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5th June and Omaha Beach

Discussion in 'Western Europe 1943 - 1945' started by COMET, Jun 5, 2001.

  1. COMET

    COMET Member

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    Hi everybody....

    Today is 5th June!This year I will not go to Normandy as last years, but nevertheless I am thinking to do the trip in September.

    Well I am reading "Dawn of D-Day" and I am estonish by a sentence of the author. He says more or less that if Omaha Beach turns to a disaster is because the English intelligence Corp did not give information about the obstacles and mines on Omaha Beach.... I am dreaming???

    Comet
     
  2. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Hello Comet: You are correct. The landing obstacles were mostly intact. Combat Engineers had to use satchel charges and bangalore Torpedos in order to get through the beach obstacles. Apparently, the bombings and navy artillery failed to "clean" the beaches.

    Intelligence services in the military mostly were fould-up.
     
  3. Gary Swinn

    Gary Swinn recruit

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    Hello Comet,
    Just found this site today and so I've registered, in a late addition to this issue I have also read that the large numbers of US casualties were in part due to their refusal to accept any of Hobart's 'funnies'.
     
  4. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Hello Gary and welcome aboard.

    Quick question.

    Hobarts funnies? can you please let me know more on this as I had not heard that term for him before. Unless of coarse, you are meaning that he was somewhat of a foul-up oas a divisional Commander--in which case, I have to agree. He was too cautious like Gen Lucas, but at times--too audacious, like Patton, only Hobart was'nt in Pattons catagory as a commander.
     
  5. talleyrand

    talleyrand Member

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    He's talking about scratch built engineering vehicles= Hobarts funny's IIRC
     
  6. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Thanks for this info Tally but I was talking about Brig Gen Matthew Hobart, who was a loser of a commander and who I mistakenly thought that he was talking about.

    Come to think of it, I am wrong in what theatre he was in, he was in the CBI theatre for a very short time and was sacked. Thats what they get when they put an Artillery officer in charge of Infantry troops. :mad:

    [ 17 January 2002: Message edited by: C.Evans ]</p>
     
  7. Paul Errass

    Paul Errass Member

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    Carl,

    Gary is talking about the British General Percy Hobart who designed a number of different Tanks such as the Flail,the Crocodile etc all of which were intended to help the Allies get off the beaches in the quickest possible time.They cleared the minefields and lay matting over the sand and obstacles so vehicles and men could move faster.
    Because of there strange design they were known as Hobart's Funnies!!

    They were used on the British beaches and were very successful.For some reason the Americans chose not to use them i don't know why.Certainly some historians feel that had they been used at Omaha they would have probably helped to clear the beach faster and hopefully have cut down on some of the casualties.

    Bad news about Heinz Heuer mate,

    Paul
     
  8. Affentitten

    Affentitten Member

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    OK, my first post here. No Aussie flag icon?!

    Omaha was always going to be a tough one. You can talk about obstacles, intelligence, green troops, AFV's and whatever, but the planners knew that Omaha was likely to generate the most casualties since it was the most obvious and mandatory landing place and therefore heavily defended.

    Despite the losses at Omaha, overall casualties were still less than had been predicted.

    The Americans refusing to use things like the AVREs and also, critically, the Firefly, seemed to stem from a bit of cultural snobbery. Perhaps the Americans felt that the Brits were too ready to rely on fiddly technology rather than on raw courage and a go-get-'em attitude. Ironic considering the importance placed on technology in the US forces these days.
     
  9. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Glad to "see" you here, and I think Peppy is the one who creates the flag icons. If you stick around here for awhile--there is going to be a Knight Cross Recipients photo page that the webmaster will be posting here starting with about 50 photos. Plus some other surprises....
     
  10. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    Double thumbs up !

    yes, YeS, YES !!!!

    :D :D :D :D , ok another one then

    :D

    E
     
  11. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    D Day was one of the most important days in military history, but it was a day full of errors in both sides. The errors in the German side could explain why did they lose, but the allied errors resulted in many cases better than the original plans. By example:

    The 101st airborne division fell all over the place, except where it was supossed to. But that made the Germans believe that they were thousands and thousands of paratroopers instead of a few like they were.

    I have to go now, I will continue later...

    Landing carfts in Utah beach did not ashore where they where ordered to, instead of that, the troops came ashore on a less defended sector.
     
  12. Panzerknacker

    Panzerknacker New Member

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    #bump#
    Following on the errors of military intelligence-all we need do is look at a very notable and funny comment in the Vietnam War flick "Hamburger Hill":-

    "Yeah, well military intelligence could f**k up a wet dream".....HEHEHEHEHE
     
  13. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    That's a disgusting but thruth comment! And let me tell you: German intelligence in WWII was not good either? Why do fools serve in one of the most important barnches of service in a country's armed forces? :rolleyes:
     
  14. Panzerknacker

    Panzerknacker New Member

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    It's always the way-I think a universal belief of many was that military intelligence was so unreliable because those Intelligence officers do not have to face the dangers of frontline action and couldnt be bothered to double check--- :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
     
  15. jarvis

    jarvis recruit

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    I don't see how the use of funnies would have helped on Omaha, almost all the armor that landed in the first waves were knocked out within seconds of landing, serving only as makeshift shelter for troops.

    As for poor intelligence, knowing that the defenders were SS and well armed may have had a negative physiological affect on green troops (Omaha had to be taken no matter the cost) and, as the bombardment was supposed to soften the defenders it wouldn't matter which troops were there in opposition, if, as the plan anticipated, they were all dead.

    With hindsight, developing close air support for pinned down troops should have been high on the agenda

    Would have probably been more beneficial than anything they could have landed on the beach that day
     
  16. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    The defenders were not SS. A longer artillery bombardment would've helped, but the biggest foul up was releasing the landing crafts too early resulting in almost all assault teams landing at the wrong section of the beach and nearly all DD tanks sunk.
     
  17. jarvis

    jarvis recruit

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    I stand corrected
    I meant the 357th infrantry division instead of the Ost-Bataillone's that were supposed to be defending
    I agree that the landing craft's miss landing caused much confusion and no doubt added to the casualties but I still believe that the tanks, or hobarts funnies, would have been quickly put out of action on pre sighted beaches.

    One question I have asked myself regarding the miss-landings is? If the troupe's had landed as planed (but without the DD tanks) would they have been able to get off the beach at all?
     
  18. Spaniard

    Spaniard New Member

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    Ok first I'm not talking about hobarts Funnies, didn't the US have those Sherman tanks with two propellers attached to them to maneuver in the water and land on the beach first, I remember reading many moons ago the Tanks were launched first from the Ships before the men. Many tanks due to rough Seas, Sunk only a few made it to shore to add support to the men that were about to land.
     
  19. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    This thread has some interesting posts early on.

    The US, for the most part, did their own shore recon and evaluation and were fairly aware of the beach obstacles the assaulting troops were to face. There were photographic flights made over the beach at least until the end of May and I think there were still some flown on June 2nd, though I cannot cite a source for that.

    The Duplex-drive tanks made it to Utah Beach, the ones destined for Omaha were put in the water too far out and water was too choppy as a result. A few did make it to the shore (I don't remember the number) later in the day, after much of the infantry had climbed the bluffs and were off the beach. The service by the tanks were they did land was invaluable and did help the infantry in their reduction of several strongpoints.

    One the additional problems that led to further problems on Omaha was the inaccuracy of ship and air bombardmemts, with much of the ordinance killing French cow further inland, instead of defenders at the shoreline.

    As far as the US making use of armored vehicles such as those found in the British 79th Division, that probably would have been a good thing.
     
  20. Spaniard

    Spaniard New Member

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    This is correct for some reason concerning Omaha the casualties numbers are all wing-wang as I noticed many times with other Battles in WWII.

    As for example Wiki states, American casualties at Omaha on D-Day numbered around 5000 out of 50000 men.

    Normandy landings - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    U.S. / OMAHA 2,000

    http://www.backtonormandy.org/operationoverlord/98-casualties-at-d-day.html


    Now this site states The Americans suffered 2,400 casualties at Omaha on June 6th.
    Focus on World War II: D-Day - Omaha Beach on YourDiscovery.com

    Omaha Beach was part of the invasion area assigned to the U.S. First Army, under Lieutenant General Omar Bradley. The assault sectors at Omaha were code-named (from west to east) Charlie, Dog (consisting of Green, White, and Red sections), Easy (Green and Red sections), and Fox (Green and Red sections). The beach was to be assaulted at 0630 hours by the U.S. 1st Infantry Division, with the 116th Regiment of the 29th Division attached for D-Day only. Omaha was wide enough to land two regiments side by side with armour in front, and so the 116th Regiment was to land at Dog (Green, White, and Red) and Easy Green, while the 16th Regiment, 1st Division, was to land at Easy Red and Fox Green.

    The Americans suffered 2,400 casualties at Omaha on June 6, but by the end of the day they had landed 34,000 troops. The German 352nd Division lost 20 percent of its strength, with 1,200 casualties

    Encyclopædia Britannica's Guide to Normandy 1944


    This beach is now known as “Bloody Omaha” because of the 2,200 casualties suffered by the American troops who landed here on D-Day.

    Memories of D-Day: Omaha Beach


    The sea was red as was the beach with the blood of over 2,400 men killed or wounded.
    Omaha Beach


    The 5th Ranger Infantry Battalion Casualties of the Invasion Operations 23 KIA, 89 WIA, and 2 MIA. Total 114 or 22%.


    [​IMG]


     

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