Could the Operation 'Overlord' be launched in 1942?

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chalutzim
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Could the Operation 'Overlord' be launched in 1942?

Post by chalutzim » 21 Nov 2002 16:15

Could the Western Allies have successfully launched Operation 'Overlord' in 1942?
I always suspected that Winston Churchill was much more concerned whith the British interests in Africa and Asia than defeat Hitler earlier. As all you know, Churchill after a lot of debate succeeded in convince the american generals, particularly Marshall, to postpone their attack, favoring his own Torch mission. At same time, he incurred in the anger of Stalin. Marshall and Stalin were right? Was Churchill right in his strategy? What is your opinion?

What the Churchillophiles think about this?

http://www.winstonchurchill.org/dgerman.htm

Caldric
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Post by Caldric » 21 Nov 2002 19:01

The United States was no where near ready for such an operation in 1942. When war was declared in 1941 the US military had 400 tanks that were mostly obsolete and a few full strength divisions. It would take 2 years to build the US military for overlord.

It would have been a disaster in my opinion, the Americans had a great deal to learn before such a massive operation.

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Tim Smith
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Post by Tim Smith » 22 Nov 2002 13:39

I agree, if June 1942 had been chosen for Overlord, then the Commonwealth would have had to go it alone (there were virtually no US forces ready for battle in Europe at that time).

This would be completely impossible with the North African campaign still raging - the only way Britain would be able to do it at all would be by abandoning Egypt and the Middle East completely by the end of 1941 - this would be disastrous.

The RAF had not yet succeeded in gaining air superiority over France in 1942 - it could have guarded the beaches but would have suffered very heavy losses in doing so, as the Dieppe operation demonstrated.


However, June 1943 would certainly have been possible. if the Allies had decided against invading Sicily and Italy. The Allies would have had a much harder fight in 1943 than they had in 1944, as the Luftwaffe and Kreigsmarine would be more of a factor, and the Allies had fewer ships available.

Despite this, I think that if the initial invasion had succeeded, an Allied victory in Europe could have been achieved six months earlier, in November 1944, but at the cost of double or even triple the historical Allied casualties (although not having to fight the Italian campaign would compensate somewhat.)

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Post by varjag » 23 Nov 2002 13:01

Overlord in 1942! Oh Lord. Is'nt Dieppe enough to demonstrate what would have happened? Without the Americans - the British would never have launched any Overlord. Hitler taunted the British to try in a speech -
'...if I only knew where they want to come ashore....we will leave that area....to LET THEM COME ASHORE ... so we then can obliterate them....once they ARE ashore...'

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David C. Clarke
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Post by David C. Clarke » 24 Nov 2002 01:45

Hi Guys, there actually is a decent book "Second Front Now--1943" by Walter Scott Dunn (University of Alabama Press, 1980) that analyses the likelihood of success in a 1943 Operation Overlord. It's especially interesting for its data on different German Divisions deployed in France at the time. Best yet, it wasn't a huge seller, so you can probably pick it up cheap, like I did. Best Regards, David

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chalutzim
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Thanks, David

Post by chalutzim » 24 Nov 2002 01:53

David C. Clarke wrote:Hi Guys, there actually is a decent book "Second Front Now--1943" by Walter Scott Dunn (University of Alabama Press, 1980) that analyses the likelihood of success in a 1943 Operation Overlord. It's especially interesting for its data on different German Divisions deployed in France at the time. Best yet, it wasn't a huge seller, so you can probably pick it up cheap, like I did. Best Regards, David


I'm already looking for it. Thanks.

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 24 Nov 2002 20:33

Yes it could have taken place (As anything is possible) but not in the format we know off and Yes it would have failed as well.

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Qvist
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Post by Qvist » 25 Nov 2002 09:36

Not to forget John Grigg's minor classic "1943 - the victory that never was".

Cheers

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Sam H.
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Post by Sam H. » 03 Dec 2002 03:48

Overlord in 1942 would have been a dismall failure for the allies. Think of how costly the Dieppe raid was? Now magnify this about 10 fold and you get the feel for what Overlord would have done.

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