LW transport fleet - losses, operations, stock, production

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Peter89
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Re: LW transport fleet - losses, operations, stock, production

Post by Peter89 » 16 Mar 2021 17:35

Richard Anderson wrote:
16 Mar 2021 16:48
Peter89 wrote:
16 Mar 2021 07:47
Normally yes, but in February 1942 the OKW authorized the formation of two extra FJ regiments for the 7th FJ, and it assumed a ternary configuration with 12 FJ battalions and extra engineer, etc.units.
As I understand it, FJR 1. was complete and rebuilt from its Ostfront battles (including the former II./Luftland-Sturm-Regiment) by July 1942. FJR 2. though did not close in Germany from the Ostfront until the end of July and only had detachments in France training, consisting of personnel that had been on leave and convalescents.I don't think it would be ready. FJR 3. returned from the Ostfront in April, so may have been questionable for operations. FJR 4. was organizing and training and did not complete its II. Batallion until October, so again may have been questionable. FJR 5. was organized in May and arrived at Mourmelon to complete training in July.

It looks like it is possible that 11 battalions in four regiments would be ready for a July operation, but that may be a stretch.
The Folgore was also reinforced to 9 battalions, plus one saboteur battalion (whatever that means). La Spezia remained at 6.
186. Regiment consisted of four parachute battalions, 2., 4., 9., and 10. 187. Regiment consisted of three, 5., 6., and 7. The "saboteur" battalion was 8. “Guastatori”, which was an assault engineer battalion.
I am not sure how many waves and what time of the day did they plan, but IIRC they wanted to launch a major tactical air strike at daybreak, immediately followed by the FJs. Thus blind-flight and instrument-flight was a must, and I see many units would face problems with that, especially when towing gliders. Note that the airlift to NA before Tunesia rarely faced interdiction, thus they flew at broad daylight with easy peasy navigation. Even the experienced units' experience is in question, at least for me.
The main problem that I see is the planned D-Day airborne assault is near suicidal given the drop zone locations and the state of the British defenses by July 1942. The only worser part of the plan is the idea of attempting an amphibious escalade of the Famagosta coast and a direct assault on Larnaca. The former would only work if it was perfectly timed with the airborne assault and if the airborne assault was not then butchered, the latter would only work in someone's imagination. From what I can see only the assault on Gozo would work.
To be honest, I gave no second thought of the possible outcome of the possible invasion, so I did not study the forces in detail except the transports. Mostly because I think it only would have been another massacre of irreplaceable resources for little to no practical reasons, just like at Crete, which again, ended very-very far from either party's plans.

IMHO the operation against Malta would make sense only if it is already alone in a closed Med, without reinforcements and supply, or at the time of a hypothetical Italian entry into the war, as a semi-surprise attack.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

Richard Anderson
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Re: LW transport fleet - losses, operations, stock, production

Post by Richard Anderson » 16 Mar 2021 18:01

Peter89 wrote:
16 Mar 2021 17:35
To be honest, I gave no second thought of the possible outcome of the possible invasion, so I did not study the forces in detail except the transports. Mostly because I think it only would have been another massacre of irreplaceable resources for little to no practical reasons, just like at Crete, which again, ended very-very far from either party's plans.

IMHO the operation against Malta would make sense only if it is already alone in a closed Med, without reinforcements and supply, or at the time of a hypothetical Italian entry into the war, as a semi-surprise attack.
What should frighten any proponent of the Axis plan is that just on the Luqa-Tal Far plateau, there were at least 40 Bofors and 177 AAMG. Supporting the equivalent of four reinforced infantry battalions. In an area of about 20 square kilometers.
"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

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: LW transport fleet - losses, operations, stock, production

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 16 Mar 2021 18:06

Peter89 wrote:
16 Mar 2021 17:35
... the operation against Malta would make sense only ... ... or at the time of a hypothetical Italian entry into the war, as a semi-surprise attack.
That could have done it. Tho there was no thurogh plan, inadequate or no preparation, nominally two parachute battalions, and one understrength amphib capable unit (a regiment?). Other than that its a go, sir!

Peter89
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Re: LW transport fleet - losses, operations, stock, production

Post by Peter89 » 16 Mar 2021 18:17

Richard Anderson wrote:
16 Mar 2021 18:01
Peter89 wrote:
16 Mar 2021 17:35
To be honest, I gave no second thought of the possible outcome of the possible invasion, so I did not study the forces in detail except the transports. Mostly because I think it only would have been another massacre of irreplaceable resources for little to no practical reasons, just like at Crete, which again, ended very-very far from either party's plans.

IMHO the operation against Malta would make sense only if it is already alone in a closed Med, without reinforcements and supply, or at the time of a hypothetical Italian entry into the war, as a semi-surprise attack.
What should frighten any proponent of the Axis plan is that just on the Luqa-Tal Far plateau, there were at least 40 Bofors and 177 AAMG. Supporting the equivalent of four reinforced infantry battalions. In an area of about 20 square kilometers.
Well!

I realized a lot about Crete when I had the chance to go there, and also to see the dust conditions on the once-airfields near Athens... I wouldn't give a dime on a German success on that one either! I plan to do a memory-tour this May on the Merkur's 80th anniversary, but I doubt I'd be able to walk the distances the Germans had to fight through. Last time I drank 6 liters of water in an afternoon, without taking a piss, and I am not a couch potato with a beer belly. Maybe I missed some of those Pervitin pills? Who knows. Next time... :D
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

Peter89
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Re: LW transport fleet - losses, operations, stock, production

Post by Peter89 » 16 Mar 2021 18:18

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
16 Mar 2021 18:06
Peter89 wrote:
16 Mar 2021 17:35
... the operation against Malta would make sense only ... ... or at the time of a hypothetical Italian entry into the war, as a semi-surprise attack.
That could have done it. Tho there was no thurogh plan, inadequate or no preparation, nominally two parachute battalions, and one understrength amphib capable unit (a regiment?). Other than that its a go, sir!
No no, you misunderstood me. I thought something like a mid-1941 entry with an actual plan to invade Malta ASAP. There was no chance in June 1940.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: LW transport fleet - losses, operations, stock, production

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 16 Mar 2021 18:26

Oh, I understood. My remarks derived from a sarcastic reaction to ideas floated in other distant forums & times ;)

Peter89
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Re: LW transport fleet - losses, operations, stock, production

Post by Peter89 » 16 Mar 2021 19:17

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
16 Mar 2021 18:26
Oh, I understood. My remarks derived from a sarcastic reaction to ideas floated in other distant forums & times ;)
:D :)
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

Richard Anderson
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Re: LW transport fleet - losses, operations, stock, production

Post by Richard Anderson » 16 Mar 2021 20:14

Peter89 wrote:
16 Mar 2021 18:17
Well!

I realized a lot about Crete when I had the chance to go there, and also to see the dust conditions on the once-airfields near Athens... I wouldn't give a dime on a German success on that one either!
And on Crete there were just 8 3" and 20 Bofors in total, scattered over three widely separated zones across 80 miles. With a mishmash of ill-equipped and disorganized troops; gunners fighting as infantry, a few clapped-out tanks, and no integrated defense, or even more than a few weeks on the ground.

On Malta, there were 40 Bofors just covering the airfields (another 12 comprised 30 Battery, the "Dockyard" Battery)...and some 94 3" and 3.7" HAA. In a centralized defense covering an area of about ten by seven miles. There were 60 18-pdr anti-boat guns around the coast alone. A full regiment of 25-pdrs as well as other fixed artillery that had spent most of two years plotting every inch of ground. IIRC, defended by 14 fully-equipped and manned infantry battalions, with what was essentially a double-strength MG battalion and the beach installations were also heavily reinforced by medium MG, there were at least 293 Vickers MMG on Malta by June of 1941. Instead of a couple of broken down tanks there were four Matilda, eight Cruiser, and two Mark VI Light tanks on Malta. Based at Luqa.

Crete worked mostly due to British exhaustion and disorganization. I doubt that Malta would be anything like that.
"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

Peter89
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Re: LW transport fleet - losses, operations, stock, production

Post by Peter89 » 16 Mar 2021 22:28

Richard Anderson wrote:
16 Mar 2021 20:14
Peter89 wrote:
16 Mar 2021 18:17
Well!

I realized a lot about Crete when I had the chance to go there, and also to see the dust conditions on the once-airfields near Athens... I wouldn't give a dime on a German success on that one either!
And on Crete there were just 8 3" and 20 Bofors in total, scattered over three widely separated zones across 80 miles. With a mishmash of ill-equipped and disorganized troops; gunners fighting as infantry, a few clapped-out tanks, and no integrated defense, or even more than a few weeks on the ground.

On Malta, there were 40 Bofors just covering the airfields (another 12 comprised 30 Battery, the "Dockyard" Battery)...and some 94 3" and 3.7" HAA. In a centralized defense covering an area of about ten by seven miles. There were 60 18-pdr anti-boat guns around the coast alone. A full regiment of 25-pdrs as well as other fixed artillery that had spent most of two years plotting every inch of ground. IIRC, defended by 14 fully-equipped and manned infantry battalions, with what was essentially a double-strength MG battalion and the beach installations were also heavily reinforced by medium MG, there were at least 293 Vickers MMG on Malta by June of 1941. Instead of a couple of broken down tanks there were four Matilda, eight Cruiser, and two Mark VI Light tanks on Malta. Based at Luqa.

Crete worked mostly due to British exhaustion and disorganization. I doubt that Malta would be anything like that.
Hah, wait a second. I told you I am no expert on the defense of Malta; I know Crete in much more detail.

My opinion is that these scenarios are always risking outright slaughter. For example in Crete, the whole 2nd battalion of the 1st FJ was annihilated without a single survivor; all that in about 20 minutes. I see that instances like that was bound to happen and could easily jeopardize the successful conduct of the whole mission. But we have no knowledge of German / Italian amphibious undertakings on the level of the Herkules, and also, almost as an innate feature of these undertakings, a lot of things worked against common sense; things that could not be predicted (for example almost the whole Crete operation was depending on the Allies' blunder at Maleme).

Put your hand on your heart and tell me: if Crete never happened, would you predict me a German victory based on the exhaustion of British troops? Because I wouldn't, I'd say that the Germans were almost sure to lose with heavy casualties. That's my general opinion about Malta as well, that it not depended as much on what the Axis wanted to do, but what mistakes the Allies would do. And to be honest, we can't know that. The odds were clearly favoring the Brits, but the Axis had some good cards in their hands as well.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: LW transport fleet - losses, operations, stock, production

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 17 Mar 2021 01:42

Looking at the proposed beaches for assaulting Malta I'm reminded of the narrow landing sites the US assaulted to gain Tinian island. My battery went swimming on one of them & it looked crowded with just sixty of us lying about on a hundred meters of sand between the bluffs.

daveshoup2MD
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Re: LW transport fleet - losses, operations, stock, production

Post by daveshoup2MD » 17 Mar 2021 03:34

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
16 Mar 2021 18:06
Peter89 wrote:
16 Mar 2021 17:35
... the operation against Malta would make sense only ... ... or at the time of a hypothetical Italian entry into the war, as a semi-surprise attack.
That could have done it. Tho there was no thurogh plan, inadequate or no preparation, nominally two parachute battalions, and one understrength amphib capable unit (a regiment?). Other than that its a go, sir!
You can't fight tanks with bayonets? ;)

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Re: LW transport fleet - losses, operations, stock, production

Post by daveshoup2MD » 17 Mar 2021 03:36

Richard Anderson wrote:
16 Mar 2021 20:14
Peter89 wrote:
16 Mar 2021 18:17
Well!

I realized a lot about Crete when I had the chance to go there, and also to see the dust conditions on the once-airfields near Athens... I wouldn't give a dime on a German success on that one either!
And on Crete there were just 8 3" and 20 Bofors in total, scattered over three widely separated zones across 80 miles. With a mishmash of ill-equipped and disorganized troops; gunners fighting as infantry, a few clapped-out tanks, and no integrated defense, or even more than a few weeks on the ground.

On Malta, there were 40 Bofors just covering the airfields (another 12 comprised 30 Battery, the "Dockyard" Battery)...and some 94 3" and 3.7" HAA. In a centralized defense covering an area of about ten by seven miles. There were 60 18-pdr anti-boat guns around the coast alone. A full regiment of 25-pdrs as well as other fixed artillery that had spent most of two years plotting every inch of ground. IIRC, defended by 14 fully-equipped and manned infantry battalions, with what was essentially a double-strength MG battalion and the beach installations were also heavily reinforced by medium MG, there were at least 293 Vickers MMG on Malta by June of 1941. Instead of a couple of broken down tanks there were four Matilda, eight Cruiser, and two Mark VI Light tanks on Malta. Based at Luqa.

Crete worked mostly due to British exhaustion and disorganization. I doubt that Malta would be anything like that.
Funny how many posters there are who swear Nazishido would make all the difference. ;)

daveshoup2MD
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Re: LW transport fleet - losses, operations, stock, production

Post by daveshoup2MD » 17 Mar 2021 03:37

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
17 Mar 2021 01:42
Looking at the proposed beaches for assaulting Malta I'm reminded of the narrow landing sites the US assaulted to gain Tinian island. My battery went swimming on one of them & it looked crowded with just sixty of us lying about on a hundred meters of sand between the bluffs.
My guess is the NGS at Tinian was a little more practiced then the RM was at the time.

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Re: LW transport fleet - losses, operations, stock, production

Post by daveshoup2MD » 17 Mar 2021 03:39

Peter89 wrote:
16 Mar 2021 22:28
Richard Anderson wrote:
16 Mar 2021 20:14
Peter89 wrote:
16 Mar 2021 18:17
Well!

I realized a lot about Crete when I had the chance to go there, and also to see the dust conditions on the once-airfields near Athens... I wouldn't give a dime on a German success on that one either!
And on Crete there were just 8 3" and 20 Bofors in total, scattered over three widely separated zones across 80 miles. With a mishmash of ill-equipped and disorganized troops; gunners fighting as infantry, a few clapped-out tanks, and no integrated defense, or even more than a few weeks on the ground.

On Malta, there were 40 Bofors just covering the airfields (another 12 comprised 30 Battery, the "Dockyard" Battery)...and some 94 3" and 3.7" HAA. In a centralized defense covering an area of about ten by seven miles. There were 60 18-pdr anti-boat guns around the coast alone. A full regiment of 25-pdrs as well as other fixed artillery that had spent most of two years plotting every inch of ground. IIRC, defended by 14 fully-equipped and manned infantry battalions, with what was essentially a double-strength MG battalion and the beach installations were also heavily reinforced by medium MG, there were at least 293 Vickers MMG on Malta by June of 1941. Instead of a couple of broken down tanks there were four Matilda, eight Cruiser, and two Mark VI Light tanks on Malta. Based at Luqa.

Crete worked mostly due to British exhaustion and disorganization. I doubt that Malta would be anything like that.
Hah, wait a second. I told you I am no expert on the defense of Malta; I know Crete in much more detail.

My opinion is that these scenarios are always risking outright slaughter. For example in Crete, the whole 2nd battalion of the 1st FJ was annihilated without a single survivor; all that in about 20 minutes. I see that instances like that was bound to happen and could easily jeopardize the successful conduct of the whole mission. But we have no knowledge of German / Italian amphibious undertakings on the level of the Herkules, and also, almost as an innate feature of these undertakings, a lot of things worked against common sense; things that could not be predicted (for example almost the whole Crete operation was depending on the Allies' blunder at Maleme).

Put your hand on your heart and tell me: if Crete never happened, would you predict me a German victory based on the exhaustion of British troops? Because I wouldn't, I'd say that the Germans were almost sure to lose with heavy casualties. That's my general opinion about Malta as well, that it not depended as much on what the Axis wanted to do, but what mistakes the Allies would do. And to be honest, we can't know that. The odds were clearly favoring the Brits, but the Axis had some good cards in their hands as well.
Well, based on the German operations in Norway, I'm not thinking the KM's understanding of amphibious warfare was much past Operation ALBION.

Richard Anderson
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Re: LW transport fleet - losses, operations, stock, production

Post by Richard Anderson » 17 Mar 2021 03:43

Peter89 wrote:
16 Mar 2021 22:28
Hah, wait a second. I told you I am no expert on the defense of Malta; I know Crete in much more detail.
:lol: I developed an unhealthy fascination with Malta three years or so ago over one of these endless what if exercises. Plus, with a bit of luck I'll be spending a day there in September.
My opinion is that these scenarios are always risking outright slaughter. For example in Crete, the whole 2nd battalion of the 1st FJ was annihilated without a single survivor; all that in about 20 minutes. I see that instances like that was bound to happen and could easily jeopardize the successful conduct of the whole mission. But we have no knowledge of German / Italian amphibious undertakings on the level of the Herkules, and also, almost as an innate feature of these undertakings, a lot of things worked against common sense; things that could not be predicted (for example almost the whole Crete operation was depending on the Allies' blunder at Maleme).
Yep...the thing is the British supposedly learned from their mistake on Crete and put quite a bit of thought into Malta's defense against airborne attack. It's one of the reasons the Malta Tank Squadron was based at Luqa. I gather the glider obstacles were pretty extensive too.
Put your hand on your heart and tell me: if Crete never happened, would you predict me a German victory based on the exhaustion of British troops? Because I wouldn't, I'd say that the Germans were almost sure to lose with heavy casualties. That's my general opinion about Malta as well, that it not depended as much on what the Axis wanted to do, but what mistakes the Allies would do. And to be honest, we can't know that. The odds were clearly favoring the Brits, but the Axis had some good cards in their hands as well.
Oh, of course not...chance is always a factor, but then too so are numbers and preparation. The problem is the planned airborne LZ were exactly where the British expected them...partly because there was no where else really practical...and the chosen beaches appear to have been chosen on the principal of "if we pick the worst possible spots, maybe it will fool them".
"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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