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If you were the Central Powers would you prefer Italy or the Ottoman Empire?

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  • If you were the Central Powers would you prefer Italy or the Ottoman Empire?

    If you were Germany or Austria-Hungary, which ally would you pursue the Italians or the Ottoman Turks? Being that the two hated each other and just fought the Italo-Turkish War in 1911-1912 they couldn't be on the same side. Which one would you choose and why?


    Kingdom of Italy Coat of Arms


    Ottoman Empire Coat of Arms
    34
    The Kingdom of Italy- "Long live Giuseppe Garibaldi!"
    41.18%
    14
    The Ottoman Empire- "The Sultan must take the Turks into another Golden Age!"
    23.53%
    8
    Both Somehow?- "Can't we all just get along."
    17.65%
    6
    Neither- "Both countries are worthless and will only drag us all down!"
    5.88%
    2
    A different country- "I've got a better idea!"
    11.76%
    4

  • #2
    I'd say Italy in a heartbeat. Besides my loathing of all things Islam and my desire to see Thrace back in Greek hands, the Ottomans are dangerously exposed to Allied movements across a semi-divided Persia (that is between Russia and the UK) and British Egypt, which a good guesswork would conclude would be impregnable to Ottoman forces. Italy has a larger navy, bigger industrial base (not sure how much), directly threatens France, and the only place they are vulnerable to the Allies is Libya, which is utterly worthless to their war effort anyway. Offer them Savoy and Nice and they will divert at least as many Allied soldiers as all the Med operations combined and for the duration of the war. Let's not forget this also relives the Austrians entirely of the Alps front. This could be vital in the counterattacks to retake Lemberg(?).

    Italy could not possibly be a worse choice than the Ottomans. And the Italians killed far fewer Christians in the 19th and 20th centuries than the Turks.
    How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
    275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

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    • #3
      Italy like Wolery said, it closes the Austrian front and opens one at Savoy.

      The ottoman empire was falling apart and was not nearly as powerful as it once was, although it caused some grief for the british (Gallipoli campaign) They simply relieved british strain, if it was Italy it would relieve French strain (and if france is down then The Central powers can get a favorable treaty, and it would remove that entire front for Austria.
      God didn’t create evil. Evil is the result of when man does not have God's love in his heart.It's the cold when there is no heat.The darkness that comes when there is no light

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Jay217 View Post
        Italy like Wolery said, it closes the Austrian front and opens one at Savoy.

        The ottoman empire was falling apart and was not nearly as powerful as it once was, although it caused some grief for the british (Gallipoli campaign) They simply relieved british strain, if it was Italy it would relieve French strain (and if france is down then The Central powers can get a favorable treaty, and it would remove that entire front for Austria.
        What do you think would be the Mediterranean naval situation? I see the Central Powers would have the Allies at a bind in that theater too.

        Assuming the Italians joined in 1914 not 15 to the Central Powers, could the initial invasion of France by the Germans have made it to Paris?

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        • #5
          Oh Colt, in the visitor's message thing you mentioned a Gallipoli in Sicily. I think that's a possibility but like you said, most of the Fleet is tied up in the North Sea. Also consider that Italy's navy is coal powered and until the navy of WWII, the Italian Navy has a lot more freedom to roam, not depending on oil. If I were the Italians I would be quite scared of amphibious assaults, but given the way the British bungled Gallipoli historically, the Italians would beat the Allies back handidly. However, it might spread Italian manpower a bit thin and keep the Savoy front quieter than I'd like.
          How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
          275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Wolery View Post
            Oh Colt, in the visitor's message thing you mentioned a Gallipoli in Sicily. I think that's a possibility but like you said, most of the Fleet is tied up in the North Sea. Also consider that Italy's navy is coal powered and until the navy of WWII, the Italian Navy has a lot more freedom to roam, not depending on oil. If I were the Italians I would be quite scared of amphibious assaults, but given the way the British bungled Gallipoli historically, the Italians would beat the Allies back handidly. However, it might spread Italian manpower a bit thin and keep the Savoy front quieter than I'd like.

            I think the Italians could use mines like the Turks did, around Sicily and between the Boot and Sicily and between Malta and Sicily. They could keep the Allies afraid to venture too far. Plus along Libya if they didn't abandon it to the Allies. But I definitely see the Allies trying an amphibious invasion, the Brits were perverted over amphibious invasions. It was their thing for centuries.

            I like the odds in France though, I see the CP navy bombarding the coastline in Savoy. If the Turks were neutral would they let the Russians through the Bosphorus? Would they have no choice?

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            • #7
              I would prefer both to be friendly neutrals. As the Ottomans showed in WW1 and the Italians in WW2 they were only going to be a burden as allies as long as the British ruled the sea.
              Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

              That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Rojik View Post
                I would prefer both to be friendly neutrals. As the Ottomans showed in WW1 and the Italians in WW2 they were only going to be a burden as allies as long as the British ruled the sea.
                Could the Gents hold the Germans in port in the North Sea and keep the Italian and Austrian fleets in check in the Med.?

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                • #9
                  Question: I one read that due to Ottoman Empire joining the Central Powers, the French and British trade with Russia was seriously interrupted, apparently all other routes at this time being vastly inferior in capacity. This allegedly prevented the French and British from sending more guns and ammunition to the Russians, which would have made things more complicated for the Central Powers on the Eastern Front.

                  Are these two two hypothesis (that the Ottoman entry into the war severely restricted western allied trade with Russia and that such trade would have significantly improved Russian strength) true?
                  Reaction to the 2016 Munich shootings:
                  Europe: "We are shocked and support you in these harsh times, we stand by you."
                  USA: "We will check people from Germany extra-hard and it is your own damn fault for being so stupid."

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                  • #10
                    On paper Italy is better at everything.

                    What an Italy would do for damn sure as a Central Powers member, would be to make the Med a central theatre of operations. The combined Anglo-French Med fleet would need to close the Strait of Otranto to bottle up the Austrian navy like was done historically, but also take out the Reggia Marina outside the Adriatic at least (venturing into it would seem a bit suicidal).

                    Considering the bulk of the French navy was located in the Med, and alone outmatched the Italians and Austrians, Italy would likely be in serious trouble before long. The Anglo-French fleets would also be complimented by the Turks, and more importantly, the Russian Black Sea squadron.

                    For overall strategic importance, unless the Austrian-Italian navies can't somehow dispatch the French la Royale, the RN itself, the Turks and the Russians combined - and that is beyond remote as posibilities go - the Entente would have the opportunity of supplying the Russians through the Black Sea, which could mean a Russia holding out longer, putting up a better fight in the east.

                    Also, since Italy wil hardly be able to defend its immense coastline outside the Adriatic, the combined Entente fleets would sooner or later be free to more or less pick and chose where to strike Italy. Considering the UK alone had a 1 million troops in the Mid East by the actual war's end, which now wouldn't be engaging the Ottomans, it would seem probable they would be slated for operations in Italy.

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                    • #11
                      I went with the Ottoman Empire. Johan posted a number of facts that I agree with. If I might highlight:

                      The Alps would be an extremely formidable barrier for Italy to overcome - consider the Italian failures in the region in 1940. Thus, it wouldn't take very many French troops to hold the sector at all.

                      I agree with Johan the Italian fleet would have been bottled up and rendered impotent by the French fleet plus the British Med. Fleet. If the Italians ventured to battle, even if accompanied by the Austrians, they would be wiped out.

                      As for Johnny Turk, the location of the Ottoman Empire makes it a real threat to the British because of proximity to Suez. Another poster pointed out that the fact that supplying Russia through the Black Sea was no longer an option. More munitions for the Russians might have meant a more difficult war for the Germans and the k.u.k.

                      Johan correctly notes the million British and Commonwealth troops in the Middle East. Lets also not forget the large Anglo-French army at Salonika. I suspect if the Turks aren't in the war, some or most of those forces might have been detailed to the Western Front as well.

                      The one thing I might differ on with Johan is the notion that these troops would be detailed for operations in Italy. I would think the Italians would be left alone on land for the most part. Perhaps an amphibious operation in the southern part of the country to further pen in the Austrian and Italian fleets, assuming those fleets haven't ventured forth and been wiped out. Of course, as I write that, it occurs to me once a foothold is established, it could grow, just like Salonika eventually did. In which case the million troops Johan mentioned might well have found themselves in Italy.

                      In the end, the best advantage of having the Italians in the Central Powers camp is the likelihood of more k.u.k. troops to fight the Russians. Given the k.u.k. performance against said Russians, that might have led only to more k.u.k. soldiers inside Russian prison camps.

                      Maybe some Italian troops would have fought on the Western Front. I'm not sure how motivated they would have been, or what their impact might have been, other than freeing up some German divisions to be bled white somewhere else.

                      Finally, I would pose the question - why would Italy want to join the CP? Yes I know about the Triple Alliance. Nonetheless, Italy's primary adversary was, and its territorial ambitions lay against Austria-Hungary. The CP offered little by comparison except maybe getting back Savoy and some (apparently) worthless stretches of desert.

                      Anyway, just some thoughts. Great idea for a topic.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 45Colt View Post
                        If you were Germany or Austria-Hungary, which ally would you pursue the Italians or the Ottoman Turks? Being that the two hated each other and just fought the Italo-Turkish War in 1911-1912 they couldn't be on the same side. Which one would you choose and why?


                        Kingdom of Italy Coat of Arms


                        Ottoman Empire Coat of Arms
                        Great topic, though I think there was very little chance that Italy would join the CP. Once Italy was offered what it wanted in Tyrol, Dalmatia and Istria- it was a done deal for them.

                        The Austrians never would have given all that up, nor even a portion of it, hence I think there is almost zero chance-especially with the politics within Italy at the time. And the most ironic thing- the Italians did not get what they felt had been promised at the Treaty of London either.

                        An even more intriguing 'What If' in my opinion would be what Lundendorf once wrote about; 'Germany could have easily maintained a defensive stance against France and massed the majority of its forces in East Prussia, as well as Galcia with the intent on launching a vast encircling movement aimed at Bret-Litovsk thus creating a huge pocket around Warsaw. There would have been no invasion of Belgium- no BEF and no involvement by the Royal Navy and German/Austrian naval supremacy would have dominated the seas.'

                        http://www.archive.org/details/MyWarMemories19481918

                        Last edited by Bladerunnernyc; 21 Jun 10, 12:11.

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                        • #13
                          If the Italians were incapable of working with the Austrians, why on earth did they sign the Triple Alliance? And more than that why did Germnany presue them as an ally?
                          How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
                          275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

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                          • #14
                            If I recall Crispi's memoirs correctly, it was as a hedge against France and the possibility a new monarchy might take power and seek war. But I misremember sometimes.

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                            • #15
                              Hmm interesting..

                              I went for both.

                              Italy could have entered the war in 1914,maybe if Germans and Austrians informed them in time about war against Serbia.

                              Advantages of picking Italy are obvious.Powerful but small A-H navy is free to operate in Mediterranean,and backed by even larger Italian fleet.
                              However I must doubt usefulness of Italian fleet,especially if RN decided to use submarines and large minefields.
                              In "real" war,despite the qualitative and numerical superiority of the Italian battle fleet was largely neutralized by the need to avoid engagements in confined coastal waters, where Austria might achieve a local advantage, and by the need to guard against sorties by the Central Powers. Austria had a small but nonetheless powerful navy that might have caused major problems if it attacked the Otranto Barrage, the vast blockade, mine and net barrier that closed the southern extremity of the Adriatic to Austria.
                              So we have to ask ourself what could have happened if Regia Marina attacked French led Allied fleet.(Anglo-French naval agreement 1914)
                              In 1917,while Italian fleet was leaving Brindisi to evacuate Serbian Army from Albania,sudden sinking of one destroyer caused by A-H torpedo or mine,had as consequence of returning entire fleet back to base!Only a heavy diplomatic pressure forced senior Italian admirals to take a risk.
                              However sailors and lower officers were courageous and good,as MAS showed.
                              Probably Serbian Army would have surrendered in 1916 and Salonika front never opened if Italy joined Central powers,and Greece might have joined them too if Ottomans went to Allies (through both very improbable).
                              Libya could be defended successfully IMHO,because of desert terrain and lack of motor/armour to isolate Italian garrisons as in 1940.
                              The front in Alps would have been very difficult to overcome.French did had fortresses over there (since Italy officially belonged to Central Powers) and that area is even more heavier to attack than Dolomites because of even higher mountains and cold temperatures (even in summer,snow is not melting and frostbite is possible) and as in area of Gorizia,only a small coastal area is possibly to breach easily (yep,where Napoleon entered Italy ) ....probably result would be dozen of Italian offensives achieving nothing like on Isonzo river.
                              About Italian "Galipoli"...Doubt highly about it..Regia Marina was much more serious opponent than Turkish fleet,and sudden attack on Rome or Sicily would have risked greatly.

                              However in economical sense,Italy would have been a burden for Germans.Turkey was vital in that sense,their army sucked sure,but they had great quantities of oil and copper,both absolutely necessary for Central powers war effort.

                              Actually Germans hurried 1915 offensive in Serbia only to be able to transport copper from Turkey and mine same in Serbia.In same manner,Serbian-Allied breakthrough in Salonika in 1918,was far more significant than most historians know exacly for that reason.Germans hoped to create a new defensive barrier on Rhine,however after loosing probably 80% of copper in 1918,long term war became impossible according to Caiser.
                              It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge.

                              Косово је Србија!
                              Never go to war with a country whose national holiday celebrates a defeat in 1389.

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