Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2007/01/14[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]
At 08:30 AM 1/14/2007, Bill Smith wrote: >Although I'm no authority on WWII weapons, it is legendary......... >and fortunate that overdesign of many of their arms and vehicles were >somewhat of a cause of their defeat too. Yes and no. The Germans really did try to make their military gear as user-repairable as possible. The basic toolkit necessary to tune a Messerschmidt fighter, for instance, was around five pieces, something on the order of two wrenches, two gauges (metal pieces such as we use to adjust valves or ignition points, if anyone on the List remembers those!), and a special socket. German engineers were generally required to go with their designs during the field tests and to perform the field maintenance, which made them very aware of the problems the poor sod who had to change the oil in pouring rain would have to handle. German problems were deeper in that they simply lacked middle maintenance. An end-item could be well handled by the using unit but even a minor blot would mandate that it be taken back to Germany for overhaul. The US and UK had a rather sophisticated middle level which prevented this problem. And then there was logistics awareness on the part of German planning staffs and commanders. Essentially, German field commanders did not understand WHY fuel and ammo and food was unavailable: Rommel is probably the worst exemplar of this and he would have been the King of the Orient had he given the sort of thought to this that was normal to Alexander or Patton or MacArthur or Slim. And the German staff structure also ignored the loggies. The US/UK system mandated that all operational plans had to pass through the hands of the supply & maintenance guys to see what could realistically be supported. The German system tended to work along the lines of the operations guys ORDERING the logisticians to handle things as ordered, and who cared if the supplies were simply not available? Well, then, MAKE them available! (I had a sobering discussion over Guiness about this in Lexington, Virginia, some months back with a rising German scholar in WWII: he spluttered and denied and never did admit that the German staff system was all operations and no admin or log or intel, though such is the case.) And understand why there is a splint #3 main bearing available for air-cooled VW engines. This was mandated for operations in Norway (the same process which led to the KL Leica cameras) and proved useful on the Eastern Front so feared by Sergeant Schultze. You can still buy these today from VW. It is a shame that Leica no longer offers the double ball-bearing modification for LTM cameras. Marc firstname.lastname@example.org Cha robh b?s fir gun ghr?s fir!