Let's not forget that most of the Axis positions in Africa was held by the Vichy forces, and Britain systematically cleared them up, but didn't quite finish before Torch. If the Italians were beaten in 1941, they'd attack French West Africa, Madagascar, etc. nontheless.daveshoup2MD wrote: ↑07 May 2021 03:25Well, after June, 1940, Churchill and the British didn't have any other option for attacking the Axis on the ground, did they?Peter89 wrote: ↑06 May 2021 09:49While I do not agree with Porch's Wallies-focused view, I think he has a point. The whole German participation in the MTO, as well as the Italian adventures on the wrong side of the sea qualified it as a major strategic mistake. Churchill would have been an idiot not to exploit it.daveshoup2MD wrote: ↑06 May 2021 03:07Some historians even argue the MTO (both before and after May, 1943), was a pointless effusion of blood and a waste of time; the truth, as always, may lie in between.Peter89 wrote: ↑05 May 2021 16:52Some historians like Douglas Porch even argues that the MTO was a pivotal theatre of war, and the fact that the Allies pushed out the Axis from Africa (and Asia) had a tremendous effect on the Axis diplomacy and strategy.
Without the Axis losses and Allied experiences in the MTO, he argues, the Allied high command might made the mistakes on a larger scale in an event of a premature invasion of France.
Having said that, a 1943 invasion of France is not what is being discussed here; its - basically - trying a Normandy invasion and a Provence invasion closer in time in 1944 than the operations were mounted, historically.
The British had the right idea in 1940 of destroying the Axis position(s) in Africa, but got diverted from finishing the Italians because of the Balkans; they came close again in 1941, but other fronts kept becoming active, and slowed things down, and then the Japanese weighed in ... in 1942, TORCH - or something resembling it - made sense, to open up a threat from the west to the Axis forces in Africa, open up the southern Med shipping lanes, and bring the French back into the war in a significant way.
Beyond that, once the fulcrum point was reached and the Allies were on the offensive in 1943 and afterwards, it's a debatable question as to what the best strategy for the Allies would have been; the historical strategy was not the worst alternative, of course, but there are a fair number of deltas during the course of 1943-45, and whether the strategy that was adopted - in terms of valid alternatives - was the best is open to question.
What kind of deltas do you have in mind after 1943?