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Allied"disasters".

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

  1. freebird

    freebird Member

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    Had they put a full effort for a morning drop though, there should certainly have been enough time fo a second (afternoon) drop to bring in a few more para brigades.
     
  2. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Had they put a full effort for a morning drop though, there should certainly have been enough time fo a second (afternoon) drop to bring in a few more para brigades.

    Agreed!! The great advantage of men is that they can load themselves. Flying two missions in a day would be a bit of strain on the aircrews, but there were plenty of times in the war when it was done. Part of leadership is knowing when it's worth making a maximum effort, and this was a time for it. I would also envision most, probably all, air groups flying the same mission to the same DZ both times, which would make it a bit easier.

    As I figure, about 600 of the 1500+ planes and crews would be tasked to fly twice on Day 1, and this allows for dropping out any that have damage or mechanical problems on the first mission. Everyone would fly on the second day, mainly towing gliders. By the end of that day, most of the ~2500 glider lifts would be done. Everyone who flew twice on Day 1 could stand down on Day 3. No one would fly more than three missions in three days. With the usual caveat that I am not an expert in aircrew fatigue management, this appears doable.
     
  3. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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

    I happened to be looking at the wikipedia article on the Horsa glider, and an interior photo included a folding bicycle, standard size, folding to a little over half its full length. So it was available; the question would be what other troops or equipment would be displaced by carrying enough bicycles for a worthwhile number of troops to speed to the bridges.
     
  4. Tristan Scott

    Tristan Scott Member

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    We've covered major allied failures on the ground and at sea. What about in the air?

    I'd nominate Operation Tidal Wave.
     
  5. Volga Boatman

    Volga Boatman Dishonorably Discharged

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    This may seem off the wall, but IMHO, I firmly believe the biggest Allied disaster of ww2 was the failure to come to some kind of agreement with the various Axis powers on the question of Jewish resettlement.

    Not only did this doom European Jews to a fate that we still find abhorrant today, (and hopefully we always will), it lead directly to the Balfour declarartion, turning the middle East into a permanent hot-spot, and the endless merrygoround of trouble that comes out of the M/East.

    This, in turn, lead directly to the modern state of Israel throwing it's weight about, causing a resurgence in Arab Nationalism, which, as we all know, gave rise to terrorism as we know it today, with the most extreme example thw 9/11 attacks, and all that have flowed from it.

    Maybe we might have taken German offers to resettle European Jews lock stock and barrel a little more seriously. The would have had no need for a 'Final Solution' if an 'Alternative Solution' was on the cards....

    This scenario WAS within the capability of pre-war negotiators, but was filed away into the 'too hard' basket.
     
  6. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Volga, this is going to sound petty...And I'm not the English language forum police...I dont use grammar correctly. But did you mean it lead to the Balfour declaration? Or it lead to the decleration becoming troublesome? As the decleration was from 1917 not ww2. But yes the gist of your post on Jewish resetlement is a good one. However we in UK, USA even before ww2 were not that bothered with the Jewish question as a priority in govt circles. During the war we had other priorities. Thats not demeaning the problem. The Jewish problem and sorting it relies on massive hindsight. But so to I suppose does Arnhem plan and march into Belgium in 1940 I suppose.
     
  7. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    I'll nominate Maastricht bridges then. Heroic but ultimitaely futile. 1940.
     
  8. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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  9. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    For a start, I wouldn't say "various Axis powers"; although there were degrees of anti-Semitism throughout Europe, only the Nazis considered there to be a "Jewish problem" in need of a "solution". Italy and others only participated in the Holocaust to the extent that Germany demanded it.

    Did the Germans in fact try to discuss resettlement of the Jews with their enemies? Most Jews only came under German control as a result of conquest. After they conquered Poland, for example, did the Germans ask the Allies, or neutrals like America, to make accommodations for a couple of million Jews, for no reason other than that the Nazis wanted them removed from their newly acquired territory? Indeed, that would be a de facto recognition of Germany's right to manage Polish affairs. Why should the Allies feel compelled to do any of this, especially during wartime? Other than "do what we demand or we'll kill them", which I doubt even Hitler, Himmler, and the gang would state directly.
     
  10. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I read somewhere that at least parts of the Italian army quietly ignored German demands as regards to rounding up and deporting Jews.
     
  11. scrounger

    scrounger Member

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    From the viewpoint of a Canadian I believe the Dieppe Raid is in the worst Allied disasters colomn. It was how not to mount a seabourne invasion . I realise that casualities at Dieppe ment lives saved at Normandy but they could have found a better way to learn the lesson!! Also I found out while researching some family military history that my mother's first cousin ( i think that makes him my second cousin) was killed there ...
     
  12. SKYLINEDRIVE

    SKYLINEDRIVE Member

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    The Bulge wasn't an allied disaster, at any stage! It was a german disaster even before the first shots had been fired.
     
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  13. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    The Bulge turned into an allied victory, but had Hitler been convinced to accept the limited offensive some of his generals prefered, Germany could have gotten away with the destruction of an American Corps+ with little in the loss column. That might have prolonged the war by 3 months and have been a severe black eye to the allies.
     
  14. SKYLINEDRIVE

    SKYLINEDRIVE Member

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    The scope of the offensive did not have any influence on the fightings as they took place. There would not have been any other outcome neither at Krinkelt and Rocherath, nor at the Ambléve river or at the Skylinedrive. Even the "Kleine Lösung" was totally out of reach with the forces the germans had at hand. The only thing the attack achieved, or could have achieved, as still today most people can't or don't want to see it, was a crystal clear demonstration of the gross incompetence, cynism, sycophancy and cowardice of 99% of the higher echelons of the Wehrmacht.
     
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  15. harolds

    harolds Member

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    belasar, et al,

    A successful "small solution" in the Ardennes would have one consequence that wouldn't be apparent. Besides the loss of a Corps or more, it would have resulted in even worse Anglo-American relationships. We must remember that at the time the USA was taking over control of the Allied effort in Europe, if nothing more because the USA was becoming dominant numerically. The Brits were resisting that and trying to gain some measure of influence over operations. Tensions between the two were getting high. If the Germans had swallowed up a US Corps or more and got away with it, the British would have been saying (both privately and in their newspapers) that, "The Americans just don't know their job and they need Montgomery to lead them properly." Even so, Monty took credit for saving the American's bacon in the northern sector of the Bulge as it was. It might have led to an open rift in the Alliance.
     
  16. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    I believe both Runstedt and Gudarian both argued for the 'small solution' as opposed to the drive to the Channel. in 1940 Hitler might have listened, indeed then it was his generals at the front who advocated thinking big. Within OKW your assaesment seems valid, but I would not extend it to all German officers, as they were regularly getting sacked for doing what the leader told them not to.
     
  17. SKYLINEDRIVE

    SKYLINEDRIVE Member

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    They had brilliant leaders, even at that stage, but for the majority of the officers I stand by my assessment! They had thrown overboard their own doctrine that had made them so successful at the beginning of the war, the Wehrmacht had voluntairily thrown overboard their operational freedom to please Hitler and his cronies! Army level headquarters directed divisonal operations, corps headquarters directed battalion operations and division commanders meddled in company officers affairs! The only way the offensive would have had a chance was if Hitlers assessment of the American fighting men would have been correct! He was convinced that the GI's were even worse soldiers then the Italians, when in fact it was rather the opposite, by the middle of 1944 the GI was at least twice as capable as his german counterpart! The Wehrmacht's officer corps knew about this but it had manoeuverd itself into a position where they could not even state the obvious anymore. The once so proud officer corps, the same one that only four years earlier was the best you could find, had sold it's soul and was forced to play the devil's whore.
     
  18. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Your assesmrnt that the Heer of 1944 bore little in common with that of 1940 is spot on, but it had less to do with the moral courage or even competence of its officers. The vital point was that the conditions had changed. Germany no longer had control of the air as in 1940/41. Nor did it have either superior weapons or doctrine either. The Allied armies of 1944 could outfight, march and outnumber Germany in any catagory you care to use. Further the disintigration of the Heer meant that Armies were in effect Corps and Corps were in reality nothing more than Divisions. With thier status changing some times daily, this is common to armies in defeat.

    Actually I give the lower to mid level offices much credit for holding the Heer together as long as it did considering the sometims absurd orders coming from the Bunker. By Dec. 1944 it was generally accepted that Germany was done militarily, so if she had destroyed a US corps unit with little loss of her own (the Small encirclement) it would have seemed at the time and perhaps in hindsight as an avoidable blunder.
     
  19. SKYLINEDRIVE

    SKYLINEDRIVE Member

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    The units of the fifth and the sixth Panzer Armies were, generally speaking, at nominal sgtrength on december sixteenth!

    I disagree with the assessment that it was only OKW that had lost it's edge, there are numerous examples that clearly show that by august 1944 the gangrene had attacked every level, just take the blunders, on every level, that happened during both Vosges campaigns. To be honest it was an unavoidable fate, the officer corps had been bled white, same as the enlisted men's ranks. The training of the young replacements was ridiculous compared to the pre war standards, political cronies grew ever more important etc.etc.etc.......

    As for the small solution, it might have worked if the attack would have been carried out in another sector, with much more favorable geographical conditions, where the allied troops would have had to be deployed as thinly as they were in the Ardennes! But such a sector did not exist in december 1944! A two pronged attack with much more concentrated forces on narrower fronts in the Ardennes would have resulted in even bigger traffic jams and logistical chaos! The shoulders of the breakthroughs would have been even more vulnerable then they were and the vulnerability against air attacks would have been even bigger.
     
  20. Markus Becker

    Markus Becker Member

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    The the worst, the Bulge was a lost allied victory.

    The Germans came out in force. That was a great opportunity for a repeat of Falaise, this time with a fully closed pocket but Ike prevented this. First he reinforced Bastogne, instead of evacuating it. This required Patton to relief it, instead of attacking the base of the bulge and cut off the cream of the Wehrmacht. Later Ike insisted on frontal attacks or so I read.

    Actual disasters? Did we mention Tobruk already? The first time the siege went very, very well for the Allies, the second time it fell very quickly and after very little fighting. I assume the general public had expected another siege. Instead they get a costly and humiliating defeat.
     
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