Originally posted by toms
It has always struck me as odd how in recent wars (gulf, etc..) there tend to be firefights with incredibly mismatched casualy figures (2 Us, 200 iraqi etc..). I always thought this couldn't just be down to the Us troops having better aim or weapons... seems it might be down to the fact that only 2% of the untrained troops would be trying to kill, but 80% of the trained troops might.
A lot of other things come into play as well. Reaction times, air superiority, surprise, just to name three of them. But of course, being trained to kill during combat beats being issued a gun and kicked in the general direction of the fighting.
Oh, and about D-Day: A lot of the germans were holed up in machinegun nests. One of the scary discoveries during WWI was that when you sit in a machinegun nest, the moving shapes in front of you don't register as people. They're just targets, much like the crew in the heavy bomber merely reckons the factory below them as a target, not a house full of people. At least that's what I heard. The relatively easy victory on D-Day could come down to other things as well: The weather provided great cover for a surprise attack, the german commanders fuddled around with their Panzer reinforcements rather than committing them, and the bulk of the german army was tied up in an untendable situation on the eastern front.