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Subject: MIT history study on armored operations in France 1944.
Belisarius1234    1/12/2013 6:16:37 PM
The study (PDF link)follows in the next post. Some things I discovered when reading this study. 1. A great many myths about the British Army are exploded in the descriptions of Bluecoat and Goodwoed. Vaunted British formations are shown to be totally incompetent (7 Armored and 50th Infantry), while formations I never heard of (11th Armored and 43rd Infantry) are shown to be outstanding, or at least very good. 2. The Falaise Pocket failure, so often blamed on the British (Montgomery), and a mis-applied army boundary that allowed the Germans to hold Vire and a future escape route open, was actually the American's (Bradley's) fault. 3. As I expected, the Canadians come off very good, despite their secondary role in some of these operations examined. Their units achieved their objectives consistently when British and American units stalled or were balked. 4. I had long suspected from the various unit and combat histories of it, that I read, that 30th Corps was a below par British combat formation. After the Bluecoat operational analysis in this study where Horrocks left 11th Armored out on a limb to be almost destroyed, because his incompetent staff could not manage a road network to get supporting infantry up, I have concrete reason to regard that 30 Corps formation, from its corps commander on down with utter contempt. 5. The Americans were extremely lucky that their German opposites at Cobra and the Mortain counterattack were utterly incompetent. Bradley does not come off as a shining light of proficiency. Fortunate indeed for COBRA that Lightning Joe Collins ran that battle, and that there were good officers, such as Maurice Rose, who knew how to exploit on the fly when opportunity presented itself. The Americans were also lucky that most of the better German divisions were in Panzer Army West, facing the British. 6. Kudos to the British general, Richard O'Connor (of North Africa fame.) His VIII Corps, which he led, seemed to know what it did, despite its inexperience. That seems to indicate he trained it well. Not much else, as an operational leader, he did in the various British operations studied seems to have gone awry, either, as it did with Horrocks and 30 Corps. 7. Colonel Nelson and the US 112th Infantry Regiment (Battle of the Bulge), should be required reading and study foe any officer aspiring to more than battalion or brigade command.) B.
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Belisarius1234    And now the link.   1/12/2013 6:18:49 PM
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