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Fischfang slaughter's Anzio's whale

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  • Fischfang slaughter's Anzio's whale

    The February 18 1944 German Operation Fischfang succeeds. The beach head crumbles and Shingle's 'whale' is diced up.

    10,000 Anglo-Americans are casualties and 20,000 go in the bag. Monte Cassino never falls and the Allies never get beyond the Adolf Hitler Line.

    Eisenhower, desirous of revenge and wary of a repeat, delays Overlord by a month, sending over the extra British airborne division and increasing the landing beaches from 5 to 7.

    The war ends as per OTL, the only difference being that Soviet soldiers get to sun themselves in northern Italy.



  • #2
    How do you propose the Germans do this? They did launch several offensives against the beachhead that failed.

    Comment


    • #3
      How did the Soviets get into Italy?

      Frankly, except to the men involved, the loss of Anzio wouldn't be that big of a deal.

      And Overlord's planning was so complex that postponing it was unlikely.

      Not that thirty days made much difference-we lost that much when the fuel ran out in the fall.
      Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
        How did the Soviets get into Italy?
        Good question given that Tito was not about to let the Russians into Yugoslavia.

        Frankly, except to the men involved, the loss of Anzio wouldn't be that big of a deal.

        And Overlord's planning was so complex that postponing it was unlikely.

        Not that thirty days made much difference-we lost that much when the fuel ran out in the fall.
        Anzio was planned on the basis of not effecting Overlord. The LST's used in the landings were "on loan" just long enough that they wouldn't be unavailable for the Normandy landings. That is one reason that Anzio was so small as an assault. No more lift could be spared for it without affecting Overlord, and that took priority.

        Even so, I don't see the Germans taking the beachhead without committing considerably more troops than they did. My guess for a win is they have to pull 3 or 4 panzer divisions out of France and a couple of infantry divisions along with aircraft from the East front, Norway, or elsewhere to support the assault particularly by attacking the naval support the Allies have off shore.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
          Good question given that Tito was not about to let the Russians into Yugoslavia.



          Anzio was planned on the basis of not effecting Overlord. The LST's used in the landings were "on loan" just long enough that they wouldn't be unavailable for the Normandy landings. That is one reason that Anzio was so small as an assault. No more lift could be spared for it without affecting Overlord, and that took priority.

          Even so, I don't see the Germans taking the beachhead without committing considerably more troops than they did. My guess for a win is they have to pull 3 or 4 panzer divisions out of France and a couple of infantry divisions along with aircraft from the East front, Norway, or elsewhere to support the assault particularly by attacking the naval support the Allies have off shore.
          I agree. Not to mention that the Germans effectively 'won' at Anzio by keeping the beach head contained.
          Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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          • #6
            Here's a copy paste of a post in the Southern France Invasion thread here in Alternates. Provided since the links detail units of both sides involved and provided seversl maps for consideration.

            Looking a bit more into the Anzio Landings, came across this;
            ANZIO
            BEACHHEAD
            22 JANUARY - 25 MAY 1944



            CENTER OF MILITARY HISTORY
            UNITED STATES ARMY
            WASHINGTON, D.C., 1990
            First printed by the Historical Division, War Department, for the American Forces in Action series, 1948
            http://www.history.army.mil/books/ww...io-fm.htm#cont

            The Wiki page;
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Shingle

            Another CMH offering;
            http://www.history.army.mil/brochures/anzio/72-19.htm

            The photo album may be of interest;
            http://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=313

            Comment


            • #7
              The Germans massed for an offensive historically...

              2 Panzer divisions (26th, Hermann Göring)
              3 Panzer grenadier divisions (3rd, 29th, 16th SS Reichfuhrer)
              6 infantry divisions (4th FJ, 65, Lehr (the infantry one), 245, 362, and 114)
              They threw in Tigers and a company of Elefants as well along with artillery etc.

              This was arrayed against 4 Allied divisions:

              1st and 56th Infantry British, 3rd and 45th Infantry US

              Yet, the Germans made virtually zero inroads into the beachhead in heavy fighting.

              Throwing in another 4 or 5 infantry and 3 or 4 panzer divisions they might have had a chance to win. Of course, that denudes France of considerable assets to accomplish since it is the only theater where the Germans really have disengaged troops. Some of the infantry might come from Norway but only if the unit(s) were upgraded.
              It certainly would have made D-Day easier.

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              • #8
                The German units used in that operation were also sub par and suffering from shortages. (including the two panzer divisions).
                Zhitomir-Berdichev, West of Kiev: 24 Dec 1943-31 Jan 1944
                Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army
                Barbarossa Derailed I & II
                Battle of Kalinin October 1941

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post
                  The German units used in that operation were also sub par and suffering from shortages. (including the two panzer divisions).
                  Ironically they were fairly high up in the priority for material & trained replacements. A look at the new units and old units rebuilding in France in January reveals them as sever levels below subpar.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post
                    The German units used in that operation were also sub par and suffering from shortages. (including the two panzer divisions).
                    Ironically they were fairly high up in the priority for material & trained replacements. A look at the new units and old units rebuilding in France in January reveals them as several levels below subpar. The Axis military was attritioning away at a unsustainable and increasing rate. January was the same month the loss of fighter aircraft & trained pilots over German became catastrophic.

                    Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                    Frankly, except to the men involved, the loss of Anzio wouldn't be that big of a deal.

                    And Overlord's planning was so complex that postponing it was unlikely.

                    Not that thirty days made much difference-we lost that much when the fuel ran out in the fall.
                    Most likely outcome for Overlord is it is even more over insured, with even more bits squeezed into the attack somehow.

                    There is also the question of Op Anvils reincarnation as Op Dragoon. Eisenhower had been badly disappointed that Anvil could not be made in April as planned, and worked hard to revive it. With the Anzio lodgement evacuated shipping would be freed up to move Op Dragoon forward a few weeks. A early August or even a late July date is not impossible.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cult Icon View Post
                      The German units used in that operation were also sub par and suffering from shortages. (including the two panzer divisions).
                      Really? I don't think so.

                      26th Panzer had both battalions of tanks available including a near full strength Panther battalion.

                      HG has 6 battalions of panzer grenadiers, a full flak battalion, and a Tiger company attached. Numerically, it is one of the strongest panzer divisions in existence.

                      The Lehr division was made up of instructors and other well trained troops.

                      16th SS Reichfuhrer includes a very strong Sturmgeschultz battalion and is full strength.

                      3rd and 29th PzGr are both veteran divisions with lots of experience.

                      The infantry divisions are a mix but all are reinforced by assault guns including Elefants.

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                      • #12
                        If Anzio had fallen, didn't the British have a plan for a landing at the northern end of the Adriatic?

                        I don't have the refs, but I think it was for somewhere around Trieste, and set to angle up into Slovenia.
                        "Why is the Rum gone?"

                        -Captain Jack

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                        • #13
                          Yes. like the Anzio attack Churchill was pushing for other invasions along the coast of the Adriatic. As it was the US leaders were more than a bit fed up with Churchills frequent proposals for further Mediteranean operations. They wanted to get on with attacking Germany more directly. Since Churchill was the only real supporter of Op Shingle, Clark and others had written reservations or protests against it, his further proposals for Adriatic or Mediteranean operations might very well be ignored. Eisenhower was largely blowing off Churchills 'suggestions' by early 1944 anyway. Perhaps Wilson, Alexander, Brooke, ect... would have been firmer in this as well.

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                          • #14
                            I'd need to check my sources, but IIRC Butcher noted in his diary something along the lines that Shingle would show what a bold commander Eisenhower was, but it didn't make it into the published version. There may be a difference between commanders attitude at the time, and what they claimed in their memoirs.

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                            • #15
                              Before the November Eureka Confrence, and before Eisenhowers appointment to command SHAEF & Op Overlord Op shingle had been proposed, a Appreciation written up by the SACMED staff, and a brief Outline Plan. None of that represented a intent but was one of many outline plans generated as part of the ongoing investigative process in finding specific operations that would achieve the stratigic goals. Ike was not ethusiastic about the Shingle outline plan, agreeing with his staff that a operation large enough to be decisive would require more landing craft than would be available. It appears his review of the Shingle plan when originally generated in October/early November was not much more than a single session. I've not seen evidence that Alexander showed any ethusiasm for the original ShingleOp Plan either. In any case Ike was informed of his appointment to command Op Overlord in December after the Eureka Conf and instantly lost any interest in Mediterranean ops other than Anvil. Ikes object was to devote all available resources to invading France>Germany & Meditrranean ops.

                              All Ikes biographers touch on this briefly in various details. As does Pogue in Marshals biography. Butcher has accquired a reputation as a unreliable source. I personally dont have a opinion on him, but would cross check him with a variety of other sources.

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