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  #286  
Old 18 Sep 17, 03:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbo View Post
What is your source? According to Frieser p. 383 footnote 102, the German Army had only lost 125 tanks as "Totalausfälle" losses by May 20th. And that is the important date. - not the end of May.

Also, look in Frieser p. 383. It was a myth that the German Army was short of tanks on May 24th and that the stop-order had anything to do with the state of the Panzerdivisions.
Jentz Volume I P 141

Number of Panzers that were total write-ofs or damaged beyond the ability to be repaired in the field workshops :

Pz1 : 142

Pz2 : 194

Pz3 : 110

Pz4 : 77

Pz 35 t : 45

Pz 38 t : 43

Pz.Bef. :38

And 20 may is not the important day , as after 20 may (til Fall Rot ) the Panzers were not much committed .

Also on 20 may the PzD had received only 18 replacements .
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  #287  
Old 18 Sep 17, 03:08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbo View Post

I'm not sure why you would consider Bock a more or less credible witness than Halder or Rundstedt - I assume it is because his musings fit with your preconceptions in this case
???

Unless you can prove that Bock was lying(and why would he ? ) you must accept for true what he wrote in his diary = that on 21 may the OKH issued a halt order for Rundstedt,till the ID had eliminated the allied threat at Arras by capturing the hills NE of the town . Bock was not musing .
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  #288  
Old 18 Sep 17, 04:14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarpeDiem View Post
How would they have accomplished an effective shore bombardment?
To conduct efficient bombardment, you need to have a way of
spotting (contact with trained observers on the ground to call in fire or an aircraft to correct the fall of shot) or have done enough prior reconnaissance of the area to be able to plot where the barrage will fall. In the situation at Dunkirk, trying to control fire with the chaos there (not knowing for certain where your own forces were let alone the Germans) could result in wasted efforts or even worse friendly fire incidents. The main spotting aircraft of the time for the Royal Navy was the Supermarine Walrus. The life expectancy of one of
those over Dunkirk would be likely be very short. And there wasn't the information available to pre-plot missions like Dday. The techniques and the ability for shore bombardment weren't honed enough yet. It took time and experience to improve. Just cruising along the shore lobbing shells blindly isn't going to help anyone and may result in the loss of capital ships that will be needed to protect the U.K. against a possible invasion.

Look at Operation Duck , HMS Suffolk's attempt to bombard Stavanger in 1940.
It was not a resounding success.
http://www.naval-history.net/xDKWDa-...olkDamaged.htm

https://www.world-war.co.uk/duck.php3
I see your points, but the fact remains that battleships could come up close the French coast at night, being entirely immune to German aircraft, bombard a pre-planned target point, and scoot away before sunrise. We know that that is possible because the Revenge did just that, that same year, bombarding the Cherbourg harbor.
Now, this would not have been possible against German vanguards just outside Dunkirk; low potential yield, with the risk of friendly fire. It would have been possible, however, to hit their line of supply, targeting roads and chokepoints such as bridges.
Would this be worth the risk of encountering a German submarine at night, or a lucky Luftwaffe raid at dawn? Probably not. But still it could have been done, especially if the Germans had actually been pushing their tanks forward. Tanks need roads behind them for those bulky fuel and maintenance trucks following them. if the roads are cratered and the bridges destroyed, the engineers have to intervene first, etc. etc.

If battleships are too precious to risk them there, then send Erebus and Terror. With their pair of 380mms, they have some bang for the buck.
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  #289  
Old 18 Sep 17, 04:58
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Quote:
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The strain shows on the faces of Spifire pilot Brian Lane after landing back at his base after a sortie in the Battle of Britain.
The bloke on Sandy Lane's right didn't cop it though, he survived to a grand old age.

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  #290  
Old 18 Sep 17, 05:16
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From "The Kriegstagebuch West H.Gr A Teil II, 21..2.40- 31.5. 40 "

Sadly enough with a primitive translation and without Anlagen .

21 may : "Chief OKH visited HQ and proposed to expand the bridgeheads at Abbeville, Amiens , Peronne and in the direction of Noyon . "

Other proposals from Brauchitz were not mentioned,because of security .

But Brauchitz did not propose to advance to Dunkirk .

Abbeville,Amiens, Péronne were far away from Dunkirk .


23 may :" Instruction from OKH to complete the encirclment of the enemy " Still no order to go to Dunkirk .

"HGA should narrow the encirclement from the south with mobile forces across the line Bethune-StOmer-Calais and going to the line Armentières-Ypres -Ostend . "

Still no order to go to Dunkirk .

Dunkirk is not mentioned as target .
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  #291  
Old 18 Sep 17, 05:57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele View Post
I see your points, but the fact remains that battleships could come up close the French coast at night, being entirely immune to German aircraft, bombard a pre-planned target point, and scoot away before sunrise. We know that that is possible because the Revenge did just that, that same year, bombarding the Cherbourg harbor.
Now, this would not have been possible against German vanguards just outside Dunkirk; low potential yield, with the risk of friendly fire. It would have been possible, however, to hit their line of supply, targeting roads and chokepoints such as bridges.
Would this be worth the risk of encountering a German submarine at night, or a lucky Luftwaffe raid at dawn? Probably not. But still it could have been done, especially if the Germans had actually been pushing their tanks forward. Tanks need roads behind them for those bulky fuel and maintenance trucks following them. if the roads are cratered and the bridges destroyed, the engineers have to intervene first, etc. etc.

If battleships are too precious to risk them there, then send Erebus and Terror. With their pair of 380mms, they have some bang for the buck.
Again how are they going to hit a "preplanned target point", if they have no exact knowledge where the opposing forces are, no accurate mapping or reconnaissance done, and no way to correct for errors. It's a slightly different matter to hit a port like Cherbourg, a large static target of which I'm sure charts where available to the Navy due to the established shipping traffic between France and the UK and there is no concern about friendly forces being in the area, than lobbing shells blindly onto land into a fluid, dynamic battlefield in the French countryside. Reading books on the 1940 campaign shows that having accurate maps of where they were fighting was a significant issue for the BEF. BEF land artillery had issues plotting accurate fire support, relying on forward observers and Lysanders to spot for them, a system that broke down frequently. If the land forces were having problems with charting on land, I don't know why the Royal Navy of the time would have better maps of the area to plot barrages. Looking at Royal Navy shore bombardment abilities at this time, I don't see any huge net gain for
what would be large risk on limited and valuable resources.
I will add that some Royal Navy destroyers did conduct fire support missions around Calais in 1940 with very limited success. The Captain of the destroyer Greyhound had this to say in his report :"Having returned to engage this battery for 15 minutes a new position for bombardment was taken up but after a few salvoes after which no fall of shot could be seen it was considered that bombardment in Quarters Firing was likely to endanger friend as well as foe". Greyhound was damaged and suffered casualties from return German fire when doing this .
As a side note HMS Terror was in the Mediterranean at this time and would not be available for operations off Dunkirk
http://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chr...Mon-Terror.htm

Last edited by CarpeDiem; 18 Sep 17 at 06:27..
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  #292  
Old 18 Sep 17, 06:23
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WW1 experience meant that the RN regarded either air observation or forward observers in radio contact relaying the fall of shot as essential to any major shore bombardment. Even hitting a large static target like a port at night would be difficult anything else would be firing into the dark - quite literally. One only has to read an account of how vital kite balloons were to the RN at Gallipoli to see this. It would still be so in WW2
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  #293  
Old 18 Sep 17, 11:28
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From the AHF ,a small excerpt of Halder's diary of 25 may :

"My battle plan called for AGA to merely hold the enemy by frontal attacks,while AGB delivered the decisive blow ."

For Halder, the position of AGA was subordinate, while AGB would deliver the decisive blow . That's why he took away the PzD from AGA and gave them to AGB .

If AGA had only to hold the front, the whole claim that Rundstedt refused to go to Dunkirk has non sense.
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  #294  
Old 20 Sep 17, 00:49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele View Post
I see your points, but the fact remains that battleships could come up close the French coast at night, being entirely immune to German aircraft, bombard a pre-planned target point, and scoot away before sunrise. We know that that is possible because the Revenge did just that, that same year, bombarding the Cherbourg harbor.
Now, this would not have been possible against German vanguards just outside Dunkirk; low potential yield, with the risk of friendly fire. It would have been possible, however, to hit their line of supply, targeting roads and chokepoints such as bridges.
Would this be worth the risk of encountering a German submarine at night, or a lucky Luftwaffe raid at dawn? Probably not. But still it could have been done, especially if the Germans had actually been pushing their tanks forward. Tanks need roads behind them for those bulky fuel and maintenance trucks following them. if the roads are cratered and the bridges destroyed, the engineers have to intervene first, etc. etc.

If battleships are too precious to risk them there, then send Erebus and Terror. With their pair of 380mms, they have some bang for the buck.
The terrain around Dunkirk and the southeastern and eastern approaches is fairly flat and crisscrossed with a dense network of roads. The extensive network of water features are mostly drainage ditches which the roads cross with culverts rather than bridges. These form very localized choke points that can be bypassed within 500 meters.

The concept is good, but it's not viable in the terrain around Dunkirk.
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Old 20 Sep 17, 02:37
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If I was Hitler at the time of Dunkirk I'd have probably thought-
"Wow I've conquered France!
Sure, there's a bunch of whupped Allied troops in Dunkirk and I could send my panzers and troops in to try to finish them off but they're evacuating by ship as fast as they can so I might as well let them run, they won't be coming back in a thousand years"..
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  #296  
Old Today, 05:24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarpeDiem View Post
Again how are they going to hit a "preplanned target point", if they have no exact knowledge where the opposing forces are, no accurate mapping or reconnaissance done, and no way to correct for errors. It's a slightly different matter to hit a port like Cherbourg, a large static target of which I'm sure charts where available to the Navy due to the established shipping traffic between France and the UK and there is no concern about friendly forces being in the area, than lobbing shells blindly onto land into a fluid, dynamic battlefield in the French countryside. Reading books on the 1940 campaign shows that having accurate maps of where they were fighting was a significant issue for the BEF. BEF land artillery had issues plotting accurate fire support, relying on forward observers and Lysanders to spot for them, a system that broke down frequently. If the land forces were having problems with charting on land, I don't know why the Royal Navy of the time would have better maps of the area to plot barrages.
As I already stated, I never proposed such a fire mission against battlefield targets. I proposed it against targets similar to the Cherbourg port: transportation nodes behind the enemy lines, such as crossroads, bridges and such. Large, not moving. Yes, I know a bridge is smaller than a port, and it's entirely possible the bridge itself is unscathed. But there are roads leading up to it and away from it, and those would be cratered.

Note the Royal Navy did have concerns about hitting the wrong targets when bombarding Cherbourg: they did not want to bomb the town and the French civilians in it.

The examples of field artillery you make would be relevant in the cases where they were firing at the sort of targets I proposed. If they found it difficult to hit the general area of a crossroads, then yes, maybe the Royal Navy also would.
OTOH if the examples deal with targeting mobile targets, such as enemy units advancing, maybe in proximity of friendlies, then I understand the artillery would want a FO or a spotter plane, but that's not the kind of target I was proposing.


Quote:
Looking at Royal Navy shore bombardment abilities at this time, I don't see any huge net gain for
what would be large risk on limited and valuable resources.
I will add that some Royal Navy destroyers did conduct fire support missions around Calais in 1940 with very limited success. The Captain of the destroyer Greyhound had this to say in his report :"Having returned to engage this battery for 15 minutes a new position for bombardment was taken up but after a few salvoes after which no fall of shot could be seen it was considered that bombardment in Quarters Firing was likely to endanger friend as well as foe". Greyhound was damaged and suffered casualties from return German fire when doing this .
Yeah, that's a destroyer duking it out with a coastal battery taken by the Germans, in daylight. Not a winning proposition in general, and not exactly what I proposed. And it seems that when you up that to light cruisers, like the Arethusa, that fire was more effective, even in Calais.

Quote:
As a side note HMS Terror was in the Mediterranean at this time and would not be available for operations off Dunkirk
http://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chr...Mon-Terror.htm
Well, point taken. I think the Erebus was around, though. Shooting at coastal targets was exactly the task those big gunboats were built for.
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