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Mobile Defense of the Reich's borders/borderlands: A better idea than the Ardennes?

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  • #31
    And more
    Attached Files
    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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    • #32
      Great pics there
      High Admiral Snowy, Commander In Chief of the Naval Forces of The Phoenix Confederation.
      Major Atticus Finch - ACW Rainbow Co.

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      • #33
        By Christmas '44, the German Army was not really up to the Ardennes Offensive, which was, after all, another one of Hitler's egotistical pipe dreams. When it was planned, it depended heavily on capturing Allied fuel depots, and a plan like that is hardly viable to begin with.

        Unfortunately, Hitler felt the need to be seen still winning, which vastly limited his options at this point given that Germany was on the defensive. Without the Ardennes Offensive, Germany might have prolonged the agony of her defeat by several months, but the handwriting had been on the proverbial wall since Stalingrad and Kursk.
        Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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        • #34
          Originally posted by asterix View Post
          I think it not only delays the inevitable...but increases the chance that the first A-bomb is dropped on Berlin instead of Hiroshima. The bomb being dropped over Berlin would have the two-fold effect of not only forcing the Germans to the table but also scaring the sh*t out of Stalin and the Soviets.
          There is, I believe, a school of thought in so-called revisionist history that the principal reason that the atomic bombs were dropped on the two targeted Japanese cities was to intimidate J.V. Stalin and the upper echelons of the Soviet Communist Party.
          在魔鬼和深蓝色的海洋之间. 悪魔と深海の間. Carpe hunc diem.

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          • #35
            And that two were dropped to prove they had more than one..

            Sounds logical.
            High Admiral Snowy, Commander In Chief of the Naval Forces of The Phoenix Confederation.
            Major Atticus Finch - ACW Rainbow Co.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by asterix View Post
              I think it not only delays the inevitable...but increases the chance that the first A-bomb is dropped on Berlin instead of Hiroshima. The bomb being dropped over Berlin would have the two-fold effect of not only forcing the Germans to the table but also scaring the sh*t out of Stalin and the Soviets.
              It would not have been dropped on Berlin for the same reason it was not dropped on Tokyo. For an orderly surrender you need someone left alive with the authority to make that surrender and to order the troops to lay down their arms and with enough of a command and control network to get those orders out.

              Forcing the Germans to the table was not the issue - there was evidence that there were enough high ranking Nazis in 1945 willing to seek terms (especially to save their own necks) but the UN mandate was for a total surrender - nothing less - no negotiations.

              Stalin was getting regular updates on the progress at Los Alamos from Klaus Fuchs, including accounts of the Trinity detonation. He knew how many bombs the US had. He was sufficiently callous as to be prepared to loose a city (and when just post war Truman threatened to drop the bomb on the USSR he effectively shrugged his shoulders and said go ahead). Of course in 1945 the Western Allies didn't know this.but Stalin wasn't scared of the bomb
              Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
              Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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              • #37
                The "mobile" defense of the Reich late 1944...

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                  The "mobile" defense of the Reich late 1944...
                  APC beats a truck, truck beats the bicycle, and bicycle beats walking. I think the real issue with mobility are the logistical issues. No use if your guys can pedal to the front faster if they have no ammo or supplies when they get there.
                  You can have as much bias as yo are prepared to pay for.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Karri View Post

                    APC beats a truck, truck beats the bicycle, and bicycle beats walking. I think the real issue with mobility are the logistical issues. No use if your guys can pedal to the front faster if they have no ammo or supplies when they get there.
                    It's more about organization. By late 1944, the Wehrmacht was facing an increasing collapse in command and control. Many Volksgrenadier divisions were little more than a collection of loose troops, local defense units, and assorted flotsam that equaled about 10,000 men. These units often lacked much of their heavier weapons, seldom had the full allotment of artillery, and were rarely given a chance to train and organize their subordinate units into anything approaching a useful, coherent, division.
                    All the trucks in the world don't make that a division. It makes it a mass of 10,000 men with trucks.

                    Then there's the German penchant for forming KG of roughly battalion or regiment size and sending these into combat. That further degrades the effectiveness of divisions by dividing them up into smaller units. This did work in the early part of the war where the Germans faced opponents with creaky command and control systems, but against the late war US or Commonwealth armies it was a recipe for disaster.

                    Mobility comes from organization, not what mode of transport you use. I've read dozens of studies on advance rates in combat, and they all say the same thing. On an operational level (that is moving whole units around) advance rates average out to about the same regardless of what mode of transport is being used. Further, the unit needs to be organized and the move planned to be most effective. Units cannot just rush forward in a herd and expect to be effective.

                    For a German mobile defense of their border in 1944 to work, they have to have unfettered ability to move units around and along that border. That means they can't be under threat (not even actual occurrence, just the threat is sufficient) of air attack. The transport network needs to be relatively intact. The units can't be running into enemy opposition unexpectedly, even small amounts of it. Those things occur, and their advance grinds to a crawl.

                    This means they need an intact transportation network. The rail lines have to be intact. The bridges, both road and rail, have to be up and usable. There has to be a command and control system with sufficient communications capacity to direct the movements.

                    The alternative is to decentralize the defense into smaller units that act on their own initiative. This requires good leadership, something that's increasingly rare for the Germans as most of those guys are now dead or POW's. Small, decentralized units could and can hold up an enemy advance for a short period of time. The problem is, if they aren't reinforced quickly they'll eventually lose and the advance will continue. Now we're back to operational mobility.

                    So, no, a mobile defense simply won't work for the Germans in late 1944.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Karri View Post

                      APC beats a truck, truck beats the bicycle, and bicycle beats walking. .
                      Over simplistic - depends on circumstances. Bicycle beats truck and APC if there is only a narrow track between trees or no fuel dumps. walking may beat all if your approach is over a very rocky ridge (and you are in a time pre helicopter transport.)
                      Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                      Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                      • #41
                        The panzer divisions of the Western front in the fall of 1944 were being shifted around to counterattack or reinforce the frontline (9.Pz, 11.Pz, 116.Pz, 21.Pz, Panzer Lehr in particular). They were mainly the size of regiments for the most part.
                        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

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                        • #42
                          The problem was the number of replacement were not enough to make a difference on the Eastern Front. With a bit of luck there just may be enough to affect the Western Front. I think Hitler was banking on the British to make peace if an offense cut them away from the American Army. Look at how the British Army ran to Dunkirk when the Germans broke through in 1940.

                          I think they knew time was running out as they would have to transfer most of the mobile troops East when the Red Army started its next offense. The problem was Churchill was no Chamberlain.

                          Pruitt
                          Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                          Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                          by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                            The problem was the number of replacement were not enough to make a difference on the Eastern Front. With a bit of luck there just may be enough to affect the Western Front. I think Hitler was banking on the British to make peace if an offense cut them away from the American Army. Look at how the British Army ran to Dunkirk when the Germans broke through in 1940.

                            I think they knew time was running out as they would have to transfer most of the mobile troops East when the Red Army started its next offense. The problem was Churchill was no Chamberlain.

                            Pruitt
                            The BEF did not run to Dunkirk when the Germans broke through. The BEF retreated to Dunkirk to avoid encirclement. Other British troops on the Somme etc remained fighting almost up to the fall of France.
                            Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                            Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                            • #44
                              Look at it from German eyes. The British inserted several units into French ports and lost them. I think they almost inserted the Canadian Division, located in the UK, until saner heads called it off.

                              Pruitt
                              Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                              Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                              by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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