ChristopherPerrien wrote:But the use of Strategic bombing forces in tactical support of a landing may have helped alot.
Strategic bombers in a tactical role has been proven by results to have been ineffective.
However , I do believe round-up stood no chance in hell of being "pondered" back then, simply because the idea was a "Non-starter" to Churchill's / Great Britian's "world view" at the time, and we(The USA) had an anglophile president in office at the time.
A 1943 operation was pondered. Eisenhower lists three possibilities, after a full-scale invasion for 1943 was deemed unfeasible: 1. Reinforce the British in Egypt and the mid-east, 2. Seize northwest Africa and pinch out Rommel, or 3. Create a bridgehead in Fance (most likely the Brittany or Cotentin peninsulas) for later operations.
Eisenhower tells Marshall that he favours #3 mostly because it means doing something rather than nothing, but that the operation would be a great risk because:
Later developments have convinced me that those who held the [1943 bridgehead] operation to be unwise at the moment were correct in their evaluation of the problem. Our limited range fighter aircraft of 1942 could not have provided sufficiently effective air cover over the Cotentin or Brittany peninsulas, against the German air strength as it then existed. At least, the operation would have been very costly...Only meagre advantages would have followed capture of Cherbourg...
The British and Americans unanimously agreed that reinforceing the mid-east was unprofitable and uneconomical.
Interestingly, Eisenhower then states:
The British and American Chiefs of staff had therefore to decide, in late July 1942, between the northwest African invasion and the seizing of a bridgehead in northwest France.
I don't quite understand the reasoning for making a decision in July 42, but presumably this was because the Allied high-command had decided that SOMETHING must be untertaken and as these were major strategic operations, planning would have to begin, resources and production allocated, stores and reserves built-up, political factors set-up and ironed out, etc. And don't forget the global situation in July 1942. The Allies were far from being in a positive situation, ready for a risk-all gamble that might very well not work. And what if it fails?
I can definately see that a smaller less risky operation (Torch) was chosen at the time in order to get their foot in the door and their feet wet, before undertaking what was a monumental operation. Hypothetically, had the Allies succeeded in gaining a bridgehead in France in 1943, their strategic strength (number of divisions available and ability to support those divisions in the field) dictated that a breakout operation still would not have been feasible until the summer of 1944 anyways.