I think the timeframe is what makes this impossible as an alternative strategy in the autumn of 1943; absent AVALANCHE or something equivalent, there's much less of a chance the Italian volte face will come off as it did historically, which means Sardinia and Corsica have be fought for (no friendly Italian garrisons, obviously) by the US and/or British, which means any buildup is slowed, which means even once the two islands are in Allied hands and are built up for TUSCANY, there's still the question of Elba, and only THEN can an operation begin...Carl Schwamberger wrote: ↑25 Mar 2021 22:52It appears it took the US and French air forces maybe two months or less to base 1,100 aircraft on Corsica. About a even split between bombers (B25 & B26) and fighters with 10% recon & ASW aircraft. What was based on Sardinia I can't say.daveshoup2MD wrote: ↑22 Mar 2021 18:40... Sardinia and Corsica were in Allied control by 4 October 1943 (at a cost of roughly 250 French and 600 Italian KIA); staging sufficient Allied air power and naval power forward to sustain operations in Liguria would have taken longer; using such operations as an complete replacement to BAYTOWN-AVALANCHE-SLAPSTICK would have, presumably, meant the Foggia airfield complex, and the ports that could sustain it - which was the only territory in Italy worth anything to the Allies - remains in German hands in the autumn of 1943.
And then it's winter. When, exactly, would you have suggested the Allies land in Liguria, and with what forces?
But heres the thing. As soon as the Decision for OVERLORD was made at the Terhan conference early November the Joint Chiefs were writing up directives for shifting the amphib fleet from the Med to the UK. When Clark was handed the directive & outline for Op SHINGLE he looked at the departure schedules of the amphibs & estimated SHINGLE would be limited to a corps size group. Any post October ops need to be executed in November or early December before the Tyrany of Overlord kicks in. & unlike at Anzio there needs to be a higher capacity port secured. Its risky with cross beach supply for a full size army, & esquires holding back LST & Mike boats for lighterage. I don't have the peace time capacity of the Italian ports at hand. 5,000 tons daily may not be enough for eight allied divisions in sustain defensive combat. 9000 tons daily might be a minimum for ten divisions, corps & army overhead, and a tactical air force ashore in sustained offensive combat.
Now, Sardinia and Corsica as an alternative to Sicily in the summer of 1943 might allow for TUSCANY, but that is a pretty huge delta in itself.