Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by Cult Icon » 08 Jan 2020 18:25

von Wietersheim, 11.Pz: “it would have been possible for the Americans to capture the entire Army Group (1st and 19th Armies) if the American forces had not attacked so timidly and cautiously.”

Another idea, is the encirclement and capture of most of 19th Army and 1st Army in the post-Dragoon pursuit by the 6th Army Group. This would have to be done prior to their settling into the Vosges Mountain regions. Forward detachments of US 7th Army would have to be better equipped, larger, and more aggressively lead than historically. Instead of using an improvised Combat Command as the pursuit force it was better if 7th Army was assigned a veteran armored division, such as the 1st AD from Italy. And a requirement is that they would have to find their way to trap and destroy the 11th Pz as a serious counterattack and delay force, which historically they were unable to do throughout 44. Between the critical period of mid August - mid Sept 1944, containing counterattacks by this unit wasted up to 2 weeks for various engaged Allied forces while screening contact from the retreating 19th Army.

In the event of success, US 3rd Army could swing over to connect with VI Corps

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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by Cult Icon » 08 Jan 2020 21:52

Historical losses:

Heeresgruppe G ( 15 August through 14 September, 1944)

at least 143,250 German personnel losses (131,250 POW, 12,000 KIA/WIA), over half the original strength (excluding the Atlantic coast garrisons).
Of 1,592 guns and howitzers, 1,038 pieces lost.
Of the 544 mobile artillery pieces 379 were lost, 165 extricated.
The US VI Corps had some 9,900 casualties, the French slightly more, thus totaling some 20,000.
Wietersheim’s 11.Pz.-Div. Sept 14, 1944: 6,500 men (~2,500 fighting strength, 30 Panzers operational)

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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by Cult Icon » 08 Jan 2020 23:12

Historically, the Vosges position defenses were completed on Sept 16- 24 by German engineers of 19th Army and their labor. They also cross the Moselle and blew up all the bridges by Sep 22. With 19th and 1st Armies captured, 6th Army Group could cross, occupy the positions in early-mid Sept and threaten the Belfort gap, Saverne gaps, and Strasbourg against weaker opposition than historically. The battle for the Colmar pocket, west of the Rhine, can initiate months ahead of time- uninterrupted by a lengthy Vosges mountain campaign and NORDWIND.

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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 10 Jan 2020 20:16

Cult Icon wrote:
08 Jan 2020 23:12
Historically, the Vosges position defenses were completed on Sept 16- 24 by German engineers of 19th Army and their labor. They also cross the Moselle and blew up all the bridges by Sep 22. With 19th and 1st Armies captured, 6th Army Group could cross, occupy the positions in early-mid Sept and threaten the Belfort gap, Saverne gaps, and Strasbourg against weaker opposition than historically. The battle for the Colmar pocket, west of the Rhine, can initiate months ahead of time- uninterrupted by a lengthy Vosges mountain campaign and NORDWIND.
All this asking a lot of the Allied 7th Army or 6th Army Group. Their Dragoon operation and the subsequent campaign was incredibly successful as it was. I've hard pressed to ever seeing this more successful on the game board, & often worse.

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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by Cult Icon » 10 Jan 2020 23:25

No, it's not as I pointed out. Army Group G got more than their money's worth out of the 11.Pz. Their forces put low level resistance- and were eager to surrender- except for this one. This unit was a major time waster, starting from the Montelimar battle Aug 23-28. Many counterattacks, then a 6-day delay in Sept. The improvised combat command , armored cavalry group and the forward detachments of VI Corps were too light against this unit. The use of 1AD to write-down this unit to operational irrelevance in a short, violent engagement in late August would free up VI Corps for a rapid advance many days ahead of historically. Army Group G would then have to appeal to get a new Pz division assigned and shipped to them, and the process would be too long for them.

The key would be to cross the Moselle bridges, and occupy the real estate around the Vosges mountains before the Germans could.

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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 11 Jan 2020 19:30

Cult Icon wrote:
10 Jan 2020 23:25
... The use of 1AD to write-down this unit to operational irrelevance in a short, violent engagement in late August ...
That would be a trick getting the 1st ArmDiv ashore & run down the 11th in less that two weeks. Theres also the question of what 7th Army gives up to include the 1stAD in August. Is Toulon not captured in a couple weeks, or maybe Marsailles? Or is the establishment of the air forces ashore delayed? Included in all that is fuel supply will additional fuel be required and how does that ricochet off other things.

The role of the 11th PD late August through September was rear guard in the restricted Rhone valley. Could the 1st AD be that effective grinding down a mechanized division or corps in the terrain leading into the Central Massif? I'm not seeing this. The US Armored divisions were not known for their nimble movement in restrictive terrain, or mountain warfare skills. The French infantry regiments were & maybe more of them could have led?

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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 11 Jan 2020 20:31

Richard Anderson wrote:
25 Dec 2019 15:51
It would require the American War Department and especially the ASF agreeing to the ETOUSA requirement estimate for QM Transportation Corps truck units and supplying them early enough. However, to make THAT work would require the T-AC to shift the requirements for truck production from medium and medium-heavy trucks to heavy and heavy-heavy trucks and tractors much earlier than they did. It would also require tightening the provisions for the disposal and recycling of jerry cans on the Continent and maintaining the production of the same.

The sum of that would have been about three to four additional Allied corps not grounded and sitting in Normandy when the Westwall was bounced, additional American artillery when it was critically required, and likely no need for the MARKET gamble (and planning and execution fiasco). The result could be a strong Second British Army foothold across the lower Rhine, NUSA at Jülich, FUSA at Düren, and TUSA at Saarbrücken, outflanking the Hürtgenwald and Eifel completely.
Long ago I wondered what the additional heavy weight traffic would do the the Franco Belgian automotive roads. Was the capacity enough, or would the pavement start failing at key choke points?

A bit more certain is the requirement for heavier bridge material so all those replacement bridges hold up to increased traffic weight.

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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by Cult Icon » 12 Jan 2020 04:35

Cult Icon wrote:
23 Dec 2019 15:16
Say the Allies land the same way they did on June 6th.

Certain efforts, such as Hürtgenwald would have to be avoided.

What strategic/operational decisions would it take to win the war by Christmas?
Going back to the OP,

I believe that the way the Allies can cross the Rhine before the end of the year would be to achieve full victories with all army groups and with greater speed. (in order to beat the logistical pause in September, then periodic build ups for local offensives). eg. Caen, Market-Garden, Dragoon, Lorraine/Metz. different operation for the dams, etc.

The Allies would achieve what the Red Army failed to in the Spring of 44' (capturing 1st Panzer Army, which contained a large number of panzer divisions). Eg. say in an alternate Mortain, the attacking German Pz formations would instead see themselves being destroyed and captured by a counterstrike.

The Panzer troops/mobile reserves of the Western Front should be mostly captured in the summer of 44', and not just written down so they would repeatedly be brought back online with reinforcement flow. This would impede their defensive efforts and have a severe domino effect on the Italian and Eastern Fronts and cancel plans for a strategic counteroffensive. Certainly more reinforcements would have to be removed from Italy and the extremely hard pressed Eastern Front (with the Red Army's summer/fall offensive into Poland, Rumania,Hungary etc.). There would obviously be no ardennes offensive as the spare units designated for rebuilding- would have already been captured. eg. The Ardennes offensive formations removed from the West for rebuilding (1.SS, 2.SS, 9.SS, 10.SS, 12.SS, 2.Pz, PzLehr) would have already been captured. 17.SS would not be sent to the rear of Fortress Metz to hold out until Nov 22 as historically- 17.SS would have been captured in Normandy months ago and Fortress Metz would have fallen to 3rd Army months prior to how it happened historically. Perhaps OKW would move a politically reliable unit from the East to hold it instead. The Pz units of the Army that fought in Normandy would have disappeared as well- 116.Pz, 2.Pz, 9.Pz, Pz Lehr. along with much of the German infantry forces in Normandy.

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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by Aida1 » 12 Jan 2020 10:43

Cult Icon wrote:
12 Jan 2020 04:35
Cult Icon wrote:
23 Dec 2019 15:16
Say the Allies land the same way they did on June 6th.

Certain efforts, such as Hürtgenwald would have to be avoided.

What strategic/operational decisions would it take to win the war by Christmas?
Going back to the OP,

I believe that the way the Allies can cross the Rhine before the end of the year would be to achieve full victories with all army groups and with greater speed. (in order to beat the logistical pause in September, then periodic build ups for local offensives). eg. Caen, Market-Garden, Dragoon, Lorraine/Metz. different operation for the dams, etc.

The Allies would achieve what the Red Army failed to in the Spring of 44' (capturing 1st Panzer Army, which contained a large number of panzer divisions). Eg. say in an alternate Mortain, the attacking German Pz formations would instead see themselves being destroyed and captured by a counterstrike.

The Panzer troops/mobile reserves of the Western Front should be mostly captured in the summer of 44', and not just written down so they would repeatedly be brought back online with reinforcement flow. This would impede their defensive efforts and have a severe domino effect on the Italian and Eastern Fronts and cancel plans for a strategic counteroffensive. Certainly more reinforcements would have to be removed from Italy and the extremely hard pressed Eastern Front (with the Red Army's summer/fall offensive into Poland, Rumania,Hungary etc.). There would obviously be no ardennes offensive as the spare units designated for rebuilding- would have already been captured. eg. The Ardennes offensive formations removed from the West for rebuilding (1.SS, 2.SS, 9.SS, 10.SS, 12.SS, 2.Pz, PzLehr) would have already been captured. 17.SS would not be sent to the rear of Fortress Metz to hold out until Nov 22 as historically- 17.SS would have been captured in Normandy months ago and Fortress Metz would have fallen to 3rd Army months prior to how it happened historically. Perhaps OKW would move a politically reliable unit from the East to hold it instead. The Pz units of the Army that fought in Normandy would have disappeared as well- 116.Pz, 2.Pz, 9.Pz, Pz Lehr. along with much of the German infantry forces in Normandy.
Clearly very unrealistic. There is a higher probability the Germans could have done better than they actually did.

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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by Cult Icon » 12 Jan 2020 14:26

I refuse to read any Aida1 posts. protip: check and match IP Addresses
Last edited by Cult Icon on 12 Jan 2020 15:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by Aida1 » 12 Jan 2020 14:50

Cult Icon wrote:
12 Jan 2020 14:26
I refuse to read any Aida1 posts. protip: IP Addresses
You refuse debate which is a clear weakness.

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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by Cult Icon » 12 Jan 2020 15:34

Some historical tidbits. In a ATL this should be encountered in early October instead :

-1st Army (F) contacted the Rhine on Nov 19th.

-Nov 24th meeting between Eisenhower, Devers, and Bradley- Eisenhower wanted the Germans cleared, west of the rhine first. Devers, wanting to cross, is upset at the decision. In a ATL 6AG would be matched in its success up north and the conversation would have a different agenda.

- Himmler was placed in command of all forces south of Bienwald among the upper Rhine with orders to prevent a river crossing. (Colmar). German troops in the bridgehead were considered expendable. 26th Nov, 1944

-Patch wanted 6AG to cross the Rhine and perform a spoiling attack. 6AG had amphibious equipment sufficient for 6 infantry battalions. Any exploitation required resources from 12AG.

- The Last Rhine bridge at Stausbourg was blown on 1st Dec, 1944

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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 12 Jan 2020 20:54

Cult Icon wrote:
12 Jan 2020 15:34
...
-Patch wanted 6AG to cross the Rhine and perform a spoiling attack. 6AG had amphibious equipment sufficient for 6 infantry battalions. Any exploitation required resources from 12AG.
This came up here maybe six years ago. Was a extended discussion. One school was it would be insignificant. My take was it made for a great spoiling attack. The mountains east of the Rhine there & the transport net restrict movement east into Bavaria ect... It does look like a secondary movement north to clear the east back of the Rhine to assist 12 AG is very useful. The down side might be if the combat power transferred from the 12th AG slows securing Metz & other communications to the west wall between Metz & Straussberg. I also think its best to place Ikes decision for this operation to be in October. November is relatively late for interfering with the Ardennes offensive.

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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by Cult Icon » 16 Jan 2020 18:27

Not ignoring your responses Carl but just thinking out loud while digging up my books:

Related to the tangent in the preceding pages, a historical panzer division attack in the open country of the Lorraine (in conditions of allied air and artillery superiority but not in the extremes encountered in normandy) was the attack of the depleted 11.Pz against US 4th AD on Sept 25-29. If there was a planned withdrawal and planned counteroffensive in June it may have been in this battleground.

On Sept 3, 1944 Hitler ordered Rundstedt to begin planning a completely unrealistic (at the time) panzer counteroffensive using 3 x PzG divisions, 2 x Pz divisions, 6 x Pz brigades. In reality only a portion were used and the ill trained and organized Pz Brigades were almost useless in actual combat. After they were destroyed, the remnants were folded into the Pz divisions of the Western Front and the venerable 11.Pz was moved in to continue the attack, making slow progress, often due to 4.AD's air and artillery support (4.AD controlled 6 x artillery battalions).

simplified graphic, pg. 82 Lorraine 1944 Patton vs Manteuffuel by Steve J. Zaloga

Image

Other sources with coverage: Patton versus the Panzers by Zaloga, Patton's Vanguard: The United States Army Fourth Armored Division by Don. M. Fox, Ghost Division: The 11th "Gespenster" Panzer Division and the German Armored Force in World War II by A Harding Ganz

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Re: Allies end the war by Christmas 1944

Post by Richard Anderson » 16 Jan 2020 21:57

Sorry to be so late commenting; I've been busy with SEELÖWE silliness. :D
Cult Icon wrote:
08 Jan 2020 18:25
von Wietersheim, 11.Pz: “it would have been possible for the Americans to capture the entire Army Group (1st and 19th Armies) if the American forces had not attacked so timidly and cautiously.”
Yep, and I'm sure he also wanted to write, "if I had been in command of the Seventh U.S. Army I would have been in Berlin in December, because everyone knows the Americans were terrible at operational-level warfare". :lol: :lol: :lol:

However, the truth is, Wend never commanded more than a division and never commanded a de facto army group in an amphibious operation, so never truly understood either the capabilities or constraints the allies operated under. He also neglects to mention that a major reason that he and the 11. Panzer Division were able to fend off the Montilimar encirclement was because they fortuitously captured the operational plan of the 36th ID, which was executing the operation.
Another idea, is the encirclement and capture of most of 19th Army and 1st Army in the post-Dragoon pursuit by the 6th Army Group. This would have to be done prior to their settling into the Vosges Mountain regions. Forward detachments of US 7th Army would have to be better equipped, larger, and more aggressively lead than historically.
Er, advancing twenty-plus miles inland on D-Day wasn't "aggressive"? In fact, it was one of the greatest first-day advances inland following an amphibious assault that I am aware of.
Instead of using an improvised Combat Command as the pursuit force it was better if 7th Army was assigned a veteran armored division, such as the 1st AD from Italy.
There is a number of issues with that. For one, the 1st Armored Division was withdrawn from combat in Italy on 20 July to reorganize and re-equip under new T/O&E and replace losses incurred in BUFFALO. The division was not operational again until 20 August. The next issue is a familiar one...availability of LCT and LST. For example, just to transport the Medium Tank component of a tank battalion required 16-plus LCT-5 or -6 or two-plus LST. Typically, Service Company and the residuals of Headquarters and Headquarters Company required at least one LST as well. An Armored Infantry Battalion required about the same, while an AFAB typically required six LCT-5 or -6 just for the firing batteries, plus two for Headquarters and Headquarters and Service Battery. To transport just the combat elements of one combat command would have required the addition of 50-plus LCT and probably half a dozen LST.

The last problem was the ambiguous command structure in the Mediterranean. Jake Devers was technically the commander of the NATOUSA...and simultaneously Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean Theater; Commander, Advanced Detachment AFHQ which was activated on Corsica on 29 July; and Commanding General, 6th Army Group, the headquarters of which Devers activated on 1 August. The problem with that was theoretically as CG NATOUSA he had the command authority to strip Mark Clark's Fifth Army of whatever assets he wished for DRAGOON, viz. VI Corps, arguably the most experienced U.S. corps in the Med. However, as DSAC Med he was also answerable to Field Marshall Sir Henry M. Wilson, the SAC Med, who like Eisenhower had to tread lightly when it came to the politics of allied command, and to General Sir Harold R.L.G. Alexander who was the Commander of Allied Armies in Italy. So in reality Devers obtained the resources for Seventh U.S. Army against the bitter resistance and politicking of Clark and the more muted resistance of Alexander.
And a requirement is that they would have to find their way to trap and destroy the 11th Pz as a serious counterattack and delay force, which historically they were unable to do throughout 44. Between the critical period of mid August - mid Sept 1944, containing counterattacks by this unit wasted up to 2 weeks for various engaged Allied forces while screening contact from the retreating 19th Army.
Given that 11. Panzer acted as rear guard, once the "trap" at Montelimar was unsprung, there was little Seventh U.S. Army could do except pursue them and contain the few counterattacks they generated until the major counterattacks of mid-September.
In the event of success, US 3rd Army could swing over to connect with VI Corps
They did in a sense by transferring XV Corps to Seventh U.S. Army.
"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

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