German Wündertanks vs Shermans

If this was going to be your signature operation, along a route, which XXX Corp knew to be narrow, would YOU not rush as many men as you can, to cover the flanks of XXX Corp ?? if necessary, comb out the support units, or even issue captured German rifles to local civvies, just to boost the mass either side.

The only conclusion I can come to, is you are right, it was utter chaos and we did the best we could. Or, it was a punt and monty was nervous about putting all his eggs in one basket, so ensued sufficient forces for other operations (didn't support his own idea and it was a vanity project conceived on a whim to outdo patton).

The British Army simply had insufficient forces.

Reserves had dropped to nothing by Autumn 1944 resulting in an extension of Conscription, many formerly reserved jobs being opened up to call up, medical standards reduced, age lifted upwards.
Army units that suffered substantial losses were often no longer being rebuilt, but broken up and used to fill the ranks of other units.

Market Garden wasn't so much a Bridge too Far, as an operation too far for an Army that had suffered grievous and irreplaceable losses in Normandy.
 
We on the other hand were spread very thin, unable to even feed ourselves and the Germans were merrily sinking our merchant shipping faster than we could replace it. Although, prior to the US entry, tacit support has been given by the Americans we were in a very precarious position. ISTR that at some point in 42 Churchill was being briefed by the Admiralty that the U.K. was down to 2 weeks supply of oil.
Ahh but we managed didn't we.

Also I'd strongly question the comment about Oil in 1942. in 1939 we had about 7 million tons of POL, and by 1941, despite two years of full scale war we still had 4.5 million tons. The primary source of POL for the world at the time was not the middle east, but the US, which had a straight line to us.
Germany's situation was a lot different.
 
Ahh but we managed didn't we.

Also I'd strongly question the comment about Oil in 1942. in 1939 we had about 7 million tons of POL, and by 1941, despite two years of full scale war we still had 4.5 million tons. The primary source of POL for the world at the time was not the middle east, but the US, which had a straight line to us.
Germany's situation was a lot different.
Germany didn’t have to ship its oil across the Atlantic. It pulled it in from Romania.

ISTR watching a documentary about a Bletchley where they covered shortages due to shipping. In 1942 we were loosing tankers at a rate of 4 times it could be replaced. Remember this was happening whilst Germany was fighting us, Russia and the US. If Russia and the US weren’t involved on our side we’d be struggling.

Edit.

Found this.

Lesson 6 - Oil Strategy and World War II
 
Last edited:
@Listy
Heres a thought wot about a T34 with no19 radio set, 77mm, and engine out the Cromwell?
Then again, Sherman with the 76mm and the diesel donk. Not a bad little number and in production iirc. Ooh And a proper HE shell like wot the 75mm had.
 
As far as logistics go the Russian 'Tank riders' were equipped with PPSh-41 supplied with ammo and not much else. I believe they got paid at the end of the war.

Oil is another point, there was an oilfield in Nottingham area which supplied several million barrels during the war and after:

World War II oil[edit]
Geological survey[edit]

In the late 1930s oil exploration was undertaken by the D'Arcy Exploration Co Ltd, part of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company Ltd. Using geological data from colliery workings, geologists calculated that an anticline was situated under Eakring. A nearby borehole at Kelham had produced oil. Drilling to levels between 7463 ft and 7468 ft had found significant quantities of oil – which turned out to be particularly significant when the Second World War and the U-Boat campaign started.
Drilling[edit]
Wells also produced oil at Caunton and Kelham Hills. The oil had a specific gravity of 0.86 – which is high-grade oil. The UK typically had oil reserves of 5 million barrels (790,000 m3), which were under strength. In March 1943, production began at around 100 wells, being coordinated by Philip Southwell, a petroleum engineer from the D'Arcy Oil Company who had liaised with Lloyd Noble, president of Noble Drilling Corporation in Oklahoma. Throughout the operation, the location[10] of the oilfield was kept secret. American oil workers lived in the Anglican monastery at Kelham Hall.[11] In total, the oilfield produced around 3.5 million barrels (560,000 m3) of oil throughout the war. In contrast, the Germans had to rely on synthetic oil, manufacture of which largely ceased during 1944 as a result of Allied bombing raids. This speeded up the capitulation of the Luftwaffe. By 1964, the wells had produced 47 million barrels (7,500,000 m3).

Who knew? The sites were very secret although the rigs were still uncammed. Large numbers of US oilmen were drafted in on civilian contracts to help out.

A knock on effect of limited fuel is training pilots and armour is cut to the bone with obvious results when you go into the field.

Somewhere there is a photo of an Me 262 being towed by oxen (I haven't found it).

Another problem with living off the land is that the local population will be less than inspired by an army of Locusts stripping the surrounding areas. As napoleon found in Spain. Wellington tried as far as possible to purchase supplies and limit looting. An early example of hearts and minds.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
Germany,prior to Barbarossa and the US entry had a reasonably safe existence. Natural resources had been secured.
No, even in early 1941 - with supplies coming in from the USSR - they were critically short of resources like oil and rubber.

We on the other hand were spread very thin, unable to even feed ourselves and the Germans were merrily sinking our merchant shipping faster than we could replace it. Although, prior to the US entry, tacit support has been given by the Americans we were in a very precarious position. ISTR that at some point in 42 Churchill was being briefed by the Admiralty that the U.K. was down to 2 weeks supply of oil.
No, we never got anywhere near that short of oil: our "critical concern" level of POL, seven million tons, was about three times the biggest stockpile Germany ever amassed at any point during the war (they never got over two million tons of oil available even despite ruthless rationing).

While the U-boats managed to (briefly) peak at 400,000 tons a month of shipping sunk during Operation Drumbeat (the "happy time" off the US coast, where ships were unescorted and sailing alone against a backdrop of coastal illumination), the Kriegsmarine initially estimated they would need to sustain 700,000 tons a month of sinkings to produce a decisive effect: later increased to a million tons a month, then to 1.3 million tons, as Allied shipyard capacity became apparent... even as the actual sinkings plummeted and the U-boats took unsustainable casualties. (Just the - belated - adoption of convoy on the US East Coast massively cut shipping losses)
 
(...) Which shorta belies the fact that their war didn't start til June 1941 and I've never believed the cant about knocking out T34's whilst building their factories to do it. The whole things sounds more like a Stalin Gambit.
I don't see the problem for a final assembly plant of that era. The assembly factories were assembling and completing parts brought from other factories. They would get hulls from one factory, turrets from another, engines from another, guns from yet another, wheels and suspensions from another, etc. The temporary factory buildings were just big wooden sheds. So long as they had the overhead crane set up and some sort of power distribution they could build the temporary building around them while they worked. It's not like health and safety were on the top of their priority list at the time. The cranes and other machinery and the workers were the essential elements. The building was just a big shed which went over them.

But was it?
Think about it. Canada is closer to Russia than Britain, there are no UBoats in the Bering sea. America was already on side sort of and June in the Northern Hemisphere is summer. It's an easier route to Russia and if ships are returning unladen to America, they could take back essentials- they probably did.
Your geography completely baffles me. I don't see what the Bering Sea has to do with anything, and if you are going between commercial ports then Liverpool to Halifax or Montreal is not far. A quick look on the Internet puts it at 2850 nautical miles. The distance from Liverpool to Murmansk is 2288 nautical miles, not a whole lot less distance and probabaly a lot more dangerous at the time.

The major problem is going to be trying to run a factory 24/7 while not being able to predict when your supply shipments are going to arrive or whether your entire month's supply of some essential and irreplaceable widget is going to end up at the bottom of the sea.
 
The only conclusion I can come to, is you are right, it was utter chaos and we did the best we could.
Yes, to a point. Montgomery was offering an alternative to Eisenhower's "broad front" advance; the Airborne were champing at the bit to DO SOMETHING (as mentioned up-thread, if they hadn't it was quite likely that they'd have been put into the mix as backfill for normal troops or as formed lorries inf/ arty units.
I
it was a punt and monty was nervous about putting all his eggs in one basket, so ensued sufficient forces for other operations (didn't support his own idea and it was a vanity project conceived on a whim to outdo patton).
No.
 
Bearing Sea was a very major Lend Lerase supply route to Russia
The discussion was about the difficulty in getting components for Valentine tanks from Britain to Canada versus sourcing components locally in Canada or from the US. Shipping from the UK to Canada via Murmansk wouldn't have been much of a solution.

The overall context was using that as an example of the the difficulties which would have been encountered in manufacturing a tank design such as the T-34 or KV for which there were no local component suppliers in Britain. It would have made more sense to simply design a tank in the UK which used locally available parts to begin with. Thus, the proposal was never really likely to have been adopted.
 
I thought my rather bold claim might elicit some response.

But consider where Germany is located. Even at the height of her success she was surrounded and cut off from global trade and resources. All because Britain and her navy had her locked in tight.
To free that up you need to take the UK out of the fight. Germany had no way of doing that. In any fight if you have an opponent you can't actually beat, it doesn't matter how good you do, you can not win, and then its all down to how long it's going to take for the other guy to get lucky and put you down.

I'm not saying it'd be cheap or easy for the UK, equally it wouldn't have been over in the same time period. In fact it'd likely have stretched even further. But as Germany couldn't physically defeat the UK then it was going to loose.
Germany cold have traded with Russia had she not invaded. She routinely traded with Turkey until 1944 and Sweden throughout the war. As per your text in bold, the question could have been who got lucky first.
 
A significant amount of aid supplied to USSR was made up of fooď (the Russians thought spam and bully beef were foods of the gods), soft skin vehicles and raw materials.
 
Germany cold have traded with Russia had she not invaded. She routinely traded with Turkey until 1944 and Sweden throughout the war. As per your text in bold, the question could have been who got lucky first.
IIRC the Swedes were selling ball bearings to us & the krauts at the same time. Sure I've seen pics of unmarked Mossies on a swedish airfield with a Luftwaffe a/c in the background of vice versa.
 
The discussion was about the difficulty in getting components for Valentine tanks from Britain to Canada versus sourcing components locally in Canada or from the US. Shipping from the UK to Canada via Murmansk wouldn't have been much of a solution.

The overall context was using that as an example of the the difficulties which would have been encountered in manufacturing a tank design such as the T-34 or KV for which there were no local component suppliers in Britain. It would have made more sense to simply design a tank in the UK which used locally available parts to begin with. Thus, the proposal was never really likely to have been adopted.

All but a handful of the 1,400 Valentines built in Canada went to the Russians, so when you consider that, shipping parts to Canada for assembly and onward shipment wasn’t terribly mad.
The Russians really liked the Valentine and insisted it was kept in production .

As regards the T-34? Made no sense to build it in the West, we had tanks as good or better. The Sherman’s were as easy and quick to build, designed expressly fur mass production, and light years better quality.
 

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