Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

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Gooner1
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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by Gooner1 » 26 Nov 2021 13:47

sandeepmukherjee196 wrote:
26 Nov 2021 04:12
Yes. After Normandy the British Army couldn't afford any more intense infantry actions.
The clearing of the Scheldt, Overloon and the clearing to the Maas and Operation Veritable were all intense infantry actions.

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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by Michael Kenny » 26 Nov 2021 14:06

sandeepmukherjee196 wrote:
26 Nov 2021 08:19


How one wishes, Monty had come up against any typical German formation in Russia...................
Monty faced 'German Formations' in concentrations unheard off in Russia. The density of the Panzer Divisions in Normandy far exceeded that in The East.


Balaton v Normandy map.jpg
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LineDoggie
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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by LineDoggie » 27 Nov 2021 01:34

sandeepmukherjee196 wrote:
26 Nov 2021 08:19

How one wishes, Monty had come up against any typical German formation in Russia, 1941 or even faced Rommel in Africa, at Gazala or even during Battleaxe or Crusader.
You do Comprehend Divisions frontages in Russia were much larger than those in Western Europe

Oh By the way Monty did face Rommel in North Africa
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by NickA » 12 Jan 2022 21:59

Gooner1 wrote:
26 Nov 2021 13:44
Monty did an excellent job, as usual, in (helping) putting down the Arab revolt.
There was no such revolt - the freshly arrived land-grabbing and very well-armed immigrants simply set about ethnic cleansing. Starting with the towns (soft hands and round tummies made them useless at farmwork) then going on to Stockade and Tower settlements pegged out along the Green Line, as had been agreed between David Ben Gurion and Abdullah of Jordan in 1937. (Only in Latrune were the settlers held back a bit).

Golda Meir went to Amman in March 1948 to make sure the agreement still stood. Abdullah paid with his life, stabbed to death in East Jerusalem a few years later.

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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by daveshoup2MD » 13 Jan 2022 03:05

Michael Kenny wrote:
24 Nov 2021 02:54
I am a UK resident and I known of Hastings for well over half a century. He is NOT 'of the left'.
He was editor-in-chief of The Daily Telegraph, and editor of the Evening Standard. A leftist he was not, presumably. ;)

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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by Cult Icon » 13 Jan 2022 14:22

LineDoggie wrote:
27 Nov 2021 01:34
sandeepmukherjee196 wrote:
26 Nov 2021 08:19

How one wishes, Monty had come up against any typical German formation in Russia, 1941 or even faced Rommel in Africa, at Gazala or even during Battleaxe or Crusader.
You do Comprehend Divisions frontages in Russia were much larger than those in Western Europe

Oh By the way Monty did face Rommel in North Africa
Apples vs oranges

Bayerlein's FMS estimates that the fighting ability of the Pz Lehr division in Normandy at 25% of its potential which is just about right, even if you compare it to the divisions in the Ardennes, which were very inferior to the normandy divisions but more functional due to more advantagous tactical environment. Normandy was a unique tactical environment with many disadvantages (no airpower, small-scale piece meal counterattacks, poor supply, etc) and the extreme Allied numerical superiority in many categories. There are a lot of German divisional histories published, when you read the Normandy section the functional impairment is obvious compared to the other employments. This impairment was lifted in the Ardennes albeit without the Luftwaffe providing XX,XXX sorties and dropping tens of thousands of tons of bombs.

This is why the power of pile of German "Panzer divisions" is illusionary at Caen. Would anyone argue that the British-Canadian forces were far superior in quality to the American in the Ardennes? I think not.. :roll:

The pro-British-Canadian argument hinges on assuming that Caen was the most heavily defended area in WW2, which is absurd...! It seems that way if you just count the number of tanks per frontage and have limited knowledge of German war experience but other forces and dimensions of the battle were at work.

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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by Michael Kenny » 13 Jan 2022 15:30

Cult Icon wrote:
13 Jan 2022 14:22


Bayerlein's FMS estimates that the fighting ability of the Pz Lehr division in Normandy at 25% of its potential which is just about right, even if you compare it to the divisions in the Ardennes...................
Complete fiction.

The first sentence on the Panzer Lehr page Zetterling's 'Normandy 1944' is:

'When this Division arrived in Normandy it was probably better equipped than any other German Division during the war'

Byerlein says (Panzer Lehr 1944-45 page 56)' The Panzer Lehr Division was the best equipped Panzer Division that Germany ever had'.

Pz Lehr was hit very hard and by mid June, despite being the best that Germany could offer, was reduced to fielding a third of its original tanks.

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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by Michael Kenny » 14 Jan 2022 04:20

Cult Icon wrote:
13 Jan 2022 14:22


The pro-British-Canadian argument hinges on assuming that Caen was the most heavily defended area in WW2, which is absurd...! It seems that way if you just count the number of tanks per frontage and have limited knowledge of German war experience but other forces and dimensions of the battle were at work.
It is hard to know where to start but I will (yet again) try. This is a map comparing the areas fought over at 'Kursk' and 'Normandy'. There is a 75 km base-line on the Normandy map so you will get an idea just how many men and machines were crammed into the area around Caen.
1596px-Kursk-1943-Plan-GE.svg.tifj vvv.jpg
1596px-Kursk-1943-Plan-GE.svg.tifjgg.jpg
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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by NickA » 16 Jan 2022 20:36

Cult Icon wrote:
13 Jan 2022 14:22
The pro-British-Canadian argument hinges on assuming that Caen was the most heavily defended area in WW2, which is absurd...! It seems that way if you just count the number of tanks per frontage and have limited knowledge of German war experience but other forces and dimensions of the battle were at work.
I'll take your word for it - but I'd have thought any discussion on the relative fighting worth of the Allies was incomplete without this diagram.

Image

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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by Sheldrake » 17 Jan 2022 13:44

Cult Icon wrote:
13 Jan 2022 14:22
Normandy was a unique tactical environment with many disadvantages (no airpower, small-scale piece meal counterattacks, poor supply, etc) and the extreme Allied numerical superiority in many categories. There are a lot of German divisional histories published, when you read the Normandy section the functional impairment is obvious compared to the other employments. This impairment was lifted in the Ardennes albeit without the Luftwaffe providing XX,XXX sorties and dropping tens of thousands of tons of bombs.

This is why the power of pile of German "Panzer divisions" is illusionary at Caen. Would anyone argue that the British-Canadian forces were far superior in quality to the American in the Ardennes? I think not.. :roll:

The pro-British-Canadian argument hinges on assuming that Caen was the most heavily defended area in WW2, which is absurd...! It seems that way if you just count the number of tanks per frontage and have limited knowledge of German war experience but other forces and dimensions of the battle were at work.
You are correct to point out that the fighting in Normandy was more constrained that in Russia. A point that Michael Kenny has graphically illustrated this in post #68. #

Arguably this helped the Allies. The Germans were better at fighting mobile battles than most allied forces. (We can debate the relative merits of US, British and Canadian formations in tactical manouvre but experienced German units were capable of giving a bloody nose to the unwary or overconfident until the end of the war.) The greater the room for manouvre, the greater the opportunities to out fight the allies in the kind of combat at which the Germnas excelled.

The Montgomery methods were to nullify this tactical close battle advantage by denying the Germans capacity for manouvre. This si what he did at Alam Halfa, El Alamein and Medennine. After recovering from serious wounds in 1914 Montgomery had spent the First World War on the staff of formations fighting attritional battles against the Germans. He also took part in a couple of fighting retreats and advances in mobile warfare in 1918 He was good at managing the dogfight and had more expereince than anyone other than Brooke or Marshal at what battle looked like from inside a formation HQ.

The cream of the German Armour that was going to drive the allies into the sea ended up in a dense fight over the OP Epsom Scottish Corridor in early July 1944. Whatever criticisms there may be about British infantyr tactics, the Jocks and Tykes of the 15th Scottish and 49th West Riding Divisions held their ground in a dogfight aaginst the slices of the 1st, 2nd, 9th,10th and 12th SS Panzer Divisions blunting enough of their offensive capability to end German offensive plans in Normandy until the fantasy of the Mortain Counterattack.

But the pattern of war in Normandy was not determined by Montgomery. It was Hitler and Rommel who tried to constrain the battlefield as close as possible to the sea, in opposition to the plans of von Schweppenburg for a central manouvre force. Rommel regarded allied airpower a decisive factor, but for much of June the weather was very poor.

One ATL is to imagine the Germans allowing a greater penetration inland after D Day. There is a parallel with Anzio. The Germans had their greatests successes once the Allies expanded the bridgehead, thinning their lined and allowing the Germans to infiltrate. Once the allies were forced back the German troop densities increased and the potential for manouvre disappeared. The optimum conditions for the Germans might have been for the allies to achove their optimistic D Day objectives Falaise - Villers Bocage - Caumont and hit the over extended lines.

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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by Gooner1 » 17 Jan 2022 17:37

Sheldrake wrote:
17 Jan 2022 13:44
Arguably this helped the Allies. The Germans were better at fighting mobile battles than most allied forces. (We can debate the relative merits of US, British and Canadian formations in tactical manouvre but experienced German units were capable of giving a bloody nose to the unwary or overconfident until the end of the war.) The greater the room for manouvre, the greater the opportunities to out fight the allies in the kind of combat at which the Germnas excelled.
The closest I can think of when fresh Allied and German mobile formations came to blows in open mobile warfare in 'Normandy' was German 9th Panzer and 116th Panzer divisions versus US 3rd Army.

Exactly.

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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by Sheldrake » 17 Jan 2022 18:10

Gooner1 wrote:
17 Jan 2022 17:37
Sheldrake wrote:
17 Jan 2022 13:44
Arguably this helped the Allies. The Germans were better at fighting mobile battles than most allied forces. (We can debate the relative merits of US, British and Canadian formations in tactical manouvre but experienced German units were capable of giving a bloody nose to the unwary or overconfident until the end of the war.) The greater the room for manouvre, the greater the opportunities to out fight the allies in the kind of combat at which the Germnas excelled.
The closest I can think of when fresh Allied and German mobile formations came to blows in open mobile warfare in 'Normandy' was German 9th Panzer and 116th Panzer divisions versus US 3rd Army.

Exactly.
or 7th armoured division v SS Heavy Tank Battalion 101 at Villers Bocage

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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by Michael Kenny » 17 Jan 2022 20:28

Villers Bocage was a fluke where a group of Tigers managed to find themselves undetected between 2 parts of a British Column. After the initial success the Germans (mistakenly) sent their tanks into the town where a good number were knocked out. The German attack to wrest the town from the British was a failure and the Germans withdrew. 7th AD were then pulled back and left the town in fairly good order. Schneider wrote that Wittmann made a huge mistake when he gave up the chance to get behind 7th AD and cut them off because he was fixated with gaining more kills/glory. He simply attacked the advancing British head-on at the tip of their spear.

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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by daveshoup2MD » 17 Jan 2022 21:50

NickA wrote:
16 Jan 2022 20:36
Cult Icon wrote:
13 Jan 2022 14:22
The pro-British-Canadian argument hinges on assuming that Caen was the most heavily defended area in WW2, which is absurd...! It seems that way if you just count the number of tanks per frontage and have limited knowledge of German war experience but other forces and dimensions of the battle were at work.
I'll take your word for it - but I'd have thought any discussion on the relative fighting worth of the Allies was incomplete without this diagram.

Image
Nick - interesting choice of a map; from:

https://www.historyvshollywood.com/reel ... vate-ryan/

including the British 6th Airborne but not the US 82nd and 101st airborne divisions... from your source:

"The United States and Britain both landed approximately 54,000 troops. Canada landed 21,400 troops. ... The estimated number of allied deaths during the 24-hour period known as D-Day is roughly 4,414 (2,501 Americans and 1,913 Allies)."

Seems like honors were quite equal among the assault elements from all three armies, unless you were trying to suggest something else?

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Re: Criticism of British Infantry during Op Epsom

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 19 Jan 2022 17:27

daveshoup2MD wrote:
17 Jan 2022 21:50
including the British 6th Airborne but not the US 82nd and 101st airborne divisions... from your source:

"The United States and Britain both landed approximately 54,000 troops. Canada landed 21,400 troops. ... The estimated number of allied deaths during the 24-hour period known as D-Day is roughly 4,414 (2,501 Americans and 1,913 Allies)."

Seems like honors were quite equal among the assault elements from all three armies, unless you were trying to suggest something else?
It is a strange map - maybe the 101 and 82 US Airborne Division boxes are just cropped out as their flight path wasn't on the map as shown? Seems strange though, as I didn't think that the 4th US Infantry Division occupied as much territory on 6 June 44 as is shown behind Utah. So does the red shading show territory occupied by airborne even if they aren't specifically named? I seem to recall that some of the link-ups with the US Airborne were delayed until the 7th?
daveshoup2MD wrote:
17 Jan 2022 21:50
Seems like honors were quite equal among the assault elements from all three armies,
And that is something I would agree with! None achieved all the objectives they had been set in the face of different challenges but all achieved their prime objective of getting ashore and securing a beachhead.

Regards

Tom

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