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

Military disasters of the Second World War.

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by SolomonSullivan, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. SolomonSullivan

    SolomonSullivan New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2020
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    You always hear about the Russians destroyed at Tannenberg (I know that’s WWI, but as an example) or the Germans at Stalingrad. Most cases with such destruction of large forces are on the Eastern Front in WWII, but are there any cases of the US or British wiping out large forces? Either on the Western Front, North Africa, or in the Pacific.

    **Edit by Otto: to remove spammy links, this poster is a spammer out of India. However there are good responses here, so the thread will not be deleted.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2020
  2. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    913
    Likes Received:
    245
    If you mean a bloodbath, then maybe Falaise. A lot of Germans got slaughtered from the air in that one. So much so that Eisenhower said you could walk across a field and step on nothing but bodies.

    As for mass capture, there is Falaise and Tunisia.
     
  3. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    2,411
    Likes Received:
    403
    The British offensive against the Italians from December 1940 to February 1941 wiped out an entire army and took over 130,000 prisoners. It comprised several actions starting with the destruction of the Italian forces which had invaded Egypt, followed by the captures of Bardia and Tobruk and the final finishing off of the retreating Italians at Beda Fomm. At one point a British unit described its haul of prisoners as "five acres of officers and 200 acres of other ranks".

    The East Africa campaign in Ethiopia and Somaliland netted about 1/4 million Italian and colonial troops.

    The encirclement of the Ruhr pocket by US 1st and 9th Armies in March 1945 captured about 300,000 Germans.
     
  4. Jack B

    Jack B Active Member Patron  

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2019
    Messages:
    361
    Likes Received:
    106
    Location:
    Deep in the armchair
    The Battle for France (10 May – 25 June, 1940) took far less time than Stalingrad and resulted in some 200,000 French casualties and 1.5 Million POW's. I'd call that a 'disaster'.
     
  5. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,292
    Likes Received:
    132
    Location:
    MIDWEST
    ....at Iwo and Tarawa most of the Japanese died ....the Pacific had much, much smaller forces ....they usually were taking a small piece of a small island--so the chances of large units being ''wiped out'' would be low...but per capita, seems like they had many units ''wiped out''
    ..at Okinawa, the majority of Japanese were killed-about 70,000? -they were die hard fanatics
    .....did not the Russians and Gemans have much more ''hatred''/die hard fanatics than the Brits and US? ....
    ...so we have a greater amount of dead in the Pacific per capita per each battle = ''wiped out''

    ..define ''wiping out'' ....the Japanese were ceratinly wiped out in a lot of battles
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2020
    Slipdigit likes this.
  6. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    Messages:
    17,260
    Likes Received:
    2,012
    Location:
    Alabama
    The destruction of Army Group Center in the summer of 1944 also comes to mind. The German Fourth, Ninth, and 3rd Panzer Armies saw the loss of 28 out of 34 divisions
    , some 400,000 men.
     
  7. wooley12

    wooley12 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2017
    Messages:
    433
    Likes Received:
    111
    1st and 3rd Rangers at Cisterna comes to mind. The result of breaking all of the rules in planing a Ranger mission.
     
    bronk7 likes this.
  8. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    10,906
    Likes Received:
    1,765
    Pearl Harbor?
     
  9. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,292
    Likes Received:
    132
    Location:
    MIDWEST
    ..was that because of '''long''' /constant battles--such as the Hurtgen Forest ''destroyed'' the 28th? how long did it take?
    ..didn't a ''lot'' of units eventually take so many casualties that they had to be taken out of the line?
     
  10. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,292
    Likes Received:
    132
    Location:
    MIDWEST
    good call on that one ....that is wiped out--''quickly''
     
  11. wooley12

    wooley12 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2017
    Messages:
    433
    Likes Received:
    111
    900 went in. 7 came out. I have a copy of all of the names on a report from that week with them listed as MIA
     
  12. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Messages:
    6,935
    Likes Received:
    1,114
    Location:
    The Land of 10,000 Loons
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
  13. Otto

    Otto Rested & Resupplied with MREs. Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2000
    Messages:
    9,449
    Likes Received:
    1,602
    Location:
    DFW, Texas
    Another spammer from India. The account is banned but the content has been left due to the rather useful responses.
     
  14. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,860
    Likes Received:
    677
    [Mr. Picky]The 28th ID was not "destroyed" in the Huertgenwald. None of its component units was disbanded or inactivated. It did suffer heavy casualties, c. 5,028 men, 93% of which were incurred by its three Infantry regiments, about 54% of their total strength, but it was re-constituted between 14 November and 16 December and if anything fought as intense a defensive battle in the Ardennes just four weeks later. Curiously, many historians, such as Martin van Creveld, uphold the 28th ID experience in the Huertgenwald as an indictment of the American Army's replacement system, while carefully ignoring the inconvenient fact of its performance just four weeks later...and the even more inconvenient fact the U.S. Army had little alternative.[/Mr. Picky]
     
    Slipdigit likes this.
  15. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,292
    Likes Received:
    132
    Location:
    MIDWEST
    ...Mr picky???!!!huh?? hahahha
    ...54% yes--....yes--replacements for losses....they didn't have the original troops from the division
    ...as I stated before, most of these examples posted are not wiped out like the Japanese were in the Pacific.
    ..from Three Battles by MacDonald and Mathews-page 414:
    ''' The Schmidt operation had developed into one of the most costly division actions in the whole of World War II''...it then goes into the casualties of the 28th ID.....6184 casualties
    ..please note I put destroyed in quotes
    ..I asked a simple, polite question--out of curioisty .......why can't you politely answer it?
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
  16. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,292
    Likes Received:
    132
    Location:
    MIDWEST
    ..also, we want to separate ''destruction'' of units regarding the time frame....a lot of units will lose a lot of their strength over a certain time period .....as a poster mentioned the Rangers being ''destroyed'' at Cisterna was a destruction, not ''standard'' battle losses over a period of time .....that is what my question was about
     
  17. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,292
    Likes Received:
    132
    Location:
    MIDWEST
    bold mine
    Battle of Hurtgen Forest: Fight for Schmidt and Kommerscheidt
     
  18. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,860
    Likes Received:
    677
    I gave a simple polite answer, even framing my answer as my simply being picky and repeated your use of "destroyed" for the same reason you did. If you think I was being rude, then perhaps you could explain why?

    Yes, Mac gave the figure of "6,184", which was his estimate for the 28th ID and attached units rather than for the division itself. The figure of 5,684, which he quotes for the division itself, was for the period 1-31 November 1944 and includes both battle and non-battle casualties for the entire period, rather than the figure I quoted for the 28th's battle in the Huertgen itself from 2-14 November. Dorothy Kneeland Clark in her seminal Casualties as a Study of the Loss of Combat Effectiveness of an Infantry Battalion actually delved most deeply into this subject and determined that the casualties in the three Infantry regiments totaled 4,526 of the 4,668 casualties incurred 2-13 November 1944 inclusive. Note that figure is yet different from the "5,028" I gave, which is from a study on divisional re-constitution, which is another useful source on the subject.

    Even more interesting, Clark was able to find the number of replacements fed into the division during the battle, which totaled 3,843 for the period 2-13 November...so 75% of the loss incurred were replaced during the battle, not that all of those got into the battle of course.
     
    Slipdigit likes this.
  19. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Messages:
    6,015
    Likes Received:
    908
    Singapore...
     
    RichTO90 likes this.
  20. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Messages:
    10,906
    Likes Received:
    1,765
    "Shall we do a 360 walk-around?"

    "No need."

    "Very well, see you in the camp. We'll need to words to 'Colonel Bogey'."
     

Share This Page