TIK at it again: this time Narrow Front vs Broad Front strategy in NWE

Discussions on WW2 in Western Europe & the Atlantic.
Geoffrey Cooke
Member
Posts: 53
Joined: 11 Dec 2020 07:08
Location: Illinois

TIK at it again: this time Narrow Front vs Broad Front strategy in NWE

Post by Geoffrey Cooke » 23 Jan 2023 18:28

Eisenhower’s Broadfront vs Monty’s Narrowfront in 1944
https://youtu.be/AJOTjiDAi_g

Carl Schwamberger
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 9371
Joined: 02 Sep 2006 20:31
Location: USA

Re: TIK at it again: this time Narrow Front vs Broad Front strategy in NWE

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 24 Jan 2023 13:40

On the game board the broad front works better. The average defense player can concentrate considerable strength in front of a single route, attack the flank ect... Also its difficult to concentrate sufficient Allied strength on any single narrow front. Particularly when trying to get through the West Wall and across the Rhine.

Sean Oliver
Member
Posts: 114
Joined: 14 Sep 2007 18:18
Location: Wisconsin USA

Re: TIK at it again: this time Narrow Front vs Broad Front strategy in NWE

Post by Sean Oliver » 25 Jan 2023 08:33

The notion of Montgomery leading a 'bold thrust' anywhere, much less the Ruhr and northern Germany would be laughably ridiculous - if Allied soldiers' blood had not been the result of such nonsense.

User avatar
Pips
Member
Posts: 1236
Joined: 26 Jun 2005 08:44
Location: Canberra, ACT, Australia

Re: TIK at it again: this time Narrow Front vs Broad Front strategy in NWE

Post by Pips » 26 Jan 2023 01:25

An excellent summation of both approaches.

Carl Schwamberger
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 9371
Joined: 02 Sep 2006 20:31
Location: USA

Re: TIK at it again: this time Narrow Front vs Broad Front strategy in NWE

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 26 Jan 2023 01:26

I have to qualify my earlier statement with that the narrow front has worked occasionally on the game board, but in those few cases the players created conditions not existing OTL.

Montys statement is seldom quoted in context. He made it in mid August, before the Somme River had been crossed, the collapse of Runsteadts OB West was evident. & he was arguing with Ike over long term strategy into 1945. Neither in the context of their discussion was he proposing stripping Bradleys army group or leaving it & the 6th AG in a strictly screening role. But he did argue the advantages of some 40 divisions en masse crossing the Belgian plain & crossing the Rhine from Achen north to the Netherlands. Bradley made arguments along similar lines for a focused main axis of advance, with his army group of course. In October Ike went off to visit Devers 6th Army Group and Devers presented a plan for making 6th AG the main effort and winning the war in the south. By this point Ike was a bit put out by the subject & he was a little cold to Devers.

Aber
Member
Posts: 972
Joined: 05 Jan 2010 21:43

Re: TIK at it again: this time Narrow Front vs Broad Front strategy in NWE

Post by Aber » 27 Jan 2023 15:12

Geoffrey Cooke wrote:
23 Jan 2023 18:28
Eisenhower’s Broadfront vs Monty’s Narrowfront in 1944
https://youtu.be/AJOTjiDAi_g
Not bad.

His list of sources seems a bit light, relying too much on leaders memoirs (rather than critical biographies), and with little on logistics.

He's wrong that Market Garden was part of the plan to open Antwerp.

I think he misses 2 key points:

Eisenhower (and SHAEF)'s conception of the command structure. This evolved over time, being initially hands-off and developed to the echeloned attacks in the Spring of 1945, which had a large impact on strategy.

Logistics. UK logistics worked reasonably well, although he gets caught up with the 1400 lorries footnote (like a lot of other authors). I'm not sure he gives the full picture on US logistics relying too much on Army complaints about SoS. The reality is more complex with issues about supply management within Armies, a known shortage of truck companies and the decision to advance in all directions until the Armies ran out of fuel, all contributing.

Tom from Cornwall
Member
Posts: 2861
Joined: 01 May 2006 19:52
Location: UK

Re: TIK at it again: this time Narrow Front vs Broad Front strategy in NWE

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 29 Jan 2023 18:51


Return to “WW2 in Western Europe & the Atlantic”