Monday, June 24, 2013

Beach Landing.

This is coolbert:

Here from the Number 96 edition of "AFTER THE BATTLE" magazine we have this interesting item as found in the article "THE GUNS OF VITI LEVU: [thanks to the author David Green]

"the Japanese were experienced in attacking and coastal forts from earlier conflicts taking Port Arthur  from the Chinese in 1894, and again from the Russians in 1905, and capturing Tsingtao from the German in 1914. In each case, the main contingent troops were landed away from the fort's striking distance, advancing to the rear and attacking the position from behind."

Correct! Frontal assaults against fortified and prepared beach defenses even when successful and the defenders overcome, quite often resulting in horrific or catastrophic casualties, the defender having in all cases a marked advantage.

The Japanese methodology to use an indirect approach where possible.

Indeed, during the Second World War [WW2] the Japanese possessing naval infantry [not marines] whose sole mission seems to be the capture of beach defenses during an amphibious operation.

Troops whose mission can best correctly be described as special operations type, training, equipment, selection of personnel and objectives the combat missions of which were short duration - - overwhelm the defender and capture of a beach as a prelude to a general landing.

That same methodology of using special purpose units during an amphibious landing could have been used with success during the Normandy landings of 6 June 1944?

American Range, British commando and troops from the First Special Service Force ["Devil's Brigade"] could have gone ashore at Normandy during hours of darkness, landing via rubber Zodiac style boat, attacking and killing those Germans manning the beach defenses, capturing vital terrain and greatly facilitating the approach and landing of the general invasion force?

Such to a degree was the suggestion [night assault] made by General Cota, deputy commander of the 29th Division, landing the first day on Omaha beach.

That advocacy [night assault] of General Cota not heeded, casualties among American troops at Omaha beach that day of 6 June very heavy, nearly catastrophic.

Omar Bradley at one point seriously considering a full withdrawal of all units engaged at Omaha, so dire was the situation.

Casualties at Omaha beach horrific and terrible, even worse than anticipated, furthermore that 352nd German infantry division manning the beach defenses at Omaha categorized as an "inferior" German division, capable of defensive operations only!!

Defense is the stronger form of combat, easier to do and more can be accomplished with less!

[The same was true during Jubilee at Dieppe [1942]. An inferior German unit armed with inferior weaponry able to give a very good account of itself when in mortal battle with the best combat arms units at the disposal of the British!!]

It is worth noting that the First Special Service Force [FSSF] was trained in small boat operations and had previously made a night small boat assault in the Aleutians securing the landing beaches most expeditiously. That FSSF also their most famous and successful mission the capture of Monte la Difensa during the Italian campaign, two hundred men in two hours able to do what twenty thousand men previously could not do in two weeks!!

Senior commanders at Normandy such as Bradley and Montgomery almost to the exclusion of other options ONLY in favor of the direct approach to amphibious assaults, that conventional commander not always seeing the advantage to the indirect and special operations type of assault?


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