassis of existing tanks. I donít know about modern era but in WW2 AFV production it is the turret ring that was the most difficult to produce, which is why only the US produced turreted tank destroyers and why the Germans built so many Stugs.
    This isn't quite accurate. The reason for casemated assault guns is not "turret rings are hard to build", it is "this way we don't have to build a hull and a turret" combined with "we can fit much bigger gun casemated into the hull than we can put on a turret for a given vehicle size" and "we have huge stockpiles of parts and equipment for this obsolete tank chassis we've retired as a tank".

    The turreted US tank destroyers are due to an oddity in WWII US doctrine. Analysis of the Polish and French campaigns resulted in the belief that armor would always break through, because the attacker could always choose a point where the defender had insufficient AT guns and punch cleanly through. The doctrinal solution for this was to produce (relatively) high speed, lightly-armored vehicles mounting the best AT guns available, to intercept and destroy the armored breakthrough. Turrets were needed for this purpose because it was not possible to pre-position them in a perfect spot.


    In practice, armor didn't have nearly as easy a time as US planners thought it would.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Clistenes View Post
    I have read that, during the Edo period, it was easy to dodge the lawkeepers: Change your name, clothing and hairdo, move to a different place (within Edo itself, moving to a different part of the city was often enough) and you were reasonably safe...

    The real problem was to find a new place to live while lacking connections and papers. Society was organized as a web of interconnected, mostly self-governing families, villages and guilds, overseen by the daimyo and/or shogun's bureoucracy (the villages and guilds took care of themselves, the bureaocracy dealt with the heads of the groups, not with the individuals within each group). A stranger who wouldn't be taken in by somebody into their group was an outcast, and was considered an outlaw by default...
    That question depends a lot on tne society. Japan is a very tight society full of mutual obligations and little travel, plus in Edo era Japan there was a tight level of government control.

    Roman and British societies for example were more open and had less tight government control. Mobility to big cities was fairly common but movement to small villages much less so.

    In colonies, remember Rome did have colonies too, like Austalia or Canada immigration and mixing in of new people was the norm.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    This isn't quite accurate. The reason for casemated assault guns is not "turret rings are hard to build", it is "this way we don't have to build a hull and a turret" combined with "we can fit much bigger gun casemated into the hull than we can put on a turret for a given vehicle size" and "we have huge stockpiles of parts and equipment for this obsolete tank chassis we've retired as a tank".

    The turreted US tank destroyers are due to an oddity in WWII US doctrine. Analysis of the Polish and French campaigns resulted in the belief that armor would always break through, because the attacker could always choose a point where the defender had insufficient AT guns and punch cleanly through. The doctrinal solution for this was to produce (relatively) high speed, lightly-armored vehicles mounting the best AT guns available, to intercept and destroy the armored breakthrough. Turrets were needed for this purpose because it was not possible to pre-position them in a perfect spot.


    In practice, armor didn't have nearly as easy a time as US planners thought it would.
    The reason why turret production was slower than hull production was primarily due to the difficulty in engineering turret rings. The French were unable to build large turret rings and were forced to build one man turrets - they knew one man turrets were bad but they had no other choice.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    If anyone's interested, the chieftain has a pretty good video on the history of the us tank destroyer doctrine.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ho8TU_JpoI

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVII

    With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
    England mourns for her dead across the sea.
    Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
    Fallen in the cause of the free.

    Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
    Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
    There is music in the midst of desolation
    And a glory that shines upon our tears.

    They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
    Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
    They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
    They fell with their faces to the foe.

    They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning
    We will remember them
    .

    They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
    They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
    They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
    They sleep beyond England's foam.

    But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
    Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
    To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
    As the stars are known to the Night;

    As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
    Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
    As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
    To the end, to the end, they remain.

    For the Fallen, a Poem by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943), published in The Times newspaper on 21 September 1914.
    100 years ago today, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, in the Year of our Lord 1918, the Armistice that ended WW1 came into effect. the fighting continued in some areas literally up to the minute, as the allies attempted to put themselves into the best position for the upcoming negotiations. The German high command at the time still harboured hopes of renewing the war if the terms of peace were too harsh, and the allies knew this, hence the seemingly pointless advances at the last hour. thankfully. the Armistice held as the economic pressure on the Germans dashed any hopes they had, and forced them to accept terms at almost any cost.


    The part in bold is spoken at the Act of Remembrance, all across the UK, at 11am today, just before the bugler calls Last Post to start the two minutes silence. People all across the UK have been wearing a poppy for weeks now, due to the Poppy Appeal, a veterans charity set up after ww1. The poppy was chosen as their symbol as the flower grows well on disturbed ground, and was among the first plants to recolonise the mud-churned battlefields of ww1.

    While Remembrance Sunday is a UK holiday to remember our own war dead, we have always welcomed those who wish to honour their own. Joint services between the British and Germans were a common fixture in the British garrison on Germany, as we separate the German people form the National Socialist Government that drove their country into the ground (although, the allies had a hand in that as well, unfortunately, see below).


    as such, I would extend that invitation to the Playground, to remember those, in the words of the Kohima Epitaph:

    When you go home, tell them of us and say,
    For your tomorrow, we gave our today


    Whatever nationality, and indeed whatever occupation, for a person can serve as a civilian firefighter or a nurse just as much as a tank driver.

    Lest we forget.

    LCpl Bradley, Royal Corps of Signals, British Army.


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    to expand on what I said about it being partly the allies fault, the allies declared quite early on that they would accept no terms, no conditions on any surrender form Germany, it had to be unconditional. their intent was to avoid the development of another "stab in the back" myth, where some Germans in the interwar period convinced themselves that the German army in ww1 was not defeated on the battlefield, but by weak willed civilians, power hunger politicians and fifth columnists at home disrupting the home front and then brining down the government. Part of this was the fact that the Armistice of 1918 was a conditional, temporary armistice, as one would expect between equals, as did the stylings of the Treaty of Versailles, which while strictly pro-forma, still overserved the usual niceties given to a sovereign power .

    The "stab in the back" isn't true, the German Army was soundly beaten, and it wasn't going to be able to stop the allies pushing onto German soil (the front lines were almost, but not quite, at the German border at the Armistice), but it was widely repeated and believed in Germany pre ww2

    Thus, this time around the allies wanted to avoid anything that could be latched onto as a similar "proof" this time around. they wanted to make clear that Germany was beaten, and would have no say in whatever terms they chose to impose.


    Unfortunately, what this gave the Germans propagandists was proof that the allies were out to destroy the Germans as a nation and as a people, and that the German people were fighting not just for Hitler, but for their very way of life and values. The higher ups also realised that since Hitler would never agree to such terms, they were effectively no terms at all, and thus a death sentence to Germany. This was part of the reason the Germans carried on fighting in 1945, when it was clear to all the war was lost, because as they say it, their was no other option, no alternative.

    Considering what happened after the war, with the country being split in twain, turned into occupied territory and (in the soviet part) looted to rebuild the victors, one could argue the German propagandists were telling the truth when they said it was a war to eradicate Germany,

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    Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Tommy, 'ow's yer soul? "
    But it's " Thin red line of 'eroes " when the drums begin to roll
    The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
    O it's " Thin red line of 'eroes, " when the drums begin to roll.

    "Tommy", Rudyard Kipling

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