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Topic: OT - D-Day, what if?

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MrNubbz

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Re: OT - D-Day, what if?
« Reply #42 on: June 06, 2019, 01:24:07 PM »
So, imagine somehow the Allies gain a toehold only at Utah, but the other beaches failed and were withdrawn.  What then?
I'm guessing Bomber Harris gets a vote and Admiral Ramsey also
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MrNubbz

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Re: OT - D-Day, what if?
« Reply #43 on: June 06, 2019, 01:44:22 PM »

That's why Montgomery's plan for Operation Market-Garden was so appealing to him.
I was on a Youtube history message board,bad move - a bunch of British flamers.The Dutch Army Staff College final exam before the war asked students about how to advance north on just this road. Any student suggesting a direct assault up the road was failed on the spot. Only flanking well to the west was accepted as an answer.SHAEF and the BEF  had directed Monty to open the Scheldt Estuary 1st.Which tactically was the right move.Because even in the highly unlikey case this hair brained scheme worked they would be out of provisions by Arnhem.And the Heer had the RUhr right around the corner.Armor and artillary coming in by rail and getting ferried over.None of which the Allies were employing on any scale.How Montgomery had a job after Caen,Goodwood,Epsom then the Falaise Gap Fiasco is a testimony to Allied ignorance.He should have been sent packing and IKE desrved a dressing down after that also for acquiesing to British Whims.Anyhow thanx to the boys 75 years ago
« Last Edit: June 08, 2019, 08:13:50 AM by MrNubbz »
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Cincydawg

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Re: OT - D-Day, what if?
« Reply #44 on: June 06, 2019, 02:32:51 PM »
German war production hit it's maximum in December 1944, despite the bombing campaign, which is still debated by military historians and strategists.

I don't know of a larger town in Germany of any consequence that was not basically leveled, including Dresden.

The Poesti raid is interesting, we never tried again from what I recall.

http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/ploesti.htm


SFBadger96

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Re: OT - D-Day, what if?
« Reply #45 on: June 06, 2019, 03:47:54 PM »
Saw something about Maisy Battery, and the Rangers likely mistake in going after Point du Hoc. I think this is a good example of where historical narratives get off point. The general tenor is that Point du Hoc wasn't that important because the Germans had already moved the battery of guns there, whereas Maisy Battery continued to shell the Allies for days after the landing. The people who have studied this say that the Rangers blew it, and shouldn't have focused on Point du Hoc at all. But that's beside the point. It isn't that they took Point du Hoc, it's the behavior they exhibited in doing so. It's the bravery and sacrifice to go up the cliffs under brutal conditions that make Point do Hoc important. Indeed, it's always been generally acknowledged that when the Rangers got to the top, the main battery of guns they were sent after wasn't really there. So should they have gone after Maisy instead? Probably, but so what?

Things go badly in warfare all the time. Plans don't survive first contact. Commanders make mistakes. But that doesn't undermine the bravery of the people who execute (or fail to) those plans.

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Re: OT - D-Day, what if?
« Reply #46 on: June 06, 2019, 04:34:01 PM »
I visited Pointe du Hoc.  I don't think it possible that men could make it up that cliff under fire.  They must have been exhausted and highly uncertain about a possible counter attack.  They were left there 3 days as I recall.  Expecting them to attack in another direction sounds excessive even for Rangers.


CWSooner

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Re: OT - D-Day, what if?
« Reply #47 on: June 06, 2019, 08:19:31 PM »
Saw something about Maisy Battery, and the Rangers likely mistake in going after Point du Hoc. I think this is a good example of where historical narratives get off point. The general tenor is that Point du Hoc wasn't that important because the Germans had already moved the battery of guns there, whereas Maisy Battery continued to shell the Allies for days after the landing. The people who have studied this say that the Rangers blew it, and shouldn't have focused on Point du Hoc at all. But that's beside the point. It isn't that they took Point du Hoc, it's the behavior they exhibited in doing so. It's the bravery and sacrifice to go up the cliffs under brutal conditions that make Point do Hoc important. Indeed, it's always been generally acknowledged that when the Rangers got to the top, the main battery of guns they were sent after wasn't really there. So should they have gone after Maisy instead? Probably, but so what?

Things go badly in warfare all the time. Plans don't survive first contact. Commanders make mistakes. But that doesn't undermine the bravery of the people who execute (or fail to) those plans.
The guy who has made the big deal about the Maisy Battery is a former British signal officer.  He's right--Maisy Battery was a better target.  But he's sort of wrong, IMO, about everything else.  He can't get it straight whether Lt. Col. Rudder (2nd Ranger Battalion C.O.) knew about Maisy Batter and should have told the high command (which seems highly unlikely to me) or the high command knew about Maisy Battery and didn't tell Rudder.  In any event, the Rangers attacked Pointe du Hoc, and the guns weren't there, so they went inland and found 5 of them, and destroyed them.  Sounds like "Mission Accomplished" to me.  And the fact that there was a better mission that they should have been assigned doesn't change that.

Maisy battery was supposed to be the target of HMS Hawkins, but it continued firing until 9 June.

Lots of good stuff here since yesterday.
The bombing of Nagasaki sounds like the Keystone Cops were running the show.  Did anyone follow orders?  Did anyone carry out his part of the mission IAW the way it was briefed?
Yes, the invasion of southern France was going to be called Anvil and Churchill insisted on the change.  I've forgotten why Churchill objected to it.  It fit in so well with his "soft underbelly of the Axis" theory!  Seriously, I imagine he saw it as a distraction and a consumer of American logistical support (POL and ammo) that woulda/coulda/shoulda gone to the forces in northern France, including British forces.
Market-Garden.  Everything wrong with Montgomery as a senior commander was on display in this opearaton.  Most glaringly, his insistence on sticking to the plan even though circumstances had changed.  They knew before it started (on its own D-Day) that the German dispositions were not as briefed, and that the difference was very significant.  But Montgomery could only fight set-piece battles, and only when he had overwhelming numerical and logistical superiority.  He could not respond quickly enough to fight fluid campaigns of maneuver.  Whether that was his own problem or due to his staff, I don't know/can't remember.
About what German cities were left to bomb by spring of 1945, Dresden came up.  One of my colleagues at Combat Studies Institute at Fort Leavenworth was a civilian PhD-type named Michael Pearlman.  He died a couple of years ago.  He had been working on a book (I don't know if he finished it or not) about the final Soviet offensive and he came to the conclusion that the Dresden bombing was not just a demonstration of frightfulness, or of Western Air Power to intimidate Stalin, but a legitimate military operation to aid an ally.  Dresden was a transportation hub, and it was on the left flank of Marshal Konev's axis of advance from Breslau to Berlin.  Its transportation links needed to be destroyed, and they were.
A lot of the bad odor surrounding the Dresden bombing started the British historian John Irving, who would turn out eventually to be a Holocaust denier.  He took casualty figures from East German sources, who had taken them from Nazi propaganda sources.  The actual number was multiplied by something like 10.  Kurt Vonnegutt also played a role in this, by spouting the same numbers, and having "street cred" of having been an eyewitness.  The historian Stephen Sears used the same figures in his American Heritage Junior Library book Air War Against Hitler's Germany, which I probably read 10 times back in junior high and high school.
The Library of America is issuing a new edition of Cornelius Ryan's work that combines The Longest Day and A Bridge Too Far in one volume.  The editor of that volume is Rick Atkinson, author of the "Liberation Trilogy": An Army at Dawn, The Day of Battle, and The Guns at Last Light.  He discusses Ryan on THIS VIDEO.  It's worth a watch.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2019, 08:38:38 PM by CWSooner »
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CWSooner

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Re: OT - D-Day, what if?
« Reply #48 on: June 06, 2019, 11:21:50 PM »
So, I got this in an email today.

Geopolitical Futures
June 4, 2019
By George Friedman
D-Day and Stalin

Nearly 75 years after it was fought, D-Day remains one of the most vividly recalled battles in history. It was also one of the most decisive. There are those who will argue that the Allies would have won World War II regardless of the outcome of the Battle of Normandy. Indeed, similar arguments are made for most decisive battles. Two years ago, I wrote about the Battle of Midway, on the 75th anniversary of that campaign, and argued that a defeat there would have been disastrous to the global balance. But some readers rejected this, saying that, even if the U.S. had been defeated, it would have deployed ships into the Pacific and recovered. That might well be true, but as I will try to show, the invasion of France’s Calvados coast was a turning point in the war. Had it failed, the Allies likely would not have been able to recover.

Far From Over

The pivot was the Soviet Union. By the time the D-Day invasion was launched, the Soviet Union had been fighting the Germans for three years. Germany had conquered most of the Soviet heartland and its treatment of the occupied areas was barbaric. For the first five months of the war, it seemed likely that the Soviets would lose. Only an extraordinary effort by the Red Army, aided by supplies from the United States, allowed them to stabilize the front and return to the offensive. But when D-Day was launched, the Soviets were still over 1,000 miles from Berlin. For them, the war was far from over.



For the British and Americans, the continued Soviet participation in the war was essential. The Soviets had tied down the bulk of the German army for years and bled it dry. Without the Soviets’ involvement in the war, an Allied invasion of France would have been impossible as Germany could have massed overwhelming force and shifted troops to Italy, blocking access from there.

But the Soviets believed that the Allies had deliberately delayed an invasion of France to allow the Germans and Soviets to weaken each other so that American and British forces could come ashore with minimal opposition and fight their way into Germany, and perhaps beyond. The Soviets had repeatedly asked for a second front in 1942 and 1943. The Allies responded with a Mediterranean campaign, first in North Africa and then in Italy. From the Soviets’ perspective, this was merely a gesture – they were fighting for their lives in Stalingrad, and the Mediterranean operations were not large enough to force the Germans to redeploy troops away from their eastern flank. And so, the basic correlation of forces between Germany and the Soviets remained as it was.

The Americans and British said they simply weren’t ready for an invasion. Stalin didn’t dispute that but argued that even a failed invasion would have forced Hitler to re-evaluate the vulnerability of his troops in the west and shift some forces there. A reduction of German forces and redirection of logistical support would have increased the likelihood of a Soviet victory and reduced the damage to Soviet forces. Stalin was left with the impression that the Western Allies wanted the Germans to do maximum damage to the Red Army and that the Americans and British were unwilling to carry out a doomed spoiling attack because they were unwilling, for political reasons, to absorb a fraction of the casualties the Soviets were absorbing.

The two sides didn’t trust each other. The British and Americans were appalled at the Hitler-Stalin pact of 1939, while the Soviets were angered by the Americans’ willingness to enter the war only after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and Hitler’s declaration of war on the United States. The U.S. built up its forces slowly and deliberately, minimizing exposure to minor battles in the Pacific and major thrusts at nothing important. Stalin believed that Roosevelt wanted a weak Soviet Union to emerge and that, after the Soviets destroyed the Wehrmacht, the U.S. would seize Europe and the British Empire. He once said that Churchill was the kind of man who would pick your pocket for a kopeck but Roosevelt was the kind of man who would steal only big coins. From Stalin’s view, Churchill was governing a declining power while Roosevelt, brilliant and utterly ruthless, was in charge of the future hegemon of the world.

A Hard Pill to Swallow

There is ample evidence that Soviet and German representatives had met in Stockholm for serious talks. Hitler saw Stalin’s opening as a sign of weakness. Understanding the tension between the Soviets and the Americans and British, he didn’t believe in 1943 that they could mount an invasion. Since Stalin himself had doubts, Hitler drove a hard bargain, demanding that Germany retain the land it had already won, particularly Ukraine. The talks broke down, though contacts seem to have continued.

Had the Allies not invaded Normandy in 1944, it is reasonable to assume that Stalin, whose troops were still fighting far inside their own country, would have accepted the deal with Hitler, since he likely could not continue fighting without a western front or at the very least could not regain the territory on his own. Churchill, it should be noted, was never enthusiastic about the invasion, either because he feared the resulting losses would be the end of the British army or because he wouldn’t have minded if the German-Soviet war continued so the Allies could intervene at the last minute, while nibbling at Greece. Either way, Roosevelt rejected Churchill’s view, sensing that the Soviets would make peace without an Allied invasion.

Thus, the invasion was launched in June before the campaign season was lost. Had the Americans and British not seized the opportunity to invade at that time, or had the campaign failed, they would have had to wait until the following spring to mount an invasion. And by then, the Soviets may well have been forced to make peace, giving the Germans a far denser defense along the French coast that would almost certainly have made an invasion impossible. Alternatively, the Allies could have tried to attack Germany through Italy or the Balkans – through the Alps. But with the Soviets out of the war, the Germans would have gained a massive advantage. A German-Soviet truce would have been hard for the Soviets to swallow, but if D-Day had failed and if the Allies couldn’t mount another operation for another year, Stalin may not have had any other choice. He couldn’t win the war on his own.

The Americans would have had the atomic bomb within a year, and I don’t doubt they would have used it while the war raged. But if there was peace in the east, and little fighting in the west, would the U.S. really nuke Berlin or Munich and then try to occupy Germany? I don’t believe it would, but I could be wrong.

D-Day was the decisive battle of World War II not only because it unleashed the full strength of the Anglo-American forces but because it forced Hitler to fight on two fronts, easing the Soviets’ positions sufficiently for a confident advance. Had the invasion not taken place or had it failed, Stalin would likely have made peace with Hitler. Germany would have grown stronger, unless the U.S. and Britain wanted to wage war alone, which I don’t think they did. In the end, Hitler was right when he said Germany’s fate would be decided in France – on the Calvados coast in Normandy, to be exact.
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OrangeAfroMan

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Re: OT - D-Day, what if?
« Reply #49 on: June 07, 2019, 06:50:59 AM »
What if Hitler had won and had killed all the Jews.  Who would have been in the cross-hairs next?  Would there have been an end to any of it?  
I'll never understand hatred between different cultures or races or whatever, it's so odd.  They look differently than you?  They pray to a different god?  They speak a different language?  
So does everyone else on the planet, but you're not out to get them!  It's all so stupid.
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Cincydawg

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Re: OT - D-Day, what if?
« Reply #50 on: June 07, 2019, 07:51:47 AM »
Hitler's views were somewhat clearly spelled out in his book (which I once tried to read, it's not readable).  Anyone who was not "Aryan" was in trouble with Hitler.  It's interesting that he was allied with the Japanese, but I suppose they were "over there" and welcome to it.  Similarly, he allocated the Med to his Italian friends who are not "purely" Aryan of course.  He liked Benito personally.

He liked the British because they were "Aryan".  He couldn't understand why they didn't quit when he offered them rather generous terms in 1940.  And indeed, after May 1`940, the Brits were "beat" except for their Navy (which is important when one considers Napoleon and Trafalgar).

Once Hitler had "living space" in the East he would have been content to dominate Europe, let Britain alone, France would be "France" like Vichy France was, etc.  He would call the shots but they would nominally be independent.  He wanted Russia to the Urals for metals and food and oil.  The Russians would have been used as serfs, in effect, farm workers, etc. dominated by "Aryan" overlords who ran the place.  Hitler's greedy henchmen would have been doled out choice portions of Russian to "run" as they wished.  He nearly pulled it off, some writers like to fictionalize the "what if" of WW 2 of course, but in effect, the Germans had to make no mistakes militarily, and in war that is not possible.


MrNubbz

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Re: OT - D-Day, what if?
« Reply #51 on: June 07, 2019, 07:55:23 AM »
The Library of America is issuing a new edition of Cornelius Ryan's work that combines The Longest Day and A Bridge Too Far in one volume.  The editor of that volume is Rick Atkinson, author of the "Liberation Trilogy": An Army at Dawn, The Day of Battle, and The Guns at Last Light.  He discusses Ryan on THIS VIDEO.  It's worth a watch.
I'm reading "The Guns at Last Light" right now,very informative.Also have to get Ryan's "The Last Battle" next.His sources are great just like Robert Kershaw who wrote "It Never Snows in September".Both exclusively interviewed actual combatants.There is evidence by the way that Montgomery had funtional Asperger's.Some suggest Stonewall Jackson did also,difference being Jackson was for the most part successful where Monty was just fortunate he was on the winning side
“Did I hear God call me an idiot? ”― William P. Young

Cincydawg

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Re: OT - D-Day, what if?
« Reply #52 on: June 07, 2019, 07:58:40 AM »



This shows Soviet troop positions June 23, 1944, to August, 1944.  I would not call this "deep inside Russia".  They were at the end of this knocking on the door of prewar German proper (East Prussia in particular).  Had D-Day failed, would they have reached an agreement with Hitler and stopped?  Maybe, but at this point, I'd say not.

The July assassination attempt would not have happened with a failed D-Day, probably, but the Soviets were moving rather quickly in the East.  A few more Panzer divisions shifted East would have perhaps slowed this a bit, but not stopped it.

The war in the East was enormous in terms of troops and space, and the book Barbarossa is a very good summary of it.

Cincydawg

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Re: OT - D-Day, what if?
« Reply #53 on: June 07, 2019, 08:00:25 AM »
I recall being up at Badger's boat one night and a neighbor dropped by, a Brit, and for whatever reason he started in on how Monty was a great general and the Americans were puftahs etc.  I stayed quiet as he was so sure of himself that I felt any comments or questions would have angered him.

MrNubbz

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Re: OT - D-Day, what if?
« Reply #54 on: June 07, 2019, 08:06:47 AM »
Hitler's views were somewhat clearly spelled out in his book (which I once tried to read, it's not readable).  Anyone who was not "Aryan" was in trouble with Hitler.  It'


Years ago either History or Nat Geo did a great segmant on this.When the Reich annexed Austria special units went into Hitlers home town - some small hamlet.The erased all historical reference to him at city hall,birth certificate,relatives head stones quite extensive.The reason being is he may have had Jewish blood in him - it was interesting.If I ever come across it I'll link it.Good thing i wasn't there CD I would have fed him a face full of facts.Actually I would have bit my tongue on badge's behalf - I'm guessin.Most senior Brit officers hated his guts for taking credit that wasn't his and deflecting blame that was.You'd never belief the bullshit he gave IKE,who sad to say needed to grow a pair.He never brought the hammer down until crossing the Rhine - then he finally shoved the arrogant ass to the side.Which he should have done 10 months earlier.George Marshall wanted IKE to rip the Ebola Chimps head off
« Last Edit: June 07, 2019, 08:12:39 AM by MrNubbz »
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MrNubbz

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Re: OT - D-Day, what if?
« Reply #55 on: June 07, 2019, 08:19:48 AM »
 He wanted Russia to the Urals for metals and food and oil.  The Russians would have been used as serfs, in effect, farm workers, etc. dominated by "Aryan" overlords who ran the place.  Hitler's greedy henchmen would have been doled out choice portions of Russian to "run" as they wished.  He nearly pulled it off, some writers like to fictionalize the "what if" of WW 2 of course, but in effect, the Germans had to make no mistakes militarily, and in war that is not possible.


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“Did I hear God call me an idiot? ”― William P. Young

 

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