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Battleships At D-Day

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#1 Tim the Tank Nut

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 0928 AM

I know that the Destroyers got in pretty close at  D-Day.  I think I know that a cruiser got pretty close in too.

Would there have been any benefit to bringing HMS Warspite or one of the other BB's close enough for direct fire?


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#2 KV7

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 1004 AM

I know that the Destroyers got in pretty close at  D-Day.  I think I know that a cruiser got pretty close in too.

Would there have been any benefit to bringing HMS Warspite or one of the other BB's close enough for direct fire?

What sort of point targets would they have engaged ? The odd pillbox ?


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#3 Markus Becker

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 1025 AM

I don't think so. They had it covered with the cruisers and DD.
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#4 Josh

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 1048 AM

I think only some destroyers engaged with direct fire, and I seem to recall that was not part of the plan and possibly violated orders. I believe one or two of the surviving DD tanks marked the targets by firing HE and the destroyer(s) set their fire onto the explosion.


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#5 Tim the Tank Nut

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 1556 PM

there were at least two pillbox complexes that gave quite a lot of trouble.  On was in the British sector, the other in the American sector.  Both were resistant to anything that the troops brought ashore.  The Royal Engineers got the one, I think the DD's suppressed the other til the troops got passed it.  Another pillbox is still there and looked to me like a pretty easy target for a big enough gun.

 

I can just remember standing on the beach at the waters edge thinking that some fast firing 6" guns would've made things go more smoothly at Omaha.


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#6 Ken Estes

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 1635 PM

The DDs close in action did the trick. The 88mm L71 pillbox at Vierville Beach was KO'd by one of them. The few surviving DD tanks went to work after that.

 

BB fire was always in GS mode, and best suited for area coverage. USS Texas beat up Pt du Hoc battery but it was a very prominent target.

 

 

 

See  https://www.youtube....h?v=fM8CkPg3Jt8    esp Zaloga's brilliant analysis of the 88/71 Bunker at 41:15


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#7 DougRichards

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Posted 06 June 2019 - 1845 PM

The monitor HMS Erebus took part off Omaha, having a draught of less than 12 feet, in comparison to the HMS Warspite's 33.  Do it brought the guns of a capital ship in close with the displacement of a cruiser.

 

The HMS Roberts was off Sword doing similar service.


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#8 Ken Estes

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Posted 07 June 2019 - 0154 AM

The preparation bombardment at Normandy was about 30 minutes. That's a major difference between continental landings, where the enemy's rapid reinforcements are the greatest danger, and the Pacific, where isolated islands or atolls could be pounded at leisure for up to 14 days [Guam].

 

The gutsy DDs at Omaha and elsewhere were willing to go into shallow water and ready to duel with direct fire sights. Spotting was effective enough to take out bunkers. With own troops on the beach, one could not call upon major caliber fire support. They knew what they had to do and executed well.


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#9 Tim the Tank Nut

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Posted 07 June 2019 - 0737 AM

years ago when the LST first came to town here on the Ohio river there was a man and his father visiting.  The father had been on a destroyer there and the son talked like they had gotten in crazy close and really shot the hell out of the Germans without taking much damage in return.  I can't remember the ship name but the old man really had the look of a grizzled sailor.  He seemed to know a lot about the LST as well.


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#10 MiloMorai

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Posted 07 June 2019 - 0853 AM

The BBs of D-Day, https://padresteve.c...ships-of-D-day/

 

USS Arkansas BB-33

The oldest of these venerable ships was the USS Arkansas BB-33 which was commissioned in 1912. A Wyoming Class Battleship she mounted twelve 12” guns in six twin turrets, two forward, two aft and two midships. She displaced just over 27,000 tons. She had spent most of the war escorting convoys in the Atlantic before being assigned to the Normandy landings. She stood off Omaha Beach dueling with German shore batteries and pounding the German troops who were making Omaha a living hell for the men of the US 1st and 29th Infantry Divisions.  She would continue her valuable service off of Normandy and would do the same in to support the landings in Southern France before steaming to the Pacific where she would do the same at Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

USS Texas BB-35

The USS Texas, BB-35 of the New York class had been in commission since 1914. She mounted ten 14” guns in 5 twin turrets, two forward, two aft and one midships and was slightly larger than the Arkansas.  More modern she was more extensively modernized between the wars than was Arkansas and was one of the first US ships to carry experimental radar sets.  She also conducted convoy operations but was used to bombard Vichy French troops and positions during Operation Torch, the Allied invasion  of North Africa.  At D-day she was in the western sector of Omaha and bombarded Point Du Hoc and cruised to within 3000 yards of the beach to clear the western exits of the beach near Vierville.  She remained in the area a number of days and would subsequently support the attack on Cherbourg, the invasion of South France and then serve in the Pacific at Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

 

 

 
 
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#11 Tim the Tank Nut

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Posted 07 June 2019 - 0857 AM

what is the best book on D-Day naval operations?

clearly I need to brush up


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#12 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 07 June 2019 - 0949 AM

I cant say its specifically about Naval operations, but if you want something about the WHOLE thing, you probably wont do an awful lot better than this one.

 

https://www.afterthe...troller=product


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#13 JWB

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Posted 07 June 2019 - 1211 PM

Here is a list of ships that took part. 

 

 https://www.history....task-force.html


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#14 Rich

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Posted 07 June 2019 - 1842 PM

what is the best book on D-Day naval operations?

clearly I need to brush up

 

Not for naval operations in general (I don't think that has been written), but for American destroyer operations THE book is Destroyers at Normandy. https://www.history....t-normandy.html


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#15 Tim the Tank Nut

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 1119 AM

thank you so much

I am going to try to find a hard copy of that and re-read it with the maps that I have from being in Normandy back in '06.

I particularly enjoyed the part about the waving tanker after the gunfire support.


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#16 Rich

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 0009 AM

thank you so much

I am going to try to find a hard copy of that and re-read it with the maps that I have from being in Normandy back in '06.

I particularly enjoyed the part about the waving tanker after the gunfire support.

 

 

You're welcome...and for the bonus round, you may not realize, but just about all the destroyer's AAR's are available on Fold3. :D


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#17 Mikel2

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 1029 AM

On the USS Texas providing fire support on D-day. As the advance moved further inland, they flooded some compartments to give the ship a list and further elevate the guns.
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#18 Special-K

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 1040 AM

On the USS Texas providing fire support on D-day. As the advance moved further inland, they flooded some compartments to give the ship a list and further elevate the guns.

 

 

I have never heard of such a thing!  How much additional reach would such a tactic gain?

 

 

 

 

-K


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#19 Markus Becker

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 1434 PM

Don't know but it was not untypical to do.
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#20 Tim the Tank Nut

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 1530 PM

a 4 degree list represents a 4 degree increase in elevation

it makes a real difference

That extra twentieth of range means a lot to the people who were out of fire support range


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