Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 4362
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by Richard Anderson » 04 Jan 2021 02:01

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
04 Jan 2021 01:09
I've read Halders journals, thank you.
Oh? Good, then you've noticed that up until April 1941 he was fed no information that conclusively contradicted his original July 1940 assessment?
Three main points:

1. "Mixed" signals from subordinates is no excuse. The leader of a planning/analysis staff - especially one with GS's traditions and commitments - should be the guy who can infer signal from noise.
Nice ideal. Too bad it only worked that way intermittently. The actual outcome of the "tradition of excellence" in the Großer Generalstab only illustrates just how bad all the others were.
2. Recieved noise contained much echo of Halder's leadership - as shown above for example, Marcks' plan was framed by Halder.
If Halder "framed" Marcks' plan is it Halder's faults or Marcks' brilliance in it that you are so enamored of? Maybe I'm getting confused or too distracted by the Seahawk's win?
3. More important than what's in the journals is what is not: any serious consideration of "what if SU doesn't collapse?"
It's surprising how often that contingency doesn't appear in contingency planning. :lol: The wishful thinking planning indulged in by the Allies pre-OVERLORD is one of the few real instances I can think of offhand. Typically once the political decision is done, it's in for a penny infor a pound by all concerned...except the memoirists that survive the deluge.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Member
Posts: 2789
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 04 Jan 2021 02:52

Richard Anderon wrote:If Halder "framed" Marcks' plan is it Halder's faults or Marcks' brilliance in it that you are so enamored of? Maybe I'm getting confused or too distracted by the Seahawk's win
You must be distracted by the Seahawks being not quite as good as the Packers. I've already said upthread that I find the plan daft but synechdoche etc. Given his later writings, Marcks either didn't sincerely believe his own plan or recognized its weakness shortly after drafting it. Probably a bit of both - cognitive dissonance breaking only after finishing his assigned task. Having drafted many arguments whose weaknesses professional responsibility forbid me from fully acknowledging, I empathize.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 4362
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by Richard Anderson » 04 Jan 2021 03:23

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
04 Jan 2021 02:52
You must be distracted by the Seahawks being not quite as good as the Packers.
We shall see what we shall see... :lol:
I've already said upthread that I find the plan daft but synechdoche etc.
So it's a daft synechdoche? Which is just a fancy way of saying it was daft.
Given his later writings, Marcks either didn't sincerely believe his own plan or recognized its weakness shortly after drafting it. Probably a bit of both - cognitive dissonance breaking only after finishing his assigned task. Having drafted many arguments whose weaknesses professional responsibility forbid me from fully acknowledging, I empathize.
What "later writings" would those be? On 10 December 1940, he was relieved of his post as Chef des Stabes der 18. Armee and took command of 101. leichte Division until he was severely wounded on 26 June 1941. He had no posting while recovering until 25 March 1942, when he was assigned to command 337. Infanterie-Division in France, where he remained until he was KIA 12 June 1944.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Member
Posts: 2789
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 04 Jan 2021 10:38

Richard Anderson wrote: What "later writings" would those be
upthread
Richard Anderson wrote:On 10 December 1940, he was relieved of his post as Chef des Stabes der 18
The Chef des KFC promoted himself to colonel and was relieved of all duties on December 16, 1980, including der Stabe des Schenectady (local franchise).
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

Max Payload
Member
Posts: 574
Joined: 21 Jun 2008 14:37

Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by Max Payload » 04 Jan 2021 12:30

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
04 Jan 2021 00:32
Max Payload wrote:Yet the Ukraine was conquered, largely in 1941 and completely in 1942; and control over communications in the Baltic was also largely achieved by 1941. Hence ‘the principal prerequisite of victory for the ‘Red coalition’ would have disappeared’, but it nonetheless proved to be insufficient to prevent that victory. So perhaps Marcks wasn’t that much of a remorseless scrutiniser of his own reasoning
Very superficial reading of both Marcks' broader scenario and my comparison of it to the August Marcks Plan.

Marcks saw Ukraine as necessary to German endurance against a coalition that included a rump SU supported by American production via Japan. He therefore was - as I said - envisioning a scenario in which the SU was weaker but hadn't collapsed. That's the critical analytical point: even the author of the original Barbarossa study didn't sincerely hold that study's assumption that the SU would collapse politically.

This is also superficial and wrong on whether Ukraine was conquered. Ukraine's resource center pf gravity was in the East, large portions of which Germany took only in '42 and only for a few months. The parts of Eastern Ukraine taken during Barbarossa were too close to the front to recieve restorative investment and therefore provided practically none of the benefit envisioned by Marcks (the Iwan investment plan focused on the safer Central Ukraine industries of the Dniepr bend).
By November 1941 Germany held the whole of Ukraine minus, in effect, the Luhansk Oblast (5% of the Republic’s land area or a thin slice through the middle of the Donez Becken industrial area of the resource map that you posted on 21 December) and it continued to do so, other than for a few weeks in February/March 1943 until July of that year. Marcks didn’t specify how long the Baltic and Ukraine would need to be held before the Red Coalition would see victory denied, presumably indefinitely. It would have been an impractical and ineffective strategy to pursue.

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
04 Jan 2021 00:38
Max Payload wrote:Whatever Halder’s level of enthusiasm for an invasion of the SU, the limits of his influence are evidenced by the absence of Moscow as a primary target in Directive 21. Since the north-then-south strategy was never adopted we can never know what logistical assumptions or arrangements may have been made
Another painfully superficial reading. That Halder was unable to get his way on the particular version of the bad "short war" strategy obviously doesn't resolve whether he could have convinced - or merely should have tried to convince- Hitler that more attention to prudent military practice was necessary.
Halder would have made his views known among his colleagues and undoubtedly to Hitler, but he was largely ignored. He records that at the conference some of the operational decisions had been made contrary to his views -
“Operation will be divided into three actions:
First thrust: Kiev and securing flank protection on Dniepr. Air Force will destroy river crossings. Odessa.
....”
Halder tried to water that down at his meeting with Marcks the next day but he had neither the authority to do so nor the standing among his colleagues, even down to Generalmajor Marcks, to change the priorities.
Halder could have argued his case with Hitler more vociferously but after the fall of France, that would not have been prudent and may have come down to a resignation/dismissal issue.
It is worth noting that when the time came for Halder to be dismissed it was not because his professional competence was questioned, it was because he was deemed to be not Nazi enough.

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
04 Jan 2021 01:09
Richard Anderson wrote:Go through the war journals for what and who was telling him things in the run-up. The unedited translations of the originals are probably best. If it was a cavalcade of warnings it was a very confused and mixed one.
I've read Halders journals, thank you. Three main points:
  • 1. "Mixed" signals from subordinates is no excuse. The leader of a planning/analysis staff - especially one with GS's traditions and commitments - should be the guy who can infer signal from noise.
  • 2. Recieved noise contained much echo of Halder's leadership - as shown above for example, Marcks' plan was framed by Halder.
  • 3. More important than what's in the journals is what is not: any serious consideration of "what if SU doesn't collapse?"
1. Hindsight is wonderful isn’t it.
2. Far from his plan being framed by Halder, it is clear that Marcks believed that the Ukraine was key. He met with Halder twice before his report was completed, once on 29 July and again the day after the Berghof conference. After the second meeting Halder wrote, “I pointed out a) that Operational Group Kiev, based on Romanian territory, is treading very insecure political ground, and b) that the extension of the operations of the Moscow Group into the Baltic States should be treated as a subsidiary action which must not detract from the main thrust on Moscow.” It was advice Marcks ignored.
3. This was a question above Halder’s pay grade. The consensus view in the late summer of 1940 was, if Sealion doesn’t succeed or European Russia isn’t conquered, Germany will lose the war. Hence either Sealion must succeed, or European Russia must be conquered. And if the latter, it must be done soon and be over quickly - alternative scenarios are not an option.

Ружичасти Слон
Member
Posts: 465
Joined: 24 Jan 2020 16:31
Location: Изгубљени

Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by Ружичасти Слон » 04 Jan 2021 13:32

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
01 Jan 2021 23:39
This is exactly backwards. Halder wasn't influenced by the Marcks plan, he largely framed its fundamentals.
Ufff. Another most big wave on hand.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
01 Jan 2021 23:39
From GSWW v.4:
Marcks arrived in Fontainebleau on 29 July and was at once briefed by
Haider on the now more comprehensive tasks ahead. In agreement with the
head of the general staff’ s operations department, Marcks initially regarded
the creation of a point of main effort on the southern sector of the front—the
operational group Kiev—as the most obvious solution. Haider, on the other
hand, believed that the basis indispensable for that plan, Romania, was
politically rather uncertain, and that the existence of the river barriers of Dnestr
and Dnieper argued in favour o f a shift o f the point of main effort of the attack.
His decisive argument, however, was his belief that the capture of Moscow
would mean the end of the campaign
and that, in consequence, the shortest
approach to Moscow should be chosen.89 Jin accordance with Haider’s preliminary considerations,
as well as with Hitler’ s directives of 3 1 July, Marcks
therefore prepared a draft for the conduct of operations with the main effort
concentrated on the central sector, the principal objective being the capture of
Moscow by way of the ‘Iand-bridge’ of Smolensk.
So right from the start of planning Halder centered political punditry - Moscow's fall means SU disappears - over hard military analysis. His operations staff disagreed and wanted to focus on the south. In July '40 this wasn't possible because Romania wasn't on board yet but did Halder reconsider his fatuous concept of Barbarossa once Romania joined? No, of course not. He was determined to be the worst general of the war and wouldn't be shaken from that prize.
Ok. So tmp wave on hand was create on exaggeration on what tmp was read on book.

And was tmp check for to see book was explain correct what was happen on history ?

You was write on bold His decisive argument, however, was his belief that the capture of Moscow would mean the end of the campaign

Book was give reference no.89 on evidence.

Original evidence was not write belief that the capture of Moscow would mean the end of the campaign

Author on book was speculate or guess. Tmp was make mostest big reach for to make wave on hand.

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 4362
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by Richard Anderson » 04 Jan 2021 16:50

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
04 Jan 2021 10:38
Richard Anderson wrote: What "later writings" would those be
upthread
Richard Anderson wrote:On 10 December 1940, he was relieved of his post as Chef des Stabes der 18
The Chef des KFC promoted himself to colonel and was relieved of all duties on December 16, 1980, including der Stabe des Schenectady (local franchise).
Okay, is it time to put you back on ignore? :roll:
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Tom from Cornwall
Member
Posts: 2673
Joined: 01 May 2006 19:52
Location: UK

Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 04 Jan 2021 18:29

TMP,

Back to the subject of quantitive research, much earlier in this thread you stated that “most analysts” agreed that late-war US Army was “better/more effective” than British Army. When queried you pointed to the work conducted by Rich (and his well-funded team!) and others for the US Army (sorry Rich, if that’s not quite right) and detailed in Trevor Dupuy’s books and more lately largely recycled in “War by Numbers” by Chris Lawrence (which remarkably doesn’t include an index - what was he thinking?). Did you have any other analysts in mind?

Regards

Tom

User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Member
Posts: 2789
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 05 Jan 2021 00:28

Max Payload wrote:Marcks didn’t specify how long the Baltic and Ukraine would need to be held before the Red Coalition would see victory denied, presumably indefinitely. It would have been an impractical and ineffective strategy to pursue
You're resolute in missing the point. Rather than repeating myself and getting more annoyed with the quality of discussion here, that's the end of my participation with you on this.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Member
Posts: 2789
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 05 Jan 2021 00:48

Richard Anderson wrote:
04 Jan 2021 16:50

Okay, is it time to put you back on ignore? :roll:
Not something for me to worry about but if you're gonna be that thin-skinned maybe it's best for you.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 4362
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by Richard Anderson » 05 Jan 2021 01:16

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
05 Jan 2021 00:48
Not something for me to worry about but if you're gonna be that thin-skinned maybe it's best for you.
"Upthread" is not a reasonable reply to what was a simple question. You stated "Given his later writings, Marcks either didn't sincerely believe his own plan or recognized its weakness shortly after drafting it. Probably a bit of both - cognitive dissonance breaking only after finishing his assigned task." All well and good, but did you mean your post #44 in this thread? If so, it is not very relevant to changing circumstances in April 1941 that Marcks wrote an analysis on 10 September 1940 and passed it to a "friend" who he hoped would "give him a reliable answer or else pass his paper on to the chief of the Army General Staff." Was the paper ever passed on? Did Marcks receive a "reliable answer"? Also, how does a singular 10 September paper become "later writings" in the plural? I was hoping for a reference to previously unknown military musings by Erich Marcks and instead I got essentially bupkis, just a rehash of the original July-August planning cycle and zero information on if Marcks later thinking could have or should have influenced Halder's decision making and recommendations to Hitler, which is what was being discussed.

However, if its suddenly again too much trouble for you to reply or to reply reasonably, then yes, perhaps its best if you get ignored again, by one and all. Furthermore, if the "quality of discussion" here is not up to your standards, perhaps you should find a better venue that appreciates your standards and your opinion of yourself more.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Member
Posts: 2789
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 05 Jan 2021 08:54

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
04 Jan 2021 18:29
TMP,

Back to the subject of quantitive research, much earlier in this thread you stated that “most analysts” agreed that late-war US Army was “better/more effective” than British Army. When queried you pointed to the work conducted by Rich (and his well-funded team!) and others for the US Army (sorry Rich, if that’s not quite right) and detailed in Trevor Dupuy’s books and more lately largely recycled in “War by Numbers” by Chris Lawrence (which remarkably doesn’t include an index - what was he thinking?). Did you have any other analysts in mind?

Regards

Tom
First, I'll note that Richard, Chris, and Trevor are three different people.

Next up, from the book Military Effectiveness (eds. Allan R. Millett and Williamson Murray), we have the "grades" given by each of the contributors on tactical performance:

Image

As you can see, the contributors gave an average "B" grade to American tactical performance and average "D" to the British.

In their book about the U.S. 88th Infantry Division, authors Sheridan and Hammerman compared 24 representative divisions of countries that fought on WW2's Western Front. Of the top 10, nine were German, one American, none British.

-------------------------

That is admittedly not a comprehensive listing of all historians to have considered whether American or British forces had greater combat effectiveness. Nonetheless, we have the 21 authors in the Military Effectiveness compendium, three dudes from TDI, and 2 from the 88th Infantry book. I consider it at least a representative sample in support of my statement that most analysts consider the Americans to have had higher combat effectiveness than Brits by '44 or so.

Do you have any analysts of military effectiveness representing the opposite view?
Last edited by TheMarcksPlan on 05 Jan 2021 09:21, edited 1 time in total.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

User avatar
TheMarcksPlan
Member
Posts: 2789
Joined: 15 Jan 2019 22:32
Location: USA

Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 05 Jan 2021 09:09

Richard Anderson wrote:"Upthread" is not a reasonable reply to what was a simple question.
Since when is a simple answer to a simple question unreasonable? You obviously figured out what I meant:
Richard Anderson wrote:Also, how does a singular 10 September paper become "later writings" in the plural?
Seriously? OK I correct myself: later writing. Singular. Good lord.
Richard Anderson wrote:a rehash of the original July-August planning cycle and zero information on if Marcks later thinking could have or should have influenced Halder's decision making and recommendations to Hitler, which is what was being discussed.
Not the point I was making. I'll repeat the sole point: Marcks either didn't believe, when he wrote his eponymous plan, that the short-war assumption was valid or he changed his mind shortly thereafter.
Richard Anderson wrote: it is not very relevant to changing circumstances in April 1941
You're referring to FHO's revised RKKA estimates? As I've said a few times now, that's mostly irrelevant to my analysis of Barbarossa's strategic failing - the assumption of political collapse and therefore of no significant reserves and new formations after the summer battles. The FHO revision was a minor factor in the overall picture of expected Russian resistance, whose main source of variance lay in whether SU would generate new divisions during Barbarossa, rather than what existed prior to Barbarossa.
Richard Anderson wrote:perhaps its best if you get ignored again, by one and all.
A decision all your own.
Richard Anderson wrote: if the "quality of discussion" here is not up to your standards, perhaps you should find a better venue
It is extremely rich for Rich to pearl-clutch about someone else expressing their opinion of other posters' contributions.

If you want to say you're ignoring me, fine. Based on past experience I won't believe you but go right ahead. Proving me wrong or right has benefits.

Likewise if you want to continue as we have recently. Do what works for you.

What works for me is to say exactly what I believe when I want to say it. Deal with that as you may.
https://medium.com/counterfactualww2
"The whole question of whether we win or lose the war depends on the Russians." - FDR, June 1942

Tom from Cornwall
Member
Posts: 2673
Joined: 01 May 2006 19:52
Location: UK

Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 05 Jan 2021 12:39

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
05 Jan 2021 08:54
First, I'll note that Richard, Chris, and Trevor are three different people.
True, but using the same basic information and, as far as I know, only including British divisions from the Italian campaign? Also, and again I need to check this, but all under US Army command. At least the TDI team actually tried to use hard data - even if there are those who quibble about the workings of their model which seems to include hard data (numbers of guns, tanks, men, etc) with more subjective data (who won, the worth of each vehicle, gun, etc) and then comes up with an exact figure which everyone latches on to.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
05 Jan 2021 08:54
As you can see, the contributors gave an average "B" grade to American tactical performance and average "D" to the British.
Thank you for the reference which I will follow up.

Firstly, which volume is that from?

Secondly, wasn’t each contributor asked to comment on the subject of their own chapter? So less an average of all contributors but more an indication of each historians “subjective” perspective to back up their existing commentary.

I also don’t understand how, for example, anyone can “grade” US “tactical performance” between the wars - who did they fight? Some veteran protestors? Surely “tactical performance” can only be judged in a comparative sense? How was it “better” than British performance, for example?

How is US Army “tactical performance” “graded” the same from 1942 to 1945 - wot, no learning curve?

Equally, how does one grade the British Army for “tactical performance” between the wars - based on what? The small wars that the British Army actually fought in Ireland, India, Afghanistan (again!), Palestine, etc or exercises on Salisbury Plain?

It’s all so arbitrary and subjective as to be, IMHO, worthless.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
05 Jan 2021 08:54
In their book about the U.S. 88th Infantry Division, authors Sheridan and Hammerman compared 24 representative divisions of countries that fought on WW2's Western Front. Of the top 10, nine were German, one American, none British.
“Compared” - great, but how? Did they use a statistical model like the TDI’s one (OK, Rich, more than one :lol:)? Did they use specific casualty data or rates of advance; were all the engagements they “analysed” similar in context and size? How representative was their “picking” of divisions.
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
05 Jan 2021 08:54
Do you have any analysts of military effectiveness representing the opposite view?
Well, even in the TDI database from the Italian engagements the “grading” of divisions didn’t run in a straight line from German to US and then British. I’m probably paraphrasing here (and no doubt Rich will jump in if my paraphrasing is ‘A Bridge too Far’) but on occasion some US units seemed to struggle, on some occasions the British units struggled and on some occasions even the German units struggled. And obviously on some occasions that wasn’t the “fault” of the division but owing to them being set impossible tasks given the context of force ratios, terrain features, weather, amphibious assaults, river crossings, combat exhaustion, etc.

Regards

Tom

Tom from Cornwall
Member
Posts: 2673
Joined: 01 May 2006 19:52
Location: UK

Re: Quantitative research on demographic measurables and combat effectiveness?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 05 Jan 2021 13:06

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
05 Jan 2021 08:54
In their book about the U.S. 88th Infantry Division, authors Sheridan and Hammerman compared 24 representative divisions of countries that fought on WW2's Western Front. Of the top 10, nine were German, one American, none British.
I think this work was done for Trevor Dupuy wasn’t it? Rich, please jump in here. I’ve found a reference to a HERO report by Sheridan and Hammerman. So that would be based on the Italian campaign database?

Regards

Tom

Return to “German Strategy & General German Military Discussion”