Erwin Rommel vs Gerd Von Rundsted : Defense Of Normandy - Page 3




 
--
 
May 28th, 2010  
Korean Seaboy
 
 
However, the main problem was that Hitler refused to let the strong forces holed up in Calaise to fight the Allies's advancement. He believed that it was merely a diversion, even as the Allies began pushing into France. When they began to prepare for capturing Paris, then Hitler released them to stabilize a front which didn't exist.
May 30th, 2010  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
I'd side with Rundstedt myself, an officer with far greater experience of large scale formations than Rommel. Consider too that Rommel's plans were partly influenced by political considerations, whereas Rundstedt's were not. Rundstedt's plans involved the proper use of superior German armour, whereas Rommel's aim was to use them more piecemeal. I know Rommel seemed overly concerned with Allied air power, but being in range of Allied naval guns was not really helping matters. Guderian supporting Rundstedt is also another plus point. Guderian had his faults, but correct use of armour was not one of them.

Rommel in 1944 was just too politically motivated for his judgement to be taken purely for military grounds. Rundstedt, however, was a professional soldier right to the end.
Are you sure you are not letting your views of Guderian cloud your judgement on this one?
I believe that Rommel was justified in his assessment of Allied air power (11600 (14700 sorties) Allied aircraft vs ~400 German (300 Sorties)) and no matter where the Germans chose to resist the Allies in France they would always have to face this force so their best/only chance of success was while the Allies were getting ashore not out in the French countryside.
June 3rd, 2010  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
Are you sure you are not letting your views of Guderian cloud your judgement on this one?
I believe that Rommel was justified in his assessment of Allied air power (11600 (14700 sorties) Allied aircraft vs ~400 German (300 Sorties)) and no matter where the Germans chose to resist the Allies in France they would always have to face this force so their best/only chance of success was while the Allies were getting ashore not out in the French countryside.
Rommel's argument regarding Allied air power was sound, if slightly overstated. I don't have a problem with that. I do have a problem with the motivation for his judgement at this time, politically motivated as it was. Any professional soldier who doesn't have anything but purely military considerations when making decisions is a potential liability.

Politics aside, Rommel was TOO fixated on Allied air power, to the extent of ignoring the fundamental lesson that Guderian taught in 1940. That is, you cannot commit armour piecemeal and you also need to give armour room and space to maneuver. Allied tactical air support may indeed have severely blunted any German counter-attack near Paris but equally, the weather might have been bad that day. Bad weather did indeed blunt the effectiveness of Allied bombers several times during 1944.

Stopping the Allied forces on the beaches is/was never the job of armour. Having armour so close to Allied naval guns and committed in close proximity to a front line where there is no room for them to advance was a waste of their potential. Armour in this situation would have been most effective in counter-attacking against the flanks of an over extended Allied advance into the interior of France. Guderian was quite correct as was Rundstedt. Manstein more than ably demonstrated the correct use of armour in a defensive posture during the 3rd Battle of Kharkov. It was Rundstedt's aim (aided and abetted by Guderian) to repeat something similar in France.
--
June 4th, 2010  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
Rommel's argument regarding Allied air power was sound, if slightly overstated. I don't have a problem with that. I do have a problem with the motivation for his judgement at this time, politically motivated as it was. Any professional soldier who doesn't have anything but purely military considerations when making decisions is a potential liability.

Politics aside, Rommel was TOO fixated on Allied air power, to the extent of ignoring the fundamental lesson that Guderian taught in 1940. That is, you cannot commit armour piecemeal and you also need to give armour room and space to maneuver. Allied tactical air support may indeed have severely blunted any German counter-attack near Paris but equally, the weather might have been bad that day. Bad weather did indeed blunt the effectiveness of Allied bombers several times during 1944.

Stopping the Allied forces on the beaches is/was never the job of armour. Having armour so close to Allied naval guns and committed in close proximity to a front line where there is no room for them to advance was a waste of their potential. Armour in this situation would have been most effective in counter-attacking against the flanks of an over extended Allied advance into the interior of France. Guderian was quite correct as was Rundstedt. Manstein more than ably demonstrated the correct use of armour in a defensive posture during the 3rd Battle of Kharkov. It was Rundstedt's aim (aided and abetted by Guderian) to repeat something similar in France.
I am sorry I will be brief here (I am on my lunch break) once the Allies were ashore there was nothing Germany could have done to rectify the situation the war was lost, you are correct armour was not required to throw back the landings it was however required to provide strength in depth to prevent the expansion of the beachheads.

The only thing that could have turned the tide on D-Day was a strong Luftwaffe presence and the redirection of the V weapons to the invasion ports to disrupt the flow of supplies to the beachheads.
June 4th, 2010  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
I am sorry I will be brief here (I am on my lunch break) once the Allies were ashore there was nothing Germany could have done to rectify the situation the war was lost, you are correct armour was not required to throw back the landings it was however required to provide strength in depth to prevent the expansion of the beachheads.
The war was lost at this stage anyway for Germany, so agree. However, Germany really wanted the Allies to establish beachheads and to encourage them to rove inland. With superior armour concentrated at the right points (and with some luck regarding the weather), German counter-attacks could have done murderous damage to any over-extended Allied advance. In essence, elastic defence in practice. It might have been very bloody for the Allies although I still think eventual defeat was already sealed for Germany.

The big winners under this scenario would have been the Red Army.
 


Similar Topics
el almein
Erwin Rommel
The Greatest, and not so Greatest, Commanders of History
Erwin Rommel