Overlord: Would it have been successful without an Eastern Front? - Page 2




 
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August 19th, 2008  
Supostat
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by errol
Could the Allies have invaded Europe successfully without the Russian Front or would the Germans, particularly their SS Panzer Groups have given us another belting and thrown us back into the sea?
No. Allies won't be able to concentrate a superiority of forces needed for successful invasion as well as necessary air support.
August 19th, 2008  
mmarsh
 
 
Another point,

I dont see how Germany could have successfully defended the Atlantic Wall. The French Coastline is over 3000KM long and the allies didnt have to invade Normandy they could have landed anywhere including the south with an invasion from either Italy or North Africa. Normandy was one of a list of possible landing sites. Or the Allies could have invaded Belgium or the Low Countries, the distances by sea are all relatively the same, and I simply cannot see how Germany could Fortify such a vast stretch of territory, the French couldnt do it with the Maginot Line and that was over a smaller landmass.
August 19th, 2008  
Ski8799
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Supostat
No. Allies won't be able to concentrate a superiority of forces needed for successful invasion as well as necessary air support.
Disagree.

Victory of allied forces was certain, but without Russia, it would have taken much longer. Because of this; US produceability, the Reich could not compete with what Eisenhower later referred to as the US military-industrial complex. All of our auto manufacturing plants were converted to support the war effort, the US led the world in automaking at the time. The Panzer units were far superior but we absolutely overwhelmed them with numbers, we would match 4 Shermans to 1 Panzer Tiger, with those odds, superiority is really a moot issue.

It would have just been a matter of time.
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August 19th, 2008  
perseus
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarsh
Another point,

I dont see how Germany could have successfully defended the Atlantic Wall. The French Coastline is over 3000KM long and the allies didnt have to invade Normandy they could have landed anywhere including the south with an invasion from either Italy or North Africa. Normandy was one of a list of possible landing sites. Or the Allies could have invaded Belgium or the Low Countries, the distances by sea are all relatively the same, and I simply cannot see how Germany could Fortify such a vast stretch of territory, the French couldnt do it with the Maginot Line and that was over a smaller landmass.
The allies needed airpower, this largely restricted the landing zones to Normandy, and the North Eastern France/Belgium coast. The Germans knew this, but mainly defended the latter. Given the problems of previous amphibious landings the outcome was far from certain even with the meagre resources the Germans could muster together. Suitable reconnaissance may have been possible a month later with the new jet aircraft. This together with the early release of armour on D-day would have spelt disaster for the allies. It was a case of who made the least errors.
August 19th, 2008  
Ski8799
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by perseus
The allies needed airpower, this largely restricted the landing zones to Normandy, and the North Eastern France/Belgium coast. The Germans knew this, but mainly defended the latter. Given the problems of previous amphibious landings the outcome was far from certain even with the meagre resources the Germans could muster together. Suitable reconnaissance may have been possible a month later with the new jet aircraft. This together with the early release of armour on D-day would have spelt disaster for the allies. It was a case of who made the least errors.
All of that is nice, but you can't discount the enormous resources with which the allies had at their disposal, the US had just awoken to establish themselves into the war machine that they had become by 1945.
August 19th, 2008  
Doppleganger
 
 
MMarsh.

I've read your reply to my counter-reply and the basic gist I get is that you're approaching things from a historical perspective; i.e. forgetting that this is really a 'what if' question. German forces in 1944 (with no Eastern Front remember) would be far more numerous, rested, front line units would be at near full establishment, the German Army as a whole would be more fully motorized, the Panzer IIs and IIIs would be completely replaced. You get my drift. The downside is that these troops would be less seasoned than historically and German development of AFVs, aircraft and associated military arms would not follow down the same path to their general detriment.

There would no political will for the Americans to involve themselves in a European war if there was not a significant Soviet involvement. How long do you think the UK would last alone with no Soviet involvement pulling away 80% of German military resources? Not very long. Churchill would likely be ousted, replaced by someone like Lord Halifax who would be more inclined to sue for peace.

There would be no need for a 'Fortress UK' because the UK would possibly already be at peace.

Another point is that it would be far easier for the US just to send over their long-range bomber fleet and nuke Germany from afar. D-Day was only planned and implemented out of necessity and mainly to ensure that Europe did not turn entirely red, if you believe secret British war plans like 'Operation Unthinkable'.
August 19th, 2008  
Supostat
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski8799
Disagree.

Victory of allied forces was certain, but without Russia, it would have taken much longer. Because of this; US produceability, the Reich could not compete with what Eisenhower later referred to as the US military-industrial complex.
Problem is a bit different: to use their results of superior produceability, Allies will need a beachhead from which develop their assault. And achieving such beachhead in case entire Wehrmacht is free because of not binded in East, would be quite difficult. I do not want say `impossible`, however imo degree of risk of unsuccess will be about 50:50.
August 20th, 2008  
mmarsh
 
 
Doppleganger

"What if" are always difficult to predict because there are always unexpected contigents in any bar scenario.

Would the German Army be fully motorized/mechanized, again I am not so sure. It was only 3 years between 1941 (Barbarossa) and 1944 (Overlord). Germany was industrialized, but it wasnt the mass production centers of Detroit or Cleveland. I am not sure they would have been able to produce enough vehicles for its roughly 18 Million Man Army within enough time.

The Chrysler plan in Detriot averaged 5 Tanks a day and the Germans were not as skilled as the Americans and British in mass production and of course this is 1940 not 2008. Remember also that the Germans didn't put alot of stock in motorized units, because the distances in Western Europe were much smaller.

I would hypotheize the the main German tank had there been no Barbarossa would have been a later varient of the Panzer IV, such as the "J" or "N". A good MBT, but one the Shermans could face on a 1-1 basis.

I agree that the Wehrmacht would be larger as 4.5 Million would be free to use, but not all of those men would be on the French coast. Some would be garrisoned around Western and Northern Europe while others would be sent to Afrika to help Rommel. The total Strength of the German Army from 1935-1945 was 18.2 Million. Thats a total, never what was ever fielded at a single time. The US military was 12 Million in 1944 alone. That excludes all the other Armies (British+Canadian) and the remains of defeated Armies that still wished to fight (French, Polish). So even if Germany had had the 4.5 Million available they still would have been outnumbered.

I also think US entry into the war was inevitable. First of all Germany had been sinking US ships throughout 1940 and 1941, secondly Roosevelt hated the Germans as did most politicans from BOTH political parties. And lastly it was Germany that declared war on America first after Pearl Harbor (because of Hitler's Alliance with Japan). I think that last bit of it was inevitable.

Persus

The First German Jet Aircraft wouldn't be ready until Jan 1945, thats not 1 but 6 months after Overlord. Second of all the Allies flew regular bomber sorties to the Pas de Calais to bluff the Germans into thinking the invasion was going there. And again even if Hitler had released the Panzer Lehr earlier Allied Airpower would have Knocked it out as they moved to the front. Perhaps they might have lost at Omaha, but the rest of the landings would still have proceeded.
August 20th, 2008  
perseus
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarsh
Doppleganger

Persus

The First German Jet Aircraft wouldn't be ready until Jan 1945, thats not 1 but 6 months after Overlord. Second of all the Allies flew regular bomber sorties to the Pas de Calais to bluff the Germans into thinking the invasion was going there. And again even if Hitler had released the Panzer Lehr earlier Allied Airpower would have Knocked it out as they moved to the front. Perhaps they might have lost at Omaha, but the rest of the landings would still have proceeded.
Mmarsh

The Arado 234 Reconnaissance jet is what I was thinking of
http://www.abc.net.au/gnt/history/Tr...s/s1110428.htm

In fact close tactical airpower was poorly co-ordinated on D-day itself. Airpower was also of limited use in poor weather. Suitable reconnaissance should have revealed the mass of armies in the South and the diversion in the South East of England.

Moreover quantity isn't everything, it can be one's undoing without suitable training and battle hardened troops. What prevents the Germans simply overrunning the allied lines and stealing their supplies and repairing broken down tanks. This wouldn't have been beyond Rommel's thinking.
August 20th, 2008  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarsh
Doppleganger

"What if" are always difficult to predict because there are always unexpected contigents in any bar scenario.
True.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarsh
Would the German Army be fully motorized/mechanized, again I am not so sure. It was only 3 years between 1941 (Barbarossa) and 1944 (Overlord). Germany was industrialized, but it wasnt the mass production centers of Detroit or Cleveland. I am not sure they would have been able to produce enough vehicles for its roughly 18 Million Man Army within enough time.
Not the full German Army no but the panzer, panzergrenadier and motorised divisions might be. In the relatively short distances involved on the Western Front, the Germans wouldn't need any of the other divisions to be fully motorised.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarsh
The Chrysler plan in Detriot averaged 5 Tanks a day and the Germans were not as skilled as the Americans and British in mass production and of course this is 1940 not 2008. Remember also that the Germans didn't put alot of stock in motorized units, because the distances in Western Europe were much smaller.
I don't think the problem is how many tanks the Western Allies were able to produce but the logistical and military operation to get them on the field of battle. The establishment and exploitation of beachheads would be far more difficult with most of the Wehrmacht waiting for them. D-Day historically was hard enough to pull off as it was.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarsh
I would hypotheize the the main German tank had there been no Barbarossa would have been a later varient of the Panzer IV, such as the "J" or "N". A good MBT, but one the Shermans could face on a 1-1 basis.
Late variant Panzer IVs were still better tanks than the Shermans but I would expect there to be some kind of improved German design on the field by mid 1944. There's no reason to expect that the Germans would stand still in AFV design. There would definitely be a Tiger I, although perhaps not the Tiger as we would know it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarsh
I agree that the Wehrmacht would be larger as 4.5 Million would be free to use, but not all of those men would be on the French coast. Some would be garrisoned around Western and Northern Europe while others would be sent to Afrika to help Rommel. The total Strength of the German Army from 1935-1945 was 18.2 Million. Thats a total, never what was ever fielded at a single time. The US military was 12 Million in 1944 alone. That excludes all the other Armies (British+Canadian) and the remains of defeated Armies that still wished to fight (French, Polish). So even if Germany had had the 4.5 Million available they still would have been outnumbered.
Again see my point about actually getting these troops onto the field of battle. The Germans would hold the advantage of being on the defensive and having shortened lines of communication and supply. Without air supremacy, the Allies would not be able to simply rely on their CAS aircraft to destroy the bulk of German armour. The Germans, if they were sensible and listened to commanders like Guderian and Schweppenburg, would simply allow the Allies to break-out and advance before outflanking and encircling them. The Allies would not be able to get enough of their numerical superiority onto the battlefield at any one time to make that superiority count. The general ratio of forces to guarantee offensive success is 3:1 for the attacker. I cannot see the Allies being able to get that ratio onto the field of battle quickly enough simply because their logistical structure would not be up to it. It was creaking in reality as it was. The German armies would have time to bleed the Western Allies white.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarsh
I also think US entry into the war was inevitable. First of all Germany had been sinking US ships throughout 1940 and 1941, secondly Roosevelt hated the Germans as did most politicans from BOTH political parties. And lastly it was Germany that declared war on America first after Pearl Harbor (because of Hitler's Alliance with Japan). I think that last bit of it was inevitable.
Sure, but it's one thing for the US to declare war on Germany and quite another for them to commit major resources to a European invasion with a full-strength German Army and Luftwaffe waiting for them. Why wouldn't they just develop their long-range strategic bomber force and carpet bomb Germany instead? After all, we are in the era where strategic bombing was seen as a war-winning weapon.
 


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