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Allied Strategy.

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by 4th wilts, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    Crete was not as useful as the Fioggia plain for aerial attacks on Germany. The US were suspicious of Chruchill's desire to get embroiled in the Balkans
     
  2. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    The idea of launching Overlord and Dragoon/Anvil simultaneously was championed by Marshall who was keen to get as many troops concentrated in France. .The idea looked better on a big map in an office in Washington than close to either operation. In early 1944 it looked as if the Italian front was static and a new front might be more effective. However, this would have meant abandoning the planned Allied sping offensive in favour of preparing for an assault landing which might land three divisions and require aircover from aircraft carriers. . The centre of the allied effort was in Normandy. A simultaneous secondary landing in the South of France would have been a diversion of forces which might have been better placed alongside the existing landings to broaden the assault. .

    In the event the allied attacks starting mid May were a huge success cumulating with the capture of Rome on 4th June. This caused a nasty and engrossing problem for the Germans in the weeks leading up to D Day, and the dispatch of an infantry division from France to Italy. The landings in the South of France in mid august bwere well timed to ensure that defeat in Normandy would lead to the Germans being kicked out of France. It is hard to see how an alternative would have turned out any better!
     
  3. efestos

    efestos Member

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    Well, maybe the easiest way for the allies would have been to avoid war by invading Germany in march - april 1936 , when Hitler remilitarized the Rhineland.

    The foreign office inform that a war in Europe would lead the intervention of the USSR , it was what actually happened but it would have been far less destructive in this alternative way... At this moment there were not a reinforced Wehrmacht to defend Germany...
    I read some of these papers years ago : http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/cabinetpapers/themes/descent-into-war.htm#Remilitarisation


    1) About U - Boats ... If allies had given the priority to ASV warfare instead to the bombing campaign (more B-24 and HALIFAX for the Coastal Command) even the night fighters (microwave RADAR ... The AI Mk VII and the H2S arrive earlier than the ASV version ) would have solve this point very much earlier... It would save millions of tons, but even possible is not plausible . Was it?

    Supply the beachhead would have been different matter: in the early stages of the preparation of the invasión the planners joke about the operation “overboard” … “the troops needed to take a fortified harbour always exceed the troops that harbour could supply”:
    The allies really needed the 1000 LST they had in 1944 , all of them ... and the Mulberries, no mention the LCTs , DUKWs, and all the other “barges”. Not only for the firsts months after the landings, but till the allied forces reach Antwerp.

    2) The Luftwaffe: An earlier double stage compressor MERLIN MUSTANG would have helped a lot with it. And it was not only possible but plausible.

    3) Even more difficult would have been to solve the lack of experienced troops. May be the first point would helped to solve this, Eisenhower wrote there was a plan to send and armoured division to the Desert in the early 1942, but the idea was abandoned to the lack of shipping capability. (Crusade in Europe).

    But this is only a division... even "Anvil" was delayed to get more well trained troops ...
     
  4. squidly the octopus

    squidly the octopus New Member

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    I suppose it would have been about as useful as the invasion of Italy.

    Viewed from that perspective, if either front gets weakened to reinforce the other, the end is that much closer. The Germans did somewhat miss the boat in '44, buying into the Calais deception.... not sure why that wouldn't have worked just as well in '43.

    But as for the air superiority question.... based on what the Germans had available at the time in '43...... I'm going to go with a way high number (probably far too high) and say they had the wherewithal to have sunk/disabled 100 Allied ships involved in the invasion..... 100 out of several thousand.
     
  5. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Crete is about the furthest point in Europe from the Allies' ultimate objective, the German heartland (although Churchill's other pet objective, Rhodes, was a bit further). It could be used for air attack on a few targets like Ploesti, but it's no better for that than southern Italy, and it's further or completely out of range of most of the other targets 15th Air Force could hit. As noted earlier, the Balkans are even worse than Italy for a land offensive and would create issues with Stalin.

    A major campaign in the eastern Mediterranean/Balkans would still require the capture of Sicily to secure the sea lanes through the central Med.
     
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  6. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner) Patron  

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    Absolutely correct. The attached chart shows the MAAF's range from it's bases in Southern Italy. Operations from Crete move that arc south and east roughly 600 miles, negating the 15th AF's support of Anvil/Dragoon, the ground war in Italy, and strategic targets throughout southern Europe.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Triple C

    Triple C Ace

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    German air parity would have meant loss of close air support and curtailed mobility for the allies. Omar Bradley was not impressed by the U.S. Army's showing in North Africa and thought it was probably a very good thing that the invasion was delayed.
     
  8. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    Marshall absolutely refused to consider any eastern med operations proposed by Churchill instead of France. He knew that once you took one island then there would be another and another. Marshall did not want to waste lives and time on operations that would not contribute directly to victory.
     
  9. squidly the octopus

    squidly the octopus New Member

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    And I am in full agreement with Bradley (as if that matters now in the year 2015)..... all I've been saying is that it could have and most likely would have worked in '43....... bloodier, messier, more costly than the invasion of '44, but probably would have worked. However, I wouldn't know why anyone besides a Russian would have insisted on or desired such an operation in '43.
     
  10. junaidq58

    junaidq58 New Member

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  11. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    And that's relevant to the topic at hand how?
     

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