Hitler's military mistakes

Jul 2016
9,679
USA
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
Where is Heraklion? East or west? Here is the answer.

What does your own source says?

"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."

Proving once again, in your rush to respond, you don't even read the damn sources.

You are so not worth my time to reply anymore.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,349
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.
Well aware of that.


Regarding overcrowded defenses in Malta, history showed us how the Americans wiped out island defenses in tarawan or other similar places.
Well the US had a lot more bombardment resources. Hardly a direct comprsion with Axis in the Med 1941.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,349
Where is Heraklion? East or west? Here is the answer.

What does your own source says?

"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."

Proving once again, in your rush to respond, you don't even read the damn sources.

You are so not worth my time to reply anymore.
None of tis supports your agrument.

You said that Student did not advocate dropping a Maleme. you were wrong.
You said that student did not plan teh para drops.

here''s some detailed stuff about the planning.

It;s TSudent planning with the atcual Drops. :eek:hr objects to Students plan and wants a stingle concnreated objective. But teh dteailed planning of drop opertaions at all times is Student. Andteh final plan is his plan of attacking several objetcives at once rather than Lohr's.




"When Student finished, Löhr and von Richthofen appeared skeptical, and each for different reasons. Löhr questioned spreading a division-sized force across a 160-mile front, as well as dividing forces into geographically-separated assault elements. His inquiry continued: Why not assault just one airdrome? Why not seize Maleme, the closest 90Sadler, 46.91Department of the Army, DA PAM 232, 5. 92Sadler, 47.35

airfield to Greece, at the outset of the attack? From there, why not use the VIII Fliegerkorps to support the single lodgment, and wait to attack until the 5th Gebirgsdivision ferried across the sea to join the fight?93 For his part, von Richthofen remained unconvinced that the assembled Fliegerkorps’ could support airlifting the entire 7th Flieger division to so many objectives and simultaneously provide close air support; the notion invited disaster as it spread the units too thin across the island. Furthermore, the 502 Ju-52 transports slated to support the assault could only drop just over 6,000 paratroopers in a single wave.94 The assault as envisioned by General Student was impossible. Von Richthofen thus convinced Löhr to curtail the assault before it devolved into slaughter. As the meeting adjourned, Löhr ordered Student to limit his objectives, concentrate on airfields and continue to plan for execution on 18 May"

"He proposed a simultaneous assault at Chania, Crete’s capitol city, and the islands three airfields, Maleme, Rethymnon and Heraklion. With his forces spread out across these four objective areas, Student intended to capture at least one airfield intact. By forcing the defenders to disperse their troops to meet the attacks, the plan frustrated any counterattack or reserve commitment and allowed the Germans to reinforce at whichever airfield they secured first.111 Once reinforced, Student’s “oil spots” could run together and overwhelm the Allied defenses to capture the island.

Löhr and von Richthofen once again objected to the plan, as Student expected. Though he had limited his objectives, Student still did not grasp the severity of the situation and the integration the assault required. Löhr wanted a more conservative approach – a single objective area, Maleme airfield, seized by glider and parachute infantry, then rapidly reinforced by the air-landed mountain infantry. In his opinion, spreading out all over Crete only invited disaster.112 From Maleme the ground attack aircraft of VIII Fliegerkorps could easily support operations along a single front. Given the shortfall of signals personnel and ground-to-air communications, this approach made more sense to the Luftflotte IV commander; his concept reduced risk and lessened the probability of casualties from friendly fire. Since Maleme was the closest airfield to 111Sadler, 46.112MacDonald, 70.42

Greece, it made sense to concentrate there, then roll down the coastal highway, seize Suda Bay, the capitol and the additional airfields in a linear combat action from west to east. Löhr’s plan was exactly what Student wanted to avoid. He considered a single attack which allowed the enemy to concentrate or commit a reserve against the still-assembling Fallschirmjägerout of the question.113 In his estimation a single attack would only delay the inevitable fall of Crete to the invasion forces; a linear attack was an outdated approach given the new tactics made possible by Students “vertical envelopment.”114 For Student, only a daring approach could complete the campaign before the start of Operation Barbarossa.Von Richthofen reiterated his misgivings about supporting an assault at multiple objectives; he understood the lessons of previous campaigns, but did not possess the resources to support Student’s brazen plan. His force could not provide adequate air support for four simultaneous assaults dispersed across the island; as the pioneer of the close air support system used by the Luftwaffe, Student could not argue against his assessment. Furthermore, for von Richthofen the most pressing issue was not ease of advance, close air support, or command and control; ironically, his concern was airlift"
(page 43)

"Over 500 Ju-52s would participate in the assault. Each of these aircraft could transport one squad of 12 Fallschirmjäger. They flew in three-aircraft flights (Ketten), with each flight transporting one platoon. An entire company required twelve aircraft, equivalent to one Staffel [squadron]; a squadron would transport these paratroopers plus four weapons canisters. A battalion required one Gruppe [group] of Ju-52s, equivalent to fifty-three aircraft after adding the Stabstaffel [ headquarters company] requirement for an additional five. A Fallschirmjäger regiment required one Geschwader [ wing] of 220 aircraft; the entire 7th Flieger division required more than 900 aircraft total to move in asingle wave.119 The available airlift resources simply did not support the simultaneous assault Student envisioned. As von Richthofen laid out the scale of the attack, he simultaneously made the case for an invasion plan that maximized the support he could provide the XI Fliegerkorps, as Löhr had originally envisioned.120 For von Richthofen, it was the only 116Edwards, 38.117Weeks, 69-72. 118Pissin, 9.119Department of the Army, DA PAM 20-232, 54-55. 120Sadler, 46.44
(page 45)


feasible and safe course of action given the realities of available airlift resources and the deficiency in command and control.121 Student countered that the German experience thus far in large-scale airborne assault operations indicated a single lodgment was insufficient to seize the initiative.122 Surprise and speed made all the difference; a schwerpunkt was unnecessary due to the psychological paralysis of a simultaneous assault.123 Student created and expanded the German airborne force; as the Fallschirmjägerexpert there was no argument against his opinion"

"General Student and his planning team in the XI Fliegerkorps staff worked tirelessly for weeks to prepare and reinforce an original plan in a time-critical and extremely resource-limited environment" (page 54)

KRETA ALS BEISPIEL: GERMAN AIRLIFT DURING THE BATTLE OF CRETE

https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a614398.pdf
 
Last edited:
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.
Spelling mistake :) (I am on the phone)
In 1941 the FG42 was not deployed in relevant numbers so mostly were using the KAR98, meaning a lot of German paratroopers landed unarmed
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,755
After this side excursion in sunny Malta, lets get back on track

My understanding is that Adolf was not really involved with the Malta situation so its not a mistake of his, unless of course we consider that he SHOULD have gotten involved and insisted that Malta be taken ....

More broadly it raises the question of what Adolf SHOULD have been involved (or involved more deeply) in, but was not because he was focusing on something else that he deemed more important
 
Jul 2016
9,679
USA
Namely the 101st, reading Winter’s memories, the 506th PIR lost a lot of men there, the 82nd 501st had also scattered landing on wet areas.
Not that many. Most casualties came from losses in either shot down transports, crashed gliders, or casualties that occurred after a scattered landing in the middle of a major combat zone. It was less than optimal but the flooded fields near the invasion beaches weren't responsible for that many over all deaths.