OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

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Gooner1
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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by Gooner1 » 14 May 2021 11:38

Aber wrote:
13 May 2021 10:41
True, but not completely fair.

At the end of January 1943 there were less than 20k US Ground Forces in the UK, and 36k Services of Supply. The UK would obviously not take seriously suggestions of a 1943 invasion of France without commitment of a US Army Group. Logistics would not make it possible to build up US forces in time for a 1943 invasion.

IIRC the April 1942 plan was for 30 US divisions in the UK by April 1943 for a 1943 invasion. However the real world intervened.
Historically the Allies broke the German armies in France in 1944 with only about 30-odd divisions. In Summer '43, without an Italian campaign, the British themselves would have about 30-odd UK, Commonwealth and Allied divisions available.

I don't know about the 'lift' getting them to the Continent though.

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 14 May 2021 14:39

Gooner1 wrote:
14 May 2021 11:38
...
Historically the Allies broke the German armies in France in 1944 with only about 30-odd divisions. In Summer '43, without an Italian campaign, the British themselves would have about 30-odd UK, Commonwealth and Allied divisions available.

I don't know about the 'lift' getting them to the Continent though.
Lift is a part. The third leg of this line of thought, or wing as it were, is what sort of offensive air support the Brits and Yanks can set up. I see a reoccurring tunnel vision in these discussions where only 'divisions' are counted, and the other 70% might get a vague reference, or not. I think what the Allies could set up for a sustained air battle over France. A look at possibilities for the air wing and a close examination of what the Allied AF in the Mediterranean did or didn't accomplish could be as useful as further recounting Allied training and combat ground divisions.

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 14 May 2021 14:49

Was skimming back over some text on the German Operation MARGARETHE, their invasion of Hungary in March 1944. Something I'd never caught before was the German discovery both Rumanian and Hungarian representatives were inquiring with the Allies about landings in the Balkans & how a substantial incursion could end their alliance with Germany. These inquiries would have occurred Dec-February .

Im curious if this had any perceptible effect on the thinking of Churchill, Brooke, Wilson ect...?

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by Aber » 14 May 2021 16:01

Gooner1 wrote:
14 May 2021 11:38
In Summer '43, without an Italian campaign, the British themselves would have about 30-odd UK, Commonwealth and Allied divisions available.
Without an Italian campaign (or realistic threat of an invasion) surely Italy stays in the war, or goes neutral, releasing German forces for France?

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 14 May 2021 16:42

Im wondering if the Allies, particularly the Yanks would accept any kind of Italian exit into Neutrality. Or would Hitler consider it at all?

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by Gooner1 » 14 May 2021 17:28

Aber wrote:
14 May 2021 16:01
Without an Italian campaign (or realistic threat of an invasion) surely Italy stays in the war, or goes neutral, releasing German forces for France?
I think the Fascist Grand Council were looking to get rid of Mussolini even before the invasion of Sicily, so at some point they probably would get rid of him and then start talking to the Allies for a way out of the thing. From their POV the fewer the German soldiers on their soil the better.

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by Sheldrake » 14 May 2021 23:24

Gooner1 wrote:
14 May 2021 17:28
Aber wrote:
14 May 2021 16:01
Without an Italian campaign (or realistic threat of an invasion) surely Italy stays in the war, or goes neutral, releasing German forces for France?
I think the Fascist Grand Council were looking to get rid of Mussolini even before the invasion of Sicily, so at some point they probably would get rid of him and then start talking to the Allies for a way out of the thing. From their POV the fewer the German soldiers on their soil the better.
But without an invasion of Sicily there was no trigger for a revolt. In the absence of an invasion Mussolini's power is strengthened. The Allies are deterred from invading Italian soil.

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by Kingfish » 14 May 2021 23:42

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
14 May 2021 16:42
Im wondering if the Allies, particularly the Yanks would accept any kind of Italian exit into Neutrality. Or would Hitler consider it at all?
When did unconditional surrender become the official allied policy for the persecution of the war against the Axis?
The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted span the hours spent in fishing.
~Babylonian Proverb

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by Sheldrake » 15 May 2021 00:36

Kingfish wrote:
14 May 2021 23:42
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
14 May 2021 16:42
Im wondering if the Allies, particularly the Yanks would accept any kind of Italian exit into Neutrality. Or would Hitler consider it at all?
When did unconditional surrender become the official allied policy for the persecution of the war against the Axis?
Although there had been discussions about unconditional surrender In think the first public mention was in the Casablanca Conference press release18 Jan 1943.

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 15 May 2021 01:40

Gooner1 wrote:
14 May 2021 17:28
Aber wrote:
14 May 2021 16:01
Without an Italian campaign (or realistic threat of an invasion) surely Italy stays in the war, or goes neutral, releasing German forces for France?
I think the Fascist Grand Council were looking to get rid of Mussolini even before the invasion of Sicily, so at some point they probably would get rid of him and then start talking to the Allies for a way out of the thing. From their POV the fewer the German soldiers on their soil the better.
The FGC was. The bio of Mussolini on my shelf places the first private home locked door conversations as early as February or March. The increase of regular Allied bombing vs industrial targets, from the trivial level to damaging was one factor. The twin defeats of Stalingrad & Tunisia. showed the German battle success as no longer reliable. Then there were the bankruptcy of Mussolinis economic policies that were designed for peace time & too fragile for sustained war.

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by Sheldrake » 15 May 2021 09:34

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
15 May 2021 01:40
Gooner1 wrote:
14 May 2021 17:28
Aber wrote:
14 May 2021 16:01
Without an Italian campaign (or realistic threat of an invasion) surely Italy stays in the war, or goes neutral, releasing German forces for France?
I think the Fascist Grand Council were looking to get rid of Mussolini even before the invasion of Sicily, so at some point they probably would get rid of him and then start talking to the Allies for a way out of the thing. From their POV the fewer the German soldiers on their soil the better.
The FGC was. The bio of Mussolini on my shelf places the first private home locked door conversations as early as February or March. The increase of regular Allied bombing vs industrial targets, from the trivial level to damaging was one factor. The twin defeats of Stalingrad & Tunisia. showed the German battle success as no longer reliable. Then there were the bankruptcy of Mussolinis economic policies that were designed for peace time & too fragile for sustained war.
The idea of Italy going neutral or joining the allies without an allied landing in Italy is a nonsensical fantasy. Hitler had a good idea of what might happen. He called off his summer offensive in Russia after the allies landed in Sicily, anticipating a possible Italian defection. As soon as the Italians deposed Mussolini Hitler deployed an Army in Italy ready to take over that country. The Allied landings in Italy took place because this was the condition under which the FGC would declare their armistice. The Italian campaign was the price for Italy's surrender.

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by daveshoup2MD » 15 May 2021 23:17

ljadw wrote:
07 May 2021 07:50
daveshoup2MD wrote:
07 May 2021 03:45
ljadw wrote:
06 May 2021 11:31
but losses have nothing to do with the question if an operation was successful or a failure .
"losses have nothing to do with the question if an operation was successful or a failure..."

Well done, Gen. Nivelle...
The losses of the offensive of Nivelle were 15 %,less than those of Third Ypres .
The offensive from Nivelle was a failure,but would also have been a failure with less than 15 % losses .
The Nivelle offensive costed the allies 29000 dead,which was low in WWI, but the Germans lost more than 20000 POWs.
The allied losses in the second Marne battle were 12,5 % : thus also a failure ?
And the aftermath of Nivelle's offensive were a series of low level mutinies by the French infantry ... so, yeah, pretty much a failure.

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by daveshoup2MD » 15 May 2021 23:29

Peter89 wrote:
07 May 2021 08:19
daveshoup2MD wrote:
07 May 2021 03:25
Peter89 wrote:
06 May 2021 09:49
daveshoup2MD wrote:
06 May 2021 03:07
Peter89 wrote:
05 May 2021 16:52
Some 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.
Some 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. ;)

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.
While 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.

Well, after June, 1940, Churchill and the British didn't have any other option for attacking the Axis on the ground, did they?

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.
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.

What kind of deltas do you have in mind after 1943?
It took the British until (arguably) May, if not November, 1941 to finish the Italians in East Africa; they'd already lost the chance to destroy the Italians in Libya by that point, and the Japanese were about to open an entirely new set of theaters for the British in Asia...

Even the British/Allied offensive into Cyrenaica in 1942 after 2nd Alamein required US support, and the final successful offensive to Tripolitania/Tunisia required TORCH.

In 1943, after the final Axis surrender, there were various options, from Sardinia-Corsica to Sicily-Italy, in play; even southern Italy to the historical winter line and then holding, which would have given the Allies the Foggia complex, the only significant operational target for the Allies in Italy, before the winter of 1943. Avoiding the British defeat in the Dodecanese in 1943 would have been useful; avoiding SHINGLE in 1944 would have been as well.

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by daveshoup2MD » 15 May 2021 23:33

ljadw wrote:
07 May 2021 10:05
daveshoup2MD wrote:
07 May 2021 03:45
ljadw wrote:
06 May 2021 11:31
but losses have nothing to do with the question if an operation was successful or a failure .
"losses have nothing to do with the question if an operation was successful or a failure..."

Well done, Gen. Nivelle...
Success or failure depend essentially on the achievement of the aim, losses are incidental.
And, this is even restricted by the question if the aim was reasonable, realistic, good .If the aim was wrong, the operation could never be a success .
See : Drumbeat and maybe The Big Week .
No idea what you're trying to say here; PAUKENSCHLAG took the only German weapon of use in the Atlantic away from the only significant theater, the Western Approaches.

Also, given the French Army mutinied in 1917 after the stupidity of Nivelle's offensive, losses are never incidental.

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Re: OVERLORD and ANVIL with the February 1944 compromise on landing craft allocation

Post by daveshoup2MD » 15 May 2021 23:38

Gooner1 wrote:
07 May 2021 14:02
daveshoup2MD wrote:
07 May 2021 03:49
Sheldrake wrote:
06 May 2021 13:47
So you are now arguing that the historic timing Op Dragoon as a subsidiary operation some time after Op Overlord worked rather well?

You still haven't answered my question which is how would launching Op Dragoon soon before or after Op Overlord have made the end result even better for the allies.
It worked; two attacks, closer in time, may have worked better, by splitting the German's focus even more so than they were, historically.
The German armies in Normandy were completely broken before Operation Anvil commenced.
Was liberating Normandy alone the Allied objective in the 1944 offensive, however?

The objective was liberating France and as much of the Low Countries as possible, to secure the necessary bases to invade Germany and destroy Germany's ability to further resist.

NEPTUNE was a first step in that, not the end stage; seizing the southern French ports and getting the 6th Army Group into the field against Germany was a necessity to get to the point where the Allies had the capability to invade Germany.

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