Italy at al




 
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January 11th, 2017  
I3BrigPvSk
 
 

Topic: Italy at al


I want to energize the forum and I might have found something that we can discuss. It will be more subjective and it is about the Italian campaign during the Second World War.

As we all know, the allied forces invaded Italy and it was a real struggle to gain ground with a huge loss of human lives. The terrain in Italy was suited for defense and the Germans used the terrain to their own advantage. Here comes my thinking about the entire thing.

Had it been better if the allied forces invaded Sardinia and Corsica instead? It had been easier for the allied and probably cost much lesser, but still fixing the Germans in Italy and southern France. The Allied used deception when a body with plans of the invasions of the invasions of the islands was found in Spain.

The Italian campaign fixed a lot of German forces which could have been used elsewhere, but the price was really high for the allied.
January 11th, 2017  
alessandro.pirisinu
 
 
Dear I3BrigPvSk Sir,

I live in Sardinia... and I don't think it would have been an effective idea to invade the two islands. Even if the idea had been to "exploit" them as a base for the successive stages of the war, there is a distance of about 80 nautic miles between the NE corner of Sardinia and the coast of Lazio. Also add that, in those years, the quality of maritime transportation would have been another great problem...
I think the risk was to spend too much energies to displace the troops in the islands and then move them towards the main land.
I don't know any documents regarding the hypothesis... but I believe it was taken into consideration: Sardinia, in particular, has always been a perfect base for the air force, in the middle of the mediterranean. In the end, another way was chosen.
January 12th, 2017  
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.
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January 12th, 2017  
alessandro.pirisinu
 
 
Exactly!!
Perfect, Sir.
January 13th, 2017  
George
 
Could the Allies had enough airpower to dominate Italy with a modified "Island Hopping" scenario where they take Sicily, Elba & Corsica (or Sardinia) and not actually invade Italy itself? And still invade southern France after D-Day.
January 13th, 2017  
I3BrigPvSk
 
 
That's an interesting question. The Germans couldn't have ignore to presence of the allied forces on the islands in the Med, or could they?

alessandro.pirisinu you don't need to call me sir, most people here call me 13.
January 13th, 2017  
alessandro.pirisinu
 
 
Yes, Sir... ehm, 13!!
January 13th, 2017  
alessandro.pirisinu
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by George
Could the Allies had enough airpower to dominate Italy with a modified "Island Hopping" scenario...
I don't think they could've dominate Italy with such a strategy... IMHO, 'twas too expensive (and still is today ... LOL !!)
January 14th, 2017  
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?
January 14th, 2017  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by George
Could the Allies had enough airpower to dominate Italy with a modified "Island Hopping" scenario where they take Sicily, Elba & Corsica (or Sardinia) and not actually invade Italy itself? And still invade southern France after D-Day.
I will quote General Omar Bradley after the invasion of the island of Pantelleria he said...

Quote:
It was this damnably stupid island hopping mentality that gave our enemies the luxury of time.
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.
 


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