Your observation was based on both Germany and the SU saw Finland as their own sphere of influence, Finland animosity to the SU in summer 1941 and to Germany in later 1944 were examples. H wanted M to concentrate on the Mediterranean, Italian sphere of influence than participation in the OB. However, in deploying the weak CSIR under the AGS, Italy showed a sign of co-belligerence yet not sacrificing elite forces. Using aircraft as example according to Wikipedia Macchi Saetta article, 51 Macchi Saetta was available with CSIR -- its dominance over Soviet plane lasted a year to Summer 1942. My what-if theory would be counting on the surprise yet planned ahead co-belligerent involvement under Germany on the Eastern Front. The surprise in Finland would last about until Summer 1942 Doing some math, 7 division = 150,000 human for the Red Army => about 25,000 human strength each division. The CSIR held about 59,000 human for 3 division and attachment => about 19000 human strength each division. 5 division committed to fighting in the Karelian Isthumus = 100,000 Finns => about 20,000 human strength each division. some 2 divisions of Finnish reserve is approximate to 2.5 divisions + 13 divisions => 15.5 division for a ratio of 20,000 per division, strength for 230,000 Finns means = 11.5 divisions Within 11.5 divisions, 5 division strength already committed to the Isthumus = 6.5 division strength for K. Isthumus and north of Ladoga, or elsewhere. The Finns had a total of 13 divisions ready to fight; 11.5 division strength or 230,000 human strength was mentioned committed to K. Isthumus and north of Ladoga. Extra 1.5 division strength or 30000 human strength can be committed elsewhere, not K.Isthumus or north of Lagoda as the fight in K. Isthumus was undergoing. Soviet 14th Red army = 100000 Reds versus 6.5 possible + 1.5 available strength = 160000 Finns at maximum. 2 reserve Finnish division = 40,000 human total. However 6.5 division Finns covered both side of Ladoga. As the Finns only committed to one side of Ladoga each time, the reserve strength shall be available at any time of operation for Karelian Isthumus. So I shall use that 40,000 number as subtrahend. It gives 120,000 ready plus 40,000 reserve strength Finns against 100000 reds in area not mentioned -- from east of Ladoga to the arctic coast, if operation would begin simultaneously as the combat in K. Isthumus. A 1.2 advantage is not enough. 27,500 in 2 German mountain division = 13750 human per division. However a German infantry number in 14712 human strength crossed Sweden, this latter number gives rise to the average 14236 between 14712 to 13750 human. As noted in a previous thread on this site, Italian enthusiasts volunteers numbered in thousands, which I approximate it to 4000 human strength. They came from southern Europe so using the 25,000 Reds per division as basis, only 14236 out of 25,000 South European strength could be hoped to fight in harsh conditions, indicating a 56.942% of strong South European bodies fighting German style mountain warfare. So if the Italian volunteers were trained, about 4000 humans times 56.942% equals about 2000 humans can be added. Therefore, if adding CSIR (59,000) and Italian volunteers (another 2000+) into calculation, about 61000+ Italian human can be added against the Soviet 14th army . So the sum of 120,000 Finns + 27,500 Germans + 61,000+ Italian = 208,500+ human plus light armor against 100,000 reds with sorts of armor from east of Ladoga to the arctic coast. A 2.085 advantage -- more than 2 to 1 -- advantage in numbers could be achieved. Therefore, including Italian could launch Continuation War operation on both side of Ladoga at the same time, if surprise of Red Army of the Operation Barbarossa was also felt in Finland. The attack onto east of Ladoga was launched on 3 September 1941 and fighting ended on 12 December. The Finnish offensive began on 10 July in the Karelian Isthumus. Extra 2 months of combat in warmer weather could have been added. Karhumäki was captured on 6 December. From going back in time to early October, could another 2 months in warmer weather meant successful attack from Karhumäki in early October to Kantalahti, taking or bypassing Belomorsk where Red army tank reserve was placed ? If possible, Italian troops in some form in Army of Karelia could link up with Dietl's mountain Jagers at Kantalahti -- Dietl's mission would have been accomplished. Hans Feige could be commanding the Italians as a German commander. In other words, Dietl and Siilasvuo would strike against Kantalahti, hold it against Red Army attack and cut the railway there. Feige with German and Itallian troops would fight with Finnish troops east of Ladoga to attack northwards along the railway, taking Karhumäki, Poventsa, maybe Belomorsk and Kemi, then arrived at Kantalahti. If Mussolini's leadership and Italian volunteers were so eager to help on the Eastern Front, Finland would be a place to shrine. Note that this calculation includes not just infantry.