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  • #46
    Please do some sums on Allied aircraft to support your point, rather just handwaving stuff away.

    As well as the points already raised, there will be major issues keeping the sealanes to the islands open. The routes are far longer and more open to the waether an interception than those across the English Channel to Normandy.

    Comment


    • #47
      Originally posted by Aber View Post
      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.
      Yes, but having seen some photos from the period it does appear that the AA guns were fixed in pits which didn't make them very effective for ground attack. No doubt they could be adapted but it looks to me like it would take a couple of days and would be difficult while under sustained aerial bombardment. They would of course be obvious targets for air attack.

      Anzio's controversial is it not - many commentators think the commander snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in teh early days. Eventually of course, the allied advance did win out.

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by Aber View Post
        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?

        Frisia is not a huge distance away - at about 250 miles, it is comparable with Orleans. The Normandy advance created a huge front that had to be patrolled. This is a much more compact area, and therefore the allied air superiority can make itself felt all the more.

        Loiter times of 60 mins - 90 mins would be typical I think for the fighters.

        I think the islands and aircraft carriers together could provide maybe 800 planes - not a negligible number.

        I don't think there's going to be much AA fire in the target area once the heavy bombers and artillery have been pounding the area relentlessly for several days.

        The kill zone will I believe be an area where civilian administration has broken down, where civilians are completely demoralised and defeatist. It won't be like landing in central Bavaria. In those circumstances, I think the special forces will be up against fairly lightly weaponed German forces and will be able to operate against them. German forces were very effective at infiltrating themselves behind advancing allied forces. There is no reason why in this context special forces can't infiltrate, especially at night.

        Comment


        • #49
          Originally posted by Aber View Post
          Please do some sums on Allied aircraft to support your point, rather just handwaving stuff away.

          As well as the points already raised, there will be major issues keeping the sealanes to the islands open. The routes are far longer and more open to the waether an interception than those across the English Channel to Normandy.
          I don't think an accusation of "handwaving" is a valid argument - I could equally make use of that. Given there were, as a matter of fact, thousands of aircraft within range, that many more could be adapted through drop tanks and the front was far more compact, I think it is more for you to show why air cover would be less effective over Frisia than over Normandy.

          Why is it difficult to keep the sea lanes open, when most of the U boat and E boat bases are on the Atlantic Coast or in the Channel? MOre open to the weather? What weather could be worst than the Channel storm in the second half of June 1944. The North Sea is no placid lake, but it is no more problematic than the Channel.

          Comment


          • #50
            While I like the idea of coming ashore closer to Germany, Frisia has those horrible geographic features Major Sennef has commented on: and having walked through ordinary mudflats in running shoes, I would not like to inflict this on an invasion force. Further West on the main Dutch coast may be a more valid option, and there is the possibility of liberating one of several major ports quickly as well (Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Antwerp even). This area, like Normandy, has the advantage of being close to Britain without being dog's b*lls obvious. Again, Mulberries can be set up and the more importantly, the undersea pipeline for supply of petrol is feasible. Again, deception as to where the main landing will be needs to be of the quality of Overlord.

            The main sticking points would be the size of the local garrison and whether there would be any likely active assistance from the Dutch/Belgians (depending where the actual landing takes place). Those more knowledgeable on German troop dispositions can provide a better critique on this option.

            Comment


            • #51
              Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
              While I like the idea of coming ashore closer to Germany, Frisia has those horrible geographic features Major Sennef has commented on: and having walked through ordinary mudflats in running shoes, I would not like to inflict this on an invasion force. Further West on the main Dutch coast may be a more valid option, and there is the possibility of liberating one of several major ports quickly as well (Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Antwerp even). This area, like Normandy, has the advantage of being close to Britain without being dog's b*lls obvious. Again, Mulberries can be set up and the more importantly, the undersea pipeline for supply of petrol is feasible. Again, deception as to where the main landing will be needs to be of the quality of Overlord.

              The main sticking points would be the size of the local garrison and whether there would be any likely active assistance from the Dutch/Belgians (depending where the actual landing takes place). Those more knowledgeable on German troop dispositions can provide a better critique on this option.
              I wouldn't like you to run away with the idea that I am proposing marching soldiers across the flats (not all mudflats by the way) at low tide as the main way of getting them from the islands to the mainland. It makes much more sense to use DUKWs, DD Shermans, LCIs, Higgins boats, light boats and rafts to effect the crossing. We could easily bring across 20,000 a day that way. However, given that modern tourists do make the crossing at low tide, I think it is something that could be investigated. I do wonder as well whether the allies could make a more stable path using perhaps brushwood overlaid with tarpaulin or canvas.

              I wouldn't rule out Dutch landings, but obviously that is not my focus. I get the impression that due to the complexity of the canals and polder system, inundation would make for a more severe barrier there.

              I believe it is valid to think the deception would be at least as successful as Normandy, given that no one seems to give Frisia many points as a likely landing spot. Gen Patton or someone else could pose as the head of a large army about to invade Northern France and the Germans might well think the islands occupation was meant as a diversion even once it has taken place. They might be loathe to move their elite units from France. It is certainly a dilemma for them.

              In terms of German troop dispositions, it appears from what I can glean that there not many elite units based in NW Germany. It tends to be an area for troop training and for LW of KM defence units. The islands themselves were certainly poorly defended with about 400 soldiers per island.

              I would expect the Germans to rush in maybe 3-5 divisions on the Frisian coast but their presence will be punished mercilessly by the allies.

              I take the Admiral Hall view of Mulberries - that they were an expensive liability that interfered with beach landing operations. The beaches on the N Sea side of the islands are fine for beach landing.

              I think the fetish over proximity to Britain makes it difficult to appreciate the advantages of Frisia. It has the advantage of being a forward base but it is not an extreme distance away from Britain. At 250 miles it is the same as the southern limit of the Normandy advance. But the front is much more compact, making the Germans far more vulnerable to attack.

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by David Greenwich View Post
                I wouldn't rule out Dutch landings, but obviously that is not my focus. I get the impression that due to the complexity of the canals and polder system, inundation would make for a more severe barrier there.
                David,
                Following this thread with more than average interest and admiring your pugnacity.

                In order to make your thesis as strong as possible, I'm reflecting on another geographical aspect.
                The nature of the landscape in Ostfriesland is remarkably similar to the Netherlands: lots of canals, polders, sluices and dikes in both places and thus equally easy to inundate.
                If fear for inundation was a reason for the Allies not to chose to invade Holland but Normandy instead
                then IMO the same argument not to invade Frisia holds true.
                BoRG

                You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by David Greenwich View Post
                  I don't think an accusation of "handwaving" is a valid argument - I could equally make use of that. Given there were, as a matter of fact, thousands of aircraft within range, that many more could be adapted through drop tanks and the front was far more compact, I think it is more for you to show why air cover would be less effective over Frisia than over Normandy.

                  Why is it difficult to keep the sea lanes open, when most of the U boat and E boat bases are on the Atlantic Coast or in the Channel? MOre open to the weather? What weather could be worst than the Channel storm in the second half of June 1944. The North Sea is no placid lake, but it is no more problematic than the Channel.
                  While it is refreshing to have completely new ideas floated here, especially a reverse-Childers, you are not making a strong case.

                  'Thousands of aircraft within range' is a claim you keep repeating. Can you provide information on:
                  • which models
                  • based where
                  • organised how, to provide continuous aircover

                  Please take into account:
                  • the difficulties the allies had provding air cover over Salerno from Sicily
                  • location of airfields in Britain
                  • availability of each aircraft type
                  • the impossibility of going into air combat with drop tanks attached
                  • the impossibility of fighter aircraft carrying droptanks and a worthwhile ground attack weapons load


                  Simply put I don't believe that the comparisons between Normandy and the Frisian islands are valid. The Allies could cover the initial landings in Normandy with Spitfires from their bases in Southern England and open airfields in France once they had some depth to their positions. On the Frisian islands the only aircraft that could really provide aircover would be Mustangs (IIRC RAF had 6 squadrons) and it will be difficult to stop the Germans bombarding any forward airfields either from the mainland or from the sea at night.

                  As to sealanes, the Normandy landings crossings of c100 miles could be protected by blocking the Dover Straits (25 miles) and the western end of the Channel (c100 miles). The Frisian islands would require a route of c250 miles open both to the North and South. As to why this would be a problem look up how many U-boats Germany was operating even in 1945 and where they were based (hint: not France). How also do you plan to stop the rest of the German Navy concentrating in the threatened area?

                  As to weather the Normandy beaches have some protection from the Cherbourg and Le Havre peninsulas - the Frisian islands have none.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Major Sennef View Post
                    David,
                    Following this thread with more than average interest and admiring your pugnacity.

                    In order to make your thesis as strong as possible, I'm reflecting on another geographical aspect.
                    The nature of the landscape in Ostfriesland is remarkably similar to the Netherlands: lots of canals, polders, sluices and dikes in both places and thus equally easy to inundate.
                    If fear for inundation was a reason for the Allies not to chose to invade Holland but Normandy instead
                    then IMO the same argument not to invade Frisia holds true.
                    Yes, I did make reference to inundation in the timeline.

                    This definitely needs more research. However some preliminary thoughts:

                    1. As far as I can tell, apart from the Emden area, the East Frisian coastal area is not below sea level. In that respect, it is quite different from the Netherlands.

                    2. The potential area of inundation in Frisia is much smaller than in the Netherlands and, I would suggest, less complex.

                    3. Inundation works both ways. It slows up advance but makes counter-attack more difficult as well. I think more research needs to be done before you can say it is necessarily a negative. It might create a defensive barrier which will allow the allied forces to build up on the mainland while the air attack on hte German forces can continue.

                    4. Inundating the Netherlands was one thing, but inundating Reich territory? My guess is there might have been some resistance to the idea on the grounds it would damage Reich territory and it was a defeatist style of defence. In my ATL I have the German leaving it too late to make an effective inundation. However, I accept one can't really rely on that.

                    5. The allies did advance in the Netherlands. It was slow but they did make progress.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      On inudation:

                      Area does not have to be below sea-level - manipulation of dykes and drains can flood elsewhere.

                      Dutch experience showed the most effective form of defence was to bring the water level up to ground level, not to actually flood. The defenders could still use the roads, while attackers could not use vehicles off-road so canalising the attack.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Major Sennef View Post
                        David,
                        Following this thread with more than average interest and admiring your pugnacity.

                        In order to make your thesis as strong as possible, I'm reflecting on another geographical aspect.
                        The nature of the landscape in Ostfriesland is remarkably similar to the Netherlands: lots of canals, polders, sluices and dikes in both places and thus equally easy to inundate.
                        If fear for inundation was a reason for the Allies not to chose to invade Holland but Normandy instead
                        then IMO the same argument not to invade Frisia holds true.
                        Thanks Major that was the piece of information I was looking for. NW Germany and northern Holand are, to a large degree, reclaimed from the sea. If the Allies arrived here (which they would not have) the canals would be blown, the dikes destroyed and North Sea let back into the lowlands.


                        There were two major criteria for the Allies to choose the area they did. Aircraft range and turn around time for the shipping. The allied planners considered every mile of coastline between Narvik and the Spanish border but very quickly discarded more than 90% of that coastline because of the above two criteria.

                        The British Spitfire was one the predominant aircraft of the tactical air forces assigned to the invasion along with the P-47. Neither of these aircraft had the legs to operate over eastern Holland or NW Germany. Even with drop tanks the best they could do is fly there and fly right back. The P-51s available were being used almost exclusively as long range bomber escorts from England, escorts in the Mediterranean and in the Pacific. There were not enough to cover the air force needs over Normandy. The air bases in East Anglia and the Midlands were reserved for the bomber groups and, except for those closest to the east coast, too far away. The tactical squadrons were based in the souteast and southwest to ensure there was no massive control issues between tactical forces and the round-the-clock strategic bomber and escort air movement. This Frisian game removes 2/3 of the allied fighters from battle and places the Typhoon at the end of its operational range as well. It also places the Allied landings with in easy range of the German airforce still available in Germany.

                        The second issue was shipping and turn around times to and from the invasion beaches. Normandy was chosen because of the very short distances between the southern invasion ports and the beaches. Despite this the carefully planned timetables soon fell apart and the allies eventually had to scrap the planned loading-unloading schedules for (very) well organised inprovisation in order to keep the ports clear and supplies moving. The longer the transit time the less supplies could be delivered. Normandy-Calais also had the advantages of deep water approaches to the beaches that permitted the shipping to get quite close to shore before beginning the trans-shipping of supplies. This would not be possible off Frisia.

                        Just as important was the location of the ports. The east coast of Britain does have the required ports to support a cross North Sea invasion. The ports along rthe south coast would still be required and this only increases transit time and exposes the craft to more interdiction.

                        Finally there was the Pacific. The USN will not surrender its initiative in 1944 by having the carriers withdrawn for operation in the North Sea. One need only look at WWII to see how many RN CVs operated in the north Sea to understand no admiral would risk these important vessels in such poor waters, surrounded on three sides by hostile land-based air. The US carriers are the only means the USN has for projecting offensive power against the isolated Japanese island. Withdraw the carriers and the offensive in the Pacific stops dead. This would not be tolerated by the USN already impatient that the Pacific does not have a higher priority.

                        Then there is the amphibious shipping. The Allies set a deliberate deadline for wrapping up all amphibious operation in Europe and only grudginly accepted the August dates for the invasion of southern France. The Pacific needed the amphibious shipping to get rolling and the USN was not willing to wait forever for this to happen. This Frisian game would require far more ampbious craft for far longer and expose these assets to heavier attrition than in the Channel. In the OTL, DUKWs were drafted into dragging supplies inland further than planned, increasing strain on maintenance and they began to suffer higher losses than expected. Puttering about the North Sea between high and low tide, amongst flooded polder and shattered canals will not make this situation any better.

                        In short,... everything,... everything speaks against this option and it is both operationally and logistically a non-starter form the outset.

                        Those interested in examining the challenges faced by Allied logistics in Normany alone can review van Crevald's "Supplying War" and the chapter called "War of the Accountants".

                        Aircraft range, ports, transit times, the withdrawal of ampbious shipping all mean the Allies had to go between the Zeebrugge and Cherbourg.
                        The Purist

                        Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Aber View Post
                          On inudation:

                          Area does not have to be below sea-level - manipulation of dykes and drains can flood elsewhere.

                          Dutch experience showed the most effective form of defence was to bring the water level up to ground level, not to actually flood. The defenders could still use the roads, while attackers could not use vehicles off-road so canalising the attack.
                          I never said it did have to be below sea-level, but that is relevant. For instance it means, if you are in a BSL area, you can flood a road. You can't flood the roads in East Frisia would be my view (apart from the Emden area).

                          The facts are that the allies were able to advance in the flooded areas and also that those areas were not the main thrust of their attack. It is difficult to know how things would play out in an area where it was the main thrust.

                          The other issue is to what extent amphibious vehicles can operate in such conditions. I need to research that. Certainly one can say that if the allies went with the Frisian option they would know they would face inundation and would make their plans accordingly.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Aber View Post
                            While it is refreshing to have completely new ideas floated here, especially a reverse-Childers, you are not making a strong case.

                            'Thousands of aircraft within range' is a claim you keep repeating. Can you provide information on:
                            • which models
                            • based where
                            • organised how, to provide continuous aircover

                            Please take into account:
                            • the difficulties the allies had provding air cover over Salerno from Sicily
                            • location of airfields in Britain
                            • availability of each aircraft type
                            • the impossibility of going into air combat with drop tanks attached
                            • the impossibility of fighter aircraft carrying droptanks and a worthwhile ground attack weapons load


                            Simply put I don't believe that the comparisons between Normandy and the Frisian islands are valid. The Allies could cover the initial landings in Normandy with Spitfires from their bases in Southern England and open airfields in France once they had some depth to their positions. On the Frisian islands the only aircraft that could really provide aircover would be Mustangs (IIRC RAF had 6 squadrons) and it will be difficult to stop the Germans bombarding any forward airfields either from the mainland or from the sea at night.

                            As to sealanes, the Normandy landings crossings of c100 miles could be protected by blocking the Dover Straits (25 miles) and the western end of the Channel (c100 miles). The Frisian islands would require a route of c250 miles open both to the North and South. As to why this would be a problem look up how many U-boats Germany was operating even in 1945 and where they were based (hint: not France). How also do you plan to stop the rest of the German Navy concentrating in the threatened area?

                            As to weather the Normandy beaches have some protection from the Cherbourg and Le Havre peninsulas - the Frisian islands have none.
                            First of all, let me say this is not my full time job, so you are not going to get a complete thesis in answer to your questions. I glean my knowledge from reading into the subject but I haven't got a vast data bank at my fingertips.

                            That said, I have tried to answer your questions, with at least an outline sketch.

                            Firstly I think one needs to take into account the scale of allied aircraft production. For instance the USA produced in 1943 a total of 23,988 fighters and in 1944 a total of 38,873 fighters.

                            http://ww2total.com/WW2/Weapons/War-...sh-Russian.htm

                            These are huge numbers.

                            Which models

                            Here are some examples:

                            P47 D Max range 2700kms loiter time 220 minutes over East Frisia c 12000 built.

                            P51 B/C production around 4500 Range 1900 kms (combat) 3000kms (with drop tanks)
                            Loiter time c 180 minutes.

                            P 40 (14000 produced) 1360 kms range Loiter time c 60 minutes.

                            Hawker Tempest Mk.V Loiter time 60 mins 1500 built.

                            Looking at daylight hours, if we assume a bank of 20,000 long range fighters with half available each day with an average 180 minutes loiter time, and maybe averaging 3 sorties over 18 hours of summer daylight - I think that would give you about 3300 planes over the area if my maths is right.

                            To that you could add 800 planes from the island air bases and aircraft carriers.



                            based where


                            East Anglian airbases (long range fighters)

                            East Frisian Islands

                            Three Aircraft Carriers

                            organised how, to provide continuous aircover


                            Well I guess they will be organised in sector patrols. We would need intense patrolling in the "kill zone" - about 30km deep from the Frisian coast. Then you would have patrols at different heights...and patrols over German supply lines - rail and road. A lot of the Spitfire and shorter range fighters would be active over N France attacking any elite units being brought back to Germany.

                            the difficulties the allies had provding air cover over Salerno from Sicily

                            The original plan was to make a short hop from Sicily to the Italian mainland. Salerno became possible because of the overthrow of Mussolini. So I presume the lack of good air cover reflected the improvised nature of planning. No such consideration would apply here.

                            location of airfields in Britain

                            http://www.anti-aircraft.co.uk/airfieldmap.html

                            There are a lot of airfields in East Anglia! Presumably they tended to be used by heavy bombers heading for central Germany. A lot of the bombers could be relocated as their main targets would now be in N. France and NW Germany leaving capacity for the long range fighter squadrons.

                            availability of each aircraft type


                            I think that is beyond me - would require a lot of work to determine what was where and of course the Original Time Line is no guide as a decision to go with Frisia would change priorities.

                            the impossibility of going into air combat with drop tanks attached

                            The drop tanks would primarily be used (where necessary) to get the planes over Frisia. Presumably they drop the tanks just before they get to the combat zone.

                            The impossibility of fighter aircraft carrying droptanks and a worthwhile ground attack weapons load

                            Aircraft from the islands and the aircraft carrier will of course have ground attack weapons load. Im thinking that perhaps wed have 800 aircraft in total. Of those maybe 300 would be spotter/special forces craft, so maybe 500 combat fighters. Thats a sizeable number in itself available at close range.

                            But I think it is the case some of the long range fighters will certainly be capable of carrying ordnance.

                            ******

                            Well of course, open airfields on the mainland will also become available with the Frisian advance, so that can't be claim as an exclusive virtue of the Normandy advance.

                            I don't accept the Germans have the capacity to bombard the islands at night from the sea - with what? and what would the RN do in response?

                            How much of the German Navy is left? The RN is incredibly powerful.

                            Where do you think these U boats are based. There was a base in Wilhelmshaven but that was a training centre. If you are talking about North Norway, I think the RN can block them off. Similarly, attempts to bring U Boats through the Kiel canal will get a lot of allied attention.

                            I'll see if I can get more references on the bases but my recollection is that the number of U boats and E boats near Normandy was far greater.

                            The Frisian Islands themselves protect the Frisian coast, which will be the equivalent to the Normandy landings. The JUne 44 storm shows that the Normandy landing area was very exposed to Atlantic storms.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                              Thanks Major that was the piece of information I was looking for. NW Germany and northern Holand are, to a large degree, reclaimed from the sea. If the Allies arrived here (which they would not have) the canals would be blown, the dikes destroyed and North Sea let back into the lowlands.


                              There were two major criteria for the Allies to choose the area they did. Aircraft range and turn around time for the shipping. The allied planners considered every mile of coastline between Narvik and the Spanish border but very quickly discarded more than 90% of that coastline because of the above two criteria.

                              The British Spitfire was one the predominant aircraft of the tactical air forces assigned to the invasion along with the P-47. Neither of these aircraft had the legs to operate over eastern Holland or NW Germany. Even with drop tanks the best they could do is fly there and fly right back. The P-51s available were being used almost exclusively as long range bomber escorts from England, escorts in the Mediterranean and in the Pacific. There were not enough to cover the air force needs over Normandy. The air bases in East Anglia and the Midlands were reserved for the bomber groups and, except for those closest to the east coast, too far away. The tactical squadrons were based in the souteast and southwest to ensure there was no massive control issues between tactical forces and the round-the-clock strategic bomber and escort air movement. This Frisian game removes 2/3 of the allied fighters from battle and places the Typhoon at the end of its operational range as well. It also places the Allied landings with in easy range of the German airforce still available in Germany.

                              The second issue was shipping and turn around times to and from the invasion beaches. Normandy was chosen because of the very short distances between the southern invasion ports and the beaches. Despite this the carefully planned timetables soon fell apart and the allies eventually had to scrap the planned loading-unloading schedules for (very) well organised inprovisation in order to keep the ports clear and supplies moving. The longer the transit time the less supplies could be delivered. Normandy-Calais also had the advantages of deep water approaches to the beaches that permitted the shipping to get quite close to shore before beginning the trans-shipping of supplies. This would not be possible off Frisia.

                              Just as important was the location of the ports. The east coast of Britain does have the required ports to support a cross North Sea invasion. The ports along rthe south coast would still be required and this only increases transit time and exposes the craft to more interdiction.

                              Finally there was the Pacific. The USN will not surrender its initiative in 1944 by having the carriers withdrawn for operation in the North Sea. One need only look at WWII to see how many RN CVs operated in the north Sea to understand no admiral would risk these important vessels in such poor waters, surrounded on three sides by hostile land-based air. The US carriers are the only means the USN has for projecting offensive power against the isolated Japanese island. Withdraw the carriers and the offensive in the Pacific stops dead. This would not be tolerated by the USN already impatient that the Pacific does not have a higher priority.

                              Then there is the amphibious shipping. The Allies set a deliberate deadline for wrapping up all amphibious operation in Europe and only grudginly accepted the August dates for the invasion of southern France. The Pacific needed the amphibious shipping to get rolling and the USN was not willing to wait forever for this to happen. This Frisian game would require far more ampbious craft for far longer and expose these assets to heavier attrition than in the Channel. In the OTL, DUKWs were drafted into dragging supplies inland further than planned, increasing strain on maintenance and they began to suffer higher losses than expected. Puttering about the North Sea between high and low tide, amongst flooded polder and shattered canals will not make this situation any better.

                              In short,... everything,... everything speaks against this option and it is both operationally and logistically a non-starter form the outset.

                              Those interested in examining the challenges faced by Allied logistics in Normany alone can review van Crevald's "Supplying War" and the chapter called "War of the Accountants".

                              Aircraft range, ports, transit times, the withdrawal of ampbious shipping all mean the Allies had to go between the Zeebrugge and Cherbourg.
                              I think you are retailing some myths and confusing a number of conceptual frameworks.

                              1. East Frisia (apart from Emden) is not below sea level, so there is no way that the North Sea could be let in, as in Netherlands, to flood the land. The dykes could be broken to flood fields. I don't think anyone here really knows what that means in terms of attack and defence yet.

                              2. "There were two major criteria for the Allies to choose the area they did. Aircraft range and turn around time for the shipping. The allied planners considered every mile of coastline between Narvik and the Spanish border but very quickly discarded more than 90% of that coastline because of the above two criteria."

                              I'd be interested if you have any original citations for these studies. The official histories make no reference to them. It appears that a decision was taken to advance through N France and the Low Countries. .There are references to deceptions relating to other areas, but not original studies. I suspect the "studies" were probably conducted over lunch and dinner and were very thin affairs.

                              Clearly aircraft range in 1942 was different from 1944. I very much doubt that "turn round time" at sea was a crucial factor. The allies had both fast and slow convoys. If you look at the supplies required for the allied advance, they were a v. small proportion of the overall Atlantic convoy operation. If Southampton was a main dock, I can assure you it can take a v. long time to get from Southampton to the open Channel (Isle of Wight being in the way). Whilst a longer sea route is not welcome, there is no evidence that the allies would be unable to get the supplies through and any inefficiencies there need to be balanced against the HUGE efficiency gains from the shorter overland route.

                              3. Frisia may require some drawing away of resources from the Pacific but remember divisions had to be brought from the PTO to ETO because of those extended supply lines overland from Normandy.

                              4. You seem to be giving the Normandy option a free pass on the overextended land supply lines, which nearly led to disaster in the Battle of the Bulge. You can be guaranteed there would be no Battle of the Bulge with the Frisian option.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Further on the flooding issue:

                                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inundat..._Wieringermeer

                                I think that's interesting from two points of view. It might suggest that the effects of flooding in the Netherlands would be much more dramatic than in Germany because the land in the former is below sea level. Of course at 3.6metres, the water is fine for amphibious craft proceeding cautiously. I suspect the problem for the allies in the Netherlands was that they hadn't come fully kitted up for an amphibious water.

                                Of course the depth of water in Frisia might be far less - it might present more difficulties in some ways but on the other hand, it might not be much more effective than making the land boggier than it would otherwise be.

                                Happy to hear anyone else's thoughts on this, but I will look into a but more.

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