"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

D-Day - The unnecessary battle

D-Day, June 6, 1944  -  An unnecessary political battle that never needed to be fought.
  • Major strategic mistakes were made by the Allied political leadership.
  • Allied troops never needed to set foot on the meat-grinder beaches of Normandy.
  • Instead of Italy, Greece should have been invaded to win the war and save Eastern Europe from the Communism of the Soviet Union.

By Gary;

Here we have another anniversary that is rightfully dedicated to the brave men who fought and died for their countries in Normandy, France.

But as a frustrated military historian I cannot help point out that the D-Day invasion never needed to happen.  Because of massively stupid political decisions the Allied military was sent into Italy and Normandy.

Leftist fantasyland thinking by President Franklin Roosevelt was responsible for the poor decisions.  Roosevelt saw Russian Communism as just another version of the Democratic Party:
I just have a hunch that Stalin is not that kind of a man. ... and I think that if I give him everything I possibly can and ask for nothing from him in return, noblesse oblige, he won't try to annex anything and will work with me for a world of democracy and peace.
—Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1943

Now there is a brain dead liberal for you.  The clueless leaders of the United States were sending troops into Normandy and Italy for political reasons, not military reasons.  We did not want to upset our friends the Russians.  These political choices had little impact on the war and would have near zero political impact on a post-war Europe, but those decisions managed to kill thousands of soldiers.

April 1944  -  The Soviet Union had already won the war

So-called "popular" history says the Normandy landings signaled the "beginning of the end" for Nazi Germany.  Popular history is often wrong.  It is arguable that Germany had already been defeated by the Soviet Union because of its huge losses on the Eastern Front.
Canadian troops at Normandy.

Simply, the German Army had been totally gutted at the 1942 Battle of Stalinlgrad.  When you add in the massive 1943 German defeats at Smolensk and Kursk the war was effectively over.
From October 1943 on the German military was in total collapse.  Unable to put up a fight or run fast enough to get away from the rapidly advancing Russians.
The Allied invasion at Normandy was to get boots on the ground before the Russians managed to liberate Paris.
Even after Nomandy the Russian front was where the action was.  The American historian Jeffrey Herf wrote that, "Whereas German deaths between 1941 and 1943 on the western front had not exceeded 3 percent of the total from all fronts, in 1944 the figure jumped to about 14 percent. Yet even in the months following D-day, about 68.5 percent of all German battlefield deaths occurred on the eastern front, as a Soviet blitzkrieg in response devastated the retreating Wehrmacht".
The Invasion of Greece that never happened  -  One had only to look at a map to see invading Normandy and Italy were bad calls.  Bad calls that is if you were an anti-Communist.  If you were friendly to Socialism and Communism like FDR then you had no problem with Uncle Joe Stalin and his merry band of Communists armies "liberating" Eastern Europe.
For a believer in Freedom and an anti-Communist, instead of invading Italy one would have put the major Allied military resources into an invasion of Greece using Sicily, British Egypt and Malta as bases.
The huge multi-national Allied army that invaded Italy in September, 1943 would have easily liberated Greece considering the Germans on the Eastern Front were in total collapse.  Then the Allies marching at the side of the Russian armies would have liberated the Balkans and marched on to Vienna, Budapest and Berlin.
The invasion of Normandy and the 210,000 casualties incurred was not needed.  Just having an army in Britain would have pinned down the German troops.  The Germans could not withdraw their forces.  Once the German collapse was even further along additional landings could have been made in the south of France forcing what was left of the Germans to pull out of Normandy to meet the Allies down south.
But these are all historical "what ifs".  The facts are political decisions made us cave to the Communists and give them Eastern Europe.  Those political decisions in turn brought huge numbers of unneeded deaths of Allied troops in Italy and Normandy.   

April 1944  -  The total collapse of Nazi Germany.
Before a single Allied soldier set foot in Normandy, World War II was effectively over.  

The Soviet Union had won the war at the Battles of Stalingrad (1942), Kursk and Smolensk (both 1943).  From October,1943 on it was simply a foot race to see how fast the Germans could run away from the Russians.  The only real challenge for the Russians was being able to move troops West as fast as the Germans could retreat.
Before Normandy the Russians were already pushing into Romania and Poland.  The march to Berlin was well under way and from a military point of view the invasion of Normandy was not needed.

The Tehran and Yalta Conferences
The meetings not only betrayed Poland but gave the Communist Soviet Union a military and political free hand in Eastern Europe.  If the Allies had invaded in Greece rather than in Italy the entire history of post World War II Europe would have been different.

US soldiers salute at the Colleville-sur-Mer military cemetery , Omaha Beach.


Andy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andy said...

Have to agree with you here. D-day was totally unnecessary and quite costly. Allied strategic bombing should never have been interrupted. Army Air Force at the time was predicting that Germany would fall in a matter of months with continued bombing of manufacturing plants, oil refineries, and electrical power plants. But due to many factors, including yes Roosevelt's naivete concerning Stalin's objectives, and also General George Marshall's insistence, the Overlord plan went ahead as planned despite the changing situation in the war.

Gary said...

Well put

Anonymous said...

This was, in fact, Churchill's plan, which you should know about if you are a historian. The loss of Crete was an unforgivable blunder. But Churchill always wanted to attack through the Bulcans. And the Serbs were real fighters and would have loved to get a chance to kill Coatians.

But the reason for Reluctance was that it was thought risky and would cause too many casualties. Allied losses were actually very light on the western front.