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  #61  
Old 29 Aug 16, 05:48
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I know this is off topic but weren't the British also having logistical problems which slowed down their rapid advances through Belgium which came to a stop at the Holland border 2 weeks before the launch of OP Market Garden. According to R.J. Kershaw these 2 weeks were critical for the Germans to re-group and form different ad-hoc and kampfgroup formations all along the Holland border and also within 30 minutes drive or 2 hour march to Arnhem?

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  #62  
Old 29 Aug 16, 06:54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m kenny View Post
The poster who made the remark has been saying for years that the Allied forces in Normandy were facing weak 2nd rate German Units. He repeatedly makes the untrue claim that the Panzer Divisions in the West were vastly inferior to those deployed in the east and that the Allied victory was a foregone conclusion. He jumps at any chance to downplay NWE-in this case pointing out that post-defeat German numbers (which are going to be vastly smaller than the numbers before the defeat) are going to show rather low 'density' number.
By focusing solely German Armoured divisions, and ignoring any German motorised divisions (which also had tanks), cavalry divisions, and ordinary Infantry divisions (EF versions tended to have transport capable of moving their heavy weapons, WF tended not to or even lack certain heavy weapons) you posit a particularly cramped definition of what is a manoeuvrable German division. I'm sure it suits your purposes.
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  #63  
Old 29 Aug 16, 12:18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broderickwells View Post
By focusing solely German Armoured divisions, and ignoring any German motorised divisions (which also had tanks), cavalry divisions, and ordinary Infantry divisions (EF versions tended to have transport capable of moving their heavy weapons, WF tended not to or even lack certain heavy weapons) you posit a particularly cramped definition of what is a manoeuvrable German division. I'm sure it suits your purposes.
The poster specifically picks out the NWE Panzer Divisions as being deficient in posts where the general thrust is 'units in the East were much more powerful and combat ready than in the west'.
I made the effort to look up the Germans own combat rating of all the Panzer Divisions. Turns out that of the panzer divisions combat rated 1 there were 7 in the west and 5 or 6(have not got the actual number to hand ) in the east.
That hardly validates the claim eastern front units were better equipped/motivated/motorised etc. There were (as I pointed) out more divisions in the east
Some Panzer Divisions had the ratings as NA. No Panzer Grenadier Divisions were in the original reference book but my post was factual and unchallengeable as statement of fact. This was done to stop the repeated posting of inaccurate information. Let us see if it works.
I did not distort anything. It always suits my purpose when misconceptions are corrected. I hope all future posts are distortion free on the matter of the combat worth of the Panzer Divisions in NWE 1944.
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  #64  
Old 29 Aug 16, 15:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt Knispel View Post
I know this is off topic but weren't the British also having logistical problems which slowed down their rapid advances through Belgium which came to a stop at the Holland border 2 weeks before the launch of OP Market Garden. According to R.J. Kershaw these 2 weeks were critical for the Germans to re-group and form different ad-hoc and kampfgroup formations all along the Holland border and also within 30 minutes drive or 2 hour march to Arnhem?

Regards,Kurt
While not stellar, CW logistical situation was a little bit better than US whose supply lines were longer. Basically Allied forces pivoted around Caen with American taking the longest route. CW suply routes then came from ports along coastline while US came as far than Britany. Such as disposition was logic since it prevented US convoys to cross CW rear area.

By D+90, front was assumed to be along Seine River with US forces covering the western part of front from Avranche to British sector. Logictical planning involved depots creation and transfert. When III Corps broke loose in 7th Army rear area, depots simply did not had time to follow.

When 21st AG got the green light for MG, 12th AG had to reduce its pace. To worsen the situation part of US transportation companies had to be used for French civilians as transportation system had been broken down in preparation of Overlord. 6th AG was in a litlle bit better situation but its main objective was to cover 3rd Army south flank not to deliver a thrust in Germany by itself.
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  #65  
Old 29 Aug 16, 18:34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m kenny View Post
The poster specifically picks out the NWE Panzer Divisions as being deficient in posts where the general thrust is 'units in the East were much more powerful and combat ready than in the west'.
I made the effort to look up the Germans own combat rating of all the Panzer Divisions. Turns out that of the panzer divisions combat rated 1 there were 7 in the west and 5 or 6(have not got the actual number to hand ) in the east.
That hardly validates the claim eastern front units were better equipped/motivated/motorised etc. There were (as I pointed) out more divisions in the east
Some Panzer Divisions had the ratings as NA. No Panzer Grenadier Divisions were in the original reference book but my post was factual and unchallengeable as statement of fact. This was done to stop the repeated posting of inaccurate information. Let us see if it works.
I did not distort anything. It always suits my purpose when misconceptions are corrected. I hope all future posts are distortion free on the matter of the combat worth of the Panzer Divisions in NWE 1944.
Could it be that you cannot use numbers and quality of the tanks and other AFV's in the panzer and motorized divisions of the west front vs the east front. Could there be other factors involved as well that could explain the pounding that the Germans got on the west front vs. the east.

For example, were the allies air superiority giving them better reconnaissance of the German armored groupings? were the allied armored groups using superior coordination with their infantry and artillery?, and on the flip side were the German tactical armored and combined arms doctrine functioning with the same efficiency as it had been during the first half of the war in the lowlands campaigns and in Russia? If the answer is no was it because of the advantages the allies had in the west or that the Wehrmacht officers, NCO,s and enlisted men were of a lower quality training wise with less combat experience having suffered irreplaceable losses on the eastern front?..or perhaps a combination of both?

A couple examples demonstrating and corroborating the statements above?

Panzer Lehr Division:
Quote:
After World War II was over, the Panzer Lehr Division’s commander, General Bayerlein, was extensively interrogated by
allied intelligence. The following excerpt provides General Bayerlein’s actual words describing one aspect of the Panzer
Lehr Division's activities.)
"It took two days and one night to reach the Caen front, and, on 7 Jun 44, I lost 85 or 86 panzer vehicles, 123 trucks of
which 80 were special gasoline trucks, 5 tanks, and 23 prime movers (Zugmaschinen), all through air bombings by Jabos
(fighter-bombers).
The Panzer Lehr Division was ordered to break through to Courseulles-sur-Mer. Owing to the air attacks, my troops just
trickled through ("Tropfenweise") with the artillery lagging behind them. On the afternoon of 8 Jun 44, I was told not to
attack toward Courseulles-sur-Mer, but to withdraw to Tilly-sur-Seulles and attack toward Bayeux. These orders show
confused thinking. Had we actually gone through Bretteville l'Orgueilleuse, I believe Panzer Lehr and 12 SS Panzer
Divisions could have cut through to the coast. Dietrich (the SS corps commander), however, was afraid the British would
drive in behind us, and of course we would have suffered heavily from naval shelling and air attack. The British had
advanced beyond Bayeux and our left flank would have been in danger.
http://www.quikmaneuvers.com/panzer_lehr_division.html

Operation Cobra:
Quote:
That decisive blow, known as COBRA, was largely planned by the U.S. First Army commander. Lieutenant General Omar N. Bradley flew from France to England to plead for a massive assault by heavy and medium bombers to blow a hole in the German line for ground troops to exploit.
Further:
Quote:
Some 1,500 B-17s and B-24s dropped more than 3,000 tons of bombs when COBRA resumed shortly before noon on July 25, with almost another 1,000 tons of bombs and napalm dropped by medium bombers in one of World War II's most devastating air attacks.
In fact, the bombing had unhinged German defenses almost precisely as planned."The bomb carpets rolled toward us, most of them passing only a few yards away, reported Gen. Fritz Bayerlein, commander of the badly mauled Panzer Lehr Division, who described "a pall of dust, with fountains of earth spewing high in the air. In addition to killing perhaps a thousand German soldiers and demolishing numerous command posts, the bombardment overturned tanks, demolished enemy communications, and terrified those who survived the onslaught only to face several attacking U.S. Army infantry divisions. Late on the afternoon of July 25, the VII Corps commander, Maj. Gen. J. Lawton Collins, shrewdly decided to send his armor exploitation force into the breach. The next day, the German Seventh Army reported seven ruptures in the line from east to west. By the night of July 27, the 30th Infantry Division, which had suffered most of the fratricidal casualties earlier in the week, reported,"This thing has busted wide open. Bradley wrote Eisenhower the following day,"Things on our front really look good.
https://www.army.mil/article/42658/_...rmandy__quot_/

Above are two examples of the Allies superior usage of what was available to them.

Examples of German officers and NCO's can be found in the hastily executed plan of attack on August 8th IIRC, when Kurt Meyer told Michael Wittmann to attack with no reconnaissance whatsoever across a vast wide open field stretching for a mile with unobstructed firing fields on both flanks of his advancing Tiger formation.

Further, quoting C.I. from the thread 116 Pzd vs. operation Cobra

Quote:
The 116.Pz never completed its training since its formation in April 1944. It was particularly deficient in training as a unit. Bayerlein's account was that the 116.Pz had a lot of problems in the beginning and did not know how to camouflage, position, and organize movements under conditions of enemy air supremacy.
This explains the level of combat training and efficiency of the 116th PzD at a critical stage in the allied Normandy breakout

Otto Carius was known for his impeccable reconnaissance of areas in which he was ordered to support operations on the eastern front. On numerous occasions, even after being told that "we have already reconnoitered the area," Otto would burrow a motorcycle or APC to recon himself personally (after all his life and many other lives were at stake). Otto also like a few hours to coordinate with the infantry he was to be working with and hated when he arrived to have the officer of the operation tell him all was in order and the attack was to commence in 1 hour! Otto would argue with his superiors and on numerous occasions they gave in to his warnings and the operation was a success.Armored battalions and infantry support battalions need to be on the same page.

As an aside it was just this type of daring reconnaissance that almost got Carius killed when he was ambushed by Russians and shot 4 times once through the neck and survived.

Regards,Kurt
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Last edited by Kurt Knispel; 30 Aug 16 at 06:18..
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  #66  
Old 31 Aug 16, 17:55
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It is common sense that the outcome of combat tactics depends upon the quality and quantityof the infantry, artillery, and armored fighting vehicles at the disposal of an army or corps either on the offensive or defending.

A further example after the breakout at Normandy will show the lopsided situation Allied/Axis men, artillery,AFV's at Lorraine:

Quote:
On the eve of the autumn battles along the German frontier, von Rundstedt's Western Front forces were outnumbered 2 to I in effective manpower, 25 to 1 in artillery tubes, and 20 to 1 in tanks.
Further:
Quote:
Few of the Germans defending Lorraine could be considered first rate troops. Third Army encountered whole battalions made up of deaf men, cooks, and others consisting entirely of soldiers with stomach ulcers. The G2 also identified a new series of German formations designated Volksgrenadier Divisions. These hastily constituted divisions numbered only 10,000 men each and possessed only 6 rifle battalions. In theory they were to be provided with extra artillery and assault guns to compensate for the quantitative and qualitaive inferiority of their infantry. Two to 3 panzer divisions faced 3rd Army in a mobile reserve role but these units had managed to bring only 5 or 10 tanks apiece out of the retreat across France.
Further at Arracourt:

Quote:
Army Group G received orders to drive in XII Corps right flank and throw
Patton's forces back across the Moselle. To carry out this mission, the Germans recreated Fifth Panzer Army, a hastily scraped together force
commanded by General Harso von Mlanteuffel,an armor expert imported from the Russian Front. From 19 to 25 September, two panzer brigades of the LVIII Panzer Corps hammered at Combat Command A's exposed position around Arracourt. Although outgunned by the German Panther
tanks, the American Shermans and self propelled tank destroyers enjoyed superior mobility and received overwhelming air support when the weather permitted. The fogs which interferred with American air strikes also neutralized the superior range of the German tank armament. At the end of the week long battle, Combat Command A reported reported 25 tanks and 7 tank destroyers lost but claimed 285 German tanks.
Bold and underlined my emphasis. Free PDF of entire document here:

http://dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a211668.pdf

Regards,Kurt
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  #67  
Old 01 Sep 16, 01:27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt Knispel View Post
It is common sense that the outcome of combat tactics depends upon the quality and quantityof the infantry, artillery, and armored fighting vehicles at the disposal of an army or corps either on the offensive or defending.

...:
This argument is ofen used but while having some reality is overinflated. If German quality was so low how one explain that it took almost one year for Soviet between Bagration start and Berlin fall ? Pz IV H was way more efficient than Pz I and II and later were the most common in 1940/41.

Combat is more than counting men, tanks and guns. It is also a matter of air superiority, intelligence, logistic to take some others pararmeters. With war advancing, German lost in those 3 fields.
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Old 01 Sep 16, 06:15
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Originally Posted by Metryll View Post
This argument is ofen used but while having some reality is ove
rinflated. If German quality was so low how one explain that it took almost one year for Soviet between Bagration start and Berlin fall ? Pz IV H was way more efficient than Pz I and II and later were the most common in 1940/41
.
The Heer and SS divisions on the east and west fronts always found a way to re-group and re-organize in a flexible fighting withdrawal although in some areas they were completely overrun and routed post Bagration (a complete route)in many others they stubbornly resisted inflicting many casualties among their pursuers. This was achieved through the few battle hardened and well trained men who were still alive which were intermingled with the majority of the new replacements and reinforcements brought up to the fronts. The German command staffs on both fronts were of course still very capable of organizing the most efficiant ad hoc/kampfgroups in stop-gap fire brigades. The morale of the troops on the east front was hardened by their disdain and fear of the Russians and they generally fought better there then on the west front where many of them knew the war was a forgone conclusion resulting in low morale, desertion, and surrendering en-masse to the western allies who they heard through the rumor mill would treat them fairly. They had no misconceptions about what would happen to them if captured or surrendering to the Russians.

Quote:
Combat is more than counting men, tanks and guns. It is also a matter of air superiority, intelligence, logistic to take some others pararmeters. With war advancing, German lost in those 3 fields.
I am well aware of this and I addressed all of the above and there effects on combat tactic results in my above posts #65 and 66. For example The link I provided explains in detail the gasoline problems Patton's 3rd Army was experiencing during the time-line I wrote about in post #66 (Lorraine).

Regards,Kurt
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  #69  
Old 01 Sep 16, 14:37
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Originally Posted by Kurt Knispel View Post
The Heer and SS divisions on the east and west fronts always found a way to re-group and re-organize in a flexible fighting withdrawal although in some areas they were completely overrun and routed post Bagration (a complete route)in many others they stubbornly resisted inflicting many casualties among their pursuers. This was achieved through the few battle hardened and well trained men who were still alive which were intermingled with the majority of the new replacements and reinforcements brought up to the fronts. The German command staffs on both fronts were of course still very capable of organizing the most efficiant ad hoc/kampfgroups in stop-gap fire brigades. The morale of the troops on the east front was hardened by their disdain and fear of the Russians and they generally fought better there then on the west front where many of them knew the war was a forgone conclusion resulting in low morale, desertion, and surrendering en-masse to the western allies who they heard through the rumor mill would treat them fairly. They had no misconceptions about what would happen to them if captured or surrendering to the Russians.
Mass surrender in West pre 1945 only happened following an encirclement no difference with East there. AFAIK there was no differences in training for units designated for West or East. If you think that German morale was low then I suggest you to read about Aachen and Hurtgen. The idea that German soldier fighthing in West was different from its East counterpart is a myth.

Quote:
I am well aware of this and I addressed all of the above and there effects on combat tactic results in my above posts #65 and 66. For example The link I provided explains in detail the gasoline problems Patton's 3rd Army was experiencing during the time-line I wrote about in post #66 (Lorraine).

Regards,Kurt
With due respect neither #65 or #66 deal with those factors, this is why I highlighted them in my post. Now factor them in favor of German and against Allies/Soviet and you get early war stunning victories. Take the same German army, reverse factors and basically you get Falaise and Bagration.
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Old 01 Sep 16, 17:41
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Originally Posted by Metryll View Post
Mass surrender in West pre 1945 only happened following an encirclement no difference with East there. AFAIK there was no differences in training for units designated for West or East. If you think that German morale was low then I suggest you to read about Aachen and Hurtgen. The idea that German soldier fighthing in West was different from its East counterpart is a myth.



With due respect neither #65 or #66 deal with those factors, this is why I highlighted them in my post. Now factor them in favor of German and against Allies/Soviet and you get early war stunning victories. Take the same German army, reverse factors and basically you get Falaise and Bagration.
With all due respect I do not think that you have read my posts carefully and just skimmed over them. My exact words post #66:

The Heer and SS divisions on the east and west fronts always found a way to re-group and re-organize in a flexible fighting withdrawal......

Further:

The German command staffs on both fronts were of course still very capable of organizing the most efficiant ad hoc/kampfgroups in stop-gap fire brigades........

So where did I write that they trained, fought, and commanded different on the 2 fronts?......

Regards,Kurt
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Old 01 Sep 16, 17:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt Knispel View Post
With all due respect I do not think that you have read my posts carefully and just skimmed over them. My exact words post #66:

The Heer and SS divisions on the east and west fronts always found a way to re-group and re-organize in a flexible fighting withdrawal......

Further:

The German command staffs on both fronts were of course still very capable of organizing the most efficiant ad hoc/kampfgroups in stop-gap fire brigades........

So where did I write that they trained, fought, and commanded different on the 2 fronts?......

Regards,Kurt
#1 Here is my answer "Combat is more than counting men, tanks and guns. It is also a matter of air superiority, intelligence, logistic to take some others pararmeters. With war advancing, German lost in those 3 fields."

Nowhere those factors were cited in your original posts and neither in the part above.

#2 "...The morale of the troops on the east front was hardened by their disdain and fear of the Russians and they generally fought better there then on the west front where many of them knew the war was a forgone conclusion resulting in low morale, desertion, and surrendering en-masse to the western allies who they heard through the rumor mill would treat them fairly..."

If the above does not make a difference between German soldiers between West and East, what did you intend to state ?
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Old 01 Sep 16, 18:35
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Originally Posted by Metryll View Post
#2 "...The morale of the troops on the east front was hardened by their disdain and fear of the Russians and they generally fought better there then on the west front where many of them knew the war was a forgone conclusion resulting in low morale, desertion, and surrendering en-masse to the western allies who they heard through the rumor mill would treat them fairly..."
This point triggered a recall of J. Glenn Gray's work, "The Warriors: Reflections on Men in Battles". In his chapter on Images of the Enemy, he made the analogy of the brutality of wars of religion with the eastern front in WWII. "When voluntary German SS troopers engaged fanatic Communists in Russia in World War II, a climax in enmity and hatred was reached in which all traces of chivalry vanished and all moderations was utterly abandoned. ... ...most characteristic aspect ... is its utter disregard for the individuality of the foe." In essence is was the religion of Communism against Nazism. "The fanaticism of the totalitarian soldier lies in his terrible pure-mindedness...."

This did not happen to the same extent on the western front. Men in battle on each side would, in some cases, offer a cigarette to a wounded prisoner.
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  #73  
Old 01 Sep 16, 20:38
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[QUOTE]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metryll View Post
#1 Here is my answer "Combat is more than counting men, tanks and guns. It is also a matter of air superiority, intelligence, logistic to take some others pararmeters. With war advancing, German lost in those 3 fields.
"

Stop splitting hairs.
The following are from my post #65:

Quote:
For example, were the allies air superiority giving them better reconnaissance of the German armored groupings?.....
Quote:
Aerial reconnaissance is reconnaissance for a military or strategic purpose that is conducted using reconnaissance aircraft. This role can fulfil a variety of requirements, including the collection of imagery intelligence, observation of enemy maneuvers and artillery spotting.
The above is from Wiki here:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerial_reconnaissance
Further from my original post #65
Quote:
"It took two days and one night to reach the Caen front, and, on 7 Jun 44, I lost 85 or 86 panzer vehicles, 123 trucks of
which 80 were special gasoline trucks, 5 tanks, and 23 prime movers (Zugmaschinen), all through air bombings by Jabos
(fighter-bombers).
The Panzer Lehr Division was ordered to break through to Courseulles-sur-Mer. Owing to the air attacks, my troops just
trickled through ("Tropfenweise") with the artillery lagging behind them.
I also posted this link in my post #66 http://dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a211668.pdf look at page 4 the "red ball express" concerning Patton's 3rd Army logistical problems with gasoline.

Quote:
In military science, logistics is concerned with maintaining army supply lines while disrupting those of the enemy, since an armed force without resources and transportation is defenseless
From Wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logistics

All of the above cover air superiority, intelligence, and logistics so your sentence below was pointless to type and waste your time
Quote:
Nowhere those factors were cited in your original posts and neither in the part above
.

Quote:
#2 "...The morale of the troops on the east front was hardened by their disdain and fear of the Russians and they generally fought better there then on the west front where many of them knew the war was a forgone conclusion resulting in low morale, desertion, and surrendering en-masse to the western allies who they heard through the rumor mill would treat them fairly..."
I will stand and hold my ground on the above statement, by me, no matter what you bring into this debate. Any serious student of WWII knows that the German soldier on the east front would fight bitterly until the last man rather then being taken prisoner by the Soviets, which meant either instant death or death later and perhaps torture and mutilation, which by the laws of survival instinct would of course make them fight harder.

13,952,000 German POW's held captive by the western allies from 4th quarter of 1943 until 3rd quarter of 1945 from an average of around 70 divisions per month on those western fronts where the prisoners were taken

As comparison:

6,114,000 German POW's held captive by the Soviets from the 4th quarter of 1943 until the 3rd quarter of 1945 from an average of around 160 divisions per month on the eastern front where the prisoners were taken

Yes that is exactly what I stated
So this makes your statement below correct. Yes they generally did fight harder (generally being the word I used) because they knew if they surrendered they would probably be killed if not right on the spot then later in Siberia at a labor camp and perhaps enduring torture and mutilation

Quote:
If the above does not make a difference between German soldiers between West and East, what did you intend to state ?
Regards,Kurt
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Old 01 Sep 16, 20:42
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Originally Posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
This point triggered a recall of J. Glenn Gray's work, "The Warriors: Reflections on Men in Battles". In his chapter on Images of the Enemy, he made the analogy of the brutality of wars of religion with the eastern front in WWII. "When voluntary German SS troopers engaged fanatic Communists in Russia in World War II, a climax in enmity and hatred was reached in which all traces of chivalry vanished and all moderations was utterly abandoned. ... ...most characteristic aspect ... is its utter disregard for the individuality of the foe." In essence is was the religion of Communism against Nazism. "The fanaticism of the totalitarian soldier lies in his terrible pure-mindedness...."

This did not happen to the same extent on the western front. Men in battle on each side would, in some cases, offer a cigarette to a wounded prisoner.
Thank you for this intelligent post regarding the nature of the war on the east front.Plus 1 after I spread some around

Regards,Kurt
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Old 02 Sep 16, 11:27
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"This explains the level of combat training and efficiency of the 116th PzD at a critical stage in the allied Normandy breakout"

Kurt,

The 116.Pz's origins were that of the remnants of the 16.PzG. This was of roughly 7500 men (a portion of these had up to 1.5 years of combat experience). A thousand returning wounded later joined the division. The 'reserve division' that it absorbed had over 3,000 men. The 16.PzG was one of the most experienced mobile infantry divisions on the eastern front and had fought in bridgehead battles like Mius in 1943. (This is covered in decision in the ukraine)

It seems that 116.Pz acquitted itself rather decently afterwards in Aachen and the Hurtgen forest, where it was the operational reserve and the strongest unit. The other strongest unit on the western front was the 11.Pz. At this time, the 9.Pz and the 21.Pz were basically just shells that absorbed a panzer brigade. The 116.Pz and Panzer Lehr also absorbed the panzer brigades after Lorraine, Sept 1944. While this was occurring, the Waffen SS Panzer divisions and Pz Lehr were, for the most part, withdrawn for refitting. The 116.Pz was considered a good unit pretty soon after Normandy. Apparently, it received its formation training like the Soviets often did earlier in the war- in combat!

The tactics that it used were the guerrilla style 'hit and run' methods that read pretty similar to that used in the eastern front. This was necessary to preserve the integrity of the unit. Its casualties in the Sept- Nov of 1944 were around 3,500. The losses in Normandy were over 4,000 and it got caught in the falaise pocket. The losses in the Battle of the Bulge were over 3,000.
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