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Blunders?
dioman13
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Posted: Thursday, February 10, 2011 - 01:59 PM UTC
A blunder made by all in the war, political and military. Those who put their own image and self advancement ahead of need. Egos get a lot of people killed, ( we got there first even though it cost us 1/2 our troops ). History is full of this kind of nonsence. No names mentioned as I don't want to offend anyone, but just look at the history in the media on all sides by certain indiviuales such as polititions and generals of allied and axis. Who got fired because they ruffled their boss's feathers, even though they had a better way to do the job and be more effective with less loss's. Kind of like the attitude of , he's my friend or a nice kiss up, even though he's not a good leader so I'll keep him.
mmeier
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Posted: Monday, February 14, 2011 - 05:24 AM UTC
Forgot the lil Austrians biggest blunder:

Declaring war on the USA rather than sitting still and watch the US-Japanese slugfest

Not getting the USA involved would have hurt the Sowjets a lot (They relied heavily on US trucks for transport) and the Brits as well
DutchBird
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Posted: Monday, February 14, 2011 - 03:15 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Another blunder that is crazy. Stopping the attacks against the RAF and switching to cities.

Also something that people forget about is this. Germany did not shift its economy to a war time footing until after the war had started. If I recall they did not start a true war economy until late 40 or early 41.



C|:-)



Thanks for the compliments...

Good point about switching the targets from RAF bases to cities in 1940. It was indeed a mistake - athough to some extent understandable when taking home front considerations into account. Of course it is questionable whether the Germans would have been able to exploit an RAF defeat anyway, and whether a defeat of the RAF would have made FDR force the US into the war...

IIRC it was even later in the war that the Germans went to a full war economy. Not sure where I came across it, but there it was stated that German production numbers for arms peaked in the summer or late 1944. Coincidently this also puts a serious damper on the supposedly huge success of the allied bomber campaign that many think it was... (not in the least because it was trumped up for political reasons after the war).
DutchBird
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Posted: Monday, February 14, 2011 - 03:21 PM UTC

Quoted Text

A blunder made by all in the war, political and military. Those who put their own image and self advancement ahead of need. Egos get a lot of people killed, ( we got there first even though it cost us 1/2 our troops ). History is full of this kind of nonsence. No names mentioned as I don't want to offend anyone, but just look at the history in the media on all sides by certain indiviuales such as polititions and generals of allied and axis. Who got fired because they ruffled their boss's feathers, even though they had a better way to do the job and be more effective with less loss's. Kind of like the attitude of , he's my friend or a nice kiss up, even though he's not a good leader so I'll keep him.



Good point, although to some extent (self-) advertisement is a necessary evil to maintain morale of the troops (see for instance the turnaround among the British and Commonwealth troops in North Africa after the arrival of Montgomery, or Patton) of course if taken too far or when the alledged great gets hammered without a decent excuse, it immediately becomes counterproductive (see Clark or Montgomery again).

The political kiss-butt game is of course another matter, which usually is counterproductive - eventually a lesson that of most belligerants, Stalin might have learned best of all, ironically.
DutchBird
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Posted: Monday, February 14, 2011 - 03:39 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Forgot the lil Austrians biggest blunder:

Declaring war on the USA rather than sitting still and watch the US-Japanese slugfest

Not getting the USA involved would have hurt the Sowjets a lot (They relied heavily on US trucks for transport) and the Brits as well



AFAIK by the time Hitler declared war on the US, Germany and the US were already fighting a war in reality - the only reason it was not yet an official war was because Roosevelt was hampered by a Republican / isolationist Congress and House that was opposed to any US involvement in the war - even though Roosevelt knew better and they should have known better. Tricks Roosevelt engaged in well before the the official declaration of war:

- The whole lend lease program, basically shifting war production to the US. Where it IIRC was initially shipped through Canada to circumvent domestic opposition, I think it was before December 1941 that arms were shipped directly from US ports.

- IIRC the continuous relaxations of the conditions involving the lend lease agreement, to the point where it became a 'you get the weapons now, and we figure out what we get in return later.

- Lifting all restrictions on Americans who are willing to fight for someone else - they could volunteer for the Allied forces without any repercussions.

- Escorting (and protecting) Allied convoys further and further into the Atlantic when it became obvious that the Royal Navy and Allied navies were not able to cope with the U-boat threat and German surface raiders.

- I am not sure whether this actually happened, but it might have gone so far that American ships with American crews were supplied to the Allies (not sure whether this extended to merchant vessels only).

- Again not sure, but it might have gone as far as American ships under American flags bringing arms into Allied ports (including the UK).

AFAIK, American ships and German U-boats did engage in combat operations before Germany declared war on the US.

I think that the US would have entered the war openly regardless at some point, the question was only when. Indeed, a strong argument can be made that when Germany declared war on the US it was largely academic, and made little difference at the time - and by the time it did, that is to say when US troops got involved in serious numbers ( which was only in 1943), Germany had already lost the war.
goldenpony
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Posted: Monday, February 21, 2011 - 11:47 AM UTC
The German economy was hurt early on by the bombing campaign, but it kept increasing output. Decentralizing their production base helped to ensure that if one place was hit it did not make that large of an impact on the rest of the production chain.


IIRC the main impact to the German factories came when the allies finally began to make an effort to deprive them oil in late 44.


Germany and the US would have go into an official war no matter what happened in the Pacific. There had been attacks by both sides on one another prior to Pearl Harbor.

Stoottroeper
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Posted: Saturday, February 26, 2011 - 09:50 AM UTC
The biggest Allied blunder was "Market Garden", but not because it did not succeed or that the Allies should have given the gas to Patton.
The blunder is that after Market Garden, or any other Allied offensive, there wouldn't be enough supplies to follow up.
All the necessary stuff was still unloaded on the Normandy beaches and moved by truck to the front. After liberating Antwerpen they should have attacked in the direction of Walcheren to open the Westerschelde so that the supply-ships could enter Antwerpen harbour.
After that, they could have attacked anywhere they wished.

@Jim,

Quoted Text

The German economy was hurt early on by the bombing campaign, but it kept increasing output. Decentralizing their production base helped to ensure that if one place was hit it did not make that large of an impact on the rest of the production chain.


Yes, production went up, but the quality raced down and it became very hard to alter designs.

Peter
casailor
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Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 11:18 AM UTC
If the Army wanted LVTs they could have built them. It seems like the Ordnance people had a blind side where equipment developed by the Marines was concerned. The LVTs wouldn't have had any trouble with the swells at Omaha since unlike the DUKW they were a sea going design optimized for landing thru breakers.
casailor
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Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 11:28 AM UTC
The Japanese invading Hawaii would have been a real blunder. Even if they had been able to find and destroy the Enterprise and the Lexington, the Saratoga was in Puget Sound, and the Wasp, Hornet and Ranger were in the Atlantic just a couple of weeks away. The Japanese fleet would have been shackled to Pearl Hrabor at the end of a long, vulnerable supply line without the supplies and facilities at Pearl to repair battle damage. US forces would have torched the oil supplies and destroyed the drydocks and repair shops before capitulation. So at worst, it would have been four US fleet carriers with complete freedom of action against six Japanese fleet carriers tied to Pearl to prevent invasion. The US could have pecked them to death. Any damaged Japanese ships would have to go all the way back to Japan for repair, and every gallon of fuel, bullet and bite of food would have to be imported. The Japanese mechant fleet wasn't close to being capable of that.
mmeier
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Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 01:19 PM UTC
Based on that not "finishing off" Pearl by attacking the docks and fuel farms was a major japanese blunder. It would have made operations a lot more difficult for the US Navy.
dioman13
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Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 03:45 PM UTC
Heres another blunder by the Jappanese. Using their subs to attack war ships mostly. Where we used ours to attack everything especially cargo and troop transports. We crippled their armed forces by denying them supplys. Another example of stupidity by the axis forces was the sytematic murder of civilians. The Germans never had a moment rest behind their lines in Russia because they feared reprisals from partasians. Note that some of the most feared Russian snipers were women whos families had been exicuted by the Germans. Same in the Pacific. Same with terrorist nowadays. When you kill inocent civilians for political or military motives, the population stands fast against you.
grom
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Posted: Sunday, May 15, 2011 - 12:44 AM UTC

Quoted Text


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One blunders that comes to mind:

1. The tendency among the Americans to completely ignore warnings/advise/experience from their fellow Allies who had much more experience fighting the Germans. This cost many American soldiers on the ground their lives. Examples of this

- Kasserine pass.
- D-Day (refusing the British offer of specialized engineering vehicles (the so-called funnies) which were a great help on the non-American beaches.
- Just 'forgetting' about non-American naval ships that could support American troops moving inland after D-Day.
- Ignoring the Free French troops (mostly North Africans) which were assigned to the American sector, when stuck before Anzio. Ironically they were the ones who finally broke deadlock by disobeying the orders of Clark. And this after repeated American failures to do the same (and this latter is not meant as an insult to the troops themselves who tried, died and failed to do the same).

Other blunders:

For the Germans: Invading Russia in the first place.

Repeatedly (on many sides):

Complete breakdowns in communication to notify of withdrawals of troops or absence of commanders and clarify the new chain of command (Guadalcanal is an extreme example, but of course the Germans on the eve of D-Day is another).



must dissagree with you!
* in after war interviews with the German Generals they one thing they had to say about Russian and U.S. strikes against them was pure speed. They often were overrun brfore they really got moving. Where as fighting against Montgomery was different. Things tended to stay in place for a hard long fought battle. Add to this the well known idea that sometime around 3 or 4 in the afternoon the the boys were stopping for tea

* honestly I can't say much one way or another about the Kasserine Pass campaigns. Need to take a long serious look at them.

* Perhaps the other beach heads, but the American troops were nearly out of gun range, and if you really dig deep you will find a lot trouble with the Naval gunnery. They accomplished very little in their bombardment, and the aircraft did all the serious damage ( "China" Lee, and Bull Halsey both said their battalships couldn't hit anything)

* I'm about three chapters into Albert Kesselring's book. Add to this the comentary put out by the U.S. Army War College concerning events in Italy, and the Balkans; one might have another opinion (the reader is given the opinion that they had little use for Clark, and pretty much the entire Allied General Staff)

****************************************
** The Germans thru their own spy network knew that Stalin was upto something, but to the extent they didn't know. The real blunder was the failure to take Malta, Gibralter, and the Suez Canal. By taking the major islands, they would have controlled all of N. Africa and the oil fields.

** Guadalcanal really was a learning experience along with stopping the Japanese from getting things setup for an invasion of Australia. It had to happen even though the Allies were not completely prepaired. Taking this in to fact, plus hints of what a close order naval engagement might be like; it turned into a meat grinder. Had the Japanese successfully landed troops on Guadalcanal, it would have only prolonged the eventual victory there. What they never anticipated was the quality of the Japanese Naval Staff, and their ability to conduct a major naval engagement without radar and at night. The Allies in the PTO were hardly ready for a major engagment, and really were not till very late 1942 or early 1943

For myself, I think the two greatest blunders were at Peleu (sp) and Okwinawa (PTO). The first was probably as bad as it got for no bigger a place than it was. The latter was taken too lightly, and ended up being a bloodbath. The entire island was used as an artillary training school, and they had every inch of the island pre-registered for artillary. The Marines and Army paid dearly for this lack of known knowledge (the Marine General Staff knew this and failed to pass it down to the ground troops).

******************************************
another interesting item that's mostly overlooked was that the original FW190 design was with the inline V12 engine instead of the radial. Similar in ways to the FW190D9 series. Had this been put in production the Allies might never have had much success with their bombing raids. Then to add further to this the TA152 first flew in 1943, but never went into production till late in the war. It's almost always regarded as the finest fighter of WWII. German politics saved the bacon!
gary


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retiredyank
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Posted: Sunday, May 15, 2011 - 11:36 AM UTC
Failure to provide Gen. Patton with the fuel he needed to move on Berlin and effectively end the war. This would have cut off the German assault in the Ardennes and forced it to be discarded as there would no longer be a unified Nazi government.
beachbm2
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Posted: Sunday, May 15, 2011 - 01:35 PM UTC
Well one of the biggest blunders was the work of General Lesley James McNair Commander Army Ground Forces in the war. His Idea of the Tank Destroyer force was folly!Being an Artillery Officer made him think that the Tank Destroyers were the Primary arm to engage enemy armor! This was just a bad Idea from the get go! The Enemys Doctron (The German Army) had Tanks engaging Tanks as the Primart Anti-Tank weapon. So trying to not engage with US Armor and only with the TD forces turned out not to work at all. He also hampered the US Armor by refusing to issue the latest Anti-Tank Rounds HVAP to the US Tankers and reserving it for the sole use of the TD forces! He opposed upgunning the Sherman and was opposed to the T20 thru T26 Series of Tanks! This is why the Pershing was not available till the end of the war! Even though it could have been fielded just after Operation Cobra!
well that is mt 2 cents worth
Jeff Larkin
DutchBird
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Posted: Tuesday, May 17, 2011 - 09:54 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Failure to provide Gen. Patton with the fuel he needed to move on Berlin and effectively end the war. This would have cut off the German assault in the Ardennes and forced it to be discarded as there would no longer be a unified Nazi government.



I fully disagree - this is pretty much post-war (even in-war) propaganda in favour of Patton/the Americans and against Montgomery/the British.

The allies never ever could have supplied Patton sufficiently to maintain such a thrust. A thorough clearing of the Channel and North Sea Coast (at least as far as Antwerp) would have been necessary before such an attempt could have become feasible. At best (and this is a big gamble) he might have gotten across the Rhine and established a bridgehead there.

As it was, the Allies barely had the supplies to allow for the advance post-break out. And if the Germans had been in any better shape - by late August/early September an effective German fighting force had all but ceased to exist on the Western Front - the Allies might have gotten hammered.

Indeed - if the German forces had been in any better shape, at best Patton might have run straight into an encirclement, with the only hope that the Allied air force and advancing infantry might be in time to save him. The obvious parallel for what such an advance by Patton would have ended up in is the result of the German advance into the Soviet Union in 1941, where their advance was stopped as much by the total breakdown of their forces as by the Russians (not sure where I read it, but supposedly by late September/Early October one of the Panzergruppen had only 40 combat ready tanks. The rest either destroyed, but mostly just simply worn out/out of supplies.

It is difficult to imagine any realistic scenario that would have ended the war in Europe before spring 1945.



DutchBird
#068
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Posted: Tuesday, May 17, 2011 - 10:06 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Well one of the biggest blunders was the work of General Lesley James McNair Commander Army Ground Forces in the war. His Idea of the Tank Destroyer force was folly!Being an Artillery Officer made him think that the Tank Destroyers were the Primary arm to engage enemy armor! This was just a bad Idea from the get go! The Enemys Doctron (The German Army) had Tanks engaging Tanks as the Primart Anti-Tank weapon. So trying to not engage with US Armor and only with the TD forces turned out not to work at all. He also hampered the US Armor by refusing to issue the latest Anti-Tank Rounds HVAP to the US Tankers and reserving it for the sole use of the TD forces! He opposed upgunning the Sherman and was opposed to the T20 thru T26 Series of Tanks! This is why the Pershing was not available till the end of the war! Even though it could have been fielded just after Operation Cobra!
well that is mt 2 cents worth
Jeff Larkin



True that German doctrine might have been (in theory) tanks engaging tanks, but one should not underestimate the use of tanks (and anti-tank weaponry, including the 88mm) in the role of Tank Destroyers, much like McNair apparently envisaged.

For the early part of the war this application/doctrine was the only effective way the Germans were able to counter Allied armour in combat - at least until the appearance of the long-barreled Pz. IV in decent numbers. And not that long after, they were often forced to use tanks, tank-destroyers, AT-guns as well as StuG's from an ambush position (much like AFAIK the role of TD's was envisaged). Indeed, all the 'Jagd-' vehicles (and to some extent the StuG's) were supposed to fulfil the same role as the allied TD's. Any other use of tanks/armour would have been suicidal - the Germans could not afford the losses under threat of the Allied air forces and quantity of Allied armour.

You have a much better point (and a very good point) IMHO indeed in the failure to prepare (and supply) the regular tank-forces to combat the German tanks in tank to tank combat.
retiredyank
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Posted: Saturday, May 21, 2011 - 09:20 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Failure to provide Gen. Patton with the fuel he needed to move on Berlin and effectively end the war. This would have cut off the German assault in the Ardennes and forced it to be discarded as there would no longer be a unified Nazi government.



I fully disagree - this is pretty much post-war (even in-war) propaganda in favour of Patton/the Americans and against Montgomery/the British.

The allies never ever could have supplied Patton sufficiently to maintain such a thrust. A thorough clearing of the Channel and North Sea Coast (at least as far as Antwerp) would have been necessary before such an attempt could have become feasible. At best (and this is a big gamble) he might have gotten across the Rhine and established a bridgehead there.

As it was, the Allies barely had the supplies to allow for the advance post-break out. And if the Germans had been in any better shape - by late August/early September an effective German fighting force had all but ceased to exist on the Western Front - the Allies might have gotten hammered.

Indeed - if the German forces had been in any better shape, at best Patton might have run straight into an encirclement, with the only hope that the Allied air force and advancing infantry might be in time to save him. The obvious parallel for what such an advance by Patton would have ended up in is the result of the German advance into the Soviet Union in 1941, where their advance was stopped as much by the total breakdown of their forces as by the Russians (not sure where I read it, but supposedly by late September/Early October one of the Panzergruppen had only 40 combat ready tanks. The rest either destroyed, but mostly just simply worn out/out of supplies.

It is difficult to imagine any realistic scenario that would have ended the war in Europe before spring 1945.






Patton could have been supplied with enough fuel via Normandy, Holland and Italy. The fact that the Germans were planning the counterstrike via the Ardennes, meant that Patton would not have run into such strong resistance. At this point, the German were already desparately short on their own supplies(being everything from paint to deisel). Patton would have struck only a few days prior to the German counteroffensive and break through to the under defended Rhineland. The dropping of Allied troops North of his position should have never happened. It served no point, as the Allied ground forces were soon to arrive. The troops should have been dropped only one or two days prior to the assault. This means Patton's army would not have been needed to reinforce and save the Allied paratroopers. Had the Allied forces concentrated on reinforcing their units in the field and resupply, Montgomery and Patton could have linked up just east of the Rhine. At this point, he, Montgomery, and the Russian forces would have been able to encircle the remaining German forces and pushed the war to an early end.
DutchBird
#068
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Posted: Saturday, May 21, 2011 - 10:27 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Patton could have been supplied with enough fuel via Normandy, Holland and Italy.



One problem:

Holland (or at least the substantial port of Antwerp) was only cleared in the aftermath of Montgomery's failed assault on Arnhem - IIRC November 1945. Amsterdam and Rotterdam were not cleared until May 1945, with the general German surrender.

Italy was never completely cleared in the first place, no link up with the Allied forces in France until well into 1945.

Also, it does not make much sense to supply Patton by supply lines far longer and far more difficult than the supply lines already in place - indeed, the supply trucks would probably already have used up all supplies long before they reached Patton. Analogous to the oxen having eaten all the cereal on the ox-cart if transport takes more than a week.

So your additional supply lines were not open and be operational until December 1944/January 1945.


Quoted Text


The fact that the Germans were planning the counterstrike via the Ardennes, meant that Patton would not have run into such strong resistance. At this point, the German were already desparately short on their own supplies(being everything from paint to deisel). Patton would have struck only a few days prior to the German counteroffensive and break through to the under defended Rhineland. The dropping of Allied troops North of his position should have never happened. It served no point, as the Allied ground forces were soon to arrive. The troops should have been dropped only one or two days prior to the assault. This means Patton's army would not have been needed to reinforce and save the Allied paratroopers. Had the Allied forces concentrated on reinforcing their units in the field and resupply, Montgomery and Patton could have linked up just east of the Rhine. At this point, he, Montgomery, and the Russian forces would have been able to encircle the remaining German forces and pushed the war to an early end.



Frankly I have no clue what you are talking about.

First, the Germans were in no position to plan and execute a counterstrike at any point before early december. That they even got such a force in place is something of the highest skill and a major feat.

At the same time the allies were in no shape to take the offensive themselves at that time, or any time after late September 1944. Also, to suggest that the Germans would have continued their offensive, or not have moved to counter his troops by using their units poised for an attack through the Ardennes is ludicrous. Indeed, some of the units involved in the Ardennes attack were also earmarked for transfer to the Eastern Front of needed (similarly, to counter Market Garden the Germans were quick to sent units on their way to the Eastern Front back to the West).


The debate is whether it would have been a better choice to send all supplies to support Patton's thrust rather than Montgomery's one (which ended up being Operation Market Garden).

The allies, by late August/early September 1944 could only support a single thrust into the German position. It was either Montgomery or Patton. And when that thrust would have run out of steam, no offensive would be possible until additional port and port-capacity had been made available.

The hope (and debate) at the time was that a single thrust would cause the German front to collapse to the point where the Germans would give up. That they could reach Berlin by Christmas was a hope/fantasy caused by the euphoria of the September advance / German collapse, and probably a figment of Allied propaganda rather than that of the military. And despite the collapse of the Germans in the aftermath of the Falaise pocket, by mid-September the Germans were regrouping and German resistance was stiffening. Not in the least because the Allied offensive was losing steam because it could not be supplied adequately, up to the point where it was the wiser decision to halt and regroup. Unfortunately Montgomery chose to hold his advance a little bit too early (he should have advanced some 50 miles further on his left).

Of course the notion that the Germans would gove up once their front had collapsed/would become untenable proved to be completely wrong.

I would argue that Montgomery's thrust would have been the best choice strategically - and despite the bad luck and major mistakes in planning it came very close to succeeding.

I have no idea what you mean by Patton having to rescue paratroopers dropped to the North. It makes no sense at all, for any point in the war on the Western front. Market Garden was paratroopers saved by BRITISH troops. To my knowledge the only paratroopers Patton might have saved at some point were the American paratroopers that had been trucked into Bastogne (and St. Vith) during the Battle of the Bulge.

If you are talking about spring 1945, to suggest that the airborne troops that were dropped across the Rhine were in need of being saved is utterly ludicrous. And to my knowledge Patton went East/South-East, into Bavaria, not North at that point.

So yeah, can you please clarify what you mean further?
retiredyank
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Posted: Saturday, May 21, 2011 - 11:15 AM UTC

Quoted Text


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Patton could have been supplied with enough fuel via Normandy, Holland and Italy.



One problem:

Holland (or at least the substantial port of Antwerp) was only cleared in the aftermath of Montgomery's failed assault on Arnhem - IIRC November 1945. Amsterdam and Rotterdam were not cleared until May 1945, with the general German surrender.

Italy was never completely cleared in the first place, no link up with the Allied forces in France until well into 1945.

Also, it does not make much sense to supply Patton by supply lines far longer and far more difficult than the supply lines already in place - indeed, the supply trucks would probably already have used up all supplies long before they reached Patton. Analogous to the oxen having eaten all the cereal on the ox-cart if transport takes more than a week.

So your additional supply lines were not open and be operational until December 1944/January 1945.


Quoted Text


The fact that the Germans were planning the counterstrike via the Ardennes, meant that Patton would not have run into such strong resistance. At this point, the German were already desparately short on their own supplies(being everything from paint to deisel). Patton would have struck only a few days prior to the German counteroffensive and break through to the under defended Rhineland. The dropping of Allied troops North of his position should have never happened. It served no point, as the Allied ground forces were soon to arrive. The troops should have been dropped only one or two days prior to the assault. This means Patton's army would not have been needed to reinforce and save the Allied paratroopers. Had the Allied forces concentrated on reinforcing their units in the field and resupply, Montgomery and Patton could have linked up just east of the Rhine. At this point, he, Montgomery, and the Russian forces would have been able to encircle the remaining German forces and pushed the war to an early end.



Frankly I have no clue what you are talking about.

First, the Germans were in no position to plan and execute a counterstrike at any point before early december. That they even got such a force in place is something of the highest skill and a major feat.

At the same time the allies were in no shape to take the offensive themselves at that time, or any time after late September 1944. Also, to suggest that the Germans would have continued their offensive, or not have moved to counter his troops by using their units poised for an attack through the Ardennes is ludicrous. Indeed, some of the units involved in the Ardennes attack were also earmarked for transfer to the Eastern Front of needed (similarly, to counter Market Garden the Germans were quick to sent units on their way to the Eastern Front back to the West).


The debate is whether it would have been a better choice to send all supplies to support Patton's thrust rather than Montgomery's one (which ended up being Operation Market Garden).

The allies, by late August/early September 1944 could only support a single thrust into the German position. It was either Montgomery or Patton. And when that thrust would have run out of steam, no offensive would be possible until additional port and port-capacity had been made available.

The hope (and debate) at the time was that a single thrust would cause the German front to collapse to the point where the Germans would give up. That they could reach Berlin by Christmas was a hope/fantasy caused by the euphoria of the September advance / German collapse, and probably a figment of Allied propaganda rather than that of the military. And despite the collapse of the Germans in the aftermath of the Falaise pocket, by mid-September the Germans were regrouping and German resistance was stiffening. Not in the least because the Allied offensive was losing steam because it could not be supplied adequately, up to the point where it was the wiser decision to halt and regroup. Unfortunately Montgomery chose to hold his advance a little bit too early (he should have advanced some 50 miles further on his left).

Of course the notion that the Germans would gove up once their front had collapsed/would become untenable proved to be completely wrong.

I would argue that Montgomery's thrust would have been the best choice strategically - and despite the bad luck and major mistakes in planning it came very close to succeeding.

I have no idea what you mean by Patton having to rescue paratroopers dropped to the North. It makes no sense at all, for any point in the war on the Western front. Market Garden was paratroopers saved by BRITISH troops. To my knowledge the only paratroopers Patton might have saved at some point were the American paratroopers that had been trucked into Bastogne (and St. Vith) during the Battle of the Bulge.

If you are talking about spring 1945, to suggest that the airborne troops that were dropped across the Rhine were in need of being saved is utterly ludicrous. And to my knowledge Patton went East/South-East, into Bavaria, not North at that point.

So yeah, can you please clarify what you mean further?


I never said he saved paratroopers on the other side of the Rhine. He had to halt his advance east to rescue the paratroopers at Bastone. Prior to this, Patton was poised to cross the Rhine into the German heartland. If this failed, Montgomery's forces could advance on Berlin uncontested. The allies diverting the supplies needed for Patton's advance to Montgomery, turning Patton's advance into a holding position. The German resistance would then have to face three advancing armies, instead of two. The Russians from the east and the UK and America from the west. Patton could have even fallen back to lure the remaining German defenses further from home.
DutchBird
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Posted: Sunday, May 22, 2011 - 08:55 PM UTC

Quoted Text


I never said he saved paratroopers on the other side of the Rhine. He had to halt his advance east to rescue the paratroopers at Bastone. Prior to this, Patton was poised to cross the Rhine into the German heartland. If this failed, Montgomery's forces could advance on Berlin uncontested. The allies diverting the supplies needed for Patton's advance to Montgomery, turning Patton's advance into a holding position. The German resistance would then have to face three advancing armies, instead of two. The Russians from the east and the UK and America from the west. Patton could have even fallen back to lure the remaining German defenses further from home.



AFAIK the major problem your suggestion/analysis has is that Allies logistics was not up to it.

The sole option of supporting the Allied troops on the Western Front logistically would be to use the Channel ports and the North Sea ports. Preferrably those between Cherbourg and Antwerp; to make the latter available an advance all the way to the Maas/Meuse river would be necessary.

Montgomery's biggest failure late August was that he did not push his left wing advance a little further, which would have allowed the Allies to clear the approaches to Antwerp during the headlong advance forward.

By late August/early September 1944 the Allied advance was outrunning its own supply line, and the logictical capability of the allies was such that at that point only one major offensive could have been executed. This gave two options:

1) Support a British advance with the potential/protected results: Clearing of the port of Antwerp, probably that of Rotterdam as well, and having crossed the Rhine river, albeit not on a direct path towards the Rhine and Ruhr.

2) Support Patton's advance: Potential of a bridgehead across the Rhine, but not much further, since Allied logistics simply would not permit it. And of course less potential for air-support.


From a strategic point of view the British advance was IMHO by far the best option. The problem was the very shoddy planning, bad execution, and some bad luck. For the record things not completely unknown to Patton either.

By late September/early October the Allies were already running into more serious opposition, and having a hard time cracking mostly 2nd and 3rd rate German troops. Basically Patton allegedly being in a position to advance and the Germans being in a position to attack occurred at roughly the same time. And who is to say that Patton's attack would have succeeded anyway - considering the major difficulty they had clearing the left bank of the Rhine anyway, against troops of a decidedly inferior quality than what they faced in the Ardennes?

Frankly the Allies were in no position to advance on more than one Axis until the spring of 1945.
beachbm2
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Posted: Friday, July 08, 2011 - 12:39 PM UTC
[quote} True that German doctrine might have been (in theory) tanks engaging tanks, but one should not underestimate the use of tanks (and anti-tank weaponry, including the 88mm) in the role of Tank Destroyers, much like McNair apparently envisaged.

For the early part of the war this application/doctrine was the only effective way the Germans were able to counter Allied armour in combat - at least until the appearance of the long-barreled Pz. IV in decent numbers. And not that long after, they were often forced to use tanks, tank-destroyers, AT-guns as well as StuG's from an ambush position (much like AFAIK the role of TD's was envisaged). Indeed, all the 'Jagd-' vehicles (and to some extent the StuG's) were supposed to fulfil the same role as the allied TD's. Any other use of tanks/armour would have been suicidal - the Germans could not afford the losses under threat of the Allied air forces and quantity of Allied armour.[quote]
Ok let me get this straight are you trying to say that the German Doctrine Was not Tank on Tank? If so not only do you disagree with me(Not a big deal) But with General Guderian Inspector General of the Panzerwaffe(Bigger Deal). The Germans use of Anti Tank guns was in Conjunction with armor against armor. Guderian fought the Sturmgeshultz, JAGD Panzer(which were not only hindering Tank Production further diluting the force but were ad hoc weapons at best. ) trend. And it was adopted over his protests, due to pressure from yes you guessed it the Artillery Branch! Over which Guderian lacked control. Not due to a change in Doctrine on the Part of the Panzerwaffe. I can think of no Armored Engagement where only one side used Armor, and the other Solely Anti Tank Forces.
The Doctrine put Forth by General McNair was ONLY to use T/D against Tank, Tanks were for Assaults! Totally an unworkable Doctrine as you can't control the Enemies Actions. Tanks are going to run into tanks, and since it was German Doctrine to engage Tanks with Tanks. It happened on a Regular Basis. They were helped by Anti Tank Guns. But at no time was the German Army’s Armor Policy to engage enemy Armor with ONLY Anti Tank Forces. This Doctrine as espoused by McNair assumes way to much as to what the enemy’s actions were and led to Tank against Tank, And TD’s being used in the assault role! It was unworkable in practice. The US Army found out from the Lesson of the Sherman. The best anti Tank Weapon is still another Tank! McNair totally threw that fact into a cocked hat with the TD Doctrine. Unworkable and prevented upgrading of the US Tank Forces, with much more capable weapons than the Sherman.
My 2 Cents
Beachbm2 aka Jeff
DutchBird
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Posted: Friday, July 08, 2011 - 11:39 PM UTC
Jeff,

I think we are closer in agreement than we it looks at first glance.

I do agree with you that originally German doctrine was based on the tank-on-tank principle. And I have no doubt that the Germans in general of some specific German commanders never let go of that ideal.

That said, war forced a change of doctrine on them, and did so fairly quickly, since already in May 1940 most German tanks turned out to be inferior to what the Allies fielded (the difference was made in doctrine about how to apply your force, the total breaksown of Allied command and a lot of luck). Developments by late 1941 - the failure of German/Axis armour in North Africa, and the emergence of the KV-series and T-34 in ever increasing numbers in the USSR - I would argue forced a change of doctrine.

Of course the Panzer-arm would disagree with the development of StuG's and Jagd- vehicles at the expense of armour, almost on principle (just as these rivalries exist in (almost) every armed force). Unfortunately for them, the Germans were in desperate need for high-powered anti-tank guns on a self-propelled chassis when no such tank was available in the short term as an alternative. And the Jagd-vehicles and StuG's were a fairly efficient alternative that [i]was[/b] available (almost) immediately.

The Germans seem to have had little alternative rather than to continue on such a pass, they were in no position to do otherwise. They could not afford to completely retool the majority of their armour producing facilities - the Skoda factories and those involving the production of the PzIII and Pz IV - which would have been needed if they were to switch production to the armour that was able to carry either the 88mm or the powerful 75mm as mounted in the Panther. Not to mention that when these guns were needed, production of tanks that could carry them was still year(s) off.

IIRC there was also the issue of cost and production times, both of which favouring the StuG's and Jagd-vehicles.

BTW, they might have been able to afford retooling on a much bigger scale if not for political constraints limiting/inhibiting the switch to a war-time economy.

In general their problem was that they already went to war with an armoured force that was not only too small but also too obsolete to be deployed in the way the doctrine of the Panzer-arm of the army demanded. From that moment on the Germans were playing catch-up, and were never able to do so. So stop-gap solutions emerged - had to emerge - some of them indeed leading to a dead end (Jagdtiger for one, arguably the Ferdinand).

And as far as McNair goes, indeed that was completely unworkable... You are right there...
agramer1966
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Posted: Saturday, August 13, 2011 - 11:17 AM UTC
Just a thought ....
German attack on Soviet Union was not blunder, but pre-emptive strike with more chanse of survival than waiting for attack from Stalin. If Soviet Union attacked first couple of days, weeks or months later i believe Stalin would be in Gibraltar by winter. After the end of the war 70% of germany was in the hands of western allies and relatively free. If they did not attack the whole of the Germany together with most of the Europe would be incorporated into Soviet union. Maybe what appears to be losing the war is just choosing leser evil for Germany in the long run? Any way they are one of the most powerfull nations in the world again.
Hobbydave
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Posted: Sunday, August 14, 2011 - 04:08 PM UTC
The lead up to and during The Battle of France.
The near total lack of co-ordination between countries and between armed services (eg. between air force and army and for eg. beween England and Belgium). France could of been held resulting in another WWI war of stalemate and attrition in France meaning a Normandy invasion not needed.
mmeier
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Posted: Monday, August 15, 2011 - 01:32 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Just a thought ....
German attack on Soviet Union was not blunder, but pre-emptive strike with more chanse of survival than waiting for attack from Stalin. If Soviet Union attacked first couple of days, weeks or months later i believe Stalin would be in Gibraltar by winter. After the end of the war 70% of germany was in the hands of western allies and relatively free. If they did not attack the whole of the Germany together with most of the Europe would be incorporated into Soviet union. Maybe what appears to be losing the war is just choosing leser evil for Germany in the long run? Any way they are one of the most powerfull nations in the world again.



Oh no, please not THAT nonsense again. The UdSSR was NOT preparing for an attack. They where NOT ready for anything. And even IF they had attacked, they would have attacked a fully functional german army with (at that time) solid control over it's airspace. So enough fuel from the Leuna Works, good fighter/bombers (FW190 was online) and all the benefits of the "inner line" like an EXCELLENT rail network WITHOUT partisans. Add some nice rivers and the buffer space formerly known as "Poland" and a UdSSR attack becomes "exercise in stupidity"!

This is 1941, the USA is NOT at war with germany, GB is at the end of a "long, thin thether" and the Rest of Europe is a german ally. The commies are still "evil" and if THEY backstab the germans I seriously doubt even a someone like Roosevelt could/would support them.

The "UdSSR ready to attack" nonsense sproutet by Suworow has been debunked by various historians. The only ones supporting the thesis are "right-conservative" (at best) and "revisionist" at worst