There are three problems with this propositionVolyn wrote: ↑19 Jul 2020 15:16The US forces assigned to the MTO could have instead been moved to the USSR, while UK naval and air forces acted as a containment force in the Med to bomb and harass the Axis forces in the region. All German forces that had been assigned to defend Italy after the invasion of Sicily would have simply remained in the USSR, either way Americans still would have fought them.
If the US had really focused on attacking the Eastern Front using the Italian designated units with the USSR, I believe they could have sped up the end of the war by 6 months to a year. There was more space for the Soviets to attack along, thus the defending Germans were always at the disadvantage. Invading and liberating France was not necessary to reach Berlin and end the war, if the Germans are fighting the USSR and the US on the same front they would have most likely weakened their Western Front to compensate for their rapidly increasing losses in the East. UK and US forces based in England could still conduct D-Day without having lost any combat effectiveness.
1. Logistics. The resources that could be sent to the USSR were limited by the extreme distances and shipping capacity. The allies used the limited cargo space sent to the USSR what would provide the biggest effect - logistic vehicles- Studebakers - tanks and aircraft. Imagine if a twelve division US Army group was going to fight in the Ukraine. Where does it get its 7,200 tons per day of supplies? What is the path of a infantry replacement from the Continental USA? How are US levels of artillery ammunition provided? It is over twice as far from New York to Kiev via Murmansk as it is to Algiers or the UK. It is even longer to get to Kiev from the West Coast of the USA while avoiding Japan. So the US could have a tiny army in the Ukraine or the big one they built to fight in Europe.
2. Politics. The US never allowed foreign governments to command their troops in WW2. In the MTO they were under an Allied Command structure with a balance of US and British commanders. Tunisia, Sicily and Normandy were mounted with Eisenhower as supreme commander with British land sea and air commanders at army group level. The idea that the democratic US government would dispatch half a million men under Koniev or Zhukov is nonsense. The Red Army had entirely different attitudes to risk and casualties to those of a democracy.
https://forums.spacebattles.com/threads ... w2.308559/In June 1944, the distance to the Elbe was about the same from the "Omaha Beach" and from Vitebsk. Russians and Americans reached Elbe also about in the same time. However, the Americans along the way spent 15 tonnes of ammo per day per every 10,000 personnel and lost an average of 3.8% of troops per month (KIA, WIA, MIA and POW included). Soviet troops spent three times less shells, but have losses of 8.5% men per month. I.e. speed was provided by spending lives.
There was enough political turbulence when the Texan National Guard lost a couple of thousand men at the Rapido river. Imagine the backlash if US soldiers had been sent forwards on the Seelow heights? Neither the British nor the US entirely trusted the USSR. Even if Roosevelt did Churchill certainly did not. Stalin never confided the details of plans with the allies. The shuttle bombing using airfields in the Ukraine was a disaster. The Red Army's inaction at Warsaw in 1944 made it obvious that Soviet and the west had different objectives.
3. Strategic logic. At any one time the soviets only launched operations on only a fraction of the huge Eastern Front. There were operations in other places as diversions or to tie up German troops. These troops may as well as be in Italy or Tunisia. It made a lot more logistic sense for the US to deploy its land and air forces where they could be supplied. Dead Germans were as dead in Tunisia as they were in the Ukraine.
The Allied strategy evolved through a series of planning conferences starting before the USA entered the war. They agreed to tackle Germany First and the US idea was to launch a cross channel assault as soon as possible. Axis success in the first half of 1942 put the allies on the defensive. Stalin pushed for a cross channel assault to distract the Germans - he didn't ask for troops for Stalingrad.
By mid 1942 Op Torch looked to be the best use of the forces that could be assembled across the Atlantic that year. The Tunisian campaign resulted in comparable strategic success to Stalingrad, and may have contributed to the latter operation by diverting German aircraft and troops from Stalingrad, arguably the main point of effort.
While the Italian campaign is controversial, it did result in the defection of Italy and the replacement of Italian troops by Germans on the Eastern Front and in the Balkans as well as the deployment of an army group to Italy. These took place during the summer battles of 1943. Counterfactuals cannot prove anything. Were a US Army to have been deployed on the Eastern front it would be as likely to postpone the end of the war as advance it.