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D-Day, May 1944

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  • D-Day, May 1944

    Lack of lift for a five-division assault caused the Allies to push D-Day back a month, from its original May 1944 target date to June 5-7, 1944.

    If the Allies had commenced D-Day in early May rather than early June, would there have been a different result? Would the west be over the Rhine before December 16 (the date the Ardennes Counteroffensive was launched)? Or would the supply problem have made the longer warm-weather season irrelevant?
    "There are only two professions in the world in which the amateur excels the professional. One, military strategy, and, two, prostitution."
    -- Maj. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

    (Avatar: Commodore Edwin Ward Moore, Republic of Texas Navy)

  • #2
    There would be a number of benefits:

    Defences along the Normandy coast would be less well developed and several German units would have been still training or futher away from the coast
    The bad weather in June would not have disrupted supply build-up
    Market Garden a month earlier should have had good waether and a better chance of success

    Overall I believe the Allies would have been across the Rhine but would still have been counter-attacked

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    • #3
      I think, we wouldn't have suceeded if we had gone in May. That extra month gave the allies time to produce valuable landing ships and the like.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by JDB5 View Post
        I think, we wouldn't have suceeded if we had gone in May. That extra month gave the allies time to produce valuable landing ships and the like.
        That JD, is more or less what I keep telling 'em every time this subject comes up, you are on the right track but it was not the craft that was needed, there were hundreds of all sorts of landing craft tucked away in rivers and ports and harbours all over britain, it was the CREWS for them that were needed. The Royal Marines were training thousands of 18 year old recruits to do that (I was one of them.) So take it from me, No Bull***t before June 1944 No way!!
        'By Horse by Tram'.


        I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
        " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

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        • #5
          That too. But the allies want the First wave to carry X amount of troops. We would need enough landing craft with trained crews to land that number of men. This was not possible in May. And the D-Day landings could have been much worst since the German troops would never train (mostly, not true for all units). Also, operation Fortitude (I think this is the right name?) had Hitler think Calais weeks after the Normandy invasion and he kept 3 panzer division in Calais instead of moving them towards Normandy.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by JDB5 View Post
            That too. But the allies want the First wave to carry X amount of troops. We would need enough landing craft with trained crews to land that number of men. This was not possible in May. And the D-Day landings could have been much worst since the German troops would never train (mostly, not true for all units). Also, operation Fortitude (I think this is the right name?) had Hitler think Calais weeks after the Normandy invasion and he kept 3 panzer division in Calais instead of moving them towards Normandy.
            READ MY LIPS JD, there WAS enough landing craft but NOT enough crews! Take it from me I have seen them, Hundreds of L/C just waiting for the crews to service them!! Practically every teenage R.M. recruit from mid 1943 onwards was directed into 'Combined Ops:' for training as crewmen, they were the critical factor, that X amount of troops you were speaking about were going nowhere in landing craft without crews!
            'By Horse by Tram'.


            I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
            " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by lcm1 View Post
              READ MY LIPS JD, there WAS enough landing craft but NOT enough crews! Take it from me I have seen them, Hundreds of L/C just waiting for the crews to service them!! Practically every teenage R.M. recruit from mid 1943 onwards was directed into 'Combined Ops:' for training as crewmen, they were the critical factor, that X amount of troops you were speaking about were going nowhere in landing craft without crews!
              Unless they'd tried to run them themselves and I think we all know how that would have ended up
              BoRG
              "... and that was the last time they called me Freakboy Moses"

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              • #8
                The largest decision for a early may date could have been a landing at five sites with a much slower buildup, vs a four site landing with a faster buildup. Thos the four site landing would not have been as fast as the June landing.

                The lack or crews 1CM refers to extends to a batch of LST just leaving the US in May. Those are what folks are usually refering to when they say landing craft were not available. That last batch of LST are suposed to have come straight out of the shipyards and across the Atlantic with minimal shakedown time, and understrength crews that were undertrained.

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                • #9
                  It seems that by May 1944, any landing craft used for SHINGLE (Anzio) would have made it to England for use in NEPTUNE, though it may be more complicated than simply sailing a squadron of LSTs from Italy to Portsmouth. Did the Mediterranean (Italy) have any impact on the landing craft question?
                  "There are only two professions in the world in which the amateur excels the professional. One, military strategy, and, two, prostitution."
                  -- Maj. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

                  (Avatar: Commodore Edwin Ward Moore, Republic of Texas Navy)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lcm1 View Post
                    READ MY LIPS JD, there WAS enough landing craft but NOT enough crews! Take it from me I have seen them, Hundreds of L/C just waiting for the crews to service them!! Practically every teenage R.M. recruit from mid 1943 onwards was directed into 'Combined Ops:' for training as crewmen, they were the critical factor, that X amount of troops you were speaking about were going nowhere in landing craft without crews!
                    I read somewhere the decision was made in part to allow the productions of more landing craft. I'll find it and post back.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JDB5 View Post
                      I read somewhere the decision was made in part to allow the productions of more landing craft. I'll find it and post back.
                      Find it and read it my friend it will not make any differance to the actual facts, in early 44 the build up of L/Cs was adequate the accute shortage was the crews to man them. You can come up with a stack of books shoulder high, ignore them if they do not say exactly what I have TRIED to tell you, the need was CREWS!!
                      'By Horse by Tram'.


                      I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
                      " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yes, every ship needs crews. But that still does not mean new landing craft are not needed. We are talking major ship amounts here, 5 beaches each have to put ashore so many people in a certain amount of time. You would need 3-4 and maybe more sets of LCVPs alone to keep up the flow of troops on the scheduled plan. Not to mention LSIs, LCTs, LCCs, LCMs (which I beleve you were on judging by your name? ), LSTs. Then you still have DUKWs and the loses of landing craft you take. And I wouldn't be suprised if I was missing some there.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JDB5 View Post
                          Yes, every ship needs crews. But that still does not mean new landing craft are not needed. We are talking major ship amounts here, 5 beaches each have to put ashore so many people in a certain amount of time. You would need 3-4 and maybe more sets of LCVPs alone to keep up the flow of troops on the scheduled plan. Not to mention LSIs, LCTs, LCCs, LCMs (which I beleve you were on judging by your name? ), LSTs. Then you still have DUKWs and the loses of landing craft you take. And I wouldn't be suprised if I was missing some there.
                          I see the point you are making but am sure you are finding it difficult to imagine the ammount of craft that were standing by.There were hundreds ready to go long before the event was due to take place, in the first week of June there were so many craft waiting in just Southampton waters alone, that it looked as if you could walk dry foot from the mainland to the Isle of Wight! How could the Germans have missed it? I don't know but they did! With similar in reserve all over the country ready to follow up. There is one other thing you may not have realised regarding the amount of forces needed in the initial landings, so landing craft are lost, but the ones that get off the beach again were not finished, there were dozens of troop carrying ships laying off ready to reload the small craft to go back to the beaches again (and again,and again!) hopefully!
                          'By Horse by Tram'.


                          I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
                          " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Ohh no, I understand the amount of craft. But if I was in charge, wouldn't I want as many landing craft as possible?

                            And that was why I mentioned 3-4 sets of LCVPs alone. They landed then turned around to pick up another set of soldiers. And you couldn't have just on set of LCVPs, you needed enough to land one wave while one was coming in with the other one loading up on troops.
                            Last edited by Verinage; 05 Mar 10, 08:00.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JDB5 View Post
                              Ohh no, I understand the amount of craft. But if I was in charge, wouldn't I want as many landing craft as possible?

                              And that was why I mentioned 3-4 sets of LCVPs alone. They landed then turned around to pick up another set of soldiers. And you couldn't have just on set of LCVPs, you needed enough to land one wave while one was coming in with the other one loading up on troops.
                              Having extra landing craft in reserve is fine. (Much like having spare aircraft to replace written-off machines in a squadron.) However - as lcm1 has been trying to explain - when landing craft are already plentiful, availability of trained crews will be a more limiting factor.
                              "England expects that every man will do his duty!" (English crew members had better get ready for a tough fight against the combined French and Spanish fleets because that's what England expects! However, Scotland, Wales and Ireland appear to expect nothing so the Scottish, Welsh and Irish crew members can relax below decks if they like!)

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