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Cean, GOODWOOD, TOTALISE, TRACTABLE, etc, were all out of the bocage. In fact, most of the British front for most of the campaign was out of the bocage.

It was the baptism for most British units as well. 2 Cdn (excepting a day at Dieppe), 3 Cdn, 4 Cdn Armd, 2 Cdn Armd Bde, 3 British (excepting a couple of weeks in France during 1940), 11 Armd, 79 Armd, Gds Armd, 43rd Wessex, 6th Gds Tk Bde, 1 Polish Armd, 6th Airborne, 15th Scottish, 49th West Riding (excepting a couple of weeks in Norway during 1940), 33rd Armd Bde, 53rd Welsh, 27th Armd Bde, 34th Tk Bde, 31st Tk Bde, and 59th Staffordshire all saw their first actions in Normandy.

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I guess my real question is why does the fighting in the bocage not hold as big a place in the history of the British Army as it does the Americans?

More due to the terrain:

The area of Normandy the Division was to start fighting in as the Calvados region, south of the Bay of the Seine. It could be divided into to parts. The open campagne area south and south east of Caen, with rolling fairly open country side and the close bocage area to the south and south west of Bayeux.http://www.btinternet.com/~ian.a.paterson/battles1944.htm#Normandy

Which puts the British sectors more open area and the GIs in bocage country. The Brits then fought Espom and Goodwood and tied up the German Panzers while the Amis were still plowing thru hedgerows.

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ME not 34 breaches but 34 hedges to breach.

Lieutenant Colonel Robert R. Ploger, conducted an informal study of the logistics involved in supporting a tank attack with fifty-pound explosive charges. Ploger assumed that in a typical attack, a tank company moving a distance of one and one-half miles through the Bocage would encounter thirty-four separate hedgerows. As a result, each tank company needed seventeen tons of explosives.

From Lt. Belenko links here I have extracted a couple of compelling points regarding artillery and casualties:

http://www.btinternet.com/~ian.a.paterson/battles1944.htm#Normandy

The Germans counter attacked at 07:00 on the morning of 7th August, but this was driven of with the assistance of the RHA and it should be noted that during the battle the RHA fired 600 rounds per gun in a twelve hour period. ..........

...........

During Operation Bluecoat, Montgomery had ordered to push on regardless of casualties and this had certainly been heeded. The Division had suffered another 523 casualties, which with the 1,000 since the end of Goodwood left many units well below strength. A good example of this were rifle companies of 1/6th Queens which totaled 8, 15, 40 and 55 men of all ranks, instead of the normal compliment of 450.

Incidentally the brigadebox.jpg in the linked article can be saved and if you blow it up you can easily see the density of hedges. Though it is not topographical if you look at where the streams run you can guess where the high and low ground is.

I am not sure what the gridlines mark - possibly they are one kilometre squares, or possibly one mile. All those orderly trees are most likely to be in apple orchards as in Normandy cider production would be for home drinking plus some cash sales. Anyone know what the scale is?

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fugazy - Gen Patton actually honeymooned in France pre-wars and I understand travelled through Normandy and definitely visited Mount St. Michel so at least to one senior commander the nature of that part of France should not have been that surprising.

Part of the British forces in 1940 retreated to Cherbourg to be evacuated ... but I suspect they were in a hurry to catch the ferry. : ).

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I found this highly interresting read about the American effort to develop an effective combined arms tactic for fighting in the Normady bocage terrain. I hope you might find some useful things there to try out when the game finally gets released!

http://www.cgsc.edu/carl/resources/csi/doubler/doubler.asp

Interesting read and it shows, how fast the US had to learn/and learned, how to adapt their tactics. I hope the information about the US-Army doctrine and some of their tactics is more factual, than what is written about the Germans:

The author suggests, that Hitler wanted a static defense and Rundstedt was for a flexible one. But that statement doesn't survive the hard facts:

The placement of the three tank-divisions in Normandy, was the lonely decision of Hitler, who predicted the correct landing point. Rommels staff did everything it could, to convince Hitler, the landing wouldn't take place in Normandy and to take the tank divisions far away from the coast.

I'm sure, most of you have never heard about traitors in the german high staff, who they were, where they operated and what they did.

Although at that night the invasion was identified as highly probable, because of the tide and weather, Rommel left his troops and flew to a birthday party. The head was missing in the most decisive hours.

In Rommels staff, when Rommel was not present, they called Hitler only the "Arschloch vom Berghof" (the a**hole from the Berghof). And Rommel tolerated that kind of high ranked officers in his staff.

Can you imagine Eisenhower or Montgomery, tolerating his highest officers calling Churchill or Roosevelt "the ******* in Washington/London" while most important informations and orders are going through their hands? :D

The alarm of the Kriegsmarine at 2 o'clock, that clearly identified the invasion, was sabotaged and blocked from Rommels HQ (Speidel) and the units at the coast were not put into alarm state.

One battalion commander of the 21st Panzer recognized - from the kind of radio-messages - that the invasion had begun. The 21st called his HQ for immediate orders, but it simply didn't respond.

Then the btn commander decided to move his battalion on his own decision torwards the coast. The HQ was informed about his decision, and that the 21st were on it's way to the coast. Suddenly Speidel responded immediately and forbid to move further, claimed everything was calm at the coast and directed the 21st back from the coast, into the other direction where they came from. He claimed paratroopers had landed somewhere in the back.

Around two hours later the 21st arrived at that place and - surprise! - there was no enemy.

At that time the night was already vanishing and they turned back again and started to move torwards the coast again, where the own units already were under heavy fire. During the following day, the 21st suffered heavy losses, was shot into pieces from the air and only very few units even managed to reach the zone of the beachhead.

It's also suppressed, that the traitors were part of the same reactionary political group, that already in 1935 tried to inflict war on Germany, they flew to London and pleaded for an attack on their own country.

After the war the traitor Speidel was awarded as chief of NATO in Europe.

Without the traitors in the german high command, the whole 21st Pz. would have been at the coast already during the deep first night. That close to the landing zones (like planned), that during the following day air and naval support would have been extremely difficult, probably even impossible, without causing high friendly losses.

Without the german traitors, also the german reserves at the canal would have not been kept away for weeks: Hitler, immediately understood at the next day, that the Invasion had begun. Rommels staff and Fremde Heere West did everything, to play the size of the invasion down ("only a distraction", "main force coming over the canal"), to convince Hitler, to keep the german forces away, until the beachheads were too strong.

The troops at the coast, also witnessed many strange occurences, a few days before the invasion: i.e. the optics of the coastal guns were ordered to be removed.

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Without the german traitors, also the german reserves at the canal would have not been kept away for weeks: Hitler, immediately understood at the next day, that the Invasion had begun. Rommels staff and Fremde Heere West did everything, to play the size of the invasion down ("only a distraction", "main force coming over the canal"), to convince Hitler, to keep the german forces away, until the beachheads were too strong.

Wow! That is interesting and I'm sorry the good guys lost...

Hey, wait a minute...

;)

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If you don't, I will.

Considering it is implying that Fortitude did not work and it was the German generals who somehow convinced Hitler not to release the troops guarding the Pas De Calais - I'll bite. Can we get any sources? I don't recall Hitler often taking his Generals suggestions over his own opinion.

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The belief that Hitler lost D-Day simply by not letting Rommel rush the landing zone with the Reserve Panzers is utter nonsense. In fact, keeping forces near the landing zones probably would have gotten them annihilated. The Allies completely flattened the area around the beaches. Anyone who wasn't sitting under 20 feet of concrete would have been killed in the aerial and naval bombardments.

On top of that the many invasions during the Italian campaign solidly revealed what happened when you tried to attack covered landing zones with armour. Disaster. Just look at one Destroyer did to a whole Panzer Division at Anzio. The Germans found out during Italy that if the Allies really wanted a landing zone, they were going to have it and their was nothing you could do. The impotence of the Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine by this stage of the war basically meant the Allies could perform the most important aspects of an invasion unmolested.

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There is also some mismatches in terms of a 2500yard advance requiring thirty-four hedge breachings - contrasted to average fields being 200yards x 400yards. [because the fields are small, about 200 by 400 yards in size, and usually irregular in shape, the hedgerows are numerous and set in no logical pattern]

Below is a link to a topo from http://www.history.army.mil overlaid on an aerial photo from http://loisirs.ign.fr/accueilPVA.do (many thanks, JonS). The area covered by this map is roughly 1250 x 1600 yards.

I can see thirty-four breachings...

http://photorake.zenfolio.com/img/s6/v5/p586178032-5.jpg

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Gen Patton actually honeymooned in France pre-wars..

The image of the gruff and profane Gen. George S. Patton on a honeymoon in romantic prewar France brings all sorts of comic images to mind...

"Oh George, isn't the view just divine?"

"Damn good terrain for an M4 position over there...and where's that $%#@*& sonofabitch with our Champagne?

How amusing if he turned out to have been a charming Fred Astaire type in his private life.

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The image of the gruff and profane Gen. George S. Patton on a honeymoon in romantic prewar France brings all sorts of comic images to mind...

"Oh George, isn't the view just divine?"

"Damn good terrain for an M4 position over there...and where's that $%#@*& sonofabitch with our Champagne?

How amusing if he turned out to have been a charming Fred Astaire type in his private life.

Well, he did know French. And had at least enough game to pick up a mistress at one point in his life. So its not unheard of. I remember an interview with his eldest daughter where she saw him practicing his Scowls and "war faces" in the mirror, so there was a level of acting to his persona.

To put it succinctly, he was born a rich dandy who was dyslexic and a taste for the classics. He MADE himself into the fire-breathing hard-ass we know.

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...there was a level of acting to his persona.

Quite a bit, I would say.

To put it succinctly, he was born a rich dandy who was dyslexic and a taste for the classics. He MADE himself into the fire-breathing hard-ass we know.

Very much so. I speculate that his blood and guts persona is actually driven by a need to conceal if not overcome his very real fears of battle. In short, he was afraid of being afraid. Such statements as, "One should not take council of one's fears," lead me to that conclusion. Taken literally, that advice would lead to insanity. One fears for reasons. In battle especially there is much to fear. The question is, what role should they play in reaching a decision. Patton himself more often than not knew to a precise degree how far he could push himself and his troops. He was certainly indiscreet at times, preferring to err on the side of boldness, but that was more often when he was shooting off his mouth than when he was commanding troops.

Michael

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His honeymoon was 1910 so tank warfare would not have been uppermost in his mind : ). However even for an infantryman the idea of dozens of barricades per kilometre one might consider.

His voice - not too bad

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vg_aBN6wE80

but just to check it is really him this is a genuine clip

However I did also find this clip which relates to the political shenanigans after the event - worth watching and reading:

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Do I dare bite and ask for evidence?

Purely Normandy, France:

Heinz Schmolke, Die Kriegsentscheidung: Der Verrat in der Normandie

Friedrich Georg, Verrat in der Normandie: Eisenhowers deutsche Helfer

Not only Normandy:

Hans Meiser, Verratene Verräter

Allen Dulles, Verschwörung in Deutschland

Oscar Reile, Geheime Westfront - Die Abwehr 1935 - 1945

Erich Kern, Verrat an Deutschland

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I'm sure, most of you have never heard about traitors in the german high staff, who they were, where they operated and what they did.

I am unable to read German so I suspect most of the resource provided I will not be able to read. However if what is said is true then I am encouraged that some of the German HQ was not stupidly loyal. Loyalty should be to the country and not solely to the Government in power. If the "traitors" connived to an earlier end to the war and less land going to the Russians then it is all to the good.

Incidentally Rommel going off to a party does not rate very highly in my estimation of sabotaging the war effort. The weather conditions around the landing date were fairly unpleasant and the Germans may have mistaken the effects on landing possibilities as they had no experience of seaborne landings - other than the welcome party.

Losing a war swiftly is actually perhaps not necessarily bad for the population even if it is bad for their leaders psyche. But then leaders go to war for lots of reasons - and a lot of time one is left feeling it is an ego thing.

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Yes, Herr Steiner has regrettably shown his colours (black, white and red) here before.

No doubt part of the "thesis" includes many/most of these officers, abetted by the Generalstabs, conspiring to hide their Jewish origins. Naturally, this would itself suffice to explain both their Bolshevist sympathies and their inclination toward sabotage and "stabs in the back". After all, they take it in with their mothers' milk, right?[/sarc]

As a German, you should be wishing that these theses were actually true (which they are not), and then honouring these men as heroes for trying to put a stop to a regime which had rendered the once great German people -- witting or unwitting -- into agents of pure evil.

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