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Biggest D-Day blunder


  • 2007 AAR League

    Today being the 61st anniversary of D-Day, I’d thought I’d ask: "What is the biggest blunder of D-Day? Was it the Germans leaving the 15th army at Calais, or maybe the missed placed paratroopers landing miles from their drop zones, or could it be Hitler being stupid and not bringing the Panzers to the front sooner? Or maybe there’s something I missed, you tell me.



  • This is kind of hard to reply to since there were many blunders… I will let the historians take a crack at it. 😉



  • actually the reasons the panzer divisions never came was a rather funny story, hitler was the only one who could give the order to move the division and he was asleep. Everyone was scared to wake him up because of his short temper so they never got deployed.



  • How about Rommel heading to his wife’s birthday party? He didn’t get back until 10 p.m. on D-Day. Rommel had decided that the weather was too choppy for a landing.
    This reminds me of the SAS motto: “Who dares, wins”



  • i believe that it was hitlers insistence on keeping troops in the calais, those reinforcements could have keep the allies stuck on the beaches.


  • 2007 AAR League

    Wasn’t he at his son’s b-day party? I don’t know, I could be wrong.



  • Actually, it was his wife, Lucie, who’s birthday fell on June 6th. Manfred’s birthday was on Christmas Eve. I beleive he would have been at la Roche Guyon otherwise. Rommel’s talent allowed him to use small units to seriously discomfit his opponents. I do not think that he could have personally crushed the invasion, but his presence behind several of the beaches could have stiffened organization and resistance considerably. His philosophy of “crush them on the beaches” would likely have caused him to push every available reserve forward. I have not studied the German deployment in Normandy with any detail. How accurate is the initial D-Day set-up?



  • I think everyone would agree that Hitler holding the elite Panzer formations back was probably the biggest error. Thank goodness. However, there were panzers available on d-day. I belive elements of the 21st Panzer Division counter attacked around Juno and Sword beach near Caan.

    Even though it was a blunder to hold back those divisions I don’t know how much of a difference if would have made if Rommel did have them near the beaches on d-day. The allies, according to a TV show I saw, air superiority was 50-1. That’s ridiculous.



  • Yes, I remember reading that in Keegan’s The Second World War. If memory serves, Keegan wrote that the 21st Panzer had been sent on “one time wasting mission after another” and therefore did not threaten the early stages of the Brit and Canadian landings. On the D-day map the two German tanks at Caen and Troarn must represent the 21st Panzer and possibly the tank at Mezidon.



  • The failure of the Germans to bring up reinforcements on D-day was irrelevant to the outcome of the battle. The vast air superiority and naval gun fire of the allies would have smashed them into mush. In fact, bringing up the reserves might have speeded up the fail of Paris and shortened the war. The Germans had no real chance to stop the invasion… they could only make it more bloody.
    The only real blunder I see was the inability of the troops on Utah beach to communicate with the navy off shore. This did not effect the battles outcome, only cost American lives.


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    I disagree with all these posts… If Hitler allowed Rommel to have complete operational control of all forces in France without interference, the invasion would have been thrown to the sea with huge loses to our side. Air superiority is what Germany had over Dunkurk and that didnt make any difference even though German air forces were much closer and could stay longer in the air than their allied counterparts. The delay in a swift reprisal against the growing allied bridgehead was the primary cause of failure due to the thought that the “real” attack would fall on the 15th army at Pas De Calaise. The german effort was compromised thinking that they were fighting another Dieppe raid and hence gave it a casual effort . This catastrophic decision lost all possible hope of defeating the allies. Rommel had the tools but wasnt allowed to use them untill it was too late.





  • Are you kidding? Rommal would have surrendered in 1944 if he had his way.
    As far as Dunkirk is concerned, has it escaped your notice that the British LOST that battle! In fact they lost 2 entire armies!
    Once the allies committed 5 divisions to the D-Day assault there was no hope that the axis could hold.
    It should be pointed out that Hitler never gave complete operational control to any of his generals if he could help it…. comes from being a paranoid megalomaniac. If we are going to talk about changing Hitlers personality we may as well consider that the war never happened.


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Dunkirk or “operation Dynamo” as it was called was not a British defeat, but could have been. The German air superiority cost them 177 planes to about 130 british planes lost and while the France were of course losing every where else Churchill got in total some 338,226 troops were evacuated (220,000 British, 120,000 French), while the germans got 34,000 british soldiers captured plus all the British equipment and of course some additional French soldiers.

    In the matter of “Overlord” to say this:

    It should be pointed out that Hitler never gave complete operational control to any of his generals if he could help it…. comes from being a paranoid megalomaniac. If we are going to talk about changing Hitlers personality we may as well consider that the war never happened.

    Means that any speculative analysis of any Historical point according to your interpretation History has no real value because nothing could have happened any other way than it did, because after all people act exactly consistent at all times and could not possibly make decisions contrary to their personality.

    Does this mean we cant learn from it?

    Rommel in complete command of OB West would have meant pushing the Allies in the sea on the first day, way before a beachhead would be possible. Quite possibly all the small factors of Hitlers poor sleeping habits,Rommels wifes B-day, military exercising planned for the following day and Eisenhowers decision to cross the channel on the 6th all contributed to its outcome, along with “hitlers personality”.



  • If you guys are interested in D-day blundres i recommend you read "Sie kommen"from Paul Carrell.It’s basically D-day seen from the grman point of view.



  • Hitler wasn’t the only one who insisted upon leaving the main force in Calais, it was also on the assurance of… the general’s name escapes me, that he do it. Besides, the Calais were the most logical point for landing being the shortest distance from Britain to the continent. Rommel insisted that the attack would come against Normandy (or somewhere near) but Hitler pretty much ignored him, being the stubborn maniac he was.

    " youve just made the second biggest mistake in the world! The first being never getting involved in a land war in Asia, but the almost equally bad is never turn your back on a Sicilian when death is on the line!" Princess Bride (thats more of a paraphrase then a qoute 🙂


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Yes but Hitler allways had the last word… thats why the 15th army was the biggest and stationed in Pas De Calisas (sp) and why those mobile panzer divisions were kept in reserve untill it was too late to push the allies back into the sea.



  • Yes I agree with you guys, Hitler made a lot of crucial mistakes, I am sure glad he did because we could have been in a world of crap. I personally think that The Battle of Britain was the most crucial mistake, Hitler wasn’t able to get air superiority over Britain so he could launch his amphibious attacks, he lost a lot of aircraft and good pilots, his losses there really was the beginning of the end for him… That loss meant that now he either had to try and keep what he had and try and make some kind of a truce with the allies (stay out of Russia and be content with what he had)( + French resistance was horrible, for the aount of available fighting men and the amount that actually rebelled was just discraceful) or two go for it, and take over Russia which I can’t understand why???  Napoleon tried it, it’s just too vast, to support your troops out there is a tremendous task, and always trying to maintain what you have taken… Then going into Russia so late which I don’t know, they say the Russian winter had a major impact on Germany, and I am sure it did, but Russia put up one hell of a stand and just plain beat Germany.  That was about it.  I agree with you, I think if Rommel had his way he would have surrendered in 44’…  Germany was in a major decline by 44’ its cities were being bombed out, factories destroyed, airforce annihilated even the Navy was in shambles and so many large losses on the Russian front… Germany was not in good shape in any means.  I just wished we would have let Patton go into Germany first and keep the reds out, I think what the Russians did to the people of Germany after they took Berlin was horrible, But Russian leaders were horrible what do you expect.



  • I am sorry to get off the subject a little bit there…  Yes I believe if Rommel actually had the Panzer divisions he would have been a great help to the Germans in Normandy - could he have got them there in time, probably would have and would have cost a a lot of American lives.  OR,  if British and American bombers, P51’s and Hurricanes would have picked them up, I think they could have made mince meat out of those tanks. Remember no real air support- in that scenario maybe the war would have been over even quicker than it did???



  • Well actually the battle of britain itself was not necassarily a German mistake.  The way the battle of britain was fought was a mistake.  In the beginning of the battle the Germans were smart to only target the British airforce.  However, the air battle was lasting longer than Hitler wanted… so he decided he would bomb London instead.  All of the german generals thought this was a huge mistake and wanted to keep attacking the airforce.  In fact on the day that they started targetting london there were only 14 operational planes in the whole UK.  If the German generals would have had their way the Germans would have won the battle of britain.


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Thats correct but the thread is about 1944 d-day blunders.

    1. hitler didnt release the panzer reserve
    2. hitler felt the invasion was a decoy for the real invasion at Pas- De Calais
    3. Rommel was not allowed to make decisions that would have defeated the allies. this process starts upon his appointment to the CC of OB west
    4. The Todd organization was responsible for creating the obstructions and never completed its task as its limited resources were used in other areas.
    5. The Germans treated the French too well. It should have been more draconian rule upon them. This allowed too many opportunities for French underground to obtain mapping and positional information on german deployments.
    6. Many german commanders left for the Rennes “wargames” on the 5th of June and were not at their post when the attack came. The practice was not scheduled untill the 6th, but many unit commanders left early evening… the day before.
    7. The luftwaffe was basically decimated and should have been withdrawn from coastal airfields in anticipation of saturation bombing by the allies. It was done too late after too many loses.

  • Official Answers 2007 AAR League

    I would suggest that even before D-Day the failure to have any intelligence on what the Allies were doing aside from what the OSS fed them was a blunder even before the first shot was fired. My understanding is the Germans never had an effective spy in England over the entire course of the war.
    I wish I could remember where I read that.


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    probably “bodyguard of lies”



  • @yamamato456:

    Well actually the battle of britain itself was not necassarily a German mistake.  The way the battle of britain was fought was a mistake.  In the beginning of the battle the Germans were smart to only target the British airforce.  However, the air battle was lasting longer than Hitler wanted… so he decided he would bomb London instead.  All of the german generals thought this was a huge mistake and wanted to keep attacking the airforce.  In fact on the day that they started targetting london there were only 14 operational planes in the whole UK.  If the German generals would have had their way the Germans would have won the battle of britain.

    Even assuming Germany “wins” the air war, they never win the battle of Britain. Britain never gets successfully invaded, Germany just doesnt have the operational power to do so.

    The mistake was in attacking Britain, rather than the Med. Taking Egypt (and gaining access to Iran/Iraq oil) and depriving UK of supplies was the only way to “win” (which eventually would not have worked as the USA would eventually enter the war and supply Britain with whatever was needed).

    Had the med been conquered and become an axis lake, you could delay Torch till 44. Perhaps egypt is never retaken until 45. Which would give Germany time to mass produce its "super-weapons). This also assumes the blunders on the eastern front are also ignored.

    Squirecam


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