Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

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Re: Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 05 Apr 2020 15:25

Heres a map of the Troina attack. To expand on my remark about the use of the 39th Inf as leading unit; Atkinson describes how Bradleys original intent had been to use the arriving 9thID to capture Troina. Allen protested claiming the 1stID could & should do this immediately. The 1stID had arrived at the German defense 28 July. Rain on the 29th & remaining drizzle & mud delayed any attack to 1 August. In the context of Allens offer & the plan for the 9thID to pass the 1stID after Troina it is difficult to understand the commitment of the 39th at the start with no supporting attacks for 24 hours & then by only one regiment of the 1st ID.

Reading through Bradleys biography and Atkinsons narrative I'm remembering other questions about Allens tactics skill elsewhere . Maybe I'll make time to look at other battles of the 1stID.
Troina Attack.jpeg
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Re: Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

Post by Richard Anderson » 05 Apr 2020 20:47

"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: Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

Post by Richard Anderson » 05 Apr 2020 20:54

"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: Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 06 Apr 2020 08:08

Thx for those references. Now all I have to do is retire so that someday I'll be able read them :(

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

Post by Sid Guttridge » 06 Apr 2020 08:57

Hi Guys,

Looking at Fredendall's biography, he seems to have reached army command without having seen combat. It appears that in WWI, although deployed early to France, he was primarily engaged in preparing troops for battle.

Richard Anderson sums it up well in the second post on this thread, when he says that Fredendall was an excellent trainer but one lacking in combat leadership.

In peacetime the natural selection of battle ceases to be an immediate factor in deciding promotions and other more bureaucratic factors predominate. He may have been both a beneficiary and a victim of this.

However, none of this need necessarily have barred Fredendall from success. Eisenhower arrived at army group command without combat experience and yet made a success of it.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

Post by Aber » 06 Apr 2020 18:24

Sid Guttridge wrote:
06 Apr 2020 08:57
However, none of this need necessarily have barred Fredendall from success. Eisenhower arrived at army group command without combat experience and yet made a success of it.
Up to a point - there are a number of times when he could have been replaced, except it then raises that very difficult question "by whom".

IIRC there were times during the Tunisian campaign when he feared replacement by Marshall; early July 1944 the discussions to replace Montgomery could have gone badly wrong; early December 1944 he performed poorly in trying to explain his plans to Brooke.

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Re: Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

Post by Nickdfresh » 17 Apr 2020 22:12

So in the end, was Gen. Fredendall basically CPT Sobel from Band of Brothers?
Image
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Actor David Schwimmer as Captain Herbert Sobel in the HBO Miniseries Band of Brothers...

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Re: Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

Post by Nickdfresh » 17 Apr 2020 22:22

By the above I mean a great trainer, but an inept leader in the field...

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Re: Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 17 Apr 2020 23:44

Possibly. As so often happens this investigation leaves me seeing a lot more information is needed. Fredendal may have indeed been in over his head as corps commander, but the evidence I've seen here & elsewhere is still much too fragmentary and subjective for a firm picture. It would not be worth presenting at a inquiry or court. During my service I saw a number of officers fail and succeed in unexpected ways. I also noticed how circumstances and others PoV or perception was more important than what folks might call the 'The Facts'. As I pointed out earlier a close look at the series of battles labeled "Kaserine Pass" shows it was won by the time Harmon showed & had his well cited conversation with Fredendal. But, the perception was the battle/s were still in crises, and that Fredendal had done poorly. Maybe he had, there was a intelligence failure within II Corps, as well as at Ikes level, & possibly on Andersons staff. Ike dismissed his intelligence chief Mocker-Ferryman as well & did some other reorganization of his staff in the following weeks.

So what I'm saying here is another leader might have had the battle/s of February and March play out identically, but personality, communications skills, and ability to land on his feet may have made that man look like a winner.

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Re: Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

Post by Nickdfresh » 18 Apr 2020 00:16


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Re: Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 18 Apr 2020 00:42

Not specifically. There are some details not seen by me before. The description of Fredendals performance in the training manuvers is a fresh specific to me. The article hammers on Andersons responsibility. Something I'd stepped around here. Part of that responsibility was the clear act of detailing orders for tactical units in II Corps. A micromanaging action Fredendal is accused of. But, the author also accuses Anderson of misunderstanding the intelligence picture. The details of that I'd like very much to see. I suspect poor performance there in all directions among the Allied army, including a misuse & misunderstanding of ULTRA reports.

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Re: Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

Post by paulrward » 18 Apr 2020 20:53

Hello All ':
#69 by Nickdfresh » 17 Apr 2020 14:22

By the above I mean a great trainer, but an inept leader in the field...

As the old saying goes, " Those who cannot DO ..... Teach...... "


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
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Re: Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

Post by daveshoup2MD » 12 Mar 2021 07:38

Nickdfresh wrote:
18 Apr 2020 00:16
Carl, have you seen this?: https://www.jstor.org/stable/26478879?s ... b_contents
Thanks; very interesting reading.

The other point worth making is that the initial effort by the British to "rush" Tunis overland with the leading echelon of what became the British 1st Army (elements of the 78th Infantry Division and 6th Armoured Division) failed, which is why Fredendall's command was initially reduced by detachments to backstop the British and the ad hoc French XIX Corps, which in turn necessitated the movement of a US corps headquarters eastward.

It does not appear that Anderson and the British planners who had been considering the French North African operation under various iterations of GYMNAST in 1941-42 really had an especially well-thought plan for any campaign beyond the assault phases(s), which has an interesting echo in the supposed British criticisms of Marshall et al in terms of a 1943 invasion of northwest France.

Looking back, the reality seems that even with US resources, the initial forces were far too slender to to get to Tunisia before the winter; a more realistic approach may well have been to take Morocco and Algeria, concentrate on the build-up over the winter, and move on Tunisia in the spring-summer; which is pretty close to what happened historically, as it was. That still requires a commitment to coalition warfare that it does not appear the Allies - meaning the British - had command staff capable of delivering upon in 1942.

The other option would have been to leave the British in the UK entirely, make the Moroccan and Algerian landings all-American (basically leaving the 78th Division out of the assault force, which suggests contracting to two task forces, and building up in the winter-spring for a summertime assault into Tunisia and (presumably) Tripolitania.

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Re: Lloyd Fredendall Behind the Failure

Post by daveshoup2MD » 12 Mar 2021 07:46

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
18 Apr 2020 00:42
Not specifically. There are some details not seen by me before. The description of Fredendals performance in the training manuvers is a fresh specific to me. The article hammers on Andersons responsibility. Something I'd stepped around here. Part of that responsibility was the clear act of detailing orders for tactical units in II Corps. A micromanaging action Fredendal is accused of. But, the author also accuses Anderson of misunderstanding the intelligence picture. The details of that I'd like very much to see. I suspect poor performance there in all directions among the Allied army, including a misuse & misunderstanding of ULTRA reports.
Makes an excellent case that Anderson and Fredendall, however capable they may have been in a "national" force, really weren't up to the standard necessary for coalition warfare.

Unclear who was in 1942, of course; it's not like Brooke and Stilwell were any better in Burma, although Stillwell didn't even command "his" side of the equation (the Chinese forces in Burma), so that's not really a great analogy.

As originally (very early in 1942) conceived, Stillwell as expedition commander, with Eisenhower as his chief of staff, and the British involvement limited to naval and air, and just two landing forces - Morocco under Patton and Algeria under (presumably) Clark probably would have gone more smoothly, although the Axis presumably would have held on to the summer of 1943.

In the grand scheme of the Allied counteroffensive in Europe in 1942-45, probably not a huge difference in terms of VE Day.
Last edited by daveshoup2MD on 13 Mar 2021 06:45, edited 1 time in total.

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