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Was D-Day necessary?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 2009 at 01:34
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Hello to you all
 
First, welcom to AE eagle.
 
Second, I think you went a bit too much to discredit the western allies contribution. The western allies intervention was decisive and here are my points:
 
Even in June 44, victory in the east was still on shaky grounds. The Russians were simply exhausted by then. They lost some 1 million killed between Kursk and Bagration and millions injured. They were far away from Berlin. There were still not at the 1941 frontier and most importantly German war production was at a feverish peak particularly in tanks. Bagration which really sealed the Soviet victory would have not succeed (at least not as it turned out) without Normandy. 50 of Germany's best division particularly the SS panzers were diverted west to be beyond the use of the Germans in the east. in turn 40 of those 50 divisions (including all the SS panzer divisions) were totally distroyed there.
 
Remember the Germans achieved impressive victories in the east as late as March 45 with almost no rsources and against superior Russian troops and supposing the landing was a month late (as it nearly was going to be) I have little dout that the Russians would have had the chance to do Bagration alone let alone succeed in it.  
 
This is inaccurate descriptions of the campaing of summer of 1944. In fact, Bagration started several month before the operation was prepared. And it was not "saved by Normany," but in fact was aimed "to save Normandy."  Stalin was repeatedly asked to start the operation earlier in order to ease the pressure on the Allies in France, which happened when Bagration was launched. After Bagation, the Germans had to divert their resources to the East instead of the West. Apparently, it were the Allies who more  benefited from "Bargration" than "Bagration" benefited from D-Day.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 2009 at 01:38
Hello and welcome to AE ResoundingEagle. I hope you enjoy your stay and find the correspondence that you seek.

You have a lot of intelligent things too say and much i need to consider. One thing however, i think both you and Sarmat need too keep in mind is that the two fronts were seen in a completely different light as far as the Nazi's and to a lesser extent... the German nation were concerned.

Yes, they saw the allies as their enemy, but too them it was still mostly in general, a gentlemanly war and so not looked upon as the primary threat! The Eastern front, on the other hand... without getting too much into specifics, was always a no holds barred, to the death contest between the two nations. As documents have proven time and again, when it came too having their nation over run, the Germans so much preferred the allies being in control over the Soviets. Unfortunately for them as already mentioned, the allies eventually saw it differently.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 2009 at 01:46
Good observation Panther. When the war in the West was terrible, the war in the East was simply total hell.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 2009 at 01:58
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

 This is inaccurate descriptions of the campaing of summer of 1944. In fact, Bagration started several month before the operation was prepared. And it was not "saved by Normany," but in fact was aimed "to save Normandy."  Stalin was repeatedly asked to start the operation earlier in order to ease the pressure on the Allies in France, which happened when Bagration was launched. After Bagation, the Germans had to divert their resources to the East instead of the West. Apparently, it were the Allies who more  benefited from "Bargration" than "Bagration" benefited from D-Day.


They had little concern for the allied objectives in Normandy, and more concerned with what they could achieve immediately on their front. As i understand their practice of deep operations, it was the capture of a bridgehead over the Vistula river and the removal of all German resistance in the Lublin-Brest, Lvov Sandomierz area. This would put the Russians in Warsaw quickly as well as putting them within striking distance of Berlin.

If it helped the allies at Normandy, then fine. It would give them something to point too in a propaganda sense. If the allies had failed, then so much the better, seeing that without the Normandy operation, i doubt the Soviets would have stopped in Berlin and eventually taken over the whole of Germany? And who is too honestly say that they would not have been tempted too take over France and the low countries as well?


Edited by Panther - 28 Jun 2009 at 02:18
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 2009 at 02:17
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

Good observation Panther. When the war in the West was terrible, the war in the East was simply total hell.


Thanks Sarmat. I think we can agree on many things here in regards to World War 2. Yes, i agree that the Eastern front was the sort of hellish warfare any nations in the world would prefer not too experience.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ResoundingEagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 2009 at 07:55
My thanks for your kind compliments, and welcomes, Sarmat and Panther. Smile I will do my best to bring merit  to your faith in me. ^_^
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 2009 at 08:06
Hello to you all
 
Thanks for the responses. Now its my turnEvil Smile.
 
First of all I didn't say Bagration was going to fail, I said the success of that operation was not going to be that big. Remember in just two months the Soviets pushed the germans some 400 Kms back to the 41 frontier. They entered Romania and took Ploiesti and trapped the Germans in the Baltic. This is by all means an astounding victory. If the Germans had the Panzer divisions and the SS the Soviets would have definitely succeeded in many of their objective but not the kind of success Bagration turned out to be. The Germans would have probably saved the 300k POWs and stopped the Russian advance and may even lauch some counte offensives of their own.
 
Second, about the SS. Believe it or not the SS suffered little in the east prior to Normandy. I will give the story of the 1st SS (liebstandarte) which I read extensively about. They did recieve alot of casualties especially in Kursk but these were less than 25% of their total strength. The largest daily battle loss in the entire operation was just 40 KIA out of 22K men serving then. Their losses in Tanks were a bit higher but not the same as wehrmacht losses. In the west however the entire division was recreated twice in just 6 months because it was savagely distoyed in Normandy and the battle of the Bulge (lost almost 80% of their strength there). Most of the other SS divisions (especially Panzer SS) had a similar fate with reasonable losses in the east but total distruction in the west...twice.
 
Third, the allied position in Normandy was never compromised. The nearest the Germans came to defeat them was in D-day itself. The rest is history. Bad luck (storms) and bad command in addition to tough stand by the Germans delayed the breakout. With the operation draining nearly all the German reserves that should have gone east (by July nearly half the German divisions were in the west) the D-day definitely served Bagration not the other way around.
 
Al-Jassas


Edited by Al Jassas - 28 Jun 2009 at 09:34
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ResoundingEagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 2009 at 10:49
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Hello to you all
 
Thanks for the responses. Now its my turnEvil Smile.
 
First of all I didn't say Bagration was going to fail, I said the success of that operation was not going to be that big. Remember in just two months the Soviets pushed the germans some 400 Kms back to the 41 frontier. They entered Romania and took Ploiesti and trapped the Germans in the Baltic. This is by all means an astounding victory. If the Germans had the Panzer divisions and the SS the Soviets would have definitely succeeded in many of their objective but not the kind of success Bagration turned out to be. The Germans would have probably saved the 300k POWs and stopped the Russian advance and may even lauch some counte offensives of their own.
 
Second, about the SS. Believe it or not the SS suffered little in the east prior to Normandy. I will give the story of the 1st SS (liebstandarte) which I read extensively about. They did recieve alot of casualties especially in Kursk but these were less than 25% of their total strength. The largest daily battle loss in the entire operation was just 40 KIA out of 22K men serving then. Their losses in Tanks were a bit higher but not the same as wehrmacht losses. In the west however the entire division was recreated twice in just 6 months because it was savagely distoyed in Normandy and the battle of the Bulge (lost almost 80% of their strength there). Most of the other SS divisions (especially Panzer SS) had a similar fate with reasonable losses in the east but total distruction in the west...twice.
 
Third, the allied position in Normandy was never compromised. The nearest the Germans came to defeat them was in D-day itself. The rest is history. Bad luck (storms) and bad command in addition to tough stand by the Germans delayed the breakout. With the operation draining nearly all the German reserves that should have gone east (by July nearly half the German divisions were in the west) the D-day definitely served Bagration not the other way around.
 
Al-Jassas


I appreciate your replies sincerely, but with all due respect,  I'm afraid I must disagree with your  claims. Perhaps we should compare our resources. If there's material I haven't properly considered, I would certainly be happy to take a look as I'm always after new information.

The things I mentioned are compiled from a variety of sources, most notably perhaps the official OKH and OKW German records and archives, and historical testimonies from leaders such as Keitel and Model, who fought as Nazi commanders on the Eastern Front. I also have many works by David M. Glantz, an officially recognized historian of the conflict. My Russian sources are also quite extensive. I can compile an exact list of cites for you if you like, and would be interested to see your sources.

On a side note, and in reference to one of these claims -

The '1st Division SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler', was actually mauled far worse before Kursk. They were initially in the opening of the Eastern Front, integrated into one of the advancing Panzer groups concentrated in 'Army Groupe Centre.' They suffered a loss of over 7 Commanders on the Eastern Front, and in the course of the eastern war suffered thousands of casualties. Most notably,  they were involved in the initial assault and capture of Kiev in 1941. They also fought at Kharkov in 42, where they suffered heavy losses actually, although certainly claiming an impressive amount of victories in the process, and breaking out of being flanked by Soviet forces.  And lastly, part of 'Operation Blau', Hitler's ambitious attempted drive to the Caucauses and Stalingrad. It was in this battle that they would be heavily defeated, suffering terrible casualties, and were completely pulled from the line for the reformation you speak of, since they were nearly completely wiped out and/or 'routed' by all military definition. 

It was only after all this were they again reformed for Kursk, which they also lost with heavy casualties, although not as bad as they did in 'Blau'. And then finally after that, reformed yet again in Berlin and trained for their later role against the Allies. The other SS and SS Panzer Divisions were mostly concentrated solely at the Eastern Front, and would be until early 1944. The remaining were Hitler's personal reserves kept close to the Fuhrer.

German commanders seem to have concurring accounts of these allocations and events.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 2009 at 16:49
Hello eagle
 
I have sources too you know. The 1st SS didn't become what it is (a fully complimented panzer division) untill late 42. From Jan. to August 43 they fought in the east continuously without being withdrawn and only recieved heavy casualties in Kharkov and Kursk and even then they were about 30% of the total strength.
 
I was wrong however (Its over a year since I read that book about the Leibstandarte). The division was mauled in Uman but it wasn't totally distroyed. Most of its powerful battalions escaped with their men and the division was reformed in Jan 44 in Belgium only to be distroyed twice as I said in the west. The rest of the 6th SS panzer army has a similar story.
 
In the end the division was not reformed, it was sent to the east with its 3000 men (from 18k in Dec 44) and lost half its number due to bombing. By Operation Spring awakening it had only 1400 men and 20 tanks yet it was considered a full division.
 
I have many other sources about Bagration and other operation written by Glantz and people other than Glantz but if you want to discuss the war in the east and Bagration feel free to open a new thread.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 2009 at 17:19
Look, D-Day drew away German reserves away from the East, something Italy never did, the formations in Italy were for the most part raised for the fight there. June/July 1944 is when the desisive action occured. They Germans were streched almost to the breaking point, with almost equal forces in both theatres. Bagration would not have been the sucess it had been had those troops in Normandy been available, the Sovs would not have bothered to launch such an Op if they knew that it would only bring in German reserves and expose them to a potentially devastating counter attack.
 
 
Fact of the matter is that the Germans were compelled to keep major formations west since Jan 42', to ward off the expected second front, and the loss of so many in North Africa (many of the reinforcements dispatched to Algeria-Morroco and Tunisia were from France) meant that they would have be rebuilt from scratch, all the while keeping troops from the East, at times when they could have been decisive.
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Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Third, the allied position in Normandy was never compromised. The nearest the Germans came to defeat them was in D-day itself. The rest is history. Bad luck (storms) and bad command in addition to tough stand by the Germans delayed the breakout. With the operation draining nearly all the German reserves that should have gone east (by July nearly half the German divisions were in the west) the D-day definitely served Bagration not the other way around.
 
Al-Jassas
I can easily say that it was Bagration that sealed the Allied success in France. Because, Germans had to send their resources to the East to stop a much larger Soviet offensive.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 2009 at 17:54
I am sorry for posting the whole article, but I think it's a very good summary of some point I'm arguing for.
 
 

Saving Private Ivan

Remember Normandy's heroes - but also that the Red army played the decisive role in defeating Nazi Germany

 
The decisive battle for the liberation of Europe began 60 years ago this month when a Soviet guerrilla army emerged from the forests and bogs of Belorussia to launch a bold surprise attack on the mighty Wehrmacht's rear.

The partisan brigades, including many Jewish fighters and concentration-camp escapees, planted 40,000 demolition charges. They devastated the vital rail lines linking German Army Group Centre to its bases in Poland and Eastern Prussia.

Three days later, on June 22 1944, the third anniversary of Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union, Marshal Zhukov gave the order for the main assault on German front lines. Twenty-six thousand heavy guns pulverised German forward positions. The screams of the Katyusha rockets were followed by the roar of 4,000 tanks and the battle cries (in more than 40 languages) of 1.6 million Soviet soldiers. Thus began Operation Bagration, an assault over a 500-mile-long front.

This "great military earthquake", as the historian John Erickson called it, finally stopped in the suburbs of Warsaw as Hitler rushed elite reserves from western Europe to stem the Red tide in the east. As a result, American and British troops fighting in Normandy would not have to face the best-equipped Panzer divisions.

But what American has ever heard of Operation Bagration? June 1944 signifies Omaha Beach, not the crossing of the Dvina River. Yet the Soviet summer offensive was several times larger than Operation Overlord (the invasion of Normandy), both in the scale of forces engaged and the direct cost to the Germans.

By the end of summer, the Red army had reached the gates of Warsaw as well as the Carpathian passes commanding the entrance to central Europe. Soviet tanks had caught Army Group Centre in steel pincers and destroyed it. The Germans would lose more than 300,000 men in Belorussia alone. Another huge German army had been encircled and would be annihilated along the Baltic coast. The road to Berlin had been opened.

Thank Ivan. It does not disparage the brave men who died in the North African desert or the cold forests around Bastogne to recall that 70% of the Wehrmacht is buried not in French fields but on the Russian steppes. In the struggle against Nazism, approximately 40 "Ivans" died for every "Private Ryan". Scholars now believe that as many as 27 million Soviet soldiers and citizens perished in the second world war.

Yet the ordinary Soviet soldier - the tractor mechanic from Samara, the actor from Orel, the miner from the Donetsk, or the high-school girl from Leningrad - is invisible in the current celebration and mythologisation of the "greatest generation".

It is as if the "new American century" cannot be fully born without exorcising the central Soviet role in last century's epochal victory against fascism. Indeed, most Americans are shockingly clueless about the relative burdens of combat and death in the second world war. And even the minority who understand something of the enormity of the Soviet sacrifice tend to visualise it in terms of crude stereotypes of the Red army: a barbarian horde driven by feral revenge and primitive Russian nationalism. Only GI Joe and Tommy are seen as truly fighting for civilised ideals of freedom and democracy.

It is thus all the more important to recall that - despite Stalin, the NKVD and the massacre of a generation of Bolshevik leaders - the Red army still retained powerful elements of revolutionary fraternity. In its own eyes, and that of the slaves it freed from Hitler, it was the greatest liberation army in history. Moreover, the Red army of 1944 was still a Soviet army. The generals who led the breakthrough on the Dvina included a Jew (Chernyakovskii), an Armenian (Bagramyan), and a Pole (Rokossovskii). In contrast to the class-divided and racially segregated American and British forces, command in the Red army was an open, if ruthless, ladder of opportunity.

Anyone who doubts the revolutionary elan and rank-and-file humanity of the Red army should consult the extraordinary memoirs of Primo Levi (The Reawakening) and KS Karol (Between Two Worlds). Both hated Stalinism but loved the ordinary Soviet soldier and saw in her/him the seeds of socialist renewal.

So, after George Bush's recent demeaning of the memory of D-day to solicit support for his war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, I've decided to hold my own private commemoration.

I will recall, first, my Uncle Bill, the salesman from Columbus, hard as it is to imagine such a gentle soul as a hell-for-leather teenage GI in Normandy. Second - as I'm sure my Uncle Bill would've wished - I will remember his comrade Ivan.

The Ivan who drove his tank through the gates of Auschwitz and battled his way into Hitler's bunker. The Ivan whose courage and tenacity overcame the Wehrmacht, despite the deadly wartime errors and crimes of Stalin. Two ordinary heroes: Bill and Ivan. Obscene to celebrate the first without also commemorating the second.

· Mike Davis teaches American history at the University of California at Irvine and is an editor New Left Review; his latest book is Dead Cities

miked@uci.edu

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 2009 at 18:07
In passing, I noted all of the talk on German dismemberment and the primary role of the old Soviet Union in promoting the destruction of the German people and the fashioning of new frontiers. Funny, but nowhere did anyone utter the words "Morgenthau Plan", nor did any take note that as early as the Atlantic Charter, the Allies envisioned the removal of problematic Germanic populations in Europe. Here is an interesting on-line essay that should stoke discussion:
 
 
In reading the above, do not get bogged down in the "motivations" of the compiler with regard to contemporary issues; but, instead look at the factual materials under manipulation. Let us put aside the notion that the Western Allies were but "useful idiots" to Stalin's grandiosity, nor ignore the common understanding that "unconditional surrender" made the logistics of D-Day not only essential but inevitable.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 2009 at 18:32
Hello to you all
 
First of all nobody denies the Russian controbution but one has to understand, in the summer of 44 more German troops were in the west than in the east and the Normandy theater was much bigger than Bagration or any other theater in the east at that time (2.1 million+ allies by July facing 1.2 million Germans while in Bagration which was mostly fought in July 2.25 million Russians facing 800k germans)
 
Second, even in terms of losses, material losses that is, the allies lost almost as if not more than the Russians in those days.
 
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Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Hello to you all
 
First of all nobody denies the Russian controbution but one has to understand, in the summer of 44 more German troops were in the west than in the east and the Normandy theater was much bigger than Bagration or any other theater in the east at that time (2.1 million+ allies by July facing 1.2 million Germans while in Bagration which was mostly fought in July 2.25 million Russians facing 800k germans)
 
 It was only 400 K German troops facing the allies in Normandy in the beginning 1 mln- by the end of the operation. 1.2 mln Germans were facing the Soviets in Bagration from the very beginning (which was only one sector of the massive Eastern Front.).
 
 
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Bagaration was 800,000 germans vs about 2 million soviets. The German Armies in France were about 1.2 million, though not all were committed to Normandy, First Army was in the south of France; circa 250, 000 men. And another 12 or so divisions in reserve, another 300,000.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ResoundingEagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 2009 at 21:23
Excellent posts, Sarmat. =)

Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Hello to you all
 
Second, even in terms of losses, material losses that is, the allies lost almost as if not more than the Russians in those days.
 
Al-Jassas


I am having trouble finding any legitimacy to your claims, especially this last one.
Here are my sources. Would you be kind enough to share yours?
I would ask the same of Sparten, if he would honor me. That is likely the easiest and most logical way to solve our discrepancies.

If legitimate sources I have not yet researched are responsible for our difference of opinion,  I'd be very humbled and happy to look at them. I am always seeking to learn, which is why I joined here. If I am ignorant to something, by all means, gentlemen - please offer resources for me to see for myself.
Here are my official sources on the material directly in contest. I will share others for all my other claims as well, upon request, though it will be a rather long post.

*
'Militargeshichtlitches Forschungsamt' (German Research Institute for Military History)
Among which:
'Germany and the Second World War' - Potsdam, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt GmbH, Stuttgart (German)
Vol. IV 'The Attack on the Soviet Union' - Horst Boog, Jurgen Forster, Joachim Hoffman, Ernst Kink, Rolf-Dieter Muller, and Gerd R. Ueberschar - DVAG, 1996
Vol. VI 'The Global War' - Horst Boog, Werner Rahn, Richard Stumpf, and Bernd Wegner - DVAG and OUP, 2001
*

'Panzer Leader' - Heinz Guerdian (translated) - Ballantine, New York, 1965

'Verlorene Siege' (Lost Victories) , Field Marshal Erich von Manstein (translated) - Anthony Powell, 1958

'Absolute War' - Christopher D. Bellamy -  London, 2007

'Hitler's Bandit Hunters: The SS and Nazi Occupation of Europe' - Prof. Philip W. Blood - Washington, 2006

~Center of US Military History~
'Stalingrad to Berlin: The German Defeat in the East' - Earl F. Ziemke, US Army, Washington DC, 1987
'Moscow to Stalingrad: Decision in the East' - Earl F. Ziemke, US Army, Washington DC, 1987
~

'Bandenbekampfung: Nazi Ocupation Security in Eastern Europe and Soviet Russia' - Prof. Philip Warren Blood - Cranfield University, 2003

'Kursk: Sixty Years On' - Karl-Heinz Frieser, Pavel Kulikov, Chistopher Bellamy, Geoffrey Vesey-Holt, and John Hughes-Wilson - RUSI Journal, Vol. 148, No. 5 - 2003

Naturally, there are many resources by Glantz and Orenstein - among which for this topic -
'Forgotten Battles of the Soviet-German War', Journal of Soviet Military Studies, Vol. 8, No. 4, 1995 (Rzhev - Sychevca)

'Soviet and German Loss Rates During the Great Patriotic War. The Price of Victory' - Fritz Stoeckli - JSMS, Vol.3, No.4, 1990

'Spies, ciphers,and "Zitadelle". Intelligence and The Battle of Kursk' - Timothy P. Milligan - Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 22, No. 2, 1987

'The Halder Diaries' (Kriegstachbuch) (translated) 1939 - 1942 - Franz Halder, Colorado, 1975

**I'll have to dig up the serial numbers from OKH and OKW Command official archives, but will happily do so as promised if others are interested. Some of them can be found in the sources I mentioned as well. Especially Halder's Diaries and Guerdian's publications, which detailed much about the SS, let alone Nazi life on the Eastern, and Western fronts.**




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jun 2009 at 01:33
Originally posted by Sparten Sparten wrote:

Bagaration was 800,000 germans vs about 2 million soviets. The German Armies in France were about 1.2 million, though not all were committed to Normandy, First Army was in the south of France; circa 250, 000 men. And another 12 or so divisions in reserve, another 300,000.

One of Russian sources gives the following statistics of the military personnel ratio for operation "Bagration."
 
 
Советские войска Soviet troops Немецкие войска German troops
Личный состав, тыс. чел. Personnel, thousands of people. 2400 2400 1200 1200


Edited by Sarmat - 29 Jun 2009 at 01:46
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jun 2009 at 01:37
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

In passing, I noted all of the talk on German dismemberment and the primary role of the old Soviet Union in promoting the destruction of the German people and the fashioning of new frontiers. Funny, but nowhere did anyone utter the words "Morgenthau Plan", nor did any take note that as early as the Atlantic Charter, the Allies envisioned the removal of problematic Germanic populations in Europe. Here is an interesting on-line essay that should stoke discussion:
 
Dear drgonzaga, in fact, both pikeshot1600 and me touched that issue in our discussion.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WolfHound85 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jun 2009 at 02:22
Thats interesting but how reliable are Soviet sources on their own battles?
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Originally posted by WolfHound85 WolfHound85 wrote:

Thats interesting but how reliable are Soviet sources on their own battles?
I don't think any source is 100% reliable.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jun 2009 at 07:03

Remember that the sources reliability is suspect, not for any malevolent reason, but that these are based upon the estimations made before the battle.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jun 2009 at 07:06

Hello to you all

Well here are several of my sources with some discreption:

Lt. Col William Connor, Analysis of deep attack operations. Operation Bagration. Excellent book with detailed stats from both Soviet and German archives.

Cooper, Matthew. Hitler's Elite: Leibstandarte SS. Excellent and concise book about the division with lots of stats.

Tute, Warren et al. D-Day. Excellent and extremely detailed source about the battle as a whole.
 
Erickson. John. The Road to Stalingrad and the Road to Berlin. Both books were cited greatly.
 
There are other sources coming from the internet (official US or UK army docs) but all have a similar nature.
 
Second point. About the numbers. Initially (the first two stages I think), 1.2 million Soviet soldiers were fought by only 400k Germans. Here is a breakdown of armies on both sides:
 
Soviet army                                                                                                      German army
                                                                                                                         3rd panzer
1st Baltic front:                                                                                                    total:120k
 
6th guards army.                                                                                                 4th army
4th shock army                                                                                                         165k
43 army
1st tank corp.                                                                                                       9th army
total:227k                                                                                                              120k
 
3rd Belorussian front:
 
39th, 31st and 5th armies.
11th and 5th tank guard armies.
3rd mech., 3rd cav and 2nd tank guards corps.
 
totals:389.9k
 
2nd Belorussian front:
 
33rd, 49th and 50th armies.
 
total:202.9k
 
1st Belorussian front:
 
3rd, 65th, 48th and 28th armies.
9th tank and 1st mech. corps.
4th cav and 1st tank guards corps.
 
434.9k
 
The total:~1.252 million                                                                                                   405k men
  4050 tanks                                                                                                                       800 tanks
5100 planes                                                                                                                     1324 planes
                                                                                                                                (only 40 fighters)
 
Source (Connor, see above)
 
These are the initial phase of the operation (the one which last untill early July). By august two other fronts in addition to other components of the same front in the 2nd echelon joined the battle and doubled the Soviet ranks. I have more If you want.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheRedBaron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jun 2009 at 12:21
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

 

Cooper, Matthew. Hitler's Elite: Leibstandarte SS. Excellent and concise book about the division with lots of stats.

 
 
This would be the 1975 book that he wrote with James Lucas (never a man to let reality get in the way of a good story...).
 
Sorry, but the book is very outdated in regards research into LAH.
 
If you mean his awful coffee table book on the LAH published in 2001... Then that aint any better.
 
 
For those wanting to look at LAH then I would recommend Patrick Agte's 'Panzer Commanders of the Liebstandarte', Micheal Reynolds coverage of them or the Heimdal book.
 
For a more personal look at them, then 'Wenn Alle Bruder Schweigen' provides some very rare and unseen photographs.
 
 
As regards losses at Kursk, then Zetterling's book 'Kursk 1943' provides the same indepth analysis as his work on Normandy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ResoundingEagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jun 2009 at 18:05
Originally posted by TheRedBaron TheRedBaron wrote:

Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

 

Cooper, Matthew. Hitler's Elite: Leibstandarte SS. Excellent and concise book about the division with lots of stats.

 
 
This would be the 1975 book that he wrote with James Lucas (never a man to let reality get in the way of a good story...).
 
Sorry, but the book is very outdated in regards research into LAH.
 
If you mean his awful coffee table book on the LAH published in 2001... Then that aint any better.
 
 
For those wanting to look at LAH then I would recommend Patrick Agte's 'Panzer Commanders of the Liebstandarte', Micheal Reynolds coverage of them or the Heimdal book.
 
For a more personal look at them, then 'Wenn Alle Bruder Schweigen' provides some very rare and unseen photographs.
 
 
As regards losses at Kursk, then Zetterling's book 'Kursk 1943' provides the same indepth analysis as his work on Normandy.


Excellent. I haven't picked these up yet so thank you for your reccomendation. =) I'll be sure to have a look. Who's the author of the second one you mentioned?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jun 2009 at 18:19
Originally posted by ResoundingEagle ResoundingEagle wrote:


Also, the Eastern Theatre of WW2 was the largest by far. The Allies only faced  roughly (but accurate) 1/3 or less of all Axis forces during their entire Allied campaign, especially at Normandy, where as previously mentioned by another member, they were mainly aged and young, rough reserves, some of them horribly mauled on the Eastern Front. You would think the Allies would easily have conquered.
 
Some of the most powerful elements of the German army were present in Normandy during Overlord including five SS panzer divisions, the 17th Panzergrenadier, Panzer Lehr and various paratroops, infantry divisions and heavy armored battalions. Panzer Lehr alone with close to 20,000 men and 400 tanks was equal to an armored corps and included some of the most qualified and experienced soldiers available to the Nazis. The 12th SS Panzer was made up of fanatical Hitler youth who fought with a ferocity equal to anything on the eastern front. Most of these impressive Nazi divisions were reduced to battalion or even company strength after several months of combat with British Commonwealth, American, Free French, Polish and other forces.
 
While the Bocage slowed the Allied advance down, it also provided the ideal terrain for the newly arrived Allies to contain and eventually annihilate most of the German forces present in France.
 
The German loses were comparable to their losses at Stalingrad and at a fraction of the cost the Soviets paid in 1942.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jun 2009 at 18:31
Hello to you all
 
The book is the 1975 book and I don't know why is it outdated. Its history not computer science. Plus the guys cite Russia, German and English sources including official OKW docs. It isn't as detailed as other books but it is none the less and excellent read.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DukeC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jun 2009 at 18:48
Originally posted by ResoundingEagle ResoundingEagle wrote:


Did D-Day have an effect on the war?  - Certainly it did, it was a massive operation, but realistically, it came far too late to make much difference, save for the people of France, and any country liberated by the Allies who were naturally looking to avoid Stalin's rule in place of Hitler's, which may not be much much better.
 
Far to late to make much difference to who, the Soviets? By 1944 the Red Army was beginning to face some of the same problems the British Army faced, lack of replacements for existing formations. While the Soviet Union had a relatively large population compared to Germany, it wasn't unlimited. Stalin's callous approach of using lives to win victories had bleed the nation white.
 
None of the very powerful units destroyed by the Allies during Normandy were available for deployment in the east during the Soviet offensive of summer 1944. After the destruction of most of Panzer Lehr there were no instructors left to teach armored warfare in Germany.
 
WW II was a mulit-front war fought over six years, the first two of which the Soviets were German ALLIES. It was won on multiple fronts because no one nation had the power or strength to defeat Germany.
 
One of the real tragedies of WW II is that one of the finest armies to ever to see service fought in defence of one of the worst causes in history.


Edited by DukeC - 29 Jun 2009 at 18:48
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jun 2009 at 19:28
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Hello to you all
 
The book is the 1975 book and I don't know why is it outdated. Its history not computer science. Plus the guys cite Russia, German and English sources including official OKW docs. It isn't as detailed as other books but it is none the less and excellent read.
 
Al-Jassas
 
Well. 1975 is the peak of the Cold War. Moreover, most of the Western authors were deprived of any access to the Soviet archives. It's only relatively recently that more or less objective historical works on the fighting on the Eastern Front appeared in the West.
 
I also have to say, that due to the same reason, the war in the West until relatively recently has been rather unknown in Russia as well.
 
So, Red Baron has the point.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ResoundingEagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jun 2009 at 19:40
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Hello to you all
 
The book is the 1975 book and I don't know why is it outdated. Its history not computer science. Plus the guys cite Russia, German and English sources including official OKW docs. It isn't as detailed as other books but it is none the less and excellent read.
 
Al-Jassas


To my understanding, there were no official OKW documents in that version of the book, only some reference to them, which does not provide solid evidence of their volition. That may seem a  bit critical and harsh, and its certainly not your fault, but it is true.

I would argue that Keitel, Guerdian, Model, and Manstein were far more reliable sources, and that's why I asset my claims. Though you did mention a couple noteworthy pieces certainly. Given the Gantz book you mentioned, I am surprised your figures didn't concur closer to my own.

Originally posted by DukeC DukeC wrote:

Originally posted by ResoundingEagle ResoundingEagle wrote:


Also, the Eastern Theatre of WW2 was the largest by far. The Allies only faced  roughly (but accurate) 1/3 or less of all Axis forces during their entire Allied campaign, especially at Normandy, where as previously mentioned by another member, they were mainly aged and young, rough reserves, some of them horribly mauled on the Eastern Front. You would think the Allies would easily have conquered.
 
Some of the most powerful elements of the German army were present in Normandy during Overlord including five SS panzer divisions, the 17th Panzergrenadier, Panzer Lehr and various paratroops, infantry divisions and heavy armored battalions. Panzer Lehr alone with close to 20,000 men and 400 tanks was equal to an armored corps and included some of the most qualified and experienced soldiers available to the Nazis. The 12th SS Panzer was made up of fanatical Hitler youth who fought with a ferocity equal to anything on the eastern front. Most of these impressive Nazi divisions were reduced to battalion or even company strength after several months of combat with British Commonwealth, American, Free French, Polish and other forces.
 
While the Bocage slowed the Allied advance down, it also provided the ideal terrain for the newly arrived Allies to contain and eventually annihilate most of the German forces present in France.
 
The German loses were comparable to their losses at Stalingrad and at a fraction of the cost the Soviets paid in 1942.
 
 


Ah! A great reply. =) You bring some very important things to mind, and my sources concur as well. I should have spoke more correctly here, and that is indeed my fault. Therefore, allow me to make reparation. My last comment was additionally unecessary, and I should repreive that.

I do not deny the ferocity of the Nazi forces that the Allies faced in the first, and concurrent stages of the Normandy Breakout, but fierce and certainly bloody as they may have been, they were undeniably on a far smaller scale.

There is one thing I would like to make clear , in reagrds to your last statement. I quote this from a previous discussion with someone I've enjoyed talking to here.

"Don't get me wrong, I greatly love my heroes who fought on D-Day and in the Allied Forces, and the brave souls who liberated a good bit of western Europe. Their accomplishments were by no means insignificant as they were. My studies are for them too. But we did not have Nazis breaking into our homes and raping our wives, torturing us, and slaughtering our children. Only to then take over our homes for villainy or burn them. Although Roosevelt was far from perfect, we also didn't have a leader who was additionally causing us horribly worse suffering and incalcuable losses with his blunders. " *end quote*

I dont recall the Allies, save the Free French or Polish, being able to say anything remotely close to the same, and even then Russia's situation is stand alone. They were pushed well beyond all conceivable limits, and through the end of 1941, and through Stalingrad as you mentioned in 1942, they were at their weakest. They should have collapsed economically, politically, militarily, and completely as a people - at least 2x over. By 1942, Russia had lost near 1.5 times their original service strength of around 6 Million men. And this does not account for the millions of civilians who died, and whose numbers were actually larger than soldier death. They were afforded no quarter or mercy of any sort, ever, civilian or soldier, and they were pushed near the brink of utter extinction as an entire people.

Considering the many advantages the Allies had in a shrewd and certainly drastically revealling comparison, thats a very unfair statement.

This comment of losses in 1942, though certainly fairly accurate, is a nice way of avoiding the  horrible mass death that occured for the Nazis after that at the hands of the Soviets, and certainly disregarding the conditions both forces faced, their scale, as well as all the the other very important and logical variables considered, such as the few I have mentioned above.






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