Honorius wrote: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...
...if and only if the panzers stay within ten miles of the coast, and if and only if the battleships steam up and down the coast, close to shore, slowly, where the Luftwaffe can get at them and where they are at risk of smacking into mines.
The main reason the Allies could use battleship fire support at Normandy and in the Pacific was because they had completely suppressed the enemy's naval and air defenses before launching the assault. Therefore they had large, mine-free areas to put battleships near the coast. Here, that will not be the case.
Unless the Germans are stupid enough to physically drive panzers out onto the beach (after
pushing the Americans back into the sea), battleship fire is not going to be a major problem for them.
...and the early model Shermans are more than a match for its Panzer IVs and IIIs.
But totally inexperienced American tank crews are not
more than a match for its highly experienced veterans. The Kasserine Pass demonstrated this. And at Kasserine the Americans could panic and retreat dozens of miles and that was at most an inconvenience. Here, it would have them breathing salt water.
American troops are also packing the Bazooka while the Germans have yet to deploy Panzerfaust and Panzerchreck and won't till August next year.
And American infantry are likewise very inexperienced and using a weapon that has never been deployed in combat before. While it'll be a nasty surprise for a few German tank crews it won't be decisive.
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.
Thing is, the Combined Bomber Offensive wasn't particularly effective in November 1942, and quite frankly the Germans will have squashed this silly premature offensive long before it becomes
effective. If nothing else, by taking troops that were historically used to reinforce Tunisia, to defend Italy, and to launch the Kursk offensive in 1943
, and instead sending them to France.
There is a good chance that, now that it is clear the Americans have committed to landings in France, that Rommel will receive no
reinforcements, and may even be pulled out of Tunisia altogether (leaving some of his men behind to man the Mareth Line). After all, it doesn't do the Germans much good to hold Tunisia if they can't hold Brittany... and the British are clearly going to be operating alone for a good long while.
From Norway, well the RAF will enjoy dropping presents there.
Nothing the RAF can possibly do to cause harm in Norway is as important as the loss of aircraft and battleships and troops in the Quiberon landings would be.
...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.
Did you not hear the part where in late 1942 many of the US ships had AA batteries weaker than their British counterparts...?
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.
They're also rather unlikely to even seriously consider supporting this fool's errand. The British of this point in history are far more likely to say "this is suicide, don't even attempt it, we'd be sticking our heads into a meat-grinder" than to say "how can we tag along and be supportive of your suicide mission."
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.
Exactly where are these naval fighters coming from? I mean, historically I don't think the US shipped them to the European theater at all because it had no plans to use them.
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...
Torpedoes fired from extreme range are highly likely to hit something
, especially if the US ships can't disperse to avoid mines and the random bits of shallow water on this part of the French coast. Ships that are bunched up and performing amphibious operations (or engaged in gunfire support of same) are extremely
vulnerable to naval counterattack; there's a reason that the US wasn't able to provide consistent naval support to the Marines on Guadalcanal.
Any submarines trying to force the screen will die, as they have to surface in order to attack...
I was under the impression that U-boats could fire while submerged?
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.
That is because the Allies took precautions
to avoid minefields, and did not launch suicidally stupid attacks into areas the Germans could mine easily and quickly to massive effect.
I mean, the Gallipoli landings failed because of mines in World War I, and frankly are in most ways a good example of the kind of situation you're talking about- sure, the Turks
Germans have only weak forces actually guarding the beaches, and a lack of coast defense artillery that can seriously inconvenience modern dreadnoughts. But they also have powerful forces in position to be rushed into place to reinforce and confine the invading troops into their beachhead. And the risk of mines and torpedo attack is enough to seriously constrain the operations of the heavy warships you're counting on to support the landings.
So yeah, this really does look like a great way to re-enact Gallipoli, with the Americans cast as the ANZACs and the US high command cast in Churchill's role of looking like a complete ass after it fails.
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.
Where would these mysteriously capitalized Reinforcements come from? The US has few or no troops in the European theater except
the ones it's committing to the Quiberon landings. The British are fully committed to sane endeavours and will not spare several divisions on insane endeavours. And Vichy never showed any inclination to suddenly switch sides and start supporting the Allies at the drop of a hat anyway.
The bare fact that the Americans have landed in the German zone of occupation will not cause Vichy to switch sides, any more than the Torch landings caused Vichy troops to start actively fighting the Germans, or any more than the Italians surrendered just because the Allies had landed
in Sicily. You don't cause someone to switch sides just by landing on their shore; you have to convince them you can actually win... and in the long run the US can't win a Quiberon landing.
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...
Gee, that must be why the US tanks comically overmatched the Germans at Kasserine! Oh, right.
You're making the same mistake that Tiger fanboys do. It's not about comparing tank versus tank, it's about doctrine versus doctrine, crew experience versus crew experience, and tactical situation versus tactical situation.
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.
In any event they won't appear at Quiberon because the Quiberon lodgment will last at most a few months- any weapon not historically deployed by spring of 1943 will not be relevant.
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.
A sheltered anchorage you access by steaming through a narrow channel with so many rocks and shoals that 18th century ships of the line got bashed to bits. One string of mines in the wrong place sinking a couple of supply ships and the channel is closed and your troops on shore start starving.