Question About Western Contribution to the War

Discussions on WW2 in Eastern Europe.
krimsonglass51
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Question About Western Contribution to the War

Postby krimsonglass51 » 11 Oct 2017 05:06

For those who don't view lend-lease as significant to the Soviet war effort,
Or see the strategic bombing campaign of Germany as effective,
Or consider the campaigns in Western Europe, Italy, or North Africa as minor compared to the events on the Eastern Front,

What do you consider to be the most useful contributions of the Western Allies?

MLW
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Re: Question About Western Contribution to the War

Postby MLW » 11 Oct 2017 11:15

The Normandy invasion. While its contribution to the defeat of Germany is debatable it terms of what was happening on the Eastern Front, it clearly prevented the Soviet Union from taking more of Western Europe in 1945.

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Re: Question About Western Contribution to the War

Postby Hiryu- » 11 Oct 2017 20:43

Well, it's simple: without the British Empire & the U.S. the Soviets would've been defeated.
It's rather difficult to point out "the most useful contribution" by the Wallies. They fought on 4 fronts: the Battle of the Atlantic, the strategic air war, the Med, and France in 1944.
The war at sea did enormous damage to the Axis powers. The Royal Navy's blockade starved Germany of oil & raw materials. That prevented the Germans to use effectively their huge industrial capacity and nearly killed the Italian war economy. Control of the sea allowed the U.S.S.R. to get massive amounts of ressources thank to the L-L.
The strategic bombing campaign destroyed the Luftwaffe. The Soviets destroyed only 1/3rd of the Germans aircrafts lost while losing more than 3 planes for each Axis plane downed. The VVS had not a single chance to defeat the LW. In June 1941 only 66% of the LW was in the East, a big 1/3rd in mid-1943.
The Med & France forced the Germans to (relatively) decrease the size of their land forces in the East. This gave some breathing room for the Soviets that were losing men at an unbearable rate.
Overall, less than 3/4th of the German production was dedicated to the East in 1941; 2/3rd in 1942; a big half in 1943; a big 1/3rd in 1944. Just imagine how powerfull the Ostheer would've been with 100% of the German production.

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Re: Question About Western Contribution to the War

Postby Sean Oliver » 16 Oct 2017 23:29

It is said that the 3 Reich invested more of their national war effort (wealth, labor, etc) against the Wallies than against the Soviets. The Air and Naval War consumed a great deal of German industrial effort.
Lend-Lease was absolutely essential to the Soviet war effort because it provided logistic and economic materials the Soviet leadership neglected to develop properly during the 1930's. The greatest was probably transportation. The LL aid could not build roads and RR, but it did provide trucks and locomotives. Without them, the Red Army's offensives could not have achieved the success they did.
Contrary to the usual historians' cliches, it seems the Allies' invasion in 44 helped the Red Army a lot more than Bagration helped the Wallies; During early 1944 Hitler was fixated on the upcoming Wallies invasion that summer, and practically starved the Ostfront to strengthen divisions stationed in the west, esp Panzer Divs, which received a large share of the tanks and weapons that would've gone to the east. The east does not seem to have received much reinforcement from Jan 44 to June-July.

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Re: Question About Western Contribution to the War

Postby Kelvin » 27 Dec 2017 08:59

Western Air campaign against Germany exhausted its fighters strength and forced her to transfer a large number of aircraft to Home and antiaircraft units involved more than million people which would be better for use for east. Western threat against Norway kept German 18 divisions stationed in this slient war sector. Western campaign in economic sector, like buy up most Tungsten ore from Spain and Portugal and Chrome from Turkey and offered favourable terms to them like food and oil supply to Spain, at least reduced the amout of stragetic naturel material received by Germany. Western air campaign seriously affected German transportation system, some key production, like Panzer, aircraft, buna, synethic oil and bearing ball. The mostly destruction of the Ruhr industrial area dealt a blow to German industrial and arms production.

60 divisions in the western Europe was German 's strong reserves remained intact in 1944 and western offensive destroyed it and made it no longer had capacity to resist Soviet offensive.

Soviet got two outstanding victories since Stalingard : Bagration and Jassy-Kishinev which led to destruction of Heeresgruppe Mitte and Sud Ukraine is more or less helped by allied Normandy invasion which straved Hitler of any reinforcement to the East. Soviet failed to get those victories in the year of 1943 clearly show this. In 1943, German units were eroded by attrition in 1943 and lost most of Ukraine but never annhilated like Bagration and Jassy-Kishinev.

The western offenisve knocked Italy out of war was major political setback for Axis alliance.

The Atlantic warfare involved many German sailors and production of U boats further weakened German fighting power.

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Re: Question About Western Contribution to the War

Postby ljadw » 27 Dec 2017 12:22

Kelvin wrote:
60 divisions in the western Europe was German 's strong reserves remained intact in 1944 and western offensive destroyed it and made it no longer had capacity to resist Soviet offensive.



1) Most of these divisions were second rang units

2) They could not be transferred to the east .

3) It is the same for the men who were manning the anti-aircraft units

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Re: Question About Western Contribution to the War

Postby Sheldrake » 27 Dec 2017 13:21

ljadw wrote:
Kelvin wrote:
60 divisions in the western Europe was German 's strong reserves remained intact in 1944 and western offensive destroyed it and made it no longer had capacity to resist Soviet offensive.



1) Most of these divisions were second rang units

2) They could not be transferred to the east .

3) It is the same for the men who were manning the anti-aircraft units


In Furher directive 51 Hitler 3rd Nove 1943 set the West as Germany's strategic priority for 1944. The opening paragraphs explain that in the East Germany can trade space for time. There isn't enough space on the west and the cross channel assault had to be defeated. The rationale for the V weapons programme was to terrorise the British into surrender. The same directive states that he can no longer tolerate weakening the western front.

This is followed on 27th Dec by OKW instructions to deploy troops from the replacement army to France and for OB Soputh West (Italy) to transfer the Herman Goering division and the 90th PG division to France.

and on 28th Dec by a telegram forbidding any transfer of troops from the West.

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Re: Question About Western Contribution to the War

Postby Richard Anderson » 27 Dec 2017 18:41

ljadw wrote:
1) Most of these divisions were second rang units


No. 29 of the divisions were classed as bodenständigen. The remainder were classed as either bewegung (16), FJ (4), or schnelltruppen (12), which by definition were "first ra[te]". 29 of 61 is not "most".

2) They could not be transferred to the east .


Nonsense. They were continuously transferred to and from the east for rebuilding and re-equipping. During the period of the Normandy campaign, II. SS-Panzerkorps was transferred to the east and then back to the west.

3) It is the same for the men who were manning the anti-aircraft units


No. It is the "same" for those Flaak einheiten manned by RAD in France or RAD and Hilfswillger in Germany, but it is not the "same" for those Flak units manned by the Luftwaffe, especially such as the new Flak-Sturm regimenter of III. Flakkorps. Flak units could be easily transferred from location to location unless they were Ortsfest...even verlegung units were designed to be mobile, albeit by non-organic transport.

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Re: Question About Western Contribution to the War

Postby ljadw » 27 Dec 2017 20:54

They could not be transferred to the east, because they were needed in the west .It is the same for the anti aircraft units defending the German and French airspace : they were needed where they were and could thus not be transported to the east .

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Re: Question About Western Contribution to the War

Postby ljadw » 27 Dec 2017 21:14

Sheldrake wrote:
ljadw wrote:
Kelvin wrote:
60 divisions in the western Europe was German 's strong reserves remained intact in 1944 and western offensive destroyed it and made it no longer had capacity to resist Soviet offensive.



1) Most of these divisions were second rang units

2) They could not be transferred to the east .

3) It is the same for the men who were manning the anti-aircraft units


In Furher directive 51 Hitler 3rd Nove 1943 set the West as Germany's strategic priority for 1944. The opening paragraphs explain that in the East Germany can trade space for time. There isn't enough space on the west and the cross channel assault had to be defeated. The rationale for the V weapons programme was to terrorise the British into surrender. The same directive states that he can no longer tolerate weakening the western front.

This is followed on 27th Dec by OKW instructions to deploy troops from the replacement army to France and for OB Soputh West (Italy) to transfer the Herman Goering division and the 90th PG division to France.

and on 28th Dec by a telegram forbidding any transfer of troops from the West.

What Kelvin said is not correct : the 60 western divisions were not Germany's reserve and could not be used for the war in the east : Germany could not strip the west of forces , even if there was no war with France and Britain .In 1942 there was no war between the SU and Japan, but there were still considerable Soviet forces in the Far East .

Directive 51 had as result that forces from the Ersatzheer were going to the west, not forces from the Ostheer . Later there was a going and coming from forces from the west to the east and vice versa .But this would also happen if there was no war with France and Britain.

There are three cases for the west : no war, not longer war, war, and in all three considerable German forces would be tied in the west .

The same situation would occur if there was war with the west and peace, or no longer war in the east : the situation for Germany would not be better : considerable forces would be tied in the east .

Between september 1939 and may 1940 considerable French forces were tied at the borders with Spain, Italy and Libya, although France was not at war with these countries . When USA were fighting in Vietnam, considerable forces were still in Europe, although there was no war in Europe .

The neutral of today is the possible enemy of tomorrow, thus one can' let the border with a neutral country undefended .

ljadw
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Re: Question About Western Contribution to the War

Postby ljadw » 27 Dec 2017 21:28

Richard Anderson wrote:
ljadw wrote:
1) Most of these divisions were second rang units


No. 29 of the divisions were classed as bodenständigen. The remainder were classed as either bewegung (16), FJ (4), or schnelltruppen (12), which by definition were .


Mobile division does not mean first rate :

116 Pz and Das Reich were not first rate on 6 june; the LSS was not operational : the remainings of Das Reich and the LSS were transferred to the west for refitting,which means that they were not first rate . 116 Pz was not operational on 6 june, thus not first rate .

9 Pz was not combat ready on 6 june (Normandy 1944 P 291)

krimsonglass51
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Re: Question About Western Contribution to the War

Postby krimsonglass51 » 27 Dec 2017 22:34

ljadw, what do you think were the West's greatest contributions to the war in Europe?

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Re: Question About Western Contribution to the War

Postby Yuri » 27 Dec 2017 23:14

1.British-Soviet agreement of 12 July 1941
2.Anglo-Americano-Soviet agreement of 30 September 1941.
The mere presence of these agreements:
a) kept Turkey from joining the war on side of the forces of Axis;
b) allowed the Anglo-Soviet occupation of Iran in August 1941;
c) use of the strategic state reserves in autumn and winter of 1941/42 after enormous losses in the Vyazma, Bryansk and Azov in September-October 1941.

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Re: Question About Western Contribution to the War

Postby Sheldrake » 28 Dec 2017 00:48

ljadw wrote:
Sheldrake wrote:
ljadw wrote:
Kelvin wrote:
60 divisions in the western Europe was German 's strong reserves remained intact in 1944 and western offensive destroyed it and made it no longer had capacity to resist Soviet offensive.



1) Most of these divisions were second rang units

2) They could not be transferred to the east .

3) It is the same for the men who were manning the anti-aircraft units


In Furher directive 51 Hitler 3rd Nove 1943 set the West as Germany's strategic priority for 1944. The opening paragraphs explain that in the East Germany can trade space for time. There isn't enough space on the west and the cross channel assault had to be defeated. The rationale for the V weapons programme was to terrorise the British into surrender. The same directive states that he can no longer tolerate weakening the western front.

This is followed on 27th Dec by OKW instructions to deploy troops from the replacement army to France and for OB Soputh West (Italy) to transfer the Herman Goering division and the 90th PG division to France.

and on 28th Dec by a telegram forbidding any transfer of troops from the West.

What Kelvin said is not correct : the 60 western divisions were not Germany's reserve and could not be used for the war in the east : Germany could not strip the west of forces , even if there was no war with France and Britain .In 1942 there was no war between the SU and Japan, but there were still considerable Soviet forces in the Far East .

Directive 51 had as result that forces from the Ersatzheer were going to the west, not forces from the Ostheer . Later there was a going and coming from forces from the west to the east and vice versa .But this would also happen if there was no war with France and Britain.

There are three cases for the west : no war, not longer war, war, and in all three considerable German forces would be tied in the west .

The same situation would occur if there was war with the west and peace, or no longer war in the east : the situation for Germany would not be better : considerable forces would be tied in the east .

Between september 1939 and may 1940 considerable French forces were tied at the borders with Spain, Italy and Libya, although France was not at war with these countries . When USA were fighting in Vietnam, considerable forces were still in Europe, although there was no war in Europe .

The neutral of today is the possible enemy of tomorrow, thus one can' let the border with a neutral country undefended .


Lj,

I think you misunderstand the nature of military force. Formations and units: divisions and regiments are receptacles for the physical components of fighting power. War is a dynamic act. Every day burns resources: men,equipment and munitions. Even doing nothing costs thousands of casualties a day. Switching the Erzatz Heer to fill the containers on the west front was switching resources. The force comparisons between 1943 and 44 shows an additional 10-15 divisions. Its an extra army.

Formations are more than mere containers and labels. Good formations with strong leadership, tactical competence and fighting ethos are the brains and heart of the military machine. A lot of good German leadership was posted to the western Front. I & II SS Panzer Corps, and the Heer Panzer forces were the best cadres they had. These were empty containers to be refilled.

German efforts were frustrated by allied actions on the East and Italian fronts The fronts were related.

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Re: Question About Western Contribution to the War

Postby Richard Anderson » 28 Dec 2017 03:37

ljadw wrote:Mobile division does not mean first rate :


Really? What then means "first rate"? What is your criteria?

116 Pz and Das Reich were not first rate on 6 june; the LSS was not operational : the remainings of Das Reich and the LSS were transferred to the west for refitting,which means that they were not first rate . 116 Pz was not operational on 6 june, thus not first rate .

9 Pz was not combat ready on 6 june (Normandy 1944 P 291)


You are describing their condition, not whether or not they were "first rate". Meanwhile, why were they in the West? Because they were being rebuilt for commitment in the East - well, at least that was Guderian's reason - they were in the West to be rebuilt in order to defeat the invasion - at least that was Hitler's reason.


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