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I am looking over the materiel for the Germans. Panzer Brigade is un interesting formation.. Squads of MP44s! How were they used? And then the additional  Panzer Grenadier. How was the whole Brigade to fit with tanks?

Edited by KGBoy
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Good video.  Interesting to see HT flamethrowers in action.  Plus all the camo shrubbery covering all vehicles and helmets.  Also, that due to shadows etc one cannot see the vehicles side walls through the tracks.  Modders should probably paint that area very dark.

Good tactical advice at the end re offense to restore defensive positions:

Draw Fire Together; Attack the Flanks; Close the Gap; Restore the Main Line of Resistance; Narrow the Area Breached... 

Favorite Line:  "Don't worry...  I know where I am going".

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From what I recall, the concept of the Panzer Brigade was born out of experience on the Eastern Front.  It was found that the Panzer Divisions would generally operate by forming battlegroups since the distances were so vast and it was difficult to form continuous defensive lines with the limited manpower available.  The motorized infantry would form a sort of 'anvil' type battle group with all the StuGs and ATG assets and they would be tasked with holding important terrain strongpoints while the tanks would form up with the armored infantry battalion to form a mobile strike force or 'hammer' which would move around to various spots and aggressively initiate combat with Soviet forces that were moving about.  Someone then got the idea 'well if the mobile battlegroup is so effective, why don't we just create some new formations that are just the armored battlegroup bit and shed the motorized infantry bit.'  In that way it was probably hoped that the Germans could get the most bang for the buck in terms of how their limited resources were allocated and thus they would be a sort of pocket panzer division with all the 'good bits' that formed the mobile strike force.  

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@JasonChas written at length, in this forum and on BGG, on the Panzer Brigades, and what he views as the German cult of the panzer attack.  As oldsters here know well, Jason is a genius macro-thinker, but he also tends to contemptuously wave away counterexamples (micro) that don't fit his Macro thesis. Nonetheless, there is a great deal worth pondering. For those interested, here are some snips:

1.  The Germans placed great emphasis on using armor offensively and on concentrating it, and they were the first to understand the need to support it with all arms - motorized to keep up and organic to the PD to ensure effective command and cooperation etc. However, very few men on the German side fully understood the technical details of how and why they had been so successful in the early war period, from 1939 to 1941....

Early in the war achieving an initial break-in was a more important thing to achieve, because the defenders against it mostly didn't know what to do about it.

But the Germans did not ascribe those earlier successes to the Allies being dumb at the time. They ascribed them to their own doctrines and what they thought of as the power of the offensive.

2.  As a result, they had an extremely offensive minded doctrine about the use of armor. Armor attacked, that was its essence. Letting the enemy attack first and then counterpunching was needlessly forfeiting initiative to enemies whose armies were still viewed (in some respects, rightly) as unadaptive and rigid, and therefore brittle. They believed mass employment in multiple-corps level attacks was the only possible way to employ serious armor. So whenever they accumulated any to speak of, they attempted another such attack.  Later in the war the offensive emphasis became a terrible liability.

The German armor doctrine had worked in 1940 and in 1942, and they didn't adapt well to it no longer working. They were forever throwing away their magnificent armor on useless counterattacks because they did not have a defensive armor doctrine. By the time a PD was allowed to defend tactically speaking, it often had half or less of its tanks remaining. 

The higher ups snapped up any armor at all fresh and not immediately in the line, for counterattack schemes.  The right place for them would have been just off the line in local reserve, ready for action in any direction, linebacker style. But putting a PD in reserve off the line was an engraved invitation to have it transfered out of your command to somebody else. It was a big ad saying "not needed to hold the front, immediately".

It was a general disease - have armor -> attack -> lose armor -> defend. 

The Germans should have husbanded their uber armor and used it as linebackers, smashing the most forward Allied probes. But defending with armor was simply a heresy. Armor attacked. That was its reason to exist.

3. The 1944 Panzer brigades were the latest and worst example of the armor offensive disease.  Worst, because at least a rebuilt PD retained experienced cadres and had all arms in the right proportions. Panzer commanders recommended using new tanks to refit existing Panzer divisions, to get their cadres, experienced staffs, and all make use of their remaining all arms support. But OKW overruled that,and made new KG sized formations instead, out of green men. Hitler wanted more armor formations on the map, psychologically, perhaps. But more likely, they wanted to control the commitment of the new armor, and in particular to ensure it got offensive missions.

The Panzer brigades had cadres, certainly, but they performed absymally, and a large part of that has to be put down to green formations. The men hadn't worked together, and a lot of the rank and file were raw. They also tended to get committed piecemeal, and as I have stressed here, on overly offensive missions.  Until wrecked - remnants were allowed to defend but not the full strength formations.

In the September 1944 Arracourt battles in Lorraine, Hitler thought he was pulling a repetition of Manstein's famous "backhand blow" in the Kharkov counterattack, early 1943. OKW thought the Americans were as logistically overextended after grabbing France. Which was largely true, in the gasoline area at any rate. But the US army wasn't a horsedrawn affair.

Panthers charged every morning in fog, to avoid Allied air power. The result was a series of knife fights at 200m, which the US won hands down. They were more often in their own defensive zone, better visibility, TDs heard the Panthers coming, Shermans flanked them, etc. 

They still managed to get initial break-ins easily enough, even against later Allied defenses. The problems they encountered typically had to do with breakdown of combined arms when infantry got stripped off the tanks by artillery, or getting lost in a deep defended zone and hunted by reserves while buttoned, or having roads cut, mined, bridges blown, etc.

Thrust forward with a whole battalion of Panthers at once, down 2-3 roads a company on each, and what happens? Do you get through the front line battalion? Sure. So what?

Now you are in bazooka land. You can't drive through an enemy army without showing side plate. Every hedge and wood needs to be scoured by Panzergrenadiers, but they are being blasted by American 105s and 155s. 

The Allies could "countermass" with artillery fire on the narrow breakthrough areas. Allied fire support and fire responsiveness increased drastically from early war to late. The German infantry could not 'shoulder' through the holes to widen them. Once the tanks were stripped, they were hunted rather than hunters.

4.  Did the German command learn from this fiasco? No. The commander of a storied PD who fought his whole army out of the trap of the south of France took control of the remnants of a shattered Panzer brigade, a fresher one that hadn't done well the last few days, cadre from another PD, and his own PD with a reduced number of runners. For days he battered away at a US combat command, trading Panthers for Shermans and not getting even 1 to 1. He was clever about arty and night infantry attacks helping out, to keep it up as long as he had. But he was down to 30 runners, having used up essentially all the armor in the whole theater. So he called off his attacks - and was promptly reprimanded for showing insufficient offensive spirit! Not by some political brown nose at OKW, but by a picked old Prussian Rundstedt protege. 

With the armor the Germans sent to Lorraine, fully re-equipping the crack 11th Panzer division, the 21st PD, giving 17th SS one panzer battalion, likewise for 3rd and 15th Panzer grenadier, plus TDs or StuGs for all of the above as well, and all of them employed defensively, the PDs as monster backs and the Pz Gdrs as sinew behind river lines and between the woods and cities held by the infantry - you could have fought 3rd army to a standstill, while keeping that massive force intact.

Instead they attacked and attacked throughout September until there was nothing left. 

****

More from Jason on 'Panzerleute disease', for those interested:

The question they should have been asking was: where and when am I going to destroy his armor? Because then, it is obvious enough a kill sack or Pakfront in your own zone is a more promising location for it, than off in his.

If instead you are trying to win the whole campaign 1940 style without having to face his armor, you try to hit where it isn't. Expecting to paralyze, pocket and kill whole armies again, as in the glory days.

Well, that didn't happen and it wasn't going to happen. Offensive spirit did not produce those successes. Enemy weaknesses and mistakes did. The Allies weren't that dumb anymore.

You couldn't beat them without fighting them, you had to kill them by fighting them. In particular their armor. And that requires a different way of thinking about what armor can do for you, to consider it the "heavy wood" in a frankly attritionist battle of material, rather than thinking of it as exploiting cavalry that was going to make the enemy 'evaporate' by driving around him and shooting up his supply lines.

German defensive armor 'doctrine', such as it was, was the net outcome of a lot of (often superb) tactical skills applied, improvising with whatever remained on hand after the counterattacks bled out. That was all twice as hard and half as effective as it might have been, since the German armor was already decimated at lower exchange ratios than it could have achieved.

Edited by LongLeftFlank
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Hard to argue with the analysis, in this case. The German's propensity to launch local counterattacks quite literally won us battles, or won us larger successes in what would otherwise have been a rebuff. Indeed, we began to plan around the certainty of a counteroffensive: 2nd Alamein, Epsom, Totalize, Tractable are all good examples.

Totalize would have been a success regardless, in my view, of the disappointing 2nd phase but the Germans just had to lay on the alter for us their last heavy armour reserve in a wild counterattack against strong positions, enhancing the scale of the victory and denuding themselves of any type of effective reserve in follow-on set pieces. 

In fact, off the top of my head, the only time the Germans didn't predictably dash themselves to pieces in a counteroffensive was during Crusader, and that's largely because they were so taken by the deception they refused to believe armour was en masse in their rear, we got impatient, and abandoned excellent BPs. We make such a pfaff about how flexible and dynamic the Wehrmacht was in Europe operationally, but in all reality they were predictable, and a predictable foe is invariably inflexible. 

Edited by Rinaldi
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Not all Panzer Brigades were created equal. What you play with in CMBN and CMFB is not necessarily the same as what you are using in CMRT depending on date. This is mostly around the Panzergrenadier Battalion component of the brigade but also what was realistically available vehicle wise when they were forming these units. There was plenty of discussion on this prior to F&R release. IIRC if you look at the Scenario Design info in the "Battle of Tukums" briefing for more info.

Short version:

Panzer Brigade 101 - 104 first wave of deployments, followed the initial concept and TOE laid out in July 1944 by Hitler. Only deployed to the Eastern Front due to fallout from Bagration. Shows up in CMRT - F&R module only.

Panzer Brigade 105 - 110 first wave of deployments but followed a second updated TOE that the German General Staff tweaked. Shows up in CMBN, CMFB and CMRT but the formations were introduced first by the Market Garden module.

Panzer Brigade 111 - 113 second wave of deployments were shrunken down Panzer Divisions. More tanks and panzergrenadiers than the first wave deployments (2x Battalions of each) but no supporting elements (arty, recon etc) or additional regiment of motorized infantry. These brigades operated around Lorraine / Arracourt battles and were soundly defeated. No need for unique TOE in game as they used standard Panzer Division battalion TOE's.

Most were gone by Nov 1944 as unique formations with surviving equipment and manpower being amalgamated into existing divisions. I think only Brigade 106 continued to operate into 1945 on the Western Front.

Edited by Ithikial_AU
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On 8/1/2021 at 3:37 AM, LongLeftFlank said:

It was a general disease - have armor -> attack -> lose armor -> defend. 

That sounds like the Swedish football team. They usually start off their games offensivly and after about 30 minutes it's time to play defensivly for the rest of the 60, or so, minutes. And if they do win the game it's by accident. But they almost allways finish their games with a draw or a loss. 

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On 8/7/2021 at 8:29 PM, ironcross13 said:

Yeah interesting read about how they used Armor to attack. Any more information (youtube vids or websites) or books on this subject

You may want to see if you can get a copy of Wolfgang Schneider's "Panzer Tactics" - a good read, with quite a bit of focus on small-unit stuff. Leans heavily on examples (the good, the bad and the ugly), primarily from the Eastern front. Presents the textbook 'ideal' (much like that video) that all armies sought to achieve, if rarely accomplished. 

Edited by Rinaldi
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17 hours ago, Rinaldi said:

You may want to see if you can get a copy of Wolfgang Schneider's "Panzer Tactics" - a good read, with quite a bit of focus on small-unit stuff. Leans heavily on examples (the good, the bad and the ugly), primarily from the Eastern front. Presents the textbook 'ideal' (much like that video) that all armies sought to achieve, if rarely accomplished. 

Thanks it looks good. I will get a copy.  

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On 8/1/2021 at 4:37 AM, LongLeftFlank said:

@JasonChas written at length, in this forum and on BGG, on the Panzer Brigades, and what he views as the German cult of the panzer attack.  As oldsters here know well, Jason is a genius macro-thinker, but he also tends to contemptuously wave away counterexamples (micro) that don't fit his Macro thesis. Nonetheless, there is a great deal worth pondering. For those interested, here are some snips:

1.  The Germans placed great emphasis on using armor offensively and on concentrating it, and they were the first to understand the need to support it with all arms - motorized to keep up and organic to the PD to ensure effective command and cooperation etc. However, very few men on the German side fully understood the technical details of how and why they had been so successful in the early war period, from 1939 to 1941....

Early in the war achieving an initial break-in was a more important thing to achieve, because the defenders against it mostly didn't know what to do about it.

But the Germans did not ascribe those earlier successes to the Allies being dumb at the time. They ascribed them to their own doctrines and what they thought of as the power of the offensive.

2.  As a result, they had an extremely offensive minded doctrine about the use of armor. Armor attacked, that was its essence. Letting the enemy attack first and then counterpunching was needlessly forfeiting initiative to enemies whose armies were still viewed (in some respects, rightly) as unadaptive and rigid, and therefore brittle. They believed mass employment in multiple-corps level attacks was the only possible way to employ serious armor. So whenever they accumulated any to speak of, they attempted another such attack.  Later in the war the offensive emphasis became a terrible liability.

The German armor doctrine had worked in 1940 and in 1942, and they didn't adapt well to it no longer working. They were forever throwing away their magnificent armor on useless counterattacks because they did not have a defensive armor doctrine. By the time a PD was allowed to defend tactically speaking, it often had half or less of its tanks remaining. 

The higher ups snapped up any armor at all fresh and not immediately in the line, for counterattack schemes.  The right place for them would have been just off the line in local reserve, ready for action in any direction, linebacker style. But putting a PD in reserve off the line was an engraved invitation to have it transfered out of your command to somebody else. It was a big ad saying "not needed to hold the front, immediately".

It was a general disease - have armor -> attack -> lose armor -> defend. 

The Germans should have husbanded their uber armor and used it as linebackers, smashing the most forward Allied probes. But defending with armor was simply a heresy. Armor attacked. That was its reason to exist.

3. The 1944 Panzer brigades were the latest and worst example of the armor offensive disease.  Worst, because at least a rebuilt PD retained experienced cadres and had all arms in the right proportions. Panzer commanders recommended using new tanks to refit existing Panzer divisions, to get their cadres, experienced staffs, and all make use of their remaining all arms support. But OKW overruled that,and made new KG sized formations instead, out of green men. Hitler wanted more armor formations on the map, psychologically, perhaps. But more likely, they wanted to control the commitment of the new armor, and in particular to ensure it got offensive missions.

The Panzer brigades had cadres, certainly, but they performed absymally, and a large part of that has to be put down to green formations. The men hadn't worked together, and a lot of the rank and file were raw. They also tended to get committed piecemeal, and as I have stressed here, on overly offensive missions.  Until wrecked - remnants were allowed to defend but not the full strength formations.

In the September 1944 Arracourt battles in Lorraine, Hitler thought he was pulling a repetition of Manstein's famous "backhand blow" in the Kharkov counterattack, early 1943. OKW thought the Americans were as logistically overextended after grabbing France. Which was largely true, in the gasoline area at any rate. But the US army wasn't a horsedrawn affair.

Panthers charged every morning in fog, to avoid Allied air power. The result was a series of knife fights at 200m, which the US won hands down. They were more often in their own defensive zone, better visibility, TDs heard the Panthers coming, Shermans flanked them, etc. 

They still managed to get initial break-ins easily enough, even against later Allied defenses. The problems they encountered typically had to do with breakdown of combined arms when infantry got stripped off the tanks by artillery, or getting lost in a deep defended zone and hunted by reserves while buttoned, or having roads cut, mined, bridges blown, etc.

Thrust forward with a whole battalion of Panthers at once, down 2-3 roads a company on each, and what happens? Do you get through the front line battalion? Sure. So what?

Now you are in bazooka land. You can't drive through an enemy army without showing side plate. Every hedge and wood needs to be scoured by Panzergrenadiers, but they are being blasted by American 105s and 155s. 

The Allies could "countermass" with artillery fire on the narrow breakthrough areas. Allied fire support and fire responsiveness increased drastically from early war to late. The German infantry could not 'shoulder' through the holes to widen them. Once the tanks were stripped, they were hunted rather than hunters.

4.  Did the German command learn from this fiasco? No. The commander of a storied PD who fought his whole army out of the trap of the south of France took control of the remnants of a shattered Panzer brigade, a fresher one that hadn't done well the last few days, cadre from another PD, and his own PD with a reduced number of runners. For days he battered away at a US combat command, trading Panthers for Shermans and not getting even 1 to 1. He was clever about arty and night infantry attacks helping out, to keep it up as long as he had. But he was down to 30 runners, having used up essentially all the armor in the whole theater. So he called off his attacks - and was promptly reprimanded for showing insufficient offensive spirit! Not by some political brown nose at OKW, but by a picked old Prussian Rundstedt protege. 

With the armor the Germans sent to Lorraine, fully re-equipping the crack 11th Panzer division, the 21st PD, giving 17th SS one panzer battalion, likewise for 3rd and 15th Panzer grenadier, plus TDs or StuGs for all of the above as well, and all of them employed defensively, the PDs as monster backs and the Pz Gdrs as sinew behind river lines and between the woods and cities held by the infantry - you could have fought 3rd army to a standstill, while keeping that massive force intact.

Instead they attacked and attacked throughout September until there was nothing left. 

****

More from Jason on 'Panzerleute disease', for those interested:

The question they should have been asking was: where and when am I going to destroy his armor? Because then, it is obvious enough a kill sack or Pakfront in your own zone is a more promising location for it, than off in his.

If instead you are trying to win the whole campaign 1940 style without having to face his armor, you try to hit where it isn't. Expecting to paralyze, pocket and kill whole armies again, as in the glory days.

Well, that didn't happen and it wasn't going to happen. Offensive spirit did not produce those successes. Enemy weaknesses and mistakes did. The Allies weren't that dumb anymore.

You couldn't beat them without fighting them, you had to kill them by fighting them. In particular their armor. And that requires a different way of thinking about what armor can do for you, to consider it the "heavy wood" in a frankly attritionist battle of material, rather than thinking of it as exploiting cavalry that was going to make the enemy 'evaporate' by driving around him and shooting up his supply lines.

German defensive armor 'doctrine', such as it was, was the net outcome of a lot of (often superb) tactical skills applied, improvising with whatever remained on hand after the counterattacks bled out. That was all twice as hard and half as effective as it might have been, since the German armor was already decimated at lower exchange ratios than it could have achieved.

 

Interesting, thanks for that.

The point of throwing away ones best forces in needless / futile (counter) attacks is well made. However, he doesn't really address how the defensively employed tanks would do much better in combined arms against all that superior firepower. Are they to be operated as semi static bunkers? 😉  

Recently I've read Order in Chaos by Hermann Balck. I think it was a good read. Mainly because it allows a view from the perspective of Balck, a career officer in both WWI & WWII. But he also goes into exactly these subjects. On a number of points like the forming of green PD divisions, he has a similar view on things compared to what JasonC posted. 

But at the same time he explains quite clearly why he thinks that offense is superior to defense in modern warfare with heavy artillery and airsupport. In the end his view is that offense is better mainly because he feels that a successful offense is less costly than a failed defense. While that's not really a fair comparison imo, in the context I understood it like that he believed that Germany didn't have the manpower, equipment or industry to fight a war of attrition and so in the end a defense would be a prolonged affair, very costly in lives and ultimately depend on the enemy losing stomach for attacks to get to the negotiation table (before your own troops lose the stomach holding out the onslaught).

While a proper offense can destroy enemy formations and force an enemy to the same negotiation table with less casualties, sooner and with a better position to negotiate from.
A proper offense in his view would be something along the lines of what @ASL Veteran stated above. An infantry formation with artillery etc holds a natural defensive barrier like a river as a anvil. With the enemy attacking the anvil, mobile Panzer formation would mover around the flank to the rear of the attack enemy formations and smash them (Just a short summary and perhaps not worded perfectly, but well enough imo).

And from what I learned he did put this in practice quite a number of times and in a rather successful manner. 

Edited by Lethaface
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JasonC summarizes it well. The only thing I would add is that Panzer Brigades were an emergency formation created to deal with an emergency. In the summer of 1944, both fronts were collapsing in France and Russia, most Panzer Divisions were pretty much wiped out and the Germans needed something quick to try to hold the tide. Hitler is the one who came up with the idea to quickly raise new Panzer Brigades. Problem as as been pointed out is that they were green formations who suffered badly in action. It would have been better to send the tanks as reinforcement to existing Panzer Divisons since they still had a cadre of experienced tank commanders/tank crews. However, since it was Hitler's idea, no one was going to argue with him that it was a stupid idea. As it was, most Panzer Brigades were disbanded in the fall of 1944.

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26 minutes ago, Lethaface said:

 

Interesting, thanks for that.

The point of throwing away ones best forces in needless / futile (counter) attacks is well made. However, he doesn't really address how the defensively employed tanks would do much better in combined arms against all that superior firepower. Are they to be operated as semi static bunkers? 😉  

Recently I've read Order in Chaos by Hermann Balck. I think it was a good read. Mainly because it allows a view from the perspective of Balck, a career officer in both WWI & WWII. But he also goes into exactly these subjects. On a number of points like the forming of green PD divisions, he has a similar view on things compared to what JasonC posted. 

But at the same time he explains quite clearly why he thinks that offense is superior to defense in modern warfare with heavy artillery and airsupport. In the end his view is that offense is better mainly because he feels that a successful offense is less costly than a failed defense. While that's not really a fair comparison imo, in the context I understood it like that he believed that Germany didn't have the manpower, equipment or industry to fight a war of attrition and so in the end a defense would be a prolonged affair, very costly in lives and ultimately depend on the enemy losing stomach for attacks to get to the negotiation table (before your own troops lose the stomach holding out the onslaught).

While a proper offense can destroy enemy formations and force an enemy to the same negotiation table with less casualties, sooner and with a better position to negotiate from.
A proper offense in his view would be something along the lines of what @ASL Veteran stated above. An infantry formation with artillery etc holds a natural defensive barrier like a river as a anvil. With the enemy attacking the anvil, mobile Panzer formation would mover around the flank to the rear of the attack enemy formations and smash them (Just a short summary and perhaps not worded perfectly, but well enough imo).

And from what I learned he did put this in practice quite a number of times and in a rather successful manner. 

Well, letting the enemy fight his way into your defensive belt and then counterpunching his breakthrough force with reserves, is not passive.

But I must say, I don't know of a WWII army that positioned 'linebacker' divisions (or brigades) in this way, unless you count the small US TD formations. Once the Alllies had gone over to the offensive, I suppose they didn't see the need for it. (Postwar, the '2 up 1 back' US brigade formation was presumably a 'linebacker' approach)

The Russian defense at Kursk, as I understand it, was more 'sliding' new divisions into prepared provisions in front of the German advance ('The next 3 days will be terrible. We must see they break their necks!') than counterpunching, with the exception of the Prokhorovka debacle. But I'm sure there's a Kursk expert who can validate that.

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5 hours ago, LongLeftFlank said:

Well, letting the enemy fight his way into your defensive belt and then counterpunching his breakthrough force with reserves, is not passive.

Not trying to be semantical 😉 but imo that's basically the receipt for a counter attack, in other words an offensive form of defense. And from what I've read the doctrine behind operations of German Panzer Divisions. At least according to some of the Generals. 

Anyway I'm not trying to say that various parts of the leadership of Germany weren't dreaming of victorious offensives, which weren't always grounded in reality so to speak. The whole of the Bulge operation is probably an example.
Perhaps I read his words differently.
One example of successful employment of Panzer Divisions counterattacks while on the operational / strategic defense are the Chir river battles of 1942 (found this: https://www.historynet.com/study-command-general-balcks-chir-river-battles-1942.htm).
I'm sure there are more but I'm also not a real grog when it comes to knowing these things from memory, but that was a battle which featured in that Balck book I read a couple of months ago so fresh enough to remember for me. 😅

 

5 hours ago, LongLeftFlank said:

But I must say, I don't know of a WWII army that positioned 'linebacker' divisions (or brigades) in this way, unless you count the small US TD formations. Once the Alllies had gone over to the offensive, I suppose they didn't see the need for it. (Postwar, the '2 up 1 back' US brigade formation was presumably a 'linebacker' approach)

The Russian defense at Kursk, as I understand it, was more 'sliding' new divisions into prepared provisions in front of the German advance ('The next 3 days will be terrible. We must see they break their necks!') than counterpunching, with the exception of the Prokhorovka debacle. But I'm sure there's a Kursk expert who can validate that.

Imo you could conceptually call operational / strategic armored reserves linebacker formations. Perhaps not organic to the brigade / division, but if you have Tank Armies to play with I guess the need for reserves being organic inside a formation is less of a concern.

The concept imo being keeping strong mobile and armored formations behind the line / in reserve, to counter attack the enemy at 'the right' moment in the 'optimal' fashion. In my mind the differences between JasonC's example, the Chir battles and Russians sliding in new divisions into gaps where previous divisions used to be, are more like different examples of types of counter attack (the one which fits the army in question) and perhaps on a different level (tactical/operational/theater/strategic). 

How competent the counter attacks were performed and whether higher command had the habit of stealing reserves before they were required is another question imo. And perhaps part of the reason for 2 up 1 back brigade formations? 

 

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The Korean War applied the lessons of the 2nd World War. One tactic was 'Lure and Trap'. Let the enemy break through and has a pincher movement ready to trap him. Battle of the Bulge worked out that way, I don't know, or it was intentional.

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6 hours ago, chuckdyke said:

The Korean War applied the lessons of the 2nd World War. One tactic was 'Lure and Trap'. Let the enemy break through and has a pincher movement ready to trap him. Battle of the Bulge worked out that way, I don't know, or it was intentional.

And of course Hannibal and the Battle of Cannae!

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3 minutes ago, KGBoy said:

And of course Hannibal and the Battle of Cannae!

And Asterix and Obelix vs the Romans. Magic potions is an issue we have not mentioned lately. All respect I think you were making an appropriate comment. 

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