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. RAM

    RAM Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    Messages:
    507
    Likes Received:
    97
    Sorry about the delay, but I have this thing called work that consumes me completely from time to time, and my dream of an early retirement seems more distant than ever.
    3rd quarter ended yesterday, and at the end of each quarter we have to sit down to figure out some numbers that will please the big bosses at the head office.

    Now to the topic:
    It wasn't until 1943 that the Allies got control of the activity in the bay of Biscay after several offensives carried out by RAF Coastal Command 19 Group:

    Derange 4/13-6/6 1943
    Musketry & Seaslug 6/4-8/12 1943
    Percussion 8/21-9/21 1943

    That wouldn't have helped operation "Sledgehammer" much in it's initial phase.

    During this winter the number of U-boats in the Atlantic increased steadily, and as late as March 1943 the Uboat force, notwithstanding the unfavorable weather in the Atlantic, ran up with a noteworthy record of sinkings: 84 merchant ships for 505 000 tons in the Atlantic alone.

    The operation "Sledgehammer" would have been a premature move in 1942 and the Allied knew it, that's why it never happened.

    RAM
     
  2. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,051
    Likes Received:
    81
    Are these 'bosses' accountants? A wise old prefessor of econmics remarked to me: "The trouble with accountants is they think their numbers have something to do with reality.

    Depends on how much 'control' is control. The German perception seems to be the Bay of Biscay was a increasinly dangerous place in 1942, because of the ASW aircraft. Unlike the Mid Atlantic where the Allies did not effective aircover until far into 1943.

    Certainly, but that does not mean eisting ASW operations would not be effective as they were, or that additional ASW operations would not be organized to directly support the amphib. fleet.

    Several things were going on here. The two most important were in signals intel. The Germans broke the BRitish convoy code used for the North Atlantic convys. The desire to take advantage of this is one of the reasons the submarines on patrol surged in those months. Second the British lost their entry into the radio encryption used by the German subs. in the North Atlantic.

    To reproduce the the increase of ships lost in the late winter/spiring of 1943 near this hypothetical Breton area the problem of ASW air patrols, denser sea patrols by smaller ASW ships, shallower water over the continental shelf, and different radio codes or encryption used by the combat fleets from the convoys.

    It has been proposed the Allied invasion fleet would suffer catastophic losses by a huge surge of German submarines. With the much denser Allied ASW and other less favorable conditions near the Breton penensula I dont see how catastrophic losses are possible. A effort to concentrate the submaarines takes them from their most advantageous patrol are, in the Mid Atlantic, to a area where they are against a stronger ASW defense in less advantageous seas. This might actually be to the Allies advantage in sinking more submarines.
     
  3. mikegb

    mikegb Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    6
    I tend to agree.

    The US simply didn't have the man power or air power available in early 1942 Torch was less than 80,000 troops. There were four more divisions sitting in England and 17 commonwealth divisions. This might have proved enough but remember ITaly was still in the war as was the Vichy Navy and Germany had 1,500 aircraft in theatre not including the German Units in Italy and the Italian airforce.

    The allies lacked the logistics to support the landing in 1942 and the French would have resisted even if only initially. The Southern Ports were fortified because they had been a military front in the century up to 1940.

    There were intact railway networks that would have allowed the shipment of battle hardened units straight into the beach head area. Given the ability to build up their forces faster than the limited allied landing capacity and given Axis air superiority over the battle field and given the distance from a friendly base the landing idea looks like a disaster waiting to happen.

    The under belly theory is a derided one now but the landings in Italy tied down a million German troops in Italy and the Balkans for the rest of the war. To replace the surrendered Italian army in Italy and the Balkans. Realistically the choice was to sit in Britain and do nothing. US mobilisation didn't fully swing into action till late 1943 .
     
  4. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Messages:
    8,631
    Likes Received:
    1,457
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    As it was, the NWA campaign also served as a good introduction and learning process for the US Army on continental warfare, therefore useful even if not necessary.[/quote]

    I strongly agree with this statement. I have debated the cross channel invasion in 42 argument with friends over many cigars and beers in the past. The most sensible variation we settled on was to continue with Torch as carried out in 1942. As a result, the US Army's problems in training/doctine/leadership could have been ironed out in the limited area of operations of North Africa. Then the cross channel invasion could have been initiated instead of going into Sicily and the bottom of the Italian peninsula. Possibly an invasion of Southern France could have been implemented if needed to take pressure off main thrust in the Normandy-Brittany area.
     
  5. justdags

    justdags Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    1
    too me it seems that a large part of your plan rests on the issue of the luftwaffle not being able to get the amount of fighters and bombers in the skies above the landing but with a period of i belive 3-4 days there would be 109's and He 111's every where and the US AAF was at this point too little too be very effective as most of it was still P-40's. In the end i belive the beach landings would be a victory on D+1 and D+2 but i think that by D+5 the allies would be meeting heavy resistance and be pushed back to the ocean I think that the best attack would have been to invade yougasolvia and then go throught Austria into Germen all led by Gen. Patton
     
  6. justdags

    justdags Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    1
    I think that if the american forces invaded from the denmark area it might have worked simply because of the fact that it would be totaly unexcpted
     
  7. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    1,501
    The major problem I myself see with the idea of Denmark is the "choke point" of getting off the narrow peninsula and onto Europe proper. A very few defenders could tie the invaders down there, and destroy them at will.
     
  8. tiktin

    tiktin recruit

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    A very interesting discussion. I am not an expert and hesitate to add to the many posts, but I would add just one comment. The only fighter planes the US had in Torch were Wildcats and P-40s. The only air opposition came from French P-36s and Dewoitine 520s. It was a fascinating spectacle for the aeronatical engineer because by l942 all these planes were outmoded. The air fighting was pretty much of a draw, only the French ran out of planes before we did. In armor I believe we were still using the Stuarts and Grants, half tracks and towed anti tank guns. None of this equipment was up to the German standard in l942, nor did we then have the quantity needed to overcome quality in an invasion of France. We were also short of landing craft and many other things. Above all, we were short of experience. Even after Torch, the air drop in Sicily was a disaster. We had much to learn. The Germans were stronger in l942 than they were in l944, and we were weaker. This is not to say we should have waited until l944. I have always felt uneasy about it. But I do not think we were not ready to do a cross channel invasion in l942.
     
  9. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    10,480
    Likes Received:
    425
    The US Army had in addition to the M3 Stuarts and M3 Lees also had the M4A1 Sherman in the Torch landings. The P-40 and Wildcat were not "Outmoded" and were used in frontline service for some time after the landings in the Med and the Pacific. They may not be current they were still able to perform thier tasks. Even the D.520 was still in use till later in the war also.For example,

    "Although these might have been "second string" duties, the Wildcat still kept busy up to the end, scoring hundreds more aerial victories. In February 1945, FAA Wildcats flying off the HMS VINDEX in support of a Murmansk convoy shot down three Ju-88s, and on 25 March 1945 Wildcats of FAA Squadron Number 882 got into a tangle with German Bf-109Gs off of Norway and shot down four of them. This was said to have been the last air-to-air combat of FAA Wildcats. Rocket-armed FM-2s provided valuable close support during the invasions of the Philippines and Okinawa. One Wildcat claimed destruction of a Japanese Frances bomber on 5 August 1945, the type's last "kill" of the war."

    http://www.vectorsite.net/avwcat.html


    out·mod·ed Date: 1903 1 : not being in style 2 : no longer acceptable, current, or usable
     
  10. justdags

    justdags Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    1
    I didn't know that wildcats were used in the Atlantic I thought that they were in the PTO only
     
  11. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2007
    Messages:
    1,051
    Likes Received:
    81
    The USN had several aircraft carriers operating in the Atlantic. The Ranger made a raid on a German facilty in Norway in 1942. In November 1942 US Navy pilots flying Wildcats fought with French fighter over the Morrocan coast on the opneing day of operation Torch. The Ranger was involved in that. I cant recall if the Ranger supported the invasion of Sicilly.

    The British accquired some F4F fighters and called them Martlets.
     
  12. Marat

    Marat Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think it wold ended like Djep, but in larger amounts.
    1. U.S. army didn't have any experience in large see landing operations
    2. There wold be no allied air superiority.
    3. Germans wold quick redeploy her forces, just like they did in Tunis and Italy.

    In West they had:
    OB – “WEST”:
    And HEERESGRUPPE “D”
    HGrp. Reserves:
    3 SS-PzGR.Div. “Tot.”
    39 Inf.Div.
    161 Inf.Div.
    100 Panzer Bde
    6 Pz.Div.
    10 Pz.Div.

    “HG” Mot.Inf.Div.
    8 Res.Div.
    2 Res.Div.
    165 Inf.Div.
    182 Inf.Div.
    Stab LXVII (67) Res.K.
    Stab LXVI (66) Res.K.
    Stab LXIV (64) Res.K.
    Stab LXXXVI (86) Armeekorps
    Stab LXXXVII (87) Armeekorps
    Kdr.Trps. “Netherlands”:
    LXXXVIII (88) Armeekorps:
    719 Inf.Div.
    167 Inf.Div.
    347 Inf.Div.
    FIFTEENTH ARMY: [AOK 15]:
    AOK Reserves:
    26 Pz.Div.
    38 Inf.Div.
    LXXXIX (89) Armeekorps:
    65 Inf.Div.
    712 Inf.Div.
    LXXXII (82) Armeekorps:
    106 Inf.Div.
    321 Inf.Div.
    306 Inf.Div.
    304 Inf.Div.
    LXXXI (81) Armeekorps:
    302 Inf.Div.
    332 Inf.Div.
    711 Inf.Div.
    348 Inf.Div.
    Hoh.Kdo.Panzerkorps-SS:
    1 SS-PzGR.Div. “LAH”
    2 SS-PzGR.Div. “Das Reich”

    Armeegruppe “Felber” (Stab LXXXIII (83) Armeekorps):
    328 Inf.Div. (part)
    SEVENTH ARMY: [AOK 7]:
    AOK Reserves:
    257 Inf.Div.
    LXXXIV (84) Armeekorps:
    379 Inf.Div.
    320 Inf.Div.
    716 Inf.Div.
    165 Res.Div. (most)
    XXV (25) Armeekorps:
    709 Inf.Div.
    17 Inf.Div.
    182 Res.Div. (most)
    333 Inf.Div.
    343 Inf.Div.
    346 Inf.Div.
    FIRST ARMY: [AOK 1]:
    AOK Reserves:
    7 Pz.Div.
    327 Inf.Div.
    LXXX (80) Armeekorps:
    25 Inf.Div.
    708 Inf.Div.
    715 Inf.Div.
    344 Inf.Div.



    http://www.axishistory.com/index.php?id=6472


    As there wold be no allied air superiority, no one wold prevent to transport German tank divisions to Brittany. Luftwaffe would destroy ports(even if U.S. forces mange to gain ports undamaged) and cut allied army supply. Also rain of bombs wold crush on allied invasion fleet. And then German panzers wold drop allied forces back in to the see...
     
  13. Marat

    Marat Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Forgot one thing - it all wold be if U.S. forces even mange to land, because in November there are great risk of storms in Northern France with do landings impossible.
     
  14. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Location:
    Michigan
    And there's not much in the way of landing craft. Of course there's also not much in the way of troops in Britain either...
     
  15. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    5,945
    Likes Received:
    760
    Location:
    Phoenix Arizona
    You might want to re-read the whole thread again......

    There is just one second rate infantry division spread incredibly thin on the landing beaches. Most of the divisions you list are static infantry defense ones guarding sections of coast that cannot respond. The Luftwaffe is nearly impotent. The panzer divisions have Pz III's for the most part and there are no Tigers or Panthers for the Allies to deal with.
     
  16. Marat

    Marat Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you notice, there was 8 German tank divizions in West in november, at least 3 of them - divizions of SS - elite veteran formations.

    strange, in Tunis and Italy, it was not impotent, but in France, who was much more important to Germans than Tunis and Italy, Luftwaffe would be impotent...

    And so? Pz III's and Pz IV is bad tank? What does allied had to compare these? Grant? :)
     
  17. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    5,945
    Likes Received:
    760
    Location:
    Phoenix Arizona
    Actually, your list (and it is correct) shows four of which only two are anywhere near full strength (26 and 10). The other two are being rebuilt. 100 Panzer Bde is the first Panther unit with the balky F models used at Kursk. They are in work up and have just a handful of tanks for training. The three SS divisions are being reformed and currently have less than a battalion of tanks each as they are panzer grenadier divisions not panzer divisions.
    You also might want to check on their location. All but one are northern France or Belgium and nowhere near the landing site. It will take them a week or more at a minimum to get there.

    This was clearly explained in the thread. JG 26 is the only fighter unit initially in the West. The Germans will have to bring in aircraft from elsewhere. If they intend to try to do the Stalingrad airlift then they won't be getting many bombers as they are all going to the East. And, in Tunisa the Luftwaffe was rather marginally effective. It played no major role in the outcome of the land fighting.


    The Pz III has trouble against the Grant and Sherman. The Pz IV (lang) is a match but these are still in short supply with the L24 versions still being in service too. The point is that throwing a couple of panzer divisions against such a landing and having to initially use them piecemeal to shore up the defense line initially will have the same effect it did in Normandy. The panzers cannot be used in sufficent mass to overcome the Allied landing. Instead, they end up forming the defense and slowly get whittled away.

    With the disaster at Stalingrad looming (historically) on the heels of this landing the Germans are in quite a delimma. Do you send reinforcements East when you need them badly in the West? Do you leave units in the West that went East historically? Do units that went to shore up North Africa go there? If not how does that effect the outcome there?

    All the Allies have to do is get ashore and stay there. Landing against a single weak infantry division spread way too thin they can manage that. By the time the Germans can sufficently reinforce so can the Allies.
    What kept the plan from being tried historically was a combination of British reticence towards casualties, an uncertainty on the part of the US as to ability, and a risk adverse strategic command.
     
  18. chean

    chean Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi all

    This is an interesting thread so i thought i would make it the site of my first posting. As some one already posted this actually sounds a lot like operation sealion except in reverse. A few questions about your plan then:

    1: How are you going to resupply these troops? Which major port are you going to capture and how are you going to stop the Germans from destroying it? Remember no mulberry harbours and no you cannot just move the date of their construction forward by 18 months, their planning and construction took a lot longer than you are allowing. You are aware that for months they were the main source of supplies for the troops after D-day? Are you gambling the entire success of this invasion on being able to capture a port intact? How often did that happen when dealing with the Germans?

    2: How are you going to stop resupply and reinforcement of the German forces? Numbers of planes mean nothing. In 1944 you have pilots highly experienced in ground-air strikes flying planes such as the Mustang and the typhoon. In 1942 little to no experience and adapted Hurricanes. In 1944 thousands of medium and heavies, sophisticated guidance and bomb sites and air supremecy allowing daylight bombing. In 1942 mainly night time bombing by the RAF and sometimes problems even hiting a target the size of a city.

    But here's the real problem with your plan. You talk about the Division that will oppose them, and the weakness of troops in other areas of France but miss the real fact. You are talking about starting the invasion of France and hence the invasion of Germany with a handful of divisions. It doesn't matter how many troops you put ashore on day 1, or day 5, or day 25. What counts is whats going on 2 - 3 - 4 months maybe even a year from now. You need millions of soldiers and 100's of thousands of vehicles, and in 1942 the Allies simply dont have that (well not the western ones :)). 1943 maybe, 1942 no. Why invade in 1942 when you simply don't have the ability to win the war at that time? You risk a second Salonika, and that would be a disaster all of it's own.
     
  19. Kevin Kenneally

    Kevin Kenneally Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    Messages:
    374
    Likes Received:
    13
    The Pz IIIs the Germans had were more than capable enough of fighting the US armor.
     
  20. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Location:
    Michigan
    Fighting yes beating it no. A Stuart probably has an edge on a Pz III much less an M-3 medium or m-4.
     

Share This Page