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"Overlord" Circa 1942/43

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  • "Overlord" Circa 1942/43

    I was wondering, what if the Allies had conducted the invasion of Europe in 1942 or 1943 and what consequences would entail if they had?

    Jeff

  • #2
    A sequel to Dunkirk in 1942. In 1943, the German army and airforce were in far better shape to oppose any landings than in 1944, so probably a bloodier slog through France. Do the allies still go for North Africa/Italy/Sicily, or just attack straight into France?

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    • #3
      I agree, the Allies were in no shape to conduct an invasion at that time. The US wasn't ready and Britain was in even worse shape. Instead of a disaster at Kassarine Pass it would've been in St Lo, if we would've made it that far.
      If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by freightshaker
        ..... and Britain was in even worse shape.


        Don't know if I'd go that far!

        Mid '43 would have been the earliest real 'goer' simply because there weren't enough landing craft prior to that. But if we look at 'Husky' and 'Avalanche' and the problems faced by the Allies at both (much of their own making, mainly through sheer inexperience) then I think the British were right to want to defer landing in France until 1944. 1942 would have been a catastrophe, landing craft availability notwithstanding, because the Germans would have been able to swiftly move in reserves (few Allied bombers to interdict) and they would probably have enjoyed local air superiority (or at least parity).
        Signing out.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by HistoryFan
          I was wondering, what if the Allies had conducted the invasion of Europe in 1942 or 1943 and what consequences would entail if they had?

          Jeff
          In short, an unmitigated disaster.


          As the North African campaign clearly demonstrated, the US Army in particular was clearly in no condition to assault NW Europe in 1942-43.

          The campaign in the Mediterranean Theatre: an excellent training ground for the Allies to re-learn how to fight a war without having to do it over critical ground. In short a battle lost in Africa or Italy wouldn't have had nearly the same impact on the future course of the war as a defeat in NW Europe.
          Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Full Monty


            Don't know if I'd go that far!
            I was thinking more along 1942 lines. Most of the armor entering N Africa in 42' for the British was coming from the US. British production didn't reach it's peak until 42', while trying to make up for losses at Dunkirk, Norway, etc.
            If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by freightshaker
              I was thinking more along 1942 lines. Most of the armor entering N Africa in 42' for the British was coming from the US. British production didn't reach it's peak until 42', while trying to make up for losses at Dunkirk, Norway, etc.
              I see where you're coming from. It wasn't as if Britain and the Commonwealth didn't have plenty of men in the fighting forces (2.2 million British and 900,000 Commonwealth) or were short of equipment (In 1942 British factories turned out over 8,500 tanks and nearly 24,000 aircraft, in 1941 these figures were 5,000 and 20,000). But commitments were global and after home defence needs were met whatever was left was sent to overseas theatres of war and rightfully so.
              Signing out.

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              • #8
                I'm not seeing a successful invasion of Europe in '43 and certainly not in '42. The US troops were relatively (if not outright) green, the bombing campaign hadn't been conducted yet to weaken anything, the Luftwaffe was very much still alive and kicking, Germany had all of her allies to draw upon for reserves... The Western Allies were in no position to attempt to breach Fortress Europa that soon.
                If voting could really change things, it would be illegal.

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                • #9
                  I thought Dieppe proved that invasion in 1942-3 was impossible

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nastle
                    I thought Dieppe proved that invasion in 1942-3 was impossible
                    Showed that the original plan was deeply flawed because it depended upon the seizure of a major port so that reinforcements and supplies could be brought over quickly. Hence the development of the 'Mulberries' for the 1944 landings.
                    Signing out.

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                    • #11
                      Yeah, I think that you're absolutely right on that one. Neither America nor Britain had the resources to undertake a full-scale invasion of Eupore in 1942 or '43

                      Jeff

                      Originally posted by tigersqn
                      In short, an unmitigated disaster.


                      As the North African campaign clearly demonstrated, the US Army in particular was clearly in no condition to assault NW Europe in 1942-43.

                      The campaign in the Mediterranean Theatre: an excellent training ground for the Allies to re-learn how to fight a war without having to do it over critical ground. In short a battle lost in Africa or Italy wouldn't have had nearly the same impact on the future course of the war as a defeat in NW Europe.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Full Monty
                        Showed that the original plan was deeply flawed because it depended upon the seizure of a major port so that reinforcements and supplies could be brought over quickly. Hence the development of the 'Mulberries' for the 1944 landings.
                        Oh yes....I forgot that ,the beaches not the cities were the objectives in 1944.
                        thanks for clearing that up

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                        • #13
                          One word: Dieppe. One of the greatest disasters of the war and a terrible waste of Canadian soldiers. However, it did provide valuable lessons for Overlord two years later.
                          There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full. -Henry Kissinger

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                          • #14
                            I don't see a real cahnce of success either. I mean in the end the German units in the west broke up because the infrastructure was in suhc a bad shape that virtually no supplies could have been delivered. I mean the production of the factories in the Ruhr area was only 10% lower in December 1944 then in Early 1943... They simlpy couldn't transport it anymore.
                            "A platoon of Chinese tanks viciously attacked a Soviet harvester,
                            which was peacefully working a field near the Soviet-Chinese border.
                            The harvester returned fire and upon destroying the enemy
                            returned to its home base."

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Full Monty
                              Showed that the original plan was deeply flawed because it depended upon the seizure of a major port so that reinforcements and supplies could be brought over quickly. Hence the development of the 'Mulberries' for the 1944 landings.
                              Personally, I think a seizure of a major port would have been possible, its just that the Allies did it the wrong way. They would have had to do what the Germans did in Norway. It worked there, it could have worked in France. However, it is true they would require air superiority. As proven by the Germans, air superiority was a neccessity for such an operation to succed.

                              I agree that an invasion in 1942 or 1943 would just end with a disaster. Especially in 1942. Just look at Operation Torch. If the Germans had any sort of defences there (they did but there were mostly Vichy France troops stationed there), the operation could have been a disaster. The Allied troops that landed were poorly trained, unmanuverable, poorly led and their operations where (like Eisenhower said) " on the contrary of all operational and supply methods from school books and will be condemned by all classes of war academies for the next twenty-five years." (NOTE: These arent his exact words since I translated them but you get the picture.) The earlies they could have landed was late 1943 when they gained air superiority and also had some experience with landings.
                              "Beneath its gilded beauty, though, there lies a poorly designed game which rewards the greedy and violent, and punishes the hardworking and honest; and if you think about it, that's a good representation of capitalism" - Nightfreeze about Eve Online

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