75th anniversary of D-Day... - Page 2
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  1. #14
    Senior Administrator TIDE-HSV's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    I need to re-read this periodically. I had an older brother flying overhead in a B017. Many of them died. His unit was basically killed three times over, statistically. However, AAC guys did not have the same sorts of death the infantry men did...
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  2. #15
    BamaNation Hall of Fame Tidewater's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by TIDE-HSV View Post
    I need to re-read this periodically. I had an older brother flying overhead in a B017. Many of them died. His unit was basically killed three times over, statistically. However, AAC guys did not have the same sorts of death the infantry men did...
    James Dunnigan, author and board war-game designer, put it this way: "Artillery did most of the killing and infantry did most of the dying."
    The AAC, however, beat them both for longevity in the fight. In 1943, when most of the infantry was training in the U.S. or in Britain, the AAC was flying into harm's way.

  3. #16
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    June 7, 1944: June 7th dawns with the allies securely in control of all five beach heads; even if the initial objectives have not yet been achieved. To the west of Utah and Omaha beaches, the American 82nd and 101st airborne divisions have established at least nominal control of large sections of land between Utah beach and the Merderet - Douve river. These units, having been parachuted in on June 6 in the dead of night, have suffered heavy casualties and are severely dislocated. By the morning of June 7th these units are operating at an average of one-third of their original strength. Despite this, by evening, the paratroopers are able to fully link up with the 4th U.S Infantry Division; having landed on Utah Beach at dawn, of the previous day (without major problems).

    At Omaha Beach, the situation of the 1st and 29th American divisions, having landed at dawn of the previous day, is more critical. This morning, these divisions control only a small amount of territory; as such, the risk of being pushed off the beaches from German counter attack remains high. To the east, at Sword, Juno and Gold, the British and Canadians, while their landings were also difficult, are having an easier time of things. The Canadians remain in control of Anisy and Cainet, having fought off a major counter attack by the 21st Pz Division the day before. By end of day, the 6th Airborne Division have managed to take bridges on the Orne river and have linked up with elements of the British 3rd Infantry Division at Sword Beach.

    British I Corps is expanding Sword and Juno beachhead and pushing toward Caen, where the German 12th SS Panzer Division counterattacks. British XXX Corps, expanding Gold beachhead, captures Bayeux and attacks Port-en-Bessin. US V Corps expands the Omaha beachhead and US VII Corps expands the Utah beachhead. US 90th and 2nd Infantry Divisions arrive in Normandy. Allied engineer units begin constructing advanced fighter air strips inland from the Normandy landing beaches.

    British troops capture Bayeux, France.

    The first convoy of material for Corncobs and Gooseberries arrives for constructing artificial harbors and blockships sunk at British invasion beaches to create Gooseberry breakwaters.

    RAF 2nd Tactical Air Force aircraft mount major ground support operations (Roadstead, Rodeo, Rhubarb, and Ramrod) over Normandy beachheads. RAF 2nd Tactical Air Force claims 45 Luftwaffe aircraft destroyed at cost of 42 lost. US 8th Air Force, in first mission of the day, attacks targets in Normandy with 400 bombers. In its second mission of the day, US 8th Air Force attacks targets in Normandy with 500 bombers. US 9th Air Force conducts attacks throughout Normandy battle area with more than 600 bombers. USAAF fighters fly sweeps, escort missions, ground support, and attack missions throughout Normandy battle area, claiming 41 Luftwaffe aircraft destroyed at the cost of 47 lost. RAF Bomber Command sends 337 aircraft to attack transportation targets and isolate the Normandy battle area and 112 aircraft to attack German ground forces between St Lo and Bayeux overnight.

    Luftwaffe aircraft attack Allied warships and shipping off Normandy overnight.

    In Italy, British 8th Army pushes toward Orvieto and Terni while US 5th Army drives north and captures Civitavecchia. US 12th Air Force aircraft attack multiple targets in support of Allied ground offensive and US 15th Air Force attacks targets in northern Italy with 340 bombers.

    Pictured: Americans land on Utah Beach from LCT-475, Normandy, June 7, 1944; Lance Corporal A. Burton and Lance Corporal L. Barnett of British 6th Airborne Division at a road junction near Ranville, France, June 7, 1944; note Horsa glider in background; Normandy Landing Zone 'N' littered with Horsa gliders and one Hamilcar glider (lower right), France, June 7, 1944; Vehicles of 4th County of London Yeomanry, UK 7th Armored Division moving inland from Gold Beach, Normandy, France, June 7, 1944; note Cromwell tank leading the column

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  4. #17
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by TIDE-HSV View Post
    I need to re-read this periodically. I had an older brother flying overhead in a B017. Many of them died. His unit was basically killed three times over, statistically. However, AAC guys did not have the same sorts of death the infantry men did...
    Several years ago there was a PBS (I believe) series on fighter squadrons in France flying air support and interdiction missions from often muddy grass fields against German troop positions and supply lines. I had not realized the hardships and hazards the pilots and flight crews faced flying multiple sorties day in and day out. I would say that the strategic daylight bombing crews and fighter pilots faced horrific challenges that could end their life instantly and did by the thousands. I would think that most infantry would find their fox holes to offer a bit more protection.

  5. #18
    Senior Administrator TIDE-HSV's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tidewater View Post
    James Dunnigan, author and board war-game designer, put it this way: "Artillery did most of the killing and infantry did most of the dying."
    The AAC, however, beat them both for longevity in the fight. In 1943, when most of the infantry was training in the U.S. or in Britain, the AAC was flying into harm's way.
    This is a very good point. They also kept extending the tour by adding to the number of missions you had to fly, as D-Day approached...
    "The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. - Ellen Parr"

    'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' - Steve Jobs

    I would rather live my life as if there is a god and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is. Albert Camus

    "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

  6. #19
    BamaNation Hall of Fame Tidewater's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by TIDE-HSV View Post
    This is a very good point. They also kept extending the tour by adding to the number of missions you had to fly, as D-Day approached...
    Here are some data for perspective;

    RAF Bomber Command losses for the war (k, w, m, c): 64,000
    8th and 15th Air Forces (the U.S. Strat Bomber guys): 73,000
    1st and 3rd U.S. Armies 16 Dec 1944-31 Jan 1045: 81,000

  7. #20
    Senior Administrator TIDE-HSV's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by UAH View Post
    Several years ago there was a PBS (I believe) series on fighter squadrons in France flying air support and interdiction missions from often muddy grass fields against German troop positions and supply lines. I had not realized the hardships and hazards the pilots and flight crews faced flying multiple sorties day in and day out. I would say that the strategic daylight bombing crews and fighter pilots faced horrific challenges that could end their life instantly and did by the thousands. I would think that most infantry would find their fox holes to offer a bit more protection.
    I think I've posted this before, but my brother, and most other navigators and bombardiers, did midnight requisitions of extra flak jackets and lined their compartments with them. In fact, he even sat on one. The pilots and gunners couldn't, obviously, and the highest fatality rate was among the ball turret gunners. Their chances of completing their tour alive was one in four, so, worse than the odds of drawing to a straight in poker. (At least not an inside straight.)
    "The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. - Ellen Parr"

    'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' - Steve Jobs

    I would rather live my life as if there is a god and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is. Albert Camus

    "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

  8. #21
    Senior Administrator TIDE-HSV's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tidewater View Post
    Here are some data for perspective;

    RAF Bomber Command losses for the war (k, w, m, c): 64,000
    8th and 15th Air Forces (the U.S. Strat Bomber guys): 73,000
    1st and 3rd U.S. Armies 16 Dec 1944-31 Jan 1045: 81,000
    Yes, I just addressed the odds above to UAH...
    "The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. - Ellen Parr"

    'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' - Steve Jobs

    I would rather live my life as if there is a god and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is. Albert Camus

    "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

  9. #22
    Senior Administrator TIDE-HSV's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    My brother was in the 8th...
    "The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. - Ellen Parr"

    'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' - Steve Jobs

    I would rather live my life as if there is a god and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is. Albert Camus

    "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

  10. #23
    BamaNation Hall of Fame Tidewater's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by TIDE-HSV View Post
    I think I've posted this before, but my brother, and most other navigators and bombardiers, did midnight requisitions of extra flak jackets and lined their compartments with them. In fact, he even sat on one. The pilots and gunners couldn't, obviously, and the highest fatality rate was among the ball turret gunners. Their chances of completing their tour alive was one in four, so, worse than the odds of drawing to a straight in poker. (At least not an inside straight.)
    Very true,
    Out of curiosity, i looked up the data. (Please pardon me, I'm just thinking out loud.)
    The losses in the 8th and 15th Air Forces were probably from a smaller pool. The casualty figures are horrific, but out of how many?
    "The AAF had reached a peak strength of 2,411,294 in March 1944." (Craven and Cate - The Army Air Forces in WW II, p. xlii). That is the total strength of the AAF, all the numbered Air Forces, etc.
    By mid-1944, the manpower strength of the 8th Air Force was around 200,000. "It is estimated that more than 350,000 Americans served in Eighth Air Force during the war in Europe." The 15th was probably smaller (14 bomb groups in the 15th AF compared to 40 for the 8th Air Force). So a total figure of 550,000-600,000 total, with 81,000 k, w, m, c = 13.5% casualties.

    Now for the 1st and 3rd U.S. Army.
    Last edited by Tidewater; June 7th, 2019 at 12:52 PM.

  11. #24
    BamaNation Hall of Fame Tidewater's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by TIDE-HSV View Post
    My brother was in the 8th...
    You've probably already told me this, but was he a B-17 guy?

  12. #25
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tidewater View Post
    You've probably already told me this, but was he a B-17 guy?
    B-17 navigator. His wing suffered 300% casualties, IOW all total personnel numbers (not the same people, naturally) rolled over three times, as he told me. Also, "casualty" in a B-17 generally meant death, not wounding...
    "The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. - Ellen Parr"

    'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' - Steve Jobs

    I would rather live my life as if there is a god and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is. Albert Camus

    "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

  13. #26
    Senior Administrator TIDE-HSV's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    "The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. - Ellen Parr"

    'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' - Steve Jobs

    I would rather live my life as if there is a god and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is. Albert Camus

    "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

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