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  • Germany wins the Bulge, then what?

    64 years later, this one won't go away.

    Just played a war-game on the Bulge, I was the bad guy, and took the field, big-time.
    Lucky rolls in the begining gave me some un-expected opportunities, and taking Liege on the 18th was incredibe. Ended up exiting 6 mechanized and 3 panzer regiments off the NW corner of the board and taking Antwerp by the the end of the 19th of December, and then held the coridor open thru the 26th.

    Units it Antwerp and that area- Full-strength; 11th Panzer Div., 116th Panzer. Half-strenght- 1st SS Panzer (minus Pieper's group) and the 653rd Brigade (random event in my favor).
    In the bulge itself, 2nd Panzer, 2nd SS Panzer, 9th Panzer and 9th and 10th SS Panzer are largely intact.

    So... the question is, now what?
    Would the remenants of the US first Army, as well as the British and Canadian Armies, wither and die? Would the Western Front be doomed, France forced to become neutral? Would the Geramns have been able to transfer enough firepower to hold the Russians off for one more year?

  • #2
    What other major ports would the Allies have had to resupply the northern armies and if not could these armies have mounted a counter offensive towards the south to break the siege?

    I don't think the Germans had sufficient resources, meaning oil, to exploit the situation and force the northern armies into surrender.

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    • #3
      Germany wins battle of the Bulge. Eastern front collapses under weight of Soviet attack. Germany lacks resources to exploit victory in the West. Russians swarm over Germany.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by skoblin View Post
        .... Russians swarm over Germany.
        It reads like an attack of army ants.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
          64 years later, this one won't go away.

          Just played a war-game on the Bulge, I was the bad guy, and took the field, big-time.
          Lucky rolls in the begining gave me some un-expected opportunities, and taking Liege on the 18th was incredibe. Ended up exiting 6 mechanized and 3 panzer regiments off the NW corner of the board and taking Antwerp by the the end of the 19th of December, and then held the coridor open thru the 26th.

          Units it Antwerp and that area- Full-strength; 11th Panzer Div., 116th Panzer. Half-strenght- 1st SS Panzer (minus Pieper's group) and the 653rd Brigade (random event in my favor).
          In the bulge itself, 2nd Panzer, 2nd SS Panzer, 9th Panzer and 9th and 10th SS Panzer are largely intact.

          So... the question is, now what?
          Would the remenants of the US first Army, as well as the British and Canadian Armies, wither and die? Would the Western Front be doomed, France forced to become neutral? Would the Geramns have been able to transfer enough firepower to hold the Russians off for one more year?
          Highly unlikely on all accounts. Between Patton's 3rd Army and Montgomery's British/American counterthrusts, that corridor of racing German Panzers on the road to Antwerp would quickly implode, leaving them without any logistical support of all types. You'd soon see 9 German Panzer and Motorized divisions dying on the vine for lack of any supply or support with the clearing skies above and the reappearance of key, Allied Airpower in those threatened sectors. The Battle of the Bulge was simply a matter of the Germans using far too little at a time period that was far too late to accomplish their needed goals.
          Last edited by johnbryan; 16 Dec 08, 21:17.
          "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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          • #6
            I agree with all your points, they are logical and sound.

            However...
            By the logic of the day, the Japanese conquest of Malaysia was just as unlikely. I am bringing this up because in this game, everything went right for the Axis, and nothing for the Allies. A real fluke, but its here in my lap and Im not sure what to make of it.

            Antwerp was the only port to supply the troops north of the Bulge, and the only others working right were all the way over in NW France. This is a serious problem.
            Also, inside France are only 3 divisions of French troops constituted before D-Day, how shakey would they be at this point?

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            • #7
              All the Bulge games I've seen abstracted the potiential German leap to Antwerp beyond the Meuse River. However I have seen a broader scale Western Front game used to model a Bulge scenario. & it instantly demonstrated what a fantasy the Antwerp objective was. The reserves of 21st Army Group pounced on the Germans crossing the river like cats on mice. Even under the least favorable interpretation of the location and readiness of the units of 21 AG there was not a chance of reaching Antwerp.
              Last edited by Carl Schwamberg; 16 Dec 08, 22:01.

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              • #8
                Actualy, 30 Corps and a lot of other 21st army units are busy on the Meuse. Did you miss the part about the Germans owning Liege? (that's where 1st SS got chewed up). They tried to force a crossing of the Meuse and re-take Namur at the same time, failed at both. Patton's Armor did manage to take Dinant, but pressing farther north got them caught up in a revolving-door battle just short of the one supply road keeping Namur (and Antwerp) in buisness. Allied Airpower is tied up trying to save the situation on the battlefield, nothing is being set aside for the interdiction of suppy routes.

                As the German player, I did not try for a quick break-through, but concentraited on the encirclement and destruction of every US unit within reach. Soon, there was nothing left to establish road-blocks with... and all of a sudden I feel like George C. Scott in that movie Dr. Strangelove/

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                  I agree with all your points, they are logical and sound.

                  However...
                  By the logic of the day, the Japanese conquest of Malaysia was just as unlikely. I am bringing this up because in this game, everything went right for the Axis, and nothing for the Allies. A real fluke, but its here in my lap and Im not sure what to make of it.

                  Antwerp was the only port to supply the troops north of the Bulge, and the only others working right were all the way over in NW France. This is a serious problem.
                  Also, inside France are only 3 divisions of French troops constituted before D-Day, how shakey would they be at this point?
                  The Japanese Army in Malaya in December of 1941 was not even 1/10th as mechanized as the Allies of December 1944 Belgium/France were. A large portion of the Japanese troops were riding on bicycles. Apples and oranges, there is no comparrison between the two time frames.
                  "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                    Actualy, 30 Corps and a lot of other 21st army units are busy on the Meuse. Did you miss the part about the Germans owning Liege? (that's where 1st SS got chewed up). They tried to force a crossing of the Meuse and re-take Namur at the same time, failed at both. Patton's Armor did manage to take Dinant, but pressing farther north got them caught up in a revolving-door battle just short of the one supply road keeping Namur (and Antwerp) in buisness. Allied Airpower is tied up trying to save the situation on the battlefield, nothing is being set aside for the interdiction of suppy routes.

                    As the German player, I did not try for a quick break-through, but concentraited on the encirclement and destruction of every US unit within reach. Soon, there was nothing left to establish road-blocks with... and all of a sudden I feel like George C. Scott in that movie Dr. Strangelove/
                    Added to this, US Army Engineers were busy blowing up every bridge capable of supporting German Armor over the Meuse River. Even the Germans could not walk on water.
                    "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                      Actualy, 30 Corps and a lot of other 21st army units are busy on the Meuse. Did you miss the part about the Germans owning Liege? ...
                      In our game capturing Liege did not help the Germans much, not did the elimination of the bulk of the US 1st Army. On our larger map or battle field the two German panzer armys were still too small to cope with all the Allied reserves, or cover their flanks. The other German armys were too slow and weak to extend effectivly into the corridor. Nor could the take any realistic action to pin the local reserves of the 21st AG.

                      I suspect if all the Bulge games included the 21st Army groups area and extended the map a bit further south thye would be much less of a balanced game, or the victory conditions would be very different.

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                      • #12
                        No game exists that adequately shows the absolute and hopeless situation faced by the German is in Dec 1944. There are too few troops and they entire plan was predicated on capturing supplies from the allies. The allied mobility was something the Germans could not hope to compete with and no game made yet does a good job in showing the difference.

                        Combine this with the inherent flaws in 'rating combat strength' and then assigning numbers to units and the errors in using a game only compound. No game can prove or disprove an alternate possibility or recomment a course of action.They are unrelated to the actual events from the minute the "design" factor is set.

                        The very fact that you were able to stop and concentrate on destroying units only proves the game design flaw. In the real battle it was the delay in moving westward that prevented the Germans from doing better than they actually did (to say nothing about the supplies). It was these delay that allowed the allies to wipe out the German advantage in manpower and equipment within the first three days of the battle and after that it was all anti-climax.

                        Games are fun but of no use in a discussion about "real" events. I just took out Germany in 1936 with the Poles in HOI2 Doomeday. In a second game running at the same time I took out Germany with the French by the end of Nov 1939. Does this mean these events could have been done in the real time line? No. that would be nonsense.
                        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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                        • #13
                          Let's not forget that the German offensive was not intended to win the war in the West, at least not by military means. Instead Hitler hoped to cause enough political dissension between the Western Allies to bring at least a ceasefire and allow Germany to focus on the war in the East. A continuation of the war in the West, no matter what the circumstances, represents a defeat for the Germans.
                          Signing out.

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                          • #14
                            What you would find is that the utter lack of infantry would result in the collapse of the flanks of the units who got near Antwerp. They in turn would be cut of and destroyed in detail by the 21st Army Group. The transport squadons would keep a supply flow going unit an overland route was re-opened.

                            I would think that there would be two pockets formed of German mobile units. One near Antwerp and one near Liege.

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                            • #15
                              Okay guys, thanks, felt like Dr. Frankenstien for a while there... this makes more sense.

                              Indeed, the German Army of late 44' might have had some good equipment, but it's personel had little in common witht the men who started the war, and they simply did not have the drive that the old-timers did.

                              Cheers!

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