Differing views of Overlord

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Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Differing views of Overlord

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 19 Feb 2020 01:53

Sheldrake wrote:
16 Feb 2020 01:47
...

Churchill was a politician. He was also a man who had serious mood swings and enthusiasms for all manner of projects. This infuriated and frustrated Brooke. However, Churchill was also the leader of a coalition government which had agreed various policies and generally stuck to them. British foreign policy was not a matter of Churchill's whim. When Churchill escaped from his cabinet and the Chiefs of staff committee, he could be a menace - see Op Shingle, concocted while he was convalescing in North Africa. ...
Either way the assorted accounts of the conference @ Terhan present Churchill as arguing for further campaigns along the Mediterranean littoral in place of N Western Europe.

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Re: Differing views of Overlord

Post by Richard Anderson » 19 Feb 2020 02:20

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
16 Feb 2020 13:05
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
15 Feb 2020 17:38
It was easy for Churchill to write postwar, or during the war that he favored invasion of Western Europe all along, but the man has a clear reputation for saying anything to win a argument. He'd been at home here on these discussion boards.
Alongside FDR! 8O

Regards

Tom
Well, they were both politicians after all...but none of US would ever behave that way. :lol:
"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

Delta Tank
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Re: Differing views of Overlord

Post by Delta Tank » 22 Feb 2020 22:20

Sheldrake wrote:
16 Feb 2020 01:47
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
15 Feb 2020 17:38

This nonsense about British reluctance to end the war in the only way it could be ended is a continuation of WW2 era US political spin.
Isn’t Nigel Hamilton a Brit? Born and raised in England, or am I wrong? I will check, but some of the damning evidence comes from a General Kennedy who was a British General Officer during WWII.
Have you read Nigel Hamilton’s Trilogy on FDR? Which footnotes are incorrect?

Mike

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Re: Differing views of Overlord

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 23 Feb 2020 17:45

Delta Tank wrote:
22 Feb 2020 22:20
Sheldrake wrote:
16 Feb 2020 01:47
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
15 Feb 2020 17:38

This nonsense about British reluctance to end the war in the only way it could be ended is a continuation of WW2 era US political spin.
Isn’t Nigel Hamilton a Brit? Born and raised in England, or am I wrong? I will check, but some of the damning evidence comes from a General Kennedy who was a British General Officer during WWII.
Have you read Nigel Hamilton’s Trilogy on FDR? Which footnotes are incorrect?

Mike
Not to niggle, but where is the quite with my name above it taken from?

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Differing views of Overlord

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 23 Feb 2020 17:46

Delta Tank wrote:
22 Feb 2020 22:20
Sheldrake wrote:
16 Feb 2020 01:47
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
15 Feb 2020 17:38

This nonsense about British reluctance to end the war in the only way it could be ended is a continuation of WW2 era US political spin.
Isn’t Nigel Hamilton a Brit? Born and raised in England, or am I wrong? I will check, but some of the damning evidence comes from a General Kennedy who was a British General Officer during WWII.
Have you read Nigel Hamilton’s Trilogy on FDR? Which footnotes are incorrect?

Mike
Not to niggle, but where is the quite with my name above it taken from?

daveshoup2MD
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Re: Differing views of Overlord

Post by daveshoup2MD » 24 Feb 2020 02:28

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
19 Feb 2020 01:46
A useful item. Hated by a personage I used to discuss with.
Dare I ask?

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Sheldrake
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Re: Differing views of Overlord

Post by Sheldrake » 24 Feb 2020 10:29

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
19 Feb 2020 01:53
Sheldrake wrote:
16 Feb 2020 01:47
...

Churchill was a politician. He was also a man who had serious mood swings and enthusiasms for all manner of projects. This infuriated and frustrated Brooke. However, Churchill was also the leader of a coalition government which had agreed various policies and generally stuck to them. British foreign policy was not a matter of Churchill's whim. When Churchill escaped from his cabinet and the Chiefs of staff committee, he could be a menace - see Op Shingle, concocted while he was convalescing in North Africa. ...
Either way the assorted accounts of the conference @ Terhan present Churchill as arguing for further campaigns along the Mediterranean littoral in place of N Western Europe.
The British saw this differently. Brooke's diary entries for Teheran made it clear that the British argument was not against Op Overlord, but against closing down all activities other than Overlord. Brooke was also impressed by Stalin, and deeply unimpressed by the politicians taking ill informed decisions.

29th November 1943
"In vain I argued that by closing operations in the Mediterranean German forces would be free to proceed to other theatres !
Danchev and Todman p484
Winston was not good and Roosevelt even worse. Stalin was meticulous with only two arguments. Cross channel operation on 1st May, and also offensive in Southern France! Americans supported this view quite unaware that it is already an impossibility.

............... I am absolutely disgusted with politicians ways of waging a war. Why will they imagine that they are the experts at a job they know nothing about! It is lamentable to listen to them!May god help us in the future prosecution of this war. We have every hope of making a mess of it and being defeated yet.
Danchev and Todman p485

30th November
(AM CCS meeting) After much argument we decided that the cross channel attack could be put off until 1st June. This did not meet all our requirements but was arranged to fit in with the proposed Russian Spring offensive. We also decided to stage what we could do in the way of operations in Southern France. I pressed hard again to obtaion the abandonment of the Andaman islands attackso as to render more landing craft available for the Mediterranean. Still the same political difficulties with the President.
Danchev and Todman p486

Particularly telling is Brooke's post war annotation.
I had the distinct feeling that Harriman (US Ambassador to the UK) had been endevouring to improve the American situation with Stalin at our expense. He had been pointing out how anxious the Americans had been to establish a Second Front from the start and they had been prevented from doing so by the British.
Danchev and Todman p485

Delta Tank
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Re: Differing views of Overlord

Post by Delta Tank » 24 Feb 2020 14:24

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
23 Feb 2020 17:45
Delta Tank wrote:
22 Feb 2020 22:20
Sheldrake wrote:
16 Feb 2020 01:47
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
15 Feb 2020 17:38

This nonsense about British reluctance to end the war in the only way it could be ended is a continuation of WW2 era US political spin.
Isn’t Nigel Hamilton a Brit? Born and raised in England, or am I wrong? I will check, but some of the damning evidence comes from a General Kennedy who was a British General Officer during WWII.
Have you read Nigel Hamilton’s Trilogy on FDR? Which footnotes are incorrect?

Mike
Not to niggle, but where is the quite with my name above it taken from?
Carl,
I used the quote function and tried to wiggle it down in size and your name appears where it should state Sheldrake. Next time I will cut and paste.

Mike

Delta Tank
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Re: Differing views of Overlord

Post by Delta Tank » 24 Feb 2020 14:37

Sheldrake,

Sheldrake wrote “ The British saw this differently. Brooke's diary entries for Teheran made it clear that the British argument was not against Op Overlord, but against closing down all activities other than Overlord. Brooke was also impressed by Stalin, and deeply unimpressed by the politicians taking ill informed decisions.”

The Americans were afraid that Winston Churchill would find many other places to attack in the Mediterranean and that suddenly we would discover that there were not enough forces to ensure success of Overlord. The British or should I say WSC wanted to attack the island of Rhodes, and several other insignificant islands in the eastern Mediterranean, not to mention attacking Trieste and pushing through the Julian Alps to seize Vienna or attacking Norway!! Or attacking here or there and everywhere but not attacking Northern France!!

Mike

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Re: Differing views of Overlord

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 24 Feb 2020 17:41

daveshoup2MD wrote:
24 Feb 2020 02:28
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
19 Feb 2020 01:46
A useful item. Hated by a personage I used to discuss with.
Dare I ask?
Ancient history.

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Differing views of Overlord

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 24 Feb 2020 17:54

Sheldrake wrote:
24 Feb 2020 10:29
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
19 Feb 2020 01:53
Sheldrake wrote:
16 Feb 2020 01:47
...

Churchill was a politician. He was also a man who had serious mood swings and enthusiasms for all manner of projects. This infuriated and frustrated Brooke. However, Churchill was also the leader of a coalition government which had agreed various policies and generally stuck to them. British foreign policy was not a matter of Churchill's whim. When Churchill escaped from his cabinet and the Chiefs of staff committee, he could be a menace - see Op Shingle, concocted while he was convalescing in North Africa. ...
Either way the assorted accounts of the conference @ Terhan present Churchill as arguing for further campaigns along the Mediterranean littoral in place of N Western Europe.
The British saw this differently. Brooke's diary entries for Teheran made it clear that the British argument was not against Op Overlord, but against closing down all activities other than Overlord. Brooke was also impressed by Stalin, and deeply unimpressed by the politicians taking ill informed decisions. ...
Yes there are the nuances. Still any through look at COSSACS planning, & the earlier plans showed that if a NW invasion were to be decisive & not just another preiphrial operation is would be taking everything at hand & then more. Eisenhower wanted a 1944 operation on the southern littoral. He kept the ANVIL operation on the table through February, & was forced to abandon it. The SHINGLE op failed for lack of amphibious lift. Even at that early date what WGF Jackson titled 'The Tyranny of Overlord' was rendering Mediterranean operations to small to be of decisive strategic value.

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Sheldrake
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Re: Differing views of Overlord

Post by Sheldrake » 25 Feb 2020 15:01

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
24 Feb 2020 17:54
Yes there are the nuances. Still any through look at COSSACS planning, & the earlier plans showed that if a NW invasion were to be decisive & not just another preiphrial operation is would be taking everything at hand & then more. Eisenhower wanted a 1944 operation on the southern littoral. He kept the ANVIL operation on the table through February, & was forced to abandon it. The SHINGLE op failed for lack of amphibious lift. Even at that early date what WGF Jackson titled 'The Tyranny of Overlord' was rendering Mediterranean operations to small to be of decisive strategic value.
That is a very jaundiced view.

#1 Op Anvil was launched as Dragoon, at the right time, resulting in the evacuation of France and capture of port facilities needed in Fall 1944.

#2 True. Op Shingle did not achieve its ambitious objectives. However, the Germans lost a lot of men at Anzio. Despite almost optimum conditions they failed to drive a modest isolated allied force into the sea. It cannot have improved confidence behind the Atlantic wall. The break out in May was an allied victory, seizing Rome and decimating the German army in Italy, with a (missed) opportunity to capture a whole army. The fall of Rome was perfectly timed to take German attention and divert reinforcements just before D Day. These consequences were unintended, but none the less benefited the allies.

Brooke had a different professional view to Marshal. He saw Southern Europe was a region of poor communications. Operations in the Mediterranean were a very good place to stage a side show that tied down Germans and wore them out. According to Brooke's recollections Marshal favoured closing everything down apart from the cross channel assault, as "the quickest way to end the war" Brooke after the war remembered that he replied. "Yes, probably, but not the way we hope to." (Danchev and Todman p406)

As I have commented earlier. Marshal was under political pressure to get things moving in Europe with King and Macarthur breathing down his neck. This debate even now is bound up with WW2 inter allied poltics.

For a dispassionate view lets make a comparison with the American Civil War. Would it have been sensible for the Union, who had superior numbers, wealth and industrial power to have closed down either the Eastern nor Western theatres, following on Marshal's logic? The answer is either "No" or "Hell no". It made sense for the side with the material superiority, to open as many side shows as possible to stretch the weaker CSA. IIRC it was Lincoln who summarised the strategy as "Those that are not skinning grab a leg and pull."

Alanbrooke wasn't arguing for a p[urely Mediterranean strategy, but to cross the channel when the balance of forces were in our favour, which was in 1944, and aided by the absence of 20+ divisions in Italy.

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Re: Differing views of Overlord

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 25 Feb 2020 18:12

Sheldrake wrote:
25 Feb 2020 15:01
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
24 Feb 2020 17:54
Yes there are the nuances. Still any through look at COSSACS planning, & the earlier plans showed that if a NW invasion were to be decisive & not just another preiphrial operation is would be taking everything at hand & then more. Eisenhower wanted a 1944 operation on the southern littoral. He kept the ANVIL operation on the table through February, & was forced to abandon it. The SHINGLE op failed for lack of amphibious lift. Even at that early date what WGF Jackson titled 'The Tyranny of Overlord' was rendering Mediterranean operations to small to be of decisive strategic value.
That is a very jaundiced view.

#1 Op Anvil was launched as Dragoon, at the right time, resulting in the evacuation of France and capture of port facilities needed in Fall 1944.
Right time? Thats open for debate. The original intent had been preferably weeks previous to the NEPTUNE op, or at least simultaneous. In the past few years I've found some really strong arguments they were right. Unfortunately the quantity of amphi lift prevent this given Eisenhowers support for the upscaled NEPTUNE op. In either case, April or August. the ANVIL concept supported much more directly the strategy behind OVERLORD. to the point it could be considered a component of the larger OVERLORD concept.
#2 True. Op Shingle did not achieve its ambitious objectives. However, the Germans lost a lot of men at Anzio. Despite almost optimum conditions they failed to drive a modest isolated allied force into the sea. It cannot have improved confidence behind the Atlantic wall. The break out in May was an allied victory, seizing Rome and decimating the German army in Italy, with a (missed) opportunity to capture a whole army. The fall of Rome was perfectly timed to take German attention and divert reinforcements just before D Day. These consequences were unintended, but none the less benefited the allies.
The scale of benefit was at best operational. As executed the SHINGLE op was too weak to benefit more than local matters. The original concept was a multicorps operation, the existing 5th Army with reinforcements. By Decemnber the reality was the schedules for withdraws of the amphi lift limited the attack to a single corps & a slow build up. Clark recommended against the operation for that reason. Patton thought it a waste of effort & told Lucas he'd been handed a "suicide mission".

Claiming benefit from minor or dead end operations may be technically correct, but any significant strategic benefit is invisible to me.

... For a dispassionate view lets make a comparison with the American Civil War. Would it have been sensible for the Union, who had superior numbers, wealth and industrial power to have closed down either the Eastern nor Western theatres, following on Marshal's logic? The answer is either "No" or "Hell no". It made sense for the side with the material superiority, to open as many side shows as possible to stretch the weaker CSA. IIRC it was Lincoln who summarised the strategy as "Those that are not skinning grab a leg and pull." ...
The Confederacy was politically & economically dispersed, across a area near as large as the German control of Europe, lacking a concentrated center of gravity comparable to the Ruhr or the relatively small portion of Europe with the 'German' population. Controlling the ports of the Balkans was not going to defeat the nazi regime the same way as controlling Vicksburgs, San Antonio, Raleigh, Richmond, & Nashville defeated the Confederacy.

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Re: Differing views of Overlord

Post by daveshoup2MD » 26 Feb 2020 06:59

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
24 Feb 2020 17:41
daveshoup2MD wrote:
24 Feb 2020 02:28
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
19 Feb 2020 01:46
A useful item. Hated by a personage I used to discuss with.
Dare I ask?
Ancient history.
Got it. Factual histories written by experts can be so disappointing to the wehraboos.

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Re: Differing views of Overlord

Post by daveshoup2MD » 26 Feb 2020 07:03

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
24 Feb 2020 17:54
Yes there are the nuances. Still any through look at COSSACS planning, & the earlier plans showed that if a NW invasion were to be decisive & not just another preiphrial operation is would be taking everything at hand & then more. Eisenhower wanted a 1944 operation on the southern littoral. He kept the ANVIL operation on the table through February, & was forced to abandon it. The SHINGLE op failed for lack of amphibious lift. Even at that early date what WGF Jackson titled 'The Tyranny of Overlord' was rendering Mediterranean operations to small to be of decisive strategic value.
The obvious question - given the economic center of the Axis war effort in Europe was in the Ruhr, and the political center was in Berlin .... what operations of "decisive strategic value" were even possible for the Allies in the Med after TORCH?

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