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D-Day and beyond

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by obxned, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. obxned

    obxned New Member

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    D-Day and the continued expansion of the beachhead until V-E Day was an event of epic proportions. It required huge amounts of men and materials to be delivered first to the beach and then progressively deeper and deeper into the continent.

    Drafting and training of the needed men was possible because we had many experienced combat veterans by that point in the war. However, where did we find the men who managed the material side of the taking of Europe?

    The size of that problem was monumental. We used hundreds of different types of land vehicles, planes, weapons, and ships. Each required an astronomical number of parts, manufactured by different companies, from very scarce materials, and along with the needed spare parts and tools, had to be delivered to the right place at the right time, in spite of the difficulties of war and weather. Not only were the raw materials in short supply, but even the machinery to manufacture the needed parts often had to first be produced. We were also developing entire new weapon systems, improved munitions, even created new materials. And while we were doing all this, we were feeding not just our own troops, but half of Europe.

    As an example of the complexity of the problem: to deliver ammunition to the front lines required a deuce and a half. A deuce and a half has a lot of parts made of rubber. The rubber in a 1944 deuce and a half was still in a tree somewhere in a tropical area in 1941 or 2. Somehow, the producing area had to be protected from enemy takeover, the raw rubber harvested and transported to a ship, that ship arrive at a US port without getting caught by a U-boat, the rubber refined and made into a tire or fan belt or seal, installed on the truck, the truck hauled to a port, put on a ship to England, cross the Atlantic without mishap, then be taken to France at the correct time and used to bring that ammunition to the front line guys. Without computers or modern rapid communications, this was somehow accomplished.

    There were no experienced people to train people for this mission, since nothing on this scale had ever even been conceived before. Where did we find people who could do this?
  2. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    We found them in the military reserves, the National Guard, the colleges and universities, farms, fields, small businesses, large factories, high schools.......everywhere and anywhere there were able-bodied men.

    They learned thru training, previous civilian experience, ingenuity, and trial & error......and they got the job done.....and they did it damn well!
  3. obxned

    obxned New Member

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    They sure did!!! I'm having very little luck finding anything more detailed about this aspect of the war.

    Anybody know of any good sources of information on this???
  4. Exactly right, X. The vast majority of those fine young men who hit Omaha and Utah were not experienced combat soldiers. Some were, of course, like some of he troopers from the 1st Infantry Division that assaulted Omaha, but most were not. The same was largely true of the Brits and Canadians as well.

    Interestingly enough, Ob, that is not quite true. Rubber was in very short supply during the war because the Japanese controlled most of the places where rubber trees were grown. That led to the development of artifical rubber substitutes by U.S. companies (Goodyear I think) which used very little actual rubber but still got the job done. Just one more example of American injenuity in action. :D
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