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British less massacred at Omaha Beach?

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  • #76
    Originally posted by Mifletz View Post
    Interesting film clip depicting a Canadian Firefly(?) vs German AT on Juno!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cankEAEVycY
    Close but no seegar senor!
    That's an M4A3E8 "Easy 8",not quite historically correct but hey,it's 70 years after the event.

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    • #77
      Originally posted by Mifletz View Post
      Interesting film clip depicting a Canadian Firefly(?) vs German AT on Juno!
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cankEAEVycY

      This video is not available in your country.
      Sorry about that.

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      • #78
        Originally posted by Aber View Post
        That then throws up the question of whether the same happened to the DD tanks on the other beaches, and if not, what was different on Omaha?

        It has been a while since I did detailed reading on this, so it is back to the bookshelves...
        For the DD sinking:
        I've seen multiple takes on this. Rich Anderson who published a book on the engineers in Op Neptune a couple years ago suggests it was a combination of wind direction, wave direction, and the current paralle to the shore that sank the DD of the 741st. He believes the current caused the DD to drift left to the east, & when the crews tried to counter steer to the west it caused a combination of wind and wave to concentrate on the right front corner of the skirt which bent it over. since Anderson read every single survivng AAR of the 741st & 743 there may be some merit to this. He notes the difference in current, wave direction, wave height, and direction or course to the beaches for the other beaches. ie: The approach to Utah beach was in the lee of the Cotentin Peninsula. Other historians or analysts focus on the wave height and the distance. I've seen a few AAR or eyewitness descriptions that describe the tanks sinking within a minute or two of leaving the boat.

        Ashore:
        Bottom line is the dozen AT guns on Omaha Beach were unsuppressed from the start. The NGF preperation was too short, and the air strike missed. If my take that the NGF spotting teams with each assault battalion were all destroyed or nuetralized in the first minutes then it is even worse. It was the equivalent of a conventional land assault across open ground with the fire support not firing and a third of the tanks never make the final assault line. Add in concrete fortifications and the result might be predictable.

        Contrast this with Utah Beach, there the resistance nest directly in front of the initial landing site was the hardest hit by the airstrike. From Balikowski:

        293 B26 bomber reached the targets.

        4,414 bombs of various weights were dropped, grossing over 500 tons.

        Post battle crater & damage analysis led to estimates 59% landed within 500 of their targets & 16% were direct hits.

        Somewhere I have a diagram from the USAAF survey of the bomb hits. It showed the first targets on the north end of the beach had the lowest number of effective hits, and the last group of targets at the south end had the highest number. Judging from the number of craters the bombardiers may not have been identifying the first targets correctly and releasing on trenches or bunkers further down the line. so not only did the 54 plane bomber group that hit the last set of bunkers seem to have the best result, but other planes or squadrons that failed to ID their target were releasing on the last set of bunkers.

        This last hardest hit resistance nest was where the first wave of the 4th Division landed. Some commentators denigrate the air strike because it did not collapse all the bunkers, hit every trench, and kill every soldier there. They also note it only knocked out one 88mm AT gun. These fail to note there was only one 88mm AT gun in range of the landing site, that casualties among the defenders matched the percentage in the artillery effect tables as sufficient to suppress protected defending infantry, that German descriptions of the attack describe the morale of the soldiers as broken.

        Ashore on U Beach the 70 Tank Battalion had 19 killed and 10 wounded on 6th June, the 746th 4 killed and 4 wounded. On Omaha Beach the 741 had 45 killed & 60 wounded, the 743 70 'casualties', and 745th which landed in the afternoon had one killed. (numbers from Balikowski 'Utah Beach' & 'Omaha Beach')

        Aside from comparison of tanks lost it might be useful to examine the mode of air attack on Sword Juno and Gold Beaches, and how many of the NGF Spotting teams were operating during the first hours on those beaches.

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        • #79
          Ref., the British not using Bangalore torpedoes on D-Day, well it seems they did to a limited extent.

          A veteran of the 9th. Para. assault on the Merville Battery mentions positioning them as stealthily as possible before detonating them and allowing others to rush through the breaches in the German barbed wire.

          There are also several mentions on various web sites.

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          • #80
            Thanks for the last. The BT are much like satchel charges, Dangerous to use, and a pain to pack round by the foot soldier. But, they can be carried and deployed where large vehicle mounted equipment is also vulnerable, or cant reach. Something I'd rather not use, unless it is the only way.

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            • #81
              I had read, many years ago (so long ago that I can't immediately recall the source, sorry to say) that the underlying reason for the US invasion forces to be assigned the southern beaches of Normandy, and the British and Canadians the northern beaches, was dictated by the condition that US troops in England were billeted in the South of England, and therefore if British forces had to attack to the south of the US, and the US to the north of the British, the cross-Channel transportation routes would have been impossibly tangled. That same article, long ago, also concluded that the billeting of US troops in the south of England was entirely by chance, rather than by design. If all this is true, then for Omaha Beach to have been in the British sector, many other events would necessarily be completely different to actual history.

              Your comments, gentlemen?

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              • #82
                Originally posted by OwenWellborn View Post
                I had read, many years ago (so long ago that I can't immediately recall the source, sorry to say) that the underlying reason for the US invasion forces to be assigned the southern beaches of Normandy, and the British and Canadians the northern beaches, was dictated by the condition that US troops in England were billeted in the South of England, and therefore if British forces had to attack to the south of the US, and the US to the north of the British, the cross-Channel transportation routes would have been impossibly tangled. That same article, long ago, also concluded that the billeting of US troops in the south of England was entirely by chance, rather than by design. If all this is true, then for Omaha Beach to have been in the British sector, many other events would necessarily be completely different to actual history.

                Your comments, gentlemen?
                Your take on which beaches were attack and by whom fits with what I know. This wasn't something planned in 42 or 43. Those beach landing area were selected on the bases of where the troops were station in the Uk. Yes, history would have been much different.
                "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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                • #83
                  The Neptune Op. map is not perfect, but is handy, and shows the general routes from the ports the major naval Task Forces used. Not shown are parts of the US TF that embarked in and near Belfast & had to transit the length of the Irish Sea to make their show time. Also some parts of the Brit naval component came from as far north as Scotland.

                  The East/West orientation of the British US reached back to 1942 when Op Bolero was initially planned. It was more efficient to bring the bulk of the US forces to the western ports, and billet them in west & central UK. The exception were the air forces which were posted mostly in the eastern half.

                  From the earliest days of the COSAC produced plans in mid 1943 the US component of the several invasion plans were assigned the western part of the invasion sites in the interest of simplicity. The second map attached is from one of the iterations of the earliest Overlord plans by the COSAC staff. Note assignment of a US division/corps to what we now think of as Omaha Beach.
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