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Thread: Italian Front

  1. #31
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    Default Re: Italian Front

    Hello to all, I agree with you Leccy, has what a lot of people think contrarily, the defense of Italy by the German was a tactical decision of the high German command. Indeed the one here authorized to constitute a point of fixing of the troops allied, delaying the landing in France and allowing them to strengthen their defenses.
    Fred regards
    He who asks a question remains ignorant five minutes, who does not ask remains ignorant of his life.

  2. #32
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    Default Re: Italian Front

    As to the original question/poster:

    It is the emphasize that is different:
    Stalin wanted a second FRONT in the order of magnitude of what the russians had to bear most of the time.
    The deployment in Italy was not a FRONT as such, but more of a puny little skirmish such as a "Battle of Nikolayevka"...in the eyes of the misinformed Stalin(ists).

    That 's how you have to see it. And that is why there are no records of Churchill mentioning this to Stalin "Dear Stalin, I am obliged to point out to you, that you seem to have been uninformed about the developments of a second front on the Italian fascist boot".
    Which is kind of strange, because you'd expect Churchill to have the balls to mention it to Stalin (knowing that Stalin could never be "so insulted" as to make another separate peace with Hitler...).
    And the west (by Enigma cracking) and east allies (Spy informers) would have been able to confirm that indeed many SS troops were whisked off from Kursk to support the Italian defence.
    So, what more could STalin want ? ..and that's exactly it : A LOT MORE.



    Edit:
    come to think of (conspirational whisper) maybe the US boys at Omaha beach were intended somewhat to get sacrificed (Bombers "forgot" to prebomb the beach, Overshoots or too little bombardment from battleships, misdirected landing from landing craft, the stupid attack spot too far away from Utah and Gold beach, and an impossible cliff wall...how stupid as a planner can you be to select this location !?) otherwise brother Stalin might think it was a complete walkover (as Utah and GJS effectively were) , feeding the thought and proof that the west allies had waited too long and suffered too little.
    Last edited by Frankly Dude Really; 06-12-2015 at 06:45 AM.

  3. #33
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    Default Re: Italian Front

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankly Dude Really View Post
    come to think of (conspirational whisper) maybe the US boys at Omaha beach were intended somewhat to get sacrificed (Bombers "forgot" to prebomb the beach
    Why would an amphibious invader pre-bomb the 300 yards of firm sand on the beach its troops had to cross?

    The beach slopes very gently below highwater mark. With a tidal range of 18 feet expected at the period of the assault, low tide would expose a stretch of firm sand averaging about 300 yards in distance from lowwater mark to high.
    http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/...A-Omaha-2.html

    Bombing will only produce craters and raised soft sand around them, thus slowing the troops crossing the beach and exposing them longer to the defenders' fire by forcing them to work around craters and being slowed by the soft sand around them.

    The craters would provide no cover to the invaders as the beach was swept by fire from the enemy's elevated positions.

    Or are you misrepresenting the failure to bomb caused by weather conditions aborting missions, which had nothing to do with 'forgetting' to bomb the defences behind the beach?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankly Dude Really View Post
    Overshoots or too little bombardment from battleships, misdirected landing from landing craft,
    Those present and those evaluating this aspect had a different, and one imagines rather better informed, view to yours.

    It is regrettable that in the preparation for this operation as probably in most others, the gunfire support ships and craft which ultimately participated could not be present in the early stages of training of the Landing Force. This would have helped to avoid the birth of what is believed to be unsound doctrine that sprang from a lack of assurance that Naval support in sufficient strength would be furnished.

    Naval Gunfire in the Operation. H-hour for the operation was based on a variety of factors, and changed with the date of D day. In any case it allowed for at least fifty minutes of daylight prior to the landing. Airspot was furnished beginning forty minutes before sunrise. Based on these limiting factors, and on the amount of fire power available, it was planned to put down neutralizing fire on beach defenses from H minus 40 minutes to about H-hour and to lift fire to targets inland for twenty minutes thereafter. TEXAS was assigned the task of knocking out the strong (6 155mm guns) battery believed to be on POINTE du HOE. ARKANSAS, GLASGOW, GEORGES LEYGUES and eleven destroyers were assigned targets on, behind and on the flanks of the beaches. MONTCAIM was given the task of

    -- 2-4 --
    neutralizing PORT en BESSIN initially. Fire was to be continued on the flanks of the assault beaches for varying periods based on the time it was expected that the troops would reach phase lines. Destroyers were ordered to close the beaches as near as possible to deliver direct aim fire on pillboxes and beach defenses. All fire was delivered on schedule. Immediately preceding the assault LCT(R)s were scheduled to fire full HE rocket salvos at strong points on the cliffs immediately behind the beaches. LCGs and LCS(S)s were assigned targets commensurate with their fire power.

    From an examination of the beach defenses, and from the action of the defenders, it appears that the German defenses except obstructions were directed entirely against troops on or near the beaches and not against shipping or against boats until they were very close to the beaches. Casemated guns, pillboxes and machine guns were almost all sited to fire up and down the beach instead of out to sea. In many cases they were constructed so that they were invisible from seaward. All were difficult to detect. As a result, even though photographic reconnaissance was very thorough and usually correct, ships were unable to pick out all the positions in the areas assigned them. Further, the time available for prelanding bombardment was not sufficient for the destruction of beach targets. German technique permitted the attacking units which got past the mines and underwater obstacles to get on the beach and then endeavored to wipe them out by the fire of automatic weapons and light artillery.

    The assault sections of both the 116th and 16th regiments were held up on the beaches by enemy mortar, light artillery, automatic weapon and small arms fire. This fire was being delivered from strong points located at the top of the cliffs and bluffs overlooking the beaches and from mortars a little further inland. Although Shore Fire Control Parties were landed at H+30 minutes they were in many cases unable to set up their equipment because of casualties and enemy fire.

    At this juncture the destroyers CARMICK, DOYLE, MCCOOK, THOMPSON, FRANKFORD, HARDING, EMMONS, and BALDWIN and the three British Hunts MELBREAK, TALYBONT and TANATSIDE closed the beach and took under fire many of the enemy positions. Their fire was directed in part from the ships and in part from Shore Fire Control Parties which managed to set up communications. Too much credit cannot be given the destroyers which participated in this bombardment. Lacking complete knowledge of their own troops positions, and hard pressed to pick out enemy positions, they closed in some cases to within 800 yards of the beach. Position after position was taken under direct fire. It is certain that they destroyed many of the enemy positions and it is probable that without their assistance the casualties on the beach would have been considerably higher. Heavier ships joined in the fire but for the most part fired with airspot at targets designated

    -- 2-5 --
    by SFCPs or planes. Spotting aircraft were kept busy searching for enemy guns inland from the beaches. Aided by the concentration of fire the 16th Infantry and somewhat later the 116th Infantry attacked and moved off the beaches.

    The Germans had an elaborate system of tunnels which it was not practicable to clear out at this time even had its full extent and nature been realized. Observers in these tunnels were able to spot for field artillery in the rear of the beaches with devastating accuracy. The Germans continued to hold their fire until LCTs and LCI(L)s hit the beach and then opened up. Evidently their guns were registered on the beaches; in any event their fire was very successful. In addition to 88 mm and 75 mm fire the Germans used 200 lb. oil filled incendiary rockets. At least one LCT was hit by one of these rockets just as unloading was commenced. The craft was totally destroyed. This artillery and mortar fire was very difficult to stop, and continued with decreasing intensity throughout the afternoon of D+1 day. Fortunately in the later stages it was mostly directed against the block ships and against the beach area in general rather than against specific LCTs and vehicles on the beaches.

    By 1300 on D day (H plus 6 hours 30 minutes) the situation had improved considerably and the Shore Fire Control Parties began to function in their normal manner. From this time until D plus 4, when the forward line reached the FOREST OF CERISY and passed out of the range of all ships of Force "0", effective call fire was delivered by all fire support ships as the need arose. On D+1, HAWKINS and ENTERPRISE of Force "L'" reported to the Bombardment Group Commander. These ships rendered valuable assistance. They were released to Force "U" that evening. On D+2 BELLONA was requested and assigned from the Control Force. As their ammunition allowance (75%) was expended the original fire support destroyers were replaced by destroyers from the screen. Replacement destroyers were BARTON, ELLYSON, O'BRIEN, MURPHY and PLUNKETT.

    Brief reference may be made to the operation against POINTE du HOE. Photographic reconnaissance indicated the presence of six casemated guns. On that premise, the position was subjected to severe air bombing both preceding and during the operation proper. Also TEXAS delivered some 250 rounds of 14 inch fire on it. When the Rangers succeeded in scaling the cliff, however, they found the casemates empty. It later developed that four of the guns had been moved and emplaced in a hedge lane about a mile south. This new position was bombarded and knocked out by TEXAS using airspot during the morning of D day. Meanwhile, the Rangers found themselves in a precarious position and were maintained only by their own efforts and the untiring assistance of SATTERLEE, and later THOMPSON, HARDING and BARTON.

    -- 2-6 --
    In General. It is believed that the time available for prelanding bombardment was not sufficient. German defensive positions were well camouflaged and strong. It is considered that these positions should be destroyed by slow aimed fire from close range, prior to the landing. Something more than temporary neutralization is required when troops face beach mines, wire, anti-tank ditches and similar obstacles after landing.
    http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/.../Neptune2.html


    Quote Originally Posted by Frankly Dude Really View Post
    the stupid attack spot too far away from Utah and Gold beach, and an impossible cliff wall...how stupid as a planner can you be to select this location !?)
    Look at the map and see if you can work out why Omaha was a necessary part of the frontal assault on Fortress Europe.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankly Dude Really View Post
    otherwise brother Stalin might think it was a complete walkover (as Utah and GJS effectively were) , feeding the thought and proof that the west allies had waited too long and suffered too little.
    No comment.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  4. #34
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    Default Re: Italian Front

    Pointe du hoc...iso Omaha Beach. Sorry. That is what I meant. That is where the cliffs where, there was no or bad prebombardment (by planes.. of the day before...the other craters where from many days /weeks before..or later that DDay and +1) , no proper navy bombardment support (after the initial area bombardment of some 30 minutes it was left unattended..except for one clever dutch destroyer firing a few supporting shots in disbelief seeing the rangers struggle), the landing craft were at a wrong location and turned to the better location just few 100 yards before the coast sailing parallel to it.. (omg)
    The only reason given for this difficult attack location was the fear of some german artillery that ,may be, could reach Utah and further Omaha beaches.
    Well, why not have paratroopers drop there ??..
    And for the 6 artillery pieces at P dHoc there are 100 others scattered elsewhere behind the frontline being directed by spotters at the frontline doing the same or more harm, and of those no-one of the allied planners
    were worried ?

    But in the end the german guns at PdHoc were fakes(or disfunctional or obsolete) except for a handfull which were pulled and hidden further inland.
    ..some intel.


    So, of course thanks to the french partisans and air bombardment of infrastructure , and the few flanks (flanks! = not BEHIND the center front) covered by paratrooper landings the germans were not able to send in fast and strong reinforcements (also thanks to a sleeping beauty Hitler)...but reading the accounts of the first landings on Utah, Gold Juno Sword and parts of Omaha , you must agree in terms of facing the worst odds battlefronts in russia and on japanese islands; Normandy beaches were a walkover ..

    Logistically , the invasion operation as such, was big..but in terms of how many men confronted eachother at the distance of a rifle range = little.(compared to bloody carnages in russia and in pacific).
    Everywhere the allied soldiers were at the roads behind the beachwall within few hours. Often within 30 minutes.

    Bayeux had no paratroopers coverage. Bayeux had no railroad junction (Caen and St Lo already bombed = sufficient)...yet there was no major influx of german reinforcements from there to the beaches. Why is that ?
    answer; because there was no (substantial) reserve !

    And that is why I make the "conspiracy" suggestion that maybe the allied invasion would be embarrassing in the face of Stalin and the west public if it were TOO successful, and hence the allied command throw in an impossible mission Pointe Du Hoc to show the world "SEE? it was THAT hard/difficult/tough. But we did it. and this could not be done in 1943".
    Last edited by Frankly Dude Really; 11-24-2015 at 05:51 AM.

  5. #35
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    Default Re: Italian Front

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Why would an amphibious invader pre-bomb the 300 yards of firm sand on the beach its troops had to cross?


    Bombing will only produce craters and raised soft sand around them, thus slowing the troops crossing the beach and exposing them longer to the defenders' fire by forcing them to work around craters and being slowed by the soft sand around them.

    The craters would provide no cover to the invaders as the beach was swept by fire from the enemy's elevated positions.
    I 'd take, no , every infantry man would take a crater filled beach , any time over a flat beach being fired on from an elevation.
    Why ?
    An infantry man is carrying some 40 kgs of gear...not at all a sprinter. Certainly not one that could make 400 meters in dull flat sand in 30 seconds.
    That would take him 3 minutes , if he'd not collapse before of exhaustion. And that is without being fired upon.

    No, rather he'd take short sprints, then rest, and sprint again...what better opportunity than to take cover in a crater here or there ?
    A fairly standard bomb crater is deeper than a foxhole..so to that again, it proves its worth.

  6. #36
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    Default Re: Italian Front

    here a picture of which ship was supposed to cover Point du Hoc..and actually didn't when the rangers climbed the cliffs; the Texas ?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    and the dutch one Soemba that did out of common sense

    and here an anecdote on how the British Royal marine treated foreign non american navy : (answer: with stupefying contempt...)
    (in short ; dutch destroyer needed replacement gun for DDAY or else couldnot participate..and english Captain agreed and thought that a Limerick style request would help..it did raise attention. But it only meant more limericks sending to and fro. Nine limericks !
    When finally a dutch admiral felt he had to throw in some weight..with a half limerick.)


    De veelvuldige inzet eiste zijn tol. De kanons van de Floresklasse waren drie keer vaker gebruikt dan waar ze voor ontworpen waren. Vooral die van de Soemba waren aan vervanging toe, maar de wachtlijst was lang. Het einde van de successen leek nabij.

    Op de Britse Admiraliteit kwam het verzoek binnen dat n van de drie kanons van de Soemba vervangen moest worden. Ondertussen waren de voorbereidingen voor een invasie op het vasteland van West-Europa in volle gang. De drukte op de scheepswerven was enorm en de prioriteit lag bij andere zaken. Toch meende de Britse kapitein ter zee Nicholl dat de Terrible Twins de invasie niet mochten missen; ze zouden van grote waarde zijn voor het Nederlandse moreel.

    KTZ Nicholl besloot daarop het verzoek door te sturen naar de scheepswerven in de vorm van een limerick, een soort rijm:

    A report has come in from the Soemba
    That their salvos go off like a Rhumba
    Two guns, they sound fine
    But the third five point nine
    He am bust and refuse to go boomba

    De truc leek te werken en zijn bericht viel op tussen al die standaard verzoeken. De limerick werd beantwoord met limericks. Na negen limericks was er echter nog niets toegezegd. KTZ Jhr. Van Holthe, vice-chef-staf en liaison-officer bij de Admiraliteit kreeg er genoeg van en stuurde een dubbele rijm:

    After so much backchat it is but right
    That Soemba should join in this fight
    Because she loves very much
    To be rude too, and in Dutch
    So no one can read it, serve you right
    Waarom wordt nog niet begonnen
    Met verwisselen der kanonnen?
    Rijmpjes maken helpt geen zier
    Want met pen, inkt en papier
    Werd geen oorlog ooit gewonnen

    Googletranslate;
    Why not started yet
    With change of the guns?
    Make rhymes helps not a whit
    Because with pen, ink and paper
    No war was ever won

    Het wonder geschiedde en Hr.Ms. Soemba kreeg een nieuw derde kanon. De Terrible Twins konden op de lijst voor D-Day op 5 juni 1944.



    also briefly mentioned in ;
    https://books.google.nl/books?id=ON0...%20hoc&f=false
    Last edited by Frankly Dude Really; 11-24-2015 at 06:01 AM.

  7. #37
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    Default Re: Italian Front

    Ermmm...

    The bombing of Omaha was a study in failure to listen to good advice from those who knew.

    And blame for this rests entirely with none other than General Omar "Soldier's soldier" Bradley.

    MR Bradley totally ignored the Pacific advisors sent to COSSAC planners, Gen. Pete Corbin. Bradley told him, without qualifications, that Corbin was preaching "Bush league stuff".

    I'll drag the MHQ article out on this if anyone is particularly interested. corbin's advice was ignored. Brdley felt that in the "Big Leaugue", his professional advice was not welcome.

    significantly, Omaha was the only beach wehere the issue was in any way "in doubt". The airstrike killed more Norman cows than German troops of the 352nd infantry division. they had, by 1100 hrs on D-Day, the situation so well in hand in their view, that reserves went to British beaches instead.

    If anything, cratering Omaha beach may well have been useful; at the very least it would have given attacking waves somewhere to shelter. As it was, the bombardment failed in every way possible, the surf was too heavy to use the only British amphibious toys that Bradley also arrogantly waived aside, and nearly every one of the DD tanks that set forth to land sank.

    Listening to Pete Corbin's realistic objections about lack of numbers in bombarding ships, their target selection, and the role of the Air force in the pre-invasion bombardment, cost a lot of lives, saved only by German reserves stupidly sent elsewhere, when Omaha could, concievably, have been trounced at the waterline.

    Corbin had noted well that the Marine corps version of support from fighter bombers and medium attack planes usually did very little in the way of it's stated tasks in the Pacific. noting this to Bradley, Bradley swept such considerations aside as well.

    all in all, it was an arrogant performance from a General whose name even his serving soldiers were mostly unaware of. On the other hand, Third Army units knew exactly who their Army commander was right through the conflict, from their initial role as the 'bait' (then designated as FUSAG..Frst US Army Group), to their transfer to normandy and activation as the Third Army, for the breakout into open country during Operation "Cobra".

    Omar Bradley had the wonderful distinction of having his chief rival, Patton, die in a vehicle collision whilst still in Germany.

    no-one was 'mouthy' enough after the war to check ?Bradley's claims of having won the ground war virtually on his own, with hodges, Patton, Dempsey, montgomery, Crerar and others as mere 'supporting elements".

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