Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

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Delta Tank
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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by Delta Tank » 30 Aug 2010 02:26

Carl and all,

Carl wrote:
A[n] Allied army group of 20+ divisions advancing north towards the Danube River is going to require over 570,000 tons per month just for the ground combat formations. I'm skeptical the ports and railroads across Italy & the Balkans could handle that load, plus airforce and rear service requirements, and civilian requirements.
To put that into perspective, that is 475 forty ton tractor trailer trucks a day!! Or 14250, forty ton tractor trailer trucks a month, articulated lorries for you guys on the other side of the pond! But, remember what Sir Alan Brooke said about the terrain in Italy, "A blown culvert holds up a corps for a day." or words to that effect, I posted it in this thread somewhere. So if a blown culvert could hold up a corps for a day, just think what a blown culvert and a German infantry company with mortars could do!!!!?????? Hold up a corps for a week????, a month????

Mike

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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by Aber » 30 Aug 2010 13:51

Ok I get your point, but was the terrain really that much worse than the Allies had faced in driving up the rest of Italy, or in the Vosges?

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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by Delta Tank » 31 Aug 2010 01:12

Aber wrote:Ok I get your point, but was the terrain really that much worse than the Allies had faced in driving up the rest of Italy, or in the Vosges?
Aber,

Go back and read the initial posts in the beginning of the thread, I believe it is all there. Also, I read Sir Michael Howard's book on Mediterranean strategy or something like that, IIRC, he believed it would take a lot of time to fight up the rest of the boot and then to fight up through some really tough terrain (Italian like terrain) and then force a gap surrounded by mountains, supported by two roads and one train track, that apparently runs through several tunnels, in the winter, opposed by the German Army. Sir Howard's time estimate was based off the terrain conditions in Italy, so I guess the terrain is very similar. I can't remember if I posted his comments in the thread, will find his book and post it soon if needed.


Mike

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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 31 Aug 2010 01:16

For a comparison of the topography I'd have to examine appropriate maps. The maps at hand here are way off in scale for properly evaluating the differences. The Vosges were serviced by the French railroads, which from Marsailles (a Very Large Port group) were easily restored to service in Sept/Oct 1944. The railroads there had good trunk lines and lots of branch lines & side tracks. Also the French had a fair number of paved roads, including some built to standards for carrying military traffic as part of their interwar defense preperations.

Italy had a decent VLP in Naples and some usefull lesser ports. The railroads and automobile roads were ok, but not quite as extensive as in France. That is the main highways were good, but the lesser highways were not as suitable for heavy military traffic. Also, as in northern France & Belgium the roads and railroads of Central & northern Italy had been bombed a lot.

The earliest map I have with a good description of the roads and rails of south Europe & the Liubjana region dates from the 1960s. On that the auto & rail roads running east from Italy, north from the Adriatic coast, and on into Austria/Hungary look anemic compared to Italy or eastern France & the Vosges.

I am also wondering what the realistic cargo capacity of Trieste or Venice would have been in 1944/45. & if German interdiction of cargo ships as they went up the long shallow sleeve of the Adriatic would be significant? It might be most supply would be discharged in Genoa & LaSpezia, if those were captured soon enough and the routes through the mountains were clear. Worst case is the bulk of the Allied supply traveling up the Italian pennesula from Naples on a hastily rebuilt railroad.

Getting back to the hills & dales of the topography. The Allied armies did not indulge in much high speed manuver in either Italy or the Vosges. Basically they shot their way through those regions hill by hill. Only twice when the German defenders were near collapse & retreated did the Allied armies speed up a bit.

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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by Delta Tank » 31 Aug 2010 01:31

And it would be winter! Don't underestimate the weather, rain, snow, freezing rain, more rain, did I mention rain!! I hate rain, I think anyone who spent a lot of time in the field under tactical conditions hate rain!! I feel for those soldiers that live in the monsoon areas of the world and they "train in the rain!"

Mike

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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 01 Sep 2010 00:43

Rain? Actually in the Marines we refered to it as attack weather. The visability degraded so the defenders cant use their weapons as effectively, their reserves mired in the mud, their sentries all huddled under their rain coats feeling miserable and not paying attention.... Of course there were no significant US Marine combat units in the ETO or Med. so all that is irrelevant. ;)

Delta Tank
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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by Delta Tank » 01 Sep 2010 02:12

Carl Schwamberger wrote:Rain? Actually in the Marines we refered to it as attack weather. The visability degraded so the defenders cant use their weapons as effectively, their reserves mired in the mud, their sentries all huddled under their rain coats feeling miserable and not paying attention.... Of course there were no significant US Marine combat units in the ETO or Med. so all that is irrelevant. ;)
Oh you are correct, attack in the rain at 0330, hopefully the temperature is about 34 degrees F, oh yea, that is the time and the weather you want. But, having served five and half years in Germany, I hated the 34 degree rain for weeks on end!! That has to be the worst! Fort Carson was better,it got really cold and we only had snow! Snow is much better than rain!

Mike

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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by Delta Tank » 24 Sep 2010 19:19

The_Enigma wrote:In fact to confirm it is at Kew; document WO 214/34. Jackson presents the additional information: Op.Cit S.2 CGS Apprec. No. 4

However the archives only state "War Office: Earl Alexander of Tunis, Supreme Allied Commander Mediterranean Theatre: Papers" and provide no further detail online. link
This is from Sir Michael Howard's book on Mediterranean Strategy that I cited earlier in this thread. He states that he does not believe any appreciation was made, which I assume he actually looked for it.
Mike
Page 65-66.
Yet by August the decision to divert forces from Italy to DRAGOON had already been taken. Mr. Roosevelt had given his final decision on 2 July. The decision may subsequently have been regretted on both sides of the Atlantic, but at no stage in the very thorough discussions which had preceded it had the desirability of forestalling the Russians in Central Europe been cited as an argument in favor of General Alexander’s plans. Nor were any serious calculations produced to show that these plans were feasible, and it may be doubted where any were ever made. The evidence of General Alexander himself does not suggest that they were.
It was a dazzling idea, this grand project of reaching Vienna before our Russian allies, and we discussed it informally at my headquarters. Yet it would have been premature to start planning such an operation before it was certain that we could reach the valley of the Po before the end of 1944.

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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 25 Sep 2010 02:52

That last line suggests the judgement of the senior commanders on the ground in the Med. & looks important to th whole question to me.

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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by Delta Tank » 29 Jun 2013 20:32

I am at this moment sitting in Ljubljana. We came here by train from Zagreb, Croatia and tomorrow will continue our trip to Dreseden via Munich. From Zagreb to here is very mountainous and from the castle in Ljubljana you can see that the city is surrounded by mountains some are snow covered.

Mike

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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by Delta Tank » 07 Jul 2013 13:12

Departed Ljubljana the next morning, 1 July by train for Munich. The route was Ljubljana to Salzburg Austria and then to Munich. It was mountainous the entire trip until we got just outside of Munich. I know the proposed route for this offensive was Trieste to Ljubljana to Vienna and we did not follow that route exactly but I am sure the terrain was not that much different. For the first 40 minutes outside of Ljubljana which would of been in the proposed area of operations it was very mountainous.

One of these days I will drive the route of the proposed area of operations.

Mike

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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 26 Jul 2013 01:24

Photographs?

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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by Delta Tank » 19 Aug 2013 16:08

Carl Schwamberger wrote:Photographs?
Carl,

I did take some photographs, now being technology inept, I will have to get my wife to download them and see how to post them here on the forum. I was watching Rick Steves' "Eastern Europe" last night and part of the show is on Slovenia and the city of Ljubljana and the views of the mountains will give you a good idea. From Ljubjana I could see snow capped mountains when we were there in late June 2013.

Mike
PS For some reason I never get a e-mail notification. . .I must have a spam filter on my e-mail account??

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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 20 Aug 2013 01:10

Very good. If you can get the photos to me I can post them.

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Re: Ljubljana Gap! Myth!

Post by cburks » 28 Nov 2016 22:31

From the exclamation points, I see there is animus regarding this subject. I'm new to this site, so I hope I'm not walking through a minefield.

I'm not sure what the "myth!" is. If the sources show some military planners considered an attack through the Ljlubljiana Gap, then it wasn't a myth. Perhaps the "myth!" is that it ever could have been done?

The Roman army had no trouble marching along their roads between their cities Tergestum, Emona and their military camp at Vindobona, which are modern day Trieste, Ljuljiana, and Vienna, resp.

It is hard to argue the unlikliehood of a military campaign commensurate to its difficulty level. For instance, the Alps and Hannibal, the tides at Inchon, the desert at Acaba and the Ardennes forest were considered impossible routes before they were used. Furthermore, the difficulty of the route the Allies did use is pretty far-fetched, considering Mulberry harbours, floating tanks, marching perpendicular to great rivers instead of parallel, plus the difficulty of fighting Germans on German territory all across Germany, rather than in German-hostile lands.

Why would the Germans still not have have had a two-front war? The Russians weren't taking time out for a revolution this time.

If this is a touchy subject because of the evidence Roosevelt was an amiable dunce for Stalin, I think that already has enough evidence.

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