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What if the Invasion of Sicily goes bad?

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  • What if the Invasion of Sicily goes bad?

    What if the Allies get hurled back into the sea? What happens to Patton's and Montgomery's track record, if the Italian defenders become hardcore soldiers and actually do what is expected of them?
    "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

  • #2
    Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
    What if the Allies get hurled back into the sea? What happens to Patton's and Montgomery's track record, if the Italian defenders become hardcore soldiers and actually do what is expected of them?
    I've read quite a few accounts of the campaign & hardcore Italian soldiers were definitly not part of the equation. Had the Allies thought they would fight like the Romans Mussolini spoke of the plans would have been far different. As it was they gave in even faster than the plans allowed for.
    So, hardcore Roman legions would have dictated a different plan.

    But, since we have fairy dust here the effect of suprise Romans can be addressed. Yes heads would roll and Monty Ike & Patton might not make it to the next battle. The Allies might take the leassons of the Sicillian defeat more seriously that they took the leasssons of the Sicillian victory and be evern better prepared for attacking France in 1944. Or they might not even try another forceable entry into Europe again until 1945. In which case atomic bombs would help ease the way.

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    • #3
      Im not sure HOW Huskey could have gone wrong... but then I always favored the 1943 landing in France scenario, at just the same time Kursk was happening.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
        Im not sure HOW Huskey could have gone wrong... but then I always favored the 1943 landing in France scenario, at just the same time Kursk was happening.
        Anything is possible. A lot of Allied stratigic sucess in 1943 revolved around making fools of the nazi or German intellegence services. Rommel and several divsions were sent to the Balkans as it was thought a attack there more likely in June-August 1943. Other corps were diverted to Corsica, Sardinia, the Greek islands...

        Had the Axis figured out the actual Allied intent two or three mechanized corps, and a a stronger Luftwaffe contingent might have severly damaged the Allied attack.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
          What if the Allies get hurled back into the sea? What happens to Patton's and Montgomery's track record, if the Italian defenders become hardcore soldiers and actually do what is expected of them?
          Interesting question, but why stop at Patton and Montgomery? Eisenhower was the supreme commander, would he have still got the European job?
          Wolster

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          • #6
            1. could it go bad?

            well. imagine an Italian "miracle" where instead of beeign demotivated, the italian forces became intensely patriotic about defending their home soil and with added KM and Luftwaffe effort, the invasion is stalled and becomes a vast anzio. perhaps with evacuation (from syracuse?). far fetched but not impossible.

            2. then what.

            then no italian campaign. the Germans can free forces to stall the soviet advances in 1943 or can beef up mobile reserves - that will be usefull after Kursk (or help win Kursk) - all of no consequence really.
            US and british and french forces, not engaged in Italy will lack some combat expeirence but are a strageic force to be used elsewhere. perhaps south of france? but it was really important to knock off sicily, sardenia and corsica before that as it woudl threaten supply lines.
            "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

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            • #7
              Originally posted by piero1971 View Post
              1. could it go bad?

              well. imagine an Italian "miracle" where instead of beeign demotivated, the italian forces became intensely patriotic about defending their home soil and with added KM and Luftwaffe effort, the invasion is stalled and becomes a vast anzio. perhaps with evacuation (from syracuse?). far fetched but not impossible.

              2. then what.

              then no italian campaign. the Germans can free forces to stall the soviet advances in 1943 or can beef up mobile reserves - that will be usefull after Kursk (or help win Kursk) - all of no consequence really.
              US and british and french forces, not engaged in Italy will lack some combat expeirence but are a strageic force to be used elsewhere. perhaps south of france? but it was really important to knock off sicily, sardenia and corsica before that as it woudl threaten supply lines.
              Another thing to consider. If the Allies are thrown back into the sea at Sicily and there's no Italian Campaign, then the antiquated Italian war armaments industry continues to slowly re-arm the Italian troops with improved and modern weapons, tanks, artillery and aircraft. Lastly, Mussolini might begin being viewed in a more favorable light by the Italian populace.
              "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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              • #8
                Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
                Another thing to consider. If the Allies are thrown back into the sea at Sicily and there's no Italian Campaign, then the antiquated Italian war armaments industry continues to slowly re-arm the Italian troops with improved and modern weapons, tanks, artillery and aircraft. Lastly, Mussolini might begin being viewed in a more favorable light by the Italian populace.
                more importantly by it's own party. who knows, perhaps HE would want to sign a separated armistice with the allies instead of the king's men?
                "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

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                • #9
                  I am reading Ambrose's "Supreme Commander" right now. My impression is that if Sicily had gone bad, Ike would not have been the Supreme commander and there might well not have been an Overlord in 1944, with Churchill still being favorable to a "soft underbelly" approach to pressuring the Nazis.

                  The British would likely have gained the top command spots in Europe and Marshall likely would have concentrated on defeating Japan before returning American focus on Germany.
                  "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

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                  • #10
                    The British would likely have gained the top command spots in Europe and Marshall likely would have concentrated on defeating Japan before returning American focus on Germany]
                    Such a chage would not have been up to Gen Marshall, FDR was still in charge. I doubt if he would have gone back on his word to Churchill and Stalin.
                    "Ask not what your country can do for you"

                    Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

                    you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Half Pint View Post
                      Such a chage would not have been up to Gen Marshall, FDR was still in charge. I doubt if he would have gone back on his word to Churchill and Stalin.
                      Oh, definitely it would have been a very tough sell. More likely would be Churchill having the stronger voice in decisions which would still have delayed Overlord, IMO.

                      Churchill's approach was that allied forces could link up with the Soviets in the Balkans and possibly even bring Turkey into the war against Germany. There was still much British feeling that American troops were soft and American commanders inept. A loss in Sicily would might have reinforced that sentiment and among Americans as well. British influence politically and militarily would have been the stronger.
                      "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

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cyberknight View Post
                        I am reading Ambrose's "Supreme Commander" right now. My impression is that if Sicily had gone bad, Ike would not have been the Supreme commander and there might well not have been an Overlord in 1944, with Churchill still being favorable to a "soft underbelly" approach to pressuring the Nazis.

                        The British would likely have gained the top command spots in Europe and Marshall likely would have concentrated on defeating Japan before returning American focus on Germany.
                        that's quite a possibility.

                        however should Churchill push for an invasion of Greece - an even tougher land than Italy - with less roads, and more rugged terrain - you'd end up with a liberated Greece, but with Soviet troops liberating france fromt he east.

                        churchill was a strange character. he had good flair (understanding Hitler's danger before others and understandign that the only way to win the war was to make sure both the USSR and the USA ganged up on Germany) but a bad strategist - from gallipoli to north africa to the med and even to the WTO his career is full of bad choices (of course, easy for me to say with hindsight - but I'd happyly teach him a lesson or two on World in Flames - ha ha)
                        "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

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                        • #13
                          Actually a defeat in Sicilly could discredit the Med strategy - soft underbelly & all that. Particularly if the defeat struck the British harder than the Yanks. While Eisenhower might go down Marshalls/Roosevelts NW European focus would not. A lot depends on the exact nature of the Sicillian defeat.

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