login   |    register
History Club
Military history and past events only. Rants or inflamitory comments will be removed.
Hosted by Frank Amato
WHAT IF: D-day failed
Tanks
_VISITCOMMUNITY
United Kingdom
Joined: February 10, 2002
KitMaker: 30 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Sunday, March 24, 2002 - 08:09 AM UTC
Tread,
Two things, such emplacements would have made sitting ducks of the tanks, if Allied intelligence had got wind of them they would have been bombed to hell and back by the 8th Air Force before ever there was an invasion. Also, locating the Panzers behind the beaches was really to be able to use their mobility to go wherever they were needed, this they couldn't do if they were emplaced. I think too that the naval bombardment would have been much more effectual given more time. I have a great respect for those big ships. Didn't a destroyer (or two) stand in at Omaha and engage the defences, Methinks ship to tank the tanks are going to lose.
penpen
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Hauts-de-Seine, France
Joined: April 11, 2002
KitMaker: 1,757 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Sunday, April 14, 2002 - 03:43 AM UTC
I live in France and I've been going on holidays to the beeches of the atlantic. And you know, thes bunkers are still amazing. Most of them are still there, absolutely intact !
With 1 - 1.50 m thick walls, its not really surprising. The french army did blow a few of them after the war but I'll let you imagine the effort needed. And also I wouldn't like to be standing close by when these hughe pieces of concrete start flying.
As it has been pointed out, a panzer only has a few cm's thick armor plating. And the worst nightmares of the panzers were called : p47, p51, p38, spitfire, typhoon, tempest... fighter planes that could be equiped with rockets. They prooved extremely efficient against the panzer, most of all in the "boccage normand". They were all swarming over the normandy beeches. I certainly believe that panzers on the beeches would've looked like sitting ducks to them, even with heavy flak...

penpen
TreadHead
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Colorado, United States
Joined: January 12, 2002
KitMaker: 5,000 posts
AeroScale: 370 posts
Posted: Sunday, April 14, 2002 - 09:29 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Tread,
Two things, such emplacements would have made sitting ducks of the tanks, if Allied intelligence had got wind of them they would have been bombed to hell and back by the 8th Air Force before ever there was an invasion. Also, locating the Panzers behind the beaches was really to be able to use their mobility to go wherever they were needed, this they couldn't do if they were emplaced. I think too that the naval bombardment would have been much more effectual given more time. I have a great respect for those big ships. Didn't a destroyer (or two) stand in at Omaha and engage the defences, Methinks ship to tank the tanks are going to lose.



Hmmm. I believe most of the 'pre-invasion' bombing by the Air Force was, for the most part, completely ineffectual and landed much further inland. Also, being placed in a backless bunker would not have negatively affected their mobility. Their ability to extract themselves from said bunkers would require only the starting of their Maybach engines and engaging reverse gear. Further, the naval bombardment by the 'big' ships was also, for the most part, fairly ineffectual. Irregardless, it would have to terminate the moment our GI's crossed the 'shingle'. As to the Destroyer's. Yes, they did have some affect on the beach defenses, sometimes having their fire guided by Sherman's on the beach. In fact one of the Destroyers (sorry, can't remember the name at the moment) completely ran out of munitions and had to withdraw from the fracas! But again, for the most part, the naval bombardment's effectiveness against the beach emplacements was tepid at best.
So....back to the infantry on the beach. Most qualified historians believe that the invasion was a hair's breath away from failing, and was even stopped at one point for reaccessment of success. Those same historian's refer to the fact that the 21st Panzer Division's placement, some kilometer's distance from Omaha/Normandy was a potentially deciding factor on the success of invasion. For example, if our troops had actually come ashore at Pas De Calais where the german's had placed their major defenses and where they had expected us to land, our troops would have experienced a much more difficult time to say the least. Now if you take this idea of the 21st actually being emplaced in backless bunkers that were the same thickness as the rest of the defenses, waited through the initial naval bombardment ( being inside the tanks would also protect them from the severe concussion effects that were experienced by the unprotected german machinegunner's) and then when the US troop's began acsending the hill to 'neutralize' the bunker's and their withering fire, the tanks would extract themselves from the backless bunkers and engage the advancing US troops close range. Thereby severely reducing the probablity of the offshore destroyers returning fire (to avoid hitting our troops) and also limiting the amount of close-in fighter air support that could be employed.

Sorry, just a thought, wrapped in a ramble....

Tread
Phantom
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Missouri, United States
Joined: April 13, 2002
KitMaker: 195 posts
AeroScale: 52 posts
Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 12:07 PM UTC
Adolf Hitler was quite possibly the best allie we had at times. He made several crucially bad decisions that favored us greatly. From meddling in the design of the heavy tanks to dictating the way the Me-262 was used to the defense of Normandy, he really screwed up at some key times.

Just about everything about the invasion that could go wrong did. Had Rommel been given free reign over his armor, it's quite likely that we would have been repelled. But as has been said, that would be a temporary setback. Germany was done. A loss at D-day would have only delayed the end of the war.
maxpain
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Australia
Joined: April 03, 2002
KitMaker: 109 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 01:29 PM UTC
As far as I know the Panzer Divisions also didn't get immediately mobilized as most of the high ranking staff was too afraid of Hiutlers reaction on the allied invasion...

I am quite sure that the german forces could have been successful if they weren't commanded by Hitler... what a jerk...

As about the 'Bomb' and nuclear german program mentioned earlier.. I do not agree that Germany was back in that regard. Search the net for Otto Hahn and you will know why...

Would the allies have dropped nukes on europe ? Damn good question.. maybe... as the after-effects weren't very well know at that time.. I could imagine that Brits wouldnt have liked it too much...
penpen
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Hauts-de-Seine, France
Joined: April 11, 2002
KitMaker: 1,757 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2002 - 07:59 PM UTC
The allies would probably have used the bomb, most of all if their troops
had been slaughtered on the beeches. After a failure at D-Day, with the very heavy
losses that would have comme out of it, morale would have been very low, and there
would certainly have been civilian and political pressure not to suffer such casualties
anymore.
They probably wouldn't have used the bomb in occupied territory
but in inland germany, over a big town.
I can't imagine the brit's being against it. They were at the origin of the fire bombing
of several towns. The head of bomber command, Mr Harris has 2 nicknames :
bomber harris and butcher harris...

penpen
Tanks
_VISITCOMMUNITY
United Kingdom
Joined: February 10, 2002
KitMaker: 30 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 07:07 AM UTC
Tread,
I wasn't thinking about the mobility of individual tanks so much as of the division, once it was emplaced in static positions it would become vunerable to air and naval bombardment. While I agree that at Omaha this wasn't that effectual, theoreticaly it could have been much more so, especially if Allied intelligence had known the Panzers were right on the beach. A lot more could have been done before D-Day to hit them. Glad to know I was right about the destroyers I think Rommel probably knew all that concrete and metal wasn't the answer but had no choice but to do the job for his Fuhrer back to the "Maginot line mentality"
sgtreef
_VISITCOMMUNITY
Oklahoma, United States
Joined: March 01, 2002
KitMaker: 6,043 posts
AeroScale: 80 posts
Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 07:49 AM UTC
If the us and allied forces had lost at Normandy The Russians would still have beat the german army might have taken them a little longer but they still would of won. Then there would of been no divided Germany and nothing for us to get a foothold on european theature to use as leverage against the Russains.
just my 2 cents

PS might I add that Hitler did not like sea invasions this also helped the British stay free.