Keynes' Cruisers Volume 2

IIrc, Roosevelt Roads, was a major transit point for shipping heading for the Panama Canal and South American ports, as well as naval task group working up.
 
Story 2209
Genoa, Italy September 6, 1943

The city was on fire. Several hundred bombers; a mixture of American built and flown heavy bombers and American built, and French flown twin engine medium bombers had raided the city for the seventh time in eleven days. By now, the fighter defenses were a farce and the anti-aircraft batteries were able to fire for mere minutes before the ready ammunition was exhausted. Few shells were available in the local magazines, and the trains and trucks that could conceivably bring in new supplies for the batteries had been shut down. American, British, French and Polish fighter bombers had strafed anything larger than an ox-cart over the past week on any path way into or out of the city. Half a dozen Free French destroyers had dashed in and out on several nights to lay minefields to keep the harbor closed.

Today was the last day of the city's hell. Tomorrow, the raiders would begin a similar assault on Florence.
 
In OTL Italy was totally unprepared for bombing and the raids produced a political crisis. One can argue that the double coup againt Beny was caused by the bombing raids as much as by the fall of Sicily. In TTL not only Sicily has fallen but Sardinia also. Not to mention that several italian corps have been destroyed or isolated in Greece, while the Dodecanese have fallen since 1942.
 
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Story 2210
Bataan, September 7, 1943

Patrick patted the private on his back. The young man, by now a veteran, relaxed again and the old man leading the platoon scurried to the next fox hole to offer the same re-assurance to more men. In this pit was a trio of replacements. They had arrived at the platoon yesterday afternoon and so far, none of them had been killed. Only one had been lightly wounded by a knee mortar fragment scraping the back of his head. It was a bloody nuisance of a wound. The replacement's head had been wrapped up at the battalion aid station before returning to the platoon this morning. The three of them were alert. One man was scanning for Japanese movement, while the other two stayed ready with their heads below the small parapet of dirt. Tomorrow, Patrick would make sure he remembered their names.

Off to the east, the earth began to shake. Patrick paused and allowed the vibrations to be processed in his mind. Mostly 155s and 105s he thought. There was no heavy thumps of bombers dropping thousand pounders nor the whirl of propellors. He did not need to care too much, just be aware. The battalion commander had ordered that they were to hold their position for at least the morning while patrols from other companies pressed forward.

On the eastern edge of the Bataan Pennisula, two fresh divisions were ready to jump off. Three army tank battalions, two Shermans, one of Grants, were in direct support. In front of the reinforcements was a battalion of the 31st Infantry Regiment. They had spent the past five days clearing out every Japanese patrol and listening post that they could find. The path was mostly open to at least the main line of Japanese resistance. The corps' objective was Valdez with the goal of forcing the Japanese to commit any remaining reserves to a meat grinding campaign of attrition where artillery and air power would dominate.
 
What strategic commodities were going in or out of Puerto Rico then, or was that day-to-day mercantile stuffs? Either way, the minelayer is tying up some pretty hefty resources. But,.... The US could afford that and it was useful operational training too.
IIrc, Roosevelt Roads, was a major transit point for shipping heading for the Panama Canal and South American ports, as well as naval task group working up.
Elmore Leonard's 1985 novel Glitz partly concerns Roosevelt Roads -Vincent Mora is a Miami cop convalescing in Puerto Rica – he wants to see the place his father sailed from to death at Anzio.
 
Bataan, September 7, 1943
The corps' objective was Valdez with the goal of forcing the Japanese to commit any remaining reserves to a meat grinding campaign of attrition where artillery and air power would dominate.
Seeing as how Valdez is about 8 miles South of the strategically important Clark Field and is located in open country this battle may lead to the end of large scale Japanese resistance on Luzon. If the Japanese do commit their reserves.
 
In OTL Italy was totally unprepared for bombing and the raids produced a political crisis. One can argue that the double coup againt Beny was caused by the bombing raids as much as by the fall of Sicily. In TTL not only Sicily has fallen but Sardinia also. Not to mention that several italian corps have been destroyed or isolated in Greece, while the Dodecanese have fallen since 1942.
Exactly. At this point what or why is keeping Italy in the war? By that I mean how much longer until Mussolini and his government is overthrown?
 
I would argue that the italian war economy added much value to the Axis war effort:
The following table is from the following article:
Sadkovich, J. J. (1989). Understanding Defeat: Reappraising Italy’s Role in World War II. Journal of Contemporary History, 24(1), 27–61. https://doi.org/10.1177/002200948902400102


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Here is another source:https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1001&context=hist_fac_pubs

Moreover, Italy provided hundreds of thousands of men garrisoning the Balkans (31 divisions, 500,000 men) and south France (3 divisions). Italian labor worked in Germany since the early war (172,000 industrial workers in September 1941). It seems also that Italy produced more steel than they could turn into tanks: "in September 1943 the Germans seized three times as much steel as was available in 1940". Apparently, even in 1944, Italy still provided signilicant amounts of aluminum, mercury, zinc, copper, and manganese ores. In 1944. Italian fields. orchards, and vineyards supplied wheat, rice. corn, oats. rye. potatoes, sugar, fruit, vegetables, meat, fat. fish. and wine for
German consumption. ~ In just the last three months of 1944. food shipments from northern Italy to the Reich totaled approximately 82.500 tons.

In July 1943, Smiling Albert kept 2 panzer grenadier and 1 panzer division in South Italy. With the Allies in Sicily and Sardinia/Corsica, lets say that the Heer invests 1-2 additional corps. 6-9 divisions as a beefed-up garrison was a small price to pay. Without an active front, these divisions would be fed and clothed by italian resources, while the railways could move italian products north to Germany and import german coal.

In general, I am of the opinion that Italy produced a net benefit to the german war economy. In a bombing campaign against an Axis Italy and no active front, italian civilians will suffer, but the german war economy will benefit.

ITTL, the Germans supply with difficulty their troops fighting in Greece, but is only possible because they have half a million Italians in Yugoslavia, Albania and Western Greece to cover their flanks.
 
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I would argue that the italian war economy added much value to the Axis war effort:
Problem is with that analysis is that it does not cover the negative effect of all the strategic materials that Italy needs, that Germany has not got enough of already. The key ones that spring to mind are oil and natural rubber. Germany has a deficit of the first and no access to sources at all of the second. Italian production is, in part, reducing German production and depleting stockpiles.

Those extra German troops suggested might be costing less to maintain but I'm pretty sure that they would be better served by actually doing something useful on the eastern front in 1943.
 
Problem is with that analysis is that it does not cover the negative effect of all the strategic materials that Italy needs, that Germany has not got enough of already. The key ones that spring to mind are oil and natural rubber. Germany has a deficit of the first and no access to sources at all of the second. Italian production is, in part, reducing German production and depleting stockpiles.
I agree!
To be frank I haven't read anything specific about the rubber trade between Italy and Germany in WW2.
Regarding oil, there is almost no Regia Marina and no major active front. So, I would guess italian needs are lower than in OTL. I believe the Germans could (and would) squeeze oil imports even more. In any case, oil will remain a problem. In general, the sources I mentioned above seem to indicate, Italy provided an overall net benefit for the Axis economy.

Those extra German troops suggested might be costing less to maintain but I'm pretty sure that they would be better served by actually doing something useful on the eastern front in 1943.
Well, as I mentioned there were 500,000 Italian in occupationduty in the Balkan and a corps in France. If they are out of the picture, the Germans will need almost all infantry reserves to cover the gap. Generaly speaking, if there is both an Italian and a Greek front the Germans would need: 20 divisions in Italy, 9-12 in Greece and 10-12 in Yugoslavia, Albania and Western Greece (Epirus region). Also, another 2-3 divisions in south France. I assume the Ionian Islands would be left undefended, or else another corps is needed.
 
Well, as I mentioned there were 500,000 Italian in occupationduty in the Balkan and a corps in France. If they are out of the picture, the Germans will need almost all infantry reserves to cover the gap.
If we're talking about the overall picture from the start of the war - if Italy stays neutral, there's no need, because there's no gap to cover. There's no Balkan or Greek front.
 
IIrc, Roosevelt Roads, was a major transit point for shipping heading for the Panama Canal and South American ports, as well as naval task group working up.
The island of Vieques off the coast of Puerto Rico during WW2 was an important training area. They did both air to ground, air to air, and shore bombardment based out of Roosevelt Roads. Any units that go to the Caribbean for training would be going there. Even into the 90's there was that type of training going on there.
 
If we're talking about the overall picture from the start of the war - if Italy stays neutral, there's no need, because there's no gap to cover. There's no Balkan or Greek front.
You are quite right. However, I was talking about this period in both OTL and TTL (1943).
 
Story 2211
Northern Attica, Greece September 11, 1943

The patrol was slowly making its way up the hillside. The twenty five men were strung out and tired from scrambling up and down rocks and from cover to cover for the past four hours in the dark. They were at least lucky enough to have been pulled back after lunchtime for a few hours of rest before being briefed. Someone much higher up than their so far useful replacement platoon leader wanted information from the German and Italian positions as well as keeping them on their back foot. So they were tasked to aggressively patrol and see if there was a pathway past a coterie of machine gun nests and mortar pits that had stopped the brigade from advancing for three days.

A mine exploded, a leg was shredded, and a flare erupted. Seconds later, machine guns started to fire and men scrambled to close the distance until half a dozen more mines stopped the attack in its track. The survivors began to seek anything larger than a pebble for cover.
 
Story 2212
Rome, September 11, 1943

The fire brigades were overwhelmed. Several hundred British bombers had struck the capital of the reborn Italian Empire just hours after sunset. The rail yards were an inferno worthy of Dante. A mile upwind of the conflagration , a dozen men committed themselves to being cast into the poet's 9th Circle if they failed left a small townhouse with a plan in place.
 
Rome, September 11, 1943

The fire brigades were overwhelmed. Several hundred British bombers had struck the capital of the reborn Italian Empire just hours after sunset. The rail yards were an inferno worthy of Dante. A mile upwind of the conflagration , a dozen men committed themselves to being cast into the poet's 9th Circle if they failed left a small townhouse with a plan in place.
Are we witnessing the beginnings of Italy's defection from the Axis powers?
 
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