Germany wins D-Day?

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Pletch
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Germany wins D-Day?

Unread post by Pletch » Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:10 pm

Over the Summer a fan-group held a World Wide Flames of War campaign, centered around the Invasion of Normandy. The end result was the Allies failed to progress as far as their historical counterparts in the time alotted and Germany won the campaign. In the wrap up a rather fanciful alternate history was suggested by the coordinators, in which the Allies were driven into the sea and a Dunkirk-esque evacuation had to be implemented.

This got me thinking: could that have really happened? Given the historical situation at the time, relative dispositions of the troops, and other constraints: is there a scenario that could have occurred that would have led to complete Axis victory in Normandy? If not, what would have had to be different for Germany to completely destroy the Allied invasion of Normandy in 1944?
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Re: Germany wins D-Day?

Unread post by dano903 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:21 pm

Really...say the German defenses had an hour warning that the ships were crossing and direction. Perhaps hilter gets warned, and reserves are moved to the beaches faster. Any lost at the beach could have added another year to the war. Lost of men, equipment, time, defeat, and so on if the allied didn't make the landing.

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Re: Germany wins D-Day?

Unread post by Audacity » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:17 am

I'm of the semi-learned opinion that Operation Overlord could have easily turned against the Allies over the course of the first few days. Almost any combination of good decisions and or errors by the leadership and major formations of either side might have caused that battle to be lost by the Allies. One really has to consider the use of all elements, ground air and sea, to account for issues that would have turned the battle.

Would it have had an outcome on the war? Of course, but IMO it would have only delayed the defeat of Germany. The Soviet Union would have still rolled into Germany and probably beyond supported by western air power and sea control.

Although I don't play FoW, I liked reading Beans blog about his participation in this massive game that has given us reason to discuss our favorite bit of history

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Re: Germany wins D-Day?

Unread post by Der Engel » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:14 am

I really can't see an outcome different from history unless germany could contest the air and sea on a strategic and tactical level. We know that the German ground game was superior to the allies up to the end, but the us/uk dominated the air and sea. Don't see how the meager, mostly static German divisions could have enough umph to push them into the sea.

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Re: Germany wins D-Day?

Unread post by RichtervonManthofen » Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:46 am

It might not have been enough, but

Hitler held the reserves back as he feared Overlord was not the real thing. The commanders of teh Atlantic wall were aware that it COULD not be a diversionary attack. So if they had the reserves available they could have closed the beaches early on.

For example the Panzer Lehr Division (fully equipped) was held back and when finally released had to move during daylight - being harrassed by allied air supremacy and lost more than half (IIRC) of its fighting force on the way TO NOrmandy.

If released early and moving during night it could have fight even more efficient (It performed quite well OTL).

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Re: Germany wins D-Day?

Unread post by Pletch » Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:09 am

There's a lot of what-ifs to play with. However, I think naval and air supremacy over the target area at least ensured the beachheads could be created and held. In cases like the landings at Anzio, where panzers really did nearly drive the Allies into the sea, close shore support from destroyers broke up the attacks. Without any serious way to defeat the Allied naval threat, Germany could at best contain the landings. Historically they did through the masterful use of the French bocage in defense. I think considering the initial planned D-Day objectives, Germany delayed the western Allies a long time in Normandy. Given all of the historical realities the Germans put up the best fight they could. The deck was just stacked against them.

Of course this is with hindsight. I think the Allies were right to be careful and meticulous in their planning for the invasion because serious missteps on their part could have severely handicapped attempts to break out of the beachheads.
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