Fastest Allied victory with a POD AFTER December 7, 1941

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Osorno13, Sep 26, 2019.

  1. Scott Washburn Well-Known Member

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    Yes, after the Germans were turned back at Moscow Stalin became delusionally overoptimistic and believed that the Germans were on the verge of collapse and he thought if he just kept attacking, he could drive them all the way back to Poland by the end of the winter. As a result, he burned up all of his reserves in fruitless attacks and left himself open to the German offensive in 1942.
     
  2. ObssesedNuker Commander of 10 million men

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    Well, it wasn't just him. Contrary to their post-war claims, STAVKA was feeling just as optimistic as he was so nobody really objected. Without the benefit of hindsight and with the knowledge they had, it's understandable enough: they were on a bit of a survival high after repulsing the Germans at the Gates of Moscow and after seeing how badly the Germans had crumpled to their opening attack, they figured that if they just kept up momentum they could collapse the Germans. As it was, the combination of the Soviet decision to expand the offensive to include the entire theater and the German decision to hold fast instead of continuing their retreat, which was starting to threaten their formations with disintegration meant whatever actual Soviet odds of the Soviets lopping off and destroying a German army+ sized formation quickly dwindled to nothing.
     
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  3. wiking Well-Known Member

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    Were they or were they afraid to contradict Stalin? After all Zhukov had tried to reign him in in November 1941 when Stalin demanded offensive action and got nowhere. Seems like survival/promotion in STAVKA depended on carrying out Stalin's wishes more than standing up to him.
     
  4. ObssesedNuker Commander of 10 million men

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    I don't know what your really talking about with that November 1941 claim, but Zhukov repeatedly proved willing to argue down with Stalin both prior and after, even suffering the consequence of relief and reassignment at one point in doing so, so obviously he wasn't afraid to say something was a bad idea when he thought it was.
     
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  5. wiking Well-Known Member

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    Stalin ordering attacks during the lull in Operation Typhoon, which failed and weakened defenses, which allowed some German forces to push close to the Moscow suburbs.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battl...ance_towards_Moscow_(1_November_–_5_December)
    Stalin got his way. Zhukov of course did want an offensive in December, which Stalin approved, but was it the OTL 'go after all of AG-Center' offensive or a more limited one? I have trouble believing that Zhukov believed that an all out offensive spread out across the entire Eastern Front was a good idea.

    As to his relief are you referring to the July Kiev situation? Seems like he learned the line of how far he could push Stalin when Stalin wanted something from that experience.
     
  6. cra0422 Member

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    What makes Sardinia attractive is that it was much more lightly defended than Sicily; in fact an invasion could have been launched at least two months earlier than Sicily because Allied planners had no real way to completely seal off the Strait of Messina. An amphibious operation for Sardinia could have been launched in either late spring or early summer of 1943 against only 1 partially formed division and Axis attempts to reinforce a completely blockaded island would also have to run a gauntlet of 100 miles of open sea. After Sardinia fell, Corsica (with much better harbors) becomes untenable and the Allies are now positioned 100 miles north of Rome instead of 100 miles south. This saves U.S. 5th and British 8th Armies a year of slogging up the Italian peninsula and puts the industrial regions of Austria and Southern Germany, and possibly even the Romanian oil fields within bomber range.

    Yes, initial air support would have to come from carrier-based aircraft, but it should only have taken a few days to capture 1 or more airfields. Once the Allies plan to invade, they won't have to make two amphibious landings and instead can concentrate on either Anzio or Civitaveccia. While the OTL landings at Anzio were a near-disaster, this way they'd be landing in late summer or early autumn of 1943 instead of January 1944. When the Allies took Sicily, the Germans knew that an Italian invasion was inevitable but would only take place no further north than the operating range of Sicilian-based Allied aircraft, which meant the Naples-Salerno sector. But if the Allies attack from Sardinia and Corsica, the Axis forces will have to be spread across hundreds of miles of coastline in central or northern Italy, and all axis forces south of the invasion site will be trapped. An added bonus means the defensive positions at Cassino will never come to pass.
     
  7. Historyrookie Member

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    could that operarion have been done before launching the final offensive in tunnis? lets say march or april, or tunnis had to be finished before in any case for logistics / cover reasons?
     
  8. Michele Well-Known Member

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    Good points, but still very risky; if Sardinia was mre lightly defended, there was a reason. Also, a failure caused by Axis air superiority over Sardinia would have been a conspicuous disaster, not just a mere setback.
     
  9. sendô Read between the lines.

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    Noted I'm outside of the PoD given by the OP, but if the British hadn't wasted the impetus and position they had in north Africa by diverting troops to Greece in the spring of 1941, the allies might have been in a position to attack the "soft underbelly" somewhat sooner.

    Certainly landings at Torch wouldnt have been necessary, and instead it would have been a straight troop build up.
     
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  10. Magnum Well-Known Member

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    Calgiari is closer to Tunisia than Salerno is to Sicily
     
  11. Michele Well-Known Member

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    No, Cagliari is roughly at the same distance from the very northernmost tip of the Tunisian coast as Salerno is from Messina (the very northernmost tip of Sicily).

    And Cagliari's port and gulf was the one place in Sardinia that was well defended. The Allies did not land in Sicily in the gulf of Palermo.

    Note that before Salerno, the Allies had already landed in Calabria, operation Baytown, and made emergency landing strips available there for Allied aircraft in difficulty already on September 5. The first US fighter group (57th) moved from Sicily to Calabria (at Roccabernarda) on the 12th; that's a few days after Avalanche, but Baytown was a British operation so I might find there were British fighters in Calabria even earlier.

    I'd add that the strategic situation had modified radically at Salerno, in comparison with Sicily or a hypothesized Sardinian landing. In July, there was still a significant Luftwaffe contingent in Sicily, as well as the Regia Aeronautica. In September, the former was in full retreat, and the latter surrendered on the day before the Avalanche landings.

    I'd add that every month that goes by, more longer-ranged fighters become available and get deployed. The proposal tabled was for Sardinia to be attacked in early July, not in September.
     
  12. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

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    As usual, a lot of unpacking.

    Weather, terrain, weather, terrain.

    1. Flying weather with the aviation technology of the day =35% operational losses due to weather effects in the Aleutians.
    2. Terrain. Ever try to build runways on permafrost? You have to scrape down to rock and then find something that won't slick up with an ice cover.

    So forget 11th Air Force. Stick to what can be done further south.

    What can be done?

    Pacific.

    a. Concentrate on the torpedo problem earlier.
    b. Get a long ranged fighter into service FAST. This has knock-ons everywhere (see below.)
    c. FIDO is already in the pipeline and will be ready in a year. How about CUTIE for enemy destroyers and cruisers?
    d. Speaking of enemy destroyers and cruisers; shortly Badagong and Java Sea will show allied navies are NTG at night surface actions. Better pull some ships and form a trained op-for and rotate USN units into a Pacific Ocean Battle Tactics Exercise Area (POBTEA) to teach the fine art of torpedo and gun.
    e. Force Z is another lesson. RIKKOs work. Screw USAAF. The USNAS better start learning how to RIKKO.
    f. It will be obvious by January 1942, that Australia is a logistics mess.
    a. Build a naval base at Brisbane. Screw the RN. They ran during ABDA. Needs of the war and all that means the USN needs a forward Class II base and Brisbane is nominated.
    b. Alice Springs to Darwin railroad and parallel highway. 1,500 km. Seattle to Anchorage 3,000 km. Hello? Do both.
    c. Relieve everybody in MacArthur's staff and start over. Might have to jail one of them for dereliction to show FDR is not messing around with this crew of would be fascists, drunks, womanizers, liars, criminals and incompetents. I mean it. This collection of misfits had more warning than Kimmel and Short and look what a mess they made of the Philippine Islands defense.
    d. Hold Rabaul whatever the costs. I mean this is critical. Shaves a year off the Pacific war.

    Pinpricks. Use parachute retarded fall bombs as anti-ship weapons. This would take a few months development and adopt Sturmovik tactics. That will mean gun-pack bombers going in on the deck. Havocs, Bostons and Baltimores are available. Later on Mitchells and Marauders. The good news is that this is field expedient modification work.

    Maybe, but like the PT survivors of the MacArthur debacle, he should be kicked sideways into program development. Let Kenney be Kenney. More goes on than just developing technique. Eareckson like Bissell did not know how to fight an air campaign. Kenney did.

    THIS is why you need that long ranged fighter. Sicily was chosen because Spitfires could cover HUSKY out of Tunisia. If proper Lightnings had been available in sufficient numbers, that risk could be extended further north to CORSICA. Why fight stupid? Flattops sink. Airfields? Bulldozer, front end loader, compactor and a gravel pile.

    A week will cost you 2 flattops.

    Agreed. but:

    What he said(^^^).

    =========================================

    Europe:

    1. Get Churchill a baby sitter and keep him away from maps featuring Italy and the Balkans.
    2. Get King a babysitter and keep him drunk, and away from Nimitz's war.
    3. Put Ingersoll into LANTFLT sooner so the U-boat war is won faster.
    4. Keep Brereton away from ANYTHING. Send him to Leavenworth.
    5. Italy has to be invaded, but not all the way up the boot. Bite off what is needed to get in range of Ploesti and bomb that oil refinery complex at all costs.
    6. It would be nice to have all the gee whiz allied whiz-bang wunderwaffe (M27 tank and HVAP tank rounds, Corsair in Europe etc.) but training, training, training, training, and common sense mods to and uses of what is at hand will beat the Axis faster. Mister 90 mm AAA gun and the troops that go with it as an AT gun, for example, and line officers who know what they are doing count for more to me, than gimmickry or some neat mad idea operation (ANZIO) that results in a bolo.

    Finally, anything that gets Stalin killed early has me of 2 minds: it means Russians on the Rhine by 1944 if Stalin dies before February 1942, and that might NOT be a good thing from a Wally point of view. Cause France does not happen before 1944. The means in shipping, equipment and trained manpower simply does not exist.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  13. Dorknought Well-Known Member

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    Give him a book.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Cryhavoc101 Well-Known Member

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    That's great.

    He is often accused of being Anglophobic which allegedly drove a lot of his decision making at this time (ie not liking the British telling him what to do) - but according to his daughter this was not true "Daddy simply hated everyone"
     
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  15. Spencersj345.346 Well-Known Member

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    In fairness you can hit a underway warship with high attitude level bombing with WW2 era technology you just need way more bombers than were ever used in the Pacific for this role ie 50 to 80 bombers per ship so its literally impossible to dodge all of the ordnance,however this is not very efficient use of bombers. As for a POD get the Dolittle raid canceled and the ships involved sent to help block the invasion of Port Morseby and Japan almost certainly looses Carrier Divison 5(with other extra ships almost certainly being lost as well, a major naval victory would be a far larger morale booster than drop a handful of bombs on Japan and helps keep a few hundred thousand Chinese alive because due to there being no Dolittle raid for the IJA to relatiate for)at Coral Sea with it being highly likely that the extra fighters that Hornet and Enterprise bring with them mean that in all likelihood the USN doesn't loose any carriers(as for Neosho and Sims they are still probably sunk which is a major loss for the USN due its crippling lack of fast oilers in 1942) and Midway still happens roughly as otl with the USN not losing Yorktown due to extra fighters being available from the Lexington.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
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  16. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    At the opening of the SYMBOL conference, at Casablanca January 1943, the Joint Chiefs proposed exactly that. That the Brit 1st Army be tasked with securing Sardinia not later than March 1943. The Brit CIGS Brooke disagreed and a day or two later Churchill vetoed a March Sardinian invasion.
     
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  17. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    The Italian Gen Staff had judged Sardinia indefensible and regarded it as a delaying position. Not worth a army sized reinforcement. Hitler who had a obsession with defending everywhere encouraged Kesselring, who sent some training battalions and cadre for new divisions later in the spring.
     
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  18. McPherson McPherson; a guy who needs a shave.

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    A. If there is no Doolittle Raid, there is no Doolittle catapulted to the prominence he needs as fast and as soon as he earns. Negative Butterflies.
    B. Halsey had an attack of the slows. Four days faster sortie and back, Doolittle Raid included, and he's at the Coral Sea. Fletcher does not run the battle, neither does Fitch. It is Halsey in Charge. Does anyone with half a brain want that to happen?
    C. Sure would have helped if the Mark 13s had worked at Midway. Sure would have helped if the B-26 Marauders had been equipped with bombs instead of torpedoes at Midway.
     
  19. Spencersj345.346 Well-Known Member

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    Here's the other PODs to add to the original one which will make you very happy
    POD #2 Marc Mitscher is promoted out of the Hornet and is off to the war college for six months starting in March 42.
    POD #3 Captain Browning is washed/ falls overboard on the way to Coral Sea and drowns.
    POD #4 Halsey's health problems flare up two months earlier so he's not charge at Coral Sea or Midway
    POD #5 USS Neches isn't torpedoes in January 42
    POD # 6 Neosho and Sims are in the middle of a major squall when the attack that killed them otl occurs.
    POD #7 The bulk of the Asiatic Fleet's support personnel and ships are withdrawn to the southern Philippines immediately and later to Australia when the war begins
    POD #8 Houston and Perth break through to Australia
    POD #9 Normandie survives to be converted to a troop ship.
    As for Doolittle he was almost always going to be promoted to general it might take a few more months but it was going to happen, the man was very good at his job and his superiors in the AAC knew it
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  20. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    With bombs they'd have attacked from similar altitudes as the B17, and missed. No one was training Army pilots in extreme low level techniques then. Skip bombing was a few months in the future.
     
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