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Allied"disasters".

Discussion in 'Western Europe 1943 - 1945' started by 4th wilts, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Agreed, the Germans had actually lost at Narvik and were actually being chased deep into the mountains by the French and the British. Norway was abandonned because troops were sent elswhere, not because they were beaten by the Germans.
    What I'd call a disaster about Narvik is the loss of over 2000 French and Biritsh troops narvik veterans who had almost arrived home and who were on (or near) an amnumition train in Britanny when it suddendly exploded. What makes this even worse is that those 2000+ death are forgotten by history .

    Another "smaller" disaster that's woth mentionning is the sinking of the Lancastria. Fortunately the news was hidden to the population, so the devastating effects on morale could be avoided by Churchill.
     
  2. freebird

    freebird Member

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    You can add to that the loss of the "Glorious" to the German battlecruisers, the Allies had some 25+ capital ships, they couldnt find ONE to escort it? :confused:

    The captain of the Glorious was experienced only in subs, and had no CAP or patrols out, despite it being clear weather, and German BC about. They only realized the KM was nearby when 11" shells started raining down

    Sadly, the Admiralty didn't keep track, and so they didn't mount a rescue for some time.
     
  3. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Of these possibly the Market Garden,and this due to not getting the further attacking areas over Rhine.

    However , earlier, the Allied missed closing in all the German troops in the Falaise area, and later on were not enough fast to move after the German troops to the Reich border and use the chaos into their advantage, and let the Germans make a new defensive line.
     
  4. freebird

    freebird Member

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    What exactly is your criteria for disaster?
    A poorly planned operation that failed?
    Or the most casualties?
    Lost opertunities?
     
  5. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    or maybe a mixture of all those?
     
  6. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    Well,the casualties were terrible for both allied armies,in both Operations.But which officers made the worst decisions,?cheers.
     
  7. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    There are probably people out there thinking"oh he's got an axe to grind".Lifes too short for that crap,and I really don't have the time.?Cheers.
     
  8. freebird

    freebird Member

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    Not really terrible in OMG, the Germans took comparable casualties on Crete


    IMO Market garden was not nearly the disaster that France 1940 was for the Allies.
    OMG was a gamble that didn't completely succeed, but in 1940 the Allies were well equipped and on defensive terrain, yet it was a catastrophe
     
  9. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    I think LT.GEN"Boy"Browning"has to take some blame.After looking at clear photographic evidence,I believe he simply ignored it.I think he was too eager to get the A/B boys into action,and with Monty metaphorically"prodding him in the back",he went for his plan IMO.Did he(Browning)inform Monty of the armour in the area of the airbourne drop,?because he should have,whether he was caught up in the euphoria of the'great swan'across northern France and Belgium or not,! IMO.Do you think there was'any'other possible area for an airbourne drop in holland,or even in the U.S.1st army area.? cheers.
     
  10. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    The decisions that doomed Market-Garden were made by the airborne or air transport staffs.

    First, the refusal to attack the bridges directly, as had been done at Pegasus Bridge in Normandy. Colonel Chatterton, commander of the Glider Pilot Regiment, urged and offered to lead an attack with 5-6 gliders on Arnhem Bridge. It boggles the mind that they expected to secure such obvious targets hours after landing, with troops having to cover several miles, through urban areas in the cases of Armhem and Nijmegen.

    The one direct attack on a bridge, at Grave by a parachute company of the 82nd, was successful. Had all the key bridges been taken at the outset, using historical travel times, Guards Armoured would have been striking north from Nijmegen towards Arnhem on the morning of September 19, the third day.That change alone would probably have made the operation a success.

    Second, the refusal to fly a second mission on Day 1. It would probably not be feasible to stage and fly a second glider mission, but planes carrying paratroops should able to make two round trips. This would enable all the parachute and glider infantry of the three divisions to be landed on the first day.
     
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  11. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Leros...is my idea of a disaster...or better still disasterous..But to original question..Although not a disaster..OMG has caused more scuutlebut in our ww2 world with what ifs and who was responsible etc to write forests on...omg definately attracts more derission of some in my view.
     
  12. freebird

    freebird Member

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    Yes, but not the lion's share of the blame.

    The old cry "There were tanks at Arnhem" is a bit of a red herring anyways, it doesn't really matter if there were tanks there, because regardless of where the limited number of german tanks were, they would quickly be sent to Arnhem anyways.

    The key armoured formations involve in the battle were not in Arnhem, there were only about a dozen or so Pz IV & III there, which the paras were able to handle.

    There were a dozen or so Jagd V & Jagd IV facing XXX corps which povided trouble at the start.

    Kampfgroup Harmel (sp?) with 14 Tigers was sent overland from Germany.
    Pz brigade 107 (Panthers) arrived on the eastern side of the salient on day 3.
    Pz batt 506 (King Tigers) also arrived in the Arnhem area from Germany.

    It's unreasonable to abort an operation because the Germans may have working tanks, the paras should certainly expect to face tanks regardless.
    This is why there were two RA antitank battalions landed, with 6 & 17 pdr guns.


    Arnhem/Nijmegen was probably the best option

    Absolutely correct Carronade, great post!
    The failure to drop everything on the first day was a disasterous error.
    The gliders also could however be towed by bombers instead of transports
     
  13. canambridge

    canambridge Member

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    The British 1st AB suffered around 8,000 P.O.W. The US 106th Infantry Division around 6,000. The 106th remained in being as a fighting force, participating in the fighting at St Vith and only being taken out of the line in mid January, a month after the loss of the two regiments.
     
  14. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Absolutely correct Carronade, great post! - Thanks!

    The gliders also could however be towed by bombers instead of transports - Good point. On Day 1, most (all?) of the 320 British gliders were towed by bomber types of 38 Group RAF, Stirlings, Albemarles, and Halifaxes. Some 1207 C-47s were employed, 1049 dropping paratroops and 158 towing gliders to the American LZs.

    In my speculation I've stuck to the aircraft used historically. British 4 Airbourne Brigade took 126 C-47s on the second day, moving that forward we have 1175 paratroop sorties, which could be accomplished in two trips by slightly more than 600 C-47s, allowing for attrition or mechanical problems. This would allow approximately 900 aircraft to tow gliders, which should allow for everything that went in on Day 1* plus the two American glider regiments; I can bore everyone with the details if interested.

    * might have to except Browning's I Airbourne Corps headquarters, which took up 38 gliders and had little useful function when each division was fighting on its own.

    38 Group's ex-bombers were specifically dedicated to supporting airbourne operations, towing gliders, dropping supplies, or dropping parachutists and pathfinders. I don't know how practical it would be to make additional bombers available from operational or training units, but as you say that would free up additional C-47s. Most of the follow-on echelons needed to go by glider anyway, but there were a few units that could parachute. The Polish brigade used 114 C-47s plus 46 gliders for vehicles, 6-pounders, and equipment. The 82nd and 101st included parachute field artillery battalions, all but one of which went in by glider historically.
     
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  15. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    Were there ever any plans to drop at night,like on d-day?,and why were bicycles not used when the planners decided to drop 8km's from the bridges.? Cheers.
     
  16. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    Hey guys,I was wondering if a moderator could alter this thread for me.? I would like it to encompass all Allied"Disasters",and not just omg and the Ardennes.Many thanks in advance,cheers.
     
  17. yan taylor

    yan taylor Member

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    Was Market Garden a total disaster, they nearly did it, only one Bridge left to go, a Bridge too far, but unlike the Bulge which the Germans where beaten and pushed back, Market Garden achived about 80% of its objectives, I know it was hard luck on the Para's, and fauty radios and the armour advancing up one major road, but given all these set backs, they held on to much of the ground they won, I don't know what the casualty rate was on both sides, but the Germans lost alot of men there too, men they could not replace.
     
  18. 4th wilts

    4th wilts Member

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    I don't know the casualties the U.S.Army suffered in the initial German drive in the Ardennes,the wiki is vague.There were obviously several large units involved,are there any accurate breakdowns of casualties for each unit,?rather than just the 106th,or the 28th infantry divisions. Of course alot of people generally think of the British and poles up in Arnhem,but again,are there any casualty statistics for the three British corps,and the U.S.A/B boys involved in OMG,cheers.
     
  19. scipio

    scipio Member

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    When informed of the German Attack in the Battle of the Bulge - Stalin's comment was "very stupid" - probably would have said the same of Arnhem.
     
  20. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Were there ever any plans to drop at night,like on d-day?

    Night drops on D-Day, Sicily, etc. involved considerable confusion, scattering and loss of troops and equipment, which I suspect may have motivated the preference for daylight landings in Market-Garden. The combined air-amphibious operations revolved around the need of the landing forces for darkness to cover their approach to the beaches. The daylight landings in Market-Garden were generally succesful. For one example, the 101st on D-Day included a parachute field artillery battalion, 75mm pack howitzers broken down into seven loads which also had to be united with their crews, ammunition, tow vehicles, communications, and other equipment. They were widely scattered, IIRC only one or two guns got into action in a timely manner. The 101st were so displeased that for their next operation, M-G, they put the parachute artillery in gliders. By contrast the 82nd in M-G did use a parachute FA battalion; the daylight drop went smoothly, and 10 of 12 guns were in action within an hour. We might also note that the final airborne operation of the war, Varsity (Rhine crossing) was also done in daylight.

    and why were bicycles not used when the planners decided to drop 8km's from the bridges.?

    Good question, never seen it asked or addressed before. Most obviously, carrying bicycles would mean a tradeoff in troops or other equipment. I've seen a collapsible motorcycle which fit into a container about 4' long and 1' in diameter; don't know if they had a bicycle equivalent or for that matter a large number of the motorcycles. At any rate it would be something prepared in advance; we can imagine how much space would taken by cramming standard bicycles into gliders.

    Most sources describe the M-G drop zones, especially 1 Airborne Div's, as being unusually far from the key objectives. The basic concept of airborne operations was to land troops close to the objective as an alternative to carrying along the means of moving rapidly on the ground.
     

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