Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

German Airborne

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Carl Schwamberg
    replied
    Originally posted by Aber View Post
    What Seine bridges? - removed by the allied air forces before d-day
    And the Germans still crossed the Seine on ferrys and pontoon bridges. My father was a ordinance officer in the 555th Sqdn. B26 medium bombers He described changing the bomb size and mix for attacking the new bridge and ferry sites, after they had dropped the original structures. The Germans quickly learned to take in the pontoon bridges and ferrys at dawn and camoflage them along the river. The 9th AF reconissance planes and intel officers did their best to spot the daytime hides with photographs, and lowlevel high speed passes with P38s and single engine aircraft. Some of the books he left discuss the same.

    The bulk of the Germans who escaped Normandy fled to the North East and across the Seine. German witnesses describe the ferrys and bridges operating each night right up until the Allied ground forces advanced across the river. Despite Dads efforts and losses amoung the pioneers and their equipment many of the crossing sites remained in operation each night.

    Originally posted by Aber View Post
    While using the Polish airborne briagde to reinforce the armoured division blocking the exit seems a good idea, using gliders rather than parachutes would probably work better
    If I am reading the German side of this correctly there were some 30,000 men holding the shoulders of the 'Gap' and containing the Allied battlegroups that had entered it. More were deployed to the north and south of the pocket exit covering the wider flanks. Then another 50,000 passed through the gap. I'm skeptical five or ten thousand lightly armed parchute or glider infantry will survive long. And, as mentioned before the entire gap was saturated with near continual artillery fires, and regular airstrikes. Stopping all that to allow dropping airbourne divsions into the German mass would give the enemy some appreciated relief.

    You have the right concept, but a bad target. Using the airbourne to further disrupt and capture the Seine River crossing sites not only channelizes more retreating Germans towards paris and the path of the 3rd Army, it can also aid the British in getting across the Seine faster.

    Leave a comment:


  • Aber
    replied
    What Seine bridges? - removed by the allied air forces before d-day

    While using the Polish airborne briagde to reinforce the armoured division blocking the exit seems a good idea, using gliders rather than parachutes would probably work better

    Leave a comment:


  • Carl Schwamberg
    replied
    Originally posted by piero1971 View Post
    I always found the use of Ariporne to plug gaps in encirclements an idea that was worth exploring.

    imagine at Falaise in 1944, dropping an airborne div (held in reserve) to plug the hole! I think in Russia in 1941, the german 7th airborne could be used for that role - with of course the 22nd airlanded to support the seizing of airfields.
    Hmm... dropping them on the Seine river bridges would have momentarily stalled more Germans and allowed a few of the airbourne to survive the battle. Dropping them into the Falaise 'gap' would have placed them over the Allied anitaircraft guns. Something that often was a bad thing. Lifting the Allied artillery fires for this air drop would be a relief for the Germans trying to escape. Every German account of escape from the pocket agrees that the artillery fires were intolerable and turned the march out into a rout.

    Leave a comment:


  • piero1971
    replied
    I always found the use of Ariporne to plug gaps in encirclements an idea that was worth exploring.

    imagine at Falaise in 1944, dropping an airborne div (held in reserve) to plug the hole! I think in Russia in 1941, the german 7th airborne could be used for that role - with of course the 22nd airlanded to support the seizing of airfields.

    but indeed, all this cannot be done in strategic depth, it can be a very usefull tactical advantage to have the enemy guess where the airborne can be used - seize an HQ, seize a depot, a bridge, etc. and thus force it to cover everything against that eventuality.

    now, of course any use of the airborne on the Ostfront would be costly in casualties... so perhaps it would be like a "fleet in beeing" more of a threat than a real use... I certainly would have used it more.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pruitt
    replied
    The Germans had airfields to the West of Stalingrad which they used to fly in supplies and replacements. Wounded troops were flown out here. The Red Army took these fields when they launched their offensive. Red Air Force Fighters were a nuisance to the relief effort, but the Red Flak was worse. Don't know of any Red Air Force airfields to the east of the city.

    If you can't reach the Paras after a couple days what do you think happens to them? The Germans had no way to cross the river to reach them.

    Pruitt

    Leave a comment:


  • Psyhcoward
    replied
    Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
    Aside from many thousands reinforcements on the east side of the river there was a considerable mass of artillery, including antiaircraft artillery. Plus the pioneer regiments operating the ferrys and many of ther rear service battalions. On some days as many as fiftythousand men were on the east side of the river, mostly armed. Five thousand or even tenthousand paras would have a tough time with all that. Plus there were the tank corps assemblying both to the north and south for the big November attack. Either tank group could have spared a brigade or two for counter attacking the paras.
    Hmm, put's a new light on things for me. I had assumed that early on there would not have been as many Soviets there. Makes me realize how hard it must have been to use airborne. Thanks Carl, Pruitt

    Leave a comment:


  • Carl Schwamberg
    replied
    I forgot. the last German 'airbourne' operation was at Breslau in 1945. A battalion was flown in as a emergency reinforcement. The enemy was at the edge of the airfield and the 'paras' went into the attack straight off the aircraft. Technically not a parachute operation, tho a example of the use of airmobility & aggresive infantry.

    Leave a comment:


  • Carl Schwamberg
    replied
    Aside from many thousands reinforcements on the east side of the river there was a considerable mass of artillery, including antiaircraft artillery. Plus the pioneer regiments operating the ferrys and many of ther rear service battalions. On some days as many as fiftythousand men were on the east side of the river, mostly armed. Five thousand or even tenthousand paras would have a tough time with all that. Plus there were the tank corps assemblying both to the north and south for the big November attack. Either tank group could have spared a brigade or two for counter attacking the paras.

    Leave a comment:


  • Psyhcoward
    replied
    The Germans did use air reinforcement at Stalingrad for a while. The problem was a lack of transport and air cover. I don't think there was any Airborne troops available for air-landing at this time. They were using all such Light Infantry formations in other parts of the front.
    Yes, but going back to the "what if". Suppose the airborne were still a viable force. Would using them in force have been able to make a difference? If the Soviets were unable to keep pouring in new troops from the east bank of the Volga would it have been possible to capture the city?

    Was that the only source of re-enforcements or were they coming in from another direction? I've only read they came over the river.

    If they were able to hit it like they did Crete. Were there enough airfields nearby? Hmm, Crete had the problem of dusty takeoff fields(not the island but where they launched from I mean) that delayed some flights I think. Would any fields in Russia have been the same or would they have been able to get people in closer together? Without waiting for dust to settle for the next flight to take off.

    Sooo, would there have been a chance of winning or if the airborne had suffered massive losses would the Germans have stopped the attack?

    (sorry I'm full of questions)

    Leave a comment:


  • Pruitt
    replied
    The Germans did use air reinforcement at Stalingrad for a while. The problem was a lack of transport and air cover. I don't think there was any Airborne troops available for air-landing at this time. They were using all such Light Infantry formations in other parts of the front.

    Panzers were not a good force around the Leningrad area. Too much marshy terrain and a lack of good roads. All Panzer units used to get there in the Invasion were pulled out because they were not doing well.

    Pruitt

    Leave a comment:


  • BooBoo130
    replied
    I think the German Army would have had to make a change in its strategy of taking Stalingrad, and instead surround it first, then try to take it after cutting it off. Cutting of Leningrad by airborne, who would be relieved by panzers could possibly work. Then try to starve Stalingrad into submission. The question then becomes did Germany have the offensive power at that time to actually surround Stalingrad and then try to take it all the while being attacked by Russian forces?

    Since the Russians were building up large forces on the flanks of Stalingrad I would figure those forces would be used to attack the air bridgehead and relieve Stalingrad. Plus, if the paras and panzers did meet up it may have just made a better target for the Uranus Operation by the Russians.

    Dan Stueber

    Leave a comment:


  • Psyhcoward
    replied
    If the Germans had had the paras and enough transport would a drop on the east side of the Volga at Stalingrad have been able to make much of a difference in the battle? The Germans were never able to stop to flow of fresh troops and as a result couldn't win. If a para force had been dropped would they have been able to slow the new Soviet reenforcements enough for Paulus to push all the way to the river? And then link up with the paras.
    I see problems with this, dropping too soon in the battle and not getting relief in time. Dropping too far away and not being able to reach their target. (Which would be what?) Dropping right into a grinder and losing most of their men in the drop. What if Kruschev (spelling?) was to get shot by a para?

    Leave a comment:


  • Naffenea
    replied
    Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
    Greg,

    Technically Airborne troops that ride Gliders in are called "Glider Borne". People who jump out of perfectly good airplanes to descend to the ground by silk are called Paratroops. It may seem silly from this time and place, but in the Americans Army Glider troops did not get Jump Pay like the Paratroops did.

    Pruitt
    Glider pay was authorized by August 1944. Airborne was a title that encompassed both the PIR/PFA and the GIR/GFA.

    Leave a comment:


  • Psyhcoward
    replied
    Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
    Greg,

    Technically Airborne troops that ride Gliders in are called "Glider Borne". People who jump out of perfectly good airplanes to descend to the ground by silk are called Paratroops. It may seem silly from this time and place, but in the Americans Army Glider troops did not get Jump Pay like the Paratroops did.

    You can stretch a point and call all members of an Airborne Division "Paratroops" but once you get down to smaller units, it pays to differentiate.

    Glider troops went into action with heavier weapons for instance. Glider troops get to sit down and ride in holding their weapons and then help secure things like Jeeps, motorcycles and cannon that also glide in. Paratroops have trouble holding on to personal weapons while coming down. The jump into the slipstream can and does rip whatever you are holding or have loosely attached to its own landing somewhere else. That is why some Paratroops were going into action armed with pistols until they could reach the weapons containers with the rifles, submachineguns and machineguns. As the war went on there were better ways to attach weapons figured out and it became easier on Jumpers.

    I don't see any accounts of Paratroops or Glider Troops riding in and just giving up without a fight. There is something about being alone (or mostly alone) in the middle of large numbers of enemy troops that inspires one to go out and win the war. Casualties are often high as well. Enemy troops don't like to take Airborne troops captive. They tend to shoot them in the air as well!

    Pruitt
    Maybe thats why there are not large numbers of paratroops. You can't find a lot of people willing to jump out of a good plane right into a stream of bullets. Along with knowing you will be on your own for a few days with nothing except what you carried in yourself to fight with. I just read a 10 commandments for the German paras one being that they would not waste ammo. Easy to see why that was stressed. I read an account on Crete where it mentioned that the defenders shot many of the Germans as they were coming down. I imagine that happened to many allied troops too.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pruitt
    replied
    Greg,

    Technically Airborne troops that ride Gliders in are called "Glider Borne". People who jump out of perfectly good airplanes to descend to the ground by silk are called Paratroops. It may seem silly from this time and place, but in the Americans Army Glider troops did not get Jump Pay like the Paratroops did.

    You can stretch a point and call all members of an Airborne Division "Paratroops" but once you get down to smaller units, it pays to differentiate.

    Glider troops went into action with heavier weapons for instance. Glider troops get to sit down and ride in holding their weapons and then help secure things like Jeeps, motorcycles and cannon that also glide in. Paratroops have trouble holding on to personal weapons while coming down. The jump into the slipstream can and does rip whatever you are holding or have loosely attached to its own landing somewhere else. That is why some Paratroops were going into action armed with pistols until they could reach the weapons containers with the rifles, submachineguns and machineguns. As the war went on there were better ways to attach weapons figured out and it became easier on Jumpers.

    I don't see any accounts of Paratroops or Glider Troops riding in and just giving up without a fight. There is something about being alone (or mostly alone) in the middle of large numbers of enemy troops that inspires one to go out and win the war. Casualties are often high as well. Enemy troops don't like to take Airborne troops captive. They tend to shoot them in the air as well!

    Pruitt

    Leave a comment:

Latest Topics

Collapse

Working...
X