Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by fester, Sep 13, 2018.
Academic co-authors... Health insurance is my jam
Poor Batfish is now in a memorial park at Muskogee, OK and is caught up in the Arkansas River flooding
Anchors away.. set the anchor watch!
Sorry, that doesn't make any sense because two are mutually exclusive:
"Anchor's aweigh" means the anchor isn't on the bottom anymore - the endpoint of the process of raising the anchor. At this point the ship is under way.
The anchor watch is the detail of crewpersons assigned to keep watch overnight while the vessel is at anchor and nothing much is happening.
Kinda like "Over and out."
Gela, Sicily 0400 May 13, 1943
William gripped his rifle. The amphibious landing craft bucked up and down in the waves. The guns of the fleet were silent, as the hope was that the assault wave would catch the defenders by surprise. He swallowed down another bolus of vomit and shook his head. Another minute to the beach, and surprise was not being achieved.
Italian artillery was shelling the landing craft that were a few hundred yards behind Hotel company. Two of the barges were already breaking. A few men were in the water and trying to swim to shore after they had ditched their gear. More were waiting for rescue or death. Machine gunners were locked in a battle. Italian defenders were sending short bursts towards the front ramps of the landing craft, while Navy and Coastguards men were firing their heavy fifties right back at anything that looked like a defensive position.
He loosened the grip on his rifle. He would be the third or fourth rank of men out of the boat as soon as the ramp went down. Heavy lead slugs were flying overhead and then mortars started to land just upwind of the boat. Shrapnel pinged off the wooden hull and he could only hope for luck.
The ramp descended and even before it hit the ground, men started to run out. At least on shore, the infantrymen had a chance to trust their own skill instead of the laws of luck that were tilted against them. The first step was into eighteen inches of water, and the men clumped up briefly until the crush from the back moved the front forward and out. Two men were down before they reached the ground. A machine gun burst caught them and began to turn the white surf pink. Will had to ignore the cries of his friends. Forward was safety. Forward was hope.
He fired, and then fired again and again. Another clip went into the rifle and a moment later, more of his squad leapfrogged past him as everyone was trying to scramble up the beach. A mine exploded a few dozen yards to his right. A man’s legs became red mist. Shock silenced his screams. Soon the seven still functioning men of his squad were huddled behind a small fold between the land and the beach. The BAR man started to lay down fire against a machine gun nest and then the rifle grenades were being launched at the hard point.
Will checked the grenades on his belt. A moment later, he rose. Four other men were with him. He screamed as he sprinted as if he was taking the pigskin on a toss sweep with a pulling guard in front of him. His bayonet was high in the air until he was only twenty yards from the machine gun nest. One grenade, and then another were in the air before he started to move again. Three men were still moving with him as the crumpled explosions went off. Most were harmless, landing past the sandbags or placed in the grenade sump, but one killed two of the four defenders. The other two were stunned. It was only a moment, but the four American infantrymen seized the moment and clubbed, stabbed and shot the machine gunners before they could respond.
Up and down the beach, little pockets were being carved in the Italian defenses. Even as Will collected his breath and bandaged up a shrapnel scrape on his left arm, naval artillery started to arrive. USS Savannah and a pair of destroyers were flinging heavy shells that would make an Army corps artillery commander jealous for their weight and rapidity overhead against a strong point a quarter mile further inland. Two sips of water from his canteen and the squad started to advance as part of an impromptu platoon of other fragments that were becoming coherent in the chaos.
Tyrrhenian Sea, 0500 May 13, 1943
The first Corsair was warming up aboard the light carriers. Rochambeau turned into the wind five minutes later. Four minutes later, the first early morning combat air patrol was slowly gaining altitude above the fleet. Two miles behind the French carrier, the three fast battleships of the French fleet went to early morning battle stations. The main guns were manned and made ready against the chance and hope of the Italian navy emerging from their ports for a death ride. Richelieu matched well against the surviving Littorio while the two battle cruisers would dominate against anything else that could steam. It was not just the architecture and designs of the ships; it was time at sea. In the past five months, the French fleet was in port for perhaps a third of the nights and they burned four years worth of peace time training oil allocations and fired two years worth of ammunition in gun drills. The fleet had been honed into a fine, well balanced weapon again, and now they merely needed a target.
Exactly my point the sub is ready to float as the water keeps rising, even with an anchor watch set, rising water may break the anchor weigh from the bottom, then again I do not know the watertightness of the sub
So it's Sicily, huh?
Only the capture of Sicily truly secures East-West passage by ship through the Mediterranean. And only taking Sicily puts pressure on Mussolini's regime, making clear that not only is the dream of a new Roman Empire a farce, the fascists cannot even protect an integral part of the country. It's also the shortest jump from any major landed possession of the Allies. In short, Sicily is overdetermined.
Sicily. The same reasons in OTL for invading Sicily are still valid in festers' storyline. The Allies are able to invade almost 2 months earlier here.
Is the Italian navy out of action yet?
It's down to a single battleship. You tell me.
So if we were talking about Japan the answer would be NO...
But we're not talking about Japan
Wadda mistake-a da make-a!
If the Italian “Navy” is ordered out, I could see a mutiny happening, or at least a couple mysterious engine failures.
"Oh no! All of the boilers suddenly exploded like someone had chunked a few shells from the secondary battery in there and ran like fuck, thankfully sealing all of the hatches behind them to limit the damage! Nobody could have foreseen this!"
While they've been on the receiving end for several encounters in this universe, the Italian navy has also put up a good hard fight and inflicted some damage themselves. I'd bet the current status of the war and internal politics would play more of a role on what response the navy has to an invasion of Sicily or other Italian territories.
What's the current temperature of support in Italy for Mussolini? The war has not gone well for Italy, and German support in North Africa wasn't a success either and now the Germans are fully sunk into a fight with the Soviets. If you compare history to this universe, is Mussolini's position even worse?
IMHO Italy is doing significantly worse here. North Africa was lost sooner, and there was not even a temporary glow of success and the illusion of taking Egypt. While the Italian Navy showed courage, they are in much worse shape than OTL and while light units such as submarines and MAS boats may still have some effectiveness, to send the remaining major combatants to sea is a suicide run that won't help the cause. Allied air attacks on the Italian mainland are above what they were at this time OTL. With Germany more deeply engaged in Russia (in the sense of further in) they have less forces to send to reinforce Italy. In the Aegean, with Crete still Allied the Italian forces on the islands are similar to the Japanese in the latter stages of the Pacific War on bypassed garrisons - poorly supplied prison camps. Put this all together and I see Mussolini's position as substantially worse than OTL. He may survive the loss of Sicily, but once Allied forces are on the Italian mainland, or snap up Sardinia he's toast.
Depending on how much force the Germans send and when, and as I said I expect it would be less than OTL, an Allied coup de main against Rome may happen...
Quite so. All the OTL reasons for the Grand Fascist Council and the King are applicable to the context of the timeline. Especially the air attacks added a lot to the despair not only of the general population but of the policy makers as well. Benny cannot survive politically after the loss of Sicily. The only thing to be seen in TTL is whether the Royalists and the Grandi kabal can organize a proper armistice. In OTL they were under the illusion that both the Germans and the Allies would allow Italy to get out of the war and be a neutral party. One cannot fathom at this level of naivety. A couple of loyal divisions around Rome with semi-decent performance will be enough for the Germans to go directly to establish the Gothic Line to control the north. In OTL Kesselring was the one to press for a defence futher south. A more successful Italian Campagin will pay huge political and military dividends in 1944 and 1945.
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