The British were experimenting in that direction in 1918, but like a lot of the more refined tactical insights of the tail end of the war, they were lost in the massive military build-down that came after it.Elheru Aran wrote:It's not so much that it took a long time to figure out, as it was they were creating a new method of warfare from scratch. Amphibious landings before WWII were mostly a matter of a bunch of guys getting into boats and then splashing ashore if they weren't able to find a dock. WWII is the first war where you really had serious amphibious work-- purpose built landing craft and such. WWI-- no amphibious stuff as far as I know aside from Gallipoli.
Wow. By my count you Inappropriately Capitalized eighty-nine random Words that Are Not capitalized in English. Please review your copy of Strunk and White...Honorius wrote:...
Okay, and that was against a demoralized French opposition with little incentive to fight fiercely, using obsolete equipment and whatever odds and ends the Germans let Vichy have, remembering that it was not in the Germans' interest to let Vichy be well armed or independent enough to consider switching sides.
Meanwhile, the French command structure was divided (or a coup could not even have been tried), their organic armor support was of WWI-vintage (FTs, really?) The level of submarine and torpedo boat threat was miniscule compared to what would be faced in the Bay of Biscay, the underprepared and ill-equipped Vichy air forces likewise.
So you're proposing to throw these troops against initial resistance that is stronger, as well as being more vigorous because all the soldiers fighting the US landing force actually agree that they should be fighting the US landing force. This makes a difference. Moreover, instead of just having to overrun an initial wave of rather wimpy resistance, the 100000 or so troops making the landing have to confront with a steady stream of new German units being shipped in over an intact transportation network.
Because you really never did address the most important single question that faced the actual Allied planners.
It's not just about matching the forces you have on D-Day of your invasion against what the enemy has on D-Day. It's about what forces the enemy has at D+2, and D+7, and D+30, and D+60. And by all those measures, the Allies were totally unequipped to reinforce a beachhead fast enough to prevent it from being ground up and by the Germans.
The best result we're likely to get from this will be the hilarious anecdotes of Patton's misadventures in Colditz Castle.
Nope!The Lorient to Saint Nazaire Sector is even more weakly defended, by the standards of Casablanca it isn't defended at all. Hell going by Casablanca, the Allies can hit Lorient and Saint Nazaire at the same time as well. The U-Boats are out in the Mid Atlantic due to chasing an SL convoy as posted before...
Because for this plan to have ANY prayer of success, the Allies have to concentrate all available shipping on frantically stuffing more troops into the beachhead. Remember, it is not enough to land five or eight or ten divisions on French soil and pronounce that France is being 'liberated.' The divisions have to be reinforced, bulked up, by large numbers of well equipped troops to fill out the territory they (hopefully, maybe) manage to capture.
As a result, just as historically the requirements of Normandy played a huge role in determining what Allied shipping was doing in 1944, the requirements of the Quiberon landings would change all the timetables for Allied shipping in late 1942. This is entirely different from the situation in Torch, where once the US troops were ashore and deployed they could pretty much relax and take their time.
The fact that historically U-boats mostly picked off stragglers does not mean they would not inflict serious damage if used directly against an enemy fleet operating close to their bases. Remember that many experts on submarine warfare rated the U-boats as more of a threat than you do. Remember that the Allies had already lost quite a few warships to U-boats, including the disastrous WWI-era sinking of three British cruisers... precisely because two of those cruisers stopped to pick up survivors from the first.Since this area is well within range of bombers fro Britain, the Allies can saturate the area with bomber patrols during the invasion period, further providing protection against the over-rated U-Boats whose success is largely the result of picking off lone ships, stragglers, and a few skillful and aggressive officers who were outliers...
Submarines are a major threat to this kind of operation and always have been, and if there is more than a sporadic possibility of submarines becoming involved it takes a massive commitment of antisubmarine warfare assets to make the operation even remotely possible.
The P-40E does not have drastically longer ferry range than the Spitfire, which strongly suggests that does not have drastically longer combat range either. The P-40 is also a rather inadequate fighter against modern 1942-era aircraft- as good or better than French or Italian fighters are likely to be, but not necessarily a match for Germans.The Spitfires might not have the range, but the P-40Es do and once the grass strips are ready on Belle Island and in the lodgement itself, the P-40Es backed by Piper Cubs...
Moreover, note that P-40s operating out of grass airstrips on islands off the French coast or on the mainland are very vulnerable to German bomber attacks, since they will not have hardened revetments or anything of that order. Historically this was not a problem because of the massive commitment of effort the Allies put into suppressing the Luftwaffe in Western Europe in 1944, but here that hasn't happened yet.
Conversely, every Allied plane shot down while crossing a few hundred miles of northern France to reach the beachhead is a loss the Allies can't easily replace, either.So every downed German plane trying to attack the Allied lodgement would be a loss they can't easily replace...
The Germans may be able to pull troops out of Africa (it is hard for the Allies can shut down shipping in the Mediterranean while running massive amphibious operations off the French Atlantic coast). They can certainly pull German troops out of Italy (fat chance of the Allies invading Sicily or the Italian mainland). They may well be able to prevail upon Italians to make a few more garrison units available to free up second-line German troops in various areas under German control.German reserves:
Quite simply put they don't exist yet and won't be ready till mid 43...
No more so than what historically happened in Tunisia. The Germans had a quarter of a million men in Tunisia by spring of 1943. Here there would be no need to push those reinforcements into Tunisia because the Axis are only fighting the British on a single front, and a front which is of much lower strategic priority than dealing with a US beachhead in France.As stated earlier, the best Hitler can do is an Anzio containment by deploying units that went to the Ost Front and the Mediterranean to France, but doing so fucks over the Ost Front troops...
He is likely to do so preemptively, by the simple expedient of ordering troops to physically occupy key Vichy locations, for the very logical strategic reason of "we need garrisons here to maintain our war effort against the Americans."Hitler also has to worry about the Vichy in Southern France. If they throw in with the Allies, he has to seize their ports quickly and swiftly secure his major air fields within Vichy Strike Range or the Luftwaffe has to pull back.
Fool! Vichy was all about rolling over playing dead!If the Vichy fight back instead of rolling over and playing dead...
He already had problems 1-6, and Problem 7 is child's play if he uses the forces he historically shipped to Tunisia against the American beachhead.1. A Soviet Force around Leningrad, tying up an entire Army Group and a good section of his cruisers.
2. A Soviet Force around Rzhev tying down an Army Group.
3. Two Southern Army Groups tied up in heavy combat.
4. Rommel is in full retreat in Africa.
5. The British are bombing him at night.
6. He is fighting a heavy partisan war across Europe and shipping people to Death Camps.
7. Now in this scenario, an Allied lodgement that just took out the Subpens the Kriegsmarine was using to hit the Mid-Atlantic and now they have to be abandoned, and now the Vichy are making excuses as to why they can't pay the occupation costs and insisting they aren't mobilizing though they clearly are.
Thing is, the Italian garrisons in the Balkans (and potentially elsewhere) serve to free up German manpower. In a very real sense this makes an Italian soldier as good as a German... because one Italian soldier deployed somewhere means one more German fighting somewhere else.2. Its best troops are either destroyed or about to be destroyed on the Ost Front or in Africa. Large numbers are tied down in the Balkans, and the remainder are leg mobile units suitable for garrison work and needed in Italy for the Harvest at this time.
The British have to contend with a long supply line and will be starved of supplies due to the overriding need to throw everything available into maintaining and expanding the beachhead around Quiberon. Because you can't do an operation like that half-heartedly, or you lose literally every man you put into the operation in the first place.4. Once Monty is done finishing up Libya which should go even faster as Hitler can't send anything to North Africa, Monty is Free to operate against Sicily.
The Americans lack a number of their best weapons, lack good doctrine and experience using the ones they do have, and are faced with a much steeper disparity in combat training and doctrine. Meanwhile, the Germans still have most of the relevant weapons they had in 1943, or at least enough of them to counter the Americans.No matter how you look at it, D-Day in 42 is the best time to hit and occurs in period when the Allies will enjoy a substantial technological advantage that got frittered away in 43 by the pointless Italian campaign.
Sure, no Tiger tanks, but frankly Tiger tanks don't make a difference compared to mobs of 50mm-armed Panzer IIIs potting American Stuarts left and right.
Yes, because within two months the Germans have bloodily crushed the American beachhead, dragged half a dozen captured generals back to Berlin, crushed the Vichy government just so they could even fight the Americans effectively, and are now launching bloody reprisals against the French Resistance.On the political front, the Allies can point to France and ask the Italian Political Establishment if they really want to back the Duce?
This is likely to make the Germans look more frightening, not less.