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U.S. Army vs German Army

Discussion in 'Western Europe' started by keslerian, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    I have reams of info on this, but I'm not going to pull them all up. It's off topic in this thread. You can just look at the maps and find the actual German reports. The routes through Elsenborn were stopped and the thrust redirected through Lanzerath (1st SS). That is why they had multiple Rollbahns - if all got through, good, if some stopped the thrust would be redirected into those that were open. The schwerpunkt was moved west behind 1st SS until that was stopped. That was the last progress they made, thus that is where the main thrust ended.
     
  2. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    In German doctrine the commander set a schwehrpunkt at every level in attack and defence. The commander had to make a decision and "broad front" and "parallel lines of advance of equal weight" were expressions of indecision and leadership.

    In the context of 6 SS Pz Army's operations they were trying to infiltrate and penetrate between American strong points. They could not be certain which route would succeed - but they did have an opinion and plan.

    6th Panzer army was the Army Group Schwehrpunkt. Within 6th Army, it was the Ist SS Corps. 1st SS Corps had five rollbahnen, A -E North to South but they were not given the same weight - according to the interview with Preiss the Corps Commander. A-C were assigned to 12 SS. A was a battalion. B a regiment - less the battalion. C the remainder of the division headed by an advance guard of a reinforced Panzer Regiment. D was 1 SS Panzer Div minus a regiment and E a Regiment. The Corps Schwehrpunkt was Rollbahn C/D. Although 1 SS Pz and 12 SS both provided an advance guard on their main divisional route. 1SS had less frontage and was on the route closest to the ground favoured by the Corps. The Schwwehrpunkt was to the South.
     
  3. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Ack, yes, five Rollbahnen in 6. Panzerarmee. Thanks.

    However, the point remains that Peiper as a schwerpunkt was not planned and the original schwerpunkt was the two reinforced Panzer-Regiment Kampfgruppen. Peiper only became the schwerpunkt by default when KG Kuehlmann got stopped at the Twin Villages and then Dom Butgenbach.
     
  4. OhneGewehr

    OhneGewehr New Member

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    The Atlantik-Wall was manned with second-class troops or even worse. Young teenagers or veterans who can't fight in more difficult conditions anymore. The allies were far superior both in numbers and quality.

    Considered that the US troops always fought with air superiority, the Wehrmacht performed very well most of the time.
     
  5. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    OHNE the Omaha beach was manned by a first class unit. even those that were second class had tremendous advantages. There was no air superiority at the Bulge and aircraft were of no use at Normandy
     
  6. OhneGewehr

    OhneGewehr New Member

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    I've read reports about the situation for german forces after the landings, they couldn't hardly move at daylight but were relatively safe when hiding under apple trees. Then allied fighters started firing in the trees blindly just to keep german soldiers alert.
    Main problem was the supply via railroad or trucks, the nights were short in June.

    The most famous german soldiers at Omaha Beach were an invalid and a totally inexperienced 20 year old guy:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinrich_Severloh
    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Gockel
     
  7. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    Allied fighters were more of a threat to Germans behind the front line. Allied fighters were not allowed to roam because of the threat they posed to allied troops. The big air threat to front line Germans was from unarmed spotter aircraft which could bring down fire from allied artillery and ships.

    The casualties on Omaha beach were in line with the model built by 21 Army Group's Operational Research analysts. It was well defended with more machine guns and mortars than on other beaches. I am not sure there was much difference in the fighting quality of the defenders.

    Gockel and Serverloh were famous because they survived. I am pretty sure Serveloh's boss Leutenant Ferking, caused more casualties with the artillery of 352nd Division than Serverloh with his MG42. Once German artillery ammunition was expended the Americans made a lot more progress.
     
  8. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    While trying not to get too entangled in this discussion, I will state that the above isnt very fair. The Germany which the allies faced in 1944 hardly resembled the fighting force that had captured France I'm 1940...

    How might the allies have faired in Normandy had they faced the Grmam force which launched Barbarossa?
     
  9. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The 1941 Wehrmacht with their 1941 equipment or the 1941 Wehrmacht with 1944 equipment?
     
  10. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Interesting question right there...
     
  11. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Good question indeed. I would say 41 Wehrmacht with 44 equipment and only because as war progressed so did the equipment. Can't have 41' equipment in 44' :D
     
  12. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Indeed, the closest comparison is possibly GOLD in terms of quality of troops and defensive positions...and on JIG the early stages were quite similar. It was terrain and key failures in manning some of the key positions (Le Cabane) with mostly Osttruppen that seemed to be the difference.
     
  13. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    General Gehr von Schweppenburg made exactly this observation about Panzer Gruppe West. The German Army of 1941 was probably at its peak. It had fought a series of successful campaigns suffering only modest losses.
     
  14. Dave55

    Dave55 Member Patron  

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    Germans couldn't move reinforcements during the day, no?

    Mr P-47 and Mr Typhoons and Tempests were having a field day, I thought.
     
  15. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    on the beaches the fighters were not useful, they were behind
     
  16. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    They were useful in keeping the Luftwaffe away from the beaches...still a couple of FWs flew through....and paid for it.
     
  17. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    This is a misnomer. The luftwaffe launched sustained attacks on the beachhead, in particular on the South East Corner. There was a sustained air battle over Normandy in 1944. The Luftwaffe certainly lost heavily, but managed to penetrate fighter defences frequently. Unit and personal diaries report nightly raids by the Luftwaffe throughout the campaign and a frequent daylight attacks by fighter bombers. The latter were usually but not always mounted by the Luftwaffe. There are a significant number of accounts of attacks by "captured or enemy" spitfires/ typhoons/Thunderbolts. Eventually Crererthe commander of 1st canadian Army had to put out an order calling for tolerance of friendly fire incidents on the basis that whatever the airforces were doing to the allies it was far worse for the Germans.
     
  18. DaveOB

    DaveOB Member

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    In regards to the original post. In my readings of the histories of the US army in NW Europe I came to the conclusion that during much of the campaign the Germans man for man were indeed the more effective force. However my opinions as to why that was the case differs from the OP
    In short in my opinion the difference boiled down to experience. The wealth of experienced commanders the Germans could call on was staggering. The US army by contrast at that time were relative amateurs. It wasn't just the commanders that were more experienced either. At every level the Germans could call on vast experience reserves.
    The Germans were much better at night attacks, finding probing and exploiting unit boundaries that were weak, and most of all realizing the optimal time and circumstances to either withdraw or counter attack. But the the US got better much better.
    The speed with which the Western Allies were able to react to and neutralize the Ardennes offensive is a good example even though the Germans were MUCH better forest fighters. The final fazes of the Siegfried line campaign were brilliantly executed and the breakout into Germany was in my opinion the finest example of exploitation up to that time.
    In closing it is my opinion that when discussing the relative effectiveness of the US vs German armies of WW2 it is the experience of the two organizations that should receive the bulk of the scrutiny and not the organizational differences. When this is done the unfolding of the events has more clarity in my opinion.
     

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