Nope, nope, noooooooope, and NOPE.
Don’t get me wrong, a modern day infantry battalion is leaps and bounds more combat effective than a WW2 battalion. One on one, it would be a slaughter. Two to one it would still be a pitched battle. 3 to 1 and it would be slightly less desperate of a fight.
But D-Day? You really need to understand the scale that was the invasion of Normandy.
First off, people think of the Invasion of Normandy as if it was just that, an invastion of some beaches in a small part of France. It might have taken place in the beaches of Normandy, but make no mistake this was the invasion of Europe. Not Normandy. Not France. They came to Invade Europe. And they brought the tools to do just that.
The allied forces comprised more than 1.3 Million combatants for the invasion. Of that number, 150k soldiers were landed on D-day itself. These 150k soldiers landed on 5 beachheads, and were preceded by an airborne assault of 24,000 airborne troops. By D-Day +5 the allies had landed more than 320,000 troops and 50,000 vehicle.
So if we instead tried to land less than a thousand guys from one modern, up strengthed battalion what would it look like? They would get smeared. First, they would not be able to land on all 5 beaches. Pick one to die on. They could probably get ashore and manage to secure the beach. Then they would get pulverized by the German reinforcements and artillery once they were encircled and zeroed in.
See, Germany had more than 50,000 troops defending those beaches. Recall all those big numbers above about what the allies brought to this fight? Now put into perspective this little nugget of truth that is not often mentioned; the allies did not meet any of their goals by the end of the first day. What I mean is, their battle plans called for certain key locations to be secured by their assigned forces during the first day of the invastion, and not a single one of those forces achieved their day one objective. The Allies took 10,000 casualties that first day. It would take almost a week before all 5 beachheads could link up, and they outnumbered the German defenders 6 to 1. Now we are talking about a modern allied force attempting this battle but being outnumbered themselves 100 to 1. Not good odds.
Not unless one of those “few planes” is a B-52 with a few tactical nuclear warheads to throw around.
I’m getting the impression some people reading this aren’t fully appreciating the scale of what is being asked. Let’s be clear in what we are talking about. Lets pick a batalion…
A typical US Army Mechanized Infantry Battalion consists of 5 company’s (each of roughly 100 soldiers in strength).
First you have a headquarters company. This will have your comand and logistics element, a scout platoon, a mortar platoon, and support platoon.
Next will be 4 maneuvering company’s. Optional one of these could be an air defense company, or if your battalion is being chopped up to form a task force, you might trade one of your company’s away for a company of armor. Anyway lets assume this battalion does not include an air defense company.
So your infantry company’s will be arranged in 4 platoons. A headquarters platoon, and 3 mechanized infantry platoons. Those 3 platoons are your main fighting force. They will each have 4 M-2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, and 3 rifle squads. 4 pieces of light armor and 27 boots on the ground.
Roll that up and your main fire and manuever force consists of 48 BFVs and 324 infantry. Plus about 2 each additional M3 scout vehicles from the various HQ platoons, and 8 more pieces of light armor.
Supporting them is one platoon of mortars, one more of scouts, and then their support personal (supply, medics, utility vehicles)
An impressive amount of firepower for sure. But they are up against…… 50 THOUSAND defenders, with full division level artillary and armor. 1400 tanks and self propelled guns. At least 2 divisions on combat hardened airborn and mechanized infantry. Prepared defensive positions. The disparity in fire power is orders of magnitude.