Among major Axis Powers, Germany was the most deadly army which marched across Europe. With Germany producing nearly 80,000 armored vehicles, there was no country that could match their tactical expertise or vehicle quality, not even Russia's 70,000 T-34 tanks and an attack from Allied tanks on all fronts. From 1939 to 1940, the Germans were able to deal with Poland or Holland with light armored tanks. From the period 1941 to 1943, better armor and armament like the T-34's and the Shermans was produced but they were still vulnerable to most Allied tanks. Until 1943, only had the Panthers and Tigers tanks gave the Germans a technical edge over the Allies but they were still outnumbered by the increasing population of the Allied tanks. However, the well-equipped German infantry was strong enough to withstand almost every attack from the Allies. From 1943 to end 1944, as a whole, their skill level declined. Thoughout the war, the German Army had enough support from its artillery units but with the Luftwaffe changing from ground support to that of defence against the air raids over the Germany, it weakens the German artillery force towards its decline.
of over-eagerness and bad timing had Italy join the Axis. Poor military leadership
and equipment handicapped Italy's efforts in the war, but the Italian Army made
valuable contributions to the Axis.From the desert of North Africa to the snow-covered
plains of Russia. The Italian infantrysoldier was a man with no morale and lackluster.
The whole Italian tank production during WW II was nearly 3.500 tanks, undergunned
with poor armor.the artillery was perhaps the best troops fielded in the war,
well-trained, using 100+ guns, most 75mm field gun or 80mm mortar.
In World War 2, the Japanese Army was mostly an infantry-based army. They had expanded their tank program in the mid 1930's, about 6,000 armored vehicles of all types. At that time , there was a rivalry in the army between the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) and the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), their war industry produced separate models of planes, tanks and ships for each branch. Due to limited industrial resources and capacity, the Japanese army had to win the war quickly or stand to lose everything. At that time, the Japanese were the best soldiers in the war, with an unlimited devotion to duty, high morale and a never-say-die attitude towards the enemies. They believed in the all-out charge attack with bayonets and taking positions by pure force. However, because of insufficient automatic and anti-tank weapons, the infantry was only armed with rifles and grenades, they seemed to be fighting a suicidal battle. The Japanese tanks were mostly deployed in dense, heavily wooded terrain. Their opponents in the Pacific and Asian had only little or no armor so to overcome them the Japanese tanks were only lightly armored and undergunned in the war. The Japanese artillery had an odd mix of guns calibers and are only limited, with few recent designs guns, some from first World War and old guns from the early 1900's. There was no self-propelled artillery, most of them were horse-drawn or towed by truck. Due to doctrine and limited ammunition, some Japanese armies used massive bombardment like the Allies.
The major Allied Powers
The French army was thought to be the best after the first World War. In 1939, the French army that marched into the war was totally different from the one in 1914 as France had been racked by civil disorders and strikes, the entire political system was separated and the division power had affect the army severly. Soon, with the French army lacking proper discipline started to lose their morale and with an out-of-date tactical doctrine led to a defeat in 1940. For defensive roles, the properly equipped French soldiers were the most ideal but of lesser quality than the German. The France made several types of tanks, all in great designed and well-armored. However, the doctrines were out-dated and the tanks were mostly used for support of the infantry than exploitation roles. This had been a great mistake coupled with the failure to use tanks in groups. At that time, French Artillery had old pieces of the 75mm Howitzer from World War One and very modern guns. Due to its effective design, their 81mm Mortar was used by almost every nation.
In World War One, the British Army was the first who used tanks but at the begining of World War Two, Britain was far behind in tank tactics. However, the British Empire, Navy and Lend-Lease (by borrowing military equipment from the USA) managed to withstand the Germans until the Americans joined the war. In World War Two, the British soldiers were able to withstand their opponents, the Germans with stoicism, steadfastness reinforced by extreme cautious in using troops in battle, superbly trained and well disciplined (lack of aggressiveness), despite lacking the numbers. They constructed 30,000 tanks of all types, light reconnaissance for scouting, cruiser tanks for engaging enemy armor and heavily armored infantry tanks. Although the well-armored was still too slow to handle the fast moving German panzers and the cruiser tanks which were in decent armor, which was undergunned with 2lb. guns the British had good artillery and air support from the slow moving Blenheim to the dangerous Typhoon fighter bomber.
Russia was well-known for it's countless surviving from invasions and repelling invaders, with heavy losses. In the 1930's , the Red Army was one of the greatest armies in the world. Although great in strength, they had numerous weaknesses. Firstly, seventy percent of its officer corps of the great army of the early 1930's were either killed or exiled to Siberia, causing the Red Army to control nothing, than weak men who had either less eagerness or lack of tactical skills. Similarly, the Red Air Force had thousands of fighters and tanks, but most of them were ineffective in a modern war which ended up in a failure. Most people do not understand how close the German invasion of Russia came to a victory. Just a change of plans or better weather could have kicked Russia out of the War. However, the Germans had to deal with a grueling, bloody Eastern front that eventually consumed 20 million Russians and nearly 9 million Germans. Despite the early reversals of 1941 and 1942, the Red Army were luckily to triumphed over the Germans with great sacrifices. Although poorly led and equipped, the Russian soldiers fought with determination. In defence they were difficult to penetrate but on the attack, they lack the tactical control which often led to human wave assaults. The Red Army had about 30,000 light tanks in 1941 at first, because of it's poor maintainance, almost 80% of them were destroyed in the beginning of the invasion from the Germans. The T-34's were a serious threat which came as a shock to Germany, who had no tanks that could withstand the T-34's armor or its 76mm gun at that time, until the German Panther and Tiger shows up. In later battles, the Russian tanks could be compared to the Germans, except for their killing power. To compensate for it, most battles have Russian tanks that outnumbered the Germans with the ratio of nearly three to one, and with the use of the typical Russian tactic, charging forward and attempting to conquer with force. By the war's end, the Russians produced almost 100,000 tanks. The Russian artillery had large caliber 152mm gun pieces and rockets. In 1944 , Russian came to a ten to one advantage in gun tubes over the Germans, by war's end, they produced about 500 000 guns to do bombardments until infantry appears.
Before the US joined the war in December 1941 and dealt the Axis a great blow, the effects of US's war production were being felt. With a production of 90,000 tanks, over 2,200,000 transport vehicles and 240,000 planes in just a short period of time, the Allies an advantage over its rivals. In November 1942, an inexperienced US army landed in North Afica with the first offensive action. The US infantry were not the best soldiers as the army consisted of mostly volunteers or draftees and new officers which were unlikely to produce good results. The American soldiers were all well-supported, for every soldier at the front, eight rear echelon supported him and every soldier was good equipped with rifles and automatic weapons enjoying heavy firepower. The US had plenty of tanks and most US armor divisions were tank heavy. The US started to began the more heavily armored formations as the German blitzkrieg arose but the poorly armed Sherman had to fight the German Panther or Tiger often, even tank destroyers, like the M-10 Wolverine or Hellcat. With 76mm guns, they had problems shooting it out with the heavier German tanks. The Americans believed in "victory through firepower", this was more true during the war, when their artillery support came, by air power and offshore batteries, to break Germans attacks. Infantry at least had one battalion of 155mm guns and the 105mm howitzers, so there's plentiful ammunition available, lots of firepower, constantly artillery and air support.
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