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Did The Us Army "refuse" British Funnies?


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#81 Rich

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Posted 25 January 2005 - 1606 PM

Perhaps the bombs were ineffective because they missed, being dropped inland to avoid 'blue on blue' in the poor visibility. A/c being able to see and hopefully hit the target might have been effective.


Sorry, but no, there was little practical effect that could be expected. To quote from the Aberdeen Terminal Ballistics Volume I "Bombing" from August 1944, tests showed that "semi-armor-piercing bombs weighing less than 1,000 lb. are ineffective against concrete fortifications 5 feet or more in thickness. The 1,000 lb. Semi-Armor-Piercing Bomb, AN-M59 or AN-M59A1, and the 1,600 lb. Armor-Piercing Bomb, AN-Mk.1 are effective for destruction of pillboxes when it is possible to obtain direct hits."

It is later mentioned that GP bombs are only valuable in removing dirt from the surface of concrete emplacements.

Again, being able to see the targets might have improved effectiveness. The BBs were there to take out heavier defenses, but they couldn't see them in the conditions.

Given the dispersion characteristics of most heavy naval ordnance (after all, they were designed to hit objects hundreds of feet long and tens of feet wide) and their limited ammunition capacity, combined with the concealed and dispersed nature of the targets, then it must be said that they were also impractical for use against heavy protected positions. They were effective against coastal gun positions, which was really their primary task, but that is a different kettle of fish since those perforce must have their embrasures exposed to seaward (for those that were protected by casemates, of course it was actually found that unprotected guns actually suffered less damage on the whole).

The firing of Texas and Arkansas against the Vierville and St Laurent draws was about as effective as shooting at the moon. And I'm surprised considering your vehement opposition to the Pacific island assaults, that you hadn't noticed that heavy naval gunfire has pretty much never had a significant effect against protected positions.

The fact that support was ineffective in the actual conditions on 6 June is not necessarily proof that it would have been ineffective under more favorable conditions.


Oh I agree 100 percent, but we'll never know then, will we? <_<

Getting off the beach was not, AIUI, the purpose of the tanks, at least not until the exits were cleared. Their mission was to provide fire support and cover for the infantry. Since they could not get there until after the infantry (rather than before as planned), their support value was limited. So I'd say the time of arrival was fairly important.

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Oh granted, but it was intended that they be able to maneuver freely on the beach to provide that support, which they could not do because of the combination of the raising tide, soft sand, shingle, and seawall. Many bogged or were tracked immediately after debarking, about the only real solution was to dump so many tanks on the beach at once that at least there would be sufficient to have an effect from the ones not stuck. :D
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#82 JohnB

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Posted 25 January 2005 - 1608 PM

. The "plan" wasn't fully formed until February 44, the final amendments did not get included until late May<snip>
So the question really shouldn't be either why or why not use AVRE? Rather it should be was it practicable to get AVRE into the hands of troops at OMAHA and UTAH in a timely enough manner and in sufficent quantatity so as to warrant yet a further change in the landing plan (the last is very important, so many changes continued to be made to the NEPTUNE plan that it was finally frozen as is, IIRC 22 May, albeit minor detail adjustments on craft loading continued to be made)?

Frankly, I think the answer is no.


Well Monty's order for the offer of Funnies came before the "plan" was fully formed.

Sorry, but that statement is simply weird. The DDs were also delayed at UTAH and OMAHA, as well as at SWORD and JUNO - why does that fact have such a unique significance at GOLD?

And odder still, what "sophistication" of the British plans are you referring to? It certainly wasn't the landing plan, or the timing of the landing waves, that was virtually the same on each of the beaches, and was determined by craft availability - not by "sophistication". Was it that on the British beaches that the initial wave was intended to be DD tanks, followed by clearance parties that combined armored vehicles and engineer teams working together to clear obstacle lanes, followed by assault troops to carry the beach, supported by armor? But wait, that's the plan on the American beaches as well? The fundamental difference is that on the British beaches the supporting wave of armored vehicles following up the DD were intended to be Centaurs (most of which didn't arrive), Crabs and AVRE. On the American beaches those supporting waves consisted of Shermans and Sherman tankdozers, due apprently simply to the lack of availability and time to get other vehicles into the hands of the troops.

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No I meant all the British beaches. If the weather had been kinder they could have gained fuller value from the "menu" probably taking less casualties and perhaps making deeper gains. I know the weather affected the American plans too but that has already been raised on this thread.
By greater sophistication I mean the AVRE and Crabs.
From 'Achtung Minen:Ian Hammerton' an Lt. in 22nd Westminster Dragoons on what could be achieved "Flails were to flog the mines, AVREs to follow through and plant their 'beehive' charges on the roofs of the bunkers, and the Royal Marines were to mop up. All went to plan. Casualties were minimal and the Commandos did not even bother to wear their steel helmets."
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#83 Rich

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Posted 25 January 2005 - 1610 PM

Exactly! Doesn't that mean that specialised engineering vehicles (preferably armoured) are even more important on OMAHA?


Of course, but since the best evidence is that they simply weren't available their importance is rather moot don't you think? :D

True but the defences were in greater depth on the British beaches. The breakthrough on GOLD also diverted 2 battalions of 352. and the StuG company(?) away from OMAHA.

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Do I really have to trot out my canned analysis and comparison of the defenses? Or would balderdash suffice? :P
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#84 KingSargent

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Posted 25 January 2005 - 1617 PM

And I'm surprised considering your vehement opposition to the Pacific island assaults, that you hadn't noticed that heavy naval gunfire has pretty much never had a significant effect against protected positions.

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Well, it was sure not as effective as hoped (neither was strategic bombing), but I wouldn't say NEVER....

BTW, might not the poor visibility and rough seas contributed to the "ineffective" shooting on 6 June?

BTW#2, my opposition to Pacific island assaults is based on strategic reasons, not that the assaults were not done well (on occasion).
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#85 Colin Williams

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Posted 25 January 2005 - 1622 PM

Do I really have to trot out my canned analysis and comparison of the defenses? Or would balderdash suffice?  :P

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Leaving aside Utah with the various German units capable of moving up to block the causeways unless stopped by airborne units and Sword with the intervention of the 21st Panzer, my impression is that the defenses at Omaha, Gold and Juno were very shallow. Once the assault forces moved off the beaches there were neither fixed defenses nor adequate German reinforcements to put the cork back in the bottle
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#86 Rich

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Posted 25 January 2005 - 1624 PM

By greater sophistication I mean the AVRE and Crabs.
From 'Achtung Minen:Ian Hammerton' an Lt. in 22nd Westminster Dragoons on what could be achieved "Flails were to flog the mines, AVREs to follow through and plant their 'beehive' charges on the roofs of the bunkers, and the Royal Marines were to mop up. All went to plan. Casualties were minimal and the Commandos did not even bother to wear their steel helmets."

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Dear me, Ian's memories must have gotten pretty rosey late in life? The actual concise report of the activities of 2 Troop at Yellow Gap, NAN WHITE was:

"Touched down 500 yards east of planned gap. High tide and mined obstacles forced gap to be made opposite point of landing - wall 12' high. Flails start flailing to the wall but br [SBG AVRE] shot awayas it left the craft (comd. cas). Second comd. killed by MG fire. Two petards out of action due to enemy fire. Ten dustbins at lip of wall but crater too steep and soft. Inf then began landing some way to the right. Moved down beach towards ramp blocked by Element C (10 shots). Flailed up ramp with two flails. One flail caught up in wire. Eventually clear after some hand clearance in smoke. Facine dropped in A.Tk. ditch and ramped by hand. Second gap made to bypass BERNIERES."

How do you get "all went to plan" out of that?
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#87 Rich

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Posted 25 January 2005 - 1643 PM

Leaving aside Utah with the various German units capable of moving up to block the causeways unless stopped by airborne units and Sword with the intervention of the 21st Panzer, my impression is that the defenses at Omaha, Gold and Juno were very shallow. Once the assault forces moved off the beaches there were neither fixed defenses nor adequate German reinforcements to put the cork back in the bottle

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Okay, please be aware this is from a work in progress:

GOLD Beach encompassed a front from slightly west of La Hamel to Grey-sur-Mere, a distance of about 6.5 kilometers. Along that frontage were ten Wiederstandsneste (resistance nests) numbered from east-to-west WN 32, 33, 34, 35, 35a, 35b, 36, 37, 38, and 39. Of those, a total of four could observe and bring direct fire on GOLD JIG and GOLD KING, WN 33, 35, 36, and 37 (WN 38 with another two 7.5cm FK had a limited field of fire partly covering the western edge of WN 37, but it and WN 39 were primarily designed to defend the seaward and eastern landward approaches to Arromanches). Between them they were armed with one 8.8cm Pak, two 7.5cm FK (f), five 5cm Pak, one 3.7cm Pak, two mortars (apparently all 5cm), and 18 machineguns. The six positions backing them up included three artillery batteries: 3/HKA 1260 at WN 35a (the Mont Fleury Battery) with four 12.2cm K390 ®, 5/AR 1716 at WN 35b (the Crepon Battery) with four 10cm leFH 14/19 (t), and 6/AR 1716 at WN 32 (the Mare Fontaine Battery) also with four 10cm leFH 14/19 (t) and a minor backup position WN 34 with a single 5cm gun. WN 38 and 39 were stronger, mounting two 7.5cm FK (f), two 5cm Pak and one 5cm mortar, with perhaps as many as eight machineguns. Most of the non-artillery positions included one or two casemates and three or more ‘Tobruck’ mounts for machineguns.

Note also that none of the positions could be characterized as either extensive of deep, nor were there extensive built-up areas for the Germans to take advantage of. WN 37 at La Hamel on the far western edge is the only area that could be so characterized and that just from a single large building, the Sanatorium. The three villages backing GOLD, Asnelles-sur-Mer, Ver-sur-Mer and Meauvaines were not incorporated in the strongpoint system, while only parts of Mont Fleury and la Riviere were.

A great weakness to the position was the lack of reliable infantry to defend it. Located with the artillery at WN 35b was a headquarters unit, Stab/Ost Btl 441. This battalion also had four infantry companies. 1/Ost Btl 441, based at Vaux north of Bayeux, was well out of the GOLD sector and played no part in the days events. 2/Ost Btl 441, based at Reviers, was also not involved against GOLD and spent the day fighting the Canadians at JUNO. 3/Ost Btl 441 based at Meuvaines, made up the garrison of WN 33, 34 and 35, “stiffened” by 7/Gren Rgt 726 (see below). Elements drawn from a platoon of 7/Gren Rgt 736 occupied field fortifications in Graye-sur-Mer (the bulk of the company was at WN 31 at La Riviere, also facing the Canadian landings on JUNO). 4/Ost Btl 441 occupied field fortifications along the low ridge in front of Ver-sur-Mer.

The second infantry element defending in the GOLD sector was II/Gren Rgt 726. The battalion Stab and 7 Kompanie was at Sainte-Croix-sur-Mer, with 7 Kompanie providing “stiffening” at WN 33, 34 and 35. 6/Gren Rgt 726, based at Bazenville, occupied WN 36 and 38. 5 and 8 Kompanie formed a reserve at Creully about five kilometers inland. Finally, Grenadier Regiment 916 of 352 Infanterie Division was present in the form of a single company occupying WN 37 (La Hamel), 38 and 39. The rest of this battalion was deployed to the west between Arromanches and La Hamel (the regimental and divisional boundary ran through La Hamel (inclusive to Gren Rgt 916 and 352 ID) and Bazenville (inclusive to Gren Rgt 726 and 716 ID)

Thus the actual defenders of the positions “on the beach” (WN 33, 35, 36, and 37) consisted of 6 and 7/Gren Rgt 726, 3/Ost Btl 441, a platoon of 7 Gren Rgt 736, and a platoon of II/Gren Rgt 916, a total of three and two-third companies of infantry. They were supported by another three and two-third infantry companies, three artillery batteries, and two battalion headquarters companies. All told these may have amounted to about 1,600 men.

In comparison, OMAHA Beach encompassed a front from slightly west of Ste Honorine des Pertes to slightly east of Pointe et Raz de la Percee, a distance of about seven kilometers. Along the frontage were 14 Wiederstandsneste, WN 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, and 73. Of those all except three, WN 63, 67 and 69, could engage targets on the beach with direct fire. And those positions included a massive array of firepower, including two 8.8cm Pak, one 7.62 FK ®, six 7.5cm FK (f), two 7.5cm turreted guns (taken from the VK3001 tank prototype), 10 5cm Pak, one 4.7cm Pak, six 3.7cm guns (mostly turreted), 17 mortars (at least two 8cm), and 85 machineguns. Four artillery batteries from I and IV/AR 352 (five if Pointe du Hoc were included) backed the position up with a total of 12 10.5cm leFH and four 15cm sFH.

Infantry defense initially comprised 3/Gren Rgt 726 based at Colleville-sur-Mer occupying WN 60, 61, and 62, 10/Gren Rgt726 occupying WN 64, 65, 66, and 68, and 11/Gren Rgt 726 based at Vierville occupying WN 70, 71, 72, and 73. Stab I/Gren Rgt 726 was at Maisons, Stab III was at Chateau du Jucoville and Stab II/Gren Rgt 916 was at Formigny. 5/Gren Rgt based at St Laurent-sur-Mer and 8/Gren Rgt 916 based at Colleville-sur-Mer “stiffened” 3, 10 and 11/Gren Rgt 726.

In addition immediate reserves included 1/Gren Rgt 726 at Port en Bessin, 2/Gren Rgt 726 at St Honorine, 9/Gren Rgt 726 at Château Englesqueville, 6/Gren Rgt 916 at Formigny, and 7/Gren Rgt 916 at Surrain. Thus a total of five infantry companies occupied positions “on the beach” supported by another five infantry companies and four artillery batteries.

In terms of beach obstacle weight and density there was little to chose between GOLD and OMAHA. At GOLD it was calculated that the density of obstacles was about 0.43 per yard of frontage, at OMAHA it was slightly higher at 0.49. At GOLD the average weight of obstacles per yard was calculated as 394 pounds, while at OMAHA it was 401 pounds. But overall the natural advantage at OMAHA versus GOLD (and SWORD, JUNO and UTAH) was so superior that it was remarked that:

“The British beaches and UTAH were all backed by more or less flat terrain. The main passive obstacles to movement from the beaches were minefields, and, in some places, a sea-wall 6’-10’ high. Provided this sea-wall was breached and exits could be cleared through the beach minefields it was in most cases possible for MT and personnel to move off the beach at any point.

The terrain in the OMAHA Area was of great natural strength. The beaches were backed in some places by sheer cliffs and in other places by steep ascents reaching to a height of upwards of 100 feet within a few hundred yards of the beach. There were few easy exits and all natural exits were blocked by ditches or walls. Tank traps and antitank ditches intervened between beaches and road exits.” (Army AORG Group Report No. 292 “Comparison of British and American Areas in Normandy in Terms of Fire Support and its Effects” 14 August 1945).

Overall we can see that GOLD was approximately 93 percent the width of OMAHA, so they were fairly similar in terms of frontage.

But GOLD was defended by just four Widerstandsneste that could fully cover the landing area, rather than the 11 at OMAHA, 2.75 times as many.

At GOLD there were at most 11 direct fire heavy weapons bearing on the beach, at OMAHA there were 28, 2.54 times as many.

At GOLD there were at most three mortars bearing on the beach, at OMAHA there were 17, nearly six times as many.

At GOLD there were 18 machineguns bearing on the beach, at OMAHA there were 85, more than four times as many.

At GOLD there were 12 artillery pieces dedicated to defending the sector. at OMAHA there were 16, all of them heavier and longer-ranged pieces.

At GOLD the immediate defenders and their reserves totaled seven and one-third infantry companies, only one of which could be considered “first class” while two of the remaining companies were Ost Truppen, noteworthy for collapsing almost immediately. At OMAHA there were ten companies immediately available to defend the beaches, four of them “first class” and none of them Ost Truppen.

As far as the 352 Division reserve goes, I/IR 914 was utilized to counterattack the Rangers at Pointe du Hoe, while KG Meyer was split (after considerable indecision) and II/IR 915 and 2/Panzerjaeger Abtl 352 (Marders) were sent to reinforce IR 916 at OMAHA. The rest (IR 915 Stab, I/IR 915, Fus Btl 352, 1/Panzerjaeger Abtl 352 (StuG)) were sent to GOLD. I'm still trying to track it down, but I believe Pi.Btl. 352 was also sent to OMAHA. Finally, Landesbau-Pi. Btl. 17 (HQ in Littry forest about 15 km south of Colleville, its 4 companies were engaged in construction activities along the coast) was employed to reinforce IR 914 and 916 on D-Day between Pointe du Hoc and St. Laurent and lost nearly 400 men in the process.

In other words, the forces used to counterattack OMAHA were about the same as those at GOLD, and of course both met with the same lack of success.

Edited by Rich, 25 January 2005 - 1643 PM.

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#88 JohnB

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Posted 25 January 2005 - 1739 PM

Dear me, Ian's memories must have gotten pretty rosey late in life? The actual concise report of the activities of 2 Troop at Yellow Gap, NAN WHITE was:

"Touched down 500 yards east of planned gap. High tide and mined obstacles forced gap to be made opposite point of landing - wall 12' high. Flails start flailing to the wall but br [SBG AVRE] shot awayas it left the craft (comd. cas). Second comd. killed by MG fire. Two petards out of action due to enemy fire. Ten dustbins at lip of wall but crater too steep and soft. Inf then began landing some way to the right. Moved down beach towards ramp blocked by Element C (10 shots). Flailed up ramp with two flails. One flail caught up in wire. Eventually clear after some hand clearance in smoke. Facine dropped in A.Tk. ditch and ramped by hand. Second gap made to bypass BERNIERES."

How do you get "all went to plan" out of that?

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Sorry, the quote was actually from the (3rd/4th?) assault on Douvres de Deliverande.
Just wanted to point out the potential of the weapon.
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#89 Rich

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Posted 25 January 2005 - 1744 PM

Sorry, the quote was actually from the (3rd/4th?) assault on Douvres de Deliverande.
Just wanted to point out the potential of the weapon.

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Sneaky, cheeky John! :D

But I agree as to the potential of the AVRE.
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#90 Colin Williams

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Posted 25 January 2005 - 1858 PM

At GOLD there were at most three mortars bearing on the beach, at OMAHA there were 17, nearly six times as many.

At GOLD there were 18 machineguns bearing on the beach, at OMAHA there were 85, more than four times as many.

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Thanks very much for the informative post. I only wonder about the above, particularly the mortars. Did the individual German companies deploy any mortars or was it really just 3 for Gold Beach? I seem to recall reports of mortaring that seem difficult to achieve with only three small mortars.


BTW, in an indirect way back to the original topic, are there records for the later temporary transfer of British Crocodiles to the US Army for the assault on Brest?
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#91 Rich

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Posted 26 January 2005 - 0925 AM

Thanks very much for the informative post. I only wonder about the above, particularly the mortars. Did the individual German companies deploy any mortars or was it really just 3 for Gold Beach? I seem to recall reports of mortaring that seem difficult to achieve with only three small mortars.


Sorry Colin, I was being overly concise. The strength is that derived from a number of British ORS reports that investigated the strengths of the German defenses and as far as I can make out did so pretty thoroughly. However, it also appears that they were looking at emplacements, so may not have captured all the weapons in inventory with the units occupying them. It does appear that the counts for MG do account for all of the unit inventory as well as unit holdings, but the mortar counts may not.

For completeness, the unit holdings were approximately:

GOLD:
Ost Btl 441 - 28 MG, 5 mortars (probably 5cm)
II/Gren Regt 726 - 48 MG, 9 5cm and 6 8cm mortars
Coy/Gren Regt 916 - probably 12 or 13 MG and 3 8cm mortars
Total 88/89 MG and 23 mortars (9 8cm)

OMAHA:
I/Gren Regt 726 - 48 MG, 6 5cm and 9 8cm mortars
III/Gren Regt 726 - 48 MG, 3 5cm and 9 8cm mortars
II/Gren Regt 916 - 63 MG and 12 8cm mortars
Total 159 MG and 39 mortars (30 8cm)

BTW, in an indirect way back to the original topic, are there records for the later temporary transfer of British Crocodiles to the US Army for the assault on Brest?

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There are records, but they were not temporary transfers, it was an attachment of a squadron of 141 RAC. They were used on two days in the attack of one of the forts on the outskirts of Brest. The first attack was pretty much abortive, with losses to the Crocs, which were ineffective. The second was more effective and eventually successful. All in all the Americans liked the tank mounted flamethrower and desired same for US equipment (not neccessarily in Churchills), but did not consider it's use crucial in the assault of Brest (it was not).

And are you accusing me of getting off topic in my own thread!? :D
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#92 Guest_Paul.Avre_*

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Posted 04 February 2005 - 1037 AM

So it is a subject that appears time after time. I even find it on page 58 of our own Bill Buckingham's excellent D-Day book (D-Day, the First 72 Hours, p.58) where he says “the British factored the Funnies and their various capabilities into their assault plan, and demonstrated the vehicles to the commander of the US 1st Army, Lieutenant-General Omar Bradley. Bradley rejected them all except one….”

Seems unequivocal, yes? And yet, these allegations never seem to have a firm basis, or at least not a referenced one (BillB didn't footnote his passage, Bill do you have a reference for that?). But the evidence seems to indicate that even if such an offer was made, it was a spurious one, to say the least. And the allegation always seems to contain a thinly veiled sense that if only the American officers had been less parochial, thick-headed, yadda-yadda, then there would have been fewer casualties at OMAHA and so on.

So what say you all? Did it happen? If so, when and where?

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I’ve just come across the interesting discussion about the offer of funnies to the Americans. The demonstration to Eisenhower on 27th January by 617 Assault Squadron has been mentioned. Kenneth Macksey, in his Hobart biography, says that Eisenhower passed the matter on to Bradley, who then passed the onus to his staff. He is critical of Bradley for not giving the matter more attention himself.. I also remember in Adrian Lewis’ book on Omaha that he mentions that Bradley did actually envisage the use of Churchill Engineer tanks as part of the US landing. Any such plan was certainly modified, and I get the impression that Gerow and V Corps may have had a significant part to play, reinforcing Macksey’s argument. (Gerow also opposed the use of DD tanks, according to Lewis).

I have also found an interesting reference in a document in the National Archives in the UK (formerly the PRO), number WO205/626 (79 Armoured division: organisation and equipment training. Part III). This says that the US 1st Army’s technical advisers were to see the 79th Armoured Div’s equipment on 11th February (1944), and then were to notify the British of any requirements; this was a meeting at HQ 79 AD at which Lt Gen Bradley was present. I haven’t found any documentation that mentions a response.

Interestingly, a few of the veterans I have spoken to in 1st Assault Brigade were of the opinion that they had been ‘reserved’ for possible use with the Americans.

As to whether any specialised armour would have made a difference. Lewis is of the opinion that the terrain at Omaha was such that it would be a foot soldiers’ battle, and that more specialised vehicles would not have survived very long there.
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#93 Rich

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 0956 AM

I have also found an interesting reference in a document in the National Archives in the UK (formerly the PRO), number WO205/626 (79 Armoured division: organisation and equipment training. Part III).  This says that the US 1st Army’s technical advisers were to see the 79th Armoured Div’s equipment on 11th February (1944), and then were to notify the British of any requirements; this was a meeting at HQ 79 AD at which Lt Gen Bradley was present. I haven’t found any documentation that mentions a response. 

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Very interesting Paul. I did not get a chance to review WO205/626 when I was at NA-UK last November. But that gives me a lead to check at this end to see if there is any record of the meeting in the US-NA (it was so much easier when it was the PRO, it was easy to distinguish them from NARA, which was the official US Archives acronym). :( <_< )
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Posted 28 February 2005 - 0636 AM

Very interesting Paul. I did not get a chance to review WO205/626 when I was at NA-UK last November. But that gives me a lead to check at this end to see if there is any record of the meeting in the US-NA (it was so much easier when it was the PRO, it was easy to distinguish them from NARA, which was the official US Archives acronym).  :(  <_< )

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I'd be interested if you come up with anything, Rich. Can I ask, are you researching the 1st Assault Brigade specfically, or D-Day in general?
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#95 C.GILLONO

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 1021 AM

What I found in a recent opus by Steve Zaloga
US Tank and Tank Destroyer Battalions in the ETO 1944-1945
Osprey Battle Orders 10, 2005 (pages 46 and 48)
"Tank battalions in an amphibious assault In preparation for Operation Neptune, the ETOUSA began to address the need for specialized armored units to assist in overcoming German coastal defenses. The British Army had been working on this problem since the ill-fated amphibious landings at Dieppe in 1942. As a result, the US Army tended to follow the British lead in regards to specialized equipment. However, due to McNair's strong aversion to specialized units, the US Army decided against following the british practice of a dedicated armored division for the specialized armor. Instead the 2 armored groups of the First US Army, 3rd Armored Group with V Corps at Omaha Beach and the 6th Armored Group with the VII Corps at Utah Beach, were assigned to provide specialized training to their constituent battalions for operations on D-Day. Three tank battalions were assigned to the task, the 741st and 743rd Tank Battalions (Omaha Beach) and the 70th Tank Battalion (Utah Beach). At first, the US Army decided to use British equipment for this operation including Duplex Drive (DD) amphibious tanks, 25 Crab Flail mine-clearing tanks and 100 Sherman Crocodile Flamethrowing tanks. British industry was barely able to equip its own forces, and as a result the DD tanks had to be locally assembled in the US, and the mine-clearing and flamethrowing tanks were not available in time for the D-Day operations. The US Army rejected the use of the British Churchill AVRE combat engineer vehicle as it was developping its own equivalent, and also rejected the use of British bridging tanks, which it felt unnecessary."

The author does not state exactly the source of these informations, but he can be reached by email as he is a moderator on this discussion group
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HTH :unsure:
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