Overlord: Would it have been successful without an Eastern Front? - Page 4




 
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September 2nd, 2008  
perseus
 
 
I recall Max Hastings said in Overlord (something like) in all theatres of war in WW2 there was never any occasion in which German army were beaten except by a force greater in material strength.
September 2nd, 2008  
Del Boy
 
Well - the end of WW11 onwards was my time, I was 10 in 1945. I trump Max Hastings on this one because he wasn't even born until 1945.

I knew, met, saw, celebrated with, heavily involved warriors returning from all fronts of WW11, in the air, at sea, Monte Casino, Desert Rats,subs, Queen ships, Burma,with russian forces, etc.etc. I knew guys who had been prisoners of war of Germans and Japs. Many of them were family, and fellow soldiers.

One thing I have to say - I never heard ONE of them commenting on the great quality of German forces at the time, far from it. They held no big reputation that I was ever aware of.

I also question Max Hastings on another point - did he ever serve up front in any arm?

How many Brit generals etc. were ever in awe of these German troops glorified by some so far from the action? I think I am happy with the face to face professional opinion of the time and place.

I do not accept the big IF for one minute; they called the time, they called the place, they called the action - now 'foul' is constantly called. Look - let's be honest. There was nothing noble or admirable about Germany's part in that war worth shouting about. Nothing.

Just my opinion you understand.
September 3rd, 2008  
errol
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Del Boy
Well - the end of WW11 onwards was my time, I was 10 in 1945. I trump Max Hastings on this one because he wasn't even born until 1945.

I knew, met, saw, celebrated with, heavily involved warriors returning from all fronts of WW11, in the air, at sea, Monte Casino, Desert Rats,subs, Queen ships, Burma,with russian forces, etc.etc. I knew guys who had been prisoners of war of Germans and Japs. Many of them were family, and fellow soldiers.

One thing I have to say - I never heard ONE of them commenting on the great quality of German forces at the time, far from it. They held no big reputation that I was ever aware of.

I also question Max Hastings on another point - did he ever serve up front in any arm?

How many Brit generals etc. were ever in awe of these German troops glorified by some so far from the action? I think I am happy with the face to face professional opinion of the time and place.

I do not accept the big IF for one minute; they called the time, they called the place, they called the action - now 'foul' is constantly called. Look - let's be honest. There was nothing noble or admirable about Germany's part in that war worth shouting about. Nothing.

Just my opinion you understand.
You will need to read Max Hasting's book. In the revised edition there is an interesting chapter at the end which includes comments from returned soldiers and generals who were there in Normandy. Most were in awe of the German performance given the odds against them. We are talking about the German soldier here, not the politics.


Even soldiers who were there didn't always have a good overview of what was going on. I think Hastings book (this book was written in the 80's) put some balance back into the discussion on fighting ability. The Germans would have belted us even without Ostfront experience!!!
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September 3rd, 2008  
Topmaul
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeEnfield
Overlord was designed for the conditions as they stood at the time, now had the whole Atlantic wall been packed with Panzer's, then no doubt the the Atom bomb would have been dropped on Germany before it was dropped on Japan. Ain't life just full of ifs and buts

And Germans would have hit back with G-series nerve agents! Which would have killed the invasion right there on the beach!

I am shocked that no one chimed in on this, Germany had nerve gas ready for use in the Second World War it could have been a very desisive weapon if properly employed. Good thing it was not we had nothing like it we only had our WW1 style gasses.
September 12th, 2008  
chief_darkcloud
 
 

One alternative to consider in this scenario would have been an all out invasion of Spain/Portugal. This would have allowed the western allies to get a solid foothold on the continent. Of course the Germans would have came to Franco's aid but would have been stretched even further from their main supply lines. Once established they would have fought eastward while also having the ability to threaten the whole european coastline with follow up landings. If the western allies had the will I think ultimate victory would have been achieved with obviously much greater losses.
September 12th, 2008  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chief_darkcloud
One alternative to consider in this scenario would have been an all out invasion of Spain/Portugal. This would have allowed the western allies to get a solid foothold on the continent. Of course the Germans would have came to Franco's aid but would have been stretched even further from their main supply lines. Once established they would have fought eastward while also having the ability to threaten the whole european coastline with follow up landings. If the western allies had the will I think ultimate victory would have been achieved with obviously much greater losses.
I seriously doubt the Western Allies would consider an invasion of Spain or Portugal; Napoleon did this and he had nothing but trouble for his efforts. Also, the logistical exercise in getting even the forces that were required for D-Day (which would be insufficient in this scenario) would be far greater than the short hop across the English Channel. It's a no-go as far as I'm concerned unless the Allies were somehow able to get Franco's permission.

Short of using WMDs the Allies would face a very uncertain outcome if they took on a fully intact Wehrmacht and a much stronger Luftwaffe than historically. The Red Army broke the spine of the Wehrmacht in WW2, albeit with critical help from Lend-Lease. IMO no Eastern war = no victory for the Western Allies.
September 13th, 2008  
perseus
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Del Boy
One thing I have to say - I never heard ONE of them commenting on the great quality of German forces at the time, far from it. They held no big reputation that I was ever aware of.
Interesting comment, my Father had the same opinion of the prisoners of war they captured in Italy. A scruffy ramshackle bunch begging for a cigarette. I suppose those who surrendered were not the prime of the army like those first encountered on D-Day.
September 13th, 2008  
perseus
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chief_darkcloud
One alternative to consider in this scenario would have been an all out invasion of Spain/Portugal. This would have allowed the western allies to get a solid foothold on the continent. Of course the Germans would have came to Franco's aid but would have been stretched even further from their main supply lines. Once established they would have fought eastward while also having the ability to threaten the whole European coastline with follow up landings. If the western allies had the will I think ultimate victory would have been achieved with obviously much greater losses.
Surely this would have been even worse than Italy, with a mountain range acting as a barrier to the continent, but even more remote to Germany. At least you could expect the Italians to surrender.
September 13th, 2008  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by perseus
Interesting comment, my Father had the same opinion of the prisoners of war they captured in Italy. A scruffy ramshackle bunch begging for a cigarette. I suppose those who surrendered were not the prime of the army like those first encountered on D-Day.
Are you sure he was speaking of the Germans when he said that,my Father said almost the exact same thing of the Italians but he always said that the Germans would beg for nothing they would take things if offered but that was it.
September 13th, 2008  
Topmaul
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by perseus
Interesting comment, my Father had the same opinion of the prisoners of war they captured in Italy. A scruffy ramshackle bunch begging for a cigarette. I suppose those who surrendered were not the prime of the army like those first encountered on D-Day.
My Uncle, talked very little about the war, one day he did open up a just a bit and said that the Germans were extremely tough. He was one of the first who enlisted after Pearl Harbor and saw a lot of blood.

Considering the losses on the eastern front it's amazing the German Army functioned as well as it did. They never ran out of good NCOs until the end of the war. I believe a British General commented on that point.
 


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