The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

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ljadw
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by ljadw » 11 Feb 2021 21:09

Aida1 wrote:
11 Feb 2021 19:36
ljadw wrote:
11 Feb 2021 16:59
The main asset of a tank division is not the number of tanks .
Besides, the more tanks such a division has, the less will be operational .
What a load of rubbish. Laughable. So the main asset of a tank division is not tanks. :lol:
And it is true that the number of operational tanks dimishes rapidly so a division with not much tanks to begin with will end up with almost none very quickly.
There is NO main asset in a tank division : a tank division is a combined arms unit .
And it is also so that a tank division of 400 tanks and 20000 men will advance slower than a tank division of 200 tanks and 14000 men .
A batallion advances faster than a brigade and a brigade faster than a division,etc .

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 11 Feb 2021 21:19

ljadw wrote:
11 Feb 2021 21:09
a tank division is a combined arms unit .
Agreed, and if only the inter-war RTR had realised that fact the British would have been in a better place for the first few years of the war.
ljadw wrote:
11 Feb 2021 21:09
a tank division of 400 tanks and 20000 men will advance slower than a tank division of 200 tanks and 14000 men .
Depends on the terrain and opposition surely? In the desert, I wouldn't have thought it wouldn't make much difference - until all the tanks ran out of petrol!
ljadw wrote:
11 Feb 2021 21:09
A batallion advances faster than a brigade and a brigade faster than a division,etc .
Not entirely sure what you mean here - do you mean on average? If the tank battalion (or combined arms battle group) belongs to the division, then the division is actually moving as fast as the battalion! :D

Regards

Tom

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Aida1
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Aida1 » 11 Feb 2021 21:27

ljadw wrote:
11 Feb 2021 21:09
Aida1 wrote:
11 Feb 2021 19:36
ljadw wrote:
11 Feb 2021 16:59
The main asset of a tank division is not the number of tanks .
Besides, the more tanks such a division has, the less will be operational .
What a load of rubbish. Laughable. So the main asset of a tank division is not tanks. :lol:
And it is true that the number of operational tanks dimishes rapidly so a division with not much tanks to begin with will end up with almost none very quickly.
There is NO main asset in a tank division : a tank division is a combined arms unit .
And it is also so that a tank division of 400 tanks and 20000 men will advance slower than a tank division of 200 tanks and 14000 men .
A batallion advances faster than a brigade and a brigade faster than a division,etc .
Incorrect. All units are combined arms but the main asset in a Pz Div is the tanks just as thecmain asset of an inf Div is the infantry.
The rest of your posting is utter nonsense. Betrays a lack of practical insight in military operations. You seem unwilling to understand how Pz Div actually operated. :lol:
Tom from Cornwall correctly pointed out to you that batallions belong to a division so the division is as fast as the batallions which are part of it. :lol:

ljadw
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by ljadw » 12 Feb 2021 09:09

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
11 Feb 2021 21:19
ljadw wrote:
11 Feb 2021 21:09
a tank division is a combined arms unit .
Agreed, and if only the inter-war RTR had realised that fact the British would have been in a better place for the first few years of the war.
ljadw wrote:
11 Feb 2021 21:09
a tank division of 400 tanks and 20000 men will advance slower than a tank division of 200 tanks and 14000 men .
Depends on the terrain and opposition surely? In the desert, I wouldn't have thought it wouldn't make much difference - until all the tanks ran out of petrol!
ljadw wrote:
11 Feb 2021 21:09
A batallion advances faster than a brigade and a brigade faster than a division,etc .
Not entirely sure what you mean here - do you mean on average? If the tank battalion (or combined arms battle group) belongs to the division, then the division is actually moving as fast as the battalion! :D

Regards

Tom
1 As an armoured division is a combined arms unit, this means that there is no such thing as a main asset :the number of tanks in such a division is not more important than the number of artillery pieces
2 Even in the desert it would make a big difference : after Alamein Montgomery was going west using only one division, the others followed as rearguard.
3 A tank batallion is a PART of a division and if it is advancing 100 km in one day, this does not mean that the whole division is advancing 100 km .
4 Old Moltke had a maxim : getrennt marschieren, vereint schlagen .
Why getrennt marschieren ?Because it is more difficult to supply an advancing division than an advancing brigade,the bigger the unit, the more road space is needed,and road space is always limited .
If a column of 100 tanks need 10 km of road, a column of 10 tanks will need less km of road .
5 Advancing units do advancing at the speed of the slowest part : the marching infantry .
6 Traffic on a highway will be faster slowed, blocked at the peak hours,when there is a risk of blockage because there is too much traffic .
7 When Guderian came back in 1943 as IG of the armoured forces, he proposed to go back to the prewar period when the German tank divisions had 400 tanks .This would mean that at the East Front there would be only 7/8 PzD,each with as mission to protect a front line of hundreds of km ,which they could not do .
No one had such units in 1943, because it was obvious tat such units could not operate .
Guderian's proposal was nonsense, and lucky for the Germans, it did not become reality .
Much better would have been the US solution : to create independent tank batallions which as mission to help the infantry divisions .
A German infantry division that was attacked by a Soviet force would have been defeated, destroyed before the arrival of Guderian's 400 tank PzD : such a big unit would arrive to late .

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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Peter89 » 12 Feb 2021 10:47

ljdaw, I think you phrase your opinion a bit roughly and it leads to a lot of misunderstandings.

Indeed, a panzer division was very much dependent on its "additional units", like recon sdkfz-s, signal equipment and units, the motorized and mechanized infantry regiments; and the lack of these could lead to abysmal performance, like in the case of the Battle of Arracourt, where neither the quality nor the quantity of the German armour didn't matter. Without recon and signal units, the tanks arrived piecemal in a series of disjointed assaults.

However, you are going into the extremes when you say the number of tanks was irrelevant and that a panzer division cannot move fast enough. Of course there were adverse effects like road quality, weather and such, but in general a panzer division took 95km of road without intervals between the units, and so approximately 100km in reality.

The march speed of tanks was 12kmph, but the infantry of the panzer divisions - a motorized infantry regiment on lorries and a mechanized infantry regiment on half-tracks - could march with 22kmph and 16kmph, respectively, so your statement when you said that
3 A tank batallion is a PART of a division and if it is advancing 100 km in one day, this does not mean that the whole division is advancing 100 km .
is not really true, because in an adequately motorized panzer division, it was actually the tanks that moved the slowest, and produced the most mechanical breakdowns; so if the panzer regiment of a panzer division could in reality move 100km in one day, then the rest of the division could follow.

Also, if you change one mechanized infantry regiment to a panzer regiment, then you change a 12,020m march section for a 19,500m march section, so the difference is not that big as you suggest here:
If a column of 100 tanks need 10 km of road, a column of 10 tanks will need less km of road .
So if you double the number of panzers in a panzer division, and half that of the motorized infantry, the division will take +7.5% of road and will travel with the same speed, theoretically. If you don't touch the motorized infantry units, but double the panzers, the division will take approximately +19.5% of road.

Back to the number of tanks.
Again, you are confusing campaign or battle results with effectiveness. If the task that was given to a panzer division was impossible to do, then it doesn't matter how effective was it compared to a battle where the task was possible to do. It's nonsense. It's not realistic to say that the Germans lost the Battle of Kursk, so their panzer divisions in mid-summer 1943 were worse than those in 1940, when they've won the Battle of France. The two were very much different operations.

So first we need to address the deployment, the overall situation, and then we can conclude which unit composition was the best suited for the task.

I agree in principle that the panzer divisions for Barbarossa were reorganized in a better fashion = more suited for the task at hand (with one panzer regiment) than the ones in 1940. Mostly because the plans of Barbarossa contained multiple encirclement operations, for which the Germans needed a lot of motorized or mechanized infantry.

But in 1940, the panzer divisions were organized in a good fashion, too - because then the concentration of armour mattered the most in their plan, and additional infantry units were not as much important as the unified command of large panzer formations.

Aside from that, Germany could not profit from much more tanks in the Fall Gelb; that plan was not built upon that. (It was problematic to cross the Ardennes and the Maas with that much units anyway.) Also, the campaign was over in a few weeks.

Unlike the campaign in the Soviet Union, where the campaign(s) lasted for years, and so maintenance and supply became insanely important. Until the summer of 1942, the collapse of the centralized maintenance system was not addressed sufficiently, and even later on, it wasn't addressed adequately. Repairing tanks became ever more difficult, especially when the long retreat began. So operational readiness rates - thus combat effectiveness - could be increased with increased amount of production; let it be the production of new vehicles, spare parts or whatever.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

ljadw
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by ljadw » 12 Feb 2021 13:10

Peter89 wrote:
12 Feb 2021 10:47
ljdaw, I think you phrase your opinion a bit roughly and it leads to a lot of misunderstandings.

Indeed, a panzer division was very much dependent on its "additional units", like recon sdkfz-s, signal equipment and units, the motorized and mechanized infantry regiments; and the lack of these could lead to abysmal performance, like in the case of the Battle of Arracourt, where neither the quality nor the quantity of the German armour didn't matter. Without recon and signal units, the tanks arrived piecemal in a series of disjointed assaults.

However, you are going into the extremes when you say the number of tanks was irrelevant and that a panzer division cannot move fast enough. Of course there were adverse effects like road quality, weather and such, but in general a panzer division took 95km of road without intervals between the units, and so approximately 100km in reality.

The march speed of tanks was 12kmph, but the infantry of the panzer divisions - a motorized infantry regiment on lorries and a mechanized infantry regiment on half-tracks - could march with 22kmph and 16kmph, respectively, so your statement when you said that
3 A tank batallion is a PART of a division and if it is advancing 100 km in one day, this does not mean that the whole division is advancing 100 km .
is not really true, because in an adequately motorized panzer division, it was actually the tanks that moved the slowest, and produced the most mechanical breakdowns; so if the panzer regiment of a panzer division could in reality move 100km in one day, then the rest of the division could follow.

Also, if you change one mechanized infantry regiment to a panzer regiment, then you change a 12,020m march section for a 19,500m march section, so the difference is not that big as you suggest here:
If a column of 100 tanks need 10 km of road, a column of 10 tanks will need less km of road .
So if you double the number of panzers in a panzer division, and half that of the motorized infantry, the division will take +7.5% of road and will travel with the same speed, theoretically. If you don't touch the motorized infantry units, but double the panzers, the division will take approximately +19.5% of road.

Back to the number of tanks.
Again, you are confusing campaign or battle results with effectiveness. If the task that was given to a panzer division was impossible to do, then it doesn't matter how effective was it compared to a battle where the task was possible to do. It's nonsense. It's not realistic to say that the Germans lost the Battle of Kursk, so their panzer divisions in mid-summer 1943 were worse than those in 1940, when they've won the Battle of France. The two were very much different operations.

So first we need to address the deployment, the overall situation, and then we can conclude which unit composition was the best suited for the task.

I agree in principle that the panzer divisions for Barbarossa were reorganized in a better fashion = more suited for the task at hand (with one panzer regiment) than the ones in 1940. Mostly because the plans of Barbarossa contained multiple encirclement operations, for which the Germans needed a lot of motorized or mechanized infantry.

But in 1940, the panzer divisions were organized in a good fashion, too - because then the concentration of armour mattered the most in their plan, and additional infantry units were not as much important as the unified command of large panzer formations.

Aside from that, Germany could not profit from much more tanks in the Fall Gelb; that plan was not built upon that. (It was problematic to cross the Ardennes and the Maas with that much units anyway.) Also, the campaign was over in a few weeks.

Unlike the campaign in the Soviet Union, where the campaign(s) lasted for years, and so maintenance and supply became insanely important. Until the summer of 1942, the collapse of the centralized maintenance system was not addressed sufficiently, and even later on, it wasn't addressed adequately. Repairing tanks became ever more difficult, especially when the long retreat began. So operational readiness rates - thus combat effectiveness - could be increased with increased amount of production; let it be the production of new vehicles, spare parts or whatever.
I stick to my point that it is not so that the more tanks a PzD had,the stronger it was , as Aida 1 is claiming : if it was so ,there would be PzD with 1000 tanks .
The speed (theoretical speed of a Mot.regiment ) is not very relevant as a mot. regiment would attack /advance only in second line ,as it was too vulnerable to the enemy : 10 men in a truck are more vulnerable than 10 men marching by foot .And the mot.infantry was also depending on roads,which was not the case for the not mot. infantry .
A unit (PzD/ID,etc ..) needed and firepower, manpower,speed/mobility /armoured protection .
But the Germans were unable to realize this .
Tanks had mobility/speed,but lacked manpower and firepower and protection
Infantry had manpower but lacked mobility/speed and firepower
Artillery had firepower,but lacked mobility and manpower .
If there were more tanks,they would need more artillery and infantry
If there was more infantry, speed would decrease
The same for the artillery
In the Middle Ages,the cavalry ( predecessor of the tanks ) needed protection by infantry ,because the more the man on the horse and the horse were armoured,the slower they could advance ,and the slower they advanced, the more vulnerable hey were .
It is the same for the tanks : the heavier and the more numerous they were the lower would be their mobility and their speed .And, as it was very easy to block a tank, and as tanks were primitive machines with more non combat losses than combat losses,tanks needed protection from infantry , from non motorized infantry .
Tanks could not act independently,even their advance was depending on the support/protection of the infantry .After Stalingrad, the Germans were on the defensive and the ID had less firepower and manpower than the Soviet divisions and needed the help of the PzD and the few mobile units that remained .The more tanks the PzD would have,the less PzD would be available and they would have to come from a bigger distance ,and would thus need more time .The arrival,without the infantry,of tanks,would not help the ID that was attacked, neither would the arrival of infantry without tanks .Both had to arrive at the same moment .And more tanks would arrive later.The same for infantry or artillery .
A year later, it was even worse : even the mobile divisions needed more time to arrive than before : it took weeks to bring Das Reich to the front in Normandy .
In the West the Allied Air Force blocked the transport of the mobile/PzD by road.
In the East, it was the lack on decent roads who blocked it .After the fall of Sevastopol,the divisions of Manstein that were transferred to the front of Leningrad,had to go ,by rail of course, through Poland .

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Aida1
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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Aida1 » 12 Feb 2021 15:58

ljadw wrote:
12 Feb 2021 09:09
Tom from Cornwall wrote:
11 Feb 2021 21:19
ljadw wrote:
11 Feb 2021 21:09
a tank division is a combined arms unit .
Agreed, and if only the inter-war RTR had realised that fact the British would have been in a better place for the first few years of the war.
ljadw wrote:
11 Feb 2021 21:09
a tank division of 400 tanks and 20000 men will advance slower than a tank division of 200 tanks and 14000 men .
Depends on the terrain and opposition surely? In the desert, I wouldn't have thought it wouldn't make much difference - until all the tanks ran out of petrol!
ljadw wrote:
11 Feb 2021 21:09
A batallion advances faster than a brigade and a brigade faster than a division,etc .
Not entirely sure what you mean here - do you mean on average? If the tank battalion (or combined arms battle group) belongs to the division, then the division is actually moving as fast as the battalion! :D

Regards

Tom
1 As an armoured division is a combined arms unit, this means that there is no such thing as a main asset :the number of tanks in such a division is not more important than the number of artillery pieces
2 Even in the desert it would make a big difference : after Alamein Montgomery was going west using only one division, the others followed as rearguard.
3 A tank batallion is a PART of a division and if it is advancing 100 km in one day, this does not mean that the whole division is advancing 100 km .
4 Old Moltke had a maxim : getrennt marschieren, vereint schlagen .
Why getrennt marschieren ?Because it is more difficult to supply an advancing division than an advancing brigade,the bigger the unit, the more road space is needed,and road space is always limited .
If a column of 100 tanks need 10 km of road, a column of 10 tanks will need less km of road .
5 Advancing units do advancing at the speed of the slowest part : the marching infantry .
6 Traffic on a highway will be faster slowed, blocked at the peak hours,when there is a risk of blockage because there is too much traffic .
7 When Guderian came back in 1943 as IG of the armoured forces, he proposed to go back to the prewar period when the German tank divisions had 400 tanks .This would mean that at the East Front there would be only 7/8 PzD,each with as mission to protect a front line of hundreds of km ,which they could not do .
No one had such units in 1943, because it was obvious tat such units could not operate .
Guderian's proposal was nonsense, and lucky for the Germans, it did not become reality .
Much better would have been the US solution : to create independent tank batallions which as mission to help the infantry divisions .
A German infantry division that was attacked by a Soviet force would have been defeated, destroyed before the arrival of Guderian's 400 tank PzD : such a big unit would arrive to late .
You clearly do not understand. The main asset of a tank division is the tank and other assets support it. From that viewpoint German Pz Div had become too tank low .Therefore Guderian wanted the number of tanks to be proportional again to the other assets. And these strong Pz Div would have an entirely offensive mission If you knew about Guderians proposals you would know he had other solutions for supporting the infantry.

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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Aida1 » 12 Feb 2021 16:01

ljadw wrote:
12 Feb 2021 13:10
Peter89 wrote:
12 Feb 2021 10:47
ljdaw, I think you phrase your opinion a bit roughly and it leads to a lot of misunderstandings.

Indeed, a panzer division was very much dependent on its "additional units", like recon sdkfz-s, signal equipment and units, the motorized and mechanized infantry regiments; and the lack of these could lead to abysmal performance, like in the case of the Battle of Arracourt, where neither the quality nor the quantity of the German armour didn't matter. Without recon and signal units, the tanks arrived piecemal in a series of disjointed assaults.

However, you are going into the extremes when you say the number of tanks was irrelevant and that a panzer division cannot move fast enough. Of course there were adverse effects like road quality, weather and such, but in general a panzer division took 95km of road without intervals between the units, and so approximately 100km in reality.

The march speed of tanks was 12kmph, but the infantry of the panzer divisions - a motorized infantry regiment on lorries and a mechanized infantry regiment on half-tracks - could march with 22kmph and 16kmph, respectively, so your statement when you said that
3 A tank batallion is a PART of a division and if it is advancing 100 km in one day, this does not mean that the whole division is advancing 100 km .
is not really true, because in an adequately motorized panzer division, it was actually the tanks that moved the slowest, and produced the most mechanical breakdowns; so if the panzer regiment of a panzer division could in reality move 100km in one day, then the rest of the division could follow.

Also, if you change one mechanized infantry regiment to a panzer regiment, then you change a 12,020m march section for a 19,500m march section, so the difference is not that big as you suggest here:
If a column of 100 tanks need 10 km of road, a column of 10 tanks will need less km of road .
So if you double the number of panzers in a panzer division, and half that of the motorized infantry, the division will take +7.5% of road and will travel with the same speed, theoretically. If you don't touch the motorized infantry units, but double the panzers, the division will take approximately +19.5% of road.

Back to the number of tanks.
Again, you are confusing campaign or battle results with effectiveness. If the task that was given to a panzer division was impossible to do, then it doesn't matter how effective was it compared to a battle where the task was possible to do. It's nonsense. It's not realistic to say that the Germans lost the Battle of Kursk, so their panzer divisions in mid-summer 1943 were worse than those in 1940, when they've won the Battle of France. The two were very much different operations.

So first we need to address the deployment, the overall situation, and then we can conclude which unit composition was the best suited for the task.

I agree in principle that the panzer divisions for Barbarossa were reorganized in a better fashion = more suited for the task at hand (with one panzer regiment) than the ones in 1940. Mostly because the plans of Barbarossa contained multiple encirclement operations, for which the Germans needed a lot of motorized or mechanized infantry.

But in 1940, the panzer divisions were organized in a good fashion, too - because then the concentration of armour mattered the most in their plan, and additional infantry units were not as much important as the unified command of large panzer formations.

Aside from that, Germany could not profit from much more tanks in the Fall Gelb; that plan was not built upon that. (It was problematic to cross the Ardennes and the Maas with that much units anyway.) Also, the campaign was over in a few weeks.

Unlike the campaign in the Soviet Union, where the campaign(s) lasted for years, and so maintenance and supply became insanely important. Until the summer of 1942, the collapse of the centralized maintenance system was not addressed sufficiently, and even later on, it wasn't addressed adequately. Repairing tanks became ever more difficult, especially when the long retreat began. So operational readiness rates - thus combat effectiveness - could be increased with increased amount of production; let it be the production of new vehicles, spare parts or whatever.
I stick to my point that it is not so that the more tanks a PzD had,the stronger it was , as Aida 1 is claiming : if it was so ,there would be PzD with 1000 tanks .
The speed (theoretical speed of a Mot.regiment ) is not very relevant as a mot. regiment would attack /advance only in second line ,as it was too vulnerable to the enemy : 10 men in a truck are more vulnerable than 10 men marching by foot .And the mot.infantry was also depending on roads,which was not the case for the not mot. infantry .
A unit (PzD/ID,etc ..) needed and firepower, manpower,speed/mobility /armoured protection .
But the Germans were unable to realize this .
Tanks had mobility/speed,but lacked manpower and firepower and protection
Infantry had manpower but lacked mobility/speed and firepower
Artillery had firepower,but lacked mobility and manpower .
If there were more tanks,they would need more artillery and infantry
If there was more infantry, speed would decrease
The same for the artillery
In the Middle Ages,the cavalry ( predecessor of the tanks ) needed protection by infantry ,because the more the man on the horse and the horse were armoured,the slower they could advance ,and the slower they advanced, the more vulnerable hey were .
It is the same for the tanks : the heavier and the more numerous they were the lower would be their mobility and their speed .And, as it was very easy to block a tank, and as tanks were primitive machines with more non combat losses than combat losses,tanks needed protection from infantry , from non motorized infantry .
Tanks could not act independently,even their advance was depending on the support/protection of the infantry .After Stalingrad, the Germans were on the defensive and the ID had less firepower and manpower than the Soviet divisions and needed the help of the PzD and the few mobile units that remained .The more tanks the PzD would have,the less PzD would be available and they would have to come from a bigger distance ,and would thus need more time .The arrival,without the infantry,of tanks,would not help the ID that was attacked, neither would the arrival of infantry without tanks .Both had to arrive at the same moment .And more tanks would arrive later.The same for infantry or artillery .
A year later, it was even worse : even the mobile divisions needed more time to arrive than before : it took weeks to bring Das Reich to the front in Normandy .
In the West the Allied Air Force blocked the transport of the mobile/PzD by road.
In the East, it was the lack on decent roads who blocked it .After the fall of Sevastopol,the divisions of Manstein that were transferred to the front of Leningrad,had to go ,by rail of course, through Poland .
:lol: I do think Guderian knew more about tanks than you do.It shows here. You are confusing a lot of things and exhibit a total lack of insight due to the abscence of military experience, lack of reading and prejudice. Try reading some books about armoured warfare. :lol: it would teach you about what armoured divisions are and what their mission actually is. :lol:

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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Peter89 » 12 Feb 2021 16:25

ljadw wrote:
12 Feb 2021 13:10
Peter89 wrote:
12 Feb 2021 10:47
ljdaw, I think you phrase your opinion a bit roughly and it leads to a lot of misunderstandings.

Indeed, a panzer division was very much dependent on its "additional units", like recon sdkfz-s, signal equipment and units, the motorized and mechanized infantry regiments; and the lack of these could lead to abysmal performance, like in the case of the Battle of Arracourt, where neither the quality nor the quantity of the German armour didn't matter. Without recon and signal units, the tanks arrived piecemal in a series of disjointed assaults.

However, you are going into the extremes when you say the number of tanks was irrelevant and that a panzer division cannot move fast enough. Of course there were adverse effects like road quality, weather and such, but in general a panzer division took 95km of road without intervals between the units, and so approximately 100km in reality.

The march speed of tanks was 12kmph, but the infantry of the panzer divisions - a motorized infantry regiment on lorries and a mechanized infantry regiment on half-tracks - could march with 22kmph and 16kmph, respectively, so your statement when you said that
3 A tank batallion is a PART of a division and if it is advancing 100 km in one day, this does not mean that the whole division is advancing 100 km .
is not really true, because in an adequately motorized panzer division, it was actually the tanks that moved the slowest, and produced the most mechanical breakdowns; so if the panzer regiment of a panzer division could in reality move 100km in one day, then the rest of the division could follow.

Also, if you change one mechanized infantry regiment to a panzer regiment, then you change a 12,020m march section for a 19,500m march section, so the difference is not that big as you suggest here:
If a column of 100 tanks need 10 km of road, a column of 10 tanks will need less km of road .
So if you double the number of panzers in a panzer division, and half that of the motorized infantry, the division will take +7.5% of road and will travel with the same speed, theoretically. If you don't touch the motorized infantry units, but double the panzers, the division will take approximately +19.5% of road.

Back to the number of tanks.
Again, you are confusing campaign or battle results with effectiveness. If the task that was given to a panzer division was impossible to do, then it doesn't matter how effective was it compared to a battle where the task was possible to do. It's nonsense. It's not realistic to say that the Germans lost the Battle of Kursk, so their panzer divisions in mid-summer 1943 were worse than those in 1940, when they've won the Battle of France. The two were very much different operations.

So first we need to address the deployment, the overall situation, and then we can conclude which unit composition was the best suited for the task.

I agree in principle that the panzer divisions for Barbarossa were reorganized in a better fashion = more suited for the task at hand (with one panzer regiment) than the ones in 1940. Mostly because the plans of Barbarossa contained multiple encirclement operations, for which the Germans needed a lot of motorized or mechanized infantry.

But in 1940, the panzer divisions were organized in a good fashion, too - because then the concentration of armour mattered the most in their plan, and additional infantry units were not as much important as the unified command of large panzer formations.

Aside from that, Germany could not profit from much more tanks in the Fall Gelb; that plan was not built upon that. (It was problematic to cross the Ardennes and the Maas with that much units anyway.) Also, the campaign was over in a few weeks.

Unlike the campaign in the Soviet Union, where the campaign(s) lasted for years, and so maintenance and supply became insanely important. Until the summer of 1942, the collapse of the centralized maintenance system was not addressed sufficiently, and even later on, it wasn't addressed adequately. Repairing tanks became ever more difficult, especially when the long retreat began. So operational readiness rates - thus combat effectiveness - could be increased with increased amount of production; let it be the production of new vehicles, spare parts or whatever.
I stick to my point that it is not so that the more tanks a PzD had,the stronger it was , as Aida 1 is claiming : if it was so ,there would be PzD with 1000 tanks .
The speed (theoretical speed of a Mot.regiment ) is not very relevant as a mot. regiment would attack /advance only in second line ,as it was too vulnerable to the enemy : 10 men in a truck are more vulnerable than 10 men marching by foot .And the mot.infantry was also depending on roads,which was not the case for the not mot. infantry .
A unit (PzD/ID,etc ..) needed and firepower, manpower,speed/mobility /armoured protection .
But the Germans were unable to realize this .
Tanks had mobility/speed,but lacked manpower and firepower and protection
Infantry had manpower but lacked mobility/speed and firepower
Artillery had firepower,but lacked mobility and manpower .
If there were more tanks,they would need more artillery and infantry
If there was more infantry, speed would decrease
The same for the artillery
In the Middle Ages,the cavalry ( predecessor of the tanks ) needed protection by infantry ,because the more the man on the horse and the horse were armoured,the slower they could advance ,and the slower they advanced, the more vulnerable hey were .
It is the same for the tanks : the heavier and the more numerous they were the lower would be their mobility and their speed .And, as it was very easy to block a tank, and as tanks were primitive machines with more non combat losses than combat losses,tanks needed protection from infantry , from non motorized infantry .
Tanks could not act independently,even their advance was depending on the support/protection of the infantry .After Stalingrad, the Germans were on the defensive and the ID had less firepower and manpower than the Soviet divisions and needed the help of the PzD and the few mobile units that remained .The more tanks the PzD would have,the less PzD would be available and they would have to come from a bigger distance ,and would thus need more time .The arrival,without the infantry,of tanks,would not help the ID that was attacked, neither would the arrival of infantry without tanks .Both had to arrive at the same moment .And more tanks would arrive later.The same for infantry or artillery .
A year later, it was even worse : even the mobile divisions needed more time to arrive than before : it took weeks to bring Das Reich to the front in Normandy .
In the West the Allied Air Force blocked the transport of the mobile/PzD by road.
In the East, it was the lack on decent roads who blocked it .After the fall of Sevastopol,the divisions of Manstein that were transferred to the front of Leningrad,had to go ,by rail of course, through Poland .
???
Again, I don't understand what you are talking about.

Increased production, thus more tanks and / or spare parts meant higher operational availability, thus higher combat power of the unit. Don't forget that the panzer divisions with reduced tank park (200) never had more than 150 tanks, with 100 being the typical. It has nothing to do with "tanks unable to act independently". They wouldn't. The Germans were never able to meet their authorized unit strengths, let alone upkeep it. The same was true for the aircrafts; they were simply unable to do it. Let's say the Germans increase their panzer production by 25% - then it doesn't mean tanks roaming alone on a battlefield. It's just reaching the authorized strength in existing units.

Also on the unit level, there were heavy panzer battalions (Schwere Panzerabteilungen) which had virtually no support units in their OOB; but it did not mean that they were employed without infantry, artillery or air cover.

So if a unit contains more infantry or more tanks is irrelevant as long as the operational reality covers that up. You can send a tank-heavy division and a mechanized infantry division to carry out an operation in tandem; they don't have to be in the same unit, but in the same task force / Kampfgruppe.

Whether an extra regiment of panzers was a good or a bad thing in a panzer division - it depended on the task, it wasn't an iron law written in rock.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by ljadw » 12 Feb 2021 18:48

Aida1 wrote:
12 Feb 2021 15:58
ljadw wrote:
12 Feb 2021 09:09
Tom from Cornwall wrote:
11 Feb 2021 21:19
ljadw wrote:
11 Feb 2021 21:09
a tank division is a combined arms unit .
Agreed, and if only the inter-war RTR had realised that fact the British would have been in a better place for the first few years of the war.
ljadw wrote:
11 Feb 2021 21:09
a tank division of 400 tanks and 20000 men will advance slower than a tank division of 200 tanks and 14000 men .
Depends on the terrain and opposition surely? In the desert, I wouldn't have thought it wouldn't make much difference - until all the tanks ran out of petrol!
ljadw wrote:
11 Feb 2021 21:09
A batallion advances faster than a brigade and a brigade faster than a division,etc .
Not entirely sure what you mean here - do you mean on average? If the tank battalion (or combined arms battle group) belongs to the division, then the division is actually moving as fast as the battalion! :D

Regards

Tom
1 As an armoured division is a combined arms unit, this means that there is no such thing as a main asset :the number of tanks in such a division is not more important than the number of artillery pieces
2 Even in the desert it would make a big difference : after Alamein Montgomery was going west using only one division, the others followed as rearguard.
3 A tank batallion is a PART of a division and if it is advancing 100 km in one day, this does not mean that the whole division is advancing 100 km .
4 Old Moltke had a maxim : getrennt marschieren, vereint schlagen .
Why getrennt marschieren ?Because it is more difficult to supply an advancing division than an advancing brigade,the bigger the unit, the more road space is needed,and road space is always limited .
If a column of 100 tanks need 10 km of road, a column of 10 tanks will need less km of road .
5 Advancing units do advancing at the speed of the slowest part : the marching infantry .
6 Traffic on a highway will be faster slowed, blocked at the peak hours,when there is a risk of blockage because there is too much traffic .
7 When Guderian came back in 1943 as IG of the armoured forces, he proposed to go back to the prewar period when the German tank divisions had 400 tanks .This would mean that at the East Front there would be only 7/8 PzD,each with as mission to protect a front line of hundreds of km ,which they could not do .
No one had such units in 1943, because it was obvious tat such units could not operate .
Guderian's proposal was nonsense, and lucky for the Germans, it did not become reality .
Much better would have been the US solution : to create independent tank batallions which as mission to help the infantry divisions .
A German infantry division that was attacked by a Soviet force would have been defeated, destroyed before the arrival of Guderian's 400 tank PzD : such a big unit would arrive to late .
You clearly do not understand. The main asset of a tank division is the tank and other assets support it. From that viewpoint German Pz Div had become too tank low .Therefore Guderian wanted the number of tanks to be proportional again to the other assets. And these strong Pz Div would have an entirely offensive mission If you knew about Guderians proposals you would know he had other solutions for supporting the infantry.
When Guderian became IG of the armoured forces in 1943, Germany was on the strategic defense in the East,and the PzD would have only a defensive mission . Citadel was a defensive operation .
Guderian was a man of the past, incapable in the past and incapable to understand that the situation had evolved : NO ONE in 1943 had PzD with 400 tanks, thus there was no reason for Germany to have such PzD .
The PzD of Fall Weiss had not 400 tanks:
1 309
2 322
3 389
4 311
5 335
Kempf 164
10 150
Thus : why should Germany's PzD have 400 tanks in 1943,when experience had taught that more than 300 tanks for a PzD did not work ?
The Soviet PzD had too many tanks in June 1941,with the result we know .
The proposal from Guderian was simply suicidal .

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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Aida1 » 12 Feb 2021 18:57

ljadw wrote:
12 Feb 2021 18:48
Aida1 wrote:
12 Feb 2021 15:58
ljadw wrote:
12 Feb 2021 09:09
Tom from Cornwall wrote:
11 Feb 2021 21:19
ljadw wrote:
11 Feb 2021 21:09
a tank division is a combined arms unit .
Agreed, and if only the inter-war RTR had realised that fact the British would have been in a better place for the first few years of the war.
ljadw wrote:
11 Feb 2021 21:09
a tank division of 400 tanks and 20000 men will advance slower than a tank division of 200 tanks and 14000 men .
Depends on the terrain and opposition surely? In the desert, I wouldn't have thought it wouldn't make much difference - until all the tanks ran out of petrol!
ljadw wrote:
11 Feb 2021 21:09
A batallion advances faster than a brigade and a brigade faster than a division,etc .
Not entirely sure what you mean here - do you mean on average? If the tank battalion (or combined arms battle group) belongs to the division, then the division is actually moving as fast as the battalion! :D

Regards

Tom
1 As an armoured division is a combined arms unit, this means that there is no such thing as a main asset :the number of tanks in such a division is not more important than the number of artillery pieces
2 Even in the desert it would make a big difference : after Alamein Montgomery was going west using only one division, the others followed as rearguard.
3 A tank batallion is a PART of a division and if it is advancing 100 km in one day, this does not mean that the whole division is advancing 100 km .
4 Old Moltke had a maxim : getrennt marschieren, vereint schlagen .
Why getrennt marschieren ?Because it is more difficult to supply an advancing division than an advancing brigade,the bigger the unit, the more road space is needed,and road space is always limited .
If a column of 100 tanks need 10 km of road, a column of 10 tanks will need less km of road .
5 Advancing units do advancing at the speed of the slowest part : the marching infantry .
6 Traffic on a highway will be faster slowed, blocked at the peak hours,when there is a risk of blockage because there is too much traffic .
7 When Guderian came back in 1943 as IG of the armoured forces, he proposed to go back to the prewar period when the German tank divisions had 400 tanks .This would mean that at the East Front there would be only 7/8 PzD,each with as mission to protect a front line of hundreds of km ,which they could not do .
No one had such units in 1943, because it was obvious tat such units could not operate .
Guderian's proposal was nonsense, and lucky for the Germans, it did not become reality .
Much better would have been the US solution : to create independent tank batallions which as mission to help the infantry divisions .
A German infantry division that was attacked by a Soviet force would have been defeated, destroyed before the arrival of Guderian's 400 tank PzD : such a big unit would arrive to late .
You clearly do not understand. The main asset of a tank division is the tank and other assets support it. From that viewpoint German Pz Div had become too tank low .Therefore Guderian wanted the number of tanks to be proportional again to the other assets. And these strong Pz Div would have an entirely offensive mission If you knew about Guderians proposals you would know he had other solutions for supporting the infantry.
When Guderian became IG of the armoured forces in 1943, Germany was on the strategic defense in the East,and the PzD would have only a defensive mission . Citadel was a defensive operation .
Guderian was a man of the past, incapable in the past and incapable to understand that the situation had evolved : NO ONE in 1943 had PzD with 400 tanks, thus there was no reason for Germany to have such PzD .
The PzD of Fall Weiss had not 400 tanks:
1 309
2 322
3 389
4 311
5 335
Kempf 164
10 150
Thus : why should Germany's PzD have 400 tanks in 1943,when experience had taught that more than 300 tanks for a PzD did not work ?
The Soviet PzD had too many tanks in June 1941,with the result we know .
The proposal from Guderian was simply suicidal .
Wrong. Guderian at least understood that a tank division needs to be tank heavy. It is your personal opinion that 400 would not work. Actually the real,operational strength any given day would be lower. And even within a strategic defense you need to be able to do much more tan local counterattacks.

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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by ljadw » 12 Feb 2021 19:31

Peter89 wrote:
12 Feb 2021 16:25
ljadw wrote:
12 Feb 2021 13:10
Peter89 wrote:
12 Feb 2021 10:47
ljdaw, I think you phrase your opinion a bit roughly and it leads to a lot of misunderstandings.

Indeed, a panzer division was very much dependent on its "additional units", like recon sdkfz-s, signal equipment and units, the motorized and mechanized infantry regiments; and the lack of these could lead to abysmal performance, like in the case of the Battle of Arracourt, where neither the quality nor the quantity of the German armour didn't matter. Without recon and signal units, the tanks arrived piecemal in a series of disjointed assaults.

However, you are going into the extremes when you say the number of tanks was irrelevant and that a panzer division cannot move fast enough. Of course there were adverse effects like road quality, weather and such, but in general a panzer division took 95km of road without intervals between the units, and so approximately 100km in reality.

The march speed of tanks was 12kmph, but the infantry of the panzer divisions - a motorized infantry regiment on lorries and a mechanized infantry regiment on half-tracks - could march with 22kmph and 16kmph, respectively, so your statement when you said that
3 A tank batallion is a PART of a division and if it is advancing 100 km in one day, this does not mean that the whole division is advancing 100 km .
is not really true, because in an adequately motorized panzer division, it was actually the tanks that moved the slowest, and produced the most mechanical breakdowns; so if the panzer regiment of a panzer division could in reality move 100km in one day, then the rest of the division could follow.

Also, if you change one mechanized infantry regiment to a panzer regiment, then you change a 12,020m march section for a 19,500m march section, so the difference is not that big as you suggest here:
If a column of 100 tanks need 10 km of road, a column of 10 tanks will need less km of road .
So if you double the number of panzers in a panzer division, and half that of the motorized infantry, the division will take +7.5% of road and will travel with the same speed, theoretically. If you don't touch the motorized infantry units, but double the panzers, the division will take approximately +19.5% of road.

Back to the number of tanks.
Again, you are confusing campaign or battle results with effectiveness. If the task that was given to a panzer division was impossible to do, then it doesn't matter how effective was it compared to a battle where the task was possible to do. It's nonsense. It's not realistic to say that the Germans lost the Battle of Kursk, so their panzer divisions in mid-summer 1943 were worse than those in 1940, when they've won the Battle of France. The two were very much different operations.

So first we need to address the deployment, the overall situation, and then we can conclude which unit composition was the best suited for the task.

I agree in principle that the panzer divisions for Barbarossa were reorganized in a better fashion = more suited for the task at hand (with one panzer regiment) than the ones in 1940. Mostly because the plans of Barbarossa contained multiple encirclement operations, for which the Germans needed a lot of motorized or mechanized infantry.

But in 1940, the panzer divisions were organized in a good fashion, too - because then the concentration of armour mattered the most in their plan, and additional infantry units were not as much important as the unified command of large panzer formations.

Aside from that, Germany could not profit from much more tanks in the Fall Gelb; that plan was not built upon that. (It was problematic to cross the Ardennes and the Maas with that much units anyway.) Also, the campaign was over in a few weeks.

Unlike the campaign in the Soviet Union, where the campaign(s) lasted for years, and so maintenance and supply became insanely important. Until the summer of 1942, the collapse of the centralized maintenance system was not addressed sufficiently, and even later on, it wasn't addressed adequately. Repairing tanks became ever more difficult, especially when the long retreat began. So operational readiness rates - thus combat effectiveness - could be increased with increased amount of production; let it be the production of new vehicles, spare parts or whatever.
I stick to my point that it is not so that the more tanks a PzD had,the stronger it was , as Aida 1 is claiming : if it was so ,there would be PzD with 1000 tanks .
The speed (theoretical speed of a Mot.regiment ) is not very relevant as a mot. regiment would attack /advance only in second line ,as it was too vulnerable to the enemy : 10 men in a truck are more vulnerable than 10 men marching by foot .And the mot.infantry was also depending on roads,which was not the case for the not mot. infantry .
A unit (PzD/ID,etc ..) needed and firepower, manpower,speed/mobility /armoured protection .
But the Germans were unable to realize this .
Tanks had mobility/speed,but lacked manpower and firepower and protection
Infantry had manpower but lacked mobility/speed and firepower
Artillery had firepower,but lacked mobility and manpower .
If there were more tanks,they would need more artillery and infantry
If there was more infantry, speed would decrease
The same for the artillery
In the Middle Ages,the cavalry ( predecessor of the tanks ) needed protection by infantry ,because the more the man on the horse and the horse were armoured,the slower they could advance ,and the slower they advanced, the more vulnerable hey were .
It is the same for the tanks : the heavier and the more numerous they were the lower would be their mobility and their speed .And, as it was very easy to block a tank, and as tanks were primitive machines with more non combat losses than combat losses,tanks needed protection from infantry , from non motorized infantry .
Tanks could not act independently,even their advance was depending on the support/protection of the infantry .After Stalingrad, the Germans were on the defensive and the ID had less firepower and manpower than the Soviet divisions and needed the help of the PzD and the few mobile units that remained .The more tanks the PzD would have,the less PzD would be available and they would have to come from a bigger distance ,and would thus need more time .The arrival,without the infantry,of tanks,would not help the ID that was attacked, neither would the arrival of infantry without tanks .Both had to arrive at the same moment .And more tanks would arrive later.The same for infantry or artillery .
A year later, it was even worse : even the mobile divisions needed more time to arrive than before : it took weeks to bring Das Reich to the front in Normandy .
In the West the Allied Air Force blocked the transport of the mobile/PzD by road.
In the East, it was the lack on decent roads who blocked it .After the fall of Sevastopol,the divisions of Manstein that were transferred to the front of Leningrad,had to go ,by rail of course, through Poland .
???
Again, I don't understand what you are talking about.

Increased production, thus more tanks and / or spare parts meant higher operational availability, thus higher combat power of the unit. Don't forget that the panzer divisions with reduced tank park (200) never had more than 150 tanks, with 100 being the typical. It has nothing to do with "tanks unable to act independently". They wouldn't. The Germans were never able to meet their authorized unit strengths, let alone upkeep it. The same was true for the aircrafts; they were simply unable to do it. Let's say the Germans increase their panzer production by 25% - then it doesn't mean tanks roaming alone on a battlefield. It's just reaching the authorized strength in existing units.

Also on the unit level, there were heavy panzer battalions (Schwere Panzerabteilungen) which had virtually no support units in their OOB; but it did not mean that they were employed without infantry, artillery or air cover.

So if a unit contains more infantry or more tanks is irrelevant as long as the operational reality covers that up. You can send a tank-heavy division and a mechanized infantry division to carry out an operation in tandem; they don't have to be in the same unit, but in the same task force / Kampfgruppe.

Whether an extra regiment of panzers was a good or a bad thing in a panzer division - it depended on the task, it wasn't an iron law written in rock.
Guderian was proposing 400 tanks per PzD ,which is a doubling of the existing number .
Would that be possible ?
Of course : not ,it would demand an increase of the tank production which was impossible .
Would it be helpful ? Of course : not
The PzD had each enough tanks to do what they had to do ,which was a defensive mission .
PzD could use roads only for small distances ,when there were decent roads,and when the Germans had air superiority .
For long distances and without decent roads and without air superiority ,they were transported by train : in 1962 ,during the Cuba crisis, a US Armoured division was moving from the Deep South to the coast of Florida to participate in an invasion of Cuba ,and its tanks and other heavy equipment was transported by train .Thus in 1943, ...
If Guderian's proposal was accepted, the number of PzD in the east would be halved, which means that each of them would have to cover a bigger area and would have to use trains to go to the point where there was a Soviet breakthrough .
Guderian had the illusion that he could recreate somewhere in Germany the PzD of 1936. It was an illusion as the PzD could not be withdrawn for rest and recovery,as the front was attacked everywhere and that thus the PzD were always involved .
In 1943 the total German tank strength was 5,648,the production was 5,966 and the losses were 6,362 .
The proposal of Guderian of PzD with each 400 tanks would mean 13 PzD for all fronts (the training units also needed tanks ),of whom only 7/8 could be stationed in the east : 7/8 PzD were unable to stop the Soviet advance on a front from Leningrad to the Black Sea "more than 3000 km .Each of them would have to cover more than 400 km .
The only realist possibility was to divide the existing PzD in small brigades/Kampfgruppen with some 50/70 tanks .
Not that it would help much, but it would still be better than what Guderian proposed .
The time of the big tank operations was over , but Guderian refused to accept this .

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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Peter89 » 12 Feb 2021 21:04

ljadw wrote:
12 Feb 2021 19:31

Guderian was proposing 400 tanks per PzD ,which is a doubling of the existing number .
Would that be possible ?
Of course : not ,it would demand an increase of the tank production which was impossible .
Would it be helpful ? Of course : not
The PzD had each enough tanks to do what they had to do ,which was a defensive mission .
PzD could use roads only for small distances ,when there were decent roads,and when the Germans had air superiority .
For long distances and without decent roads and without air superiority ,they were transported by train : in 1962 ,during the Cuba crisis, a US Armoured division was moving from the Deep South to the coast of Florida to participate in an invasion of Cuba ,and its tanks and other heavy equipment was transported by train .Thus in 1943, ...
If Guderian's proposal was accepted, the number of PzD in the east would be halved, which means that each of them would have to cover a bigger area and would have to use trains to go to the point where there was a Soviet breakthrough .
Guderian had the illusion that he could recreate somewhere in Germany the PzD of 1936. It was an illusion as the PzD could not be withdrawn for rest and recovery,as the front was attacked everywhere and that thus the PzD were always involved .
In 1943 the total German tank strength was 5,648,the production was 5,966 and the losses were 6,362 .
The proposal of Guderian of PzD with each 400 tanks would mean 13 PzD for all fronts (the training units also needed tanks ),of whom only 7/8 could be stationed in the east : 7/8 PzD were unable to stop the Soviet advance on a front from Leningrad to the Black Sea "more than 3000 km .Each of them would have to cover more than 400 km .
The only realist possibility was to divide the existing PzD in small brigades/Kampfgruppen with some 50/70 tanks .
Not that it would help much, but it would still be better than what Guderian proposed .
The time of the big tank operations was over , but Guderian refused to accept this .
Am I defending Guderian's view of the ideal composition of a PzD?

No.

Can you please address my points?
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Peter89 » 12 Feb 2021 21:57

Aida1 wrote:
12 Feb 2021 18:57
Wrong. Guderian at least understood that a tank division needs to be tank heavy. It is your personal opinion that 400 would not work. Actually the real,operational strength any given day would be lower. And even within a strategic defense you need to be able to do much more tan local counterattacks.
Guderian also suggested that the Germans should spend 1943 to recuperate and conserve their strength. In fact he made a series of suggestions to formulate a more defensive strategy (or posture rather) for the Wehrmacht. Instead, the Germans spent the first half of 1943 on the offensive, wasting all kinds of resources at Kursk and Tunisia. Thus the increased production of all kind of vehicles and aircrafts could not be felt.

Guderian's suggestions did not materialize, not just the PzDs with 400 panzers, but also the operational framework.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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Re: The Germans increase Panzer production in the Summer of 1940

Post by Aida1 » 12 Feb 2021 22:15

ljadw wrote:
12 Feb 2021 19:31
Peter89 wrote:
12 Feb 2021 16:25
ljadw wrote:
12 Feb 2021 13:10
Peter89 wrote:
12 Feb 2021 10:47
ljdaw, I think you phrase your opinion a bit roughly and it leads to a lot of misunderstandings.

Indeed, a panzer division was very much dependent on its "additional units", like recon sdkfz-s, signal equipment and units, the motorized and mechanized infantry regiments; and the lack of these could lead to abysmal performance, like in the case of the Battle of Arracourt, where neither the quality nor the quantity of the German armour didn't matter. Without recon and signal units, the tanks arrived piecemal in a series of disjointed assaults.

However, you are going into the extremes when you say the number of tanks was irrelevant and that a panzer division cannot move fast enough. Of course there were adverse effects like road quality, weather and such, but in general a panzer division took 95km of road without intervals between the units, and so approximately 100km in reality.

The march speed of tanks was 12kmph, but the infantry of the panzer divisions - a motorized infantry regiment on lorries and a mechanized infantry regiment on half-tracks - could march with 22kmph and 16kmph, respectively, so your statement when you said that
3 A tank batallion is a PART of a division and if it is advancing 100 km in one day, this does not mean that the whole division is advancing 100 km .
is not really true, because in an adequately motorized panzer division, it was actually the tanks that moved the slowest, and produced the most mechanical breakdowns; so if the panzer regiment of a panzer division could in reality move 100km in one day, then the rest of the division could follow.

Also, if you change one mechanized infantry regiment to a panzer regiment, then you change a 12,020m march section for a 19,500m march section, so the difference is not that big as you suggest here:
If a column of 100 tanks need 10 km of road, a column of 10 tanks will need less km of road .
So if you double the number of panzers in a panzer division, and half that of the motorized infantry, the division will take +7.5% of road and will travel with the same speed, theoretically. If you don't touch the motorized infantry units, but double the panzers, the division will take approximately +19.5% of road.

Back to the number of tanks.
Again, you are confusing campaign or battle results with effectiveness. If the task that was given to a panzer division was impossible to do, then it doesn't matter how effective was it compared to a battle where the task was possible to do. It's nonsense. It's not realistic to say that the Germans lost the Battle of Kursk, so their panzer divisions in mid-summer 1943 were worse than those in 1940, when they've won the Battle of France. The two were very much different operations.

So first we need to address the deployment, the overall situation, and then we can conclude which unit composition was the best suited for the task.

I agree in principle that the panzer divisions for Barbarossa were reorganized in a better fashion = more suited for the task at hand (with one panzer regiment) than the ones in 1940. Mostly because the plans of Barbarossa contained multiple encirclement operations, for which the Germans needed a lot of motorized or mechanized infantry.

But in 1940, the panzer divisions were organized in a good fashion, too - because then the concentration of armour mattered the most in their plan, and additional infantry units were not as much important as the unified command of large panzer formations.

Aside from that, Germany could not profit from much more tanks in the Fall Gelb; that plan was not built upon that. (It was problematic to cross the Ardennes and the Maas with that much units anyway.) Also, the campaign was over in a few weeks.

Unlike the campaign in the Soviet Union, where the campaign(s) lasted for years, and so maintenance and supply became insanely important. Until the summer of 1942, the collapse of the centralized maintenance system was not addressed sufficiently, and even later on, it wasn't addressed adequately. Repairing tanks became ever more difficult, especially when the long retreat began. So operational readiness rates - thus combat effectiveness - could be increased with increased amount of production; let it be the production of new vehicles, spare parts or whatever.
I stick to my point that it is not so that the more tanks a PzD had,the stronger it was , as Aida 1 is claiming : if it was so ,there would be PzD with 1000 tanks .
The speed (theoretical speed of a Mot.regiment ) is not very relevant as a mot. regiment would attack /advance only in second line ,as it was too vulnerable to the enemy : 10 men in a truck are more vulnerable than 10 men marching by foot .And the mot.infantry was also depending on roads,which was not the case for the not mot. infantry .
A unit (PzD/ID,etc ..) needed and firepower, manpower,speed/mobility /armoured protection .
But the Germans were unable to realize this .
Tanks had mobility/speed,but lacked manpower and firepower and protection
Infantry had manpower but lacked mobility/speed and firepower
Artillery had firepower,but lacked mobility and manpower .
If there were more tanks,they would need more artillery and infantry
If there was more infantry, speed would decrease
The same for the artillery
In the Middle Ages,the cavalry ( predecessor of the tanks ) needed protection by infantry ,because the more the man on the horse and the horse were armoured,the slower they could advance ,and the slower they advanced, the more vulnerable hey were .
It is the same for the tanks : the heavier and the more numerous they were the lower would be their mobility and their speed .And, as it was very easy to block a tank, and as tanks were primitive machines with more non combat losses than combat losses,tanks needed protection from infantry , from non motorized infantry .
Tanks could not act independently,even their advance was depending on the support/protection of the infantry .After Stalingrad, the Germans were on the defensive and the ID had less firepower and manpower than the Soviet divisions and needed the help of the PzD and the few mobile units that remained .The more tanks the PzD would have,the less PzD would be available and they would have to come from a bigger distance ,and would thus need more time .The arrival,without the infantry,of tanks,would not help the ID that was attacked, neither would the arrival of infantry without tanks .Both had to arrive at the same moment .And more tanks would arrive later.The same for infantry or artillery .
A year later, it was even worse : even the mobile divisions needed more time to arrive than before : it took weeks to bring Das Reich to the front in Normandy .
In the West the Allied Air Force blocked the transport of the mobile/PzD by road.
In the East, it was the lack on decent roads who blocked it .After the fall of Sevastopol,the divisions of Manstein that were transferred to the front of Leningrad,had to go ,by rail of course, through Poland .
???
Again, I don't understand what you are talking about.

Increased production, thus more tanks and / or spare parts meant higher operational availability, thus higher combat power of the unit. Don't forget that the panzer divisions with reduced tank park (200) never had more than 150 tanks, with 100 being the typical. It has nothing to do with "tanks unable to act independently". They wouldn't. The Germans were never able to meet their authorized unit strengths, let alone upkeep it. The same was true for the aircrafts; they were simply unable to do it. Let's say the Germans increase their panzer production by 25% - then it doesn't mean tanks roaming alone on a battlefield. It's just reaching the authorized strength in existing units.

Also on the unit level, there were heavy panzer battalions (Schwere Panzerabteilungen) which had virtually no support units in their OOB; but it did not mean that they were employed without infantry, artillery or air cover.

So if a unit contains more infantry or more tanks is irrelevant as long as the operational reality covers that up. You can send a tank-heavy division and a mechanized infantry division to carry out an operation in tandem; they don't have to be in the same unit, but in the same task force / Kampfgruppe.

Whether an extra regiment of panzers was a good or a bad thing in a panzer division - it depended on the task, it wasn't an iron law written in rock.
Guderian was proposing 400 tanks per PzD ,which is a doubling of the existing number .
Would that be possible ?
Of course : not ,it would demand an increase of the tank production which was impossible .
Would it be helpful ? Of course : not
The PzD had each enough tanks to do what they had to do ,which was a defensive mission .
PzD could use roads only for small distances ,when there were decent roads,and when the Germans had air superiority .
For long distances and without decent roads and without air superiority ,they were transported by train : in 1962 ,during the Cuba crisis, a US Armoured division was moving from the Deep South to the coast of Florida to participate in an invasion of Cuba ,and its tanks and other heavy equipment was transported by train .Thus in 1943, ...
If Guderian's proposal was accepted, the number of PzD in the east would be halved, which means that each of them would have to cover a bigger area and would have to use trains to go to the point where there was a Soviet breakthrough .
Guderian had the illusion that he could recreate somewhere in Germany the PzD of 1936. It was an illusion as the PzD could not be withdrawn for rest and recovery,as the front was attacked everywhere and that thus the PzD were always involved .
In 1943 the total German tank strength was 5,648,the production was 5,966 and the losses were 6,362 .
The proposal of Guderian of PzD with each 400 tanks would mean 13 PzD for all fronts (the training units also needed tanks ),of whom only 7/8 could be stationed in the east : 7/8 PzD were unable to stop the Soviet advance on a front from Leningrad to the Black Sea "more than 3000 km .Each of them would have to cover more than 400 km .
The only realist possibility was to divide the existing PzD in small brigades/Kampfgruppen with some 50/70 tanks .
Not that it would help much, but it would still be better than what Guderian proposed .
The time of the big tank operations was over , but Guderian refused to accept this .
You still refuse to understand what the actual mission of a Pz Div is and it is certainly not a defensive one.Your reference to autonomous brigades is funny as it was tried and failed as they were too weak.
And you are simplifying what Guderian proposed. It was more than just stronger Pz Div.

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