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D-Day November 1942

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  • #76
    Originally posted by Aber View Post
    I have no problem with the concept of using Quiberon Bay as a beach landing area in the summer BUT landing in November and using it as the main supply route for a bridegehead through a North Atlantic winter I find incredible.
    Indeed. The battle of Quiberon Bay in November 1759 between the British and French navies was effected by the bad weather, both sides losing ships to the storm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Quiberon_Bay

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    • #77
      Due to limitations of my current Internet connection, I can't provide a link to the file or "copy and paste" some quotes, but Google "Seduction in Combat: Losing Sight of Logistics after D-day".

      It's a Master's Thesis based on Operation Chastity, the plan to use Quiberon Bay to support Operation Overlord.

      Starting on page 20 is a description of the anchorage and the plan to turn it, and more specifically the mouth of the Auray River, into a port. The equipment required was standard issue and could be loaded onto three Liberty ships and 10 barges.

      Of note, one of the advantages of Quiberon Bay cited is that LST's can be off loaded directly at low tide, a capability threatened by fall storms at the Normandy beachead. (Pg 22).
      Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics.

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      • #78
        Originally posted by Roadkiller View Post
        Due to limitations of my current Internet connection, I can't provide a link to the file or "copy and paste" some quotes, but Google "Seduction in Combat: Losing Sight of Logistics after D-day".

        It's a Master's Thesis based on Operation Chastity, the plan to use Quiberon Bay to support Operation Overlord.
        You are just teasing me here right? you really have that doc at hand and are holding out right? You could give it up if you really wanted to ?

        This discussion of Quiberon Bay and Operation Chasity illustrates the general and abject ignorance of amphib operations here. I certainly knew nothing of use about Quiberon Bay, the Mulberrys, and the logisitcs of Overlord until I read Rear Adm. Ellsbergs obscure book. My subsequent reading on the subject proved again the old conundrum 'The more you learn the more you understand your ignorance.'

        ....so I think you're better off assuming that the good beaches with road exits will be defended, that all useful ports and harbours will be strongly held with the view of being held to the last and that all port facilities will be prepared for demolition.
        The key word here being "assuming". I scolded two employees, a contractor, and a customers rep. this month so far for making assumptions. Cost me money in all four cases. Of course it is always the worst when I am caught at the same lazy trick myself There are more than a few books and magazine articals that describe the German defenses of 1942-43 along the Atlantic coast. Gardner has made brief mention of some of this & I recall a lot more on this posted in other threads on this subject. All worth reading.

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        • #79
          Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
          You are just teasing me here right? you really have that doc at hand and are holding out right? You could give it up if you really wanted to ? ...
          Yes, I was enjoying the argument and being an obstreperous old coot I didn't want to slow things down with things like information from someone who's done some real research

          On the concern about the weather, I agree it can be a problem, but not all bad weather is of concern militarily. After all, sailing through foul weather is what ships do.

          The concern would be at the beachhead, and the evidence seems to indicate that the Quiberon Bay and mouth of the Auray River were well sheltered.
          Last edited by Roadkiller; 13 May 09, 15:05.
          Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics.

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          • #80
            Its not the sailing that is the problem, it's the anchorage and the unloading.

            Given the problems that a short summer storm caused in mid-June 1944 in Normandy in a bay sheltered from the southwest, the problems in Quiberon Bay in November would have been much, much worse.

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            • #81
              Not according to "Seduction in Combat: Losing Sight of Logistics after D-day"

              Quiberon Bay was specifically chosen for Operation Chastity because it was not be as susceptible to fall storms as the Normandy beaches.
              Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics.

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              • #82
                Originally posted by Aber View Post
                I
                Given the problems that a short summer storm caused in mid-June 1944 in Normandy in a bay sheltered from the southwest, the problems in Quiberon Bay in November would have been much, much worse.
                Did the storm that wrecked the Omaha Beach harbor come from the south west? I'll have to check. A storm out of the SW would have been driving the waves away from the beach & the boats/ships out to sea. Ellesberg, who directed some salvage operations there describes the beach jamed with small craft and ships as the storm subsided.

                There probablly more usefull information that can be had from studying Overlord, or rather Operation Neptune. But, information for the cross beach logistics of Torch and Husky, or the late 1942 landing operations in the Pacific would be more valuable as they show something of the state of the art in late 1942/early 1943. I'm a bit busy, but maybe if I drink cofe and stay up all night....

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                • #83
                  Originally posted by Roadkiller View Post
                  Not according to "Seduction in Combat: Losing Sight of Logistics after D-day"

                  Quiberon Bay was specifically chosen for Operation Chastity because it was not be as susceptible to fall storms as the Normandy beaches.
                  How many storms would be enough though?

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                  • #84
                    Originally posted by Gooner View Post
                    How many storms would be enough though?
                    Reports of the wind and surf conditions for the bay & the river estuarys for November/December 1942 would answer that. I suspect the planing staff for Operation Chasity had that or similar information. The French weather service may have records as well. There is also a local (W Lafayette Ind.) weather data research company that for a large fee will produce all the data we would want. Anyone here want to write up a application for a research grant?

                    To change the subject. I accquired a copy of Dolittle's biography 'I Could Never Be so Lucky Again' Recomend it highly for its eyewitness PoV of several critical points in the history of the US airforces and WWII. Several items that can be called errors or non facts serve to illustrate the differences between what the lAllied leaders of WWII understood and our rearward vision. I found his description of the development of high performance aircraft engines and high octane fuel in the 1930s particularly interesting.
                    Last edited by Carl Schwamberg; 14 May 09, 08:35.

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                    • #85
                      I am in daily contact with a meteorologist. She explains that weather data at sea is sparse because a ship needs to be in the area to take observations. Sea observations from that era will be thin and difficult to find.

                      The best bet would be to find a major coastal city or town near the site of interest and hope there are records for the time frame in question. Otherwise, as Carl says, we are looking for research grant

                      I have been provided the following link and it would appear that with some persistant data mining we may be able to come up with some hard weather data for the area and time in question. Again, the current limitations of my Internet connect prevent me from pursuing it in depth, but if anyone wants to give it a go:

                      http://www.worldweather.org/
                      Amateurs study tactics, Professionals study logistics.

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                      • #86
                        Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                        This is absurd. Allied fighter planes were roving all across France & Belgium & the P51 flew escourt over Germany. Surely you dont mean what you wrote here?
                        Not in 1942 they werenít. The P-51B didnít even start test flights until December 1942.
                        Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy. -- Ernest Benn

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                        • #87
                          Originally posted by tsar View Post
                          Not in 1942 they werenít. The P-51B didnít even start test flights until December 1942.
                          Thought so, but the P-38 was availabe, and there were Wildcats on RN Carriers. How many B-17s were in theater at that point?

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                          • #88
                            Originally posted by Roadkiller View Post
                            I am in daily contact with a meteorologist. She explains that weather data at sea is sparse because a ship needs to be in the area to take observations. Sea observations from that era will be thin and difficult to find.
                            There was at least one airfield adjacent to the bay & the small port of Vannes deep within the bay. Any navigation stations (lighthouses) adjacent to the bay may have also recorded wind. What is pertinant is the ability to unload ships inside the bay, so fortunatly we dont have to depend on rare 'at sea' observation/records. A small help. If any records found are in French or German I'l not be much help interpreting them.

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                            • #89
                              Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                              Thought so, but the P-38 was availabe, and there were Wildcats on RN Carriers. How many B-17s were in theater at that point?
                              B17? Effectively one group. Another of medium bombers. The US had a few more in the UK but those were still forming/training for the local conditions. My low estimate is the RAF had about 3,000 aircraft available to commit to this operation.

                              The numbers available at the start are half the picture. Equally important are the numbers of aircraft and aircrew availble to reinforce this battle. When the commitment to Torch was made the US begain reducing aircraft deliveries to the UK to build the stock for the projected 12th Air Force in French North Africa. Those air wings were originally expected to be sent to the UK in the summer/autum of 1942. Instead they were halted first for the projected Gymnast & the Torch operations. The British also sent a portion of the combat ready RAF wings to Egypt & Algeria as part of the two offensives. These do not show on the books as available in the UK in November as they were already enroute or set aside for embarkation. A accurate estimate of the RAF/USAAF strength for this campaign would require sorting out what was actually available in the UK/US that Autum.

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                              • #90
                                Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                                How many B-17s were in theater at that point?
                                It should be noted that the first attack on a target in Germany by the US 8th AF didn't take place until January 1943.

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