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Western front-interesting bits of information

Discussion in 'Western Europe 1943 - 1945' started by Kai-Petri, Jan 2, 2003.

  1. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Germans enter Paris

    http://www.guardiancentury.co.uk/1940-1949/Story/0,6051,128218,00.html

    Saturday June 15, 1940

    Paris fell to the Germans yesterday.

    The only authorities left in the capital were Cardinal Suhad, the Archbishop, officials of the essential services, and the Prefecture, Mobile Guards, and firemen. All bridges had been left intact, but the French are reported to have blown up the big armaments factories in the suburbs.

    The main German forces entered the city at noon yesterday. They came from the north-west and by the Aubervilliers Gate from the north-east. From the north-western suburbs they marched through the west end down the Champs Elysées - tanks, armoured reconnaissance cars, anti-tank units, and motorised infantry. Machine-gun posts were set up at important points, and the wireless stations were seized.

    . From the Fuhrer's headquarters came a special announcement announcing the "complete collapse" of the allied line from the sea to the Maginot Line and the German entry into Paris. From the Fuhrer's headquarters also came an order that flags should be flown throughout Germany for the next three days, and that yesterday church bells should ring for 15 minutes.

    This order was read over the German wireless. Three minutes'; silence followed, and then came the playing of "The March Into Paris," "specially composed for this occasion."
     
  2. KnightMove

    KnightMove Ace

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    Hi Onthefield,

    these were Oberst Priller (later called the "Mathematician of the air") and Feldwebel Wodarczyk.

    But they flew FW-190, not Me-109.

    http://www.butler98.freeserve.co.uk/6june44.htm

    [ 20. October 2003, 10:12 AM: Message edited by: KnightMove ]
     
  3. KnightMove

    KnightMove Ace

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    Even though this was undeniably a big mistake, I think the conclusion is a bit exaggerated. We are talking about 80,000 German soldiers who were able to escape. Without these soldiers, there would not have been a Battle of the Bulge, but there is no stringent conclusion that the war would have ended the very same year.
     
  4. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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    In reality the reason Patton was not given 'permission' to close the gap is it was believed he would have been flattened by the retreating Germans.
    Pattons figures for the destruction caused by his Army are vastly inflated and wholesale swallowing of Pattons bombast whilst at the same time denigrating Montgommery's just shows bias.

    http://groups.google.co.uk/groups?dq=&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&safe=off&threadm=bmune1%241rs8%241%40nntp6.u.washington.edu&prev=/groups%3Fhl%3Den%26lr%3D%26ie%3DUTF-8%26oe%3DUTF -8%26safe%3Doff%26group%3Dsoc.history.war.world-war-ii

    %
     
  5. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I suppose KnightMove that you are familiar with von Rundstedt´s return to command Germany´s western army and how he made the miracle of creating with "grab-every-possible-man-to-the-front" a new frontline and stopped the allied from getting further without a fight.

    I think this was one of the "miracles" in the whole WW2 though not so well known. So the German western front was close to total collapse as they did not have the men to create the front!

    :eek:

    Bus as you see I did put a couple of ?´s to show I was not so sure of the information in the sentence. But the situation was very critical for German Army, no doubt about that.

    [ 21. October 2003, 12:54 AM: Message edited by: Kai-Petri ]
     
  6. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    I have to say that the 'Patton Uncovered' site is great - for laughs ! :rolleyes:

    How about this for a gem ?

    'Overlord turned out to be quite a failure. Though it succeeded.....' Eh?! :confused:

    Don't get me wrong, I'm a Patton admirer - but his exploits should be kept in perspective, which this website manifestly doesn't !
     
  7. Onthefield

    Onthefield Member

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    Yeah Martin, Patton was a genius tactician but altogether a nut. I mean Overlord didn't work :confused: but did. [​IMG] Confusion. I guess his "insanity" helped him be the general he was. ;)
     
  8. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Martin, I completely agree with you. The site is too, too... !!! Too Patton! He seems like a demi-God there! The site keeps bashing Montgomery once and again! That's completely unwise since you can't compare the two men; they were the exact opposite way of generals... [​IMG]
     
  9. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Yep, guys!

    The site does give some "delicious" aspects but that´s why actually I wanted to put it for people to see as that´s what they actually seem to have been saying to each other...

    Quite nasty, I´d say. And I don´t think Monty was NOT returning the favours, right? How about the January 1945 press conference ( or something like that ) on who won the battle of the bulge?

    :confused:
     
  10. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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  11. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The Avranches bridge

    On 31 July 1944, Avranches is taken and the German western front is on the verge of dismantling. The same day, with the arrival on the battlefield of General Patton’s 3rd Army, the American divisions push southward. A spearhead unit is assigned the mission to capture the Pontaubault bridge. A German kampfgruppe launch a counter-attack, but it is not strong enough facing to the powerful 3rd Army. On 31 July, in the evening, Patton receives a phone call announcing him the capture of Pontaubault bridge; at once he orders a staff meeting, and all the night the American armoured divisions cross the bridge and fan out in Brittany.

    On 1st August 1944 Colonel

    Pontaubault: The military police, pistol in hand, had to manage a huge traffic jam : a 50 km traffic-jam to be precise ! 1500 vehicles took the bridge and this procession lasted three days.

    Bacherer’s "kampfgruppe" arrives in the outskirts of the city, but the taskforce is not strong enough facing General Patton’s 3rd Army. The Germans renew their assault to destroy the bridge of Pontaubault, without any success. This intact bridge enables General Patton’s Army to fan into Brittany. During several days, night and day, tanks, vehicles and troops cross the bridge. Toward the west and Mont-Saint-Michel General Patton launches the 79th Infantry division, the 6th Armoured division rush on toward Brest by the road 176, the Americans liberates Servon in the progression.


    [​IMG]

    Pontaubault in the southern part


    http://www.ville-avranches.fr/english/percee_avranches/percee06_1aout.htm

    http://www.normandie44lamemoire.com/version%20anglaise/fiches%20villes%20US/pontaubault%20us.html
     
  12. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    On battle for Norway 1940:

    Casualties (April-June 1940)

    Norwegian forces lost a total of 1,335 men killed in action (Army and Navy combined). Norwegian civilian casualties, in spite of many German bombings, were less than 300 killed.

    German forces reported that 5,636 soldiers, sailors, and airmen never returned from the Norwegian campaign.

    Allied forces (including Norwegian) lost a total of 6,100 men killed or missing and presumed dead. British losses in the land fighting amounted to 1,869 men. French and Polish ground forces lost 530 men killed.

    And more on

    http://www.feldgrau.com/norwegian.html
     
  13. KnightMove

    KnightMove Ace

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  14. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    That is a really good link, KnightMove...
     
  15. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    "western front" facts

    About Mid June 1940

    http://aerostories.free.fr/dossiers/AA/vichy/page8.html

    Also, in other parts of the French Colonial Empire; Indochina, Syria, Madagascar, Equatorial Africa, Western Africa, the strength of the French Air Force was still intact.


    In North Africa alone (Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia), nearly 640 airplanes were available
    ( after evacuation from France ). It consisted of H-75s, D-520s, MS-406s fighters, Glenn Martin, LeO-45, DB-7s, Amiot 351s bombers, and miscellaneous airplanes such as the Potez 63-11s, and MB-174s.

    Certain facts must however be brought up. A large number of miscellaneous airplane types have never constituted an Air force. Furthermore, it is legitimate to ask how a totally disorganized Air Force could have effectively become operational in a few days.
     
  16. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    From Julian Jackson´s Fall of France (2003)

    While the French awaited the British response regarding a possible approach towards Italy,
    on 27th May 1940 Daladier, now foreign minister, drafted a telegram offering extensive territorial concessions to Italy : In French Somaliland, on the frontier with Libya, and even possibly in Tunisia. Reynaud insisted nothing should be done without consulting the British. The British answer was unambigious:eek:ffering territorial concessions to Mussolini would only whet his appetite, would be disastrous for allied public opinion, and must be avoided at all costs.

    --------

    Like one French commentator put it:

    "You can´t attempt a Munich after a Sedan!"

    Italy entered the war on 10th June.
     
  17. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    From Julian Jackson´s Fall of France (2003)

    In the first stage from 10th May to 3rd June 1940 German losses : casualty rate 2,500 per day.

    The second phase: 4th June to 18 June, when you´d expect the French troops to have been entirely demoralized, the casualty rate rose almost up to 5,000 per day for Germans!

    :eek:
     
  18. KnightMove

    KnightMove Ace

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    Explanation?
     
  19. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    According to the book some military reasons are found:

    Weygand´s combative style initially had a galvanizin geffect effect after the torpid and distant leadership of Gamelin.

    Second, soldiers who had experienced German air attacks in early May had become partially inured to them. at least to the shrieking of the Stukas.

    Third, the High Command had altered its tactics. Abandoning the orthodoxy of the continuous front, Weygand adopted the "chessboard" defence system made up of Hedgehogs, points of resistance centred on a natural obstacle like a wood or a village, and protected by all round by artillery. The gunners were now instructed to fire at tanks on sight, like a revolver, rather than, as French doctrine previously prescribed, being employed only for concentrated fire under centralized control. This gave greater flexibility to the defence.
     
  20. Onthefield

    Onthefield Member

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    Speaking about that animation before, it seems the Allies were held up for a long time at Caen. Does anyone know where I could get information on that? (books, links, sites, videos) :confused: :eek:
     

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