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Seedorf81

OMAHA LCVP, assault team layout

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From uncanny good Dutch WW2 site www.strijdbewijs.nl this load-out scheme of first wave OMAHA landing craft. More then 35 years interested in WW2, but I never knew how those landing craft were loaded, until I saw this. Take a look at this:

http://www.strijdbewijs.nl/omaha/lcvp.htm

 

Some parts of this site are translated in English, but I'm not sure if this page all ready is. If anyone wants the translation from Dutch, I'll be happy to oblige. 

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Machine Translation Excerpt:

To be clear, in addition to the HIGGINS BOAT (LCVP) was also the British version, the LCA, used by V Corps in Omaha Beach (in the sector DOG-Green and FOX-Green). These boats had a uk mate (Coxwain). The HIGGINS BOAT (LCVP) had as the crew a U.s. Navy or Coast Guard (Coast Guard) mate, with two assistants who among other things the two machine guns could operate.

The first wave would land on Omaha Beach that consisted of 30 LCVP's and 18 Lcas in which the ' Assault Boat Teams ' were brought in. In the first wave of LCVP's existed an ' Assault Boat Team ' from one company in 6 landing boats, plus one boat with the Headquarters on board. HIGGINS BOAT (LCVP) or Higgins Boat ', each more popular ' mentioned by the American soldier, had about 30 men on Board (there were rules (see the classification lower on this page), but these were adjusted here and there). One company consisted of 193 men and six officers. In the seven LCVP's to the company to transport, were three rifle platoons, 35 man, divided. HIGGINS BOAT (LCVP) had five each rifle shooters on board. This gives a distorted picture, because one might think that the other men on board wore no rifle. But we must not forget that the basis of the first wave of infantry existed, and these carry firearms. In addition to the five M1 Garand rifles, of the ' rifle team ', there were at least fourteen others with the M1 Garand and M1 carbine equipped with a five.

 

On this next page, the first landings cited those Eastern took place at Omaha Beach. This Eastern three sectors were under supervision of the 16th RCT (Regimental Combat Team), 1st Infantry Division.

The two divisions would land on Omaha, the 1st Infantry Division, and the 29th Division were under command of General Leonard Gerow, Commander of V Corps. The Commander of the 1st Infantry Division was Major General Clarence Ralph Huebner. Huebner was appointed by General Omar Bradley in 1943 to ' The Big Red One ', to find out more dicipline. Among the popular General Terry Allen was sometimes the dicipline in North Africa. After the victory in Tunisia celebrated the men of the 1st Division events and robbed all loose and was stuck. Reluctantly started the men under Huebner to the rigorous training, but slowly threw the dicipline and fruit, the Division was again a regular fighting unit.

 

Rear Admiral John l. Hall, Jr., Commander of Force "O" was responsible for the two divisions, 1st and 29th Infantry Divisions, and the Ranger Battalions and further support to Omaha Beach, part of Operation ' Neptune '. Operation ' Neptune ', part of Operation ' Overlord ', is the ultimate attack on d-day, 6 June 1944. In addition to the Maritime units are also the airborne units (airborne divisions) in.

For the landing of the 16th Regimental Combat Team, led by Colonel George Taylor, 3502 men and 295 vehicles were brought together. Around 6500 staff had to make sure the 16th RCT to country came. Accommodated in Assault Group O-1 were three large transport ships to all men of the 1st Infantry Division about; two us transport ships, the USS USS Samuel Chase (APA-26) and USS Henrico (APA-45) and the British Ministry of War transport Landing Ship, Infantry (Large) Empire Anvil. There were also 6 Landing Ship Tank (LST), 53 Landing Craft Tank (Lcts in several versions) and 5 Landing Craft Infantry, Large (LCI (L) available. Also there were 81 LCVP's, and 18 British Lcas, supported by 13 other type boats, such as Landing Craft Mechanized (LCM) and around the DUKW's 64 amphibious vehicles available for the 1st Infantry Division.

The second major regiment of the 1st Division which would land in the morning, after the 16th Regiment, was the 18th RCT under the command of Colonel George a. Smith Jr.

 

The 16th Infantry Regiment was the only unit with battlefield experience in the first wave was that was used during d-day. The experiences gained in North Africa (1942) and Sicily (1943) were of no utility on 6 June 1944. On this day, these forces must be countries in the eastern sector of Omaha Beach.

This sector was divided into three parts and were indicated as follows; the easternmost was FOX-Red. On FOX-Red was not an attack. Then the FOX-Green sector, which directly for Exit-3 (E-3), the route to Colleville-sur-Mer. Both sectors offered no place to hide from. At the end of the beach, lay a gravel edge, where no handhold was or a schuttersput could be dug. The area was defended by Wn Wn 62, 61 and with formidable artillery, machine guns, land mines, mortars, etc. Here had to Co. I and co. L to come ashore, but they missed this place and ' washed ' on FOX-Red. Further to the West came the EASY-Red sector, a sector at the bottom of the high Hill (which nowadays the American Cemetery is laid out). Easy-Red lay under cross-fire of 62 and 65, the away Wn Wn a crossfire that many victims would demand under the American first wave of Company e. and f.

 

On EASY-Green would Company E, 2nd Battalion 116th RCT (29th div.) should countries. It was the only company which Western of the important "Draw" E-1, walked into the heavily defended Wn 64 and 65 Wn. As we will see later, landed co. e. 116th, not in EASY-Green, but the sector and even in FOX-EASY-Red and Green. To the West of the sector was EASY-Green DOG-Red, where co. f. had her target, and in the next sector, DOG-White would co. G. walk in, but even these two groups layers of course and landed both in the field of EASY-Green! By these shifts, landed there virtually no landing boat in the sector DOG-White and DOG-Red. Dog-Green was the exit D-1, the road (Draw) to Vierville-sur-Mer. Here landed co. a., 1st Bn. 116Th RCT with later support of co. C, 2nd Ranger Battalion. A true massacre would take place among this group (about which more later).

 

The first wave would land on Omaha Beach that consisted of 30 LCVP's and 18 Lcas in which the ' Assault Boat Teams ' were brought in. That seems like a lot, but spread over a width of more than 5 kilometers, is that only 10 landing boats per kilometre, and only one to the hundred meters! But, as many a photo proves, kept the boats away. The survival instinct does humans, and animal, together. Disadvantage of this tactic is that it is one big target. Despite the order from the commanders as spread as possible, to go, one searches protection together. Other factors for the large losses is the relatively small ' hole ' at the front of the bow making every soldier outward. One machine gun lost on this narrow space, can make short work of anyone who appears in it. Third factor that for large losses was Omaha Beach itself. During the incoming tide the landing boats were stuck in the sand banks of the beach. So, on quite some distance from the tide line, the men were discharged. These men were packed, so heavily that then in depth disappeared from the current flowing between the bar and the beach.

 

If the LCVP's in the first wave with a part of the 16th RCT on their way to FOX and EASY, they come on quite some distance from the beach all bobbing men against in the sea. It is the 27 crew members of the sunken DD tanks. But these men could not be stopped to pick up. Probably had no one on board by whom or what those guys were, and they were ignorant that tank support would be minimal. The skippers of the LCVP's sought in the raging sea to keep their course, but in the same boat was pounding the coastline, and they had the greatest difficulty to locate their sector. The start of the incoming tide, the flow to the East, the strong wind did most landing boats drifting to the left.

 

As mention before, is the human being compliant to someone who takes the lead. Sailors aboard the landing boats, with salt in their eyes of the splashing sea, which their compass saw squirming, looked at other boats how that ' layers ' on track. If there is one slightly forward, then the rest will use this as a beacon to course, but what if the first 20% of track, and on kilometers of the beach, and too far East trip? On board were the men pressed together. Nauseous and vomited many seasick the early breakfast out. Nowhere a seat and one tried.

 

In addition to the infantry in the first wave also LCVP's with other units. These units would be some minutes before the infantry should countries. Would the DD tanks as first on the beach in action, that turned out to be utterly failed, especially in the eastern sector. With the entry into the LCVP's were also the LCT arrived when standard two M4 Sherman tanks, plus one Dozer tank. These tanks, equipped with so-called ' wading ' rolled out the landing boats, shafts and then looked for a way through the German obstacles. Of the 16 tanks for support of 16th RCT, five were turned off before they reached the beach.

 

A very important task was reserved for the 16 Army-Navy Special Engineer Task Force group which had to blow up the obstacles to create holes where the landing boats could sail through it to the beach. By the circumstances that morning, came only five groups at their location, and ten minutes late (the Engineers had in the pounding sea of the LCI have to change in the LCM's, a slightly larger implementation of the HIGGINS BOAT (LCVP)).

The distributed Special Engineer Task Force was to a large extent stripped of their ' tools '. From the LCM's were put in the sea in rubber boats and stuff. Loaded with explosive set up this course to their goals, the obstacles that had to be blown up. Mortars were found to be deadly to the inflatables. Several teams were victim of exploding explosives which the inflatables and the inexperienced American Navy personnel, who were responsible to bring the rubber boats to the specialists, apart jumps. The specialists, the Engineers had to make the spring loads and explode. Only a few Engineers had the required equipment with him to be able to go to work. The others, without their tools, ensured that they are safe on the beach in coverage. Here they took a new role, that of lifeguards. Many a HIGGINS BOAT (LCVP) was in trouble and the men on board and were doomed to drown in the sea by fatigue. Famous photos there are on FOX-Green created by Engineers (recognizable by the bright half circle on their helmet), that comrades from sea, hereby using their rubber boats.

 

As almost everywhere during the landing on Omaha Beach ran the first wave stuck on the sand bank off the coast. Here were the flaps lowered and the men had to rise. In most cases the boats within the bullets flew directly. Men jumped over the high railing as they could not through the valve. Those who thought safe to go overboard, then went down in the trench flow behind the bar. From survival were bepakkingen and weapons off, to prevent drowning. Meanwhile flew deadly lead the landing craft within. Some men who were trying to get valve unscathed, could, due to cramp from the long, almost no step forward. Those who were able to scavenge from the sea on its own, fell exhausted on the beach and crawled slowly for the incoming tide. Once ' safe ' behind the gravel edge, the bottom of the hills, attacked the mortars, or ran one by mines on. Despite rescue attempts, no one could prevent alone Company E 105 men lost to dead and wounded in the first wave. Among the dead was also Captain Edward f. Wozenski. Its task would be taken over by Lieutenant John Spaulding, by that name would make a breakthrough towards Wn 64.

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