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Question: History Question: Cross Channel Invasion of 1943!?
Consider the arguments on both sides of the question of whether the Western Allies could have carried out a successful cross-channel invasion of France in 1943!. Which side is more convincing to you!? And why!?Www@QuestionHome@Com

Best Answer - Chosen by Asker:
The Allies would have been unsuccessful in any cross channel invasion of France in 1943!. The Allies needed troops that had been committed to the North African and Italian campaigns, in addition to units like the 101 Airborne which was committed for the first time during the Normandy invasions!. The number of men needed to succsesfully invade France across the English Channel was staggering!.

also at the time Germany still had a functioning air force!. The Allies did not achieve near complete air superiority until late 1943!. Had the Luftwaffe been a factor, the airdrop would have been a greater fiasco than it was!. Without the paratroops and glider troops it is unlikely that the Americans could have gotten of Omaha beach, and the the English would have faced stiffer opposition sooner!. As it was the Brits were able to get a significant number of troops ashore and had a solid beachhead before they came up against real German troops that offered more than a token resistance!. Germany also had more troops with better equipment that they would have been able to throw into the breach!. Even in June 1944 the Germans put up a great defense, delaying Allied troops from achieving their Day One objectives for several days!.

Even if the Allies had been able to achieve a beachhead, it is unlikely they would have been able to supply the troops on the ground adequately!. A situation similar to the Pusan Perimeter (Korean War) would have developed, chewing up men and material to no good purpose!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

This was the exact question finally resolved by FDR by approving Operation Torch which was Churchills main plan for a joint operation,to make full use of available forces at that moment in history, when he thought that an invasion into France must fail!.
Was he correct to seek to delay those Joint Chiefs who wanted to set this invasion in motion much earlier!?
Yes in my view he certainly was and displayed here his huge negotiating skills in keeping the Joint Chiefs and FDR onside for the "Germany First" agreement, yet deterring them from overzealousness, which FDR was brilliant enough to realize in his decision to support him!. There are a number of reasons why this is so!.

Firstly, there were immense logistical problems of troop transport,landing craft, and training which by 1943 were by no means sufficiently advanced to make a successful invasion likely!.
Secondly,German land forces hadnt yet suffered their full attrition on the Eastern Front at this time and powerful reserve forces could have been mustered to destroy anything but a huge,trained and fully equipped force with full air superiority!.More time was needed!.
Thirdly the risk of defeat was too great when measured against the overall cost to the war effort of that risk maybe setting back the Allies by at least several years!.Fourthly, winning the war on the edges ,firstly in N Africa and then in the soft underbelly of Italy was rightly understood as easily within the joint forces capabilities and would act as a training ground for new green troops, as the full war production machine was set into motion!.

At this particular moment in history 2 giant chess players pooled their pieces and agreed on a common strategy which bled the opposition whilst they strengthened themselves into the powerful trained and well-equipped force needed for the massive Overlord Operation,whilst simultaneously gaining complete air superioity which destroyed the German counterattack at Falaise, impossible ony a year before!.

The right strategic decision was made!.FDR showed himself magnificent in humility,Churchill wide-ranging and compelling in negotiation,the Joint Chiefs resolute in obedience!.The deal was done!.