Anzio : A Beached Whale or An abcess in Axis rear ?

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Sheldrake
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Re: Anzio : A Beached Whale or An abcess in Axis rear ?

Post by Sheldrake » 26 Jun 2019 22:55

Delta Tank wrote:
26 Jun 2019 19:59
To all,

The 90 Division Gamble.

https://history.army.mil/books/70-7_15.htm

Mike
Interesting article.

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Re: Anzio : A Beached Whale or An abcess in Axis rear ?

Post by Kingfish » 27 Jun 2019 00:05

Sheldrake wrote:
26 Jun 2019 09:31
See post #48
Yes, I saw it.

Did the Italian place any requirement on the post-invasion plans?
Were they in a position to do so?
The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted span the hours spent in fishing.
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Re: Anzio : A Beached Whale or An abcess in Axis rear ?

Post by Sheldrake » 27 Jun 2019 11:26

Kingfish wrote:
27 Jun 2019 00:05
Sheldrake wrote:
26 Jun 2019 09:31
See post #48
Yes, I saw it.

Did the Italian place any requirement on the post-invasion plans?
Were they in a position to do so?
Do you mean would it have been possible for the Allies to trick the Italians into declaring an Armistice but then reneged on the commitment to land and fight the Germans? I suppose so, but it would have likely to have damaged the reputation of the Allies as trust worthy partners. What sort of message would it send to Italians? Do you think Italians were more less likely to defect when it was shown that the Allies were too yellow to help them out? Would that have been a reputation that US citizens have been proud of?

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Re: Anzio : A Beached Whale or An abcess in Axis rear ?

Post by Gooner1 » 27 Jun 2019 11:32

Delta Tank wrote:
26 Jun 2019 15:03
Gooner1,

Have you ever driven from Germany to Italy or Italy to Germany?
Yes I have thanks :milsmile: , Germany to Italy via Austria and Slovenia. Beautiful countryside. Has been an invasion route for ooohh … millennia now.

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Re: Anzio : A Beached Whale or An abcess in Axis rear ?

Post by Gooner1 » 27 Jun 2019 11:43

Delta Tank wrote:
25 Jun 2019 00:34
T
I wrote this on 10 April 2010:
“Once the decision was made to invade North Africa, General George C. Marshall knew that an invasion of France in 1943 was off the table. So after Torch, we did Husky, the invasion of Sicily. After Sicily, the next logical step was to invade Italy, to knock Italy out of the war, to gain air bases and naval bases, and to try to stretch German military assets. The problem I had with the whole Italian Campaign is that at some point we should of said, okay, enough! We have accomplished our objectives and we are going onto a defensive posture and we are going to stop the bleeding.
Mike
OK, two things to ponder

What are the chances of a July breakout in Normandy with the 1. FJD and the 4. FJD, heck add the HG PzD, in 7. Armee?

How do you explain to the Soviets that you're not attacking in Italy as its too difficult as they are losing their 200,000 (600,000) men per month?

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Re: Anzio : A Beached Whale or An abcess in Axis rear ?

Post by Delta Tank » 27 Jun 2019 13:52

Gooner1 wrote:
27 Jun 2019 11:32
Delta Tank wrote:
26 Jun 2019 15:03
Gooner1,

Have you ever driven from Germany to Italy or Italy to Germany?
Yes I have thanks :milsmile: , Germany to Italy via Austria and Slovenia. Beautiful countryside. Has been an invasion route for ooohh … millennia now.
Invasion route?? Not in World War II.

Mike

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Re: Anzio : A Beached Whale or An abcess in Axis rear ?

Post by Delta Tank » 27 Jun 2019 13:58

Gooner1 wrote:
27 Jun 2019 11:43
Delta Tank wrote:
25 Jun 2019 00:34
T
I wrote this on 10 April 2010:
“Once the decision was made to invade North Africa, General George C. Marshall knew that an invasion of France in 1943 was off the table. So after Torch, we did Husky, the invasion of Sicily. After Sicily, the next logical step was to invade Italy, to knock Italy out of the war, to gain air bases and naval bases, and to try to stretch German military assets. The problem I had with the whole Italian Campaign is that at some point we should of said, okay, enough! We have accomplished our objectives and we are going onto a defensive posture and we are going to stop the bleeding.
Mike
OK, two things to ponder

What are the chances of a July breakout in Normandy with the 1. FJD and the 4. FJD, heck add the HG PzD, in 7. Armee?

How do you explain to the Soviets that you're not attacking in Italy as its too difficult as they are losing their 200,000 (600,000) men per month?
Why does everyone assume that every German Division that would leave Italy would automatically be sent to France? Germany had enough divisions to defeat the invasion of France sitting along the Pas de Calais! And there they sat until it was too late. I stand by what I posted, continuing to fight in Italy at a certain point was stupid!! It was stupid!!! It was stupid!!

Mike

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Re: Anzio : A Beached Whale or An abcess in Axis rear ?

Post by DrG » 27 Jun 2019 14:15

The last time that Germany was invaded from the South of the Alps using the Brennero Pass was during the Roman Empire... Theoretically, the Austro-Hungarian armistice of 4 Nov. 1918 opened the way to the Italian Army, but the end of WW1 prevented it anyway.

Even an attack from the Ljubljana Gap was close to an absurdity for the Allies, given that before reaching it they would have to conquer whole Italy anyway... And the Julian Alps, while much lower than the Rhetic and Carnic Alps, are not an easy battlefield for an attacker, more so if the defender has prepared a fortified line.

These speculations about more Allied commitment in Italy don't deserve any further analysis, given that even the historical Italian campaign was a ludicrous blunder, which allowed the Germans to entrench in terrains perfect for an army in serious inferiority in motor vehicles and tanks, and quite good also for cover from enemy aircrafts thanks to the presence of forests and bushes (plus clouds and fog in winter) in the Apennines.

The only rational strategic option was the Salerno landing, finalized at the Italian armistice (also to avoid a Soviet-German one...), nothing else. The mere threat of further Allied landings and the presence of the land front in Southern Italy were more than enough to tie German forces away from Normandy and other more important fronts.

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Re: Anzio : A Beached Whale or An abcess in Axis rear ?

Post by DrG » 27 Jun 2019 14:46

Kingfish wrote:
27 Jun 2019 00:05
Did the Italian place any requirement on the post-invasion plans?
Were they in a position to do so?
No Italian requests about Allied post-invasion plans were made during the negotiations, but the invasion per se was a (to be more precise: the) requirement for the armistice itself. So, the Salerno landing (even though not the optimal choice for the Italian government, which was tricked by Eisenhower on this important detail) was the necessary pre-requiste, instead the Anzio landing was not and, by Jan. 1944, the Italian government was not in a position to ask any action by part of the Allies. Of course it kept asking a liberation of Italy as fast as possible, but it was just a mere desire, not an imposition.

It should be known that the armistice of Cassibile was signed on 3 Sept. 1943 and it was agreed that it had to be made public only a few hours before the Allied invasion of Italian mainland. In fact, when in the afternoon of 8 Sept. 1943 the Reuters leaked the news of the armistice, the Italian Crown Council (practically, an informal meeting between the King Victor Emanuel III, the Head of the Government Marshal Pietro Badoglio, the Chiefs of Staff and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Raffaele Guariglia) decided if it were the case or not to confirm it and its decision was taken also given the fact that the Allied invasion fleet had already been spotted and thus the landing was confirmed, despite that minister Guariglia, the Chiefs of Staff of the Navy and Air Force (which in fact had prepared an attack on 9 Sept. by the 3 Littorio class battleships and the remaining naval and air forces available against the Allied fleet in Southern Tyrrhenian Sea) and probably the King himself had not been informed, before that council, of the signing of the armistice 5 days before.

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Re: Anzio : A Beached Whale or An abcess in Axis rear ?

Post by Richard Anderson » 27 Jun 2019 17:58

Delta Tank wrote:
25 Jun 2019 00:34
I wrote this on 10 April 2010:
“Once the decision was made to invade North Africa, General George C. Marshall knew that an invasion of France in 1943 was off the table. So after Torch, we did Husky, the invasion of Sicily. After Sicily, the next logical step was to invade Italy, to knock Italy out of the war, to gain air bases and naval bases, and to try to stretch German military assets. The problem I had with the whole Italian Campaign is that at some point we should of said, okay, enough! We have accomplished our objectives and we are going onto a defensive posture and we are going to stop the bleeding.
Mike
Yes you did Mike, but it remains as problematic now as it was then. Marshall did not know that in July-August 1942, the ultimate decision to postpone the 1943 invasion of France was made at Casablanca. In any case, indeed those were very logical steps after TORCH and the Italian surrender had far reaching effects on the German war effort. It required the Germans to disarm and intern all Italian forces and take over the defensive positions they previously held in Italy, Southern France, the Balkans, and Greece, which was a huge expansion of requirements for the Heer. SHINGLE demonstrated the practical threat if the Germans elected to over-economize on their Italian coastal defenses. It demonstrated the advantages of maintaining the initiative in a strategic sense. Nor was the campaign that much of a drain on Allied strength (aside from the effect it had on American mobilization due to draining personnel from mobilizing divisions as replacements, but that says more about the errors of the American mobilization than any problems with the Mediterranean strategy). Forces in Italy were drawn on to reinforce NEPTUNE, for DRAGOON, and for MANNA. If they did not come from Italy, they would have had to have come from somewhere.
Gooner1 wrote:
27 Jun 2019 11:43
OK, two things to ponder

What are the chances of a July breakout in Normandy with the 1. FJD and the 4. FJD, heck add the HG PzD, in 7. Armee?

How do you explain to the Soviets that you're not attacking in Italy as its too difficult as they are losing their 200,000 (600,000) men per month?
1. Exactly the same as they were in actuality, given that at the time the Germans were committing 9. and 116. Panzer, 708. ID, and 6. FJD to the fray as they became operational. Presuming the three divisions you nominated were operational and committed earlier (I'm not sure that would be the case BTW), then the likeliest outcome is the meatgrinder would have had to work for a few more weeks before the same results were obtained. The Allies could afford the attrition, the Germans could not.

2. That is a much bigger sticking point.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: Anzio : A Beached Whale or An abcess in Axis rear ?

Post by Kingfish » 27 Jun 2019 23:35

Sheldrake wrote:
27 Jun 2019 11:26
Do you mean would it have been possible for the Allies to trick the Italians into declaring an Armistice but then reneged on the commitment to land and fight the Germans?
I'm not sure how you draw that conclusion given that I had already stated the landings can be added into a broader allied med strategy.

If fixing German forces is the name of the game why force the Germans unto a front only 250km across when you can stretch that frontage to over 1500km?
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Re: Anzio : A Beached Whale or An abcess in Axis rear ?

Post by Gooner1 » 28 Jun 2019 11:35

DrG wrote:
27 Jun 2019 14:15
Even an attack from the Ljubljana Gap was close to an absurdity for the Allies, given that before reaching it they would have to conquer whole Italy anyway... And the Julian Alps, while much lower than the Rhetic and Carnic Alps, are not an easy battlefield for an attacker, more so if the defender has prepared a fortified line.
The Allies did conquer almost the whole of Italy, well except for the Südtirol, before the surrender.

Though Tito's partisans managed to get to Trieste before Eighth Army.

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Re: Anzio : A Beached Whale or An abcess in Axis rear ?

Post by Gooner1 » 28 Jun 2019 12:03

Richard Anderson wrote:
27 Jun 2019 17:58
1. Exactly the same as they were in actuality, given that at the time the Germans were committing 9. and 116. Panzer, 708. ID, and 6. FJD to the fray as they became operational. Presuming the three divisions you nominated were operational and committed earlier (I'm not sure that would be the case BTW), then the likeliest outcome is the meatgrinder would have had to work for a few more weeks before the same results were obtained. The Allies could afford the attrition, the Germans could not.
The three divisions were all operational in Italy at the time albeit somewhat battered :D Army Group C was well motorised by German standards, by end May '44 1 in 3 divisions were either Panzer or Panzergrenadier. I'm sure the Germans wouldn't let that level of motorisation go to waste if the Italian front was inactive. Agree about attrition but add that if it starts later its liable to go on for longer than OTL.

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Re: Anzio : A Beached Whale or An abcess in Axis rear ?

Post by Delta Tank » 28 Jun 2019 12:35

Rich,

Rich wrote:
Yes Mike, but it remains as problematic now as it was then. Marshall did not know that in July-August 1942, the ultimate decision to postpone the 1943 invasion of France was made at Casablanca. In any case, indeed those were very logical steps after TORCH and the Italian surrender had far reaching effects on the German war effort. It required the Germans to disarm and intern all Italian forces and take over the defensive positions they previously held in Italy, Southern France, the Balkans, and Greece, which was a huge expansion of requirements for the Heer. SHINGLE demonstrated the practical threat if the Germans elected to over-economize on their Italian coastal defenses. It demonstrated the advantages of maintaining the initiative in a strategic sense. Nor was the campaign that much of a drain on Allied strength (aside from the effect it had on American mobilization due to draining personnel from mobilizing divisions as replacements, but that says more about the errors of the American mobilization than any problems with the Mediterranean strategy). Forces in Italy were drawn on to reinforce NEPTUNE, for DRAGOON, and for MANNA. If they did not come from Italy, they would have had to have come from somewhere.

Thanks for the history lesson, I knew all of that many, many years ago. Your last line doesn’t make any sense to me. So, you are saying without the Italian Campaign these units would not be formed? Would not be preposition in, let’s say Sicily for the planned invasion of southern France? I never said DO NOT INVADE ITALY, I understand the benefits that we gained, my point is at a certain point it was senseless to get guys killed for virtually zero return!!

Currently in Peru, I am glad we did not fight in these mountains!😳
I have given up try to get the quote function to work.

Mike

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Re: Anzio : A Beached Whale or An abcess in Axis rear ?

Post by Richard Anderson » 28 Jun 2019 15:46

Gooner1 wrote:
28 Jun 2019 12:03
The three divisions were all operational in Italy at the time albeit somewhat battered :D Army Group C was well motorised by German standards, by end May '44 1 in 3 divisions were either Panzer or Panzergrenadier. I'm sure the Germans wouldn't let that level of motorisation go to waste if the Italian front was inactive. Agree about attrition but add that if it starts later its liable to go on for longer than OTL.
The three divisions in Italy were operational because they had to be...all of the three were thrust into combat operations by circumstance - the Allied invasion - rather than choice. HG was a wreck in September 1943, as was 1. FJD. HG was short 7,046 men on 1 September, about one-third its supposed compliment and its existing strength was made up by the addition of a hodge-podge of diverse units. 1. FJD was possibly worse, although data is missing, it may be inferred that by 1 September its personnel shortfall was over two-thirds the division's nominal strength of 17,408. 4. FJD? When committed to battle at Anzio on 20 January, the operational parts of the division consisted of a two-battalion KG commanded by a major...divisional strength included Italian paratroopers from Division Nembo and Folgore, yet the entire division numbered perhaps 7,000...about the same condition of 1. FJD in September 1943.

Yes, HG-C by German standards contained a large number of mechanized formations in May 1943, which was by chance and necessity. When the Allies leapfrogged from North Africa to Sicily and then Italy over the course of two months, the only reserves available were the reconstituted "Stalingrad" divisions and the mash-up of left behind troops in Sardinia and Sicily that hadn't made it to Africa. Thus, 15. Panzergrenadier (or Division Sizilian if you prefer), yet another conglomeration of odds and sods...but also 3. and 29. Panzergrenadier, and 16. Panzer.

Now of course without the Italian campaign unfolding as it did those divisions would have had time to reorganize and recruit, but there is little reason to imagine they would have gone to sit in France waiting for the Allied invasion. Rather, they would have been sent to the next hot spot in the East as they became operational.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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