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bunkerratt
06-06-2010, 09:52 AM
66 years ago...

Celeon999
06-06-2010, 10:37 AM
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andypandy1996
06-06-2010, 02:50 PM
I was going to watch that but forgot.

PhantomKira
06-06-2010, 10:10 PM
That overhead shot of the graveyard at the end of part 6 really gives a much better idea of just how many men died than the traditional ground level shot.

Celeon999
06-07-2010, 03:12 AM
Originally posted by PhantomKira:
That overhead shot of the graveyard at the end of part 6 really gives a much better idea of just how many men died than the traditional ground level shot.


Messervy made some impressing photos of that one and the german cemetary a few kilometers away aswell.

Messervy's Tour de Normandy thread (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/857101043/m/5331066886/p/1)



This diorama showing a section of the much better fortifications at Pas des Calais makes clear why the allies decided to take the long way and land at Normandy.

Thats what Rommel wanted to make out of Normandy if he had the time and resources. Thats what he meant when he spoke of turning the beaches of Normandy into a killing zone.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v675/Messervy/Normandy/NormandyEOS5D_0102.jpg

Kaleun1961
06-07-2010, 08:19 PM
I find it somewhat ironic that the Germans, who made fortresses obsolete [Maginot Line] in the end turned to the fortress strategem but it still failed. A determined foe will always find a way around, under or over an obstacle. Nothing beats boots on the ground for holding territory.

Celeon999
06-08-2010, 05:04 AM
Well Rommel initially planned to storm the Maginot Line head on with Fallschirmjäger and Sprengpioniere until plans were changed for a little ww1 reenactment regarding the detour via Belgium. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

bunkerratt
06-08-2010, 09:22 AM
being former u s marine infantry ..and well versed in attack from the sea..i will say this ..the odds favor the defender 3 to 1 ..i shure as hell would not of wanted to see a landing beach with that looking me in the face... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

Kaleun1961
06-08-2010, 04:36 PM
The situation on Omaha wasn't helped by a nervous American officer. The original aerial bombardment called for a release of bombs according to a timed signal. As the planes approached the beach area, a nervous officer called for an extra 30 second delay; the idea was to allow an extra safety margin so the bombs wouldn't hit the landing craft on the way in. What happened was the bombardment fell on the empty land behind the beach zone and the defences were left largely undamaged. Poor navigation was also a major factor, as large numbers of landing craft came ashore at the wrong locations.

Kaleun1961
06-08-2010, 05:03 PM
Here's a discussion on another forum as to why the aerial bombardment at Omaha Beach was not as effective as at the other beaches:


Dawn had occured just a few minutes earlier so there was the morning haze at ground level, there was also a overcast at a higher altitiude directly over the coast. The navigators and lead bombardiers identified correctly their several navigation checkpoints, and the IP or initial point. In the final seconds of approach the bombardiers could not identify clearly the beach or aimpoints thru the clouds/haze. So they released by 'time' from the IP. Since this is not as accurate as releasing by the bombsight the lead bombardiers were concerned about releasing early and hitting the lead waves of landing craft. So they delayed release a few seconds. At a bombing speed a second or two translates into several hundred meters. The route was perpendicular to the beach, so five hundred meters means the bombs fall inland on cow pastures & grain fields.

At Utah beach the route ran paralle to the beach. The bombardiers had a similar problem identifying the beach & aimpoints. But, the bombs only fell further along on the beach. Thus delayed releases simply hit near Germans soldiers further along the flight path. Utah Beach was attacked by medium bombers which were used to attacking from a lower altitude so there was a bit less dispersion in the bomb strikes.


Omaha Beach aerial bombardment (http://ww2f.com/air-war-western-europe-1939-1945/28934-reason-bombers-missed-omaha-beach.html)

Here's a more detailed and authoritative reference, a citation of Paul Carrel's book, "They're Coming!":

They're Coming (http://books.google.ca/books?id=AC1GlWYTe3EC&pg=RA1-PA159&lpg=RA1-PA159&dq=aerial+bombardment+at+Omaha+Beach+fell+inland&source=bl&ots=JbdWfYXfCA&sig=O2OdDbLHZYP_uuRjeYtxN-BUFJg&hl=en&ei=VM0OTOH5I8P-8Aav7-WVCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CDgQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=aerial%20bombardment%20at%20Omaha%20Beach%20fell %20inland&f=false)

You'll have to read the above reference yourself. For some reason, due to the way the page is constructed, I can't figure out how to copy and paste a quotation.



As well, the naval bombardment was allocated rather miserly naval resources, in comparision to the naval support deployed for landings in the Pacific theater of war.


General Bradley reviewing Allied troops in England training for D-Day, promised the soldiers that the Germans on the beach would be blasted with naval gunfire prior to the landing and that: “You men should consider yourself lucky. You are going to have ringside seats for the greatest show on earth (naval gunfire).”[62]

Later analysis of naval support during the pre-landing phase concluded that the navy had provided inadequate bombardment, given the size and extent of the planned assault.[63] Kenneth P. Lord, a U.S. Army planner for the D-Day invasion, says that, upon hearing the naval gunfire support plan for Omaha Beach, which limited support to one battleship, two cruisers and six destroyers, he and other planners were very upset—especially in light of the tremendous naval gunfire support given to landings in the Pacific.[64]

Historian Adrian R. Lewis postulates that American casualties would have been greatly reduced if a longer barrage had been implemented.[65]


Omaha Beach Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omaha_Beach#Pre-Invasion_Naval_Bombardment)

Stingray-65
06-09-2010, 04:05 PM
Originally posted by Kaleun1961:
I find it somewhat ironic that the Germans, who made fortresses obsolete [Maginot Line] in the end turned to the fortress strategem but it still failed. A determined foe will always find a way around, under or over an obstacle. Nothing beats boots on the ground for holding territory.

Thats exactly what I've thought. Especially in regards to massive air/bombing assaults. "If you can't go through it, go over it." Paratroopers & gliders played a large role in the Allied invasion. Another key component was the British (clever) tactic in fooling German intelligence (aerial recon) by amassing large fake build-ups (wooden tanks, trucks, etc.) in areas to make them believe that the real invasion would take place somewhere else so as to relocate German resources to an area where they would be indisposed of until it was too late. The ability to create massive confusion was also important.

Kaleun1961
06-09-2010, 04:49 PM
I believe the reason Rommel chose a fortress strategy was because he knew the Allies would fight under an umbrella of air power. The RAF had made his life a misery in North Africa; as such he was probably the German commander most acquainted with the conditions under which the German army would have to fight off an invasion in France. Once they had achieved a landing, there would be no way to repel them. Thus, he pled for the release of the panzers in order to station them close to the beaches. Later events would prove him correct; some divisions lost half of their tanks before they even got to the Normandy area.

Operation Fortitude was the Allied operation to deceive the Germans into believing that the "real" invasion would come at Pas de Calais. Fake aircraft, tanks and trucks were parked in open fields, radio units simulated traffic of real units. General Patton even toured southeast England as part of the plan. The odd Luftwaffe reconnaisance flight was allowed to fly over the area and take pictures. I think the main reason why they operation succeeded was because it fed the Germans information they wanted to be true.

Operation Fortitude (http://www.google.ca/search?q=Operation+Fortitude&rls=com.microsoft:en-ca&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&startIndex=&startPage=1&redir_esc=&ei=AxoQTPL4McOBlAfWva3lBg)

It wasn't only the Soviets who could practice "maskirovka." http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/winky.gif

Stingray-65
06-09-2010, 08:28 PM
@ Celeon
Thanks for the video link. Just finished watching the entire program. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/11.gif

@ Kaleun1961
"I believe the reason Rommel chose a fortress strategy was because he knew the Allies would fight under an umbrella of air power. The RAF had made his life a misery in North Africa; as such he was probably the German commander most acquainted with the conditions under which the German army would have to fight off an invasion in France."

I never really took that into consideration before, but I bet you're absolutely right. I think Rommel knew full well that an Allied invasion would be opened with a massive bombardment by air & by ship before troops would attempt landing... so underground fortresses capable of surviving the brunt of such a bombardment (& therefore your troops) makes absolute perfect sense there. Especially when taking into consideration the Allied disadvantage: that unlike the Maginot Line, there was no cover, no room to maneuver & no route for retreat. So once troops landed, they were stuck in a chaotic meat grinder.

Kaleun1961
06-10-2010, 01:10 AM
Had Rommel been in possession of tanks lagered, well protected, near the beaches, it is highly probable he would have been able to successfully counterattack the landing armies, split them into separate lodgings and roll them up. The idea was to overwhelm the Allies before they built up a superiority of men and materiel on the ground, which would have lead to the attritional combat that eventually broke the Germans. In short, the only way the Germans could beat the Allies in face of the superior Allied aerial forces was to deny them a lodgement and space to build up an offensive army. They failed to stop the Allies for two reasons: lack of mobile forces close enough to the landing zones and failure to commit their reserves, due to the successful Allied deception operations. Field Marshall Hitler certainly didn't help the German cause.

On the Eastern Front, even though the Soviets achieved aerial superiority, they were no nowhere near up to par with the British and American tactical and strategic air power. As such, the Germans were able to engage in wide, ranging mobile operations that allowed them to hold off the Red Army for two years after the loss at Kursk. The German high command mostly ignored the lessons of North Africa and developed a certain contempt for enemy air power, based on the lackluster performance of the Soviets. The Western air forces were another matter, but Rommel was unable to impress his superior commanders as to their true threat and efficacy. Also, convinced as they were that the real landings would be at the Pas de Calais, they withheld the panzers to repel landings, that never came, there. If instead of von Rundstedt, Rommel had had Kesselring as his superior, it may have been handled differently. Kesselring started as an airman before he became a field commander. With his experience in the Mediterranean front he was more familiar with Allied air power and may have been able, with the assistance of Rommel, to convince Hitler of the necessity to forward position armour near the beaches, to minimize their exposure to tactical air support on the approach marches to the Normandy landing sites.

Although D-Day in the West is considered a grand strategic victory, it was a much more narrowly run contest than most would like to admit. The margin of victory was in reality uncomfortably slim. Without air power strangling German reinforcements, that invasion may never have gotten off the beaches.

Celeon999
06-10-2010, 01:12 AM
Originally posted by PhantomKira:
That overhead shot of the graveyard at the end of part 6 really gives a much better idea of just how many men died than the traditional ground level shot.


And thats only one

The Oise-Aisne WW1 American Cemetery and Memorial near Château-Thierry, France.

Most of the soldiers buried there died in one and the same battle, the third battle of the Aise lasting from 27. May to 6. June 1918.

A total of 127.000 french , british and american soldiers died in it with 6012 american soldiers buried on this graveyard.

The german side had about the same losses with 130.000 men and attacked with 20 divisions with pre attack bombardment and cover by 4000 artillery guns.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b4/Oise-Aisne_American_Cemetery_and_Memorial.jpg

http://img811.imageshack.us/img811/34/screen20060523141424cam.jpg

Kaleun1961
06-10-2010, 01:29 AM
I must say, those cemeteries are beautiful. It is fitting that those men are buried together, alongside those with whom and against whom they fought. Such vistas should make us all contemplate the true costs of war, so that we do not capriciously indulge it. I am not a pacifist; I realize there are times when war is necessary. I just do not want chickenhawks sounding the charge.

Celeon999
06-10-2010, 02:46 AM
Originally posted by Kaleun1961:
I must say, those cemeteries are beautiful. It is fitting that those men are buried together, alongside those with whom and against whom they fought. Such vistas should make us all contemplate the true costs of war, so that we do not capriciously indulge it. I am not a pacifist; I realize there are times when war is necessary. I just do not want chickenhawks sounding the charge.


I think the most impressing of them all is the Douaumont ossuary near Verdun, France

It is the only one that really does the nature of the ww1 trench warfare and one of its bloodiest battles, justice

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9f/Imm011_Douaumont_Ossuary.JPG/800px-Imm011_Douaumont_Ossuary.JPG


It is filled with the bones of 130.000 soldiers which could not be indentified. You can look at them through windows all over the monument

http://img707.imageshack.us/img707/4376/theworld1188081720083bo.jpg

http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/315/theworld1188081720082bo.jpg



The battle of Verdun saw a total of 700.000 casualties including over 300.000 deads aswell as the introduction of modern flamethrowers, ironically invented by a german firefighter named Richard Fiedler and usage of chemical weapons on both sides.

The newly designed german "Stahlhelm" that was to become iconic for the following decades was also issued to a few thousand soldiers which caused initial confusion on the french side.



Earlier this year, a mass grave containing 250 unknown commonwealth soldiers, propably brits and australians was found.

Remains of ww1 soldiers are found almost every year in Belgium and France.

Unknown WWI soldier buried as mass graves give up secrets (http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/01/30/wwi.soldier.buried/index.html)