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"D-Day Smoke" Topic

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Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP04 Apr 2018 4:08 p.m. PST

I just saw a period film on D-Day where they describe training for the D-Day landings. In the scenes of troops practicing landing [almost all of them] there is smoke being laid down by artillery and infantry.

I have never heard or seen smoke in any discussions or later films of D-Day, period or later.

Was smoke used on June 6th, or not? And if not, why not?

BuckeyeBob04 Apr 2018 6:31 p.m. PST

Maybe the brass felt the high winds would make it ineffective.
Or maybe they didnt want it to interfere with the fire support from the ships covering the landing.

William Ulsterman04 Apr 2018 6:48 p.m. PST

High winds and wind direction. There had just been a gale and it was still quite rough on the 6th of June 1944. There was the use of some smoke screens on Gold and Juno beaches.

Also, the bombardment of the beaches did operate to create a kind of smoke screen in itself. One thing WW2 rules don't do well is to simulate the amount of dust, smoke and debris that a 1914-1945 bombardment throws up into the air. This takes a while to settle, especially after a 30 minute concentration, followed by multiple rocket landing craft firing onto the beaches.

zoneofcontrol Inactive Member04 Apr 2018 7:01 p.m. PST

The pre-landing bombardment did cause brush fires among the dunes and cliffs. Also, among each boat team were rifle grenadiers with colored smoke rounds to mark targets for support bombardment.

However, because of the weather, the pre-landing ship bombardment and air dropped bombs were mostly off target and ineffective.

I am doubtful as to an intention to use smoke as cover. The boat crews and boat teams were trained to locate their landing spot by sight i.e. landmarks such as cliffs, church steeples, etc. An obscuring smoke screen would have made this more difficult than it already was.

Lonkka1Actual04 Apr 2018 10:17 p.m. PST

Some days later (Jun 9th) when the Soviets started their strategic offensive in Kannas, Finland the bombardment on the preliminary probes on 9th and on the morning of actual attack on 10th they actually used more firepower than was used in Normandy. I seem to reall this actually being the world's largest pre-bombardment (must be WWII, not WWI methinks). Apparently they had learned from their Winter Warlessions…

Anyhow, I recall reading Finnish soldiers tell that the air was so full of smoke and dust that even the sun was almost blotted out.

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