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  • Italy stays neutral in the summer 1940

    this is a very plausible what if.

    Mussolini does nto dow on France and Britaian in June 1940. whether he is more cautious, or gets something from wither France or Britain (i.e. Tunisia) for his non-belligerence.

    so now, you are in 1940, the battle of britain starts. Italy is not at war. The med is secure for Britain. France has signed an armistice and the Vichy government declares itself neutral.

    how would things play out, assuming the battle of britain remains a german defeat (or would it be on a lower scale since more british ships would be available in the atlantic, making seelowe ever more hopeless). would the Germans risk the bismark out against such a superior force?

    how would the balkans play out? and thus Barbarossa with no med front to cover? would Mussolini send (like spain did) an expeditionary corps to Russia?

    if Germany is defeated, when would ITaly play out on the Allied side? or would it stay neutral like spain? could Italy be the broker of peace?
    "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
    Originally posted by piero1971 View Post
    this is a very plausible what if.

    Mussolini does nto dow on France and Britaian in June 1940. whether he is more cautious, or gets something from wither France or Britain (i.e. Tunisia) for his non-belligerence.

    so now, you are in 1940, the battle of britain starts. Italy is not at war. The med is secure for Britain. France has signed an armistice and the Vichy government declares itself neutral.

    how would things play out, assuming the battle of britain remains a german defeat (or would it be on a lower scale since more british ships would be available in the atlantic, making seelowe ever more hopeless). would the Germans risk the bismark out against such a superior force?

    how would the balkans play out? and thus Barbarossa with no med front to cover? would Mussolini send (like spain did) an expeditionary corps to Russia?

    if Germany is defeated, when would ITaly play out on the Allied side? or would it stay neutral like spain? could Italy be the broker of peace?
    That would have been the smart move. Had he maintained Italy's neutrality, Mussolini would have died an old man, in the care of his family, like Franco, rather than being summarily executed by some Communist partisans and strung up by his feet in a Milan gas station, with his mistress hanging next to him.
    "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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    • #3
      The war might have lasted longer. IMHO,Mussolini was the Allies best friend,wherever he got into a bind,Hitler had to bail him out. The German forces,not having to deal with various sideshows would be able to concentrate all their forces against the British on the channel and would be able to employ more forces against the Soviets for Barbarossa.
      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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      • #4
        Ah, the annual Italian Nuetrality Thread. Appearing many times on many forums. It ought to be a Sticky here.

        Intially this favors Germany a bit. Italy can serve as another nuetral conduit for critical items from outside Europe. The Germans will run up a large tab paying the Itlaians for these imports, and for other goods they need from Italy. Spain and Turkey did the same. The downside is nazi Germany was always cash poor, depending on credit, trick accounting, and looting other nations treasurys and banking systems to stay afloat. So after a couple years the Italians will have a larger stack of IOUs than actual cash from Germany. Bartering goods wont carry things any farther as the nazis need the things like machine tools for their war effort.

        So, sometime in 1942 or 1943 Britian/US will be able to make a better deal and the Italians will like the Swedes and Turks later did 'cut off' Germany.

        Without a Italian 'front' Britian can work more seriously towards putting a army in the Balkans and the US can argue better for invading France in 1943. A Norwegian adventure might even be considered by the Allies.

        I've never seriously run this scenario on thee game board. Sounds like a project.

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        • #5
          One thing that would of happened is Operation Barbarrosa would of kicked of on time and with a few more divisions and the Germans probally take Moscow prior to winter setting in.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by craven View Post
            One thing that would of happened is Operation Barbarrosa would of kicked of on time and with a few more divisions and the Germans probally take Moscow prior to winter setting in.
            Perhaps, although the experts on this campaign claim the rain in early June was heavy and the Bug River in flood until the 19th June. Their assumption is the motorized columns and horse draught artillery would have been critically slowed by the muddy roads for two weeks. What the truth there is I dont know.

            On the up side Germany can obtain some Italian automotive transport to help alleviate its shortage. Italian railroad repair crews on contract would help a bit as well, tho I doubt either that or the trucks would be decisive.
            Last edited by Carl Schwamberg; 06 Oct 08, 13:33.

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            • #7
              The downside for the British is they dont learn their armored divsions techniques and doctrine sucks, and they dont learn good close air support techniques in the African desert. Ditto for testing their artillery doctrine that was revamped in the winter of 1940-41.

              The downside for Japan is the British Asiatic fleet may be considerablly stronger, & the ground and airforces in Maylasia/Burma as well. A few better leaders for the British at the start as well. With better air reconissance and better command disaster like the sinking of the PoW & Repulse or the fiasco at Kohta Bahru are less likely.

              The really bad news for the Japanese is that the British fleet of long range submarines designed specifically for patrols in the Pacific will not be wasted and sunk in the Mediterraian. Unlike the USN the Brits had good torpedo triggers and good tactics in December 1941.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                The downside for the British is they dont learn their armored divsions techniques and doctrine sucks, and they dont learn good close air support techniques in the African desert. Ditto for testing their artillery doctrine that was revamped in the winter of 1940-41.
                Not really. The development of principles and methods in the desert, notably the brigade groups, was diverging seriously from that being worked upon in the UK. Massing of artillery fires for instance took a huge backward step by Auchinlecks abolition of the post of Corps Commander Royal Artillery. Close Air Support was already being integrated into Montys increasingly large scale exercises from '41.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by craven View Post
                  One thing that would of happened is Operation Barbarrosa would of kicked of on time and with a few more divisions and the Germans probally take Moscow prior to winter setting in.
                  Nooooo,...Barbarossa started when it did because of the late spring (In AGN and AGC the rivers were in flood, muddy ground, etc,) not because of the Balkan campaign. This is old news craven,...I'm surprised you still subscribe to this myth. There was no possibility of a May or early June invasion.
                  The Purist

                  Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                    Nooooo,...Barbarossa started when it did because of the late spring (In AGN and AGC the rivers were in flood, muddy ground, etc,) not because of the Balkan campaign. This is old news craven,...I'm surprised you still subscribe to this myth. There was no possibility of a May or early June invasion.
                    Aye, a quick perusal of Guderian's 'Panzer Leader' tells us that.
                    Signing out.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by craven View Post
                      One thing that would of happened is Operation Barbarrosa would of kicked of on time and with a few more divisions and the Germans probally take Moscow prior to winter setting in.
                      A few divisions and a couple of more weeks doesn't solve the fundamental problem with 'Barbarossa', namely the inability of the German logistics system to maintain the offensive. All other issues are secondary to this I'm afraid.
                      Signing out.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Purist View Post
                        Nooooo,...Barbarossa started when it did because of the late spring (In AGN and AGC the rivers were in flood, muddy ground, etc,) not because of the Balkan campaign. This is old news craven,...I'm surprised you still subscribe to this myth. There was no possibility of a May or early June invasion.
                        "...no possibility of a May or early June invasion." Is a bit extreme. the Germans can certainly attack the USSR in the June showers. They just need not expect to wage high speed mobile tactics for several weeks. What effect that would have on the out come I .... hey! theres a WI!. The Germans attack four weeks early. What happens when they hit the muddy unpaved Beylorussian roads? (Aside from the chief weatherman being shot )

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                          A few divisions and a couple of more weeks doesn't solve the fundamental problem with 'Barbarossa', namely the inability of the German logistics system to maintain the offensive. All other issues are secondary to this I'm afraid.
                          But Kevin, why are you afraid? What is so fearfull about logistics? What causes this subordination of all else to the quatermaster to worry you so?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                            But Kevin, why are you afraid? What is so fearfull about logistics? What causes this subordination of all else to the quatermaster to worry you so?
                            Responses like that.
                            Signing out.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                              "...no possibility of a May or early June invasion." Is a bit extreme. the Germans can certainly attack the USSR in the June showers. They just need not expect to wage high speed mobile tactics for several weeks. What effect that would have on the out come I .... hey! theres a WI!. The Germans attack four weeks early. What happens when they hit the muddy unpaved Beylorussian roads? (Aside from the chief weatherman being shot )
                              They burn more precious fuel, suffer more infantry casualties, and they can ill afford either.
                              Signing out.

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