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  1. #430
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by UAH View Post
    This is a follow on video to the the one produced on Canadian troops at Normandy. They continued to face very difficult fighting and losses in the area around Calais and further along the coast.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFQJDgt8a00&t=1603s
    I haven’t seen it all yet but I will have time tomorrow. I may watch that whole series. Thanks for sharing.

  2. #431
    BamaNation Hall of Fame Tidewater's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by crimsonaudio View Post
    August 14, 1944: The closing of the Falaise pocket is finally ordered. To accomplish this, the Canadians start Operation Tractable (the final offensive conducted by Canadian and Polish Army troops as part of the Battle of Normandy), which aims to control the main exits of the Germans by capturing the strategically important town of Falaise, and following that, the smaller towns of Trun and Chambois. The Allied air force sends 800 Avro Lancaster and Handley Page Halifax heavy bombers to the north and south of Falaise, but as with Totalize, many of the bombers mistakenly dropped their bombs short of their targets, causing 400 Polish and Canadian casualties. After the bombings ceased, three Canadian divisions (2nd and 3rd Infantry, 4th Armored Division), the Polish 1st Armored Division, and the British 53rd Infantry Division start the offensive.
    And here we have another instance (Omaha and St. Lo being the others) in which the heavy bombers were used in the Close Air Support role, and probably flying perpendicular to the Allied-German contact line and caused a bunch of Allied casualties.
    There is a saying, "Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

  3. #432
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...




    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  4. #433
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    August 15, 1944: It’s Tuesday - today is D+70, marking 10 weeks since the D-Day Invasion at Normandy and the beginning of the liberation of Europe.

    The Falaise pocket is still not completely closed. East of Falaise, the Canadians and the Poles slowly push towards the town of Trun in a an attempt to prevent the escape of a greater number of German soldiers to the Seine river. Though Trun is reached today, fierce fights take place around the town, which is defended by elements of the German 7th Army. General Patton, who has awaits the order to close the pocket to the north, attacks southeast of Argentan, routing the German troops. The US 3rd Army’s XV Corps moves towards Dreux, just 50 miles east of Paris, while the US XX Corps (3rd Army) progresses towards Chartres. The XII Corps (3rd Army) attacks towards Orleans.

    In Brittany, the fighting around the city of Brest continue. The US 83rd Infantry Division liberates the villages of Saint-Briac and Saint-Lunaire, which enables the Allies to inch closer of the city of Saint Malo, still fiercely defended by the Germans.

    In southern France, Allied forces launch a secondary invasion of France (Operation Dragoon) between Toulon and Cannes. Most of the initial assaults are carried out by forces of US VI Corps as part of US 7th Army. Also included in the initial landings are French commandos. Three American division come ashore in the first wave at three beaches: Alpha Beach (US 3rd Division) on the left flank; Delta Beach (US 45th Division); and, Camel Beach (US 36 Division) on the right flank. In addition to the main landing sites, the airborne landing at Le Muy by 5,000 French troops inland from Delta Beach and a sea borne landing on Levante Island. Over 1,500 aircraft are engaged in air support for the operation. Admiral Hewitt commands the naval support, including 5 battleships, 7 escort carriers, 24 cruisers and 91 destroyers. There is almost no resistance to the landings. Allied forces suffer 183 casualties. Prime Minister Churchill is present during the initial landings, on board a destroyer offshore. The German forces in southern France consist of the 19th Army with 7 infantry divisions and the 11th Panzer Division.

    Over Germany, US 8th Air Force attacks airfields with 707 bombers and RAF Bomber Command sends 32 aircraft to attack Berlin overnight.

    Over the Netherlands, RAF Bomber Command sends part of a force of 1,004 aircraft to attack airfields and US 8th Air Force attacks Venlo with 104 bombers. Over Belgium, RAF Bomber Command sends the other part of a force of 1,004 aircraft to attack airfields while US 8th Air Force attacks Florennes with 59 bombers and attacks rail lines with 33 fighters.

    Moscow informs US and British ambassadors of Soviet inability or unwillingness to assist the Polish Home Army battle in Warsaw.

    Polish Home Army calls for all units outside Warsaw to break into the city to support the uprising. Allied Balkan Air Force sends 7 Polish and British bombers from Italian bases to drop supplies to Home Army outside Warsaw overnight.

    In Italy, British 8th Army reorganizes in preparation for new offensive.

    Pictured: German prisoners of war captured in Normandy are guarded by US troops at a camp in Nonant-le-Pin; The Riviera D-Day - Operation Dragoon hits southern France; The parachute drops of Operation Dragoon; Operation Dragoon landings

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    Oderint dum metuant - Lucius Accius

  5. #434
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tidewater View Post
    And here we have another instance (Omaha and St. Lo being the others) in which the heavy bombers were used in the Close Air Support role, and probably flying perpendicular to the Allied-German contact line and caused a bunch of Allied casualties.
    There is a saying, "Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."
    I hear you and agree. However, part of my brain still says "what if they got on the wrong side of the line?"
    "The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. - Ellen Parr"

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  6. #435
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Go Bama View Post
    Bombing using heavy bombers flying perpendicular to the front without causing friendly casualties was probably in the "too hard to do" box.
    In Cold War nuclear strategy, there was a concept called "Circular Error Probability." CEP was a circle in which half the bombs would hit. The bigger the circle the less accurate the missile. Naval gunfire has enormously elongated CEPs, because the trajectory of the round is so flat and the launch platform is rolling, pitching and yawing a bit while firing. I would bet the CEP for heavy bombers in also elongated, meaning it is much more accurate along the short axis of the ellipse (i.e. left or right) than along the long axis (i.e. the direction of flight). Planners get to pick which way the long axis is going to be oriented in relation to guys on the ground.

    Of course, nowadays, with laser guided bombs and GPS guided bombs, CEPs are in single digits of meters. A plane at 16,000 feet can put a bomb in your living room and leave your dining room unscathed.

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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tidewater View Post
    Bombing using heavy bombers flying perpendicular to the front without causing friendly casualties was probably in the "too hard to do" box.
    In Cold War nuclear strategy, there was a concept called "Circular Error Probability." CEP was a circle in which half the bombs would hit. The bigger the circle the less accurate the missile. Naval gunfire has enormously elongated CEPs, because the trajectory of the round is so flat and the launch platform is rolling, pitching and yawing a bit while firing. I would bet the CEP for heavy bombers in also elongated, meaning it is much more accurate along the short axis of the ellipse (i.e. left or right) than along the long axis (i.e. the direction of flight). Planners get to pick which way the long axis is going to be oriented in relation to guys on the ground.

    Of course, nowadays, with laser guided bombs and GPS guided bombs, CEPs are in single digits of meters. A plane at 16,000 feet can put a bomb in your living room and leave your dining room unscathed.
    I tend to think close support with B-17s and B-24s was a bad idea, whatever the angle. However, they were very effective at time in carpet bombing enemy forces pre-engagement, when there was still some space between the lines, maybe even decisive...
    "The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. - Ellen Parr"

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    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

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  8. #437
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by crimsonaudio View Post
    August 15, 1944:
    In southern France, Allied forces launch a secondary invasion of France (Operation Dragoon) between Toulon and Cannes. Most of the initial assaults are carried out by forces of US VI Corps as part of US 7th Army. Also included in the initial landings are French commandos. Three American division come ashore in the first wave at three beaches: Alpha Beach (US 3rd Division) on the left flank; Delta Beach (US 45th Division); and, Camel Beach (US 36 Division) on the right flank. In addition to the main landing sites, the airborne landing at Le Muy by 5,000 French troops inland from Delta Beach and a sea borne landing on Levante Island. Over 1,500 aircraft are engaged in air support for the operation. Admiral Hewitt commands the naval support, including 5 battleships, 7 escort carriers, 24 cruisers and 91 destroyers. There is almost no resistance to the landings. Allied forces suffer 183 casualties.

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    I think the paras dropped as part of Dragoon (the 1st Allied Airborne Task Force) were Brits (2 Para Brigade) and U.S. 509th PIR, 517th PRCT, and later the US-Canadian 1st Special Service Force was attached. I do not think there were any French paras in Dragoon.

  9. #438
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by crimsonaudio View Post
    August 15, 1944: In southern France, Allied forces launch a secondary invasion of France (Operation Dragoon) between Toulon and Cannes. Most of the initial assaults are carried out by forces of US VI Corps as part of US 7th Army. Also included in the initial landings are French commandos. Three American division come ashore in the first wave at three beaches: Alpha Beach (US 3rd Division) on the left flank; Delta Beach (US 45th Division); and, Camel Beach (US 36 Division) on the right flank. In addition to the main landing sites, the airborne landing at Le Muy by 5,000 French troops inland from Delta Beach and a sea borne landing on Levante Island. Over 1,500 aircraft are engaged in air support for the operation. Admiral Hewitt commands the naval support, including 5 battleships, 7 escort carriers, 24 cruisers and 91 destroyers. There is almost no resistance to the landings. Allied forces suffer 183 casualties. Prime Minister Churchill is present during the initial landings, on board a destroyer offshore. The German forces in southern France consist of the 19th Army with 7 infantry divisions and the 11th Panzer Division.

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    I have always thought that Dragoon was launched about a month too late. It could have been more useful in July. The German forces in the south of France were the 11th Panzer Division and a bunch of "static" or coastal defense divisions. Not exactly the a-team.
    The Army's campaign history series, the so-called "green books" (because the original issue hardbound books were green), was Jeffrey Clarke and Robert Smith's Riviera to the Rhine published in 1993.
    It is a solid piece of work.
    The US VI Corps did a lot of the heavy lifting, especially early on, but the French were given the task of seizing Marseilles and getting it operational, which they did well ahead of schedule. Marseilles was one of the largest ports in Europe. Who knows what would have happened (assuming Dragoon got launched in July vice August) had the Allies gotten Marseilles opened up earlier?
    As it was, Dragoon was launched while it was obvious to any German with a brain that France was lost to them, so the Germans in the south dd not put up too much of a fight, but executed a fighting withdrawal up the Rhone.

  10. #439
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tidewater View Post
    I have always thought that Dragoon was launched about a month too late.
    IIRC that was the plan, to launch it earlier, but Churchill thought it would detract too much from the attacks on Italy and that we (collectively) didn't have the resources to do both Overlord and Dragoon so close together.

    He was probably correct wrt resources, but man, what a kick in the face it would have been to the Nazis to launch both simultaneously...
    Oderint dum metuant - Lucius Accius

  11. #440
    BamaNation Hall of Fame Tidewater's Avatar
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by crimsonaudio View Post
    IIRC that was the plan, to launch it earlier, but Churchill thought it would detract too much from the attacks on Italy and that we (collectively) didn't have the resources to do both Overlord and Dragoon so close together.

    He was probably correct wrt resources, but man, what a kick in the face it would have been to the Nazis to launch both simultaneously...
    I seem to have read the same thing somewhere. If it is true that Churchill was arguing the "Italy has to take precedence," then it was another case of the sideshow detracting scarce resources away from the main show (something the Brits promised would not happen in the Allied strategy meetings in 1943). George C. Marshall was right all along.

    If it was just amphibious resources, I'd have to see which resources and what they were doing. Maybe it was limited LSTs. An apocryphal quote from Churchill went something like, "Six months ago, I did not know what an LST was. Now the fate of empires depends on the d___ things." The Allies were managing LSTs by the "eaches" (i.e. managing what each and every one was doing because they were too scarce a resource to be wasted).
    The drawback of the U.S. reliance on just running LSTs ashore on Omaha and Utah and off-loading directly on the beaches (vice using the Mulberries like the Brits) was that until Cherbourg was repaired and operating, LSTs were needed to supply ops in Normandy and were unavailable for Dragoon.

  12. #441
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    How about starting with Marseilles, rather than Italy?
    "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

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  13. #442
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    Re: 75th anniversary of D-Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by TIDE-HSV View Post
    How about starting with Marseilles, rather than Italy?
    I think the reasons the Allies went with Italy before Marseilles were two:
    1. It was the obvious choice in the summer of 1943, since they had captured all of North Africa and Sicily was within range for land-based aircraft, making an amphibious invasion possible.
    2. Going after Italy could get the Italian government to collapse, getting the Italians out of the war.

    Once the Italian government had collapsed, there was little point in continuing to attack in terrain so advantageous for the defenders.

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