Allied Controlled Territory following the Invasion of Normandy, June 6, 1944 – August 21, 1944

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>Goodwood was supposed to hold the german armor in place. it had nothing to do with “suck in forces from the interior” (althugh there has been an after the fact claim that this was Monty’s whole strategy). Goodwood was supposed to crack the German line. It was only after it filed that Monty claimed it was a holding attack.

Well these are different words for the same thing. Holding attack, diversion, feint, etc. They all mean the same thing, an attack designed to force the enemy into commiting his reserves to the frontline so an attack elsewhere can make a strategic breakthrough without being blocked by reserve formations. The reserve formations were held in the rear which would have been the interior of France, they may not have been too deep in the interior but that’s just pedantry.

It was openly stated in SHAEF Headquarters before the attack that it was not a breakthrough and was meant only to force the Germans to commit their reserves. Montgomery was under threat at the time as a war leader, the Americans had arrived and were looking to take charge of things and several British military officers who hated Montgomery for various reasons wanted to have him removed. Montgomery made the mistake of overselling Goodwood, and in doing so misleading the British public and the troops under his command, and then afterwards he backpedaled furiously to protect himself and his position.

>It was not a futile battle. with a bit better execution and tank gunnery the attack would have succeded. one main reason for its failure was the bad blood between monty and Cunnigham.. and the failure to have radio contact with Typhoon pilots. Compare to Quedda and Bradley.

If you subscribe to the view that it was a feint then the battle would have been futile to those engaged in it, by definition. It is very strange that an armoured breakthrough attempt would be attempted around a large city and in the most direct line towards the enemy. Tanks are open country vehicles and don’t work well in cities, cities are very hard to take, and it was the enemy’s strongest point. The basic rules of Indirect Attack were all being broken, it could only have been a diversionary attack. No General would make their main attack there and think it might succeed, it was the wrong place to do it. The American breakthrough that followed is a vindication of this.

>The was NOT a great loss of British life in Goodwood. only a few hundred were killed. it was mostly tranks that were lost or disabled and most crews survived. the infantry didnt even get into the fight.. that was one of the effects of poor training. they lost many more next week when the infantry entered Caen.

It was more along the lines of four or five thousand killed and wounded, four or five times more than were lost at El-Alamein. Only one third of the casualties were from the tank corps, the rest were infantry. If they weren’t in the fight then who shot them?

Now the snide little remark you make about them being untrained is pretty fucking outrageous. The Allied troops at D-Day were among the most rigourously trained troops used by either side in the entire Second World War. The Allied planners trained them mercilessly for over a year to get them prepared for the most difficult and dangerous operation of the entire Western European theatre. These troops were the desert rats who had fought with distinction in Africa, they were veterans. The idea that they were untrained is complete nonsense and I have no idea where you might got that idea from.

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