Tactical innovation PRIOR to the Bocage

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Richard Anderson
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Re: Tactical innovation PRIOR to the Bocage

Post by Richard Anderson » 23 Feb 2020 19:06

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
23 Feb 2020 16:05
Assorted descriptions of Panzer Group West, Geyrs command, descriptions of the arguments over the deployment of the armored units in Rundsteadts commands. I don't have the Rommel Papers in front of me so cant confirm my memory of that. Ditto for a couple of the others. In front of me is Margaritas 'Countdown to D-Day'. In Chapter 'February 1944', the section for 17 February, a war-game run by PanzerGruppe West is described. Attending are Rommel & his cmd staff, plus the army & corps commanders of 7th & 15th Armies. The game is described as methodically assembling the panzer group over several days, then destroying the enemy line inland of the invasion site. Margaritas lists 60+ sources for his book, but this volume does not have items footnoted for specific sources. Since the text is thick with names and dates there are sign posts.
The problem partly was the German command had not been able to decide what form the Allied invasion would take and the assessments of the most senior leadership tended to run counter to one another.

Guderian believed the real threat was the Ostfront and downplayed the Western Allies amphibious capability. For him, the West was a training ground for the revitalized Panzer reserve he would commit in a masterstroke to win the war in the east.

Rommel was worried about the effect of air power and wanted to concentrate forward in a classic cordon defense in such depth that an Allied assault would break on it.

Geyr, working off spoofed intelligence of Allied capabilities, believed the threat was a massive descent by Allied paratroopers on Paris and its environs, with as many as eight airborne divisions seizing the city and its vital rail and road bridges. The early stages of the transportation plan added to his anxiety and led to most of the pre-invasion exercises by Panzergruppe West focusing on defeating such a threat. The famous 6 June exercise at Rennes was actually a counter-airborne exercise.

Rundstedt recognized that the German resources were inadequate to prevent an Allied landing and advance on Germany in conjunction with the Soviets, so gave his cogent advice, "end the war you fools!"

The wrangling between Rommel, Guderian, and Geyr led to Hitler's Gordian Knot solution of bifurcating the command structure in the West, which didn't actually solve anything and complicated the command structure unnecessarily.

The problem with Guderian's plan was it ignored reality. Meanwhile, the assembly of units in France were in various stages of rebuilding and only something less than one-third of them were actually ready for some form of operations on D-Day.

The problem with Rommel's plan was the problem of all cordon defenses. An enemy can potentially mass enough strength to penetrate the cordon at a single point in which case it all unravels.

The problem with Geyr's plan was that it was batshit crazy and fueled by Allied disinformation.

So who was actually right? :D
"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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T. A. Gardner
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Re: Tactical innovation PRIOR to the Bocage

Post by T. A. Gardner » 23 Feb 2020 20:19

Who was right? Rundstedt. It didn't matter what the Germans did to try and defend against a Western Allied invasion. They were going to lose. The only way out would have been for Germany to have had an operational technology that caused a paradigm shift such as nuclear weapons. That wasn't in the cards.
So, whatever plan the German high command came up with in France to defend against an invasion, it was doomed to failure. The absolute most the Germans had was some half-measure that would delay the inevitable a few more weeks. The Germans were doomed, doomed I tell you! :lol:

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Re: Tactical innovation PRIOR to the Bocage

Post by Cult Icon » 23 Feb 2020 20:34

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
23 Feb 2020 16:05
In front of me is Margaritas 'Countdown to D-Day'. In Chapter 'February 1944', the section for 17 February, a war-game run by PanzerGruppe West is described. Attending are Rommel & his cmd staff, plus the army & corps commanders of 7th & 15th Armies. The game is described as methodically assembling the panzer group over several days, then destroying the enemy line inland of the invasion site. Margaritas lists 60+ sources for his book, but this volume does not have items footnoted for specific sources. Since the text is thick with names and dates there are sign posts.
Thanks for this. I have the Rommel Papers and this new (unread) book.

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Re: Tactical innovation PRIOR to the Bocage

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 23 Feb 2020 20:43

Richard Anderson wrote:
23 Feb 2020 19:06
...

So who was actually right? :D
Eisenhower

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Re: Tactical innovation PRIOR to the Bocage

Post by Richard Anderson » 23 Feb 2020 20:52

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
23 Feb 2020 20:43
Richard Anderson wrote:
23 Feb 2020 19:06
...

So who was actually right? :D
Eisenhower
Yep and Rundstedt. :thumbsup:
"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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Re: Tactical innovation PRIOR to the Bocage

Post by Aida1 » 23 Feb 2020 20:56

Richard Anderson wrote:
23 Feb 2020 19:06
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
23 Feb 2020 16:05
Assorted descriptions of Panzer Group West, Geyrs command, descriptions of the arguments over the deployment of the armored units in Rundsteadts commands. I don't have the Rommel Papers in front of me so cant confirm my memory of that. Ditto for a couple of the others. In front of me is Margaritas 'Countdown to D-Day'. In Chapter 'February 1944', the section for 17 February, a war-game run by PanzerGruppe West is described. Attending are Rommel & his cmd staff, plus the army & corps commanders of 7th & 15th Armies. The game is described as methodically assembling the panzer group over several days, then destroying the enemy line inland of the invasion site. Margaritas lists 60+ sources for his book, but this volume does not have items footnoted for specific sources. Since the text is thick with names and dates there are sign posts.
Guderian believed the real threat was the Ostfront and downplayed the Western Allies amphibious capability. For him, the West was a training ground for the revitalized Panzer reserve he would commit in a masterstroke to win the war in the east.
Wrong. In 1943 Guderian wanted to save the armor divisons for use in the west in 1944. Reason why he was against Zitadelle.

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Re: Tactical innovation PRIOR to the Bocage

Post by Aida1 » 23 Feb 2020 21:04

Richard Anderson wrote:
23 Feb 2020 19:06
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
23 Feb 2020 16:05
Assorted descriptions of Panzer Group West, Geyrs command, descriptions of the arguments over the deployment of the armored units in Rundsteadts commands. I don't have the Rommel Papers in front of me so cant confirm my memory of that. Ditto for a couple of the others. In front of me is Margaritas 'Countdown to D-Day'. In Chapter 'February 1944', the section for 17 February, a war-game run by PanzerGruppe West is described. Attending are Rommel & his cmd staff, plus the army & corps commanders of 7th & 15th Armies. The game is described as methodically assembling the panzer group over several days, then destroying the enemy line inland of the invasion site. Margaritas lists 60+ sources for his book, but this volume does not have items footnoted for specific sources. Since the text is thick with names and dates there are sign posts.


Rundstedt recognized that the German resources were inadequate to prevent an Allied landing and advance on Germany in conjunction with the Soviets, so gave his cogent advice, "end the war you fools!"
That statement dates from july 1 or 2 (Entscheiding im Westen 1944 D Ose DVA 1982 P 157)

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Re: Tactical innovation PRIOR to the Bocage

Post by Aida1 » 23 Feb 2020 21:10

Richard Anderson wrote:
23 Feb 2020 19:06
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
23 Feb 2020 16:05
Assorted descriptions of Panzer Group West, Geyrs command, descriptions of the arguments over the deployment of the armored units in Rundsteadts commands. I don't have the Rommel Papers in front of me so cant confirm my memory of that. Ditto for a couple of the others. In front of me is Margaritas 'Countdown to D-Day'. In Chapter 'February 1944', the section for 17 February, a war-game run by PanzerGruppe West is described. Attending are Rommel & his cmd staff, plus the army & corps commanders of 7th & 15th Armies. The game is described as methodically assembling the panzer group over several days, then destroying the enemy line inland of the invasion site. Margaritas lists 60+ sources for his book, but this volume does not have items footnoted for specific sources. Since the text is thick with names and dates there are sign posts.
The problem partly was the German command had not been able to decide what form the Allied invasion would take and the assessments of the most senior leadership tended to run counter to one another.

Guderian believed the real threat was the Ostfront and downplayed the Western Allies amphibious capability. For him, the West was a training ground for the revitalized Panzer reserve he would commit in a masterstroke to win the war in the east.

Rommel was worried about the effect of air power and wanted to concentrate forward in a classic cordon defense in such depth that an Allied assault would break on it.

Geyr, working off spoofed intelligence of Allied capabilities, believed the threat was a massive descent by Allied paratroopers on Paris and its environs, with as many as eight airborne divisions seizing the city and its vital rail and road bridges. The early stages of the transportation plan added to his anxiety and led to most of the pre-invasion exercises by Panzergruppe West focusing on defeating such a threat. The famous 6 June exercise at Rennes was actually a counter-airborne exercise.

Rundstedt recognized that the German resources were inadequate to prevent an Allied landing and advance on Germany in conjunction with the Soviets, so gave his cogent advice, "end the war you fools!"

The wrangling between Rommel, Guderian, and Geyr led to Hitler's Gordian Knot solution of bifurcating the command structure in the West, which didn't actually solve anything and complicated the command structure unnecessarily.

The problem with Guderian's plan was it ignored reality. Meanwhile, the assembly of units in France were in various stages of rebuilding and only something less than one-third of them were actually ready for some form of operations on D-Day.

The problem with Rommel's plan was the problem of all cordon defenses. An enemy can potentially mass enough strength to penetrate the cordon at a single point in which case it all unravels.

The problem with Geyr's plan was that it was batshit crazy and fueled by Allied disinformation.

So who was actually right? :D
Geyr believed as Guderian that the mobile divisions should be concentrated. The scenario of an airborne landing was not the only one.
Rommel was practically right given allied air superiority and the thinness of the coastal defenses . It would never work to have to move the mobile divisons from far back.

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Re: Tactical innovation PRIOR to the Bocage

Post by Aida1 » 23 Feb 2020 21:11

T. A. Gardner wrote:
23 Feb 2020 20:19
Who was right? Rundstedt. It didn't matter what the Germans did to try and defend against a Western Allied invasion. They were going to lose. The only way out would have been for Germany to have had an operational technology that caused a paradigm shift such as nuclear weapons. That wasn't in the cards.
So, whatever plan the German high command came up with in France to defend against an invasion, it was doomed to failure. The absolute most the Germans had was some half-measure that would delay the inevitable a few more weeks. The Germans were doomed, doomed I tell you! :lol:
By the time Rundstedt said that in the beginning of july when he was refused authorisation to shorten the line , he was not the only one thinking that.

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Re: Tactical innovation PRIOR to the Bocage

Post by Richard Anderson » 23 Feb 2020 23:45

I don't directly respond to people I've put on ignore, but I do occasionally read their posts and will comment if there is anything they post that is worth commenting on. This isn't one of those cases.
"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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Re: Tactical innovation PRIOR to the Bocage

Post by T. A. Gardner » 24 Feb 2020 05:39

Aida1 wrote:
23 Feb 2020 21:11
By the time Rundstedt said that in the beginning of july when he was refused authorisation to shorten the line , he was not the only one thinking that.
Doesn't change one iota what I said. The Germans were doomed in 1944 and there wasn't one damn thing they could do about it. On 6 June 1944, there was nothing-- NOTHING-- the Germans could do to stop the eventual loss of the war. They were going to lose. It's that simple.

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Re: Tactical innovation PRIOR to the Bocage

Post by Aida1 » 24 Feb 2020 08:36

Richard Anderson wrote:
23 Feb 2020 23:45
I don't directly respond to people I've put on ignore, but I do occasionally read their posts and will comment if there is anything they post that is worth commenting on. This isn't one of those cases.
I pointed out your mistakes which you do not seem to like. :lol:

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Re: Tactical innovation PRIOR to the Bocage

Post by Sheldrake » 24 Feb 2020 10:09

T. A. Gardner wrote:
24 Feb 2020 05:39
Aida1 wrote:
23 Feb 2020 21:11
By the time Rundstedt said that in the beginning of july when he was refused authorisation to shorten the line , he was not the only one thinking that.
Doesn't change one iota what I said. The Germans were doomed in 1944 and there wasn't one damn thing they could do about it. On 6 June 1944, there was nothing-- NOTHING-- the Germans could do to stop the eventual loss of the war. They were going to lose. It's that simple.
Hind sight is a wonderful thing.

- D Day could have gone horribly wrong.
- The V Weapons could have been sufficiently effective to drive the British out of the war.
- The allies could have lost patience with Montgomery's Normandy strategy and diverted forces for a dumb operation against Brest.
- The Germans could have seen through Op Fortitude and deployed a lot more infantry to Normandy by D+6.

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Re: Tactical innovation PRIOR to the Bocage

Post by Aida1 » 24 Feb 2020 13:03

Sheldrake wrote:
24 Feb 2020 10:09
T. A. Gardner wrote:
24 Feb 2020 05:39
Aida1 wrote:
23 Feb 2020 21:11
By the time Rundstedt said that in the beginning of july when he was refused authorisation to shorten the line , he was not the only one thinking that.
Doesn't change one iota what I said. The Germans were doomed in 1944 and there wasn't one damn thing they could do about it. On 6 June 1944, there was nothing-- NOTHING-- the Germans could do to stop the eventual loss of the war. They were going to lose. It's that simple.
Hind sight is a wonderful thing.

- D Day could have gone horribly wrong.
- The V Weapons could have been sufficiently effective to drive the British out of the war.
- The allies could have lost patience with Montgomery's Normandy strategy and diverted forces for a dumb operation against Brest.
- The Germans could have seen through Op Fortitude and deployed a lot more infantry to Normandy by D+6.
If the Germans had decided that the landing was going to take place in Normandy, it would certainly have meant a stronger defense with more inf div behind the ones on the coast which would have made things more difficult for the allies.

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Re: Tactical innovation PRIOR to the Bocage

Post by T. A. Gardner » 24 Feb 2020 16:32

Sheldrake wrote:
24 Feb 2020 10:09
T. A. Gardner wrote:
24 Feb 2020 05:39
Aida1 wrote:
23 Feb 2020 21:11
By the time Rundstedt said that in the beginning of july when he was refused authorisation to shorten the line , he was not the only one thinking that.
Doesn't change one iota what I said. The Germans were doomed in 1944 and there wasn't one damn thing they could do about it. On 6 June 1944, there was nothing-- NOTHING-- the Germans could do to stop the eventual loss of the war. They were going to lose. It's that simple.
Hind sight is a wonderful thing.

- D Day could have gone horribly wrong.
I'd say that Omaha Beach was an example of that and the Germans still lost.
- The V Weapons could have been sufficiently effective to drive the British out of the war.
That would have required they be several orders of magnitude more effective than they were. I can't see a way for that to happen. For example, the V-1 was copied in the US as the JB-2 / Loon and the first one flew just 60 days after the first German V-1 hit London. That's how easily reverse engineered it was to do. The US then made plans to mass produce and fire them into Germany but an economic analysis showed it wasn't worth the effort to do that.
The same goes for the V-2. The Allies simply had so much more industrial capacity that they could push a program to catch up and then surpass the Germans in ballistic missiles had the war continued.
- The allies could have lost patience with Montgomery's Normandy strategy and diverted forces for a dumb operation against Brest.
Now you are talking the Allies screw up and give Germany a massive break from defeat. It's still inevitable, it just takes longer. That also does nothing to stop the Soviet steamroller coming the other direction.
- The Germans could have seen through Op Fortitude and deployed a lot more infantry to Normandy by D+6.
It wouldn't matter. At best that just slows the Allies down. It doesn't win. A great example of how that would work is Anzio. The Allied beachhead was relatively small there and the Germans had the time to bring in forces to conduct an offensive against it. Despite the German's best efforts they couldn't eliminate the beachhead. How would they defeat the one in Normandy? Then defeat the landings in Southern France? Then, if the Allies needed to, a third landing somewhere else? And, all the while still having to fight the Russians in the East...

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