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I hadn't realized the Sword beach guns weren't neutralized. Any idea why they'd been able to stay in action?

I would have expected the RN to be better than the USN at ship to shore bombardment in 1944 ETO.

 

Why would you expect the RN to be better than the USN at shore bombardment ?

 

The USN had much more experience in amphibious support in World War II with landings not only in Africa and the Med, but also the PTO.

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I hadn't realized the Sword beach guns weren't neutralized. Any idea why they'd been able to stay in action?

I would have expected the RN to be better than the USN at ship to shore bombardment in 1944 ETO.

 

Why would you expect the RN to be better than the USN at shore bombardment ?

 

The USN had much more experience in amphibious support in World War II with landings not only in Africa and the Med, but also the PTO.

 

 

Sorry, but I'm traveling and giving abbreviated and confusing replies. The coastal guns that gave SWORD such problems were along the coast east of the Orne at Cabourg, Houlgate, and Le Havre. Counterbattery suppressed them periodically, but the threat of the heavy batteries at Le Havre and the human torpedoes created such a problem that it was eventually decided to abandon unloading across the beach there.

 

Interestingly, postwar it was discovered the Germans analyzed the counterbattery effectiveness of the allies vis a vis their own gunhouse designs and, counter-intuitively, found that it was the enclosed bunkers that were most problematic and the simple, open "kettle" positions (similar to fixed Panama mount positions) that were most survivable. The problem was that the embrasures of the covered positions acted as funnels, rounds impacting the glacis or front tended to ricochet into the gun houses with devastating effect - a prime example was the Crisbecq battery at Marcouf, when two of the three 21cm guns were knocked out by single hits from Nevada. The open pits though were very hard to cripple, since ricochets tended to skip over and explode far from the position...so long as the gun crew shelters were intact they could be re-manned. It took a rare direct hit by sustained bombardment or bombing to take them out.

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I hadn't realized the Sword beach guns weren't neutralized. Any idea why they'd been able to stay in action?

I would have expected the RN to be better than the USN at ship to shore bombardment in 1944 ETO.

 

Why would you expect the RN to be better than the USN at shore bombardment ?

 

The USN had much more experience in amphibious support in World War II with landings not only in Africa and the Med, but also the PTO.

 

 

Sorry, but I'm traveling and giving abbreviated and confusing replies. The coastal guns that gave SWORD such problems were along the coast east of the Orne at Cabourg, Houlgate, and Le Havre. Counterbattery suppressed them periodically, but the threat of the heavy batteries at Le Havre and the human torpedoes created such a problem that it was eventually decided to abandon unloading across the beach there.

 

Interestingly, postwar it was discovered the Germans analyzed the counterbattery effectiveness of the allies vis a vis their own gunhouse designs and, counter-intuitively, found that it was the enclosed bunkers that were most problematic and the simple, open "kettle" positions (similar to fixed Panama mount positions) that were most survivable. The problem was that the embrasures of the covered positions acted as funnels, rounds impacting the glacis or front tended to ricochet into the gun houses with devastating effect - a prime example was the Crisbecq battery at Marcouf, when two of the three 21cm guns were knocked out by single hits from Nevada. The open pits though were very hard to cripple, since ricochets tended to skip over and explode far from the position...so long as the gun crew shelters were intact they could be re-manned. It took a rare direct hit by sustained bombardment or bombing to take them out.

 

 

Those open positions would be more vulnerable to air attack, wouldn't they?

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Or VT fuzes or timed air bursts. But, does Naval Artillery HAVE air burst?

 

The BB main guns were fused point detonating or mechanical time for HC rounds, difficult to do again when the graze would likely activate the PD fuse too soon. Ditto for the base detonating fuse used in the bombardment round detonated too late. The kettle emplacement for the 155mm GPF was only around 50 feet in diameter, so a tiny target. Guns also turn out to be fairly resistant to blast damage, although fragments can damage recoil mechanisms and sights...but the burst still needed to be inside the kettle. Eventually many of the positions were put out of action, but it took a lot of time and effort.

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The RN did a lot of that during the Great War, retained quite a lot of monitors and put them to use.

 

Actually built a couple of new monitors.

 

But the USN certainly had lots of experience in the Pacific.

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I hadn't realized the Sword beach guns weren't neutralized. Any idea why they'd been able to stay in action?

I would have expected the RN to be better than the USN at ship to shore bombardment in 1944 ETO.

 

Why would you expect the RN to be better than the USN at shore bombardment ?

 

The USN had much more experience in amphibious support in World War II with landings not only in Africa and the Med, but also the PTO.

 

 

Sorry, but I'm traveling and giving abbreviated and confusing replies. The coastal guns that gave SWORD such problems were along the coast east of the Orne at Cabourg, Houlgate, and Le Havre. Counterbattery suppressed them periodically, but the threat of the heavy batteries at Le Havre and the human torpedoes created such a problem that it was eventually decided to abandon unloading across the beach there.

 

Interestingly, postwar it was discovered the Germans analyzed the counterbattery effectiveness of the allies vis a vis their own gunhouse designs and, counter-intuitively, found that it was the enclosed bunkers that were most problematic and the simple, open "kettle" positions (similar to fixed Panama mount positions) that were most survivable. The problem was that the embrasures of the covered positions acted as funnels, rounds impacting the glacis or front tended to ricochet into the gun houses with devastating effect - a prime example was the Crisbecq battery at Marcouf, when two of the three 21cm guns were knocked out by single hits from Nevada. The open pits though were very hard to cripple, since ricochets tended to skip over and explode far from the position...so long as the gun crew shelters were intact they could be re-manned. It took a rare direct hit by sustained bombardment or bombing to take them out.

 

 

Germany copied the Panama mount, then built a mobile version, which was copied for the US M1 155mm as the Kelly Mount

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Corry_(DD-463)#Discrepancy_over_the_sinking_of_Corry

Discrepancy over the sinking of Corry

The official loss of ship report for Corry states that at 06:33 she hit a mine, which was said to have exploded below her engineering spaces.[4]Initial reports by the commanding officer, however, state that Corry was sunk by a salvo of heavy caliber projectiles which detonated amidships below the water level in the engineering spaces and caused the breaking in half and sinking of the vessel.[5] German reports also state that the Saint Marcouf (Crisbecq) battery commanded by Walter Ohmsen, located 1 12 miles (2.4 km) inland, with its three 210-millimeter (8.25 in) guns scored a direct hit on an American warship at approximately H-Hour (0630), causing its sinking. The warship was initially believed to be a light cruiser (due to Corry's silhouette resembling that of a light cruiser at a distance).[6] About two weeks after D-Day, a detailed report stating that heavy artillery fire had sunk Corry was about to be submitted as the official loss of ship report, but it was suddenly scrapped and rewritten stating that Corry had struck a mine. No officers or crew were consulted for input on the rewrite of the report. This final official loss report for Corry stated on its last page that shelling received simultaneously with the proposed mine resulted in "merely incidental damage".

 

Edited by Ken Estes
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Corry_(DD-463)#Discrepancy_over_the_sinking_of_Corry

 

Discrepancy over the sinking of Corry

The official loss of ship report for Corry states that at 06:33 she hit a mine, which was said to have exploded below her engineering spaces.[4]Initial reports by the commanding officer, however, state that Corry was sunk by a salvo of heavy caliber projectiles which detonated amidships below the water level in the engineering spaces and caused the breaking in half and sinking of the vessel.[5] German reports also state that the Saint Marcouf (Crisbecq) battery commanded by Walter Ohmsen, located 1 12 miles (2.4 km) inland, with its three 210-millimeter (8.25 in) guns scored a direct hit on an American warship at approximately H-Hour (0630), causing its sinking. The warship was initially believed to be a light cruiser (due to Corry's silhouette resembling that of a light cruiser at a distance).[6] About two weeks after D-Day, a detailed report stating that heavy artillery fire had sunk Corry was about to be submitted as the official loss of ship report, but it was suddenly scrapped and rewritten stating that Corry had struck a mine. No officers or crew were consulted for input on the rewrite of the report. This final official loss report for Corry stated on its last page that shelling received simultaneously with the proposed mine resulted in "merely incidental damage".

 

Ken,

 

Why would the US Navy change the cause from heavy caliber shell to mine??

 

Mike

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[Pure Conjecture] Somehow, it's more innocent to fall victim to a concealed menace than one wielded by the Wehrmacht from shore positions that simply outshot the USN? After all, it's mid-1944 and every JA island garrison was being swept aside or buried.

 

Again, continental phib ops remained starkly different than the Pacific island assaults. Sicily, Salerno, and Omaha each had sticking points. At Juno-Sword, advance units of the 21st PzDiv actually showed up at the beach on the evening of D-Day. Ike was correct in assuming that he needed five landing beaches, so that he could lose one if it proved that tough.

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On the subject of Naval Gunfire, didn't 21st Panzer get close enough to the beach to be directly engaged by some of the warships?

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21st Panzer on D-day

 

https://weaponsandwarfare.com/2016/02/01/21st-panzer-division-d-day-1944-part-i/

https://weaponsandwarfare.com/2016/02/01/21st-panzer-division-d-day-1944-part-ii/

 

"At 2000 hours, the mechanised infantry of I Battalion, Panzer Grenadier Regiment 192, reached the sea between Lion-sur-Mer and Luc-sur-Mer, a few miles to the west, and linked up with the Germans still holding the coast there.

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21st Panzer on D-day

 

https://weaponsandwarfare.com/2016/02/01/21st-panzer-division-d-day-1944-part-i/

https://weaponsandwarfare.com/2016/02/01/21st-panzer-division-d-day-1944-part-ii/

 

"At 2000 hours, the mechanised infantry of I Battalion, Panzer Grenadier Regiment 192, reached the sea between Lion-sur-Mer and Luc-sur-Mer, a few miles to the west, and linked up with the Germans still holding the coast there.

 

I don't recall them holding very long and the Allied troops already landed had little trouble showing them the way back.

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Just adding on to the narrative. Today there is a historical marker on the coast road commemorating the unit that turned them back.

 

 

2011: Dave Clark and I looking at a Churchill AVRE at that intersection on the coast road. The far right was the limit of the German advance. Notice the markers and monuments in background. Photo courtesy Banshee One

l3V1II.jpg

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