How many forces would the Germans have needed in France to defeat Overlord?

CalBear

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If the LW has anything close to air parity something has been going wrong for years.

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To have enough aircraft to match the Allies over France - and given the demands of the Eastern front they would needs 10,000's of extra Aircraft.

How are they going to find the fuel for all those?

If the Allies had not been winng the Airwar in late '43 early '44 they would have sought to ramp up aircraft production and crew training until they were. Germany can not hope to match Allied production capability.
Air Parity, as you note, mean no D-Day. Even air superiority was a question. The WAllies want air supremacy. They wanted to be able to truthfully tell their troops that if the looked up and saw planes they belonged to the Allies.

Luftwaffe needs, at minimum, 1,500 fighter to cover at least that many fighter bombers and medium bombers capable of responding to the inital landings, and at least 300 night fighters to winnow the airborne stream over the Channel with triple that number to replace losses; this assumes that the WAllies don't simply pause the U.S. portion of the CBO for a few weeks so they can throw an extra 1,800 fighters into the air battle and devote the bomber groups to airfield interdiction. In reality Luftflotte 3 (Luftwaffe forces, France) had a TOTAL of 481 aircraft, 100 of them fighters and 63 recon aircraft, while the WAllies total muster of fighters alone (include 8th AF Fighter Command) exceeded 5,400,

If by some miracle the required number of aircraft appear (and it would have to be mainly from Inner Germany given how much of the Luftwaffe's single engine and night fighter strength was concentrated there to oppose the CBO (TOTAL Luftwaffe strength on the Easter Front in mid 1944 was 408 single seat fighters, 97 Night Fighters, and 610 ground attack aircraft, or barely enough to fight it out over France the first couple days if sent West). the WAllies would have postponed until the new forces had been destroyed using the same sort of Hammer & anvil tactics that had already done so much damage to Luftwaffe strength.

As long as the WAllies have air supremacy and naval supremacy in the Channel, especially having enough ships for the gun line, the invasion can NOT fail once the landing force meet up with the airborne a few miles inland. With that much depth and overwhelming airpower and big guns afloat (and pretty much every gun on a warship is big gun in ground component terms (a single destroyer reprents as much firepower as a battalion of 105mm guns and a light cruiser is a regiment of 155's, while battleship fire is like the wrath of an angry God).
 

CalBear

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Yeah, even if Overlord is somehow repulsed, Italy will still be increasingly in Allied hands and I expect Dragoon to go off as well.
Not to mention that the movement of the sort of reinforcements necessary to prevent a successful Overlord leave the field clear for Bagration, likely allowing the Soviets to advance as far as Danzig in the North and Budapest in the South.
 

Coulsdon Eagle

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You would need air parity at the very least, without contesting and not allowing allied air to operate virtually unopposed it does not matter how many forces you try to move to the area as they will be chewed up before they get there and their supply situation will be interesting to put it mildly.

To defeat Overlord, I'd say they'd need airsuperiority at least. Not just over the beaches, but over the whole of France.
But on the other hand: if the allies are facing airsuperiority, they're not going to land, unless they are convinced that they will get airsuperiority during the battle.
More likely they are going to wait until they get airsuperiority, which eventually will happen.

Air Parity, as you note, mean no D-Day. Even air superiority was a question. The WAllies want air supremacy. They wanted to be able to truthfully tell their troops that if the looked up and saw planes they belonged to the Allies.

Luftwaffe needs, at minimum, 1,500 fighter to cover at least that many fighter bombers and medium bombers capable of responding to the inital landings, and at least 300 night fighters to winnow the airborne stream over the Channel with triple that number to replace losses; this assumes that the WAllies don't simply pause the U.S. portion of the CBO for a few weeks so they can throw an extra 1,800 fighters into the air battle and devote the bomber groups to airfield interdiction. In reality Luftflotte 3 (Luftwaffe forces, France) had a TOTAL of 481 aircraft, 100 of them fighters and 63 recon aircraft, while the WAllies total muster of fighters alone (include 8th AF Fighter Command) exceeded 5,400,

If by some miracle the required number of aircraft appear (and it would have to be mainly from Inner Germany given how much of the Luftwaffe's single engine and night fighter strength was concentrated there to oppose the CBO (TOTAL Luftwaffe strength on the Easter Front in mid 1944 was 408 single seat fighters, 97 Night Fighters, and 610 ground attack aircraft, or barely enough to fight it out over France the first couple days if sent West). the WAllies would have postponed until the new forces had been destroyed using the same sort of Hammer & anvil tactics that had already done so much damage to Luftwaffe strength.

As long as the WAllies have air supremacy and naval supremacy in the Channel, especially having enough ships for the gun line, the invasion can NOT fail once the landing force meet up with the airborne a few miles inland. With that much depth and overwhelming airpower and big guns afloat (and pretty much every gun on a warship is big gun in ground component terms (a single destroyer reprents as much firepower as a battalion of 105mm guns and a light cruiser is a regiment of 155's, while battleship fire is like the wrath of an angry God).

I heartily concur with my learned friends above.

Having the Kriegsmarine in a position to dispute naval superiority is pretty much ASB.

So it has to be the Luftwaffe.
 
And as for pre-staging to counter this. You would have to pre-stage so much you are back to ”A”s problem in that you don’t have that many men that much equipment or that much support.
And remember 21st Panzer was in the perfect position on D-Day, counterattacked, suffered significant losses and achieved little.
 
I am not so sure that the Western Allies would not have launched Overlord without being sure of success. Remember that Eisenhower wrote a resignation letter for the case of failure, not something one would write if he is confident of success. I recall that Churchill and Allanbrooke had also their misgivings. And nevertheless, Overlord was launched.
 
Then the Luftwaffe is not ASB?
The Luftwaffe can contest.

It just means surrendering air superiority on the Eastern front and allowing bombing raids on German cities to happen unmolested.

It would be a massive diversion for what gain it would have.

A previous poster said it would mean Bagration reaching Danzig. I don't think the Germans would consider it acceptable. So its as on that front but its possible.
 
The Allies had achieved Air Superiority over the invasion beaches and Northern France in the run up and it could be claimed had Air Supremacy as there was little the Luftwaffe could do to stop the Allied air forces from doing anything they wanted. If the Germans had more units crammed in there and the Transport Plan had been implemented as per OTL they would have real issues getting forces mobilised and moving up to the invasion area on D Day and their logistical position would rapidly have become dire.

No transport could move without significant risk of attack during the day and at that time of the year there would be several weeks where nights were so short as to be barely worth the term. There would have been lots of intruder operations going on too along with continued attacks on marshalling yards and other transport targets throughout France, Belgium, Holland and Germany following D-Day to keep the pressure up.
 
I am not so sure that the Western Allies would not have launched Overlord without being sure of success. Remember that Eisenhower wrote a resignation letter for the case of failure, not something one would write if he is confident of success. I recall that Churchill and Allanbrooke had also their misgivings. And nevertheless, Overlord was launched.

They were as sure as it was humanly possible to be. That doesn't negate failure but , apart from the weather (a big if) they were reasonably sure they could force a landing. They just thought it would be way most costly then it was.
 
And is it impossible to defeat the landings without the Luftwaffe?

Tough. If you keep the troops right next to the beaches then you lose defensive depth + you risk not being in the right place at the right time.

If you keep the troops farther back as a mobile reserve the Allied airforce smashes them before they even get to where they need to go.

Airpower is so vital, it is hard to overestimate.
 
To really interfere with D-Day the Germans would have needed to bring a lot of tactical squadrons West from the Eastern Front, this would have rapidly shown up through SIGINT, HUMINT, photo-recce etc. The big worry for the Luftwaffe is that they were starting to hurt for fuel & aircrews - moving fighters into range of all those Allied fighters which had already shattered them in big week just allows the Allies to carry out Big Week 2 and puts all those tactical aircraft where they can get strafed and bombed by organisation like 2TAF and 9th Airforce.
 
To really interfere with D-Day the Germans would have needed to bring a lot of tactical squadrons West from the Eastern Front, this would have rapidly shown up through SIGINT, HUMINT, photo-recce etc. The big worry for the Luftwaffe is that they were starting to hurt for fuel & aircrews - moving fighters into range of all those Allied fighters which had already shattered them in big week just allows the Allies to carry out Big Week 2 and puts all those tactical aircraft where they can get strafed and bombed by organisation like 2TAF and 9th Airforce.

Yeah, but if you do that, the Russians are going to make you pay and that is a bigger threat then the Western Allies.
 
Tough. If you keep the troops right next to the beaches then you lose defensive depth + you risk not being in the right place at the right time.

If you keep the troops farther back as a mobile reserve the Allied airforce smashes them before they even get to where they need to go.

Airpower is so vital, it is hard to overestimate.
I recall Professor Neitzel bringing up the possibility of using night attacks to nullify the Allied artillery and air superiority, especially for conducting an attempt to push the Allies into the sea in Italy and France. However, no significant attempt was made to train Wehrmacht soldiers for night fighting, even after Allied artillery and air superiority caused daytime, post-landing counteroffensives in Italy to fail. Neitzel also mentioned that the British used smoke ammunition extensively to provide cover for their own troops from artillery fire and to stop German panzer attacks, yet the Wehrmacht almost never used them. He suggested that using smoke screens might have been another way to more effectively counterattack at Normandy, but again, no such attempt was made to truly counter Allied air and artillery superiority.
 
What would Overlord have looked like if the Reich had managed to defeat the USSR, reached the A-A line by 1943 and freed up large numbers of troops, equipment and resources for use against the WAllies?

Would they even have been able to attempt an invasion across the English Channel in 1944?
 
What would the Normandy invasion have looked like if the Reich had managed to defeat the USSR, reached the A-A line by 1943 and freed up large numbers of troops, equipment and resources for use against the WAllies?

Would they even have been able to attempt an invasion across the English Channel in 1944?

The Allies would have done large scale landings to a desperate attempt to save the USSR, if it looked like the Reds were collapsing.
 
What would Overlord have looked like if the Reich had managed to defeat the USSR, reached the A-A line by 1943 and freed up large numbers of troops, equipment and resources for use against the WAllies?

Would they even have been able to attempt an invasion across the English Channel in 1944?

Then the next question is 'how did that happen'? And even if somehow this happened, the WAllies still had air dominance/supremacy. And if all else failed they hold off. Tube Alloys/Manhattan is coming along.

This is always the issue with Germany doing better in WW2, its a case of people going

"How?"
And you can't answer "Because."
 
I've always maintained the KM made a huge error trying to develop the larger Elektroboote Type XXI first, they could have followed the development path of the conventional u-boats and started with Type XXIII? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_XXIII_submarine

it was clear at the end of 1942 they needed to prepare for coastal defense not continue the commerce war in the Atlantic? (at least with the tools they had) so possibly many Type VIIs and their crews could have been relocated to Norway also?
 
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