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D-Day November 1942

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Half Pint View Post
    Where are the E and U Boat's?
    S-Boats (E) are useless against a "real" fleet. PT Boats, MTBs, etc., including S-Boats proved virtually worthless against larger naval units duing WW 2. So, they are essentially irrelevant.

    U-boats are going to have great difficulty operating in Quiberon Bay. If you look at a nautical chart the bulk of the bay is less than 200 feet in depth. Much of it is less than 100 feet. This means any U-boat operating there is almost surfaced even when submerged. Observation of a submerged boat from the air will almost always be possible.
    That shallow depth means that the U-boats that try this will be very, very vulnerable to ASW systems even if they achieve an initial surprise attack.

    The other problem for both is that their bases at St. Nazerie and Lorient are now threatened with being over run. I would think that the OKM would be far more concerned about these vessels getting to sea and out of those ports to safety, particularly those that were not fully operational, rather than focusing on trying to take on a large naval armada with a huge number of ASW vessels of all sizes surrounding it.

    Basically, the German navy is irrelevant to this scenario. At best they are a nusiance. At worst they are completely ineffective.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by UGLYGUTS View Post
      well even the invasion of Africa took an initial spanking, and in 42 though the Germans had had there own spanking in the skies over britain, the luft still had teeth.
      I cant comment on the RAF in Britian in 1942-43. In Africa the Allied problem stemmed from airfield location. Until the Tebessa airfield group was fully established in March The Germans had a favorable tactical position. After that they were shot out of the sky. Had the Allies been able to establish airfields further east than Algeria earlier they would have wrapped up air superiority over Tunisia far sooner. Despite tactical sucesses the German & Italian air forces in the Med were consistently defeated at the operational and stratigic level from mid 1942.

      While the Germans can certainly achieve some tactical air victorys over western France any effort to oppose the Allied air forces in strength put them in the same situation as on the Eastern Front, or over Germany in 1944. That is they are fighting a losing battle of attrition of aircrew, and with every air battle the Allied air forces gain in experience & skill. Trying to oppose the allied air forces over western France simply accelerates this

      Originally posted by UGLYGUTS View Post
      Establishing an initial beach head would have been possible imho, but keeping those guys in bullets etc, and ferrying replacements for the dead and wounded would be very difficult
      Here you have identified the core of it. To sustain a enclave of ten divsions through the winter the Allies must have the ability to put ashore over 250,000 tons of supply per month. Thats on top of the lighterage/dock requirements for putting ashore those divisions/corps, and the supply requirements for the fighter plane groups. Feeding the French civilians, construction equipment for restoring and expanding the ports requires much more.

      Originally posted by UGLYGUTS View Post
      I reckon this would have been a very valiant operation but ultimatly we would wind up with a mini dunkirk at best.
      Winstons heel dug in stance against launching a second front early on in Europe was so right imho, I believe the term he used to describe what the outcome would be was "a bloody repulse", and I think this applies here.
      This bears more research. My take is Churchill was not opposed to the concept until early 1943 when Brooke convinced him attacking Italy and the Balkans was preferable for 1943. Had a convincing plan for a 1942 or 1943 attack been presented Churchill may have supported it.

      Originally posted by UGLYGUTS View Post
      I think the allies strategy of doing business on the fringes in Africa, in the air and at sea was 100 percent correct.

      Both the Germans and Japanese in 42 had soldiers better trained and more importantly so much more battle hardened,
      The allied troops in this adventure would be outnumbered against a superior type of soldier and running out of bullets, not a good situation.
      Out numbered? Only if the Germans abandon other fronts, particularly the East to build up in France.

      Originally posted by UGLYGUTS View Post
      by 44 the allies had reversed this situation, and thanks to the russians a great deal of Germanys best fighting men were pushing up daisies....
      The principle advantage of the Germans was combat experince. By 6 June
      1944 the US Army had less than a dozen combat experinced divsions in the ETO. Not a single veteran US armored division was used for Overlord & I recall only three other combat experinced US divisions sent to Normandy. The British had a similar situation for Overlord. The majority of the units used had been sitting in Britian for the previous 2-3 years. To expand the number of combat experinced units the US and British would have to expand the number actually in combat.

      Originally posted by UGLYGUTS View Post
      ....and crucial the luft was virtually or comparitivly dead, the subs were a spent force, and Enigma was cracked, and the east was breaking.
      In terms of overall numbers the "luft" was little weaker in mid 1944. Its quality had declined because the Soviet airforces and USAAF had got it in a death grip during 1943 & early 1944. Being able to apply that sort of pressure much earlier destroys the aircrew skill of the German air forces sooner.

      'Enigma' was cracked before 1939. The German naval version gave the Brits trouble all through the war, and they were shut out of the naval encryption system several times. Conversely the radio security of the German air force sucked and the German army uneven. The advantages of Allied signals intel of 1944 over November 1942 were not enourmous. Again this had to do with experince gained by opportunity and operational contact. Not by siting back at arms length.

      The submarine offensive collapsed in early 1943. The Brits broke back into the submarine message encryption, changed their own convoy signals security, and the Allies managed to close the central Atlantic air gap. In any case the Allies were able to invade NW Africa and sustain a entire army group there during the height of the Battle of the Atlantic.

      Originally posted by UGLYGUTS View Post
      To go in 42 without the above would be suicide for many if not all the men involved, im just glad it was never tried.
      Following your arguments the western Allies should have waited until 1946 or 1947. After they had picked away at the edges and allowed the RKKA to destroy the German army.

      Comment


      • #18
        An invasion of France in 1942 would have gone badly from fairly early on. That the Allies could have got their troops ashore as per this scenario I don't doubt but to keep them there with anything like the supplies required wouldn't, at this stage of the war and with the logistical assets available to them, have been possible in the mid to long term.

        Anybody basing an outcome on the results of war games, computer simulations etc etc are in danger of missing the one vital point that held true throughout WWII. The German army (while not supermen) were past masters of the improvised defence. Time and again the Whermacht were able to seal breakthroughs and would probably have done so here.

        For the Allies there would have been no overwhelming air superiority to not only interdict armoured units but also stop supplies reaching the front line. To expect the FFI to have been able to play a greater role than they did in this respect would have only led to even more serious reprisals ala Oradour Sur Glane. Nor would there have been any off shore artillery support on the scale of Normandy 1944 which proved so useful, no PLUTO, no Mulberry and the Channel would have been subjected to its vicious winter storms making supply even more difficult.

        Given the forces available to the Western Allies at the time the options they chose whilst maybe not perfect were the correct ones historically.
        HONNEUR ET FIDÉLITÉ

        "Believe me, nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won." - Duke of Wellington at Waterloo.

        Comment


        • #19

          An invasion on before Nov 1942 . Thats what Stalin wanted . But there are BIG problems with it:
          1- America doesn't have full mobilization and training for its military
          2-The British have few additional troops to place on such an OP
          3-Transport vessels are at a preminuim . Which has increased with the
          need to get forces to the Pacific theatre.
          4-There would not be the capacity for air superiority .
          5-German forces were still in fairly good shape in the west .Not yet
          being pulled towards the USSR.
          6- The German navy could have brought surface forces into the battle.
          This could have sunk a landing force.
          7- The landing probably would have been at the Pas de Calais .Which is
          where the German leadership always believed it would come.
          8-The German air force possibly could have affected such an
          operation.
          9- Yes it is also possible that the RN & USN could have countered items
          #6 & 8. But thats a big maybe.
          10- Industry in the USA was still getting its self on to a war footing.
          Without it Landings anywhere would have been impossible.
          11- Even the landings in North Africa OP TORCH were very much a close
          run thing. If the British hadn't had the Afrika Korps tied down the
          the Landings in NW Africa would have hard a much harder time of
          it. The British 8th Army kept the German s vision split .

          "To all who serve , have or will serve , Thank You"

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by strathnaver View Post
            An invasion on before Nov 1942 . Thats what Stalin wanted . But there are BIG problems with it:
            1- America doesn't have full mobilization and training for its military
            So? The US did have 30+ 'divisions formed and mostly trained by the end of 1942. By Dec 30 1942 over a dozen were either overseas or enroute. The Nov 1942 execution of Gardners idea does not require all 89 US Army divisions that were mobilized by 1944

            [QUOTE=strathnaver;1191546]
            Originally posted by strathnaver View Post
            2-The British have few additional troops to place on such an OP
            How many is a few? The British had at least eight combat ready divsions in the UK (possiblly eleven, but I'm working from memory). There were another half dozen home guard or training divisions in the UK to provide casualty replacements.

            [QUOTE=strathnaver;1191546]
            Originally posted by strathnaver View Post
            3-Transport vessels are at a preminuim . Which has increased with the
            need to get forces to the Pacific theatre.
            By November 192 the emergency in the Pacific was over. There was no pressing need to send ships there, other than in the plans of Gen. MacArthur or Adm. King. Both could have waited.

            Originally posted by strathnaver View Post
            4-There would not be the capacity for air superiority .
            ???? Take a look at the numbers for each sid on the date of this proposal. The Germans had barely 300 combat aircraft in France/Belgium. The RAF had at least 3000 intially available for this attack in Britian. By the end of Jaunary 1943 the US/British front line combat strength in Britian & the Med out numbered the German airstrength in the West by more than 3-1. The Germans challenged Allied aircraft under only the most faorable circumstances, which were becoming rare.

            Originally posted by strathnaver View Post
            5-German forces were still in fairly good shape in the west .Not yet
            being pulled towards the USSR.
            Over 80% of the German forces were in the East, including the Balkans. There were actually fewer combat formation in the west in late 1942 than in June 1944. Many of those in the west were convalsing units recently rotated from the Eastern Front.


            Originally posted by strathnaver View Post
            6- The German navy could have brought surface forces into the battle.
            This could have sunk a landing force.
            Do you have any idea of the size or condition of the German navy in November 1942?


            Originally posted by strathnaver View Post
            7- The landing probably would have been at the Pas de Calais .Which is
            where the German leadership always believed it would come.
            ??? Leaving aside what German leadership thought, have you read the original post for this thread, or comprehended it? Pas de Caliais has nothing to do with this thread.

            Comment


            • #21
              I stand by my remarks. The US Army may have had 30 divisions but they
              were still, more or less just out of basic training. And if you look at the
              fight at Kaserine Pass well that could have been all the available US Army.
              As to the German Navy. That might have been a stretch but TIRPITZ & several other PBB & BC were available plus SS & (in US parlance )PT boats that could have wrecked a landing in France .
              German aviation would probably have been switched west in event of
              landings . Even so 300 a/c could still have caused havoc . Not to mention you only counted German air force .The Italians would have joined in any action.
              I think that transports & combat ships for the Pacific would have
              still been needed , A lot had been accomplished by late 1942 in the Pacific .BUT there was still a lot of heavy fighting to be done and for that you need ships .
              The British had 2 armies comitted to the Africa operation , 8th had been fighting from the time of El Alamien 1st Army was coming out in OP TORCH to press eastwards, this they did . With the US Army backing them up.
              As to Pas de Calais that is the shortest route between England & the contient . Thats why Hitler fixated on it in 1944.

              "To all who serve , have or will serve , Thank You"

              Comment


              • #22
                Overall, I woudl have to tale Carl's side on this one.

                Two things have not been mentioned;

                Patton would have been involved, if anyone could have exploited the situation, it would have been him.

                Those U-Boats would not have been involved in the fight for the beach heads, and that is not the problem. They were at their most devastating that winter, and the strangulation of supplies could have turned this into another Guadalcanal.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by strathnaver View Post
                  ....... The British had 2 armies comitted to the Africa operation , 8th had been fighting from the time of El Alamien 1st Army was coming out in OP TORCH to press eastwards, this they did . With the US Army backing them up.
                  As to Pas de Calais that is the shortest route between England & the contient . Thats why Hitler fixated on it in 1944.
                  Those remarks show that you are not bothering to read & comprehend Gardners original post for this thread. How you choose to waste your time is your business, but dont waste ours here with confused posts.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                    Do you have any idea of the size or condition of the German navy in November 1942?
                    Ooh, ooh I do - 365 U-boats of which 200 are operational as of October 1942.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                      Overall, I woudl have to tale Carl's side on this one.

                      Two things have not been mentioned;

                      Patton would have been involved, if anyone could have exploited the situation, it would have been him.

                      Those U-Boats would not have been involved in the fight for the beach heads, and that is not the problem. They were at their most devastating that winter, and the strangulation of supplies could have turned this into another Guadalcanal.
                      Guessing the commanders for this attack is tricky. Patton had been the commander of the US I Armored Corps for many months so it is likely he would have remained in that position. On the down side Fredendall would have very likely remained commander of the II Corps as he had command of that unit for many months as well.

                      Eisenhowers command of Torch had a lot to do with the politics of the moment, Churchills mood, the need to present the French with a 'US' rather than British invasion. No guarantee the same logic would apply for this attack of Gardners. It is very likely operational command of the ground forces would go to a British General since the Brits would have the majority of the men and combat units in the fight for the first several months. Ditto for the air forces. Maybe Anderson would command the initial combined Allied army, as in Tunisia, or perhaps some other would be selected.

                      The submarine question depends on how effective the Allied ASW would be during that winter. For all of 1942 close to 11% of all cargo sent to the UK was lost. Between 9% & 10% of that was sunk by submarine attack. For all of 1943 that dropped to 3% of cargo sent by all causes or 2.6% lost to submarine attack.

                      A break down by yearly quarter has a peak of approx four million gross tons displacement sunk in early 1942, in the North Atlantic. By the last quarter of 1942 this drops to under two million tons displacement sunk, then just over one million for the 1st qtr 1943, and a bit under 600,000 tons in the second quarter 1943. The third quarter 1943 had less than 300,000 tons displacement lost in the North Atlantic.

                      Similarly the efficiency of the indivdual submarines drops over the same dates. In the second quarter of 1942 each submarine on patrol sank a average of 25,000 tons displacement. In the 4th qtr 1942 the average had dropped to approx 12,000 tons, & in the first qtr 1943 below 10,000 tons per submarine.

                      German submarines lost in the North Atlantic rose over this same period. 11 in the 1st qtr 1942, 34 in the last qtr 1942, 40 in the 1st qtr 143, & 73 in the 2d qtr 1943.

                      The bottom line here is that while Gardeners proposed attack starts while the battle of the Atlantic is still underway the loss of cargo had already declined substantially, and the loss of Geman submarines was reaching the tipping point for the Germans. This not to say supply would not be a problem for this attack. But, the choke point is at the shore line, not at sea. To make this work the Allies need to bring between 10,000 & 15,000 tons of supply per day ashore in the opening weeks and probablly should increase that to well over 30,000 tons per day in December. Achiving that could be a problem.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                        In this "What-if" I propose that the US decides to invade France in November 1942 instead of North Africa.
                        First thought when I read your first line: a cross Atlantic landing in NW Europe in November? The weather was creating havoc with the Allied landings in the Normandy in June 1944. I'm holding my heart what the weather may be in Brittany that late in the year
                        BoRG

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

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by MajorSennef View Post
                          First thought when I read your first line: a cross Atlantic landing in NW Europe in November? The weather was creating havoc with the Allied landings in the Normandy in June 1944. I'm holding my heart what the weather may be in Brittany that late in the year
                          Hence his choice of Quiberon Bay for the intial invasion site. Note that Quiberon Bay was susposed to be developed as a major port for Overlord. The failure to secure that area in early July led to the cancelation of that project and the use of the material and men for repairing/extending the Mulberrys, and the conversion of Cherbourg from a passenger ship port into a cargo port.

                          Perhaps you have acess to French language sources that might reflect on the suitability of Quiberon Bay for this use? The sparse material I have sound like it is a excellent location.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                            In this "What-if" I propose that the US decides to invade France in November 1942 instead of North Africa. The same fleet coming from the US is used to transport an initial landing force of 3 infantry and 1 armored divisions to France. In addition, the Commonwealth provides two infantry (one Canadian) divisions and a tank brigade out of England.
                            The landing is made against the French coast at Quiberon / Quiberon bay in Brittany. The first wave ashore is the Canadian division and two of the US divisions supported by appropriate units. A simultaneous landing by a two battalion force of commandos / rangers is made to take Belle Ile off shore. The equivalent of a parachute regiment is dropped initially as well.

                            The Germans have at most one or possibly two Bodenstande 2nd class divisions in the immediate area for defense. These are poor quality units that have had minimal training, have over age and marginally fit personnel in them, and are ill equipped materially. This virtually ensures the Allies get ashore with low casualties.

                            Quiberon Bay gives a large sheltered anchorage in relatively shallow water making U-boat operations difficult or impossible. The town of Quiberon gives the Allies a useful, if small, initial port that is very defensible being on a nearly insular pennsula.

                            The Germans are also faced with the following problems:

                            The Afrika Korps is reeling in defeat from Alamein and retreating into Tunisia. At the same time, the 6th Army is surrounded (or nearly so) at Stalingrad and in desperate straights. There are just 5 panzer divisions in France all of which are undergoing reorganization (6, 7 and, 10) after heavy losses or are newly organized and in training (26 and 27).
                            The Stalingrad airlift is diverting the Luftwaffe to the East.

                            So, the German military in France is now faced with an invasion into the edge of Vichy France which is unoccupied. They have few useful mobile units immediately available to counter the landing and none close to it. The few units in the immediate area are virtually immobile and poorly equipped even to mount a defense. The situation in the East and North Africa call for reinforcements there too. The only ones available were in France for the most part and now facing an Allied invasion.
                            The Luftwaffe is ill equipped to be of much support immediately.

                            Against this the Allies land by D+21 between 9 and 11 divisions two of which are armored. They initially do not go on the offensive but instead make limited advances to secure a good beachhead. Belle Ile and other sites are selected and airfields built to accomidate fighters and later attack aircraft. Belle Ile is also used as a port facility with small craft ferrying troops and supplies across to the mainland as a secure base; the Germans have no way to take this island back at their disposal.

                            The ports of St. Nazaire and Lorient are within easy striking distance of the Allies. In addition, Quiberon bay is an excellent anchorage and makes a useful amphibious base to bring supplies over the beach in calm waters.

                            All the Allies have to do is maintain a credible defense for a couple of months while they build up their forces for a breakout. The Germans are really no better off than in 1944 and, the Allies face no Tigers or Panthers but rather Pz IIIs and IVs tactically.

                            If Vichy France caputulates to the Allies (likely, very likely) the Germans are also going to be forced to invade and put down their assisting the Allies. This also creates a problem for the Axis in North Africa.

                            I think the Allies missed a real opportunity in doing something like this historically.
                            Mr Gardiner I apologise . I did not read the post closely enough .
                            What you propose was thought of in 1942 .But canceled when problems on several levels happened. What then happened was Canadian 1st Division was sent to Dieppe .
                            How easy would have it been to get troops off the beachs at Quibron Bay ? You would have needed a general of Patton's stature, his
                            ability to get things moving to manage this landing.
                            Would you have the Channel Islands lanned on at the same time ?
                            Would the Free French forces been brought into action ?
                            Sounds like it well could have worked . Though I still wonder what about air cover ? Could the RN/USN committeed CVs/CVE's to the operation, at least until land bases are taken. I am assuming you plan on taking Brest ,ST Nazaireand L'Orient . That would cripple Uboat operations . Would this utilize a 1942 version of OP COBRA , the breakout from Normandy ? But instead of breaking as COBRA did break to clear an axis Brest-L'Orient-St Nazaire . Then push inland . Then I assume you have an attack made on German e boat bases in the channel . I would doubt that any German capital ship could have interfered , too far to steam.

                            "To all who serve , have or will serve , Thank You"

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                            • #29
                              Did the Allies have enough landing craft in 1942? Wasn't the shortage of landing craft one of the reasons for delay, until Higgins started building in Louisiana..
                              I'll have to ck..

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Kilroy View Post
                                Did the Allies have enough landing craft in 1942? Wasn't the shortage of landing craft one of the reasons for delay, until Higgins started building in Louisiana..
                                I'll have to ck..
                                I know there was a grand total of 3 (three) Landing Ship Tanks used for Operation Torch. With a total load of 20 tanks each I don't think the Germans would be too worried ...

                                Comment

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