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Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster

 
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Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/5/2014 1:29:41 PM   
DicedT

 

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http://nationalinterest.org/feature/five-ways-d-day-could-have-been-disaster-10601
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RE: Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/5/2014 4:39:47 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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I never bought, trusted the "D-Day's gonna be a disaster!! D-Day's gonna be a disaster!!!!"

Let's take the place where amphibiuos operations were the state of art (the Pacific War that is). Only one landing was repulsed in the whole war: first invasion of Wake Island. Then they [Japanese] came back in force 2 weeks later and they succeeded.

I always suspected this was Churchill pulling the strings One more alibi to er... not open a second front. Yes, there was Dieppe. But does this one really count? This was more a raid than a proper invasion, backed by enormous amounts of air, sea power, as D-Day was...

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RE: Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/5/2014 7:01:23 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TulliusDetritus

I never bought, trusted the "D-Day's gonna be a disaster!! D-Day's gonna be a disaster!!!!"

Let's take the place where amphibiuos operations were the state of art (the Pacific War that is). Only one landing was repulsed in the whole war: first invasion of Wake Island. Then they [Japanese] came back in force 2 weeks later and they succeeded.

I always suspected this was Churchill pulling the strings One more alibi to er... not open a second front. Yes, there was Dieppe. But does this one really count? This was more a raid than a proper invasion, backed by enormous amounts of air, sea power, as D-Day was...
warspite1

Of course there was a possibility that D-Day could fail.

The comparison with the Pacific is simply wrong. Many of the landings – certainly in the early war - were essentially unopposed – not amphibious invasions into the teeth of the enemy at all – indeed the Japanese did not have the specialist equipment for such operations – contributing to the balls up they made at Wake.

When the US came back at the Japanese, the disparity in forces was overwhelming (although did not stop terrible losses on some islands).

But Normandy was a different kettle of fish altogether. Yes, the material superiority was vital, but so too was the weather staying kind, the bravery and fortitude of the airmen the troops and the sailors to see the job through when things were in danger of unravelling (particularly in evidence at Omaha), the success of the deception program and of course the German mistakes in the deployment of their armoured units. All military operations have the potential for balls up - amphibious landings into the teeth of the enemy even more so.

As for the “Churchill pulling the strings” comment. Please…..

Launching an invasion of the continent in 1943 would have stood a very good chance of failure for a number of reasons – less knowledge of what was needed for an invasion to succeed for one thing. No Mulberries either – making dependence on the weather even more important.

Remember, a failed invasion would have been a disaster – not a temporary set-back. That, quite rightly, was the reason Churchill – supported by the General Staff – was unwilling to launch such a premature expedition.




< Message edited by warspite1 -- 6/5/2014 8:19:57 PM >


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RE: Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/5/2014 7:20:46 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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quote:

Let's take the place where amphibiuos operations were the state of art (the Pacific War that is). Only one landing was repulsed in the whole war: first invasion of Wake Island.


Not correct. The Japanese also landed at Milne Bay, and were forced to evacuate after about two weeks of fighting.

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RE: Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/5/2014 7:36:39 PM   
ezzler

 

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Pacific and Europe not the same thing at all.

How many Panzer divisions did the Japanese have potentially ready to drive down to the beach? Or how many army corps within 2 days stroll of the invasion beaches?

None.

German OB West
Generalfeldmarschall Gerd von Rundstedt

German Army Group B Reserve
Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel

2 Panzer Division
Generallieutnant Heinrich Freiherr Luetwitz

116 Panzer Division
GeneralLt Gerhard Count von Schwerin


7th Army Reserve
Generaloberst Friedrich Dollmann
replaced by Obergruppenführer Paul Hausser on 28 June.

5 Fallschirmjager Division
Generallieutnant Gustav Wilke


LXXXIV Corps
General der Artillerie Erich Marchs (KIA 12 June)
repl. by Gen der Fallschirmtruppe Eugen Meindel on 12 June (Meindel also led II FJ Corps)
repl. by Gen. der Infanterie Wilhelm Fahrmbacher on 13 June.
repl. by Generalleutnant Dietrich von Choltitz on 17 June

Schnelle Brigade 30
Oberstleutnant Hugo Freiherr von und zu Aufsess

77th Infantry Division
Generalieutenant Rudolf Stegmann
repl. by Oberst Rudolf Bacherer on 18 June

91st Luftlande Infantry Division
Generalmajor Wilhelm Falley
repl. by Oberst Bernhard Klosterkemper on 6 June
repl. by Oberst Eugen König on 10 June

243rd Infantry Division
Generalieutenant Heinz Hellmich
repl. by Oberst Bernhard Klosterkemper on 17 June

709th Infantry Division
Generalieutenant Karl Wilhelm von Schlieben


LXXIV Armeekorps
General der Infantrie Erich Straube

353rd Infantry Division
Generalleutnant Paul Mahlmann

266th Infantry Division
Generaleutnant Karl Sprang


XXV Armeekorps
General der Infanterie Wilhelm Fahrmbacher
repl. by Generalleutnant Dietrich von Choltitz on 12 June
repl. by General der Infanterie Wilhelm Fahrmbacher on 17 June

265th Infantry Kampfgruppe
Generalieutenant Walter Duevert

275th Infantry Kampfgruppe
Generaleutnant Hans Schmidt

343rd Infantry Division
Generalleutnant Erwin Rauch


XLVII Panzer Corps
General der Panzertruppe Hans Freiherr Funck


LXXXI Corps
General der Panzertruppe Adolf Kuntzen

346th Infantry Division
Generalleutnant Erich Diestel

711th Infantry Division
Generalmajor Josef Reichert


II Fallshirmjager Corps
General Eugen Meindl

352nd Infantry Division
Generaleutnant Dietrich Kraiss

3rd Fallschirmjäger Division
Generalieutenant Richard Schimpf

17th SS Panzer Grenadier Division Götz von Berlichingen
Brigadeführer Werner Ostendorf
repl. by Standartenführer Otto Binge on 17 June
repl. by Oberführer Otto Baum on 20 June


I SS Panzer Corps
Obergruppenführer Sepp Dietrich

716th Infantry Division
Generalieutenant Wilhelm Richter

21st Panzer Division
Generalleutnant Edgar Feuchtinger

Panzer Lehr Division
Generalieutenant Fritz Bayerlein
repl. by Generalmajor Hyazinth Graf Strachwitz von Groβ-Zauche und Kaminetz on 8 June

12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend
Oberführer Fritz Witt
repl. by Obersturmbannführer Hubert Meyer on 14 June
repl. by Brigadeführer Kurt Meyer on 16 June

1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler
Oberführer Theodor Teddy Wisch


II SS Panzer Corps
Obergruppenführer Paul Hausser
repl. by Gruppenführer Ferenc Feketehalmy-Czeydner (“Franz Zeidner” in German) on 1 July

2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich
Gruppenführer Heinz Lammerding

9th SS Panzer Division Hohenstaufen
Gruppenführer William Bittrich

10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg
Gruppenfuhrer Heinz Harmel

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RE: Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/5/2014 9:41:25 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
The comparison with the Pacific is simply wrong. Many of the landings – certainly in the early war - were essentially unopposed – not amphibious invasions into the teeth of the enemy at all – indeed the Japanese did not have the specialist equipment for such operations – contributing to the balls up they made at Wake.


Actually the Japanese were the first ones to develop modern amphibious operations. When? During their war against China. They had the equipment (the Dai Hatsu and the Toku Dai Hatsu), the doctrine (air superiority and support, naval supremacy) and the special troops.

When the war started in december 1941 they showed the world how well they launched amphibious operations. Against weak and doomed garrisons, ok. But still, these operations were very complex and they succeeded.

quote:

As for the “Churchill pulling the strings” comment. Please…..


Oh well, his own memoirs clearly show this point (not to mention later scholars) Almost ALL the high American officers, bosses (and also the Aussies) knew Churchill had his own agenda, and he stubbornly sticked to it, like the Duracell Bunny The Balkans etc etc etc. So not enough shipping to open the second front, but you see, ships auto-magically appear (not a problem anymore) if the Balkan scenario is considered...

Normandy, a direct blow against Germany was NEVER Churchill's plan. From this conclusion he tried to find the hypotheses that proved his "conclusion" was er.. correct

And the hypotheses were the things that might go wrong. Of course, victory is never guaranteed, but when you consider the guy who was airing these warnings (the end is near, my friends!) was precisely the guy who wanted to avoid a DIRECT blow, then err... I smell a big fat rat.

< Message edited by TulliusDetritus -- 6/5/2014 10:50:34 PM >


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RE: Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/5/2014 9:43:44 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ezz
Pacific and Europe not the same thing at all.


And real and on paper divisions are not the same thing either. Werhmacht in *1944*. Enough said

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RE: Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/5/2014 10:38:58 PM   
british exil


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The Wehrmacht still went on to fight another year, they were "finished" in autumn of 44 but rupulsed the Holland campaign (A bridge too far) and surprised the allies in the Battle of the Bulge.

They were not boy scouts, they were veterans, know how to survive and how to kill.

Mat

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Post #: 8
RE: Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/5/2014 11:09:32 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: british exil

The Wehrmacht still went on to fight another year, they were "finished" in autumn of 44 but rupulsed the Holland campaign (A bridge too far) and surprised the allies in the Battle of the Bulge.

They were not boy scouts, they were veterans, know how to survive and how to kill.

Mat


I don't dispute that. They kept fighting near the Führerbunker

What was the real TOE of Werhmacht divisions by 1944? 50%? 40%? Where was the Luftwaffe? Well, veterans... and new recruits (old men and almost kids) to replace the massive losses taken in the east...

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RE: Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/6/2014 3:16:54 AM   
t001001001

 

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There was 1,000,000 things that could have gone wrong at D-Day and prolly 999,998 things did. Those guys still got it done.

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RE: Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/6/2014 4:52:56 AM   
gradenko_2000_slith

 

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Japanese amphibious landings were decidedly not state-of-the-art. They had no doctrine for naval gunfire support coordination, no doctrine for close air support coordination, and they only managed naval and air supremacy insofar as the enemy had little to none. You said it yourself - they were repulsed at Wake Island!

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RE: Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/6/2014 4:59:25 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TulliusDetritus

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
The comparison with the Pacific is simply wrong. Many of the landings – certainly in the early war - were essentially unopposed – not amphibious invasions into the teeth of the enemy at all – indeed the Japanese did not have the specialist equipment for such operations – contributing to the balls up they made at Wake.


Actually the Japanese were the first ones to develop modern amphibious operations. When? During their war against China. They had the equipment (the Dai Hatsu and the Toku Dai Hatsu), the doctrine (air superiority and support, naval supremacy) and the special troops.

When the war started in december 1941 they showed the world how well they launched amphibious operations. Against weak and doomed garrisons, ok. But still, these operations were very complex and they succeeded.

Warspite1

Yes the Japanese built these craft and the doctrine to allow limited invasions of lightly held or undefended enemy territory. Please tell me how many Japanese amphibious operations were mounted directly against hundreds of thousands of well dug-in troops, supported by coastal batteries, beach defences (wire, tank-traps, pill-boxes etc etc), and an ability to hurry large numbers of troops and tanks to the beachhead very quickly?

I do not understand how you can compare the typical landings in the Pacific theatre, with D-Day. They are chalk and cheese.



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Post #: 12
RE: Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/6/2014 5:20:36 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TulliusDetritus

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
The comparison with the Pacific is simply wrong. Many of the landings – certainly in the early war - were essentially unopposed – not amphibious invasions into the teeth of the enemy at all – indeed the Japanese did not have the specialist equipment for such operations – contributing to the balls up they made at Wake.


quote:

As for the “Churchill pulling the strings” comment. Please…..


Oh well, his own memoirs clearly show this point (not to mention later scholars) Almost ALL the high American officers, bosses (and also the Aussies) knew Churchill had his own agenda, and he stubbornly sticked to it, like the Duracell Bunny The Balkans etc etc etc. So not enough shipping to open the second front, but you see, ships auto-magically appear (not a problem anymore) if the Balkan scenario is considered...

Normandy, a direct blow against Germany was NEVER Churchill's plan. From this conclusion he tried to find the hypotheses that proved his "conclusion" was er.. correct

And the hypotheses were the things that might go wrong. Of course, victory is never guaranteed, but when you consider the guy who was airing these warnings (the end is near, my friends!) was precisely the guy who wanted to avoid a DIRECT blow, then err... I smell a big fat rat.
warspite1

Ah the good old conspiracy theory - where's SLAAKMAN

So Churchill preferred a Mediterranean strategy, so what? That is not hidden, that is not the debate. Was a successful invasion of northwest Europe in 1944 a foregone conclusion - and thus could it actually have been achieved earlier?

The answer to the first is no, and the answer to the second is possibly - a VERY slim possibly. But its so very easy with hindsight, sitting in our comfortable 21 st century world making claims like this. Unlike us, playing war games, if Churchill or FDR got it wrong, the Allies could lose the war or it could be dragged on for many years more. With the sensible application of overwhelming force, the western Allies would win through. Launching strategically correct, but half-arsed, I'll-prepared adventures was a way of chucking away that superiority, not to mention losing thousands of men - and by the way, I think Churchill was fully aware of that from personal experience, Gallipoli anyone?

But you believe your conspiracy theory and that the reasons for the delay in launching D-Day, (and the subsequent stories of how it could have failed) are all fantasies in the mind of one man desperate to cover his tracks.......


< Message edited by warspite1 -- 6/6/2014 7:09:59 AM >


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RE: Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/6/2014 6:27:24 AM   
msvknight

 

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I suspect if Panzers had got to the beach they would have been able to smash 1 or maybe 2 of the beaches. This would have left a gap between the two beachheads, but probably would not have caused them to fail. Once the beachheads were reinforced, breaking out would probably have proved to be easy than historically proven because any tanks getting to the beach would have been pulverized by the naval and air assets being brought to bear. I imagine a 15" shell hitting a beach would create a fairly significant tank trap even if it did miss. In Sicily two 6 inch cruisers were able to make a significant contribution to stopping the Hermann Goering Division, and the Normandy support forces were much bigger. The major shock would have been when the storm hit on the 21st. If they had not formed a single beachhead by that point, the Americans in the west would have been without a supply port.

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RE: Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/6/2014 6:44:58 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Michael Knight

I suspect if Panzers had got to the beach they would have been able to smash 1 or maybe 2 of the beaches. This would have left a gap between the two beachheads, but probably would not have caused them to fail. Once the beachheads were reinforced, breaking out would probably have proved to be easy than historically proven because any tanks getting to the beach would have been pulverized by the naval and air assets being brought to bear. I imagine a 15" shell hitting a beach would create a fairly significant tank trap even if it did miss. In Sicily two 6 inch cruisers were able to make a significant contribution to stopping the Hermann Goering Division, and the Normandy support forces were much bigger. The major shock would have been when the storm hit on the 21st. If they had not formed a single beachhead by that point, the Americans in the west would have been without a supply port.
warspite1

Not sure I follow that. How would a breakout be easier if only 3 of the beaches had been secured? How would the smashing of German formations be easier than historically? The tanks would not be on the beach sitting around with tank crews making sandcastles. Destruction of tanks and enemy formations would be more difficult because they would be up close and personal with the Allied troops desperately clinging to their beachheads. The reinforcement of those beaches would be thus even more difficult.

With only 3 beaches in place, the Germans have a smaller area to seal off and contain too.

< Message edited by warspite1 -- 6/6/2014 7:55:30 AM >


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Post #: 15
RE: Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/6/2014 12:10:14 PM   
Saint Ruth


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TulliusDetritus
And real and on paper divisions are not the same thing either. Werhmacht in *1944*. Enough said

Actually, most of the 10 Panzer divisions in France on D-Day were near full strength. They were also fully rested and had spent the previous months training, so they weren't "paper" divisions.

I recall reading (perhaps Max Hastings Armageddon?), the Germans lost 2,500 tanks in Normandy versus nearly twice that for the Allies.
I doubt the fellows on Operation Goodwood thought they were fighting paper divisions!

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Post #: 16
RE: Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/6/2014 2:19:02 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
Yes the Japanese built these craft and the doctrine to allow limited invasions of lightly held or undefended enemy territory. Please tell me how many Japanese amphibious operations were mounted directly against hundreds of thousands of well dug-in troops, supported by coastal batteries, beach defences (wire, tank-traps, pill-boxes etc etc), and an ability to hurry large numbers of troops and tanks to the beachhead very quickly?


You are grossly underestimating what the Japanese did methinks. And most importantly you are grossly overestimating the "Atlantic Wall"... You cannot- repeat- cannot defend a coast which goes from Denmark to Spain! It's a military impossibility.

You must be necessarily weak everywhere. And just because there are many enemy troops in the vicinity, this does not mean they will kick you out 10 minutes after the landings.

In fact, they could not manage to throw the enemy to the sea, go figure, no matter the many divisions around. And just in case someone retorts "Hitler did not allow these moves" what happened when they finally were on the move? The Tactical Air Force basically destroyed them. Again, where was the Luftwaffe?

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Post #: 17
RE: Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/6/2014 2:33:22 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Saint Ruth

quote:

ORIGINAL: TulliusDetritus
And real and on paper divisions are not the same thing either. Werhmacht in *1944*. Enough said

Actually, most of the 10 Panzer divisions in France on D-Day were near full strength. They were also fully rested and had spent the previous months training, so they weren't "paper" divisions.

I recall reading (perhaps Max Hastings Armageddon?), the Germans lost 2,500 tanks in Normandy versus nearly twice that for the Allies.
I doubt the fellows on Operation Goodwood thought they were fighting paper divisions!


The whole force was indeed understrengthened. And without air support. Really, just because you read 7 Infantry Division this does not mean the division is at 100%. They were not in most cases. Of course, in the situation conferences, Hitler did not pay attention to this little irrelevant details...

Sometimes, he ordered four divisions to attack when in fact each divisions had the fighting force of a batallion. Four divisions are four divisions, they should crush the enemy, as they did in 39, 40 and 41...

And this elite German soldier thing is also unreal. Hitler himself had said it: "the best ones already died". To replace these guys -WHEN they were replaced- you think the kids and old men were already elite veterans simply because they were germans?

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Post #: 18
RE: Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/6/2014 3:12:47 PM   
Saint Ruth


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quote:

here are many enemy troops in the vicinity, this does not mean they will kick you out 10 minutes after the landings.

In fact, they could not manage to throw the enemy to the sea, go figure, no matter the many divisions around. And just in case someone retorts "Hitler did not allow these moves" what happened when they finally were on the move? The Tactical Air Force basically destroyed them. Again, where was the Luftwaffe?

The Tactical Air Force didn't basically destroyed them. Panzer Lehr lost 95 or so vehicles (not tanks, vehicles) moving to the Normandy area. They were delayed substantially.

OF course they could have thrown the enemy into the sea if there had been 10 panzer divisions sitting within 5 miles of the Normandy beaches. I can't see how you can say D-Day would have succeeded regardless of how many German soldiers were at Normandy.

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Post #: 19
RE: Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/6/2014 3:22:12 PM   
Saint Ruth


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TulliusDetritus
And this elite German soldier thing is also unreal. Hitler himself had said it: "the best ones already died". To replace these guys -WHEN they were replaced- you think the kids and old men were already elite veterans simply because they were germans?

The average age of the German soldier in 1944 was actually 34 in 1944.

The fact is if they were washed up old men with paper strength tanks, how did they hold the allies in Normandy for 7 weeks (until Operation Cobra -- thought the battle wasn't over then) and destroy 4,000 Allied tanks and inflict a quarter of a million casualties on them?
Why do you believe the US and British/Canadians were so useless?

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Post #: 20
RE: Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/6/2014 3:57:31 PM   
Cathartes

 

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The stick was too big and too sharp for the Allies, German defenses too thin, the Allied deception and intelligence-gathering too successful. The only way the Germans might have prevailed is if they had some notion and confidence of exactly where and when.


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Post #: 21
RE: Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/6/2014 4:38:38 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Saint Ruth
OF course they could have thrown the enemy into the sea if there had been 10 panzer divisions sitting within 5 miles of the Normandy beaches. I can't see how you can say D-Day would have succeeded regardless of how many German soldiers were at Normandy.


I guess the Allies could have lost, yes, I mean in the game "Let's Pretend We Want To Be Trashed"

Inflicting losses will not necessarily win you wars or battles. Again, in case you missed it, in Berlin -around the Führerbunker- they were still inflicting losses to their enemies. Did this change the outcome? Not a iota.

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Post #: 22
RE: Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/6/2014 4:46:04 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Saint Ruth
The Tactical Air Force didn't basically destroyed them. Panzer Lehr lost 95 or so vehicles (not tanks, vehicles) moving to the Normandy area. They were delayed substantially.

OF course they could have thrown the enemy into the sea if there had been 10 panzer divisions sitting within 5 miles of the Normandy beaches. I can't see how you can say D-Day would have succeeded regardless of how many German soldiers were at Normandy.


German accounts clearly state how devastating the enemy tactical air force was. Moving in the open was suicidal. No move, no maneuver = forget about throwing the enemy to the sea.

Anyway my bad, I should have said they were *neutralized*

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Post #: 23
RE: Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/6/2014 5:55:44 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TulliusDetritus

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
Yes the Japanese built these craft and the doctrine to allow limited invasions of lightly held or undefended enemy territory. Please tell me how many Japanese amphibious operations were mounted directly against hundreds of thousands of well dug-in troops, supported by coastal batteries, beach defences (wire, tank-traps, pill-boxes etc etc), and an ability to hurry large numbers of troops and tanks to the beachhead very quickly?


You are grossly underestimating what the Japanese did methinks. And most importantly you are grossly overestimating the "Atlantic Wall"... You cannot- repeat- cannot defend a coast which goes from Denmark to Spain! It's a military impossibility.

You must be necessarily weak everywhere. And just because there are many enemy troops in the vicinity, this does not mean they will kick you out 10 minutes after the landings.

In fact, they could not manage to throw the enemy to the sea, go figure, no matter the many divisions around. And just in case someone retorts "Hitler did not allow these moves" what happened when they finally were on the move? The Tactical Air Force basically destroyed them. Again, where was the Luftwaffe?

warspite1

1. Underestimating the Japanese achievements. Not really. Don't get me wrong, I am not rubbishing all things Japanese. The Kido Butai (and the use of massed aircraft) was way ahead of the RN and USN at the start of the war, the Long-Lance torpedo, the largest battleships ever built – they had some excellent technical and military achievements. But what did the Japanese do, what did they really achieve and, more importantly, against what?

2. Overestimating the Atlantic Wall. Again no, the items I talked about were clearly not everywhere, but there was enough of them to cause the Allies serious casualties. But I think the main problem with your argument is that you are using that wonderful gift of hindsight.

To recap, you are saying essentially the following:
i) Post 2 - D-Day was guaranteed to succeed (although your later, Post 6, seemed to retract that)
ii) The fact that it was delayed unnecessarily and then, despite it happening successfully, there are those trying to suggest it was not guaranteed, is just a cover story for Churchill who wanted action taken elsewhere.

quote:

You cannot - repeat - cannot defend a coast which goes from Denmark to Spain! It's a military impossibility. You must be necessarily weak everywhere.


Agreed, unless of course the Germans decided NOT to be weak everywhere.
This is where hindsight comes in, how did the Allies know what the Germans would do? Hitler could have made different troop disposition decisions at any point. The Germans could have discovered that FUSAG was a deception for example, Rommel could have got his way.

quote:

[re the German armour] what happened when they finally were on the move? The Tactical Air Force basically destroyed them.


I think this is very simplistic and you massively overestimate the power of the air forces – powerful though indeed they were. But if, as you say, the Germans could not move the armour without being completely destroyed, then surely Operations like Epsom or Goodwood could never have happened? They can’t have done because if what you say is true, those Panzer units would never have reached Caen, because as soon as they moved they would have been destroyed. No the fact is, they could have been moved closer earlier.

We know that the weather – in the notoriously fickle channel - stayed kind enough for long enough to allow the mulberries to get up and running (and one remained in place after the storm). There was no guarantee the weather would not turn earlier, there was no guarantee that both Mulberries were not destroyed.

As I said before, no battle is guaranteed, there is always so much that can go wrong. This is doubly true of amphibious invasions.


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(in reply to TulliusDetritus)
Post #: 24
RE: Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/6/2014 7:14:24 PM   
Hotschi


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Reading this thread, I have a couple things to add - and ask...

What's the fuss about the "mulberries"? An artificial harbor is of no use during an invasion (maybe because it needs to be built first ), only afterwards when huge amounts of supplies and additional units are landed. BUT - in the Pacific, the American already made dozens of landings without any artificial harbors installed afterwards. Right at the same time of the Normandy landings, the Americans landed in the Marianas - against opposition I might add - and didn't use artificial harbors afterwards either. Nor at Leyte. Nor at Iwo Jima. Nor at Okinawa. And American landings of course were unopposed (Solomons, New Guinea mostly) - as well as opposed, see Tarawa. In my opinion, the Mulberries were "nice to have", but not essential at all, and it's irrelevant whether WSC claims in his memoirs that he himself had a hand in inventing them. Just capture a harbor early, and you have your unloading facilities. Or do it the US Navy way in the Pacific, unload stuff onto smaller and smaller crafts which beach themselves or are able to sail in shallower water. Worked every time (okay, the drift at Iwo Jima wasn't all that helpful).

True, Churchill - and his General Staff - opposed earlier landings. Even D-Day was postponed in '44 for a couple months. Instead, Churchill favoured the strategy of attacking on the periphery (North Africa, Sicily, Italy). With hindsight, postponing D-Day was a good idea - see the half-arsed Dieppe "Raid" where a thousand of inexperienced Canadian troops were sacrificed for nothing (and nobody took the blame. Whose idea was this disaster anyway?). Would US and British/Commonwealth troops, with the experience, equipment, and tactics, of 1942 (North Africa) or '43 have succeeded in a cross-channel attack? Who really knows, but I'd say rather "No".

Could D-Day have failed? To my knowledge, not a single amphibious landing conducted by the Allies during the war, failed... Again, I'd rather say "No". Once the first waves are ashore, it was a - bitterly contested of course - sure thing. After all, the Allied had plenty of time to plan, plenty of time to build up forces, and plenty of experience from other theatres. They knew their job. They knew what they needed to carry out the plan. And they've got what they needed.

Last but not least, the one thing we western folks do not like to hear: at the time when the Western Allies finally landed in France, the landing was no longer needed to defeat the Nazis. Whether we like it or not, the land war in Europe was won by the Red Army (see dispositions of the Wehrmacht, the overwhelming majority of its assets were deployed in the East.

But what D-Day ultimately did - and this I of course say with hindsight - is to spare Western Europe the fate of... Eastern Europe. And thanks for that. Thanks to all the brave men, American, British, Canadian, Australian, French, Polish, Dutch, etc., be it Air Force, Army or Navy, who risked and gave their lives for this.

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- Wavell's reply to Churchill, after the latter complained about faint-heartedness, as he discovered that British casualties in the evacuation from Somaliland had been only 260 men.

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 25
RE: Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/6/2014 7:58:52 PM   
DSWargamer

 

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Two things ensured D-day passed.

Patton's fame and the German's inability to think he wasn't in charge, and he was actually wanting to attack Calais himself which is interesting in so many ways. And Hitler's sleeping schedule and how no one had the balls to TELL the Fuehrer anything to his face meant the allies really didn't experience what any wargamer would make you experience.

Unsimulatable human stupidity and incredible human elements that never exist in wargames accounted for so much of how WW2 ended up happening.

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Post #: 26
RE: Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/6/2014 8:59:28 PM   
Twotribes


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quote:

ORIGINAL: gradenko_2000

Japanese amphibious landings were decidedly not state-of-the-art. They had no doctrine for naval gunfire support coordination, no doctrine for close air support coordination, and they only managed naval and air supremacy insofar as the enemy had little to none. You said it yourself - they were repulsed at Wake Island!

And actually the second invasion at Wake would have been a loss to, the ONLY place they succeeded was around the command center, the Naval and Marine Commander had no idea that everywhere else the Japanese had been repulsed so surrendered.

(in reply to gradenko_2000_slith)
Post #: 27
RE: Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/6/2014 9:07:41 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

What's the fuss about the "mulberries"? An artificial harbor is of no use during an invasion


A failure of an invasion is not just if it failed day 1. If troops got ashore and ultimately had to surrender or be evacuated because they could not hold onto the beachhead - then that is a failure of the invasion. So yes, the Mulberries were important to the overall success of the operation - not the landing itself.....

quote:

BUT - in the Pacific, the American already made dozens of landings without any artificial harbors installed afterwards. Right at the same time of the Normandy landings, the Americans landed in the Marianas - against opposition I might add - and didn't use artificial harbors afterwards either. Nor at Leyte. Nor at Iwo Jima. Nor at Okinawa.


Well my guess is that this has something to do with the size of forces attacking (and defending), the amount of supplies and reinforcements the attacking army required every single day, not to mention the need to land tanks and other vehicles given that the enemy had Tigers and Panthers as a reception committee..... The landings in the Pacific, and even those at Salerno or Sicily for example, were on a different scale.

quote:

Could D-Day have failed?.......Again, I'd rather say "No".


I just don't understand this view I must admit, but I've said my piece so I'll leave it at that.

quote:

Last but not least, the one thing we western folks do not like to hear: at the time when the Western Allies finally landed in France, the landing was no longer needed to defeat the Nazis. Whether we like it or not, the land war in Europe was won by the Red Army


I think most of us hear are big enough and ugly enough to understand the truth....

< Message edited by warspite1 -- 6/6/2014 10:10:42 PM >


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Post #: 28
RE: Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/6/2014 9:30:08 PM   
TulliusDetritus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
Well my guess is that this has something to do with the size of forces attacking (and defending), the amount of supplies and reinforcements the attacking army required every single day, not to mention the need to land tanks and other vehicles given that the enemy had Tigers and Panthers as a reception committee..... The landings in the Pacific, and even those at Salerno or Sicily for example, were on a different scale.


The landings in the Caroline Islands, just a week after D-Day in Europe, involved 126.000 US troops. That's a lot of troops, Warspite. They were not coming from the other side of a narrow channel. They were coming from thousands of miles away: Pearl Harbor and Guadalcanal.

And unlike in Europe, when they assaulted, they were pretty certain the small island, atoll they were forced to frontally assault, was full of entrenched enemies, ready to die (and kill in the process).

Ok, the biggest landing was D-Day but overall it's in the the Pacific where a real modern naval war, and multitude of amphibious operations took place. What happened in Europe is a kid's game

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(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 29
RE: Five Ways D-Day Might Have Ended in Disaster - 6/6/2014 9:40:52 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TulliusDetritus

quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1
Well my guess is that this has something to do with the size of forces attacking (and defending), the amount of supplies and reinforcements the attacking army required every single day, not to mention the need to land tanks and other vehicles given that the enemy had Tigers and Panthers as a reception committee..... The landings in the Pacific, and even those at Salerno or Sicily for example, were on a different scale.


The landings in the Caroline Islands, just a week after D-Day in Europe, involved 126.000 US troops. That's a lot of troops, Warspite. They were not coming from the other side of a narrow channel. They were coming from thousands of miles away: Pearl Harbor and Guadalcanal.

And unlike in Europe, when they assaulted, they were pretty certain the small island, atoll they were forced to frontally assault, was full of entrenched enemies, ready to die (and kill in the process).

Ok, the biggest landing was D-Day but overall it's in the the Pacific where a real modern naval war, and multitude of amphibious operations took place. What happened in Europe is a kid's game
warspite1

Mmmmm... always the problem with these types of debate.

Let me make clear, this isn't some kind of p*ssing match over who had the biggest invasion. Yes, there were some invasions in the Pacific that were large, complex operations. However, in overall scale they were not as big as D-Day.

The ships weren't coming across a narrow channel? No, a fine navy, manned by a highly efficient, highly organised and professional body of men brought those troops across the Pacific with the assistance of a fine fleet train in support. So how does that change what happened at D-Day and what was required, not just to land in France, but to hold, consolidate, breakout and then fight to Germany?

Are you saying that D-Day did not involve a frontal assault? Well I'm sure if you tell the 4,000 + dead, they will be interested to know that




< Message edited by warspite1 -- 6/6/2014 10:42:33 PM >


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