Italy at al - Page 2




 
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January 14th, 2017  
alessandro.pirisinu
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by I3BrigPvSk
But what about if the Allied kept ground forces on the islands and keeping the Germans in the dark about the intentions? I am just speculating.

I checked Sardinia out, it is a beautiful island, how's the beer there?
The beer is very good... we have the best water, the best barley, hops and yeast ... and the best climate ...

About your speculation, Dear 13 , I perfectly agree with the quote of General Omar Bradley: "this damnably stupid island hopping... gave our enemies the luxury of time"...
January 14th, 2017  
I3BrigPvSk
 
 
I remember what General Clark said about the fighting in Italy. "This is like fighting in an art museum"

I have read about the people trying to save and protect the master pieces and the architecture in Italy. They did a pretty good job.
January 15th, 2017  
BritinAfrica
 
 
My uncle Charlie fought in North Africa in the LRDG, then onto Italy. He always said, "We always knew when we were up against an SS unit, they fought hard, very hard." He survived and ended up in Austria facing the Soviets
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January 15th, 2017  
JOC
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
The British were in favour of taking Sardinia but the Americans were opposed, their reasoning was that while Sardinia offered a lot for the airforce Sicily offered a lot for all branches as a stepping stone for invading Italy as well as securing Mediterranean shipping.

From the book United States Army in WWII - the Mediterranean - Sicily and the Surrender of Italy By Albert N. Garland, Howard McGaw Smyth, Martin Blumenson the Italian campaign was a compromise of British and American views with the purpose of securing the Med lines of communication, diverting German forces from Russia and increasing the pressure on Italy.
I tend to agree with this statement. 1st and foremost invading Italy was a fairly large operation compared with that of a comparable island hoping campaign. Thus it diverted many more valuable German forces from the Soviet Union.


Also although it did tie up over 1.3 million men in total, it became somewhat of a secondary front after the invasion of France and taking of Rome. Although still acting as an effective drain on German resources right up until the end the war.
January 16th, 2017  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JOC
I tend to agree with this statement. 1st and foremost invading Italy was a fairly large operation compared with that of a comparable island hoping campaign. Thus it diverted many more valuable German forces from the Soviet Union.


Also although it did tie up over 1.3 million men in total, it became somewhat of a secondary front after the invasion of France and taking of Rome. Although still acting as an effective drain on German resources right up until the end the war.
Some had stated the campaign to the back seat the D Day. My uncle Charlie who fought with the 8th Army in Italy said it was a hard fought campaign. It was extremely costly in lives lost on both sides and equipment destroyed.
January 16th, 2017  
JOC
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
Some had stated the campaign to the back seat the D Day. My uncle Charlie who fought with the 8th Army in Italy said it was a hard fought campaign. It was extremely costly in lives lost on both sides and equipment destroyed.
The Italian campaign was hard fought with some very rough going particularly around Monty Casino and Anzio, to name just a few. It tied up > 1 million Germans thru the course of the campaign "which they could ill afford". Also special forces were delegated to the front such as airborne and SS units. Mountainous terrain and poor winter weather greatly favored the defense and Kesselring was a master of defense so the going was often slow. The forces in Italy were stripped down a bit to supply men for France in the summer of 44, but the fighting continued right up until May of 45 weeks within the surrender of the Reich. Also by this time the allies were receiving considerable help from Italian gorilla fighters much to their peril.


In WW2 nearly all campaigns in both theaters were hard fought. This is true regardless of immediate strategic significance. It can be said that that the Philippine champagne for example was of secondary importance and could have been avoided. "A topic for another tread" yet in less than 10 months it cost 80,000 American casualties and an unknown but very high amount of Filipinos killed.


So straightway I never said the Italian fighting wasn't rough as it usually was when facing the Wehrmacht, just that the front itself was not the primary one after Normandy.
January 17th, 2017  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JOC
The Italian campaign was hard fought with some very rough going particularly around Monty Casino and Anzio, to name just a few. It tied up > 1 million Germans thru the course of the campaign "which they could ill afford". Also special forces were delegated to the front such as airborne and SS units. Mountainous terrain and poor winter weather greatly favored the defense and Kesselring was a master of defense so the going was often slow. The forces in Italy were stripped down a bit to supply men for France in the summer of 44, but the fighting continued right up until May of 45 weeks within the surrender of the Reich. Also by this time the allies were receiving considerable help from Italian gorilla fighters much to their peril.


In WW2 nearly all campaigns in both theaters were hard fought. This is true regardless of immediate strategic significance. It can be said that that the Philippine champagne for example was of secondary importance and could have been avoided. "A topic for another tread" yet in less than 10 months it cost 80,000 American casualties and an unknown but very high amount of Filipinos killed.


So straightway I never said the Italian fighting wasn't rough as it usually was when facing the Wehrmacht, just that the front itself was not the primary one after Normandy.
One thing few people talk about though is that Kesselring was never supposed to defend Italy, his orders were to seal off the Brenner Pass area and defend from the Austrian border, he had to convince Hitler to allow him to move his troops into Italy.
January 17th, 2017  
George
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
I will quote General Omar Bradley after the invasion of the island of Pantelleria he said...



From the book: MUSSOLINI'S WAR: Fascist Italy's Military Struggles from Africa and Western Europe to the Mediterranean and Soviet Union 1935-45 by Frank Joseph.

He believed that these actions led to higher casualties during the Sicilian and Italian campaign because it gave the Germans and Italians time to prepare.
I would say it wasn't "Island Hopping" at all, but the usual 'take then out in proper order" sort of thing. They should have wrecked any air assets on the island & gone to sicily before it could be built up, leaving Pantelleria to wither on the vine. Guess they were too afraid that the Germans might do to them what the British did to the Axis with Malta to be that bold.
January 17th, 2017  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JOC
The Italian campaign was hard fought with some very rough going particularly around Monty Casino and Anzio, to name just a few. It tied up > 1 million Germans thru the course of the campaign "which they could ill afford". Also special forces were delegated to the front such as airborne and SS units. Mountainous terrain and poor winter weather greatly favored the defense and Kesselring was a master of defense so the going was often slow. The forces in Italy were stripped down a bit to supply men for France in the summer of 44, but the fighting continued right up until May of 45 weeks within the surrender of the Reich. Also by this time the allies were receiving considerable help from Italian gorilla fighters much to their peril.
The issue I have here is that we look at Anzio and Monte Cassino as epic battles, here in New Zealand Monte Cassino is considered one of our defining moments much like Galipolli and Crete but the reality is they were all horrible failures brought about by inept leadership.

Alexander ran out of ideas and reverted to WW1 tactics, Clark was too busy looking for ways of getting his picture in the papers to be bothered with the war, Freyberg decided the key to success was to create as many obstacles for the troops as he could by helping build German fortifications and Lucas clearly went to Italy on vacation as all he wanted to do was sit on a beach.

Anzio was unnecessary but could have worked had Lucas decided to fight a war instead of getting a tan, Cassino was wholly unnecessary and had they listened to the French General Alphonse Juin they could have bypassed it all together and had French mountain troops not simply gone around the Gustav line further east and threatened the German flanks they would probably still be at Monte Cassino.
January 17th, 2017  
JOC
 
 
Regardless of after the fact possibilities the allied troops at Monti Casino had to go uphill against dung in Germans many of whom were special forces and the whole bloody thing took months and was the bloodiest single battle in the entire Italian Campaign. If I recall the Poles were the ones that finally broke thru but I might be wrong going on memory. Clark never was known for his brilliance. Anther tragedy was the allies destroyed the Abbey which up till that time was unoccupied by the Germans.
 


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