Most pivotal battle of WWII?

Discussion in 'History' started by Undecided, Jun 6, 2004.

  1. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

    Hence why I hold the El Alamein battle as more critical than Stalingrad, despite being much much smaller. Yes it was the same oil situation for both after the war was in full gear. The diplomatic and strategic options played beforehand were different, however.

    Germans (and Japanese actually) got pretty cagey about other methods of creating petrol. Necessity, mother of invention.
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  3. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

    Agree wholeheartedly.

    Agree again. But this thread is about battles, not political strategy.

    But I'd also like you to take note of why I consider "diplomacy" a dipshit ideal that's never worked in all of history ...and the before-the-war embargo is just another of many such examples of failed "diplomacy bullshit".

    Baron Max
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  5. dixonmassey Valued Senior Member

    Persian gulf oil was not fueling WWII period, it's just was waiting there to fuel fat arse SUVs later on. Stalingrad, on the other hand, was a city on the banks of river Volga. Volga river was the main transport artery delivering Caspian sea oil (#1 source of Soviet oil at the time) to the fighting armies. Besides, as a sideline to the Stalingrad battle there were attempts of Germans to occupy Caspian sea oil fields. Had Germans succeeded in the interrupting oil flow, Soviets would have went belly up in the matter of months.

    Need I mention that British won El Alamein solely because Hitler has thrown all he could spare in the 1942 summer offensive culminating in Stalingrad Battle? Rommel was left on his own. Brits sucked arse militarywise in WWII to deal with Germans (and Japanese too) on equal terms.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2007
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  7. Incorrect. I've seen too many WWII documentaries where there was even public outcry among the German population, that their hero was left in such disdain. With not enough resources.

    They were called the Desert Rats because they were utilized, and mazed. Quite vicious, but that is war.

    From Wikipedia on 'North African Campaign':

    The British forces were greatly outnumbered, 35,000 compared to a total of 200,000, and only half of the British were combatants. Nevertheless they launched a counter-attack, Operation Compass. It was far more successful than expected and resulted in the surrender of the entire Italian army and the advance of the Allies to El Agheila. The stunning defeat of the Italians did not go unnoticed and soon German troops, the Deutsches Afrikakorps under Rommel (The Desert Fox), were sent in to reinforce them.

    which is something I happened to locate while looking for numbers. 200k + others not mentioned here is a good bit of resources, considering the remainder surrendered in '43.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2007
  8. Buffalo Roam Registered Senior Member

    The Desert Rats were the British Seventh Army, The symbol of the Division was the Desert Rat, a Jerboa.

    7th Armoured Division (United Kingdom) - Wikipedia, the free ...
    Composed of regular British Army units, the famous "Desert Rats" division was ... The Desert Rat divisional flash was adopted about the same time. ...
  9. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

    That's odd ...we seem to agree fully, yet you say I'm incorrect. Care to explain that odd comment?

    Baron Max
  10. dixonmassey Valued Senior Member

    word stunning doesn't apply to Italian defeats since they were defeated by just about anybody whom they've fought.
  11. dixonmassey Valued Senior Member

    More than that, Italian allies probably cost Hitler a victory over USSR. Their Balkan Invasion was untimely (and suprising to Germans). Italian Balkan failure forced Germany to redirect its armed forces "to help" and, the most important, it cost them time. Had Hitler attack USSR in May of 1941 not in June, Russian mud and "General Frost" wouldn't been fighting Germans near Moscow. In their cocksureness Germans had not made preparations for the winter war, which cost them dearly.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2007
  12. ashpwner Registered Senior Member

    i'm sorry but for you to say that the british sucked i think is our of order.
  13. dixonmassey Valued Senior Member


    Churchill has used much harsher words than "sucked" after Singapore defeat. Brits were sitting "tight" throughout WWII, constantly cooling off American Battle Plans and betting that mutual German-Soviet bloodletting will win war and peace. Brits and French are two countries which have lost less men (counting civilians) in WII than in WWI. One could do it only by sitting on ones arse, either because of the fast defeat, "fear" of one's military inferiority or deliberate intent to wait things out and save.
  14. aaaa Registered Member

    so every time you edit, it creats another post?
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2007
  15. aaaa Registered Member

    "Personally, I don't think Germany could have pulled off an invasion of Britain even if it had won the battle of Britain, and I think both the Germans and British knew it. What the Germans knew:"

    1) "They simply didn't have the transports necessary, even if they had procurred every capable barge and fishing vessel from the inland waterways. The most they could have brought over in the first wave was 9-10 divisions, with very little firepower (armor and artillery) to support it."

    2) "Even assuming they could have gotten that first wave of troops landed, it would have been next to impossible to have established a beachhead and then to have opened a supply line. Without heavy firepower and supplies within 24-48 hours the initial landing force would have been pushed back into the sea."

    3) "They didn't have the necessary warships to support the transports."

    4) "They didn't have the naval planes to seriously block the Royal Navy. They didn't have torpedo planes, and most of their bombers were level bombers, releasing from high altitude, which were proven in both the Atlantic and Pacific to be very ineffective against warships. They had the one dive bomber, the Stuka, but it had no range, meaning it couldn't have harassed British warships coming south from Scapa Flow, and by late 1940 it was vulnerable to British fighters, particularly the Hurricane. "

    What the British knew:

    1) "If the British had decided they couldn't win the air battle over Britain, they had plans to pull all surviving air groups to air bases in northern England, out of range of German fighters, where they could have been used to strike any German invasion force."

    2) "The Royal Navy would have been sitting in the middle of the English Channel if an invasion became imminent. While certainly it would have taken some losses, it nevertheless would have wreaked havoc on a slow invasion force. U-boats, while effective against unprotected convoys, were less effective against protected convoys, and even less effective against warships, and were especially vulnerable in the confines of the Channel.."

    The Germans had more than enough transports & barges to ferry the first wave across over the course of a couple of days. This invasion fleet counted 4000 barges , boats and ships. These were 9 infantry divisions each reinforced with amphibious engineer battalion, bicycle recon detachment, & Tank/Panzer Jagger companies, more than enough to defend each bridgehead. Each army would also have reinforced heavy artillery ,Panzer and engineering detachments. The 7 waves would cross taking 2-4 weeks.

    In Battalion exercises, 200 tons of supplies were transported along with the troops weaponry and vehicles. Given that each division required 300 tons a day attacking [1/2 that in defense] , a battalion [1/12th division ] is unlikely to consume much more than 15-20 tons per day in defense. So that 200 tons supplies is ~ two weeks supply.

    The Stuka could reach all the way along the English Channel meaning they could savage the RN squadrons in their ports much like they did at Dunkirk. After just one week of Operation Dynamo [Dunkirk evacuation] the RN had only 13 out of the original 40 destroyers operational. Most were damage and many in the last couple of days ,through sheer exhaustion by there own sides.

    Over the course of 10 days fighting before and during Dynamo, the Allies lost 22-28 destroyers crippled or sunk and another 22 damaged. A damaged warship is out for days to week while a crippled warship is out for weeks to months. Over Dunkirk the Luftwaffe only had 200 Stuka and many of their attacks were on land targets not ships, for Sealion they planned to use > 300 Stuka.

    . The ‘Anti invasion’ fleet was ordered on Sept 18th to remain in port with all warships at the ready to patrol at night. That meant these ships spent the day in port sitting ducks for Dunkirk style Stuka attacks. The German Sealion plan envisaged at least 8 days of air attacks on RN ports/warships prior to launching the cross channel invasion. But given the ease with which they shifted such deadlines this could easily extend into weeks.

    During the fighting over France the Allies had lost ~ 1490 planes while the Luftwaffe lost 1284 planes although another source puts the figure closer to 1625 German planes lost. Its not known how many other allied planes were lost but the exchange rate looks pretty even. Even at Dunkirk its reported the allies lost 170 plane to the Luftwaffe 130 reported lost planes.

    While the Stuka was vulnerable to RAF fighters over southern England the British Radar range was insufficient to detect such bombers crossing the channel in time to intercept them before they reach ports. This is true for Plymouth as much as Dover and Portsmouth etc. In the summer of 1940 the Luftwaffe bombed Dover until the RN were forced to abandon it. This is what they would have done to the Anti Invasion fleet before the cross channel attack was launched. It should be noted that, while the Germans didn’t have any armor piercing bombs at this time , the existing GP bombs of 250-500 lb were still capable of penetrating the armored decks of cruisers, before detonating. Only Battleships could penetrate that screen and not without suffering damage and possible crippling from Uboats or mines.

    The RAF could try to fly CAP over these ports but this consumed 2-3 times as many planes and that would allow the rest of the Luftwaffe bombers to get through to other targets through out Southern England and destroy the airfields/radar stations and attack the troop barracks etc.

    The Anti Invasion fleet counted on 56 Destroyers and ½ dozen light Cruisers. Its likely the bulk of these could be damaged crippled, or sunk prior to any invasion. But even if they survived they would have to fight their way through German fleet. The planned German invasion fleet counted 4000 vessels plus 320 naval vessels. At the high end ½ dozen heavy and light cruisers would be involved in deception maneuvers designed to draw off the Home Fleet prior to invasion. This could be aided by ½ dozen long range Uboats savaging the convoys. One of the deceptions involved over a dozen fast transport ships moving an SS & Mountain division to land on the east coast of the UK. These were to be escorted by a dozen captured and WW-I Torpedoboot, which were similar to British DE. In practice this was planned as a deception maneuver but it could also be included as a diversionary attack depending on how things went.

    Roughly 15 x German destroyers and heavy Torpedoboot guarded the Channel. These were similar to RN destroyers of the day and fought many battles in the channel in the first years of the war. The Germans sank/damaged twice as many RN destroyers as they lost. Clearly the Narvik massacre was an exception. Each British RN port was covered by a flotilla of Uboats to ambush RN flotilla dashing out at night to attack the German convoys. Backing this up was a extensive mine barrier that stretching from coast to coast.

    The narrower West end of the Channel was to be extensively mined with multiple barriers totaling 18 layers, backed up by two dozen German Schnellboote [deadly fast Torpedoboot], plus several Uboats. In total 5500 mines were to be sowed in the weeks ahead of the invasion, along with another 5000-6000 decoys and protective devices. Historically the RN minesweepers lost one sweeper for every 50 mine cleared and another damaged. To clear a 1 mile wide path through these barriers, would cost the RN 2-3 dozen minesweepers and would take over 1000 sweeps.

    While the RN had 300-400 minesweepers & Auxiliary Minesweepers in the Channel on any given day, combined they still would take 3-4 days to clear a path. This concentration of vessels would make the most inviting target for air/Schnellboote and Uboat attack and the ever present radar directed heavy coastal artillery barrages. Meanwhile the Germans had 10-20 minelayers that could reseed these barriers overnight, to say nothing of air delivered mines. One RN minesweeper captain pointed out that they would soon loose all there minesweepers, if they had to sweep in those conditions.

    To further complicate this effort it was planned to mine the various RN ports at the start of the invasion, forcing the Minesweeping command to spread out their assets when they needed to concentrate them. This battle between minesweeper and minelayer would to more to determine the out come of the RN naval interdiction effort.

    The actual German invasion fleet was to be spearheaded by ~70 x WW-I , Auxiliary and Modern minesweepers, all armed with a couple of 4” guns and escorted by another 130 auxiliary armed trawlers each armed with 1-2 x 88mm guns [not flak] and 50 smaller coastal craft. Each of these vessels had depth charge racks, mine clearing gear and several light flak. By comparison only about 1/3 of the RN minesweepers had guns usually a WW-I x 12lber or a single 4” gun on some minesweepers. The rest had only Machineguns and some depth charges. The British did have a couple dozen MTB but historically they only were successful 25% of the time.

    Based on historical comparisons like the German invasion of Crete in 1941, even if these warships got in amongst the barges they would be unlikely to sink much more than one vessel per sortie. In these ambushes, the RN Cruiser Destroyer flotillas were sometimes driven off by a loan counterattacking Italian Torpedo boat, while the barge fleet evaded under cover of smoke and Luftwaffe bombers. That’s what happened at Crete.

    Many people put undue faith in the RAF to exclude any invasion chance, however this faith is misplaced. The German invasion plan never required Airsuperiority over even southern England, only dominance of the Channel airspace. German warfare doctrine didn't indulge in luxuries like phased warfare based on logistical stockpiling. They had long recognized that speed and rapid descisions enbodied in bold maneuvers were the way to bring the enemy to crisis in land battles and airpower was always an adjuct to this combined arms method of warfare. The british doctrine had nothing that could match the German "Auftragstaktick" . Allies had nothing like it prior to the war and only developed a semblence of it through out the war.
    Read more here. By the words of their own commander General Brooks, only 1/2 of his divisions had any chance in modern mobile warfare against the Wehrmacht veterans.

    Historically the RAF had to fly 150 sortie to sink each ship in WW-II and in the anti invasion defense they were not spectacular either. Even against heavily packed barges parked row upon row in ports in the weeks prior to the expected invasion, they were still only able to destroy 65 barges/boats and damage another 150. Since the German 4000 strong invasion fleet had 2-3 thousand barges to choose from, only 1500 of which were needed in the first wave followed by maybe 1000 in each wave afterwards. In these conditions it would take weeks and weeks, before this combined RN/RAF counter attacks would make any dent in the German invasion fleet.

    The British don’t have the luxury of time. The longer the Germans are able to fight on land and exert their hugh advantage in land warfare, the more likley the British situation would disintegrate along with the collective morale. How are the British RAF and RN squadrons supposed to function if the supply of fuel spareparts and ammo from the factories dries up when those factories fall into German hands? Then the fight or flight syndrome would take over. The Cabinate had already shipped the bulk of the gold and crown Jewels over to Canada before the invasion scare and set up plans for a shadow government to continue the war from Canada. Clearly gives an idea of the shape of things to come.
  16. Fenris Wolf Banned Banned

    Largely true, but they had little in reserve for training, particularly in the case of pilots. Again, that might have been avoided if they'd won Khalkin Ghol (been there, buts its terribly hard to understand how often that one battle is overlooked completely - even after being mentioned, when had it gone the other way the entire face of WW2 would have been completely different).

    Hitler had much the same problem after Dunkirk (been there too).
    Basically, the Japanese were not able to use their navy and airforce, superior to that of the Americans for most of the war, as they would have liked to. That is where defeat ultimately lies - in the loss of intiative.

    There is a difference between the Desert Rats and the Rats of Tobruk.
    Quite simply, the British would not have survived as long as they did in the western desert campaign, and probably would have lost it, without the efforts of the colonials. The Australians at Tobruk and the magnificent New Zealand 2nd division (arguably the "best" individual allied unit of world war 2) both during and prior to the battle at El Alamein thwarted Rommel when he should have won the western desert. The moniker "Desert Rats" has become confused over time, and while it does indeed belong properly to the 7th, the appelation "Rats" given by the Afrika Korps to the mostly Australian Tobruk defence has become a symbol for the entire western desert allied force.

    The colonial influence on the western desert campaign cannot be empathised enough - even the initial victories over the Italians, particularly at Keren (yet another unmentioned "pivotal" battle) were achieved mostly using Indian regiments of the British army (mixed units of British and Indian soldiers, officered by British and with the rank and file comprising about 4 Indian soldiers to one British), along with the Scottish Highland infantry.

    It should also be mentioned that the Italians, largely derided as poor soldiers, actually fought very well at Keren. The blackshirt units and african "volunteers" held far longer than they should have against a more numerous British army.
    It is quite possible the the initial Eritrian campaign and the Keren battle in particular broke the back of Italian morale, leading to their less than effective efforts later on. Add to that the fact that the Italians used colonial units made up of African soldiers who were conscripted and had no idea of who or what they were fighting for, thus breaking quite frequently in battle, and the legend of the unreliable Italian soldier is born. Granted, they didn't do so well in the Balkans - but an army comprised mostly of conscripts, invading an enemy country without really knowing why, rarely do.
    While on the subject, the French, oft also derided as poor soldiers, were more a victim of circumstance than anything else. As I've mentioned previously, the Blitzkreig was held by British and French soldiers in Holland, and only retreated to Dunkirk when being in obvious danger of being outflanked. It was the first time that the British and French soldiers faced their German counterparts on equal terms (The lowlands of Holland were defensively flooded, thus nullifying the German tanks in that area), and proved quite conclusively that they could match him, and potentially outfight him. This knowledge was to serve the British well in later years, and it should be noted that these same French units, who fought alongside the British in Holland and were evacuated with them in equal numbers at Dunkirk (at Churchill's direction, and to the profound annoyance of the British officers), were to play their own part later in the war in the liberation of France. The French in WW2 weren't bad soldiers - they were simply taken by surprise, they had no direction or leadership after the initial shock, their armour, such as it was was, was clearly inferior to German armour, and their airforce was outdated and outmatched.

    It is not the soldier who is necessarily a poor soldier, but more a case of strategy and leadership. But I digress.

    Yes, but its not aircraft which are of prime importance - it is the pilots, and the aircrew. During the fighting for the France, the air war was fought over French lines, albeit confused. British pilots escaping shot down aircraft often simply walked back to their airfields, and when the fighting was clearly lost, they flew their planes back to Britain. Germans were captured. In addition, the Germans were mostly losing medium bomber crews as opposed to fighter pilots. I've been through this before - those crews lost were the cream of the German airforce, experienced, many of them blooded in Spain before the war. Germany could replace aircraft well enough, and did so throughout the entire war. It could not replace the aircrew as easily. German to British aircrew losses over France prior to Dunkirk were at a rate of roughly 4-1, which is at a higher rate than in the Battle of Britain.
    During the Battle of Britain, those losses were emphasized tenfold. British pilots shot down over England were back in their airbases, usually on the same day - Germans were taken into captivity.

    The loss of those experienced German pilots and aircrew were a blow from which the Luftwaffe never fully recovered, and the effects were felt when the Germans later invaded Russia.

    Secondly, those "allied" loss figures also take into account an overmatched French airforce flying outdated planes. The British themselves, flying Hurricanes and Gladiators for the most part, did far better than those figures indicate. Their medium bomber crews, however, proved themselves just as vulnerable as their German counterparts - leading to the philosophy of sending heavy bombers on night raids over Germany rather than using medium bombers during daylight. Again, far reaching effects.

    The success of the British in the Battle of Britain was not necessarily in the amounts of German bombers shot down - it was more in the breaking of large bomber groups by small groups of fighters. The British during that battle would often send in as few as 4 or 8 fighters against air raids comprising 20+ bombers escorted by fighters... a situation which numbers would suggest was beyond them. However, the effect was not in the destruction of these groups but in breaking them up, thereby reducing accuracy and sometimes forcing the abandonment of entire raids without dropping a single bomb on its target.
    The German fighters had a limited range and could only engage for very short periods of time before being forced to run for home, low on fuel. All the British had to do was send a couple of fighters to tie them up for a few minutes, and their effectiveness was much reduced. In the meanwhile, a single group of four fighters would go after the bomber formations, causing panic and misdrops. Don't assume bombers are accurate - at this stage of the war, it required practised, trained crews to stay on target and remain calm in flying coffins while under assault... again, something the Germans had begun to run short of after France.
    Also, the numbers of aircraft lost do not tell the full story. I've already been through the crew losses in aircraft destroyed, but what of those who survived? German bombers would often limp back to their French airbases during the Battle of Britain damaged, with several crew members dead or wounded. The effects on morale were devastating. A month into the battle, the Germans bombing effectiveness was becoming severely dented due to German nervousness.

    It is often wondered why the Germans failed to hit their targets, or how small groups of British fighters were able to win the Battle of Britain. All of the above contributed. The loss of experienced airmen over France, aircrew losses in captured and killed while the British walked back to their bases... but perhaps most importantly, the loss of morale among German bomber crews.

    The operational strength of RAF fighter command grew steadily during the entire battle of France and during the battle of Britain, while that of the Germans declined sharply. There's some more numbers for you, if you care to check them out. The Germans would have faced exactly the same problems bombing shipping in British ports as it would have trying to knock out their airfields and radar stations.

    I agree with you in your last assessment that the British would not have been able to compete in modern land warfare, particularly considering the bulk of British heavy equipment had been left behind at Dunkirk. However, the initial phase of any German invasion would have relied almost completely on an infantry landing gaining a foothold - and the British and French had already proved in Holland that man on man, they were the equal of the German soldier. Given that those German soldiers would have been fighting for a beachhead with none of the supply lines or logistical advantage the allies had later in the war at Anzio and Normandy (and even then only achieved with horrendous losses), that situation would become almost untenable.
    The allied experience at Dieppe was one the Germans already knew was a probable result of any such venture.

    Laslty, there is the fact that Hitler himself neither wanted nor particularly needed to conquer Britain. He reportedly had an affection for the British, and probably still hoped they'd surrender or at least become neutral after Goering had had his way with their airforce. German invasion plans may have been meticulously detailed, but the answer to any question of whether or not they would ever have come to full fruition was probably lost in a bunker in Berlin in 1945.
  17. You said something that I interpreted as small forces involved, with demand of troops and equipment not being acknowledged.

    There were significant losses in that theater of battle, and quite a bit of resources. I may have read you wrong.

    But, I still claim it as pivotal because they hailed this as one of their greatest campaigns due to limited engagement from an enemy. They occupied great stretches of land quickly, that were rich in natural wealth; ie, minerals, energies from coal and natural gas, and also building materials.

    But, when they became engaged with the British/American forces, they quickly became trapped in the desert. And, as I stated, it was very deflating for their ego.

    In fact, in one of his tyrannous fits, Hitler cut off Rommel and wouldn't acknowledge him further. Which is contrary to being a good commander.
  18. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

    Well this is a good point and why I think Stalingrad cannot possibly be considered even close to the most decisive battle. It was a total waste of time. Why the germans would want to slug it out in a city, when all of their great victories were in wide open spaces...boggles the mind. They should have made the drive to caspian or as you allude to cut the volga further south(there was also a rail line running along the sea to siberia). Now the battle of THAT, WOULD have been the greatest battle of WWII.

    You have a point that Irak and Persian oil was not a factor in WWII, but it COULD have been....again El Alamien El Alamien...
    Some of that oil and product did find it's way to use in Commonwealth and free french forces.
  19. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    To me the most pivotal battle was Pearl Harbor.
  20. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

    I would have to agree ....except for one thing, can we call it a "battle" of World War II? I don't think anyone thought of the conflict in Europe as "World War II" until the US was bombed and entered the war in Europe.

    But pivotal? Oh, most assuredly. Because Americans weren't so hot on going back to Europe to fight another war. Had the Japanese not bombed Pearl Harbor, the USA might not have entered the European war. Then what?

    Baron Max
  21. aaaa Registered Member


    Here is a list from Peter schenk "Invasion of England 1940".This was what the typical first wave infantry division was expected to land with over the first two days of the landings. The figures in barrackets are for regular German infantry divisions and motorised infantry divisions.

    8 x Nebelwerfer [0/0]
    28 x Light 105mm Howitzers [36/36]
    12 x heavy Howitzers [12/12]
    8 x Gebirgskannoe 15cm mountain guns [0/0]
    6 x Heavy150mm Infantry guns [6/6]
    23 x light 75mm Infantry guns [20/12]
    72 x Heavy 80mm mortars [54/24]
    54 x light 50mm mortars [84/84]
    75 x Pak [75/?]
    49 x Pz-II/III tanks [0/0]
    9 x Karetten halftrack [3 armored cars/30 armored cars]

    19,138 troops [16,860/13,364]
    116 x heavy machine guns [110/130]
    496 light machine guns [425/?]
    12 x FlaMG AAMg [0/0]
    854 x cars & jeeps [394/989]
    740 x motorcycles [340/1323]
    317 x motorcycles with side car [190/621]
    794 x lorries [536/1687]
    2072 x bicycles [500/0]
    933 x wagons [ 895/0]
    11,189 x horses [5375/0]

    Elsewhere it refers to each of the first 9 divisions getting 12 x 20mm flak & 1 company of 47mm PAK on Panzer-1 chassis [JgdPz-I]. All first line infantry divisions had 47mm PAK instead of 37mm PAK. Each infantry and engineer battalion had one company on bicycles. All mounted units exchanged horses for bicycles

    By comparison churchill memiours suggest UK infantry divisions had the following sketch of TOE.

    11 infantry divisions each estimated with
    13-14,000 troops
    500 LMGs
    65 Bren carriers
    150 ATRs
    25 ATGs [2 lbers]
    100 mortars
    58 Howitzers many 75mm and 25lb.
    Each Armored division would have also had 200 tanks while motorized division would have added 50 tanks.

    The biggest problem with the Brits was lack of experience. While their core survived, it was mostly rear area troops . So that could be expected to work well but the best troops were in the strategic reserve of 3 motorized and 3 armored divisions. The rest of the troops including the bulk on the front lines in the south coast, were mostly raw recruites and oldtimers. They would have been no match for the crack Wehrmacht Veterans. Dads army had maybe a couple of days ammo supply so they could not be expected to put up much resistance of the brigdeheads. My understanding is the Churchill wanted General Brooks to bombard the beachheads with mustard gas. Nothing like that to motivate the nazi to fight to the last man.

    As long as the Luftwaffe can bottle up the RAF as they did in early September , and help to keep the RN at bay , the Heer should be able to do the rest. Again the plan didn't require the Luftwaffe defeating the RAF before the invasion commenced...that would have happend along side the invasion.

    BTW I was wrong about the logistics fuel line...its 120,000 tons per week not 20,000 tons.

    The reason none of this came to pass is because Hitler wanted a spectacular victory over the Brits since they were just the start of his wars of conquest. He was unwilling to risk chance of defeat and wanted a guarantee of succes. Since the plans were just begining and no branch had chance to flush out the expected problems on guarantee could be given...until Goering stepped in and told Hitler he could do it with his Luftwaffe alone.
  22. dixonmassey Valued Senior Member

    After Stalingrad, Germans fled hundreds of miles (not speaking of casualties). That's a lot of farming land&raw materials&gun meat for the country whose agriculture relied mainly on the Southern regions + oil supply was secured + boost to moral and confidence. After Stalingrad, Germans never could master an offensive equal to the 1942 onslaught.

    Probably because Soviets were not letting Germans just leave to the open spaces by keeping great "pressure" no matter the costs in Stalingrad. Plus, fighting a (mechanized) war in the winter steppe covered with 1 meter high layer of snow, without any rail roads, buildings, wood, etc. would've been quite impossible.

    They did try to break through to the Caspian oil fields through Caucasus Mountains (simultaneously with Stalingrad battle), they didn't try to do anything South of Stalingrad for the same reason you cannot run with a dog grabbing your leg with his teeth + damn 1 meter layer of snow and low temperatures on the flat, wild, open spaces.

    How, if not a secret? Germans running supertankers around Africa and England

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    ? Allies did not need extra oil. If El Alamien would've been so important, don't you think HItler would have sent there much more troops than ONE stinky army corp?
  23. dixonmassey Valued Senior Member

    Bull. In 1916 Americans were pacifists and didn't want to touch WWI with a long stick. In 1917, instead of the pacifists there were bloodthirsty, anti German bigots salivating for the war. American Propaganda is/was #1. State propagandists, etc. would have much easier task to drag Americans in WWII without any Pearl Harbors.

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