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  #1  
Old 23 Apr 12, 22:44
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US D-Day landings East of British ones

I was talking to a friend in Gr 10, who told me that his history teacher is of the belief that US forces should not have landed at Utah and Omaha, but instead they should have chosen beaches East of the British, between the Dives and Seine Rivers. I've attached a map to further explain his proposal. Very quickly I came to the conclusion that this is pure lunacy, based on a few blatantly obvious factors.

1. There needed to be at least 1 beach on the Cotentin Peninsula in order to facilitate an attack on Cherbourg, which as a deep sea port, was absolutely necessary in order to fight in Normandy. There was only so much capacity that the Mulberries could handle and thus a a proper port was needed.

2. Not landing at Utah and Omaha would leave the British right flank completely vulnerable to attack. Landing between the Dives and Seine meant that there would be 2 landing forces up against a weak coastal division, and nothing to guard the British from the two biggest threats in the immediate area: the German 91st and 352nd Infantry Divisions.

3. The fortress of Le Havre might have interfered with the landings (I don't know if there was any heavy artillery there or not).

Your thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 23 Apr 12, 22:56
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I believe we were focusing on Cherbourg as a primary objective (the importance of deep water ports) so I would think landing closer to the objective would be important.
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Old 23 Apr 12, 23:00
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The American divisions are placed wrong to land East of the British beaches. Also the British had already determined that they would advance out of Normandy as the Left Flank of the advancing combined armies. Roosevelt did not like the setup as he wanted the American zone in Germany to be the Northern part. He was talked into the setup that was used, except the Americans got a small area in the North.

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Old 23 Apr 12, 23:05
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
The American divisions are placed wrong to land East of the British beaches.

Pruitt
This assumes that the allies agree to this idea and plan accordingly. I'm just curious about it's military feasibility. To me it doesn't seem to make any sense on the strategic, operational or tactical level.
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Old 23 Apr 12, 23:10
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Originally Posted by Destroyer25 View Post
... To me it doesn't seem to make any sense on the strategic, operational or tactical level.
If it doesn't make sense on a strategic level, whether its feasible on any other level is irrelevant since it is a bad idea.
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Old 23 Apr 12, 23:16
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It helps any military plan if your units go directly to where they will land without crossing through another units route. To land east of the British beaches you would have to swap bases of the divisions involved.

Would there be a military advantage of some American Divisions landing to the East of the British? Well the Americans did get their objectives a long time before the British did. Maybe Monty would not have has so much trouble getting Caen if the Americans pushed the Germans away on the left? The Germans would have sent their best divisions to Monty's area of operations anyway.

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Old 24 Apr 12, 02:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
It helps any military plan if your units go directly to where they will land without crossing through another units route. To land east of the British beaches you would have to swap bases of the divisions involved.

Would there be a military advantage of some American Divisions landing to the East of the British? Well the Americans did get their objectives a long time before the British did. Maybe Monty would not have has so much trouble getting Caen if the Americans pushed the Germans away on the left? The Germans would have sent their best divisions to Monty's area of operations anyway.

Pruitt
Despite being involved in the Caen area I know little or nothing about the situation of German forces in the Cherbourg area but common sense tells me that there would have been big trouble awaiting the Americans if an attempt had been made too close to the port,for the Germans would have known that an important thing for any major landings in Normandy would eventually need a major port,being Cherbourg.I think any ideas involving such a move is 'Pie in the sky' by people who really know very little about the situation. lcm1
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Old 24 Apr 12, 02:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Destroyer25 View Post

3. The fortress of Le Havre might have interfered with the landings (I don't know if there was any heavy artillery there or not).
Yes eg

http://www.war44.com/longues-sur-mer...r-battery.html
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Old 24 Apr 12, 15:49
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lcm1,

Cherbourg is to the West, not in the area being talked about. I don't know if Destroyer wanted landings around LeHavre, but the fortified zone around there could have been a problem. The area to the East of the British landing beaches is crossed by the Seine River. There may have not been suitable landing beaches in this smaller area.

If that Teacher was advocating landings around Dieppe he was nuts after all the trouble we went through trying to divert the Germans there.

Pruitt
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Old 24 Apr 12, 17:20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
lcm1,

Cherbourg is to the West, not in the area being talked about. I don't know if Destroyer wanted landings around LeHavre, but the fortified zone around there could have been a problem. The area to the East of the British landing beaches is crossed by the Seine River. There may have not been suitable landing beaches in this smaller area.

If that Teacher was advocating landings around Dieppe he was nuts after all the trouble we went through trying to divert the Germans there.

Pruitt
In the original plan for Overlord there were landing zones placed to East of the British landing areas.
If memory serves me right these were not earmarked as US landing areas but rather CW. These landing areas were scrapped from the final plan for the landings. Iiac the coastal defences in that area were enableing the Germans to hold an attack easier.
One of the reasons to drop the area as a landing zone was said that Montgomery did not want to split his forces at the landing stage of the operation on two sides of a major river.
Should things go wrong, so was the reasoning, it could prove difficult to support troops landing in that area overland without having the certainty of having secured the areas behind the beaches.

Ed.
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  #11  
Old 24 Apr 12, 18:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
lcm1,

Cherbourg is to the West, not in the area being talked about. I don't know if Destroyer wanted landings around LeHavre, but the fortified zone around there could have been a problem. The area to the East of the British landing beaches is crossed by the Seine River. There may have not been suitable landing beaches in this smaller area.

If that Teacher was advocating landings around Dieppe he was nuts after all the trouble we went through trying to divert the Germans there.

Pruitt
No, between the Dives and the Seine, the map explains where the teacher proposed the US land their forces.
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Old 24 Apr 12, 19:45
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Unless we can examine LeHavre's artillery the question becomes a bit moot. I didn't see anything worthwhile worth seizing there.

Pruitt
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Old 24 Apr 12, 21:07
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Unless we can examine LeHavre's artillery the question becomes a bit moot. I didn't see anything worthwhile worth seizing there.

Pruitt
Aber posted a map.
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Old 24 Apr 12, 21:56
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Having the US forces to the east of the British also might have tempted Hitler to release the 15th Army into the battle much earlier...which wouldn't have been good for obvious reasons.
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Old 24 Apr 12, 22:48
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Having the US forces to the east of the British also might have tempted Hitler to release the 15th Army into the battle much earlier...which wouldn't have been good for obvious reasons.
Possible, as the Dives River was more or less the boundary between the 7th and 15th Armies.
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