Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

First American soldier to die in Europe

Discussion in 'Western Europe 1939 - 1942' started by ww2thebigone, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. ww2thebigone

    ww2thebigone Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2016
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Otto and YugoslavPartisan like this.
  2. YugoslavPartisan

    YugoslavPartisan Drug

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2015
    Messages:
    1,534
    Likes Received:
    182
    Location:
    Pannonia
    Interesting story.
     
  3. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,393
    Likes Received:
    346
    Location:
    London UK
    Where is loustabout buried? I couldn't see any mention of the cemetery.



    Besides the lessons learned for D day the germans also switched two Panzer divisions, a parachute divisionj and four bomber groups from the East Front to the West. TYhios was under a Hitler order 18th July. The other big success for the allies was that some of the germans convinced themselves that success at Dieppe meant that the Atlantic Wall worked.
     
  4. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,503
    Likes Received:
    489
    I've always wondered which divisions those were? In the three months after Dieppe:

    1. Panzer went to 15. Armee on 25 December 1942 for rebuilding and went to Greece on 31 May 1943, possibly as a reaction to MINCEMEAT.
    6. Panzer was already in France for rebuilding (since mid-May) and returned to the Ostfront in December 1942..
    7. Panzer was already in France for rebuilding (since mid-May), went to southern France in reaction to TORCH and then returned to the Ostfront on 19 December 1942.
    10. Panzer was already in France rebuilding (since mid-May) and went to Tunis in reaction to TORCH.
    26. Panzer was formed in France in September 1942, but went to Italy in reaction to AVALANCHE.
    1. and 2. SS went to France 9 November 1942 for rebuilding and returned to the Ostfront in February 1943.
    9. and 10. SS were formed in France 1 February 1943.

    Small beer for the notion they "switched" two Panzer divisions there as reaction.

    Ditto the FJD. Parts of 7. Flieger went to France in summer 1942 for HERAKLES and were already there before going off to Tunis in reaction to TORCH. The others did not exist yet. 1. FJD was formed in France in May 1943.

    I suspect the real story on the "bomber groups" is different too?
     
  5. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,393
    Likes Received:
    346
    Location:
    London UK
    Here is a copy of a translation of Hitler's orders
     
  6. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,503
    Likes Received:
    489
    Sorry, but that is really putting the cart before the horse. Hitler's order was 9 July 1942. Dieppe was 18 August. None of those moves occurred before Dieppe and I have given the chronology for after Dieppe.
     
  7. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,393
    Likes Received:
    346
    Location:
    London UK
    As you can read, Hitler's orders were in response to the preparations for the Dieppe operation. I.e a consequence of Op Rutter/Jubilee. Cause "Op Rutter/Jubilee" : Effect "Hitler orders the transfer of forces to the Western Front. Cock-up theory.

    Montgomery recommended that the operation be cancelled because of the security risk of the long delay. (he feared enemy agents) However, Hitler's successful anticipation of this "invasion" may have reinforced his misplaced confidence.
     
  8. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,503
    Likes Received:
    489
    Yes, I can read, but now I'm confused. Are you saying that Hitler's 9 July order was a reaction to Combined Operations April-May planning for Operation Rutter? If so, then how did he know?

    Indeed, there does seem to be some sort of cause-and-effect cock-up going on here. Hitler was anticipating the possibility of a British invasion of some type in an attempt to support the Soviet Union. However, the Dieppe Raid of 18 August did not cause Hitler to anticipate that possibility.

    Nor did his anticipatory orders actual result in the effect usually ascribed to them. Two Panzer divisions and a FJD were not moved to France in order to oppose the anticipated British attack. You could argue that the two SS divisions forming in France, 9. and 10., were possibly kept there in such an anticipation, except that just about as soon as they were operational they were shipped off the stabilize a situation on the Ostfront.

    Nor do I see the relevance of Montgomery's recommendation to what cause-and-effect was in play?
     
  9. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,393
    Likes Received:
    346
    Location:
    London UK
    Mr cock-up was firmly in town.

    Combined Operations had been planning Op Rutter/Jubilee for some time, with support from Leigh-Mallory AOC RAF Fighter Command, who saw the operation as a mechanism to force the Luftwaffe to fight. A divisional raid supported by a massive aerial operation could not simply be launched at a wave of a magic wand.

    The July Hitler Order is evidence that Hitler predicted that the allies would have to do something on the the Channel front and that the Germans had picked up patterns of shipping and aerial activity and correctly interpreted the target area. Montgomery commanded the SE Command until August 1942. 2nd Canadian Division was one of his formations. His comment was that Op Rutter had been delayed for so long that surprise was likely to have been lost.

    It is easy for armchair strategists operating with hindsight to be amazed that the Dieppe raid had been undertaken. They tend to ignore the strategic imperative to do something in Summer 1942. At the highest strategic levels the Soviets and the US Army was urging the British to mount a full scale invasion of the Pas de Calais Op Round-Up. There was widespread public sympathy for the Red Army and support for Uncle Joe Stalin. "Second Front Now!" appeared in the British press and as street graffiti. Without the commitment to launch Op Jubilee it is possible that the Americans would have prevailed in their argument for an even bigger cross channel assault. There was a very real demand for a futile gesture https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5YW4qKOAVM

    (if you don't think this mattered, ask yourself why there are so many calls for western politicians to be seen to take some form of military action in Libya and Syria?)

    Had there been no Op Jubilee the same armchair strategists would be arguing that the allies were crazy and the British over cautious, duplicitous if not cowardly to leave the Red army in the lurch and sit on their hands. Internet forums would have even more threads arguing that the allies should have launched D day in 1943 if not 1942.

    Wishful thinking is a part of human nature and organisations need to suffer painful losses before investing in countermeasures. Without Op Jubilee it would have been much harder for Op Overlord to assembled the shipping used for the fire support for an assault. Worse still, the cross channel might have been launched with the techniques of Op Jubilee and failed.

    Dieppe cost some 6,000 casualties. A drop in the ocean in a war where millions became casualties every year. Every decision had a cost. It took time and experience to learn. It has been said that it took 10,000 casualties to train a general officer. On balance Op Jubilee worked out well for the allies and a modest cost for the improved technology, training and procedures for their cross channel assault and for wrong footing the Germans.
     
  10. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,503
    Likes Received:
    489
    I guess so, since your response has absolutely nothing to do with my question to your original point.

    Cheers!
     
  11. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,393
    Likes Received:
    346
    Location:
    London UK
    Sorry, but I thought I had.

    You asked:-

    My response was to write

    It was not just a hunch that the allies would attack, but the preparations for the raid that confirmed the decisions made in the July Order. Had there not been visible preparations the order may not have been given.
     
  12. Owen

    Owen O

    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Messages:
    2,398
    Likes Received:
    511
  13. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,503
    Likes Received:
    489
    No, your "original point", which I questioned was:

    No such "switches" occurred, despite what Hitler might have ordered, either presciently or not, on 18 July.
     
  14. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,393
    Likes Received:
    346
    Location:
    London UK
    My memory played tricks with some of the numbers, but the Hitler orders was carried out. For example, the LAH was transferred to France on 29th July as above. Wherever the other units mentioned were based they were directed to spend time and effort preparing for a cross channel attack rather than doing anything else where they might have been more use.
     
  15. Croft

    Croft Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2012
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    2
    LAH went to the west after taking part in the first part of Operation Blue. Das Reich and Totenkop had already been removed from the east by then as the winter fighting had reduced them to skeletons. LAH had been in Russia for a year, I wonder what strength it had when taking part in Blue? Unless it had received major replacements it must have been a shadow division.
    Grossdeutschland was kept in the west in July due to Hitler's concerns for France but it must also have been undergoing major rebuilding.
    The Panzer divisions in AGN and AGC were all reduced to 1 Panzer battalion to create strength for AGS so basically the only real fighting power the Germans had anywhere in July 1942 was in the forces waging Blue. To strengthen his western forces Hitler would have had to cripple his summer offensive in the Ukraine and that never happened.
     
  16. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,503
    Likes Received:
    489
    Rather more significant than Hitler's order of 9 July was his order of 21 February 1942, which was to expand the Brigade LAH to a division. It was not transferred from the Ostfront to France until early July because of the situation on the Ostfront in the winter of 1941/1942 and early spring 1942. Its Panzer battalion was created at Wildflecken on 1 February. The initial anti-invasion activity was a parade down the Champs Elysee on 29 July, after which it went to Evreaux for training and field exercises. It went to the Ostfront as the PGD LAH on 11 January 1943.

    Das Reich went to Memmingen for rebuilding in March 1942, then to Le Mans in late July before settling in at St Lo on 1 October.It too was renamed as a PGDon 9 November and began heading to the Ostfront on 11 January 1943.

    No, the "lessons learned" from the Canadian landings at Dieppe did not result in either division's transfer. Hitler's prescience resulted in two divisions already in route to France going to France. And, as soon as they completed reforming, reorganizing, and re-equipping they were off to the east again, as part of the regular series of rotations.

    It is on the same level of reality as the idea MINCEMEAT "caused" the Germans to shift "eight divisions" or "three Panzer divisions" or some such combination to Greece.
     
  17. Croft

    Croft Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2012
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    2
    Yes I completely agree. All the mobile divisions in France over the summer of 42 were rebuilding just as they needed to be after Barbarossa and the following punishing winter. From the autumn onwards they started appearing again wherever they were most needed.

    10th Panzer went to Tunisia to join 15th and 21st there. 6th and 11th Panzer went to Manstein for the effort to relieve Stalingrad. Newly created 26th Panzer went to AGS but I'm not sure where in the south. 7th Panzer also went east. And then yep the 3 SS panzergrenadier divisions went to Kharkov in January 43.

    Sending 10th Panzer to Tunisia lengthened the North African campaign for a few months but the cost was 75,000 German troops lost when it all ended. If that division had gone to Manstein instead I wonder if his relief effort might have reached Stalingrad, even if only for a few days. It would have been a far better use of the division as the Germans should have just evacuated the Afrika Korps to Sicily after El Alamein and Operation Torch.
     
  18. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,503
    Likes Received:
    489
    Actually, 11. Panzer stayed on the Ostfront from June 1941 through the end of 1944 when it went to France for rebuilding.

    26. Panzer was organized 13 September 1942 near Amiens. It remained there until August 1943 when it was transferred to OB Sued and LXXVI AK. Leading elements fought at Salerno and on the Volturno in September and October where it lost 10 of 60 Panzer IV, five of 12 PzBefWg, and 1,331 men.

    Yes, 10. Panzer could have gone to the Ostfront in November, but likely would not have changed things much there. OTOH, it guarantees Tunisia is lost by late December and the rest of the Italian-German Army in Tripolitania goes with it.
     
  19. Croft

    Croft Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2012
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    2
    11 Panzer served for three and a half years unrelieved then. Veterans of that division must have been grey.

    Thanks for the info on 26 Panzer. I actually do remember reading that a Panzer division tried to destroy the landings at Salerno so nice to know it was that division.

    On North Africa I wasn't thinking that 10th Panzer should have gone to Russia and the Afrika Korps stayed in Libya or Tunisia to be destroyed. I was thinking instead of being reinforced in November 42 they should have been evacuated entirely. The Allies probably would have invaded Sicily in Feb or March 43 then instead of July but it would have saved many units for the defence of Italy.
     
  20. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Messages:
    717
    Likes Received:
    410
    Location:
    The Old Dominion
    Ummm, more precisely, Edward Loustalot was, probably, the first US soldier killed in ground combat.

    The first US serviceman to die in Europe during WW2, to my knowledge, was 1LT Bradley Follett, Jr. Follett had attended the USNA in the class of 1938, but resigned after two years to accept a commission in the US Army where he subsequently completed flight training and became a pilot in the USAAC. In April 1941 he was sent to Great Britain as an observer. He was killed in a plane crash near Catterick, Yorkshire on 21 June 1941. He is buried in Section 1 of Arlington Cemetery.
     

Share This Page