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RE: 'No Patton' - 9/1/2004 7:50:40 PM   
Kevinugly

 

Posts: 438
Joined: 4/2/2003
From: Colchester, UK
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What are you talking about? What particular issue? Please be more specific when you post

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(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 151
RE: 'No Patton' - 9/2/2004 1:42:20 AM   
IronDuke_slith

 

Posts: 1595
Joined: 6/30/2002
From: Manchester, UK
Status: offline
I was never involved in the Lorraine argument, so I will merely add in what my research tells me.

Firstly,

quote:

Von rom
The 4th armoured division destroyed "281 German tanks..." (Carlo D'Este, Patton: A Genius for War, p.663).


...is not completely true. D'Este tells us that 4th Armoured claimed 281 tanks destroyed. He isn't therefore offering evidence, merely reporting what we know from elsewhere, that the Division said it destroyed 281 German tanks. He is repeating what we have also read, not giving us anything new.

As for the fighting. The formations I can identify as being involved were 21st Panzer Division, 11th Panzer Division, 111th Panzer Brigade, 112th Panzer Brigade, 113th Panzer Brigade.

21st Panzer was badly mauled in Normandy, having been involved since the beginning. The best estimate of it's tank strength in September is 10 vehicles. This is attested by a couple of sources. 11th Panzer had been (according to Mellenthin) badly hit during the withdrawal in southern France and mustered 16 tanks when it joined the action (in the second phase of the fighting).

The three Panzer Brigades were theoretically equipped with about 90 tanks each. However, Mellenthin reports that 112th mustered only a handful of tanks when it joined the attacks. It had been in existence for 2-3 weeks before it joined the offensive, so I'm guessing it had already seen plenty of action. We can maybe assume it had 20 vehicles.

Therefore, I'd put paper tank strength at about 225-250 vehicles.

What we do know about German tank units at this stage in the war is that a very significant percentage were usually in the workshops in various states of repair. This was essentially caused by a lack of spare parts. At times in early 1944, almost half of all German armoured vehicles were non-operational because of this problem. We might assume the situation was slightly better before a major offensive, and perhaps only put a quarter of 111th and 113th Panzers into repair. This maybe gives them about 140 tanks between them.

My guess is the Germans committed into action around 180-200 vehicles. We know some survived. The badly hit 111th mustered 7 vehicles at the end of the offensive although Mellenthin does not tell us whether this figure included those in the workshop. I would doubt it because of the nature of the information he gives.

113th seems to have done a bit better.

It is feasible that as many as 150 German tanks were destroyed during this period. I'd put the upper limit at around the 180 mark. It is well short of 4th Armoured's claims, but then this isn't unusual. Figures of claimed kills were notoriously unreliable. I don't see any reason to think 4th Armoured should be treated any differently.

Whatever happened, Arracourt was a serious fight, and 4th Armoured performed very well. Many of the German crews facing them were raw, and made mistakes, but 4th Armoured made the most of those mistakes, because they were a very seasoned formation by this point. They had learned how to cope and tactically adapt to a battlefield where German tanks were often better, and the fog certainly helped as other posters have noted. Air power would also have played a part although there is an occasional trend these days to play down the ability of Aircraft to destroy tanks. Some interesting figures from Normandy suggest we shouldn't overdestimate the air force part at the expense of underestimating 4th Armoured's contribution.

It can claim to have been the most serious armoured fight since the bigger armoured battles at Caen, and in terms of numbers deployed was not matched until the Bulge. It was also an Allied victory. IT was a little close at times, but the result was clear cut.

Regards,
IronDuke

(in reply to Kevinugly)
Post #: 152
RE: 'No Patton' - 9/2/2004 2:38:54 AM   
Von Rom


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

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

I was never involved in the Lorraine argument, so I will merely add in what my research tells me.

Firstly,

quote:

Von rom
The 4th armoured division destroyed "281 German tanks..." (Carlo D'Este, Patton: A Genius for War, p.663).


...is not completely true. D'Este tells us that 4th Armoured claimed 281 tanks destroyed. He isn't therefore offering evidence, merely reporting what we know from elsewhere, that the Division said it destroyed 281 German tanks. He is repeating what we have also read, not giving us anything new.

As for the fighting. The formations I can identify as being involved were 21st Panzer Division, 11th Panzer Division, 111th Panzer Brigade, 112th Panzer Brigade, 113th Panzer Brigade.

21st Panzer was badly mauled in Normandy, having been involved since the beginning. The best estimate of it's tank strength in September is 10 vehicles. This is attested by a couple of sources. 11th Panzer had been (according to Mellenthin) badly hit during the withdrawal in southern France and mustered 16 tanks when it joined the action (in the second phase of the fighting).

The three Panzer Brigades were theoretically equipped with about 90 tanks each. However, Mellenthin reports that 112th mustered only a handful of tanks when it joined the attacks. It had been in existence for 2-3 weeks before it joined the offensive, so I'm guessing it had already seen plenty of action. We can maybe assume it had 20 vehicles.

Therefore, I'd put paper tank strength at about 225-250 vehicles.

What we do know about German tank units at this stage in the war is that a very significant percentage were usually in the workshops in various states of repair. This was essentially caused by a lack of spare parts. At times in early 1944, almost half of all German armoured vehicles were non-operational because of this problem. We might assume the situation was slightly better before a major offensive, and perhaps only put a quarter of 111th and 113th Panzers into repair. This maybe gives them about 140 tanks between them.

My guess is the Germans committed into action around 180-200 vehicles. We know some survived. The badly hit 111th mustered 7 vehicles at the end of the offensive although Mellenthin does not tell us whether this figure included those in the workshop. I would doubt it because of the nature of the information he gives.

113th seems to have done a bit better.

It is feasible that as many as 150 German tanks were destroyed during this period. I'd put the upper limit at around the 180 mark. It is well short of 4th Armoured's claims, but then this isn't unusual. Figures of claimed kills were notoriously unreliable. I don't see any reason to think 4th Armoured should be treated any differently.

Whatever happened, Arracourt was a serious fight, and 4th Armoured performed very well. Many of the German crews facing them were raw, and made mistakes, but 4th Armoured made the most of those mistakes, because they were a very seasoned formation by this point. They had learned how to cope and tactically adapt to a battlefield where German tanks were often better, and the fog certainly helped as other posters have noted. Air power would also have played a part although there is an occasional trend these days to play down the ability of Aircraft to destroy tanks. Some interesting figures from Normandy suggest we shouldn't overdestimate the air force part at the expense of underestimating 4th Armoured's contribution.

It can claim to have been the most serious armoured fight since the bigger armoured battles at Caen, and in terms of numbers deployed was not matched until the Bulge. It was also an Allied victory. IT was a little close at times, but the result was clear cut.

Regards,
IronDuke



IronDuke


quote:

...is not completely true. D'Este tells us that 4th Armoured claimed 281 tanks destroyed. He isn't therefore offering evidence, merely reporting what we know from elsewhere, that the Division said it destroyed 281 German tanks. He is repeating what we have also read, not giving us anything new.


Well, Ironduke I see you are selective as usual.

What I have written above is COMPLETELY true.

I included the numbers from SEVEN sources as varifying 4th Armoured's claims.

I wrote the above from D'Este merely to save me typing what had already been established.

D'Este, as both an historian and military officer, does not refute this claim. 4th Armoured's published official unit history states it destroyed this many armoured vehicles.

In 60 years NO military historian has refuted this claim. Show me a SINGLE source that proves 4th Armoured's claim to be incorrect.


quote:

As for the fighting. The formations I can identify as being involved were 21st Panzer Division, 11th Panzer Division, 111th Panzer Brigade, 112th Panzer Brigade, 113th Panzer Brigade.


Another cursory examination by yourself with which you are seeking to disprove something that NO military historian has done.

You seem to have overlooked these formations that were present:

133rd Panzer Brigade

106th Panzer Brigade

3d Panzergrenadier Division, just arrived from Italy in Sept, 1944

15th Panzergrenadier Division

553d Volksgrenadier Division

559th Volksgrenadier Division of the German First Army

462d Division

17th SS Panzer Grenadier Division

Many of the above formations would have had armour, and all of them would have had assault guns (StuGs and Hetzers, Jagdpanzer IV/70(V), etc).

In fact, there were many adhoc units that were being sent to Lorraine from all over Europe. Why? To stop Patton. Because Hitler wanted to hold Third Army while he planned the Ardennes campaign.


quote:

Therefore, I'd put paper tank strength at about 225-250 vehicles.



This is simply incorrect.

As I have indicated above, you left out more than EIGHT fighting formations, and I am sure there were plenty more.

Ospery's book of the Lorraine Campaign puts the number of German armoured vehicles at 616.


quote:

My guess is the Germans committed into action around 180-200 vehicles



And that is exactly what it is - a guess. And it is an incorrect, unsubstantiated guess at that.


quote:

It is feasible that as many as 150 German tanks were destroyed during this period. I'd put the upper limit at around the 180 mark. It is well short of 4th Armoured's claims, but then this isn't unusual. Figures of claimed kills were notoriously unreliable. I don't see any reason to think 4th Armoured should be treated any differently.



This is incorrect.

You have not provided a SINGLE source for your hypothetical numbers.

Patton was an extremely demanding boss of Third Army. He had a penchant for efficiency, accuracy and detail.

I seriously doubt the officers of 4th Armoured would have lied about the details. 4th Armoured was well trained and boasted a very exemplery history.

For the Lorraine Campaign armoured battles it won a Presidential Unit Citation.


In closing, all you have provided are unsubstantiated guesses.

I suppose those guesses should be accepted above ALL OTHER SOURCES that support 4th Armoured's claims.

So I ask you to provide a single source that proves 4th Armoured Division's number of destroyed German armoured vehicles is wrong.

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 9/2/2004 1:08:35 AM >


_____________________________


(in reply to IronDuke_slith)
Post #: 153
RE: 'No Patton' - 9/2/2004 5:05:53 AM   
a19999577

 

Posts: 118
Joined: 3/31/2004
From: Lima, Peru
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom


D'Este, as both an historian and military officer, does not refute this claim. 4th Armoured's published official unit history states it destroyed this many armoured vehicles.

In 60 years NO military historian has refuted this claim. Show me a SINGLE source that proves 4th Armoured's claim to be incorrect.

Patton was an extremely demanding boss of Third Army. He had a penchant for efficiency, accuracy and detail.

I seriously doubt the officers of 4th Armoured would have lied about the details. 4th Armoured was well trained and boasted a very exemplery history.

For the Lorraine Campaign armoured battles it won a Presidential Unit Citation.


For the record, I'm a University-graduated Historian and am currently working on my thesis. I have researched military topics before and published a couple of dissertations at different congresses.

So, my experience with military testimonies is that officers tend to overestimate the enemy's numbers, as well as their kills; regardless of how 'well trained' or 'honest' they may be. I never take numbers claimed by one of the sides as true until I can verify them with the other side's claims (in fact, in contemporary historiography actually considering anything 'true' is usually suspect).

And as to 'classic' historians, I used to be surprised at how some unaccuracies can last for decades or centuries without being disputed (I take it in my stride now, after all, if everyone got it right the first time around -assuming there is such a thing- what would the rest of us historians do?). In some of my research I have found numbers that have been hallowed for more than a century and which are incredibly easy to disprove with cursory documental examination.

Now, I haven't done any WW2 documental research (given that I don't handle German, Japanese, Russian etc. particularly well...), but in this particular matter in Lorraine we have a few methdological issues to deal with. We apparently have a plethora of bibliographical sources [known as 'secondary sources'] that Von Rom handles that all seem to agree on an exact number, which matches the American claim of kills.

I don't know whether these secondary sources have taken German claims of losses into account. I would, however be absolutely amazed if both numbers matched [American claims of kills, German claims of losses]. Such a phenomenon would merit a paper in itself, actually.

Historian Marc Bloch [in Apologie pour l'histoire ou métier d'historien] brings an important first hand account regarding this topic when he points out the frequent heuristic problems a historian can run into. As a soldier in 1940 he witnessed how retreating (or routing) French units often destroyed, lost or simply left behind all their documents. Much of the primary sources on these units was simply lost, and should this have happened with the units involved in these battles then we just will never know what the number of losses was.

Anyway, in closing, if all we have to prove that Xth American Division destroyed Y number of panzers are their claims, Patton's reputation and that no historian has taken the trouble to disprove it, then no, I'm not buying it.

Cheers.

[Just in case, I am NOT trying to undermine Patton's merits, nor call him and/or his officers liars]

< Message edited by a19999577 -- 9/2/2004 3:29:46 AM >

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 154
RE: 'No Patton' - 9/2/2004 5:35:25 AM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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

...is not completely true. D'Este tells us that 4th Armoured claimed 281 tanks destroyed. He isn't therefore offering evidence, merely reporting what we know from elsewhere, that the Division said it destroyed 281 German tanks. He is repeating what we have also read, not giving us anything new.


quote:

Well, Ironduke I see you are selective as usual.

What I have written above is COMPLETELY true.


No it isn't. D'Este writes:

"claiming the destruction of 281 German tanks".

Therefore, D'Este is merely reporting what 4th Armoured claimed, he is not providing evidence it is true.

quote:

I included the numbers from SEVEN sources as varifying 4th Armoured's claims.


These sources do not verify, they merely repeat. The only people who claimed 4th Armoured's tally was 4th Armoured. Your other sources have no other figure or opinion to use but 4th Armoured's. They therefore quote this, but they are not independently verifying it, but quoting it. If you can't see the difference, trust me when I say the rest of the forum can.

quote:

I wrote the above from D'Este merely to save me typing what had already been established.


No, you wrote it because he is a serious historian and it was good to have him (you believed) back up your claims. I find it strange you are using a source you said was factually incorrect and which you discredited recently, but never mind....

quote:

D'Este, as both an historian and military officer, does not refute this claim. 4th Armoured's published official unit history states it destroyed this many armoured vehicles.


That's because he is writing about Patton. He isn't going to investigate every non-Patton related event like this, he wants to finish the book before he turns 100.

quote:

In 60 years NO military historian has refuted this claim. Show me a SINGLE source that proves 4th Armoured's claim to be incorrect.


How can you say this merely studying the odd book and a series of websites that quote from it. You do not know what historians have said. As I've said, historians add the words "claimed" in there because they know that WWII readers will realise "claimed" is often higher than "actual" kills.

quote:

As for the fighting. The formations I can identify as being involved were 21st Panzer Division, 11th Panzer Division, 111th Panzer Brigade, 112th Panzer Brigade, 113th Panzer Brigade.


quote:

Another cursory examination by yourself with which you are seeking to disprove something that NO military historian has done.


Cursory? I think we can see an example of sursory coming up if you would like to compare what's above with what's below.

Firstly, lets refresh our memory on the terms of the argument using your own words.

quote:

Von Rom
There were a series of battles between Third Army and German forces between Sept 18-19 to Sept 28-30, 1944 that resulted in some of the biggest armoured battles on the western front.


and

quote:

Von Rom
From 20 to 25 September, the Fifth Panzer Army directed the 111th Panzer Brigade and the 11th Panzer Division into a series of attacks against the Arracourt position. Each assault followed the pattern set on 19 September. The Panzers attacked under the cover of morning fog, only to be thwarted by CCA's mobile defense and driven off by armored counterattacks of company or battalion strength. The defensive actions fought around Arracourt stalled the German offensive. The 4th Armored Division claimed 281 German tanks destroyed, 3,000 Germans killed, and another 3,000 taken prisoner in the fighting.


you're clearly talking about the battle of Arracourt.

quote:

Von Rom
You seem to have overlooked these formations that were present:


Have I....?

quote:

133rd Panzer Brigade


You're going to have to give me more info on this one. The Germans don't seem to have had a unit called the 133rd Panzer Brigade. For your imnfo, the Army Panzer Brigades number 100 through 113th. There was a 150th, but it was a specialist unit in the ardennes. So, please tell us more about 133rd?????????

quote:

106th Panzer Brigade


Ah yes, this unit had about 45 tanks on strength at it's peak, and lost 30 of these in a fight against 90th US Infantry division on 7th September. If it had ten tanks left to use in the battles of 18th-30th, I'd be surprised. In addition, it seems to have supported the 559th (more later on this formation) which attacked the 35th US infantry disicion on 24th. I don't think we can use this formnation, therefore, do you?

quote:

3d Panzergrenadier Division, just arrived from Italy in Sept, 1944


Never involved in the fighting around Arracourt during the battle in question.

quote:

15th Panzergrenadier Division


You've had more luck here. This had a nominal tank complement of 35 or so Stugs. However, it had been fighting 3rd Army for around 3 weeks before this battle, and Von Mellenthin described it as "weakened in bloody fighting". He doesn't even give a number of tanks for it, as he does with the other formations, which suggests there weren't too many at all.
We do know that around 25 of it's armoured vehicles were claimed destroyed by 4th Armoured on 14th before the Battle of Arracourt. Thus for the battle itself, it may have had fewer than ten tanks.

quote:

553d Volksgrenadier Division


This is a neat trick. The 553 VGD wasn't formed until 9 Oct! It did have an earlier unit it was formed from (553 Grenadier division) but it had no tanks and never fought in the battle of Arracourt anyway.

quote:

559th Volksgrenadier Division of the German First Army


As above, another division formed on 9th October. It's predescessor did fight north of Arracourt launching attacks between 24th and 30th Septemer, but unfortunately for you, it had no tanks authorised and the attack seems to have hit the positions of the 35th US Infantry Division judging from Mellenthin's maps.

quote:

462d Division


Oh dear, this one wasn't formed until 19th October 1944, well after the battle in question, no predescessor. It also had no tanks .

quote:

17th SS Panzer Grenadier Division


Largely destroyed in Normandy, it had only ten tanks left in late July and another month of fighting still to go before our battle. It also never fought in the Arracourt battle anyway, and the units used in reform it in August (49th and 51st SS Panzergrenadier Brigades) had no tanks to contribute. Not looking like this had too much to do with our battle.

quote:

Many of the above formations would have had armour, and all of them would have had assault guns (StuGs and Hetzers, Jagdpanzer IV/70(V), etc).


This merely shows that you don't know much about the makeup of these units.


quote:

IronDuke
Therefore, I'd put paper tank strength at about 225-250 vehicles.


quote:

This is simply incorrect.

As I have indicated above, you left out more than EIGHT fighting formations, and I am sure there were plenty more.


As shown, I am still correct. If we can add 20 tanks to the tally from the formations above (which were largely uninvolved in the fighting and tankless any way) then we are doing very well. Perhaps you could find these other formations for us to examine? I doubt they exist, or at least, if they do, they were certainly never involved at Arracourt against 4th Armoured.

quote:

Ospery's book of the Lorraine Campaign puts the number of German armoured vehicles at 616.


The Lorraine campaign??? Von Rom, you said:

quote:

Von Rom
There were a series of battles between Third Army and German forces between Sept 18-19 to Sept 28-30, 1944 that resulted in some of the biggest armoured battles on the western front.


and

quote:

Von Rom
From 20 to 25 September, the Fifth Panzer Army directed the 111th Panzer Brigade and the 11th Panzer Division into a series of attacks against the Arracourt position. Each assault followed the pattern set on 19 September. The Panzers attacked under the cover of morning fog, only to be thwarted by CCA's mobile defense and driven off by armored counterattacks of company or battalion strength. The defensive actions fought around Arracourt stalled the German offensive. The 4th Armored Division claimed 281 German tanks destroyed, 3,000 Germans killed, and another 3,000 taken prisoner in the fighting.


Surely, you are not trying to prove 4th Armoured's figure by counting as taking part in the battle, every German tank within a hundred miles, that was within a hundred miles at some point in the campaign? I thought you were talking about German tanks attacking 4th Armoured around Arracourt between 18th-30th September as you indeed are judging from the quotes above.

quote:

IronDuke
My guess is the Germans committed into action around 180-200 vehicles



quote:

Von Rom
And that is exactly what it is - a guess. And it is an incorrect, unsubstantiated guess at that.


LOL . I am checking individual units for statistics using attested sources (Weigley, Nafziger, Mellenthin). You are counting units that didn't even take part, didn't have any tanks, and in one case, never existed! And I am unsubstantiated! LOL . I guess we will have to leave forum readers to decide who is unsubstantiated.


quote:

IronDuke
It is feasible that as many as 150 German tanks were destroyed during this period. I'd put the upper limit at around the 180 mark. It is well short of 4th Armoured's claims, but then this isn't unusual. Figures of claimed kills were notoriously unreliable. I don't see any reason to think 4th Armoured should be treated any differently.



quote:

Von Romon

This is incorrect.

You have not provided a SINGLE source for your hypothetical numbers.


Well, there were a lot of them. I tell you what, cite any specific figures, and I'll break down the number I've given, quoting the sources involved. If you don't, then we have to assume I'm right, because you haven't proven anything wrong.

quote:

Patton was an extremely demanding boss of Third Army. He had a penchant for efficiency, accuracy and detail

I seriously doubt the officers of 4th Armoured would have lied about the details. 4th Armoured was well trained and boasted a very exemplery history..


Patton ran the war from his jeep, moving between front line units, directing things as he saw them. He was a difficult officer to staff for as a result. He also didn't compile 4th Armoured's tally for the day (or are you suggesting he did?)

Most units who made inflated claims weren't lying. There are a number of reasons why claims are higher than usual. Don't you know this?

quote:

For the Lorraine Campaign armoured battles it won a Presidential Unit Citation.


For the fighting, I've already said it fought well. This proves nothing about the tanks destroyed claim.


quote:

Von Rom
In closing, all you have provided are unsubstantiated guesses.


Incorrect. I have based my guesses on the best available evidence. You are trying to use irrelevant stuff (non-existant units, tank free divisions etc) to prove your point. As I said, let the forum decide.

quote:

Von Rom
I suppose those guesses should be accepted above ALL OTHER SOURCES that support 4th Armoured's claims.


As I said, 4th Armoured make the claim, everyone else reports it. Do any of your sources test the claim? No, they simply repeat the figure 4th Armoured give. A figure we know from experience was often inflated. Your sources don't verify it, merely repeat it, I am surprised you cannot tell the difference. To verify it, someone else (not from 4th Armoured) would have had to have counted the kills. Which of your sources did this? Which of your sources were even there (in addition to 4th Armoured who made the initial claim).

Of course, there are a number of ways for you to prove me wrong.

1. Analyse the battles for us, listing the formations that attacked 4th Armoured, giving dates and places for their attacks, and tell us how many tanks they had. We can tot the numbers up and see if there are enough to match 4th Armoured's claim. That's all I've done.

2. Give us a list of these other formations you are "sure" were there, but can't name . We can find them and see if we can add their tank totals in.

3. Dispute my claims about the formations you listed. Give sources and we'll compare our sources.

4. Use the old favourite

quote:

Von Rom
I may answer this sometime down the road.

But for now, I simply don't feel like it.



Otherwise, you're just saying I'm wrong, not proving it, I'm afraid.

Regards,
IronDuke

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 155
RE: 'No Patton' - 9/2/2004 5:41:03 AM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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

ORIGINAL: a19999577

quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom


D'Este, as both an historian and military officer, does not refute this claim. 4th Armoured's published official unit history states it destroyed this many armoured vehicles.

In 60 years NO military historian has refuted this claim. Show me a SINGLE source that proves 4th Armoured's claim to be incorrect.

Patton was an extremely demanding boss of Third Army. He had a penchant for efficiency, accuracy and detail.

I seriously doubt the officers of 4th Armoured would have lied about the details. 4th Armoured was well trained and boasted a very exemplery history.

For the Lorraine Campaign armoured battles it won a Presidential Unit Citation.


For the record, I'm a University-graduated Historian and am currently working on my thesis. I have researched military topics before and published a couple of dissertations at different congresses.

So, my experience with military testimonies is that officers tend to overestimate the enemy's numbers, as well as their kills; regardless of how 'well trained' or 'honest' they may be. I never take numbers claimed by one of the sides as true until I can verify them with the other side's claims (in fact, in contemporary historiography actually considering anything 'true' is usually suspect).

And as to 'classic' historians, I used to be surprised at how some unaccuracies can last for decades or centuries without being disputed (I take it in my stride now, after all, if everyone got it right the first time around -assuming there is such a thing- what would the rest of us historians do?). In some of my research I have found numbers that have been hallowed for more than a century and which are incredibly easy to disprove with cursory documental examination.

Now, I haven't done any WW2 documental research (given that I don't handle German, Japanese, Russian etc. particularly well...), but in this particular matter in Lorraine we have a few methdological issues to deal with. We apparently have a plethora of bibliographical sources [known as 'secondary sources'] that Von Rom handles that all seem to agree on an exact number, which matches the American claim of kills.

I don't know whether these secondary sources have taken German claims of losses into account. I would, however be absolutely amazed if both numbers matched [American claims of kills, German claims of losses]. Such a phenomenon would merit a paper in itself, actually.

Historian Marc Bloch [in Apologie pour l'histoire ou métier d'historien] brings an important first hand account regarding this topic when he points out the frequent heuristic problems a historian can run into. As a soldier in 1940 he witnessed how retreating (or routing) French units often destroyed, lost or simply left behind all their documents. Much of the primary sources on these units was simply lost, and should this have happened with the units involved in these battles then we just will never know what the number of losses was.

Anyway, in closing, if all we have to prove that Xth American Division destroyed Y number of panzers are their claims, Patton's reputation and that no historian has taken the trouble to disprove it, then no, I'm not buying it.

Cheers.

[Just in case, I am NOT trying to undermine Patton's merits, nor call him and/or his officers liars]


I'm impressed . I got my degree in history in 1989 (showing my age). I'd love to do more, but I have a job that pays the bills . I've thought about doing something part time as a hobby, but correcting Von Rom keeps me busy, so not sure I'd have the time .

I agree with what you said. I think most historians since 44 will have merely repeated 4th Armoured's claims. Since the source for each individual claim is the same, I don't think we can class it as verification can we? There's only one source, no matter how many people repeat it.

The best way seems to be (to me) to see how many tanks the Germans committed. It will give us some idea of a ball park figure we can compare with the 4th Armoured's claims. If they killed more than the Germans committed, then we can get suspiscious .

Regards,
IronDuke

(in reply to a19999577)
Post #: 156
RE: 'No Patton' - 9/2/2004 7:13:23 AM   
Von Rom


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

ORIGINAL: a19999577

quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom


D'Este, as both an historian and military officer, does not refute this claim. 4th Armoured's published official unit history states it destroyed this many armoured vehicles.

In 60 years NO military historian has refuted this claim. Show me a SINGLE source that proves 4th Armoured's claim to be incorrect.

Patton was an extremely demanding boss of Third Army. He had a penchant for efficiency, accuracy and detail.

I seriously doubt the officers of 4th Armoured would have lied about the details. 4th Armoured was well trained and boasted a very exemplery history.

For the Lorraine Campaign armoured battles it won a Presidential Unit Citation.


For the record, I'm a University-graduated Historian and am currently working on my thesis. I have researched military topics before and published a couple of dissertations at different congresses.

So, my experience with military testimonies is that officers tend to overestimate the enemy's numbers, as well as their kills; regardless of how 'well trained' or 'honest' they may be. I never take numbers claimed by one of the sides as true until I can verify them with the other side's claims (in fact, in contemporary historiography actually considering anything 'true' is usually suspect).

And as to 'classic' historians, I used to be surprised at how some unaccuracies can last for decades or centuries without being disputed (I take it in my stride now, after all, if everyone got it right the first time around -assuming there is such a thing- what would the rest of us historians do?). In some of my research I have found numbers that have been hallowed for more than a century and which are incredibly easy to disprove with cursory documental examination.

Now, I haven't done any WW2 documental research (given that I don't handle German, Japanese, Russian etc. particularly well...), but in this particular matter in Lorraine we have a few methdological issues to deal with. We apparently have a plethora of bibliographical sources [known as 'secondary sources'] that Von Rom handles that all seem to agree on an exact number, which matches the American claim of kills.

I don't know whether these secondary sources have taken German claims of losses into account. I would, however be absolutely amazed if both numbers matched [American claims of kills, German claims of losses]. Such a phenomenon would merit a paper in itself, actually.

Historian Marc Bloch [in Apologie pour l'histoire ou métier d'historien] brings an important first hand account regarding this topic when he points out the frequent heuristic problems a historian can run into. As a soldier in 1940 he witnessed how retreating (or routing) French units often destroyed, lost or simply left behind all their documents. Much of the primary sources on these units was simply lost, and should this have happened with the units involved in these battles then we just will never know what the number of losses was.

Anyway, in closing, if all we have to prove that Xth American Division destroyed Y number of panzers are their claims, Patton's reputation and that no historian has taken the trouble to disprove it, then no, I'm not buying it.

Cheers.

[Just in case, I am NOT trying to undermine Patton's merits, nor call him and/or his officers liars]



Well, well, well,

I see you have returned along with Ironduke.

You show up when Ironduke arrives; you leave, when Ironduke leaves.

You even answer posts addressed to Ironduke.

You also mentioned that you were leaving this thread yesterday. Yet, here you are.

Trying to get in the "Last Word"?

Ya know I seem to recall someone saying this just the other day: "Some people just have to get in the last word. . ."

LOL


quote:

Now, I haven't done any WW2 documental research


Yet, you certainly sound like you are an authority.

You have done absolutely NO WW2 research, yet you can state categorically that ALL these sources, including 4th Artmoured's may be wrong.

In 60 years no military historian has proven them wrong.

Remember, there are a lot of revisionist historians who re-write history all the time. Yet, where are they?

What about Charles Whiting? He doesn't like Patton. Where are his claims as to the number of tanks destroyed?

Yet, all you have to state is nothing but surmises, guesses, and unsubstantiated claims.

If you said all this on a History paper I would give you an "F".

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 9/2/2004 5:56:54 AM >


_____________________________


(in reply to a19999577)
Post #: 157
RE: 'No Patton' - 9/2/2004 7:28:39 AM   
Von Rom


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

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

[edited for space]

Regards,
IronDuke



Well, Ironduke, I see you like to debate.

However, you have provided absoutely NOTHING NEW to this debate over the validity of 4th armoured's numbers of German tanks destroyed. Absolutely nothing.

Where are your sources?

Where are your books?

Where are the page numbers?

Where are the tank numbers?

Where are the authors?

Where is you analysis?

Again, you debate with nothing; you argue with guesses; you provide only unsubstantiated theories. . .

You simply have NOTHING.

I will let the readers decide who is right here.

I have many, many sources that support 4th Armoured's claims.

The additional units I provided above was done through a quick survey showing readers just some of the units you neglected to mention.

There are many more units I have NOT mentioned, which you have simply failed to include.

You claim that all the additional units I listed contained only an additional 20 tanks. This is a pure guess on your part. Where are your sources?

The 3d Panzergrenadier Division, alone, contained 33 assault guns. . .

So this ONE unit alone totally refutes your very poor conclusion.

3d Panzergrenadier Division, just arrived from Italy in Sept, 1944 (The rifle strength of the 3rd Panzer Grenadier Division was still nearly complete, it's artillery was good, and in addition it now had a complement of thirty three assault guns-an unusual number for any German division at this stage of the war. [From the official history of the war, commonly referred to as the "green books", "The Lorraine Campaign" volume, by Col. H.M. Cole].

Like I said - you have absolutely nothing.

I am actually shocked at your statements, analysis and numbers, which are backed by NOTHING.


Even so, I don't have to prove anything

All the history books AGREE with me.

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 9/2/2004 6:28:40 AM >


_____________________________


(in reply to IronDuke_slith)
Post #: 158
RE: 'No Patton' - 9/2/2004 7:33:14 AM   
Von Rom


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

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

ORIGINAL: a19999577

quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom


D'Este, as both an historian and military officer, does not refute this claim. 4th Armoured's published official unit history states it destroyed this many armoured vehicles.

In 60 years NO military historian has refuted this claim. Show me a SINGLE source that proves 4th Armoured's claim to be incorrect.

Patton was an extremely demanding boss of Third Army. He had a penchant for efficiency, accuracy and detail.

I seriously doubt the officers of 4th Armoured would have lied about the details. 4th Armoured was well trained and boasted a very exemplery history.

For the Lorraine Campaign armoured battles it won a Presidential Unit Citation.


For the record, I'm a University-graduated Historian and am currently working on my thesis. I have researched military topics before and published a couple of dissertations at different congresses.

So, my experience with military testimonies is that officers tend to overestimate the enemy's numbers, as well as their kills; regardless of how 'well trained' or 'honest' they may be. I never take numbers claimed by one of the sides as true until I can verify them with the other side's claims (in fact, in contemporary historiography actually considering anything 'true' is usually suspect).

And as to 'classic' historians, I used to be surprised at how some unaccuracies can last for decades or centuries without being disputed (I take it in my stride now, after all, if everyone got it right the first time around -assuming there is such a thing- what would the rest of us historians do?). In some of my research I have found numbers that have been hallowed for more than a century and which are incredibly easy to disprove with cursory documental examination.

Now, I haven't done any WW2 documental research (given that I don't handle German, Japanese, Russian etc. particularly well...), but in this particular matter in Lorraine we have a few methdological issues to deal with. We apparently have a plethora of bibliographical sources [known as 'secondary sources'] that Von Rom handles that all seem to agree on an exact number, which matches the American claim of kills.

I don't know whether these secondary sources have taken German claims of losses into account. I would, however be absolutely amazed if both numbers matched [American claims of kills, German claims of losses]. Such a phenomenon would merit a paper in itself, actually.

Historian Marc Bloch [in Apologie pour l'histoire ou métier d'historien] brings an important first hand account regarding this topic when he points out the frequent heuristic problems a historian can run into. As a soldier in 1940 he witnessed how retreating (or routing) French units often destroyed, lost or simply left behind all their documents. Much of the primary sources on these units was simply lost, and should this have happened with the units involved in these battles then we just will never know what the number of losses was.

Anyway, in closing, if all we have to prove that Xth American Division destroyed Y number of panzers are their claims, Patton's reputation and that no historian has taken the trouble to disprove it, then no, I'm not buying it.

Cheers.

[Just in case, I am NOT trying to undermine Patton's merits, nor call him and/or his officers liars]


I'm impressed . I got my degree in history in 1989 (showing my age). I'd love to do more, but I have a job that pays the bills . I've thought about doing something part time as a hobby, but correcting Von Rom keeps me busy, so not sure I'd have the time .

I agree with what you said. I think most historians since 44 will have merely repeated 4th Armoured's claims. Since the source for each individual claim is the same, I don't think we can class it as verification can we? There's only one source, no matter how many people repeat it.

The best way seems to be (to me) to see how many tanks the Germans committed. It will give us some idea of a ball park figure we can compare with the 4th Armoured's claims. If they killed more than the Germans committed, then we can get suspiscious .

Regards,
IronDuke


You seem to be easily impressed.

I seem to recall that you were also impressed by a Quartermaster's webpage Kev produced in another thread which contained info he was using in a debate with me over Metz.

As it turned out that entire page had been plagerized from another paper written at the Command and General Staff College.

So much for your impressions

You claim to have a history degree, yet all your comments about 4th Armoured have been guesses and theories and empty words.

You can say anything you want.

But where are your sources?

Without sources, without concrete numbers, you are talking pure mumbo-jumbo. . .

Like I said - I don't have to prove anything.

If you don't like 4th Armoured's numbers - then prove them wrong with credible sources, authors and page numbers.

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 9/2/2004 5:49:57 AM >


_____________________________


(in reply to IronDuke_slith)
Post #: 159
RE: 'No Patton' - 9/2/2004 8:09:10 AM   
Von Rom


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

heheh

You'll bend over backwards arguing until you are blue in the face over how many tanks might have been in Lorraine, in the face of ALL established sources that totally refute your claims.

And you provide NO sources.

Yet, you simply couldn't figure out that Dietrich's sworn direct testimony did not magically turn into hearsay simply because he later recanted it. . .

And you also stated that if I didn't present Dietrich's testimony to you, then it simply didn't exist!

And you also believed those SS defendents were poorly treated and should have been released.

And you believe the battle of Kursk is similar to that of the Battle of the Bulge

And you believe that counting total number of days for a trip should include the first day regardless of what time the trip starts on that first day.

Why didn't you do any research into the above situations, Ironduke?

Where is your analysis of them?

Why aren't you debating those questions?

Hmmmm?

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 9/2/2004 6:17:33 AM >


_____________________________


(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 160
RE: 'No Patton' - 9/2/2004 8:24:39 AM   
a19999577

 

Posts: 118
Joined: 3/31/2004
From: Lima, Peru
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom


You also mentioned that you were leaving this thread yesterday. Yet, here you are.

Trying to get in the "Last Word"?

Ya know I seem to recall someone saying this just the other day: "Some people just have to get in the last word. . ."

LOL


LOL. Well, that's life isn't it?

Getting back to the issues at hand: I was done with the Battle of the Bulge issue. What we're dealing with now are historiographical methodology issues.

quote:

You have done absolutely NO WW2 research, yet you can state categorically that ALL these sources, including 4th Artmoured's may be wrong.


What do you call 'research'? Do you refer to extensive bibliographical surveys or actual archival work? I am referring to the latter. The former constitutes 'research' only at a High School level.

There is no reason to believe that 4th Armoured testimony, unlike all other historical documents is not subject to verification. This is basic historical hermeneutics.

quote:

In 60 years no military historian has proven them wrong.

Remember, there are a lot of revisionist historians who re-write history all the time. Yet, where are they?

What about Charles Whiting? He doesn't like Patton. Where are his claims as to the number of tanks destroyed?


Military History is well-known among us academic historians for being a field with a large numbers amateur authors (in the sense of not having any academic credentials in the field of history). The fact that numbers such as these have not been disputed doesn't surprise me in the least. The very fact that there are 'pro-Patton' and 'anti-Patton' authors does not help in Military History's credibility as a discipline within proper, Academic, History.


quote:

If you said all this on a History paper I would give you an "F".


Pray tell what College/University you are a History Professor in, your academic qualifications or credentials, or what articles/books you have published, if you want to begin to think you can grade me.

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 161
RE: 'No Patton' - 9/2/2004 8:39:47 AM   
Von Rom


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

ORIGINAL: a19999577

quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom


You also mentioned that you were leaving this thread yesterday. Yet, here you are.

Trying to get in the "Last Word"?

Ya know I seem to recall someone saying this just the other day: "Some people just have to get in the last word. . ."

LOL


LOL. Well, that's life isn't it?

Getting back to the issues at hand: I was done with the Battle of the Bulge issue. What we're dealing with now are historiographical methodology issues.

quote:

You have done absolutely NO WW2 research, yet you can state categorically that ALL these sources, including 4th Artmoured's may be wrong.


What do you call 'research'? Do you refer to extensive bibliographical surveys or actual archival work? I am referring to the latter. The former constitutes 'research' only at a High School level.

There is no reason to believe that 4th Armoured testimony, unlike all other historical documents is not subject to verification. This is basic historical hermeneutics.

quote:

In 60 years no military historian has proven them wrong.

Remember, there are a lot of revisionist historians who re-write history all the time. Yet, where are they?

What about Charles Whiting? He doesn't like Patton. Where are his claims as to the number of tanks destroyed?


Military History is well-known among us academic historians for being a field with a large numbers amateur authors (in the sense of not having any academic credentials in the field of history). The fact that numbers such as these have not been disputed doesn't surprise me in the least. The very fact that there are 'pro-Patton' and 'anti-Patton' authors does not help in Military History's credibility as a discipline within proper, Academic, History.


quote:

If you said all this on a History paper I would give you an "F".


Pray tell what College/University you are a History Professor in, your academic qualifications or credentials, or what articles/books you have published, if you want to begin to think you can grade me.




quote:

Getting back to the issues at hand: I was done with the Battle of the Bulge issue. What we're dealing with now are historiographical methodology issues.



But I'm not done with the Bulge.


Surely, the Bulge has historiographical methodology issues too.


quote:

There is no reason to believe that 4th Armoured testimony, unlike all other historical documents is not subject to verification. This is basic historical hermeneutics.



There is NO reason NOT to believe it. ALL histories agree with it.

4th Armoured claims ARE subject to verification. It means going into the archives, going through unit histories, checking on units and numbers, etc, etc. . .

It means putting in lots of research, over a period of months. . .

I simply fail to understand what it is you are arguing??


quote:

Military History is well-known among us academic historians for being a field with a large numbers amateur authors (in the sense of not having any academic credentials in the field of history). The fact that numbers such as these have not been disputed doesn't surprise me in the least. The very fact that there are 'pro-Patton' and 'anti-Patton' authors does not help in Military History's credibility as a discipline within proper, Academic, History.


This is all unsubstantiated mumbo-jumbo. . .

Name me a single author that agrees with 4th Armoured's numbers as being an amateur?


quote:

Pray tell what College/University you are a History Professor in, your academic qualifications or credentials, or what articles/books you have published, if you want to begin to think you can grade me.


Heheh

I do give you an "F" for making statements and presenting ideas that are NOT backed by evidence and sources.

You know full well that in any paper you write, you may present different ideas provided they are backed by sources and evidence.

This is really college 101.

So far you get an "F".

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 9/2/2004 6:41:51 AM >


_____________________________


(in reply to a19999577)
Post #: 162
RE: 'No Patton' - 9/2/2004 8:45:14 AM   
a19999577

 

Posts: 118
Joined: 3/31/2004
From: Lima, Peru
Status: offline
That's it. You obviously have no grasp of how professional historians go about their business.

See ya.

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 163
RE: 'No Patton' - 9/2/2004 8:49:09 AM   
Von Rom


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

ORIGINAL: a19999577

That's it. You obviously have no grasp of how professional historians go about their business.

See ya.



quote:

That's it. You obviously have no grasp of how professional historians go about their business.




You mean professional historians go around making unsubstantiated claims, like you and Ironduke are doing now?


quote:

See ya.



Oh?

Leaving again?

I guess you got "professional historian" stuff to do. . .

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 9/2/2004 6:55:59 AM >


_____________________________


(in reply to a19999577)
Post #: 164
RE: 'No Patton' - 9/2/2004 10:09:02 PM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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

Well, Ironduke, I see you like to debate.

However, you have provided absoutely NOTHING NEW to this debate over the validity of 4th armoured's numbers of German tanks destroyed. Absolutely nothing.


Except proved that everything you said was incorrect.

quote:

Where are your sources?

Where are your books?

Where are the page numbers?

Where are the tank numbers?

Where are the authors?

Where is you analysis?

Again, you debate with nothing; you argue with guesses; you provide only unsubstantiated theories. . .

You simply have NOTHING.

I will let the readers decide who is right here.


Indeed, you often do this, say something which clearly flies in the face of the evidence provided. Very well, to further prove the error of your argument, I will list the facts and give the sources. I presume you will be retracting this when I've done this?

quote:

I have many, many sources that support 4th Armoured's claims.


Correction, you have many, many sources that quote 4th Armoured claims. If you have sources in support, it is a shame you can only tell us you have them, and not actually tell us what they are. What inference should we draw from that?

quote:

The additional units I provided above was done through a quick survey showing readers just some of the units you neglected to mention.


Yes, but I neglected to mention them BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T FIGHT IN YOUR BATTLE, OR DIDN'T EXIST WHEN YOUR BATTLE WAS FOUGHT, OR DIDN'T HAVE ANY TANKS, which meant there was no reason to discuss them. Do you want me to talk about every unit the Germans had on the western front, or just the ones concerned with the Battle of Arracourt. I thought we were discussing Arracourt (your words certainly suggest we were).

quote:

There are many more units I have NOT mentioned, which you have simply failed to include.


You haven't mentioned them because they don't exist. If they did, you would have taken great delight in telling the forum about them. If you haven't told the forum about them, then we must conclude this isn't true.

quote:

You claim that all the additional units I listed contained only an additional 20 tanks. This is a pure guess on your part. Where are your sources?


As I said, my sources will follow. I preume in fairness that you'll either challenge them with sources of you're own or retract your statements afterwards?

quote:

The 3d Panzergrenadier Division, alone, contained 33 assault guns. . .


LOL . It actually had 37 at the one point we can trace it at this time (August 1944).

quote:

So this ONE unit alone totally refutes your very poor conclusion.

3d Panzergrenadier Division, just arrived from Italy in Sept, 1944 (The rifle strength of the 3rd Panzer Grenadier Division was still nearly complete, it's artillery was good, and in addition it now had a complement of thirty three assault guns-an unusual number for any German division at this stage of the war. [From the official history of the war, commonly referred to as the "green books", "The Lorraine Campaign" volume, by Col. H.M. Cole].


LOL. But it wasn't involved at the fighting in Arracourt. At this rate you'll be adding in the tanks of II SS Panzer Corp, which during this battle were fighting around Arnhem. Why not add in their Panthers and Assault guns, we'll soon get the figures up.

Okay, I'm about to go through and list the evidence. Will you do the same and explain (only vaguely will do) at what point during the Battle of Arracourt, 3 Pzgr division got involved? If I am presenting the forum with my evidence, you will surely be doing the same to give them a balanced picture of both sides from which to judge????????

This is also proof that you don't read any one else's posts, I told you above this unit was not involved in this fighting.

quote:

Like I said - you have absolutely nothing


I am actually shocked at your statements, analysis and numbers, which are backed by NOTHING..


I have said before, simply saying something doesn't make it true.

quote:

Even so, I don't have to prove anything


Of course you don't. You can just continue to make unsubstantiated statements and then decide you've had enough when you're challenged to prove them.


My evidence will be with you shortly, I expect a full analysis of it.

Regards,
IronDuke

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 165
RE: 'No Patton' - 9/2/2004 10:21:14 PM   
IronDuke_slith

 

Posts: 1595
Joined: 6/30/2002
From: Manchester, UK
Status: offline
Von Rom,
Going through my posts, these are the facts and figures I quoted. Do you have any others regarding the fighting at Arracourt? I'd hate to think you thought I had missed any? I should be able to provide the supporting references this evening.

IronDuke's claims
I claimed D'Este only quoted 4th Armoured's claims, not give supporting evidence.

I claimed (and you called this cursory for some reason) that 21st Panzer, 11th Panzer, 112th, 111th, and 113th Panzer Brigades were the chief German units involved in the battle of Arracourt.

I queried your claim that a unit called 133rd Panzer Brigade even existed (mever mid fought) for the Germans.

I claimed the 106th Panzer Brigade had only a handful of tanks, and had lost most of it's original tanks in a fight on 7th Sept against 90 US Infantry Division.

I claimed the 3rd Panzergrenadier division never fought at Arracourt between 18th-30th September.

I suggested 15th Pzgr Division had only around 10 tanks at the time of the battle of Arracourt.

I claimed the 553 VGD wasn't formed in time to fight in the battle, and had no tanks, and never fought at Arracourt.

I claimed the 559th VGD was in the same boat, (no tanks) except it did fight close to Arracourt, but not against 4th Armoured.

I claimed the 462 Division didn't even exist at the time of the battle of Arracourt.

I claimed the 17th SS Pzgr had no tanks, and never fought at Arracourt anyway.

I also seem to remember suggesting it was always safe to knock off a fair percentage of German vehicles as being in the workshops, so actual vehicles available was never as high as actual vehicles on strength.

IronDuke

(in reply to IronDuke_slith)
Post #: 166
RE: 'No Patton' - 9/2/2004 10:37:44 PM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

Ironduke:

heheh

You'll bend over backwards arguing until you are blue in the face over how many tanks might have been in Lorraine, in the face of ALL established sources that totally refute your claims.

And you provide NO sources.

Yet, you simply couldn't figure out that Dietrich's sworn direct testimony did not magically turn into hearsay simply because he later recanted it. . .

And you also stated that if I didn't present Dietrich's testimony to you, then it simply didn't exist!

And you also believed those SS defendents were poorly treated and should have been released.

And you believe the battle of Kursk is similar to that of the Battle of the Bulge

And you believe that counting total number of days for a trip should include the first day regardless of what time the trip starts on that first day.

Why didn't you do any research into the above situations, Ironduke?

Where is your analysis of them?

Why aren't you debating those questions?

Hmmmm?


Just noticed this.

I was discussing these very posts, we stopped discussing them because earlier in this thread, you said (in reply to some challenges I made and some evidence I asked for):

quote:

Von Rom
I may answer this sometime down the road.

But for now, I simply don't feel like it.

I'm in the middle of collecting more research on another topic.

I have reams and reams of it. . .

Wait till you see it. . .


Strange how you didn't feel like it, but I am preparing everything you asked for. What does this tell you?

You then started this whole thing about Lorraine

quote:

Von Rom
Jolly good.

Then it's just you and me again

I'm looking forward to it.

BTW, do you still think there were less than 100 tanks in Lorraine in 1944?


It seems that after refusing to provide evidence in the last arguemnt, you said you couldn't be bothered, then changed the subject, throwing this hook out for Kev, since I'm guessing Lorraine was the subject of your

quote:

Von Rom
I'm in the middle of collecting more research on another topic.

I have reams and reams of it. . .

Wait till you see it. . .


Now, you want to discuss the old stuff again, because your "reams" of research is being challenged. We can go back to the old stuff, by all means, but shouldn't we finish this one first????????

IronDuke

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 167
RE: 'No Patton' - 9/2/2004 11:03:16 PM   
Von Rom


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

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

Well, Ironduke, I see you like to debate.

However, you have provided absoutely NOTHING NEW to this debate over the validity of 4th armoured's numbers of German tanks destroyed. Absolutely nothing.


Except proved that everything you said was incorrect.

quote:

Where are your sources?

Where are your books?

Where are the page numbers?

Where are the tank numbers?

Where are the authors?

Where is you analysis?

Again, you debate with nothing; you argue with guesses; you provide only unsubstantiated theories. . .

You simply have NOTHING.

I will let the readers decide who is right here.


Indeed, you often do this, say something which clearly flies in the face of the evidence provided. Very well, to further prove the error of your argument, I will list the facts and give the sources. I presume you will be retracting this when I've done this?

quote:

I have many, many sources that support 4th Armoured's claims.


Correction, you have many, many sources that quote 4th Armoured claims. If you have sources in support, it is a shame you can only tell us you have them, and not actually tell us what they are. What inference should we draw from that?

quote:

The additional units I provided above was done through a quick survey showing readers just some of the units you neglected to mention.


Yes, but I neglected to mention them BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T FIGHT IN YOUR BATTLE, OR DIDN'T EXIST WHEN YOUR BATTLE WAS FOUGHT, OR DIDN'T HAVE ANY TANKS, which meant there was no reason to discuss them. Do you want me to talk about every unit the Germans had on the western front, or just the ones concerned with the Battle of Arracourt. I thought we were discussing Arracourt (your words certainly suggest we were).

quote:

There are many more units I have NOT mentioned, which you have simply failed to include.


You haven't mentioned them because they don't exist. If they did, you would have taken great delight in telling the forum about them. If you haven't told the forum about them, then we must conclude this isn't true.

quote:

You claim that all the additional units I listed contained only an additional 20 tanks. This is a pure guess on your part. Where are your sources?


As I said, my sources will follow. I preume in fairness that you'll either challenge them with sources of you're own or retract your statements afterwards?

quote:

The 3d Panzergrenadier Division, alone, contained 33 assault guns. . .


LOL . It actually had 37 at the one point we can trace it at this time (August 1944).

quote:

So this ONE unit alone totally refutes your very poor conclusion.

3d Panzergrenadier Division, just arrived from Italy in Sept, 1944 (The rifle strength of the 3rd Panzer Grenadier Division was still nearly complete, it's artillery was good, and in addition it now had a complement of thirty three assault guns-an unusual number for any German division at this stage of the war. [From the official history of the war, commonly referred to as the "green books", "The Lorraine Campaign" volume, by Col. H.M. Cole].


LOL. But it wasn't involved at the fighting in Arracourt. At this rate you'll be adding in the tanks of II SS Panzer Corp, which during this battle were fighting around Arnhem. Why not add in their Panthers and Assault guns, we'll soon get the figures up.

Okay, I'm about to go through and list the evidence. Will you do the same and explain (only vaguely will do) at what point during the Battle of Arracourt, 3 Pzgr division got involved? If I am presenting the forum with my evidence, you will surely be doing the same to give them a balanced picture of both sides from which to judge????????

This is also proof that you don't read any one else's posts, I told you above this unit was not involved in this fighting.

quote:

Like I said - you have absolutely nothing


I am actually shocked at your statements, analysis and numbers, which are backed by NOTHING..


I have said before, simply saying something doesn't make it true.

quote:

Even so, I don't have to prove anything


Of course you don't. You can just continue to make unsubstantiated statements and then decide you've had enough when you're challenged to prove them.


My evidence will be with you shortly, I expect a full analysis of it.

Regards,
IronDuke


Ironduke:

Sorry, but many of your conclusions are wrong.

All my statements have been backed by verified sources by well-known historians.

You, on the other hand, are conducting a cursory, unsubstantiated survey of the battlefield, and coming to unsupportable conclusions.

Do you really think that you can spend a couple of hours doing cursory research and hope to overturn 60 years of VERIFIED documentation?

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 9/2/2004 9:05:32 PM >


_____________________________


(in reply to IronDuke_slith)
Post #: 168
RE: 'No Patton' - 9/2/2004 11:10:49 PM   
Von Rom


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

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

Von Rom,
Going through my posts, these are the facts and figures I quoted. Do you have any others regarding the fighting at Arracourt? I'd hate to think you thought I had missed any? I should be able to provide the supporting references this evening.

IronDuke's claims
I claimed D'Este only quoted 4th Armoured's claims, not give supporting evidence.

I claimed (and you called this cursory for some reason) that 21st Panzer, 11th Panzer, 112th, 111th, and 113th Panzer Brigades were the chief German units involved in the battle of Arracourt.

I queried your claim that a unit called 133rd Panzer Brigade even existed (mever mid fought) for the Germans.

I claimed the 106th Panzer Brigade had only a handful of tanks, and had lost most of it's original tanks in a fight on 7th Sept against 90 US Infantry Division.

I claimed the 3rd Panzergrenadier division never fought at Arracourt between 18th-30th September.

I suggested 15th Pzgr Division had only around 10 tanks at the time of the battle of Arracourt.

I claimed the 553 VGD wasn't formed in time to fight in the battle, and had no tanks, and never fought at Arracourt.

I claimed the 559th VGD was in the same boat, (no tanks) except it did fight close to Arracourt, but not against 4th Armoured.

I claimed the 462 Division didn't even exist at the time of the battle of Arracourt.

I claimed the 17th SS Pzgr had no tanks, and never fought at Arracourt anyway.

I also seem to remember suggesting it was always safe to knock off a fair percentage of German vehicles as being in the workshops, so actual vehicles available was never as high as actual vehicles on strength.

IronDuke



Well, Ironduke,

You can claim anything you want.

It's not me you're up against - it's 60 years of verified history that you're butting heads against.

I realize it's just little 'ol me against all you BIG "Professional Historians" and such, but do you really think a couple hours of work is going to unseat 60 years of history and knock down something that NO historian has refuted?

_____________________________


(in reply to IronDuke_slith)
Post #: 169
RE: 'No Patton' - 9/2/2004 11:26:01 PM   
Von Rom


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

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

Ironduke:

heheh

You'll bend over backwards arguing until you are blue in the face over how many tanks might have been in Lorraine, in the face of ALL established sources that totally refute your claims.

And you provide NO sources.

Yet, you simply couldn't figure out that Dietrich's sworn direct testimony did not magically turn into hearsay simply because he later recanted it. . .

And you also stated that if I didn't present Dietrich's testimony to you, then it simply didn't exist!

And you also believed those SS defendents were poorly treated and should have been released.

And you believe the battle of Kursk is similar to that of the Battle of the Bulge

And you believe that counting total number of days for a trip should include the first day regardless of what time the trip starts on that first day.

Why didn't you do any research into the above situations, Ironduke?

Where is your analysis of them?

Why aren't you debating those questions?

Hmmmm?


Just noticed this.

I was discussing these very posts, we stopped discussing them because earlier in this thread, you said (in reply to some challenges I made and some evidence I asked for):

quote:

Von Rom
I may answer this sometime down the road.

But for now, I simply don't feel like it.

I'm in the middle of collecting more research on another topic.

I have reams and reams of it. . .

Wait till you see it. . .


Strange how you didn't feel like it, but I am preparing everything you asked for. What does this tell you?

You then started this whole thing about Lorraine

quote:

Von Rom
Jolly good.

Then it's just you and me again

I'm looking forward to it.

BTW, do you still think there were less than 100 tanks in Lorraine in 1944?


It seems that after refusing to provide evidence in the last arguemnt, you said you couldn't be bothered, then changed the subject, throwing this hook out for Kev, since I'm guessing Lorraine was the subject of your

quote:

Von Rom
I'm in the middle of collecting more research on another topic.

I have reams and reams of it. . .

Wait till you see it. . .


Now, you want to discuss the old stuff again, because your "reams" of research is being challenged. We can go back to the old stuff, by all means, but shouldn't we finish this one first????????

IronDuke


My, my. . .

You do seem a bit confused, Ironduke.

But then, you're the "Professional Historian".

Or, are you "IronPsychic" this time?

I get those two personas mixed-up. . . (silly me - heheh)

First, you left this thread. . .

*Poof* you were gone. . .

Then I mentioned Lorraine to Kev. . .

Then. . .

*Poof* you re-appeared. . .

And then you started to discuss Lorraine. . .

However, by discussing Lorraine, you left out all those previous unresolved issues. . .

But I guess you know better. . .

Since you're the "Professional Historian".

BTW, is a19999577 helping you do some research on this?

I hope so, since he's been so helpful to you in the past. . . answering many of the replies to your posts and all. . .

I'd hate to think that you're doing all this boring research by yourself. Stuck in some musty old room pouring over books, while I'm outside in the fresh air having fun

Anyway, I'm really in awe of what you're doing - really.

The results of your few hours' work could over-turn a lot of history books that took years to write.

But then, I guess that's how you "Professional Historians" operate. . .

Cheers!

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 9/2/2004 9:37:56 PM >


_____________________________


(in reply to IronDuke_slith)
Post #: 170
RE: 'No Patton' - 9/3/2004 12:35:10 AM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

Well, Ironduke, I see you like to debate.

However, you have provided absoutely NOTHING NEW to this debate over the validity of 4th armoured's numbers of German tanks destroyed. Absolutely nothing.


Except proved that everything you said was incorrect.

quote:

Where are your sources?

Where are your books?

Where are the page numbers?

Where are the tank numbers?

Where are the authors?

Where is you analysis?

Again, you debate with nothing; you argue with guesses; you provide only unsubstantiated theories. . .

You simply have NOTHING.

I will let the readers decide who is right here.


Indeed, you often do this, say something which clearly flies in the face of the evidence provided. Very well, to further prove the error of your argument, I will list the facts and give the sources. I presume you will be retracting this when I've done this?

quote:

I have many, many sources that support 4th Armoured's claims.


Correction, you have many, many sources that quote 4th Armoured claims. If you have sources in support, it is a shame you can only tell us you have them, and not actually tell us what they are. What inference should we draw from that?

quote:

The additional units I provided above was done through a quick survey showing readers just some of the units you neglected to mention.


Yes, but I neglected to mention them BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T FIGHT IN YOUR BATTLE, OR DIDN'T EXIST WHEN YOUR BATTLE WAS FOUGHT, OR DIDN'T HAVE ANY TANKS, which meant there was no reason to discuss them. Do you want me to talk about every unit the Germans had on the western front, or just the ones concerned with the Battle of Arracourt. I thought we were discussing Arracourt (your words certainly suggest we were).

quote:

There are many more units I have NOT mentioned, which you have simply failed to include.


You haven't mentioned them because they don't exist. If they did, you would have taken great delight in telling the forum about them. If you haven't told the forum about them, then we must conclude this isn't true.

quote:

You claim that all the additional units I listed contained only an additional 20 tanks. This is a pure guess on your part. Where are your sources?


As I said, my sources will follow. I preume in fairness that you'll either challenge them with sources of you're own or retract your statements afterwards?

quote:

The 3d Panzergrenadier Division, alone, contained 33 assault guns. . .


LOL . It actually had 37 at the one point we can trace it at this time (August 1944).

quote:

So this ONE unit alone totally refutes your very poor conclusion.

3d Panzergrenadier Division, just arrived from Italy in Sept, 1944 (The rifle strength of the 3rd Panzer Grenadier Division was still nearly complete, it's artillery was good, and in addition it now had a complement of thirty three assault guns-an unusual number for any German division at this stage of the war. [From the official history of the war, commonly referred to as the "green books", "The Lorraine Campaign" volume, by Col. H.M. Cole].


LOL. But it wasn't involved at the fighting in Arracourt. At this rate you'll be adding in the tanks of II SS Panzer Corp, which during this battle were fighting around Arnhem. Why not add in their Panthers and Assault guns, we'll soon get the figures up.

Okay, I'm about to go through and list the evidence. Will you do the same and explain (only vaguely will do) at what point during the Battle of Arracourt, 3 Pzgr division got involved? If I am presenting the forum with my evidence, you will surely be doing the same to give them a balanced picture of both sides from which to judge????????

This is also proof that you don't read any one else's posts, I told you above this unit was not involved in this fighting.

quote:

Like I said - you have absolutely nothing


I am actually shocked at your statements, analysis and numbers, which are backed by NOTHING..


I have said before, simply saying something doesn't make it true.

quote:

Even so, I don't have to prove anything


Of course you don't. You can just continue to make unsubstantiated statements and then decide you've had enough when you're challenged to prove them.


My evidence will be with you shortly, I expect a full analysis of it.

Regards,
IronDuke


Ironduke:

Sorry, but many of your conclusions are wrong.

All my statements have been backed by verified sources by well-known historians.

You, on the other hand, are conducting a cursory, unsubstantiated survey of the battlefield, and coming to unsupportable conclusions.

Do you really think that you can spend a couple of hours doing cursory research and hope to overturn 60 years of VERIFIED documentation?


LOL. This from the man who told us his own research amongst the websites of the world had led him to believe D'Este's work on Patton was flawed. Where was this statement then? Although, of course, you're saying you're work amongst the websites is better, and when you're doing it, a ..

quote:

Von Rom
couple of hours doing cursory research


is enough to overturn the work of established historians.

Besides, which historians? (I tell you what, you can quote them when you reply to my evidence).

This is also very revealing. I post my argument, and you spend a half dozen posts screaming for facts and references. Before those facts have even been presented, you are nowe saying it doesn't matter what the facts are because I can't overturn years of History! You're not going to even look at the evidence having demanded it!

This really illustrates the problem. Having stated your position, you will not accept a different point of view (even supported with evidence) is even possible! This is why every thread ends up with you arguing with someone (or several people).

Ironduke

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 171
RE: 'No Patton' - 9/3/2004 2:48:54 AM   
IronDuke_slith

 

Posts: 1595
Joined: 6/30/2002
From: Manchester, UK
Status: offline
IronDuke's evidence.

I've had another look at your websites, and found some good stuff there, so I'd like to quote from there as well if you don't mind? I'm not a website man, but having provided the links (so you must accept what they say) I'd like to include a few lines from them.

Firstly, a line about the websites. One seems to be a link to a page about the tactical use of smoke. I didn't see much about the campaign, but I could be wrong.

However, the quote from the site you gave us was:

quote:

The 4th Armored Division claimed 281 German tanks destroyed, 3,000 Germans killed, and another 3,000 taken prisoner in the fighting.


This is therefore repeating what 4th Armoured said, not verifying it. It uses the word "claimed".

The second is a combined arms Library piece. This was better, and there was some useful stuff there. I don't think you read this piece, because a lot of it agrees with me! It, however, says

quote:

At the end of the week-long battle, Combat Command A reported 25 tanks and 7 tank destroyers lost but claimed 285 German tanks destroyed.

The Combined Arms research Library
The Lorraine Campaign


So, this isn't verifying 4th Armoured's claim, merely repeating it. It uses the words "claimed".

The third was a 100 odd word book review! It doesn't mention 4th Armoured's fight at Arracourt, and instead quotes the campaign figure which is irrelevant to the task in hand.

So much for 60 years of established history. All you've shown is that historians have no figures for the fighting except what 4th Armoured claimed. None of these are from history books, either. The Combined Arms work looks a reasonable attempt, but does not verify 4th Armoured, merely repeat their claim.

quote:

IronDuke

I claimed D'Este only quoted 4th Armoured's claims, not give supporting evidence.


"...claiming the destruction of 281 German tanks, three thousand enemy killed...."
Carlo D'Este: Patton a Genius for War.
Page 663.

Therefore, I was correct, D'Este reports what 4th Armoured said, he didn't attempt to verify it.

quote:

Ironduke
I claimed (and you called this cursory for some reason) that 21st Panzer, 11th Panzer, 112th, 111th, and 113th Panzer Brigades were the chief German units involved in the battle of Arracourt.


lets turn to Mellenthin, I seem to remember you quoted from him, so you must accept his competence.

"Fifth Panzer Army attacked on 18th September. Manteuffel then commanded the 15th PGD, the 111th, 112th and 113th Panzer Brigades, the 11th Panzer Division and 21st Panzer Division."

First Army's forces attacked further north from Arracourt and never met 4th Armoured (with one brief exception), although Mellenthin gives us the forces involved: 559th Division and 106th Panzer Brigade. Proof they never really met 4th Armoured can be found on one of your websites. (Pg 380 - "Panzer Battles")

quote:

The Combined Arms Library.
To the north of Fifth Panzer Army, the German First Army attempted to eliminate XII Corps' bridgehead across the Seille River. The 559th Volksgrenadier Division launched a series of attacks against 35th Division in the Grémecey Forest that lasted from 26 to 30 September. In contrast to the tank battle at Arracourt, 35th Division's engagement at Grémecey was a swirling infantry battle fought out at close quarters among thick woods and entrenchments left over from World War I. After 3 days of chaotic, seesaw fighting, Eddy ordered the 35th to withdraw across the Seille


Therefore, I was correct when I cited the formations involved. I did omit (initially) 15th PGD, but since the number of assault guns can be shown later in this piece to have been negligible, so negligible that Mellenthin doesn't even mention them, it's not too serious an omission when discussing Tank strengths.

quote:

IronDuke
I queried your claim that a unit called 133rd Panzer Brigade even existed (mever mid fought) for the Germans.


This one is Nafziger: "The German Order of Battle: Panzers and Artillery in World War II". On page 202 through 208, he lists brief histories of all the Independent Army Panzer Brigades. These histories include 111th, 112th and 113th Panzer Brigades. There is no 133rd listed.

Therefore, I am correct (unless you have other evidence) when I state this unit is unlikely to have fought, because there is no evidence it ever existed.

quote:

IronDuke
I claimed the 106th Panzer Brigade had only a handful of tanks, and had lost most of it's original tanks in a fight on 7th Sept against 90 US Infantry Division.


Well, lets try yet another source. How about Russell F Weigley "Eisenhower's Lieutenants".

"On September 7, General Von Knobelsdorff decided to try to spoil the effort by thrusting the 106th Panzer Brigade into the left flank of the 90th Division.....The strung out column of Germans was soon surrounded and few of the enemy vehicles that approached McClain's CP found their way back to German lines.....90th Division captured or destroyed 30 tanks..."

turning top Nafziger, we can see that it's authorised strength in September should have been 36 Panthers and 11 MK IVs.
Therefore, it seems the brush with the 90th reduced 106th's tank strength to around fifteen vehicles, at least 2 and a half weeks before it got involved in the fighting north of Arracourt.

Therefore, I was right to claim this unit had few tanks.

quote:

I claimed the 3rd Panzergrenadier division never fought at Arracourt between 18th-30th September.


One of your sources suggests it was embroiled before Metz shortly before the Arracourt battles.

quote:

Combined Arms Library
A more carefully planned crossing operation succeeded nearby at Arnaville on 10 September. Under the covering fire of 13 artillery battalions, plus air support and a generated smoke screen, 5th Division established a permanent bridgehead over the Moselle that became the main divisional effort. The artillery of XX Corps and the P-47s of XIX Tactical Air Command helped break up counterattacks mounted by the 3d and the 17th SS Panzer Grenadier Divisions


Weigley disagrees and suggests this was the 15th PGD not 3rd. Whichever, no source suggests the 3rd PGD got involved around Arracourt. Certainly Mellenthin doesn't and since he was helping run the battle for the Germans, we might have hoped that he would have mentioned them. He certainly mentioned the 15th PGD, so we know he valued these formations.

Weigley places 3rd PGD to the north and west of Arracourt on September 15th, fighting with 80th Division. (Pg 335).

Therefore, there is no evidence 3rd PGD fought at Arracourt, none of the sources mention them and they seem to have been engaged further north.

quote:

IronDuke
I suggested 15th Pzgr Division had only around 10 tanks at the time of the battle of Arracourt.


"The next day, Sept 14th....Task Force Abe again led the way and promptly it met part of the 15th Panzergrenadier Division. The day's score for CCA was...26 armoured vehicles." Russell Weigley "Eisenhower's Lieutenants" pg 334.

On page 272 of Nafziger "The German Order of Battle: Panzers and Artillery in World War II". We find the strength of 15th PZGR division in August 1944 to be 36 Stugs. Of course, in addition to the losses on 14th, it was fighting through September leading up to the battle at Arracourt, so who knows how many more were lost. It perhaps explains why an armoured element from this division is not mentioned in any of the sources describing the battle.

So I think I have proved that 15 Pzgr division had only around 10 tanks at the time of the battle.

quote:

IronDuke
I claimed the 553 VGD wasn't formed in time to fight in the battle, and had no tanks, and never fought at Arracourt.


NafZiger "The German Order of Battle: Infantry in WWII" pg 348. This gives the OOB of the 553rd Grenadier Division. It says the Volksgrenadier Division was not formed until 9th Oct. The OOB has no tanks or assault guns. It had no tanks, and none of the sources list it as taking part in the fighting, so it doesn't matter that it had no tanks anyway.

Therefore, I was correct.

quote:

I claimed the 559th VGD was in the same boat, (no tanks) except it did fight close to Arracourt, but not against 4th Armoured.


NafZiger "The German Order of Battle: Infantry in WWII" pg 351. This lists the OOB for this unit's predescessor (559th VGD listed as being formed on 9 October) the 559th Grenadier Division. It has no tanks. Some further research indicates this unit's initial attacks on 24th (it was fighting between 24th and 30th north of Arracourt) may have come up against elements of 4th Armoured. However, there are no tanks in the OOB so none of the tanks claimed by 4th Armoured can have come from this formation.


quote:

Ironduke
I claimed the 462 Division didn't even exist at the time of the battle of Arracourt.


NafZiger "The German Order of Battle: Infantry in WWII" pg 340.

"Formed on 19 Oct 1944".

Weigley suggests it might have been part of the Metz Garrison, but it didn't fight at Arracourt, and when formed there were no tanks or Assault guns in it's OOB (Nafziger cited above Pg 340).

quote:

IronDuke
I claimed the 17th SS Pzgr had no tanks, and never fought at Arracourt anyway.


Again, not a single source mentions it in the Arracourt accounts. The combined arms Library suggests on 10th it was fighting the 5th US Division.

Niklas Zetterling: "Normandy 1944" tells us this unit had ten Stugs in a strength return dated 23 July, and that further losses were sustained during the Cobra fighting at Coutances (pg 367). He reports it was built back up with the addition of 49th and 51st SS Panzergrenadier Brigades.

Nafziger: "The German order of Battle: Waffen SS and other units in WWII" tells us these formations were infantry formations and contained no tanks or assault guns. (Pg 134-135).

I believe I am proven right here. It wasn't at Arracourt and had few if any Tanks or Assault Guns.

quote:

IronDuke
I also seem to remember suggesting it was always safe to knock off a fair percentage of German vehicles as being in the workshops, so actual vehicles available was never as high as actual vehicles on strength.


Samual Mitcham; "Rommel's last Battle" points out on pg 18 that...

"By February 1944, the Reich had 3053 tanks, but 1534, or more than 50 per cent, were in need of major repair."

If you want a more concrete example of how many tanks were usually under repair, lets look at the strength returns of 12th SS on the eve of Operation Epsom in early June.

Michael Reynolds "Steel Inferno" pg 145.

12th SS's sterength was... "fifty eight Mk IVs and forty four Panthers. There were in addition an estimated eighteen MKIVs and ten panthers under repair..."

That's an average of over 20% of a units tank strength under repair in the middle of a major campaign when they would have been moving mountains to get these vehicles back into action.

The last thing to do, therefore, is to illustrate where I got my tank figures from.

21st Panzer - I said:
quote:

Ironduke
21st Panzer was badly mauled in Normandy, having been involved since the beginning. The best estimate of it's tank strength in September is 10 vehicles.


Mellenthin says "21st Panzer had virtually no tanks" "Panzer Battles" pg 377.

Zetterling "Normandy 1944" quotes the figure as 10 on 22 August based on 21st Panzer's strength returns. 10 is therefore at the upper end of the possible range. I was being generous.

11th Panzer. I said:

quote:

IronDuke
11th Panzer had been (according to Mellenthin) badly hit during the withdrawal in southern France and mustered 16 tanks when it joined the action (in the second phase of the fighting).


Von Mellenthin "Panzer Battles" pg 380 "Hitler...insisted the 11th Panzer Division be thrown in against the Americans around Arracourt. this division had two regiments of Panzergrenadiers but only sixteen tanks".


The three Panzer Brigades:

111th and 113th Pz Brigades. I am happy to accept these would have had something approaching full strength. Around 90 vehicles minus 20% in operational repair. Lets say 150 to be generous.

112th Pz Brigade had only a handful. Von Mellenthin "Panzer Battles" pg 377. "The 112th Panzer Brigade had only a handful of tanks".

Shall we surmise 20% operational, or 18 vehicles? It sounds generous, but lets err on the side of generosity.

Therefore we get based on the above sources:

11th Panzer: 16 Tanks.
21st Panzer: 10 Tanks max.
112th Pz Brig: 18 Tanks
111th Pz Brig: 75 Tanks
113th Pz Brig: 75 Tanks
15th PGD: 10 Tanks

This gives us a grand total of 204. We know that a number of tanks survived the battle. 112th had seven when it was disbanded, for example. 30 Tanks between all these formations sounds too few, but lets use it anyway, to arrive at a figure of approx 175 destroyed. Some of these would have fallen to other causes than 4th Armoured (air power etc).
I suspect not many, probably fewer than 20. I would therefore put 4th Armoured's total at about 150.

Whatever, 4th Armoured cannot have killed 281 Tanks, because the available evidence suggests there were not 281 German tanks committed between 18th-30th September 1944.

I believe we're done. If you want to dispute any of these figures and sources, I'll be glad to look at your sources and figures. If you're only going to repeat I've proved nothing, without showing why, then I don't see much else to discuss.

I have assembled a good amount of evidence here. Will you do the same to support 4th Armoured's claim?

regards,
IronDuke

(in reply to IronDuke_slith)
Post #: 172
RE: 'No Patton' - 9/3/2004 3:01:41 AM   
Von Rom


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

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

ORIGINAL: Von Rom

quote:

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

quote:

Well, Ironduke, I see you like to debate.

However, you have provided absoutely NOTHING NEW to this debate over the validity of 4th armoured's numbers of German tanks destroyed. Absolutely nothing.


Except proved that everything you said was incorrect.

quote:

Where are your sources?

Where are your books?

Where are the page numbers?

Where are the tank numbers?

Where are the authors?

Where is you analysis?

Again, you debate with nothing; you argue with guesses; you provide only unsubstantiated theories. . .

You simply have NOTHING.

I will let the readers decide who is right here.


Indeed, you often do this, say something which clearly flies in the face of the evidence provided. Very well, to further prove the error of your argument, I will list the facts and give the sources. I presume you will be retracting this when I've done this?

quote:

I have many, many sources that support 4th Armoured's claims.


Correction, you have many, many sources that quote 4th Armoured claims. If you have sources in support, it is a shame you can only tell us you have them, and not actually tell us what they are. What inference should we draw from that?

quote:

The additional units I provided above was done through a quick survey showing readers just some of the units you neglected to mention.


Yes, but I neglected to mention them BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T FIGHT IN YOUR BATTLE, OR DIDN'T EXIST WHEN YOUR BATTLE WAS FOUGHT, OR DIDN'T HAVE ANY TANKS, which meant there was no reason to discuss them. Do you want me to talk about every unit the Germans had on the western front, or just the ones concerned with the Battle of Arracourt. I thought we were discussing Arracourt (your words certainly suggest we were).

quote:

There are many more units I have NOT mentioned, which you have simply failed to include.


You haven't mentioned them because they don't exist. If they did, you would have taken great delight in telling the forum about them. If you haven't told the forum about them, then we must conclude this isn't true.

quote:

You claim that all the additional units I listed contained only an additional 20 tanks. This is a pure guess on your part. Where are your sources?


As I said, my sources will follow. I preume in fairness that you'll either challenge them with sources of you're own or retract your statements afterwards?

quote:

The 3d Panzergrenadier Division, alone, contained 33 assault guns. . .


LOL . It actually had 37 at the one point we can trace it at this time (August 1944).

quote:

So this ONE unit alone totally refutes your very poor conclusion.

3d Panzergrenadier Division, just arrived from Italy in Sept, 1944 (The rifle strength of the 3rd Panzer Grenadier Division was still nearly complete, it's artillery was good, and in addition it now had a complement of thirty three assault guns-an unusual number for any German division at this stage of the war. [From the official history of the war, commonly referred to as the "green books", "The Lorraine Campaign" volume, by Col. H.M. Cole].


LOL. But it wasn't involved at the fighting in Arracourt. At this rate you'll be adding in the tanks of II SS Panzer Corp, which during this battle were fighting around Arnhem. Why not add in their Panthers and Assault guns, we'll soon get the figures up.

Okay, I'm about to go through and list the evidence. Will you do the same and explain (only vaguely will do) at what point during the Battle of Arracourt, 3 Pzgr division got involved? If I am presenting the forum with my evidence, you will surely be doing the same to give them a balanced picture of both sides from which to judge????????

This is also proof that you don't read any one else's posts, I told you above this unit was not involved in this fighting.

quote:

Like I said - you have absolutely nothing


I am actually shocked at your statements, analysis and numbers, which are backed by NOTHING..


I have said before, simply saying something doesn't make it true.

quote:

Even so, I don't have to prove anything


Of course you don't. You can just continue to make unsubstantiated statements and then decide you've had enough when you're challenged to prove them.


My evidence will be with you shortly, I expect a full analysis of it.

Regards,
IronDuke


Ironduke:

Sorry, but many of your conclusions are wrong.

All my statements have been backed by verified sources by well-known historians.

You, on the other hand, are conducting a cursory, unsubstantiated survey of the battlefield, and coming to unsupportable conclusions.

Do you really think that you can spend a couple of hours doing cursory research and hope to overturn 60 years of VERIFIED documentation?


LOL. This from the man who told us his own research amongst the websites of the world had led him to believe D'Este's work on Patton was flawed. Where was this statement then? Although, of course, you're saying you're work amongst the websites is better, and when you're doing it, a ..

quote:

Von Rom
couple of hours doing cursory research


is enough to overturn the work of established historians.

Besides, which historians? (I tell you what, you can quote them when you reply to my evidence).

This is also very revealing. I post my argument, and you spend a half dozen posts screaming for facts and references. Before those facts have even been presented, you are nowe saying it doesn't matter what the facts are because I can't overturn years of History! You're not going to even look at the evidence having demanded it!

This really illustrates the problem. Having stated your position, you will not accept a different point of view (even supported with evidence) is even possible! This is why every thread ends up with you arguing with someone (or several people).

Ironduke



Ironduke:

You're such a kidder. . .

My problem?

It's not my problem at all, Ironduke.

You see, all the history books talk about 281 German tanks; not little 'ol me. . .

Yes, I want to see facts. But do you really think this question can settled in just a couple of hours?

I have already pointed out to you, EIGHT fighting formations that you missed.

And there are more. . .

I will accept another point of view when I see the evidence. So far that hasn't happened in most instances. . .

_____________________________


(in reply to IronDuke_slith)
Post #: 173
RE: 'No Patton' - 9/3/2004 3:07:28 AM   
freeboy

 

Posts: 8984
Joined: 5/16/2004
From: Colorado
Status: offline
quote:

claiming the destruction of 281 German tanks, three thousand enemy killed

I do not want to get into a is this true debate hear.. just wanted to comment that 281 tanks at this time in the war is a bit high, since there where so few armored tank destroyers and tanks.. if you bunch them together.
My sources... hum.. ok HPS simulations.. maybe I could email them and ask where they got their unit tank totlas, but I find there work very historically accurate....

The biggest problem I have reading the banter hear is not the fact finding misions or lack there of, but an underlying tone that is honostly offensive and abusive...
Disagree with integrety or perhaps find another board?

< Message edited by freeboy -- 9/3/2004 9:25:52 AM >

(in reply to IronDuke_slith)
Post #: 174
RE: 'No Patton' - 9/3/2004 3:17:42 AM   
Von Rom


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

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

IronDuke's evidence.

I've had another look at your websites, and found some good stuff there, so I'd like to quote from there as well if you don't mind? I'm not a website man, but having provided the links (so you must accept what they say) I'd like to include a few lines from them.

Firstly, a line about the websites. One seems to be a link to a page about the tactical use of smoke. I didn't see much about the campaign, but I could be wrong.

However, the quote from the site you gave us was:

quote:

The 4th Armored Division claimed 281 German tanks destroyed, 3,000 Germans killed, and another 3,000 taken prisoner in the fighting.


This is therefore repeating what 4th Armoured said, not verifying it. It uses the word "claimed".

The second is a combined arms Library piece. This was better, and there was some useful stuff there. I don't think you read this piece, because a lot of it agrees with me! It, however, says

quote:

At the end of the week-long battle, Combat Command A reported 25 tanks and 7 tank destroyers lost but claimed 285 German tanks destroyed.

The Combined Arms research Library
The Lorraine Campaign


So, this isn't verifying 4th Armoured's claim, merely repeating it. It uses the words "claimed".

The third was a 100 odd word book review! It doesn't mention 4th Armoured's fight at Arracourt, and instead quotes the campaign figure which is irrelevant to the task in hand.

So much for 60 years of established history. All you've shown is that historians have no figures for the fighting except what 4th Armoured claimed. None of these are from history books, either. The Combined Arms work looks a reasonable attempt, but does not verify 4th Armoured, merely repeat their claim.

quote:

IronDuke

I claimed D'Este only quoted 4th Armoured's claims, not give supporting evidence.


"...claiming the destruction of 281 German tanks, three thousand enemy killed...."
Carlo D'Este: Patton a Genius for War.
Page 663.

Therefore, I was correct, D'Este reports what 4th Armoured said, he didn't attempt to verify it.

quote:

Ironduke
I claimed (and you called this cursory for some reason) that 21st Panzer, 11th Panzer, 112th, 111th, and 113th Panzer Brigades were the chief German units involved in the battle of Arracourt.


lets turn to Mellenthin, I seem to remember you quoted from him, so you must accept his competence.

"Fifth Panzer Army attacked on 18th September. Manteuffel then commanded the 15th PGD, the 111th, 112th and 113th Panzer Brigades, the 11th Panzer Division and 21st Panzer Division."

First Army's forces attacked further north from Arracourt and never met 4th Armoured (with one brief exception), although Mellenthin gives us the forces involved: 559th Division and 106th Panzer Brigade. Proof they never really met 4th Armoured can be found on one of your websites. (Pg 380 - "Panzer Battles")

quote:

The Combined Arms Library.
To the north of Fifth Panzer Army, the German First Army attempted to eliminate XII Corps' bridgehead across the Seille River. The 559th Volksgrenadier Division launched a series of attacks against 35th Division in the Grémecey Forest that lasted from 26 to 30 September. In contrast to the tank battle at Arracourt, 35th Division's engagement at Grémecey was a swirling infantry battle fought out at close quarters among thick woods and entrenchments left over from World War I. After 3 days of chaotic, seesaw fighting, Eddy ordered the 35th to withdraw across the Seille


Therefore, I was correct when I cited the formations involved. I did omit (initially) 15th PGD, but since the number of assault guns can be shown later in this piece to have been negligible, so negligible that Mellenthin doesn't even mention them, it's not too serious an omission when discussing Tank strengths.

quote:

IronDuke
I queried your claim that a unit called 133rd Panzer Brigade even existed (mever mid fought) for the Germans.


This one is Nafziger: "The German Order of Battle: Panzers and Artillery in World War II". On page 202 through 208, he lists brief histories of all the Independent Army Panzer Brigades. These histories include 111th, 112th and 113th Panzer Brigades. There is no 133rd listed.

Therefore, I am correct (unless you have other evidence) when I state this unit is unlikely to have fought, because there is no evidence it ever existed.

quote:

IronDuke
I claimed the 106th Panzer Brigade had only a handful of tanks, and had lost most of it's original tanks in a fight on 7th Sept against 90 US Infantry Division.


Well, lets try yet another source. How about Russell F Weigley "Eisenhower's Lieutenants".

"On September 7, General Von Knobelsdorff decided to try to spoil the effort by thrusting the 106th Panzer Brigade into the left flank of the 90th Division.....The strung out column of Germans was soon surrounded and few of the enemy vehicles that approached McClain's CP found their way back to German lines.....90th Division captured or destroyed 30 tanks..."

turning top Nafziger, we can see that it's authorised strength in September should have been 36 Panthers and 11 MK IVs.
Therefore, it seems the brush with the 90th reduced 106th's tank strength to around fifteen vehicles, at least 2 and a half weeks before it got involved in the fighting north of Arracourt.

Therefore, I was right to claim this unit had few tanks.

quote:

I claimed the 3rd Panzergrenadier division never fought at Arracourt between 18th-30th September.


One of your sources suggests it was embroiled before Metz shortly before the Arracourt battles.

quote:

Combined Arms Library
A more carefully planned crossing operation succeeded nearby at Arnaville on 10 September. Under the covering fire of 13 artillery battalions, plus air support and a generated smoke screen, 5th Division established a permanent bridgehead over the Moselle that became the main divisional effort. The artillery of XX Corps and the P-47s of XIX Tactical Air Command helped break up counterattacks mounted by the 3d and the 17th SS Panzer Grenadier Divisions


Weigley disagrees and suggests this was the 15th PGD not 3rd. Whichever, no source suggests the 3rd PGD got involved around Arracourt. Certainly Mellenthin doesn't and since he was helping run the battle for the Germans, we might have hoped that he would have mentioned them. He certainly mentioned the 15th PGD, so we know he valued these formations.

Weigley places 3rd PGD to the north and west of Arracourt on September 15th, fighting with 80th Division. (Pg 335).

Therefore, there is no evidence 3rd PGD fought at Arracourt, none of the sources mention them and they seem to have been engaged further north.

quote:

IronDuke
I suggested 15th Pzgr Division had only around 10 tanks at the time of the battle of Arracourt.


"The next day, Sept 14th....Task Force Abe again led the way and promptly it met part of the 15th Panzergrenadier Division. The day's score for CCA was...26 armoured vehicles." Russell Weigley "Eisenhower's Lieutenants" pg 334.

On page 272 of Nafziger "The German Order of Battle: Panzers and Artillery in World War II". We find the strength of 15th PZGR division in August 1944 to be 36 Stugs. Of course, in addition to the losses on 14th, it was fighting through September leading up to the battle at Arracourt, so who knows how many more were lost. It perhaps explains why an armoured element from this division is not mentioned in any of the sources describing the battle.

So I think I have proved that 15 Pzgr division had only around 10 tanks at the time of the battle.

quote:

IronDuke
I claimed the 553 VGD wasn't formed in time to fight in the battle, and had no tanks, and never fought at Arracourt.


NafZiger "The German Order of Battle: Infantry in WWII" pg 348. This gives the OOB of the 553rd Grenadier Division. It says the Volksgrenadier Division was not formed until 9th Oct. The OOB has no tanks or assault guns. It had no tanks, and none of the sources list it as taking part in the fighting, so it doesn't matter that it had no tanks anyway.

Therefore, I was correct.

quote:

I claimed the 559th VGD was in the same boat, (no tanks) except it did fight close to Arracourt, but not against 4th Armoured.


NafZiger "The German Order of Battle: Infantry in WWII" pg 351. This lists the OOB for this unit's predescessor (559th VGD listed as being formed on 9 October) the 559th Grenadier Division. It has no tanks. Some further research indicates this unit's initial attacks on 24th (it was fighting between 24th and 30th north of Arracourt) may have come up against elements of 4th Armoured. However, there are no tanks in the OOB so none of the tanks claimed by 4th Armoured can have come from this formation.


quote:

Ironduke
I claimed the 462 Division didn't even exist at the time of the battle of Arracourt.


NafZiger "The German Order of Battle: Infantry in WWII" pg 340.

"Formed on 19 Oct 1944".

Weigley suggests it might have been part of the Metz Garrison, but it didn't fight at Arracourt, and when formed there were no tanks or Assault guns in it's OOB (Nafziger cited above Pg 340).

quote:

IronDuke
I claimed the 17th SS Pzgr had no tanks, and never fought at Arracourt anyway.


Again, not a single source mentions it in the Arracourt accounts. The combined arms Library suggests on 10th it was fighting the 5th US Division.

Niklas Zetterling: "Normandy 1944" tells us this unit had ten Stugs in a strength return dated 23 July, and that further losses were sustained during the Cobra fighting at Coutances (pg 367). He reports it was built back up with the addition of 49th and 51st SS Panzergrenadier Brigades.

Nafziger: "The German order of Battle: Waffen SS and other units in WWII" tells us these formations were infantry formations and contained no tanks or assault guns. (Pg 134-135).

I believe I am proven right here. It wasn't at Arracourt and had few if any Tanks or Assault Guns.

quote:

IronDuke
I also seem to remember suggesting it was always safe to knock off a fair percentage of German vehicles as being in the workshops, so actual vehicles available was never as high as actual vehicles on strength.


Samual Mitcham; "Rommel's last Battle" points out on pg 18 that...

"By February 1944, the Reich had 3053 tanks, but 1534, or more than 50 per cent, were in need of major repair."

If you want a more concrete example of how many tanks were usually under repair, lets look at the strength returns of 12th SS on the eve of Operation Epsom in early June.

Michael Reynolds "Steel Inferno" pg 145.

12th SS's sterength was... "fifty eight Mk IVs and forty four Panthers. There were in addition an estimated eighteen MKIVs and ten panthers under repair..."

That's an average of over 20% of a units tank strength under repair in the middle of a major campaign when they would have been moving mountains to get these vehicles back into action.

The last thing to do, therefore, is to illustrate where I got my tank figures from.

21st Panzer - I said:
quote:

Ironduke
21st Panzer was badly mauled in Normandy, having been involved since the beginning. The best estimate of it's tank strength in September is 10 vehicles.


Mellenthin says "21st Panzer had virtually no tanks" "Panzer Battles" pg 377.

Zetterling "Normandy 1944" quotes the figure as 10 on 22 August based on 21st Panzer's strength returns. 10 is therefore at the upper end of the possible range. I was being generous.

11th Panzer. I said:

quote:

IronDuke
11th Panzer had been (according to Mellenthin) badly hit during the withdrawal in southern France and mustered 16 tanks when it joined the action (in the second phase of the fighting).


Von Mellenthin "Panzer Battles" pg 380 "Hitler...insisted the 11th Panzer Division be thrown in against the Americans around Arracourt. this division had two regiments of Panzergrenadiers but only sixteen tanks".


The three Panzer Brigades:

111th and 113th Pz Brigades. I am happy to accept these would have had something approaching full strength. Around 90 vehicles minus 20% in operational repair. Lets say 150 to be generous.

112th Pz Brigade had only a handful. Von Mellenthin "Panzer Battles" pg 377. "The 112th Panzer Brigade had only a handful of tanks".

Shall we surmise 20% operational, or 18 vehicles? It sounds generous, but lets err on the side of generosity.

Therefore we get based on the above sources:

11th Panzer: 16 Tanks.
21st Panzer: 10 Tanks max.
112th Pz Brig: 18 Tanks
111th Pz Brig: 75 Tanks
113th Pz Brig: 75 Tanks
15th PGD: 10 Tanks

This gives us a grand total of 204. We know that a number of tanks survived the battle. 112th had seven when it was disbanded, for example. 30 Tanks between all these formations sounds too few, but lets use it anyway, to arrive at a figure of approx 175 destroyed. Some of these would have fallen to other causes than 4th Armoured (air power etc).
I suspect not many, probably fewer than 20. I would therefore put 4th Armoured's total at about 150.

Whatever, 4th Armoured cannot have killed 281 Tanks, because the available evidence suggests there were not 281 German tanks committed between 18th-30th September 1944.

I believe we're done. If you want to dispute any of these figures and sources, I'll be glad to look at your sources and figures. If you're only going to repeat I've proved nothing, without showing why, then I don't see much else to discuss.

I have assembled a good amount of evidence here. Will you do the same to support 4th Armoured's claim?

regards,
IronDuke



Well, Ironduke:

You have been very busy. . .

You amassed quite a bit of evidence.

It all looks very impressive - on the surface.

I looked it all over, and I see you have facts, figures, numbers, and even a couple of citations. . .

Very good effort.

However, there are four major problems with all your research.

I would like to tell you but I have to leave right now.

But when I get back I'll let you know what they are. . .

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 9/3/2004 1:21:16 AM >


_____________________________


(in reply to IronDuke_slith)
Post #: 175
RE: 'No Patton' - 9/3/2004 4:03:04 AM   
IronDuke_slith

 

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

Ironduke:

You're such a kidder. . .

My problem?

It's not my problem at all, Ironduke.

You see, all the history books talk about 281 German tanks; not little 'ol me. . .

Yes, I want to see facts. But do you really think this question can settled in just a couple of hours?

I have already pointed out to you, EIGHT fighting formations that you missed.

And there are more. . .

I will accept another point of view when I see the evidence. So far that hasn't happened in most instances. . .


I sense patience is running out with us on the board, so although I'm happy to see (and answer) your four major problems alluded to in your later post, I don't think we should go over old ground along the lines of this post. We should finish this civilly from here on in. We won't agree on who started it or who's the worst offender, so lets just draw a line under it and finish up nicely.

quote:

Von Rom
I have already pointed out to you, EIGHT fighting formations that you missed
.

I've addressed these eight formations two or three times now. By repeating phrases like this, you just raise the temparature of the debate. I have listed each of these formations and explained in detail why it is not relelvant to the Battle of Arracourt, so please stop saying things like this. If you disagree with my conclusions regarding these units, then tell me why and cite sources. Otherwise, repeating this isn't fair, because it isn't correct to say that I have missed them.

quote:

Von Rom
And there are more. . .


With respect, there aren't more until you tell me what you think they are.

I look forward to your four major problems, I've actually enjoyed trying to work out what tank strength the Germans may have had, so any facts you can contribute to this work will be appreciated, as I'm happy to refine the figures if any further evidence comes to light.

Regards,
IronDuke

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 176
RE: 'No Patton' - 9/3/2004 8:14:37 AM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
Status: offline
FOUR FATAL FLAWS IN IRONDUKE'S STUDY OF 4th ARMOURED DIVISION


I have indicated below that there are FOUR FATAL FLAWS in Ironduke's study on 4th Armoured Division.

Each of these flaws, by themselves, would render Ironduke's research invalid. However, I will show that ALL FOUR FLAWS are present in Ironduke's research and thus renders it of no effect.



FATAL FLAW NUMBER ONE:

Ironduke left out fighting formations in his research

When you initially started your project, I pointed out to you that you didn't include EIGHT German fighting formations in your research. If I had not mentioned them to you, you would not have included them at all.

Since that time, I have found FOUR more German fighting formations that have not been included in your research.

Please see below for a re-evaluation of some of these missing units.

All of this information was gathered from doing just a few minutes of casual reading of an article.

I am sure that if I did more in-depth research, I would find even more units that you have missed.

Therefore, because your study has not been conducted thoroughly to include all German fighting units in Lorraine at the time, you research is FATALLY FLAWED and cannot stand.




FATAL FLAW NUMBER TWO

Ironduke uses poor source material

You did your research in a couple of hours and your information was gathered from a couple of websites, some from a book, and other bits and pieces were gathered from a few other sources.

As a result of this you have some facts that were quickly pieced together, and which provides you with some basic information.

However, this research is fundamentally flawed.

Imagine going to an historian with what you have, and telling him that it took you two hours after looking at a couple of websites and books, to disprove 60 years of 4th Armoured history, which is ACCEPTED by ALL historical sources.

That historian would ask you if you went to the archives and looked at unit histories, veterans' accounts, and other primary sources. Your answer would be no.

That historian would ask you if you went to the library and looked at histories of the units involved, if you checked with what other historians had said on the subject, or if you read any of the biographies of the major personalties invloved. Your answer would be no.

That historian would ask you if you contacted and interviewed any surviving veterans of 4th Armoured division or in any veterans from those German formations. Your answer would be no.

That historian would probably ask you another dozen questions to find out what sources you used and how long it took you to do your study.

In the end, that historian would shake his head and show you to the door.

Because your research was done quickly and was based on poor and fragmentary sources, then it is FATALLY FLAWED and cannot stand.



FATAL FLAW NUMBER THREE

Ironduke uses asumptions to arrive at unfounded conclusions


You mention that after you found your total tank number, you then deducted from this total for the reason that some tanks were in the repair shops.

Sorry to tell you but when tanks have NOT been destroyed, and if they are in the repair shops, those tanks remain a potential force in being.

Most histories I have read INCLUDE tanks that are in the repair shops. Read any good history of the Afrika Korps or in Normandy to find out how important it was to have good mechanics and to get tanks back into action quickly.

Dietrich personally awarded the Iron Cross to his mechanics because they continually worked miracles returning damaged tanks back to the battlefield.

Tanks in repair shops are NEVER excluded in totals of tanks available. All OOBs list ALL tanks that have not been destroyed, even those in the repair shops.

The fact that you have done this arbitrarily, and without any supporting facts, severely hurts your research. It is arbitrary and capricious.

ALL tanks must be counted.

In addition, because of the nature of the confused fighting in Lorraine, units were being sent pell-mell to Lorraine from all over Europe; and that armoured formations, assault gun units and tank destroyer units were being sent to Lorraine from whatever units could be formed, also means that not all unit histories are complete in this regard, and that units came into being that do not appear in OoBs.

The fact that NONE of this was taken into account, means that your research is missing units and formations and is therefore FATALLY FLAWED and cannot stand.



FATAL FLAW NUMBER FOUR

Ironduke missed two whole weeks of fighting in his study


That's right - two whole weeks of fighting is missing from your research.

How can I say that?

For this reason.

Most of the sites and books that mention the 4th Armoured Division's battles against the Germans make it appear as though they are talking about JUST the Battle of Arracourt.

More importantly, those sources make it appear as though the number of German tanks destroyed (281) occurred just during tha Battle of Arracourt.

However, this is COMPLETELY WRONG.

How do I know this?

I found a primary document that resides in the US National Archives that tells us EXACTLY over what period of time the 4th Armoured Division fought and how many German tanks were destroyed during this period.


This is what the PRIMARY DOCUMENT that is in the US National Archives tells us:

"All [German] attacks were repulsed w/o loss of ground, and at the end of three weeks men of the 4th ArmdD counted 281 German. . . Tanks littering the hills" (SOURCE: Fact Sheets from The Information Section, Analysis Branch, HQ Army Ground Forces, Washington 25 DC, 1 Mar 1947, as found in the records of the National Archives and Records Administration, RG 407, Archives II, College Park MD).


Therefore, while most authors get the number of German armoured vehicles destroyed correct, they make the mistake of believing that ALL those 281 German tanks were destroyed only during the Battle of Arracourt!

The 4th Armoured Fact Sheet above makes it very clear that while the 4th Armoured Division DID fight at Arracourt and win that battle, the total number of German tanks destroyed (281) was calculated over a period of THREE WEEKS.

Thus, the 281 German armoured vehicles that were destroyed by the 4th Armoured Divison took place over a period THREE WEEKS (from Sept 4-5th to Sept 27th, 1944), and not over a period of a few days as has been intimated by some historians.

The fault does not lay with 4th Armoured Divison. This Fact Sheet has been in the US National Archives since 1947. Rather, the fault lies with historians and others who have unintentionally obfuscated the time period in which those German tanks were destroyed.

So we now have an additional TWO WEEKS within which 4th Armoured Division fought additional tank battles. And yes, it did fight the 3d PanzerGrenadier Division.


4th Armoured fought the 3d Panzergrenadier Division (containing 37 armoured vehicles):

quote:

At 0100 on 13 September, the 3d Panzergrenadier Division hit the Dieulouard bridgehead with a strong counterattack, causing the corps control officer to reconsider his decision to hold back the cavalry. When German infantry and assault guns had pressed to within rifle range of the bridges, the control officer finally sent D Troop across the Moselle. The cavalry's light tanks broke up the counterattack and drove forward until fire from the German assault guns halted them.

By daylight on 13 September. . . . The commanders of the XII Corps, 80th Division, 4th Armored Division, CCA, and 37th Tank Battalion convened near the bridges to arrive at a course of action. When the generals could not reach a decision, Colonel Clarke asked Lieutenant Colonel Abrams what he thought CCA should do. Pointing to the far shore, Abrams said, "That is the shortest way home." "Get going!" ordered Clarke.7 Under heavy German shelling, Abrams' tanks led CCA across the Moselle at 0800 on 13 September. . .

CCA met little opposition as it knifed into the German rear areas. Road blocks, tank detachments, and antiaircraft emplacements were quickly knocked out by the guns of the lead tanks or the self-propelled artillery traveling near the head of the column


(SOURCE: The 4th Armored Division in the Encirclement of Nancy, by Dr. Christopher R. Gabel, April 1986, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas 66027-6900).



4th Armoured fought the 15th Panzergrenadier Division (containing 37 armoured vehicles):

quote:

The 35th Division and the bulk of the 4th Armored Division would still make the main effort south of Nancy, but the 80th Division would also attempt another crossing north of the city. CCA of the 4th Armored Division would stand by in corps reserve, ready to exploit an opportunity on either wing. This loophole eventually enabled Wood to carry out the operation north of Nancy that he preferred.

On 11 September, the XII Corps crossed the Moselle River (see map 4). Against stiff opposition from the 15th Panzergrenadier Division, the 35th Division established an infantry bridgehead south of Nancy. CCB, leading the 4th Armored Division's main effort, chose not to wait for heavy bridges to be constructed. Instead, the lead tanks improvised a crossing of the drained canal flanking the Moselle, forded the river, and established contact with the 35th Division while engineers constructed bridges behind them.

Defending the sector were elements of the 553d Volksgrenadier and 15th Panzergrenadier Divisions. A battalion-sized battle group sent to counterattack the CCB bridgehead was trapped and wiped out.


(SOURCE: The 4th Armored Division in the Encirclement of Nancy, by Dr. Christopher R. Gabel, April 1986, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas 66027-6900).


Nafziger mentions the 15th PZGdr had 37 armoured vehicles (p.272).

Col. H.M. Cole, in the "The Lorraine Campaign" (the official history of the war), tells us the Germans also had both Tiger and Panther tanks in the area with 3d PzGdr.

General Patton mentions that on Sept 15th alone, the Germans lost 60 tanks (Martin Blumenson & George S. Patton, The Patton Papers 1940-1945; Da Capo Press; (October 1, 1996); p.549).


If we add those 204 tanks Ironduke found, with the 74 tank destroyers of the 3d and 15th PZGdr Divisions, plus the 60 tanks destroyed on Sept 15th, we have 338 tanks and tank destroyers destroyed. Even if some or many of those 74 tank destroyers are included with those 60 destroyed on Sept 15th, we have more than enough tanks and days to reach our 281 total.

These numbers do not even include the armoured vehicles of the 12 or more other missing fighting formations that you have not included in your study.



[PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR MORE FIGHTING FORMATIONS AND AFVs PRESENT IN LORRAINE]


Thus Steven Zaloga, the noted historian, found that the Germans lost 490 tanks in September:

Of the 617 German panzers committed in September, 1944 in Lorraine, only 127 were operational by October 1. Patton's army lost about 200 tanks in September - and replaced all of them by the end of the month (Zaloga, Steven, Lorraine 1944 : Patton Vs Manteuffel (Campaign Series, 75), Osprey Publishing, 2000).


Therefore, because of the fact that you failed to locate any primary documents related to 4th Armoured Division, and because you have omitted from your study TWO FULL WEEKS of fighting, then it follows that your study is FATALLY FLAWED and cannot stand.



ADDITIONAL FORMATIONS PRESENT IN LORRAINE:

17th SS PzGdr Div - this is listed in Kursitis (The Wehrmacht at War 1939-1945, p.264), but is not listed in Nafziger.

Using the GrossDeutchland PzGdr div as an example, then the 17th SS could have had up to 130 Armoured vehicles.

2nd Panzer Division - had up to 130 tanks and StuGs (Nafziger, pp. 230-1).

49th Infantry Division - in Lorraine under Lubbe in Sept (Kursitis, p.117).

92nd Luftwaffe Field Regiment - no AFVs


There are still more units that could be identified as being in Lorraine.


Clearly, between Sept 4-5 to Sept 27th, the 4th Armoured Divison encountered the following German units:

11th Pz Div - 176 AFVs (optimal)

111 Pz Brigade - 100 AFVs (optimal)

113th Pz Brigade - 100 AFVs (optimal)

15th PzGdr Div - 37 AFVs

3rd PzGdr Div - 37 AFVs

17th SS PzGdr Div - 130 AFVs (optimal)

2nd Pz Div - 130 Tanks and StuGs (optimal)

This total equals 710 AFVs.


Clearly this total equals the optimum number of AFVs that would be available in Lorraine in Sept/44. If we factor in tank losses, breakdowns, tanks in repair shops, attritional losses, etc, then the resulting number would be more than sufficient to equal the number of AFVs in Lorraine as calculated by Zaloga (at 617), and is more than a sufficient number to give the 4th Armoured Division its requisite number of 281 German tanks destroyed.



CONCLUSION

I have shown that any one of the above flaws would render Ironduke's study to be of no effect. The fact that ALL FOUR flaws have been found in his research, renders its conclusions and facts dubious and of no effect.

Since Primary Documents are best evidence, then the 4th Armoured Fact Sheet from the US National Archives indicates clearly that it destroyed 281 German armoured vehicles over a period of THREE WEEKS.

This means that there was plenty of time, and there was plenty of German armour present, to fulfill 4th Armoured's claim.

Therefore:

4th Armoured's claim stands; Ironduke's conclusion is refuted.

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 9/3/2004 6:41:00 AM >


_____________________________


(in reply to IronDuke_slith)
Post #: 177
RE: 'No Patton' - 9/3/2004 4:39:15 PM   
Von Rom


Posts: 1705
Joined: 5/12/2000
Status: offline
ADDITIONAL FORMATIONS PRESENT IN LORRAINE:



The 106th Pz Brigade - It was in Lorrine in Sept/44 and consisted of 11 Pz IVs, 36 PzVs, and 157 SdfKz 251 Half-tracks (SOURCE: Ladislas, Farago, Patton: Ordeal and Triumph (New York: Astor-Honor, Inc., 1964), p.613; Nafziger, p.205).

This formation added an additional 47 AFVs and 157 half-tracks to the fighting.


The 462nd Infantry Division - ad-hoc formation under the command of Walther Krause (SOURCE: Ladislas, Farago, Patton: Ordeal and Triumph (New York: Astor-Honor, Inc., 1964), p.650; Kursietis, p.462).


The 49th SS Brigade and The 51st SS Brigade:


Shortly after the Normandy Invasion began on 6 June 1944, the SS Kampfgruppen 1, 2, 3 and 4, composed for the most part of emergency battalions from SS schools and replacement units, were mobilized. Only two of these elements were actually sent to the front, however. These were Kampfgruppe 1 (Later SS-Panzergrenadier-Brigade 49) and SS Kampfgruppe 3 (later SS-Panzergrenadier-Brigade 51). Considered sister units, the two brigades would fight an the same sector of the critical western front in France for a brief time. SS-Panzergrenadier-Brigade 49 was one battalion stronger than SS-Panzergrenadier-Brigade 51, and it lasted for a few days longer in the extremely destructive combat action. The two brigades were designated 26. SS-Panzer-Division and 27. Panzer-Division, respectively, for a very short time, basically to try and mislead the Allies into thinking that they were much larger units.

Unfortunately the bulk of I.Btn. had been destroyed in bitter fighting for St. Savine and Fontvannes that raged all day on 25 August and spilled over into 26 August, so actually only a few survivors were part of the above mentioned march columns. The Brigade Staff did not have much better luck; on 28 August, part of it, including the commander, Stubaf. Joeckel, was captured by an American recce unit. The surviving remnants eventually reached the positions of the 49th, to which they were then subordinated. The I./Security Rgt. 199 fought it out pretty much to the last at Vogesen, and its commander, Hauptmann Kropf, was killed in the action.

In the face of overpowering, advancing enemy elements, the disintegrating German forces could do little else but retreat towards Verdun and Metz to the northeast. The half destroyed remnants of the 51st finally reached the security lines of the 3. Panzer-Division at St Dizier, Rembercourt and to the west of Bar le Duc. Here the survivors found themselves asigned to the badly battered 17th SS Division "Goetz von Berlichengen". II./SS 51, which had gotten through reasonably intact was made the new II.Btn./SS Rgt 37/17th SS Division, replacing the old battalion which had largely disappeared in the war of material being waged by the Allies. This marked the end of the 51st, as no other units of the brigade existed at this point.

< Message edited by Von Rom -- 9/3/2004 2:56:18 PM >


_____________________________


(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 178
RE: 'No Patton' - 9/4/2004 12:25:57 AM   
IronDuke_slith

 

Posts: 1595
Joined: 6/30/2002
From: Manchester, UK
Status: offline
Von Rom,
I despair. . Not so much because of what is written, but because you believe it, and believe others cannot see what you have done here. I will illustrate why it is wrong one more time, then we are done. Others have added you to their ignore lists in recent days, having had enough of this sort of debate. I shall follow.

You've really just rehashed arguments I've already dismissed. As I shall show, you've also just widened the argument, having lost the initial one. YOU gave us the facts and figures about the battle of Arracourt, and now YOU are backtracking and deciding it's 4th Armoured's entire campaign in Lorraine. Do you now accept, therefore, they didn't stop 281 vehicles during the battle of Arracourt as I and Kev insisted?

quote:

FATAL FLAW NUMBER ONE:

Ironduke left out fighting formations in his research

When you initially started your project, I pointed out to you that you didn't include EIGHT German fighting formations in your research. If I had not mentioned them to you, you would not have included them at all.


This is incorrect, and what's more you know this, which makes it wilfully incorrect. Firstly, using you own words, what was I asked to talk about:

quote:

von Rom
He (Kev) questioned 4th Armour's record of detroying 285 German armoured units during 12 days of battle.


quote:

Von Rom
From 20 to 25 September, the Fifth Panzer Army directed the 111th Panzer Brigade and the 11th Panzer Division into a series of attacks against the Arracourt position. Each assault followed the pattern set on 19 September. The Panzers attacked under the cover of morning fog, only to be thwarted by CCA's mobile defense and driven off by armored counterattacks of company or battalion strength. The defensive actions fought around Arracourt stalled the German offensive. The 4th Armored Division claimed 281 German tanks destroyed, 3,000 Germans killed, and another 3,000 taken prisoner in the fighting.


quote:

Von Rom
There were a series of battles between Third Army and German forces between Sept 18-19 to Sept 28-30, 1944 that resulted in some of the biggest armoured battles on the western front.

More than 60 years later, the number of German armoured vehicles destroyed by Third Army's 4th Armoured Division in Lorraine has never been disputed.


It is clear that you wanted to assert that 4th Armoured destroyed 281 armoured vehicles during the battle of Arracourt between 18-30th September 1944.

The eight formations you allude to were:

quote:

133rd Panzer Brigade
106th Panzer Brigade
3d Panzergrenadier Division, just arrived from Italy in Sept, 1944
15th Panzergrenadier Division
553d Volksgrenadier Division
559th Volksgrenadier Division of the German First Army
462d Division
17th SS Panzer Grenadier Division


In post 703066 I write the following:

quote:

IronDuke
Yes, but I neglected to mention them BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T FIGHT IN YOUR BATTLE, OR DIDN'T EXIST WHEN YOUR BATTLE WAS FOUGHT, OR DIDN'T HAVE ANY TANKS, which meant there was no reason to discuss them. Do you want me to talk about every unit the Germans had on the western front, or just the ones concerned with the Battle of Arracourt. I thought we were discussing Arracourt (your words certainly suggest we were).


Therefore, you brought the formations up, I answered them. In the post of mine you are now challenging, I mention
each formation, and dismiss it as irrelevant to the terms of the argument set by yourself (Arracourt 18-30). Yet you still suggest I missed these eight out.

quote:

Since that time, I have found FOUR more German fighting formations that have not been included in your research.

Please see below for a re-evaluation of some of these missing units.

All of this information was gathered from doing just a few minutes of casual reading of an article.

I am sure that if I did more in-depth research, I would find even more units that you have missed.

Therefore, because your study has not been conducted thoroughly to include all German fighting units in Lorraine at the time, you research is FATALLY FLAWED and cannot stand.


The phrase:

quote:

doing just a few minutes of casual reading of an article.


explains why you get into the arguments you do. Casually reading a single article doesn't make you an expert. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. As I said, Von Rom set the terms of the argument. He decided we were discussing Arracourt 18-30th Sept. He now says my research is flawed because I didn't consider a time period outside that which he said we were looking at. How can this be right?

In other words, I proved him wrong re the number of German tanks at Arracourt, and he is now saying he was right all along by trying to suggest the argument was about Lorraine. This is simply untrue.
Evidence for this can be found in Von Rom's words below.

quote:

Von Rom
From 20 to 25 September, the Fifth Panzer Army directed the 111th Panzer Brigade and the 11th Panzer Division into a series of attacks against the Arracourt position. Each assault followed the pattern set on 19 September. The Panzers attacked under the cover of morning fog, only to be thwarted by CCA's mobile defense and driven off by armored counterattacks of company or battalion strength. The defensive actions fought around Arracourt stalled the German offensive. The 4th Armored Division claimed 281 German tanks destroyed, 3,000 Germans killed, and another 3,000 taken prisoner in the fighting.


Admit you are wrong about Arracourt and we can move onto Lorraine,. but this argument was never about Lorraine, you know this, and this tactic does you no credit at all.

Would you like proof of this assertion? What is contradictory about these two statements?

quote:

Von Rom statement 1
From 20 to 25 September, the Fifth Panzer Army directed the 111th Panzer Brigade and the 11th Panzer Division into a series of attacks against the Arracourt position. Each assault followed the pattern set on 19 September. The Panzers attacked under the cover of morning fog, only to be thwarted by CCA's mobile defense and driven off by armored counterattacks of company or battalion strength. The defensive actions fought around Arracourt stalled the German offensive. The 4th Armored Division claimed 281 German tanks destroyed, 3,000 Germans killed, and another 3,000 taken prisoner in the fighting.


Compare thise against the following.

quote:

Von Rom statement 2
Therefore, because your study has not been conducted thoroughly to include all German fighting units in Lorraine at the time, you research is FATALLY FLAWED and cannot stand


My research is fine. The problem is you were proved wrong, so you're now claiming the argument was about something else altogether in order to escape that fact. The quotes I juxtapose above, YOUR OWN WORDS, prove what you are trying to do. The forum will recognise this, and treat this post accordingly.

quote:

FATAL FLAW NUMBER TWO

Ironduke uses poor source material

You did your research in a couple of hours and your information was gathered from a couple of websites, some from a book, and other bits and pieces were gathered from a few other sources.

As a result of this you have some facts that were quickly pieced together, and which provides you with some basic information.

However, this research is fundamentally flawed.

Imagine going to an historian with what you have, and telling him that it took you two hours after looking at a couple of websites and books, to disprove 60 years of 4th Armoured history, which is ACCEPTED by ALL historical sources.

That historian would ask you if you went to the archives and looked at unit histories, veterans' accounts, and other primary sources. Your answer would be no.

That historian would ask you if you went to the library and looked at histories of the units involved, if you checked with what other historians had said on the subject, or if you read any of the biographies of the major personalties invloved. Your answer would be no.

That historian would ask you if you contacted and interviewed any surviving veterans of 4th Armoured division or in any veterans from those German formations. Your answer would be no.

That historian would probably ask you another dozen questions to find out what sources you used and how long it took you to do your study.

In the end, that historian would shake his head and show you to the door.

Because your research was done quickly and was based on poor and fragmentary sources, then it is FATALLY FLAWED and cannot stand.


This is simply breathtaking. You admitted to

quote:

doing just a few minutes of casual reading of an article.


yet come out with this about me? How many 4th Armoured veterans have you personally talked to? How many German veterans have you talked to? I quoted from Von Mellenithin to support my case for the units involved. He was a staff officer for the Commander running the battle for the Germans. He is the closest either of us have to an eye witness, yet you say this. It has been made up. It isn't a real reason, it's certainly not a flaw.

quote:

FATAL FLAW NUMBER THREE

Ironduke uses asumptions to arrive at unfounded conclusions


You mention that after you found your total tank number, you then deducted from this total for the reason that some tanks were in the repair shops.

Sorry to tell you but when tanks have NOT been destroyed, and if they are in the repair shops, those tanks remain a potential force in being.

Most histories I have read INCLUDE tanks that are in the repair shops. Read any good history of the Afrika Korps or in Normandy to find out how important it was to have good mechanics and to get tanks back into action quickly.

Dietrich personally awarded the Iron Cross to his mechanics because they continually worked miracles returning damaged tanks back to the battlefield.

Tanks in repair shops are NEVER excluded in totals of tanks available. All OOBs list ALL tanks that have not been destroyed, even those in the repair shops.

The fact that you have done this arbitrarily, and without any supporting facts, severely hurts your research. It is arbitrary and capricious.

ALL tanks must be counted.


This is frankly amazing. You are saying that vehicles in repair shops must be counted. You tell me 4th Armoured destroyed 281 vehicles. That was what the argument was about. PLEASE TELL ME HOW 4th ARMOURED COULD HAVE DESTROYED GERMAN VEHICLES THAT WERE IN THE REPAIR SHOPS AND NOT ON THE BATTLEFIELD, AND THEREFORE WHY THEY SHOULD BE COUNTED? DID THE MECHANICS PUSH THEM TO THE BATTLEFIELD PERHAPS, DID THE GERMANS BEAM THEM TO THE BATTLEFIELD? HOW DID THEY GET THERE? I DISCOUNTED THEM BECAUSE 4th ARMOURED CAN'T DESTROY WHAT THEY CAN'T SEE. Therefore, this fatal flaw accusation is worse than the last one because none of these extra tanks you want to add in could have been hit by a weapon fired by 4th Armoured.

quote:

Von Rom
In addition, because of the nature of the confused fighting in Lorraine, units were being sent pell-mell to Lorraine from all over Europe; and that armoured formations, assault gun units and tank destroyer units were being sent to Lorraine from whatever units could be formed, also means that not all unit histories are complete in this regard, and that units came into being that do not appear in OoBs.


PROOF? You've used this argument before. You lose the argument and then claim that because of the confused nature of the fighting, the Germans spirited in lots of units that never featured in the OOBs. These units were so ghostlike that not even their commanding officer knew they were there. Mellenthin, Balck's Chief of Staff, gives an OOB for the German attacks at Arracourt. Do you think that if the High Command had sent him other units, they would have at least told him what they were? What do you think happens when units arrive in theatre. Prisoners get taken, units get indentified by the enemy, the Commanding Officer gets told he now has operational control over the reinforcements. If the Germans did not know these units were there, how could they have used them? Most German units can be tracked. We can know which theatre they were in. We can do this from 60 years away, yet their CO at the time had no idea, you're telling us? The records give us details, yet in 60 years of history (a phrase you keep using) no one has noticed in these records the units that were there.

This argument is silly, I'm sorry, there is no other word for it I can think of the Moderator would allow. You use it because it allows you to claim there were more tanks there that there actually were, but not have to show where they came from.

quote:

FATAL FLAW NUMBER FOUR

Ironduke missed two whole weeks of fighting in his study


That's right - two whole weeks of fighting is missing from your research.


No it isn't. VON ROM challenged IRONDUKE to talk about 18-30th at Arracourt. How can you accuse me of this???These two weeks were never part of the argument.

quote:

von Rom
He (Kev) questioned 4th Armour's record of detroying 285 German armoured units during 12 days of battle.


quote:

Von Rom
From 20 to 25 September, the Fifth Panzer Army directed the 111th Panzer Brigade and the 11th Panzer Division into a series of attacks against the Arracourt position. Each assault followed the pattern set on 19 September. The Panzers attacked under the cover of morning fog, only to be thwarted by CCA's mobile defense and driven off by armored counterattacks of company or battalion strength. The defensive actions fought around Arracourt stalled the German offensive. The 4th Armored Division claimed 281 German tanks destroyed, 3,000 Germans killed, and another 3,000 taken prisoner in the fighting.


quote:

Von Rom
There were a series of battles between Third Army and German forces between Sept 18-19 to Sept 28-30, 1944 that resulted in some of the biggest armoured battles on the western front.

More than 60 years later, the number of German armoured vehicles destroyed by Third Army's 4th Armoured Division in Lorraine has never been disputed.


Thus, I missed nothing out because I (mistakenly it seems) looked at the period YOU wanted us to look at.

quote:

Most of the sites and books that mention the 4th Armoured Division's battles against the Germans make it appear as though they are talking about JUST the Battle of Arracourt.

More importantly, those sources make it appear as though the number of German tanks destroyed (281) occurred just during tha Battle of Arracourt.

However, this is COMPLETELY WRONG.

How do I know this?

I found a primary document that resides in the US National Archives that tells us EXACTLY over what period of time the 4th Armoured Division fought and how many German tanks were destroyed during this period.


This is what the PRIMARY DOCUMENT that is in the US National Archives tells us:

"All [German] attacks were repulsed w/o loss of ground, and at the end of three weeks men of the 4th ArmdD counted 281 German. . . Tanks littering the hills" (SOURCE: Fact Sheets from The Information Section, Analysis Branch, HQ Army Ground Forces, Washington 25 DC, 1 Mar 1947, as found in the records of the National Archives and Records Administration, RG 407, Archives II, College Park MD).


Which book is this from? More to the point, you haven't made it clear whether the three weeks starts before Arracourt or after. I suspect this is because you only have a partial quote, not the actual document, in the book you have consulted.
Or am I wrong, and did you search through the National archives and find this? More to the point, this doesn't state when the tanks were destroyed. Reading this, it's perfectly reasonable to assume that 4th Armoured were fighting for three weeks, and then destroyed all these tanks during 12 days at Arracourt.


quote:

Therefore, while most authors get the number of German armoured vehicles destroyed correct, they make the mistake of believing that ALL those 281 German tanks were destroyed only during the Battle of Arracourt!

The 4th Armoured Fact Sheet above makes it very clear that while the 4th Armoured Division DID fight at Arracourt and win that battle, the total number of German tanks destroyed (281) was calculated over a period of THREE WEEKS.

Thus, the 281 German armoured vehicles that were destroyed by the 4th Armoured Divison took place over a period THREE WEEKS (from Sept 4-5th to Sept 27th, 1944), and not over a period of a few days as has been intimated by some historians

The fault does not lay with 4th Armoured Divison. This Fact Sheet has been in the US National Archives since 1947. Rather, the fault lies with historians and others who have unintentionally obfuscated the time period in which those German tanks were destroyed.


This is hypocritical. Who said the following :

quote:

Von Rom
It's not my problem at all, Ironduke.

You see, all the history books talk about 281 German tanks; not little 'ol me. . .

Yes, I want to see facts. But do you really think this question can settled in just a couple of hours?


quote:

Von Rom
Anyway, I'm really in awe of what you're doing - really.

The results of your few hours' work could over-turn a lot of history books that took years to write.

But then, I guess that's how you "Professional Historians" operate. . .


quote:

Von Rom
It's not me you're up against - it's 60 years of verified history that you're butting heads against.


quote:

Von Rom
I realize it's just little 'ol me against all you BIG "Professional Historians" and such, but do you really think a couple hours of work is going to unseat 60 years of history and knock down something that NO historian has refuted?

Do you really think that you can spend a couple of hours doing cursory research and hope to overturn 60 years of VERIFIED documentation?


So, I can't overturn 60 years of history, but you can after finding a document quoted in a book? It was in a book and history books are written by historians so how can you claim historians have made a mistake? It's a very small quote, as well. Where's the rest of it giving the context? What dates is it referring to (three weeks is a time period, but which three weeks). This is simply breathtaking. You spend lines abusing me on the basis I was trying to overturn professional historians but then go and decide you can do it on the basis of just three lines. If this was the case, and the tanks were destroyed over three weeks, rather than at Arracourt, why has no veteran of 4th Armoured pointed this out? This is surely not news to them? Why has no one come forward. Why has it taken sixty years and Von rom to correct this?


quote:

So we now have an additional TWO WEEKS within which 4th Armoured Division fought additional tank battles. And yes, it did fight the 3d PanzerGrenadier Division.


Why just two weeks? Go back into August and you'll easily find the tanks you want? I'm sorry I didn't but YOU told me you wantefd to talk about 18th-30th Sept.


quote:

4th Armoured fought the 3d Panzergrenadier Division (containing 37 armoured vehicles):

At 0100 on 13 September, the 3d Panzergrenadier Division hit the Dieulouard bridgehead with a strong counterattack, causing the corps control officer to reconsider his decision to hold back the cavalry. When German infantry and assault guns had pressed to within rifle range of the bridges, the control officer finally sent D Troop across the Moselle. The cavalry's light tanks broke up the counterattack and drove forward until fire from the German assault guns halted them.

By daylight on 13 September. . . . The commanders of the XII Corps, 80th Division, 4th Armored Division, CCA, and 37th Tank Battalion convened near the bridges to arrive at a course of action. When the generals could not reach a decision, Colonel Clarke asked Lieutenant Colonel Abrams what he thought CCA should do. Pointing to the far shore, Abrams said, "That is the shortest way home." "Get going!" ordered Clarke.7 Under heavy German shelling, Abrams' tanks led CCA across the Moselle at 0800 on 13 September. . .

CCA met little opposition as it knifed into the German rear areas. Road blocks, tank detachments, and antiaircraft emplacements were quickly knocked out by the guns of the lead tanks or the self-propelled artillery traveling near the head of the column


So, let me get this straight, you are no longer saying:

quote:

From 20 to 25 September, the Fifth Panzer Army directed the 111th Panzer Brigade and the 11th Panzer Division into a series of attacks against the Arracourt position. Each assault followed the pattern set on 19 September. The Panzers attacked under the cover of morning fog, only to be thwarted by CCA's mobile defense and driven off by armored counterattacks of company or battalion strength. The defensive actions fought around Arracourt stalled the German offensive. The 4th Armored Division claimed 281 German tanks destroyed, 3,000 Germans killed, and another 3,000 taken prisoner in the fighting.


You now want to go back to the 13th. If it is so important to prove they destroyed 281, what next? Do you want to count tanks destroyed in the march across France, or later at the Westwall? These tanks are irrelevant because you wanted to discuss Arracourt. These tanks were not destroyed during the battle of Arracourt.

For the record, 4th Armoured claimed 12 destroyed enemy tanks in this engagement, so we can't count 37 extra's here. That makes my running total about 162. Still a bit short aren't we, you'll have to change the terms of the argument a bit more.

quote:

4th Armoured fought the 15th Panzergrenadier Division (containing 37 armoured vehicles):


I admitted this, and pointed out most of these vehicles were lost days BEFORE the Battle of Arracourt. Of course, under the new argument you're pursuing, I suppose we should count these as well? Consider this. Mellenthin mentions the 15th PGD was part of the Arracourt attack. He mentions the armoured totals for 11th Panzer and 21st Panzer. He doesn't mention any for 15th PGD. Why? Might it have been because they had too few to speak of during the battle having been in action for three weeks, and having lost at least two thirds of their vehicles in a single engagement a week before Arracourt?


quote:

Nafziger mentions the 15th PZGdr had 37 armoured vehicles (p.272).


You're using my quotes now. I thought I didn't have any evidence? This is their strength in August, not September. Now you seem to have taken the terms of the argument back to stretch over a four week period between end August and end September. Do you think this has gone unnnoticed?

quote:

If we add those 204 tanks Ironduke found, with the 74 tank destroyers of the 3d and 15th PZGdr Divisions, plus the 60 tanks destroyed on Sept 15th, we have 338 tanks and tank destroyers destroyed. Even if some or many of those 74 tank destroyers are included with those 60 destroyed on Sept 15th, we have more than enough tanks and days to reach our 281 total.



I found 204 and included 10 already from 15 PZGR, so that's ten we can't count again. During the fighting with 3rd Panzergrenadier (earlier than the period you wanted to discuss, but never mind) 4th Armoured claimed another 12 kills, so the other 25 of 3rd PGD were clearly someone else's. So we add 40. The 60 Patton claimed can not be counted.

THIS IS BECAUSE YOU COUNT THEM ONCE FOR THE FORMATION THEY FOUGHT IN AND THEN COUNT THEM AGAIN BECAUSE PATTON SAW THEM. SOME TANKS ARE COUNTED TWICE HERE. NONE OF PATTONS CAN BE COUNTED BECAUSE WE'VE ALREADY IDENTIFIED THE GERMAN FORMATIONS AND ADDED THEIR TANKS IN. THUS, we're still about forty short. Also, some of the 204 I counted survived the battle, so we're even shorter than that.


quote:

These numbers do not even include the armoured vehicles of the 12 or more other missing fighting formations that you have not included in your study.


I didn't include them because they had no tanks or didn't fight in the battle, is this wrong when discussing the number of german tanks available?

quote:

Thus Steven Zaloga, the noted historian, found that the Germans lost 490 tanks in September:

Of the 617 German panzers committed in September, 1944 in Lorraine, only 127 were operational by October 1. Patton's army lost about 200 tanks in September - and replaced all of them by the end of the month (Zaloga, Steven, Lorraine 1944 : Patton Vs Manteuffel (Campaign Series, 75), Osprey Publishing, 2000).


No he doesn't. He's saying that only 171 were operational. You gave us a long piece about Dietrich awarding medals to mechanics earlier, were some of these non-operational? Might some of these have been destroyed by 6th Armoured, or air power? How does he count these armoured vehicles? How does he arrive at this figure? Can we trust it?

Also, he is talking about Lorraine. YOU were talking about Arracourt. How can we seriously use this figure?

quote:


Therefore, because of the fact that you failed to locate any primary documents related to 4th Armoured Division, and because you have omitted from your study TWO FULL WEEKS of fighting, then it follows that your study is FATALLY FLAWED and cannot stand.


I didn't omit two weeks of fighting, you changed the terms of the argument after the fact to include two weeks of fighting.

quote:

From 20 to 25 September, the Fifth Panzer Army directed the 111th Panzer Brigade and the 11th Panzer Division into a series of attacks against the Arracourt position. Each assault followed the pattern set on 19 September. The Panzers attacked under the cover of morning fog, only to be thwarted by CCA's mobile defense and driven off by armored counterattacks of company or battalion strength. The defensive actions fought around Arracourt stalled the German offensive. The 4th Armored Division claimed 281 German tanks destroyed, 3,000 Germans killed, and another 3,000 taken prisoner in the fighting.


It shows you must have lost the original argument and felt it necessary to widen the terms to try and win it back.


quote:

ADDITIONAL FORMATIONS PRESENT IN LORRAINE:

17th SS PzGdr Div - this is listed in Kursitis (The Wehrmacht at War 1939-1945, p.264), but is not listed in Nafziger.

Using the GrossDeutchland PzGdr div as an example, then the 17th SS could have had up to 130 Armoured vehicles.


This shows why I think we will no longer cross swords. I feel I will have to add you to my ignore list as several others have done in the last 72 hours, I know this as they told me and suggested I do the same.

I will do this in a subsequent post.


quote:

There are still more units that could be identified as being in Lorraine.


Clearly, between Sept 4-5 to Sept 27th, the 4th Armoured Divison encountered the following German units:

11th Pz Div - 176 AFVs (optimal)

111 Pz Brigade - 100 AFVs (optimal)

113th Pz Brigade - 100 AFVs (optimal)

15th PzGdr Div - 37 AFVs

3rd PzGdr Div - 37 AFVs

17th SS PzGdr Div - 130 AFVs (optimal)

2nd Pz Div - 130 Tanks and StuGs (optimal)

This total equals 710 AFVs.


So, we've now more than three weeks to look at, it's from the 4th to 30th. I think you've won, stetch you net wide enough and you will show that there were enough armoured vehicles somewhere in the same theatre as 4th Armoured.

I presume optimal means maximum, or authorised. Leaving aside the demonstrable nonsense about the 17th SS, (more later) you are now giving us authorised figures rather than actual figures. Mellenthin, our German eye witness, tells us 11th Panzer had 16 tanks at the battle. You now feel you can count 176 from this formation. This is very sad. It had 16 Tanks, but to win the agument, you are prepared to tell everyone it might have had as 176. This is not history.



quote:

Clearly this total equals the optimum number of AFVs that would be available in Lorraine in Sept/44. If we factor in tank losses, breakdowns, tanks in repair shops, attritional losses, etc, then the resulting number would be more than sufficient to equal the number of AFVs in Lorraine as calculated by Zaloga (at 617), and is more than a sufficient number to give the 4th Armoured Division its requisite number of 281 German tanks destroyed.


See my next post, but this can not be argued with because it is not historical. I have tried to stick this one out, but when history is treated in so cavalier a fashion, I just despair. When we look at actual figures we have to deduct 160 tanks from 11th Panzer alone, because we know from an eye witness how many they had, and 130 from 17th SS alone, because we know they lost all theirs in Normandy. If you can not tell the difference between actual numbers and authorised (or optimal as you put it) numbers, then I can't argue with you, and I suspect no one else will.


quote:

CONCLUSION

I have shown that any one of the above flaws would render Ironduke's study to be of no effect. The fact that ALL FOUR flaws have been found in his research, renders its conclusions and facts dubious and of no effect.

Since Primary Documents are best evidence, then the 4th Armoured Fact Sheet from the US National Archives indicates clearly that it destroyed 281 German armoured vehicles over a period of THREE WEEKS.

This means that there was plenty of time, and there was plenty of German armour present, to fulfill 4th Armoured's claim.

Therefore:

4th Armoured's claim stands; Ironduke's conclusion is refuted.


Actually, you've only demonstrated things about yourself, not 4th Armoured. The only saving grace is that I'm sure what you have done here, and what you have perpetrated has not gone unnoticed. The other threads indicate many on this forum are knowledgeable enough to see what you have done.

However, see my next post, and we shall be out of each other's orbit.

Regards,
IronDuke

< Message edited by IronDuke -- 9/3/2004 10:38:38 PM >

(in reply to Von Rom)
Post #: 179
RE: 'No Patton' - 9/4/2004 1:09:40 AM   
Von Rom


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

ORIGINAL: IronDuke

Von Rom,
I despair. . Not so much because of what is written, but because you believe it, and believe others cannot see what you have done here. I will illustrate why it is wrong one more time, then we are done. Others have added you to their ignore lists in recent days, having had enough of this sort of debate. I shall follow.

You've really just rehashed arguments I've already dismissed. As I shall show, you've also just widened the argument, having lost the initial one. YOU gave us the facts and figures about the battle of Arracourt, and now YOU are backtracking and deciding it's 4th Armoured's entire campaign in Lorraine. Do you now accept, therefore, they didn't stop 281 vehicles during the battle of Arracourt as I and Kev insisted?

quote:

FATAL FLAW NUMBER ONE:

Ironduke left out fighting formations in his research

When you initially started your project, I pointed out to you that you didn't include EIGHT German fighting formations in your research. If I had not mentioned them to you, you would not have included them at all.


This is incorrect, and what's more you know this, which makes it wilfully incorrect. Firstly, using you own words, what was I asked to talk about:

quote:

von Rom
He (Kev) questioned 4th Armour's record of detroying 285 German armoured units during 12 days of battle.


quote:

Von Rom
From 20 to 25 September, the Fifth Panzer Army directed the 111th Panzer Brigade and the 11th Panzer Division into a series of attacks against the Arracourt position. Each assault followed the pattern set on 19 September. The Panzers attacked under the cover of morning fog, only to be thwarted by CCA's mobile defense and driven off by armored counterattacks of company or battalion strength. The defensive actions fought around Arracourt stalled the German offensive. The 4th Armored Division claimed 281 German tanks destroyed, 3,000 Germans killed, and another 3,000 taken prisoner in the fighting.


quote:

Von Rom
There were a series of battles between Third Army and German forces between Sept 18-19 to Sept 28-30, 1944 that resulted in some of the biggest armoured battles on the western front.

More than 60 years later, the number of German armoured vehicles destroyed by Third Army's 4th Armoured Division in Lorraine has never been disputed.


It is clear that you wanted to assert that 4th Armoured destroyed 281 armoured vehicles during the battle of Arracourt between 18-30th September 1944.

The eight formations you allude to were:

quote:

133rd Panzer Brigade
106th Panzer Brigade
3d Panzergrenadier Division, just arrived from Italy in Sept, 1944
15th Panzergrenadier Division
553d Volksgrenadier Division
559th Volksgrenadier Division of the German First Army
462d Division
17th SS Panzer Grenadier Division


In post 703066 I write the following:

quote:

IronDuke
Yes, but I neglected to mention them BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T FIGHT IN YOUR BATTLE, OR DIDN'T EXIST WHEN YOUR BATTLE WAS FOUGHT, OR DIDN'T HAVE ANY TANKS, which meant there was no reason to discuss them. Do you want me to talk about every unit the Germans had on the western front, or just the ones concerned with the Battle of Arracourt. I thought we were discussing Arracourt (your words certainly suggest we were).


Therefore, you brought the formations up, I answered them. In the post of mine you are now challenging, I mention
each formation, and dismiss it as irrelevant to the terms of the argument set by yourself (Arracourt 18-30). Yet you still suggest I missed these eight out.

quote:

Since that time, I have found FOUR more German fighting formations that have not been included in your research.

Please see below for a re-evaluation of some of these missing units.

All of this information was gathered from doing just a few minutes of casual reading of an article.

I am sure that if I did more in-depth research, I would find even more units that you have missed.

Therefore, because your study has not been conducted thoroughly to include all German fighting units in Lorraine at the time, you research is FATALLY FLAWED and cannot stand.


The phrase:

quote:

doing just a few minutes of casual reading of an article.


explains why you get into the arguments you do. Casually reading a single article doesn't make you an expert. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. As I said, Von Rom set the terms of the argument. He decided we were discussing Arracourt 18-30th Sept. He now says my research is flawed because I didn't consider a time period outside that which he said we were looking at. How can this be right?

In other words, I proved him wrong re the number of German tanks at Arracourt, and he is now saying he was right all along by trying to suggest the argument was about Lorraine. This is simply untrue.
Evidence for this can be found in Von Rom's words below.

quote:

Von Rom
From 20 to 25 September, the Fifth Panzer Army directed the 111th Panzer Brigade and the 11th Panzer Division into a series of attacks against the Arracourt position. Each assault followed the pattern set on 19 September. The Panzers attacked under the cover of morning fog, only to be thwarted by CCA's mobile defense and driven off by armored counterattacks of company or battalion strength. The defensive actions fought around Arracourt stalled the German offensive. The 4th Armored Division claimed 281 German tanks destroyed, 3,000 Germans killed, and another 3,000 taken prisoner in the fighting.


Admit you are wrong about Arracourt and we can move onto Lorraine,. but this argument was never about Lorraine, you know this, and this tactic does you no credit at all.

Would you like proof of this assertion? What is contradictory about these two statements?

quote:

Von Rom statement 1
From 20 to 25 September, the Fifth Panzer Army directed the 111th Panzer Brigade and the 11th Panzer Division into a series of attacks against the Arracourt position. Each assault followed the pattern set on 19 September. The Panzers attacked under the cover of morning fog, only to be thwarted by CCA's mobile defense and driven off by armored counterattacks of company or battalion strength. The defensive actions fought around Arracourt stalled the German offensive. The 4th Armored Division claimed 281 German tanks destroyed, 3,000 Germans killed, and another 3,000 taken prisoner in the fighting.


Compare thise against the following.

quote:

Von Rom statement 2
Therefore, because your study has not been conducted thoroughly to include all German fighting units in Lorraine at the time, you research is FATALLY FLAWED and cannot stand


My research is fine. The problem is you were proved wrong, so you're now claiming the argument was about something else altogether in order to escape that fact. The quotes I juxtapose above, YOUR OWN WORDS, prove what you are trying to do. The forum will recognise this, and treat this post accordingly.

quote:

FATAL FLAW NUMBER TWO

Ironduke uses poor source material

You did your research in a couple of hours and your information was gathered from a couple of websites, some from a book, and other bits and pieces were gathered from a few other sources.

As a result of this you have some facts that were quickly pieced together, and which provides you with some basic information.

However, this research is fundamentally flawed.

Imagine going to an historian with what you have, and telling him that it took you two hours after looking at a couple of websites and books, to disprove 60 years of 4th Armoured history, which is ACCEPTED by ALL historical sources.

That historian would ask you if you went to the archives and looked at unit histories, veterans' accounts, and other primary sources. Your answer would be no.

That historian would ask you if you went to the library and looked at histories of the units involved, if you checked with what other historians had said on the subject, or if you read any of the biographies of the major personalties invloved. Your answer would be no.

That historian would ask you if you contacted and interviewed any surviving veterans of 4th Armoured division or in any veterans from those German formations. Your answer would be no.

That historian would probably ask you another dozen questions to find out what sources you used and how long it took you to do your study.

In the end, that historian would shake his head and show you to the door.

Because your research was done quickly and was based on poor and fragmentary sources, then it is FATALLY FLAWED and cannot stand.


This is simply breathtaking. You admitted to

quote:

doing just a few minutes of casual reading of an article.


yet come out with this about me? How many 4th Armoured veterans have you personally talked to? How many German veterans have you talked to? I quoted from Von Mellenithin to support my case for the units involved. He was a staff officer for the Commander running the battle for the Germans. He is the closest either of us have to an eye witness, yet you say this. It has been made up. It isn't a real reason, it's certainly not a flaw.

quote:

FATAL FLAW NUMBER THREE

Ironduke uses asumptions to arrive at unfounded conclusions


You mention that after you found your total tank number, you then deducted from this total for the reason that some tanks were in the repair shops.

Sorry to tell you but when tanks have NOT been destroyed, and if they are in the repair shops, those tanks remain a potential force in being.

Most histories I have read INCLUDE tanks that are in the repair shops. Read any good history of the Afrika Korps or in Normandy to find out how important it was to have good mechanics and to get tanks back into action quickly.

Dietrich personally awarded the Iron Cross to his mechanics because they continually worked miracles returning damaged tanks back to the battlefield.

Tanks in repair shops are NEVER excluded in totals of tanks available. All OOBs list ALL tanks that have not been destroyed, even those in the repair shops.

The fact that you have done this arbitrarily, and without any supporting facts, severely hurts your research. It is arbitrary and capricious.

ALL tanks must be counted.


This is frankly amazing. You are saying that vehicles in repair shops must be counted. You tell me 4th Armoured destroyed 281 vehicles. That was what the argument was about. PLEASE TELL ME HOW 4th ARMOURED COULD HAVE DESTROYED GERMAN VEHICLES THAT WERE IN THE REPAIR SHOPS AND NOT ON THE BATTLEFIELD, AND THEREFORE WHY THEY SHOULD BE COUNTED? DID THE MECHANICS PUSH THEM TO THE BATTLEFIELD PERHAPS, DID THE GERMANS BEAM THEM TO THE BATTLEFIELD? HOW DID THEY GET THERE? I DISCOUNTED THEM BECAUSE 4th ARMOURED CAN'T DESTROY WHAT THEY CAN'T SEE. Therefore, this fatal flaw accusation is worse than the last one because none of these extra tanks you want to add in could have been hit by a weapon fired by 4th Armoured.

quote:

Von Rom
In addition, because of the nature of the confused fighting in Lorraine, units were being sent pell-mell to Lorraine from all over Europe; and that armoured formations, assault gun units and tank destroyer units were being sent to Lorraine from whatever units could be formed, also means that not all unit histories are complete in this regard, and that units came into being that do not appear in OoBs.


PROOF? You've used this argument before. You lose the argument and then claim that because of the confused nature of the fighting, the Germans spirited in lots of units that never featured in the OOBs. These units were so ghostlike that not even their commanding officer knew they were there. Mellenthin, Balck's Chief of Staff, gives an OOB for the German attacks at Arracourt. Do you think that if the High Command had sent him other units, they would have at least told him what they were? What do you think happens when units arrive in theatre. Prisoners get taken, units get indentified by the enemy, the Commanding Officer gets told he now has operational control over the reinforcements. If the Germans did not know these units were there, how could they have used them? Most German units can be tracked. We can know which theatre they were in. We can do this from 60 years away, yet their CO at the time had no idea, you're telling us? The records give us details, yet in 60 years of history (a phrase you keep using) no one has noticed in these records the units that were there.

This argument is silly, I'm sorry, there is no other word for it I can think of the Moderator would allow. You use it because it allows you to claim there were more tanks there that there actually were, but not have to show where they came from.

quote:

FATAL FLAW NUMBER FOUR

Ironduke missed two whole weeks of fighting in his study


That's right - two whole weeks of fighting is missing from your research.


No it isn't. VON ROM challenged IRONDUKE to talk about 18-30th at Arracourt. How can you accuse me of this???These two weeks were never part of the argument.

quote:

von Rom
He (Kev) questioned 4th Armour's record of detroying 285 German armoured units during 12 days of battle.


quote:

Von Rom
From 20 to 25 September, the Fifth Panzer Army directed the 111th Panzer Brigade and the 11th Panzer Division into a series of attacks against the Arracourt position. Each assault followed the pattern set on 19 September. The Panzers attacked under the cover of morning fog, only to be thwarted by CCA's mobile defense and driven off by armored counterattacks of company or battalion strength. The defensive actions fought around Arracourt stalled the German offensive. The 4th Armored Division claimed 281 German tanks destroyed, 3,000 Germans killed, and another 3,000 taken prisoner in the fighting.


quote:

Von Rom
There were a series of battles between Third Army and German forces between Sept 18-19 to Sept 28-30, 1944 that resulted in some of the biggest armoured battles on the western front.

More than 60 years later, the number of German armoured vehicles destroyed by Third Army's 4th Armoured Division in Lorraine has never been disputed.


Thus, I missed nothing out because I (mistakenly it seems) looked at the period YOU wanted us to look at.

quote:

Most of the sites and books that mention the 4th Armoured Division's battles against the Germans make it appear as though they are talking about JUST the Battle of Arracourt.

More importantly, those sources make it appear as though the number of German tanks destroyed (281) occurred just during tha Battle of Arracourt.

However, this is COMPLETELY WRONG.

How do I know this?

I found a primary document that resides in the US National Archives that tells us EXACTLY over what period of time the 4th Armoured Division fought and how many German tanks were destroyed during this period.


This is what the PRIMARY DOCUMENT that is in the US National Archives tells us:

"All [German] attacks were repulsed w/o loss of ground, and at the end of three weeks men of the 4th ArmdD counted 281 German. . . Tanks littering the hills" (SOURCE: Fact Sheets from The Information Section, Analysis Branch, HQ Army Ground Forces, Washington 25 DC, 1 Mar 1947, as found in the records of the National Archives and Records Administration, RG 407, Archives II, College Park MD).


Which book is this from? More to the point, you haven't made it clear whether the three weeks starts before Arracourt or after. I suspect this is because you only have a partial quote, not the actual document, in the book you have consulted.
Or am I wrong, and did you search through the National archives and find this? More to the point, this doesn't state when the tanks were destroyed. Reading this, it's perfectly reasonable to assume that 4th Armoured were fighting for three weeks, and then destroyed all these tanks during 12 days at Arracourt.


quote:

Therefore, while most authors get the number of German armoured vehicles destroyed correct, they make the mistake of believing that ALL those 281 German tanks were destroyed only during the Battle of Arracourt!

The 4th Armoured Fact Sheet above makes it very clear that while the 4th Armoured Division DID fight at Arracourt and win that battle, the total number of German tanks destroyed (281) was calculated over a period of THREE WEEKS.

Thus, the 281 German armoured vehicles that were destroyed by the 4th Armoured Divison took place over a period THREE WEEKS (from Sept 4-5th to Sept 27th, 1944), and not over a period of a few days as has been intimated by some historians

The fault does not lay with 4th Armoured Divison. This Fact Sheet has been in the US National Archives since 1947. Rather, the fault lies with historians and others who have unintentionally obfuscated the time period in which those German tanks were destroyed.


This is hypocritical. Who said the following :

quote:

Von Rom
It's not my problem at all, Ironduke.

You see, all the history books talk about 281 German tanks; not little 'ol me. . .

Yes, I want to see facts. But do you really think this question can settled in just a couple of hours?


quote:

Von Rom
Anyway, I'm really in awe of what you're doing - really.

The results of your few hours' work could over-turn a lot of history books that took years to write.

But then, I guess that's how you "Professional Historians" operate. . .


quote:

Von Rom
It's not me you're up against - it's 60 years of verified history that you're butting heads against.


quote:

Von Rom
I realize it's just little 'ol me against all you BIG "Professional Historians" and such, but do you really think a couple hours of work is going to unseat 60 years of history and knock down something that NO historian has refuted?

Do you really think that you can spend a couple of hours doing cursory research and hope to overturn 60 years of VERIFIED documentation?


So, I can't overturn 60 years of history, but you can after finding a document quoted in a book? It was in a book and history books are written by historians so how can you claim historians have made a mistake? It's a very small quote, as well. Where's the rest of it giving the context? What dates is it referring to (three weeks is a time period, but which three weeks). This is simply breathtaking. You spend lines abusing me on the basis I was trying to overturn professional historians but then go and decide you can do it on the basis of just three lines. If this was the case, and the tanks were destroyed over three weeks, rather than at Arracourt, why has no veteran of 4th Armoured pointed this out? This is surely not news to them? Why has no one come forward. Why has it taken sixty years and Von rom to correct this?


quote:

So we now have an additional TWO WEEKS within which 4th Armoured Division fought additional tank battles. And yes, it did fight the 3d PanzerGrenadier Division.


Why just two weeks? Go back into August and you'll easily find the tanks you want? I'm sorry I didn't but YOU told me you wantefd to talk about 18th-30th Sept.


quote:

4th Armoured fought the 3d Panzergrenadier Division (containing 37 armoured vehicles):

At 0100 on 13 September, the 3d Panzergrenadier Division hit the Dieulouard bridgehead with a strong counterattack, causing the corps control officer to reconsider his decision to hold back the cavalry. When German infantry and assault guns had pressed to within rifle range of the bridges, the control officer finally sent D Troop across the Moselle. The cavalry's light tanks broke up the counterattack and drove forward until fire from the German assault guns halted them.

By daylight on 13 September. . . . The commanders of the XII Corps, 80th Division, 4th Armored Division, CCA, and 37th Tank Battalion convened near the bridges to arrive at a course of action. When the generals could not reach a decision, Colonel Clarke asked Lieutenant Colonel Abrams what he thought CCA should do. Pointing to the far shore, Abrams said, "That is the shortest way home." "Get going!" ordered Clarke.7 Under heavy German shelling, Abrams' tanks led CCA across the Moselle at 0800 on 13 September. . .

CCA met little opposition as it knifed into the German rear areas. Road blocks, tank detachments, and antiaircraft emplacements were quickly knocked out by the guns of the lead tanks or the self-propelled artillery traveling near the head of the column


So, let me get this straight, you are no longer saying:

quote:

From 20 to 25 September, the Fifth Panzer Army directed the 111th Panzer Brigade and the 11th Panzer Division into a series of attacks against the Arracourt position. Each assault followed the pattern set on 19 September. The Panzers attacked under the cover of morning fog, only to be thwarted by CCA's mobile defense and driven off by armored counterattacks of company or battalion strength. The defensive actions fought around Arracourt stalled the German offensive. The 4th Armored Division claimed 281 German tanks destroyed, 3,000 Germans killed, and another 3,000 taken prisoner in the fighting.


You now want to go back to the 13th. If it is so important to prove they destroyed 281, what next? Do you want to count tanks destroyed in the march across France, or later at the Westwall? These tanks are irrelevant because you wanted to discuss Arracourt. These tanks were not destroyed during the battle of Arracourt.

For the record, 4th Armoured claimed 12 destroyed enemy tanks in this engagement, so we can't count 37 extra's here. That makes my running total about 162. Still a bit short aren't we, you'll have to change the terms of the argument a bit more.

quote:

4th Armoured fought the 15th Panzergrenadier Division (containing 37 armoured vehicles):


I admitted this, and pointed out most of these vehicles were lost days BEFORE the Battle of Arracourt. Of course, under the new argument you're pursuing, I suppose we should count these as well? Consider this. Mellenthin mentions the 15th PGD was part of the Arracourt attack. He mentions the armoured totals for 11th Panzer and 21st Panzer. He doesn't mention any for 15th PGD. Why? Might it have been because they had too few to speak of during the battle having been in action for three weeks, and having lost at least two thirds of their vehicles in a single engagement a week before Arracourt?


quote:

Nafziger mentions the 15th PZGdr had 37 armoured vehicles (p.272).


You're using my quotes now. I thought I didn't have any evidence? This is their strength in August, not September. Now you seem to have taken the terms of the argument back to stretch over a four week period between end August and end September. Do you think this has gone unnnoticed?

quote:

If we add those 204 tanks Ironduke found, with the 74 tank destroyers of the 3d and 15th PZGdr Divisions, plus the 60 tanks destroyed on Sept 15th, we have 338 tanks and tank destroyers destroyed. Even if some or many of those 74 tank destroyers are included with those 60 destroyed on Sept 15th, we have more than enough tanks and days to reach our 281 total.



I found 204 and included 10 already from 15 PZGR, so that's ten we can't count again. During the fighting with 3rd Panzergrenadier (earlier than the period you wanted to discuss, but never mind) 4th Armoured claimed another 12 kills, so the other 25 of 3rd PGD were clearly someone else's. So we add 40. The 60 Patton claimed can not be counted.

THIS IS BECAUSE YOU COUNT THEM ONCE FOR THE FORMATION THEY FOUGHT IN AND THEN COUNT THEM AGAIN BECAUSE PATTON SAW THEM. SOME TANKS ARE COUNTED TWICE HERE. NONE OF PATTONS CAN BE COUNTED BECAUSE WE'VE ALREADY IDENTIFIED THE GERMAN FORMATIONS AND ADDED THEIR TANKS IN. THUS, we're still about forty short. Also, some of the 204 I counted survived the battle, so we're even shorter than that.


quote:

These numbers do not even include the armoured vehicles of the 12 or more other missing fighting formations that you have not included in your study.


I didn't include them because they had no tanks or didn't fight in the battle, is this wrong when discussing the number of german tanks available?

quote:

Thus Steven Zaloga, the noted historian, found that the Germans lost 490 tanks in September:

Of the 617 German panzers committed in September, 1944 in Lorraine, only 127 were operational by October 1. Patton's army lost about 200 tanks in September - and replaced all of them by the end of the month (Zaloga, Steven, Lorraine 1944 : Patton Vs Manteuffel (Campaign Series, 75), Osprey Publishing, 2000).


No he doesn't. He's saying that only 171 were operational. You gave us a long piece about Dietrich awarding medals to mechanics earlier, were some of these non-operational? Might some of these have been destroyed by 6th Armoured, or air power? How does he count these armoured vehicles? How does he arrive at this figure? Can we trust it?

Also, he is talking about Lorraine. YOU were talking about Arracourt. How can we seriously use this figure?

quote:


Therefore, because of the fact that you failed to locate any primary documents related to 4th Armoured Division, and because you have omitted from your study TWO FULL WEEKS of fighting, then it follows that your study is FATALLY FLAWED and cannot stand.


I didn't omit two weeks of fighting, you changed the terms of the argument after the fact to include two weeks of fighting.

quote:

From 20 to 25 September, the Fifth Panzer Army directed the 111th Panzer Brigade and the 11th Panzer Division into a series of attacks against the Arracourt position. Each assault followed the pattern set on 19 September. The Panzers attacked under the cover of morning fog, only to be thwarted by CCA's mobile defense and driven off by armored counterattacks of company or battalion strength. The defensive actions fought around Arracourt stalled the German offensive. The 4th Armored Division claimed 281 German tanks destroyed, 3,000 Germans killed, and another 3,000 taken prisoner in the fighting.


It shows you must have lost the original argument and felt it necessary to widen the terms to try and win it back.


quote:

ADDITIONAL FORMATIONS PRESENT IN LORRAINE:

17th SS PzGdr Div - this is listed in Kursitis (The Wehrmacht at War 1939-1945, p.264), but is not listed in Nafziger.

Using the GrossDeutchland PzGdr div as an example, then the 17th SS could have had up to 130 Armoured vehicles.


This shows why I think we will no longer cross swords. I feel I will have to add you to my ignore list as several others have done in the last 72 hours, I know this as they told me and suggested I do the same.

I will do this in a subsequent post.


quote:

There are still more units that could be identified as being in Lorraine.


Clearly, between Sept 4-5 to Sept 27th, the 4th Armoured Divison encountered the following German units:

11th Pz Div - 176 AFVs (optimal)

111 Pz Brigade - 100 AFVs (optimal)

113th Pz Brigade - 100 AFVs (optimal)

15th PzGdr Div - 37 AFVs

3rd PzGdr Div - 37 AFVs

17th SS PzGdr Div - 130 AFVs (optimal)

2nd Pz Div - 130 Tanks and StuGs (optimal)

This total equals 710 AFVs.


So, we've now more than three weeks to look at, it's from the 4th to 30th. I think you've won, stetch you net wide enough and you will show that there were enough armoured vehicles somewhere in the same theatre as 4th Armoured.

I presume optimal means maximum, or authorised. Leaving aside the demonstrable nonsense about the 17th SS, (more later) you are now giving us authorised figures rather than actual figures. Mellenthin, our German eye witness, tells us 11th Panzer had 16 tanks at the battle. You now feel you can count 176 from this formation. This is very sad. It had 16 Tanks, but to win the agument, you are prepared to tell everyone it might have had as 176. This is not history.



quote:

Clearly this total equals the optimum number of AFVs that would be available in Lorraine in Sept/44. If we factor in tank losses, breakdowns, tanks in repair shops, attritional losses, etc, then the resulting number would be more than sufficient to equal the number of AFVs in Lorraine as calculated by Zaloga (at 617), and is more than a sufficient number to give the 4th Armoured Division its requisite number of 281 German tanks destroyed.


See my next post, but this can not be argued with because it is not historical. I have tried to stick this one out, but when history is treated in so cavalier a fashion, I just despair. When we look at actual figures we have to deduct 160 tanks from 11th Panzer alone, because we know from an eye witness how many they had, and 130 from 17th SS alone, because we know they lost all theirs in Normandy. If you can not tell the difference between actual numbers and authorised (or optimal as you put it) numbers, then I can't argue with you, and I suspect no one else will.


quote:

CONCLUSION

I have shown that any one of the above flaws would render Ironduke's study to be of no effect. The fact that ALL FOUR flaws have been found in his research, renders its conclusions and facts dubious and of no effect.

Since Primary Documents are best evidence, then the 4th Armoured Fact Sheet from the US National Archives indicates clearly that it destroyed 281 German armoured vehicles over a period of THREE WEEKS.

This means that there was plenty of time, and there was plenty of German armour present, to fulfill 4th Armoured's claim.

Therefore:

4th Armoured's claim stands; Ironduke's conclusion is refuted.


Actually, you've only demonstrated things about yourself, not 4th Armoured. The only saving grace is that I'm sure what you have done here, and what you have perpetrated has not gone unnoticed. The other threads indicate many on this forum are knowledgeable enough to see what you have done.

However, see my next post, and we shall be out of each other's orbit.

Regards,
IronDuke





You know Ironduke, I am truly amazed over what you wrote above.

I simply can't comprehend you actually believe what you just wrote. . .



All the facts and figures are there for anyone to see for themselves. . .



I'm stunned. . .

_____________________________


(in reply to IronDuke_slith)
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