Jump to content


The Truth.... As We Know It


  • Please log in to reply
331 replies to this topic

acmarines12 #21 Posted May 22 2012 - 23:53

    Private

  • Players
  • 7659 battles
  • 6
  • [AWFP] AWFP
  • Member since:
    02-04-2012

Hitman1386, on May 22 2012 - 21:16, said:

Patton wasn't as good as many think he was & Monty was better than most give him credit for. That said, like all commanders in the field. They had their flaws. It does help explain why the British/Canadian armies in Normandy had such a hard go.


The British and Canadian armies had little resistance on the beaches and through the hedgerow country  COMPARED to the Americans. I am not saying they didn't encounter heavy resistance. But compared to U.S. forces, they encountered much lighter resistance, U.S. casualties totaling 5,000 on Omaha ALONE compared to 2,500 British, Canadian, and Polish forces on their 3 Beach-heads COMBINED.

acmarines12 #22 Posted May 22 2012 - 23:54

    Private

  • Players
  • 7659 battles
  • 6
  • [AWFP] AWFP
  • Member since:
    02-04-2012

acmarines12, on May 22 2012 - 23:53, said:

The British and Canadian armies had little resistance on the beaches and through the hedgerow country  COMPARED to the Americans. I am not saying they didn't encounter heavy resistance. But compared to U.S. forces, they encountered much lighter resistance, U.S. casualties totaling 5,000 on Omaha ALONE compared to 2,500 British, Canadian, and Polish forces on their 3 Beach-heads COMBINED.


CRAP....i cited the wrong document.....everyone scroll up and read the actual one of the first page haha :Smile_mellow:

acmarines12 #23 Posted May 22 2012 - 23:56

    Private

  • Players
  • 7659 battles
  • 6
  • [AWFP] AWFP
  • Member since:
    02-04-2012

acmarines12, on May 22 2012 - 23:54, said:

CRAP....i cited the wrong document.....everyone scroll up and read the actual one of the first page haha :Smile_mellow:

Never mind, i cited the right one ha-ha.

Havesum #24 Posted May 23 2012 - 00:09

    Corporal

  • Players
  • 4775 battles
  • 52
  • Member since:
    10-16-2011

snobot, on May 22 2012 - 23:08, said:

Contemporary, first-hand accounts written by German officers are "not valid primary sources" for a book about German officers' experience fighting forces commanded by Patton? The sometimes limited perspective of military reports and personal diaries should be taken into account when weighing their significance, but that doesn't diminish their validity as primary sources. They're certainly as valid as U.S. military reports concerning the actions and performance of Patton's forces. In my opinion, any analysis that excludes source material because it was "gathered as hostile intelligence" would be fundamentally unsound.

When you're discussing the validity and quality of the tactics of the US officers, yes, it is invalid as a primary source.  Secondary source, sure.  But not primary.  There is no way for them to know whether the strategies and tactics utilized on the battlefield by the troops they were fighting were a product of training, the general's strategy, or on the fly adjustments.  They have no way of knowing what intelligence those generals in turn had access to, and thus are so far removed from that facet of decision making that any information they have as to the quality of US officers is based more on supposition than actual information.  If a source isn't based in data and information, and is instead based on perception and opinion, then it's perfectly valid as a source if what you care about is the perception and opinion, but it was my assumption that Chieftain's blog here is trying to address facts versus opinions and perceptions, and is simply using other perceptions and opinions to steer people away from actual facts.

The_Chieftain #25 Posted May 23 2012 - 00:10

    Military Specialist

  • Administrator
  • 9470 battles
  • 9,365
  • [WGA-A] WGA-A
  • Member since:
    09-08-2011

acmarines12, on May 22 2012 - 23:53, said:

The British and Canadian armies had little resistance on the beaches and through the hedgerow country  COMPARED to the Americans. I am not saying they didn't encounter heavy resistance. But compared to U.S. forces, they encountered much lighter resistance, U.S. casualties totaling 5,000 on Omaha ALONE compared to 2,500 British, Canadian, and Polish forces on their 3 Beach-heads COMBINED.

Could also just mean that the Candians, British and Polish had better tactics....

Not saying that they did, just that the casualty rates don't show much in and of themselves.

Havesum #26 Posted May 23 2012 - 00:13

    Corporal

  • Players
  • 4775 battles
  • 52
  • Member since:
    10-16-2011

The_Chieftain, on May 22 2012 - 23:41, said:

The only military intelligence sources used are those he obtained from US Army sources, such as the unit histories, with intelligence as reported at the time. Official unit records of the German Army such as a Kriegstagebuch, and official military correspondance viewed after the war in the German archives are to be considered primary source documents, not military intelligence which I would define as having been obtained 'about the enemy' at the time of conflict.

Whoa, hold up, in there, you say this: "Yeide almost completely ignored the US writings, and instead went straight to the German war records and diaries of the people facing Patton..."

If he almost completely ignored the US Army writings, how can it be based mainly on US Army Sources?

Granted, that's probably the best source for a book titled 'Fighting Patton', but since the title of the blog indicates it's about trying to correct what we think we know with actual facts, they may be a bit opposed...

Edited by Havesum, May 23 2012 - 00:15.


The_Chieftain #27 Posted May 23 2012 - 00:18

    Military Specialist

  • Administrator
  • 9470 battles
  • 9,365
  • [WGA-A] WGA-A
  • Member since:
    09-08-2011

Havesum, on May 23 2012 - 00:09, said:

When you're discussing the validity and quality of the tactics of the US officers, yes, it is invalid as a primary source.  Secondary source, sure.  But not primary.  There is no way for them to know whether the strategies and tactics utilized on the battlefield by the troops they were fighting were a product of training, the general's strategy, or on the fly adjustments.  They have no way of knowing what intelligence those generals in turn had access to, and thus are so far removed from that facet of decision making that any information they have as to the quality of US officers is based more on supposition than actual information.  If a source isn't based in data and information, and is instead based on perception and opinion, then it's perfectly valid as a source if what you care about is the perception and opinion, but it was my assumption that Chieftain's blog here is trying to address facts versus opinions and perceptions, and is simply using other perceptions and opinions to steer people away from actual facts.

You are correct to make the distinction, and Yeide makes the same ones. For example, he notes one or two times when the Germans say "Another missed opportunity by the Americans", not knowing that Bradley had put the brakes on Patton for the Allies' own purposes. However, the "Patton Mythology" is inherently based about perception, and that includes the perception that the Germans considered Patton to be a significant opponent to be worried about, a contention for which there seems to be little material support. They did not. And, as they say, to be respected by your enemy is the greatest compliment which can be given. It is reasonable to conclude that after several years of war, every now and then when the Germans said 'an opportunity was missed', they had enough experience to know when an opportunity like could have been apparent to the enemy. Always accurate, no, of course not, but they're not entirely to be discredited either.

Havesum #28 Posted May 23 2012 - 00:22

    Corporal

  • Players
  • 4775 battles
  • 52
  • Member since:
    10-16-2011

The_Chieftain, on May 23 2012 - 00:18, said:

You are correct to make the distinction, and Yeide makes the same ones. For example, he notes one or two times when the Germans say "Another missed opportunity by the Americans", not knowing that Bradley had put the brakes on Patton for the Allies' own purposes. However, the "Patton Mythology" is inherently based about perception, and that includes the perception that the Germans considered Patton to be a significant opponent to be worried about, a contention for which there seems to be little material support. They did not. And, as they say, to be respected by your enemy is the greatest compliment which can be given. It is reasonable to conclude that after several years of war, every now and then when the Germans said 'an opportunity was missed', they had enough experience to know when an opportunity like could have been apparent to the enemy. Always accurate, no, of course not, but they're not entirely to be discredited either.

Okay, I can see that.  If the myth you're trying to dispell is that Patton was feared by the Germans, that line of reasoning is sound.

heartvain #29 Posted May 23 2012 - 00:29

    Private

  • Players
  • 514 battles
  • 1
  • Member since:
    02-25-2011
Exactly how a Coward German General who was in full retreat during the whole western front of WWII Europe and left hundreds of thousands of young German men and boys to face the allies had any idea what was going on on the front lines is beyond us all.

The_Chieftain #30 Posted May 23 2012 - 00:30

    Military Specialist

  • Administrator
  • 9470 battles
  • 9,365
  • [WGA-A] WGA-A
  • Member since:
    09-08-2011

Quote

Whoa, hold up, in there, you say this: "Yeide almost completely ignored the US writings, and instead went straight to the German war records and diaries of the people facing Patton..."

If he almost completely ignored the US Army writings, how can it be based mainly on US Army Sources?

You make two mis-assumptions here.

One is that all US writings are US Army sources, whilst the Patton Aura is in no small part based on writings by non-military sources such as the contemporary newspapers or post-war historians. Yeide certainly looks at US source documents for his book, but to put the German-sourced information into context, not so much as a source of information in itself. For example, the Germans fighting in "Town Y" may have had absolutely no idea who they were going up against, but the US sources will say "The US unit engaged in Town Y on this date was...." One nice thing about US Army records is that they tend to be reasonably objective, and will not lead to the fame of anyone on their own.

Second, I said in the bit you quote, "the only military intelligence sources used are those he obtained from US Army sources, such as the unit histories, with intelligence as reported at the time". For example, intelligence made availabe to Patton's G-2 that the Germans might be planning an attack into the Ardennes, and thus put into the context of Third Army's preparations to swing North. This is entirely a separate issue to "the only sources used were US, and the overwhelming majority of the references in the 80 pages of them are of Axis origin.

Havesum #31 Posted May 23 2012 - 00:38

    Corporal

  • Players
  • 4775 battles
  • 52
  • Member since:
    10-16-2011
You actually have my assumption backwards there, my assumption is that all "US Army Sources" fall into a larger category of "US writings".

I think that's a reasonable assumption to make.

acmarines12 #32 Posted May 23 2012 - 02:19

    Private

  • Players
  • 7659 battles
  • 6
  • [AWFP] AWFP
  • Member since:
    02-04-2012

The_Chieftain, on May 23 2012 - 00:10, said:

Could also just mean that the Candians, British and Polish had better tactics....

Not saying that they did, just that the casualty rates don't show much in and of themselves.

That's a valid argument, but the fact of the matter is that the Germans had much less resistance positioned on Gold, Juno, and Sword. I don't know why they divided the beaches up the way they did. If the Americans got Gold, Juno, and Sword, then most likely they would have suffered muss less casualties and the Canadians, British, and Polish would have had more casualties. I'm just trying to make a point that Patton and Montgomery were both feared by the Germans and both got their share of the fight, and they both encountered heavy or weak resistance depending on the area.

Lagometer #33 Posted May 23 2012 - 02:23

    First lieutenant

  • Beta Testers
  • 19499 battles
  • 598
  • [REL-V] REL-V
  • Member since:
    11-18-2010
I know what you mean about Patton.

Look at Rommel, he was 1 for 3 and how many players use his name?

acmarines12 #34 Posted May 23 2012 - 02:27

    Private

  • Players
  • 7659 battles
  • 6
  • [AWFP] AWFP
  • Member since:
    02-04-2012
By the way Chieftain. If you enjoy reading war books too, a great book about Patton is "Patton: A Genius For War" by Carlo D'Este. It offers great insight into Patton's childhood, his growing up, and his becoming a general and his tactics throughout the war. I suggest you read it, i swear you'll enjoy it.

luckydog #35 Posted May 23 2012 - 02:31

    Corporal

  • Beta Testers
  • 13703 battles
  • 75
  • Member since:
    09-29-2010

acmarines12, on May 22 2012 - 23:53, said:

The British and Canadian armies had little resistance on the beaches and through the hedgerow country  COMPARED to the Americans. I am not saying they didn't encounter heavy resistance. But compared to U.S. forces, they encountered much lighter resistance, U.S. casualties totaling 5,000 on Omaha ALONE compared to 2,500 British, Canadian, and Polish forces on their 3 Beach-heads COMBINED.
Yes the 21st Army had a less difficult time on the beaches than the US Armies, but that was partly due to the better deployment/luck with the Sherman Duplex Drive tanks. Once inland, the 21AG had just as tough a time. Massive casualties do not necessarily give an indication of the level of defence encountered.

I'm not sure where people get the idea that Montgomery had unlimited resources - he was very much lacking in infantry replacements from very soon after he landed in Normandy. True, he did have a large replacement tank pool to draw on (hence most operations were conducted by armoured units) and plentiful air/arty support, but I doubt that Bradley (and Patton) were lacking in those areas either!

Pfester #36 Posted May 23 2012 - 02:43

    Corporal

  • Players
  • 26596 battles
  • 17
  • [HOOTR] HOOTR
  • Member since:
    09-04-2011
The fact is that recent history is written by the victors. The relatively modern process (due to the modern academic environment) of attempting to understand the complete reality of a historic event by examining as many viewpoints as is reasonably possible. If the question posed is "who was the better general?" there may be any number of criteria used to make the determination. Of course, the vetting process invites criticism, as may be the writers intent.

In my opinion (that is likely not of much value to anyone but me) there are two valid measures of any competitor. The first is the statistical analysis, which is often of limited value in this kind of matter. Events rarely if ever allow for few enough variables to draw a certain conclusion. The second is what does your opponent think of you. In this case it would appear that Monty gets the cake. We will never know if either Patton or Monty could have improved upon the others performance under the same set of circumstances. That would be the true test, would it not?

I hope that a reader is not so set in their belief that they cannot consider the possiblity that they may have drawn the wrong conclusion. History has demonstrated, in case after case, that what we think we know for certain is certainly not so. That having been said, a little humility goes a loooooong way.

A very interesting post, and thank you for the perspective.

Isengard #37 Posted May 23 2012 - 02:48

    Corporal

  • Beta Testers
  • 21808 battles
  • 50
  • Member since:
    01-06-2011

The_Chieftain, on May 23 2012 - 00:10, said:

Could also just mean that the Candians, British and Polish had better tactics....

Not saying that they did, just that the casualty rates don't show much in and of themselves.

Anglo Canadian beachs, opposed by Parts of the 716th, "ear,nose, throat" division.

US beach (Omaha), opposed by the 352nd, 1st rate division with battle experience from the Eastern front.  (allied intelligence missed this deployment thanks to a lucky shotgun blast or unlucky pigeon)

Read "Invasion! They are coming"  excellent book, Paul Carrell has a number of good books.

Splattimus #38 Posted May 23 2012 - 02:51

    Staff sergeant

  • Players
  • 9889 battles
  • 497
  • Member since:
    04-20-2011
I think most people here are victims of Propaganda.

You need to look at the conditions. Until D-Day Europe could have gone either way. Remember also that Russia was a convienence Ally. If Russia had finnished off Germany before the "Allies" could land and help, Europe would have been communist in whole, which in Americas eyes would have been as grave a defeat as signing a peace with Germany. In dark times people need hero's. Bradley and Monty were soldiers. Humble, always ready to credit the troops for victories. Which in the Hero formular makes for poor hero's.

Patton was brash, loud, in your face, blood and guts. He had the "go get em" persona, all traits the Government of the time wanted the people to believe thier soldiers were, even if tactially his enemy thought he wasn't as proactive as he could have been. Even if we all know now that a young soldier under fire for the first time doesn't fit any of those qualities. Patton made a great Hero.

Post WW2 the Cold War took up from where the World War left off. No time to burst myths, not the right time to tell the people "your soldiers are human, they were scared, lost, hesitant." and so the myth grew.

Add to it 50 years + of history books pouting the same line and suddenly it hard to believe that Patton and America didn't win the war riding on the side of a charging Sherman striking fear into the hearts of the Germans.

Isengard #39 Posted May 23 2012 - 02:56

    Corporal

  • Beta Testers
  • 21808 battles
  • 50
  • Member since:
    01-06-2011
Off-topic perhaps, but with semi-equal forces, I wouldn't give Monty or Patton good odds against Von Manstein.

DingBat #40 Posted May 23 2012 - 03:20

    Major

  • Beta Testers
  • 19978 battles
  • 3,684
  • [ES0] ES0
  • Member since:
    09-09-2010

wahubna, on May 22 2012 - 22:44, said:

Look at the proportions though. I remember reading some stats that in North Africa, Italy/Sicily, and into Europe Monty would hesitate to attack until he had an insane amount of material advantage, only to allow the Germans to harden defenses. Then Monty seemed to refuse to do any sort of attack that might put victory at risk and thus seemed to have insisted on frontal assaults with a HUGE amount of material. I think the real measure of the Monty vs Patton would be the ratios of friendly casualties to enemy casualties of all their battles. I would love to see those ratios, but alas, I do not have the time to compile them. I think Patton was better because Monty seemed to be so spineless and got a lot of men killed with needless frontal assaults.

Americans forget that, by the time of El Alamein, the British had already been at war for 3 years. Manpower was a serious problem for the British. Montgomery was "encouraged" to limit casualties.

As for frontal assaults, thats not really fair. The nature of the battleground in north africa made a frontal assault unavoidable. Ditto for Normandy. Even Rommel completely wrecked his own Afrika Korps in frontal assaults more than once. Really, calling the battles there "frontal assaults" is, well, accurate but not really relevant.

At El Alamein, Rommel was the source of his own problems. He couldn't retreat and Montgomery knew it. There was no real need for haste in preparing for the battle.

Edited by DingBat, May 23 2012 - 03:21.





5 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 5 guests, 0 anonymous users