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  • Crusader successful

    What if the British 8th Army had destroyed Rommel's Afrika Korps in November-Dec. 1941,and cleaned up the N. Africa Theatre of all Axis forces. Would the British have carried out an invasion of Sicily on their own in the early part of 1942? Would an earlier invasion of Sicily and Italy lead to the war ending earlier?
    Last edited by Legate; 13 Sep 08, 18:06.
    If the art of war were nothing but the art of avoiding risks,glory would become the prey of mediocre minds. Napoleon

  • #2
    Originally posted by Legate View Post
    What if the British 8th Army had destroyed Rommel's Afrika Korps in November-Dec. 1941,and cleaned up the N. Africa Theatre of all Axis forces. Would the British have carried out an invasion of Sicily on their own in the early part of 1942? Would an earlier invasion of Sicily and Italy lead to the war ending earlier?
    Well, in the highly unlikely event of 'Crusader' actually achieving that I can't see an invasion of Sicily being mounted by the British/Commonwealth forces. For starters they don't have the landing craft or the kind of air and sea superiority that the Allies enjoyed in July 1943. Then, with the Japanese rampaging through South-East Asia it would be likely that any assets that might have been used to invade Sicily would be transferred out to try and hold Burma and protect Australia. Another consideration would be the position of the Vichy regime. Would 8th Army, logistics permitting, be deployed to put pressure on them or even invade as had happened in Syria? Or, with North Africa secured, would one of Churchill's crackpot schemes to open a front in the Balkans been taken up? To be honest though, even if Italy were ko'd in early 1942 I can't see it making a vast difference to the war as a whole. It might have stymied 'Case Blue' forcing the Germans to adopt a more pragmatic approach on the Eastern Front but that means no Stalingrad and, in this scenario, no 'Tunis disaster' either.
    Signing out.

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    • #3
      A possiblity is a try at retaking Crete. That has the potiential for putting British Bombers in effective range of the Rumainian oil refinerys & provides a air base to cover mischief on the Balkan penensula. Weather or not the British actually can use that potiential or even realize it is secondary. Neither the Italians or the Germans would be certain of this and they are likely to defend the area. With carefull planning the Brits can turn this battle into a favorable attrition of Axis naval and air strength, thus drawing air support away from the German 'Case Blue; and weakning the Italians for more direct pressure later in 1942 or 1943.

      Best case is a combination of British suprise and Axis fumbling delivers Crete realtively easily to Britian. that could panic the Axis into trying to defend all of their Mediterrainian littoral, which would drawn real strength away from the battle in the USSR.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Legate View Post
        What if the British 8th Army had destroyed Rommel's Afrika Korps in November-Dec. 1941,and cleaned up the N. Africa Theatre of all Axis forces. Would the British have carried out an invasion of Sicily on their own in the early part of 1942? Would an earlier invasion of Sicily and Italy lead to the war ending earlier?
        What if, What if? It did NOT happen, at least lets stick to facts this is like inventing something just to hold a conversation!!
        'By Horse by Tram'.


        I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
        " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

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        • #5
          Originally posted by lcm1 View Post
          What if, What if? It did NOT happen, at least lets stick to facts this is like inventing something just to hold a conversation!!
          This is the 'Alternate Timelines' section and it's what it's here for.
          Signing out.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
            A possiblity is a try at retaking Crete.
            I thought about that but then rejected it as having (potentially) too high a cost in men and equipment. An attritional battle might assist the Soviets a little but could be too much of a drain on the RN and RAF, especially given what was going on in the Atlantic and the Far East.
            Signing out.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
              This is the 'Alternate Timelines' section and it's what it's here for.
              Yes I know but PLEASE don't encourage it.
              'By Horse by Tram'.


              I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
              " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

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              • #8
                Uber Lame

                Originally posted by lcm1 View Post

                Yes I know but PLEASE don't encourage it.
                ACG must encourage it, or they wouldn't have a forum for alternate timelines...

                Thinking isn't something to discourage...
                "This life..., you know, "the life." Youíre not gonna get any medals, kid. This is not a hero business; you donít shoot people from a mile a way. You gotta stand right next to them... blow their heads off."

                BoRG

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Paul Mann III View Post
                  ACG must encourage it, or they wouldn't have a forum for alternate timelines...

                  Thinking isn't something to discourage...
                  O.K. I give in and I will do as suggested, stay away!
                  'By Horse by Tram'.


                  I was in when they needed 'em,not feeded 'em.
                  " Youuu 'Orrible Lot!"

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                  • #10
                    The trouble with usinf sarcasm on the discussion boards it that a lot of folks dont get it. Humor does not work well on the internet.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                      Well, in the highly unlikely event of 'Crusader' actually achieving that I can't see an invasion of Sicily being mounted by the British/Commonwealth forces. For starters they don't have the landing craft or the kind of air and sea superiority that the Allies enjoyed in July 1943. Then, with the Japanese rampaging through South-East Asia it would be likely that any assets that might have been used to invade Sicily would be transferred out to try and hold Burma and protect Australia. Another consideration would be the position of the Vichy regime. Would 8th Army, logistics permitting, be deployed to put pressure on them or even invade as had happened in Syria? Or, with North Africa secured, would one of Churchill's crackpot schemes to open a front in the Balkans been taken up? To be honest though, even if Italy were ko'd in early 1942 I can't see it making a vast difference to the war as a whole. It might have stymied 'Case Blue' forcing the Germans to adopt a more pragmatic approach on the Eastern Front but that means no Stalingrad and, in this scenario, no 'Tunis disaster' either.


                      Pretty much along the lines I was thinking,thought I'd post it just to see if anyone would come up with something interesting. I hadn't thought of the Balkans option,Churchill had a thing for crackpot schemes,didn't he.
                      Just had an interesting thought,do you suppose the N. Africa campaign actually shortened the war?
                      If the art of war were nothing but the art of avoiding risks,glory would become the prey of mediocre minds. Napoleon

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                        A possiblity is a try at retaking Crete. That has the potiential for putting British Bombers in effective range of the Rumainian oil refinerys & provides a air base to cover mischief on the Balkan penensula. Weather or not the British actually can use that potiential or even realize it is secondary. Neither the Italians or the Germans would be certain of this and they are likely to defend the area. With carefull planning the Brits can turn this battle into a favorable attrition of Axis naval and air strength, thus drawing air support away from the German 'Case Blue; and weakning the Italians for more direct pressure later in 1942 or 1943.

                        Best case is a combination of British suprise and Axis fumbling delivers Crete realtively easily to Britian. that could panic the Axis into trying to defend all of their Mediterrainian littoral, which would drawn real strength away from the battle in the USSR.
                        Great idea, unfortunately we had that worse than useless Bomber Harris in charge. He only wanted to bomb as many people as possible, winning seemed a secondary consideration for him at best.
                        How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
                        Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

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                        • #13
                          one should ponder the efect for Italy to lose it's north african colony. this would be a massive blow for Mussolini's prestige - as it was indeed in 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

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by piero1971 View Post
                            one should ponder the efect for Italy to lose it's north african colony. this would be a massive blow for Mussolini's prestige - as it was indeed in 1943.
                            Hmmm... in 1941 there was no unconditional surrender policy imposed by those politically naive Americans. Perhaps the naval defeats of 1941 along with the loss of Lybia & Ethiopia, and the economic consequences of the blockade would casue Mussolini to be unseated. If that happened there is a posiblity of a new Italian government reaching a accomidation with Britian. Was the King politicaly strong enough in 1941 to rid the government of Mussolini & his hard core supporters? What about the other leaders of the Facist party?

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                            • #15
                              very much so. with the loss of lybia and ethiopia in 1941, and of course the bad performance in albania/greece, there is a good chance that Mussolini would have to step down - or agree to some point that he made a mistake.
                              King was in no position to take out mussolini (as in 1943) unless the fascist pary wanted it (as happened in 1943). it could be imagined that count Ciano press Mussonili to step down and possibly (as he was anglophile) negotiate some form of armistice with Britain.

                              how woudl Germany take that. before Barbarossa and real total war, it might work (but nto for Crusader, as it is in december 1941, with germany int he middle of a crisis in front of Moscow), and get Italy out of the war for good. which would be a great thing for italy (no continuation of war, loss of colonies, and no civil war in 43-45). as for mussolini, he might even get away with it, i.e. with no trial, etc. as until then he commited no war crime nor any crime, so he might end up in retirement in his home town of romagna, with after ww2, receiving Winston Churchill (one of his great admirers) as a guest to drink good wine and have great food).... finally dying of old age (and some say, syphilis) in 1965, still revered by many italians as the greatest statesman that Italy had, for only one mistake: go to war.
                              Last edited by piero1971; 21 Sep 08, 08:23.
                              "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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