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D-Day November 1942

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  • #91
    Originally posted by redcoat View Post
    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.
    Earliest raid by the B17 group of 8th Bomber Command based in Britain was 17 August 1942. Target was the railroad switch yard in Rouen France. Squadron and group size raids were made across France Belgium and Holland through the remainder of the year. A B24 group may have been operational with the 8th BC from September, but I have not confirmed this. There was at least one group of twin engine bombers operational at the end of the summer as well.

    Here is a summary of the build up of the 8th Air Force in the UK.

    http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/AAF/I/AAF-I-17.html

    The numbers are far down, starting around page 640. Some information for the projected goal vs the attenuated establishment after diversion for Gymnast/Torch is there as well. The original goal was for some 66 USAAF Groups in the UK by March 1943, with 3,600 operational aircraft. Operational aircraft would those in the active combat/support groups & does not include those in the replacement pool, the repair depots, or those arriving to fill out new groups to be activated after March 1943. Not quite enough data to estimate what would have been availble Nov 42 had Torch not been ordered.
    Last edited by Carl Schwamberg; 15 May 09, 21:25.

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    • #92

      The R.A.F. had the new heavy bombers available, thats the Sterlings, Lancasters and Halifaxs . They could have delivered heavy loads in
      support of the landings. In reality they did do that at the closing of the Falaise pocket.

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

      Comment


      • #93
        Originally posted by strathnaver View Post
        The R.A.F. had the new heavy bombers available, thats the Sterlings, Lancasters and Halifaxs . They could have delivered heavy loads in
        support of the landings. In reality they did do that at the closing of the Falaise pocket.
        RAF Venturas, Bostons, Mitchells, & Blenheims would have been of better use as tactical bombers. The heavyweights would have been better used to nuetralize the German airfields across France & Belgium.

        The question of weather is just as important to air operations as to cross beach logisitcs. I am wondering how many days of decent flying weather there would have been that winter. We might discover airpower irrelevant if the November weather was badly overcast that month.

        Another question concerns the adoption of the Close Air Support techniques developed in Africa. By late 1942 the RAF/8th army had a relatively sophisticated doctrine. I dont know if this had filtered back to the UK by November 1942.

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        • #94
          The RAF in Africa under Tedder and Conningham were fairly orthodox in the army support doctrine - squadrons of mediums at 10,000 feet.

          It was not until 1943 that the RAF under Broadhurst started seriously training for low level attacks using fighter bombers, with the outflanking of the Mareth line the first major operational use.

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          • #95
            Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
            The question of weather is just as important to air operations as to cross beach logisitcs. I am wondering how many days of decent flying weather there would have been that winter. We might discover airpower irrelevant if the November weather was badly overcast that month.
            Of course there could always be the scenario of spells of bad flying weather in England but good flying weather in France. The Luftwaffe can practise shooting fish in a barrel.

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            • #96
              Originally posted by Gooner View Post
              Of course there could always be the scenario of spells of bad flying weather in England but good flying weather in France. The Luftwaffe can practice shooting fish in a barrel.
              As off Sicilly or Salerno. Quite a few allied ships damaged & sunk in both battles. A look at the effects of air power for either side during and after crossing the beach in those operations might be usefull here.

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              • #97
                WRT Quiberon Bay...

                ...for those of you who "overlooked" Art's (Roadkiller's) reference to this 2003 Masters thesis; it would behoove you to download the document and read it in it's entirety...LINK

                Allied planners indeed had grave reservations about the utility of the anchorage proposed for "Chastity" with the onset of the Autumn storm season. They anticipated a "significant deterioration" in landed tonnage with the advent of the weather "issues"...see the bottom of pg.66 of the thesis...

                On the basis of this evidence alone, I think it should be blatantly obvious as to why this proposed operation would surely be deemed far too risky for consideration by Allied planners in November of 1942...

                @TAG: Your statement that there were "No Tigers in France" is simply false: All three of the W/SS divisions which were "re-equipping" were receiving their own organic unit of heavy tanks...although it must be duly noted that vehicle deliveries were sporadic throughout the period of December '42/January '43...
                These guy's were in France however...

                schwere Panzer-Abteilung 501:
                October 1942 20 Tigers and 16 PzKpfw IIIs on hand, 2 platoons of 2./ sent to southern France (these are the Tigers which ended up in Tunisia) although 2 platoons remained in Vichy France, as a result of the "developments" in that situation.
                This LINK details historical dispositions of the Tiger I units.

                All that being said, it must be noted that the time period of your proposed "adventure" dovetails perfectly with the onset of full production (and widespread service acceptance) of the Tiger I. Given the threat that an incursion into France would represent, it is simply inconceivable that a very significant portion of Tiger I production would not be earmarked for operations in the lodgment area (as opposed to being sent east, as per the historical facts). This would of course, see the deployment of some or all of: LSSAH, DR and TK westward...with their Tiger units. The availability of at least two full strength Heer Panzer Divisions (6 Pz./10 Pz.) cannot be overlooked either. In all likelihood, Tigers sent east to s.Pz.Abt 502 (Leningrad area) would have been redirected in this case and s.Pz.Abt 503 would not have been sent east from the Döllersherim depot either...

                In the absence of a dedicated suppression effort on the French railway network there would be nothing that could be done to prevent these re-enforcements from having a major effect on the lodgment. At the time in question, air assets to prosecute such a campaign were simply not available. The RAF of Nov '42 could not even deliver the tonnage required to do the job properly (not to mention deliver it with any appreciable accuracy) and the USAAF was still a shadow of what it would later become...
                It takes far more to disrupt a railroad network than simply being able to put 20% of your bombs (this would be an above average result for the period in question, BTW) on a marshalling yard each night...The interdiction capabilities which the Ninth AF eventually brought to the table did not exist in November of 1942...period.

                I doubt the Germans could eliminate the bridgehead in the face of the overwhelming Naval support that the Wallies could (and would) muster. In my opinion, there would be a bloodbath to rival events seen in the east and gauging the (American publics) reaction to such an eventuality is a highly speculative exercise...

                There were many good reasons to take the "soft underbelly" approach in Nov. '42...


                Cheers, Ron
                48 trips 'round the sun on this sh*tball we call home...and still learning...
                __________________________________________________ __________________

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                • #98
                  [QUOTE=iron;1204669]...for those of you who "overlooked" Art's (Roadkiller's) reference to this 2003 Masters thesis; it would behoove you to download the document and read it in it's entirety..

                  Allied planners indeed had grave reservations about the utility of the anchorage proposed for "Chastity" with the onset of the Autumn storm season. They anticipated a "significant deterioration" in landed tonnage with the advent of the weather "issues"...see the bottom of pg.66 of the thesis...

                  On the basis of this evidence alone, I think it should be blatantly obvious as to why this proposed operation would surely be deemed far too risky for consideration by Allied planners in November of 1942...[QUOTE/]

                  I read it twice, thank you. Still want to see data for wind, wave & surf condition for November/December 1942 before laying this one to rest. (amoung other things). The page 66 remark about Allied planners reservations would be more usefull it it had some data or elaboration.

                  Denny repeats a remark of Rosenthalls concerning a naval threat from unsecured Brest, tho this threat is not defined in either case. Submarines? heavy artillery? Nasty looks from the German garrison? Knowing exactly what the USN was concerned with here would be usefull.

                  Dennys text is a really usefull supplement to Rosenthals larger work. Tho like all of these it does not address the question of shipping schedules for the railroad equipment. My take is that no matter what the Allies capture in July-August for ports the August breakout would still be unsuppliable without locomotives, restored tracks, freight cars, ect... Nothing to do with the topic here, but I feel the need to vent over this.

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                  • #99
                    Carl
                    You are correct that B25,26's A 20 s, and their RAF equivilants
                    would be more effective in close in support. What I was doing was
                    to point out the RAF's Heavy attack capacity .You would need bot to keep the Germans heads down .

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

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by strathnaver View Post
                      Carl
                      You are correct that B25,26's A 20 s, and their RAF equivilants
                      would be more effective in close in support. What I was doing was
                      to point out the RAF's Heavy attack capacity .You would need bot to keep the Germans heads down .
                      Agree. If the heavy weights are of any use here it would be attacking the deep targets like airfields, rail yards, ect... I expect some folks would argue they need to continue attacking German cities, but I'd vote for concentration.

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                      • Originally posted by iron View Post
                        ...for those of you who "overlooked" Art's (Roadkiller's) reference to this 2003 Masters thesis; it would behoove you to download the document and read it in it's entirety...LINK
                        Very interesting read and a good argument that Operation Chastity should have been carried out in 1944.

                        However in 1942 it would have been better to plan on seizing a deep-water port than trying to build a new one.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Aber View Post
                          Very interesting read and a good argument that Operation Chastity should have been carried out in 1944.

                          However in 1942 it would have been better to plan on seizing a deep-water port than trying to build a new one.
                          Correct, but two problems require a sheltered beach/s for inital supply. First it is pretty much suicide to attack a defended port directly from the sea. Thats been understood by competent military leaders since at least Roman times, perhaps since the Sumerians. Defended ports are best captured by landing nearby on the coast and attacking from the landward direction. Second, except for Brest the other ports of Britiany are not large enough to support much of a army. Neither is Brest likely to be captured instantly, or be brought to full capacity imeadiatly. Even if the Germans do not set off a single grenade on its docks some time would be required to have full use. Every army size landing the Allies made required supply across the beach for up to a week. In some cases for months. So at least for several weeks there is a need for suitable beaches. Which brings us back to the weather conditions inside the bay for 1942.

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                          • Maybe we could restart this thread and add to it...

                            For example, U-boats and depredations on the shipping present was mentioned. Here's a chart of the bay (numbers are fathoms).



                            The deepest parts are 17 to 19 fathoms (100 to 115 feet)

                            This makes the deepest part of the bay about 100 feet, give or take. That means a U-boat is toast if it tries to enter. It's visible from the air submerged, and it has nowhere to run if Allied ASW know it's there.
                            Last edited by T. A. Gardner; 18 Mar 18, 22:46.

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                            • I expect there will be some damage from submarines, not enough to stop the show, but damage none the less. Conversely submarines that are committed here are in range of Coastal Commands air fleet & its smaller surface ships, so the escorts and sub hunters are far denser that in the Mid Atlantic. Also the mass of escorts used to support Op Torch and its months of follow up are now here off the French coast, or reinforcing the Atlantic convoys. I don't have precise numbers, but it appears the convoy escorts can be increased by some 50% if there is no Tunisian campaign.

                              Over the long haul of November> March this is liable to accelerate the losses of the submarine fleet. Heavy bombers were mentioned a bit earlier in this thread. A good use for some of them in this campaign would be attacking the enemy naval bases on the French coast.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                                Maybe we could restart this thread and add to it...

                                For example, U-boats and depredations on the shipping present was mentioned. Here's a chart of the bay (numbers are fathoms).
                                Which bay?

                                Comment

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