Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

D-Day November 1942

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by T. A. Gardner, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. redcoat

    redcoat Ace

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,521
    Likes Received:
    139
    The latest an invasion of France across the English Channel could have been considered is late September, as the weather is too poor after that date.
    Even during the actual 1944 D-Day landings in June, storms in the Channel had a significant disruptive effect on the Allied campaign.
     
  2. Herakles

    Herakles Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    6
    Someone said earlier that the Americans weren't ready in 1942. That's something of an under-statement. Quite a few were still trying to decide which side to back then.

    The battles in Africa have to be the guideline in answering the question. This was a very tough campaign that demonstrated how inadequate Allied forces were then. I sometimes wonder that we didn't win the Africa campaign so much as the Germans lost it.

    And one should consider the fiasco of the Greek campaign. Germany put 15 divisions against the Greeks alone. We were soundly beaten there. The Syria campaign also demonstrates our general inability at that time to be an effective force.

    D Day required a quite extraordinary amphibious landing as we all know. The like of it had never been seen before except at Gallipoli. Despite the massive planning, it's worth reporting that this landing damn nearly failed. To have attempted that in 1942 would have created a disaster.

    Consider also the disastrous Dieppe raid of 1942. We suffered over 4000 casualties there. This was a well planned British-Canadian attack.
     
  3. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    Messages:
    17,457
    Likes Received:
    2,065
    Location:
    Alabama
    I don't know about that Herk. Until Dec 1941, you could put a good argument I think that by 1942, we pretty much had a good idea of who's heads we wanted to stick on the end of poles.
     
  4. Herakles

    Herakles Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    6
    Your point is well made Jeff. But it needed Pearl Harbor to convince some!
     
  5. Lippert

    Lippert Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    Messages:
    422
    Likes Received:
    26
    bump
     
  6. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    5,945
    Likes Received:
    760
    Location:
    Phoenix Arizona
    The problem remains, however, with the Germans; not the Allies in this scenario.

    They have a single division covering the protion of the coast involved (the 333rd). It is very thinly spread covering alot of ground.

    The Luftwaffe is at a low point in France. There is just one fighter group, JG 26 with a mix of Fw 190A and Me 109 F/G fighters totalling about 150 of the former and 50 of the latter covering the whole of France.
    For bombers the situation is even worse. KG 2 with Do 217s with about two dozen operational is in Holland. In Southern France, KG 40 under Fliegerführer Atlantik has about a dozen He 111, six to ten Fw 200 and two or three He 177 operating out of the Bordeaux area.
    In Northern France KG 606 with a couple dozen Ju 88 is operational against North Sea shipping. There are a handful of other small units engaged in coastal patrol, reconnissance, etc. also in Western Europe.

    As the KM has little other than small craft and submarines to attack the Allied navy they can be nothing more than an annoyance. Submarines are spoilers and small craft can do little on their own other than the occasional hit and run attack. They will not be decisive at sea.

    The scenario comes down to this:

    Can the Allies successfully land on the Southern French coast in late 1942? The answer is clearly yes they can. Can the Germans effectively gain control of the sea off the landing area? The answer is no, they can't. The best they can do is force losses on the Allies. Is the Luftwaffe a factor? Again, no. The best the Luftwaffe can do initially is cause the Allies losses through their available fighter defense. The Luftwaffe lacks the offensive capacity in the West to do much more than that.
    On the ground the question is what can the Germans respond with and can the Allies hold them at bay?
    The first part of this is that the Germans likely could send 3 to 5 panzer divisions and an equal number of infantry divisions within two weeks to the invasion area. The Allies within that same timeframe could put roughly equal numbers of divisions ashore. As for Allied quality, in North Africa many of the problems had to do with the size of the theater. The US in particular tried to defend everything scattering their forces badly. They also had a period of several months in which the higher command shuffled units around breaking down much of the cohesion of divisions in theater.
    In this scenario the objective is far more limited. Get ashore and establish a defensible bridgehead in France. The Allied units would have a continious front and be defending for the most part. The Germans would be further distracted by events in Russia and North Africa along with the likely declairation of Vichy France into the Allied camp. This would further complicate things in the West for the Germans. They would have to strip some of their forces from the landing site to take Vichy France out of the picture.

    I still think the Allies would get ashore and be able to maintain their beachhead. The Germans would be able to contest any expansion and an Anzio-like stalemate would ensure for about 6 months. At that point, the Allies would have gotten sufficent forces ashore or landed elsewhere to break the stalemate and a drive across France ensues.

    Without a real navy and with a marginally capable offensive airforce, the Germans simply cannot stop the Allied landing and reinforcement of their beachhead.
     
  7. von Rundstedt

    von Rundstedt Dishonorably Discharged

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    678
    Likes Received:
    29

    This is the problem

    You have been told that the 1942/43 winter storms were the worst in living memeory.

    You have been told that the allies had the worse loss of marine tonnage of the entire war during the month of November 1942 of over 800,000 tonnes sunk.

    You have ignored that there were two other German Armies the 1st and 15th in France at the time with all other units involved that equated to around 1 million troops the likelyhood that within 72 hrs the Germans could commit 7 divisions within the area. Total troops numbers within France and the Low Countried was about 1.2 million this from frontline troops to rear echelon troops.

    Luftwaffe has approx 260 aircraft that can be concentrated within the landing areas. Let us not forget by this stage the Luftwaffe delivered anti shipping torpedoes had many of the faults eliminated

    the Kriegsmarine had up over 100 U-Boats that within a short time be commited to anti-invasion interdictions.

    So here is my senario

    American and British invasion fleet do exactly what you hypothisize, but they have run into the worse storms in living memory several have founded during the voyage as the main cause is shifting weights within the ships, the larger ships BB and AC come through very well but the constant battering takes a terrible toll on the AC a/c.

    German U-Boats on patrol spot the fleet two days out and communicate back to HQ the 35 U-Boats in the area leave their pens and assemble a wolfpack this is backed up with the arrival of a further 15 from the north their mission statement is clear that the heavy units are to be attacked.
    First night engagement two battleshisp and one aircraft carrier are sunk while 2 more BB and one AC are damaged and must withdraw to Gibraltar for repairs.

    As reported the U-Boats have spotted the Fleet and as a consequence the Luftwaffe begins to transfer all available aircraft from all over France and also from Germany giving some 500 aircraft, the 7th Army AOK is informed that the suspected invasion may be in it's area and begins to mobilize also the remnants of the Panzer Divisions in France are formed into one Kampfgruppen.

    Finally the Invasion Fleet manage to reach the Quiberon area, storm swells and high winds makes it impossible, but the pressure is on the allied commenders they know that the invasion must go ahead and so the order is given to launch the invasion and so troops begin to go over the side of their transports and into their landing barges, one thing is certain that due to the situation the aircraft from the one remaining can't take off, so no local air cover.

    The weather takes a toll on the landing barges over 60% are sunk, only 15% make it to shore, local German forces having dug in manage to cut apart the remaining Allied troops.

    Finally the commanders decide to cancel the planned invasion. The result of the debarcle is that over 60,000 allied troops are dead, many drowned, and a further 15,000 are captured, during the evacuation several dozen barges are lost.

    v.R
     
  8. Lippert

    Lippert Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    Messages:
    422
    Likes Received:
    26
    Wow, a grim scenario. I agree that the allies would have lost. I need some cites to where the info on the armies locations are. What are you basing the percentage of landing barges on?
     
  9. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,051
    Likes Received:
    81
    This brings up several questions.


    Where were the ships sunk? Within range of British ASW air patrols, and the short endurance ASW ships based in Britian? If memory serves me the bulk were sunk out of range of those ASW assets based in Britian. Either in the mid Atlantic gap, or closer to the US. The seas directly adjacent to the Brittiany penensulla are within the area that can be covered by Britians ASW envelope.

    Establishing airfields in Brittiany early on allows more effcient ASW air patrols over the routes to and from the Biscay Bay ports.

    The 802 160 tons sounds impressive, but... From Ellis 'Brute Force' we can see that was a period of steady decline in tons sunk per submarine. There was a peak of approx 70,000 tons per submarine sortied in the fourth quarter of 1940. The number declined steadily to a low point of 8,000 tons per sortie in the 4th quarter of 1941, the rose to 28,000 tons in the 2d qtr of 1942. After that it declined to 15,000 tons per sortie in the 4th qtr 1942 and below 5,000 tons in mid 1943. Ellis seperates the tonnage sunk in the Carribean and near the US East Coast for 1942. In this case the tons per briefly spike at 90,000 in the 2d qte and decline below 15,000 tons in the 3rd qtr.

    For gross tons sunk Ellis's numbers are 1qte 1943 1,061,172; 2d qtr 5525,544; 3rd qtr 210,939; 4th qtr 131,578.

    Submarines sunk in the Atlantic were:

    2d qtr 10 sunk of 56 average at sea

    3d qtr 31 sunk of 85 average at sea

    4th qtr 34 sunk of 99 average at sea

    1st qtr 1943 40 sunk of 108 average at sea

    2d qtr 73 sunk of 105 average at sea

    It gets worse.

    Somehow The Allies managed to send a fleet carrying 6+ divsions from Britian to the Med for Torch, plus follow on forces in subsequent weeks, and a second fleet with another three divsions from the US to Morroco without any of this being devastated by submarines rushing out from the Biscay ports

    Here is a quote from Donetiz's offcial war diary dated from June 1942, also taken from 'Brute Force': "U-Boat traffic off the north of Scotland and in the Bay of Biscay is gravely endangered .... by patroling aircraft. In the Atlantic the enemys daily reconissance ... forces us to dispose U-boats far out in the centre of the ocean."

    Why would they be waiting? To accomplish that they would have to be warned a week or two ahead to rebase from the Med. to Western France. That requires advance knowledge of the intent to attack. In November 1942 the earliest warning the Germans had of a Allied intent to attack French Africa was when the Allied fleet passed in sight of the Spainish coast. The British counter intellgence and deception effort that protected the preperations for Torch should be no less effective for Sledgehammer

    Sending those antishipping air squadrons to France post invasion presents the same problem as bringing any other German air reinforcements. They are not enough to achive parity in numbers to the Allied air forces available in Britian. Neither are they going to arrive enmass, while the Allied airforces are already massed adjacent to the battlefield.
     
  10. Fernando

    Fernando recruit

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not making the idea of D-Day on november 1942 was a great mistake that made the war take a lot longer. German armies and their supplioes were being strangled by the communists in Russia and by the brits in North Africa. Truth be told, this idea was considerated but Churchill gave North Africa top priority. The UK was still imperialist and tried to keep as many colonies as possible and intended to take Italy's colonies in Africa. That is why Churchill demanded that the americans directed their troops to North Africa. The Americans, wanting to revenge pearl harbor by fighting japan and in turn Italy and Germany didn't have any say in British colonial mattaers since they had no posetions there, however, they had some territories and "puppets" like the philippines in the pacific, and so did the brits, that is why they agreed to attack Africa thus appeasing Churchill and saving their colonies from the British empire -americans decided to play safe. On the other hand, if the western allies had not been interested in imperialism and had actually been interest in freedom as they claimed to have been, liberating France was a good step to end the war very early. Hitler's quarters would have been in chaos and most likely he would have given the order "victory or death" in France or would have transfered reinforcements from russia thus weakening the eastern front (just so you know, not many divisions were transfered from russia on actual d-day, those divisions had been created and deployed there initially) also...ending the war much earlier. This is just another proof of allied hipocrecy
    (no offense to anybody who's from an allied country -I'm a canadian [​IMG]
     
  11. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    10,480
    Likes Received:
    425
    I would love to see your sources for this. Or is this your opinion? Another poster has made these claims and could not back them up.You do know about the "Europe First" plan don't you? The Phillipines were a "Puppet"? And what "colonies" were we "saving from the British Empire"?
     
  12. Herakles

    Herakles Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    6
    Saving the Colonies? As I understand it, Churchill had decided to sacrifice Australia for starters. IMO, Churchill had two blind spots - India and Greece.
     
  13. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,051
    Likes Received:
    81
    And thanks for these clairifications

    IRT Technological aspects, we didn't have the mass or momentum in 1942 that we had in 1944. What I meant was not to speak of necessarily the inferiority of weaponry in direct comparison, but the lack of development in comparison to 1944. We developed our weapons to be particularly efficient at their tasks - based on experience [/QUOTE]

    I'm still not following you here. There were differences in efficency in the Allied armys, but also in the German.

    True, but the gain in experince among the US soldiers seems to have been very rapid. The Germans noted this in their evaluations as early as the opening of the Tunisian campaign in 1942. In the November/December battles over the critical valley and hills at and north of Medjeb al Bab it took the Germans best units with their supply base directly at hand over a month to wrest the critical terrain from 'green' Allied battalions, which were ill supplied and poorly led at the top.

    Only Rommels attack that led to the Kasserine Pass battle achived even tactical sucess, and it failed in its operational objectives. The other significant German attacks and counter attacks from January failed in all respects to gain their objectives. The results were similar when attacking the veteran 8th Army or the much 'greener' 1st Army or the US II Corps

    That was still quite suffcient to help break the German counter attacks, and to isolate the battlefield in Tunisia. Rewriting the doctrine came after the changes made by the battlefield commanders, partcularly Doolitte, in the winter/spring 1943. I'd also not that while CAS remained inferior into mid 1944, in my opinion, the other aspects of air support improved rapidly.

    The Luftwaffe was unable to mount a sucessfull air interdiction campaign over either Tunisia, Sicilly, or Southern Italy in 1942 or 43. In those cases the ratio of Allied to German front line serviceable aircraft was less than 2-1 during the critical weeks. Less than it would be over Britianny or NW France in the 2d half of 1942. In the opening two months of the Tunisian campaign the Axis actually had parity over the battlefield and still failed to effectively interdict the Allied armys. How is it to mount a interdiction campaign with the remotest chance of sucess when the initial ratio of frontline aircraft is likely to excede 3-1 and will rise in the Allies favor as the battle progresses. Aside from raw number of aircraft the Allies had also established a more effcient system for servicing aircraft giving them higher readyness rates. Then there is the proble for the Luftwaffe of declining combat skill. The peak in overall skill had long passed in mid 1942 with growing losses replaced by increasingly less well trained pilots in inadaquate numbers.
     
  14. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    5,945
    Likes Received:
    760
    Location:
    Phoenix Arizona
    Taking just the U-boat part of this for the moment.

    Do you know what the handful of U-boats that might reach the convoys would be facing?!

    First, the most U-boats to get into a single wolfpack was 9 during the war. Most of the boats would be unable to make the convoy area before it arrived at its destination.
    That aside, those arriving to attempt to take on the convoy would face a two ring destroyer screen operating around the convoy. These two rings consist of 40 destroyers with both radar and sonar making a concerted sweep of the convoy path.
    There are 5 carriers present and they are flying ASW patrols around and above the convoy as well.
    This makes surface approaches virtually impossible. Attacking submerged is purely a matter of luck. The boat would have to have submerged in front of the intended path of the convoy and be on its random zig-zag pattern course. It would then have to not be detected by the two screens that drive over its position. The sub would also have to make it past the inner escort ring with another 9 destroyers and, if daytime, it would have to be suffiently submerged to avoid aerial detection too.
    The entire convoy covered an area about 20 x 30 miles in size. Making things more difficult, the convoy speed is 14 knots. This is well above the submerged U-boat speed so the only viable way to get positioned is a surface approach. Given US use of SG and SC radar along with the presence of aircraft a surface approach by day is nearly suicidial. By night the Germans are operating blind. No radar, no means of seeing where the convoy has moved. Blind luck is all they have to stumble on the right position and course.
    In either case, just having to dive because a destroyer or aircraft approaches is sufficent to cause the U-boat to lose any chance of an attack. A one hour delay due to submerging means having to cruise at high speed on the surface for 4 to 6 hours just to regain position.



    Basically, the U-boat threat is greatly overrated against a high speed military convoy. That's the historical side of the crossing.
     
  15. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,051
    Likes Received:
    81
    If the storm was this bad the operation would not have gone forward. Neptune was delayed for a minor gale, as werre many other amphibious operations. No reason to propose the Allied leaders would be striken with incredeble stupidity in this single case.

    A. Even in 1942 many of these were of marginal or zero mobility and wont make it to the battle any faster than reinforments from the US. If they arrive at all.

    B. Even in 1942 Allied deception efforts were keeping Axis armys parked all over 'false' fronts in Europe. No reason to belive they will suddenly fail here where they suceeded before and after so well.

    C. The majority of these German formations are understrength, under armed, and undertrained.

    D. These dispersed formations must be brought to the battle under
    Allied air superiority. True the Allied airforces were not as efficent at interdiction in 1942 as in 1944, but neither were the Germans as prepared for operating under enemy air superiority. Many were shocked in 1944, even after experince in the Med or on the Eastern Front. Few in the garrison in France had seen any sort of enemy air interferance at all.

    E. If a substantial part of the German garrison does not imeadiatly corral the French army they are going to have serious problems in that direction before long. If the French abbrogate the armistice, and hold the ports of Marsaille &/or Toulon into the new year the Germans are going to have a much bigger problem than a itty bitty Allied enclave in Brittiany. The French army has to be imeadiatly disarmed and those ports secured. At least one Gerrman army will be marching off in the opposite direction from Brittiany. And, refreing back to Allied deception efforts, the bulk of that army is likely to remain far south awaiting the Allied spring time attack there.

    Several of these points have addressed earlier, so I dont think anyone is forgetting anything.


    To oppose the invasion of Sicilly the Axis had three times that number of operational aircraft and managed to sink

    I addressed the realative strength of the Allied vs German airforces in late 1942 earlier. To oppose the invasion of Sicilly the Axis had three times that number of operational aircraft and managed to sink about a dozen Allied cargo and warships. That was with excellent weather conditions and against some 5,000 Allied aircraft disposed across the entire Mediterainian theatre. Over Salerno the Allies were not able to maintain effective fighter cover, the Germans had their new radio controled bombs as well as their excellent torpedos, and they were not able to sink or even hit a significant number of Allied ships.

    My earlier post reviewed a few aspects of the German submarine effort. The bottom line is, a average of intially sixty subs a month at sea - increasing to a average of 100+ a month, attacking at the weakest points on the Allied sea lanes were unable to halt the convoys, and took increasingly prohibative losses. That is during the 1st quarter of 1943 they lost more than were built. Concentrating them on a fleet operating in shallow waters in the area where the Allied ASW measures are strongest? I'm speculating the submarines losses for the winter of 1042-43 would change from a average of 60+ a month to over 100+ a month.


    They failed to do this vs the main portion of the Torch convoys which departed from Britian, but let not reality stand in the way. Except, Even from the ports in northern Ireland and in western Britian like Liverpool the south west coast of the Brittiany penensula is barely two days sea journey. In this case the sentrys along the coast will spot the invasion fleet 'two days out'

    Why Gibraltar? Britians ports are less than 1/3 the distance and the route is better protected.

    A invasion will be more than "suspected" at this point. 7th Army will judge the warning redundant as they are being bombed, bombarded, and assualted.

    The weather thing could be better addressed. A storm would certainly cause the Allies to postphone the operation. And, a serious storm wil not be much of a suprise. Also the anticipation of serious storms is likely to casue a long term delay of this operation until the spring, or at least late winter. I'd also thought the weather question would have been better researched. It is a important one and the actual surf and navigation conditions inside and on the approaches to Quiberon Bay in November 1942 are critical. Perhaps we can find those somewhere?

    This Sledgehammer WI has been raised once or twice before. In the other cases the date was earlier in the summer of 1942. Then the strength of the German ground forces was less. About 25 divsions in France/Belgium, with one or two armored divsions depending on the exact date. The Luftwaffe is in no better condition numbers wise. Its skill is not as close to the tipping point as in December.
     
  16. von Rundstedt

    von Rundstedt Dishonorably Discharged

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    678
    Likes Received:
    29
    Hey Carl

    Why do you continually bring up the Italian Campaign.

    In this Operation Torch has landed in France not in North Africa, that is a major POD, referring to anything that happened in North Africa/Italy must be dismissed.

    1, German supply lines to France is much shorter than North Africa.

    2, German reinforcements are on land and can be brough forward, not at the mercy of the RAF and RN as in interdiction.

    3, You are assuming that no German reinforcements will ever be sent, that what is in France at the time is all they'll ever have.

    4, German industries are still more or less intact.

    5, Germany has yet to go on a total war footing, if an invasion of France is done in 1942 this may bring Germany's total war effort forward and that in 1943 the total aircraft produced for the Luftwaffe could 50,000 as happened in 1944.

    6, You assume that theresistance by the Germans would be far weaker than the Vichy French.

    7, You also have not taken into the equation of the German losses that was in North Africa and Italian Campaigns, these would never take place as a North African Operation Torch never eventuates

    8, Also i assume you believe that the level of support for an ongoing campaign in France 1942 is the same as France 1944, where the Germans are copping an absolute pasting on all fronts, i have stated before at the time of late November 1942 the German army had yet to face defeat anywhere, yes things would change but the rot set in mid 1943.

    9, And the one main flaw in all of this that we must assume that we get perfect weather throughout the winter of 1942/43, but som have indicated that is was the worst season in living memory.

    v.R
     
  17. Kruska

    Kruska Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,866
    Likes Received:
    190
    IMO it would have ended in a total defeat for the allies.

    I know it is besides the point of this thread but as for my part I can’t even see the feasibility for a successful invasion in Normandy 1944. Did the allies know so much about Hitler’s Calais fears and was that actually sufficient to risk a landing in Normandy?
    How would the allies know or anticipate that Hitler would be so reluctant to free the Pz. Div. to be thrown towards the Normandy beachheads? Was it just one big gamble?

    I think Churchill wasn't sure either, and therefore optioned for Greece and Balkans.

    Is there a thread or has there been one that discusses the Normandy landing - its planing and assumtions? I would really love to get some insight into the mindset of the allies in regards to that operation.

    Again sorry, it is not my intension to derail this thread

    Regards
    Kruska
     
  18. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,051
    Likes Received:
    81
    You are saying the actual performance of all the participants in this same time period must be dismissed and we base their performance on... ??? This sounds very much like you just want to make things up. Your remark does not differentiate between each side & I dont think it is a good idea to dismiss the German performance either.

    So? The Allied supply route from the factories of the US & Britian to North Western France are shorter than to NW Africa. Better ports and transportation ashore than in Africa as well.

    Do you mean without the interdiction such as the RAF inflicted on the Axis supply route across Lybia in 1942? That interferance was not trivial, and it was before the PoD of this WI. Or must we dismiss this as well?

    No I have never assumed this. Do you wish to state things I did not write. as well as dismiss evidence I offer for discussion???

    So? They were intact into 1943 historically. Or must we dismiss their performance from Nov 1942 as that is after the PoD?

    Even back when I was a youth in the 1960s historians were questioning the idea that Germany abruptly converted to a "total war economy" in 1943. Kline-Albrandt (to name a obscure one) and Ellis or Tooze (to name well known historians) all wrote of how weapons production was intermittantly accelerated and how the decision and preperations made from late 1941 through 1942 led to the large weapons production increases of 1943+. The Speer Miracle was as much a product of wartime propaganda and Speers post war writing as of Speers actual accomplishments. Speers accomplishments were not trivial, but were not as all encompassing as the pop histories would have you believe.

    Nope. Again you propose that I think and wrote something I have not.

    Certainly they would not. Certainly other losses would be forthcoming in Africa as the 8th Army continued to fight the Axis there. And, why do you assume I have not considered this? Or that I might think it irrelevant?

    Are you really basing these assumptions on what you really think I wrote, or think??? Or on your own thoughts?

    I addressed that one within the last few posts. You may assume that, but my remark was that 'we' need to find out what the the weather on the French coast and specifically in Quiberon Bay was really like in November 1942. I am not dismissing the evidence provided in the quote of the US Coast Guard officer that was offered in a earlier post.
     
  19. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    5,945
    Likes Received:
    760
    Location:
    Phoenix Arizona
    Quiberon Bay is very sheltered water. It has historically been a place of refuge for ships in bad weather. The Battle of Quiberon Bay on 20 Nov 1759 is typical. In a full gale a French squadron sought refuge in the bay against a pursuing British frigate squadron. The British risked entering the bay and defeated the French ships.
    The islets that make up the outer barrier of the bay ensure that even in very bad weather the bay remains relatively calm water.

    As for the crossing, US TF 34 ran into a full gale. Some of the smaller ships had to drop out of formation due to the weather. One minesweeper reported taking 42 degree rolls. However, no ships were lost and no substancial damage was done to any.
    Once off Morocco, the task force initially had good landing conditions but this rapidly changed and the surf soon reached nearly 15 feet. The landings continued in these poor conditions although about one third of the landing craft involved were eventually stranded or wrecked. Most were later recovered and repaired though.

    1st Army in northern France has just 6 divisions assigned in November 1942 in one corps. These are LXXX corps with 15th, 708th, 715th, and 344th IDs. Army reserve is 7th Pz and 327th ID. The 708 and 715 are two regiment static divisions. At most this army can send 7th PZ and the 327th initially. The rest of the divisions are holding coastal sectors.
    As for the 15th Army it is in Belgium and the Netherlands. It has 12 divisions in three corps over half of which are static divisions. Initially it might send 26th Panzer and 38th Infantry but the rest are holding coastal sectors.

    Yes, I gave a list. Outside JG 26 there really aren't any powerful units in France at the time. The few bomber units are understrength and most are ill-suited for operations against ships or land targets with heavy air defenses. The few Fw 200 would be sitting ducks attacking well defended shipping. The few He 111 might try a nocturnal strike but would be very vulnerable in daylight to interception even if well escorted. There just are not enough bombers to act offensively against aerial opposition.
    The fighters of JG 26 would prove a tough defensive nut to crack. They would certainly run up casualties on the Allied air forces that were operating in support of the invasion.


    Nowhere in WW 2, absolutely nowhere, at no battle, were submarines anywhere close to this effective against naval vessels. This is pure fantasy. In operation Torch three U-boats managed to torpedo 16 ships almost all of them transports at anchor. One of the three U-boats was lost in doing so (U-173).

    Two days out puts the US fleet at about 15 N 45 W in the outer part of the Bay of Biscay. The U-boat(s) operating in this area are doubly hit. First, they are transiting to their operating area not on "patrol." Second, not only is the surface escort heavy, there is an ASW carrier aircraft patrol and ASW aircraft from England operating across the Bay. Even Dönitz recognized the immense danger U-boats were in in this body of water. Surfaced, any U-boat is exposing itself to extreme risk. The Captain's of those boats knew it as did their higher commanders.

    You do realize that it will take 24 to 48 hours just for the information to reach the Luftwaffe and Wehrmacht. These reports have to go up to the top of the U-boat branch, then to the OKM then to the OKW then to the OKH and OKL and then back down those chains to the field commands. By then, even if the information is accurate, it is too late to do anything with it. But, since a U-boat will have to surface to transmit, it is at high risk of detection and being sunk. That is, of course, if it can risk surfacing at all.

    The weather might or might not be bad depending on the exact day of the operation. But, once the transports are inside the bay it really doesn't matter. The sheltered nature of the bay itself will mitigate storm problems. As for air cover, if the Allies can't fly it is very likely the Germans can't either.


    Didn't happen at Morocco. Although almost 30% of the landing craft were temporarily lost due to surf the troops got ashore more or less complete. Your verison defies historical precedent.
     
  20. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    10,480
    Likes Received:
    425
    WOW :eek: !! Some think that "Sea Lion" could have succeeded But not this? :rolleyes:
     

Share This Page