Strategic options after Hitler's death

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jesk
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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

Post by jesk » 01 Sep 2017 09:03

What is visible on the map of approach. The Americans moved 3,7,12,18 army corps to the Ardennes and these were the last American reserves in an attempt to stop 11% of German divisions. The Battle of the Ardennes by the Germans was noble. The Germans did not give more divisions to the battle than the Americans could afford in the defense. 30 divisions limit the US army in Europe, they could not withstand more force.

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jesk
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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

Post by jesk » 01 Sep 2017 10:23

The operation Northwind was the last approach of Germany on the western front. There too Hitler's sabotage.

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http://ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA-E-R ... ra-27.html

In mid-December the 6th Army Group could muster roughly eighteen divisions: two armored and six infantry in the U.S. Seventh Army and three armored and seven infantry in the French First.1 Although all were combat effective, many had been worn thin by the heavy winter campaigning, and others were still relatively new and untested. Only two of the armored divisions, the French 1st and 2d, could be considered experienced, and the U.S. 12th had just recently arrived. In addition, all were suffering severe shortages in supplies, equipment, and manpower because of the increased demands of the northern armies and the still limited logistical support available to the Allied ground combat forces throughout the theater. A new corps headquarters, the U.S. XXI, had also recently arrived in the 6th Army Group's area, but was likewise inexperienced with few supporting forces.

Initially the opposing German forces were in worse condition. Most of the German Army's better-equipped and better-manned units were in Field Marshal Walter Model's Army Group B, which was fighting in the Ardennes; the offensive there had diverted German supplies, equipment, and manpower away from the Vosges-Alsace sector. The creation of Army Group Oberrhein on 10 December had further encumbered German operations in the south.2 The new headquarters was completely independent of von Rundstedt's OB West, and its creation had divided command and control of the German forces that were opposite the 6th Army Group between von Obstfelder's First Army, under Army Group G and OB West, which was above the Lauterbourg salient, and Rasp's Nineteenth Army, under Army Group Oberrhein, which was below it. Altogether these forces amounted to about twenty divisions, but many were at half strength and some could field only a few thousand combat troops. Although Himmler's political influence gradually increased the manpower, supplies, and matériel available to the upper Rhine front, the Ardennes battlefield continued to receive the largest share of German military resources for the moment. Once the main German offensive began to bog down, however, the eyes of Hitler and OKW turned south.

Planning Operation NORTHWIND
(21-27 December 1944)

By 21 December the German high command had begun to examine its operational alternatives on the battlefield. The momentum of Army Group B's attack in the Ardennes had begun to dissipate, the important road junction at Bastogne was still in American hands, and pressure on the southern flank of the German advance was steadily mounting as Patton wheeled his Third Army north.3 However, both Hitler and von Rundstedt realized that the Allies had greatly weakened their southern army group to meet the Ardennes thrust and believed that a fresh German offensive in the south could exploit this weakness. At the very least it would bring some relief to Model's hard-pressed forces in the Ardennes.

Von Rundstedt's staff at OB West initially proposed an attack north of Saarbrucken by Army Group G toward Metz, threatening to envelop either Patton's Third Army to the north or Patch's Seventh in the south. But Hitler and von Rundstedt quickly concluded that they lacked the resources for such an ambitious undertaking. Instead Hitler, who had moved his headquarters from Berlin to Command Post Adlerhorst near Bad Nauheim in early December in order to keep a close watch over the entire campaign, approved an attack south of the Saarbrucken area toward the Saverne Gap, with the goal of splitting the U.S. Seventh Army and clearing northern Alsace. If successful, the German high command intended to launch a second series of attacks from the Sarre valley-Saverne area toward Luneville, Metz, and the rear of Patton's Third Army, tentatively code-named Operation ZAHNARZT ("Dentist").4 Von Rundstedt ordered General Blaskowitz, who had returned to replace Balck as the Army Group G commander on 22 December, to begin planning immediately and authorized the rehabilitation of two mobile divisions (panzer or panzer grenadier) to form the core of the attacking force.

In the days that followed, the German military leaders debated several operational plans. Hitler favored a main effort southeast of Saarbrucken along the Sarre River valley to Phalsbourg and the Saverne Gap. The attacking forces could be concentrated fairly easily using the road and rail net around Saarbrucken, and the axis of advance was relatively flat with enough roads to support a rapid armored thrust. But von Rundstedt and Blaskowitz were uneasy over their shortage of armor and lack of air support, and argued that the open nature of the Sarre River valley made it too dangerous for a successful offensive. Instead, they favored a main effort farther east, from the Bitche sector in the Vosges, judging that the heavily forested hills and mountains would offer the attackers cover from Allied air observation and interdiction during the critical first phase of the attack. In addition, about half of the large Maginot Line fortresses around Bitche were still in German hands, providing cover and concealment for the assembly areas. Although road communications into the Bitche area and along the projected Vosges line of advance were more limited, the two generals believed that swiftly moving infantry could exploit what they suspected was a weakly defended gap in the American lines between the Seventh Army's two corps; with their infantry units gradually pushing south to the Saverne Gap, they could send their mobile panzer reserves into either the Sarre River valley on the west or the Alsatian plains on the east.

Both plans had serious disadvantages. A Sarre River offensive would have to pass through the American-occupied portion of the Maginot Line and would be open to Allied air attacks during daylight hours. A drive from Bitche through the Vosges Mountains, on the other hand, would leave the XV Corps and the bulk of the American armored forces free to counterattack the western flank of the advance. In addition, both plans assumed supporting attacks by Army Group Oberrhein to keep the U.S. VI Corps occupied, actions over which OB West had no control or authority.

On 27 December Hitler, von Rundstedt, and Blaskowitz approved a rough compromise. Under the operational control of the First Army, one panzer grenadier and one infantry division would punch a hole in the American Sarre River valley defenses, while four refitted infantry divisions would push off from the Bitche area along a southwest axis of advance through the Vosges. Blaskowitz would keep his strongest units, the equivalent of two panzer divisions, in reserve to exploit any breakthrough. However, on Hitler's instructions, the reserve units were to remain in the Saarbrucken area in the expectation that the main effort would develop along the Sarre River valley. In addition, Blaskowitz's request that units of Army Group Oberrhein launching supporting attacks be placed under Army Group G's jurisdiction was disapproved, as was his proposal to delay the start of the offensive until more troops and matériel could be assembled. Hitler informed Blaskowitz that Army Group Oberrhein would launch supporting attacks north and south of Strasbourg, but only after the main effort down the Sarre River valley corridor had been successful. He also felt that speed was essential, and he scheduled the beginning of the First Army's two northern attacks--one down the Sarre valley and the other through the Low Vosges--for New Year's Eve 1944. Code-named NORDWIND ("NORTHWIND"), these attacks would begin the last major German offensive of the European war.

Command and Control

Both German and American post-battle autopsies of the NORDWIND offensive severely criticized the planning and conduct of the Sarre River valley attack. The XIII SS Corps had put the assault together hastily, and even the American commanders were surprised by its poor execution. The division-level leadership and staff work of the 17th SS Panzer Grenadier Division in particular proved marginal. The unit was unable even to bring its armor up to the battle area until the third day because of icy road conditions and limited engineer support; the German demolition effort had been too thorough when they had vacated the area in early December. Artillery support had also been badly coordinated, as had just about everything else. In fact, during the battles for northern Alsace the SS division went through about five division commanders, mostly SS colonels with comparatively little military experience.27 Given the means at Blaskowitz's disposal and the strength of the Allied forces west of the Low Vosges, however, perhaps the failure of what Hitler hoped would be the main German effort was inevitable.

The inability of the successful Vosges attacking forces to break out of the mountain exits was another matter entirely. Here the divided German command structure on the Alsatian front clearly contributed heavily to the ultimate lack of success. Had Army Group Oberrhein launched supporting attacks across the Rhine at the start of the offensive, Brooks might not have been able to transfer the three regiments of Task Force Herren from the Rhine to the Vosges so readily, and at least some of the eastern mountain exits might have fallen to the advancing volksgrenadiers. Although Blaskowitz might still have elected not to employ his panzer reserves through the Vosges, the results would have greatly increased his options. But as future events would show, Himmler had his own objectives in mind, and the lack of coordination between Army Group G and Army Group Oberrhein during NORDWIND and in the ensuing campaign was remarkable.

The XXXIX Panzer Corps Attacks

The fourth German assault against the Seventh Army began in earnest on 7 January along the vulnerable northern portion of the Lauterbourg salient. On the previous day Blaskowitz had finally obtained permission from Hitler to commit the panzer reserve units in this area, and Decker's XXXIX Panzer Corps arrived to control the operation, with both armored divisions and the 245th Volksgrenadier Division in support.

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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

Post by jesk » 01 Sep 2017 10:41

Hitler has traditionally sprayed German forces into the operation.
1) The prohibition of 1 and 19 army attacks simultaneously.
2) 2 hits in the 1st Army belt.
3) The prohibition on the entry into the battle until January 7 of the reserve 39 panzer corps with 21 and 25 panzer divisions.

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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

Post by doogal » 01 Sep 2017 16:07

What do operations which took place in late 1944 have to do with the topic of strategic options after Hitlers Death ??? Plus please express your point about the Ardennes or German operations south of the ardennes... ? Saying Hitler sabotaged watch on the rhine or north wind is to suggest that they actually had a chance of achieving the goals of the big or the little solution .. which in reality they did not. The Germans couldn't cross the meuse they couldnt get to antwerp and they couldnt stop us reinforcements so neither was possible....

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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

Post by MarkF617 » 01 Sep 2017 21:19

Hello Jesk,
Hitler fought against Germany. The Russian and the allies helped him in this. All the German defeats are the consequences of Hitler's mistakes.
Once again someone has been completely fooled by the losing German Generals whining that it wasn't their fault, that if Hitler had only listened to them then they would have strolled to victory. Quite simply Germany lost World War 2 because the Allies (yes this includes the Soviet Union, I don't know why they were mentioned separately) defeated them.

There are many examples where the Germans refuse to accept defeat stating somehow the Allies cheated or that the situation was unfair. Here are a couple of specific examples:

Michael Wittmann refused to admit that he had lost a duel with a Sherman Firefly in Villars Bocage. Wittmann misses with all his shots whereas a single shot from the Firefly caused him to abandon his disabled Tiger. Afterwards he claimed an anti tank gun got him although there were none in the town at the time. Wittmann's demise came as he rashly led his unit in front of a group of Shermans one of which blew his turret off. Afterwards the Germans claimed that a Typhoon took him out although again none were in the area. Once again the Germans refused to believe a Sherman could have beaten their greatest ace in their best tank. The gunner of the Sherman, when told who he had killed had never even heard of him. :lol:

During a Wellington attack, escorted by Spitfires, on the Gneisenau 8 German fighters were shot down. Despite the tail turrets of Wellingtons being very feeble (2 .3 inch Brownings) all German losses were put down to the tail turrets none to Spitfires.
I will repeat, in Ardennes attacked 30 German divisions, Gemans easily could increase number to 100 and also it is easy to win battle.
I read used to read fairy tales to my children when they were little, they would have loved this one although it is a little less believable than what they were used to.

Mark.
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jesk
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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

Post by jesk » 01 Sep 2017 21:52

doogal wrote:What do operations which took place in late 1944 have to do with the topic of strategic options after Hitlers Death ??? Plus please express your point about the Ardennes or German operations south of the ardennes... ? Saying Hitler sabotaged watch on the rhine or north wind is to suggest that they actually had a chance of achieving the goals of the big or the little solution .. which in reality they did not. The Germans couldn't cross the meuse they couldnt get to antwerp and they couldnt stop us reinforcements so neither was possible....
The commanders of the western front Rundstedt and Army Group "B" Model were confident before the offensive began in the failure. They tried to change the plan, instead of surrounding 4 armies, to destroy 1 and 9 American armies. There is a difference, to attack 2 armies or 4. Hitler overestimated the possibilities. It was Hitler's personal plan - a throw to Antwerp. Chances appeared only after his death.

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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

Post by jesk » 01 Sep 2017 22:04

MarkF617 wrote: Once again someone has been completely fooled by the losing German Generals whining that it wasn't their fault, that if Hitler had only listened to them then they would have strolled to victory. Quite simply Germany lost World War 2 because the Allies (yes this includes the Soviet Union, I don't know why they were mentioned separately) defeated them.
Germany did not use the army effectively. This is also reported by British historians, too. It's not difficult to understand, if you want, German tactical and strategic mistakes.
There are many examples where the Germans refuse to accept defeat stating somehow the Allies cheated or that the situation was unfair. Here are a couple of specific examples:

Michael Wittmann refused
Why did not Boris Becker cheat while playing tennis? The Germans are cheaters still ... But not about it the speech, about efficiency. The Germans committed ERRORS.
I read used to read fairy tales to my children when they were little, they would have loved this one although it is a little less believable than what they were used to.
Tell them about the history of the stupid Hitler. Of the 270 divisions, only 29 were used in the Ardennes. The allies, even from such forces, barely fought back.

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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

Post by MarkF617 » 01 Sep 2017 22:06

Hello,

To get back to the original topic, the war was lost for Germany by 1942 so in May 1945 hope of German victory was long gone.

Mark
You know you're British when you drive your German car to an Irish pub for a pint of Belgian beer before having an Indian meal. When you get home you sit on your Sweedish sofa and watch American programs on your Japanese TV.

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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

Post by MarkF617 » 01 Sep 2017 22:22

And the British, Americans, Soviets, French, Canadians etc etc all comitted ERRORS. No armed forces went through the war without mistake. The Germans lost because their enemies were too powerful. In the first couple of years his decisions were generally correct. By the time he was tossing around loony orders the war was already lost.

By the way, I never said Germans cheated. I said that the Germans always claimed the Allies had some sort of unfair advantage in any engagement tbey lost. They wouldn't even admit Bismark was sunk by thr Royal Navy, they claimed it was scuttled.
You know you're British when you drive your German car to an Irish pub for a pint of Belgian beer before having an Indian meal. When you get home you sit on your Sweedish sofa and watch American programs on your Japanese TV.

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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

Post by jesk » 01 Sep 2017 22:23

MarkF617 wrote:Hello,

To get back to the original topic, the war was lost for Germany by 1942 so in May 1945 hope of German victory was long gone.

Mark
You have a weak outlook. Do not know and do not want to know anything about history. To argue with outlook it is known it is useless.

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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

Post by jesk » 01 Sep 2017 22:26

MarkF617 wrote:And the British, Americans, Soviets, French, Canadians etc etc all comitted ERRORS. No armed forces went through the war without mistake. The Germans lost because their enemies were too powerful. In the first couple of years his decisions were generally correct. By the time he was tossing around loony orders the war was already lost.

By the way, I never said Germans cheated. I said that the Germans always claimed the Allies had some sort of unfair advantage in any engagement tbey lost. They wouldn't even admit Bismark was sunk by thr Royal Navy, they claimed it was scuttled.
Without Hitler there was not a single chance to advance from the bridgeheads in Normandy. But for you this revelation. Hitler somehow, the Germans with mistakes.

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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

Post by MarkF617 » 01 Sep 2017 22:40

How on Earth is Hitler responsible for the Allied break out from Normandy? The Allies broke out using good tactics, good equipment, well trained soldiers and massive firepower. With the forces available the Germans could not stop the Allies no matter how good the decision making was.

Mark.
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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

Post by jesk » 01 Sep 2017 22:46

MarkF617 wrote:How on Earth is Hitler responsible for the Allied break out from Normandy? The Allies broke out using good tactics, good equipment, well trained soldiers and massive firepower. With the forces available the Germans could not stop the Allies no matter how good the decision making was.

Mark.
I now argue with the child ... Few of the total number of German divisions on the western front were involved in the battle. Tank divisions in the line of defense instead of infantry. And the ban on maneuver defense. Laziness tell you the course of history ...

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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

Post by MarkF617 » 01 Sep 2017 23:32

Initially there were few divisions in Normandy and a good deception plan kept some in the Pas de Calais but before the breakout most of the western divisions were in Normandy along with others from the Ost front. The panzers were in the line due to lack of infantry and excellent use of the British Armoured divisions by Monty. Every time the Germans tried to mass armour for an attack Monty attacked with his armour forcing the panzers to defend the line. The Allied airforces prevented manouver warfare not to mention lack of transport for many units. The Allies could easily out manouver the Germans by this point.

I may not be as well read as some on this forum, but I have read quite a bit and know that to blame Hitler for everything is very simple and outdated history. If you believe so strongly about this can you give any specific examples of Hitler's errors?

Mark.
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Re: Strategic options after Hitler's death

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jesk -- You wrote:
I now argue with the child ...
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