Consequences if Omaha Beach fails

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AETIUS 1980
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Re: Consequences if Omaha Beach fails

Post by AETIUS 1980 » 09 Nov 2021 14:48

The staggered arrival of units with training levels far from uniform could not promote the success of such an enterprise in the face of a multitude of bridgeheads having substantial means to adequately postpone the various actions carried out by the Germans. Lower Normandy is not Anzio Nettuno by the means aligned but above all the size of the offensive undertaken. The initial shock was already disproportionate in itself against the elements aligned by 3 divisions (352, 709 and 716. Inf.Diven). On the other hand, we must admit that the time factor played against the allies. Two additional months of development would have led the defenders to possess a formidable fortified tool.

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Re: Consequences if Omaha Beach fails

Post by Richard Anderson » 09 Nov 2021 17:09

Yet another what if that begins with a hand-wave. :lol: But, sure, I'll play.
Avalancheon wrote:
09 Nov 2021 06:05
They'll have to wait in line. The unloading schedules for the divisions at both Omaha and Utah beach were intricately planned. At any rate, suddenly evacuating 1st and 29th infantry divisions off of Omaha beach will cause some (temporary) disruptions to the unloading schedule.
The "intricate" landing plan was for the assault divisions, on OMAHA for the 1st Inf Div through the first six-and-a-half hours. Why should both the 1st and 29th Infantry divisions be "evacuated" from OMAHA when in fact only one division assault landed there?
All the divisions that were scheduled to land at Omaha beach will have to wait their turn before they can land at Utah beach. They can't just be impromptly dumped onto the beach, because that will cause all kinds of congestion and traffic jams.
Why? The intricate assault schedule on UTAH ended effectively at H+320. The 29th Infantry Division (115th Inf, 175th Inf, and attached 26th Inf) could as easily landed on order there as at OMAHA. Or on GOLD for that matter.
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Re: Consequences if Omaha Beach fails

Post by stg 44 » 09 Nov 2021 17:29

Richard Anderson wrote:
09 Nov 2021 17:09
All the divisions that were scheduled to land at Omaha beach will have to wait their turn before they can land at Utah beach. They can't just be impromptly dumped onto the beach, because that will cause all kinds of congestion and traffic jams.
Why? The intricate assault schedule on UTAH ended effectively at H+320. The 29th Infantry Division (115th Inf, 175th Inf, and attached 26th Inf) could as easily landed on order there as at OMAHA. Or on GOLD for that matter.
That was the assault schedule, you're forgetting all the non-assault follow on units that needed the beach time and space to land. If the 1st or 29th division land at Utah or Gold, which other historical division that landed would be displaced?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_Beac ... ter_6_June
The follow-up landings were slowed by the loss of 34 LCTs and the bad weather. The 24th Lancers and 61st Reconnaissance Regiment, due to land on D-Day to help spearhead the drive towards Villers-Bocage, were unable to put ashore until 7 June. The 7th Armoured Division and the 49th (West Riding) Infantry Division were the follow-up divisions of XXX Corps.[112] The 22nd Armoured Brigade (the armoured component of the 7th Armoured Division) was scheduled to land during the evening of 6 June, but it was unable to land until the next day.[102] The bulk of the division landed from 9–10 June, with some elements landing later.[113][114] The 49th Division came ashore on 12 June.[112][115]
Weather and loss of landing craft prevented landings on time at Gold. Trying to add extra divisions on top of that, especially when the bridgehead area was still restricted and landing divisions had to compete with landing supplies and wounded being shipped out.
Most shipments were brought in over the beaches until the port of Cherbourg was cleared of mines and obstructions on 16 July.[118][119][120]
As to Utah the 90th infantry were landing on June 6th-8th:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utah_Beach#Moving_inland
The 82nd Airborne were finally relieved by the 90th Infantry Division, who began disembarking at 16:00 on D-Day and were all ashore by June 8.
They were followed by the 9th division:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9th_Infan ... _chronicle
After being sent to England for further training, the division landed on Utah Beach on 10 June 1944 (D plus 4)
And then were followed by the 79th division:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/79th_Infa ... hronicle_2
After training in the United Kingdom from 17 April 1944, the 79th Infantry Division landed on Utah Beach, Normandy, 12–14 June and entered combat 19 June 1944

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Re: Consequences if Omaha Beach fails

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 09 Nov 2021 20:04

OpanaPointer wrote:
09 Nov 2021 14:42
Was the shortage of arty rounds theater wide or did Calais suck up the bulk of the available?
In simple terms all across OB West, France, Belgium, and Netherlands.

There were considerable stocks built up beforehand, & that in dumps convent to the battlefield in Normandy. However:

1. Deliveries from the Reich were only 10 or 20 % of requirements for a battle of this scale. Stripping the French/Belgian railways 1941-1943, lack of maintenance, and Allied air interdiction reduced capacity in Western France to near zero. Some ammunition was brought from adjacent armies, like the 15th or the 1st.

2. The scale of consumption was grossly in excess of expectations. Some like Rommel who fought in Africa or Italy may have know better. Others seem to have been thinking of fighting in the east, or the 1939 & 1940 campaigns, where there were extended quiet periods between battles. The Allied attacks in Normand were near continuous, Almost a single fifty-five day battle from 6th June to the collapse of the Falaise pocket. This shot out the ammunition at startling rates for both sides. The difference being the Allied 'shortage' would have been a luxurious surfeit to the Germans. On sixth June the defending artillery shot off its entire basic load in the first few hours, & a couple more days of normal consumption before sunset. Even at that the fires were to thin to break up the 176,000 man assault of 6th June.

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Re: Consequences if Omaha Beach fails

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 10 Nov 2021 16:46

Whatever the odds are of 'defeating' the landing on OMAHA Beach the problem is not just the tactical situation ashore. The other headache & larger one is logistics. Any of these beaches had practical limits on the amount of material that could be landed. Where that is I can say right now. 6-30 June UTAH Beach did accommodate 108,000 tons vs a planned 133,450. During the same days OMAHA Beach took in 181,691 vs its planned intake of 226,500. Cherbourg was not operational & the minor ports took in 4,558 tons

UTAH Beach accommodated 144,000 tons 1-25 July. During the same weeks OMAHA Beach took in 273,698 vs its planned intake of 300,000 for the same weeks. Cherbourg & the minor ports took in 55,000 tons.

I suspect redirecting the MULBERRY A enbloc to UTAH Beach would be impractical. After the storm a portion (not all) the salvage was reinstalled with MULBERRY B So a portion of it probably could be used to enhance UTAH Beach. Given the technical problems this would not happen overnight. Moving the salvage to MULBERRY B & setting it ran into early July.

Assuming UTAH Beach can be boosted to 150,000 tons in June, that is at the planned rate of 900 tons daily per division slice it is sufficient for seven divisions & all support at full attack. 200,000 tons in June or July provides supply for nine division slices at full offensive. OTL the combined intake of both Beaches accommodated a 14.8 Division Slice (44,000 men in this planning case.) So the US 1st Army might be halved for the opening weeks.

This of course does not account for any additional US material landed OTL thru MULBERRY B, or additional US supply. Nor does it allow for keeping SWORD Beach open to discharge longer in July.

This is primarily from Ruppenthal 'Logistics in Overlord'. I don't have enough information at the moment for the British Beaches to guess at the overall balance.
Last edited by Carl Schwamberger on 10 Nov 2021 19:05, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Consequences if Omaha Beach fails

Post by Richard Anderson » 10 Nov 2021 18:28

stg 44 wrote:
09 Nov 2021 17:29
That was the assault schedule, you're forgetting all the non-assault follow on units that needed the beach time and space to land. If the 1st or 29th division land at Utah or Gold, which other historical division that landed would be displaced?
Why would they be displaced? The problem was not beach space for landing, it was assault landing craft. However, the Follow-On Forces B and L were not landed in assault craft, the LCA, LCVP, LCT-5, and LCT-6, they were landed in LST, LCT-III, and LCT-IV. The only real commonality between the Assault and Follow-On force shipping were the LST and LCI.
Weather and loss of landing craft prevented landings on time at Gold. Trying to add extra divisions on top of that, especially when the bridgehead area was still restricted and landing divisions had to compete with landing supplies and wounded being shipped out.
I love Wiki. Its like it is the last resort of the perennial what-iffer. The mixing up of source remarks is always entertaining. Yes, the 24th Lanzers and 61st Reconnaissance were due to land on the Second Tide and were delayed, but it had nothing to do with a loss of LCT. They were on American LST, not LCT, and were delayed, but not due to the lack of room on the beach. The 12 LST of the serial bringing in various elements of 8th Armoured Brigade and 50 Division towed five Rhino ferries, which proved problematic in the weather during the crossing. At least one departed tow entirely and all caused problems, slowing the serial. That was not unique to GOLD, but happened on all the beaches.

BTW, 37 LCT were lost and damaged on GOLD, not 34.
As to Utah the 90th infantry were landing on June 6th-8th
Sigh...I have considerable knowledge about what happened in the 90th Inf Div landings, since I'm writing a book about it right now. :roll: An increment, Groups A and AA, of the division were attached to the 4th Inf Div and constituted part of the Second Tide landing. It was not delayed in landing.

Group A & AA, 90th Inf Div - 1stand 3d Bn, 359th Inf, Det, Co C, 315th Engr C Bn, and Det, Co C, 315th Engr C Bn.

The division was also supposed to land an Advance Detachment to prepare the assembly areas for the arrival of the division and to take over command of Groups A and AA once it completed its assault mission. It was "delayed" in landing because its transport, the Susan B. Anthony, was mined and sunk, not because of any beach congestion.

Advance Detachment - Det, HQ, 90th ID, 90th Signal Co, 359th Inf (- Gp ‘AA’, and ‘A’ att to the 4th Inf Div), Co C, 315th Engr C Bn (-), Co C, 315th Engr C Bn (-), 90th Recn Tp, and Adv Det, 90th Inf Div Arty
The 82nd Airborne were finally relieved by the 90th Infantry Division, who began disembarking at 16:00 on D-Day and were all ashore by June 8.
Nope. The 90th Inf Div did not relieve the 82d A/B Div, it came into line adjacent to it and attacked in concert with it, although parts of the 90th Inf Div artillery did provide fire support for the 82d before the division completed landing.

BTW, the last elements of the 90th closed in the beachhead on 9 June, not 8 June.
They were followed by the 9th division:
After being sent to England for further training, the division landed on Utah Beach on 10 June 1944 (D plus 4)
The division landed on 9-10 June. The Division Headquarters opened in the beachhead on 10 June.
And then were followed by the 79th division:
After training in the United Kingdom from 17 April 1944, the 79th Infantry Division landed on Utah Beach, Normandy, 12–14 June and entered combat 19 June 1944
Gee, was there a five day delay from when the division opened in the beachhead to when it entered combat because of beach congestion?
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Re: Consequences if Omaha Beach fails

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 10 Nov 2021 19:34

AETIUS 1980 wrote:
09 Nov 2021 14:48
... On the other hand, we must admit that the time factor played against the allies. Two additional months of en)development would have led the defenders to possess a formidable fortified tool.
One wonders what limits in concrete & labor the Germans would encounter during construction of June or July. During the previous winter Rundsteadts staff were pessimistic over the declining capacity of the French railways & were predicting a collapse in deliveries mid summer. Getting to a defense strong enough to defeat the Allied assault seems to require the construction effort be started months sooner, or done with far larger number of laborers & deliver of essentials.

But, the converse is more fun for me. Is the assault any easier in early May with less construction accomplished?

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Re: Consequences if Omaha Beach fails

Post by AETIUS 1980 » 10 Nov 2021 19:48

Even if all the possible answers of this post remain only speculations or What if !, the fact remains that the Generalfeldmarschall ROMMEL was particularly optimistic with regard to the state of the coastal defenses as he will examine some of them, weeks before D-Day to his wife. In NO WAY the means engaged by the Germans during the first 12 hours could not have prevented the existence of at least 4 of the 5 of the land bridgeheads. The parachute maneuver seems to me to have been an obvious failure whatever historians say. What was accomplished by these, apart from the heroism displayed, could have been accomplished by the ground forces. However, as a fan of the 716.Inf.Div, I do "Chapeau Bas" for the efforts made by the latter against 4 of the 5 bridgehead. A little less than 9000 men against more than 50000 men, with stubborn resistance on almost all points ... A good performance.

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Re: Consequences if Omaha Beach fails

Post by Richard Anderson » 10 Nov 2021 21:09

AETIUS 1980 wrote:
10 Nov 2021 19:48
Even if all the possible answers of this post remain only speculations or What if !, the fact remains that the Generalfeldmarschall ROMMEL was particularly optimistic with regard to the state of the coastal defenses as he will examine some of them, weeks before D-Day to his wife.
Well, yes, but obviously he was wrong. Even the terms of this "what if" are suspect, since there was zero likelihood of operations on OMAHA getting "cancelled" by Bradley or anyone else at 1130, given that by 0900 the fragile German defenses were already crumbling. What happened between 0630 and 0900 was a confused bloodbath, but it is hard to see how the German defenses could have kept that up.
In NO WAY the means engaged by the Germans during the first 12 hours could not have prevented the existence of at least 4 of the 5 of the land bridgeheads. The parachute maneuver seems to me to have been an obvious failure whatever historians say. What was accomplished by these, apart from the heroism displayed, could have been accomplished by the ground forces.
Well, aside from ensuring the collapse of the 709. Inf-Div along its beach front, the decapitation and piecemeal defeat of the initial counterattacks by 91. Inf-Div. and 6. FJR, and the isolation of the German defenses between the Orne and Dives, no, the airborne did nothing whatever. :D
However, as a fan of the 716.Inf.Div, I do "Chapeau Bas" for the efforts made by the latter against 4 of the 5 bridgehead. A little less than 9000 men against more than 50000 men, with stubborn resistance on almost all points ... A good performance.
You don't give 352. Inf-Div any credit for that? :D
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Re: Consequences if Omaha Beach fails

Post by historygeek2021 » 10 Nov 2021 21:11

AETIUS 1980 wrote:
10 Nov 2021 19:48
Even if all the possible answers of this post remain only speculations or What if !, the fact remains that the Generalfeldmarschall ROMMEL was particularly optimistic with regard to the state of the coastal defenses as he will examine some of them, weeks before D-Day to his wife. In NO WAY the means engaged by the Germans during the first 12 hours could not have prevented the existence of at least 4 of the 5 of the land bridgeheads. The parachute maneuver seems to me to have been an obvious failure whatever historians say. What was accomplished by these, apart from the heroism displayed, could have been accomplished by the ground forces. However, as a fan of the 716.Inf.Div, I do "Chapeau Bas" for the efforts made by the latter against 4 of the 5 bridgehead. A little less than 9000 men against more than 50000 men, with stubborn resistance on almost all points ... A good performance.
That was before Rommel encountered the might of the Allied air and naval bombardment. Afterward he knew there was nothing Germany could have done to stop the invasion:
Even if we had had these forces at the scene of the landing, we would still have lost the battle, as our counter-attacks would have been smashed by the Allied naval guns and air force,’ the marshal wrote. ‘No compromise of any kind can make up for total enemy air and artillery superiority.’

Quoted in Richard Hargreaves, The Germans in Normandy, page 439

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Re: Consequences if Omaha Beach fails

Post by Cult Icon » 10 Nov 2021 22:29

AETIUS 1980 wrote:
09 Nov 2021 14:48
The staggered arrival of units with training levels far from uniform could not promote the success of such an enterprise in the face of a multitude of bridgeheads having substantial means to adequately postpone the various actions carried out by the Germans.
Normandy 44' Zetterling has dug up information/short unit histories on the GHQ battalions, their arrival dates and other information. I should spend some time reading them but someone with more time than me should do it.

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Re: Consequences if Omaha Beach fails

Post by Cult Icon » 10 Nov 2021 22:32

historygeek2021 wrote:
10 Nov 2021 21:11

That was before Rommel encountered the might of the Allied air and naval bombardment. Afterward he knew there was nothing Germany could have done to stop the invasion:
It looks to me that he failed big time in Normandy, I think some Eastern Front generals like Manstein would have done better. Operation Storfang was executed with half strength infantry battalions, same thing for the North face at Kursk. Both operations had high levels of fire support. IF the northern effort at Kursk had full strength infantry battalions the offensive would have lasted much longer, and Ponyri would have fallen.

The obsession with panzer divisions made no sense, when the artillery/air arm was decisive, and foreeably so.

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Re: Consequences if Omaha Beach fails

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 10 Nov 2021 23:37

historygeek2021 wrote:
10 Nov 2021 21:11
That was before Rommel encountered the might of the Allied air and naval bombardment. Afterward he knew there was nothing Germany could have done to stop the invasion:
Cult Icon wrote:
10 Nov 2021 22:32
It looks to me that he failed big time in Normandy, I think some Eastern Front generals like Manstein would have done better. Operation Storfang was executed with half strength infantry battalions, same thing for the North face at Kursk. Both operations had high levels of fire support. IF the northern effort at Kursk had full strength infantry battalions the offensive would have lasted much longer, and Ponyri would have fallen.

The obsession with panzer divisions made no sense, when the artillery/air arm was decisive, and foreeably so.
Picking back through Rommels views expressed at meetings From Dec 1943 though May 1944, his written memos and instructions to the commanders in AG B its clear he had a realistic appreciation of Allied air capability vs ground forces. He had first hand experience with it in Lybia & Tunisia & saw how the capability grew from 1941 to the spring of 1943. Resting inNorthern Italy in the summer & autumn of 1943 Rommel had time to read the reports from the defense of Sicilly and southern Italy, which reinforced his understanding the problem of increasing capability of Allied air forces. When he came to France as Hitlers inspector general in December 1943 he quickly criticized the defense plans as unrealistic give Allied airpower.

The previous two years the strategy of OB West had been to defend the ports only, to deny them to a invader. The coast between the ports had been manned by a outpost line with some sand bags, a barbed wire fence, & a few mines. The plan was to maintain a large mobile reserve inland & execute a massive armored counter attack. The invaders denied supplies from the fortified ports would collapse in the face of the multiple corps of Panzer Group West. Rundsteadt had signed off on this concept of operations for some time. Rome's objections & concerns about Allied air power were dismissed by the staff of OB West, and the 'easterners' who had been drawn to France as OB West was built up. Geyer Von Schweppenberg as commander of PzG West was at the center of this exchange. He & his staff felt Rommels concern was overblown. They had fought successfully under Red Air Force attacks. The numbers given them for Allied tactical air forces in the winter of 1943-44 were not that far off from the Red AF of 1943, 10,000 Allied vs 8,000 Reds.

All this was illustrated at a war-game in the winter of 1944. Geyers staff methodically set up a large armored counterattack in coordination with the local German army, In the space of 2-3 days in the game they assembled the counter attack & devastated the Allied armies represented on the map. This exercise it was felt was validated by previous field exercises testing various parts of the operation. At the end of the map exercise Rommel pointed out how the Allied tactical air forces were not represented as a danger, effectively left out of the exercise. He felt the examples from Lybia, Tunisia, and Sicilly showed how such a concentration of mechanized corps would degraded by frequent air attacks. From the other side of the discussion his concerns were dismissed, with the experience of the Eastern Front cited. There was also the point made how the Luftwaffe would throw its reserves from Germany & other locations in the West into the battle, neutralizing the Allied air forces.

6th through 9th June Geyr sought to set up the intended counter attack by PzG West. That ended when a large air attack hit his HQ directly, wounded Geyr, killing a large part of his staff, wrecking much of the communications equipment, and missing Rommel who had departed a conference there a hour earlier.

It is correct Rommel underestimated the Allied naval fire support. The examples from Sicilly & Salerno showed it could be a problem, but there was a large difference in scale. The numbers of BB & 8" gun cruisers alone dwarfed those in the Mediterranean invasions. The high rates of fire of the 6" gun cruisers & destroyers magnified their numbers. The volume of fire daily from these large caliber batteries was something none of the German leaders had imagined through 5 June.
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Re: Consequences if Omaha Beach fails

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 10 Nov 2021 23:48

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
10 Nov 2021 19:34
AETIUS 1980 wrote:
09 Nov 2021 14:48
... On the other hand, we must admit that the time factor played against the allies. Two additional months of en)development would have led the defenders to possess a formidable fortified tool.
One wonders what limits in concrete & labor the Germans would encounter during construction of June or July. During the previous winter Rundsteadts staff were pessimistic over the declining capacity of the French railways & were predicting a collapse in deliveries mid summer. Getting to a defense strong enough to defeat the Allied assault seems to require the construction effort be started months sooner, or done with far larger number of laborers & deliver of essentials.

But, the converse is more fun for me. Is the assault any easier in early May with less construction accomplished?
Reviewing some text a minute ago I was reminded how early in the year the Calvados coast had a lower priority for fortification materials. Rommel or his staff misinterpreted a Navy report describing the difficulties of landing across the shoals off the beaches between the Seine & Vrie rivers. Sometime in March 1944 there was a 'correction' to this misunderstanding and a hasty effort to catch up the defense construction on the Calvados beaches. I can't say how much more construction completed there would have been. Its one of those things that incrementally adds up with many other things.

...and theres the ever present converse: If the misunderstanding had not been grasped & the defenses of SWORD, JUNO, GOLD, & OMAHA Beaches been 25% or 50% weaker?

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Re: Consequences if Omaha Beach fails

Post by AETIUS 1980 » 11 Nov 2021 00:44

This is what led the 352.Inf.Div to take into account part of the coastal sector of the 716.Inf.Div at the end of the month, an area renamed for the occasion K.V. Abschnitt H1 and H2. About the maritime font of Vierville, St Laurent and Colleville sur Mer, we will see the establishment of 2 companies of the II./Gr.Rgt.916 (initially from Gr.Rgt.915, plus two platoons of I./Gr.Rgt.914 on June 4th ), in the middle of 4 companies of I and III./Gr. Rgt.726.

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