D- Day invasion

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by djohns6, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. djohns6

    djohns6 New Member

    Oct 6, 2002
    After watching numerous TV shows about the invasion , it's obvious that the defenses were inadequate . The Germans had several years to build coastal defenses and the Allies went through them in about a day .

    What could Rommel have done different or better ? Yeah , we all know that SOMEBODY could have woke Hitler up and had the Panzer reserves brought up but that's more of a strategy blunder . I'm talking about fixed defenses . Could ANYTHING have changed the outcome ?
  2. nightfighter

    nightfighter New Member

    Feb 28, 2007
    I do not think that waking Hitler was the problem...he was convinced by British counter intelligence that Port De Callies (cannot spell worth a darn) was the true invasion target and that Normandy was just a diversion.

  3. Ultimately, in my opinion, no, dj. Fixed defenses went out with the Maginot Line in 1939. Von Rundstedt wanted to suck the Allies inland, then hit them with his tank divisions. It was Rommel who believed the Allies must be, and could be, stopped at the beaches. Yet despite the extensive mines and fortifications, none of the landing beaches except perhaps Omaha, really proved to be much of a barrier.
  4. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Omaha would have gone better if the swimming tanks that supported the other landings so well had not been released so far out, sinking in the swell of the sea.

    The Germans simply did not have enough men to man the entire coast. They used many poorly trained and less committed non German troops for much of the line.

    The bulk of the best German troops and Tanks were near Calais because thats where Hitler and most of the German Generals expected the invasion. This view was enforced by complex deception plans. These included a complete phantom army in Kent, with rubber and wood aircraft and tanks with lots of busy radio traffic discussing supplies and equipment. Even fake invasion ships in Dover.

    The icing on the cake was Gen. Patton who spent time in Kent inspecting the phantom army and 'being seen' by all.The Germans knew an invasion would include a Gen. like Patton.

    Even after the Normandy landings began many German Generals thought it was a diversion from a Calais landing.

    Did you know there were more British and Canadian troops than Americans in the D Day landings. I have no wish to lessen the huge and critical contribution of the US troops, without who they could not have been made, just remind some it was a joint operation.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 7, 2008
  5. Ursus

    Ursus Active Member

    Jul 23, 2006
    El Salvador, Central America.
    Well said.
  6. Quite true, Tranter. The majority of the Sherman tanks designed to swim ashore were swamped in the surf coming in, which left the PBI (poor bloody infantry) up against a sea wall without tanks to punch through it, and damn little cover from enemy fire except the sea wall itself. The original planning for D-day did not anticipate landing in weather quite as stormy as that they encountered on June 6. It must be remembered that the landing took place within a brief high-pressure ridge that moved in over the Channel after the storm of June 5.

    The Allies learned the hard way during the costly raid by Canadian troops on Dieppe, August 19, 1942, that attacking a port city directly was essentially an invitation to suicide. Yet it was also deemed essential to capture a port in order to land sufficient supplies to establish a permanent presence on the Continent. That led, of course, to the quite brilliant innovation of the prefabricated Mulberry harbors, an idea proposed by Professor J. D. Bernal, and Vice-Admiral John Hughes-Hallett, RN. Clever those Limeys, eh wot? ;)

    The Germans never caught on to the idea that the Allies might NOT try to land at Calais. Hitler, and apparently most of his General Staff, assumed that the Allies would come across the Channel at its narrowest point, from Dover to Calais. The Allies laid on a massive deception plan, including the use of double agents, fake radio traffic, planted documents, rubber tanks and trucks, and various other deceptions to reinforce the German perception and encourage them to think what they wanted to think. It ultimately proved their downfall. Once the Allies established a stable beachhead and began pouring in massive amounts of troops and supplies, the end of the war was in sight.

    Indeed there were, Tranter. The Brits and Canadians assaulted three beaches--Gold, Juno, and Sword--while the Americans attacked two, Omaha and Utah. Of course, the Americans were armed with Garands instead of obsolete smellies, and they didn't stop in mid-battle to brew up a spot of tea, so it evened out in the end. :D;):p

    In all seriousness though, the D-day operation was unquestionably the most outstanding example of cooperation among allied nations ever to occur in the annals of warfare. I think it may be said with truth that neither the British nor the Americans could have been successful without the assistance of the other, at least not without the use of mass weapons. Had the D-day invasion failed, I do believe that would have ultimately happened, with unimaginable consequences for European civilization.