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Invasion of Normandy – The Guderian Reports


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Community #1 Posted 06 June 2014 - 04:22 PM

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To commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day we take a look at the Invasion of Normandy from a different perspective…

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Murphy1up #2 Posted 06 June 2014 - 04:37 PM

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Very interesting read to see things from another perspective.

KiloIndie #3 Posted 06 June 2014 - 04:42 PM

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This is interesting but lacks sufficient qualification. After all, excuses were in order.... 

More salt please.

 

further, there is a singular failure to publish both accounts, of tanks arriveing as well as those defending. Not to mention, with Russia's presence at the DDay landings, an account of the simultaneous Soviet offensive designed to relieve pressure on the western allies.

 

I think you have a few hours left to get it right...


Edited by KiloIndie, 06 June 2014 - 04:44 PM.


Ulfhedinn_ #4 Posted 06 June 2014 - 05:24 PM

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Excellent piece, more would be good as always but it's a really interesting angle, ty WG :-)

 

There's been quite a lot on D-Day on the documentary TV channels recently. Apparently, all the Allies on every front quickly came to the conclusion that if they ever engaged the Germans on anything like equal terms they were virtually guaranteed to always lose, because of the German's superior commanders and tactics, weapons, but most of all, their fighting spirit. That fighting spirit manifested as the difference between the Allied troops suffering a huge number of casualties from psychiatric break down (not just combat fatigue, but from the moment troops first entered combat), compared to the Germans who had virtually no such problems at all. They commissioned psychiatrists to study this, and the conclusion was that Hitlers 3rd Reich from 1933 was a better preparatory society for war than democracies could ever be. But maybe it goes deeper, maybe it explains some of the brutality of the regime, they simply never escaped the brutilisation of WW1, considering how that ended and it not being resolved in their eyes.

 

But whatever, seems truth is D-Day was only a success cuz we massively overwhelmed the Germans with quantity of manpower & material, exactly the same way the Russian's turned it around on the Eastern front. Makes you realise just how dangerous they were, if they'd just had a little bit more sense in finishing off one front before starting on another they'd have been unstoppable. And it makes sense of what Guderian said in that report about feeling confident relying on the fighting spirit of his troops, it really was an enormous difference and advantage and would have been decisive if not for numbers & material and lack of air & sea power.


Edited by Maxmk6, 06 June 2014 - 06:38 PM.


KiloIndie #5 Posted 06 June 2014 - 06:15 PM

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- points for suggesting WG should have published an article explaining DDay from a global point of view, before presenting 3 other articles, one from the western allies POV, another from the Russian offensive that was concerted with DDay, and finally the German experience, of which Guderian's report may be seen in perspective. ?

 

Seems like an overviuew of events is all  the more necessary given the apparant confusion of (some) people today concerning these events.



sleepysteve22 #6 Posted 06 June 2014 - 06:34 PM

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thank you wargaming for your alternative view on D-day found it a great read, keep up the good work:-)

sleepysteve22 #7 Posted 06 June 2014 - 06:51 PM

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View PostMaxmk6, on 06 June 2014 - 06:24 PM, said:

Excellent piece, more would be good as always but it's a really interesting angle, ty WG :-)

 

There's been quite a lot on D-Day on the documentary TV channels recently. Apparently, all the Allies on every front quickly came to the conclusion that if they ever engaged the Germans on anything like equal terms they were virtually guaranteed to always lose, because of the German's superior commanders and tactics, weapons, but most of all, their fighting spirit. That fighting spirit manifested as the difference between the Allied troops suffering a huge number of casualties from psychiatric break down (not just combat fatigue, but from the moment troops first entered combat), compared to the Germans who had virtually no such problems at all. They commissioned psychiatrists to study this, and the conclusion was that Hitlers 3rd Reich from 1933 was a better preparatory society for war than democracies could ever be. But maybe it goes deeper, maybe it explains some of the brutality of the regime, they simple never escaped the brutilisation of WW1, considering how that ended and it not being resolved in their eyes.

 

But whatever, seems truth is D-Day was only a success cuz we massively overwhelmed the Germans with quantity of manpower & material, exactly the same way the Russian's turned it around on the Eastern front. Makes you realise just how dangerous they were, if they'd just had a little bit more sense in finishing off one front before starting on another they'd have been unstoppable. And it makes sense of what Guderian said in that report about feeling confident relying on the fighting spirit of his troops, it really was an enormous difference and advantage and would have been decisive if not for numbers & material and lack of air & sea power.


A very good reply and am inclined to agree with you here however there is a twist in this belief, the huge difference must be remembered that the nazi forces more or less did what they wish to meet the objective thrown upon them, yes they were very well trained and were convinced they were all warriors sent down to preserve the Aryan German race and committed there souls to Valhalla they did not allow simple customs and pleasantries the allies were, if the nazi's needed a area on the map they took it without care of civilian loss, also note to remember the Nazi ranks did not take too kindly on doubt or negative thoughts and lived in a constant state of fear of being locked up or sent to the eastern front, you only have to look at the Russian desperation after the "not a step back" order was in effect, soon the ruskys started marching desperately in to the screams of German gunfire until they numerically overwhelmed the invaders and there stringent supplies, didn't help the fact though that Hitler forgot to give them all a winter jacket just in case!

 

 



Captain_Useless #8 Posted 06 June 2014 - 10:16 PM

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Great article. Very informative.

Brunanburh #9 Posted 07 June 2014 - 07:00 AM

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It makes a refreshing change for the German perspective to be given any consideration. The British media in particular have always claimed D-Day to be the greatest invasion ever, yet Barbarossa (to name just one), was far larger. The problem with the British media is that it has only ever given a highly selective and heavily biased account of actual events: an account given by the British, for the British, reinforcing what it is they want to believe, often regardless of the actual truth.

Ulfhedinn_ #10 Posted 07 June 2014 - 12:12 PM

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^ That's not fair. It's a fact that D-Day was the largest seaborne invasion in the history of the World, ever. Barbarossa was a land-born invasion, a vastly easier enterprise. The Germans also had a huge advantage with Barbarossa because it was a surprise attack, a breaking of the non-aggression pact the Germans & Russian had signed. The whole problem with D-Day was we were already at War with Germany, the Germans were expecting the invasion and had properly prepared for it. It's the difference between someone surprise attacking someone else from behind and being able to get killer hits in before their opponent even knows they're in a fight (like a cowardly mugger, like Barbarossa), and two people properly squaring up for a fight (like D-Day). A massive difference. It's also a fact that D-Day would never have been given the go-ahead if the Allies hadn't had the facility to cater for all the civilians and prisoners that came under their control as a result of the invasion. Barbarossa was only able to go ahead because the Nazi's approach was that they would not provide any provision for the people they subjugated, that they would kill virtually everyone they encountered. They had no provision for the Russian prisoners or civilians at all. They stole food, clothing and shelter off the civilians, and left their prisoners they took to starve to death, or turned them into slaves who they worked to death. If they'd had to find that provision before committing to the invasion, the invasion would never have happened.

 

And to say the British are indulgent in propaganda, as though propaganda wasn't something the Nazi's ever used (!!!) is a bit of an odd argument. But yes, there was some propaganda and bias in Britain's version of events, just like there was with every single country involved. But then one of the good things about war (in this case), is that the victors get to write the history :-) I'm sure if the World had been so unlucky that the Germans had won, we'd be getting told an enormous amount of utter bull[edited] about what the Germans achieved and why - cuz the Nazi's foremost approach with everything, with history, culture, their intentions, their achievements, other people, etc etc, was to lie through their teeth.

 

Anyway, everyone in the World should be grateful for D-Day, especially the Germans, it's the only reason West Germany remained free after WW2. If not for D-Day, the Soviets would have taken the whole of Germany, and then like everywhere else, not given it back. Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, America, Free France, Free Poland etc etc etc, did more than just liberate France and the low countries, they liberated West Germany too, from a regime that was utterly dishonest, criminally insane, and without honour, and then they helped rebuild it and kept it safe.


Edited by Maxmk6, 07 June 2014 - 12:35 PM.


Brunanburh #11 Posted 07 June 2014 - 01:06 PM

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I have no problem with most of your argument. At no point did I indicate that Propaganda was the sole preserve of the British, only that the British (and US) version of history is heavily biased, and that this biased account is then disseminated to the people as 'truth'.  For an even more lucid look at British claims to 'freedom and tolerance', consider our invasion, occupation, subjugation, and exploitation of India. We treated them as the Nazis treated the Ukraine, as subhuman. Millions died. As for Barbarossa being cowardly? If a general wants to fight fair, he's doing it wrong. No army wins by giving the enemy an equal chance - or do you want to condemn Montgomery for his attack at El Alamein because he had ((much) greater resources than Rommel?

Ulfhedinn_ #12 Posted 07 June 2014 - 01:35 PM

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^ That's simply not true though, we never treated the Indian's or anyone else like the Nazi's treated some of their enemies.

 

I get where you're coming from, I understand how modern popular culture and myths work and how things are taken out of context. But you cannot equate today's standards to the past, you can only judge past actions of Countries and peoples against other nations and their peers from the same time. The British people & Empire were almost always leagues ahead of how every other country behaved at any particular time.

 

For example, before India was taken over by the British, the Indian's were properly enslaved and impoverished by the French and by the Moghuls. We gave them freedoms, laws, education, and an improved quality of life that was simply not available to them before. If the people of India hadn't liked Britain, they wouldn't have volunteered in their droves to fight for Britain in the first & second World Wars. And Ghandi, the British hated him, but they didn't abuse him. How long do you think someone like Gandhi would have lasted in the Third Reich? Do you think the SS would have tolerated Gandhi's nonviolent civil disobedience? 

 

Edit - And re surprise being a legitimate military tactic, yes, but generally the opposing forces have the decency to declare war first. It's even more indecent to sign a pact guaranteeing yourself a non-aggressor and then attacking (like the German's did with Russia). Btw, I don't think badly of the Wehrmacht or Germans, in WW2 they were fantastically capable soldiers who achieved a huge amount and were very brave. But the people & regime they did it for, and what the fanatics / extremists did, such a criminal disaster for everyone.


Edited by Maxmk6, 07 June 2014 - 01:54 PM.


colcool007 #13 Posted 07 June 2014 - 02:25 PM

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View Postbadger100, on 07 June 2014 - 07:00 AM, said:

It makes a refreshing change for the German perspective to be given any consideration. The British media in particular have always claimed D-Day to be the greatest invasion ever, yet Barbarossa (to name just one), was far larger. The problem with the British media is that it has only ever given a highly selective and heavily biased account of actual events: an account given by the British, for the British, reinforcing what it is they want to believe, often regardless of the actual truth.


It was the largest AMPHIBIOUS invasion ever. No one has ever said it was the largest invasion ever. As to biased accounts, should we take Stalin's account as an example? After all, according to him, the Soviet Union lost millions to the Germans and he never killed any of his people...



Brunanburh #14 Posted 07 June 2014 - 02:34 PM

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Interesting. Propaganda did not end with WWII, it is alive and well, and as your summary of the British Empire in India reveals, just as misleading now as at any other time in history. I refer you to the Sepoy uprising of 1857 and the Cawnpore massacre,  Hundreds of surrendered British troops and their families massacred at Satichaura Ghat, 200 British women and children raped then hacked to death and dismembered with meat cleavers, the remains then thrown down a well in an attempt to hide the evidence. What followed was wholesale slaughter of Indians as British troops under General H. Havelock re-took the area, committing all manner of atrocities against the civilian population. Up to ten million Indians were then killed over the next decade as the British sought to crush the uprising and regain control, (known in India as the first war of independence). Ah yes, the British in India . . . 

colcool007 #15 Posted 07 June 2014 - 02:40 PM

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Ah, a Guardian reader then.

 

What else do you wish to add to a thread about D-Day, a specific campaign in World War Two? How about the Boer War death camps? Posion gas in World War One? Or do you wish to comment on the Anglo-Afghan Wars as well?

 

Can we try and keep to the topic in hand?



Ulfhedinn_ #16 Posted 07 June 2014 - 03:00 PM

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Re Badger, but you are referring to a unique situation caused by religious misunderstandings, the insanely selfish behaviour of uber rich former Indian rulers who'd previously presided over utterly abusive states and who wanted their god like wealth & power back, and by a culture clash where all Western Europeans were inclined to be psychotically genocidal in the face of atrocities against white women and children. And, you're quoting the sole claims of one biased historian who made lots of money out of writing a book claiming these figures, Amaresh Misra. Misra's casualty claims have been challenged in India and Britain.

 

"It is very difficult to assess the extent of the reprisals simply because we cannot say for sure if some of these populations did not just leave a conflict zone rather than being killed," said Shabi Ahmad, head of the 1857 project at the Indian Council of Historical Research. "It could have been migration rather than murder that depopulated areas." Many view exaggeration rather than deceit in Misra's calculations. A British historian, Saul David, author of The Indian Mutiny, said it was valid to count the death toll but reckoned that it ran into "hundreds of thousands". "It looks like an overestimate. There were definitely famines that cost millions of lives, which were exacerbated by British ruthlessness. You don't need these figures or talk of holocausts to hammer imperialism. It has a pretty bad track record."

 

So there you go, biased claims that serve purposes other than the truth, supported by nothing more than disputed circumstantial evidence. If that's not propaganda I don't know what is. And the way the British were at that time, no worse than the American's, the Russian's, every other nation at the time, it was the standards of the day. And you also overlook the immediately preceding history, prior to the mutiny and those Indian nutters guaranteeing safe passage to a hospital garrison full of women and children before slaughtering and dismembering them using professional butchers, the one where Britain and India existed in such harmony that the white workers in India were being encouraged to take Indian wives in order to create a crossbred race and culture (which was extremely progressive, beyond anything any other civilised nation at the time was willing to even consider).

 

By today's standards Britain has done many bad things in the past. As an ambitious nation with little resource of it's own it was as ruthless as it needed to be in order to be successful, and once successful, as ruthless as it needed to be in order to remain successful. But it did lots of good too, was generally ahead of the game, and has really nothing to be ashamed of. Lessons to learn - yes, regrets - yes, things we would change if we could - yes, shame - no.


Edited by Maxmk6, 07 June 2014 - 05:16 PM.


Brunanburh #17 Posted 07 June 2014 - 03:15 PM

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My original comment was about a perspective we do not usually see, that from the German side. This is because of state propaganda, which is still with us, and a quite natural bias to blow one's own trumpet and play down the bad bits. You will see that these are linked. What links British atrocities in India to Nazi Atrocities in Russia, is that Hitler intended to model his new Germanic Empire on the British Empire in India. He got the Idea from us. Britain is not, and never has been, the squeaky clean liberator of the downtrodden and oppressed masses that some would have us believe. This again links us to propaganda, and what is or is not the actual truth.

Ulfhedinn_ #18 Posted 07 June 2014 - 03:50 PM

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I'm not sure we ever know the real truth about anything, and not generally because of state propaganda (at least in Western Europe), but because contemporary individual witnesses and commentators on each side always have there own bias & experience and are inevitably limited by not knowing all the facts. It's always been like that, that's really how the World and what it believes works, it's about individuals rather than states. Unless you're dealing with totalitarian states like the Nazi's, Soviets, North Koreans, or some religious cultures, or flawed democracies with powers-within like America, truly free democracies like Britain can't engage in propaganda, their free press make it impossible. That's the only reason you or anyone else has any ammunition on any negative matter, because you're allowed it, because you don't live in a controlled propaganda driven state.

 

I think it's actually the case, that rather than modern Britain trying to celebrate it's former Empire and pretend it never did any bad, we are permanently beating ourselves up about it, ignoring the good that it did & tried to do, that it was in line with how the rest of the World was behaving at the time, focusing only on anything negative, and ignoring that some things may have been genuine mistakes or the consequence of people local to the situation rather than a state policy. We run ourselves down all the time, and to the bemusement of other Nations who think that overall we have a very good track record, even if we did get some things wrong.

 

And yes, Hitlers favourite film was "Lives of a Bengal Lancer", apparently he was enthralled by the depiction of a few Brits holding a huge sub-continent in subjugation and he planned the same for Germany. Shame it didn't occur to him that Britain was only able to achieve that through the willing cooperation of the subject nation (which they achieved by treating them well and with respect, like Alexander the Great dealt with his Empire), rather than the methods he & his cronies planned, which was through enslavement, persecution, terror, and cold blooded genocide.

 

EDIT - you are right though in saying Britain and America have played up the importance of D-Day ever since (although not the achievement itself, it was a monumentally impressive achievement). But I think rather than propaganda, that's simply down to a desire to justify the suffering & sacrifice the thousands of free individuals made to achieve it, which is only natural, for the memories of those people and for the feelings of their families. And at the time it was a political necessity, as it was the justification the Allies needed to have the necessary leverage in the post war settlement with Russia. But it was still an extremely important achievement, aside from how it later saved West Germany from Soviet occupation. If Germany had had no Western front from end 1940 on they'd have beaten Russia easily. If we hadn't pushed that front onto French soil in June 1944, many more Russians would have died fighting to overcome Germany. And if D-Day hadn't happened, France would have suffered Nazi subjugation for years more, and possibly then Soviet subjugation. I saw another D-Day documentary last night, describing in detail the bombing of Caen 6th June. Weeks after when they were clearing the rubble, they found in a cellar the body of a French man who'd been trapped by the bombing and had suffocated. He'd had a candle, and in the last moments of his life he'd written a note that said although he knew he was going to die and because of Allied bombing, it was worth it for the liberation of France, and he ended the note thanking the Allies and saying long live France, long live the Allies. I bet there were no such notes thanking and forgiving the Nazi's found in the rubble of Warsaw, or Kiev, or ... etc etc etc 


Edited by Maxmk6, 07 June 2014 - 05:26 PM.


Brunanburh #19 Posted 07 June 2014 - 04:49 PM

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Maxmk6, you are obviously not an idiot, or any other other of the derogatory terms usually bandied about in wot, but to believe that we have an

unbiased press free from the influence of propaganda?  :)   Gullible might be a more accurate term.  I'm a dyed in the wool cynic. Bitter experience has taught me to think the worst of people, and this has generally proved to be correct. I therefore view my government, the press, the U S of A, or anyone who comes to my door selling eternal happiness, with extreme scepticism. Surprisingly, we do appear to agree on a number of issues, but there are others on which no amount of humanistic argument will ever change my mind. And now for tea. The goddess of the kitchen has prepared sausage and stuffing pies with mash, and they smell very tempting. After tea I intend to slaughter many noobs with my KV-1S, be careful not to get in the way.



Ulfhedinn_ #20 Posted 07 June 2014 - 04:52 PM

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:-) good luck with the tomato squishing :-)




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