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RE: Why was Patton so great?

 
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RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/17/2004 7:41:07 AM   
Von Rom


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quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

As the two posts above clearly indicate that those who casually dismiss Patton's and Third Army's accomplishments in the Battle of the Bulge, do a great disservice both to him and to these fine fighting men.


Now you are beginning to offend me. I don't casually dismiss the accomplishments of his men. It is a cheap shot. It may work in your favour, though, because I will cease to take part if it continues, and you can win by default.

I aim everything at Patton. My points about the quality of the German opposition ARE NOT designed to denigrate his men's performance, but the performance of their General who did not marshall them properly. Nothing irritates me more than seeing motives and words erroneously assigned me in order to make you look good. Keep it up, and we can finally call an end to all this.

IronDuke


Now, now, watch your blood pressure. . .

Well, now who do think fought against those poor, defenceless Germans in the VGD you keep mentioning?

Why, according to you, some of those German troops couldn't even shoot. . .

Tar-nation. . .

Those VolksGrenediers were just a bunch of crazy mixed-up kids - they didn't know one end of a gun from another. . .

It's Hogan's Heroes all over again. Only this time it's based in the Ardennes.

I can picture it now:

Those VolksGrenediers stumbling over each other in the snow, not knowig which way to go, someone yelling out "yuk, yuk, yuk", another shouts "Vere ist mine bullets?", and others wondering where the closest tavern is. . .

The leader of the 352nd VGD must have been Sgt. Schultz: "I know n-o-t-h-i-n-g. . ."




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< Message edited by Von Rom -- 7/17/2004 1:47:31 PM >


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RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/17/2004 7:59:51 AM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
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quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

Regarding The Battle of Metz

When Patton died, an “official history” was agreed upon and corroborated by Bradley, Eisenhower and Montgomery. They blamed each other for various aspects, but in the main part "fudged the truth" about the true cause of each’s largest disasters: Market Garden, Caen, Hurtgen, the Battle of the Bulge, the failure to capture Berlin, the failure to keep all of the armies supplied, the failure to take Prague, the failure to close off the Falaise Gap and seal the fate of the 11 German divisions trapped there; each had an “official” cause, an “official” whipping boy. Documents from each of these episodes were fudged while others were removed, destroyed and tampered with; and the generals corroborated each others stories in their memoirs.

The reason why the generals cooperated so well on this issue was because each of them had made mistakes. Each had committed an atrocious disaster which they felt had to be kept from public knowledge. Only one general, Patton, had never lost thousands of men on a hopelessly mismanaged mission. If a spiteful general were to bring up the Battle of Metz, the Third’s most bloody battle, Patton could counter that there were 3 dead Germans to 1 dead American, even in that desperate battle. And the Battle for Metz would never be investigated because investigation would only uncover the damning evidence of SHAEF’s decision to starve Third Army of supplies, and Com Z’s negligence and wastefulness in keeping the armies supplied.


I've seen this about three times before in this thread. I'll say what I said the last time. It is fantasy to suggest that Monty and Ike and Bradley made a pact in this way. Monty resented Ike, Ike was infuriated by Monty, Bradley felt betrayed by Ike and detested Monty. Monty blamed everone else for everything, he would never have made any kind of pact. Ike became President of the US, yet here is decried as a man hiding his mistakes in a seedy way.

This is from the Pattonhomepage, and yet you present it as some sort of unbiased comment. Where is the evidence? Where were the meetings? Where is the correspondence to show this? The fact is there isn't any, so overactive imaginations seeking to glorify Patton at everybody else's expense make stuff up like this knowing that it is as hard to prove a conspiracy wrong as it is to prove a conspiracy right. You can say what you like, tag it with the word conspiracy, and sit back smugly knowing that people might swallow it because "It's a conspiracy".

Regards in exasperation,
IronDuke


What a big revelation.

If you do not think that these generals modified accounts of their parts in the events of WW2, then you are truly a naive little dove and should not be allowed out at night without proper supervision.

They were looking out for their reputations and how history would judge them.

There was no BIG conspiracy. Only that they slanted things so that they would look good.

It is interesting that Bradley served as the main on-site source for the movie "Patton". Heheh. And Bradley despised Patton. Yup, I am sure there was NO re-write of history there

Plus, you will find different versions of the same events in both of Bradley's books: "A Soldier's Story" and "A General's Story".

Just recently, George Bush's National Guard records were mysteriously lost. . .

Imagine politicians and generals trying to cover up their mistakes.

What next. . .

A sex scandal?


I missed this one. I have previously said that they all hated/disliked each other. That was how I argued this post the last time you posted it. Please refer back there if you like.

You first post:

quote:

When Patton died, an “official history” was agreed upon and corroborated by Bradley, Eisenhower and Montgomery.


then you say

quote:

If you do not think that these generals modified accounts of their parts in the events of WW2, then you are truly a naive little dove and should not be allowed out at night without proper supervision.


and

quote:

There was no BIG conspiracy. Only that they slanted things so that they would look good.


You are now quoting stuff in support of Patton that you go on to deny. All of these Generals had problems with each other, Patton would have done the same, explaining Metz as needed to keep morale up, or (as he did) Hammelburg as a raid intended to keep the enemy off balance.

My argument was that this showed the paucity of the Patton apologists, because they have invented a conspiracy theory to explain criticisms of Patton. Since we have agreed that there was no conspiracy theory, perhaps we don't need to see this quote again...?

regards,
Ironduke


There was no conspiracy.

They just wanted to make themselves look good. After all, Patton was dead, and Ike was eyeing the Presidency, while Bradley and Monty had military futures.

I am sure German generals fudged their memoirs to make themselves look good too.

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RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/17/2004 8:08:12 AM   
Von Rom


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kevinugly

quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom


My dear, dear friend.

Let's see. In this one small section you claim that I have read no books on the Bulge, that I am a liar, and that I must resort to deceit and trickery to establish truth in a matter.

I don't mind debate; and I don't mind kidding around; and I don't mind healthy back-and-forth bantering; heck, I don't even mind having 4 or 5 guys come at me at once. . .

But please do not call me these things.

I will forgive you for this, and chalk it up to over-exuberance and frustration on your part.

I will deal with the soldier quality of Third Army as well as the attacks of the 1SS Panzer in a separate post.

Please take a few minutes, take a few deep breaths, and consider your own level of knowledge about the Battle of the Bulge.

Cheers!


I'm no friend of years kiddo

Let's deal with the 1st SS first.

Abandoning all of their heavy equipment they were withdrawn from La Gleize early in the morning of the 25th December 1944 apparently utterly exhausted. According to my reading ('The Blood Soaked Soil: Battles of the Waffen SS' by Gordon Williamson pp.171-5) some SS troops were redeployed to the area of Bastogne around the 28th. It may well be that some of the Liebstandarte ended up here as part of an ad-hoc battlegroup and these were the men the 35th Division ran into. I looked at the divisional site and read the story - interesting but factually suspect as most of them are. The other I cannot link to so I can't comment on its veracity. But Patton comments on the SS troops the 3rd Army ran into saying "They are colder, weaker and hungrier than we are" (Williamson, p.174). Add to that they were almost certainly out of tanks and heavy artillery (2nd SS Pz Corps was down to 30 tanks on the 25th December and they hadn't been as heavily engaged as 1st Corps) you can see that they hardly deserved the epithet 'elite'. Whatever, the remnants of Liebstandarte were completely withdrawn on 1st January 1945 for a refit prior to their Gotterdamerung in Hungary.

As for the rest, I note that the 'Duke has dealt with most of the rest of your 'comments'.



quote:

I'm no friend of years kiddo


And just when we were getting along so well, too. . .

Aww, shucks.


quote:

Let's deal with the 1st SS first.

Abandoning all of their heavy equipment they were withdrawn from La Gleize early in the morning of the 25th December 1944 apparently utterly exhausted. According to my reading ('The Blood Soaked Soil: Battles of the Waffen SS' by Gordon Williamson pp.171-5) some SS troops were redeployed to the area of Bastogne around the 28th. It may well be that some of the Liebstandarte ended up here as part of an ad-hoc battlegroup and these were the men the 35th Division ran into. I looked at the divisional site and read the story - interesting but factually suspect as most of them are. The other I cannot link to so I can't comment on its veracity. But Patton comments on the SS troops the 3rd Army ran into saying "They are colder, weaker and hungrier than we are" (Williamson, p.174). Add to that they were almost certainly out of tanks and heavy artillery (2nd SS Pz Corps was down to 30 tanks on the 25th December and they hadn't been as heavily engaged as 1st Corps) you can see that they hardly deserved the epithet 'elite'. Whatever, the remnants of Liebstandarte were completely withdrawn on 1st January 1945 for a refit prior to their Gotterdamerung in Hungary.


Well, I guess you must know better than the Official United States Army History of this period which is based on ACTUAL interviews of the participants, unit histories as well as other primary historical documents.

But you believe what you want to believe if it makes you happy. . .


This is the book you rate higher than the Official United States Army History of this period? I shouldn't be surprised considering you call Whiting a "distinquished" author




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 7/17/2004 6:20:06 AM >


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RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/17/2004 8:11:38 AM   
Von Rom


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kevinugly

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ludovic Coval

von Rom,

quote:

This picture will give readers an idea of what the three Third Army divisions had to march and fight in. Imagine travelling in freezing cold for two days with little sleep or hot food and then, without rest, fight a series of battles:


Yet weather was the same for all and 1st Army's units encoutered same conditions but unlike 3rd Army, was facing two PanzerArmee

LC


And I think this is the greatest disservice done to the American troops who fought at the Bulge. It was the 1st Army and McCauliffe's men at Bastogne who fought the hardest, suffered the most and inflicted the greatest number of casualties on the Germans. Not, as some would claim, Pattons 3rd Army, or Montgomery, who tried to claim the 'lions share' of the credit for himself.


We were discussing Third Army and the 1SS Panzer Division.

If I remember correctly, you called me a liar.

So I posted that info just for you

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 7/17/2004 6:34:57 AM >


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RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/17/2004 8:33:29 AM   
Von Rom


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Ironduke:

This is the THIRD TIME I have asked for this information

quote:

Charles Whiting in "The battle of the Bulge".

"Indeed, Patton with three full divisions, one of them armoured, plus overwhelming air and artillery support at his disposal, was stopped by three inferior German divisions, one of which its commander (as we have seen) didn't even wish to take beyond the German border. He wasted his men's lives because he threw them into battle hastily and without enough planning, making up his strategy from day to day. Most important was that Patton, the armoured Commander, who should have known much better attacked on a 25 mile front across countryside that favoured defending infantry on account of its many natural defensive spots. Instead of a massed armour-infantry attack on some concentrated, ole blood and guts , the supposed dashing cavalry General, slogged away like some long in the tooth hidebound first world war infantry commander."


I had asked you for two things from Whiting:

1) The references/sources that Whiting uses for the above quote; and

2) References from Whiting's book "The Battle of the Bulge" in which he praises Patton.


That you have not provided these as requested can only mean:

a) Whiting in fact uses NO sources for the above quote - which makes him a sloppy "historian" (and I use the word historian lightly).

b) That nowhere in his book does Whiting praise Patton - which only confirms the one-sided view Whiting takes towards Patton, thus confirming my view that Whiting just wants to knock Patton with one-sided and unsubstantiated claims (ie no sources cited).



Here are some readers' reviews of some of Whiting's books:

The Other Battle of the Bulge: Operation Northwind (West Wall Series) > Customer Review #1:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thoughts on Whiting

Reading the other posts about this book compels me to say a few things about the author. Charles Whiting is a popular, readable and prolific writer of WWII stories, but he is not a historian in any way, shape or form. If you have read more than one of his books you will recognize the following:

1) lack of any kind of endnotes and few footnotes: where is this material coming from?

2) quotes from interviews with the author, which are not in any way anotated at the end of the book

3) praise of the common US soldier but uniformly harsh criticism of all senior U.S. leadership, especially Eisenhower

4) comparisons with Vietnam which, while occasionally interesting (he points out that William Westmorland fought in the Huertgen Forest without learning its lessons) usually border on the ridiculous

5) plagarism from his own works, including entire chapters, some of which have not even been re-written, but simply included whole in different books

6) where are the @and*#and! maps?

This book, like his "Ardennes: The Secret War" posits that Operation Nordwind was a bigger threat than the Battle of the Bulge to the Allies because it nearly defeated the Alliance politically at a time when they had already won the war militarily. It is an interesting conjecture, but it is tainted by the half-hidden glee that Whiting seems to feel over any disaster involving American troops and particularly their leadership. Everything he writes is written through that distoring lens. In any endeavour, if you want to find fault, you will, and in war this is particularly easy. Eisenhower was an armchair warrior and a true mediocrity as a strategist, but he was a superb military politician, maybe the only man who could have kept such a contentious alliance together until final victory. He deserves credit for holding it all together.

I have read five of Whitings books and found most of them to be very entertaining, especially because he tends to focus on American disasters which naturally have not gotten much press since the war, and thus have not been written about extensively. He puts books together like a novel, and is far from a dry writer. But his scholarship would not have met the standards of my high school history teacher, much less those of a true historian. He seems to write about what interest him only, is careless with his statistics and dates, includes facts that suit his opinions, states his opinions as facts, and constantly recycles his own material. You could probably file his books under historical fiction before you could file them under history."


*****************************************8

Whiting, Charles. The Battle for Twelveland: An Account of Anglo-American Intelligence Operations Within Nazi Germany, 1939-1945. London, Leo Cooper, 1975. The Spymasters: The True Story of Anglo-American Intelligence Operations Within Nazi Germany, 1939-1945. New York: Dutton, 1976.

Constantinides says this is "a potpourri of fact and fiction, actuality and myth, assumptions, sketchy versions of certain events, contrived tie-ins, and a certain confusion." Nevertheless, the author is "sometimes so accurate as to indicate access to well-informed sources or successful combining of certain versions." There is also "a good segment on SIS's role and the basis of its intelligence successes against Germany."


*************************************

Whiting, Charles. Gehlen: Germany's Master Spy. New York: Ballantine, 1972.

NameBase: "Charles Whiting's book is somewhat sensational in tone and doesn't cite sources.... There are altogether too many exclamation points, along with direct quotes that appear to be added for effect rather than accuracy. Most of the book concerns Gehlen's career in Germany, particularly after the war, rather than his associations with U.S. intelligence."

http://intellit.muskingum.edu/alpha_folder/W_folder/whitf-whz.html

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 7/17/2004 6:34:08 AM >


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RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/17/2004 5:52:11 PM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: max_h

the "Kriegstagebuch des OKW", Originalausgabe IV/1, 1944/45, clearly states the composition of the 352nd VG division. it was composed out of "Marschbbattalion", "Gneisenauverbänden", "Festungsbattalionen". The Staff of the OB West reports, that the level of training and unit cohesion was very bad, there was also a lack of officers.


What is this source, I don't recognise it. Is there an English language version?

Regards,
Ironduke

(in reply to max_h)
Post #: 336
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/17/2004 6:12:19 PM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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Von Rom,
Unfortunately, I think the thread is over. I believe I made a mistake of gracefully apologising because I had insinuated something you didn't like. You insinuate something I don't like, and I get cheap remarks about blood pressure. I felt it was a disgrace on your part to insinutate I was attempting to belittle the memory of brave men, and you compounded the error by a poor attempt at humour and sarcasm when I raised my concerns. After this post, I will post once more in this thread with my complete thoughts about Patton (so as to prevent anyone wilfuly misrepresenting me) and then I'm through.

I never felt I'd have to say things like this on this forum, but your last post asking me to post Whiting's comments for you was most disappointing. I spent a little time trawling through this thread looking for all the times I had challenged you. It was quite a task.

Above, you draw conclusions about Whiting (who'm you have never read) because I refused to reply. I preferred to quote back at you two comments you had made to others when they had asked for sources to back up your extravagant claims. It is hypocritical to push me for info when I have tried and failed to push you for some over 12 long frustrating pages.

You asked me whether I had read anything, yet refused to list what sources you had read about Normandy despite repeated requests. This is hypocrisy, particularly since I listed six of the dozen works I had read. I am challenged above, yet any one who has followed this thread will know the number of unanswered challenges I have posed. I will list a few. I will happily answer your challenge if you answer mine:

I asked for a short precis of what you knew about the battle of Normandy and Patton's part in it. Not material coped verbatim from a fansite
You were silent.

I asked for a source for your erroneous claim the 352nd was a veteran formation.
You were silent (although that didn't stop you repeatedly saying it was. You lack of grace on this matter has been astounding).

You called the 5th Parachute division a veteran formation. I demonstrated otherwise.
You were silent.

I asked for a list of sources you were using about Normandy, and named the six (of the dozen I have read) that I was using to research my words.
You were silent.

I asked you to name where on the drive through France Patton did any serious fighting.
You were silent

I asked for a source on your assertion that Rommel was hamstrung in Africa by Jodl and Keitel.
You said nothing.

I asked you why we should take seriously websites capable of committing gross errors such as where Patton was around Falaise, and who gave the order to halt (Your website claimed SHAEF)
You never explained why, although without admitting anything was wrong, you asked me why it mattered, as you were presenting merely an oveview of facts (which was wrong becuase facts are correct, these weren't)

You told us "You really need to read up on Patton's activities in Normandy."
Then refused to tell us what you had read.

I asked you why you had posted the same 3 or 4 bits of information over and over again.
You never said

I quoted from several historians about Patton, then watched as you ignored all the major players to launch a diversionary raid on Whiting. We spent page after page debating your thoughts on him (a man you never actually read) whilst all the time you refused to say anything about D'Este, Hastings, Weigley, Carr, Neillands and a host of others. You chose one inconsequential quote, and seeing a potential weakness, went after it so you didn't need to face up to answering Patton's other critics, whose credentials you could not impugn.

I offered to withdraw Whiting if you would analyse the reputation of the six others I had cited:
You were silent

I asked again what you knew of the major historians I was citing, and what you thought of these men as historians
You again remained silent

The one time you even acknowledged I had made a request, you said:
"And no I am not doing any investigation.
or
Do I have to find everything for you?

Do some reading. . ."


You accused me of lacking critical thinking skills, then posted verbatim from Patton's homepage, Patton Society website, the Patton museum and Patton uncovered.

You printed several times a list of German officers who had said nice things about Patton, and never included the ones who had criticised him.

You consistently used the phrase many historians when telling us who agreed with you.
You were silent when asked to name them

You claimed time and agin to be merely telling us about Whiting and leaving for us to decide. I quoted several of your utterances which proved otherwise.
You did not admit your agenda.

I asked which history book you had used to gain information about Patton's drive on Bastogne.
I received no response.

Every time I pointed out your fatcs were wrong (Sicily on page 5 is a further example), you accused me of being nitpicky, without realising no opinion is right if the facts upon which it is based are wrong, superficial or one sided.
You were silent when challenged to admit these facts were wrong.

You listed sites that made gross factual errors about basic things, and never admitted the errors when challenged.

You invented a story (without evidence) that D'Este used researchers and didn't read everything he quoted to get around the fact he had quoted whiting. No evidence has been forthcoming, you have made no retraction.

You took a thread about Patton's drive on Bastogne and instead chose to post information about units that didn't even belong to him (106th) or weren't even part of the drive (35th).

You accused me of only wanting to state one side then copied huge chunks of the Patton home page and other Patton fan sites into the thread as if they ever stated anything else.

You patronise by stating things like "I am posting this only for the more thoughtful reader" insinuating critics of Patton are not thoughtful readers (despite the fact we've clearly read more serious history than you have).

You accused me of only wanting to state one side, then never once admitted Patton was guilty of anything, despite the fact I made several references to his skills. Even on the Hammelburg incident I elicited only a couple of lines from you that I could sue Patton if I was unhappy about the shameless waste of life.

You slap Patton on the back for his surprise flank attack at Bastonge and then write long lists of reasons why the German victories of 1940 were poor because they suprised their enemies.

Your basic tactics seem to be to hide behind long chunks of text copied from the web (see above for numerous examples), to ignore, patronise or tease when challenged (Did you not know this, do some reading, I can not believe you seriously believe this, I was only being facetious) or when in a corner, invent (D'Este's imaginary researchers, and his inability to read books he quotes from).

I am sorry it has come to this, this was at times most enjoyable. I will post my thoughts on Patton once more (although I am not arrogant enough to believe many will be interested) then move on.

Ironduke

< Message edited by IronDuke -- 7/17/2004 4:13:46 PM >

(in reply to IronDuke_slith)
Post #: 337
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/17/2004 6:24:56 PM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

Von Rom,
Unfortunately, I think the thread is over. I believe I made a mistake of gracefully apologising because I had insinuated something you didn't like. You insinuate something I don't like, and I get cheap remarks about blood pressure. I felt it was a disgrace on your part to insinutate I was attempting to belittle the memory of brave men, and you compounded the error by a poor attempt at humour and sarcasm when I raised my concerns. After this post, I will post once more in this thread with my complete thoughts about Patton (so as to prevent anyone wilfuly misrepresenting me) and then I'm through.

I never felt I'd have to say things like this on this forum, but your last post asking me to post Whiting's comments for you was most disappointing. I am sorry it has come to this, this was at times most enjoyable. I will post my thoughts on Patton once more (although I am not arrogant enough to believe many will be interested) then move on.

Ironduke


Ironduke:

You may do as you wish. That is your choice.

My attempts at levity have been designed to inject some humour and light-heartedness into this thread, which at times seemed on the verge of becoming heated and unruly.

This humour was never to be taken seriously. My only thought was to elict a few laughs and to lighten things up.

But when you belittle Patton by suggesting the opposition Third Army faced could barely shoot back, you also (by implication) belittle the fighting efforts of the brave American units (the 26th, 80th, 4th Armored, 35th) who faced those same German units in some very tough fighting, and who fought and died in cold wintery forests and villages. . .

Understand?

You may withdraw your apology if that is your desire.

But when I forgive or apologize to someone, I never withdraw it. . .

I wish you well

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 7/17/2004 4:44:38 PM >


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RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/17/2004 6:28:31 PM   
freeboy

 

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"The strategic aim in Normandy was for Montgomery to hold the line in the east and allow the Americans to break out in the west. In general, that's how it played. He had many problems. He created a rod for his own back by assigning Caen as a target for the first day. It was 10 miles inland, and never on bearing in mind what stood before Sword beach in the city." IronDuke

I don't see this as true, and you also did not justify your claim that Monty won... and didn't Patton in this same light win?
Monty was threatened by Ike with removal, read Ambrose... at Normandy for sitting on his ass. And Goodwood, sorry about Godwin mistake was hardly a victory...

So please answer the ?, Where did monty win? I can accept you don't want to credit Patton, but really stating Monty won anything after a North Africa is absurd... again what victories are you refering too?

< Message edited by freeboy -- 7/18/2004 12:29:36 AM >

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RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/17/2004 6:45:16 PM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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quote:

But when you belittle Patton by suggesting the opposition Third Army faced could barely shoot back, you also (by implication) belittle the fighting efforts of the brave American units (the 26th, 80th, 4th Armored, 35th) who faced those same German units in some very tough fighting.


This is a lie, only this continuing lie could have drawn me back, but I will refute it no more, so feel free to continue to repeat these lies, as you will not have to face correction. How you can accuse someone of something like this on the basis of "implication" says more about you than it ever will about me. I also notice you ignored my legion of challenges. No doubt you will quote your one challenge at some point soon.

I do not, and never have, belittled the bravery of any Soldier in any army. I have never carried arms, I do not have this right. My point (as you well know) was that the fighting should have been over quicker had Patton deployed the men properly. I belittled Patton's operational plan, not the brave men who won the battle despite having to live with that poor plan.

I notice you feel free to belittle the opposition the Germans fought at every turn in 1940. Yet yours is somehow reasoned analysis, I'm sure.

I have clearly explained my point, this accusation is therefore clearly a lie. It is tactics like this that exasperated EricGuitarJames into leaving the thread, and now I. I will be posting my final thoughts on Patton in a separate thread. This one is no longer worth it although I am happy for my words and arguments to be compared to yours and to allow others to make up their own minds which of us argued better.

IronDuke

< Message edited by IronDuke -- 7/17/2004 4:58:25 PM >

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 340
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/17/2004 6:49:16 PM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: freeboy

"The strategic aim in Normandy was for Montgomery to hold the line in the east and allow the Americans to break out in the west. In general, that's how it played. He had many problems. He created a rod for his own back by assigning Caen as a target for the first day. It was 10 miles inland, and never on bearing in mind what stood before Sword beach in the city." IronDuke

I don't see this as true, and you also did not justify your claim that Monty won... and didn't Patton in this same light win?
Monty was threatened by Ike with removal, read Ambrose... at Normandy for sitting on his ass. And Goodwood, sorry about Godwin mistake was hardly a victory...

So please answer the ?, Where did monty win? I can accept you don't want to credit Patton, but really stating Monty won anything after a North Africa is absurd... again what victories are you refering too?


Freeboy,
Your citing facts, giving honest opinions and asking for my evidence to back me up, so I feel bound to reply. None of the unpleasantness in this thread is your fault, so I don't propose to appear as if I am ignoring you. I propose to copy this into a separate thread and discuss with you there if acceptable?

Regards,
IronDuke

< Message edited by IronDuke -- 7/17/2004 4:49:56 PM >

(in reply to freeboy)
Post #: 341
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/17/2004 6:56:51 PM   
Rune Iversen


Posts: 3630
Joined: 7/20/2001
From: Copenhagen. Denmark
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

ORIGINAL: max_h

the "Kriegstagebuch des OKW", Originalausgabe IV/1, 1944/45, clearly states the composition of the 352nd VG division. it was composed out of "Marschbbattalion", "Gneisenauverbänden", "Festungsbattalionen". The Staff of the OB West reports, that the level of training and unit cohesion was very bad, there was also a lack of officers.


What is this source, I don't recognise it. Is there an English language version?

Regards,
Ironduke


A Marchbattalion was a thrown together outfit from a unit, consisting of what "unnessary", unnedeed and available personnel could be found there.

Gneisenauverbände were probably ex-naval personnel (Gneisenau being a damaged battleship)

A Festungsbattalion typically consisted of personnel medically unfit for regular infantry duty.

Overall this seems to support your stance.

The "Kriegstagebuch" is the war diary of the OKW btw. A primary source if there ever was one

< Message edited by Rune Iversen -- 7/17/2004 4:57:55 PM >


_____________________________

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(in reply to IronDuke_slith)
Post #: 342
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/17/2004 7:07:00 PM   
Rune Iversen


Posts: 3630
Joined: 7/20/2001
From: Copenhagen. Denmark
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: freeboy

"The strategic aim in Normandy was for Montgomery to hold the line in the east and allow the Americans to break out in the west. In general, that's how it played. He had many problems. He created a rod for his own back by assigning Caen as a target for the first day. It was 10 miles inland, and never on bearing in mind what stood before Sword beach in the city." IronDuke

I don't see this as true, and you also did not justify your claim that Monty won... and didn't Patton in this same light win?
Monty was threatened by Ike with removal, read Ambrose... at Normandy for sitting on his ass. And Goodwood, sorry about Godwin mistake was hardly a victory...

So please answer the ?, Where did monty win? I can accept you don't want to credit Patton, but really stating Monty won anything after a North Africa is absurd... again what victories are you refering too?


Sicily for instance. Operation Veritable and Blockbuster also comes to mind. Monty generally did fine in a set piece tactical situation.

Ike couldn´t have removed Monty even if he wanted to. Simple as that.

_____________________________

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(in reply to freeboy)
Post #: 343
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/17/2004 7:13:37 PM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
Status: offline
I am posting the information below to dispel the notion that Patton's tactics were incomplete and that the advance three divisions of Third Army did not incur tough fighting.

The selected information below is from the United States Army Official History of the Battle of the Bulge. The portions included below include only the first couple of days of action. In actuality all these elements of Third Army would be engaged in continuous fighting for many, many days, as the Germans began moving in to engage Third Army with more German fighting units, including the elite 1SS Panzer Division.


UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II

The European Theater of Operations

THE ARDENNES: BATTLE OF THE BULGE by Hugh M. Cole



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF MILITARY HISTORY
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
WASHINGTON, D.C., 1965


"This volume represents the most exhaustive collection of personal memoirs by leading participants ever attempted for a general staff history of a major campaign. The memoirs take two forms: interviews with American participants shortly after the action described, and written accounts prepared immediately after the end of World War II by the German officers who took part in the Ardennes Campaign. The use of the combat interview in the European Theater of Operations was organized by Col. William A. Ganoe, theater historian, but the specific initiation of an intensive effort to cover the Ardennes story while the battle itself was in progress must be credited to Col. S. L. A. Marshall. The enlistment of the German participants in the Ardennes, first as involuntary then as voluntary historians, was begun by Colonel Marshall and Capt. Kenneth Hechler, then developed into a fully organized research program by Col. Harold Potter, who was assisted by a very able group of young officers, notably Captains Howard Hudson, Frank Mahin, and James Scoggins."



CHAPTER XXI

The III Corps' Counterattack Toward Bastogne



The Supreme Commander himself was well aware of the Third Army commander's penchant for cut and thrust tactics and probably needed little urging to take some action calculated to hold Patton within the constraints of "the big picture." On the other hand Eisenhower recognized that the continued occupation of Bastogne, the key to the entire road net on the south side of the German Bulge, was essential to future offensive operations. Patton, as the SHAEF staff saw it, would make the narrow thrust on the Arlon-Bastogne axis, but any more ambitious plans would have to be subordinated to the larger strategy. [1] Eisenhower, therefore, told Bradley that the American counterattack via Bastogne should be held in check and not allowed to spread, that it was, after all, only a steppingstone for the "main counteroffensive."


Preparations for the Attack

Possibly the "lucky" commander needed some curb on his inherent optimism, but regardless of any pose which Patton may have assumed in the war council at Verdun he and his staff went about the business of mounting this first counterattack coolly and methodically. [2] The direction of attack already had been set by General Eisenhower, that is, north from an assembly area around Arlon. The immediate mission, assigned by the higher command after the Verdun meeting, was the "relief" of Bastogne and the use of its road net as a sally port for a drive by the Third Army to St. Vith in the larger Allied offensive. Dday for the counterattack was 22 December.

The 26th Division (Maj. Gen. Willard S. Paul) was full of rifle replacements, mostly inexperienced and lacking recent infantry training. This division had seen its first combat in October and had lost almost 3,000 men during bitter fighting in Lorraine. Withdrawn in early December to take over the Third Army "reinforcement" training program at Metz, the 26th Division had just received 2,585 men as replacements and, on 18 December, was beginning its program (scheduled for thirty days) when the German counteroffensive canceled its role as a training division. The "trainees," men taken from headquarters, antitank sections, and the like, at once were preempted to fill the ranks left gaping by the Lorraine battles. Knowing only that an undefined combat mission lay ahead, the division rolled north to Arlon, completing its move shortly before midnight of the 20th. Not until the next day did General Paul learn that his division was to attack on the early morning of the 22d.

The 80th Division (General McBride) was in good condition. As one of the units being primed by the Third Army for the forthcoming attack against the West Wall, the 80th had been granted priority on replacements, had been rested at St. Avold, and on 18 December was on its way into the line near Zweibrucken when General Patton ordered the move to Luxembourg. There the 80th found itself under the control of the III Corps, its only orders to take up a reserve battle position in the 4th Infantry Division zone. On 21 December McBride first learned that his division would attack the following morning.

The 4th Armored Division (Maj. Gen. Hugh J. Gaffey) had come north under hurried and contradictory orders, the result of the usual time lag between a command decision reached in personal conferences by the top commanders and the receipt of this decision in the lower tactical units. CCB, for example, operated for two days under VIII Corps while the rest of the division was en route to III Corps-a fact that has bearing on the subsequent story of Bastogne. On the night of 18 December General Bradley had told Patton, "I understand from General Ike you are to take over the VIII Corps." That same night CCB, 4th Armored, started for Longwy and the road to Luxembourg. The next day the rest of the division followed, under verbal orders from Patton attaching the 4th Armored Division to the III Corps. These orders were countermanded, then reaffirmed by the 12th Army Group in the course of the 19th.

The 4th Armored Division had won a brilliant reputation during the autumn battles in Lorraine. It was a favorite of the Third Army commander; so, when its leader, Maj. Gen. John S. Wood, was returned to the United States for rest and recuperation, General Patton named his own chief of staff as Wood's successor. On 10 December the 4th Armored Division came out of the line after five months of incessant fighting. The last phase of combat, the attack in the Saar mud, had been particularly trying and costly. Replacements, both men and materiel, were not to be had; trained tank crews could not be found in the conventional replacement centers-in fact these specialists no longer were trained in any number in the United States. When the division started for Luxembourg it was short 713 men and 19 officers in the tank and infantry battalions and the cavalry squadron.

The state of materiel was much poorer, for there was a shortage of medium tanks throughout the European theater. The division could replace only a few of its actual losses and was short twenty-one Shermans when ordered north; worse, ordnance could not exchange worn and battledamaged tanks for new. Tanks issued in the United Kingdom in the spring of 1944 were still operating, many of them after several major repair jobs, and all with mileage records beyond named life expectancy. Some could be run only at medium speed. Others had turrets whose electrical traverse no longer functioned and had to be cranked around by hand. Tracks and motors were worn badly: the 8th Tank Battalion alone had thirty-three tanks drop out because of mechanical failure in the l60mile rush to the Ardennes. But even with battle-weary tanks and a large admixture of green tankers and armored infantry the 4th Armored Division, on its record, could be counted an asset in any operation requiring initiative and battle know-how.


The [initial] night battles had shown clearly that the 80th Infantry Division faced hard going as the 24th dawned. The advance had carried north to a point where it impinged on the Seventh Army communications leading to the Bastogne battleground.

The first real test of strength came when the leading company was a couple of miles southeast of Grosbous, from which town a road led north to Eschdorf. Here the advance battalion of the 915th Regiment [of the 352nd VGD] struck so suddenly and with such force that the lead company fell back for at least half a mile. The guns supporting the 104th Infantry were in position, however, and finally bent back the counterattack. In the meantime a handful of riflemen from the 109th Infantry, 28th Division, who had been waging a long battle in Grosbous until driven out by four German tanks, made their way back to the 104th. As it turned out the body of the 352d Volks Grenadier Division was not present here but was in the 80th Division zone. The 915th Regiment consisting of troops now split off from their trains, artillery, and the bulk of the division by the wedge which the 80th had thrust forward west of Ettelbruck, withdrew to make a stand in the neighborhood of Grosbous. Colonel Palladino left Company E to hold in check some Germans who had taken to the nearby woods, while the rest of the 104th Infantry continued tramping north along the road to Grosbous. The village itself was taken a couple of hours after midnight in a surprise attack by a combat patrol from Company G.

The series of blocks thrown against the 352d Volks Grenadier Division by the 80th Division and the 104th Infantry gave the western wing of the 26th Division a clear field. By the middle of the afternoon the 328th had covered nearly six miles without firing or receiving a shot. The advance guard was nearing the village of Arsdorf, from which a series of small roads and trails radiated through ravines and along ridges to the Sure, when a few rounds came in from self-propelled guns firing from a hill to the north. Concurrently reports arrived from the 26th Reconnaissance Troop that there was a strong German force in Rambrouch on the left flank. Night was near and the true strength of the enemy unknown; so the regiment halted while scouts worked their way to the front and flanks.

Who were these German troops? Since it was known that the 352d Volks Grenadier Division could not have reached this point the first guess was that the 5th Parachute Division, believed to be farther north, had pushed down into the area. Actually the 328th Infantry had run into the Fuehrer Grenadier Brigade, which the Seventh Army had borrowed from the OKW reserve, rushing it across the front to bolster this south flank. At first the brigade had been sent in to hold the Sure River line, but the Seventh Army then decided to expand its blocking position well to the south of the river, and so turned the brigade through Bourscheid and Eschdorf to the neighborhood of Arsdorf. This unit contained a battalion of forty Mark IV and Panther tanks, one battalion of mobile infantry, and one of foot, but thus far only a few tanks and the rifle battalion in personnel carriers were on the scene.

While the 104th moved forward to hit the enemy congregated at Grosbous, the 328th Infantry reorganized to keep the drive going, under somewhat optimistic orders to seize crossings on the Wiltz River. At midnight the 1st and 3d Battalions jumped off to take Grevils-Bresil, from which a fairly good ridge road ran north to Eschdorf. The village was garrisoned by two companies of the Fuehrer Grenadier Brigade, reinforced by several Panthers from the Seventh Army reserve. Unshaken by a half-hour shelling, the Germans held tenaciously to the village all night long.

When daylight came on 23 December the 26th Division had little to show for its night attack. The 104th Infantry held Grosbous, but the 328th was checked at Grevils-Bresil by a company of stubborn German infantry backed up with a few tanks. In the woods south of Grosbous the men of Company E, 104th Infantry, had taken on more than they had bargained for: a couple of hundred riflemen from the 915th Regiment [of the 352nd VGD] led in person by the regimental commander. (The American regimental commander had to throw in Company I, but even so this pocket was not wiped out until Christmas Eve.)

The Third Army commander [Patton], veteran tanker, himself prescribed the tactics to be used by Gaffey and the 4th Armored. The attack should lead off with the tanks, artillery, tank destroyers, and armored engineers in the van. The main body of armored infantry should be kept back. When stiff resistance was encountered, envelopment tactics should be used: no close-in envelopment should be attempted; all envelopments should be started a mile or a mile and a half mile back and be made at right angles. Patton, whose experience against the Panther tank during the Lorraine campaign had made him keenly aware of its superiority over the American Sherman in gun and armor, ordered that the new, modified Sherman with heavier armor (the so-called Jumbo) should be put in the lead when available. But there were very few of the Jumbos in the Third Army.

In any case General Kokott, commanding the 26th Volks Grenadier Division responsible for the Chaumont-Martelange sector, had taken steps to reply to the attack on Chaumont. This village lies at the bottom of a bowl whose sides are formed by hills and connecting ridges. The rim to the northeast is densely wooded but is tapped by a trail leading on to the north. Along this trail, screened by the woods, the Germans brought up the 11th Assault Gun Brigade, numbering ten to fifteen remodeled Mark III carriages, bearing 75-mm. guns and with riflemen clinging to their decks and sides. Rolling down the slope behind an artillery smoke screen, the German assault guns knocked out those American tanks they could sight and discharged their gray-clad passengers into the village.

The American riflemen (Lt. Col. Harold Cohen's 10th Armored Infantry Battalion) battled beside the crippled and mired tanks in what Maj. Albin Irzyk, the veteran commander of the 9th Tank Battalion, called the bitterest fighting his battalion ever had encountered. The forward artillery observer was dead and there was no quick means of bringing fire on the enemy assault guns, which simply stood off and blasted a road for the German infantry. Company A, 10th Armored Infantry Battalion, which had led the original assault against Chaumont, lost some sixty-five men. The battle soon ended. [12] In small groups the Americans fell back through the dusk to their original positions, leaving eleven Shermans as victims of the assault guns and the mud.

It was daylight when tanks and infantry resumed the assault at Warnach, driving in from three sides with the riflemen clinging to the tanks. The battle which ensued was the most bitter fought by CCA during the whole Bastogne operation. Heilmann, commanding the 5th Parachute Division, had reasoned that the sector he held south of Bastogne was far too wide for a connected linear defense, and so had concentrated the 15th Parachute Regiment along the Martelange-Bastogne road. Warnach was the regimental command post and there was at least one rifle battalion in the village, reinforced by a battery of self-propelled tank destroyers. Two American artillery battalions kept this enemy force down, firing with speed and accuracy as the Shermans swept in, but once the artillery lifted, a house-to-house battle royal commenced in earnest. Four Shermans were destroyed by tank destroyer fire at close range. The enemy infantry fought desperately, filtering back into houses which had been cleared, organizing short, savage rushes to retake lost buildings, and showing little taste for surrender. But try as they might the German paratroopers could not get past the American armored infantry and at the tanks-only one was knocked out by German bazooka fire. The result was slow to be seen but none the less certain. At noon, when the battle ended, the Americans had killed one hundred and thirty-five Germans and taken an equal number of prisoners. The little village cost them sixtyeight officers and men, dead and wounded.

Chaumont, on the 23d, and Warnach, on the 24th, are tabbed in the journals of the 4th Armored as "hot spots" on the march to Bastogne. Quite unexpectedly, however, a third developed at Bigonville, a village some two and a half miles east of the Bastogne highway close to the boundary between the 4th Armored and the 26th Infantry Division. The gap between these divisions, only partially screened by light forces, suddenly became a matter of more than normal concern on the night of 22 December with reports that a large body of German armor was moving in (actually the advance guard of the Fuehrer Grenadier Brigade which had appeared in front of the left wing of the 26th Division). To protect CCA's open right flank, Gaffey ordered Col. Wendell Blanchard to form the Reserve Combat Command as a balanced task force (using the 53d Armored Infantry Battalion and 37th Tank Battalion) and advance toward Bigonville. Early on 23 December CCR left Quatre-Vents, followed the main road nearly to Martelange, then turned right onto a secondary road which angled northeast. This road was "sheer ice" and much time was consumed moving the column forward.

[In Bigonville]. . . the German infantry held their fire until the Americans were in the streets, then cut loose with their bazookas, light mortars, and small arms. While the two assault companies of the 53d advanced from house to house the tanks of the 37th blasted the buildings ahead, machine-gunned the Germans when they broke into the open, and set barns and out-buildings afire with tracer bullets.

Perhaps a few of the armored officers still believed that a hell-forleather tank attack could cleave a way to Bastogne. But by the evening of 24 December it seemed to both Gaffey and Millikin that tanks were bound to meet tough going in frontal attack on the hard-surfaced roads to which they were confined and that the operation would demand more use of the foot-slogger, particularly since the German infantry showed a marked proclivity for stealing back into the villages nominally "taken" by the tankers. . .

Thus far the Third Army counterattack had tended to be a slugging match with frontal assault and little maneuver. General Patton's insistence on bypassing centers of resistance had been negated by the terrain, the weather, and the wide-reaching impact of the earlier VIII Corps demolitions scheme.

For the next three days the [80th] division would wage a lone battle to reach and cross the Sure River, the scene of action being limited to the wedge formed on the north by the Sure and on the east by the Sauer River with a base represented by the Ettelbruck-Heiderscheidergrund road. This area the 80th came to know as the Bourscheid triangle. Within this frame lay thick forests, deep ravines, and masked ridges, the whole a checkerboard of little terrain compartments. Control of a force larger than the battalion would be most difficult, artillery support-except at clearings and villages-would be ineffective, and the maintenance of an interlocking, impervious front nigh impossible. Once a battalion cleared a compartment and advanced to the next the enemy could be counted on to seep back to his original position. Unobserved fire and loss of direction in the deep woods, down the blind draws, and along the twisting ridges made each American unit a potential threat to its neighbors, often forcing the use of a single battalion at a time. The infantryman would be duly thankful when tanks, tank destroyers, or artillery could give a hand or at least encourage by their presence, but the battle in woods and ravines was his own.

The initial fire plan had called for the battery of 155's to plaster the center of the town, and these shells still were coming in when the infantry half-tracks entered the streets. Far more vulnerable to the rain of shell fragments than the tankers, the armored infantrymen leaped from their vehicles for the nearest doorway or wall. In the smoke and confusion the German garrison, a mixed group from the 5th Parachute and 26th Volks Grenadier Divisions, poured out of the cellars. The ensuing shooting, clubbing, stabbing melee was all that the armored infantry could handle and the C Team tanks rolled on to glory alone.

The "relief column" heading out of Assenois for the Bastogne perimeter now consisted of the three Sherman tanks commanded by Lieutenant Boggess, the one half-track which had blundered into the tank column, and two more Shermans bringing up the rear. Boggess moved fast, liberally spraying the tree line beside the highway with machine gun fire. But a 300-yard gap developed between the first three vehicles and the last three, giving the enemy just time to throw a few Teller mines out on the road before the half-track appeared. The half-track rolled over the first mine and exploded. Captain Dwight then ran his tow tanks onto the shoulder, the crews removed the mines, and the tanks rushed on to catch up with Boggess. At 1650 (the time is indelibly recorded in the 4th Armored Division record) Boggess saw some engineers in friendly uniform preparing to assault a pillbox near the highway. These were men from the 326th Airborne Engineer Battalion-contact with the Bastogne garrison had been made. Twenty minutes later Colonel Abrams (subsequently awarded the DSC for the action at Assenois) shook hands with General McAuliffe, who had come to the outpost line to welcome the relieving force.

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 7/17/2004 5:57:26 PM >


_____________________________


(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 344
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/17/2004 7:21:00 PM   
IronDuke_slith

 

Posts: 1595
Joined: 6/30/2002
From: Manchester, UK
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Rune Iversen

quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

ORIGINAL: max_h

the "Kriegstagebuch des OKW", Originalausgabe IV/1, 1944/45, clearly states the composition of the 352nd VG division. it was composed out of "Marschbbattalion", "Gneisenauverbänden", "Festungsbattalionen". The Staff of the OB West reports, that the level of training and unit cohesion was very bad, there was also a lack of officers.


What is this source, I don't recognise it. Is there an English language version?

Regards,
Ironduke


A Marchbattalion was a thrown together outfit from a unit, consisting of what "unnessary", unnedeed and available personnel could be found there.

Gneisenauverbände were probably ex-naval personnel (Gneisenau being a damaged battleship)

A Festungsbattalion typically consisted of personnel medically unfit for regular infantry duty.

Overall this seems to support your stance.

The "Kriegstagebuch" is the war diary of the OKW btw. A primary source if there ever was one


Dammit, I keep having to come back here. I understood some of the German terms as I've seen them before, but do you know if this war diary exists in english translation? To my shame I don't know any foreign languages (except I know some American and a some Australian - well, not much Australian really, just enough to be able to swap PBEMs with RaverDave).

(I didn't know the term Gneisenauverbände, I probably should have recognised the name in there. Although, I did know naval ratings were drafted in. Thanks for the info).

Mitcham gives some detail but not enough, Nafziger is essentially all about TOEs. Any other recommendations? There are works by Cole and Jentz and Westwood I've considered.

Regards,
IronDuke

(in reply to Rune Iversen)
Post #: 345
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/17/2004 7:26:23 PM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

But when you belittle Patton by suggesting the opposition Third Army faced could barely shoot back, you also (by implication) belittle the fighting efforts of the brave American units (the 26th, 80th, 4th Armored, 35th) who faced those same German units in some very tough fighting.


This is a lie, only this continuing lie could have drawn me back, but I will refute it no more, so feel free to continue to repeat these lies, as you will not have to face correction. How you can accuse someone of something like this on the basis of "implication" says more about you than it ever will about me. I also notice you ignored my legion of challenges. No doubt you will quote your one challenge at some point soon.

I do not, and never have, belittled the bravery of any Soldier in any army. I have never carried arms, I do not have this right. My point (as you well know) was that the fighting should have been over quicker had Patton deployed the men properly. I belittled Patton's operational plan, not the brave men who won the battle despite having to live with that poor plan.

I notice you feel free to belittle the opposition the Germans fought at every turn in 1940. Yet yours is somehow reasoned analysis, I'm sure.

I have clearly explained my point, this accusation is therefore clearly a lie. It is tactics like this that exasperated EricGuitarJames into leaving the thread, and now I. I will be posting my final thoughts on Patton in a separate thread. This one is no longer worth it although I am happy for my words and arguments to be compared to yours and to allow others to make up their own minds which of us argued better.

IronDuke


Please. . . .

If you want to leave this thread because the argument is going against you, then at least do like a man.

But don't do it by casting aspersions upon my name or intentions - understand?

And don't accuse me of lying

You were clearly attacking Patton - no doubt about that.

You did not attack Third Army's fighting men.

But then you latched onto trying to show how insignificant was the opposition Patton faced. In post after post, you tried to show that the German opposition facing Third Army was almost insignificant, going to the ridiculous extreme of claiming that some German units could not even "shoot back".

In doing this, by implication, you then made the opposition Third Army faced, to be less significant than it was in reality.

This may not have been your intention, but by implication, that was the end result.

If I am a boxer, and you attack my manager, and through that attack, downplay my opponent's abilities, then by implication, you have also made my victory over that opponent to have been less than it is.

Understand?

As for Guitarjames - he jumped ship when the argument was going badly for him. . .

You seemed to be more than happy to gleefully attack me and destroy Patton's good name, along with the others in this thread, when I was all alone.

As for this thread:

Let the reader be witness - I have stood my ground against all attacks, even when I was all alone for days, and even when the opposition numbered several individuals.

I wish you well. . .

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 7/17/2004 6:27:45 PM >


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Post #: 346
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/17/2004 7:27:54 PM   
Rune Iversen


Posts: 3630
Joined: 7/20/2001
From: Copenhagen. Denmark
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rune Iversen

quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

ORIGINAL: max_h

the "Kriegstagebuch des OKW", Originalausgabe IV/1, 1944/45, clearly states the composition of the 352nd VG division. it was composed out of "Marschbbattalion", "Gneisenauverbänden", "Festungsbattalionen". The Staff of the OB West reports, that the level of training and unit cohesion was very bad, there was also a lack of officers.


What is this source, I don't recognise it. Is there an English language version?

Regards,
Ironduke


A Marchbattalion was a thrown together outfit from a unit, consisting of what "unnessary", unnedeed and available personnel could be found there.

Gneisenauverbände were probably ex-naval personnel (Gneisenau being a damaged battleship)

A Festungsbattalion typically consisted of personnel medically unfit for regular infantry duty.

Overall this seems to support your stance.

The "Kriegstagebuch" is the war diary of the OKW btw. A primary source if there ever was one


Dammit, I keep having to come back here. I understood some of the German terms as I've seen them before, but do you know if this war diary exists in english translation? To my shame I don't know any foreign languages (except I know some American and a some Australian - well, not much Australian really, just enough to be able to swap PBEMs with RaverDave).

(I didn't know the term Gneisenauverbände, I probably should have recognised the name in there. Although, I did know naval ratings were drafted in. Thanks for the info).

Mitcham gives some detail but not enough, Nafziger is essentially all about TOEs. Any other recommendations? There are works by Cole and Jentz and Westwood I've considered.

Regards,
IronDuke



It seems to have been translated:

http://www.bookfinder.com/dir/i/The_OKW_Oberkommando_der_Wehrmacht_War_Diary_Series-Pt._4_5_pts./0824043081/

But as to the quality of the translation I do not know. The german original is of course preferable, but when you do not read/write german well....

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(in reply to IronDuke_slith)
Post #: 347
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/17/2004 7:29:14 PM   
CCB


Posts: 4208
Joined: 3/21/2002
Status: offline
Has anyone mentioned the Bismarck yet?

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(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 348
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/17/2004 7:31:42 PM   
Rune Iversen


Posts: 3630
Joined: 7/20/2001
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quote:

ORIGINAL: CCB

Has anyone mentioned the Bismarck yet?




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Post #: 349
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/17/2004 7:42:35 PM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
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quote:

ORIGINAL: CCB

Has anyone mentioned the Bismarck yet?


heheh

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Post #: 350
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/17/2004 7:58:58 PM   
freeboy

 

Posts: 8979
Joined: 5/16/2004
From: Colorado
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Freeboy,
Your citing facts, giving honest opinions and asking for my evidence to back me up, so I feel bound to reply. None of the unpleasantness in this thread is your fault, so I don't propose to appear as if I am ignoring you. I propose to copy this into a separate thread and discuss with you there if acceptable
Iron Duke


no problem, I enjoy fresh debate and don't mind being corrected, of course when I'm wrong that is lol

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 351
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/17/2004 8:26:02 PM   
Kevinugly

 

Posts: 438
Joined: 4/2/2003
From: Colchester, UK
Status: offline
quote:

This is the book you rate higher than the Official United States Army History of this period? I shouldn't be surprised considering you call Whiting a "distinquished" author




Attachment (1)


As I wrote (but you evidently didnt read) I was unable to access the site. So what is wrong with Williamson's work? Are we going to get another list of reviews from 'ordinary Joe's' who send in 'customer reviews' to Amazon? Gosh, their opinion carries so much weight.

Since Williamson concurs with MacDonald, Keegan, Gilbert, Parker, Pimlott and Quarrie then he is probably correct. If, however, despite all of the evidence to the contrary you wish to believe that the Liebstandarte fought at Bastogne and not in the north and that the 352nd VG Division was a highly trained, highly motivated, well equipped division then be my guest.

quote:

Let the reader be witness - I have stood my ground against all attacks, even when I was all alone for days, and even when the opposition numbered several individuals


Hahahahahahahahaha

I doubt too many will get to here, they'll be bored by your constant repetition.

Hahahahahahahahaha

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Post #: 352
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/17/2004 8:29:46 PM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kevinugly

Hahahahahahahahaha

I doubt too many will get to here, they'll be bored by your constant repetition.

Hahahahahahahahaha



This is about the level of mentality I expected from you.

I wasn't disappointed.

Have a nice day. . .

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(in reply to Kevinugly)
Post #: 353
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/17/2004 8:36:48 PM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Kevinugly

quote:

This is the book you rate higher than the Official United States Army History of this period? I shouldn't be surprised considering you call Whiting a "distinquished" author


Attachment (1)


As I wrote (but you evidently didnt read) I was unable to access the site. So what is wrong with Williamson's work? Are we going to get another list of reviews from 'ordinary Joe's' who send in 'customer reviews' to Amazon? Gosh, their opinion carries so much weight.

Since Williamson concurs with MacDonald, Keegan, Gilbert, Parker, Pimlott and Quarrie then he is probably correct. If, however, despite all of the evidence to the contrary you wish to believe that the Liebstandarte fought at Bastogne and not in the north and that the 352nd VG Division was a highly trained, highly motivated, well equipped division then be my guest.


You couldn't access that US Army website, therefore, you concluded that the 1SS Panzer was not at Bastogne.

You have displayed the same level of analysis as your friend Whiting, it seems.

I never said the Liebstandarte fought at Bastogne - get your facts straight.

And I never said the 532nd VGD was a "highly trained, highly motivated, well equipped division". These are your words.

I said it was an average to good division - most certainly not the best. But the quality of the 26th, 35th and 4th armoured divisions were mainly green, tired soldiers as well.

Read the Official history of the period above and you'll see what I mean.

Some excerpts:

"The first real test of strength came when the leading company was a couple of miles southeast of Grosbous, from which town a road led north to Eschdorf. Here the advance battalion of the 915th Regiment [of the 352nd VGD] struck so suddenly and with such force that the lead company fell back for at least half a mile. The guns supporting the 104th Infantry were in position, however, and finally bent back the counterattack. In the meantime a handful of riflemen from the 109th Infantry, 28th Division, who had been waging a long battle in Grosbous until driven out by four German tanks, made their way back to the 104th. . . .

"In any case General Kokott, commanding the 26th Volks Grenadier Division responsible for the Chaumont-Martelange sector, had taken steps to reply to the attack on Chaumont. This village lies at the bottom of a bowl whose sides are formed by hills and connecting ridges. The rim to the northeast is densely wooded but is tapped by a trail leading on to the north. Along this trail, screened by the woods, the Germans brought up the 11th Assault Gun Brigade, numbering ten to fifteen remodeled Mark III carriages, bearing 75-mm. guns and with riflemen clinging to their decks and sides. Rolling down the slope behind an artillery smoke screen, the German assault guns knocked out those American tanks they could sight and discharged their gray-clad passengers into the village."

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 7/17/2004 6:45:20 PM >


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Post #: 354
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/17/2004 9:04:26 PM   
Kevinugly

 

Posts: 438
Joined: 4/2/2003
From: Colchester, UK
Status: offline
quote:

You couldn't access that US Army website, therefore, you concluded that the 1SS Panzer was not at Bastogne.


Don't be stupid (difficult though you seem to find it). I collated the information from other sources and quoted from Williamson.


quote:

I never said the Liebstandarte fought at Bastogne - get your facts straight.


Read your own post from page 10

quote:

When elements of Third Army (which had many GREEN troops, and had been travelling non-stop for 2 days and nights in severe winter weather, without proper sleep, food or rest) attacked to relieve Bastogne, they were attacked by the 352nd (in concealment), the 5th parachute Division, and the elite 1SS Panzer Division.


If you are going to lie, at least do it consistantly

I read the excerpt you posted. It's a compilation if personal memoirs, apparently without rigorous historical analysis. Personal memoirs are notoriously unreliable unless corroborated from other sources.

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(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 355
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/17/2004 10:07:29 PM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Kevinugly

quote:

You couldn't access that US Army website, therefore, you concluded that the 1SS Panzer was not at Bastogne.


Don't be stupid (difficult though you seem to find it). I collated the information from other sources and quoted from Williamson.


quote:

I never said the Liebstandarte fought at Bastogne - get your facts straight.


Read your own post from page 10

quote:

When elements of Third Army (which had many GREEN troops, and had been travelling non-stop for 2 days and nights in severe winter weather, without proper sleep, food or rest) attacked to relieve Bastogne, they were attacked by the 352nd (in concealment), the 5th parachute Division, and the elite 1SS Panzer Division.


If you are going to lie, at least do it consistantly

I read the excerpt you posted. It's a compilation if personal memoirs, apparently without rigorous historical analysis. Personal memoirs are notoriously unreliable unless corroborated from other sources.



Kevinugly:

quote:

Don't be stupid (difficult though you seem to find it). I collated the information from other sources and quoted from Williamson.


You seem to be doing this well enough on your own

So your "sources" don't mention the 1SS Panzer at Bastogne, therefore, it must NOT be there??

Even though I told you initially that the Official History PLACES it there.

What on earth are you arguing about??


quote:

Read your own post from page 10


It's not there because I never said it. Post the quote of it.


quote:

If you are going to lie, at least do it consistantly

I read the excerpt you posted. It's a compilation if personal memoirs, apparently without rigorous historical analysis. Personal memoirs are notoriously unreliable unless corroborated from other sources.


I can see where you would call the Official History of the US Army version "unreliable"

This is getting ridiculous AND embarrassing.

Not only have you called me a liar on several occassions, but now you choose authors such as Whiting over the Official Histories which are BASED ON eyewitness testimony (primary sources) from BOTH sides.

Here is a quote from you previously calling me a liar:

quote:

Have you actually read any books about the 'Bulge'. This is a downright LIE! 1st SS Panzer was in the north, by the time 3rd Army had reached Bastogne KG Peiper (1st SS spearhead containing the armour and the best infantry) had run out of petrol and ammo. This shows how desperate you are becoming if you are going to resort to blatant falsehoods


And which I proved that the 1SS Panzer WAS at Bastogne.

Now little boy, move along. . . and go back to your sandbox. . . and leave the adults alone. . .

Now I know why a horse has a tail to keep the flies away. . .

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 7/17/2004 8:25:56 PM >


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(in reply to Kevinugly)
Post #: 356
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/17/2004 10:21:55 PM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Kevinugly



quote:

Von Rom:

I never said the Liebstandarte fought at Bastogne - get your facts straight.



Read your own post from page 10



Uh, Kevin, I hate to break the bad news to you, but it is YOU who said the Liebstandarte fought at Bastogne

Here is your quote from page 11 of this thread:

quote:

Abandoning all of their heavy equipment they were withdrawn from La Gleize early in the morning of the 25th December 1944 apparently utterly exhausted. According to my reading ('The Blood Soaked Soil: Battles of the Waffen SS' by Gordon Williamson pp.171-5) some SS troops were redeployed to the area of Bastogne around the 28th. It may well be that some of the Liebstandarte ended up here as part of an ad-hoc battlegroup and these were the men the 35th Division ran into. I looked at the divisional site and read the story - interesting but factually suspect as most of them are. The other I cannot link to so I can't comment on its veracity. But Patton comments on the SS troops the 3rd Army ran into saying "They are colder, weaker and hungrier than we are" (Williamson, p.174). Add to that they were almost certainly out of tanks and heavy artillery (2nd SS Pz Corps was down to 30 tanks on the 25th December and they hadn't been as heavily engaged as 1st Corps) you can see that they hardly deserved the epithet 'elite'. Whatever, the remnants of Liebstandarte were completely withdrawn on 1st January 1945 for a refit prior to their Gotterdamerung in Hungary.


Now. . . run along. . . like a good little boy. . . before you hurt yourself. . .

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 7/17/2004 8:35:26 PM >


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Post #: 357
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/18/2004 12:29:06 AM   
IronDuke_slith

 

Posts: 1595
Joined: 6/30/2002
From: Manchester, UK
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Rune Iversen

quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rune Iversen

quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

ORIGINAL: max_h

the "Kriegstagebuch des OKW", Originalausgabe IV/1, 1944/45, clearly states the composition of the 352nd VG division. it was composed out of "Marschbbattalion", "Gneisenauverbänden", "Festungsbattalionen". The Staff of the OB West reports, that the level of training and unit cohesion was very bad, there was also a lack of officers.


What is this source, I don't recognise it. Is there an English language version?

Regards,
Ironduke


A Marchbattalion was a thrown together outfit from a unit, consisting of what "unnessary", unnedeed and available personnel could be found there.

Gneisenauverbände were probably ex-naval personnel (Gneisenau being a damaged battleship)

A Festungsbattalion typically consisted of personnel medically unfit for regular infantry duty.

Overall this seems to support your stance.

The "Kriegstagebuch" is the war diary of the OKW btw. A primary source if there ever was one


Dammit, I keep having to come back here. I understood some of the German terms as I've seen them before, but do you know if this war diary exists in english translation? To my shame I don't know any foreign languages (except I know some American and a some Australian - well, not much Australian really, just enough to be able to swap PBEMs with RaverDave).

(I didn't know the term Gneisenauverbände, I probably should have recognised the name in there. Although, I did know naval ratings were drafted in. Thanks for the info).

Mitcham gives some detail but not enough, Nafziger is essentially all about TOEs. Any other recommendations? There are works by Cole and Jentz and Westwood I've considered.

Regards,
IronDuke



It seems to have been translated:

http://www.bookfinder.com/dir/i/The_OKW_Oberkommando_der_Wehrmacht_War_Diary_Series-Pt._4_5_pts./0824043081/

But as to the quality of the translation I do not know. The german original is of course preferable, but when you do not read/write german well....


It has indeed been translated, but when the page you posted did a search of 60000 booksellers (i was impressed) it came up with the suggestion I contact the publisher because no one was claiming to sell it. I might just do this. I appreciate the link, including the one to the bookfinder page, might well come in useful.
Cheers,
Ironduke

(in reply to Rune Iversen)
Post #: 358
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/18/2004 12:57:06 AM   
IronDuke_slith

 

Posts: 1595
Joined: 6/30/2002
From: Manchester, UK
Status: offline
Kevinugly,

I could seriously grow to dislike you

I spend twelve pages and 30 plus posts wading through this, you're here for five minutes and get the best cameo of the lot.

quote:

You also forgot to mention the counterattack by the 1st S.S. Panzer “Der Fuhrer” Division which was sent south in an attempt to cut-off Patton's relieving forces fighting outside of Bastogne.


quote:

"We did not know that Hitler had ordered some of his best remaining troops to cut off the Third Army’s relief of Bastogne at all costs. Now across our front from our right came the elite 1st S.S. Panzer “Der Fuhrer” Division, sent down from the German Sixth Army to break us

The eastern assault force comprised the under-strength 1st SS Panzer and the 167th Volks Grenadier Divisions; its drive was to be made via Lutrebois toward Assenois.


quote:

1SS Panzer

The 1st SS Panzer was still licking its wounds after the fight as advance guard of the Sixth Panzer Army, when Model ordered the division to move south, beginning 26 December.


quote:

Perhaps you missed the post by Kevinugly when he called me a liar for mentioning 1SS Panzer showed up to attack Third Army.

That post was for him. . .


quote:


I never said the Liebstandarte fought at Bastogne - get your facts straight.


quote:

So your "sources" don't mention the 1SS Panzer at Bastogne, therefore, it must NOT be there??

Even though I told you initially that the Official History PLACES it there.

And which I proved that the 1SS Panzer WAS at Bastogne.


quote:

Uh, Kevin, I hate to break the bad news to you, but it is YOU who said the Liebstandarte fought at Bastogne


Life is so unfair . I can at least claim to be the one who got the gem that Patton ordered his men to attack a fortress in bad weather, little air or artillery support, inadequate ammunition, with rampant trench foot in the ranks and no gas for the vehicles, in order to keep their morale up.

If you want to post these quotes, feel free, I am no longer a part of this thread so do not feel able.

IronDuke
Ex member of the Patton thread.

(in reply to IronDuke_slith)
Post #: 359
RE: Why was Patton so great? - 7/18/2004 1:24:22 AM   
Kevinugly

 

Posts: 438
Joined: 4/2/2003
From: Colchester, UK
Status: offline
Von Rom, I apologise for calling you a liar. I've realised that it is just that you haven't got a clue what you are talking about. The Leibstandarte (or Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler to give it its full title) is the name of 1st SS Panzer Division, historians use them interchangeably. All of the first twelve divisions had names like this, the 2nd SS Panzer was entitled Das Reich, the 3rd SS Panzer was entitled Totenkopf and so on. If you didn't know the names of the other divisions that would be understandable but anyone who has studied the German armies and their battles on the East Front or West Front should know of the Leibstandarte and the Das Reich divisions and the divisional numbers they refer to. I'm sorry, but it really is that basic, and not only for their battle honours but also for the atrocities they were responsible for. It calls into question every post you have made because it is such a fundamental gap in your knowledge. If I had known about this I wouldn't have called you a liar so again please accept my apologies.

Regarding the 'Official History', if it was that comprehensive and accurate historians really wouldn't have much to do except re-gurgitate its text. 'Personal memoirs', first-hand accounts and the like are very useful 'primary sources' of information for the historian but human memory is fallible, which is why a group of witnesses to an event will each relate it quite differently. Add to this the stress of being under fire and you can see why a military historian will not take documents such as these at face value. I'm not belittling the collection or the men who contributed to it, I'm sure that for them their recollections are true, but without extensive corroboration all those stories are little more than just 'stories'. 'Context' is everything here, I should know, I was heavily criticised by one of my History Professors for not doing this in an early draft of my MA thesis on 'Women and the Home Front in WW2'.

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