Wacht am Rhein

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RF
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Wacht am Rhein

Postby RF » Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:14 am

Today, December 16 2009 marks the 65th anniversary of Hitler's last major military offensive of WW2, which started in the snow and fog of the Ardennes on 16th December 1944, in which the last strategic armoured reserves of the Heer and Waffen SS were frittered away in a final desperate attempt to turn the tide - by recapturing Antwerp.
Perhaps less well known were the full extent of German intentions, which were unearthed from Waffen SS POW's by MI9, the simultaneous organised mass escape of up to 100,000 German POW's in Britain, their plan to capture US Army depots and using captured American tanks and artillery to effectively invade Britain from within, capturing airfields to permit the flying in of Luftwaffe parachute troops.....and to seize London....and to force Churchill and the King to change sides in the war. The MI9 interrogators were speechless at the gradiose nature and arrogance of the plan, but took it seriously enough to round up all the potential leaders and tightened security on key POW camps....and kept the whole thing secret under the fifty year rule.
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Karl Heidenreich
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Re: Wacht am Rhein

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:27 am

The Germans didn´t even have enough fuel to complete the part of the offensive they started on this date. It was an operation destined to fail since it´s begining. Of course, a partial success could have been expected after the first days in which two US divisions simply dissapeared and the 101 was being surrounded at Bastogne (without General Taylor).

On the allied side all the neighboring units to the German advance axis were uncapable to even move in order to counterstrike, less to help the desperate 101. Some people as Bedell Smith (an overated beaurocrat) spelled doomed. It was, then, George Patton Jr, the greatest US commander since the Civil War, who had foreseen the German intentions for weeks anticipation, the one that moved three divisions and head North to break the siege.

The Bulge also witnessed some terrible moments as Malmedy.

We must not forget and keep it in the appropiate perspective. Thanks to RF for bringing this up.

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An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
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Re: Wacht am Rhein

Postby RF » Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:44 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:The Germans didn´t even have enough fuel to complete the part of the offensive they started on this date. It was an operation destined to fail since it´s begining.



The German plan was to capture the Allied fuel dumps at Stavelot. The Panzers were stopped four miles short. But Karl is right, the operation had zero chance of success.
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Re: Wacht am Rhein

Postby Bgile » Wed Dec 16, 2009 2:31 pm

And all this time I thought Gen Eisenhower ordered Gen Patton to pull his army out of it's offensive and turn north. I didn't realize he just did it on his own. :think:

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Re: Wacht am Rhein

Postby Byron Angel » Wed Dec 16, 2009 2:45 pm

Bgile wrote:And all this time I thought Gen Eisenhower ordered Gen Patton to pull his army out of it's offensive and turn north. I didn't realize he just did it on his own. :think:



..... I'm not certain that was the case. My understanding is that there was a command meeting and decision process before Patton undertook the movement. The principal feature of the meeting was that no one believed Patton could perform within the very short time-table he was promising them. I suspect that Patton may have already made some anticipatory preparations beforehand, but I don't think he physically moved any troops out of his area of the front before receiving orders to do so. Unfortunately, my books on that are packed up at the moment.


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Re: Wacht am Rhein

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Wed Dec 16, 2009 8:05 pm

Bgile:

And all this time I thought Gen Eisenhower ordered Gen Patton to pull his army out of it's offensive and turn north. I didn't realize he just did it on his own.


After the initial German surprise and success the allied commanders met in order to draw a defensive strategy. The meeting was leaded by Ike and Omar Bradley. Bedell Smith supported the idea of having Monty divert to the German Advance Axis and attack it but Monty was clear that he would not do it, at least not soon, because he would exposed his flanks, because he was already engaged, because it was snowing, because a lot of things.
George Patton suspected that the Germans were likely to pull something of sorts and had his staff working on diverting three divisions on a 48 hour call if necessary. When Monty ended with "I can´t and nobody could do it anyway..." speech Patton came with his " I can move with three divisions in 48 hours" to which Omar Bradley answered that he wanted serious realistic assesments. Patton got his way (for the first time in his european campaing, because when he pressed Ike for an agressive move at Falaise he didn´t get it and then when he pushed for his Sarre offensive Ike got his Market Garden defeat). To many that was Patton´s finest hour. We must admit that in land warfare the western allies never had a guy as good as him.
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Re: Wacht am Rhein

Postby mkenny » Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:30 am

Karl Heidenreich wrote: Bedell Smith supported the idea of having Monty divert to the German Advance Axis and attack it but Monty was clear that he would not do it, at least not soon, because he would exposed his flanks, because he was already engaged, because it was snowing, because a lot of things.


Can I have a source where I can read this?
Strangely enough it is directly contradicted by the fact the US Troops North of the Bulge were placed under Monty's command.

http://www.armchairgeneral.com/monty-wo ... -iii.htm/2

"Montgomery was likewise greatly disturbed from afar by the state of paralysis in First Army and by the serious situation in the north and conveyed his misgiving to the visiting Maj. Gen. J.F.M. "Jock" Whiteley, the SHAEF deputy G-3. Although occasionally one of the field marshal’s sternest critics, Whiteley nevertheless returned to SHAEF the night of December 19 convinced that Montgomery must be given immediate command of the northern sector before it was too late. Placing a telephone call to Montgomery, Whiteley said, "If Ike asked you to take over First Army when could you do it?" Montgomery replied he could do so the following morning. Whiteley made it clear that nothing had yet been decided. Montgomery not only did not press the matter but also exerted no pressure in favor of the idea.

Whiteley found an ally in Strong who was receiving a steady stream of reports that led him to independently conclude it was "absolutely essential to inform Bedell Smith about my growing doubts whether the Allies were matching up to the situation," and his belief that neither Bradley nor his staff appreciated the severity of First Army’s dilemma.................................... Montgomery to be given temporary operational command of all Allied forces (principally the U.S. First and Ninth Armies) in the northern half of the Bulge, and Bradley to command only the southern flank (Third Army).


Karl Heidenreich wrote: When Monty ended with "I can´t and nobody could do it anyway..."


When did this meeting take place?
Is there a book where I can read the full text of this 'speech'?

I suspect a lot of misinformation and fabrication here. It is like the claim that Patton was the one General the Germans 'feared' when the actual quote tells a far more revealing truth.

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Re: Wacht am Rhein

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Thu Dec 31, 2009 4:00 am

No fabrication nor bad interpretation.

Please read Martin Bluemenson´s book "Patton: The Man Behind the Legend 1885-1945", also author of Patton Papers. There is also an article from Carlo D´Este on Spring 2001 MHQ magazine called: "Battle of the Bulge. Patton´s Finest Hour."

Best regards,
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

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Re: Wacht am Rhein

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Thu Dec 31, 2009 4:05 am

By the way, the meeting is historical and took place in Verdun but I was mistaken: Ike attended and lead it. Bedell Smith was there as was Francis de Guingand, Monty´s chief of staff, so I was mistaken in that particular.
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
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Re: Wacht am Rhein

Postby mkenny » Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:59 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:
Please read Martin Bluemenson´s book "Patton: The Man Behind the Legend 1885-1945",


Why not save me the bother and give me the gist of the claims about Monty?

Karl Heidenreich wrote:There is also an article from Carlo D´Este on Spring 2001 MHQ magazine called: "Battle of the Bulge. Patton´s Finest Hour."


let me have the quotes and I can counter help clear up the confusion.


.

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Re: Wacht am Rhein

Postby aurora » Sat Nov 29, 2014 5:13 pm

Lieutenant Colonel Creighton Abrams’ tanks made it through late in the afternoon of the 26th. The 101st’s greeting party, by McAuliffe’s order, was well-dressed and cleanshaven, to show that they had everything under control. With an aide, McAuliffe rode a jeep over to see Patton’s troops for himself. Captain William Dwight, second in with his tank after 1st Lt. Charles P. Boggess, scrambled out, saluted, and asked, “How are you, General?”

“Gee, I am mighty glad to see you,” said McAuliffe, happy to be reconnected. The day after Christmas was not too bad. And for the enemy, if not for McAuliffe, it was still Christmas. In Germany das zweiter Weihnachtstag persisted.

“Just now at 1845,” Patton wrote to Beatrice, “Gaffey called to say we had made contact. Of course we did not do it with much, but we did it. My prayer seems to be working still as we have had three days of good weather and our air [force] has been very active. Of course they overstate [their results] at least 50 percent but they do scare the Huns.”

Several days later, arriving in Bastogne with Marlene Dietrich, who had been entertaining Allied troops there before the German attack and now returned, Patton saw white-clad enemy bodies frozen in the snow, now with a second coating of white. “Finest battlefield I ever saw,” she recalled him crowing in his high-pitched voice.

On the northern shoulder of the Bulge, Montgomery, temporarily in full command, reflected that Bradley, “such a decent fellow” but in over his head, had mistakenly permitted Patton “to go too far,” yet Monty had done little more than hold the line with American troops. The British counted about a thousand casualties, two hundred of them dead. Admitted American casualties were 80,987, including 10,276 killed and 23,218 missing, including prisoners of war and unrecovered dead. The German count was higher. Patton’s Christmas wish was that Eisenhower would not give in weakly to Monty’s “tidying up the lines” panaceas. “If ordered to fall back,” he wrote in his diary, “I think I will ask to be relieved.”

On December 27, Patton returned to offer a thank-you at the Pescatore chapel, anticipating that the Bulge was the enemy’s final counteroffensive—as it proved to be:
Sir, this is Patton again, and I beg to report complete progress. Sir, it seems to me that you have been much better informed about the situation than I was, because it was that awful weather which I cursed so much which made it possible for the German army to commit suicide. That, Sir, was a brilliant military move, and I bow humbly to a supreme military genius.



The Bulge was indeed the last chance for the Wehrmacht to create a situation that might have forced, through frustration and disillusion in the West, some form of negotiation that might have forestalled the invasion and destruction of Germany itself. That did not happen.

Pressing eastward as the Bulge was flattened, Patton passed through the Belgian town of Houffalize, above Bastogne. He was appalled by its utter destruction as the Germans withdrew after mutually costly fighting. “I have never seen anything like it in this war,” Patton wrote. Giving in to his profane streak, yet still close enough to Christmas to exploit a carol, he penned yet another verse

-
Quo Fata Vocant-Whither the Fates call

Jim

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RF
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Re: Wacht am Rhein

Postby RF » Sun Nov 30, 2014 6:41 pm

aurora wrote:
The Bulge was indeed the last chance for the Wehrmacht to create a situation that might have forced, through frustration and disillusion in the West, some form of negotiation that might have forestalled the invasion and destruction of Germany itself. That did not happen.
-


I don't think there was any chance whatsoever of ''negotiation'' post Casablanca conference, not even if D-Day had completely failed.
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Re: Wacht am Rhein

Postby aurora » Sun Nov 30, 2014 6:54 pm

Thank you RF-I too think that this battle and the forthcoming Battle of the Reichvald enabled Operation Plunder on 25th March 1945; which was the crossing of the River Rhine at Rees, Wesel, and south of the Lippe River by the British 2nd Army, under Lieutenant-General Miles Dempsey (Operations Turnscrew, Widgeon, and Torchlight),

The U.S. Ninth Army (Operation Flashpoint), under Lieutenant General William Simpson. XVIII U.S. Airborne Corps, consisting of the British 6th Airborne Division and the U.S. 17th Airborne Division, conducted Operation Varsity, parachute landings on the east bank in support of the operation.

All of these formations were part of the 21st Army Group under Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery. This was but part of a coordinated set of Rhine crossings,
Quo Fata Vocant-Whither the Fates call

Jim

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RF
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Re: Wacht am Rhein

Postby RF » Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:44 pm

There were also Rhine crossings by the French Army from Alsace south of Strasbourg as well.
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Re: Wacht am Rhein

Postby aurora » Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:58 pm

Ah!! you got me there RF-- In the Allied 6th Army Group area, the US 7th Army assaulted across the Rhine in the area between Mannheim and Worms on 26 March. A fifth crossing on a smaller scale was later achieved by the French First Army at Speyer.
Quo Fata Vocant-Whither the Fates call

Jim


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