Best U.S Army



  • @Lazarus:

    @KurtGodel7:

    That’s better than a 9-to-1 ratio; whereas Montgomery failed to achieve even a 1-to-1 ratio in Market Garden.

    You would have to know how many German POW’s 21st Army Group had in May 1945 to give an informed opinion on that. You are winging here becsause you have no like-for-like numbers.
    Perhaps you could give me Patton’s exchange ratio for a specific battle How well did Patton do whilst  stupidly banging his head on the walls of Metz?

    I have provided the only COMPLETE quote here, question and answer. The meaning is obvious but if you want to spend hours analysing every full stop and comma  to twist the meaning then be my guest.

    Patton has been described in the following words:


    A voracious student of military history, Patton was by far the best tactician–and arguably strategist–of any Allied military leaders . . . But Patton, unflinchingly honest in public and infuriatingly impulsive, had repeatedly challenged his superiors’ tactical and strategic decisions, as well as the post-war U.S. occupation policy . . . Largely unrecognized by most news writers was the fact that he used his trademark swift, relentless, and crushing attacks–what they generally deemed brutal and uncaring–to save lives by enabling victory to be more quickly attained. Hesitation, he preached, was a soldier’s worst enemy. A commander had to act swiftly and decisively to take advantage of fleeting, critical opportunities in battle. But his enemies, many of whom never served and probably thanked God for it, thought him devoid of compassion–as if that were a requisite for fighting–and a warmonger. He did love war but, as most warriors do, he loved it as a crucible, a test of his prowess and courage and, in his own peculiar religious way, a fulfillment of his destiny. But he was mindful of war’s horrors and pointed them out often.

    His rivalry with British Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery, who outranked him but whom he regarded as timid and indecisive, was a volatile story that had gotten him public attention, good and bad. The two field commanders had clashed repeatedly, most publicly during the Sicilian Campaign in 1943 when Patton had beaten the cautious Viscount to Messina and had made sure the world knew it. . . . Patton had raged at his superiors’ decisions to halt his advances, most notably at Falaise where he could have killed thousands of Germans who escaped through a narrow pocket and returned to fight at the Battle of the Bulge; at the German border, where he could have crossed early and, he believed, shortened the war and saved American lives; and at the conclusion of the European conflict, when his pleas to go deeper into Eastern Europe and beat the Russians to crucial objectives, especially Berlin, had been sternly rejected. Fearing he might advance in spite of their orders not to, Eisenhower and General Omar Bradley, Patton’s immediate superior, several times cut off his gas supply.


    From Target: Patton by Robert Wilcox, pp. 3 - 5.

    Earlier in this thread, I posed a question about how various American military units might perform if placed in a land war like the one between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in '42. Now I’ll pose a similar question about the Allied generals. Suppose Montgomery had been placed in overall command of Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union back in '41. How would he have done? How would that have compared to Patton’s performance, had he been the one in charge? The tactics Patton used in France and Germany would have been very well-suited to such a war.


    The Third Army typically employed forward scout units to determine enemy strength and positions. Each column was protected by a standing patrol of three to four P-47 fighter-bombers as a combat air patrol (CAP).[50] Self-propelled artillery moved with the spearhead units and was sited well forward, ready to engage protected German positions with indirect fire.[51] Light aircraft such as the L-4 Piper Cub served as artillery spotters and provided airborne reconnaissance. Once located, the armored infantry would attack using tanks as infantry support.[51] Other armored units would then break through enemy lines and exploit any subsequent breach, constantly pressuring withdrawing enemy forces to prevent them from regrouping and reforming a cohesive defensive line.[51] Armored vehicles would often advance via reconnaissance by fire.[52] Each vehicle would alternate its machine guns and/or cannon to the left or right respectively, firing continuously to cover the flanks on both sides of the column and suppress enemy counterfire.[53] The U.S. .5 Browning heavy machine gun proved most effective in this role, often flushing out and killing German panzerfaust teams waiting in ambush as well as breaking up German infantry assaults against the armored infantry.[54][55][56] In its advance from Avranches to Argentan the Third Army advanced unopposed over vast distances, covering 60 miles (97 km) in just two weeks.




  • I presume the propaganda piece above means you will not be comparing Arhem to Patton’s attack on Metz.

    Perhaps you know it was a failure and wish to stick to ythe myth Patton was ‘the best’?

    You seem to like clogging up the thread with cut-and-paste articles that add nothing to the  debate so I thought I would add my own distraction:

    _the Lorraine campaign. It was a hard slog in rough terrain and rotten weather against a tough German foe fighting from prepared positions. In the end, it took Patton three full months to reduce resistance in the area between the Moselle and Saar rivers, an advance of only 46 miles. It was a campaign filled with personal and professional frustration for the general, and even the fall of Metz in early December, with its paltry haul of just 6,000 prisoners, did nothing to lighten the mood. In other words, Lorraine found Patton completely out of his element. If flexibility is an attribute of all great generals, then Metz was an interesting test case for Patton. How does a general built for speed, a “master-motivator and prodigious ass-kicker,” behave when things slow down?

    The answer, according to John Nelson Rickard’s Patton at Bay: not very well. Getting stuck in front of the Moselle River was not Patton’s fault. He ran out of gas, a result of General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s decision in the tricky area of fuel allocation. What happened after that, however, was a different story. Despite reams of intelligence information from Ultra on down that the Germans had managed to re-form a defensive position in Lorraine, Patton persisted in his belief that the Wehrmacht was finished and would come apart at the first tap. The result was an ill-advised attempt in early September to “bull-rush” the Moselle, a series of improvised river crossings that misfired completely. German counterattacks at Pont-à-Mousson actually wiped out the tiny American bridgehead of the 317th Infantry Regiment, and the 318th barely held its own on the western (American) side of the river.

    Rickard is suitably critical of this attempt to get over a major river obstacle on the fly, and indeed there is very little positive to say. Neither U.S. tanks nor armored doctrine were designed to punch through a well-defended line: They aimed at rapid exploitation of an infantry breach. The Third Army was down to half the strength it had possessed at the outset of Cobra and had to begin the Lorraine offensive without a reserve. Intelligence was inadequate, and Patton and his corps commanders seemed to have done most of their planning from Michelin highway maps. As a result, says the author, they “possessed only the vaguest idea of the extent of the Metz defensive system.” Above all, Patton continued to ignore intelligence about the German recovery, even when his staff officers were bringing it to him by the bushel. He continued to look to faraway objectives — Mainz, the West Wall, the Rhine — with unconquered Metz staring him in the face.

    Certainly, there were moments of opportunity, and Rickard targets each of them vigorously. After the encirclement and fall of Nancy, the 4th Armored Division and its feisty commander, Maj. Gen. John S. Wood, had a clear path into the German rear. The overly cautious Maj. Gen. Manton S. Eddy was Wood’s corps commander, however. He soon slapped the cuffs on the 4th Armored, dispatching it hither and yon to shore up bridgeheads and to support neighboring infantry, and the moment passed._

    The above is a review of the book Patton At Bay.

    I ask again what was the exchange rate at Metz?
    Why are you  ignoring it but using Arnhem as a stick to beat Monty?



  • @Lazarus:

    I presume the propaganda piece above means you will not be comparing Arhem to Patton’s attack on Metz.

    Perhaps you know it was a failure and wish to stick to ythe myth Patton was ‘the best’?

    “Propaganda piece” and “myth” are emotion-laden words: words which you have done nothing to substantiate. As for your copied and pasted description of Patton’s attack on Metz, I agree that Patton was not at his best during that battle.  That being said, some background is in order.

    In late August of '44, the Germans were in disarray, and Patton had advanced rapidly. But in late August/early September, Eisenhower called a halt to Patton’s advance, and diverted nearly all available fuel and ammunition elsewhere. (To Operation Market Garden, for example.) Metz had strong defenses. Instead of being able to overrun them quickly and easily–as almost certainly would have been the case had Patton been able to attack in early September–Eisenhower held Patton’s army in place for roughly a month. While it was right outside the strong Metz defenses no less! That gave the Germans the opportunity to fortify those defenses. Reining in Patton was clearly a strategic blunder on Eisenhower’s part. (At least assuming his goal was to win the war as quickly as possible, and with as few American casualties as possible.)

    Patton was left in a situation in which his army had almost no gas, and was restricted, to a mere seven rounds of ammunition per gun per day. At this point, Patton was evidently convinced of the need to take Metz quickly, before the Germans could fortify it even more. To a large extent that reflects his failure to realize how much they’d fortified it already. But it may also be reflective of a larger lack of confidence in the Allied military leadership. He may have felt that the same political considerations which led to his army’s fuel and ammunition being cut off might also have prevented them from being restored to him–at least in any sort of timely fashion. Another argument in favor of speed was that a slow, ponderous Anglo-American advance would leave most of Europe in communist hands. (As later proved to be the case.)

    Despite the above, Patton was clearly too aggressive, especially considering the level of forces Germany had already built up in Metz, and the sharp restrictions which had been placed on Patton’s available resources. Metz was Patton’s low point during the war. One crucial difference between Metz and Operation Market Garden was that Montgomery was given nearly everything for which he’d asked before launching the latter operation. Yet it still failed. In contrast, Patton was given almost nothing before launching his ultimately successful, but slow and painful, attack against Metz.



  • Did a bit of checking on the 3rd Army fantasy figures.

    The claim:

    The enemy lost an estimated 1,280,688 captured, 144,500 killed, and 386,200 wounded, adding up to 1,811,388. By comparison, the Third Army suffered 16,596 killed, 96,241 wounded, and 26,809 missing in action for a total of 139,646 casualties. Third Army’s losses were only 12.97 percent of the German losses. That is only about 13 American soldiers for every 100 German soldiers

    However the German loss figures for the same period are:

    KIA……109,046
    WIA…382,776
    Missing…772,776
    Total…1,264,282

    Now obviously this  does not take into account the 6 million POW’s taken by the West right at the end but the KIA/WIA numbers  can be compared.

    144,500 claimed v 109,046 reality

    386,200 claimed v  382,776 reality

    3rd Army  on its own claims more German losses than were actualy recorded.
    Did no other Allied Army ever get into action?

    Incidently the German POW (West) numbers show:

    September 1944 there were 545,756

    December 1944  814,796
    March 45   1,000,000
    April 16th  2,000,000
    May 1st     3,000,000
    End of war  4,005.732
    Final tally after war  6,155,732 of which 2,050,000 were classed as POW and 4,090,000 disarmed enemy personel.

    over 2 million POW in April/May 1945  and 3 million April/VE Day

    I note that yet again you fail to give Patton’s ‘exchange rate’ for Metz.
    Is there any reason why you are unwilling to post it?
    Might it not compare well against the Montgomery at Arnhem?



  • D/P



  • @Lazarus:

    Did a bit of checking on the 3rd Army fantasy figures. . . .

    I note that yet again you fail to give Patton’s ‘exchange rate’ for Metz.
    Is there any reason why you are unwilling to post it?

    There are two points I’d like to address. 1) If you’re going to post casualty figures for the Germans, please cite whatever source you used. 2) I didn’t cite the Third Army’s exchange rate for Metz because I haven’t taken the time to look it up. If you wish to introduce the actual datum about the Metz exchange rate (as opposed to vague hints about what that exchange rate might have been), then look it up yourself, and post both the rate and a citation to your source in this thread. It’s enough for me to do the research for the points I’m making, without also being asked to do the research to support the points you’re trying to make!



  • @KurtGodel7:

    There are two points I’d like to address. 1) If you’re going to post casualty figures for the Germans, please cite whatever source you used.

    The figures are from:

    Organizationabteilung d. Gen.Stb. d. Heer, 26 Apr 45, NARA T78, R414, F3189

    Heeresartz i. OKH, Gen.Stb. d. Heer/Gen.Qu., NARA T78, R414, F3228-3229

    KTB d. OKW, Band IV, 1509-1511

    OKW KTB, Band IV.2, p. 1515-1516

    @KurtGodel7:

    1. I didn’t cite the Third Army’s exchange rate for Metz because I haven’t taken the time to look it up. If you wish to introduce the actual datum about the Metz exchange rate (as opposed to vague hints about what that exchange rate might have been), then look it up yourself, and post both the rate and a citation to your source in this thread. It’s enough for me to do the research for the points I’m making, without also being asked to do the research to support the points you’re trying to make!

    Research?
    All I see so far is wholesale reposting of Wiki articles!
    It seems you now admit you have no firm data on these losses yet earlier you were confidently asserting that Patton’s ‘exchange ratio’ was better than for Montgomery.

    As soon as I posted the actual German losses you retreat.

    No comment on the fact the claimed 3rd Army figures are actualy  the losses inflicted by the ENTIRE Allied Armies ?



  • Figures here:

    http://ww2stats.com/index.html

    Menu-Military Casualties-German

    Example:

    http://ww2stats.com/cas_ger_var_wvw.html



  • Just noticed the German West losses I gave earlier is for  Sept 1939 to April 1945. It includes the 1940 losses, an extra 156,556.

    **Heer Losses in the Polish, Norwegian, French, and Balkan Campaigns
    (Organizationsabteilung d. Gen,Stb. d. OKH. 6 Feb 45, NARA T78, R414, F3226-3227

    Losses in the Feldheer**
    ……KIA…WIA…MIA…Total
    Poland …8,082…27,278…5,029…40,389
    Norway …1,166…1,548 …1,091…3,805
    France… 27,650…115,299…13,607… 156,556
    Balkans…1,593…4,845…644…7,082
    Total …38,491…148,970…20,371 …207,832

    So the claims made in the Third Army  book are even further off!


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