Overlord: Would it have been successful without an Eastern Front? - Page 3




 
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August 23rd, 2008  
Topmaul
 
 
It is foolishness to think that Germany would have been defeated without the Soviet Union draining the cream of the German army. The US would have gotten tired of the war. If the force that was assembled for Kursk was in France in 1944 ready to counter an invasion it could have been a mess.

Germany could not have won and the Allies could not have won the result would be stalemate.
August 31st, 2008  
errol
 
 
mmarsh, you need to read Max Hastings book "Overlord". After reading it I was astounded as to how inept the Allies were. There planning and deception was great but considering the overwhelming superior firepower and numbers, it was amazing how difficult a time they had with the Germans. It's embarassing really!!!
August 31st, 2008  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by errol
mmarsh, you need to read Max Hastings book "Overlord". After reading it I was astounded as to how inept the Allies were. There planning and deception was great but considering the overwhelming superior firepower and numbers, it was amazing how difficult a time they had with the Germans. It's embarassing really!!!
I am not sure I would agree with inept they were lucky in spots but not inept, I think it has to be remembers that the Overlord plan required a lot of untried events to come together at once and for the most part they did and where things went wrong they adapted and still completed their mission.

As to whether D-Day could have failed yes it could and this where I disagree with Doppleganger as I believe that had Rommel's plan been implemented (ie having the Panzer divisions closer to the beaches) it could have been a lot closer than it was, however once the beachhead had survived the first day there was nothing more the Germans could do as the numbers ashore and overwhelming allied air superority made the result a foregone conclusion.
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August 31st, 2008  
mmarsh
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Topmaul
It is foolishness to think that Germany would have been defeated without the Soviet Union draining the cream of the German army. The US would have gotten tired of the war. If the force that was assembled for Kursk was in France in 1944 ready to counter an invasion it could have been a mess.

Germany could not have won and the Allies could not have won the result would be stalemate.
You've made a mistake here. The German Army gathered most of its experience in Russia as it was the first enemy capable of resisting them. No Barbarossa means the German army would be almost as green as the Allies and their equipment wouldn't be the same. As I discussed with Doppleganger the heavy armor would not be the same as we know it because the Russia experience was instrumental in german tank design and military thought.
Remember the Allies DID face the German cream and managed to beat it. The Americans at St. Lo and the British/Canadians at Caen. Both were very bloody battles and the Germans fought hard but in the end they were defeated.

I agree with Doppelganger on one point, the success of Overlord would have depended on Air Superiority. The allies nor axis would not have succeed without it. However all things considered, I feel that although the Luftwaffe continued to fight on after 1940, the BOB was a defeat they never recovered from and thus the allies would have won the skies after a bitter struggle.
August 31st, 2008  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarsh
You've made a mistake here. The German Army gathered most of its experience in Russia as it was the first enemy capable of resisting them. No Barbarossa means the German army would be almost as green as the Allies and their equipment wouldn't be the same. As I discussed with Doppleganger the heavy armor would not be the same as we know it because the Russia experience was instrumental in german tank design and military thought.
Remember the Allies DID face the German cream and managed to beat it. The Americans at St. Lo and the British/Canadians at Caen. Both were very bloody battles and the Germans fought hard but in the end they were defeated.

I agree with Doppelganger on one point, the success of Overlord would have depended on Air Superiority. The allies nor axis would not have succeed without it. However all things considered, I feel that although the Luftwaffe continued to fight on after 1940, the BOB was a defeat they never recovered from and thus the allies would have won the skies after a bitter struggle.
During the first 24 hours of D-Day close air support was not that effective primarily because of the weather and because the two sides were too close together however it was effective in preventing German reinforcements getting to the beaches.

It is for this reason that I believe Rommel was correct in his assessment that the time to defeat the invasion force was when it first hit the beaches. To that end, he worked to have the strongest units stationed along the coastline and built coastal batteries and strongpoints, augmented by thousands of anti-invasion obstacles and millions of mines.

If you look at D-Day only the 21st Panzer Division launched a counter attack almost 24 hours after the landings and it was effective even though it was unsupported, had more of the armoured reserves been based forward as Rommel had argued the landings would have been put in severe jeopardy.

Basically I believe that the first few hours of D-Day were the only chance the Germans had to push it back as that negated allied air superiority and had the beaches been isolated it would have negated a lot of the allied naval artillery due to the closeness of operations and due to limited space it would have been impossible to reinforce the beaches with significant numbers.
September 1st, 2008  
errol
 
 
According to Max Hasting's the German's were a mixed bag at this stage of the war but out-fought the Allies on several occasions, eventually being worn down by overwhelming firepower and material. Caen was not fought well by the Allies. Some British and Canadian formations were unimpressive. Some American divisions were excellent, particularly the 82nd and 101st airbourne, but others were very ordinary. The quality of the American troops in the GI was not that great.

The Germans were terrific at infiltration and there equipment was excellent. The Germans always felt they were better than Allied soldiers over-all but were overwhelmed by allied material.
September 1st, 2008  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by errol
According to Max Hasting's the German's were a mixed bag at this stage of the war but out-fought the Allies on several occasions, eventually being worn down by overwhelming firepower and material. Caen was not fought well by the Allies. Some British and Canadian formations were unimpressive. Some American divisions were excellent, particularly the 82nd and 101st airbourne, but others were very ordinary. The quality of the American troops in the GI was not that great.

The Germans were terrific at infiltration and there equipment was excellent. The Germans always felt they were better than Allied soldiers over-all but were overwhelmed by allied material.

That is a bit unfair the Germans had been badly mauled on the Eastern Front but the units on the Western Front were still well trained units and in many cases top class units. In terms of whether the American forces were "ordinary" or not I think describing them as such is doing them a bit of a disservice as they were inexperienced soldiers going up against a nation that had been at war for 5 years and the Germans knew this which is shown in the fact that every major German counter offensive targeted American positions (Kasserine Pass, Ardennes, Operation Lüttich) but in every case they failed.
September 1st, 2008  
errol
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
That is a bit unfair the Germans had been badly mauled on the Eastern Front but the units on the Western Front were still well trained units and in many cases top class units. In terms of whether the American forces were "ordinary" or not I think describing them as such is doing them a bit of a disservice as they were inexperienced soldiers going up against a nation that had been at war for 5 years and the Germans knew this which is shown in the fact that every major German counter offensive targeted American positions (Kasserine Pass, Ardennes, Operation Lüttich) but in every case they failed.
Monty, I think you need to get Max Hastings book and have a good read. It's a real eye opener. Hastings was quite fair in his assessment of the Allies in Normandy. The Germans were amazing fighters. They were the best throughout the war (despite Hitler's interference) but were simply ground down by relentless pressure, overwhelming numbers and material.
September 1st, 2008  
MontyB
 
 
No offence but being ground down by relentless pressure, overwhelming numbers and material is the price you pay for attempting world domination.

I have the utmost respect for the capacity of the German soldier in WW2 but I would hope that I stop short of revisionism when it comes to actual history, yes the German army was well trained and well equipped but they weren't supermen.
September 1st, 2008  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarsh
You've made a mistake here. The German Army gathered most of its experience in Russia as it was the first enemy capable of resisting them. No Barbarossa means the German army would be almost as green as the Allies and their equipment wouldn't be the same. As I discussed with Doppleganger the heavy armor would not be the same as we know it because the Russia experience was instrumental in german tank design and military thought.
You know mmarsh, I just can't agree with you (might come as a surprise to you I know ). It's true that the Red Army was the first enemy capable of resisting the Germans (due to many factors, not least of which was their ability to recover from losses that would shatter any other army in the world) and it's also true that the resultant battle experience did help shape some factors of German arms development.

Not all arms development though and it's folly to think that in a hypothetical 'no Eastern Front scenario' that the Allies would be facing basically the same army that fought in France. It would be a lot less seasoned for sure but nonetheless it would still would be an army with several campaigns worth of battle experience and data to assimilate. I've already argued that German AFV development would still continue as would other aspects of their equipment. Militaries still continue to develop in peacetime and the German Army isn't going to stand still for the 4 years between the end of the Battle of France and a D-Day event in 1944.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarsh
Remember the Allies DID face the German cream and managed to beat it. The Americans at St. Lo and the British/Canadians at Caen. Both were very bloody battles and the Germans fought hard but in the end they were defeated.
It was hardly the German cream though. Sure enough, some of the officers and NCOs were battle-hardened from the Eastern Front but most of the new German recruits at this time were receiving very little basic training. Given that the Western Allies had a) air supremacy, b) a logistical chain that made the Germans green with envy, c) fresh, well-rested troops and d) a numerical superiority they ought to have done better in France than they did historically. The German Army in 1944 was stripped of mobility, low on fuel and had virtually no air cover. Don't fool yourself that the Western Allies beat the cream of the Wehrmacht. The only nation that can claim that distinction is the Soviet Union.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarsh
I agree with Doppelganger on one point, the success of Overlord would have depended on Air Superiority. The allies nor axis would not have succeed without it. However all things considered, I feel that although the Luftwaffe continued to fight on after 1940, the BOB was a defeat they never recovered from and thus the allies would have won the skies after a bitter struggle.
Well they did recover and as I earlier pointed out, some of the top German pilots of the war were trained after 1940. The only reason why the Luftwaffe did not fully recover from the losses during the Battle of Britain was because they had no real time to.

It might be an idea to have a read of the following article, if you have time. It examines many of the attitudes regarding the respective performances of both the US and German Army in 1944 and is written by an American author.

http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com.../chapter1.aspx
 


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