Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

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Richard Anderson
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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Richard Anderson » 18 Apr 2021 12:34

daveshoup2MD wrote:
18 Apr 2021 07:34
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?
Did the Germans have four armored divisions that COULD have been deployed to Normandy on the afternoon of June 6?

If so, which ones? Where were they historically? Why do they leave those positions and go to Normandy? Why not Picardy?
No.
"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

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Richard Anderson » 18 Apr 2021 13:19

Cult Icon wrote:
18 Apr 2021 07:45
Of the divisions available for I SS Pz Corps were the Pz Lehr- which was the division most designed to defeat the landings. Besides the armored recon battalion they had 4 SPW mounted battalions. 2.Pz had 2 SPW battalions. The 12th SS and 21.Pz were regular in this capability. All were weak in infantry relative to what they encountered. So in this "4 Pz division OP" I suppose that the ones available would be these. A meatgrinder approach by the German high command would have helped. This is more along the lines of what the Soviets and the Germans did in the battle for Stalingrad.
Yes, Panzer Lehr had four infantry battalions in SPW, but it was also missing a Panther battalion and an artillery battalion. Its cantonment area was around Brou, midway between Le Mans and Chartres.

12. SS-Panzer, located between Dreux and Verneuil-sur-Aure, was ordered to Normandy on 6 June, along with Lehr.

Aside from the limited area in which they could deploy, the two divisions were limited in their movement to the battlefield by the limited roadway between Lisieux and Flers and the limited bridging of the Orne.

2. Panzer was not part of I. SS-Panzerkorps. Instead it was filling the same function for 15. Armee as 21. Panzer did in 7. Armee, immediate reserve in the event of a landing along the army zone. It is illogical to consider it as a candidate for an immediate attack on an invasion on the 7. Armee coast.

The fourth counterattack reserve Panzer division was actually 17. SS-Panzergrenadier...none of the other divisions were immediately available.
"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

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Cult Icon » 18 Apr 2021 14:46

sandeepmukherjee196 wrote:
18 Apr 2021 08:28
1) I dont see 4 Panzer Divs available in Normandy, on 6 June, in the first place, under conceivable circumstances, without totally changing the historical background. 3 Divs .. yes.

2) The frontage was sufficient for the forces. I am NOT saying that they go in with something like that crazy 1000 yds forntage allotted to a Pz Div, as was done by Lt Gen Simonds during Totalize (with 4 CAD and 1 PAD)..But the 20 odd miles available here, was par for the course, for a Panzer Korps with one of its Pz Divs following in reserve.

3) Canadians, at this stage, were not good with coordinating arty support for mobile battle groups or calling in the air "cab ranks" either. For instance Lt Col R.S. Lucas, FOO, 23rd Regt (SP) supporting 4 CAB during Totalize says : "...during these actions we never received one request for fire support and we began to think we were just along for the ride." And remember what happened on the morning of the 8th after the 2 CABs had broken through in overwhelming strength and waited for 7 hrs for the US B17 bombers (8th AF), who came and promptly bombed the Candians as a thank you!

canadian.armor.totalize.JPG

4) IF the Germans had 3 full strength Pz Divs in eastern Cotentin, in the afternoon of the 6th.. Even money has them reaching the sands by evening and veer 90 degrees into the rear and staging areas of the Commonwealth forces.
Correct, historically 2.Pz came around mid-June at the tail end of Operation Perch to plug the gap on the flank of the hard-pressed Pz Lehr division which was containing the massive, infantry rich 50th Division (38,000 men) and 7th Armoured division.

On your 2nd point I think the German commanders should focus on the right-sized and tactically appropriate effort to attack the beachhead. However their reserves should be extremely deep and continuous, with a great number of attacks rather than all their "eggs in one basket" so to speak. There should be no meaningful gap between attacks and the attacks should be continuous to maximize the enemies' disorganization. Strong attacks should be going on all night long.

4 Pz divisions have an excessive amount of superfluous vehicles, service and support clogging up the roads and lines of communication of this small front line. And without the required amount of assault units to justify it. I think their responsibility, besides attacking, should lay primarily in controlling the battle and cordoning the beachheads.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 18 Apr 2021 14:51

sandeepmukherjee196 wrote:
18 Apr 2021 07:53


Actually since Epsom was a British offensive not German, its not comparable to the cotext here. Btw as I remember it, the 2nd Army abandoned Epsom in apprehension that "the main attack", as you call it, was coming. And in the process Frundsberg stormed the tactically vital, Hill 112 and the Scots gave up the Gavrus bridges across the Odon!
Not quite. Forewarned of the expected attack Monty shortened his line. He pulled the most southern units back as they could have been cut-off and that is why Hill 112 was evacuated. Thus Hill 112 was not 'stormed' but occupied after it was abandoned.
EPSOM was one of those occasions where Allied and German offensives collided.
Another example would be BLUECOAT where there was a German offensive cutting across the Commonwealth attack

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 18 Apr 2021 14:56

Avalancheon wrote:
18 Apr 2021 09:17
The responses to this thread are sadly predictable. Right on the first page, everyone quickly lines up to chant the tired old mantra: ''nAvaL gUNfiRe wiLl sAVe tHe dAY!'' Even though they offer absolutely no qualifications for this. They don't tabulate the firepower of the Allied battleships, cruisers, and destroyers, or measure it against the German formations that will be counter-attacking.
So the German proposal to withdraw out of range of the ships is a mistake by them?

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Aber » 18 Apr 2021 16:37

sandeepmukherjee196 wrote:
18 Apr 2021 10:28
Aber wrote:
18 Apr 2021 08:28
sandeepmukherjee196 wrote:
18 Apr 2021 07:53
Again the context is totally different here. We were speculating on the likely performance of the green Canadians, on 6th afternoon, if faced with a full blooded, three panzer divisions attack.
For context:
  • There is very little evidence of effective German armoured attacks against British forces after the end of June 1942
    The 3 German panzer divisions do not have combat experience as a unit, or of working together
    The Canadian division was overstrength with an armoured brigade, and extra artillery (especially anti-tank) attached (see Milner's article quoted above)
    They trained and expected a heavy German armoured counterattack
    The Canadian actual performance on 6th and 7th June was pretty good (again see Milner's article)
And the key question - where are those 2 extra German panzer divisions based, when do they get told to move and where to, given the confusion in the German command as to what was actually happening at the beaches?

I don't know if you have been reading the thread sir...
Yes, and my superpower is pointing out the bleedin' obvious. :D

Rommel remembered Medenine, few others seem to.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by sandeepmukherjee196 » 18 Apr 2021 18:16

Aber wrote:
18 Apr 2021 16:37
sandeepmukherjee196 wrote:
18 Apr 2021 10:28
Aber wrote:
18 Apr 2021 08:28
sandeepmukherjee196 wrote:
18 Apr 2021 07:53
Again the context is totally different here. We were speculating on the likely performance of the green Canadians, on 6th afternoon, if faced with a full blooded, three panzer divisions attack.
For context:
  • There is very little evidence of effective German armoured attacks against British forces after the end of June 1942
    The 3 German panzer divisions do not have combat experience as a unit, or of working together
    The Canadian division was overstrength with an armoured brigade, and extra artillery (especially anti-tank) attached (see Milner's article quoted above)
    They trained and expected a heavy German armoured counterattack
    The Canadian actual performance on 6th and 7th June was pretty good (again see Milner's article)
And the key question - where are those 2 extra German panzer divisions based, when do they get told to move and where to, given the confusion in the German command as to what was actually happening at the beaches?

I don't know if you have been reading the thread sir...
Yes, and my superpower is pointing out the bleedin' obvious. :D

Rommel remembered Medenine, few others seem to.
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!
Last edited by sandeepmukherjee196 on 18 Apr 2021 18:22, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by daveshoup2MD » 18 Apr 2021 18:18

Richard Anderson wrote:
18 Apr 2021 12:34
daveshoup2MD wrote:
18 Apr 2021 07:34
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?
Did the Germans have four armored divisions that COULD have been deployed to Normandy on the afternoon of June 6?

If so, which ones? Where were they historically? Why do they leave those positions and go to Normandy? Why not Picardy?
No.
True, but you and I know that...

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 18 Apr 2021 18:29

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!
What is obvious is this is just another way of getting the 'fair fight' mythos another outing. It magically transports Panzers past all the obstacles the Allies put in the way of the Germans getting panzers to the beaches. Thus we can get to the dream scenario, a one-on-one fair fight where the Germans will (and it is always assumed they will) win.
That is basically it.
Last edited by Michael Kenny on 18 Apr 2021 19:21, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by daveshoup2MD » 18 Apr 2021 18:46

sandeepmukherjee196 wrote:
17 Apr 2021 03:49
My contention is that on the afternoon of 6th, the allies on the ground were disorganized, disoriented and command & control was fragile. If a concerted, massed Panzer attack went in against the British and Canadian beaches, the chances were good for a positive outcome.

IF the Germans had 3 full strength Pz Divs in eastern Cotentin, in the afternoon of the 6th.. Even money has them reaching the sands by evening and veer 90 degrees into the rear and staging areas of the Commonwealth forces.

Cheers
Sandeep





"If wishes were horses, than beggars will ride..."

If the Germans had atomic bombs than OVERLORD could have been defeated at the water's edge, but that's rather unlikely, isn't it?

Same for the four (or three) 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.”

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by daveshoup2MD » 18 Apr 2021 18:49

Avalancheon wrote:
18 Apr 2021 09:17
The responses to this thread are sadly predictable. Right on the first page, everyone quickly lines up to chant the tired old mantra: ''nAvaL gUNfiRe wiLl sAVe tHe dAY!'' Even though they offer absolutely no qualifications for this. They don't tabulate the firepower of the Allied battleships, cruisers, and destroyers, or measure it against the German formations that will be counter-attacking.

For those of you asserting that naval gunfire is a silver bullet panacea to panzer divisions rushing the beachs, how far does this go? You think that the Allies could stop four panzer divisions. How about six, or eight, or ten? Where is the breaking point? Do you think naval gunfire support could fight off an effectively infinite number of mechanized forces? Qualify your claims, put them in words so that they can be scrutinized. Don't just say 'LOLNOPE, the Germans can never beat the Allies at Normandy, regardless of circumstance.' Thats lazy and unproductive.
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.”

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by sandeepmukherjee196 » 18 Apr 2021 19:11

daveshoup2MD wrote:
18 Apr 2021 18:46
sandeepmukherjee196 wrote:
17 Apr 2021 03:49
My contention is that on the afternoon of 6th, the allies on the ground were disorganized, disoriented and command & control was fragile. If a concerted, massed Panzer attack went in against the British and Canadian beaches, the chances were good for a positive outcome.

IF the Germans had 3 full strength Pz Divs in eastern Cotentin, in the afternoon of the 6th.. Even money has them reaching the sands by evening and veer 90 degrees into the rear and staging areas of the Commonwealth forces.

Cheers
Sandeep





"If wishes were horses, than beggars will ride..."

If the Germans had atomic bombs than OVERLORD could have been defeated at the water's edge, but that's rather unlikely, isn't it?

Same for the four (or three) 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.”
Funny sir.. But way off the subject we are discussing. No relevance at all .. Guess you have not found the time to fully go through the thread

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by daveshoup2MD » 18 Apr 2021 19:29

sandeepmukherjee196 wrote:
18 Apr 2021 19:11
daveshoup2MD wrote:
18 Apr 2021 18:46
sandeepmukherjee196 wrote:
17 Apr 2021 03:49
My contention is that on the afternoon of 6th, the allies on the ground were disorganized, disoriented and command & control was fragile. If a concerted, massed Panzer attack went in against the British and Canadian beaches, the chances were good for a positive outcome.

IF the Germans had 3 full strength Pz Divs in eastern Cotentin, in the afternoon of the 6th.. Even money has them reaching the sands by evening and veer 90 degrees into the rear and staging areas of the Commonwealth forces.

Cheers
Sandeep





"If wishes were horses, than beggars will ride..."

If the Germans had atomic bombs than OVERLORD could have been defeated at the water's edge, but that's rather unlikely, isn't it?

Same for the four (or three) 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.”
Funny sir.. But way off the subject we are discussing. No relevance at all .. Guess you have not found the time to fully go through the thread
Not really, since you have yet to name "the 3 full strength Pz Divs in eastern Cotentin" you've raised as a possibility for this operation ... I'll wait.

And - the eastern Cotentin - you sure about the geography? Germans in the eastern Cotentin would have been facing the Americans at UTAH Beach, at Varreville, not the Canadians on JUNO, at Courseulles... do you mean "eastern Normandy"?

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Aber » 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.

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Re: Four Panzer divisions in Normandy

Post by Michael Kenny » 18 Apr 2021 21:57

Aber wrote:
18 Apr 2021 21:45


The Canadians were expecting armoured attacks and prepared for them,
That seems to be the stumbling block. They think such an attack would be a complete surprise and no measures would have been taken to counter such a threat. Or they think the Germans would easily defeat any attempts to block them so it does not really matter much. The best side will always win as long as they get in position to have a 'fair fight'.

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