USS PC-552 – Gunfire Support Craft
After Action Reports
Western Task Force
INVASION OF NORTHERN FRANCE
WESTERN TASK FORCE
From: Commanding officer USS PC-552
The landing of tanks as the initial assault wave against a well defended beach with obstacles to cut through is not believed to be sound procedure.
It is believed that the initial assault should be infantry. This operation pretty well proved that demolition units under heavy fire cannot cut paths through the obstacles. LCTs get caught easily. They and their tanks are « sitting ducks ». And, in addition to the initial obstacles, we find our LCTs and tanks cluttered off and on the beach to form an extra hazard to the small boats bringing in the assault wave.
Naval gunfire, rocket fire, and air bombardment will never completely silence a well fortified beach. Troops on the beach are going to have to take care of what remains. The beach head must be established and I do not believe it can be done efficiently unless troops are put on the beach first.