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  • Originally posted by marktwain View Post

    I suppose that if Eberding fights to the death for his Fuhrer, he would lose the opportunity to chastise THE CANADIAN , SPRY, FOR HIS caution.
    Woody Allen used to say that Rationalisions were more important than sex- "have you ever tried to get through the morning without at least one rationalisation?'
    It's a common and almost banal critique of the methodical and risk adverse allied attack movements as the German forces were conditioned to the way Soviets attack and advance with their hyperaggressive and less risk adverse style. The German forces also attack like this.

    A few pages ago I posted a link to many Foreign military studies and many similar critiques are in there. I posted one about the 11.Pz commander saying that there were opportunities for the allies to encircle Army Group G but they did not take them.

    I've often seen comments of German commanders seeing the allies as being infatuated with flank security, which slows their advances.

    Without being familiar with the battle in question, I see comments such as this as deriving from different combat doctrines.
    Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
    Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
    Barbarossa Derailed I & II
    Battle of Kalinin October 1941

    Comment


    • From Closing with the Enemy:

      "Statistics on the operations of the IX, XIX, and XXIX TACs in support of 12th Army Group illustrate the extent of the fighter-bomber's role. Between 6 June 1944 and 8 May 1945, fighter-bomber units flew a total of 212,731 sorties while performing their air superiority, battlefield interdiction, and close support roles. CAS missions in direct support of 12th Army Group equaled 69,326 sorties, or just over 32 percent of the total tactical air effort. Ammunition expenditure data attest to the tremendous firepower of the fighter-bomber. IX TAC dropped 35,000 tons of bombs and fired 24 million rounds of .50-caliber machine-gun ammunition at the German army between D-Day and the end of the war. XIX TAC fighter-bombers fired approximately 500 rounds of .50-caliber ammunition per sortie and dropped an average of 120 bombs per 100 sorties in support of Third Army.32"

      -one squadron was 12 x P-47s, 8 equipped with two x 500 lb bombs and the other were regular fighter aircraft. The 500 lb. bombs were more powerful than artillery. Squadrons could perform up to 5 sorties a day.
      Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
      Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
      Barbarossa Derailed I & II
      Battle of Kalinin October 1941

      Comment


      • The next great bombing after COBRA was the prep for QUEEN in Nov 1944.

        RAF, 8USAF, 9USAF dropped 10,000 tons of bombs over the course of two hours. US 1st and 9th Armies fired 50,000 artillery rounds.

        However, the breakthrough failed as "Deep dugouts reduced German casualties and the shock effects of the bombing, so that enemy soldiers were able to man their defenses immediately after the bombardment".

        "A 4,000-yard bomb safety zone had kept the heavy bombers from striking enemy positions directly opposing American units, but they were very successful in striking targets deep in the enemy's zone. Communications centers were hit hard and out of action for extended periods. Bomber strikes against secondary defenses were effective but did not help American ground units to advance."

        This was a result of the high losses from friendly fire from the COBRA bombing. The next great bombing put too much distance between US troops and the bomb zone, leaving forward German positions undestroyed.

        Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
        Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
        Barbarossa Derailed I & II
        Battle of Kalinin October 1941

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post

          It's a common and almost banal critique of the methodical and risk adverse allied attack movements as the German forces were conditioned to the way Soviets attack and advance with their hyperaggressive and less risk adverse style. The German forces also attack like this.

          A few pages ago I posted a link to many Foreign military studies and many similar critiques are in there. I posted one about the 11.Pz commander saying that there were opportunities for the allies to encircle Army Group G but they did not take them.

          I've often seen comments of German commanders seeing the allies as being infatuated with flank security, which slows their advances.

          Without being familiar with the battle in question, I see comments such as this as deriving from different combat doctrines.
          The Breskens Pocket/ operation Switchback is usually combined into the Battle of The Scheldt.

          By User:W.wolny - This file was derived from: Map - Battle of the Scheldt (Oct-Nov 44).jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/inde...rid=24822543By User:W.wolny -
          The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

          Comment


          • I always thought that Guy Simonds was a bit of an overlooked candidate in the hurly burly of British-American competition for "best general".

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post

              It's a common and almost banal critique of the methodical and risk adverse allied attack movements as the German forces were conditioned to the way Soviets attack and advance with their hyperaggressive and less risk adverse style. The German forces also attack like this.

              A few pages ago I posted a link to many Foreign military studies and many similar critiques are in there. I posted one about the 11.Pz commander saying that there were opportunities for the allies to encircle Army Group G but they did not take them.

              I've often seen comments of German commanders seeing the allies as being infatuated with flank security, which slows their advances.

              Without being familiar with the battle in question, I see comments such as this as deriving from different combat doctrines.
              Currently reading The British Way of War in North West Europe by L P Divine, and he makes a very persuasive case that despite the 'Colossal Cracks' approach of warfare, that the British were said to have used at the higher echelons of command, the realities were very different. The British were not as risk adverse as most commentators have stated, and suffered huge losses in infantry casualties as a result. It appears the British complained about their own lack of firepower in the attack, especially against positioned mg's (always mg42's apparently), but won (when odds were equal) through superior artillery support. In the Normandy campaign, it was even suggested that, given the plethora of German armour, that one element of every infantry formation be AT heavy, eg one section in every platoon, be equiped with a PIAT and other AT devices. They even suggested tank hunting parties during the night as a reasonable deterrent to enemy armour.

              It appears that British infantry usually operated without tank support, but with able artillery, to defeat equal numbers of enemy troops.

              It was also noted that when armour was actually available, casualties fell dramatically, and objectives taken quicker, not the most surprising conclusion imo.
              How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
              Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post

                Currently reading The British Way of War in North West Europe by L P Divine, and he makes a very persuasive case that despite the 'Colossal Cracks' approach of warfare, that the British were said to have used at the higher echelons of command, the realities were very different. The British were not as risk adverse as most commentators have stated, and suffered huge losses in infantry casualties as a result. It appears the British complained about their own lack of firepower in the attack, especially against positioned mg's (always mg42's apparently), but won (when odds were equal) through superior artillery support. In the Normandy campaign, it was even suggested that, given the plethora of German armour, that one element of every infantry formation be AT heavy, eg one section in every platoon, be equiped with a PIAT and other AT devices. They even suggested tank hunting parties during the night as a reasonable deterrent to enemy armour.

                It appears that British infantry usually operated without tank support, but with able artillery, to defeat equal numbers of enemy troops.

                It was also noted that when armour was actually available, casualties fell dramatically, and objectives taken quicker, not the most surprising conclusion imo.
                good point.
                by 1944, MAnpower for infantry was scraping the Barrel. One of the greatest successes of Bernard Montgomery was to change the mindset of the infantryman from -' cut by the yard', to a true specialist, able to carry on and assume initiative, under adverse circumstances.
                The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post

                  Currently reading The British Way of War in North West Europe by L P Divine, and he makes a very persuasive case that despite the 'Colossal Cracks' approach of warfare, that the British were said to have used at the higher echelons of command, the realities were very different. The British were not as risk adverse as most commentators have stated, and suffered huge losses in infantry casualties as a result. It appears the British complained about their own lack of firepower in the attack, especially against positioned mg's (always mg42's apparently), but won (when odds were equal) through superior artillery support.
                  ...

                  It appears that British infantry usually operated without tank support, but with able artillery, to defeat equal numbers of enemy troops.
                  There's a perhaps apocryphal story I remember written by a Canadian gunner that related that a good crew could get off 20 or so rounds a minute from a 25 pounder for brief periods of time. The rate of fire was often limited by the need to get the spent casings out of the way. Apparently, they kept getting German prisoners asking about their "secret magazine fed artillery pieces".

                  Comment


                  • The "Thunderbirds" fired 167, 153 artillery rounds during the first 4 months in combat with the US 5th Army in Italy.

                    At Anzio during Feb 1944, the division fired 129,732 rounds.

                    Jan 22- March 28, 1944, the 3.ID sustained 5,475 battle and 5,441 nonbattle casualties. In 66 days of combat, the division lost 116 % of its infantry, over 70% to German artillery fire.

                    The battle and non-battle loss rates at Anzio required full replacements every 94 days for the division and 74 days for the inf regiments. Over 90% of battle losses will be infantry and future replacements should be weighted accordingy.
                    Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
                    Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
                    Barbarossa Derailed I & II
                    Battle of Kalinin October 1941

                    Comment


                    • This is a good study on an important topic- the development of US battalion commanders in 42-43

                      https://www.amazon.com/Battalion-Com...2205577&sr=8-1
                      Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
                      Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
                      Barbarossa Derailed I & II
                      Battle of Kalinin October 1941

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post

                        Currently reading The British Way of War in North West Europe by L P Divine, and he makes a very persuasive case that despite the 'Colossal Cracks' approach of warfare, that the British were said to have used at the higher echelons of command, the realities were very different. The British were not as risk adverse as most commentators have stated, and suffered huge losses in infantry casualties as a result. It appears the British complained about their own lack of firepower in the attack, especially against positioned mg's (always mg42's apparently), but won (when odds were equal) through superior artillery support. In the Normandy campaign, it was even suggested that, given the plethora of German armour, that one element of every infantry formation be AT heavy, eg one section in every platoon, be equiped with a PIAT and other AT devices. They even suggested tank hunting parties during the night as a reasonable deterrent to enemy armour.

                        It appears that British infantry usually operated without tank support, but with able artillery, to defeat equal numbers of enemy troops.

                        It was also noted that when armour was actually available, casualties fell dramatically, and objectives taken quicker, not the most surprising conclusion imo.
                        thanks for the recommendation, I picked up the unit history already!

                        The Normandy campaign saw a somewhat equal distribution in casualties and CW was supposedly a "wasting asset" by August 1944, which is why the US took over the majority of the fighting in the ETO.

                        I have data on all US army losses in divisions. American losses in infantry divisions were varied somewhat and were up to 450% of infantry strength (US 4.ID) with 83% of losses from the infantry units on average. Approx. half of the 2.6 million plus reserve pool was used up in the war.

                        IIRC CW losses in the West front 44-45 were as a consequence, light (around 168K IIRC) had a high fraction in Normandy. US losses were over 3.5 times greater. Distribution is weighted much more heavily Sept 1944- May 1945.

                        The artillery was the most clearly dominant arm in the Allied forces and world class. Unlike the other arms, it hit the ground running. It improved the effectiveness of all other arms & helped even inexperienced forces perform effectively.
                        Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
                        Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
                        Barbarossa Derailed I & II
                        Battle of Kalinin October 1941

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by marktwain View Post

                          The Breskens Pocket/ operation Switchback is usually combined into the Battle of The Scheldt.]
                          I think I have 2-3 minor books that cover this operation. Haven't read them yet though.
                          Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
                          Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
                          Barbarossa Derailed I & II
                          Battle of Kalinin October 1941

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post

                            I think I have 2-3 minor books that cover this operation. Haven't read them yet though.
                            Hubert Essling wrote some really good analysis of the Campaigns on the North West flank in 1944-45. He has a high opinion of Bernard Montgomery- one not shared by my father.
                            Thankfully, father saw little of the slug out on the Scheldt. He was called to Britain to rejoin the training staff, along with other Sergeants that had trained troops before D-day.
                            My dad took over training a squad of air force support staff that had mutinied - and staged a 'borehole trial' for the pre world war one sargents who had been in charge of the 'do-over.'. A combination of men who had volunteered for the air force, then had been 'internally shanghaied.' into the army infantry.,,,,and were promised a clear record and honorable discharges if they didn't repeat.

                            My father's regiment was broken up for refilling depleted regiments before he could re join.

                            Anyhow, Essling is very critical of Bomber Command, who should have blasted the German's Walcheren artillery, - "but chose to bomb housing estates in the Reich' instead.( his words)
                            The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

                            Comment


                            • Interesting post Mark Zuehlke has wrote a couple of books in the last 2 years covering the 1st Canadian Army and their campaigns to capture the ports and clear the Scheldt Estuary. At over 500 pages per book they must be very detailed.

                              https://www.amazon.com/Cinderella-Ca...7FRSEWVAGHD3XS


                              https://www.amazon.com/Terrible-Vict...WJPQPDQ5KSATV4
                              Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

                              Comment


                              • Mark Zuehlke is a Canadian and I would think all of his books, although I never bought or read one (that will be changing), are a labor of love that cover the brave Canadian armed forces and their contributions in WWII. Good link here:

                                https://zuehlke.ca/
                                Theo mir ist die munition ausgegangen ich werde diesen ramman auf wiedersehen uns in walhalla

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