This is an apolitical forum for discussions on the Axis nations, as well as the First and Second World Wars in general hosted by Marcus Wendel's Axis History Factbook in cooperation with Michael Miller's Axis Biographical Research and Christoph Awender's WW2 day by day.
Carl Schwamberger wrote:My first thought is of the artillery tactics of the Brit 8th Army digressing from the improved techniques of the previous 1938 - 1940 improvements into what might be described as a mess. Despite battlefield experience the Commowealth or British commanders were dispersing command & control and scattering artillery fires in penny packets. That came to a end & effective artillery fires returned when Monty brought some new leaders from the UK & insisted on a return to the methods based on the experince of the French campaign and subsequent tests in the UK. Had the Brits went with the 'African Experince' Parnhams system of networked communications, common survey, and a balance between centralization & decentralizatized techniques not been had.
Carl Schwamberger wrote: On the US Army side only seven divisions had accquired any combat experince in the ETO by 5 June 1945. For Operation Neptune only two combat experienced divisions were used, and for Op. Overlord exactly five out of fifty plus had any combat experience. Neither of the US corps commanders involved in Op. Neptune had any experience in the ETO. Collins had a couple months worth fighting the Japanese. and Patch a bit more of the same. Bradley had all of two months actual experience in combat ops in the Med. Patton actually had less.
Carl Schwamberger wrote: Reviewing recommended changes from the US Army experience in Africa one can find such winners as endorsing the substitution of towed cannon for self propelled in the tanks destroyer corps. A change that proved worthless later. Also the folks back at AGF in the US thought the African experience validated the tank destroyer doctrine, a highly erroneous conclusion that was fortunatly rejected as US Army leaders in France accquired experince.
Carl Schwamberger wrote: Considering the stratigic dead end of the African battlefield I'm skeptical the leassons actually learned were worth the cost.
canambridge wrote:Approximately 20 Allied divisions were eventually deployed in Italy. One overlooked factor is that logistical concerns may have prevented use of these divisions in North West Europe. The supply problems of NWE have been well chronicled and were not solved until the beginning of December 1944. And those supply problems would have been worse without the port of Marseilles, a Mediterranean port seized from the Med.
The Germans matched the Allies with their own 20 divisions, including, for much of the campaign, two panzer, five panzer grenadier and two FJ divisions as well as better than average infantry formations. Consider the impact if these troops had been available to OB West while SHAEF had to find a way to make do with less.
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