LVT and D Day

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RichTO90
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Post by RichTO90 » 06 Dec 2006 18:38

ChristopherPerrien wrote: "Calvin and Hobbes" :D
Hey, wadda'ya want? My oldest son was Hobbes and my number two son was Calvin. :D
Perhap the Allies failed to realize Rommel's change in strategy, to a crust or beach defense, led to a much greater chance that the Germans would end up trying to throw us off the beach wherever we landed rather than withdrawing and throwing us back in the sea later.
Sorry, but that has nothing to do with Rommel's "change in strategy" (which BTW, wasn't a "change" at all,nor was it a crust defense). Quite simply, going back to the initial COSSAC planning, the Allied assumption was that once they were established on the continent the Germans would withdraw to the Seine. And it was the logical move, except that Hitler wouldn't hear of it (and he ma in some ways have been right). What you are confusing is that the assault, consolidation, expansion, and exploitation were all distinct phases with slightly different strategies and tactics by both sides.
But as I have maintained in many posts and topics , I stand by my belief that Overlord as far as the landing goes , was an eggshell on a hammer , and too much one-day thinking and planning to just get across the beach , works against you afterwards. Or even during the ONE DAY since Caan was a first day objective.
Er, do you mean "hammer on an eggshell"? But either way that makes little sense. Should the Allies have used less force and risked greater casualties and a greater chance of failure? And if they should have used "more" force where would they have gotten it from?

As to the latter opinion the real problem was that in focusing on the assault they failed to "visualize the battlespace" and di not allocate resources to likely contingencies, they more or less depended on the effect of their assumed superiorities.
In a way , there might be something to comparing the "Atlantic Wall" to "Operation Fortitude" in terms what they actually were and what they accomplished in causing errors in thinking and actions on the others' side.I may make this into a topic of its own.
Huh? I confess you lost me there?
And maybe

Is it a certainty that "Fortitude was solely a deception"?, perhaps it might have become a second landing by the 3rd Army at Pas de Calaise if Overlord/Normandy had turned out different.
Uh, yes, in fact FORTITUDE was solely a deception. No it wasn't going to be a Thrid Army landing in the Pas de Calais if OVERLORD failed. Whatever the heck is giving you that notion?
All this goes to show I think, is that much of the planning and execution of Overlord suggests alot of "people" believed it was more an amphibiuos assault rather than a wide river crossing. Too much thinking and effort was done on how and when and where to just get ashore, in that case we should have used more LTV's and Marines and specialist armor and brought beach chairs 8-) . My view is it was a large scale river crossing and all you needed was standard army units and a few boat-loads of signs with arrows saying which way Paris and Berlin are , so the troops have some "direction" and a "goal" after hitting the beach. 8-)
Er, it was an amphibious op, it is rare that LCT capsize and sink due to weather conditions during river crossings AFAIK? It is also rare that gunfire support for river crossings is provided by battleships, cruisers, and destroyers AFAIK?

And are you seriously implying that less thought should have gone into NEPTUNE? 8O And that it could have been accomplished by only using "standard army units"?

Are you truly that delusional? :lol:
Oh well, I think we have got all we can out of this off- topic of course, I appreciate your clarifications and info about some of the things discussed.

Unless someone asks me to reply to something I am going to take my leave of this topic, and let it get back to LTV's and D-Day.

Regards to all,
Chris
Oh please, don't stop now, it's just starting to get interesting again, if not more than a little surreal. :D

Delta Tank
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Re: LVT and D Day

Post by Delta Tank » 13 Jan 2021 20:08

Rich,

You wrote this in this thread:
That's how its transmogrified over the years, but I tend to think now that Wilmot simply accepted the account without question, which is understandable considering the source was a relative and friend. And as a journalist he could hardly avoid a good story, confirmed by a reliable source (well, the confirmation was the source, but it's not my purpose here to criticize journalistic ethics :lol: ). Hobart's motive is less clear, although I suspect that it was a bit of innocent self-promotion for himself and the British Army.
Wilmot was related to Percy Hobart?? Percy Hobart was related to Monty, I knew that, but also Wilmot

Thanks!

Mike

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Re: LVT and D Day

Post by Richard Anderson » 14 Jan 2021 00:33

Delta Tank wrote:
13 Jan 2021 20:08
Rich,

Wilmot was related to Percy Hobart?? Percy Hobart was related to Monty, I knew that, but also Wilmot

Thanks!

Mike
I must have been having a senior moment. Yes, Hobart and Monty were brothers in law; Wilmot was evidently close to Hobart, but not related. Wilmot's claim to oddity was that he was one of the victims of the Comet.
"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: LVT and D Day

Post by Delta Tank » 14 Jan 2021 18:05

Rich and all,

This is from Wiki and to me it doesn’t make sense. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hobart's_Funnies
Montgomery considered that the US forces should use them. A third of the "funnies" were offered to the Americans of all the vehicles available, but take-up was minimal.[3] Eisenhower was in favour of the DD tanks but left the decision on the others to General Bradley. None of the other designs was used, because it was thought that they required specialised training and an additional support organisation. Also, the Americans were reluctant to make use of funnies based on the Churchill tank as they did not want the logistical complexity of adding another tank model to their inventory.[4]
Bradley requested 25 flail tanks and 100 Churchill Crocodiles shortly after the demonstration in February 1944 and the British War Office agreed to supply them as well as British-crewed AVREs. In the event though there was insufficient time to produce the vehicles and train the crews so on the day American forces were limited to DD tanks and their own Sherman bulldozer tanks and armoured bulldozers while 42 Assault Brigade instead of supporting the US beaches became a reserve for the British and Canadian beaches.[5]
In light of operations during the US landing on Omaha beach, Bradley's decision has been criticised as it was felt that use of the range of "Funnies" would have saved American lives.[6] After D-Day, American forces did make limited use of the Sherman Crab mine-clearing tank.[4]
One paragraph states that the vehicles could not be produced in time and the next paragraph states Bradley was criticized for not using vehicles that could not be produced in time. Confusing??

Yes, I know it is Wikipedia, but a lot of people use Wikipedia.

Mike

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Re: LVT and D Day

Post by Richard Anderson » 14 Jan 2021 19:18

Delta Tank wrote:
14 Jan 2021 18:05
One paragraph states that the vehicles could not be produced in time and the next paragraph states Bradley was criticized for not using vehicles that could not be produced in time. Confusing??

Yes, I know it is Wikipedia, but a lot of people use Wikipedia.

Mike
Exactly, it is Wiki, where anyone can insert their opinion wherever they care to. The reference is to Haycock's Eisenhower and the Art of War (2004), which in turn references Bernard Fergusson's The Watery Maze (1963), which in turn...it is a near endless series of references to someone else who said it rather than looking at the original records and seeing what actually happened.
"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: LVT and D Day

Post by OpanaPointer » 14 Jan 2021 19:52

With regard to Wiki I think it's a good idea to not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
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Re: LVT and D Day

Post by Richard Anderson » 14 Jan 2021 20:28

OpanaPointer wrote:
14 Jan 2021 19:52
With regard to Wiki I think it's a good idea to not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Oh, I agree and always have. It is an excellent start for research ideas, but in and of itself is not a reliable source.
"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: LVT and D Day

Post by Sheldrake » 15 Jan 2021 00:37

Richard Anderson wrote:
14 Jan 2021 00:33
Delta Tank wrote:
13 Jan 2021 20:08
Rich,

Wilmot was related to Percy Hobart?? Percy Hobart was related to Monty, I knew that, but also Wilmot

Thanks!

Mike
I must have been having a senior moment. Yes, Hobart and Monty were brothers in law; Wilmot was evidently close to Hobart, but not related. Wilmot's claim to oddity was that he was one of the victims of the Comet.
Accordign to Hamilton, Montgomery's biographer, the two got on about as well as AHF posters - i.e. bickering and pointscoring the whole time ;) He describes a car journey with constant feud over whether the windows should be open or closed - won by Montgomery because it was his car...

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Re: LVT and D Day

Post by Sheldrake » 15 Jan 2021 00:43

Delta Tank wrote:
14 Jan 2021 18:05
Rich and all,

This is from Wiki and to me it doesn’t make sense. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hobart's_Funnies
Montgomery considered that the US forces should use them. A third of the "funnies" were offered to the Americans of all the vehicles available, but take-up was minimal.[3] Eisenhower was in favour of the DD tanks but left the decision on the others to General Bradley. None of the other designs was used, because it was thought that they required specialised training and an additional support organisation. Also, the Americans were reluctant to make use of funnies based on the Churchill tank as they did not want the logistical complexity of adding another tank model to their inventory.[4]
Bradley requested 25 flail tanks and 100 Churchill Crocodiles shortly after the demonstration in February 1944 and the British War Office agreed to supply them as well as British-crewed AVREs. In the event though there was insufficient time to produce the vehicles and train the crews so on the day American forces were limited to DD tanks and their own Sherman bulldozer tanks and armoured bulldozers while 42 Assault Brigade instead of supporting the US beaches became a reserve for the British and Canadian beaches.[5]


In light of operations during the US landing on Omaha beach, Bradley's decision has been criticised as it was felt that use of the range of "Funnies" would have saved American lives.[6] After D-Day, American forces did make limited use of the Sherman Crab mine-clearing tank.[4]
One paragraph states that the vehicles could not be produced in time and the next paragraph states Bradley was criticized for not using vehicles that could not be produced in time. Confusing??

Yes, I know it is Wikipedia, but a lot of people use Wikipedia.

Mike
The papers from the ETOUSA Assault landings conference in May-Jun 1943 include a presentation by Hobart - although the content was not included for security reasons. Undoubtedly this was about specialised armour. So the US Army officers charged with planning and training the US Side of Overlord and running the US Training centres knew about Specialised armour at least six months before the discussions between Montgomery and Bradley. Hobarts ideas had not gained any traction with tghe US officers including Norman Cota who were working on adapting US methods.

This is a bit of an old thread, and much of the content is well away from LVTs but there some points to which I would like to add my 2p

1. The idea of DD Tanks was to have armour arriving at H Hour, among the first wave. The Germans had rather cunningly positioned mined obstacles to catch LCTs. Lanes through these would need to be cleared before tanks could land dryshod from LCTs. The tanks landed from LCTs, including the DD Tanks landed from LCTS were landed much later in the schedule and some time after H Hour. Until then the infantry and especially the engineers clearing the obstacles would be denied the support from armour. The idea of the RMASG was to dump expendable armour to thicken up the firepower in the surf from around H-10 to H.

2. One of the principles of the attack is surprise. The DD Tanks were a nasty surprise for the Germans. There was nothing about the low canvas boat things that suggested that they contained a tank and the Germans probably chose bigger craft as targets. Sgt Leo Gariepy of the 1st Canadian Hussars is often quoted for his description of the surprise on the faces of the German machine gunners when his tank emerged.

3. War is an art as well as a science. Psychological factors matter. Morale is to physical 3:1 etc. There was a lot wrong with the D Day flre plan and many of the cunning ideas did not work as well as hoped. But the aim of the fire plan and all the supporting engineering was to get combat teams of tanks, infantry and engineers to where they could deal with German defensive positions. We dont know the extent to which the sound and noise and clever stuff bolstered the morale of allied troops or demoralised the Germans. All that can be said is that overall the plan worked. D Day was a stunning success at a fraction of the worst case casualties.
Last edited by Sheldrake on 15 Jan 2021 01:09, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LVT and D Day

Post by OpanaPointer » 15 Jan 2021 01:07

Richard Anderson wrote:
14 Jan 2021 20:28
OpanaPointer wrote:
14 Jan 2021 19:52
With regard to Wiki I think it's a good idea to not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Oh, I agree and always have. It is an excellent start for research ideas, but in and of itself is not a reliable source.
I encourage people to review the footnotes.
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Re: LVT and D Day

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 21 Jan 2021 16:40

Sheldrake wrote:
1. The idea of DD Tanks was to have armour arriving at H Hour, among the first wave. The Germans had rather cunningly positioned mined obstacles to catch LCTs. Lanes through these would need to be cleared before tanks could land dryshod from LCTs. The tanks landed from LCTs, including the DD Tanks landed from LCTS were landed much later in the schedule and some time after H Hour. Until then the infantry and especially the engineers clearing the obstacles would be denied the support from armour. The idea of the RMASG was to dump expendable armour to thicken up the firepower in the surf from around H-10 to H.
The schedule I'm looking at shows H -5 as the DD tank arrivall.
2. One of the principles of the attack is surprise. The DD Tanks were a nasty surprise for the Germans.
The Japanese survivors of Betio island refered to the LVT as tanks and described morale dropping as they closed in. Roughly 25 of the 100 LVT were out of action after their first round trip. Which from the perspective of a Japanese machine gunner or squad leader may not have meant much.

There was nothing about the low canvas boat things that suggested that they contained a tank and the Germans probably chose bigger craft as targets. Sgt Leo Gariepy of the 1st Canadian Hussars is often quoted for his description of the surprise on the faces of the German machine gunners when his tank emerged.
I don't know about all beaches or weapons, but on OMAHA Beach German survivors related they had instructions or orders to open fire after the enemy reached the first obstacle belt. In the context of my infantry trading this makes sense. Survivors of the first boat teams ashore some times reported they came off the boat and spread out before the MGs opened fire.

If the AT guns had the same instructions it would have been another reason not to hit the DD while swimming in. A third point is the AT guns were principally positioned for enfilading fire along the beach. In those cases they may not have had a clear line of sight beyond the surf & out to sea.

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Re: LVT and D Day

Post by Richard Anderson » 21 Jan 2021 17:49

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
21 Jan 2021 16:40
The schedule I'm looking at shows H -5 as the DD tank arrivall.
I think you're looking at OMAHA, Assault Group O-2. DOG and EASY. Assault Group O-1, EASY and FOX, was to land at H-10. On UTAH it was H. The tides from west to east were highly variable, which is why it varied. H-Hour varied too. OMAHA and UTAH it was 0630. GOLD was 0725, JUNO MIKE was 0735, NAN was 0745, and SWORD was 0725.
The Japanese survivors of Betio island refered to the LVT as tanks and described morale dropping as they closed in. Roughly 25 of the 100 LVT were out of action after their first round trip. Which from the perspective of a Japanese machine gunner or squad leader may not have meant much.
The landing force at Betio were in 42 LVT-1 and 45 LVT-2 of the 2d Amtrac Battalion carrying the assault companies of the 2d and 3d Battalion, 2d Marines and the 2d Battalion, 8th Marines. Another 8 empty LVT-1 followed the 1st wave and 5 empty LVT-2 followed the 3d wave to assist or replace any lost or broken down during the run in, making 100. Another 25 LVT-1 were loaded with supplies to land later. Of the landing force's 100 LVT, eight were lost in the run in (8%) and fifteen more on the beach or retracting (15%). Out of all 125 LVT employed, only 35 remained operational by the end of the end of the battle. Two were destroyed by mines, nine to gunfire while crossing the reef, and ten to gunfire on the beach. Another 35 disappeared, sunk by gunfire, most of them when they ran out of gas and were unable to run their bilge pumps to evacuate the water let in by simple bullet holes. Finally, 26 were knocked out on the reef, again mostly "sunk" by bullet fire. So 82 of 125 or 65.6% were lost, most in the first day. The last eight broke down and were not victims of Japanese action.
I don't know about all beaches or weapons, but on OMAHA Beach German survivors related they had instructions or orders to open fire after the enemy reached the first obstacle belt. In the context of my infantry trading this makes sense. Survivors of the first boat teams ashore some times reported they came off the boat and spread out before the MGs opened fire.

If the AT guns had the same instructions it would have been another reason not to hit the DD while swimming in. A third point is the AT guns were principally positioned for enfilading fire along the beach. In those cases they may not have had a clear line of sight beyond the surf & out to sea.
All true, but none of which bodes well for LVT, which if armored, were only minimally protected to fire from the front.
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Re: LVT and D Day

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 21 Jan 2021 19:50

Its It is correct the LVT were largely hors combat at Betio, at the end of the day. But, also at the end of the day there is a considerable contrast between the battalions that were carried in by the LVT & those that had to wade across the 600 to 700 meters of reef. Aside from the fewer casualties crossing the reef the boat teams in the LVT were more likely to remain intact as cohesive squads & sections when they reached the seawall & were able to organized into companies and battalions quickly. Those who waded the reef were hard pressed to stick together in tiny fire teams & the companies were disorganized and at a level of shock when they reached the seawall. Which brings me around to the point, which is not preservation of assault craft but getting the assault to the enemy in a combat effective form. Vs having them cross two or three hundred meters of beach on foot & under fire. In that sense the assault craft are, like someone described for the DD tanks, expendable & worth the loss if they get a couple of combat worthy battalions on to the enemy at H+1 minute vs heavy losses making the final assault and H+ one or two hours after trying to execute the assault with a few squads & platoons out of a couple disorganized and shocked battalions.

Preserving the LVT by not using them as assault vehicles strikes me as not providing fire support in order to preserve ammunition.
All true, but none of which bodes well for LVT, which if armored, were only minimally protected to fire from the front.
I suppose we can put up a big map on the wall, mark out the fields of fire for the AT weapons, the probable route in to the WN of the assault units, and try to guess who gets flank shot and what the exposure time is. The armor value is hardly worth calculating as protection from the 5 & 7.5 cm caliber guns. What probably matters more is how many AT guns cover a approach to a WN & how much exposure time there is between entering the field of fire and disembarkation point at the shingle. Sixty seconds or two minutes from exiting the surf & cross to the shingle is not a lot of time for hitting moving targets. (Using a speed of 5 MPH for crossing the beach. 140 meters per minute at 5 MPH.)

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Re: LVT and D Day

Post by Richard Anderson » 21 Jan 2021 21:27

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
21 Jan 2021 19:50
Its It is correct the LVT were largely hors combat at Betio, at the end of the day. But, also at the end of the day there is a considerable contrast between the battalions that were carried in by the LVT & those that had to wade across the 600 to 700 meters of reef. Aside from the fewer casualties crossing the reef the boat teams in the LVT were more likely to remain intact as cohesive squads & sections when they reached the seawall & were able to organized into companies and battalions quickly.
Not exactly. On Betio the landing of 2/8 on RED 3 was least affected, losing an estimated 25 casualties in the landing, but not because of the protection of the LVT. It was the long pier that sheltered the LVT and Marines from the fire of the "Pocket", which was the best defended sector of the beach. On Red 2, 2/2 was massacred, losing its battalion commander, five of six officers in Easy Company, half of Fox Company, and badly shooting up Golf Company. On Red 1, half of King and Item were gone two hours into the battle and 3/2 had lost 17 of 37 officers.
Those who waded the reef were hard pressed to stick together in tiny fire teams & the companies were disorganized and at a level of shock when they reached the seawall.
The seawall is the problem...the LVT could not cross it and many got hung up in the attempt.
Preserving the LVT by not using them as assault vehicles strikes me as not providing fire support in order to preserve ammunition.
Not my point at all, which was in June 1944 the run-of-the-mill LVT was unprotected versus rifle rounds.
I suppose we can put up a big map on the wall, mark out the fields of fire for the AT weapons, the probable route in to the WN of the assault units, and try to guess who gets flank shot and what the exposure time is. The armor value is hardly worth calculating as protection from the 5 & 7.5 cm caliber guns. What probably matters more is how many AT guns cover a approach to a WN & how much exposure time there is between entering the field of fire and disembarkation point at the shingle. Sixty seconds or two minutes from exiting the surf & cross to the shingle is not a lot of time for hitting moving targets. (Using a speed of 5 MPH for crossing the beach. 140 meters per minute at 5 MPH.)
I already did, 12 years or so ago. The problem for LVT on OMAHA was that they were no more maneuverable than the tanks, which hung up on the seawalls, the various groins, and on the shingle. And, yet again, they don't need to be AT guns, heavy machine gun and even rifle fire was deadly to the LVT. OMAHA had the further complication of the seaward obstacles not found at Betio except as the reef affected the approach. Then there were the antitank barriers and bluffs further complicating the problem, in many cases the WN simply weren't closely accessible to the LVT or tanks.

Nor would it really make much sense to replace the tanks with lightly armored LVT (A) and the armor on the LVT was negligible...then there were the numbers required and the launching platforms needed. And so on...
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Re: LVT and D Day

Post by Sheldrake » 21 Jan 2021 22:58

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
21 Jan 2021 16:40
I don't know about all beaches or weapons, but on OMAHA Beach German survivors related they had instructions or orders to open fire after the enemy reached the first obstacle belt. In the context of my infantry trading this makes sense. Survivors of the first boat teams ashore some times reported they came off the boat and spread out before the MGs opened fire.

If the AT guns had the same instructions it would have been another reason not to hit the DD while swimming in. A third point is the AT guns were principally positioned for enfilading fire along the beach. In those cases they may not have had a clear line of sight beyond the surf & out to sea.
Carl,
I have just checked with the accounts in "They were on Omaha Beach" a collection of 194 eye witness reports. These include statements of landing craft under fire from 88mm guns, taking casualites from the moment they left the boats and while in the water. I have yet to find one that agrees with the above. What are the sources for the statement that Germans let the troops land and spread out?

Agreed, the German plans were to engage the troops landing ai their effective ranges. Trigger happy Germans may have started early.

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