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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. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    wouldn't it be harder find ships in a more open expanse of sea than an enclosed one?
     

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  2. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Tell that to the 503d PIR.

    We understand there are many things you don't understand.

    To reach a position 200 miles off Oristano requires steaming some 600 miles from the Straits of Gibralter. Speed of advance of an invasion fleet is about 12 knots so under 14 MPH. Two days steaming. OTOH, Gibralter to Oran was 200 miles. Under 15 hours.

    Try to think of some implications.

    Luftwaffe strength in the Med as of 12 November 1942 was 1,646 aircraft, of which 850 were deployed in Italy, Sicily, and North Africa, and about 300 in the Balkans, Greece ,and the Aegean. Another 500 were in Southern France. By 15 November the Regia Aeronautica had 288 aircraft in Tunisia, 379 in Sardinia and Sicily, and 752 in Metropolitan Italy and Albania.

    Luftwaffe aircraft production was steadily increasing in all classes.

    Meanwhile, I know you are used to picking up handfuls of counters and casually moving them around a hex map, but that isn't the way the real world works. The Allies had to create basing for those aircraft, whereas the Axis could use existing facilities.
     
  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    With regards to your first paragraph. It may or may not be. Whether or not airborne troops can be used is not just size dependent and may or may not be much of an advantage.

    In regards to the second. The IJN could approach Midway from anywhere over at least 180 degrees. That creates a huge area to search. Sardinia or Corsica the allied fleet would have to approach from a much narrower corridor and would almost assuredly be spotted passing through the Straits of Gibraltar after which there's a good chance they could be tracked and localized. The myriad of airfields that Axis attacks can be launched from pretty much preclude suppressing them all and submarines and MTBs can be vectored to intercept as well. PLS note that the transports travel slow enough that it will be pretty clear where the invasion force is headed well before it gets there and of course the transports and cargo ships will be tied to the beach head for some time once the invasion starts.

    With regards to the third. You do realize it is mutally contradictory. Where are the Spitfires coming from by the way? Then there's the question of how long it takes to get a airfield operational. Landing a few planes at one doesn't mean that they can easily operate from it.

    With regards to the 4th. Just what forces do you think would be available in August of 44? Certainly not the forces that were available for Torch. As far as plane production goes the allies were producing planes and pilots much faster than the Germans time was on their side. The massive losses of Axis aircraft in the post Torch phase of the North African campaign didn't help the Axis either.
     
  4. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    Using airborne troops greatly ups the chances of capturing an invaluable airfield, airport or landing area (reacetrack, etc,) in Ceylon on the first days, for infantry supplies, etc, to arrive by plane. Alighting troops in H6K in the reservoir, deep in the interior also makes a big difference and ups the chances of capturing a landing area.

    In Midway the US knew the direction and time of approach of the Kidobutai, the fact that it wasted a lot of planes detecting and attacking the slow, much less dangerous invasion fleet, instead of detecting the invaluable Kidobutai is difficult to understand. It is much easier to understand that the IKN had a hard time detecting US carriers, since it deployed few and slow planes over a huge area. But large numbers of Catalina, B-17, B-26 and even SB2U (which had a long range w/o bombs), could have easily detected the Kidobutai the day before the attack.

    Submarines are terribly vulnerable in the Med, yet U-boats sank a few ships off Algeria during Torch anyway (to capture neutral territory). In this case the fleet is not spread over a huge area but much more concentrated and there is a very large number of destroyers (whether in Aug or Nov).
    If the invasion is in August, the extremely strong fleet is much less vulnerable than in Pedestal-Dieppe-Madagascar (where the Japanese damaged a battleship and sank a tanker) and Wasp delivering Spitfire in Malta.

    I find it interesting that you think that sending 4 carriers, a lot of warships and 14 large, fast cargo ships into the same dangeorus area just to suppy Malta for a short period and without destroying a lot of axis planes and fighting in Dieppe (with a large airforce) and Madagascar (large fleet) makes sense, but deploying a massive force to destroy a large number of planes (which the axis cannot replace at the time) and invading an island with excellent location is too risky.
    Or that invading neutral distant, well defended territory in Nov makes more sense than using that huge allied force (301 ships, 107,000 men, large numbers of tanks, artillery, planes, trucks, etc, to attack the enemy where it is weak.

    There were lots of Spitfires being wasted in Britain in Aug (lost in Dieppe) and Nov 1942.
    Britain alone produced more and better planes than Germany and received tens of thousands of planes from the US and Canada. It had large numbers of Spitfires even in 1941, but forced pilots in Malta, Burma, Malaya, India, Ceylon, the USSR, to use only Hurricanes. The first Spits arrived in Malta in the spring of 1942!
    I find it incredible that you think that with huge allied fighter production and with the US supplying the Pacific, you think that Germany (whose fighter production in 1942 is ridiculous, while losses are enormous and planes to be deployed in the USSR, Germany, Norway, Yugoslavia, Greece, Italy, N Africa, Holland, Belgium, France, etc,) can send hundreds of fighters to Sardinia, but Britain and the US cannot. Of course, Italian plane production is even more ridiculous and losses very high. The incredible fact is that the allies took on French planes, instead of wiping out the few remaining Italian and German planes in the area.
    The facts that Britain had massive production of the Mosquito, Spitfire, Beaufighter, Hurricane, etc, and the US had the P-40, Wildcat, P-38, P-39 (which the USSR used very successfully against the Bf 109), B-26 and that the allied were fighting only in teh Med, while Germany was fighting over a huge front and also against thousands of Soviet planes, clearly illustrate that Germany did not stand a chance against allied planes in Sardinia in Aug or Nov (instead of in Morocco).

    It is interesting that Britain produced large numbers of bombers with 4 Merlin engines in 1942. It would have been much smarter to produce Mosquitoes and Spitfires with those engines to rapidly trounce the axis.

    It is also interesting that the excellent Corsair flew long before the Hellcat but entered USN carrier service later. Had it been mass produced for land deployment (Malta, Sardinia, Guadalcanal, Britain, etc,) in 1942 it would have been very successful.

    I stated Aug 1942 (the forces watsed in Dieppe, Madagascar, Pedestal and Wasp ferrying Spitfires) or Nov 1942 (the force wasted in Torch plus the Med fleet and USAAF in Egypt and Libya).
     
  5. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Right ... In the period from 1940 to 1942 16 H6K2-L's were built and in the period 1942-1943 20 H6K4-l's were built. So you would be lucky to have 20 planes that could carry 18 passengers for the first trip. That's going to make a big difference.
     
  6. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    I did not mention the H6K-L only H6K, which enter production before 1940 and 215 were built.
     
  7. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    cancelled
     
  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Only about 140 of them were built before your expected D-Day
     
  9. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    What pray tell do Japanese seaplanes have to do with an idiotic plan to attack Sardinia and Corsica in August 1942?
     
  10. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Nothing...He is using LJAd's patented "When losing the argument, go off on a tangent." escape maneuver.
     
  11. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Indeed but the L version was the one set up for carrying passengers and it only 18. The others weren't configured for that. It's not clear that even the L's could carry 18 soldiers with full equipment either. My understanding is that the H6K's were kept pretty busy in any case. If you move the carriers and the H6Ks all to the Indian Ocean it leaves you kind of short on recon in the mid and even western Pacfic doesn't it?
     
  12. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    The Japanese crammed thousands of troops in cargo ships on several day journeys, using bamboo fstructures, they also crammed paratroopers in twin engine, slim G3M. They can certainly accomodate men in H6K. I am deploying 40 H6K for a couple of weeks, 215 were made and the H8K are entering service. There are lots of G3M, G4M, submarines, etc, so I am sure the front will not collapse while Doolittle drops 15 tons of bombs over Japan.
    The rapid fall of Ceylon and Mauritius will make the Doolittle raid look even more ridiculous in the British Empire.
     
  13. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Indeed they could put men in an H6K but how many and considering the duration of the trip what shape would they be in when they got there? Your hand waving doesn't answer any of the serious questions about any of the scenarios you are writing on. Try supporting your position with facts, logic, and details.
     
  14. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Sigh. 70 H6K had been completed through 1 December 1941. Of those:

    1 H6K1 prototype
    3 H6K1-1 prototype
    8 H6K1-11 prototype
    2 H6K3 transports
    48 H6K4 2-2 and 2-3 reconnaissance aircraft
    2 H6K1-11 converted to transport prototypes
    6 H6K2-L transports

    As of 8 December 1941, a total of 41 H6K4 and 2 H6K2-L were operational with Combined Fleet units. The two H6K3 were fitted as VIP transports and along with the 2 H6K1-11 transports were used to ferry Combined Fleet officers and VIP's between fleet anchorages. The 12 prototypes were either no longer in service (lost to accidents or decommissioned) or were in use as test beds. The status of the remaining 7 H6K4 and 4 H6K2-L is uncertain.

    From 1 December 1941 to 1 April 1942, the Japanese completed another:

    29 H6K4 2-3

    From 1 December 1941 to 1 April 1942 the Japanese lost 24 H6K of all types, 3 to combat and 21 to accidents.

    So the maximum available as of 1 April 1942 was 83 minus 24 or 59.

    Only 4 H8K1 had been completed by 1 April 1942.

    So over two-thirds of the long-range reconnaissance and transport capability would be diverted to this operation for a "few weeks".
     
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  15. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Thanks for the info. I seam to remember reading that a fair number had been lost by that point and then theirs the question about availability rates. I was rather hoping he would do a bit of research but wasn't really expecting that he would, it would get in the way of his hand waving.
     
  16. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    Clearly the few H6K did not do most of long range recce in April 1942, which was done by hundreds of G3M, G4M, dozens of subs, etc, The former with shorter range than the H6K, but the subs with much longer range and useful time of deployment in an area, plus ability to attack.
    The H6K and H8K were only used for extreme missions (much less useful than capturing Ceylon in days) as in Alaska, bombing Hawaii (which ruined Frenchman shoals as a refueling base for these 4 engine planes during Midway), etc,
     
  17. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    The Stupid is strong with this one...

    The flying boat was so insignificant that in the first month of the war, of the 43 operational, one was lost in combat and 5 in accidents. Then, without a significant increase in operational strength (in July 1942 there were still only 72 operational H6K and H8K), in 1942, 17 were lost in combat and 30 to accidents, in 1943 it was 19 and 44, in 1944 it was 54 and 54, and in 1945 it was 33 and 57.
     
  18. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    As I mentioned, the twin engine G3M had a smaller fuselage and obviously much reduced load capacity than the 4 engine H6K (with over twice the wing area) and the G3M flew 12 navy paratroopers and 2 containers from Davao in the PI to the DEI to capture the Langoan airfield in Manado, Celebes, so an H6K can transport 20 men and 40 of them can land 800 men in the reservoir deep in Ceylon. They can then fly to the coast and repeatedly pick up troops (24 this time, with much reduced fuel load and a much shorter trip) or supplies from the invasion fleet and deliver them in the interior quite rapidly. They can also rescue downed aviators, sailors and troops from sunken ships, etc, and evacuate the wounded from the interior to hospital ships. So they are an invaluable asset for the rapid invasion of a poorly defended and invaluable island of just the right size.
    https://books.google.com.mx/books?id=JW7hzXQ38MMC&pg=PA93&lpg=PA93&dq=g3m+paratroopers+celebes&source=bl&ots=17nOUTE_EP&sig=-7jGG0rnhmsI1hBX928CV50lU7A&hl=es&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiP3LXNrPjLAhVot4MKHd1MCtYQ6AEIGzAA#v=onepage&q=g3m%20paratroopers%20celebes&f=false
     
  19. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Blossoming Silk Against the Rising Sun: U.S. and Japanese Paratroopers at War in the Pacific in World War II

    It would be a nice source...Except it does not mention the H6K Mavis at all.

    Could you provide me with a page number?
     
  20. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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    Blossoming Silk Against the Rising Sun: an excellent title for a thread about the Mediterranean.
     
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