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Torch in Sardinia & Corsica, instead of N Africa

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by mjölnir, Mar 14, 2016.

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  1. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Patton was most certainly not the most experienced American general many would not consider him the most competent either. Arguably he did not waste his time in Morocco. Like it or not Torch was much safer than trying to use that force off the coast of Italy at the time.

    You have no real idea what war is about do you? It is not about "out maneuvering the enemy" it is about defeating him and avoiding defeat yourself. Inflicting major losses on him is one of the most time honored routes to that goal. In North Africa the allies did out maneuver the Germans as well as inflict significant losses while gaining much needed experience in a number of areas. Even if they succeed in taking Corsica and/or Sardinia keeping them supplied would be a non trivial exercise.

    The divisions may have been green but the American command staff learned a lot from North Africa and the lessons learned even at lower levels were widely shared. Rommel not being reinforced means those troops are available elsewhere when needed. There's also the question of just how "neutral" Vichy France was. Troops gain experience in many ways not just by fighting a single opponent.
     
  2. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    The French shot down more Wildcats, killed by strafing, bombing and tank attacks more Americans in the landing areas and sank more American ships than the Italians did in 1942, a rather absurd situation. Patton lost many men and risked losing a destroyer capturing a fort and an airport. thousands of km from te axis (of course Churchill also wasted a huge force in Madagascar, even farther from the axis).

    There were many more German planes (especially fighters) in Tunisia (they had weeks to reinforce it) than in Sardinia (which does not expect an invasion) , so it is much easier to attack the latter.

    Even USN escort carriers are so fragile that out of scores of them only a few were sunk and even then some by naval guns (Taffy 3) and submarines in the Pacific. 9 or more carriers (an attack on the enemy to capture valuable territory certainly justifies more carriers than one on a neutral country over useless territory) is a formidable force for the few axis planes in Sardinia. Especially when reinforced by P-38s and Beaufighters from Malta and Gibraltar.

    The strong axis airforce in Sicily had a hell of a time trying to destroy a few Hurricanes at any given time in Malta in 1941 and the first half (and stopped tryng after the second batch of 50 Spitfires arrved). Likewise, even the slow Skua's of British carriers downed several Stuka attacking their carriers, yet you think that the few planes in Sardinia in Nov 1942 (mostly 3 engine bombers, Stuka and Ju 88) are a threat for the planes of 9 or more carriers plus P-38 and Beaufighter.
    Between Morocco and Algeria, there were more French fighters, than there were axis fighters in Sardinia.

    As I wrote, supplying Sardinia is much easier than supplying Egypt, sailing around S Africa or even than supplying Malta past axis planes in Sardinia and Sicily and minefields in the shallow narrows of Tunisia (which BTW becomes easier after capturing Sardinia). It is also much easier than supplying Morocco (where ports had to be improved to be used a short while),
    However, you have already decided that invading Morocco and Algeria and attaking Tunisia, Sicily and Italy was brilliant and the only option and that it provided great experience and destropyed the WM and that invading and supplying Sardinia is impossible for the massive allied fleets. I cannot make the blind see.
     
  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    You have used the quote function correctly in the past. Why do you find it so hard with my posts? Again I didn't say most of what you are attributing to me. PLS correct or I will report.
     
  4. green slime

    green slime Member

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    mjölnir cannot make the blind see. Nor can he construct a persuasive argument. For the seeing, it is quite easy to show evidence with references, and at least make a relatively strong, persuasive case. But of course, if someone is incapable of dealing with real world information that would force them to re-examine (one of) their (many!) pet theory with any seriousness, then these hindrances go hand-in-glove, as they are then the blind one.

    No one has here said, that Tunisia-Sicily-Italy was the only option. This is a strawman argument. The fact that you try to construct it as the only option to (another of!) your flawed "scenario(s)", shows your immaturity.
     
  5. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    It's not the situation it is your statement that is absurd. How many Wildcats saw action against the Italians in 42? What US ground forces were subject to attack by Italians in 42?

    The US lost what less than 50 Wildcats during Torch and the allies less than 200 overall. Between Torch and Tunisia the allies lost less than 1,000 aircraft and the Germans lost over 3,000. That's a loss the allies could afford and the Germans certainly couldn't (note Vichy French losses are not included). The Germans also lost significantly more tanks than the allies not to mention troops. Oh and as far as Sicily goes Axis casualties were almost 10 times those of the allies (Over 200,000 Axis casualties compared to a bit under 25,000 allied casualties). The Axis couldn't sustain losses like that.
     
  6. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    Again, smart strategists achieve fast victory with limited resources and minimal losses on both sides (Alexander, the sickle cut, Cortes, etc,), incompetent leaders require enormous resources and lots of time and lose and kill thousands for useless terrain as the allies in N Africa, Sicily, Italy and the Germans and Soviets in the USSR in WW II and the allies and the Germans in WW I in Verdun, the Somme, etc,
    The blockade and Sherman's march to the sea did more to defeat the south with minimal losses, than Gettysburg, Vicksburg, etc,
     
  7. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    That is precisely the point. It is absurd that more Wildcats, USN carriers, battleships, destroyers, cruisers, landing craft, cargo ships, tanks, troops, paratroopers, etc saw combat against the neutral French (with losses and for usless ground) than against the Italians for valuable ground in 1942.

    All planes, etc, lost to a neutral country are a waste, even if you regard hundreds as a small number. See how many US planes were lost destroying Truk or during the Marianas Turkey shoot or on D-day or destroying 400 German planes in a day in Germany and you'll realize that the planes wasted fighting neutrals and the axis for useless ground were a big waste.. A lot fewer planes would have been lost in Sardinia and Corsica. From these islands and then operating in France a lot more German planes can be destroyed than in Africa, but for valuable ground.
     
  8. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Hahaha :the blocakade was no fast victory, thus following you it was decided by incompetent leaders .

    Sheridan's march happened at the end of the war,and was only made possible because victories of Vicksburg and Gettysburg .

    Besides Verdun and the Somme were not useless,they were allied victories .
     
  9. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    To achieve such victories your "smart strategists" need both special conditions and/or a marginally competent opponent. Cortes and Hitler were both risk takers. Cortes was almost defeated and would have lost his entire command had he lost. He also had a lot of Indian allies a fact that is often ignored. Alexander also was a risk taker and generally faced lesser opposition with a superbly trained force but his luck ran out eventually as well. Gettysburg was important to defeating the South and Vicksburg was clearly part of the Anaconda strategy that took 4 years to work. Competent leaders will make use of the advantages that they have and try to minimize the disadvantages. If your aim is to destroy your opponents army you aren't going to do it with pinpricks. A sure victory tomorrow may be worth a lot more than risking a loss today.
     
  10. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Not really. They could be employed in Torch with a minimal risk and to some considerable effect. Doing so in the Med risked loosing a lot more for little potential gain.

    The US lost less than 30 F4F's to the French in Torch. I suspect you will find that the Free French personel gains afterwards were greater than the allied losses in that operation so it's a net gain. It also completely unhinged the Axis position in North Africa leading to the pretty much complete destruction of Axis forces there and a solid land base to cover the eventual assaults on Crete and Italy. No waste at all. Comparing the battles in the Med to those in the Pacific is rater misleading as well. The Islands in the Pacific could be and were isolated and reduced or left to wither. PLS note what happened to carriers if a decent attack force got through to them however. In the Marianas the approach vectors were know and a superior CAP was mustered vs each raid, in part because the axis were known and in part because of the relative strengths of the forces involved. No such CAP could be guaranteed in 42 in the Med.
     
  11. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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  12. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    American, British and French planes lost fighting over useless territory are wasted. Allied planes lost fighting the enemy and occupying valuable gorund are a sound investment.

    Sardinia is by far the ideal place for the allies, with P-38, Beaufighters, B-25 and 26 and 4 engine bombers and massive naval force (including aviation) to dominate the air and invade. Where are the axis single engine fighters going to take off from in order to stop an invasion? Once the few planes in the island are destroyed, the LW can only attack with single engine fighters from Italy or occupied France (until Germany occupies Vichy France, by which time Sardinia is secure and heavily reinforced with Spitfires ferried from Malta by carrier). Yes, it is obviously much easier, safer and faster to ferry Spitfires to Sardinia than it is to Malta (although you will certainly find it impossible).

    Again, the axis could never eliminate a few fighters, which were poorly supplied in Malta, just 100 km from Sicily and you have them wipe out a strong allied force in distant Sardinia. For the battered LW trying to wipe out the allies in Sardinia, it would be the BoB all over again, and with much worse odds.
     
  13. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    Sardinia and Corsica will also allow the excellent Mosquito to develop sgreat potential in late 1942, for recce and as a bomber and bomber destroyer. Supporting the invasion and then operating from Sardinia and Corsica to bomb N Italy, Sicily, occupied France and S Germany. After dropping its bombs or during recce, it can even fly over Switzerland and outfly Swiss Bf 109.
     
  14. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner)

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    Sheridan didn't march to the sea, Sherman did.
     
  15. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    The blockade, liberation of New Orleaans, etc, were implemented quite fast and with limited losses (compared to the wasted time and heavy, shameful losses by the bulk of the huge Union army).
    During the liberation of N.O. the S armies were concentrated in N Mississippi, W Tennesse and N Virginia (including Stonewall's area, part of what today is W Virginia), so a simillar march to Sherman's could have been performed in 1962 from New Orleans to Atanta by the huge Union army and it would have caused Dixie's morale to plummet. Union troops would have had an easier time living off the land than near the end of the war, when much of the area had been nearly depleted of resources.
     
  16. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    Thanks a lot, I just corrected it.
     
  17. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    Just a minute here slick, I admire your arguements concerning your ATL in the western Med and all, but you got one thing wrong here. New Orleans wasn't liberated. It was occupied by the damn yankees after the the yankee fleet made it past the Confederate defensive positions at Fts Jackson and St. Philip after a spirited fight. As a result of running the batteries, New Orleans was helpless since it was at sea level and had no defenses against yankee bombardments. And in April (the city surrendered in April 30,1862), the river was high and that meant any ship could fire point blank over the levees into the city. Damn yankees.
     
  18. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    More wishful thinking by mjölnir...

    First, General Butler only had about 1/3rd the troops that Sherman did. Second, he would have to march 3 times the distance that Sherman did. Third, Butler was one of the US "political" generals(he was appointed general because of his political connections and not because of any military prowess). Fourth, his failures in combat finally overcame his political clout and he was relieved and recalled to Washington DC in January, 1865. Fifth, during Sherman's "March to the Sea", Georgia had hardly been "depleted of resources"...That is plainly evident by looking at what Sherman's forces captured or otherwise destroyed.
     
  19. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    And depleted of capable forces to oppose the march as well since General John Bell Hood took his Army of Tennessee and charged head long into Tennesse in hopes of drawing Sherman away from the intended march. When Hood ran the post pattern, there were only a few regular troops and militia available to try to hold Sherman and his yankee hordes at bay.
     
  20. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner)

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    Jeez, and they say its the Southerners who won't let the War of Northern Aggression die. Had the Yankees attempted to restart their aggression in 1962 they would have run into some pissed-off good ol' boys. I would have been young but if they made it anywhere near Atlanta (the locals tend to drop the second 'T' but not the 'L'), a whole passel of Yanks would have presented a mighty fine plinking opportunity for my trusty Remington Sportsmaster.

    Fergit Hell!

    (a little proofreading before pressing "post" goes a long way)
     
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