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"What country had the best trained infantry in WWII?" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP22 Feb 2021 8:22 p.m. PST

Interesting question….



Legionarius22 Feb 2021 9:28 p.m. PST

Germany without a doubt. Japan was the most fanatical. The Soviets the most stubborn. But the Allies won!

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP23 Feb 2021 2:11 a.m. PST

In the right environment units like the Finns in a Winter War, New Zealand troops in the Western Desert, US paras in scattered small unit actions in NW Europe all have a claim. But of course this is not about elites, but the nation's army overall. Germany alas.

deephorse23 Feb 2021 2:20 a.m. PST

Best trained when? 1940 or 1944/45?

uglyfatbloke23 Feb 2021 5:54 a.m. PST

x2 for Deephorse. In 1941-2 Japanese infantry were very thoroughly trained, but standards slipped dramatically as the demand for troops increased.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP23 Feb 2021 7:32 a.m. PST

I agree it depends on the time – early war for tactical efficacy hard to beat the Germans, as noted Japanese well trained – by mid war the Soviets had largely caught up but after the losses from the 1844 offensives quality fell off again

Early war Brits were very well trained but it didn't always translate into operational effectiveness

Legion 423 Feb 2021 9:29 a.m. PST

Yes, I would agree too, it depends on the time frame.

Irish Marine Supporting Member of TMP23 Feb 2021 9:53 a.m. PST

The US Marine Corps.

Personal logo BobTYW Supporting Member of TMP23 Feb 2021 1:48 p.m. PST


mildbill24 Feb 2021 11:05 a.m. PST

Oddly enough , the Japanese were often very poor at jungle fighting techniques.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP24 Feb 2021 11:30 a.m. PST

Well… not jungle in Japan… (smile)


Skarper24 Feb 2021 6:58 p.m. PST

The question seems to refer to the overall, best trained infantry. Not elite or special units of any kind.

And – it has to be Germany from 1940 [1939 was a bit of a shambles from what I hear] to 1944.

After mid 1944 it's a bit of a wash. Everybody is conscripting new forces, 'training' them after a fashion, throwing them into battle to be destroyed at a rate that did not allow any unit cohesion to form or any experience to accumulate.

The Western Allies probably peaked in 1944 – from say June to September. After which things declined.

Lee49424 Feb 2021 10:58 p.m. PST

Ah yes. Best Trained. But that is so often mingled with Best Led. Best Tactics. Or Most Experienced. You can have really Well Trained Troops that perform poorly because of bad Leadership, Tactics and lack of experience. The Germans had good training, which when combined with their superb leadership, advanced tactics and more combat experience than anyone else, made them nearly unbeatable during the early war. By 1943 the Allies caught up, as the growing list of Axis defeats in 1943 proved. 1944 was probably the most balanced year but by 1945 everyone was scraping the bottom of the manpower barrel and training suffered accordingly.

Back to the main question … in general many of the smaller combatants, like Finnland and Canada, had better trained troops than the large ones like the US and USSR. French training was dismal. But other countries, like Poland, had training equal to the Germans, they were slaughtered by outdated weapons and tactics and pure numbers combined with an indefensible frontier. Your army can be really well trained in an outdated and flawed tactical doctrine and still get massacred. Food ForThought. 🤔


Legion 425 Feb 2021 9:45 a.m. PST

A weapon is only as good as the trooper or crew behind it. Plus capable leadership …

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP25 Feb 2021 12:10 p.m. PST


Sadly maybe one the last I post here and in TMP….


Marcus Brutus25 Feb 2021 1:42 p.m. PST

Why Tango?

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP26 Feb 2021 7:04 a.m. PST

Say it isnt so!

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP26 Feb 2021 9:58 a.m. PST

Oh no! Tango's lost his posting mojo!

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP26 Feb 2021 1:44 p.m. PST

You mean you do not know about the Links Directory?

I fear many will not. It is all explained on TMP Talk, but many may not know of this , let alone the Links thing

TMP link

I regret this, but it is obvious that there others who welcome the move.

Just as long as people know about this, that is all I would ask.

Oakley02 Mar 2021 2:42 p.m. PST

I would say that the British, Canadian and American troops that prepared for D-Day were the best trained because they had the longest time to train.
I remember reading that in 1944 a guard of honour, which was was formed up for a visiting German staff officer had to be made up of cooks, clerks and other old lags because none of the 'fighting' soldiers had been trained in basic square bashing drill.
Training is only part of the package. It has to be linked with a belief they are fighting for something. That could be The Fuhrer, The Motherland, The Emperor, or more frequently, your mates alongside you.

donlowry03 Mar 2021 9:16 a.m. PST

Early war Brits were very well trained but it didn't always translate into operational effectiveness

Showing that thoroughly trained and well trained are not necessarily the same thing!

Fall Rot08 Mar 2021 6:12 p.m. PST

Just came across this quote today from Israeli military historian Martin van Creveld from his book Kampfkraft (Fighting Power):

"The German Army was a superb fighting organization. In point of morale, elan, unit cohesion, and resilience, it probably had no equal among twentieth-century armies"

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