Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Non-naval discussions about the Second World War. Military leaders, campaigns, weapons, etc.
alecsandros
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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by alecsandros » Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:42 pm

Relax, I wasn't arguing :D
It would have been very difficult, of course, for tank columns to move from Calais to Normandy.

Not impossible, though, especialy if they would have launched an assault during the evening of June the 6th, which would come to Normandy at the early hours of June 7th. During the night, neither fighter-bombers, nor naval gunfire could have reacted effectively.
And, the Allied divisions had very poor depth in those hours... Most of the equipment and vehicles were scattered across the beaches, wating in queue to get to the road, and from then to their pre-established positions.

But, as you said, the main problem was at the German high-command, with their unshakable belief in "the real attack coming on Pas-de-Calais". This certainty paralysed their early movements and paved the way for the final defeat.

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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by Bgile » Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:53 pm

alecsandros wrote:Relax, I wasn't arguing :D
It would have been very difficult, of course, for tank columns to move from Calais to Normandy.

Not impossible, though, especialy if they would have launched an assault during the evening of June the 6th, which would come to Normandy at the early hours of June 7th. During the night, neither fighter-bombers, nor naval gunfire could have reacted effectively.
And, the Allied divisions had very poor depth in those hours... Most of the equipment and vehicles were scattered across the beaches, wating in queue to get to the road, and from then to their pre-established positions.

But, as you said, the main problem was at the German high-command, with their unshakable belief in "the real attack coming on Pas-de-Calais". This certainty paralysed their early movements and paved the way for the final defeat.
There were airborne troops holding choke points to the beaches.

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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by VeenenbergR » Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:05 am

Bgile.

No it was NOT the German High command preventing enough tanks would be able to reach the beaches to sweep them back into the sea.

Where ever the German tanks would have been positioned that does NOT matter. The Allies always had enough means to land and hold the bridgehead.

That was true for Gela, Siracusa, Salerno, Anzio, Frejus and Normandy. Likewise the Soviets were able to gain a bridgehead, fortify it and be able
to hold the Wehrmacht back: on the Don, Dnjepr, Dnjestr, Wisla and Oder.

personally I would position the tanks straight behind the most possible invasion beaches:
-Holland (1), Belgian Coast (2), Dunkirk area (2), Normandy (2), Cotentin (1), South of France (1) and Vendee (1).

In Normandy: 1 near Cean and 1 near Bayeux, Cotentin: 1 in the centre.
This means tougher opposition during the first 3-4 days and possible more containment of the landing zones.

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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by Bgile » Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:47 pm

VeenenbergR wrote:Bgile.

No it was NOT the German High command preventing enough tanks would be able to reach the beaches to sweep them back into the sea.

Where ever the German tanks would have been positioned that does NOT matter. The Allies always had enough means to land and hold the bridgehead.

That was true for Gela, Siracusa, Salerno, Anzio, Frejus and Normandy. Likewise the Soviets were able to gain a bridgehead, fortify it and be able
to hold the Wehrmacht back: on the Don, Dnjepr, Dnjestr, Wisla and Oder.

personally I would position the tanks straight behind the most possible invasion beaches:
-Holland (1), Belgian Coast (2), Dunkirk area (2), Normandy (2), Cotentin (1), South of France (1) and Vendee (1).

In Normandy: 1 near Cean and 1 near Bayeux, Cotentin: 1 in the centre.
This means tougher opposition during the first 3-4 days and possible more containment of the landing zones.
I think I agree with you, but if you were responding to something I said I don't recall what it was.

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Karl Heidenreich
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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:18 am

mkenny:
Only a fool believes anything on the History Channel. You seem to be singularly ill informed about what we in Europe know about the Eastern Front.
Using you as an example they are simply spectacularly ill informed. You have required of VeenenbergR and me to instruct you a bit, despite the inmense book resources you claim to have. From other guys it seems to me that Europeans are really well informed, much better than people in the US or, specially, Latin America.

Regards,
Last edited by Karl Heidenreich on Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:36 am

Byron Angel:
Sorry, Karl, but I have to agree with Bgile here. You're mistaking crass, commercially driven American pop cultural themes for some deep plot to co-opt the historical record. I really hope that you do not take the stupid war movies churned out by Hollywood seriously. If the accomplishments of the German armed forces in WW2 seem absent from the record or unappreciated, I'd suggest that the real reason is post-war Germany's general reluctance to embrace or acknowledge them.
Byron. Sorry not to answer before but I have been very busy, very. I was not refering, in particular, to movies as Inglorious Bastards or Saving Private Ryan but to a what is regarded as a "much serious" documentation as "specialized" TV documentaries and "historic articles" as those published in Time, Newsweek, etc.
Now, you have made an important point when mentioning the post German attitude toward their role. Let´s remember that Germany was subjected to a "de nazification" process after the war (which was pale to what Morgenthau wanted to do) and carry the guilt of the Holocaust that it`s brought once and again every five to ten years in popular media and suffered a "democratic - we are all free and republican oriented happy pacific nation" re education designed by those that were their victims, so it´s not surprising that they, themselves, are reluctant to embrace their own past. If you see their own movies, as Das Boot or Downfall the general attitude is that of disaster and loss that makes Longstreet at Gettysburg look cheerfull and optimistic.


Byron Angel:
As for Manstein, he was a great operational military commander that any army would have been proud to count among its leaders. But elevation to divine status is not warranted. Manstein's victory over the Soviets in the Battle of Kharkov, as great as it was, was pre-dated by Pilsudski's almost identical 1920 master stroke against the invading Red Army in the Battle of Warsaw, a victory which not only crushed the invading Soviets and brought Poland back from the brink of defeat. but also arguably guaranteed the political birth and survival of the fledgling modern state of Poland itself.

Another point is that Manstein never had the opportunity to demonstrate his skills or prove himself as a commander at the strategic level. It is therefore impossible to objectively measure him in that arena.
Well, not that many generals had that oportunity, however the plan for invading France was of strategic level and work perfectly, better than any other plan in the war, one side or another. It is true that real strategy was not conduced by German Generals at the East but, on what they were allowed to do, Manstein performed great against imposible odds. Don´t think that any other WWII General, in the same circumstances, could have been able to handle it´s forces with that mastery. On the western allies side we have the examples of two that could be compared, in a way or another, to Manstein are McArthur and Patton. Obvioulsy not Ike not Monty nor Zhukov, considering this last one on a higher skill level than the first two (more experience and a more violent enviroment).

Very best regards,

Karl
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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by mkenny » Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:26 am

Karl Heidenreich wrote: Using you as an example they are simply spectacularly ill informed.
Whatever you say. I find it amusing that you constanly whinge about 'bias' when you are the most extreme example of pro-German myopia I have ever seen.
Karl Heidenreich wrote:You have required of VeenenbergR and me to instruct you a bit,
There you go again. Living in a dream world.

Karl Heidenreich wrote:but to a what is regarded as a "much serious" documentation as "specialized" TV documentaries and "historic articles" as those published in Time, Newsweek, etc
I am scratching my head to try and think of someone I know who uses articles in MAGAZINES or THE HISTORY CHANNEL as the basis for his understanding of WW2. Who would do such a thing..........err....... do you?

Karl Heidenreich wrote: On the western allies side we have the examples of two that could be compared, in a way or another, to Manstein are McArthur and Patton.
Patton? Perhaps you got that from a magazine article? I am at a loss to understand where you get Patton as a great strategic General. He was after all just an Army Commander and thus well down the pecking order even in his own superiors estimation.

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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:06 am

mkenny:
Patton? Perhaps you got that from a magazine article? I am at a loss to understand where you get Patton as a great strategic General. He was after all just an Army Commander and thus well down the pecking order even in his own superiors estimation.
Nope, got the Patton info from Carlo D`Este. However, point out where the hell do I wrote that Patton was a great strategic general?... More or less from the same place you thought I wrote in this thread that the Germans fought to their deaths: your own imagination. Anyway, taking the respective differences in command scenarios and all he (Patton) was a much better tactician and commander than Monty, who by the way was also inferior to the "chancer" Rommel...
And all of them to Manstein.
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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by mkenny » Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:19 am

Karl Heidenreich wrote:

Nope, got the Patton info from Carlo D`Este.
What? It was not in a Magazine Article or on The History Channel?
By the way would this be the Carlo D'Este who falsely claimed the UK was deliberately holding back 100,000 Infantry in the UK in 1944 to help preserve her post war Empire. How was he so wrong about that? (Chapter 15, Decision In Normandy)
Karl Heidenreich wrote: Anyway, taking the respective differences in command scenarios and all he (Patton) was a much better tactician and commander than Monty,
Really? Then one must wonder why the Germans (who, in your opinion, are the best at everything,)did not agree with your claim that Patton was superior to Monty............surely they could not be wrong?

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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by VeenenbergR » Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:21 pm

Von Manstein: the greatest land-warfare Strategist of WWII?

- I personally do not know a better German one: Kesselring? Guderian? Model? Hausser? Lindemann? Von Rundstedt? Von Kleist? Von Reichenau? Höppner?

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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by Bgile » Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:26 pm

VeenenbergR wrote:Von Manstein: the greatest land-warfare Strategist of WWII?

- I personally do not know a better German one: Kesselring? Guderian? Model? Hausser? Lindemann? Von Rundstedt? Von Kleist? Von Reichenau? Höppner?
What makes the commander of a large formation "great"? Good staff work? Opportunity to command powerful forces? What? Was there something brilliant about Von Manstein's campaigns, or was he just able to mass armor at weak points in such a way as many of us have done on a wargame table, given that the German army was automatically going to have qualitative superiority? Sometimes a guy's troops make him look brilliant.

What makes Manstein brilliant and not Schwartzkopf, for example? Not claiming the latter was brilliant, just wondering. They were both able to destroy an inferior army on the battlefield, and in the US case good staff work was very important in that so much required coordination, including widely disparate armies.

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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:58 am

Bgile:

What makes Manstein brilliant and not Schwartzkopf, for example? Not claiming the latter was brilliant, just wondering. They were both able to destroy an inferior army on the battlefield, and in the US case good staff work was very important in that so much required coordination, including widely disparate armies.
Light years of vast difference. The quality of the Iraqui armies, using the proposed example, was that of a group of soldiers that were used, as in many dictatorships, to suppress civilian populations, not to fight a high tech enemy. Second, Schwatzkopf had the greatest aerial offensive in preparation to his land attack. Third, in the Iraqui case the enemy stood less than a week in the fight and, fourth, the allied forces were unable reach a victorious end by letting Saddam and his guards to live.

Manstein, on the other hand, was able to produce an imaginative plan to overwhelm the French Army, one that one minute before the outbreak of the German offensive, was considered one of the best on Earth. Second, this french army was, numerically, equal to that of the Germans. Third, the Germans did not enjoy, then, the vast technological superiority the US had over Iraq nor the preparatory air campaign of the latter. Fourth, the campaing in France last a little longer than that of Iraq but the Germans, finally, destroyed the french regime and were able to dictate ALL their terms to the french. Fifth, Manstein fought in the greatest campagin ever, 1941 to 1945 (well, he was done by 1944), against the biggest army on Earth, in the greatest front on Earth and in the most significative battles on Earth. He was able to reduce Sevastopol and his fight at Kharkov and Kursk are legendary. And those actions took over the span of years in an attrition campaign that the Americans are not likely to have stood for that long. Let´s remember Vasiliesvsky`s remarks on the western allies weakness.

There is no point of any comparative: just the undeniable truth that WWII was THE global conflict whilst the Iraqui War was a small time war that the US media make look as a fight against the mongols.

And Manstein also managed different armies of different nationalities (with broader differences than the ego of Monty or De Gaulle). Good Staff Work? Of course: von Moltke´s invented the modern staff, so Manstein had a good staff. Also Ike. But Manstein flies circles around Ike in what military performance regards, it´s the man, not the machine.
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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by Bgile » Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:45 am

Yes, of course. I should have realized.

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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by Bgile » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:15 pm

I'm reading a book by a US P-51 pilot in Italy. It is now the end of 1944, and he has completed about 30 of his 50 missions. So far, he has seen German fighters about three times, and hasn't had an opportunity to engage any of them. Most bomber escort missions have not had fighter opposition, but heavy flak. He has done a lot of stafing, often against heavily defended locomotives or German airfields, and his unit has lost a lot of pilots while engaged in that kind of activity. Most other losses are due to accidents.

This is undoubtedly one example of a US pilot who clearly isn't as good as his German counterparts because he hasn't shot down hundreds of German fighters. I suspect his experience is typical.

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Re: Revisionist tendencies and Ambrose Sindrome

Post by VeenenbergR » Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:48 pm

Bgile. I was surprised that the Med. theatre did cost so many Allied aircraft, especially fighters.

Ever heard of deadly HE177 missions (one Kampfgruppe) in the Med. against Allied naval vessels in 1944?
They (the He177's) used the Fritz-X or Henschel guided bombs that destroyed the brand new super BB Roma.
They destroyed a dozen or more military vessels, 2 dozen Allied fighters, but lost almost their whole KG.
He177 defensive armament was quite strong, with remote controlled turrets, MG131 zwilling, but seems to be moderate to reasonable effective.

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