Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

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Avalancheon
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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Avalancheon » 19 Apr 2021 01:33

daveshoup2MD wrote:
18 Apr 2021 18:49
If the Germans had atomic bombs than OVERLORD could have been defeated at the water's edge, but that's rather "lazy and unproductive," isn't it?

Same for the four (or three or 10) unnamed panzer divisions referenced here.;)

There's a good quote from Lincoln, when one of his political allies suggested that McClellan should be replaced, early in 1862, and Lincoln asks with who, and the critic says "well, anybody!" and Lincoln says "Wade, anybody will do for you, but I must have somebody.”
You react with hostility and sarcasm when asked to qualify your statements, and refuse to give an honest answer. You react with incredulity that anyone would not be persuaded by the groundless claims being thrown around by most of the members.

Again, no one on this thread has bothered to tabulate the firepower of the Allied warships and weigh it against the German mechanized divisions that would be rushing the beachs. Until that happens, they have no basis on which to say that naval gunfire would automatically defeat any attempt at a large counter-attack.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Richard Anderson » 19 Apr 2021 03:31

Avalancheon wrote:
19 Apr 2021 01:33
Again, no one on this thread has bothered to tabulate the firepower of the Allied warships and weigh it against the German mechanized divisions that would be rushing the beachs. Until that happens, they have no basis on which to say that naval gunfire would automatically defeat any attempt at a large counter-attack.
Again, no one on this thread has bothered to tabulate which were the "German mechanized divisions that would be rushing the beachs [sic]."

So which ones were they? The three, or is it four again, that rush the beaches before noon on 6 June?
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

sandeepmukherjee196
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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by sandeepmukherjee196 » 19 Apr 2021 03:40

Aber wrote:
18 Apr 2021 21:45
sandeepmukherjee196 wrote:
18 Apr 2021 18:16
If thats the "obvious" then reality must be "bleedin" .. If Medenine of 6 March '43 is compared to eastern Cotentin of 6 June '44 afternoon! If Rommel's balance of forces at Medenine vis a vis Monty is compared to the subject in the OP.. Well.. Its bleedin' fenny sir!
Rommel had 3 panzer divisions at Medenine, and got a kicking from anti-tank guns. Strangely the same thing had happened earlier at Snipe. At this stage of the war snap panzer attacks against British infantry did not have a good chance of success.

The Canadians were expecting armoured attacks and prepared for them, and were heavily supplied with anti-tank guns. It will be hard work to dislodge them from any position they have had more than a couple of hours to prepare.
Just to restore context :

By that srage of the N African campaign Rommel had little authority left. He was nominally in command. Even von Arnim wouldnt listen to him what to say of the Italians. So the Medenine affair was NOT Rommel's plan. That sick joke was concocted by the Italian 1st Army Commander, Gen Giovanni Messe, who had spent his war getting kicked out of Greece before being bailed out by German troops in 40-41, Then chasing defeated Soviet troops in Russia, when the going was good, and in comfortable winter billets in Odessa when the real fighting went on elsewhere.

The three German panzer divs in Medenine had the majestic number of 162 tanks! Going in, under a blazing sun, bald headed, against Monty's 300 tanks of the 8th Army, 350 arty pieces, 460 ATs, ALL stacked up close to the FDLs since Monty had ULTRA intercepts about Messe's plan whch had been circulating for a week!

We are supposed to compare the above ensemble with the situation in the afternoon of 6th June, in Normandy, where Rommel had full control (I have at the very outset, made this scenario contingent on Rommel having been personally present in Normandy on the 6th) with 3 full Pz Divs, against an unsettled enemy, who have just emerged from the traumatic experience of a contested, low tide landing in choppy seas.. and are just getting their bearings. And whose Canadian component were green troops and commanders, proven later to be not very bright, when the going got rough (In Totalize, with overwhelming superiority, they allowed KG Waldmüller's 43 panzers to spook their 2 armoured brigades with 600 tanks, used in the most curious way conceivable!).
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Avalancheon
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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Avalancheon » 19 Apr 2021 04:08

Juan G. C. wrote:
12 Apr 2021 19:54
Had the Germans been able to have in Normandy four Panzer divisions by the afternoon of D-Day, could they have defeated the landings with them?
Instead of jumping to the question of what would have happened if there were four panzer divisions available for immediate use on the first day of the Normandy landings, it would be more useful to demonstrate what could have happened if there were just two panzer divisions.

Disaster at D-Day by Peter Tsouras offers a demonstration of how differently the landings could have went. In this story, there are several points of departure (POD) that change the initial conditions of the battle, and allow the Germans to put up a much stiffer fight against the Allies. Some of the changes that occur are:
-Erwin Rommel is able to convince Hitler to move the 12th SS Panzer division closer up to the beachs of Normandy.
-Rommel decides to stay in Normandy instead of leaving for Germany to visit his wife. He visits Erich Marcks at his headquarters, and both men are present when the airborne and naval landings begin. They are able to quickly take control of the situation and organise a rapid response.

On the first day of the invasion, several things happen that spell the doom for Operation Overlord:
-The 12th SS Panzer division sends a kampfgruppe to Utah beach, preventing the 82nd and 101st Airbone divisions from linking up with the 4th Infantry division. The Airborne divisions are hit hard, and the 4th Infantry division is pinned down.
-The landing craft headed for Omaha beach get scattered, and as a result, the LCTs land their tanks directly in front of German strongpoints where they are quickly destroyed. The 1st and 29th Infantry division have a longer and tougher fight to get off the beach.
-The 12th SS Panzer division sends a kampfgruppe to Omaha beach, arriving just in time to stop the 1s and 29th infantry division from advancing inland. The Germans launch a determined counter-attack and drive them into the sea, causing the landings to be abandoned.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Avalancheon » 19 Apr 2021 04:15

Richard Anderson wrote:
19 Apr 2021 03:31
Avalancheon wrote:
19 Apr 2021 01:33
Again, no one on this thread has bothered to tabulate the firepower of the Allied warships and weigh it against the German mechanized divisions that would be rushing the beachs. Until that happens, they have no basis on which to say that naval gunfire would automatically defeat any attempt at a large counter-attack.
Again, no one on this thread has bothered to tabulate which were the "German mechanized divisions that would be rushing the beachs [sic]."

So which ones were they? The three, or is it four again, that rush the beaches before noon on 6 June?
The OP does not clarify this. 21st Panzer would be present as it historically was. Presumably, Panzer Lehr and 12th SS Panzer would also be available, since they were the closest to the Normandy beach heads.

As for the identity of the final division, only Juan G. C. can say.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 19 Apr 2021 04:16

sandeepmukherjee196 wrote:
19 Apr 2021 03:40
. And whose Canadian component were green troops and commanders, proven later to be not very bright,
But they bright enough to show HJ how not to 'rush' them outside of Norrey en Bessin on 09/06/44. and Lehr got the same lesson on 14/06/44 at Lingevres. 2 Pz Div got their schooling SW of Cheux on 27/06/44. It would appear the attacker is always at a disadvantage in Normandy

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 19 Apr 2021 04:22

Avalancheon wrote:
19 Apr 2021 04:08



Disaster at D-Day by Peter Tsouras offers a demonstration of how differently the landings could have went. In this story, there are several points of departure (POD) that change the initial conditions of the battle, and allow the Germans to put up a much stiffer fight against the Allies. Some of the changes that occur are:.................
.......... it is a given that the Germans always win if the 'fair-fight' dream is fulfilled.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by daveshoup2MD » 19 Apr 2021 04:55

Avalancheon wrote:
19 Apr 2021 01:33
daveshoup2MD wrote:
18 Apr 2021 18:49
If the Germans had atomic bombs than OVERLORD could have been defeated at the water's edge, but that's rather "lazy and unproductive," isn't it?

Same for the four (or three or 10) unnamed panzer divisions referenced here.;)

There's a good quote from Lincoln, when one of his political allies suggested that McClellan should be replaced, early in 1862, and Lincoln asks with who, and the critic says "well, anybody!" and Lincoln says "Wade, anybody will do for you, but I must have somebody.”
You react with hostility and sarcasm when asked to qualify your statements, and refuse to give an honest answer. You react with incredulity that anyone would not be persuaded by the groundless claims being thrown around by most of the members.

Again, no one on this thread has bothered to tabulate the firepower of the Allied warships and weigh it against the German mechanized divisions that would be rushing the beachs. Until that happens, they have no basis on which to say that naval gunfire would automatically defeat any attempt at a large counter-attack.
You haven't asked me anything, chum. I asked you which panzer divisions you are referring to "rushing the beachs." (sic)

There weren't that many of them, after all. Shouldn't be too challenging to come up with those, specifically, you think could have been available.

Here's a list:

1st SS
2nd SS
2nd
9th
9th SS
10th SS
12 SS
21st
116th
Panzer Lehr
3rd PG
15th PG
17th SS PG

List is from Hastings' Overlord, Appendix IV.

Pick four and explain why you think they could have been available on June 6 within driving range of the beaches.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Avalancheon » 19 Apr 2021 05:58

Michael Kenny wrote:
19 Apr 2021 04:22
Avalancheon wrote:
19 Apr 2021 04:08
Disaster at D-Day by Peter Tsouras offers a demonstration of how differently the landings could have went. In this story, there are several points of departure (POD) that change the initial conditions of the battle, and allow the Germans to put up a much stiffer fight against the Allies. Some of the changes that occur are:.................
.......... it is a given that the Germans always win if the 'fair-fight' dream is fulfilled.
Is it actually a 'fair fight', or is it merely a less lopsided fight? The Allies were victorious largely due to their numerical and material superiority. [] If the gap of that superiority diminishs, then they could potentially be defeated by the Germans. Especially since they have higher fighting power.

[] And also to ULTRA, and air supremacy. Although these remain unchanged in this scenario.

daveshoup2MD wrote:
19 Apr 2021 04:55
You haven't asked me anything, chum. I asked you which panzer divisions you are referring to "rushing the beachs." (sic)
Really, that was your attempt at asking a question? It was so caked in sarcasm that I couldn't even tell. Your little anecdote about Lincoln didn't help. Seriously, what am I supposed to make of that quote you gave me? If you wanted a list of the specific forces that would be making the counter-attack, then just ask. You don't need to beat around the bushs.
daveshoup2MD wrote:
19 Apr 2021 04:55
There weren't that many of them, after all. Shouldn't be too challenging to come up with those, specifically, you think could have been available.

Here's a list:

1st SS
2nd SS
2nd
9th
9th SS
10th SS
12 SS
21st
116th
Panzer Lehr
3rd PG
15th PG
17th SS PG

List is from Hastings' Overlord, Appendix IV.

Pick four and explain why you think they could have been available on June 6 within driving range of the beaches.
Again, as I said to Richard. 21st Panzer would be present as it historically was. Presumably, Panzer Lehr and 12th SS Panzer would also be available. As for the final German division, that would probably be either 17th SS Panzergrenadier, or 2nd SS Panzer.

So now that I've answered your question, how about answering mine? Specifically, how differently do you think the landings would have gone if the Allies had to confront these forces on D-Day? How much of a role would naval gunfire play in this battle?

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Cult Icon » 19 Apr 2021 06:15

2.Pz came in at mid-June to help I SS Pz Korps

2.SS came at the end of June and was never really used as a whole division.

17.SS was semi-motorized

I think the closeness of these units is meant to be handwaved due to the OP. I perceived it as more of a tactical what-if.

Chief of Pz Group West classified 2.Pz, 2.SS, 12.SS, Pz Lehr, and 9.SS as their best units, which is approx. correct.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Juan G. C. » 19 Apr 2021 07:02

Avalancheon wrote:
19 Apr 2021 04:15
Richard Anderson wrote:
19 Apr 2021 03:31
Again, no one on this thread has bothered to tabulate which were the "German mechanized divisions that would be rushing the beachs [sic]."

So which ones were they? The three, or is it four again, that rush the beaches before noon on 6 June?
The OP does not clarify this. 21st Panzer would be present as it historically was. Presumably, Panzer Lehr and 12th SS Panzer would also be available, since they were the closest to the Normandy beach heads.

As for the identity of the final division, only Juan G. C. can say.
I fear this is my fault. I hadn't in mind any particular divisions. It was intended as an hypothetical what-if, no matter why the Panzer divisions were there.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Aber » 19 Apr 2021 08:31

sandeepmukherjee196 wrote:
19 Apr 2021 03:40

Just to restore context :

By that srage of the N African campaign Rommel had little authority left. He was nominally in command. Even von Arnim wouldnt listen to him what to say of the Italians. So the Medenine affair was NOT Rommel's plan. That sick joke was concocted by the Italian 1st Army Commander, Gen Giovanni Messe, who had spent his war getting kicked out of Greece before being bailed out by German troops in 40-41, Then chasing defeated Soviet troops in Russia, when the going was good, and in comfortable winter billets in Odessa when the real fighting went on elsewhere.
Irrelevant
The three German panzer divs in Medenine had the majestic number of 162 tanks! Going in, under a blazing sun, bald headed, against Monty's 300 tanks of the 8th Army, 350 arty pieces, 460 ATs, ALL stacked up close to the FDLs since Monty had ULTRA intercepts about Messe's plan whch had been circulating for a week
The intel was about the expected timing of the attack, but the 8th Army never fully trusted Ultra on Rommel's intentions as he had a habit of not actually doing what he told the High Command.

Montgomery did not even have to use his superiority in tanks. It was a lopsided battle which never really got going - key Montgomery's comments

"He is trying to attack me in daylight with tanks, followed by lorried infantry.... It is an absolute gift, and the man must be mad."

and even more damming:

"The Marshall has made a balls of it. I shall go and write letters."
We are supposed to compare the above ensemble with the situation in the afternoon of 6th June, in Normandy, where Rommel had full control (I have at the very outset, made this scenario contingent on Rommel having been personally present in Normandy on the 6th) with 3 full Pz Divs
Rommel is not as good a commander as you think - see Medenine, Alam Halfa, the dash to the wire during Crusader. He had a tendency towards action but not always well directed. Those 3 Panzer Divisions will be arriving strung out and subject to air attack - see the problems 21st Panzer had on D-Day. And they have no idea what they will be up against. An attack against an unknown enemy is what they did at Medenine.
against an unsettled enemy, who have just emerged from the traumatic experience of a contested, low tide landing in choppy seas.. and are just getting their bearings.
Some evidence of disorganisation on D-Day please. The Canadians had the advantage of a clear plan where their own forces would be and the need to prepare for an armoured counterattack.
And whose Canadian component were green troops and commanders, proven later to be not very bright, when the going got rough (In Totalize, with overwhelming superiority, they allowed KG Waldmüller's 43 panzers to spook their 2 armoured brigades with 600 tanks, used in the most curious way conceivable!).
:? How is the performance of different armoured units in attack relevant to infantry units in defence?

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Kingfish » 19 Apr 2021 09:25

sandeepmukherjee196 wrote:
19 Apr 2021 03:40
(And whose Canadian component were green troops and commanders, proven later to be not very bright, when the going got rough (In Totalize, with overwhelming superiority, they allowed KG Waldmüller's 43 panzers to spook their 2 armoured brigades with 600 tanks, used in the most curious way conceivable!).]
Care to elaborate on that a bit?
What do you mean by "to spook"?

BTW, where did you get 600 tanks?
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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 19 Apr 2021 12:38

Avalancheon wrote:
19 Apr 2021 05:58


Is it actually a 'fair fight', or is it merely a less lopsided fight? The Allies were victorious largely due to their numerical and material superiority. If the gap of that superiority diminishs, then they could potentially be defeated by the Germans. Especially since they have higher fighting power.
Yes it was a 'fair fight'. Both side had years to prepare for the invasion. One decided to build a balanced Army that was designed to overpower the enemy with crushing firepower from all three branches of their armed forces. It was not by chance the Germans were overwhelmed. It was not that the Allies 'feared' they would be beaten in a 'fair fight' but a carefully worked out tactic that was specifically designed to crush the Germans. The 'fair fight' myth is just an excuse used by those who believe that a German Army just has to get in contact and it will always win. You are one of those people and they are always trying to find ways to counter/negate the superior Allied tactics and get their team up close without having to suffer with consequences of the Allied foresight.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Cult Icon » 19 Apr 2021 13:00

Aber wrote:
18 Apr 2021 21:45
The Canadians were expecting armoured attacks and prepared for them, and were heavily supplied with anti-tank guns. It will be hard work to dislodge them from any position they have had more than a couple of hours to prepare.
I wouldn't classify the small wins by Canadian infantry at Bretteville and Norrey as anything brilliant- it was more due to the recklessness/experimental nature of Meyer/Wunsche/Ribbentropp and desire to "bounce" these villages in a shock action with Panthers & little support. They largely did not counterattack like this for the rest of the campaign. Meyer even gave a pep talk to the tankers and small infantry elements grouping before Bretteville (eg.I'll see you at the beach!!). More impactful was how the 26th SS PzG regiment was heavily disrupted and beaten up by artillery fire in these first days.

The Germans armored troops including the LAH and of the course the Tiger battalions were very good at destroying tanks and anti-tank guns, the other option was to attack conventionally (and slowly) with infantry leading the tanks after a heavy artillery preparation. This would jeopardize their desire to reach the coast.

Also the 3 Pz divisions were extremely slow in their movements towards the coast- 4 days later and they were still in-transit and disorganized. Advancing columns wasted time scattering from air attacks. The Pz Lehr was particularly badly hit. This was more impactful than anything else as only portions of these divisions were available when their entire bodies were necessary for combined arms action and larger scale effectiveness. I'm not sure how much this aspect could have been better managed. The allies were too fast and the axis were too slow in their approach to the battlefield. By the circa the 10th there were too many organized forces and Rommel shifted to the defense. Basically it took the 3 Pz divisions a week! to get organized and by then they had made a series of inefficient, small attacks which cost considerable strength.

However as usual counterattacks of this type preventing the British-Canadians from quickly seizing Caen and locked them down for a prolonged battle for Caen and its environs.

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