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Xiolablu3
08-27-2008, 09:13 AM
Bonner Frank Fellers (1896 - 1973), was a U.S. Army officer who served during World War II as military attaché and psychological warfare director. He was a considered a protegé of General Douglas MacArthur.

In 1941, then-Colonel Fellers was Military Attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Egypt. He was assigned to monitor and report on British military operations in North Africa and the Middle East. As the representative of a very important friendly power, he was given full access to British activities and information. Fellers reported everything he learned to the U.S. His reports were especially prized by Army commander in chief General George Marshall.

Fellers' messages were sent by radio, encrypted in the "Black Code" of the U.S. State Department. The details of this code were stolen from the U.S. Embassy in Italy by Italian spies in September 1941; it was also broken by German cryptanalysts, who read "Black Code" messages.[1]

Fellers' radiograms were intercepted and decrypted by the Germans. They were a treasure trove of valuable information to the Axis. The information was not only extensive and timely, it was also guaranteed authentic: the British would not be lying to their American friends.

Information from Fellers' messages alerted the Axis to British convoy operations in the Mediterranean Sea, including efforts to resupply the garrison of Malta. Information about the numbers and condition of British forces was provided to General Rommel, the famed German commander in Africa. He could thus plan his operations with reliable knowledge of what the opposing forces were. Rommel was so pleased with the intercepts that he referred to Fellers as "my bonnie fellow"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonner_Fellers


Oooooops.....


Damn you Yanks, always ruining everything.... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Buzzsaw-
08-27-2008, 11:00 AM
Right wing Bircher nutbar gives away secrets to Nazis...

Wow, that is a surprise. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

berg417448
08-27-2008, 11:09 AM
How is it his fault that the encrypted code had been stolen and broken? If he knew it was compromised your comment might have merit.

According to the link: "... he had been ordered to use the State Department code over his objections, and had been ordered by Marshall to report in great detail."

general_kalle
08-27-2008, 11:29 AM
why would you post secret information to an embassy in an enemy country?
i just dont see the reason.

Blutarski2004
08-27-2008, 11:33 AM
Originally posted by general_kalle:
why would you post secret information to an embassy in an enemy country?
i just dont see the reason.


..... IIRC, this occurred prior to America's official entry into the war.

berg417448
08-27-2008, 11:34 AM
Originally posted by general_kalle:
why would you post secret information to an embassy in an enemy country?
i just dont see the reason.

The code was stolen from the US Italian embassy. He wasn't sending it to the US Italian embassy.

Blutarski2004
08-27-2008, 11:36 AM
Originally posted by general_kalle:
why would you post secret information to an embassy in an enemy country?
i just dont see the reason.


... On a sort-of related note, informal unofficial communication between officers of the Italian and Royal navies, who had served closely together during WW1, persisted throughout the war.

waffen-79
08-27-2008, 11:41 AM
Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
Fellers' radiograms were intercepted and decrypted by the Germans.

That's how they beat the nazis, ESPIONAGE WON TEH WAR, not the mustang, http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

Buzzsaw-
08-27-2008, 11:41 AM
Originally posted by berg417448:
How is it his fault that the encrypted code had been stolen and broken?

You are right, it wasn`t his fault.

Pretty ironic though, that a guy who covers up for Hirohito`s war crimes, and ends up a Bircher espousing views not too distant from Nazism is reponsible for much of a prominent Nazi General`s success...

stalkervision
08-27-2008, 11:57 AM
tell you one thing. if the british weren't reading the u-boat codes and the american's hadn't been reading the Japanese navel one's it is a good bet things would gave turned out a bit differently.

for one I very much doubt "Midway" would have ended up the same.

Yippee.
08-27-2008, 11:58 AM
Nah, it was his über halftrack.

http://www.geocities.com/firefly1002000/greif.jpg

Pluto8742
08-27-2008, 12:04 PM
I think the U-Boat codes thing has been a bit overblown in recent years. Operational analysis played a role in defeating the U-Boats that is arguably more important. I also like this idea because E. J. Williams worked at Aberystwyth in the Department of Physics, as I did for a few years.

Cheers,

RD.

Buzzsaw-
08-27-2008, 12:37 PM
Originally posted by Yippee.:
Nah, it was his über halftrack. http://www.geocities.com/firefly1002000/greif.jpg

Actually he rode a captured British Command vehicle most of the time:

http://www.afrikakorps.org/_photos/Rommel/Max1.jpg

http://www.afrikakorps.org/_photos/Mammoth/MammothRommelWechmar.jpg

http://www.afrikakorps.org/_photos/Mammoth/MammothPIIIO...KampfstaffelMag2.jpg (http://www.afrikakorps.org/_photos/Mammoth/MammothPIIIOutline02KampfstaffelMag2.jpg)

jarink
08-27-2008, 01:18 PM
Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
As the representative of a very important friendly power, he was given full access to British activities and information.

One thing not taken into consideration here is that the Brits had ULTRA. Who's to say that they weren't[ feeding Fellers disinformation in the knowledge (from ULTRA intercepts) that it was ending up in the Germans' hands?
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

The intelligence game can be a fun one, be sure! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

As for the U-boats... Direction Finding played a pretty significant role in determining their operational patterns. This was made possible mainly due to Doenitz' insistence that his boat commanders report (in detail) to him on a nearly daily basis. You can tell a lot about someone's operations from message traffic, even if you can't read the actual messages.

Which brings up another myth. When a code was 'broken', that normally did not mean that the enemy messages were readable in their entirety. Often it is enough if you can only decode about half of the message. I don't care what they show in the movies, I personally know better.

K_Freddie
08-27-2008, 01:27 PM
Originally posted by waffen-79:
That's how they beat the nazis, ESPIONAGE WON TEH WAR, not the mustang, http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

You lot will not believe how so true this is...
Books to read on this subject:

- The Red Orchestra
- Bletchley Park
- The Emporers Codes

I'd like to get a book on the Axis code breaking effort - any ideas ?


I think the U-Boat codes thing has been a bit overblown in recent years. Operational analysis played a role in defeating the U-Boats that is arguably more important.
Think of it, to do an analysis like this you need data, possibly years of it, and in the end would this be accurate enough to throw limited forces against it.
Here's a link (http://212.112.241.171/submarines/) of yearly Uboat sinkings - up to 1942 averaging low numbers .
1943 a whopping 200 or so were sunk.
The key factor (but not the only factor)in this was the code breaking, without a doubt.

M_Gunz
08-27-2008, 02:14 PM
All replaced by CNN.

Yippee.
08-27-2008, 02:17 PM
Originally posted by Buzzsaw-:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Yippee.:
Nah, it was his über halftrack. http://www.geocities.com/firefly1002000/greif.jpg

Actually he rode a captured British Command vehicle most of the time:

http://www.afrikakorps.org/_photos/Rommel/Max1.jpg

http://www.afrikakorps.org/_photos/Mammoth/MammothRommelWechmar.jpg

http://www.afrikakorps.org/_photos/Mammoth/MammothPIIIO...KampfstaffelMag2.jpg (http://www.afrikakorps.org/_photos/Mammoth/MammothPIIIOutline02KampfstaffelMag2.jpg) </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Bit more roomy than Greif.

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Yippee.
08-27-2008, 03:55 PM
Also, he only had one Chaffee tank to take on the Desert Rats! (http://www.hulu.com/watch/24432/the-desert-rats)

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif

M_Gunz
08-27-2008, 05:40 PM
Rat Patrol was worse.... can't believe I ate that up back in the day.

berg417448
08-27-2008, 05:51 PM
Originally posted by M_Gunz:
Rat Patrol was worse.... can't believe I ate that up back in the day.

Poor old Hauptman Dietrich!

stugumby
08-27-2008, 06:50 PM
Rommells sucess points
1. The afrika korps was organized and used as a tool box, task organized to meet each specific threat/event. Not always the best answer but very flexible.
2. superior armor and optics, especially the ability to engage anti tank guns/troops with high explosive, not an option for british armor until the grant arrived except for 3 inch gun equipped hq tanks.
3. infinitely superior battlefield recovery assets, followed by ruthless cannibalization of half destroyed vehicles, and maximum use of all captured transport/supplies.
4. inclusion of a divisional reconassance battallions which had attached and or organic anti tank guns and armor. Fight for your reconassance and create a point of penetration, not sneek peek and report.
5. unmatched hitting power of 88mm gun used in anti tank role, feint and draw back thru screen of 88 guns, decimate following british armor, use arty to seperate infantry from tanks and slaughter the rest at leisure.
6. british commanders tied to infantry support way of thinking, used their armor in penny packets of no more than brigade size, easily handled once engaged by 88 mm guns at 3 times the distance they could kill in response. Then the scattered suvivors pushed away from supporting artillery and field trains by fast moving panzer formations. key terrain most important, height equals observation, get there first with mostest always has an impact.
7. british 2 pounder armament on tanks usefull at very close range, bounces off at extended ranges,6 pounder was quite an improvement and the american 75 tipped the balance. Long barreled 50mm and both long and short 75mm quite deadly.

Rommell had the very bad habit of playing platoon leader as a corps commander, consequently leading from the front to set an example, feel the pulse but out of touch with overall situation, quite often lost situational awareness and staff was thingking plan b when he was screaming for plan e etc. He was at his best as a division commander, his drive thru france and early afrika korps was pure boldness, not necessarily smart, just bold decisive and relentless.

M_Gunz
08-27-2008, 07:43 PM
The Marders were not as good as the 88's but still very effective and more mobile.
Or at least that's how Avalon-Hill had them play out in Tobruk.

Still when you know complete disposition of the enemy and planned movements then you can put
your limited forces where they will do the best rather than placing more strength in fewer
places.
The British had the numbers and then some long before the end. Without that information I for
one am sure that the Germans would have been lost in Africa much sooner.

WTE_Galway
08-27-2008, 07:54 PM
There are a number of other factors in North Africa.

Not the least of which was Rommel (like Guderian) tended to disobey orders from above when the situation demanded it and justify it later with results.

Also bear in mind the Afrika Corp was an elite and very romantic unit heading off to exotic foriegn shores, morale was good and the troops (at least initially) very keen.

Contrast this with the Italian soldiers who commonly were not a fan of Mussolini,did not like Hitler, and more often than not felt their country was on the wrong side.

TX-Gunslinger
08-27-2008, 07:57 PM
Rommel had no operational authority and no effect over re-supply efforts - his own nor the Allies. This was his most sigificant complaint during his command in Afrika.

Predominant sources of Rommels intelligence:

1-Local wireless intercept
2-Air Reconissance
3-Ground Recon - such as 3rd Panzer Recon Battalion/21st Panzer Division.

Albert Kesselring and the Italian Commando Supremo controlled/prosecuted Allied resupply interdiction, from Rome.

Recommended reading:
"The Memoirs of Field-Marshall Kesselring"
ISBN 978-1-85367-728-1
"The Rommel Letters"
ISBN 0-306-80157-4

S~

Gunny

Rjel
08-27-2008, 08:26 PM
Originally posted by berg417448:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by M_Gunz:
Rat Patrol was worse.... can't believe I ate that up back in the day.

Poor old Hauptman Dietrich! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not so bad for him. After his stint in the desert, he went on to star in American soap operas bedding beautiful woman for 30 years. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

avolopoT
08-27-2008, 08:34 PM
Is this what is called 'trolling'.

I can't believe how some get carried away on this forum because of missing knowledge.

re: 'psychological warfare' is the predecessor of what became known euphamistically as 'Black Ops' (at work in Korea, Vietnam, and the Middle East today etc etc).
'Black Ops' sent weapons to Vietnam from US-occupied Okinawa in 1945.
One could almost spot the clue to 'Black Ops'in the term 'black code'. They were 'spooking'.

More insightful reading (probative if understandably unproven): 'The Men Who Stare at Goats'.

M_Gunz
08-27-2008, 11:11 PM
Setting up alternative logins to troll from, an old low.....

Xiolablu3
08-28-2008, 05:53 AM
This was supposed to be a joke, hence the smiles.

Obviously the guy didnt know the codes had been broken, but even he suspected the system of tranmission was unsafe, as it says if you read the article.

He refused to sned the info in that way but was ORDERED to.

However its something I didnt know before reading it, I thought only the Allies were reading German codes, not the other way around.

We dont hear so much about Germans breaking allied codes. Maybe others in the know can elaborate? DId the German also break the British system of coding messages?

Kettenhunde
08-28-2008, 05:54 AM
The Germans broke a few codes of their own. As I understand it, they were able to listen in to the telephone conversations between Churchill and Roosevelt.

The German failure was in primarily in consolidation of the information and use of the intelligence. Their effort was fragmented among multiple groups instead of under one clear effort.

The Germans also broke some of the British Naval Codes too.

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/ETO/Ultra/SRH-009/SRH009-6.html

All the best,

Crumpp

stalkervision
08-28-2008, 06:29 AM
I heard it was just found out just recently that the Germans broke the code between Churchill and his favorite licquor supplier. It is now apparent that Hitler based a lot of the decision not to invade Britain on the information that a shipment of Canadian whiskey bound for churchill's private stock was apparently sunk off Ireland with all bottle lost. He believe facing a sober Churchill was not a wise decision at the time. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

Blutarski2004
08-28-2008, 08:20 AM
Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
This was supposed to be a joke, hence the smiles.

Obviously the guy didnt know the codes had been broken, but even he suspected the system of tranmission was unsafe, as it says if you read the article.

He refused to sned the info in that way but was ORDERED to.

However its something I didnt know before reading it, I thought only the Allies were reading German codes, not the other way around.

We dont hear so much about Germans breaking allied codes. Maybe others in the know can elaborate? DId the German also break the British system of coding messages?


..... The code-breaking aspect of the U-boat war was very vibrant, with both sides exploiting code-breaks over specific periods of time. A lot of the successes of both sides can be traced to periods where they were reading their opponent's mail.

I read a very good book on this a while back that presented an excellent chronology of who was reading what during WW2, but I cannot for the life of me remember the title. If anyone knows the book I am referring to, please do pipe up.

Blutarski2004
08-28-2008, 08:25 AM
Originally posted by avolopoT:
Is this what is called 'trolling'.


..... Is that a rhetorical question, Topolova?

Blutarski2004
08-28-2008, 08:41 AM
Originally posted by stugumby:
Rommells sucess points
1. The afrika korps was organized and used as a tool box, task organized to meet each specific threat/event. Not always the best answer but very flexible.
2. superior armor and optics, especially the ability to engage anti tank guns/troops with high explosive, not an option for british armor until the grant arrived except for 3 inch gun equipped hq tanks.
3. infinitely superior battlefield recovery assets, followed by ruthless cannibalization of half destroyed vehicles, and maximum use of all captured transport/supplies.
4. inclusion of a divisional reconassance battallions which had attached and or organic anti tank guns and armor. Fight for your reconassance and create a point of penetration, not sneek peek and report.
5. unmatched hitting power of 88mm gun used in anti tank role, feint and draw back thru screen of 88 guns, decimate following british armor, use arty to seperate infantry from tanks and slaughter the rest at leisure.
6. british commanders tied to infantry support way of thinking, used their armor in penny packets of no more than brigade size, easily handled once engaged by 88 mm guns at 3 times the distance they could kill in response. Then the scattered suvivors pushed away from supporting artillery and field trains by fast moving panzer formations. key terrain most important, height equals observation, get there first with mostest always has an impact.
7. british 2 pounder armament on tanks usefull at very close range, bounces off at extended ranges,6 pounder was quite an improvement and the american 75 tipped the balance. Long barreled 50mm and both long and short 75mm quite deadly.

Rommell had the very bad habit of playing platoon leader as a corps commander, consequently leading from the front to set an example, feel the pulse but out of touch with overall situation, quite often lost situational awareness and staff was thinking plan b when he was screaming for plan e etc. He was at his best as a division commander, his drive thru france and early afrika korps was pure boldness, not necessarily smart, just bold decisive and relentless.


..... A couple of additional observations -

By 1942, considerable numbers of captured and converted Soviet 7.62cm divisional guns were put into use in N Africa as very effective AT guns.

The British tank arm was schizophrenic in nature. On one hand were the infantry tank regiments equipped with slow but heavily armored tanks; these units were trained and accustomed to operated with infantry formations. On the other hand were the armored divisions, which were primarily equipped with large numbers of fast lightly armored tanks but were woefully short of organic infantry, artillery, and other support arms. These armored divisions were hereditarily related to the old horse cavalry and were very much disinclined to tactically cooperate with other infantry units on a combined arms basis.

British staff work and tactical coordination at the corps level was poor.

stalkervision
08-28-2008, 09:03 AM
Rommel was one of the first to use the 88 mobile antiaircraft/antitank gun to it's fullest potential.

Aaron_GT
08-28-2008, 11:38 AM
3. infinitely superior battlefield recovery assets,

I've also seen it said that the reverse was the case.

Aaron_GT
08-28-2008, 11:42 AM
superior armor and optics, especially the ability to engage anti tank guns/troops with high explosive, not an option for british armor until the grant arrived except for 3 inch gun equipped hq tanks.

Yes, I never understood why the UK didn't issue the existing HE shot available for the 2lber which woulfd have been as effective as anything in 37mm calibre, which was the dominant size early in the desert.

However, it would be wrong to assume that the UK did not have any tanks capable of firing HE shot before the Grant - it had quite a number of CS Cruisers (similar armour to early Pz IVs) with 95mm guns.

M_Gunz
08-28-2008, 03:22 PM
The A9 and A13 had them and were armored about like mid-war halftracks.
The Crusader I CS had 3".
I've read notes that there weren't many and that AT gunners aimed for them first which would
make not many into almost bleeding none, it being a long way to Africa from England.

Perhaps the artillery was supposed to do the job when the plans were made on what to make?

ADD:
BTW Aaron, I'm going from early war data there. The heavies did come later, the Churchills.
There were the Cromwells and Crusaders but equivalent armor to PzIV's?

Xiolablu3
08-28-2008, 05:06 PM
I think the Matilada2's had comparable armour, possibly heavier.

Buzzsaw-
08-28-2008, 05:35 PM
Salute

The comments that the British didn`t know how to use their tanks is spot on.

As mentioned, there was too much of the old `Cavalry` snobbery going on, and the tankers either refused or were reluctant to cooperate with their infantry. The structures of the Armoured brigades and later divisions were too tank heavy.

It took the British a long time to understand that in modern, (WWII) warfare success depended on combined arms.

So the British Tanks would swan off on their own, chasing after the German tanks, who would withdraw onto and behind a screen of 88`s AT guns, or Marders, who would decimate the British tanks. All through 1941 and early `42 the British tankers had no attached artillery to speak of, so they had no means to deal with the static German guns. Later in `42 when Montgomery arrived, he worked hard on integrating the arms, adding Artillery and infantry to the tanks as support, and attaching forward observation officers from the Royal Artillery, who would move with the tanks, and when they ran onto a screen of AT guns, they could call down fire from the British Artillery, which was very effective throughout the war. In fact, starting in late `41, the Arty and Infantry decided to stop depending on the tanks, and started using their 25 lbers as direct fire AT weapons versus the Panzers.

In the Crusader battles of 1941, the British tank units were beaten by Rommel. But the British infantry refused to give up, focused on setting up 25 lber AT defences to protect their flanks, while their infantry went at the Italians and Germans defending Tobruk. They ground down the Axis infantry and took Tobruk while Rommel was floating around out in the desert chasing what remained of the British tanks.

In the `42 battles at Gazala much the same thing happened, the British tanks were beaten again, but this time the British Infantry, which was defending, was isolated in `Brigade Boxes` and was beaten piecemeal by assaults from superior numbers.

At El Alamein, the British infantry did all the work, the tanks were not committed till nearly the end. The Infantry did a long series of night assaults, digging in on their gains in the daytime, setting up their six pounder AT guns as a defence. When Rommel would counterattack, his tanks suffered the same fate as the British had earlier in the war.

British Tank commanders were never the equal of the Germans in their tactical doctrine, even in Normandy and later in the war. The Americans did learn their lessons. Not Patton, he got all the credit, but in fact it was guys like Corps commander Gen. `Lightning Joe` Collins, or divisional commanders like Gen. Ernest Harmon of the 2nd Armoured Division, both of the US 1st Army who were the supreme practicioners of Tank warfare for the US. Collins planned and executed the breakout at St Lo in Normandy, and both he and Harmon were responsible for the smashing of the German armoured spearhead at Celles in the Battle of the Ardennes.

Xiolablu3
08-28-2008, 06:50 PM
The US tank commanders were nowhere near the Germans in quality even at the end of the war, they just had the quantity.


They lost a LOT more tanks than the Germans did in an equal battle, but they could afford too.

4 SHermans lost to each German tank didnt bother the rather callous, rubbish US tank commanders.

Britsh and COmmonwealth Tankers were teh best.

It took real skill to win with lesser forces, such as in Operation COmpass..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Compass http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif

WTE_Galway
08-28-2008, 07:01 PM
Originally posted by Buzzsaw-:
In fact, starting in late `41, the Arty and Infantry decided to stop depending on the tanks, and started using their 25 lbers as direct fire AT weapons versus the Panzers.


Its kind of typical of the British army back then they didn't do so right from the start. Its also very British they learn lessons and remember. It seems like the British army is not very good at being naturally flexible on the spur of the moment but very good about building flexibility into the system once the need is percieved.

The same problem occurred with AAA with British weapons being unable to be set low enough to hit ground targets. The German equipment had no such limitations with the 88 decimating tanks and the smaller calibre rapid fire AA guns making a serious mess of any approaching infantry.

Blutarski2004
08-28-2008, 07:02 PM
Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
The US tank commanders were nowhere near the Germans in quality, they just had the quantity.


They lost a LOT more tanks than the Germans did in an equal battle, but they could afford too.

4 SHermans lost to each German tank didnt bother the rather callous, rubbish US tank commanders.

It took real skill to win with lesser forces, such as in Operation COmpass..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Compass


..... I'm not sure I'd be that harsh in my appraisal of the quality of US tank commanders. There was nothing wrong with the efficiency of US tank crews. They simply had to carry out offensive operations armed with a tank that effectively provided no armor protection at any reasonable fighting range and carried guns that were either of zero or marginal effect against their opponent's tanks except for Mk IVs. IIRC, by the time of Normandy, half the German tanks in the field were either Panthers or Tigers.

Not a situation I'd like to be in.

luftluuver
08-28-2008, 07:41 PM
Would say ratio was closer to 60/40 or greater (IV/Panther-Tiger) Blut.

http://web.telia.com/~u18313395/normandy/gerob/gerob.html (http://web.telia.com/%7Eu18313395/normandy/gerob/gerob.html)

Whirlin_merlin
08-28-2008, 11:19 PM
Originally posted by WTE_Galway:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Buzzsaw-:
In fact, starting in late `41, the Arty and Infantry decided to stop depending on the tanks, and started using their 25 lbers as direct fire AT weapons versus the Panzers.


Its kind of typical of the British army back then they didn't do so right from the start. Its also very British they learn lessons and remember. It seems like the British army is not very good at being naturally flexible on the spur of the moment but very good about building flexibility into the system once the need is percieved.

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It is traditional for the British to get their backsides kicked for the first couple of years in any war. This is until the majority of the 'upper class twit' generals and the like have been surpassed and replaced with people who are less inbred and more competent.

Bratsk_Station
08-28-2008, 11:59 PM
Originally posted by WTE_Galway:
It seems like the British army is not very good at being naturally flexible on the spur of the moment but very good about building flexibility into the system once the need is percieved.

The same problem occurred with AAA with British weapons being unable to be set low enough to hit ground targets. The German equipment had no such limitations with the 88 decimating tanks and the smaller calibre rapid fire AA guns making a serious mess of any approaching infantry.

The British in the Western Desert may have been the first to install such 'flexibility' by organising the first SAS operations ever in that arena; perhaps on the previous example of 'Lawrence of Arabia'. Probably every nation with an army now has SAS troops.

On the tanks; it is easier to hit a target when the target is upland but tanks down below in the wadis and depressions are harder to hit (the shots going overhead). Tanks and other armoured vehicles are often seen taking advantage of gullies and rises.

Blutarski2004
08-29-2008, 05:02 AM
Originally posted by luftluuver:
Would say ratio was closer to 60/40 or greater (IV/Panther-Tiger) Blut.

http://web.telia.com/~u18313395/normandy/gerob/gerob.html (http://web.telia.com/%7Eu18313395/normandy/gerob/gerob.html)


..... Thanks for turning me on to that website - very cool stuff there. Zetterling's page on German tanks gives totals by type:

Tiger II_____12
Tiger I______126
Panther______654

Mk IV________897
Mk III_______30

Speaking strictly of tanks, it seems that the true percentage of heavy versus medium German tanks kind of falls between our estimates @ 46 pct.

luftluuver
08-29-2008, 05:04 AM
Not all the British Generals were 'slow'.

LRDG
The military value of motor vehicles in desert terrain had been proven to some extent during World War I. British Forces had used such vehicles as Rolls-Royce Armored cars and Ford Model T light trucks with great success. One British staff officer who was greatly influenced was Archibald Wavell and when he became one of the British Army's senior generals in the late 1930s he was receptive to ideas using small motorized units. In October, 1935 Lieutenant Fox Davies of the Durham Light Infantry wrote to General Wavell and suggested using "guerilla" type troops to operate behind enemy lines. Wavell thought "motor guerillas" would be a good idea and in 1936 he had Fox Davies placed in command of a unit which was sent behind the "enemy lines", with great success, in a military exercise. A British group of explorers led by R.A. Bagnold made many expeditions into the desert in the late 19930s from Egypt, studying the desert and it's characteristics, and perfected ways of navigating across the vast desert wastes like a mariner at sea. In 1940 Italy declared war on Great Britain and the Italian forces in Libya posed an immediate potential threat to the British in Egypt, and to the Suez Canal the gateway to the East. General Wavell was the British Commander-in-Chief in Egypt at the time and he took R. A. Bagnold into the Army as an officer and gave him the job of forming a motor patrol.

The LRDG was very much like a "private army", formed to meet the particular conditions of desert warfare. Major Bagnold (as he then was) acquired suitable vehicles and the Chevrolet 15 cwt truck used by the Egyptian Army suited his needs. This was a standard "platoon" truck on a Canadian-built Chevrolet chassis, fitted with desert tires and with an open body big enough to hold the stores and equipment needed for long trips into the desert. For desert operations with a very heavy load, they had extra leaves inserted into the springs, desert type tires, wire-less, and a condenser fitted on the running board and connected to the radiator to conserve cooling water. Doors and door pillars were removed, extra spare wheels fitted and pintle mounts were added for machine guns and antitank rifles. The load carried might be up to two tons, consisting of food, fuel ammunition, water and explosives for demolition work. Sand-mats of canvas and steel channels were carried to assist vehicles through the many shifting sands and dunes. A sun compass was usually carried in the dashboard, a Bagnold invention and theodolites and sextants were used to fix positions. The Long Range Desert Group's task for most of the time was watching, waiting, plotting enemy movements and reporting back by radio. The LRDG took delivery of new vehicles in May 1942, namely 30cwt types with military general service steel bodies. These were sturdier than the original type of vehicle and more spacious. Built by Chevrolet (Canada) these were simple a desert service version of the standard production Chevrolet types. Because the LRDG was made up of volunteers it never really had regimental status. The men wore whatever clothes were comfortable. Beards and other non-regulation military practices were common, adding much to the "piratical" flavor and swash-buckling image of the LRDG force.

more, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Range_Desert_Group

M_Gunz
08-29-2008, 05:39 AM
The British had commando types long before WWII. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Rogers_%28soldier%29)

Of course they were American Colonials, hehehe.

Decades before Roger's Rangers there were Churches Rangers;

By 1676, a new element appeared in the ranger concept. Benjamin Church (1639-1718) of Massachusetts developed a special, full-time unit that mixed white frontiersman with friendly natives to execute offensive strikes against enemies in terrain where normal militia units were ineffective. So effective were Church's Rangers that his memoirs became America's first military manual when it was published in 1716 by one of his sons.

And before that in 14th century England, Rangers were forest wardens and not military units.

These guys fought guerilla warfare and the rules formalized by Robert Rogers have been carried
through with few real changes even today.

The 28 Rules of Ranging. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Rogers%27_28_%22Rules_of_Ranging%22)

Xiolablu3
08-29-2008, 10:52 AM
Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
The US tank commanders were nowhere near the Germans in quality, they just had the quantity.


They lost a LOT more tanks than the Germans did in an equal battle, but they could afford too.

4 SHermans lost to each German tank didnt bother the rather callous, rubbish US tank commanders.

It took real skill to win with lesser forces, such as in Operation COmpass..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Compass


..... I'm not sure I'd be that harsh in my appraisal of the quality of US tank commanders. There was nothing wrong with the efficiency of US tank crews. They simply had to carry out offensive operations armed with a tank that effectively provided no armor protection at any reasonable fighting range and carried guns that were either of zero or marginal effect against their opponent's tanks except for Mk IVs. IIRC, by the time of Normandy, half the German tanks in the field were either Panthers or Tigers.

Not a situation I'd like to be in. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Only joking mate http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

It was a jokey response to Buzzsaws post.

Aaron_GT
08-29-2008, 11:39 AM
MGunz:

The A9 and A13 had them and were armored about like mid-war halftracks.

The A9 and A13Mk1 had 14mm max armour (although still the CS versions were still popular in German service), the A10 had 30mm max. A15 (Crusader) had max 40mm was well liked in the desert as even with 40mm armour it still managed 30mph, and was available in a CS version, but with a 76.2mm rather than 95mm gun. First action in June 1941.

In 1940-41 German tanks had 30mm rising to 50mm armour, so the A10 and A15 were comparable and the Pz IV was essentially a CS machine and the Pz III similarly armed to British tanks, although moving to the superior 50mm in the period. The advantage was lost in 1942 with uparmouring to 50 to 60mm, and upgunning of the Pz IV to longer barrelled 75mm guns.

The UK only managed parity to the bulk of German production until 1945, and lagged behind the likes of the Panther. The UK was hampered by the infantry/cruiser distinction and mostly prewar basic chassis until the Cromwell, and armour was not sufficiently sloped. It didn't really get sorted out until the Centurion.

But it would still be wrong to say the UK didn't have HE capable tanks - it did - it just didn't have truly dual capable tanks until the Cromwell.

Blutarski2004
08-29-2008, 04:20 PM
Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Blutarski2004:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
The US tank commanders were nowhere near the Germans in quality, they just had the quantity.


They lost a LOT more tanks than the Germans did in an equal battle, but they could afford too.

4 SHermans lost to each German tank didnt bother the rather callous, rubbish US tank commanders.

It took real skill to win with lesser forces, such as in Operation COmpass..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Compass


..... I'm not sure I'd be that harsh in my appraisal of the quality of US tank commanders. There was nothing wrong with the efficiency of US tank crews. They simply had to carry out offensive operations armed with a tank that effectively provided no armor protection at any reasonable fighting range and carried guns that were either of zero or marginal effect against their opponent's tanks except for Mk IVs. IIRC, by the time of Normandy, half the German tanks in the field were either Panthers or Tigers.

Not a situation I'd like to be in. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Only joking mate http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

It was a jokey response to Buzzsaws post. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... OK. You well and truly sucked me in!

M_Gunz
08-29-2008, 04:26 PM
I look at when the tanks were available as well as what was. Before the Crusader CS, what did
the British have in the desert for HE that was effective? From all I understand it was the
Grants that first made a real difference on the Allied side.

In the huge open spaces of that theater there was speed and reliable range to consider as well,
can your armor cross large distance, fight and be able to withdraw or follow up? Even the
Panzers had some problems there, no?

The Crusaders were good in many ways but lightly armored relative to the guns of the armor they
faced while against 2 pdr's the Panzers were heavies. Not saying that you can't disable one
with a popgun but from the front you'd need to hit a track or turret ring or some other lucky
shot to do it. If your combined rate of fire of all your firing units is high enough then you
might even carry the day but the Germans did not have to rely so much on luck.

When your frontal armor is like the enemy's side armor and his average guns have longer
effective range, that's not parity unless your speed and ROF can make up for it, which is
why the Honey/Stuart tanks were as effective as they were along with the type and angles
of the armor they had -- many shots glanced off Stuarts that by chart would be kills, they
were fast and small and had a good fire rate.

Aaron_GT
08-29-2008, 05:35 PM
Before the Crusader CS, what did
the British have in the desert for HE that was effective?

Earlier Cruiser CS. The Germans seemed to like them well enough to use them...


From all I understand it was the
Grants that first made a real difference on the Allied side.

It was more that this had both AT and HE capability in a single vehicle which gives more operational flexibility, but it was a very flawed vehicle and only a stopgap until the M4 arrived which (until the Cromwell came online) was getting closer to the Pz IV ethic.


The Crusaders were good in many ways but lightly armored relative to the guns of the armor they
faced while against 2 pdr's the Panzers were heavies.

40m on the Crusader, fairly well sloped, 50 to 60mm on Pz III and IV, with less slope. Not a huge difference but with a slight advantage to the III ad IV. The 2lber was actually a fairly decent gun up to 1941/2 (Crusader introduction) but definitely very much outclassed by the 75mm on the Pz IVF2. The advantage of the 2lber was its high velocity, and it was certainly capable against 30mm to 40mm class armour (Pz II, Italian armour, earlier 1941 Pz IIIs).


When your frontal armor is like the enemy's side armor

Typically 30mm on Pz IIIs and IVs from late 1941, so a bit less than the frontal armour of the Crusader.


that's not parity unless your speed and ROF can make up for it,

2lber ROF was pretty good, and there wasn't anything as fast in the desert as the Crusader, especially when the engines were often rerated (they were normally derated). Offroad it had about 5mph officially over the Pz IV and Pz III, but anything up to 10mph when the engines were tweaked. It did compromise engine life, but was considered worth it, as the tanks could be recovered and spares were relatively plentiful.

There's no doubt, though, that the Pz IV was a better tank overall than the Crusader, even when the latter had a 6lber (which meant removing a crew member and lowering efficiency), as it had a better combination of firepower and mobility. It wasn't until the Cromwell that British production was giving something comparable, and that wasn't really until 1944 in any quantity in a decent version (Cromwell IV).

Cruiser development started a couple of years after Pz III and IV development, so that's probably why the British were a couple of years behind.

I used to have the full HMSO technical manual for the Cromwell, but that got lost in a house move at some point or other.

Blutarski2004
08-29-2008, 06:20 PM
Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Before the Crusader CS, what did
the British have in the desert for HE that was effective?

Earlier Cruiser CS. The Germans seemed to like them well enough to use them...


From all I understand it was the
Grants that first made a real difference on the Allied side.

It was more that this had both AT and HE capability in a single vehicle which gives more operational flexibility, but it was a very flawed vehicle and only a stopgap until the M4 arrived which (until the Cromwell came online) was getting closer to the Pz IV ethic.


The Crusaders were good in many ways but lightly armored relative to the guns of the armor they
faced while against 2 pdr's the Panzers were heavies.

40m on the Crusader, fairly well sloped, 50 to 60mm on Pz III and IV, with less slope. Not a huge difference but with a slight advantage to the III ad IV. The 2lber was actually a fairly decent gun up to 1941/2 (Crusader introduction) but definitely very much outclassed by the 75mm on the Pz IVF2. The advantage of the 2lber was its high velocity, and it was certainly capable against 30mm to 40mm class armour (Pz II, Italian armour, earlier 1941 Pz IIIs).


When your frontal armor is like the enemy's side armor

Typically 30mm on Pz IIIs and IVs from late 1941, so a bit less than the frontal armour of the Crusader.


that's not parity unless your speed and ROF can make up for it,

2lber ROF was pretty good, and there wasn't anything as fast in the desert as the Crusader, especially when the engines were often rerated (they were normally derated). Offroad it had about 5mph officially over the Pz IV and Pz III, but anything up to 10mph when the engines were tweaked. It did compromise engine life, but was considered worth it, as the tanks could be recovered and spares were relatively plentiful.

There's no doubt, though, that the Pz IV was a better tank overall than the Crusader, even when the latter had a 6lber (which meant removing a crew member and lowering efficiency), as it had a better combination of firepower and mobility. It wasn't until the Cromwell that British production was giving something comparable, and that wasn't really until 1944 in any quantity in a decent version (Cromwell IV).

Cruiser development started a couple of years after Pz III and IV development, so that's probably why the British were a couple of years behind.

I used to have the full HMSO technical manual for the Cromwell, but that got lost in a house move at some point or other. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... What caused the big problems for the 2-pounder was the addition by the Germans of face-hardened applique armor to the fronts of their tanks. These face-hardened plates caused the uncapped 2-pounder AT shot to break up at ranges between 300 and 1400 yards IIRC. Jentz gives an excellent presentation on this point in his book "Tank Combat in North Africa".

Aaron_GT
08-29-2008, 10:00 PM
What caused the big problems for the 2-pounder was the addition by the Germans of face-hardened applique armor to the fronts of their tanks.

Good point - that started coming in in earnest in early 42 with the 30mm additional kits on Pz IIIs (mostly factory fitted in reality) which brought the Pz III frontal armour up from 30mm to a very creditable 60mm (certainly trumping the Crusader's 40mm).

Rommel's biggest problems (which allowed Monty his victory) in 1942 was too few tanks and too little fuel. The British made tanks were in the doldrums in overall performance from mid 42, not to achieve parity with the Pz IV until the main Cromwell production in 44.

M_Gunz
08-29-2008, 10:24 PM
They must have had some major problems get the 6 pdr's into turrets because it took way too long.

And the Matildas always bothered me too, but early on they did serve well enough.

It could have been worse. They could have gone the one man turret method used in France.

Aaron_GT
08-30-2008, 03:22 AM
The main problem was the Crusader was designed in 1939 for the 2lber and the 6lber had to be shoehorned in. The Pz III was sensibly designed for the 50mm gun with plenty of space for the 37mm pending 50mm availability. The British assumed a slower pace of up armouring to their cost in 1942, although then numbers meant that victory was still assured.


It could have been worse. They could have gone the one man turret method used in France.

Very true. The logic there was a small turret was a lighter one for lower all-up weight for the same armour thickness. Certainly the S-35 was very well armoured in 1940.

M_Gunz
08-30-2008, 09:16 AM
While the others played at being ready for war, with some seriousness, the Germans and Soviets
got real about it. I say with some seriousness, my guage is when the uniforms get too fancy
then they're paying attention to the wrong things.

josephs1959
08-30-2008, 10:02 AM
I't quite possible that the reason for Rommel's success considering Rommel was mediocre as German generals were concerned. Was in fact due to the British's commanders ineptitude!Montgomery's record of failures was consistant He succeeded when he had overwhelming odd's.
Finally even with overwhelming odd's, look at his asinine-brainlessly concieved Operation Market-Garden.
Montgomery was a publicity seeking, glory hunting inept clown as far as generals are concerned.
Look at the number of times that the British generals were replaced in Afrika before Montgomery's arrival.
Equipment aside and the fact that the majority of Rommel's supplies were being sunk, he did make more of the less with what little he had time and time again.

Xiolablu3
08-30-2008, 10:31 AM
There is a very very good chance Market garden would have succeded if they had the Radios that worked. It wasnt Montys fault that the Radios were sent with the wrong crystals.

The plan was pretty sound, they just could not talk to each other and coordinate things. They were only one bridge short.

Monty conceived the whole intricate DDday operation and it was a roaring success. I think you are being far too harsh.

M_Gunz
08-30-2008, 11:11 AM
Xio, Market Garden depended way too far on weather conditions and airborne landing success
that failed to materialize and by the judgment of those who knew such things would not.
I think you may be going a bridge too far was the words he didn't heed.
Montgomery had also been pivotal in the slaughter of airborne troops in taking Sicily previously.
The man just did not learn because he did not listen to the experts he had on hand.
He authored tragedy after tragedy on the basis of optimistic planning against advice.

Aaron_GT
08-30-2008, 01:19 PM
Montgomery's record of failures was consistant He succeeded when he had overwhelming odd's.

The defence was that the UK could not afford high losses, especially as it was already sustaining high losses in Bomber Command. Thus Monty was too conservative. As an illustration the UK lost roughly as many service personnel in 6 1/2 years as the USA in four (382000 versus 416000), but on just over 1/3 the population, or about 1.5 times the loss rate per year per capita.

The counter argument is that in being cautious, rather than bold, the war took longer and there were just as many or more total allied casualties. Market Garden was bold but failed, although you can't judge a commander on just one operation as they all had at least one failure, just not always as high profile as Market Garden.

In some ways the lower US loss rate might be seen as a justification for the bolder tactics.

jarink
08-30-2008, 03:34 PM
Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
The plan was pretty sound, they just could not talk to each other and coordinate things.

No, the plan was seriously flawed from the start. The airborne portion was far too dependent on good weather and the British drop zones were much too far from their objective. There's also the little matter of trying to move and supply an entire Corps of troops up a single road.

Even then, many historians consider the root of the failure of M-G goes back to Monty's failure to clear the north bank of the Scheldt Estuary thus allowing the German 15th Army to escape. Those troops proved critical in the German defense of M-G.


Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
Monty conceived the whole intricate DDday operation and it was a roaring success. I think you are being far too harsh.

He was far from the only one involved in the planning and it was initially far from a rip-roaring success. The near-disaster at Omaha and the failures in the British sector to take Caen (which Monty planned on taking on D-Day) were made up for only by total Allied air supremacy and Hitler's meddling and stupidity. If Hitler had let Rommel and the other commanders at the scene take the steps they wanted to take, it's possible at least part of the D-Day forces would have been pushed back into the sea.


Originally posted by josephs1959:
I't quite possible that the reason for Rommel's success considering Rommel was mediocre as German generals were concerned.

Ummm. Okay, then please explain his performance during the invasion of France in 1940 when his 7th Panzer Division outpaced pretty much every other German formation?


From Wikipedia:
7. Panzer-Division was later nicknamed Gespenster-Division (the "Ghost Division"), due to the speed and surprise it was consistently able to achieve, to the point that even the German High Command lost track of where it was. He also set the record for the longest thrust in one day by Panzers up to that point, covering nearly 200 miles.

luftluuver
08-30-2008, 03:52 PM
Originally posted by jarink:
Even then, many historians consider the root of the failure of M-G goes back to Monty's failure to clear the north bank of the Scheldt Estuary thus allowing the German 15th Army to escape. Those troops proved critical in the German defense of M-G.

Yup, if Monty had got off his duff and not waited the 30 or so days before doing so, it could have been cleared relatively easily (that is compared to what it did take to clear).

On September 11th, 1944, Montgomery told Eisenhower that, despite the support of the War Office, the attack would have to be postponed due to lack of vital supplies. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif Yet, as early as September 8th, 1944, Winston Churchill had written to his chiefs-of-staff about the importance of the Walcheren area and the port of Antwerp. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

josephs1959
08-30-2008, 04:37 PM
Originally posted by josephs1959:
I't quite possible that the reason for Rommel's success considering Rommel was mediocre as German generals were concerned.

Ummm. Okay, then please explain his performance during the invasion of France in 1940 when his 7th Panzer Division outpaced pretty much every other German formation?


From Wikipedia:
7. Panzer-Division was later nicknamed Gespenster-Division (the "Ghost Division"), due to the speed and surprise it was consistently able to achieve, to the point that even the German High Command lost track of where it was. He also set the record for the longest thrust in one day by Panzers up to that point, covering nearly 200 miles. [/QUOTE]

Rommel was daring, took cahnces, tought on his feet, wasn't mired in dogma, had the ability to adapt to fluid situations. All of which I believe contributed to his successes, Yes. But compared to the other German generals (Manteuffel,Manstein,Von Kluge,Model,Kesselring)he was mediocre.
The western allies have a bad habit of just considering the abilities of Rommel beacuse Rommel fought against the westrn forces, and that makes sense up to a point.
Not only were the majority of German forces at the eastern front but the the finest in quality (leaders and units) were there too.
With exception of Italy which was to be a stop gap after the failure of Kursk until other units could be formed and sent. And france, those units were being reformed 9th panzer, 21st panzer ect.

M_Gunz
08-30-2008, 07:37 PM
Rommel had the value of near full intel which allowed him to be all those other things.
So many people don't understand what even a peek at the enemy is worth.

josephs1959
08-30-2008, 08:51 PM
Well if he did and I'm not doubting you M_Gunz, he must have been the ONLY German General to have that luxury!
Yes intel is EXTREMELY valuable, look at what it did for the Russians during the war. example-Kursk, The destruction of Army Group Center.
Not to say they would or wouldn't have won the battle with out the intel. But I'm sure the casulties would have been much higher.
And on another note, the U-boat campaign with the British breaking the code and the Germans adding another wheel to their Enigma code machine and then the British breaking the code again. You can see by the down then up then down again ship losses of this period what effect that good intel can have.

M_Gunz
08-30-2008, 09:55 PM
There is no doubt that he had and used the intel.
And by intel I mean complete disposition of enemy forces including numbers, positions and in
some cases plans. How many of what were destroyed, damaged, repaired and repair timetables;
in short detailed info only possible from inside the highest level delivered often.

Of course this was only during the long period that the US attache was there following orders.

US Navy in the Pacific was deep in the dark by comparison.

Buzzsaw-
08-31-2008, 12:09 AM
Originally posted by jarink:

No, the plan was seriously flawed from the start.

You would be correct in suggesting that the Market Garden Plan was flawed, but that was not Montgomery's fault, it was Eisenhower's.

Montgomery realized the Allies had an historic opportunity in the fall of '44, to crash right across the Rhine and through into Germany while the Wehrmacht remained disorganized from its defeat in Normandy.

The problem the Allies faced was their supply lines were too extended to support an advance by all the Allied Armies. Too many trucks were tied up running the huge distance from Normandy up to the front lines. In fact, the existing supply net could only support two Armies in a determined push. There were 4 Armies advancing whose supply was dependant on the Normandy supply chain. 1st Canadian on the left, (Crerar) then 2nd British, (Dempsey) then 1st US, (Hodges) and then 3rd US (Patton).

Montgomery initially proposed the ground component of MARKET GARDEN to be a two Corps advance on the Rhine bridges, with a British Corps from the 2nd Army on the left, and a US Corps from the 1st Army on the Right. 1st Canadian and 3rd US Armies would be halted. This plan was not limited to a single road advance. Montgomery even offered to halt the 2nd Army and have both Corps in this Market Garden plan come from the US 1st Army.

The plan was vetoed by Eisenhower, mainly as a result of Patton's whining, and refusal to accept a halt of the 3rd Army. This despite the fact that the terrain he would advance into was not suitable to break across the Rhine. (As was later shown by the debacle at Metz, when Patton had a failure nearly as bloody as Market Garden, with even less opportunity for success.)

Instead Eisenhower provided a typical Ike middle of the road plan, with some supplies going to Patton, some to Montgomery, so the Market Garden attack was now reduced to a single Corps frontage, (XXX British Corps) with the result that the advance was now dependent on too narrow a front, with no ability to protect the flanks, and the road therefore in danger of being cut.

If Montgomery's initial plan had been adopted, the delays which caused the ground advance to be slowed, ie. the cutting of the single road, would not have been an issue, and the likelyhood would have been the Rhine would have been reached and crossed.


Originally posted by jarink:

The airborne portion was far too dependent on good weather and the British drop zones were much too far from their objective.



That woudl be the failure of the Airborne Corps commander, who allowed the British 1st Division commander to move the drop zones away from the initial closer point to the bridges. Re. the weather, that was not a real issue. More of a problem was the bad luck of the radio sets all being defective. Without radios, no Typhoon or Medium bomber support could be called in, which made a tremendous difference.


Originally posted by jarink:

Even then, many historians consider the root of the failure of M-G goes back to Monty's failure to clear the north bank of the Scheldt Estuary thus allowing the German 15th Army to escape. Those troops proved critical in the German defense of M-G.



These troops were not nearly as important as the SS Panzer troops who were on the West side of the road, and who were critical in the reduction of the 1st Airborne pocket, as well as the defence of the Nimegen area against the 82nd Airborne and the British XXX Corps advance.

All of the 15th Army troops would have been permanently cut off if Market Garden had succeeded.


Originally posted by jarink:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Xiolablu3:
Monty conceived the whole intricate DDday operation and it was a roaring success. I think you are being far too harsh.

He was far from the only one involved in the planning and it was initially far from a rip-roaring success. The near-disaster at Omaha and the failures in the British sector to take Caen (which Monty planned on taking on D-Day) were made up for only by total Allied air supremacy and Hitler's meddling and stupidity.

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Montgomery was the Ground Commander and responsible for all planning of OVERLORD. When he was appointed, the plan was for 3 divisions to land on a narrow frontage, with one airborne division landing behind the lines. With that plan, the possibility of the beachhead being 'roped off' and contained was very high. Montgomery expanded the frontage to be attacked, by nearly double, ensuring the Germans could not contain the landings. He added two more seaborne divisions, and two more airborne. He had detailed input on all the planning, encouraged the development of specialized equipment to deal with beach defences. (although in the case of the US tactical planning, he could only make suggestions, with the result as seen below)

The disaster at Omaha was a result of a poor US divisional commander refusing to take the specialized vehicles (Hobart's 'Funnies') which were offered him. Ie. the Minesweeping tanks, the flamethrowers, the spigot tanks, etc. He had DD amphibious tanks, but these were not capable of dealing with many of the defences. On the other beaches, including UTAH, the Allies used these specialized vehicles and had far more success.


Originally posted by jarink:

If Hitler had let Rommel and the other commanders at the scene take the steps they wanted to take, it's possible at least part of the D-Day forces would have been pushed back into the sea.



Complete nonsense. All the German Panzer reserves were on the left flank, facing the British and Canadians. The Germans counterattacked on the first day with 21st Panzer, were stopped in their tracks. They counterattacked on the 2nd day with 21st Panzer and 12th SS and were stopped in their tracks. They counterattacked on the 3rd day with 21st Panzer, 12th SS and Panzer Lehr and were stopped in their tracks. Etc. etc. After the first day the Allies were ashore, there was never any point when they were in danger. And there was nothing the Germans could do to push them back.

Montgomery is usually the target for attacks by people who really don't bother to examine his record carefully.

He was a Corps Commander during the Battle of France in 1940, and was instrumental in the successful withdrawal of the British forces at Dunkirk. His divisions were in the best shape of any evacuated, and were ready to fight within a few weeks.

In N Africa, he inherited a British army which was very poorly organized, and operating in adhoc brigades. He created a divisional structure, re-organized the Armour divisions to bring in a stronger infantry and artillery component, which made them much more effective. At El Alamein he did what no other British General had done, he caused the disintegration of an opposing German Army. The odds were in his favour, but they were also in the favour of the British at Gazala and Crusader and the Germans were not destroyed in those battles.

In Tunisia, Montgomery completely smashed Rommel's counterattacks as the 8th Army came up to the prepared defences at the border. At the time Rommel was causing all kinds of problems for the US forces at Kasserine, Montgomery dealt with his attacks easily. Then he broke the main defences of the Mareth Line, and rolled the Germans back into the Tunisian peninsula, with the result Rommel had to go home sick. It was Montgomery's plan which was used for the final attack which cleared Tunisia finally.

I've already mentioned the Normandy invasion planning. After that success, Montgomery was faced with the extremely difficult situation of the Germans being able to build up the number of divisions in the defence faster than the Allies could land theirs. Plus the Normandy terrain was extremly confining, despite his expanded landing plan, each German division in Normandy was defending an frontage roughly 1/5 the size they were assigned in Russia. And facing the British were the cream of the German army. For most of the Normandy campaign, the British attacks held 5 German SS Panzer divisions and 4 Wehrmacht Panzer divisions frozen to their front, while the US forces only faced a single SS Panzer Grenadier division, all the rest except one parachute division were low grade infantry. (yeah, don't believe everything Spielberg shows you... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif )

This allowed the US forces time to expand their bridgeheads, take Cherbourg and get clear of the bocage. Montgomery's plan from the start was for the breakout to happen on the right flank, with it wheeling to the left to the Seine.

The British and Canadians in the meantime were attacking into the teeth of troops and equipment most historians feel were the best of WWII. They were attacking defences which were very dense, with no opportunity to outflank them, with inferior equipment. At Kursk, the Germans tried to attack prepared Soviet defences which were 1/2 the density the British faced in Normandy, they failed despite better equipment.

Despite these disadvantages in Normandy, the British and Canadians managed to pin their opponents in place, smashed their counterattacks, and drove them back. (12 SS commander Kurt Meyer's comment: "...we will throw these little fishes back into the sea..." was proved VERY wrong)

Montgomery was innovative enough to try out carpet bombing techniques, which although they did not work against the defence in depth he faced in OPERATION GOODWOOD, where the British were up against 1 infantry and 3 Panzer divisions echeloned to a depth of 10 miles, they did work for Bradley at St Lo, when he copied the technique. Bradley of course, only faced a single line of enemy defences, that being the weak battlegroup which was what remained of Panzer Lehr after it was withdrawn from the British front. Bradley had been encouraged in this attack by Montgomery, who was still in charge of the Allied ground forces in Normandy when the breakout happened. Bradley benefitted from Montgomery's still having pinned the majority of the German armour to the British front.

Montgomery is often mocked for the loss of 400 tanks in Goodwood, but that was actually a result of a conscious decision to lose tanks not men. 400 tanks could be replaced, men could not.

Montgomery ultimately was most responsible for the success of the allies in Normandy, which remains the only annaihilation battle ever won by the Allies. As at El Alamein, a German army was completely shattered.

csThor
08-31-2008, 12:39 AM
Just to clear up some minor errors here.


Originally posted by Buzzsaw-:
All the German Panzer reserves were on the left flank, facing the British and Canadians.

The real german tank reserves (Panzergruppe West) were located around Le Mans on direct orders from both Hitler and von Rundstedt. 21. Panzerdivision was Rommel's only armored reserve on hand and even then he was locked in binders because he had full control over the infantry component only - the tanks were locked until Hitler himself would "release" them (literally). The result was ... (see below)


Originally posted by Buzzsaw-:
The Germans counterattacked on the first day with 21st Panzer, were stopped in their tracks.

Rommel's XO asked for authorization to counter-attack even before dawn on June 6 to clear the allied paratroopers in the area and to bring his forces into position for a concentrated attack on the british bridgehead. In the end 21.PD waited for hours (for Hitler to wake up) and then the infantry and tank components were sent on different missions. The results are known.


Originally posted by Buzzsaw-:
They counterattacked on the 2nd day with 21st Panzer and 12th SS and were stopped in their tracks. They counterattacked on the 3rd day with 21st Panzer, 12th SS and Panzer Lehr and were stopped in their tracks.

Both Hitlerjugend and Panzerlehr were formations of Panzergruppe West and had to march to the coast. They appeared in "penny packs" and were sent into battle this way. These attacks were nowhere near what two or three full Panzerdivisionen could have achieved.


Originally posted by Buzzsaw-:
Etc. etc. After the first day the Allies were ashore, there was never any point when they were in danger. And there was nothing the Germans could do to push them back.

D'accord.

Buzzsaw-
08-31-2008, 01:09 AM
Originally posted by csThor:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Buzzsaw-:
They counterattacked on the 2nd day with 21st Panzer and 12th SS and were stopped in their tracks. They counterattacked on the 3rd day with 21st Panzer, 12th SS and Panzer Lehr and were stopped in their tracks.

Both Hitlerjugend and Panzerlehr were formations of Panzergruppe West and had to march to the coast. They appeared in "penny packs" and were sent into battle this way. These attacks were nowhere near what two or three full Panzerdivisionen could have achieved. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not correct. The attacks were delivered in Battlegroup strength, normal organization for an attack off routemarch.

The 12 SS Panzer, considered by most historians, as the best German formation in Normandy, attacked on the afternoon June 7th with a full integrated Battlegroup, which comprised 25th Panzer Grenadier Regiment, commanded by Kurt Meyer, with one of the two 12SS division's tank battalions in support. (the Mk IV battalion) That is 1/2 of the divisions attack assets. They attacked the Canadian 3rd division's most advanced elements, (which were the furthest inland of any of the Allied troops on D-Day, and who on June 7th, were headed for Carpiquet airfield and Caen) in the town of Authie. The Canadian troops were a battalion of the North Nova Scotia Regt. supported by a company of the Sherbrooke Fusiliers tanks. The 12th SS drove the Canadians out of Authie, but were stopped from any further advance. The Germans inflicted heavy casualties, but also suffered heavy casualties, with the result that the SS began executing prisoners. The 12th SS murdered nearly 200 Canadian prisoners in the next week.

An account from the Canadian perspective is here:

http://www.geocities.com/dieppe_berlin/1Canada/1-Battle/france/authie.htm

The next morning June 8th, the attack continued, this time the 26th Panzer Grenadier Rgt., commanded by Wilhelm Mohnke, was committed, with the support of the 2nd of the Divisions Panzer battalions, this one being equipped with Panthers. Over the next two days, this battlegroup clashes with elements the 3rd Canadian Division's 7th Brigade, most primariy the battalion of the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, in the towns of Putot en Bessin, Bretteville L'Orgueilleuse and Norrey. In nightfighting, the German battlegroup surrounds the Rifles, Panthers temporarily occupy the town, but are pushed back with the loss of numerous Panthers to Piats.

The 12th SS Panzer Division was a huge division, numbering nearly 20,000 men, with the most up to date equipment available to the German army.

An account from the German perspective can be found here:

http://www.waffen-ss.no/SS-Panzer-Division-Hitlerjugend.htm

luftluuver
08-31-2008, 01:17 AM
The problem the Allies faced was their supply lines were too extended to support an advance by all the Allied Armies. Too many trucks were tied up running the huge distance from Normandy up to the front lines.
As posted earlier, Monty did nothing to solve the supply problem.

Buzzsaw-
08-31-2008, 01:22 AM
Originally posted by luftluuver:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The problem the Allies faced was their supply lines were too extended to support an advance by all the Allied Armies. Too many trucks were tied up running the huge distance from Normandy up to the front lines.
As posted earlier, Monty did nothing to solve the supply problem. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Montgomery did his best to seize open ports on the French coast as he advanced, but because the German garrison commanders were under strict orders not to surrender, on pain of the death of their families in Germany, the reduction of these ports took time.

What was he to do?

Additionally, Eisenhower was in charge of all Allied armies by this time, and therefore in charge of supply vehicle allocation. Montgomery could not change the distance his trucks had to drive.

luftluuver
08-31-2008, 01:33 AM
He sat on his duff for approx. a month before he attempted to open the way to Antwerp.

As a Canadian, you should know what this cost.

M_Gunz
08-31-2008, 03:20 AM
I quit reading when I hit After the first day the Allies were ashore, there was never any point when they were in danger.

I had an Uncle who was there from D+1 and he could have told you about danger. He was a Medic
and had "two complete companies shot out from under me".

Hell of a lot of dead for being in no danger.

Montgomery stretched the plan and Montgomery refused to change the last goal.
Even when Dutch intel told of the panzers, Monty ignored it.
The weather was bad in more than just a drop zone or two, it screwed the takeoffs as well.
It was a bad plan that asked far more from the airborne troops, esp the glider troops than
it ever should have and it included sending them in over days of time which made it all worse.

Equivalent to that was Montgomery's part in the planning of the Sicilian invasion, a freaking
fiasco of over-complication.

Montgomery did not listen when he should have, over and over.

Buzzsaw-
08-31-2008, 11:12 AM
Originally posted by M_Gunz:
I quit reading when I hit After the first day the Allies were ashore, there was never any point when they were in danger.

I had an Uncle who was there from D+1 and he could have told you about danger. He was a Medic
and had "two complete companies shot out from under me".

Hell of a lot of dead for being in no danger.



Your uncles service deserve every honour, however, your implication that just because the Allies were taking losses, meant they were in danger of being thrown back into the sea is exaggeration to put it mildly.

The fighting in Normandy was the most intense of the entire war on the Western front, with casualty rates higher than any other time. For both sides. As I mentioned earlier, that was a function of the density of the defences, and the requirement on the Allied side, that they break out before Winter conditions set in.

The Allied commanders had no choice but to attack straight ahead, there were no flanks, and no easy way to push forward. It meant going straight up against the toughest troops the Germans had. That they succeeded deserves every credit. That many were killed or wounded is no surprise.

Bottom line:

Casualties

German: 320,000 (30,000 killed, 80,000 wounded, 210,000 captured or missing)

Allies: 230,000 (45,000 killed, 173,000 wounded or missing)

Notice the Allies took more killed and wounded typical of attacking forces, but made up for that with the number of Germans captured. The German forces in Normandy were reduced to wreckage, lost nearly all their equipment. Overall losses for them were in the 60% range.


Originally posted by M_Gunz:

Montgomery stretched the plan and Montgomery refused to change the last goal.
Even when Dutch intel told of the panzers, Monty ignored it.



Monty originated the plan for MARKET GARDEN, he didn't 'stretch it'. There was no point to the attack unless Allied troops got over the Rhine. 'A Bridge too Far' that overrated and poorly researched popular history of the event, misses the point entirely. The plan had to include the Arnhem bridge because it was the last bridge before Germany proper.

In any case, as I mentioned earlier, the real reason for the failure of MARKET GARDEN was Eisenhower's decision to split his resources and reduce MARKET GARDEN's ground attack component to a single Corps front.

Montgomery didn't ignore the Panzers, the Allied intelligence HQ's were continually was receiving reports from many sources, which they put less or more importance on. The Dutch resistance was not high on the list of sources to be trusted, since there was no way to be sure they had not been infiltrated by German double agents. Later photos were taken by RAF aircraft which showed vehicle movement in the Arnhem area, but those were not passed on to Montgomery, but were discounted by the Intelligence chief for 1st Airborne Army as normal traffic over the bridges, which were a major north/south conduit for the Wehrmacht.


Originally posted by M_Gunz:
The weather was bad in more than just a drop zone or two, it screwed the takeoffs as well.
It was a bad plan that asked far more from the airborne troops, esp the glider troops than
it ever should have and it included sending them in over days of time which made it all worse.


No question that the weather was bad, and that was a large factor in the problems the Allies faced. However, the forecasts had been for generally good weather, and on that information, the operation went ahead. D-Day was undertaken in similar bad weather conditions, Eisenhower took a gamble there as well, and succeeded. To blame Montgomery for the weather is stretching.


Originally posted by M_Gunz:
Equivalent to that was Montgomery's part in the planning of the Sicilian invasion, a freaking
fiasco of over-complication.


The Sicilian Invasion was by no means a 'fiasco', in fact it was an overall big success, with most of the troops landing unopposed and getting well inland, but it suffered from the usual problems which faced any large scale event. OPERATION HUSKY was the largest seaborne invasion launched by anyone up to that point in the war, and the Allies were learning as they went.

jarink
08-31-2008, 12:21 PM
I won't go into a full rebuttal of your posts, but I would like to focus on these two passages that were made in the same post:


Originally posted by Buzzsaw-:
That woudl be the failure of the Airborne Corps commander, who allowed the British 1st Division commander to move the drop zones away from the initial closer point to the bridges.


Originally posted by Buzzsaw-:
Montgomery was the Ground Commander and responsible for all planning of OVERLORD.

Well, is the overall commander responsible for the operations of his command or isn't he? Which is it? Claiming responsibility for the overall success of one operation while laying blame for the failure of another is very dishonest. Taking responsibility for the failures as well as successes of one's troops is an important attribute of a good commander. Monty was fully aware of the airborne plan, I'm sure, and if he thought that there was a problem with it (all of the <STRIKE>US</STRIKE> non-British airborne commanders knew there was; can't forget about the Poles), I doubt he would have had any reservations about making them change it.

I also think that Ike deserves his full share of the blame for M-G; instead of orderingMonty to clear the Scheldt and thus allow the use of Antwerp, he took a chance at bringing an early end to the war. He could have (and in 20/20 hindsight should have) canceled M-G until the Allies' supply situation was resolved.

Buzzsaw-
08-31-2008, 12:53 PM
Originally posted by jarink:
I won't go into a full rebuttal of your posts, but I would like to focus on these two passages that were made in the same post:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Buzzsaw-:
That woudl be the failure of the Airborne Corps commander, who allowed the British 1st Division commander to move the drop zones away from the initial closer point to the bridges.


Originally posted by Buzzsaw-:
Montgomery was the Ground Commander and responsible for all planning of OVERLORD.

Well, is the overall commander responsible for the operations of his command or isn't he? Which is it? Claiming responsibility for the overall success of one operation while laying blame for the failure of another is very dishonest.

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Montgomery accepted responsibility for the failure of MARKET GARDEN, and admitted his mistake in not pushing the ground commanders hard enough in their advance, or for not demanding more redundancy be built into the radio systems for providing air support to the airborne troops. But like all good generals, he preferred to delegate to subordinates, the details of their tasks and the equipment they used, and not to micromanage.


Originally posted by jarink:

I also think that Ike deserves his full share of the blame for M-G; instead of orderingMonty to clear the Scheldt and thus allow the use of Antwerp, he took a chance at bringing an early end to the war. He could have (and in 20/20 hindsight should have) canceled M-G until the Allies' supply situation was resolved.

Whether it was done in September, or in October, the clearing of the Scheldt estuary was not a small task, and would have taken a month either way.

In any case, no one, not Eisenhower, not Patton, not Bradley, not Montgomery, were thinking of stopping and consolidating in Sept. 1944. They all thought the war was won, that they could drive into Germany, and didn't believe the German Army could recover as fast from Normandy as it did. That it did was a result of its very good Staff who were able to reform shattered formations, the culling of all non-essential personel from auxiliary roles to supply new manpower to the Wehrmacht, and the fact the German industrial complex under Speer's reforms, and using slave labour and other sources, had managed to produce record numbers of tanks and other equipment in the Summer of 1944.

M_Gunz
08-31-2008, 02:12 PM
The airborne operation during the Sicilian invasion was a fiasco thanks to the route given
over objections made. Try reading detailed accounts and not sweeping men's lives taken for
nothing but a bad call under the carpet of total mission accomplishment.

I think you're going a bridge too far was the comment made by the head of airborne operations
when asked and he made that knowing how little Montgomery liked to hear any criticism.
Try reading detailed accounts of that end of M-G.

As far as I know, D-day Normandy was delayed some days because of weather.
There were a lot of D-days in the war, not just the one. D is for departure, isn't it?

luftluuver
08-31-2008, 02:19 PM
Originally posted by M_Gunz:
As far as I know, D-day Normandy was delayed some days because of weather.
There were a lot of D-days in the war, not just the one. D is for departure, isn't it?

<span class="ev_code_YELLOW">NOT SOME DAYS BUT ONE (1) DAY.</span>

WTE_Galway
08-31-2008, 08:40 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by josephs1959:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by josephs1959:
I't quite possible that the reason for Rommel's success considering Rommel was mediocre as German generals were concerned.

Ummm. Okay, then please explain his performance during the invasion of France in 1940 when his 7th Panzer Division outpaced pretty much every other German formation?


From Wikipedia:
7. Panzer-Division was later nicknamed Gespenster-Division (the "Ghost Division"), due to the speed and surprise it was consistently able to achieve, to the point that even the German High Command lost track of where it was. He also set the record for the longest thrust in one day by Panzers up to that point, covering nearly 200 miles. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Rommel was daring, took cahnces, tought on his feet, wasn't mired in dogma, had the ability to adapt to fluid situations. All of which I believe contributed to his successes, Yes. But compared to the other German generals (Manteuffel,Manstein,Von Kluge,Model,Kesselring)he was mediocre.
The western allies have a bad habit of just considering the abilities of Rommel beacuse Rommel fought against the westrn forces, and that makes sense up to a point.
Not only were the majority of German forces at the eastern front but the the finest in quality (leaders and units) were there too.
With exception of Italy which was to be a stop gap after the failure of Kursk until other units could be formed and sent. And france, those units were being reformed 9th panzer, 21st panzer ect. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The rapid advances by the Panzers in France were a matter of serious concern for the German High command at the time. There was a very serious risk of the advancing armored units either running out of fuel or leaving the infantry behind and being cut off and lost.

In retrospect it would seem the only thing in their favor was the retreating French and British troops often assumed (and reported back) that the spearhead of mainly light tanks (panzer II's etc)were heavier tanks so they met little resistance.

Eventually firm orders to stop and wait for infantry support got through and were enforced, just at the right time to save the troops at Dunkirk.

This is usually seen in the literature as an example of poor tactics by Hitler "who did not understand mobile warfare". This was far from the truth.

In truth the panzer leaders like Rommel and Guderian were playing a very dangerous game and got very lucky.

Blutarski2004
09-01-2008, 07:47 AM
Originally posted by WTE_Galway:
The rapid advances by the Panzers in France were a matter of serious concern for the German High command at the time. There was a very serious risk of the advancing armored units either running out of fuel or leaving the infantry behind and being cut off and lost.

In retrospect it would seem the only thing in their favor was the retreating French and British troops often assumed (and reported back) that the spearhead of mainly light tanks (panzer II's etc)were heavier tanks so they met little resistance.


..... "Blitzkrieg" tactics must have posed a very psychologically uncomfortable environment for military men schooled in the old traditional arts of war. In order to really embrace the concept, one had to change his view of the nature of flanks, logistics, and communications. But "Blitzkrieg" was nothing more than the application of mechanization to the "Stosstruppen" tactics of WW1 which had proven so notably successful. The Panzer and Panzer Grenadier were the Stosstruppen of WW2 and motorization coupled with vastly improved communications had dramatically increased both their scope of action and their effectiveness.

War was now defined as defeating the enemy by collapsing its command and control capabilities. Flanks were only vulnerable if [a] the enemy actually could find your unit in real time, and [b] could rapidly plan and organize a counter-stroke. The French command demonstrated throughout the Battle of France that, once their rear echelon had been penetrated and disrupted, they were largely incapable of rapid reaction. What appeared to be rashness on the part of commanders like Rommel was really calculated exploitation of the enemy's weakness. Such deep movements were commonplace in the 1941 offensive into Russia; an excellent example of German boldness in that theater was their seizure of the Voronezh bridgehead.