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
    Do you think landing in weak Med France, defended by Vichy without planes, fuel, munitions, cannon, etc, supported by BB, CA, CV, DD (with 5" guns), thousands of planes and involving several divisions and a large number of tanks, cannon (including SP), etc, to secure an invaluable beachhead and open a second front, while German industry is weak and the WM is lossing thousands of men per day is more asinine than a stupid, pointless raid (no land will be acquired at all, for heavy losses), supported by a few dozen 4", small DD guns and involving a few slow Churchill tanks in a steep ramp, against long established WM and LW forces with plenty of artillery, fortified positions, short supply and reinforcement lines?

    There are plenty of US planes in Africa, which are obviously more useful in Sardinia and France and lplanes are arriving from Ghana, especially after Vichy France joins the allies and planes can land in Dakar, Morocco, etc, also. Moreover, even over 400 four and twin engine bombers are quite formidable deployed first from Sardinia and then from France.


    Again OTL the USN deployed large forces against useless Morocco and Algeria, which were better defended that the Med in Oct 1942.
    Minimal naval ressources is the understatement of the century. The US wasted huge ressources paying attention to Churchill's pathological fear of Tirpitz and invading Africa. ATL Churchill is ignoired in regard to Tirpitz, so that King releases a large fleet to add to the already formidable fleet deployed OTL in Africa and ATL in France.

    Again there are no Bf 109 in Vichy France and it takes a while to deploy them and their mechanics, supplies, etc, under US bombers.

    Again, no British forces are deployed in France. The French hate them and they advance at snail pace. So much so that Rommel with fewer than 50 battered tanks and without fuel and water managed to reach Tunisa all the way from el Alamein, when Monty had about 500, mostly new tanks, endless trucks, planes, etc, if that doen's prove British incompetence and uselessness, then what does?
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    France wasn't lost because of a lack of planes or due to Churchill's strategy. Not much he could do about the others due to logistical constraints and the existing plans.

    In the mean time the Axis powers started a war they couldn't win. That's pretty close to the ultimate BAD strategy in my book.
    Yet he was willing to work as part of a winning coalition. Sure he had some bad ideas but he let people talk him out of most of them and didn't insist on running the military. His focus on the Balkans was as much post war oriented as it was winning the war at hand which makes him something of a forward thinking strategist doesn't it? Certainly better than the bunch of losers the Axis produced..

    Not really. Nor was the terrain useless. And of course they did end up gaining some experience vs German troops didn't they?

    Why would he even be there in this ATL? Indeed wouldn't it be Fredendall taking even greater losses? Perhaps loosing his entire force?

    Weren't you the one talking about the importance of air power?
     
  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    Do you have any idea what the actual Axis defenses were like in the Med at that time?
     
  4. archytas

    archytas Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2018
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Savannah and Bpoise at Gela are not the only example of warships blowing up tanks. Prinz Eugen blew up a large T-34 force, Texas blew up a large force in France, etc,
     
  5. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    Are you striving for coherence and failing or not bothering?
     
  6. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,251
    Likes Received:
    896
    The silliness is strong with this one.

    First, stop blaming Churchill for TORCH. It was Roosevelt who suggested it, only to be shot down initially by the CCS.
    Second, if your lunatic idea of ditching the Anglo-American alliance plays out, then only the USN is available for the harebrained scheme of an invasion of Southern France in 1942. That means the total forces available are: 1 BB, 2 old BB, 1 CV, 4 CVE, 3 CA, 3 CL, and 38 DD. Air support is confined to Ranger and the four Sangamon class...except Ranger was never considered fit for operations versus any reasonably capable enemy, she was too small and poorly protected compared to the Yorktown- class, which is why only one instead of the original five planned was constructed. Worse, one of the CVE was used as an ACV in order to get 76 P-40 to Africa, leaving the entire air protection of the force to 84 F4F-4, badly outmatched by any German fighter that would appear.

    There was no "thousands of planes" available in the USAAF at this time. The total number of operational aircraft deployed in the ETO at this time was 1,060. At least two divisions does qualify as "several divisions", but since the balance of tanks would be more than two to one in favor of the Germans it is inexplicable to me why a "large number of tanks" on the American side is relevant.

    At the end of October 1942, there were 181 operational combat aircraft in North Africa. Is that "plenty"? Especially given that intelligence counted on 940 German aircraft alone, plus 515 Italian aircraft in the Mediterranean?

    Meanwhile, you still see to have difficulty fathoming that aircraft are not cardboard counters shuffled about on a game map. They require fuel, ammunition, and maintenance, along with the personnel to refuel, arm, and maintain them. Sardinia is in Italian hands. It is occupied by Luftwaffe and Regia Aeronautica Italiana. They will get irritated if American planes decide to land there and use their facilities unasked.

    Again, which comic book are you getting this garbage from? You obviously have zero notion of what forces the "USN deployed" let alone whether or not they were "large" and you aparently have even less notion of just what resources were deployed and where and why.

    BTW, the King of England was not an absolute monarch and could only act through his Prime Minister, who happened to be Churchill.The idea that he could "releases" any part of a fleet, let alone a large one, is ludicrous, but then, silliness seems to be what you are striving for.

    The Luftwaffe, unlike the USAAF, was well-versed in expeditionary operations. Avignon-Pujaut was taken over as part of ANTON and was operational by about 12 November, with 1.(F)/Aufkl.Gr. 33, 3.(F)/Aufkl.Gr. 33, and Stab, 1., 2./NAGr. 13 all deploying there. Istres-le-Tubé was also quickly occupied by 10.(Jabo)/JG 26, a detachment of III./JG 2, I./KG 2, and I./KG 6. Marseille-Marignane was occupied by Stab/JG 2 and I./JG 2. All told, just those cases totaled about 125 combat aircraft all deployed in a few days.

    More trolling bullshit.
     
  7. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,251
    Likes Received:
    896
    Really? Details and sources please.

    If you are talking about Texas on D-Day or after, it did no such thing. Perhaps its most memorable D-Day engagement was nearly killing Norm Cota after he and the elemnts of the Ranger Force and 116th Infantry got over the bluff and advanced on Vierville from the rear. The BB role, along with most of the CA/CL was firing on coast and other artillery positions.

    Prinz Eugen and the tanks...so you are a World of Tankies troll. I had a feeling. :rolleyes:
     
  8. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2017
    Messages:
    1,411
    Likes Received:
    454
    Location:
    Arizona U.S.A
    The experience the allies gained from the fighting in Africa was priceless, and it gave the Allies much needed confidence that they could defeat the Germans so long as they had control of the sea and skies. Without the experience in Africa, a Kasserine Pass like event would have happened to the Americans in Italy instead, or even France. Controlling Africa was key too then winning the war in the Mediterranean. Not all bombing missions against the German war machine came from England, Africa was the only other staging point for such attacks besides Britain in 1942. Not to mention that the Allies success in the Middle East allowed the Soviets to be supplied from the Persian Corridor and greatly bolstered the Soviet defenses during the struggles in Stalingrad helping defeat Germany in the East. As lwd mentioned, the only party at fault was the Axis, who made the stupid decision of deviating men and supplies to Africa simply to gain colonial territory, territory held by the French and British. They spread themselves too thin, and payed a heavy price........
     
  9. archytas

    archytas Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2018
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  10. lwd

    lwd Ace

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    1,238
    Location:
    Michigan
    I see you have problems with the quote function too. You can edit your post so it's clear who said what but I suspect you won't.
    But of course that's not what Rich did. He went into some detail as to why your post was silly. Which you simply ignored which is again silly.
    Which of course ignored both the Axis forces in the area which would have responded, nor did you consider the logistics of the situation or the fragil nature of some of the US forces while overstating the size and capabilities. Sure sounds like "silly" to me.
    They do? When do they gain this knowledge and what capability do they have to act on it?

    You do realize that saying somebody is "imbecilic" for doing something that you then give good reasons for not doing is silly don't you? (From your performance to date probably not.)
    A few other things of note:
    1) Oh by the way the British did buy a few P-38's and didn't find them to meet their needs.
    2) A CV trying to keep station in range of Dieppe would have a very short life expectancy.
    3) Running capital ships through areas full of mines, opposing land based air, and S-boats isn't exactly the wisest of issues.
    4) From what I've read US DDs often gave better fire support at least in the vicinity of the landing than the heavier ships did of course the latter were usually firing further in land.
    Well at least your analysis of it does.
    Given that there is pretty strong evidence that it couldn't have been no need to go on any further.
    On the other hand there is more silliness such as:
    And just why do you think Patton would be in charge of this? At that point he would have been very junior for such an operation.
    What "strong fleet"? Where is the US aviation to be deployed for this effort?

    At his point it's not worth my time to go on. Others feel free. Certainly one of the silliest under the bridge dwellers we've had in a long time.
     
    RichTO90 and George Patton like this.
  11. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,251
    Likes Received:
    896
    I did state why. That you did not understand my very clear response pointing out the silliness is your problem, not mine.

    You have given no "facts". A fact is a thing that is indisputably the case. You have given your uninformed opinions. An opinion as a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

    For example, a "fact" is the composition of the Vichy Armée de l'Air in Metropolitan France, which was reduced by the armistice to five fighter squadrons of obsolete Bloch 152, two night fighter squadrons of obsolete Potez 631, and seven bomber squadrons comprised of obsolete LeO, Farman, Amiot, and Breguet aircraft. Most were in poor shape and operational readiness was almost non-existent. Nominally each mustered 24 aircraft, but most did well if they had half that and half of those able to fly. Another fact. The Vichy "Armée" such as it was, comprised just eight infantry "divisions" and two horse cavalry "brigades". Total strength was nominally 94,200 officers and men, but all were required to be volunteers and recruitment was indifferent and all units were badly understrength. Worse, they had virtually no motor transport, zero tanks, zero antitank guns, zero antiaircraft guns, and battalions were widely dispersed in cantonments across entire regions. There was little training, no unit exercises, and little incentive to do anything.

    What "Resistance" and what "Maquis"? FTP-MOI and other such groups were essentially non-existent in Vichy France and what little there was was entirely political rather than military. It was the German occupation of Vichy that sparked militant resistance in Vichy.

    Okay then. Well, the problem is that in November 1942, no one in the "US military" wanted to attack Southern France..."simply" or otherwise. So your entire premise falls apart from the get go.

    All of which actually has zero to do with any planning for an invasion of Southern France. Your entire Dieppe "argument" is a straw man.

    However, there is zero evidence that a beachhead could have been established at Dieppe, with or without "heavy naval guns" or that an airfield could have been seized or used. Yet again, you simply ignore the simple fact that an airfield is useless without the infrastructure and supply feeding it. You also continue to ignore the simple fact that the "strong" forces "deployed OTL in Morocco and Algeria" were two infantry divisions and the equivalent of about one armored division.

    BTW, TF99, the "powerful USN fleet wasted stalking Tirpitz" was dispersed in late August 1942 and most of its assets went to the Pacific, where they were critically needed.

    Patton's "mighty force" was 2d AD, deployed there after TORCH in order to watch Spanish Morocco. It never engaged German forces in Tunisia. So you are moving the timeline now from 8 November to "October"? When? How? The earliest loading and deployment of the forces from CONUS - Patton's WTF - is what governed the landing date.

     
  12. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    4,617
    Likes Received:
    1,658
    Location:
    God's Country
    1.) I for one don't understand how sending more aid to China, which really was a black hole would have been better than sending it to the British.

    2.) Now I for one think in order to land on the Med side of France it would have been important to put tanks across the beach in order to support the infantry and to oppose German armored counter attacks. You can use LCT's for a cross channel landing, but LST's, or LSD's would be required for landing medium tanks unless you had captured major port facilities. Now the first US LST (LST-1 (LST, Allied Type II)) wasn't commissioned until 14 December 1942, the first LSD (LSD-1 Ashland) wasn't commissioned until 5 June 1943. One of the primary reasons light tanks were used in the Pacific during the early operations was that they had to be offloaded by booms into LCM's from the transports/cargo ships and medium tanks exceeded the boom's lift capacity. Now for Torch the Navy did have a purpose converted ship, the USS Lakehurst (APV-3/APM-9) that could handle medium tanks. She was acquired from the SeaTrain lines (SS Seatrain New Jersey) and converted for shipping medium tanks by the US Army. Unfortunately, these conversions weren't completed until 12 October and she was commissioned on 13 October, 1942. She loaded her cargo through the 19th and immediately set sail to rendezvous with the North Africa invasion fleet. You could borrow one of Britain's three converted LST's (former oil tankers), but they might not let you. The way I understand it this ATL takes place in October 1942, is that correct? Well, if that's the case that's the only way to get Sherman's ashore. Never mind that across the world at this time the US is deploying large amounts of Naval assets to try and hang on at Guadalcanal, so you probably can't siphon off any more ships than were involved in Torch.

    For the US Naval ships involved, look here:
    Orders of Battle - Casablanca / North Africa Invasion - Battles of the Mediterranean - World War II - NavWeaps

    BTW, the Lakehurst is listed as AP-49 which is incorrect at the time she was actually APV-3.

    Now one principle of amphibious operations is that you need to seize and secure a beachead and immediately begin building up combat power to expand out of your beachead. Look at this map of your proposed AO.

    [​IMG]

    I would think that leaving North Africa in Axis hands might just pose a pretty big threat to a very long supply line, which your invasion is going to be dependent on. The choke point at Gibraltar would scare me if Allied and pose an opportunity if Axis. Now if we cut off British Lend Lease and Monty doesn't get his tanks and material so he can't launch the Battle of El Alamein (23 October – 11 November 1942), what's to stop Rommel and his German's and Italian's from turning on the French in Morocco and Algiers if they don't cooperate with interdicting the US supply lines?

    I agree that US Naval air support would be inadequate, the Ranger and the CVE's would probably not last long operating in the confines of the Med., however I would take issue with the F4F being badly outmatched by German fighters. Hopefully, R. Leonard will come along (he knows his stuff when it comes to Naval Air) but this was discussed in another thread and what few encounters there were between RAF FM-2's vs ME-109's, the Wildcats did very well. As for all your other points in this thread all I can say is :salute::salute::salute::salute: (that's a whole fire team saluting).
     
  13. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,251
    Likes Received:
    896
    Fair enough...the problem is that AFAICS the carriers are sticking their dicks into a meatgrinder and the Luftwaffe and Regia Aeronautica have their hands on the cranks. Estimating a strike range of perhaps 250 miles makes the operational area east of Menorca and southwest of Algero...a maximum of 200 miles wide. Now since we're asssuming Churchill is an idiot I suppose we can assume Franco will not pass any citing information to the Germans, but that isn't what the American planners did then. So the corridor is probably 100 miles wide, say 50 miles from Spanish territory and 50 from Italian. I can't see how they're going to avoid not being under constant air attack from basically NW to SE. By up to 1,400 Axis aircraft. 1,400 to 84 I count as "overmatched" regardless of how good the F4F was. :D

    Let's see, III./JG 53 is at Bari, transfers to Alghero, which is already the base for four Italian bomber Gruppo...100 bombers and 33 fighters. And Decimomanu had another three or so, while both were quickly filled up with additional units. Just at a quick estimate, the airfields on Sardinia alone would place about 300 to 400 aircraft within an easy 100 mile or so strike distance to the CV and CVE.

    Could be a problem.
     
  14. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    4,617
    Likes Received:
    1,658
    Location:
    God's Country
    I could not agree more. I misconstrued what you were saying; I took "F4F-4, badly outmatched by any German fighter that would appear." to mean any German fighter would have a qualitative advantage over the F4F, I see now that you were speaking of a quantitative advantage, which is entirely accurate.
     
    RichTO90 likes this.
  15. Takao

    Takao Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    9,719
    Likes Received:
    2,352
    Location:
    Reading, PA
    Well, to be fair, the FM-2 was not an F4F-4...

    The F4F-4 would likely beat the 109E in combat, but against an 109F or G, the outcome would be less clear cut.
     
    RichTO90 likes this.
  16. archytas

    archytas Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2018
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is also the Communists in China, more efficient and aggressive and easier to supply from Soviet territory
     
  17. archytas

    archytas Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2018
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Soviets made excellent use of the P-39, by removing the MG, leaving only the cannon, with which Pokrishkin, etc, down a hell of a lot of Bf-109, etc, ATL MacArthur requests Pokrishkin to be sent to Sardinia to train pilots on P-39 tactics. It is ironic that the British rejected both the excellent P-39 and P-38. US pilots also hated the plane, but Pökrishkins tactics would certainly makes them realize its value. The P-39 would have doubled as a tank buster. and air support plane, a formidable combination with the P-38s long range and firepower.

    Everybody talks about the American boys being shocked by the experienced German forces. At the time the experienced German forces had been and were being wipéd out in the USSR, where young WM recruits were being lost rapidly. Nobody realizes that there is nothing more frustrating to WM qand SS troops, than overwhelming firepower, carpet bombing, massive artillery barrages (better directed and more effective han the Soviet barrages) and new weapons: Bazzoka which allow a simple soldier to knock out an expensive and scarce tanks), excellent 65 mm light mortars, phosphorous shells, 40 mm bofors and 20 mm Oerlikon AA guns, M-1 Garands & M-1 carbines (at the time German troops have no SM 43 and few MG 42 and even MG 34 and 88 mm (which were scarce throughout the war), etc, Counter attacking Jerry face murderous naval gun, carpet bombing, etc, all along the coast.

    Mac also requests P-38 aces from the Pacific to develop with Doolittle tactics agains Kraut fighters and train pilots in Sardinia with them.

    The simple deployment of B-17, 24, 25 and 26 in Sardinia to support the invasion, allows also wiping out steel plants in Lorraine, flying over Switzerland (which Mac threatens with bombing and invasion, if it shoots down a US plane or allows LW planes over its territory).
     
  18. archytas

    archytas Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2018
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    As mentioned above, the plane itself is less important than the number, fuel availability and tactics. P-51 were vastly inferior to Me 262, yet they shot down many, they were far more numerous and simply waited till they had to land and were very vulnerable. Moreover, the Me 262 never had enough fuel, as did the LW and WM even in 1942 in the USSR, whose performance was always hindered by limited fuel, vehicles, planes, men, AT, field and AA guns, MG, munitions, etc, all over the front.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
  19. archytas

    archytas Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2018
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    You're simply reinforcing my statement that German production in Oct 1942 was ridiculous and far from allowing replacement of heavy losses in the USSR, Yugoslavia and Africa, much less able to make good ATL losses in France to naval guns, planes in Sardinia and then France, etc,

    ATL Germany is not allowed to squeeze ressources for years in France so easily and is forced to incur heavy losses much earlier than OTL. ATL German production suffers even more, owing to early loss of French ore, grain, steel, etc,
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
  20. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,251
    Likes Received:
    896
    Seriously? Pokrishkin's 16th Guards IAP was equipped with P-39 in March 1943...in October 1942 there were zero P-39 in the Soviet southern fronts. Deliveries began in November 1942 when the 25th ZAP was set up at Aji-Kabul in Azerbaijan to distribute aircraft ferried in from Abadan where they were assembled.
     
    George Patton likes this.

Share This Page