Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

What if? Roosevelt ignores Churchill and heeds his generals, no invasion of French Africa.

Discussion in 'North Africa: Operation Torch to Surrender of Tuni' started by archytas, Mar 18, 2018.

  1. archytas

    archytas Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2018
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    OTL Churchill, arguably the second worst startegist in WW II, after Mussolini, presuaded Roosevelt to ignore the Chiefs of Staff and invade neutral Morocco and Algeria, wasting men, planes, ships and invaluable time in Africa, while the USSR facing over 160 WM divisions.

    ATL After the rapid loss of Malaya and Singapore (despite Churchill promising at least 6 months resistance), Roosevelt realizes the lowsy performance of British forces in Norway, France, Belgium, Greece, Crete, Libya against Rommel, Malaya, HK, Burma, DEI, etc, despite billions of dollars of invaluable food, planes, tanks, fuel, etc, of L-L, He orders the Chiefs of Staff to ignore Churchill completely and attack where they think fit, Always placing the most aggressive and experienced ommanders in command (Eisenhower is neither, so he does not receive a high command position).
    Roosevelt orders priority be given to the European theater Europe (2/3 of the forces in Europe and 1/3 in the Pacific). Roosevelt informs Churchill that the US will not deploy forces in Vichy's Africa, so Monty will have to deal with the axis alone. Moreover, the US will supply fewer tanks, planes, etc, to Monty around South Africa, until the Med is open. Roosevellt tasks Britian wit seizing Pantelleria, while US forces attack Italy and France. Moreover, L-L to Britain will not exceed L-L to the USSR, which is fighting much stronger Axis forces.

    The Chiefs of Staff decide to invade weak Sardinia and the French Med coast simultaneously, landing Patton in France (with Truscott, Bradley, Allen, Ted Roosevelt, etc, under him)The strong bomber untis will be deployed in Sardinia and used to support the invasion of France and to bomb Italy and Germany from there, rather than from Britain.

    The Chiefs of Staff inform Roosevelt to offer Stalin even stronger L-L (at the cost of L-L to Britain), but conditioned of invading Manchuria within 3 months, in order to deprive Japan of its food, minerals, labor force and industry and providing a respite for China.
     
  2. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,903
    Likes Received:
    694
    Sounds like a good way to get II Corps, with 1st ID, 34th ID, 2d AD, and 3d AD destroyed, along with...I presume...the British elements of First Army - 46th and 78th ID - that I guess you are committing to the invasion of Sardinia.
     
  3. archytas

    archytas Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2018
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sardinia falls rapidly, with few US casualties, simplifying the shipping of supplies to Malta and causing grave problems for Italy, whose industry, RR lines, air and naval bases start incurring heavy damage by bombng within a month. The fall of Sicily also makes supplying axis forces in Tunisia, less easy for Italy, so even Monty benefits from the occupation of Sardinia.

    RN marines and commandoes land in Pantelleria a day after the invasion of Sardinia. The garrison rapidly surrenders as in Sardinia. RN and RAF make supplying Tunisia also quite difficult for the Italians.

    The landing in Vichy's coast force Germany to rapidly occupy Vichy, but by then the beach head is already strong andUS planes sñw down the German occupation of Vichy, which never reaches Toulon. Petain is evacuated to Sardinia and he orders French forces in Africa to join the allies to liberate France. 3 days after landing in Sardinia, Corsica (newly occupied by Italian frces is invaded, Italian troops surrender after 3 days of bombing and shelling. Large numbers of Italian prisoners from Sardinia and Corsica are transported to the US.

    The US urges Canada, Australia and New Zealand to fight with the more aggressive US forces, rather than with the incompetent British forces. They agree. French forces from Africa and Canadian forces arrive in Med France to assist Patton's forces.

    The Chiefs of Staff suggest landing forces in Portugal and issuing a joint US, French, Soviet and British ultimatum to Franco, to join the allies and allow allied forces to liberate France from Spain, or be blockaded, shelled and bombed after 3 days.

    German industry is having great difficulty replacing heavy losses of material and supplying munitions, etc, in the USSR, the heavy German losses in S. France further exacerbate the German lack of materiel.

    Mussolini and Kesselring have to deploy strong forces to defend Sicily and the Italian coast from invasion from Corsica and Sardinia.

    The improved access to reinforce and supply Malta, allows the US to build airfields in Gozo (adjacent to Malta) and deploy strong forces to attack LW planes, Italian bases, etc, in Sicily.

    Because axis forces in Tunisia cannot be easily supplied or reinforced, Monty slowly captureds Tunisia, seinsing about 90,000 axis troops.

    The loss of N. Africa and Sardinia and heavy bombing of Italian industry and facing allied forces in Corsica, ruin Mussolini's popularity. The king has him arrested and starts traying to negotiate capitulation with to the US.

    German forces are already spread thin in Yugoslavia, the USSR, Norway, France, etc, but Hitler has to send 200,000 men to Kesselring, so he can secure Italy, which appears to be about to collapse.
     
  4. archytas

    archytas Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2018
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    No British forces (other than Canadians and Anzacs) are deployed in the continent. They only suck up ressources and advance at snail pace.

    Vichy is not occupied as the landing takes place and its coast defenses are weak (weaker than Morocco and Algiers) but much more valuable that French Africa. Moreover, French troops at home, do not oppose their liberators, but join them, so the French navy does not sink a large number of valuable ships as OTL, but receives, fuel, etc, and joins the fight, providing valuable artillery to help defend the beachhead. Panzers incur enormous losses against naval guns, when they approach the beachhead.
     
  5. archytas

    archytas Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2018
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    OTL in Sicily, Patton's forces were about to seize valuable Enna on road 124, when Monty persuaded Alexander to order US forces to evacuate road 124, so he could advance along it (with 2 columns), thus wasting invaluable time and momentum. Then Monty's 2 columns advanced so slowly, that Patton seized Palermo and Mesina, before Monty arrived!

    Although Yamashita had used repeated, multiple landings to outflank strong British defenses in west Malaya, Monty did not, despite immense naval ressources (Yamashita used a ridiculous fleet of seized boats in the Indian Ocean to defeat the British, who supposedly still ruled the Indian Ocean!).
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
  6. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    935
    Likes Received:
    251
    I like how that sounds. As long as Vichy stays out, and you can keep the Italian Navy pinned in port, you could pull that off.
     
  7. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    935
    Likes Received:
    251
    That is a little problematic though. How far does he go into China? He's got Mao to think about.
     
  8. archytas

    archytas Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2018
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Italian navy has little fuel and guts, no way it is going to challenge the USN, it avoided the RN.
    Vichy has practically no army and the navy will be ecstatic, when it sees only Americans, no hated British (who had killed 1,800 French sailors and damaged valuable ships in Mers el Kebir, gatuitously and without declaring war, wrose than PH), liberating France
     
  9. archytas

    archytas Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2018
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    It is not problematic at all, Stalin had been begging Churchill for a second front for over a year and got only evasive answers and BS. Stalin its ecstatic over a second front in Europe, Moreover, Stalin has a strong force in the far east, which is absorbing resourcing and not doing anything. It is much better to use them, than to lose L-L (even stronger than OTL, owing to reducing Britain's unproportionately generous L-L). Japan is spread out all over the Pacific and incurring heavy losses in China already. It simply cannot put up much of a fight in the far east.
     
  10. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,903
    Likes Received:
    694
    Um, the only Canadian division available was 1st Infantry...and it was unlikely it would be deployed on its own in a hair-brained scheme to invade Southern France. Not after Dieppe. Anzacs? You mean 2d New Zealand Division (9th Australian Division was on its way home)? It was part of British Eighth Army. Just like the Canadians were under command of British Home Forces. How does Roosevelt and his "Chiefs of Staffs" get hold of them?

    You might want to look into Fall ANTON. The coast defenses at Toulon and Marseille were fairly substantial. Yes, perhaps the Vichy forces in France would react differently than those in Algeria...or maybe not.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
  11. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,494
    Likes Received:
    390
    Location:
    London UK
    Where do we start with this...

    The proposed command structure is based on hindsight and a rose tinted view of Patton's competences. Even though he has been feted as the most successful US General he did not progress beyond command of an army. He lacked the judgement and political skills to take on the role of supreme commander These were the skills .Marshall recognised in Eisenhower, and which he displayed in bucket loads from 1942 to the end of his Presidency. You ought to read a little more about the interface between politics and strategy.

    Which brings me to the unilateral approach to coalition strategy. In 1942 the USA was not the world's superpower. It was in the war as part of a coalition. Until mid 1944 the British would provide over half the ground naval and air forces. The proposed strategy seems to be a mixture of wishful thinking about American capabilities with a desire to screw over the British. Are you the realdonaldtrump? If so I claim my $10! ;)

    There are several problems with your strategy. What effect do you think three green American divisions are going to have? The most likely out come is Kasserine Pass. Unless Morocco and Algeria are occupied, it is likely that the Germans and Italians will march in as they did in Tunisia. German and Italian ground based aircraft on the North African coast would cause a real problem to naval operations in the western Med. Oh and forget the British, because thanks to the cuts in Lease Lend they are still in Egypt.
     
    George Patton likes this.
  12. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Location:
    Michigan
    I think the problem starts right here. I'm more inclined to argue for the Axis powers having a lock on the top 3 "worst strategist" positions. Then Africa was hardly a waste. Not only did it give the US valuable experience (and allow for the replacement of a number of less than stellar commanders) it set up the invasion of Italy and removing the same from the war.
     
  13. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,903
    Likes Received:
    694
    There was virtually no resistance to ANTON...which is unsurprising given the unpreparedness and dispersal of what constituted the French Metropolitan army forces. The Germans were in contrast well prepared, given that ANTON contingency planning, then called ATTILA, dated to 10 December 1940. The forces allocated were more than enough. 1. Armee contributed a task force consisting of 7. Panzer, SS-DR, and 327. ID. Armeegruppe Felber contributed 10. Panzer and 335. ID. Reserves included SS-Panzerkorps with SS-LAH and SS-T, as well as 7. Fliegerdivision. The Italians also contributed forces to seize Corsica and southeast France. They completed the occupation of Southern France by 14 November...in less than four days.

    If we count the beginnings of an American landing on 8 November as the kickoff, that means that within a week, the two American infantry divisions, and elements of two armored divisions with 55 medium and 195 light tanks, would be facing upwards of seven German divisions, all experienced and all recently re-equipped...with 605 tanks including 28 Tiger I. And that doesn't count 6. Panzer, which was also in France and had just completed rebuilding.

    Furthermore, given the near total lack of air cover compared to what the Luftwaffe in France and the Med, along with the Italian Air Force could bring to bear, it is unlikely many naval guns would be available to fire at the Panzers, let alone inflict enormous losses on them. After all, that is why the decision was made to land in North Africa in the first place.
     
  14. archytas

    archytas Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2018
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Canadians were so desperate for real action, that they had taken part even in the complete asinine raid on Dieppe, backed by only the small guns of a few, small DD (not even Tribal class DD or squadron leaders!). It was major mistake to ignore the idiotic waste of men and materiel that the British were causing, while they ruined the moral of their men.

    Again, the US secures their collaboration by pointing out the absurd British strategies in Norway, France, Holland, Belgium, Malaya, Singapore, Burma, HK (where 2,000 completely unprepared Canadians were sacrificed pointlessly), N Africa (where Rommel had fought for over a year, without supplies and a small army, while the British received billions of dollars worth of tanks, planes, fuel, trucks, arterilly, munitions, food, etc, delivered at extreme cost around S Africa and strong reinforcement), Dieppe (where thpousands of Canadians, hundreds of planes, lots of ships, tanks, etc, were wasted in a stupid raid, not even trying to established a beachhead and supported by DD!), the fact that the RN had been kicked out ofmost of the Indian Ocean for a while, after Japan sank PoW, Repulse, etc, and raided Ceylon, the fact that Britian refused to open a second front, deperately requested by the USSR, which was facing over 150 German divisions, while Britain struggled to defeat a couple of German divisions in N Africa for a ridiculously long time, the fact that Britian had wasted huge ressources for long months taking neutral Madagascar (defended by a few thousand Malagasies and even fewer Frenchmen), using valuable RN CV, so that at a time where the US was desperate for CV in the Pacific, the USN had to lend and risk Wasp to deliver the first Spitfires in Malta (for over a year, the few RAF pilots had had to fly only obsolete Hurricanes agains superior numbers of Be 109) and after these Spitfires were promptly wiped out, Wasp has to run the gauntlet again!, the fact that Britian had wasted fortunes blowing up cows and houses in Germany, but German war production was increasing rapidly, since bombing started!

    OTL, the ANZACs realized that they had to depend on and fight along the Americans, rather than the British, the American never really tried t persuade the Canadians to cut their losses under British leadership and jointhe more aggressive and effective US forces.

    The Pole and free French were also effective (General Koennig, etc,) and they would much rather fight with moredynamic forces invading Med France and weak Sardinia, than farting around in N Africa, Sicily and Italy in most difficult terrain without sound strategic purpose.

    Coastal defenses did not stop any US invasion in WW II, not even in Normandy, Calais, Cherbourg, etc, where they were much stronger than in the Med. Defenses were so weak that after Germany took over, it had to salvage the turrets of a sunken BB to boost defenses, but even then, they were no good for Germany. A coastal gun can be easily neutralized by BB, planes with massive bombs, etc, or cimply bypassed, landing troops beyond their range, so they can isolate and seize the guns. ATL defenses in Med France are much weaker than OTL, when US losses were ridiculouskly low against German forces, imagine against Vichy forces, eager to liberate France from the hated Boche,, rather than fight the Americans, who saved them from the Boche in WW I.

    OTL Coastal defenses were so weak in Toulon, that the French navy had to stall the Panzer officers with BS, while the fleet was scuttled. There were little fuel, munitions, etc, so only a few ships escaped to Algeria, most being wasted. ATL do you think that those Frenchmen, who could not stop a few Panzers are going to oppose a large number of USN guns from 5" to 16" or join them and receive fuel, etc, to fight the damn Boche?
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
  15. archytas

    archytas Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2018
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0

    Anton took place without a single American plane, tank or soldier in France and with Germany having much greater industrial capacity than in Oct 1942, when industry was struggling to replace hellacious losses in Stalingrad, Rzhev, the Caucasus, etc, Moreover, there was no reason for Vichy even to try to blow up bridges, etc, to slow down a German advance.
    In Oct 1942 Germany was not producing the Panther, assault rifle, Panzerfaust, Panzershreck (developed long months after being exposed to American Baozokas), etc, and was producing very few STUG III and Panzer IV and still producing the vulnerable PZ III. The Tiger had just entered service and production was ridiculous, considering the size of the eastern front alone and much more so if a second front is open, so that even fewer Tiger arrive in the USSR and a few are blown up by naval artillery when they approach the coast (as OTL in Sicily, where Savannah and Boise chased away the Herman Goering divison with a few salvoes of their numerous, quick-firing 6" guns).

    B-17, B-25, B-26, etc, from flying from Britain and landing in seized airfields in Sardinia, Cosrica and Med France after bombing LW airfields at dawn and the advancing WM in France, would certainly slow down Anton. French forces would certainly sabotage the RR system, roads, bridges, etc, to assist the liberating forces. P-38 from Sardinia initially and then from Corsica and Med France can dive bomb quite accurately and strafe columns with 20 mm Cannon and .50 caliber guns most effectively.
     
  16. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,903
    Likes Received:
    694
    Dieppe left the Canadian Forces in Britain with only the 1st Infantry Division anywhere near ready for action. So the next decision of the Canadian Government would be to throw them away in an even more asinine INVASION of Southern France? Seriously? That's who you think things work?

    You think the Canadian Government was too dumb to see all that without the "US" pointing it out to them? Seriously? That's who you think things work?

    Um, under 2.5 billion as of the 3rd quarter of 1942, about two-thirds to the UK and Canada and the rest to the USSR. Most of it was shipped directly to the UK, up to then the only significant Lend-Lease purchases shipped to BFE were the 300-odd Shermans and M7 HMC before 2d Alamein. The rest was bought and paid for by the British Government.

    (snip rant)

    Do you have problems absorbing information? The Australian forces in the Middle East were already on their way home under the orders of their own Government. It had zero to do with fighting "along the Americans". Meanwhile, the 2d New Zealand Division - the NZ part of ANZAC - remained under British command for the rest of the war with little problem.

    And I doubt they would be interested in throwing away forces in an asinine invasion of Southern France...especially given they were fully occupied in dealing with Herr Rommel.

    What comic book are you using as a source?

    Oh dear...you do realize that the CNO was not going to risk his minimal naval assets anywhere near the Southern French coast don't you? As I already explained to you, that was a primary reason for selecting the landing sites for TORCH.

    BTW, we've done this all before exhaustively. http://www.ww2f.com/threads/torch-in-sardinia-corsica-instead-of-n-africa.56890/
     
    von Poop and George Patton like this.
  17. archytas

    archytas Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2018
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Britain alone produced more and better planes than Germany! and Britain received huge numbers of planes from the US and Canada, etc, yet Churchill's idiotic strategies caused the loss of France, Norway, Greece, Crete, Burma, Malaya, Singapore, etc, for lack of planes! He never learnt the importance of air domination, as late as his idiotic Dodecanese campaign, when Marshal simply told him that no American boys were going to die in those islands, he lost large numbers of planes, ships and men for no gains at all, at a time when Germany was only experiencing defeats. If that doesn't quilify him as the 2 most stupid strategist, then what does. He had not secured air domination in Dieppe, nor provided decent naval artillery support! some idiot!

    Gaining experience fighting gratuitously neutral forces (soom to be allies) in order to gain useless terrain is rather stupid, when you can acquire experience against German forces in Oct 1942. Please check how many months Patton's mighty forces wasted in N Africa, before engaging the Germans in Tunisia. ATL his forces start acquiring experience and killing or capturing Germans right away. It is much easier for the USN to acquire experience against weaker Vichy forces in France the morning of the landing, than against stronger forces in Morocco and Algeria (including American P-36, which shot down Wildcats, etc, which are absent in France.
     
  18. archytas

    archytas Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2018
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marshal chose Eisenhower, because Marshal and King were not able to convince Roosevelt to ignore idiotic Churchill. Accordingly, he had to use a gutless burocrat (a strawman, a yes-man without any real leadership, strategic or tactical competence at all), in order to accomodate the arrogant and incompetent Churchill and British high command. ATL Patton is in Charge of the invasion of France (much as he was OTL of the invasion of Morocco), not the whole theater (he is not supreme commander, a position assumed by MacArthur, desplaced from the secondary theater to the main theater).

    OTL The coalition was absurd, Britain wasting ressources and invaluable time, while the USSR and China sacrificed millions of civilians and troops and received ridiculous amounts of L-L, while Britain absorbed endless amounts for little or no avail (the US was supplying Rommel indirectly for a while, who depended on captured supplies, vehicles, etc, for his ridiculous forces). ATL Roosevelt realizes the obvious, the British army sucks big time, Churchill is not willing to open a second front promptly and does not deserve the ressources and attaention he has received. ATL Stalin and Chiang are more effective still, when they receive more L-L and the US opens a second front.

    OTL Churchill not only demanded endless ressources and assistance, he pestered persistently Roosevelt, Eisenhower, etc, with hundreds of messages requesting repeatedly addoption of stupid strategies, such as the invasion of Italy, Yugoslavia, the Dodecanese, the landing in Anzio, the seizure of Rome (which only forced the US to feed millions of mouths), etc, opposing Anvil (the most productive and less costly landing of WW II), etc, ATL he is basically ignored and told what to do if Britian wants to continue receiving its reduced L-L.
     
  19. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,903
    Likes Received:
    694
    Uh, average German monthly tank chassis production in 1942 was 488...in 1943 it was 995 and in 1944 it was 1,591. The monthly averages for all other major weapons systems are similar. German industrial capacity in World War II peaked in the first half of 1944, not in October 1942.

    Oh dear, Savannah and Boise at Gela again...the problem is, they have to be afloat to delivery those salvos. And their SOC spotting aircraft need to stay aloft instead of getting shot down by Bf 109, which is what happened to the first launched by Savannah on 10 July 1943. Savannah then launched two more...and one was shot down and the other forced to flee the battle area. Boise's SOC did spot the first attack, but was unable to fire when it too was attacked by German fighters. Jeffers did fire in response to a request from a SFCP ashore and fired 100 rounds of 5", stopping the initial Italian attack. Better results occurred later in the day and on 11 July, but overall the effects of the naval fire support are exaggerated and ignore what could have happened against an even stronger Luftwaffe response, especially in an unsupported invasion of Southern France.

    Um, there were only 234 B-17 and 33 B-25 in England at the end of October 1942. And those airfields kinda need to be captured and put into operation before those planes fly down across German occupied France to them...you really need to think that out a bit more.

    So if, "French forces would certainly sabotage the RR system, roads, bridges, etc, to assist the liberating forces" why didn't they do that to slow down the German forces that did occupy Southern France? Perhaps because those "French forces" in Metropolitan France were nearly non-existent and had little capabilities? The terms of the armistice left the only viable French ground and air forces based in North Africa, the Metro forces were skeletons capable of little more than security duties.
     
    George Patton likes this.
  20. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,903
    Likes Received:
    694
    I smell TROLL! Non-feeding and sarcastic commentary protocol enacted...
     
    Sheldrake likes this.

Share This Page