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Old 3 June 2019, 15:39
bobmueller bobmueller is offline
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Was Pointe du Hoc Raid Necessary?

"A World War II artifact collector and historian accidentally stumbled upon a massive German artillery installation that was buried after the invasion. His discovery, along with a trove of declassified U.S. and British military documents, threatens to alter the narrative of Pointe du Hoc and its importance as a military objective during the D-Day invasion."

I'm posting this for information and discussion, not to in any way discount the bravery exhibited by the Rangers who scaled the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc. But it's an interesting discovery. I'd never heard of Maisey Battery, although the last books I read on the invasion were published in the 70s.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/histo...?noredirect=on
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Old 3 June 2019, 21:13
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Hindsight and the ability to wander safely around the AO afford a measure of clarity that wasn't present in 1944.
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Old 4 June 2019, 07:14
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Yes it was necessary. The Maisey Battery was uncovered over 10 years ago. The person how owns this site has been pushing for its importance for a long time.

Also the French used this site for firefighter training for decades before covering it up with dirt.
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Old 4 June 2019, 09:59
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I'm at work and doing this from memory....

My understanding is that the real value of the Ponte de Hoc came after the attack when the Rangers continued down the road toward Vierville. The 29th's 116th Infantry and 121st Engineers hadn't broken through the beachhead yet and German reinforcements were en route. Unlike most of the other other landing zones, Omaha was still very much in doubt.

When the Rangers unexpectedly began engaging the German force, the Germans believed that the US forces had broken through the beach head and the Germans halted. This gave the 121st Engineers the time they needed to blast through the defenses with bangalores and allow the 116th to advance with the Rangers that landed by boat as part of landing force.

Again, my understanding is that the 121st may not have gotten off the beach if the Rangers had not continued down the road and those German reinforcements had not deployed thinking that the Americans had already broken through. .
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Old 4 June 2019, 18:53
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Hope this helps, I happened to be reading this last night...


Ronald Lane, Rudder's Rangers (1979) p. 108
and Stephen Ambrose, D-Day, (1994) p. 415-416

The primary purpose of the Rangers was not to kill Germans or take prisoners, but to get those 155 mm cannon. The tracks leading out of the casements and the effort the Germans were making to dislodge the Rangers indicated they had to be around somewhere.

By 0815 there were about thirty-five Rangers from companies D and E at the perimeter of the roadblock. Within fifteen minutes another group of twelve from Company F joined up. Excellent soldiers, those Rangers - they immediately began patrolling.

There was a dirt road leading south (inland). It had heavy tracks. Sgts. Leonard Lomell and Jack Kuhn thought the missing guns might have made the tracks. They set out to investigate. At about 250 meters (one kilometer inland), Lomell abruptly stopped. he held his hand out to stop Kuhn, turned and half-whispered, "Jack, here they are. We've found 'em. Here are the goddamned guns."

Unbelievably, the well-camouflaged guns were set up in battery, ready to fire in the direction of Utah Beach, with piles of ammunition around them, but no Germans. Lomell spotted about a hundred Germans a hundred meters or so across an open field, apparently forming up. Evidently they had pulled back during the bombardment, for fear of a stray shell setting off the ammunition dump, and were now preparing to man their guns, but they were in no hurry, for until their infantry drove off the Rangers and reoccupied the observation post they could not fire with any accuracy.

Lomell never hesitated. "Give me your grenades, Jack," he said to Kuhn. "Cover me. I'm gonna fix 'em." He ran to the guns and set off thermite grenades in the recoil and traversing mechanisms of two guns, disabling them. He bashed in the sights of the third gun.

"Jack, we gotta get some more thermite grenades." He and Kuhn ran back to the highway, collected all the thermite grenades from the Rangers in the immediate area, returned to the battery, and disabled the other three guns,

Meanwhile Sgt. Frank Rupinski, leading a patrol of his own, had discovered a huge ammunition dump south of the battery. It too was unguarded. Using high-explosive charges, the Rangers detonated it. A tremendous explosion occurred as the shells and powder charges blew up, showering rocks, sand, leaves, and debris on Lomell and Kuhn. Unaware of Rupinski's patrol, Lomell and Kuhn assumed that a stray shell had hit the ammo dump. They withdrew as quickly as they could and sent word back to Rudder by runner that the guns had been found and destroyed.

And with that, the Rangers had completed their offensive mission. It was 0900. Just that quickly, they were now on the defensive, isolated, with nothing heavier than 60 mm mortars and BARs to defend themselves.

The Rangers took heavy casualties. A number of them were taken prisoner. By the end of the battle only fifty of more than 200 Rangers who had landed were still capable of fighting. But they never lost Pointe-du-Hoc.

Later, writers commented that it had all been a waste, since the guns had been withdrawn from the fortified area around Pointe-du-Hoc. That is wrong, Those guns were in working condition before Sgt. Lomell got to them. They had an abundance of ammunition. They were in range (they could lob their huge shells 25,000 meters) of the biggest targets in the world, the 5,000-plus ships in the Channel and the thousands of troops and equipment on Utah and Omaha beaches.

Lieutenant Eikner was absolutely correct when he concluded his oral history, "Had we not been there we felt quite sure that those guns would have been put into operation and they would have brought much death and destruction down on our men on the beaches and our ships at sea. But by 0900 on D-Day morning the big guns had been put out of commission and the paved highway had been cut and we had roadblocks denying its use to the enemy. So by 0900 our mission was accomplished. The Rangers at Pointe-du-Hoc were the first American forces on D-Day to accomplish their mission and we are proud of that."


Note: The Rangers at Pointe-du-Hoc (2nd Rangers) did not maneuver down and assist in getting the forces free from Omaha - but their planned reinforcements, which were not landed at Pointe-du-Hoc due to a commo problem, did lead the way up and out of the Vierville draw :)

Companies A and B of the 2nd Rangers, along with 5th Ranger Battalion, landed at Dog Green and Dog White, proceeded up the Vierville draw, turned right, and went overland to the aid of their comrades at Pointe-du-Hoc...
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Old 4 June 2019, 19:21
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HighDragLowSpeed HighDragLowSpeed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixgun View Post
Note: The Rangers at Pointe-du-Hoc (2nd Rangers) did not maneuver down and assist in getting the forces free from Omaha - but their planned reinforcements, which were not landed at Pointe-du-Hoc due to a commo problem, did lead the way up and out of the Vierville draw :)

Companies A and B of the 2nd Rangers, along with 5th Ranger Battalion, landed at Dog Green and Dog White, proceeded up the Vierville draw, turned right, and went overland to the aid of their comrades at Pointe-du-Hoc...
Their stories are detailed here....wow. Multiple groups of Rangers...some climbing cliffs without gear - only bayonets.

Cracking the Vierville Draw at Omaha Beach https://warfarehistorynetwork.com/da...t-omaha-beach/
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Old 22 June 2019, 07:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gavin View Post
Hindsight and the ability to wander safely around the AO afford a measure of clarity that wasn't present in 1944.
Mic drop...all further discussions are obsolete.
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Old 22 June 2019, 15:10
CAVmedic CAVmedic is offline
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I read that article and thought about posting it, but figured it was too absurd to be taken seriously.

The "historian" seemed to be a douche bag tooting his own intelectual horn.

"Depending on which is talking, the discovery of what is known as “Maisy Battery” either calls into question the wisdom of the entire Pointe du Hoc operation or is simply one more footnote in a war full of footnotes."

“The artifact collector and historian, Gary Sterne, 55, has received nothing but pushback since he found a map at a military flea market 15 years ago ...His startling conclusion: The assault was unnecessary, the commander of the U.S. Army Ranger unit failed to follow orders, putting his men directly in harm’s way, and U.S. military leaders should have targeted Maisy and its battery of heavy artillery guns instead of Pointe du Hoc, which the Germans had largely abandoned by the time of the Normandy invasion."
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Old 23 June 2019, 23:21
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I was just looking at this letter the other day. It appears the Rangers saw it differently.



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