Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Mussolini stays Neutral

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #31
    Originally posted by Michele View Post
    That's a correct observation. I had missed the fact that the British entered a formal agreement with Greece before the Pact of Steel, not after it, so the non-existence of the latter in this ATL doesn't do away with the British-Greek alliance.
    Missed that myself.

    Thre is another alternative then. In this scenario Mussolini hasn't signed the 'Pact of Steel', so he is less inclined to pay attention to what Hitler wants. In OTL Yugoslavia was his preferred target anyway. In this TL, wary of going to war with the UK - even a distracted UK - he decides that Yugoslavia is a better option than Greece. Not only does he now have two flanks on which to advance, but he is convinvced that the Ustache who have been training in Italy will destabilize Yugoslavia & split it in two.

    Swelled by troop & equipment from Libya, East Africa & even the French border the offensive kicks off in the same week as Germany invades France (coincidence). Things do not go well. There are some initial advances, on all fronts, but they soon grind to a halt. Greater progress is made along the Dalmatian coast, where RM support helps. Logistics are a mess. Results in the air are mixed too. Additionally, Hitler is furious at this distraction. The only good news for Mussolini is that the Ustache units fight well & the promise of a Croatian state is having an impact on the other side.

    There are also problems on the Yugoslav side. Fears that Romania & Bulgaria might take advantage mean that the Army is geographically divided. Hopes that Germany might help are dashed early when Hitler demands both sides cease fighting. Worse, there are rumblings in Croatia. Some units have resfused to fight. Some soldiers have even deserted & tried to join the new 'Croat Republic' that has been declared on a few slivers of occupied land.

    The war slogs on for months, Mussolini refusing to accept he has made a terrible mistake, Yugoslavia convinced it can win. By October things are becoming dire for both sides. Italian forces are being pushed back into Italy. Parts of Croatia are close to rebellion. Both sides are running low on supplies. The Yugoslav government is turning to Britain for help & small amounts have begun to trickle through Greece. Hitler decides to act. He cuts off trade with Yugoslavia, virtually bringing its economy to a halt. He also places sanctions on Italy & threatens Greece if it does not cut off supplies to Yugoslavia. He is determined not to give Britain a foothold on the continent. The RM is warning Mussolini that British intervention risks restrictions to its movements & possible losses.

    In late October the Treaty of Berlin is signed. Still keen to keep good relations with Mussolini (that fleet looks nice) italy gets to keep a few small bits of Yugoslav territory as a face saver, but has to expel the Ustache (many of whom end up volunteering for the SS when Russia is invaded) & give away a few useless bits of Albania. Yugoslavia gets territorial guarantees from Germany & is part of a new pact with Romania & Bulgaria. Greece becomes an axis - aligned neutral. Mussolini is publically furious with Hitler & refuses further overtures to a closer alliance. Privately he is aware that he has been saved an even greater humiliation. The army is a wreck & so is the airforce.

    That work any better?
    Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

    Comment


    • #32
      One wonders how much more on that sort of failure the powerfull and wealthy would put up with from Il Duce. In OTL it took worse disasters for action to be taken on replacing Mussolini, but the specific circumstances were different.

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
        One wonders how much more on that sort of failure the powerfull and wealthy would put up with from Il Duce. In OTL it took worse disasters for action to be taken on replacing Mussolini, but the specific circumstances were different.
        I'm working on the assumption that if Italy doesn't lose any more than lives, equipment and a bit of useless territory in Albania & gains a few Dalmatian islands & a few towns in Slovenia they will leave him be. Historically it took the loss of about half of Italy & all its colonies for them to grow a pair. They will probably be the ones pressuring Mussolini to take the deal in the first place. Yugoslavia will swallow it as the price of having an economy, internal stability & security.

        What I'm trying to find here is a way for Mussolini to sit on the sidelines without having to make him too different from the historical Mussolini. I just can't see him sitting on his hands in 1940 even if he isn't allied to Hitler. It is one thing to contrive for him not to take on Britain & France, but somebody is going to get invaded. I figure that after getting chewed up in Yugoslavia & off side with Hitler and some powerful people at home he is going to sit out 1941 & 1942. The economy & military need rebuilding & there is money ot be made in other people's wars. Britain will put up with the blockade running for now as the price of a secure Med, at least until the USN turns up. By that point things have probably turned in the East (if not as severely as in OTL), the Americans are in the war & Italy's Vichy neigbours in Nth Africa have been removed from the war.
        Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

        Comment


        • #34
          Italy staying neutral would see larger British and C/W troops deployed to other theaters

          Regards
          "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

          "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower

          Comment


          • #35
            It would also save the RN a Battleship, 2 Carriers, 20 Cruisers, 67 Destroyers and 45 Submarines. The Germans would save 68 U-Boats, but I really think that the Brits get the better side of that deal.
            Diadochi Rising Wargame:
            King Pairisades I of the Bosporan Kingdom

            Comment


            • #36
              That savings list alone makes a difference in Asia as japan becomes desperate. Add in savings in good quality soldiers & trained leaders/staff, airforces, armor, supplies.... and it is possible Yamashita is defeated in Northern Maylasia. No Singapore debacle, loss of Burma. That discomobulates Japans attacks on Luzon and the Netherlands East Indies.

              Alternately Britain might become involved in a campaign in Europe as costly as Africa was, and little changes in Asia.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                That savings list alone makes a difference in Asia as japan becomes desperate. Add in savings in good quality soldiers & trained leaders/staff, airforces, armor, supplies.... and it is possible Yamashita is defeated in Northern Maylasia. No Singapore debacle, loss of Burma. That discomobulates Japans attacks on Luzon and the Netherlands East Indies.

                Alternately Britain might become involved in a campaign in Europe as costly as Africa was, and little changes in Asia.
                I doubt Britain will be trying to return to France before '43 or '44 after what happened in 1940. More likely is an attempt on Narvik and the surrounding area in late '41 or early '42, which would be fairly limited in scale for obvious reasons. Without a North African campaign, I really can't see all those Indian, New Zealander and Australian units being siphoned off from the far East.
                Diadochi Rising Wargame:
                King Pairisades I of the Bosporan Kingdom

                Comment


                • #38
                  I'd not begain to predict where a Norwegian campaign might go. Germanys leaders have half the vote of how to escalate it.

                  Tho we might speculate not as many tanks would be used there as on the Africa plains.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Anacreon View Post
                    I doubt Britain will be trying to return to France before '43 or '44 after what happened in 1940. More likely is an attempt on Narvik and the surrounding area in late '41 or early '42, which would be fairly limited in scale for obvious reasons. Without a North African campaign, I really can't see all those Indian, New Zealander and Australian units being siphoned off from the far East.
                    What if Italy stays out of WWII but tries to expand its holdings by taking on Vichy France?

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      ..hmm.

                      The Armistice text required France to defend all its territory against attackers and not to allow any other nation to make any military intrusion. Germany also had the right to intervene and send military force onto French territory to repel any other military force on said territory. Germany soon bent that by telling the Japanese government it would not oppose a Japanese military occupation of Indo China.

                      Germany might try to bribe Mussolini by allowing the Italian military occupation of Tunisia, or perhaps Syrian ports. That of course risks British retaliation. Would Hitler be rational enough to balance the benefits of a nuetral Italy against having the Med closed to trade and Italy blockaded? Perhaps sucha thing might be tried in the hope of drawing italy into a Germany alliance and defeating Britain with a African campaign...

                      German leadership might not trust the Italians with such a gift. If the reason Italy remains nuetral is because Mussolini does not hold the same power as in OTL, or was incapacitated after falling in the bath, then such a approval or gift may not seem wise.

                      Alternately if a arrogant Mussolini attempts attacking French territory without German aggreement then the reaction may be very negative. Mussolini blundering into a war with Germany in 1941 or 1942 certainly alters things

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by BF69 View Post
                        I'm working on the assumption that if Italy doesn't lose any more than lives, equipment and a bit of useless territory in Albania & gains a few Dalmatian islands & a few towns in Slovenia they will leave him be. Historically it took the loss of about half of Italy & all its colonies for them to grow a pair. They will probably be the ones pressuring Mussolini to take the deal in the first place. Yugoslavia will swallow it as the price of having an economy, internal stability & security.

                        What I'm trying to find here is a way for Mussolini to sit on the sidelines without having to make him too different from the historical Mussolini. I just can't see him sitting on his hands in 1940 even if he isn't allied to Hitler. It is one thing to contrive for him not to take on Britain & France, but somebody is going to get invaded. I figure that after getting chewed up in Yugoslavia & off side with Hitler and some powerful people at home he is going to sit out 1941 & 1942. The economy & military need rebuilding & there is money ot be made in other people's wars. Britain will put up with the blockade running for now as the price of a secure Med, at least until the USN turns up. By that point things have probably turned in the East (if not as severely as in OTL), the Americans are in the war & Italy's Vichy neigbours in Nth Africa have been removed from the war.
                        That is a tough one. Perhaps the Balkans and Norther Africa keep Il Duce's interest. He can't expand too far withour running afoul of either British or French colonies or protecotrates, though.
                        "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
                        George Mason
                        Co-author of the Second Amendment
                        during Virginia’s Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Cyberknight View Post
                          That is a tough one. Perhaps the Balkans and Norther Africa keep Il Duce's interest. He can't expand too far withour running afoul of either British or French colonies or protecotrates, though.
                          Yugoslavia was an alliance orphan at the time (Czechoslovakia gone, France having other fish to fry, Romania and Turkey being in all likelyhood unwilling), and in actual history, before the stunt attack on Greece, Italy was amassing troops at the border. Troops in Albania coul dhave cooperated by pushing North instead of SW. Whether that would have been a success, is another matter; but certainly it was easier to feed the thrust directly from the metropolitan territory than across Albania. The Croatians would proclaim independence as a fascist satellite.
                          Michele

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Michele View Post
                            Yugoslavia was an alliance orphan at the time (Czechoslovakia gone, France having other fish to fry, Romania and Turkey being in all likelyhood unwilling), and in actual history, before the stunt attack on Greece, Italy was amassing troops at the border. Troops in Albania coul dhave cooperated by pushing North instead of SW. Whether that would have been a success, is another matter; but certainly it was easier to feed the thrust directly from the metropolitan territory than across Albania. The Croatians would proclaim independence as a fascist satellite.
                            Given that Yugoslavia had over 1 million men mobilized in 1941, a number of modern fighters (including Me 109s), tanks & a few other things Greece lacked I'm betting Italy is going to struggle. Logistics will be better & the Croat issue is a bit of a wild card for Yugoslavia, but I'm still betting that Yugoslavia holds its own for long enough for this to become a problem for Italy.
                            Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by BF69 View Post
                              Given that Yugoslavia had over 1 million men mobilized in 1941, a number of modern fighters (including Me 109s), tanks & a few other things Greece lacked I'm betting Italy is going to struggle. Logistics will be better & the Croat issue is a bit of a wild card for Yugoslavia, but I'm still betting that Yugoslavia holds its own for long enough for this to become a problem for Italy.
                              Against Italy alone?

                              In 1935,as answer to Italian "Vallo Alpino" fortifications,Yugoslavs constructed so-called Rupnik line,divided in 6 sectors and covering all major routes into Slovenia from Italy.By 1941 over 40.000 soldiers worked on it,and while rendered useless by German attack from Austria and Hungary,it would have probably cost Italians a lot of losses.

                              Yugoslav war plans considered offensives against Italian Zara/Zadar enclave on Dalmatian coast,as well against Albania.In fact they launched limited attacks in Northern Albania during the first days of April War.

                              Technically on paper,Yugoslavia represented a very hard opponent for Italy.In practice however,there is to wonder how various ethnics would fight united.Separation of the country was catalyzed by German blitzkrieg rather than popular revolt,and plenty of units initially offered a spirited defense.
                              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.

                              Armored Brigade

                              Armored Brigade Facebook page

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by nikolas93TS View Post
                                Against Italy alone?

                                In 1935,as answer to Italian "Vallo Alpino" fortifications,Yugoslavs constructed so-called Rupnik line,divided in 6 sectors and covering all major routes into Slovenia from Italy.By 1941 over 40.000 soldiers worked on it,and while rendered useless by German attack from Austria and Hungary,it would have probably cost Italians a lot of losses.

                                Yugoslav war plans considered offensives against Italian Zara/Zadar enclave on Dalmatian coast,as well against Albania.In fact they launched limited attacks in Northern Albania during the first days of April War.

                                Technically on paper,Yugoslavia represented a very hard opponent for Italy.In practice however,there is to wonder how various ethnics would fight united.Separation of the country was catalyzed by German blitzkrieg rather than popular revolt,and plenty of units initially offered a spirited defense.
                                In this version it is Italy alone. It is 1940 and Italy isn't going to go to war with Britain or France, so resources from Nth Africa can be freed up. Yugoslavia probably can't completely strip her Nth & East borders, but Germany is busy & Greece is probably a de facto ally, so unless Romania & Bulgaria decide to jump in it is Just Italy & Yugoslavia. I imagine some less reliable Croat troops can be left to watch the nth & East.

                                My bet is that Italy can take a bunch of Dalmatian islands & perhaps some coast with navy support. Perhaps the NDH set up their new 'nation' on Vis - big & far enough away from Yugoslavia to make it hard to re-take. Beyond that it is going to be hard work. As I suggested top of page, I can see a stalemate emerging very rapidly with neither side able to gain an advantage. italy might even get pushed back. Eventually I forsee Germany forcing a settlement.
                                Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X