1943 MTO Amphibious Fires Plan

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Duncan_M
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Re: 1943 MTO Amphibious Fires Plan

Post by Duncan_M » 26 May 2021 23:18

Richard Anderson wrote:
26 May 2021 16:44
Duncan_M wrote:
26 May 2021 14:52
US Army defines doctrine as the "fundamental principles, with supporting tactics, techniques, procedures, and terms and. symbols, used for the conduct of operations and as a guide for actions of operating forces, and elements."
A "planning appreciation" is not doctrine, since, by definition it is specific to a particular operation
The definition of doctrine doesn't specify it has to be a field manual, and it specifies "used for the conduct of operations" so if a "planning appreciation" explains the fundamental principles with supporting TTPs to carry out an operation, that is doctrine. By definition.
Richard Anderson wrote:
26 May 2021 16:44
HUSKY? Sorry, I thought we were talking AVALANCHE? Anyway, yes, they were in the case of AVALANCHE. It is inconceivable that the army and corps commander involved would be excluded from planning an operation involving the landing of their army and corps. They are specifically named by the Navy in the AVALANCHE Action Report. I haven't looked, but I suspect the same was the case with Patton and Bradley in HUSKY.
Hewitt complained about US Army doctrine immediately after Husky (and again after Avalanche). After Husky, he used the planning appreciation I linked to as evidence of flaws in terms of ignoring available assets they could have used, namely Navy shore bombardment.

Fifth Army wasn't involved in Husky, nor was VI Corps, why would they and their opinions on amphibious landing doctrine been what guided how Husky went down (which also relied on surprise/low light, and did not use naval bombardment)? Was Clark still on Ike's staff involved heavily in amphibious planning? Didn't he assume command of Fifth Army on 5 January 1943, seven months before Husky?

The author, Andrian Lewis, wrote the doctrine was pervasive among "the Anglo-American generals." I'm trying to figure out who the ringleader of that flawed doctrine was. Since the US Army copied the British, I'm guessing a lot of this was coming from the British Army. But who?

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Re: 1943 MTO Amphibious Fires Plan

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 27 May 2021 01:10

Duncan_M wrote:
26 May 2021 23:18
...
Fifth Army wasn't involved in Husky, nor was VI Corps, why would they and their opinions on amphibious landing doctrine been what guided how Husky went down (which also relied on surprise/low light, and did not use naval bombardment)? Was Clark still on Ike's staff involved heavily in amphibious planning? Didn't he assume command of Fifth Army on 5 January 1943, seven months before Husky? ...
I recall from Clarks bio he remained dual hatted & on Ikes staff & still involved in planning the multiple operations on the table for some time after the appointment to command 5th Army. HQ 5th Army initially took responsibility for defending Morocco to Allow I Armored Corps staff & Patton to transition to 7th Army a few weeks later. So aside from planning some other invasions 5th Army HQ was not over tasked.

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Re: 1943 MTO Amphibious Fires Plan

Post by Richard Anderson » 27 May 2021 02:29

Duncan_M wrote:
26 May 2021 23:18
The definition of doctrine doesn't specify it has to be a field manual, and it specifies "used for the conduct of operations" so if a "planning appreciation" explains the fundamental principles with supporting TTPs to carry out an operation, that is doctrine. By definition.
You do realize that definition is modern, formulated c. 1980? In any case, the Field Manuals as created beginning in 1940, did describe War Department Doctrine in detail. They were, and their successors still are, expressed doctrine. The overarching doctrinal publication being FM 100-5 Operations, which succeeded the previous doctrinal publications,the Field Service Regulations, the last of which was published in 1939. If you are really interested in the development of U.S. Army doctrinal development and expression between the world wars you should look for William Odom's, After the Trenches: The Transformation of U.S. Army Doctrine, 1918-1939.

No, a planning appreciation was and is not doctrinal, since it applied only to the operation in question and was not universal, which is necessary for it to be "doctrine" throughout the Army.
Richard Anderson wrote:
26 May 2021 16:44
Hewitt complained about US Army doctrine immediately after Husky (and again after Avalanche). After Husky, he used the planning appreciation I linked to as evidence of flaws in terms of ignoring available assets they could have used, namely Navy shore bombardment.
Yes, he did, and rightly so, since what was done in TORCH, HUSKY, and AVALANCHE specifically violated Navy doctrine, although it did not violate specifically the current, watered down, Army doctrine.
Fifth Army wasn't involved in Husky, nor was VI Corps, why would they and their opinions on amphibious landing doctrine been what guided how Husky went down (which also relied on surprise/low light, and did not use naval bombardment)? Was Clark still on Ike's staff involved heavily in amphibious planning? Didn't he assume command of Fifth Army on 5 January 1943, seven months before Husky?
I guess we're really getting confused now. You brought up Clark, so that is Fifth Army and AVALANCHE. HUSKY was Seventh Army and II Corps, so Patton and Bradley...I believe it was you who mentioned Bradley initially? No, army and corps commander "opinions" do not define doctrine, but their experience can modify doctrine. TORCH, HUSKY, and AVALANCHE were all predawn assaults and the experience gained from them was incorporated into doctrine.

BTW, Fifth Army was constituted and Clark made its commander on 12 December 1942. It was activated and Clark assumed command on or about 4 January 1943. It's original mission was actually security of French Morocco and Algeria. Its real mission quickly became training, which included amphibious training exercises with the 36th Inf Div in late July and then the 34th Inf Div in late August 1943. It began planning for various possible invasions in mid June 1943, including Sardinia and landings on the Italian mainland. Planning for AVALANCHE formally began on 26 July 1943.

The actual provision for NGF was included, with a target list in the final plan for AVALANCHE, with the proviso that the element of surprise should be maintained "as practicable" and that the bombardment would not begin before H-15 "unless directed by Attack Force Commanders". i.e., Dawley for the Americans and McCreery for the British. McCreery chose to exercise that option, Dawley did not.
The author, Andrian Lewis, wrote the doctrine was pervasive among "the Anglo-American generals." I'm trying to figure out who the ringleader of that flawed doctrine was. Since the US Army copied the British, I'm guessing a lot of this was coming from the British Army. But who?
Sorry, edited to correct attribution of this statement. Sheldrake is quite correct, then Major Lewis's work is badly flawed. You could say the War Department General Staff, which wrote the doctrinal documents before the Army Ground Forces took responsibility in March 1942, was responsible for deleting the paragraph found in the Navy version I quoted (the Army version was a near mirror image otherwise). In effect, it gave the Army planners too much leeway on that point.
Last edited by Richard Anderson on 27 May 2021 16:07, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1943 MTO Amphibious Fires Plan

Post by Sheldrake » 27 May 2021 13:17

Richard Anderson wrote:
27 May 2021 02:29

The actual provision for NGF was included, with a target list in the final plan for AVALANCHE, with the proviso that the element of surprise should be maintained "as practicable" and that the bombardment would not begin before H-15 "unless directed by Attack Force Commanders". i.e., Dawley for the Americans and McCreery for the British. McCreery chose to exercise that option, Dawley did not.

The author, Andrian Lewis, wrote the doctrine was pervasive among "the Anglo-American generals." I'm trying to figure out who the ringleader of that flawed doctrine was. Since the US Army copied the British, I'm guessing a lot of this was coming from the British Army. But who?
Lewis' flawed book on Omaha has set many hares running.

Either he did not understand how British doctrine worked or could not be bothered to research thoroughly or his agenda was to write a book that appealed to pro US navy sentiment and anglophobia.

In post #15 I posted links to the conference papers on CARL that show how the British and US staff approached the problem of the cross channel assault, including presentations from US Navy and Marine corps officers explaining the characteristics, strengths and limitations of naval gunfire. These latter are important as it was not axiomatic that all assaults should be preceded by naval gunfire.

The scripts of the lectures given by British Combined Operations Officers including a debrief on Dieppe that stated that against defences on the French coast aerial and naval bombardment was a prerequisite. OK this was planning for Op Overlord, but it does illustrate the flexibility of thinking and the international teamwork missing from Lewis. The informed lectures by USN and USMC officers It also details the limiations of naval gunfire

Britain did not have a formal doctrine beyond the Field Service Regulations. However, in 1938 the British 3rd Infantry Division's summer exercise was a combined arms amphibious landing on Slapton Sands using the 9th Infantry Brigade representing an army corps supported by a battleship, two cruisers an aircraft carrier and a flotilla of destroyers. The aim of the exercise was to investigate the technical and tactical aspects of an approach from seaward, and the landing on an enemy coast.; the provision and distribution of fire from ships in company with the landing force; and the use of aircraft. The exercise force was commanded by Brigadier B L Montgomery.

There was a lot missing. There was only one tank landing craft and infantry were landed by cutters as in the time of Nelson, but there was nothing to suggest that naval gunfire should be ignored.

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Re: 1943 MTO Amphibious Fires Plan

Post by Richard Anderson » 27 May 2021 16:18

Sheldrake wrote:
27 May 2021 13:17
Richard Anderson wrote:
27 May 2021 02:29

The actual provision for NGF was included, with a target list in the final plan for AVALANCHE, with the proviso that the element of surprise should be maintained "as practicable" and that the bombardment would not begin before H-15 "unless directed by Attack Force Commanders". i.e., Dawley for the Americans and McCreery for the British. McCreery chose to exercise that option, Dawley did not.

The author, Andrian Lewis, wrote the doctrine was pervasive among "the Anglo-American generals." I'm trying to figure out who the ringleader of that flawed doctrine was. Since the US Army copied the British, I'm guessing a lot of this was coming from the British Army. But who?
Lewis' flawed book on Omaha has set many hares running.
I agree, but then I never said anything different. My sloppy editing left the attribution of the latter statement unclear, but it wasn't me, it was the other poster. :D

Anyway, the finger seems to be pointing to Patton, Bradley, and the staffs of Seventh Army and II Corps WRT HUSKY and Clark, Dawley, and the staffs of Fifth Army WRT AVALANCHE. Fundamentally, the error was in placing too much importance on surprise over combat power in a landing, although much the same attitude was followed by the Allied forces in TORCH as well. The British acquiesced in this decision, but were not solely to blame.
"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: 1943 MTO Amphibious Fires Plan

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 27 May 2021 17:20

Richard Anderson wrote:
27 May 2021 16:18
Fundamentally, the error was in placing too much importance on surprise over combat power in a landing
BAYTOWN certainly avoided that mistake. :thumbsup:

And on his return to London after visiting the HUSKY forces, Mountbatten briefed the UK COS that more 'combat power' would be needed during amphibious landings in NW Europe and that there was a danger of complacency being induced by the relatively "easy" landings during HUSKY. (CAB80/71/5).

And, of course, Hughes-Hallett's post-DIEPPE report (autumn 1942?) recommended drenching the beach defenders with fire and keeping naval assault forces together so that they could learn from both training and operations.

Regards

Tom

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Re: 1943 MTO Amphibious Fires Plan

Post by Richard Anderson » 27 May 2021 17:28

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
27 May 2021 17:20
Richard Anderson wrote:
27 May 2021 16:18
Fundamentally, the error was in placing too much importance on surprise over combat power in a landing
BAYTOWN certainly avoided that mistake. :thumbsup:

And on his return to London after visiting the HUSKY forces, Mountbatten briefed the UK COS that more 'combat power' would be needed during amphibious landings in NW Europe and that there was a danger of complacency being induced by the relatively "easy" landings during HUSKY. (CAB80/71/5).

And, of course, Hughes-Hallett's post-DIEPPE report (autumn 1942?) recommended drenching the beach defenders with fire and keeping naval assault forces together so that they could learn from both training and operations.

Regards

Tom
Yep, and the experience of TORCH, HUSKY, AVALANCHE, and SHINGLE, as well as Pacific experience, led to the November 1944 revision of FM 31-5, albeit like most wartime doctrinal revisions it was ex post facto...those revisions were already incorporated in NEPTUNE.
"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: 1943 MTO Amphibious Fires Plan

Post by Duncan_M » 27 May 2021 21:55

Sheldrake wrote:
26 May 2021 23:14
So NGS was a weapon to be considered by both British and US planners contemplating an assault landing. The idea of British or US Army ignoring naval gunnery is nonsense.
Training forward observers in naval gunnery does not mean they were expecting to use them for pre-assault bombardment, they were still using them for fire support after they landed. Two senior naval officers, one USN and the other RN, giving their opinions on naval gunfire doesn't mean the US Army and British Army brass agree on their conclusions.

Also, its not nonsense, since there is a document listed as a prepared by AFGQ labeled "The Appreciation of Force 141" that states: "naval gun power is not designed for land bombardment make the use of (a) unsuitable"

So it appears somebody wearing wearing a US or British uniform, probably with stars on their collars, wanted to ignore naval gunnery. I'm not asking opinions on the validity of the document, unless you can provide evidence "The Appreciation of Force 141" is a forgery.

I just want to know who wrote that document, which command and/or staff were involved at AFHQ, who endorsed it, who signed it (who, as in specific names). I also would like to know what was it based on, in terms of other existing doctrine.

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Re: 1943 MTO Amphibious Fires Plan

Post by Duncan_M » 27 May 2021 22:09

Tom from Cornwall wrote:
27 May 2021 17:20

BAYTOWN certainly avoided that mistake. :thumbsup:

And on his return to London after visiting the HUSKY forces, Mountbatten briefed the UK COS that more 'combat power' would be needed during amphibious landings in NW Europe and that there was a danger of complacency being induced by the relatively "easy" landings during HUSKY. (CAB80/71/5).

And, of course, Hughes-Hallett's post-DIEPPE report (autumn 1942?) recommended drenching the beach defenders with fire and keeping naval assault forces together so that they could learn from both training and operations.

Regards

Tom
In the British landing sector during Avalanche also appeared to have used naval gunfire before the landing, just not VI Corps' sector, so it appears the US Army hadn't gotten the memo yet, or didn't abide by it.

https://usnhistory.navylive.dodlive.mil ... rno-italy/

Also, the US Army's history of the campaign provides various reasons Clark, Dawley, and especially Walker turned down naval gunfire support for Avalanche

(page 57) https://history.army.mil/html/books/006 ... _6-3-1.pdf

That is why I posted this topic, I'm trying to figure this out. Clark, Dawley, and Walker seem to hold naval gunfire pre-assault bombardment in low regard. Plus there is that document mentioned in my original post which definitely points out that they held it in low regard.

I'm trying to get some names, from both sides, and how pervasive the mindset/doctrine/concept/bias was in early to mid 1943 before they caught on.

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Re: 1943 MTO Amphibious Fires Plan

Post by Sheldrake » 28 May 2021 09:15

Duncan_M wrote:
27 May 2021 21:55
Sheldrake wrote:
26 May 2021 23:14
So NGS was a weapon to be considered by both British and US planners contemplating an assault landing. The idea of British or US Army ignoring naval gunnery is nonsense.
Training forward observers in naval gunnery does not mean they were expecting to use them for pre-assault bombardment, they were still using them for fire support after they landed. Two senior naval officers, one USN and the other RN, giving their opinions on naval gunfire doesn't mean the US Army and British Army brass agree on their conclusions.

Also, its not nonsense, since there is a document listed as a prepared by AFGQ labeled "The Appreciation of Force 141" that states: "naval gun power is not designed for land bombardment make the use of (a) unsuitable"

So it appears somebody wearing wearing a US or British uniform, probably with stars on their collars, wanted to ignore naval gunnery. I'm not asking opinions on the validity of the document, unless you can provide evidence "The Appreciation of Force 141" is a forgery.

I just want to know who wrote that document, which command and/or staff were involved at AFHQ, who endorsed it, who signed it (who, as in specific names). I also would like to know what was it based on, in terms of other existing doctrine.
It sounds as if the US Navy is the organisation with the inflexible doctrine demanding a preliminary naval bombardment regardless of the circumstances.

The Armies were flexible about how they tackled each situation. Planners were just that. Commanders made the decisions and made their own minds up. Doctrine was just words that could be adapted as needed. There is no mysterious "brass" but commanders and staff. Sometimes the planners assumptions include the direction of commanders. Both the US and British Armies had extensive experience of applying firepower in support of land operations. The idea that a preliminary bombardment was essential had been dropped by 1917, when the Cambrai attack demonstrated that it was not always needed. Mark Clark was a veteran of St Mihel 1918 and needed no lectures from the Navy about the value of artillery fire in suppressing defences.

The extracts I posted - if you read them, include an assessment of the strengths and limitations of NGS. As USMC spotter Carl posted on post #4 "Fire support of any sort depends on accurate location of actual enemy soldiers & weapons. Preparatory fires are tricky in this regard as you often don't have those accurate locations. Firing a lot of ammunition at a hill, town, beach or whatever looks cool & the indexperienced will think lots of damage was done." Sometimes that helps to bolster the morale of those about to land in the surf.

What evidence is there that the Allies had detailed information about the targets at Salerno?

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Re: 1943 MTO Amphibious Fires Plan

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 28 May 2021 15:37

Duncan_M wrote:
27 May 2021 22:09

In the British landing sector during Avalanche also appeared to have used naval gunfire before the landing, just not VI Corps' sector, so it appears the US Army hadn't gotten the memo yet, or didn't abide by it.

https://usnhistory.navylive.dodlive.mil ... rno-italy/

Also, the US Army's history of the campaign provides various reasons Clark, Dawley, and especially Walker turned down naval gunfire support for Avalanche

(page 57) https://history.army.mil/html/books/006 ... _6-3-1.pdf
It occurs too me there may be something missing in this. Walker & Dawley expected little opposition & the several books on my shelf suggest the US side of the landing was not organized as a full blown assault, rather it was organized to expedite movement inland. In that context a significant preparatory fire makes less sense.
Sheldrake wrote:
28 May 2021 09:15
What evidence is there that the Allies had detailed information about the targets at Salerno?
The usual narrative in the books is the 5th Army knew of the coastal defense battery, some AAA positions, and possibly a prepared position for infantry & AT weapons. What is also emphasized is the very weak information on the location of the 16th Pz Div. That formation had been on the east coast of Italy, & while it was know it was relocating the exact destination of its battle groups was very unclear. Salerno was recognized as a possibility, but it appears to have been a surprise to find a significant part of the 16th PzD already in place & ready.

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Re: 1943 MTO Amphibious Fires Plan

Post by Richard Anderson » 28 May 2021 16:46

Sheldrake wrote:
28 May 2021 09:15
What evidence is there that the Allies had detailed information about the targets at Salerno?
None. They mapped the nominal positions of the 222d Coastal Division, which they assumed was the primary opposition and compiled a list of 42 possible battery locations, but that is it. Other than the 222d, they assumed that elements of 26. Panzer were in the "Salerno-Reggio" area, but that 16. Panzer was in the "Bari-Brindisi" area, while all the elements that had fought in Sicily, 15. and 29. Panzergrenadier, HG, and 1. FJD were essentially unlocated, but assumed to be somewhere in Italy.

So many unsupported assumptions are being made and so many facts being ignored that I think I will bow out of this discussion. Suffice it to say, both the AVON/W and the AVALANCHE TF 81 Action Reports are readily available if anyone is interested.
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Re: 1943 MTO Amphibious Fires Plan

Post by Aber » 02 Jun 2021 11:15

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
26 May 2021 03:27
The decision to execute a airborne op @ Normandy four hours ahead of the beach assualt kinda blew surprise there.
Planners assumed that the landing fleet would be sighted before the paradrops took place.

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Re: 1943 MTO Amphibious Fires Plan

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 05 Jun 2021 16:13

& it was, but the utility boat & patrol boat that stumbled into the invasion fleet may not have had their radio messages received. The evidence I have is incomplete. The radar was throughly jammed & the reports of a invasion fleet all seem to connect to Op GLIMMER to the north of fPas de Calais. The intense bombing & massive radar jamming had occurred previously several times tho I don't completely understand how closely they were connected to the other Invasion Alarms & drills. Suppose the OVERLORD planners had judged the airborne op be set back 5+ hours. Absent the detection of the invasion fleet would 15th Army been alerted? The 5th June assessment on the German side had been the weather would not be suitable until the 7th or 8th. Would 15th Army have gone battle posts on the basis of the air attack, jamming, & other clues? or would the beach defenses been manned by sentries and watch officers in the CPs at first morning twilight?

I don't see it as a easily answered question.

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