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wacht am rhein resources wasted?

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Eastern Front & Balka' started by bronk7, Dec 20, 2014.

  1. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    sorry if I missed any iinformation on this....Smiley brought up the thought that the Germans should've used the Bulge [Wacht am Rhein ] units and resources on the Ostfront [eastern front ] which I agree---1. should the Germans have sent those units/supplies to the Ostfront? they were trying to make a big impact on the Allies with Wacht am Rhein, but I thought Model and Rundstedt knew it was, really, a waste of resources. ..2.if they did, would that have delayed the Russians significantly??
     
  2. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Sent to the what if section
     
  3. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    I usually avoid 'what ifs' like the plague, but as I'm just now reading Caddick-Adams' Bulge history which touches on this point....

    The resources used in the Ardennes would not have significantly impacted on the Eastern Front by this stage of the War. However, those assets, husbanded within the Reich, could just possibly have created the conditions for a favourably negotiated ceasefire with the Allies - but a precondition for this would have been that Hitler were already dead. The Ardennes offensive made no logical sense ( which Rundstedt certainly knew ) therefore. IF Hitler had died on July 20th, there would have been no Ardennes......

    And, as with all 'what ifs', if my Aunt were a man she'd have been my Uncle......

    Strategically, the idea of splitting the US and British/Commonwealth forces with a shock attack was't so stupid. But given the forces available to both sides, it was......
     
  4. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    actually, I didn't want this as a ''what if'' deal....my original thought was 'was it a bad idea to use the troops at Wacht'..you have answered well...as with most everyone's replies, it is concise but with the perfect/alot of information I seek, ...
     
  5. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    So yes, it was a bad idea ; unless you factor in Hitler's mindset at the time, which certainly wasn't running along logical lines. Which is one of the many factors which, to me, has always made the Bulge such a fascinating subject to study......
     
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  6. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    very good point again...I've been reading about the Bulge for over 35 years, and never thought of it that way....now, of course, I've read about hitler's mindset, but it does seem so incredible, that a country/generals , would ''allow'' such carelessness with men's lives.....
     
  7. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    One factor to take into account is that post-20th July 1944 and the attentat on Hitler's life, if you were a high-ranking Wehrmacht officer and appeared 'negative' or 'defeatist', you and your family could suffer severe consequences.
     
  8. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    another excellent point here, which I would like to make another thread sometime....what a interesting example of human nature!!
     
  9. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I recall Hitler had the idea to destroy the Allied troops in the west first and then turn East and destroy the Red Army there and naturally win the war...

    In a way my favourite quote of the attack was something like "let them attack all the way to Paris" as they would never get their equipment and men back which happened anyway.

    After losing Overlord I guess the war was definitely over but Hitler had his Yes men around him who knew best.
     
  10. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Yes, it was Patton at the 19th December Verdun conference ( the one opened by Eisenhower with the words : The present situation is to be regarded as one of opportunity for us and not of disaster. There will be only cheerful faces at this conference table ).

    Patton immediately countered with Hell, let's have the guts to let the sons of bitches go all the way to Paris. Then we'll really cut 'em up and chew 'em up !
     
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  11. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    If the Germans always remained on the defensive in the West and diverted a lot of its resources in the east, would they have still managed to at least slow or even halt the Western Allies? If they dedicated more resources to the east, is it possible that they might have slowed the Soviets at least?
     
  12. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    Martin says no.[ which I say sounds logical ]..should this be another thread?? I said they should've used not only Wacht resources, but other western front troops on the east,
     
  13. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    The question is not if Wacht am Rhein was a bad idea,but if there was a better alternative ,and, IMHO,there was no better alternative,unless surrender .
     
  14. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    was it ''wasting'' lives??
     
  15. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Probably better this way, the Germans lost the last functional units and lost the war faster. Next Operation Bodenplatte and then turning all the units to Hungary to lose the last men and tanks in operation Spring awakening. All massive failures. Hitler truly was the best Allied spy.
     
  16. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    good point....
     
  17. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Rather depends on how you define "better" doesn't it. If the Germans pulled back across the Rhine and sent more of their forces East they likely would have slowed the Soviets at least somewhat. The question is how fast would the western allies have advanced. The above would likely have been better for most Germans. Although surrender would have been better yet.
     
  18. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    everything else,except surrender,also was wasting lives
     
  19. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Wacht am Rhein was a military operation,surrender wasn't,in the situation of Germany in december 1944,there was no better alternative : if the forces of Wact am Rhein were sent eastwards,this would only delay the end,the result still would be the Soviets in Berlin,partition of Germany and the loss of the Eastern territories(Silesia,etc).That an advance of the Allies would be better for the civilians is something irrelevant for the judgement of a military operation .
     
  20. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Any reason you felt it was necessary to state this?

    That phrase is almost incoherent, but obviously Germany could have surrendered and you did mention it yourself.

    I simply see no justification for that statement.

    Why is it better to delay the West than the East? Normally delaying an opponet is considered a benefit in any case. A well planned retreat behind the Rhine might actually have delayed the western allies as well compared to the historical result. Some including some in the military would also have considered it to have been better if the armies of the western allies met those of the Soviets further East.

    Then the post war situation wasn't relevant either but actually both of them are.
     

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