Talk:Operation Overlord

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Good article Operation Overlord has been listed as one of the Warfare good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.

Tanks destroyed by aircraft[edit]

On 29 July, RAF 121 Wing launched 99 sorties with rocket firing Typhoons scoring only two tanks destroyed.(Copp, Montgomery's Scientists, pp. 167-171) On 7 August, and the following days in the Mortain area, over 700 sorties were flown by Anglo-American planes (a mixture of bombs and rockets split between the American and British aircraft) only seven tanks were confirmed to have been destroyed by rockets and a further two by bombs.(pp. 173-175) Of the 90 tanks found abandoned or destroyed within the Falaise Pocket, only four were confirmed to have been destroyed by rockets and a further two by bombs.(p. 183) Moving ahead to the Ardennes, the air force claimed 324 tanks destroyed. Out of 101 German armor vehicles examined, only four tanks were suspected of being destroyed by air attack.(p. 207)

I think the following diff needs a little more evidence considering it is claiming around 10 per cent of the tanks destroyed.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 00:05, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

The problem is that you seem to be just taking a small set of actions and assuming that the source must be wrong based on them. Unless those account for literally every single tank kill at Normandy, this is not really logical. You also seem to be ignoring how incredibly heavy the bombardment was at Normandy, when compared to the Ardennes. On the other hand, the source I cited (which is also cited on the rest of the page as an RS) gives an overall total for the number of tanks killed by aircraft. I would actually assert that stronger evidence than that would be needed (it seems you're relying on extrapolation and supposition) to just throw away information given in one of this page's main sources. Unless you have a more reliable source that explicitly contradicts it?--Nihlus1 (talk) 07:34, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
I would really like to know where they get there figure from, what is there source? The air force, granted made extreme numbers of sorties but they also made claims that were not supported in the ground. The examples given, from the operational research, were from several areas were the heaviest concentration of direct support had came from the air force in attacking German tanks. The operational research, at least what is printed, highlighted just how over the top the claims were and just how few tanks were being taken out.
Additional sources talk about the issue: here, here, here etc (there are lots more, that is just a quick sample).
The simple point being, we should use caution despite the claim being made in a RSEnigmaMcmxc (talk) 09:45, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
The sentence mentioning 100 tank kills is in the context of pointing out that AFV kills were over claimed. It is also below what aircraft claim to have destroyed in a single day. Therefore "AFV kills were over claimed" isn't really sufficient ground to throw away information given by one of this page's main RSs. I again ask if you have any evidence proving it wrong (that is, a statement from a reliable historian or the militaries themselves saying that substantially less than 100 were destroyed), because three picked handful of engagements in a three month operation involving some of the heaviest bombardment of the war really isn't it.--Nihlus1 (talk) 22:07, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
Absolutely agree. It is well known that there was gross over-claiming of AFV kills by aircraft. Regards, DMorpheus2 (talk) 14:44, 25 February 2016 (UTC)
I have been doing some additional reading on the subject, and it seems that the 100 figure is quite common and people do not really have qualrms with it. As noted, yes the Allied bombing was quite heavy and it would seem that most of the figure could be attributed to Operation Goodwood, then the various isolated incidents (such as the ones examined in the German counterattack and retreat) just pile up in the end.
With so much information out there on the over-estimates etc, I was just wanting to ensure this figure was accurate so to avoid possibly perputating a myth. I withdraw my (in good faith) objection.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 09:25, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
Tanks may well be 'knocked out' and abandoned by their crews only to be recovered for repair or for use of as spare parts later, so figures given for aircraft attacks may come down some time after the battle, when Allied intelligence teams have access to the battlefield and come across vehicles abandoned by their owners as not worth repairing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:08, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

Help needed please[edit]

Please help. I am working on building up the article for Battle for Caen, which was obviously part of Overlord. I started on the controversy about the fact that Montgomery failed to achieve some D-Day objectives, specifically capturing Caen, and then pretended that everything went according to his “real” original plan after all. Another editor is fiercely defending Montgomery, ruling that actual correspondence from Eisenhower and other commanders of the time are “primary sources” that must take second place to the secondary sources, even though the actual correspondence from Eisenhower and other commanders are presented in secondary sources, and that all the secondary sources which criticize Montgomery were written by people who simply failed to understand Monty’s genius plans, and who were part of a 1970’s conspiracy. It’s getting to be a bit of an alt-truth situation. Please could some other editors who are knowledgeable on the subject, assist on the Battle for Caen article? Wdford (talk) 21:23, 29 May 2017 (UTC)

The original COSSAC plan for Overlord called for a breakout in the East but Montgomery hadn't liked that plan so he had changed it.
Perhaps his critics ought to have taken the time and trouble - as Bradley did (see quote below) - to update their knowledge of what was actually planned and not rely on one what had been made long obsolete by 6th June.
Montgomery's British and Canadian forces were between the German panzer reserves and Bradley's US forces. To get to Bradley the German armour had to pass through Caen first. How difficult is that to grasp. Montgomery knew where the panzer reserves were stationed, as he had access before D-Day to ULTRA reports telling him exactly where the reserves were before D-Day even started. So he planned what happened.
Montgomery knew that for the Germans Caen was too important for them to give up, so they would fight for it. This he wanted, as they would keep pouring their panzer reserves in to the area around Caen rather than sending them on to face Bradley. In the fighting in and around Caen these panzer reserves were slowly being destroyed.
In order for the Germans to think they were doing the correct thing in tenaciously holding on to Caen - and keep their armour there - Montgomery could not be seen to be uninterested in taking Caen. It had to look like he wanted it. That's called Psychology.
Some 70 years on and his critics still can't see what Montgomery did, the simplicity of it, the cleverness. That doesn't say much about the critics, does it.
BTW, in military staff colleges it is usually reckoned to require a superiority in numbers of 300% in order to successfully carry out a land invasion. Montgomery did an amphibious one - far more difficult - with a numerical superiority of only 25%.
I nearly forgot. In the period immediately after the war, before the founding of NATO, the British asked the remnants of the German high command, including senior officers who had fought the Allies, who they would prefer to be in command of the British forces responsible for defending Germany against the looming threat from the Soviets. They unanimously asked for Montgomery. Not one of his critics.

"The containment mission that had been assigned Monty was not calculated to burnish British pride in the accomplishment of their troops. For in the minds of most people, success in battle is measured in the rate and length of advance. They found it difficult to realize that the more successful Monty was in stirring up German resistance, the less likely he was to advance. By the end of June, Rommel had concentrated seven panzer divisions against Monty’s British Sector. One was all the enemy could spare for the US front." - Omar Bradley.

FYI the only US commanders in Europe aware of ULTRA in 1944 were Marshall and Eisenhower, together with a few US personnel stationed at Bletchley Park. The existence of ULTRA was only officially revealed in the 1970's.
IIRC, the only commanders on the British side who knew were Montgomery and, if my memory serves me correctly, Alan Brooke.
None of these officer's subordinates (except for those liaison officers who's job it was to distribute its information) in either army knew anything about ULTRA. And neither did any of the published authors writing before 1973. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:37, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

Why aren’t the lower German casualty estimates shown[edit]

I honestly suspect this article of bias. It currently shows the absolute highest estimates of German casualties but doesn’t show the lower estimates too, which are in most cases below 300,000. This should be reflected on here. Roddy the roadkill (talk) 00:39, 19 November 2017 (UTC)

Information icon Thank you for your suggestion. When you believe an article needs improvement, please feel free to make those changes. Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone can edit almost any article by simply following the edit this page link at the top.
The Wikipedia community encourages you to be bold in updating pages. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes—they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. If you're not sure how editing works, check out how to edit a page, or use the sandbox to try out your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. You don't even need to log in (although there are many reasons you might want to). Nick-D (talk) 01:01, 19 November 2017 (UTC)
Oh, I see that you did provide a figure. The source says that it's the casualties for the Westheer, so may not include the casualties suffered by German air force and navy units. I note also that the work given as a reference isn't about the Battle of Normandy: it's a specialist work on the German response to Operation Market Garden. What other sources provide figures under 300,000? Nick-D (talk) 01:16, 19 November 2017 (UTC)
"What other sources provide figures under 300,000?" The Imperial War Museum, for one. --Roddy the roadkill (talk) 05:48, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
Tamelander and Zetterling provide a figure under 300,000. However, their book on Operation Overlord is written in Swedish, but I have a copy and can provide quotations. Kindest /EriFr (talk) 15:49, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
Those two chappies are already used in the article: "German forces in France reported losses of 158,930 men between D-Day and 14 August, just before the start of Operation Dragoon in Southern France.[202]"EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 21:45, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
I've been reading Niklas Letterling's book "Normandy 1944: German Military Organization, Combat Power and Organizational Effectiveness". On page 77, he points out that in British literature German casualties in Normandy are often put at 450,000 (210,000 prisoner and 240,000 killed/wounded) and that this seems to come from Montgomery and his book "From Normandy to the Baltic". Zetterling states:"Probably they are nothing more than wartime estimates, a notoriously unreliable source"(frankly, Monty was notoriously self-important anyways)"There are, however, German documents that provide a better picture. The following casualties were recorded during the summer of 1944 for OB West:
Date Killed in Action Wounded Missing
June 4,975 14,631 15,848
July 10,839 38,824 55,135
August 7,205 13,605 127,633
Total 23,019 67,060 198,616
These figures have been compared to by-name lists of killed soldiers and found to be very reliable." To add, he says these figures include the entire western theater to August 31, and so they include losses from Operation Dragoon. So total German casualties in the west were 288,695(the number of missing obviously includes captured as the Germans wouldn't know the whereabouts of those soldiers) in this period. Admittedly, I haven't read either of the currently cited books for the absurd estimate of German casualties in Normandy. But considering that they are named "D-Day in Photographs" and "Eyewitness D-Day: Firsthand Accounts from the Landing at Normandy to the Liberation of Paris" respectively, does anyone actually think that they should be favored over a specialized history on German forces in Normandy when it comes to German casualties in Operation Overlord? As far as I'm concerned, the two former books are discredited in this regard, and the estimate should be replaced with 288,000. That's the same number I cited from a different source and just like I suspected it was in Zetterling's book too.--Roddy the roadkill (talk) 08:22, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
Just one more thing, off-topic from German casualties. Zetterling states on page 34 of this same book: “Clearly the method used here to calculate German overall strength in Normandy is approximate. However, since the vast majority of German manpower was employed in divisions and GHQ combat units, there is no room for significant errors. Thus it seems safe to conclude that not many more than 640,000 Germans may have fought in Normandy or supported those operations.” Read the entirety of “4 — Number of Soldiers Employed in Normandy”(its only 8 pages) to see how he got to that estimate of German strength in Normandy. Does anyone think the second number given for German manpower should be changed, at least to include this as a lower-end figure for the total estimate of German forces in Normandy?—Roddy the roadkill (talk) 17:55, 29 November 2017 (UTC)
"The argument in previous edits and on the talkpage was for the inclusion of the lower figure in the infobox; no consensus for removing the overall higher figures that include captured etc......Likewise, concensus is needed on the talkpage to remove all other estimates and soley rely on one source" — Can there at least be someone who'll actually respond to the previous two posts I've written so we can see what the actual consensus is? While you are correct that the initial argument was about including the lower casualty estimate, I feel after reading Zetterling's book that I put forth a convincing argument as to why there is a high probability of unreliability in the two other sources; the two books in question are a visual history of D-Day and an Eye witness account of Operation Overlord respectively. In other words, they are books stooped in memoirs and photographs(and about the allies) rather than the specific analysis and records that would bare actual merit to such claims. Considering I had to do a lot of extra research after supplying an initial source just to have the "lower" (in actuality the most common as has been stated several times citing several examples through this discussion) estimate included, the other estimates should be held to the same standard. While my initial source was a book primarily about Operation Market Garden, which apparently disavowed it from being included, that is no more mitigating than one source being from a book about first person perspectives of allied soldiers in Normandy, nothing to do with the examination of the overall forces, and the other being only about D-Day. Hopefully, I'm not out of line for saying all this.--Roddy the roadkill (talk) 06:18, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
I sympathize, I do. Yes, we should get more editors involved to look at the additional information you have highlighted and reexamine current sources; completely agree. However, the higher figures are not just from questionable sources. For example, I consulted the American, British, and Canadian official histories of the campaign. I do not have access to the German official history. The British one does not appear to have overall German casualty information, only Allied. The others:
Blumenson (Martin Blumenson, Breakout and Pursuit, p. 700) does not provide exact figures, but places German losses for 6 June until 11 September at over 400,000: "Excluding the forces in southern France, where losses were light, Allied casualties from 6 June to 11 September numbered almost 40,000 killed, 164,000 wounded, and 20,000 missing-a total of 224,000, which was less than half the German casualties in the west." and "During June, July, and August the Germans had lost a minimum of 1,200,000 troops killed, wounded, missing, and captured, casualties of which approximately two thirds had been incurred in the east" He sources his statements to SHAEF G-3 War Room Summary pp. 99-102.
He further notes that "The OB WEST staff later estimated that the campaign in the west, from the invasion to the West Wall, and including southern France, had cost Germany about 500,000 troops, of which about 200,000 had been lost in the coastal fortresses." That statement is sourced to OB WEST, a Study in Command, pp. 192ff. Granted, both of these points include events and dates outside the scope of this article.
Stacey (Charles Stacey, The Victory Campaign, p. 270) is more specific, stating that "By 25 August the enemy had lost, in round numbers, 400,000 killed, wounded, or captured, of which total 200,000 were prisoners of war. One hundred and thirty-five thousand of these prisoners had been taken since the beginning of our breakthrough on 25 July. Thirteen hundred tanks, 20,000 vehicles, 500 assault guns, and 1500 field guns and heavier artillery pieces had been captured or destroyed, apart from the destruction inflicted upon the Normandy coast defenses." His citation for these figures is "the statement in General Eisenhower's report, covering the whole period since 6 June, is certainly generally accurate".
Sourcing information from Army Group "B" Weekly Reports, C.R.S. 75145/5. Schramm, Der Westen, 150, Stacey comments that "Completely satisfactory statistics are not available from the German records. Army Group "B" reported that its casualties from 6 June until 13 August were 158,930 in all categories. The next weekly report, that for the week ending 20 August, remarks, not surprisingly, "Figures not yet computed"; and the reports for the succeeding period are not to be found. However, on 29 September the Commander-in-Chief West stated that army casualties for the period since 6 June had risen to 371,400, while naval and air force losses increased the grand total to 460,900." While I respect, and have used Zetterling in the past, Stacey attacks - albeit several decades in advance - the position he seems to have taken. Zetterling, per the above summary provided by you, calls the German records more accurate than Allied estimates, yet Stacey appears to come up the opposite conclusion; they are flawed and not accurate. Either way, I feel that the reader should be provided with the broadest ranges - high and low - to reflect the varying sources.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 21:49, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
I do not have access to all the sources I once had on the campaign, but a few other sources from the wealth of Normandy literature out there:
Carlo D'Este, who could not be described as a "British" source considering his rampant bias, places German losses at 200,000 killed and wounded, and a further 200,000 captured. He also notes that German graveyards in Normandy are home to 77,866 graves. He sources his information to (D'Este, Decision in Normandy, p. 517) the 'Supreme Commander's Report, p. 62. He notes "Figures are an approximation in-asmuch as an exact county was impossible to obtain."(D'Este, p. 518)
Canadian historian Terry Copp comments "On 29 September the [OB WEST] reported losses of 371,400 soldiers and total losses of 460,900 when naval and air elements were included." He appears to source this to Stacey. Copp further comments "Zetterling, argues that losses in Normandy were just over 200,000 to 22 August. He does not calculate further losses. Army Group B placed its losses at 158,930 up to 14 August and 75,000 1 to 25 September, but did not report losses for 15 to 31 August." No exact reference is provided for the latter. (Copp, Fields of Fire, p. 319)
Chester Wilmot, a very "British source", comments that between 6 June and July 23rd, "Seventh Army and Panzer Group West lost 116,863 killed, wounded or missing". His citation is after a comment in regards to replacements, so I am not sure if these figures are pulled from "Weekly Report of Army Group B, July 24th, 1944 (Tempelhof Papers.)" (Wilmot, The Struggle for Europe, p. 386) He later notes that "...the culmination of ten weeks' heavy fighting which had cost the Germans half a million casualties of whom 210,000 had been taken prisoners."(Wilmot, p. 434)EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 22:13, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
Hitting up Google Books, with no idea on the quality or reliability of the below sources, one again finds varying estimates:
  • 210,000 killed, wounded, or missing out of a total of 640,000 men committed 1
  • 300,000: 2
  • 400,000: 3
  • 450,000: 4, 5, 6
  • ranging from 210,000 men to 393,689 and 450,000 men 7
Just to clarify: I am not saying Zetterling is wrong. His computation of the German statistics could be very well the most precise and accurate figures there will ever be. However, this is the wiki. Per policy, we are suppose to show what the sources reflect. They reflect broad differences. I would argue for an infobox showing the lowest and highest estimates, and the main text to be slightly expanded to show how the various sources have arrived at their conclusions.EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 22:32, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
Thank you for responding in-depth. The infobox sounds like a good idea. Other than that; perhaps, similar to the article on the Soviet Invasion of Manchuria dealing with Soviet estimates on Japanese losses, there could be "allied claim" written next to the estimates from sources that cite SHAEF, George Marshall etc. As a response to that historian Terry Copp, as mentioned earlier OB West according to Zetterling reported collective casualties in the entire western theater from June 6 to August 31 as being 288,695, of which at least some portion came from Dragoon. So regardless of the losses of Army Group B in particular, there is an obvious roof to German losses in Normandy, and him mentioning a report that includes losses up to September 29, nearly a month after Overlord ended, while not addressing the total losses of OB West to August 31 mentioned by Zetterling, makes me suspicious of him.--Roddy the roadkill (talk) 02:22, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
Based off the information at hand, and the wording used by the historians, I would oppose using terms like "Allied claim"/"German claim" etc. Trying to adhere by the polices of WP:Truth and WP:NPOV, I feel a brief explanation within the main text should be sufficient to provide all points of views (and remove the weaker sources) while also detailing how each have arrived at each figure; this will allow an explanation of Zetterling's lower figures, and careful wording can indicate where the higher figures come from.
To establish broader consensus, we can ping the other main editors of this article who may not have seen the debate above?EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 03:13, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
That sounds good. Was just suggesting that cause of the way the "Soviet Invasion of Manchuria" article handled it.--Roddy the roadkill (talk) 04:55, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
Per the above discussion, pinging users who have been active on the talkpage or the article page in the last little while: @Diannaa:, @Boomer Vial:, @Ian Rose:, @EriFr:, and @Nick-D:EnigmaMcmxc (talk) 02:45, 6 December 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── EnigmaMcmxc Sounds fine to me. No arguments here. Boomer VialHolla! We gonna ball! 6:50 pm, Today (UTC−8)

Sorry for not being able to offer any useful input into the above discussion; I do not have access to all of the sources you are discussing. Most are not available locally and only some are available via inter-library loan in my area (Alberta). I have no objection to both upper and casualty estimates and their sources being provided in the infobox or explanatory prose being added to the body. High quality data is always welcome, and every article has room for improvement. I agree with EnigmaMcmxc that wording such as "Allied claim"/"German claim" should be avoided; better to say "Historian A says X; source B says Y" or the like. — Diannaa 🍁 (talk) 04:16, 6 December 2017 (UTC)

If the casualty estimates provided by reliable sources vary considerably, one option is to present them to readers as a table. I found this to be the best solution in the Air raids on Japan article (please see Air raids on Japan#Casualties and damage). Nick-D (talk) 02:21, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
Thanks everyone for the input; so in agreement with the lowest to highest casualty estimates in the infobox (based off better quality sources), and not introducing "Allied/German estimates" verbiage.
In regards to the actual wording in the article, I propose the following (very rough) draft:
Sources differ on the casualties that were suffered by the Germans during the campaign. German casualty reports, from 6 June through to 14 August (records for latter dates were not compiled), detail the loss of 158,930 men. On 29 September, following an Allied advance across France and into the Low Countries as well as following the conclusion of Operation Market Garden, OB West reported the total loss of 460,000 in the West since the Allied invasion including the loss of 200,000 men within coastal fortresses. Historian Niklas Zetterling, on examining the incomplete German records, estimated the total German casualties suffered in Normandy and facing the Dragoon landings to be 290,000. Other sources, provide higher losses. Allied archival material, deemed reliable by historians such as C.P.Stacey and noted to be rounded figures, places German losses at 400,000 in total by 25 August, including 200,000 taken prisoner. Other sources range from x to z, explanation of where they got their information from. In Normandy, graveyards for the German fallen house 77,877 graves.

Battle map needed[edit]

This article needs a detailed, phased battle map very badly. It needs one similar to the maps found at Battle of Sirte (2016) and Battle of al-Bab. Without a clear, overall campaign map, its difficult for readers to determine the exact gains that the Allies had made by the end of the campaign. LightandDark2000 (talk) 09:00, 9 December 2017 (UTC)

Pas de Calais deception -obituary of Windows dropping pilot[edit]

Dont't know if this is useful Presumably it's a part of Operation Fortitude South JRPG (talk) 15:51, 16 December 2017 (UTC)