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What if Italy remained neutral?

Discussion in 'What If - Mediterranean & North Africa' started by Komninos, Jun 28, 2005.

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  1. Komninos

    Komninos Member

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    As I see it, Italy didn't contribute much. They bangled Egypt, they couldn't even beat the French forces when they declared war just as Paris fell, and they totally got buttkicked in Greece. It only forced Germany to spread its forces to other theatres that could have been avoided.
    So what Italy remained neutral and continued to bugger the Allies (after Aithiopia/Abysinia and stuff) while Germany concentrated on Europe, Scandinavia and Barbarossa. Perhaps Germany could have taken Sweden as well as Norway and be better able to support Finland. Also what if they could now afford the time to procure Turkey's allegiance, or invade it and then Iraq and Caucasus?
     
  2. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Because Mussolini wanted its share of the cake… and he wanted some glory for Italy too.

    Of course, Italy didn't have the means and he just ignored that fact. [​IMG]
     
  3. Komninos

    Komninos Member

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    Well Italy wasn't too bad. They did win in Abysinia and their Navy was big, if low tech (I heard they couldn't even fight at night). Their army was not too small and much better equiped than the Greek army. I also heard they marched on Egypt and managed to lose with 10 to 1 odds in their favour.
    So was the problem resources or operational dogma and troop morale or something like that?

    Anyway, would it have made Germany's job easier like I describe or not? Perhaps the Brittish easy reign of the Med would have allowed them to spare more stuff elsewhere, occupation of Iraq, bombing of Ploeisti Romanian Oilfields, etc. Best case scenario would be the Italians not joining Germany, but going to war with Brittain and France over the Abysinian aftermath (and hatred), probably the Greek dictator may have been even persuaded to join Germany if he was promissed territories (Aegean Isles and Cyprus).
     
  4. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    This scenario does have possibilities. Without Italy in the war there is essentially no Mediterranian theater to speak of. However, following France's fall (which assumedly would still happen) what does Britain do with the Italian - Greek problem? Does Italy still continue their campaign against that nation? If so, does Britain get involved?
    This leads back to Italy entering the war only later than originally occured. It forces a later Balkans campaign by Germany which, in turn, forces a delay of the Russian invasion into 1942.
    With everything pushed back a year, the US would be in far better shape to enter the war in 1943 rather than 42 (41 really doesn't count seeing as how it was some 24 days....)
    The Soviets still get hammered, just a year late.
     
  5. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    It would be difficult for a fellow facist dictator to stay on the sidelines but lets go with the what if.

    Italy would be an unknown thorn on the side for the allies. It would also allow the British to free up ships to fight the wolfpack threat. It would also allow them to build up their army and prepare for an invasion of the continent. The raid on Nazarie would have been larger and perhaps an actual attempt at getting a foothold on the continent.

    The American contribuition would have been about the same but the British would have a larger role having more men to contribute.

    Question is, how successful would an invasion in 42/43 be?
     
  6. dasreich

    dasreich Member

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    Well for one, no Arika Korps. Also, no occupation troops in Greece or maybe even Yugo. Men, resources, and leaders would be freed up for the Russian campaign. Although the outcome probably would not have been affected there, the campaign could only have been positively affected.

    This also negates Italy as a front for the Allies to take on Germany. This would have serious reprecussions for any attempt into Western Europe, as the Allies would not have had the benefit of the combined arms experience North Africa and Italy gave them. Overlord nearly failed as it was, imagine greener Allied soldiers against a numerically stronger-than-historical coastal defense. That could have ended very badly.

    In any case, Mussolini would probably have died in his sleep like Franco, not strung up by heels.
     
  7. bigiceman

    bigiceman Member

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    I think that the biggest impact would be what dasreich proposed, the lack of amphibious experience for the allied forces when it came time to invade Europe. There would be the possibility that they could use Mediterranian bases to use as a jumping off point for landings along the Mediterranian. Southern France or through the Aegian Sea into the Balkans to threaten the flank of the Russian advance as the second front.
     
  8. Hands

    Hands Member

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    Well, I was thinking, if the Britsh never meant Rommel, how would their armour tactics be ?

    The british learned many many valuable lessons in tank warfare in North Africa. Although they were lucky that Rommel didnt really have much tanks.

    And not only the British, the Americans too learned a great deal in North Africa. Fighting against an experienced german army in fortress europe, they needed those experience. The casualties after the Normandy landings would be terrible on the allied side.
     
  9. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    That is a very good point. Their only experience of blitzkrieg was during the campaign in the low countries and that was too fast for them to have learned anything. I would expect their landings in France to have happened in 43 with higher casualties and maybe even the same results as with the St. Nazarie raid. A landing failure and successful second attempt. Hard to say
     
  10. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Also, they're in better shape. T-34s are more numerous and communications, planning, training, etcetera are better than in 1941. The Germans would have never gone as far as they did.
     
  11. Hands

    Hands Member

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    Also, they're in better shape. T-34s are more numerous and communications, planning, training, etcetera are better than in 1941. The Germans would have never gone as far as they did. </font>[/QUOTE]Another wat if then.
    What if Stalin never invaded Finland ?
     
  12. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    STAVKA may not have been aware of how deficient the armed forces were by inadequate training. Not that it made any difference anyway.
     
  13. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The Winter War had two sides. The Russians realized, i.e. Stalin actually, that the army needed new ideas and tanks and leaders, as well as Hitler thought that Russia was ready to be taken as its army was so weak.
     
  14. Hands

    Hands Member

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    You do not believe that if stalin had not invaded finland,and didnt realize his mistake regarding the condition of his red army, it could be too late when he starts to implement such changes ( with the germans marching towards moscow) ? :D
     
  15. Hands

    Hands Member

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    Never thought of that.
    But hitler's eyes have always be targeted at Russia. Perhaps it would be a good thing for germany ? If the germans didn't believe that the red army would collapse so easily, they could have a better or more realistic job in planning for the war.
     
  16. skunk works

    skunk works Ace

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    Their effect upon the war was pretty "Neutral". I especially like the battle of Mataplan where Italian sailors were seen running on the decks of their cruisers carring bottles of wine. The list goes on...Taranto (Butt Whoopin), Sidi Barini (biggest mass surrender except Bataan), the Roma (pride of Italian fleet) sinking from (1) Fritz-x hit.
    I've also heard that the Germans never brought "Ladies of the Evening" along with their troops, as "Hooker" (a Union General) in the U.S. Civil war did (where the "Handle" came from).
    That was because they fought with the Italians, and they ALWAYS did!
    Not having Italy on the Axis side would have indeed made a difference in the performance of the German Army!
     
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