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The Germans discover Patton's army is a ruse

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  • #16
    Originally posted by philiplaos View Post
    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.
    How?

    I am assuming the Germans eithe rkeep 1 good agent in England, a commando team is landed or some lucky Luftwaffe pilots succeeds in a day light recon mission. Nothing indicates the Germans have real time intelligence of allied operations, only that they've discovered the beaches.

    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.
    Possible, more likely the invasion gets moved either forward or backwards depending on conditions at the actual beaches targeted.

    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.
    Those fortress divisions were for the most part almost entirely immobile, lacked everything including German soldiers, were poorly trained and poorly led.

    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.
    FUSAG was just part of the deception effort. FUSG was also more than just rubber tanks, there were signals units generating fake radio traffic, the are across the Dover straits was bombed as if the allies were trying to isolate the defenders in the region etc. Finally of course is the person of Patton himself. The Germans considered him the only allied commander in the west who really understood mobile warfare and the true nature of the tank. Patton had been an armor officer since WWI (he designed the US Armor branch triangle patch), was the oldest serving armor officer in any army in WWII. Prior to tanks he had been a cavalry officer and one of the best shots in the world competing at the Olympics and shooting Mexican bandits.

    As the US re-armed he trained the re-born armor branch in massive maneuvers across the South and West of the United States and was one of the first US armor division commanders..

    Promoted, given command and told to rally US performance after Kasserine, American troops under his command during Operation Husky easily matched the performance of the more experienced British. In part becuase Patton understood the need to keep the pressure on, and knew how to keep the pressure on.

    The German's already knew he was dangerous, and like Vatutin the only real allied army commanders able to hold their own with Germany's panzer generals. His later performance in France was merely the proof of the pudding.

    This is why the Germans believed in FUSAG, they could not fathom that the allied would leave their best general out of the fight.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Roddoss72 View Post
      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.
      Actually, Glimmer and Taxable worked pretty much as planned. The Germans reported a large invasion fleet headed towards the Pas de Calais and this was dutifully passed up the chain of command. It was a major reason Hitler and the OKW held the panzers in that area for over 24 hours. They wanted to be sure they had stuff to meet the invasion they thought was coming there based on the radar reports and other reports from that area they were getting.

      It was only after it became clear it was a ruse were the units released.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Plutarch View Post
        Plus, remember that Rommel would have remained inactive (sick leave in Berlin, as I recall).
        Actually, went to Ulm to visit his wife on her birthday.

        ...and a greater number of airborne troops being dropped behind enemy lines.
        Can't see this.
        In fact, the 82nd Abn Div's intended landing zones at St Sauveur le Vicomte were changed to the Ste Mere Eglise area after it was found the German 91st Div was moved to the area of the original target.

        I find this aspect of the question the most interesting.
        Leigh-Mallory(?) recommended dropping the airborne plan altogether but Eisenhower considered the airborne portion of the plan as critical to success.
        With an increase in German units in the Calvados, would the airborne jumps have gone ahead ?

        ...along with the lives of American, British, and Australian soldiers. We were going to take those beaches that day.
        I think you mean Canadian soldiers.
        Australians had no presence in Normandy.
        Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

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        • #19
          With complete Allied air and offshore naval bombardment supremacy, I can't see how the Germans could have prevented an Allied lodgement along the Normandy shore. The German's Luftwaffe would have needed the ability to drive off all of the attacking Allied aircraft or the Kriegsmarine to do the same against the massive invasion force off the Normandy beaches. With Allied aircraft pounding the German inland re-supply routes and Allied off shore naval bombardment neutralizing any German troop concentrations, the issue soon becomes moot, no matter how many additional German troops you throw into the fray.
          "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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          • #20
            Originally posted by tigersqn View Post
            Actually, went to Ulm to visit his wife on her birthday. Can't see this. In fact, the 82nd Abn Div's intended landing zones at St Sauveur le Vicomte were changed to the Ste Mere Eglise area after it was found the German 91st Div was moved to the area of the original target. I find this aspect of the question the most interesting. Leigh-Mallory(?) recommended dropping the airborne plan altogether but Eisenhower considered the airborne portion of the plan as critical to success. With an increase in German units in the Calvados, would the airborne jumps have gone ahead ? I think you mean Canadian soldiers. Australians had no presence in Normandy.
            Appreciate the corrections on Rommel and the Canadians, not the Australians. I sometimes confuse and jumble the specifics of the 'where and when' with the Allied powers.

            As for the point of interest you mentioned, I find it unlikely that Eisenhower would have been dissuaded from employing airborne units. Considering how effective their roles were in securing areas traversed by forces moving inland from the beaches. But, then again, they succeeded in part because of the spread-out locations of German forces. Even with a denser portion of Crouts occupying the towns nearby the Allied landing point, though, it could be reasonably assumed that the extra supply of these troops would be concentrated in the towns themselves as defensive reserves. This would leave the few, relatively 'safe' drop zones (used by the 82nd and the 101st) still open to land paratroopers in our alternative circumstance.

            In terms of light airborne forces employed to take out the artillery pieces and machine-gun nests which would have hampered the Allied invasion force, these objectives would probably be just as difficult as they were without redeployed Germans, in my eyes. This job was crucial and consequently necessitated their presence.

            The biggest concern would be how to take over the newly, more heavily fortified towns like Saint-Lo, Bayeux, and arguably the most formidable, Caen. Without a doubt, the airborne forces couldn't have busted up and assumed control of these areas before the invasion force progressed from the beaches. Clearly, it would have taken higher numbers of men from the landing forces in conjunction with airborne divisions to remove Germans in the towns and keep the invasion on-track.

            Anyways, what are your thoughts on this situation as it relates to airborne divisions?
            "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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            • #21
              Originally posted by tigersqn View Post
              With an increase in German units in the Calvados, would the airborne jumps have gone ahead ?
              Since the German discovery of the FUSAG deception would surely have resulted in increased deployment of units to Normandy, those jumps would have either been abandoned by the Allies (due to seeing the resulting German redeployment) or, if they had gone ahead and been rendered much less effective.

              Which raises the question of how essential the parachute drops, glider landings and the actions of those units were to the whole invasion effort.

              Because if the FUSAG deception had been uncovered, those actions would have been seriously hampered and perhaps rendered ineffective due to the resulting German reinforcement of units inland from the Normandy beaches.


              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

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              • #22
                Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
                With complete Allied air and offshore naval bombardment supremacy, I can't see how the Germans could have prevented an Allied lodgement along the Normandy shore. The German's Luftwaffe would have needed the ability to drive off all of the attacking Allied aircraft or the Kriegsmarine to do the same against the massive invasion force off the Normandy beaches. With Allied aircraft pounding the German inland re-supply routes and Allied off shore naval bombardment neutralizing any German troop concentrations, the issue soon becomes moot, no matter how many additional German troops you throw into the fray.
                That would be my view. Salerno is the perfect example for why. There the Germans had near parity in the air. They threw in half a dozen panzer and panzergrenadier divisions against one US and two British divisions. These had very little armor support too.
                The US 36th Division came ashore to find a panzer division holding the beaches.

                There was no preliminary bombardment.

                Yet, the Allies got ashore, expanded their lodgement and then reinforced it. Naval gunfire proved devastating and stopped the Germans cold time and again. I see zero difference in France.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                  Actually, Glimmer and Taxable worked pretty much as planned. The Germans reported a large invasion fleet headed towards the Pas de Calais and this was dutifully passed up the chain of command. It was a major reason Hitler and the OKW held the panzers in that area for over 24 hours. They wanted to be sure they had stuff to meet the invasion they thought was coming there based on the radar reports and other reports from that area they were getting.

                  It was only after it became clear it was a ruse were the units released.
                  My assertions that Glimmer and Taxable are flops not becasue the Allies carried out those operations and failed tactically, but they failed strategically, the German High Command dismissed those operations as diversions, not only this but i was going to add that the Kriegsmarine had U-Boat Pickets within the English Channel and can report the outset of the false invasion fleet and the real invasion fleet and the Germans guess correctly and that the so called fleet bound for Calais is the diversional fleet while the fleet bound for Normandy is the actual invasion Fleet and has measures to counter the landings.

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                  • #24
                    My take is this. The Normandy battles were initially tougher than expected (by the Allies), but because the Germans deployed forward, when they broke defeat was quicker than expected.

                    If the Germans had deployed all their assets in the right area, I believe a more extreme version of what happened may have come to pass. Fighting would be even more harsh, albeit Anzio showed that the Germans were never likely to dislodge and Allied beachhead, but ultimately as all German combat troops are drawn in, once the break out inevitably comes, defeat could have been even greater for the Axis, as Ally supply lines are shorter when it happens and The Heer has further to retreat.
                    How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
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                    • #25
                      In the best case, the new intelligence tells the Germans that there isn't a whole US Army camped in the South-Eastern corner of Britain. This also makes an Allied landing in the Pas de Calais areas less likely, though not entirely to be excluded. It also doesn't tell the Germans where else the Allies will land. Normandy is likely, but not the only candidate.

                      It might look mightily silly to us now, but throughout the war Hitler feared an Allied landing in Norway, for instance. Provided with the evidence that the Allies were trying to outfox him, he might very well decide that his famous instinct was right and reinforce Norway.
                      Michele

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                        If the Germans had deployed all their assets in the right area, I believe a more extreme version of what happened may have come to pass. Fighting would be even more harsh, albeit Anzio showed that the Germans were never likely to dislodge and Allied beachhead, but ultimately as all German combat troops are drawn in, once the break out inevitably comes, defeat could have been even greater for the Axis, as Ally supply lines are shorter when it happens and The Heer has further to retreat.
                        This might even work to the allies net advantage as the Germans are within the naval gunfire envelope for longer with more forces. I think the good German divisions get written down faster in this scenario.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
                          This might even work to the allies net advantage as the Germans are within the naval gunfire envelope for longer with more forces. I think the good German divisions get written down faster in this scenario.
                          Exactly my thinking, albeit with hindsight. At the time it was probably sensible to keep German forces away from the beaches as long as possible.
                          How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
                          Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

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                          • #28
                            For my first point I'll repost a item I posted on another thread here on ACG just this morning.

                            In July Rommel wrote the following in one of his reports. This extract/translation is from Ellis in his chapter on the Normandy campaign in 'Brute Force'

                            Rommel: >'The Allies had time and material enough... It is my belief that even if we had had ... several Panzer divisions, an AA Corps, a Nebelwefer Brigade, and Parachutists... at the scene of the landing, we would have still lost the battle, as our counter attacks would have been smashed by the Allied naval guns and air force, and out artillery and Nebelwerfer positions would have been put out of action after another by the fantastic Allied barrage ... Ultimately ... no compromise of any kind can make up for total enemy air and artillery superiority'<

                            Wish I could find the full report. Saw it many years ago in some instructional material. My take from it is Rommel decided post battle that his strategy of front loading all the combat units onto the probable landing sites would not have worked, even if he had been allowed to fully implement it. Since Rommel had fairly complete information from his army, corps, and division commanders on the effects of the Allied firepower, the losses of his units and their inability to manuver or counter attack effectively, and personally witnessed some of this I'll trust his judgement.

                            Second point concerns the the Allied deception operations. The command of that operation made their objective to draw the German attention and reserves to the Calais area, but their effort was not a strictly Calais vs Normandy deception. Misdirection was applied towards the Ostend Area north of Calais, the Brittainy pennensula, and the Biscay coast. As well as the Fortitude North - Norway and a Mediterrainian suite of deception packages. Related to this the Germans had no idea of the size of the Neptune operation aimed at Normandy. Five simultaneous distinct beachheads was beyond their concept of Allied plans or capability. They thought two or three beachheads for the Allied main effort.

                            A further complication for the Germans was they were convinced - without any prompting from the Allied deception, that there would be multiple serial attacks. The idea of only a single huge effort aimed at one area was not part of the German conception. The Allied deception staff understood this & the Main Effort/Secondary Effort portion of the Allied deception played on this preconception.

                            My conclusion is Rommel would still not have focused everything on Normandy, but rather distributed the reserves more evenly.

                            On the Allied side the plans of 21st AG & SHAEF allowed for a much faster German response. It was hoped the reaction would be as slow as it was, but the battle plan was laid out on the contingency of more Germans reinforcements sooner. This led to the massive effort at air bombardment of the beaches and the Normandy area. The air attack was out of proportion for the opposition the Allies actually encountered, the reason being Ike & Monty thought it best to use all those aircraft 'just in case'. More battleships and cruisers would have been used as well had the admirals been able or willing to provide them. As it was the firepower of 23 cruisers across five beach heads was not trivial.

                            Final point is, the Allies were closely monitoring the German communications looking for the smallest hints their deceptions were working as planned. Anytime the Germans did not react as hoped both the deception ops and the overall Allied plans were adjusted. The preperation of the Neptune operation were fairly flexible and significant changes were made as late as early May. ie: Utah Beach was not in the original plan made in January & the drop zone of the US 82d Div was moved from the west side of the Cotientin to the eastern side near Utah Beach. These adjustments included accomidations for the beach obstacles and mined that Rommel caused to be laid out in the winter and spring. Entire brigades of engineers were added to the first assualt wave as the obstacles thickened on the beaches.

                            The Neptune assualt plan did not emerge complete from behind Montys veil in January 1944. It was a much evolving & growing thing & not officially 'locked' until just a few weeks before D-Day.
                            Last edited by Carl Schwamberg; 21 Jun 12, 14:43.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
                              With complete Allied air and offshore naval bombardment supremacy, I can't see how the Germans could have prevented an Allied lodgement along the Normandy shore. The German's Luftwaffe would have needed the ability to drive off all of the attacking Allied aircraft or the Kriegsmarine to do the same against the massive invasion force off the Normandy beaches. With Allied aircraft pounding the German inland re-supply routes and Allied off shore naval bombardment neutralizing any German troop concentrations, the issue soon becomes moot, no matter how many additional German troops you throw into the fray.
                              Factors that don't change no matter what the ratzis know or don't know! Agree with the chain of thought that says the cost might be higher but the end is the same.

                              Regards,
                              Dennis
                              If stupid was a criminal offense Sea Lion believers would be doing life.

                              Shouting out to Half Pint for bringing back the big mugs!

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by zraver View Post
                                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.
                                If you really think this please start a new thread to discuss. Hint: how do you think he got a B17 for his personal use?

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