Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

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Kingfish
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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by Kingfish » 12 Mar 2020 17:00

Richard Anderson wrote:
11 Mar 2020 17:08
The 9. and 10. SS-Panzerdivision were never in the Falaise Pocket, they participated in the attacks to open it. They were both later badly mauled in the Mons Pocket.
Actually 10th SS was inside the pocket, holding the SW corner for some time.
2nd SS and 9th SS were outside and tasked with keeping the escape routes open.
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Richard Anderson
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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by Richard Anderson » 12 Mar 2020 17:46

Kingfish wrote:
12 Mar 2020 17:00
Richard Anderson wrote:
11 Mar 2020 17:08
The 9. and 10. SS-Panzerdivision were never in the Falaise Pocket, they participated in the attacks to open it. They were both later badly mauled in the Mons Pocket.
Actually 10th SS was inside the pocket, holding the SW corner for some time.
2nd SS and 9th SS were outside and tasked with keeping the escape routes open.
Ooops! Yep, good catch, elements of 9. SS were in the pocket as well, the 90th ID recorded capturing 86 from 9. and 225 from 10. SS 11-20 August and a further 38 and 150 respectively in the mop-up 21-30 August (which effectively was 21-25 August).
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

History Learner
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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by History Learner » 14 Mar 2020 16:54

Kingfish wrote:
12 Mar 2020 16:53
What does the Falaise pocket or Antwerp have anything to do with 6th AG?
Antwerp and no Falaise Gap allow Montgomery and Patton to advance into Germany as well.
Yeah, in the summer and with their supply lines almost half the distance.
Distance from the Normandy beaches to Metz is ~800km. Marseilles (the supply hub for 6th AG) to the Elbe at Magdeburg - 1400 km.
Yes, which is why opening Antwerp in September instead of November is important.

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 14 Mar 2020 17:32

History Learner wrote:
14 Mar 2020 16:54

Yes, which is why opening Antwerp in September instead of November is important.
And which I have repeatedly explained was not possible. :welcome: :roll:

Regards

Tom

Aber
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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by Aber » 14 Mar 2020 21:51

History Learner wrote:
14 Mar 2020 16:54
Yes, which is why opening Antwerp in September instead of November is important.
The Scheldt was mined in June, so even if you clear the banks in September, there is still a long delay to opening Antwerp as a port.

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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by Richard Anderson » 15 Mar 2020 00:57

History Learner wrote:
14 Mar 2020 16:54
Antwerp and no Falaise Gap allow Montgomery and Patton to advance into Germany as well.
I guess I'm confused? Your "as well" implies that Montgomery and Patton did not advance into Germany? That remark would astonish both of them.
Yes, which is why opening Antwerp in September instead of November is important.
Which is why understanding why it was impossible to open Antwerp in September is also important.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

History Learner
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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by History Learner » 11 Apr 2020 23:00

Richard Anderson wrote:
15 Mar 2020 00:57
I guess I'm confused? Your "as well" implies that Montgomery and Patton did not advance into Germany? That remark would astonish both of them.
That wasn't what I meant, but instead that they are able to make a major advance in 1944 itself, rather than the main advance coming in Early 1945.
Which is why understanding why it was impossible to open Antwerp in September is also important.
Once combat operations ceased in the area, the port came online relatively quickly. I see no reason that this couldn't happen in September.

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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by History Learner » 11 Apr 2020 23:01

Aber wrote:
14 Mar 2020 21:51
History Learner wrote:
14 Mar 2020 16:54
Yes, which is why opening Antwerp in September instead of November is important.
The Scheldt was mined in June, so even if you clear the banks in September, there is still a long delay to opening Antwerp as a port.
Tom from Cornwall wrote:
14 Mar 2020 17:32
History Learner wrote:
14 Mar 2020 16:54

Yes, which is why opening Antwerp in September instead of November is important.
And which I have repeatedly explained was not possible. :welcome: :roll:

Regards

Tom
Allied minesweepers were able to do it in eight days in November IOTL of 1944, so I see no reason why they couldn't achieve this by the end of September in ATL 1944 with a month to do what they did IOTL a week.

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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by Richard Anderson » 12 Apr 2020 01:29

History Learner wrote:
11 Apr 2020 23:00
Richard Anderson wrote:
15 Mar 2020 00:57
I guess I'm confused? Your "as well" implies that Montgomery and Patton did not advance into Germany? That remark would astonish both of them.
That wasn't what I meant, but instead that they are able to make a major advance in 1944 itself, rather than the main advance coming in Early 1945.
You mean the Pursuit, MARKET-GARDEN, QUEEN, and et cetera were not "major advances"/ How curious.
Which is why understanding why it was impossible to open Antwerp in September is also important.
Once combat operations ceased in the area, the port came online relatively quickly. I see no reason that this couldn't happen in September.
Actually, no, they did not, but see next post.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Richard Anderson
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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by Richard Anderson » 12 Apr 2020 01:51

History Learner wrote:
11 Apr 2020 23:01
Allied minesweepers were able to do it in eight days in November IOTL of 1944, so I see no reason why they couldn't achieve this by the end of September in ATL 1944 with a month to do what they did IOTL a week.
Um, no. The whole point of the Canadians clearing Cadzand, Breskens, and Wakcheren was to eliiminate the batteries there that wanted to poke holes in the YMS and MMS that did most of the clearing.

Clearing operations actual began 2 November after it was reported - incorrectly - that the batteries at Knokke had been captured. Instead, Force B from Harwich was forced to withdraw under fire. Force A from Queensborough had four YMS hit by shellfire and also withdrew.

On 3 November, the Knokke Battery was finally taken, but operations came under fire from batteries at Flushing and di not achieve much.

On 4 November (when most actually count the sweeping began), sweeping continued in bad weather, which continued the next day, hampering both German fire and sweeping operations. On 7 November sweeping was suspended due to the weather.

8 November, sweeping started again, but one YMS was sunk by a mine...all of 23 mines were cleared.

9 November, weather halted sweeping in the estuary again, but sweeping did go on at the waterfront in Antwerp, where 13 mines were cleared.

By 18 November 206 mines had been cleared, but another YMS was damaged and forced to return to England.

Sweeping from 19-20 November found no mines, so on 21 November the port was declared open...except on 22 November 9 more mines were swept and the port was closed again. So the channels, already swept 15 times were swept another 5 times through 25 November to ensure all delayed action mines had been swept.

On 26 November the port was opened again...and 3 YMS were damaged by an exploding mine in the "swept" channel.

BY 27 November 234 mines were swept...and between 28 November and 3 December 28 more mines were cleared.

On 7 December a Liberty ship was damaged by a mine in the channel and was later scuttled by the RN.

On 11 December, a MMS was sunk by a mine.

On 18 December a second Liberty ship was sunk by a mine.

On 29 December a MMS was sunk by a mine.

So it was 4-21 November, or 4-26 November, depending on your POV, that the sweeping operations took...and none of it could have begun if the batteries had not been cleared first.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 13 Apr 2020 20:25

Rich,

Good post - and just to add that I did look once to see if I could find out exactly what those minesweepers were doing in September without much luck. But I think they were probably clearing lanes into Le Havre, Dieppe, Boulogne, Calais and Ostend, and there were also some German coastal minefields off the coast of Holland which needed to be cleared up so as to let the assault force reach Walcheren.

Regards

Tom

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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by History Learner » 14 Apr 2020 23:00

Richard Anderson wrote:
12 Apr 2020 01:29
You mean the Pursuit, MARKET-GARDEN, QUEEN, and et cetera were not "major advances"/ How curious.
Into Germany, no, which was the point.

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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by History Learner » 14 Apr 2020 23:03

Richard Anderson wrote:
12 Apr 2020 01:51
History Learner wrote:
11 Apr 2020 23:01
Allied minesweepers were able to do it in eight days in November IOTL of 1944, so I see no reason why they couldn't achieve this by the end of September in ATL 1944 with a month to do what they did IOTL a week.
Um, no. The whole point of the Canadians clearing Cadzand, Breskens, and Wakcheren was to eliiminate the batteries there that wanted to poke holes in the YMS and MMS that did most of the clearing.

Clearing operations actual began 2 November after it was reported - incorrectly - that the batteries at Knokke had been captured. Instead, Force B from Harwich was forced to withdraw under fire. Force A from Queensborough had four YMS hit by shellfire and also withdrew.

On 3 November, the Knokke Battery was finally taken, but operations came under fire from batteries at Flushing and di not achieve much.

On 4 November (when most actually count the sweeping began), sweeping continued in bad weather, which continued the next day, hampering both German fire and sweeping operations. On 7 November sweeping was suspended due to the weather.

8 November, sweeping started again, but one YMS was sunk by a mine...all of 23 mines were cleared.

9 November, weather halted sweeping in the estuary again, but sweeping did go on at the waterfront in Antwerp, where 13 mines were cleared.

By 18 November 206 mines had been cleared, but another YMS was damaged and forced to return to England.

Sweeping from 19-20 November found no mines, so on 21 November the port was declared open...except on 22 November 9 more mines were swept and the port was closed again. So the channels, already swept 15 times were swept another 5 times through 25 November to ensure all delayed action mines had been swept.

On 26 November the port was opened again...and 3 YMS were damaged by an exploding mine in the "swept" channel.

BY 27 November 234 mines were swept...and between 28 November and 3 December 28 more mines were cleared.

On 7 December a Liberty ship was damaged by a mine in the channel and was later scuttled by the RN.

On 11 December, a MMS was sunk by a mine.

On 18 December a second Liberty ship was sunk by a mine.

On 29 December a MMS was sunk by a mine.

So it was 4-21 November, or 4-26 November, depending on your POV, that the sweeping operations took...and none of it could have begun if the batteries had not been cleared first.
So about eight days of actively de-mining the Channel, with serious delays due to continued resistance and weather? Even if we take a month long position from roughly September 1st, that means Antwerp is open by October 1st and thus in time to support Patton's drive into Germany after Monty takes most of the Netherlands in September.

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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 15 Apr 2020 03:15

Taking Antwerp early is good, but does not resolve the problem of bulk transportation to the battle. & a quick look at the map shows 'Patton' to be nearly as far from Antwerp as from the rail head/s established past Paris in September. OTL the material for the US Army routed thru Antwerp went to the First Army & eventually the 9th Army as well.
... after Monty takes most of the Netherlands in September.
The 12th AG probed into the Netherlands. To the NE the Germans were able to block every advance by flooding the polders. To the NE there was a battle to expand the bridgeheads gained by the September offensive. It was not until winter that ground was secured.

While I personally favor opening the port sooner than later securing the Scheldt in September is not a panacea. First off given the deployment of 12 AG 31 August it may come down to choosing between securing Antwerp, or cutting off 15th Army and reaching the south bank of the Scheldt by 4 September. I don't see enough units or fuel that week to do both. Whichever is not done allows the Germans to consolidate a defense. It would take a hell of a operational master, a amount or prescience, and lots of luck to do both. I expect it would require every airborne battalion the Allies could get aloft as well. It may work on the game board, but it sounds rather problematic given the actual understanding of he situation 31 August or 7 September.

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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 15 Apr 2020 03:21

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
13 Apr 2020 20:25
Rich,

Good post - and just to add that I did look once to see if I could find out exactly what those minesweepers were doing in September without much luck. But I think they were probably clearing lanes into Le Havre, Dieppe, Boulogne, Calais and Ostend, and there were also some German coastal minefields off the coast of Holland which needed to be cleared up so as to let the assault force reach Walcheren.

Regards

Tom
Somewhere I have a map of the off shore minefields existing that summer. They more or less ran across the Bai du Seine & all the way past the approaches to Rotterdam & Amsterdam. There were gaps, unaddressed areas, and where the currents had removed large numbers, but yes there was lots of work for the minesweeping squadrons.

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