Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Cult Icon » 26 Feb 2020 23:55

Number of cargo trucks in 44 Volksgrenadier division: reduced to 171, excluding combat, C2 vehicles.

VG Division authorized: 426 motor vehicles of all types, 119 motorcycles, 1,142 horse drawn wagons and trailers

OKH/GenStdH/Org.Abt. NR I./19200/44 g.KROs. v. 18.9.44 (NARA T78R398, frame 6367896)

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 27 Feb 2020 01:54

Richard Anderson wrote:
26 Feb 2020 04:14
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
25 Feb 2020 19:40
Richard Anderson wrote:
24 Feb 2020 21:30
... Why is it "incomprehensible"? BTW, the evidence is that the Wehrmacht didn't become "ready to surrender" any more to the Western Allies than to the Soviets much before the last five weeks of the war or so.
The reasons why they were fighting vs surrendering have always intrigued me in these discussions of the effectiveness of the German ground combat forces 1944-45.
A combination of things.
1. Excellent propaganda, sometimes aided and abetted by Allied actions. Do you want to abandon the fight when the Allies are bombing you mother, father, sisters, brothers, wife, sweetheart? Do you want to abandon X, Y, Z to rapine by the Jewish-Bolshevik hordes? Or the slavering Schwartzes the British, Americans, and French used as cannon fodder?

2. Discipline, including a very evident recourse to capital punishment pour encourager les autres.

3. Widespread indoctrination in National Socialist ethos, from school to RAD to the Ersatzheer to the Feldheer.

4. Long-standing military culture, especially relevant to the officer class.

All that works up to a point. Its number two I keep coming back to. The last ten moths the US Army in Europe executed how many death sentences for desertion? One? The Brits? The number for the Germans was north of 5000. No clue what the Red Army was up to, but it would not surprise me if the death sentences for desertion were falling those months. Then there were the orders to imprison the families of those who surrendered.

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by daveshoup2MD » 27 Feb 2020 06:50

Aida1 wrote:
26 Feb 2020 09:52
daveshoup2MD wrote:
26 Feb 2020 06:38
Aida1 wrote:
24 Feb 2020 17:20

The panzer brigades were a bad idea , set up against the advice of Guderian . They were far too weak . Too many units were being setup in general instead of keeping up to strength the existing ones.
http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... rig106.htm
In a note to Hitler of 13.8.1944, it is mentioned that pz brig 105-108 have a lot of officers without experience on the western front and no experience in commanding armored forces. It is proposed that the pz brigades be incorporated in existing pz div( Die Panzer Brigade 106Friedruch Bruns 1982 pp 29-30) .
Concerning the operation mentioned, the history of the pz br 106 mentions a lack of air recce on the enemy dispositions so that the brigade operated without knowing anything about the enemy and his positions . The own recce by wheeled vehicles was too incomplete( Die Panzer Brigade 106 Friedruch Bruns 1982 p 79).
It's almost like the Germans had a bad organization for refitting units that had seen combat and even worse doctrine for getting replacements into the field.

Makes the travails of the Americans and British look minor in comparison, doesn't it?
Not about that. There was a tendency by Hitler to prefer setting up new units to keeping up to strength the existing ones. Guderian was opposed to this for good reasons.
And how is the foolishness of the C-in-C not a reflection of bad organization?

FDR and WSC were both smart enough to leave replacement policy to their military staffs.

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by daveshoup2MD » 27 Feb 2020 06:51

Kingfish wrote:
26 Feb 2020 10:49
daveshoup2MD wrote:
26 Feb 2020 09:25
There's also the minor issue that despite all those "mousetraps," when push came to shove and the western Allies deployed and sustained three army groups and eight field armies ashore in northwestern Europe, it took them all of 11 months to get from Normandy to the Oder, because of that fire supremacy, most of which was sustained - ultimately - from 3,000 miles across the North Atlantic.
[minor nit=pick] Elbe, not the Oder. [/minor nit-pick]
Correct. My mistake. Good catch.

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Aida1 » 27 Feb 2020 08:34

daveshoup2MD wrote:
27 Feb 2020 06:50
Aida1 wrote:
26 Feb 2020 09:52
daveshoup2MD wrote:
26 Feb 2020 06:38
Aida1 wrote:
24 Feb 2020 17:20

The panzer brigades were a bad idea , set up against the advice of Guderian . They were far too weak . Too many units were being setup in general instead of keeping up to strength the existing ones.
http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... rig106.htm
In a note to Hitler of 13.8.1944, it is mentioned that pz brig 105-108 have a lot of officers without experience on the western front and no experience in commanding armored forces. It is proposed that the pz brigades be incorporated in existing pz div( Die Panzer Brigade 106Friedruch Bruns 1982 pp 29-30) .
Concerning the operation mentioned, the history of the pz br 106 mentions a lack of air recce on the enemy dispositions so that the brigade operated without knowing anything about the enemy and his positions . The own recce by wheeled vehicles was too incomplete( Die Panzer Brigade 106 Friedruch Bruns 1982 p 79).
It's almost like the Germans had a bad organization for refitting units that had seen combat and even worse doctrine for getting replacements into the field.

Makes the travails of the Americans and British look minor in comparison, doesn't it?
Not about that. There was a tendency by Hitler to prefer setting up new units to keeping up to strength the existing ones. Guderian was opposed to this for good reasons.
And how is the foolishness of the C-in-C not a reflection of bad organization?

FDR and WSC were both smart enough to leave replacement policy to their military staffs.
No. A reflection of bad ideas in the person of Hitler. He should certainly not have interfered also but that was not what Hitler would ever do.

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Cult Icon » 27 Feb 2020 13:33

There's also the aspect of Wehrmacht treatment/attitudes/discipline of temporary psychiatric casualties (eg. Battlefield exhaustion, shellshock)- it seems less than modern than how the US/UK medical services was handling them and may have lead to excess POWs that were otherwise recoverable with medical treatment, rest, etc.

The funny thing is that a major way of maintaining morale was to feed the troops in the front the best class of rations- essentially a super high carb (~4,500 calorie) diet.

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by daveshoup2MD » 28 Feb 2020 06:40

[/quote]

And how is the foolishness of the C-in-C not a reflection of bad organization?

FDR and WSC were both smart enough to leave replacement policy to their military staffs.
[/quote]

No. A reflection of bad ideas in the person of Hitler. He should certainly not have interfered also but that was not what Hitler would ever do.
[/quote]

And yet Hitler was the c-in-c, so by definition, its was their organization, their doctrine, their policies, etc. There is a reason they kept losing, after all.

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Aida1 » 28 Feb 2020 09:43

daveshoup2MD wrote:
28 Feb 2020 06:40
And how is the foolishness of the C-in-C not a reflection of bad organization?

FDR and WSC were both smart enough to leave replacement policy to their military staffs.
[/quote]

No. A reflection of bad ideas in the person of Hitler. He should certainly not have interfered also but that was not what Hitler would ever do.
[/quote]

And yet Hitler was the c-in-c, so by definition, its was their organization, their doctrine, their policies, etc. There is a reason they kept losing, after all.
[/quote]

When Hitler not only decides to become commander in chief of the army but also micromanages decisions that should better be left to subordinates that has nothing to do with the system. That is his decision. I do not think Germany lost the war because of a faulty doctrine or a wrong system.

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Cult Icon » 28 Feb 2020 17:08

Cult Icon wrote:
23 Feb 2020 18:49
There are openings; you just have to find them.
Going back to the OP,

EG. analyze and find the openings in some, already well researched subjects with many detailed books:

1. 7-10 June 1944, 3.CID vs 12.SSHJ

2. Mortain

3.Elsenborn Ridge

4. Gela, Salerno, Anzio, II SS PZK counterattack in Normandy, etc etc


Changes in organization? tactics? operational planning?

I will provide a book list later.

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Cult Icon » 28 Feb 2020 18:38

There is a hollywood version of this:

Katsumoto: "Do you believe a man can change his destiny?"
Algren: "I believe a man does what he can until his destiny is revealed."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XogzGNXpRoM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3sRzY_RXDk

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Aida1 » 28 Feb 2020 19:27

Cult Icon wrote:
28 Feb 2020 17:08
Cult Icon wrote:
23 Feb 2020 18:49
There are openings; you just have to find them.
Going back to the OP,

EG. analyze and find the openings in some, already well researched subjects with many detailed books:

1. 7-10 June 1944, 3.CID vs 12.SSHJ

2. Mortain

3.Elsenborn Ridge

4. Gela, Salerno, Anzio, II SS PZK counterattack in Normandy, etc etc


Changes in organization? tactics? operational planning?

I will provide a book list later.
To learn about that for real, you need to read original documents .

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Cult Icon » 29 Feb 2020 14:11

every post you make will be matched with a contribution from the Aida1 foundation :lol:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a47LTMtUnGw

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Aida1 » 29 Feb 2020 15:37

It woulld be a big suprise if a civilian with no military experience could come up with a tactical concept highly experienced soldiers did not think about. Even less one that could deal with suppressive allied firepower. There are no miracles.

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by T. A. Gardner » 29 Feb 2020 16:55

This question really boils down to three things:
Allied suppressive firepower is as potent as it because of superior:

Logistics The Allies have both the material in terms of tubes and ammunition to perform mass fires regularly. They have the transport to move ammunition more efficiently than their opponents.

Communications / command and control Britain and the US have superior communications nets and a fire control system that allows them to quickly and flexibly use artillery firepower.

Organization This goes with the above. The Allies organized their artillery assets better than their opponents so they could make better and more use of them.

You have to disrupt one or more of these to negate it.

I don't think you can do much about the logistics situation. The Germans would have little idea of how much ammunition was available to a battery and counting shells isn't going to work. First, you'd need to know how many guns are firing, a difficult proposition in itself. Then you'd need to have some idea of what the enemy supply situation was. That's problematic.
The Germans certainly don't have the air power or long range artillery to interdict the Allied rear areas, so it's going to be very difficult to try and disrupt their logistics.

Communications and command and control. Here the Germans might be able to seriously degrade the Allies. For example, they could deploy tactical radio jammers to disrupt Allied communications. Disrupting telephone service would be harder but by removing radios from the Allied net they could put a big dent in their ability to call in fire. The danger is that the jammers would be vulnerable to enemy attack in return so they'd need several to many and these would have to operate intermittently and be mobile to avoid destruction.
The Allies did try this themselves to a limited degree using airborne jammers (the Jackal series) which avoids the countermeasure of destruction by fire. I don't think this option is really open to the Germans in the face of Allied air superiority however.
Spoofing might be possible in the short run. The RAF tried this with the Corona system. They had operators who spoke German get on the Luftwaffe radio frequencies and send incorrect orders to nightfighter aircraft. The Germans responded by using females to give the orders thinking the British spoofers were in the aircraft on raids. The RAF switched to women as the operation was ground based in England. In the long run it was more an annoying tactic than a truly effective one.
Here, the Germans simply get on Allied frequencies and try to fill the airwaves with nonsense to keep the Allies from communicating effectively.

Disrupting the Allied artillery and command organization requires that you have the means to get at it. Infiltration by small units to seek and attack Allied artillery and command positions even just to cause some degree of suppression might be reasonably effective if it could be done on a wide front basis. How effective in the long run is open to debate.

Deception and obscuration by smoke are both very erratic in their effects. The US tried using smoke on a large scale several times with limited effectiveness such as at the Rapido River crossings by the 36th ID in Italy. I seriously doubt these would prove worthwhile to the Germans due to the cost in material to make them happen.

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Aida1 » 29 Feb 2020 21:08

An example of german instructions based on experiences against the allies

"OKH
GenStdH Ausb Abt II OKH 3.6.1944

Training Instruction nr 27(west)

(Experiences from the last great battles in Italy)

I. Conduct of the battle

Not only the French(maroccans) but also the english and the americans have deviated from their former methodical conduct of battle.
Brekthroughs and breaks gained are immediately exploited, especially by armor units. It was attempted to widen them into operational breakthroughs.
To this end
- infantry on carriers was fast driven behind the armor units
- newly gained terrain occupied in strength so fast that later counter thrusts or counter attacks were often not successful

Conclusion:
Even in combat against english and americans it is more than before important to clear up breaks in immediate counter thrust. All waiting out gives the enemy time to exploit favourable sitiuations and endangers the success of countermeasures.

II Attack method

Contrary to former attacks which were conducted in small groups on relatively small fronts,the english and the americans have for the first time uniformly attacked on a broad front(40 km).
On this occasion was seen:
-mass use of artillery, armor and air force to an extent not seen before
- strongest concentration ( use of up to 400 tanks together)
- complete domination of the main battle area up to a depth of 10 km through enemy artillery and air force . Artillery aircraft were in the air without pause

Conclusions:
1. any movement in the main battle area during the day will be counteracted. Therefore everything must be in the right place from the outset.
2. command
Command posts have to be built bombproof and alternate command posts have to be prepared. Because of the failure of telephone communications the focal point of signalling will be radio communication. Superposition of ord. off. and runners.

3. Reserves
Local reserves have to be kept close and dug in. Movement and shifting during the day are only possible spread out in small groups(time loss)
Operational reserves can only be brought up and shifted during the night. Through this impairment of the supply movement and routine supply.

4. Anttank defense
All available antitankweapons, even the mobile ones must be used and installed( positioning in depth, camouflage). Keeping back mobile reserves does not bring the former usual success .
Opening fire only at effective distance. Each PAK that betrays itself too early will be crushed in concentrated fire, before it can have effect.

5. Supply
The troops in the main battle area can only be supplied during the night. Time consuming detours(avoiding areas under fire) have to be accepted.
A sufficient stocking has to be executed early ."

to be continued

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