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If Kesselring had not been in command in Italy, who do you think would have and why?

Discussion in 'What If - Mediterranean & North Africa' started by C.Evans, Feb 21, 2001.

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  1. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    An interesting question occurred in my mind on another what if post.
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    Who do you think would have been put in charge of the Italian Front, if Kesselring had not been given this command and why?

    I think quite possible Rommel because he was familiar with the area and because he was a good General.

    I also have to mention a second person in the name of General Kurt Student, because of his combat experiances and as General in charge of the Fallschirmjager. He might have had a better sence of direction than Kesselring or Rommel.

    I know my explanation is lame but its all I have to go on for now.
     
  2. Otto

    Otto Rested & Resupplied with MREs. Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I'm not so sure Rommel would have been assigned Italy. Italy was a secondary front, low priority was placed on it's defence. Hitler's selection of a Luftwaffe officer, (unheard of), to Italy shows he had little regard for the area. As well, Hitler would allow even less resources to Italy because he knew it was such good defensive terrain. I think Rommel was too high profile for such a task.

    Kurt Student however would have been a shoe in. He never lived down the "fiasco" at Crete, and Adolf viewed him as secondary. But the Allies were lucky, I think he would have been even better at defense than was Kesselring, but we'll never truly know.....
     
  3. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    Initially, Italy was not a secondary front. It did get invaded one year before D-Day. I would say Model would have been a good choice. He was Hitler's fireman. Rommel would also be a good choice.

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    "They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one's country. But in modern war there is nothing sweet or fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason."
     
  4. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Model hmmm.... I had never thought of the Waffen SS as being in charge of a theatre. If Model had been the choice I do not think the allies would have got as far as they did. Since he was one of Hitlers favorites, then I bet that a few more Waffen SS Divisions would have been employed there, such as Das Reich, Florian Gayer, Gotz Von Berlichingen to name a few. It im sure would have created more of a mess to the allies for Southern France in 1944.

    Since in a way that Rommel was getting in disfavor with Hitler, it doesnt seem too plausable that he could have been "exiled" to Italy. Had they also had Adolf Gallands type of fighter talent in the air over Italy, the outcome might have been quite different.

    As for Kurt Student, he was a capable General and probably the Luftwaffes best ground General. Having him in command of the Fallschirmjager forces and connecting them with say: The Hermann Goring Pz Korps, they would have been one hell of a fighting force to be reconed with. Then adding in Das Reich Pz Div and the other Waffen SS units, I dont think Italy would have cracked--providing they were able to maintain themselves slightly better.
     
  5. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    Wasn't Model a Wehrmacht General Fieldmarshal?

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    "They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one's country. But in modern war there is nothing sweet or fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason."
     
  6. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Walther Model was a Waffen SS general. He was promoted to GFM shortly before the wars ending and earned the nickname of "Boy Fieldmarshall. To avoid capture, he committed suicide in some woods.

    [This message has been edited by C.Evans (edited 23 February 2001).]
     
  7. J.Mahoney

    J.Mahoney Member

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    I think Karl Donitz would have been put in charge of italy and why not? Kesselring was a redicoulous choice too, was'nt he?
     
  8. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Dear J. Mahoney-thanks for the laugh, I needed it. Donitz might have done a good job but, who knows?
     
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