Operation Overlord D-Day Normandie

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Sheldrake
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Re: Operation Overlord D-Day Normandie

Post by Sheldrake » 30 Mar 2018 20:56

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Re: Operation Overlord D-Day Normandie

Post by Sheldrake » 30 Mar 2018 20:58

Delta Tank wrote:To all,

And another thing! Why didn’t the bombardment ships get closer to their targets! The closer the better, you can see better, your weapons are more accurate.

Admiral Richard L. Conolly, aka “close in Conolly”. “He gained the nickname "Close-In Conolly" from his insistence that fire support ships should be extremely close to the beach during amphibious assaults. Conolly believed that strong fortifications could be neutralized only by direct hits, which could only be achieved from the shortest possible range.[1]” (from wiki)

Mike
Have you looked at charts of the Omaha beach area and the German defences.

The embrasures of the Germans anti tank bunkers on Omaha Beach were not facing out to sea, but sighted across the beach pointing at places where light cruisers would beach before bringing their guns to bear. The seaward-side of the bunkers were around 6-10 feet of reinforced concrete.

I can show you a small 50mm anti tank gun bunker on Nan Beach Juno sector which has dozens of splash marks from naval gunfire. Naval gunfire was not the answer.

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Re: Operation Overlord D-Day Normandie

Post by Delta Tank » 30 Mar 2018 21:16

Yantaylor,

I have been to Normandy many times, the first time was May 1984. I was there about two years ago and unfortunately I will probably never go again. I don’t know about the British Beaches, but the American Beach have been “commercialized” and it just doesn’t have the same feel as it did before. In my opinion they have ruined Point du Hoc, you can’t walk into the shell craters and conduct a decent staff ride.

Have fun! Bayeux is a great little town and that is where I always try to stay when I go to Normandy.

Mike

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Re: Operation Overlord D-Day Normandie

Post by Sheldrake » 30 Mar 2018 21:40

Delta Tank wrote:Yantaylor,

I hI don’t know about the British Beaches, but the American Beach have been “commercialized” and it just doesn’t have the same feel as it did before. In my opinion they have ruined Point du Hoc, you can’t walk into the shell craters and conduct a decent staff ride.


Mike
Really?

What stops you undertaking a staff ride at Pointe du Hoc?
I accept that reenactments and fire and movement exercises are in poor taste and potentially damage the historic landscape, (but they probably were when we used to get junior soldiers to storm the beaches), but you can still stop and talk.
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Re: Operation Overlord D-Day Normandie

Post by Delta Tank » 30 Mar 2018 21:44

Sheldrake wrote:
Delta Tank wrote:To all,

And another thing! Why didn’t the bombardment ships get closer to their targets! The closer the better, you can see better, your weapons are more accurate.

Admiral Richard L. Conolly, aka “close in Conolly”. “He gained the nickname "Close-In Conolly" from his insistence that fire support ships should be extremely close to the beach during amphibious assaults. Conolly believed that strong fortifications could be neutralized only by direct hits, which could only be achieved from the shortest possible range.[1]” (from wiki)

Mike
Have you looked at charts of the Omaha beach area and the German defences.

The embrasures of the Germans anti tank bunkers on Omaha Beach were not facing out to sea, but sighted across the beach pointing at places where light cruisers would beach before bringing their guns to bear. The seaward-side of the bunkers were around 6-10 feet of reinforced concrete.

I can show you a small 50mm anti tank gun bunker on Nan Beach Juno sector which has dozens of splash marks from naval gunfire. Naval gunfire was not the answer.

Sheldrake,

I have spent over a month on the landing beaches, one time 15 days straight courtesy of “Uncle Sam”. I have been to every beach, a few of the drop zones, and some spots in between, like where General Pratt was killed in his glider.

Not every Germán was in a bunker, a good number of the machinegun positions did not have overhead cover. I have walked that beach from Point de la Pierce to F-1 draw several times, I recommend the Omaha Cafe at D-3 ? Draw, For lunch.

Mike

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Re: Operation Overlord D-Day Normandie

Post by Delta Tank » 30 Mar 2018 21:49

Point du Hoc, you used to be able to walk anywhere, climb into any shell crater, the last time I was there you could not go into the big observation bunker, I guess they are afraid it is going to fall into the sea. I wanted to get into the shell crater that LTC Rudder used as his command post, but no, everyone is confined to a fenced in walk way. And the vegetation is getting to big, especially done by WN-62.

Not like it used to be!!

Mike

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Re: Operation Overlord D-Day Normandie

Post by Sheldrake » 31 Mar 2018 11:10

Delta Tank wrote:Point du Hoc, you used to be able to walk anywhere, climb into any shell crater, the last time I was there you could not go into the big observation bunker, I guess they are afraid it is going to fall into the sea. I wanted to get into the shell crater that LTC Rudder used as his command post, but no, everyone is confined to a fenced in walk way. And the vegetation is getting to big, especially done by WN-62.

Not like it used to be!!

Mike
The Command and Observation bunker was closed for several years up to 2014, but was reopened since then and I visited it last October. There are no security guards. Nor were there any restrictions, except on the cliff edge itself, including the crater. This has been protected by a barbed wire barrier for at least fifteen years, but you could climb over it if you were dumb enough.

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Re: Operation Overlord D-Day Normandie

Post by Sheldrake » 31 Mar 2018 11:19

Delta Tank wrote:
Sheldrake wrote:
Delta Tank wrote:To all,

And another thing! Why didn’t the bombardment ships get closer to their targets! The closer the better, you can see better, your weapons are more accurate.

Admiral Richard L. Conolly, aka “close in Conolly”. “He gained the nickname "Close-In Conolly" from his insistence that fire support ships should be extremely close to the beach during amphibious assaults. Conolly believed that strong fortifications could be neutralized only by direct hits, which could only be achieved from the shortest possible range.[1]” (from wiki)

Mike
Have you looked at charts of the Omaha beach area and the German defences.

The embrasures of the Germans anti tank bunkers on Omaha Beach were not facing out to sea, but sighted across the beach pointing at places where light cruisers would beach before bringing their guns to bear. The seaward-side of the bunkers were around 6-10 feet of reinforced concrete.

I can show you a small 50mm anti tank gun bunker on Nan Beach Juno sector which has dozens of splash marks from naval gunfire. Naval gunfire was not the answer.

Sheldrake,

I have spent over a month on the landing beaches, one time 15 days straight courtesy of “Uncle Sam”. I have been to every beach, a few of the drop zones, and some spots in between, like where General Pratt was killed in his glider.

Not every Germán was in a bunker, a good number of the machinegun positions did not have overhead cover. I have walked that beach from Point de la Pierce to F-1 draw several times, I recommend the Omaha Cafe at D-3 ? Draw, For lunch.

Mike
The core of the defence-the completed heavy weapons that would kill tanks or blow up landing craft were in hardened positions sited in defilade. Sure there were machine gun positions and firing positions without overhead cover - but usually something like a Tobruk or access to some personnel shelter that protected the occupants. Hunting those was swatting flies with shotgun blasts

You may be aware that the US Army draws a distinction between "Suppression", "neutralisation" and "destruction." The D Day bombardment was aimed at something between suppression and neutralisation. For thoroughly documented reasons, the allies lacked weapons that could deliver "destruction"in a sensible time. The bombardment by air and sea knocked out some 10% of weapons and probably deterred a further 10% from being manned. An extra hour of naval bombardment was not going to make a radical difference- except giving the Germans an extra hour to think about what to do next.

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Re: Operation Overlord D-Day Normandie

Post by Delta Tank » 31 Mar 2018 11:43

Sheldrake,

The option is not giving the Germans an extra hour of bombardment, but doubling or tripling the bombardment force, and bombarding them for the same time that happened historically. Getting closer would of helped also, the closer the better. Now, I am not saying that the bombardment ships should beach themselves, or unduly endanger their ships more than necessary to accomplish their mission.

Mike

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Re: Operation Overlord D-Day Normandie

Post by yantaylor » 31 Mar 2018 14:46

At what point during the landings, did the British use their Churchill tanks armed with a petard, I used to know what landed with each wave and didn't engineers land first to create gaps in the beach obstacles, then the infantry along with DD Tanks and then the other tracks?

The way the German's positioned their gun bunkers is perfect for firing along the beach rather than out to sea, each one seems to cover the back of the next in line, but some had two guns, with a 75mm firing along the beach and a lighter one facing the opposite way, probably a 47mm or something.

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Re: Operation Overlord D-Day Normandie

Post by yantaylor » 31 Mar 2018 14:49

Delta Tank wrote:Yantaylor,
Have fun! Bayeux is a great little town and that is where I always try to stay when I go to Normandy.
Mike
Thank you Mike, it will be my first time. We are staying in Caen, but I hope to get to Bayeux, as I recall my dad went drove to this town in a jeep a few days after the landings.

Yan.

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Re: Operation Overlord D-Day Normandie

Post by Delta Tank » 31 Mar 2018 16:14

Yantaylor,

You must see the Tapestry in Bayeux and the Cathedral is also very nice. Bayeux is just a neat little town and lots of restaurants with outside seating, just a fun town.

Mike

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Re: Operation Overlord D-Day Normandie

Post by Richard Anderson » 31 Mar 2018 17:49

Delta Tank wrote:The option is not giving the Germans an extra hour of bombardment, but doubling or tripling the bombardment force, and bombarding them for the same time that happened historically. Getting closer would of helped also, the closer the better. Now, I am not saying that the bombardment ships should beach themselves, or unduly endanger their ships more than necessary to accomplish their mission.

Mike
Mike, Sheldrake is quite correct.

1. The German use of natural and artificial defilade meant the majority of their DF and IDF weapons that caused so much of the damage were simply out of sight and were not exposed to DF from the sea. Worse, those individual positions not in a heavily concreted bunker like MGs and mortars were typically in tobruks, which would have required a near direct hit of sufficient caliber as to destroy the tobruk itself in order to silence it, but they were well dispersed so the chance of any individual round - no matter how many - hitting one so precisely is vanishingly small.

2. "Getting closer" was not as easy as it sounds. The Cotentin Peninsula complicated things quite as much as the guns of Pointe du Hoc did for the planners, given that the two landing force anchorages, boat lanes, and bombardment force areas were at right angles to one another. It was crowded to say the least and critical that ships especially remain in their lanes. Add to that the beaches along the coast are extremely shallow, running as much as 700 yards or more from high to low tide line with a 19-foot variation between them. The Brooklyn class drew 23 feet, Augusta drew under 17 feet, Tuscaloosa under 20 feet, the British light cruisers about 20 feet and less, so they could not get all that much closer. Even the famous run in of the destroyers late in the morning is somewhat over-hyped, they opened fire at 5,000 yards c. 0548, then checked fire except for clearly visible targets until 0900 when they were ordered by COMDESRON 18 to "close the beach". That brought them in as close as 1,300 yards to the beach at 1024, which meant they were some 1,800 to 2,000 yards from their targets. If they had done so at opening they would still have been 2,500 to 2,700 yards away, which in the conditions at 0548 would likely have made zero difference, visibility simply wasn't that good.

3. Mines. All vessels were confined to the swept channels, which further restricted their ability to maneuver.

4. At OMAHA, the bombardment support group fired some 3,000 rounds in the 35-minute bombardment phase. That was from two BB, one CA, three CL, and nine DD, along with three British DE that returned to ASW duties at the end of the bombardment phase. Adding a couple of CL is not going to change much since the ROF was more or less governed by visibility, mist and smoke hampered it throughout the day, limiting air spotting as well.
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Re: Operation Overlord D-Day Normandie

Post by Richard Anderson » 31 Mar 2018 17:57

yantaylor wrote:At what point during the landings, did the British use their Churchill tanks armed with a petard, I used to know what landed with each wave and didn't engineers land first to create gaps in the beach obstacles, then the infantry along with DD Tanks and then the other tracks?
SWORD was typical:

"The landing plan itself was a complicated ballet set to a precise timeline. H-hour was set at 0735 at QUEEN Beach while almost two hours earlier, at H-135 minutes, the first troops (the LCT loaded with the DD tanks of 13th/18th Hussars) were to begin to head towards the beach. Forty-five minutes later, at H-90, the LCT with the A.V.R.E., four LCT (A) and four LCT (HE) with supporting tanks of the 5th (RM) Support Battery, along with the LCA of the leading infantry companies were to set off, and just three minutes later, at H-87, the DD tanks were to launch from their LCT to begin their “swim” into the beach.

If all went according to plan, the DD tanks were to come ashore at H-7 ½ minutes, closely following a rocket bombardment from five supporting LCT (R). At H-hour the A.V.R.E., Royal Marine tanks, and the first infantry companies were to land, secure an initial foothold and begin clearing the beach obstacles for the follow-on waves. They then had twenty minutes before the reserve infantry companies, the L.C.O.C.U., and the first elements of the Beach Groups (combined army, navy, and air force units that were to provide traffic control and other support services in the beachhead) arrived.

From that point, things were to become pretty hectic, with masses of craft arriving to disgorge Commandos, infantry, tanks, artillery, and supporting troops and vehicles every ten to thirty-five minutes until H+270, at which point there was to be a sixty-minute pause when the second tide began to come in, which was to be the signal to begin the beaching and unloading of the even larger LST (Landing Ship Tank).

For the assault itself the 2nd East Yorks were to land on the left on QUEEN RED. They were tasked with clearing COD (WN 20) with the 1st Suffolks landing after them as a reserve to support them if necessary. The 1st South Lancs were to land to the right and drive straight forward. The Commandos were to land between 0755 and 0910 hours, with No. 4 Commando passing through the beachhead to take the coastal guns believed to be at Riva Bella. The rest of 1st Special Service Brigade was to pass through the beachhead and secure the defenses to the east of the Caen Canal, from Franceville-Plage to Cabourg, by crossing at the bridges at Benouville, which by that time would hopefully be in the hands of Major Howard and his glider-borne coup de main force from 6th Airborne Division. No. 41 (RM) Commando of 4th Special Service Brigade meanwhile was to pass through, but turn right (westwards) and clear the area between the 3rd British Division on SWORD and 3rd Canadian Division on JUNO."
"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: Operation Overlord D-Day Normandie

Post by yantaylor » 31 Mar 2018 19:20

You explain it all so well Richard, so much so I have a yearning to dig out my old D Day books out for a read through.

I know that Omaha beach gets all the lime light, but the battles to capture those Widerstandsnester and Stützpunkten on and beyond Sword beach like Hillman, morris, daimler cod and trout, really do interest me.

Yan.

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