Which were the main Allied advantages on the Western front?

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losna
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Which were the main Allied advantages on the Western front?

Postby losna » 01 May 2017 21:37

As from the title, I was wondering about which were the major Allied advantages in France and Italy, and how the Anglo-Americans managed to defeat so badly the Wehrmacht, being never kicked back into the sea after an amphibious attack, even in 1943 when the Bomber Offensive did not have kicked in as in 1944.
I've supposed that the major advantage was the air superiority, and in second place the powerful American artillery, but these are only suppositions and I'd be glad to read well argumented opinions.
I'd particurarly like quantitative data.
Cheers

Stephan
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Re: Which were the main Allied advantages on the Western front?

Postby Stephan » 13 May 2017 19:17

Yes, air and artillery, including much more ammo usually available were the great advantages...

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Sheldrake
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Re: Which were the main Allied advantages on the Western front?

Postby Sheldrake » 13 May 2017 21:55

losna wrote:I've supposed that the major advantage was the air superiority, and in second place the powerful American artillery, but these are only suppositions and I'd be glad to read well argumented opinions.
I'd particurarly like quantitative data.
Cheers


Well for a start you could read something about the British Artillery which was every bit as powerful as the American and had added bonus of command by the observer. Read Nigel Evan's work here http://nigelef.tripod.com/

Air superiority mattered, as did firepower. Bit the allies also developed effective tactics to face the Germans and mobilized the citizen armies to win.

Stephan
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Re: Which were the main Allied advantages on the Western front?

Postby Stephan » 14 May 2017 08:59

Interesting is reading Eisenhowers book Crusade in Europe, and especielly the part about campain in Africa, reading some between the lines. At the moment of landing, the americans had rather heavy fights with the french defencers, with hundreds of killed and wounded on both sides.

Later on, when they got the french as allied against the germans, the french were a third grade fighters against the germans. They couldnt hold their own even in good defensive circumstances, and needed extra help from the british or americans... In part because of obsolete weapons, but it surely wasnt the whole truth.
And from this (and also other hints we get there) we understand the Americans werent no equal match to the germans, not in 1942 -1943. Although they quickly learned to be better later on later on 1943 onwards.

How much of it continued, I dont know. Possibly they never become fully equal, soldier to soldier.
Last edited by Stephan on 14 May 2017 18:39, edited 1 time in total.

Stephan
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Re: Which were the main Allied advantages on the Western front?

Postby Stephan » 14 May 2017 09:03

Another plus the americans had, was they could almost always send the fully prepared first grade divisions. (even if they had to send many of the best to the Pacific too). I mean, much of the USA forces never participated in active real fighting. While the germans were forced to use practically every troops to frontline duty.

losna
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Re: Which were the main Allied advantages on the Western front?

Postby losna » 16 May 2017 10:58

Thanks y ' all.

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Sheldrake
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Re: Which were the main Allied advantages on the Western front?

Postby Sheldrake » 16 May 2017 11:35

Stephan wrote:Another plus the americans had, was they could almost always send the fully prepared first grade divisions. (even if they had to send many of the best to the Pacific too). I mean, much of the USA forces never participated in active real fighting. While the germans were forced to use practically every troops to frontline duty.


Hmm that depends....

Many American formations lost more men that than their entire t&OE strength. Look at the table "Battle casualties by theater, organization, type, and disposition: 7 December 1941-31 December 1946" in page 80 of this report http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/ref ... ganization

The 1st, 3,4,9th and 90th Infantry divisions lost well over 100% of their total strength. When you consider that 80% of casualties were suffered by C 5400 members of the rifle companies of the infantry Regiments the rifle companies had been replaced four or five times over in the two and a half years of combat. The remainder of these formations was by contrast, highly experienced in a series of successful operations. These formations were some of the most experienced US formations, which had been in the MTO or ETO since 1943.

The bulk of the US Army was only able to deploy from mid 1944 when French ports became available to land troops en masse. These formations were very green when they arrived and took a while for their command teams to learn what to do well. Many did not have the peopel they had trained with. The Americans had a shortage of infantry replacements in mid 1944. They stripped many of the formations in the US low down on the shipping list such as 106th Division of soldiers who had originally formed that unit and sent them as battle casualty replacements - the worst and most dangerous job. The US Army did not handle this well.


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