Hitler's military mistakes

May 2017
172
Monterrey
Because they won. They showed up, they took losses, and those losses were acceptable because they still allowed the unit to complete the objective.

The Germans launched numerous operations after that, just no major airborne operations. That had more to do with lack of transport aircraft, serving elsewhere ferrying supplies to panzer divisions in combat, than it did regarding usefulness of airborne forces as a whole.

Again, every mention of the shock of losses at Crete must absolutely be taken in the context of when they happened. Which was before the meat grinder of the invasion of the Soviet Union. By the time they wanted to invade Malta the following year, Germany had already lost hundreds of thousands of troops in combat. Hitler was willingly throwing away entire divisions in holding actions. If taking Malta meant a major strategic and operational advantage (it did), he'd have been willing to take losses.

This is all moot. The operation was already planned to be done. It would have happened regardless if you think the casualties would have been acceptable or not. The only reason it didn't was because Rommel's advance drained the supplies and air support that would have been needed for it.
Completing the objective does not make the losses acceptable. I don't really understand what is it about that that you fail to see. Furthermore, like you say yourself: there were no major airborne operations after this. How you can claim that this is because "Rommel used all the supplies" and not because of the lessons learned is beyond me. Well, it's not beyond me. it's beyond your ability to admit you are wrong.

Furthermore, you draw the wrong conclusions about the adventure in Russia.
 
Jul 2016
9,676
USA
False.

Student panned the air drops. Totally got exactly what he wanted in this regard.
Student only commanded the airborne portion of a larger operation. Hitler would not allow any other ground forces be used as a drain on subsequent other operations in the planning cycle (Barbarossa). Colonel General Lohr was the overall commander, he is the one who finalized the plans, not Student, who was his subordinate. Student and Lohr argued about drop zones and objectives and the final decision was a compromise between them, done by Goering, split the invasion force West and East by airborne flight waves, which lent to defeat in detail. It was Lohr's emphasis on the western portion of the island, including Maleme airfield, where the British defended tenaciously and most of the German casualties occurred. Maleme was not where Student wanted to land his forces, he knew that landing directly on the strongest part of the enemy was stupid.

I was pretty sure you didn't know much about this battle. You just confirmed it.
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,752
never played that one. There is a Malta invasion game. (anotehr I have not played)

Avalanche Press

If you go through the notes they is a fair bit of information.


I do have highway to the Riech.

Highway to the Reich (third edition)
Interesting... note that in both games , designers put an emphasis on airborne units..... whether a massive airborne attack (the germans it is said planned to have 300 transport planes involved) would have been the right approach is not evident, though commando size landings (such as with the attack on Eben emael) would certainly create problems for the defenders whilst minimizing risks and casualties for the attackers....
 
For losses on contested paratroop landings on crete

The 480- men of the 2nd Battalion Fallschirmjager Regiment 1 suffered 312 men killed, 108 men wounded within 20 minuites of landing.
In the first 12 hours 3,000 paratoopers were killed or wounded almost half the paratrooper force. 12 hours.

source

https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a401127.pdf
Well, seems you don’t know much about German paratroop operations. The green devils jumped mostly unarmed, in best cases with a side weapon, while most of the equipment (SMG, HMG, mortars) were dropped on containers.

In D Day, allied paras jumped with 40kg gear and once they landed they were combat ready, something they learnt from the Germans.

Regarding other combat about 50% losses make an unit inoperable, several examples in WWII showed units combat effective with those kind of losses. In market garden the 2nd SS Pz Corps was roughly half strength when they wiped out 1st airborne.

Regarding overcrowded defenses in Malta, history showed us how the Americans wiped out island defenses in tarawan or other similar places.
 
Jul 2016
9,676
USA
Completing the objective does not make the losses acceptable. I don't really understand what is it about that that you fail to see. Furthermore, like you say yourself: there were no major airborne operations after this. How you can claim that this is because "Rommel used all the supplies" and not because of the lessons learned is beyond me. Well, it's not beyond me. it's beyond your ability to admit you are wrong.

Furthermore, you draw the wrong conclusions about the adventure in Russia.
Yes, completing the objective is what makes losses acceptable. Mission accomplishment is all that matters. Since the airborne troops weren't needed immediately after, and since by the way the war went the casualties at Crete were small in grander scheme, they were certainly acceptable, especially in hindsight.

It was only in early June 1941, before the meat grinder started in Russia, that casualties spooked Hitler. More so it was the foolishness of landing on Maleme airfield that was stupid. Not airborne operations as a whole.

I said there was no major airborne operations following Crete because there weren't. Fallschirmjäger were used in smaller scale airborne operations but mostly were used as ground forces.

I also said that in Spring 1942, when the invasion of Malta was supposed to occur, it was canceled because Rommel disobeyed orders and pressed further east. Because he a favorite of Hitler, and because he was successful at Gazala, his force was prioritized him for supplies and aircraft to allow him to continue the pursuit of the British into Egypt. Which meant those supplies and forces allocated to support the invasion of Malta were being used elsewhere.

If we have a share a hammer to build a house, and I need it nail the frame together, but you take it to build a bird house, the walls don't put up until you finish the bird house. Get it?

I'll try something simpler. If there is one apple and you eat it, I cannot eat it. Get it?
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,340
Student only commanded the airborne portion of a larger operation. Hitler would not allow any other ground forces be used as a drain on subsequent other operations in the planning cycle (Barbarossa). Colonel General Lohr was the overall commander, he is the one who finalized the plans, not Student, who was his subordinate. Student and Lohr argued about drop zones and objectives and the final decision was a compromise between them, done by Goering, split the invasion force West and East by airborne flight waves, which lent to defeat in detail. It was Lohr's emphasis on the western portion of the island, including Maleme airfield, where the British defended tenaciously and most of the German casualties occurred. Maleme was not where Student wanted to land his forces, he knew that landing directly on the strongest part of the enemy was stupid.

I was pretty sure you didn't know much about this battle. You just confirmed it.
Malame was where the battle was won. And Student did wnat to drop there, directly on the objective. Lohr wanted aconcentrated drop and concentrating on taking Maleme.


Leohr wnated a more conservative strategy, Student dropping directly on teh targets which is waht the paratroopers actually did. And Why they suffered such large casulities.,

Student seaid in hindsight he shuld have gone with Lohr['s plan.



The Battle for Crete (Operation Mercury): An Operational Analysis

https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a392873.pdf

COMPARISON OF THE INVASION OF CRETE AND THE PROPOSED INVASION OF MALTA

"During the early planning process General Löhr favored a single concentrated drop to seize the airfield at Maleme, followed by a build up of additional infantry and heavy weapons, and then a conventional advance up the island from west to east. Such an approach would allow for a consolidated German effort and ease of command and control; however, it might allow the British time to reinforce the garrison either by sea, or by landing troops at either Heraklion or Retimo. Generalmajor Student suggested no less then seven separate drops, the most important being around the airfields at Maleme, Retimo and Heraklion, with the focus on Heraklion. Student’s plan would enable the Germans to seize all the main strategic points at the outset. It was predicated on the ground resistance being minimal. In the end Göring imposed a compromise plan. The drops on D-Day by 15,000 combat troops of the 7th Flieger Division would be made in two waves: the first in the morning around the town of Hania and the airfield at Maleme, the second in the late afternoon against the airfields at Heraklion and Retimo. This would be followed on D+1 by the arrival of the 7,000 mountain troops of 5th Gebirgs Division under Generalmajor Julius Ringel and the sea-borne elements."

https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a452022.pdf


THE AXIS AND THE INTENDED INVASION OF MALTA IN 1942: A COMBINED PLANNING ENDEAVOR

https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/1003811.pdf
 
Jul 2016
9,676
USA
Well, seems you don’t know much about German paratroop operations. The green devils jumped mostly unarmed, in best cases with a side weapon, while most of the equipment (SMG, HMG, mortars) were dropped on containers.

In D Day, allied paras jumped with 40kg gear and once they landed they were combat ready, something they learnt from the Germans.

Regarding other combat about 50% losses make an unit inoperable, several examples in WWII showed units combat effective with those kind of losses. In market garden the 2nd SS Pz Corps was roughly half strength when they wiped out 1st airborne.

Regarding overcrowded defenses in Malta, history showed us how the Americans wiped out island defenses in tarawan or other similar places.
Collapsible SMG were jumpable, its why so many Fallschirmjäger carried them. Kar98K rifles and MG 34 LMG were not, which is also why the Luftwaffe pushed to get the FG 42 issued, which was jumpable.

And its Tarawa, not Tarawan.