Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Juan G. C. » 13 Apr 2021 10:16

Cult Icon wrote:
13 Apr 2021 07:13
21.Pz, Pz Lehr, and 12.SS all counterattacked in the first week with available elements under the curtain of superior allied field/naval artillery as well as operating with the breakdown of their combined arms teams. So there is actual historical evidence of what happened.
Is that comparable? That was some days after D-Day, when the Allies had had time to consolidate the beacheads and bring more troops ashore, while I am speaking about four Panzer divisions on the afternoon of D-Day.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Cult Icon » 13 Apr 2021 13:28

Juan G. C. wrote:
13 Apr 2021 10:16
Is that comparable? That was some days after D-Day, when the Allies had had time to consolidate the beacheads and bring more troops ashore, while I am speaking about four Panzer divisions on the afternoon of D-Day.
Somewhat, forces ashore can quickly dig in.

IMHO they can win provided that the Pz divisions are organized in a way that the front line forces can be continuously replenished with motivated, well trained battalions and there is a pool of replacement tanks held by I and II SS Pz Korps. Also, if each division is allocated a Tiger battalion. The Tigers, in particularly SS 102 were much more efficient in combat than the regular battalions. So each Pz division should be much more than they were historically.

In the reports I have read the favored tactic in these suppressive conditions developed into the "short attack"- for small local objectives, done quickly. Eg. attacking for points and villages, one by one, creeping forward. Historically the Pz divisions could only do this in a limited sense, not having the infantry strength for more development.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 13 Apr 2021 14:17

Juan G. C. wrote:
13 Apr 2021 10:16


Is that comparable? That was some days after D-Day, when the Allies had had time to consolidate the beacheads
June 7th.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 13 Apr 2021 14:22

Cult Icon wrote:
13 Apr 2021 13:28
The Tigers, in particularly SS 102 were much more efficient in combat than the regular battalions.
SS 102 could not even get all its tanks to Normandy in time. I see no evidence they were 'more efficient' than anyone. Are there any examples we can check? SS 101 saw far more sustained action and sPz Abt 503 were handicapped by being crippled a day or two after they got to the front.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Juan G. C. » 13 Apr 2021 15:24

Michael Kenny wrote:
13 Apr 2021 14:17
June 7th.
AFAIK, the Panzer Lehr Division didn't arrive to Normandy until June 8th.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 13 Apr 2021 16:27

The first coordinated attempt was on June 7th where 12th SS arrived and attacked on the west flank, Authie-Buron-St Contest-Cambes). 21st Pz continued to batter itself to pieces(east flank ) and did not perform too well.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 13 Apr 2021 17:39

Cult Icon wrote:
13 Apr 2021 13:28
IMHO they can win provided that the Pz divisions are organized in a way that the front line forces can be continuously replenished with motivated, well trained battalions and there is a pool of replacement tanks held by I and II SS Pz Korps. ...
During the previous winter Rundsteadt expressed concern over the degradation of the French railways. The periodic reports he saw as showing the railway capacity had effectively been reduced below requirements. More important is he saw the continuing trend indicating railway capacity would decline far below requirements during the summer, perhaps effectively zero in terms of resupply for a large scale 'invasion' battle. In March 1944 Rundsteadt asked his staff, the railway administration, and OKW what could be done to remediate this. I have no idea what answers he got. But, during June & July the 7th Army & accompanying armored group were sustained off the supply depots at hand & little else. What was actually delivered from Germany in replacement of expended & destroyed material depends on who's numbers you use. The low estimate I've seen is 10%, but the higher estimates of 20 or 30% of requirements are not impressive.

Looking at this from Rundsteadts perspective the question would be can any method defeat the invasion before the defense attritions to ineffectiveness. Im wondering if this was behind Rommels thinking.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 13 Apr 2021 17:45

A friend placed a panzer division on a map in ideal position/s behind Omaha Beach for intervention. Then superimposed a map of the ''missed' heavy bomber strike of the preiavasion preparation. The results did not look good. We thought in that context it would have been better for the air strike to have hit the beach defenses and left the armored div intact.
historygeek2021 wrote:
12 Apr 2021 20:31
I don't understand why anyone thought putting panzers in range of Allied battleships was a good idea.
Rommels report was they grossly underestimated the quantity of fire support. His staff, Rundsteadts staff, 7th Army & everyone else was looking at the volume of naval & air support in the Mediterranean battles. They saw that as a problem but did not anticipate the quantity of fire support would be higher. ie: There were more than double the number of aircraft in the UK supporting the Allies on 6th June than supporting the first day assault of Op HUSKY, Op BAYTOWN, or OP AVALANCHE
historygeek2021 wrote:
12 Apr 2021 20:31
It seems like a large quantity of concealed howitzers in range of the beaches would have been a much better idea.
They tried. The divisions artillery was at full strength. The corps & army echelon artillery was more robust than usual for the Germans. That included the ad hoc fixed rocket batteries and extra French cannon. Almost immediately ammunition delivery handicapped the defense fire support. Forward deploying cannon ammunition did not work as Allied air attacks on the artillery battery positions in May made it dangerous. A few years back I compared the effect of a standard unit of fire of the German artillery covering OMAHA Beach. Concentrated on the critical points, the beach exits a judicious artillery commander could stall the attack for a couple hours & inflict high casualties, then he'd be rationing ammunition the rest of the day. That course of action leaves the ground between the beach exists of OMAHA Beach uncovered by artillery fires. Spread across the entire 7,500+ meters of the beach & bluffs the effects of a standard days allocation of the German army would be near insignificant.
Last edited by Carl Schwamberger on 14 Apr 2021 15:46, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 13 Apr 2021 18:45

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
13 Apr 2021 17:39

During the previous winter Rundsteadt expressed concern over the degradation of the French railways. The periodic reports he saw as showing the railway capacity had effectively been reduced below requirements. More important is he saw the continuing trend indicating railway capacity would decline far below requirements during the summer, perhaps effectively zero in terms of resupply for a large scale 'invasion' battle.
I read that though the trains were degraded the Germans were able to maintain a reasonable service because they stopped all movements except military. It was the civilian side that was laid waste. 9th &10th SS came west by rail in several hundred trains though they had to disembark east of Paris

Also read that the rails south of Normandy were left fairly intact as it was expected they would be needed when the Atlantic ports were opened to Allied shipping.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 13 Apr 2021 18:53

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
13 Apr 2021 17:45
A friend placed a panzer division on a map in ideal position/s behind Omaha Beach for intervention. Then superimposed a map of the ''missed' heavy bomber strike of the preiavasion preparation. The results did not look good. We thought in that context it would have been better for the air strike to have hit the beach defenses and left the armored div intact.
The GOODWOOD/COBRA bombing showed what happens when you do it right. Both sPz Abt 503 and 21st Pz were very badly handled in GOODWOOD and had substantial tank losses.

COBRA Panthers
Panther COBRA Bombing.... (1).jpg
Panther COBRA Bombing.... (1)b.jpg
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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by T. A. Gardner » 14 Apr 2021 01:59

The Germans had something like that at Salerno against a much smaller Allied invasion force and still lost. It'd make no difference to the outcome.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 14 Apr 2021 03:18

Michael Kenny wrote:
13 Apr 2021 18:53
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
13 Apr 2021 17:45
A friend placed a panzer division on a map in ideal position/s behind Omaha Beach for intervention. Then superimposed a map of the ''missed' heavy bomber strike of the preiavasion preparation. The results did not look good. We thought in that context it would have been better for the air strike to have hit the beach defenses and left the armored div intact.
The GOODWOOD/COBRA bombing showed what happens when you do it right. Both sPz Abt 503 and 21st Pz were very badly handled in GOODWOOD and had substantial tank losses.
I don't much give a damm about the panzers. Its all those men. Leave 10% of them with wounds, bleeding ears, concussed & the panzer division is neutralized for the day. 25% & you can consider it destroyed until reorganized. Doesn't matter if every tank has the paint unscratched.
Michael Kenny wrote:
13 Apr 2021 18:53
COBRA Panthers

Panther COBRA Bombing.... (1).jpgPanther COBRA Bombing.... (1)b.jpg
I wonder what the bomb mix was in those attacks.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Juan G. C. » 14 Apr 2021 10:21

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
13 Apr 2021 17:45
A friend placed a panzer division on a map in ideal position/s behind Omaha Beach for intervention. Then superimposed a map of the ''missed' heavy bomber strike of the preiavasion preparation. The results did not look good. We thought in that context it would have been better for the air strike to have hit the beach defenses and left the armored div intact.
I didn't mean the Panzer divisions being there before the invasion, but being in a position to attack the beacheads in force by the afternoon of D-Day.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by T. A. Gardner » 14 Apr 2021 17:05

Juan G. C. wrote:
14 Apr 2021 10:21
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
13 Apr 2021 17:45
A friend placed a panzer division on a map in ideal position/s behind Omaha Beach for intervention. Then superimposed a map of the ''missed' heavy bomber strike of the preiavasion preparation. The results did not look good. We thought in that context it would have been better for the air strike to have hit the beach defenses and left the armored div intact.
I didn't mean the Panzer divisions being there before the invasion, but being in a position to attack the beacheads in force by the afternoon of D-Day.
Yep, the Salerno scenario. Same outcome too.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 15 Apr 2021 02:21

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
14 Apr 2021 03:18


I wonder what the bomb mix was in those attacks.
Big and bigger?

Goodwood

https://film.iwmcollections.org.uk/record/1493

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