Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

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Aida1
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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Aida1 » 29 Feb 2020 22:13

instruction nr 27 continued

" Effects of the allied airforce in the rea area

The enemy dominated the air(by continuous and thoroughly well considered use day and night he tried to prevent the moving up of reserves and the supplying of the troops). Even individual vehicles were attacked. Especially popular targets were choke points of all sorts on which one cannot evade(pass roads, bridges etc..) Against one important bridge 100 attacks were excetuted in a day.

Conclusions:

All time calculations are made difficult, one has always to count with surprises. Alternatives have to be kept ready.
The following countermeasures are practical:
- use of road commanders with enough military police , means of towing away and building troops. Equipment with radio.
- use of mobile FLAK forces in particularly endangered sectors( wandering operation)
- designating roads separate for mot traffic and traffic with horse drawn vehicles
- proactive keeping prepared of building forces and towing means at choke points to quickly restore destructions and clear burnt out vehicles from the road.

IV Specific experiences

a) off road capability
Especially to be pointed out is the large off road capability of the French(moroccan) troops which conquer even mountain terrain that is considered unpassable even including carrying their heavy weapons and then- partially far sweeping around- try to surround and break open the own positions from behind .
Marshy and flooded terrain sectors which were considered unpassable , the enemy has crossed surprisingly fast with amphibic vehicles( floating trucks and according to until now uncorfirmed reports floating tanks).

Conclusion:
Even terrain considered unpassable has to be systematically secured , at least with weak forces.
Deploying mines on the rear edge of marshy areas seems practical.

b) The performance of enemy tanks and mot vehicles in mountainous terrain was surprisingly high.

Conclusion: individual PAK, at least close range antitank weapons and means must also in mountainous terrain always be standing by.

c) use of smoke
Smoke was used for blinding the own FO positions and to conceal own movements to an extent not seen before. A river crossing was put under smoke in its entire extension on a broad front for several hours.

I.A Zeitzler"

https://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/de/ ... heeres-okh (Akte 189)

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by daveshoup2MD » 01 Mar 2020 00:35

[/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.
[/quote]

Wait ... you're saying that Hitler's control of, literally, everything in Nazi Germany, and his complete ability to define policy, was NOT an element of German military doctrine or the governmental system in Germany in 1939-45?

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by daveshoup2MD » 01 Mar 2020 01:01

T. A. Gardner wrote:
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.
Good summary. The only thing I'd add is that trying to use infantry and filtration tactics against field artillery well back from the battle line is challenging, to say the least. First, the infiltrators have to get past the infantry that is operating ahead of the FA, which is problematic. Second, the FA itself - certainly the US Army FA as deployed in WW II - had a pretty robust self-defense capability, certainly against enemy infantry, to the extent that TO&E for a standard battalion of truck-drawn 105mm howitzers, with 521 officers and men, were equipped with (besides the 12 artillery pieces) 21 .50 cal MGs, 443 carbines, 40 2.36 inch RL (bazookas), and 66 sidearms (pistols), along with 86 trucks and two aircraft... and that was the TO&E; FABs, given their organic motor pool, had a habit of picking up other weapons, including SMGs, rifles, BARs, .30 MGs, etc.

And, given enough creativity, mounting bazookas on the aircraft for battalion level CAS.

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Aida1 » 01 Mar 2020 08:52

daveshoup2MD wrote:
01 Mar 2020 00:35
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.
[/quote]

Wait ... you're saying that Hitler's control of, literally, everything in Nazi Germany, and his complete ability to define policy, was NOT an element of German military doctrine or the governmental system in Germany in 1939-45?
[/quote]

No. It was not. Hitler s tendency to interfere more and more in smaller details was certainly not a doctrine or a system. This was purely personal and a reflection of his growing distrust of his commanders when things startend to go against Germany. Hitlers interference became stronger when he took over command of the army at the end of 1941. Was certainly not a good idea.

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Cult Icon » 01 Mar 2020 14:01

+ Panzer Lehr Counterattack 11 July 1944. It was hasty and Pz Lehr was not familiar with the terrain conditions. ULTRA (perhaps catching the radio signals from SPW mounted Flivo?) forewarned of this attack.

https://www.flamesofwar.com/hobby.aspx?art_id=514

+on relation to artillery intelligence: wire tapping

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Cult Icon » 01 Mar 2020 16:12

John Schaffner, scout, Battery A, 589th FAB, 106.ID : (pg. 29-30, "Warriors of the 106th")

"Registration fire was "observed" in all situations and concentrations of multiple batteries and unobserved fire at night were coordinated through Fire Direction Centers from measurements directly on maps or air photos. The communication was via telephone and/or radio between the observer and the firing batteries."

"The ammunition Sergeant was in charge of the ammunition dump, and tracked every shell and charge in the battery. The telephone operator took the commands coming from the Fire Direction Center, or FDC, and relayed them to the battery executive. To support the operator, the lineman made sure that the phones were operating, and the recorder took down every command or message".

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by daveshoup2MD » 01 Mar 2020 17:40

Aida1 wrote:
01 Mar 2020 08:52
Wait ... you're saying that Hitler's control of, literally, everything in Nazi Germany, and his complete ability to define policy, was NOT an element of German military doctrine or the governmental system in Germany in 1939-45?
[/quote]

No. It was not. Hitler s tendency to interfere more and more in smaller details was certainly not a doctrine or a system. This was purely personal and a reflection of his growing distrust of his commanders when things startend to go against Germany. Hitlers interference became stronger when he took over command of the army at the end of 1941. Was certainly not a good idea.
[/quote]

When did the Führerprinzip come into force, again?

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Aida1 » 01 Mar 2020 19:30

daveshoup2MD wrote:
01 Mar 2020 17:40
Aida1 wrote:
01 Mar 2020 08:52
Wait ... you're saying that Hitler's control of, literally, everything in Nazi Germany, and his complete ability to define policy, was NOT an element of German military doctrine or the governmental system in Germany in 1939-45?
No. It was not. Hitler s tendency to interfere more and more in smaller details was certainly not a doctrine or a system. This was purely personal and a reflection of his growing distrust of his commanders when things startend to go against Germany. Hitlers interference became stronger when he took over command of the army at the end of 1941. Was certainly not a good idea.
[/quote]

When did the Führerprinzip come into force, again?
[/quote]

Nothing to do with that. Hitler could have perfectly decided not to become commander in chief of the army in december 1941 and let the military professionals do their job. His tendency to micromanage more and more was not a system.

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by daveshoup2MD » 01 Mar 2020 20:18

Aida1 wrote:
01 Mar 2020 19:30
daveshoup2MD wrote:
01 Mar 2020 17:40
Aida1 wrote:
01 Mar 2020 08:52
Wait ... you're saying that Hitler's control of, literally, everything in Nazi Germany, and his complete ability to define policy, was NOT an element of German military doctrine or the governmental system in Germany in 1939-45?
No. It was not. Hitler s tendency to interfere more and more in smaller details was certainly not a doctrine or a system. This was purely personal and a reflection of his growing distrust of his commanders when things startend to go against Germany. Hitlers interference became stronger when he took over command of the army at the end of 1941. Was certainly not a good idea.
When did the Führerprinzip come into force, again?
[/quote]

Nothing to do with that. Hitler could have perfectly decided not to become commander in chief of the army in december 1941 and let the military professionals do their job. His tendency to micromanage more and more was not a system.
[/quote]

How about the reality that no one could tell him no? Pretty much the definition of the system in Nazi Germany.

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Aida1 » 02 Mar 2020 09:33

daveshoup2MD wrote:
01 Mar 2020 20:18
Aida1 wrote:
01 Mar 2020 19:30
daveshoup2MD wrote:
01 Mar 2020 17:40
Aida1 wrote:
01 Mar 2020 08:52
Wait ... you're saying that Hitler's control of, literally, everything in Nazi Germany, and his complete ability to define policy, was NOT an element of German military doctrine or the governmental system in Germany in 1939-45?
No. It was not. Hitler s tendency to interfere more and more in smaller details was certainly not a doctrine or a system. This was purely personal and a reflection of his growing distrust of his commanders when things startend to go against Germany. Hitlers interference became stronger when he took over command of the army at the end of 1941. Was certainly not a good idea.
When did the Führerprinzip come into force, again?
Nothing to do with that. Hitler could have perfectly decided not to become commander in chief of the army in december 1941 and let the military professionals do their job. His tendency to micromanage more and more was not a system.
[/quote]

How about the reality that no one could tell him no? Pretty much the definition of the system in Nazi Germany.
[/quote]

Not really true. Some could. And obedience to the commander in chief is the principle in any army. One is not supposed to disobey. The problem was that Hitler involved himself too much by taking charge of the army himself and micromanaging too much.

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Cult Icon » 02 Mar 2020 13:39

+ Butzdorg/Tettingen, Germany, Jan 18th 1945- Newly refitted 11.Pz makes a hasty attack against the green US 94.ID holding favorable positions on the "Switch" with heavy fire support.

+ XIII SS AK.'s attack for NORDWIND, which was known to US 7th Army which stopped the breakthrough attempt.

What all these failures, including those identified in prior posts, have in common is

1. the necessity of more than the Pz division's Pzg regiments- additional inf units and waves of inf attacks were required to absorb the inevitable blows from the artillery.
2. ineffectiveness of german artillery in sufficiently suppressing allied defensive positions and their fire support
3. hasty and reactive (to allied moves) nature of the German prep efforts for most of them- implies that a more deliberate and well planned effort was required for a higher chance of success.

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Cult Icon » 02 Mar 2020 14:41

A new model for armored breakthrough through strongly held positions should in-cooperate these elements:

1. adequate insurance for contingencies- the biggest issue is dealing with the heavy inf losses and suppression
2. conceding defeat in the firepower game and an according adjustment to expectations- no massed air support and inadequate artillery (both in suppressing positions and in counter-battery fire). Assume only small suppression of allied defensive positions. Deception equipment/ tactics made to increase "vertical" protection while attacking.
3. Allied detection of main effort and shifting of full resources to respond to it.
4. they all factor in a dilemma: need to be planned attacks, but flexible enough for a German army/or equivalent to use as their special counterstrike reserve in the defense.

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Aida1 » 02 Mar 2020 15:05

Cult Icon wrote:
02 Mar 2020 14:41
A new model for armored breakthrough through strongly held positions should in-cooperate these elements:

1. adequate insurance for contingencies- the biggest issue is dealing with the heavy inf losses and suppression
2. conceding defeat in the firepower game and an according adjustment to expectations- no massed air support and inadequate artillery (both in suppressing positions and in counter-battery fire). Assume only small suppression of allied defensive positions. Deception equipment/ tactics made to increase "vertical" protection while attacking.
3. Allied detection of main effort and shifting of full resources to respond to it.
4. they all factor in a dilemma: need to be planned attacks, but flexible enough for a German army/or equivalent to use as their special counterstrike reserve in the defense.
You are not going to find a solution for attacking an enemy that has superior firepower behind him. You cannot get away from having to achieve at least local superiority . :roll: Preferably you attack weakness. You are really deluding yourself when you think you can invent some miracle solution to allied fire speriority that german officers could not think off. Better read some german tactical manuals first :roll: These do exist.
Last edited by Aida1 on 02 Mar 2020 16:38, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Aida1 » 02 Mar 2020 15:07

Cult Icon wrote:
02 Mar 2020 13:39
+ Butzdorg/Tettingen, Germany, Jan 18th 1945- Newly refitted 11.Pz makes a hasty attack against the green US 94.ID holding favorable positions on the "Switch" with heavy fire support.

+ XIII SS AK.'s attack for NORDWIND, which was known to US 7th Army which stopped the breakthrough attempt.

What all these failures, including those identified in prior posts, have in common is

1. the necessity of more than the Pz division's Pzg regiments- additional inf units and waves of inf attacks were required to absorb the inevitable blows from the artillery.
2. ineffectiveness of german artillery in sufficiently suppressing allied defensive positions and their fire support
3. hasty and reactive (to allied moves) nature of the German prep efforts for most of them- implies that a more deliberate and well planned effort was required for a higher chance of success.
You are ignoring that the german were poor in resources so this is a fantasy. Coming up with attacks with masses of infantry as a supposed solution is not very original and betrays a lack of tactical sense. :roll:
Last edited by Aida1 on 02 Mar 2020 16:34, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Aida1 » 02 Mar 2020 16:32

An excerpt from a publication of training instructions by OKH Gen St d H Ausb Abt II of 5.5.1944 based on battle experiences from april 1943-march 1944. Shows how real German officers draw real lessons from battles.

"…..
II Use of own Panzer and Sturmgeschütze

a)general
The Panzer and Sturmgeschütze kept ready behind a defensive front for a concentrated counterattack only fullfill their purpose when in case of need , for example an enemy break in, they can be on the spot fast
The preconditions for this are:
- deployment near the front but outside of observed enemy artillery effect
- reconnaissance of the probable area of operation and the roads which lead there (marking, building)
a) for counterblow respectively counterattack
b) for fire positions(ambush positions) to let an enemy tank attack run up against it
- taking and keeping contact with the officers and observation positions of the troops in the position, if possible putting in communication elements (for example one armored vehicle as a radio position to the btln or regt command post.
- setting up of an own observation and reporting service (tank watch service) for quick informing of the situation
As a further means , it has proved itself on the eastern front to shift forward individual tank or Sturmgeschütze platoons close behind particularly threatened front sectors as an early warning system. These early warners need good and secure communications to the infantry and to their unit. It is useful to choose their positions near command posts of the infantry (btlns) and change them frequently. For this alternate positions have to be prepared. March up and march off roads should not be viewable by the enemy(camouflage). An individual operation of these "early warners" in combat is to be rejected as is their subordination to the infantry."

To be continued
Last edited by Aida1 on 02 Mar 2020 19:12, edited 2 times in total.

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