Happy Thanksgiving!  

MILITARY HISTORY ONLINE

User:    Password:

 
(1939-1945) WWII
Author
Message
George
Centre Hastings
ON Canada
Posts: 10490
Re: D Day Normandy Invasion
Posted on: 6/30/2019 6:39:20 AM

There are no dumb questions. Paratroops were dropped prior to the main invasion. They had assignments to secure specific objectives like causeways, gun batteries, and bridges. They were to hold position until relieved by the landing forces.

George
----------------------------------
Jim Cameron
Ossining
NY USA
Posts: 897
Re: D Day Normandy Invasion
Posted on: 6/30/2019 12:23:34 PM

One reason was that airborne divisions (which included not just paratroopers but also glider units) were a limited asset. There were just a few airborne divisions, and those had very limited logistics, with little in the way of ground transportation and resupply, and weak organic fire support. Airlift capacity was also very limited (most of the glider infantry would come in on landing craft), and precision night drops were still very problematic, with troops and equipment apt to end up scattered all over the place. Had the seaborne landings been dependent on airborne units clearing the beach defenses before they came ashore, the likelihood is they would have never happened, with the strong possibility of the airborne divisions being lost in the process.
----------------------------------
Jim Cameron Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.
Phil andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4347
Re: D Day Normandy Invasion
Posted on: 6/30/2019 3:04:52 PM

No complacency about the loss of life at Omaha....but how bad were the casualty rates, bearing in mind the enormity of the undertaking and the immense risks involved ?

D Day was successful , and the casualties, however severe at Omaha and Juno, totalled something in the order of ten thousand overall , including wounded who would recover......certainly not in excess of what had been anticipated , and a good deal lower than many had feared.

It was in the subsequent slog through the bocage that the attrition of infantry strength started to alarm the Allies, the British especially, who were not reconciled to the casualties implicit in sustained head on combat.

Regards, Phil


----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan
MI USA
Posts: 5711
Re: D Day Normandy Invasion
Posted on: 6/30/2019 5:57:21 PM

Phil,

It certainly pales when compared with the purposed invasion of mainland Japan, which could have been well over a million!?

Scary,
Regards,
MD
----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
George
Centre Hastings
ON Canada
Posts: 10490
Re: D Day Normandy Invasion
Posted on: 7/1/2019 6:59:02 AM


Quote:
George - thanks for your reply .
Yes , I'm familiar with paratroopers for those targets .
I still don't understand , with such a huge casualty rate on the beaches ( not to mention the time involved ) , why paratroopers would not be assigned to this mission also .
Maybe even more important than some of the targets they actually did take .
--user111


Hello user1111. Just to clarify, were you suggesting that the drop should have taken place much closer to the beaches?

As it is, and as Jim mentioned, the paratroopers on D-day were well scattered. It took them some time to cobble together small groups and to make for their objectives which were kilometres away in some cases because of the lack of accuracy of the drops.

I don't think that there would have been sufficient numbers in any case to have assaulted the extensive and immediate defences on the beaches. What was the total number of paratroopers dropped and the number of glider born infantry landed?

They did what they were supposed to do and that allowed the assault troops to get ashore. Batteries were neutralized, bridges were blown or taken and the paras gave the beaches flank support.


----------------------------------
OpanaPointer
St. Louis
MO USA
Posts: 1389
Re: D Day Normandy Invasion
Posted on: 7/1/2019 11:06:56 AM

And they jumped out of perfectly good airplanes.

Most of the time.
----------------------------------
George
Centre Hastings
ON Canada
Posts: 10490
Re: D Day Normandy Invasion
Posted on: 7/1/2019 2:13:52 PM


Quote:
And they jumped out of perfectly good airplanes.

Most of the time.
--OpanaPointer


How many of those gliders crashed and the men inside killed as a result?
----------------------------------
OpanaPointer
St. Louis
MO USA
Posts: 1389
Re: D Day Normandy Invasion
Posted on: 7/1/2019 3:24:26 PM

People don't normally jump out of gliders.
----------------------------------
George
Centre Hastings
ON Canada
Posts: 10490
Re: D Day Normandy Invasion
Posted on: 7/1/2019 3:52:34 PM


Quote:
People don't normally jump out of gliders.
--OpanaPointer


I know that OP but about 1000 men were landed in gliders before the beach landings. More were landed during the day Just wondering how many died in the process.

The gliders also carried some vehicles and artillery I believe. Was the mission of the early glider born troops in support of the airborne or did they have their own objectives?

Just wondering what the plan was for the glider born troops.
----------------------------------
morris crumley
Dunwoody
GA USA
Posts: 2596
Re: D Day Normandy Invasion
Posted on: 7/1/2019 9:50:52 PM

I think, all things considered, the airborne units did what they were tasked with doing- take out specific targets and hold the raised roadways and bridges open for the allies to use moving inland. The reason why the casualties at Omaha were so high was not lack of proper use of airborne units, but all the other parts of the plan that went awry. The bad weather and cloud cover made bombing missions less successful. Many of the infantry were told to expect a plethora of bomb craters on the beaches that could be used for positions of cover. There weren`t any. The bombing had little effect on the German defensive positions, many of which were missed.

Most of the DD tanks were swamped by the less than favorable channel waters...there goes your close-in artillery support. And then, at Omaha, the terrain itself.

Respects, Morris
----------------------------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
Brian Grafton
Victoria
BC Canada
Posts: 2907
Re: D Day Normandy Invasion
Posted on: 7/1/2019 11:26:28 PM

Morris, there were all kinds of issues, I agree. Forget Airborne. Forget paratroops. Forget Glider troops. Every soldier who hit the beach that day faced an issue he was not prepared to deal with.

Some of the troops landed far from target. That's a reality. Some of the tank modifications were ill-conceived. That's a reality. And despite the undoubted success of the D-Day invasion, Omaha was close to a disaster during the early hours of the invasion. That too is a reality. What the hell: tides and current are also realities!

I guess each nation had "special" troops, and "special" names for them. I admit that when I hear of paratroops or of Rangers or of a Commando or the like, I sometimes lose track of exactly what each special unit was meant to do. With some exceptions (I think Ste. Mere Eglise is one, despite US efforts at that location), I sense that all specialist troops performed up to expectation. Some were directed incorrectly, and some may have been given targets that were less challenging than expected. Some got bogged down, some were dropped outside their drop zone; some were scattered by bad drops. But those who found themselves safe on the ground, however well- or poorly-placed they might have been, did not. largely, dishonour whatever flag they were under. Because I include the German troops holding the seashore when the Allied troops effected a landing.

Cheers
Brian G
----------------------------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
morris crumley
Dunwoody
GA USA
Posts: 2596
Re: D Day Normandy Invasion
Posted on: 7/2/2019 4:20:52 PM

Brian, one could almost argue that all the miss-drops and scattered sticks you made mention of...were errors that may have helped, more than hurt the allied situation. The reports of allied paratroopers scattered here and there made it very difficult for German command to "get a read on what this thing really is!" The allied troops were cross-briefed...they knew their own strategic objective...and the others...and every scattered stick made max effort to achieve those objectives.

Another important aspect of the ultimate success was the allied Naval destroyers that finally made sand scraping runs for close-in support, with fire control actually looking for groups of allied soldiers, observed what they appeared to be firing on..and then clobbered those positions with their big guns. No question, whether paratrooper, infantry, engineers, and Navy, and no matter the flag, they all made heroic actions.
----------------------------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."
Phil Andrade
London
 UK
Posts: 4347
Re: D Day Normandy Invasion
Posted on: 7/4/2019 4:42:20 AM

Reflecting on the arithmetic of D Day, I can’t help fixating on the fact - and I concede that I should be wary of using the word “fact” in connection with casualty figures- that nineteen out of every twenty Allied troops that were deployed in the landings on the five beaches survived the day unscathed.

The odds were far worse at Omaha and Juno , but, in the aggregate, I think my suggestion bears scrutiny.

The paratroopers took a bigger hit, it seems : dispersal and accidents compounding the toll of combat .

Regards, Phil
----------------------------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
Bones
Beloit,
KS USA
Posts: 5
D Day Normandy Invasion
Posted on: 7/5/2019 10:56:27 AM

At the beginning of airborne planning, there were some who supported paratroopers dropping on Caen and St. Lo. Planners quickly realized that was too far for quick relief. The closer airdrops were just manageable with available airlift and the seaborne forces. Both U.S. divisions were badly scattered, but were highly trained and managed to achieve, if not all, many objectives. (My uncle Carl Andrews, 101st). The British simply achieved their goals. Some scattered troops were very effective. See Battle of Graignes.
----------------------------------
MikeMeech

 UK
Posts: 462
D Day Normandy Invasion
Posted on: 7/5/2019 3:21:26 PM

Quote:
At the beginning of airborne planning, there were some who supported paratroopers dropping on Caen and St. Lo. Planners quickly realized that was too far for quick relief. The closer airdrops were just manageable with available airlift and the seaborne forces. Both U.S. divisions were badly scattered, but were highly trained and managed to achieve, if not all, many objectives. (My uncle Carl Andrews, 101st). The British simply achieved their goals. Some scattered troops were very effective. See Battle of Graignes.

Hi

According to John Greenacre on page 143 of 'Churchill's Spearhead - The Development of Britain's Airborne Forces during World War II' General George C. Marshall in February 1944 wanted Eisenhower to conduct a deep airborne mission during Operation OVERLORD. This was supposed to be around Evreux which was 45 miles from Paris. The aim was to present a strategic concern to the German forces by threatening the crossings over the Seine. This was rejected by Eisenhower (supported strongly by Montgomery and other commanders), who believed at that early stage of the invasion the link up with the beach landed forces could not be undertaken with a resulting high losses amongst the airborne troops. It appears that Marshall felt that both Eisenhower and the C-in-C Mediterranean, General Sir Henry Wilson did not use airborne forces to their full potential.

Mike
----------------------------------
DT509er
Santa Rosa
CA USA
Posts: 867
D Day Normandy Invasion
Posted on: 7/5/2019 5:45:22 PM

Quote:
Quote:
At the beginning of airborne planning, there were some who supported paratroopers dropping on Caen and St. Lo. Planners quickly realized that was too far for quick relief. The closer airdrops were just manageable with available airlift and the seaborne forces. Both U.S. divisions were badly scattered, but were highly trained and managed to achieve, if not all, many objectives. (My uncle Carl Andrews, 101st). The British simply achieved their goals. Some scattered troops were very effective. See Battle of Graignes.

Hi

According to John Greenacre on page 143 of 'Churchill's Spearhead - The Development of Britain's Airborne Forces during World War II' General George C. Marshall in February 1944 wanted Eisenhower to conduct a deep airborne mission during Operation OVERLORD. This was supposed to be around Evreux which was 45 miles from Paris. The aim was to present a strategic concern to the German forces by threatening the crossings over the Seine. This was rejected by Eisenhower (supported strongly by Montgomery and other commanders), who believed at that early stage of the invasion the link up with the beach landed forces could not be undertaken with a resulting high losses amongst the airborne troops. It appears that Marshall felt that both Eisenhower and the C-in-C Mediterranean, General Sir Henry Wilson did not use airborne forces to their full potential.

Mike


Good thing Ike and staff did not move forward with Marshall's idea. With the scattering of Paratroops at Normandy, trying to land them further inland as a self sustaining unit was suicidal, the 509th jump at Avellino, Italy clearly demonstrated such.
----------------------------------
"American parachutists-devils in baggy pants..." I take offense to your perception of being offended! “If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.” Lord Ernest Rutherford
Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan
MI USA
Posts: 5711
D Day Normandy Invasion
Posted on: 10/17/2019 7:14:53 PM

Not long after D Day this scarry battle happened! Comments?

[Read More]

check out the above excellent video,
MD
----------------------------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
DT509er
Santa Rosa
CA USA
Posts: 867
D Day Normandy Invasion
Posted on: 10/19/2019 1:52:00 PM

Glider troops, both British and American, were tasked to provide what the Paratroopers could not, anti-tank weaponry and jeeps with trailers to move those weapons, ammo and other equipment.

The British glider operation Neptune allowed troops to have a more precise landing nearer to their objectives, add in that once released the gliders provided a bit of stealth during descent.

Paratroopers had a "spread"/dispersal to them during jumps while gliders could in large part land in the same area, deploy quickly with their gear and equipment, thus allowing for a greater concentration of troops deployed to fight. Paratroopers, since they were greatly dispersed more than the glider troops fought in smaller groups for longer durations.

WWII war correspondent and glider passenger, Andy Rooney stated, "Landing was a planned accident and you hoped to survive the accident."

The paratroopers greatly respected what the glider troops had to endure as a glider descent was fraught with its own dangers that were largely in the hands of two men up front. I am proud to have earned my jump wings with a total of 22 jumps as an Infantry Paratrooper but, I am also proud to have worn the glider patch on my cap as well as a sign of respectful, honor to those troops in the gliders.

D-Day casualties for glider troops are difficult to discern but I recall the 325th Regiment had 17 deaths after the first day in Normandy. I don't know how accurate that number is, its just something I recall off-hand for some reason. After the first day, and once the troopers, both Paratroopers and Glider troops concentrated, the 325th fought along side the Paratroopers and their casualties were combined together.

----------------------------------
"American parachutists-devils in baggy pants..." I take offense to your perception of being offended! “If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.” Lord Ernest Rutherford
George
Centre Hastings
ON Canada
Posts: 10490
D Day Normandy Invasion
Posted on: 10/19/2019 2:41:30 PM

Dan, did the glider troops actually practice the landings before D-day? I don't know whether these gliders were recovered and reused or not. Perhaps it was too risky to attempt practice landings. Don't know.

Cheers,

George
----------------------------------
DT509er
Santa Rosa
CA USA
Posts: 867
D Day Normandy Invasion
Posted on: 10/19/2019 6:23:11 PM

I know of one Army Airfield in Indiana that was a training field for glider pilots. Glider pilots initially trained in L-4 & L-5 aircraft for flgiht time and experience as well as earning their wings and flight pay. I have not seen where fully loaded gliders with troops were loaded up for training, but I would bet a few ground crews went up for flights.

In one story, about 8 gliders were damaged during training and were moved to a portion of the airfield as damaged a/c. A wind storm blew through with sustained winds of up to 50+mph, the glider only needed 40mph for take-off so, when the winds hit those parked-damaged gliders they started taking off!! That must have been some sight to see.
----------------------------------
"American parachutists-devils in baggy pants..." I take offense to your perception of being offended! “If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.” Lord Ernest Rutherford

© 2020 - MilitaryHistoryOnline.com LLC