Discussion:
What if the Italians fighting stayed out of Russia and the Germans stayed out of North Africa?
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Rob
2017-07-15 16:52:01 UTC
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In OTL, the Axis powers traded troops for their priority fronts. What if they had been more specialized, with Italian reinforcements substituting for the Afrika Korps and German (and other minor Axis allies) troops substituting for Italians on the Russian front. What is the result in each place, and if each power mans its front by itself with its maximal force, is that an even trade in terms of quantity? Is it an even trade in terms of quality? Campaign outcomes?

Balkans in spring of 1941 can have the same force mix as OTL. Africa and Russia are the different ones.
John Dallman
2017-07-15 17:44:00 UTC
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Post by Rob
In OTL, the Axis powers traded troops for their priority fronts.
What if they had been more specialized, with Italian reinforcements
substituting for the Afrika Korps and German (and other minor Axis
allies) troops substituting for Italians on the Russian front. What
is the result in each place, and if each power mans its front by
itself with its maximal force, is that an even trade in terms of
quantity? Is it an even trade in terms of quality? Campaign
outcomes?
What happens is that the Italians lose North Africa in late 1941. They
didn't have the equipment, doctrine or leaders to fight a mechanised war
there. The Germans in Africa were very few in numbers - two divisions at
first - but supplied the doctrine and leadership that was missing.

The small extra numbers of Germans in Russia are most unlikely to make
any difference in 1941, and there was no shortage of able German leaders
there.

John
The Horny Goat
2017-07-18 00:58:53 UTC
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On Sat, 15 Jul 2017 09:52:01 -0700 (PDT), Rob
Post by Rob
In OTL, the Axis powers traded troops for their priority fronts. What if they had been more specialized, with Italian reinforcements substituting for the Afrika Korps and German (and other minor Axis allies) troops substituting for Italians on the Russian front. What is the result in each place, and if each power mans its front by itself with its maximal force, is that an even trade in terms of quantity? Is it an even trade in terms of quality? Campaign outcomes?
Balkans in spring of 1941 can have the same force mix as OTL. Africa and Russia are the different ones.
No German reinforcements in North Africa means the British retain
their gains in their 1940-41 offensive rather than being thrown back
to the Egyptian border in Rommel's first offensive.

Maintaining the front of 1 Mar 1941 probably means British troops in
El Agheila (which in OTL was the main Axis supply base) or west by 1
July 1941. Assuming Italy does NOT invade French Tunisia this is
likely to mean the end of the war in Africa in 1941.

No Italians in the Soviet Union may mean a troop shortage in 1942
(assuming 1941 goes as per OTL) but that likely also means more
Hungarians and Romanians too.

It MIGHT even encourage Hitler to "play nice" with the Ukrainians (at
least until the war in the east is won and which point Hitler can be
counted on to be Hitler).

So your answer is (a) much shorter war in North Africa, (b) no
appreciable differencce in the East
Rob
2017-07-18 02:24:10 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
On Sat, 15 Jul 2017 09:52:01 -0700 (PDT), Rob
Post by Rob
In OTL, the Axis powers traded troops for their priority fronts. What if they had been more specialized, with Italian reinforcements substituting for the Afrika Korps and German (and other minor Axis allies) troops substituting for Italians on the Russian front. What is the result in each place, and if each power mans its front by itself with its maximal force, is that an even trade in terms of quantity? Is it an even trade in terms of quality? Campaign outcomes?
Balkans in spring of 1941 can have the same force mix as OTL. Africa and Russia are the different ones.
No German reinforcements in North Africa means the British retain
their gains in their 1940-41 offensive rather than being thrown back
to the Egyptian border in Rommel's first offensive.
Maintaining the front of 1 Mar 1941 probably means British troops in
El Agheila (which in OTL was the main Axis supply base) or west by 1
July 1941.
Does that give enough time for the British to reinforce their supply lines sufficient to support of deep Libyan desert offensive?

Don't the Italians have plenty of troops and time to fortify El Agheila, or to beef up Tripoli or western portions of Libya?


Assuming Italy does NOT invade French Tunisia this is
Post by The Horny Goat
likely to mean the end of the war in Africa in 1941.
Is that a valid assumption? The Italians, who coveted Tunisia anyway, might not just sit there if invading Tunisia and setting up a supply is the only way to forestall isolation and a mass surrender in western Libya.
Post by The Horny Goat
No Italians in the Soviet Union may mean a troop shortage in 1942
(assuming 1941 goes as per OTL) but that likely also means more
Hungarians and Romanians too.
There were not substantial numbers of Italians engaged in the 1941 Russian campaign?
Post by The Horny Goat
It MIGHT even encourage Hitler to "play nice" with the Ukrainians (at
least until the war in the east is won and which point Hitler can be
counted on to be Hitler).
I doubt it- They were sitting right on his Lebensraum garden.
Post by The Horny Goat
So your answer is (a) much shorter war in North Africa, (b) no
appreciable differencce in the East
---I wonder if it makes Sicily and Italy harder to invade or advance through. The ability of the Allies to invade Sicily and Italy, and the weakening of Italy's willingness and ability to defend, was a knock-on of both the North African defeats *and* massive Italian losses in the Stalingrad. Without commitments outside the Mediterranean, Italian defenses in the homeland and Adriatic may be more formidable.
The Horny Goat
2017-07-18 23:25:46 UTC
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On Mon, 17 Jul 2017 19:24:10 -0700 (PDT), Rob
Post by The Horny Goat
Assuming Italy does NOT invade French Tunisia this is
Post by The Horny Goat
likely to mean the end of the war in Africa in 1941.
Is that a valid assumption? The Italians, who coveted Tunisia anyway, might not just sit there if invading Tunisia and setting up a supply is the only way to forestall isolation and a mass surrender in western Libya.
Given that Germany not Italy was the French occupying power it could
have meant a split in the Axis.
Post by The Horny Goat
Post by The Horny Goat
It MIGHT even encourage Hitler to "play nice" with the Ukrainians (at
least until the war in the east is won and which point Hitler can be
counted on to be Hitler).
I doubt it- They were sitting right on his Lebensraum garden.
I disagree - one of the most plausible German victory scenarios
discussed in this newsgroup is the "German play nice with Ukraine"
scenario.

I am NOT suggesting Hitler would CONTINUE to play nice with the
Ukrainians after a Soviet surrender - I do believe after a 1-2 year
interval the Ukrainians would feel the full impact of the Wehrmacht
and realize that Mein Kampf meant exactly what it said concerning
Hitler's plans for the Soviet Union.

As I say this specific scenario has been discussed at length in
soc.history.what-if and I'm sure you can find it without difficulty if
interested.

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