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Old 11-17-2017, 01:27 PM
 
422 posts, read 175,780 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dane_in_LA View Post

Interesting point. I've never seen analysis on the manpower & materials used for the Atlantic Wall and how it could have been employed for a better mobile response, but seems as if someone must have done the math. If not - damn, there's a thesis waiting to happen.
The Atlantic wall was Rommels baby. He knew if the Allies got a foothold in France the weight of manpower and industry they could bring to bear would make German defeat ininevitable. His only option was to stop the invasion on the beaches hence the wall.
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Old 11-17-2017, 02:59 PM
 
35,656 posts, read 18,394,808 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glokta View Post
The Atlantic wall was Rommels baby. He knew if the Allies got a foothold in France the weight of manpower and industry they could bring to bear would make German defeat ininevitable. His only option was to stop the invasion on the beaches hence the wall.
His motivation is clear, but one wonders if the effort expended was in proportion to the military value of the wall. It held for what, 12 hours? Then again, civilians pouring concrete wouldn't help in forming mobile units for defense in depth, so perhaps he did what he could with what he had.
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Old 11-17-2017, 03:46 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
4,245 posts, read 1,919,877 times
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Default The Fox knew better

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glokta View Post
The Atlantic wall was Rommels baby. He knew if the Allies got a foothold in France the weight of manpower and industry they could bring to bear would make German defeat ininevitable. His only option was to stop the invasion on the beaches hence the wall.
No, Rommel was assigned there in 1943. He inspected & cajoled, & begged for armored formations (to drive any foothold off the beach immediately). He fought & compromised & was given only half-authority, not the full armored units he wanted. He was an energetic officer & did his duty. He was belatedly promoted, to give him more authority - but not what he needed to make good on the defense.

Rommel was a practitioner of fluid tactics, going back to Caporetto in WWI, on the Italian/Austro-Hungarian Empire line. With Rommel & his troops as stiffeners, the Austro-Hungarians decisively defeated the Italians, capturing many & driving off the rest, capturing supplies & weapons.
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Old 11-20-2017, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Independent Republic of Ballard
7,292 posts, read 5,790,876 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dane_in_LA View Post
His motivation is clear, but one wonders if the effort expended was in proportion to the military value of the wall. It held for what, 12 hours? Then again, civilians pouring concrete wouldn't help in forming mobile units for defense in depth, so perhaps he did what he could with what he had.
An interesting comment from another source:

Quote:
A better defence would have resembled the British coastal defences, or the Japanese island defences seen in the Marianas and Palau campaign, or on Iwo Jima and Okinawa. These had a thin delaying line on the beaches, and the major line of strength inland, with other delaying defence lines inbetween. This allowed the defender's main forces to remain out of the line of fire, while attritting the attacking forces. The defenders could not be outflanked by further landings, as they shortened their lines by retreating inland.
https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistoria...all_fail_as_a/

Of course, this didn't work out for the Japanese, either, although they did inflict a lot of casualties on the invaders. Translated to France, as opposed to a chain of islands, it might have formed a backstop capable of launching a counter-attack, before the Allies had been able to establish themselves on the coast.

The problem was succinctly stated by Machiavelli:

Quote:
That One should not stake the Whole of One's Fortune except on the Whole of One's Forces; and that, consequently, it is frequently Harmful to defend Passes
Note that Machiavelli does not say that defending passes is always harmful, just that one should not stake the whole of one's fortune on it.

https://books.google.com/books?id=_Q...ses%22&f=false

I'm not saying that the German's had any winning strategy available to them - the only virtue of the Atlantic Wall was that it allowed them to lose more rapidly.
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Old 11-20-2017, 02:35 PM
 
35,656 posts, read 18,394,808 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyDonkey View Post
An interesting comment from another source:
That was indeed interesting, thanks. I seem to recall that Brooke was very unhappy with the expenditure of resources on static coast defenses, but I can't find the quote now.

Quote:
I'm not saying that the German's had any winning strategy available to them - the only virtue of the Atlantic Wall was that it allowed them to lose more rapidly.
Certainly took resources and manhours that could have been used elsewhere.
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Old 11-20-2017, 06:46 PM
 
Location: Independent Republic of Ballard
7,292 posts, read 5,790,876 times
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Of course, the more heavily you defend any one point, the more likely it is that the attack/invasion will come somewhere else. The lesson learned from Dieppe (and Gallipoli) by the Allies was that capturing a well-defended port (Calais was near Antwerp) was a futile exercise and it was better to expand your options, and attack where not expected, by bringing your port (artificial harbors) with you. Hitler, as the delusional paranoid-schizophrenic he was, took all signs of a build-up to attack Calais as a double-feint.
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Old 12-26-2019, 06:42 AM
 
Location: Proxima Centauri
5,746 posts, read 2,414,651 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonyafd View Post
The Germans would have had a rougher time if the Maginot line extended to the Channel. The Germans went trough Belgium and the extension of the Maginot line was much less effective. The French became demoralized and blitzkrieg was very effective.

I came across some new information about the German troops in their invasion of Belgium, Holland, and France. In an article which I can no longer find, I've found that the German troops were given their own version of crystal meth. So while the French and English were getting worn out like people do, the Germans kept going like the energizer bunny.
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Old 12-26-2019, 07:22 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
4,245 posts, read 1,919,877 times
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Default A higher calling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonyafd View Post
I came across some new information about the German troops in their invasion of Belgium, Holland, and France. In an article which I can no longer find, I've found that the German troops were given their own version of crystal meth. So while the French and English were getting worn out like people do, the Germans kept going like the energizer bunny.
Yep. See https://www.spiegel.de/international...-a-901755.html
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Old 12-27-2019, 06:02 PM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
10,381 posts, read 21,918,028 times
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I may be a surrender monkey but I think it is wise not to fight against a much stronger power. France would have lost anyway but would have endured far more deaths of their own people.
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Old 12-27-2019, 07:13 PM
 
Location: The North Star State
2,528 posts, read 766,876 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by censusdata View Post
I may be a surrender monkey but I think it is wise not to fight against a much stronger power. France would have lost anyway but would have endured far more deaths of their own people.
Precisely.

A lot of people have this naive view of war, that it's like a video game - you play to the last man, the last bullet.

In the real world, countries normally fight only as long as the perceived benefit of continuing the fight exceeds the perceived benefit of surrender.

Why? Because the real world isn't a video game.
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