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Torch in Sardinia & Corsica, instead of N Africa

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by mjölnir, Mar 14, 2016.

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  1. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    That is an awfully long-worded way of saying My "What If" is a complete failure based on facts.
     
  2. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Thanks, I though Hunnicutt would have mentioned this in his tome "Stuart: A History of the American Light Tank Volume I", but he never did.
     
  3. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Unfortunately, Triangle Boy, you are the obtuse one here...

    The Texas was not used because the infantrymen of the 2nd Battalion, 60th Regimental Combat Team were in close proximity to Kasba, and it was feared that shorts would land among the troops.
    - read, Samuel Eliot Morrison's "Operations in North African Waters: October 1942 - June 1943"
    Further, on the initial day of the invasion, the naval bombardment had interrupted not one, but two of the 2/60 attacks on the fortress. The third attack by the 2/60 never came off, because the Battalion commander, Major John H. Dilley, misunderstood his instructions, and bypassed the fort instead of attacking it.
    - read George F. Howe's "Northwest Africa: Seizing the Initiative in the West"


    It would appear that the naval bombardment was more of a hindrance than a help.

    Better ship-to-shore communications would have solved the problem of the Kasba, not the USS Texas.



    As posted above, you should read Howe's book, the first two assaults on the Kasba failed because of the US naval bombardment. So, a heavy naval bombardment will not guarantee success of an infantry assault, especially when the ship-to-shore communications are so bad as prevent it's coordination with the infantry taking the Kasba.


    In all of these 8 pages, there has been no discussion...Only your idiocy and our facts.

    Please let me know when you want to begin a serious discussion...Although, it will not be near as much fun as your idiocy.


    Umm, no...No...Naval guns are not much better counter battery. You see naval guns tend to a flatter trajectory, and the can be fairly ineffective in counter battery. The USS Texas proved this when she tried, and failed, to destroy a French ammunition dump that was sited on a reverse slope. She fired 59 rounds of 14-inch to no good effect.


    Gomer, large shells have to strike close to the gun to destroy said gun. By falling further away from the gun, they will force the gun crew to stop firing and take cover. Unfortunately, as soon as the bombardment lifts, the gun crews come out from under cover, and start firing again. This has been a problem with naval bombardments, at least, until the relatively recent development of reliable guided/precision munitions.
     
  4. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    mjölnir, your utter lack of knowledge is sad and pathetic...You have my pity

    First, the USS Dallas was an old Clemson class destroyer left over from the First World War, and had it not been for the US entering the Second World War, these Clemsons soon would have been turned into scrap. Second, the Clemsons were not "heavy" as far as "modern" destroyer were concerned - 1,200 tons for a Clemson, as opposed to the 2,100 of a Fletcher. Just an FYI, the guns originally carried were four single-purpose 4-inch/50s.

    The major problem that you conveniently neglect to mention... is the nature of the task asked of her...Namely, moving up a shallow river to capture an airfield. Please, note the words "shallow river". Now by carrying more and heavier guns, and by carrying more and heavier ammunition will increase her weigh/displacement and hence her draft(how deep the ship sits in the water). Now, if you want to go up a shallow river, you are going to need a destroyer with a shallow draft - You will not have a shallow draft with your heavier guns and heavier ammunition. Hence, you have already defeated your mission before it has even taken place.

    Finally, the Dallas, even with her shallow draft, she still managed to run aground at least twice. But, thanks to her lightened condition and shallow draft, she manged to get off both times. A heavier, deeper draft ship would not have been so lucky.


    This is nothing but absolute an sheer fantasy invented in the vain hopes of "proving" your position.

    The troops in the Kasba were not shooting back at the US ships, the guns aside of the fort were...By ignoring the guns, and focusing on the fort, the guns are still going to keep firing at the ships. Nor will bombarding the Kasba be of any help to the 2/60 that are attempting to take the batteries before moving on to the fort itself.

    Please present evidence of the French troops surrendering from bombardment alone during Operation Torch.


    This is nothing more than another of your useless tangents.

    Forgive me if I say that you do not have the "nads" to conduct a good, well-researched, intellectual discussion.


    I'm with Rich on this one.
     
  5. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. The actual reason is in the Armor School Study and the AAR's. Which, oddly enough, don't seem to get used for Mythtry Channel Mockumenteries.
     
  6. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    Spain had ended the civil war broke in 1939 and with a large part of the population barely tolerating Franco. Spain sent a division to Leningrad, which took heavy losses and by Nov 1942 knew that Germany was lost
    Franco's army was so weak during the civil war, that Italy had to send entire divisions, tanks, planes, etc, and Germany also sent planes to defeat in years the weak Republican army.
    Vichy had more ships, planes, tanks, fuel, guns, etc, than Spain but it simply could not afford to declare war on Britain when it lost 1,200 men and very expensive ships in Mers el Kebir and was attacked and lost more ships in Dakar in 1940. Despite the fact that the British Empire had no formal allies and was at war with Germany and Italy.
    Yet you suggest that poor, weak, war weary Spain (which had so little fuel, grain, coal, etc, and so few trade partners that it closed down Iberia, the airline in 1943 and survived only thanks to British supplies in payment for Hispano-Suiza cannon, etc, Franco and his top generals received bribes from Britain also) is going to declare war on the British Empire, the US, USSR, Brazil, etc, lose its supplies, bribes, meager navy and air force and be subjected to blockade over insginificant Majorca, which Franco has trouble supplying and keeping alive. Instead of taking advantage of the L-L bonanza.

    Silencing a gun does not mean scaring away the crew for a short while. Deploying Texas off Medhiya cost millions of dollars, but instead of using those mighty guns, hundreds of infantry were killed or wounded storming the Kasbah.

    The Kasbah did surrender promptly after a few bombs, which are far less impressive and destructive than 14" salvoes.
     
  7. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Marvelous. All that may well have been true EXCEPT THAT WAS NOT THE STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT AT THE TIME. While Britain did successfully use economic incentives to keep Spain out of the war (notably through export control policies and influence in Portugal, which shipped large quantities of wheat to Spain in 1941), Spain also had substantial economic ties with the Axis regimes. Yes, the U.S. did use oil as a control mechanism as well, but not until 1943 and 1944, since it was feared too much pressure would cause Spain to turn to Rumanian oil.

    Vichy's military is irrelevant to Spain's; it is yet another tangent on your part. What is relevant is Spain's military. There it was known that Spain's IX Corps in Morocco had been expanded to five active divisions, and that the Spanish Army's first line reserve had been partly activated as well. It's air force and naval strength were also well known.

    You continue to rely on hindsight, based upon your odd tangents, to "prove" your contentions.

    No, indeed in counter-battery terms "silencing a gun" simply means a gun that was firing is no longer firing. It may be due to the gun being damaged or destroyed, the crew being killed or forced into shelter, or any combination of those things.

    Meanwhile, as has been pointed out to you, Texas guns were used, when and where they could be. The restrictions on why they were not used to shell a 400-year old Portuguese fort seem to elude you.

    Bombs? What bombs? You mean the repeated salvoes of the Savannah's 6" and 5" guns? Along with those of Roe and Livermore? The fire of Dallas' 3" guns and 20mm? The direct fire of the 105mm M7 HMC? Or the 325-lb and 100-lb depth bombs dropped by the Savannah's SOC's?

    BTW, the 14" Common had an 84 pound Explosive D bursting charge. The 325-lb depth bomb AN Mk 17 had a 234 pound TORPEX bursting charge.
     
  8. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    You simply reiterate, what I said, Britain saved Spain from starvation, transportation paralysis and hypothermia. In Nov 1942 Germany had already consumed the Soy from Japan (which arrived through the USSR) and the Soviet grain. The European axis could barely feed itself (despite starving Poland, France, Holland, Belgium, Yugoslavia, Greece, the Ukraine, Belorussia, Latvia, Lithuania, Czechoslovakia, etc,) If Spain joins the doomed axis, Britain and Portugal immediately stop delivery of coal, petrol, grain, etc, and implement a blockade. Perhaps, you will take the absurd position that Portugal will also join the axis, choosing mighty Spain over the weak allies.

    The restrictions on destroying a 400 yo fort seem to have eluded the bombers who saved a lot of infrantry (bombs mean bombs and bombers mean bombers). If Truscott wanted to avoid destruction of an insignificant fort in the middle of nowhere, he should have landed elsewhere. Storming a fort with infantry and 105 mm guns is as dumb as it gets. Monte Cassino and many towns, castles, cathedrals and cities in Italy, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, etc, which were blown to bits were orders of magnitude more important than the bloody Kasbah. Intramuros in Manila and many temples, etc, in Japan also.
    In war an old fort, about whose existance nobody in the world knows, does not justify a single unnecessary casualty.

    Silencing a gun means that it will not fire again during the battle, not that it will remain quiet for 5 minutes.
     
  9. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    Even the easternmost Torch landing in Oran was extremely far from Tunisia. OTL the tanks from Oran had to be transported again by sea to Bone (days wasted debarking, reembarking and debarking again), whence they set out for Tunisa, but only after the LW and WM had reinforced considerably the area.
    Had Patton landed in Bone (quite close to Tunisia), instead of in remote Morocco, he could have surprised the axis with a rapid advance into Tunisia. Bone was much less defended than Casablanca.

    It's really funny how many people still think that the allies surprised the French in Morocco and Algeria, despite the fact that Clark had arrived in Algeria several days prior to try to avoid resistance.

    What the French navy lost on Nov 8, 9, 10 & 27, whithout inflicting any damage at all on the axis is the greatest waste of WW II.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_shipwrecks_in_November_1942

    All those destroyers, cruisers, etc, would have certainly defended Tuolon with allied air support and joined the allies in Corsica, Majorca and Sardinia for fuel, etc,

    Hitler made a huge mistake by leaving the French Riviera and Corsica under Vichy control, especially Tuolon, with a large fleet and 50,000 French troops on his S flank, which with a allied air support, reinforcement armor, etc, could cause a lot of trouble.. Hitler was extremely lucky that Winnie provided him several weeks to occupy Vichy and reinforce the Med by landing in Morocco and Algeria. It's ironic that Hitler invaded Yugoslavia and Greece to protect his S flank far from home, but left a truly soft underbelly in Corsica and the French Riviera, up to Torch. It is even more ironic, the Churchill, the utmost underbelly attack proponent, did not realize how truly vulnerable Hitler was in Corsica and Toulon. Hell, he did not realize that even after landing in Normandy and kept objecting strongly against Anvil, which cost little and achieved much.

    ATL a Polish division and an American division land in Corsica and immediately establish contact with commanders in Tuolon offering air support and reinforcement with Polish troops, armor, artillery, AT, AA, field and SP guns, etc, against the imminent German occupation of Vichy and safe harbor for French warships in Majorca, Corsica and Sardinia to refuel. If Toulon asks for support, the Polish and American divs and armor debark at night in Toulon, while Canadian divisions debark in Corsica to relieve the Poles and Americans. After Polish and American troops land in Toulon, Darlan is informed and asked to provide French divisions to secure Toulon and liberate France.
    When Sardinia surrenders after the overwhelming invasion and its isolation by the capture of Corsica, Patton debarks in Toulon with his force, while fresh American and Canadian troops relieve his force in Sardinia.
    The fighting in France and the capitulation of Italy render the Afrika Korps irrelevant and isolated in Tunisia. All of Monty's armor and half the artillery and infantry embarks from Tobruk to Toulon, leaving a strong garrison in Tobruk, which Rommel cannot defeat without reinforcements and supplies.
     
  10. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    This post brought to you by
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  11. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    No, you simply repeat your hindsight driven fantasies. While ignoring what the analysis AT THE TIME WAS. British actions kept the Spanish from joining the Axis completely and eventually weaned them from the Axis. One of the ways, other than the economic carrot and stick you keep brandishing, was to tell Franco of the TORCH landing ahead of time and assuring him there was no threat to Spanish interests intended.

    And then they deployed Patton with the 2d AD and 9th ID on the Spanish border to make the point clear.

    BTW, the "European axis" had no problem feeding itself; there was no starvation or even reasonable inconvenience with regards to calories. It was simple; instead they starved the Dutch, Belgians, French, Greeks, Yugoslavians, Ukranians, Poles, Latvians, Lithuanian's, and Russians. There was no repetition of the effects of the British blockade in the Great War. The only complaints were the Ersatz coffee and limited tobacco and chocolate availability.

    No, what the restrictions actually were seem to elude you. If you meant the SBD attack from Sangamon at 1050 on 10 November then it might have helped if you mentioned it. I thought you were still nattering on about the SOC's dropping depth bombs.

    You've been reminded a number of times, Operation TORCH kicked off on 8 November 1942. The battles for Monte Cassino began nearly fifteen months later, while that at the Intramuros was two years later.

    BTW, you seem to be going off meds again; you're rambling off on more tangents.

    No, "silencing a gun" means the results of counter-battery fire was the gun or battery is no longer firing. No time limits required. You see, for the firer and observer in that situation the actual results at the target are unknown. Secondary explosions are always considered nice, but otherwise if the bad guy stops going bang its considered a win. Which is how it got interesting with Dallas, since she went on her way when she believed Battery Ponsot had been silenced and then she embarrassingly opened up again. In the aftermath, it was discovered that only one of the six 138.6mm guns had been destroyed, luckily one of the M1923, but otherwise the crew had only been suppressed. It also didn't help that the battery changed hands on the ground at least three times - first the 60th captured it, then the 1e Battalion recaptured it, and then the 60th captured it again for good.

    Course, it might help if you actually had any idea at all of what the actual capabilities of the different players were, but like most good little wargamers you just want to shove the counters with the biggest attack factor into the hex.
     
  12. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    I actually wonder if he might live nearby me. The little town of Belfair Washington, about 25 minutes from me, has at least seven "green cross" cannabis stores in a one-mile stretch. Maybe molly is a resident?
     
  13. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Kids, this is what smoking those corner drugs will do to you.

    Did you miss how the only tanks that could be landed without a port were light tanks?

    BTW, if Patton had landed at Rostock he could have just driven to Berlin and ended the war.

    What's funny is you're the only people to bring it up, which leads me to suspect you just realized it yourself.

    Sigh. ANTON was completed in less than 48 hours. LILA failed, at the cost of 1 German wounded. Somehow those 50,000 French troops didn't seem to make a difference. It was luck that enabled the French to scuttle the fleet.

    What "Polish division" would that be? The 3rd, 5th, 6th, or 7th? The one's that were in Palestine, Syria, and Iraq organizing, training, and equipping until they were committed to the Italian campaign in February 1944?
     
  14. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    The medium tanks debarked in Bone after wasting days in Oran and reembarking, As I wrote, they did so when the Germans had reinforced NW Tunisia. Had they landed there on Nov 8, they would have risked less and caught the French and the axis unprepared. Keep defending idiotic planning and masterful waste of invaluable time and incredible resources.

    You don't know about brave, well trained Poles wasted defending Scotland for a very long time and Canadians doing nothing after the Dieppe debacle? All that while Americans conquer useless Morocco and W Algeria and decimate the French navy and the axis reinforces the Med. Masterful waste.
     
  15. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Dude! Put the joint down and try to re-engage your brain.

    You were told a while ago. The medium tanks were on the Seatrain Lakehurst. AP 49. They could only be disembarked pier side. Which required access to a fully functioning port. In Allied hands. Bone airfield was captured on 12 November by 3 Para and the port by 6 Commando on 13 November, allowing reinforcements to be landed, eventually including the medium tanks. Which were still nearly 200 miles from Tunis. Where the Germans and Italians had already landed substantial forces.

    Time and space. Try to envisage them instead of ignore them.

    Oh. You meant the 1st Polish Rifle Brigade and the 10th Polish Motorized Cavalry Brigade. Which were busy trying to find the personnel in order to complete their organization, training, and equipping as the 1st Polish Armoured Division. The OTHER Polish division that wasn't operational for an idiotic adventure against Corsica in "August or November" 1942. That Polish division? The one that remained so chronically short of personnel sucked off by Ander's Army that it eventually resorted to recruiting from "Polish" PW in Normandy, but which effectively ceased operations in the fall of 1944 due to its inability to replace losses. That division? BTW, for quite a bit of the period Maczek's 10th Cavalry Brigade defended Fife and Angus it was with the roughly 500 men he had managed to escape France with.

    Meanwhile, the Canadian's were a bit busy after Dieppe rebuilding the 2nd CID, the 3rd CID was still incomplete in training and equipment, as was the 4th CAD, only the 1st CAD was available...which is why it was committed to HUSKY. Except, you said jack shit about using Canadians for your harebrained scheme - it was "a Polish division and an American division land in Corsica" you eructed.

    So let's see, the French lost 1 BB, 1 CL, 4 DD, and 5 SS at Casablanca. The fleet scuttled at Toulon was 3 BB, 7 CA and CL, 15 DD, and 12 SS. Call it a third, so quite a bit more than a decimation. I guess it escapes you that wasn't the worst case for the Allies?
     
  16. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    What part of landing in Bone (capturing the port and airfield there) instead of landing in Casablanca-Lyautey-Safi on Nov 8, 1942 (when the axis is not yet in Tunisia) do you not understand? Patton landed thousands of km from Bizerte, fought stronger forces and allowed the axis more time to reinforce NW Tunisia than if he had landed in Bone.
    The First German and Italian planes arrived in Tunisia on the afternoon of Nov 9, 1942. Several Ju 53 and Me 323 transported troops rspidly, while ships landed more troops.

    You ommitted French ship losses in Algeria and apparently it escapes you that the French were potential allies, so the allies lost all those shiips and Toulon (with 50,000 troops) by attacking F N Africa and not providing air support, reinforcements, armor, etc, for Toulon from Corsica.
     
  17. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    It was considered rightly that to land at Bone,or even more eastwards, was to dangerous .The people who took this decision were professionals who forgot more about these matters than a certain poster ever will know .
     
  18. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    There is also the little point (well,for some people) of the capacity of the port of Bone :how much tonnes could be unloaded and stored daily at Bone harbour ? How much could leave daily Bone ?

    I expect a lot of handwaving ,as : they could,they should,they would .
     
  19. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    Again, they had to use Bone as staging area anyway (Oran being much too far W. and Morocco in another planet). However, they did so only after axis planes and troops were in Tunis, etc, (while they were being bombed). Laninding there on Nov 8 with the 5 carriesr of Patton's force and some of the planes from Oran deployed in Bone (the airfield being captured much earlier than OTL) changes completely the balance of air power (instead of wating lots of planes in Morocco).
    Just like a force in Youlon was wasted OTL, so was one in Tunisia, which with air support and armor could have prevented German transport planes landing in Tunisia and stopped Rommel's weak force (before it was reinforced heavily).

    Sure, the allies were brilliant planers, look at Dieppe, the Dodecanese, Tarawa, Salerno, etc, all wiped by extremely talented men capable of masterful waste of resources and causing pointless losses.
     
  20. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Not to Eisenhower it wasn't too dangerous. He advocated the bold move, concentrating on Oran, with a subsidiary landing at Bone, long into the planning process. "That having been accomplished, he would move in two directions, eastward into Tunisia and southwest across the mountains into French Morocco. This plan seemed to ignore the danger to the Allies' line of communications from the direction of both Gibraltar and Spanish Morocco should Spain join the Axis Powers. It also failed to take sufficiently into account the shortage in naval escorts and the logistical problems involved in funneling all the men, equipment, and supplies needed to seize Algiers, French Morocco, and Tunisia into the port of Oran, whose facilities might not be found intact. The complicated convoy arrangements for the assault, follow-up, and build-up phases of the operation that would have to be made were enough by themselves to doom the plan in the eyes of the military chiefs in Washington as too risky." (Howe, p. 191).

    The problem was, there weren't enough combat loaders, sufficient carrier capacity, close enough ground-based air, or enough experienced troops to make the risk appear sufficiently worthwhile. Especially given it would the first time the Allies were to attempt such an operation.
     
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