Speculation of D Day Invasion Summer 1944?

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LAstry
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Speculation of D Day Invasion Summer 1944?

Post by LAstry » 31 Mar 2022 16:36

One US Officer lost his rank for incautiously remarking he be in France prior to June 15, 1944
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_J._F._Miller

Was there indeed widespread public speculation among Allied Personel that they would be in France Summer 1944?
If Yes would it have helped German intelligence?
Did any public speculation mention the D Day 6-6-1944?

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Speculation of D Day Invasion Summer 1944?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 06 Apr 2022 09:30

LAstry wrote:
31 Mar 2022 16:36
Was there indeed widespread public speculation among Allied Personel that they would be in France Summer 1944?
Yes. Annecdoatally I ran across frequent remembrances of speculation from folks that were adults in that era. There was also a security campaign that constantly reminded people not to discuss such things. Particularly where they knew something. Many years ago I met a former army intel officer who had worked in either SHAEF or US First Army. One of his subordinates was very careless and ran off about sensitive information when in the London bars, at parties, ect. My acquaintance arranged orders sending the man off to the most dangerous duty that could be identified.

If Yes would it have helped German intelligence?
The Germans had already assumed the invasion would come on any day the weather allowed & they were working hard at preparing. So no, in a general sense. They expected 48 to 24 hours warning from air and naval reconissance, radar, radio signal intel, & their spies in England. Their response plans were designed first around that warning, but they were flexible enough to allow for just a couple hours warning. As it was the full alert was called within the hour of the start of the airborne landings at 01:30, the beach defenses were fully stood up by 05:00 thirty minutes before the invasion fleet was spotted and 90minutes before the landings started. The Germans had been in a high state of expectation from late April. In late may Rommel expressed surprise that the English had not come. He noted in this memo how there had been excellent weather several dates in May. The Alert levels had been raised several times in May, and around the 1st of June a full alert was called. All construction, training, and other activity was cancelled and everyone went to their invasion battle positions. On the 3rd and 4th June, when the Allied invasion fleet was departing its ports, German intelligence appraisals noted the bad weather and rated the possibility as very low through the 5th and 6th. That opinion was reiterated on the 5th due to the heavy rain that was expected to continue into the 6th and possibly the 7th.

Did any public speculation mention the D Day 6-6-1944?
The actual date was 5th June. The change to the 6th was made on the 4th June when it was confirmed the rain, wind, and rough sea in the Bay of the Seine would be too rough on the 5th. The decision to attack on the sixth was made during 5th June. Delaying until the 7th was also considered.

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Re: Speculation of D Day Invasion Summer 1944?

Post by Ray_S » 11 Apr 2022 19:43

Hi,
The article "Hitler’s ‘Intuition’, Luftwaffe Photoreconnaissance, and the Reinforcement of Normandy,” by R. J. Lahey was recently published in the January 2022 issue of the Journal of Military History. This article talks about the successes of the photo reconnaissance and the German actions in response to this information. This was an area of intelligence I was not previously aware of, nor had I seen this topic discussed before and would highly recommend it to provide a German perspective as to their understanding as to the possibility of an invasion.

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Re: Speculation of D Day Invasion Summer 1944?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 07 Jun 2022 17:13

T Holt mentions briefly German Photo reconnaissance in his survey of Allied deception operations. Titled 'The Deceivers' this book examines the deception ops and German reactions. Holt does not dive into deep detail about the photo reconnaissance. He does note that photo recon, the radio intercepts, and spy reports from Britain created a lot of confusion among the German leaders. Most of that confusion started with the spies who had been turned, to feed false information to the Abwehr & then to OKW and Hitler.

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Re: Speculation of D Day Invasion Summer 1944?

Post by EwenS » 07 Jun 2022 20:57

From the beginning of May 1944 the RN set out to target weather reporting U-boats in the Atlantic often aided by Y Service direction finding data or Ultra intelligence. Aircraft from Vindex sank U-765 on 6 May on such a mission. U-765 had just been relieved of such duties when located.

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Sheldrake
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Re: Speculation of D Day Invasion Summer 1944?

Post by Sheldrake » 07 Jun 2022 22:36

LAstry wrote:
31 Mar 2022 16:36
One US Officer lost his rank for incautiously remarking he be in France prior to June 15, 1944
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_J._F._Miller

Was there indeed widespread public speculation among Allied Personel that they would be in France Summer 1944?
If Yes would it have helped German intelligence?
Did any public speculation mention the D Day 6-6-1944?
I suspect most of the world would have guessed that the allies would attempt an invasion in Summer 1944. The allies made a commitment at Tehran to land "by 1st June", which slipped to the first suitable date after 1st June. The Allies knew that the invasion could only take place on dates when the tide was favourable for their plans to tackle the beach obstacles at dawn with a rising tide. After 5-7 June the next dates would be a fortnight later 19-21 June.

The Allies communicated in advance with the French Resistance that D Day was imminent with stanzas from a Verlaine poem on 1st June, with a second message giving 48 hours warning on 3rd June. At least one German intelligence unit picked up and interpreted the messages. This is all told in "The Longest Day".

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Re: Speculation of D Day Invasion Summer 1944?

Post by Delta Tank » 10 Jun 2022 00:52

Sheldrake wrote:
07 Jun 2022 22:36
LAstry wrote:
31 Mar 2022 16:36
One US Officer lost his rank for incautiously remarking he be in France prior to June 15, 1944
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_J._F._Miller

Was there indeed widespread public speculation among Allied Personel that they would be in France Summer 1944?
If Yes would it have helped German intelligence?
Did any public speculation mention the D Day 6-6-1944?
I suspect most of the world would have guessed that the allies would attempt an invasion in Summer 1944. The allies made a commitment at Tehran to land "by 1st June", which slipped to the first suitable date after 1st June. The Allies knew that the invasion could only take place on dates when the tide was favourable for their plans to tackle the beach obstacles at dawn with a rising tide. After 5-7 June the next dates would be a fortnight later 19-21 June.

The Allies communicated in advance with the French Resistance that D Day was imminent with stanzas from a Verlaine poem on 1st June, with a second message giving 48 hours warning on 3rd June. At least one German intelligence unit picked up and interpreted the messages. This is all told in "The Longest Day".
I believe we set the date for the invasion for 1May,(depending on tides and moon phase) but delayed it for one month to gain an extra month of landing craft production.

Mike

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Re: Speculation of D Day Invasion Summer 1944?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 16 Jun 2022 18:02

A early May target would have placed the desired tidal conditions around the 6, 7, 8 th May. & the next window the 20th - 22d May. That is low tide at dawn. Technically they could land at any low tide hour to avoid the obstacles, but that would unhinge other desirable conditions. Most of the landings in the Mediterranean were executed at high tide & long before dawn. ie: Op SHINGLE had the first waves touching shore shortly after 01:00. Op HUSKY had multiple landing sites with different high tide times but IIRC all the first wave touch downs were 2-4 hours of more before dawn. In the Pacifc timing varied widely but usually was connected to high tide. ie: In the case of Betio island the first wave came in early afternoon.

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Sheldrake
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Re: Speculation of D Day Invasion Summer 1944?

Post by Sheldrake » 16 Jun 2022 22:47

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
16 Jun 2022 18:02
A early May target would have placed the desired tidal conditions around the 6, 7, 8 th May. & the next window the 20th - 22d May. That is low tide at dawn. Technically they could land at any low tide hour to avoid the obstacles, but that would unhinge other desirable conditions. Most of the landings in the Mediterranean were executed at high tide & long before dawn. ie: Op SHINGLE had the first waves touching shore shortly after 01:00. Op HUSKY had multiple landing sites with different high tide times but IIRC all the first wave touch downs were 2-4 hours of more before dawn. In the Pacifc timing varied widely but usually was connected to high tide. ie: In the case of Betio island the first wave came in early afternoon.
Yes, but, in their cross channel assault the Allies were not going to follow the pattern of the operations in the Mediterranean. They were going to shoot their way in shortly after dawn with as much fire support as they could muster. Oh and given that the Germans had placed nasty obstacles below the high tide they were going to land on a rising tide.

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Re: Speculation of D Day Invasion Summer 1944?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 17 Jun 2022 00:03

Precisely. Point being in rewriting the plans 21 Army Group staff abandoned significant parts of the earlier practice. Showing a bit of flexibility in dealing with altered circumstances. As soon as Rommel was appointed Army Group commander he shifted the 7th & 15th Army from a inland strategy to a forward defense at the tide lines. Including the obstacle belts in the tidal zone. Within a few weeks the Planning staff of Op Neptune recognized the previous methods were not appropriate and were changing their thinking. One might be able to make arguments the Allies planners and assault corps adapted faster than Rommels directives were implemented.

Had the defense of France & Belgium remained as approved by Rundsteadt in 1943 the landing would have been far different. The Italians prepared a more ambitious defense of the shore line on Sicilly than Rundsteadt had set up at the French beaches. His strategy revolved around defending fortified ports and defeating the invader inland. Kesselring followed a similar course. ie: a couple weak rifle battalions defending a division front at Anzio/Nettuno beaches, with a large multi corps reserve in the interior.

Its a interesting WI to analyze & game out; had Rommel not caught the attention of Hilter & the defense in the west remained as in 1943.

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Re: Speculation of D Day Invasion Summer 1944?

Post by Aber » 17 Jun 2022 07:07

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
16 Jun 2022 18:02
Most of the landings in the Mediterranean were executed at high tide
NB tides in the Med are very small, 10-15cm, so unlikely to make much difference in planning.

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Re: Speculation of D Day Invasion Summer 1944?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 17 Jun 2022 11:59

Depends on the beach gradient & shoals.

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