Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

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The_Enigma
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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by The_Enigma » 05 Aug 2010 13:45

Lets not be so sarcastic :p

We have already highlighted how British/Imperial troops were withdrawn to fight in Greece, how further divisions were disbanded or transfered elsewhere knocking down the power of Alex's force (one ponders what condition the Indian divisions, in the ME, were in?) and that large American/French and some more British forces were withdrawn to launch Anvil. In effect, it would seem, it was not even possible to try due to the lack of forces.

Purdue makes the argument that had the Americans/Roosevelt had stood up to the Soviets at the various three power meetings, things may have turned out differently for Europe. He highlights how Churchill and Stalin thrashed out the spheres of infulence for the balkans (something along the lines of on the back of an envelope?) and how the Soviets lived up to the agreement made over Greece etc; his argument is had Roosevelt taken the same line the iron curtain could have been pushed east.

Perhaps Truman would have been a far better president for the political fighting that was taking place in 1944 onwards?

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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by RichTO90 » 05 Aug 2010 14:24

The_Enigma wrote:Bill Purdue goes further stating that "Macmillan was convinced that the war could have ended 250 miles east of where the Iron Curtain eventually divided Europe, with Vienna and Prauge firmly in western hands." He then complains that Roosevelt did nothing to push Ike to press east on the various capitals of central Europe before summing up with a quote from Monty: "The Americans could not understand that it was of little avail to win the war strategically if we lost it politically."
Wow! And just think how different the world would be today. Vienna would be capitol of a free, independent, and neutral Austria. Prague would be the capitol of a free, western-oriented Czech state.

And just think of what a HUGE difference it would have made to Britain and the US too! Because Vienna nd Prague were so different that means that Britain would remain a world-dominating power. And it would keep the US out of adventurism in Southwest Asia!

Yay, what a WAAA-Y COOLER world it would be!

Just think of it... :roll: :lol: 8-)

Cheers! :D
Richard Anderson
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RichTO90
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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by RichTO90 » 05 Aug 2010 15:02

The_Enigma wrote:Lets not be so sarcastic :p
No, let's not be. :lol:
We have already highlighted how British/Imperial troops were withdrawn to fight in Greece, how further divisions were disbanded or transfered elsewhere knocking down the power of Alex's force (one ponders what condition the Indian divisions, in the ME, were in?) and that large American/French and some more British forces were withdrawn to launch Anvil. In effect, it would seem, it was not even possible to try due to the lack of forces.
We have? Three divisions (7th AD, 50th NID, and 51st HID) went to the UK for NEPTUNE in January-February 1944 ON MONTGOMERY'S INSISTANCE. They cannot be considered as having affected decision-making in July 1944.

Otherwise AFAICT from your old "list" of the divisions "earmarked" for OP ARMPIT:

1st Armoured Division was declared non-operational 28 October 1944, but was effectively so long before that, due to ongoing manpower problems. It would not have been available for a Gap operation.

1st Infantry Division was fully engaged with Fifth US Army and then Eighth British Army throughout summer and fall of 1944 and would only have been available at the detriment of those operations.

4th Infantry Division was engaged in Italy with Eighth Army and was available in December 1944 for operations in Greece because of the winter lull. It was available for a July 1944 Gap operation only to the detriment of ongoing operations in Italy.

5th Infantry division was withdrawn from operations under VI US Corps at Anzio at the end of Diadem and sent to Palestine for reconstitution, returning to Italy in early 1945 before going to NWE. It was not available for a Gap operation.

78th Infantry Division was sent to Egypt in summer 1944 for reconstitution and di not return until 15 September. It would only have been available for fall or winter (!) Gap operations.

56th Division (1st London) was withdrawn from Anzio in March 1944 following its heavy losses there and was in Egypt reconstituting until 16 July, returning to active operations 6 August. It could have been available for a Gap operation.

4th Indian Division was fully engaged in Italy and was available in December 1944 for operations in Greece because of the winter lull. It was available for a July 1944 Gap operation only to the detriment of ongoing operations in Italy.

Effectively only 56th Division would have been available to throw like a beached whale onto the Slovenian coast as part of OP ARMPIT.

Brilliant... :roll:
Purdue makes the argument that had the Americans/Roosevelt had stood up to the Soviets at the various three power meetings, things may have turned out differently for Europe. He highlights how Churchill and Stalin thrashed out the spheres of infulence for the balkans (something along the lines of on the back of an envelope?) and how the Soviets lived up to the agreement made over Greece etc; his argument is had Roosevelt taken the same line the iron curtain could have been pushed east.

Perhaps Truman would have been a far better president for the political fighting that was taking place in 1944 onwards?
Yeah, that's what happens when political scientists and international relations policy wonks try to do history. They get wrapped up in their brilliant theories and tend to ignore WHAT REALLY HAPPENED and WHAT WAS REALLY POSSIBLE... :lol: :lol: :lol:

Cheers!
Richard Anderson
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall: the 1st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers on D-Day
Stackpole Books, 2009.

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The_Enigma
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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by The_Enigma » 05 Aug 2010 15:21

And it would keep the US out of adventurism in Southwest Asia!
British capture of Austria leading to British troops jumping out of Hueys to take on Charlie ... just think of it - glorious! Plus we would have cheerful movies about Vietnam rather than the depressing stuff you guys send our way :P

Regards to the information you have provided in regards to what the various formations were up to and their issues, we should return to what Harding though: 18 divisions for the attacks described and that six divisions should be resting at any one time meaning; so 24 in total?

But far from being an attack on the Slovenian coastline, Harding talks of a offensive up through Italy, over the Piave, then onto Ljubljana. Either way - a land offensive or an amphibious one - I only count 8 British/Indian divisions there (what happened to the South African and New Zealanders, that’s makes 10!!!! :D ). Although it would return me to my pondering of there was several Indian divisions wandering around the Middle East - would have they theoretically useable (and why were they not sent somewhere they were needed?)... still wouldn’t add up to 18/24 figure. Guess were the rest of the troops would have to come from?
Yeah, that's what happens when political scientists and international relations policy wonks try to do history. They get wrapped up in their brilliant theories and tend to ignore WHAT REALLY HAPPENED and WHAT WAS REALLY POSSIBLE...
It is rather ironic, the whole field of history is to explain why events happened ... not to go off on a tanget and what-ifs; which is what quite alot of these chaps tend to do :lol:

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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by Delta Tank » 05 Aug 2010 16:09

Engima,

I think I posted a map of the area in question, and I think that instead of looking at a political maps, someone should of looked a tactical map with roads, and bridges and contour lines on it. If that was done at the beginning, I think this idea (forcing the Ljubljana Gap) would of died a very quick and painless death.
Mike

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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by RichTO90 » 05 Aug 2010 16:58

The_Enigma wrote:Regards to the information you have provided in regards to what the various formations were up to and their issues, we should return to what Harding though: 18 divisions for the attacks described and that six divisions should be resting at any one time meaning; so 24 in total?
The only way to do it would have been to continue to grind down the British units that were already essentially combat non-effective, such as 1st Armoured and those that were withdrawn for reconstitution. Plus, of course, cancel that annoying operation that Winnie was DRAGOONed into. After all, it proved to be a useless waste of time... :roll: :roll: :roll:
But far from being an attack on the Slovenian coastline, Harding talks of a offensive up through Italy, over the Piave, then onto Ljubljana. Either way - a land offensive or an amphibious one - I only count 8 British/Indian divisions there (what happened to the South African and New Zealanders, that’s makes 10!!!! :D ). Although it would return me to my pondering of there was several Indian divisions wandering around the Middle East - would have they theoretically useable (and why were they not sent somewhere they were needed?)... still wouldn’t add up to 18/24 figure. Guess were the rest of the troops would have to come from?
At this point I think I'm just going to say HUH! 8O and go back to sleep. This shining light Harding expected to execute the March-April 1945 Italian operations in July 1944, BEFORE the jumping off positions for that historical operation were reached, BEFORE Allied forces had been reconstituted and reinforced following the heavy losses of spring and summer 1944, and BEFORE the Germans had been attritted by the fall and winter combat and withdrawals of units to defend the Reich?

Geez, with genius like that I'm surprised that ANY progress was ever made in the Med... :roll: :lol:
It is rather ironic, the whole field of history is to explain why events happened ... not to go off on a tanget and what-ifs; which is what quite alot of these chaps tend to do :lol:
Oh, so all the what iffers infesting these fora are actually PoliSci and IntRel wannabes? THAT explains a LOT!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Cheers!
Richard Anderson
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall: the 1st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers on D-Day
Stackpole Books, 2009.

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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 05 Aug 2010 20:25

Delta Tank wrote: I think I posted a map of the area in question, and I think that instead of looking at a political maps, someone should of looked a tactical map with roads, and bridges and contour lines on it. If that was done at the beginning, I think this idea (forcing the Ljubljana Gap) would of died a very quick and painless death.
Mike
Amen

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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 05 Aug 2010 21:25

Rich wrote:

This shining light Harding expected to execute the March-April 1945 Italian operations in July 1944, BEFORE the jumping off positions for that historical operation were reached, BEFORE Allied forces had been reconstituted and reinforced following the heavy losses of spring and summer 1944, and BEFORE the Germans had been attritted by the fall and winter combat and withdrawals of units to defend the Reich?

Geez, with genius like that I'm surprised that ANY progress was ever made in the Med...
While not wanting to argue with you that Harding was or was not a "genius" - what he actually seems to have proposed in July 1944 was a three phase operation. First phase - pierce the Gothic Line. To achieve this he said that they would need the divisions that were slated to go into ANVIL/DRAGOON. Which so far seems pretty fair?

Now we all know that Generals don't like being in sideshows, or losing troops/logistics just when they feel they have got the enemy on the run (see the thrilling discussion on the thread about Eisenhower's Broad Front :lol: :lol: ). So is it truly that surprising that Alexander/Harding argued that they should be reinforced so that they could achieve their objectives? What did Clark say? Please take my reserve away? Don't worry about me, I'm happy without any news worthy victories?

For Harding/Alexander to ask to keep their troops seems fair; then it was down to the higher level US/British commanders to make the decision as to where they felt the priority lay. Post-war arguments should be treated with a little more of a pinch of salt, especially when the personality clashes get conflated with the national clashes.

BTW Although DRAGOON certainly achieved results (opening ports, inflicting casaulties on German units), the withdrawal of the forces for DRAGOON certainly had its affects too (failure to pierce the Gothic Line? extra casualties to the Allied forces? etc). Anyone done a cost/benefit analysis of the two? :)

Regards

Tom

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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by Delta Tank » 05 Aug 2010 22:00

Tom,

I can't remember how many of these divisions taken for Dragoon were French, but would the French had fought in Italy? I believe that eventually they fielded 10 or 12 divisions and I also believe, what ever the number, that they would not have fought in Italy.

Mike

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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by RichTO90 » 05 Aug 2010 22:19

Tom from Cornwall wrote:While not wanting to argue with you that Harding was or was not a "genius" - what he actually seems to have proposed in July 1944 was a three phase operation. First phase - pierce the Gothic Line. To achieve this he said that they would need the divisions that were slated to go into ANVIL/DRAGOON. Which so far seems pretty fair?
Sarcasm old boy, sarcasm... :lol: And did you miss that is actually how I said was the only way he could do it?
Now we all know that Generals don't like being in sideshows, or losing troops/logistics just when they feel they have got the enemy on the run (see the thrilling discussion on the thread about Eisenhower's Broad Front :lol: :lol: ). So is it truly that surprising that Alexander/Harding argued that they should be reinforced so that they could achieve their objectives? What did Clark say? Please take my reserve away? Don't worry about me, I'm happy without any news worthy victories?
Um, what reserve? After Clark screwed the pooch WRT annihilating the German army in Italy he lost over half his operational forces and reserve to DRAGOON, VI Corps and the FEC. And the British reserve was pretty much used up in operations...the cupboard was bare in Italy.
For Harding/Alexander to ask to keep their troops seems fair; then it was down to the higher level US/British commanders to make the decision as to where they felt the priority lay. Post-war arguments should be treated with a little more of a pinch of salt, especially when the personality clashes get conflated with the national clashes.
Exactly...it was down to "higher level US/British commanders" who had agreed (some reluctantly) and laid down the law, long before a July 1944 contemplation of ARMPIT by Harding and Alexander.
BTW Although DRAGOON certainly achieved results (opening ports, inflicting casaulties on German units), the withdrawal of the forces for DRAGOON certainly had its affects too (failure to pierce the Gothic Line? extra casualties to the Allied forces? etc). Anyone done a cost/benefit analysis of the two? :)
Yep. The alternative was to continue what appeared to be a policy of attrition with limited results in Italy (especially after Clark willfully bollixed up things in May-June) or go with what had been planned for some time, i.e., try something new in France to break the apparent deadlock. Anyway, once Clark STP there was little liklihood that the Gothic Line would be pierced, whether or not VI Corps and the FEC remained with Fifth Army. Plus, the chance of getting extra bodies for the Allied cause was too good a deal to pass up...they had weapons, it was manpower that was needed.

Cheers!
Richard Anderson
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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by JonS » 05 Aug 2010 22:46

Delta Tank wrote:I can't remember how many of these divisions taken for Dragoon were French, but would the French had fought in Italy? I believe that eventually they fielded 10 or 12 divisions and I also believe, what ever the number, that they would not have fought in Italy.
The French did fight in Italy, and very effectively too - it was they who finally pierced the Cassino Line.

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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by JonS » 05 Aug 2010 22:48

RichTO90 wrote:
Tom from Cornwall wrote:
Now we all know that Generals don't like being in sideshows, or losing troops/logistics just when they feel they have got the enemy on the run (see the thrilling discussion on the thread about Eisenhower's Broad Front :lol: :lol: ). So is it truly that surprising that Alexander/Harding argued that they should be reinforced so that they could achieve their objectives? What did Clark say? Please take my reserve away? Don't worry about me, I'm happy without any news worthy victories?
Um, what reserve? After Clark screwed the pooch WRT annihilating the German army in Italy he lost over half his operational forces and reserve to DRAGOON, VI Corps and the FEC. And the British reserve was pretty much used up in operations...the cupboard was bare in Italy.
I think what Tom meant was that DRAGOON, VI Corps and the FEC was Alexander/Harding/Clark's reserve.

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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by The_Enigma » 05 Aug 2010 22:53

Seems that the UK/US disagreement over broadfront/single thrust spills over into the med: the give it a go/its impossible opinions seem to be taking national lines ... bar a few traitors i.e. Clark :P :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by Delta Tank » 06 Aug 2010 00:36

JonS wrote:
Delta Tank wrote:I can't remember how many of these divisions taken for Dragoon were French, but would the French had fought in Italy? I believe that eventually they fielded 10 or 12 divisions and I also believe, what ever the number, that they would not have fought in Italy.
The French did fight in Italy, and very effectively too - it was they who finally pierced the Cassino Line.
JonS,

I knew that the French fought in Italy, my point, which I made poorly, is would they continue to fight in Italy/Balkans when they could be transferred to France to fight.

Mike

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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by JonS » 06 Aug 2010 00:53

Ah. Mea culpa.

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