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D-Day Invasion

  1. Oct 21, 2011 #1
    The invasion of Normandy was very bloody and as detailed in Saving Private Ryan very brutal with many casualties. My question is of the military tactics. The date of the invasion was secret,but why weren't the German Bunker positions bombed by allied forces just 20 minutes before the first troops landed. When our invading force was 10 miles off shore the element of surprise was over. Bombing wouldn't tell the Germans anything they didn't already know.
    I know bombing wasn't nearly as accurate as it is today, but even if it knocked out a few bunkers , it might have made the invasion a little easier.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 21, 2011 #2
  4. Oct 21, 2011 #3


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    The allies attempted to bomb the bunkers, but the area was overcast and the bombs fell off-target.


    Some history - http://www.history.army.mil/brochures/normandy/nor-pam.htm
  5. Oct 22, 2011 #4
    The paratroop divisions were dropped haphazardly as well, and their objectives included artillery batteries and whatnot just behind the beachhead. A lot of things didn't go as planned.

    I think with an invasion of that magnitude, the "element of surprise" is less about the German troops on the shore being alerted some hours before, and more about the strategic deployment of German forces, reserve divisions etc, at the time, and how quickly they can respond in a BIG way to multiple Allied armies sweeping in from the coast.

    It certainly was bloody but as I understand it, the invasion of France was fairly successful in terms of how quickly they neutralized the coastal defenses and moved inland. The Germans were overwhelmed.
  6. Nov 8, 2011 #5
  7. Nov 8, 2011 #6


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    A couple of years ago I visited an old German base near Deauville. It was a site of long range artillery that could shell the beach despite being many miles away. The RAF targeted loads of bases like this and the night before D-Day parachuted 700 men to take this one out, unfortunately the Germans had deliberately flooded nearby fields and the majority of soldiers drowned in the muddy swamp that was created.

    At the rendezvous point only 100 men had made it on time. They waited another few hours but only 50 more came. They'd lost all their mortars, all their minesweepers, had one radio that didn't work but still managed to take over the base long enough to demolish all the artillery and ammo storage. It was quite an upsetting place to visit, I can't imagine someone being the age I am now parachuting in the dark only to drown.
  8. Nov 8, 2011 #7
    Indeed the phrase "War is hell" is about as close as you can come to actually describing it. I have never been in combat, and wont pretend I fully understand it. But I can imagine being in a pitched battle, where you are trying to kill the enemy, and the enemy is trying to kill you, and watching people you know die all around you. Its sad that with how far we have come, we still haven't managed to get over this part of ourselves yet.
  9. Nov 9, 2011 #8


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    Read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Longest_Day_(book [Broken])
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
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