Did D-Day actually have a realistic chance of failure?

Mar 2015
1,451
Yorkshire
Aggenation's comments above....

I can see that there is another thread running on the subject of DDay 1943, Marshal's pet project and it would be very easy to mess up and derail that one, this one and Italian campaign.

I can also see that you agree (adding some nice extra touches) to my central theme of allied air supremacy - very underrated in most commentaries about DDay BTW.

Nevertheless, I can't let the comments about Jackass Churchill go without some reply. Yes, his harebrained operational ideas were mostly either useless or disastrous and its thanks to Alanbrooke that few saw light of day.

However at the highest level of strategic thinking, its difficult to think of any leader in WW2 who came close to Churchill. Unlike the Americans, he was thinking of the next conflict against the Soviets. You know Marshall was a bit of jackass when he forbade Patton taking Prague (achievable in 24hours) and let the Soviets take it several days later - operationally correct but strategically disastrous for the West and for the Czech nation (took countless American dollars and 40 years to correct). Compare that with Churchill's insistence on Montgomery driving through past Hamburg to the Baltic Coast to cut off the Soviets by just 6 hours from taking Denmark (and domination of the Baltic).
 
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aggienation

Ad Honorem
Jul 2016
9,749
USA
However at the highest level of strategic thinking, its difficult to think of any leader in WW2 who came close to Churchill.
Because FDR had the good sense to not try to mimic Churchill, who took a more aggressive role in interfering than Stalin, but on par with Hitler. Churchill was skilled at politics, not warfare. He should have leaned on the professionals. And the British were not like the Germans, whose general officers, for numerous generals, had purposely stopped focusing on or studying strategy, politics, and how it related to warfare. The British general staff was perfectly capable of combining politics, strategy, and operational art. And its a damn shame that Brooke and others had to do their best just to keep in check the idiot running things.

You know Marshall was a bit of jackass when he forbade Patton taking Prague (achievable in 24hours) by the Soviets - operationally correct but strategically disastrous for the West and for the Czech nation.
Ahh, the Prague Uprising theory. And the evil individual was Ike, not Marshal. Besides that, the Yalta Conference had already specified that Czechoslovakia was going to be inside the Soviet sphere of influence. It wouldn't have mattered if Patton could have liberated it first, like taking Berlin first, it would just have led to the US Army having to pull out after wasting lives and handing it over to the Soviets.

If you don't like that, blame the individuals responsible for agreement. Here is picture. The fat guy, blame him.

 

Earl_of_Rochester

Ad Honoris
Feb 2011
13,609
Perambulating in St James' Park