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Italy stays neutral in the summer 1940

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
    I suspose Churchill might want to muddle about in the Balkans. But, Norway is more tempting to me. Imagine the hysteria in the Furher bunker with a Fortitude size deception operation pointing at Scandinavia
    They did that didn't they. But Scandinavian operations, especially in 1941-2, would have entailed quite some risk given the German naval and air presence in Norway. The Med, in this timeline, would almost be a British lake allowing them to deploy forces just about anywhere. Political considerations (i.e. who might they risk provoking and who could they manipulate) would probably be a deciding factor.

    Just as an aside, would the British still be so concerned about the status of the French fleet after the Armistice if there was no Italian threat to worry about? Might the British even attempt to keep the French in the war by mounting operations in the Western Med? I've got no firm ideas on that, just a couple of questions that sprung to my mind as I was typing the first paragraph.
    Signing out.

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    • #32
      interesting. the status of Vichy France territories is a good question to ponder in this case.
      "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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      • #33
        Originally posted by piero1971 View Post
        interesting. the status of Vichy France territories is a good question to ponder in this case.
        There would be less incentive to molest the French in NW Africa, with no hostile Italian block of the Meditarranian sea route. I suspose any Free French leader would still be lobbying for the liberation of the colonies, but the incentives are not large for the Allies.

        Vichy France itself presents a interesting problem for the Germans. While its 100,000 man army is not much it is still a distraction should the Allies invade Wurope in 1943 or 1944. Worst case for the Germans would be the Vichy army concentrating so as to delay any German advance on Marsallies, allowing a Allied army to secure Toloun and Marsailles and advance inland without a fight.

        Should the Allies invade German occupied territory in NW France then the Germans have to either split their forces so as to imeadiatly sieze the critical Mediterrainian ports from the Vichy army or conceded them to the Allies as the Vichy government would be unable and probablly unwilling to properly defend them.

        Vichy France with a small but intact army is quite valuable to the Allies in its 'wild card' role. Right up to November 1942 the Germans could not predict what Petain and Darlan were up to. Faced with the same problem in 1943 or 44 the Germans have limited good options.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
          Might the British even attempt to keep the French in the war by mounting operations in the Western Med? I've got no firm ideas on that, just a couple of questions that sprung to my mind as I was typing the first paragraph.
          Ya, I've initiated several threads on WI the French had moved their government to Africa and stayed in the fight. But those were including Italy as a active Axis partner. With no Vichy government or army in southern France the German military problem of defending Western Europe is slightly simplified.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
            They did that didn't they. But Scandinavian operations, especially in 1941-2, would have entailed quite some risk given the German naval and air presence in Norway. The Med, in this timeline, would almost be a British lake allowing them to deploy forces just about anywhere. Political considerations (i.e. who might they risk provoking and who could they manipulate) would probably be a deciding factor.
            From the POV of the Allied leaders all the attacks or amphb invasions entailed large risks. I know that from 1942 thru 1944 Germany maintained a army of over 100,000 men and a average of 300 aircraft in Norway, plus up 200,000 other naval and Luftwaffe personeel at various dates. What they might have reinforced the place with I cant say. Depends on how much suprise the Allies achive.

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