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D-Day, May 1944

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  • #16
    About a lack of trained crews, this alternate history
    scenario seems to imply there were a sufficiency of
    crews, so you could postulate that training of crews,
    transfer from Italy, etc. happened and that the lack
    of trained crews in the actual history is not a problem here.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Tuor View Post
      About a lack of trained crews, this alternate history
      scenario seems to imply there were a sufficiency of
      crews, so you could postulate that training of crews,
      transfer from Italy, etc. happened and that the lack
      of trained crews in the actual history is not a problem here.
      Yes, in this case the time shift is not great (just one month earlier); unlike another 'what-if' scenario I've seen on these forums, that postulated a D-Day in 1943. There definitely would not have been enough trained crews a year earlier, and maybe not enough landing craft either?
      "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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      • #18
        Originally posted by Jon Jordan View Post
        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?
        The amphibious fleet in the Med, not just the landing craft but most of the fleet, the cargo ships that carried the landing craft, the troopships, ect... was sent to the UK for Neptune. That included Adm Hewitt & his fleet HQ who on the US side were the naval experts in amphib warfare. I'm unsure if the Brit equivalent leaders & staff also were moved to the UK but considering the requirements I'd think so. The small residue of landing craft & other amphibs were used to service the Anzio beach head & deception operations.

        As the Mulberry prefab ports were established & Cherbourg made usable as a port the amphib. fleet used for Neptune was divided up with part heading for the Pacific and part back to the Med for Anvil & other operations there.

        Originally as contemplated in 1943 Anvil was suposed to occur between Shingle (Anzio) in January and Neptune (Normandy) in May. However the need to expand Neptune to a four or five division assualt meant a late March or April Anvil operation would keep the amphibious fleet in the Med too long. The only practical solution was to cancel a spring Anvil landing so the amphib. fleet and landing craft could be concentrated for the main effort.

        This last item brings up a alternate WI. Had the Allies executed Anvil at maximum effort practical in March, then run a reduced Neptune in May would there have been any advantage? Aside from capturing the super port of Marsailles/Toulon four months earlier?

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Tuor View Post
          About a lack of trained crews, this alternate history
          scenario seems to imply there were a sufficiency of
          crews, so you could postulate that training of crews,
          transfer from Italy, etc. happened and that the lack
          of trained crews in the actual history is not a problem here.
          A load of fancy talk mate, which boils down to a load of 'FlimFlam' as I have said before I believe, 'READ MY LIPS', it was decided in the latter half of 1943 that their would be enough L/Cs come 1944, BUT not enough crews to man them! So the R.M. set about training the new recruits from then on to do just that and I believe that the total was around the 4,000 mark and they were badly needed for the hundreds of smaller L/Cs that were lying around creeks,rivers,Ports and harbours come the new year!! Now are you beginning to get the message?? I hope so for I have said it often enough!
          'By Horse by Tram'.


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

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          • #20
            The assumption of better weather in May is interesting. Lots of pros for the Allies. But, the Germans have a advantage in that bad weather predicted for the June 4-8th caused them to relax and schedule distractions for the senior leaders. ie: leave in Germany and the map exercise. A landing during optimal weather is likely to run up against a less distracted German leadership.

            Looking at the target schedule for the air interdiction campaign I see the attacks on the Seine River bridges did not start until late April. I dont have precise information here, but it is possible the battlefield will not be as throughly cut off to railroad travel as in early June.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
              The assumption of better weather in May is interesting. Lots of pros for the Allies. But, the Germans have a advantage in that bad weather predicted for the June 4-8th caused them to relax and schedule distractions for the senior leaders. ie: leave in Germany and the map exercise. A landing during optimal weather is likely to run up against a less distracted German leadership.

              Looking at the target schedule for the air interdiction campaign I see the attacks on the Seine River bridges did not start until late April. I dont have precise information here, but it is possible the battlefield will not be as throughly cut off to railroad travel as in early June.
              On a more genral note pick any day other than the training day that they ran into on Omaha beach and you get a better outcome.

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              • #22
                I would also point out real quick, delay of operations did not just have to be for NEED of more landing but also WANT for more landing craft.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Aber View Post
                  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
                  Anyone that knows the English Channel would tell you that there is NEVER any guarantee of good sea weather, pick your month, any month any year and the temperamental lady will catch you off guard in a matter of hours.( As demonstrated!!)
                  'By Horse by Tram'.


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

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                  • #24
                    True, but I understand the weather in May 1944 was good - perhaps you were too busy at the time to notice?

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                    • #25
                      Weather in the Channel is only half the equation. The sea can be relatively calm there and rain light, but it wont help much if the airfields are closed by rain and overcast. The 14,000 Allied aircraft were also necessary for the assualt.

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