Patton .................

Discussions on WW2 in Western Europe & the Atlantic.
Richard Anderson
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Richard Anderson » 25 Nov 2018 04:56

Aber wrote:
24 Nov 2018 09:32
Richard Anderson wrote:
24 Nov 2018 02:29
The transfer of a small number of 25-pounder guns and ammunition to U.S. forces was a temporary measure to help make up for the massive and unexpected wastage during the Ardennes and NORDWIND. They were returned fairly quickly IIRC,
Ruppenthal Vol 2 p271 says loan of 100 25 pdrs was renewed for another 60 days at the end of February.
Yep, that's an interesting point that made me go back and review what I was going from memory on.

The 106th ID lost 25 105mm howitzers in the Bulge, the 99th ID 10, and the 28th ID 15. Other units a few others, which was the original impetus for the request. Oddly enough though, it is very difficult to find units that employed those pieces. I know of one photo of the "2nd ID gunners" firing 25-pounders on the Wahlerscheid Crossroads, probably in January...and probably miss-captioned, they are almost certainly 99th ID gunners. However, that is it, no other units apparently left a mark using them. Most of the 106th ID never took the field again, and the 28th ID battalions were apparently quickly re-equipped...so I'm not sure just why 12th Army Group asked to have the loan extended. :?

Ugh, just realized I forgot about the elephant in the room, the ammunition shortage exacerbated by the huge expenditure in the Bulge. It still is off though that it is so difficult to find where the guns were assigned.
"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: Patton .................

Post by Delta Tank » 25 Nov 2018 14:31

Rich,

How bad was the Artillery ammunition shortage? From memory, in I believe Ruppenthal, the lowest it got was 47 days of supply. What level did they believe they should of had, 75 days? 90 days?

Mike

Richard Anderson
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Richard Anderson » 25 Nov 2018 17:33

Delta Tank wrote:
25 Nov 2018 14:31
Rich,

How bad was the Artillery ammunition shortage? From memory, in I believe Ruppenthal, the lowest it got was 47 days of supply. What level did they believe they should of had, 75 days? 90 days?

Mike
Mike,

The question keeps getting more interesting. It turns out that part of the issue with the shortage was artificial. In November ETOUSA made an estimate on required theater stocks of nine types of critical ammunition , including 105mm M2, based on expected expenditures up through an assault crossing of the Rhine, which turned out to be about twice what was actually expended. So in hindsight, the "shortage" never really existed.

However, even so, the low point for 105mm M2 ammunition was the Bulge. In November the theater expended 2,507,076 rounds, which exceeded the combined expenditure of September and October and left a 41-day supply at authorized level rates (and 50-day at actual rates). Then in December the theater expended even more rounds, 2,579,105 of them, leaving a 21-day supply at authorized levels (and just 30-day at actual rates). There simply was no way in 1944-1945 for the ETOUSA to exercise JIT logistics, given that even with absolute priority allocated to the theater (to the extent that the Pacific, which actually needed and used 57mm HE was denied them) it took two months from completion of manufacture to delivery in theater...and even that was only accomplished by automatic acceptance - no production lots were tested after November! :o

BTW, the situation with 105mm M2 Smoke WP was worse. In November, after two months of almost no expenditure (just 126 and 108 rounds-per-day respectively) 59,217 rounds (1,910 per day) were expended. What made it really worse though was the minor expenditure had resulted in a major decrease in the theater authorized level, from 433,350 rounds in October to just 48,600 rounds in November. :o So in December, the level was raised to 770,715, but then 96,117 rounds were expended, which was almost as many as previously expended since D-Day (107,755). That left just a 7-day supply to authorized levels and 23-day at actual expenditure.

All that of course after some form of rationing was in place from 15 June through 16 December.
"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

Aber
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Aber » 25 Nov 2018 21:56

Richard Anderson wrote:
25 Nov 2018 04:56

Yep, that's an interesting point that made me go back and review what I was going from memory on.

so I'm not sure just why 12th Army Group asked to have the loan extended. :?

Ugh, just realized I forgot about the elephant in the room, the ammunition shortage exacerbated by the huge expenditure in the Bulge. It still is off though that it is so difficult to find where the guns were assigned.
Ruppenthal also says "to the 12th Army Group which divided them between the three armies".

Is it more likely the guns were given to separate artillery battalions than used as direct replacements within infantry divisions (as otherwise why would 3rd Army be getting some)?

Richard Anderson
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Richard Anderson » 26 Nov 2018 06:30

Aber wrote:
25 Nov 2018 21:56
Ruppenthal also says "to the 12th Army Group which divided them between the three armies".
Yes, I'm still trying to nail down what proportions where. I know where the catastrophic losses were that needed to be immediately dealt with, but not the others.
Is it more likely the guns were given to separate artillery battalions than used as direct replacements within infantry divisions (as otherwise why would 3rd Army be getting some)?
Yes, some would have been assigned to separate battalions. The 687th FA was a 105mm separate battalion attached to the 28th ID, which lost nine of its howitzers. The 109th FA, which was assigned to the 28th ID, lost at least six and probably all twelve of its howitzers. The other two 105mm battalions of the division, the 107th and 229th, apparently lost no howitzers.

Third Army would receive them because the 28th ID, which suffered severe losses, and the 4th ID, which probably suffered some losses, were assigned to the Third Army effective 20 December.
"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: Patton .................

Post by Delta Tank » 29 Nov 2018 13:27

Richard Anderson wrote:
25 Nov 2018 17:33
Delta Tank wrote:
25 Nov 2018 14:31
Rich,

How bad was the Artillery ammunition shortage? From memory, in I believe Ruppenthal, the lowest it got was 47 days of supply. What level did they believe they should of had, 75 days? 90 days?

Mike
Mike,

The question keeps getting more interesting. It turns out that part of the issue with the shortage was artificial. In November ETOUSA made an estimate on required theater stocks of nine types of critical ammunition , including 105mm M2, based on expected expenditures up through an assault crossing of the Rhine, which turned out to be about twice what was actually expended. So in hindsight, the "shortage" never really existed.

However, even so, the low point for 105mm M2 ammunition was the Bulge. In November the theater expended 2,507,076 rounds, which exceeded the combined expenditure of September and October and left a 41-day supply at authorized level rates (and 50-day at actual rates). Then in December the theater expended even more rounds, 2,579,105 of them, leaving a 21-day supply at authorized levels (and just 30-day at actual rates). There simply was no way in 1944-1945 for the ETOUSA to exercise JIT logistics, given that even with absolute priority allocated to the theater (to the extent that the Pacific, which actually needed and used 57mm HE was denied them) it took two months from completion of manufacture to delivery in theater...and even that was only accomplished by automatic acceptance - no production lots were tested after November! :o

BTW, the situation with 105mm M2 Smoke WP was worse. In November, after two months of almost no expenditure (just 126 and 108 rounds-per-day respectively) 59,217 rounds (1,910 per day) were expended. What made it really worse though was the minor expenditure had resulted in a major decrease in the theater authorized level, from 433,350 rounds in October to just 48,600 rounds in November. :o So in December, the level was raised to 770,715, but then 96,117 rounds were expended, which was almost as many as previously expended since D-Day (107,755). That left just a 7-day supply to authorized levels and 23-day at actual expenditure.

All that of course after some form of rationing was in place from 15 June through 16 December.
Rich,

Good information, thanks!! How many days of supply did they believe they needed on hand, 75 days? 90 days?

Mike

Delta Tank
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Delta Tank » 29 Nov 2018 13:35

To all,

More information here: viewtopic.php?f=70&t=225786

Mike

Richard Anderson
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Richard Anderson » 29 Nov 2018 18:01

Delta Tank wrote:
29 Nov 2018 13:27
Good information, thanks!! How many days of supply did they believe they needed on hand, 75 days? 90 days?

Mike
The assumption's for supply in the ETOUSA as of 1 June 1944 where all based upon a 75-day stockage versus anticipated usage. That is why the reserve of tanks was set at 75-days at anticipated wastage...and the same for items of equipment like BARs, mortars, items of consumables like ammunition, food, and even personnel. None of which worked as anticipated.

There were a couple of problems though. The 75-day turnaround time from cutting of a requisition to delivery at the front line actually proved to be more than 120 days. IIRC, the MTOUSA already complained about that, but ASF refused to change it until December 1944, when they agreed to a 135-day turnaround. The worse problem though was the wastage factors for equipment, consumables, and personnel were all based on figures derived from limited Great War data, guesstimates, and voodoo,,,at least insofar as I can tell. For some reason, 57mm HE was expected to be a significant round, so it was prioritized over the Pacific Theater, which received none until late 1944 while it was stockpiled in the ETO and virtually never used. Expenditure rates for artillery ammunition, especially 105mm, was set high, which led to over-stockage in North Africa, so the rates (and production allowances) were cut, leading to the "shortage" in Normandy as expenditures, the Great June Storm, and difficulties unloading over the beaches led to depot levels in Normandy falling below what was anticipated. That led First Army and then 12th Army Group to enact strict rationing so the stocks could be built up, which reduced the artillery's capabilities drastically during the fall and led to expedients such as using German and British weapons and ammunition. And yet, even in the extremity of the Battle of the Bulge when all rationing ceased, the levels never fell below a 21-30 day supply, which would have been a problem if the campaign continued for months more at that intensity, or if the U-Boats became a problem again, except...

In any case, trying to get wastage figures adjusted led to huge fights with ASF, which always argued the original figures were just fine and we don't need no stinkin' data showing us we're wrong...and yes, I exaggerate, a bit. For medium tanks, on 1 June the replacement factor was 7%, which was already LOWER than that experienced in North Africa (c. 7.6%), Sicily (9.6%), and the initial months in Italy (7.2%), partly I expect that because in the late fall and winter in Italy the rate fell to around 2%...gee, I wonder why? :roll: Amazingly though, by 15 June ASF agreed to adjust the rate to 9%...and then fought tooth and nail for ever increase over that no matter how many armor losses occurred. Bizarrely, they even argued that in calculating the "on hand" for the ETOUSA, tanks allotted, but not shipped from the factory, tanks on the docks waiting to load onto ships, tanks on board ships sailing to Europe, and tanks waiting to unload off the beaches all should be included, rather than the existing tanks with units and in theater reserve. By 13 August, the result was there were exactly 34 operational and 53 non-operational reserve tanks in theater and 2,084 were in the hands of the troops versus a TO&E requirement of 2,123, but it got worse. By 1 December, only 85.5% percent of tanks on hand versus TO&E were available and it dropped to just 77.0% by 1 January.

Personnel wastage and replacement rates were worse though, since the factors by combat branch and pseudo-branch were completely fudged given there was so little data for armor and AA artillery and none for tank destroyers in the Great War. So they initially assumed armor casualties would be much higher than they were, which led to overstocks in armor personnel, which were partly resolved by trained armor replacements being fed into battle assigned to armored infantry units... :? :roll: AAA was even more extreme, since the initial personnel allotments were based on a huge number of units way in excess of what was ever required because of, well, the USAAF, which also sucked away huge numbers of personnel...and both the AAA and USAAF replacement factors were essentially fudges as well. So the infantry, which suffered the majority of wastage, got starved.
"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: Patton .................

Post by Delta Tank » 29 Nov 2018 22:04

Rich,

You need to put all of this “Stuff” in a book with a really good index and sell it!!

Mike

Mori
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Mori » 02 Feb 2019 23:43

Richard Anderson wrote:
26 Jun 2018 19:48
Um, I'm afraid I don't see where Mac was erroneous in his work?
I came across the small error mentioned in this discussion: it's in "The Last Offensive", page 364. MacDonald describes the fights during the collapse of the Ruhr pocket in April 1945:
"At many small towns the burgomaster came out with a white flag; at others, the Germans fought until overwhelmed. The presence of SS troops more often than not made the difference."

However, there weren't any SS troops in the Ruhr pocket.

Let me again underline how I was surprised to find even such a small approximation in MacDonald's work, given its extremely high reliability. It's not at all typical of the 500 pages of the book.

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Re: Patton .................

Post by Richard Anderson » 03 Feb 2019 16:57

Mori wrote:
02 Feb 2019 23:43
I came across the small error mentioned in this discussion: it's in "The Last Offensive", page 364. MacDonald describes the fights during the collapse of the Ruhr pocket in April 1945:
"At many small towns the burgomaster came out with a white flag; at others, the Germans fought until overwhelmed. The presence of SS troops more often than not made the difference."

However, there weren't any SS troops in the Ruhr pocket.
There were no SS divisions in the Ruhr Pocket, but that is not the same as no SS troops in the Ruhr Pocket. I would be very surprised, given the ubiquity of the SS, if there were no pockets of SS troops in the pocket, but would have to explore the S2/G2 Journals and Files of the American units in question to be sure.
"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

Mori
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Mori » 03 Feb 2019 21:31

Richard Anderson wrote:
03 Feb 2019 16:57
There were no SS divisions in the Ruhr Pocket, but that is not the same as no SS troops in the Ruhr Pocket. I would be very surprised, given the ubiquity of the SS, if there were no pockets of SS troops in the pocket, but would have to explore the S2/G2 Journals and Files of the American units in question to be sure.
Truth is there were almost no SS unit left on the Western front in 1945. The few SS divisions were (AFAIR), the 6th mountain div and the 17 PGD, both of which were located on the French border in March. Whatever was left of them crossed back the Rhine around Mannheim late March so they did not end up in the Ruhr.

Note that at least one SS Corps headquarter, the 12 SS Corps, did not have any SS unit under its command. And the remains of of the small SS troops the Americans came across at Paderborn when closing the Ruhr pocket did not retreat into the pocket (they had no combat value left anyway).

And I should add that some US G2/S2 did report rumors of SS units without ever meeting one for real.

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Re: Patton .................

Post by Richard Anderson » 03 Feb 2019 21:50

There were no Allgemaines SS in the Ruhr? And I wasn't talking Intel reports, but PWI.
"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

Mori
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Re: Patton .................

Post by Mori » 03 Feb 2019 23:52

Richard Anderson wrote:
03 Feb 2019 21:50
There were no Allgemaines SS in the Ruhr? And I wasn't talking Intel reports, but PWI.
For the Ruhr pocket, I couldn't find any mention of SS PoWs in the S2/G2 that I read (and I read quite a few). These are the same sources the official historians used. Moreover, there is no mention of SS actors in the German documents, either in the contemporay records (or what's left of them) or in the numerous post war memoirs.

You may want to read again the whole description of the Ruhr pocket in The Last Offensive. You will see that MacDonald does not mention anything SS-related elsewhere. I just take the sentence quoted above as an isolated quick fix in the book.

And again: it's not representative of everything else he writes.

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Re: Patton .................

Post by Richard Anderson » 04 Feb 2019 03:12

Mori wrote:
03 Feb 2019 23:52
For the Ruhr pocket, I couldn't find any mention of SS PoWs in the S2/G2 that I read (and I read quite a few). These are the same sources the official historians used. Moreover, there is no mention of SS actors in the German documents, either in the contemporay records (or what's left of them) or in the numerous post war memoirs.
I'm surprised there were no Allgemeine SS captured, given they made up about 10% of the strength of the Wehrmacht by this time. Which units did you look at?
You may want to read again the whole description of the Ruhr pocket in The Last Offensive. You will see that MacDonald does not mention anything SS-related elsewhere. I just take the sentence quoted above as an isolated quick fix in the book.
Sorry, but knowing Mac I remain surprised.
And again: it's not representative of everything else he writes.
Exactly.
"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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