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Could the Normandy Landings be stopped?

Discussion in 'WWII Books & Publications' started by Ironcross, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. Ironcross

    Ironcross Dishonorably Discharged

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    After his battles in Africa, Rommel concluded that any offensive movements would be impossible due to the overwhelming Allied air superiority. He argued that the tank forces should be dispersed in small units and kept in heavily fortified positions located as close to the front as possible, so they wouldn't have to move far and en masse when the invasion started. He wanted the invasion stopped right on the beaches. However his commander, Gerd von Rundstedt, felt that there was no way to stop the invasion near the beaches due to the equally overwhelming firepower of the Royal Navy. He felt the tanks should be formed into large units well inland near Paris, where they could allow the Allies to extend into France and then cut off the Allied troops. When asked to pick a plan, Hitler vacillated and placed them in the middle, far enough to be useless to Rommel, not far enough to watch the fight for von Rundstedt.

    During D-Day several tank units, notably the 12th SS Panzer Division, were close enough to the beaches to potentially create serious havoc. Hitler refused however to release the panzer reserves as he believed the Normandy landings were a diversion. Hitler and the German High Command expected the main allied assault in the Pas de Calais, thanks to the success of a secret allied deception campaign (Operation Fortitude). Facing only small-scale German attacks, the Allies quickly secured the beachhead.

    Do you think the invasion could be stopped?
     
  2. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    Rommel was wrong. Sicily and Salerno both proved this very clearly. At both assaults the Germans threw immediately available panzer divisions that were practically sitting on or were sitting on the beach against the Allied assault troops. In both cases these tanks and their supporting arms were literally smashed, often in a mere matter of minutes, by naval gunfire off-shore.
    Basically, there is no way for the Germans to win when the Allies have overwhelming off-shore fire support available. Even Dieppe could have succeeded with greater gunfire support. At Salerno naval gunfire using aerial observation smashed tank concentrations as far as 20,000 to 30,000 yards inland.
    The best German option was to optimize the beach defenses to do two things: 1. inflict heavy casualties on the landing force as at Ohama and, 2. Have extremely heavy gun batteries that are largely immune to counter fire that can take on the ships off shore. An alternative to 2 is for the Germans to have pushed development of a guided (or even unguided) glide bomb that could be launched against the fleet. At Salerno guided bombs proved very effective. Of course, the Allies developed countermeasures but, the Germans could have preservered in this.
    Using V-1's as anti-ship missiles is another possibility....hum....
     
    canambridge likes this.
  3. JTF-2

    JTF-2 Member

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    Did they (Germans) have any sucess in using there gun batteries against allied warships and transports ships. All I hear about D-Days was the machine gun nests. I never hear if the bunkers and guns were used or if they had any hits on ships.
     
  4. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    One of the bigger German problems was that the troops were under a maze of commanding structures and parts of the army were lead by Rommel,Rundstedt and Hitler, and naturally the final word was always AH`s.

    Of course the situation for axis tanks was bad anyway, the losses would be huge whether it be the navy cannons or the bombers.

    Bombing of the railways and roads was not only a problem for the Germans. Once the allied were moving ahead they also could not get as fast ahead as they wished because of the damage caused.

    One of the weirdest things about the Overlord on the Allied side in my opinion is that so much was done for the landings to succeed but nothing was realized/taught about the bocage fighting?!
     
  5. Ironcross

    Ironcross Dishonorably Discharged

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    German coast artillery

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Ironcross

    Ironcross Dishonorably Discharged

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  7. Ironcross

    Ironcross Dishonorably Discharged

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  8. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    The problem with this line of reasoning is the old saying "He who wants to defend everything defends nothing". That is, you simply can never have enough troops to garrison the coastline from Bayonne in SW France to Nordkap in Norway to an adequate level to ensure a defeated invasion. Especially if your are fighting a two-front war already, soon to be a three-front one. Nor can you have enough coastal batteries every few kms to cover the entire coastline.

    By the way, these photos of mighty batteries are very impressive, but in fact how many were they? And what if it was dark, or there were any fog, what use would these batteries be?

    Of course, not every single km of coastline would be sparkling beach sand, quite a lot would be totally inadequate to land a force on, but anyway of those left it would still be impossible to defend every single yard. So the solution was as Rundsedt said to keep mobile reserves back. However Rommel's argument that the interdiction capabilities of the Allied tactical air forces would keep these away from battle had a reason to be, so the Germans certainly were in a dilemma.

    To add to the confusion, what if all the hints point to invasion coming to a specific place, it is expected at that place, and all reports start coming from what appears to be a diversion further southwest? This is what happened.

    The Gröfaz should have kept to his watercolours and never meddled into wars, this is what he got himself into.
     
  9. JTF-2

    JTF-2 Member

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    So what is the answer? Could the invasion be stopped, if so...what could of the Germans have done to do so?

    IMO..I don't think they could of stopped it. They didn't have enough men, (good trained men) and equipment. With the Command structure so hard, they never had a chance to react in due time.
     
  10. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Well, Ike did have the letter ready in case the invasion failed, didn´t he??
     
  11. Ali Morshead

    Ali Morshead Member

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    Very few Invasions have failed, because the attacker assembles such a force and chooses a time & place which "guarantees" the success of the landing.

    Preventing a breakout however is different.

    The Normandy breakout could have been much harder id the 15th Armee was released from the Pas de Calais earlier and had time to set up stronger defenses around the beachhead.

    But they would still have to battle against the overwhelming Allied Air Supremacy over France.
     
  12. Machine Gun Nest 1985.

    Machine Gun Nest 1985. Member

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    How the hell could the Germans fight off the invasion if the dday beaches were blown to bits by the royal navy and the allied airforce.If the Germans moved inland then the royal navy would not be able to get to them but the allied airforce would still dominate the skys.
     
  13. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    One must also remember that once the opposite troops start the battle it´s difficult if not impossible to fire among those troops´ concentrations because you could kill your own men, too.

    And like we´ve seen in several cases even how many days you fire with your artillery there are always men/tanks/AT guns etc to fight you back...even how incredible that seems.
     
  14. Machine Gun Nest 1985.

    Machine Gun Nest 1985. Member

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    True true but the guns on the royal navy were nasty buggers they blow a few holes in the German defence line on the beaches miles away.

    Yes the bulk of the germans forces still would be intact,The allies could fire all artillery at them no effect unless it was a A bomb but thats a totally differnt story.
     
  15. MARNE

    MARNE Member

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    Evening Gents,

    I must say this is just my $0.02 but,

    I believe that if the Panzers had reserved themselves near the beaches on D-DAY and I mean evenly dispersed across the area of the invasions front under the cover of camoflauge away from the U.S.A.A.F aerial reconnaissance aircraft they would have had a chance to turn the tide.

    I say this, because I once talked to a GI veteran from the Omaha beach area and he was a part of the US 29th Inf. Div. he was in(I think) 410th or 141st AAA Bn. he came in on the first wave of landings. While their AAA guns were still on the water and he said that he was there until 8 a.m. on June 8th, 1944 and he said that the officers of infantry companies were coming around and commandereing soldiers from units like his and placing them in infantry units to refill their ranks after D-DAY and his commander told him to stay put because in 48 hours they were going to need all of them to get their guns off the LST's and such.

    So, I mean if the panzers had hit these second line or rear echlon type troops, they'd have had a field day.

    But this is just my opinion....

    Regards,
    MARNE
     
  16. MARNE

    MARNE Member

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    Evening Gents,

    I must say this is just my $0.02 but,

    I believe that if the Panzers had reserved themselves near the beaches on D-DAY and I mean evenly dispersed across the area of the invasions front under the cover of camoflauge away from the U.S.A.A.F aerial reconnaissance aircraft they would have had a chance to turn the tide.

    I say this one because I once talked to a GI veteran from the Omaha beach area and he was a part of the US 29th Inf. Div. he was in(I think) 410th or 141st AAA Bn. he came in on the first wave of landings. While their AAA guns were still on the water and he said that he was there until 8 a.m. on June 7th, 1944 and he said that the officers of infantry companies were coming around and commandereing soldiers from units like his and placing them in infantry units to refill their ranks after D-DAY and his commander told him to stay put because in 48 hours they were going to need all of them to get their guns off the LST's and such.

    So, I mean if the panzers had hit to the second line type troops they'd have had a field day.

    But this is just my opinion....

    Regards,
    MARNE
     
  17. Ali Morshead

    Ali Morshead Member

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    RotM,

    Even the loss of Omaha Beach would not have stopped the Invasion. There were even early plans to move the follow up to Utah.

    Yes, things would have been harder.

    Also the effort in hiding enogh Panzers to effect the landings would have been noticed by the RAF PRU Units, plus found by Enigma and of course by the French citizens whose land they occupied.

    Finally, there were enough units of the USN & RN on call to make mincemeat of any organized counterattack i.e Gela, Salerno, Anzio
     
  18. chromeboomerang

    chromeboomerang New Member

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    Here's Gallands 2 cents...

    This was really the beginning of the misuse of the 262, as five bomber wings were supposed to be equipped with the jet. These bomber pilots had no fighter experience, such as combat flying or shooting, which is why so many were shot down. They could only escape by outrunning the fighters in pursuit. This was the greatest mistake surrounding the 262, and I believe the 262 could have been made operational as a fighter at least a year and a half earlier and built in large enough numbers so that it could have changed the air war. It would most certainly not have changed the final outcome of the war, for we had already lost completely, but it would have probably delayed the end, since the Normandy invasion on June 6, 1944, would probably not have taken place, at least not successfully if the 262 had been operational. I certainly think that just 300 jets flown daily by the best fighter pilots would have had a major impact on the course of the air war. This would have, of course, prolonged the war, so perhaps Hitler's misuse of this aircraft was not such a bad thing after all.
     

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