Why no D day in 1943?

Discussions on WW2 in Western Europe & the Atlantic.
john2
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Why no D day in 1943?

Post by john2 » 20 Oct 2015 21:40

Sorry if this has been brought up before. I know an invasion in 1942 was not possible because the US had just entered the war but I haven't heard any good reasons there was no attempt in '43. An article I read - sorry no link said it was delayed to gain more ground in the Med and North Africa. But this never made sense to me since the main blow came from invading France. If the entire Med and N Africa campaigns had been scrapped as soon as the US entered the war could D day have happened earlier? Note this also means no invasion of Italy - the allies concentrate on invading western Europe as soon as possible.

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Re: Why no D day in 1943?

Post by OpanaPointer » 21 Oct 2015 01:31

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john2
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Re: Why no D day in 1943?

Post by john2 » 21 Oct 2015 02:27

Thanks!

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Re: Why no D day in 1943?

Post by OpanaPointer » 21 Oct 2015 13:10

Go up a level or two and you'll find the entire Army Green Book series, the official US Army history of WWII. Massive amount of information.
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Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Why no D day in 1943?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 28 Oct 2015 00:51

Griggs book '1943 The Victory That Never Was' digs into the series of Allied debates and decisions that culmated in the key 'Symbol Confrence' in January 1943. If you take the last speculative chapter for what it is: speculation the overall book is useful. I'd recommend avoiding Dunns book on the subject. His analysis and some key numbers appear faulty.

Marshals bio by Pogue has some useful sections. Atkinsons 'Army at Dawn', and 'Day of Battle' touch on the subject as well.

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Re: Why no D day in 1943?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 28 Oct 2015 01:02

john2 wrote:.... An article I read - sorry no link said it was delayed to gain more ground in the Med and North Africa. But this never made sense to me since the main blow came from invading France. If the entire Med and N Africa campaigns had been scrapped as soon as the US entered the war could D day have happened earlier? Note this also means no invasion of Italy - the allies concentrate on invading western Europe as soon as possible.
The core arguments used y Brooke at the Symbol Confrence in January 1943 revolved around cargo shipping. The numbers he claimed were insufficient to support four to six armies in France, about 40 divisions. Even if major operations were shut down in the Med. There were still requirements for shipping to the USSR, Burma, China, the Pacific. & residual ops in the Med that could not be closed out. Since Roosevelts staff had nothing at hand to refute Brooke the argument went his way. The debate on the subject at the Symbol Confrence was a cummination of over a year of discussion on Allied strategy. Originaly when John Dill was CIGS Britian had been behind the idea of returning to the continent at the earliest opportunity. That changed after Brook replaced Dill as CIGS. That change in mid 1942 left the US leaders confused and hence a little anoyed.

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Re: Why no D day in 1943?

Post by Sheldrake » 28 Oct 2015 01:45

Yes the American Army leadership wanted an early invasion of Western Europe. They had obtained a Germany First policy from the US Government, even before understanding the nature and scale of the task. This meant taking risks with an early invasion, in 1942 or 1943. Had the US government known that D Day would not be launched until 1944 they would probably have decided "Japan first."

While the US Army had plenty of reserves and the American public might well withstand heavy losses and a failed landing and the USArmy had the reserves, any such landing would almost certainly result in the loss of Britain's last field army.

Any invasion in 1943 was extremely risky. In January 1943 the battle of the Atlantic had not been won. There were insufficient troops in theatre to launch an invasion. In January 1943 thyere was one US Division in the UK. Roosevelts staff "had nothing to refute these arguments" because they were powerful sensible reasons. Furthermore, Brooke's arguments for a subsidiary campaign in Italy also made huge sense. The fact that 20 German divisions were already engaged in Italy meant there were 20 fewer on the West Front when the allied landed in France.

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Re: Why no D day in 1943?

Post by Aber » 28 Oct 2015 19:36

Carl Schwamberger wrote: I'd recommend avoiding Dunns book on the subject. His analysis and some key numbers appear faulty.
Dunn at least has numbers where IIRC Grigg has none. :)

What faults have you found with Dunn?

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Re: Why no D day in 1943?

Post by Dunnigan » 29 Oct 2015 18:50

There were huge logistical limitations. There was not enough Landing Craft in 1943 to transport beach landing troops on the scale of Overlord. The invasion of France planning in 1943 as Operations Round Up and Sledgehammer (then a combined Roundhammer) anticipated 48 divisions to be landed over a period of time. The majority of these would have been US troops in the latter stages. This was unfeasible when you look at the 1944 campaign where US were sending units right out of US Continental training directly to Europe through Summer, Fall, and Winter 1944 through to Spring 1945. There was no way the US could have accelerated its buildup and man and equip enough forces to send to France to sustain a drive in 1943.

By 1944 the German back was already beginning to slightly break, but they still put up a very stuff resistance. Any fighting in 1943 with a stronger German war economy (without the sustained bombing effort from 1943 to 1944) would have put the Allies in a deep trouble.

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Re: Why no D day in 1943?

Post by OpanaPointer » 04 Nov 2015 22:24

Sheldrake wrote:Yes the American Army leadership wanted an early invasion of Western Europe. They had obtained a Germany First policy from the US Government, even before understanding the nature and scale of the task.
Actually, the ABC-1 talks, with military leaders from US, Britain and Canada, formulated the "Germany First" policy. It was confirmed with FDR and WSC met at Placentia Bay for the Atlantic Conference and publicly announced at Casablanca.

[trivia]Nazi intell picked up the fact that Churchill and Roosevelt would be at Casablanca, but they translated that word as well, as "White House." If they had looked at a map...[/trivia]
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Re: Why no D day in 1943?

Post by Sheldrake » 05 Nov 2015 02:17

OpanaPointer wrote:
Sheldrake wrote:Yes the American Army leadership wanted an early invasion of Western Europe. They had obtained a Germany First policy from the US Government, even before understanding the nature and scale of the task.
Actually, the ABC-1 talks, with military leaders from US, Britain and Canada, formulated the "Germany First" policy. It was confirmed with FDR and WSC met at Placentia Bay for the Atlantic Conference and publicly announced at Casablanca.

[trivia]Nazi intell picked up the fact that Churchill and Roosevelt would be at Casablanca, but they translated that word as well, as "White House." If they had looked at a map...[/trivia]
Whatever was agreed in August 1941, there was no guarantee that this would automatically follow given how the USA was brought into the war. There was an institutional bias. Of course the US Army would be in favour of Germany first. It was only in Europe that the Army's 100 division army could be employed. In the Pacific, the enemy would have the upper hand - the Navy would call the shots...

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Re: Why no D day in 1943?

Post by OpanaPointer » 05 Nov 2015 12:17

The German First policy carried through from 1941 to 1945, so I'd say it did stick, and stick well. FDR was focused on Europe.
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Sheldrake
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Re: Why no D day in 1943?

Post by Sheldrake » 05 Nov 2015 13:32

OpanaPointer wrote:The German First policy carried through from 1941 to 1945, so I'd say it did stick, and stick well. FDR was focused on Europe.
Agreed and it reflects well on FDR's strength of purpose

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Re: Why no D day in 1943?

Post by ChristopherPerrien » 07 Nov 2015 10:09

john2 wrote:Sorry if this has been brought up before. I know an invasion in 1942 was not possible because the US had just entered the war but I haven't heard any good reasons there was no attempt in '43.
Back in the day; 24 pages of going there 8-)

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... t=round+up

Aber
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Re: Why no D day in 1943?

Post by Aber » 07 Nov 2015 10:16

ChristopherPerrien wrote:
john2 wrote:Sorry if this has been brought up before. I know an invasion in 1942 was not possible because the US had just entered the war but I haven't heard any good reasons there was no attempt in '43.
Back in the day; 24 pages of going there 8-)

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... t=round+up
Are you still mad about it? :D

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