Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

"Dumbest" attack?

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by skunk works, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. skunk works

    skunk works Ace

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    Messages:
    2,156
    Likes Received:
    104
    What is the most "Ill-Fated" attack performed by any Army, that (except for Denial), the results should have been seen comming? Desperate last stands are well, Heroic, but still qualify.
     
  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    22,539
    Likes Received:
    1,086
    Location:
    Kotka,Finland
    I go for Kursk here as it was total waste for Germans to attack and lose all the best troops and armor left...
     
  3. skunk works

    skunk works Ace

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2005
    Messages:
    2,156
    Likes Received:
    104
    General Mark Clarks slaughter of the Texas National Guard unit at the Rapido river during the Cassino battle. Texas still holds a grudge over that one until this day.
    Waist high water 200 yards across flowing at 10 mph attacked by infantry into multiple mg-42's.
    It's said the river flowed red.
     
  4. Stevin

    Stevin Ace

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,883
    Likes Received:
    26
    Talking about holding a grudge....I always wondered what Happend to Capt. Sobel of E Co. 506th PIR....

    Today I read on a website that in the 1980's WIld Bill tried to contact him. He reached his sister who told him that SObel was in bad mental health and still held a grudge against the men on of E Co. who were, in his eyes, responsible for his transfer to the Jump School. In the '80 he even tried to commit suicide, but failed but died a few years later. Apparently noone attended his funeral, not his ex-wife, not his sons, nobidy from E Co.

    If this is true, I think that is very tragic. :(
     
  5. Col. Hessler

    Col. Hessler Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Messages:
    592
    Likes Received:
    12
    Wild Bill paid Sobel's 101st Airbonre Association dues, but Sobel never went to any reunions and never responded to Easy Co. members who tried to contact him.

    Michael Sobel, Herbert Sobels son, attended the 2002 Easy Company reunion. Here is his speech:

    "I never knew about my father's wartime service. He never talked about it. He spent 20 years in the Army, and retired as a Lt. Col. I didn't think much about why he didn't talk about it, but I certainly know now. I don't really know how anyone else might have seen him, but I can tell you this. He was the best, most loving father anyone could have." He went on to say that his coming to this reunion was very important for him and that he would forever be grateful that he had come and that "after meeting all of the gathered guests, I know my dad would be very proud of you all."


    Michael Sobel also made a post on the HBO Boards.

    "Thanks so much for the interest. I really don't know much about my fathers WWII experience. I do know however how he was as a father. I was dismayed to see how he was portrayed. Nobody could have had a more loving caring and attentive father. He was loved by all, never used profanity, and didn't have a malicious bone in his body. He absoultely adored my mother. I guess from a historical point of view the author is guilty of omission. My father began his military career at Culver military academy, and retired honorably as a lieutenant colonel, and although I don't have his military records he was given the purple heart. I find it difficult to believe that anybody who performed as he was alleged to would have reached that rank. He had in excess of 20 years military service, and continued in the reserves regularly. Perhaps his portrayal is accurate, although my mother also has a hard time believing it. If that be the case, I am certain my father did what he felt was necessary to steel the men in easy company for the war experience. From the point of view of all family members he was everything a father could be. He and I did have differing views of American policy during the VietNam debacle. He was torn knowing that the war was unjust, and he had two of three sons draftable. I was an active protester in college. This weighed heavily on his psyche. Thanks again for your interest in my father. I will acquire his records, and hopefully contact some of his comrads.
    Aloha,
    Michael H. Sobel (second son of Herbert M. Sobel)"
     
  6. Stevin

    Stevin Ace

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,883
    Likes Received:
    26
    Thanks for that, Col. It does paint another picture, more nuancated, albeit from his son. But at least it not as black and white as the piece I read was.
     
  7. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2000
    Messages:
    8,386
    Likes Received:
    885
    Location:
    Jefferson, OH
    My vote is for operation Market-Garden. It accomplished as much as Hiter's Wacht am Rhine.
     
  8. dasreich

    dasreich Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2002
    Messages:
    580
    Likes Received:
    1
    Dieppe is a pretty solid example.
     
  9. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2002
    Messages:
    22,539
    Likes Received:
    1,086
    Location:
    Kotka,Finland
    Hitler´s march operation 1945 at Balaton river when Tiger tanks got stuck in the mud...
     
  10. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Messages:
    6,548
    Likes Received:
    48
    I'd go for the Italian invasions of Greece and Egypt, and, of course, 'Wacht am Rhein'.
     
  11. dasreich

    dasreich Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2002
    Messages:
    580
    Likes Received:
    1
    Well the problem with Wacht Am Rhein as an example is that it did succeed for a while, even if it could have never strategically broke the Allied forces. And the casualties on both sides were comparable, not to mention it slowed down the Allied advance into Germany for a couple months. Even though it failed it wasn't a complete failure like Market Garden.

    Although I'm with you on the Italian invasions of Greece and Egypt. In fact, just about anything involving the Italian military was a debacle for Italy. Their entire war effort qualifies as a "Dumbest attack".
     
  12. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2000
    Messages:
    8,386
    Likes Received:
    885
    Location:
    Jefferson, OH
    Had the goals for Wacht Am Rhein been more realistic, it would have been catagorized as a success. For example, throwing off the timetable for future allied operations. This then was a success and the German casualties would have been less. But, given that Hitler wanted Antwerp, there was no way that was achievable. Thus, the loss of men and valuable material made it a very dumb move.
     
  13. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Messages:
    6,548
    Likes Received:
    48
    The thing with 'Wacht am Rhein' was actually the strategic idiocy with which it was conceived.

    Hitler wanted to achieve a decisive victory against any of the Allies in any front. He knew that the Red Army was, too strong, unbeatable, at the time, and he regarded relatively well the British, but he despised (as did many German commanders) the 'rookie' American Army.

    By this only move, Hitler chose to hit the Allied Army that could take the hardest blows and heal best, the one that had suffered the less during the war. He and his generals idiotically asumed that it would take Einsenhower almost 6 weeks to redeploy units and bring reinforcements for the offensive. Now, one of the most stupid things you can do in war is expecting the enemy to act in the same way you'd act. Not only the German High Command overrated the Wehrmacht's actual capacity to perform a highly ambitious Blitkrieg attack in the middle of the winter with a severe lack of resources. They also under-estimated the Allied, and specially the American, capability of response. Within three days (not six weeks), Eisenhower had redeployed dozens of divisions (and soon entire armies, like Patton's III, would join them) and millions of tons of resources to hold the German offensive.

    Another thing is that the German units and resources for the offensive were gathered much at the expense of the deffensive lines of the eastern front, 'on the assumption that the Red Army would not launch a winter offensive'. Why would the Red Army attack in winter of 44? It only had attacked in winter of 41, 44 and 43 (also summers of 43 and 44)… :rolleyes:

    There's no surprise at all to see why 'Wacht am Rhein' was a complete failure and the Allied offensives of early 1945 in all fronts were so successfull… :rolleyes:
     
  14. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Messages:
    6,548
    Likes Received:
    48
    The thing with 'Wacht am Rhein' was actually the strategic idiocy with which it was conceived.

    Hitler wanted to achieve a decisive victory against any of the Allies in any front. He knew that the Red Army was, too strong, unbeatable, at the time, and he regarded relatively well the British, but he despised (as did many German commanders) the 'rookie' American Army.

    By this only move, Hitler chose to hit the Allied Army that could take the hardest blows and heal best, the one that had suffered the less during the war. He and his generals idiotically asumed that it would take Einsenhower almost 6 weeks to redeploy units and bring reinforcements for the offensive. Now, one of the most stupid things you can do in war is expecting the enemy to act in the same way you'd act. Not only the German High Command overrated the Wehrmacht's actual capacity to perform a highly ambitious Blitkrieg attack in the middle of the winter with a severe lack of resources. They also under-estimated the Allied, and specially the American, capability of response. Within three days (not six weeks), Eisenhower had redeployed dozens of divisions (and soon entire armies, like Patton's III, would join them) and millions of tons of resources to hold the German offensive.

    Another thing is that the German units and resources for the offensive were gathered much at the expense of the deffensive lines of the eastern front, 'on the assumption that the Red Army would not launch a winter offensive'. Why would the Red Army attack in winter of 44? It only had attacked in winter of 41, 44 and 43 (also summers of 43 and 44)… :rolleyes:

    The Germans lost a bit more men, though. But the point is that, even if Eisenhower did not have reserve units behind the frontlines, the USA was just using a small part of its human resoures, whilst Germany had used it all.

    In the West only…

    But Market Garden did not have a negative effect as harmful and fatal on the Allied war effort as 'Wacht am Rhein' had on the German one, AT ALL.
     
  15. dasreich

    dasreich Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2002
    Messages:
    580
    Likes Received:
    1
    I agree it was a big failure and a waste of resources, but there is a fine line between big failure and complete debacle. I don't believe Wacht Am Rhein quite falls into the latter category because it was initially succesful and messed up the Allied timetable amid giving them quite a big shock.

    Besides it wouldn't have mattered whether this attack was carried out or not. Thats why I look at it as more of just a really desperate gamble than a bad move, because regardless of the move made Germany would still lose the war. Even if it threw away German manpower, that manpower would have been shattered anyway within a month or two by continued enemy advances from all sides. Most German military leaders, even if they didn't say it to Hitler, knew by this point their defeat was a foregone conclusion. I suppose it could be looked at as 'one last hurrah' instead of just withering away like the Allies thought they would.
     
  16. Rick the Librarian

    Rick the Librarian Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    A number of Japanese attacks in the latter part of World War II -- take your pick!
     
  17. biguglydog

    biguglydog Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Russian frontal attacks using poor infantry such as prison units with few to no weapons. Just another reason why Russia's military casulties were so high. If this even counts as an attack I'm not sure.
     
  18. PFC Wilks

    PFC Wilks Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    0
    i know we won, but D-Day was riskey as hell. we lost too many un-nessarary casuities. it was good that we took omaha, utah, pointe du hock. but still, too many friendlies lost
     
  19. Run N Gun

    Run N Gun recruit

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    germany's whole russian campaign.
     
  20. bigiceman

    bigiceman Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2005
    Messages:
    811
    Likes Received:
    3
    Welcome to the forum Run N Gun. I will have to agree with you on this one. Given the state of the German war industry and the lack of the logistical support needed to conduct this battle on Russian soil realistically, I have to go with Operation Barbarossa.

    Looking back upon it you can see the tremendous loss of German life, the strain upon the German war industry and the ultimate destruction of Germany by the inferior, vengeful, slavic "sub-humans".

    In retrospect there were no useful gains. Knowing that the thrust would never cause the Soviets to falter and collapse I think there is even a chance that Hitler may not have done it. Germany would have been better served to have fortified their own borders against the inevitable Russian attack. It would have been much better to have invaded Italy instead.
     

Share This Page