Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Aida1 » 02 Mar 2020 18:09

Training instructions continued

"Combat against enemy armor units
Hereunder the experiences of a highly successfull Panzerdivision in the fight against enemy armor units are brought to attention, which in the last months put out of action 1000 enemy tanks in offensive and defensive and which lost only total loss 50 tanks. The reasons for the success are the following:
a troop trained to be hard;
trained again and again despite straining of all forces and well led
This the division has achieved above all by:

a) training of its officers to use always changing manners of attack to deceive and confuse the enemy

For example attack during the night or dusk
Pouncing without fire preparation
Encircling and bypassing through difficult passable terrain(wood,marsh)
Pull back from the enemy and attack at an unexpected spot
Draw out the enemy through deception movements and fake attacks
Let the enemy run up and beat him in pursuit
Skillfull use of smoke

b) Quick evaluation of the experiences gained from combat and transmitting to officers and troop even during combat, through which blood was saved and weaknesses of the enemy could be quickly exploited.
c) Continuous planned training , above all NCO 's and specialists at the troop and in training units , whose continuous arrangement by the division even in the most difficult circonstances and while accepting further decline of comabat strength, proved itself.
d) Strong concentration of all available tanks with the intent to put enemy tanks to battle in unfavourable conditions for them.

For example : attack against flank and rear of the enemy armor unit and suddenly deluge it with fire. Mostly this enticed the enemy armor unit to haphazard immediate counterattack.
- in case of enemy counterattack quickly move in position. Shut down motors so the enemy can be heard, let him come up and shoot the individual enemy armor vehicles with concentrated fire one after the other.Operate part of the own Panzer unit in an encircling movement to deliver flanking fire . "

to be continued

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Aida1 » 02 Mar 2020 19:07

Training instructions continued

"- at own attack in cluttered terrain or fight in towns Panzergrenadiere or recce troops on foot forward to locate enemy tanks early on and gain a favourable attack direction or firing position in time. Advance in overwatch with continuous ready to fire barrels and not hesitate to let the next position be reconnoitered on foot by the commander
- at an attack in open terrain against enemy tanks under cover (edges of woods and towns), using fake attacks to entice firing and withdrawing enemy tanks in a specific direction and then attack in mass from the direction which is unexpected for the enemy.

The experiences from the last fighting have showed again how important it is to immediately blow up shot or immobile enemy tanks to make impossibble later towing away and repairing.
Therefore: again point this out to the troop and educate it in the quick lasting destroying and blowing up of tanks.
Further: never can own tanks fall undestroyed in enemy hands or tanks out of action because of small problems be abandoned by the crew.
The recovery respectively destruction of tanks out of action is a duty of all troops.

Withdrawal of tanks after reaching the objective of the attack
In an attack with support by armored vehicles , these should not stay forward after reaching the objective of the attack but withdrawn to deploy them for counterattack.
The timing of the withdrawal depends on the readyness for defense of the troops in the terrain gained.
Armored vehicles should in general stay so long forward and give the infantry fire support until its defense is organised, that is until the infantry is sufficiently dugin and antitank defense and artillery are ready for defense.

Sturmgeschütze are used with special success during counterattacks in moonlit nights as sturmartillerie .Own stormtroops with Sturmgeschütze destroyed in these operations enemy 800 to 1000 men strong."
…….
https://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/de/ ... heeres-okh Akte 181

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Cult Icon » 03 Mar 2020 20:49

+ case study #11: 2.SS DR's advance in WACHT AM RHEIN fizzed out around Grandmenil-Manhay blocked by a heavy concentration of artillery. (over 5,000 rounds).

https://warfarehistorynetwork.com/2018/ ... the-bulge/

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Cult Icon » 04 Mar 2020 06:27

On a German set piece breakthrough attack on a strong allied position (held by 2 inf regiments front, 1 inf regiment back on 4 mile or less front vs 1 x Panzer Korps). This is of course stage 1 as Allied reserves will approach the Pz K in event of breakthrough :

1. first echelon: half a Pz division holds the front as a security line, the Pz KG is in the rear along with a Tiger battalion, engineers, and maybe even a FKL unit
2. second echelon: Behind this screen, numerous battalions of inf that would be deployed in waves with the Tigers as inf support and the Pz KG behind them as overwatch. A 24/7 day/night attack cycle and relentless in attacks are stressed (eg. even if wave 1 is wiped out, wave 2 is sent in, even if it's suppressed, a fresh wave 3 attacks etc., wave 2 regroups and attacks again, wave 4 comes in to attack, etc). Allied artillery observers should have an excessive amount of targets to spot for, like the 106.ID in Dec 1944.
-The chief source of additional infantry would be numerous replacement battalions gathered from a variety of sources. After their use in the breakthrough battle they can be returned to their original destination. Of the historical examples provided, the highest personnel losses were incurred by 12SSHJ at Elsenborn, which could be used as a high watermark. 7-10 battalions?
3. third echelon: the second Pz division of the Korps. It is hoped that the breakthough is so successful that this second division could be deployed in fluid circumstances and take over the advance. If the replacement battalions are used up, the Pz KG of Pz division 1 and Pz division 2 would have to take over.
4. throughout the rear area:Corps artillery, Flak, and a special "dummy" brigade that sets up artificial assembly areas, decoys (tanks, vehicle columns, artillery pieces), and other props to create an artificially concentrated aerial picture to scatter the ordinance of CAS and defensive fires from the artillery.

example of props:

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/wwii-ghost-army

https://worksthatwork.com/6/ghost-army

Image

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Cult Icon » 04 Mar 2020 13:39

Stage 2: Post-breakthrough, supporting the advance

1. Pz Division 1 regroups. PzK HQ, Pz Division 1 and 2 advance in fluid circumstances. If things go well there will be ~1.7 Pz Ds' worth of combat power left.
2. Allied prisoners are processed and sent to the rear. The two forward regiments should be destroyed in a short battle- no more than 2 days and preferably in 1. The longer this goes on, the worse it is for the Pz Ks. The remains of the allied division should be either retreating to a next defensive line or attempting to hold with its last regiment. Best case scenario is that the entire division has disintegrated.
3. Tiger battalion, Engineers, FKL, what is left of the Replacement battalions, and Dummy Brigade absorb replacements and resupply and conduct maintenance and regroup into movement columns, following the Pz K. This slower moving columns' assignment is to move into the rear area of the Pz K and, once the Allied defense congeals again- repeat another breakthrough battle in time as Allied CAS and fire support concentrates again. The now reduced replacement battalions, Engineers, and Tigers will once again lend their support by taking the lead from Pz D 1 and 2 again in the assault.
4. Once the Allied defense is cleared, the Pz Division 1 and 2 continue advancing ahead of the rear echelon. Basically, rinse and repeat this operational technique until the Pz K and its rear echelon don't have offensive strength left.

Stage 3 : Defense

1. PzK HQ, Pz Division 1 and 2 dig into defensive positions, awaiting a major allied counterattack. The remnants of the rear echelon connect and improve defensive strength of the Pz K & reducing its exposure.

***The design of Dummy Brigade should be well tailored towards the lifecycle of a Pz K- It should shrink at the same rate as the divisions it is designed to support, providing a relatively equal level of protection to 2.0 Pz Divisions, 1.5, 1.0, 0.5. It would probably be, in the main, horse-drawn with some motorized elements for security. The remnants of the replacement battalions, engineers, and the Tigers will function as additional march security.

*** A major counterattack with 1 of these Pz Korps teams. Counterstrike with two of them. Offensive with 3-5.
*** On Inf casualties: Say that 500-600 casualties are taken per combat battalions prior to the reversion to defense: (12 from the PzDs, 10-7 from the replacement battalions for a total of 22-19 combat battalions).
* [This will 13,200-9,500 casualties]
Last edited by Cult Icon on 04 Mar 2020 14:28, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Aida1 » 04 Mar 2020 13:52

Cult Icon wrote:
04 Mar 2020 06:27
On a German set piece breakthrough attack on a strong allied position (held by 2 inf regiments front, 1 inf regiment back on 4 mile or less front vs 1 x Panzer Korps). This is of course stage 1 as Allied reserves will approach the Pz K in event of breakthrough :

1. first echelon: half a Pz division holds the front as a security line, the Pz KG is in the rear along with a Tiger battalion, engineers, and maybe even a FKL unit
2. second echelon: Behind this screen, numerous battalions of inf that would be deployed in waves with the Tigers as inf support and the Pz KG behind them as overwatch. A 24/7 day/night attack cycle and relentless in attacks are stressed (eg. even if wave 1 is wiped out, wave 2 is sent in, even if it's suppressed, a fresh wave 3 attacks etc., wave 2 regroups and attacks again, wave 4 comes in to attack, etc). Allied artillery observers should have an excessive amount of targets to spot for, like the 106.ID in Dec 1944.
-The chief source of additional infantry would be numerous replacement battalions gathered from a variety of sources. After their use in the breakthrough battle they can be returned to their original destination. Of the historical examples provided, the highest personnel losses were incurred by 12SSHJ at Elsenborn, which could be used as a high watermark. 7-10 battalions?
3. third echelon: the second Pz division of the Korps. It is hoped that the breakthough is so successful that this second division could be deployed in fluid circumstances and take over the advance. If the replacement battalions are used up, the Pz KG of Pz division 1 and Pz division 2 would have to take over.
4. throughout the rear area:Corps artillery, Flak, and a special "dummy" brigade that sets up artificial assembly areas, decoys (tanks, vehicle columns, artillery pieces), and other props to create an artificially concentrated aerial picture to scatter the ordinance of CAS and defensive fires from the artillery.

example of props:

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/wwii-ghost-army

https://worksthatwork.com/6/ghost-army

Image
You are using resources, in particularly manpower the Germans simply did not have. :roll: The germans did know about dummies as i showed earlier but they could not mass produce them. Your concept is unrealistic and smells as a copy of red army tactics very wasteful of infantry. :roll:
I think that is time you readup on German infantry tactics because one can do better than just fling a lot of men at allied firepower.
You would only cause mass casualties and still fail.

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Aber » 05 Mar 2020 14:32

Cult Icon wrote:
04 Mar 2020 13:39
2. Allied prisoners are processed and sent to the rear. The two forward regiments should be destroyed in a short battle- no more than 2 days and preferably in 1. The longer this goes on, the worse it is for the Pz Ks. The remains of the allied division should be either retreating to a next defensive line or attempting to hold with its last regiment. Best case scenario is that the entire division has disintegrated.
Seriously?

When setting up this scenario you neglected to specify the length of the defensive front of the Allied Division, just that it was "strong". Almost certainly this implies that the Allied division can immediately call on artillery support from the divisions on its flanks and Corps level artillery to its rear; plus additional units such as individual armoured battalions or brigades, let alone air support. Even with a 1 day battle it should also get support from reserves moving forward, and in reality it is difficult to "destroy" regiments (unless they are cut off by deep penetrations).

Apart from 106th Division in the Ardennes, what examples are you drawing on about the ability of German Panzer Divisions to make a significant penetration against the Western Allies?

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Cult Icon » 05 Mar 2020 15:13

Aber wrote:
05 Mar 2020 14:32
When setting up this scenario you neglected to specify the length of the defensive front of the Allied Division, just that it was "strong". Almost certainly this implies that the Allied division can immediately call on artillery support from the divisions on its flanks and Corps level artillery to its rear; plus additional units such as individual armoured battalions or brigades, let alone air support. Even with a 1 day battle it should also get support from reserves moving forward, and in reality it is difficult to "destroy" regiments (unless they are cut off by deep penetrations).

Apart from 106th Division in the Ardennes, what examples are you drawing on about the ability of German Panzer Divisions to make a significant penetration against the Western Allies?
No, it's not difficult to destroy two forward regiments if the attack is perfectly executed. This happened routinely in Russia by both sides. I did- less than 4 miles.

This plan is based on confronting the details of their defeats (11 case studies so far)- measuring their incremental scale of their success, and assuming 9-20+ artillery battalions (eg. US 1st Army had ~45 separate artillery battalions) and 200? CAS sorties a day are coming down on the frontline and rear area. This is why such a large mass of forces have been concentrated to break though 1 division and why the attack tempo is accelerated by multiples. I also thought of Allied 4-engine carpet bombing but did not factor this in as how rare this was and the uneasy relationship between air and ground (and concern to friendly fire). By necessity, the staffwork should be well developed to get all units into position smoothly and quickly.

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Aida1 » 05 Mar 2020 18:46

Cult Icon wrote:
05 Mar 2020 15:13
Aber wrote:
05 Mar 2020 14:32
When setting up this scenario you neglected to specify the length of the defensive front of the Allied Division, just that it was "strong". Almost certainly this implies that the Allied division can immediately call on artillery support from the divisions on its flanks and Corps level artillery to its rear; plus additional units such as individual armoured battalions or brigades, let alone air support. Even with a 1 day battle it should also get support from reserves moving forward, and in reality it is difficult to "destroy" regiments (unless they are cut off by deep penetrations).

Apart from 106th Division in the Ardennes, what examples are you drawing on about the ability of German Panzer Divisions to make a significant penetration against the Western Allies?
No, it's not difficult to destroy two forward regiments if the attack is perfectly executed. This happened routinely in Russia by both sides. I did- less than 4 miles.

This plan is based on confronting the details of their defeats (11 case studies so far)- measuring their incremental scale of their success, and assuming 9-20+ artillery battalions (eg. US 1st Army had ~45 separate artillery battalions) and 200? CAS sorties a day are coming down on the frontline and rear area. This is why such a large mass of forces have been concentrated to break though 1 division and why the attack tempo is accelerated by multiples. I also thought of Allied 4-engine carpet bombing but did not factor this in as how rare this was and the uneasy relationship between air and ground (and concern to friendly fire). By necessity, the staffwork should be well developed to get all units into position smoothly and quickly.
Shows only that you have completely lost touch with reality as the Germans were not rich enough in resources to do what you propose . And for a major offensive you need to do much more than break trough two regiments so your plan proves that attacking allied strength is a very bad idea.
And the germans were much smarter at tactics than this primitive proposal. :roll:

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Cult Icon » 05 Mar 2020 21:00

Order of Battle:

Allied: US Inf division with TD, Tank bat

Axis:

Breakthrough element:
FKL Battalion
Engineer Battalion
Heavy Tank Battalion (1-2 battalions)
Assault Regiment 1 (2-3 battalions each)
Assault Regiment 2
Assault Regiment 3
Assault Regiment 4
*Inf organized as maneuverable and light infantry types- like a parachute battalion.

Maneuver element:
Pz Division 1
Pz Division 2

Rear area element:
Dummy Brigade (or division?)
Flak Brigade
Korps artillery

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Aida1 » 05 Mar 2020 22:09

Cult Icon wrote:
05 Mar 2020 21:00
Order of Battle:

Allied: US Inf division with TD, Tank bat

Axis:

Breakthrough element:
FKL Battalion
Engineer Battalion
Heavy Tank Battalion (1-2 battalions)
Assault Regiment 1 (2-3 battalions each)
Assault Regiment 2
Assault Regiment 3
Assault Regiment 4
*Inf organized as maneuverable and light infantry types- like a parachute battalion.

Maneuver element:
Pz Division 1
Pz Division 2

Rear area element:
Dummy Brigade (or division?)
Flak Brigade
Korps artillery
Simplistic. Everything depends on type of resistance. It is even possible one would execute a surprise attack without artillery preparation. And a Pz DIV Will preferably attack with its own infantry. FKL would not be used in the context you are talking about. And the amount of dummies you are mentioning, the Germans would never have. :roll:

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Richard Anderson » 05 Mar 2020 22:21

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.
Yes, in a sense it was a hasty attack, but a better description might be "spoiling attack" or "diversionary attack". It was intended to take pressure off NORDWIND. It was directed against the recent penetration by the 3d Battalion, 376th Infantry, but could only be a limited operation due to the lack of adequate bridging on the Saar, which kept I./Pz.Rgt. 15 out of the battle entirely.

For the Americans, the problems were the lack of effective fire support, not the "heavy fire support". The extension of the XX Corps during the Ardennes battle meant it was severely overextended, when the 94th Division moved up it occupied a 13-mile position facing the Orscholz Switch. A single 105mm battalion and a single medium tank company were its sole attachments and both flanks were occupied solely by Cavalry. Nor was corps artillery support significant, given the extended length of the XX Corps line.
+ XIII SS AK.'s attack for NORDWIND, which was known to US 7th Army which stopped the breakthrough attempt.
But XIII. SS-AK consisted only of an infantry division and a motorized infantry division only and was considered a supporting attack rather than the main effort.
What all these failures, including those identified in prior posts, have in common is
I am not sure either of these provide the examples to support such conclusions?
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.
Except the Germans had long ago decided that the only way to break into a prepared defensive position was with infantry supported by StuG. That is what they did at Kursk and that is what they did in the Ardennes. When they attempted to lead attacks with armor, especially when inadequately supported by infantry and artillery, they tended to come a cropper, as viz. Le Desert, Mortain, Arneville, and FISCHFANG.

Nor do I think the Germans would be much enamored of "waves of inf attacks" given their long preferred inclination was to infilitration.
2. ineffectiveness of german artillery in sufficiently suppressing allied defensive positions and their fire support
To use an appropriate quote "well, there's you problem!" Even when they carefully hoarded guns, howitzers, rocket launchers, and ammunition for the Ardennes Offensive and NORDWIND it was insufficient. Worse, it caused a split in accepted doctrine...Hitler insisted on returning to the Great War model of rolling barrages, which 6. Panzerarmee more or less accepted, while Manteuffel went with accepted Heer doctrine and used short, sharp concentrations to support the infiltration (7. Armee was more or less screwed on resources so we'll skip them). The 6. Pamzerarmee bombardment was more or less a failure, which meant that the waves of infantry hit prepared positions, where it was the three-to-one odds that eventually collapsed the American defense. The 5. Panzerarmee bombardment was slightly more effective in that it covered the infiltration of the infantry, but then the problem became the poor quality of the infantry that got hung up hitting strongpoints and the time it took to get bridging in and armor forward. However, on the whole the 5. Panzerarmee method worked better and they had more success...until the logistical constraints and strength of the American response finished them.
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.
Very true, but how do you make deliberate plans when your house of cards is collapsing?
Last edited by Richard Anderson on 06 Mar 2020 17:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Richard Anderson » 05 Mar 2020 22:29

Cult Icon wrote:
05 Mar 2020 15:13
Aber wrote:
05 Mar 2020 14:32
When setting up this scenario you neglected to specify the length of the defensive front of the Allied Division, just that it was "strong". Almost certainly this implies that the Allied division can immediately call on artillery support from the divisions on its flanks and Corps level artillery to its rear; plus additional units such as individual armoured battalions or brigades, let alone air support. Even with a 1 day battle it should also get support from reserves moving forward, and in reality it is difficult to "destroy" regiments (unless they are cut off by deep penetrations).

Apart from 106th Division in the Ardennes, what examples are you drawing on about the ability of German Panzer Divisions to make a significant penetration against the Western Allies?
No, it's not difficult to destroy two forward regiments if the attack is perfectly executed. This happened routinely in Russia by both sides. I did- less than 4 miles.
Um, two questions? When did an Allied division defend on a front of 4 miles? And which Panzer division penetrated the 106th ID in the Ardennes?
This plan is based on confronting the details of their defeats (11 case studies so far)- measuring their incremental scale of their success, and assuming 9-20+ artillery battalions (eg. US 1st Army had ~45 separate artillery battalions) and 200? CAS sorties a day are coming down on the frontline and rear area. This is why such a large mass of forces have been concentrated to break though 1 division and why the attack tempo is accelerated by multiples. I also thought of Allied 4-engine carpet bombing but did not factor this in as how rare this was and the uneasy relationship between air and ground (and concern to friendly fire). By necessity, the staffwork should be well developed to get all units into position smoothly and quickly.
Eleven case studies? A case study is a detailed research project, which examines a situation over a period of time. How is it a case study when you're making blanket assumptions about artillery and air support support?

At least your German offensive doesn't need to concern itself with "Allied 4-engine carpet bombing", which was a rarely-employed offensive measure.
"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, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Cult Icon » 06 Mar 2020 05:49

#12. Oct 15-16, 1944- Battle of Aachen. 3.PzG with Tiger 506 attached counterattacks US 1st Inf division. On Oct 15 3.PzG overruns two companies of 16.IR and gets hit with massed artillery fire and CAS over the course of an hour, which causes its inf to retreat from its armored support. On Oct 16 3.PzG tries again and gets hit with massed artillery fire and CAS which ends the counterattack.

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Re: Tactical innovation, adapting to Allied suppressive firepower

Post by Aida1 » 06 Mar 2020 08:55

Cult Icon wrote:
06 Mar 2020 05:49
#12. Oct 15-16, 1944- Battle of Aachen. 3.PzG with Tiger 506 attached counterattacks US 1st Inf division. On Oct 15 3.PzG overruns two companies of 16.IR and gets hit with massed artillery fire and CAS over the course of an hour, which causes its inf to retreat from its armored support. On Oct 16 3.PzG tries again and gets hit with massed artillery fire and CAS which ends the counterattack.
You should read up on tactics instead of making a concept which gives the Germans resources they did not have . And you forget that there are different situations with different tactics adapted to it.

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