OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by daveshoup2MD » 06 May 2021 02:51

Sheldrake wrote:
05 May 2021 12:05
daveshoup2MD wrote:
04 May 2021 21:50
Or, the German high command(s) are even more scattered in terms of what to do, which yields even more confusion, which leaves even more German forces isolated in various "pockets" to be contained? Or, the Germans decide "heimat" is the only obvious course and bug out for the prewar Franco-German border defenses and/or the Rhine?

No guarantees, but hitting an enemy on the defensive on multiple fronts in the same theater, simultaneously, with forces that can not be concentrated in space but can be concentrated in time generally pays dividends... whether you call it "getting inside the enemy's OODA loop" or "if a man can't skin, he must hold a leg while somebody else does" ... not the easiest thing to organize, but if possible, it's been recognized as an advantage for a long time.
I see where you are coming from. What you have described is a simplified version of the US Army's broad front mentality. (Though OODA loops is a dangerous buzz works. By and large the Germans were usually quicker off the mark, and inside the allied decision loop). However, those on both sides had principles of war. The British and Germans both held that one fundamental principle of war was concentration of force. It was German doctrine that at every level a commander had to decide on the point of main effort. Ignoring this and doing what you advocate violates this principle.

The idea of hitting an enemy on several fronts in the same theatre risks splitting your forces and allowing the enemy the chance to concentrate on each of the threats in turn. Good histpric examples are Napoleon in Italy 1796, Jackson's Valley Campaign 1862 and Tannenburg 1914, It has been argued that this what was wrong with the allied Gustav Line offensives in Winter 1944, and resolved in May 1944 by concentrating both armies on the Western side of the Appenines. If the Germans saw this happening on the coast of France they would be likely to see an opportunity rather than run for the Reich.

Not convinced thisn answers the question. What was the outcome of this strategy that would be even better than the historic?
The Allies sure as hell hit the Germans in France on several fronts. Seems to have worked.

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by daveshoup2MD » 06 May 2021 03:03

Richard Anderson wrote:
05 May 2021 16:03
daveshoup2MD wrote:
05 May 2021 05:34
A 4.0 and a 3.9 are one thing; a 3.0 and a 4.0 are something else. Again, without sniping at individuals, there is only so much talent to go around in any organization; between (at various times) ETOUSA, NATOUSA, MTOUSA, SHAEF, AFHQ, SACMED, Comm-Z, etc,, the best were spread pretty thin.
Um, okay, but how do you know what their score is ahead of time? Fredendall was a 4.0 until he went home. So was Dawley. So was Lucas. And, absent TORCH, HUSKY, and AVALANCHE, you would have had no idea whether or not they were 4.0 or 0.0, but you would have had a nice tidy organizational structure that economized on personnel.
Picking a target and prioritizing what's needed to reach it is always helpful.
I see, so if the target picked is "Germany" don't you need to prioritize the troops and equipment to invade the Deustches Bucht? Or how about between Weser and Elbe? Rostock? Griefswald? Direct routes to Berlin, right?

We don need no stinkin peripheral targets like North Africa, where we have an opportunity to destroy to Axis armies. We don need no stinkin targets where we can leverage our strengths against Axis weakness.
Marshall, Eisenhower, Smith, et al, generally all seemed to come through the flames okay; same for Patton and Bradley, for that matter. Clark and Gruenther? Open question, presumably... same for the logisticians.

Come on ... strawman, much?

How to destroy Germany from the west - take the Ruhr and drive on Berlin. How does one get to Germany to do that? The French and Belgian coasts/ports, Paris and Brussels as transportation centers, augmented by the French Mediterranean ports for additional logistics capacity. It's what the US tried to do in 1917-18, except that thanks to the men who had died in 1914-17, the Americans didn't have to seize the ports and Paris first.

Trying to do the same by way of Naples, Rome, and the Brenner Pass seems, um, unduly challenging.

The opportunity to destroy Axis armies in North Africa ended in May, 1943, which sort of suggests that task was accomplished. Anything after that, other than maintaining the necessary expeditionary force for southern France and re-arming the French was questionable, at best...

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by daveshoup2MD » 06 May 2021 03:07

Peter89 wrote:
05 May 2021 16:52
Some historians like Douglas Porch even argues that the MTO was a pivotal theatre of war, and the fact that the Allies pushed out the Axis from Africa (and Asia) had a tremendous effect on the Axis diplomacy and strategy.

Without the Axis losses and Allied experiences in the MTO, he argues, the Allied high command might made the mistakes on a larger scale in an event of a premature invasion of France.
Some historians even argue the MTO (both before and after May, 1943), was a pointless effusion of blood and a waste of time; the truth, as always, may lie in between. ;)

Having said that, a 1943 invasion of France is not what is being discussed here; its - basically - trying a Normandy invasion and a Provence invasion closer in time in 1944 than the operations were mounted, historically.

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by Richard Anderson » 06 May 2021 03:14

daveshoup2MD wrote:
06 May 2021 03:03
Marshall, Eisenhower, Smith, et al, generally all seemed to come through the flames okay; same for Patton and Bradley, for that matter. Clark and Gruenther? Open question, presumably... same for the logisticians.

Come on ... strawman, much?
Yes they did, others did not. Some failed in their first assignment that were expected to be 4's...or maybe 3's, I've lost track. So how is it a strawman to ask how these "ratings" worked?
How to destroy Germany from the west - take the Ruhr and drive on Berlin. How does one get to Germany to do that? The French and Belgian coasts/ports, Paris and Brussels as transportation centers, augmented by the French Mediterranean ports for additional logistics capacity. It's what the US tried to do in 1917-18, except that thanks to the men who had died in 1914-17, the Americans didn't have to seize the ports and Paris first.

Trying to do the same by way of Naples, Rome, and the Brenner Pass seems, um, unduly challenging.

The opportunity to destroy Axis armies in North Africa ended in May, 1943, which sort of suggests that task was accomplished. Anything after that, other than maintaining the necessary expeditionary force for southern France and re-arming the French was questionable, at best...
Oh, for sure I was being snarky, but it was late and I was bored, sorry. Anyway, so you're planning on executing DRAGOON without TORCH, HUSKY, AVALANCHE, and controlling Sardinia and Corsica? That might get interesting. Or do we do TORCH, but not HUSKY? Or TORCH and HUSKY, but not AVALANCHE? This is starting to sound very Monty Pythonesque. Oh, I see, you do everything up to say the Rapido and SHINGLE and then, what, stand down in Italy? Cool.
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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by daveshoup2MD » 06 May 2021 03:32

Richard Anderson wrote:
06 May 2021 03:14
daveshoup2MD wrote:
06 May 2021 03:03
Marshall, Eisenhower, Smith, et al, generally all seemed to come through the flames okay; same for Patton and Bradley, for that matter. Clark and Gruenther? Open question, presumably... same for the logisticians.

Come on ... strawman, much?
Yes they did, others did not. Some failed in their first assignment that were expected to be 4's...or maybe 3's, I've lost track. So how is it a strawman to ask how these "ratings" worked?
How to destroy Germany from the west - take the Ruhr and drive on Berlin. How does one get to Germany to do that? The French and Belgian coasts/ports, Paris and Brussels as transportation centers, augmented by the French Mediterranean ports for additional logistics capacity. It's what the US tried to do in 1917-18, except that thanks to the men who had died in 1914-17, the Americans didn't have to seize the ports and Paris first.

Trying to do the same by way of Naples, Rome, and the Brenner Pass seems, um, unduly challenging.

The opportunity to destroy Axis armies in North Africa ended in May, 1943, which sort of suggests that task was accomplished. Anything after that, other than maintaining the necessary expeditionary force for southern France and re-arming the French was questionable, at best...
Oh, for sure I was being snarky, but it was late and I was bored, sorry. Anyway, so you're planning on executing DRAGOON without TORCH, HUSKY, AVALANCHE, and controlling Sardinia and Corsica? That might get interesting. Or do we do TORCH, but not HUSKY? Or TORCH and HUSKY, but not AVALANCHE? This is starting to sound very Monty Pythonesque. Oh, I see, you do everything up to say the Rapido and SHINGLE and then, what, stand down in Italy? Cool.
Your apology is accepted. See how pleasant this can be?

Military operations are organized to achieve a end result; the Axis surrender in May, 1943 was a result of TORCH (and the British-led offensive from the east, obviously); the Italian surrender at Cassibile in September, 1943, was the result of HUSKY and some other factors, equally obviously; the German surrender in May, 1945 was the result of (essentially) NEPTUNE/OVERLORD/DRAGOON, some of POINTBLANK, and the Red Army's efforts.

How, exactly, one gets from London (or New York) to Berlin was (and is), of course, the subject of numerous discussions ... which makes it plan there were numerous deltas along the way.

One of them being, potentially, the idea of conducting an operation in Normandy and an operation in Provence closer in time than historically; which is the point of the thread.

Setting aside TORCH, or HUSKY-BAYTOWN-AVALANCHE, or SHINGLE-DIADEM-OLIVE, or any combination, would be the subject of a different thread, one would presume.

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by Peter89 » 06 May 2021 09:49

daveshoup2MD wrote:
06 May 2021 03:07
Peter89 wrote:
05 May 2021 16:52
Some historians like Douglas Porch even argues that the MTO was a pivotal theatre of war, and the fact that the Allies pushed out the Axis from Africa (and Asia) had a tremendous effect on the Axis diplomacy and strategy.

Without the Axis losses and Allied experiences in the MTO, he argues, the Allied high command might made the mistakes on a larger scale in an event of a premature invasion of France.
Some historians even argue the MTO (both before and after May, 1943), was a pointless effusion of blood and a waste of time; the truth, as always, may lie in between. ;)

Having said that, a 1943 invasion of France is not what is being discussed here; its - basically - trying a Normandy invasion and a Provence invasion closer in time in 1944 than the operations were mounted, historically.
While I do not agree with Porch's Wallies-focused view, I think he has a point. The whole German participation in the MTO, as well as the Italian adventures on the wrong side of the sea qualified it as a major stategic mistake. Churchill would have been an idiot not to exploit it.

The number of pinned down German planes alone made a huge contribution to the war effort:

Single-engine fighters / Twin-engine fighters
17.08.42 - 11.12.42:
Mediterranean: 22% / 32%
West: 19% / 47%
East: 43% / 18%

11.12.42 - 24.07.43:
Mediterranean: 26% / 28%
West: 33% / 61%
East: 28% / 11%

24.07.43 - 19.02.44:
Mediterranean: 18% / 7%
West: 52% / 84%
East: 23% / 8%

Source: Dan Zamansky

Also, on the eve of the great clashes in the East, the Germans sent quite a few armour to Africa, including 1146 Pz III and Pz IV, and 31 Tigers in two sPzAbts (of the 5 existing at that time).

And while a sizeable chunk of the German air transport fleet delivered supplies with ever-increasing losses for troops holding a pile of sand, the Soviets successfully eliminated the pocket and broke the air bridge in Stalingrad.

When the Germans shifted their focus to the East, they've failed to evacuate Africa and fought on bad terms there. Long story short, I don't think that the MTO was the key theatre of the war, but it definately wasn't a pointless effusion of blood and a waste of time either. I think it was a German strategic mistake which contributed to their defeat in multiple ways - the aerial losses were probably the most important factor. I fail to see an extensive Allied air supremacy over the continent in 1943, had there been minimal losses in the MTO. Also the amphibious operations allowed the Wallied planners to incorporate experiences into the Overlord: the performance in Torch and Husky was not always stellar.
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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by ljadw » 06 May 2021 11:31

daveshoup2MD wrote:
02 May 2021 21:58
ljadw wrote:
02 May 2021 21:15
daveshoup2MD wrote:
02 May 2021 18:05
Richard Anderson wrote:
02 May 2021 16:22
Peter89 wrote:
29 Apr 2021 08:23


Except there wasn't even an Allied victory at Dieppe : D

If we want to twist words beyond their meaning, the Germans have lost the Battle of France, because it was nothing more than just a stepstone in their way towards defeat, and the BEF got valuable experience how to evacuate. Also it wasn't a battle, but a campaign, and it wasn't in France, because it was also fought in the Low Countries. But those are not really the Low Countries, because the key movements took place in the Ardennes. But that wasn't the key movement, because the key movement was taking place in Berlin. But in fact the key wasn't what the Germans were doing, but what the Allies were doing, so... etc.
Why anyone would voluntarily interact with ljadw at this point is simply beyond me.
The joy of asking him to explain how knocking off 5,000 Canadian volunteers was a victory for the Allies.
That they were volunteers is meaningless .And the Canadians lost more men during the Battle of the Scheldt .Will you say that these losses are proving that the Battle of the Scheldt was a failure ?
The amount of losses can not be used to argue that an operation was a failure or a success .
If you want no losses : do not fight .
Failure or success is proved by the fact that the aims of the operation are not /are fulfilled . Not by the losses that were caused by the operation .
The Canadian contingent in Hong Kong was eliminated in December 1941 : 1975 men . But this is not a proof of the defeat of Hong Kong . The proof is that Hong Kong was captured .
In the context of the Canadian Army in 1939-45, actually, the fact they were volunteers is signifcant.

Again, how was JUBILEE a "success"?
Sigh : the aim of Jubilee was to transport thousands of men through the Channel to the French coast :this succeeded.
An other aim of Jubilee was to land thousands of men on the French coast : this succeeded .
A bad side effect of Jubilee were the big losses : 50 % of the involved forces , but losses have nothing to do with the question if an operation was successful or a failure .
25 % of the German forces involved in the invasion of Crete were lost, but no one has used this as an argument to say that the invasion was a failure .
25 % of the forces involved in the attack of Iwo Jima were lost, but no one has used this as an argument to say that the attack was a failure .
British losses at 2nd Ypres were 60000 men and 4 times more at 3 rd Ypres, but no one has used this to say that these battles were British failures and German victories .
Soviet losses in 1941 were higher than German losses, but that does not mean that the Soviets were defeated .

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by ljadw » 06 May 2021 11:34

Peter89 wrote:
06 May 2021 09:49
daveshoup2MD wrote:
06 May 2021 03:07
Peter89 wrote:
05 May 2021 16:52
Some historians like Douglas Porch even argues that the MTO was a pivotal theatre of war, and the fact that the Allies pushed out the Axis from Africa (and Asia) had a tremendous effect on the Axis diplomacy and strategy.

Without the Axis losses and Allied experiences in the MTO, he argues, the Allied high command might made the mistakes on a larger scale in an event of a premature invasion of France.
Some historians even argue the MTO (both before and after May, 1943), was a pointless effusion of blood and a waste of time; the truth, as always, may lie in between. ;)

Having said that, a 1943 invasion of France is not what is being discussed here; its - basically - trying a Normandy invasion and a Provence invasion closer in time in 1944 than the operations were mounted, historically.
While I do not agree with Porch's Wallies-focused view, I think he has a point. The whole German participation in the MTO, as well as the Italian adventures on the wrong side of the sea qualified it as a major stategic mistake. Churchill would have been an idiot not to exploit it.

The number of pinned down German planes alone made a huge contribution to the war effort:

Single-engine fighters / Twin-engine fighters
17.08.42 - 11.12.42:
Mediterranean: 22% / 32%
West: 19% / 47%
East: 43% / 18%

11.12.42 - 24.07.43:
Mediterranean: 26% / 28%
West: 33% / 61%
East: 28% / 11%

24.07.43 - 19.02.44:
Mediterranean: 18% / 7%
West: 52% / 84%
East: 23% / 8%

Source: Dan Zamansky

Also, on the eve of the great clashes in the East, the Germans sent quite a few armour to Africa, including 1146 Pz III and Pz IV, and 31 Tigers in two sPzAbts (of the 5 existing at that time).

And while a sizeable chunk of the German air transport fleet delivered supplies with ever-increasing losses for troops holding a pile of sand, the Soviets successfully eliminated the pocket and broke the air bridge in Stalingrad.

When the Germans shifted their focus to the East, they've failed to evacuate Africa and fought on bad terms there. Long story short, I don't think that the MTO was the key theatre of the war, but it definately wasn't a pointless effusion of blood and a waste of time either. I think it was a German strategic mistake which contributed to their defeat in multiple ways - the aerial losses were probably the most important factor. I fail to see an extensive Allied air supremacy over the continent in 1943, had there been minimal losses in the MTO. Also the amphibious operations allowed the Wallied planners to incorporate experiences into the Overlord: the performance in Torch and Husky was not always stellar.
It was better for Germany and Italy to fight in NA than to fight in Italy .

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by Sheldrake » 06 May 2021 13:47

daveshoup2MD wrote:
06 May 2021 02:51
Sheldrake wrote:
05 May 2021 12:05
The idea of hitting an enemy on several fronts in the same theatre risks splitting your forces and allowing the enemy the chance to concentrate on each of the threats in turn. Good histpric examples are Napoleon in Italy 1796, Jackson's Valley Campaign 1862 and Tannenburg 1914, It has been argued that this what was wrong with the allied Gustav Line offensives in Winter 1944, and resolved in May 1944 by concentrating both armies on the Western side of the Appenines. If the Germans saw this happening on the coast of France they would be likely to see an opportunity rather than run for the Reich.

Not convinced thisn answers the question. What was the outcome of this strategy that would be even better than the historic?
The Allies sure as hell hit the Germans in France on several fronts. Seems to have worked.
So you are now arguing that the historic timing Op Dragoon as a subsidiary operation some time after Op Overlord worked rather well?

You still haven't answered my question which is how would launching Op Dragoon soon before or after Op Overlord have made the end result even better for the allies.

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by Richard Anderson » 06 May 2021 16:24

daveshoup2MD wrote:
06 May 2021 03:32
One of them being, potentially, the idea of conducting an operation in Normandy and an operation in Provence closer in time than historically; which is the point of the thread.

Setting aside TORCH, or HUSKY-BAYTOWN-AVALANCHE, or SHINGLE-DIADEM-OLIVE, or any combination, would be the subject of a different thread, one would presume.
Why are those the subject of a different thread when they directly impact the decision-making that would have to occur in this thread?
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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by daveshoup2MD » 07 May 2021 03:25

Peter89 wrote:
06 May 2021 09:49
daveshoup2MD wrote:
06 May 2021 03:07
Peter89 wrote:
05 May 2021 16:52
Some historians like Douglas Porch even argues that the MTO was a pivotal theatre of war, and the fact that the Allies pushed out the Axis from Africa (and Asia) had a tremendous effect on the Axis diplomacy and strategy.

Without the Axis losses and Allied experiences in the MTO, he argues, the Allied high command might made the mistakes on a larger scale in an event of a premature invasion of France.
Some historians even argue the MTO (both before and after May, 1943), was a pointless effusion of blood and a waste of time; the truth, as always, may lie in between. ;)

Having said that, a 1943 invasion of France is not what is being discussed here; its - basically - trying a Normandy invasion and a Provence invasion closer in time in 1944 than the operations were mounted, historically.
While I do not agree with Porch's Wallies-focused view, I think he has a point. The whole German participation in the MTO, as well as the Italian adventures on the wrong side of the sea qualified it as a major strategic mistake. Churchill would have been an idiot not to exploit it.

Well, after June, 1940, Churchill and the British didn't have any other option for attacking the Axis on the ground, did they?

The British had the right idea in 1940 of destroying the Axis position(s) in Africa, but got diverted from finishing the Italians because of the Balkans; they came close again in 1941, but other fronts kept becoming active, and slowed things down, and then the Japanese weighed in ... in 1942, TORCH - or something resembling it - made sense, to open up a threat from the west to the Axis forces in Africa, open up the southern Med shipping lanes, and bring the French back into the war in a significant way.

Beyond that, once the fulcrum point was reached and the Allies were on the offensive in 1943 and afterwards, it's a debatable question as to what the best strategy for the Allies would have been; the historical strategy was not the worst alternative, of course, but there are a fair number of deltas during the course of 1943-45, and whether the strategy that was adopted - in terms of valid alternatives - was the best is open to question.

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by daveshoup2MD » 07 May 2021 03:45

ljadw wrote:
06 May 2021 11:31
but losses have nothing to do with the question if an operation was successful or a failure .
"losses have nothing to do with the question if an operation was successful or a failure..."

Well done, Gen. Nivelle...

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by daveshoup2MD » 07 May 2021 03:49

Sheldrake wrote:
06 May 2021 13:47
So you are now arguing that the historic timing Op Dragoon as a subsidiary operation some time after Op Overlord worked rather well?

You still haven't answered my question which is how would launching Op Dragoon soon before or after Op Overlord have made the end result even better for the allies.
It worked; two attacks, closer in time, may have worked better, by splitting the German's focus even more so than they were, historically.

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by daveshoup2MD » 07 May 2021 03:52

Richard Anderson wrote:
06 May 2021 16:24
daveshoup2MD wrote:
06 May 2021 03:32
One of them being, potentially, the idea of conducting an operation in Normandy and an operation in Provence closer in time than historically; which is the point of the thread.

Setting aside TORCH, or HUSKY-BAYTOWN-AVALANCHE, or SHINGLE-DIADEM-OLIVE, or any combination, would be the subject of a different thread, one would presume.
Why are those the subject of a different thread when they directly impact the decision-making that would have to occur in this thread?
Well, absent TORCH in 1942-43, so there's no realistic way to mount ANVIL, DRAGON, or anything resembling such an operation in 1944. With TORCH, there are multiple paths to southern France.

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by ljadw » 07 May 2021 07:50

daveshoup2MD wrote:
07 May 2021 03:45
ljadw wrote:
06 May 2021 11:31
but losses have nothing to do with the question if an operation was successful or a failure .
"losses have nothing to do with the question if an operation was successful or a failure..."

Well done, Gen. Nivelle...
The losses of the offensive of Nivelle were 15 %,less than those of Third Ypres .
The offensive from Nivelle was a failure,but would also have been a failure with less than 15 % losses .
The Nivelle offensive costed the allies 29000 dead,which was low in WWI, but the Germans lost more than 20000 POWs.
The allied losses in the second Marne battle were 12,5 % : thus also a failure ?

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