Strategic options after Hitler's death

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
jesk
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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

Post by jesk » 29 Aug 2017 20:20

Kelvin wrote:
Hi, Transfer of other troop from other front would alert the allied forces and suprise is of vital importance in Ardennes offensive. And troop in Norway and Yugoslavia were mostly infantry units and contributed less in this battle.
Good post for demonstration of the surpassing knowledge in the field of history :milsmile:
Allies knew that Germans move troops across the territory of Germany, but they have considered it do for defense strengthening. In Ardennes Germans just lacked infantry, to carry out tanks through the mountain and woody area where they are a little effective. I will repeat, in Ardennes attacked 30 German divisions, Germans easily could increase number to 100 and also it is easy to win battle.

Kelvin
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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

Post by Kelvin » 31 Aug 2017 06:46

jesk wrote:
Kelvin wrote:
Hi, Transfer of other troop from other front would alert the allied forces and suprise is of vital importance in Ardennes offensive. And troop in Norway and Yugoslavia were mostly infantry units and contributed less in this battle.
Good post for demonstration of the surpassing knowledge in the field of history :milsmile:
Allies knew that Germans move troops across the territory of Germany, but they have considered it do for defense strengthening. In Ardennes Germans just lacked infantry, to carry out tanks through the mountain and woody area where they are a little effective. I will repeat, in Ardennes attacked 30 German divisions, Germans easily could increase number to 100 and also it is easy to win battle.
Hi, Jesk, I agree with your point that the number of German divisions are too small for significant result. Apart from Hitler's despise over Anglo-US troop, German also faced equipment problem. For me, Panzer division is of vital importance in victory in Ardennes offensive. Speedy movement towards the southwestern coast , culminating in capture of Antrwerp, Allied main supply port, was decisive factor. Once German panzer units captured Antwerp and strong panzer units formed a strong barrier to prevent US troop from attacking north, British Second Army and Canadian First Army were starved of supply and forced to evacuate by sea like repeat of Dunkirk in 1940 or surrender. The destruction of 11 British divisions (3 armoured and eight infantry divisions plus army troop) and five Canadian divisions really altered the war course.

But allied air bombing and heavy suffering in the past months made German cannot fully reinforce its panzer divisions. German cannot field so many fully refitted Panzer divisions at one moment.

Eight Panzer divisions and two PG divisions were ready for Ardennes offensive only. Another five Pz or PG divisions still waited for refitting. 17t.SS PanzerGrenadier division Gotz von Berlinchingen only received full shipment of StuG until the very end of December 1944, so she would otherwise released to Norwind offenisve. 21.Pz division and 25.Panzergrenadier divisions were the same story. 11. Panzer division was starved of motor vehicles and was very immobile. Even the spearhead units : 6.SS Panzer Armee, only Leibstandarte and Hitlerjugend had an adequate of motor vehicles while Das Reich and Hohenstaufen had not enough motor , so the latter were placed at reserve following I.SS Panzerkorps. And the transfer of elite 2.Gebirgs and 6.SS Gebirgs divisions were too late for Ardennes and instead, 6.SS went to Nordwind.

The situation of 5.Panzerarmee was worse ever. 2. 116. and Pz Lehr divisions were no longer strong divisions in Normandy.

German had refitted a number of Panzer divisions in Heeresgruppe A and Center. But the Eastern Front was under OKH Command, Guderian always focused on strengthening of German defense of Poland and East Prussia as he think it is of vital importance to the survival of the Third Reich and East Prussia also was his homeland too. He even wanted Jodl to transfer Panzer divsions to East Prussia and also some divisions from Hungary.

And Jesk, I agree with you that Panzer divisons were too many in Hungary and infantry otherwise were too little indeed. perhap only area can bring German three armoured units : Italy, Italy was relative slient war zone, 26. Panzer division and 29. and 90. PG divisions, I always think Hitler can transfer those three divisions to Ardennes or East Prussia, let those division in slient battlefield, was very fatal error in Dec 1944.

Michael Kenny
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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

Post by Michael Kenny » 31 Aug 2017 07:25

Kelvin wrote:
Once German panzer units captured Antwerp and strong panzer units formed a strong barrier to prevent US troop from attacking north, British Second Army and Canadian First Army were starved of supply and forced to evacuate by sea like repeat of Dunkirk in 1940 or surrender. The destruction of 11 British divisions (3 armoured and eight infantry divisions plus army troop) and five Canadian divisions really altered the war course.
I believe that was the German plan in Normandy. Didn't quite work as planned.

Kelvin
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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

Post by Kelvin » 31 Aug 2017 07:47

Hi, Michael some factor affected it success of fail. On one side, US troop were really suprised and Ardennes was slient war zone and was good place for German to break it just like in 1940.

On other side, allies had air superiority once weather became clear and now US and British divisions were lavishly equipped and also knew how to deal with panzer and they also had many useful AT weapon like Bazooka, PIAT, M-18 , Archer tank destroyers. German wanted to win only to equip its Panzer divisons lavishly and bring some more panzer divisions from other zone to build up a strong armored barrier to block US reinforcement from south and strong block position to deny British and Canadian supply anywhere and give them no option but surrender or Dunkirk again.

Michael Kenny
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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

Post by Michael Kenny » 31 Aug 2017 07:59

The Germans in Normandy were far stronger than in the Ardennes. The Germans tried several times to split the Allies and push them back into the sea. If the Panzer Divisions could not cover the 20 or so miles to the sea in Normandy they certainly were not going to do it when the distance was measured in hundreds of miles. I suppose that in a thread where it is claimed a German offensive in May 1945 could win them the war then the not much less insane belief they could do it earlier in December 1944 might appear half-sensible.

Kelvin
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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

Post by Kelvin » 31 Aug 2017 08:22

Hi, Michael, in physical respect, German was stronger in Normandy, so did British and US troops, German wanted to use brutal force to push the allies back to the seas but remember in 1940, Suprise is of vital importance in winning the war, Heeresgruppe B diverted most of French Motorized troops , six Motorized infantry divisions and three tank divisions (DLM) and several infantry divisions and BEF ( nine motorized divisions too) to Belgium and that enabled German to thrust and then cut off the LOC of French 1st Army Group and BEF. French did not believe that German would attack via Ardennes and only left very weak troops in this area. It is same thing in Dec 1944, only different was Western counties had more experience and weapon to deal with armour. Hitler succeeded in breaking the gap but failed to exploit it fully.

Michael Kenny
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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

Post by Michael Kenny » 31 Aug 2017 08:44

Kelvin wrote: Hitler succeeded in breaking the gap but failed to exploit it fully.
The Germans did not 'fail to exploit'. They were engaged, halted and then defeated. They were outfought.
Cue long list of non-combat related reasons why the well-deserved and rightful German victory was thwarted.

jesk
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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

Post by jesk » 31 Aug 2017 22:13

Kelvin wrote:
Hi, Jesk, I agree with your point that the number of German divisions are too small for significant result. Apart from Hitler's despise over Anglo-US troop, German also faced equipment problem. For me, Panzer division is of vital importance in victory in Ardennes offensive. Speedy movement towards the southwestern coast , culminating in capture of Antrwerp, Allied main supply port, was decisive factor. Once German panzer units captured Antwerp and strong panzer units formed a strong barrier to prevent US troop from attacking north, British Second Army and Canadian First Army were starved of supply and forced to evacuate by sea like repeat of Dunkirk in 1940 or surrender. The destruction of 11 British divisions (3 armoured and eight infantry divisions plus army troop) and five Canadian divisions really altered the war course.
The shortage of infantry was the main problem of Ardennes. Germans couldn't take the important transport hub Bastogne because of small number of infantrymen. Germans first of all needed to carry out tank divisions through the mountain and woody area. And at them it hasn't turned out.

jesk
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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

Post by jesk » 31 Aug 2017 22:21

Michael Kenny wrote:The Germans in Normandy were far stronger than in the Ardennes. The Germans tried several times to split the Allies and push them back into the sea. If the Panzer Divisions could not cover the 20 or so miles to the sea in Normandy they certainly were not going to do it when the distance was measured in hundreds of miles. I suppose that in a thread where it is claimed a German offensive in May 1945 could win them the war then the not much less insane belief they could do it earlier in December 1944 might appear half-sensible.
Hitler's strategy was madness. In Ardennes attacked 29 German divisions from total 270 in Europe. Germany involved in approach only 11% of the force.

Michael Kenny
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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

Post by Michael Kenny » 31 Aug 2017 22:24

I said:
Michael Kenny wrote:
Cue long list of non-combat related reasons why the well-deserved and rightful German victory was thwarted.
and on cue:
jesk wrote:
The shortage of infantry was the main problem of Ardennes. Germans couldn't take the important transport hub Bastogne because of small number of infantrymen. Germans first of all needed to carry out tank divisions through the mountain and woody area. And at them it hasn't turned out......................Hitler's strategy was madness. In Ardennes attacked 29 German divisions from total 270 in Europe. Germany involved in approach only 11% of the force.

MLW
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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

Post by MLW » 31 Aug 2017 22:57

Why will no one accept that the Allies out fought the German Army in the Ardennes? All the number-crunching and wishful thinking does not, cannot, will not change the outcome. The German Army just did not have what it needed to win - tanks, infantry, artillery, airpower, or supplies.

jesk
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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

Post by jesk » 01 Sep 2017 05:50

MLW wrote:Why will no one accept that the Allies out fought the German Army in the Ardennes? All the number-crunching and wishful thinking does not, cannot, will not change the outcome. The German Army just did not have what it needed to win - tanks, infantry, artillery, airpower, or supplies.
Rundstedt and Model, after the disrupted rates of the offensive of the 6th Panzer Army in the mountains, asked Hitler to transfer the main strike north to the flat terrain. Here it was discussed:

viewtopic.php?p=2093635#p2093635

Allies took part in the battle, but the Germans in the field of tactics and strategy played a giveaway.

jesk
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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

Post by jesk » 01 Sep 2017 06:30

The plan of Rundstedt and Model, taking into account limited forces, destroy two American armies. Hitler said no: the British, too.

Image

Kelvin
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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

Post by Kelvin » 01 Sep 2017 06:51

jesk wrote:
Michael Kenny wrote:The Germans in Normandy were far stronger than in the Ardennes. The Germans tried several times to split the Allies and push them back into the sea. If the Panzer Divisions could not cover the 20 or so miles to the sea in Normandy they certainly were not going to do it when the distance was measured in hundreds of miles. I suppose that in a thread where it is claimed a German offensive in May 1945 could win them the war then the not much less insane belief they could do it earlier in December 1944 might appear half-sensible.
Hitler's strategy was madness. In Ardennes attacked 29 German divisions from total 270 in Europe. Germany involved in approach only 11% of the force.
If he waited for transfer of troops from other areas, suprise and weather factor will be eclipsed. And some Pz/PG divisions were not combat ready in term of equipment and supplies like 17.SS and 10.SS, 21 Pz and 25 PG divisions. Transfer of troop from Poland and East Prussia will bring another Bagration fiasco again. Of course, much more armored units will reinforce victory anyway.

In 1940, Hitler could concentrate 45 divisions in one Ardennes thrust because his empire was small and he was on good terms with USSR and Polish border was safe which he only kept 10 divisions there. It was another story in late 1944. Anglo-Amercian troops had occupied the half of Italy and threatened southern French border. A large number of Ostheer garrisoned in Poland, East Prussia, Hungary and Latavia to forstall Russian invasion from East. Over 350,000 strong garrison were stationed in Norway to guard German northern flank. Ardennes was really a gamble.

jesk
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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

Post by jesk » 01 Sep 2017 08:48

Kelvin wrote:
If he waited for transfer of troops from other areas, suprise and weather factor will be eclipsed.
There is no connection between the transfer of troops from other countries and the unexpectedness of the offensive. The Germans could increase the number of soldiers in Germany, at the same time keep the preparation of the offensive in secret.
And some Pz/PG divisions were not combat ready in term of equipment and supplies like 17.SS and 10.SS, 21 Pz and 25 PG divisions.

These divisions were used in Operation Nordwind.
Transfer of troop from Poland and East Prussia will bring another Bagration fiasco again.
Yugoslavia, Italy, Norway, Kurland. From Poland, no one was going to withdraw troops.
Of course, much more armored units will reinforce victory anyway.
Tanks in the Ardennes were many. The infantry divisions did not have enough to cover the flanks, and wrote already, the war in the mountains, where tanks are not effective enough.
In 1940, Hitler could concentrate 45 divisions in one Ardennes thrust because his empire was small and he was on good terms with USSR and Polish border was safe which he only kept 10 divisions there. It was another story in late 1944. Anglo-Amercian troops had occupied the half of Italy and threatened southern French border. A large number of Ostheer garrisoned in Poland, East Prussia, Hungary and Latavia to forstall Russian invasion from East. Over 350,000 strong garrison were stationed in Norway to guard German northern flank. Ardennes was really a gamble.
Who were they guarding there? Polar bears? All German generals asked Hitler to withdraw troops from Norway. Hitler refused.

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