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

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daveshoup2MD
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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by daveshoup2MD » 15 May 2021 23:47

Richard Anderson wrote:
07 May 2021 15:23
daveshoup2MD wrote:
07 May 2021 03:52
Well, absent TORCH in 1942-43, so there's no realistic way to mount ANVIL, DRAGON, or anything resembling such an operation in 1944. With TORCH, there are multiple paths to southern France.
So the realistic way was TORCH, then DRAGOON, do not pass GO, do not collect $200?
TORCH = Axis surrender in North Africa.

Axis surrender in North Africa opens up the Sardinia-Corsica-Provence route, in 1943 for the islands and the mainland in 1944; that would not have been dependent on HUSKY-BAYTOWN-AVALANCHE-1943-1944-1945 campaigns in Italy.

Avoiding the British defeat in the Aegean in 1943 would have been useful.

Taking Naples and Bari and the Foggia complex, but going on the defensive in the spring of 1944 in Italy and forgoing SHINGLE would have allowed for ANVIL/DRAGOON, as well.

BRASSARD and the Gothic Line offensives in 1944-45 are additional deltas; sending the III Corps to Greece in 1944 is another.

Lots of options in the MTO for the Allies after the Axis collapse in Tunisia; but that collapse pretty clearly required TORCH.

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

Post by daveshoup2MD » 15 May 2021 23:49

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
08 May 2021 20:42
Sheldrake wrote:
08 May 2021 09:58
rcocean wrote:
07 May 2021 15:27
with Hindsight you're right. Probably would've been better to have kept the troops in Italy or made an amphibious landing and take Trieste. We knew Hitler had issued "Fight in place" orders to Kesselring.
I disagree. Op Dragoon at the historic time was better than either alternative.

1. It ended any possibility of the Germans containing the Normandy invasion on the line of the Loire - Seine.
Or about any other combination west of Belfort/Nancy.
2. It brought an additional army of two corps into France, the main theatre of operations.
Before the end of October a fair size army group.
3. The liberation of Marseilles and Toulon was a valuable addition to allied logistics. No Op Dragoon and they would need to be captured. As an added benefit the railway north had not been subjected to air interdiction and could be repaired more quickly than the line from Cherbourg.
Roughly 33% of Allied port capacity October-November 1944.
4. It brought a French Expeditionary Corps to France that could be expanded to an army.
Six fully equipped and trained French divisions, three corps groups, and a army support group by early October. Re: #2 above.

The Ljubliana gap was an illusion. Italy was always a side show, even more so after D Day in France.
As illusional as the benefits of the northern Italy industry. Italian industrial output was declining for lack of raw materials long before their surrender. nazi Germany derived no oil, Aluminum, Tungsten, Chromium, Iron, Coal, Nickel ect... from northern Italy, yet Italian factories requires all that to realize their potential. Italy represented approx 7% of the global industrial warmaking POTENTIAL. In mid 1944 France was more useful to the nazi regime in industrial or food output than Italy.
Well said, both Sheldrake and Carl.

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

Post by daveshoup2MD » 15 May 2021 23:56

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
09 May 2021 13:46
The strategy that emerged from the Allied leadership delivered all of the results in time and within an acceptable cost. Few other international or even national operations manage that. (Mission accomplished anyone?)
A point frequently missed by the critics.
11 months from Normandy to VE Day. Road distance is better than 800 miles; one wonders what the critics expect.

Interesting comparison with road distance from Calabria to the Brenner Pass; 750 miles, more or less. That one took 20 months; if you extend it back to Sicily, 22 months.

One of these things is not like the other. ;)

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

Post by daveshoup2MD » 16 May 2021 00:03

Richard Anderson wrote:
13 May 2021 15:55
Aber wrote:
13 May 2021 10:31
Not quite that simple. Post the Torch decision, the British were expecting Bolero to continue, while the US slowed it down to a crawl (apart from air forces) without officially changing position. It may have looked to the British that the US was ignoring France in favour of the Pacific.
Oh, I agree, it is never that simple. In this case, to make TORCH work required taking the 1st and 34th Inf and the 1st Armd divisions from the buildup in Britain, leaving only the 29th In to the BOLERO "buildup". Then from that point all the divisions available went to reinforce TORCH or prepare for HUSKY. And then they started sucking personnel from divisions still training, setting back their readiness and delaying their BOLERO deployments. The inadequacy of the American mobilization planning in terms of matching it to strategic requirements gets highlighted yet again. Basically, once the decision to do TORCH was made, any chance of a 1943 invasion of France was gone.
TORCH as it was, possibly; TORCH as it could have been, possibly not...

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

Post by daveshoup2MD » 16 May 2021 00:05

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
13 May 2021 17:33
Richard Anderson wrote:
13 May 2021 15:55
Oh, I agree, it is never that simple. In this case, to make TORCH work required taking the 1st and 34th Inf and the 1st Armd divisions from the buildup in Britain, leaving only the 29th In to the BOLERO "buildup". Then from that point all the divisions available went to reinforce TORCH or prepare for HUSKY. And then they started sucking personnel from divisions still training, setting back their readiness and delaying their BOLERO deployments. The inadequacy of the American mobilization planning in terms of matching it to strategic requirements gets highlighted yet again. Basically, once the decision to do TORCH was made, any chance of a 1943 invasion of France was gone.
Not forgetting that the US forces (and the British too) still had much to learn tactically and operationally before being a match for their German opponents.
Richard Anderson wrote:
13 May 2021 15:55
Basically, once the decision to do TORCH was made, any chance of a 1943 invasion of France was gone.
Which makes the decision to do TORCH one of the Allies best! :thumbsup:

Regards

Tom
Little hard on the European civilians who died in 1943-45 because of the delay, but, oh well ... too bad for them, I guess, right?

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

Post by daveshoup2MD » 16 May 2021 00:06

Sheldrake wrote:
13 May 2021 19:52
Aber wrote:
13 May 2021 18:42
Richard Anderson wrote:
13 May 2021 15:55
Basically, once the decision to do TORCH was made, any chance of a 1943 invasion of France was gone.
But at the time nobody said it out loud. :D
Have you ever seen "Yes Minister" I don't want the truth. I want something I can tell Parliament!

This is why there is a statue of Brooke outside the Ministry of Defence. He prevented what could have been the worst disaster(s) in British Military History the 1942 and 1943 cross channel invasions.
He also prevented what "could" have been the surrender of Nazi Germany in 1944, but oh well, that's the way the Empire crumbles...

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

Post by daveshoup2MD » 16 May 2021 00:07

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
14 May 2021 05:40
rcocean wrote:
12 May 2021 15:25
One of the curious things about the Dragoon operation is the lack of fight in the Germans trapped in Marseilles and Toulon. Despite orders to "Fight to the last cartridge" they surrendered rather quickly, and it was demolition and blockage of the Harbor that prevented their use until late September. Compared to Brest, they were easy conquests. You get the feeling the Germans should have strengthened the land defenses. But maybe they had strong landward defenses, and just weren't interested in fighting with the spirit that the Brest defenders showed.
Uh.. yes. The German units the Germans trapped in Marseilles and Toulon were category III static divisions and demoralized naval gunners. At Brest there was a last minute reinforcement of a Para Div. a category I unit in all respects. Commanded by Ramcke a tough commander and skilled tactician. The veteran French formations that invested and assaulted Marseilles and Toulon were a bit vicious and perhaps frightend the garrisons into early surrender. The French had also built the fortifications, and understood how they were supposed to work and what the Germans might have done to improve them. Middleton started with poor support, difficult logistics and deteriorating weather. Everyone hoped Brest would fall in a few days like Cherbourg of St Malo. Ramcke refused.
So you're saying "sometimes, the enemy can do stuff?" ;)

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

Post by daveshoup2MD » 16 May 2021 00:10

Gooner1 wrote:
14 May 2021 11:29
Richard Anderson wrote:
13 May 2021 15:55
Basically, once the decision to do TORCH was made, any chance of a 1943 invasion of France was gone.
Not necessarily, were the Allies not expecting to take Tunisia relatively quickly? If the Vichy government had chosen to resist the Germans or if Hitler had decided not to send forces to Tunisia, the Torch campaign might have been over before the end of November, the whole North African campaign before the end of January.

Churchill and Brooke might have then found it very difficult to resist the calls for a 1943 invasion of France.
Presumably, the British "could" (there's that word again) have been dragged kicking and screaming, but yes, they would have fought it to the end. Both were, presumably, influenced by their experiences in 1914-17 and 1939-42.

The Americans were as well, of course; just in the "opposite" way. ;)

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

Post by daveshoup2MD » 16 May 2021 00:14

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
14 May 2021 14:39
Gooner1 wrote:
14 May 2021 11:38
...
Historically the Allies broke the German armies in France in 1944 with only about 30-odd divisions. In Summer '43, without an Italian campaign, the British themselves would have about 30-odd UK, Commonwealth and Allied divisions available.

I don't know about the 'lift' getting them to the Continent though.
Lift is a part. The third leg of this line of thought, or wing as it were, is what sort of offensive air support the Brits and Yanks can set up. I see a reoccurring tunnel vision in these discussions where only 'divisions' are counted, and the other 70% might get a vague reference, or not. I think what the Allies could set up for a sustained air battle over France. A look at possibilities for the air wing and a close examination of what the Allied AF in the Mediterranean did or didn't accomplish could be as useful as further recounting Allied training and combat ground divisions.
Considering the air power the Allies had operational across the ETO and MTO in the summer of 1943, even with a residual equivalent to the Desert Air Force and an equivalent of the historical Allied maritime air forces in the Med in the same period, there was quite a lot of Allied air power, and even more in the pipeline from the US.

A few less Allied diversions to theaters outside of range from where the Germans could have based V-2s would have helped as well, of course. ;)

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

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 16 May 2021 08:57

daveshoup2MD wrote:
16 May 2021 00:05
Little hard on the European civilians who died in 1943-45 because of the delay, but, oh well ... too bad for them, I guess, right?
No, a tragedy for them. But a failed 1943 invasion of France would have been even more of a tragedy.
daveshoup2MD wrote:
16 May 2021 00:05
because of the delay,
Weren't most of the non-German civilians who died in 1943-45 killed in operations directly related to the invasion of Europe? Transportation bombing, bombing of Channel Ports, bombing in support of ground offensives, etc...

Regards

Tom

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

Post by Aber » 16 May 2021 09:23

daveshoup2MD wrote:
15 May 2021 23:56
11 months from Normandy to VE Day. Road distance is better than 800 miles; one wonders what the critics expect.

Interesting comparison with road distance from Calabria to the Brenner Pass; 750 miles, more or less. That one took 20 months; if you extend it back to Sicily, 22 months.

One of these things is not like the other. ;)
Not quite.

If you don't remove the forces for Dragoon, then 13 months to the Brenner pass looks possible. :wink:

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

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 16 May 2021 13:21

Aber wrote:
16 May 2021 09:23
daveshoup2MD wrote:
15 May 2021 23:56
11 months from Normandy to VE Day. Road distance is better than 800 miles; one wonders what the critics expect.

Interesting comparison with road distance from Calabria to the Brenner Pass; 750 miles, more or less. That one took 20 months; if you extend it back to Sicily, 22 months.

One of these things is not like the other. ;)
Not quite.

If you don't remove the forces for Dragoon, then 13 months to the Brenner pass looks possible. :wink:
Groan

This relates to one of the reasons I asked about the effect of the Hungarian/Rumanian inquiries to Allies, on Brooke. A Frontal attack on another Appinene range seems to ask for a greater reason.

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

Post by daveshoup2MD » 16 May 2021 17:05

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
16 May 2021 08:57
daveshoup2MD wrote:
16 May 2021 00:05
Little hard on the European civilians who died in 1943-45 because of the delay, but, oh well ... too bad for them, I guess, right?
No, a tragedy for them. But a failed 1943 invasion of France would have been even more of a tragedy.
daveshoup2MD wrote:
16 May 2021 00:05
because of the delay,
Weren't most of the non-German civilians who died in 1943-45 killed in operations directly related to the invasion of Europe? Transportation bombing, bombing of Channel Ports, bombing in support of ground offensives, etc...

Regards

Tom
So would a failed 1944 invasion of France. So would a failed 1945 invasion of France. So would have been a failed 1919 invasion of Germany. So what?

Given the Germans were demonstrably weaker in France in 1943 than they were in 1944, it's an open question whether the odds of an Allied failure were higher or not; rational consideration of the correlation of forces and the distance involved between the Eastern Front and Western Front in 1944 and between the Eastern Front and a potential Western Front in 1943 would suggest strongly otherwise. That's a topic for another thread, however.

As far as the European civilians and non-combatants who died in 1943-45 while awaiting the defeat of Nazi Germany, this "weren't most of the non-German civilians who died in 1943-45 killed in operations directly related to the invasion of Europe? Transportation bombing, bombing of Channel Ports, bombing in support of ground offensives, etc..." is a very interesting statement.

Hum, who is missing? Do these individuals "count," in your book?

The victims of the V-weapons campaign? 30,000 casualties in the UK alone, according to the IWM (not to mention those in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, etc.)

https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/the-terr ... 0homeless.

Or there are these individuals, of course:
  • European Jewish civilians
    Soviet civilians (non Jewish)
    Soviet POWs
    Polish civilians
    Serbian civilians
    the institutionalized disabled
    Sinti/Roma
    "Undesirables" (homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc.)
    (Western) Allied POWs
See: https://www.statista.com/chart/24024/nu ... zi-regime/

REINHARD alone began in March 1942 and lasted 21 months, concluding in November 1943, and some 1.7 million men, women, and children are estimated to have been murdered, largely at the three key death camps Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka.

https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/1/eaau7292

Your response will be illuminating...
Last edited by daveshoup2MD on 17 May 2021 06:33, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by daveshoup2MD » 16 May 2021 17:09

Aber wrote:
16 May 2021 09:23
daveshoup2MD wrote:
15 May 2021 23:56
11 months from Normandy to VE Day. Road distance is better than 800 miles; one wonders what the critics expect.

Interesting comparison with road distance from Calabria to the Brenner Pass; 750 miles, more or less. That one took 20 months; if you extend it back to Sicily, 22 months.

One of these things is not like the other. ;)
Not quite.

If you don't remove the forces for Dragoon, then 13 months to the Brenner pass looks possible. :wink:
August, 1944 + 13 months is November, 1945. Presumably the 8th Army would be at the Brenner and the Red Army at the Channel...

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

Post by daveshoup2MD » 16 May 2021 17:22

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
16 May 2021 13:21
Aber wrote:
16 May 2021 09:23
daveshoup2MD wrote:
15 May 2021 23:56
11 months from Normandy to VE Day. Road distance is better than 800 miles; one wonders what the critics expect.

Interesting comparison with road distance from Calabria to the Brenner Pass; 750 miles, more or less. That one took 20 months; if you extend it back to Sicily, 22 months.

One of these things is not like the other. ;)
Not quite.

If you don't remove the forces for Dragoon, then 13 months to the Brenner pass looks possible. :wink:
Groan

This relates to one of the reasons I asked about the effect of the Hungarian/Rumanian inquiries to Allies, on Brooke. A Frontal attack on another Appinene range seems to ask for a greater reason.
Amazing what being able to read a topo map can lead to, isn't it?

The tallest peak anywhere close to the Normandy-Paris-Ruhr-Berlin axis is what, the Grand Ballon in the Vosges at about 4,700 feet? The Brenner Pass is 4,500, and the Ljubljana Gap is 2,000, while in the southern and central Apennines, they range from Capannelle Pass (4,300) to Futa (3,000) to Scheggia (2,000), etc. - and, of course, those are passes, not peaks.

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