D-Day at Quiberon Bay, November, 1942?

HIST: Discussions about the last 4000 years of history, give or take a few days.

Moderators: Thanas, K. A. Pital

User avatar
Honorius
Youngling
Posts: 124
Joined: 2015-07-27 09:58am

D-Day at Quiberon Bay, November, 1942?

Postby Honorius » 2015-09-06 07:47am

Sometimes research takes me to interesting places with intriguing ideals.

This is one of them. Essentially to sum the premise of T.A. Gardner's thesis:

1. America says screw you Britain and the Soft Underbelly and hits Quiberon Bay in France with OTL Torch Forces.

2. Quiberon Bay is sheltered enough and weakly defended enough for a beach head to be secured.

3. The Allies have a decisive enough superiority in men and equipment in their Shermans vs Panzers to hold the line

4. U-boats are not a sufficient deterrent or threat to the massed fleet elements protecting the Invasion Beachhead.

5. Stalin will be hitting hard with Mars and Uranus at around the same time

6. The Vichy French are a wild card, though I personally think they'll throw in with the Allies and move to link up with American Forces and open the Southern Ports if this were to have occurred and why not, the Allies are in France in force to assist them, and allied reinforcements can enter the Southern French Ports under the protection of the Vichy Navy, the Vichy Forces in North Africa can also come up to help liberate France.

7. Luftwaffe strength is not sufficient to challenge the landing and the sheer amount of flak and carrier air power brought to bear, plus fighters flying from England, and the uncertainty of whether Vichy Planes might intervene as well.

8. The forces and defenses that opposed the Allies in 1944, don't exist yet and are the product of a 1943 production boom made possible by integrating captured territories into the Nazi Economy, and said boom will be completely disrupted by this offensive and never ear fruit. Plus the Allies would be overrunning a largely intact French Rail Network that wasn't bombed to shit.

What do you guys think? Was this a missed opportunity that could have saved millions of lives? I would say so. I mean if the Vichy swing back into the Allied Camp and open its ports and airfields to the Allies, then the 43 Campaign season could easily see the Allies sweeping to the German borders and fucking up the German War Economy by taking France and Belgium at the least out of the equation. Then 44 could see the Allies sweep into Germany and end the Nazi Regime.

The Vichy and Free France mess can sort itself out.

Sure Italy is still in play, but if Mussolini sees what way the gallows swing, he might just switch sides, speak a few hypocritical lines, kiss a few asses, denounce the Nazis, and debase himself in repentance, before opening up yet another front to Nazi Germany and forcing it to fight Italian Forces in the Balkans.

Stalin shuts up about a Second Front and in fact Mars might even succeed as Stalin may decide to allow the commitment of the Jupiter Reserves of 5th and 33rd Armies and the 9th and 10th Tank Corps, plus the 3rd Tank Army to that fight, gambling that Hitler will send send support elsewhere. The result being a synergistic Allied Effort overwhelming Hitlers abilities to shift forces around to block Allied moves.

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 28666
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

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

Postby Simon_Jester » 2015-09-06 09:00am

There are a LOT of good reasons why this did not or could not happen.
1) The US never seriously planned such an operation.
2) It is entirely possible they'd be doing it without British support and would imperil the Anglo-American alliance by saying 'screw you' at such an early date.
3) At this point in the war, the US was not fully ready to pour large numbers of fighting men in behind the initial landings, nor were the British. It's not about whether you can put five or eight or whatever divisions onto the shore on D-Day. It's whether you can have dozens of divisions fighting on D+30 Day or D+60 day. By this standard the US was not remotely prepared in 1942.
4) Therefore, the Allies would have had to gamble on capturing a port facility intact, and there were good reasons to worry that this would not be possible.
5) At this point in the war, the Italians were still fighting and no one knew for sure how much it would take for them to surrender; they might well have supported the Germans in opposing the landings.
6) The US has no easy way to secure air superiority over a beachhead in or around St. Nazaire. Aircraft based in Britain can reach there but it takes longer, and most Allied fighters are still short-ranged at this point in the war. So the Luftwaffe would be able to harass the beachhead with much more safety, and bomber support for the US troops will be less available AND more vulnerable to Luftwaffe interceptors.
7) The French Atlantic coast is infested with U-boats which will harass the shipping, and which cannot easily be suppressed due to the heavily armored U-boat pens and the heavy coastal defenses.
8] Any landing that had any chance of success would have to be prepared well in advance, so there was no realistic chance of coordinating with the Mars and Jupiter offensives, unless of course Stalin shared information about those offensives in advance, which so far as I know he did not.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 28666
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

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

Postby Simon_Jester » 2015-09-06 09:07am

Ghetto Edit:

And yes, it may sound to you like I'm ignoring some of your points. I'm not. I'm trying to represent the actual strategic thinking of the time. The Allies did not have exact figures on the state of the German war mobilization. They could not psychically foresee the future.

So no, they could not assume the Luftwaffe couldn't simply shift interceptors to the area around Quiberon Bay.

And yes, they were seriously concerned about the U-boat threat, with good reason, and committed vast resources specifically to countering it- because even ONE U-boat sinking ONE large troopship can be a disaster and result in the loss of five thousand or more soldiers in a single hour. Giving MANY U-boats MANY shots at large numbers of troopships that are actively engaged in landing operations could potentially be a disaster on par with the first day on the Somme.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
Honorius
Youngling
Posts: 124
Joined: 2015-07-27 09:58am

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

Postby Honorius » 2015-09-06 11:57am

Simon_Jester wrote:There are a LOT of good reasons why this did not or could not happen.
1) The US never seriously planned such an operation.
2) It is entirely possible they'd be doing it without British support and would imperil the Anglo-American alliance by saying 'screw you' at such an early date.


True, but the op presumes they did. Nor was Quiberon Bay unknown to the Allies, it was a site of a major British Victory in the Seven Years War, and a planned objective of Operation Chasity in 1944. There already was a small capacity port there and its nearby Lorient and St. Nazaire which are still in the process of building the fortifications that would be such headaches in 44 and are lightly manned.

Here is the place in Wikimapia, yeah I know this would not be what it looked like in 44, but is sufficient for the discussion.



3) At this point in the war, the US was not fully ready to pour large numbers of fighting men in behind the initial landings, nor were the British. It's not about whether you can put five or eight or whatever divisions onto the shore on D-Day. It's whether you can have dozens of divisions fighting on D+30 Day or D+60 day. By this standard the US was not remotely prepared in 1942.


This op assumes cancellation of Torch and the US Forces earmarked to that thrown here instead. Heck the 509th Infantry Regiment instead of flying all the way from Britain to Oran can help the landing by landing in the port area and seizing it before the main landing arrives and block the roads, the British can add their OTL Commando Units as well that participated in Torch. Since Orbat is down, I don't have a link to the Full Torch OOB, but here is one of Patton's Western Force.
4) Therefore, the Allies would have had to gamble on capturing a port facility intact, and there were good reasons to worry that this would not be possible.


That didn't stop D-Day and they face much lighter resistance than they do in 44. The Germans have nothing that can handle the Sherman Tank in the area, and the Stuarts are also competitive against the light resistance that would be existing in the area. Hell if the Allies move fast enough, they can overrun St. Nazaire and Lorient quickly.

Plus the Vichy French will likely rejoin the war on the Allied Side which would be an immediate virtual reinforcement of the Allied Forces with the Vichy Airforce entering the fray to protect the beachheads and with Vichy Forces moving north to linkup with Allied Forces.

5) At this point in the war, the Italians were still fighting and no one knew for sure how much it would take for them to surrender; they might well have supported the Germans in opposing the landings.


Only if they can sail around Spain and assuming the Vichy Fleet doesn't rejoin the Allies and oppose them.

6) The US has no easy way to secure air superiority over a beachhead in or around St. Nazaire. Aircraft based in Britain can reach there but it takes longer, and most Allied fighters are still short-ranged at this point in the war. So the Luftwaffe would be able to harass the beachhead with much more safety, and bomber support for the US troops will be less available AND more vulnerable to Luftwaffe interceptors.


And how effective would Luftwaffe attacks be? The glide bombs that stung the Allies in Italy aren't ready yet, and US Ships with their heavy AAA armament would have something to say to the Luftwaffe not to mention the Carrier Air Wings supporting the landing. Once CVE 28 Chenango unloads her 76 P-40s, the US Forces will have a strong fighter force over the beach, especially if Belle-Ille can support an airfield for them to stage from.

7) The French Atlantic coast is infested with U-boats which will harass the shipping, and which cannot easily be suppressed due to the heavily armored U-boat pens and the heavy coastal defenses.


Those pens aren't complete yet, the topography of the bay isn't conductive to submarine attack, and the kicker, the U-boats are out of position after chasing SL 125. Even then, the strong escort forces and mine layers pretty much takes them out of the fight. They can try, but its a quick ticket to a watery grave.
8] Any landing that had any chance of success would have to be prepared well in advance, so there was no realistic chance of coordinating with the Mars and Jupiter offensives, unless of course Stalin shared information about those offensives in advance, which so far as I know he did not.


Bagration was not coordinated with the Allies, nor was Sicily with the Soviet counter-offensives in 43. They still had a synergistic effect.

User avatar
Thanas
Magister
Magister
Posts: 30194
Joined: 2004-06-26 07:49pm

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

Postby Thanas » 2015-09-06 12:26pm

So you are proposing they hit a place directly situated between two major German naval bases, with plenty of minesweepers/layers and Schnellboote available to harass the supply lines, with ~15.000 men in Brest and St. Nazaire alone and combat-proven Luftwaffe units that will contest air superiority? After having just gotten mauled half a year before at Dieppe, when they tried to attack 1500 entrenched, low quality infantry and failed to get off the beach? And that is not counting the U-boats in the area.

Even further, the US troops at this stage had very few combat experience as Kasserine Pass showed. But say they take the city. What then? How are they going to keep them supplied? What about Winter?

I can't see this succeeding. Even more problematic because at this point the Germans still have intact transport networks in France. It took several months of bombing to disrupt those in 1944, you are proposing attacking without even a cursory attempt at doing this.

End result would be that the Germans will quickly encircle the city and then it becomes a massive tragedy.


EDIT: Heck, just the supply route for the allies is insane.
Whoever says "education does not matter" can try ignorance
------------
A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood
------------
My LPs

User avatar
Sgt_Artyom
Youngling
Posts: 89
Joined: 2014-06-26 08:30pm
Location: Calgary, Canada

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

Postby Sgt_Artyom » 2015-09-06 01:54pm

What assistance would the British even be willing to put forward to support such an endeavour considering that without the torch landings, they're still fighting a German/Italian army of decent strength in North Africa without American support?

Adam Reynolds
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2137
Joined: 2004-03-27 04:51am

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

Postby Adam Reynolds » 2015-09-06 02:21pm

Second Front Now--1943: An Opportunity Delayed was an interesting look at what it would take to make a landing in 1943. That would have been easily possible if the landings in mainland Italy were skipped or delayed, as a result of all of the landing craft that had been lost in those landings. It was actually possible that the US and British divisions would have been qualitatively better than in 1944, as they had not used as a cadre* to the same degree as they were a year later. In particular Sherman tanks would not have been remembered as death traps as the superior German tanks would not have been present in the quantities they were in 1944. Air and naval superiority would have also been easily possible given the superior numbers available to the Allies at the time.

But that has nothing to do with a landing in 1942. Anyone seriously suggesting a thing would have been insane.

* This is the process by which new divisions are created with veterans from other divisions.

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 28666
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

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

Postby Simon_Jester » 2015-09-06 04:11pm

Honorius wrote:
Simon_Jester wrote:There are a LOT of good reasons why this did not or could not happen.
1) The US never seriously planned such an operation.
2) It is entirely possible they'd be doing it without British support and would imperil the Anglo-American alliance by saying 'screw you' at such an early date.
True, but the op presumes they did.
Your original post presumes gross blithering stupidity because it's ignoring the practical problem that US-UK cooperation is worth a lot in the war. And that if the US just flat out ignored British wishes to go off and launch an unsupported offensive of questionable practicality, it risks losing a lot more than just the troops and ships directly committed to the operation.

Plus, the timeframe for planning landings around Quiberon Bay would not be in November 1942. It would have been earlier- more like, oh, September or August. In other words, before the Second Battle of El Alamein.

In other other words, the US would have been deciding to completely ignore British operations in the Middle East and ignore the question of going after Italy, and leave the British to deal with a joint German-Italian army that at the time was still encamped in western Egypt.

That would have been a stupidly provocative and dumb thing to do. You're picturing Roosevelt and other top US decision-makers saying to Churchill:

"you know what, we think this whole war in North Africa you've been fighting for two years is a distraction, the Mediterranean is a sideshow, despite the Italians and their several modern warships and million or so soldiers running all over southern Europe making trouble. So we're just going to send our army with its grand total of NO combat experience to attack a randomly chosen point on the French Atlantic coast, well out of reach of any possible support from you Brits, to tangle with, uh, whatever the Germans can scrape up. We're not exactly sure how much that'll be. But eh, what could possibly go wrong?"

Nor was Quiberon Bay unknown to the Allies, it was a site of a major British Victory in the Seven Years War, and a planned objective of Operation Chasity in 1944. There already was a small capacity port there and its nearby Lorient and St. Nazaire which are still in the process of building the fortifications that would be such headaches in 44 and are lightly manned.
No kidding the Allies knew about it, the entire French coastline was exhaustively mapped, analyzed, and evaluated. Normandy was chosen as the landing site for a reason. Unlike St. Nazaire it was close to airbases in Britain and ships could cross the Channel in a couple of hours to resupply it from ports in Britain.

3) At this point in the war, the US was not fully ready to pour large numbers of fighting men in behind the initial landings, nor were the British. It's not about whether you can put five or eight or whatever divisions onto the shore on D-Day. It's whether you can have dozens of divisions fighting on D+30 Day or D+60 day. By this standard the US was not remotely prepared in 1942.
This op assumes cancellation of Torch and the US Forces earmarked to that thrown here instead...
It doesn't matter. The total US forces allocated to Torch were grossly inadequate for a major, protracted campaign on the European continent. The US landed something like one hundred thousand men, and it took many months to prepare more units to be ready to back them up.

Once again, you are missing the point that it isn't just about being able to put eight divisions on shore on the first day of the invasion (D-Day). It's about having, oh, fifteen or twenty divisions a week or two later, when the Germans bring up reinforcements. And having several dozen divisions a month or two after that, when the Germans have had time to actually redeploy men from one theater to another.

If nothing else, you'll have to be ready to cope when Hitler takes all the forces he historically expended in the Kursk campaign and hits you over the head with them in spring 1943...

4) Therefore, the Allies would have had to gamble on capturing a port facility intact, and there were good reasons to worry that this would not be possible.
That didn't stop D-Day and they face much lighter resistance than they do in 44.
Actually, the Normandy landings were set up precisely so that there would be artificial harbor infrastructure that would (in theory) make it possible to supply the landing forces without relying on capturing a major port city and its facilities intact. And that turned out to be a damn good move, because no major port was in fact captured until long after D-Day.

The Germans have nothing that can handle the Sherman Tank in the area, and the Stuarts are also competitive against the light resistance that would be existing in the area. Hell if the Allies move fast enough, they can overrun St. Nazaire and Lorient quickly.
The US had no practical combat experience with the Sherman at this time, and tanks can be shifted fairly rapidly. Historically, the Germans had serious problems overcoming German armor with Stuarts and Shermans in the winter of 1942-43 during the Tunisia campaign, and I see no reason to believe they'd do better in France.

Plus the Vichy French will likely rejoin the war on the Allied Side which would be an immediate virtual reinforcement of the Allied Forces with the Vichy Airforce entering the fray to protect the beachheads and with Vichy Forces moving north to linkup with Allied Forces.
The only way to ensure this ahead of time would be to negotiate with the Vichy government, which would potentially alert the Germans to the proposed invasion and likely to its location.

What, there weren't enough problems with this plan, now you want to let the Axis know you're coming?

Plus, historically based on the 1943 campaign, the Germans were prepared to roll into the territory of one of their allies, Fascist Italy, and occupy it fully enough to ensure that German troops were able to keep fighting effectively in Italy for two years after the Italian surrender. They did this so efficiently that the existing German forces deployed in Italy were able to continue their resistance more or less seamlessly.

I see no reason to assume the Germans couldn't have done the same to stop Vichy from changing sides and starting to shoot at them.

5) At this point in the war, the Italians were still fighting and no one knew for sure how much it would take for them to surrender; they might well have supported the Germans in opposing the landings.
Only if they can sail around Spain and assuming the Vichy Fleet doesn't rejoin the Allies and oppose them.
The Vichy fleet had been effectively neutered by Operation Catapult two years earlier, precisely because the British could not take the risk of the ships being used by the Axis. No one was at all confident that the Vichy fleet would come down on their side.

Plus, of course, coordinating with Vichy would be extremely dangerous and it is virtually certain anything we told them about an invasion plan would get leaked to the Germans. The only reason coordinating with French North Africa worked is because the leaders of French North Africa were isolated from metropolitan France- the Allies had to deal with specific individuals who were planning to defect from Vichy, not with Vichy itself.

6) The US has no easy way to secure air superiority over a beachhead in or around St. Nazaire. Aircraft based in Britain can reach there but it takes longer, and most Allied fighters are still short-ranged at this point in the war. So the Luftwaffe would be able to harass the beachhead with much more safety, and bomber support for the US troops will be less available AND more vulnerable to Luftwaffe interceptors.
And how effective would Luftwaffe attacks be? The glide bombs that stung the Allies in Italy aren't ready yet, and US Ships with their heavy AAA armament would have something to say to the Luftwaffe not to mention the Carrier Air Wings supporting the landing.
WHAT carriers? The bulk of the combat-experienced US carrier fleet was still fighting in the Pacific. There were a handful of escort carriers but they were not capable of sustaining combat operations on a large scale.

Moreover, you're not thinking in the right terms; the threat isn't just to the ships, it's to the men once they get ashore. You're doing this long before the Allies have a large enough bomber force to neutralize and suppress Luftwaffe bases in France as a whole, so basically every German plane can go after the troops on the ground from wherever they happen to be based.

Once CVE 28 Chenango unloads her 76 P-40s, the US Forces will have a strong fighter force over the beach, especially if Belle-Ille can support an airfield for them to stage from.
That worked because the Allies could count on capturing airfields quickly...

7) The French Atlantic coast is infested with U-boats which will harass the shipping, and which cannot easily be suppressed due to the heavily armored U-boat pens and the heavy coastal defenses.
Those pens aren't complete yet, the topography of the bay isn't conductive to submarine attack...
The troopships won't be steaming directly into the bay, or if they are they'll be sitting ducks for air attack and the bulk of the fleet can't go in after them. The problem isn't just what happens in the bay. The problem is that the ships have to sail through the entire Bay of Biscay and be at risk of attack, and have to remain in the area and be at further risk of attack, from both U-boats and E-boats depending on what is available to the Germans.

and the kicker, the U-boats are out of position after chasing SL 125. Even then, the strong escort forces and mine layers pretty much takes them out of the fight. They can try, but its a quick ticket to a watery grave.
The Germans have a realistic chance here of trading one U-boat for several thousand soldiers; they'll take risks.

Plus, are you seriously expecting a critical factor of the operation to be planned with "and we will cunningly draw aside the German submarines with our munitions convoy?" That was not something that the Allies could plan ahead- could not expect the Germans to take the bait.

You're not thinking about the difference between "this is what would have happened if we had tried this" and "this is what we would have expected to happen." You can't design battle plans that rely on getting lucky.

8] Any landing that had any chance of success would have to be prepared well in advance, so there was no realistic chance of coordinating with the Mars and Jupiter offensives, unless of course Stalin shared information about those offensives in advance, which so far as I know he did not.
Bagration was not coordinated with the Allies, nor was Sicily with the Soviet counter-offensives in 43. They still had a synergistic effect.
The catch is that coordination would be required for such a small scale invasion plan to have any chance of accomplishing anything- because it would be necessary to keep the Germans so off-balance that they couldn't just, say, pull a quarter million men loose by January 1943 and drown the American beachhead in bodies. Which they COULD have done, using exactly the forces that historically were used to reinforce Tunisia. They must have got those men from somewhere, and they assembled them while the Battle of Stalingrad was raging- so what do you suggest changes here to interfere with that?
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
Sea Skimmer
Yankee Capitalist Air Pirate
Posts: 36998
Joined: 2002-07-03 11:49pm
Location: Passchendaele City, HAB
Contact:

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

Postby Sea Skimmer » 2015-09-06 04:21pm

This person is ignorant of basically everything possible. Which is no surprise when they aren't even making a detailed proposal.

1. America says screw you Britain and the Soft Underbelly and hits Quiberon Bay in France with OTL Torch Forces.


Annihilated by a German counteroffensive, easily. Except most of them would be sunk by U-boats and bombing offshore anyway. Such an operation is utter nonsense, let alone at that location.


2. Quiberon Bay is sheltered enough and weakly defended enough for a beach head to be secured.


It also has some big huge shoals and strong currents and large areas of the shoreline have marshes or smaller bays behind them. It would be a deathtrap for allied shipping.


3. The Allies have a decisive enough superiority in men and equipment in their Shermans vs Panzers to hold the line


Bunch of nonsense. The Germans still had deep strategic reserves in this period, and outnumbering any possible allied landing force which would be very short on medium and heavy artillery and a lot of other equipment. It would be an utter disaster and see all forces put ashore, if any even got that far, lost.


4. U-boats are not a sufficient deterrent or threat to the massed fleet elements protecting the Invasion Beachhead.


Profoundly untrue, and showing that this person knows absolutely nothing about Operation Torch. Losses to U-boats were very heavy starting several days after the landing, made possible only by allied strategic surprise. A landing on the French coast is a few hours steaming from multiple U-boat bases, large numbers of ships would be sunk prior to landing. Torch however captured multiple protected ports within a few days, providing a solution to the U-boats in those anchorages. A landing on Quiberon Bay would not do so.

5. Stalin will be hitting hard with Mars and Uranus at around the same time


The Germans completely defeated Operation Mars, which was most likely only ever a strategic decoy by Stalin, and Uranus while destroying several Axis armies, was hardly a death blow to German land power.


6. The Vichy French are a wild card, though I personally think they'll throw in with the Allies and move to link up with American Forces and open the Southern Ports


They lacked the land or air power to usefully oppose the Germans in France.


if this were to have occurred and why not, the Allies are in France in force to assist them, and allied reinforcements can enter the Southern French Ports under the protection of the Vichy Navy, the Vichy Forces in North Africa can also come up to help liberate France.


With what? Monty is still fighting Rommel in North Africa. American forces are still very slim in numbers. And all those German troops that ended up fighting in Sicily and Italy (notice how the Germans could occupy Italy right after France, with you know, troops and tanks) would go to oppose an allied landing stuck between a bunch of mud flats and inland swamps.


7. Luftwaffe strength is not sufficient to challenge the landing and the sheer amount of flak and carrier air power brought to bear, plus fighters flying from England, and the uncertainty of whether Vichy Planes might intervene as well.


Factually wrong. The proposed invasion site is out of range of almost all allied fighters in 1942. Carrier strength is very limited, ships AA batteries are still limited in many cases, just finding enough guns to arm attack transports for Torch was a problem, while the Germans actually hit the all time peak of their air strength in this period.


8. The forces and defenses that opposed the Allies in 1944, don't exist yet and are the product of a 1943 production boom made possible by integrating captured territories into the Nazi Economy, and said boom will be completely disrupted by this offensive and never ear fruit. Plus the Allies would be overrunning a largely intact French Rail Network that wasn't bombed to shit.


And the allied landing doctrine, training, experience and equipment that could make such big landings in 1943 and 1944 don't exist either. Nor do large follow on forces. Torch was an utter fiasco on the beaches, only the abject weakness of the French and total strategic surprise made it so successful. You can talk about an allied landing in France in 1943, at the cost of doing nothing in 1942 at all, but in 1942 it is utter absurdity.


What do you guys think? Was this a missed opportunity that could have saved millions of lives? I would say so.


I would say you don't really know anything about the subject, and that proposals for radical operations with no details are generally a sign of people not having seriously thought about them. This is so absurdly dumb my first instinct was to save time and simply leave it at saying it was absurdly dumb.
"This cult of special forces is as sensible as to form a Royal Corps of Tree Climbers and say that no soldier who does not wear its green hat with a bunch of oak leaves stuck in it should be expected to climb a tree"
— Field Marshal William Slim 1956

User avatar
Sea Skimmer
Yankee Capitalist Air Pirate
Posts: 36998
Joined: 2002-07-03 11:49pm
Location: Passchendaele City, HAB
Contact:

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

Postby Sea Skimmer » 2015-09-06 04:47pm

Honorius wrote:True, but the op presumes they did. Nor was Quiberon Bay unknown to the Allies, it was a site of a major British Victory in the Seven Years War


How is that a relevant reference? Its also the site of the sinking, on a rock, of the dreadnought France in 1922. The place is treacherous. That's demonstrated by the very fact that the allies considered building an artificial harbor in it.

This op assumes cancellation of Torch and the US Forces earmarked to that thrown here instead. Heck the 509th Infantry Regiment instead of flying all the way from Britain to Oran can help the landing by landing in the port area


So, you conduct an airport landing on top of buildings and water how exactly?


That didn't stop D-Day and they face much lighter resistance than they do in 44. The Germans have nothing that can handle the Sherman Tank in the area, and the Stuarts are also competitive against the light resistance that would be existing in the area. Hell if the Allies move fast enough, they can overrun St. Nazaire and Lorient quickly.


Hell if bullshit could fly we could have dropped London on top of Berlin! The allies barely even have any way of landing Sherman tanks in 1942. Meanwhile American troops are completely raw, as shown at Kasserine Pass, and the actual Torch landings themselves, and some of the British units drawn from troops whom had never left the UK before, not much better.


Plus the Vichy French will likely rejoin the war on the Allied Side which would be an immediate virtual reinforcement of the Allied Forces with the Vichy Airforce entering the fray to protect the beachheads and with Vichy Forces moving north to linkup with Allied Forces.


You realize they had no fuel right? That the Germans had forced them to turn over weapons enmass, and strangled them for supplies ever since 1940? Oh right, you don't because you don't know anything.


And how effective would Luftwaffe attacks be?


Is totally a word?

The glide bombs that stung the Allies in Italy aren't ready yet, and US Ships with their heavy AAA armament would have something to say to the Luftwaffe


Actually at this point in the war British ships generally still had superior light anti aircraft armaments to American vessels and the VT fuse is still far away from service. But yeah, ignorance.


not to mention the Carrier Air Wings supporting the landing.


Not to mention that your no numbers approach to this, and blatant America-centralism makes you look like a fool. Care to add up how many actual fighters those had in the Atlantic, and then balance that against the fact that USS Ranger didn't even have armor and was never allowed in the Pacific, that many of the Wildcats are still early models with no armor or self sealing fuel tanks because all the good ones were rushed to the Pacific? Are you even aware of RN carriers? Because those would be closer to the real hope for something this delusional.


Once CVE 28 Chenango unloads her 76 P-40s, the US Forces will have a strong fighter force over the beach, especially if Belle-Ille can support an airfield for them to stage from.


The Germans have something like oh ~2,500 modern combat planes in the western theater in late 1942. The fact that you think less then a hundred outdated American fighters would matter really does just drive home your complete ignorance of the situation. American pilots were flying Spitfires during Torch for a reason. No P-47 reached Europe before Jan 1943.

Those pens aren't complete yet, the topography of the bay isn't conductive to submarine attack,


Actually it kind of is, because the place only has one decent way in and out, and inside the bay the water is shallow enough for aerial mine laying which will make it a nightmare.


and the kicker, the U-boats are out of position after chasing SL 125. Even then, the strong escort forces and mine layers pretty much takes them out of the fight. They can try, but its a quick ticket to a watery grave.


References to a historical convoy have no validity when your plan requires entirely changing the allied convoy routings. This change could easily cause the allied deception plan to fail. Also this plan requires streaming in to an area of axis land based air recon coverage, which did not exist off Morroco.

Oh and also one single U-boat sank or damaged six of fifteen transports off Fedhala during the historical operation, hardly the only allied losses from submarine attacks. That was far away from the U-boat bases. Not twenty miles.
"This cult of special forces is as sensible as to form a Royal Corps of Tree Climbers and say that no soldier who does not wear its green hat with a bunch of oak leaves stuck in it should be expected to climb a tree"
— Field Marshal William Slim 1956

User avatar
Honorius
Youngling
Posts: 124
Joined: 2015-07-27 09:58am

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

Postby Honorius » 2015-09-06 05:37pm

Thanas wrote:So you are proposing they hit a place directly situated between two major German naval bases, with plenty of minesweepers/layers and Schnellboote available to harass the supply lines, with ~15.000 men in Brest and St. Nazaire alone and combat-proven Luftwaffe units that will contest air superiority? After having just gotten mauled half a year before at Dieppe, when they tried to attack 1500 entrenched, low quality infantry and failed to get off the beach? And that is not counting the U-boats in the area.


Actually the thesis is T.A. Gardners, I just found it intriguing and worthy of further discussion. But to your points.

Those Naval Bases are not complete and Saint Nazaire is still being cleaned up in the aftermath of Operation Chariot. The Allies bring a lot of Battleships, Cruisers, and Destroyers with them, plus Carriers that make U-boat and Schnellboote operations, essentially suicide, nor are there many U-Boats capable of operating there to begin with, only 30 or so. The Minatonomah, Monadnock, and Terror would immediately begin throwing up a minefield 11 kilometers long in just a day which they did for Torch. The depth in the area is between 30 and 91 meters which greatly hampers U-boat operations and makes them all-but-suicide. Flak is minimal to non-existent in this landing area and a night paradrop would be unopposed as the Luftwaffe Nightfighters are concentrated in Germany and not sufficient in numbers to deploy to France yet. So a comparison to the incompetently planned and executed Dieppe Raid is meritless. Also simply by altering their sea approach to come from the south, the Allies would avoid the majority of the U-boats who historically had great difficulty operating in the Bay Biscay even in 1942. The American ships also have sonar and radar.

Unlike the RN, the USN is packing the AAA armament with the radars to support it and bringing the big guns which the British didn't have for Dieppe. Only KG 100 and Fleiger Fuhrer Atlantik are any real threat and they have roughly 30 to 40 aircraft between them.

There is just one German division in the immediate vicinity, the 333rd Infantry which is woefully equipped to repel a sea invasion and spread across a 32km front. The rest of the German Divisions in France at this time are not in much better shape, either rebuilding from a mauling on the Ost Front, or forming up as a Divisional Unit. The defenses of 44 simply don't exist yet.

T.A. Gardner provided a TO&E which can be checked, but it was as follows:

Order of battle (15 Nov 1942)
At the disposal of the 7. Armee
257. Infanterie-Division (army reserve)
LXXXIV. Armeekorps
320. Infanterie-Division (Cotenin)
716. Infanterie-Division (Caen area)
165. Reserve-Division (Forming near Epinal)
319. Infanterie-Division (Channel Islands)
XXV. Armeekorps
709. Infanterie-Division (HQ Cherbourg)
17. Infanterie-Division (HQ Quimperle)
182. Infanterie-Division (forming from 182nd Division Number) (HQ Cassel)
333. Infanterie-Division (SW France on Coast below Brittany pennsula to Vichy France border)
343. Infanterie-Division (HQ St. Malo)
346. Infanterie-Division (still forming near Bretange)

They are for the most part in bad shape and under-strength. The 7th, 10th, 26th, and 27th Panzer Divisions are at marginal fighting strength and lunch for Allied BBs, CAs, and CLs. Even without Naval Gunfire, they consist of Mark III and IVs (mostly with the L/24 gun) and face Shermans and M10s which can take them out. The Tigers have only just begun deploying to the field, the Panthers are only just beginning production, and the Panzer IVs are only just beginning to add the L/42 and L/48 guns to all Panzer IVs that made them competitive to the end of the war. The Second Line Divisions of 44 have yet to be raised, and even if Hitler orders their mobilization, it will be months before they can be ready. So the American Landing Force can in a worst case scenario hold out in an Anzio like scenario and break out in 43.

Also recall that at Salerno, the Germans threw the 16th Pz, 26th Pz, 29th PzGr, 15th PzGr, and Hermann Göring Panzer Divisions at the Allies and lost despite the Germans being totally prepared.

Against this, the US are throwing the OTL Torch Forces. Even if we tone it down to Patton's Corps, that is still more than the local German Forces can handle and it will take a minimum of two weeks before the Germans can amass sufficient forces to contain a beach head.

Heck the paradrop wouldn't even be necessary, they could be flown afterwards or dropped directly onto the Frontlines like they were in Italy, successfully.

Even further, the US troops at this stage had very few combat experience as Kasserine Pass showed. But say they take the city. What then? How are they going to keep them supplied? What about Winter?


About Kasserine. It was a German operational failure despite tactical success. The conditions leading to the tactical gains of that battle don't exist in this scenario. Quiberon Bay is well sheltered from winter storms and has three small ports, and again if American troops move fast enough, they can seize Lorient and Saint Nazaire with light resistance, but even if they don't, Quiberon's Ports are sufficient to support them while they build up for a breakout. Plus the Vichy may very well re-enter the war on the Allied side and open the Southern Ports and move to link up with the American Forces which means Allied Troops can stage from Southern France.

I can't see this succeeding. Even more problematic because at this point the Germans still have intact transport networks in France. It took several months of bombing to disrupt those in 1944, you are proposing attacking without even a cursory attempt at doing this.


The German forces to counter this simply don't exist at this time. I think you are letting the German Force of 1944 color your perception of their actual force of 1942. Also Stalingrad is going on at this time and Hitler would be faced with having to send units to bail out Sixth Army and Army Group Center. There is also a Soviet thrust at Leningrad during this time period and heavy fighting in the Caucasus.

Then there is the Vichy French. They still have a strong force in the Field of 50,000 men in Southern France and if they see American Troops are liberating Quiberon, they'll likely re-join the Allied Side. Even if they don't, Hitler still has to divert substantial resources to containing them, especially if they fight back which they didn't OTL. If the Vichy French Navy sorties and brings its guns to bear to defend its ports, its difficult to see how the Germans can take them. Kronstadt in the Soviet Union for example was successfully defended by ships anchored there and Naval Infantry despite German efforts to take it. To this, the Vichy could bring back forces in Algeria and allow Allied troops to land in their ports.

The French Resistance is another factor as well.

Lastly Hitler faces a problem of where to pull aircraft. Pull them from the Ost Front? From the Mediterranean? From the defense of the Reich? From Norway? None of those are good answers.

Granted this is a massive gamble, but then again so was D-Day, which if the weather had turned nasty on those unsheltered beaches, could have been disastrous. Hence why Eisenhower prepared a letter taking full responsibility if it had failed. Nor is it more of a gamble than the Wehrmacht's Ardennes thrust of 1940 which could have gone wrong in many ways. War requires a willingness to gamble on victory or defeat.

Zinegata
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2441
Joined: 2010-06-21 09:04am

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

Postby Zinegata » 2015-09-06 10:05pm

Even if we assume there are enough forces in 1942 - and the general consensus is that there isn't (1943 is a very different story) - why the hell would they land at Quiberon Bay instead of Normandy?

As Skimmer already noted - Quiberon Bay offers no advantages over Normandy. It is not a short hop across the Channel, and not within easy reach of Allied naval or airpower.

It does not have a lot of beaches either for direct LST offloading - the original proposal for Normandy in fact was premised entirely on landing supplies directly unto the beaches and that the Allied forces ashore would focus on opening more beaches on either side of the peninsula; which was fortunate because the final plan ended up not working as it was more conservative and instead relied on artificial harbors (half of which were destroyed by storm) and capturing a major intact port (which basically didn't happen until Antwerp).

Creating a lodgment area at Quiberon would not be easy either - the beaches chosen were at the neck of the Normandy peninsula, which required only a relatively short defensive line while the rest of the peninsula was secured and used as a lodgement area to build up a massive force to do the eventual break-out. Indeed, in practice every German counter-attack against this line ended up a fiasco. At Quiberon there is no short defensive line to throw up and no lodgment area to create unless you try to secure the whole of Brittany - which is frankly insanity when it's a larger peninsula than Normandy and you have even fewer troops!

Normandy had always been the best landing option. Logistically and terrain wise it made the best sense. Besides, if Normandy was really not going to be chosen for some reason then the second option would be Pas-De-Calais. And even if Pas-De-Calais is also not on the table I'd rather land in Holland and the mud-slogging madness that it will imply than Quiberon.

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 28666
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

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

Postby Simon_Jester » 2015-09-07 02:28am

Sea Skimmer wrote:
2. Quiberon Bay is sheltered enough and weakly defended enough for a beach head to be secured.
It also has some big huge shoals and strong currents and large areas of the shoreline have marshes or smaller bays behind them. It would be a deathtrap for allied shipping.
Come to think of it, during the 1759 Battle of Quiberon Bay that Honorius himself referenced... well, basically, Hawke handled his ships very aggressively, the French routed... and promptly lost several ships in the currents, rocks, and shoals.

So yeah, I can actually imagine a lot of RN officers who know the history of their own service going "you want to try an amphibious invasion there?" and just sort of... wandering off scratching their heads.

Sea Skimmer wrote:I would say you don't really know anything about the subject, and that proposals for radical operations with no details are generally a sign of people not having seriously thought about them. This is so absurdly dumb my first instinct was to save time and simply leave it at saying it was absurdly dumb.
While threads like this often fail to educate the original poster, they do serve to enlighten other, bystander posters and readers. So some good is accomplished, from my perspective.

Sea Skimmer wrote:
Honorius wrote:True, but the op presumes they did. Nor was Quiberon Bay unknown to the Allies, it was a site of a major British Victory in the Seven Years War
How is that a relevant reference? Its also the site of the sinking, on a rock, of the dreadnought France in 1922. The place is treacherous. That's demonstrated by the very fact that the allies considered building an artificial harbor in it.
Now that I think about it it's a very relevant reference... for exactly the same reason the sinking of the France is- because the British victory at Quiberon Bay during the Seven Years' War was a huge disaster for the French navy. And that disaster was in large part caused by some of the very factors that make Quiberon Bay a lousy place for an amphibious landing:

-Harsh Atlantic weather battering the coast directly
-Rocks, shoals, and shallows all over the alleged 'harbor' that is the bay.
-Treacherous currents and swampy ground inland

In short, it's a very bad place for anything that involves high-risk operations in a ship or boat. Like, oh, an amphibious landing.

Actually it kind of is, because the place only has one decent way in and out, and inside the bay the water is shallow enough for aeriael mine laying which will make it a nightmare.
[eyes go wide]

Christ. You're right, I hadn't even thought of that...

[pictures LSTs trying to make it through a narrow mined channel...]

Honorius wrote:Those Naval Bases are not complete and Saint Nazaire is still being cleaned up in the aftermath of Operation Chariot. The Allies bring a lot of Battleships, Cruisers, and Destroyers with them...
They will have a lot less of those things after the operation is over, that's for sure. Also, Randomly Capitalizing various miscellaneous Nouns makes you look Foolish. Capitalization is reserved for proper nouns, we all know this.

...plus Carriers that make U-boat and Schnellboote operations, essentially suicide, nor are there many U-Boats capable of operating there to begin with, only 30 or so.
Most if not all of those thirty U-boats will account for one or more Allied ships, very possibly a large and valuable one. The distances involved are so short it's quite possible the U-boats can run submerged all the way from the bases to their targets and get in a shot or two without ever being seen. Even if they die in the attempt... frankly, that's the sort of trade the Germans can afford to make, and they're not short of aggressive U-boat captains.

Granted this is a massive gamble, but then again so was D-Day, which if the weather had turned nasty on those unsheltered beaches, could have been disastrous...
The Normandy landings were a calculated risk. The Allies had by that point spent two years analyzing and preparing for such an operation, had an extensive body of experience in launching other similar operations, and took every possible step to limit the risks and create contingency plans in case something went wrong.

This is an uncalculated risk. You are willfully ignoring many important factors and threats to the operations in order to claim "it could have worked." You are totally ignoring that this operation is happening at what may well have been the peak of total German land and air military strength. You are totally ignoring that a 100000-man American army with no combat experience cannot liberate France by itself or with the (spurious) aid of scattered and effectively disarmed Vichy troops, in the few weeks it would take the Germans (and very possibly Italians) to pull together reserves and throw them into France. You are totally ignoring the threats of German U-boats and E-boats despite the fact that there was never any time during the war when the Allies could be truly confident of keeping U-boats entirely out of any place the U-boats seriously wanted to enter. Certainly not when we're talking about something like screening U-boats from attacking through the open ocean and sinking battleships and carriers and large troopships that are all lined up like sitting ducks supporting an amphibious operation.

You are also, frankly, ignoring the fact that the US's carrier air arm was still recovering after Midway and that basically all the powerful carriers were in the Pacific at this time.

Hence why Eisenhower prepared a letter taking full responsibility if it had failed. Nor is it more of a gamble than the Wehrmacht's Ardennes thrust of 1940 which could have gone wrong in many ways. War requires a willingness to gamble on victory or defeat.
There's a difference between a "gamble" in the sense of "do something that might fail if the enemy gets clever and sneaky" and "gamble" in the sense of "do something that WILL predictably fail unless the enemy is suddenly struck by a curse of magical paralysis and stupidity."

The Germans would have to fail on so very many levels to let this plan succeed, that for all intents and purposes it could not succeed.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
Captain Seafort
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1529
Joined: 2008-10-10 11:52am
Location: Blighty

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

Postby Captain Seafort » 2015-09-07 04:47am

Zinegata wrote:Even if we assume there are enough forces in 1942 - and the general consensus is that there isn't (1943 is a very different story)


1943 is just as dodgy - mainly because the Luftwaffe was a vastly more dangerous opponent in the summer of that year than in June 1944. It wasn't until Doolittle took over the 8th Air Force in January 1944 that serious damage started to be done.

the second option would be Pas-De-Calais. And even if Pas-De-Calais is also not on the table I'd rather land in Holland and the mud-slogging madness that it will imply than Quiberon.


I can't see either of those as viable alternatives. Calais is very exposed, has no sea room immediately off shore organise the assault waves, and I believe has good defensive positions inland. As for the Dutch coast, it's not just the fact good defensive terrain, but the limited front you'd be landing on, and more importantly the distance from the main UK ports - I'm not sure you could deploy PLUTO that distance. In hindsight it's surprising that the Germans ever seriously considered a landing anywhere but Normandy as a serious threat.
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe - Albert Einstein

User avatar
Thanas
Magister
Magister
Posts: 30194
Joined: 2004-06-26 07:49pm

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

Postby Thanas » 2015-09-07 05:38am

Well they considered calais because it had historically been the landing spot for most invasions into England, planned or real - and because it was such a short jump. And because Hitler had a fixation on that place.
Whoever says "education does not matter" can try ignorance
------------
A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood
------------
My LPs

User avatar
Captain Seafort
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1529
Joined: 2008-10-10 11:52am
Location: Blighty

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

Postby Captain Seafort » 2015-09-07 05:48am

Thanas wrote:And because Hitler had a fixation on that place.


How much of that was due to Fortitude though? My understanding was that until early 1944 he was convinced that the landings would be in Normandy, and only then shifted to thinking of the Pas de Calais.
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe - Albert Einstein

User avatar
LaCroix
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4086
Joined: 2004-12-21 12:14pm
Location: Vienna, Austria, Europe, Terra

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

Postby LaCroix » 2015-09-07 09:56am

Simon_Jester wrote:Most if not all of those thirty U-boats will account for one or more Allied ships, very possibly a large and valuable one. The distances involved are so short it's quite possible the U-boats can run submerged all the way from the bases to their targets and get in a shot or two without ever being seen. Even if they die in the attempt... frankly, that's the sort of trade the Germans can afford to make, and they're not short of aggressive U-boat captains.

Agreed.
But it would be worse than a shot or two from the uboats. In waters like the Quiberon, they invading force would need to pack together in the waterways. They could simply torpedo everything in sight, for there is no reason to assume they could evade, and even if, the torpedo would most likely hit another ship.
In that situation, the uboats would most probably would launch all torpedoes they have ready (4 front tubes for a VII), turn immeadiately and launch the aft tube as well, heading home. They either hit or cause enough chaos that some boat runs aground.

Evasion wise, sonar should be less effective in shallow rocky water, as there is lot's of noise due to ground reflection, which would hamper uboat detection, while being close enough to the shore to have close fighter and bomber coverage, e-boats, destroyers, and maybe even coastal artillery support (the bay is about 20km wide, so even an 8.8 or 10.5 could provide cover, in theory, depending on the attack route) protecting the retreat, a lot of the uboats might even get away to try again.

Not even counting the fact that the Luftwaffe would cover the area in mines and bombs, and coastal artillery firing at them. The whole operation would most aptly described as a shooting gallery. Might just as well paint all the attacking ships yellow and put a beak on their stern.

And since the water is only 30 to 90m, you could practically close a waterway with only a few sunken ships, causing a huge pileup.
A minute's thought suggests that the very idea of this is stupid. A more detailed examination raises the possibility that it might be an answer to the question "how could the Germans win the war after the US gets involved?" - Captain Seafort, in a thread proposing a 1942 'D-Day' in Quiberon Bay

I do archery skeet. With a Trebuchet.

Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 28666
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

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

Postby Simon_Jester » 2015-09-07 11:36am

I think the ultimate problem here is that Honorious (and his 'source') seem to think of ships as being unsinkable, tough, unstoppable, invulnerable to little petty things like several dozen German bombers, or a spread of torpedoes.

The reality is that modern ships are actually very vulnerable. They're made of steel, and liberally supplied with flammable and explosive materials, they sink rather easily when you start punching holes in them with high explosives. The largest warships get some advantage from sheer size and surplus buoyancy, and sometimes from armor that protects against specific types of threats- but they are still vulnerable underneath all that armor, and can easily be crippled or turned into a liability for their own side, rather than an asset.

Cruisers, destroyers, and of course transport ships don't even have that going for them- they are not large enough to survive the largest weapons likely to be brought to bear against them.

Insofar as warships cope at all, they cope with that vulnerability by massive, overwhelming firepower, and by damage control that allows them to limp away from the battlefield and be repaired- but does not leave them in fit shape to press the attack as a rule. They can't get shot by an enemy's "alpha strike" firepower and just keep fighting with only moderately reduced combat potential, the way that a wooden ship of the line usually would back in the 1700s.

In other words, the average ship used in an amphibious landing is about as vulnerable to torpedoes as the average human is to bullets...

And the idea that a 'bold and daring' large scale amphibious attack can succeed with minimal air cover and preparation just because the defenses are 'weak' is a lot like the idea that soldiers can charge half a mile through the fire of machine guns and bolt-action rifles if only they have enough élan.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov

User avatar
Ziggy Stardust
Sith Devotee
Posts: 2606
Joined: 2006-09-10 10:16pm
Location: Research Triangle, NC

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

Postby Ziggy Stardust » 2015-09-07 12:50pm

Then there is the Vichy French. They still have a strong force in the Field of 50,000 men in Southern France and if they see American Troops are liberating Quiberon, they'll likely re-join the Allied Side.


In addition to all of the other criticisms of this theory, why on Earth do you keep insisting that the Vichy will automatically join the Allies? Historically, they never showed any inclination of doing so, at least in France itself. Even Darlan never showed any inclination to actively fight the Germans; he seemed more concerned with just getting out of the Allies way and supporting them logistically.

User avatar
Thanas
Magister
Magister
Posts: 30194
Joined: 2004-06-26 07:49pm

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

Postby Thanas » 2015-09-07 01:01pm

I am pretty sure the largest threat might not even be U-boats but Mines. Biscay is pretty shallow so U-boats might have some difficulty there. Then again they operated in the St Lawrence river with good success, so....

Anyway, the Germans have plenty of minelayers in Brest and St. Nazaire, which are enough to mine the waters if they get wind of what is happening - and that would be pretty quick considering in this year German aerial reconnaissance is still intact. Once the area is mined the landing is essentially over as the US cannot pull off minesweeping duties while being under constant fire from the Luftwaffe/artillery.

Even worse for the Allies would be if the attack would actually succeed IMO and the US manages to put substantial forces ashore. Because it would mean Hitler might pull troops out of Stalingrad, thus preventing it from becoming the death trap of the sixth army. This missed opportunity would be even more of a calamity than the loss of a few US divisions.
Whoever says "education does not matter" can try ignorance
------------
A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood
------------
My LPs

User avatar
Honorius
Youngling
Posts: 124
Joined: 2015-07-27 09:58am

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

Postby Honorius » 2015-09-07 05:18pm

Okay Niehorster's Orbat is back up, but some links still aren't working again, but enough for our purposes here. That said since everyone is bringing up the same issues with a Quiberon landing, I'll address them all here rather than to each person individually.

German Army Order of Battle Army Group D 28 June 1942

If you haven't used this site before, the highlighted boxes are clickable. So click on 7th Army which is the main Army that would oppose this proposed early D-Day. Then click on XXV Corps which is the zone that is being hit.

We have 6th Panzer which is enroute to Stalingrad at the time of this proposed D-Day. Hitler desperately needs it there. But if he cancels that order and brings them back to France, Stalin will be pleased mightily, OTL 6th Panzer mauled the fuck out of the Soviet 5th Tank Army before being stopped short of Stalingrad. If it is instead deployed to the Quiberon area, it will learn real quickly that Panzers don't win arguments with Battleships and the early model Shermans are more than a match for its Panzer IVs and IIIs. American troops are also packing the Bazooka while the Germans have yet to deploy Panzerfaust and Panzerchreck and won't till August next year.

17th Division is not in the vicinity. 333rd is a static division spread across the Lorient Saint-Nazaire Front which includes Quiberon and asking to get chewed up piecemeal, and there is no coastal artillery present, even if they were, going by the other Amphibious Operations, they are a nuisance more than a credible threat and either BBs or Paratroopers can silence them. The Herman Goering Regiment would be gone by the start of November to the Mediterranean because that bad boy Monty hurt Rommel causing him to cry :twisted: The 202nd Panzer Regiment is under strength.

LXXXIV Corps is composed of Static Divisions and Fortress Units.

Going to the 15th Army in Normandy, LXXXI Corps is Static Divisions and coastal artillery batteries. LXXXII Corps has only the 106th Infantry Division available to move. 10th Panzer is still rebuilding from the mauling on the Ost Front it received and was barely able to scratch together a small force to send against the Dieppe Raid.

LXXXIII Corps has just one Infantry Division.

1st Army has under strength units that have to watch the Vichy French and will likely go south to ensure the Vichy Ports don't become Allied Ports, several of its Units are slated for the Ost Front where they were involved in Manstein's Kharkov Counter-Offensive. If they stay in France, Stalin won't mind, and would be delighted, Kharkov will certainly enjoy staying liberated. Also 12 Infantry Divisions transferred to the Ost Front go to France instead, heck the German Forces in the Caucasus might even go into the bag.

Luftwaffe isn't much better, with the bulk on the Ost Front and only a few hundred aircraft in France spread out and facing aircraft from Britain, the Vichy if they decide to rejoin the war, and the Aircraft defending the beach heads. While in theory, Hitler can pull aircraft from the Ost Front, Stalingrad is surrounded with the 6th Army in it and the Transports need escorts. If Hitler pulls Luftflotte 2 out of the Mediterranean, Rommel is done, the Italian Air Force is short of fuel to be much help. Pull the Aircraft from Germany, well the CBO gets easier. From Norway, well the RAF will enjoy dropping presents there. Even before Paulus got encircled, the Luftwaffe was bringing him supplies because the transport network to Stalingrad was utter shit and not helped by splitting Army Group South in two. The Luftwaffe is also trying to supply Rommel and Demyansk. Even when it had air parity, the Luftwaffe proved unable to defeat Allied Landings backed by BBs, and if float planes can operate in the presence of FW-190s as they did OTL, any German Counter-attacks are going to get busted up badly by the firepower of CAs much less BBs. Finally the Luftwaffe has very little AShW capability and the glide bombs of 43 don't exist yet, tactics that worked against British Convoys in the early stage of the war are suicidal against the sheer Flak the USN can throw out and that's before we consider the carriers.

Since this proposed D-Day has Ranger, CVE 26, discounting CVE 28 as its ferrying 75 P-40s, CVE 27, CVE 29, CV 47, CVE D 14, CVE D 37, CVE I.49, CV 67, and CV 38, which gives the Allies local air superiority, especially as the British are now deploying Seafires. Plus, and I will give the British rare credit, their carrier pilots are trained for night operations and did in fact launch numerous successful night ops during WW2 a capability no other side was able to excel at. This also means the Allies can make it even harder for the Germans to respond by air-land-sea. Since the P-40s can fly from Britain once grass strips are ready, CVE 28 can take on F4Fs instead to boost the Carrier Air Power. Once grass strips are ready for the P-40s they can fly in and begin providing air cover and escorts for Allied Bombers flying from Britain and are still competitive against German fighters of this period and have good operational range that is double that of spitfires. Using the circle function of Google Pro, their combat range enables them to operate over Paris and as far as Frankfurt if I'm reading the operational range right for the P-40E and assuming they are operating from Belle Island. If I'm reading it wrong and it half that, then still Paris is in range which means German Forces responding to the Invasion are getting pounded from the air as far forward as Paris as they move up. Given the French rail network runs through Paris with no Parallel tracks along the coast, any German counter-attack has to stage from Paris. As the air facilities expand the XII Fighter Group can move in and further improve the Allied Air Superiority over the Bay of Biscay and Brittany. XII Bomber can remain safely in Britain and conduct operations till a breakout occurs to let them stage in France.

Kriegsmarine can have 30 submarines top in the area, which is not conductive to U-Boat operations, facing a double screen of destroyers and minefields, plus Allied Air Patrols. The Schnellbootes are a nuisance at best. Given the massed fleet they face in this scenario, the best they can do is fire torpedoes at max range like they did on D-Day, and run for it, plus they are based at Le Havre, which is on the Channel Coast. If the Allies seize Groix Island, either by a landing force or a Paradrop or both in combination, they can emplace artillery and aircraft to block the Lorient off, rendering it useless to the Nazis which helps contain the U-Boat threat. From Belle Island to Quiberon City is 13.5 kilometers which can be mined off to prevent Submarines making an approach from that direction. An outer destroyer screen can be placed between Belle Island and Guerande which is roughly 39 kilometers long with an inner screen anchored of the small islands. Any submarines trying to force the screen will die, as they have to surface in order to attack. Donitz simply doesn't have the replacements yet and may in fact order his subs to abandon the Bay of Biscay if the Allies gain a successful lodgement which in turn means Allied ASW Forces are blocking the Lorient and Saint Nazaire Ports to operations, which also greatly helps winning the battle of the Atlantic as well by denying the Germans two bases with which to break into the Atlantic. The heavy German Naval Units are being repaired and even if available would have to traverse the Channel or North Sea and be open season to the British Home Fleet. If Donitz decides to fight it out or Hitler orders him to, then it won't make a difference, the U-Flaks aren't ready yet, and the Naval Commitment of the Allies makes the Bay of Biscay a death trap for German U-Boats which consist of the Type VII and IX, neither of which are survivable against the Allies in the Bay of Biscay, the XXI have yet to be built and won't till next year and only in small numbers to begin with. So the German Naval Defenses are not a credible deterrent.

Even if the Kriegsmarine were to spot the Invasion Force, the Invasion Troop Convoys are moving at 12 knots. That's double of a Merchant Convoy and heavily escorted. The U-Boats have to surface to intercept and that is suicide. No troop ships were sunk making the Atlantic Crossing and few troop ships were ever sunk, and only one by submarine due to a lack of escorts in 1940, the others ate glide bombs. Also Huff-Duff was well established by this point with regular ASW patrols in the Bay of Biscay and in the waters of the Bay of Biscay, the U-Boats would have no hiding places. If they surface to re-charge their batteries, doom on them. If they surface to make an attack, its death to them. If they try to sneak past the Destroyer pickets and minefields, it will be their destruction. Even submerged, they will be seen from the air due the shallowness of the bay, which varies between 31 meters and 91 meters, 100 feet and 300 feet if you absolutely insist on Imperial measurements.

Nor would mines be an impediment. The magnetic mines had already been defeated by the degaussing process in 1940, and no Allied Landing failed because of minefields. Nor do the Germans have the bottom contact mine defenses (basically modified AT Mines attached to steel girders) used at Normandy, in this area. Also the Germans had big problems mining just the Channel, I doubt they have sufficient resources to mine Quiberon Bay much less Saint Nazaire which was successfully raided in 42 with no problems from minefields.

No matter how you look at it, Hitler's problem with a Quiberon D-Day Landing in November of 42 are unsolvable and General Marshal was correct to push for an immediate French Invasion while the cream of the German Army was largely tied up elsewhere. And the Vichy French could be in a position to switch sides and open the Southern Ports and hold them long enough for Allied Reinforcements to arrive and breakout from them at the very least. In the best case scenario the Vichy could mobilize their off-the-book units fast enough to join their official 50,000 strong forces in Southern France to hold back Nazi Forces till their North Africa Army which had substantial armor units to return and thus open another Front.

Now back to the proposal, what is envisioned is using the same Torch Force for this ATL D-Day.

Now Patton's II Corps already contains more Tanks than the Germans have in all of France. Granted they are majority Stuarts, but they initially face no German Panzers and the 333rd has limited AT capability, and all things considered, the M3 was a combat success in the Cavalry and Infantry Fire Support role and given the opposition they face they are more than adequate for the job leaving the Shermans, Grants, and M10s free to handle German Armor once they show up, and for sake of argument lets say its Rause's 6th Panzer, who instead of mauling 5th Tank Army in the USSR goes gunning for Patton. As for 5th Tank Army, I think it can find a lonely German Division to kick in the ass and throw into a river instead of getting kicked in the ass and thrown into a river by 6th Panzer as OTL.

End result is the same as all other German attacks on Allied Invasion Beachheads led by Allied Commanders not afraid to bring the big guns. Naval Gunfire support breaks up Rause's attack, M10s from prepared positions pick off his tanks, then M4s maneuver around them, exploiting their gyro-stabilizers which enable their gunners, who have padded periscopes to enable them to use them while the tank is moving, to keep the gun on their target so when the tank stops they can swiftly begin firing. German tank gunners don't have padded periscopes, or a gyro-stabilizer, or a powered turret, so they have to wait till their tank stops before they can scan for and engage targets, hence why US Sherman Units mopped the floor with them OTL. And I haven't gotten to Allied air and artillery assets, especially the artillery assets which broke up many German attacks.

Since Panthers won't appear till mid 43 in numbers, and despite Nazi Propaganda they lost lopsidedly to Sherman 75s in actual combat, even when numbers were equal, the American Armor Forces should have no problem eating Panzer IIIs and IVs. Tigers are too small in number and deployed elsewhere, and if Hitler pulls them to France, other Allies will leap for joy. Contrary to popular belief, the US Army is already considering a 76mm gunned Sherman and getting ready to test the concept and a few were even deployed for D-Day 44. This was before they even knew of Panthers.

Central Task Force can be used to reinforce the lodgement and take defensive positions once Patton opens the door.

Eastern Task Force can be used for the small Islands in the area, securing them for use as air bases and sea defense against submarines and small craft before moving in to reinforce the lodgement.

The British can feed their units in as space opens and they have in addition 12 Divisions in Britain itself that are immediately available as reinforcements.
Additional Reinforcements can follow on to expand the lodgement and breakout in 43 along Northern France with subsidiary landings conducted along the North French Coasts against light resistance, because the defenses of 44 don't exist yet and were largely incomplete even in 44.

Landing wise, it should be even easier than Torch which was done over an open sea with very rough surf as opposed to a sheltered anchorage that Quiberon Bay is. Lets see the Torch Landings resulted in half the landing craft being incapacitated for various reasons, though the vast majority were repaired and returned to service in time for Sicily. With Quiberon Bay being sheltered, the losses would be far less and the landing far more orderly with the three ports in the area, the Allies can easily supply their forces and build new piers to expand the port capacity.

The more one looks at this scenario the more its doable, and given the German disposition of forces in 42, they simply can't stop a landing in this area, and more than likely would swiftly lose Lorient and Saint-Nazaire if the Allies are aggressive enough to press the numerical advantage they will have initially in the two week window they have before Hitler can bring up substantial forces capable of combat, assuming they aren't sent to deal with the Vichy. If Rennes rises up against the Germans, then the problem for Hitler increases even further with having to do a city fight against the French Resistance within range of Allied support. There is also an active communist resistance group of the Francs-Tireurs et Partisans Français in Nantes which is engaged in active guerrilla warfare at this time and recently assassinated a German Colonel, which causes more problems for Hitler in countering the lodgement.

There is really no way for the Germans to stop an Allied Lodgement and breakout, if they ignore the Vichy, they can bring back its North African Army and hit the Germans in the flanks and open its ports to the Allies. If they send forces to subdue the Vichy and they fight back and open their ports to the Allies, they face a two front fight and the French Fleet. If they pull aircraft and forces from the Ost Front, it will collapse even faster with a worse disaster than the OTL Stalingrad debacle. Nor would the Italians be much help as its fleet lacks fuel for major combat operations and has the pesky Royal Navy Mediterranean Fleet and Free French Fleet to consider. The best Italian Forces are on the Ost Front, Africa, and the Balkans too where they are getting ground up.

Hitler can't even order 6th Army to break out if he wanted to. Its a leg mobile Army that advanced on Stalingrad with bicycles. People who say this Army can escape Stalingrad have yet to explain how these leg mobile infantrymen will fare out in the open, exposed to the Mechanized Soviet Forces, when at least in the city they have shelter and protected fighting positions. Even before the Soviets hit Paulus, his Army was having massive supply problems, XLVIII Panzer Corps had on paper a 100 Tanks, but only 28 were capable of fighting due to lack of fuel and ammo. Oh and rats ate the electric lines of their tanks as well, those dirty commie rats :twisted: The other German Panzer Divisions had the same problem with a lack of fuel and ammo to move. The 10,000 trucks were down due to lack of spares and fuel. German soldiers were even starving to death in the fight well before the Soviet Offensive because they didn't have the right rations for the Russian Winter! Mauser bolts were jamming in the cold reducing their firing rates as the German's gun oil wasn't suitable for the cold and they couldn't mix it with gasoline like Soviet Troops could to make the gun oil work, as they didn't have the gasoline to spare. So the stand fast order was actually smart as it tied down six Soviet Armies in reducing the pocket in city fighting, Armies that would have been freed up if the 6th Army had tried to bolt for it. The Soviets knew this, its why they offered Paulus honorable surrender terms, they wanted their six Armies driving to Rostov and Kharkov instead of tied down in city fighting.

In a Quiberon scenario, Paulus is even more fucked. Divisions sent to the Ost Front are now going to France, which means Manstein is not even thinking of Winter Storm, he is thinking if he can even hold Rostov so German Army Group B can escape. Which means he is abandoning air fields needed to supply him with even a trickle of goods. This means the Soviets have fewer German Units to fight and can amass more local superiority. So Paulus likely folds faster freeing up the six Armies tied up with him to be used elsewhere to devastating effect. Operation Mars was also going on at this time, and if Stalin perceives that by throwing in his Jupiter Reserves, he can force a break through, he'll do so. Even if they don't garner a breakthrough, they'll complicate German Operations in the Ost Front even further, making for further Soviet Gains in the Ukraine.

Nor does the "Greeness" of US Forces hinder it, because they face forces just as green. In fact their Infantry Divisions pack just as many tanks as a German Panzer Division thanks to attachments of independent Tank Battalions to them and their firepower is far greater. At this time period, the Germans have yet to field the MG-42 in large numbers and US Troops were and will counter by jury rigging M1919A4 MGs to be used in the same manner as the MG-42. Some GIs even rested the barrel in the crooks of their arms and fired from the hip (don't recommend doing that, the barrel gets super hot, even though it got several GIs a CMOH), while others used a series of straps to fire it on the move. US troops also have a communications advantage at the tactical level due to their SCR-536 and SCR-300 which was VHF FM radio which the Germans didn't have an equivalent to. Though not yet standard, the SCR-508 was also in service as well on the M4s and is also an FM radio. So the US Forces have a command, communications, and control advantage over the Germans in knowing where their company and platoon formations were.

Nor can US Officers leading the troops ashore can be considered green. Many fought in WW1 or Brush Fire Wars in the 20s and 30s, and many of these officers had spent two years training together with their troops while the foes they face are Static Divisions of questionable quality, reformed units with new recruits, and spread out across France and needing to concentrate forces first.

The only thing that will clinch this is the NOAA data from November 1942 for the area. If the Bay remained calm enough for landing operations which due to the Iselets it would be, then its a go. The Nazi scumbags can't stop it, the Allied Local Superiority would be far too great. Salerno was far better defended and the Nazis knew it was coming and still lost.

And if US TF 34 could survive a full blown gale in which a minesweeper had a 42 degree rolls without capsizing, enroute to Morocco for Operation Torch, conducted landing operations in a 4.752 meter (15 feet) surf that temporarily wrecked a third of the landing craft under combat conditions against the Vichy French who sortied an incomplete battleship to oppose the landing, Quiberon Bay would definitely be a cakewalk being far weaker in defenses.

moglwi
Redshirt
Posts: 22
Joined: 2012-11-10 11:31am

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

Postby moglwi » 2015-09-07 05:38pm

The poster assumes that after that giant FI to the British they would support this stupid idea in the first place so no RAF or RN support I belive most of the warship support for Torch was RN will the USN free support from Pacific ops and steam into the Atlantic while the jas are running rampant?

User avatar
Sgt_Artyom
Youngling
Posts: 89
Joined: 2014-06-26 08:30pm
Location: Calgary, Canada

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

Postby Sgt_Artyom » 2015-09-07 07:22pm

A few hundred aircraft in France is a major obstacle. Air superiority a major factor in allied landing because as the British learned from the Prince of Whales and Repulse, ships are extremely vulnerable to air attack no matter the amount of AA they've got on em.

Another example of this was the German reluctance to go ahead with Operation Sealion without total air superiority, fearing they'd lose far to many ships to British air attacks en-route and whilst offloading men and material.

The Germans had Luftflotte 3 in France, Holland and Belgium as of September 20th. This formation consisted of JG2, JG26, NJG1, NJG2, NJG4, KG2, KG6 and KG40 along with the 33rd and 123rd Reconnaissance groups. That's up to 752 aircraft withing striking distance of your landing beach.

User avatar
Sgt_Artyom
Youngling
Posts: 89
Joined: 2014-06-26 08:30pm
Location: Calgary, Canada

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

Postby Sgt_Artyom » 2015-09-07 07:38pm

What Free French Fleet are you referring to, as they had nothing larger then a cruiser when they obtained a few ships including a battleship from Vichy French forces in West Africa (Note this only occurred after the Germans occupied Vichy France due to Vichy collaboration with the Allies during the Torch landings).

What's there to stop German troops being recalled from North Africa to defend a area far more important to the Germans then Africa?

Why would the British be willing to provide any kind of support from Britain itself in the form of troops or aircraft after having been told "FU" and being abandoned to continue the fight against the Germans and Italians in North Africa alone?

There's just so many what if's in this plan that it's nearly inconceivable and you're entirely assuming that ENTIRELY UNTESTED American troops and commanders are going to EXPERTLY conduct and amphibious landing in occupied France, create and maintain a bridgehead from which supplies and men are going to be unloaded whilst nearly under constant attack from the Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine and whilst holding off German counter attacks (Don't worry, our fleet will have shot down the entire German air force by then so we'll have plenty of off shore support!).

In short, it's just utter insanity. Any attempt to land in France in 1942-1943 would be a one sided slaughter and the loss of the troops and equipment wasted there could severely hamper the Allied war effort in the West.

Zinegata
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2441
Joined: 2010-06-21 09:04am

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

Postby Zinegata » 2015-09-08 01:13am

Captain Seafort wrote:1943 is just as dodgy - mainly because the Luftwaffe was a vastly more dangerous opponent in the summer of that year than in June 1944. It wasn't until Doolittle took over the 8th Air Force in January 1944 that serious damage started to be done.


Both Husky and Salerno were confronted by German and Italian air attack but were ultimately successful despite the loss of about a dozen transports to enemy air power. Yes, the Luftwaffe was stronger at this point, but not so strong as to make a landing in Normandy suicide especially given that Normandy is well within reach of Allied airpower in Britain. By contrast at Husky there was only very sparse air support mainly coming from Malta and a tiny handful of escort carriers; at least before they captured some airfields on Sicily.

I can't see either of those as viable alternatives. Calais is very exposed, has no sea room immediately off shore organise the assault waves, and I believe has good defensive positions inland. As for the Dutch coast, it's not just the fact good defensive terrain, but the limited front you'd be landing on, and more importantly the distance from the main UK ports - I'm not sure you could deploy PLUTO that distance. In hindsight it's surprising that the Germans ever seriously considered a landing anywhere but Normandy as a serious threat.


Normandy is obviously the best, but I'm just pointing out that even if Normandy wasn't on the table for some reason (e.g. the Nazis create a Maginot line there or there's an orbital cannon aimed at Normandy or whatever) there are other better spots than Quiberon. Quiberon is just bad on so many levels.

Calais is basically Normandy but without a peninsula to create an obvious lodgement area in exchange for having several ports rather than just Cherbourg. If LSTs were never invented then Calais would have been the primary option - because they would have had to capture several ports as soon as possible and Cherbourg alone wasn't going to cut it. As it stood the official Normandy logistics plan was very conservative and basically ignored the LST beach landing capability; despite the USN planners basically saying from the outset that they just needed more beaches opened rather than ports thanks to their experiences in the Pacific and in Husky.

Holland meanwhile is a dice roll - I've wargamed this scenario exactly once and was shocked it worked - but the entire plan hinges on capturing a major Dutch port largely intact on the first day. If the port falls as planned though, then Holland is actually surprisingly feasible based on the 1944 ORBAT because it was so lightly fortified - they basically only had a handful of Divisions in the entire country and the terrain meant that Panzer Divisions would be experiencing Market-Garden in reverse if they tried to counter-attack.

The problem really is the breakout - because then the same awful terrain starts working in the German's favor - and the fact that Hitler is much more likely to panic and throw everything but the kitchen sink at the beachhead right from the outset. Holland is much closer to Germany and if the Allies manage to grind it out then the next major battle won't even be fought in Paris - it would be fought on the weak northern side of the Sigfried line.

Finally, the Germans fortified everywhere because there was no guarantee there wouldn't be a second landing. Things get really, really bad for the Germans if the Allies manage to land elsewhere on the French Coast in force because that essentially means any existing defensive lines they have will get flanked. That's actually how I managed to resolve the issue in my Dutch landing scenario - I launched a largely unopposed second invasion at Normandy (using resources from the cancelled Dragoon operation) and the entire German line basically had to start running away before they got surrounded in Belgium. War still didn't end earlier though since we had spent so much time in the Dutch mud.


Return to “History”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest