OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

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Juan G. C.
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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by Juan G. C. » 10 Apr 2021 16:20

Richard Anderson wrote:
10 Apr 2021 15:29
Juan G. C. wrote:
10 Apr 2021 08:21
I beg your forgiveness, but I fear I don't understand you: who wants to assault UTAH in February? The simultaneous attack I am thinking about is one during June or late May. By the way, was ever a date for a simultaneous ANVIL set?
Eisenhower and Montgomery. Ditto WRT SWORD.
They wanted to land in UTAH in February? This is the first time I read of that. After all, at Teheran It had already been decided to land during May.

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by Richard Anderson » 10 Apr 2021 16:54

Juan G. C. wrote:
10 Apr 2021 16:20
They wanted to land in UTAH in February? This is the first time I read of that. After all, at Teheran It had already been decided to land during May.
In their meeting at Algiers in December 1943, before Eisenhower flew to the States and Montgomery flew to England, they agreed the landing needed to be expanded to five beaches, i.e., UTAH and SWORD. That is what Montgomery presented at the first full planning meeting as a requirement and it was part of the preliminary planning in February.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by Juan G. C. » 10 Apr 2021 17:54

Richard Anderson wrote:
10 Apr 2021 16:54
Juan G. C. wrote:
10 Apr 2021 16:20
They wanted to land in UTAH in February? This is the first time I read of that. After all, at Teheran It had already been decided to land during May.
In their meeting at Algiers in December 1943, before Eisenhower flew to the States and Montgomery flew to England, they agreed the landing needed to be expanded to five beaches, i.e., UTAH and SWORD. That is what Montgomery presented at the first full planning meeting as a requirement and it was part of the preliminary planning in February.
It seems there has been a misunderstanding. I had understood that they wanted to land in UTAH during February, that is, that the landing takes place during February. That's why I found strange what you said. My apologies.

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 10 Apr 2021 22:13

Richard Anderson wrote:
10 Apr 2021 16:54
In their meeting at Algiers in December 1943, before Eisenhower flew to the States and Montgomery flew to England, they agreed the landing needed to be expanded to five beaches, i.e., UTAH and SWORD. That is what Montgomery presented at the first full planning meeting as a requirement and it was part of the preliminary planning in February.
That’s not entirely accurate though. What it appears Eisenhower and Montgomery did agree on was that the width and strength of the invasion needed to be increased. It wasn’t until Montgomery got to UK that he could challenge the COSSAC staff (and navy and air forces) to make the invasion on a wider front. Rather than just Utah and Sword, during the first meeting in the UK, Montgomery demanded to know why the invasion couldn’t be widened to include a landing on the west side of the Cotentin peninsula not just on the east side. I think there was talk of a landing east of the Orne as well.

Regards

Tom

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by Richard Anderson » 10 Apr 2021 23:26

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
10 Apr 2021 22:13
Richard Anderson wrote:
10 Apr 2021 16:54
In their meeting at Algiers in December 1943, before Eisenhower flew to the States and Montgomery flew to England, they agreed the landing needed to be expanded to five beaches, i.e., UTAH and SWORD. That is what Montgomery presented at the first full planning meeting as a requirement and it was part of the preliminary planning in February.
That’s not entirely accurate though. What it appears Eisenhower and Montgomery did agree on was that the width and strength of the invasion needed to be increased. It wasn’t until Montgomery got to UK that he could challenge the COSSAC staff (and navy and air forces) to make the invasion on a wider front. Rather than just Utah and Sword, during the first meeting in the UK, Montgomery demanded to know why the invasion couldn’t be widened to include a landing on the west side of the Cotentin peninsula not just on the east side. I think there was talk of a landing east of the Orne as well.
Indeed, but the critical thing was the widening of the assault from the three-division assumption inherent in the COSSAC planning. Montgomery and Eisenhower were agreed that was a non-starter and Montgomery acted with Eisenhower's authority when he made those demands. If Eisenhower hadn't already planned to be in the States it likely would have been he making those demands. The western Cotentin coast and eastern Orne assaults were quickly dismissed as impractical by the navy types.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by Sheldrake » 11 Apr 2021 13:46

Richard Anderson wrote:
10 Apr 2021 23:26
Indeed, but the critical thing was the widening of the assault from the three-division assumption inherent in the COSSAC planning. Montgomery and Eisenhower were agreed that was a non-starter and Montgomery acted with Eisenhower's authority when he made those demands. If Eisenhower hadn't already planned to be in the States it likely would have been he making those demands. The western Cotentin coast and eastern Orne assaults were quickly dismissed as impractical by the navy types.
To expand on this. COSSAC's "Planning assumptions" were given to them by the naval staff as the maximum amphibious lift available. As I understand it COSSAC also made plans as to what they would do if additional lift could be found. UTAH and SWORD had almost certainly been considered as potential beaches before January 1944. The core problem was that until a supreme commander had been appointed, Lieutenant General Frederick Morgan, as the COS had no command authority.

He was in no position to thump the table if the Royal or US Navy claimed that shipping simply wasn't available. The arguments about shipping were all bound up with the inter service rivalry in the US and Admiral King ignoring the Germany First policy. I suspect more US ships were assigned to the invasion of Saipan in June 1944 than for Op Overlord. Nor were the US planners above using shipping as a leverage over the British, not just over preferred military operations, but also over e.g. how much food should Britain be allowed to stockpile.

Only a senior American was going to be able to cut through this to expand the lift by an additional 60%.

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 11 Apr 2021 15:30

Sheldrake wrote:
11 Apr 2021 13:46
Only a senior American was going to be able to cut through this to expand the lift by an additional 60%.
Or alternatively, only a senior battlefield commander whose prestige was at its zenith could demand that the date for OVERLORD be put back a month and ANVIL delayed or cancelled.

Eisenhower Papers pp.1655-1656
Eisenhower to Bedell Smith, 13 Jan 44
[...]
I am most reluctant to consider giving up ANVIL and still feel that through some expedient we can increase OVERLORD lift. There are certain weighty reasons other than strictly tactical that must be considered. Among these is denial to French forces of a significant part in the French invasion. Another is the fact that this operation was definitely agreed upon at Teheran. It is my belief that all the Chiefs of Staff will oppose us if we are forced eventually into the decision to abandon ANVIL.
Regards

Tom

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by daveshoup2MD » 12 Apr 2021 05:44

Sheldrake wrote:
11 Apr 2021 13:46
He was in no position to thump the table if the Royal or US Navy claimed that shipping simply wasn't available. The arguments about shipping were all bound up with the inter service rivalry in the US and Admiral King ignoring the Germany First policy. I suspect more US ships were assigned to the invasion of Saipan in June 1944 than for Op Overlord. Nor were the US planners above using shipping as a leverage over the British, not just over preferred military operations, but also over e.g. how much food should Britain be allowed to stockpile. Only a senior American was going to be able to cut through this to expand the lift by an additional 60%.
Two requests:

1) Provide an example of Adm. King "ignoring the Germany First policy."

2) Define "US ships"... ocean-going USN warships? Or commissioned USN vessels, capable of crossing the English Channel in the summer? Or commissioned US vessels (USN & USCG)? Or all the above, as well as US-flag and US-owned but foreign flag vessels managed by the WSA?

Thanks

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by Sheldrake » 12 Apr 2021 10:04

daveshoup2MD wrote:
12 Apr 2021 05:44
Sheldrake wrote:
11 Apr 2021 13:46
He was in no position to thump the table if the Royal or US Navy claimed that shipping simply wasn't available. The arguments about shipping were all bound up with the inter service rivalry in the US and Admiral King ignoring the Germany First policy. I suspect more US ships were assigned to the invasion of Saipan in June 1944 than for Op Overlord. Nor were the US planners above using shipping as a leverage over the British, not just over preferred military operations, but also over e.g. how much food should Britain be allowed to stockpile. Only a senior American was going to be able to cut through this to expand the lift by an additional 60%.
Two requests:

1) Provide an example of Adm. King "ignoring the Germany First policy."

2) Define "US ships"... ocean-going USN warships? Or commissioned USN vessels, capable of crossing the English Channel in the summer? Or commissioned US vessels (USN & USCG)? Or all the above, as well as US-flag and US-owned but foreign flag vessels managed by the WSA?

Thanks
The British CIGS Alanbrooke was one of the Chiefs of staff committee that ran the war. His diary has plenty of references to King's demands obstructing some aspect of the Germany First strategy. The continual pressure for resources for the PTO arguably influenced the US Army's pressure for an early cross channel assault.

15 April 1942 He (Marshal) has found that King is proving more and more of as drain on his military resources, calling for land forces to capture and hold bases. On the other hand MacArthur constitutes another threat.......To counter these moves Marshall has started the European offensive plan and is going 100% all out on it!

15 July 1942 We received news today that Marshall, King and Harry Hopkins are on their way to discuss operations. It will be a queer party as Harry Hopkins is for operating in Africa, Marshall wants to operate in Europe and King is determined to strike in the Pacific!

21 July 1942 We went on arguing for two hours, during which King with a face like a sphinx, and only one idea, to transfer operations to the Pacific.

14 Jan 1943 it became clear that his (Admiral King) idea was an all out war against Japan instead of a holding operation.

18 Jan 1943 King still evidently wrapped up in the war of the Pacific at the expense of everything else!

20 Jan 1943 His vision is limited to the Pacific and any operation calculated to distract from the force available in the Pacific does not receive his support or approval. Although he pays lip service to the fundamental policy that we must first defeat Germany then turn on Japan, he fails to apply it in any problems connected with the war.

Do I need to go on?

RE shipping -the reference is merchant shipping.Here is an extract
The most serious threat to the British food supply in 1942– 43 was not the submarines but the American decision not to honour the promise to replace Australian meat supplies, combined with the US military’s determination to prioritize military shipments over British civilian food cargoes. In May 1943 when, at 28 ounces a week, the newly introduced American meat ration was double that of the British, Somervell’s Chief of Transportation C. P. Gross asserted that the British ‘were still living “soft” and could easily stand further reductions’. The British food officials in Washington usually won the arguments and managed to secure shipping space and cargoes but they never managed to convince the Americans that their requirements were legitimate.
Collingham, Lizzie. The Taste of War (Kindle Locations 2249-2255). Penguin Books Ltd. Kindle Edition.

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 12 Apr 2021 12:29

Sheldrake wrote:
12 Apr 2021 10:04
... Do I need to go on?
No. I've been seeing Brooke referred to, cited, quoted, for over fifty years. Currently picking through his diary as presented by Bryant. Unfortunately I seldom see any organized (or disorganized for that matter) effort to show how Brooke was correct, by presenting the numbers for the resources he referred to. I can understand why Brooke could not put any of that in his diary, but these endless citations, without analysis of what he was actually referring to & why he argued this item or that was inadequate, have the appearance of a endless loop. I've hd a strong sense of deja vu reading Bryants cover of Brookes diary, but no enlightenment about what was behind Brookes judgement.

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 12 Apr 2021 14:40

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
12 Apr 2021 12:29
I've hd a strong sense of deja vu reading Bryants cover of Brookes diary, but no enlightenment about what was behind Brookes judgement.
Carl,

All the British Chiefs of Staff committee papers are on line for free at the moment from the UK National Archives. You could probably line up a diary entry with the relevant COS Committee meeting and download the background papers. I’ve been downloading stacks of them since COVID started so if you pick a date I’ll take a look and see if there are any relevant papers.

Regards

Tom

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 12 Apr 2021 14:54

I am thinking in terms of the numbers , particularly how many cargo ships there were and where they were being used on key dates of periods. Ellis in Brute Force summarizes fragments of that, Hughes & Costello have bits. Has anyone tried to do some sort of global analysis on the Allied sea transport globally? Last time I asked this question a decade ago the consensus was there are no useful records, & the Allied leaders never had a clear accounting themselves.

The amphib fleet seems to be accounted for, tho if anyone has written a global history of that for WWII I'd love to see it. Some days it seems like overtime I dig into these questions the results are not what is expected.

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by rcocean » 12 Apr 2021 15:16


15 April 1942 He (Marshal) has found that King is proving more and more of as drain on his military resources, calling for land forces to capture and hold bases. On the other hand MacArthur constitutes another threat.......To counter these moves Marshall has started the European offensive plan and is going 100% all out on it!

15 July 1942 We received news today that Marshall, King and Harry Hopkins are on their way to discuss operations. It will be a queer party as Harry Hopkins is for operating in Africa, Marshall wants to operate in Europe and King is determined to strike in the Pacific!

21 July 1942 We went on arguing for two hours, during which King with a face like a sphinx, and only one idea, to transfer operations to the Pacific.

14 Jan 1943 it became clear that his (Admiral King) idea was an all out war against Japan instead of a holding operation.

18 Jan 1943 King still evidently wrapped up in the war of the Pacific at the expense of everything else!

20 Jan 1943 His vision is limited to the Pacific and any operation calculated to distract from the force available in the Pacific does not receive his support or approval. Although he pays lip service to the fundamental policy that we must first defeat Germany then turn on Japan, he fails to apply it in any problems connected with the war.
Great quotes. I love Alanbrooke but he always seemed to think the Pacific war was some sort of sideshow, and the only war that counted was the European one. His quotes in Jan '43 relate to Casablanca conference where King was trying to get 30% of the allied effort to fight Japan. Hardly as Alanbrooke claims "All out war" :lol: King always agreed to the primacy of the German war, but felt that we needed to keep the pressure on Japan in 1942-1944. Given that we weren't doing anything decisive in 42 or 43, that is invading France, but "closing the ring" it made no sense to take great risks in the Pacific, or sit on our butts and let Japan do what the want. Alanbrooke felt differently. I think at one point he thought that a Japanese attack on Australia wouldn't be a bad thing, since it would teach those Aussies a lesson!

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by Richard Anderson » 12 Apr 2021 15:58

rcocean wrote:
12 Apr 2021 15:16
Great quotes. I love Alanbrooke but he always seemed to think the Pacific war was some sort of sideshow, and the only war that counted was the European one. His quotes in Jan '43 relate to Casablanca conference where King was trying to get 30% of the allied effort to fight Japan. Hardly as Alanbrooke claims "All out war" :lol: King always agreed to the primacy of the German war, but felt that we needed to keep the pressure on Japan in 1942-1944. Given that we weren't doing anything decisive in 42 or 43, that is invading France, but "closing the ring" it made no sense to take great risks in the Pacific, or sit on our butts and let Japan do what the want. Alanbrooke felt differently. I think at one point he thought that a Japanese attack on Australia wouldn't be a bad thing, since it would teach those Aussies a lesson!
You beat me to it. :D

In addition, context always helps. The 21 July 1942 quote is from after Marshall agreed there could be no Continental operation against Germany, while Brooke was noting the Soviets might not last till September. King's position was why keep sending supplies to Britain for operations that were not going to happen or to the Soviets if the assessment was they were going to collapse anyway. At least in the Pacific he could do some good with it.

WRT to the merchant shipping question, the important part of Sheldrake's quote is, "The British food officials in Washington usually won the arguments and managed to secure shipping space and cargoes...", not the sour grapes surrounding it. :lol:
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 12 Apr 2021 16:02

Richard Anderson wrote:
12 Apr 2021 15:58
not the sour grapes surrounding it.
I suspect even "sour" grapes were rationed!

Regards

Tom

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