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Patton overrated

Discussion in 'Western Europe 1943 - 1945' started by roscoe, Jan 15, 2023.

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  1. roscoe

    roscoe Guest

    Time someone said this.

    Point one. Most Generals look good when they have the full Ultra intercepts available to them.

    Let me now concentrate on the Myth that Patton saved the the Allies by stopping the 16th December 1944 German offensive through the Ardennes. Better known as the Battle of the Bulge.

    The Special Intelligence unit (known as Black Market) had via Ultra became aware of large concentrations of German units in Eifel area opposite the Hodges' US 1st Army. The Germans then went suddenly into Radio silence, an indication that something was about to go down. Not only this but the German VIII corps who had been attacking Patton's Army withdrew and went into silence. Now Patton had asked his chief of intelligence to make a study of what would happen if the Germans attacked Hodges' US !st Army, FOUR DAYS BEFORE THE GERMAN OFFENSIVE THROUGH THE ARDENNES and make a study of what the 3rd Army under Patton would do in such scenario. Basically Patton knew something was up on the 12th December.

    Bletchley Park had been monitoring the radio traffic of the German 6th Panzer Army only to have them suddenly disappear in October 44. All the allies knew something was up.



    Myth buster one.
    How many here know that the British were into Bastogne a full day before 101st Airborne arrived there. They were RAF regiment, a small unit sent in to recover secret battle field mobile Radar units. Whilst American troops of Hodges' 1st Army were still retreating through Bastogne, RAF 2nd Tactical Airforce regiment units moved in and found themselves battling SS Panzer units. One German unit got within 200 yards of a secret RADAR unit only to be stopped by these RAF soldiers who were small in number. They were normally trained as airfield guards.

    How many know that British Bomber command knocked out the railway bridge over the river Saar thus rendering the German offensive doomed to fail as their re-supply line was now cut off It. was a matter of time before they ran out of fuel and ammunition. Not only this Patton's Army to the south was completely free from German Panzer attacks on his flank from units inside Germany. His army was free to swing north unopposed. Patton's Army was now up against the German Seventh Army consisting of the LXXXV and the XVVV Infantry divisions only. They were known as static divisions. Consisting of mainly artillery, no mobile units.

    Now

    Not only this but the quick action of Field Marshall Montgomery stopped the main offensive towards the port of Antwerp in it's tracks. With Eisenhower's approval Montgomery took American units into his British, Canadian and Belgian units to the north and set up defensive positions. On the second day the Germans and were as far as Clervaux. The decision to by-pass any defensive pockets was a tactic the Germans had used in the 1940 Blitzkrieg, Bastogne, 15 miles to the west, wasn't that important to them. Montgomery would be up against the fifth, sixth and fifteenth Panzer divisions not static infantry divisions like Patton was.

    Colonel Fuller commanded the US ARMY 28th Infantry Division’s 110th Regimental Combat Team (RCT). was up against the previously missing Dietrich's 6th Panzer Army. On the 17th (the day after the first attack began) British Sherman tanks intercepted the German artillery units shelling Clervaux about 16 miles from Bastogne and sent them into panic who immediately began to pull back. However German Mark IV tanks appeared and a fierce tank battle ensued. Fuller's troops and the British Shermans then found they were up against twelve Tiger Tanks. Fuller ordered some 105mm self propelled guns to deal with the Tigers but they quickly retreated. The remaining five British Shermans who didn't retreat were quickly overcome. Fuller eventually surrendered, out of his 3000 strong force only 500 reached safety.

    Thus the Battle of the Bulge commenced. OK what I'm trying to redress here is that the narrative seems to be that the British had nothing to do with the Battle of the Bulge. The Mardasson Memorial does not mention the lives lost by the British, Canadian and Belgian soldiers lost when stopping the German December 1944 offensive through the Ardennes. Yes we're told it was Patton who stopped it.

    Really? perhaps a quick visit to the string of cemeteries that litter the road from Bastogne travelling West towards Dinant on the French Belgian border. would be worth someone visiting and putting the story right. Cemeteries that consist of British and Canadian soldiers who stopped the Germans reaching Antwerp.

    So why are we told that the Battle of the Bulge was an American victory? Answer Churchill. He announced it in the UK Parliament on the 18th December. Meanwhile the battle was still going on for another month. You see the American public were getting tired of the war in Europe and they needed a victory to announce.
     
  2. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    : popcorn:
     
  3. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Wow. That's interesting to say the least. The 2d RAF Tactical Air Force "regiment units" fought German SS units at Bastogne? Fascinating. And it was a bridge across the Saar River that the Germans used to supply the offensive? Gee wilikers but I never knew that. And the 28th Infantry Division faced 6. Panzerarmee? Amazing.

    Dude, I don't know what comic book you got your information from but I'd love to read it.
     
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  4. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    How many here know that the British were into Bastogne a full day before 101st Airborne arrived there. They were RAF regiment, a small unit sent in to recover secret battle field mobile Radar units. Whilst American troops of Hodges' 1st Army were still retreating through Bastogne, RAF 2nd Tactical Airforce regiment units moved in and found themselves battling SS Panzer units. One German unit got within 200 yards of a secret RADAR unit only to be stopped by these RAF soldiers who were small in number. They were normally trained as airfield guards.

    Really? What exact type of "battle field mobile Radar units (sic)" would those be? The only specialized radio equipment I know of at Bastogne were Rebecca homing transmitters. These were used in airborne operations by the Allies extensively. They were present during Market Garden and in Normandy. I suppose it's possible that some RAF personnel familiar with these transmitters were sent to Bastogne to set them up.

    But that hardly is some rousing display of the British having saved Bastogne, if true. There was already a mixed bag of US units in an around Bastogne before the 101st arrived, including elements of the 28th Infantry division, parts of 9th armored division, and various smaller tank destroyer, tank, artillery, and engineer units.

    If British troops operated the Rebecca units, that's great. It really needs a source to show that. The Rebecca transmitters were an important reason US air dropped supplies almost always landed within the US defense perimeter.

    As to why the Ardennes Offensive failed and is considered a US victory, I'd estimate that it was 90% US troops and units that caused that outcome.
     
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  5. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Eight posts in about ~12 years. Drive-by much?
     
  6. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Actually they've made 96...or 131, the statistics on these stats are always a bit wonky. But only 8 posts have been liked.

    Their last post before this one was 30 December 2017:

    "I woke up this morning and realized that it is pointless throwing pearls before swine here When one attempts to make a reasoned argument one first has to assume a degree of intelligence in your opposite number. This was the mistake I made. I'm outta here."

    Too bad the door didn't stay closed after it hit them in the ass on their way out.
     
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  7. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    You do have to wonder if they get released every two to four years for Christmas and then in January the men in the white coats come for them again.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2023
  8. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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  9. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    He is giving a very badly scrambled repeat of a Mark Felton YouTube BS lecture.

    The units actually involved was 2742 and 2804 Squadron of the RAF Regiment, which provided security for RAF airfields and other installations during World War II.

    The double-top sekret "radar unit" was 6080 Light Warning Unit RAF, which had a primary mission to provide forward ground-based control of close tactical air support of RAF fighter and fighter bombers to troops on the ground. The unit consisted of a signals and a radar detachment. The equipment of the radar detachment was the Type 6 Radar, which was a mobile van-mounted system with a maximum range of 50 miles, equipped with a range height display and a Plan Position Indicator (PPI) display. The signals detachment radios communicated directly with aircraft. IOW it was a Forward Tactical Air Control Unit.

    At 1800 on 17 December, C Flight, 2742 Squadron was ordered to VP565605 (about 1500 meters northeast of the Bastogne Barracks on the N30) to support the B Troop (Armoured Car) of 2804 Squadron, RAF Regiment, which was covering the withdrawal of 6080 Light Warning Unit RAF. A scouting party consisting of one officer and his driver from C Flight contacted the Armoured Car Troop at the radar sute at 1300 18 December. At that time the site was nonoperational and preparing to move out. At 2215 they were ordered to withdraw back through Bastogne. At 0130 19 December while near Champlon they were fired on by small arms but arrived in Brussels unharmed at 1400. Later on 19 December, B Troop, 2742 Squadron destroyed another site south of Vielsam and reported coming under small arms fire from enemy 400 yards away.

    The entire convoy consisting of C Flight and 6080 LWU totaled four armoured reconnaissance cars and fifteen 3-ton vehicles with 59 RAF and Army personnel of 6080 LWU and 12 RAF personnel of C Flight. There were also four armoured cars with B Troop, 2804 Squadron, with another 12 RAF personnel.

    Other elements of the two RAF Regiment squadrons, which between them had about 32 reconnaissance and 8 armored cars and around 320 O&EM, also spent most of 18-21 December evacuating or destroying radar and communications sites along the path of the German advance.

    How that halted the German advance on Bastogne is anyone's guess.
     
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  10. Riter

    Riter Well-Known Member

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    German timetable was already thrown off by US units before Monty was given command. The Germans couldn't capture St. Vith until Monty ordered it evacuated to "tidy up his lines." Even the relatively new 99th Infantry Division performed admirably under the circumstances. The 106th Infantry Div. not so but considered that two regiments were trapped behind the Our River (banks too steep to descend, cross and ascend, capture of the two bridges across it by the Germans), the limited stock of ammunition (only one day's supply), the lack of food, the lack of opportunity to calibrate its radios, the lack of opportunity for its artillery to range in and register its guns, and the failure of the supply airdrop (b/c an air traffic controlled wasn't informed), twenty-mile front (whereas doctrine said five maximum), 5 mile left flank was guarded by an equally overstretched cavalry unit unknown to them, the Golden Lions fought quite admirably under unfavorable conditions. Yeah, the RAF must have had death rays or something like that.
     
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  11. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    Well, that explains that. I suppose US Army troops operating SCR 584 radar systems for similar purposes also packed up their stuff and ran for the same reason...

    I'd always assumed the Rebecca transmitters with the 101st were operated by division signal corps troops, and I guess that's still the case since they managed to keep theirs working unlike the 1st Airbourne at Arnheim...
     
  12. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    Actually, the 106th was largely done in by the collapse of the 14th Cavalry group on their flank that opened them up to envelopment.
     
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  13. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't say the 14th Cavalry Group "collapsed" or that that was the cause of the loss of the 422d and 423d Infantry and associated units.

    The 14th Cavalry Group's 9,000-yard line in the Losheim gap was manned by two cavalry troops, A and C (B was far to the south attached to the 106th Inf Div) of the 18th Cavalry Squadron and C Company of the 820th TD Battalion (T) Squadron, perhaps 350 officers and men. HQ, E Troop (M8 HMC) and F Company (M5 Light Tks) were in reserve at Manderfeld. The 32d Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron was at Vielsalm, 20 miles away, having arrived there on 11 December after being relieved from attachment to the 28th Infantry Division at Clervaux on 10 December and was not attached to the 14th Cavalry Group until 16 December. It was early afternoon when they rolled into Manderfeld under orders to counterattack to restore the positions of the 18th Cav...a counterattack into an area they had never been. The results were predictable.

    Note that the troops in the Losheim Gap were in the way of the left regiment of 3. FJD and KG Peiper of 1. SS-Panzerdivision as well as two reinforced regiments of 18. VGD...conservatively, they were outnumbered about 30 to 1.

    It didn't help that Devine, the commander of the 14th Cavalry Group, was a martinet with a poor sense of priorities - he spent most of the afternoon and evening at the 106th Inf Div headquarters at Sankt Vith, hoping to persuade Jones to send him reinforcements that of course did not exist. He fell apart later and was relieved by the commander of the 18th Cavalry, Damon. In the meantime, the commander of the 32d Cavalry also fell apart, declaring that he would go find ammunition and then disappearing.

    Damon managed to extricate the bulk of the group from a worsening situation but it was pretty much combat ineffective by around midday 18 December.

    The envelopment of the left of the 106th Infantry Division was mirrored on the right were the third regiment of 18. VGD exploited the gap between the right of the 106th and the left of the 29th Inf Div, which was covered by B Troop, 18th Cavalry and an ad hoc infantry company comprised of men drawn from the 424th Infantry Cannon Company and Antitank Company.

    The end result was a double-envelopment made worse by the failure to order the withdrawal of the 106th from its exposed position and the commitment of the FBB just when the withdrawal was finally authorized.
     
  14. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    Which movies have you been watching?

    Anyone with a whit of knowledge will understand that battle was won in the north, not by some death-ray wielding regiment of 14 men. Not that small units were not effective outside their actual numbers (I&R Platoon/394th IR and 291st ECB as examples).

    I invite you to actually read some noted scholarly studies of the fight before throwing turds like your OP into the forum.
     
  15. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    I wouldn't be so kind. You are correct that Devine was something of a martinet, but he was more of a stickler for what I'd call corporate turd polishing. That is, he wanted to look good to higher command, and that meant how things looked on paper. One of his biggest mistakes was refusing to integrate the 820th TD battalion into his own command but rather putting them on his northern flank all on their own.

    Yes, the 14th was badly outnumbered and would have had to withdraw regardless, but it doesn't help when your initial preparations are poor.

    I can excuse the 106th to a greater degree having been in position something like a week and this being their first time at an active front. Good training helps, but it's no substitute for real world experience.
     
  16. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, sorry, no. ;)

    I have never found any evidence that Devine was a turd polisher but rather was a martinet in the old sense. Among his other oddities he developed a dislike for the tents issued to the group and insisted on doing a midnight requisition for large pyramid tents, which made him quite happy. He also relieved the original 32d Cavalry CO for the heinous offense of chewing tobacco while speaking, which might be disgusting but was hardly the sign of a bad commander.

    Anyway, Devine had no control over the deployment of Company C, 820th TD. The battalion was attached to the 106th Inf Div on 9 December, replacing the 612th TD Battalion, attached to the 2d Inf Div, which they were relieving. Company C was ordered to take the positions of Company A, 612th TD Battalion on a vehicle for vehicle and gun for gun basis. However, the original deployment was laid out by Damon, CO of the 18th Squadron, not Devine.

    Critically though, similar to some of the kerfuffles that occurred when the 106th relieved the 2d, apparently no one told the CO of Company C, 820th TD that they were deployed as extempore infantry rather than as tank destroyers, a difference that was explicit in the 612th deployment. That is why Nash was so confused and could not understand why his guns were deployed where they were.

    So nobody refused to integrate the tank destroyers into the defense but communications on just what there role was to be were not good to say the least.

    The initial preparations were poor but the why of it is more complex, since the initial preparations went back to 22 October and never were updated to the change of commands and troops.

    Um, the 14th Cavalry Group HQ was also late to the party. It was attached to the 106th Inf Div on 7 December...after moving to Ettelbruck where it remained until it moved to the Losheim Gap.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2023
  17. Riter

    Riter Well-Known Member

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    Which allowed the Germans to flank the 106, beat them to the Our River and capture those bridges. The 14th Cav Group was new to the 106 ID and like the 106 overstretched.

    Brad took a gamble and lost but as Ike remarked, had those Germans remained on their side of the Rhine, forcing the Rhine crossing would have been much more difficult.
     
  18. roscoe

    roscoe Guest

    Hope y'all had a great Christmas.

    Here have this.



    and this



    Yes I thought you'd all flip over this. Churchill announced an American victory on the 18th December and the myth has stuck. The fighting continued until mid January. Propaganda is a great thing.

    Wait until the next one I've got for you.
     
  19. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    I get it, you're not just a troll, you're also a shill for the Mark Felton. Guess what? No one is going to "flip over" any of your bovine excrement. Laugh a lot probably but flip? No.
     
  20. roscoe

    roscoe Guest

    I did . Mainly written by those who were there.
     
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