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Old July 2nd, 2011, 04:42 AM   #61
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No, the issue was the ability of moving troops through area which could be shelled by heavy naval guns. See quote from post 20 below
Ooops. my bad.
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Old July 2nd, 2011, 05:22 AM   #62

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Click the image to open in full size.

Pointe du Hoc. Omaha Beach. Craters still seen today.
And the going up there was not to easy for American force.
Please note that the german Pointe du Hoc fortifications were not destroyed.
At night, the naval fire was ineffective against moving targets which can not be observed from the ship bridge or from spotter planes. I would not overestimate the ability of naval gunfire to stop night movement of german forces. Hawever they could be deadly during day fighting.
I agree completely about the fortifications. However, troops and tanks in the open is a different ball of wax entirely.
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Old July 2nd, 2011, 05:53 AM   #63

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The main reason the British wanted the invasion put back from 1943 was to have overpowering firepower/manpower. I do not see this as a negative. If I went into battle I would certainly want to be on the side with the overpowering firepower.

Manpower is only useful if you have the space available to use it. The battle of Thermopylae being the first illustration that comes to mind. You can only put so many men in the frontline. Before the breakout, the British did no have enough room behind the frontline to deploy properly. They were also unable to build the forward airfields that were planned.

Some years ago I read a comparative account of what type of land weapon caused the most casualties to their enemies in WW2. For the British and Americans, artillery dominated. I cannot correctly remember the percentages but something like 70% or 80% of German casualties were caused by artillery. Soviet artillery caused a much smaller percentage of German casualties but a correspondingly larger percentage was caused by bullets. Therefore, for the allies I would guess the most important factor was firepower.

However, as has already been mentioned other factors were important. Without good logistic, the ammunition would not have been available to shoot at the enemy. This meant that the Battle of the Atlantic had to be won before D-Day. Then there is the importance of allied fighter bombers, etc.
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Old July 2nd, 2011, 05:53 AM   #64
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Ooops. my bad.
No problem,jimmo
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Old July 2nd, 2011, 11:00 AM   #65

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Actually to demonstrate that while one could demonstrate an event has a single cause, it is not necessary that it does have only that one cause. Thus, it is not necessary to explain every single aspect of that event with a single cause.

EDIT:
It primarily concerns, explanatory scope, explanatory power, and what we define as "evidence".
??? What? ???
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Old July 2nd, 2011, 02:05 PM   #66

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??? What? ???
Thank you, I thought it was just me.

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Originally Posted by jimmo
The original post was:

I have a hypothetical claim for you all:
The success of the Normandy invasion was only because of overwhelming firepower. (original was actually manpower )

I am trying to come up with an example of an historical event that could be explained by a single factor (e.g. "overwhelming firepower") but is actually explained by a number of more or less unrelated factors. The goal is to demonstrated that to explain that event, I do not need something that covers every single factor. So, while we know the Normandy invasion was multiple factors, could it be explained by just one?

When I am done, I have one factor that definitely could be the single cause. However, there is still no requirement that the explanation is that single cause. (Obvious in this case)
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(Posted by botully) This doesn't make any sense to me. If something happened because of numerous unrelated factors, why would you try to explain it using only one?
Why is it useful to ignore everything else?
Quote:
Reply by jimmo) Actually to demonstrate that while one could demonstrate an event has a single cause, it is not necessary that it does have only that one cause. Thus, it is not necessary to explain every single aspect of that event with a single cause.

EDIT:
It primarily concerns, explanatory scope, explanatory power, and what we define as "evidence".
I'm sorry, jimmo, this doesn't make sense to me either, and it seems to contradict the original goal. Maybe it's a language thing. Could you explain the goal again?

If I want to know why I have a flat tire, "Because you ran over a nail" explains it. There may be other factors we can cite, I drove across a construction site, the tires were old with a thin tread....but "ran over a nail" is adequate.
If someone asks "Why was the Normandy invasion successful?" and I reply "overwhelming firepower", I haven't explained anything. The Normandy campaign is a complex subject, airpower, logistics, technology, politics, naval power...too complex to try to summarize so simply.

But perhaps I misunderstand your goal.
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Old July 3rd, 2011, 03:01 AM   #67
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I'm sorry, jimmo, this doesn't make sense to me either, and it seems to contradict the original goal. Maybe it's a language thing. Could you explain the goal again?

If I want to know why I have a flat tire, "Because you ran over a nail" explains it. There may be other factors we can cite, I drove across a construction site, the tires were old with a thin tread....but "ran over a nail" is adequate.
If someone asks "Why was the Normandy invasion successful?" and I reply "overwhelming firepower", I haven't explained anything. The Normandy campaign is a complex subject, airpower, logistics, technology, politics, naval power...too complex to try to summarize so simply.

But perhaps I misunderstand your goal.
This is really an issue of the philosophy of history and not the Normandy invasion. The goal is to demonstrate that when a single cause does explain an entire event, it does not mean that single components cannot be explained by single causes.

Most certainly, "The Normandy campaign is a complex subject". I am not tryng to "summarize" it. In fact, my position is that you usually cannot explain complex events like this with just a single cause. However, is it possible to explain events like this with a single cause. In this case, "overwhelming firepower" could be that single cause.

explanatory scope: Does the given explanation address all of the components?

If someone believes that there was only one cause for an event, they could potentially use explanatory scope to claim that the explanation for one component does not explain the whole event. That is, it does not have the necessary explanatory scope. In my mind, this is invalid.

Assume for a moment, we do not know all of the details of the Normandy invasion and we are looking for an explanation of why it was successful. In this case, "overwhelming firepower" would be able to address every aspect, and thus has explanatory scope.

explanatory power: Can the explanation explain everything sufficiently.

In the case, of the normandy invasion, "overwhelming firepower" does have the ability (power) to explain each success like Omaha beach, the taking of the harbor at Cherbourg, etc.

So we have an event, that could be explained by a single cause. Admittedly, in this case we know the single cause "overwhelming firepower" is not really what happened. However, let's assume we don't have the details.

We know that the harbor at Cherbourg was a key element in the success. If someone where to say, for example, that taking the harbor was not due to overwhelming firepower, but due to superior tactical decisions by the allies, another person could counter saying, the "tactical decisions" have insuffient "explanatory scope" because that does not address the success at Omaha beach, even though it has the necessary explanatory power to explain the taking of the Cherbourg harbor. It seems, superficially, that "tactical decisions" is an insufficient explanation. I maintain this is invalid.

Obviously, there are other components, such as which explanation is more plausible. However, assuming we do not have details, it would be difficult to know which is more plausible. If this was a Roman battle, where we had contradictory stories, or embellished claims by Roman historians, it would be much more difficult to say which explanation is more plausible.

In essence, the goal is to demonstrate that while explanatory scope is an important consideration, there are many cases where we know an historical event is not explained by a single cause. Thus limited explanatory scope of that cause does not eliminate it as an explanation. So for events where we do not have all of the details, it is invalid to insist that the cause of sub-events can be ingored because they do not explain the complete event

Admittedly I did not mention "evidence" in my original post, and is more or less irrelevant to the discussion.
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Old July 3rd, 2011, 03:51 AM   #68
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The only way I can come to any conclusion that would fit in any way the original question with a single simple phrase is by totalling all parts of the entire war effort from start to finish.

As a simple example. From the manufacture of a bullet to the final expenditure of the round. All the processes that go into producing, logistics, personnel, etc that final spent case. All play a part and if you wish to look for a single statement that covers everything for why D Day was a success then it would have to be,

Overwhelming Power.
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