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Max Hastings

Discussion in 'WWII Books & Publications' started by LRusso216, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Something no one else ever realized?

    So was the U.S. However, it was hard to use the danger of massed Nazi bombing of the American heartland as a motivator. Ditto the threat of summary execution of shirkers. The idea of political officers producing a constant stream of propaganda was also problematic. Nor was there much of any way to paint the Nazi's as an existential threat after 1943 when it became obvious their defeat was a matter of time.

    Nor do any of these effect training and doctrine, which was the root cause of German combat excellence.

    Given the number of Soviet and German prisoners I suspect that "determination" was remarkably localized. Nor did such "determination" do much for the Japanese other than result in more Japanese deaths.

    So how much faster did British or US troops lose their determination to continue fighting beyond a point Soviets and Germans fought? Do you have examples?

    Yes, so did old French doctrine..."the morale is to the physical as three to one" remember? Yes, indeed there do appear to be national differences, but it is in the ability to fight effectively, not necessarily the will to win.
     
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  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The Americans Lost a lot of men in Normandy. In that sense it is weird that Monty and his troops were calculated to capture Caen on the D-Day. But fighting in the bocage is not like fighting in the clear area. Monty was counted to fight the German tanks and let the US troops fight the German infantry. This did not happen. Monty did not succeed. Look at the details of operation. Goodwood simply. No wonder the Germans managed to keep the Monty's troops in place. You can find the details with search function. I have put the details of the Allied operation here.
     
  3. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    Oh really?!

    Perhaps I missed it. Can you remind me when exactly was the German armour switched to the US Sector?

    Please explain what you mean by "Monty did not succeed"? Are you claiming that the Germans won the Normandy campaign?
     
  4. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

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    I think what was really meant was that Monty drew the Germans attention, since the Germans still thought of the Americans as lightweights. So with the bulk of German armor facing Monty, Bradley could launch "Cobra" to break out of Normandy.

    That's what I thought it was supposed to be, anyway.
     
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  5. Brutal Truth

    Brutal Truth Active Member

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    This is another of those issues on which endless polemics and rivers of ink have been spent. Was Goodwood intended to pin the strongest German units on the eastern sector, or was that just an excuse a posteriori to justify the British failure? Or did Montgomery hope to achieve a decisive breakthrough, and at the same time to fix German attention to the east in case of failure, thus giving the Americans a chance of success?
     
  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Monty's goal was to take Caen on the first day of Overlord and also attract the German tanks to his troops instead of the other landing beaches. This was the original plan and and I see nothing bad about it. However, the failure means the German resistance was tougher and it took longer to reach Caen. I did not say the Germans won. I say the original goals were not reached as they were planned.
    Also, if I recall correctly, the biggest killer of troops was mortar. I did not say tanks.
     
  7. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    If Monty had taken Caen on D-day the Germans would have had to concentrate all of their force to stop them. The Allied had for instance bombed all the railways practically in France except Around Normandy to Make it easier to supply their troops. Caen was the gateway out of Normandy as well.
    About German tanks and US troops remember operation Luttich.
     
  8. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    K-P Old chap,
    While I read with interest your contributions on matters concerning the winter war and the continuation war, I fear you are sadly misinformed about Normandy.

    #1 Sorry but the allies bombed communications across Northern France to avoid creating any pattern that would indicate the target for the invasion. This went rather too well as the allies would have liked a little less damage to the railways after August 1944. It is why Brest was abandoned as a port for receiving US troops and supplies.

    #2 Even without the capture of Caen on D Day, the Germans concentrated their forces on the Caen sector which they saw as the main point of effort for defence. By 25 July on the eve of Op Cobra, when the German line finally cracked, there were three Panzer formations facing the US First Army and seven facing the British Second Army - as well as all three heavy tank batallions and multiple rocket launcher brigades.

    #3 By the time the Germans reacted to the American break out it was far too late. OP Luttich drove battered armoured formations into the toe end of the developing Falaise pocket.
     
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  9. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    So in the end are we so far of the Allied strategy both? Monty was in charge of taking the Axis attention and it was only Hitler who demanded operation Luttich. It just took several major operations before Caen was taken when it was to be liberated on d-day.
    The idea of Luttich was to cut the supply lines to the US forward units but they were stopped By the US troops before they were able to do that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2021
  10. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    Until 1st September 1944 Montgomery was the commander of allied land force operations, including those of the 12th US Army Group as well as the Anglo Canadian 21st Army Group. It is not true to say that Monty was responsible for taking the Axis attention. He was responsible for delivering the Overlord objectives - the 90 day phase line roughly along the Seine and the Loire encompassing the Cherbourg and the Brittany ports.

    Caen was a D Day objective and was not taken until four or five weeks after D Day. Despite much fuss around delays to take what was claimed to be a "vital objective", Caen wasn't that vital, as the delay did not affect the outcome of the campaign which ended with a victory greatly exceeding expectations.

    The Normandy campaign wasn't really about capturing territory - beyond a lodgment area. The aim was to destroy the German army in Normandy. Montgomery's expertise was fighting battles of attrition - what he called "the dog-fight". In this audio clip he is talking about El Alamein, but his concept for Normandy was similar. His estimate of the dogfight at El Alamein was 10-12 days.(around 1.09) For Normandy it was 90 days.


    Rommel made it harder to capture Caen on D Day by pushing armour up to the coast. Hitler's insistence on defending every metre of ground prolonged the fight close to the coast, but burned up his army. The folly of Op Luttich lost the armoured troops that might have held the Allies on the Seine or Somme in Fall 1944.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2021
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  11. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I have much respect to Monty so I have said all my view on him in Normandy. Thank You.
     
  12. Brutal Truth

    Brutal Truth Active Member

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    Terve!

    What are the qualities you like in Montgomery? How you compare his generalship with other Allied and German generals?
     
  13. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Terve!

    He was a winner. Did he lose any big battles? From Africa to the Ardennes. None. You naturally discuss his wording but Patton was as bad and everyboďy loved him. Monty made sure he had enough man power wheras Rommel and perhaps Patton took their chances and succeeded. How do you see their difference?
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2021
  14. Brutal Truth

    Brutal Truth Active Member

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    I do not have a particular opinion about Montgomery, I was just interested to know what you think about him. From his "wording" it seems rather difficult to deny that he had a big ego - like Patton BTW - and that factor sometimes strained the relations between the Allies. But this has little or nothing to do with his generalship. He has been often accused of being too cautious. But one has to consider that he had to operate with the material he had at hand, the British Army with its actual training, organization and doctrine, things that probably he could not have changed much in the middle of the war. And he had to operate under the constrains of the limited manpower available to Great Britain, which made avoiding high losses a necessity.
     
  15. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Monty was ordered from the UK that he must cut men losses.
     
  16. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Throughout the Normandy campaign, the greatest danger to the Germans was a thrust southward by Montgomery, which would threaten to cut off all German troops west of the breakthrough. When Patton swept around the flank to Argentan, the pending coup de grace was the British-Canadian advance to Falaise. If this seems obvious to us today, remember it was equally obvious to the Germans.
     
  17. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The original plan was to Make a huge harbour in the Quiberon bay but as Patton managed to break through so well it was decided that he will continue flanking the Germans. The supply was then continued By Red ball express.
     

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