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

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 18 May 2021 17:35

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
17 May 2021 09:58
daveshoup2MD wrote:
17 May 2021 04:43
On 1 July 1943 there had been 186 divisions on the Eastern Front, seven in Italy, and 44 in the west; on 1 June 1944, five days before the invasion, after the destruction of Army Group Center in the east, there were 156 divisions in the east, 27 in Italy, and 54 in the west, 19 percent of all those available to Hitler.
Is that right? Five days before the invasion but “after the destruction of Army Group Centre”? Wasn’t AGC demolished after the invasion in Normandy, not before?

I note the juvenile counting of divisions as well. :roll:

Where do German forces (air, land and sea) based in say, Yugoslavia or Greece, fit under these geographical terms? Eastern front, Italy, Balkans?
Aside from the juvenalia, it isn't right, at least insofar as I can tell? Apparently "Cooper", who this evidently is a quote from, got it wrong.

On 1 July 1943, there were nominally 287 divisions in the German order of battle. Of those, 188 were on the Ostfront, 7 were in Finland, 13 in Norway, 52 in Ob.West, 15 in Ob.Südost, 6 in Italy, and 6 in the Heimat.

On 1 June 1944, there were nominally 294 division in the German order of battle. Of those, 150 were on the Ostfront, 8 in Finland, 12 in Norway, 66 in Ob.West, 24 in Ob.Südost, 27 in Italy, and 7 in the Heimat.

So while the Heer increased in strength by 2.4, its strength in Italy tripled. Does that mean Italy was critical? Strength in Greece and the Balkans increased by 37.5%, but in the West by only 21.2%. Does that mean the Med was critical in reducing potential German strength in France and the East?

The divisions of Ob.West on 1 July 1943 amounted to 18.1% of the total, the Med accounted for another 7.3%, Norway 4.5%, so 29.9%, while the Ostfront (including Finland) accounted for 67.9%.

The divisions of Ob.West on 1 June 1944 amounted to 22.4% of the total, the Med accounted for another 17.3%, Norway 4.1%, so 43.8%, while the Ostfront (including Finland) accounted for 53.7%.

Of course, none of that includes what the relative opposition by the Western Allies was.
"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: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by rcocean » 18 May 2021 18:01

In any case, the number of German Divisions in France in 1943, HAD WE DECIDED TO INVADE, would've been much larger. One of the problems with "what if" is we don't know EXACTLY what the other side would've done in response to our side doing the "What if".

We do know that any invasion of France in 1943, couldn't have been kept a secret. The exact landing spot? yes. The exact time? Yes. But overall intention to land in France in Summer 1943? No. So, Hitler would've moved Troops to France. And he would've had MORE divisions than he actually had. How many? Who knows. But its one reason why "Counting divisions" is irrelevant in this case.

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 18 May 2021 18:42

rcocean wrote:
18 May 2021 18:01
In any case, the number of German Divisions in France in 1943, HAD WE DECIDED TO INVADE, would've been much larger. One of the problems with "what if" is we don't know EXACTLY what the other side would've done in response to our side doing the "What if".

We do know that any invasion of France in 1943, couldn't have been kept a secret. The exact landing spot? yes. The exact time? Yes. But overall intention to land in France in Summer 1943? No. So, Hitler would've moved Troops to France. And he would've had MORE divisions than he actually had. How many? Who knows. But its one reason why "Counting divisions" is irrelevant in this case.
Very true. Consider that the Panzer divisions lost in Stalingrad were rebuilt in France. 16. Panzer in Brittany for example, at the end of January 1943 and was only sent to Apulia in May due to the perceived threat to Italy. Same with 24. Panzer, rebuilt at Lisieux in April and sent to northern Italy in August 1943. Or 14. Panzer, rebuilt in March 1943 in Angers - Nantes - Chôlet - Montaigue and sent east in November. Then there was 26. Panzer, organized in France in October 1942 only to be sent to Italy in August, both the later as a direct result of HUSKY. How about 1. Panzer, rebuilding in France in the spring of 1943 and then off to Greece at the end of May, partly as a result of MINCEMEAT. 3. Panzergrenadier Division? Rebuilt in the Pyranees in March and sent to northern Italy in July as a reaction to HUSKY.

And so on...
"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: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by Sheldrake » 18 May 2021 19:15

rcocean wrote:
18 May 2021 18:01
We do know that any invasion of France in 1943, couldn't have been kept a secret. The exact landing spot? yes. The exact time? Yes. But overall intention to land in France in Summer 1943? No. So, Hitler would've moved Troops to France. And he would've had MORE divisions than he actually had. How many? Who knows. But its one reason why "Counting divisions" is irrelevant in this case.
This is a point that Brooke noted in his diary. As far as the Germans were concerned Europe was one big theatre of operations. Troops in France could be on the Eastern Front or in Italy in 48 hours and vice versa. The distinction between ETO and MTO is artificial.

The German would not have massed armour on the Eastern Front for the questionable benefits of Op Citadel if it became obvious that the British and Americans were massing in Britain.

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

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 18 May 2021 19:28

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
18 May 2021 08:04
Common is not always the better metric in these complex historical questions.
Indeed, and thanks for the informative post.
rcocean wrote:
18 May 2021 15:26
Further, all divisions aren't alike.
Exactly, good point.
rcocean wrote:
18 May 2021 15:26
2 of the 21 Pacific Divisions were used for Training/Garrison duty and weren't really expected to be used for hard fighting.
Hmm, interesting - have you got any more about those two divisions?
Richard Anderson wrote:
18 May 2021 16:30
Exactly. Common can also lead to oversimplification and a lack of depth in understanding.
:thumbsup:
Richard Anderson wrote:
18 May 2021 17:35
Aside from the juvenalia, it isn't right,
:lol: :lol:

Thanks, this thread has certainly made off down a side road into common sense, how refreshing. :D
Sheldrake wrote:
18 May 2021 19:15
As far as the Germans were concerned Europe was one big theatre of operations. Troops in France could be on the Eastern Front or in Italy in 48 hours and vice versa. The distinction between ETO and MTO is artificial.
Indeed, but it does sell books and generate faux-rage on the internet, so it isn't entirely wasted. :idea:

Regards

Tom

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 18 May 2021 20:14

Sheldrake wrote:
18 May 2021 19:15
As far as the Germans were concerned Europe was one big theatre of operations. Troops in France could be on the Eastern Front or in Italy in 48 hours and vice versa. The distinction between ETO and MTO is artificial.
True, but a bit exaggerated. It depended a bit on the types of troops, the availability of trains, and the like. II. SS-Panzerkorps is illustrative. The corps along with 9. and 10. SS-Pz.-Div. were on the Ostfront as of 6 June and were ordered to return to Normandy on 11 June. By 18 June, 27 trains with corps troops and 9. SS-Pz.-Div. were in the area of Ob.West and 21 arrived in Nancy (ULTRA HW5/510, CX/MSS/T224/117, 24 June 1944). By 21 June, 78 trains were in the area with 62 unloaded at Nancy and 10 unloaded at Dreuex and west of Paris (ULTRA HW5/511, CX/MSS/T225/9, 25 June 1944). For 10. SS, by 21 June, 62 trains were in the area of Ob. West with 47 unloaded at Nancy-Saarbrücken (ULTRA HW5/511, CX/MSS/T225/9, 25 June 1944). They then had to motor to Normandy, with 9. SS arriving at the front 26 June and 10. SS the next day.

OTOH, take 89. Inf-Div, which was in Norway until ordered to Le Havre at the end of June...by 3 July the leading elements were in place, but it wasn't until late July/early August before it was complete and inserted into the line. Or how about 272. Inf-Div at Perpignan on the Spanish border? It began moving to Normandy on 2 July and by 14 July elements were committed to relieve 1. SS-Pz.Div. All elements of the division had arrived by 24 July. Or 277. Inf-Div at Narbonne? It was ordered to Normandy by 23 June and had begun to arrive at the front by 9 July with the movement being completed by 15 July.

Of course, those times were affected by the Transportation Plan, which given the weakness of Allied air forces vis a vis the Germans in 1943, and its lack of experience, was unlikely to have occurred,

The ETO and MTO were very real distinctions and were not artificial, they just weren't the distinctions the Germans (or British) used and pertained strictly to U.S. forces. :D Distinctions like "Eastern Front" and "Western Front" also obscure the way the Germans looked at it and are equally artificial.
"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: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by rcocean » 18 May 2021 21:42

The 2 divisions that "weren't to be used for hard fighting" were the 98th which was a training/garrison division in Hawaii. And the 93rd which was used to garrison various islands in the SWPA. . The USA had two divisions in Hawaii in 1942 (the 24th and 25th) guarding the islands. They were formed by splitting the Hawaii division which was already there on Dec 7th. Later the 7th Division was sent to garrison the outer islands, and for a while 3 Divisions were always kept as garrison/reserve/training in Hawaii. And some point Hawaii was made a sorta way station. Divisions would be sent out to the SWPA and Central Pacific, and newbies or Divisions rotating back for R&R would take their place. But by 1944 it was down to one division = the 98th which was sent out in the summer of 1944.

I'm taking US army NOT US Marines by the way.

BTW, this another reason why looking at "Divisions" to determine whether "Germany First" was being applied is rather misleading. You had two divisions (after the Hawaiian Division was split) that were in the Pacific when Pearl Harbor was attacked. You had the AmeriCal Division which was formed out of units already in the SWPA. You two divisions sent to Australia to help them defend against the Japanese. And a couple others to defend New Zealand and/or the Australia- Hawaii line of communications.

OK. You've heard from me. Now, Rich will tell the truth. :D

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

Post by Richard Anderson » 18 May 2021 23:35

rcocean wrote:
18 May 2021 21:42
The 2 divisions that "weren't to be used for hard fighting" were the 98th which was a training/garrison division in Hawaii. And the 93rd which was used to garrison various islands in the SWPA. . The USA had two divisions in Hawaii in 1942 (the 24th and 25th) guarding the islands. They were formed by splitting the Hawaii division which was already there on Dec 7th. Later the 7th Division was sent to garrison the outer islands, and for a while 3 Divisions were always kept as garrison/reserve/training in Hawaii. And some point Hawaii was made a sorta way station. Divisions would be sent out to the SWPA and Central Pacific, and newbies or Divisions rotating back for R&R would take their place. But by 1944 it was down to one division = the 98th which was sent out in the summer of 1944.

I'm taking US army NOT US Marines by the way.

BTW, this another reason why looking at "Divisions" to determine whether "Germany First" was being applied is rather misleading. You had two divisions (after the Hawaiian Division was split) that were in the Pacific when Pearl Harbor was attacked. You had the AmeriCal Division which was formed out of units already in the SWPA. You two divisions sent to Australia to help them defend against the Japanese. And a couple others to defend New Zealand and/or the Australia- Hawaii line of communications.

OK. You've heard from me. Now, Rich will tell the truth. :D
Okay. :lol:

The first Hawaiian reinforcement was the 27th Division. It left Hawaii 31 May 1944. The 32d and 41st divisions were emergency reinforcements for Australia in March-April 1942. The 37th Division was an emergency reinforcement to Fiji in May 1942 and later went to Guadalcanal.

The 40th went to Hawaii 1 September 1942 and was relieved of defense duties 17 October 1943 before departing 25 December 1943 for Guadalcanal.

The 43d went direct to New Zealand, leaving SF 1 October 1942.

The 7th Division was not there as a garrison, but for reorganizing after the Aleutians operations (24 April-15 September 1943). It departed Hawaii for Kwajalein 31 January 1944 and returned 15 April, then was off for the Philippines 20 October 1944.

The 1st Cav arrived Australia 11 July 1943.

The 33d arrived in Hawaii and was assigned to the defense of the outer islands 18 July 1943. It left for New Guinea 11 May 1944.

The 6th Division arrived Hawaii 29 July 1943 and left 26 January 1944 for New Guinea.

The 38th Division arrived in Hawaii 28 January 1944 and left 11 July 1944.

The 93d was a "Colored" division, which pretty much meant it was always going to be used for labor and garrison duties. It arrived at Guadalcanal 7 February 1944.

The 98th was the fourth from the last division deployed to the Pacific, 19 April 1944 and on 4 May 1944 relieved the 38th Division of the Hawaii defense mission. It was relieved of defense duties 31 May 1945 and began training for the invasion of Japan. It is unclear why it was chosen to remain in garrison in Hawaii, instead of having either the 81st or 96th Division relieve it.

The 11th Airborne was the third from the last deployed and arrived New Guinea on 25 May 1944.

The 81st (second to the last deployed) staged through Hawaii to Guadalcanal and never had a formal defense mission in the islands. The 96th Division (last deployed) did the same. Neither were in Hawaii for more than about six weeks.
"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: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by daveshoup2MD » 19 May 2021 04:29

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
18 May 2021 08:04
daveshoup2MD wrote:
18 May 2021 05:28
...
Divisions are commonly used as counters in these sort of conversations, and in this case, make it crystal clear where the Germans felt a need to concentrate their forces....
Common is not always the better metric in these complex historical questions. One problem is the use of some limited snapshots of numbers where the reality was numbers fluctuated monthly. Then there is condition or combat capability.
Sure, it's shorthand, but the difference between what the Germans had on hand in the West in the summer of 1943 and what they had on hand in the summer of 1944, and the relative importance of the three major fronts, makes it clear - certainly clear enough - how much more they reinforced the West in the 12 months before NEPTUNE. The same holds true for any even cursory review of the changing quality of equipment and personnel, from captured French AFVs dating from 1940 or before in the spring of 1943 to the best of what the Germans had available in the spring of 1944, and after.

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

Post by daveshoup2MD » 19 May 2021 04:31

rcocean wrote:
18 May 2021 15:26
Excellent post. Further, all divisions aren't alike. Panzer and Panzer and Grenadier Divisions are in a special class. And static and "garrison" divisions are different from Mobile Divisions. And then there's the whole problem of quality. Your average German infantry or volks division wasn't the same as an elite Luftwaffe Parachute or Mountain Division.

BTW, anyone "counting divisions" would get the wrong idea about the amount of effort put into the Pacific and Europe by the US army. "Counting divisions" it was 68 vs. 21. But this ignores that all 16 armored divisions were used in Europe, along with 5 of the 6 elite Airborne/Mountain Divisions. Further, 2 of the 21 Pacific Divisions were used for Training/Garrison duty and weren't really expected to be used for hard fighting. And of course, just counting Divisions ignore the massive number of non-divisional Tank, TD, AAA, artillery battalions. Unlike the Germans, almost 50% of US Combat troops were in non-divisional units. As you might expect the overwhelming number of Armored units and Heavy non-divisional artillery was used in Europe. And finally, there's Replacements. Almost 400,000 Infantry Replacements were sent to the ETO/MTO in 1944/1945. The number sent to the Pacific was a fraction of that.
You forgot all six of the Marine divisions.

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

Post by daveshoup2MD » 19 May 2021 04:57

Richard Anderson wrote:
18 May 2021 17:35

Aside from the juvenalia, it isn't right, at least insofar as I can tell? Apparently "Cooper", who this evidently is a quote from, got it wrong.

Here's the source, as said ... Cooper was with the IWM staff at one point, FWTW.

On 1 July 1943 there had been 186 divisions on the Eastern Front, seven in Italy, and 44 in the west; on 1 June 1944, five days before the invasion, after the destruction of Army Group Center in the east, there were 156 divisions in the east, 27 in Italy, and 54 in the west, 19 percent of all those available to Hitler. P495, The German Army, 1933-1945, Matthew Cooper, Stein and Day, NY, NY, 1978. Attributions are variously to Westphal, Warlimont, the Liddell Hart papers, and British translations of the AG B and C-in-C West reports.

And a review:

https://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/cgi/v ... nwc-review

And another one:

https://academic.oup.com/ahr/article-ab ... m=fulltext

Internet archive:

[urlhttps://archive.org/details/germanarmy1933190000coop_q7b4/mode/2up][/url]

Enjoy.

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

Post by daveshoup2MD » 19 May 2021 05:22

rcocean wrote:
18 May 2021 18:01
In any case, the number of German Divisions in France in 1943, HAD WE DECIDED TO INVADE, would've been much larger. One of the problems with "what if" is we don't know EXACTLY what the other side would've done in response to our side doing the "What if".

We do know that any invasion of France in 1943, couldn't have been kept a secret. The exact landing spot? yes. The exact time? Yes. But overall intention to land in France in Summer 1943? No. So, Hitler would've moved Troops to France. And he would've had MORE divisions than he actually had. How many? Who knows. But its one reason why "Counting divisions" is irrelevant in this case.
Peter, meet Paul. Apparently one of you has been robbed...

Hitler would've moved Troops to France?

Really? From where? Kursk?

Great, ZITADELLE turns into BAGRATION a year early. Awesome.

See, the thing about two front wars (and why one tries to avoid them, generally, especially when one's alliance is weaker than one's opponents) is they give one side plenty of options, none of them good.

If, in fact, they are actually two-front wars, and not 1.25 front wars. ;)

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

Post by daveshoup2MD » 19 May 2021 05:45

Sheldrake wrote:
18 May 2021 19:15
Troops in France could be on the Eastern Front or in Italy in 48 hours and vice versa.
48 hours from Paris to Kursk (or vice-versa) would be quite a trick. 1800 miles (more or less) by road today.

Please provide an example of a road march or rail movement of a combat division in the period 1939-45 that covered such a distance in such a time frame.

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

Post by Sheldrake » 19 May 2021 09:05

I did not specify the size of units. My rail planner shows around 24 hours from Bialystock to Paris. Rich in Post #426 gives examples of moving an army corps in ten days.

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