Originally Posted by Spfdrum
What's that old military adage? Something along the lines of well laid out plans and first contact? LOL
Especially true if your plans are not very realistic to start with.....
There was a story related to me about a training exercise where a Marine unit was going to do a sea-born assault. They were going over the plans, objectives and timetable for the exercise. The basic time table was that the assault begin at first light and by lunchtime they were to have secured a ridge line 1000 yards from the beach and preparing to assault an mock town a mile or so inland.
At this point the observing General interrupted, "This is schedule is great for a training exercise, but it needs to be stressed to the troops and especially to you junior officers, that this time table is ridiculously compressed. If the assault were seriously opposed, you would be lucky to have secured the beach by lunch and were preparing to attack the ridge...."
One of the problems at Omaha was the follow-on forces that were supposed to be exploiting the breakout from the beachhead were piling up on the beach with no where to go, or hide, because the breakout hadn't occurred yet, and worst suffering causalities due to fierce artillery and mortar fire. The time between waves has to be set so the your troops do not become overly concentrated on a naked stretch of beach. The situation became so bad that at H+3 (about the time the beach was intended to be secure) they had to suspend further landings, causing a traffic jam of landing craft and amphibious vehicles in the Channel...
They were a hair's breath away from withdrawing all the troops off the beach, when the breakout occurred.
And, since Omaha was in the center of the operation, Both Utah and Gold beaches would have been in serious danger of being flanked, putting the success of Operation Neptune in jeopardy.