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Monwar

Patton vs Zhukov, USA vs USSR after 1945, who would have won?

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Originally posted by Andreas:

Just found a site with some stats, according to that the Soviets had 15,800 planes in 1945. The US/UK between them had about 27,000. Since the Soviets (unlike the Germans) had petrol to fly them, I think achieving total command of the air would have been a different story.

The numbers on the website are way off for Allied airpower. According to USAAC documents, the Army Air Corps had almost 70,000 aircraft on hand at the end of the war. Of these, 17,000 were fighters (14,000 first line P51s, P47s, P38s etc…), over 2,000 very heavy bombers, 12,000 heavy bombers, and 9,000 light and medium bombers. The rest were support aircraft. This does not count the 40,000 US Navy and Marine Corps aircraft, many of which were first line fighters, nor does it count Commonwealth aircraft. US and Commonwealth training was also the best in the world at the end of the war.

Curious to know how many of the USSRs 15,000 or so planes were fighters.

Next take into account that at the end of the war, the US was manufacturing aircraft at an annual rate of 100,000.

Further, all aircraft are not created equally. While some Soviet planes were capable short range low/medium level fighters, they had few high altitude fighters, and most of those were pitifully armed. The Soviets would have had a very hard time with mass bomber formations 4 miles up. Even worse, B29s could fly higher than the service ceiling of most Soviet fighters.

Soviet fighters would be further restricted in that most had pathetic range. The maximum range for most types was between 400 and 600 miles. These means a maximum radius of 200 to 300 miles, and a practical combat radius of probably half of this. Thus, these fighters are far less useful in strategic defense, and are more vulnerable to attack, since they must be stationed quite close to the front.

It is my opinion that the Western Allies would have little problem in establishing air supremacy in the strategic realm, and only marginally more difficulty in the low level tactical world.

Your better point is that the impact of strategic bombing on the Soviet war effort is not known. This is true, but there is reason to believe that it would have been more effective against the USSR than against Germany. First, the effect of the air campaign against Germany was being seen first hand, and that experience would be valuable focusing on targets that could be effectively stuck from the air (transportation hubs, oil, power generation). Second, in much of the USSR, there are relatively few routes for moving men and materials east to west (unlike the many routes available to the Germans in moving materials into France from Germany). This same restriction that hampered the German move east, would constrict Soviet resupply and movement. These funnel points would represent an ideal target for strategic interdiction.

[ October 14, 2003, 09:46 PM: Message edited by: Marlow ]

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Originally posted by Tripps:

Italy had shown her will to fight and I bet had no desire to tangle again with the Russians. France may have fought, but even if we said they mustered 15-20 divisions, its still a long way from tipping the balance in manpower.

S.America would have taken 3 years to get anything over to Europe...

A couple of points here. As pointed out earlier in the thread, the balance of combat formations in Europe is not quite as bad as it seems in just counting divisions given the vast disparity in division size between Soviet and the Western Allies. Next, you are doing a bit of a disservice to the Italians (if you really want to get into it, we can talk about the reasons they performed poorly in some cases). For the last bit, by 1945, it wouldn't be very difficult to move anything to Europe from the US or South America. The Wolfpacks were gone, so their is no risk to transports. The tonnage of shipping available to the US in 1945 was staggering. In addition to the huge quanity of existing shipping (much of which could be moved from the Pacific), by late 44, US shipyards on the east coast were cranking out 1,000 liberty ships per year. That is three new cargo ships PER DAY. They wouldn't even need to form up in convoy, since the Soviets had nothing in the way of a naval threat.

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The P-51D, Spit XIV and Corsairs from carriers give the western Allies complete air superiority over Yaks, Migs and La-7s. Without fighter support, the great Il-2 is rendered largely ineffective. Meanwhile the Allies have far superior medium bombers (B-25s and B-26s) and heavies (the B 29 high altitude bomber being the most serious of many threats).

Add to this, the complete control of the seas. The Soviets had no carriers and no advantage in any area of naval force or supply.

With that kind of air and naval power, the worst the west could (reasonably) do is to inflict a very bloody standoff (ala Korea) on the Soviets.

[ October 14, 2003, 10:03 PM: Message edited by: jagcommander ]

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A question for the grogs, is the force level of the USSR in the East.

After Japan fell, if the Marines and Navy started on the east coast and opened a two front war on russia, would they have been able to pull it off?

I never have heard the force levels between the two quantified.

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Originally posted by Bastables:

Panzer Lehr reported a troop strength of 11,018 men on 1 aug 1944(2000 Zetterling), this is a pretty large number of troops for a division that had been "destroyed" by Cobra and the Cobra bombing . Pz Lehr jumped into the Normandy battle with 14,699 troops.

It should be noted that before the Cobra bombings of 24-25 July the grenadier battalions had been stripped of infantry due to combat with commonwealth troops. For instance 21 July three battalions rated at "weak" and two at "combat ineffective."

Ritigen OC of the PIV battalion states that no PIV were lost to the bombing and a miniscule number of Panthers and StuG were lost.

Zaloga's reference, "Cobra 1944," states that Baylerein tallied only "3,600 men in Panzer Lehr's immediate control" while the bombing resulted in about 1,000 of these being killed. The noted reference further states as that by the end of the day, "Baylerein reported to Hausser that he had no infantry left and his division was on the verge of evaporating."

(As to the tanks, Panzer Lehr apparently had only 16 Panthers before the bombing, and its PIV's were indeed further back to recuperate as you noted, and thus weren't hit by the bombs.)

Not that the US forces steamrollered right away. In fact, by first day's end, most penetrations weren't more than a mile. But by the next evening, 24 hours later, it changed very dramatically when US 2nd Armored was sent in.

The core question here is if the US forces would have been able to eventually break through in the same way without the bombing attack. Given the limited results of 25th July as it was, it is of some doubt.

Panzer Lehr failed to block the advance, but the figures in your above comments could infer that it was still an "intact unit" by 1st August. Thus it would be of more meaning to distinguish as to how many in the "11,000 reported in" to be as combat-capable troops. In a way, you do hint at this by stating how the grenadier battalions were already attrited from earlier fighting.

Considering as that the time between 25th July an 1st August was regarded by the German command to be a relative "madhouse" due to rapidly changing events, thus a challenge in making a reliable headcount while trying to avoid the US advances at that same time, I'll sum to say as that, for now, I view the 2000 Zetterling tally with a bit of skepticism. Correlating references would be appreciated if available.

[ October 14, 2003, 11:27 PM: Message edited by: Spook ]

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Originally posted by Spook:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Bastables:

Panzer Lehr reported a troop strength of 11,018 men on 1 aug 1944(2000 Zetterling), this is a pretty large number of troops for a division that had been "destroyed" by Cobra and the Cobra bombing . Pz Lehr jumped into the Normandy battle with 14,699 troops.

It should be noted that before the Cobra bombings of 24-25 July the grenadier battalions had been stripped of infantry due to combat with commonwealth troops. For instance 21 July three battalions rated at "weak" and two at "combat ineffective."

Ritigen OC of the PIV battalion states that no PIV were lost to the bombing and a miniscule number of Panthers and StuG were lost.

Zaloga's reference, "Cobra 1944," states that Baylerein tallied only "3,600 men in Panzer Lehr's immediate control" while the bombing resulted in about 1,000 of these being killed. The noted reference further states as that by the end of the day, "Baylerein reported to Hausser that he had no infantry left and his division was on the verge of evaporating."

(As to the tanks, Panzer Lehr apparently had only 16 Panthers before the bombing, and its PIV's were indeed further back to recuperate as you noted, and thus weren't hit by the bombs.)

Not that the US forces steamrollered right away. In fact, by first day's end, most penetrations weren't more than a mile. But by the next evening, 24 hours later, it changed very dramatically when US 2nd Armored was sent in.

The core question here is if the US forces would have been able to eventually break through in the same way without the bombing attack. Given the limited results of 25th July as it was, it is of some doubt.

Panzer Lehr failed to block the advance, but the figures in your above comments could infer that it was still an "intact unit" by 1st August. Thus it would be of more meaning to distinguish as to how many in the "11,000 reported in" to be as combat-capable troops. In a way, you do hint at this by stating how the grenadier battalions were already attrited from earlier fighting.

Considering as that the time between 25th July an 1st August was regarded by the German command to be a relative "madhouse" due to rapidly changing events, thus a challenge in making a reliable headcount while trying to avoid the US advances at that same time, I'll sum to say as that, for now, I view the 2000 Zetterling tally with a bit of skepticism. Correlating references would be appreciated if available. </font>

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Originally posted by Spook:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Bastables:

Panzer Lehr reported a troop strength of 11,018 men on 1 aug 1944(2000 Zetterling), this is a pretty large number of troops for a division that had been "destroyed" by Cobra and the Cobra bombing . Pz Lehr jumped into the Normandy battle with 14,699 troops.

It should be noted that before the Cobra bombings of 24-25 July the grenadier battalions had been stripped of infantry due to combat with commonwealth troops. For instance 21 July three battalions rated at "weak" and two at "combat ineffective."

Ritigen OC of the PIV battalion states that no PIV were lost to the bombing and a miniscule number of Panthers and StuG were lost.

(As to the tanks, Panzer Lehr apparently had only 16 Panthers before the bombing, and its PIV's were indeed further back to recuperate as you noted, and thus weren't hit by the bombs.)

</font>

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Originally posted by Spook:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Bastables:

Panzer Lehr reported a troop strength of 11,018 men on 1 aug 1944(2000 Zetterling), this is a pretty large number of troops for a division that had been "destroyed" by Cobra and the Cobra bombing . Pz Lehr jumped into the Normandy battle with 14,699 troops.

It should be noted that before the Cobra bombings of 24-25 July the grenadier battalions had been stripped of infantry due to combat with commonwealth troops. For instance 21 July three battalions rated at "weak" and two at "combat ineffective."

Ritigen OC of the PIV battalion states that no PIV were lost to the bombing and a miniscule number of Panthers and StuG were lost.

Not that the US forces steamrollered right away. In fact, by first day's end, most penetrations weren't more than a mile. But by the next evening, 24 hours later, it changed very dramatically when US 2nd Armored was sent in.

The core question here is if the US forces would have been able to eventually break through in the same way without the bombing attack. Given the limited results of 25th July as it was, it is of some doubt.

. </font>

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Originally posted by Wildman:

A question for the grogs, is the force level of the USSR in the East.

After Japan fell, if the Marines and Navy started on the east coast and opened a two front war on russia, would they have been able to pull it off?

I never have heard the force levels between the two quantified.

http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/resources/csi/glantz3/glantz3.asp#t3

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I would suggest to not underestimate some political factor. In a war between Western power and Urss you'll have for sure a civil war in Italy, where thousands of partisans are "reds"( please look at Greece 1946), may be also in France. All the western Commies will revert from allied to fifth column, saboteurs, spies, You'll have the Titoist harassing the south flank of the "pre Nato" deployement. With a great degree of possibility the Chinese revolution with a great support from Moscow would suck a great part of the Usa forces ( more than the war against the Japan).

And again remember Korean war. Stalemate, stalemate my friends

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Originally posted by Marlow:

The numbers on the website are way off for Allied airpower.

The numbers are for aircraft in theatre. You are assuming:

a) a prolonged war

B) that the Japan war had ended

That changes the picture somewhat.

I am assuming that the Soviets would have applied the same sort of action that brought them 500km in 14 days in the Vistula Oder offensive. We are talking at least Dutch border and on/across the Rhine in most cases from the jump-off points.

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Do not forget that there were rebels in soviet controlled east European countries like Estonia for a long time after the war (several years I think). These could have had an impact on the soviet supply. Especially if the soviet troops that were there to destroy them were now in the new war.

Also you should check the thread on airpower effectivenes that was going on some time a go. I think it more or less showed how little effect it has against tanks and infantry, but is absolutely deadly against supply trucks.

As for strategic bombing of cities. I think most of the cites not already destroyed and with significant industry are too far away.

Lord Gazer

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Originally posted by Gazer:

Also you should check the thread on airpower effectivenes that was going on some time a go. I think it more or less showed how little effect it has against tanks and infantry, but is absolutely deadly against supply trucks.

Disagree as ORS reports and Ian Goodersons Airpower show that although Aircraft weapons were effective at blowing up trucks they were not as effective as poor roads; first 10 days of Normandy battle 20% of Heer strategic transport was lost to air attacks, accidents and breakdowns. During the first 27 days of Barbarossa (Luftwaffe superiority), 50% of Strategic transport was disabled.

Heer truck drivers also showed marked reluctence to drive around unless it was night or poor weather during Normandy, explaining why there was such a low loss rate to air attacks (2000 Zetterling pg50).

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Originally posted by Bastables:

Disagree as Pz Lehr was facing a offensive composed of 140,000 soldiers, even at full strength the Division would never have been able to hold on it's own.

If you'll pardon, Bast, the above number is a bit of an exercise in "histrionics" too. Whatever the full number of US troops committed to Cobra overall, it wasn't "140,000" combat troops as that defeated Panzer Lehr by 26th July. It was instead the combat troops of the 30th and the 9th Divisions (both of which were bloodied in turn by short-drop bombing) on the 25th, with the US 2nd Armored added in late on the 26th.

That's what Panzer Lehr proved unable to stop, and that doesn't approach 140,000 combat troops by any imaginable stretch.

Also one questions if the shock and deaths of the "short" bombing had not occured if the US army would have done better that first day.

Or one could note that even with the bombing ground gained was so very poor that one should really question the effectivness of carpet bombing "on the battlefield."

You first have to answer the relevant question: what all did Panzer Lehr have in combat troops on the front line on 25th July? And how many were still availabe by the end of 26th July when US 2nd Armored started tearing through?

If Panzer Lehr was still a relatively intact unit after 25th July, why could it not had done more to prevent the breakthroughs of the US armored columns, instead limiting the US advance overall to more modest gains? If one looks at what the unit positions of the US forces in the breakthrough period, it was of the two main US armored divisions (2nd & 3rd) running their combat commands onto separate routes and running ahead of the main body of US divisions following afterwards. Could not Panzer Lehr had better blunted any ONE such of 2nd Armored's columns if it had the number of troops asserted in the reports? No one column numbered 140,000 US troops.

Anyway, yes, the carpet bombing, by tearing up the battle zone and making the ground less mobile, certainly conveyed a disadvantage in that regard. However, I wouldn't be quite so dismissive of Baylerein's assertions. He was a long-running veteran combat commander, and if he was saying that his command was in danger of "evaporating," I'm inclined to believe that he would have stated so on the basis of what was REPORTED to him instead of his "losing his head" per se.

And if the Panzer Lehr didn't really have much infantry on foot prior to the bombing, it then begs to be asked as to why it was still kept on the front line instead of rotated to the rear.

Thus what it comes back to is if the carpet bombing still achieved its desired "shock" to ultimately crack the German defense. Might the Germans of Panzer Lehr (and 353rd Division in reserve) otherwise held, or at least held long through delaying actions and orderly retreats to prevent a breakthrough? Again, due to the limited gains of 25th July, I think it entirely possible, certainly with the 353rd brought up to fill some holes.

I appreciate your references, Bast, and allow that the noted "reports" may well indeed be correct. But they leave too much unanswered IMO, and again I am still very, very suspect of a RELIABLE "accounting" being able to be accomplished immediately after the events of 25th -- 31st July. To be quite blunt, something's just not adding up here.

Anyway, carpet-bombing can certainly be overrated. But it's not due to lack of potential; if the bombing is properly concentrated on the target, its effect would not be dissimilar to concentrated heavy artillery or rocket barrages. Only that the ability to turn around and coordinate a timely concentrated bombing on an obvious target would more difficult than to instead work up a concentrated artillery fire plan per example.

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Spook - I am also quite critical of the research approach by Zetterling. In critical periods, I do not think that the strength returns are necessarily the best source. I suspect the figure Don is quoting is the 'Verpflegungsstaerke' (ration strength - all men with the division, regardless of whether they are short-term sick/wounded/in training). A more interesting figure would be the 'Grabenstaerke' (trench strength - AIUI all men in the frontline companies and heavy weapons companies) or 'Gefechtsstaerke' (fighting strength all men in the teeth units, infantry/tank/artillery).

I believe these would be quite low. Because of the way attrition works, a division that is missing 3,000 men (as Panzerlehr did then) could really be gutted, if these are missing in the teeth units. For the typical German 6-battalion infantry division, losses of 2-3,000 incurred over a short term were probably catastrophic (long term they could cope easier by combing out their rear services).

Massive carpet bombing probably created fairly massive problems most of the time, with solving little to nothing. Cassino town, GOODWOOD, Stalingrad, Cobra, Tractable come to mind as examples. In specialised applications though, such as Walcheren, it could work quite well.

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Originally posted by Andreas:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Marlow:

The numbers on the website are way off for Allied airpower.

The numbers are for aircraft in theatre. You are assuming:

a) a prolonged war

B) that the Japan war had ended

That changes the picture somewhat.

I am assuming that the Soviets would have applied the same sort of action that brought them 500km in 14 days in the Vistula Oder offensive. We are talking at least Dutch border and on/across the Rhine in most cases from the jump-off points. </font>

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Originally posted by Andreas:

I believe these would be quite low. Because of the way attrition works, a division that is missing 3,000 men (as Panzerlehr did then) could really be gutted, if these are missing in the teeth units. For the typical German 6-battalion infantry division, losses of 2-3,000 incurred over a short term were probably catastrophic (long term they could cope easier by combing out their rear services).

True, and a similar premise for the western Allies' divisions too. As one such example, I recall that the British 50th Division had lost over 6,000 in sum casualties for the Normany campaign, where the vast majority would fall on the infantry troops and their later replacements.

I guess that's what's needed with the 1st August estimate for which I contend with; what from the 11,000 are "teeth" combat troops.

Massive carpet bombing probably created fairly massive problems most of the time, with solving little to nothing. Cassino town, GOODWOOD, Stalingrad, Cobra, Tractable come to mind as examples. In specialised applications though, such as Walcheren, it could work quite well.

Ah. Yes, the Cassino bombing was another such which fell far short of what was expected of it.

Again, part of the limitation to carpet bombing as a means of concentrated firepower was its time requirement in planning; The GOODWOOD bombing needed at least two days' notice for planning purposes. Which could still be enough on a static front, but the bombing was not easy to call off if the situation changed in the interim.

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Just as an addendum to the strength returns, I know that at the Dupuy Institute, German strength returns are held in slightly higher respect than the Ark of the Convenant. There appears to be evidence though that in periods of complete and utter chaos, these returns are not really worth the paper they are written on. After all, you have to remember how the process worked from bottom up.

Company commander (oh sorry, he just got whacked along with all other officers, but there is a Sergeant who does his job, I am sure he won't mind filling in the odd form or two while he tries to figure out where his positions are and what to do with his company of 12 men) gives the info to the battalion staff(woops, BN HQ had to PUFO because US arty had them located, well, the 2 i/c can always write the stuff up while crawling over to the new hole in the ground) hands it to regimental staff (oh dear, they just had a strafing attack, and two of the battalions are close to breaking under the pressure of the US forces opposite them, so the Oberst and his 2 i/c are up at the battalion CPs and the chap who is supposed to write the report is busy checking where the signal lines broke, but they won't let that get in the way of ensuring the report is up to scratch) hands it to divisional command, where everyone is running around like mad trying to stop the US forces from doing whatever it is they intend to do.

Somehow, the daily strength return suddenly moved from a should-do-properly to a ah-bugger-that-I-just-make-something-up status.

In early 1945, loss figures are up to 80% out. I believe that to this day my grandfather (who is 89 now) is listed as KIA on the local village memorial, from the time he was severely wounded in 1944.

[ October 15, 2003, 10:57 AM: Message edited by: Andreas ]

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Exactly. I shouldn't imply as that the bookkeepers of Panzer Lehr were intentionally trying to fudge the numbers, I have no evidence of that in either direction. But in that time of 25-31 July, under heavy attack and later tactical air interdiction, and the likely effect of the bombing to the division's communications added in, I think it was probably a supreme challenge to that division's HQ just to maintain contact with its subordinate units and to extract out what could be withdrawn. The premise would have certainly been the same for Allied units if the roles were reversed.

The earlier vehicle tallies are pretty close to what Zaloga also reports, however.

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And before the famous German 'tracking by name' system is mentioned and how exact it was, just one comment on that. Of course it ensures that you know who exactly died or went MIA. Since the dead tend to stay that way though, and many MIAs are not turning up again either, it does not matter if you compile the report after the event, i.e. not every evening if you happen to be very busy (or dead yourself), but instead once the period of heavy action is over.

Which BTW is the way it was done with battalion and regimental war diaries, division being the lowest level to have an officer assigned to writing the KTB on a permanent basis.

While I am sure that strength returns quickly and (until late 44) accurately capture the total losses over a period once some peace and quiet returns (with obvious problems like MIA/KIA information when the area has been overrun by a bunch of Soviet tank armies), I am reasonably convinced that trying to look at them within a period of heavy action has some issues of source data reliability associated with it.

[ October 15, 2003, 12:33 PM: Message edited by: Andreas ]

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You can read Bayerlein's own report on the effect of the Cobra opening bombing in "The Rommel Papers" by Liddel Hart.

He describes it as devastating, but as others noted it is highly questionable whether that account is accurate.

I also question whether any bombing like this would be possible in a USSR/Anglo-American clash. It only worked because the Germans were standing. The Soviets would be on the offensive, and they would stay on the offensive no matter what circumstances, until they are completely scattered. They would never go to a back-to-the-walls defense like the Germans did.

The carpet bombing of frontline troops was bad enough in Normandy under nearly optional circumstances: standing target. No enemy air support so the own troops can clearly mark themself and don't have to fear bombing from enemy planes. Near the coast and lots of rivers so orientation from the air is comparably easy. It still turned into a mess on several occasions and results of all these bombings are questionable.

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Originally posted by redwolf:

I also question whether any bombing like this would be possible in a USSR/Anglo-American clash. It only worked because the Germans were standing. The Soviets would be on the offensive, and they would stay on the offensive no matter what circumstances, until they are completely scattered. They would never go to a back-to-the-walls defense like the Germans did.

Yes, as I noted earlier, the carpet-bomb tactic, whether for destructive or shock effect, was not likely to work against a "moving" target, and was limited in effect even against static targets. Only when the front became more static (a later possibility regardless of Soviet doctrines) was it an option to ponder over.

The carpet bombing of frontline troops was bad enough in Normandy under nearly optional circumstances: standing target. No enemy air support so the own troops can clearly mark themself and don't have to fear bombing from enemy planes. Near the coast and lots of rivers so orientation from the air is comparably easy. It still turned into a mess on several occasions and results of all these bombings are questionable.

Well, as compared to a later WestWall carpet-bombing of late-'44 which did much better at least in minimizing unintended Allied casualties, three things must be added to consider here:

1) The short-bombings resulted from the drift of earlier bomb-smoke & dust drift towards American postions. Thus the following waves "crept" their release point back from what it was for the first waves. It was concern over this that Gen. Bradley insisted that the bomber groups fly PARALLEL (west-east) instead of perpendicular to the front line for the bomb run. But the US bomber groups counter-argued that flying parallel to the German front put them at greater risk of losses to anti-aircraft fire. The bomber forces ultimately trumped in the decision that the bombers would fly in.

2) The US bomber forces, also recognizing the risk of short falls (it was a common incident in strategic bombing of German "point" targets) argued in turn that the US lead troops should have been deployed no closer than 3,000 yards from the bomb zones. Bradley and the ground commanders countered that pulling back that far (they were about 1,000-1,500 yds back instead) risked giving the Germans enough time to sort themselves out or to even move forward and grab earlier lost terrain.

3) The altitude at which the heavy bombers came in at made it such that the applied friendly warning markers on ground level could not be effectively seen or discerned.

Thus it was a friction of priorities. Perhaps the bombers could've flown parallel instead of perpendicular without undue loss & damage, or perhaps the US first-wave troops could've been deployed further back. Or both. The improved methods for marking friendly lines came later.

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Originally posted by Spook:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Bastables:

Disagree as Pz Lehr was facing a offensive composed of 140,000 soldiers, even at full strength the Division would never have been able to hold on it's own.

If you'll pardon, Bast, the above number is a bit of an exercise in "histrionics" too. Whatever the full number of US troops committed to Cobra overall, it wasn't "140,000" combat troops as that defeated Panzer Lehr by 26th July. It was instead the combat troops of the 30th and the 9th Divisions (both of which were bloodied in turn by short-drop bombing) on the 25th, with the US 2nd Armored added in late on the 26th.

That's what Panzer Lehr proved unable to stop, and that doesn't approach 140,000 combat troops by any imaginable stretch.

</font>

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Originally posted by Marlow:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Tripps:

Italy had shown her will to fight and I bet had no desire to tangle again with the Russians. France may have fought, but even if we said they mustered 15-20 divisions, its still a long way from tipping the balance in manpower.

S.America would have taken 3 years to get anything over to Europe...

A couple of points here. As pointed out earlier in the thread, the balance of combat formations in Europe is not quite as bad as it seems in just counting divisions given the vast disparity in division size between Soviet and the Western Allies. Next, you are doing a bit of a disservice to the Italians (if you really want to get into it, we can talk about the reasons they performed poorly in some cases). For the last bit, by 1945, it wouldn't be very difficult to move anything to Europe from the US or South America. The Wolfpacks were gone, so their is no risk to transports. The tonnage of shipping available to the US in 1945 was staggering. In addition to the huge quanity of existing shipping (much of which could be moved from the Pacific), by late 44, US shipyards on the east coast were cranking out 1,000 liberty ships per year. That is three new cargo ships PER DAY. They wouldn't even need to form up in convoy, since the Soviets had nothing in the way of a naval threat. </font>

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Originally posted by Tripps:

Apart from the fact that none of these divisions would have their quota of up to date AT weapons, Flak, Arty etc, they would also not have the experience to match it with the reds.

The French divisions to which I referred were fully equiped with modern hardware(US), and for the most part fought very well in Western Europe.

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