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Normandy "What Ifs" questions.

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by JCFalkenbergIII, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    This came to mind about the Normandy "What Ifs" that have come up. This was a response from a poster on another site about "What Ifs" LOL. :rolleyes: :D

    "If its all about 'what ifs'. What would Rommel have done "if" we had landed half as many again of troops and armour as we did? What would he have done "IF" Hiter had said. 'Hold Fast'the main invasion will come in the Pas de Calais; what you arer seeing is a feint. Lastly. "What If" Rommel had been where he should have been on the 6th of June, instead of at home with his feet up ?

    Tell me, what is it with all you arm chair stategists that cannot come to terms with what DID happen, as if that wasn't exciting enough for most of us.

    None of you really have a clue of what you are talking about, other than in the most general terms.

    "If" the Germans had more infantry divisions in Normandy. "If" Rommel had more Panzer divisions on Normandy as well, and "If" the Luftwaffe had been more functional than you claim they were. We would all have been pushed back into the sea and defeated.

    Then. good folk like you would today be writing "What if" the Normandy landings had been successful........."

    My favorite "What If" question is now "What If" Rommels wife had been born in October? If she had then Rommel would have been in France rather then with his wife for her birthday when the invasion started. :p
     
  2. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    More importantly, all of the what-ifs, and even most of those not associated with Normandy seem to be mostly a handful of perennial favorites like the Battle of Britain, Seelöwe, Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk, Malta, and a few others. Why not come up with some new ones on lesser known aspects of these battles and completely new ones?
    I know I am more than occasionally disappointed by the underwhelming responses I get when I put up relatively unknown battles that could have had decisive impact had they gone differently; two recent ones being the PoW Repulse join the ABDA fleet and Biak.
    Learning and researching some new aspects of WW 2 you might not have thought of is often very rewarding.
     
  3. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I liked your questions, Terry. I'm not too fond of What ifs generally, but those were good ones. I wished that I was more knowldegeable about the subject to put up a good reply. I like the Yorktown at Midway one two. Trying to get the same or similar results with one less carrier. Good thoughts.

    Maybe we can fan enough interest that others (including moi) read more about the PTO, and the SW Pacific specifically.
     
  4. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    I liked your Repulse/Prince of Wales thread too T.A. A nice adjunct to my thread on them :).
     
  5. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    I think that the "What Ifs" where it really could have happened as opposed to the ones where it isn't based on fact are the ones I am more interested in. :)
     
  6. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    I have posted in a few other threads that would be some good "What Ifs". They are at least more in the realm of ones that could have happened in the real world LOL.
     
  7. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    And yet the more less realistic ones keep coming LOL. :p
     
  8. Tony Williams

    Tony Williams Member

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    Some people even write entire novels about them :rolleyes:
     
  9. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    Nice way to fit in a shameless plug there Tony!
     
  10. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    No Kidding LOL.
     
  11. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    I do have to agree with T.A. though. What is this fascination with some here with the Allies losing in some way? :confused: Didn't like the outcome of the war?
     
  12. PactOfSteel

    PactOfSteel Dishonorably Discharged

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  13. Tomcat

    Tomcat The One From Down Under

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    I don't think it is that people didn't like the outcome, I think it is just that that was the outcome and people are always interested in what if's and an alternate history and possiblilities what if Hitler was killed during ww1 for eg would ww2 have stilled happened?
     
  14. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    Just thought some people would find this relevent LOL. ;) :D
     
  15. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    "Idle hands are the Devil's playthings". :D
     
  16. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    More like "idle" minds LOL :p:rolleyes:
     
  17. Spinechicken

    Spinechicken Member

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    Perhaps it's something to with 'enlivening' history? If you've read about a particular battle or campaign for a long time it can seem almost comforting, like an old friend, because you know (or at least think you know) exactly what happened and when it happened. If you come up with a "what if" then suddenly you're in a similar situation to the combatants in that anything could happen, and that makes it a bit more exciting.

    I quite like alternate histories, some are quite enjoyable, but when there's so much to learn in our existing timeline, they can after a while feel a little superfluous.

    -SC
     
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  18. Cigar10

    Cigar10 Member

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    A comment and a question along the "What Ifs" line:

    1. Yes WW2 would have happened without Hitler. The situation in Europe would have been much different obviously. At some point there would have been some sort of confrontation with Stalin / USSR on some ones part. What the lineup would have been would be an interesting what if topic. And, the war with Japan would certainly have taken place. The Japanese had been planning their moves many years in advance. The sentiment to make military moves was far too strong to be restrained.

    2. Normandy - My "What If" question concerns the airborne landings. What would have happened if there had not been as much dispersal as there was (this factor seems to have caused a lot of confusion among the German commanders)? What would have happened if the percentages of troops hitting their DZ's had been higher - a concentration of forces, and higher survivability rates (fewer mishaps, etc.)?

    Comments?
     
  19. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

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    My guess is the attack across the Cotentin Pennsula would have gone a bit faster, and Cherbourg captured a few days earlier.

    The worst confusion from the paradrops was probablly the commander of the infantry divsion covering Omaha and Sword Beaches. He sent his reserve off to cover Carentan in resposne to the paradrops. He probablly would have done that anyway as one of the primary LZ was directly adjacent to Carentan.

    What differnce it would make elsewhere I dont know.
     
  20. ArmchairGeneral

    ArmchairGeneral Member

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    There are so many variables in What If scenarios that I agree with some above, it is often a pretty pointless exercise... fun though it may be (actually that is a point lol)

    BUT
    Occasionally it helps highlight a factor that might otherwise have been overlooked or seen as insignificant. My own Normandy What If is:

    Rommel was/is seen as a great, heroic general. However he was ill-suited to the defensive strategic rôle although he played lip-service to the theory that the battle should be fought on the beaches it didn't materialise (not entirely his fault of course! - von Rundstedt could have insisted that Hitler be woken on the morning of 6th June for instance). What If Kesselring - or possibly Model - had been in Rommel's position? - with Rommel elsewhere (concentrating on tactical operations which he did so much in Normandy at the expense of seeing the 'Big Picture'). Kesselring proved himself just about Germany's best defensive general. Model showed similar mettle in the Rhur.

    And how much of Rommel's (arguably poor) activity reflected the fact he was aware of Falkenhausen, Speidel and co.'s plans to bring about an armistice in the West? Kesselring, as far as I know, was not involved or even aware of this.
     

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