AHC Italian front of WW2 stalls until end of 1944

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by zeppelinair, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. zeppelinair これ以上の詳細は略する

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    In OTL, the WAllies were able to push the Germans north of Rome by summer of 1944 and pushed as far north as just south of Bologne by winter of the same year. The challenge is that the Winter Line stays the main battlefront of the Italian theatre until winter of 1944-45, by which time the WAllies have reached Strasbourg in the west and Budapest in the east.
     
  2. wiking Well-Known Member

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    Short of the Allies pulling troops out, I'm not sure how. I mean maybe Anzio goes really badly for the Allies and the Germans breakthrough to the beach? In the East near Ortona if the 90th division fights line the Paras and instead of constantly launching wasteful counterattacks instead husbands it's manpower it would probably hold on a lot longer. So maybe with the POD that there are some changes in the East that allow more German troops to stay in reserve, which then helps out with Anzio and results in a collapsed beachhead mean then that the Allies under resource the Italian Front?
    Certainly Operation Fischfang succeeding in February would have huge negative consequences for the Allies on the Italian Front.
     
  3. zeppelinair これ以上の詳細は略する

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    I'd count WAllies pulling troops out from Italy early for another campaign as valid, though which theatre that they're sent for I'm not too sure.
     
  4. wiking Well-Known Member

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    France. What other place was there that would make sense if pulling men out of the European theater? Europe first was still the policy.
     
  5. Magnum Well-Known Member

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    The Dodecanese (or hell, mainland Greece if they get cocky) in conjunction with a better coordinated Italian switch of sides ?
     
  6. wiking Well-Known Member

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    Without dramatically changing the US leadership, I don't see how; the Aegean was a Churchill passion project the US rejected heavily (they didn't really trust the Brits after sucking them into an extended Mediterranean/Italian campaign). Stalin wanted a French invasion ASAP and explicitly did not want a Balkan campaign by the Wallies. Also Greece would have been Italy x10 in terms of defensive terrain. Plus of course the Dodecanese campaign failed miserably with disproportionately large British losses.
    In terms of a better coordinated Italian switch...having read about the Italian situation they were completely unable to actually coordinate on their end and the Allies bullied the Italians into go along with the Allied timetable once they realized the Italians couldn't actually do much on their own; the Germans pretty much ran Italy and would know if they tried to coordinate anything serious.
     
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  7. Magnum Well-Known Member

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    A victory at Rhodes was easily doable IMHO:
    https://www.alternatehistory.com/fo...d-victory-in-dodecanese-campaign-1943.407784/

    and it sort of snowballs from there.

    Anyway, this isn't so much a path to Allied victory (although using the Dodecanese as a springboard to get troops to Bulgaria before it surrenders opens up possibilities), as much as it's a way to get the desired draw-down of Allied troops from Italy that allows the Germans to hold in the north
     
  8. wiking Well-Known Member

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    There is the wee problem of Alan Brooke:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Accolade
    So without a major change in just about everyone's attitudes this basically cannot happen. Everyone but Churchill wanted to go all in on Italy, as it was very thought at the time to be extremely vulnerable to being rolled, which would yield FAR greater results than Rhodes. As it was the plan depended on the US agreeing and providing P-38 cover, which was denied per your own link:
    Even if we assume your POD plays out as you suggest, how does that distract from the Italian campaign? Rome was far too important an objective to let sit while a Churchillian fantasy in the Balkans plays out with Allied reserves committed there instead.
     
  9. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    All the above favors France over the Balkans. Maybe even a January ANVIL op instead of Op SHINGLE.
     
  10. Cryhavoc101 Well-Known Member

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    More troops are pulled out and replaced with none big 4 allies - perhaps Churchill is no longer in power and the Americans get their way and post Italy's capitulation the allies seek only to maintain the front to pin down Axis forces

    The balance of British troops are removed for Overlord - maybe a 6th Beach?

    With the bulk of the US troops withdrawn for Dragoon (pretty much OTL?)

    The later allies - Brazilians, Mexicans and other south Americans, South Africans, NZ forces etc are left to hold the line in Italy while the US and Brits go 'all in' for the invasion of France.
     
  11. Oldbill Well-Known Member

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    Pulling all the US/UK troops out would be noticed by the Germans, who would deduce where they are headed. Pulling a limited number out, increasing the numbers of troops from minor allied nations, and sending them into the line in Italy wouldn't be as significant, although care would need to be taken to keep the Germans from singling them out for attack as they did he Portuguese in WWI. What this could to though, is possibly use the smaller allied nations troops, with a number of US/UK troops, as an invasion force for Rhodes. This of course, presupposes that the political objections (US-France first, UK-Alan Brook )of participants is overcome.
     
  12. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    There is a alternate course here. In September 1943 German thinking for Italy was split. Hitler & the rest at OKW were thinking Southern Italy was indefensible & should be evacuated, with the defense based on the Mountains shielding the Po River basin. Rommel who was organizing a army group in northern Italy agreed. However Kesselring who was also organizing the forces in south Italy felt a viable defense could be set in the south & Rome protected. His arguments won Hitler over, Kesselrings forces stalled the Allies on the southern Apennines Mountains. Rommel was transferred to France to reorganize the defense of the Channel coast.

    Now lets suppose Hitler had decided against Kesselrings recommendations and ordered everything north and rolled into a single army group there? While the front would be 50% the available ground force would be doubled, and the flanks much more secure against amphibious end runs. So, in November 1943 the Allies are faced with a far more daunting mountain range, have captured the 'easy' target of Rome, & have both the US and French clamoring for getting on with the main event. So, instead of a series of expensive attacks in Italy the Allied husband the men and material for offensives elsewhere? Just some diversionary attacks & demonstrations there?

    Yes and no. As early as October 1942 both Soviet and British deception operations had the German leaders leaping in the wrong directions. While they did make some correct guesses German armies were missdeployed all around Europe in response to Allied false intelligence ops.
     
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  13. wiking Well-Known Member

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    If not an earlier invasion of France, then probably the Balkans/Greece because they have a base for it now and can bypass the Aegean.
     
  14. viperjock Well-Known Member

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    What the WAllies could do is plan on is only occupying Southern Italy. The Americans and British establish their own defensive line across central Italy just like the WWI western front and later on in the Korean War. The Foggia airfield complex is built up for a second bomber offensive against Germany. The Anzio operation never happens. Instead the troops are pulled out of the line to train for Anvil/Dragoon.
    The problem is how to keep Stalin from going ballistic while the WAllies sit in their trenches. The only thing I can think of is that the Allies promise Stalin in 1943 that they will suspend offensive operations in the Med for invading France.
     
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  15. History Learner Well-Known Member

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    Best opportunity I see was proposed here:

     
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  16. viperjock Well-Known Member

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    The Eighth Army would man a forgotten front in Italy. German Forces would still be pinned down in Italy defending against a possible push up the boot by the Allies as well as dealing with partisans. The American Army could rebuild the forces lost at Salerno in time for invading both Northern and Southern France. There will probably be a small end run type landing at Salerno again eventually in late 1944. The best and brightest German troops will probably still get withdrawn to other fronts.
     
  17. History Learner Well-Known Member

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    The British landings, of course, still land and are successful but the "lost" American contribution will certainly slow down their progress, which fulfills OP's requirements I think. I'm also doubtful of another separate American landing in Italy, as opposed to just reinforcing the British beachheads and thus allowing the resources needed for Overlord to not be diminished by requirements in Italy.

    On another note, would would be the effects of a larger RSI on the war, given that most of Italy will remain in German hands?
     
  18. viperjock Well-Known Member

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    As far as additional landings I was thinking nothing major. Just a regimental combat team or battalion size force making a unopposed landing in support of a overland offensive like what was done in OTL Sicily.
     
  19. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    In the autumn of 1943 the USSR sent a delegation of Generals to inspect the Allied forces and determine if they were actually capable of fighting the Germans, and if they had the intent to do so. This is roughly the same period the Bulgarian diplomate claimed to have carried a armistice inquiry from Stalin to Hitler. Drawn you own conclusions.
     
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  20. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    The 8th Army did execute some small flanking attacks on the east coast. Kesselring always kept substantial reserves on hand.