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Who was right, Rundstedt or Rommel?

Discussion in 'Western Europe 1939 - 1942' started by PzJgr, May 6, 2002.

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  1. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    What are your thoughts on the way the Allied invasion should have been repulsed?

    Rundstedt believed in letting the Allies land and move inward and then smash them with the panzer divisions.

    Rommel believed in hitting them on the beaches with everything they had.

    Who is right?
     
  2. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Based on what the japanese did in the pacific--I think Rommel would have been correct. If the allies still managed a breakthrough, Rommel could always regroup his forces.

    I think Rundstedts way--was much worse. We had a few beachheads--we expanded them as rapidly as possible--they had some chances in still pushing us back--but I dont think they could have done that with all the beachheads--not enough forces in place and on hand in the right places and at the right times. I say Rommel was right.
     
  3. Stevin

    Stevin Ace

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    I am a n00b in these matters but isn't there a sort of consensus that if Hitler released his panzers in the week after the invasion, that the still fragile footholds of the Allies in Normandy could and should have been overrun?
     
  4. Madcap7

    Madcap7 Member

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    Rommel was right,Rundstedt's plan didn't tke into account Allied air superiority, an German counter-attack as he envisaged would have been blunted by the Typhoons and and P-51s.

    [ 07 May 2002, 04:20 AM: Message edited by: Madcap7 ]
     
  5. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    I would agree with Madcap. Because of the air superiority of the Allies, I believe the only successful way of defeating the invasion would be to throw everything at the beachheads. Utah was almost evacuated because of the hard time and heavy casualties it was receiving.

    Looking at Caen, the British were hesitant to risk casualties inorder to take Caen and open the way out of Normandy. Had Germany focused on a war of attrition and wear the allies down at the beachhead, the invasion may have failed.

    It would have been a heavy price because of the air superiority and the fire support from the navy but Germany could have pushed them back. They would not have been able to replace the losses unlike the Allies.

    Rommel's way would have been the method of choice in my opinion.
     
  6. Miro

    Miro Member

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    One reason for why Rommel chose to agitate for the forward defense of the beaches was that aside from the Panzer divisions the units involved were virtually static garrison forces, mostly 2nd or 3rd rate and overextended to start with. Rundstedts plan was not bad, but it presupposed that the German units would all be first rate, with sufficient motorization for the fluent maneuver battle he planned and that the Luftwaffe could at least retain some control over the skies. All these presumptions proved fatally wrong for the Germans.
     
  7. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Rommel is the man, and von Rundstedt couldnt handle the Battle of the Bulge.
     
  8. panzergrenadiere

    panzergrenadiere Member

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    Allied air power would make it impossible to have an counterattack. End of story.
     
  9. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    It is quite interesting the German high command was asleep during the predawn hours and subsquent invasion of the beaches that they did not bomb up the Luftwaffe fighters who had been expecting more raids in the inner Reich. In fact the Luftwaffe defending the inner portion was gearing up with new air-tactics when the first B-26's hit the coast. Had the Luftwaffe commanders known and been ready the B-26's would of been wiped out. The leading Allied fighters kept the luftwaffe on the ground by attacking the forward airfields, the reason in part that only Pips Priller and his wingman from JG 26 were able to strafe the Beaches, and yet no Allied fighter even came close to them as they were all inland. Jg 26 as a whole as well as the other units were all in process of moves. A fact that the general media and public do not understand and still do not even know about. so the Luftwaffe in point could and was not effective until June 7th when 3/4 gruppen tried to take on the US and British fighters and got slaughtered in the process. Interesting too that 1 gruppe, III./JG 54 cflying the Fw 190A-8 shot down over 100 Allied a/c confirmed !

    E
     
  10. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Brothers Galland--would have had a field day--unfortunately for the allies.
     
  11. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Looking back at the first day, had the Luftwaffe been geared up some unexpected things may have happened. Cannot even come to a conclusion really if the Allies would have been thrown back into the sea......most probably not, but the air batle of the beaches would of been unbelievable to the ground forces below.

    E
     
  12. Andreas Seidel

    Andreas Seidel Member

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    Supposing that the possibility exists that Operation Overlord actually failed and the Germans actually managed to wipe out the Allied beachheads, what would have been the consequence?

    Soviets in Paris?

    Or German victory of some sort?
     
  13. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Possibly neither.

    I would forsee a huge propaganda push for the victory to cheer the German populace and to boost the Wehrmacht's moral. Though, I also feel that the US/British Allies would of attempted another invasion along the French border or pursue a stronger endeavor up the rump of Italy and it's shores.

    E
     
  14. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Or quite possibly--a "stalemate" in Italy, possibly on the Gustav Line. Very much possibility of a Russian defeat--and reversial on the Eastern Front--or in the least, an unbreakable German defence line in the East.
     
  15. Miro

    Miro Member

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    I don't think either would have happened. In the East the Soviets had become almost invincible, and they were ready to throw almost 200 divisions into Op Bagration, which would have crushed Army Grp Center regardless. The Western Allies would probably have gone ahead with another invasion in southern France and the Italian campaign would have certainly been invigorated although with difficulties because of the terrain and the stalwart German defense. But in the end Germany would have gone down this way or the other. The Soviets may have reached the Rhine but I doubt that they could have pushed much further than that. The German winter counteroffensive would probably have been harder in the Budapest region instead of attacking in the Ardennes. Japan may have held out another couple of months if the European theater needed more attention. But collectively I think that even a failed Overlord would have had little effect but on the morale of the Western Allies. The elite paratroopers and most of the landing troops would have been gone for good, meaning a large dent in the US military and a crushing blow to the numerically fewer UK troops.
     
  16. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    The Allies would not have committed all of their forces and they would have invaded somewhere else at a later time. They would have rebuilt the paratroops since they would have been lost.

    The result would have been the same but only a year later perhaps. Yes the Soviets were pushing the Germans back but imagine having the 12 SS, 9 SS, Panzer Lehr, 2 SS, and the rest of these elite units in the East. The Russians would not have gotten to Berlin any quicker without the second front.
     
  17. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    I think persoanlly you would of seen more of a combined Allied air Forces front which would include the RAF starting their day light bombing offensive with the US in early spring 44 not in late 44/45. It takes oil/fuel reserves to run a mechanized army, and by mid 44 the Allied air might was quite apparent. I think they would of gone full bore and the end result would of been day/night bombing unceassingly and even in greater numbers by a/c plus the frutiless attacks on major and minor civian populations to break the moral of the German citizen.

    E
     
  18. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    I agree with nearly oall of you in many things.

    The main problems of the Germans in France were their bad units and the complete air superiority of the allies. So, in a certain way, Rommel had the most addecuate tactics for that very situstion. But he was in no sense better than Von Runstedt! Old and experienced field marshall's tactic would have worked better if there would have been better conditions. He would have been able to make a typical anhilation battle. Which had been perfect for all the German officers. He would have been able to give the western allies an enormous defeat as he only knew how (Just remember Dunkirk and Kiev)...

    But in the real situation Rommel was right. And he had several chances to threw them to see again. If that would have happen there could be several posibilities:

    - A carzy Churchill or Thruman throwing an athomic bomb on Berlin. But Germany would have taken revenge with some V2 with Uranium or something like that on London...

    - Another try in some other place.

    - A massive push in Italy.

    - A Soviet final victory in 1946 or so... with all Western Europe under Stalin.
     
  19. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Agreed with what you say.

    Also, great choices for avatars Andreas--Friedrich.

    And Friedrich--the choice you chose is from one of my Heinrich Hoffmann photos--wait till you see the full foto.

    Do you think you can guess where Hitler was at in the foto you see of him?
     
  20. Ron

    Ron Member

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    hmm i would guess that that picture was taken at berktesgarden..i know i spelled that wrong but whatever ;)

    hmmm and what would have happened had the invasion failed...i think:
    not another invasion until at least late 1945.

    By the end of the war total Rusian occupation of Germany.

    I think it possible for the germans to surrender before the allies had a chance to invade again.

    I don't see the russians taking france, just Germany...if they took france...the allies would have gone to war with the Russians.

    If the russians take long enough, the possibility of a nucleaur attack by the allies is possible too.

    Pacific war would be extended by 1-2 years.
     
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