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  1. #76
    Senior Contributor clackers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1979 View Post
    2nd and 5th panzer didn't had any impact in the 1941 summer battles
    That's because they took part in the Balkans invasion but unlike other units were not available again for combat duties until October.

    They couldn't be used by either Rommel in spring '41 or Bock in the summer, so I'm afraid you're going to have to choose two more divisions, 1979.

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    Senior Contributor 1979's Avatar
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    afaik the decision to transfer them in France and Germany was political not military.
    J'ai en marre.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clackers View Post
    Of course it was a defence in depth. The beaches themselves were overcome on the first day.

    The real combat took months, was inland, and was bitterly contested for the flat limestone country behind Caen.

    This was Rommel in charge of planned, attritional, defensive fighting, with minefields, villages turned into strongpoints, overlapping fields of fire, and multiple Panzer divisions used at the very front of the containing ring in static positions.

    This style of warfare couldn't be further removed from Manstein's elastic defences on the Eastern Front.
    A defense in depth is a pre-planned operation. Normandy was not a defense in depth. The natural terrain allowed a bitterly contested fighting withdrawl by the Germans that almost turned in Allied victory in 44. However it was not planned that way. A defense in depth is more along the lines of what you would see in WWI, or Italy. Ad hoc impromtu defensive actions with newly committed units don't exactly point to forethought.

    You're way behind the times in terms of scholarship if you're still pushing the importance of Malta.

    From John Ellis' Brute Force (1990), here's the chart of sent merchant tonnage to North Africa versus received:
    So the fact that Rommel didn't get about a 1/3 of the supplies he was sent from the summer of 41 through the winter of 42 has no bearing? Most of that loss was due to british submarines where Malta provided a door into the gulf of Sirte, and additional air support for interdiction missions. However durign the critical period in 41 the RN also added force K and the Axis losses in November of 41 amounted to 60% of the supplies shipped. I wonder how much farther Rommel could have gotten with that much more logisitcal support? As it was he made it to Egypt.

  4. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by clackers View Post
    That's because they took part in the Balkans invasion but unlike other units were not available again for combat duties until October.

    They couldn't be used by either Rommel in spring '41 or Bock in the summer, so I'm afraid you're going to have to choose two more divisions, 1979.
    Part of that was the decision to send the 2nd and 5th Panzer division to Italy by sea to entrain for the Eastern Front. That move cost the divisions a lot of its equipment when allied submarines attacked the convoys. The 2nd Panzer Division also lost units to form the cadre of the 22nd Panzer Division. If one or more had been sent to North Africa earlier before the Greek campaign they very much could have been there. Not only would Rommel have had 1-2 more panzer divisions, but the production used to rebuild the units means no real disruption of the Barbarossa OOB.

    The 2nd played a critical role in the Balkan/Greek campaigns but the 5th did not. So assuming the 5th gets sent, how much more can Rommel achieve with even 1 extra panzer division?

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    Senior Contributor clackers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    However it was not planned that way. A defense in depth is more along the lines of what you would see in WWI, or Italy. Ad hoc impromtu defensive actions with newly committed units don't exactly point to forethought.
    The battle didn't pan out the way either side planned it.

    Rommel planned for a repulse on the beaches. Under the planning of Rundstedt and Montgomery, it was expected that there would be an elastic fall back by the Germans to a new static position on the Seine River.

    Instead, under Hitler's direction, a containment ring was created around the beach head, with an expectation that a massive armoured counterattack would drive the Allies back into the sea, a second attempt at Anzio.

    In practice, this didn't happen, mainly because the necessary elements of all the Panzer divisions were unable to extract themselves from the line, withdraw into reserve, and prepare their assault.

    The defensive zones (which were not bocage further inland) were refined for months.

    It was actually attacks like Mortain that were 'ad hoc'.

  6. #81
    Senior Contributor clackers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    So the fact that Rommel didn't get about a 1/3 of the supplies he was sent from the summer of 41 through the winter of 42 has no bearing? Most of that loss was due to british submarines where Malta provided a door into the gulf of Sirte, and additional air support for interdiction missions.
    Zraver, if you draw a horizontal line on the graph at 210,000 tons per quarter, you can see he almost always had it. Creveld mentions the surplus of supplies waiting at Benghazi while the frontline troops were suffering.

    As far as losses are concerned, air operations were out of Egypt, terrorizing Tobruk. Separate submarine flotillas raided from Gibraltar, from Beirut, and from Alexandria, as well as from Malta.

    That sub group you're talking about mainly went after Tripoli shipping, the port furthest away from Rommel, and in fact left Malta for Egypt in April 1942.
    Last edited by clackers; 13 Sep 11, at 07:12.

  7. #82
    Senior Contributor clackers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    The 2nd played a critical role in the Balkan/Greek campaigns but the 5th did not. So assuming the 5th gets sent, how much more can Rommel achieve with even 1 extra panzer division?
    Again, neither the 2nd or the 5th are available, Zraver. They are taking part in the Balkans campaign in the spring of 1941.

    We can go round in circles. If there's no Balkan campaign, then you might argue that with 60,000 additional troops XIII Corps with 2nd and 7th Armoured Divisions would have taken Tripoli after Operation Compass!

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