If Germany had had one army more in France by June 1944, could she have repelled the Normandy landings?

As I said in an earlier reply, what I had in mind as a POD was the nazis being replaced, with a coup at the end of 1943, by a Beck-Goerdeler government, which would have had every motive, both for practical reasond and of principle, of supporting the creation of nationalist anti-bolshevik states and winning the goodwill of the population.
Yes but
Too Little, Far Too Late
 
As I said in an earlier reply, what I had in mind as a POD was the nazis being replaced, with a coup at the end of 1943, by a Beck-Goerdeler government, which would have had every motive, both for practical reasond and of principle, of supporting the creation of nationalist anti-bolshevik states and winning the goodwill of the population.
Again please go study the Hunger Plan, the practical requirements of the German war machine mean they can't afford to suddenly reverse their policies on food and labour. You also assume that the Army High Command wasn't complicit in the actions in the Ukraine. The Hunger Plan wasn't executed by the SS but by the regular soldiers of the Wehrmacht and the idea that they could have won the 'goodwill' of the Ukrainians by the end of 1943 is laughable. You are basically asking the Ukrainians to fight alongside the same soldiers who left their families to starve.
 
True, but by the end of September there were only 26 US divisions in combat; 11 more arrived in next 2 months - with a longer harder campaign the British contribution would be lower.
I don't think that total includes U.S. divisions that came in through Southern France. And the French eventually brought 11 divisions to the fight.
 
I don't think that total includes U.S. divisions that came in through Southern France. And the French eventually brought 11 divisions to the fight.
No, that 26 includes 3rd, 36th and 45th; sourced from Rupenthal.

History is seen from the wrong end, so the US contribution is often assessed from the number of units in Europe at the end of the war, even though c10% did not enter combat until after the Rhine had been crossed ( and French and Canadian contributions downplayed as they were under other commanders).
 
Again please go study the Hunger Plan, the practical requirements of the German war machine mean they can't afford to suddenly reverse their policies on food and labour. You also assume that the Army High Command wasn't complicit in the actions in the Ukraine. The Hunger Plan wasn't executed by the SS but by the regular soldiers of the Wehrmacht and the idea that they could have won the 'goodwill' of the Ukrainians by the end of 1943 is laughable. You are basically asking the Ukrainians to fight alongside the same soldiers who left their families to starve.
I do not assume the Army High Command wasn't complicit, nor that the Hunger Plan were not executed by the Wehrmacht. It may be true what you say about asking the Ukrainians to fight with the soldiers who left their families to starve, but I am not sure. I have to delve more on that.
 
The commitment to Stalin was an invasion subject to "no more than 14 Panzer divisions in the West" IIRC. Nobody committed to what would happen if there were 15.
That could have had very interesting effects, if Stalin gets paranoid believing the western Allies have betrayed the Soviet Union. It could lead him to start peace negotiations with the new german government.
 

DougM

Donor
Keep in mind that you can only shove X amount of troops/tanks/equipment/supplies down any given road in any give amount of time. And if you are at or close to that limit you are not going to gain anything having more troops. You just can replace them for longer. And if you look at it in the critical time shortly after the landings you have a pretty much maxed out transportation on the part of Germany so you are not going to double the counter attack. You are just going to better sustain it. And you will have more troops for when you go on the defensive.
This will slow down the Allies advance but ultimately it just means that more Germans die or are captured in France. With little difference in the outcome of The war except to determine which country is occupied by which country.
The reality is that once the Allies get a port of two the jig is up for Germany any chance they had is over. The Alies just have to much of everything to be stopped at that point. (Downside of go to war against counties with larger populations and or industrial base then you)
In truth what does it matter if the Allies kill/capture a German in France of Germany? Ultimately they have to neutralize said soldiers at some point
And depending on where exactly the line is held it could theoretically help the Wallies as if the fighting is close enough to the ports to shorten transportation distances but not TOO close as the threaten the ports then it is easier to supply the army. The Wallies has a few issues with supply lines at various times in OTL.
Now it is better for moral to keep moving I will give you that. But the reality is that only the modern “surrender monkeys “ interpretation believes that the Wallies were not willing and able to pay the cost needed to win. As far as I can tell the home by Christmas Idea was not on anyone’s mind on June 5th. That started to gain a bit of backing after the breakout from Normandy but even then I doubt most folks truly believed it.
If you look at the planning it was sure not the expectations of the high command.
So if you never get the breakout from Normandy and the fast liberation of large chunks of Germany then you don’t take the moral hit when things slow down.
And once the Wallies start getting experience and knowledge of how to fight in Normandy and the hedgerows they are going to do better. And that knowledge is not going to be slowed down because they have more Germans to fight. So you are mostly adding fighting to the end when the Wallies were doing better not to the beginning when the Wallies were on a steep learning curve.
Think of it this way. If. You ask me to build 6 chairs but I have never built one then I will have to learn as I go. Getting better and faster so that chair 6 is the best and faster to build. Adding 2 more chairs does not make chair one take longer and the additional two will be.built by an experienced builder and thus will be built at the faster rate.
In theory the same hold true here.
The extra German troops will for the most part hust mean that it takes longer to breakout of Normandy but the troops willl be experienced by the time these extra troops have to be fought. It will slow things down and increase allied casualties but not change the war much.
And don’t forget those troops in the South. They may cut this whole mess off (depending on where Germany puts these troops and where the Wallies do D-Day) so it is Possible (not likely but possible) that this could go against Germany, remember that Germany came close to getting a large chunk of its army cut off and forced to surrender in the OTL. It is possible this could actually happen in this time line. And if that happens then the war could in theory actually end sooner.
But the big difference assuming the USSR does not quit (and I doubt it will) is that the USSR takes more of Germany. And that is not good for anyone other then the USSR.
 
In October 1943 Eisenhower bet Montgomery £5 that the war would be over by Christmas 1944. :cool:
I'm sure experience in Italy tempered expectations a bit by June 1944. But August 1944, things might have been different again with the Wehrmacht collapsing in France, but by then logistics was destiny and Montgomery was the one who was overly optimistic.
 
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Agreed

But the Allies were expecting a much slower campaign. See the map from Eisenhower's Crusade in Europe:
Paris liberated in October
Calais January 1945
German border April 1945
Rhine crossing June-July 1945

(There were no detailed plans for the longer-term plan and so Eisenhower's map is a retrospective creation, and used in part to justify Dragoon, as he credits this with OTL success. However it's the best indication we've got for beyond D+90. Remember that by the time that the Allies had crossed the Rhine there were still 6 US divisions that had not yet entered combat.)
l have to disagree with your assessment of Eisenhower using a retrospective justification of Dragoon/Anvil. Before Ike left Italy he had discussed the decision for Anvil with George Marshall, and pushed for the operation, rather then retaining those forces in the Mediterranean. The Allies needed the ports of Southern France, and to open a second front in France. France was going to be the main front in 1944, and the Anvil troops would do more good there then being bogged down in another Churchill real-estate grab in the Alpes. Besides the French had no interest in Vienna, they wanted to liberate their own country.

Your reading too much into those maps. The phase lines on those maps were conservative estimates, for logistical planning. They assumed the Germans would engage in a series of fighting withdraws to successive defense lines, as they had done in WWI. It's strange that as a WWI vet Hitler failed to understand that the German Army's skill with strategic withdraws to strong defensive positions was one of it's greatest strengths. This strategy was effectively used in Italy, and could have been done in France, and Russia. It reflect on Hitler's limited vision. The Allies did appreciate this German Strength, and hadn't counted on Hitler ordering a fight to the finish in Normandy, so that when the Front broke there would be no viable new line in France.
 
No, that 26 includes 3rd, 36th and 45th; sourced from Rupenthal.

History is seen from the wrong end, so the US contribution is often assessed from the number of units in Europe at the end of the war, even though c10% did not enter combat until after the Rhine had been crossed ( and French and Canadian contributions downplayed as they were under other commanders).
Thanks for the correction, and your points are well taken. The U.S. contribution was a growing proportion of the Allied War effort. 29 U.S. divisions, including 8 armored fought in the Battle of the Bulge. No serious student of military history downplays the role of the Canadians, or French. It is natural for people to emphases their own countries contributions to history. Russia thinks it won the war all by it's self. The United States claim to a disproportionate contribution to Allied Victory in WWII was as the Arsenal of Democracy, the Pacific War, having the worlds strongest economy, and supporting everyone else's war efforts. American air power, the atomic bomb, and the U.S. Economy won the peace. And actually the French fought under the U.S. 6th Army Group, Eisenhower was the Supreme Commander, and the American President was deferred to as the most influential of the Allied Leaders. It isn't jingoistic to claim that by 1943 the United States was the leader of the Allied Coalition.
 
l have to disagree with your assessment of Eisenhower using a retrospective justification of Dragoon/Anvil. Before Ike left Italy he had discussed the decision for Anvil with George Marshall, and pushed for the operation, rather then retaining those forces in the Mediterranean. The Allies needed the ports of Southern France, and to open a second front in France. France was going to be the main front in 1944, and the Anvil troops would do more good there then being bogged down in another Churchill real-estate grab in the Alpes.
The ports were important to have (given the relative failure to secure much up along the Channel), but your latter point certainly factored into Ike's thinking. Churchill was pushing hard for a major landing at the head of the Adriatic, and Eisenhower wanted no part of that. Going ahead with DRAGOON/ANVIL would take it off the table for good.

It isn't jingoistic to claim that by 1943 the United States was the leader of the Allied Coalition.
It's at minimum a rebuttable presumption by that point.
 
I agree with your view that Germany really suffered in Normandy but have you considered the effect these increased casualties would have on the Wallies?
They wouldn't know how bad the situation was for the Germans. They'd only know how bad things were going for them. High casualties, stalled advance and no clear indication of success would cause inevitable stress on the alliance. Churchill and his entire command staff were against a head-on assault on Germany, having experienced WWI. If Normandy looks like a similar slaughter, they are going to push very hard for a shift in strategy.

If the Americans are doing very poorly, they might also reconsider their current strategy of a frontal assault with just 90 divisions in total.

Only historians and wargamers have the luxury of knowing everything. The actual commanders and politicians had to make their decisions based on limited information and the results on the ground. A costly, protracted battle in Normandy which failed spectacularly to reach the expected progress lines would undermine all the assumptions underpinning the invasion of Europe.
By this point the Allies were committed to their course of action. losses in Normandy were no where near WWI losses. They can't very well go back to the Mediterranean, that's just a dead end, trying to climb the Alpes. Invading Norway is a little late in the game. What we're talking about is a delay of a few weeks, not a campaign staled for many months, in an endless blood bath. If we were really staled in Normandy we could have made another amphibious landing, in say Britany to break the deadlock.
 
By this point the Allies were committed to their course of action. losses in Normandy were no where near WWI losses.
Normandy loss rates were on a par with WW1; it's just that the Germans didn't have the manpower to sustain the battle.

l have to disagree with your assessment of Eisenhower using a retrospective justification of Dragoon/Anvil.
Eisenhower explicitly says that maps show how slow the campaign would have been without Dragoon. Part of this was early cold war arguments about how Vienna could have been liberated by the Western Allies, and not be part occupied by the Soviet Union.

NB the Dragoon arguments were complex, and one of the few times that strategy was not argued on nationalistic grounds eg Bedell Smith was against. Without Dragoon it is probable that the Allies would have broken into the Po valley in 1944, effectively ending the Italian campaign; what would happen next is unclear.
 
The allies had a hilarious advantage over the germans in pretty much every intelligence gathering method possible. At times, they had a significantly better picture about the german side of the front then the german high command itself. They used this to a devastating degree already once shortly before D-Day, when in their operation to destroy the Luftwaffe in France they read every message of the germans, where they discussed how hard the allied hit them and what they hoped they wouldn't do because they had a couple weakpoints they assumed the allies didn't know about..cue massive attacks exploiting those.

So even if one accepts your narrative about the famously weak-willed wallies who throw the towel the second they have less then 100% success ( a popular narrative, including in the german and japanese commands of the time, but pretty wrong) then "don't know how bad the germans are reeling" is just about the last possible reason to rattle them.
The Germans were notoriously bad at intelligence operations (partly because they were incompetent and partly due to deliberate sabotage) and indeed the allies (both Russian and Wallies) were much better at it. Most famously through Ultra intercepts. But that didn't make them all-knowing, not by a long shot. They often got things wrong. I suggest you actually read up on Normandy. That campaign alone shows numerous oversights and plain mistakes, even overlooking entire German divisions. Nothing for them to lose the war over but certainly not fool-proof. Both the counter-attack at Salerno and the Battle of the Bulge were intelligence failures. Or perhaps more accurately intelligence analysis failures.

I have never said the Wallies were weak-willed. But as democracies, they wouldn't or couldn't accept casualty levels authoritarian states did. Not after WWI which still had a strong influence on western societies. So massive casualties with no progress IMO would indeed rattle the Wallies. I'd expect a change in commanders (much like Churchill replaced commanders in North Africa) and (eventually) a change in strategy.

As to the Wallies not knowing if the Germans are reeling or not, this is not unique to them. It was difficult for all combatants to really know what the state of the enemy was. After the breakout in Normandy and the rout of the Germans, the allies believed the Germans were finished. Instead, they started recovering almost immediately and even before Market-Garden, they were putting up a stiff fight again. And you can't rely on German intercepts because units often misrepresent their losses. IIRC, the 9th SS Panzer Division administratively "disabled" vehicles to keep them from being handed over to the 10th SS Panzer Division before Market-Garden.
 
The Germans were notoriously bad at intelligence operations (partly because they were incompetent and partly due to deliberate sabotage) and indeed the allies (both Russian and Wallies) were much better at it. Most famously through Ultra intercepts. But that didn't make them all-knowing, not by a long shot. They often got things wrong. I suggest you actually read up on Normandy. That campaign alone shows numerous oversights and plain mistakes, even overlooking entire German divisions. Nothing for them to lose the war over but certainly not fool-proof. Both the counter-attack at Salerno and the Battle of the Bulge were intelligence failures. Or perhaps more accurately intelligence analysis failures.
They do not need to be "all-knowing" to be completly in the dark about how dire the german situation is.

I have never said the Wallies were weak-willed. But as democracies, they wouldn't or couldn't accept casualty levels authoritarian states did.
So you say. Yet they did so just fine in WWI. Sure, you claim after WWI they suddenly lost that ability, but where is proof of that? Where are those legions of democracies that all lost because they are naturally too casuality averse for any real total war? Surely, there must be lots of examples, given how obvious you make it sound.


As to the Wallies not knowing if the Germans are reeling or not, this is not unique to them. It was difficult for all combatants to really know what the state of the enemy was. After the breakout in Normandy and the rout of the Germans, the allies believed the Germans were finished. Instead, they started recovering almost immediately and even before Market-Garden, they were putting up a stiff fight again. And you can't rely on German intercepts because units often misrepresent their losses. IIRC, the 9th SS Panzer Division administratively "disabled" vehicles to keep them from being handed over to the 10th SS Panzer Division before Market-Garden.
man,if you consider the german conduct on the western front after the normandy breakout "recovered" and "stiff" I wonder what you would call an easy campaign. The allies frequently pushed as far as their logistics could carry them. In less then half a year the allies stood deep inside the collapsing german heartland itself.
 
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