USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 25 Apr 2020 03:04

In another thread there's been discussion about whether the U.S. did, in fact, sacrifice army strength to air and sea power during WW2. As that topic is disputed and central in this thread as well, here's evidence given in that thread of the U.S.'s relative neglect of the army during the war:
[Leahy believed that...] The Allies needed to cut off the Germans and the Japanese from their different sources of production, weaken their economic fundamentals, and, if necessary, invade only once the result was beyond question. Leahy had no stomach for massive land battles, which, he believed, would inevitably lead to high and unnecessary casualties. Therefore, he saw no need for the United States to prioritize production for a large army. In his mind, mass armies belonged to the past, and America needed to win an air-sea war based on machinery over human sacrifice.

In this, he was joined by Franklin Roosevelt, probably one reason why the president determined early on that Leahy would be his point man in the military in determining the answers to these questions. It is worth noting that Roosevelt first started taking a hard line against a large army not long after Leahy became his chief of staff.4 Both agreed that the army’s future size needed to be reduced to keep production high.5 Both also believed the war would be won through the control of supply and movement. Yet surprisingly for a man so enamored of sea power, Roosevelt pushed for the production of aircraft over everything else, including ships. Having been captivated by the impact of airpower as the war had developed, he decided that the United States needed to seize air superiority to defeat Germany and Japan, and called for the production of a whopping 131,000 aircraft in 1943, 100,000 of which would be combat planes. It was a remarkable figure, imaginable only if all other construction projects were cut drastically, and it caused an intense political and strategic struggle among the top war planners.

George Marshall, with the army’s needs at the forefront of his mind, had completely different priorities from the president’s. Focused on an army-centric, Germany-first strategy that called for a cross-Channel invasion as early as possible, he wanted a formidable land army with millions of soldiers supported with phalanxes of tanks. If Marshall were to get his way, air and sea production would have to bear the brunt of the cuts everyone knew were coming. At the same time, he would need to keep Hap Arnold and the US Army Air Force on his side; if he called for cuts to aircraft production that were too steep, the mercurial Arnold might rebel. Not to mention that the president himself prized air production over all else. Taking a middle line, the army argued for a balance between aircraft and ground equipment.6 The navy, it seemed, would be left to deal with an ever-dwindling slice of the budget.

The Joint Chiefs first debated the production crisis on October 20. George Marshall and the army’s supply chief, Lt. Gen. Brehon Somervell, attacked Roosevelt’s aircraft-focused plan and called for a united military front to force the president into line.7
From O'Brien's Second most Powerful Man in the World: Admiral William Leahy, which discusses FDR's chief of staff and his outsized and under-remarked influence on American grand strategy.

For more background on O'Brien's credentials generally, see posts around here: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=227341&p=2264248#p2264245

As most people recognize, the U.S. Army ended up being far smaller in WW2 than initially planned - 91 divisions instead of over 200. As fewer people are willing to admit, this reduction was pursuant to a conscious strategic choice by FDR and his inner circle to avoid the large casualties of land war and focus on blood-cheaper, treasure-intensive air-sea war. Marshall and the army opposed this policy but they lost that debate resoundingly.
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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by T. A. Gardner » 25 Apr 2020 17:08

Well, the US and Britain recognized that the war at sea, both against Japan and Germany's merchant raiding U-boats, had to be won first in order to defeat either on land.

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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 26 Apr 2020 03:11

T. A. Gardner wrote:
25 Apr 2020 17:08
Well, the US and Britain recognized that the war at sea, both against Japan and Germany's merchant raiding U-boats, had to be won first in order to defeat either on land.
Of course. But there's a distinction between (1) building enough air-sea weaponry to satisfy the necessary conditions for a landing in Europe and (2) making air-sea weaponry (especially heavy bombers) the focal point of your war effort, with the army getting what's left over.

Actually it's more dramatic than that: The U.S. could have satisfied the necessary conditions for landing in Europe much earlier had it focused on landing craft and fighters more and strategic bombers less. So it's not just a matter of focus on the air-sea production, it's also whether air-sea weapons were focused on supporting an invasion or were being built for strategic ends other than a landing in Europe.
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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 26 Apr 2020 04:07

Apropos of upthread discussions about disastrous shipping losses in U.S./Carib waters in first half '42, I came across this book:

https://www.amazon.com/Operation-Drumbe ... 1591143020

[COVID has been good for my reading time at least]

Having a deeper focus on this particular campaign, the work provides a lot more detail.
Previously I've suggested that King should have moved some fleet destroyers to solve the crisis. While that would have been worth it, there was an even cheaper option in smaller escorts like trawlers and cutters. When these were inducted into convoy duty off the East Coast from April '42, sinkings there dropped immediately. By August there were zero sinkings in the area.

King opposed these measures:
Lacking destroyers on the seaboard [King] thereupon announced his doctrine: “Inadequately escorted convoys are worse than none.”16 A British historian has recently commented: “The senior American commanders, acknowledging the lack of small craft, instead of striving with might and main to remedy the evil in 1941, used it as an argument against convoy just as alarmists in the Admiralty had done twenty-five years earlier. So the fatal doctrine was propounded that ‘a convoy without adequate protection is worse than none.’”17 This was the exact opposite to all that British experience had taught in the second world conflict and, indeed, as late as 19 March the First Sea Lord (Pound) advised King that, on the contrary, convoys with weak escorts were a superior tactic to no convoys at all, and that the introduction of convoys was a matter of “urgency.”18 King’s resistance to the tactic may have been the result of persistent Anglophobia.
As General Eisenhower wrote in his personal diary on March 12, amidst the crisis:
“One thing that might help win this war is to get someone to shoot King.”
Operation Drumbeat's author concludes:
In either event, whether by commission or omission, King was the final responsible agent who allowed Drumbeat, and Hardegen in particular, to enter the nation’s gates unmolested.
It's odd that Americans consider it culpable that we got caught flat-footed at Pearl, yet nobody holds King et. al. to account for a far worse disaster of unpreparedness (including 5,000 lives lost) that continued for over half a year after Pearl. I suppose it contravenes a national mythos about the sleeping giant roused.
Richard Anderson wrote:A few others that might improve some people's understanding of reality...

Charles M. Sternhell and Alan M. Thorndike, ASW in World War II, Report No. 51 of the Operations Evaluation Group, 1946 https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/rep/ASW-51/
C.H. Waddington, O.R. in World War 2: Operational Research Against the U-boat, 1973.
Keith R. Tidman, Operations Evaluation Group, A History of Naval Operations Analysis, 1984.
Jan S. Breemer, Defeating the U-Boat, Inventing Antisubmarine Warfare, Naval War College Newport Papers No. 36, August 2010.
Maurice W. Kirby, Operational Research in War and Peace, The British Experience from the 1930s to 1970, 2003.
Part of the problem here is an over-reliance on official histories.

If you accept uncritically what the U.S. Navy says about its wartime performance, you probably won't understand the incompetently-run home waters ASW campaign of '42, nor hear of the myriad contemporary voices that were telling the USN of its errors. The latter lacunae will allow you to make unjustifiable excuses for the USN's mistakes - excuses that official histories parrot (lack of escorts, surprise, etc.).
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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by Richard Anderson » 26 Apr 2020 17:37

I suppose it should be unsurprising at this point that a poster so subject to confirmation bias would give yet again such a perfect example of confirmation bias, but the two-faced argumentum ab auctoritate is just silly... :roll:

So what do we have" "Ooooo! Lookie, lookie! I found Michael Gannon who is a history professor and all so of course he knows what he says is truer than those stupid people that actual lived and worked through these events because they wrote for the government so are all toadies and liars trying to make themselves look good. Oh, and please forget that my last exercise in Google confirmation bias was to pull random quotes from the U.S. Army in World War II, because this is good official history because...well, I think it agrees with what I think".

Nothing at all can be wrong from such a logical construct, can it? :lol:

Meanwhile, yes, Michael Gannon, I read his oeuvre back in the '90s when it was current. Black May is his odd counterpoint to Drumbeat...all of a sudden all the USN Keystone Cops get their "stuff" (can't use rude language, sorry) together and defeat the U-Boat threat in May 1943. Awesome.

Or Pearl Harbor Betrayed. Kimmel was "scapegoated". Washington and especially FDR and the Navy Department failed to do a good job communicating what they knew to Kimmel. Except he also argues that everyone, including Kimmel, already knew war with Japan was inevitable, so how is additional warning from Washington about something they already knew was going to happen supposed to have helped?

Yet again, we have a poster happily Googling away for some "authoritative source" that backs up his claims. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Gee though, I wonder if there might be a rebuttal to Gannon's thesis? Well if you want , there is Gary Weir, from the Naval Historical Center, who reviewed it in JAH, way back in 1991. "Unfortunately, Gannon's analysis stops with his sensational revelations...he merely busies himself apportioning blame rather than exploring the Navy's poor performance..." Is my professor better than your professor? Or is what he says true? Do we have atrack record of sensationalist blurbs for Gannon's work?

Or we could look at a near contemporary, but much more detailed and thorough an examination that explores Gannon's claims, such as Clay Blair's Hitler's U-Boat War (1996). See especially pages 434 and 465-466 (of Volume 1 in the Modern Library Paperback Edition, 2000) for Blair's analysis of Gannon's questionable destroyer counting or 480 where he skewers Gannon's assumptions about how the USN should have used their knowledge of Doenitz's actions via ULTRA to shift ASW assets from the "quiet" North Atlantic to the Eastern Seaboard. To which I might add that ULTRA, like most intelligence, gave bits and pieces of evidence of Doenit'z actions, not of his intent. Is my historian better than your historian? Or does what he says track withe the evidence found in all that documentation that got poo-pooed as "official history"?

Or, heaven forbid, you might just read Blair's more even-handed and factual analysis of DRUMBEAT in the 230-odd pages of his Book Two and compare it to Gannon's sensationalist account.

Or, confirmation bias, wash, rinse, repeat...on and on for eight pages in this thread...52 pages in another thread...30 in yet another.
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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 27 Apr 2020 01:42

Richard Anderson wrote:you might just read Blair's more even-handed and factual analysis of DRUMBEAT
Hmmm I'd want to check the reviews of Blair's book. I mean there's a review by some guy named Gary Weir but should I trust his opinion of Blair?
Richard Anderson wrote:Well if you want , there is Gary Weir, from the Naval Historical Center,
Okay if you trust Weir's critical opinion then I guess I do too. Here's what he had to say of Blair's work, Jounal of Military History, V.61(3):
From the case of the 2513 [Blair's dismissal of Type XXI] to his final assessments, Clay Blair's
new book feels like an anachronism: suffering from perspectives, myths, and
fictional popular notions long discarded by U-boat historians.
....
The author's determination to reduce
the Nazi supermen of undersea warfare to a manageable size suffers from his
failure to realize that historians discarded this myth years ago.
...
The notes and bibliography make the book even more awkward. In support of Blair's assertions interested readers will find no notes, only a massive
bibliography and moreover one which appears not in this first volume of
Blair's study but on the Random House Web Page
...
Without a knowledge of German and an appreciation of the best international scholarship, the author's most fundamental assumptions seem primitive and his theses anachronistic
...
History is not the near-exhaustive gathering of facts into a narrative.
Blair's work exhibits no historical methodology, a frequent absence of necessary depth, a tenuous grasp of the latest in German, British, and American
naval historiography, and dated analysis
OUCH!!!!
Richard Anderson wrote:Is my historian better than your historian?
Apparently not. Given your reviewer's position, maybe you're rethinking who's your historian now.

I don't disagree that Goodwin's book is sensationalist but its core factual statements - those I quoted - are correct. In any event it's better to be sensationalist than to be "primitive" and "anachronistic," to lack historical methodology, to lack depth, and to propound "fictional popular notions."
------------------------------------------

Maybe you could address some of the actual substantive points instead of making insults and comparing historians' reputations (especially given how the latter's gone in these last few posts).

How do you justify King's decision to prefer *no* escorts to sub-optimal escorts?

How do you justify King's acceptance of strategically-damaging losses for 7 months until establishing convoys everywhere needed?
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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 27 Apr 2020 02:10

By the way, I tracked down Gary Weir's review of Operation Drumbeat in the Journal of American History, Vol. 78(2):
In a book both satisfying and disappointing,
Professor Michael Gannon offers his analysis of
Operation Drumbeat, Adm. Karl Donitz's assault on maritime commercial traffic along the
east coast of the United States during the early
months of 1942. This is an important topic, for
the pitiful performance of the United States
Navy in this operation has not received the attention it deserves.
[Admirals King and Andrews]they did very little to
stop Operation Drumbeat from turning into
the Atlantic Pearl Harbor.
The many good qualities of this book make
these major shortcomings frustrating. The author satisfied himself with a critique of the United States Navy that avoids addressing obvious
and compelling issues. Gannon could have had
both history and sensational revelation. Unforrunately he concentrated too often on the latter and deprived his readership of a potentially
important piece of historical analysis.
So Weir gives Gannon a mixed review but agrees that the USN's performance was "pitiful" and that King shares at least some of the blame.

I'd also highlight Weir's opinion that Drumbeat and the USN's "pitiful" performance has "not received the attention it deserves." As I said upthread, if one relies uncritically on official USN histories, as is the wont of some here, then one is unlikely to hear tell of USN failure in fighting Drumbeat. Likewise, if one relies on historians like Blair - a journalist by training and former USN seamen on a submarine - one will get "fictional popular notions."


Thank you for the references, Richard Anderson. Though it would be helpful if people didn't assume general knowledge of abbreviations like "JAH." I wouldn't cite journals from my field to non-specialists; we should all be helping advance the cause of knowledge by using citation formats that help as many readers as is reasonably possible.
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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 29 Apr 2020 20:31

Hi,

Having received O'Brien's How the War was Won (yes, I weakened … :D ) I am getting on for a third of the way through and finding it, probably in equal measure, interesting and infuriating.

Interesting because he exploits some useful resources that I have not seen used before and would have little chance of accessing (especially at the moment), and infuriating because of his rather polemic style of writing. The way I understand it, the running of any war, and especially a global war, is a massively complex beast, with major (and minor) options difficult to pin down let alone decide between, and all requiring prolonged negotiation between politicians and military personnel, between services, between allies. All to be done in a complex, interlinked global war with events in one theatre rapidly overtaking resource allocation decisions made for another theatre.

O'Brien, however, seems to regard making the right grand strategic decisions as simple - want to shift all Allied air resources to NW Europe in late 1942, easy - done! Move landing craft from the Atlantic to Mediterranean to Pacific and back, no problem - just a couple of lines of text does that. I may be doing him a disservice, and, like TMP, I would recommend you read the book yourselves, but with this caution - a couple of times the urge to throw it has been almost impossible to resist.

I'll just give one example of an infuriating piece of analysis:

On pages 224 - 225, O'Brien covers the argument over whether there were enough landing craft to deliver an invasion of NW Europe in 1943. He records that in June 1944, Neptune used 4,126 'landing craft', "approximately 1,100 of which were the crucial LSTs and LCTs which were needed to land AFV". Well OK, that all sounds straightforward enough. For good measure, he adds that for Husky the allies only used '1,734 landing craft' (no breakdown into type at this point though). Not to worry, though, as this number was, in O'Brien's view, influenced by the decisions made by the 'United States' to shift landing craft allocation from Europe to the Far East during 1943 due to the decisions taken at the Casablanca conference. He then describes a decision taken in April 1943 to make allocation for 1943 to the ETO only 70% of what was to be sent to the Pacific. No numbers, no breaking down into types. He also records the fact that as a result there were sufficient landing craft to land two divisions ashore 'at one time' in the Gilberts in November 1943. Again no numbers, no breakdown by type, no discussion of whether an assault-landing infantry division in NW Europe would use more or different landing craft than a marine or infantry division landing on a Pacific island - no discussion of necessary follow-up or build-up, no discussion of need for SP artillery support, 4x4 vehicles, amphibious transport vehicles, etc, etc.

None the less, O'Brien finishes this rather inadequate piece of analysis with the rather grand statement that:

"Considering that German defenses were considerably weaker in France in 1943 than in 1944, the forces on hand would have been able to place five divisions ashore on the first day."

No debate about the likely German strategic decisions given the (inferred but not discussed) Allied decision to abandon any Mediterranean operations and at most hold their ground in North Africa though obviously!

Regards

Tom

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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 29 Apr 2020 20:48

Tom from Cornwall wrote: He also records the fact that as a result there were sufficient landing craft to land two divisions ashore 'at one time' in the Gilberts in November 1943. Again no numbers, no breakdown by type, no discussion of whether an assault-landing infantry division in NW Europe would use more or different landing craft than a marine or infantry division landing on a Pacific island
Yeah I noted that too but it's easily addressed: Ship-shore landing (i.e. Pacific landings) are more craft-intensive than shore-shore landings (i.e. cross-Channel). If anything, O'Brien's analysis underestimates the force equivalency of the respective theaters.
infuriating because of his rather polemic style of writing
Yes! As said repeatedly, I disagree with him deeply.

But he's obviously a smart and compelling writer. I read the book as if reading a smart commenter on AHF, one who provokes with good arguments even if I disagree. It's so much more stimulating than hearing than the same-old cliches.
O'Brien, however, seems to regard making the right grand strategic decisions as simple - want to shift all Allied air resources to NW Europe in late 1942, easy - done! Move landing craft from the Atlantic to Mediterranean to Pacific and back, no problem - just a couple of lines of text does that.
O'Brien doesn't suggest easy shifting of landing craft at any point that I remember, he just says that if the craft had been sent here instead of there, different operations were possible. I see no problem in that thinking, do you?

One has to view these statements in the context of his overall view of the grand strategy. He views most of the American Pacific effort besides the Marianas drive as extraneous to winning the war (e.g. MacArthur's drive, the Gilberts/Marshalls campaigns). Nor is this hindsight: Nimitz and King argued against MacArthur's drivers as well, eventually Marshall came around to this view. His analysis of beating Japan comes last, these earlier statements should make more sense to you once you get there.
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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 29 Apr 2020 21:40

Hi,
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
29 Apr 2020 20:48

Yeah I noted that too but it's easily addressed: Ship-shore landing (i.e. Pacific landings) are more craft-intensive than shore-shore landings (i.e. cross-Channel).
Easily?

No numbers though, no breakdown by type? So what basis in fact is there for either O’Brien’s or your opinion. I would suggest an assault on the coast of Europe would require more craft than a landing on a Pacific island. How many tanks and SP guns were landed in Normandy on D-Day and how many in any Pacific operation by June 1944? How many landing craft did the subsequent follow-up forces require in Normandy? How many of the Pacific operations by this time included the inclusion of armoured divisions in their force structure, or medium or heavy artillery? You may well both be right or you may both be wrong, the analysis provided by O’Brien doesn’t let either of you, or the rest of us, to make an informed judgement.

My comment on moving landing craft between theatres was based on O’Brien’s argument that it was the decision made at Casablanca that led to changes in US landing craft allocation in April 1943, so clearly there were already some US landing craft in the Pacific and some allocated to go there before this decision was taken. His analysis doesn’t tell us that though. He doesn’t break down landing craft building in 1943 by type or month either - did US production grow enormously through 1943?

Training centres, maintenance requirements, USN infrastructure in the UK including accommodation for all these extra sailors and dock space for all the extra landing craft? All the extra food and coffee they would have needed? All also easily addressed?

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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 29 Apr 2020 22:26

Tom from Cornwall wrote:what basis in fact is there for either O’Brien’s or your opinion. I would suggest an assault on the coast of Europe would require more craft than a landing on a Pacific island.
Your "suggestion" isn't fact either.
How many of the Pacific operations by this time included the inclusion of armoured divisions
Why don't you do a little research to provide even a presumption or hint that a European landing is more difficult than, or required more armored support than, Pacific landings? Pacific landings certainly included tanks - any perusal of war photography shows that (or pics of the scenic rusting hulks of tanks on Pacific atolls).

Image
My comment on moving landing craft between theatres was based on O’Brien’s argument that it was the decision made at Casablanca that led to changes in US landing craft allocation in April 1943, so clearly there were already some US landing craft in the Pacific and some allocated to go there before this decision was taken. His analysis doesn’t tell us that though. He doesn’t break down landing craft building in 1943 by type or month either - did US production grow enormously through 1943?
This is another reason to read the book first. The latter chapters discuss several occasions on which King released landing craft from the Pacific to enable European operations. It also discusses the cancellation of the Adamans landings (Indian Ocean), and the re-purposing of the landing craft allotment to Europe.

You and I can't tell what portion of the landing craft re-purposed via Casablanca were redirections of planned deployment/production, or were actual movements of landing craft deployed in one theater to another. At the strategic level, what difference does it make? The re-directions occured, as O'Brien and many other war histories discuss. Even if there were actual movements from Pacific to Atlantic, the transit time is a few months - well short of the planning horizon on which the decisions to invade Europe in 1943/44 were made.

You're trying to make things more complex than they need be. This is a common proclivity here. Yes there were immense complexities at levels below the strategic - just diagramming the operation of a ship's turbine machinery, for example. The only WW2 grand strategist who tried to demonstrate knowledge of such minutiae was Hitler - look where that got him.
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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 30 Apr 2020 07:47

TMP,
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
29 Apr 2020 22:26
Why don't you do a little research ...
Because its your 'What-If' and I was just demonstrating how shallow the analysis was behind O'Brien's statement about the feasibility of conducting an assault landing on the coast of NW Europe in 1943. You are the one using his book as a reference for your 'What if', I'm just pointing out to you where it is inadequate to support your opinion.

After all, in your introduction you stated that:
The book is analytically rigorous, well-researched, well-written...
Whereas, at several points it seems to me that it is nothing of the sort and descends to the worst sort of AHF 'What-if' "handwavium". :roll:

I'm frankly disappointed that you answered my valid question:
How many of the Pacific operations by this time included the inclusion of armoured divisions in their force structure, or medium or heavy artillery?
With a picture of a tank (no matter how lovely the scene is) and a Strawman argument suggesting that I was stating that Pacific landings employed no tanks at all. In the spirit of the level of research you put into your response however I will include my own tank picture:
22nd Armd Bde landing - 7 June 44.PNG
At least your answer gave me a good chuckle, so thank you, we all certainly need that at this time. I particularly laughed when I read:
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
29 Apr 2020 22:26
You're trying to make things more complex than they need be.
Yes, its so awkward when life is more complex than you references would have us believe.

As for:
TheMarcksPlan wrote:
29 Apr 2020 22:26
The only WW2 grand strategist who tried to demonstrate knowledge of such minutiae was Hitler - look where that got him.
That simply shows you have done no research into the UK PREM papers.

And finally, and mainly because I am not expecting you to engage in a meaningful way over the limitations of O'Brien's analysis, a statement by a man who delved into the details:
How is it that the plans of two great empires like Britain and the United States should be so much hamstrung and limited by a hundred or two of these particular vessels will never be understood by history. I am deeply concerned at the strong disinclination of the American Government even to keep the manufacture of LSTs at its full height so as to have a sufficient number to give to us to help you in the war against Japan.
He wasn't wrong about the lack of understanding by historians!

Regards

Tom
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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by Andy H » 30 Apr 2020 15:02

Hi

There's a live talk and chat on at 6pm GMT about Landing craft that may be interesting and helpful in relation to whats above.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZz24qJ ... e=youtu.be

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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 01 May 2020 02:47

Andy H wrote:
30 Apr 2020 15:02
Hi

There's a live talk and chat on at 6pm GMT about Landing craft that may be interesting and helpful in relation to whats above.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZz24qJ ... e=youtu.be

Regards

Andy H
Thanks for the link! I'll probably download the talk as an mp3 and listen while I'm doing whatever. Looks like a good channel.
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Re: USA executes an Army (and Europe) First strategy

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 01 May 2020 07:58

TheMarcksPlan wrote:
29 Apr 2020 22:26
Even if there were actual movements from Pacific to Atlantic, the transit time is a few months ...
I've read O'Brien's book and can't find any mention of landing craft movements from the Pacific to the Atlantic, perhaps you could point me to a reference for that happening in the OTL.

Incidentally, transit time is only one factor to be discussed in this context, there is also the capacity of British dockyards to refit landing craft which have served in the Pacific and then been transferred over the 1,000s of miles of ocean back to UK waters.

On 27 November, 1942, for example, Mountbatten briefed the UK Chiefs of Staff:
that although some help was being received from the United States, very great difficulties were being encountered in obtaining the personnel and equipment for the maintenance and repair of landing craft.
BTW I've enjoyed O'Brien's book, so thanks to TMP for suggesting it - certainly plenty of nuggets of useful information and suggestions for further research. I don't agree entirely with his thesis, as usual in these kind of books I think he has overstated his case and probably over-simplified much of it - not surprising in such a wide topic I suppose.

Regards

Tom

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