D Day landings fail or didn't take place

Warning
Last week was the 80th anniversary of the D Day landings when the UK Prime Minister became a D Day dodger for the international commemoration held at Omaha beach where the US bore the brunt of the casualties.
What if the landings had failed. By this stage of the war it may have been inevitable that the landing succeeded. However the UK would have been unlikely to have gained a foothold with American support which accounted for around 40% of the allied forces. Without American support returning to Europe may have been impossible. Suppose that D Day never happened or it failed.
Probably the Red Army would have reached Paris and much of Europe would have been " liberated" by the Russians. Ironically the arrival of a second front helped ensure that Russia didn't overrun much as Western Europe
 
I don't think that Red Army would had reached further than Rhein if even that much. Allies had already good foothold on Italy so Germany would had been invaded mainly through Austria. And Brits and Americans would had probably then taken France from south. War would be bit longer anyway and Red Army would take more in Germany. But in other hand Germans have send bit lesser troops against Wallies.
 
I don't think that Red Army would had reached further than Rhein if even that much. Allies had already good foothold on Italy so Germany would had been invaded mainly through Austria. And Brits and Americans would had probably then taken France from south. War would be bit longer anyway and Red Army would take more in Germany. But in other hand Germans have send bit lesser troops against Wallies.

If we go with this scenerio and see the Allies liberating France from the South and attacking Germany through Austria - might be see a post-war division of Germany with a Communist North Germany and the Allies controlling Souh Germany? (Would there have been an argument to incorporate Austria into this new South Germany in this situation?)

Honest questions - I've not a WW2 historian by and by!
 
If we go with this scenerio and see the Allies liberating France from the South and attacking Germany through Austria - might be see a post-war division of Germany with a Communist North Germany and the Allies controlling Souh Germany? (Would there have been an argument to incorporate Austria into this new South Germany in this situation?)

Honest questions - I've not a WW2 historian by and by!

Austria porbably would be part of South Germany. But it depends how big that South Germany would be . But if it has only Bavaria, Württemberg and Baden, then Austria probably is part of SG.
 
Assuming we are talking about a complete failure, a massive strategy change, panzers rolling down the beach, allies thrown back into the sea etc rather than a failure of one of the landing beaches then:
  • A slightly longer war
  • Harder eastern battles ( more men, tanks, planes, shells etc)
  • More and heavier raids on German cities
  • More and heavier raids on German industry and war production facilities
  • More and heavier raids on POL targets
  • More and heavier raids on transport ( especially the railways)
  • Potential atomic bombs on German cities
  • Allied invasion from another point ( Southern France/ Italy)
  • Longer and harder drive up France
  • More supply issues as no British base to rely on
  • More allied soldiers die
  • Red Army moving further west
  • Dividing line between post war West and East moves

But: Nazi still defeated

Although saying the above failure just doesn't seem likely or possible WITHOUT massive strategic changes on the part of the Nazi and/or them learning the date, time and location of the invasion. Even if they do move thier armour/ grant freedom of operation it will just bring them into the cross hairs of the bombers sooner and more often.
 
Last week was the 80th anniversary of the D Day landings when the UK Prime Minister became a D Day dodger for the international commemoration held at Omaha beach where the US bore the brunt of the casualties.
What if the landings had failed. By this stage of the war it may have been inevitable that the landing succeeded. However the UK would have been unlikely to have gained a foothold with American support which accounted for around 40% of the allied forces. Without American support returning to Europe may have been impossible. Suppose that D Day never happened or it failed.
Probably the Red Army would have reached Paris and much of Europe would have been " liberated" by the Russians. Ironically the arrival of a second front helped ensure that Russia didn't overrun much as Western Europe

An inflammatory aside about current politics isn’t warranted.
 
If I recall Rome was captured on the 6th of June by Allied forces, so it’s not like the Wallies would be gone from the continent.
 
DDay failing is most likely due to being launched in 1943 (Roundup?).
But if we assume it's 1944, a more dynamic response and a few good quality divisions resting and newly refitted and ready to head east that OTL were still in the East (where it would only really influence how quickly the whole thing falls apart). They manage to cause so much disruption that the allies feel they have to pull back [1].

The only way the allies will pull back is after a fierce fight, so the German forces will be severely degraded. Now the eastern front, or Greece or Italy or South coast of France will need to be stripped of units. But meanwhile the eastern front is crumbling even faster than OTL so they need to send more units east, denuding Italy, Greece, France.

But that makes a form of Dragoon more likely to succeed, and so too any attempt on Italy or Greece - or Overlord 2 when that can be organised. Deckchairs and Titanic spring to mind. Even if the troops can be found from elsewhere, allied airpower is a big problem for any mass movement of troops and equipment so one way or another it won't be fun for Germany.

[1] I don't think this is very likely as there's five beaches, lots of airpower etc.
 
Last edited:
DDay failing is most likely due to being launched in 1943 (Roundup?).
I was thinking the same thing.
[1] I don't think this is very likely as there's five beaches, lots of airpower etc.
There's just too much firepower available to the Allies to fail at all the beaches. I think it's possible that they get repelled at one or two of the beaches (it was considered to withdraw at Omaha), but not on all five. And once they get a foothold, the amount of firepower (the support from naval guns) means they're not going to withdraw.
And then Dragoon happens.
 
I was thinking the same thing.

There's just too much firepower available to the Allies to fail at all the beaches. I think it's possible that they get repelled at one or two of the beaches (it was considered to withdraw at Omaha), but not on all five. And once they get a foothold, the amount of firepower (the support from naval guns) means they're not going to withdraw.
And then Dragoon happens.
I agree. In that scenario, Dragoon would be more important than OTL because instead of being a secondary threat after Normandy it will be the last straw. Or maybe it's just the second diversion while the real landings will be from FUSAG in Pas de Calais. Or Norway.
 
Operation Overloard was so overplanned that failure is extremely unlikely. The AEF has the plans and equipment to overwhelm the beach defenses. Even at OMAHA, the delay, in the end, was only a matter of hours.

The simple fact was the Allies had the ability to shove large amounts of troops and equipment onto the continent at will and had the air and naval support to keep them there.
 
IMO there's only two ways the D-Day landings could have failed:
1. With a PoD way before June the 6th. Some combination of things, that weaken the buildup but also increase the urgency due to the USSR doing worse. So that the massive disparity in firepower we had OTL is significantly reduced. Perhaps in a combination of the attempt being made in 1943. In that case though any speculation what would happen after it's failure depends on the ATL context it took place.

2. The landings as they took place historically could have only failed if in addition to the Germans reacting fast and correctly they have the devils own luck regarding the weather. IIRC in OTL the work on the two Mulberrys started on the 7th and they were completed on the 18th. Then on the 19th a storm hit which lasted which lasted for three days and destroyed one, while also grounding Allied air power. Have the storm destroy both and last longer, say an entire week during which the Germans can rush reinforcements to the beaches without air attacks then things might get dicey.
Whether or not Dragoon would succeed afterwards I'm not sure. In OTL it was a walkover, but that was because there wasn't anything much let to oppose them. A landing of a mere three divisions, probably fewer if not enough landing craft can be recovered after a hypothetical failed landing, against whatever the garrison was before June the 6th I'd not be certain of success.
 

thaddeus

Donor
IMO there's only two ways the D-Day landings could have failed:
1. With a PoD way before June the 6th. Some combination of things, that weaken the buildup but also increase the urgency due to the USSR doing worse. So that the massive disparity in firepower we had OTL is significantly reduced. Perhaps in a combination of the attempt being made in 1943. In that case though any speculation what would happen after it's failure depends on the ATL context it took place.

2. The landings as they took place historically could have only failed if in addition to the Germans reacting fast and correctly they have the devils own luck regarding the weather. IIRC in OTL the work on the two Mulberrys started on the 7th and they were completed on the 18th. Then on the 19th a storm hit which lasted which lasted for three days and destroyed one, while also grounding Allied air power. Have the storm destroy both and last longer, say an entire week during which the Germans can rush reinforcements to the beaches without air attacks then things might get dicey.
Whether or not Dragoon would succeed afterwards I'm not sure. In OTL it was a walkover, but that was because there wasn't anything much let to oppose them. A landing of a mere three divisions, probably fewer if not enough landing craft can be recovered after a hypothetical failed landing, against whatever the garrison was before June the 6th I'd not be certain of success.

agree about the weather being maybe the biggest single threat. my question about earlier Allied landings would be around Anzio, what if the German bomber offensive against GB had been redirected towards Anzio? would they damage enough ships to hamper any subsequent Allied operations?

out in speculative area, I've always thought the first Elektoboote the German should have introduced was the smaller coastal Type XXIII, as they plainly needed a defensive weapon and they neglected any minisubmarines and building a smaller u-boat matched their resources at the time.
 
The Italian front stalled IOTL, so I'm not sure about the western allies crossing the Alps into Austria and Germany. Assuming D-Day somehow fails, the Western Allies can still land in Southern France or, if Churchill got his way, Yugoslavia. It is possible that the USSR ends up grabbing all of Germany.
If D-Day doesn't happen at all, Stalin is going to be really pissed and paranoid about the Western Allies. That's not necessarily going to change much after the war is done, as the relationship between the Western Allies and the USSR soured pretty soon after the war. But Stalin is going to believe the Americans and British just let the Soviets and the Germans duke it out in order to weaken them and, if possible, collect the spoils themselves later.
 
IMO there's only two ways the D-Day landings could have failed:
1. With a PoD way before June the 6th. Some combination of things, that weaken the buildup but also increase the urgency due to the USSR doing worse. So that the massive disparity in firepower we had OTL is significantly reduced. Perhaps in a combination of the attempt being made in 1943. In that case though any speculation what would happen after it's failure depends on the ATL context it took place.

2. The landings as they took place historically could have only failed if in addition to the Germans reacting fast and correctly they have the devils own luck regarding the weather. IIRC in OTL the work on the two Mulberrys started on the 7th and they were completed on the 18th. Then on the 19th a storm hit which lasted which lasted for three days and destroyed one, while also grounding Allied air power. Have the storm destroy both and last longer, say an entire week during which the Germans can rush reinforcements to the beaches without air attacks then things might get dicey.
Whether or not Dragoon would succeed afterwards I'm not sure. In OTL it was a walkover, but that was because there wasn't anything much let to oppose them. A landing of a mere three divisions, probably fewer if not enough landing craft can be recovered after a hypothetical failed landing, against whatever the garrison was before June the 6th I'd not be certain of success.

3. Eisenhower doesn't take a punt on the weather and postpones until the next tide window - straight into the teeth of the great storm.
 
Consequences?

German strategy was to defeat the invasion, then shift every tank, grenadier, and cannon east to counter the expected Red Army attacks in the south. Army Group Center would receive some reinforcements, but Hitler/OKW, Gelen, and everyone else of importance thought the next Soviet offensive would occur into southern. Poland/Rumania/Carpathia. The idea that the western Allies might undertake a major second invasion ie: Op DRAGOON, was not under consideration. Rundsteadt command OB West was to be stripped imeadiatly to reinforce the east. Only formations unfit for combat in the east, Category IV & perhaps some Cat III formations would remain in the west.

I can't say if this transfer is strong enough to save the Germans in the east. Their losses in defeating the invasion might be crippling as well. In any case the Red Army had little intent to attack where the Germans expected. Operation BAGRATION was aimed at destroying Army Group Center. Given how swiftly it did OTL its likely they will inflict severe losses before German reinforcements arrive in quantity.

I've never gamed out this specific scenario. But I have gamed the Op RANKIN* concept. If the Germans do strip the west they are vulnerable to a operation like RANKIN, or DRAGOON. Even if the 19th Army is left intact its not enough to defeat Devers 6th Army Group. If they don't strip OB West then Army Group Center is defeated as in OTL.

*Op RANKIN was a plan prepared in 1943 to take advantage of the Germans unexpectedly stripping OB West to reinforce other fronts. It revolved around using Commandos, Airborne, and a few infantry regiments to seize a French port like Le Have, Cherbourg, Brest, ect... Once the port is secure the British First Army could cross the Channel in conventional cargo shipping. US ground forces would follow as fast as shipping could be arraigned.
 
3. Eisenhower doesn't take a punt on the weather and postpones until the next tide window - straight into the teeth of the great storm.

Possibly the most likely route. Tho more attention would be paid to the weather in this case its still possible.

The MULBERRY Cassions and the RHINO ferry barges would be horribly vulnerable.
 

thaddeus

Donor
the Germans certainly spent a lot of time, effort, and resources on the V-weapons programs to have basically nothing to stop or even stall either the Western Allies or the Soviets.

so lackluster we do not even consider any potential effects on Allied landings? other more conventional efforts such as a "twin" 109 aircraft and the PAW weapons were not pushed.
 
Top