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View Full Version : Operation Overlord fails - now what ?


Kobal2
08-30-2011, 05:21 PM
Pretty much as the title says.

Let us arbitrarily assume that D-Day was a disaster, for whatever reason you might come up with - the beach defenses end up all being like Omaha's, the Führer didn't sleep so reserve tank divisions are committed to the defence, the paratroopers screw up catastrophically, whatever. The point is: D-Day has failed, and every soldier in a parachute or sent on those beaches ends up either dead or a wretched POW.

How does the war go from there ? Did the Allies have enough young men to give it another go ? Would the landings in Provence and Italy have been enough to topple the Western front ? Would Russia have crushed Germany on its own, and if so, how would the post-war map have looked ? Assuming there's no Bastogne, would the German counter attack have been aimed at the Soviets, and crushed their advance ?

Discuss. Have fun !

Mr. Kobayashi
08-30-2011, 05:27 PM
Previous thread started by some handsome dude. (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=612572)

Soviet juggernaut is unstoppable by June 1944. The western front was a sideshow in comparison to the Great Patriotic War.

Bartman
08-30-2011, 06:23 PM
Soviet juggernaut is unstoppable by June 1944. The western front was a sideshow in comparison to the Great Patriotic War.

More or less. The western allies faced only a fraction of the Germans the Soviets were fighting. And the threat of Dragoon and/or a second Overlord keeps most of those units in the west anyway. The Germans save some ammo, fuel and some men. So they would be better equipped to fight the Soviets. Maybe it extends the war a few months. But it is hard to imagine that Berlin stands long enough to get nuked in August '45. I figure it falls by June '45 at the latest, and the Soviets are on the Rhine by September. If there is still real resistance, the Rhineland would likely be turned into a radioactive wasteland before December '45.

In any case the odds are pretty good that the western allies would be back in France by the end of summer '44. Dragoon was already scheduled, and aside from needing the navy for transport, it really wasn't coordinated or dependent on Overlord. A second Overlord would be the next big priority, and if necessary the western allies would have stolen men and equipment from the Pacific. So ironically the biggest effect would probably be to delay the invasion of the Philippines.

Dissonance
08-30-2011, 08:34 PM
I probably made this point in the other thread, but Overlord failing in the sense of actually being defeated by the Germans and the Allies being driven back into the sea was simply not a realistic possibility; it would require the intervention of alien space bats. The Allies were landing in far too much force on too many beaches and with such massive aerial and naval support as to make defeat an impossibility. A large part of the reason that Omaha was so brutal was that the Germans had managed to move the 352nd Infantry Division up to the beach area without being noticed by Allied intelligence. Notably the 352nd was a particularly strong division in that it was one of the few German infantry divisions that was still on a 9 battalion establishment; starting in 1943 the organization tables for infantry divisions was reduced to 6 battalions each, more as an organizational acknowledgement of the constant severe attrition on the Eastern front than any actual strength reduction per division. Expensive as it was, Omaha was a success. By the end of the day the Americans had broken out of the beach and through the German main defensive line overlooking the beach.

The paratroop landings did in fact screw up catastrophically, the landings were scattered all to hell. On average each 'stick' (planeload) missed its intended drop zone by several miles, some by as much as 25 miles. The drop patterns of the 101st (http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/7-4/~MapVIII.htm) and 82nd (http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/7-4/~MapIX.htm) from the official US Army history shows just how badly fucked up it was.

An earlier release of the panzer divisions wouldn't have defeated the Allies either; the 21st Panzer Division tried and failed to counterattack the British beaches on D-day. The 12th SS Hitlerjugend Panzer Division fared no better on D+1. The rest of the panzer divisions weren't going to get to the beach area much faster than they did historically; Allied airpower caused them much more delay than Hitler not immediately releasing them did. This was one of the main reasons Overlord wasn't going to fail: even though they had to cross the sea to arrive, the Allies were able to reinforce the beachhead much faster than the Germans were able to. The French rail network and bridges throughout Normandy had been heavily hit by Allied strategic bombing in the months preceding the landings and the overwhelming Allied air supremacy made any movement on the roads by day slow and costly.

Even if the Germans had more panzer divisions located closer to the beaches, the massive amount of naval gunfire support available to the Allies would make the chances of a counterattack succeeding unlikely in the extreme. A look at Salerno is illustrative of this. Salerno was at the absolute limit of Allied fighter cover range, they could spend very little time on station before having to return to refuel. As a result the Luftwaffe was able to make a rare appearance on the battlefield at this point in the war. The Allies landed right on top of the 16th Panzer Division which the Germans were able to rapidly reinforce with the Herman Goering Panzer and the 15th and 29th Panzergrenadier Divisions and elements of the 3rd Panzergrenedier. Though the fighting was desperate, the German counterattack on the beachhead failed, in no small part due to naval gunfire. They simply could not conduct offensive operations effectively while in range of effective naval gunfire. Even with the advantages of being able to reinforce at Salerno faster than the Allies and the use of the Luftwaffe on a limited scale they failed to drive the Allies back into the sea. They had neither of those advantages at Normandy, and the Allies had far more airpower and naval gunfire support in Normandy than they did at Salerno.

A more plausible failure for Overlord would be the Germans managing to contain the Allies to a fairly shallow beachhead and preventing them from breaking out of it in a situation similar to what happened at Anzio. It may seem counter-intuitive due to the difficulties they need to overcome, but amphibious invasions almost never failed in WW2. I can think of no major amphibious invasion that failed and only two minor ones, the Allies at Dieppe and the Japanese in the first landing on Wake Island.

Assuming there's no Bastogne, would the German counter attack have been aimed at the Soviets, and crushed their advance ?Oddly enough, many of the forces used in the Ardennes offensive were actually used in the last German offensive of the war, the ill-fated Lake Balaton Offensive (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Fr%C3%BChlingserwachen) against the Soviets in March 1945. In any event, even if alien space bats intervened and Overlord was defeated on the beaches, Germany was going to be defeated by the USSR. By mid '44 even a stalemate on the Eastern Front just wasn't in the cards for Germany even if the Western Allies inexplicably dropped out of the war.

Capitaine Zombie
08-31-2011, 11:06 AM
In any case the odds are pretty good that the western allies would be back in France by the end of summer '44. Dragoon was already scheduled, and aside from needing the navy for transport, it really wasn't coordinated or dependent on Overlord. A second Overlord would be the next big priority, and if necessary the western allies would have stolen men and equipment from the Pacific. So ironically the biggest effect would probably be to delay the invasion of the Philippines.

Now this is what I never understood about Operation Dragoon. Apparently they didnt have any problems landing, but I cant understand
1) how such a big landing didnt need any of the ressources of Overlord
2)where did Operation Dragoon start from exactly. I mean Overlord started in Britain (I mean that's where the invading force loaded on the boats) but where did Dragoon start.


P.S: so, does that mean that the US Army is not responsible for my lack of proficiency in German?

Baron Greenback
08-31-2011, 11:14 AM
2)where did Operation Dragoon start from exactly. I mean Overlord started in Britain (I mean that's where the invading force loaded on the boats) but where did Dragoon start.



North Africa, Italy and Corsica.

Ibn Warraq
08-31-2011, 11:22 AM
P.S: so, does that mean that the US Army is not responsible for my lack of proficiency in German?

It depends on what you mean. The Germans lost the War at Stalingrad, not at D-Day, but without American and British support during WWII, the Soviets probably would have Bern beaten.

In fact, the Soviets were so desperate for allied supplies that they(with the British) toppled the government of Iran and installed Reza Shah.

Czarcasm
08-31-2011, 11:36 AM
Is there any chance The Bombs would have been dropped on Germany instead of Japan?

Sailboat
08-31-2011, 11:50 AM
It depends on what you mean. The Germans lost the War at Stalingrad, not at D-Day,

I agree that was the turning point, but let's not forget Germany retained enough strength to be very dangerous in 1943 at Kursk.

but without American and British support during WWII, the Soviets probably would have Bern beaten.

I assume that's a typo for "have been beaten" and not a swipe at Soviet power relative to Switzerland. :) Western Allied material support was enormous, but also, it's hard to quantify the psychological aspect of the outpouring of resources and intelligence from allies. In crudest terms, the war can be seen as an effort to persuade the Soviet masses and Stalin himself that resistance was hopeless. In that light, even though Stalin was suspicious of their motives (well, he was suspicious of everything, all the time, really) he cannot help but have found confidence in the alliance itself, as well as in all the goodies it brought. The idea that one is not alone is a very powerful idea indeed.

Robot Arm
08-31-2011, 11:54 AM
If there is still real resistance, the Rhineland would likely be turned into a radioactive wasteland before December '45.Did we have the capacity to produce enough uranium or plutonium to make more bombs than we did? I thought I'd read somewhere that Trinity, Fat Man, and Little Boy used up just about all we'd been able to produce up to that point.

Maybe we would have used what we had against Germany instead of Japan, but dropping any more than two atomic bombs would have had to wait a bit.

Sailboat
08-31-2011, 12:01 PM
The Allies were landing in far too much force on too many beaches and with such massive aerial and naval support as to make defeat an impossibility.

The Allied air forces put 12,000 aircraft in the air for the invasion -- and some of them flew more than one sortie. The Germans had only 170 serviceable aircraft with which to respond, and as I recall, legend has it that only two German fighters reached the invasion site that day.

In terms of "sorties over the beaches," that puts the ratio at 14,000 to 2, or 7,000:1 odds.

Bartman
08-31-2011, 12:04 PM
Now this is what I never understood about Operation Dragoon. Apparently they didnt have any problems landing, but I cant understand
1) how such a big landing didnt need any of the ressources of Overlord
Its not that it didn't need resources, its that it didn't need anything additional. Most of the resources were inherited from Overlord. By the end of June they had all sorts of landing craft available, because those were no longer needed in Normandy. The remaining Mulberry harbor and the port of Cherbourg were handling the incoming men and equipment. No one was humping gear from landing craft over a beach any more. So here the allies had all this lovely beach assault equipment. And there were lovely beaches to assault. It just fit together so well. Most of the equipment ended up in the Pacific, but they gave it a good use in Dragoon before it was shipped over.

2)where did Operation Dragoon start from exactly. I mean Overlord started in Britain (I mean that's where the invading force loaded on the boats) but where did Dragoon start.
Baron Greenback already covered the basics. Most of the Dragoon Force staged in Italy and sailed from Naples and Taranto. The 1st Airborne Task Force, some special forces units and the French 9th Colonial division sailed from Corsica. And the French 1st Armor division sailed from Algeria. I think that covers the major units.

P.S: so, does that mean that the US Army is not responsible for my lack of proficiency in German?
P.S. - Yep. I certainly don't mean to denigrate the role the American soldiers played in Europe. But most of the heavy lifting was done by the Soviets. The western allies played a significant role. They saved lives and time. Every time they took on and defeated a Axis unit that was one less that the Soviets had to face. The Soviets lost in the neighborhood of 9-10 million soldiers. The US lost around 400 thousand.

Capitaine Zombie
08-31-2011, 12:11 PM
Baron Greenback already covered the basics. Most of the Dragoon Force staged in Italy and sailed from Naples and Taranto. The 1st Airborne Task Force, some special forces units and the French 9th Colonial division sailed from Corsica. And the French 1st Armor division sailed from Algeria. I think that covers the major units.


I wonder how they managed to coordinate that (not that it was as crucial as Overlord, since the landing beaches of Dragoon were far less dangerous)

P.S. - Yep. I certainly don't mean to denigrate the role the American soldiers played in Europe. But most of the heavy lifting was done by the Soviets. The western allies played a significant role. They saved lives and time. Every time they took on and defeated a Axis unit that was one less that the Soviets had to face. The Soviets lost in the neighborhood of 9-10 million soldiers. The US lost around 400 thousand.

Sorry, my fault, I was joking. It really didnt call for a serious answer. Hope I didnt start another thread derail.

Bartman
08-31-2011, 12:22 PM
Did we have the capacity to produce enough uranium or plutonium to make more bombs than we did? I thought I'd read somewhere that Trinity, Fat Man, and Little Boy used up just about all we'd been able to produce up to that point.

Maybe we would have used what we had against Germany instead of Japan, but dropping any more than two atomic bombs would have had to wait a bit.

The US was already assembling a third bomb with a planned delivery date of August 17th or 18th. They were producing enough material that war planners were expecting to receive three additional bombs in September and three in October. After that it was expected that production could increase by an additional two per month (5 in November, 7 in December, 9 in January, and so on). In the actual turn of events, the US did not expand production because the war ended. And there are good reasons to question the predictions. But the US had more at hand... and more coming online. 15-30 bombs would have been available before the end of the year.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
08-31-2011, 03:58 PM
Wait until August 45, go Nuclear, & punt.

Berlin vanishes in a sea of fire, the German High Command shoots Hitler many times in the face, & surrender happens.

JohnT
08-31-2011, 04:01 PM
Pretty much as the title says.

Let us arbitrarily assume that D-Day was a disaster, for whatever reason you might come up with - the beach defenses end up all being like Omaha's, the Führer didn't sleep so reserve tank divisions are committed to the defence, the paratroopers screw up catastrophically, whatever. The point is: D-Day has failed, and every soldier in a parachute or sent on those beaches ends up either dead or a wretched POW.

How does the war go from there ? Did the Allies have enough young men to give it another go ? Would the landings in Provence and Italy have been enough to topple the Western front ? Would Russia have crushed Germany on its own, and if so, how would the post-war map have looked ? Assuming there's no Bastogne, would the German counter attack have been aimed at the Soviets, and crushed their advance ?

Discuss. Have fun !

Without reading the thread beyond the OP, the usual response is: We wait until we can nuke 'em. Or, the Soviets will take over all of Europe.

RickJay
08-31-2011, 04:33 PM
Previous thread started by some handsome dude. (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=612572)

Soviet juggernaut is unstoppable by June 1944. The western front was a sideshow in comparison to the Great Patriotic War.
This is often said and totally false. The effort in the West was quite considerable and it is not a coincidence that Operation Bagration was timed to occur AFTER Overlord, so that the Germans might draw forces from the East to deal with the problem in the West (which in fact they did.)

The Eastern front was certainly a much larger battle in scope, but it's silly to say the Western front wasn't significant, and it's absurd to say the Soviet effort would have gone precisely as it did had the Allies failed in Normandy. A total failure in France would have freed up a huge number of Nazi troops - dozens of divisions. the fighting was still pretty ferocious in the East; another few hundred thousand men would have made a significant difference. I don't doubt the USSR would have won, inasmuchg as Bagration was going to be an awful disaster for the Germans no matter what, but the end of the war might well have been delayed a long time.

Of course, if the Soviets are slowed down, what happens is pretty simple and has already been mentioned; in August 1945, Berlin gets nuked.

As a side note, why do people always bring up the fact the Soviets lost many more men as evidence of their greater contribution? You don't win wars by having YOUR guys killed. You win wars by killing the other guys.

XT
08-31-2011, 05:01 PM
Pretty much agree with RickJay on this. I think the standard assumption in these threads is that history would have played out exactly the say if the US and Britain just stayed home and left things up to the Soviets. Had the invasion completely failed (i.e. had the Germans actually managed to throw them completely back into the sea), I am not seeing how the Soviets would have just continued on as before. The Germans were caught between two fires, having to divert significant forces and logistics between to very widely separated fronts. If they had secured the western front (which they would have done for at least another year or so, as it would have taken at least that long for the allies to mount another operation on that scale after having this one crushed) then they would have been able to divert huge numbers of forces to fighting on the eastern front and simplified their logistics issues.

In the end they most likely would still have lost, but it might have taken a extra year or even more, and the Soviet and German causalities would have been that much greater...and possibly the Germans could have stabilized a defense that would have broken the teeth of a Soviet advance. The rate at which the Soviets were losing mean and material, especially in their final push into Germany (and WITH the US and other allies putting significant pressure on them from the west and diluting their ability to defend and support), I don't see how they could sustain such an effort indefinitely. If the Germans could have hurt them a lot more in '44, I think it's possible that Germany hangs on into '46 or even '47, assuming the US doesn't drop an atomic bomb on Berlin and ends it the same way we ended things against Japan.

-XT

Mr. Kobayashi
08-31-2011, 05:28 PM
This is often said and totally false. The effort in the West was quite considerable and it is not a coincidence that Operation Bagration was timed to occur AFTER Overlord, so that the Germans might draw forces from the East to deal with the problem in the West (which in fact they did.)

The Eastern front was certainly a much larger battle in scope, but it's silly to say the Western front wasn't significant, and it's absurd to say the Soviet effort would have gone precisely as it did had the Allies failed in Normandy. A total failure in France would have freed up a huge number of Nazi troops - dozens of divisions. the fighting was still pretty ferocious in the East; another few hundred thousand men would have made a significant difference. I don't doubt the USSR would have won, inasmuchg as Bagration was going to be an awful disaster for the Germans no matter what, but the end of the war might well have been delayed a long time.

Of course, if the Soviets are slowed down, what happens is pretty simple and has already been mentioned; in August 1945, Berlin gets nuked.

As a side note, why do people always bring up the fact the Soviets lost many more men as evidence of their greater contribution? You don't win wars by having YOUR guys killed. You win wars by killing the other guys.
Absolute rot, old boy. Look at how Germans (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_casualties_in_World_War_II#cite_ref-Overmans_1-0) were killed on the Eastern Front vs. the west. By 31/12/44 (and that's after D-Day and before Berlin) casualties on the west were 12.39% of those on the east. The Soviets had stomped the Germans at Kursk, the largest armoured engagement in history, in 1943 while D-Day was a year away.

Ideologically the eastern front was the main point of the war in German eyes, the western allies were a bit of an inconvenient afterthought. While Britain suffered during the Battle of Atlantic and the Blitz, German barbarity in occupied eastern territory fuelled by racial ideology and the eastern slav untermensch was on another level. The Soviets for their part were utterly determined to take their revenge on Berlin and Germans in general no matter what the western allies cooked up, no matter how many casualties they took in the process.

You also ignore the implications of transferring divisions in the west to the east. They were still needed there, as the western allies were still a threat. Maybe towards the end Hitler would have a few more to try and throw at the Soviets, if they hadn't surrendered to the western allies (who still have Operation Dragoon coming up from southern France, their forces in Italy, and would likely have tried D-Day again later - only alien space bats would totally wipe out the men and materiel stationed in Britain) rather than face certain death at the hands of the Soviets, if they were lucky.

Western effort wasn't totally insubstantial, particularly lend-lease, but compared to the gargantuan Soviet meatgrinder it begins to fade in significance. The only question was how much of Germany and western Europe the Soviets would devour without a stronger western presence. Berlin fell at the beginning of May. You really think the Germans would have held off the Soviets for a further four months in we'd have cocked-up D-Day?

Kobal2
08-31-2011, 05:41 PM
Without reading the thread beyond the OP, the usual response is: We wait until we can nuke 'em. Or, the Soviets will take over all of Europe.

That's actually one of the angles I was shooting for - I was wondering if the slow, gruelling push through Italy and Dragoon alone would have been enough to still be able to race the Soviets to Berlin, and if those forces would have been able to cross the Rhine by themselves.

And then, assuming the answer to that is "meh, not likely", then I get to wonder whether Stalin would have stopped at the Rheinland... or figured that since he was halfway there, he might as well shoot for Amsterdam too, maybe a slice of Alsace, perhaps even Brest while he was at it (though I daresay the re-conquest of France was pretty much in the bag by the end of '44 no matter what - sandwiched between the RAF bombers and the armies coming from Provence, and with maquisard/FFI activities bolstered by the Allied invasion to boot I don't really see Hitler's French contingent resisting overly much).

RickJay
08-31-2011, 05:58 PM
Absolute rot, old boy. Look at how Germans (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_casualties_in_World_War_II#cite_ref-Overmans_1-0) were killed on the Eastern Front vs. the west. By 31/12/44 (and that's after D-Day and before Berlin) casualties on the west were 12.39% of those on the east. The Soviets had stomped the Germans at Kursk, the largest armoured engagement in history, in 1943 while D-Day was a year away.
So you appear to be agreeing with my premise that wars are won by killing, not dying.

Ideologically the eastern front was the main point of the war in German eyes, the western allies were a bit of an inconvenient afterthought.
Again, I'm not saying the Eastern Front wasn't the larger of the two wars by far, but these threads invariably descend into the most ridiculous oversimplifications. To suggest that the West was an ideological afterthought is in staggering denial of the plain facts. How often did Hitler and his minions cite the humiliation of Versailles as a motivator? A million? A zillion? "An afterthought" is just absurd; the defeat of France was a huge, huge motivator for the Nazis and, to be honest, a great part of the German people.

You also ignore the implications of transferring divisions in the west to the east. They were still needed there, as the western allies were still a threat.
In the imaginary scenario whereby D-Day never happens, history does not proceed as it really did. The Allies simply would not have been in a position to launch another attack in force anytime soon after June 6, and probably not in 1944 at all. It would have been a horrifying loss for the Allies (in part because of its improbability, but we're playing with history here.) Dragoon wouldn't have happened. The Germans had as many troops in France as they did specifically to repel Overlord; once it was repelled they would have been yanking divisions out of the West as fast as they could, especially after the Bagration disaster, when the men were most needed.

Could that have made a difference? Sure, it would have really slowed the Soviets down. The Germans fought with remarkable tenacity from July 1944 to May 1945; the addition of significant forces to reinforce the centre in the East was just what the Germans needed. But they didn't have those forces because they were being crunched up in France.

Bartman
08-31-2011, 06:23 PM
That's actually one of the angles I was shooting for - I was wondering if the slow, gruelling push through Italy and Dragoon alone would have been enough to still be able to race the Soviets to Berlin, and if those forces would have been able to cross the Rhine by themselves.

And then, assuming the answer to that is "meh, not likely", then I get to wonder whether Stalin would have stopped at the Rheinland... or figured that since he was halfway there, he might as well shoot for Amsterdam too, maybe a slice of Alsace, perhaps even Brest while he was at it (though I daresay the re-conquest of France was pretty much in the bag by the end of '44 no matter what - sandwiched between the RAF bombers and the armies coming from Provence, and with maquisard/FFI activities bolstered by the Allied invasion to boot I don't really see Hitler's French contingent resisting overly much).

Hard to say; and it depends on how quickly Overlord fails. Even if they end up stuck on the beaches, and never get much more than a mile inland, I would expect the Allies would have tried to make an extended go of it and funnel more men and material into Normandy for weeks. It may well be the end of July before they finally give up and pull back out. By that point Dragoon would be ready to go and they would be able to get right back into France. And this time Dragoon could draw from units in the UK that were designated for France anyway instead of stealing them from Italy. So the US 5th and the British 8th armies may well be able to break the German defense in Italy and achieve the line of the Po Valley before winter. However Dragoon would not be a great line to advance onto the Rhine. But at the very least the Allies would have a beachhead with depth. Paris would likely have to wait until '45 to be liberated. I expect the Allies would end up shaking hands with the Soviets at the Rhine. Soviets probably get a much bigger slice of Germany. But I think the Allies would still get some occupation zones and western nations like Belgium and Denmark are given back to their governments in exile.

Mr. Kobayashi
08-31-2011, 06:26 PM
So you appear to be agreeing with my premise that wars are won by killing, not dying.
Yes, and the Russians did the majority of both.

Ideolo
Again, I'm not saying the Eastern Front wasn't the larger of the two wars by far, but these threads invariably descend into the most ridiculous oversimplifications. To suggest that the West was an ideological afterthought is in staggering denial of the plain facts. How often did Hitler and his minions cite the humiliation of Versailles as a motivator? A million? A zillion? "An afterthought" is just absurd; the defeat of France was a huge, huge motivator for the Nazis and, to be honest, a great part of the German people.
My point is that Germany's primary ire was directed towards the communist east. The contribution of France towards the war effort...well, let's not go there, but they were knocked out pretty quicky and bar the Free French I'm very hard pressed to call them an integral part of the western allies. For instance, in July 1940 Hitler made a peace offering to Britain - could you imagine the same thing being offered to the Soviets? Even up to the end the Nazis were talking about a separate peace with the western allies whilst fighting savagely against the Reds.

In the imaginary scenario whereby D-Day never happens, history does not proceed as it really did. The Allies simply would not have been in a position to launch another attack in force anytime soon after June 6, and probably not in 1944 at all. It would have been a horrifying loss for the Allies (in part because of its improbability, but we're playing with history here.) Dragoon wouldn't have happened. The Germans had as many troops in France as they did specifically to repel Overlord; once it was repelled they would have been yanking divisions out of the West as fast as they could, especially after the Bagration disaster, when the men were most needed.
As pointed out this scenario is simply not plausible and we're talking about a completely different universe. If mecha-Hitler killed every single man of the invasion force and destroyed all the materiel maybe, but in reality if the invasion started to go south Eisenhower would have simply recalled the rest of the force then resigned to keep the rest of SHAEF command intact. What else were they going to do with the manpower assembled for the operation? Send them home?

We would have lost the element of surprise, but this would have meant that manning the Atlantic Wall and keeping manpower in the area to repel the second attempt - or a reinforced Dragoon coming from the south - becomes more important, not less. What else were the western allies going to do? Giving up would be out of the question. Sitting back and doing nothing is as good as giving up. We'd have taken more casualties, but at some point the western allies would have made another serious attempt on the continent.

Could that have made a difference? Sure, it would have really slowed the Soviets down. The Germans fought with remarkable tenacity from July 1944 to May 1945; the addition of significant forces to reinforce the centre in the East was just what the Germans needed. But they didn't have those forces because they were being crunched up in France.
This assumes the western allies do absolutely nothing following the failure. If the western allies dropped out totally from the war the Soviets would still have won by 1944, and even then I don't think it would have taken them that much longer. Remember that D-Day was pretty late on in the war, after the Sixth Army's destruction, after the Germans lost the initiative at Kursk, after they'd lost over 200,000 square kilometers to the Dnieper-Carpathain offensive.

Bartman
08-31-2011, 06:46 PM
The Allies simply would not have been in a position to launch another attack in force anytime soon after June 6, and probably not in 1944 at all. It would have been a horrifying loss for the Allies (in part because of its improbability, but we're playing with history here.)

Why not? The Allies had a lot more soldiers in the UK than those that directly engaged in Overlord. They would still have the navies, the landing craft, the air forces, the massive quantities of materiel. And if something was missing, they would pull them from the Pacific. The failure of Overlord would be a much bigger blow to McArthur's planned invasion of the Philippines than Dragoon. One way or another the Allies were going to be in France, in force, in August. Sure they would be shaken, and maybe heads would roll (I can imagine that Eisenhower would be shuffled elsewhere for example), but the western front was going to reopen in '44 come hell or high water. There is simply no way in hell, they don't try again somewhere and soon.

Dragoon wouldn't have happened. The Germans had as many troops in France as they did specifically to repel Overlord; once it was repelled they would have been yanking divisions out of the West as fast as they could, especially after the Bagration disaster, when the men were most needed.

Could that have made a difference? Sure, it would have really slowed the Soviets down. The Germans fought with remarkable tenacity from July 1944 to May 1945; the addition of significant forces to reinforce the centre in the East was just what the Germans needed. But they didn't have those forces because they were being crunched up in France.
And if they pull the troops out, then the Allies come back all the easier. The existence of a million and a half soldiers sitting in the UK means the Germans simply can't pull units out of France. They were pinned there by the existence of the western armies. If they leave France unprotected than they lose France. Like I said earlier. This undoubtedly extends the war. The Soviets would undoubtedly have a harder slog. But in my estimation it is a matter of 3-9 months not years.

Dissonance
08-31-2011, 09:16 PM
The Germans lost the War at Stalingrad, not at D-Day, but without American and British support during WWII, the Soviets probably would have Bern beaten.That's highly debatable. Lend-lease aid to the USSR was certainly of great importance, but US lend-lease to the USSR only began in November, 1941 and was initially a small trickle; the floodgates didn't open up until mid 1942. The USSR weathered the German invasion, brought it to a halt and put the Germans on the strategic defensive for the first time in the war with the start of their front-wide winter offensive in December 1941 entirely on their own devices.

In the end they most likely would still have lost, but it might have taken a extra year or even more, and the Soviet and German causalities would have been that much greater...and possibly the Germans could have stabilized a defense that would have broken the teeth of a Soviet advance. The rate at which the Soviets were losing mean and material, especially in their final push into Germany (and WITH the US and other allies putting significant pressure on them from the west and diluting their ability to defend and support), I don't see how they could sustain such an effort indefinitely. If the Germans could have hurt them a lot more in '44, I think it's possible that Germany hangs on into '46 or even '47, assuming the US doesn't drop an atomic bomb on Berlin and ends it the same way we ended things against Japan.The Soviets were in no danger of being unable to sustain their operations due to losses, Germany was the one facing this problem. They were destroying enormous amounts of German men and material in exchange for their losses; the Germans were down to resorting on Volksgrenadiers and Volksstrum formed from teenagers, 50-60 year olds and those previously declared unfit for service. There was no chance of breaking the teeth of the Soviet advance. As soon as Bagration wound down in mid-Poland due to the length of the supply line after destroying Army Group Center and cutting off most of Army Group North in the Baltics, the Soviets turned their attention to the north and south, rapidly overrunning the Balkans and knocking Finland, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary out of the war in the process by September. The loss of Romania meant the loss of the Ploesti oilfields, Germany's largest source of oil. Notably the goal of the Lake Balaton offensive was to recover the nearby oil wells. Even if the Western Allies disappeared in a puff of smoke following a complete failure of Overlord, I can’t see the length of the war being extended by more than months, not years.

XT
08-31-2011, 10:20 PM
Again, I disagree. The Russians weren't some sort of superhumans, able to shrug off staggering losses AND have magical logistics at their beck and call, regardless. When they pushed into Germany in our real, actual history, it cost them big time, and it took an all out effort for them to do it. It was no cake walk...far from it. And that was with Germany caught between two fires, having to send troops and supplies west as well as east. The Russians paid for every step, and the final assault was a nightmare for them and took everything they had to make it happen.

This myth that the Russians could have done it all themselves and that the rest of the allies were just sort of along for the ride is just that...a myth. It took the concerted effort of all of the major and minor allies to make it happen as it did. Take away any part of that and history would be very different. Oh, it's likely that if D-Day had been a total failure that the Russians would still have managed to bull their way into Germany, but it wouldn't have been a cake walk, and it would have wrecked their army and stressed their logistics and industry to the breaking point. It might have cost them another million casualties, and that would be a million of their best and toughest veterans...and I think that it's possible that a Germany fighting on just one front (or two if you count the stalemate in Italy) might have been able to fort up and drag things out into '46 or even '47, when the other allies might have been in a position to try another invasion in the west.

-XT

MOIDALIZE
08-31-2011, 11:38 PM
Again, I'm not saying the Eastern Front wasn't the larger of the two wars by far, but these threads invariably descend into the most ridiculous oversimplifications. To suggest that the West was an ideological afterthought is in staggering denial of the plain facts. How often did Hitler and his minions cite the humiliation of Versailles as a motivator? A million? A zillion? "An afterthought" is just absurd; the defeat of France was a huge, huge motivator for the Nazis and, to be honest, a great part of the German people.



My grandfather served in WWII, and among other things, he brought back this coin (http://www.muenzen-hardelt.de/S86-15.jpg), which was a propaganda piece given to the soldiers to remind them of the French occupation of the Rhineland (a significant part of the French occupation force was soldiers from their African colonies).

wedgehed
09-01-2011, 07:57 AM
If Overlord had failed ( & aside from the fact that this delay would probably result in Germany being nuked) wouldn't the Germans have been able to produce more jet aircraft & V-2s to use against the Russians? Speaking of, did they ever use these weapons on the Eastern Front?

Bartman
09-01-2011, 08:04 AM
xtisme, no one is claiming that the Soviets were supermen. Nor is anyone claiming that they wouldn't take additional horrific casualties. I find your estimate of an additional million men to be quite plausible. So no cake walk at all. But they were a bit better off than the Germans in that regard. As a country with a 130 million plus people, the Soviets were simply better equipped to absorb the losses than the 80 million odd Germans. And yes the Soviets would be devastated (they already were really). But the Soviets engaged in a type of total war that goes leaps and bounds beyond what everyone else did. They were in a death match and had finally gotten the Germans by the throat, Stalin wasn't going to ease up, and damn the casualties. He would worry about the damage done to the USSR only after the Germans lay prostrate before him.

...and I think that it's possible that a Germany fighting on just one front (or two if you count the stalemate in Italy) might have been able to fort up and drag things out into '46 or even '47, when the other allies might have been in a position to try another invasion in the west.
So now we have a claim that the western Allies aren't going to invade until '46 or '47? Why do you expect it would take that long? I think this may be the biggest point of divergence between you and me. For some reason you think that a failed Overlord means the western Allies would simply drop out of the war. That seems implausible to me. Politically they would have to try somewhere else, and soon. Maybe the old Churchill Balkans plan would be dusted off. Maybe a sequel in Normandy. in Maybe an up-sized Dragoon (this seems most likely to me). But they have to try somewhere. Churchill said his government would fall if they were kicked out of Europe a fourth time unless he had a success to balance against it. Politically he would have to try again in '45. They would still have the better part of 100 divisions in the UK and all the materiel for this army already stockpiled. They would use it somewhere that summer.

Bartman
09-01-2011, 08:35 AM
If Overlord had failed ( & aside from the fact that this delay would probably result in Germany being nuked) wouldn't the Germans have been able to produce more jet aircraft & V-2s to use against the Russians? Speaking of, did they ever use these weapons on the Eastern Front?

Not much, the V-2s were entirely focused on the west. And the Me 262s were dedicated to anti-bombing missions. So they only had limited engagements with the Soviets.

Most of the V-2s were fired at Belgium, with the UK coming in a close second, and a handful fired at France, the Netherlands, and occupied Germany (all at Remagen to be precise). But the V-2s were terrible weapons, averaging 2 deaths per shot, while being quite expensive. They were intended as terror weapons. But after years of bombings, they weren't all that terrifying (comparatively, I certainly wouldn't want to be caught under one).

And while the Germans produced 1400 Me 262s only around 200 entered operational service, mostly due to lack of fuel. So this is a place where I would expect to see some real differences, depending on what alterations were made in the bomber plans, and how quickly the Soviets take Ploesti. It is possible that the Germans could field a much more robust air defense in '45 than they had historically.

XT
09-01-2011, 08:40 AM
It takes time to build up an invasion force and all of the logistics you would need to support such a force. It takes time to plan the details of such an invasion. You don't do it in a couple of months timeframe. Look at how long it took the US to prepare for the First Gulf War. IIRC, preparations for Overlord started in 1942, with a projected invasion in '44. Assuming a failed invasion, my guess is that much of the command staff would be sacked. Then they would go through another planning and training cycle, with a huge build up of logistics. They would want to make this invasion even bigger, depending on what the reasons were for it to fail, and try and analyze the problems and do gap analysis. I'd say that getting another invasion in the same 2 years would be a huge task.

Another aspect here is how it would have failed. Did the Germans force the troop to surrender? Were we able to evac any of them? What about the equipment? The Germans were pretty good about taking captured equipment and using it, and they would have had quite a windfall in allied equipment, especially trucks, artillery, tanks and earth moving equipment if they managed to capture large stores before we could destroy them. They would also have a lot of allied prisoners, men who had been trained for this task and men who would need to be replaced by training new ones.

-XT

Malthus
09-01-2011, 09:55 AM
The paratroop landings did in fact screw up catastrophically, the landings were scattered all to hell. On average each 'stick' (planeload) missed its intended drop zone by several miles, some by as much as 25 miles. The drop patterns of the 101st (http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/7-4/~MapVIII.htm) and 82nd (http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/7-4/~MapIX.htm) from the official US Army history shows just how badly fucked up it was.



Interestingly, I have read that the screw-up of the paratroop drop actually favoured the Allies in a sense - as it completely confused the Germans as to the Allies' battle plan in the initial hours of the invasion!

Malthus
09-01-2011, 09:59 AM
I disagree that the invasion "could not have failed". It is often forgotten that right after the invasion, horrible weather in the channel (the worst storm in years) grounded allied air support and wrecked on of the two mobile harbours the allies had brought with them. Had the storm wrecked both, and continued for longer grounding allied air cover, the Allies would have been in a bad way for supplies and would not have been able to interdict German mivements, and a determined and coordinated resistence, unimpeded by the "Bodyguard" deception that kept a whole army cooling its heels covering Calais, could well have smashed the invasion.

Bartman
09-01-2011, 10:59 AM
It takes time to build up an invasion force and all of the logistics you would need to support such a force. It takes time to plan the details of such an invasion. You don't do it in a couple of months timeframe. Look at how long it took the US to prepare for the First Gulf War. IIRC, preparations for Overlord started in 1942, with a projected invasion in '44. Assuming a failed invasion, my guess is that much of the command staff would be sacked. Then they would go through another planning and training cycle, with a huge build up of logistics. They would want to make this invasion even bigger, depending on what the reasons were for it to fail, and try and analyze the problems and do gap analysis. I'd say that getting another invasion in the same 2 years would be a huge task.

Planning doesn't take that long. Here are some examples:
Operation - Time from initiation of planning to invasion
Husky (Sicily) - 67 days
Baytown (Italy) - Less than 64 days (my source simply says "July" as the start of planning)
Avalanche (Italy) - Less than 67 days (my source simply says "July" as the start of planning)
Shingle (Anzio) - Around 30 days
Dragoon (Southern France) - 15 days (although it had been looked at before, so planning was much easier)
Toenails - less than 50 days (my source simply says "May" as the start of planning)
Chronicle - less than 52 days (my source simply says "May" as the start of planning)
Watchtower - less than 90 days (again my source simply says "May" as the start of planning)
Chromite (Inchon) - 70 days

Planning start times aren't always documented well (or at all) but I think my point is made. Most amphibious operations took around 2 months to go from vague idea to invasion. And Dragoon only took 15 days once it was decided to actually plan it. Obviously operations like Overlord are more complex, and require more planning. But not a whole lot more. Neptune (the D-day part of Overlord) involved 10 divisions plus two brigades. Dragoon involved 7 divisions plus some additional units. And it had the advantage of being already mostly planned. So it could be implemented almost immediately in the case of an Overlord failure.

The reason Overlord took so long to gear up was the need to build up materiel and train men. And it had to be done in more adverse conditions than existed in '44. By '44 the sea lanes were vastly safer, and the Allies had a lot more shipping. And that initial build up and training included a lot more than just the initial invasion force. So what happens if it fails utterly? Lets suppose total destruction of every piece of equipment that lands and total capture of every man that lands in the first week. We'll even throw in the complete destruction of all landing craft. That means that the Allies still have 80% of their strength and more than half of the landing craft (with around 1000+ more being produced a month).

So here the Allies would be, with 80% of their strength trained and ready to go, enough landing craft to repeat D-day. And they have a plan mostly sketched out (that in the real timeline only took 15 days to complete planning). Why wouldn't they use it? There is no reason to wait... all the waiting has already been done. The men and supplies for a multi-year campaign have already been provided. There is no need to wait until '45 let alone '46 or '47. Sure there would be a need to move around troops and equipment. But nothing outside the Allies capabilities in '44.

Another aspect here is how it would have failed. Did the Germans force the troop to surrender? Were we able to evac any of them? What about the equipment? The Germans were pretty good about taking captured equipment and using it, and they would have had quite a windfall in allied equipment, especially trucks, artillery, tanks and earth moving equipment if they managed to capture large stores before we could destroy them. They would also have a lot of allied prisoners, men who had been trained for this task and men who would need to be replaced by training new ones.
It doesn't much matter. The Allies had a dozen plus divisions already in the Med who had already completed amphibious landings. And the 80 odd divisions sitting in the UK are combat trained. Remember Dragoon actually took place, without needing any of the men involved in Overlord. The Seventh would kick the door down and the rest of the troops would disembark in Marseille much the way they did in Cherbourg or Arromanches.

Bartman
09-01-2011, 11:25 AM
I disagree that the invasion "could not have failed". It is often forgotten that right after the invasion, horrible weather in the channel (the worst storm in years) grounded allied air support and wrecked on of the two mobile harbours the allies had brought with them. Had the storm wrecked both, and continued for longer grounding allied air cover, the Allies would have been in a bad way for supplies and would not have been able to interdict German mivements, and a determined and coordinated resistence, unimpeded by the "Bodyguard" deception that kept a whole army cooling its heels covering Calais, could well have smashed the invasion.

Let's change that to "was extraordinarily unlike to fail" if you like. That storm as described as "the worst channel storm in 40 years." So I think making proposals that require it to be even worse or longer, borders on fantasy. And the only reason it wrecked even one harbor, was that the Americans screwed up in assembling theirs. The British harbor was never in danger of being wrecked.

And the Allies never planed on the Germans hanging out in Calais as long as they did. They always expected to have to engage them in Normandy. As it was I don't think the Allies ever enjoyed less than a 2:1 advantage in men or tanks, after the first few hours. And Salmuth had what, 8 divisions between the Somme and Belguim? Even if the Pas de Calais had been entirely emptied and shipped during the storm of the 19-20th they would only achieve rough parity with the Allies, hardly enough to "smash" the Allied forces.

Kobal2
09-01-2011, 11:50 AM
My grandfather served in WWII, and among other things, he brought back this coin (http://www.muenzen-hardelt.de/S86-15.jpg), which was a propaganda piece given to the soldiers to remind them of the French occupation of the Rhineland (a significant part of the French occupation force was soldiers from their African colonies).

Is that... is that a German mädchen tied to a giant black dick ? They didn't fuck around when it came to propaganda back then, did they ?

And while the Germans produced 1400 Me 262s only around 200 entered operational service, mostly due to lack of fuel. So this is a place where I would expect to see some real differences, depending on what alterations were made in the bomber plans, and how quickly the Soviets take Ploesti. It is possible that the Germans could field a much more robust air defense in '45 than they had historically.

Which is a reason I'm skeptical about the nuke threat, even if we forget that Fatman and Little Boy were it and the whole of it - there were no other bombs to drop at the time, and making new ones took around a month each.
The Germans had the best bomber hunter in the war by a large margin, and assuming they get the Hiroshima heads up, they were probably going to ramp it up some more. They also had radar by then. Which leaves the fuel woes, but if we assume Overlord fails catastrophically, they can possibly bring back all of the French supplies back home in a somewhat orderly fashion, easing the burden somewhat.

So really, I don't think "we just drop a nuke on Berlin" is all that automatic an assumption.

Malthus
09-01-2011, 12:20 PM
Let's change that to "was extraordinarily unlike to fail" if you like. That storm as described as "the worst channel storm in 40 years." So I think making proposals that require it to be even worse or longer, borders on fantasy. And the only reason it wrecked even one harbor, was that the Americans screwed up in assembling theirs. The British harbor was never in danger of being wrecked.

And the Allies never planed on the Germans hanging out in Calais as long as they did. They always expected to have to engage them in Normandy. As it was I don't think the Allies ever enjoyed less than a 2:1 advantage in men or tanks, after the first few hours. And Salmuth had what, 8 divisions between the Somme and Belguim? Even if the Pas de Calais had been entirely emptied and shipped during the storm of the 19-20th they would only achieve rough parity with the Allies, hardly enough to "smash" the Allied forces.

I would not relegate the (in fact, quite real) storm wrecking both, as opposed to only one, harbour, or lasting another day, as "fantasy". Seems eminently possible to me. And a numerical advantage would count for less if supplies where unavailable, as modern warfare depends to a great extent on supply (having a 2:1 advantage in tanks isn't enough - those tanks must have shells, parts, gas, etc.). If supplies had been interdicted, a narrow beachead could have been 'smashed' by a numerically inferior force - and certainly by one with rough parity.

Really, two elements were needed for a German victory, once the landing had been made:

(1) something that would prevent supplying the beachead; and

(2) seeing through the "Bodyguard" deception plan.

They came close to (1) via the massive storm; they never came close to (2), and in fact, the deception worked even better than its planners had thought.

Bartman
09-01-2011, 01:01 PM
Which is a reason I'm skeptical about the nuke threat, even if we forget that Fatman and Little Boy were it and the whole of it - there were no other bombs to drop at the time, and making new ones took around a month each.
The Germans had the best bomber hunter in the war by a large margin, and assuming they get the Hiroshima heads up, they were probably going to ramp it up some more. They also had radar by then. Which leaves the fuel woes, but if we assume Overlord fails catastrophically, they can possibly bring back all of the French supplies back home in a somewhat orderly fashion, easing the burden somewhat.

So really, I don't think "we just drop a nuke on Berlin" is all that automatic an assumption.

Yes it was far more of a danger than bombing Japan. But crew loss per sortie went down every year for the Allies. While the Germans were still shooting down lots of planes, the odds of shooting any particular plane down were continuing to drop even as the me 262 came online. Bury your bomber in the safest part of the formation and you can be fairly sure it'll reach its target.

But you are wrong about the number of bomb the US had. They had more than just Fat Man and Little Boy. There was a third already being assembled for an estimated delivery date of the 19th. With 3-4 more expected each in September and October. cite (http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB162/72.pdf)
And rates of production were expected to increase after that.

Finally, there would be no Hiroshima heads up. If Germany was still in the war after Trinity, all the initial targets would have been German. Germany was always the intended target. Japan was just the target we had left when they became available.

cmkeller
09-01-2011, 01:02 PM
My grandfather served in WWII, and among other things, he brought back this coin (http://www.muenzen-hardelt.de/S86-15.jpg), which was a propaganda piece given to the soldiers to remind them of the French occupation of the Rhineland (a significant part of the French occupation force was soldiers from their African colonies).

If that coin is Nazi propoganda, why does it have the date 1920 on it? And on the other side, is that woman (presumably representing France) tied to a giant dick?

Malthus
09-01-2011, 01:09 PM
If that coin is Nazi propoganda, why does it have the date 1920 on it? And on the other side, is that woman (presumably representing France) tied to a giant dick?

I would have thought the woman represents Germany. The title 'Black Shame' I would think is supposed to refer to the "shame" of Germany being "raped" by France, in the form of the Rhineland being occupied by (Black French) soldiers. Sexualized and racialized "national humiliation".

The 1920 date, seems to me, makes of pre- or proto-Nazi German origin, though it may I suppose be simply intended to remind Nazis of the occupation ahnd actually have been made much later.

An interesting piece. Never heard of anything like it before.

Bartman
09-01-2011, 01:15 PM
Fair enough Malthus fantasy was a strong word. But it was already a historically bad storm, expecting it to get worse is pushing the limits of potential weather phenomena for the area. It was already about as bad as it could get. And yes there is little the storm could have done to knock out the British harbor. The American harbor was assembled incorrectly and hadn't been secured to the seabed. The British harbor had been assembled properly and secured. To wreck it would have required a storm a magnitude greater than the already historically bad storm.

Any storm big enough to do that would stop German movement and resupply anyway. And by and large the Germans had worse supply problems than the Allies. You could have a Cat 5 hurricane sweep Normandy, and given the supply trains, the Allies would probably recover faster than the Germans.

Malthus
09-01-2011, 01:20 PM
Fair enough Malthus fantasy was a strong word. But it was already a historically bad storm, expecting it to get worse is pushing the limits of potential weather phenomena for the area. It was already about as bad as it could get. And yes there is little the storm could have done to knock out the British harbor. The American harbor was assembled incorrectly and hadn't been secured to the seabed. The British harbor had been assembled properly and secured. To wreck it would have required a storm a magnitude greater than the already historically bad storm.

Fair enough. Any prospect for German success would require the assembly of both Mulberries to be muffed.

Any storm big enough to do that would stop German movement and resupply anyway. And by and large the Germans had worse supply problems than the Allies. You could have a Cat 5 hurricane sweep Normandy, and given the supply trains, the Allies would probably recover faster than the Germans.

As to this, I dunno. A storm at sea is far more disruptive to supply than a storm on land - and a storm on land would bring a welcome respite from the true cause of Germany's supply build-up problems - allied air power, that bombed and strafed anything that rolled on its way to Normandy with relative impunity.

Little Nemo
09-01-2011, 01:32 PM
If that coin is Nazi propoganda, why does it have the date 1920 on it? And on the other side, is that woman (presumably representing France) tied to a giant dick?1920 was the year when the territorial provisions of the Treaty of Versailles went into effect.

Malthus
09-01-2011, 01:37 PM
I'd love to see a coin expert discuss that coin. It's an interesting relic to be sure.

Bartman
09-01-2011, 01:43 PM
Fair enough. Any prospect for German success would require the assembly of both Mulberries to be muffed.

As to this, I dunno. A storm at sea is far more disruptive to supply than a storm on land - and a storm on land would bring a welcome respite from the true cause of Germany's supply build-up problems - allied air power, that bombed and strafed anything that rolled on its way to Normandy with relative impunity.

OK, agreed. But how bad do things have to suck when you are praying for near hurricanes to improve your transportation system.

MOIDALIZE
09-01-2011, 01:51 PM
I'd love to see a coin expert discuss that coin. It's an interesting relic to be sure.

According to this site (http://www.germaniainternational.com/army28.html):

The history of the French occupation of the Rhineland is replete with horrific stories of cruelty and wanton murder of the German population. But by far the most often repented crimes of those savages was rape. French use of Black Troops was nothing short of a national insult cast at a nation that the French hated with a passion. Rage was so rampant that it seemed to influence the NS initiative to at least sterilize the Black children of the Rhineland occupation.

...

The medal is called The Black Watch on the Rhine (Die Schwarze Wacht am Rhine). It was struck by the great medalist Karl Goetz as a protest to the sending of the Black Colonial Troops to occupy the Rhine territory, and the sexual depravity. The inscription on the obverse is ‘Liberty, Fraternity, Equality 1920.’ This is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the French national motto. On the back is a description of a nude female figure tied to a phallus that has a French helmet at its tip. The all-seeing eye of French masonry within the triangle seems to overlook and direct the savage scene. The initials for Karl Goetz are seen at the bottom. The words around the edge are Die Schwarze Schande (The Black Shame!). The Negroid soldier on the front looks much like the ones lined up as prisoners in the German WWII film.

I would take this site's summary with an enormous grain of salt because they're selling Nazi paraphernalia and are speaking to the kinds of people likely to seek out and buy this stuff (Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, etc.). They make mention of an incident involving the shooting of civilians in Frankfurt by colonial troops, but other sources I've read consider the symbols on the coin to be mostly metaphorical.

Malthus
09-01-2011, 02:03 PM
According to this site (http://www.germaniainternational.com/army28.html):



I would take this site's summary with an enormous grain of salt because they're selling Nazi paraphernalia and are speaking to the kinds of people likely to seek out and buy this stuff (Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, etc.). They make mention of an incident involving the shooting of civilians in Frankfurt by colonial troops, but other sources I've read consider the symbols on the coin to be mostly metaphorical.

The desription on that site is the most virulently racist thing I've read in ages. :eek:

What it doesn't say, as far as I can see, is when the metal was struck.

Capitaine Zombie
09-01-2011, 07:36 PM
According to this site (http://www.germaniainternational.com/army28.html):



I would take this site's summary with an enormous grain of salt because they're selling Nazi paraphernalia and are speaking to the kinds of people likely to seek out and buy this stuff (Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, etc.). They make mention of an incident involving the shooting of civilians in Frankfurt by colonial troops, but other sources I've read consider the symbols on the coin to be mostly metaphorical.

When the "Indigenes" movie got out, seven years ago, I heard a very good documentary on the radio about the subject (had never heard of it before). Very interesting (and the foremost reason why I think Hitler or no Hitler something like Nazism would have appeared in Germany, no matter what).
There's a fairly good wiki page on it, but it's in French (curiously no German version): http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honte_noire


Basically it shows that Germany was incredibly racist at the time, what a surprise (there's no documentation to back the claims of rapes by African troops, and the French frequently used colonial troops. But, no, for some Germans of the time, it was a design by the French to take down the purity of the German race).
The massacre of POW Senegalese Tirailleurs by the German Army after the fall of France is linked to that (curiously the Nazis didnt have the same urges against North African troops).

It is amusing to see a site still supporting "the Legend", if the rest of the site didnt convince you you were on Nazi apologists' territory, that little rant of them about the Black Shame should.

P.S: I had been tempted to start a thread about this subject but never did find very good sources on it. They're mostly French as well, so kind of limiting for a debate on the Dope.

MOIDALIZE
09-01-2011, 07:57 PM
I never would have known anything about it if my grandpa hadn't brought back that medal (it really is more of a medal, though the material is very thin and hollow), but yes, it certainly looks like another grievance cited by the Germans to be placed on top of all their other grievances against the French.

I may have to check out that Indigenes movie.

Capitaine Zombie
09-01-2011, 08:02 PM
I never would have known anything about it if my grandpa hadn't brought back that medal (it really is more of a medal, though the material is very thin and hollow), but yes, it certainly looks like another grievance cited by the Germans to be placed on top of all their other grievances against the French.

I may have to check out that Indigenes movie.

Meh, Indigenes is not a great movie, it's basically Saving Private Ryan with North Africans. But that radio channel does those really interesting one-hour historical documentaries (lots of rare radio archives). And they used the release of the movie to justify doing one of their shows on the Black Shame. I thought it was far more interesting than the Indigenes movie itself (which doesnt deal with that subject at all).
They also had done one about antisemitism in Vichy France, one of their best shows, quite chilling.

Kobal2
09-01-2011, 08:17 PM
Meh, Indigenes is not a great movie, it's basically Saving Private Ryan with North Africans.

It might be a meh war movie, but it did remind us French (or sometimes, inform us) of something we forgot (or would have liked to forget ?), namely that most of "our" war effort was performed by Algerians, Moroccans, Ivory Coastians, Senegalese and the like.
Truth be told, my history classes never said anything about that, which is unforgivable.

Askance
09-02-2011, 12:36 AM
The Germans lost the War at Stalingrad, not at D-Day, but without American and British support during WWII, the Soviets probably would have Bern beaten.
No. The Germans lost the war in Russia towards the end of 1941, after that it was all mopping up. If the Germans take both Moscow and Leningrad in 1941 they almost certainly defeat Russia; either one and it's a close-run thing; neither and they lose. That simple.
Is there any chance The Bombs would have been dropped on Germany instead of Japan?
In my opinion, no. I continue to believe that the A-bomb was dropped on Japan for a conflation of two reasons; sheer racism and as payback for the utter barbarism of the Japanese day-to-day conduct of the war.
I agree that was the turning point, but let's not forget Germany retained enough strength to be very dangerous in 1943 at Kursk.
Not at all. Due to the Lucy spy ring and Ultra the Soviets knew exactly where, when, and how strongly the Germans were attacking at Kursk, they never stood a chance. That they got as far as they did - arguably around 1/3 of their goal on one flank and 2/3 on the other - was a testament to their military prowess and determination.
This is often said and totally false. The effort in the West was quite considerable and it is not a coincidence that Operation Bagration was timed to occur AFTER Overlord, so that the Germans might draw forces from the East to deal with the problem in the West (which in fact they did.)
Of course, the Russians not being stupid they planned that operation accordingly. That does not mean that, absent Overlord (or Overlord failing, which is the premise of the thread, after all) that Bagration doesn't destroy the Germans' main instrument of resistance, Army Group Centre. There has never been a defeat like it in modern warfare, and the fact that the Germans hold out for another year is again a testament to their astonishing flexibility and resilience.
The Eastern front was certainly a much larger battle in scope, but it's silly to say the Western front wasn't significant, and it's absurd to say the Soviet effort would have gone precisely as it did had the Allies failed in Normandy.
Does anyone say either of those things, precisely?

A total failure in France would have freed up a huge number of Nazi troops - dozens of divisions. the fighting was still pretty ferocious in the East; another few hundred thousand men would have made a significant difference.
Only to the location of their graves.

I don't doubt the USSR would have won, inasmuchg as Bagration was going to be an awful disaster for the Germans no matter what, but the end of the war might well have been delayed a long time.

Of course, if the Soviets are slowed down, what happens is pretty simple and has already been mentioned; in August 1945, Berlin gets nuked.
You contradict yourself, unless May->August is considered "a long time".
As a side note, why do people always bring up the fact the Soviets lost many more men as evidence of their greater contribution? You don't win wars by having YOUR guys killed. You win wars by killing the other guys.
The Russian kill ratio exceeded their force ratio.
Again, I'm not saying the Eastern Front wasn't the larger of the two wars by far, but these threads invariably descend into the most ridiculous oversimplifications. To suggest that the West was an ideological afterthought is in staggering denial of the plain facts.
If anyone is suggesting that, it would be indeed asinine. But anyone who knows anything of the topic does not; any analysis of the war effort available to the respective powers in, say, early 1944 can see that the Germans were doomed in 1945; D-day allows Stalin to ease off at various points (eg the approach to Warsaw) but makes virtually no difference to the outcome of the war.

Could that have made a difference? Sure, it would have really slowed the Soviets down. The Germans fought with remarkable tenacity from July 1944 to May 1945; the addition of significant forces to reinforce the centre in the East was just what the Germans needed. But they didn't have those forces because they were being crunched up in France.
The Germans figured that the Allied war effort in Italy made no difference to them; their commitment to that front would have been roughly the same whether the Allies has invaded or not. The case in France was similar; they patently had to guard that huge frontier no matter what the Allies did. The invasion served a purpose for them, which was to crystalise the Allies' intentions. They lost a bunch in Normandy but on the other hand were able to withdraw forces from the rest of France, Holland, Belgium, and so on. Remember that at the close of the war the Germans have 250,000 men in Norway - utterly wasted.


I disagree that the invasion "could not have failed". It is often forgotten that right after the invasion, horrible weather in the channel (the worst storm in years) grounded allied air support and wrecked on of the two mobile harbours the allies had brought with them. Had the storm wrecked both, and continued for longer grounding allied air cover, the Allies would have been in a bad way for supplies and would not have been able to interdict German mivements, and a determined and coordinated resistence, unimpeded by the "Bodyguard" deception that kept a whole army cooling its heels covering Calais, could well have smashed the invasion.
Nope. It went about as badly as could reasonably have; when you guard your main battlefront with significant numbers of Polish and Russian prisoners you get the result you deserve. People confuse the hard fighting in some parts of the landings with a possibility of them failing overall. The losses the US suffered in Utah beach were lower than in the practice landings beforehand - 200 out of 23,500. Omaha was the outlier, not Utah.

Dissonance
09-02-2011, 02:14 AM
Interestingly, I have read that the screw-up of the paratroop drop actually favoured the Allies in a sense - as it completely confused the Germans as to the Allies' battle plan in the initial hours of the invasion!I've read the same, but its just looking for the silver lining in a huge clusterfuck. Troop Carrier Command was pretty much at the bottom of the list when it came to assigning trained pilots, and they were asked to perform an extremely difficult task in night airdrops. It never turned out well, the airdrop in the invasion of Sicily fared just as badly (http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA-MTO-Sicily/USA-MTO-Sicily-6.html)The greatest problem was getting the paratroopers to ground, not so much on correct drop zones as to get them out of the doors over ground of any sort. The result: the 3,400 paratroopers who jumped found themselves scattered all over southeastern Sicily--33 sticks landing in the Eighth Army area; 53 in the 1st Division zone around Gela; 127 inland from the 45th Division beaches between Vittoria and Caltagirone. Only the 2d Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry (Maj. Mark Alexander), hit ground relatively intact; and even this unit was twenty-five miles from its designated drop zone.One glider wound up landing on an airfield on Malta and wasn't aware they had missed Sicily entirely until a jeep sent to investigate came upon them.

I disagree that the invasion "could not have failed". It is often forgotten that right after the invasion, horrible weather in the channel (the worst storm in years) grounded allied air support and wrecked on of the two mobile harbours the allies had brought with them.I agree that an even worse storm could have resulted in failure, but most likely a failure in the sense of a shallow bridgehead that the Allies couldn't manage to break out of, not a complete failure and being driven back into the sea. Even the worst channel storm in years that destroyed one of the Mulberry harbors didn't cause much of a blip on the slow but steady advance inland.

Again, I disagree. The Russians weren't some sort of superhumans, able to shrug off staggering losses AND have magical logistics at their beck and call, regardless.
...

This myth that the Russians could have done it all themselves and that the rest of the allies were just sort of along for the ride is just that...a myth. It took the concerted effort of all of the major and minor allies to make it happen as it did.I think you're misreading me. I'm not trying to assign Russians a mythical superhuman status, just a realistic appreciation of where things were on the ground in mid 1944 on the Eastern Front. Once Barbarossa failed to crush the USSR in a knockout blow, Germany was grappled to a foe in a war of attrition that it was on the losing side of. As horrific as Soviet casualties were, they could sustain it. Germany couldn't, and had reached the point that it was calling the young, the elderly and the unfit to arms because there was nothing else left.

Kobal2
09-02-2011, 03:35 AM
It never turned out well, the airdrop in the invasion of Sicily fared just as badly (http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/USA-MTO-Sicily/USA-MTO-Sicily-6.html)

FWIW, the Nazi parachute assault on Crete was just as chaotic. The Fallschirmjäger managed to salvage it, but it's telling that Germany never tried another massed air drop again.

Capitaine Zombie
09-02-2011, 08:35 AM
It might be a meh war movie, but it did remind us French (or sometimes, inform us) of something we forgot (or would have liked to forget ?), namely that most of "our" war effort was performed by Algerians, Moroccans, Ivory Coastians, Senegalese and the like.
Truth be told, my history classes never said anything about that, which is unforgivable.

Reminding the French about Monte Cassino while making a point of not mentioning the horrfying rape of the valley by the North African troops is utter hypocrisy. Dont give lectures with your zipper open.

And I'm older than you and didnt have to wait for Indigenes to come out to know that the only way France managed to stay in the picture is by use of its colonial troops. Learned that in school.

Cicero
09-02-2011, 10:35 AM
I have read the posts here and although I may have missed some detail, I do have some questions- a lot of these for Bartman (Waves to Bartman).

Firstly, my position is that I don't think that Overlord was in danger of failing entirely- one beach may have not worked out but overall the air and naval power would have over whelmed the Germans. I also believe that the Soviets already had the Germans at a stage where they couldn't hope to recover. Without Overlord the USSR wins and Europe becomes subject to Communist control. Franc had been a basket case for Govts for years- remember the Paris Commune (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Commune)? So the landscape of Europe could have been pretty different.

Now a couple of questions- Operation Dragoon. It was said that all the landing craft were readily available after Overlord. However, I would have thought that a significant amount of shipping would still have been tied up in bringing in supplies. And then to have them sent to Africa- granted, not a long trip time wise- they would virtually have needed to know that Dragoon was to be undertaken, send the vessels on their way and hope that all meshed. Or would their have been suffiecient shipping already available in that theatre after Torch and the Sicily/ Italy invasions.

Secondly, and I have touched on this in a previous thread a few years back- how much material was actually supplied to the Soviets from the west? If the real deal began from the USA in November 1941, then a month later any direct transit would be blocked by Japan. So it would come down to the convoys from Britain- and really in the scheme of things and the huge battles the Arctic Convoys were really piss all.

And also, the reference to Bastogne above and the Battle of the Bulge. While great theatre, Bastogne was not ever going to change the world. If it falls, nothing changes. Patton and Montgomery combine to eradicate the Germans - especially when the weather clears and the air force can start really taking toll.

(Please note in this post I am not denigrating any of the men who fought in these encounters- I am just trying to place them in context with the huge battles on the eastern front).

Dissonance
09-02-2011, 01:10 PM
Secondly, and I have touched on this in a previous thread a few years back- how much material was actually supplied to the Soviets from the west? If the real deal began from the USA in November 1941, then a month later any direct transit would be blocked by Japan. So it would come down to the convoys from Britain- and really in the scheme of things and the huge battles the Arctic Convoys were really piss all.It was quite substantial, providing ~7-10% of total Soviet war materials. There's a good breakdown of what was provided here. (http://www.theeasternfront.co.uk/lendlease.htm) The Northern route across the North Atlantic to Murmansk was the least safe and the least used because of this. Most was sent via the Persian corridor and the Pacific route to Vladivostok, the Pacific route accounting for about half of the total. When Japan entered the war the US ships used on the Pacific route were reflagged as Soviet. Since Japan and the USSR weren't at war and Japan wasn't in any hurry to antagonize them the shipments went along uninterrupted.

XT
09-02-2011, 01:42 PM
I think you're misreading me. I'm not trying to assign Russians a mythical superhuman status, just a realistic appreciation of where things were on the ground in mid 1944 on the Eastern Front. Once Barbarossa failed to crush the USSR in a knockout blow, Germany was grappled to a foe in a war of attrition that it was on the losing side of. As horrific as Soviet casualties were, they could sustain it. Germany couldn't, and had reached the point that it was calling the young, the elderly and the unfit to arms because there was nothing else left.

That the Soviets were superhuman is implicit in all of the statements about how they could just bull through regardless of loss. The Soviet army was a fine fighting force, extremely formidable by '44-45, no doubt about it. But they were able to roll through eastern Europe and Germany during that time period because the Germans were fighting on multiple fronts and being hard pressed. They were having to divide their logistics efforts between multiple army groups in the east and in the west as well as in Italy. By allowing the Germans the ability to simplify their logistics and remove one of those commitments would have meant that the Red Army wouldn't have had nearly the same ability to ram through eastern Europe or into Germany as they did when Germany's attentions and commitments were divided. There is a point at which losses, especially of veteran combat troops and key logistics would have caused the Russians to pause, refit, retrain, and bring up new supplies.

Even in our universe where the Germans WERE fighting on multiple fronts the Russians had to do this several times before their final push into Germany and especially into Berlin. If Germany could retask a large percentage of the forces committed in the west AND to re-direct and simplify their logistics toward the east I think that anyone saying that the Soviets could just have smashed that as well DOES think of the Soviets in superhuman terms, able to shrug off huge losses in men and materials at the wave of a hand...which seems to be the majority of the posters in this thread.

In the end I think it would be moot...Germany would have lost, unless they could inflict staggering losses on the Soviets and sue for some sort of peace. At the least the Soviets would have recaptured all of their lost territory and probably most of eastern Europe as well. But I don't think this would have happened until '46 or '47 unless the other allies could have launched another invasion to split Germany's defense and draw off men and material....and the losses on both the Russian and German side would have been MUCH higher. I could see another million+ on both sides pretty easily.

Anyway, that's my take.

-XT

Dissonance
09-04-2011, 04:43 AM
That the Soviets were superhuman is implicit in all of the statements about how they could just bull through regardless of loss.Nonsense. If superhuman status is being granted to anyone, it’s to the Germans by you. All that is implicit in it is that the USSR had the upper hand in a war of attrition and that by mid '44 Germany's situation was irrecoverable and would have remained so regardless of the success or failure of the Western Front. Germany was a spent force, still able to prolong the war by sheer tenacity, but the writing was clearly on the wall. Again, they weren't starting to throw 16 and 60 year olds and those with flat feet or other problems on the front lines for the hell of it. They were derisively referred to as Ear and Stomach (http://books.google.com/books?id=gPnjXC1lEJ8C&pg=PA408&lpg=PA408&dq=volkssturm+ear+stomach+battalions&source=bl&ots=UxSUqBna7Z&sig=0Rf75NF_QO3WnDcSswrcq4iDENs&hl=en&ei=LTZjTrHoGMnm0QGisoX1CQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CCEQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=volkssturm%20ear%20stomach%20battalions&f=false) battalions due to these common physical ailments. After the foolish waste at Kursk the Soviets were on an uninterrupted series of offensives for the rest of the war. Kursk was an extremely limited offensive compared to the ones launched in the previous two summers by the Germans. Even if Kursk had miraculously been a success for Germany, all it would have done is remove a salient and shorten the length of the line, though the Soviets still had the uncommitted reserves that historically attacked north of Kursk in the Orel strategic counter-offensive on July 12th and south of Kursk in the Belograd-Kharov counter-offensive on August 3rd. Notably, much as at Stalingrad the Germans had weakened these flanks of Kursk in order to support the Kursk operation. From then on the Soviets were continuously on the offensive on some part of the front line. This all happened before Führer Directive No. 51 (http://www.go2war2.nl/artikel/1021/F%FChrer-Directive-No-51-03-11-1943.htm) of November 1943 which laid out plans to build up strength in France to face the impending invasion.


The Soviet army was a fine fighting force, extremely formidable by '44-45, no doubt about it. But they were able to roll through eastern Europe and Germany during that time period because the Germans were fighting on multiple fronts and being hard pressed. They were having to divide their logistics efforts between multiple army groups in the east and in the west as well as in Italy.This doesn't explain why they were able to roll the Germans back hundreds of miles inflicting hundreds of thousands of casualties from mid '43-44 when these weren't such large issues.

By allowing the Germans the ability to simplify their logistics and remove one of those commitments would have meant that the Red Army wouldn't have had nearly the same ability to ram through eastern Europe or into Germany as they did when Germany's attentions and commitments were divided. There is a point at which losses, especially of veteran combat troops and key logistics would have caused the Russians to pause, refit, retrain, and bring up new supplies.How were the Germans going to cause the loss of key logistics for the Soviets? The Luftwaffe certainly wasn't up to the task by this point in the war and was never well equipped or trained for it in the first place; it was designed as flying artillery for direct support of the ground forces. Even their medium bombers were required to be designed able to dive-bomb, regardless of if it made sense or not, even the 4 engine He-177 had this as a requirement which only magnified its failure as a 4 engine bomber. Germany's veteran troops had long since been grounding down in the meat grinder of the Eastern Front.

Even in our universe where the Germans WERE fighting on multiple fronts the Russians had to do this several times before their final push into Germany and especially into Berlin.No, they didn't. Whenever one part of the front had to pause to due to supply issues, they would shift to another part of the front. I've mentioned the turn to the north and south of Bagration once it petered down, but this is what they had been doing non-stop since mid-43 as can be seen on this map (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Eastern_Front_1943-08_to_1944-12.png) They were able to do this because they always maintained a large STAVKA reserve, which the Germans continually underestimated the size of.

If Germany could retask a large percentage of the forces committed in the west AND to re-direct and simplify their logistics toward the east I think that anyone saying that the Soviets could just have smashed that as well DOES think of the Soviets in superhuman terms, able to shrug off huge losses in men and materials at the wave of a hand...which seems to be the majority of the posters in this thread.Again, nonsense. There is nothing superhuman about it. They could shrug off losses in men and material much more easily than Germany could; they had been able to do this throughout the war, and by mid '44 Germany was down to the most desperate of measures trying to replace their losses. The Soviets were not anywhere close to this, and the liberation of so much Soviet territory was increasing their pool of able bodied men. Soviet output of war materials had long ago buried what Germany was manufacturing. From Earl F. Ziemke and Magna E. Bauer's Moscow to Stalingrad: Decision in the East (Army Historical Series) (http://www.amazon.com/Moscow-Stalingrad-Decision-East-Historical/dp/0880292946)Nevertheless, in 1942, Soviet output had already surpassed that of Germany in tanks and other armored vehicles (24,400 Soviet; 4,800 German), in aircraft (21,700 Soviet; 14,700 German), in infantry rifles and carbines (4 million Soviet, 1.4 million German), and in artillery (for which no comparable figures are available).

In the end I think it would be moot...Germany would have lost, unless they could inflict staggering losses on the Soviets and sue for some sort of peace. At the least the Soviets would have recaptured all of their lost territory and probably most of eastern Europe as well. But I don't think this would have happened until '46 or '47 unless the other allies could have launched another invasion to split Germany's defense and draw off men and material....and the losses on both the Russian and German side would have been MUCH higher.The Soviets recaptured all of their lost territory by July '44, a good half of Eastern Europe by August/September '44, and all of the Balkans in September '44. A failure of Overlord in June '44 was not going to push these dates back into '45, much less '46 or '47.

Bartman
09-04-2011, 11:10 AM
Well I'm back, "a day late and a dollar short" as they say...
Now a couple of questions- Operation Dragoon. It was said that all the landing craft were readily available after Overlord. However, I would have thought that a significant amount of shipping would still have been tied up in bringing in supplies. And then to have them sent to Africa- granted, not a long trip time wise- they would virtually have needed to know that Dragoon was to be undertaken, send the vessels on their way and hope that all meshed. Or would their have been suffiecient shipping already available in that theatre after Torch and the Sicily/ Italy invasions.
The shipping are different types. For amphibious assaults they used landing craft of various types ranging from the DUKW (2 tons displacement) to the LSD or Landing Ship Dock (3000 tons displacement). Once ashore and with port facility of some type, they would switch to standard shipping (which by this stage in the war largely meant 15,000 ton displacement Liberty ships). Generally this switch would take place as soon as possible into the assault. "To beach" shipping was a lot less efficient than regular shipping.

And once they switched over to standard shipping all the landing craft types become available again. There was a "shortage" of landing craft throughout the entire war. But that was mostly because of the extreme demand for the things; with both the Pacific and European Theaters demanding as many as they could get (as well as in theater competition, every DUKW Nimitz had was one less that McArthur didn't).

In June of '44 the Allies had something in the neighborhood of 40-50 million tons of shipping capacity. From D-day on the concern wasn't shipping, or materiel, so much as port capacity. Which is why capturing ports like Marseilles and Antwerp were such important considerations. There were several times where the ports would have have ships lines up for days waiting for their turn to unload.

Secondly, and I have touched on this in a previous thread a few years back- how much material was actually supplied to the Soviets from the west? If the real deal began from the USA in November 1941, then a month later any direct transit would be blocked by Japan. So it would come down to the convoys from Britain- and really in the scheme of things and the huge battles the Arctic Convoys were really piss all.
Dissonance already posted a link to some of numbers of the Lend Lease. And the Allies did provide some significant armaments (for example the Allies provided around 14,000 aircraft to the Soviets, or nearly 15% of the aircraft the Soviets operated). The Allies also provided things that the Soviets didn't have, and couldn't produce at the time, including state of the art machine tools and high octane aviation fuels. Things like this made Soviet manufacturing more productive, and their planes more effective. The Allies also almost completely replaced some production classes entirely. The US manufactured 90% the Soviets locomotives, rolling stock, and railroad track between '42 and '45 allowing the Soviets to convert existing factories to weapon production.

And the key to all this was that for several reasons, the Japanese never did block US ships from Vladivostok. Basically Japan was hoping to avoid war with the Soviets. So the US re-flagged nearly 200 ships with Soviet flags, although the crews remained American. Although this was a fairly obvious ruse the Japanese went along with it, so as to avoid provoking a war with the Soviets. In the end 49% of Lend Lease went through Vladivostok, four times what went through Arkhangelsk and Murmansk. The rest went through Persia. So the Arctic Convoys were only a fraction of the total. But it was an important fraction, because it could reach the front faster.

Askance
09-05-2011, 08:45 PM
That the Soviets were superhuman is implicit in all of the statements about how they could just bull through regardless of loss.
No-one said "regardless of loss", if by that you mean no matter how high their losses were. What I'm saying is more like "despite the level of losses suffered historically"; the Germans inflicted grievous losses on the Russians but nevertheless too few to alter the force ratio in their favour, rather it tilted further in the Russians' favour as the war went on.

To put it another way, from around December 1941 on the Russians were able to more than replace their losses, bad though they were, while the Germans could not. The position I (and I believe Dissonance) are putting is that absent Overlord this relentless fact would still take the Germans down in pretty much the historical timeframe. They still would have had to guard the whole of the French, Belgian and Dutch coast, and most of the troops in France were lower class troops, Osttruppen, destroyed units being rebuilt, and so on - the number of men freed up by a failed or absent Overlord is not very many in the context of the eastern front.

The only exception might be the pointless attack in Dec 1944 (the Bulge) but again that number men would have made little if any difference if they all went east instead.