So first off, let me say, that unless France went poorly, and I lost too many units, I always take Normandy on G2. So, this is kind of a new line of thought for me.
From my experience I would say it is not uncommon for the Allies to have enough strength to take and hold Normandy by Turn 4. This assumes a) Japan does a DoW on J1 or J2 and b) the US is willing to put a decent investment into Europe. The US can easily have 3-5 transports ready to go by the end of US2 and already has the ground troops to fill those transports. On US3 they go to Morocco and on US4 they land on Normandy. UK then follows with 2-4 more ground units and normally a whole bunch of fighters. Since typically the Luftwaffe is on the Eastern Front and the Germans have been spending a bunch of their money to take Moscow there is not usually a whole lot of defense to counterattack this move. Of course, @Marshmallow-of-War was assuming a US5 attack but either way the Axis are usually not in position to counterattack yet. Now the Allied forces may stay in Normandy or move on to Norway or worse case, for the Axis, hold both.
Now IF Moscow falls on G7 or G8 then the Allies are not going to hold the beaches of Normandy. Germany can put down 20 units a Turn and the Allies have no way to logistically match that. However, taking Moscow is not a given and I have seen plenty of games where Moscow either never falls or does not fall till like G11 or G12. In this case, the Allies have had a head start building up their landing area and it is a tough nut to crack and this is where Marshmallow-of-War’s point I think is being made. If Moscow does not fall early it is a lot better for the Axis to not take Normandy than it is for them to take Normandy.
Therefore, we have three scenarios that I can think of:
- The US goes heavy in the Pacific so there is never any real push against Normandy
- Moscow falls by G8 so the Axis can retake any Allied Normandy Landings
- The Allies are able to take and hold Normandy for the entire game
In scenarios 1 and 2 it makes sense for Germany to take Normandy. In scenario 3 it does not. But by G2 you probably do not know for sure if 1 or 2 are going to happen which means it may be safer to not take Normandy. None of this takes into consideration that normally after a few Turns there is usually an Allied sub convoy disrupting Normandy so even if the Axis hold it, they do not always collect for it. Which means even for scenarios 1 and 2 it may not pay off for the Axis as much as they hoped it would.
Hmmm, after considering this I think Marshmallow-of-War makes a good point that not taking Normandy is the right way to go. I say this because the short-term gains for the Axis with scenarios 1 and 2 are not equal to the long-term benefits to the Allies under scenario 3 and the benefits of scenario 1-2 are normally limited by Allied convoy disruption anyway.