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What if Italy did not enter WW2

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  • What if Italy did not enter WW2

    June 9th 1940. Mussolini thinks that he needs a few thousand italian dead to sit at the surely-coming peace conference... Ciano and others convince him that it would not be a sound idea for Italy to enter the war (on the german side) at this point. Mussolini decides to wait.

    so there is no war in the Mediterranean, not Taranto raid, no operation Compass, no Italian war on Greece.

    what then?

    would Greece join a neutral "mediterranean fascist pact" with spain and Italy - trading extensively with Germany - perhaps putting their manufacturing capity on loan for Germany.

    would Britain, releved of much fighting in the Mediterranean and Greece, be able to garrison better the Far East?

    would Germany, with no losses in the balkan campaign (what about Yugoslavia?) be able to launch Operation Barbarossa with two extra panzer Divisions (equipment not sunk in tha Adriatic), two wewks earlier, and usign Rommel's Motorized corps as an extra reserve, not to mention the full use of the Luftwaffe Luftflottes, no U-boote sent to the Med, and the intact 7th Flieger available for some ambitious operations at the start of Barbarossa....

    what then for the Allies to have no "soft underbelly" of Europe? a Torch in 1941? an Overlord attack in 1942 or 1943?
    "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

  • #2
    What if Italy didn't enter WWII? I dunno, a bunch of Italians wouldn't have died for f__k-all ?

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    • #3
      well, one could say that it wasn't for nothing... after all they traded a fascist/royal totalitarian dictatorship for a mafia-run "democratic" dictatorship...

      forgot to add to possible outcomes:

      - no 1943-1945 civil war

      - possible entry of Italy in war against Germany when it would be obvious that Germany was loosing (i.e. 1945), that is if Germany would loose in this what if.
      "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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      • #4
        Musollini would've been thrown out by the Allies anyway, so the rogazzi should have just stayed home.

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        • #5
          I have a sneaking suspicion the Mussolini was likely more popular than most of us realize. My mother's side of the family is Italian; as a teenager I decided to ask my Grandmother what it was like to live under Mussolini, expecting to hear all kinds of horrible stories. Grandma surprised the heck out of me when she told me, "Mussolini was a good man; he had the trains running on time, he put the Mafia in its place, I wish that he had never involved himself with that crazy German." My guess that a situation similar to Spain's is quite plausible.
          Give me a fast ship and the wind at my back for I intend to sail in harms way! (John Paul Jones)

          Initiated Chief Petty Officer
          Hard core! Old School! Deal with it!

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          • #6
            The Italians

            The Italians should have just said No.

            The big winners (Besides a whole lot of Italians) would have been the Germans....but not for long. Thousands of troops would have been freed up for other pursuits. Would this have made a difference on the Eastern Front? Probably not in the long run. Stalin and the Soviets would have continued to fight even if the Germans had been able to take Moscow and Leningrad. Maybe the tide would not turn in Russia until 1944 or even 1945. Eventually, the Soviets beat back the Germans but they lose 5 million more soldiers than they did in reality.
            The cross channel invasion would have been much more difficult because the Germans would have been able to deploy more troops to Normandy.
            The Allies eventually do invade France but find it slow going and get to the German border when the war ends in 1946 or 1947. All of Germany is overrun by the Soviets and the The "Iron Curtain" is built on the remains of the old Maginot Line.
            Does Mussolini die an old man like Franco? No. He gets assassinated in the early 1950's and a democratic government takes hold.
            God Save The Republic.

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            • #7
              The trains run on time.

              Originally posted by bass_man86 View Post
              I have a sneaking suspicion the Mussolini was likely more popular than most of us realize. My mother's side of the family is Italian; as a teenager I decided to ask my Grandmother what it was like to live under Mussolini, expecting to hear all kinds of horrible stories. Grandma surprised the heck out of me when she told me, "Mussolini was a good man; he had the trains running on time, he put the Mafia in its place, I wish that he had never involved himself with that crazy German." My guess that a situation similar to Spain's is quite plausible.
              Funny you should post this story. My maternal grandfather, an immigrant from Italy in 1911, was very proud of Mussolini. Many Italian Americans believed that Italy needed a strong leader to deal with the Country's many problems. I understand he even bought my uncle a little black shirt uniform. That all change of course when Italy entered the war on the side of Hitler.
              Benito should have worked on internal problems rather than attempt to rebuild the Roman empire.

              Mario. If you had joined the Army you could have been Sgt Major Majors.
              Last edited by 2nd Rangers; 21 Feb 08, 12:52.
              God Save The Republic.

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              • #8
                The war of Italy

                Mussolini waits, waits and waits... Then suddenly, In march 1945, together with Franco (a spanish army corps and 100 planes are based in northern Italy) attack Nazi Austria and Baviera. Without coordination with Allied Powers, they make very slow progresses and have casualties. Italian infantry division lack of firepower and the obsolete tanks can't match german anti-tank weapons. However, with the conquer of every alpine peak by the brave "Alpini" battalions, in 2 months they take Innsbruck and Munich. Near Landshut a Bersaglieri regiment opens fire on a Red Army armored patrol. The Cold War begins...
                A ME LE GUARDIE
                "Di noi treṃ la nostra vecchia gloria. Tre secoli di fede e una vittoria". Gabriele D'Annunzio

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                • #9
                  Well, one of the most important things would definetly be freeing up German troops for use elsewhere, and no delay in Barbarossa.

                  Imagine: Barbarossa goes off in spring like it was supposed to, and all the soldiers that would have been involved in the war in North Africa, Yugoslavia, Greece, and Crete would have been freed to invade Russia.

                  This would result in even more damage dealt to the Soviet Union, possibly resulting in Germany seizing Moscow before winter (and with Hitler having not banned Paratrooper operations, they are used to help seal some of the encirclements earlier to prevent thousands of Russian soldiers escaping to fight another day).

                  With Guderian, Rommel, and the other talented panzer commanders using the divisions effectively, we have Leningrad encircled completly (no over-water supply route), Moscow taken by the Germans (dealing a moral blow to the soviets due to Stalins promise never to leave the city along with economic and infrastructure damage due to Moscow being the center of the Russian rail system, etc.), and Stalingrad and the oil from Baku threatened before winter begins.

                  Would that have been enough to give the Germans a victory against the Soviets (perhaps a negotiated peace where Hitler demands western Russia for his Lebensraum)? Perhaps. All those freed up soldiers, not to mention a few moths more of better weather could have tipped the scale in the Germans favor.

                  There would be other factors as well, though. Stalin was paranoid about the western allies signing a seperate peace with Hitler throughout the war. If the British were not fighting in North Africa in '41/'42 (which means that the Germans don't suffer their first defeats, and the British don't get the boost to moral that that would entail), Stalin might fear that the British were waiting for the Germans and soviets to weaken each other before stepping in.

                  That might influence him to seek a seperate peace in ~'42 once the three main cities fell. And if the Soviet Union has to surrender the Ukraine, Belorussia, etc. to the Germans, then I don't see how the allies would win without relying on nuclear weapons to beat the Germans into submission.

                  To summarize (because DoD just can't stop typing ), if Italy remains neutral, the Germans would benefit from the friendly neutral country.

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                  • #10
                    One thing I forgot to mention was the benefits for the allies if Italy remained neutral. Allied shipping in the Med would be safe, there would be thousands of UK troops freed for operations elsewhere, and the first US landings might not be in Africa but instead in Norway or even France (maybe an earlier Operation Overlord?).

                    Of course, with Russia in such danger we might see British troops fighting in Southern Russia instead of North Africa, which might result in the German army being slowed enough to let the Soviet Union to reorganize itself and mount an offensive, leading to an eventual defeat of the German army in Russia/Eastern Europe.

                    Of course, if Allied and Russian soldiers were fighting side-by-side in Russia, this would have a large effect on the post-war world: those nations liberated by Allied troops (most likely operating in the southern theatre) like Rumania, Bulgaria, etc. wouldn't necessarily be communist after German defeat, leading to a much different Cold War (where only perhaps Poland and Czechoslovakia were communist puppets).

                    Plus, the tone of the war would be different, due to the shared difficulties that the Allies and Russians would have faced together. There might be less mutual suspicion between the allies and Soviets (or at least between the UK and Soviets).

                    Allright DoD, are you done yet?

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                    • #11
                      No war in the Med leads to some interesting notions to be sure.

                      Earlier invasion of Russia. Maybe not such a bad first year.

                      Japan might have confronted more British forces sooner. Russia might have been weaker to Japanese aims in the east. Not sure if Japan would have cared.

                      The Allies likely would have been able to launch some sort of combined invasion of France hitting north and south at the same time. The troops not fighting Italy could have struck southern France instead. Might have made 43 not totally impossible. This might have been a reprieve for Russia which might not be doing so well.

                      A great many variables indeed.
                      Life is change. Built models for decades.
                      Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
                      I didn't for a long time either.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Paul Maud'dib View Post
                        No war in the Med leads to some interesting notions to be sure.

                        Earlier invasion of Russia. Maybe not such a bad first year.
                        That first year against Russia is the key, really. If Germany can deal enough damage to the Soviets and conquer many of the important Russian cities before winter, the Soviets would be hard pressed to take them back.

                        By not needing to support a war in Africa, the Germans would have much more capability to support the war in Russia. Not to mention that Italian buisnesses would stand to make alot of money selling trucks to Germany (no need to make inferior tanks, after all ) that could help out east.

                        Japan might have confronted more British forces sooner. Russia might have been weaker to Japanese aims in the east. Not sure if Japan would have cared.
                        Depends on what the UK does with their forces. Without a war in North Africa, all of those forces could have been redirected north to help Russia (if Stalin allows it, he was paranoid after all ) or east to fight the Japanese in Siam.

                        Who knows: if Russia were to fall in '41 or '42, the Allies might make a decision to pursue a Japan first campaign and face Germany at a later date.

                        If Japan were to be defeated or signed a conditional surrender a year or two earlier ('44, perhaps), then we might see the Allies still come out on top due to Berlin being wiped off the face of the earth.

                        If that were to happen, the the Cold War would (again) be quite different. The eastern European nations would likely be democratic and not communist, and Russia would be severely damaged in the post war years (the allies just might take the territory Germany conquered and create a pro-western Russia to oppose the Soviet Union).

                        The Allies likely would have been able to launch some sort of combined invasion of France hitting north and south at the same time. The troops not fighting Italy could have struck southern France instead. Might have made 43 not totally impossible. This might have been a reprieve for Russia which might not be doing so well.

                        A great many variables indeed.
                        I agree. The allies might be forced to launch a quick invasion in the hopes of helping the Soviets (if they hadn't surredered).

                        However, if the Soviet Union were to be defeated, would the Allies be able to pull off an invasion of Europe? Because if Germany turned their victorious forces around and brought them to France, I don't think the green American soldiers (no learning from North Africa/Sicily) and Commonwealth troops would have the power to stop the Germans from pushing them into the sea.

                        And if the invasion force were crushed, the Allies might be forced to either negotiate for peace (I don't think Roosevelt/Churchill could bank on the power of nukes alone, especially before the weapon was even tested!) or wait for another attempt later (and hopefully have nukes by then).

                        All I can say is that a neutral Italy seems to benefit Germany, which is kinda insulting to the Italian army.

                        Well, didn't the Italian Army have more officers then NCOs? What did you expect?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by regulator4 View Post
                          Mario. If you had joined the Army you could have been Sgt Major Majors.
                          While you mention it, when I decided to join the service one of the first things that crossed my mind was "Catch 22", and the charater Major Major Major; I broke into a cold sweat.
                          Give me a fast ship and the wind at my back for I intend to sail in harms way! (John Paul Jones)

                          Initiated Chief Petty Officer
                          Hard core! Old School! Deal with it!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by daemonofdecay View Post
                            All I can say is that a neutral Italy seems to benefit Germany, which is kinda insulting to the Italian army. Well, didn't the Italian Army have more officers then NCOs? What did you expect?
                            Too many officers without adult supervision is indeed a recipe for disaster. Seriously though, Mussolini's biggest military mistake was handing out promotions to his cronies and party favorites instead of advancing based on merit, refining an old dictum to, "you cannot soar with eagles if you hang out with a bunch of turkeys."
                            Give me a fast ship and the wind at my back for I intend to sail in harms way! (John Paul Jones)

                            Initiated Chief Petty Officer
                            Hard core! Old School! Deal with it!

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                            • #15
                              Here's a totally bizarre notion. If Italy had stayed "neutral" nudge nudge wink wink, they could have made a nice secure place to produce war materials out of touch from Allied reprisal.

                              Not that Italy had a great industry then, but not being bombed wouldn't have hurt either. Italy sure could have made a lot of coin selling war materials as well. Sure wouldn't have hurt Mussolini's popularity either. A healthy economy rarely makes people unhappy.

                              Most of Italy's early actions in the war really didn't do anything of real use for Italy, only screwed up the timing of operations for the Germans, and got them wrapped up in campaigns that went nowhere.
                              Life is change. Built models for decades.
                              Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
                              I didn't for a long time either.

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