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Operation Moniker - The Frisian Option

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Roddoss72 View Post
    I have gotta say all this is possible but can you supply us a timeline to actually put in place all these conditions. The way i see it it would take months to affect building adequate marshalling and disembarking facilities, thus giving the Germans plenty of time to place heavy defences.

    Also one thing, i would never ever place Aircraft Carriers within a bulls roar of the North Sea, they would be very good U-Boat fodder, you then need to rely on land based aircraft in Britian. Considering Battleships and Heavy Cruisers are expendable, Aircraft Carriers aren't.
    I guess the way I am thinking about this is that the German armour and artillery could not concentrate on the Frisian coast - unless they wish to commit military suicide. So it will be a fairly open coast.

    So I guess I envisage the initial invasion wave of DUKWs, DD Shermans, LCIs , LCTs as improvising their landings but with support from special forces who will form part of airborne landings.

    I think a lot of the landings would be focussed on the artificial beaches and the small portss. But within the next 48 hours engineers would follow up and start putting in place pontoon piers all along the coast. So that by Invasion plus 5 there will be lots of landing points.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Roddoss72 View Post
      Capturing those Islands are one thing, but as Major Sennef has pointed out that launching a major invasion under those condition would be very hard to maintain, logistics would be almost impossible.

      No i think the allies got it absolutely right in picking the Normandy area.
      Well I think that's what one needs to focus on.

      Roddos, I don't think one could say the allies got it "right" with Normandy unless you undertook an in-depth analysis of every other option: Brittany, Bordeaux, South of France, Italy, Norway, Balkans, Denmark etc. If you haven't presonally made all those analyses you are simply passing on received opinion.

      One point: the official history gives no indication that the Frisian option was ever given any analysis at all in WW2.

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by David Greenwich View Post
        I guess the way I am thinking about this is that the German armour and artillery could not concentrate on the Frisian coast - unless they wish to commit military suicide. So it will be a fairly open coast.
        Why??

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        • #34
          From Cross-Channel Attack, the criteria used for selecting the Overlord lodgement area:

          It first had to be within range of fighter planes based in the United Kingdom in order that air supremacy might counterbalance the unusual hazards of a major amphibious assault. At the time the study was made, fighter cover extended only over the coast between Cherbourg and Knocke (in the northwest corner of Belgium). Further to insure air supremacy, the area selected had to contain airfields or sites for airfields which could be made available to Allied fighters at an early date.

          The beach defenses had to be capable of reduction by naval fire, air bombardment, or airborne troops. It was desirable, obviously, that the beach defenses be as weak as possible, but the essential thing was that there should be a reasonable chance of neutralizing them. This requirement, in fact, ruled out only small beaches dominated by well-defended cliff positions and areas, such as the Netherlands, where the enemy could defend by large inundations which the Allies had no means of combatting.

          The selected assault area must permit the Allied rate of build-up to compete with that of the enemy. From this, other conditions followed. The area had to contain one major port that could be captured quickly. It was also desirable that a group of ports be close at hand with sufficient combined capacity, when developed, to support the entire force in later phases of the operation. Since there was no hope of being able to put captured ports into workable condition until about three months after the landings, it was equally important that the selected assault area have beaches suitable for prolonged maintenance operations. They therefore had to be sheltered from the prevailing winds in order to insure continuous operations even in bad weather. More important, the beaches had to have sufficient capacity to receive and rapidly pass inland the required vehicles and supplies. The critical considerations here were not only the size and firmness of the beaches but also the existence of adequate vehicle exits and adequate road nets behind the beaches.


          The Frisian coast seems to fail on most. If you disagree, then post the selection criteria you would use.

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by Aber View Post
            Why??
            Because the plan calls for a 70 day pause before the main invasion begins. The experience shows from the OTL in Normandy and elsewhere that if the Germans concentrated their armour they were extremely vulnerable to allied attack from the air and from artillery. The Falaise gap is a prime example.

            If the Germans attempt to concentrate in the area for offensive or defensive purposes, they will be slaughtered. Remember - they are not going into an area where such a war has been anticipated. This is a narrow front. In N. France allies had a strike rate of about 1 in 40 - there will be hundreds, sometimes thousands of planes in the area on a 24 hour basis, making this an extremely dangerous area for the Germans.

            I think rather than see their armour devastated on a daily basis, the German commanders will hang back - perhaps 30 kms and only put in light forces. But these too can be harrassed by allied special forces during the build up period.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by Aber View Post
              From Cross-Channel Attack, the criteria used for selecting the Overlord lodgement area:

              It first had to be within range of fighter planes based in the United Kingdom in order that air supremacy might counterbalance the unusual hazards of a major amphibious assault. At the time the study was made, fighter cover extended only over the coast between Cherbourg and Knocke (in the northwest corner of Belgium). Further to insure air supremacy, the area selected had to contain airfields or sites for airfields which could be made available to Allied fighters at an early date.

              The beach defenses had to be capable of reduction by naval fire, air bombardment, or airborne troops. It was desirable, obviously, that the beach defenses be as weak as possible, but the essential thing was that there should be a reasonable chance of neutralizing them. This requirement, in fact, ruled out only small beaches dominated by well-defended cliff positions and areas, such as the Netherlands, where the enemy could defend by large inundations which the Allies had no means of combatting.

              The selected assault area must permit the Allied rate of build-up to compete with that of the enemy. From this, other conditions followed. The area had to contain one major port that could be captured quickly. It was also desirable that a group of ports be close at hand with sufficient combined capacity, when developed, to support the entire force in later phases of the operation. Since there was no hope of being able to put captured ports into workable condition until about three months after the landings, it was equally important that the selected assault area have beaches suitable for prolonged maintenance operations. They therefore had to be sheltered from the prevailing winds in order to insure continuous operations even in bad weather. More important, the beaches had to have sufficient capacity to receive and rapidly pass inland the required vehicles and supplies. The critical considerations here were not only the size and firmness of the beaches but also the existence of adequate vehicle exits and adequate road nets behind the beaches.


              The Frisian coast seems to fail on most. If you disagree, then post the selection criteria you would use.
              These aren't unreasonable criteria but as with all decisions in life, they in a sense reflect the decision itself- it's called cognitive dissonance or post hoc rationalisation!

              To take one example, we know as the war progressed the range of fighters increased dramatically. Over 15000 P51 Mustang fighters were built and the Frisian islands were well within range. Moreover, by taking the islands, and using or building air bases there, you create an effective range of 6 kms as oppose to a 200 kms that you had in Normandy.

              Had the criteria been as follows then the Frisian option would have shown up well:

              1. To secure a lodgement at a location close to the centre of German power from which the allies can launch an invasion of the mainland but which the Germans cannot attack by land.

              2. To ensure that the allies are able to land on the mainland with minimal opposition.

              3. To advance on a narrow front, so forcing the Germans to concentrate their armour and thus provide good targets for allied air forces.

              4. To split the German forces in NW Europe so that they are less effective.

              5. To advance on the shortest possible lines over land.

              6. To ensure the line of advance is over open ground as far as possible.

              Normandy didn't deliver on any of those 6.

              In terms of the criteria actually used, I think the Frisian Option doesn't shine but it is working from different premises. For instance, because the allies were looking to land directly on to the mainland they had to accept that the Germans would concentrate in opposition to them and that would be a bad thing. But with the Frisian Option, you positively want them to concentrate in the Frisian coastal area because they will be subjected to appalling losses due to air and artillery fire. Furthermore, with the Frisian option, the Germans are faced with some difficult choices. Is this a diversion ? Should they therefore keep their elite units in France waiting for teh "real" invasion? No doubt deception would be used to encourage the belief that Patton was about to invade through Normandy or Pas De Calais.
              So, what exactly would the Germans be putting up against the Frisian invasion?

              I think actually inundation is one of the most interesting issues. How much of the Frisian coastal area can be inundated? There are certainly areas of polder. How effective would that be? Of course, inundation cuts both ways. It's difficult to advance (but not impossible) but it's also difficult to counter-attack. It might have been very slow going in the first few days or weeks if the inundation tactic was used, but equally it might have protected the allies in those crucial first days.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Roddoss72 View Post
                I have gotta say all this is possible but can you supply us a timeline to actually put in place all these conditions. The way i see it it would take months to affect building adequate marshalling and disembarking facilities, thus giving the Germans plenty of time to place heavy defences.

                Also one thing, i would never ever place Aircraft Carriers within a bulls roar of the North Sea, they would be very good U-Boat fodder, you then need to rely on land based aircraft in Britian. Considering Battleships and Heavy Cruisers are expendable, Aircraft Carriers aren't.
                Obviously a really detailed plan would take a lot of time and expertise neither of which I have an abundance of. But through reading I think I do have a fair idea of how quickly the allies could achieve various results. For the mainland invasion I think the phasing might be something like:

                PHASE ONE
                The initial assault - primarily airborne and amphibious. Maybe aiming to get 100,000 ashore on day one. Maybe involving something like 1500 DUKWs, 1000 DD Shermans (or equivalent), 500 self-propelled artillery untis and 500 Higgins Boats. Pontoon piers to be towed across and fixed in position.

                Perhaps 40,000 of the initial wave will be on the islands - the rest at sea ready to land on the North Sea side and then pass through the islands.

                Airborne will include parachute drops/glider landings and Piper aircraft landings.

                May be possible to bring in some LCTs along the deep navigation channels.

                Maybe about 10 landing sites - mostly either side of the small ports where there are artificial beaches, roadways and so on, making landing easier.

                PHASE TWO
                (Up to 2 weeks after teh landing) Still much reliance on DUKWs for supplies movements. Ports will be repaired. More pontoon piers will be built all along the coast. Maybe aim to have 20, each handling 2,000 -3,000 tonnes a day. But a lot of DUKWs and DD Shermans will simply drive ashore as before.

                A lot of heavy equipment will be towed across on rafts.


                PHASE THREE (Two weeks and later) The five small ports will have been repaired and able to receive goods and light troop ferries.

                By this stage, assuming that the Germans are being forced back and are out of artillery range, troops will also be marched across at low tide, possibly using brushwood and matting paths.


                Many more boats now in operation.

                PHASE FOUR (Four or more weeks in). The allies will be looking to capture a large port such as Emden, Cuxhaven or Bremershaven. Even Wilhelmshaven may be a possibility. Once a large port has been secured and made good, then the beach operations can begin to be run down.


                Point taken about aircraft carriers - they are a bit of a mixed blessing I would agree. But initially I felt they added something in terms of ability to intercept LW attacks on the islands and to inflict damage on LW bases. Did the U Boats ever manage to sink an escort carrier in the Atlantic I wonder...

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by David Greenwich View Post
                  The experience shows from the OTL in Normandy and elsewhere that if the Germans concentrated their armour they were extremely vulnerable to allied attack from the air and from artillery. The Falaise gap is a prime example.

                  If the Germans attempt to concentrate in the area for offensive or defensive purposes, they will be slaughtered. Remember - they are not going into an area where such a war has been anticipated.
                  Some things for you to consider and research:
                  • The impact of attacks by Allied fighter bombers on German armour is often overstated - how do you attack them when they are camouflaged, or moving at night?
                  • Artillery is a 2 sided game - how do you stop the Germans concentrating their artillery, including super-heavy railguns, and outnumbering and outranging the Allied artillery?
                  • How many P-51s (and which versions) had actually been produced by your proposed invasion date?
                  • Why can't the Germans dust off their Sealion plans for retaking the islands?


                  It's possible that the Allies could land on the islands, but you need to do some more research in order for this idea to be taken seriously.
                  Last edited by Aber; 01 Oct 11, 12:23. Reason: typos

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Aber View Post
                    Some things for you to consider and research:
                    • The impact of attacks by Allied fighter bombers on German armour is often overstated - how do you attack them when they are camouflaged, or moving at night?
                    • Artillery is a 2 sided game - how do you stop the Germans concentrating their artillery, including super-heavy railguns, and outnumbering and outranging the Allied artillery?
                    • How many P-51s (and which versions) had actually been produced by your proposed invasion date?
                    • Why can't the Germans dust off their Sealion plans for retaking the islands?


                    It's possible that the Allies could land on the islands, but you need to do some more research in order for this idea to be taken seriously.
                    A. I think Beevor gives a figure of 1in 40 FB attacks on German armour being successful. I working on that sort of basis. But here you have 70 days to operate over a relatively small area with hundreds, perhaps thousands of planes patrolling, and you have saturation bombing - that 1 in 40 becomes more like 1 in 1 with multiple attacks. So, I think the basic pattern would be heavy bombing at night with FB patrols during the day.

                    Also I envisage there being a lot of spotter planes workign the area providing high quality info for the fighters and bombers, and special forces working on the ground.

                    Remember, this is not heavily wooded bocage countryside.

                    Finally, again because this is a limited front, flares could be used effectively to expose and punish night movements.

                    B. From what I have read, a lot of their artillery in this area is more AA than army based and not well suited to attackign the islands. My own view, based on the Normandy OTL, is that where German artillery was concentrated it could be suppressed by bombing and allied artillery.

                    The allies will be going into this area sandbagged up and ready to dig in. Any artillery units are going to be surprised initially and v. vulnerable to mass air attack. How much can the Germans bring in? Well, again, I think it would be suicidal for them to move close to the Frisian coast. But I am assuming they will move as close as they think they can, ready to advance and engage the enemy as soon as the mainland invasion takes place. Once they get up close to the enemy allied air power becomes less effective.

                    I have considered super heavy rail guns a threat. I would like to find out more about where they were sited and whether they could get close to the Frisian front. I certainly don't discount that threat. It does need more research.

                    C. I'm guessing about 10,000 but clearly they would have been given more priority if planners knew they were required in greater numbers.

                    D. I doubt the SeaLion plans would be much help. The Dutch barges would have been dispersed by then. They do not have any useful vessels in the Wadden Sea itself as far as I can tell. At this stage in the war when they are under intense pressure in the East, in Italy, from the bombing campaign it seems highly unlikely they could take on board that sort of level of planning. I think more improvised assaults would be the order of the day: bringing together river crossing units and paratroops.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by David Greenwich View Post
                      A. I think Beevor gives a figure of 1in 40 FB attacks on German armour being successful. I working on that sort of basis. But here you have 70 days to operate over a relatively small area with hundreds, perhaps thousands of planes patrolling, and you have saturation bombing - that 1 in 40 becomes more like 1 in 1 with multiple attacks. So, I think the basic pattern would be heavy bombing at night with FB patrols during the day.

                      Also I envisage there being a lot of spotter planes workign the area providing high quality info for the fighters and bombers, and special forces working on the ground.

                      Remember, this is not heavily wooded bocage countryside.

                      Finally, again because this is a limited front, flares could be used effectively to expose and punish night movements.
                      First, there will be a very small number of planes based on the islands, and so most of the planes patrolling will still be based in England. You need to work out how many of these will be providing airborne cover, the flight times and so the loiter time in the air to work out how much air defence you actually have. Then you have to split this between protecting the islands, the ships offshore and any aircraft doing ground attack on the mainland.

                      Then you need to work out what aircraft have the range to carry a sensible ground attack load over that distance (remember that they cannot be carrying drop tanks as well), and how you intend to use them - mass sweeps or standing patrols. Remember as well that the 1 in 40 is of armour tragets identified - the problem will be finding them.

                      Once you do the maths, I believe that you will find that the force you have is much smaller than you expect and cannot be relied upon to seriously worry German ground forces.

                      How are you planning to protect notoriously vulnerable spotter planes from the Luftwaffe or anti-aircraft fire?

                      How do you expect to be working with special forces on the ground, inside Germany?

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by David Greenwich View Post
                        B. From what I have read, a lot of their artillery in this area is more AA than army based and not well suited to attackign the islands. My own view, based on the Normandy OTL, is that where German artillery was concentrated it could be suppressed by bombing and allied artillery.

                        The allies will be going into this area sandbagged up and ready to dig in. Any artillery units are going to be surprised initially and v. vulnerable to mass air attack. How much can the Germans bring in? Well, again, I think it would be suicidal for them to move close to the Frisian coast. But I am assuming they will move as close as they think they can, ready to advance and engage the enemy as soon as the mainland invasion takes place. Once they get up close to the enemy allied air power becomes less effective.

                        I have considered super heavy rail guns a threat. I would like to find out more about where they were sited and whether they could get close to the Frisian front. I certainly don't discount that threat. It does need more research.
                        I think some members with personal experience will point out that the 88mm was highly effective in a ground attack role.

                        The key points for an artillery duel are range and ammunition supply. The Germans can bring in heavy and super-heavy guns and ship ammunition by rail. The Allies have to use what they can bring in over the beach. Try reading about Anzio.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by David Greenwich View Post
                          C. I'm guessing about 10,000 but clearly they would have been given more priority if planners knew they were required in greater numbers.
                          The Mustangs would have been early models, and the very large numbers produced start with the -D model. This did not make it to Europe until mid-1944.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by David Greenwich View Post
                            D. I doubt the SeaLion plans would be much help. The Dutch barges would have been dispersed by then. They do not have any useful vessels in the Wadden Sea itself as far as I can tell. At this stage in the war when they are under intense pressure in the East, in Italy, from the bombing campaign it seems highly unlikely they could take on board that sort of level of planning. I think more improvised assaults would be the order of the day: bringing together river crossing units and paratroops.
                            You're giving them 70 days to prepare and landing near major German ports which will have vessels and construction facilities - a divisional scale counter-landing seems likely.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Aber View Post
                              You're giving them 70 days to prepare and landing near major German ports which will have vessels and construction facilities - a divisional scale counter-landing seems likely.
                              Well it's not just my view, but Roddos as well pointed out the Germans didn't have a strong Marine/amphibious capability. He concluded "The Germans did not have the capacity to recapture them."

                              I think they might try - because Hitler might order them to, but by this point they will be facing in addition to hundreds or thousands of planes over the area, 1000 pieces of artillery on the islands,machine gun nests and elite allied soldiers. I don't think they could do, and if they get stuck in the coastal area then they are sitting ducks for allied air assault.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Aber View Post
                                The Mustangs would have been early models, and the very large numbers produced start with the -D model. This did not make it to Europe until mid-1944.
                                The earlier models were still fine in terms of range and were made in the thousands.

                                http://www.aviation-history.com/north-american/p51.html

                                Let's be clear, the P51 wasn't the only long range fighter and, furthermore, lots of other planes could be made rangeworthy with drop tanks.

                                I'd put the question, the other way round - are you suggesting that the allies could not by May 1944 muster thousands of long range fighters to operate over Frisia if necessary?

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