Keynes' Cruisers Volume 2

The Germans have another option. Their FJ units haven't been much misused lately, and they were able to drop them on Sicily in OTL's campaign.
When did the Germans do any drops in Sicily? The fallschirmjagers saw plenty of fighting in Italy, but I'm pretty sure it was all purely ground-based, except for the Mussolini mission.
 
When did the Germans do any drops in Sicily? The fallschirmjagers saw plenty of fighting in Italy, but I'm pretty sure it was all purely ground-based, except for the Mussolini mission.
Their FJ were chewed up in Barbarossa and the few ready brigades went to Greece as a fast reinforcement against ODIN.
 
Well its a good thing Malta has the facilties to sufficiently patch up Manchester for a journey to naval yard in either the US or UK for permanent repairs
 
ISTR in OTL the FJ were tasked with reinforcing Sicily and jumped during the allied invasions as the quickest way to get there. I could be mistaking this for Torch where one of the UK airborne drops was aborted when they saw FJ jumping on their own objective to reinforce it.
 
ISTR in OTL the FJ were tasked with reinforcing Sicily and jumped during the allied invasions as the quickest way to get there. I could be mistaking this for Torch where one of the UK airborne drops was aborted when they saw FJ jumping on their own objective to reinforce it.
You just gave me a wonderfully wicked idea for a war game scenario. 😈
 
When did the Germans do any drops in Sicily? The fallschirmjagers saw plenty of fighting in Italy, but I'm pretty sure it was all purely ground-based, except for the Mussolini mission.
ISTR in OTL the FJ were tasked with reinforcing Sicily and jumped during the allied invasions as the quickest way to get there. I could be mistaking this for Torch where one of the UK airborne drops was aborted when they saw FJ jumping on their own objective to reinforce it.
There's a good account of the deployment in Martin Pöppel's Heaven & Hell: The War Diary of a German Paratrooper.

1 FJ Div was stationed in the south of France, in OKW reserve. The first elements, out of Pogliano, airlanded at Catania on 13 July, some hours before British forces airdropped on them. I think some elements of ! FJ also parachuted in.

The Pöppel book's very good - an honest account of what he thought at the time.
 
Guys take a look here

The Brenner to Verona line passes through 90 bridges, 30 viaducts and a double digit number of tunnels. There is no chance in hell the Germans can pass even with limited resistance. They would need to capture every single bridge and viaduct intact and avoid all kind of traps in the Alps. Moreover, it seems they deal with Alpini: the best trained units in the italian army that have been trained specifically to fight in the Alps. All the panzers in the world are not much of a help in the Alps against such a foe. On the other hand, the Allies are a couple hours away (Corsica) from Genova, La Spezia and Livorno. There are two prizes: Rome as the seat of government and MIlan as the industrial heart. The Allies are much much closer to both.
 
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The Allies need to make contact with the Alpini units and arrange airdrops of SOE or OSS radio and demo teams, to assist. Radio teams can bring allied air support, and Demo teams, additional explosives . Take out the bridges as necessary, after the fighting they are the easiest to repair.
 
The Allies need to make contact with the Alpini units and arrange airdrops of SOE or OSS radio and demo teams, to assist. Radio teams can bring allied air support, and Demo teams, additional explosives . Take out the bridges as necessary, after the fighting they are the easiest to repair.
I think the expertise of SOE and OSS in demolitions is overrated. Experienced miners could do the job just as easily. Regular italian engineer units would have such miners. Trendino and South Tyrol had a lot of active mines back then. They can get explosives from there. Worst case senario a few artillery shells can do the job as well. The SOE/OSS agents would be better deployed in Yugoslavia or northern Greece. Their expertise lies not in their abillity to blow up a bridge but in operating behind enemy lines.
 

Driftless

Donor
The Allies need to make contact with the Alpini units and arrange airdrops of SOE or OSS radio and demo teams, to assist. Radio teams can bring allied air support, and Demo teams, additional explosives . Take out the bridges as necessary, after the fighting they are the easiest to repair.
I think the expertise of SOE and OSS in demolitions is overrated. Experienced miners could do the job just as easily. Regular italian engineer units would have such miners. Trendino and South Tyrol had a lot of active mines back then. They can get explosives from there. Worst case senario a few artillery shells can do the job as well. The SOE/OSS agents would be better deployed in Yugoslavia or northern Greece. Their expertise lies not in their abillity to blow up a bridge but in operating behind enemy lines.
I'd agree on the miners with explosives experience being very capable for the task, but the need is immediate. Get whoever you can with those skills to the Pass ASAP.

Alistair Maclean could use this situation for this timelines "Breakheart Pass". Captain Mallory and Corporal Miller mixing it up with the Alpini and Geibirgsjagers.

*edit* perhaps "Force Ten From Malta" might be a better title.
 
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Guys take a look here

The Brenner to Verona line passes through 90 bridges, 30 viaducts and a double digit number of tunnels. There is no chance in hell the Germans can pass even with limited resistance. They would need to capture every single bridge and viaduct intact and avoid all kind of traps in the Alps. Moreover, it seems they deal with Alpini: the best trained units in the italian army that have been trained specifically to fight in the Alps. All the panzers in the world are not much of a help in the Alps against such a foe. On the other hand, the Allies are a couple hours away (Corsica) from Genova, La Spezia and Livorno. There are two prizes: Rome as the seat of government and MIlan as the industrial heart. The Allies are much much closer to both.
Theoretically the Germans can get in Italy through France and Yugoslavia but neither are that easy as the Italians control those entry points too.
Yugoslavia is probably the best bet for the Germans if they can't take control of Northern Italy right away. France is really limited to a handful of mountain passes, with only marginally better terrain than the Brenner.
 
Yugoslavia is probably the best bet for the Germans if they can't take control of Northern Italy right away. France is really limited to a handful of mountain passes, with only marginally better terrain than the Brenner.
Indeed! The Italian have also a corps in southern France. The Germans have to first capture/destroy the corps and only then they can start crossing the Alps.

Regarding Yugoslavia the question is Ljubljana as it is the main hub towards Italy. The Italians are already in control of the city. If they sabotage the marshalling yard there and a couple of bridges around the city they postpone the invasion by a few days. Then the Germans have to capture intact all the viaducts and bridges up to Trieste. The line's viaducts were OTL targets of the partizans (source http://www.znaci.net/00001/179.pdf). After the Germans pass through the Ljubljana gap and reach Trieste then they have to cross a number of rivers, among which Isonzo is the most famous. More bridges then. So, the only way to rush to Italy despite italian resistance would have been with very large fully motorized units that include many engineer units and material for a dozen main bridges. Somehow I doubt they could provide such a mobile army at this point, when they have to zerg rush the Balkans as well and southern France east of the Rhone. My guess would be that we may see a front along the OTL Po or Adige lines. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/32/Ww2_europe_map_italy_june_until_december_1944.jpg

The only other viable line is the OTL Gothic Line but between the Allies in Corsica/Sardinia and an active italian resistance, well, it seems that ship has sailed.
 
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Driftless

Donor
How much of the Italian coup is understood by the Soviet high command? i.e How capable are they of quickly reacting to the changing situation on their own front and can they have any influence on Soviet-leaning partisans in the Balkans?
 
Indeed! The Italian have also a corps in southern France. The Germans have to first capture/destroy the corps and only then they can start crossing the Alps.

Regarding Yugoslavia the question is Ljubljana as it is the main hub towards Italy. The Italians are already in control of the city. If they sabotage the marshalling yard there and a couple of bridges around the city they postpone the invasion by a few days. Then the Germans have to capture intact all the viaducts and bridges up to Trieste. The line's viaducts were OTL targets of the partizans (source http://www.znaci.net/00001/179.pdf). After the Germans pass through the Ljubljana gap and reach Trieste then they have to cross a number of rivers, among which Isonzo is the most famous. More bridges then. So, the only way to rush to Italy despite italian resistance would have been with very large fully motorized units that include many engineer units and material for a dozen main bridges. Somehow I doubt they could provide such a mobile army at this point, when they have to zerg rush the Balkans as well and southern France east of the Rhone. My guess would be that we may see a front along the OTL Po or Adige lines. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/32/Ww2_europe_map_italy_june_until_december_1944.jpg

The only other viable line is the OTL Gothic Line but between the Allies in Corsica/Sardinia and an active italian resistance, well, it seems that ship has sailed.
The Alpini have organic engineer and demolition units up there that would have the necessary explosives available. Depending on the year the bridges and tunnels were built, they could have built in “mining” pans/chambers built into their designs to enable them to demolish it. They could even had been filled with the explosives over a short time to have them ready to set off on a short notice.
 
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