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16 December 1944 revised

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Freebird View Post
    [A
    The only frontage remaining by December was a narrow slice held by the Canadians, at the Grossbeek Heights to the west of Nijmegen, and the salient at the Roar triangle, between the British 2nd and US 9th Army.
    1st Canadian Army were quite concentrated near the Groesbeek Heights. I suspect that had the Germans concentrated on a thrust there they wouldn't have been able to attain surprise. Surprise probably accounted for half their success in the Ardennes.

    Victory-34.jpg

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Gooner View Post
      Somehow I don't think a discussion about Monty with the Smegheads childlike level of knowledge is going to be productive!
      Now now, you are part of ,Benedict, Arnold's retraining staff . .....

      good Map, Gooner. while The Arnhem landing may have failed, you can see how Montgomery's push EASTWARD South of the Maas wiped out Von Zangen's fifteenth Army
      Last edited by marktwain; 11 Jan 19, 19:45.
      The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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      • #33
        Hitler should have gone for the "Small Plan" and used his 300,000 troops, 600 panzers and 1000 aircraft to encircle & destroy the US 3rd Army and capture Patton alive. The January 1945 Wochenshau footage of a dejected Patton being forced to hand over to Hitler his pearl-handled Colts would be priceless, even though the war would still end in May, if not sooner!

        תוצאת תמו×*ה עבור ‪patton colts‬‏
        Last edited by Mifletz; 13 Jan 19, 17:28.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Mifletz View Post
          Hitler should have gone for the "Small Plan" and used his 300,000 troops, 600 panzers and 1000 aircraft to encircle & destroy the US 3rd Army and capture Patton alive. The January 1945 Wochenshau footage of a dejected Patton being forced to hand over to Hitler his pearl-handled Colts would be priceless, even though the war would still end in May, if not sooner!
          They were ivory, not mother-of-pearl. As Patton famously said to a reporter who made that very basic mistake, "Only a New Orleans pimp puts mother-of-pearl on a handgun."

          I agree that a small hit would have been a better idea. Personally, I think an attack in Poland would have borne more fruit.

          The war was lost, but that last offensive could have afftected the timeline.

          Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post

            Personally, I think an attack in Poland would have borne more fruit.
            How do you envisage such a counterstroke in Poland playing out?
            Last edited by Mifletz; 14 Jan 19, 01:53.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Mifletz View Post

              How do you envisage such a counterstroke in Poland playing out?
              There I'm not sure, but the terrain is more favorable, and that was where the hammer would fall in the spring. Personally, I would wait and let the Russians attack, and the counter-attack, preferable with Manstien in charge, but that is far beyond the parameters of my scenario.

              In the West, the terrain is far from the best, and in Italy is is worse.
              Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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              • #37
                The choice whether to attack West or East is political, not strategic at this point. The actual historical decision was based on the assumption that the Westerners would be the less determined opponent and the one more sensitive to a major setback. With a colder-eyed analysis, the political decision can well be that the only option that makes sense is to attack the enemy that is going to be a worse occupier come next summer.

                If so, and given the constraint that an attack has to take place in December 1944, I'd simply set aside the armored units that were spent in the Ardennes. I would keep them in reserve in Poland, ready to be used for a counterattack against the first Soviet operation in the spring.
                OTOH I would commit the infantry forces that were used in the Ardennes to relieve the siege of Budapest, so that the constraint of the December 1944 attack is complied with. In history, that was a tough battle and the Soviets had supply problems, but the Germans eventually failed in their repeated relief attempts. Having more infantry to pour in there might bring success, and thus make the sizable, veteran units in that pocket still somewhat usable come spring. It would also be another political setback for Stalin after the failure to take Warsaw. The Hungarians would be well motivated to continue fighting (which they did anyway historically), and the Slovakians wouldn't find it that easy to drop the ball.

                A worse starting position in that region, plus more German troops in that region, plus a German armored counterattack in Poland in spring still don't stop the Soviets, but taken together can delay them significantly. The Westerners advance more easily and farther into Germany, and maybe they are tempted not to step back to the partition lines.
                That's the best outcome possible IMHO. OTOH it would be bad to drag things on for too long, as in, atomically bad.
                Michele

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Michele View Post
                  The choice whether to attack West or East is political, not strategic at this point. The actual historical decision was based on the assumption that the Westerners would be the less determined opponent and the one more sensitive to a major setback. With a colder-eyed analysis, the political decision can well be that the only option that makes sense is to attack the enemy that is going to be a worse occupier come next summer.

                  If so, and given the constraint that an attack has to take place in December 1944, I'd simply set aside the armored units that were spent in the Ardennes. I would keep them in reserve in Poland, ready to be used for a counterattack against the first Soviet operation in the spring.
                  OTOH I would commit the infantry forces that were used in the Ardennes to relieve the siege of Budapest, so that the constraint of the December 1944 attack is complied with. In history, that was a tough battle and the Soviets had supply problems, but the Germans eventually failed in their repeated relief attempts. Having more infantry to pour in there might bring success, and thus make the sizable, veteran units in that pocket still somewhat usable come spring. It would also be another political setback for Stalin after the failure to take Warsaw. The Hungarians would be well motivated to continue fighting (which they did anyway historically), and the Slovakians wouldn't find it that easy to drop the ball.

                  A worse starting position in that region, plus more German troops in that region, plus a German armored counterattack in Poland in spring still don't stop the Soviets, but taken together can delay them significantly. The Westerners advance more easily and farther into Germany, and maybe they are tempted not to step back to the partition lines.
                  That's the best outcome possible IMHO. OTOH it would be bad to drag things on for too long, as in, atomically bad.
                  That's a good scenario.
                  Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by nastle View Post
                    My objective would be to deliver my men safely to western allies on the condition they get humane treatment and better rations
                    no battle
                    negotiated surrender
                    road to Germany is wide open
                    ^ This. Any German leader with a brain knew the inevitable was coming. I'd like to wonder, had the Germans simply given in on the western front and allowed the allies to go as far east as possible, if it would have had any effect on the Yalta Conference, which wouldn't take place until beginning February, 1945.
                    You'll live, only the best get killed.

                    -General Charles de Gaulle

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by asterix View Post

                      ^ This. Any German leader with a brain knew the inevitable was coming. I'd like to wonder, had the Germans simply given in on the western front and allowed the allies to go as far east as possible, if it would have had any effect on the Yalta Conference, which wouldn't take place until beginning February, 1945.
                      The frenzy of despair, to quote Hubert Essame. " ...convinced that it was better to go down fighting than to surrender to a Carthaginian fate...'

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgenthau_Plan
                      The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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                      • #41
                        WI the Germans had thrown everything they had into 'Northwind' instead of 'Watch on Rhine'? Could we realistically have seen the US 7th and French 1st Armies destroyed & Strasbourg recaptured, and a successful 'Dentist' taking out the US 3rd to boot?

                        If the German goal was not to delay the inevitable, nor to have any temporary strategic or tactical victory, but solely to extract as much blood as possible from the Anglo-Americans, what is the best possible use they could have made with hindsight?
                        Last edited by Mifletz; 14 Jan 19, 13:42.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by nastle View Post
                          My objective would be to deliver my men safely to western allies on the condition they get humane treatment and better rations
                          no battle
                          negotiated surrender
                          road to Germany is wide open
                          This is probably the only course of action available that would have a major effect on the war.
                          "Why is the Rum gone?"

                          -Captain Jack

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Mifletz View Post
                            WI the Germans had thrown everything they had into 'Northwind' instead of 'Watch on Rhine'? Could we realistically have seen the US 7th and French 1st Armies destroyed & Strasbourg recaptured, and a successful 'Dentist' taking out the US 3rd to boot?

                            If the German goal was not to delay the inevitable, nor to have any temporary strategic or tactical victory, but solely to extract as much blood as possible from the Anglo-Americans, what is the best possible use they could have made with hindsight?
                            Extracting it from the Canadians and British. Britain was already critically short of infantry replacements on D-Day. The situation only got worse as they moved inland. The British were breaking up whole divisions to get replacements by late 44. They couldn't have afforded a major offensive by the Germans aimed at causing heavy losses.
                            The Canadians were the same way. Because Canada allowed draftees to refuse overseas service, the Canadian units in Europe were always hurting for replacements. An offensive that caused say 5,000 to 10,000 casualties would have put a huge crimp in their operations. They'd probably have had to break up an existing infantry division to get them.

                            The US on the other hand, had the replacement pool to cover their losses. The only bottleneck was getting them to Europe and to the front. Yes, the US did underestimate the number of basic infantry replacements they'd need, but the warm bodies for them were available. The US Army started by breaking up some coast defense and antiaircraft units that were largely, or entirely, redundant by 1944. That is a far cry from having to disband whole infantry divisions to get replacements like the British and Canadians were doing.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post

                              Extracting it from the Canadians and British. Britain was already critically short of infantry replacements on D-Day. The situation only got worse as they moved inland. The British were breaking up whole divisions to get replacements by late 44. They couldn't have afforded a major offensive by the Germans aimed at causing heavy losses.
                              The only division broken up in 21st Army Group in late '44 was the 50th (Tyne-Tees) Division. In the same month the fresh 52nd (Lowland) Division came into action for the first time.
                              By the time of Operation Veritable in Feb. 45 the infantry battalions involved were about 100 men over strength. The infantry reinforcement crisis was over.

                              The Canadians were the same way. Because Canada allowed draftees to refuse overseas service, the Canadian units in Europe were always hurting for replacements. An offensive that caused say 5,000 to 10,000 casualties would have put a huge crimp in their operations. They'd probably have had to break up an existing infantry division to get them.
                              "The general reinforcement situation in First Canadian Army in the winter of 1944-45 and the following spring was in marked contrast with that in the late summer and autumn. Statistically speaking, the low point had been reached on 31 August, when the Canadian infantry units in North-West Europe had an average deficiency in "other ranks" of 206 per battalion. Improvement was rapid thereafter, though it is evident that, as was inevitable in all the circumstances, the training of reinforcements provided by C.M.H.Q.'s emergency programme left a great deal to be desired. By 24 October the average battalion deficiency had fallen to 54 men, and though for the first five days of November (at the end of the Battle of the Scheldt) it again rose above 100, it was down to 31 by the 13th of that month. Except for 21 and 22 December (when it was 34) it never rose above that figure again, and usually it was much lower. At the beginning of the Battle of the Rhineland in February it was nil. The satisfactory situation in the final months was the result of the remustering programme and the decision to dispatch N.R.M.A. soldiers overseas, combined with the quiet period in November, December and January when casualties were relatively few.

                              It is also evident that, once the autumn crisis was past, the training of the reinforcements was satisfactory. No green man joining a unit is ever as useful as a man who has had battle experience, and few commanding officers have ever been known to admit that the replacements sent to their units were adequately trained. But the absence of serious complaints from the field in the final months of the campaign is itself eloquent."
                              https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/UN/...ictory-24.html

                              1st Canadian Corps and British 5th Division were transferred to 21st Army Group from Italy beginning February 1945.


                              The most a German attack focused on 21st Army Group would achieve, apart from a lopsided casualty exchange, would be Operation Veritable-Grenade becoming Operation Grenade-Veritable.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Gooner View Post
                                The most a German attack focused on 21st Army Group would achieve, apart from a lopsided casualty exchange, would be Operation Veritable-Grenade becoming Operation Grenade-Veritable.
                                Good one!

                                IMHO, what really doomed this offensive was how it was set up.

                                If 100% successful it would have replaced a weak 80-mile American front with an even weaker 80-mile German one!

                                The southern side of the Bulge was to have been covered by the 7th Army, four or five VG Divisions with a few odds & ends.... the kind of Army that Chaing Kai-Shek would have looked at and said "Yeah, we could take those guys down, no problem."

                                Stalingrad part 2, this time in the west. Talk about a great way to shorten the war!
                                "Why is the Rum gone?"

                                -Captain Jack

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