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  • The Germans discover Patton's army is a ruse

    I can think of so many ways the Germans could have discovered the truth about Patton's fake army gathered around the southeast coast of England.

    The amazing thing is that they never tumbled to it. The consequences for the Allied invasion of France would have been huge had they done so. To try to establish just how huge is the purpose of this 'What if.....?'.

    Simply establishing that one landing craft or one tank was in fact a dummy would have led the Germans to think, "Why would they put dummy landing crafts and tanks around Dover?" That and the countless other ways the deception could have been uncovered would lead the German High Command to the obvious conclusion that, "The Allies want to deceive us into believing that the main invasion will be through the Pas-de-Calais."

    Question is: What would happen as a result of this discovery? Would the Germans have definitely concluded that FUSAG was entirely fictional and that the real invasion would be through Normandy? For the purposes of this thread, we might assume they do reach the conclusion that Pas-de-Calais will not be the focal point of the invasion.

    If so, how would they have reconfigured their defenses, and would they have been able to mount a successful defense under that scenario?


    Philip
    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." Bertrand Russell

  • #2
    Originally posted by philiplaos View Post
    I can think of so many ways the Germans could have discovered the truth about Patton's fake army gathered around the southeast coast of England.

    The amazing thing is that they never tumbled to it. The consequences for the Allied invasion of France would have been huge had they done so. Just how huge is the purpose of this 'What if.....?'.

    Simply establishing that one landing craft or one tank was in fact a dummy would have led the Germans to think, "Why would they put dummy landing crafts and tanks around Dover?" That and the countless other ways the deception could have been uncovered would lead the German High Command to the obvious conclusion that, "The Allies want to deceive us into believing that the main invasion will be through the Pas-de-Calais."

    Question is: What would happen as a result of this discovery? Would the Germans have definitely concluded that FUSAG was entirely fictional and that the real invasion would be through Normandy? For the purposes of this thread, we might assume they do reach the conclusion that Pas-de-Calais will not be the focal point of the invasion.

    If so, how would they have reconfigured their defenses, and would they have been able to mount a successful defense under that scenario?


    Philip
    If I remember right the Germans still thought the real invasion was coming at Calais, even after the landings in Normandy were fully underway. That said, if it caused a major redeployment to Normandy casualties could have been much greater on the beaches. I still think the landings would have been successful either way.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by llkinak View Post
      If I remember right the Germans still thought the real invasion was coming at Calais, even after the landings in Normandy were fully underway. That said, if it caused a major redeployment to Normandy casualties could have been much greater on the beaches. I still think the landings would have been successful either way.
      I'm in line with this point of view. The consequences would have been greater, but the end result would likely be the same. Even if the reconnaissance of the Germans had been sound evidence that Calais wouldn't be the point of attack, they would have still feared Patton enough to keep a considerable amount of forces there just in case.
      "The time for war has not yet come, but it will come, and that soon; and when it does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard."

      -Thomas Jonathan Jackson-

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Plutarch View Post
        Even if the reconnaissance of the Germans had been sound evidence that Calais wouldn't be the point of attack, they would have still feared Patton enough to keep a considerable amount of forces there just in case.
        Even if they had concluded that the army Patton was supposedly in command of was largely constructed of fake units and equipment built with rubber and thin, painted plywood?


        Philip
        "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." Bertrand Russell

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Plutarch View Post
          I'm in line with this point of view. The consequences would have been greater, but the end result would likely be the same. Even if the reconnaissance of the Germans had been sound evidence that Calais wouldn't be the point of attack, they would have still feared Patton enough to keep a considerable amount of forces there just in case.


          Feared Patton? they feared Monty far more than Patton, all patton had managed thus far of note was making a fool of himself in the desert against a defeated foe.

          Pattons moment of shining was the breakout from the Cherbourg area.
          Task Force Regenbogen- Support and Paras

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Dashy View Post
            Feared Patton? they feared Monty far more than Patton, all patton had managed thus far of note was making a fool of himself in the desert against a defeated foe.

            Pattons moment of shining was the breakout from the Cherbourg area.
            ????

            He beat Rommel out of the box, then drove through Sicily.

            The immediate impacts

            1. Rommel only has to mine one location

            2. The panzer reserves and auto orders can be adjusted to react much more quickly

            3. The allies reading the German mail, go hrmmm.... and land at Pais De Calais. The German army in France is outflanked and destroyed by the end of July.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by zraver View Post
              The allies reading the German mail, go hrmmm.... and land at Pais De Calais. The German army in France is outflanked and destroyed by the end of July.
              That would have involved moving all the landing crafts and everything else from Southampton and the other embarkation points to Dover and the southeast. Which would have been easily spotted by the Germans.

              Unless it was possible for the entire invasion armada to set off from Southampton, etc. and make it all the way to Calais during the very bad seas on that day.

              Anyway, I was more interested in the German response to the discovery of the Allied deception. Given that the Germans had such an advantage in the number of defensive divisions under their command, they had a great deal of flexibility if they only realised that they indeed had such an advantage.

              It was only their belief that FUSAG was a real army that led them to believe that the Allies had many more divisions than was the case. In the event of the FUSAG deception being exposed, the German High Command would have realised the numerical advantage they held and deployed accordingly.


              Philip
              "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." Bertrand Russell

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by zraver View Post
                ????

                He beat Rommel out of the box, then drove through Sicily.

                The immediate impacts

                1. Rommel only has to mine one location

                2. The panzer reserves and auto orders can be adjusted to react much more quickly

                3. The allies reading the German mail, go hrmmm.... and land at Pais De Calais. The German army in France is outflanked and destroyed by the end of July.
                Monty Beat Rommel, to say otherwise is just silly, its like saying the Americans beat back the German spring offensive, sure they played a part, but it was mainly the British and French.

                Patton was just part of a larger picture. He didn't begin to really shine in German eyes till after D-Day, as stated before.
                Task Force Regenbogen- Support and Paras

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by zraver View Post
                  ????

                  He beat Rommel out of the box, then drove through Sicily.

                  The immediate impacts

                  1. Rommel only has to mine one location

                  2. The panzer reserves and auto orders can be adjusted to react much more quickly

                  3. The allies reading the German mail, go hrmmm.... and land at Pais De Calais. The German army in France is outflanked and destroyed by the end of July.
                  Changing the intent of the OP to fit your own scenario.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Roddoss72 View Post
                    Changing the intent of the OP to fit your own scenario.
                    Hopefully, it will quickly get away from a Patton vs. Monty firefight.

                    So how do you think it would play out if the Germans discovered the FUSAG deception?


                    Granddad
                    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." Bertrand Russell

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by philiplaos View Post
                      Even if they had concluded that the army Patton was supposedly in command of was largely constructed of fake units and equipment built with rubber and thin, painted plywood? Philip
                      Even then, they had no way of confirming that these fake field armies weren't diversions that could have been backed-up by an actual force hidden out sight. Patton's reputation for all-out aggressiveness and constant forward attack movements wasn't cemented in German minds by this point in time, obviously. But the propoganda that voiced Patton's tangible desire to be the first into Europe, glorifying himself in the process, was recognized by everyone, and I think this had a unique impact on the mentality of Germany's war-planners as it concerned where the attacks would take place (and who would personally lead them.)

                      Like a previous poster stated, Germany was slow to react to the Normandy invasion because they assumed it was a diversionary tactic. Hence, the Germans maintained the majority of their force at Calais for vital days before transferring them.
                      "The time for war has not yet come, but it will come, and that soon; and when it does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard."

                      -Thomas Jonathan Jackson-

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by philiplaos View Post
                        Hopefully, it will quickly get away from a Patton vs. Monty firefight.

                        So how do you think it would play out if the Germans discovered the FUSAG deception?


                        Granddad
                        Well for a start Operations Bodyguard, Glimmer and Taxable are flops, the Germans aren't buying it, they discover they are ruses and continue to beef up their units in the Normany area.

                        Rommel is a stickler for detail and decides to personally inspect the beachheads and discovers weakpoints that will be plugged, not only this but Rommel can deploy the Panzer units to the immediate reserve, less than 40 kilometres away, 1 to 2 hours from the landing zones, also in this Rommel can begin to deploy more artillery and Mobile Radar Units with substantially more anit-aircraft batteries. Fact the allies did not as i am aware of deployed chaff prior to the pre-dawn paratroop deployment. Also the Luftwaffe can deploy more nightfighter units into the area.

                        Also in this context Hitler is convinced that Normandy is the target, and in this, gives Rommel free reign to deploy Heer but SS units without getting approval directly from the Fuhrer, he can then speed up the deployment of SS Units as the situation allows.

                        What happens is that the Pre-Dawn assault by Airborne and Glider forces comes under much heavier attack from Flak Batteries and Night Fighters, causing much higher casualties, also German ground troops are alerted much quicker and can intercept the Airborne assault troops much quicker and hit them harder.

                        As the Airborne assaults the allies begin to effect the actual invasion, Rommel knows that the pattern of Allied Tactics and that is conduct heavy naval bombardment, this is fine because the Germans are well dug in and many of the heavy shells pass overhead and causing little damage, just some shaken up troops. So when the landing vessels begin to deploy instead of lightly defended beaches they run right into a maelstrom of all sorts of weapons from bolt action rifles to entrenched 88MM dual purpose guns taking a heavy toll on landing craft.

                        To be continued....

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Plutarch View Post
                          Even then, they had no way of confirming that these fake field armies weren't diversions that could have been backed-up by an actual force hidden out sight.
                          I don't see this. Most of the southern and southeast coastline was a tightly restricted area. An 'actual force' (which would have necessarily been huge) would have had to be further inland, beyond the restricted area, and impossible to hide. No such force would have been apparent to the Germans since it didn't exist. If it had, they'd have known about it. Since it didn't, they didn't, and wouldn't assume that it did.

                          If you catch my drift.


                          Philip
                          "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." Bertrand Russell

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Roddoss72 View Post
                            Changing the intent of the OP to fit your own scenario.
                            Nope, allied signals intercepts and near total domination of the air over France in the spring of 44 give them a huge intelligence advantage even if the Germans discovered the Allied plans. This is a fact that cannot be simply discounted.

                            As for Dashy, the list of Monty's defeats is as long as his victories, if fact a person could b forgiven for thinking he had a special reverse gear installed in his boots. Patton never took a step backward becuase of German pressure.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by philiplaos View Post
                              I don't see this. Most of the southern and southeast coastline was a tightly restricted area. An 'actual force' (which would have necessarily been huge) would have had to be further inland, beyond the restricted area, and impossible to hide. No such force would have been apparent to the Germans since it didn't exist. If it had, they'd have known about it. Since it didn't, they didn't, and wouldn't assume that it did.

                              If you catch my drift.


                              Philip
                              Good points. I stand corrected.

                              In this instance, then, there'd obviously be a considerable redeployment of units for the French coastline. The additional numbers, in my opinion, wouldn't amount to a huge difference in terms of the casualties they could inflict on the Allied invasion, mostly because the Germans still didn't know the exact point at which the amphibious assault would come from and the forces would have been thinned out along France's beaches. Plus, remember that Rommel would have remained inactive (sick leave in Berlin, as I recall).

                              It's doubtful the Allies would have altered the location of the landing or their plans at all with intelligence of an increased build-up of German troops; with the exception of possibly more emphasis on naval bombardment prior to the landing and a greater number of airborne troops being dropped behind enemy lines. Further precautionary measures such as increasing supplies, ammunition, etc. would have been amped up.

                              It goes without saying that the result of the German's foiling Patton's distraction would lead to more fatalities during the invasion due to better enemy fortifications, increased awareness, and strategic preparedness. In the end, though, the Allied plan was far too 'set in motion' to be reneged or changed. The swaths of troops at our disposal would have ensured victory, no matter how many waves that had to be sent.

                              Then the question begs of the extent that the Allied fighting capacity would have been depleted. Less resources and manpower would have undoubtedly slowed progress inwards, at least initially. In terms of the invasion, though, success was a necessity the Allied war planners had commited themeselves to, along with the lives of American, British, and Australian soldiers. We were going to take those beaches that day.
                              "The time for war has not yet come, but it will come, and that soon; and when it does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard."

                              -Thomas Jonathan Jackson-

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