Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

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Re: Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

Post by Richard Anderson » 14 Mar 2020 01:24

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
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Re: Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

Post by OldBill » 14 Mar 2020 04:55

Oh hell, I just HAD to go and look that up..... LOL

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Re: Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

Post by Nickdfresh » 14 Mar 2020 18:33

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
13 Mar 2020 15:27
Nickdfresh wrote:
12 Mar 2020 18:43


You're perhaps alone in this opinion. It sapped large numbers of combat engineers that could've been far more useful elsewhere for one thing, and last time I checked it's hard to lead from the rear, 70 miles behind the lines. I don't recall German commanders building large bunkers because the Allies had air supremacy. ...
Actualy there were. When Rommel moved his HQ to La Roche Gyon late winter 1944 a large underground group of bunkers was built there. Large enough to accomadate The staff of Army Group B
Fair enough, but apparently Rommel left his from time to time during major combat operations....

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Re: Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

Post by Nickdfresh » 14 Mar 2020 18:34

You guys are funny :)

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Re: Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 14 Mar 2020 20:08

Nickdfresh wrote:
14 Mar 2020 18:33
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
13 Mar 2020 15:27
Nickdfresh wrote:
12 Mar 2020 18:43


You're perhaps alone in this opinion. It sapped large numbers of combat engineers that could've been far more useful elsewhere for one thing, and last time I checked it's hard to lead from the rear, 70 miles behind the lines. I don't recall German commanders building large bunkers because the Allies had air supremacy. ...
Actualy there were. When Rommel moved his HQ to La Roche Gyon late winter 1944 a large underground group of bunkers was built there. Large enough to accomadate The staff of Army Group B
Fair enough, but apparently Rommel left his from time to time during major combat operations....
& His drinking was considered normal.

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Re: Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

Post by Aber » 14 Mar 2020 21:35

Steen Ammentorp wrote:
10 Mar 2020 19:03
Dawley, Simpson, Griswold, Hodges, Lucas, Fredendall, Richardson or White.
Quite a mixed lot of those who went to Europe.

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Re: Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 16 Mar 2020 18:39

Still picking over accounts of the actions of the US II Corps October-December 1942. Jury is still out as nothing of substance has turned on the negative side of the ledger. The corps did no better or worse than the others in achieving its opening objectives for Op TORCH. The failures described are not given connection to Fredendall or II Corps staff. The worst problems I've seen so far were Navy problems in decisions for landing transports, & executing the ship to shore movement. Comparisons with US I Corps/ Western TF show some possible worse decisions in that direction by the Army half. Theres quite a bit more reading on this, but at the moment I'm still stuck with Eisenhowers positive performance evaluation at the end of 1942, & some vague items about poor communication choices. I suspect the real story is in the battles of January-February, but I'd like to be able to show some due diligence for the last quarter of 1942.

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Re: Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

Post by rcocean » 19 Mar 2020 15:48

Nickdfresh wrote:
12 Mar 2020 18:43
rcocean wrote:
10 Mar 2020 01:24
I think Fredendahll gets way too much grief for building a command post underground.
You're perhaps alone in this opinion. It sapped large numbers of combat engineers that could've been far more useful elsewhere for one thing, and last time I checked it's hard to lead from the rear, 70 miles behind the lines. I don't recall German commanders building large bunkers because the Allies had air supremacy...
If you look at a map of II corps before the battle of Kasserine Pass, you'll see that the troops were disbursed over a front of over a hundred miles. Fredendahll couldn't have "led from the Front" even if he wanted to. Nor do I think the using 1 company of Engineers made any real difference. And Eisenhower agreed. He never criticized Fredendall for his Command Post. That came from Patton, Bradley and Ward.

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Re: Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

Post by rcocean » 19 Mar 2020 15:51

Further, there's no evidence that Ike relieved Fredendall for incompetence. People keep repeating that, his reason as stated to Marshall was his inability to build a winning "Team" and win the confidence of Allen, Ryder, and Ward. That's why there's no evidence of "incompetence" in his Generalship prior to Feb 1942.

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Re: Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 19 Mar 2020 20:25

rcocean wrote:
19 Mar 2020 15:51
Further, there's no evidence that Ike relieved Fredendall for incompetence. People keep repeating that, his reason as stated to ....
Thats very likely. In the military I was in the term "incompetence" was considered vague & unsuitable for performance evaluations. Specifics in consice language was expected. "Inability to form a winning team.". Would have fit the expectations. In the message to Marshal Ike may have been quoting the last PE he wrote on Fredendal. Which would have been redundant since Marshal would have been the reviewing officer & read the PE anyway.

Ploughing on through assorted narratives it's becoming apparent why any defects of Fredendall Oct-Dec 42 would have been below the radar. From mid Nov to Jan, when Op SATIN was written off V Corps had the attention & was showing the defects in Allied combat performance. For some six weeks a mixed bag of the 78th Div, French, and battalions of CCB of the 1st Armored tried to break into the Axis lodgement and secure Bizerte & Tunis. When Eisenhower took a break from fighting the French & went forward to see how the fight with the Nazis was going he found Anderson so demoralized over the failure he offered his resignation. Ike turned it down.

Fredendall II Corps was during these same weeks headed SE to secure & screen the Tebessa region & points east. Whatever failures there were with II Corp during these weeks they seem to have been ovelooked with everyone's attention on the bloody battles of V Corps & it's US Army attachments.

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Re: Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

Post by Nickdfresh » 20 Mar 2020 03:59

rcocean wrote:
19 Mar 2020 15:51
Further, there's no evidence that Ike relieved Fredendall for incompetence. People keep repeating that, his reason as stated to Marshall was his inability to build a winning "Team" and win the confidence of Allen, Ryder, and Ward. That's why there's no evidence of "incompetence" in his Generalship prior to Feb 1942.
Okay so you're nitpicking over semantics. In other words "inability to build a winning team" is code for "you're a complete fucking idiot that gets to go back to CONUS and train people to take unnecessary casualties until they're retrained in theater". Kay....

General Harmon referred to him as a "coward sonsofbitch"? Is that vague? Do you think Gen. Marshall wrote him off as a guy that couldn't build a team? I would surmise that one of the problems of the US Army in WWII was it's inability to rid itself of bad leadership and to be too humane and not ruthless enough. The "incompetent" get a swift kick in the ass and are promoted upwards to CONUS training assignments. The niceties of language do not adequately express that...

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Re: Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 20 Mar 2020 04:45

Have been pondering Andersons resignation remark since this morning. Dating to 24 December, it was offered during Ikes visit to Andersons HQ & a brief inspection of the Tunisian 'front'. Why it was not accepted is not divulged in Atkinsons text. One can guess at politics, Ikes uncertain position, or perhaps simple miscalculation. A few days earlier Kesselring hesitated less when his forward ground commander Nerhing was found wanting. A couple months later Eisenhower was less hesitant in replacing his corps commander, and sent his intelligence chief off as well.

Revisiting all this reveals that the dispersal of combat units, lack of focus, penny packet operations, poor coordination, predated the US II Corps. V Corps ops look a mess with its mixed bag of three different armies fighting on the same battlefield but not as a coordinated army. In all this the command relationship between II Corps & 1st Army is not fully clear, tho it looks as if II Corps is fully subordinate.

It appears that the 18th Inf Reg and several other battalions had been detached from the US 1ID & sent off to the V Corps as well as CCB.

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Re: Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

Post by rcocean » 20 Mar 2020 17:44

Okay so you're nitpicking over semantics. In other words "inability to build a winning team" is code for "you're a complete fucking idiot that gets to go back to CONUS and train people to take unnecessary casualties until they're retrained in theater". Kay....
Not really. The fact that your subordinates don't like you, doesn't mean you're incompetent. Dawly at Salerno was incompetent and was transferred back to the USA with the rank of Colonel and put in charge of the TD school. Fredendall was given command of an Army. There was a difference. Note that when Patton sent Ward back to the USA, no one said a word, but Ike used Fredendall's feud with Ward as a reason to send him back to the USA. Had ward and fredendall gotten along, he probably would not have been relieved. But then Fredendall wasn't a friend of Ike's. It should be noted that Fredendall, Dawley, and Lucas were all foisted on Ike by Marshall. His friends: Bradley, Patton, Clark, and Gerow could make mistakes and survive but others weren't so lucky.

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Re: Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

Post by Nickdfresh » 20 Mar 2020 19:46

rcocean wrote:
20 Mar 2020 17:44

Not really. The fact that your subordinates don't like you, doesn't mean you're incompetent.
No. But when you run a battle like he did at Kasserine, you're incompetent...
Dawly at Salerno was incompetent and was transferred back to the USA with the rank of Colonel and put in charge of the TD school. Fredendall was given command of an Army. There was a difference. Note that when Patton sent Ward back to the USA, no one said a word, but Ike used Fredendall's feud with Ward as a reason to send him back to the USA. Had ward and fredendall gotten along, he probably would not have been relieved. But then Fredendall wasn't a friend of Ike's. It should be noted that Fredendall, Dawley, and Lucas were all foisted on Ike by Marshall. His friends: Bradley, Patton, Clark, and Gerow could make mistakes and survive but others weren't so lucky.
What about General Harmon's "feud" with Fredendall?

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Re: Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

Post by Nickdfresh » 20 Mar 2020 19:58

From Wacki'pedia. See the underlined text for "team failing", incidentally it's from Ike's biographer:
During the fighting, Harmon had opportunity to observe Major General Lloyd Fredendall, commander of II Corps, as well as his superior, the British Lieutenant General Kenneth Anderson, commander of the British First Army. Anderson was in overall control of the Allied front in eastern Algeria, commanding British, American, and French forces. Harmon noticed that the two generals rarely saw each other, and failed to properly coordinate and integrate forces under their command. Fredendall was barely on speaking terms with his 1st Armored Division commander, Major General Orlando Ward, who had repeatedly complained to his superiors of the dangers of separating his division into weaker combat commands for use in various sectors of the front. Harmon also noticed that Fredendall rarely left his command headquarters, a huge fortified bunker constructed a full 70 miles behind the front lines (the bunker took two hundred Army engineers three weeks to excavate, using hundreds of pounds of explosive to blast rooms out of solid rock).[6] Allied forces were bereft of air support during critical attacks, and were frequently positioned by the senior command in positions where they could not offer mutual support to each other. Subordinates would later recall their utter confusion at being handed conflicting orders, not knowing which general to obey–Anderson, or Fredendall. While interviewing field commanders, Harmon received an earful of criticism over what many Allied officers viewed as a cowardly, confused, and out-of-touch command. Noting that Fredendall seemed out-of-touch (and at one point, intoxicated), he requested and received permission to go to the front and intervene where necessary to shore up Allied defenses.[8]

While Harmon attributed the lion's share of the blame for the catastrophe to Fredendall, he also began to question Anderson's leadership abilities with respect to a large command. Anderson was partly to blame for the weakness of II Corps in southern area of the front. When Fredendall asked to retire to a defensible line after the initial assault in order to regroup his forces, Anderson rejected the request, allowing German panzer forces to overrun many of the American positions in the south. Anderson also weakened II Corps by parceling out portions of the 1st Armored Division into various combat commands sent to other sectors over the vehement objections of its commander, Major General Ward.
...
After Rommel had finally been halted at Thala, Harmon returned to Fredendall's headquarters, and was incredulous to find Fredendall expecting to pick up where he had left off. Harmon's reports on Fredendall's conduct during and after the battle (in an interview with Major General George Patton, Fredendall's replacement, Harmon called Fredendall, "cowardly") played a key role in Fredendall's removal from command of II Corps and reassignment to a training command in the United States.[10] Offered the command of II Corps in Fredendall's place, Harmon declined, as it would appear to others that Harmon was motivated by personal gain. Instead, in March, General Eisenhower appointed Patton, a colleague and friend of Harmon's, to replace Fredendall. Harmon later accepted command of the 1st Armored Division after the relief of Major General Ward in April.[9]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_N. ... rth_Africa

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