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to unite the Mediterranean against the British Empire in 1940.?? We know that there was emnity between Mussolini and the Vichy government but was it overcomeable.? Mussolini was a pragmatist and Petain an Oppurtunist who believed that he was fighting for a fair peace/armistic agreement, could there national rivalry have been superceeded by the possibility of a Pan-German Med Coalition.
(I am aware of members of the Vichy cabinet (Darlan & Laval especially)wanting some form of armed conflict past what had already occurred at:
Mers el Kebir / Dakar / Devonport on board the Surcouf.and other various incidents following the fall of France in 1940:
While true that the majority of events were seaborne there was definately a shift towards outright hostility with Darlan lookin at Britains surrender as a way of lightening the Germans economic and military presence in the occupied areas.
Hitler of course saw France as subjugated but usefull, refusing to allow re-patriation of her soldiers at any pace for fear of France becoming an renewed opponent and for use as slave labour. Considering that France would become a giant concentration area for any allied invasion of Germany, it would be foolish to arm French forces in metropolitan France but in her colonies where her soldiers were armed ( and prepared to shoot back)open armed resistance to Allied forces would surely have been a great help if a strategy to attack Britains middle eastern assest had been seriously undertaken As we know Hitler chose other options but never the less considerations of strategic neccessity should have over ridden these considerations for Hitler, he may have had a poor attitude concerning the French, but they were far more to his taste than the majority of volunteers for the SS foreigh legions. (It is interseting to note that operations could have been mounted to take over the French navy- although the success of the British doing so was not great).
I personally do not think so:
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Lord, please keep Kevin Bacon alive...
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June 18, 1940.
Shortly before the end of the campaign in the West, in this case Fall Rot, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini came to the Bavarian capital to meet with Adolf Hitler. The Duce was accompanied by his Foreign Minister, Count Ciano; The intention was to discuss the immediate plans after the sure fall of France. Mortified by the late entry of Italy into the war against the Allies, and his rather tepid performance since then, Mussolini met with Hitler determined to convince his Axis partner to exploit the advantage he had in France by demanding total surrender and occupy the southern part is still free. The Italian dictator clearly wanted to "get in" the loot, and this was a way to reap rewards with a minimum of risk. However, the Duce did not get what he came for.
Ciano recorded in his diary that Mussolini left the meeting frustrated and feeling "that his role was secondary." Ciano also registers a new respect for Hitler: "Today he speaks with a reservation and insight that, after such a victory, they are really amazing."
Sources: https://www.history.com/this-day-in-his ... -in-munich
ILLUSTRIERTER BEOBACHTER 1940 Folge 20.
Is it for a what if? As for looking for an alternative in the Mediterranean as viewed by Raeder. Cheers. Raúl M .
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