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D-Day...I just don't get it...

Discussions on WW2 in Western Europe & the Atlantic.

D-Day...I just don't get it...

Postby PanzerKing on 13 Mar 2003 23:42

How could this of ever worked if the Germans didn't screw it up?

Think about it...your trying to land 5 divisions on a guarded beach while just trying to hold open a bridgehead for more troops. If Rommel would of had his troops and panzer divisions near the beaches like he wanted...then the allies would have been doomed.

Were the allies just counting on the Germans to make a stupid move? If you think about it all really, the big picture, how did the D-Day invasion ever have a chance? Was it just a big Allied gamble?

Imagine something like the beach scene of Saving Private Ryan....now throw in a ton of panzers and German troops sweeping down the beaches...what you get is a very different story. Pure massacre...didn't the Allies think something like this could of happened? Or didn't they think about their bridgeheads being surrounded and totally destroyed?

It makes you wonder...
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Postby Scott Smith on 14 Mar 2003 02:12

The Germans didn't make any stupid moves; they just didn't know exactly where to commit their forces. As the saying goes, "He who defends everything defends nothing." Logistically, Normandy was the worst possible place to land and only the Allied Armies could have pulled it off. The best place to land was Calais and the Germans didn't dare leave it undefended until they could be certain that their would be no other landings. With TOTAL Allied air superiority you could not move Panzer divisions and troops by day at all, and almost nothing by rail west of the Seine, and if you left your forces concentrated forward you would get a pounding from carpet bombing. The options were not good unless you knew exactly where the Allies would land and exactly how many forces they could commit. Even with photoreconnaissance from jet aircraft the Germans did not have these answers. As it was the Allied armies were nearly unglued by their own logistical problems, which were not relieved until they captured a deep water port at Antwerp and cleared the Scheldt estuary. That is why the V-weapons hit Antwerp so hard in the last months of the war; it was the Allied Achilles Heel, and the (fanciful) objective of the Ardennes offensive.
:)
Last edited by Scott Smith on 14 Mar 2003 02:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Dan W. on 14 Mar 2003 02:12

You really should study the deception of the Allies before the invasion. It was a masterful ruse and quite fascinating. Hitler still thought the Normandy landing merely a diversion, he instead thought the landings would take place at the narrowest point in the Channel.

It was quite an elaborate deception and was instrumental in the successs of the D-Day landings.
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History other than Apple-Pie Ambrose...

Postby Scott Smith on 14 Mar 2003 02:20

Dan Weakley wrote:You really should study the deception of the Allies before the invasion. It was a masterful ruse and quite fascinating. Hitler still thought the Normandy landing merely a diversion, he instead thought the landings would take place at the narrowest point in the Channel.

It was quite an elaborate deception and was instrumental in the successs of the D-Day landings.

A lot of Allied postwar smoke. Hitler didn't know and neither did his generals. He simply could not commit all his scant forces against Normandy (assuming rather unlikely that he could even move them with rapidity for a war-of-movement) until he could be certain that the Allies would not invade at Calais, which was the practical objective logistically. And the Germans could not be certain exactly what forces the Allies had available. They did assume them to be much larger than they were based on Allied deception methods. But that is hardly Hitler's deception but another failure of German military intelligence.
:)
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Postby Dan W. on 14 Mar 2003 02:45

"Apple-Pie Ambrose"?

Why, how dare you!! :x
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Postby Aufklarer on 14 Mar 2003 03:28

I heard that Das Reich arrived late in Normandy. Is it true? If that’s the case, could the Germans repulse the invasion if DR had arrived there on time?
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Postby Gen.Graf on 14 Mar 2003 04:09

Rommel said that’s where the allies were going to have a massive invasion but hitler insisted that they would attack Norway. Also When Hitler did have the chance to move troops and panzers to the front he moved the King Tigers. He should have moved the Tigers, which were faster and more maneuverable, then the King Tigers. Since he didn't do this when the tanks ran out of gas the troops had to destroy them. He should have left the King Tigers back and let the Tigers go to the front.

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Postby Scott Smith on 14 Mar 2003 04:13

Aufklarer wrote:I heard that Das Reich arrived late in Normandy. Is it true? If that’s the case, could the Germans repulse the invasion if DR had arrived there on time?

No. The only way the Germans could have repulsed the invasion is if they threw everything they had into it, which is to say they would have had to have known beforehand exactly what the Allies were going to do. And if they threw them off the beach too easy there is no reason why the Allies couldn't have invaded elsewhere such as up the Rhone or Loire valleys. With complete air and naval supremacy the Allies held all the cards. Ideally from the German standpoint, the invasion would have been botched with it being too late in the season and with unfavorable tides or whatever to repeat the process in 1944. If Rommel had been there and in command of all forces he would have gotten creamed and his reputation would likely be rather different today. And Rommel could only guess himself whether or not they would invade Normandy and throw all their effort into Overlord.
:)
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Postby Scott Smith on 14 Mar 2003 04:22

Gen.Graf wrote:Rommel said that’s where the allies were going to have a massive invasion but hitler insisted that they would attack Norway.

Norway was another possibility but unlikely because Hitler knew that the Allies would need to get their Second Front going to race the Soviets for the capture of Europe and the Italian front had been a failure. Norway was thinly held but if you weaken any front it invites an attack. Norway would have been good for prestige but little more.

Also When Hitler did have the chance to move troops and panzers to the front he moved the King Tigers. He should have moved the Tigers, which were faster and more maneuverable, then the King Tigers. Since he didn't do this when the tanks ran out of gas the troops had to destroy them. He should have left the King Tigers back and let the Tigers go to the front.

You are talking about the Ardennes offensive now. King Tigers were the new tanks and Tiger Is were no longer being made, so Tiger IIs were going to refit the best units or at least the newest. You work with what you have. Actually, all the heavies should have been used only on the Eastern Front and the Panthers and Pz IVs used in the West. But like I said, the equipment goes with the unit and they had to be sent west. Unless you have air-superiority you can't move a Panther either except at night.
:)
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Postby Gen.Graf on 14 Mar 2003 04:38

Sorry I meant to say that Rommel told Hitler they were going to invade France. I may have gotten the part about Norway wrong but he didn't think Rommel was right. And they should have used the Tigers that they had already. They should have also had U-boats try and cut off the supply line to the front, I'm not sure if this was possible though

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Postby WaffenSS27 on 14 Mar 2003 06:20

Rommel suggested that the invasion would be at normandy instead of thcalais region. Plus if Rommel and rundstedt had their tanks they could have thrown back the invasion into the sea, and the war would have lasted longer.
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Postby tonyh on 14 Mar 2003 12:17

Hitler always suspected a landing in France, but feared a Norwegian landing since the allied plans in 1940. The problem was as Scott has said was "where in France".

Hitler also suspected Normandy, but still believed that the Pas De Calais was an objective that the Allies would not resist.

As far as U-boats are concerned, they would have been all but useless in the Channel in '44. The allies had the edge on technology and the u-boats at flank speed could not outrun the destroyers and sloops etc on the surface. Also at best the U-boats had a medium depth for diving in most areas of the channel, which would have been suicide for any uboat crew. Besides with the total air cover the allies had any u-boat would have been spotted long before a proper firing solution could be set up.

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d-day

Postby admfisher on 14 Mar 2003 23:09

Even if the Germans knew where the invasion was they would of had one very ruff time of replusing it.
For one if the Germans would of know then the allies would of.
This is turn would of led to either another type of invasion or a more massed naval armada and Tac Air support. With only a few older battleships the allies were able to break up more than one German attack. Even the one attack that did get close to the beach was stopped mainly by naval guns.
More than one German has said that the amount of gunfire used was near to or more than what he had ever experianced on the East Front.


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Even Field Marshals must follow orders...

Postby Scott Smith on 15 Mar 2003 01:00

WaffenSS27 wrote:Rommel suggested that the invasion would be at normandy instead of thcalais region. Plus if Rommel and rundstedt had their tanks they could have thrown back the invasion into the sea, and the war would have lasted longer.

Yes, because that was where Rommel was posted, and he was posted there because it had the weakest defenses. Rather unusually for someone who believed in maneuver-warfare, Rommel favored a forward-defense of Normandy because of the overwhelming Allied air-support. But, as AdmFisher has already pointed out, the naval gunfire on the coast was withering and was an even greater concern for the German high-command than the omnipresent air-support. Furthermore, Rommel's boss (and Rommel was not too good at following orders), von Rundstedt favored a flexible defence-in-depth followed by spirited counterattacks--a good strategy IF the Germans had sufficient mobile forces and reliable lines-of-communication unimpeded by enemy air-interdiction and the activities of the Resistance. Since nobody knew exactly where the Allies would attack, Hitler compromised with his two Field Marshals and placed the Panzers not under either Rommel or von Rundstedt but under OKW. This basically meant that Jodl or Hitler had to release them, and that would happen only when it was clear that any invasion of France was not a feint to be followed-up with a more logical invasion of Calais in order to capture the Channel Ports, which were absolutely vital to an invasion of the continent. The failure of the Allies to capture the Channel Ports for so long, and also the Brittany ports, prevented the invasion in the West from any hope of success in 1944, short of liberating Paris for propaganda purposes. And also in the Netherlands, because the war was expected to be over shortly, the Resistance came out of the woodwork in 1944, which only allowed German security measures to clamp-down hard. This was the context in which the Anne Frank family was arrested and sent to Auschwitz.
:)
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D-Day.

Postby lisset on 15 Mar 2003 16:14

Any operation of this scale was a huge gamble but credit to the Allies they took every opportunity to plan ahead and reduce any chance of anyting going wrong and to a large extent their preparations stood them in good stead.
Their preparations from destruction of the transport infa structure , bluff and disinformation which they fed to the Germans down to obtaining sand samples from the beaches themselves left few stones unturned.

German mistakes their command structure was divided and they had no policy as to how to counter an invasion , interservice co-operation was poor and the basic resourses to defeat the Allies could not be assured.
The Allied strength was overwhelming in all areas , their ability to bring in supplies outstripped the Germans who West of Paris found only destruction and the ever present fighterbombers.
Rommel was again at odds with Rundstedt rapid deployment versus a counter attack when the Allies got into the open out of the landing areas.
Then again everything was against the Germans ...no intelligence to plan effectively and no chance of protecting their own troops from air attack.

As has been posted .....to defend everything was impossible and the Panzer reserves could not be concentrated quickly enough.....as Rommel said the first 24 hours would decide the fate of the landings.
When the Commanders charged with the defence of Normandy had no licence to move against the landings and the chain of command led back to Hitler who was asleep the faults are self evident. 21st Panzer was the only unit to engage the Allies in any strength ina reasonable time.
As a result the Panzers were fed piecemeal into a ground holding operation which they could not win or be used effectively...Das Reich took until July ( I think) to make Normandy , Liebstandarte from Belgium over a week , 2nd S.S> Panzer Corps ( Hohenstaufen and Frundesberg) again took two weeks to make Normandy.
This disruption / dislocation of all movements again down to Allied forward planning and the luxery of air power.
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