RPG Forums

Go Back   RPG Forums > Role Playing Game Section > Twilight 2000 Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-31-2014, 09:48 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: East Tennessee, USA
Posts: 2,762
Default One of Eisenhower's Poorer Decisions

Came across this little gem in "Patton the Commander"...enjoy

By 1945, Patton's Third Army was proud of themselves and their ever-victorious battle prowess and made no bones about it. Therefore the HQ staff were most surpised when General Eisenhower, during a visit in March 1945, told them that they were too modest, that they didn't boast enough about their achievements, saying "Don't be modest about yourselves. You've done great things and we need that kind of publicity right now..."

The staff was surprised and the visiting liaison officers dumbfounded. Finally, one groaned, "Keerist! He must be nuts! Telling you guys not to be modest. Doesn't he know what the h*ll is going on in his theater? You are already the most blowharding bastards over here. From now on, you'll be completely unbearable!" "You and the godd***ed Krauts said it!"...gleefully whooped a brash young captain. "Cocky bas***ds, that's us!"
__________________
The reason that the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices chaos on a daily basis.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-31-2014, 05:22 PM
Adm.Lee Adm.Lee is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 1,291
Default

Ike seems to have had a dry sense of humor, and I think Patton understood that.

Here I was, wondering if I was going to get to participate in an argument about the autumn 1944 strategy (or the spring 1943).... 8-)
__________________
My Twilight claim to fame: I ran "Allegheny Uprising" at Allegheny College, spring of 1988.

Last edited by Adm.Lee; 07-31-2014 at 08:18 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-31-2014, 06:03 PM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: East Tennessee, USA
Posts: 2,762
Default

LOL if you want to argue the shortfalls of ETO strategy....Market Garden was one of the worst decisions made...30 corps should have been directed to clearing the Antwerp approaches. Imagine the impact.if the Allies could have commence ed.operations against the West Wall earlier and in heavier force.
__________________
The reason that the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices chaos on a daily basis.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-31-2014, 08:38 PM
Adm.Lee Adm.Lee is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 1,291
Default Warning: thread hijacking for historical debate!

Yes, I agree, the priority for 21st Army Group in September should have been to clear the Scheldt and open Antwerp, no argument. I've wargamed it enough times to confirm it to my mind.

Dunno if I've posted this before, but check out a book: "The Battle for Western Europe, Fall 1944: An Operational Assessment" by John A. Adams Jr.

His argument is that Ike's so-called "broad front" strategy was to draw the German panzer force (i.e. Fifth Panzer Armee) into battle on the flat, open area around Aachen, damage or destroy it, and then attack the Rhine when there would be no German reserves behind it. Bradley and Hodges flubbed it by attacking towards Aachen, north of Aachen, south of Aachen (Hurtgen), and everywhere else. Montgomery, Bradley, and others failed to understand all of this.

I think Adams brings up an important point, that with or without Antwerp as a working port, the existence of a panzer army inn reserve (in Real Life, *2* panzer armies hoarded until, and eventually wiped out in, the Bulge attack) makes crossing the Rhine an ugly idea.
__________________
My Twilight claim to fame: I ran "Allegheny Uprising" at Allegheny College, spring of 1988.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-31-2014, 11:41 PM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: East Tennessee, USA
Posts: 2,762
Default

deleting this post as evidence of why I should never use a Blackberry while traveling by air...

This thread originally started as a comment on humorous episode in 1945, thanks to Admiral Lee, I’ve set back and started thinking about the level of Eisenhower’s leadership and strategic insight in the ETO. I think that I can say, without fear of contradiction, that his initial role as Commander In Chief Mediterranean did not go well. His lack of prior leadership positions (in the interwar years, he was a staff officer) certainly impacted his role in the North Africa campaign. Far too many opportunities were lost. Not only was this a reflection of Eisenhower spending too much of his time on the political aspects of his CinC position, it also reflected the horrible level of training and experience that was prevalent through out the units under his command, especially when thrown into combat against veteran German formations. The result was a foregone conclusion. It was only later, as he got rid of ineffective leaders and combat experience began to impact tactics, that his soldiers were able to begin to face the Germans on near equal footing.

The performance of the Allies in Sicily showed the growing maturity of the American Army and while not perfect and still riddle with many mistakes, the Sicily campaign showed Eisenhower’s growing capabilities as a leader.

Operation Overlord was Eisenhower’s finest showing yet. The initial pre-Ike COSSAC plans called for a three division landing in Normandy and built upon the horrible lessons of Dieppe. With the appointment of Eisenhower to SHAEFE and the assignment of Montgomery to command the assault, the plans were boosted to encompass a larger five division landing. Perhaps Eisenhower’s greatest failing of the Overlord operation include the weak pre-landing bombardment, the use of strategic bombers in a tactical role (ignoring the simple fact that the heavy bomber crews were not trained for this role) and his instance on the use of strategic bombers to cut the French rail network to shreds, instead of allowing them to complete their assaults on the German oil production/storage facilities. Coupling this with his tendency not to second-guess his operational commanders, especially Bradley and Montgomery, resulted in a slower and much more costly breakout from the beachheads. While the bocage played a significant part in the delay, it was the focus on the training for the assault landings and the lack of focus on the impact of the hedgerow fighting that played such havoc on the Americans.

The only advantage to the weeks of hedgerow fighting was to wear down the defending Germans, here the impact of the devastation of the French rail network paid off for short term gains by forcing German reinforcements and supply convoys into long road marches, at the mercy of Allied air superiority. As the front line forces loss more and more personnel and equipment and received less and less supplies, the advantages of the Allied ability to resupply and reorganize their battered formations gave them a critical advantage. By the time of Operation Cobra, Allied superiority finally allowed the breakout from Normandy and set into motion the Battle of Falaise.

In the operations to encircle and destroy the Germans in the Falaise Corridor the failings of Eisenhower’s style of leadership can be most seen. His failure to push the British-Canadian forces in the north and the American forces in the south to complete the encirclement, allowed significant numbers of Germans to escape to fight again another day. True they suffered horrendous losses in equipment, but the Germans would be able to make up significant numbers of that lost equipment by the end of 1944.

In the pursuit phase of the operation, the ability of the Allies to get just enough supplies forward to allow their columns to move that extra twenty miles played holy havoc on the German attempts to reorganize. It was only when the logistic tail started to grind to a halt as the Allies approached the Belgian and German borders that the Germans gained enough time to start reorganization. Here Eisenhower’s orders to destroy the French rail network came back to haunt him as the Allies were forced to rebuild the network almost from the ground up…this forced the Allies to adopt such expedients as the Red Lion/Red Ball Express to field supplies by truck towards the front lines. While a fantastic miracle of improvisation, by the end of 1944, the wear and tear on the Allied truck fleet and the increasing distance from the D-Day ports/beaches slowed the Allied advance to a near crawl.

One of the greatest mistakes of the European fighting took place around the port of Antwerp. While Montgomery was able to seize the port before it could be demolished, he neglected to clear the long approaches to the port of their protective coastal artillery batteries, which also prevented Allied minesweeping efforts to remove the naval mines blocking the approaches to the port. Instead, Montgomery focused on being the first to cross the Rhine River, at Arnhem. While Eisenhower did request the 21 Army Group to clear the approaches, Montgomery was allowed to override this order so that he could launch Operation Market-Garden, the largest airborne operation of the war so far. His plan called for a corps thrust up what was essentially a two-lane hardtop road, with much of the road built upon dike. Utterly dependent on the seizures of critical bridges, Market-Garden was doomed to failure before it was even launched. The only gain from this operation was a salient leading nowhere and thousands of needless losses.

Eisenhower’s failure to manage his subordinate commanders also reached into the U.S. Army as Bradley started a series of assaults into the Hurtgen Forest. Here several divisions were thrown into head-long attacks into prepared defenses that resulted in these divisions being bled white in return for little or no gain.

Having walked the terrain of the Hurtgen Forest, including the infamous Kall Trail, all I can say about this was that Bradley should have been relieved of his command. It is quite evident that little or no reconnaissance of the terrain was undertaken, and the requirement to use, what can be kindly described as a steep, over-grown, dirt goat track as the main line of advance and later as a divisional supply route (that was also completely overlooked by a German-controlled ridge) was proof that the commanders involved were negligent in their duties.

The Battle of the Bulge is rightly claimed as the greatest battle that the U.S. Army fought in World War Two. Here the U.S. Army showed its worst and greatest traits. Eisenhower’s role in managing battle was to allow Bradley to manage the initial fighting and then, as the Germans advanced to the River Meuse, to select Montgomery to command the northern shoulder. This decision was highly unpopular with U.S. commanders. Looking back, it was the correct decision. Bradley’s placement of his Army Group headquarters so far forward, led to the endangerment of his communications with his troops on the northern shoulder. What else could have been done?

As the war entered 1945, Eisenhower’s Broad Front strategy, so cursed by Patton and Montgomery the year before, finally began to pay off as the Germans, suffering brutal losses were forced to defend everywhere, with fewer troops and equipment. The crossings of the Rhine River and the encirclement and defeat of Army Group B crushed the last hopes of a German defense in the West . While pockets of Heer, SS, Luftwaffe and Volkstrum units fought on, there was little doubt that the war would soon be over.

Overall, Eisenhower’s genius was not such as his handling of the military strategy, certainly he let many opportunities to inflict greater losses on the Germans slip through his fingers. His genius, instead lay in managing the Allied forces and controlling his collection of prima donnas and keeping them focused on the key objective, the defeat of Nazi Germany. Could a MacArthur have managed to do so well?
__________________
The reason that the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices chaos on a daily basis.

Last edited by dragoon500ly; 08-05-2014 at 03:16 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-07-2014, 01:24 PM
Adm.Lee Adm.Lee is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 1,291
Default

Some commentary, mostly in agreement:

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragoon500ly View Post

that his initial role as Commander In Chief Mediterranean did not go well. ... It was only later, as he got rid of ineffective leaders and combat experience began to impact tactics, that his soldiers were able to begin to face the Germans on near equal footing.
Gen. Marshall said as much when he admitted he had been too enthusiastic about invading France before 1944.

Quote:
Perhaps Eisenhower’s greatest failing of the Overlord operation include the weak pre-landing bombardment,
I'm not sure how much the pre-landing bombardment could have been boosted without blowing the important tactical surprise.

Quote:
the use of strategic bombers in a tactical role (ignoring the simple fact that the heavy bomber crews were not trained for this role)
My recent reading has been that the Ninth US Air Force's medium bombers did reasonably well at shaking Utah Beach, but the Eighth's heavies were the ones that badly missed at Omaha. Perhaps if they had been combined, things could have gone better?

Quote:
and his instance on the use of strategic bombers to cut the French rail network to shreds, instead of allowing them to complete their assaults on the German oil production/storage facilities.
Gonna disagree with you on this one, I think it was the proper call. SHAEF needed the railnet wrecked to allow the Allies to win the buildup of forces to secure the lodgement in the first few weeks. The oil facilities had been targetted for a while, and it still took months for there to be a strategic effect. As it was, I understand it was the degradation of the whole German transportation network (rail and river) and electrical grid later in the war that had a true strategic effect.

Quote:
In the operations to encircle and destroy the Germans in the Falaise Corridor the failings of Eisenhower’s style of leadership can be most seen. His failure to push the British-Canadian forces in the north and the American forces in the south to complete the encirclement, allowed significant numbers of Germans to escape to fight again another day.
I'm not sure what Eisenhower could have done to speed the Canadian-Polish forces from the north, they were facing heavier opposition. OTOH, I agree that it seems a mistake to not intervene to allow the Americans to go past their stop-line and close the pocket in the short envelopment, or to allow the long envelopment (along the Seine River) that Patton and Bradley urged. I'm trying to recall if this was the same time that SHAEF HQ was located in that out of the way spot that blotted out radio comms?

Quote:
Here Eisenhower’s orders to destroy the French rail network came back to haunt him as the Allies were forced to rebuild the network almost from the ground up…
I'm gonna disagree again. You seem to imply that the French railnet would have been in working condition after the Germans were done with it? That the Germans wouldn't have applied the same scorched earth idea that they applied in the East? I don't see it-- the Germans would have taken every train with them and blown the bridges, track, signals, and repair shops, even if we hadn't done it already.

Quote:
One of the greatest mistakes of the European fighting took place around the port of Antwerp. ... His plan called for a corps thrust up what was essentially a two-lane hardtop road, with much of the road built upon dike. Utterly dependent on the seizures of critical bridges, Market-Garden was doomed to failure before it was even launched.
Little argument from me.

Quote:
Eisenhower’s failure to manage his subordinate commanders also reached into the U.S. Army as Bradley started a series of assaults into the Hurtgen Forest. Here several divisions were thrown into head-long attacks into prepared defenses that resulted in these divisions being bled white in return for little or no gain.
Also little argument from me, perhaps Montgomery was right, in that a theater ground commander was needed.

Quote:
Having walked the terrain of the Hurtgen Forest, including the infamous Kall Trail, all I can say about this was that Bradley should have been relieved of his command.
I am in some agreement with this assessment.

Quote:
Eisenhower’s role in managing battle (of the Bulge) was to allow Bradley to manage the initial fighting and then, as the Germans advanced to the River Meuse, to select Montgomery to command the northern shoulder. This decision was highly unpopular with U.S. commanders. Looking back, it was the correct decision. Bradley’s placement of his Army Group headquarters so far forward, led to the endangerment of his communications with his troops on the northern shoulder. What else could have been done?
IMO, Bradley (and eventually his HQ) should have moved north to command both Ninth and First US Armies, and the Third should have been attached to the 6th Army Group. Thus, no one's feathers get ruffled about allied commanders, and Bradley gets to command more than one army, like an AG commander should do. He could then put his emphasis on stopping the Germans aiming for the Meuse, and he would have encouraged an earlier attack from the northern flank to create another pocket.

I've read that the southern French ports could have supplied Third Army in addition to the 6th Army Group, so that shift is even a gain to Bradley's supply net.

Again IMO, that should have been done as early as October; it would have fine-tuned Eisenhower's so-called broad front, as it meant that Bradley could have focused on fighting *north* of the Hurtgen and Ardennes, and Devers south of it, aiming for the Saar and the Rhine. Both pushes would have clear axes of advance, drawing German reserves to them, perhaps preventing the Bulge attack, perhaps not.

Quote:
As the war entered 1945, Eisenhower’s Broad Front strategy, so cursed by Patton and Montgomery the year before, finally began to pay off as the Germans, suffering brutal losses were forced to defend everywhere, with fewer troops and equipment.
Yep.

Quote:
His genius, instead lay in managing the Allied forces and controlling his collection of prima donnas and keeping them focused on the key objective, the defeat of Nazi Germany. Could a MacArthur have managed to do so well?
Double yep. Keeping your subordinates working together is really, really important.
__________________
My Twilight claim to fame: I ran "Allegheny Uprising" at Allegheny College, spring of 1988.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-09-2014, 09:51 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: East Tennessee, USA
Posts: 2,762
Default Ike's Rise To Power

When the war started in Europe in September, 1939, Lieutnant Colonel Eisenhower was in the Philippines serving as a staff officer to Douglas MacArthur. At the time he had considerable staff and administrative experience but little experience in troop units and no World War One experience.

During the pre-war years Ike had been considered for various Corps and Divisional staff positions, but in each case, had been turned down by the War Department (Chief of Infantry) due to the grounds that he needed duty with troops.

In 1940, Ike was back in the states and had been assigned to the 3rd Division at Fort Lewis where he assumed command of the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry, shortley thereafter he was moved up to the position of regimental executive officer.

In November 1940, he was moved up to the divisional staff and in March 1941 he was promoted to colonel. June thru December 1941 saw Colonel Eisenhower assigned as the chief of staff of the Third Army in San Antonio, Texas. Here he took part in the prewar Louisiana maneuvers, the largest peacetime training exercise conducted by the army prior America's entry into the war. During these maneuvers, Ike earned a reputation as an outstanding planner and organizer and was credited with the sucess of the Third Army. In September 1941, he was promoted to Brigadier General.

In February 1942, Ike was appointed Chief of the War Plans Division, War Department where he was part of the decision to write off the Philippines. In March 1942, he was promoted to Major General. In April of that year, Ike was designited as the Assistant Chief of Staff of the Operations Divsion, Office of the Chief of Staff.

In June 1942, he was assigned as Commanding General, European Theater of Operations. He was promoted to Lieutenant General in July 1942.

In August 1942, he received the approval of Prime Minister Churchill ans was appointed as Allied Commander of Operation Torch (the invasion of North Africa). He was later appointed as Commander in Chief, Allied Forces in North Africa ans as such, was responsible for operations in North Africa, Sicily and Italy. In February 1943, he was promoted to General.

December 1943 saw Ike reassigned as the commander of Allied Forces for the invasion of Europe. As Commander, Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces Europe he would direct all Anglo-American air, sea and land forces in the Normandy invasion and the planning and direction of the northwestern European strategy, as well as serving as ground forces commander until the end of the war in May 1945.

Ike's rise from lieutenant colonel to General was nothing less than phenomenal. He was able to achieve senior rank without commanding any major tactical or operational units and without serving in combat.
__________________
The reason that the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices chaos on a daily basis.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-09-2014, 10:27 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: East Tennessee, USA
Posts: 2,762
Default Amphibious Doctrine: British Version

Source is Omaha Beach, A Flawed Victory by Adrian R. Lewis

In modern warfare, amphibious doctrine requires the cooperation of air, sea and land forces to accomplish what each operating alone can not. These forces have to work together to develop a joint doctrine in order to filfull their mission and acheive the nation's political objectives.

The British Empire was conquered and maintained through the use of naval power. Based on Britain's geographical circumstances and wide-ranging empire, one may assume that the British were masters of the art of joint amphibious operations. This would be wrong.

Britain's relationship with the continental powers of Europe, its policy of acting as a balancing force among them, prevented the development of any large-scale joint amphibious operation. And because the European powers enjoyed a significant superiority in military technology and doctrine over Third World nations, the conquest and maintenance of empires was possible without developing advanced amphibious doctrine and technology.

The British practice of warfare from the 16th century to World War One was to employ what Basil H. Liddell-Hart called the "indirect grand strategy". This was a limited war, exhaustion strategy. This de-emphasized direct confrontation, concentation, mas and battle and emphasized surprise, mobility, maneuver, peripheral attacks on enemy weaknesses, dispersion, conservation of resources and negotiated settlements.

The British used their naval power to destroy, when possible, the enemy's fleet; attack enemy trade; blockade the enemy's coast and to conduct raids on the enemy's ports, coastal towns and colonies; to seize, when possible, the enemy's colonies; to subsidize allies on the Continent; to wait for attacks on the enemy's economy and peripheral areas to erode its capacity to resist; exploit opportunities through the use of surprise made possible by the superior mobility of the fleet; deploy limited expeditionary forces on the Continent to fight alongside the larger forces of allies; and, finally, to maneuver the enemy into an untenable positon in which the only option was for the enemy to conclude a peace agreement on terms set by Britain and her allies.

British amphibious doctrine was based on the strategy of limited war and was employed mostly against enemy colonial possessions and occasionally against the continent of Europe. This doctrine was incapable of producing decisive results. British landing forces were usually incapable of sustaining themselves and were too small to decisively engage, thus, they were confined to coastal regions, where the Brish Navy could support them and evacuate them when necessary. From the operations of Sir Francis Drake in 1587 the operations of Lord Louis Mountbatten in 1942, the British had amassed a long tradition of amphibious raiding operation against targets of opportunity for limited gains.

Gallipoli put a stop to the British enthusiasm for amphibious operations. The campaign was fought, in the inter-war years, at staff colleges around the world. The general belief was that a daylight amphibious assault against a defended shore was suicide and folly in the face of modern military technology.

With the fall of France and the British evacuation of Europe, they were forced to develop a new amphibious doctrine. The British Inter-Services Training and Development Center (ISTDC) developed a functional doctrine that was used in the North African, Siciy and Salerno landings. The new doctrine called for an approach under the cover of darkness in fast ships carrying landing craft; the landing craft being sent ashore while the ships lay out of sight of land; small-crat smoke and gunfire protection while the beachhead was secured; the landing of a reserve; the capture of a covering position far enought inland to secure the beach and anchorage from enemy fire; the bringing in of ships carrying the main body; and finally the discharge of vehicles and supplies by other craft specially designed to do so directly on to the beaches.

British amphibious doctrine relied on speed, tactical surprise, control of the sea and air in the immediate vincity of the operation, limited commitment against targets of opportunity, short duration of operations, unopposed assaults on terrain that allowed rapid advance inland and interservice cooperation rather than unity of command.

The Dieppe raid revealed the weakness of this doctrine. Unopposed landings were no longer possible with the advent of radar, radio communications,high-speed transporation systems, professional intelligence analysts and airplanes and boats that could monitor large sections of the coast and enemy movements. Tactical surpise became more difficult to achieve and less necessary beacuse the combat power of the landing force was multiplied by technology in the form of battleships, aircraft carriers, close air supprot, landing craft and the sheer magnitude of the forces that an industrialized society could produce. The limited commitment of elite troops for short duration approach could not produce decisive results. It could not produce victory.
__________________
The reason that the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices chaos on a daily basis.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-14-2014, 07:31 PM
Adm.Lee Adm.Lee is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 1,291
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragoon500ly View Post
British amphibious doctrine relied on speed, tactical surprise, control of the sea and air in the immediate vincity of the operation, limited commitment against targets of opportunity, short duration of operations, unopposed assaults on terrain that allowed rapid advance inland and interservice cooperation rather than unity of command.

The Dieppe raid revealed the weakness of this doctrine.
This is the difference between an "amphibious landing" and an "amphibious assault". Most British (and American) landings before 1943 were "landings"-- as were most of the Japanese landings in 1941-42, and even a few of the American ones in the Southwest Pacific. If you land were the enemy isn't defending, you can get away with a lot of mistakes, and maneuver is possible. See: Anzio's first few days, the 1944 Guam landings, Sicily, and so on.

If the enemy is on the same beach as your troops, then the stakes go up a lot higher-- your only tactical option is the frontal assault. Good luck with that, it doesn't work a lot of the time. See: Gallipoli, Wake Island, "The Battle of the Points", Milne Bay; all of the Normandy Beaches, Tarawa and most of the Central Pacific atolls and islands.

I'd say that Bradley both did and did not see that Omaha and Utah were amphibious assaults, ignoring that the Pacific operations (like Tarawa and Eniwetok) had anything to inform him or his staff.

I just finished reading "The dead and those who are going to die", about the 1st US Infantry Division's assault on Omaha Beach, and it laid into American planners for overloading the assault troops (couldn't most of that gear go in the later waves) and overloading the early waves with vehicles that only provided targets for the Germans. The book did provide a very detailed look at the handful of company and platoon leaders who did get their men moving early on, and get them inland ASAP and into the rear of the German positions.
__________________
My Twilight claim to fame: I ran "Allegheny Uprising" at Allegheny College, spring of 1988.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-14-2014, 10:31 PM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: East Tennessee, USA
Posts: 2,762
Default Amphibious Doctrine; The U.S. Version

The development of American amphibious doctrine was an outgrowth of the great energy and momentum built up during the expansion of the United States near the end of the nineteenth century. With the Spanish-American War, the Americans moved from their continent and into the reaches of the Pacific with its expansion to Hawaii, Guam, Samoa and the Philippine Islands. This expansion required a navy to protect the new possessions and with the threat of the Japanese Empire for motivation, Washington allocated the funds needed to increase the size of the navy. The navy required forward bases in order to sustain its fleets. The need for the acquisition and security of these new bases required forces capable of offensive and defensive action. In an extensive memorandum, Major Pete Ellis U.S.M.C. outlined the operational problem in 1921: “In order to impose our will upon the Japanese, it will be necessary for us to project our fleet and land forces across the Pacific and wage war in Japanese waters. To effect this requires that we have sufficient bases to support the fleet, both during its projections and afterwards. As the matter stands at present, we cannot count upon the use of any bases west of Hawaii except those which we may seize from the enemy after the opening of hostilities.” Ellis accurately predicted the need to seize, secure and occupy islands held by the Japanese. The terrain required forces capable of deploying from ships, advancing inland and securing the gains. The Marine Corps assumed this mission and set to work developing the operational and tactical doctrine required. It would by unwise to assume that the Navy and Marines had a workable doctrine by the start of World War Two, funds were short in the inter-war years and the development moved forward in fits and starts. But by the start of WWII, the United States and an untested offensive amphibious doctrine.

The Army officially adopted the Marine-Navy amphibious doctrine, but for the most part, did not make use of it. In the North African and Mediterranean, British doctrine was used. The thinking, makeup, conditions and practices of the army were sufficiently different from those of the navy/marines team to prevent adoption of the navy-centered doctrine, and the influence of the British in 1942/1943 on the conduct of operations all of which were combined arms, was decisive. It was the feeling in the army that the navy/marine doctrine was better suited for the small scale operations against atolls and islands in the Pacific than to the “mighty endeavors” the army faced.

In 1941, the War Department published U.S. Army FM 31-5, “Landing Operations on Hostile Shores“, which stated: “This manual is based to a large extent on Landing Operations Doctrine, U.S. Navy 1938.” The navy’s document, in turn was based on the Marine Corps FTP 167 “The Tentative Manual for Landing Operations“. These two documents, FM 31-5 and FTP 167 were refined steadily throughout the war, but remained the basic guides for both planning and training of all U.S. amphibious operations during World War Two.

The chief of staff of the 1st Infantry Division, Colonel Stanhope Mason, one of the most experienced army officers in the ETO in amphibious operations stated; “The Navy’s manual (FTP167) went no further than maximum loading of life boats. This was a pure transportation problem that took absolutely no heed of the necessity for ground units to maintain their unit integrity once landed on the beach where they would have to fight.” The 1st Infantry Division conducted more amphibious operations in the ETO than any other division. Mason recognized that the doctrine formulated by the navy was incomplete and inadequate for the 1st Infantry’s needs. What he did not recognize was the influence exerted by the British at the operational level.

The doctrinal thinking of the Marine Corps differed from that of the British: Night landings, except possibly for small reconnaissance parties going ashore prior to the main attack, were discouraged as too dangerous. Transports carrying the assault troops should approach the transport area under the cover of darkness, but the landing should ordinarily be made during the early morning so as to permit the fullest use of all weapons and to afford the landing force ample daylight in which to secure the beachhead. Naval vessels should take position on the flaks of the landing troops and sweep the beaches during the ship-to-shore movement. Aircraft should be employed in full measure not only for reconnaissance but also for strafing after the troops were landed.

Marine Corps operations were heavily dependent on naval gunfire support; surprise played no part. This thinking, however, never developed in the European Theater of Operations. The British simply lacked the resources to conduct warfare with firepower and their tradition of amphibious raids dominated their thinking. The marines preferred early-morning landings in order to maximize the hours of daylight needed to establish the beachhead, with assistance from air and sea forces. British operations involved more phases, and each phase had to be executed sequentially. British operations were more intricate and because of the environment, conditions and circumstances varied considerably in each landing, combined Mediterranean and European operations required far more detailed planning than did Pacific operations. British doctrine also required more detailed intelligence on the enemy’s situation and terrain than did Pacific doctrine. In the Pacific, it was the Navy’s responsibility to cut off the islands from all outside assistance. This was not possible on the continent. Thus, the need to identify all forces that could influence the situation in a given area and the quality and capacity of all major transportation arteries became a prime requirement for amphibious landings.

The American practice of war at the strategic and operational levels was not to attack the enemy’s weakness, but to attack its strengths, to seek out the enemy’s main army and destroy it. This is the so-called “direct approach.” U.S. amphibious doctrine this stressed daylight assaults, which would allow the maximum possible use of strategic/operational resources.

As FM 31-5 states, “Naval gunfire and combat aviation must be concentrated in support of the landing. Even a relatively small number of enemy machine guns and light artillery pieces firing under favorable conditions have a devastating effect on units as the approach and land on the beach. Assault units will probably be unable to get ashore and advance against this fire unless adequately supported by ship fire and combat aviation.”

The landings at Gallipoli, North Africa, Sicily, Salereno all proved the deadly accuracy of this. With each invasion, the need for preinvasion bombardment and bombing increased.
__________________
The reason that the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices chaos on a daily basis.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-16-2014, 07:32 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: East Tennessee, USA
Posts: 2,762
Default Joint/Combined Amphib Doctrine

Source is Omaha Beach A Flawed Victory

Both British and American doctrines worked…to a degree. As World War Two progressed, if became apparent that the American doctrine offered the best chance of achieving objectives and reducing casualties in an assault against a deliberate assault. British doctrine was not to fight such a deliberate defense, it won its battles primarily with manpower. American doctrine won battles mainly with firepower. British lack of resources prevented the development of their own firepower based doctrine and British traditions exerted considerable influence. American resources and thinking forced the British to rethink their doctrine and the Americans, in light of the need to invade Europe were force to rethink their doctrine as well. The modifications to the two approaches approached their zenith on the beaches of Normandy.

Joint and Combined Amphibious Doctrine

In the European Theater of Operations the Anglo-American doctrine failed to achieve synergy in the conduct of combined, joint amphibious operations. The operations in North Africa, Sicily, Italy and Normandy all failed to maximize the combat power that was available. Instead, when faced with strong opposition, the Allies were forced to improvise the necessary combat power under emergency conditions in which the landing force faced the real threat of defeat.

In order to understand why this happened, we have to step back to a time where there was no such thing as “joint operations”. Doctrine for the conduct of amphibious operations was in its infancy and over-shadowed by the failure of Gallipoli and the near failure at Tarawa. Lessons had to be learned…and the navy, army and air forces did not always agree on exactly what lessons were important. In addition, the Armed Services of the United States possessed no body of experience and knowledge of joint operations (indeed the last time that such joint operations were conducted dated back to the Spanish-American War and the Civil War). Another factor was the very real differences in the cultures of the army and navy and the unwillingness of each branch to acknowledge the superior knowledge of the other in a particular field. Thus, in 1942, the army built its own amphibious training centers as well as started the construction of its one small-boat navy. Impacting the amphibious doctrine debate was the fact that operations in the Mediterranean were not simply joint operations, they were combined operations and British practices and traditions of war did not merge well with those of the United States. Finally, unity of command was never established at the important operational level of war. The presence of a supreme commander at the strategic level did not guarantee unity of command on the battlefield. The resources of the army, navy and air force of both nations were never under the command of a single operational commander. Adding to this mix were national egos that combined together, damaged the ability of the Allies to generate the quality and quantity of combat power that was possible. Still, even with these impediments, one may have expected a steep learning curve after two years of planning, training and fighting together.

One could never have been more mistaken.

U.S. amphibious doctrine placed command and control of operations in the hands of the navy. The naval task force commander fought the initial battle for the beaches, however, the task force commander did not have command or control of the air power employed and possessed only a very limited capability of communicating with the Air Force. In North Africa, this was not a major problem as the navy enjoyed air support form its carriers. It became a problem for Sicily and Salerno due to the lack of carrier support.

Throughout the Mediterranean landings, the principle of unity of command was violated. Instead of placing all resources under the sole command of the individual charged with conducting the operation, the army and air forces showed themselves to be incapable of submitting to such a command relationship. Adding the British forces to mix simply increased the disunity of command even further. Instead of being able to command the forces of the other services, the commander instead found himself forced to seek cooperation, which required compromise and thus further distorted the vision of the amphibious force commanders.

On critical difference between the Pacific and European amphibious operations became evident with the North African landings. No pre-invasion bombardment. Instead of allowing the navy to suppress or destroy coastal defenses, the army asked only for fire support after fire missions were transmitted to the waiting warships. This was part of the British influence, designed to achieve tactical surprise. While surprise was achieved at some of the beaches, French resistance led to severe disruption of the landing plan.

The invasion of Sicily again attempted tactical surprise, while the assault convoys were spotted by enemy reconnaissance, this was done far too late to have any real influence on the landings. Once again, the army declined any pre-invasion bombardment, only calling for support following counterattacks by German forces. Indeed, the vast amount of firepower that was delivered by the Brooklyn-class light cruisers with their fifteen 6-inch guns played a critical part in the defeat of armor counterattacks.

This demonstration of the effectiveness of naval gunfire support reinforced the army’s position that the correct place of naval support was as on call artillery.

Salerno was to prove the failure of this assumption.

On September 9, 1943, at 0330 hours, the U.S. Fifth Army invaded with two corps on the beaches of Salerno, with the Italian surrender, it was believed that there would be little or no resistance. Unknown to the invading troops, was the presence of the German 16th Panzer Division which was in the process of taking over the Italian beach defenses. The army again declined any sort of pre-invasion bombardment, the result was that for the first four hours of the landing, the attackers found themselves without any naval gunfire, artillery or tank support as they fought at close range with bazookas, grenades, machine guns, bayonets, anti-aircraft guns and the handful of artillery pieces that had been landed. The assault troops found themselves defending against armor counterattacks that came close to overrunning the invasion beaches. It was not until 0900 that radio communications was restored with the fleet and naval gunfire began to make its presence felt.

For the next two days, determined German counterattacks threatened to split the two corps in two. The army rushed in paratrooper reinforcements, the British committed additional warships and the air force hundreds of sorties. Finally the Germans were stopped. And in the after-action review, the navy was finally able to convince the army of the need for a pre-invasion bombardment.
__________________
The reason that the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices chaos on a daily basis.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-28-2014, 08:56 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: East Tennessee, USA
Posts: 2,762
Default The Joint Fire Plan: Naval

Sources are Omaha A Flawed Victory by Adrian Lewis, D-Day by Steven Ambrose and D-Day by Tute, Costello and Hughes

Operation Overlord has often been called Eisenhower’s greatest victory. And there is no doubt that this is true. But any analysis of this victory reveals that it succeeded by the narrowest of margins.

The Joint Fire Plan

Eisenhower planned on winning the battle for Normandy with tactical surprise and with what was believed to be the greatest concentration of firepower ever assembled for an amphibious assault. But Eisenhower, Montgomery and Bradley had ever conducted an amphibious assault against a deliberate defense. No such assault had ever been necessary in the Mediterranean or European theater of operations. This left the Overlord planners with no body of knowledge with which to measure the adequacy of their plans or of the firepower resources allocated. While the Navy/Marine Corps Pacific doctrine and experiences were available, this was, for the most part, ignored. Instead Overlord would see a new hybrid doctrine, one based on new technology, new tactical organizations and new units. The Allies never tested this new doctrine and at Omaha Beach, it failed. The air force was untrained and lacked the technology and doctrine to perform the beach bombing mission in overcast skies. The rocket launchers and artillery mounted in landing craft were inaccurate systems because it was impossible to determine the height of the waves on which these small vessels road at the instant of firing. And naval gunfire, the best means of destruction, was provided in insufficient quantity and given insufficient time to produce the needed effects on the target areas.

The Joint Fire Plan was seriously flawed and utterly failed to produce the necessary amount of damage needed to destroy or suppress the German defenses.

The Allied commander’s high expectations for the Joint Fire Plan created a misleading mental picture of the battle to be fought on the beaches of Normandy. In turn, this false picture caused the tactical commanders to prepare to fight the wrong battle. It also failed to prepare the soldiers psychologically to fight the wrong battle. The JFB’s use of such phases as “drenching fire” and “saturation bombing” gave the soldiers cause to believe that they were about to witness the greatest show on earth. This gap between the plan’s expectations and reality was to cause shock and paralysis to the first assault waves. The soldiers paid a brutal price for this failure in planning. And what happened on Omaha Beach could have easily happened on the other beaches.

The planning for the Joint Fire Plan was laid down by the FUSA Artillery Planning Group. The planning group was made up of officers from SHAEF, Allied Expeditionary Air Force (AEAF), Allied Naval Commander in Chief Expeditionary Force, British 21st Army Group, British 2nd Army, and US Navy Task Force 122. Doctrine was created exclusively for Overlord, this work was further complicated by the fact that the U.S. Navy and the Royal Navy used different systems to determine grid coordinates, which in turn, identified precise locations on the invasion beaches. Because the Royal Navy would be providing warships to support the American beaches, extensive training, coordination and procedural development were required.

In January 1944, when Montgomery’s plan for a 5-division landing replaced the 3-division COSSAC plan, Admiral Ramsay pointed out that it would be necessary to expand the naval gunfire support fleet in order to cover the entire front and that the British lacked the resources to provide the additional vessels. As a result, in March, the U.S. Navy was asked to provide the necessary additional support. After several heated discussions, the U.S. Navy finally provided three battleships, two cruisers and thirty-four destroyers for escort and fire support duty. These ships were allotted as follows: Force O (supporting Omaha Beach) would consist of two battleships, four light cruisers and twelve destroyers) Force U (supporting Utah Beach) would consist of one battleship, three heavy cruisers, two light cruisers, one monitor and ten destroyers.

The Naval Bombardment Plan was divided into three phases. Phase 1 was the counter battery bombardment which was to begin at “first light” and continue until all designated German artillery batteries were “silenced”. There were fourteen such batteries capable of firing on Omaha Beach. Each of these batteries was assigned a target number and placed on a priority list. These targets were to be engaged methodically in accordance with the priority given. Spotter aircraft and spotters aboard ship could also designate targets.

Phase 2, the suppression of the beach defenses would begin when the cruisers and destroyers moved up to locations where they could best support the assault. This was scheduled to begin at H-20 minutes and end at H-5 minutes. This so-called drenching fire was to be augmented by the battleships upon completion of their counter battery missions. At H-Hour, close support fire was to be shifted to targets inland or on the flanks.

Phase 3 was close support fire on call. This phase was to commence as soon as naval fire control parties were ashore and ready to call for fire, at about H +30 minutes. A naval fire control party accompanied each battalion. In the initial assault, there were four battalions, each supported by two destroyers in direct support.
__________________
The reason that the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices chaos on a daily basis.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-28-2014, 09:20 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: East Tennessee, USA
Posts: 2,762
Default The Joint Fire Plan: Air Force

Sources are Omaha A Flawed Victory by Adrian Lewis, D-Day by Steven Ambrose and D-Day by Tute, Costello and Hughes

Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory was commander in chief of the Allied Expeditionary Air Force (AEAF). Under this command was the U.S. Ninth Tactical Air Force and the RAF Second Tactical Air Force. General Carl Spaatz was the senior U.S. airman in the theater. He commanded the U.S. Strategic Air Force (USSTAF). He directed the operations of the U.S. Eighth Air Force, administratively controlled the Ninth Air Force and operationally controlled the U.S. Fifteenth Air Force in Italy. In terms of the employment of American airpower in Europe, Spaatz was the most powerful man in the theater. He was firmly wedded to the strategic bombing campaign and opposed any diversion of resources to support ground operations. Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris commanded the RAF Bomber Command and, like Spaatz, believed that strategic bombing would win the war.

On April 14, 1944, less than two months prior to the invasion, Eisenhower was given “direction” of the USSTAF and RAF Bomber Command. Throughout March, the issue of the command of these forces was hotly debated. The Chiefs of Staff objected to the use of the word “command”, so “direction” was used instead. Eisenhower would exercise his authority through Leigh-Mallory who was responsible for coordinating the activities of the strategic and tactical air forces. No single individual had complete authority over the use of air power and every operation was subject to appeal.

An example of the failure of this command structure is found in the control of the Ninth Air Force. On March 10, Leigh-Mallory issued a directive to the Ninth Air Force: “The Supreme Commander has decided that the time has now come for the operations of the U.S. 9th Air Force to be directed towards preparation for OVERLORD. Henceforth 9th Air Force will operate exclusively under the AEAF and will be released from its commitment to assist U.S. 8th Air Force POINTBLANK operations under arrangements made by the force.” Spaatz had been using the long-range fighters of the 9th Air Force to escort his bombers in Europe. Spaatz sent a memorandum to Eisenhower on March 18th that stated: “I think this is a matter of utmost importance in our operations. Unless the 8th Air Force operating out of the U.K. can be assured of the availability of all the long range fighters, including P-47’s, their deep penetrations will result in greatly increased heavy bombers losses and we will be losing many opportunities to deal punishing blows to the German Air Force.”

Eisenhower accepted Spaatz’s argument and control of the 9th Air Force’s fighters remained with Spaatz. Had Spaatz lost this argument, he was prepared to go over Eisenhower’s head to General Henry H. Arnold, commanding general of the Army Air Forces. In such interservice disputes, the air force usually won because of the view that it was necessary to achieve air superiority.

The close air support mission was last in priority in the minds of American airman, and as a consequence, the air force was poorly trained for such missions on June 6, 1944. The Allies never created a single overall air command in northwest Europe, to this can be added a lethal cocktail of doctrinal differences, interservice rivalry, opposing mission priorities and national egos. Each air force commander had his own staff working on different target lists to support Overlord.

The Initial Joint Plan estimated that the RAF and USSTAF would have available (by June 1, 1944) the following forces: The USSTAF would have 163 bomber squadrons (12 planes per squadron) and 45 fighter squadrons (25 planes per squadron). The Ninth Air Force would have 32 squadrons of medium bombers (16 planes per squadron), 12 squadrons of light bombers (16 planes per squadron), 55 squadrons of day fighters (25 planes per squadron), 3 squadrons of night fighters (12 planes per squadron) as well as reconnaissance and troop carrier aircraft.

The RAF would provide 72 squadrons of heavy bombers (20 planes per squadron), 18 squadrons of light bombers (20 planes per squadron); 20 squadrons of fighter-bombers (18 planes per squadron), 64 squadrons of day fighters (18 plans per squadron), 22 squadrons of night fighters (18 planes per squadron) as well as reconnaissance and transport aircraft.
__________________
The reason that the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices chaos on a daily basis.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-28-2014, 09:09 PM
Adm.Lee Adm.Lee is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 1,291
Default

I'm going to revise my thinking about a criticism. The pre-invasion bombardment could not have been lengthened, as it was in the Pacific, without losing operational surprise. What I think now is that more effort could have been put into creating and supporting the naval-fire-control teams and forward air controller teams.

I am aware that tactical control of air power was still very limited, mostly by insistence of the air forces. More could have been done, and it was later done, but it still reads like there was less air-ground coordination for Overlord than there was in the later stages of the Desert campaigns or in Italy. Perhaps air-controllers could have been located on the close-in DDs?

Naval fires were said to have helped tremendously at Omaha, primarily in those close-in DDs, but they were often firing without direction from the shore. (I still like the story of the destroyer skipper who pointed out a stalled tank on Omaha to his gunnery officer, and told him to shoot whatever the tank was shooting at. The tank commander saw what was happening, and started blasting away enthusiastically!)

I believe there were naval fire control teams on the beaches, but evidently not enough, or not with working radios. Maybe more teams and more radios would have helped? What about teams in boats that weren't landing, but moving about the shallows (outside the suspected mined area), spotting targets?

I recommend again "The dead and those who are going to die", about the 1st ID's efforts (primarily the 16th Infantry Regiment's) on Omaha. I feel the need to go look for Joe Balkoski's works on the 29th ID, there are apparently more than one.
__________________
My Twilight claim to fame: I ran "Allegheny Uprising" at Allegheny College, spring of 1988.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-29-2014, 05:36 PM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: East Tennessee, USA
Posts: 2,762
Default The Joint Fire Plan: The armed landing craft

Sources are Omaha A Flawed Victory by Adrian Lewis, D-Day by Steven Ambrose and D-Day by Tute, Costello and Hughes

In addition to the Navy’s warships and the Air Force’s fighters and bombers, there was a third element in the Joint Fire Plan: the direct fire support by the tanks, machine guns, artillery and rockets mounted or loaded onto landing craft of various types. The mission of these light forces was “to furnish during the approach to the beaches and prior to touchdown, area fire on and in rear of the beaches, fire on strong points, beach defenses and to take part in the beach drenching.” This support of Omaha and Utah Beaches was provided by the U.S. Navy’s Eleventh Amphibious Force. This command consisted of 14 LCT(R)s, 9 LCH(L)s, 11 LCFc, 26 LCT(A0s and 48 LCP(L)s.

The LCT(R) or landing ship, tank, rocket were outfitted with 5-inch rocket launchers. They were designed to deliver a large volume of preparatory fire on the landing beaches at the last moment before the assault. Five were deployed at Utah Beach and nine at Omaha Beach. The LCT(R) carried 1,064 5-inch rockets. Racks holding six rockets each were installed on the upper deck and canted at a 45-degree angle. These racks were non-trainable, in other words the landing craft had to be aimed directly at its target. Each rocket carried a 29-pound high explosive warhead and could reach their maximum range of 3,500 yards in 26 seconds. The warhead had a bursting radius of 30 yards. The rockets were fired electrically in 24 to 26 salvos of 39-42 rockets pe salvo. Because the angle of fire could not be adjusted, the rockets had to be fired at a precise distance from the target in order to have the desired effect. The width of the pattern laid by the rockets was a maximum of 700 yards and this could not be adjusted. The depth of the pattern could vary from 300 to 1,000 yards depending on the concentration of fire desired. To determine distance, each LCT(R) was fitted with radar as well as a gyro compass. The LCT(R)s were to follow 2,700 yards behind the leading assault wave and fire their rockets exactly 26 seconds before the assault wave was 300 yards from the shore. The rockets were intended to impact at the water’s edge and clear lanes through the beach obstacles and minefields. The shock power of a single LCT(R) was estimated by FUSA as being 2.5 times more powerful than a battleship salvo. The LCT(R)s were deployed with enough reserve rockets to reload their racks once, this process would take the 19-man crew from 4-6 hours to complete. The LCT(R)s were considered to be the most important of the gunfire support craft and expectations of their firepower were high.

The LCG(L) or landing craft, gun, large were fitted with two 4.7-inch naval guns, two 2-pounder pom-poms and two 20mm AA guns. They were intended to provide direct support against beach positions for the first waves, firing from the flanks of the assault waves. They could also be beached and employed as stationary gun platforms. The navy deployed five at Omaha Beach and four at Utah Beach.

The LCF or landing craft, flak were fitted with either eight 2-pounder pom-poms and four 20mm AA guns or with four pom-poms and eight 20mm AA guns. Their missions was to provide close-in air defense for the assault waves as well as engaging beach defenses. The Navy deployed seven of these vessels at Omaha Beach and four at Utah Beach.

The LCT(A) or landing craft, tank, armored each carried two Sherman tanks as part of the leading assault waves. They were to proceed directly to the beach, disembark their tanks and return to the transport area for shuttle duty. The tanks were to open fire as soon as range and visibility permitted, take part in the beach drenching fire program and then join the assault troops. Eighteen LCT(A)s were deployed at Omaha and another eight at Utah. Additional LCT(A)s carried M-7 self-propelled howitzers. While not part of the amphibious force, these were to approach to within 1,000 yards of the beach and support the attack with indirect fire.

The LCP(L) or landing craft, personnel, large were equipped with smoke generators. Thirty-two were deployed at Omaha and sixteen at Utah.

The last component of the gunfire support program was the three battalions of DD Tanks. These battalions would each deploy two companies of DD tanks (17 each) about 5,000 yards offshore, the tanks would them proceed under their own power to the beach where they would engage beach defenses. The third company of each battalion as well as their light tank companies were fitted with wading gear and deployed from LCTs in the follow-up waves.

The 70th Tank Battalion was deployed at Utah Beach, there, due to the rough seas, the decision was made not to deploy them offshore, but to land them with the assault troops, four of the DD tanks and four of the deep wading tanks were lost.

On Omaha Beach, the 741st and 743rd Tank Battalions were deployed. Of the 32 DD tanks assigned to the 741st, 27 were lost in the rough waters. Of the 743rd, most of the tanks got to the shore, but some 19 Shermans were lost.
__________________
The reason that the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices chaos on a daily basis.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 08-30-2014, 10:23 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: East Tennessee, USA
Posts: 2,762
Default The Targets

Sources are Omaha A Flawed Victory by Adrian Lewis, D-Day by Steven Ambrose and D-Day by Tute, Costello and Hughes

The Target List

The target list for the Joint Fire Plan included enemy artillery batteries, main roads, road intersections, communications centers, bridges, railway centers, cable junctions, road embankments, telephone exchanges, pillboxes, ammo depots, construction sites, machine gun positions and troop concentrations.

First priority was on for the destruction of enemy offensive weapons. Second priority on the isolation of the battlefield and third priority for the destruction of enemy defensive positions. Considering that only forty minutes of bombardment was available to attack the water’s edge defenses, the vast majority of the effort was expended elsewhere. Case in point, Pointe du Hoc, a known enemy coastal defense battery site. A brief survey of the site, even today, confirms a vast amount of overkill. Pointe du Hoc had been the target of pre-invasion air strikes, and on D-Day was targeted by air strikes and naval gunfire and then by direct assault by a Ranger battalion. It is none known that the artillery pieces originally stationed there had been withdrawn inland. At the time, it was the opinion of Allied Intelligence that the guns were of large enough caliber and with sufficient range to threaten the transports, this was the main reason behind the decision to relocate the transport area further out to sea. Such a large amount of ordnance was expended on Point du Hoc that, in realistic terms, a quarter of it would have been enough to suppress the battery for the day. The use of the remaining three quarters of the ordnance would have been enough to clear three of the beach exits on Omaha Beach. But this scale of destruction was intentionally avoided because of fears that the damage done to the beach structure would have slowed the buildup.

The invasion beaches at Omaha, with their obstacles and minefields, were not targeted by the heavy bombers and battleships. The reason behind this decision was optimism on the part of the senior leaders (Eisenhower, Montgomery and Bradley) who simply did not believe that the assault would be difficult. These leaders also did not want to disfigure the beaches by bombing them with 500 and 1,000-pound bombs and 14-inch shells from the battleships. The craters caused by this type of bombardment would have so damaged the beach surface, that extensive engineer work would have been necessary to repair the beach surface, thus slowing the buildup of troops and supplies. Tests at the Woolacombe Assault Training Center had determined that the ideal weapon for clearing beach obstacles and minefields would be the 100-pound high explosive bomb.

The casemated gun positions of reinforced concrete could not be destroyed by such small bombs. In order to achieve the quality and character of the destruction desired, they would be forced to use various types of bombs. The heavy bombers were therefore assigned targets on the bluffs above and behind the beach and the beach exits themselves. A total of ten targets were assigned at Omaha Beach and they were scheduled to be attacked from H-30 minutes to H-5 by the heavy bombers. None of these targets were engaged by the heavy bombers on D-day because the planes flew too high and employed a method of bombing that was incapable of providing the precision necessary---blind, radar bombing. Naval gunfire support from the battleships and cruisers were dedicated to counter battery fire and other inland targets. This left only the twelve destroyers and the armed landing craft to provide the “drenching fire” for the assault teams. The necessary levels of drenching fire need to destroy beach obstacles, breach minefields and suppress or destroy defensive emplacements was simply not possible given the breadth of the assault beaches, the naval assets dedicated and the level of joint training acquired in June of 1944.

In the Pacific, the navy, marines and army perfected the technique of providing the assault troops with a wall of walking fire. This type of fire required both a large number of firing platforms as well as extensive ammunition reserves. It also required close coordination and extensive training between the assault elements and the supporting units, a level of coordination and training that was never achieved in the European Theater of Operations. In part this was due to the nature of the terrain with the army and navy seldom having to come into contact with one another, thus joint operations were simply a momentary inconvenience to the independent operations of each service. In addition, veteran troops soon learned the necessity of following up the bombardment at distances of 100-150 yards, accepting the resulting “friendly-fire) losses in order to close assault the defenders before they could recover from the shock of the bombardment, the inexperienced units deployed at Omaha Beach were incapable of this level of combat acumen.

Drenching fire has been mentioned several times before, this type of fire was designed to explode land mines before advancing troops, cause enemy soldiers to take cover, cause destruction and disorganization in the enemy’s defenses and allow the attack troops to close with the enemy. As can be seen by the previous posts, this type of fire may have been planned, but was not delivered at Normandy. In addition, drenching fire was not intended to destroy pillboxes or reinforced positions. Such targets had to be engaged individually and with direct fire. This was one of the key lessons of Tarawa. It was a lesson that Eisenhower, Montgomery and Bradley all failed to heed.
__________________
The reason that the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices chaos on a daily basis.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 08-30-2014, 08:19 PM
Adm.Lee Adm.Lee is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 1,291
Default

Good points, especially those last few.
__________________
My Twilight claim to fame: I ran "Allegheny Uprising" at Allegheny College, spring of 1988.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 09-06-2014, 11:15 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: East Tennessee, USA
Posts: 2,762
Default The Joint Fire Plan, the Aviation side

Sources are Omaha A Flawed Victory by Adrian Lewis, D-Day by Steven Ambrose and D-Day by Tute, Costello and Hughes

The role of the U.S. Army Air Forces has been studied extensively. While opinions on the effectiveness vary, in general, historians of the air war conclude that the results from the application of air power, while in the main, were satisfactory, were less then expected. It is the general belief that too much was expected from the young service and that air force leaders exaggerated the capabilities of air power and fostered the development of unrealistic expectations. One of the great ironies of air operations in the European Theater of Operations was that, when operating against a first-class adversary on a continental land mass, air units assigned or attached to ground forces proved incapable of providing effective support of ground forces.

On D-Day, the U.S. Eighth and Ninth Air Forces had three missions to perform: to continue to isolate the battlefield by destroying communications channels and interdicting the movement of reinforcements to the invasion beachheads; to destroy or neutralize the water’s edge defenses to facilitate the amphibious assault; and to provide close air support---scheduled and on-call. The battle for air supremacy had already been won.

The first mission was performed, effectively isolating the battlefield, but the remaining two missions were performed considerably less successfully.

Air Force doctrine was set forth in July 1943 with the publication of “Command and Employment of Air Power” FM 100-20. This manual was published without the occurrence of the Army Ground Forces, who viewed the manual with dismay. FM 100-20 is often described as the Army Air Forces’ Declaration of Independence.

Air Force thinking was guided by two beliefs that dominated all others. First was that the war could be won through air power using precision daylight strategic bombing. The second was that the air force must be autonomous, independent from the army’s command and control. These two views led to the concentration of air power and prevented it from being divided up to support army corps and divisions. It meant that the air force would retain operational command and control of all air resources. It also meant that the air force would not acquire the training, develop the procedures, or achieve the necessary level of integration with army units to effectively conduct on-call close air support missions in close proximity to ground force until well after the Normandy invasion.

General Montgomery, in his position as assault force commander, believed that air power, when concentrated, was a “battle winning factor”, this position was endorsed by the air force. Montgomery’s plan to win the battle for the beaches at Normandy, his plan for the breakout at Caen, and Bradley’s plan for the breakout at Saint-Lo were based on the belief that air power could achieve battlefield success cheaply. Montgomery wrote: “Nothing could be more fatal to successful results than to dissipate the air resources into small packets placed under command of Army formation commanders with each packet working on its own plan.” Montgomery called for the two services, air and ground to advance the concept that they were “independent” with a “common task”. And because the services were independent, any satisfactory solution to military problems had to be based on a “process of negotiation.” And this process of negotiation had to be based on knowledge of the strengths, limitations and capabilities of the respective services as well as on “mutual trust and honesty”. The simple fact that a high ranking commander had to take the time to write this is indicative of a problem in the command structure.

Montgomery also called for a Tactical Air Force to support the Army Group in the field. He called for a Tactical Air Force comprised of a Headquarters; Tactical Groups on the scale of one per army; a Light/Medium Bomber Group; a Strategic Reconnaissance Wing and a Base Defense Group. In essence, this was organizational structure of the U.S. Ninth Air Force after it had detached its heavy bombers to the Eighth Force. Within the Ninth Air Force, three tactical air commands (TACS) were created and assigned to each U.S. Army. Thus, the IX TAC was attached to the First Army, the XIX TAC was attached to the Third Army and the XXIX TAC was attached to the Ninth Army. All remained under the command of the Ninth Air Force which was associated with Bradley’s Twelfth Army Group.

Following its reorganization in the United Kingdom, the Ninth Air Force, in the period from October 16, 1943 until June 6 1944, increased in size from 4 to 45 tactical groups, from less than 300 to more than 1,100 bombers, from zero to more than 3,000 troop-carrier aircraft and from less than 50,000 to more than 200,000 personnel. The mission of the Ninth Air Force was not primarily to fit organized, trained and equipped units into its structure, but rather to construct these units from casual personnel, to struggle for their aircraft and other equipment and to train and retain all personnel for functions quite often entirely foreign to those for which they were originally trained and equipped.

Because of the magnitude of their problems, the Ninth Air Force found it impossible to conduct close support missions in close proximity to friendly ground forces on D-Day. Indeed, Ninth Air Force was unable to organize any training with ground troops until May 1944, by which time, the assault troops had already completed their training and had been sealed in their pre-invasion “sausages” for their final briefings.

In order to prove close air support, the Ninth Air Force assigned a air support party (ASP) to each RCT. They were equipped with VHF radios, but were not permitted to talk directly with aircraft unless given specific orders to do so. Nor were the air support parties given the authority to intervene in stopping attacks on friendly troops. In order to request air support, the ASPs had to contact a headquarters ship and the request would then be relayed to a central control facility in Uxbridge, England. There the decision would be made on whether to grant the request. This process took time. During the entire period of the D-Day landings on June 6th….Uxbridge received a total of thirteen requests, of which six came from Omaha Beach. What air support that was available to the assault troops came from pilots on station, attacking targets of opportunity, well inland.
__________________
The reason that the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices chaos on a daily basis.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 09-12-2014, 11:42 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: East Tennessee, USA
Posts: 2,762
Default Omaha Beach itself and the Defenders

Sources are Omaha A Flawed Victory by Adrian Lewis, D-Day by Steven Ambrose and D-Day by Tute, Costello and Hughes

Omaha Beach was the code name for one of the five invasion beaches chosen for the Allied invasion of France. The beach is located on the coast of Normandy, France, facing the English Channel and is some five miles long, from east of Sainte-Honorine-des-Pertes to west of Vierville-sur-Mer, on the right bank of the Douve River estuary.

Omaha Beach was to be the focus of the main American landing, linking with the British forces at Gold Beach to the east and reaching to the Isigny and the link-up with the VII Corps landing at Utah Beach.

Overlord listed seventeen sectors along the Normandy coastline with codenames from the current Allied phonetic alphabet, thus Able was just west of Omaha and Rodger lay on the eastern flank of the invasion area. Each beach sector was subdivided into three with the colors Green, Red and White, and again subdivided with numbers, hence Item Red 2 for example. On either end of Omaha Beach there were large rocky cliffs, the beach itself was a crescent-shape with a gentle sloping tidal area averaging some 300 yards between the low and high-water marks. Above the high-tide line was a bank of shingles some 8 feet high and up to 15 yards wide in some places. At the western end, the shingles rested against a sea wall for roughly one-third of its length (stone in places and wooden in others). This sea wall ranged from 4 to 12 feet in height. For the remaining two thirds of the invasion beach, the shingles lay against a low sand embankment. Behind this embankment was a level shelf of sand, narrow at either end and perhaps 200 yards wide in the center. Steep escarpments or bluffs then rose to some 100-170 feet, dominating the entire beach and cut into by small wooden draws at five locations, codenamed from west to east as D-1, D-3, E-1, E-3 and F-1.

The German defensive plans did not allow for any defense in depth, depending on their ability to stop the invasion at the beaches. There were four major lines of obstacles constructed in the water. The first was a non-contiguous line with a small gap in the middle of Dog White Beach and a larger gap across all of Easy Red Beach and consisted of 200 Belgian Gates (heavy steel fence roughly 6 feet high and nine feet wide), with mines lashed to the upright posts. Roughly 30 yards behind this was the 2nd line of obstacles, which consisted of logs driven into the sand at a sharp angle, with every third one capped with a anti-tank mine. An additional 30 yards behind was the 3rd line of obstacles, which consisted of a continuous line of 450 wooden ramps, with mines attached, sloping towards shore and designed to force flat-bottomed landing craft to ride up and either flip over or detonate the mine. The 4th line of obstacles was a continuous line of hedgehogs (three pieces of iron welded into a three armed cross and designed to stop a tank). The entire area between the shingle and the bluffs was heavily wired and mined, with additional minefields placed on the bluff slopes.

Troop deployments consisted of five companies of infantry, concentrated at 15 strongpoints (Widerstandsnester or resistance nests), numbered WN-60 in the east to WN-74 near Vierville in the west. These were primarily located to control the approaches to the various draws. Each strongpoint consisted of weapons casemates, interconnected with tunnels and trenches. In addition to each companies normal allotment of rifles and machine guns, over 60 light artillery pieces ranging from 37mm to 88mm were deployed at these strongpoint points. The heaviest pieces were located in eight gun casemates and four open positions, the lighter guns were housed in 35 pillboxes. An additional 18 antitank guns (50mm to 88mm) were emplaced to cover the beach. Areas in between each strongpoint were lightly manned with occasional trenches, rifle pits, and an additional 85 machine gun emplacements. No part of the beach was left uncovered and the disposition of weapons meant that flanking fire could be brought to bear anywhere along the beach.

Allied Intelligence identified the coastal defenses as being manned by a reinforced battalion (800-1,000 men) of the 716th Infantry Division, a static defensive unit estimated to contain up to 50% of non-German troops, mostly Russian volunteers and German Volksdeutsche. The nearest reserve unit was the 352nd Infantry Division concerted around Saint Lo, some 20 miles inland. However, Intelligence missed the movement forward of the 352nd towards the invasion beaches. As part of this movement, the 352 assumed responsibility for the defense of Omaha Beach, reinforcing the 726th Grenadier Regiment (and its attached 439th Ost Battalion) with the 916th Grenadier Regiment, supporting these troops were the 1st and 4th Battalions,, 352nd Artillery Regiment (twelve 105mm and four 150mm howitzers. Covering the eastern part of Omaha was the 3rd Battalion, 352nd Artillery Regiment (twelve 105mm howitzers). A reserve force of two companies of the 916th Grenadiers was held at Formigny, two miles inland. Located south-east of Bayeux was the divisional reserve, the 915th Grenadier Regiment.
__________________
The reason that the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices chaos on a daily basis.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 09-12-2014, 06:49 PM
Adm.Lee Adm.Lee is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 1,291
Default

Again from "The dead and those who are going to die", it was mentioned that Omaha's terrain initially led planners to want to bypass the beach, but it was needed to fill the gap between Utah and the British beaches. Allowing the Germans to defeat either sector in detail was considered Not a Good Thing, for obvious reasons.
__________________
My Twilight claim to fame: I ran "Allegheny Uprising" at Allegheny College, spring of 1988.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 09-13-2014, 10:00 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: East Tennessee, USA
Posts: 2,762
Default the defensive positions

Sources are Omaha A Flawed Victory by Adrian Lewis, D-Day by Steven Ambrose and D-Day by Tute, Costello and Hughes and the 6juin1944.com web site.


The Omaha Beach defenses had their strongpoints covering the approaches to the five woody draws that allowed vehicle access inland. From East to West these were WN-60 (one 75mm gun, 3 tobruks with 50mm mortars, one 81mm mortar, one FlaK 38 20mm AAA gun and flamethrowers), this covered the eastern side of the F-1 Draw leading into Cabourg.

WN 61 (one 88mm PaK in pillbox; one 50mm PaK in open emplacement, one tobruk with a R35 tank turret [37mm gun], 2 tobruks with Mgs and flamethrowers) was positioned half down the bluff between the F-1 and E-3 Draws, providing flanking fire for both. Across the E-3 Draw was WN-62 (two 75mm guns in pillboxes, two 50mm PaKs in open emplacements, three MG positions, one tobruk with MG, two tobruks with 50mm mortars, inw twin AAMG in concrete emplacement, an artillery observation post as well as flamethrowers) The E-3 Draw led up to the village of Colleville-sur-Mer and the position of WN-63 (a company command post/radio station).

WN-64 (one 76.2mm gun, one 20mm AAA gun and two tobruks with 50mm mortars) and WN-65 (one 50mm Pak in pillbox, one 50mm Pak in open emplacement, one 75mm gun and two tobruks with 50mm mortars) controlled the access to the E-1 Draw

The D-3 Draw had the only hard-surfaced road leading inland to St. Lourent-sur-Mer and was protected by WN66 (one 50mm PaK in open emplacement, one 75mm PaK in pillbox; 2 tobruks with R35 [37mm gun] tank turrets, two 81mm mortars in open emplacements and one double-embrasure pillbox with MGs) on the eastern side of the draw, WN-67 (320mm rocket launcher position) at the head of the draw (on the outskirts of St. Lourent-sur-Mer), WN68 (one 50mm PaK in open emplacement, one 75mm PaK in open emplacement, two tobruks with R35 [37mm] tank turrets, one double-embrasure pillbox with MGs) on the western side of the draw, and WN69 (one 20mm AAA gun and several MG positions) on the western side of the village and controlling the read leading to Vierville-sur-Mer.

Midway between the D-3 Draw and the D-1 Draw was WN70 (one 75mm gun in pillbox, one 75mm gun in open emplacement, four tobruks with Mgs, two 81mm mortar emplacements and one 20mm FlaK gun).

Defending the D-1 Draw was WN71 (an artillery observation post, several MG positions, one tobruk with MG, one 81mm mortar emplacement and a double-embrasure pillbox with MGs) on the eastern side and WN-72 (one 88mm PaK in pillbox, one 50mm PaK in a double-embrasure pillbox, several MG positions, one tobruk with MG and a double-embrasure pillbox with MGs) on the western side. Overlooking WN72 was WN73(one 75mm gun in pillbox, three tobruks with 50mm mortars, several MG positions and an observation post).

Finally, on the western end of Omaha Beach was WN74 (two 75mm guns in emplacements).

Mention has been made several times of a “tobruk”, this was a concrete placement with a small ammunition storage chamber offset from a circular firing position that place the weapon at roughly ground level. This was a universal position that could take a machine gun, be fitted with a stand to hold a 50mm mortar or even be fitted with a tank turret (usually removed from one of the thousands of captured French light tanks).
__________________
The reason that the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices chaos on a daily basis.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 10-03-2014, 12:00 PM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: East Tennessee, USA
Posts: 2,762
Default Organization of the Assault Troops, Part I

Sources are Omaha A Flawed Victory by Adrian Lewis, D-Day by Steven Ambrose and D-Day by Tute, Costello and Hughes and the 6juin1944.com web site.

Two American Divisions were selected for the assault on Omaha Beach, the 1st Infantry Division “The Big Red One” and the 29th Infantry Division “the Blue and Grey”. The 1st Infantry Division was chosen because, at the time, it was the most experienced U.S. Army division in amphibious operations. This led to the unusual assignment of the 29th Infantry Division as an attachment on D-Day.

Major General Clarence R. Huebner, commander of the 1st ID was therefore responsible for deploying and fighting the assault force. His primary mission was to secure a lodgement through which follow-on forces could then advance. It was his duty to develop the tactical plans that would achieve army and corps objectives and minimize the risks to the lives of his soldiers. While Eisenhower, Montgomery and Bradley would shoulder the ultimate responsibility for what happened on Bloody Omaha, Huebner deserves credit for what happened on the beach.

Huebner and Gerow (commander US V Corps) were, for the most part in agreement on the concept of the operation. Both staffs worked closely together to develop and troubleshoot the plan, as a result, there was a high degree of consensus between Gerow and Huebner. Both officers fought to have H-Hour moved up to take advantage of the cover of darkness. And both were threatened with relief of their commands if they failed to follow Bradley’s directives. The result of this was that Huebner was given very little latitude in developing the plan for the assault on Omaha Beach. The when, where, who and how---the doctrine--- was dictated to him in considerable detail. So severe was this “oversight from on high”, that one battalion commander complained in his after action report that he had been given no latitude in in determining what equipment his battalion would carry, and as a result, his men went into action carrying gear that they had no need of and left behind gear that they needed.

Huebner was told that he would assault with two regiments abreast, two battalions abreast in each regiment. He was told how to load the landing craft, how to configure his platoons into the new (and untested) boat teams, what equipment each boat team would carry and even how they teams would exit the landing craft. He was given the engineer plan for clearing lanes through the obstacles and the Joint Fire Plan. Any analysis of the landing plan for Omaha Beach finds little or no conformation with standard organizational and doctrinal procedures. No attempt was made to follow lessons learned in previous amphibious landings and not even the basic principle of unit integrity was maintained.

Remember that the 1st Infantry Division was brought into the invasion because it had more experience with amphibious operations than any other division in the ETO. Their very experience was ignored by the planning staffs at First Army. Bradley had his vision of what the invasion would entail, and nothing and no one was allowed to rock the boat.

Huebner was forced to make his tactical plans based on the strategic assumptions of Eisenhower, Montgomery and Bradley. These assumptions included the erroneous assessment of the firepower of the Army Air Forces, the over-inflated capabilities of the limited naval gunfire support, the erroneous assessments of the German strength, capabilities and concept for the conduct of their defense. It was based on the assumption that tactical surprise would be achieved, and on unproven tactical doctrines, of which the most critical was the ability of the engineers to clear formidable obstacles, in daylight, and under heavy enemy fire. Miscalculations and erroneous information and assumptions caused Huebner to prepare his division to fight the wrong battle, to his enternal credit, Huebner ruthless drilled his men in their individual tasks and on their platoon and company objectives.

As a result of tactical miscalculations of Eisenhower, Montgomery and Bradley, the 1st Infantry Division were deployed in a manner that failed to maximize their chances of success and survival. They were deployed in a direct frontal assault against heavily dug in German defenders. In World War One, this type of assault failed time and time again, and on June 6, 1944, it almost failed again.

Omaha Beach would see the deployment of two regiments, the 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division was a National Guard unit that had never seen combat, indeed the 29th Infantry Division had been in England for so long (October 1942) that it had earned the nickname “England’s Own”. The only veteran unit would be the 16th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, a unit that seen amphibious assaults in North Africa and Sicily. Both units had undergone training at the Amphibious Training Center at Woolacombe.

In 1944, a Army rifle company consisted of 6 officers and 193 enlisted men. In the company were a headquarters squad of 6 men, three rifle platoons of 41 men each and a weapons platoon of 31 men. During the build up for the Normandy Invasion, there was a great fear that there would not be enough LCVPs available to land all of the troops. The primary consideration was to maximize the load out on the LCVPs and to insure that each landing craft would be loaded with a mixture of men and equipment so that if one or more boats were lost, that each boat team would be able to continue to fight on its own.

Every amphibious assault in World War Two accepted that it was more important to maintain unit integrity than to maximize loads with one glaring exception. The Normandy Invasion threw out that basic principle for an untried boat team concept

The Assault Team was composed of a 5-man rifle section, a 4-man BAR section, a 4-man bazooka section, a 4-man 60mm mortar section, a 4-man wire cutting section, a 2-man flamethrower section and a 4-man demolition section. Each team was commanded by an officer and a NCO. The assault teams were created by mixing the weapons platoon in with the rifle platoons and adding additional personnel. Each assault team was “optimized” to be able to be landed on the beach and attack the fortifications without any support.

The first man off the boat was the officer, he would be followed by the rifle section, which would provide supporting fire with rifle grenades. Then the wire cutting team would advance to any barbed wire and cut a gap with Bangalore Torpedoes and wire cutters. The bazooka section would fan out to either side and fire rockets at any openings in the pillboxes. The BARs and 60mm mortar would provide covering fire while the flamethrower and demolitions sections would assault the fortifications. Last man off would be the NCO.

Six Assault Teams and a Command Boat Team would be formed out of a rifle company.

The weapons company needed its own special organization. It would be organized into five Support Boat Teams and a Command Boat Team. The Support Boat Teams were to land in the second wave, once an area had been secured and set up their heavy weapons. Each team, however, also had the ability to attack fortifications, if necessary. It was comprised of a 5-man rifle team, a 6-man HMG team, a 4-man wire cutting team, a 8-man 81mm mortar team and a 5-man demolitions team as well as an officer and NCO.

The Command Boat Teams averaged 16 men and included the company executive officer. The company commander would land as an extra man in one of the Assault Boat teams. The remainder of the Command Boat Team was filled up with attachments such as the tank battalion liaison team or a Shore Fire Control Party. Two of the seven boats in the rifle company carried a medic.

In addition to its 30-men, each LCVP also carried a 3-man Navy crew as well as additional ammunition and demolition supplies. So overloaded were the LCVPs that their freeboard was reduced to only 1-3-feet. With the heavy waves (4-6 feet), many of the assault craft shipped large amounts of water and even swamped before reaching the beaches.

Another feature of the landings was the overloading of the troops. Many of the soldiers leaving the landing craft were carrying loads of between 60-90 pounds.
__________________
The reason that the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices chaos on a daily basis.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 10-03-2014, 12:01 PM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: East Tennessee, USA
Posts: 2,762
Default Organization of the Assault Troops, Part II

Sources are Omaha A Flawed Victory by Adrian Lewis, D-Day by Steven Ambrose and D-Day by Tute, Costello and Hughes, Spearheading D-Day by Jonathan Gawne and the 6juin1944.com web site.

ASSAULT BOAT TEAM

Boat Team Leader: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; M1911A1 Pistol w/3mags; 6 colored smoke grenades; 1 smoke grenade, 1 frag grenade, 1 SCR-536 radio.

Assistant Boat Team Leader: M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; 2 smoke grenades; 8 frag grenades.

Rifle Team #1 and 2: M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; 1 smoke grenade; 2 frag grenades; wirecutters.

Rifle Team #3: M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; 1 smoke grenade; 1 frag grenade; 1 grenade launcher M7; 10 rifle grenades.

Rifle Team #4 and 5: M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; 1 smoke grenade, 2 frag grenades, 1 Bangalore Torpedo section.

Wire Cutting Team (4 men): each with M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; 1 smoke grenade; 2 Bangalore Torpedo sections; and either one pair wire cutters or 1 large search nose wirecutters.

BAR Team #1 and 3: M1918A2 BAR w/13 mags; BAR spare parts kit

BAR Team #2 and 4: M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; BAR belt w/13 mags

60mm Mortar Team #1: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; mortar sight; cleaning staff; binoculars; compass; flashlight; 12 mortar rounds

60mm Mortar Team #2: M1911A1 Pistol w/3 mags; mortar; 5 mortar rounds.

60mm Mortar Team #3: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; 12 mortar rounds.

60mm Mortar Team #4: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; 12 mortar rounds.

Bazooka Team #1 and 3: each with: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; M-1A1 Bazooka w/8 rockets

Bazooka Team #2 and 4: each with: M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; 12 rockets

Flamethrower Team # 1: M-1911A1 Pistol w/3 mags, 1 flamethrower

Flamethrower Team #2: M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; 4 smoke grenades; 6 frag grenades; 5 gallon fuel refill; spare nitrogen tank and wrenches.

Demolitions Team (5 men): each with: M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; 1 smoke grenade; 2 frag grenades; 50’ Primercord; 4 detonators; 6 blocks of TNT; 2 fuse lighters; demo kit w/crimpers, knife, tape and cord. Team also carried 7 satchel charges and 3 pole charges.

SUPPORT BOAT TEAM
Boat Team Leader: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; M1911A1 Pistol w/3mags; 6 colored smoke grenades; 1 smoke grenade, 1 frag grenade, 1 SCR-536 radio.

Assistant Boat Team Leader: M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; 2 smoke grenades; 8 frag grenades.

Rifle Team # 1, 2 and 3: M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; grenade launcher M7; 1 smoke grenade; 2 frag grenades; 12 rifle grenades.

Rifle Team #4 and 5: M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; 2 smoke grenades, 5 frag grenades, wirecutters.

HMG Team #1: M1911A1 Pistol w/3 mags; tripod

HMG Team #2: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; M1917A1 .30-caliber HMG.

HMG Team #3: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; water chest; spare parts kit; ammo box.

HMG Team #4 and 5: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; 2 ammo boxes.

HMG Team #6: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; binoculars; 2 ammo boxes.

Wire Cutting Team (4 men): each with M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; 1 smoke grenade; 2 Bangalore Torpedo sections; and either one pair wire cutters or 1 large search nose wirecutters.

81mm Mortar Team #1: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; mortar sight; binoculars; compass; flashlight; sound powered phone; 5 mortar rounds.

81mm Mortar Team #2: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; bipod; sound powered phone.

81mm Mortar Team #3: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; mortar tube w/aiming stakes in it.

81mm Mortar Team #4: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; baseplate.

81mm Mortar Team #5: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; 7 mortar ounds; 400 yards communication wire on reel.

81mm Mortar Team #6, 7 and 8: M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; 7 mortar rounds.

Demolitions Team (5 men): each with: M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; 1 smoke grenade; 2 frag grenades; 50’ Primercord; 4 detonators; 6 blocks of TNT; 2 fuse lighters; demo kit w/crimpers, knife, tape and cord. Team also carried 7 satchel charges and 3 pole charges.

On board each LCVP were:
12 bandoleers of clipped ammunition (48 rounds per)
6 frag grenades
2 smoke grenades
6 ammo boxes each with 250 rounds of belted .30-caliber.
72 rounds 60mm mortar or 24 rounds of 81mm mortar bombs
10 Bazooka rockets
2 pole charges
3 satchel charges
2 ammo boxes of 250 loose rounds of .30-caliber (BAR)
12 rifle grenades

As can be seen, a lot of weapons and ammunition…but in addition:

INDIVIDUAL CLOTHING
Web waist belt
Wool drawers
Helmet with liner
2 handkerchiefs
M1941 Field Jacket or Winter Combat Jacket
Service shoes & leggings
Impregnated socks, wool, protective
Flannel shirt, protective
Wool trousers, protective
Undershirt, wool

INDIVIDUAL EQUIPMENT
M1928 Haversack and carrier or Musette Bag and M1936 suspenders for officers and containing raincoat, blanket, toiletries, 4 1.5-oz heating units; water purification tablets, 3 pairs of wool socks, 1 pair of protective socks; 2oz can of insect powder; 3 K-Rations, 3 D-Rations, 7 packs of cigarettes; 7 sticks of gum, and 7 boxes of matches.

Canteen, cup, and cover
Spoon
First Aid Pouch w/bandage; envelope of sulfanilamide powder and 12 sulfadiazine tablets
Parachutist’s First Aid Packet w/bandage; envelope of sulfanilamide powder; 12 sulfadiazine tablets; tourniquet and morphine syrette.

M-5 Assault Gas Mask w/mask, 1 tube protective ointment; 1 set anti-dim agent; 2 sleeve gas detectors; 1 8oz can show impregnite; 1 individual cover; 1 tube BAL eye ointment; 2 eye shields.

Identification Tags
Entrenching tool and cover
PLUS, for riflemen; Cartridge belt and M-1 bayonet
OR for automatic riflemen: BAR Magazine Belt and M-3 knife
OR for men issued the carbine or pistol: pistol belt, carbine or pistol ammo pouch; M-3 knife, if armed with a pistol, the M1916 pistol holster was issued.

In addition to the above, each man was issued 200 francs in invasion currency; 6 anti-seasickness pills; 2 bags, vomit, 1 lifebelt, 1 Pilofilm cover for weapon and a copy of Eisenhower’s Order of the Day.

The clothing issued to the assault troops for Overlord was heavily impregnated for protection from mustard gas, this treatment resulted in a foul-smelling oily coating that added to the discomfort of the soldiers who were forced to wear their foul-smelling, stiff uniforms for weeks after the invasion.

The last item issued to the troops was an inflatable life belt that contained compressed CO2 cartridges that would inflate the belt when they were squeezed. Orders were issued to the troops to wear these belts up high under the arms so that when inflated, these belts would not slip down the body and flip the soldier upside down. In spite of these orders, many men were drowned when their life belts did fall too low.

The 1st Infantry Division, drawing on its previous amphibious experience, issued two life belts to each man and insured that they were tied in place up high under the arms with twine. The units also tied life belts to ammo boxes, heavy weapons, radios and other bulky equipment so that they would float to shore if dropped in the water.
__________________
The reason that the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices chaos on a daily basis.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 10-03-2014, 12:02 PM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: East Tennessee, USA
Posts: 2,762
Default Organization of the Assault Troops, Part II

Sources are Omaha A Flawed Victory by Adrian Lewis, D-Day by Steven Ambrose and D-Day by Tute, Costello and Hughes, Spearheading D-Day by Jonathan Gawne and the 6juin1944.com web site.

ASSAULT BOAT TEAM

Boat Team Leader: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; M1911A1 Pistol w/3mags; 6 colored smoke grenades; 1 smoke grenade, 1 frag grenade, 1 SCR-536 radio.

Assistant Boat Team Leader: M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; 2 smoke grenades; 8 frag grenades.

Rifle Team #1 and 2: M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; 1 smoke grenade; 2 frag grenades; wirecutters.

Rifle Team #3: M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; 1 smoke grenade; 1 frag grenade; 1 grenade launcher M7; 10 rifle grenades.

Rifle Team #4 and 5: M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; 1 smoke grenade, 2 frag grenades, 1 Bangalore Torpedo section.

Wire Cutting Team (4 men): each with M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; 1 smoke grenade; 2 Bangalore Torpedo sections; and either one pair wire cutters or 1 large search nose wirecutters.

BAR Team #1 and 3: M1918A2 BAR w/13 mags; BAR spare parts kit

BAR Team #2 and 4: M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; BAR belt w/12 mags

60mm Mortar Team #1: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; mortar sight; cleaning staff; binoculars; compass; flashlight; 12 mortar rounds

60mm Mortar Team #2: M1911A1 Pistol w/3 mags; mortar; 5 mortar rounds.

60mm Mortar Team #3: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; 12 mortar rounds.

60mm Mortar Team #4: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; 12 mortar rounds.

Bazooka Team #1 and 3: each with: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; M-1A1 Bazooka w/8 rockets

Bazooka Team #2 and 4: each with: M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; 12 rockets

Flamethrower Team # 1: M-1911A1 Pistol w/3 mags, 1 flamethrower

Flamethrower Team #2: M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; 4 smoke grenades; 6 frag grenades; 5 gallon fuel refill; spare nitrogen tank and wrenches.

Demolitions Team (5 men): each with: M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; 1 smoke grenade; 2 frag grenades; 50’ Primercord; 4 detonators; 6 blocks of TNT; 2 fuse lighters; demo kit w/crimpers, knife, tape and cord. Team also carried 7 satchel charges and 3 pole charges.

SUPPORT BOAT TEAM
Boat Team Leader: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; M1911A1 Pistol w/3mags; 6 colored smoke grenades; 1 smoke grenade, 1 frag grenade, 1 SCR-536 radio.

Assistant Boat Team Leader: M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; 2 smoke grenades; 8 frag grenades.

Rifle Team # 1, 2 and 3: M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; grenade launcher M7; 1 smoke grenade; 2 frag grenades; 12 rifle grenades.

Rifle Team #4 and 5: M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; 2 smoke grenades, 5 frag grenades, wirecutters.

HMG Team #1: M1911A1 Pistol w/3 mags; tripod

HMG Team #2: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; M1917A1 .30-caliber HMG.

HMG Team #3: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; water chest; spare parts kit; ammo box.

HMG Team #4 and 5: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; 2 ammo boxes.

HMG Team #6: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; binoculars; 2 ammo boxes.

Wire Cutting Team (4 men): each with M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; 1 smoke grenade; 2 Bangalore Torpedo sections; and either one pair wire cutters or 1 large search nose wirecutters.

81mm Mortar Team #1: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; mortar sight; binoculars; compass; flashlight; sound powered phone; 5 mortar rounds.

81mm Mortar Team #2: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; bipod; sound powered phone.

81mm Mortar Team #3: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; mortar tube w/aiming stakes in it.

81mm Mortar Team #4: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; baseplate.

81mm Mortar Team #5: M-1 Carbine w/5 mags; 7 mortar ounds; 400 yards communication wire on reel.

81mm Mortar Team #6, 7 and 8: M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; 7 mortar rounds.

Demolitions Team (5 men): each with: M-1 Garand w/176 rounds; 1 smoke grenade; 2 frag grenades; 50’ Primercord; 4 detonators; 6 blocks of TNT; 2 fuse lighters; demo kit w/crimpers, knife, tape and cord. Team also carried 7 satchel charges and 3 pole charges.

On board each LCVP were:
12 bandoleers of clipped ammunition (48 rounds per)
6 frag grenades
2 smoke grenades
6 ammo boxes each with 250 rounds of belted .30-caliber.
72 rounds 60mm mortar or 24 rounds of 81mm mortar bombs
10 Bazooka rockets
2 pole charges
3 satchel charges
2 ammo boxes of 250 loose rounds of .30-caliber (BAR)
12 rifle grenades

As can be seen, a lot of weapons and ammunition…but in addition:

INDIVIDUAL CLOTHING
Web waist belt
Wool drawers
Helmet with liner
2 handkerchiefs
M1941 Field Jacket or Winter Combat Jacket
Service shoes & leggings
Impregnated socks, wool, protective
Flannel shirt, protective
Wool trousers, protective
Undershirt, wool

INDIVIDUAL EQUIPMENT
M1928 Haversack and carrier or Musette Bag and M1936 suspenders for officers and containing raincoat, blanket, toiletries, 4 1.5-oz heating units; water purification tablets, 3 pairs of wool socks, 1 pair of protective socks; 2oz can of insect powder; 3 K-Rations, 3 D-Rations, 7 packs of cigarettes; 7 sticks of gum, and 7 boxes of matches.

Canteen, cup, and cover
Spoon
First Aid Pouch w/bandage; envelope of sulfanilamide powder and 12 sulfadiazine tablets
Parachutist’s First Aid Packet w/bandage; envelope of sulfanilamide powder; 12 sulfadiazine tablets; tourniquet and morphine syrette.

M-5 Assault Gas Mask w/mask, 1 tube protective ointment; 1 set anti-dim agent; 2 sleeve gas detectors; 1 8oz can show impregnite; 1 individual cover; 1 tube BAL eye ointment; 2 eye shields.

Identification Tags
Entrenching tool and cover
PLUS, for riflemen; Cartridge belt and M-1 bayonet
OR for automatic riflemen: BAR Magazine Belt and M-3 knife
OR for men issued the carbine or pistol: pistol belt, carbine or pistol ammo pouch; M-3 knife, if armed with a pistol, the M1916 pistol holster was issued.

In addition to the above, each man was issued 200 francs in invasion currency; 6 anti-seasickness pills; 2 bags, vomit, 1 lifebelt, 1 Pilofilm cover for weapon and a copy of Eisenhower’s Order of the Day.

The clothing issued to the assault troops for Overlord was heavily impregnated for protection from mustard gas, this treatment resulted in a foul-smelling oily coating that added to the discomfort of the soldiers who were forced to wear their foul-smelling, stiff uniforms for weeks after the invasion.

The last item issued to the troops was an inflatable life belt that contained compressed CO2 cartridges that would inflate the belt when they were squeezed. Orders were issued to the troops to wear these belts up high under the arms so that when inflated, these belts would not slip down the body and flip the soldier upside down. In spite of these orders, many men were drowned when their life belts did fall too low.

The 1st Infantry Division, drawing on its previous amphibious experience, issued two life belts to each man and insured that they were tied in place up high under the arms with twine. The units also tied life belts to ammo boxes, heavy weapons, radios and other bulky equipment so that they would float to shore if dropped in the water.
__________________
The reason that the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices chaos on a daily basis.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 10-03-2014, 12:03 PM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: East Tennessee, USA
Posts: 2,762
Default Weather and Losses

Sources are Omaha A Flawed Victory by Adrian Lewis, D-Day by Steven Ambrose and D-Day by Tute, Costello and Hughes, Spearheading D-Day by Jonathan Gawne and the 6juin1944.com web site.

The story of the weather of D-Day is well known….but picture a heavily loaded LCVP making its way through 5-6 foot waves. Many troops were forced to bail out their boats in the long approach, the soldiers had little room to move and were drenched with freezing spray, when the ramps went down, some of the troops couldn’t move ashore, but stumbled and fell into the water. They had become so cramped because of the overcrowding that their muscles could not respond. They lay in the water for several minutes, until they had recovered enough to move ashore.

Not only were the rough seas an impact, but the strong off shore current played havoc with the landing plan. The 116th Infantry was scheduled to land four companies abreast, covering the Easy Green, Dog Red, Dog White and Dog Green beaches. One company was landed on target on Dog Green, two companies were swept into the Easy Green sector and the final company was landed on Fox Green and Easy Red in the 1st Infantry Division’s sector.

The landing plan for Omaha Beach called for 45,000 troops, 2,853 vehicles and 1,100 tons of supplies to be landed on June 6, 1944. The initial assault waves contained some 7,000 men. The official record of losses for D-Day state that there was some 1-1500 losses. As the years have rolled on and more and more records have been declassified, the estimates of the losses have moved upwards. The latest research places the losses on D-Day at closer to 5,000 men, killed, wounded and missing. The worst hit unit was Company A of the 116ht Infantry Regiment, which landed on Dog Green and in 10 horrific minutes, lost 90% of its personnel.
__________________
The reason that the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices chaos on a daily basis.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:09 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.