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  1. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    What if Hitler ordered a total withdraw from North Africa to Sicily, so the Africa Korps and other Axis troops, some 200,000 plus, would live to fight another day. Would that have changed the Allied plan of attack, and if not, would Sicily have been that much harder to conquer?
     
  2. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    This doesn't quite meet the requirements but we're going to open it up anyway.

    Have at it boys.
     
  3. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    If the Mincemeat was fresh the Sardines would have been tasty.
     
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  4. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    In Nov ember 1942 the Germans did have a choice after El Alemein and Torch to abandon North Africa and evacuate the remnants of the Panzer Armee Afrika and the Italian armies there. The 200,000 troops and hundreds of aircraft committed to Tunisia would have been free for other operations. The Mediterranean was not the only, or most, important theatre of operations. With the advantage of hind sight the troops that formed the 5th Panzer Armee in Tunisa, and the aircraft that supplied and supported them might have tipped the balance at Stalingrad.

    If these forces had been retained in the med. they might not have been deployed in Sicily. The Allied deception plans to strike Sardina or Greece were all realistic threats. As post #3 pointed out, the allies had a choice where to attack and the Germans might plausibly have still mis-deployed their forces.

    Another possibility is the impact of this on allied decision making. The Casablanca conference in early 1943 was where the Anglo American allies took the decision to invade Sicily and postpone the cross channel invasion of Europe until 1944. This took place against the background of hard fighting by the Germans and no certainty about how long the Germans and Italians could defend Tunisia. If the allies had been able to occupy North Africa without a fight the Allies might have decided to close down the Mediterranean theatre of operations, transferring the 1st British US land forces back to the UK with a view to launching Op Roundup/Overlord in Summer 1943. This would leave the British Eighth Army and Free French supported by the British naval and air forces, and possibly the 15th USAAF to continue diversionary operations against, say Sicily, Sardinia or the Greek islands.

    Whether the US Army would have been ready to fight against the Germans in Normandy in 1943 is a debatable point. The untried US Army would have gone into battle with Devers and Fredenthal as its senior land commanders It might have been a good job that Kasserine pass took place in Tunisa and not Normandy !"
     
  5. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    I was also thinking along the lines.... What if the Allies invaded France in late 1942, early 1943 like some in the US military wanted instead of waiting until mid-1944...

    The US would have had less troops with less battle experience and they would have been behind in materiel. The wouldn't have as many M4s, mostly Grant tanks, a few M10s, and those small under-gunned Stuarts. No P51, less numbers of P47, so the P40, P39, and P38 would have probably been their main fighter support. The Atlantic Wall would have been less constructed and Rommel wouldn't have had the chance to have his effect on Atlantic defense felt, but would the Allies have been able to gain a successful beach-head and break out with an under-prepared US military in late 1942, early 1943?
     
  6. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    Almost certainly no. This was one of the few scenario that could have resulted in Allie defeat after the Americans joined in.

    There are plenty of threads on this.
     
  7. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    The US didn't want to invade until they were ready, so an invasion before 1944 was a non-starter, for all the reasons you mention plus the lack of landing craft. A failed invasion was their primary concern.
     
  8. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    A cross-Channel landing was only feasible in the late spring/summer, say May-September. Highly unlikely it could be done in summer 1942, so soon after the United States entered the war. Nor could we do it in November in lieu of Torch. The options were summer '43 or summer '44.

    Summer '43 was the same time as Husky, an eight-division shore-to-shore landing using bases and infrastructure vastly inferior to those of England, most of which had only been captured a few months earlier.

    Getting back to GunSlinger86's scenario, I would interpret "withdraw from North Africa" to mean that most of the Axis troops who fought in Tunisia were simply never sent there, except perhaps a small air and ground force to cover the withdrawal of the remnants of Panzerarmee Afrika after they reach Tripoli in January 1943. There probably would not be a Kasserine Pass or clashes with Tiger tanks and the like; instead, the Allies would take control of all North Africa several months earlier than they did historically.

    This would force both sides to think about the Allies' next move. The Axis would have saved Rommel's survivors, but they might not have all the forces which historically fought in Tunisia. The Germans had urgent concerns in Russia in the winter of 1942-43, so units like 10th Panzer Division might have been sent there instead.

    The Allies would have substantial forces in North Africa, including their main combat-experienced formation, 8th Army, a point in favor of further operations in the Med, and of course the British strongly preferred that strategy.

    One more point - the Torch landings had not included LCIs, LCTs, or LSTs (other than three small converted tankers); those were first used in Husky in July 1943 and might not have been available in numbers much sooner.
     
  9. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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  10. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    You know, Amazon allows people to review books...
     
  11. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    What book ?

    :cool:
     

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