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  • 3rd American Beach at Normandy

    Greetings everyone. I'm currently reading through the Army "Green Books" from World War II. I picked up the copies from Whitman Publishing recently and have the full set (on DVD) on its way from the GPO.

    My issue is this: At some point in the past I recall reading about a possible 3rd American beach at Normandy. If memory serves correctly I believe it was supposed to be on the East side of the Cotentin Peninsula. Possibly around the les Dunes de Varreville. My problem is I cannot recall the source i read this in and am having non luck in finding it.

    Was there in fact a plan for a 3rd American beach? If so what units were slated for landing on it? Where is a course I could research this? Or am I mistaken and time is playing tricks with my mind?

    Anyway I appreciate the assistance and am glad to join the community here.

  • #2
    Originally posted by BanditWhite3 View Post
    Greetings everyone. I'm currently reading through the Army "Green Books" from World War II. I picked up the copies from Whitman Publishing recently and have the full set (on DVD) on its way from the GPO.

    My issue is this: At some point in the past I recall reading about a possible 3rd American beach at Normandy. If memory serves correctly I believe it was supposed to be on the East side of the Cotentin Peninsula. Possibly around the les Dunes de Varreville. My problem is I cannot recall the source i read this in and am having non luck in finding it.

    Was there in fact a plan for a 3rd American beach? If so what units were slated for landing on it? Where is a course I could research this? Or am I mistaken and time is playing tricks with my mind?

    Anyway I appreciate the assistance and am glad to join the community here.
    Hi BW,I do think that perhaps time is playing tricks here,never heard of such a possibility but would not argue on the likelihood. lcm1
    'By Horse by Tram'.


    I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
    " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by BanditWhite3 View Post
      Greetings everyone. I'm currently reading through the Army "Green Books" from World War II. I picked up the copies from Whitman Publishing recently and have the full set (on DVD) on its way from the GPO.

      My issue is this: At some point in the past I recall reading about a possible 3rd American beach at Normandy. If memory serves correctly I believe it was supposed to be on the East side of the Cotentin Peninsula. Possibly around the les Dunes de Varreville. My problem is I cannot recall the source i read this in and am having non luck in finding it.

      Was there in fact a plan for a 3rd American beach? If so what units were slated for landing on it? Where is a course I could research this? Or am I mistaken and time is playing tricks with my mind?

      Anyway I appreciate the assistance and am glad to join the community here.
      Some of the Green Books are here: http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/USA-in-WWII/
      How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
      Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
        Some of the Green Books are here: http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/USA-in-WWII/
        They are all available in PDF format HERE. Yet another reason why I ended up buying an external hard drive. The main reason was The Ibis. My first concern with another invasion beach would be the amount of landing craft necessary. It was struggle enough to scrape together the necessary amount for the existing beaches; to put another division ashore under fire would be outside of the timetable imo.
        ...how useless it was to struggle against fortune, this being the burden of wisdom which the ages had bequeathed to him.

        Comment


        • #5
          Pages 102-103 of Cross-Channel Attack:

          The problem of how to make good the deficit in landing craft for a three-division assault had received only a preliminary examination when word came from Quebec that the Prime Minister wanted the assault increased to four divisions. The British Chiefs of Staff asked General Morgan to report on that possibility. By the end of September, COSSAC completed a thorough re-examination. So much debate and hypothesis had by that time clouded the issue that General Morgan undertook to start afresh, recalculate his requirements, and restate his tactical thinking.

          "My original Directive" he began, "placed at my disposal a quantity of landing craft which bore little or no relation, as to numbers and types, to the actual requirements of the proposed operation." Now, he continued, it was proposed to strengthen the operation, which he fully conceded needed strengthening. But did this mean adding a fourth division to the assault? General Morgan thought not. He pointed out the dangerous weaknesses of the plan as it stood, weaknesses which were thrust on it by the inadequacy of the landing craft allotted. "Detailed analysis of the present plan shows that while the three assault divisions are only barely adequately mounted in craft of suitable types, the immediate follow-up formations are most inadequately mounted, and there is a dangerous gap on D-plus-l day." A large proportion of the follow-up forces being mounted in ordinary shipping could not be tactically loaded and thus would not be operationally available on the far shore until twelve hours after landing. In short most of them were "follow-up" in name only; they would not be in position immediately to reinforce the assault troops. General Morgan therefore recommended that, before any consideration be given to increasing the number of assaulting divisions, all additional landing craft that could be raked up should be put in to strengthen the follow-up and provide a floating reserve. "We already have far too high a proportion of our goods in the shop window," he said. "To consider any increase in this proportion without adequate stocking of the back premises would in my opinion be basically unsound."

          Morgan's new calculations of craft needed to permit the landing of two full divisions in the follow-up for use on D plus 1 showed a deficit of 251 LCT's for a three-division assault and 389 for a four-division assault. In addition, for a four-division assault there would be a shortage of more than 150 support craft using LCT or equivalent hulls.

          Quite apart from this very large landing craft requirement, the four-division assault truck General Morgan as unwise because it would necessitate broadening the assault front. Extension to the east he believed would bring the assaulting troops within range of the Le Havre coastal guns, which were among the most formidable in the Atlantic Wall. Extension on the right flank of the assault would involve landing on the beaches northwest of the Carentan estuary. Reversing his previous stand that this would be desirable, General Morgan now noted that the Germans had already begun flooding the hinterland of the Cotentin and that therefore the contemplated assault in that area was unsound.

          The British Chiefs of Staff were not impressed with this argument and continue to advocate a four-division assault, the fourth division to be American and to be employed against the east Cotentin. No suggestions were made as to how the evident difficulties might be overcome.
          ...how useless it was to struggle against fortune, this being the burden of wisdom which the ages had bequeathed to him.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Lucky 6 View Post
            They are all available in PDF format HERE. Yet another reason why I ended up buying an external hard drive. The main reason was The Ibis. My first concern with another invasion beach would be the amount of landing craft necessary. It was struggle enough to scrape together the necessary amount for the existing beaches; to put another division ashore under fire would be outside of the timetable imo.
            Thanks
            How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
            Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Lucky 6 View Post
              Pages 102-103 of Cross-Channel Attack:
              As I have said a number of times in relation to the known D Day landings,I strongly suspect that the problems lay not with the ammount of landing craft available but with the ammount of trained crewmen capable of manning the craft.The RN were not able to supply sufficiant men for the job and the RM infantry were turned over to landing craft crew to fill the gap,that is why only Rm commando's landed as assault no RM infantry.This shortage of landing craft story has been hanging around for years and just was not so in 1944! lcm1
              'By Horse by Tram'.


              I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
              " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                Thanks
                Hi Nick, read my other contribution to this, lcm1
                'By Horse by Tram'.


                I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
                " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by lcm1 View Post
                  As I have said a number of times in relation to the known D Day landings,I strongly suspect that the problems lay not with the ammount of landing craft available but with the ammount of trained crewmen capable of manning the craft.The RN were not able to supply sufficiant men for the job and the RM infantry were turned over to landing craft crew to fill the gap,that is why only Rm commando's landed as assault no RM infantry.This shortage of landing craft story has been hanging around for years and just was not so in 1944! lcm1
                  I see no reason why both cannot be true. If they didn't have the craft, it stands to reason that the crews probably weren't ready either.
                  ...how useless it was to struggle against fortune, this being the burden of wisdom which the ages had bequeathed to him.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lucky 6 View Post
                    I see no reason why both cannot be true. If they didn't have the craft, it stands to reason that the crews probably weren't ready either.
                    If I catch lcm1's drift correctly, it seems he's saying that one was more true than the other; i.e. that the shortage of trained landing craft crews was even more acute and that therefore, the full number of landing craft that might have been made available was not possible primarily for that reason, not primarily because of a shortage of craft per se.
                    "Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"
                    Vice Admiral Beatty to Flag Captain Chatfield; Battle of Jutland, 31 May - 1 June, 1916.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by panther3485 View Post
                      If I catch lcm1's drift correctly, it seems he's saying that one was more true than the other; i.e. that the shortage of trained landing craft crews was even more acute and that therefore, the full number of landing craft that might have been made available was not possible primarily for that reason, not primarily because of a shortage of craft per se.
                      Thank you panther,that is exactly what I meant. lcm1
                      Last edited by panther3485; 12 Nov 12, 06:12. Reason: amending my quote
                      'By Horse by Tram'.


                      I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
                      " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by panther3485 View Post
                        If I catch lcm1's drift correctly, it seems he's saying that one was more true than the other; i.e. that the shortage of trained landing craft crews was even more acute and that therefore, the full number of landing craft that might have been made available was not possible primarily for that reason, not primarily because of a shortage of craft per se.
                        Ahhh, I see. I appreciate the Bruce-to-Yank translation.
                        ...how useless it was to struggle against fortune, this being the burden of wisdom which the ages had bequeathed to him.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Lucky 6 View Post
                          I see no reason why both cannot be true. If they didn't have the craft, it stands to reason that the crews probably weren't ready either.
                          Hi Lucky, now perhaps you do not know my background, at that period of time in WW2 a conversation on landing craft is 'right up my street' as you might say. Taking this subject and dealing with medium to small assault craft in 1944 there was absolutely no shortage, they were in every river, stream and creek,particularly in the south of England, going rusty for want of men to man them.There was more to manning them than just jumping in and 'off we go' there were a number of things to perfect and it took some months to attain the skills needed otherwise there could be many men die without even reaching the beaches.Take it from me mate shortage of craft was NOT the problem. lcm1
                          'By Horse by Tram'.


                          I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
                          " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BanditWhite3 View Post
                            Greetings everyone. I'm currently reading through the Army "Green Books" from World War II. I picked up the copies from Whitman Publishing recently and have the full set (on DVD) on its way from the GPO.

                            My issue is this: At some point in the past I recall reading about a possible 3rd American beach at Normandy. If memory serves correctly I believe it was supposed to be on the East side of the Cotentin Peninsula. Possibly around the les Dunes de Varreville. My problem is I cannot recall the source i read this in and am having non luck in finding it.

                            Was there in fact a plan for a 3rd American beach? If so what units were slated for landing on it? Where is a course I could research this? Or am I mistaken and time is playing tricks with my mind?

                            Anyway I appreciate the assistance and am glad to join the community here.
                            I can imagine that at some point early in the initial planning for the invasion that the idea of a landing on the west shore of the Contentin may have come up. It would have the benefit of possibly cutting the peninsula and isolating Cherbourg sooner. But, to have risked part of the initial assault force in an unsupported position would have been a questionable decision to say the least.
                            One of the priorities of the invasion as it evolved was to connect the beach-heads for mutual support and to form a continuous defensive line. To have placed another beach-head in a location where that support was impossible could have been disastrous for the isolated units as well as possibly for the entire invasion itself.
                            If there are no dogs in Heaven, then I want to go where they went when they died-Will Rogers

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                            • #15
                              This theory may have come about as a result of a short-lived plan in 1942(?) to land on either side of the Cotentin to hold the peninsula as a staging ground for a build-up of Allied forces on the continent.

                              IIRC, it was related to Op Sledgehammer.

                              I'll have to check through some of my sources to confirm.
                              Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

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