D-Day at Quiberon Bay, November, 1942?

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Simon_Jester
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Re: D-Day at Quiberon Bay, November, 1942?

Postby Simon_Jester » 2015-09-09 08:32pm

Elheru Aran wrote:It's not so much that it took a long time to figure out, as it was they were creating a new method of warfare from scratch. Amphibious landings before WWII were mostly a matter of a bunch of guys getting into boats and then splashing ashore if they weren't able to find a dock. WWII is the first war where you really had serious amphibious work-- purpose built landing craft and such. WWI-- no amphibious stuff as far as I know aside from Gallipoli.
The British were experimenting in that direction in 1918, but like a lot of the more refined tactical insights of the tail end of the war, they were lost in the massive military build-down that came after it.


Honorius wrote:...
Wow. By my count you Inappropriately Capitalized eighty-nine random Words that Are Not capitalized in English. Please review your copy of Strunk and White...

Okay, and that was against a demoralized French opposition with little incentive to fight fiercely, using obsolete equipment and whatever odds and ends the Germans let Vichy have, remembering that it was not in the Germans' interest to let Vichy be well armed or independent enough to consider switching sides.

Meanwhile, the French command structure was divided (or a coup could not even have been tried), their organic armor support was of WWI-vintage (FTs, really?) The level of submarine and torpedo boat threat was miniscule compared to what would be faced in the Bay of Biscay, the underprepared and ill-equipped Vichy air forces likewise.

So you're proposing to throw these troops against initial resistance that is stronger, as well as being more vigorous because all the soldiers fighting the US landing force actually agree that they should be fighting the US landing force. This makes a difference. Moreover, instead of just having to overrun an initial wave of rather wimpy resistance, the 100000 or so troops making the landing have to confront with a steady stream of new German units being shipped in over an intact transportation network.

Because you really never did address the most important single question that faced the actual Allied planners.

It's not just about matching the forces you have on D-Day of your invasion against what the enemy has on D-Day. It's about what forces the enemy has at D+2, and D+7, and D+30, and D+60. And by all those measures, the Allies were totally unequipped to reinforce a beachhead fast enough to prevent it from being ground up and by the Germans.

The best result we're likely to get from this will be the hilarious anecdotes of Patton's misadventures in Colditz Castle.

The Lorient to Saint Nazaire Sector is even more weakly defended, by the standards of Casablanca it isn't defended at all. Hell going by Casablanca, the Allies can hit Lorient and Saint Nazaire at the same time as well. The U-Boats are out in the Mid Atlantic due to chasing an SL convoy as posted before...
Nope!

Because for this plan to have ANY prayer of success, the Allies have to concentrate all available shipping on frantically stuffing more troops into the beachhead. Remember, it is not enough to land five or eight or ten divisions on French soil and pronounce that France is being 'liberated.' The divisions have to be reinforced, bulked up, by large numbers of well equipped troops to fill out the territory they (hopefully, maybe) manage to capture.

As a result, just as historically the requirements of Normandy played a huge role in determining what Allied shipping was doing in 1944, the requirements of the Quiberon landings would change all the timetables for Allied shipping in late 1942. This is entirely different from the situation in Torch, where once the US troops were ashore and deployed they could pretty much relax and take their time.

Since this area is well within range of bombers fro Britain, the Allies can saturate the area with bomber patrols during the invasion period, further providing protection against the over-rated U-Boats whose success is largely the result of picking off lone ships, stragglers, and a few skillful and aggressive officers who were outliers...
The fact that historically U-boats mostly picked off stragglers does not mean they would not inflict serious damage if used directly against an enemy fleet operating close to their bases. Remember that many experts on submarine warfare rated the U-boats as more of a threat than you do. Remember that the Allies had already lost quite a few warships to U-boats, including the disastrous WWI-era sinking of three British cruisers... precisely because two of those cruisers stopped to pick up survivors from the first.

Submarines are a major threat to this kind of operation and always have been, and if there is more than a sporadic possibility of submarines becoming involved it takes a massive commitment of antisubmarine warfare assets to make the operation even remotely possible.

The Spitfires might not have the range, but the P-40Es do and once the grass strips are ready on Belle Island and in the lodgement itself, the P-40Es backed by Piper Cubs...
The P-40E does not have drastically longer ferry range than the Spitfire, which strongly suggests that does not have drastically longer combat range either. The P-40 is also a rather inadequate fighter against modern 1942-era aircraft- as good or better than French or Italian fighters are likely to be, but not necessarily a match for Germans.

Moreover, note that P-40s operating out of grass airstrips on islands off the French coast or on the mainland are very vulnerable to German bomber attacks, since they will not have hardened revetments or anything of that order. Historically this was not a problem because of the massive commitment of effort the Allies put into suppressing the Luftwaffe in Western Europe in 1944, but here that hasn't happened yet.

So every downed German plane trying to attack the Allied lodgement would be a loss they can't easily replace...
Conversely, every Allied plane shot down while crossing a few hundred miles of northern France to reach the beachhead is a loss the Allies can't easily replace, either.

German reserves:

Quite simply put they don't exist yet and won't be ready till mid 43...
The Germans may be able to pull troops out of Africa (it is hard for the Allies can shut down shipping in the Mediterranean while running massive amphibious operations off the French Atlantic coast). They can certainly pull German troops out of Italy (fat chance of the Allies invading Sicily or the Italian mainland). They may well be able to prevail upon Italians to make a few more garrison units available to free up second-line German troops in various areas under German control.

As stated earlier, the best Hitler can do is an Anzio containment by deploying units that went to the Ost Front and the Mediterranean to France, but doing so fucks over the Ost Front troops...
No more so than what historically happened in Tunisia. The Germans had a quarter of a million men in Tunisia by spring of 1943. Here there would be no need to push those reinforcements into Tunisia because the Axis are only fighting the British on a single front, and a front which is of much lower strategic priority than dealing with a US beachhead in France.

Hitler also has to worry about the Vichy in Southern France. If they throw in with the Allies, he has to seize their ports quickly and swiftly secure his major air fields within Vichy Strike Range or the Luftwaffe has to pull back.
He is likely to do so preemptively, by the simple expedient of ordering troops to physically occupy key Vichy locations, for the very logical strategic reason of "we need garrisons here to maintain our war effort against the Americans."

If the Vichy fight back instead of rolling over and playing dead...
Fool! Vichy was all about rolling over playing dead!

1. A Soviet Force around Leningrad, tying up an entire Army Group and a good section of his cruisers.

2. A Soviet Force around Rzhev tying down an Army Group.

3. Two Southern Army Groups tied up in heavy combat.

4. Rommel is in full retreat in Africa.

5. The British are bombing him at night.

6. He is fighting a heavy partisan war across Europe and shipping people to Death Camps.

7. Now in this scenario, an Allied lodgement that just took out the Subpens the Kriegsmarine was using to hit the Mid-Atlantic and now they have to be abandoned, and now the Vichy are making excuses as to why they can't pay the occupation costs and insisting they aren't mobilizing though they clearly are.
He already had problems 1-6, and Problem 7 is child's play if he uses the forces he historically shipped to Tunisia against the American beachhead.

2. Its best troops are either destroyed or about to be destroyed on the Ost Front or in Africa. Large numbers are tied down in the Balkans, and the remainder are leg mobile units suitable for garrison work and needed in Italy for the Harvest at this time.
Thing is, the Italian garrisons in the Balkans (and potentially elsewhere) serve to free up German manpower. In a very real sense this makes an Italian soldier as good as a German... because one Italian soldier deployed somewhere means one more German fighting somewhere else.

4. Once Monty is done finishing up Libya which should go even faster as Hitler can't send anything to North Africa, Monty is Free to operate against Sicily.
The British have to contend with a long supply line and will be starved of supplies due to the overriding need to throw everything available into maintaining and expanding the beachhead around Quiberon. Because you can't do an operation like that half-heartedly, or you lose literally every man you put into the operation in the first place.

No matter how you look at it, D-Day in 42 is the best time to hit and occurs in period when the Allies will enjoy a substantial technological advantage that got frittered away in 43 by the pointless Italian campaign.
The Americans lack a number of their best weapons, lack good doctrine and experience using the ones they do have, and are faced with a much steeper disparity in combat training and doctrine. Meanwhile, the Germans still have most of the relevant weapons they had in 1943, or at least enough of them to counter the Americans.

Sure, no Tiger tanks, but frankly Tiger tanks don't make a difference compared to mobs of 50mm-armed Panzer IIIs potting American Stuarts left and right.

On the political front, the Allies can point to France and ask the Italian Political Establishment if they really want to back the Duce?
Yes, because within two months the Germans have bloodily crushed the American beachhead, dragged half a dozen captured generals back to Berlin, crushed the Vichy government just so they could even fight the Americans effectively, and are now launching bloody reprisals against the French Resistance.

This is likely to make the Germans look more frightening, not less.

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Re: D-Day at Quiberon Bay, November, 1942?

Postby Zinegata » 2015-09-09 10:11pm

Yes- but at least slogging in Italy in 1943 meant knocking Italy out of the war as an active combatant and ally of the Germans. Slogging in France would not have achieved such a desirable (second-order) result.


Or an invasion of France could have triggered the collapse of Mussolini's government anyway because the Italians figured the Second Front was already happening and Germany was going to fold soon. Again the problem with the Italian adventure is thinking that they mattered that much by 1943 - they were simply exhausted at this point and this is why the collapse happened so quickly historically.

then correspondingly they could expect operations against Italy to be low-risk


... Except that they thought the Italians would fight at Husky, it turned out they didn't. Then they thought the Italians wouldn't fight at Salerno, only to find the landings much more heavily contested. Again, this is all part of the risk of war-making. It is not as though there was no die-roll with the Italian adventure either.

Did the British and Americans know about Kursk?


When again the Russians pretty much knew when Citadelle was happening down to the exact hour and part of the reason they knew was because of ULTRA you really need to drop this fallacy of the Western Allies not knowing there would be a Kursk.

By contrast, landing in Normandy, fifteen divisions is enough to hold a small pocket, but the Germans could plausibly mobilize a lot more than fifteen divisions to contain the beachhead. And on day D+30 or D+60 the war in the target theater of operations isn't over like it would be on Sicily- it's barely beginning.


The key word is "possibly". In practice they just had five Panzer Divisions to spare for Italy and two of those were never even used. Normandy moreover is in fact a smaller geographic area than Sicily - the entire province of Normandy is about 30K square km while Sicily is 27K, but that includes portions further south that were only captured after Cobra. In reality they needed to hold an area about half the size of Sicily.

Moreover, the Allied defensive line is going to be between Caen and Avaranches - about 100 km long - which was shorter than the 170km of Sicilian southern coast. And they could defend behind the Orne river and bocages. It's pretty much forgotten nowadays that every major German counter-attack into the Bocages turned out to be a fiasco. Heck, Panzer-Lehr lost a quarter of its tanks in early July offensive and the Americans barely even noticed it happening!

Finally you're falling into the old trap of assuming the Germans can just move Divisions around with little to no effort. At Salerno the German counter-attack which everyone keeps talking about happened on September 13 - ten whole days after the initial landing!

Establishing the beachhead was not going to be the problem. The Allies were going to get ashore, in the face of very little to non-existent beach defenses, and it will take the Germans several days to muster a force to contain or counter-attack the landings. And at that point, with the bulk of German armor fighting in the East, the Allies have pretty reasonable prospects of throwing up a solid defensive line before the counter-attack happens.

Husky could be delayed for a month or two without the plan failing due to shitty weather. Normandy landings become highly questionable if you delay long enough for the Atlantic storm season to begin.


And how is this less of a problem in 1944? What if there wasn't that clear weather window on June 6th? Then the landings happen in July '44 and runs right into the mega-storm that wrecked the mulberries! Then we'd be talking about how they should have landed in 1943 when there wasn't a mega-storm in July.

Which is the other thing about Normandy that people really need to stop insisting on - it was not an operation that could have only been done once. The Allies had in fact suffered very many defeats and setbacks - including that stupid Dieppe Raid - but still kept on fighting. And it's not as though you're likely to lose all of your forces if the beaches really become untenable to make another try in 1944 impossible.

The real reason why this "Normandy can only be done once" thing is such a trope is because of all the mythology behind it; and because many top figures like Ike and Churchill know their post-war luster rests heavily on the success of this operation. If it had failed in 1943 Churchill might have lost his job, but it certainly wouldn't be equal to never trying again and losing the war!

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Re: D-Day at Quiberon Bay, November, 1942?

Postby Zinegata » 2015-09-09 10:17pm

Elheru Aran wrote:It's not so much that it took a long time to figure out, as it was they were creating a new method of warfare from scratch. Amphibious landings before WWII were mostly a matter of a bunch of guys getting into boats and then splashing ashore if they weren't able to find a dock. WWII is the first war where you really had serious amphibious work-- purpose built landing craft and such. WWI-- no amphibious stuff as far as I know aside from Gallipoli. So combat loading wasn't a thing, until it suddenly became one, at least with the ground Army-- it occurs to me that the Navy may have had a system similar to combat loading for using their supplies or something like that, but certainly not in relation to amphibious landing.


Aside from it being a new thing, the simple reality is that the American and British armies had lost a lot of institutional knowledge between the wars. In the field of artillery for instance the British Army had to wait until 1942 to rediscover tactics they were already employing in 1918.

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Re: D-Day at Quiberon Bay, November, 1942?

Postby Simon_Jester » 2015-09-09 11:20pm

Zinegata wrote:
Yes- but at least slogging in Italy in 1943 meant knocking Italy out of the war as an active combatant and ally of the Germans. Slogging in France would not have achieved such a desirable (second-order) result.
Or an invasion of France could have triggered the collapse of Mussolini's government anyway because the Italians figured the Second Front was already happening and Germany was going to fold soon. Again the problem with the Italian adventure is thinking that they mattered that much by 1943 - they were simply exhausted at this point and this is why the collapse happened so quickly historically.
I think we're having the same problem as last time, Zinegata.

Before we talk about this further, we need to decide, are we debating this issue from the point of omniscient third person narrators, or are we debating it from the point of view of what was actually known at the time?

At the time, it was a surprise to many on the grand strategic level just how unready Italy was to continue prosecuting the war until some time after the Husky landings. Many people greatly overestimated how much potential strength Italy had, and Mussolini had taken considerable pains for the past twenty years to ensure that people would do so.

then correspondingly they could expect operations against Italy to be low-risk
... Except that they thought the Italians would fight at Husky, it turned out they didn't. Then they thought the Italians wouldn't fight at Salerno, only to find the landings much more heavily contested. Again, this is all part of the risk of war-making. It is not as though there was no die-roll with the Italian adventure either.
Thing is, that's my point. The Italians cannot be weak and strong at the same time. They can be of variable strength, but they cannot be uniformly weak and at the same time capable of surprising feats of strength.

If the Italians are still capable of surprising people with their strength, then it is reasonable for a hypothetical Allied generalissimo to consider them to still be a threat. The magnitude of the threat may be variable. The threat may fail to materialize when expected. But it's still there, and it still merits being taken seriously as a potential asset to the Axis war effort.

Did the British and Americans know about Kursk?
When again the Russians pretty much knew when Citadelle was happening down to the exact hour and part of the reason they knew was because of ULTRA you really need to drop this fallacy of the Western Allies not knowing there would be a Kursk.
But when did they know that? The Germans themselves didn't know until March, because Hitler didn't order the attack until then. And the scale of the attack increased steadily for a few months after that, so no one could simply assume it would be THE great battle of the 1943 eastern front and would start on a certain precise date until MUCH closer to the actual time of the attack. Say, April or May.

Information gained in April cannot influence a decision made in January.

I'm getting tired of having to point this out.

By contrast, landing in Normandy, fifteen divisions is enough to hold a small pocket, but the Germans could plausibly mobilize a lot more than fifteen divisions to contain the beachhead. And on day D+30 or D+60 the war in the target theater of operations isn't over like it would be on Sicily- it's barely beginning.
The key word is "possibly". In practice they just had five Panzer Divisions to spare for Italy and two of those were never even used. Normandy moreover is in fact a smaller geographic area than Sicily - the entire province of Normandy is about 30K square km while Sicily is 27K, but that includes portions further south that were only captured after Cobra. In reality they needed to hold an area about half the size of Sicily.
Thing is, once you hold Sicily you hold it, it cannot be attacked from outside unless the Germans somehow stage anti-Husky. A Normandy beachhead can be attacked at literally any time and will be subject to constant harassment.

Plus, you have to plan for capabilities, not intentions- you can't simply assume the Germans will choose not to throw twenty-five divisions at your fifteen division beachhead. Not when the evidence suggests they do in fact have twenty-five divisions, and the will to use them. And when they have every reason to try to destroy your beachhead and drive it back into the sea before you can build up on a massive scale.

Finally you're falling into the old trap of assuming the Germans can just move Divisions around with little to no effort. At Salerno the German counter-attack which everyone keeps talking about happened on September 13 - ten whole days after the initial landing!
Did you notice me talking about day D+30 and D+60?

Yeah, that's why.

Because sure, it may take weeks for the Germans to bring up anything more than a thin cordon of men to stop the beachhead from just expanding to fill half of France with a 'bubble' of a few hundred thousand men or something ridiculous. But there is literally nothing that could possibly happen in all of Europe that is more likely to draw a German response than an invasion in France. The Germans will draw significant forces away from the eastern front to react against it eventually, and when that happens you must have enough firepower and troops in place to cope with that reaction.

If you're bottled up in an area of 10-15 thousand square kilometers with a front of fifteen or so divisions, you may not be able to cope.

Husky could be delayed for a month or two without the plan failing due to shitty weather. Normandy landings become highly questionable if you delay long enough for the Atlantic storm season to begin.
And how is this less of a problem in 1944? What if there wasn't that clear weather window on June 6th? Then the landings happen in July '44 and runs right into the mega-storm that wrecked the mulberries! Then we'd be talking about how they should have landed in 1943 when there wasn't a mega-storm in July.
You're missing the point. The point is that by delaying until 1944 the Allies at least have the choice of trying to land earlier in the year during favorable weather.

If they plan on the basis of "wait for Tunisia to be finished, then hit Normandy," they do not have the luxury of making that choice. They have to wait, and hope the Tunisia campaign is resolved fast enough. As it happened, it was. But nobody could be very confident it would be resolved that fast in January or February 1943, let alone earlier.

Which is the other thing about Normandy that people really need to stop insisting on - it was not an operation that could have only been done once. The Allies had in fact suffered very many defeats and setbacks - including that stupid Dieppe Raid - but still kept on fighting. And it's not as though you're likely to lose all of your forces if the beaches really become untenable to make another try in 1944 impossible.

The real reason why this "Normandy can only be done once" thing is such a trope is because of all the mythology behind it; and because many top figures like Ike and Churchill know their post-war luster rests heavily on the success of this operation. If it had failed in 1943 Churchill might have lost his job, but it certainly wouldn't be equal to never trying again and losing the war!
Failure would still have been one of the greatest military disasters in American and British history. It would greatly strengthen the German propaganda position, limit any options for bringing pressure to bear on Germany through means other than invasions of France, undermine Allied morale, and give the Germans valuable experience in combating Allied amphibious tactics which they could use to strengthen their defenses for next time.

It is worth avoiding such a disaster. It is even worth sacrificing considerable potential gains, to minimize the risk of such a disaster.

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Re: D-Day at Quiberon Bay, November, 1942?

Postby Zinegata » 2015-09-10 02:06am

Simon_Jester wrote:At the time, it was a surprise to many on the grand strategic level just how unready Italy was to continue prosecuting the war until some time after the Husky landings. Many people greatly overestimated how much potential strength Italy had, and Mussolini had taken considerable pains for the past twenty years to ensure that people would do so.


Again, the uncertainty at the time works both ways. They didn't know there wouldn't be much resistance at Husky and a more dynamic one at Salerno. Yet the Allies did not stop themselves from invading Italy because Mussolini was full of hot air about his military capabilities.

However, even in a speculative mode I do not see it as being very likely that the Italians will show up in France or that the Allies will expect to meet Italian Divisions in Normandy. And even if they do - what good does it really serve the German cause? Having Italians around doesn't necessarily give the Germans more usable troops - they were surrendering in droves when they were supposed to be fighting for their homeland!

Indeed, note that if Italy does in fact depose Mussolini after an Allied landing in France, then Germany is in much deeper trouble. They have to deal with the Normandy crisis AND occupy Italy at the same time!

Thing is, that's my point. The Italians cannot be weak and strong at the same time. They can be of variable strength, but they cannot be uniformly weak and at the same time capable of surprising feats of strength.


Eh? What nonsense is this? Countries have both good and bad units all the time. At Husky some Italian units fought to the last bullet. Others surrendered at the first opportunity. And again the Allied assessment at the time assumed a strong Italian defense of Sicily. They didn't expect many units to simply outright collapse and surrender. Husky was not some low-risk cakewalk when they planned it; it only looks like a low-risk operation with the benefit of hindisght.

If the Italians are still capable of surprising people with their strength, then it is reasonable for a hypothetical Allied generalissimo to consider them to still be a threat. The magnitude of the threat may be variable. The threat may fail to materialize when expected. But it's still there, and it still merits being taken seriously as a potential asset to the Axis war effort.


Except that you're talking about a whole bunch of subjective baloney. The Allies in fact had a very good understanding of who the real threat was in terms of production capability - and this was Germany. This is why "Germany First" was a central tenet of Allied strategy. This is why the US Army was pressing to fight in France in 1942 - so that they could take the war to the real threat which was Germany. You don't need to beat Italy to beat Germany. Indeed, beating Germany means Italy is doomed!

The Italian misadventure was a political move. It was not born of great military strategy or analysis. Churchill wanted to influence the southern Med for his post-war imperialist fantasies. This is why he was still arguing in favor of invading Greece in 1944. The Americans couldn't invade France on their own, but wanted to have their troops committed to some kind of action in 1943. Husky/Italy was the result. Knocking Italy out of the war based on some baloney idea that Mussolini was some kind of great and wonderful asset flies in the face of the fact that the Allies already recognized who the real threat was from the outset; based on real statistics and economic data well known to Allied strategic planners instead of this subjective hem-hawing over Italy's "contributions" to the Axis cause.

Indeed, if anything, the one Axis minor they should have focused on was Romania due to its oil resources - something that the CBO was well aware of which is why they tried to bomb the oil fields!

But when did they know that? The Germans themselves didn't know until March, because Hitler didn't order the attack until then. And the scale of the attack increased steadily for a few months after that, so no one could simply assume it would be THE great battle of the 1943 eastern front and would start on a certain precise date until MUCH closer to the actual time of the attack. Say, April or May.


Again, are you just being willfully ignorant? Even if the Allies did not yet have the exact intel on Citadel by February 1943 (which is impossible given that Third Kharkov was still ongoing), they damn well knew that July was summer in Russia and in the previous two years the Germans had launched a massive summer offensive! And if the Germans didn't launch an offensive then you could well be certain that the Soviets will - indeed they were preparing for one until they realized it was probably better to go on the defensive first and burn up the German armor reserves since it was now so damn obvious that Kursk was going to be the focal point of the German offensive in the aftermath of Third Kharkov.

Coordinating the exact date is just the icing on the cake and shows the deep level of intelligence that the Soviets and the Western Allies got. You're still assuming they were so dumb that they didn't even know that it was summer in July and the Germans tended to launch their offensives in the summer.

I''m getting tired of having to point this out.


Yes because admitting you're engaging in blatant willful ignorance isn't your strong point.

Thing is, once you hold Sicily you hold it, it cannot be attacked from outside unless the Germans somehow stage anti-Husky. A Normandy beachhead can be attacked at literally any time and will be subject to constant harassment.


You can literally see the coast of Italy from Messina. The hop from Italy to Messina was that short - and it's not as though the Royal Navy and the Allied air forces closed it. Again, this idea of yours that Sicily was isolated from the rest of the Axis is another fantasy that you keep repeating.

Sicily was NEVER isolated from the rest of the Axis. This is why the majority of the German troops managed to escape. If you were more sensible you'd point out that Normandy was more accessible as there were more rail lines going to Normandy, but you're still conjuring these ridiculous anti-Husky scenarios because of your continued willful ignorance of the subject.

Plus, you have to plan for capabilities, not intentions- you can't simply assume the Germans will choose not to throw twenty-five divisions at your fifteen division beachhead. Not when the evidence suggests they do in fact have twenty-five divisions, and the will to use them. And when they have every reason to try to destroy your beachhead and drive it back into the sea before you can build up on a massive scale.


Oh, gee, and why didn't the Germans throw 25 Divisions at Salerno then? You know they could have held the Allies up, brought up a lot more men, then launched a counter-attack? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that they were busy trying not to get slaughtered in the Eastern Front? Maybe it had something to do with the terrain being awful that throwing more troops at a Mountain or a Bocage becomes pointless?

You keep making assumptions based on non-existent realities or being scared of your own damn shadow. By your standards, they should have never done Husky because it wasn't isolated from the Axis and they could have magically conjured 25 Divisions from somewhere to counter-attack.

Did you notice me talking about day D+30 and D+60?

Yeah, that's why.

Because sure, it may take weeks for the Germans to bring up anything more than a thin cordon of men to stop the beachhead from just expanding to fill half of France with a 'bubble' of a few hundred thousand men or something ridiculous. But there is literally nothing that could possibly happen in all of Europe that is more likely to draw a German response than an invasion in France. The Germans will draw significant forces away from the eastern front to react against it eventually, and when that happens you must have enough firepower and troops in place to cope with that reaction.

If you're bottled up in an area of 10-15 thousand square kilometers with a front of fifteen or so divisions, you may not be able to cope.


Ten to Fifteen Divisions is just the initial landing force. The Allies were not sitting still and doing nothing from July 1943 to June 1944, otherwise D-day would have just landed 10 Divisions and nothing more. This is again why the sane scenarios posit a multi-month buildup. The stuff that went to England can in fact go straight to France.

You're missing the point. The point is that by delaying until 1944 the Allies at least have the choice of trying to land earlier in the year during favorable weather.


And if the weather was bad in 1944 and the operation is cancelled then the Allies never invade France and we look to a French coast occupied by the Soviets in 1945. I am not missing any point. I am pointing out that you cannot control the weather. It is a permanent operating factor that sometimes screws up your plan regardless. If there's a storm in July 1943 - which is something we can't know in advance if we were the Normandy '43 planners - then we can't help it anymore, just postpone it to next year. War is a gamble. Sometimes the gamble doesn't work.

And this is why it's often better to roll the dice multiple times - even if the odds are not perfect - instead of rolling it just once with loaded odds that could still nonetheless fail. This is why Monty was a good general. He loaded his dice, but wasn't afraid to keep rolling when the first couple of engagements went badly against him. By your standards we'd never roll the damn dice because you'd only attack when the odds are so stacked and certain that rolling is no longer necessary.

If they plan on the basis of "wait for Tunisia to be finished, then hit Normandy," they do not have the luxury of making that choice. They have to wait, and hope the Tunisia campaign is resolved fast enough. As it happened, it was. But nobody could be very confident it would be resolved that fast in January or February 1943, let alone earlier.


Again, Husky was clearly planned on the basis of ignoring Tunisia altogether. This is why none of the units earmarked for Husky departed from Tunisia, and instead departed from Alexandria which, road-distance wise, is farther away from Tunisia than Moscow is from BERLIN.

So why you cannot bloody ignore Tunisia I cannot understand. The damn place is nearly a whole theater away from Alexandria!

But really the ridiculousness of your planning process is such that you may as well talk of planning Normandy '43 on the basis of needing to keep enough reserves in the United States to counter a lizardman invasion :roll: .

Failure would still have been one of the greatest military disasters in American and British history. It would greatly strengthen the German propaganda position,


Which means exactly what? Nothing. Gazala was a total disaster for instance and yet did that cause the Allies to give up? How about Dunkirk? Or how about Gallipolli for that matter? Again, war takes risk. Objecting to an operation on the basis that it has risks is meaningless!

limit any options for bringing pressure to bear on Germany through means other than invasions of France, undermine Allied morale, and give the Germans valuable experience in combating Allied amphibious tactics which they could use to strengthen their defenses for next time.


What limit any options? Italy barely had any effect on the Germans casualty-wise, and the CBO would be in full swing regardless. Allied morale did not collapse despite years of defeat from 1939 to 1942. And combating Allied amphibious tactics? Uh, right, the Germans learned nothing from Salerno and Husky then. They only learn when they have a slam-dunk trouncing of their opponent.

It is worth avoiding such a disaster. It is even worth sacrificing considerable potential gains, to minimize the risk of such a disaster.
[/quote]

It is worth avoiding such a disaster if you're focus is preserving your name for posterity, which is the primary effect of the disaster to begin with, which is why they keep talking of Normandy in such risk-taking terms that it's no longer risk mitigation but being terrified of one's own shadow.

Normandy '43 was a higher risk Husky/Salerno. If you think Husky/Salerno was very low risk then you should think it had very good odds.

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Re: D-Day at Quiberon Bay, November, 1942?

Postby Sea Skimmer » 2015-09-10 05:20pm

The Germans did not throw 25 divisions at Salerno because it was never the original German plan to defend southern Italy at all. Once Sicily was abandon the German plan was to retreat to what would later be the Gothic line, and large numbers of troops were massed in the Po River valley for this purpose, where they could also move to counter an invasion of southern France. Many of these divisions could have gone south, but simply did not because it would have been bad policy.

The boot at the time was judged too exposed to allied air attacks on the rail lines (which would have been true had the USAAF not concluded railroad bridges were impossible targets for months, in favor of bombing marshalling yards the Germans didn't use to sort supply trains, and well, people have written long papers on this) and flanking landings.

Then Salerno went so absurdly badly because of how poorly chosen the landing zones were, even in the face of a mere German delaying force, that within about two days the Germans changed their mind, committed two more divisions, and nearly threw the poorly organized effort back into the ocean in the process. That failed, but it went well enough that the Germans decided to try to hold Rome, and moved said Po River valley divisions south, then ended up easily holding half the Italian boot with minimal strategic effort, and easily contained the Anzio landing, exactly what they'd feared, on top of that. Of course Anzio was a designed to fail operation in simple math terms anyway, not enough troops to possibly accomplish the objective intended on basic distance vs unit frontage grounds.
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Re: D-Day at Quiberon Bay, November, 1942?

Postby Sea Skimmer » 2015-09-10 06:09pm

Purple wrote:Ok, Ill bite. Can anyone explain to me why this took 29 years (1915 - 1944) to figure out?


It was figured out and implemented in 1943. It took so long because the need did not exist earlier because far less equipment and gear existed to be unloaded, and even items like artillery were much smaller on average and simply more easily handled aboard ship. Also with no air attacks, and a weaker submarine threat, and no motorized enemy opposition, less incentive existed to unload ships rapidly in the first place.

The lack of motor vehicles also meant you had another problem, which was supplies would simply pile up on the beach once landed! Which meant no point in unloading faster then men can clear those off the beach at which point combat loading looses most of its appeal, since it will waste shipping space up front. This was actually a plague of many WW2 operations anyway, and would have been disastrous in the face of sustained enemy air attacks, because if the beach is covered in your own exploding ammo you're kind of FUBAR (happened in New Guinea at least once), and really never completely solved, except the LST loaded with trucks option, and the DUKW. The former because it took up no more space then an LCT of 1/10th the capacity at most, the later because it could simply drive over the beach and keep going.

To give an idea of just how much of a problem to overcome all of this is, the US Army had a unit which did this overall job in WW2 called a Engineer Special Brigade. It was designed to meet all the amphibious requirements of an reinforced assault infantry division. Combat load the ships, operate all the landing craft, unload the ships into the craft, clear the beaches of supplies, clear the beaches of wrecked and broached landing craft, building basic roadways to facilitate this sutff ect.

It had 15,000 men by 1944, and operated 600 landing craft. Bigger then the reinforced division typically was! Oh and also keep that in mind when you notice our resident idiot who made the thread trying to gloat about having an entire 1,000 landing craft for the entire North African invasion, including none of the larger types.

Three of these units were used at Normandy, but only one in Sicily, with the needs for earlier operations met by much smaller engineer special regiments and independent units, all with much lesser efficiency. Several Brigades went to the Pacific, where the USMC was also supported by similar US Navy engineer units. The British had special units as well but hell if I recall what they called them, none were as big on paper but they were also very large in manpower overall.

Captain Seafort wrote:I was thinking primarily in terms of ammunition resupply rather than personal kit, given that bolt-action rifles will go through the few hundred rounds an individual can carry in his webbing a lot quicker than any muzzle-loader, and machine guns will make the problem even worse.


That's still never going to be all that much weight, at least as long as you don't have to move it by utility helicopter. All the more so in 1915 when the number of machine guns was still very low.

Its all the other weapons and ever expanding supporting equipment and vehicles that really make life very difficult, and all the supporting manpower to move all that stuff, and all the gear they have, and all the fuel to make motor vehicles work, while at least a horse could be pushed overboard and left to swim ashore. At the time of Gallipoli for example almost no infantry mortars existed, and say the standard field guns were not much heavier then those of the Napoleonic Wars. For the same reason, the weight was limited by what a team of six horses could pull.


Adamskywalker007 wrote:On the issue of combat loading, didn't the US Marines at Guadalcanal also run into this problem? Leading to the US Navy leaving with a large portion of their heavy equipment.


Yes, I think I said that? Actually for Guadalcanal a partial attempt was made at combat loading while the ships were docked in New Zealand, but the New Zealand longshoremen were on strike at the time, and a more fundamental problem existed by which the ships had been fully loaded with cargo already when leaving the US. That simply makes real combat loading impossible, if you load in the order you need gear not as much as going to fit. You only have so much space near the unloading hatches on each deck, and the ship's stability must be preserved which means heavy gear and ammo can only go on the lower decks. With the time, lack of experience and lack of shipping capacity on hand proper combat loading was impossible for that operation. BUt learning experience and all that.

Being able to shift almost all vehicles and artillery to LSTs and sometimes LCTs that could make short open sea voyages under their own power in later invasions was a godsend on this subject. 1942 invasions could either waste tremendous amounts of lower deck space, and time, with vehicles on the lower decks, or else transport them as deck cargo which could limit a ships overall capacity due to the topweight involved. Torch simply didn't land all that many vehicles over the beach in the first place, nor did the canal landing. Attack transport shipping already had low stability because of all the mass from adding landing craft and davits to the upper works, as well as the anti aircraft armaments typically well above those found on merely armed merchant ships, so deck cargo was a big problem. Some of them were simply incapable of it once fully fitted out. Heck by 1944 most simply had no space left anyway, as they found ways to cram on even more landing craft.

But by 1944 many attack transports were dedicated designs with more favorable stability, while the worst hulls has been turned back into normal point to point transports, and were actually geared to move standard units (normally 1 x infantry battalion) and gear without leaving 'extra' space that was difficult to exploit in line with combat loading. it also became common to limit the amount of cargo even on the dedicated attack cargo ships to that which could be unloaded in specified times by the landing craft actually carried. Earlier invasions suffered from ships basically having so much stuff on them the landing craft couldn't unload it all before follow on convoys arrived, all the more so when beach space was limited.

LSTs were a bonus advantage on that as well as while it was very inefficient on LST tonnage, an LST loaded with trucks loaded with supplies was the most efficient possible use of beach space for unloading. The trucks could all drive off within a few hours (the elevator from the upper deck being the limit on this if your wondering why it isn't minutes) equal to dozens of LCT sorties which each needed nearly the same room. This would also then provide the beachhead with a large number of trucks to continue clearing the beaches of supplies.
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Re: D-Day at Quiberon Bay, November, 1942?

Postby Honorius » 2015-09-10 08:46pm

Simon_Jester wrote:Wow. By my count you Inappropriately Capitalized eighty-nine random Words that Are Not capitalized in English. Please review your copy of Strunk and White...


Do you even have an argument to make. So far you are banking on German Forces that don't exist yet.

Okay, and that was against a demoralized French opposition with little incentive to fight fiercely, using obsolete equipment and whatever odds and ends the Germans let Vichy have, remembering that it was not in the Germans' interest to let Vichy be well armed or independent enough to consider switching sides.


Casablanca took eight days of heavy fighting to clear. They were hardly demoralized.

Meanwhile, the French command structure was divided (or a coup could not even have been tried), their organic armor support was of WWI-vintage (FTs, really?) The level of submarine and torpedo boat threat was miniscule compared to what would be faced in the Bay of Biscay, the underprepared and ill-equipped Vichy air forces likewise.


The Vichy French Navy in Casablanca had four times the vessels the Germans had in the Bay of Biscay and 120 times the firepower. They only managed to damage two destroyers. The Germans don't stand a chance if French Cruisers tried and failed to stop Torch. Their tanks were plentiful and matched the number the US brought,and its soldiers were well trained.

So you're proposing to throw these troops against initial resistance that is stronger, as well as being more vigorous because all the soldiers fighting the US landing force actually agree that they should be fighting the US landing force. This makes a difference. Moreover, instead of just having to overrun an initial wave of rather wimpy resistance, the 100000 or so troops making the landing have to confront with a steady stream of new German units being shipped in over an intact transportation network.


The US Landing Force faces a single leg mobile Infantry Division spread across Lorient to Saint Nazaire, with an under-strength Infantry Division nearby that is immediately available and that is roughly it for a one week window. The Americans are hitting with heavy firepower from the USN, local air superiority, and two Armored Divisions and several independent Tank Battalions and Tank Destroyer Battalions. The Germans have far fewer tanks in France than the US is packing into this beach head, and its mostly French Salvage.

Because you really never did address the most important single question that faced the actual Allied planners.

It's not just about matching the forces you have on D-Day of your invasion against what the enemy has on D-Day. It's about what forces the enemy has at D+2, and D+7, and D+30, and D+60. And by all those measures, the Allies were totally unequipped to reinforce a beachhead fast enough to prevent it from being ground up and by the Germans.


This has been addressed. The Germans have very little to fucking send you fuckwit, because they don't fucking exist! Especially with the disaster unfolding in the USSR. The British have 15 Divisions in Britain at this moment to reinforce and the US will be sending up new Divisions in just a month. The best the Germans can hope for is an Anzio Scenario.

Nope!

Because for this plan to have ANY prayer of success, the Allies have to concentrate all available shipping on frantically stuffing more troops into the beachhead. Remember, it is not enough to land five or eight or ten divisions on French soil and pronounce that France is being 'liberated.' The divisions have to be reinforced, bulked up, by large numbers of well equipped troops to fill out the territory they (hopefully, maybe) manage to capture.


Well yeah, and since the U-boats lost their only staging bases for a direct breakout into the Atlantic, they now have to circle around the Bitish Isles via the North Sea which only the few Type IXs can do, the VIIs are SOL. So this makes the Atlantic Crossing even more safe.

As a result, just as historically the requirements of Normandy played a huge role in determining what Allied shipping was doing in 1944, the requirements of the Quiberon landings would change all the timetables for Allied shipping in late 1942. This is entirely different from the situation in Torch, where once the US troops were ashore and deployed they could pretty much relax and take their time.


I hardly call the US North African Campaign relaxing, but ok. Even so the Allies have the shipping available for this and more coming. Thanks to this operation, the U-boats are a lesser threat as well.

The fact that historically U-boats mostly picked off stragglers does not mean they would not inflict serious damage if used directly against an enemy fleet operating close to their bases. Remember that many experts on submarine warfare rated the U-boats as more of a threat than you do. Remember that the Allies had already lost quite a few warships to U-boats, including the disastrous WWI-era sinking of three British cruisers... precisely because two of those cruisers stopped to pick up survivors from the first.


Ah appeal to the expert. Lets see,USN Losses by type and cause.

Lets see, I see the majority of USN losses came via Japanese action. I see few US Vessels sunk by German submarines, only a few transports were sunk at anchor on the open sea, but after they unloaded troops. Yeah big threat those U-boats :roll:

Lets call off an operation that is the best way of dealing with them permanently as a threat to the Atlantic, because we might lose a few ships :roll:

Fuck that nonsense, lets go for the jugular. Landing in this area shuts down U-boat operations in the Atlantic, the Germans lack the long distance submarines that can operate in the Atlantic without the Lorient and Saint Nazaire bases.

The P-40E does not have drastically longer ferry range than the Spitfire, which strongly suggests that does not have drastically longer combat range either. The P-40 is also a rather inadequate fighter against modern 1942-era aircraft- as good or better than French or Italian fighters are likely to be, but not necessarily a match for Germans.

Moreover, note that P-40s operating out of grass airstrips on islands off the French coast or on the mainland are very vulnerable to German bomber attacks, since they will not have hardened revetments or anything of that order. Historically this was not a problem because of the massive commitment of effort the Allies put into suppressing the Luftwaffe in Western Europe in 1944, but here that hasn't happened yet.


P-40s massacred the Luftwaffe in the deserts of North Africa. It has a third more combat range, and better armor forward. As for the Luftwaffe bomber fleet, there just 40 of them in France at this time and the Allies have the Luftwaffe in France outnumbered massively. If anything, its the Luftwaffe that will be in danger as now USAAF Fighters are staging from France itself within easy range of their Air Fields forcing them to pull back.

Conversely, every Allied plane shot down while crossing a few hundred miles of northern France to reach the beachhead is a loss the Allies can't easily replace, either.


The Allies have nearly 5,000 frontline aircraft in Britain at this time with more enroute and loss rates were under 2%. The Luftwaffe has 300 planes in France at this time tops, the bulk is on the Ost Front. Even pulling aircraft from everywhere else, the Luftwaffe can only achieve parity and that is it.

The Germans may be able to pull troops out of Africa (it is hard for the Allies can shut down shipping in the Mediterranean while running massive amphibious operations off the French Atlantic coast). They can certainly pull German troops out of Italy (fat chance of the Allies invading Sicily or the Italian mainland). They may well be able to prevail upon Italians to make a few more garrison units available to free up second-line German troops in various areas under German control.


With what shipping? Rommel is in full retreat. The Italian Merchant Marine is at the bottom of the Mediterranean, and the British have a full Army in North Africa with Empire Troops coming from India. The Germans face mechanized combat forces with ample tank support while a German unit is lucky to get a single tank.

Also Ost Front is imploding. You keep forgetting that.

No more so than what historically happened in Tunisia. The Germans had a quarter of a million men in Tunisia by spring of 1943. Here there would be no need to push those reinforcements into Tunisia because the Axis are only fighting the British on a single front, and a front which is of much lower strategic priority than dealing with a US beachhead in France.


Said British Army will then destroy Rommel and be ready to move on either Southern France or threaten say the Aegean.

He is likely to do so preemptively, by the simple expedient of ordering troops to physically occupy key Vichy locations, for the very logical strategic reason of "we need garrisons here to maintain our war effort against the Americans."


He isn't then throwing First Army at the Allies then.

Fool! Vichy was all about rolling over playing dead!


Not with an American Force on mainland France and its North African Army intact. This is what they have been waiting for and is the time to switch sides.

.He already had problems 1-6, and Problem 7 is child's play if he uses the forces he historically shipped to Tunisia against the American beachhead.


Those forces are not sufficient, and needed to ensure the Vichy French don't open up the Southern Ports. Even if thrown at the beach head, it will take days to assemble them, and the USN will simply blast them apart.

Thing is, the Italian garrisons in the Balkans (and potentially elsewhere) serve to free up German manpower. In a very real sense this makes an Italian soldier as good as a German... because one Italian soldier deployed somewhere means one more German fighting somewhere else.


Only if we ignore the full scale partisan war in the Balkans that is going on and the German need to keep the British out of the Aegean.

The British have to contend with a long supply line and will be starved of supplies due to the overriding need to throw everything available into maintaining and expanding the beachhead around Quiberon. Because you can't do an operation like that half-heartedly, or you lose literally every man you put into the operation in the first place.


The Allies have sufficient shipping for Monty, while the Axis have none for Rommel who the Vichy will not let into Tunisia in this scenario. THe supply problems are the Axis, not the Allies.

The Americans lack a number of their best weapons, lack good doctrine and experience using the ones they do have, and are faced with a much steeper disparity in combat training and doctrine. Meanwhile, the Germans still have most of the relevant weapons they had in 1943, or at least enough of them to counter the Americans.

Sure, no Tiger tanks, but frankly Tiger tanks don't make a difference compared to mobs of 50mm-armed Panzer IIIs potting American Stuarts left and right.


More Nazi Wank.

1. The bulk of the German Forces in France are poorly trained static divisions with little organic firepower.

2. The combat units are rebuilding from a mauling on the Ost Front and have untested new blood.

3. The American Troops have had two years training, more organic firepower, and much heavier Corps Support

The Stuarts are actually competitive against the Panzer IIIs, but they won't show up for at least a week or two.

Plus, the Panzer IIIs will be the ones getting potted by Shermans, Grants, AT assets, BBs, CAs, CLs, DDs, air power, artillery, and Bazookas.

The Nazi wank is just downright pathetic. They have nothing that can stop this beach head from forming or growing.

What ever real or imagined tactical shortcomings of US Troops in 42, they simply do not matter at the operational level where campaigns are won. And at the Operational Level, the Allies are hitting the weakest defended section of France by Germany with three good ports on Day 1 and will have an insurmountable local superiority the Germans simply can't match.

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Re: D-Day at Quiberon Bay, November, 1942?

Postby Simon_Jester » 2015-09-10 10:38pm

Honorius wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:Wow. By my count you Inappropriately Capitalized eighty-nine random Words that Are Not capitalized in English. Please review your copy of Strunk and White...
Do you even have an argument to make. So far you are banking on German Forces that don't exist yet.
I have plenty of arguments, I'm just poking fun at your difficulties with a point of elementary school Grammar.

Okay, and that was against a demoralized French opposition with little incentive to fight fiercely, using obsolete equipment and whatever odds and ends the Germans let Vichy have, remembering that it was not in the Germans' interest to let Vichy be well armed or independent enough to consider switching sides.
Casablanca took eight days of heavy fighting to clear. They were hardly demoralized.
Oh, I don't know... maybe they were rather demoralized, but the troops fighting them were largely inexperienced and raw? Maybe because the US Army did not have adequate plans for coping with intense resistance?

I mean seriously, while some Vichy units no doubt fought as bravely and with as much determination as German counterparts would have, the average was quite a bit lower... and the Vichy equipment was sharply inferior, as I mention.

So against Germans you're looking at nastier threats, more air power that can be flown in to mine the areas around the landing beaches and harass the transports, more submarines (thirty is more than three), and entirely unlike Vichy forces at Casablanca, the defenders will be getting actively more numerous as reinforcements roll in.

The part where there were minimal German forces actually in the area camped on the beaches? It literally does not matter. Because the question "will the landings succeed" is not decided on D-Day. It's decided on D+2 Day and D+7 Day and D+20 Day, and by how many men the enemy can get into the area then, armed with what.

In November 1942 the Allies cannot reinforce that 100000 man American army at a significant rate. By the time the Allies can get, say, two hundred thousand men into the Quiberon area, they'd be facing a lot more than two hundred thousand Germans.

Meanwhile, the French command structure was divided (or a coup could not even have been tried), their organic armor support was of WWI-vintage (FTs, really?) The level of submarine and torpedo boat threat was miniscule compared to what would be faced in the Bay of Biscay, the underprepared and ill-equipped Vichy air forces likewise.
The Vichy French Navy in Casablanca had four times the vessels the Germans had in the Bay of Biscay and 120 times the firepower. They only managed to damage two destroyers. The Germans don't stand a chance if French Cruisers tried and failed to stop Torch. Their tanks were plentiful and matched the number the US brought,and its soldiers were well trained.
Your capitalization still sucks, but seriously...

How exactly do you count "120 times the firepower?" Did the Vichy fleet have 3600 submarines or something? Were the Vichy ships intact, sailed by crews that were uniformly convinced of the need to launch the attack? Were they well supplied and maintained? Admiral Darlan who commanded this fleet was due to defect to the Allies within the week and had personally promised Churchill that the French Navy would fall into German hands to be used against the Allies; are you saying this had NO effect on their preparedness and ability to repel an attack?

So you're proposing to throw these troops against initial resistance that is stronger, as well as being more vigorous because all the soldiers fighting the US landing force actually agree that they should be fighting the US landing force. This makes a difference. Moreover, instead of just having to overrun an initial wave of rather wimpy resistance, the 100000 or so troops making the landing have to confront with a steady stream of new German units being shipped in over an intact transportation network.
The US Landing Force faces a single leg mobile Infantry Division spread across Lorient to Saint Nazaire, with an under-strength Infantry Division nearby that is immediately available and that is roughly it for a one week window.
I repeat that it matters very little what the Allies face within a week. They cannot expand their beachhead to be more than about, oh, fifty to 100 miles in radius, because they cannot afford to spread out their one hundred thousand soldiers too broadly or a concentrated German counterattack will pop their beachhead like a soap bubble.

To occupy more land they will need to land more men, and such men are not casually available nor are they easy to support at this point. By the time the Allied reinforcements are available to occupy more than a localized pocket of territory around the landing zones, the Germans will have had time to reinforce, while steadily harassing and limiting the buildup.

This is why D+10 and D+20 and D+30 come into play.

This has been addressed. The Germans have very little to fucking send you fuckwit, because they don't fucking exist! Especially with the disaster unfolding in the USSR. The British have 15 Divisions in Britain at this moment to reinforce and the US will be sending up new Divisions in just a month. The best the Germans can hope for is an Anzio Scenario.
The US lacks the combat experience to reliably stop the Germans, as Kasserine illustrated. Meanwhile, the Germans have considerable numbers of men available, including many that were historically frittered away in Tunisia- fat chance of Hitler reinforcing Tunisia when he's got an invasion of France to cope with. Even if they were only able to contain the beachhead and if their local commanders don't score any major tactical victories that pop it and drive it into the sea... realistically, the manpower that went into the 1943 offensives on the Eastern Front will go west instead, the Germans will sensibly adopt defensive tactics in the East. The war will probably not be significantly shortened because the Allies will lose in France in 1943, and the costly defeat will greatly weaken any attempt to renew the second front in 1944 due to casualties, materiel losses, and shakeups in the high command.

Lets see, I see the majority of USN losses came via Japanese action. I see few US Vessels sunk by German submarines, only a few transports were sunk at anchor on the open sea, but after they unloaded troops. Yeah big threat those U-boats :roll:
That is because the US seldom if ever trawled its warships out where the Germans could take easy pot-shots at them. The British didn't either, because unlike you they knew how to respect and counter a threat.

You remind me of a man who decides that his mosquito repellent is useless because he never gets bitten by mosquitoes, and decides he doesn't need to worry about mosquitoes and this whole 'malaria' thing is overrated.

Fuck that nonsense, lets go for the jugular. Landing in this area shuts down U-boat operations in the Atlantic, the Germans lack the long distance submarines that can operate in the Atlantic without the Lorient and Saint Nazaire bases.
Or it could just fucking fail because the enemy is allowed to be brave and smart and tough too, and life is not a movie where the good guys always win by having a monopoly on sheer balls.

Said British Army will then destroy Rommel and be ready to move on either Southern France or threaten say the Aegean.
No, because the amphibious warfare assets are being used to support the Quiberon landings. They can't threaten a blessed thing by themselves. There is a reason why the Allies pretty much stopped doing major amphibious landings after Normandy and Dragoon.

The Allies have sufficient shipping for Monty, while the Axis have none for Rommel who the Vichy will not let into Tunisia in this scenario. THe supply problems are the Axis, not the Allies.
Again, the Allies will have to starve Montgomery and the Eighth Army in order to support landings in France. They're a secondary theater where even a total defeat would be an inconvenience compared to the consequences of losing in France.

I mean, you're the one who's saying "GUNG HO GO FOR THE JUGULAR." Guess what? If you go for the jugular you cannot half-ass it, because then you lose and die and it all falls apart.

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Re: D-Day at Quiberon Bay, November, 1942?

Postby Zinegata » 2015-09-10 11:22pm

Sea Skimmer wrote:The Germans did not throw 25 divisions at Salerno because it was never the original German plan to defend southern Italy at all. Once Sicily was abandon the German plan was to retreat to what would later be the Gothic line, and large numbers of troops were massed in the Po River valley for this purpose, where they could also move to counter an invasion of southern France. Many of these divisions could have gone south, but simply did not because it would have been bad policy.


Yep, and half of the point of retreating to the Gothic line was because the Germans didn't really think losing Southern Italy was that big of a deal. The Germans had other problems and threats to deal with. The initial plan to retreat to the Gothic line should in fact demonstrate how the Germans were perfectly willing to give up most of Italy and that arguing Italy was some kind of Axis powerbase is pointless.

The boot at the time was judged too exposed to allied air attacks on the rail lines (which would have been true had the USAAF not concluded railroad bridges were impossible targets for months, in favor of bombing marshalling yards the Germans didn't use to sort supply trains, and well, people have written long papers on this) and flanking landings.


Which is why, as I said, a very real question for Normandy '43 is how much faster those reinforcements can get to Normandy given the French had a better and denser rail system; because that's something that we can actually make a reasonable guessimate of rather than assuming any operation against the Italians was low-risk. Salerno was thought to be low-risk by the planning and yet as you just described it was a near-run thing!

Then Salerno went so absurdly badly because of how poorly chosen the landing zones were, even in the face of a mere German delaying force, that within about two days the Germans changed their mind, committed two more divisions, and nearly threw the poorly organized effort back into the ocean in the process. That failed, but it went well enough that the Germans decided to try to hold Rome, and moved said Po River valley divisions south, then ended up easily holding half the Italian boot with minimal strategic effort, and easily contained the Anzio landing, exactly what they'd feared, on top of that.


Which is why Normandy '43 is a higher risk Husky/Salerno. The French railways are better and it's a bigger threat so it's less likely the Germans would simply wait because it's a bigger and more serious threat. The 10 day window for a counter-attack at Salerno would be shorter in Normandy, even if the bulk of German armor was tied up at Kursk. And with a shorter timeframe, can the Allies capture Cherbourg and form a solid line along the Orne before this happens? And if they hadn't accomplished this yet, how well or how badly can the Allies deal with the attack?

Those are the kind of questions I'm looking for, not more bloody hem-hawing over "it's risky!". Of course it's risky! All war has risk, but the point of counter-factuals is to define the theoretical risk of something that never actually happened as best we can.

Of course Anzio was a designed to fail operation in simple math terms anyway, not enough troops to possibly accomplish the objective intended on basic distance vs unit frontage grounds.


Yep, another bloody Churchill whitewash operation. I'm well aware of how threadbare the invasion force was and how unrealistic it was to accomplish the grandiose objectives Churchill thought it should have achieved. And as usual he blamed the ground commanders for doing the sensible thing and not over-extend themselves into oblivion.

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Re: D-Day at Quiberon Bay, November, 1942?

Postby Simon_Jester » 2015-09-11 06:42am

Zinegata wrote:
Sea Skimmer wrote:The Germans did not throw 25 divisions at Salerno because it was never the original German plan to defend southern Italy at all. Once Sicily was abandon the German plan was to retreat to what would later be the Gothic line, and large numbers of troops were massed in the Po River valley for this purpose, where they could also move to counter an invasion of southern France. Many of these divisions could have gone south, but simply did not because it would have been bad policy.
Yep, and half of the point of retreating to the Gothic line was because the Germans didn't really think losing Southern Italy was that big of a deal. The Germans had other problems and threats to deal with. The initial plan to retreat to the Gothic line should in fact demonstrate how the Germans were perfectly willing to give up most of Italy and that arguing Italy was some kind of Axis powerbase is pointless.
My main motive in pointing this out is that the Allies made decisions that made sense to the Allies. And the Allies were not in a good position to make a close and accurate an assessment of the Italians' ability to contribute to the war. TO THEM, knocking Italy out of the war looks like a relevant factor, and continuing to prosecute the war in high-risk theaters the Germans can get to easily without neutralizing the Italians increases the risks associated with those theaters.

Those are the kind of questions I'm looking for, not more bloody hem-hawing over "it's risky!". Of course it's risky! All war has risk, but the point of counter-factuals is to define the theoretical risk of something that never actually happened as best we can.
The trick is that when you talk about a counterfactual, a lot of the never-were ideas that various nations considered and didn't try were not tried because the danger didn't come with a corresponding payoff.

Here, the risks are increased considerably by moving up the Normandy landings by a year (even if in '43 the Allied DID go for Normandy, and not the Pas de Calais). And the rewards are a bit less than impressive because the Allies can't simply out of the beachhead within a month or two a la Cobra.

Zinegata wrote:
Of course Anzio was a designed to fail operation in simple math terms anyway, not enough troops to possibly accomplish the objective intended on basic distance vs unit frontage grounds.
Yep, another bloody Churchill whitewash operation. I'm well aware of how threadbare the invasion force was and how unrealistic it was to accomplish the grandiose objectives Churchill thought it should have achieved. And as usual he blamed the ground commanders for doing the sensible thing and not over-extend themselves into oblivion.
Yeah. Despite WWI experience I think Churchill's conception of warfare was still Napoleonic, and in Napoleonic warfare a flanking force of ten thousand men could still accomplish something even if the area it operated in was too big for it to occupy with a continuous front of fighting men.

Also this ties interestingly into Bozocles's Quiberon landing idea. As I mentioned earlier, one of the big problems is that the soldiers available who can realistically be supplied after the landings just are not numerous enough to hold a very large perimeter in France. So even if it takes the Germans two or three weeks to start putting together significant forces to counterattack the beachhead, the Allies won't have had time to spread out very far.

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Re: D-Day at Quiberon Bay, November, 1942?

Postby Thanas » 2015-09-11 11:28am

How will they spread out quickly anyway? The area is a bit swampy and the Germans have major garrisons in the next natural targets, Brest and St. Nazaire, which will and can take months of sieges.
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Re: D-Day at Quiberon Bay, November, 1942?

Postby Simon_Jester » 2015-09-11 01:33pm

You're right.

I'm saying that even if we granted Bozocles' contention that the US landing force can casually sweep aside all opposition and start marching inland effortlessly, they literally cannot maintain a perimeter large enough to occupy more than a tiny fraction of France, and cannot reinforce that limited beachhead fast enough to counter the German reinforcements being shipped in over a largely intact French transportation network..

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Re: D-Day at Quiberon Bay, November, 1942?

Postby Sgt_Artyom » 2015-09-11 02:27pm

I'm confused as to how anyone (Mainly Honorius) just expects the garrisons at St'Nazaire and Lorient or any of the major ports to just roll over and die.

Most of these places put up a great deal of resistance and were not even worth the cost of attacking and didn't end up surrendering in a lot of cases until the general german surrender of may '45.

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Re: D-Day at Quiberon Bay, November, 1942?

Postby Honorius » 2015-09-12 07:23pm

Sgt_Artyom wrote:I'm confused as to how anyone (Mainly Honorius) just expects the garrisons at St'Nazaire and Lorient or any of the major ports to just roll over and die.

Most of these places put up a great deal of resistance and were not even worth the cost of attacking and didn't end up surrendering in a lot of cases until the general german surrender of may '45.


The Garrisons of 42 are not the ones of 44-45.

Night and day difference. You no longer have an under-strength static division holding a broad front with little organic assets, but three divisions packing the artillery and with good organic support and defenses built up in mid 43 right up to the point they were cut off and left to whither on the vine.

Also the Allies had the Southern Ports of France in good condition so the Brittany Ports weren't needed, the Allies said fuck it, lets finish Germany, then they'll surrender.

Don't mistake the German Defenses of 42 for the 44 ones, they don't exist yet in this scenario. The steel had yet to be allocated from the capital investments the Germans were making in expanding their production facilities to make the Panthers, Tigers, and other AFVs of 44 possible.

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Re: D-Day at Quiberon Bay, November, 1942?

Postby Honorius » 2015-09-12 08:23pm

Thanas wrote:How will they spread out quickly anyway? The area is a bit swampy and the Germans have major garrisons in the next natural targets, Brest and St. Nazaire, which will and can take months of sieges.


The terrain is as boggy as the Torch Beaches, and if the Allies were able to land there and get off the beaches, then Brittany won't be any more appreciably difficult. Also as pointed out repeatably from the TO&E, there is negligible resistance to begin with. The far stronger French Garrisons lost lopsidedly to the American Assault Force that is proposed for this scenario.

If a French Force, highly trained, with heavy Naval and Air Support, with heavy coastal artillery, strong tank support, and full knowledge the US was coming, said US Force not even doing a preliminary bombardment because they taught they would be greeted as liberators, and still lose.

What pray tell makes you and others think a single under-strength German Static Division spread in penny packets from Lorient to Saint Nazaire would hold back a six division assault wave packing more than twice as many tanks than the Germans have in all of France at this time?

The nature of the rail and road networks ensures that it will be a solid week before Panzers can arrive in strength, and the Allies will have an overwhelming firepower advantage at the Operational Level which is all that matters here. Even if the Germans managed to make a tactical penetration, it will swiftly receive a punishing Fleet Barrage that will wreck it, followed by a counter attack to seal the breach. Even then a German tactical penetration like Kasserine is not even possible as the splitting of 1st Armor to cover multiple passes doesn't happen.

The U-boats can't operate in the Bay of Biscay with an Allied Fleet backed by air patrols operating there, they'll die quickly. Britain has 15 Divisions sitting in England with nothing to do and these can then reinforce the lodgement. As US Divisions leave Stateside, they can land in the lodgement as well and expand it for a breakout.

Finally the Allies have local superiority in every department while the Germans have to pull units from the Ost Front just to reach parity. They do that, their entire Ost Front crumbles.

There is no Operational Capability the Nazis have to counter this invasion. They have too many units tied up on the Ost Front being ground to meat holding Stalin in check. Hitler simply doesn't got the men or the time.

The Allies on the other hand have an insurmountable Operational Capability that just has to be aimed at the German throat and hit relatively at the same time.

Whatever the difficulties of the Operation, they are far less than faced in North Africa and the supply lines are shorter and safer, as the Type VIIs have lost the only ports they can use to break into the mid Atlantic where an air gap exists. This removes the vast majority of the U-boats and just leaves 9 Type IXs to deal with.

This is why Marshall wanted to invade France in 42, because it offered the best way to quickly defeat Germany before it could integrate the captured resources it had into its economy which would increase the number of dead bringing it down.

Hitler simply doesn't have the forces to throw the Allies into the sea once they have secured a lodgement. The USN pretty much makes that impossible followed by the USAAF.

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Re: D-Day at Quiberon Bay, November, 1942?

Postby Simon_Jester » 2015-09-13 12:52pm

Bozocles wrote:
Sgt_Artyom wrote:I'm confused as to how anyone (Mainly Honorius) just expects the garrisons at St'Nazaire and Lorient or any of the major ports to just roll over and die.

Most of these places put up a great deal of resistance and were not even worth the cost of attacking and didn't end up surrendering in a lot of cases until the general german surrender of may '45.
The Garrisons of 42 are not the ones of 44-45.

Night and day difference. You no longer have an under-strength static division holding a broad front with little organic assets, but three divisions packing the artillery and with good organic support and defenses built up in mid 43 right up to the point they were cut off and left to whither on the vine.
The issue here is that the German garrisons may not be well armed, but they will assuredly resist. And the overall pattern of World War Two-era attempts to take a city from a determined garrison, even a relatively small one, suggests that they will hold out for some time. Especially since the vast majority of the American troops will also have to be dispersed 'in penny packets' (or rather, along a very broad line) between the major objectives. Because German counterattacks can come from any direction at any time, so the Allies must hold a continuous perimeter around their beachheads, just as they did historically at Normandy.

Thus, even if the US has overwhelming materiel advantages over the specific garrisons of those two cities, only a fraction of total US forces can actually engage the garrisons, further increasing the time the garrisons can hold out.

Don't mistake the German Defenses of 42 for the 44 ones, they don't exist yet in this scenario. The steel had yet to be allocated from the capital investments the Germans were making in expanding their production facilities to make the Panthers, Tigers, and other AFVs of 44 possible.
Why do you even care about Panthers and Tigers? Every time anyone else even mentions them in passing you scream "NAZI WANK," but you act as though everyone else is thinking of them as the linchpin of the German defenses.

They're not. We all know this. Even in 1944-45, they mattered only slightly on either the eastern or western fronts.* What mattered far more was the large scale production of other armored vehicles, and antitank guns, and so on. One-on-one superiority of German AFVs, even if it existed, would be irrelevant here, what matters is tactical doctrine, combat experience, and the correct employment of the available forces.

And that is where people are debating you, that the numbers of other armored vehicles the Germans can have in place on D+7 and D+15 and D+30 and D+60** exceed what the Allies can supply in the beachhead. Among many, many other issues.

*And yes, eastern front. Not 'Ost Front.' Not unless you want to write your entire post in German, in which case I say bring it, buddy... Seriously, make up your mind which language you're using. :roll:

**By the way, can you actually tell me what D+60 means? From your total failure to even respond in an orderly fashion to my arguments that invoke it, I'm beginning to suspect you do not know...

Bozocles wrote:
Thanas wrote:How will they spread out quickly anyway? The area is a bit swampy and the Germans have major garrisons in the next natural targets, Brest and St. Nazaire, which will and can take months of sieges.
The terrain is as boggy as the Torch Beaches. And if the Allies were able to land there and get off the beaches, then Brittany won't be any more appreciably difficult.
Citation needed. North Africa is not, on the whole, a swamp.

Also as pointed out repeatably from the TO&E, there is negligible resistance to begin with. The far stronger French Garrisons lost lopsidedly to the American Assault Force that is proposed for this scenario.
Many of the French garrisons did not actually fight, or fought ineffectually. Moreover, there was no stream of reinforcements flowing into French North Africa; the existing garrisons were all there was and could be isolated and defeated in detail.

The Allies simply cannot do this in France during the same era. German garrisons will start being reinforced within a couple of days (from other units elsewhere in France), and these reinforcements will continue to flow in at an escalating rate until strategic reserves become available to smother the beachhead in the first month or two of 1943.

Meanwhile, Allied attempts to build up forces are dealing with strategically placed minefields planted by air by the German air force, probably with ships being sunk in the middle of shipping channels and outright blocking important paths that the ships need to follow just to get troops and supplies ashore, and with constant harassment by the Germans of any sector where the Allies stretch themselves too thin.

If a French Force, highly trained, with heavy Naval and Air Support, with heavy coastal artillery, strong tank support, and full knowledge the US was coming, said US Force not even doing a preliminary bombardment because they taught they would be greeted as liberators, and still lose.
You have yet to provide evidence that the Vichy French were highly trained, that their naval and air support was effectually coordinated, that their coastal artillery was either, or that their tanks were strong. In many areas the Americans WERE greeted as liberators, or at least viewed as such by a significant fraction of the Vichy army.

What pray tell makes you and others think a single under-strength German Static Division spread in penny packets from Lorient to Saint Nazaire would hold back a six division assault wave packing more than twice as many tanks than the Germans have in all of France at this time?
They don't have to.

They just have to make exiting the beachhead slow, so that supplies pile up on the beaches (and get blown up by air attack). So that ships pile up in the channel leading into Quiberon Bay (and get torpedoed, potentially blocking the channel so that further ships are sitting ducks). So that the ground troops struggle their way out of the swamp, making limited advances day by day, and are still occupying a fifty mile wide glorified pimple on the face of Europe when the Germans show up in sufficient force to actually hold them back.

This is exactly what would have happened at Normandy except:

1) The Allies had the benefit of 18 more months to acquire experience in planning and staging opposed amphibious landings.
2) The Allies just plain had more of all the logistical support craft they needed to get supplies loaded over the beach and to the troops fighting on shore.
3) The Allies had spent months in advance effectively wiping out the Germans' air forces in France and paralyzing the transportation network.
4) The Germans actually did no longer have much of a strategic reserve left, because of the results of eighteen months' more intense fighting, not only in Russia, but to a lesser extent in places like Tunisia and even (a little bit) in Italy.

None of those factors are in play here. The only strategic advantage the Allies enjoy here is surprise, and it's the "nobody would be this much of a dumbass" kind of a surprise, not the "wow, I wasn't smart enough to foresee such a strategic master-stroke" kind of a surprise.

Even if the Germans managed to make a tactical penetration, it will swiftly receive a punishing Fleet Barrage that will wreck it, followed by a counter attack to seal the breach.
That only works if the Allies do not move more than ten or fifteen miles from the sea, which is going to result in a lot of laughter and celebratory schnapps-passing in Berlin.

Even then a German tactical penetration like Kasserine is not even possible as the splitting of 1st Armor to cover multiple passes doesn't happen.
On the contrary, something similar has to happen, unless the Allied forces simply don't move and spend their time camping around Quiberon Bay holding singalongs. You cannot just sit on a perimeter around your amphibious landing zone and wait for something to happen; this is what went wrong at Anzio.*

The Allies aren't just doing this in order to hold a little dot of land here, they're trying to spread out over a wide territory, dozens of miles across, maybe a hundred miles or more. Since the Germans are free to move around and infiltrate their forces into this territory from any direction (no passes to hold), the Allies must hold a continuous front all around that territory. And the troops detailed to do this will necessarily have artillery and armor support because they may well face Germans equipped with those things too.

So while the exact reason the US forces will have to disperse and become vulnerable to a Kasserine-style blitz in which the Germans exploit their combat experience and doctrinal advantages over the green US forces... it can still happen.

*What went wrong in planning Anzio is another story, but the proximate nature of the disaster at Anzio was that the troops (with reason) did not (could not) move far enough from the beachhead to secure it.

The U-boats can't operate in the Bay of Biscay with an Allied Fleet backed by air patrols operating there, they'll die quickly.
They may well die quickly while sinking multiple US ships apiece, which seems frighteningly likely given what a target-rich environment this is for them.

I'm not sure you grasp the difference- scratch that, I'm sure you don't grasp the difference- between the kind of operational tempo involved in commerce raiding and the kind involved in fighting an amphibious assault. Yes, you will lose ships opposing the landings. That's okay. That's what ships are for. They take enemy ships with them, and you'd lose them anyway if you tried to conserve them because they would become useless after the enemy overran their home ports.

Everyone knows this.

This is leading you to the same kind of idiocy that people who say "Sea Lion would have worked" get into. They tend to assume that because British destroyers and cruisers were vulnerable to getting pasted by Stukas, the British would not bring them into the English Channel to oppose a German amphibious landing. This is pretty obviously not true, because that is exactly the sort of situation in which the Royal Navy would (sensibly) be willing to risk its ships.

Britain has 15 Divisions sitting in England with nothing to do and these can then reinforce the lodgement.
You just got done saying 'fuck you' to the British, ignoring their request for help finishing off a campaign in a theater they've been fighting in for two years, and probably cutting off the support you'd previously been giving their main army still in contact with the Germans (in Egypt). All so you could launch an attack they consider to be a suicide mission.

What makes you think they will reinforce you with one single solitary soldier, let alone fifteen divisions?

As US Divisions leave Stateside, they can land in the lodgement as well and expand it for a breakout.
It takes ten or more days for a troop transport to cross the Atlantic round trip, and the US divisions aren't being created very fast. This isn't going to result in the beachhead being reinforced at a useful rate.

Finally the Allies have local superiority in every department while the Germans have to pull units from the Ost Front just to reach parity. They do that, their entire Ost Front crumbles.
Why would they be in any more danger of this than they were in 1944 when they did exactly that? Somehow the Germans managed to put together enough troops in 1944, after a year and a half of more casualties, that they were able to delay the Allied advance from the Atlantic coast to the Rhine by six months. Against a larger and better prepared Allied force.

I mean, it's almost as if you don't actually know what the Germans historically accomplished, and are declaring that if they tried to accomplish these exact things under more favorable conditions, they would experience worse results than occurred in real life.

So you just keep grandstanding and puffing up Operational Capability with its Unwarranted Capitalization and assuming that despite the fact that the Germans repeatedly managed to field more men to meet new threats from new directions throughout 1943, they would somehow forget how to do this against this threat in 1943.

Whatever the difficulties of the Operation, they are far less than faced in North Africa...
What, because Vichy had 3600 submarines and every Vichy soldier was a fanatic prepared to die for the noble cause of Surrendering Collaborationist France? Riiiight.

This is why Marshall wanted to invade France in 42, because it offered the best way to quickly defeat Germany before it could integrate the captured resources it had into its economy which would increase the number of dead bringing it down.
No, Marshall wanted to do this because he thought he could do that. There's a difference.

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Re: D-Day at Quiberon Bay, November, 1942?

Postby Simon_Jester » 2015-09-13 12:56pm

Also, attention Bozocles- you have Randomly capitalized thirty-six Words that ought not be capitalized or ought not Be the words they are at all!

While this is not an actual argument against the content of your post, it is still something you might want to consider. Do you write Like This when you file written Reports? When you write a letter to go with your resume for A job? Because the random Capitalization is making you look kind of Dumb.

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Re: D-Day at Quiberon Bay, November, 1942?

Postby Thanas » 2015-09-13 02:55pm

Honorius wrote:The Garrisons of 42 are not the ones of 44-45.


So fucking what? You still have to deal with them. That's 5000 soldiers in St. Nazaire alone, plus whatever men they can conscript from the Navy or the dockyards. Plus, there are a lot of Organisation Todt men around, who can also be told to grab rifles and die for the Fatherland.

The nature of the rail and road networks ensures that it will be a solid week before Panzers can arrive in strength, and the Allies will have an overwhelming firepower advantage at the Operational Level which is all that matters here.


Citation needed. It took the Germans less than 11 days to encircle the British Army in 1940 in Northern France and that was without the use of a transport network. But even if we assume that it will take that long to transfer troops, do you think the allies can march far in that period of time? I mean, obviously you do, but what makes you think so? The terrain is against them. A few well placed AT guns and a force can be held up for hours, especially a green one. And a few AT guns can, if necessary, just be flown in. It is not as if many roads lead out from there after all, and it is not as if the US troops will be doing so great with regards to supplies after half their invasion fleet founders on the rocks/gets mined/bombed/torpedoed.
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Re: D-Day at Quiberon Bay, November, 1942?

Postby Simon_Jester » 2015-09-13 03:50pm

I think one of Bozocles' problems is that he somehow thinks that while the German forces are 'scattered' over a wide area, the Americans can stay concentrated while simultaneously hitting multiple targets and holding all the land between them.

It may not be the biggest issue, though. In my opinion, that would be the part where he thinks that US Navy warships during World War II had deflector shields.

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Re: D-Day at Quiberon Bay, November, 1942?

Postby Zinegata » 2015-09-13 09:23pm

Simon_Jester wrote:My main motive in pointing this out is that the Allies made decisions that made sense to the Allies.


And we've been through this before. None of your theoretical scenarios matter because the main reason why they didn't do Normandy '43 was because Churchill wanted to focus on the Med for post-war gains. Yes, there were definite concerns about the ground forces, but at the top level the issue in 1943 was that Europe was still primarily a British show, and the British weren't going to take their eye away from the Med as long as Churchill was in charge. He was STILL proposing Med misadventures in place of Normandy in 1944, which is why Roosevelt, Stalin, and the British military commanders basically had to come together to get Overlord approved.

Insisting that it was politically impossible to do Normandy in 1943 historically is a non-starter when the question is whether it was possible from purely military terms. We already know it was politically impossible. Normandy '43 presumes a Britain actively wanting to invade France in 1943 - otherwise there's no invasion to begin with even if it had 100% chance of success - and that the green light is dependent on whether or not the risk is too high. You keep avoiding the actual risk assessment in favor of petty-fogging over the politics, which wouldn't be so bad if you didn't keep getting the premise of the politics wrong in the first place!

TO THEM, knocking Italy out of the war looks like a relevant factor, and continuing to prosecute the war in high-risk theaters the Germans can get to easily without neutralizing the Italians increases the risks associated with those theaters.


Again, the Allies didn't think in terms of "Oh wow it's so awesome we took out the Italians!". Indeed the air forces thought this was complete nonsense hence they never really bombed any Italian targets of real worth in 1943.

The Allies - or more specifically Churchill - wanted more influence in the post-war world. The Americans couldn't move without the British giving the green signal to Normandy '43. Hence Roosevelt and Marshall both agreed to Italy so they were at least doing something in 1943. You don't need to construct theoreticals on what actually happened when we know what actually happened and I've already repeated this several times to you.

Yet you're still creating fanciful scenarios of how the Allies thought Italy was so vital to the German war machine when there was very little actual consensus among the Allies that Italy was worth that much, their assessment of the strength of the Italian forces varied widely and doesn't reflect the present-day perception that the Italians were a very weak enemy, and one of the official, stated objectives was to achieve a landing in the "soft underbelly" of Europe without taking into account that the fucking Alps were in the way!

Really, you're just repeating a lot of Churchill's propaganda effort to disguise the fact that he was a committed imperialist who tried to redirect Allied efforts away from simply beating Germany to simply securing British power in a post-war world. Hell, the whole "Iron Curtain" speech for instance makes it sound like he's a committed to freedom for Eastern Europe from the bad, bad, Soviets - when in reality leaving Eastern Europe to the Soviets was something he agreed to in the first place in exchange for the Brits getting to control other parts of Europe!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percentages_agreement

Italy was little different. British imperialist power was his first and foremost concern for Italy. This is why most of his military logic for invading the place falls apart and has to hide behind theoreticals - most of which we already know to be untrue and was known to be untrue to most of the military professionals at the time. If not then why did the US Army Air Force try to bomb Ploesti but not even bother with Italian cities? Why would the US Army create only a single Mountain Division if they thought it was so vital to slog up the mountains of Italy? They had the economic data and knew the Italians weren't worth that much.

Also this ties interestingly into Bozocles's Quiberon landing idea. As I mentioned earlier, one of the big problems is that the soldiers available who can realistically be supplied after the landings just are not numerous enough to hold a very large perimeter in France. So even if it takes the Germans two or three weeks to start putting together significant forces to counterattack the beachhead, the Allies won't have had time to spread out very far.


Again, Quiberon in 1942 is just insane. Out of aircover, multiple major ports to take, and a considerably larger frontage. Actually, scratch that - Quiberon at any time is insane. It just doesn't have any plus sides.

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Re: D-Day at Quiberon Bay, November, 1942?

Postby Zinegata » 2015-09-13 09:41pm

What pray tell makes you and others think a single under-strength German Static Division spread in penny packets from Lorient to Saint Nazaire would hold back a six division assault wave packing more than twice as many tanks than the Germans have in all of France at this time?


The Germans had up to seven first-line Divisions available for Salerno, supported by up to five Panzer Divisions. Not all of these were necessarily at full strength but the idea that all you had to deal with are the static Divisions is a fallacy. And in any case bringing up static Divisions to face an Allied landing was dumb anyway - since the French network tended to radiate out from Paris, meaning that a static Division had to be sent to Paris first before being sent to the battlefront.

This is why Rundstedt's plan for '44 was actually not a bad one - scattering all of the Panzer Divisions across different beaches meant they would take longer to gather for a counter-stroke against the main invasion. As it stood the Panzer Divisions in '44 only came as a trickle - A division or two arriving every week and almost always in pieces rather than as a whole coherent unit.

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Re: D-Day at Quiberon Bay, November, 1942?

Postby Elfdart » 2015-10-09 11:23pm

Adamskywalker007 wrote:On the issue of combat loading, didn't the US Marines at Guadalcanal also run into this problem? Leading to the US Navy leaving with a large portion of their heavy equipment.


The Navy left because of losses to Japanese warships. There was no way they could unload heavy equipment onto a beach with the IJN within shelling distance. The Marine Corps has been (in)famous for foolhardiness for over a century, but even they weren't that crazy.

Let me sum up the OP's premise in concise form:

The same US Army that got humiliated at Kasserine Pass against German and Italian forces that were (a) smaller, (b) less well-equipped and (c) within supply range only by their fingernails in the best of times, is now going to land in France and perform BETTER against an all-German force that is larger, better-equipped and fully supplied from Germany itself (i.e. no supply chain running the Royal Navy's blockade in the Mediterranean; no wrangling with Commando Supremo)?

I think not.
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