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Normany Invasion earlier than June 1944?

Discussion in 'Western Europe' started by Pawnjuice, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Well sr801, someone here, and I'm too lazy to look back and find out who, mentioned the fact that unless we threatened a really important target, the Luftwaffe ignored us. Bombing Germany was something that couldn't be ignored. We lost lots of 4-engined bombers and their 10-11 crewmen that couldn't defend themselves as well as was thought. A cross-channel invasion would also bring them up except they'd have Spits and Jugs to fight.Fighting fighters is a lot harder and are more dangerous opponents. And, as I mentioned, most of the attrition factors would be in our favor.
     
  2. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    again, which is better, having the Luftwaffe available during the invasion or not available. If our fighter units are dealing with the Luftwaffe then that leaves the troops free to march to the front. The Germans feared the Jabos more then any one thing. Think of what would happen if a PZ div or two had been able to get to the beaches intact.
     
  3. harolds

    harolds Member

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    First of all, we would have had plenty of planes to take care of the Luftwaffe. Now I don't know what Pz div the Germans could have brought to bear, but if they did get anywhere close to the beaches they would have been torn to pieces by naval gun fire. Just like what happened at Salerno and at Sicily.
     
  4. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    1. Re luftwaffe numbers: Let me refer you to my earlier answer to this:-


    If the operations were over the Cotentin Peninsular or North of Caen any CAP for the fleet and beachhead was going to be rather thinly spread which would expose the Navy to all sorts of air to surface attacks. The navy would not operate a carrier in the Channel. .

    2. Re: "Naval gunfire support" You may be correct to say that the Navy could sustain a beachhead through weight of fire, but only as long as the channel weather is kind enough to allow the ships to maintain station. .

    However the aim is not to create a narrow beachhead holding on to the coast. It is to deploy an army of 100 divisions to beat the German army. The parallel is not Salerno or Sicily, it is Anzio where the allies landed too few troops to achieve their operational objectives of forcing the Germans to abandon the Winter lione. All they could do was hold on to their shallow perimeter. A "Second Front" bottled up on Utah beach or between Caen and Bayeux would be a disaster. .
     
  5. harolds

    harolds Member

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    My responce re. naval gunfire was directed towards sr801's remark about a "PZ div or two had been able to get to the beaches". No, I realize that any invasion force would push out as far as possible. Should the Germans, after a while, get a "Pz div or two" to fight us, we would be facing MkIIIs and MkIVs instead of Mk IVs and Panthers. These were tanks our Sherman could deal with. German Divisions such as Pz Lehr and Hitler Jugend weren't formed yet and the other German Pz divs were either being chewed up in Citadel or just barely recovering from same. Germany was very vulnerable at this time and it's too bad that we weren't able to capitalize on it.

    Just being curious, why did the USAAF have only 272 out of 574 fighters available in Sept. of '43?
     
  6. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner)

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    The XP-47K - which was a modified Block 5 P-47D - flew in July '43 to test the bubble canopy installation. Perhaps that was what William Green was refering to, otherwise he missed by more than 6 months. The bubble canopy did not appear on production models until the Block 25/26 P-47D and those were first delivered in February '44. And as previously stated, the wide chord paddle-blade prop was introduced on the Block 22/23 P-47D and none of those entered combat prior to 1944.

    The AAF historically spent the first 5 months of 1944 in an all out battle of attrition against the Luftwaffe and yet the month with the greatest numbers of heavy bomber losses to fighters (314, ETO) was April 1944. They were waging this war of attrition with an increase in fighter strength of almost 600% above what they had available at the end on July '43 (2532 in Jan'44, 426 in July '43). By the end of April '44 fighter strength (3,697) had increase by more than 800% over what was available in July '43. That does not even consider the increase in bomber strength facing the Luftwaffe or the attrition to the Luftwaffe that historically occured between July '43 and Jan '44.

    So, with a stronger Luftwaffe facing a much weaker AAF fighter force flying equipment of lesser quality, how can a battle of attrition over a '43 beachhead be anything other than a many months long affair? And during those many months until air superiority can be achieved, the guys on the ground will grow weary of seeing Luftwaffe tactical aircraft over their heads.
     
  7. harolds

    harolds Member

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    mcoffee, I re-read the referenced part in Green's book. He put the paddle-blade prop in a paragraph with several other improvements that came out about the same time. Even Green can be wrong, I suppose, but it still wouldn't matter. Pilots who knew how to use the Jug's attributes correctly were successful-and many of them were. I don't see how the Luftwaffe could have been successful in seriously damaging a cross-channel invasion. Even at this point their pilot training was woefully short compaired to British or American training thanks even then to the shortage of avgas. We could have knocked out their forward fields from bases in Britain but they practically couldn't reach ours in Britain by that time. The average skill level of the German pilot was falling behind their Allied counterparts and even with shortened training there was a shortage of pilots. Losses on the East Front were increasing sharply as Germany took units out of the East and put them into the Reich Defense Force thus making the number balance even worse for them back in Russia. In short, the Luftwaffe was unraveling and they were being forced back into Germany. They were starting to produce lots of fighters but as I said, pilot quality and replacement numbers were really falling off. Their bombers, what there were of them, were very vulnerable. They would have soon been shot out of the sky. How do you visualize and scenario where Germany could be successful??
     
  8. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner)

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    If the GAF's pilot skill level and replacement situation was so poor in the Summer of '43, why was there still such an extended battle of attrition through the first months of 1944? What shortage of avgas existed in 1943? How do you see the meager fighter forces available in 1943 suddenly overwhelming the GAF when the historical facts say otherwise?
     
  9. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Historically, what we did was play the one game that the Germans could do well in, attacking unescorted bombers. When we started escorting the bombers we started out with the same old error the Germans did in 1940, tying the fighters close to the bombers. When the fighters were cut loose to attack the Jagdtwaffe anyplace, anytime the German forces collapsed in one "Big" week.
    I'll pick up this again later but I'm going fishing today so perhaps I can get the figures on this and some quotes later this evening.
     
  10. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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  11. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Well, I re-referenced "The Luftwaffe Over Germany" by Caldwell and Muller. It seems they paint a very different picture than what most of us think of the Luftwaffe in 1943. Basically, they say that the Luftwaffe was close to collapse. Their are many reasons for this, dating back to the formation of the Luftwaffe and its incompetent senior leadership, but here is the situation as they portray it in the summer of '43.
    While it was true that the number of new fighter planes and pilots had been increased, this had not resulted in a larger fighter force. Due to increased casualties on all fronts, the increase had been barely adequate to keep up with those casualties. Due to the shortage of gasoline, Luftwaffe pilot training consisted of about half of what an RAF or USAAF pilot would get at the time. The new production of fighters mostly the FW 190A and ME 109G were rapidly becoming obsolescent. Both of these developments made the new German pilot even more vulnerable than normal. The night-fighter force was also sucking up more pilot recruits that were needed in the day-war. Galland also stated that the "old guard" of really good pre-war trained fighter leaders was being attrited and their replacements weren't nearly as good.What all this meant was that the Luftwaffe was totally over-extended and on the verge of collapse.
    That's why I believe that an invasion of France in the fall of '43 would not only have been successful, but would have led to the earlier collapse of the Luftwaffe!
     
  12. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    Harold.

    There are some serious holes in your logic.

    1. The Luftwaffe may have been "close to collapse" according to one book. However, its conditions was even weaker in 1944 and faced even greater odds. Please explain!

    2. As I have quoted from the USA Official history the allies did not have enough shipping to transport the US forces across the Atlantic OR to support a war winning force ashore. Pitting an invasion force of three divisions which might rise to 16 against the 50+ available to the Germans would have been an act of insanity rather than war.

    The Germans did have panzer V and VI in 1943, just not as many as in 1944. The Allies however did not have 76mm and 17 Pdr armed M4 Sherman's to deal with them. Furthermore, although the Germans appeared to have more forces in 1944, these too had declined in quality from a year's fighting..

    The 12 SS was formed from the the LAH - splitting the cadre of its officers and NCOs. The LAH of June 1944 had been rebuilt after it had been destroyed in the Korsun Pocket. The II SS Panzer Corps that fought in Normandy in 1944 had been depleted on the Russian Front.
     

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