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British and Americans armies of 1943 vs Soviet army of 1943

sillygoose

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Normally,allies would be fucked.BUT :
1.Soviet air forces sucked - Rudel bombed them during day in Ju87 in 1945 till he was out of fuel.Soviets could not attack during day,or not for long.
True...provided the Wallies could supply their air forces in the east via rail lines.

2.In 1941 soviet mass surrender till german start genociding them.If allies do not genocide prisoners,it would start again.
Good point. Though at that point the Soviets had much better morale and the relatively inexperienced and smaller Wallied forces would seem like easy meat, so it wouldn't necessarily be a good idea to go against Stalin.

After all the behavior of German troops in the East was well known by 1942, but still ~1.7 million Soviets surrendered that year. It only dropped off in 1943 when it was clear that Stalin was not going to lose the war.

3.No Lend lease for soviets - they would practically fight on foot without trucks.
Considering that all - draw.
Per OP the Soviets still get their historical Lend-Lease to make things more fair, because without LL they'd lose too easily.
 

Husky_Khan

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I don't suppose recruiting French, Italian, Polish and German veterans and equipping them as reserve divisions with Western arms is allowed? 😢

I mean since the Western Allies now have control of the interior of France, Germany, Poland, and presumably Italy and the Balkans now... :sneaky:

In OTL they did. About half of ALL L-L reached the USSR by way of the Soviet Far East.
Aha! But I said foreign shipping because the Lend Lease that came through the Far East was carried there by Soviet Shipping full of ostensibly nonmilitary goods.

For this nonsense surprise amphibious invasion to work the invasion force probably couldn't hide within Russian ships... Probably.
 

sillygoose

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I don't suppose recruiting French, Italian, Polish and German veterans and equipping them as reserve divisions with Western arms is allowed? 😢
Nope, got to use their own resources. Free French though are included, same with Poles. Deserters from the Soviets are also fair game. Same with recruiting anyone east of the Vistula who wants to fight. For the sake of argument I'm going to count the various Baltic, Russian, and Ukrainian people that served in the German army as 'reset' so they aren't removed from the equation like the German military and various Axis allied armies, and are therefore recruitable. Provided equipment could be found for them. OTL production sent to the ETO/MTO is available for the Wallies. No diverting other theater resources.

I mean since the Western Allies now have control of the interior of France, Germany, Poland, and presumably Italy and the Balkans now... :sneaky:
That is all considered 'off-board' for the purpose of this what if scenario. It would be way too easy for the Wallies then.
 

Zachowon

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So...
I want to clarify.
You do mean all the forces the Western allies have in basically North afirca/med right?
 

sillygoose

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Plus I presume whatever is in the UK?
Yes

Which would include the Polish II Corps. I'm not sure if it was combat ready in IV.1943 anyway.
As a single unit no, but remember all the constituent parts were fighting alongside the Allies already in North Africa.
Looks like most were evacuated from the USSR in 1942:

Question is do the Polish and Czech communist armies desert the Soviets when introduced into the line?

So units that were en route but not in combat in North Africa do not count?
I averaged the divisions of the course of 1943, so yes, even if they aren't available on January 1st 1943 if they were present for the majority of 1943 they arrive as reinforcements per their historical timetable on the Eastern Front.
 

Zachowon

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Yes


As a single unit no, but remember all the constituent parts were fighting alongside the Allies already in North Africa.
Looks like most were evacuated from the USSR in 1942:

Question is do the Polish and Czech communist armies desert the Soviets when introduced into the line?


I averaged the divisions of the course of 1943, so yes, even if they aren't available on January 1st 1943 if they were present for the majority of 1943 they arrive as reinforcements per their historical timetable on the Eastern Front.
Because one of them arrived in North Africa for the invasion of Sicily, so they were in North Africa during 43, just not in combat till later.
US has 6 divisions and 2 AFs in the area
 

Buba

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As to the Polish II Corps - sorry for derail, BTW - the only part of it which had been fighting earlier was the Carpathian Rifles Infantry Brigade Group.
All the rest was formed, from scratch, from broken up (these were barely formed anyway) units evacuated from the Soviet Union.
And in the ME those men had to be fed up and healed, the units worked up, farmed out of men for the units in the UK, take in Officers sent from the UK, train with new equipment, be taught to drive (losses in transport columns were atrocious), adopt an alien organisation*, and serve as occupation troops.
The extant Carpathian Rifles Infantry Brigade Group was gutted to provide cadres and instructors to the newcomers.
The II Corps certainly was combat ready in 3rd or 4th quarter 1943 - I'm simply not sure when did it reach that level.

In IV.1943 there was no "2nd wave" Polish army in the USSR yet - formation began in May.
The free Czechs in the USSR were a single ... battalion.

* it was formed along British lines which to the rest of Europe were quite oddball unique.
 
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Husky_Khan

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Operation Husky Order of Battle does look a little small...

U.S. 2nd Armored Division
U.S. 1st Infantry Division
U.S. 3rd Infantry Division
U.S. 9th Infantry Division
U.S. 45th Infantry Division
U.S. 82nd Airborne Division
British 4th ArmoUred Brigade
British 23rd ArmoUred Brigade
Canadian 1st Tank Brigade
British 5th Infantry Division
British 46th Infantry Division
British 50th Infantry Division
British 51st Infantry Division
British 58th Infantry Division
Canadian 1st Infantry Division
British 1st Airborne Division
British 231st Infantry Brigade

Maybe the three US Ranger Battalions and two Royal Commando groups will turn the tide!

In Africa 1st Army... (not previously counted)

U.S. 1st Armored Division
U.S. 34th Infantry Division
British 1st ArmoUred Division
British 6th ArmoUred Division
British 25th Tank Brigade
British 1st Infantry Division
British 4th Infantry Division
British 78th Infantry Division
Indian 4th Infantry Division
British 139th Infantry Brigade
British 201st Guards Brigade
4th AND 6th Tabors of Moroccan Goumiers (GGWP Cossacks)

And the famous 8th Army (and other random bits) not previously counted...

British 10th ArmoUred Division
South African 6th ArmoUred Division (reforming with two brigades ready)
New Zealand 2nd Infantry Division
Polish 3rd Carpathian Rifle Division (forming out of the Polish Carpathian Rifle Brigade)
French 1st (Free French) Infantry Division
Algerian 3rd Infantry Division
British 8th ArmoUred Brigade
British 131st Infantry Brigade
Indian 21st Infantry Brigade
French LeClerc Force ("L force"): Brigade Sized, later becomes French 2nd ArmoUred Division in August 1943)

Totals from Above:

2 Airborne Divisions
8 Armored Divisions (one reforming)
19 Infantry Divisions (one reforming)
5 Armored Brigades
6 Infantry Brigades
Buncha other crap...
 
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Buba

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Retain mobility while under fire.
Cannot take urban areas. Cannot hold close terrain.
There is a long list of reasons why infantry is still around today alongside tanks.
An army needs an infantry&tanks mix, the exact mix depending upon terrain. And there is lots of close country In Russia - forests!
E.g. in OTL the tank heavy Wallies - fresh out of the North African Theatre of Operations - in Italy discovered that they need infantry and - GASP - mules for transport. The USA organised its one and only Mountain Infantry Division for that TO ...

Mind you, this magical event also takes place before American Armoured Divisions "lost" half of their tanks while keeping all their previous infantry and artillery. I think same applies to British formations. So, both countries are still running Armoured Divisions with 6-7 tank and 3-4 infantry battalions.
After Italy both countries changed to 3-4 tanks and 3-4 infantry. Only 2nd and 3rd US Armoured Divisions retained the old organisation.
Yet all it needed was taking a look at the evolution of German Panzer Division TOE ...
 

Zachowon

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Unless we are fighting in the Urals, the US Military was able to work well in cold conditions as seen by the astounding fighting even during one of the coldest WI term on record in europe
 

Buba

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So, in a roundabout way, I reinforce my initial thought that the Wallies are up shit creek.
Even if technologically equal or better (e.g. the 6pdr is enough to stop all Soviet tanks - assuming it gets the proper ammunition), they are outnumbered, and - very, vewy important - the Wallies are GREEN. Top to bottom. If not green then the bloodied formations and HQs are almost certain to have irrelevant "lessons learned" from the desert fighting.
I have a feeling that more than one US or British commander will throw his tanks without infantry support at entrenched AT guns ...
It would be a very tough and bloody first few months before Army, Corps and Divisional HQs learn their jobs and the chaff is culled. In short - IMO it will be the lack of experience and institutional knowledge at above Division and Corps level which will hurt the Wallies most.
Think - France '40 - one army, two corps, seven Divisions. North Africa - again, single armies with up to ten Divisions. Tunis barely counts as an Army Group effort, this happening at the very end against a corraled and crippled enemy. It was Italy which (re)taught the British and Americans how an Army and an Army Group works. Normandy drew upon those lessons - there the Wallies also had the luxury of gradually expanding from two Armies to four, forming Army Groups in the process.
In this scenario we have 50-100 Great Units (let us not get fixated on how many exactly :)) dumped into Russia without a command structure. Many Corps commands will have to be organised, most Armies will to be organised, all Army Groups will have to be set up. All that on the fly and in face of the Enemy.
A flight to the Niemen-Bug-Dnestr line might actually be the wisest course of action ... or at least to the Dvina-Dnepr line. Even the latter should buy two months or so, time desperately needed to get their shit together.
 
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The Whispering Monk

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Yeah, the only way this turns into any fight is if the Allied (not-russian) forces get some sort of C&C structure dropped into place with them.
 

sillygoose

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Yeah, the only way this turns into any fight is if the Allied (not-russian) forces get some sort of C&C structure dropped into place with them.
I would assume the overall command arrangements worked out to coordinate the war effort in Europe exist. Otherwise it would be like any other army group, the forces in Britain have their own command structure, same with the MTO armies.

So, in a roundabout way, I reinforce my initial thought that the Wallies are up shit creek.
I'm not so certain.

Even if technologically equal or better (e.g. the 6pdr is enough to stop all Soviet tanks - assuming it gets the proper ammunition), they are outnumbered, and - very, vewy important - the Wallies are GREEN. Top to bottom.
The forces in Britain to some degree are, but the divisions themselves are quite well trained; still the infantry would be a highly fungible asset and given the infantry shortages that came about in Normandy rather quickly when the replacement system couldn't keep pace that edge would be eroded, but not nearly as badly as it was for the Soviets by this point in the war.
Don't forget too the Allied artillery advantage, which will play merry hell with the Soviet infantry, tanks, and artillery. Plus unlike the Germans they had sufficient supply to actually use that advantage to its fullest, not to mention a lot more comms to be able to get fire missions. The Soviets actually had artillery range advantage over German equivalent pieces IOTL, but the US would have the major advantage with the 155mm Long Tom. Plus given the air power aspect they did have the ability not only to call in a lot of air strikes and ensure air superiority (provided supply and basing don't limit things too much), but they'd have all the aircraft spotting they could have wanted to be able to ensure counterbattery fire and deeper interdiction fires work. Unlike the Germans the Soviets were not flexible enough to make their system work well in spite of massed artillery fire. Time on Target would probably be the bane of the Soviet infantry if not tanks.

If not green then the bloodied formations and HQs are almost certain to have irrelevant "lessons learned" from the desert fighting. I have a feeling that more than one US or British commander will throw his tanks without infantry support at entrenched AT guns
That I have to take issue with. The British and US learned VERY hard lessons in the desert about not doing that. The British especially, as that was the major cause of their 1941 and most of 1942 defeats. Monty adopted the lessons learned at El Alamein and did not fall for things like that. His problem was a lack of boldness which was needed to deal with Soviet mass. Of course he had artillery and air support, so that might substitute well if they can hold air superiority. I really don't want to imagine what a Stonk would do to massed Soviet infantry.

That said encountering the Soviet 75mm division guns would be a rough introduction for the Wallies, as IIRC the PAK40 had yet to make a major appearance in the west. The 45mm AT gun would be no picnic to deal with either, though more a threat for vehicles lighter than the Sherman except at close range/a side shot. The Zis-2 would probably be reserved for the Churchill tank ITTL. As to PAKfronts, I haven't seen reference to them being used by the Soviets prior to Kursk, so until July 1943 and in static situations it doesn't seem that coordinated AT gun fire would be an issue for a while, but from summer 1943 onwards that would be a further issue.

It would be a very tough and bloody first few months before Army, Corps and Divisional HQs learn their jobs and the chaff is culled. In short - IMO it will be the lack of experience and institutional knowledge at above Division and Corps level which will hurt the Wallies most.
IIRC that had already happened with the British forces in the desert and to some extent in Britain, as they had absorbed the lessons of France in 1940 and Africa during that campaign. They just didn't have recent combat experience.
The US on the other hand would have some issues still as this is before Kasserine. Division HQs, while not great, were still decent in most engagements AFAIK, it is more an issue at the corps and army (and even higher) levels.

However the Soviets too would have to learn some new, hard lessons about fighting the Wallies, as they had a different style and a lot more firepower per division, not to mention mobility that would even make the German army of June 1941 drool. That's not even getting into supply and air power.

Think - France '40 - one army, two corps, seven Divisions. North Africa - again, single armies with up to ten Divisions. Tunis barely counts as an Army Group effort, this happening at the very end against a corraled and crippled enemy. It was Italy which (re)taught the British and Americans how an Army and an Army Group works. Normandy drew upon those lessons - there the Wallies also had the luxury of gradually expanding from two Armies to four, forming Army Groups in the process.
In this scenario we have 50-100 Great Units (let us not get fixated on how many exactly :)) dumped into Russia without a command structure. Many Corps commands will have to be organised, most Armies will to be organised, all Army Groups will have to be set up. All that on the fly and in face of the Enemy.
Indeed, which matters more for offensive operations, which I really don't see the Wallies conducting beyond the corps level. Given the advantages of the Wallies in air power, motor transport, and supply, not to mention with artillery, they might be able to paper over their serious issues at the army level and above while on the defensive.

I'm not getting why you think the Allies don't have an army level structure at this point. The British 1st and 8th armies in Africa, the US 5th army, and AFHQ existed as a theater command. ETOUSA existed as well since 1942. The Canadian First army was in Britain and existed in 1942. Army group is definitely something that will have to be figured out, probably by repurposing AFHQ and maybe one of the army commands, but the theater command effectively already existed. It would just be a matter of reorganizing a bit rather than setting up new commands on the fly.

IMO ETOUSA gets the theater command, AFHQ is an army group command with 1st and 5th US armies, and perhaps 8th army gets bumped up to army group command while a corps command gets to replace it as the new 8th army command, which would leave the new 8th and 1st Canadian as an army group. Eventually of course I'd expect a new US army command under the old 8th army/new army group command (21st army group? because Monty would lead it) as well as another under the AFHQ. Given the limited forces 2-3 armies for the two army groups with 1 overall theater command should be plenty to handle things. 1 army group north of the Pripyet, 1 south of it.

A flight to the Niemen-Bug-Dnestr line might actually be the wisest course of action ... or at least to the Dvina-Dnepr line. Even the latter should buy two months or so, time desperately needed to get their shit together.
Dvina-Dniepr for sure, further back is probably unnecessary.
 
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