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  • German Airborne

    Let's say Germany took Crete but without the losses to their paratroops that that really took. And that from that point on German airborne drop with weapons instead having to locate weapon canisters and that they, not the Luftwaffe, drew up their plans for airborne operations. Could German airborne have made any major difference anywhere later in the war?

  • #2
    They probably would have dropped on Malta ... and massacred there.

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    • #3
      You are aware that the Fallschirmjaeger were part of the Luftwaffe and the generals in the Luftwaffe at one point were all in the German Army?

      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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      • #4
        Hmph, didn't know that. :/

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Gooner View Post
          They probably would have dropped on Malta ... and massacred there.
          no, the Germans were quite gallant, they would not massacre the Matese garrison in 1941, just accept it's surrender....
          "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

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          • #6
            I'd think capturing important bridges in the opening weeks of Barbarosa might be important, capturing some airfields just ahead of the leading mechanized units might be usefull, sone fuel and other critical supplies could be flown in to assist the spearheads a few more kilometers along.

            I know the Germans had little ability at amphibious warfare, but my gambit would have been a combined air/naval operation to sieze Tallinin or other suitable ports far in advance of the armored corps. With a port intact and operating perhaps the supply situation for Army Group North could be aleviated and Lenningrad could be captured, or better invested. If the airbourne battalions were not hors-combat capturing the ports then they might be used again at Lenningrad itself.

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            • #7
              Good scenario CS.
              I must admit that my knee jerk reflex was thinking of operations deeper into the Mediterranean: after Crete using Cyprus as step stones towards the Levant. Airborne troops can be useful in unstable political climates such as in the Middle East: Lebanon, Syria, Iraq in the early 40's, creating havoc in the British rear.

              Of course all this would have necessitated attention away from Barbarossa and this would not have happened. Hitler and OKW wanted to break into the USSR frontally.
              I can agree that German airborne troops would be employed the way you suggest.
              Cannot think of a really epic project within Barbarossa yet
              BoRG

              You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

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              • #8
                Using the airbourne in Barbbarosa is something I picked up playing the old Third Reich game. On the first turn attacking the USSR they and a amphib force capture the Baltic port in Estonia, That positions the airbourne piece to jump to Lenningrad in the Autum turn. Of course that game completely lacks the small operational details, so I suspose there were a lot of technical details preventing the Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe from executing this easily. On the game board it works well against a opponent that does not anticipate it. Any defense he contemplates further south in Lithuania is flanked by this move and the Soviet defense forced back towards Lenningrad many weeks sooner than historically.

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                • #9
                  In 3rd R the Germans are given a full corps of paras just as strong as an infantry corps. Being a Strategic level game it is not a good tool for playing out what if scenarios especially in light of the triple line defence system forced on all the players.

                  In effect, if the defender did not deploy all his game pieces in a triple line (ie, 150 miles deep), the game mechanics allow the attacker to make a breakthrough attack and then an exploitation attack that could destroy everything on the front. It became quite silly.

                  In the real world,...with only one division of paras, there is little it could have effected in Russia. In the Med? Who know? Unless the Germans were going to treat the Med as a major theatre of war (they weren't about to) further use there only begged for unnecessary losses. About the only thing they could have done was team up with the Italian Folgore paras and an amphib operation to take Malta in early 42 (the island would have fallen).

                  Then what? The period for German strategic offensives where paras may have helped was over.
                  The Purist

                  Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                    About the only thing they could have done was team up with the Italian Folgore paras and an amphib operation to take Malta in early 42 (the island would have fallen).
                    As the New Zealand Official History commented -
                    "The situation in Malta is, of course, very different to that of either Crete or Cyprus. Malta is a fortress which has been in our possession for over 100 years and has powerful defences which are constantly being augmented. A great deal of underground accommodation is available, so that, although there have been almost incessant air raids for a year, the casualties have been trifling. There is a completely equipped and efficient garrison;
                    <>
                    Their losses would be a good deal heavier than they sustained at Crete, but if they decided to maintain their attack day after day regardless of loss for perhaps a period of several weeks, they would probably in the end be successful."

                    Additionally for extra colour

                    "there is no part of the Middle East [where] an attack similar to that on Crete could be staged by the enemy. There is nowhere where he could attain the complete air superiority which would enable him to land large numbers of parachutists and air-borne troops in daylight.

                    2. There is, of course, the obvious possibility that, when he has built up his forces, he may attempt large-scale operations against Egypt and the Canal zone, as part of which he may attempt to drop air-borne troops, and everyone is fully alive to this possibility. If, however, he attains the complete air superiority necessary to give him freedom of action in daytime over our back areas, the situation will indeed be serious. All our efforts must, therefore, be directed to ensuring that such a state of affairs cannot occur."

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                    • #11
                      How Large was the Garrison of Malta?

                      In a game called "Death and Destruction", an extension of "Proud Monster", the best Russian Front game ever, there is an intersting option.

                      In Manstines Gambit (an all-out version of Kursk) there if a further option called Blaupunkt Ost- a landig by TWO German Airborne DIvisions, anywhere on the front.

                      How reasonable does that sound, given the state of German transports after Stalingrad?
                      "Why is the Rum gone?"

                      -Captain Jack

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                      • #12
                        The Garrison at Malta varied over time. The British had regular troops and local Militia. There was also a Machinegun Battalion at Malta. I will give you what the Order of Battle was in 1942 in the Invasion of Malta Game in my Air Assault Crete Game.

                        Southern Area Command- Brigade Hq, 2nd Devonshire, 1st Dorsetshire, 1st Hampshire, 3rd Kings Own Maltese Rifles
                        Northern Area Command- Bde HQ, 6th Manchester, 2nd Royal Irish Fusiliers, 1st KOMR, 2nd KOMR
                        Central Area Command- Bde HQ, 2nd Royal Warwickshire (RWK?), 1st Lancashire (LANC?), 10th KOMR, 1st Cheshire (MG)
                        Western Area- Bde HQ, 4th Buff Howards, 1st DLI, 8th Kings Own

                        Miscellaneous- 16th, 24th Fortress Comp RE, Batteries A,B,C 26th Royal Artillery (Beach Defense), A,B,C Troops 7th Royal Tanks, A Troop 3rd Hussars (LT), 8 separate Batteries of Heavy AAA, 5 separate Batteries Light AAA, 3 Battalions/12 Royal Artillery, 14 separate Batteries Coastal Defense Artillery.

                        I left out one company of MPs.

                        Later on, three Battalions were grouped together to form the 231st Infantry Brigade which was attached to 50th Infantry Division.

                        After the Invasion of Italy the Malta Garrison was reduced over time and the better troops replaced by Garrison Battalions. Nobody mentioned the Royal Navy and RAF on Malta.

                        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"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Was there ever any talk of dropping on England? If they had done so during the middle of the battle of Britain before Crete. Would that have put a scare into the Brits or would it have been target practice in the English countryside?
                          I'm assuming that at that time British troops were still longing for weapons left in France and the airforce was getting battered. With the Germans still high on morale from one win after another. I don't know what the British had for troops strength then so I'm assuming a lot.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Psyhcoward View Post
                            Was there ever any talk of dropping on England? If they had done so during the middle of the battle of Britain before Crete. Would that have put a scare into the Brits or would it have been target practice in the English countryside?
                            I'm assuming that at that time British troops were still longing for weapons left in France and the airforce was getting battered. With the Germans still high on morale from one win after another. I don't know what the British had for troops strength then so I'm assuming a lot.
                            There were indeed such plans, but before those could be executed, the Luftwaffe should have won the Battle of Britain first or all Junkers with the German paratroops on board would have been shot out of the air by the fighters of the RAF.
                            BoRG

                            You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                              In a game called "Death and Destruction", an extension of "Proud Monster", the best Russian Front game ever, there is an intersting option.

                              In Manstines Gambit (an all-out version of Kursk) there if a further option called Blaupunkt Ost- a landig by TWO German Airborne DIvisions, anywhere on the front.

                              How reasonable does that sound, given the state of German transports after Stalingrad?
                              Not good. A large number of transport aircraft were lost from accidents in the effort to supply the 6th Army. Also the losses supplying the Axis army in Tunisia were severe. In one air supply effort over 30 transports were shot down in less than thirty minutes.

                              The same problem exists in 1940. The loss of the transport planes was severe during the attack on the airfields around Rotterdam. Between combat losses and accidents roughly 50% were permanetly lost in May 1940

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