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1943 Invasion Of France? (Locked)


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#41 Tim the Tank Nut

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Posted 08 April 2006 - 1528 PM

No,
I don't joke about Bradley. His venomous pen did a lot of historical damage in my opinion and I don't believe he deserves much of his reputation. I view more current works on Bradley's generalship as a correction long overdue.

As a side note I spoke to a gentleman on Bradley's staff after the war who had a very low opinion of him (and his hateful wife).
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#42 Jim Martin

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Posted 08 April 2006 - 1821 PM

I just remember Bradley's statement to the Congress (during the Unification Hearings post-war) that he could foresee no eventuality in which the United States would have to make an amphibious landing against armed opposition again--hence we could easily do away with the Marine Corps.

This was in 1947. Quick history quizz, kids...what happened only 3 years later?

Ass.
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#43 KingSargent

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Posted 08 April 2006 - 1857 PM

[quote name='Brad Sallows' date='Sat 8 Apr 2006 0802']
The strength, or lack, of the Atlantic Wall is almost irrelevant. What is relevant are the comparable build-up rates. Getting ashore is not the problem; staying ashore is the problem. What the Pacific experts knew was how to land, and they were accustomed to dealing with enemy forces which were not linked by rail to the industrial heartland of the homeland. Big difference.
The Pacific experts were accustomed to handling major logistics efforts in far-away places without ports, railroads, and pipelines. They knew what could be done and how to do it. The Brits (and Yanks) in COSSAC who did most of the initial planning had not Clue One as to what could be done.



In 1944 the Allies had enough trained divisions to put roughly one division ashore each three days and had enough craft afloat to handle the wastage.
They did in 1943 as well, provided all the units and shipping in the Pacific went to the Atlantic.


The capability to conduct a Transportation Plan in 1943 matters.
The effective parts of the Transportation Plan could have been done in 1943. The 1944 Plan devastated all of France so as not to give a clue as to where the landing would be. In 1943 it would have been possible to isolate Normandy - again given the assets from the PTO, SWPA, and MTO.


The capability to win the seagoing logistics battle in mid-ocean, not assuming the enemy is going to play into your shallow water, air-covered advantages, matters.
1. As it turns out the battle was won by May 1943 anyway - not that the planners knew that.

2. There were several CVEs and escorts in the Pacific that could have been used as ASW in mid-Atlantic if necessary.

3. What effect do you think an Allied presence in Normandy is going to have on the sub bases in Brittany?


It was true that in 1944 the Germans had an improved tank fleet, but their anti-tank guns of choice (50, 75, 88) were already part of the inventory in 1943.
A very small part. Most infantry divisions considered themselves lucky to have nine 50mm guns for the whole division. The 37mm was still in wide use, and the Germans had lost tremendous assets at Stalingrad and Tunisgrad.

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#44 philgollin

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 0637 AM

Quote :

The Pacific experts were accustomed to handling major logistics efforts in far-away places without ports, railroads, and pipelines. They knew what could be done and how to do it. The Brits (and Yanks) in COSSAC who did most of the initial planning had not Clue One as to what could be done.

unquote

I think you may need to re-visit that statement.

The Pacific was notorious for wasting shipping resources and having masses of ships tied up as useless floating warehouses due to inefficiencies in shipping planning and port useage.

The plans for Neptune (the naval part of Overlord) were set up by people who had been doing logistics in depth for four years and whose plans worked very well.
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#45 KingSargent

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 0758 AM

[quote name='philgollin' date='Mon 10 Apr 2006 1137']
Quote :

The Pacific experts were accustomed to handling major logistics efforts in far-away places without ports, railroads, and pipelines. They knew what could be done and how to do it. The Brits (and Yanks) in COSSAC who did most of the initial planning had not Clue One as to what could be done.

unquote

I think you may need to re-visit that statement.
I stand by my statement.


The Pacific was notorious for wasting shipping resources and having masses of ships tied up as useless floating warehouses due to inefficiencies in shipping planning and port useage.
You are referring to rear-echelon shipping, I am referring to front line shipping, ie transport in the battle zone. The inadequacy of port facilities led to "floating warehouses" in the Pacific, and in every other theater. It was an unavoidable result of the convoy system. Even major ports got backed up when a large convoy arrived. Ports are designed to handle a steady stream of ships, not large fleets one day and nothing the next. Estimates of convoy system impact on loading/unloading average around 33%-50% overall loss of efficiency in major ports. The situation in the Pacific was worse because large port facilities were practically non-existent.


The plans for Neptune (the naval part of Overlord) were set up by people who had been doing logistics in depth for four years And who might they be? and whose plans worked very well.
And OVERLORD had to wait a year for the Mulberries, PLUTO, etc, etc, to be built. If one is saying that a 1943 landing is impossible in the absense of these frills, then one must account for all the major and minor assaults and movements made in the PTO without those frills.

A 1943 operation must be different from the 1944 operation. Again, I say that a 1943 landing could not have followed the same historical course that the NWE campaign did - which resulted in victory in 50 weeks. But a 1943 landing was possible with the resources available. The resources available in 1943 would not have worked against the forces and defenses the Germans had in 1944. But the German defenses were non-existent and the forces much smaller in 1943. If we had a year to build up, so did the Germans.


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#46 Rich

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 1331 PM

But a 1943 landing was possible with the resources available. The resources available in 1943 would not have worked against the forces and defenses the Germans had in 1944. But the German defenses were non-existent and the forces much smaller in 1943. If we had a year to build up, so did the Germans.

[/b]

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Do we really need to rehash this all again? :D

Yes the beach defenses as they existed in 1944 were almost nonexistant, well except for the coastal defense batteries, which were virtually identical (the main difference in 1944 was that many were then in enclosed emplacements, which wasn't always an advantage curiously enough).

And the German forces were smaller, but as I think I've shown before, that was all relative, proportianately the forces that the Allies could bring to bear was also much smaller.

For instance, through February 1943 just 169 LST had been commissioned, while through February 1944 a total of 444 had been commissioned, of which no less than 127 were utilized in the assault forces and another 110 in the follow-on forces for NEPTUNE. And the situation with regards to other assault craft are similar.

Also, I suggest you read Logistical Support of the Armies, Volume I, which is eye-opening - to say the least - when it comes to the time and effort required to prepare the logistical infrastructure in Britain.

So the real problem was that for a mid-1943 landing the planning, preparation, and, most crtically, construction had to begin no later than mid-1942, so it would have begun on the basis of zero amhibious expereince.

I eagerly await your reply. <_<
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#47 superfractal

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 1344 PM

"So the real problem was that for a mid-1943 landing the planning, preparation, and, most crtically, construction had to begin no later than mid-1942, so it would have begun on the basis of zero amhibious expereince.
I eagerly await your reply. <_<"

just out of curosity, wasnt this the point of dieppe?
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#48 KingSargent

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 1411 PM

[quote name='Rich' date='Mon 10 Apr 2006 1831']
Do we really need to rehash this all again? :D
People keep asking the same old questions..... <_<
Besides, it seems to be the only way to lure you out of your lair :P :D


Yes the beach defenses as they existed in 1944 were almost nonexistant, well except for the coastal defense batteries, which were virtually identical (the main difference in 1944 was that many were then in enclosed emplacements, which wasn't always an advantage curiously enough).

And the German forces were smaller, but as I think I've shown before, that was all relative, proportianately the forces that the Allies could bring to bear was also much smaller.
How much smaller would they have been if we weren't futzing around on the fringes in furtherance of Britain's Empire and taking worthless disease-ridden real estate by frontal assault in the Pacific?


For instance, through February 1943 just 169 LST had been commissioned, while through February 1944 a total of 444 had been commissioned, of which no less than 127 were utilized in the assault forces and another 110 in the follow-on forces for NEPTUNE. And the situation with regards to other assault craft are similar.
Granted, but I am assuming LCs weren't frittered away in the Med and Pacific. If 169 LST were commissioned by Feb 1943, then that is more than were actually used in OVERLORD initial landings, by your own figures.


Also, I suggest you read Logistical Support of the Armies, Volume I, which is eye-opening - to say the least - when it comes to the time and effort required to prepare the logistical infrastructure in Britain.
I would love to, you know where I can find one, preferably cheap?


So the real problem was that for a mid-1943 landing the planning, preparation, and, most crtically, construction had to begin no later than mid-1942, so it would have begun on the basis of zero amhibious expereince.
This is true, it is also my main point that had Alanbrooke not scuppered the 1943 plans at Casablanca the planning ordained by the CCS in 1942 (and to which the US JCS was committed) would have been ready. The US came to Casablanca prepared to finalize plans for France '43, the British came ready to scuttle it.
The question posed that opened the whole thing this time was a French landing after TORCH instead of Sicily-Italy. FDR wanted to do something in 1942, so he pushed TORCH through. I am assuming (and the topic question assumes) that TORCH was going to happen.
So there would have been the experience from TORCH, even if it was mainly What NOT To Do In An Amphibious Landing.


I eagerly await your reply. <_<
You got it.

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#49 KingSargent

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 1414 PM

"So the real problem was that for a mid-1943 landing the planning, preparation, and, most crtically, construction had to begin no later than mid-1942, so it would have begun on the basis of zero amhibious expereince.
I eagerly await your reply. <_<"

just out of curosity, wasnt this the point of dieppe?

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Dieppe was an experiment to see if a port could be taken by frontal assault from the ocean. It proved that an operation with next to no air and naval support could not take a port from an alerted enemy who knew when and where you were coming.
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#50 Rich

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 2210 PM

[quote name='KingSargent' date='Mon 10 Apr 2006 1911'][quote name='Rich' date='Mon 10 Apr 2006 1831']
Do we really need to rehash this all again? :D
People keep asking the same old questions..... <_<
Besides, it seems to be the only way to lure you out of your lair :P :D
[/quote]

I was not in my lair, I was out working very hard to make ends meet, the guvmint decided to put all its end of year money into Katrina. Iraq and Afghanistan. leaving me without work for six months. :rolleyes: Plus I was nursing a broken heart, something I take very seriously. :(

[quote] How much smaller would they have been if we weren't futzing around on the fringes in furtherance of Britain's Empire and taking worthless disease-ridden real estate by frontal assault in the Pacific?[/quote]

Not by much, at the best we might have had 7th ID available for Europe as it was meant to be. But most of the divisions that Mac coopted for New Guinea were originally sent as defensive forces for Australia and other areas in mid-late 1942, it is unlikely they could have been rotated back to CONUS of ETO in time for a mid 1943 landing. Quite simply, there weren't that many US forces available worldwide in 1943. And of course there was no way the Marines weren't going to be in the Pacific, notthat they are sinificant in mid 1943 anyway.

[quote]Granted, but I am assuming LCs weren't frittered away in the Med and Pacific. If 169 LST were commissioned by Feb 1943, then that is more than were actually used in OVERLORD initial landings, by your own figures.[/quote]

Sorry, but you are simply not going to get the US Navy or American public to accept a 100% allocation of forces to the ETO.


I would love to, you know where I can find one, preferably cheap?


Uh, you can order the entire ETO series from the GPO on CD-ROM for $29.95, Sarge. :D

[quote] This is true, it is also my main point that had Alanbrooke not scuppered the 1943 plans at Casablanca the planning ordained by the CCS in 1942 (and to which the US JCS was committed) would have been ready. The US came to Casablanca prepared to finalize plans for France '43, the British came ready to scuttle it.
The question posed that opened the whole thing this time was a French landing after TORCH instead of Sicily-Italy. FDR wanted to do something in 1942, so he pushed TORCH through. I am assuming (and the topic question assumes) that TORCH was going to happen.
So there would have been the experience from TORCH, even if it was mainly What NOT To Do In An Amphibious Landing.
[/quote]

Sorry, no, the Casablanca conference was in January 1943. If the buildup had been given priority then instead of some six months later, the savings in time would have been about six months, i.e. making a NEPTUNE-size landing possible maybe in January 1944. Of course if the invasion of Italy had been cancelled, then we could have landed Fifth and Eighth Army in Normandy in September 1943. With the armies landing seriatim with perhaps three divisions in the initial lift and two divisions in the follow-on for each. But of course there is also the not so minor problem that the majority of the German divisions that responded to the Italian threat came from French cantonments and suffered greatly from the poor state of the Italian railroads. The French rail net was in fine fettle. :D

Also I think you are confusing yourself. TORCH was November 1942, the Casablanca Conference was January 1943, one preceeded the other, rather neccessarily. :D Unless you are refering to AVALANCHE or HUSKY?

[quote]You got it.

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[/quote]

And there is mine back. <_<
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#51 KingSargent

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 0001 AM

[quote name='Rich' date='Tue 11 Apr 2006 0310']
I was not in my lair, I was out working very hard to make ends meet, the guvmint decided to put all its end of year money into Katrina. Iraq and Afghanistan. leaving me without work for six months. :rolleyes: Plus I was nursing a broken heart, something I take very seriously. :(
Sorry to hear it. :(


Not by much, at the best we might have had 7th ID available for Europe as it was meant to be. But most of the divisions that Mac coopted for New Guinea were originally sent as defensive forces for Australia and other areas in mid-late 1942, it is unlikely they could have been rotated back to CONUS of ETO in time for a mid 1943 landing. Quite simply, there weren't that many US forces available worldwide in 1943. And of course there was no way the Marines weren't going to be in the Pacific, notthat they are sinificant in mid 1943 anyway.
We have said that the commitment would have to made before summer of 1942 if anything was going to happen by Summer 1943. So if that commitment (which WAS made) was kept there wouldn't have been any rotation back to the ETO, they would have gone the Blighty - or stayed in the US with larger training areas and to avoid having to feed them in the UK.


Sorry, but you are simply not going to get the US Navy or American public to accept a 100% allocation of forces to the ETO.
King was prepared to go along with it. He knew there wasn't much to be done in the Pacific until the new Fast Carrier Forces came on line.

And there wouldn't be 100% allocated in any case; the units already there (24th and 25th IDs in HI, the Marines, 32nd and 41st in OZ, and the regiments scattered around that were pulled into Americal) would remain. Not much point in pulling the Fleet back to the Atlantic, just keep all the CVEs east for ASW work instead of sending them to the Pacific. As the first Essex and Independence types came on line in early 1943, they could be used in the Atlantic for what FCVTFs do best - hit and run raiding to keep the enemy spread out. They wouldn't go into the channel, but raids in the Bay of Biscay and in Norway could at least annoy the Germans.


Uh, you can order the entire ETO series from the GPO on CD-ROM for $29.95, Sarge. :D
Address, URL, whatever?

Sorry, no, the Casablanca conference was in January 1943. If the buildup had been given priority then instead of some six months later, the savings in time would have been about six months, i.e. making a NEPTUNE-size landing possible maybe in January 1944.
Tell me something I don't know. :P The commitment had already been made by Spring 1942. It would have kept rolling through Casablanca if the Brits hadn't cluck-clucked out.

I have said that TORCH probably would have gone anyway, if only to keep FDR happy. But there was no real good strategic reason to do Guadalcanal, New Guinea, etc in the Pacific and plenty of reasons not to - all the units needed more training F1T. And why have an "Operation Shoestring" if it unlaces the boots already marching?


Of course if the invasion of Italy had been cancelled, then we could have landed Fifth and Eighth Army in Normandy in September 1943. With the armies landing seriatim with perhaps three divisions in the initial lift and two divisions in the follow-on for each.
HUSKY wouldn't have gone either, that was a British "Peripheral Plan" formed at Casablanca. So we can move our transfer dates up. TORCH might even have taken Tunis before the mud - it was close - and assuming there are more assets not sent to the PTO, TORCH could have included the landing at Bone that would have sped the Tunisian assault.

Assume the amphibious assets used inSoPac in 1942 were kept back. You would have many more opportunities for training divisions and sailors in amphibious ops. The biggest problem with TORCH was the loss of most of the landing craft, and most of the LCs were lost because the coxwains were untrained, and the coxwains were untrained because there was nothing to train on since it was being used in SoPac by the coxwains who were trained......

Even if the dismal historical record of the Tunisian campaign is replicated, there were surplus troops that could have been pulled back to Blighty as the German lodgement shrank. 8th Army was practically squeezed out of the final assault and only two corps ever went west of Tripoli anyway, so where did all the Alamein boys go?


But of course there is also the not so minor problem that the majority of the German divisions that responded to the Italian threat came from French cantonments and suffered greatly from the poor state of the Italian railroads. The French rail net was in fine fettle. :D
IIRC most of the German troops that fought in Sicily/Italy were already there, as garrisons or moved in preparing to reinforce Arnim.

Of course if TORCH goes better the Germans won't have reinforced Tunisia and all we put in the North African bag is PanzerArmee Afrika instead of 5th PzA as well, which makes more troops available to the Germans. Where would they have gone? Probably to Russia, not France.


Also I think you are confusing yourself. TORCH was November 1942, the Casablanca Conference was January 1943, one preceeded the other, rather neccessarily. :D Unless you are refering to AVALANCHE or HUSKY?
Read back. It would have been a tad difficult to have a conference in Casablanca unless Casablanca had been taken, so it's pretty obvious that TORCH preceded the conference. And remember, the planning for France '43 would not have started after Casablanca, it was already going on (at least the US was following orders and working on it). It was Alanbrooke's derailing of Allied strategy at Casablanca that led to hasty make-shift ops all over the world.

You need to set your clock back a bit. The commitment to Europe First had been made before Midway, and should have been kept. If it had been kept there would have been assets not sent to the Pacific and available for France.

Midway bucked the Navy up and they felt they had people doing nothing and assets might be pulled for Europe (or worse for Big Mac), so they came up with Guadalcanal to do something and get more goodies. MacArthur of course was trying to escalate his backwater into a major theater, and HE was trying to get those "extra" Navy assets. In June he wanted two CVs and a Marine division and promised he would take Rabaul in two weeks by direct assault. In July he said the Navy couldn't take Guadalcanal with the same Marine division and three CVs.

So assume a Pacific defensive stance (with lots of raids to keep the Japanese nervous), no Guadalcanal, and no assets not already in the Pacific go there. That gives you amphibious lift for a division+ (the lift used at Guadalcanal), one CV (Wasp) and some CVEs, several cruisers (CruDiv7), and 4-5 new BBs (probably half could have gone to the Pacific to placate the Navy and work with the CVs there). Looks to me like that's enough for a landing at Bone right there, which should eliminate the drawn-out Tunisian campaign.

So I am NOT talking about a hasty French assault put together after Casablanca and when lots of assets had already gone to the Pacific. I am talking about an op that should have been a year in planning and with more assets than were historically available in 1942 and 1943.


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#52 Rich

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 1003 AM


We have said that the commitment would have to made before summer of 1942 if anything was going to happen by Summer 1943. So if that commitment (which WAS made) was kept there wouldn't have been any rotation back to the ETO, they would have gone the Blighty - or stayed in the US with larger training areas and to avoid having to feed them in the UK.


I'm not so sure. In essence you have to count the divisions in theater or those close enough to POM that you can get them from CONUS to theater in time for an invasion. And I think we have to agree that the window for invasion would have been May-June 43, not much different than in 44. So what do you have available say March 1943?

Tunisia - 1st, 3rd, 9th, 34th ID, 1st, 2nd AD, 82nd AbnD
England - 29th
Iceland - 5th
CONUS - 2nd, 6th, 7th, 8th ID

In addition, the 33rd, 36th and 45th were about ready, but might have problems getting overseas and operational within the invasion window. But they would make good follow-on forces. Essentially, all other divisions were either not ready of commited to the PTO. However, given that the 40th and 43rd were commited there in fall of 1942, I grant that it is possible to commit them to the ETO as well.

Now to make this work, you must redeploy 7 divisions commited to Tunisia to England, possibly move one from Iceland to England, and four to six from CONUS to England, most of them essentially during March and April. So 11 divisions being lifted in the space of two months and dumped in England? Uh, no, fraid not.

And there wouldn't be 100% allocated in any case; the units already there (24th and 25th IDs in HI, the Marines, 32nd and 41st in OZ, and the regiments scattered around that were pulled into Americal) would remain. Not much point in pulling the Fleet back to the Atlantic, just keep all the CVEs east for ASW work instead of sending them to the Pacific. As the first Essex and Independence types came on line in early 1943, they could be used in the Atlantic for what FCVTFs do best - hit and run raiding to keep the enemy spread out. They wouldn't go into the channel, but raids in the Bay of Biscay and in Norway could at least annoy the Germans.

All what CVE's Sarge? The HK task groups didn't become active until late summer and early fall and intially had some problems developing appropriate tactics. I'll have to doublecheck, but there just wasn't much there. And what exactly would the FCTF be raiding? U-Boot pens? German airbases? How are they going to be that much more effective than the existing land based air? And of course there is the not so minor problem that they weren't really operational until late summer and early fall, in early and mid 43 the USN just didn't have many carriers operational.

Address, URL, whatever?

Go to http://bookstore.gpo...blicationSearch and be ye amazed. :D

Tell me something I don't know. :P The commitment had already been made by Spring 1942. It would have kept rolling through Casablanca if the Brits hadn't cluck-clucked out.

I have said that TORCH probably would have gone anyway, if only to keep FDR happy. But there was no real good strategic reason to do Guadalcanal, New Guinea, etc in the Pacific and plenty of reasons not to - all the units needed more training F1T. And why have an "Operation Shoestring" if it unlaces the boots already marching?


Okay, sorry I see what you mean now. But you are still more than a bit harsh on the Pacific strategy that was taken. In summer 1942 when the decision for WATCHTOWER was made there was every reason to believe that the Japanese stil poised athreat to OZ. And they did still have a powerful carrier striking force, nominally just as strong as that of the US. So as a preemptive strike alone WATCHTOWER had its merits. But the continued slog through New Guinea and the islands was misguided, but that didn't really become obvious immediately. And of course the alternate, direct attacks on Japanese islands, wasn't much smarter. But nothing else much was working well either: subs? - ineffective, land based air? - okay, what you wanna bomb?, naval aviation - weaker than a kitten.

HUSKY wouldn't have gone either, that was a British "Peripheral Plan" formed at Casablanca. So we can move our transfer dates up. TORCH might even have taken Tunis before the mud - it was close - and assuming there are more assets not sent to the PTO, TORCH could have included the landing at Bone that would have sped the Tunisian assault.

Assume the amphibious assets used inSoPac in 1942 were kept back. You would have many more opportunities for training divisions and sailors in amphibious ops. The biggest problem with TORCH was the loss of most of the landing craft, and most of the LCs were lost because the coxwains were untrained, and the coxwains were untrained because there was nothing to train on since it was being used in SoPac by the coxwains who were trained......

Even if the dismal historical record of the Tunisian campaign is replicated, there were surplus troops that could have been pulled back to Blighty as the German lodgement shrank. 8th Army was practically squeezed out of the final assault and only two corps ever went west of Tripoli anyway, so where did all the Alamein boys go?


Uh, what amphibious assets in SoPac? If you're talking about the force assembled for WATCHTOWER, it wasn't really any better trained than those for TORCH and certainly was smaller. Essentially it was a force of AP and AK, there were no LCT, LCI or anything else available for either TORCH or WATCHTOWER, although TORCH did have the first group of LST available (the Maricaibos). Same problems with poorly-trained coxswains, but the beaches were somewhat more forgiving. And the same mistakes in loading, none of the cargo was combat loaded, a lot of the cargo was inappropriate, plus the fiascoes at New Caledonia showed that the Navy had a lot to learn about logistics in an active theater.


IIRC most of the German troops that fought in Sicily/Italy were already there, as garrisons or moved in preparing to reinforce Arnim.


No, only the rump of troops that formed Division Sizilian (15. PzGD) and Hermann Goering were in southern Italy until after HUSKY, the rest were either in Northern Italy or Southern France.

Of course if TORCH goes better the Germans won't have reinforced Tunisia and all we put in the North African bag is PanzerArmee Afrika instead of 5th PzA as well, which makes more troops available to the Germans. Where would they have gone? Probably to Russia, not France.

No, the only forces committed were 10.Pz.Div. and odds of ends of other units, along with a lot of Marsch Batallionen. And most were in pretty early, it wasn't just mud that stopped the Allied advance on Tunis, the Germans were able to take advantage of interior lines and reasonably - at that time - secure communications, to reinforce Tunis rapidly. So the bag would have been about the same.


Read back. It would have been a tad difficult to have a conference in Casablanca unless Casablanca had been taken, so it's pretty obvious that TORCH preceded the conference. And remember, the planning for France '43 would not have started after Casablanca, it was already going on (at least the US was following orders and working on it). It was Alanbrooke's derailing of Allied strategy at Casablanca that led to hasty make-shift ops all over the world.


Okay, yeah you had me confused the way you had written it. And certainly the agreement had been reached for Europe first, but nobody was able to figure out how to implement it during the wild scramble of 1942, that was part of what Casablance was supposed to decide, how that commitment was to be implemented. And yep, Brooke and Churchill pretty much derailed the conference for their own ends.

You need to set your clock back a bit. The commitment to Europe First had been made before Midway, and should have been kept. If it had been kept there would have been assets not sent to the Pacific and available for France.

It was, only the 40th and 43rd Divisions were sent in fall of 42 in addition to the commitments that had been made over the winter of 41/42. But the 6th 7th and 8th weren't commited to the PTO until spring 43 in the aftermath of Casablanca, when it was obvious they weren't going to be used in Europe. That was short-sighted.

So assume a Pacific defensive stance (with lots of raids to keep the Japanese nervous), no Guadalcanal, and no assets not already in the Pacific go there. That gives you amphibious lift for a division+ (the lift used at Guadalcanal), one CV (Wasp) and some CVEs, several cruisers (CruDiv7), and 4-5 new BBs (probably half could have gone to the Pacific to placate the Navy and work with the CVs there). Looks to me like that's enough for a landing at Bone right there, which should eliminate the drawn-out Tunisian campaign.

How are a single CV and some CVE's (I thought those were in the ETO for ASW) supposed to conduct "lots of raids" when the Japanese have two CV's and a bunch of CVL and CVE (not very good ones mind you, but there). And a strong land-based naval aviation?

So I am NOT talking about a hasty French assault put together after Casablanca and when lots of assets had already gone to the Pacific. I am talking about an op that should have been a year in planning and with more assets than were historically available in 1942 and 1943.


Sorry, not much had already gone to the Pacific, ther simply wasn't that much available. Yes, the planning should have begun in 1942 and may have been capable of producing an infrastructure capable of supporting an invasion of Northern France in September 1943, but there is nothing that says that would have been a good thing. OTOH, it would have enabled a much more powerful NEPTUNE assault in early May 1944, with potentially an eight-division assault force, that likely could have "bounced" the Germans behind the Seine. Which may hav been to the German advantage in the long run. <_<

Edited by Rich, 11 April 2006 - 1009 AM.

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#53 KingSargent

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 1853 PM

[quote name='Rich' date='Tue 11 Apr 2006 1503']

We have said that the commitment would have to made before summer of 1942 if anything was going to happen by Summer 1943. So if that commitment (which WAS made) was kept there wouldn't have been any rotation back to the ETO, they would have gone the Blighty - or stayed in the US with larger training areas and to avoid having to feed them in the UK.


I'm not so sure. In essence you have to count the divisions in theater or those close enough to POM that you can get them from CONUS to theater in time for an invasion. And I think we have to agree that the window for invasion would have been May-June 43, not much different than in 44. So what do you have available say March 1943?

Tunisia - 1st, 3rd, 9th, 34th ID, 1st, 2nd AD, 82nd AbnD Only about half of these were in II Corps final drive on Bizerte. IIRC 3ID and 2AD were in garrison and/or preparing for HUSKY, so why not let them prepare for France43?
England - 29th There you go, part-way there already! :D
Iceland - 5th
CONUS - 2nd, 6th, 7th, 8th ID

In addition, the 33rd, 36th and 45th were about ready, but might have problems getting overseas and operational within the invasion window. But they would make good follow-on forces. Essentially, all other divisions were either not ready of commited to the PTO. However, given that the 40th and 43rd were commited there in fall of 1942, I grant that it is possible to commit them to the ETO as well.

Now to make this work, you must redeploy 7 divisions commited to Tunisia to England, possibly move one from Iceland to England, and four to six from CONUS to England, most of them essentially during March and April. So 11 divisions being lifted in the space of two months and dumped in England? Uh, no, fraid not.
Once again, your timing is off. Assuming the commitment to France43 was kept, a lot of the movement would already have been done. It doesn't have to be done in two months in the Spring of 1942.

Also again, sending the "Pacific" divisions to Europe takes 1/3 of the shipping resources that deploying them in the Pacific took. BTW, this was a function of distance and port facilities (or lack thereof), not because the people in the Pacific were inept.

And I realize the details of what the CW forces were doing is not your bag, but the US wasn't going to go to France all on their lonesome (although Churchill and especially Alanbrooke would have liked it that way). So I reiterate my (possibly rhetorical) question, what were the troops that were at Alamein but NOT past Tripoli doing?


And there wouldn't be 100% allocated in any case; the units already there (24th and 25th IDs in HI, the Marines, 32nd and 41st in OZ, and the regiments scattered around that were pulled into Americal) would remain. Not much point in pulling the Fleet back to the Atlantic, just keep all the CVEs east for ASW work instead of sending them to the Pacific. As the first Essex and Independence types came on line in early 1943, they could be used in the Atlantic for what FCVTFs do best - hit and run raiding to keep the enemy spread out. They wouldn't go into the channel, but raids in the Bay of Biscay and in Norway could at least annoy the Germans.

All what CVE's Sarge? The HK task groups didn't become active until late summer and early fall and intially had some problems developing appropriate tactics. I'll have to doublecheck, but there just wasn't much there. And what exactly would the FCTF be raiding? U-Boot pens? German airbases? How are they going to be that much more effective than the existing land based air? And of course there is the not so minor problem that they weren't really operational until late summer and early fall, in early and mid 43 the USN just didn't have many carriers operational.
So true, because two more had been lost and two damaged during Guadalcanal.... <_<
Re CVEs, I am not talking about HK groups, I am talking about convoy escort - at least in the sense of providing air cover Mid-Atlantic, the CVE doesn't necessarily have to be right with the convoy. The U-boat had to operate on the surface to assemble a wolf-pack, shadow the convoy, and maneuver into attack position (unless it was lucky enough that the convoy just ran right over it). Very few subs will operate on the surface with hostile a/c overhead. From the point of view of the convoy, it doesn't much matter if the sub is sunk (although that is best of course) or just kept under until there is no chance for it to attack.


Address, URL, whatever?

Go to http://bookstore.gpo...blicationSearch and be ye amazed. :D Thank ye.

Tell me something I don't know. :P The commitment had already been made by Spring 1942. It would have kept rolling through Casablanca if the Brits hadn't cluck-clucked out.

I have said that TORCH probably would have gone anyway, if only to keep FDR happy. But there was no real good strategic reason to do Guadalcanal, New Guinea, etc in the Pacific and plenty of reasons not to - all the units needed more training F1T. And why have an "Operation Shoestring" if it unlaces the boots already marching?


Okay, sorry I see what you mean now. But you are still more than a bit harsh on the Pacific strategy that was taken. In summer 1942 when the decision for WATCHTOWER was made there was every reason to believe that the Japanese stil poised athreat to OZ. And they did still have a powerful carrier striking force, nominally just as strong as that of the US. So as a preemptive strike alone WATCHTOWER had its merits. But the continued slog through New Guinea and the islands was misguided, but that didn't really become obvious immediately. And of course the alternate, direct attacks on Japanese islands, wasn't much smarter. But nothing else much was working well either: subs? - ineffective, land based air? - okay, what you wanna bomb?, naval aviation - weaker than a kitten.
I still maintain that Guadalcanal - or even Japanese in Port Moresby - did not pose any danger to OZ, and that would have been obvious at the time had anyone really looked. But I agree that the panic of early 1942 made at least a blocking action seem necessary, even if it wasn't. But I still think WATCHTOWER was primarily the Navy's solution to Big Mac trying to grab their ships. :P

As for frontal assaults on Japanese islands, we could have gotten through the Central Pacific by taking undefended islands like Majuro and Ulithi and building our own bases rather that attempting to take over Japanese bases which were wrecked in the process of taking them anyway. ADM Wilkinson suggested that in 1938, IIRC.

The only Japanese bases we HAD to take were the Marianas, and we only HAD to take them because the B-29 strategy required them. I'm sure you know my views on that strategy.


<snip>
Uh, what amphibious assets in SoPac? If you're talking about the force assembled for WATCHTOWER, it wasn't really any better trained than those for TORCH and certainly was smaller. Essentially it was a force of AP and AK, there were no LCT, LCI or anything else available for either TORCH or WATCHTOWER, although TORCH did have the first group of LST available (the Maricaibos). Same problems with poorly-trained coxswains, but the beaches were somewhat more forgiving. And the same mistakes in loading, none of the cargo was combat loaded, a lot of the cargo was inappropriate, plus the fiascoes at New Caledonia showed that the Navy had a lot to learn about logistics in an active theater.
No, it showed that the stuff was not combat-loaded because nobody was anticipating an amphibious op to be undertaken on six weeks notice when they were loaded. Another lesson in the disadvatages of spur-of-the-moment planning.

As for being AK and AP, the WATCHTOWER ships moved men and equipment and got them onto the beach. They also could have moved three times the assets across the Atlantic as they did in the Pacific. As for them not being LSTs and LCTS, there is nothing in the rules that says an invasion of France HAS to be done by amphibious craft shuttling from Blighty to Normandy.


IIRC most of the German troops that fought in Sicily/Italy were already there, as garrisons or moved in preparing to reinforce Arnim.


No, only the rump of troops that formed Division Sizilian (15. PzGD) and Hermann Goering were in southern Italy until after HUSKY, the rest were either in Northern Italy or Southern France.
That is what I meant, they were somewhere in the MTO area, not NWE or Russia.


Of course if TORCH goes better the Germans won't have reinforced Tunisia and all we put in the North African bag is PanzerArmee Afrika instead of 5th PzA as well, which makes more troops available to the Germans. Where would they have gone? Probably to Russia, not France.

No, the only forces committed were 10.Pz.Div. and odds of ends of other units, along with a lot of Marsch Batallionen. And most were in pretty early, it wasn't just mud that stopped the Allied advance on Tunis, the Germans were able to take advantage of interior lines and reasonably - at that time - secure communications, to reinforce Tunis rapidly. So the bag would have been about the same.
A landing at Bone covered by two USN CVs with 54 fighters each (this assumes Wasp has not wandered to the Pacific; the 54 VF were what Ranger carried for TORCH) and CVEs could have reached Tunis before 10 Pz got there. This was suggested but was thought to be too risky in the absense of air cover. The air cover could have been there without the drain of SoPac ops on CVs and CAGs.



Read back. It would have been a tad difficult to have a conference in Casablanca unless Casablanca had been taken, so it's pretty obvious that TORCH preceded the conference. And remember, the planning for France '43 would not have started after Casablanca, it was already going on (at least the US was following orders and working on it). It was Alanbrooke's derailing of Allied strategy at Casablanca that led to hasty make-shift ops all over the world.


Okay, yeah you had me confused the way you had written it. And certainly the agreement had been reached for Europe first, but nobody was able to figure out how to implement it during the wild scramble of 1942, that was part of what Casablance was supposed to decide, how that commitment was to be implemented. And yep, Brooke and Churchill pretty much derailed the conference for their own ends.
<snip>

How are a single CV and some CVE's (I thought those were in the ETO for ASW) supposed to conduct "lots of raids" when the Japanese have two CV's and a bunch of CVL and CVE (not very good ones mind you, but there). And a strong land-based naval aviation?
What SINGLE CV? There were three in the Pacific before Wasp went. This is how many there were after PH, and the USN carried out scattered raids in early 1942 in the face of considerably stronger IJN CV forces than existed after Midway.

As for raids, there is no way a target - except possibly Germany in 1943-4 - can respond to a carrier raid. The CVs come in under darkness, strike at dawn with more power than the target can assemble (in the PTO, the acreage of CV decks often exceeded the acreage of the targets), and boogie before the enemy can respond/reinforce. It is only when the CVGs hang around (as in covering invasions) that they become vulnerable to retaliation.


So I am NOT talking about a hasty French assault put together after Casablanca and when lots of assets had already gone to the Pacific. I am talking about an op that should have been a year in planning and with more assets than were historically available in 1942 and 1943.


Sorry, not much had already gone to the Pacific, ther simply wasn't that much available. If it hadn't gotten there, it was on the way or dedicated. Yes, the planning should have begun in 1942 and may have been capable of producing an infrastructure capable of supporting an invasion of Northern France in September 1943, but there is nothing that says that would have been a good thing. Tell that to Stalin :P . OTOH, it would have enabled a much more powerful NEPTUNE assault in early May 1944 Which May landing was scrubbed by weather anyway., with potentially an eight-division assault force, that likely could have "bounced" the Germans behind the Seine. Which may hav been to the German advantage in the long run. <_<

I don't see how it could be to Germany's "advantage in the long run" to close up to the German border ASAP - even if you mean they wouldn't have suffered the Normandy losses and would have more defensive power, they would have lost their radar net and Allied fields in NWE could blanket the German skies all the time instead of the half the time the SBC offered (and I am perfectly aware that "all" and "half" are hyperbole for effect, so no one needs to count up the hours Allied air spent over Germany :P ).

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#54 Rich

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 0918 AM

[quote name='KingSargent' date='Tue 11 Apr 2006 2353']Tunisia - 1st, 3rd, 9th, 34th ID, 1st, 2nd AD, 82nd AbnD Only about half of these were in II Corps final drive on Bizerte. IIRC 3ID and 2AD were in garrison and/or preparing for HUSKY, so why not let them prepare for France43?
England - 29th There you go, part-way there already! :D
Iceland - 5th
CONUS - 2nd, 6th, 7th, 8th ID[/quote]

Okay, let's assume that gives you 10 ID, 2 AD and 1 AbnD, adding in the three later arrivals from the US and you have virtually nothing available as reinforcement until winter. In other words you've now cleaned out the larder and the cupboard is bare. Not a good idea when it comes to global warfare, especially in the confusion of late 1942. In hindsight it may be doable, so long as the infrastructure support in England was begun not later than about June 1942.

In addition, the 33rd, 36th and 45th were about ready, but might have problems getting overseas and operational within the invasion window. But they would make good follow-on forces. Essentially, all other divisions were either not ready of commited to the PTO. However, given that the 40th and 43rd were commited there in fall of 1942, I grant that it is possible to commit them to the ETO as well.

[quote]
Once again, your timing is off. Assuming the commitment to France43 was kept, a lot of the movement would already have been done. It doesn't have to be done in two months in the Spring of 1942.

Also again, sending the "Pacific" divisions to Europe takes 1/3 of the shipping resources that deploying them in the Pacific took. BTW, this was a function of distance and port facilities (or lack thereof), not because the people in the Pacific were inept.

And I realize the details of what the CW forces were doing is not your bag, but the US wasn't going to go to France all on their lonesome (although Churchill and especially Alanbrooke would have liked it that way). So I reiterate my (possibly rhetorical) question, what were the troops that were at Alamein but NOT past Tripoli doing?
[/quote]

I think you mean spring of 1943, but whatever. The commitment to France 1943 would have required that the support infrastructure that required essentially nine months+ to construct be built one year earlier. So instead of the effort beginning in mid 1943, it needed to be begun in mid 1942. And that is invariable whatever shipping resources are, it in essence is a fixed historical factor. Also neccessary was the learning curve involved, a lot of the lessons gained in the buildup for England were also later applied in the Pacific.

As to Commonwealth forces, those that went "past Tripoli" were those that could be supported from Egypt. But some of those left behind, like 2nd Armoured were shells anyway. Of course there was also Ninth Army, holding the Levant, Iraq and Persia, but they weren't going anywhere. In essence, the field forces available to the British in the ETO/MTO were the same as they were in 1944 - well, except for all the armoured divisions that were disbanded.

[quote]
So true, because two more had been lost and two damaged during Guadalcanal.... <_<
Re CVEs, I am not talking about HK groups, I am talking about convoy escort - at least in the sense of providing air cover Mid-Atlantic, the CVE doesn't necessarily have to be right with the convoy. The U-boat had to operate on the surface to assemble a wolf-pack, shadow the convoy, and maneuver into attack position (unless it was lucky enough that the convoy just ran right over it). Very few subs will operate on the surface with hostile a/c overhead. From the point of view of the convoy, it doesn't much matter if the sub is sunk (although that is best of course) or just kept under until there is no chance for it to attack.
[/quote]That's what confused me Sarge, you said one in your last post. You better lay off them conre durgs.

And there were no CVEs prepared for either HK or convoy escort operations until the fall of 1943. The tactics and techniques simply hadn't been worked out yet. Worse, most of the CVE completed had been turned over to the Brits, who promptly sat on them because they didn't know what to do with them - except for getting them blowed up in harbor or sunk by U-Boot. :mellow:

So your analysis my be correct, but the forces simply weren't there yet.

[quote]Thank ye.[/quote]

You're welcome. Of course I'm still trying to find 6 of 7 and 7 of 7 in the set, that site is almost unsearchable, typical guvmint crap. :D

[quote]
I still maintain that Guadalcanal - or even Japanese in Port Moresby - did not pose any danger to OZ, and that would have been obvious at the time had anyone really looked. But I agree that the panic of early 1942 made at least a blocking action seem necessary, even if it wasn't. But I still think WATCHTOWER was primarily the Navy's solution to Big Mac trying to grab their ships. :P
[/quote]That may all be, but operations were already in train by August 1942 and once begun, such things are difficult to pull back from. Again, I don't neccesarily disagree with you, but I still think you're operating off of a hindsight high. :P



No, it showed that the stuff was not combat-loaded because nobody was anticipating an amphibious op to be undertaken on six weeks notice when they were loaded. Another lesson in the disadvatages of spur-of-the-moment planning.

As for being AK and AP, the WATCHTOWER ships moved men and equipment and got them onto the beach. They also could have moved three times the assets across the Atlantic as they did in the Pacific. As for them not being LSTs and LCTS, there is nothing in the rules that says an invasion of France HAS to be done by amphibious craft shuttling from Blighty to Normandy.
[/quote]

No, the stuff wasn't combat loaded for the same reason it wasn't for TORCH, load planning wasn't centralized or systematized, there was little thinking about what critical requirements would be on landing, load pre-packaging and labeling was non-existant, and the longshoreman crews were almost totally inexpereinced in loading military cargos, so loading was inefficient and even dangerous.

And if you want to land more than a half dozen light tanks over the course of two days, then you damn well better have LST and LCT for an amphibious assault! :P

[quote]
That is what I meant, they were somewhere in the MTO area, not NWE or Russia.
[/quote]Sorry, but effectively Southern France, Northern Italy, Northern France and Germany are pretty much same-same when it comes to movement capability, especially in 1943 when the rail system hasn't been degraded at all and the Allied air has virtually no capability - in terms of aircraft and experience - to effect that system within the timeframe required.

[quote]
A landing at Bone covered by two USN CVs with 54 fighters each (this assumes Wasp has not wandered to the Pacific; the 54 VF were what Ranger carried for TORCH) and CVEs could have reached Tunis before 10 Pz got there. This was suggested but was thought to be too risky in the absense of air cover. The air cover could have been there without the drain of SoPac ops on CVs and CAGs.
[/quote]

Possibly. OTOH it may also have resulted in the damage or loss of two CV, don't underestimate the anti-ship capability and strength of the Luftwaffe in 1942/1943, or the Regia Aeronautica for that matter. And the buildup of Axis air power into Tunisia was actually faster than the ground buildup, the Luftwaffe was pretty well experienced at that. And Bone would have been well within their envelope. Tunis was most definitely out of the running though, sending CVs or CVEs there would have been slightly suicidal, especially given the existing Allied expectations of Axis capability (see, you're doing that hindsight thing again.

But it is a possibility, I'll have to see what info I might have on the Luftwaffe buildup to see what the might have been matchups were.

[quote]
What SINGLE CV? There were three in the Pacific before Wasp went. This is how many there were after PH, and the USN carried out scattered raids in early 1942 in the face of considerably stronger IJN CV forces than existed after Midway.

As for raids, there is no way a target - except possibly Germany in 1943-4 - can respond to a carrier raid. The CVs come in under darkness, strike at dawn with more power than the target can assemble (in the PTO, the acreage of CV decks often exceeded the acreage of the targets), and boogie before the enemy can respond/reinforce. It is only when the CVGs hang around (as in covering invasions) that they become vulnerable to retaliation.
[/quote]Sarge, it's what you wrote, don't get on my case about it.

But what do your CVG's strike at Sarge? I mean what do they do that is so different than a strike by land based air? And so much more effective? Raids on island bases were effective because the islands were isolated and the more ships that were sunk the more isolated they became. I just don't see where the magic wand is that will cause the same effect against continental bases?

[quote]Which May landing was scrubbed by weather anyway.[/quote]

Sorry, but no, the May landing dates were only partly missed due to weather, the major factor was availability and operational capability of the assault vessels. It is unlikely that Assault Force U and S would have been capable of executing a date in early May, their flotillas were still being assembled then. And the problem of non-operational craft was endemic through winter and spring (performance and efficiency in the British dockyards was poor at best) and only improved after a massive crash effort was undertaken when it was realized the problem was jeopardizing the entire operation. Of course, there also would have been zero Fireflies and close to zero AVRE, but that's another matter.

[quote]I don't see how it could be to Germany's "advantage in the long run" to close up to the German border ASAP - even if you mean they wouldn't have suffered the Normandy losses and would have more defensive power, they would have lost their radar net and Allied fields in NWE could blanket the German skies all the time instead of the half the time the SBC offered (and I am perfectly aware that "all" and "half" are hyperbole for effect, so no one needs to count up the hours Allied air spent over Germany :P ).

View Post

[/quote]

Not to close to the German border, but to fall back behind the Seine. Behind the Seine equals the interdiction line is negated equals better supply. But yes, in the long run it wouldn't have made one bit of difference.

BTW, sorry to see that the quote function here is still tits up, it makes floowing some arguments almost impossible.
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#55 Tim the Tank Nut

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 1028 AM

Hi Rich,
I love reading these!
The US carrier forces were pretty good. I bet they could have gone anywhere they wanted in the Med if they were committed there. The sub threat being the biggest problem.
After all, if the German air couldn't put any RN carriers under (silly little biplanes!0 then what could they hope to do against a carrier with real aircraft?


On another note, how much of the follow up force could a 1943 landing really have? If everything goes right away then that doesn't leave anything if something goes wrong...
In '42-'43 the US was still in build-up mode and the combat experience hadn't really flowed back as far as it had by '44.
Heck, what if Fredenhall was a Corps Commander in a France '43 invasion! We'd be back in the water in a week...
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#56 larrikin

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 1131 AM

Hi Rich,
I love reading these!
The US carrier forces were pretty good.  I bet they could have gone anywhere they wanted in the Med if they were committed there.  The sub threat being the biggest problem.
After all, if the German air couldn't put any RN carriers under (silly little biplanes!0 then what could they hope to do against a carrier with real aircraft?
On another note, how much of the follow up force could a 1943 landing really have?  If everything goes right away then that doesn't leave anything if something goes wrong...
In '42-'43 the US was still in build-up mode and the combat experience hadn't really flowed back as far as it had by '44.
Heck, what if Fredenhall was a Corps Commander in a France '43 invasion!  We'd be back in the water in a week...

View Post


Tim, the US carrier forces faced IJN aircraft, which their aircraft were on about a par with. In 1943, against experienced Luftwaffe pilots, flying far superior aircraft, I'm thinking the USN may have decided that the RN's armoured decks were a damn fine idea.
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#57 Tim the Tank Nut

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 1302 PM

The Luftwaffe anti shipping record is pretty bad. I don't think they ever faced a serious naval foe. If you give the ME's and FW's los of time to get ready for the carriers then it could be tough but if the Axis air couldn't stop Pedestal then they sure as heck aren't going to stop the Fast Carriers.
I am figuring that the 1943 invasion is taking place and the bigger part of the Pacific Fleet is in the Atlantic.
The SBD was a million times better dive bomber than the Stuka.
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#58 KingSargent

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 1800 PM

re Rich and "single CV":

"Sarge, it's what you wrote, don't get on my case about it.

But what do your CVG's strike at Sarge? I mean what do they do that is so different than a strike by land based air? And so much more effective? Raids on island bases were effective because the islands were isolated and the more ships that were sunk the more isolated they became. I just don't see where the magic wand is that will cause the same effect "

I don't recall writing about ONE CV in any context. I did say one more for the Atlantic assuming Wasp is held back, but that still leaves three in the Pacific. Of course we were down to one damaged one thanks to the Guadalcanal campaign, but I'm trying to avoid that wastage.

And no, I don't think there's too much hindsight involved, most of the objections and alternatives I raise now were raised at the time by somebody. In fact it's sorta disheartening, every time I think up something ingenious I find out it was thought of then and disregarded...<sigh>

As for the CVGs striking, well Hitler was always nervous about Norway and a 100+ plane raid by real divebombers might have put Tirpitz out of action. Hitting Boreaux, Lorient, and St. Naziere and/or rail lines leading to them could give the Germans fits locally. Probably spread any reinforcements out in defensive packets, but they didn't have that much anti-shipping capability and it would take literally everything they had to have a chance against a two-CV USN TF with four times the VF capability of RN CVs.

BTW, the CVEs I refer to are the Sangamons which covered TORCH but then went straight to the Pacific.

Tim, I appreciate the support, but I have to say that I don't think the US CVs would do so well in the central Med in late 1942, because the fighter-direction techniques were not really worked out yet. I do think Wasp and Ranger could have covered a landing at Bone*, and possibly use Patton's Western TF to do it. This was suggested once, but it was felt safer (in the absense of sufficient air cover) to land in Morocco.

* Especially since Bone was out of range of Axis fighters from Sicily. The Germans were able to bomb Oran - and thus Bone - but not with fighter escort and a large bunch of CV VFs could have given their unescorted bombers fits. Remember, we are talking numbers of CV fighters on a whole new scale for the Med.
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#59 Brad Sallows

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 1931 PM

>As a side note I spoke to a gentleman on Bradley's staff after the war

You are older than I had assumed.
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#60 Brad Sallows

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Posted 12 April 2006 - 1948 PM

>The Pacific experts were accustomed to handling major logistics efforts in far-away places without ports, railroads, and pipelines.

I forgot about that. And how many mechanized and motorized formations consuming large quantities of artillery ammunition did they sustain ashore?

>The effective parts of the Transportation Plan could have been done in 1943.

I think we need to revisit the SBC buildup to realize, once again, what actually was available in 1943 compared to 1944.

>3. What effect do you think an Allied presence in Normandy is going to have on the sub bases in Brittany?

None, if it's the toehold you've always written about hanging on through 1943 and 1944 against a year's worth of German attention - with no diversions in Italy or southern France to occupy them - until the offensive can be started.

>A very small part. Most infantry divisions considered themselves lucky to have nine 50mm guns for the whole division. The 37mm was still in wide use

The Allies ran afoul of Luftwaffe assets in the direct fire role, not just divisional anti-tank battalions, and what the Germans did have for the AAA role in 1943 would not be as preoccupied with pointing up as it was in 1944.
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