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WHAT IF: D-day failed
Kencelot
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Florida, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 11:24 AM UTC
After watching the first part of the series tonight about D-Day, I wondered as I certain most here have at one time : what if D-Day failed. I can imagine that many of the 175,000 men involved that day had the same thought.
Do you think the allies would have been able to recover from such a loss?
Or would they have sought some sort of peace negotiations?
Would have they tried again?
Or would it have been the begining of the end of the world as we've come to know it, after considering Hitler's "gained time" to produce more devastating weapons!?
Sabot
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 06:59 PM UTC
The US forces easily could have absorbed the losses, it's the morale that may have gone bust. The divisions of men were a drop in the bucket and the vehicles could be spit out quicker than they were lost. Imagine the Dunkirk-type retreat they Allies would have faced.
HunterCottage
#116
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 09:22 PM UTC
Rob,

To honest I am not at that familiar with Dunkirk, what do you mean? That must of been a mess!

but on the way home from work today I was thinking about what I think would have happened. I agree with Rob morale would have been the only obstacle.
Sabot
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 10:37 PM UTC
Brian, Dunkirk is the operation that took place in May 1940 after the Germans ran through France and the Low Countries and pushed the British Expeditionary Forces and French Army into the sea. It was a forced retreat from the port of Dunkirk, France when the British mustered every sea-worthy vessel and sent it across the English Channel to evacuate the troops. About 300,000 Allied troops were rescued to fight another day.

Germany's blunder occurred when they had the troops trapped against the sea, but did not advance to capture or destroy the forces. Field Marshall Goerhing convinced Hitler that the Luftwaffe could destroy the troops in the pocket. Luckily, they failed and it allowed the evacuation of the Allied forces. Had they been destroyed, there would have been no ground troops to repel German invaders from England.
RufusLeeking
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2002 - 11:22 PM UTC
I agree with Sabot, the more I read about the subject or talk to the people that were there. I have a harder time figuring out how it could of failed. Even if it took days to get off those beaches, and it didn't. I see the outcome being the same. The only way I see the Germans stopping the outcome is if they controlled the skies. By 44 the war was over, the Allies just had to finish it. If the British isles fell to Germany in 41 that might be a different story.
drewgimpy
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Posted: Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 04:06 PM UTC
It would have hurt moral, but we would have recovered. We coulld have kept air dropping poeple in or shipping them across the canal. But we knew what we where up against as far a the #'s go and only several huge mistakes could have caused failure on that front. If that did happen France would have had to wait and could have overwhelmed them from the east with the Russians, although a single front war would not have had the same advantage.
TreadHead
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Posted: Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 10:17 PM UTC
Sorry guys, just a test (had log in problems). But since I'm here. Do you think the Allies would
have used 'the bomb' if D Day had failed? Considering they used it just a few months later in
the PTO, AND Hitler was getting awfully close to perfecting his 'bomb' technology...

Tread.
staff_Jim
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Posted: Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 10:56 PM UTC
Tread,
Glad to see you fixed your cookie problem!

Welcome back,
Jim
drewgimpy
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Posted: Friday, February 08, 2002 - 06:25 AM UTC
My understanding is we would not have had "the bomb" if we didn't beat the Germans and put their scientist to work for us.
Sabot
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Posted: Friday, February 08, 2002 - 07:07 AM UTC
Oh no, we were well ahead of them in the A-bomb department. They chased away the Einsteins because they were Jewish too.
TreadHead
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Posted: Friday, February 08, 2002 - 07:42 AM UTC
I agree wholeheartedly with Sabot, we indeed were ahead of the Germans regarding 'the
bomb'. Sabot's points are entirely accurate (as they usually are) about the 'jewish' part of the equation. It'd be great to see an expansion on the point tho'

Tread.
drewgimpy
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Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2002 - 04:30 PM UTC
My bad. I am not sure where I heard that but I better not repeat things I think I know. Thanks for the correction. It is nice to know we where ahead of them.
Linz
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Australia
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Posted: Monday, March 18, 2002 - 04:26 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Sorry guys, just a test (had log in problems). But since I'm here. Do you think the Allies would
have used 'the bomb' if D Day had failed? Considering they used it just a few months later in
the PTO, AND Hitler was getting awfully close to perfecting his 'bomb' technology...

Tread.



The first bomb was not dropped until almost exactly 14 months later, and in 14 months D-Day would have been repeated should it have been thrown back - an extremely unlikely case with the Allies having air supremely.

Also, AFAIK, there was serious problems with the German atomic program, meaning that it was impossible for them to develop a working weapon by following the research path they were.

Cheers,
Linz
ArmouredSprue
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South Australia, Australia
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Posted: Monday, March 18, 2002 - 06:45 PM UTC
Guys I got a question too!
I've heard that Rommel was release from his plans regarding the allies landing in europe, was their plans more efective in defending the beaches? I also heard that he felt that invasion was about to happens and he also knew(?) where was the most probably place that it was about to be, that's right?
Cheers!
Tanks
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Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2002 - 12:53 AM UTC
Paulo,
I think if Rommel had been given a free hand he might well have been able to use the panzer divisions behind the beaches to counter attack quickly. As it was Hitler was deceived into thinking it would be the Pas de Calais and most of the heavy tank divisions were deployed there and couldn't get to Normandy until it was too late.
Paul.
mj
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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 - 12:27 AM UTC
"Tanks" is right, I believe. If Rommel had been given a free hand with the available Panzer Div.s, things might have been much more difficult for the Allies. Rommel's "plan" was basically, you have to defeat the invasion on the beach, before bridgeheads could be established inland. German armor just may have been able to do that, despite Allied air superiority. That is the big question mark in my mind. Would the release of the German armor reserve have made it to the invasion beaches, given Allied air cover. If the invasion had been thown back, is a very interesting "what-if" scenario. Would Eisenhower have remained in command? Would German jets have become operational in enough numbers to contest Allied air superiority? Would the Allies have used the "bomb" in Europe? Would the German army have been able to halt the Russians with the men and material they would now have available to them, not having to send them to the Western Front? I can go on and on, but suffice to say, you could write several good books, based on the premise.
Tanks
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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 - 01:27 AM UTC
MJ
One of the problems with using the panzer divisions to crush the beachhead was that they would hve been smashed by the big guns of the ships offshore. This was one of the arguments used against Rommel by the German general staff. I'm not sure it is altogether such a big problem, but I wouldn't have liked to have been on the receiving end when HMS Belfast (for instance) let rip

http://www.iwm.org.uk/belfast/index.htm

I seem to think that this ship or another like it, perhaps Warspite, broke up a German armoured attack at Anzio in this way, I'll have to look at my references.
Paul.
Tanks
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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 - 01:48 AM UTC
Ah,
It was the Warspite at Salerno, roughed up the Herman Goering Division.
mj
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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 - 01:56 AM UTC
Paul, you've put me to shame. Here I am, an ex-Marine, and I completely failed to consider the effect of off-shore fire support.

I am slinking away, with head held low, to re-assess.

Mike
screamingeagle
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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2002 - 01:42 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Paul, you've put me to shame. Here I am, an ex-Marine, and I completely failed to consider the effect of off-shore fire support.

I am slinking away, with head held low, to re-assess.

Mike


Mike, don't be ashamed. We could all debate this to the end of time,
but in a way your right. The Panzer's in my opinion would have knocked
the invasion back into the sea.
Sorry Tank, but even though I'm a full blooded American Patriot, how
would the off shore ships have any effect on the German Panzers,
when they hardly softened up the Atlantic Wall defences. - I mean yes,
the ship's guns did some damage, but not enough, as the fact lies in
in the massacre of Allied invasion ( especially U.S. ) forces on the beachead.
But it was Allied infantry that breached the Atlantic wall - If the Panzers Div's were there
to defend - NO WAY !
Also, take this into account - that if the Panzer divisions, were ready & waiting at the time,
so would have been included in these divisions were elite Pz..Artillerie Regiments, Flak Abteilung, & Rocket Artillery Regiments. ( One Artly.Reg. alone fields some 1600 men with three Abteilungen " battalions " ). Not just Tanks, but full divisions !
And the Germans were masters at accurracy, and would have had those ships well in
their site range.
I say, it would have been traumatic !
Well, there's a million different ways to view this, & " what if " opinions.
I'm just glad that things went the way they did.
And like I said, this is only this modelers opinion.
- ralph
Tanks
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Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2002 - 02:08 AM UTC
Ralph,
A lot of the beach defences were hardened to withstand naval shelling, not so a panzer division. However, I happen to agree with you that the Panzers could probably have made it almost impossible to get enough men and materials ashore quickly enough to form a defendable bridgehead even with allied air and naval support. The counter attack by 21st Panzer Division was very nearly successful, I hate to think what any of the better equipped divisions could have done.
Paul. (Tanks)
screamingeagle
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Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2002 - 09:18 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Ralph,
, I hate to think what any of the better equipped divisions could have done.
Paul. (Tanks)



Hi Tanks, yes absolutely !
Hey listen - I wasn't disagreeing with you, I thought you made a very good
point. - I was just pointing out the " flip side of the coin ".
REGARDS
- ralph
TreadHead
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Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2002 - 09:34 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Paul, you've put me to shame. Here I am, an ex-Marine, and I completely failed to consider the effect of off-shore fire support.

I am slinking away, with head held low, to re-assess.

Mike





For the record Mike, you're never an 'ex' marine....just an old one

Semper Fi !

Tread.
TreadHead
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Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2002 - 09:47 AM UTC
Excellent points both pro & con everyone. This issue is a veteran subject here at Armorama.com. Always loved the point-counterpoint.
Here's something to 'throw on the table' for debate. Since we know how ineffectual the naval batteries were, even with direct hits, on the heavy concrete bunkers that were in place on the beaches. How about if half of those bunkers were backless emplacements meant for Panther & Tiger tanks to initially take a 'hulls down' position during the initial rush of US infantry. Then when the infantry crossed the seawall, the tanks extracted themselves from their 'hulls-down' position and engaged the slowly advancing infantry at that point and faced the US grunts nose to nose. If this were to happen, could the navy fire artillery upon their own troops position?

Just something to chew on....

Tread.

Come on Sabot, shoot this theory full of holes... :-)
TreadHead
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Posted: Sunday, March 24, 2002 - 12:42 AM UTC
What!........nobody wants to 'counterpoint'?

Dare ya....Double-dare ya........

Tread.

Am I the only 'soup stirrer' around here?