Rundstedt's central reserve

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Kingfish
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Re: Rundstedt's central reserve

Post by Kingfish » 24 Jun 2021 23:43

Cult Icon wrote:
24 Jun 2021 14:15
Let me help you. The list of units is fine except for 2.Pz. The 2.Pz histories are in German and French. 11.Pz fought in Southern France.
Not sure I understand your post.

Are you suggesting the Germans routinely launched nocturnal infiltrations into allied lines at battalion or higher levels in Normandy?
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Re: Rundstedt's central reserve

Post by Howling Wolf » 25 Jun 2021 01:54

Kingfish wrote:
24 Jun 2021 23:43
Cult Icon wrote:
24 Jun 2021 14:15
Let me help you. The list of units is fine except for 2.Pz. The 2.Pz histories are in German and French. 11.Pz fought in Southern France.
Not sure I understand your post.

Are you suggesting the Germans routinely launched nocturnal infiltrations into allied lines at battalion or higher levels in Normandy?
I don't think the Allies would have gaps in their front lines wide enough for battalions to sneak through at night. From 1944 forward the German infantry battalion was about 700 infantry men usually divided into 3 rifle companies of around 150 men each and a heavy weapons company of around 200 plus a supply company.

A company could possibly slip through. Daylight reconnaissance could identify small gaps in the Allies front lines in a few places and maybe at night a half company up to a company could slip through but even that would be difficult without making noise and alerting the forward picket lines.

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Re: Rundstedt's central reserve

Post by Howling Wolf » 25 Jun 2021 02:15

I just read the prior 17 pages of this thread in its entirety. I read the OP authors synapsis of terminating Hitler's command and making alternate decisions on the eastern front to free up panzer divisions. I think the military putsch would have to be after the conclusion of Manstein's "back hand" counteroffensive at and around Kharkov which ended in March 1943.

After taking control from Hitler and the SS - both Hitler and the waffen SS units would have to be terminated (this alone is very hard to envision) - and then the German front lines North and South of the Kursk salient would have to be moved back to the western line of the Kursk salient. Any German offensives for the spring/summer of 1943 would have to be cancelled.

So if the planning started at the end of March 1943 the General Staff Wehrmacht and army OKW and OKH would have to pull off this military putsch in 1 month or less and coordinate and execute the retreat of the lines I mentioned above.

Of course all of this would be nearly impossible but if you held a gun to my head I would say its possible 8O :D

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Re: Rundstedt's central reserve

Post by Michael Kenny » 25 Jun 2021 02:21

Cult Icon wrote:
24 Jun 2021 17:38
9.SS "H"'s response to Bluecoat was to form various KGs for the counterattack (eg. Weiss, Zollhofer, Meyer, etc).

p.65 " Sons of the Reich", Reynolds
It is important to understand the tactics used against the British in this fighting. The War diary of the Guards Armoured Division states that no attempt was made by the Germans to occupy permanently the numerous obstacles, hamlets and dominating features; instead, they used them tactically as needed. Small groups of single, or sometimes up to five tanks, with accompanying SS Panzer-grenadiers, would infiltrate between the British units and cut lines of communication. It was ' like having a rabble of snipers loose in the battalion area', one Guards unit said. Others described how their re-supply columns were shot up in the area between Montchamp and the Perrier spur. In fact, the situation became so serious that a substantial part of the additional infantry Brigade allotted to the 11th Armoured Dviision, instead of being used to strengthen its positions, was employed protecting its supply lines.
Context is everything. This is BLUECOAT and 11th Arm Div & Gds Arm Div were advancing south and were tasked with cutting the Vire-Vassy road. The Germans were trying to secure Vire and block the British advance. Both sides then advanced and by chance the German attack by II SS Pz Korps (9th & 10th SS) ran across and through the rear of the advancing British units. Neither side was aware of the others plans and it was a collision of two advancing armies. The British stood their ground and fought off all the German attacks despite their re-supply echelons being attacked and disrupted. Food and ammo were short but no position was overrun and all German attacks failed. So yes some German groups were roaming about in the 'British rear' but not as a planned infiltration. It was a full scale offensive that just happened to cut across and behind the British tanks and infantry .

Map with red arrow = 11th Armoured Division & blue arrow = Guards Armoured Division
ddf 6-2027v 1.jpg
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Re: Rundstedt's central reserve

Post by Leprechaun » 25 Jun 2021 05:16

Cult Icon wrote:
19 Jun 2021 23:48
Leprechaun wrote:
16 Jun 2021 16:17
@Cult
Should they not have cheap mobile artillery, rocket , mortar units which could have plastered the front lines and rapidly change positions before counter battery fire ? To be used in defence or attack ?
What would you do with the artillery?

I do not mention artillery as I do not think that their artillery was material enough for an offensive operation. I see infantry as being the most important arm, artillery/airpower/armor shoots them onto target.

Sevastapol, Kerch, Don Bend/Stalingrad was where their artillery/airpower was the strongest in the attack.
In the same ways as the Allies did, if they had produced a lot more of the Wesp and Hummel self propelled guns, also have a larger mortar section in the infantry units maybe would have helped ?

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Re: Rundstedt's central reserve

Post by Sheldrake » 25 Jun 2021 09:12

Leprechaun wrote:
25 Jun 2021 05:16
Cult Icon wrote:
19 Jun 2021 23:48
Leprechaun wrote:
16 Jun 2021 16:17
@Cult
Should they not have cheap mobile artillery, rocket , mortar units which could have plastered the front lines and rapidly change positions before counter battery fire ? To be used in defence or attack ?
What would you do with the artillery?

I do not mention artillery as I do not think that their artillery was material enough for an offensive operation. I see infantry as being the most important arm, artillery/airpower/armor shoots them onto target.

Sevastapol, Kerch, Don Bend/Stalingrad was where their artillery/airpower was the strongest in the attack.
In the same ways as the Allies did, if they had produced a lot more of the Wesp and Hummel self propelled guns, also have a larger mortar section in the infantry units maybe would have helped ?
The Germans were unable to supply the artillery of the Seventh Army with adequate supplies of artillery ammunition. More mortars or barrals were useless without ammunition. Besides its pown troops the Seventh Army supply services had to support the armoured troops under Panzer Group West. The German weakness was in the lack of un-glamorus motor vehicles like the British 3 ton and US 2 &1/2 ton trucks.

The Gemans did not think that more SP field artillery would have helped. The FMS interviews with the ARKOs of I and II SS Panzer Corps mentioned the difficulties of protecting the engines of these high vehicles. Shoot and scoot was not an option against an enemy with air superiority.

THe Germans did make extensive use of mortars and multiple rockets. These do not have the same charactistics as a battery of field howitzers.

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Re: Rundstedt's central reserve

Post by Howling Wolf » 25 Jun 2021 13:30

Here is a map of the German Soviet MFL's at the beginning of April 1943. I would suggest a withdrawal of AGS forces MFL west to the the southwestern corner of the Kursk salient and from there south just to just east of Dnipropetrovsk and Melitopol to the Sea of Azov. At the same time AGC would withdraw its forces west to the northwestern corner of the Kursk salient and from that point in a northeasterly withdrawal west of Bryansk and Smolensk to Vitebsk on the right shoulder of AGN.

After finishing the withdrawals the forces would have to build extensive defensive fortifications along the entire lengths of the new MFL's. They both would have to leave elements behind to slow down the Red Army forces so they are not on the heals of their withdrawals and give the forces at the new MFL's time to build the defensive fortifications.

The above would be a strategic withdrawal to defend along a shortened MFL and would save a lot of men and material - tanks, assault guns, artillery and more from falling into Soviet hands or, more then that, having to be destroyed during a hasty retreat. Now all of this armament together with all of the armor they would use/lose at Kursk could be put to use on the western front later.

The Germans, after their "axis comrades" Italy, capitulated could also have made the decision to withdraw everything off of the Italian peninsula to a new MFL south of the Alps.

These are just a few scenarios which could free up forces to face the imminent invasion of France by the Anglo American Allies.




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Re: Rundstedt's central reserve

Post by Pascal. Kullmann. » 25 Jun 2021 13:51

Howling Wolf wrote:
25 Jun 2021 13:30


The Germans, after their "axis comrades" Italy, capitulated could also have made the decision to withdraw everything off of the Italian peninsula to a new MFL south of the Alps.

These are just a few scenarios which could free up forces to face the imminent invasion of France by the Anglo American Allies.

The Allies broke through the Etna, Volturno, Gustav and Gothic line. You think they would be completely stopped south of the Alps/PO valley? And if they break through? That would be a disaster for the Germans.

PS: If you want to express your opinion on the Italian surrender you're free to do so...

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Re: Rundstedt's central reserve

Post by Howling Wolf » 25 Jun 2021 14:15

Pascal. Kullmann. wrote:
25 Jun 2021 13:51
Howling Wolf wrote:
25 Jun 2021 13:30


The Germans, after their "axis comrades" Italy, capitulated could also have made the decision to withdraw everything off of the Italian peninsula to a new MFL south of the Alps.

These are just a few scenarios which could free up forces to face the imminent invasion of France by the Anglo American Allies.

The Allies broke through the Etna, Volturno, Gustav and Gothic line. You think they would be completely stopped south of the Alps/PO valley? And if they break through? That would be a disaster for the Germans.

PS: If you want to express your opinion on the Italian surrender you're free to do so...
What I meant was something like this map. A very strong defensive system in the narrowest part of northern Italy before it widens out to the east and west south of the alps.

Image


As far as the Italians are concerned I could fill page after page here on their mistakes from 1939 through 1943 but lets just stick to the OP topic.

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Re: Rundstedt's central reserve

Post by Pascal. Kullmann. » 25 Jun 2021 14:19

Howling Wolf wrote:
25 Jun 2021 14:15
Pascal. Kullmann. wrote:
25 Jun 2021 13:51
Howling Wolf wrote:
25 Jun 2021 13:30


The Germans, after their "axis comrades" Italy, capitulated could also have made the decision to withdraw everything off of the Italian peninsula to a new MFL south of the Alps.

These are just a few scenarios which could free up forces to face the imminent invasion of France by the Anglo American Allies.

The Allies broke through the Etna, Volturno, Gustav and Gothic line. You think they would be completely stopped south of the Alps/PO valley? And if they break through? That would be a disaster for the Germans.

PS: If you want to express your opinion on the Italian surrender you're free to do so...
What I meant was something like this map. A very strong defensive system in the narrowest part of northern Italy before it widens out to the east and west south of the alps.

Image


As far as the Italians are concerned I could fill page after page here on their mistakes from 1939 through 1943 but lets just stick to the OP topic.
I still think the Allies would break through. The Allies could also land behind this defensive line and force the Germans to divert forces away from the MFL.

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Re: Rundstedt's central reserve

Post by Howling Wolf » 25 Jun 2021 15:05

The Wehrmacht had about 500,000 troops in Italy at the beginning of 1944. Half were in southern Italy and half in reserve to the north. They all could have been brought up to the line on the above map east and west of Bologna. Allied amphibious landings would be difficult to the east on the shores of the Adriatic from Chioggia to Trieste.

The landings would have to be made on the shores of the Ligurian sea and the mountainous terrain there would help the Germans defenses.

The German logistical supply and reinforcement routes would be a lot shorter as well.

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Re: Rundstedt's central reserve

Post by Kingfish » 26 Jun 2021 02:27

Howling Wolf wrote:
25 Jun 2021 01:54
A company could possibly slip through. Daylight reconnaissance could identify small gaps in the Allies front lines in a few places and maybe at night a half company up to a company could slip through but even that would be difficult without making noise and alerting the forward picket lines.
The report Cult posted implies these attacks were conducted on a "broad front" and "night after night" until whatever objective assigned to said unit was captured. One would think if these were as successful as implied there would be a corroborating account in the unit history of the opposing allied formation.
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Re: Rundstedt's central reserve

Post by Aber » 26 Jun 2021 07:09

Kingfish wrote:
26 Jun 2021 02:27
The report Cult posted implies these attacks were conducted on a "broad front" and "night after night" until whatever objective assigned to said unit was captured. One would think if these were as successful as implied there would be a corroborating account in the unit history of the opposing allied formation.
It may be a matter of definition - are we discussing German "attacks" or "counterattacks"?

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Re: Rundstedt's central reserve

Post by Kingfish » 26 Jun 2021 11:51

Why does that matter?
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Re: Rundstedt's central reserve

Post by Aber » 26 Jun 2021 18:51

Because we know the Germans did make successful counterattacks in Normandy often before the Allies were fully organised in defence.

However German attacks against set Allied positions are much rarer (to the extent that we're not seeing examples quoted).

And the quotes from German commanders are ambiguous:
It is, therefore, essential for troops to be lifted out of this state of distress the moment the counter-attack begins.
So it would be useful to resolve the ambiguity.

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