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"Who Had The Best Forces In WWII" Topic

51 Posts

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1,631 hits since 28 Jan 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Lee49428 Jan 2019 9:41 p.m. PST

Just to get it rolling I'll start. Air Force: Bombers US/UK tie; Fighters US; Support Germans. Navy: Carriers US; Surface US; Submarines US/Germany tie. Army: Infantry Germans; Armored German/US tie; Artillery US. OK have at it! Cheers!

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP28 Jan 2019 10:16 p.m. PST

United States

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP28 Jan 2019 11:52 p.m. PST

Special forces – UK

Infantry – Australia

Snipers – Finland

foxweasel29 Jan 2019 12:33 a.m. PST

Brazil all round, or maybe Switzerland.

Risaldar Singh29 Jan 2019 12:36 a.m. PST

Air Force: Australia
Navy: Canada
Army: Siam

Benito Champley29 Jan 2019 3:40 a.m. PST


Whirlwind29 Jan 2019 4:20 a.m. PST

It would be more interesting if people showed their working.

Fred Cartwright29 Jan 2019 4:23 a.m. PST

Best hot beverage is definitely the British! :-)

Fred Cartwright29 Jan 2019 4:26 a.m. PST

Cutest tank is a tie between the Italian L6 and the Japanese type 94!

deephorse29 Jan 2019 5:27 a.m. PST

Most interesting collection of roadwheels, the Germans.

advocate29 Jan 2019 6:30 a.m. PST

Sir, sir, they're not taking this war seriously!

BrockLanders29 Jan 2019 6:32 a.m. PST

Germans definitely had the best uniforms and helmets

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP29 Jan 2019 6:49 a.m. PST

US for best chow.

skipper John Supporting Member of TMP29 Jan 2019 8:15 a.m. PST

The US. They were the ones that either kicked, or saved the butts of everyone else involved. Apples, apples, apples!

Who asked this joker29 Jan 2019 8:21 a.m. PST

The allies. They won.

Irish Marine Supporting Member of TMP29 Jan 2019 8:51 a.m. PST

The United States Marine Corps.

Legion 429 Jan 2019 8:53 a.m. PST

Anything Russian … they had a lot of everything and used them to their advantage. Even if it did cost them some high losses. Which they were willing to accept, it appears.

Of course in all categories IMO, it depends on the year(s). E.g. '39-'41 the Germans overall. Even if the UK & France had "better" and more tanks/AFVs in e.g. '40. But the Germans knew how to use what they had, much better than anyone else at that time, i.e. Blitzkrieg …

Waco Joe29 Jan 2019 9:34 a.m. PST

USSR – "quantity has a quality all of its own"

14th NJ Vol Supporting Member of TMP29 Jan 2019 9:44 a.m. PST

Infantry – U S Marines, followed by Japanese who did more w/ less support.
Armor – Russians mass does have value
Artillery – US time on target, volume, control
Bombers- US steadily increased numbers & had B29 at the end
Air Superiority Fighters – US
Ground Attack fighters – Russian & Brits with dedicated types
Submarines- Germans & US

And of course the most important of all:
LOGISTICS- US and only the US

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP29 Jan 2019 9:49 a.m. PST

Best Atomic Bombs – US

donlowry29 Jan 2019 9:52 a.m. PST

Best navy -- Switzerland (never lost a battle or a ship)

foxweasel29 Jan 2019 10:02 a.m. PST

Air superiority fighters-British
Ground attack fighters-British
All boats-British

And of course the most important of all:
Alarm clocks- British, you Yanks were 2 years late. Ba-doom-tish, I thank you, I'm here all night:-)

This ridiculous question has been asked loads of times, it just ends in DHing and people ranting about how great their country was. None of it is quantifiable.

Martin Rapier29 Jan 2019 10:02 a.m. PST

It would be useful to know the criteria for 'best'.

Dupuy calculated it a divisional level based on relative loss ratios and advance rates adjusted by terrain, weather, numbers, equipment etc. In order:

German 1.2
US/UK 1.0
USSR 0.5-0.8 depending on period.

with quite large variations around the mean.

Other criteria might be number of divisions:


Or best uniforms


Or perhaps ground gained per million dollars spent:


or maybe size of national economy still standing in 1945


Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP29 Jan 2019 10:44 a.m. PST

Oh can have all sorts of fun with this one! Some examples:

Spiffy uniforms: Got to go with the Germans
Rations practical: US here, SPAM the food that keeps on giving
Rations quality: Sorry but going with the Italians here
Best use of an accordion: No contest, Russians all the way
Best mustaches: No question, the Brits all the way

Sure we can think of others :)

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP29 Jan 2019 11:46 a.m. PST

Army, probably the Germans until late '44
Air superiority fighter, probably the Mustang, once it had a Rolls-Royce engine.
Navy, the Japanese in 1941-2.
Submarines,and MTB's, German all the way.
Infantry, the Australians,Canadians and Poles.
Logistics, USA.
Bombers, the USA.

In finer detail:
Infantry rifle- US M1
Best SMG- MP40
Best LMG- MG42
Best hand held AT weapon- Panzerfaust.

Walking Sailor29 Jan 2019 12:06 p.m. PST

Best shipyards: US
Best Fleetsss: US
Best foundries: US
Best arsenals: US
Best rifle: US
Best aircraft factories: US
Best Air Forces: US

OK I'll split;
Best tank factories US/USSR
Best intel: US/UK (can't separate that special relationship)
Best General: US (Marshall)
Best Field Marshall: USSR (Zhukov)

Best GDP: US
Best finish: US
These two are what counts.

deephorse29 Jan 2019 12:07 p.m. PST

Good grief, some people are taking this seriously! I don't usually agree with foxweasel, but on this topic I do.

Fred Cartwright29 Jan 2019 12:18 p.m. PST

Weirdest tank of WW2 has got to be a win for New Zealand with the Bob Semple!

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP29 Jan 2019 12:18 p.m. PST

Stiffest upper lips?

Fred Cartwright29 Jan 2019 12:18 p.m. PST

Best looking aircraft the Brits with the Spitfire. A thing of beauty.

Korvessa29 Jan 2019 1:16 p.m. PST

Best use of a T26:

Finns using them to defeat T34

Bozkashi Jones29 Jan 2019 1:51 p.m. PST

Best air identification markings on ships: Italians
Best national anthem: Russians (or Italians…)
Best music: Americans
Best moustaches:I agree with Marc33594 – Brits
Best beards: Brits – RN and LRDPG
Best at standing alone when almost the whole of Europe has been overrun: Brits (and, of course, the Poles, French, Norwegians, Dutch, Canadians, Aussies, Kiwis, Jamaicans (yes, really), Czechs, Indians (blooming good soldiers), etc, who were here

But it's all a bit nuanced, isn't it?

FoxtrotPapaRomeo29 Jan 2019 2:02 p.m. PST

British Spitfires did go into space to take out the Dalek mothership …. and whilst Daleks can serve tea, they can't grow a moustache

Redblack29 Jan 2019 3:08 p.m. PST

Obviously Sweden and Switzerland as they never had to fight and spent the entire war making money off both sides.

Lion in the Stars29 Jan 2019 3:23 p.m. PST

'Best' corrupt establishment, costing lives and extending the conflict: USN Bureau of Ordnance, with the Mk14 and Mk15 torpedoes.

Timmo uk29 Jan 2019 3:25 p.m. PST

Best soundtrack – Rolls Royce Merlin

Best Nose art – US

Best improbable achievement – a biplane crippling possibly the best battleship but open to improvements on that.

Uncle Goblin29 Jan 2019 3:51 p.m. PST

Force of will?, force of reason?, force of gravity?.

Not sure so I'll go with the best farce: Chaplin with the Great Dictator. Best farce of ww2.

Legion 429 Jan 2019 4:25 p.m. PST

foxweasel … I think your evaluation is a bit biased … wink

Bozkashi Jones29 Jan 2019 5:10 p.m. PST

Timmo uk +1

TGerritsen Supporting Member of TMP29 Jan 2019 5:55 p.m. PST

Reminds of the sketch… ‘Sir, are we the baddies?'

Lion in the Stars29 Jan 2019 8:56 p.m. PST

Yeah, agree with Timmo UK on his set.

If you haven't heard a Merlin in Full Cry, you need to find someplace to hear it (I recommend the Reno Air Races). Glorious does not *begin* to describe it!

22ndFoot30 Jan 2019 7:36 a.m. PST

If you haven't seen this Spitfire fly over it is worth a few seconds of your time. Warning: Some strong language.

YouTube link

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP30 Jan 2019 12:57 p.m. PST

I have to go to Biggin Hill airport fairly regularly at work. There is a company based there that has a Spitfire adapted into a two-seater. You can buy a twenty minute pleasure flight for a bargain £2,500.00 GBP or thereabouts!

Anyway, I've been fortunate to see it flying over several times. One time I was by the industrial units round the back of the field and the Spit was taxiing round and then took off right in front of us. The noise when he opened the throttle and gave it the beans was stunning!

Lion in the Stars30 Jan 2019 2:11 p.m. PST

I was lucky enough to have a two-seater P51D Mustang at the airport where I was getting my aircraft mechanic's training. Guy only wanted some $300 USD for a half-hour's flying (IIRC, it's been 20 years), basically just enough to cover fuel. Sadly, I never had enough spare cash for a ride.

One day, we hear the owner call the tower for takeoff clearance and requested permission for a low pass when he got back from the practice area. (Such things are normally not allowed, but the Pocatello airport is very low-traffic) Tower's reply was, "Call us on your way back."

Everyone in the shop starts keeping an ear open for when he's coming back, and when he does we all stop work and go outside.

He's high above the pattern and fast already, then he tips the wing down and does a diving 180 turn to roar down the runway at 425knots, maybe 50 feet above ground. Loud, but oh, wow, that was glorious sound!

Then he pulls up into a big climb to shed speed and comes back around for a normal landing approach. That big Merlin was popping and snapping like the world's biggest string of firecrackers when she was at idle.

Walking Sailor30 Jan 2019 6:14 p.m. PST

That big Merlin was popping and snapping like the world's biggest string of firecrackers when she was at idle.
The Merlin was a dirty engine. The Pilot's Handbook instructed after each one hour of operating at cruising throttle to open the throttle to full power to blow out the accumulated carbon. At night this resulted in a shower of sparks.

William Ulsterman30 Jan 2019 8:50 p.m. PST

The most hostile attack was definitely that of Croft, Garner, Holding and Roberts. Much faster than any P-51 and with greater firepower.

Keith Talent31 Jan 2019 12:47 a.m. PST

Lol…true ,that one will go over US heads at about 30,000 feet, and slightly less fast than the originals

La Fleche31 Jan 2019 5:18 a.m. PST

Best at boiling water – New Zealand


William Ulsterman31 Jan 2019 6:32 p.m. PST

NZ – best attack – Lomu, J Wilson & Cullen, circa 1996.

Lion in the Stars01 Feb 2019 8:40 p.m. PST

The Merlin was a dirty engine. The Pilot's Handbook instructed after each one hour of operating at cruising throttle to open the throttle to full power to blow out the accumulated carbon. At night this resulted in a shower of sparks.

Comes from running very rich, but you'd be terrified of blowing the heads off in detonation if you really leaned out the mixture enough to avoid that. Merlins run at 55" manifold pressure (and 61" at War Emergency Power), that's about 12psi of boost for the car guys. The crazy fools who *race* Merlins run them at over 140" manifold pressure, which means about 2.5x the horsepower of a factory Merlin.

Similar fear among the P38 pilots in the Pacific, until Rickenbacker himself came over to fly with them, throttled down to 1600rpm (normally turning ~2200), which means really pulling the prop control back (more forward travel per revolution, though) and driving internal pressures way up.

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