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 (1939-1945) WWII Battles    
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anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6103
http:// 82.44.47.99
The US Decision to Halt on the Elbe in May 1945
Posted on: 3/18/2017 9:28:43 AM
The Decision To Halt at the Elbe
by Forrest C. Pogue


Quote:
On 12 April 1945, the day of President Roosevelt's death and eighteen days before the Russians took Berlin, Ninth U.S. Army units crossed the Elbe River near Magdeburg, some fifty miles from the German capital. (See Map X inside back cover.)

They established a second bridgehead farther south on the following day. German counterattacks forced them to withdraw from the northern position on the 14th, but the Americans held the southern bridgehead. These elements were ordered to hold in place while other units arriving at the Elbe were turned toward objectives south and north along the west bank of the river.

On 5 May, a week before the Russians liberated Prague, the Third U.S. Army pushed spearheads inside the Czechoslovak frontier and, on the day the war ended, was in a position to advance in force to the Czechoslovak capital. Despite the pleas of the Czechoslovak leaders and the appeals of Mr. Churchill, these units were not sent forward.

Many observers have concluded that only a political decision, perhaps made weeks before, could have held General Dwight D. Eisenhower's forces at the Elbe. Careful examination of the Supreme Commander's action indicates that he halted his troops short of Berlin and Prague for military reasons only.


This would appear to be a sort of end game agreement between the USA and the USSR-to ensure that certain territories would come under USSR rule;but what was America going to gain from such a compact ????

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5735

Re: The US Decision to Halt on the Elbe in May 1945
Posted on: 3/18/2017 10:18:36 AM
Where were the allies supposed to halt? Were they already beyond the agreed upon demarcation lines at the Elbe?

Having said that, the Brits and Canadians to the north did move east to block the Soviet advance into Denmark and the lowlands. Ike approved of that measure.

They got to Wismar and then later were ordered to abandon it to the Soviets.

Monty felt that he could have swept into Berlin and he did not like Ike's decision. Churchill was not happy either.

There is the human cost factor. How many men would have been lost in trying to take Berlin? We need only look at the Soviets to get the answer.

Perhaps Ike didn't see Berlin as militarily significant. Certainly its capture would have made a political statement.


Is it odd that Eisenhower was in communication with Stalin about the arrangement? Did he over reach at that point and made a political decision best left to his superiors in government?

Cheers,

George


OpanaPointer
St. Louis, MO, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 520

Re: The US Decision to Halt on the Elbe in May 1945
Posted on: 3/18/2017 10:27:28 AM
The point of the demarcation line was to avoid blue-on-blue incidents and allow the force commanders to plan their objectives. Eisenhower had said that Berlin was a political objective, not a military one.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6103
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: The US Decision to Halt on the Elbe in May 1945
Posted on: 3/18/2017 10:47:13 AM
Oh Dear George-a very thoughtful reply-posing even more questions-I do however believe that Eisenhower-with Washington's blessing-called a halt on any advance on Berlin,I think that many fingers were in the pie including the OSS- which I describe below and I quote :-


Quote:
Operation Sunrise

Perhaps Dulles’ greatest contribution to the war was “Operation Sunrise.” With defeat looming for Nazi Germany, growing unrest among high-ranking German officials prompted some to seek secret contacts with American and British officials to negotiate peace proposals.

At first, American intelligence officers hesitated to enter into such talks due to President Franklin Roosevelt’s “unconditional surrender” policy established during the Casablanca Conference in 1943. They were also reluctant to make a move that might provoke Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, who feared abandonment by the Western Allies.

In spite of these fears, higher authorities in Washington gave Dulles permission to meet with Nazi Gen. Karl Wolff to secretly arrange for the surrender of German troops in Italy. Thus began weeks of secret negotiations. Tension between the West and the Soviet Union complicated the peace talks, while Wolff and other German officials stalled the discussions because they feared discovery and Hitler’s wrath for betraying Nazi Germany.

Finally, on May 2, 1945 — just five days before the collapse of the Axis powers in Europe — German troops in Italy surrendered as a result of the Dulles-Wolff meetings. “Operation Sunrise” was a success, bringing about the end of the Italian campaign and saving thousands of lives.


Source-History of the OSS

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

James W.
Ballina, Australia
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 674

Re: The US Decision to Halt on the Elbe in May 1945
Posted on: 3/18/2017 6:58:13 PM
More than just personnel surrender too Jim, they wanted the lions share of Nazi technical/science/uranium stockpiles & etc, even if they were in the 'Red' zone...

OpanaPointer
St. Louis, MO, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 520

Re: The US Decision to Halt on the Elbe in May 1945
Posted on: 3/18/2017 7:28:57 PM

Quote:
More than just personnel surrender too Jim, they wanted the lions share of Nazi technical/science/uranium stockpiles & etc, even if they were in the 'Red' zone...
--James W.

They demanded the right to loot the Western Allies' sectors as well as their own. Attila would have been proud.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6103
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: The US Decision to Halt on the Elbe in May 1945
Posted on: 3/19/2017 5:34:07 AM
It all sounds so very tawdry but- to the victor(s) a "share" of the spoils.As you say Opana -Attila would have been proud.

Regards


Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

James W.
Ballina, Australia
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 674

Re: The US Decision to Halt on the Elbe in May 1945
Posted on: 3/19/2017 7:20:08 AM

Quote:
It all sounds so very tawdry but- to the victor(s) a "share" of the spoils.As you say Opana -Attila would have been proud.

Regards


Jim
--anemone


Jim, to be frank it was "business as usual" - for civil, as well as military matters,
& do you recall such 'Hitlers revenge' wheeled horrors as the BSA Bantam, & the VW Beetle?
( though to be fair, the ex-DKW, & Dr Porsche's folks wagon was not much worse overall - than most of its British equivalents)..

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6103
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: The US Decision to Halt on the Elbe in May 1945
Posted on: 3/19/2017 7:30:46 AM
Yes I do-I had a BSA Bantam 125cc two stroke motorbike for a short while until I upgraded to a 350cc Matchless, then to a 650cc Triumph Thunderbird-all British products.As to VW Beetle it was singularly popular in GB and the USA/

Regards

jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

James W.
Ballina, Australia
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 674

Re: The US Decision to Halt on the Elbe in May 1945
Posted on: 3/19/2017 7:34:14 AM
Yeah Jim, you do realise the BSA Bantam was a German DKW, taken as a 'spoil of war', & it was even built/sold as a Harley-Davidson, stateside..

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6103
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: The US Decision to Halt on the Elbe in May 1945
Posted on: 3/19/2017 7:47:44 AM
No -I did not know that James-what a sheltered life I must have lived- but no-i did not mean it like that -I probably knew not and therefore cared not
i lefy Grammar School in the summer of 1948 and went straight to work at the local coal mine for the next seven years- when I was then a fullt qualified Mine Manager at 24.

Regards

Jim

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

redcoat
Stockport, UK
top 30
E-5 Sergeant


Posts: 220

Re: The US Decision to Halt on the Elbe in May 1945
Posted on: 3/19/2017 1:37:46 PM

Quote:
T

This would appear to be a sort of end game agreement between the USA and the USSR-to ensure that certain territories would come under USSR rule;but what was America going to gain from such a compact ????

Regards

Jim
--anemone
The division of Germany had already been agreed with the boundary between the West Allies and the Soviets being the Elbe.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6103
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: The US Decision to Halt on the Elbe in May 1945
Posted on: 3/19/2017 2:59:59 PM
My thanks for your reply redcoat; but I politely ask again-what did America gain from such a compact/agreement-and I don't mean surreptitiously; and I can assure you- that I am not asking this question and know the answer-I don't.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

OpanaPointer
St. Louis, MO, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 520

Re: The US Decision to Halt on the Elbe in May 1945
Posted on: 3/19/2017 3:44:31 PM

Quote:
My thanks for your reply redcoat; but I politely ask again-what did America gain from such a compact/agreement-and I don't mean surreptitiously; and I can assure you- that I am not asking this question and know the answer-I don't.

Regards

Jim
--anemone

http://www.history.army.mil/books/70-7_22.htm

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6103
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: The US Decision to Halt on the Elbe in May 1945
Posted on: 3/20/2017 5:05:39 AM
Thanks Opana but I am sorry to say your link did not work for me


[Read More]

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3552

Re: The US Decision to Halt on the Elbe in May 1945
Posted on: 3/20/2017 5:41:44 AM

Quote:
Thanks Opana but I am sorry to say your link did not work for me


[Read More]

Regards

Jim
--anemone


Jim,

 That Army site is often not available. An archived version of the URL provided by OP can be read here. [Read More]

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6103
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: The US Decision to Halt on the Elbe in May 1945
Posted on: 3/20/2017 5:58:42 AM
Thank you very much Bill- the Conclusion says it all for me..

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

OpanaPointer
St. Louis, MO, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 520

Re: The US Decision to Halt on the Elbe in May 1945
Posted on: 3/20/2017 6:47:09 AM
I copied the URL from the page while I was viewing it. Army! I digitized that volume for them back in the day. Interesting reading.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6103
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: The US Decision to Halt on the Elbe in May 1945
Posted on: 3/20/2017 7:16:07 AM
You are such a "dark horse" Opana.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

OpanaPointer
St. Louis, MO, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 520

Re: The US Decision to Halt on the Elbe in May 1945
Posted on: 3/20/2017 7:18:11 AM

Quote:
You are such a "dark horse" Opana.

Regards

Jim
--anemone

Actually I'm more of a sorrel, or was. My ancestors were all Irish.

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 6103
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: The US Decision to Halt on the Elbe in May 1945
Posted on: 3/20/2017 7:34:34 AM
Irish forebears-me too- but sorrel-No.


Regards

jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

383man
Baltimore, MD, USA
New User
E-2 Private
Posts: 20

Re: The US Decision to Halt on the Elbe in May 1945
Posted on: 6/3/2017 10:27:44 AM
I always read that one reason Ike decided not to go for Berlin was because it was deep inside the Russian zone and the Allies would not be able to stay in that area other then in their part of the city of Berlin. So Ike felt it was stupid to waste Allied lives for territory we would have had to give to the Russian's. He also felt the Russian's deserved to take Berlin more then anyone because of how many of them died (military and civilian) as they lost like 20 million to the Nazi's. Ron

 (1939-1945) WWII Battles    
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