The Allies drew as many German divisions into Italy as Stalin had requested for a second front

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wm
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The Allies drew as many German divisions into Italy as Stalin had requested for a second front

Post by wm » 14 Nov 2020 11:51

As it turned out, the Allies drew as many German divisions into Italy—some thirty-three—as Stalin had requested in his demands for a second front in France (he kept asking for between thirty and forty)
Henry Kissinger - Three Approaches to Peace
True or false?

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Re: The Allies drew as many German divisions into Italy as Stalin had requested for a second front

Post by Art » 14 Nov 2020 17:25

Check this page:
https://www.axishistory.com/list-all-ca ... rld-war-ii
(he kept asking for between thirty and forty)
When was he asking that exactly? Formally speaking there were already 30-40 or even more active German divisions in the West in 1943, even though the second front hadn't been opened yet.

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Re: The Allies drew as many German divisions into Italy as Stalin had requested for a second front

Post by Art » 14 Nov 2020 20:09

According to Müller-Hillebrand German forces in Italy by the start of July 1943 consisted of 15 and 90 Panzergrendier Division, "Hermann Göring" Panzer Division and also 16 SS Division in Corsica. By the moment of the Italian coup 5 divisions were additionally deployed from the West: 3 and 29 Panzergrenadier, 16 and 26 Panzer and 1 Fallschirmjäger. Until the end of August 8 divisions were deployed from the West: 44, 65, 76, 94, 305 Infantry, 24 Panzer and 2 Fallschirmjäger, and 1 (71 Infantry) from Denmark. Of these 9 divisions 8 were under command of the newly created Herresgruppe B. All that brought the number of division in the South-West to 17. Until the end of December 3 division were formed in Italy: 278 and 362 Infantry and 4 Fallschirmjäger, 1 arrived from the Eastern Front (5 Gebirgs-Division), 3 from the West (334, 356, 371 Infantry), and 1 from Germany (162 Turkistan Infantry Division). At the same time 4 divisions departed to the Eastern Front (76 Infantry, 16 and 24 Panzer, 2 Fallschirmjäger) and 1 (371 Infantry) to Balkans. In addition 188 Reserve Division was formed in Italy in October 1943. Thus, the number of divisions reached 21.

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Re: The Allies drew as many German divisions into Italy as Stalin had requested for a second front

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 14 Nov 2020 22:41

In the west there were another 15 - 20 'mobile' divisions (horse & motor) in France, the Low Countries, and Norway. Absent the Allied threat they were oaf some value in the east. The larger contribution of the west Allies was in the air, even in 1943 inflicting severe loss on the German AF. I'd estimate that without that effort the German operating air strength in the east would have been double that of OTL & the preservation of veteran aircrew much better.

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Re: The Allies drew as many German divisions into Italy as Stalin had requested for a second front

Post by wm » 14 Nov 2020 23:01

The source given is: Commander in Chief: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, His Lieutenants and Their War by Eric Larrabee
I found this:
At one time or another, the Allies employed the equivalent of thirty-three divisions in Italy, the Germans thirty-six (of which three were Italian and one Russian).
Since there were only six German divisions in Italy when the Allies landed, the latter would therefore seem to have drawn some thirty enemy divisions away from other (and more critical) fronts.
Commander in Chief by Eric Larrabee
The source for that is Ernest F. Fisher Jr.: Cassino to the Alps.
can't find anything about Stalin and his requests in Larrabee.

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Re: The Allies drew as many German divisions into Italy as Stalin had requested for a second front

Post by Art » 17 Nov 2020 07:50

I believe, it would be correct to say that the size of German ground forces employed in Italy was larger than forces in Africa but still very much short of the second front proper (i.e. Western Front proper in 1944-45). Also at the initial stage (August-September 1943) they were as much busy with disarming the Italian Amy as with actual fights aginst the Allies. Most of divisions drawn to Italy were "Stalingrad" and "Africa" division, that is divisions reconstructed after defeats in Stalingrad and Tunisia using the balance of personnel (wounded and sick in hospitals, men on furlough) and replacements. After Italians were neutralized some first-rate unit left (e.g. LASH, 16 and 24 Pz.Div.) for the Eastern Front and were substituted with formations of the lesser caliber.

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Re: The Allies drew as many German divisions into Italy as Stalin had requested for a second front

Post by Kelvin » 22 Nov 2020 06:11

Despite the fact that military threat from southern Front, German was still capable of sending badly needed armored units to Russian in the second half of 1943 : Once disarming of the Italian army, 24.Panzer division was rushed to East from Italy, followed by newly rebuilt 14.Panzer division, then came 25. Panzer division from Norway, then in Nov 1943, 1.SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler Panzer division and 1. Panzer division from Greece, and finally 16.Panzer division, in December 1943 to exchange for 5.Gebirgs Division from the East.

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