Delta Tank wrote:
Carl Schwamberger wrote:My gun count of the Normandy fire support is not complete, but just glancing at the OB Rich gave us for the Utah Beach fire support group & comparing to the Betio Island FSG it looks like the Utah force is near equal in large guns and heavier in the medium & light naval guns. I'd have to look at assualts like Huskey, Avalance, Shingle, Dragoon to judge if it were comparatively small.
In terms of the over all task and the other unproven preperatory fire techniques the NGF preperation does look a bit lite. While more big guns would be really nice to have there are also important problems in target identification, duration, timing, communication, command and control. It is correct more big gun NGF ships were not critical to the ultimate outcome. But, it is clear the Allied advance across & off the beaches was hampered by a anemic NGF preperation
It was anemic because we were landing on a continent versus landing on an island that had been isolated. A one or two day preparation of the Normandy beaches would of tipped our hand, but beating up an island in the Pacific for three or four days that has been isolated by the US Navy, also tips our hand, but so what!
But, if we had more NGF ships for that short bombardment period, it may of helped, just can't tell from here. I guess if the Army Air Corps would of flown low over Omaha Beach and parallel to the beach, like they did at Utah, that would of helped big time!
In the case of Betio the preperatory fires were only four hours. The aphibious fleet did not show up until the morning of the assualt. The previous day a squadron of Japanese longrange bombers rendevoused on the Betio airstrip & refueled there after searching for the suspected US fleet. So the Tarawa atoll was not exactly isolated until the attack actually kicked off.
In the case of Normandy the beach defenses had been on alert since the first airborne landings were reported. German survivors described arriving at their posts 2-3 hours before dawn. So its not like there was tactical suprise, with the defenders caught in the barracks.
Making the preperatory fires more robust does not require the attack be massively extended over time. The long bombardments in the Pacific were a effort to destroy defenses before last minute suppresion or nuetralization. To suppress or stun the defenders a lot less time is needed but the volume per minute needs to be high. Remember how the Time on Target was perfered? Its based on the idea that twelve cannon firing one shot each simultaneously gets a better effect on target than one cannon firing twelve projectiles sequentially .
Extending the time of the prep fires can be helpfull, but it is more efficent to boost the volume just before the assualt. That concentrates the physical and morale effects reducing recovery. There are limits set by rate of fire of the weapons, so if you want the maximum suppresive effect its preferable to increase the number of weapons.
Tako wrote:Now for a question, as it has been some time since I read up on the Normandy invasion. The US Navy was using CVEs to provide close air support for the invasions, but did the US Army have anything comparable for the Normandy invasions?
The air support from the CVE had its problem. The pilots were USN with zero experince & very little training in close air support techniques. They were unable to 'read' the battlefield, were unfamilar with the visual signals the Marines used on the ground, and were very awkward with the radio communications. Many attacks were ineffective, some hit the Marines, and others were aborted as they threatened to hit the Marines. In that sense the air support for the Betio attack was comparable to the US air support over Normandy in that the USAAF CAS techniques were not all that they could have been. The fiasco with the heavy bombers at Omaha beach is the most glaring example. My take is the Brits had it better in June. Their techniques for CAS appear a step ahead of the USAAF that month. In July Quesada replaced Bereton & several important improvements were rapidly made. In the Pacific the Marines made a nucanse of themselves until they got some of their bomber squadrons aboard the carriers, and USN bomber crews were given some basic training in CAS techniques.
Tako wrote:Of course, this does not include the carrier planes, but still, there was a far greater amount of airpower that could be brought to bear on the Normandy beaches, as opposed to that for Makin & Tarawa.
I dunno, some sort of measurement of sorties per hour per square kilometer of battlefield might tell us which had 'more' air support. or maybe measuring bombs dropped per sq Km?
RichTO90 wrote:To be fair, I think the comparison being made is from one regimental-zone landing to another? Inother words UTAH = Makin or OMAHA = Makin X 2.
Betio! Dammit! Makin was the nearly undefended island. Tarawa was the name of the entire atoll, a dozen or so islands.
& yes in that specific example I was trying to match attacks with a single regiment in the initial assualt.
Mike wrote:I guess if the Army Air Corps would of flown low over Omaha Beach and parallel to the beach, like they did at Utah, that would of helped big time!
Dont get me started